NASA’s Artists –Visualizing Newly Discovered Alien Worlds




The first artist to paint a galaxy was Vincent Van Gogh's depiction of Andromeda in his iconic Starry Night. Today, while astronomers have identified over 1000 planets around other stars, they’re all too small and distant to fill even a single pixel in our most powerful telescopes. That’s why science must rely on artists to help us imagine these strange new worlds. Shown above is the first planet to be seen in transit (crossing its star) and the first planet to have it light directly detected. The HD 209458 b transit discovery showed that transit observations were feasible and opened up an entire new realm of exoplanet characterization. NASA, European Space Agency, Alfred Vidal-Madjar (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS)






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