A cosmic barbecue: Researchers spot 60 new ‘hot Jupiter’ candidates
Sarah Millholland, GRD ‘22 and astronomy professor Greg Laughlin have identified 60 potential new “hot Jupiters” — highly irradiated worlds that glow like coals on a barbecue grill and are found orbiting only 1% of Sun-like stars.
The researchers identified the planet candidates via a novel application of big data techniques. They used a supervised machine learning algorithm — a sophisticated program that can be trained to recognize patterns in data and make predictions — to detect the tiny amplitude variations in observed light that result as an orbiting planet reflects rays of light from its host star.
The Yale technique pioneers a new discovery method that identifies more planets from the publicly available Kepler data, said the researchers.
A new, Yale-designed instrument known as EXPRES, which is being installed on the Discovery Channel Telescope in Arizona, may attempt to make confirmations later this year.