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NASA teases a major new exoplanet discovery

The space agency is holding a news conference Wednesday to announce a big new find of planets beyond our solar system but still in the same neighborhood of the Milky Way.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Contributing editor Eric Mack covers space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
Eric Mack
2 min read
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This artist's impression shows an imagined view from the surface one of the three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star.

ESO/M. Kornmesser

Update: The news has broken. Get the full story here.

Our cosmic neighborhood is starting to feel a little more crowded.

This week NASA will announce new findings about planets orbiting other stars that look to be the biggest exoplanet news since last year's announcement of a potentially habitable exoplanet around our closest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri.

The space agency has set a news conference for 10 a.m. PT Wednesday to officially share the science. The news, which will also be published in the journal Nature, is officially embargoed until the start of the news conference. We've seen the research, and while we can't share details yet, let's just say it could very easily provide us with new settings for many future works of science fiction.

NASA clearly feels that this is big news, too, because it's bringing in some heavy hitters from the world of astronomy and planetary scientist like MIT's Sara Seager, one of the rock stars of the field. NASA astronomers and lead author Michael Gillon from the University of Liege in Belgium will also be on hand, and a Reddit Ask Me Anything session with the scientists will follow at noon Wednesday.

We'll have the details for you here as the news conference is kicking off live on NASA TV Wednesday. In the meantime, check out our travel guide below to begin planning travel itineraries for future generations.

A 23rd-century tourist guide to the galaxy

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