Amateur Hour On Exoplanets

Even if NASA decide not to repair or upgrade the venerable Hubble, there’s still plenty of chance of us finding new exoplanets, thanks to collaborative projects like the Transatlantic Exoplanet Survey. Using amateur-grade telescopes scattered around the world, and other off-the-shelf technology, they have managed to spot a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a star a mere 500 light-years from our own Sun. It’s the first exoplanet located in the ‘Kepler Field’ – which is, ironically, the sole target of a forthcoming space telescope designed to locate exoplanets. Score one for the little guys.