Did You Know: Images of Exoplanets

Video Player

Video Versions

Did you know that detailed pictures of planets orbiting other stars are illustrations?

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and Sonoma State University.
·        Kepler 22b illustration: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
·        Keck Telescope visualization of directly imaged exoplanets around star HR 8799: Jason Wang (UC Berkeley) and Christian Marois (NRC Herzberg)
·        Animation of a TRAPPIST-1 exoplanet: NASA/JPL-Caltech
·        Animation of an Earth-like exoplanet: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab
Written by Claire Blome
Designed by Craig Anderson, Leah Hustak, and Dani Player
Editorial and design input from Margaret W. Carruthers, Dr. Brandon Lawton, Leah Ramsay, and Timothy Rhue II
Music courtesy of Music for Non-Profits 

Text, Did you know? Images of exoplanets. Black background.
A blue green planet.
Text, Detailed pictures of planets orbiting other stars are illustrations, not photographs.
Today's telescopes can detect, but can't show the surface or atmospheres of remote planets.
Images of far-flung planets like this one are artist conceptions created based on evidence from observations. Illustration of Kepler 22b.
Unlike planets in our solar system, exoplanets are too far away for researchers to make out any details.
The few we can see appear as only a single point of light.
Video, directly imaged exo planets, keck telescope visualization, moving points of light.
Each artist's conception is based on researcher's knowledge of an exo planet's properties.
White planet in space. Text, These data may include the exoplanet's size, mass, density, distance from its star, and information about its atmosphere. Animation of an Earth like exoplanet.
Animation of a Trappist 1 exoplanet. Researchers are developing technologies that will help us learn more about the surfaces and atmospheres of exoplanets.