Astronomy 161 - Introduction To Solar System Astronomy - Autumn 2007

Lecture 45: Exoplanets - Planets Around Other Stars



Are there planets around other stars? Are there Earth-like planets around other stars? Do any of those harbor life? Intelligent life? We'd like to know the answers to all of these questions, and in recent years we've made great progress towards at least answering the first. To date, more than 260 planets have been found around more than 200 other stars, most in the interstellar neighborhood of the Sun, but a few at great distance. This lecture reviews the search for ExoPlanets, discussing the successful Radial Velocity, Transit, and Microlensing techniques. What we have found so far are very suprising systems, especially Jupiter-size or bigger planets orbiting very close (few hundredths of an AU) from their parent stars. Recorded 2007 Nov 29 in 1000 McPherson Lab on the Columbus campus of The Ohio State University.