Exoplanets: Finding, Exploring, and Understanding Alien Worlds
Exoplanets: Finding, Exploring, and Understanding Alien Worlds probes the basis for possible answers to the fundamentals questions asked about these planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. This book examines what such planets might be like, where they are, and how we find them.
Until around ten years ago, the only planets that we knew about were within the Solar System. The first genuine planet beyond the confines of the Solar System was discovered only 1988. Since then another 350 or so exoplanets have been detected by various methods, and most of these haven been found in the last ten years. Although many more exoplanets discoveries may be expected to occur even as this book is being read, a large enough data set is now available to form the basis for an informed general account of exoplanets.
The topic hence is an extremely "hot" one - all the more so because the recently launched Kepler spacecraft should soon start uncovering many more exoplanets, some perhaps comparable with the Earth (and therefore possibly alternative homes for mankind, if we could ever reach them). Exoplanets: Finding, Exploring, and Understanding Alien Life gives a comprehensive, balances, and above all accurate account of exoplanets.
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In the Beginning The First Exoplanet Discoveries
On the Track of Alien Planets The Radial Velocity or Doppler Method 70 of All Exoplanet Primary Discoveries
On the Track of Alien Planets The Transit Method 23 of All Exoplanet Primary Discoveries
On the Track of Alien Planets Direct Imaging and Observation 29 of All Exoplanet Primary Discoveries or 6 if Free Floating Planets are Included
On the Track of Alien Planets Gravitational Microlensing 23 of All Exoplanet Primary Discoveries
Exoplanets Revealed What They Are Really Like
Exoplanets and Exoplanetary Systems Pasts and Futures
Future Homes for Humankind?
Appendix I Nomenclature or Whats in a Name?
Appendix II Note on Distances Sizes and Masses etc
Appendix III Further Reading
Appendix IV Technical Background Some of the Mathematics and Physics Involved in the Study of Exoplanets
Appendix V Names Acronyms and Abbreviations