Analyzing Variability in Exoplanetary Eclipses
Transits occur when a planet passes in front of its host star and blocks out a portion of the star’s light. The availability of transit data from NASA’s Kepler mission provides information on planetary phase curves—the light reflected and emitted from the planet—which allows further study of the dynamical processes of a planet. A more recent area of study that arose from transit observations is exoplanetary eclipses, which occur when the planet passes behind its host star, causing the reflected and emitted light from the planet to be blocked out by the star. Analyzing the variability of planetary eclipses provides additional information on how the atmosphere or surface of the planet varies from one orbit to the next. An understanding of what causes the variability of eclipse depths can provide insight on the structure and meteorology of the planet, such as changes in cloud coverage or the possibility of volcanic activity. In this presentation, we will discuss the variability in the eclipses of two short period planets: HAT-P-7b, a hot Jupiter orbiting a F8 star; and Kepler-10b, an Earth-like planet orbiting a G type star.
Briggs, Jennifer; Kreyche, Steven; and Davis, Karan, "Analyzing Variability in Exoplanetary Eclipses" (2016). 2016 Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Conference. Paper 101.