Amateur astronomers exoplanet finding
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Organized searches like Transitsearch. Best of all, this data is used by professional groups! The most successful type of data collection by the amateur is through the photometric change in stellar brightness - or the transit method. Only a handful of stars will have a planet cross of the surface of the star , none-the-less continual data of these sources are needed - this frees up the professionals time to focus on the more obscure methods of detection. As a planet passes over the portion of the star facing us, the light curve of the star drops for a time.
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Astronomers Find 'Earth-Like Conditions' On Exoplanet
Discoveries of exoplanets - Wikipedia
Click to enlarge Amateur astronomers have used inexpensive equipment to discover a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a Sun-like star light-years away. An automated telescope observed tens of thousands of bright stars, and then the team chose a few dozen promising candidates. The new planet, dubbed Xb is the 10th planet ever discovered using the transit method. The astronomers discovered a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a Sun-like star light-years from Earth in the constellation Corona Borealis. Using modest telescopes to search for extrasolar planets allows for a productive collaboration between professional and amateur astronomers that could accelerate the planet quest. The finding has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.
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It ran out of fuel back in October of last year, but the incredible wealth of data that it sent back during its life is still being sifted through, and new discoveries are just waiting to be made. The world, called KBb, appears to be quite special, and researchers who have looked at the data think it might even host liquid water, raising the possibility that the newfound planet is habitable. The research, which was published in The Astronomical Journal, reveals that KBb resides in the constellation Taurus and sits around light years away from Earth.
Can amateur astronomers spot exoplanets? Of course not. Who do you think you are? Planet-hunting outside our solar system is only for those with advanced science degrees, lab coats and Neil deGrasse Tyson's phone number in their cell phones. The rest of us can spend our nights watching "Extreme Weight Loss" while eating ice cream, ignoring the telescope in the corner that's pointed at the neighbor's house.