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Heading to the 2nd Kepler Science Conference in November

The 2nd Kepler Science Conference is 7 weeks away on November 4-8th. From the science team, Ji, Tabetha, and I will be heading to California to attend. The conference will be hosted at NASA Ames where the Science Operations Center for Kepler is based. The first Kepler Science Conference was held there 2 years. You can read more about the workshop from the accounts of  Planet Hunters volunteers Kian, Daryll, and Tom who also attended.

At the time of the first Kepler Science Conference, Planet Hunters was just a few weeks shy of its first birthday,  and it was the 2nd scientific meeting that I had presented any Planet Hunters results at. A lot has changed since then; Kepler has aided in ground-breaking discoveries, and our view of planet formation and the architecture of planetary systems has dramatically changed with the analysis of Kepler data. Also in those past 2 years, much science has come out of Planet Hunters (thanks to your clicks) including PH1 b and PH2 b and many other planet candidates. You can see all the submitted and published Planet Hunters papers here.

I’ve submitted a talk abstract to present the Planet Hunters TCE review in November.  I know, Tabetha has also submitted a Planet Hunters poster abstract about the “Guest Scientist” program  for the conference as well. We’ll know at the end of the month if the abstracts were accepted.

At Protostars & Planets VI, I presented a poster on my preliminary work on the TCE review. In between moving to Taipei, Taiwan in August and settling in (I’m now a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics at Academia Sinica [ASIAA]), I’ve been working on continuing that analysis and starting to interpret the results. I find conferences  good motivators to make progress on my research projects. I always want to have something new and different to say from the last time people saw me present. So, this month is all about working on the TCE analysis for me.  With your classifications from the TCE review, I’ve been able to make a list of all the transit-shaped TCEs and with some preliminary criteria made a rough planet candidate list that I presented in July. I’ve been now looking more at the additional cuts I had made to go from that transit-shaped list to list of planet candidates. I think at this stage, I’m happy with the reasoning for the specific cuts based on other properties of the TCEs to remove false positives.  Now, it’s looking at how to estimate an efficiency and see what things we might be missing in our list. In addition the Kepler team has finished vetting the list of new Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) from Q1-Q12 into planet candidates. I  am now starting to look at what are the differences between our Planet Hunters-derived list and the current cumulative Kepler planet candidate list. In particular what things did we include that they didn’t (and vice versa) and how that relates to transit depth/size of the planet.

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