Evenings with Astronomers: Breakthroughs in Discerning New Worlds – Dr. Heather Knutson

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The past decade has marked a period of great progress in our quest to discover and characterize exoplanets, or planets outside of our own solar system. Observations of transiting exoplanets, in which the planet periodically passes in front of and then behind its parent star as seen from Earth, have given us fascinating insights into exoplanet meteorology. Caltech Professor Heather A. Knutson and her team are leaders in studying the diverse properties of these distant atmospheres, including their compositions, temperatures, and global circulation patterns, using a combination of both space- and ground-based facilities, including the W. M. Keck Observatory. Enjoy this grand tour of what is currently known about the nature of these alien worlds and Knutson’s plans for further exploration of earth-like planets.

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Observers from UC-lbnl/UCD will use MOSFIRE on Keck 1, while on Keck 2, UCD observers will use DEIMOS. Sun set 06:54:00pm rise 05:45:00am
On Keck 1, we have UH observers using MOSFIRE. On Keck 2, we have UCD observers using DEIMOS. Sun set 06:54:00pm rise 05:46:00am
UH observers will use MOSFIRE on Keck 1, and UCSC/UCLA observers will use ESI on Keck 2 tonight. Sun set 06:53:00pm rise 05:46:00am
Keck 1 target of opportunity! Detected the afterglow of a rare short-duration gamma ray burst. Extragalactic explosion, caught in the act.
Does this monster have exotic populations of stars at its center? We'll investigate with LRIS tonight. (3/3)