Since 1995, more and more exoplanets have been discovered in the universe.
Ten years ago, on December 5, 2011, NASA announced the discovery of an exoplanet named Kepler-22b. The hunt for extrasolar planets is an increasingly sophisticated sport among astronomers. Radio-Canada has been observing, for several years, the fabulous quest for other worlds in our universe.
“It is great as news. A breakthrough that opens new perspectives for astrophysicists. Two NASA teams managed to see the light emitted by two exoplanets, that is, planets located outside our solar system. »
— Bernard Derome
The host of TéléjournalMarch 23, 2005 presents one of the most important detections in astrophysics.
Report by journalist Catherine François on the premiere confirmation of the existence of exoplanets in the Universe.
Journalist Catherine François presents a report explaining the discovery. Thanks to the Spitzer infrared telescope, the existence of two gaseous planets which revolve around a sun has been observed.
This feat confirms what we already knew since 1995 The Earth is not alone in the universe.
As early as the 16th century, several astronomers, Giordano Bruno, Nicolas Copernicus and Isaac Newton in particular, postulated that other planets orbit around the stars. However, it will take centuries for this hypothesis to be confirmed.
On October 6, 1995, astrophysicists Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz from the Geneva Observatory announced that, by mathematical deduction, they had discovered an exoplanet. Called 51 Pegasi b, it is located 40 light years from Earth.
“And suddenly HR8799 showed up.
— René Doyon
Report by journalist Benoît Giasson on the direct observation of exoplanets by a team of astrophysicists from the University of Montreal
In 2008, a team of astrophysicists, led by Professor René Doyon of the University of Montreal, perfected the tracking of exoplanets. Journalist Benoît Giasson tells us the story of their discovery in a report presented at Téléjournal of November 13, 2008, hosted by Bernard Derome.
For four years now, René Doyon's team has been scanning the sky from the observatory without success. 'Hawaii.
One day, she points the telescope at the constellation Pegasus using a revolutionary imaging technique devised by one of its members, Christian Marois.
< p class="e-p">The technique attenuates the intensity of the light emitted by the stars.
A miracle then occurs: three planets appear orbiting a star.
“It's not a question of if, but of when , we will find a second Earth.
— Thomas Zurbuchen, Deputy Administrator, NASA Science Services Branch
All of these findings make the question of whether Earth is the only celestial body to shelter life.
Report by Frédéric Arnould on the discovery of a new planetary system in which planets look like Earth.
< p class="e-p">On February 22, 2017, NASA announced with great fanfare that it had just found seven exoplanets, three of which could resemble Earth.
That evening, host Céline Galipeau presented on Téléjournal a report by journalist Frédéric Arnould on the discovery.
The seven planets orbit the star Trappist-1. It is a dwarf star, cold and barely larger than Jupiter. Scientists believe three of these planets may contain liquid water.
If the planet has water, there is a good chance that life could have developed there.
Astrophysicists may have more answers complete in the coming months.
In April 2018, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Its mission is to map almost the entire sky and identify new worlds.
TESS is not designed to detect signs of life, however.
Soon the James Webb Space Telescope will become operational. It will be able to study the atmosphere of exoplanets and characterize the chemical elements found there.
According to the most recent count, the planets likely to harbor life could be numerous.
In August 2018, astrobiologists from the British University of Cambridge spotted a group of planets outside our solar system.
There would exist on these planets chemical compositions similar to those which allowed the appearance of life on Earth.
Among the candidates likely to harbor life, we note the star Proxima Centauri b.
According to an analysis by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University in New York, this exoplanet is rocky. It would also house a large surface of liquid water.
Proxima Centauri b is 40,000 billion kilometers from Earth. It is its neighbor on a celestial scale.
If Proxima Centauri b turns out to be uninhabited, let us not be discouraged.
As of the end of August 2021, no less than 4512 exoplanets have been officially detected in more than 3344 planetary systems.
According to the most recent estimates, there would be up to to 700 million billion rocky planets in the observable universe.
Start of widget . Skip widget? End of widget . Back to top of widget?