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General Information


"We embarked on our cosmic voyage with a question first framed in the childhood of our species and in each generation asked anew with undiminished wonder: What are the stars? Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars."

Carl Sagan



Do there exist many worlds, or is there but a single world? This is one of the most noble and exalted questions in the study of Nature."

St. Albertus Magnus (1206-1280),
scholar, and patron saint of scientists


In the words of Frank Borman, retired Apollo 8 astronaut, “exploration is the essence of human spirit.” New Worlds Observer is an exploratory mission seeking to discover new planetary systems, some of which will hopefully harbor habitable terrestrial planets. Our aim is to identify new classes of planet that differ from those in our Solar System. Fitting theories of formation to observed distributions of dust and debris and the study of these new classes of planets will create the field of comparative terrestrial geography and geology.

We live in a time when all the corners of the Earth have been discovered and mapped in great detail. Few people alive remember firsthand the sense of excitement and high adventure that comes from the discovery of new lands. Yet no other endeavor resonates more with the imagination of the young, or carries more promise of the future.


"Whether outwardly or inwardly, whether in space or time, the farther we penetrate the unknown, the vaster and more marvelous it becomes."

Charles A. Lindbergh, Autobiography of Values

Ultimately, we all wish to find that elusive place: the blue, watery planet with a shirt-sleeve environment that might eventually become a comfortable home. Certain knowledge of a habitable destination could drive future generations to innovate and find a way to cross the unimaginable distance to that New Earth.


Age of Space Exploration
The Search for Worlds
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Technical Information
Science Objectives
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New Worlds is a part of CASA at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Click here to contact the webmaster. Site design by Sarah LeVine.