Science & Technology

NASA Telescope Catches Exoplanet Eclipse

Far away


Since being definitively discovered in 1992, the study of exoplanets—planets outside our solar system—has grown into a massive field of astronomy that reached a new milestone Monday. For the first time ever, an exoplanet was observed passing in front of its parent star in X-rays, which can provide a breadth of new information about a planet's properties and the environment it inhabits.

Prior to observation of star system HD 189733 located 63 light-years from Earth, exoplanets had only been observed passing in front of their parent stars, or transiting as its known, in optical light, a far less telling form of the electromagnetic spectrum.