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Monitoring Nearby Stars for Transits by ExtraSolar Jovian Planets


Frederick R. West

520 Diller Road

Hanover, PA 17331-4805


Presented at the 84th AAVSO Spring Meeting, May 13, 1995




Periodic temporary dimmings of a star caused by transits (passages between the star and the Earth) of a Jovian planet orbiting it offer possibilities for discovering extrasolar planets (planets orbiting stars other than the Sun). This paper investigates such transits for 10 nearby stars: the magnitude changes (delta m) expected, probabilities for occurrence, and total transit durations are calculated for transits by Jovian planets of 70,000 km and 25,000 km radii. Methods for detecting transits are discussed. The possibility of AAVSO involvement in searches for transits of nearby stars by extrasolar Jovian planets is discussed in connection with flare star monitoring and the AAVSO's education program. Finally, 21st century searches for extrasolar planets with spacecraft, including unmanned interstellar spacecraft launched towards some nearby stars, are briefly mentioned.


Link to ADS abstract, article and citation information

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