When was the first first exoplanet discovered?
At the beginning of Natalie Batalha's career there were no known exoplanets. The first exoplanet was officially announced in 1992, and since then the field of astronomy has changed and expanded in a multitude of exciting ways. With the discovery of exoplanets, the possibilities of what we could discover are truly limitless, and has brought the search for life on other planets to the forefront.
Amazing exoplanet facts
Natalie has been an active participant and witness to amazing discoveries over the years, such as the fact that each star has an average of more than one planet, that the nearest habitable exoplanet could be within ten light-years, and that some planets can orbit two stars.
What is the meaning of exoplanets for us?
From her perspective, not only does this change how we view the universe, it also changes how we view ourselves and the position of our species within this great expanse.