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Kevin B. Stevenson
Kevin B. Stevenson recently graduated with his PhD in physics (planetary sciences track) from the University of Central Florida. He worked under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Harrington as a member of the Planetary Sciences Group.
Kevin specialized in time-series photometry and numerical methods. He analyzed dozens of transiting-exoplanet datasets, mostly involving challenging, low signal-to-noise secondary-eclipse observations using instruments aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope. In addition to characterizing exoplanetary atmospheres, Kevin developed and advanced numerous techniques to enhance photometric precision and expedite light-curve modeling.
In May of 2012, Kevin was awarded the Order of Pegasus, the most prestigious and significant student award that can be attained at UCF. Students are selected based on academic achievement, professional or community service, leadership, and publication or research experiences.
Neptune-Sized Extrasolar Planets
Part of his research focused on a hot Neptune called GJ 436b. This is the smallest exoplanet whose direct light has been measured so far. Kevin is the lead-author of a Nature paper (released 22 April 2010) in which a surprising atmospheric composition is revealed. For more details click here.
Earth-Sized Extrasolar Planets
As detailed in a paper release 19 July 2012 by The Astrophysical Journal, Kevin led the discovery of two sub-Earth-sized exoplanet candidates, designated UCF-1.01 and UCF-1.02. For more information click here. To take a virtual trip from Earth to UCF-1.01, watch this video.
List of Publications
- Two nearby sub-Earth-sized exoplanet candidates in the GJ 436 system
- Transit and Eclipse Analyses of Exoplanet HD 149026b Using BLISS Mapping
- Thermal Emission of WASP-14b Revealed with Three Spitzer Eclipses
- Detection of a transit of the super-Earth 55 Cnc e with Warm Spitzer
- A high C/O ratio and weak thermal inversion in the atmosphere of exoplanet WASP-12b
- On the Orbit of Exoplanet WASP-12b
- Spitzer Secondary Eclipses of WASP-18b
- Possible thermochemical disequilibrium in the atmosphere of the exoplanet GJ 436b
- Spitzer IRAC Secondary Eclipse Photometry of the Transiting Extrasolar Planet HAT-P-1b
List of Presentations & Posters
- Atmospheric Constraints of Two Exoplanets Using The Spitzer Space Telescope
- The Orbit and Atmosphere of Exoplanet WASP-12b Revealed by Spitzer Secondary Eclipses
- Carbon-rich Planets
- Analysis of HD 149026b Spitzer Data Using a New Intrapixel Technique
- A Methane-Free GJ 436b?
- The Atmosphere of WASP-14b Revealed by Three Spitzer Eclipses
- A Spitzer IRS Secondary Eclipse of HD 209458b
- Two Secondary Eclipses of WASP-18b
- Multiple Spitzer Secondary Eclipses of WASP-12b
- Spitzer Secondary Eclipse Timing Observations of Exoplanets in Eccentric Orbits
- Atmospheric Methane Constraints for GJ 436b Using Secondary Eclipse Photometry
- Constraints on the Atmospheric Composition of GJ 436b Using Secondary Eclipse Photometry
- Two Secondary Eclipses of HAT-P-7b in Four Wavelengths
- Infrared Secondary Eclipse Photometry of the Transiting Exoplanet HAT-P-1b
- Multichannel Spitzer Observations of HD 149026b
- Constraints on Orbital Parameters from Secondary Eclipse Timing
- The Performance of PSF Centering Techniques
- Secondary Eclipse Photometry of GJ 436b in Six Spitzer Channels
- A Representative Sample of Exoplanetary Secondary Eclipses at 8 Microns
GJ 436b - Where's the methane?
- Further details
- Article in Nature
- UCF press release
- Spitzer press release
- MIT news release
- Story from Space.com
- Simulation of GJ 436b's orbit
- Basic Data of GJ 436b
Research Focus: Extrasolar Planets / Data Analysis
Email: kevin218 at knights.ucf.edu
Office: PS 353