Extrasolar Planet Search

 

Sample APT image

This is what an APT image looks like (actually, this one was created by combining many images to make it prettier). There are thousands of stars in it, and for something like 1000 of them, we can measure the brightness with sufficient precision to detect the small dip caused by a planet passing in front of it. We expect to find a transiting planet orbiting about one star in 10000. Therefore we need to monitor many such fields, and we need to monitor them continuously, because the transit lasts only a couple of hours.

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Jon Everett School of Physics - UNSW 2010