WFC3, exoplanet searching

At Computer-vision-meets-astronomy today, Fadely showed us all some example HST WFC3 images, some models of the PSF, and some comparisons between model and observed stars. I had never put two-and-two together, but the PHAT project (on the periphery of which I lie) has taken some absolutely awesome WFC3 images for the purposes of array calibration: The PHAT images (being of M31) are absolutely teeming with stars. Indeed, it is impressive that the PHAT team can photometer them at all. We discussed strategies for flat-field determination given that we have a good but not perfect PSF model and a lot of heterogeneous data.

After that but before lunch, we more-or-less decided that while Foreman-Mackey works on a Kepler light-curve likelihood function paper, Angus (Oxford) should start work on a Kepler light-curve exoplanet search paper, making use of the same machinery. This is a great division of labor (I hope) and might eventually bring us close to the goal of everything we have been doing with Kepler, to wit, finding Earth-like planets on year-ish orbits around Sun-like stars. Pleased.

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