The Kepler mission aimed to detect Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars using the transit method – observing dips in stellar brightness caused by a planet passing in front of a star. It observed the same patch of sky for four years. Its successor, the K2 mission, observed hundreds of thousands of stars distributed along the ecliptic plane on much shorter, i.e. 70-80 day, timescales. This greatly broadened the types of host stars that could be searched for planets. The K2 dataset will help improve our understanding of planet occurrence rates as a function of host star properties like mass, age, and metallicity.
A uniform survey, uniformly derived stellar parameters, and a homogeneous planet candidate catalog are necessary for robust demographic analyses of exoplanets and their systems. Our fully automated detection pipeline generated a catalog of 773 K2 candidates from K2 Campaigns 1-8 and 10-18. These candidates include a number of interesting new systems, including a new multi-planet system and several candidates orbiting low-metallicity stars. We have followed the brightest targets in the catalog up with reconnaissance spectra and high-resolution imaging. For the candidates that survive follow-up observation, we statistically validate these candidates using the vespa package to compute false positive probabilities. Here we present the results of our validation effort on our new K2 planet candidate catalog.