Planets Under a Red Sun
April 12, 2011
This artist's concept illustrates a young, red dwarf star surrounded by three planets. Such stars are dimmer and smaller than yellow stars like our sun, which makes them ideal targets for astronomers wishing to take images of planets outside our solar system, called exoplanets. NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer is helping to identify young, red dwarf stars that are close to us by detecting their ultraviolet light (stars give off a lot of ultraviolet light in their youth). Astronomers will use telescopes to try to image giant planets that orbit farther out from these stars, such as the one depicted here at lower left.
Topics: Exoplanetology, Planetary systems, Planetary science, Human Interest, Technology Internet, New Worlds Mission, Methods of detecting extrasolar planets, Extrasolar planet, Sun, Star, Galaxy, SETI, Solar System, Planet