“Combining Exoplanet Measurement Techniques to Discover, Weigh and Characterize Cold Gas Giants” with Emily Rickman (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA)

Giant planets and brown dwarfs at an orbital separation great than 5 AU are important puzzle pieces needed for constraining the uncertainties that exist in giant planet formation and evolutionary models that are plagued by a lack of observational constraints. In order to observationally probe this mass-separation parameter space, direct imaging is necessary but faces the difficulty of low detection efficiency. To utilize the power of direct imaging, pre-selecting companion candidates with long-period radial velocities, coupled with astrometry from Hipparcos and Gaia, provide a powerful tool to hunt for the most promising candidates for direct imaging. Not only does this increase the detection efficiency, but this wealth of information removes the degeneracy of unknown orbital parameters, leading to derived dynamical masses which can serve as benchmark objects to test models of formation and evolution. With the recently launched JWST, as well as upcoming facilities like the ELT and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, observing time is valuable and the strategy of direct imaging needs to be re-defined to pre-select targets and characterize the companions that we do discover.

Emily Rickman is a Science Operations Scientist for the European Space Agency (ESA) based at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Emily Rickman is a member of the Hubble Space Telescope team providing support to the STIS instrument as well as a project-level member of the JWST Telescope Scientist Team for coronagraphy, and the JWST High-Contrast Imaging ERS Team. Emily Rickman earned her doctorate in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Geneva Observatory in 2020, where she also spent some time as a postdoctoral researcher. She was then awarded a fellowship with the European Space Agency at STScI. Prior to earning her PhD, Emily Rickman graduated from the University of Sheffield with a first-class Masters degree with honors in Physics and Astrophysics, including spending one year as a researcher at the Australian National University.

Webinar was recorded on August 31, 2023