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Chapter 13

Astronomy Chapter 13 Notes.pdf

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Western University
Astronomy 1021
Trevor Kirsh

Chapter 13: Other Planetary technique, which looks for small shifts Systems in stellar position in the sky to detect motion Study of solar systems beyond our • Or the Doppler technique, which looks own for the back and forth motion of stars revealed by Doppler shifts • With discoveries of hundreds of • Focuses on detecting Doppler shifts in extrasolar planets in hand, we now a star’s spectrum to look for motion know that planetary systems are • We can also search for transits and common in the universe eclipses in which a system becomes • We’re just not sure if most are similar to slightly dimmer as a planet passes in our different from our own front of or behind its star The discovery of other planetary • • Mostly Doppler technique is used systems has inaugurated a new era in • When a planet appears to move across planetary science, one in which we the face of the star we call it transit have more individual worlds to study • It tells us about the density as well as and in which we can put our theory of the composition of the planet’s solar system formation to the test atmosphere • All detection of extrasolar planets to date have been made with indirect techniques, we do no know much 13.2 about the planets we discovered • Mass, size, composition suggests that What have we learned about extrasolar they’re very similar to jovian planets of planets? our solar system • The known extrasolar planets are all • It is too soon to know if Earth like much more massive than Earth planets are rare of common • Many of them orbit surprisingly close to their stars and have large orbital eccentricities 13.1 • We have limited info about sizes and compositions, but these data are Why is it so difficult to detect planets inconsistent with the idea that the around other stars? planets are jovian in nature • The great distance to stars and the fact • Most planets orbit beyond 5AU that typical stars are a billion times • We have very little data about bright
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