Orphaned Exoplanets Hunted By Seeking Bent Starlight | Video
By Steve Spaleta, Space.com Senior Producer |
The Kepler Space telescope was designed to look for dips in brightness from planets crossing in front of their stars. Now it’s searching for brightening starlight; a telltale sign of gravitational micro-lensing (an effect predicted by Albert Einstein). When the mass of a planet passing in front of a star bends the light around it. Astronomers will try to detect planets far away from their parent star or even free-floaters.