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Systemic - Characterizing Extrasolar Planetary Systems


24 Jan 2011, 06:05 UTC
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Here’s a selection of lead-off introductory lines from discovery papers of a completely random sample of planets announced in 2010:
With the discovery of extrasolar planets during the past 15 years, it has now become evident that our solar system is not unique. Similar to our Sun, many stars are believed to be hosts to giant and/or terrestrial-class planets and smaller objects.
In recent years, extending the threshold for exoplanet detection to yet lower and lower masses has been a significant endeavor for exoplanetary science. As at 2010 October, 31 exoplanets have been published with minimum (i.e., m sin(i)) masses of less than 20 Earth masses.
Radial velocity (RV) searches for extrasolar planets are discovering less massive planets by taking advantage of improved instrumental precision, higher observational cadence, and diagnostics to identify spurious signals. These discoveries include planets with minimum masses (M sin i) as low as 1.9 Earth masses (Mayor et al. 2009) and systems of multiple low-mass planets (Lovis et al. 2006; Fischer et al. 2008; Vogt et al. 2010). To date, 15 planets with M sin(i)

Ground-based transit surveys have been very successful at discovering short-period (P
There has been a rapid increase in the ...

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