I am a PhD student (Oct 2018 - Sep 2022) in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group at the University of Warwick. My supervisor is Daniel Bayliss.
My research work is focused on the observations of transiting exoplanets, and I am currently working in two main areas:
1) Work within the NGTS consortium
NGTS planet search
The primary science goal of NGTS is to find new exoplanets. I work to help achieve this goal, primarily during the candidate selection and vetting stages. I also lead the discovery for the sub-Saturn mass exoplanet NGTS-12b (Bryant et al. 2021a).
Within NGTS, I have also been involved in developing the quickfit routines for the pipeline which aid in candidate selection for follow-up.
Follow up of Bright Exoplanet candidate hosts with NGTS
I also lead the day-to-day operations (target selection; observation scheduling; light curve generation) for the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) Bright Star working group to follow up the brightest exoplanet hosts (V < 10.5 mag) to look for potential transit timing variations (TTVs; eg. HIP-41378f Bryant et al. (2021b)), to obtain robust estimates of the transit ephemeris for future observations, and to also find potential blends for candidate rejection. I lead the target selection, observation scheduling, reduction of the observations, and production of light curves for this working group. Through my work for this working group, I have contributed light curves to the discovery of multiple exoplanets. (See below for a full list).
A main part of my work in the Bright Stars Working group, I have been testing the use of multiple NGTS telescopes to simultaneously observe exoplanet transit events. This testing has shown that multiple simultaneous NGTS light curves combine beautifully to achieve photometric data of the same quality as the TESS space mission for bright stars (V < 10mag) - see Bryant et al. (2020) for more information. These multi-telescope observations are now used for the majority of the NGTS bright stars observations, as well as for observations for other NGTS working groups.
2) Occurrence rates of Giant Planets orbiting low mass stars
One of the major theories of planetary formation is core-accretion, which has been shown to be unable to form the largest, Jupiter-sized planets around low mass stars. I am using light curves extracted from the TESS full frame images to search for these planetary systems. I will also be using the results of this planet search, along with injection-recovery tests, to quantify the occurrence rates of these systems. These occurrence rates will help us to better test and understand giant planet formation.
As a bonus outcome, we will be obtaining mass measurements for the top candidates that are found during this search, eg. with ESPRESSO.
Lead Author Papers:
Bryant et al. (2021b): "A transit timing variation observed for the long-period extremely low-density exoplanet HIP 4137 f"
Bryant et al. (2021a): "NGTS-12b: A sub-Saturn mass transiting exoplanet in a 7.53 day orbit"
Bryant et al. (2020): "Simultaneous TESS and NGTS Transit Observations of WASP-166b"
Planet discovery light curve contributions from NGTS Bright Stars WG:
TOI-849: Armstrong et al. (2020)
TOI-129/HIP 65Ab: Nielsen et al. (2020)
TOI-193/LTT 9779: Jenkins et al. (2020)
TOI-481: Brahm et al. (2020)
TOI-561: Weiss et al. (2021)
TOI-178: Leleu et al. (2021)
TOI-201: Hobson et al. (2021)
Conference Talks and Posters:
"Detecting giant planets around low-mass stars to understand how planets form"; Poster, TESS Science Conference 2; virtual; August 2021
"Detecting giant planets around low-mass stars to understand how planets form"; Talk, National Astronomy Meeting; virtual; July 2021
"Ultra-High Precision Photometry with NGTS Multi-Telescopes"; Poster, Exoplanets 3; virtual; July 2020
"Ultra-High Precision Photometry with NGTS Multi-Telescopes"; Talk; RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting, RAS, London, Nov 2019
"Ultra-High Precision Photometry of Bright Exoplanet Hosts with NGTS"; Poster; UK Exoplanet Meeting, Imperial College London, April 2019
Write to:Edward Bryant,
Office: PS0.16 (Physical Sciences)