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Exoexplorer 2.0 - Study of Exoplanets in search of Earth-like habitable atmospheres

Presentation #401.01 in the session Extrasolar Planets.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Exoexplorer 2.0 - Study of Exoplanets in search of Earth-like habitable atmospheres

Photometric and spectroscopic observations help us in our search for habitable planets. Exoplanets are planets outside our solar system that orbit other stars, and the most common way of detecting them is the transit method. In this work, I study the transit properties of the exoplanets TrES-1b, TrES-2b and TrES-3b. Additionally, I attempt spectral analysis to understand their atmosphere.

The transit method works by plotting the relative brightness of the exoplanets host star against a comparison star to make a light curve. As the planet transits in front of its host star, it causes a very small dip in the brightness of the star, which is detected by a telescope. These dips in light help us calculate the mid-transit time which is the time when the exoplanet is in the middle of its transit around its star. Over time the error in the mid-transit time increases due to variations in the period of the planet. Such examinations are extremely important as they not only save valuable time for expensive telescopes, but they also pave the way for citizen scientists and amateur astronomers to contribute in research.

TrES-1b, TrES-2b & TrES-3b are all hot Jupiter’s, with orbital periods less than 3.5 days. Hot Jupiter’s are exoplanets that have similar mass and size as our Jupiter. Not much is known about the insides of these exoplanets but we are able to study their atmosphere using spectroscopy. We can split starlight into a rainbow which are like color fingerprints and use them to identify unique elements, spectral absorption and emission features.

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