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Pulsar Timing as an Exoplanet Discovery Method

  • Michael KramerEmail author
Reference work entry

Abstract

Before the optical discovery of exoplanets, radio pulsar timing techniques provided the first evidence for a planetary system outside the solar system. In 1992, the discovery of the first “pulsar planets” by Alex Wolszczan and colleagues was surprising but also demonstrated the extraordinary precision that enables pulsar astronomers searching for bodies orbiting a pulsar, allowing even the detection of asteroid-sized bodies. Despite this precision, the number of pulsars with orbiting bodies of planetary size or lower has remained surprisingly small. Apart from a system in a globular cluster, which may have been created with the help of exchange interactions, only one further pulsar-planet system is known. This raises the question about the formation processes of pulsar planets and the required conditions. Here, we summarize the applied techniques and the current status of the field.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MPI für RadioastrononomieBonnGermany

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