Colloquium

The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler (HEK) Project

The discovery of moons around extrasolar planets presents an outstanding challenge in modern astronomy with the potential to reveal deep insights into formation models. Precise photometric time series from space telescopes, such as Kepler, are sensitive to transiting planets as small as the Earth and thus may be sensitive to large exomoons too. I discuss the techniques which can be deployed to betray the presence of an exomoon and the expected sensitivities. Using these methods, the Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler (HEK) project has been searching for signals over the past two years. During these teething years, we have demonstrated the capacity to detect Earth-Moon mass ratio systems in roughly 1 in 6 cases, and Pluto-Charon mass-ratios for 1 in 3. I�ll discuss our constraints from initial surveys, exciting secondary science which has resulted from our search and the outlook for the future.

Followed by wine and cheese in Pupin 1402.

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