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Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies Seminar Series Information


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Dancing Stars, Hidden Worlds: The Search for Circumbinary Planets with TESS

Thursday October 26, 2023
2:00 pm

 Presenter:  Dominic Oddo, UNM
 Series:  Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies Seminar Series
 Abstract:  Circumbinary planets (CBPs; planets orbiting outside of both stars in a tight stellar binary) represent one of the most exciting frontiers in exoplanet research. While they are some of the most difficult planets to find, CBP discoveries yield deeper troves of orbital and physical properties relative to discoveries of planets around single stars. This in turn provides rich insights into the history of each system, making the discovery of each planet important. Despite this, with only a small sample of 14 transiting CBPs so far, we cannot yet tell a complete story about some of the most interesting planets in the galaxy. There are many mysteries regarding CBP formation and evolution which are yet to be addressed, including reliably explaining how CBPs form. By finding more CBPs, we will learn more about the limits of planet formation and the extremes of planetary system architectures. We are searching for transiting CBPs in the light curves of many eclipsing binaries (EBs) observed by the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. We describe here our search methods, including the masking of EB signatures and the identification of transit events. We further discuss candidate CBP detections to date and future steps towards validating these candidates.
 Host:  Ylva Pihlström
 Location:  PAIS-3205, PAIS

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