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The search for planets. Learn how distant worlds are being discovered: Discovering New Worlds
Educational Resources

Link Description
The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia This site has an interactive catalogue of data regarding the planets discovered outside of our solar system, and links to many other resources.
NASA Exoplanet Archive This site collects and serves public data to support the search for and characterization of extra-solar planets (exoplanets) and their host stars. The data include published light curves, images, spectra and parameters, and time-series data from surveys that aim to discover transiting exoplanets.
New Worlds Atlas This simple tool allows the users to view tables with data of specific categories of exoplanets. There is also a 3D tool to view their locations and visualize their relative sizes, colors and orbits.
Kepler Candidate Planets Data Explorer Tools for charting and graphing Kepler Planet Candidates. As of January 2013, the number of candidates discovered in the Kepler data totals 2,740 potential planets orbiting 2,036 stars.

Downloadable Products
Link Description
PlanetQuest Widget This downloadable widget allows the user to keep track of the latest planetary discoveries on their desktop.
Kepler Mission: A First Step Toward Finding Other Earths In this issue of The Universe in the Classroom, learn how the Kepler Mission is looking for other Earth-like planets. Includes links to a variety of activities and resources.
Don't Miss the Transit of Venus in 2012: It's Your Last Chance Until 2117 This issue of The Universe in the Classroom examines the Transit of Venus.
Probing Extrasolar Planets with the Spitzer Space Telescope In this issue of The Universe in the Classroom, read how the orbiting infrared Spitzer Space Telescope has observed exoplanets planets and the characteristics it has discovered.
The First Images of Exoplanets This four-slide powerpoint by the Division of Planetary Science includes basic information for college-level introductory courses.
First Rocky Exoplanet Detected This four-slide powerpoint by the Division of Planetary Science includes basic information for college-level introductory courses.
A Six-Planet System This four-slide powerpoint by the Division of Planetary Science includes basic information for college-level introductory courses.
A Thousand New Planets This four-slide powerpoint by the Division of Planetary Science includes basic information for college-level introductory courses.
Planetary Postcards These colorful Post Cards are used to illustrate what is known about planets orbiting other stars. Beautiful illustrations by artist Lynette Cook.
Kepler Mission: The Search for Earth-sized Planets This powerpoint explains NASA's Kepler Mission to search for transiting planets orbiting in the habitable zone around other stars.
Venus Transit Phone App The Transit of Venus Phone App is now available for a free download from iTunes.

Link Description
Kepler-11 Planetary System (Artist Concept) This artist's concept shows Kepler-11 -- the most tightly packed planetary system yet discovered.
Kepler Galleries: Artist's Concepts These artistic images provide an artist's interpretation of many of the exoplanets Kepler has discovered.
Kepler Galleries: Diagrams These colorful diagrams depict comparative data about the discovered exoplanets.
2004 Transit of Venus Images This site shares a variety of photos taken during the 2004 transit.
2004 Venus Transit Photo Gallery Photographs by Fred Espenak taken during the transit.

Link Description
Kepler Videos A variety of videos are available about the Kepler mission.
UNESCO Science and Enlightment: The Transit of Venus From UNESCO's Science and Illustration series comes this excellent episode on the transit of Venus.
Earth-Size Planets and Intelligent Life This is a recording of Dr. Geoff Marcy's public lecture on the campus of Northern Arizona University.
Launchpad: Kepler Join NASA on the Kepler Mission as this traveling telescope images the light from faraway stars to locate Earth-sized and smaller planets. Using the transit method, the Kepler telescope measures the brightness of a star and uses the data to predict habitable zones.
Hidden Universe: The Art of Exoplanets While astronomers have identified over 500 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 art to help us imagine these strange new worlds, as described in this video by Spitzer Space Telescope.
ESOcast: Fifty New Exoplanets Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory's exoplanet hunter announced more than fifty newly discovered planets around other stars. Among these are many rocky planets not much heavier than the Earth. One of them in particular seems to orbit in the habitable zone around its star. This video looks at how astronomers discover these distant worlds and what the future may hold for finding rocky worlds like the Earth that may support life.
ESOcast: First Planet of Extragalactic Origin An exoplanet orbiting a star that entered our galaxy, the Milky Way, from another galaxy has been detected. The Jupiter-like planet is particularly unusual, as it is orbiting a star nearing the end of its life and could be about to be engulfed by it, giving clues about the fate of our own planetary system in the distant future.
ESOcast: Richest Planetary System Discovered Astronomers using European Southern Observatory have discovered a remarkable extrasolar planetary system that has some striking similarities to our own Solar System. One of the new extrasolar worlds could be only 1.4 times the mass of the Earth, making it the least massive exoplanet ever found. This video podcast explains how these faraway planets were detected and exactly what we know about them.
Kepler and Doppler Searches for ExoEarths and Optical SETI In this talk at SETI, Geoff Marcy explores the first results of Kepler and the answers it provides regarding life in the Universe.
Small Planets are Common: Evidence from the Eta-Earth Survey and the Kepler Mission In this talk at SETI, Andrew Howard examines the evidence for small planets.
Transit of Venus Videos Several videos on the transit of Venus are available at the Sun-Earth Day website.

Link Description
Kepler Lectures, Podcasts and Interviews This page features a variety of audio files about the Kepler mission and its findings.
Celestial Alignment of 2012 This 365 Days of Astronomy podcast features Chuck Bueter. Share the enthusiasm of adventurous astronomers from the past as you witness the heavens in motion, the means by which we learned the size of our solar system-a transit of Venus.
Transit of Venus Astronomer Jay Pasachoff reflects on past transits of Venus while anticipating the 2012 event and the science to be gleaned from it.
Catching Shadows: Kepler's Search for New Worlds In this ASP Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture, Dr. Natalie Batalha introduces the quest for planets elsewhere, describes the techniques used by the Kepler team, and shares some of the mission discoveries to date.
Hubble Breakthrough: The First Photos of a Planet Orbiting Another Star In this ASP Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture, Paul Kalas describes how his team managed the long-sought feat of actually taking a photograph of a planet orbiting another star, using the Hubble Space Telescope, and discusses the wide range of planets out there that astronomers are discovering.
Planet Hunters This 365 Days of Astronomy podcast discusses Planet Hunters, a Zooniverse citizen science project employing human pattern recognition to identify the signatures of transiting exoplanets in the Kepler data.
Exoplanet with Wild Temperature Swings Talk about hot flashes! A planet that heats up to extreme temperatures in a matter of hours before quickly cooling back down, in this podcast by Spitzer Space Telescope.
Common Earths Terrestrial planets might form around many, if not most, of the nearby sun-like stars in our galaxy. These new results suggest that worlds with potential for life might be more common than we thought, as described in this podcast by Spitzer Space Telescope.
Finding the Next Earth: The Latest Results from Kepler In this Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture, Dr. Batalha (Mission Scientist for the Kepler Mission searching for exoplanets) describes the techniques used by the Kepler team to identify planets orbiting other stars and updates us on the remarkable progress they are making in the search for Earth-sized worlds.

Link Description
Kepler Animations This site has a variety of animations both about the Kepler mission and the planets that it has discovered.

Link Description
New Worlds Atlas This simple tool allows the users to view tables with data of specific categories of exoplanets. There is also a 3D tool to view their locations and visualize their relative sizes, colors and orbits.
Kepler Exoplanet Transit Hunt Select a star and collect the data to analyze the planet.
Light Grapher This program illustrates the function of the NASA Kepler photometer in detecting changes in brightness of stars when planets pass in front of them. The program uses your computer's camera to select a region and measure the change in brightness within that area.
Alien View of Transit Select a planet in our solar system to see how the drop in brightness would appear to aliens using the transit method to observe our solar system.
How Kepler Discovers Planets This simple interactive allows the viewer to read about the role of the Kepler spacecraft, the sun, Mission Control, and the distant star play in detecting other planets.
PlanetQuest Timeline Take a trip through the exciting history of exoplanet speculation and exploration.

Link Description
Solar System Ambassadors The Solar System Ambassadors is a nation-wide network of volunteers who are trained to communicate the excitement of NASA's space exploration missions and recent discoveries to people in their local communities.
Museum Alliance The Museum Alliance is a network of museums, science centers, planetariums, observatories, parks, NASA visitor centers, nature centers, zoos, and aquariums that bring current NASA science and technology to their visitors through professional development of their staff and access to NASA staff, content and materials.
Night Sky Network This site can connect you to amateur astronomy clubs, events, a night sky planner, and more.

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Last Updated: 12 Sep 2014