Are you looking for an exotic destination to visit this summer? Use NASA's interactive Exoplanet Travel Bureau to make a virtual journey to an Earth-sized planet beyond our solar system.
We live in a universe teeming with exoplanets or planets outside our solar system. Unfortunately, even the next exoplanets are light-years away, so it's still a distant dream to send spaceships and humans into these fascinating worlds.
But NASA's Exoplanet Exploration website lets you explore an imaginary surface of an alien world 360-degree, interactive visualizations. If you examine the surface of each planet, you will discover fascinating features, such as the blood-red sky of TRAPPIST-1d, or you are standing on a hypothetical moon of the massive planet Kepler-1
The latest planet to show this 360-degree surface visualization is Kepler-186f, a planet earth-sized planet orbiting a star much cooler and redder than the Sun. Scientists do not know if Kepler-186f has an atmosphere, but with NASA's visualization tool you can see how the presence or absence of an atmosphere would change the view of the sky from the surface of the planet.
Many of the exoplanets
"Since Kepler-186f and the majority of planets discovered by Kepler are so far away, it is currently impossible to detect their atmospheres – if they exist at all – or characterize their atmospheric properties," said Martin Still, Program Scientist for NASA's latest Spaceborne Planet Hunting Observatory, the Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).
"Consequently, we have limited knowledge of how these distant worlds really are, but these surface visualizations allow us to imagine some of the possibilities," said Still. "Current and future NASA missions, including TESS and the James Webb Space Telescope, will find the closest exoplanets to our solar system and characterize their atmospheres to fill the gap between speculation and what's really out there."
All 360-degree visualizations can be viewed on desktop and mobile devices or in virtual reality headsets that work with smartphones. You can also read travel posters from such distant worlds as Kepler 186f; TRAPPIST-1e, or PSO J318.5-22, where "nightlife never ends" because the planet does not circle a star, but instead floats freely through space.
Many exoplanets share properties with the planets that orbit our planet Sun – some are gaseous like Saturn and Jupiter, while others are rocky like Earth and Mars. But these strange worlds also have unique qualities that distinguish them. NASA helps scientists discover and explore these alien worlds with multiple telescopes and observatories, both on the ground and in space. For more information and visualizations of these alien worlds, see the NASA Eyes on Exoplanets Mobile App.
The Exoplanet Travel Bureau was developed by NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program Communications Team and program director. The program is based on the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, a division of Caltech. The program is NASA's search for habitable planets and life beyond our solar system. The program develops technology and mission concepts, maintains exoplanet data archives and operates ground-based exoplanets for NASA missions.
Exoplanet Travel Agency
Countries Beyond the Beyond – Extra Sun Planets – News and Science
Life beyond Earth
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Planet hunter grabs test pattern on Lunar flyby en route to Final Orbit
Greenbelt MD (SPX) May 21, 2018
The NASA's next planet hunter, the Transit Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), has come a step closer to finding new worlds after joining a May 17, May Moon flight successfully completed The spacecraft passed about 5,000 miles from the moon, providing gravity support that helped TESS sail to its final working lane.
As part of the camera commissioning, the science team has taken a two-second test with one of the four TESS cameras. The image, which is centered on the southern constellation Centaurus, … read more