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Exoplanets and Bright Stars with the Kepler-2 Mission

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Since the failure of two of its reaction wheels, the Kepler satellite has been revived as the K2 Mission, surveying the ecliptic plane. Covering fields including open clusters and bright nearby stars, the K2 sample extends Kepler to a qualitatively new domain. Balanced by solar radiation pressure, K2 must fire its thrusters frequently, which makes photometry in K2 much more challenging than in the nominal Kepler mission. I will discuss some of my recent work in compensating for this: using Gaussian Process models to correct systematics; discovering 145 new transiting planet candidates; and novel methods to allow Kepler and K2 to look at stars orders of magnitude brighter than previously possible, obtaining the most precise ever optical light curves of the Pleiades, opening the possibility of transit searches around naked-eye stars.

This talk is part of the Exoplanet Meetings series.

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