Radial Velocity Curves
Because the data astronomers analyze never look as clear and unambiguous as that gif, we use plots. Oh! How vast in number the plots we Make! Radial velocity plots, such as the one below, give evidence when stellar wobble due to a planet occurs.
|Radial velocity curve for the star 51 Pegasi. The points indicate the measurements obtain by a telescope and spectrograph. The line indicates the fitting done on the data points that best represents the continuous trend that the star may be following. As implied, the star's velocity toward the observer (Earthlings) can reach up to 50 meters per second. When going away from the observer, the speed can be up to 70 m/s.|