Exoplanets: The New Frontier
Exoplanets, or extrasolar planets, are planets that orbit a star other than our sun. As of April 2020, there were a total of 4,241 confirmed exoplanets. Some have extreme environments, reaching wildly hot and frigid temperatures. Others are neither comparatively hot nor cold, a niche environment called the habitable zone, offering tantalizing clues to what life outside of Earth could be like. Efforts to study exoplanets are numerous, and their reasons abundant: not only could exoplanets offer insight into Earth-like planets that may harbor water, but they may someday answer questions about our existential loneliness. Scientifically and artistically inspiring, the abundant number of exoplanets scattered all around us are full of data. Extracting and understanding the information they provide is simply a matter of time and technology, a new frontier in astronomy that could tell us more about where we come from — and where we are going.
Explore this frontier in Majarra — Arabic for galaxy — an exhibition on the 1st floor of McCardell Bicentennial Hall.
As you travel through the exhibition, you can use the QR codes associated with each panel to access sources and other information on your phone. Additionally, the entire exhibition is available online at http://go.middlebury.edu/majarra .