College of Arts and Sciences
A transit occurs when a planet passes in front of its star as seen from Earth, which causes the amount of light we observe from the star to drop while the planet is crossing the face of the star. A secondary eclipse occurs when the planet passes behind the star, during which time the star blocks out light from the planet. Studying observations from NASA’s Kepler Mission of exoplanetary transits and eclipses allows us to study the variability of an eclipse from one transit to another. Variability in an eclipse could result from variations of atmospheric condensates or volcanic activity on the planet. The Kepler Science Team has provided a Python package called lightkurve. This package allows data from the Kepler, K2, and TESS missions to be easily analyzed and plotted. The lightkurve package can be used to plot the data for the exoplanets that we are targeting in our study. In this presentation, we discuss our work looking for variability in the eclipses of two short period planets: HAT-P-7b, a hot Jupiter orbiting an F8 star, and Kepler-10b, an Earth-size planet orbiting a G-type star.
Sandidge, Wesley; Kreyche, Steven; Briggs, Jennifer; and Jackson, Brian, "Analyzing Variability in Exoplanetary Eclipses" (2018). 2018 Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Conference. 127.