Megan E. Schwamb - Yale University

Megan E. Schwamb
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Megan E. Schwamb
Yale University
New Haven
United States

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Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (20)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (3)
Astrophysics (1)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (1)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (1)

Publications Authored By Megan E. Schwamb

The cold classical Kuiper belt objects have low inclinations and eccentricities and are the only Kuiper belt population suspected to have formed in situ. Compared with the dynamically excited populations, which exhibit a broad range of colours and a low binary fraction of ~10% cold classical Kuiper belt objects typically have red optical colours with ~30% of the population found in binary pairs; the origin of these differences remains unclear. We report the detection of a population of blue-coloured, tenuously bound binaries residing among the cold classical Kuiper belt objects. Read More

We report the discovery of the minor planet 2013 SY$_{99}$, on an exceptionally distant, highly eccentric orbit. With a perihelion of 50.0 au, 2013 SY$_{99}$'s orbit has a semi-major axis of $730 \pm 40$ au, the largest known for a high-perihelion trans-Neptunian object (TNO), well beyond those of (90377) Sedna and 2012 VP$_{113}$. Read More

How black holes accrete surrounding matter is a fundamental, yet unsolved question in astrophysics. It is generally believed that matter is absorbed into black holes via accretion disks, the state of which depends primarily on the mass-accretion rate. When this rate approaches the critical rate (the Eddington limit), thermal instability is supposed to occur in the inner disc, causing repetitive patterns of large-amplitude X-ray variability (oscillations) on timescales of minutes to hours. Read More

Photometry of moving sources typically suffers from reduced signal-to-noise (SNR) or flux measurements biased to incorrect low values through the use of circular apertures. To address this issue we present the software package, TRIPPy: TRailed Image Photometry in Python. TRIPPy introduces the pill aperture, which is the natural extension of the circular aperture appropriate for linearly trailed sources. Read More

We present high-resolution observations of a sample of 75 K2 targets from Campaigns 1-3 using speckle interferometry on the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope and adaptive optics (AO) imaging at the Keck II telescope. The median SOAR $I$-band and Keck $K_s$-band detection limits at 1" were $\Delta m_{I}=4.4$~mag and $\Delta m_{K_s}=6. Read More

Kuiper Belt objects with absolute magnitude less than 3 (radius $\gtrsim$500 km), the dwarf planets, have a range of different ice/rock ratios, and are more rock-rich than their smaller counterparts. Many of these objects have moons, which suggests that collisions may have played a role in modifying their compositions. We show that the dwarf planets fall into two categories when analysed by their mean densities and satellite-to-primary size ratio. Read More

We explore the brightness distribution of the largest and brightest (m(R)<22) Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). We construct a luminosity function of the dynamically excited or hot Kuiper belt (orbits with inclinations > 5 degrees) from the very brightest to m(R)=23. We find for m(R)< 23, a single slope appears to describe the luminosity function. Read More

We report the discovery of 14 new transiting planet candidates in the Kepler field from the Planet Hunters citizen science program. None of these candidates overlapped with Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) at the time of submission. We report the discovery of one more addition to the six planet candidate system around KOI-351, making it the only seven planet candidate system from Kepler. Read More

We present long-term BVRI observations of 2010 WG9, an ~100-km diameter trans-Neptunian object (TNO) with an extremely high inclination of 70 deg discovered by the La Silla - QUEST southern sky survey. Most of the observations were obtained with ANDICAM on the SMARTS 1.3m at Cerro Tololo, Chile from Dec 2010 to Nov 2012. Read More

Affiliations: 1Oxford University, 2Oxford University, 3Australian Astronomical Observatory, 4IPAC, 5LCOGT, 6MPIA, 7MSSL/UCL, 8Harvard CfA, 9New York University, 10MPIA, 11Yale University, 12Oxford University

The goal of the .Astronomy conference series is to bring together astronomers, educators, developers and others interested in using the Internet as a medium for astronomy. Attendance at the event is limited to approximately 50 participants, and days are split into mornings of scheduled talks, followed by 'unconference' afternoons, where sessions are defined by participants during the course of the event. Read More

We report the discovery and confirmation of a transiting circumbinary planet (PH1b) around KIC 4862625, an eclipsing binary in the Kepler field. The planet was discovered by volunteers searching the first six Quarters of publicly available Kepler data as part of the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Transits of the planet across the larger and brighter of the eclipsing stars are detectable by visual inspection every ~137 days, with seven transits identified in Quarters 1-11. Read More

We present the results from a search of data from the first 33.5 days of the Kepler science mission (Quarter 1) for exoplanet transits by the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Planet Hunters enlists members of the general public to visually identify transits in the publicly released Kepler light curves via the World Wide Web. Read More

We describe the instrumentation and detection software and characterize the detection efficiency of an automated, all-sky, southern-hemisphere search for Kuiper Belt objects brighter than R mag 21.4. The search relies on Yale University's 160-Megapixel QUEST camera, previously used for successful surveys at Palomar that detected most of the distant dwarf planets, and now installed on the ESO 1. Read More

We present new planet candidates identified in NASA Kepler quarter two public release data by volunteers engaged in the Planet Hunters citizen science project. The two candidates presented here survive checks for false-positives, including examination of the pixel offset to constrain the possibility of a background eclipsing binary. The orbital periods of the planet candidates are 97. Read More

Planet Hunters is a new citizen science project, designed to engage the public in an exoplanet search using NASA Kepler public release data. In the first month after launch, users identified two new planet candidates which survived our checks for false- positives. The follow-up effort included analysis of Keck HIRES spectra of the host stars, analysis of pixel centroid offsets in the Kepler data and adaptive optics imaging at Keck using NIRC2. Read More

Abridged. We have performed an ecliptic survey of the Kuiper belt, with an areal coverage of 8.9 square degrees to a 50% limiting magnitude of r'=24. Read More

We present the results of a wide-field survey using the 1.2-m Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory. This survey was designed to find the most distant members of the Kuiper belt and beyond. Read More

We present the results of a wide-field survey for distant Sedna-like bodies in the outer solar system using the 1.2-m Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory. We searched ~12,000 square degrees down to a mean limiting magnitude of 21. Read More

Binary microlensing light curves have a variety of morphologies. Many are indistinguishable from point lens light curves. Of those that deviate from the point lens form, caustic crossing light curves have tended to dominate identified binary lens events. Read More