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SAC Seminar - Eric Nielsen: The Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign: Probing the Origin of Substellar Companions

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Thursday 3 April 2014,  at 14:15 - 15:00

Speaker: Eric Nielsen, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii

Direct imaging is a powerful technique for studying extrasolar planets that can unlock clues to the formation and evolution of planetary systems that can't be probed with other methods.  The Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign was the largest, deepest direct imaging search for extrasolar giant planets conducted to date.  I discuss how we chose the 230 stars observed by the Campaign and a new Bayesian technique for characterizing the age of early type stars.  Given the high contrasts reached around such a large number of target stars we are able to place strong constraints on the frequency of long-period giant planets, and probe the distribution of substellar companions.