Small Stars with Small Planets and Big Consequences
Dr. Philip Muirhead
Assistant Professor, Department of Astronomy
The field of extrasolar planets is rapidly evolving. The quest to discover ever more and ever smaller exoplanets has pushed the field in two directions: (1) toward a comprehensive assessment of the frequency and statistics of various types of exoplanets -- used to constrain planet formation and evolution theories -- and (2) toward characterizing the composition, atmosphere, and evolution of individual exoplanets as though they were planets in our own Solar System. I will discuss the importance of low-mass stars in this context, emphasizing the phenomenal results from the NASA Kepler Mission, new results from ground-based surveys and TESS, and our efforts to characterize individual terrestrial exoplanets orbiting low-mass stars with existing and new ground based instrumentation. Finally, I will discuss a new project to search for planets orbiting brown dwarfs called PINES: The Perkins Infrared Exosatellite Survey.
Dr. Muirhead is an assistant professor in the Department of Astronomy, the Institute for Astrophysical Research and the Core Curriculum at Boston University. He leads a research group aimed at understanding the variety of extrasolar planets orbiting low-mass stars.
No background knowledge is required. All are welcome.
When and Where
4:00 PM-5:00 PM
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science
Open to the Public