Exoplanets and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Variable Stars and the Stories They Tell: Exoplanets and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

©February 2018 by Dale Alan Bryant

(In memory of M.I.T. astrophysicist Dr. Philip Morrison - who started all this...)


Though the figures are tough to keep up with - they are changing, almost daily - the Kepler Space Telescope (KST) has discovered, to date, over 4,500 exoplanet candidates, ~3,400+ of which have been confirmed.

Alert Notice 393: Monitoring for a planetary transit of HD 80606

February 3, 2009: Dr. Greg Laughlin (Lick Observatory) requests intensive time-series photometry of the possible transiting extrasolar planetary system HD 80606. This system, recently in the news due to the extreme temperatures to be found on the planet, is predicted to reach conjunction on or around HJD 2454876.5 (2009 Feb 14.0 UT), and there is a low but significant probability (<15%) that the system is eclipsing. If it eclipses, the duration of the eclipse may be as long as 17 hours.

Alert Notice 462: Monitoring of J1407 for next extrasolar ring system transit

Please continue observing J1407 [V1400 Cen] until further notice.  -  Elizabeth O. Waagen, 1 February 2021

Note: A thread for this campaign has been created in the AAVSO Campaigns and Observation Reports discussion forum:  https://www.aavso.org/j-1407-monitoring-campaign

This campaign has been continued through at least 2020. Please continue to monitor J1407, although the level of coverage may be somewhat reduced.  -  Elizabeth O. Waagen, 17 April 2020

Pro-Am White dwarf Monitoring (PAWM) Pilot Project

Bruce Gary has announced a one-month pilot project to evaluate the feasibility of observing exoplanet transits of white dwarfs. The advantage of looking at white dwarfs is that the eclipses will be deeper. The disadvantage is they will be very short (on the order of minutes). So there is considerable challenge here!

Click here for his web page describing the project.