An international team of astronomers called "Super WASP" has found 10 new "extra solar" planets, planets that orbit stars other than our sun.
The team used a system of robotic cameras that yield a great deal of information about these other worlds, some of which are quite exotic.
The flood of new discoveries from Super WASP will revolutionize understanding of how planets form. The new international collaboration is called "Super WASP," for Wide Area Search for Planets.
An international team of astronomers has found 10 new "extra solar" planets, planets that orbit stars other than our sun. Street is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGTN) located in Santa Barbara. Team leader, Don Pollaco of Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, will announce the findings in his talk at the Royal Astronomical Society's national astronomy meeting in the U. This technique of locating the planets gives more information about the formation and evolution of the planets than the gravitational technique.
The team used a system of robotic cameras that yield a great deal of information about these other worlds, some of which are quite exotic. Astronomers look for "transits," moments when the planets pass in front of the star, like an eclipse, as viewed from the Earth.
The system is expected to revolutionize scientific understanding of how planets form. In the last six months the Super WASP team has used two batteries of cameras, one in Spain's Canary Islands and one in South Africa, to discover the 10 new extra solar planets.
With the gravitational technique, scientists have discovered around 270 extra solar planets since the early 1990s.
They measured the gravitational pull on the star that is exerted by the orbiting planet.
As the planet moves, it pulls on the star, tugging it back and forth.
However, making these discoveries depends on looking at each star over a period of weeks or months, so the pace of discovery is slow.
The Super WASP technique involves two sets of cameras to watch for events known as transits, where a planet passes directly in front of a star and blocks out some of the star's light.
From the Earth the star temporarily appears a little fainter.