AST 309S






Astronomy 309S - Spring 2010
MWF 11:00 - 12:00 · WEL 3.502 · Unique No. 49035




Quiz 5 Review has posted

Exoplanet Homework Assignment

Due Monday, May 3

0. Computer access: For this assignment, you can use your own computer, the astronomy computer lab, or a computer in the library if you have a thumb drive. If you use your own computer, it needs to have Java installed.

If you need access to the astronomy computer lab, please email me your name and EID so our computer staff can create a temporary account for you.

1. Download console:
a. Direct your web browser to
b. Click the tab labeled "Downloadable Console"
c. Click the download link, then click on the UFO graphic labeled "Download"
d. Input your information and University of Texas affiliation and click the button labeled "Continue to Download"
e. A folder labeled "Console" will appear on your desktop. Open the Console folder and double-click on "Console.jar" to launch the Systemic program.

2. Find the planet around HD 4208
a. Click the star icon at the top left of the console and select "HD4208" from the list of stars. Follow the steps in Console Tutorial #1 to fit the planet orbit.
b. When you are satisfied that you have described the planet orbit well, go to File -> Print Data Plot to make a printout of your best sine wave.
c. Then go to File -> Print Orbital Plot to print the graphic of the planet's orbit.
d. Write the chi-squared, RMS and Jitter from the window on the right-hand side of the console on your sine wave printout.

3. Find the planet orbiting HD 141937
a. Click the star icon and select "HD141937" from the list.
b. Find the best planet orbit and print out your data plot and orbital plot. Write the chi-squared, RMS and Jitter.

4. Exoplanet Encyclopedia
a. Pick a planet from the Exoplanet Encyclopedia catalog: go to, click the "Interactive Catalog" link, then click "All candidates detected". You will then be looking at the list of planets.
b. Click on the name of your planet. A new window will pop up giving information about your planet and its host star.
c. Write down the mass of your planet. How does it compare with planets in the Solar System? (note: M with a J subscript means mass of Jupiter)
d. How quickly does your planet orbit its host star? How does the orbital period compare with planets in the Solar System?
e. Is your planet on an eccentric orbit or a circular orbit?

Exoplanet Reading Assignment

Go to

Click on the tab labeled "Console Tutorial #1"

Read the tutorial

If you have your own computer or permission to install software, please download the console and try finding the planet orbiting HD 4208


Sally Dodson-Robinson

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Hours: TBA
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