18 September 2019, Wednesday, 7:45 PM, Randall Museum Theater
“Exoplanets Across the Sky: the View from TESS”
Ann Marie Cody, NASA Ames and SETI Institute
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a NASA space mission that is tasked with tracking the brightness variations of stars across nearly the entire 360 degree expanse of the sky, in its two year planned mission. In operation for the past year, it has already made numerous new discoveries, including comets, supernovae, and exoplanets. TESS is finding small, rocky planets around stars that are bright enough to view with binoculars, or even the naked eye. These are prime targets for future studies of exoplanetary composition and atmospheres. In this talk I will present some of the many TESS discoveries to date and discuss ongoing efforts to conduct follow-up studies from the ground.
Marie Cody is an astronomer at the NASA Ames Research Center, where she is on the research staff for the NASA Kepler and K2 missions. She is also a project investigator at the SETI Insitute. Prior to these positions, she conducted research as an Ames postdoctoral fellow and at the California Institute of Technology, her PhD institution. In addition, she holds degrees from Harvard University and the University of Cambridge. Dr. Cody has been involved with a number of space telescope missions, which she has used to conduct high-precision measurements of the brightnesses of stars at optical and infrared wavelengths. Her research focuses on young variable stars and their planet-forming dust disks.