What is the density of the planet?
Once the radius of the newly found planet has been calculated, the density of the planet can then be calculated, DENSITY=MASS/VOLUME (4/3 pi r^2), these properties are necessary for determining whether the planet would be sufficient to support life.
- The orbital radius dictates the surface temperature of the planet. If the radius is too small then the surface temperature is too hot, if the radius is too hot, then the surface temperature is too cold.
- Mass – if the mass is too small, the gravitational pull of the planet will be too weak, meaning that there will be no atmosphere to support life.
- Density – low-density planets, it is possible to determine that they most likely have an atmosphere and are probably mostly composed of gases and ice.
- high density is more likely to be rocky and could potentially be composed of materials like graphite or diamond.
- Transit depth is the ratio of the surface area of the star’s disk blocked out by the planet’s disk.
Exoplanets can be detected using the following five methods:
- The radial-velocity method – 665 planets discovered
- The transit method – 2899 planets discovered
- Direct imaging – 44 planets discovered
- Gravitational microlensing – 53 planets discovered
- Astrometry – 1 planet discovered