Sean Carey (Caltech/IPAC)

University of Florida Astronomy Colloquium - April 22nd, 2015

A sampling of exoplanet results from the Spitzer Space Telescope

The Spitzer Space Telescope, NASA's Great Observatory investigating the infrared Universe, was launched in 2003 when less than a hundred exoplanets had been detected and the field of exoplanet astronomy was in its infancy. Starting in 2005 and continuing to the present, Spitzer has been used to make fundamental discoveries in the study of exoplanets including the first direct detection of thermal emission from an exoplanet. I will discuss how the observing community motivated the operational changes to the observatory necessary to facilitate studies of exoplanets with a telescope that was designed to provide photometry accurate at the 5% level not the <100 ppm level necessary for transiting exoplanets. I will present some highlights of recent exoplanet results from Spitzer including the results of our first microlensing parallax campaign made possible by Spitzer's unique vantage point more than 1 AU from Earth.