Back in the day (March 6, 2000, to be exact) planet hunters detected interesting signals, made a loose assumption about stellar properties, used those assumptions to assign physical properties to the newly detected planet, and then moved on to the next candidate. That there existed large systematic errors in adopted stellar masses, radii, temperatures, luminosities and ages was of little concern, as most stars were “probably ∼1.0 Msun,” to quote a famous planet-discovery paper circa 2000. Today, we have moved into a new era in which the properties of stars need to be both accurate and precise in order to make meaningful inferences about the physical properties of planets and their formation mechanisms. In this talk I’ll take the audience on a journey through the H-R diagram to show how the exponentially growing field of exoplanets has reignited an interest in fundamental stellar astrophysics. Highlights include measuring star-planet obliquities from stellar seismology, measuring stellar diameters with NIR/optical interferometry, and updates on the controversy surrounding the “Retired A Stars” and their swarms of Jupiter-sized planets.
Followed by wine and cheese in Pupin 1402.