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IEEE Spectrum recently ran a piece on detecting exoplanets: DIY Exoplanet Detector - You don’t need a high-powered telescope to spot the signature of an alien world Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR. With old manual-focus lenses now useless to most photographers, I was able to acquire a 300-millimeter Nikon telephoto lens... An Arduino-controlled star ...


If you stick to observing "hot Jupiters", then this is very much in reach of "amateur" technology. I would agree that a 10-inch+ telescope is probably needed, along with a cooled CCD. Hot Jupiters (giant planets orbiting close to their parent stars) produce transit signals of about 0.01-0.02 mag amplitude. The transits last of order a couple of hours, ...

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