December 6th, 2022

Big Bang to Humankind

  • We’re currently in a “golden age” of exoplanet studies, and have confirmed 5,000 exoplanets so far.
  • The sun is not at the center of the solar system.
    • The sun wobbles a bit due to the orbit of the planets.
    • We can measure this movement using spectroscopy.
    • Imagine a seesaw — the more massive object is closer to the center of the seesaw, but it’s still rotating a bit.
  • Radial velocity method for finding exoplanets.
    • Using the seesaw method to observe the sun moving with the doppler effect.
  • “Transit” method for finding exoplanets
    • If a planet passes in front of the face of a star, the brightness of the star drops.
    • The alignment has to be perfect.
  • Kepler telescope showed that planets are common around stars.
    • Previously, this was theorized but not confirmed.
    • 3-4 planets per star.
  • Direct imaging method for finding exoplanet.
    • Block out light from the star.