Coffee/tea and cookies will be served in the coffee lounge of 52HLH starting at 2 PM. Bring your own mug if you have!
Despite thousands of explanets now known, the detection of moons around these objects has proven elusive. Exomoons may be habitable worlds in their own right and affect the habitability and history of the planets they orbit. Whilst their detection requires pushing modern instruments to their limits, these objects hold a great potential to revolutionize our understanding of other planetary systems. I will present the methods and results from the Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler (HEK) project, which remains the only systematic survey for these objects. Statistically robust upper limits, derived for each planet surveyed, are beginning to provide meaningful constraints on the exomoon population. In a new strategy I’ll briefly outline, we are greatly increasing the sample of objects surveyed from dozens to hundreds. From exomoons to other cool worlds, I will also introduce my new group at Columbia, highlighting some of the exciting research from by graduate students, spanning Bayesian interference to SETI. Finally, I will add a brief update on our space-based photometry with MOST of Proxima Centauri.