Skip to main content

About this free course

Author

Download this course

Share this free course

An introduction to exoplanets
An introduction to exoplanets

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

2  Hot Jupiter transits are easy to measure

Astronomers in the 1950s realised that the transits of planets like Jupiter could be detected if a star was being continuously observed when the transit occurred. Of course, Jupiter transits only once every 12 years, and there is a less than one in 1000 chance of the orbit being lined up enough for transits of Jupiter-like planets to be seen at all (more on this later). With 1950s technology, observing thousands of stars continuously for years was utterly impossible, so no one tried. With twenty-first-century technology – digital cameras, cheap large-scale data storage and powerful computer processing capabilities – transits of hot Jupiters are easy to measure.