Exoplanets are planets that live outside our Solar System. This post briefly introduces processing Kepler data using the lightkurve Python package, to study exoplanets.

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Image credit: Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA/Artwork by Joy Pollard.

Introduction

The transit method is currently one of the most popular indirect methods used to discover exoplanets. In a nutshell, it consists in analysing the brightness variation of the parent star when the planet crosses the light path of the object with respect to the observer. The now retired Kepler telescope was launched by NASA to detect planets orbiting other stars and is responsible for helping in detecting most of the exoplanets known today.

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A planet transit causing the star brightness to dim, image credit: https://imgur.com/43f17Ke.

Lightkurve is a Python package for Kepler & TESS time series analysis, providing a user-friendly way to analyse astronomical flux time series data. The remaining of this post illustrates how to use this package to study the light curve for Kepler-427 b. We start by importing the…

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Nuno Ramos Carvalho

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