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Blogs by Center for Exoplanet & Habitable World Members

Habitable Zone Planet Finder Team

  • HPF discovers a Jupiter transiting the cool star TOI-1899
    HPF has confirmed the planetary nature of a single-transiting Jupiter-sized planet (1.15 Jupiter radii) orbiting a nearby low mass M dwarf star on an orbital period of ~29 days. The paper has been published in the Astronomical Journal and is available on … Continue reading →
  • HPF discovers a warm super Neptune – TOI-1728b
    The Discovery A component of HPF’s on-sky time is used to follow up on potential planets discovered by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), launched in 2018. TESS is nominally a 2-year mission designed to conduct an all-sky survey to … Continue reading →
  • HPF Team Member Gudmundur Stefansson Runner-Up in IAU Dissertation Prize
    We are thrilled to announce that HPF Team Member Dr. Guðmundur Stefánsson was recently recognized as one of two runners-up for the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) Division B (Facilities, Technology, Data Science) PhD Prize to Recognize Excellence in Astrophysics.  This … Continue reading →
  • Eternal spotshine of the spinning red suns
    Introduction Much of our time on sky with HPF is dedicated to discovering exoplanets, and measuring their detailed properties.  To do this, we concentrate our efforts on older, magnetically quiet stars to minimize noise and make the planets easier to … Continue reading →
  • Measuring Exoplanet Atmospheres with HPF
    Introduction: Transmission Spectroscopy As we have covered in previous posts, HPF was designed and built for the goal of detecting exoplanets through the Doppler motion of their host stars.  Of course, there are other astrophysics experiments that can take advantage … Continue reading →

NEID Spectrograph Team

  • NEID sees its first light on 51 Peg!
    NEID sees its first light on 51 Pegasi, the host star around which Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz discovered the first exoplanet to orbit a solar type star in 1995!   See associated coverage – https://aasnova.org/2020/01/09/aas-235-day-4/ https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7571 https://www.nationalastro.org/news/neid-exoplanet-instrument-sees-first-light/https://exoplanets.psu.edu/neid-spectrograph-sees-first-light/ https://exoplanets.psu.edu/neid-spectrograph-sees-first-light/ https://uanews.arizona.edu/story/planet-discovery-machine-atop-kitt-peak-sees-first-light … Continue reading →
  • NEID has shipped for WIYN!
    This morning the first truck left from Penn State for WIYN university. This truck along with NEID also contains the etalon and the calibration bench for the system. It was surely a nerve wracking few bits when the entire instrument … Continue reading →
  • Successful Pre-Ship Review!
    NEID successfully passed its Pre Ship Review, held on the 17th and 18th of September 2019, at the Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center. Time to ship to WIYN!  
  • Alignment, Integration and Verification (AI&V) has begun!
    After many months of careful coating and testing, all of NEID’s optical components have arrived safely at Penn State. For the instrument team, this means it’s go time. We’ve begun the process of adding optics to the instrument while our … Continue reading →
  • The NEID spectrograph – Optical Fiber Train
    Optical fibers are thin waveguides made of glass and are used for transportation of light. Widely used in the telecommunication industry, in the 1980s they started to be used in astronomy to couple light from the telescope focus to highly … Continue reading →

Jason Wright: AstroWright

  • Doing SETI Better
    One of the reasons SETI is hard is that we don’t know exactly what we are looking for, and part of that difficulty is that we still aren’t sure of who we are.  It seems counter-intuitive, but in order to be good at looking for aliens, we have to become experts at understanding ourselves. Looking […]
  • Primer on Precise Radial Velocities
    Objects in space are specified by their Right Ascension, Declination, and distance.  The first two are easily measured, usually to better than a part in a million; the last is notoriously tricky to measure, sometimes uncertain to an order of magnitude. The time derivatives of these quantities are the reverse: proper motions are unmeasured for most […]
  • Schelling Points in SETI
    How do you find someone who is also looking for you if you can’t communicate with them? I was reading the Wikipedia article on the water hole concept in SETI, and saw under “see also” the entry “Schelling point“. Investigating led me to a fascinating bit of history. Thomas Schelling is a heterodox economist and foreign policy […]
  • Star-Planet Interactions, and Jupiter Analogs
    Waaaaay back in 2015 the International Astronomical Union held its General Assembly in Honolulu. I went and gave a review talk on star-planet interactions at a Focus Meeting. One nice thing (in the long run) about these Focus Meetings is that they generate proceedings that get published. It’s sort of old-fashioned now, but it’s still […]
  • Tabby doing a Q&A on the WTF star on Twitter
    Tabby just did a 20-questions-and-answers thing on Twitter.  I found it hard to read the whole thread, so I’ve compiled it here.  Enjoy! @lsu @Kervanderv A1: The dip lasted 5 days but now we're back to normal. #TabbysStar — Tabetha Boyajian (@tsboyajian) May 26, 2017 @lsu @Bharat_J25 A2: This is the latest light curve up […]

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