This artist’s impression shows the newfound potentially habitable alien planet HD40307g in the foreground, with its host star and two other worlds in the six-planet system also depicted. The atmosphere and continents shown are neither detected nor constrained by the discovery team's observations.
From massive bodies that fell just short of becoming stars to the tiniest solar systems known, 2012 has brought an array of intriguing exoplanets to light. And double-star systems that once seemed unlikely to host planets have produced a wealth of them this year.
Here's a look at some of the most exciting alien planets discovered in 2012:
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