Astronomy Live: Earth, The Transiting Exoplanet

Part of Astronomy Live

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

An iconic image of the Earth, taken by astronauts on the final Apollo mission in 1972 - the first to fully capture the south polar ice cap. © NASA
Which stars have the perfect stadium-seating vantage point in the galaxy to find and study Earth?  

For the past several decades, astronomers have been discovering planets around other stars. There are more than 5,400 confirmed exoplanets and thousands more candidate exoplanets. More than 70 percent of worlds beyond Earth were discovered through the transit method, by observing whether the light of a star “dips” as a planet passes in front. But what about using this same approach to study our home planet?  

Join Jackie Faherty, senior scientist in the Museum’s Department of Astrophysics, to find out how her recent research reversed this vantage point to ask, “Which stars were, are, and will be aligned to detect Earth transiting our Sun?”

This program utilizes OpenSpace software supported by NASA under award No NNX16AB93A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.