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The Transits of Extrasolar Planets with Moons (2011)

by David M. Kipping

Other authors: Alan Aylward (Foreword), eStudio Calamar (Cover designer), Giovanna Tinetti (Foreword)

Series: Springer Theses

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Can we detect the moons of extrasolar planets? For two decades, astronomers have made enormous progress in the detection and characterisation of exoplanetary systems but the identification of an "exomoon" is notably absent. In this thesis, David Kipping shows how transiting planets may be used to infer the presence of exomoons through deviations in the time and duration of the planetary eclipses. A detailed account of the transit model, potential distortions, and timing techniques is covered before the analytic forms for the timing variations are derived. It is shown that habitable-zone exomoons above 0.2 Earth-masses are detectable with the Kepler space telescope using these new timing techniques.… (more)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David M. Kippingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aylward, AlanForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
eStudio CalamarCover designersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tinetti, GiovannaForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
To consider the Earth as the only populated world in infinite space is as absurd as to assert that in an entire field sown with millet, only one grain will grow.

---Metrodorus of Chios, fourth century bc
Dedication
I dedicate this thesis to Emily, my morning
light and brightest star.
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It is no exaggeration to say that a great deal of the motivation behind searching for extrasolar planets is embodied by the above question. [chapter heading is: 1.1 Are We Alone?]
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Can we detect the moons of extrasolar planets? For two decades, astronomers have made enormous progress in the detection and characterisation of exoplanetary systems but the identification of an "exomoon" is notably absent. In this thesis, David Kipping shows how transiting planets may be used to infer the presence of exomoons through deviations in the time and duration of the planetary eclipses. A detailed account of the transit model, potential distortions, and timing techniques is covered before the analytic forms for the timing variations are derived. It is shown that habitable-zone exomoons above 0.2 Earth-masses are detectable with the Kepler space telescope using these new timing techniques.

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