Book 74: Strange New Worlds by Ray Jayawardhana

Finished reading on September 17, 2013


“Strange New Worlds” is a book about the exoplanets. That is planets that circle some other star and not the Sun.   The first time that exoplanets were mentioned in scientific literature was already in 1855, but the fist discovery of an exoplanet came only in 1995.

The book describes all of the different  types of exoplanets and the methods how to find them. So for example one can use the Doppler method, measuring the red- or blue-shift of a stars light as it moves towards or away from us because of the planet’s gravitational force. Or astrometry, where you’d measure the difference in the stars location, or something that the Kepler satellite did – measure the stars light-curve and see whether there’s any indication of transits – that is whether there are small dips in the stars brightness that might indicate the presence of a planet around that star.

Since exoplanets are a hot topic in astronomy, I’d really recommend reading this book, you’d get almost all of the background information you need about exoplanets.


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