Daisy Shield For Planet Spotting

The search for ‘exosolar’ planets, Earth-like bodies in other star systems, is starting to pick up pace. A large part of the problem at the moment is the light from the parent stars of potential planets making them hard to spot. A daisy-shaped star-shade, designed by a team at the University of Colorado, may make it possible to screen out the starlight and allow detailed analysis of planetary features, such as atmospheric content and surface topography, via spectrographic methods.