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Exoplanet Detection Methods Visualized

posted Aug 9, 2014, 12:43 PM by Abel Mendez   [ updated Aug 9, 2014, 12:45 PM ]

This is a visualization of the main exoplanets detection techniques. The animations show how the visual appearance of a star is affected by the presence of planets. The effect of the planets on their stars were exaggerated for clarity since they are too weak to be visible by the naked eye. The frames show the number of planets detected and measured properties by each technique. The actual planets are only visible, if possible (e.g. only young hot planets far from their star), with the direct method technique. The twinkling of the stars is shown for comparison to illustrate how the atmosphere obscure the presence of planets. This animation is part of a public lecture on exoplanets.