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Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies Seminar Series Information

 

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Searching for the coldest planets orbiting low-mass stars

Thursday April 15, 2021
2:00 pm


 Presenter:  Mallory Harris (UNM)
 Series:  Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies Seminar Series
 Abstract:  The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is optimized to search small, M dwarf stars in the solar neighborhood for transiting extrasolar planets, providing new opportunities to study planets orbiting low-mass stars. In my work, I seek to take advantage of the opportunities that TESS presents to conduct a survey of the coldest planets orbiting low-mass stars to constrain their occurrence rates and find targets for future mass and atmospheric characterization. To identify these planets in the TESS (and potentially K2) light curves, I have designed a pipeline capable of detecting both single- and multi-transiting long-period planets. Based on a simulated planet catalog (Barclay et al., 2018), I anticipate 27 single-transiting and 32 multi-transiting M dwarf planets with P > 20 days from the TESS primary mission. As nearly half of these long-period planets will be detected as single-transit events, I look to the TESS extended mission to recover second transits for many of these targets which will then increase the potential to find their true periods through ground-based follow-up. As the planet candidates found in this study exist in a hitherto under-explored region of parameter space, their demographics, locations, and composition could contribute to theories of planet formation and migration around low-mass stars. I will present preliminary results of this search for the first few sectors of the TESS mission
 Host:  Diana Dragomir
 Location:  Zoom

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