The Search for Exoplanets: What Astronomers Know : The Great Courses: Astronomy

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Joshua N. Winn
  • Series: The Great Courses: Astronomy
  • 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

As recently as 1990, it seemed plausible that the solar system was a unique phenomenon in our galaxy. Thanks to advances in technology and clever new uses of existing data, now we know that planetary systems and possibly even a new Earth can be found throughout galaxies near and far.
We are living during a new golden age of planetary discovery, with the prospect of finding many worlds like Earth. Most of the thousands of planets we've detected can't be imaged directly, but researchers are able to use subtle clues obtained in ingenious ways to assemble an astonishing picture of planetary systems far different from our own. We are in the midst of an astronomical revolution, comparable to the Copernican revolution that established our current view of the solar system - and we invite you to take part.
Embark on this unrivaled adventure in 24 lectures by a veteran planet hunter. Designed for everyone from armchair explorers to serious skywatchers, The Search for Exoplanets follows the numerous twists and turns in the hunt for exoplanets - the false starts, the sudden breakthroughs, and the extraordinary discoveries. Explore systems containing super-Earths, mini-Neptunes, lava worlds, and even stranger worlds. You also get behind-the-scenes information on the techniques astronomers used to find evidence of planets at mind-boggling distances from our home base. Learn how astronomers determine how many planets are in a system as well as how large they are and the characteristics of their atmospheres. You will feel like Dr. Watson in the presence of Sherlock Holmes as Professor Winn extracts a wealth of information from a spectrum, a light graph, a diffraction pattern, and other subtle clues.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Coming to a planet near you

This was a well structured romp through the very topical and exciting field of extra solar planetary science by a research scientist working in the field. As such it was highly informative, detailed and broad ranging, covering the historical background and recent (at the time of presentation) developments in this fast changing area. Pretty much everything you need to know to follow current and future discoveries is here.

The course does not require extensive prior knowledge or higher mathematics, but neither does it try to oversimplify...it attains a kind of intellectual Goldilocks level of comfort! The performance as also excellent making this a real gem of a course for those interested in the subject matter. Strongly recommended!
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- Michael McDaid

A wonderful listen. Highly recommended!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Search for Exoplanets: What Astronomers Know to be better than the print version?

I'm just an ordinary chap with an interest in many subjects including astronomy. I found this audible book very informative and even very exciting in places. Professor Winn explains everything with clarity and enthusiasm. I will, in the near future, revisit this audible book and listen to it again. Highly recommended!


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- Diwotti

Book Details

  • Release Date: 25-09-2015
  • Publisher: The Great Courses