SCIENCE POINT

The World of Exoplanets on the dome

51 Pegasi b is the very first exoplanet found by humans, HD 209458b was the first exoplanet confirmed with an atmosphere, Gliese 581 may have an ocean and be an eart- like planet. You will learn the techniques scientists use to gather evidence on various exoplanet worlds on the dome.

Pegasi 51b

The very first exoplanet found by humans -- a giant gas planet like Jupiter. The distance from its central star is only 1/8 of the distance of our sun from Mercury. It orbits its star in only four days.

HD209458b.jpg

A "hot Jupiter" found in the constellation Pegasus. The first exoplanet discovered and confirmed using the Transit method, and confirmed the existance of an atmosphere on this planet. As it's heated to 1,200 degrees Celsius, it furiously emitting a ton of hydrogen gas every second.

GL581d

A "super Earth," which is several times larger and more massive than Earth. This planet is confirmed to be located within the habitable zone and has a high possibility of having an ocean. However as its central star is a red dwarf star, it is assumed that the look of its surface is very different from Earth's.

Kepler 10b

One of the first Earth type exoplanets ever discovered by Kepler. As of January 2011, it was the closest size to the Earth of all other discovered Earth type exoplanets. It orbits a G type star like the Sun, and rotates. However it is too close to its central star and temperatures on its surface reach 1,300 degrees Celsius.

Kepler 22b

Discovered by Kepler in December, 2011. It's the first Earth type exoplanet within the habitable zone of a G type star, the same type as our Sun. It has a revolution period of 290 days. The components which form Kepler 22b are not yet known but it's assumed surface temparature is 22 degrees Celsius.

Methods to discover invisible planets

An introduction to the typical methods to detect expolanets outside our Solar System: Transit method and Doppler Shift method. An example of the Doppler effect as it relates to sound makes it easier to understand that method.

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