For all those who are not familiar with the concept of Exoplanets, an exoplanet is a planet that lies outside the solar system, and could be a free-floating planet, or one that orbits another star. The discovery of exoplanets has always been a subject of great fascination, and starting with first discovery of their existence made by Bruce Campbell and Stephenson Yang using the Hale Telescope in 1992, the study and observation of these plants has achieved massive levels of technological advancement. Based on their discovery of the exoplanet orbiting the star Gamma Cephei, a number of advanced techniques for exoplanet detection are being developed by astronomers and technical experts since then. These include High-Resolution Spectroscopy, Coronagraphic Imaging, Direct Imaging, Doppler Method using Radial Velocity, Transit Duration Variability Method, Transit duration variation, Pulsar timing, Gravitational micro-lensing, astrometry, Ellipsoidal variations and so on. Owing to these advanced detection methods, a sizeable number of exoplanets have been detected and discovered in the past decade.
Detection of the location and surface density of Exoplanets with the aid of advanced Laser Technology
The latest technological revolution in this field comprises of a cutting-edge laser technology-based detection system that has a definitive edge over any other detection system, method or equipment that has been unveiled so far. Developed by a team of astronomical experts from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, this superb invention has created ripples in the realm of outer-space exploration. Not just the size, but also the precise location and surface density of the planets can be discovered using laser technology, despite the fact that they are thousands of light years away from the solar system. With the aid of this laser detection methodology, another advantage is that planets with the size, characteristic and surface-texture of the earth, can also be discovered, a feat that was earlier not possible with the kind of detection technologies and systems that were used.
Unveiling better prospects of discovering Extra-Terrestrial Life on Exoplanets with Laser Detection
It has been reported that scientists are still working on this laser technology, and it is yet to reach its final stage of development. While about 1800 exoplanets have been discovered so far since the early 1990s, this advanced laser detection system will definitely go a long way in making further discoveries of new exoplanets, as well as ascertain their exact location and texture. One shortcoming of the laser method however is that the mass of the planets cannot be accurately determined in this case, and will have to be computed using other methods or technology. Despite this, the revolutionary technology will indeed provide a great boost to outer-space and interstellar exploration, with the possibility of discovering earth-like planets. And who knows, one might come across the first substantial evidences of extra-terrestrial life as well!