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.