There are now over 4,000 exoplanets known, with over 3,000 positively confirmed. They have an amazing range of sizes, masses, temperatures and orbital periods, and orbit a variety of different types of stars, including some similar to the Sun, and some quite close to Earth. We’re now approaching the point where it may be possible to detect life in some cases, if it exists.
The first exoplanet around a Sun-like star was discovered almost 25 years ago – a discovery that has won this year’s Nobel prize. Since that time, the field of exoplanet studies has taken a large leap forward. Not only have we now discovered over 3000 planets outside of our Solar System, but we have started to probe their atmospheres. We have even identified a potential giant ring system with a diameter of approximately 90 million kilometers!
In this talk I will show how we can find planets, study their atmospheres, and how we can move forward to search for rings around planets outside of the Solar System.