It wasn’t long ago that it was astonishing simply to know that planets beyond our own solar system really do exist. Now we know they’re everywhere, orbiting nearly every star.
Yet, in a way, exoplanets seem like a cosmic tease. Given their enormous distance and dimness beside the blindingly radiant stars they hug so tightly, it will be hard to learn enough about them to satisfy the profound questions they raise. It’s like coming upon a palace full of doorways we can’t open, though we know behind them lie clues to the mystery of our existence.