Prof. Shay Zucker

חוג למדעי כדור הארץ סגל אקדמי בכיר
Prof. Shay Zucker
Phone: 03-6409284
Fax: 03-6409282
Office: Kaplun, 219

Research

Prof. Shay Zucker studies mainly binary stars and extrasolar planets (exoplanets). However, sometimes he also studies other astronomical phenomena, starting from asteroids in the Solar System, through stars orbiting the center of the Milky Way galaxy, and even quasars. The recurrent theme in all those studies is the use of statistical methods and the application of advanced methods of astronomical data analysis ("astrostatistics").

In 1994 (while still a Master's student) Prof. Zucker published, together with his then advisor Prof. Tsevi Mazeh, the algorithm TODCOR, for measuring radial velocities of spectroscopic binary stars. Eventually the algorithm became a basic tool in the study of binary stars.

In 2001 he was a member of the team who discovered the exoplanet HD209458b, which later became the first known exoplanet transiting its host star.

In 2003, as part of his PhD research, he developed, together with Prof. Mazeh and Prof. Géza Kovács from Hungary, the BLS algorithm, for the detection of transiting exoplanets. The BLS became a standard tool in the search of planets, and many of the known exoplanets were detected by teams who used the BLS to detect them.

In 2004, as a post-doctoral fellow in the Observatory of Geneva, in Switzerland, he led a Swiss-Israeli team who discovered a unique system, HD41004, which includes two stars, a brown dwarf and a planet, using an upgraded version of TODCOR.

As a post-doctoral fellow in the Weizmann Institute of Science, he led a team from the Weizmann Institute and from Max Planck Institute in Germany, who showed the importance of relativistic (post-newtonian) effects in the observed orbits of stars around the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Based on those results, and together with the late Prof. Tal Alexander from the Weizmann Institute and Prof. Tsevi Mazeh, they predicted in 2007 the possibility of detecting a new kind of binary stars - "beaming binary stars". The orbital motion of those stars induces miniscule changes in their photometric signals which may be detectable by modern instruments. This prediction has already been corroborated numerous times using the Kepler satellite.

Currently Prof. Zucker is a member of the DPAC consortium, which is in charge of analyzing the data obtained by the Gaia space telescope of the European Space Agency. Within DPAC, Prof. Zucker is affiliated with the CU7 group, which is dedicated to analyze and characterize temporal variability. Prof. Zucker is focusing on the possibility to detect transiting planets by Gaia.

Recently Prof. Zucker teamed up with Dr. Raja Giryes, of the School of Electrical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, and together they apply methods of Deep Learning to solve the challenge of detecting terrestrial planets in signals affected by the variability of the host stars ("red noise"). This a major hurdle to overcome in the search for habitable planets.

 

Publications in peer-reviewed journals

1. Zucker, S., and Mazeh, T. (1994). Study of Spectroscopic Binaries with TODCOR 1. A New Two-Dimensional Correlation Algorithm to Derive the Radial Velocities of the Two Components. The Astrophysical Journal, 420, pp. 806-810.

2. Mazeh, T., Zucker, S., Goldberg, D., Latham, D.W, Stefanik, R.P., and Carney, B.W. (1995). Study of Spectroscopic Binaries with TODCOR II. The Highly Eccentric Binary HD2909. The Astrophysical Journal, 449, pp. 909-915.

3. Zucker, S., Torres, G., and Mazeh, T. (1995). Study of Spectroscopic Binaries with TODCOR III. Application to Triple-Lined Systems. The Astrophysical Journal, 452, pp. 863-869.

4. Mazeh, T., Zucker, S., dalla Torre, A., and van Leeuwen, F. (1999). Analysis of the Hipparcos Measurements of υ Andromedae: A Mass Estimate of its Outermost Known Planetary Companion. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 522, pp. L149-L151.

5. Zucker, S., and Mazeh, T. (2000). Analysis of the Hipparcos Measurements of HD10697: A Mass Determination of a Brown-Dwarf Secondary. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 531, pp. L67-L69.

6. Mazeh, T., et al. (2000). The Spectroscopic Orbit of the Planetary Companion Transiting HD209458. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 532, pp. L55-L58.

7. Leinert, Ch., Jahreiß, H., Woitas, J., Zucker, S., Mazeh, T., Eckart, A., and Köhler, R. (2001). Dynamical Mass Determination for The Very Low Mass Stars LHS 1070 B and C. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 367, pp. 183-188.

8. Naef, D., et al. (2001). HD80606b, a Planet on an Extremely Elongated Orbit. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 375, pp. L27-L30.

9. Mazeh, T., et al. (2001). Studies of Multiple Stellar Systems - IV. The Triple-Lined Spectroscopic System Gliese 644. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 325, pp. 343-357.

10. Zucker, S., and Mazeh, T. (2001). Analysis of the Hipparcos Observations of the Extrasolar Planet and Brown-Dwarf Candidates. The Astrophysical Journal, 562, pp. 549-557.

11. Zucker, S., and Mazeh, T. (2001). Derivation of the Mass Distribution of Extrasolar Planets with MAXLIMA, a Maximum Likelihood Algorithm. The Astrophysical Journal, 562, pp. 1038-1044.

12. Mazeh, T., Prato, L., Simon, M., Goldberg, E., Norman, D., and Zucker, S. (2002). Infrared Detection of Low-Mass Secondaries in Spectroscopic Binaries. The Astrophysical Journal, 564, pp. 1007-1014.

13. Zucker, S., et al. (2002). A Planet Candidate in the Stellar Triple System HD 178911. The Astrophysical Journal, 568, pp. 363-368.

14. Zucker, S., and Mazeh, T. (2002). On the Mass-Period Correlation of the Extrasolar Planets. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 568, pp. L113-L116.

15. Prato, L., Simon, M., Mazeh, T., McLean, I.S., Norman, D., and Zucker, S. (2002). The Smallest Mass Ratio Young Star Spectroscopic Binaries. The Astrophysical Journal, 569, pp. 863-871.

16. Kovács, G., Zucker, S., and Mazeh, T. (2002). A Box-Fitting Algorithm in Search for Periodic Transits. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 391, pp. 369-377.

17. Prato, L., Simon, M., Mazeh, T., Zucker, S., and McLean, I.S. (2002). Component Masses of the Young Spectroscopic Binary UZ Tau E. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 579, pp. L99-L102.

18. Zucker, S., Mazeh, T., Santos, N.C., Udry, S., and Mayor, M. (2003). Multi-order TODCOR: Application to Observations Taken with the CORALIE Echelle Spectrograph I. The System HD41004. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 404, pp. 775-781.

19. Zucker, S. (2003). Cross-Correlation and Maximum Likelihood Analysis: A New Approach to Combining Cross-Correlation Functions. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 342, pp. 1291-1298.

20. Mazeh, T., and Zucker, S. (2003). A Possible Correlation between Mass Ratio and Period Ratio in Multiple Planetary Systems. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 590, pp. L115-L117.

21. Mazeh, T., Simon, M., Prato, L., Markus, B., and Zucker, S. (2003). The Mass-Ratio Distribution in Main-Sequence Spectroscopic Binaries Measured by Infrared Spectroscopy. The Astrophysical Journal, 599, pp. 1344-1356.

22. Podolak, M., and Zucker, S. (2004). A Note on the Snow Line in Protostellar Accretion Disks. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 39, pp. 1859-1868.

23. Zucker, S., Mazeh, T., Santos, N.C., Udry, S., and Mayor, M. (2004). Multi-order TODCOR: Application to Observations Taken with the CORALIE Echelle Spectrograph II. A Planet in the System HD41004. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 426, pp. 695-698.

24. Southworth, J., Zucker, S., Maxted, P.F.L., and Smalley, B. (2004). Eclipsing Binaries in Open Clusters III. V621 Per in χ Persei. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 355, pp. 986-994.

25. Bender, C., Simon, M., Prato, L., Mazeh, T., and Zucker, S. (2005). An Upper Bound on the 1.6 Micron Flux Ratio of ρ CrB's Companion. The Astronomical Journal, 129, pp. 402-408.

26. Mazeh, T., Zucker, S., and Pont, F. (2005). An Intriguing Correlation Between the Masses and Periods of the Transiting Planets. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 356, pp. 955-957

27. Tamuz, O., Mazeh, T., and Zucker, S. (2005). Correcting Systematic Effects in a Large Set of Photometric Lightcurves. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 356, pp. 1466-1470

28. Moutou, C., et al. (2005). Comparative Blind Test of Five Planetary Transit Detection Algorithms on Realistic Synthetic Light Curves. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 437, pp. 355-368.

29. Eisenhauer, F., et al. (2005). SINFONI in the Galactic Center: Young Stars and Infrared Flares in the Central Light-Month. The Astrophysical Journal, 628, pp. 246-259.

30. Bouchy, F., et al. (2005). ELODIE Metallicity-Biased Search for Transiting Hot Jupiters II. A Very Hot Jupiter Transiting the Bright K Star HD189733. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 444, pp. L15-L19.

31. da Silva, R., et al. (2006). ELODIE Metallicity-Biased Search for Transiting Hot Jupiters I. Two Hot Jupiters Orbiting the Slightly Evolved Stars HD118203 and HD149143. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 446, pp. 717-722.

32. Zucker, S., Alexander, T., Gillessen, S., Eisenhauer, F., and Genzel, R. (2006). Probing Post-Newtonian Physics Near the Galactic Black Hole with Stellar Redshift Measurements. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 639, pp. L21-L24.

33. Sozzetti, A., et al. (2006). A Massive Planet to the Young Disc Star HD81040. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 449, pp. 417-424.

34. Zucker, S., and Mazeh, T. (2006). TIRAVEL – Template Independent RAdial VELocity Measurement. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 371, pp. 1513-1518.

35. Moutou, C., et al. (2006). ELODIE Metallicity-Biased Search for Transiting Hot Jupiters III. A Hot Jupiter Orbiting the Star HD185269. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 458, pp. 327-329.

36. Pont, F., Zucker, S., and Queloz, D. (2006). The Effect of Red Noise on Planetary Transit Detection. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 373, pp. 231-242.

37. Zucker, S., and Alexander, T. (2007). Spectroscopic Binary Mass Determination Using Relativity. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 654, pp. L83-L86.

38. Shporer, A., Tamuz, O., Zucker, S., and Mazeh, T. (2007). Photometric Follow-up of the Transiting Planet WASP-1b. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 376, pp. 1296-1300.

39. da Silva, R., et al. (2007). ELODIE Metallicity-Biased Search for Transiting Hot Jupiters IV. Intermediate Period Planets Orbiting the Stars HD43691 and HD132406. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 473, pp. 323-328.

40. Zucker, S., Mazeh, T., and Alexander, T. (2007). Beaming Binaries - A New Observational Category of Photometric Binary Stars. The Astrophysical Journal, 670, pp. 1326-1330.

41. Liske, J., et al. (2008). Cosmic Dynamics in the Era of Extremely Large Telescopes. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 386, pp. 1192-1218.

42. Santos, N.C., et al. (2008). ELODIE Metallicity-Biased Search for Transiting Hot Jupiters V. An Intermediate Period Jovian Planets Orbiting HD45652. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 487, pp. 369-372.

43. Aigrain, S., et al. (2008). Transiting Planets from the COROT Space Mission IV. CoRoT-Exo-4b: A Transiting Planet in a 9.2 Day Synchronous Orbit. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 488, pp. L43-L46.

44. Deleuil, M., et al. (2008). Transiting Exoplanets from the CoRoT Space Mission VI. CoRoT-Exo-3b: The First Secure Inhabitant of the Brown-Dwarf Desert. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 491, pp. 889-897.

45. Aigrain, S., et al. (2009). Noise Properties of the CoRoT Data: A Planet-Finding Perspective. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 506, pp. 425-429.

46. Mazeh, T., et al. (2009). Removing Systematics from the CoRoT Lightcurves: I. Magnitude-Dependent Zero Point. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 506, pp. 431-434.

47. Mazeh, T., Tsodikovich, Y., Segal, Y., Zucker, S., Eggenberger, A., Udry, S., and Mayor, M. (2009). TRIMOR – Three-Dimensional Correlation Technique to Analyze Multi-Order Spectra of Triple Stellar Systems; Application to HD188753. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 399, pp. 906-913.

48. Almenara, J.M., et al. (2009). Rate and Nature of False Positives in the CoRoT Exoplanet Search. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 506, pp. 337–341.

49. Schlichting, H.E., Ofek, E.O., Wenz, M., Sari, R., Gal-Yam, A., Livio, M., Nelan, E., and Zucker, S. (2009). A Single Sub-Kilometre Kuiper Belt Object from a Stellar Occultation in Archival Data. Nature, 462, pp. 895-897.

50. Sahlmann, J., et al. (2011). Search for Brown-Dwarf Companions of Stars. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 525, A95.

51. Pont, F., Aigrain, S., and Zucker, S. (2011). Reassessing the Radial-Velocity Evidence for Planets Around CoRoT-7. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 411, pp. 1953–1962.

52. Dzigan, Y., and Zucker, S. (2011). Directed Follow-up Strategy of Low-Cadence Photometric Surveys in Search of Transiting Exoplanets – I. Bayesian Approach for Adaptive Scheduling. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 415, pp. 2513–2522.

53. Koriski, S., and Zucker, S. (2011). On the Ages of Planetary Systems with Mean Motion Resonances. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 741, pp.  L23-L25.

54. Shporer, A., Brown, T., Mazeh, T., and Zucker, S. (2012). On Using the Beaming Effect to Measure Spin-Orbit Alignment in Stellar Binaries with Sun-Like Components. New Astronomy, 17, pp. 309-315.

55. Aigrain, S., Pont, and., and Zucker, S. (2012). A Simple Method to Estimate Radial Velocity Variations due to Stellar Activity Using Photometry. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 419, pp. 3147-3158.

56. Mazeh, T., Nachmani, G., Sokol, G., Faigler, S., and Zucker, S. (2012). Kepler KOI-13.01 – Detection of Beaming and Ellipsoidal Modulations Pointing to a Massive Hot Jupiter. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 541, A56.

57. Dzigan, Y., and Zucker, S. (2012). Detection of Transiting Jovian Exoplanets by Gaia Photometry—Expected Yield. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 753, pp.  L1-L5.

58. Dzigan, Y., and Zucker, S. (2013). Directed Follow-Up Strategy of Low-Cadence Photometric Surveys in Search of Transiting Exoplanets - II. Application to Gaia. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 428, pp. 3641-3647.

59. Chelouche, D., and Zucker, S. (2013). Quasar Cartography: From Black Hole to Broad-line Region Scales. The Astrophysical Journal, 769, 124.

60. Mazeh, T., et al. (2013). Transit Timing Observations from Kepler. VIII Catalog of Transit Timing Measurements of the First Twelve Quarters. The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 208, 16.

61. Zucker, S. (2015). Detection of Periodicity Based on Serial Dependence of Phase-Folded Data. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society,  449, pp. 2723-2733.

62. Zucker, S., and Tzur, I. (2015). Constraining the Orbits of Small Solar System Bodies Using Spectroscopic Doppler Shift Measurements - A Preliminary Study. Astronomische Nachrichten, 336, pp. 634-637.

63. Helled, R., Lozovsky, M., and Zucker, S. (2016). A Possible Correlation between Planetary Radius and Orbital Period for Intermediate-Mass and Low-Mass Planets. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 455, pp. L96–L98.

64. Zucker, S. (2016). Detection of Periodicity Based on Independence Tests - II. Improved Serial Independence Measure. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters, 457, pp. L118–L121.

65. Bon, E., et al. (2016). Evidence for Periodicity in 43 year-long Monitoring of NGC 5548. The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 225, 29.

66. Ma, B., et al. (2016). Very Low-mass Stellar and Substellar Companions to Solar-like Stars from MARVELS. VI. A Giant Planet and a Brown Dwarf Candidate in a Close Binary System HD 87646. The Astronomical Journal, 152, 112.

67. The Gaia Collaboration (Prusti, T., et al.) (2016). The Gaia Mission. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 595, A1.

68. The Gaia Collaboration (Brown, A.G.A., et al.) (2016). Gaia Data Release 1. Summary of the Astrometric, photometric and survey properties. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 595, A2.

69. Bashi, D., Helled, R., Zucker, S., and Mordasini, C. (2017). Two Empirical Regimes of the Planetary Mass-Radius Relation. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 604, A83.

70. The Gaia Collaboration (van Leeuwen, F., et al.) (2017). Gaia Data Release 1. Open cluster astrometry: performance, limitations, and future prospects. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 601, A19.

71. The Gaia Collaboration (Clementini, G., et al.) (2017). Gaia Data Release 1. Testing parallaxes with local Cepheids and RR Lyrae stars. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 605, A79.

72. Chelouche, D., and Zucker, S. (2017). Methods of Reverberation Mapping. I. Time-lag Determination by Measures of Randomness. The Astrophysical Journal, 844, 146.

73. Cabrera, J., et al. (2017). Disproval of the validated planets K2-78b, K2-82b, and K2-92b. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 606, A75.

74. Zucker, S. (2018). Detection of Periodicity Based on Independence Tests - III. Phase Distance Correlation Periodogram. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters, 474, pp. L86-L90.

75. Zucker, S., and Giryes, R. (2018). Shallow Transits - Deep Learning I: Feasibility Study of Deep Learning to Detect Periodic Transits of Exoplanets. The Astronomical Journal, 155, 4.

76. The Gaia Collaboration (Brown, A.G.A., et al.) (2018). Gaia Data Release 2. Summary of the Contents and Survey Properties. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 616, A1.

77. The Gaia Collaboration (Mignard, F., et al.) (2018). Gaia Data Release 2. The Celestial Reference Frame (Gaia-CRF2). Astronomy and Astrophysics, 616, A14.

78. The Gaia Collaboration (Spoto, F., et al.) (2018). Gaia Data Release 2. Observations of Solar System Objects. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 616, A13.

79. The Gaia Collaboration (Katz, D., et al.) (2018). Gaia Data Release 2. Mapping the Milky Way Disc Kinematics. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 616, A11.

80. The Gaia Collaboration (Babusiaux, C., et al.) (2018). Gaia Data Release 2. Observational Hertzsprung-Russell Diagrams. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 616, A10.

81. The Gaia Collaboration (Helmi, A., et al.) (2018). Gaia Data Release 2. Kinematics of Globular Clusters and Dwarf Galaxies Around the Milky Way. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 616, A12.

82. Bashi, D., Helled, R., and Zucker, S. (2018). A Quantitative Comparison of Exoplanet Catalogs. Geosciences, 8, 325.

83. Holl, B., et al. (2018). Gaia Data Release 2. Summary of the variability processing and analysis results. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 618, A30.

84. Tal-Or, L., Trifonov, T., Zucker, S., Mazeh, T., and Zechmeister, M. (2019). Correcting HIRES/Keck radial velocities for small systematic errors. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 484, pp. L8-L13.

85. Zucker, S. (2019). Detection of Periodicity Based on Independence Tests - IV. Phase Distance Correlation Periodogram for Two-Dimensional Astrometry. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters, 484, pp. L14-L18.

86. Tal-Or, L., Zucker, S., Ribas, I., Anglada-Escudé, and Reiners, A. (2019). Prospects for detecting the astrometric signature of Barnard's Star b. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 623, A10.

87. The Gaia Collaboration (Eyer, L., et al.) (2019). Gaia Data Release 2. Variable stars in the colour-absolute magnitude diagram. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 623, A110.

88. Bashi, D., and Zucker, S. (2019). Small planets in the Galactic context: host star kinematics, iron and alpha elements. The Astronomical Journal, 158, 2.

89. Trifonov, T., Tal-Or, L., Zechmeister, M., Kaminski, A., Zucker, S., and Mazeh, T. (2020). A public HARPS radial velocity database corrected for systematic errors. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 636, A74.

90. Binnenfeld, A., Shahaf, S., and Zucker, S. (2020). USuRPER: Unit-Sphere Representation PERiodogram for full spectra. Astronomy and Astrophysics, accepted for publication.

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