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detecting exoplanets

Extrasolar planets, aka exoplanets are planets that orbit stars other than our own. Astronomers employ several methods to detect these planets. One such method that fascinates me is the transit method, which is used by looking for a drop in brightness in a small world caused when they pass in front of their parent star. This alignment is known as a transit. The transit method is interesting because it only detects very large and gaseous planets from the ground, and necessitates going into outer space to detect smaller ones. Scientists are starting to identify potential habitable exoplanets using this method and have found potentially 16 candidates that are similar to Earth. This is exciting because as Earth seems like its coming to its doom for a myriad of environmental reasons, we can still be optimistic that one day, maybe not in our lifetime, but eventually, we’ll be able to set up life on another planet and hopefully care for it better than we did this one.

Possible habitable exoplanets.

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