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Observing an exoplanet atmosphere
04/19/13

 

The transit of an exoplanet allows us to observe the planet’s atmosphere. As the planet passes between its star and us, some of the starlight shines through the planet’s upper atmosphere before reaching Earth. Different parts of the atmosphere absorb different amounts of the starlight at certain wavelengths, so imprinted on the observed starlight are the tale-tale signatures of various gasses.



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