Research Blog

Quick Descriptions of My Research

A Uniform Reanalysis of Spitzer Phase Curves

Spitzer/IRAC observations are affected by strong detector systematics which can be larger than the astrophysical signals we seek to measure. In this work, we seek to find the best systematic noise model through a uniform reanalysis of previously published Spitzer/IRAC phase curves.
Image Credit: Taylor J. Bell

Mass Loss From WASP-12b

Previous Spitzer/IRAC phase curve observations of WASP-12b showed a feature never seen before at infrared wavelengths. In this work, I show that this finding is reproducible and is best explained by carbon monoxide emission from a stream of gas stripped from the planet's atmosphere.
Image Credit: Danik Renaud

A Latent Heat Analogue on Ultra-Hot Jupiters

Hot Jupiters are believed to have a permanent dayside and a permanent nightside. In this work, I describe a previously unaccounted for effect which increases the heat transport efficiency of winds in the atmospheres of ultra-hot Jupiters: the thermal dissociation of molecular hydrogen.
Image Credit: Taylor J. Bell

The Very Low Albedo of WASP-12b

An international team of researchers which I led analyzed new Hubble observations of WASP-12b in hopes of detecting light reflected by the gas giant exoplanet. Our stringent non-detection gives us exciting insights into the composition of the atmosphere on the dayside of the planet.
Image Credit: NASA/ESA/G. Bacon

Binarity of Type II Cepheids

To test theories of Type II Cepheid formation, I studied the spatial distribution of these pulsating stars within the best-studied Milky Way Globular clusters to determine whether or not there is evidence that they are frequently found orbiting another star within a binary system.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/NOAO/AURA/NSF

Star Formation in z~1 Galaxy Clusters

How does the star formation rate of galaxies depend on their stellar mass and the density of their environment? To answer this question and study the evolution of galaxy clusters, I analyzed 8 billion year old photons collected by the Spitzer Space Telescope.
Image Credit: NASA/STScI/ESA/JPL-Caltech/McGill