5. Planetary Transits

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Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160)

Professor Bailyn talks about student responses for a paper assignment on the controversy over Pluto. The central question is whether the popular debate is indeed a "scientific controversy." A number of scientific "fables" are discussed and a moral is associated with each: the demotion of Pluto (moral: science can be affected by culture); the discovery of 51 Peg b (morals: expect the unexpected, and look at your data); the disproof of pulsation as explanation for the Velocity Curves (moral: sometimes science works like science).

00:00 - Chapter 1. A Case for Pluto? Interactions between Culture and Science
08:53 - Chapter 2. Velocity and Center of Mass
24:23 - Chapter 3. Observations of Hot Jupiters and the Selection Effect
31:55 - Chapter 4. Hot Jupiters - Double or Pulsating Stars?
39:49 - Chapter 5. Measuring Doppler Shifts to Understand Hot Jupiters

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2007.