Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

TRAPPIST participated in the detection of ten percent of all transiting exoplanets known to date

Date:
April 25, 2013
Source:
University of Liège
Summary:
Among the many planets detected orbiting other stars (exoplanets) over the last twenty years, a little less than three hundred periodically pass in front of their star. This is what astronomers call a planetary transit. Exoplanets that "transit" their stars are key objects for the study of other planetary systems, because they are the only planets beyond our solar system that can be studied in detail, both in terms of their physical parameters (mass, radius, orbital parameters) and their atmospheric properties (thermal structure, dynamics, composition).

Gallery of Exoplanets co-detected by TRAPPIST, ULg's robotic telescope in La Silla ESO in Chile.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Liège

Among the many planets detected orbiting other stars (exoplanets) over the last twenty years, a little less than three hundred periodically pass in front of their star. This is what astronomers call a planetary transit. Exoplanets that "transit" their stars are key objects for the study of other planetary systems, because they are the only planets beyond our solar system that can be studied in detail, both in terms of their physical parameters (mass, radius, orbital parameters) and their atmospheric properties (thermal structure, dynamics, composition).

Related Articles


The University of Liege (ULg) is deeply involved in this exciting research topic, notably through its TRAPPIST[1] robotic telescope installed in 2010 in one of the best astronomical sites of the world, the La Silla European Southern Observatory in the Chilean Atacama desert. One of the scientific objectives of this telescope is the detection and study of exoplanets via the accurate measurement of their transits. In just three years, it has fully demonstrated its great potential in this area. Indeed, TRAPPIST participated in the detection of thirty planets, representing ten percent of all transiting exoplanets known to date. This important contribution is the result of the excellent expertise of the Liege astronomers, and their active collaboration with other international teams of "planet hunters," including the Swiss team of Professor Didier Queloz, co-discoverer of the first exoplanet in 1995.

Among the thirty exoplanets co-detected by TRAPPIST, most are gas giants similar to Jupiter, but in much closer orbits. "With the intense radiation that they undergo from their star, these planets are real gold mines for the study of other worlds," says Michaël Gillon, Principal Investigator of the TRAPPIST exoplanets program. "Indeed, it makes possible a number of measurements that give us access to valuable information on their atmospheric properties. " TRAPPIST also detected the transit of a planet twice smaller than Jupiter orbiting a nearby star much less massive than the Sun. "The name of this small planet is GJ3470b" continues Michaël Gillon, "and it has a mass and a size comparable to those of Uranus and Neptune, suggesting a composition rich in water ice. The detection of this planet much smaller than Jupiter is very exciting, not only for its own study, but also because it demonstrates that by focusing on even less massive stars, TRAPPIST should be able to detect rocky planets similar in size and mass to Earth. Our current projects go in that direction. "

Probably dreaming of other Earths too, TRAPPIST continues to observe the gorgeous Chilean sky night after night, to the delight of Liege astronomers that analyze its valuable data thirteen thousand kilometers away ...

[1] TRAPPIST stands for TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liège. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Gillon, D. R. Anderson, A. Collier-Cameron, A. P. Doyle, A. Fumel, C. Hellier, E. Jehin, M. Lendl, P. F. L. Maxted, J. Montalban, F. Pepe, D. Pollacco, D. Queloz, D. Segransan, A. M. S. Smith, B. Smalley, J. Southworth, A. H. M. J. Triaud, S. Udry, R. G. West. WASP-64b and WASP-72b: two new transiting highly irradiated giant planets. Astronomy and Astrophysic, 2013 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Liège. "TRAPPIST participated in the detection of ten percent of all transiting exoplanets known to date." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425103237.htm>.
University of Liège. (2013, April 25). TRAPPIST participated in the detection of ten percent of all transiting exoplanets known to date. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425103237.htm
University of Liège. "TRAPPIST participated in the detection of ten percent of all transiting exoplanets known to date." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425103237.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — The Asteroid Retrieval Mission announced this week bears little resemblance to its grand beginnings. Even NASA scientists are asking, "Why bother?" Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) — The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Supermassive Blackhole Detector Ready for Business

Supermassive Blackhole Detector Ready for Business

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) — Construction of the world&apos;s largest and most powerful observatory designed to detect and analyze gamma rays has been completed in Mexico. Gamma ray particles are considered the most energetic in the universe and scientists hope to use the observatory to learn more about the supernovas and black holes that produce them. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rocket Blasts Off Carrying U.S. Air Force GPS Satellite

Rocket Blasts Off Carrying U.S. Air Force GPS Satellite

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) — A U.S. Air Force GPS IIF-9 satellite launches aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket into semi-synchronous orbit. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins