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April 4, 202211:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)

Understanding Planetary Evolution with TESS


Joey Rodriguez (Michigan State University)


Stephanie Ho



Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy

College Station, Texas 77843

About The Speaker

Joey Rodriguez is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University. He received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University for using transiting exoplanets and eclipsing disks to understand planet formation and evolution. Prior to his appointment at MSU, he was a Future Faculty Leaders Postdoctoral fellow and a Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Astronomer working at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. Currently, his focus is discovering new keystone exoplanetary systems that provide insight into key questions about planet formation/evolution using observations from NASA’s Kepler, K2, and TESS missions.

Event Details

The success of transit and RV surveys have shifted the exoplanet field from pure discovery to a combination of discovery, demographic analysis, and detailed characterization, especially for exoplanet atmospheres. However, even with nearly 5000 exoplanets known, we are still working to understand their origins and evolutionary mechanisms. Using data from NASA’s TESS mission, we are working to find keystone planetary systems around bright stars (those well suited for atmospheric observations) that can help address specific questions about planet formation and evolution. Additionally, many of the known transiting planets to date have ephemerides that have degraded to uncertainties of many hours, making them inaccessible in the era of JWST. I will review our efforts to discover and characterize new exoplanet systems from TESS, and provide the community with updated ephemerides and system parameters for future atmospheric characterization and population studies.

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