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Unformatted text preview: and we collect only the light from the star. The graph shows that the quantity of light is reduced. At (c) the planet comes out at the left, and we collect the total star + planet light again. At (d) the planet is in front of the star. The planet is dark, and a part of the starlight is blocked (eclipsed). So the light in (d) is less than the light in (a) and (c), as shown in the graph. FIG. 5 This kind of graph is called a "light curve." From it astronomers can deduce various properties of the planet, including its diameter, but not its mass. The eclipsing technique is now being employed by a dedicated satellite-based telescope, launched in 2010, to study a large sample of 156,000 stars....
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- Fall '10