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How Do You Spot an Alien Planet from Earth? (Infographic)

Astronomers have developed some clever methods of detecting tiny planets orbiting distant stars.
(Image credit: Karl Tate/Space.com)

Detecting tiny planets amid a star's glare, from many light-years across the galaxy, is very challenging. Direct imaging, or resolving planets as pixels in a photograph, is only possible today for large, Jupiter-class and above, planets. 

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Karl's association with Space.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. From 2010 to 2016, Karl worked as an infographics specialist across all editorial properties of Purch (formerly known as TechMediaNetwork).  Before joining Space.com, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University and now works as a freelance graphic designer in New York City.