Do Some Extrasolar Planets Orbit Around Stars in Such a Way That We Cannot See Them?

-- Patrick | February 21, 2022
a bright blue young star with a cloud of cold gas surrounding it


Locating planets around stars by detecting a slight dimming of the light. Do planets lie in the same observable plain, or do some star’s planets rotate in a non observable plain?

-- Patrick


We can only see the dimming of a star from a planet that crosses the face of the star from our perspective.  If an extrasolar planet orbits in a different plane, we cannot observe its dimming effect on the star’s light.  In order to estimate the total number extrasolar planets we need to correct for this unobservable group of extrasolar planets.

-- Jeff Mangum