Abstract by Alex Spencer

Personal Infomation

Presenter's Name

Alex Spencer

Degree Level


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Physics and Astronomy

Faculty Advisor

Denise Stephens


Exoplanet Candidates Confirmed with an Automated Noise Reduction Program


Information gained from analyzing exoplanets can answer questions about planetary and solar system formation. At Brigham Young University, exoplanets are confirmed using the transit detection method. However, information about these objects of interest are shrouded by the telescope’s inherent noise. In order to analyze the desired information, noise reduction procedures must be applied manually through command-line programing. This reduction process is slow and tedious, causing the sought-after data to often go untouched for long periods of time. To circumvent this, a program—called the pipeline—was further developed to perform these procedures automatically. The pipeline calls script files to complete each step, analyzing and responding to the discrepancies in each data set. This automated program can perform noise reduction faster and more uniformly than a student performing the tasks manually. As well, the pipeline allows student researchers more time to focus on analyzing results or to work on other projects.