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Publication Date

Summer 2014

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physics and Astronomy


Natalie M. Batalha

Subject Areas



We present initial results from our occultation and phase curve catalog of Kepler planets and planetary candidates. We applied a new numerical occultation model for each light curve in our catalog. From this analysis, we demonstrated the importance of investigating occultations and phase curves in order to find false positives in the KOI data set. We calculated the brightness temperatures of KOI 418.01 and KOI 960.01. These temperatures allowed us to conclude both are false positives. Using the phase curve amplitudes, we were able to estimate masses of 0.169 M⊙ and 1.43M⊙, respectively, and eccentricities of 0.668 and 0.732, respectively. We concluded that both objects are eclipsing binaries. We also discussed the occultations of two confirmed super-Earths, Kepler 10b and Kepler 407b. Assuming all planetary flux is due to reflected light, we found that both planets have geometric albedos >0.4. An alternative explanation is presented in which we concluded that the planetary flux observed is due to both backscattering reflected light as well as a thermal component.