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exoplanet eclipse light curve

(graph of light as an exoplanet transits in front of its star)

A transiting planet is detected by the change in the light from its star, being reduced while the planet passes in front of the star, producing a curved graph (exoplanet eclipse light curve) if light is plotted against time. This light curve offers information about the planet.

Getting spectrographic data requires differential spectroscopy, comparing the spectrum at different points in the planets orbit including before, during and after the eclipse. This use of spectroscopy is known as occultation spectroscopy.

The transit of the planet across the star is also called the primary eclipse. The secondary eclipse, the planet passing behind the star, also produces light curves revealing information about the planet, by watching which wavelengths are reduced, when, and by how much.


Referenced by:
atmospheric model