The 12 Coolest Scientific Discoveries Of March 2022

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  The 12 Coolest Scientific Discoveries Of March 2022

The practice of searching for planets outside of our solar system is a relatively new development in astronomy. In fact, the very first confirmed exoplanet was only discovered in 1992, (per Space). Despite exoplanet discovery still being in its infancy, the field has grown rapidly.

Telescopes like Hubble, TRAPPIST, and more recently the JWST, have allowed humanity to peer farther into our universe and further back in time than ever before. With solid tools and constantly improving detection methods and practices, the number of confirmed exoplanets has climbed steadily, such that planets are no longer added to the registry individually but in batches.

On March 21, 2022, NASA received the latest batch of confirmed planets. Confirmation typically requires multiple observations to ensure they weren’t an anomaly or experimental error. The batch included a total of 65 new worlds, enough to push the overall exoplanet count over 5,000.

A sizable portion of the exoplanets we’ve discovered to date are what are known as hot Jupiter’s, gas giants orbiting close to their parent star. Though, that appears to be a consequence of our observation techniques and not necessarily representative of the types of planets which are most common. We’ve also uncovered so-called super Earths, and mini-Neptunes, among other exotic planetary types, (per NASA). At the current rate, we’ll reach the 10,000-planet mark before we know it.

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