Amateur astronomers perform a crucial role in detecting exoplanets by a technique called microlensing, including the most recent discovery of a multiple-planet system.
Amateurs Help Discover Multiple-Planet System
Earlier this month the Kepler mission announced yet another bevy of new exoplanet candidates, their list now stretching 2,740 candidates long. But Kepler’s not the only planet-hunter on the scene. A less splashy study reported in January 10th’s Astrophysical Journal heralded the second multiple-planet system discovered by microlensing, a technique that makes good use of amateur astronomers’ skills and dedicated telescope time.
To find a planet by microlensing, planet-hunters closely monitor millions of stars in the Milky Way’s busy bulge. When a foreground object, usually a star, passes between, it acts as a lens, momentarily magnifying the light from the background star. If the lens is a simple foreground star, the background star brightens and fades in a characteristic pattern, but a planet orbiting the foreground star will add a secondary spike. Only amateurs can dedicate near-continuous coverage to capture the light curve’s details.
More - Link >>> http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Amateurs-Help-Discover-Second-Multiple-Planet-System-188844821.html
Source: Sky and Telescope Magazine.
Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://friendsofthezeiss.org >
Electronic Mail - < email@example.com >
About the Author: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#GAW >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
Twitter: < http://twitter.com/
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/
Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
< http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
< http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
* Public Transit: