Upper Limit on the Presence of Ring Systems Around Long-Period Kepler Giant Planet Candidate KOI-422 Thesis uri icon

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abstract

  • Thesis (M.S., Physics) -- University of Idaho, 2015 | Is Saturn alone in the universe or are there other planets out there with stunning ring systems like Saturn's? To discover that Saturn is not alone would help us to learn more about the formation and evolution of Saturn's ring system, and about ring systems as a whole as well. We show a process to determine which star-planet pairs might be easiest to search for the presence of rings. We then look for exorings around transiting exoplanet candidate KOI-422.01 by examining the residual of a best fit line assuming that no ring system exists. After the residual was examined, we re-fit KOI-422.01 to determine if a spherical fit exhibits a better fit than a ringed model various ring size and orientation. It was determined that a spherical fit matched the light curve of KOI-422.01 better than a light curve with obliquity angles 90 degrees, 60 degrees, 45 degrees, or 20 degrees. We find no evidence for rings around KOI-422.01, but the methods that we have developed can be used for more comprehensive ring searches in the future.

publication date

  • June 15, 2015

has restriction

  • Author has requested a digital embargo of 1 year.

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