Andrew W. Howard - IfA

Andrew W. Howard
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Andrew W. Howard

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Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (45)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (13)
Computer Science - Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (2)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Andrew W. Howard

We present a class of efficient models called MobileNets for mobile and embedded vision applications. MobileNets are based on a streamlined architecture that uses depth-wise separable convolutions to build light weight deep neural networks. We introduce two simple global hyper-parameters that efficiently trade off between latency and accuracy. Read More

Our Keck/NIRC2 imaging survey searches for stellar companions around 144 systems with radial velocity (RV) detected giant planets to determine whether stellar binaries influence the planets' orbital parameters. This survey, the largest of its kind to date, finds eight confirmed binary systems and three confirmed triple systems. These include three new multi-stellar systems (HD 30856, HD 86081, and HD 207832) and three multi-stellar systems with newly confirmed common proper motion (HD 43691, HD 116029, and HD 164509). Read More

The size of a planet is an observable property directly connected to the physics of its formation and evolution. We used precise radius measurements from the California-Kepler Survey (CKS) to study the size distribution of 2025 $\textit{Kepler}$ planets in fine detail. We detect a deficit in that distribution at 1. Read More

Ultra-short-period (USP) planets are a newly recognized class of planets with periods shorter than one day, and radii smaller than about 2 Earth radii. It has been proposed that USP planets are the solid cores of hot Jupiters that lost their gaseous envelopes due to photo-evaporation or Roche lobe overflow. We test this hypothesis by asking whether USP planets are associated with metal-rich stars, as has long been observed for hot Jupiters. Read More

The California-Kepler Survey (CKS) is an observational program to improve our knowledge of the properties of stars found to host transiting planets by NASA's Kepler Mission. The improvement stems from new high-resolution optical spectra obtained using HIRES at the W. M. Read More

We present stellar and planetary properties for 1305 Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) hosting 2025 planet candidates observed as part of the California-Kepler Survey. We combine spectroscopic constraints, presented in Paper I, with isochrone modeling to estimate stellar masses, radii, and ages. Stellar radii are constrained to 9%, compared to typically 42% when only photometric constraints are used. 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 results from a Keck/HIRES radial velocity campaign to study four sub-Saturn-sized planets, K2-27b, K2-32b, K2-39b, and K2-108b, with the goal of understanding their masses, orbits, and heavy element enrichment. The planets have similar sizes $(R_P = 4.5-5. Read More

We report on 176 close (<2") stellar companions detected with high-resolution imaging near 170 hosts of Kepler Objects of Interest. These Kepler targets were prioritized for imaging follow-up based on the presence of small planets, so most of the KOIs in these systems (176 out of 204) have nominal radii <6 R_E . Each KOI in our sample was observed in at least 2 filters with adaptive optics, speckle imaging, lucky imaging, or HST. Read More

The masses, atmospheric makeups, spin-orbit alignments, and system architectures of extrasolar planets can be best studied when the planets orbit bright stars. We report the discovery of three bodies orbiting HD 106315, a bright (V = 8.97 mag) F5 dwarf targeted by our K2 survey for transiting exoplanets. Read More

The NASA K2 mission uses photometry to find planets transiting stars of various types. M dwarfs are of high interest since they host more short period planets than any other type of main sequence stars and transiting planets around M dwarfs have deeper transits compared to other main sequence stars. In this paper, we present stellar parameters from K and M dwarfs hosting transiting planet candidates discovered by our team. Read More

We report precise radial velocity (RV) measurements of WASP-47, a G star that hosts three transiting planets in close proximity (a hot Jupiter, a super-Earth and a Neptune-sized planet) and a non-transiting planet at 1.4 AU. Through a joint analysis of previously published RVs and our own Keck-HIRES RVs, we significantly improve the planet mass and bulk density measurements. Read More

Measuring precise planet masses, densities, and orbital dynamics in individual planetary systems is an important pathway toward understanding planet formation. The WASP-47 system has an unusual architecture that motivates a complex formation theory. The system includes a hot Jupiter ("b") neighbored by interior ("e") and exterior ("d") sub-Neptunes, and a long-period eccentric giant planet ("c"). Read More

We find transient, transit-like dimming events within the K2 time series photometry of the young star RIK-210 in the Upper Scorpius OB association. These dimming events are variable in depth, duration, and morphology. High spatial resolution imaging revealed the star is single, and radial velocity monitoring indicated that the dimming events can not be due to an eclipsing stellar or brown dwarf companion. Read More

The recent detections of two transit events attributed to the super-Earth candidate K2-18b have provided the unprecedented prospect of spectroscopically studying a habitable-zone planet outside the Solar System. Orbiting a nearby M2.5 dwarf and receiving virtually the same stellar insolation as Earth, K2-18b would be a prime candidate for the first detailed atmospheric characterization of a habitable-zone exoplanet using HST and JWST. Read More

We target the thermal emission spectrum of the non-transiting gas giant HD 88133 b with high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy, by treating the planet and its host star as a spectroscopic binary. For sufficiently deep summed flux observations of the star and planet across multiple epochs, it is possible to resolve the signal of the hot gas giant's atmosphere compared to the brighter stellar spectrum, at a level consistent with the aggregate shot noise of the full data set. To do this, we first perform a principal component analysis to remove the contribution of the Earth's atmosphere to the observed spectra. Read More

The determination of exoplanet properties and occurrence rates using Kepler data critically depends on our knowledge of the fundamental properties (such as temperature, radius and mass) of the observed stars. We present revised stellar properties for 197,096 Kepler targets observed between Quarters 1-17 (Q1-17), which were used for the final transiting planet search run by the Kepler Mission (Data Release 25, DR25). Similar to the Q1--16 catalog by Huber et al. Read More

We report the discovery of KELT-12b, a highly inflated Jupiter-mass planet transiting a mildly evolved host star. We identified the initial transit signal in the KELT-North survey data and established the planetary nature of the companion through precise follow-up photometry, high-resolution spectroscopy, precise radial velocity measurements, and high-resolution adaptive optics imaging. Our preferred best-fit model indicates that the $V = 10. Read More

Open clusters have been the focus of several exoplanet surveys but only a few planets have so far been discovered. The \emph{Kepler} spacecraft revealed an abundance of small planets around small, cool stars, therefore, such cluster members are prime targets for exoplanet transit searches. Kepler's new mission, K2, is targeting several open clusters and star-forming regions around the ecliptic to search for transiting planets around their low-mass constituents. Read More

While the vast majority of multiple-planet systems have their orbital angular momentum axes aligned with the spin axis of their host star, Kepler-56 is an exception: its two transiting planets are coplanar yet misaligned by at least 40 degrees with respect to their host star. Additional follow-up observations of Kepler-56 suggest the presence of a massive, non-transiting companion that may help explain this misalignment. We model the transit data along with Keck/HIRES and HARPS-N radial velocity data to update the masses of the two transiting planets and infer the physical properties of the third, non-transiting planet. Read More

We present 197 planet candidates discovered using data from the first year of the NASA K2 mission (Campaigns 0-4), along with the results of an intensive program of photometric analyses, stellar spectroscopy, high-resolution imaging, and statistical validation. We distill these candidates into sets of 104 validated planets (57 in multi-planet systems), 30 false positives, and 63 remaining candidates. Our validated systems span a range of properties, with median values of R_P = 2. Read More

Stellar companions can influence the formation and evolution of planetary systems, but there are currently few observational constraints on the properties of planet-hosting binary star systems. We search for stellar companions around 77 transiting hot Jupiter systems to explore the statistical properties of this population of companions as compared to field stars of similar spectral type. After correcting for survey incompleteness, we find that $47\%\pm7\%$ of hot Jupiter systems have stellar companions with semi-major axes between 50-2000 AU. Read More

Theories of the formation and early evolution of planetary systems postulate that planets are born in circumstellar disks, and undergo radial migration during and after dissipation of the dust and gas disk from which they formed. The precise ages of meteorites indicate that planetesimals - the building blocks of planets - are produced within the first million years of a star's life. A prominent question is: how early can one find fully formed planets like those frequently detected on short orbital periods around mature stars? Some theories suggest the in situ formation of planets close to their host stars is unlikely and the existence of such planets is evidence for large scale migration. 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

Most of our knowledge of planets orbiting nearby stars comes from Doppler surveys. For spaced-based, high-contrast imaging missions, nearby stars with Doppler-discovered planets are attractive targets. The known orbits tell imaging missions where and when to observe, and the dynamically-determined masses provide important constraints for the interpretation of planetary spectra. Read More

Heartbeat stars (HB stars) are a class of eccentric binary stars with close periastron passages. The characteristic photometric HB signal evident in their light curves is produced by a combination of tidal distortion, heating, and Doppler boosting near orbital periastron. Many HB stars continue to oscillate after periastron and along the entire orbit, indicative of the tidal excitation of oscillation modes within one or both stars. Read More

The mass and age of substellar objects are degenerate parameters leaving the evolutionary state of brown dwarfs ambiguous without additional information. Theoretical models are normally used to help distinguish between old, massive brown dwarfs and young, low mass brown dwarfs but these models have yet to be properly calibrated. We have carried out an infrared high-contrast imaging program with the goal of detecting substellar objects as companions to nearby stars to help break degeneracies in inferred physical properties such as mass, age, and composition. Read More

We have used the {\it Spitzer Space Telescope} to observe two transiting planetary systems orbiting low mass stars discovered in the \Kepler \Ktwo mission. The system K2-3 (EPIC 201367065) hosts three planets while EPIC 202083828 (K2-26) hosts a single planet. Observations of all four objects in these two systems confirm and refine the orbital and physical parameters of the planets. Read More

A historical problem for indirect exoplanet detection has been contending with the intrinsic variability of the host star. If the variability is periodic, it can easily mimic various exoplanet signatures, such as radial velocity variations that originate with the stellar surface rather than the presence of a planet. Here we present an update for the HD~99492 planetary system, using new radial velocity and photometric measurements from the Transit Ephemeris Refinement and Monitoring Survey (TERMS). Read More

The Second Workshop on Extreme Precision Radial Velocities defined circa 2015 the state of the art Doppler precision and identified the critical path challenges for reaching 10 cm/s measurement precision. The presentations and discussion of key issues for instrumentation and data analysis and the workshop recommendations for achieving this precision are summarized here. Beginning with the HARPS spectrograph, technological advances for precision radial velocity measurements have focused on building extremely stable instruments. Read More

We present the discovery in Kepler's $K2$ mission observations and our follow-up radial velocity observations from Keck/HIRES for four eclipsing binary (EB) star systems in the young benchmark Pleiades cluster. Based on our modeling results, we announce two new low mass ($M_{tot} < 0.6 M_\odot$) EBs among Pleiades members (HCG 76 and MHO 9) and we report on two previously known Pleiades binaries that are also found to be EB systems (HII 2407 and HD 23642). Read More

We conducted a Doppler survey at Keck combined with NIRC2 K-band AO imaging to search for massive, long-period companions to 123 known exoplanet systems with one or two planets detected using the radial velocity (RV) method. Our survey is sensitive to Jupiter mass planets out to 20 AU for a majority of stars in our sample, and we report the discovery of eight new long-period planets, in addition to 20 systems with statistically significant RV trends indicating the presence of an outer companion beyond 5 AU. We combine our RV observations with AO imaging to determine the range of allowed masses and orbital separations for these companions, and account for variations in our sensitivity to companions among stars in our sample. Read More

Determining which small exoplanets have stony-iron compositions is necessary for quantifying the occurrence of such planets and for understanding the physics of planet formation. Kepler-10 hosts the stony-iron world Kepler-10b (K10b), and also contains what has been reported to be the largest solid silicate-ice planet, Kepler-10c (K10c). Using 220 radial velocities (RVs), including 72 precise RVs from Keck-HIRES of which 20 are new from 2014-2015, and 17 quarters of Kepler photometry, we obtain the most complete picture of the Kepler-10 system to date. Read More

The prime Kepler mission revealed that small planets (<4 R_earth) are common, especially around low-mass M dwarfs. K2, the re-purposed Kepler mission, continues this exploration of small planets around small stars. Here we combine K2 photometry with spectroscopy, adaptive optics imaging, and archival survey images to analyze two small planets orbiting the nearby, field age, M dwarfs K2-26 (EPIC 202083828) and K2-9. Read More

We present the first results from our Keck program investigating the orbital architectures of planet-hosting multiple star systems. Kepler-444 is a metal-poor triple star system that hosts five sub-Earth-sized planets orbiting the primary star (Kepler-444A), as well as a spatially unresolved pair of M dwarfs (Kepler-444BC) at a projected distance of 1.8" (66 AU). Read More

We present a catalog of 11 multi-planet systems from Campaigns 1 and 2 of the K2 mission. We report the sizes and orbits of 26 planets split between seven 2-planet systems and four 3-planet systems. These planets stem from a systematic search of the K2 photometry for all dwarf stars observed by K2 in these fields. Read More

Current approaches for fine-grained recognition do the following: First, recruit experts to annotate a dataset of images, optionally also collecting more structured data in the form of part annotations and bounding boxes. Second, train a model utilizing this data. Toward the goal of solving fine-grained recognition, we introduce an alternative approach, leveraging free, noisy data from the web and simple, generic methods of recognition. Read More

We report the discovery of three low-mass double-lined eclipsing binaries in the pre-main sequence Upper Scorpius association, revealed by $K2$ photometric monitoring of the region over $\sim$ 78 days. The orbital periods of all three systems are $<$5 days. We use the $K2$ photometry plus multiple Keck/HIRES radial velocities and spectroscopic flux ratios to determine fundamental stellar parameters for both the primary and secondary components of each system, along with the orbital parameters. Read More

We have detected the Rossiter-Mclaughlin effect during a transit of WASP-47b, the only known hot Jupiter with close planetary companions. By combining our spectroscopic observations with Kepler photometry, we show that the projected stellar obliquity is $\lambda = 0^\circ \pm 24^\circ$. We can firmly exclude a retrograde orbit for WASP-47b, and rule out strongly misaligned prograde orbits. Read More

The T Tauri star PTFO 8-8695 exhibits periodic fading events that have been interpreted as the transits of a giant planet on a precessing orbit. Here we present three tests of the planet hypothesis. First, we sought evidence for the secular changes in light-curve morphology that are predicted to be a consequence of orbital precession. Read More