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Stellar Multiplicity in Exoplanet Host Systems

February 21, 2024

When: February 21, 2024 10:00AM
Where: LCO Downstairs Conference Room

David Ciardi

Chief Scientist at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute

Over the past two decades, an extraordinary revolution has ensued in our understanding of planetary systems beyond our own, driven largely by the transit missions Kepler and TESS. Because the transiting missions have relatively poor spatial resolution, high resolution imaging has become standard practice in the vetting of planetary candidates as the community works towards confirmation of a planetary transit as the source of the observed signal. Our group has become one of the largest providers of such high-resolution imaging, with near-infrared adaptive optics imaging on Keck and Palomar and with optical speckle imaging on Gemini North and South. While crucial to the confirmation of the planets themselves, the high resolution imaging has enabled us to explore the characteristics of stellar multiplicity and the planets found in those systems. I will give an overview of our decade-and-half-long program, the role our program plays in the confirmation of planets, and an assessment of the stellar multiplicity and characteristics of the planets found in those systems.

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David Ciardi

Dr. David Ciardi is the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) Chief Scientist at Caltech/JPL and has been a leader in infrared astronomy and exoplanet research for over 20 years. He earned his B.A. in astronomy and physics at Boston University and his Ph.D. at the University of Wyoming. At the University of Florida, he built infrared cameras for some of the world's largest telescopes before moving to NExScI at Caltech. He has been and is a member of the science teams for the exoplanet-finding space missions CoRoT, Kepler, K2, TESS, and ARIEL where he has contributed to the discovery of more than a 1000 exoplanets. He has published and contributed to nearly 400 refereed papers. In 2016, he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for his work on Kepler, the 2018 Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition as part of the Kepler Mission Project, and in 2020, he was awarded the NASA Silver Achievement Medal as part of the TESS Mission Project. He has been an author on nearly 400 scientific papers and the co-discoverer of more than 1000 exoplanets.On a personal note, David has been an aspiring athlete his entire life - his original plan was to be a shortstop for the New York Yankees. Once reality set in, he decided to pursue a career in science and eventually fell in love with astrophysics - and a special love for observational work. Over his career, he has observed at more than 2 dozen telescopes scattered around the world. He still pretends to be an athlete and he earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and continues to play softball, soccer, and racquetball. His most recent athletic passion is cycling where he just has to keep his balance and move his legs.

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