• Sai Charan

AI Writes An Article: Exoplanets Explained


Artist's impression of how commonly planets orbit the stars in the Milky Way. Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser.

Exoplanets are worlds which orbit a star outside our own Solar System. The first evidence of an exoplanet was observed in 1917, but it took until 1992 for the first confirmation of exoplanet detection to be made. Today there are over four thousand confirmed exoplanets, with over fourteen hundred of those being found this year alone!


So what is an Exoplanet? An exoplanet or extrasolar planet is a planet outside our Solar System that orbits another star just like our Sun. Exoplanets are very hard to see directly with telescopes. They are hidden by the bright glare of the stars they orbit. So, astronomers use different ways to detect and study these distant planets. These methods are:


1. Doppler Spectroscopy: This is a technique in which astronomers can detect the motion of a planet by looking for periodic changes in the star's spectrum. This is accomplished by measuring the radial velocity of a star from Earth as it moves towards and away from Earth, while simultaneously measuring the radial velocity of Earth from the Sun. The difference between these two values determines how much a star has moved towards or away from us.


2. Transit Photometry: This technique uses an exoplanet's orbit to measure its radius and mass by observing how much light it blocks when it passes in front of its parent star, as seen from Earth. It also reveals information about a planet's atmosphere. When an exoplanet passes in front of its host star, it blocks part of that star's light output for a short period of time. If the exoplanet is massive, then the amount of light blocked will be greater than if it was smaller. Thus, information about both a planet's radius and mass can be derived by combining these two techniques.


There are many ways to find exoplanets. The main way we know about exoplanets today is through transit photometry.


P.S: This entire article has been written by the GPT-3 Artificial Intelligence model (can you believe it?!) without any editing whatsoever. You can check it out here if you're interested in trying it.