Hunt for new planets on the web

ESA/C. Carreau
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.

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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