Created By : awnish

Reviewed By : Phani Ponnapalli

Last Updated : Apr 10, 2023

Exoplanet Discovery Calculator is three different detection methods tool that helps to discover an exponent. One of the detection methods has received a Nobel Prize. Just you need to select the detection method from the drop-down list and give the required details in the information about the star information about the planet sections. After providing the data click on the calculate button to get the result as early as possible.



Usage of Exoplanet Discovery Calculator

Finding the exoplanets is complicated but with our free tool, you can explore the three different exoplanet detection methods. The primary step you have to do is select the type of detection method. The calculator will present the relevant data for measurement.

In this section, you will find the mass of the star around which the planet orbits, the radius of the star around which the planet orbits, the mass of the planet for detection, the radius of the planet for detection, distance from the star to the Earth, and semi-major axis of the elliptical orbit of the planet around the star. All these fields may appear/disappear as they are relevant/irrelevant for each type of measurement. If you are searching for the parameters of stars and exoplanets, then go for specialised online planet/star catalogs. You can find every single parameter ever measured for each exoplanet and its corresponding stars.

Exoplanet Definition & Its History

All the planets in the solar system orbit around the sun. Exoplanets are the planets that orbit around other stars. It is very hard to see exoplanets directly with telescopes. They are covered by the bright glare of the stars they orbit. So, astronomers choose other ways to detect these exoplanets. The most important thing to search for the exoplanet is the effects it has on the stars they orbit.

The biggest achievement in astronomy was the discovery of galaxies outside of the milky way. History tells that the first exoplanet was discovered in 1988, but they have not believed it is a planet. In the year 1995, astronomers have confirmed that it was an exoplanet and started searching for others. Till now, there are more than 4100 exoplanets discovered some of them are listed here.

  • HD 100546 b - The largest exoplanet discovered
  • Kepler-1520 b - disintegrating planet
  • HR 2562 b - the heaviest exoplanet
  • Tadmor (Gamma Cephei b) - first exoplanet to be discovered

What is the Radial Velocity Method?

This method got the Nobel prize and it is also called the redshift method or Doppler shift method. It deals with the change in wavelength that is emitted from the source and is moving with respect to the observer. Doppler effect regarding light is the redshift or blueshift. If the object is moving away with a longer wavelength is redshift, when the object is getting closer is the blueshift. The change in colour is due to the strong gravitational field.

The amount of variation between the original colour and the perceived colour is defined with the formula z = v/c. Here, v is the speed of the object, c is the speed of the light. When c is greater than v, then z is the redshift. The redshift wavelength can be find with λ_reds = (1+z)*λ_og. Where λ_reds is the redshift wavelength, λ_og is the original wavelength emitted by the star.

The movement of orbiting stars can be observed directly, but it can also be measured with blueshift or redshift. The radial velocity method is good at detecting massive planets around small stars since there are situations that generate the highest radial speed of the star and the biggest Doppler shift.

The Transit Method | Define Astrometry Method

It is the easiest to understand and it is also called the eclipse method. Using this method, astronomers have already discovered more than 3100 planets so far. It is a photometric method that aims to indirectly detect the presence of one or more exoplanets in orbit around the star.

The orbit of the planet is aligned with the line of vision, once per orbit and the planet will be between the star and us creating an eclipse of sorts. We can see the transit of the planet in front of the star as the slight decrease in the star's brightness. It is a good method to find the very big planets of almost any orbit radius as the planet of translation has the line of vision from the earth to the star.

It is one more method that is used to detect the exoplanets and it looks at different effects of the same phenomenon as the radial velocity. Here, scientists search for the actual movement of a star. As it is very difficult to measure the position change of a star, it has discovered only one planet to date.

Other Methods | Gravitational Microlensing and Direct Imaging

We have many more methods to detect the exoplanets. You can use a telescope at a star system and observe if there is any planet orbiting it. But it involves many steps like researching, selecting the close ones and the actual data-taking process. The 2 successfully used methods are gravitational microlensing and direct imaging. Actually, direct imaging is the effective method and it has found 47 exoplanets so far. And gravitational microlensing is yielded more than double this number.

As per the theory of general relativity, any mass distorts space-time the light passing by an object gets slightly bent. These effects also observe when planets are involved. So with the small instruments, we can detect these slight differences in light paths to discover the new planets.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Exoplanet Discovery Calculator

1. What is the transit method formula?

The formula to find the transit duration is T = P/π sin-1([√(R* + Rp)² - (bR*)²)]/a).

2. What is the redshift?

The redshift is an increase in wavelength corresponding decrease in frequency and photon energy of electromagnetic radiation. The opposite of redshift is called negative redshift or blueshift.

3. What are the exoplanet properties?

The different exoplanet properties which can measure, calculate or infer are radius, volume, mass, density, surface temperature, orbital period, albedo, eccentricity, brightness, inclination, and composition.

4. Define the radial velocity method?

The radial velocity method is used for detecting exoplanets relies on the fact that a star does not remain completely stationary when it is orbited by a planet. The formula to calculate the redshift wavelength is λ_reds = (1+z)*λ_og. Here, z is the redshift and λ_og is the original wavelength emitted by the star.

5. How to use the Exoplanet Discovery Calculator?

You have to select any detection method i.e radial velocity, transit and astrometry. Provide all the input values in the specified fields and press the calculate button to check the result.