April 07, 2017: Elusive Earths: Taking the Galactic Exoplanet Census


Talk Title: Elusive Earths: Taking the Galactic Exoplanet Census

Abstract: Measuring the occurrence rate of extrasolar planets is one of the most fundamental constraints on our understanding of planets throughout the Galaxy. By studying planet populations across a wide parameter space in stellar age, type, metallicity, and multiplicity, we can inform planet formation, migration and evolution theories. The NASA Kepler mission was a space-based survey for transiting exoplanets, primarily focussed on measuring the occurrence rates of Earth-like planets orbiting Sun-like stars. I will describe our ongoing efforts to catalogue the exoplanets in the Kepler field, including characterizing the survey completeness and reliability, and summarize our progress towards measuring robust occurrence rates. I will also describe the opportunity afforded by the NASA K2 mission, the successor to the Kepler mission, to expand occurrence rate calculations into a wider stellar parameter space.

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