Department of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics
Faculty of Science
Masaryk University

The new method simplifies research on exoplanets

Brno, 5 February 2016

Professor of astrophysics, Zdeněk Mikulášek from Masaryk University developed a new tool that greatly facilitates research on binary stars and stars around which planets orbit. Application of the method leads more easily to precise results than the previous, usually much more complex and computationally demanding astrophysical methods.

Most scientists who study binary stars and the planets revolved around other stars (known as exoplanets), based their research on the analysis of the light variations of such stars. Binaries or pair parent stars and planets are mostly from us so far that with neither the largest astronomical telescope scientists do not distinguish them from each other. Their duality occurs when the circulation component of binary (or the planet) transit in front of the star and decrease its brightness. Analysis of the light changes are often crucial not only for the discovery of new planets, double stars, but also in determining their basic parameters, such as sizeof the system or the size of each components.

Scientists use for interpretation of light curves particularly complex physical models that allow to calculate the parameters of the studied systems. These models, however, are very complex and demanding quality observation material. Professor Mikulášek research showed that the same results can also be reached much easier and especially faster phenomenological models. In his paper published in the prestigious European journal Astronomy and Astrophysics he presented and described in detail the original elegant method which has been tried many times in analyzing a number of eclipsing binaries.

New method of prof. Mikulášek simplifies the work of both professional astrophysics, as well as advanced amateur astronomers, and enables faster processing of light curves not only of eclipsing binaries, but also currently the most searched exoplanets.

To read the original work please visit ADS.

Illustrative photo, LZ

Mgr. Lenka Zychová,