The Search for Exoplanets


Online Public

Type: General Meetings

Held on: Sep 22, 2021 (Wed) at 06:30 PM to Sep 22, 2021 (Wed) at 08:00 PM

Online Location: Please sign in to see online meeting location.

Speaker: Sujay Nair

Event Coordinator: Aaron Yoon (he/him)


TOPIC: Exoplanets

Sujay Nair a Senior at Stanford Online High School will describe the methods of exoplanet detection, discuss his research, and provide some examples of his projects that were published at major astronomical conferences. 

Members and guests are welcome to join us here at 6:30 PM for social time followed by the presentation at 6:50 PM.


More Information


I’ll start off by giving some background on who I am and my astrophysics interests. Then, I’ll go into talking about what exoplanets are and why we do research on them. I’ll extend this to the 3 main methods we currently use to detect exoplanets—namely, the radial velocity method, the astrometry method, and the transit method. From there, we’ll focus exclusively on the transit method. I’ll talk about light curves, which we use to do our mid-transit analysis, and mid-transit times, which are what I’ve been doing research on. Specifically, I’ll talk about how a mid-transit time study works along with several examples of projects I did that were published at major astronomical conferences. With this, I’ll touch on the main codebase used in these studies (the EXOplanet Transit Interpretation Code (EXOTIC)) and Exoplanet Watch, the NASA group that inspired me to do this research. Finally, I’ll talk about how everyone can get involved since the main idea of these studies is that any citizen scientist/amateur astronomer can get involved and contribute meaningful work.


My name is Sujay Nair and I’m a 12th grader at Stanford Online High School. I moved to Redmond, Washington in December of 2020 and love it. My main astronomical interests are with exoplanets and studying their transits/mid-transit times. Aside from exoplanets, I love to take my 12 inch dobsonian telescope out to look at various objects ranging from star clusters to galaxies to nebulas which are my favorite. My goal with the research I do is to inspire and help other citizen scientists and amateur astronomers—whether they be in highschool or are retired—do meaningful research with exoplanets. Outside of astronomy, I love to play basketball, chess, and do pottery.


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