Dr. Elizabeth George
Based in Munich for research at the Extreme large Telesccope
Finding new worlds
For most of history, humanity only knew of the existence of planets in a single solar system: our own. Of the 8 major planets, only one has environmental conditions favorable to life as we know it (earth). All of that changed in 1992 with the discovery of the first planet outside our solar system, known as an exoplanet. Twenty-five years later, we have confirmed the existence of 3,639 exoplanets in 2,729 planetary systems. How do astronomers find these planets, and how do they learn about the conditions there? We’ll explore some of the ambitious technology that humans are building to learn about these new worlds.