View Full Version : Cheap Method for Finding Extrasolar Planets

2005-Sep-24, 07:29 AM
SUMMARY: Astronomers from the University of Texas at Austin believe they've figured out an inexpensive way to search for extrasolar planets. After stars like our own Sun use up their fuel they eventually turn into red giant stars, and then shrink again to become white dwarfs. Although the process will likely destroy the inner planets, the outer planets will probably still remain in orbit around the star. These white dwarfs are known to pulsate at a specific rate, so the gravity of a planet moving around the star should affect this pulse rate by a minute amount that should be detectable by inexpensive Earth-based telescopes.

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