RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Thursday, 28 May 2015, 11:00-12:00; Duffield Lecture Theatre

George Zhou

"Discovering and characterising transiting planets and low mass stars"

Transiting systems offer us unique opportunities to study individual systems in great detail. This talk will present discoveries of new transiting planets and low mass stars, and the characterisation of their fundamental properties: mass, radius, temperature, and composition. I will introduce the HATSouth survey, the only global network of telescopes dedicated to searching for transiting exoplanets. The planets discovered by HATSouth orbit a diverse range of host stars, and the candidates identified have a wide range of orbital periods. I will present some of the highlight discoveries of the HATSouth program. The goal of these planet searches is to identify the most characterisable planets for further study. We are using the Anglo-Australian Telescope to survey the near infrared secondary eclipses of a series of hot-Jupiters. These observations represent some of the highest precision near-infrared time-series photometry performed from the ground, and probe a diverse range of planet atmospheres. We find a diverse, but continuous distribution of spectral properties for the hot-Jupiter population. We explore this in the context of climate and global circulation in the atmospheres of these planets.