The ante keeps going up. 5 Ghz on the desktop. A resolution to write a new oklo post every day. An alarmingly effective new .php-based approach over at Jean Schneider’s Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia. The rapidly increasing rate of planet detection is causing the census of extrasolar planets to close in fast on the two hundred mark. Weird new worlds uncovered by the microlensing collaboration and the OGLE wide-field transit survey are starting to accumulate in the electronic annals of astro-ph. The radial velocity programs are cranking up their productivity with high-yield surveys like N2K. And we here at oklo.org have to stay on our toes to keep the transitsearch.org candidates table and the Systemic Console system list up to date.
The rapidly growing collection of extrasolar planets is really starting to crowd the semi-major axis — eccentricity, or “a-e“, diagram. This (very nearly) up-to-date version shows 171 planets detected with the radial velocity technique, with e=0.2, e=0.5, and e=0.8 orbital figures shown on the y-axis for reference:
The swarm of planets in the above a-e diagram includes three newly announced (and very interesting) new systems whose radial velocity data sets have just been added to the console’s system menu: HD 187085, HD 20782, and HD 45350. I’ll check back soon with a detailed discussion of these planets and their implications, but in the meantime, try using the Systemic Console to fit them.
One last thing: I was at a meeting last week where there was a Windows-based machine sitting on the table in front of me. When I brought up the www.oklo.org in Internet Explorer, I was aghast to see that the menu of links (which you should see to your right) had been pushed all the way down to the bottom of the page. I had to scroll all the way down to even see it. We thought we had fixed this problem, but apparently not. We’re working on it. Also, if you are a Macintosh user, run the console in Safari. There is a still a Java issue with the Firefox on OS X. Firefox should, however, work fine on both Linux and Windows machines if your Java libraries are up to date…