Hunt for new planets on the web

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    Artist's rendering of WASP-12B, an extrasolar planet whose discovery was announced in 2008. It's a "hot Jupiter" 800 light-years away -- a gas giant orbiting it's sun once every 1.1 Earth days. Astronomers estimate its surface temperature at more than 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Just in time for the Kepler mission, NASA's effort sort through 100,000 stars to find Earth-like planets in Earth-like orbits, the Planetary Society in Pasadena, Calif., has just set up a nice online catalog of extra-solar planets. You'll find it here.

It joins another exhaustive catalog run by astronomers in California, as well as a catalog maintained by astronomers at the Paris Observatory.

These are sites you can visit to find out where Kepler's discoveries fit into the grand scheme of things – when those discoveries are announced!

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