Physics & Astronomy Colloquium - Joseph Rodriguez, Harvard University

Dartmouth Events

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium - Joseph Rodriguez, Harvard University

Title: "Transiting Planets and Eclipsing Disks as a Guide for Planet Formation"

Monday, February 5, 2018
2:30pm-3:30pm
Wilder 104
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Abstract:  The success of ground-based transit and RV surveys, and the Kepler/K2 mission, has shifted the exoplanet field from pure discovery to a combination of discovery, demographic analysis, and detailed characterization, especially for exoplanet atmospheres. Unfortunately, most known transiting exoplanet hosts are too faint to permit atmospheric characterization. We are using the K2 mission and ground-based transit surveys like the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) project to meet that need while addressing specific questions about planet formation and evolution.  From K2, we have discovered small planets around bright stars that allow us to understand whether small planets migrate or form in situ, and better understand the transition from dense rocky planets to those with thick gaseous envelopes. Meanwhile, with KELT, we are discovering giant planets around the hottest and most massive stars yet which allow us to study planets at high levels of stellar irradiation and around stars of different masses.  We are studying the birthplaces of planets by searching for occultations of newly formed stars by their protoplanetary disks with our Disk Eclipse Search with KELT (DESK) survey. These rare systems provide insight into the conditions required for planet formation. The survey has already significantly increased the known sample of these rare systems, including the discovery of the longest-period eclipsing object known (~69 years). I will describe our results and discuss how we will search for these kinds of objects in future surveys such as LSST and TESS.

For more information, contact:
Tressena Manning
603-646-2854

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.