Broadening our Perspective on Planet-Star Interactions

discovering and studying new worlds to consolidate our understanding of planets and habitats. 

Planet-Induced Stellar Pulsations and Hot-Jupiters’ Migration

"Gamma Doradus”, namely, a type of star in the Main Sequence known for its pulsating behaviours.  In particular, we want to  investigate whether some of the pulsations of the primary star are tidally excited when the secondary  (i.e. the companion star) approaches the primary, and then subsequently turned off as the secondary moves away (imagine a switch, being turned on and off as the secondary approaches and moves away from the primary, respectively)"​

                                                - Mariona Badenas Agusti, Graduate Student

"The discovery of Jupiter sized planets orbiting close (orbital periods less than 10

days) to their host stars revolutionized the way scientists had to think about solar

system formation. One proposed mechanism suggests that highly eccentric gas-

giants would lose orbital energy through tidal interactions with their host star and

move into close-in orbits. We are attempting to show that these types of

interactions can occur with the highly eccentric exoplanet HD 80606b."

                                                                       - James Hall, Graduate Student

Transient Heating and 3D Structures of Atmospheres

"We often think of planets are perfectly spherical, uniformly bright objects, but this is not necessarily the case. In our own solar system, Saturn has a polar to equatorial radius difference of almost 10%, and Jupiter has both latitudinal and longitudinal brightness structure. We aim to observe these properties for exoplanets by looking for the signatures of these planetary features in their lightcurves and spectra."​

                                                   - David Berardo, Graduate Student

"The exoplanet HD 80606b orbits its host star in a highly eccentric orbit (e =0.93). 
During the planet’s closest passage to its host star, which is about 10x close than 
Mercury is to our sun and occurs over only 24 hours, the amount of stellar radiation received increases drastically. We are attempting to model how and over what timescales this planet distributes this energy and cools back down, and if the presence of clouds on the planet can change the lightcurves we measure.."​

                                                   - James Hall, Graduate Student

Related Papers:

“Towards consistent mapping of distant worlds: secondary-eclipse scanning of the exoplanet HD 189733b” https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2012A%26A...548A.128D/abstract

“Empirical Constraints on the Oblateness of an Exoplanet”
https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010ApJ...709.1219C/abstract

Background Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt, T. Pyle (IPAC)