Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

Kassandra Anderson

Professor Dong Lai
Kassandra  Anderson

Research interests:

Extrasolar planetary systems, protoplanetary disks, star and planet formation

I am a third-year graduate student working with Professor Dong Lai on the dynamics of exoplanetary systems.  Currently, I am investigating the orbital evolution and migration of giant planets in systems with distant stellar companions.  In this scenario, the companion star can perturb the planet into an extremely high-eccentricity orbit, with subsequent orbital decay due to tidal dissipation.  Such systems can result in extremely close-in planets (“hot Jupiters”) with final orbital periods of several days or less.  Through a combination of numerical simulations and semi-analytic work, our goal is to better understand the diversity of observed exoplanetary systems, and help constrain the formation mechanisms of hot Jupiters.

I received my B.S. in Physics from the University of Michigan (UM) in 2012, where I worked with Professor Fred Adams on exoplanet dynamics. After graduating, I continued my research at UM for a year, where I worked with Profs. Fred Adams, Nuria Calvet, and Anthony Bloch on several projects, including the dynamics of planets around post-main-sequence stars, and protoplanetary disk evolution.


Kassandra R. Anderson, Fred C. Adams, & Nuria Calvet, 2013 ApJ, 776, 9
"Viscous Evolution and Photoevaporation of Circumstellar Disks due to External Far-Ultraviolet Radiation Fields"

Fred C. Adams, Kassandra R. Anderson, & Anthony M. Bloch, 2013 MNRAS, 432, 438 "Evolution of Planetary Systems with Time Dependent Stellar Mass Loss"

Kassandra R. Anderson & Fred C. Adams, 2012 PASP, 124, 809
"Effects of Collisions with Rocky Planets on the Properties of Hot Jupiters"