Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Seth Redfield

Major

Astronomy

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

For the past two decades, two techniques have dominated exoplanet studies: the radial velocity method and the transit method. The precision of the Kepler Space Telescope has recently allowed the development of another method for characterizing exoplanets: phase curve analysis. As an exoplanet orbits its host star, the light curve of the system experiences small-scale variations, which can be used to characterize the mass and size of the exoplanet, as well as basic atmospheric properties, such as its reflectivity and temperature. This thesis details the development and results of an algorithm that characterizes the phase curves of exoplanets in the optical using Kepler light curves.

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