Competition keeps everyone on their toes, and the exoplanet Doppler detection game is no exception.
The California Planet Search has recently done a major overhaul of their exoplanets.org website, and the results are impressive. The redesigned site is now fully interactive, and it must be seeing a lot of traffic. Certainly, I can count myself as a frequent visitor!
Perhaps the most exciting feature of the site is a plotting applet that seamlessly connects to an up-to-date and curated database of the known extrasolar planets. In the “advanced” mode, one can get very finely tuned plots that can tell interesting stories. As an example, here is a plot of RV half-amplitudes of the known planets plotted against the RMS of the residuals to the fits. The color of the points corresponds to discovery year (cool = back in the day) and the size of each point corresponds to the number of published RV data points for the planet (those five big points correspond to 55 Cancri b-f which has a very extensive data set).
The plot shows that progress comes in part from competition. As the competing Doppler surveys push to lower Ks, there has a been a trend toward ...