Are there planets around other stars? Are there Earth-like planets
around other stars? Do any of those harbor life? Intelligent life?
We'd like to know the answers to all of these questions, and in recent
years we've made great progress towards at least answering the first.
To date, more than 200 planets have been found around other stars, most in the
interstellar neighborhood of the Sun, but a few at great distance. This
lecture reviews the search for ExoPlanets, discussing the successful
Doppler Wobble, Transit, and Microlensing techniques. What we have
found so far are very suprising systems, especially Jupiter-size or
bigger planets orbiting very close (few hundredths of an AU) from their
parent stars. The existance of a significant population of so-called
"Hot Jupiters" may be telling us that planetary migration can be much
more extreme that we saw in our own Solar System, or that these
planetary system formed in a very different way than ours. It seems
appropriate to end this class with more questions than answers, but
that's where the science becomes most exciting. Recorded 2006 Dec 1 in
100 Stillman Hall on the Columbus campus of The Ohio State University.