Andrew Vanderburg

Andrew Vanderburg
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Andrew Vanderburg

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Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (31)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (24)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (5)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Andrew Vanderburg

Doppler-based planet surveys point to an increasing occurrence rate of giant planets with stellar mass. Such surveys rely on evolved stars for a sample of intermediate-mass stars (so-called retired A stars), which are more amenable to Doppler observations than their main-sequence progenitors. However, it has been hypothesised that the masses of subgiant and low-luminosity red-giant stars targeted by these surveys --- typically derived from a combination of spectroscopy and isochrone fitting --- may be systematically overestimated. Read More

We recently used near-infrared spectroscopy to improve the characterization of 76 low-mass stars around which K2 had detected 79 candidate transiting planets. Thirty of these worlds were new discoveries that have not previously been published. We calculate the false positive probabilities that the transit-like signals are actually caused by non-planetary astrophysical phenomena and reject five new transit-like events and three previously reported events as false positives. Read More

We present near-infrared spectra for 144 candidate planetary systems identified during Campaigns 1-7 of the NASA K2 Mission. The goal of the survey was to characterize planets orbiting low-mass stars, but our IRTF/SpeX and Palomar/TripleSpec spectroscopic observations revealed that 49% of our targets were actually giant stars or hotter dwarfs reddened by interstellar extinction. For the 72 stars with spectra consistent with classification as cool dwarfs (spectral types K3 - M4), we refined their stellar properties by applying empirical relations based on stars with interferometric radius measurements. Read More

Yellow straggler stars (YSSs) fall above the subgiant branch in optical color-magnitude diagrams, between the blue stragglers and the red giants. YSSs may represent a population of evolved blue stragglers, but none have the direct and precise mass and radius measurements needed to determine their evolutionary states and formation histories. Here we report the first asteroseismic mass and radius measurements of such a star, the yellow straggler S1237 in the open cluster M67. Read More

Open clusters and young stellar associations are attractive sites to search for planets and to test theories of planet formation, migration, and evolution. We present our search for, and characterization of, transiting planets in the ~800 Myr old Praesepe (Beehive, M44) Cluster from K2 light curves. We identify seven planet candidates, six of which we statistically validate to be real planets, the last of which requires more data. Read More

The Kepler mission has revealed a great diversity of planetary systems and architectures, but most of the planets discovered by Kepler orbit faint stars. Using new data from the K2 mission, we present the discovery of a five planet system transiting a bright (V = 8.9, K = 7. Read More

Strongly irradiated giant planets are observed to have radii larger than thermal evolution models predict. Although these inflated planets have been known for over fifteen years, it is unclear whether their inflation is caused by deposition of energy from the host star, or inhibited cooling of the planet. These processes can be distinguished if the planet becomes highly irradiated only when the host star evolves onto the red giant branch. Read More

Future generations of precise radial velocity (RV) surveys aim to achieve sensitivity sufficient to detect Earth mass planets orbiting in their stars' habitable zones. A major obstacle to this goal is astrophysical radial velocity noise caused by active areas moving across the stellar limb as a star rotates. In this paper, we quantify how stellar activity impacts exoplanet detection with radial velocities as a function of orbital and stellar rotational periods. Read More

In an effort to measure the masses of planets discovered by the NASA {\it K2} mission, we have conducted precise Doppler observations of five stars with transiting planets. We present the results of a joint analysis of these new data and previously published Doppler data. The first star, an M dwarf known as K2-3 or EPIC~201367065, has three transiting planets ("b", with radius $2. Read More

Studying the properties of young planetary systems can shed light on how the dynamics and structure of planets evolve during their most formative years. Recent K2 observations of nearby young clusters (10-800 Myr) have enabled the discovery of such planetary systems. Here we report the discovery of a Neptune-sized planet transiting an M4. Read More

The Kepler Space Telescope is currently searching for planets transiting stars along the ecliptic plane as part of its extended K2 mission. We processed the publicly released data from the first year of K2 observations (Campaigns 0, 1, 2, and 3) and searched for periodic eclipse signals consistent with planetary transits. Out of 59,174 targets we searched, we detect 234 planetary candidates around 208 stars. Read More

White dwarfs are the end state of most stars, including the Sun, after they exhaust their nuclear fuel. Between 1/4 and 1/2 of white dwarfs have elements heavier than helium in their atmospheres, even though these elements should rapidly settle into the stellar interiors unless they are occasionally replenished. The abundance ratios of heavy elements in white dwarf atmospheres are similar to rocky bodies in the Solar system. Read More

We present multiwavelength, multi-telescope, ground-based follow-up photometry of the white dwarf WD 1145+017, that has recently been suggested to be orbited by up to six or more, short-period, low-mass, disintegrating planetesimals. We detect 9 significant dips in flux of between 10% and 30% of the stellar flux from our ground-based photometry. We observe transits deeper than 10% on average every ~3. Read More

We present precise Doppler observations of WASP-47, a transiting planetary system featuring a hot Jupiter with both inner and outer planetary companions. This system has an unusual architecture and also provides a rare opportunity to measure planet masses in two different ways: the Doppler method, and the analysis of transit-timing variations (TTV). Based on the new Doppler data, obtained with the Planet Finder Spectrograph on the Magellan/Clay 6. Read More

Using new data from the K2 mission, we show that WASP-47, a previously known hot Jupiter host, also hosts two additional transiting planets: a Neptune-sized outer planet and a super-Earth inner companion. We measure planetary properties from the K2 light curve and detect transit timing variations, confirming the planetary nature of the outer planet. We performed a large number of numerical simulations to study the dynamical stability of the system and to find the theoretically expected transit timing variations (TTVs). Read More

Light curves of microlensing events involving stellar binaries and planetary systems can provide information about the orbital elements of the system due to orbital modulations of the caustic structure. Accurately measuring the orbit in either the stellar or planetary case requires detailed modeling of subtle deviations in the light curve. At the same time, the natural, Cartesian parameterization of a microlensing binary is partially degenerate with the microlens parallax. Read More

We present a technique to extract radial velocity measurements from echelle spectrograph observations of rapidly rotating stars ($V\sin{i} \gtrsim 50$ km s$^{-1}$). This type of measurement is difficult because the line widths of such stars are often comparable to the width of a single echelle order. To compensate for the scarcity of lines and Doppler information content, we have developed a process that forward-models the observations, fitting the radial velocity shift of the star for all echelle orders simultaneously with the echelle blaze function. Read More

The coolest dwarf stars targeted by the Kepler Mission constitute a relatively small but scientifically valuable subset of the Kepler target stars, and provide a high-fidelity and nearby sample of transiting planetary systems. Using archival Kepler data spanning the entire primary mission we perform a uniform analysis to extract, confirm and characterize the transit signals discovered by the Kepler pipeline toward M-type dwarf stars. We recover all but two of the signals reported in a recent listing from the Exoplanet Archive resulting in 165 planet candidates associated with a sample of 106 low-mass stars. Read More

We confirm and characterize the exoplanetary systems Kepler-445 and Kepler-446: two mid-M dwarf stars, each with multiple, small, short-period transiting planets. Kepler-445 is a metal-rich ([Fe/H]=+0.25 $\pm$ 0. Read More

After the failure of two reaction wheels and the end of its original mission, the Kepler spacecraft has begun observing stars in new fields along the ecliptic plane in its extended K2 mission. Although K2 promises to deliver high precision photometric light curves for thousands of new targets across the sky, the K2 pipeline is not yet delivering light curves to users, and photometric data from K2 is dominated by systematic effects due to the spacecraft's worsened pointing control. We present reduced light curves for 7743 targets proposed by the community for observations during Campaign 0 of the K2 mission. Read More

The original Kepler mission achieved high photometric precision thanks to ultra-stable pointing enabled by use of four reaction wheels. The loss of two of these reaction wheels reduced the telescope's ability to point precisely for extended periods of time, and as a result, the photometric precision has suffered. We present a technique for generating photometric light curves from pixel-level data obtained with the two-wheeled extended Kepler mission, K2. Read More

We present H- and K-band spectra for late-type Kepler Objects of Interest (the "Cool KOIs"): low-mass stars with transiting-planet candidates discovered by NASA's Kepler Mission that are listed on the NASA Exoplanet Archive. We acquired spectra of 103 Cool KOIs and used the indices and calibrations of Rojas-Ayala et al. to determine their spectral types, stellar effective temperatures and metallicities, significantly augmenting previously published values. Read More

Precise near-infrared radial velocimetry enables efficient detection and transit verification of low-mass extrasolar planets orbiting M dwarf hosts, which are faint for visible-wavelength radial velocity surveys. The TripleSpec Exoplanet Discovery Instrument, or TEDI, is the combination of a variable-delay Michelson interferometer and a medium-resolution (R=2700) near-infrared spectrograph on the Palomar 200" Hale Telescope. We used TEDI to monitor GJ 699, a nearby mid-M dwarf, over 11 nights spread across 3 months. Read More