Exoplanet

Exoplanet

ˈeksōˌplanət

Noun

  • A planet that orbits a star outside the solar system.

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Example Sentences

“My childhood dream was to become an astronomer and discover a new exoplanet.”

“You will need an instrument much stronger than your backyard telescope to see an exoplanet.”

“An astrologer can tell your horoscope, but an astronomer might study the stars and the potential exoplanets revolving around them.”

Word Origin

English, 1990s

Why this word?

The word “exoplanet” pertains to outer space, but the etymology comes from ancient Greek. “Exo” means “outside,” and “planḗtai” means “wandering star.” The first confirmed exoplanet was discovered by Canadian astronomers in 1988; since then, astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets outside of the Milky Way. However, scholars suspected the existence of these worlds for hundreds of years prior to that first discovery. Giordano Bruno, a 16th-century Italian philosopher, was an early supporter of the theory that Earth revolves around the sun, and he speculated that the stars in the sky were accompanied by similar planets.

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ˈtenəbrəs