Spotting Distant Worlds from the Backyard

It was arguably the biggest news in science this month: A graduate student in Australia discovered the continent of Africa. What makes Sally Langford’s discovery so remarkable — and worthy of reporting in the journal Astrobiology on April 6 — is not what she saw, but how she saw it. Once a month over the course of three years, Langford stood huddled against the evening chill in lonely Australian farmland and watched as the east coast of Africa shone in the midday sun