Flux Physics

Exoplanets II

The exoplanets strike back

Exoplanets II

More resources for learning about exoplanets.

Need a refresher on solar systems, galaxies, and the universe?
Read Space 101.

Looking for our essay on exoplanets?
Read Exoplanets.

Video Resources

An Introduction to Exoplanets
A video by National Geographic giving a brief introduction to exoplanets
The Solar System to Scale
Creating a model solar system on a lakebed in Nevada
Life and Death of a Planetary System
A short video from NASA revealing the life cycle of a planetary system
The Size of the Milky Way Galaxy
A short video from NASA explaining light-time and the size of the Milky Way
Exoplanets Crash Course (GCSE)
A video which discusses when and how exoplanets have been discovered as well as a bit on the scientific method
How to Measure Extreme Distances
TED-Ed lesson explaining light years and how scientists measure objects far away
Planet Just Like Earth
A National Geographic documentary going on an ‘alien safari’, exploring exoplanets
The Earth as a Grain of Sand
Modelling the universe to scale, with the Earth as a grain of sand

Simulation/Interactive Resources

The Size of Space
A simulation demonstrating the size of objects in space.
Virtual Reality Tour of Six Exoplanets
For schools with access to VR headsets, this video takes you on a tour of six exoplanets (also works great without VR headsets!).
If the Moon Were Only One Pixel
A tediously accurate scale model of the Solar System.
Exoplanet Explorers
A cinematic glimpse into the future of space exploration.

News Articles

Unique and Rare Properties of Exoplanets Discovered by Hubble
(2019) A short article from NASA discussing new data on Kepler 51 exoplanets which have very low density
Formation of Planets
(2020) Astronomers have captured images of the inner rims of planet-forming disks located hundreds of light years away
Exoplanet Disappearance
(2020) What scientists’ thought was a planet beyond our solar system has 'vanished’
Discovery of Earth-Size Exoplanet
(2020) A reanalysis of data from NASA's Kepler space telescope has revealed an Earth-size exoplanet orbiting in its star's habitable zone

Worksheet Resources

Exoplanet Colouring Book
A NASA colouring resource for younger students to download and print
STEM Learning Exoplanets (KS3/ STEM Club)
Students investigate exoplanets in groups
IOP Exoplanet Physics Practical (KS3/STEM Club)
Five curriculum-linked practical activities for 11- to 14-year-olds
ESA Secondary (KS4/KS5)
Orbits and Centre of Mass activity
ESA Secondary Biology (KS3/KS4)
An activity where students consider whether life will survive in alien environments
ESA Secondary Science (KS4/KS5)
This demonstration and practical activity, along with the resulting discussion, gives an insight into the chemical constituents of comets
ESA Secondary Physics (KS4)
It is a common misconception among students that planetary orbits are circular. This practical activity gives a space setting to speed-time graphs. An extension activity which looks at the geometry of ellipses and their relation to physical parameters in the Solar System is included
ESA Secondary Biology (KS3/KS4)
In this set of experimental activities, students will investigate the survival abilities of tardigrades also known as water bears.

Other Useful Websites

Planetary Society Information
A guide to the different kind of exoplanets
NASA’s Exoplanet Archive
Data and statistics freely available from NASA
National Schools Observatory
An introduction to exoplanets, with detail on discovery techniques.
The University of Exeter Astrophysics Department
Information on current research methods.
The homepage of the University of Exeter's Exoplanet Theory Group (EETG), specialising in exoclimatology. Exploring our galaxy one atmosphere at a time.
Earth as a Grain of Sand [article]
Another look at the vast scale of the universe.

Need a refresher on solar systems, galaxies, and the universe?
Read Space 101.

Looking for our essay on exoplanets?
Read Exoplanets.

  Previous: Exoplanets

Exoplanets II is the last article in the Astrophysics series.

Compiled by Ollie Rowlands from the University of Exeter Physics PGCE Course.