T his was a commission for Scientific American, in their September 2000 edition. It was to illustrate an article about finding extrasolar planets via occultation – by detecting the dip in light levels as the planets transit in front of their stars. The method is capable of finding relatively low-mass planets, unlike the Jupiter-sized worlds that the most favoured method uses. Thus the transit method could, in theory, find Earth-like planets, as this image illustrates.
Name: Extrasolar Binary
Client: Scientific American