Scientists theorized that it was likely that there were free-floating “orphan” planets out there that are just floating through space without orbiting a star, but until recently they hadn’t detected one. The newly discovered exoplanet, named PSO J3185.22 travels wherever the hell it wants to and astronomers are still trying to figure out how it formed and what keeps it together.
Gravity has gotten generally pretty positive reviews, but if you’re super famous astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, you wouldn’t be watching a movie like Gravity for the writing, the acting or the amazing sound. You’d be watching for every little scientific inaccuracy, as you should if you were Neil DeGrasse Tyson. So after watching Gravity, Tyson went on a hilarious science ass-beating fact checking mission. Because even if it’s a good movie, Hollywood shouldn’t get too sloppy with science.
The science of exoplanet detection and analysis has come a long way in a short amount of time. From simply being able to detect their existence, scientists have now, for the first time, been able to watch and map cloud patterns of a planet outside our own solar system. In just a month or two, we’ll be able to spy on their advanced alien culture and make fun of their silly hats.
By combining three years worth of infrared and visual observations from NASA’s Spitzer and Kepler space telescopes, a low -resolution map was stitched together showing high clouds in the gas giant’s western hemisphere. The planet’s eastern side sports clear skies, instead.