course ID





14 Weeks

Semester DD


Course details

Introduction: Definition of a planet, Planet categories, Discovery status

Radial velocities: Orbits and orbit fitting, Measurement principles,
Wavelength calibration, Accuracy limits and error sources,
Radial-velocity instruments, Radial-velocity surveys, Properties of
the radial velocity planets, Multiple planet systems, Planets around
binary and multiple stars

Astrometry: Microarcsec astrometry, Modelling, Astrometric
measurements from ground, Astrometric measurements from space

Timings: Pulsars, Pulsating stars, Eclipsing binaries

Microlensing: Principles of gravitational lensing, Light curves,
Modelling, Microlensing observations, Results

Transits: Surveys from the ground, Surveys from the space, Follow-up
observations, Accuracy: photometric and timing, Light curve analysis,
Modelling, Photometric effects, Orbital phase curves,
Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, Secular timing effects, Transit timing
variations, Trojans, Exomoons, Transmission Spectroscopy, Emission
Spectroscopy, Properties of transiting planets, Properties of host
stars, Multiple planet systems, Circumbinary planets

Imaging: Atmospheric effects, Coronographic masks, Ground-based
imaging instruments, Space-based imaging instruments, Surveys and

Host stars: Physical properties, Stellar rotation, Element abundances,
Occurrence versus stellar type, Star-planet interactions

Formation and evolution: Protoplanetary disks, Rocky-planet formation,
Gas-planet formation, Resonances, Long-term stability, Orbital
migration, Tidal effects, Planets in multiple star systems,
Solar-system formation

Interiors and atmospheres: Planet constituents, Planet interiors,
Planet atmospheres, Mass-radius relations, Transit and occultation
spectra, High-resolution spectroscopy, Habitability

Brown dwarfs: Observations and discoveries, Follow-up observations,
Classification, Physical properties, Formation

Free-floating planets


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Exoplanet research is one of the most rapidly developing subjects in astronomy. Many groups world-wide are actively involved in a broad range of observational and theoretical efforts. This course ties together these many avenues of investigation from the perspectives of observation, technology and theory to give a comprehensive, up-to-date review of the field.

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: On completion of the course, the student will have acquired the knowledge of the demographics of the exoplanets, their physical characteristics and the observational methods to find and characterize them.

APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: A written comprehensive report will be required on a single exoplanetary system and will be discussed with the class through an oral contribution.

MAKING JUDGEMENTS: At the end of the course, the student will be able to independently undertake one of the many lines of research in exoplanetary science.