Since the early 1990’s, astronomers have known that extrasolar planets, or “exoplanets,” orbit stars light-years beyond our own solar system. Although most exoplanets are too distant to be directly imaged, detailed studies have been made of their size, composition, and even atmospheric makeup – but how? By observing periodic variations in the parent star’s brightness and color, astronomers can indirectly determine an exoplanet’s distance from its star, its size, and its mass. But to truly understand an exoplanet astronomers must study its atmosphere, and they do so by splitting apart the parent star’s light during a planetary transit.
This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11428
Like our videos? Subscribe to NASA’s Goddard Shorts HD podcast:
Or find NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on facebook:
Or find us on Twitter:
cool #nasa videos- NASA | Alien Atmospheres #Space #videos #NASA #News #SpaceVideos
Originally posted 2013-12-03 17:00:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter