Planets and Moons  Universe  ID: 11428

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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Dan Gallagher (USRA): Lead Animator
Michael Lentz (USRA): Animator
Chris Smith (HTSI): Animator
Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Animator
Dan Gallagher (USRA): Video Editor
Dan Gallagher (USRA): Producer
Avi Mandell (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Project Support
Elizabeth Zubritsky (ADNET): Writer
Avi Mandell (NASA/GSFC): Writer
Dan Gallagher (USRA): Writer
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Additional animations courtesy ESA/Hubble

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This item is part of this series:
Narrated Movies

Goddard TV Tape:
G2012-110 -- Exoplanet Atmospheres

SVS >> Transit
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> Spectroscopy
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons
NASA Science >> Universe
SVS >> Exoplanet
SVS >> Extrasolar planet
SVS >> Radial velocity
SVS >> Hot Jupiter
SVS >> Waterworld

GCMD 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