Exoplanet News

An exoplanet, or extrasolar planet, is a planet that orbits a star outside our solar system. The study of exoplanets has become a significant field within astronomy, especially since the first confirmed detection in 1992. Exoplanets vary widely in size, composition, and orbit, ranging from gas giants many times the mass of Jupiter to small, rocky planets akin to Earth. They are often discovered using indirect methods such as the transit method, where a planet passing in front of its host star causes a measurable dip in the star’s brightness, or the radial velocity method, which detects variations in a star’s motion due to gravitational pulls from orbiting planets. The study of exoplanets includes understanding their atmospheres, potential to support life, and formation and evolution processes. These discoveries have not only expanded our knowledge of planetary systems but also challenged existing theories about planet formation and the uniqueness of our solar system.