Presentation #403.01 in the session Exoplanet Transits — iPoster Session.
Exoplanets are planets outside our solar system and we have confirmed the existence of nearly 5000. The main way we find exoplanets is by looking at the brightness of the exoplanet’s host star. Specifically, we see a dip in brightness when the planet passes in front of the star. In order to know when we have to observe the star to see the planet come in front, we need the mid-transit time. The mid-transit time is the time the planet is directly in front of the star in our view and blocks the most light. However, the mid-transit time changes over time due to imperfect measurements, thus, we need to recalculate these times often. If we leave these times out of date, important telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will not observe the planet at the right time, which can waste valuable and expensive time on our +$10 billon telescope.
In this study, I will use the NASA EXOplanet Transit Interpretation Codebase (EXOTIC) to estimate a new mid-transit time for the exoplanet TrES-1b. I chose TrES-1b because it is a potential target for JWST in the future. TrES-1b is an extrasolar planet approximately 523 light-years away in the constellation of Lyra (the Lyre). As space exploration picks up and we search for habitable earth like planets outside our solar system, mid transit and demographic studies of exoplanets are super important. I have calculated new transit times for TrES-1b and shared it with NASA exoplanet watch teams.