How rare are Earths and how common are Jupiters? (speaker: David Hogg, NYU)

Tuesday, October 10, 4:00pm
Marlar Lounge 37-252

The NASA Kepler and K2 missions have increased vastly the number of planets known around other stars. I will describe how we have found some of the hardest-to-find planets (those with small radii, like Earth, or those with long periods, like Jupiter) in these data sets. It involves noise modeling and linear algebra. I will also discuss how it is possible to make inferences about the full population of planets in the Galaxy, given the noisy measurement and uncertain detection of every important known system. It involves building statistical models with hierarchical structure. The questions in the title are not conclusively answered yet: Earths and Jupiters both appear common, but there certainly are some respects in which our Solar System appears unusual. I discuss the prospects and possible show-stoppers in the next generations of data, and concentrate on methodologies that will be critical in the era of TESS.

Host: Deepto Chakrabarty