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The Exoplanet Handbook

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  • Author: Michael Perryman, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg and University of Bristol
  • Date Published: June 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521765596

$ 98.00 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Exoplanet research is one of the most explosive subjects in astronomy today. More than 500 exoplanets are now known, and groups world-wide are actively involved in a broad range of observational and theoretical efforts. This book ties together these many avenues of investigation – from the perspectives of observation, technology and theory – to give a comprehensive, up-to-date review of the entire field. All areas of exoplanet investigation are covered, making it a unique and valuable guide for researchers in astronomy and planetary science, including those new to the field. It treats the many different techniques now available for exoplanet detection and characterization, the broad range of underlying physics, the overlap with related topics in solar system and Earth sciences, and the concepts underpinning future developments. It emphasizes the interconnection between the various fields and provides extensive references to more in-depth treatments and reviews. Figures from the book are available at:

    • Reviews, explains and interlinks the entire field, providing a comprehensive entry to the subject for existing or new researchers
    • Covers multiple areas of importance to exoplanet research to introduce researchers to topics outside their knowledge base
    • Extensive references provide rapid and convenient access to the enormous associated literature
    Read more


    • Winner of the 2011 PROSE Award in Cosmology and Astronomy

    Reviews & endorsements

    "The Exoplanet Handbook by Michael Perryman is an exhaustive reference for the techniques, facts, and theory of exoplanet science. Poised as it is at the close of the first decade of the new millennium to assume a major role in astronomy's future, exoplanets research has now acquired its encyclopaedist. An excellent and objective resource for novice and expert alike, this compendium is destined for the libraries of all serious students of the art." - Adam Burrows, Professor of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University

    "Perryman's book is truly a major achievement: it is an astonishingly complete overview of everything we know about exoplanets. Impressively, he covers not only the basic foundational concepts, but also summarizes in detail the observational techniques and challenges, and reviews both current knowledge and past progress. The Exoplanet Handbook will serve as the seminal reference in this field for many years. I would (and will) strongly encourage any graduate students interested in doing serious research in exoplanets to buy a copy of this book." - B. Scott Gaudi, The Ohio State University

    "Michael Perryman's new book provides not only a thorough discussion of what we have learned about extrasolar planets since the first discoveries over 15 years ago, but also a clear and comprehensive review of the wide range of observational and theoretical techniques that have been employed to find and characterize them. This volume is a must-have for serious researchers in the field, and will be an invaluable reference for many years to come." - I. Neill Reid, Space Telescope Science Institute

    "This Handbook is a true encyclopedic reference on exoplanets. Perryman's new book is a comprehensive review on major programs and results obtained in the last decade in this exciting new domain of astrophysics and as such it is a priceless resource for experts. The detailed descriptions of the foundations of the main observations techniques and key theoretical aspects make it a perfect book for any student wishing to have a comprehensive introduction to exoplanet research. This volume is likely to become an important reference in the field." - Didier Queloz, Geneva Observatory

    "The Exoplanet Handbook by Michael Perryman is impressive; the content is of high level and very accurate. He has succeeded in providing an exhaustive and up-to-date review of this mature and rich field. The Handbook will surely help Ph.D. students and professional astronomers who want to learn about this field. It will even be useful to experts who want to check details on some specific aspects, either about exoplanets themselves, detection methods, or instrumentation." - Jean Schneider, CNRS/LUTH - Paris Observatory

    "Michael Perryman has produced a remarkably detailed compilation of results covering observation, technology, and theory." - The Star Formation Newsletter, February 2012

    " encyclopedia of extraterrestrial worlds, is a worthy successor to Buffon’s work. Its author, Michael Perryman.. has written an excellent, startlingly complete snapshot of the current state of knowledge regarding extrasolar planets... Like any good encyclopedia, The Exoplanet Handbook has as its major strength its reference list, which cites more than 4000 papers. The list provides a near-complete snapshot of all the research that has taken place in the field in the past two decades. Furthermore, the references are deftly integrated into the text, which makes this volume an excellent point of departure for any researcher seeking to chart a new course of exoplanetary investigation." - Gregory Laughlin, Physics Today September 2012

    “If I were allowed access to only one book on the subject of extra-solar planets, Michael Perryman’s Exoplanet Handbook is a contender that would be very hard to beat. The book documents the whirlwind development of this newly-emergent and energetic new field of science. . . It is also a compendium of essential physical concepts, useful formulae and computational strategies for analysis of the various types of astronomical data used to discover and characterise exoplanets.” - Andrew Collier Cameron, University of St Andrews

    “This remarkable compilation brings together observations and theoretical explorations of a rapidly growing astronomical field. Literally every possible observational method is explained and recent results given. . . While the number of known exoplanets changes weekly, the methods through which we discover and characterise these do not. Highly recommended.” - George F. Benedict, University of Texas, Austin

    “When my students would ask for an appropriate textbook that covered all of the course material my reply had always been “there are none”. That is until The Exoplanet Handbook. . . Perryman’s book compiles all the pertinent and current knowledge in exoplanets in one place. . . This is a comprehensive and well-written textbook that beautifully covers all aspects of the dynamic field of exoplanets.” - Artie Hatzes, University of Jena

    “The Exoplanet Handbook provides a very valuable integration of all aspects of the fascinating and interdisciplinary world of exoplanet science. It combines in a coherent context the presentation of the observational techniques, covering recent highlights and future prospects, with the description of the vast range of intertwining phenomena and processes that shape the paths of planet formation, evolution and structure. . . The book shows an impressive command of a wide variety of topics. It is an encyclopedic mine of information. . . The Handbook is an invaluable resource for professional planetary scientists and academic teachers, for both practicing astronomers and motivated amateurs, and for advanced undergraduates and graduates students venturing into the exciting, fast-moving, world of exoplanet science.” - Vittorio Vanzani, Padua University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521765596
    • length: 424 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 188 x 25 mm
    • weight: 1.04kg
    • contains: 223 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Radial velocities
    3. Astrometry
    4. Timing
    5. Microlensing
    6. Transits
    7. Imaging
    8. Host stars
    9. Brown dwarfs and free-floating planets
    10. Formation and evolution
    11. Interiors and atmospheres
    12. The Solar System

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    The Exoplanet Handbook

    Michael Perryman

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  • Author

    Michael Perryman, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg and University of Bristol
    Michael Perryman spent 2010 as a Distinguished Visitor at the University of Heidelberg and at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg. During an extensive career with the European Space Agency, he was the scientific leader of the Hipparcos space astrometry mission, a project which has provided a unique observational foundation for many aspects of exoplanet studies. He was Professor of Astronomy at Leiden University, The Netherlands, between 1993 and 2009. He chaired the influential European Space Agency-European Southern Observatory (ESA-ESO) working group on extra-solar planets in 2005, and has served on various national working groups and strategy panels for the future development of exoplanet research.


    • Winner of the 2011 PROSE Award in Cosmology and Astronomy

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