More than 4,000 exoplanets are waiting to be studied Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency describes the CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS), which has been launched to measure the mass, density, composition and formation of exoplanets.
CHEOPS project scientist Kate Isaak explains that as of July 2020, more than 4,000 exoplanets have been discovered using satellites on the ground and in space.
More than 4,000 exoplanets are waiting to be studied and Experts will continue to study these planets to gain new insight into their characteristics and into whether they have the potential to host life. For many years after that, a trickle of distant worlds were added to the known exoplanet catalog . Only in the last decade, with the help of the recently retired Kepler Space Telescope, has the pace of discovery really increased exponentially. In June, the 4,000th exoplanet was confirmed.
Astronomers use the term “Earth-like planets” for exoplanets which are rocky rather than gaseous, and which orbit in the so-called “ Goldilocks Zone,” where water, thought essential to life, can exist in liquid form. Thus researchers have been on the lookout for exoplanets in the circumstellar habitable zone around a star, which is loosely defined as an exoplanet that has a temperature regime capable of supporting liquid water, given sufficient atmospheric pressure, based on its distance from its host star.
Video Credit: ESA