DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Earth-like planet and star. Artwork of an Earth-like terrestrial planet transiting in front of its parent star. Astronomers can detect new extrasolar (non solar system) planets by detecting the small dimming of the star's brightness as a planet transits. The planet's size can also be determined based on the percentage the star has dimmed. The transit method of extrasolar planet detection is the technique utilised by the Kepler Mission and CoRoT, both of which are space based telescopes.
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