On the night of October 18/19, 2017 Dr. Jeff Robertson of Arkansas Tech University, and a member of the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society, used the River Ridge Observatory Robotic Research Telescope (RRORRT) to observe a transit of an exoplanet 456 light years away.
WASP-52 is a dwarf star about 83% the mass of the Sun in the constellation of Pegasus. In 2011, a planet was observed passing in front of the star. This planet, designated WASP-52 b, is a so-called “hot Jupiter” due to its size and proximity to its star. Dr. Robertson pointed the 12” RRORRT at WASP-52 during a predicted transit and was able to take measurements of the light that reached it over the course of the event.
To summarize, using a commercially available off the shelf telescope and camera within reach of many amateur astronomers, a computer and free software, Dr. Robertson has demonstrated just how much a skilled observer can accomplish even in Arkansas.
For more information about the RRORRT, drop us a line.