Protostars & Planets

Greetings from Heidelberg, Germany. I’m here with most of the Planet Hunters science team for the Protostars and Planets VI conference. Astronomers, planetary scientists, and cosmochemists from across the world have gathered for this week long conference to discuss the state of the fields in star formation, young stars, circumstellar protoplanetary disks, planet formation, and exoplanets. The last conference was in 2005 (before I started graduate school) so there is much to talk  about in terms of how what we know about star and planet formation has changed.

There are about ~900 people attending the conference. Unlike most conferences, Protostars & Planets has one session per day, with several half-hour talks based on the chapters being written for the conference proceedings. Planet Hunters PI Debra Fischer is giving the summary talk on the discovery of new exoplanet systems. Joey Schmitt, a 2nd year graduate student at Yale, and myself will be presenting posters on Planet Hunters results. Joey is presenting a poster titled “Planet Hunters Update:Many New Planet Candidates Identified by Citizen Scientists from Kepler Data, Including Several in the Habitable Zone”. Joey’s poster is a summary of the candidates from Ji’s paper and some new PH planet candidates he has been working on characterizing. My poster is on the first results from our TCE review highlighting that we have a list of all transit-shaped TCEs.

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