Congratulations to undergraduate Astronomy and Astrophysics major Jace Rusznak on his election to the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society. Students elected to Phi Beta Kappa meet rigorous standards for academic excellence, ranking in the top 10% of their academic class. Well done, Jace!
Jace participated in the Alice Palma Summer Research Program, working with Postdoctoral Associate Xian-Yu Wang. Jace investigated the relationship between the eccentricity of a warm Jupiter exoplanet and the metallicity of its host star to understand possible formation mechanisms. Warm Jupiters are exoplanets with radii more than nine times the size of Earth and orbital periods between 10 and 100 days. Different formation mechanisms predict different outcomes in orbital eccentricity, with an in situ formation leading to low eccentricity and high eccentricity migration suggesting high orbital eccentricity. They found no correlation between eccentricity and metallicity, and suggest that warm Jupiter planets fall into two populations, one with eccentricity around e=0.16 and one with eccentricity around e=0.45