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This Map Shows Just How Little We Know About Our Own Galaxy

So, you think you know the Milky Way? Well you don't. This new Milky Way map from NASA displays the exo-planets we've discovered so far, counting the newly confirmed exoplanet 13,000 light years away from Earth, catchily-named OGLE-2014-BLG-0124L. It's about half as far away as the farthest exoplanet ever found, one of only a few handfuls to be discovered beyond Kepler's range.


The majority of exoplanets that have been discovered were the work of the Kepler, but the very furthest ones that have been found — like this recent one — owe their discovery to microlensing methods. Like gravitational lensing, where gravity bends space and light to generate a natural "zoom lens" that lets us see further afield, microlensing also makes use of certainly occurring bends in space. In microlensing, however, that enlargement procedure is triggered by a fainter star passing in front of a more distant star, making the space around the distant star more easily observable.

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