Extrasolar Planets - Discovering New Worlds
An imaginative exploration of new worlds beyond our Sun, the possibilities they might be habitable, and the chances those worlds harbor intelligent life.
We live on a small planet that revolves around a medium sized yellow star. It is just one among many stars that make up the Milky Way Galaxy. And yet, our star is special. It has planets. Are there planets that orbit other stars? If so, are any of them habitable worlds like Earth? If life developed on our planet, could it arise elsewhere? How can we find those other planets?
These are the questions that drive teams of astronomers around the world, on their search for extrasolar planets. This exciting show describes how astronomers search for planets circling other stars. It explains the two main methods they use: studying the minute “wobbles” of stars and detecting flickers in a star’s brightness. Only a few Earth-like planets have been found, and as of yet, no extraterrestrial life has been found on any of the worlds discovered so far. Yet, it’s likely to be only a matter of time before a world teeming with life shows up in astronomy surveys of stars in our galactic neighborhood.
Right now, we know of only one world where life exists: ours! But it is likely there are other places in the galaxy where life has evolved and thrived. What if that life is intelligent? Has it tried to contact us? This show speculates on the possibility of such life, and points out nearby civilizations may already know about us — from our radio and TV broadcast signals.
Extrasolar Planets – discovering new worlds is an imaginative exploration into the discoveries of new worlds beyond our Sun, the possibilities that they might be habitable, and the chances that any of those worlds harbor intelligent life. With the success of such planet finder missions as Kepler and CoROT, detecting alien life may no longer be the stuff of science fiction!
This show was originally produced in 2013 by Albedo Fulldome in cooperation with the Planetarium of the Science Museum “La Caixa”. It was rewritten, edited, and a new narration and soundtrack was created by Loch Ness Productions in 2020.
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