Exoplanet Discovery

Related to: Astronomy

The most common approaches to exoplanet detection are ‘transit’ and ‘radial velocimetry’, each of which require precision measurements with optimal signal to noise.  The vast majority of stars in the Milky Way are dwarf stars and as such are prime candidates for finding exoplanets. Their relatively small size compared to orbiting planets results in bigger ‘transit dips’, coupled with the fact that their planets tend to be in closer orbit and with a greater frequency of orbit. These smaller / cooler dwarf stars predominantly emit in the Near infrared, meaning that high-sensitivity, deep cooled near infrared optimised cameras are ideal for making these high photometric accuracy measurements.