2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Observing Extrasolar Planets at the Truman Observatory
Jordan B. Griffith* and Ian W. Condon
Dr. Matthew M. Beaky, Faculty Mentor

Of the hundreds of planets discovered outside our Solar System, more than 100 of these extrasolar planets transit. Transiting planets pass in front of their parent star once per orbit, as viewed from our line of sight, resulting in a slight decrease in the amount of starlight observed from Earth. By carefully determining the time of mid-transit, it may be possible to detect small variations in the planet's orbital period that are caused by the gravitational interactions of a previously undetected planet orbiting the same star. We hope to observe these transit timing variations by making high precision photometric measurements of known transiting extrasolar planets using telescopes and CCD cameras at the Truman Observatory and remote, robotic telescopes affiliated with the Tzec Maun Foundation. We will present our photometric light curves of transiting extrasolar planets and report on our search for transit timing variations.

Keywords: astronomy, extrasolar planets, photometry, transits

Topic(s):Astrobiology
Astronomy
Physics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 13-1
Location: MG 1096
Time: 9:30

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