The Hottest Worlds in the Universe, Samuel Yee, G4 (3958227)
The first planets to be discovered orbiting stars other than our Sun -- exoplanets -- were a type of planet we hadn't expected, based on our expectations from our own solar system. We call these planets hot Jupiters, because they are giant planets made mostly of hydrogen gas, just like Jupiter, but orbit extremely close to their star. A year on these planets lasts just a few days, and their temperatures reach thousands of degrees. It's still a mystery as to how these planets formed. I hope to answer this question but studying the hot Jupiters as a population, discovering hundreds of planets in a systematic way that will allow us to examine their demographics and statistics. To do that, I use data from NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, combined with observations from some of the largest telescopes on the ground, to find new planets.