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Home Illustration of an exoplanet. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith) Illustration of an exoplanet. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith)

Illustration of an exoplanet. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith)

Illustration of an exoplanet. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith)

Illustration of an exoplanet. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith)

When a planet crosses directly between us and its star, we see the star dim slightly because the planet is blocking out a portion of the light. Measuring these dips in starlight is one technique, which is known as the “transit method,” that scientists use to identify exoplanets. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)