Exploring "The Outer".

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In 1976, Dan O’Bannon wrote the screenplay for ‘Alien’ (formerly titled, ‘Starbeast’), based on his and Ronald Shusett’s story idea. This script is a treat since it includes a map of the sphere of Earth vicinity space:

Flash-forward to the “now”, when we get regular news of some new exoplanet from the NASA Exoplanet Archive site, a database created to support the exoplanet community. It’s in-depth and may be far beyond what you’re looking for, but you don’t have to be an astrophysicist to enjoy its tables.

It is an exciting time to be alive, and to celebrate the work of these astronomers and the imagination of Dan O’Bannon, I am kicking off a new feature of this site.

I call it “Beyond the Outer Rim”, and as often as I can keep it up, I will share NASA news of potential new worlds that lie beyond our blue skies, even behind O’Bannon’s vast “The Outer”.

In this first post, we find four new worlds have been added to the Planetary Systems table of the NASA Exoplanet Archive. It is interesting to note that O’Bannon imagined The Outer rim was 54 light years (16.5 parsecs) from Earth.

The Planetary Systems table is customizable and fun to play with, so give it a spin! And if you ever wondered how exoplanets get their names, read here, or watch this silly little video:

Enjoy!

You can follow the NASA Exoplanet Archive on Twitter @NASAExoArchive

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