Fall 2014

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Recent arXiv papers:

WASP-94 A and B planets: hot-Jupiter cousins in a twin-star system - Neveu-VanMalle et al.

Short dissipation times of proto-planetary discs - an artifact of selection effects? - Pfalzner et al.


Kevin Stevenson and Laura Kreidberg on recent full-phase-curve observations:

Paper 1. Paper 2, Paper 3


Jonathan Fortney

Geosci colloquium: "Towards Understanding the Composition of Exoplanets"


Recent papers:

Dan's ARAA review paper

Dawson & Chiang

Nick Cowan's planetary perspective on exoplanet science


Dong Lai (Cornell)

[also giving the 10/29 Astro colloquium]

Star-Disk-Binary Interaction, Lidov-Kozai-Spin Chaos, and Formation of Misaligned Hot Jupiters

I will discuss the possibility of primordial misalignment in protoplanetary disks, chaotic spin evolution during Lidov-Kozai cycles, and high-eccetricty migration, all in connection with the observations and formation of hot Jupiter systems.


(1) Lai 2014 MNRAS: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2014MNRAS.440.3532L

(2) Storch, Anderson and Lai 2014 Science: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6202/1317.abstract

11/7, Friday 1:30 pm, LASR conference room

Fabienne Bastien (Sagan Fellow, Penn State)

Enhancing Exoplanet Discovery and Characterization through Stellar Photometric “Flicker”

As a result of the high precision and cadence of surveys like MOST, CoRoT, and Kepler, we may now directly observe the very low-level light variations arising from stellar granulation in cool stars. In this talk, we discuss how this enables us to more accurately determine the physical properties of Sun-like stars, to understand the nature of surface convection and its connection to activity, and to better determine the properties of planets around cool stars. Indeed, such sensitive photometric "flicker" variations are now within reach for thousands of stars, and we estimate that upcoming missions like TESS will enable such measurements for ~100 000 stars. We present recent results that tie “flicker” to granulation and enable a simple measurement of stellar surface gravity with a precision of 0.1 dex. We use this, together and solely with two other simple ways of characterizing the stellar photometric variations in a high quality light curve, to construct an evolutionary diagram for Sun-like stars from the Main Sequence on towards the red giant branch. We discuss further work that correlates “flicker” with stellar density, allowing the application of astrodensity profiling techniques used in exoplanet characterization to many more stars. We also present results suggesting that the granulation of F stars must be magnetically suppressed in order to fit observations. Finally, we show that we may quantitatively predict a star's RV jitter using our evolutionary diagram, permitting the use of discovery light curves to help prioritize follow-up observations of transiting exoplanets.


Recent results:

HL Tau imaging from ALMA

Jun Yang & Dorian Abbott on their latest paper: Water Trapping on Tidally Locked Terrestrial Planets Requires Special Conditions.


Philae's landing on Comet 67P

The MINERVA project for automated RV planet-finding

Prospects for transit observations with JWST


Recent arXiv papers


Recent papers:

Luger & Barnes - extreme water loss on planets around M dwarfs

de Mooij et al. - ground-based transit observations of 55 Cnc e

Chavez et al. - Kepler circumbinary planet stability

Batygin et al. - Chaotic disintegration of the inner solar system

Kipping et al. - Kepler's exo-moons (or the lack thereof)

Deming et al. - Spitzer secondary eclipse observations & instrumental systematics