Prof. Shay Zucker

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


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., & Mazeh, T., "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, 806-810, 1994

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

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

4. Mazeh, T., Zucker, S., dalla Torre, A., & van Leeuwen, F., "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, 1999

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19. Zucker, S., "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, 2003

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

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

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

23. Zucker, S., Mazeh, T., Santos, N.C., Udry, S., & Mayor, M., "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, 2004

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

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

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

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

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

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

30. Bouchy, F., et al., "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, 2005

31. da Silva, R., et al., "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, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

39. da Silva, R., et al., "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, 2007

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

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

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

43. Aigrain, S., et al., "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, 2008

44. Deleuil, M., et al., "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, 2008

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

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

47. Mazeh, T., Tsodikovich, Y., Segal, Y., Zucker, S., Eggenberger, A., Udry, S., & Mayor, M., "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, 2009

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

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

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

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

52. Dzigan, Y., & Zucker, S., "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, 2011

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

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

55. Aigrain, S., Pont, F., & Zucker, S., "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, 2012

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

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

58. Dzigan, Y., & Zucker, S., "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, 2013

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

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

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

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

63. Helled, R., Lozovsky, M., & Zucker, S., "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, 2016

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

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

66. Ma, B., et al., "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, 2016

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

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

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

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

71. The Gaia Collaboration (Clementini, G., et al.), "Gaia Data Release 1. Testing parallaxes with local Cepheids and RR Lyrae stars", Astronomy and Astrophysics605, A79, 2017

72. Chelouche, D., & Zucker, S., "Methods of Reverberation Mapping. I. Time-lag Determination by Measures of Randomness", The Astrophysical Journal844, 146, 2017

73. Cabrera, J., et al., "Disproval of the validated planets K2-78b, K2-82b, and K2-92b", Astronomy and Astrophysics606, A75, 2017

74. Zucker, S., "Detection of Periodicity Based on Independence Tests - III. Phase Distance Correlation Periodogram", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters474, pp. L86-L90, 2018

75. Zucker, S., & Giryes, R., "Shallow Transits - Deep Learning I: Feasibility Study of Deep Learning to Detect Periodic Transits of Exoplanets", The Astronomical Journal155, 4, 2018

76. The Gaia Collaboration (Brown, A.G.A., et al.), "Gaia Data Release 2. Summary of the Contents and Survey Properties", Astronomy and Astrophysics616, A1, 2018

77. The Gaia Collaboration (Mignard, F., et al.), "Gaia Data Release 2. The Celestial Reference Frame (Gaia-CRF2)", Astronomy and Astrophysics616, A14, 2018

78. The Gaia Collaboration (Spoto, F., et al.), "Gaia Data Release 2. Observations of Solar System Objects", Astronomy and Astrophysics616, A13, 2018

79. The Gaia Collaboration (Katz, D., et al.), "Gaia Data Release 2. Mapping the Milky Way Disc Kinematics", Astronomy and Astrophysics616, A11, 2018

80. The Gaia Collaboration (Babusiaux, C., et al.), "Gaia Data Release 2. Observational Hertzsprung-Russell Diagrams", Astronomy and Astrophysics616, A10, 2018

81. The Gaia Collaboration (Helmi, A., et al.), "Gaia Data Release 2. Kinematics of Globular Clusters and Dwarf Galaxies Around the Milky Way", Astronomy and Astrophysics616, A12, 2018

82. Bashi, D., Helled, R., & Zucker, S., "A Quantitative Comparison of Exoplanet Catalogs", Geosciences8, 325, 2018

83. Holl, B., et al. "Gaia Data Release 2. Summary of the variability processing and analysis results", Astronomy and Astrophysics618, A30, 2018

84. Tal-Or, L., Trifonov, T., Zucker, S., Mazeh, T., & Zechmeister, M., "Correcting HIRES/Keck radial velocities for small systematic errors", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters484, L8-L13, 2019

85. Zucker, S., "Detection of Periodicity Based on Independence Tests - IV. Phase Distance Correlation Periodogram for Two-Dimensional Astrometry", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters484, L14-L18, 2019

86. Tal-Or, L., Zucker, S., Ribas, I., Anglada-Escudé, & Reiners, A., "Prospects for detecting the astrometric signature of Barnard's Star b", Astronomy and Astrophysics623, A10, 2019

87. Bashi, D., & Zucker, S., "Small planets in the Galactic context: host star kinematics, iron and alpha elemets", The Astronomical Journal, 2019, accepted for publication

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