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Alien Atmospheres

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.
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Other multimedia items related to this story:
     Using Color to Search for Alien Earths (id 10679)
     Hubble, Swift Detect First-ever Changes in an Exoplanet Atmosphere (id 11019)
     HD 189733b Exoplanet Animation (id 11026)
     Other Earths (id 30125)
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Alien Atmospheres Although most of the planets outside of our solar system (called    Alien Atmospheres Although most of the planets outside of our solar system (called "exoplanets") are too distant to be seen, astronomers have developed indirect methods to determine their size, mass, and even their atmospheric makeup - taking us one step closer to finding a world like our own.

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Duration: 3.4 minutes
Available formats:
  960x540 (29.97 fps) WEBM         35 MB
  960x540 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   97 MB
  320x240 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   20 MB
  1280x720 (59.94 fps) QT         3 GB
  640x360 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   38 MB
  640x360 (29.97 fps) QT         82 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) WMV         97 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         105 MB
  1280x720   JPEG         506 KB
  320x180     PNG           57 KB
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Animation Number:11428
Animators:Dan Gallagher (USRA) (Lead)
 Michael Lentz (USRA)
 Chris Smith (HTSI)
 Scott Wiessinger (USRA)
Video Editor:Dan Gallagher (USRA)
Producer:Dan Gallagher (USRA)
Scientist:Avi Mandell (NASA/GSFC)
Project Support:Aaron E Lepsch (ADNET Systems, Inc.)
Writers:Elizabeth Zubritsky (ADNET Systems, Inc.)
 Avi Mandell (NASA/GSFC)
 Dan Gallagher (USRA)
Series:Narrated Movies
Goddard TV Tape:G2012-110 -- Exoplanet Atmospheres
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Additional animations courtesy ESA/Hubble
SVS >> Atmosphere
SVS >> Transit
SVS >> Spectroscopy
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons
NASA Science >> Universe
SVS >> Exoplanet
SVS >> Extrasolar planet
SVS >> Radial velocity
SVS >> Hot Jupiter
SVS >> Waterworld

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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version logo - the U.S. Government's official Web portal. + Privacy Policy and Important Notices
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