Speaker: Ben Placek [Wentworth Institute of Technology]
Title: Bayesian Inference and Exoplanet Phase Curves
Abstract: The detection and characterization of exoplanets and their atmospheres presents an interesting and difficult problem in data analysis. This talk will briefly outline the basics of Bayesian inference, which has grown in popularity as a tool of choice in this field. Applications to exoplanet phase curves will also be discussed.
Speaker: Dan Stevens [Ohio State University]
Title: Preparing for TESS: Lessons Learned from a Decade of KELT
Abstract: Over the past decade, the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) Survey has discovered 20 transiting substellar companions to bright, hot stars, while identifying over 1,000 eclipsing binaries and other false positives. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which launches in 2018, shares many design aspects with KELT and improves on the precision and sky coverage. In light of the similarities between the two surveys, I will discuss how the lessons learned from KELT can be applied to TESS. I will summarize the techniques we use to confirm planet candidates around the bright, hot stars that TESS will observe, and I will discuss the extensive quality control and false positive vetting process both in the KELT pipeline and in the precision follow-up effort. I will also illustrate how precise TESS light curves can provide exquisite stellar densities for single-lined eclipsing systems identified by KELT and how such observations will enable accurate, precise, and model-independent masses and radii for the stars and exoplanets in these binaries.