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Unformatted text preview: Extrasolar Planets (This is sec. 15.6, 15.7 in textbook onlinepage and figure numbers here may not match text because the online version of chapter 15 wasnt ready when I wrote them, so I had to use the previous edition. This should cause no problem at allit should be clear from context which figure Im referring to. Also, your textbook does not emphasize this topic as heavily as I would like, so these notes are a little more detailed than the book. They are also out of date by about nine months. Please notice that there is a homework problem buried among these notes, one that I may ask you about on the exam.) Formerly the holy grail of astronomers, since 1995 about 100 planets orbiting stars other than the sun have been discovered. There are several techniques available, but well just discuss a few. 1. Direct detection not possible at present. Reflected light from planet is about a billion times less than that of the star (less in the infrared, but still about a million or moresee illustration below), and the distance from the planet to the star (in angular separation) is so small that we cant resolve any planets if they are there. It may be possible to directly detect giant planets around very faint stars, but certainly not terrestrial-like planets. stars, but certainly not terrestrial-like planets....
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course AST 301 taught by Professor Harvey during the Fall '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.
- Fall '07