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The Search for Alien Earths - How Coronagraphs Find Hidden Planets (4 minute long version)

Source: YouTube Video

Stashed in: SETI, Space the Final Frontier?, Exoplanets

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I had never heard of Coronagraphs before. They sound very useful.

Yeah, it's basically like hiding the sun with your hand to see a plane flying close to it, it's just a little bit more complex when you add diffraction.

The name comes from its original use by Bernard Lyot: blocking the central Sun light to observe its corona (Latin for crown).

That's a clever technique. Looks like we're finding a lot of hidden planets!

That's how a planet detected with this technique looks like:

coronagraph finds hidden planet search for alien earths SETI Imgur

It's like finding a needle in a very big haystack.

Cool graphic illustration, by the way.