Matthew Penny

Matthew Penny

Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy

Ph.D., 2011 - University of Manchester

Louisiana State University
Department of Physics & Astronomy
261-B Nicholson Hall, Tower Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4001

Research Interests

Astronomy & Astrophysics

Exoplanet demographics: gravitational microlensing and transit surveys, wide-field and time-domain surveys,  

I work on understanding the number and properties of exoplanetary systems (exoplanet demographics), by designing and conducting large-scale surveys using the gravitational microlensing and transit techniques. I’m particularly interested in understanding if the location of a star in our Galaxy has an effect on the planetary system it forms.

I work on the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission, NASA’s next flagship astrophysics mission that is following in the footsteps of the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes. I am the principle investigator of the MISHAPS survey, searching for transiting hot Jupiters in the Galactic bulge, and I am a member of the KELT search for transiting planets. I also work on microlensing surveys using UKIRT and CFHT telescopes, and the Euclid and K2 space missions. 

Selected Publications

  • Penny, Matthew T.; Gaudi, B. Scott; Kerins, Eamonn; Rattenbury, Nicholas J.; Mao, Shude; Robin, Annie C.; Calchi Novati, Sebastiano “Predictions of the WFIRST Microlensing Survey. I. Bound Planet Detection Rates”, 2019, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 241, 34
  • Zang, Weicheng; Penny, Matthew T.; Zhu, Wei; Mao, Shude; Fouqué, Pascal; Udalski, Andrzej; Hwang, Kyu-Ha; Wang, Tianshu; Huang, Chelsea; Boyajian, Tabetha. S.; Barentsen, Geert “Measurement of Source Star Colors with the K2C9-CFHT Multi-color Microlensing Survey ”, 2018, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 130, 104401
  • Penny, Matthew T.; Henderson, Calen B.; Clanton, Christian “Is the Galactic Bulge Devoid of Planets?”, 2016, The Astrophysical Journal, 830, 150
  • Sumi, T.; Penny, M. T. ”Possible Solution of the Long-standing Discrepancy in the Microlensing Optical Depth toward the Galactic Bulge by Correcting the Stellar Number Count”, The Astrophysical Journal, 827, 139
  • Penny, M. T.; Kerins, E.; Rattenbury, N.; Beaulieu, J. -P.; Robin, A. C.; Mao, S.; Batista, V.; Calchi Novati, S.; Cassan, A.; Fouqué, P.; McDonald, I.; Marquette, J. B.; Tisserand, P.; Zapatero Osorio, M. R. “ExELS: an exoplanet legacy science proposal for the ESA Euclid mission - I. Cold exoplanets”, 2013, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 434, 2