Friday, June 18

How to Find an Extrasolar Planet Documentary – The Inner Secrets of Planets and Stars

How to Find an Extrasolar Planet Documentary – The Inner Secrets of Planets and Stars

Our solar system’s nearest neighbour is a star called Proxima Centauri. So far, astronomers have discovered one exoplanet orbiting this star. If you’ve ever seen Venus—the nearest planet to Earth—in the early evening or early morning sky, you would know that it is recognizably bright. But depending on where Venus is in its orbit, Proxima Centauri is a whopping 200 000 to 1 000 000 times farther away from Earth than Venus is!

If Venus looks like a star when you observe it from Earth, then moving it 1 000 000 times further away would make it invisible to the naked eye. So how do astronomers manage to find exoplanets orbiting around Proxima Centauri and beyond?