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Exoplanets in space and in the classroom

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Discover exoplanets with ESA

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More than 25 years ago, 51 Pegasi b was the first planet to be discovered orbiting a sun-like star. Since then, more than 4000 exoplanets – planets orbiting stars other than our own - have been found using a number of different techniques and telescopes, both from the Earth and from space.

A big surprise has been the very diverse range of planet sizes, masses, densities and orbits that have been found. These include types of planets with no analogue in our Solar System.

Studying these very diverse exoplanets and their individual planetary systems is key to understanding how they form and evolve, and will provide essential clues to whether and where life might exist in the Universe.

In this talk Kate Isaak, the Project Scientist for ESA’s CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) mission, will introduce some of the techniques that are used to find and study exoplanets, and will then focus on CHEOPS to illustrate what we can learn from observations of exoplanets from space.

We invite teachers and young learners aged 16 to 19 to attend the virtual event with their school classes or as individuals.


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