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Ordinary Meeting with Kim Bott, UNSW

Friday 13th June 2014 - 8:00pm
Topic:  Finding Solaris: How to know a planet will kill you before you get there
Speaker:   Kim Bott, UNSW
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract:  Exoplanets were first found in the mid 1990s and their atmospheres characterised starting shortly after the turn of the millennium.  Characterising these planets provides us with a better understanding of how planetary systems form and change over time, and inform us of the types of worlds we should expect to find spread across the cosmos.  I explain the atmospheric characterisation techniques currently in use and how they relate to observational techniques.  Exoplanet atmospheres research at UNSW combines observations of transit, reflection and emission spectroscopy with models to retrieve parameters such as composition and cloud structure for the planets.  Comparing models to combined, publicly available spectra for one hot Jupiter exoplanet in particular, provides a detection of water vapour and constrains the cloud structure and carbon-to-oxygen ratio. I also introduce the latest part of our project: a polarimeter that will detect polarised light from exoplanets to describe their orbits and composition when coupled with the latest models.
Biography:Kim Bott has had an interest in astronomy since she saw the movie Contact while growing up on an  island with a clear view of the Milky Way in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.  She received a Bachelors of Art in Physics as well as a Bachelors of Science in Astronomy from the University of Hawaii, Hilo in 2008.  She has worked on projects ranging from adaptive optics to star-forming regions of galaxies to cryogenic instrumentation.  In 2012 she began her PhD on the atmospheres of exoplanets at the University of New South Wales under the supervision of A.Prof. Jeremy Bailey.

Event Date: 
Friday, 13 June, 2014 - 20:00
Location: 
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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