To explore the science behind science fiction, we have collected together some of the most illuminating infographics from Prof Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen’s brilliant WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE, published by William Collins. Click on the image to see it in more detail, and look out for more WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE over the course of the #BFIVoyager festival.
How to Find Exoplanets
One of the most exciting areas of current astronomical research is the hunt for planets around other stars – known simply as exoplanets – which are potential homes for extraterrestrial life. Until recently such a search would have been impossible, as planets are far too faint to see over interstellar distances, however, thanks to new modern instrumentation, we are now able to detect the telltale signals of exoplanets using two main techniques: the radial velocity method and the transit method. With these techniques, individual planets and even planetary systems have been discovered around hundreds of stars.
Infographic (created by Nathalie Lees) © HarperCollins Publishers, as featured in Wonders of the Universe by Prof Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen.