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Title: Synergies of Ground and Space Based Transit Surveys
Authors: Huang, Xu
Advisors: Gaspar, Bakos
Contributors: Astrophysical Sciences Department
Keywords: exoplanet
hot jupiter
Kepler Mission
transit technique
Subjects: Astrophysics
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This thesis explores techniques to discover and characterize transiting extrasolar planets, i.e. planets orbiting other stars that periodically cross in front of their host star as viewed from the Earth. I concentrate on the synergy between space and ground based wide field transit surveys. The Kepler Space Mission has discovered ~4000 planetary candidates in the past four years. I first present an independent transit search of the preliminary public Kepler data, using a custom modified version of the HATNet project's planet detection pipeline, resulting in the discovery of an additional 150 new planetary candidates. The Kepler "K2" mission introduced more challenges in achieving ultra high precision photometry. I describe an independent K2 software pipeline, which provides high quality K2 light curve for public use. I then report the discovery of HAT-P-56b, a hot-Jupiter discovered by the HATNet survey, with photometric confirmation from K2, and ground-based radial velocity confirmation. I also use simultaneous space based observations to train and calibrate the candidate selection process from ground based transit surveys, improving the yield of planet candidates. Finally, this thesis presents detailed modeling of transit light curves to characterize the properties of giant planets, including their oblateness, and their orbital alignment with the stellar equator.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Astrophysical Sciences

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