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Artist’s impression of a transiting exoplanet
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- Title Artist’s impression of a transiting exoplanet
- Released 05/10/2006 5:06 pm
- Copyright NASA, ESA and G. Bacon
This is an artist’s impression of a Jupiter-sized planet passing in front of its parent star.
Such events are called transits. When the planet transits the star, the star’s apparent brightness drops by a few percent for a short period. Through this technique, astronomers can search for planets across the galaxy by measuring periodic changes in a star’s luminosity.
The first class of exoplanets found by this technique are the so-called “hot Jupiters,” which are so close to their stars they complete an orbit within days, or even hours.