2022 was a great year for astronomers. Not only for the first images that the James Webb Space Telescope gave us, but also for the fact that they discovered more than 200 new exoplanets, with the result that we now know of the existence of at least 5000 in the Universe.
The search for an Earth-like world has been going on for decades, but technology and detection techniques are evolving rapidly. Since James Webb became operational in late 2021, astronomers have made leaps and bounds in this search and are now reaping the rewards of the huge investments made in previous years.
We currently know of 5235 exoplanets, but only 4% of them are estimated to resemble the rocky composition of Earth and Mars. The rest are mostly gas giants like Jupiter and other types of planets that cannot be explored by humans with existing technologies.
The list of new exoplanets detected in 2022 includes some massive worlds that may resemble our own, but also smaller versions even smaller than Pluto.
With the James Webb Space Telescope now in full operation, it is assumed that in the new year the exploration of Space will progress significantly and, who knows, there might finally be a new Earth somewhere out there. However, even if we find it, it is unlikely that we will be able to get there with today's knowledge and technologies.
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