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Extrasolar Planets in the Classroom

Physics Education Volume 46, Number 4, ISSN 0031-9120


The field of extrasolar planets is still, in comparison with other astrophysical topics, in its infancy. There have been about 300 or so extrasolar planets detected and their detection has been accomplished by various different techniques. Here we present a simple laboratory experiment to show how planets are detected using the transit technique. Following the simple analysis procedure describe we are able to determine the planetary radius to be 1.27 [plus or minus] 0.20R[subscript J] which, within errors, agrees with the established value of 1.32 [plus or minus] 0.25R[subscript J]. (Contains 2 figures.)


George, S.J. (2011). Extrasolar Planets in the Classroom. Physics Education, 46(4), 403-406. Retrieved April 18, 2019 from .

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