Until the middle of the 19th century, the stars were little more than mysterious points of light. Astronomers could plot a star’s position in the sky, or record changes in its brightness, but that was about all
In a time when astronomers are studying galaxies that are billions of light-years away, you might think that we know everything there is to know about our own cosmic neighborhood.
Over the decades, when astronomers wanted a subject for testing new techniques for studying the stars, they frequently turned to Vega, the brightest star of Lyra, the harp.
Astronomers say they have for the first time spotted a planet beyond our own in what is sometimes called the Goldilocks zone for life: Not too hot, not too cold. Juuuust right.