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Erin May

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Exoplanet Astronomer
240-592-3954
  • Ph.D., Astronomy & Astrophysics
    2019, University of Michigan
  • B.S., Astrophysics
    2014, Michigan State University
  • B.S., Mathematics, Advanced
    2014, Michigan State University

I am interested in the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres, from both a modeling and observational perspective. My focus has been on small gaseous planets, with a goal to characterize observable signatures of a surface through these planets' atmospheres. I have also been conducting a survey of uniformly observed and analyzed transmission spectra for Neptune-sized exoplanets with the Magellan Baade telescope.

Notable Awards and Leadership

Year(s) Description
2014 - Present American Astronomical Society

Scholarly Publications

Detection of Rotational Variability in Floofy Objects at Optical Wavelengths

arXiv e-prints, 2021
L. C. Mayorga, E. M. May, J. Lustig-Yaeger, S. E Moran, (2021), Detection of Rotational Variability in Floofy Objects at Optical Wavelengths, arXiv e-prints

Water Ice Cloud Variability & Multi-Epoch Transmission Spectra of TRAPPIST-1e

arXiv e-prints, 2021
E. M. May, J. Taylor, T. D. Komacek, M. R. Line, V. Parmentier, (2021), Water Ice Cloud Variability & Multi-Epoch Transmission Spectra of TRAPPIST-1e, arXiv e-prints

Water Ice Cloud Variability and Multi-epoch Transmission Spectra of TRAPPIST-1e

The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2021
E. M. May, J. Taylor, T. D. Komacek, M. R. Line, V. Parmentier, (2021), Water Ice Cloud Variability and Multi-epoch Transmission Spectra of TRAPPIST-1e, The Astrophysical Journal Letters

Variable Irradiation on 1D Cloudless Eccentric Exoplanet Atmospheres

The Astrophysical Journal, 2021
L. C. Mayorga, Tyler D. Robinson, Mark S. Marley, E. M. May, Kevin B. Stevenson, (2021), Variable Irradiation on 1D Cloudless Eccentric Exoplanet Atmospheres, The Astrophysical Journal

Transmission Spectroscopy of the Earth–Sun System to Inform the Search for Extrasolar Life

The Planetary Science Journal, 2021
L. C. Mayorga, J. Lustig-Yaeger, E. M. May, Kristin S. Sotzen, Junellie Gonzalez-Quiles, Brian M. Kilpatrick, Emily C. Martin, Kathleen Mandt, K. B. Stevenson, N. R. Izenberg, (2021), Transmission Spectroscopy of the Earth–Sun System to Inform the Search for Extrasolar Life, The Planetary Science Journal

Spitzer Phase-curve Observations and Circulation Models of the Inflated Ultrahot Jupiter WASP-76b

The Astronomical Journal, 2021
Erin M. May, Thaddeus D. Komacek, Kevin B. Stevenson, Eliza M.-R. Kempton, Jacob L. Bean, Matej Malik, Jegug Ih, Megan Mansfield, Arjun B. Savel, Drake Deming, Jean-Michel Desert, Y. Katherina Feng, Jonathan J. Fortney, Tiffany Kataria, Nikole Lewis, Caroline Morley, Emily Rauscher, Adam Showman, (2021), Spitzer Phase-curve Observations and Circulation Models of the Inflated Ultrahot Jupiter WASP-76b, The Astronomical Journal

On the Utility of Transmission Color Analysis I: Differentiating Super-Earths and Sub-Neptunes

arXiv e-prints, 2021
Kristin S. Sotzen, Kevin B. Stevenson, Erin M. May, Natasha E. Batalha, Noam R. Izenberg, Sarah M. Horst, Calley L. Tinsman, Carey M. Lisse, Nikole K. Lewis, Jayesh M. Goyal, Joseph J. Linden, Kathleen E. Mandt, (2021), On the Utility of Transmission Color Analysis I: Differentiating Super-Earths and Sub-Neptunes, arXiv e-prints

No umbrella needed: Confronting the hypothesis of iron rain on WASP-76b with post-processed general circulation models

arXiv e-prints, 2021
Arjun B. Savel, Eliza M. -R. Kempton, Matej Malik, Thaddeus D. Komacek, Jacob L. Bean, Erin M. May, Kevin B. Stevenson, Megan Mansfield, Emily Rauscher, (2021), No umbrella needed: Confronting the hypothesis of iron rain on WASP-76b with post-processed general circulation models, arXiv e-prints

Spitzer phase curve observations and circulation models of the inflated ultra-hot Jupiter WASP-76b

arXiv e-prints, 2021
Erin M. May, Thaddeus D. Komacek, Kevin B. Stevenson, Eliza M. -R. Kempton, Jacob L. Bean, Matej Malik, Jegug Ih, Megan Mansfield, Arjun B. Savel, Drake Deming, Jean-Michel Desert, Y. Katherina Feng, Jonathan J. Fortney, Tiffany Kataria, Nikole Lewis, Caroline Morley, Emily Rauscher, Adam Showman, (2021), Spitzer phase curve observations and circulation models of the inflated ultra-hot Jupiter WASP-76b, arXiv e-prints

Tell Me How I?m Supposed To Breathe With No Air: Measuring the Prevalence and Diversity of M-Dwarf Planet Atmospheres

JWST Proposal. Cycle 1, 2021
Kevin Stevenson, Jacob Lustig-Yaeger, Munazza Alam, Natasha Batalha, Mercedes Lopez-Morales, Joshua D. Lothringer, Ryan J. MacDonald, Erin M. May, Sarah E. Moran, Sarah Peacock, Zafar Rustamkulov, David K. Sing, Kristin Showalter Sotzen, Jeff A. Valenti, Hannah Wakeford, (2021), Tell Me How I?m Supposed To Breathe With No Air: Measuring the Prevalence and Diversity of M-Dwarf Planet Atmospheres, JWST Proposal. Cycle 1

Under the Light of a Dead Star: Revealing the Atmospheric Composition of a White Dwarf Planet

JWST Proposal. Cycle 1, 2021
Ryan J. MacDonald, Natasha Batalha, Trevor O. Foote, Thea Kozakis, Nikole Lewis, Joshua D. Lothringer, Mark S. Marley, Erin M. May, Laura C. Mayorga, Ishan Mishra, Susan Elizabeth Mullally, Christopher O'Connor, David K. Sing, Jeff A. Valenti, Andrew Vanderburg, (2021), Under the Light of a Dead Star: Revealing the Atmospheric Composition of a White Dwarf Planet, JWST Proposal. Cycle 1

Unshrouding the Sub-Neptune Population: The Case of TOI-421b

JWST Proposal. Cycle 1, 2021
Eliza M. -R. Kempton, Jacob L. Bean, Drake Deming, Guangwei Fu, Peter Gao, Jegug Ih, Matej Malik, Erin M. May, Leslie Rogers, (2021), Unshrouding the Sub-Neptune Population: The Case of TOI-421b, JWST Proposal. Cycle 1

On the Utility of Transmission Color Analysis i: Differentiating Super-Earths and Sub-Neptunes

The Astronomical Journal, 2021
Kristin S. Sotzen, Kevin B. Stevenson, Erin M. May, Natasha E. Batalha, Noam R. Izenberg, Sarah M. Hörst, Calley L. Tinsman, Carey M. Lisse, Nikole K. Lewis, Jayesh M. Goyal, Joseph J. Linden, Kathleen E. Mandt, (2021), On the Utility of Transmission Color Analysis i: Differentiating Super-Earths and Sub-Neptunes, The Astronomical Journal

MOPSS. II. Extreme Optical Scattering Slope for the Inflated Super-Neptune HATS-8b

The Astronomical Journal, 2020
E. M. May, T. Gardner, E. Rauscher, J. D. Monnier, (2020), MOPSS. II. Extreme Optical Scattering Slope for the Inflated Super-Neptune HATS-8b, The Astronomical Journal

Smaller than Expected Bright-spot Offsets in Spitzer Phase Curves of the Hot Jupiter Qatar-1b

The Astronomical Journal, 2020
Dylan Keating, Kevin B. Stevenson, Nicolas B. Cowan, Emily Rauscher, Jacob L. Bean, Taylor Bell, Lisa Dang, Drake Deming, Jean-Michel Désert, Y. Katherina Feng, Jonathan J. Fortney, Tiffany Kataria, Eliza M. -R. Kempton, Nikole Lewis, Michael R. Line, Megan Mansfield, Erin May, Caroline Morley, Adam P. Showman, (2020), Smaller than Expected Bright-spot Offsets in Spitzer Phase Curves of the Hot Jupiter Qatar-1b, The Astronomical Journal

From Super-Earths to Mini-Neptunes: Implications of a Surface on Atmospheric Circulation

The Astrophysical Journal, 2020
E. M. May, E. Rauscher, (2020), From Super-Earths to Mini-Neptunes: Implications of a Surface on Atmospheric Circulation, The Astrophysical Journal

Introducing a New Spitzer Master BLISS Map to Remove the Instrument Systematic Phase-curve-parameter Degeneracy, as Demonstrated by a Reanalysis of the 4.5 μm WASP-43b Phase Curve

The Astronomical Journal, 2020
E. M. May, K. B. Stevenson, (2020), Introducing a New Spitzer Master BLISS Map to Remove the Instrument Systematic Phase-curve-parameter Degeneracy, as Demonstrated by a Reanalysis of the 4.5 μm WASP-43b Phase Curve, The Astronomical Journal

MOPSS. I. Flat Optical Spectra for the Hot Jupiters WASP-4 b and WASP-52b

The Astronomical Journal, 2018
E. M. May, M. Zhao, M. Haidar, E. Rauscher, J. D. Monnier, (2018), MOPSS. I. Flat Optical Spectra for the Hot Jupiters WASP-4 b and WASP-52b, The Astronomical Journal , 156, 3, 122, https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/aad4a8

The Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Program for JWST

Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2018
Jacob L. Bean, Kevin B. Stevenson, Natalie M. Batalha, Zachory Berta-Thompson, Laura Kreidberg, Nicolas Crouzet, Björn Benneke, Michael R. Line, David K. Sing, Hannah R. Wakeford, Heather A. Knutson, Eliza M. -R. Kempton, Jean-Michel Désert, Ian Crossfield, Natasha E. Batalha, Julien de Wit, Vivien Parmentier, Joseph Harrington, Julianne I. Moses, Mercedes Lopez-Morales, Munazza K. Alam, Jasmina Blecic, Giovanni Bruno, Aarynn L. Carter, John W. Chapman, Leen Decin, Diana Dragomir, Thomas M. Evans, Jonathan J. Fortney, Jonathan D. Fraine, Peter Gao, Antonio García Muñoz, Neale P. Gibson, Jayesh M. Goyal, Kevin Heng, Renyu Hu, Sarah Kendrew, Brian M. Kilpatrick, Jessica Krick, Pierre-Olivier Lagage, Monika Lendl, Tom Louden, Nikku Madhusudhan, Avi M. Mandell, Megan Mansfield, Erin M. May, Giuseppe Morello, Caroline V. Morley, Nikolay Nikolov, Seth Redfield, Jessica E. Roberts, Everett Schlawin, Jessica J. Spake, Kamen O. Todorov, Angelos Tsiaras, Olivia Venot, William C. Waalkes, Peter J. Wheatley, Robert T. Zellem, Daniel Angerhausen, David Barrado, Ludmila Carone, Sarah L. Casewell, Patricio E. Cubillos, Mario Damiano, Miguel de Val-Borro, Benjamin Drummond, Billy Edwards, Michael Endl, Nestor Espinoza, Kevin France, John E. Gizis, Thomas P. Greene, Thomas K. Henning, Yucian Hong, James G. Ingalls, Nicolas Iro, Patrick G. J. Irwin, Tiffany Kataria, Fred Lahuis, Jérémy Leconte, Jorge Lillo-Box, Stefan Lines, Joshua D. Lothringer, Luigi Mancini, Franck Marchis, Nathan Mayne, Enric Palle, Emily Rauscher, Gaël Roudier, Evgenya L. Shkolnik, John Southworth, Mark R. Swain, Jake Taylor, Johanna Teske, Giovanna Tinetti, Pascal Tremblin, Gregory S. Tucker, Roy van Boekel, Ingo P. Waldmann, Ian C. Weaver, Tiziano Zingales, (2018), The Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Program for JWST, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific

EXAMINING TATOOINE: ATMOSPHERIC MODELS OF NEPTUNE-LIKE CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS

The Astrophysical Journal, 2016
E. M. May, E. Rauscher, (2016), EXAMINING TATOOINE: ATMOSPHERIC MODELS OF NEPTUNE-LIKE CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS, The Astrophysical Journal, 826, 2, 225, https://doi.org/10.3847/0004-637x/826/2/225

Discovery of samarium, europium, gadolinium, and terbium isotopes

Atomic Data and Nuclear Data Tables, 2013
E. May, M. Thoennessen, (2013), Discovery of samarium, europium, gadolinium, and terbium isotopes, Atomic Data and Nuclear Data Tables, 99, 1, 1--21, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adt.2012.01.007

Discovery of cesium, lanthanum, praseodymium and promethium isotopes

Atomic Data and Nuclear Data Tables, 2012
E. May, M. Thoennessen, (2012), Discovery of cesium, lanthanum, praseodymium and promethium isotopes, Atomic Data and Nuclear Data Tables, 98, 5, 960--982, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adt.2011.09.005