Cool Stars, Cool Planets, and Extremely Cold Astronomy

Cool stars are superb places to look for planets: their low masses and small radii enhance planetary signatures, and planets in their habitable zones have short periods. Even so, with current instrumentation, it is challenging to search for transiting planets around these very dim stars. I will present the first results from the PTF/M-dwarfs survey, which is searching for short-period transiting giant planets around 100,000 cool stars and rocky planets around 5,000 M-dwarfs. Once that survey is complete, the next step is to search for potentially habitable systems. I will describe two new exoplanet transit telescopes that we are building near the North Pole. These systems will take advantage of the long, dark Arctic night to achieve much higher planet-detection efficiencies than are practical from lower-latitude sites.

Followed by wine and cheese in Pupin 1402.

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