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Cait Clement

I am an MSc student in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group at the University of Warwick, supervised by Dr Daniel Bayliss. My current research involves using data from NASA's TESS mission to search for signals of non-transiting planets.

I completed my undergraduate degree in Physics here at the University of Warwick in June 2021. My undergraduate research project was supervised by Dr Bogdan Hnat in the Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics (CFSA) and focussed on the propagation of MHD structures in the solar wind.

My Research

My research is focused on the detection of non-transiting planets around solar-type stars using TESS data. In particular, I search for phase curve characteristics of currently undiscovered non-transiting planets. This method has been successfully applied to known transiting systems, allowing detailed investigations of three major phase curve components.

Massive, short-period bodies (such as Hot Jupiters and brown dwarves) induce a photometric variability in the observed light of their host stars. Whilst these signals are larger in amplitude for transiting systems, they are still expected to be significant for most non-transiting systems.

For my research purposes, I consider the effects of three phase curve components (atmospheric modulation, tidal distortion and Doppler beaming) and how the combined phase curves vary depending on the parameters of the system - such as the planet mass and radius, and the orbital inclination.

The ultimate aim of the project is to search for these phase curve signals in the TESS data from years 1 to 3 and compile a list of potential host systems of non-transiting planets. These candidate systems could undergo further follow up studies and become the first non-transiting planets to be discovered from the TESS project.

Workshops and Presentations

PLATO Atmospheres Workshop - online

DLR Institute for Planetary Research, Berlin

December 2021

Presentation Co-author

TESS Science Workshop - online

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

December 2021


Other Interests

To compliment my research, I take part in several stellar variability projects in my free time. Here, I contribute to the categorisation and discussion of various targets from missions such as SuperWASP and the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS SN).

I regularly write for the Science and Technology section of the student newspaper, The Boar, focussing on topics such as the launch of James Webb Space Telescope, new discoveries in our Solar System, and future methods of space exploration.

Outside of my degree, I work as a climbing instructor and have been regularly involved with the on-campus climbing club. In 2019, I was elected as Club Captain and now continue to aid and contribute to the club in any way I can.

I also enjoy iceskating and reading science fiction.

Write to:

Cait Clement,
Department of Physics,
University of Warwick,
Coventry CV4 7AL

Contact details:

Office: PS0.16C