Researchers confirm the presence of 5000 worlds beyond our solar system

Fareeha Arshad

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For the first time, planets outside our solar system were observed in 1992, that lived some 2300 years from us, deep outside our solar system. Since then, until March 2021, more than 5000 such planets have been found, as per the NASA exoplanet archive. Each of these planets discovered has been recorded to be unique on their own and have been analyzed using various detection methods.

Many new worlds have been studied using powerful instruments like the James Webb Space Telescope and the latest Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. As a result, planets and stars like Pulsars have also been identified.

Most planets recorded have been identified based on the pulsations observed from the star. These pulses have changed a little because of the gravitational forces emanating from the worlds around them. However, such observations have been documented only when Pulsars that exhibit repeated millisecond pulsations are around a planet.

With the invention of the Kepler Space Telescope in 2009, more than 3000 exoplanets have been discovered and identified. Now, planets in the vicinity of most stars can be identified owing to the gravitational effect on the stars because of the planet. When a planet is present near a star, the star is noted to ‘wobble’ a little and thus alters the wavelengths of light recorded. Based on these observations, the size and the mass of the planet can be analyzed.

Despite these recent developments, science still has a long way before the planets can be studied in further detail. The distance between our planet and other exoplanets is the major hindrance that limits the scope of our studies. However, scientists hope to discover traces of life on other planets perhaps even far away from us, with further scientific advances.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

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