June 5, 2014

ESOcast 60: A Polarized View Of Exoplanets

[ Read the Article: First Light For SPHERE Exoplanet Imager ]

Astronomers know that planets around other stars beyond the Solar System are common. But these planets are very hard to see and even harder to study. Fortunately, there is a clever trick that helps to separate the feeble glow of a planet from the dazzling glare of its parent star: exploiting the polarization of the light reflected from the planet.

In this episode of the ESOcast, we’ll talk about this very special feature of light and how we can use it to detect planets around other stars.

Credit: ESO

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