10 Remarkable Exoplanets

This exoplanet, WASP-12b is playing with fire. Thanks to Hubble, we can see that WASP-12b is slowly being consumed by its host star. Another 10 million years or so, and it's a goner. See more Space Exploration Pictures.
Image courtesy NASA/ESA/G. Bacon

From a planetary perspective, there's no place like home -- as far as we know, at least. Earth has everything we need to thrive: a breathable atmosphere, a plentiful water supply and a temperate climate. But that hasn't stopped us from looking for other intriguing interstellar planets, some of which we might even colonize in the distant future. Finding these planets, known as exoplanets since they're located outside of our solar system, is difficult work.

In January 2012, we knew of more than 700 confirmed exoplanets, quite a small number considering the billions of stars in our galaxy alone. Part of the difficulty is that we can only observe exoplanets indirectly, inferring their existence by the way they affect the stars they orbit. Still, astronomers are becoming more adept at finding exoplanets all the time.

We'll journey farther and farther away from our solar system to learn about some of the most amazing exoplanet finds.