Status and Prospects of Planetary Transit Searches: Hot Jupiters Galore


The first transiting extrasolar planet, orbiting HD209458, was a Doppler wobble planet before its transits were discovered with a 10 cm CCD camera. Wide-angle CCD cameras, by monitoring in parallel the light curves of tens of thousands of stars, should find hot Jupiter transits much faster than the Doppler wobble method. The discovery rate could easily rise by a factor 10. The sky holds perhaps 1000 hot Jupiters transiting stars brighter than V=13. These are bright enough for follow-up radial velocity studies to measure planet masses to go along with the radii from the transit light curves. I derive scaling laws for the discovery potential of ground-based transit searches, and use these to assess over two dozen planetary transit surveys currently underway. The main challenge lies in calibrating small systematic errors that limit the accuracy of CCD photometry at milli-magnitude levels. Promising transit candidates have been reported by several groups, and many more are sure to follow.Comment: To appear in: Scientific Frontiers in Research on Extrasolar Planets, 18-21 Jun 2002, Washington D.C., ASP Conference Series Vol ???, 2003, D.Deming and S.Seager, eds v2: update notes ogle-tr-56b discover

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