Worlds Beyond: The Diversity of Extra-Solar Planets
We are living in an extraordinary age of discovery. After millennia of musings and a century of false claims, astronomers have finally found definitive evidence of planets around stars other than the Sun. Twenty years ago, we knew of only one planetary system: our own. Today we have discovered well over three hundred extra-solar planets. What's more, thanks to a suite of remarkable new instruments, we have peered deep into planetary birth sites, and have taken the first pictures of likely youngsters. Several 'super-Earths' have already been found, and a true Earth twin might be revealed soon. It's still the early days of planet searches but the diversity of worlds uncovered already is truly remarkable, and has challenged our preconceptions many times over.