Observe a planet outside our Solar System!
On the evening of February 13th, the exoplanet XO-3b will transit its parent star, and if you have access to a (large) amateur telescope, you can observe this event too!
The National Institute for Astrophysics, Astronomical Observatories
of Brera and Palermo Italy plan to collect light curve data acquired on Feb 13 by as many observers as possible, and to perform an accurate analysis of them. You can find more information about this event by watching this short video on You Tube.
XO-3b is an exoplanet with about 12 times the mass of Jupiter, and an orbit around its parent star in about 3 days. The radius of this object is 20% larger that of Jupiter. More about this exoplanet in wikipedia.
To learn more about exoplanet detection, try the exercise on the European Hands-On Universe website here: EU-HOU exercise.
For those users of the 2m Faulkes Telescopes, in April you can use the FTs to join the search for extra-solar planets! Click here for more information on how you can help detect a new world in the Galaxy!