With the addition this year of 180 new worlds to the Paris Observatory’s list of confirmed exoplanets, there are now more than 1,000 known planets orbiting stars other than the sun.
Here are some of the year’s most notable finds:
1. The Earthiest
Kepler-78b is most similar to Earth in mass, diameter and composition; it could be made of rock with an iron core. But it’s no Earth analog, whizzing around its star in 8.5 hours, with temperatures exceeding 2,000° Celsius (SN Online: 10/30/13).
2. The wettest
HR 8799c’s atmosphere lacks methane, which could signal life, but does have water and carbon monoxide (