2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

The Search for Exoplanets
Neal H. Thompson
Dr. Vayujeet Gokhale, Faculty Mentor

Human curiosity has inspired speculation about habitable worlds other than Earth for hundreds of years, but the search for such worlds has begun only recently. Since the first confirmed detection of an exoplanet in 1995, the rate at which exoplanets are being detected has steadily increased. And with the launch of the Kepler mission in 2009, astronomers can even detect Earth-sized planets around low-mass stars. To date, based on the analysis of two years of Kepler data, about 1,000 exoplanets have been confirmed, with around 4,000 candidates. This number is bound to increase after two more years of Kepler data is analyzed. Moreover, we are getting ever closer to discovering an Earth-like planet in the habitable zone of a Sun-like starthe Holy Grail of exoplanet research. In this talk we review the current status of exoplanet research and provide an overview of future planet-hunting missions.

Keywords: exoplanets, astronomy, astronomy research, Kepler, astrobiology

Topic(s):Astronomy
Physics-Astronomy

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 302-1
Location: MG 1096
Time: 1:00

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