tidal disruption and exoplanets around nearby stars

Ramirez-Ruiz (Santa Cruz) gave a morning talk on tidal disruption flares. He finds that for every fully disrupted star (by a central black hole in a galaxy) there should be many partially disrupted stars, and we should be able to find the remnants. The remnants should look odd in various ways, and be on odd orbits. Worth looking for!

In the afternoon, Johnson (Harvard) talked about exoplanets around cool stars, with some diversions into interesting false positives (a white dwarf eclipsing an M star, providing a gravitational-lensing measurement of the white dwarf mass) and new hardware (the MINERVA project is building an exoplanet search out of cheap hardware). Johnson gave various motivations for his work, but not the least was the idea that someday we might go to one of these planets! A great pair of talks. Late in the afternoon, Johnson and I collected some suggestions for combining our research groups and projects.

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