STRW local: Colloquia


Hunting for Exomoons and Other Cool Worlds

Date: 08-03-2018
Time: 16:00 h
Author: David Kipping

Despite thousands of exoplanets now known, the detection of moons around these objects has proven elusive. Exomoons may be habitable worlds in their own right and affect the habitability and history of the planets they orbit. Whilst their detection requires pushing modern in- struments to their limits, these objects hold a great potential to revolutionize our understanding of other planetary systems. I will present the methods and results from the Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler (HEK) project, which remains the only systematic survey for these objects. Iíll discuss new results where we have stacked thousands of light curves to measure the occurrence rate of exomoons, down to Galilean-sizes, as well as an interesting candidate object uncovered from our work. From exomoons to other cool worlds, I will also introduce my group at Columbia, highlighting some of the exciting research from by graduate students, including hierarchical modeling, precise albedo measurements and novel methods to infer exotopography.