As of fall 2019 I have joined the faculty of the Louisiana State University Department of Physics and Astronomy. My new email address is email@example.com.
The Multi-band Imaging Survey for High-Alpha PlanetS (or MISHAPS), of which I am the principle investigator, has been selected as a NOAO survey program. Beginning in June 2019, over 3 years it will spend 38 nights repeatedly surveying a single field in the Galactic bulge using the wide-field camera DECam on the Blanco 4-m telescope to search for hundreds of hot Jupiter exoplanets.
The survey is designed to test if the distribution of chemical elements plays a significant role in the formation of hot Jupiters. Compared to stars near the Sun, stars in the Galactic bulge tend to have more “alpha” elements relative to iron. Alpha elements, such as oxygen, silicon, and magnesium, are components in water and carbon monoxide molecules, and in dust grains, all of which play important roles in the planet formation process.
I’ll share more details about the survey in the future…
I will be giving a short public talk titled “Searching for Cold and Distant Planets” as part of a larger program running 10:30 am to 1:30 pm on Saturday 27th October. The program features a new planetarium show at the OSU Arne Slettebak Planetarium, and talks by Prof. Smita Mathur, Dr. Tuguldur Sukhbold, and myself.
Registration is required, and full details can be found at https://astronomy.osu.edu/events/friends-ohio-state-astronomy-and-astrophysics-autumn-2018-event.
The program has been organized by Friends of Ohio State Astronomy & Astrophysics.
The paper “Predictions of the WFIRST Microlensing Survey I: Bound Planets” by Penny et al. has just been submitted. Check it out on the arXiv now!