Joseph Rodriguez


Keivan Stassun


With the recent success of the Kepler mission, the field of extrasolar planets has exploded. The field has moved from just discovery to understanding the demographics of planets and finding the rare/interesting cases. I am currently a member of the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) exoplanet survey designed to find giant planets around very bright stars. The planets discovered from the KELT Survey are extremely valuable because they are bright enough to perform atmospheric characterization.

Young stars are typically surrounded by a disk of gas and dust which are the building blocks for planets. Understanding how our solar system evolved to its present state, from this disk of material, is one of the biggest questions in astronomy. One way to help understand the evolution of the disk to planets is to determine key characteristics (size, density, etc) of debris disks around young stars. A valuable tool in measuring these specific properties is to observe a star being eclipsed by its debris disk. Using the KELT Survey data, I search for large eclipses of young stars by their debris disk.

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