Extreme Planets

Ages: 9 and up

Imagine a world where an ocean of molten rock breaks against a pitch black shoreline of hardened lava; where a seething hot and swollen sun hangs perpetually over the horizon, and night never falls; or where rocks glow in luminescent shades of pink, blue, and green under a madly spinning burned-out star.

These may sound like the products of science fiction, but they're not. Scientists now believe that worlds like these may actually exist throughout the universe. In just the past 10 years, over 500 planets orbiting stars other than our Sun have been discovered, bringing us one step closer to answering the most important question ever asked: "Are we alone?"

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