Nikku Madhusudhan

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We present a new method to retrieve molecular abundances and temperature profiles from exoplanet atmosphere photometry and spectroscopy. We run millions of one-dimensional (1D) atmosphere models in order to cover the large range of allowed parameter space. In order to run such a large number of models, we have developed a parametric pressure–temperature(More)
We present new visible and infrared observations of the hot Jupiter Kepler-7b to determine its atmospheric properties. Our analysis allows us to 1) refine Kepler-7b’s relatively large geometric albedo of Ag = 0.35 ± 0.02, 2) place upper limits on Kepler-7b thermal emission that remains undetected in both Spitzer bandpasses and 3) report a westward shift in(More)
We present a search for Trojan companions to 25 transiting exoplanets. We use the technique of Ford & Gaudi, in which a difference is sought between the observed transit time and the transit time that is calculated by fitting a two-body Keplerian orbit to the radial-velocity data. This technique is sensitive to the imbalance of mass at the L4/L5 points of(More)
We present a detailed analysis of the dayside atmosphere of the hot-Neptune GJ 436b, based on recent Spitzer observations. We report statistical constraints on the thermal and chemical properties of the planetary atmosphere, study correlations between the various molecular species, and discuss scenarios of equilibrium and non-equilibrium chemistry in GJ(More)
The carbon-to-oxygen ratio (C/O) in a planet provides critical information about its primordial origins and subsequent evolution. A primordial C/O greater than 0.8 causes a carbide-dominated interior, as opposed to the silicate-dominated composition found on Earth; the atmosphere can also differ from those in the Solar System. The solar C/O is 0.54 (ref.(More)
Exoplanetary transmission spectroscopy in the near-infrared using Hubble/NICMOS is currently ambiguous because different observational groups claim different results from the same data, depending on their analysis methodologies. Spatial scanning with Hubble/WFC3 provides an opportunity to resolve this ambiguity. We here report WFC3 spectroscopy of the giant(More)
We have generated an extensive new suite of massive giant planet atmosphere models and used it to obtain fits to photometric data for the planets HR 8799b, c, and d. We consider a wide range of cloudy and cloud-free models. The cloudy models incorporate different geometrical and optical thicknesses, modal particle sizes, and metallicities. For each planet(More)
Chemical composition affects virtually all aspects of astrobiology, from stellar astrophysics to molecular biology. We present a synopsis of the research results presented at the "Stellar Stoichiometry" Workshop Without Walls hosted at Arizona State University April 11-12, 2013, under the auspices of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. The results focus on the(More)
We observe two secondary eclipses of the strongly irradiated transiting planet WASP-33b, in the Ks band at 2.15μm, and one secondary eclipse each at 3.6μm and 4.5μm using Warm Spitzer. This planet orbits an A5V δ-Scuti star that is known to exhibit low amplitude non-radial p-mode oscillations at about 0.1% semi-amplitude. We detect stellar oscillations in(More)
Hot Jupiters are expected to be dark from both observations (albedo upper limits) and theory (alkali metals and/or TiO and VO absorption). However, only a handful of hot Jupiters have been observed with high enough photometric precision at visible wavelengths to investigate these expectations. The NASA Kepler mission provides a means to widen the sample and(More)