This week, I sat down with noted researcher Caroline Piaulet, a doctoral student at the Trottier Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) and the Université de Montréal. Caroline is an astrophysicist who specializes in the study of exoplanets that are between Earth and Neptune in terms of size. These are the planets that are largely missing from the exoplanet census. Caroline and her colleagues intend to find out why!
Caroline also specializes in the study of “Water Worlds,” a strange and exotic type of exoplanet where water makes up a significant fraction of their mass. This means that they are covered in oceans many kilometers deep, far far greater than anything we know here on Earth! These worlds are something astronomers never imagined until they began popping up in telescope data less than two decades ago and the implications they could have for finding life in our Universe could be immense!
These and other fascinating topics came up in the course of our half-hour conversation. Her research and the topic itself warranted way more time, but she’s a busy person. Check it out below!
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One thought on “Episode Thirty-Two of Stories from Space: “The Coming Age of Exoplanet Study with Caroline Piaulet.””
I never heard of the radius valley before. That’s really interesting. I knew certain kinds of exoplanet were easier to find than others, but I always assumed that was merely a case of observation bias.