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  • Describe the current effort to detect planets orbiting stars other than our sun. (JW)
  • How do we know that exoplanets exist? How many are there?
  • Describe two methods of detecting exoplanets
  • If an exoplanet transits a star, how does the luminosity change? Draw an plot of L vs t to scale
  • What discovery ~15 years ago made exoplanet searches feasible? (The question was phrased pretty strangely. Hint: What "class" of exoplanets were discovered about then?)
  • What is the probability of finding an eclipsing system?
  • How many transiting exoplanets have been detected from space. How many have been detected from the ground?
  • Calculate the temperature of an exoplanet caused by reflection of the parent star's light. (SR)
  • What information may be obtained if two transits of an exoplanet are observed? More than two? (RS)
  • At what radii are transits most common, smaller or larger than a Mercury orbit? What is the distance to Mercury's orbit?
    • Derive the probability of seeing a transit. (AB)
  • Given a planet of temperature T, and a Sun-like star, derive the distance from star? (AB)
  • What transit depth would you see from a Jupiter sized object passing in front of a Sun-like star?
  • What are the effects that could cause the absorption line of a star to be broadened? (JW)
  • About how long will it take the Kepler telescope to confirm its first Earthlike planet? (PJ)
  • What is Kepler?
  • What is the habitable zone? How does the temperature scale with luminosity and distance?
    • Might a Jupiter or bigger sized planet in the habitable zone harbor life? What about its moons?
  • What is the M Dwarf opportunity? What do M Dwarfs make easier for transit searches? For RV searches? What are the drawbacks?