Extremely accurate measurements of the position of β Pictoris from the Hipparcos and Gaia satellites allow the direct measurement of the mass of the imaged planet β Pic b.
This week about 500 astronomers met in Boston, MA for the 20th Cambridge Workshop on Cool stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun (Cool Stars) meeting.
Continuing on the thread from Friday’s post, I also attended the recent SPIE meeting. Here are my thoughts, as someone who is on the science side of the field, on the engineering and instrumentation conference.
Radio observations of the diffracted shadow cast by an asteroid can be used to nail down its location and determine its size and shape.
Statistical confirmation of long-period, low SNR candidates should be taken with a grain of salt. The reliability is too low to confirm individual systems without followup observations and the 99% confidence validation of Kepler-452b is likely closer to 90%.