Title

Determining the Exoplanet Detection Capabilities via the Transit Method of the CWU 0.6-m Telescope

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

16-5-2021

End Date

22-5-2021

Keywords

Astronomy, Exoplanets, Detection

Abstract

With the growth of astrophysics research surrounding extrasolar planets, determining the detection capabilities of the Central Washington University Discovery Hall Observatory’s 0.6-m Telescope will grant students a greater understanding of the research opportunities at CWU for this field. Utilizing the following stellar systems with confirmed extra-solar planets: HAT-P-18, HAT-P-32, and Kepler-20, images of these systems and their associated star field were captured. Stellar magnitudes of each of the three parent stars in this study were measured over 11 nights from 1 October 2020 through 12 March 2021. The resulting light curves are consistent with the transit depth and transit length associated with the exoplanets HAT-P-32b and Kepler-20c indicating possible detection of these exoplanets. The next steps of this project are the detailed analysis and utilization of that analysis to determine a theoretical limit for how small an extrasolar planet can be before it’s undetectable by the 0.6m telescope.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Cassandra Fallscheer

Department/Program

Physics

Share

COinS
 
May 16th, 12:00 PM May 22nd, 12:00 PM

Determining the Exoplanet Detection Capabilities via the Transit Method of the CWU 0.6-m Telescope

Ellensburg

With the growth of astrophysics research surrounding extrasolar planets, determining the detection capabilities of the Central Washington University Discovery Hall Observatory’s 0.6-m Telescope will grant students a greater understanding of the research opportunities at CWU for this field. Utilizing the following stellar systems with confirmed extra-solar planets: HAT-P-18, HAT-P-32, and Kepler-20, images of these systems and their associated star field were captured. Stellar magnitudes of each of the three parent stars in this study were measured over 11 nights from 1 October 2020 through 12 March 2021. The resulting light curves are consistent with the transit depth and transit length associated with the exoplanets HAT-P-32b and Kepler-20c indicating possible detection of these exoplanets. The next steps of this project are the detailed analysis and utilization of that analysis to determine a theoretical limit for how small an extrasolar planet can be before it’s undetectable by the 0.6m telescope.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2021/COTS/73