Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How to hunt for exoplanets

Date:
March 3, 2010
Source:
Institute of Physics
Summary:
A new report explains how new technological advances have seen the discovery of more than 400 exoplanets to date, a number expected to rise to thousands in the next few years.

Cover of "Exoplanets -- The search for planets beyond our solar system".
Credit: Image courtesy of Institute of Physics

A new report launched by the Institute of Physics (IOP) Exoplanets -- The search for planets beyond our solar system explains how new technological advances have seen the discovery of more than 400 exoplanets to date, a number expected to rise to thousands in the next few years.

Related Articles


The report details how new techniques and instruments are providing growing observational evidence that our home galaxy -- the Milky Way with its 100 billion stars -- could contain millions of solar systems.

Discovering a distant exoplanet should be almost impossible but astronomers have used their understanding of physics, combined with sophisticated instrumentation and data analysis, to detect signals indicating the presence of a planet.

The first exoplanets were discovered in 1991 using radial velocity measurements, the detecting and measuring of the gravitational tug that expolanets exert on their parent stars, which causes the stars to wobble.

Other detection methods include transit observation (measuring the dimming of a star's brightness as a planet passes in front of it) or nulling interferometry (where light waves received by several telescopes are combined to give a proportionately higher-resolution image).

Today, direct detection of the visible and infrared light from giant planets in wide orbits is becoming increasingly possible.

In particular, UK researchers have been heavily involved in a new adaptive optics system, the Gemini Plant Imager, which will enable vastly more sensitive searches for fainter planets in closer orbits -- and take us one step closer to discovering a second Earth.

Dr Robert Kirby-Harris, chief executive at IOP, said: "This report outlines exciting developments in detecting planets which might -- just might -- be able to support life in distant solar systems. It provides yet another illustration of how the techniques and knowledge provided by physics which help us to further our understanding of the universe."

The report (in PDF format) is available at: http://www.iop.org/activity/policy/Publications/file_40587.pdf


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics. "How to hunt for exoplanets." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302084145.htm>.
Institute of Physics. (2010, March 3). How to hunt for exoplanets. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302084145.htm
Institute of Physics. "How to hunt for exoplanets." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100302084145.htm (accessed March 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Monday, March 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Astronauts Leave Space Station for Third Spacewalk

Astronauts Leave Space Station for Third Spacewalk

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 1, 2015) NASA Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts perform their third spacewalk in eight days outside the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spacesuit Water Leaks Not An Issue On Latest ISS Walk

Spacesuit Water Leaks Not An Issue On Latest ISS Walk

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Astronauts are ahead of schedule with hardware upgrades to the International Space Station, despite last week&apos;s spacesuit water leak scare. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Hole 12 Billion Times the Size of Sun Discovered at Dawn of Universe

Black Hole 12 Billion Times the Size of Sun Discovered at Dawn of Universe

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) Scientists are saying they&apos;ve spotted a black hole 12 billion time bigger than the sun. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Spots Two Bright Points On Ceres

NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Spots Two Bright Points On Ceres

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) NASA scientists still don&apos;t have a clear picture of the bright spots showing up on the surface of Ceres, a minor planet in the asteroid belt. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins