Artist's impression of a transiting exoplanet
Date: 04 October 2006
Satellite: Hubble Space Telescope
Depicts: Transit of an exoplanet
Copyright: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon
This is an artist's impression of a Jupiter-sized planet passing in front of its parent star. Such events are called transits. When the planet transits the star, the star's apparent brightness drops by a few percent for a short period. Through this technique, astronomers can use the Hubble Space Telescope to search for planets across the galaxy by measuring periodic changes in a star's luminosity. The first class of exoplanets found by this technique are the hot Jupiters, which are so close to their stars they complete an orbit within days, or even hours.
Last Update: 1 September 2019