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Extra-solar planets: Detection methods and results

N. C. Santos

Since 1995, more than 200 extra-solar planets have been discovered, demonstrating not only that planetary systems are common, but also that planets may come in a large variety of flavors. As the number of detections grows, statistical studies of the properties of exoplanets and their host stars can be conducted to unravel some of the key physical and chemical processes leading to the formation of planetary systems. In this paper we describe the major techniques used to search for extra-solar planets. In particular, we discuss in more detail the radial-velocity and the transit techniques, responsible for the discovery of the bulk of the known planets orbiting solar-type stars. We then present the main results from the planet surveys, describing the global properties of the newfound worlds.

New Astronomy Reviews
Volume 52, Page 154
2008 April

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Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
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