Analyzing Variability in Exoplanetary Eclipses

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2017

Faculty Sponsor

Brian Jackson


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, which is the light reflected and emitted from the planet as it orbits. This allows for 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 can provide 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. In this presentation, I discuss our work looking for variability in the eclipse of the short period planet, HAT-P-7b, a hot Jupiter orbiting a F8 star.

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