Welcome to the course webpage for GEO 180: Exoplanetary Science - Detection Techniques.

Class Announcements:

2019-02-05: This radial velocity simulator is useful for visualizing the orbits we discussed in class. Note that the "longitude" shown on this page appears to be related to periastron argument by ω = 90° - longitude.

2019-01-31: There are several programs available online for solving Kepler's equation, including this one written in MATLAB.

2019-01-15: Class announcements will appear here periodically.

Contact details:

  • Instructor: Stephen Kane
  • Office: Pierce Hall 2360
  • Office hours: Wednesdays, 1:00pm-3:00pm
  • Phone: 951-827-6593
  • Email: skane@ucr.edu

Download the class syllabus here.

Class times:

  • Tuesday, 9:40am-11:00am Geology 1444
  • Thursday, 9:40am-11:00am Geology 1444


  • "The Exoplanet Handbook", 2nd edition by Michael Perryman
  • I also recommend "Exoplanets" edited by Sara Seager

Important Dates:

  • February 7: Literature Review topic due
  • March 7: Literature Review due
  • March 12: Summary class
  • March 14: FINAL EXAM 10:00am-11:30am in class

Useful Links:



  • Homework (40%): There will be four homeworks during the semester. Most problems will require analytic solutions, however there will usually be one problem per assignment that will involve graphing and numerical solution with computer software such as Mathematica, MATLAB, or any programming language.
  • Literature Review (30%): Students will be required to write a 4-page critique of a published paper. The chosen paper must be exoplanet-related and published in a refereed journal. The critique must include a summary of the paper, why the paper was chosen, and discuss aspects such as key results, their significance, and original ideas on future work. There are several places to find exoplanet papers, such as the NASA Astrophysics Data System. The easiest method may be to use the astro-ph.EP category of the preprint archive.
  • Final Exam (30%): The final exam will test on all material covered during the quarter and will be held during the final class. Please arrive on time. If you arrive after someone else has finished the exam, you may not take that exam.

Final Grades:

  • A = 90% to 100%
  • B = 77% to 89%
  • C = 65% to 76%
  • D = 50% to 64%
  • F = below 50%