Zusammenstellung ausgewählter Bilder zu den verschiedenen Raumsonden, die um weiterführenden Links mit der Möglichkeit des Downloads ergänzt wurden.
This artist's impression shows a dramatic close-up of the extrasolar planet XO-1b passing in front of a Sun-like star 600 light-years from Earth. The Jupiter-sized planet is in a tight four-day orbit around the star.
Bild: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)
This illustration shows the newly discovered planet, Fomalhaut b, orbiting its sun, Fomalhaut. A structure comprised mostly of brown and gold colors surrounds Fomalhaut b. This structure is a Saturn-like ring that astronomers say may encircle the planet. Fomalhaut also is surrounded by a ring of material. The edge of this vast disk is shown in the background as the curving cloud-like feature that appears to intersect the 200-million-year-old star. Fomalhaut b lies 1.8 billion miles inside the disk's inner edge. The planet completes an orbit around Fomalhaut every 872 years.
Bild: ESA, NASA, and L. Calcada (ESO for STScI)
This artist's conception shows the closest known planetary system to our own, called Epsilon Eridani. Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show that the system hosts two asteroid belts, in addition to previously identified candidate planets and an outer comet ring.
Epsilon Eridani is located about 10 light-years away in the constellation Eridanus. It is visible in the night skies with the naked eye.
The system's inner asteroid belt appears as the yellowish ring around the star, while the outer asteroid belt is in the foreground. The outermost comet ring is too far out to be seen in this view, but comets originating from it are shown in the upper right corner.
This artist's concept illustrates a tight pair of stars and a surrounding disk of dust – most likely the shattered remains of planetary smashups. Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the scientists found dusty evidence for such collisions around three sets of stellar twins (a class of stars called RS Canum Venaticorum's or RS CVns for short). The stars, which are similar to our sun in mass and age, orbit very closely around each other. They are separated by just two percent of the Earth-sun distance. With time, they get closer and closer, until the gravitational harmony in the system is thrown out of whack. Planetary bodies – planets, asteroids and comets – are thought to migrate out of their stable orbits, and smash together.
Bild: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA
Exoplanet WASP-107b is one of the lowest density planets known. While the planet is about the same size as Jupiter, it has only 12 percent of Jupiter’s mass. The exoplanet is about 200 light-years from Earth and takes less than six days to orbit its host star. Using infrared spectroscopy, scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope were able to find helium in the escaping atmosphere of the planet — the first detection of this element in the atmosphere of an exoplanet.
Bild: ESA/Hubble, NASA, and M. Kornmesser
Überblick über die von Kepler entdeckten Planetensysteme mit mehreren Planeten aus der Vogelperspektive
This artist's concept shows an overhead view of the orbital position of the planets in systems with multiple transiting planets discovered by NASA's Kepler mission. All the colored planets have been verified. More vivid colors indicate planets that have been confirmed by their gravitational interactions with each other or the star. Several of these systems contain additional planet candidates (shown in grey) that have not yet been verified.
Bild: NASA/Ames/UC Santa Cruz
This illustration shows the unusual orbit of planet Kepler-413b around a close pair of orange and red dwarf stars. The planet's 66-day orbit is tilted 2.5 degrees with respect to the plane of the binary stars' orbit. The orbit of the planet wobbles around the central stars over 11 years, an effect called precession. This planet is also very unusual in that it can potentially precess wildly on its spin axis, much like a child's top.
The tilt of the spin axis of the planet can vary by as much as 30 degrees over 11 years, presumably leading to the rapid and erratic changes in seasons on the planet and any accompanying large moons that might exist there.
This artist's concept appeared on the Feb. 23, 2017 cover of the journal Nature announcing that the nearby star TRAPPIST-1, an ultra-cool dwarf, has seven Earth-sized planets orbiting it. Two of the planets were discovered in 2016 by TRAPPIST (the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope) in Chile. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and several ground-based telescopes uncovered five additional ones, increasing the total number to seven. The TRAPPIST-1 system is located about 40 light-years from Earth.
Bild: NASA and JPL/Caltech
Our solar system now is tied for most number of planets around a single star, with the recent discovery of an eighth planet circling Kepler-90, a Sun-like star 2,545 light years from Earth. The planet was discovered in data from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope. This artist's concept depicts the Kepler-90 system compared with our own solar system.
The newly-discovered Kepler-90i – a sizzling hot, rocky planet that orbits its star once every 14.4 days – was found using machine learning from Google. Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence in which computers "learn." In this case, computers learned to identify planets by finding in Kepler data instances where the telescope recorded changes in starlight caused by planets beyond our solar system, known as exoplanets.
Bild: NASA/Ames Research Center/Wendy Stenzel
This diagram represents Hubble Space Telescope photometric observations of the planet Kepler-1625b passing in front of its parent star — called a transit. The planet blocks a small fraction of the star's light and this is recorded on a light curve (bottom green line) as a slight dip in the star’s brightness. After the planet's 19-hour-long transit was completed, astronomers noted a second, smaller dip in the light curve about three and a half hours later (panel 4). (Due to observing constraints Hubble was not able to record the full event.) The second dip is interpreted as the signature of a moon trailing the planet. The moon is estimated to be as big as the planet Neptune. The inclination of the candidate moon's orbit is just one of a broad range of possible inclinations that are consistent with the data. Astronomers hope to repeat this observation to confirm the moon's existence. If follow-up observations are successful, this would be the first moon discovered outside of our solar system.
Bild: NASA, ESA, D. Kipping (Columbia University), and A. Feild (STScI)
Darstellung des Exoplanetensystems WASP-189
ESA’s exoplanet mission Cheops has observed the WASP-189 system and determined key parameters about the star and its planet, WASP-189b.
Cheops observed WASP-189b at is passed behind its host star – an occultation – and recorded the dip in light from the entire system as it briefly slipped out of view.
It also observed the planet passing in front of the star – a transit. During a transit the planet temporarily blocks a tiny fraction of light from the star.
This artist's illustration shows an alien world that is losing magnesium and iron gas from its atmosphere. The observations represent the first time that so-called "heavy metals"—elements more massive than hydrogen and helium—have been detected escaping from a hot Jupiter, a large gaseous exoplanet orbiting very close to its star.
The planet, known as WASP-121b, orbits a star brighter and hotter than the Sun. The planet is so dangerously close to its star that its upper atmosphere reaches a blazing 4,600 degrees Fahrenheit. A torrent of ultraviolet light from the host star is heating the planet's upper atmosphere, which is causing the magnesium and iron gas to escape into space. Observations by Hubble's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph have detected the spectral signatures of magnesium and iron far away from the planet.
Bild: NASA, ESA, and J. Olmsted (STScI)
This illustration depicts the three giant planets orbiting the Sun-like star Kepler 51 as compared to some of the planets in our solar system. These planets are all roughly the size of Jupiter but a very tiny fraction of its mass. This means that the planets have an extraordinarily low density, more like that of Styrofoam rather than rock or water, based on new Hubble Space Telescope observations. The planets may have formed much farther from their star and migrated inward. Now their puffed-up hydrogen/helium atmospheres are bleeding off into space. Eventually, much smaller planets might be left behind. NASA's Kepler space telescope detected the shadows of these planets in 2012-2014 as they passed in front of their star. There is no direct imaging. Therefore, the colors in this illustration are imaginary.
Bild: NASA, ESA, and L. Hustak and J. Olmsted (STScI)
This illustration shows two Earth-sized worlds passing in front of their parent red dwarf star, which is much smaller and cooler than our sun. The planets, TRAPPIST-1b and TRAPPIST-1c, reside 40 light-years away. They are between 20 and 100 times closer to their star than Earth is to the sun. Researchers think that at least one of the planets, and possibly both, may be within the star's habitable zone, where moderate temperatures could allow for liquid water on the surface. Hubble looked for evidence of extended atmospheres around both planets and didn't find anything. This leaves open the possibility the planets have thinner, denser atmospheres like Earth's.
Bild: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
The PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO) mission will identify and study thousands of exoplanetary systems, with an emphasis on discovering and characterising Earth-sized planets and super-Earths. It will also investigate seismic activity in stars, enabling a precise characterisation of the host sun of each planet discovered, including its mass, radius and age.
Plato is ESA’s third medium-class science mission and is planned for launch by 2026.
Bild: ESA–C. Carreau
Artist impression of a small, rocky planet – perhaps one flooded with lava – transiting across the face of its parent star.
ESA’s Characterising Exoplanet Satellite, Cheops, will study known transiting planets to build up precise measurements of their size. Together with known information about the mass of the planet, Cheops will allow the density of the planet to be estimated. This will constrain the planet’s possible composition and structure, indicating for example if it is predominantly rocky or gaseous, or perhaps harbours significant oceans. Cheops will focus particularly on bright stars hosting Earth- to Neptune-sized planets. This first-step characterisation of these worlds – many with no Solar System equivalents – is a critical process towards understanding the formation, origin and evolution of exoplanets in this size range.