Exoplanets – the basics

A transiting exoplanet

In short, it is the study of worlds beyond our solar system. By using some of the best telescopes both on Earth and in space, we can learn incredible things about planets orbiting distant stars. From what exists in their atmospheres to how many might be out there.

The most successful way of finding exoplanets is with the transit method. This involves monitoring hundreds of thousands of stars, night in, night out, looking for the tiny decrease in light that occurs when a planet passes between us and it’s star.