Event Title

Estimating the Number of Earth-Sized Habitable Planets in our Galaxy

Advisor(s)

Dr. Eric Hawker; Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Discipline

Earth and Space Sciences

Start Date

21-4-2021 10:25 AM

End Date

21-4-2021 10:40 AM

Abstract

NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets orbiting sun-like stars, and while the number of these planets detected by Kepler is already known, the efficiency and accuracy of the telescope’s instruments are not extremely clear or precise. Using planetary transits accessed from Kepler lightcurve data, one can apply machine-learning methods for detecting transits and then run simulated transits through the model to find planets that failed to be spotted previously. Here, we utilize the Box Least Squares Method (BLS) alongside the Transit Least Squares Method (TLS) to search for transit-like features while taking into account features such as stellar limb darkening, orbital radii, transit depths, and planetary ingress and egress. Once the transits are detected, we can then calculate the efficiency of the telescope using the simulated transits, and this probability can be used in proportion to the number of Earth-sized habitable exoplanets in the Milky Way Galaxy.

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Apr 21st, 10:25 AM Apr 21st, 10:40 AM

Estimating the Number of Earth-Sized Habitable Planets in our Galaxy

NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets orbiting sun-like stars, and while the number of these planets detected by Kepler is already known, the efficiency and accuracy of the telescope’s instruments are not extremely clear or precise. Using planetary transits accessed from Kepler lightcurve data, one can apply machine-learning methods for detecting transits and then run simulated transits through the model to find planets that failed to be spotted previously. Here, we utilize the Box Least Squares Method (BLS) alongside the Transit Least Squares Method (TLS) to search for transit-like features while taking into account features such as stellar limb darkening, orbital radii, transit depths, and planetary ingress and egress. Once the transits are detected, we can then calculate the efficiency of the telescope using the simulated transits, and this probability can be used in proportion to the number of Earth-sized habitable exoplanets in the Milky Way Galaxy.