In the search for extra-solar planets, indirect methods have been used to detect the more than 100 planets discovered thus far. Of the indirect methods, the use of transits is rapidly developing into a strong and viable means to detect extra-solar planets. A transit occurs when the apparent brightness of a star decreases temporarily due to an orbiting planet passing between the observer and the stellar disk, leaving a photometric signature of the planet in the lightcurve of the parent star.

The Wide Angle Search for Planets instrument (WASP0) is a cheap prototype whose primary aim is to detect transiting extra-solar planets. The WASP0 instrument is a wide-field (9-degree) 6.3cm aperture F/2.8 Nikon camera lens, Apogee 10 CCD detector (2Kx2K chip, 16-arcsec pixels) which was built by Don Pollacco at Queen's University, Belfast. WASP0 has had two successful observing runs at two separate sites. Shown at left is the camera mounted piggy-back on a commercial 8-inch Celestron telescope during its observing run at La Palma, Canary Islands from 20th June until 20th August, 2000. It was most recently mounted on a 10-inch Meade at Kryoneri, Greece between October, 2001 and May, 2002.