Circumbinary Planets at the Kepler-TESS (K-T) Boundary
William Welsch smiling
Dr. William Welsh
San Diego State University
Astronomy Department

Wednesday, September 16, 2020
watch Bill’s talk here

NASA’s Kepler Mission was spectacularly successful: its discovery of ~2400 exoplanets has revolutionized our understanding of the sizes and architectures of planetary systems. Among the most fascinating of these systems are the “circumbinary planets”: planets that orbit two stars. We currently know of a dozen such planets, and each has revealed an important new facet – and a new challenge (headache) to solve. In this talk I will give an overview of how we find exoplanets and present the main results of the Kepler Mission with emphasis on the circumbinary planets. I will then briefly discuss NASA’s currently-operating TESS Mission, and how we expect it to reveal hundreds of new circumbinary planets. We are on the cusp of transitioning from detailed characterization of a handful of planets to carrying out statistical studies of the circumbinary planet population.