Courtney Dressing

Exoplanets

I am currently working with David Charbonneau to investigate the occurrence rate of small planets around M dwarfs. We recently used multi-band photometry to improve the radius and temperature estimates of the smallest stars in the Kepler target list and revised the radii of the associated planet candidates. We found that the occurrence rate of 0.5-4 Earth radius planets with periods < 50 days is 0.90 (+0.04/-0.03) planets per small star and that the occurrence rate of 0.5-1.4 Earth radius planets in the habitable zones of small stars is 0.04 planets per star. This implies that the nearest Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a small star is within 5 pc at 95% confidence. Please see this paper for more details.

For my undergraduate senior thesis at Princeton University, I worked with Ed Turner, Michael McElwain, and the SEEDS (Strategic Explorations of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru) collaboration to directly image young Jovian exoplanets using the Subaru telescope. The SEEDS project aims to discover young planets in order to improve our knowledge of planet formation and migration.

Courtney on Mauna Kea
At Mauna Kea with Subaru and Keck.