WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The instrument, named NEID, will measure the tiny back-and-forth movement of a star caused by the gravitational pull of an orbiting planet, according to the release.
"NASA has selected a team to build a new, cutting-edge instrument that will detect planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, by measuring the miniscule ‘wobbling’ of stars," the release stated on Tuesday.
Although planets beyond our solar system are too tiny to be directly observed, the size of a star’s tiny movement will allow scientists to determine the size of a planet, the release pointed out.
Thus far, the discovery of 1,962 distant planets has been confirmed by scientists, including 484 multi-planet solar systems, according to the NASA Exoplanet Archive website.
The new instrument is to be built by a team at Pennsylvania State University research group, the release explained. The device is slated for completion in 2019 and is to be installed on a telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona.