Dr. Weiss measures and interprets the masses, densities, compositions, and orbital dynamics of small exoplanets, with the goal of testing which physical processes shape their present-day orbital configurations and compositional diversity. Her work explores both individual planetary systems and patterns in the broader exoplanet population.
Her work on individual planetary systems makes use of their full orbital dynamics, including planet-star and planet-planet gravitational interactions, to characterize the orbits, masses, and densities of all the planets in the system.
Her past work includes one of the first empirical mass-radius relationships for small exoplanets, in which she discovered that planets larger than 1.5 Earth radii are usually not rocky. She has also studied the empirical relationship between planet size, planet mass, and the stellar irradiation for giant planets. She automated the Automated Planet Finder, a 2.4m telescope at Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton, California dedicated to discovering planets around nearby stars and measuring their masses.
Dr. Weiss obtained her Ph.D. in Astronomy from UC Berkeley in 2016 with a dissertation titled “The Masses and Orbital Dynamics of Exoplanets.”
Current employment : Parrent Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawai`i