Transit timing variations in theory and in practice

Lecar Prize Lecture
March 10, 2016
Phillips Auditorium
U. Washington
Abstract: 

Transit timing variations (TTV) provide a sensitive tool for probing multi-planet transiting systems. TTVs can enable the detection of non-transiting exoplanets, the confirmation of multi-transiting exoplanets, and the characterization of their masses and orbital parameters; however, TTVs can bias against the detection of small transiting exoplanets and can result in degeneracies between the planets' masses and eccentricities. I will discuss the history of the theory and the application of this relatively new probe of exoplanets, our recent work on addressing its deficiencies, and the future prospects for characterizing potentially Earth-like planets with TTVs.