modeling exoplanet hosts

Eric Ford (Florida) showed up today, and we spent a good chunk of the day arguing about possible improvements to exoplanet data analysis. We slowly built up a suggestion—possibly a very impractical one—for modeling the intensity variations with position and time on the exoplanet-hosting star surface. These variations make the lightcurve vary, and also (because the exoplanet blocks a tiny part of the variable surface) the depth of the eclipses. Bovy and I have a Gaussian Processes formalism that might conceivably take care of these issues, but the probable levels of required computation are a little scary.

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