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rojingomez

Viability of Transit method

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rojingomez

See, if we were to use the transit method to find out the presence of an exoplanet, it'd have to be in an orbit that is in the line of sight of the telescope. So, aren't we missing a lot of planets if their orbits are perpendicular to our line of sight?

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seanjo
24 minutes ago, rojingomez said:

See, if we were to use the transit method to find out the presence of an exoplanet, it'd have to be in an orbit that is in the line of sight of the telescope. So, aren't we missing a lot of planets if their orbits are perpendicular to our line of sight?

Probably, but what can you do?

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Imaginarynumber1
42 minutes ago, rojingomez said:

See, if we were to use the transit method to find out the presence of an exoplanet, it'd have to be in an orbit that is in the line of sight of the telescope. So, aren't we missing a lot of planets if their orbits are perpendicular to our line of sight?

Yes

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rojingomez
8 hours ago, seanjo said:

Probably, but what can you do?

A search for the shadow/lighted region from the peripheries of the star of choice

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bison

We miss exoplanets not only with perpendicular orbits, but ones over a wide range of angles that don't intersect their stars, from our point of view. Depending on the geometry of a given star system, we can only see 20 percent to 1/2  of one percent of planets by the transit method. The latter figure seems to hold for Earth-like planets orbiting within the habitable zones of Sun-like stars. 

Tracking the slight wobble of stars, caused by the gravity of their planets is a way of getting around this problem. So is direct imaging of exoplanets, which is very difficult, but getting easier with larger telescopes, and other improvements, in observing techniques and technology.

Edited by bison

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Waspie_Dwarf
On 12/7/2018 at 4:06 AM, rojingomez said:

See, if we were to use the transit method to find out the presence of an exoplanet, it'd have to be in an orbit that is in the line of sight of the telescope. So, aren't we missing a lot of planets if their orbits are perpendicular to our line of sight?

All methods of finding exoplanets have limitations. The transiting method is currently the most powerful and successful method we have.It is capable of detecting smaller (and therefore more potentially more Earth-like) planets than the other methods. It can also detect planets at a far greater distance than the other methods employed.

There are hundreds of billions, possibly trillions of planets in our galaxy, far more than we can ever study. Does it really matter that this method can't find them all?

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Waspie_Dwarf
On 12/7/2018 at 5:13 PM, bison said:

Tracking the slight wobble of stars, caused by the gravity of their planets is a way of getting around this problem.

No it doesn't bision. If you are going to attempt to answer a question at least take the time to research that answer so as not to mislead people.

This is the radial velocity method. It measures Doppler shift of the star as the planet orbits around it, The effect is reduced the greater the planet's orbital inclination to Earth. So whilst the problem of an inclined orbit is reduced compared to that of the transiting method it most certainly does not "get around" it. This method also has limitations in that, whilst it can detect large, Jupiter-like, planets out to a few thousand light years, it can not detect low mass planets much past 160 ly, so it is extremely limited in looking for Earth-like planets.

 

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