LVAAS - THE LEHIGH VALLEY AMATEUR ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY: Promoting, Facilitating and Teaching Astronomy Since 1957

Welcome to LVAAS, Anonymous
Friday, March 22 2019 @ 04:30 PM EDT

General Meeting Notice

 LVAAS General Meeting: Open to the Public

Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m.
Room 130, Trumbower Hall, Muhlenberg College

Deep into the curvature of the spacetime to find planets!

Microlensing occurs when the light from a distant star is deflected by another star closer to us. As a result, we will see a magnification in the light curve of the distant star. If the closer star has a planet around it, the planet also leaves a signature in the light curve and can therefore be detected. So far, about 80 planets have been discovered using this method and NASA’s space mission, WFIRST, expected to be launched 2025, will discover about 1400 planets using microlensing. Modeling each microlensing planetary light curve is challenging and time-consuming, and it will become even more difficult in the era of large surveys like WFIRST. In this talk, I will first introduce microlensing and discuss its challenges, then I will explain how I have explored a simple approach to find the planetary system parameters in a fast and efficient way.


Somayeh Khakpash, Lehigh University

Somayeh Khakpash is a graduate student at Lehigh University. She received her undergraduate degree in Physics from Sharif University of Science and Technology in Tehran, Iran. She is now working with Professor Joshua Pepper researching microlensing exoplanets. She has presented talks and posters at many conferences and meetings, including the 233rd American Astronomical Society meeting and the international microlensing conference.


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