CfA Colloquium Schedule Fall 2005
 03 November 2005

03 November 2005

Speaker: Stephane Udry (University of Geneva)

Title: From Hot Jupiters to Hot Neptunes and below

Abstract: The few past years have seen tremendous developments in the exoplanet domain. I will review the main findings focusing on results obtained from radial-velocity measurements. Statistical distributions of orbital elements and of primary-star properties are supposed to retain traces of the system formation and thus provide useful constraints for theoretical models. The "quest for other worlds" has passed now a new barrier with the recent detections of several planets in the Neptune-mass regime. This new step forward has been made possible i) primarily thanks to the development of a new generation of instruments capable of radial-velocity measurements of unprecedented quality (e.g. HARPS on the ESO 3.6-m telescope) and ii) by the application of a careful observing strategy to reduce as much as possible the perturbing effect of stellar acoustic modes hiding the tiny radial-velocity signal induced on solar-type stars by small-mass planets. This opens the road to the detection and/or characterization of Earth-mass planets with radial velocities.

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