Michael B. Lund

Michael B. Lund
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Michael B. Lund

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Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (14)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (11)
Physics - Popular Physics (2)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Michael B. Lund

The F3 main sequence star KIC 8462852 (Boyajian's Star) has raised interest because of its mysterious day-long brightness dips, and an unusual ~3% brightness decrease during the 4 years of the Kepler mission. Recently, a 0.164 mag (~14%) dimming between 1890 and 1990 was claimed, based on the analysis of photographic plates, although this has been challenged. 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

The century-long photometric record of the DASCH project provides a unique window into the variability of stars normally considered to be photometrically inactive. In this paper, we look for long-term trends in the brightness of F stars, with particular attention to KIC 8462852,an F3 main sequence star that has been identified as significant short-term variability according to Kepler observations. Although a simple search for variability suggests long-term dimming of a number of F stars, we find that such trends are artifacts of the 'Menzel Gap' in the DASCH data. Read More

The last two decades have seen the number of known exoplanets increase from a small handful to nearly 2000 known exoplanets, thousands more planet candidates, and several upcoming missions that are expected to further increase the population of known exoplanets. Beyond the strictly scientific questions that this has led to regarding planet formation and frequency, this has also led to broader questions such as the philosophical implications of life elsewhere in the universe and the future of human civilization and space exploration. One additional realm that hasn't been adequately considered, however, is that this large increase in exoplanets would also impact claims regarding astrology. Read More

We present a statistical analysis of the accuracy of the digitized magnitudes of photometric plates on the time scale of decades. In our examination of archival Johnson B photometry from the Harvard DASCH archive, we find a median RMS scatter of lightcurves of order 0.15mag over the range B~9-17 for all calibrations. 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

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will be the largest time-domain photometric survey ever. In order to maximize the LSST science yield for a broad array of transient stellar phenomena, it is necessary to optimize the survey cadence, coverage, and depth via quantitative metrics that are specifically designed to characterize the time-domain behavior of various types of stellar transients. In this paper we present three such metrics built on the LSST Metric Analysis Framework (MAF) model (Jones et al. Read More

Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto's mass has been a value that has repeatedly been calculated. Additionally, the search for Planet X prior to Pluto's discovery results in mass calculations that date back several decades earlier. Over its observed history, the mass of Pluto has consistently decreased. Read More

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will photometrically monitor approximately 1 billion stars for ten years. The resulting light curves can be used to detect transiting exoplanets. In particular, as demonstrated by Lund et al. Read More

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) has been designed in order to satisfy several different scientific objectives that can be addressed by a ten-year synoptic sky survey. However, LSST will also provide a large amount of data that can then be exploited for additional science beyond its primary goals. We demonstrate the potential of using LSST data to search for transiting exoplanets, and in particular to find planets orbiting host stars that are members of stellar populations that have been less thoroughly probed by current exoplanet surveys. Read More

A growing number (over 100!) of extra-solar planets (ESPs) have been discovered by transit photometry, and these systems are important because the transit strongly constrains their orbital inclination and allows accurate physical parameters for the planet to be derived, especially their radii. Their mass-radius relation allows us to probe their internal structure. In the present work we calculate Safronov numbers for the current sample of ESP and compare their masses and radii to current models with the goal of obtaining better constrains on their formation processe. Read More