• Exoplanet Astronomy

    Christina Hedges

    Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge UK

    I am a PhD student working at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge with Simon Hodgkin. I am also associated with Murray Edwards College and am involved with the graduate students there. My research interests surround exoplanet detection and characterisation with my current projects based on exoplanet atmospheres.

    I work mostly with IDL and C++ and develop tookits and pipelines for the reduction of datasets. Primarily I am working on a reduction toolkit for HST spatial scan mode data. Previously I have worked with the Kepler data and asteroseismology. I was also lucky enough to be selected for an REU position at LASP in Colorado Boulder in the summer of 2012 where I worked with Dr. Savita Mathur learning to develop pipelines for the detection and analysis of asteroseismic signatures in Kepler data.

    I also have a blog which you can find here which includes updates on neat things I've found during my PhD and code snippets for people to use such as new IDL color tables.

  • Outreach Talks

    As part of my PhD at the Institute of Astronomy I'm involved in a wide range of outreach activities, from public observing nights to tours of the telescopes on site. I have also give public talks during outreach events which the Institute holds between October and March. A few outreach materials are available here and talks slides are available below.

    The Scale of the Universe

    Outreach Talk

    Talk on the scale of our universe from planets to stars to galaxies. This 30 minute outreach talk (given at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge on Wednesday 14th 2015) includes links to hidden content explaining more about large scale astronomy.

    What are Habitable Exoplanets?

    Outreach Talk

    Another 30 minute talk this time discussing the history of our own planet and what that means for habitability out there in the universe.

    Exoplanet Atmospheres: Hunting for Other Worlds

    Outreach Talk

    A short talk on how we find exoplanets and go further into finding what they're made of!

  • Course Materials

    During my PhD I have developed a short introductory course to C++ for new graduate students. The materials for C++ Course are below with each of the worksheet sets and solutions in a .tar.gz file.

    Workshop 1

    Basic Program Structure

    Workshop one covering the basics of C++ programming with three example sheets including solutions. The example sheets and solutions can be downloaded here.

    Workshop 2

    Building more complex programs

    Second workshop covering iteration and flow control including more complex examples. The example sheets and solutions can be downloaded here.

    Workshop 3

    Arrays and memory

    Working with arrays and the vector library and allocating memory. The example sheets and solutions can be downloaded here.

    Workshop 4

    Building complex functions and librarys

    Tutorial on building useful functions and libraries as well as using classes. The example sheets and solutions can be downloaded here.

    Course Syllabus

    Short outline of each topic

    This is the rough lay out of what we'll cover in each work shop session

  • Talks and Publications

    Effect of Pressure Broadening on Molecular Absorption Cross Sections in Exoplanetary Atmospheres

    MNRAS, January 2016

    Paper discussing the effect pressure broadening has on cross-sections.

    Effect of Pressure Broadening on Molecular Absorption Cross Sections

    UCL 2016

    My talk on the above paper at UCL in Feb 2016. This talk includes a few of the plots we couldn't fit in our paper.

    What you need to know about pressure broadening in exoplanet atmospheres.

    Poster, Exoplanet Community Meeting 2016

    My poster for the 2016 Exoplanet Community Meeting discussing three key points from my paper from January 2016. These include the importance of broadening profile shape, the broadening molecule and the resolution of the observations.

    Effect of Pressure Broadening (Poster)

    Poster, Berlin 2015

    Poster discussing some of the results of the above work.

  • CV

    CV and Training

    Below are some details about my education and training since leaving the University of Birmingham in 2013. For more information see the full CV below or drop me an email at chedges@ast.cam.ac.uk. For references please contact my PhD supervisors Dr. Nikku Madhusudhan and Simon Hodgkin at the IoA.

    For a full CV please click here


    PhD beginning October 2013 in Astronomy at University of Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy

    MSc First Class with Honours from the University of Birmingham, graduated in 2013.

    Conferences and Training

    • Atmosphere Science in the Context of CHEOPS, TESS, K2 and PLATO, Berlin March 2015
    • Summer School on Exoplanets, La Palma September 2014
    • Characterizing Planetary Systems Across the HR Diagram, Cambridge July 2014
    • Training in Exoplanet Reduction Techniques at NASA GSFC with Avi Mandell and Korey Haynes, March 2014
    • Exoplanet Community Meeting, Cambridge April 2014
    • STFC Introductory Summer School 2013, Queen Mary London September 2013
    • REU with LASP, Boulder, Colorado Summer 2012 working with Savita Mathur on asteroseismology in red giants
  • Contact

    If you want to get in touch, particularly about outreach talks, use the links below. Follow me on twitter for updates on conferences and astronomy.



    Institute Address