Transiting Planet Resources in the Exoplanet Archive

This page describes the resources available in the Exoplanet Archive for planets discovered using the transit technique.

Technique Overview

The transit method of discovery relies on the fact that, if a planetary system is aligned in a certain way with respect to the Earth, the planets will pass between the Earth and the host star, periodically blocking some of the starlight. By monitoring the brightness of the host star, these transit events can be observed, and used to measure the properties of the planets in the system. More explanation can be found here.

In addition, variations in the times that the transits are observed from strict periodicity (or times of eclipses in a stellar binary system) can be used to infer the presence of additional planets in the system tugging on the transiting planet. Finally, additional modulations in the stellar light curve due to the planet (Doppler beaming, ellipsoidal variations and reflection modulations) can also be used to confirm its presence.

Data Tables

Transiting Planets Table: This table provides a simpler interface for accessing all of the transit-specific observables that are currently in the Exoplanet Archive. This table contains a a subset of data that are also in the Planetary Systems and Planetary Systems Composite Data tables. Transit table data may also be retrieved by query through the archive's Table Access Protocol (TAP) service.

Planetary Systems Table: Planets discovered via the transit method that meet the archive's exoplanet criteria are included in the Planetary Systems Table.

  • You can filter the Discovery Method column by entering different text in the filter box:
    • To see only the planets discovered by the transit method, enter Transit.
    • To see the planets discovered via the transit timing variations of another planet in the system (which do not themselves transit), enter Transit Timing Variations.
    • To see the planets discovered via eclipse timing variations in a stellar binary, enter Eclipse Timing Variations.
    • To see the planets discovered by additional light curve modulations, enter Orbital Brightness Modulation.

  • Some planets are found to transit after being discovered by alternate methods (e.g. the radial velocity method). To see all planets that transit:
    1. Click the Select Columns button in the upper-left corner and scroll to Detections.
    2. Check Detected by Transits.
    3. Click Update and close the pop-up box.
    4. Scroll to the Detected by Transits column and enter 1 in the filter box to recover the full list of transiting planets.

  • To see the transiting planets that show transit timing variations, scroll to the Data show Transit Timing Variation column and enter 1 in the filter box.
The available parameters in the Planetary Systems Table are determined by what is published in the discovery and follow-up papers. For transiting planets, these are usually the planet transit and orbit properties, typically including, at minimum, the period and radius of the planet and the stellar properties, typically including, at minimum, the radius and magnitude of the star.

Transit Survey Data

The archive hosts light curves for the following projects:

These light curves can all be viewed with our plotting tools via links directly from each target, or called by our Periodogram service. These are available as a set from the Bulk Download page.

Contributed Data

The Exoplanet Archive serves 540 light curves for stars currently known to host exoplanets. These light curves of exoplanet transits were obtained by amateur astronomers from around the world and collected by B. Gary of the Amateur Exoplanet Archive. These are available as a set from the Bulk Download page.

Available Tools for Transiting Planets

Periodogram: This service allows users to extract periodic signals from light curves hosted by the Exoplanet Archive, or uploaded by the user. There are currently three algorithms that are supported by the Periodogram service: Lomb-Scargle, Box-fitting Least Squares (BLS) and Plavchan. The light curve can then be viewed, phased at the detected periodic signals.

Transit and Ephemeris Predictor Service: This service is a planning tool for astronomers who want to know when scientific events, such as transits and orbital phase quadrature, will be happening, and when and where they can be observed. Ephemerides are provided by the Exoplanet Archive, or custom values can be supplied by the user. Ground-based and space-based observatory locations are supported.

Transmission Spectroscopy: The Exoplanet Archive is populating and maintaining a table of atmospheric data that includes transmission spectra that have been obtained for a large number of transiting planets. The spectra can be interactively plotted and downloaded.

Additional Links

Last updated 31 October 2023