2014: A bumper year for WASP planets

2014 is proving to be the WASP project’s most successful year yet for the publication of transiting exoplanets. With two months to go before the end of the year, there are already 17 new planets published in 2014 in refereed journals. 12 more planets have been announced on the arXiv preprint server, though many of those will likely appear with a 2015 publication date.

We are currently finding transiting exoplanets at a rate of about 30 a year (WASP-117 is the highest number published, though we have currently got as far as WASP-134). This results from improvements in data quality owing to adding multiple years of observation. Further, the combination of WASP-South with the TRAPPIST photometer and the Euler/CORALIE spectrograph is proving to be a highly effective team. The process involves a lot of telescope time and hard work — only 1 in 10 of candidates followed up proves to be a planet — but the reward is the strong worldwide interest in studying WASP planets.