Joseph E. Rodriguez

Joseph E. Rodriguez
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Joseph E. Rodriguez

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (14)
Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (14)

Publications Authored By Joseph E. Rodriguez

M dwarf stars, which have masses less than 60 per cent that of the Sun, make up 75 per cent of the population of the stars in the Galaxy [1]. The atmospheres of orbiting Earth-sized planets are observationally accessible via transmission spectroscopy when the planets pass in front of these stars [2,3]. Statistical results suggest that the nearest transiting Earth-sized planet in the liquid-water, habitable zone of an M dwarf star is probably around 10. Read More

One of the most well-studied young stellar associations, Taurus-Auriga, will be observed by the extended Kepler mission, K2, in the spring of 2017. K2 Campaign 13 (C13) will be a unique opportunity to study many stars in this young association at high photometric precision and cadence. Using observations from the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) survey, we identify "dippers", stochastic variables, and periodic variables among K2 C13 target stars. Read More

RZ Psc is a young Sun-like star, long associated with the UXor class of variable stars, which is partially or wholly dimmed by dust clumps several times each year. The system has a bright and variable infrared excess, which has been interpreted as evidence that the dimming events are the passage of asteroidal fragments in front of the host star. Here, we present a decade of optical photometry of RZ Psc and take a critical look at the asteroid belt interpretation. Read More

Be stars have generally been characterized by the emission lines in their spectra, and especially the time variability of those spectroscopic features. They are known to also exhibit photometric variability at multiple timescales, but have not been broadly compared and analyzed by that behavior. We have taken advantage of the advent of wide-field, long-baseline, and high-cadence photometric surveys that search for transiting exoplanets to perform a comprehensive analysis of brightness variations among a large number of known Be stars. 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

In some planet formation theories, protoplanets grow gravitationally within a young star's protoplanetary disk, a signature of which may be a localized disturbance in the disk's radial and/or vertical structure. Using time-series photometric observations by the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope South (KELT-South) project and the All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN), combined with archival observations, we present the discovery of two extended dimming events of the young star, DM Ori. This young system faded by $\sim$1. Read More

We present photometric observations of RW Aurigae, a Classical T Tauri system, that reveal two remarkable dimming events. These events are similar to that which we observed in 2010-2011, which was the first such deep dimming observed in RW Aur in a century's worth of photometric monitoring. We suggested the 2010-2011 dimming was the result of an occultation of the star by its tidally disrupted circumstellar disk. Read More

Using time-series photometry from the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) exoplanet survey, we are looking for eclipses of stars by their protoplanetary disks, specifically in young stellar associations. To date, we have discovered two previously unknown, large dimming events around the young stars RW Aurigae and V409 Tau. We attribute the dimming of RW Aurigae to an occultation by its tidally disrupted disk, with the disruption perhaps resulting from a recent flyby of its binary companion. Read More

AA Tau is a well studied young stellar object that presents many of the photometric characteristics of a Classical T Tauri star (CTTS), including short-timescale stochastic variability attributed to spots and/or accretion as well as long duration dimming events attributed to occultations by vertical features (e.g., warps) in its circumstellar disk. Read More

We have used Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III (SDSS-III) Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) radial velocity observations in the near-infrared $H$-band to explore the membership of the nearby ($86.7 \pm 0.9$ pc) open cluster Coma Berenices (Melotte 111), concentrating on the poorly-populated low-mass end of the main sequence. Read More

RW Aur A is a classical T Tauri star, believed to have undergone a reconfiguration of its circumstellar environment as a consequence of a recent fly-by of its stellar companion, RW Aur B. This interaction stripped away part of the circumstellar disk of RW Aur A, leaving a tidally disrupted arm and a short truncated circumstellar disk. We present photometric observations of the RW Aur system from the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) survey showing a long and deep dimming that occurred from September 2010 until March 2011. Read More