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Transit of a planet in orbit around the star HD209458, observation of July 26, 2000, by Deeg and Garrido, with the 0.9m telescope of Sierra Nevada Observatory (IAA, Andalusia Astrophysics Institute,Granada).
Crédit : IAA / Hans Deeg

Since 1995, we have known that there are planets orbiting around stars other than the Sun : they are called extra-solar planets or exoplanets. To date, the planets discovered are large, similar to Jupiter, and located very close to their stars.

The first exoplanet was discovered in 1995 at the Haute-Provence Observatory by a French-Swiss team supervised by Michel Mayor.

  • Why do we search for exoplanets?
  • How can we detect them?

Thanks to CoRoT, which will detect the transits of small planets, the first step will be made. Then we will have to wait at least 10 years to get the first images of exoplanets.