Publication Date

April 2016

Advisor(s)

Seth Redfield

Major

Astronomy

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

The high sensitivity and continuous coverage of Kepler allows for analysis of optical phase curves, which provide detailed exoplanet characterization by fitting photometric features caused by thermal emission, reflected light, Doppler boosting, and ellipsoidal variations. Combined with transit and secondary eclipse analysis to reduce model degeneracy, phase curves can resolve atmospheric characteristics, dayside-nightside temperatures, and even mass using single-band photometry. We will present an integrated phase curve, transit, and secondary eclipse analysis of Kepler exoplanet candidates, building on the phase curve model constructed by Serindag & Redfield (2015). We will discuss the feasibility of expanding our model to include exoplanetary wind effects. Phase curves can also be present in non-transiting systems, thus we will explore the feasibility of detecting and characterizing these non-transiting exoplanets. We will also investigate the possibility of analyzing exoplanet phase curves in K2 data.

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