Radio Exoplanets

I have recently begun to work on radio observations of exoplanets and their host stars.

In collaboration with Paul Withers (Boston), Joe Callingham (Leiden), and Marissa Vogt, I put out a paper predicting what exoplanet transits would look like at radio wavelengths using next-generation facilities. It turns out that extended magnetospheres like Jupiter has or like models predict for hot Jupiters should lens surface features of the star, giving a funky light curve that should tell us about the magnetic field strength and plasma density of the planetary magnetosphere. This effect should be observable for nearby stars with the Square Kilometre Array.

I was excited to be involved in discovering probably the first exoplanet effect in radio astronomy: a magnetic interaction between a planet and the star GJ 1151. By cross-matching circularly polarized LOFAR sources with Gaia DR2, Joe Callingham and Harish Vedantham identified this source, and we followed it up with HARPS-N to search for a planetary signal with radial velocities. The radio detection paper was published in Nature Astronomy, and the HARPS RV follow-up in ApJL.

The GJ 1151 discovery has garnered a fair bit of press attention: there are excellent write-ups in New Scientist and Quanta Magazine.

We are continuing this work finding more LOFAR sources with Gaia and TESS counterparts!

Get In Touch

  • Address

    School of Mathematics and Physics
    The University of Queensland
    St Lucia
    QLD 4072
    Australia
  • Email

    b.pope@uq.edu.au