Planets Around Distant Stars


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This is a special case of gravitational lensing where a background star's light is brightened when its light is focused by a foreground extrasolar planet's gravity as it passes in between Earth and the background star:

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1. A __is an event where a smaller object passing in front of a larger one blocks some of the larger object's light and therefore causes a change in its observed brightness:

2. A planet orbiting a faraway star is known as a(n):

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

An exoplanet is a planet that revolves around a star that is not our Sun. Test your knowledge on how scientists discover exoplanets with this interactive quiz and worksheet.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In this assessment you'll be asked to:

  • Name one way exoplanets have been detected that consists of gravitational lensing
  • Select another way exoplanets have been found using a method that identifies changes in the brightness of the object being observed
  • Select the term given to a planet orbiting a star other than our Sun
  • Identify ways an exoplanet cannot be detected

Skills Practiced

  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the related lesson on planets outside of our solar system
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about the ways exoplanets are discovered
  • Making connections - understand how observing a star can lead to the discovery of orbiting planets

Additional Learning

To learn more about exoplanets, review the accompanying lesson titled Planets Around Distant Stars. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Learn when the first exoplanet was confirmed and by whom
  • Define spectrum, transit, and microlensing
  • Discuss the importance of discovering and studying other planets
  • Explain how the wobble of a star can identify its orbiting planets