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Exoplanet Seminar



Measuring Mass of Wide Orbit Low Mass Exoplanets
Aparna Bhattacharya (GSFC)

ABSTRACT: Microlensing is unique in its sensitivity to cold low mass wide orbit planets. But one of the biggest challenges of current ground based microlensing is that the ground based light curve data fails most of the times to provide us with the physical masses of the planet and the host star. We can measure the mass of these planets and their host stars through several different methods: microlensing parallax and the lens detection from the high resolution images are the two most important methods among them. I will give a brief introduction of each technique and then focus on developing the method of characterization of these planets and their host stars using follow up observations with HST and Keck. I will also demonstrate the technique and how to overcome its challenges due to contamination from the companions and nearby unrelated stars with multiple examples. We have used HST and Keck optical and infrared high resolution images to develop the microlensing exoplanet mass measurement method which will be a primary method of exoplanet mass measurement in WFIRST era. This will help to characterize the cold low mass wide orbit exoplanets and complete the exoplanet census - a mission started by Kepler.

Date November 28, 2017
Start/End Time 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Location B34, W120A
Event Type Seminars/Colloquia
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