Excellent news! I’ve written before about SuperWASP’s planet search, and I’m pleased to say that they’ve just announced their second round of successes. Three new planets are announced today, detected by the small dip in their parent stars’ brightness as the planet passes in front of it. WASP-3 was discovered by the first set of cameras, on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, but WASP-4 and WASP-5 are the first discoveries from the new station in South Africa. These are fairly typical ‘hot Jupiters’, large planets extremely close to their parent stars. As I’ve said before, WASP is based on a brilliantly simple idea and is an extremely ambitious, but low budget, project and I’m really happy it’s continuing to get new results.
I think that’s what they were trying to say in their press release, here. Unfortunately, an early version claimed that The WASP project is the most ambiguous project in the world designed to discover large planets. I blame the spell checker, but whether ambitious or ambiguous, or both, let’s hope there are lots more WASPy planets to come.