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Pa Chia Thao TTP
June 30 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Windows into Planetary Evolution: the Detection and Atmospheric Characterization of Young Planets
A key question in exoplanet research is to understand how planets form and change throughout their lifetime. Young planets (< 1 gigayear old) are pivotal to this picture as their atmospheres hold clues to their formation and migration history. However, transmission spectroscopy surveys have only unveiled the composition of atmospheres of mature exoplanets, as, until recently, only few young transiting planets were known. Current search pipelines are not robust to stellar activity; young stars rotate more rapidly, have more spots, and flare more frequently than older stars — all of which make it challenging to isolate the planet hidden in the light curve. To construct a full picture of planetary evolution, my proposed thesis is threefold: 1) to use machine learning algorithms to detrend young stellar light curves to find more young planets in the Kepler data set; 2) to characterize the atmospheres of three young exoplanets (K2-25b, K2-33b, and HIP 67522b) using ground-based and space-based (HST, Spitzer, JWST) telescopes and compare their atmospheric composition with the available data of mature exoplanets; and 3) to constrain the roles of spots on future transmission spectroscopy measurements.