Phillip J. MacQueen

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On 2011 February 1 the Kepler mission released data for 156,453 stars observed from the beginning of the science observations on 2009 May 2 through September 16. There are 1235 planetary candidates with transit-like signatures detected in this period. These are associated with 997 host stars. Distributions of the characteristics of the planetary candidates(More)
The Kepler mission was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets in and near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The habitable zone is the region where planetary temperatures are suitable for water to exist on a planet's surface. During the first 6 weeks of observations, Kepler monitored 156,000 stars, and five new exoplanets with sizes(More)
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will search for planets transiting bright and nearby stars. TESS has been selected by NASA for launch in 2017 as an Astrophysics Explorer mission. The spacecraft will be placed into a highly elliptical 13.7-day orbit around the Earth. During its 2-year mission, TESS will employ four wide-field optical(More)
The Kepler spacecraft has been monitoring the light from 150,000 stars in its primary quest to detect transiting exoplanets. Here, we report on the detection of an eclipsing stellar hierarchical triple, identified in the Kepler photometry. KOI-126 [A, (B, C)], is composed of a low-mass binary [masses M(B) = 0.2413 ± 0.0030 solar mass (M(⊙)), M(C) = 0.2127 ±(More)
The Kepler spacecraft is monitoring more than 150,000 stars for evidence of planets transiting those stars. We report the detection of two Saturn-size planets that transit the same Sun-like star, based on 7 months of Kepler observations. Their 19.2- and 38.9-day periods are presently increasing and decreasing at respective average rates of 4 and 39 minutes(More)
High resolution spectroscopy is the foundation for many challenging astronomical observations. A highly precise, repeatable and stable wavelength calibration is especially essential for long term radial velocity observations. The two wavelength references in wide use for visible wavelengths, iodine absorption cells and thorium/argon lamps, each have(More)
In the solar system, the planets' compositions vary with orbital distance, with rocky planets in close orbits and lower-density gas giants in wider orbits. The detection of close-in giant planets around other stars was the first clue that this pattern is not universal and that planets' orbits can change substantially after their formation. Here, we report(More)
In the spring of 2009, the Kepler Mission commenced high-precision photometry on nearly 156,000 stars to determine the frequency and characteristics of small exoplanets, conduct a guest observer program, and obtain asteroseismic data on a wide variety of stars. On 2010 June 15, the Kepler Mission released most of the data from the first quarter of(More)
We present a new method for confirming transiting planets based on the combination of transit timingn variations (TTVs) and dynamical stability. Correlated TTVs provide evidence that the pair of bodies are in the same physical system. Orbital stability provides upper limits for the masses of the transiting companions that are in the planetary regime. This(More)
This paper reports the discovery and characterization of the transiting hot giant exoplanet Kepler17b. The planet has an orbital period of 1.486 days, and radial velocity measurements from the HobbyEberly Telescope show a Doppler signal of 419.5 −15.6 ms . From a transit-based estimate of the host star’s mean density, combined with an estimate of the(More)