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Earth and Space

Exoplanet Research

Our galaxy is filled with stars... About two hundred billion of them. That's around 200,000,000,000 stars, each one holding the potential for planets to orbit around them. Learn how DPAS is helping refine our understanding of these exoplanets.

Understanding planets outside our solar system

Long relegated to the realm of science fiction, extrasolar planets (exoplanets) are now a scientific fact. As of 2024, there are over 5,000 confirmed exoplanets, and many more keep being discovered.

One of the most common way of detecting exoplanets is the transit method. As a planet passes in front of its host star, that star's brightness dims slightly, and with sensitive enough equipment, that dip in brightness can be detected. A light curve, a record of a star's brightness, can be used to learn a lot about a transiting planet. Knowing the host star's size, a light curve can be used to determine the planet's size, its orbital period, and even its distance from the star. 

Data from known exoplanet transits recorded by DPAS is sent to NASA's Exoplanet Watch program, a citizen science project which combines transit light curves made by amateur astronomers to help scientists get a better understanding of these worlds thousands of light-years from Earth. 

Our Transits

WASP-103 b

Distance from Earth: 1,225 light-years

Radius: 1.53 x Jupiter

Mass: 1.49 x Jupiter

Orbital Radius: 0.02 AU

Orbital Period: 0.9 days

See this data on Exoplanet Watch

TOI-2583 A b*

Distance from Earth: 1,847 light-years

Radius: 1.29 x Jupiter

Mass: 0.25 x Jupiter

Orbital Radius: 0.057 AU

Orbital Period: 4.5 days

*Note that only part of this transit

was captured.

See this data on Exoplanet Watch

Screenshot 2024-05-20 141430.png

WASP-92 b*

Distance from Earth: 1,878 light-years

Radius: 1.46 x Jupiter

Mass: 0.81 x Jupiter

Orbital Radius: 0.035 AU

Orbital Period: 2.2 days

*Note that only part of this transit

was captured.

See this data on Exoplanet Watch

Screenshot 2024-05-20 141909.png

WASP-39 b (Bocaprins)

Distance from Earth: 698 light-years

Radius: 1.27 x Jupiter

Mass: 0.28 x Jupiter

Orbital Radius: 0.047 AU

Orbital Period: 4.1 days

The first exoplanet studied by the James

Webb Space Telescope, and the first

discovered to have carbon dioxide in

its atmosphere.

See this data on Exoplanet Watch

WASP-39 b.png

HAT-P-59 b

Distance from Earth: 866 light-years

Radius: 1.12 x Jupiter

Mass: 1.54 x Jupiter

Orbital Radius: 0.051 AU

Orbital Period: 4.1 days

See this data on Exoplanet Watch

HAT-P-59 b.png
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