Discovery of the First Transiting Planets
Early thinking about detecting extrasolar planets was largely circumscribed by the expectation that other solar systems would be similar to our own, the only known example at the time. Given this mind-set, transit detections were expected to be exceedingly difficult for small planets and rarely seen for larger ones. The discovery of 51 Peg and subsequent hot Jupiters by the radial velocity method completely upended our thinking – transits were suddenly practical, perhaps even easy! This immediately led to follow-up searches for transits in systems discovered by the radial velocity technique and, conversely, to wide-field ground-based transit search programs with radial velocity follow-up observations. As is usually the case, transit work turned out to be harder than initially expected but was still possible and productive. This chapter reviews the circumstances leading to the first transit observations of HD 209458, the early OGLE exoplanets, and TrES-1 and TrES-2, as well as some of the frustrations and difficulties encountered along the way.
KeywordsTransit photometry History Discovery TrES OGLE HD209458
- Borucki WJ, Lasher LE (2000) Third workshop on photometry. NASA/CP-2000-209614Google Scholar
- COMPLEX (1990) Strategy for the detection and study of other planetary systems and extrasolar planetary materials: 1990–2000. National Academy Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- Latham DW (1992) Surveys of spectroscopic binaries at the center for astrophysics. In: HA MA, Hartkopf WI (eds) Complementary approaches to double and multiple star research. IAU Colloquium 135, ASP Conference Series 32, San Francisco, pp 110–118Google Scholar