Secrets of Solar System and Our Universe - Space Science Documentary

Secrets of Solar System and Our Universe - Space Science Documentary

Video Channel: How the Universe Works

The idea of life on other planets is old and can be traced back to ancient times, but until just a few years ago this was all it was—an idea.

The breakthrough occurred in 1995 when we discovered the first exoplanet—a planet in orbit around another star. Suddenly, we were a little less alone in the universe.

Even though it is a young research field, the hunt for exoplanets has exploded in the last 20 years.

Within this time, we have discovered more than 3,500 exoplanets and more than 4,000 unconfirmed candidates. On average, there is more than one exoplanet for every star, meaning that there are more exoplanets in the Milky Way than there are stars.
Four exoplanets orbit star HR 8799, approximately 129 light years away from Earth. They were discovered in 2008 and could be imaged as they were large red hot, gas giants (bigger than Jupiter) in a young system. (Photo: Jason Wang and Christian Marois Orbit determination)
Four exoplanets orbit star HR 8799, approximately 129 light years away from Earth. They were discovered in 2008 and could be imaged as they were large red hot, gas giants (bigger than Jupiter) in a young system. (Photo: Jason Wang and Christian Marois Orbit determination)

We have become so good at finding exoplanets that it has almost become trivial. Now we are instead pushing our instruments and methods to the limit to learn more about what these planets are made of, and whether any of them have an atmosphere or water at the surface.

Secrets of
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