Uploaded by Sameera Shaikh


Since the early 1990s, astronomers have discovered other solar systems. A solar system has one or more
planets orbiting one or more stars. We call these planets “extrasolar planets,” or exoplanets. They are
called exoplanets because they orbit a star other than the Sun. Thousands have been discovered in the
past two decades, mostly with NASA's Kepler space telescope.
5 Ways to Find a Extrasolar Planet
1.WATCHING FOR WOBBLE (Radial Velocity): Orbiting planets cause stars to wobble in space, changing
the color of the light astronomers observe
2.SEARCHING FOR SHADOWS (Transit):When a planet passes directly between its star and an observer,
it dims the star’s light by a measureable amount
3.TAKING PICTURES (Direct Imaging):Astronomers can take pictures of exoplanets by removing the
overwhelming glare of the stars they orbit
4.LIGHT IN A GRAVITY LENS (Gravitational Microlensing):Light from a distant star is bent and focused by
gravity as a planet passes between the star and Earth
5.MINISCULE MOVEMENTS (Astrometry):The orbit of a planet can cause a star to wobble around in
space in relation to nearby stars in the sky
Transit is the most commonly used to discover exoplanet
The smallest exoplanets are a few times larger than the Earth, and many are several times larger than
The first detection of an exoplanet occurred in 1992 and the very recent being in 2017
One of the most important goals of the search for exoplanets is finding another world capable of
supporting life. We want to know how unique, or common, planets like Earth really are in the universe.
The conditions to support life, at least as we currently know it, require a fine balance of variables like
temperature, a stable
atmosphere, access to liquid water, and the presence of carbon molecules.
No life has been found on any exoplanet so far. Scientists think our best chance for finding life exists on
Earth-sized planets or rocky moons orbiting planets in the habitable zones of stars. With telescopes like
Kepler searching for evidence of these worlds, we may be on the verge of finding out just how unique or
common Earth really is in the universe.
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