Apart from the Sun, the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn are the most starlike things in our immediate neighbourhood. Exploring them has taught us much about the origins of the Solar System.
Astronomers have recently begun to detect other gas giant-sized planets in orbit round other stars. They have also begun to observe young stellar objects and newly forming planetary systems. Our understanding of the formation of stars and planets is developing apace.
In 2007, we are on the threshold of an exciting new phase of astronomical research. Astronomers are creating the tools to discover the properties of other planetary systems and even the surfaces and atmospheres of their planets.
When creating this presentation my aims were to:
The file Notes.pdf is a set of notes relating to these web pages.