538 Davey Lab
Title: Science and Programmatics from the Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment
Abstract: The past few years of space mission development have seen an increase in the use of small satellites as platforms for dedicated astrophysical research; they offer unique capabilities for time-domain science and complementary advantages over large shared resource facilities like the Hubble Space Telescope, including: (1) low cost and relatively quick development timelines; (2) observing strategies dedicated to niche but important science questions; and (3) ample opportunity for students and early career scientists and engineers to be involved on the front lines of space mission development. The Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment (CUTE) is a NASA-supported 6U CubeSat assembled and tested at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics within the University of Colorado Boulder. CUTE launched in September 2021 and has completed one year of science operations obtaining near ultraviolet transit spectroscopy of short-period exoplanets. I will show CUTE observations of KELT-9b, one of the hottest known exoplanets. I will also discuss small satellites for astrophysics more generally and their programmatic needs in order to be scientifically productive.
Host: Jessica Libby-Roberts
Seminar held in 538 Davey or please email CEHW-SEMINAR-QUESTIONS@lists.psu.edu to attend virtually.