Space, the Next Frontier: Exoplanetary Microlensing in the era of Spitzer and K2 with an eye toward WFIRST

Calen Henderson (JPL) - March 6, 2017 at 12:10 pm

The past three years have witnessed a revolution in microlensing searches for exoplanets. Spitzer campaigns in 2014, 2015, and 2016 have transformed space-based microlensing observations from a novelty to an industry. Campaign 9 of Kepler's extended K2 mission conducted the first automated microlensing survey from the ground and from space. These endeavors facilitate measuring a key observable known as the satellite parallax, which leads to model-independent mass measurements for the lensing systems and opens a new window for astrophysical exploration. I will discuss the scientific methodology and utility of these missions, highlight several key results, and emphasize the preparatory work for and expected yields of the WFIRST microlensing survey.

The seminar will be held in 131A Campbell Hall.


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