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April 5th, 2007

Image Source.

It was the end of the Winter quarter here at UCSC last week, and then I went on a trip, and then bam! More than a week with no posts… In the interim, there have been a number of interesting developments related to extrasolar planets. Here’s a brief run-down of some topics that I want to look at in more depth in the very near future:

Thanks to continuing efforts from the back-end user base, we’re accumulating a highly useful database of stable, low chi-square fits to the synthetic radial velocity data sets that comprise the Systemic Jr. catalog. Stefano has run a preliminary analysis and interpretation of the data. There are interesting implications for the overall eccentricity distribution of extrasolar planets, and there also appears to be a robust criterion for determining with confidence when you’ve extracted a real, previously unannounced planet from a given data set. We’re putting together a full report, which will appear quite soon. In the meantime, please keep submitting fits for systems that haven’t yet been adequately characterized.

The detection of another Neptune-mass planet orbiting a nearby red-dwarf was announced today. Yet more evidence for the core-accretion theory of planet formation! The discovery paper stops short of tabulating the radial velocities, but as I write this, Eugenio is busy dextering them onto the systemic back-end and onto the downloadable systemic console.

The theoretical case for the existence of Alpha Centauri B b is getting stronger by the day.

This year’s first ‘606 day is coming up next week, with a transit opportunity following on April 17th. I didn’t do enough to get the word out last December, but I’m hoping for good photometric coverage of the star during the upcoming window. A central transit for HD 80606b would last roughly 18 hours, so participation from observers worldwide will be required to definitively rule out transits.

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  1. mauro
    April 5th, 2007 at 14:18 | #1

    Hi Gregory,
    Dexter is a great tool, but it exist another another tool to extract data from .gif or other images: G3DATA.

    You can find here:


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