From Yale: “A cosmic barbecue: Researchers spot 60 new ‘hot Jupiter’ candidates”

Yale University bloc

Yale University

July 6, 2017

Jim Shelton
james.shelton@yale.edu
203-361-8332

1

Yale researchers have identified 60 potential new “hot Jupiters” — highly irradiated worlds that glow like coals on a barbecue grill and are found orbiting only 1% of Sun-like stars.

Hot Jupiters constitute a class of gas giant planets located so close to their parent stars that they take less than a week to complete an orbit.

Second-year Ph.D. student Sarah Millholland and astronomy professor Greg Laughlin identified the planet candidates via a novel application of big data techniques. They used a supervised machine learning algorithm — a sophisticated program that can be trained to recognize patterns in data and make predictions — to detect the tiny amplitude variations in observed light that result as an orbiting planet reflects rays of light from its host star.

Millholland recently presented the research at a Kepler Science Conference at the NASA Ames Research Center in California. She and Laughlin are authors of a study about the research, which has been accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal.

The Yale technique pioneers a new discovery method that identifies more planets from the publicly available Kepler data, said the researchers.

The Doppler velocity method is a well-established technique that enables the detection of wobbling motion in a star due to the gravitational influence of an orbiting planet. Since hot Jupiters are so massive and close to their stars, the stellar wobbles they induce are large and readily detectable.

A new, Yale-designed instrument known as EXPRES, which is being installed on the Discovery Channel Telescope in Arizona, may attempt to make confirmations later this year.

3
NSF funded Extreme Precision Spectrograph, EXPRES. The spectrograph will be commissioned at the Discovery Channel Telescope, part of the Lowell Observatory, near Flagstaff, Arizona

Discovery Channel Telescope at Lowell Observatory, Happy Jack AZ, USA

See the full article here .

Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

STEM Icon

Stem Education Coalition

Yale University Campus

Yale University comprises three major academic components: Yale College (the undergraduate program), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the professional schools. In addition, Yale encompasses a wide array of centers and programs, libraries, museums, and administrative support offices. Approximately 11,250 students attend Yale.

Advertisements