August 1, 2016.
Exoplanet discovery is an exponentially growing field which is allowing scientists to discover new worlds beyond our own solar system. The aim for this research project was to specifically look at the stellar activity of host stars to determine if it is affecting the output data of target exoplanets. Previously, astronomers understood that stellar activity could influence the detection of new planets, but until now nobody has studied how it may specifically affect the planetary transit spectrum. By analyzing transit spectroscopy plots, I was able to match specific wavelengths corresponding to chemical signatures of the host star to determine if multiple visits varied in the amount of stellar activity. This research has potential impact for both stellar astronomers who may wish to study the activity of stars with known exoplanets as well as future exoplanet analysis where the stellar variability may affect exoplanet data.
Astrophysics and Astronomy | Other Astrophysics and Astronomy
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
*This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program under grant# 1546150. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The research was made possible by the California State University STEM Teacher Researcher Program.