View Full Version : New planet-hunting observatory

2004-Apr-15, 04:46 PM
New Planet Hunter Gets to Work (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/superwasp_begins_operations.html?1542004)

Astronomers will have a powerful new tool for finding extrasolar planets on Friday, when SuperWASP, a new observatory in the Canary Islands, begins operations. SuperWASP has an extremely wide field of view (2000 times larger than a regular telescope) and is able to measure the brightness of hundreds of thousands of stars. It will take enormous surveys of the sky every night, which astronomers will process with a computer. They'll be looking for stars which dim slightly on a regular basis, which would indicate planets passing in front.

2004-Apr-29, 05:24 PM
SuperWASP Scrutinizes Swarms of Stars (http://skyandtelescope.com/news/article_1251_1.asp)

Kullat Nunu
2004-Apr-30, 10:05 AM
Interestingly, the most difficult part is not to detect the planetary transits, but to distinguish them from false signals such as grazing eclipses or transits of small stellar companions.

Also, transits themselves tell nothing about the mass of the transiting object. Thus we need to check them with familiar radial velocity method.