2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Observing Extrasolar Planet Transits at the Truman Observatory
Brittany M. Curtis* and Jordan B. Griffith
Dr. Matthew M. Beaky, Faculty Mentor

Recent surveys of thousands of stars have led to the discovery of over 400 extrasolar planets, or planets that orbit a star other than the Sun. More than 60 of these are transiting extrasolar planets, which 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 light from the star that reaches the Earth. By carefully determining the time of mid-transit, it may be possible to detect small variations in the planet's orbital period due to another, unseen planet orbiting the same parent 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. 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: 33-5
Location: MG 1096
Time: 2:15

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