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Victor Ramirez Delgado, Anthony Hewitt, Jack Fitzpatrick, and Barbara Simacek
The technological challenges involved in discovering earthlike planets orbiting sunlike stars have nearly all been solved. A new generation of instruments will be able to achieve the required radial velocity measurement precision of 10 cm/s. Yet searches for earthlike, habitable planets are plagued by false positives: discoveries of "planets" that later turn out to be parasitic signals from magnetically active regions or dynamo cycles. A false report of an earthlike planet would waste James Webb Space Telescope time, valued at over $200,000 per hour, in a doomed attempt to detect biosignatures. In this seminar, students in the 100 Earths class will present their tests of new planet validation algorithms.