Characterizing the properties of individual astronomical bodies allows us to get insights into numerous physical processes in specific regimes. Once many viewpoints have been gathered, it is possible to generalize/consolidate our understanding of such processes. In this quest, we notably focus on exploring and deepening our understanding of radiative and tidal planet-star interactions.

In Construction

Showcased Papers: 

"Planet-induced Stellar Pulsations in HAT-P-2's Eccentric System

de Wit, et al. 2017












"Direct Measure of Radiative and Dynamical Properties of an Exoplanet Atmosphere"
de Wit et al. 2016



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Planet-induced pulsation in the HAT-P-2 system. Periodogram of the 4.5 micron photometry after subtracting the best fit model. The periodogram prior to accounting for the pulsations is shown in blue and the periodogram of the residuals after the best-fit pulsation model has been removed is shown in green. Significance levels are expressed in terms of false-positive probability via horizontal gray lines.  Figure from de Wit, et al. 2017.

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Transient heating of the highly-eccentric hot-Jupiter HD80606b during its periastron passage. Left panel: Dots indicate orbital positions of the planet at one-hour intervals relative to the periastron passage at HJD 2455204.91. The phase coverage of the 80 hr 4.5 μm observations is indicated by the gray lines labeled “start” and “end.” The star is drawn to scale relative to the orbit. The temperature distribution of the planet (as seen from an observer on Earth, looking down the y-axis) at times A–H is shown as the series of inset diagrams. The brightness temperature scale runs from 500 K (black)  1500 K (white). Right panel: HD 80606 b’s relative thermal fluxes in Spitzer/IRAC 4.5 and 8.0 μm bands as a function of the time from periastron passage. HD 80606 b’s hemisphere-averaged brightness temperature as derived from the planetary fluxes introduced in (A). The dashed lines represent the equilibrium temperature of a planet assuming full and instantaneous energy redistribution for an absorptivity of 0.8 and 0.2. Figure from de Wit, et al. 2016.

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