In a exoplanet focused lecture I was informed that the two main techniques for the detection of exoplanets were: radial velocity (VR) and transit. These were very briefly explained to us.

When watching a presentation by Dr. Bender, it is stated that the RV technique was the most prominent technique up to the late 00's, but at around 2010 there was a "Wide-Field Precision Photometry Revolution", which was characterized by its fainter limiting magnitude.

Is the transit technique categorised as one of the techniques in this wide-field precision photometry revolution?


1 Answer 1


Yes. By “precision photometry” we mean “measuring just exactly how bright this star is.” The transit technique looks for variations in the brightness of the star. As your photometry becomes more precise, you are able to distinguish smaller variations in stellar brightness, which allows you to detect transits by smaller planets, more rapid transits, or both.

The “wide field” part is because, rather than concentrating on a single star, the Kepler mission (and follow-ups) was able to rapidly and precisely measure the brightness of every star in its field of view.

The transit technique has a fainter limiting magnitude than spectroscopic techniques because you need less light to say “there is some light here” than you do to analyze that light’s spectrum and identify a periodic Doppler shift.


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