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Detecting and Characterizing Exoplanets with a New Generation of Sky Surveys

Modern optical sky surveys like the Palomar Transient Factory and Pan-STARRs open new windows into a vast and dynamic sky, and their enormous datasets demand dramatic improvements in both data-mining algorithms and follow-up instrumentation. I will describe Robo-AO, a recently-commissioned robotic laser adaptive optics system, which is designed for high-efficiency follow-up of the thousands of exoplanet candidates discovered by large surveys. I will go on to demonstrate new ways to search for transiting exoplanets in supernova-survey datasets and a novel application of weak-lensing techniques to find and characterize very close binary systems in all-sky-survey images. Finally, I will introduce a unique extremely-wide-field instrument that will take advantage of long and dark Arctic nights to obtain massively increased sensitivity to long-period transiting exoplanets around bright and nearby stars.

Cody Hall

Nicholas Law (Dunlap)

February 06, 2013
14:00 - 15:00