Seeing the wobble through the wiggles: Finding exoplanets buried deep in stellar noise
Stellar activity is one of the main limiting factors for exoplanet surveys using the transit and radial velocity (RV) methods. It induces variations in the light and RV curves that can completely overwhelm planetary signals, particularly for young planets orbiting active stars, and for potentially habitable, Earth-like planets. My group use data-driven methods, particularly Gaussian Processes, to model stellar activity and planetary signals simultaneously in order to disentangle the two. In my talk I will give a brief introduction to this approach and show how it is allowing us, for the first time, to measure masses for young hot Neptunes. I will also apply it to three years of observations of the Sun as a star and discuss the prospects for finding Earth-like planets with future, long-duration intensive RV surveys.
Host: Andrew Vanderburg