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.

Free course

An introduction to exoplanets

2.2  WASP: Wide area search for planets

After HD 209458 b was discovered, the search was on for further transiting exoplanets. Over the next few years there were more discoveries, including OGLE-TR-56 b, the first exoplanet to be discovered via its transits in 2002. Astronomers quickly realised that dedicated telescopes could find many more of these fascinating planets, and so the SuperWASP survey was born.

In Week 4 you watched a video about the WASP survey and how it works. You will recall that the WASP cameras capture a wide area of sky in a single exposure, enabling the brightness of many stars to be monitored simultaneously. In 2006, the first two WASP discoveries, WASP-1 b and WASP-2 b, were announced. Both of these are Jupiter-sized planets orbiting close to their parent stars. Since then, WASP telescopes in the northern and southern hemispheres have discovered around 200 planets, all of them giant planets orbiting fairly close to their stars.

EXO_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371