Number of Confirmed Alien Planets Nears 1,000

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Number of Confirmed Alien Planets Nears 1,000

Just two decades after discovering the first world beyond our solar system, astronomers are closing in on alien planet No. 1,000.

Four of the five main databases that catalog the discoveries of exoplanets  now list more than 900 confirmed alien worlds, and two of them peg the tally at 986 as of today (Sept. 26). So the 1,000th exoplanet may be announced in a matter of days or weeks, depending on which list you prefer.

That’s a lot of progress since 1992, when researchers detected two planets orbiting a rotating neutron star, or pulsar, about 1,000 light-years from Earth. Confirmation of the first alien world circling a “normal” star like our sun did not come until 1995.

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