SAC Seminar - Yutong Shan: Microlensing in space: new parameter spaces in exoplanet science
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Abstract: The discovery and characterization of exoplanets using nowadays standard methods such as transit light curves, spectroscopy, radial velocity and imaging have been immensely fruitful. Yet the target populations are confined to stars that are local and planets that are close-in and/or massive. While space observatories like Kepler and Spitzer have contributed immensely to this well-travelled path, the positioning of these observatories make them also uniquely suited for exoplanet science in parameter spaces hitherto inaccessible by the standard techniques. Gravitational microlensing using satellites in conjunction with ground-based surveys have enabled us to reliably measure properties of planets and stellar binaries across galactic distances. I will describe what we are beginning to learn about their galactic spatial distribution using Spitzer-ground parallaxes. With Kepler, we have our first shot at capturing a free-floating planet in action, and I will showcase a few candidates we are currently analyzing.