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Algorithms, Statistics, and Software for Exoplanet Detection and Characterization
Add to Calendar 2022-01-28T18:15:00 2022-01-28T19:15:00 UTC Algorithms, Statistics, and Software for Exoplanet Detection and Characterization
Start DateFri, Jan 28, 2022
1:15 PM
End DateFri, Jan 28, 2022
2:15 PM
Presented By
Rodrigo Luger (Flatiron Institute)
Event Series: Astronomy Special Seminar

Title:  Algorithms, Statistics, and Software for Exoplanet Detection and Characterization

Abstract:  Commensurate with advances in instrumentation is often an increase in the difficulty of the questions we ask of our data. In fact, the answer to many of the most important questions about exoplanets still lie at the very limits of detectability. Be it the analysis of transit transmission spectra of terrestrial exoplanets or the search for Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars, the signals we are interested in are often dwarfed by systematics due to the detector, the Earth's atmosphere, or the host star. Teasing out the signals of interest requires the development of statistically robust methodology, consisting of not only accurate models of the exoplanetary signals, but also good models of the noise and efficient algorithms for marginalizing over it. In this talk, I will review my work on the development of such methodology, focusing in particular on starry, an open-source framework for modeling photometric and spectroscopic timeseries data of exoplanets and their host stars. From closed-form models of exoplanetary transits, occultations, and phase curves to statistical models of stellar photometric variability and its impact on exoplanet detection, starry is a multi-purpose tool whose main design goal is to enable efficient posterior inference for computationally difficult problems in the field of exoplanets. Among ongoing work I will discuss in this talk is the development of an interpretable Gaussian process for stellar spectroscopic variability and its potential to address fundamental challenges in the search for Earth-like exoplanets in the next decade.

Seminar starts at 1:15pm and will be held in 538 Davey and virtually via Zoom: