View Full Version : Amateur Team Finds an Extrasolar Planet

2006-May-19, 11:38 PM
SUMMARY: Amateur astronomers have used inexpensive equipment to discover a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a Sun-like star 600 light-years away. The team used the "transit method", to watch how a star dims slightly as a planet passes in front. An automated telescope observed tens of thousands of bright stars, and then the team chose a few dozen promising candidates. The new planet, dubbed X0-1b is the 10th planet ever discovered using the transit method.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/hubble_innovative_extrasolar.html)
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2006-May-20, 02:32 PM
really amazing how amature astronemers can find this :) and with such a small telescope :) than it might even be possible for me to datect a extrasolar planet with my 114mm telescope ;)

no j.k. though it can be possible but verry hard :) i better buy a 16" meade telescope..

for the transit software.. it can be downloaded here: http://users.skynet.be/fa079980/peranso/index.htm and i think it`s a shame that the software is SHAREWARE.. i mean.. looking at the stars is already a expensive job/hoby so some free or opensource software isn`t a bad idea :) good thing that i`m starting to learn c++ so i might be able to make that software in a opensource alternative :D (in about 10 years)

2006-May-21, 10:30 PM
There is also some free software available here (from AAVSO) : http://www.aavso.org/data/software/.
But, this is just data analysis software... The really hard part is to obtain the data :-)
I believe that with a certain level of equipment automation (obviously the data acquisition should be done with minimum involvment of the people), the task like that is withing the grasp of the amateurs.. provided the candidate systems are known in advance. Otherwise, it is more like searching the needle in a haystack :-)