Mohit Dighamber

Mohit  Dighamber
MIT Kavli | NASA TESS GI Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisors: Sara Seager
Maximilian N. Guenther
Department: MIT
Areas of Research: Space
Years: 2020-2021
Research Project Title:

Hunting for Prime Exoplanets with TESS & SPECULOOS

abstract:Transit photometry is an effective and widely-used method for detecting exoplanets: planets that orbit stars outside of our solar system. In this process, exoplanets are discovered by detecting changes in stellar flux. This project will be closely searching for the smallest exoplanets orbiting the coolest stars in the TESS and SPECULOOS target database using machine learning techniques, Bayesian statistics, and model fitting. The ultimate goal of this SuperUROP will be to leverage these computational and statistical techniques in order to discover TRAPPIST-1 analogues. The TRAPPIST-1 system remarkably hosts several earth-like exoplanets, and its discovery stands as one of humankind’s greatest milestones in finding evidence of habitability outside our own solar system.

"Through this SuperUROP, I hope to apply my background in physics, computer programming, and exoplanet research in order to find systems analogous to TRAPPIST-1. Working at the heart of the team answering the question, “Are we alone?”, and potentially discovering worlds similar to our own, is a great honor that I am glad I can be a part of."