The Pulse of Another World

How three astronomers timing radio waves may have finally found a planet outside our solar system

If countless stars fill the firmament, they must be circled by countless planets -- or so everyone assumes. In the fertile minds of fiction writers, the distant worlds have taken on every imaginable name, from Krypton to Ork, and spawned every imaginable creature, from the Klingons to the Ewoks. But in real life no earthbound astronomer has ever proved the existence of a single planet outside our solar system.

Now a team of three astronomers in Britain claims to have spotted solid evidence of a faraway world. Writing in the British journal Nature, Andrew Lyne and colleagues at the University of...

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