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Planets around stars Essay

There is an opinion that our universe is endless, however, we have too little knowledge about it. Scientists all over the world develop different theories and search for new planets. There are a lot of various theories about the creation and development of new planets.

The problem of the endless of the universe is also put under question. However, the work on searching for new planets continues and more and more people are involved in the process there are a lot of different techniques aimed at searching for new planets.

Many of these techniques have already been applied into practice, some of these techniques are just discussed in the research papers. The main idea of this paper is to consider the techniques that have been used to detect planets around other stars.

Some of these techniques have limitations, others are simple and do not require any outstanding actions, in spite of the fact that each new technique used for planets’ search is unique and requires much attempt, knowledge and financial support, some of them are used more frequently while others have just been used several times.

NASA is planning to launch a visible-wavelength telescope called Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) in 2014. There is an opinion that there are other more developed civilizations which have powerful telescopes that are able to see the Earth and identify the conditions appropriate for life there.

The Terrestrial Planet Finder will be able to search for the planets with the conditions possible for living. The main limitation of such technique is the adjacent of the parent stars.

The brightness of the Earth’s surface varies dramatically, therefore, the astronomers and engineers are to pay attention to this fact whole search for new planets (Seager 2006).

Angel and Woolf (1998) dwell upon spectroscopy as one of the most effective ways of searching for new planets. The authors present the proofs of the stars similar to our sun other formations similar to our universe.

Photography is not effective for searching for new planets as this way of study distant planets does not give the full information about the planet. Spectroscopy is much better in this case.

Moreover, using the new ultra light weight mirrors developed for NASA’s Next Generation Space Telescope, it is possible to have a general understanding if what happens at the planet.

This information may allow to get to know whether it is possible to live at the planet or not, thus, the search for the planets similar to the Earth is possible (Angel & Woolf 1998).

Nowadays, more and more scientists refer to using telescopes as the main mechanism for searching new planets, however, scientists understand that this specific mechanism cannot be good enough, therefore, new ways for planet search are studied.

There is a plan to invent a Planet Finder, “an interferometer with five 3-ft.-to-6-ft. mirrors spread over 300 ft., orbiting out by Jupiter, where the solar-system dust begins to thin out… [it] should allow scientists to identify Earthlike planets, which should show up as pale blue dots in images beamed back to ground controllers, and analyze their atmosphere for signatures of life like ozone, oxygen or carbon dioxide” (Lemonick & Bloch 1996, p. 56).

It is hard to dwell upon this technique as its practical implementation has not been considered.

Konacki and Maciejewski (1999) offer pulsar timing observations as the most effective technique for searching the new planets.

This technique requires much knowledge and intensive implementation of various calculations and formulae, however, the main idea of this method may be explained by means of the simple language, thus, the pulsar timing observation is based on the “topocentric times of arrival of pulsar pulses in an observatory atomic time” (Konacki & Maciejewski 1999, p. 167).

In other words, the search of the planets is based on the time the pulses of the pulsars are seen. The technique is based on complicated calculations of the time of reflection of the pulsars’ pulses which may help identify the position of other planets, if any.

Posselt, Neuhäuser, and Haberl (2008) dwell upon a better technique used for searching new planets in comparison with the pulsar timing observation. This is the radio pulse timing technique.

The main advantage of this technique is that it also investigates the “surroundings of radio-quiet neutron stars” (Posselt, Neuhäuser & Haberl 2008, p. 360) in searching for planets around.

The calculations, observation and presentation of the research results are rather complicated, however, the main idea of the technique is rather simple. The radio impulses are used for detecting the nearest objects, thus, the chances for finding the planets are high enough.

Nowadays, many scientists are interested in searching for temperate transiting planets. Some of such planets transit too frequent, therefore, it is impossible to observe tem, however, there are planets with the less frequent transitional time.

For better investigation of such planets photometry is to be used as the measurable technique (Fleming, Kane, McCullough & Chromey 2008). Even though this research is helpful in considering photometry as the technique for finding new planets, it does not help in solving the goal of this research.

Still, Kraus, Ireland, Martinache and Lloyd (2009) offer using adaptive optics and Radial Velocity planet searchers. The research shows the survey where these methods are applied for searching the extrasolar planets.

M-dwarfs may be used as the objects of measurement. Dalessio, Provencal, and Shipman (2011) have conducted a research which lasted for 13 years. The main technique of this research was the pulsation measurement of DBV white dwarf EC 20058-5234.

The construction seems too complicated, however, this is not true. White dwarfs are called small planets which shine with white color.

EC 20058-5234 is just the title of the planet as there was a period when too many planets were discovered and it was hard to create a specific name for each of the planets, therefore, the scientists agreed to call planets by means of letters and numbers. This is convenient for international scientists and their work.

DBV is the abbreviation which means specific conditions at the planet. Therefore, Dalessio, Provencal, and Shipman’s (2011) offer is to search for the new planets by means of pulsation measurement. M-dwarfs have also been used as the objects of measurement for searching new planets by Irwin, Charbonneau, Nutzman, and Falco (2009).

These researchers offered to refer to the signals spread around M-dwarfs. The reasons for considering such technique as successful was the idea that M-dwarfs have small radii, that is why it is possible to detect the new planets, if any, faster. The telescope was also used by these researchers.

Schuh, et al. (2010) offer to search for the planets near pulsating subdwarf B stars. The same timing method is offered as the main technique for search. The EXOTIME monitoring program was invented with the purpose to search for the planet-companions.

The complicated programs and formula are created with the purpose to consider the new planet parameters applying the “orbital photometric effects or the radial velocity method” (Schuh, et al. 2010, p. 232).

Like each of the timing methods, the signals are observed and analyzed with the purpose to understand the time of reflect ion and try to identify the surface it was reflected from.

“Large-scale magnetic field and activity of the host star” (Fares et al. 2010, p. 409) is the main measurement technique offered by Fares et al. (2010).

The study work of this person is full of different numbers and letters, however, as we know, these letters and numbers are used for identifying the planets which have already been discovered.

Using the “magnetic field and activity of the host star” (Fares et al. 2010, p. 409) method, the researchers wanted to consider whether another planets exist near those which have already been discovered.

The research was centered in one specific area to limit the chance for missing the necessary object.

Referring to the idea of Jayawardhana (2011), some innovative ways for searching for new planets may be considered. Jayawardhana (2011) was sure that microlensing (astronomical effect connected with gravitation of the planets) was one of the most effective techniques for searching for new planets.

One of the main advantages of this technique is that it does not matter how small or big a star from its pulsar, the gravitation is what matters. Moreover, the smaller size of the new planet from the known pulsar is also an advantage as having the same mass, scientists are unable to find it.

Thus, the method considered by Jayawardhana (2011) seems to be effective as the demographics of the planets may be detected.

Visible wavelength is another way to search for the new planets in the solar system. Kasting (2010) is sure that the method is effective s looking for the planets within one solar system, it is possible to make sure that the waves are noticed.

However, the critics of this method are sure that the distance between the planets is too large, therefore, the method cannot guarantees 100% effectiveness.

The use of coronagraphs may help in solving the distance problem. In this case, the special mechanism blocks the sun and thus, the new planets may be found.

Gravitation microlensing event is considered as the main technique offered by Ollivier, Encrenaz, Roques, Selsisand Casoli (2008). The procedure is based on the photometry of the objects and the particular analysis of the data by means of the top quality equipment.

However, the human monitoring is also important. The absence of the specific results of such search technique is the main its limitation. Finally, the detection of the gravitation length is one of the most effective methods.

Trying to discuss this method without specific terminology, one should know that the measurement of the gravitation length is connected with the closure of the orbits, it any.

Gravitation is measured by means of the particular mechanisms, however, it should be supported with other techniques as there are planets where gravitation is too low and it cannot be measured appropriately (Cassen, Guillot & Quirrenbach 2006).

Therefore, it may be concluded that there are a lot of different methods which may help people find new planets.

However, a close consideration of most of these methods help draw the conclusion that even though each of the researchers tries to offer something new, each of them tries to refer to innovative methods, most of the measurements are based on the basic ones.

Telescope, timing, gravitation, radio waves and photography and other similar techniques are used for searching for the new planets. Nowadays some of the planets have already been discovered, and the search is conducted on the basis of the already existing methods.

It should be stated that great role in the development of the techniques used in the search for new planets plays the development of the innovative technologies. Scientists all over the world are working on the equipment which may be helpful in finding the new planets.

Previously, people could use just telescopes and photography, but now the new measurement equipment and techniques are used which help see not just the object, but also consider the lines of that object and the other characteristics helpful in defining its nature.

Searching for the new ways of planet search it is important to base on the past knowledge as this knowledge is useful in avoiding the mistakes made before and in using the limitations which have already been successfully eliminated.

Searching for new planets scientists should also search for innovative decisions and creative measurements to find as many planets as possible with the chance to find the planet where life is possible.

Reference List

Angel, R & Woolf, NJ 1998, ‘Searching for Life in Other Solar Systems’, Scientific American Presents, pp. 22-25.

Cassen, P, Guillot, T & Quirrenbach, A 2006, Extrasolar Planets: Saas Fee Advanced Course 31, New York: Springer.

Dalessio, J, Provencal, JL & Shipman, H 2011, ‘Searching for Planets with White Dwarf Pulsations: Spurious Detections’, AIP Conference Proceedings, vol. 1331, iss. 1, pp. 278-280.

Fares, R, et al. 2010, ‘Searching for star–planet interactions within the magnetosphere of HD 189733’, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 406, iss. 1, pp. 409-419.

Fleming, SW, Kane, SR, McCullough, PR & Chromey, FR 2008, ‘Detecting ‘Temperate’ Jupiters: the prospects of searching for transiting gas giants in Habitable Zones’, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 386, iss. 3, pp. 1503-1520.

Irwin, J, Charbonneau, D, Nutzman, P & Falco, E 2009, ‘The MEarth project: searching for transiting habitable super-Earth planets around nearby M-dwarfs’, AIP Conference Proceedings, vol. 1094, iss. 1, pp. 445-448.

Jayawardhana, R 2011, Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life beyond Our Solar System, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Kasting, J 2010, How to Find a Habitable Planet, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Konacki, M & Maciejewski, AJ 1999, ‘Methods of searching for planets around pulsars’, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 308, iss. 1, pp. 167-179.

Kraus, A, Ireland, M, Martinache, F & Lloyd, J 2009, ‘Searching for Young Planets with Sparse Aperture Masking’, AIP Conference Proceedings, vol. 1094, iss. 1, pp. 453-456.

Lemonick, MD & Bloch, H 1996, ‘Searching for other worlds’, Time, vol. 147, iss. 6, pp. 52-58.

Ollivier, M. Encrenaz, T, Roques, F, Selsis, F & Casoli, F 2008, Planetary Systems: Detection, Formation and Habitability of Extrasolar Planets, New York, Springer.

Posselt, B, Neuhäuser, R & Haberl, F 2008, ‘Searching for planets around pulsars and radio-quiet neutron stars’, AIP Conference Proceedings, vol. 983, iss. 1, pp. 360-362.

Schuh, S, et al. 2010, ‘EXOTIME: searching for planets around pulsating subdwarf B stars’, Astrophysics & Space Science, vol. 329, iss. 1/2, pp. 231-242.

Seager, S 2006, ‘Searching for signs of life’, Astronomy, vol. 34, iss. 5, pp. 62-67.

This Essay on Planets around stars was written and submitted by user Damari Herman to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Damari Herman studied at Fordham University, USA, with average GPA 3.6 out of 4.0.

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Herman, Damari. "Planets around stars." IvyPanda, 11 Apr. 2019,

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Herman, Damari. "Planets around stars." IvyPanda (blog), April 11, 2019.


Herman, Damari. 2019. "Planets around stars." IvyPanda (blog), April 11, 2019.


Herman, D. (2019) 'Planets around stars'. IvyPanda, 11 April.

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