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Sample records for detecting circumbinary planets

  1. Dynamical Detection of Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark Fabrycky, Daniel; Orosz, Jerome; Welsh, William

    2015-12-01

    The Kepler data revealed a population of transiting gas-giant planets orbiting around close binary stars, beginning with Kepler-16, a highlight of the Extreme Solar Systems II meeting. Due to the restrictive geometry requirements of transit detections, this population is highly observationally biased towards coplanarity. However, a third of those planets detectably perturb their host binary's eclipse times, such that they could have been recognized even without transits. Here we announce the detection of three non-transiting planets based on this dynamical technique. Apsidal precession due to the planet makes the primary and secondary eclipse periods differ, and in addition a short-term modulation of the binary's eclipse times reveals the planet's orbital period. Several planetary periods are observed for each system, buttressing the interpretation. Though the method is nearly equally sensitive to all orbital orientations, each planet orbits near its host binary's plane, suggesting this class of planets formed in the circumbinary nebula.

  2. Prospects on the detection of additional circumbinary extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinse, T. C.; Haghighipour, N.; Gozdziewski, K.; Lee, J. W.; Lee, C.-U.

    2012-09-01

    The presence of additional bodies orbiting a binary star system can be detected by monitoring the binary's mid-eclipse timing. These so-called circumbinary objects will reveal themselves by i) either introducing a reflex motion of the binary system about the total system's barycenter creating a light-travel time effect (LITE), ii) by gravitational perturbations on the binary orbit, or iii) a combination of the two effects resulting in eclipse timing variations (ETVs). Motivated by the three recently detected circumbinary planets by the Kepler space telescope (Kepler- 16b, Kepler-34b, Kepler-35b), we have launched a large project aiming to study the detectability of nontransiting and inclined circumbinary planets using the ETV technique. We have used MEGNO to quantitativelymap the chaotic/quasi-periodic regions of the orbital parameter-space and to determine where the orbit of a circumbinary planet will be stable. We have calculated the amplitudes of ETV signals for different values of the mass and orbital elements of the planet and binary. Special attention has been given to several high-order mean-motion resonances (MMRs). While we have been able to verify the orbital configurations of the currently known transiting circumbinary planets, we have determined the ranges of the planet's orbital elements and mass for which the resulted ETV will be within the limits of the sensitivity of ground- and space-based telescope. We will present our results and discussed their implications for detecting such bodies with CoRoT and Kepler.

  3. Caustic Structures and Detectability of Circumbinary Planets in Microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luhn, Jacob K.; Penny, Matthew T.; Gaudi, B. Scott

    2016-08-01

    Recent discoveries of circumbinary planets in Kepler data show that there is a viable channel of planet formation around binary main-sequence stars. Motivated by these discoveries, we have investigated the caustic structures and detectability of circumbinary planets in microlensing events. We have produced a suite of animations of caustics as a function of the projected separation and angle of the binary host to efficiently explore caustic structures over the entire circumbinary parameter space. Aided by these animations, we have derived a semi-empirical analytic expression for the location of planetary caustics, which are displaced in circumbinary lenses relative to those of planets with a single host. We have used this expression to show that the dominant source of caustic motion will be due to the planet’s orbital motion and not that of the binary star. Finally, we estimate the fraction of circumbinary microlensing events that are recognizable as such to be significant (5%–50%) for binary projected separations in the range 0.1–0.5 in units of Einstein radii.

  4. A New Method for Detecting Transiting Circumbinary Planets in Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, William F.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Windmiller, Gur; Short, Donald R.

    2016-06-01

    The discovery of Kepler-16 started a new branch of exoplanet research: observations of transiting circumbinary planets. To date, eleven transiting circumbinary planets have been discovered. The detection of a circumbinary planet is much more difficult than the detection of a planet around a single star because the transit times are not strictly periodic, the transit widths and depths can change dramatically, and the deep binary star eclipses overwhelm the much smaller planetary transits. Because of these complications, most of the known circumbinary planets were discovered via visual inspection of the Kepler light curves. This requires that the transits be easily detectable by eye, which translates to large-radii planets. Here we present a new method for visual dectection of circumbinary planets, based on the idea of phase-folding the light curve into a "trailed eclipsogram" image. While this method works well for deep transits (and hence will work for new, large circumbinary planets to be found by TESS), in principle it can also be extended to much smaller planets below the threshold for visual detection using image pattern recognition tools.

  5. Aspects on the Dynamics and Detection of Additional Circumbinary Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinse, Tobias C.; Haghighipour, Nader; Goździewski, Krzysztof

    2014-04-01

    The presence of additional bodies orbiting a binary star system can be detected by monitoring the binary's eclipse timing. These so-called circumbinary objects will reveal themselves by i) either introducing a reflex motion of the binary system about the total system's barycenter creating a geometric light-travel time effect (LITE), ii) by gravitational perturbations on the binary orbit, or iii) a combination of the two effects resulting in eclipse timing (ETV) and transit timing (TTV) variations. Motivated by the four recently detected circumbinary planets by the Kepler space telescope (Kepler-16b, Kepler-34b, Kepler-35b and Kepler-38b) we have begun to study their dynamics in the presence of an additional massive perturber. In particular we used Kepler-16b as a test bed case. We are aiming to study the detectability of non-transiting and inclined circumbinary planets using the ETV effect along with the fast indicator MEGNO to quantitatively map the chaotic/quasi-periodic regions of the orbital parameter-space and to determine where the orbit of a circumbinary planet will be stable. We have calculated the amplitudes of TTV and ETV signals for different values of the mass and orbital elements of the planet and binary.

  6. Detecting Circumbinary Planets Using Eclipse Timing of Binary Stars - From Simulations to Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sybilski, Piotr; Konacki, M.; Kozlowski, S. K.

    2010-05-01

    The Light-Time Effect (LTE) occurs whenever the distance between the observer and any kind of periodic signal occurring in space changes. The usual cause of this is the reflex motion about the system's barycenter due to the gravitational influence of one or more additional bodies. With a sufficient precision of the times of eclipses, the eclipse timing can be used to detect substellar or even planetary mass companions. The main goal of the poster is to investigate the potential of the photometry based eclipse timing of binary stars as a method of detecting circumbinary planets. In the models we assume that the companion orbits a binary star in a circular Keplerian orbit. We analyze throug the numerical simulations both the space and ground based photometry cases. In particular, we study the usefulness of the on-going COROT and Kepler missions in detecting circumbinary planets. We determine the sensitivity of the eclipse timing technique to circumbinary planets for the ground and space based photometric observations. We provide suggestions for the best targets, observing strategies and instruments for the eclipse timing method. Finally, we present some preliminary results comparing simulations and real observations.

  7. Recent Kepler Results On Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, William F.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Carter, Joshua A.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.

    2014-04-01

    Ranked near the top of the long list of exciting discoveries made with NASA's Kepler photometer is the detection of transiting circumbinary planets. In just over a year the number of such planets went from zero to seven, including a multi-planet system with one of the planets in the habitable zone (Kepler-47). We are quickly learning to better detect and characterize these planets, including the recognition of their transit timing and duration variation ``smoking gun'' signature. Even with only a handful of such planets, some exciting trends are emerging.

  8. Improved Dynamical Parameters for Transiting Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomadis, Pantelis C.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Welsh, William F.; Friedmann, Matan; Mazeh, Tsevi; Short, Donald R.; Windmiller, Gur

    2016-06-01

    To date, the Kepler space telescope has detected about a dozen transiting circumbinary planets (i.e. planets that orbit a binary star system). Here we present improved dynamical parameters for the following four circumbinary planets: Kepler-16b (Doyle et al. 2011), 34b and 35b (Welsh et al. 2012), and 38b (Orosz et al. 2012). The original analyses contained only a subsample of the entire Kepler dataset available today. In the case of Kepler-16b, we have also obtained additional spectra and an additional transit not present in the Kepler photometry. We present updated parameters for these four systems, including a preliminary search for additional bodies in the Kepler-16 system.

  9. The Fate of Unstable Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-03-01

    What happens to Tattooine-like planets that are instead in unstable orbits around their binary star system? A new study examines whether such planets will crash into a host star, get ejected from the system, or become captured into orbit around one of their hosts.Orbit Around a DuoAt this point we have unambiguously detected multiple circumbinary planets, raising questions about these planets formation and evolution. Current models suggest that it is unlikely that circumbinary planets would be able to form in the perturbed environment close their host stars. Instead, its thought that the planets formed at a distance and then migrated inwards.One danger such planets face when migrating is encountering ranges of radii where their orbits become unstable. Two scientists at the University of Chicago, Adam Sutherland and Daniel Fabrycky, have studied what happens when circumbinary planets migrate into such a region and develop unstable orbits.Producing Rogue PlanetsTime for planets to either be ejected or collide with one of the two stars, as a function of the planets starting distance (in AU) from the binary barycenter. Colors represent different planetary eccentricities. [Sutherland Fabrycky 2016]Sutherland and Fabrycky used N-body simulations to determine the fates of planets orbiting around a star system consisting of two stars a primary like our Sun and a secondary roughly a tenth of its size that are separated by 1 AU.The authors find that the most common fate for a circumbinary planet with an unstable orbit is ejection from the system; over 80% of unstable planets were ejected. This has interesting implications: if the formation of circumbinary planets is common, this mechanism could be filling the Milky Way with a population of free-floating, rogue planets that no longer are associated with their host star.The next most common outcome for unstable planets is collision with one of their host stars (most often the secondary), resulting inaccretion of the planet

  10. Formation and Dynamics of Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Dong

    2016-05-01

    The discovery of more than a dozen transiting circumbinary planets provides new constraints on the planet formation and migration processes in circumbinary disks and also raises a number of puzzles. I will discuss several recent works related to circumbinary planets and disks. (1) New long-duration hydro simulations of circumbinary disks (R.Miranda, D.Lai and D.Munoz 2016). The simulations reveal that the inner circumbinary disk may develop appreciable eccentricity and precesseses coherently -- these features are bound to have a strong impact on planet-disk interaction. (2) The disruption of planetary orbits through evection resonances with an external companion (W.Xu and D.Lai 2016a). This may help explain the lack of transiting planets around very compact stellar binaries (D.Munoz and D.Lai 2015). (3) The stability of mean-motion resonance capture as planets migrate inwards in a circumbinary disk. This relates to the pile-up of planets near the stability limit as observed in the sample of transiting circumbinary planets (W.Xu and D.Lai 2016b).

  11. Kepler-16: a transiting circumbinary planet.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Laurance R; Carter, Joshua A; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Slawson, Robert W; Howell, Steve B; Winn, Joshua N; Orosz, Jerome A; Prša, Andrej; Welsh, William F; Quinn, Samuel N; Latham, David; Torres, Guillermo; Buchhave, Lars A; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Fortney, Jonathan J; Shporer, Avi; Ford, Eric B; Lissauer, Jack J; Ragozzine, Darin; Rucker, Michael; Batalha, Natalie; Jenkins, Jon M; Borucki, William J; Koch, David; Middour, Christopher K; Hall, Jennifer R; McCauliff, Sean; Fanelli, Michael N; Quintana, Elisa V; Holman, Matthew J; Caldwell, Douglas A; Still, Martin; Stefanik, Robert P; Brown, Warren R; Esquerdo, Gilbert A; Tang, Sumin; Furesz, Gabor; Geary, John C; Berlind, Perry; Calkins, Michael L; Short, Donald R; Steffen, Jason H; Sasselov, Dimitar; Dunham, Edward W; Cochran, William D; Boss, Alan; Haas, Michael R; Buzasi, Derek; Fischer, Debra

    2011-09-16

    We report the detection of a planet whose orbit surrounds a pair of low-mass stars. Data from the Kepler spacecraft reveal transits of the planet across both stars, in addition to the mutual eclipses of the stars, giving precise constraints on the absolute dimensions of all three bodies. The planet is comparable to Saturn in mass and size and is on a nearly circular 229-day orbit around its two parent stars. The eclipsing stars are 20 and 69% as massive as the Sun and have an eccentric 41-day orbit. The motions of all three bodies are confined to within 0.5° of a single plane, suggesting that the planet formed within a circumbinary disk. PMID:21921192

  12. Stability of habitable exomoons of circumbinary planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satyal, Suman; Haghighipour, Nader; Quarles, Billy

    2015-12-01

    Among the currently known Kepler circumbinary planets, three, namely Kepler-453b, Kepler-16b, and Kepler-47c are in the binary habitable zone (HZ). Given the large sizes of these planets, it is unlikely that they would be habitable. However, similar to the giant planets in our solar system, these planets may have large moons, which orbit their host planets while in the HZ. These exomoons, if exist, present viable candidates for habitability. As a condition for habitability, the planet-moon system has to maintain its orbital stability for long time. Usually, the empirical formula by Holeman & Wiegert (1999) is used as a measure of orbital stability in circumbinary systems. However, this formula was obtained by assuming planets to be test particles and therefore does not include possible perturbation of the planet on the binary. In this work, we present results of more realistic calculations of stability of circumbinary planets where the interactions between planets and their central binaries are taken into account. We map the region of stability, which in this case will be specific to each system, and determine the range of the orbital parameters of the moons for which their orbits will be long-term stable.

  13. Kepler-47: A Three-Planet Circumbinary System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, William; Orosz, Jerome; Quarles, Billy; Haghighipour, Nader

    2015-12-01

    Kepler-47 is the most interesting of the known circumbinary planets. In the discovery paper by Orosz et al. (2012) two planets were detected, with periods of 49.5 and 303 days around the 7.5-day binary. In addition, a single "orphan" transit of a possible third planet was noticed. Since then, five additional transits by this planet candidate have been uncovered, leading to the unambiguous confirmation of a third transiting planet in the system. The planet has a period of 187 days, and orbits in between the previously detected planets. It lies on the inner edge of the optimistic habitable zone, while its outer sibling falls within the conservative habitable zone. The orbit of this new planet is precessing, causing its transits to become significantly deeper over the span of the Kepler observations. Although the planets are not massive enough to measurably perturb the binary, they are sufficiently massive to interact with each other and cause mild transit timing variations (TTVs). This enables our photodynamical model to estimate their masses. We find that all three planets have very low-density and are on remarkably co-planar orbits: all 4 orbits (the binary and three planets) are within ~2 degrees of one another. Thus the Kepler-47 system puts interesting constraints on circumbinary planet formation and migration scenarios.

  14. Examining Tatooine: Atmospheric Models of Neptune-like Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    May, E. M.; Rauscher, E.

    2016-08-01

    Circumbinary planets experience a time-varying irradiation pattern as they orbit their two host stars. In this work, we present the first detailed study of the atmospheric effects of this irradiation pattern on known and hypothetical gaseous circumbinary planets. Using both a one-dimensional energy balance model (EBM) and a three-dimensional general circulation model (GCM), we look at the temperature differences between circumbinary planets and their equivalent single-star cases in order to determine the nature of the atmospheres of these planets. We find that for circumbinary planets on stable orbits around their host stars, temperature differences are on average no more than 1.0% in the most extreme cases. Based on detailed modeling with the GCM, we find that these temperature differences are not large enough to excite circulation differences between the two cases. We conclude that gaseous circumbinary planets can be treated as their equivalent single-star case in future atmospheric modeling efforts.

  15. Searching for Circumprimary and Circumbinary Planets in Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, Nader

    We propose to use the currently available data from the Kepler space telescope (specifically, variations in transit and eclipse timing) to detect planets in circumprimary and circumbinary orbits in binary star systems. The detection of planets in close binary stars during the past decade and the recent success of the Kepler space telescope in detecting planets in circumbinary orbits strongly suggest that planet formation in and around binary stars is robust and planets of variety of sizes may exist in dual-star systems. Given that approximately 60% of the main and pre-main sequence stars are in binaries, many of such planet-hosting dual-stars are expected to exist which naturally leads to several fundamental questions on the formation, characteristics, frequency, and habitability of their planets. However, the small number of the currently known planets in binary star systems (only 8) does not allow for arriving at statistically meaningful answers to these questions. The success of the Kepler space telescope in identifying more than 2300 planetary candidates (of which many may be in close dual-stars) and over 2100 eclipsing binaries has provided rich grounds for searching for planet-hosting binary stars and increasing the number of their planets. We propose to use the data from quarter 0 (Q0) to quarter 6 (Q6), to identify the signature(s) of planet(s) in and around binary stars by analyzing the variations in the times of planetary transit or the eclipses of the binary. We will use the transit timing variations of the +2300 planetary candidates for detecting stellar companions to their planet-hosting stars, and the eclipse timing variations of the +2100 binary star systems to detect circumbinary planets. We have developed a powerful algorithm dubbed as QATS that allows us to analyze eclipse and transit timing variations accurately and efficiently. To properly account for the frequency of planets in binary stars systems and comparing that with the frequency of

  16. PREDICTING A THIRD PLANET IN THE KEPLER-47 CIRCUMBINARY SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Hinse, Tobias C.; Haghighipour, Nader; Kostov, Veselin B.; Goździewski, Krzysztof

    2015-01-20

    We have studied the possibility that a third circumbinary planet in the Kepler-47 planetary system is the source of the single unexplained transiting event reported during the discovery of these planets. We applied the MEGNO technique to identify regions in the phase space where a third planet can maintain quasi-periodic orbits, and assessed the long-term stability of the three-planet system by integrating the entire five bodies (binary + planets) for 10 Myr. We identified several stable regions between the two known planets as well as a region beyond the orbit of Kepler-47c where the orbit of the third planet could be stable. To constrain the orbit of this planet, we used the measured duration of the unexplained transit event (∼4.15 hr) and compared that with the transit duration of the third planet in an ensemble of stable orbits. To remove the degeneracy among the orbits with similar transit durations, we considered the planet to be in a circular orbit and calculated its period analytically. The latter places an upper limit of 424 days on the orbital period of the third planet. Our analysis suggests that if the unexplained transit event detected during the discovery of the Kepler-47 circumbinary system is due to a planetary object, this planet will be in a low eccentricity orbit with a semi-major axis smaller than 1.24 AU. Further constraining of the mass and orbital elements of this planet requires a re-analysis of the entire currently available data, including those obtained post-announcement of the discovery of this system. We present details of our methodology and discuss the implication of the results.

  17. Kozai-Lidov cycles towards the limit of circumbinary planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, David V.; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.

    2016-01-01

    In this Letter, we answer a simple question: Can a misaligned circumbinary planet induce Kozai-Lidov cycles on an inner stellar binary? We use known analytic equations to analyse the behaviour of the Kozai-Lidov effect as the outer mass is made small. We demonstrate a significant departure from the traditional symmetry, critical angles and amplitude of the effect. Aside from massive planets on near-polar orbits, circumbinary planetary systems are devoid of Kozai-Lidov cycles. This has positive implications for the existence of highly misaligned circumbinary planets: an observationally unexplored and theoretically important parameter space.

  18. A transiting circumbinary planet in KIC 10753734

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orosz, Jerome A.; Welsh, William F.; Short, Donald R.; Endl, Michael; Cochran, William D.; Johnson, Marshall C.; Mills, Sean; Fabrycky, Daniel; Haghighipour, Nader; Windmiller, Gur

    2016-06-01

    KIC 10753734 is an eclipsing binary discovered by NASA's Kepler mission. The binary period is about 19.4 days with a moderately large eccentricity of e=0.52. Spectroscopic observations from McDonald Observatory show the system is double-lined, which allow us to derive masses for the primary and secondary stars, both of which are roughly solar-like. Two weak transit-like events separated by 6.5 days appear in the Kepler light curve near the end of the nominal mission. A careful examination of the light curve at earlier times reveals two weak transit events (separated by about 7 days) that occurred about 250 days earlier. We show that the two pairs of events represent transits of both stars at successive conjunctions of a circumbinary planet with a period of about 260 days and a radius of about 6 Earth radii. The lack of large eclipse timing variations limit the third body to be sub-stellar in mass, i.e. a planet. Despite the deep primary and secondary eclipses, the analysis is hampered by spots on both stars. We present a progress report on the modelling effort to date, and present preliminary characteristics of the planet.

  19. THE RADIAL VELOCITY TATOOINE SEARCH FOR CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS: PLANET DETECTION LIMITS FOR A SAMPLE OF DOUBLE-LINED BINARY STARS-INITIAL RESULTS FROM KECK I/HIRES, SHANE/CAT/HAMSPEC, AND TNG/SARG OBSERVATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Konacki, Maciej; Helminiak, Krzysztof G.; Muterspaugh, Matthew W.; Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.

    2009-10-10

    We present preliminary results of the first and on-going radial velocity survey for circumbinary planets. With a novel radial velocity technique employing an iodine absorption cell, we achieve an unprecedented radial velocity (RV) precision of up to 2 m s{sup -1} for double-lined binary stars. The high-resolution spectra collected with the Keck I/Hires, TNG/Sarg, and Shane/CAT/Hamspec telescopes/spectrographs over the years 2003-2008 allow us to derive RVs and compute planet detection limits for 10 double-lined binary stars. For this initial sample of targets, we can rule out planets on dynamically stable orbits with masses as small as approx0.3 to 3 M {sub Jup} for the orbital periods of up to approx5.3 years. Even though the presented sample of stars is too small to make any strong conclusions, it is clear that the search for circumbinary planets is now technique-wise possible and eventually will provide new constraints for the planet formation theories.

  20. ASSEMBLY OF PROTOPLANETARY DISKS AND INCLINATIONS OF CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Foucart, Francois; Lai, Dong

    2013-02-10

    The Kepler satellite has discovered a number of transiting planets around close binary stars. These circumbinary systems have highly aligned planetary and binary orbits. In this paper, we explore how the mutual inclination between the planetary and binary orbits may reflect the physical conditions of the assembly of protoplanetary disks and the interaction between protostellar binaries and circumbinary disks. Given the turbulent nature of star-forming molecular clouds, it is possible that the gas falling onto the outer region of a circumbinary disk and the central protostellar binary have different axes of rotation. Thus, the newly assembled circumbinary disk can be misaligned with respect to the binary. However, the gravitational torque from the binary produces a warp and twist in the disk, and the back-reaction torque tends to align the disk and the binary orbital plane. We present a new, analytic calculation of this alignment torque and show that the binary-disk inclination angle can be reduced appreciably after the binary accretes a few percent of its mass from the disk. Our calculation suggests that in the absence of other disturbances, circumbinary disks and planets around close (sub-AU) stellar binaries, for which mass accretion onto the proto-binary is very likely to have occurred, are expected to be highly aligned with the binary orbits, while disks and planets around wide binaries can be misaligned. Measurements of the mutual inclinations of circumbinary planetary systems can provide a clue to the birth environments of such systems.

  1. Searching for circumbinary planets with CB-BLS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ofir, Aviv

    2015-08-01

    Transiting circumbinary planets (CBP) produce transit signals that are neither periodic not constant in duration or depth. These complications contribute to the low number of detected transiting CBP (nine in total so far), and limited detection to systems that exhibit transits that are relatively deep, i.e. individually-significant transit events. Planets around single stars taught us that small planets far outnumber larger ones, consequently the ability to detect small CBP is of the essence in order to correctly describe CBP demographics. Unfortunately, all currently known transiting CBP were detected either by eye or by some ad-hoc technique that has nothing to do with the 3-body dynamics of CBP (e.g. QATS, Carter & Agol 2013) -- limiting their detection power. CB-BLS (Ofir 2008) is an algorithm for the detection of transiting CBP that was proposed well before the first transiting CBP was detected (Doyle et al 2011). CB-BLS is tailored for CBP dynamics and is optimally sensitive and general. Here we present further evolution and the Matlab source code of CB-BLS that allows it to detect all currently known transiting CBP, including in eccentric and/or inclined orbits. We then describe our preliminary results on searching for transiting CBP in a small subset of the Kepler eclipsing binaries.

  2. Searching for circumbinary planets with CB-BLS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ofir, Aviv

    2015-12-01

    Transiting circumbinary planets (CBP) produce transit signals that are neither periodic not constant in duration or depth. These complications contribute to the low number of detected transiting CBP (nine published in total so far), and limited detection to systems that exhibit transits that are relatively deep, i.e. giant planets with individually-significant transit events. On the other hand, planets around single stars taught us that small planets far outnumber larger planets; consequently the ability to detect small CBPs is of the essence in order to correctly describe CBP demographics. Unfortunately, all currently known transiting CBP were detected either by eye or by some ad-hoc technique that has nothing to do with the 3-body dynamics of CBPs (e.g. QATS, Carter & Agol 2013) limiting their detection power.CB-BLS (Ofir 2008) is an algorithm for the detection of transiting CBPs that was proposed well before the first transiting CBP was detected (Doyle et al 2011) but was unfortunately not used thus far. CB-BLS was further evolved since its introduction; it is now optimally sensitive and general, it can detect transit signals that are not individually significant, and it has relatively well-understood statistical properties that allow placing limits on non-detections. As a test for its competence we show it to blindly detect all currently known transiting CBPs, including these in eccentric and/or inclined and/or very long planetary orbits that failed other techniques.We currently run a thorough search for CBPs in the Kepler dataset using CB-BLS. On top of presenting CB-BLS and it capabilities, we will give an update on the search's status and preliminary results.

  3. PLANET FORMATION IN CIRCUMBINARY CONFIGURATIONS: TURBULENCE INHIBITS PLANETESIMAL ACCRETION

    SciTech Connect

    Meschiari, Stefano

    2012-12-10

    The existence of planets born in environments highly perturbed by a stellar companion represents a major challenge to the paradigm of planet formation. In numerical simulations, the presence of a close binary companion stirs up the relative velocity between planetesimals, which is fundamental in determining the balance between accretion and erosion. However, the recent discovery of circumbinary planets by Kepler establishes that planet formation in binary systems is clearly viable. We perform N-body simulations of planetesimals embedded in a protoplanetary disk, where planetesimal phasing is frustrated by the presence of stochastic torques, modeling the expected perturbations of turbulence driven by the magnetorotational instability. We examine perturbation amplitudes relevant to dead zones in the midplane (conducive to planet formation in single stars), and find that planetesimal accretion can be inhibited even in the outer disk (4-10 AU) far from the central binary, a location previously thought to be a plausible starting point for the formation of circumbinary planets.

  4. Planet Formation in Circumbinary Configurations: Turbulence Inhibits Planetesimal Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meschiari, Stefano

    2012-12-01

    The existence of planets born in environments highly perturbed by a stellar companion represents a major challenge to the paradigm of planet formation. In numerical simulations, the presence of a close binary companion stirs up the relative velocity between planetesimals, which is fundamental in determining the balance between accretion and erosion. However, the recent discovery of circumbinary planets by Kepler establishes that planet formation in binary systems is clearly viable. We perform N-body simulations of planetesimals embedded in a protoplanetary disk, where planetesimal phasing is frustrated by the presence of stochastic torques, modeling the expected perturbations of turbulence driven by the magnetorotational instability. We examine perturbation amplitudes relevant to dead zones in the midplane (conducive to planet formation in single stars), and find that planetesimal accretion can be inhibited even in the outer disk (4-10 AU) far from the central binary, a location previously thought to be a plausible starting point for the formation of circumbinary planets.

  5. A triple origin for the lack of tight coplanar circumbinary planets around short-period binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamers, Adrian; Perets, Hagai B.; Portegies Zwart, Simon

    2015-12-01

    Detection of transiting circumbinary planets is more tractable around short-period binaries. However, sofar, no such binaries have been found with orbits shorter than 7 days. Short-period main sequence binaries have been suggested to form in triple systems, through a combination of secular Kozai-Lidov cycles and tidal friction (KLCTF). Here, we show that coplanar circumbinary transiting planets are unlikely to exist around short-period binaries, due to triple evolution. We use secular analysis, N-body simulations and analytic considerations as well as population synthesis models to characterize their overall properties. We find that the existence of a circumbinary planet in a triple is likely to produce one of the following outcomes. (1) Sufficiently massive planets in tight and/or coplanar orbits around the inner binary can partially or completely quench the KL evolution, `shielding' the inner binary from the secular effects of the tertiary, and not allowing the KLCTF process to take place. In this case, the inner binary will not shrink to become a short-period binary. (2) KL evolution is not quenched and it drives the planetary orbit into high eccentricities, giving rise to an unstable configuration, in which the planet is most likely ejected from the system. (3) KL evolution is not quenched, but the planet survives the KLCTF evolution and the formation of the short-period binary; the planet orbit is likely to be much wider than the currently observed inner binary orbit, and is likely to be inclined in respect to the binary orbit, as well as eccentric. These outcomes lead to two main conclusions: (1) it is unlikely to find a (massive) planet on a tight and coplanar orbit around a short-period main-sequence binary, and (2) the frequency, masses and orbits of non-coplanar circumbinary planets in short-period binaries are constrained by their secular evolution.

  6. Transits of planets with small intervals in circumbinary systems

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Hui-Gen; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Hui; Zhou, Ji-Lin

    2014-08-01

    Transit times around single stars can be described well by a linear ephemeris. However, transit times in circumbinary systems are influenced both by the gravitational perturbations and the orbital phase variations of the central binary star. Adopting a coplanar analog of Kepler-16 as an example, we find that circumbinary planets can transit the same star more than once during a single planetary orbit, a phenomenon we call 'tight transits.' In certain geometric architecture, the projected orbital velocity of the planet and the secondary star can approach zero and change sign, resulting in very long transits and/or 2-3 transits during a single binary orbit. Whether tight transits are possible for a particular system depends primarily on the binary mass ratio and the orbital architecture of both the binary and the planet. We derive a time-dependent criterion to judge when tight transits are possible for any circumbinary system. These results are verified with full dynamical integrations that also reveal other tight transit characteristics, i.e., the transit durations and the intervals between tight transits. For the seven currently known circumbinary systems, we estimate these critical parameters both analytically and numerically. Due to the mutual inclination between the planet and the binary, tight transits can only occur across the less massive star B in Kepler-16, -34, -35, and -47 (for both planets). The long-term average frequency of tight transits (compared to typical transits) for Kepler-16, -34, and -35 are estimated to be several percent. Using full numerical integrations, the next tight transit for each system is predicted and the soonest example appears to be Kepler-47b and -47c, which are likely to have tight transits before 2025. These unique and valuable events often deserve special observational scrutiny.

  7. FORMATION OF CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS IN A DEAD ZONE

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, Rebecca G.; Armitage, Philip J.; Alexander, Richard D.

    2013-08-10

    Circumbinary planets have been observed at orbital radii where binary perturbations may have significant effects on the gas disk structure, on planetesimal velocity dispersion, and on the coupling between turbulence and planetesimals. Here, we note that the impact of all of these effects on planet formation is qualitatively altered if the circumbinary disk structure is layered, with a non-turbulent midplane layer (dead zone) and strongly turbulent surface layers. For close binaries, we find that the dead zone typically extends from a radius close to the inner disk edge up to a radius of around 10-20 AU from the center of mass of the binary. The peak in the surface density occurs within the dead zone, far from the inner disk edge, close to the snow line, and may act as a trap for aerodynamically coupled solids. We suggest that circumbinary planet formation may be easier near this preferential location than for disks around single stars. However, dead zones around wide binaries are less likely, and hence planet formation may be more difficult there.

  8. AN ANALYTIC THEORY FOR THE ORBITS OF CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Leung, Gene C. K.; Lee, Man Hoi

    2013-02-15

    Three transiting circumbinary planets (Kepler-16 b, Kepler-34 b, and Kepler-35 b) have recently been discovered from photometric data taken by the Kepler spacecraft. Their orbits are significantly non-Keplerian because of the large secondary-to-primary mass ratio and orbital eccentricity of the binaries, as well as the proximity of the planets to the binaries. We present an analytic theory, with the planet treated as a test particle, which shows that the planetary motion can be represented by the superposition of the circular motion of a guiding center, the forced oscillations due to the non-axisymmetric components of the binary's potential, the epicyclic motion, and the vertical motion. In this analytic theory, the periapse and ascending node of the planet precess at nearly equal rates in opposite directions. The largest forced oscillation term corresponds to a forced eccentricity (which is an explicit function of the parameters of the binary and of the guiding center radius of the planet), and the amplitude of the epicyclic motion (which is a free parameter of the theory) is the free eccentricity. Comparisons with direct numerical orbit integrations show that this analytic theory gives an accurate description of the planetary motion for all three Kepler systems. We find that all three Kepler circumbinary planets have nonzero free eccentricities.

  9. FORMING CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS: N-BODY SIMULATIONS OF KEPLER-34

    SciTech Connect

    Lines, S.; Leinhardt, Z. M.; Paardekooper, S.; Baruteau, C.; Thebault, P.

    2014-02-10

    Observations of circumbinary planets orbiting very close to the central stars have shown that planet formation may occur in a very hostile environment, where the gravitational pull from the binary should be very strong on the primordial protoplanetary disk. Elevated impact velocities and orbit crossings from eccentricity oscillations are the primary contributors to high energy, potentially destructive collisions that inhibit the growth of aspiring planets. In this work, we conduct high-resolution, inter-particle gravity enabled N-body simulations to investigate the feasibility of planetesimal growth in the Kepler-34 system. We improve upon previous work by including planetesimal disk self-gravity and an extensive collision model to accurately handle inter-planetesimal interactions. We find that super-catastrophic erosion events are the dominant mechanism up to and including the orbital radius of Kepler-34(AB)b, making in situ growth unlikely. It is more plausible that Kepler-34(AB)b migrated from a region beyond 1.5 AU. Based on the conclusions that we have made for Kepler-34, it seems likely that all of the currently known circumbinary planets have also migrated significantly from their formation location with the possible exception of Kepler-47(AB)c.

  10. PLANET HUNTERS: A TRANSITING CIRCUMBINARY PLANET IN A QUADRUPLE STAR SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Schawinski, Kevin; Orosz, Jerome A.; Welsh, William F.; and others

    2013-05-10

    We report the discovery and confirmation of a transiting circumbinary planet (PH1b) around KIC 4862625, an eclipsing binary in the Kepler field. The planet was discovered by volunteers searching the first six Quarters of publicly available Kepler data as part of the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Transits of the planet across the larger and brighter of the eclipsing stars are detectable by visual inspection every {approx}137 days, with seven transits identified in Quarters 1-11. The physical and orbital parameters of both the host stars and planet were obtained via a photometric-dynamical model, simultaneously fitting both the measured radial velocities and the Kepler light curve of KIC 4862625. The 6.18 {+-} 0.17 R{sub Circled-Plus} planet orbits outside the 20 day orbit of an eclipsing binary consisting of an F dwarf (1.734 {+-} 0.044 R{sub Sun }, 1.528 {+-} 0.087 M{sub Sun }) and M dwarf (0.378 {+-} 0.023 R{sub Sun }, 0.408 {+-} 0.024 M{sub Sun }). For the planet, we find an upper mass limit of 169 M{sub Circled-Plus} (0.531 Jupiter masses) at the 99.7% confidence level. With a radius and mass less than that of Jupiter, PH1b is well within the planetary regime. Outside the planet's orbit, at {approx}1000 AU, a previously unknown visual binary has been identified that is likely bound to the planetary system, making this the first known case of a quadruple star system with a transiting planet.

  11. Survival of Planets Around Shrinking Stellar Binaries: A New Population of Misaligned Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Dong

    2015-08-01

    The discovery of transiting circumbinary planets by the Kepler mission suggests that planets can form efficiently around binary stars. None of the stellar binaries known to host planets has a period shorter than 7 days, despite the large number of eclipsing binaries found in the Kepler target list with periods shorter than a few days. These compact binaries are believed to have evolved from wider orbits into their current configurations via tidal dissipation mediated by Lidov-Kozai oscillations in orbital eccentricity induced by a distant tertiary companion. We explore the orbital evolution of planets around binaries undergoing orbital decay by this mechanism. We show that planets may survive and become misaligned from their host binary, or may be ejected from the system as the binary decays. Our results suggest that circumbinary planets around compact binaries could still exist, and we offer predictions as to what their orbital configurations should be like.Reference: D. Munoz and D. Lai 2015, submitted

  12. A triple origin for the lack of tight coplanar circumbinary planets around short-period binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamers, Adrian S.; Perets, Hagai B.; Portegies Zwart, Simon F.

    2016-01-01

    Transiting circumbinary planets are more easily detected around short-period than long-period binaries, but none have yet been observed by Kepler orbiting binaries with periods shorter than seven days. In triple systems, secular Kozai-Lidov cycles and tidal friction (KLCTF) have been shown to reduce the inner orbital period from ˜104 to a few days. Indeed, the majority of short-period binaries are observed to possess a third stellar companion. Using secular evolution analysis and population synthesis, we show that KLCTF makes it unlikely for circumbinary transiting planets to exist around short-period binaries. We find the following outcomes. (1) Sufficiently massive planets in tight and/or coplanar orbits around the inner binary can quench the KL evolution because they induce precession in the inner binary. The KLCTF process does not take place, preventing the formation of a short-period binary. (2) Secular evolution is not quenched and it drives the planetary orbit into a high eccentricity, giving rise to an unstable configuration, in which the planet is most likely ejected from the system. (3) Secular evolution is not quenched but the planet survives the KLCTF evolution. Its orbit is likely to be much wider than the currently observed inner binary orbit, and is likely to be eccentric and inclined with respect to the inner binary. These outcomes lead to two main conclusions: (1) it is unlikely to find a massive planet on a tight and coplanar orbit around a short-period binary, and (2) the properties of circumbinary planets in short-period binaries are constrained by secular evolution.

  13. Surface flux patterns on planets in circumbinary systems and potential for photosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forgan, Duncan H.; Mead, Alexander; Cockell, Charles S.; Raven, John A.

    2015-07-01

    Recently, the Kepler Space Telescope has detected several planets in orbit around a close binary star system. These so-called circumbinary planets will experience non-trivial spatial and temporal distributions of radiative flux on their surfaces, with features not seen in their single-star orbiting counterparts. Earth-like circumbinary planets inhabited by photosynthetic organisms will be forced to adapt to these unusual flux patterns. We map the flux received by putative Earth-like planets (as a function of surface latitude/longitude and time) orbiting the binary star systems Kepler-16 and Kepler-47, two star systems which already boast circumbinary exoplanet detections. The longitudinal and latitudinal distribution of flux is sensitive to the centre-of-mass motion of the binary, and the relative orbital phases of the binary and planet. Total eclipses of the secondary by the primary, as well as partial eclipses of the primary by the secondary add an extra forcing term to the system. We also find that the patterns of darkness on the surface are equally unique. Beyond the planet's polar circles, the surface spends a significantly longer time in darkness than latitudes around the equator, due to the stars' motions delaying the first sunrise of spring (or hastening the last sunset of autumn). In the case of Kepler-47, we also find a weak longitudinal dependence for darkness, but this effect tends to average out if considered over many orbits. In the light of these flux and darkness patterns, we consider and discuss the prospects and challenges for photosynthetic organisms, using terrestrial analogues as a guide.

  14. THE NEPTUNE-SIZED CIRCUMBINARY PLANET KEPLER-38b

    SciTech Connect

    Orosz, Jerome A.; Welsh, William F.; Short, Donald R.; Windmiller, Gur; Carter, Joshua A.; Torres, Guillermo; Geary, John C.; Brugamyer, Erik; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; MacQueen, Phillip; Buchhave, Lars A.; Ford, Eric B.; Agol, Eric; Barclay, Thomas; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Doyle, Laurance R.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Haghighipour, Nader; and others

    2012-10-20

    We discuss the discovery and characterization of the circumbinary planet Kepler-38b. The stellar binary is single-lined, with a period of 18.8 days, and consists of a moderately evolved main-sequence star (M{sub A} = 0.949 {+-} 0.059 M {sub Sun} and R{sub A} = 1.757 {+-} 0.034 R {sub Sun }) paired with a low-mass star (M{sub B} = 0.249 {+-} 0.010 M {sub Sun} and R{sub B} = 0.2724 {+-} 0.0053 R {sub Sun }) in a mildly eccentric (e = 0.103) orbit. A total of eight transits due to a circumbinary planet crossing the primary star were identified in the Kepler light curve (using Kepler Quarters 1-11), from which a planetary period of 105.595 {+-} 0.053 days can be established. A photometric dynamical model fit to the radial velocity curve and Kepler light curve yields a planetary radius of 4.35 {+-} 0.11 R {sub Circled-Plus }, or equivalently 1.12 {+-} 0.03 R {sub Nep}. Since the planet is not sufficiently massive to observably alter the orbit of the binary from Keplerian motion, we can only place an upper limit on the mass of the planet of 122 M {sub Circled-Plus} (7.11 M {sub Nep} or equivalently 0.384 M {sub Jup}) at 95% confidence. This upper limit should decrease as more Kepler data become available.

  15. Motions of Kepler circumbinary planets in restricted three-body problem under radiating primaries

    SciTech Connect

    Dermawan, B. Hidayat, T.; Huda, I. N. Mandey, D. Utama, J. A. Tampubolon, I.; Wibowo, R. W.

    2015-09-30

    By observing continuously a single field of view in the sky, Kepler mission reveals outstanding results on discoveries of exoplanets. One of its recent progress is the discoveries of circumbinary planets. A circumbinary planet is an exoplanet that moves around a binary system. In this study we investigate motions of Kepler circumbinary planets belong to six binary systems, namely Kepler-16, -34, -35, -38, -47, and -413. The motions are considered to follow the Restricted Three-Body Problem (RTBP). Because the primaries (central massive objects) are stars, they are both radiatives, while the planet is an infinitesimal object. The primaries move in nearly circular and elliptic orbits with respect to their center of masses. We describe, in general, motions of the circumbinary planets in RTBP under radiating primaries. With respect to the averaged zero velocity curves, we show that motions of the exoplanets are stable, in accordance with their Hill stabilities.

  16. Disruption of planetary orbits through evection resonance with an external companion: circumbinary planets and multiplanet systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Wenrui; Lai, Dong

    2016-07-01

    Planets around binary stars and those in multiplanet systems may experience resonant eccentricity excitation and disruption due to perturbations from a distant stellar companion. This `evection resonance' occurs when the apsidal precession frequency of the planet, driven by the quadrupole associated with the inner binary or the other planets, matches the orbital frequency of the external companion. We develop an analytic theory to study the effects of evection resonance on circumbinary planets and multiplanet systems. We derive the general conditions for effective eccentricity excitation or resonance capture of the planet as the system undergoes long-term evolution. Applying to circumbinary planets, we show that inward planet migration may lead to eccentricity growth due to evection resonance with an external perturber, and planets around shrinking binaries may not survive the resonant eccentricity growth. On the other hand, significant eccentricity excitation in multiplanet systems occurs in limited parameter space of planet and binary semimajor axes, and requires the planetary migration to be sufficiently slow.

  17. Kepler 453 b—The 10th Kepler Transiting Circumbinary Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, William F.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Short, Donald R.; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Brugamyer, Erik; Haghighipour, Nader; Buchhave, Lars A.; Doyle, Laurance R.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Hinse, Tobias Cornelius; Kane, Stephen R.; Kostov, Veselin; Mazeh, Tsevi; Mills, Sean M.; Müller, Tobias W. A.; Quarles, Billy; Quinn, Samuel N.; Ragozzine, Darin; Shporer, Avi; Steffen, Jason H.; Tal-Or, Lev; Torres, Guillermo; Windmiller, Gur; Borucki, William J.

    2015-08-01

    We present the discovery of Kepler-453 b, a 6.2 {R}\\oplus planet in a low-eccentricity, 240.5 day orbit about an eclipsing binary. The binary itself consists of a 0.94 and 0.195 {M}⊙ pair of stars with an orbital period of 27.32 days. The plane of the planet's orbit is rapidly precessing, and its inclination only becomes sufficiently aligned with the primary star in the latter portion of the Kepler data. Thus three transits are present in the second half of the light curve, but none of the three conjunctions that occurred during the first half of the light curve produced observable transits. The precession period is ˜103 years, and during that cycle, transits are visible only ˜8.9% of the time. This has the important implication that for every system like Kepler-453 that we detect, there are ˜11.5 circumbinary systems that exist but are not currently exhibiting transits. The planet's mass is too small to noticeably perturb the binary, and consequently its mass is not measurable with these data; however, our photodynamical model places a 1σ upper limit of 16 {M}\\oplus . With a period 8.8 times that of the binary, the planet is well outside the dynamical instability zone. It does, however, lie within the habitable zone of the binary, making it the third of 10 Kepler circumbinary planets to do so. Based on observations obtained with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, which is a joint project of the University of Texas at Austin, the Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

  18. TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION AROUND THE CIRCUMBINARY HABITABLE ZONE: INWARD MIGRATION IN THE PLANETESIMAL SWARM

    SciTech Connect

    Gong Yanxiang; Zhou Jilin; Xie Jiwei E-mail: zhoujl@nju.edu.cn

    2013-01-20

    According to the core accretion theory, circumbinary embryos can form only beyond a critical semimajor axis (CSMA). However, due to the relatively high density of solid materials in the inner disk, a significant amount of small planetesimals must exist in the inner zone when embryos form outside this CSMA. Thus, embryo migration induced by the planetesimal swarm is possible after gas disk depletion. Through numerical simulations, we found that (1) the scattering-driven inward migration of embryos is robust and planets can form in the habitable zone if we adopt a mass distribution of an MMSN-like disk; (2) the total mass of the planetesimals in the inner region and continuous embryo-embryo scattering are two key factors that cause significant embryo migrations; and (3) the scattering-driven migration of embryos is a natural water-delivery mechanism. We propose that planet detections should focus on the close binary with its habitable zone near CSMA.

  19. BUILDING TATOOINE: SUPPRESSION OF THE DIRECT SECULAR EXCITATION IN KEPLER CIRCUMBINARY PLANET FORMATION

    SciTech Connect

    Rafikov, Roman R.

    2013-02-10

    Circumbinary planetary systems recently discovered by Kepler represent an important testbed for planet formation theories. Planetesimal growth in disks around binaries has been expected to be inhibited interior to {approx}10 AU by secular excitation of high relative velocities between planetesimals, leading to their collisional destruction (rather than agglomeration). Here we show that gravity of an axisymmetric gaseous circumbinary disk in which planets form drives fast precession of both the planetesimal and binary orbits, resulting in strong suppression of planetesimal eccentricities beyond 2-3 AU and making possible the growth of 1-10{sup 2} km objects in this region. The precise location of the boundary of the accretion-friendly region depends on the size of the inner disk cavity cleared by the binary torques and on the disk mass (even 0.01 M{sub Sun} disk strongly suppresses planetesimal excitation), among other things, but this zone does not extend to present orbits of Kepler circumbinary planets. The precession of the orbit of the central binary, enhanced by the mass concentration that is naturally present at the inner edge of a circumbinary disk, plays a key role in this suppression, which is a feature specific to the circumbinary planet formation.

  20. Building Tatooine: Suppression of the Direct Secular Excitation in Kepler Circumbinary Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafikov, Roman R.

    2013-02-01

    Circumbinary planetary systems recently discovered by Kepler represent an important testbed for planet formation theories. Planetesimal growth in disks around binaries has been expected to be inhibited interior to ~10 AU by secular excitation of high relative velocities between planetesimals, leading to their collisional destruction (rather than agglomeration). Here we show that gravity of an axisymmetric gaseous circumbinary disk in which planets form drives fast precession of both the planetesimal and binary orbits, resulting in strong suppression of planetesimal eccentricities beyond 2-3 AU and making possible the growth of 1-102 km objects in this region. The precise location of the boundary of the accretion-friendly region depends on the size of the inner disk cavity cleared by the binary torques and on the disk mass (even 0.01 M ⊙ disk strongly suppresses planetesimal excitation), among other things, but this zone does not extend to present orbits of Kepler circumbinary planets. The precession of the orbit of the central binary, enhanced by the mass concentration that is naturally present at the inner edge of a circumbinary disk, plays a key role in this suppression, which is a feature specific to the circumbinary planet formation.

  1. Formation and Evolution of Circumbinary Planets, and the Apparent Lack of CPBs Around Short-Period Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, Nader

    2015-12-01

    The success of the Kepler space telescope in detecting planets in circumbinary orbits strongly suggests that planet formation around binary stars is robust and planets of a variety of sizes and orbital configurations may exist in such complex environments. Accurate modeling of Kepler data has also indicated that some of these planets orbit their central binaries in close proximity to the boundary of orbital stability. This finding, combined with the unsuccessful attempts in forming circumbinary planets (CBPs) close to the orbital stability limit has lent strong support to the idea that almost all currently known CBPs have formed at large distances and undergone substantial radial migration. A survey of the currently known CBPs further indicates that these planets are mainly Neptune-mass and there seems to be a lack of planets of Jupiter-mass or larger in P-type orbits. Furthermore, an examination of the observational data obtained by the Kepler telescope seems to suggest an absence of CBPs around short-period binaries. Finally, recent detections of episodic transits in the two newly discovered circumbinary systems, Kepler 413b and Kepler 453b, as well as the discovery of Kepler non-transiting CBPs, (please see the abstract by Fabrycky et al) have indicated that in general, the orbits of planets and their host binaries are not co-planar. We present a new model for the formation and evolution of CBPs in which the migration of CBPs has been studied for low and high eccentricity binaries, and for different values of binary period. Results of our extensive hydrodynamical simulations show that planet-disk interaction in low-eccentricity binaries can account for the migration of CBPs and the proximity of their final orbits to the boundary of stability. In eccentric binaries, the situation is, however, more complex and in order to explain the final orbital architecture of the system, other factors such as planet-planet interaction have to be taken into account. We show

  2. Detection of Sharp Symmetric Features in the Circumbinary Disk around AK Sco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janson, Markus; Thalmann, Christian; Boccaletti, Anthony; Maire, Anne-Lise; Zurlo, Alice; Marzari, Francesco; Meyer, Michael R.; Carson, Joseph C.; Augereau, Jean-Charles; Garufi, Antonio; Henning, Thomas; Desidera, Silvano; Asensio-Torres, Ruben; Pohl, Adriana

    2016-01-01

    The Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars survey aims to study the formation and distribution of planets in binary systems by detecting and characterizing circumbinary planets and their formation environments through direct imaging. With the SPHERE Extreme Adaptive Optics instrument, a good contrast can be achieved even at small (<300 mas) separations from bright stars, which enables studies of planets and disks in a separation range that was previously inaccessible. Here, we report the discovery of resolved scattered light emission from the circumbinary disk around the well-studied young double star AK Sco, at projected separations in the ∼13–40 AU range. The sharp morphology of the imaged feature is surprising, given the smooth appearance of the disk in its spectral energy distribution. We show that the observed morphology can be represented either as a highly eccentric ring around AK Sco, or as two separate spiral arms in the disk, wound in opposite directions. The relative merits of these interpretations are discussed, as well as whether these features may have been caused by one or several circumbinary planets interacting with the disk. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, under observing program 095.C-0346(B).

  3. An Investigation of Circumbinary Planet Orbital Stability and Habitability to Identify Potential Planetary Systems with Several Habitable Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Paul A.; Zuluaga, Jorge; Cuartas, Pablo A.

    2015-08-01

    The census of planets orbiting the center of mass of binary stars is rapidly growing. The question of stability for circumbinary planets has been the focus of much recent research. We review this work and present results of new simulations, from which we find criteria for the long term stability of exoplanets orbiting binaries. We are especially concerned with the potential stability of planets in habitable zones surrounding binaries. For this purpose, we merge a long-term orbital stability study with an analysis of the rotational evolution of the stellar components. The stellar evolution and rotational study enables estimates of stellar activity, and the effects on the magnetospheres and atmospheres of planets over the course of history for a potentially habitable circumbinary planet. We find that the long-term orbital stability of circumbinary habitable zone depends sensitively on the initial orbit of the binary and on the masses of the stars. We find that stellar twins (binary mass ratio ~ 1) and binaries with circular orbits provide the most stable solutions. However, if the binary orbit evolves too rapidly, planets may be lost due to changes in resonance locations. A subset of binaries are identified possessing both stable orbital solutions for multiple planets in the habitable zone and reduced stellar aggression due to tidal torqueing of the stellar rotation.

  4. CIRCUMBINARY PLANET FORMATION IN THE KEPLER-16 SYSTEM. I. N-BODY SIMULATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Meschiari, Stefano

    2012-06-10

    The recently discovered circumbinary planets (Kepler-16 b, Kepler 34-b, Kepler 35-b) represent the first direct evidence of the viability of planet formation in circumbinary orbits. We report on the results of N-body simulations investigating planetesimal accretion in the Kepler-16 b system, focusing on the range of impact velocities under the influence of both stars' gravitational perturbation and friction from a putative protoplanetary disk. Our results show that planet formation might be effectively inhibited for a large range in semimajor axis (1.75 {approx}< a{sub P} {approx}< 4 AU), suggesting that the planetary core must have either migrated from outside 4 AU or formed in situ very close to its current location.

  5. A circumbinary planet in orbit around the short-period white dwarf eclipsing binary RR Cae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, S.-B.; Liu, L.; Zhu, L.-Y.; Dai, Z.-B.; Fernández Lajús, E.; Baume, G. L.

    2012-05-01

    By using six newly determined mid-eclipse times together with those collected from the literature, we have found that the observed minus calculated (O-C) curve of RR Cae shows a cyclic change with a period of 11.9 yr and an amplitude of 14.3 s while it undergoes an upward parabolic variation [revealing a long-term period increase at a rate of ?]. The cyclic change was analysed for the light-travel-time effect that arises from the gravitational influence of a third companion. The mass of the third body was determined to be M3sin i'= 4.2(± 0.4) MJup, suggesting that it is a circumbinary giant planet when its orbital inclination is larger than 17?6. The orbital separation of the circumbinary planet from the central eclipsing binary is about 5.3(± 0.6) au. The period increase is opposite to the changes caused by angular momentum loss via magnetic braking or/and gravitational radiation; and it cannot be explained by the mass transfer between both components because of its detached configuration. These indicate that the observed upward parabolic change is only a part of a long-period (longer than 26.3 yr) cyclic variation, which may reveal the presence of another giant circumbinary planet in a wide orbit.

  6. ROTATIONAL SYNCHRONIZATION MAY ENHANCE HABITABILITY FOR CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS: KEPLER BINARY CASE STUDIES

    SciTech Connect

    Mason, Paul A.; Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A.; Clark, Joni M.

    2013-09-10

    We report a mechanism capable of reducing (or increasing) stellar activity in binary stars, thereby potentially enhancing (or destroying) circumbinary habitability. In single stars, stellar aggression toward planetary atmospheres causes mass-loss, which is especially detrimental for late-type stars, because habitable zones are very close and activity is long lasting. In binaries, tidal rotational breaking reduces magnetic activity, thus reducing harmful levels of X-ray and ultraviolet (XUV) radiation and stellar mass-loss that are able to erode planetary atmospheres. We study this mechanism for all confirmed circumbinary (p-type) planets. We find that main sequence twins provide minimal flux variation and in some cases improved environments if the stars rotationally synchronize within the first Gyr. Solar-like twins, like Kepler 34 and Kepler 35, provide low habitable zone XUV fluxes and stellar wind pressures. These wide, moist, habitable zones may potentially support multiple habitable planets. Solar-type stars with lower mass companions, like Kepler 47, allow for protected planets over a wide range of secondary masses and binary periods. Kepler 38 and related binaries are marginal cases. Kepler 64 and analogs have dramatically reduced stellar aggression due to synchronization of the primary, but are limited by the short lifetime. Kepler 16 appears to be inhospitable to planets due to extreme XUV flux. These results have important implications for estimates of the number of stellar systems containing habitable planets in the Galaxy and allow for the selection of binaries suitable for follow-up searches for habitable planets.

  7. Rotational Synchronization May Enhance Habitability for Circumbinary Planets: Kepler Binary Case Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Paul A.; Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Clark, Joni M.; Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A.

    2013-09-01

    We report a mechanism capable of reducing (or increasing) stellar activity in binary stars, thereby potentially enhancing (or destroying) circumbinary habitability. In single stars, stellar aggression toward planetary atmospheres causes mass-loss, which is especially detrimental for late-type stars, because habitable zones are very close and activity is long lasting. In binaries, tidal rotational breaking reduces magnetic activity, thus reducing harmful levels of X-ray and ultraviolet (XUV) radiation and stellar mass-loss that are able to erode planetary atmospheres. We study this mechanism for all confirmed circumbinary (p-type) planets. We find that main sequence twins provide minimal flux variation and in some cases improved environments if the stars rotationally synchronize within the first Gyr. Solar-like twins, like Kepler 34 and Kepler 35, provide low habitable zone XUV fluxes and stellar wind pressures. These wide, moist, habitable zones may potentially support multiple habitable planets. Solar-type stars with lower mass companions, like Kepler 47, allow for protected planets over a wide range of secondary masses and binary periods. Kepler 38 and related binaries are marginal cases. Kepler 64 and analogs have dramatically reduced stellar aggression due to synchronization of the primary, but are limited by the short lifetime. Kepler 16 appears to be inhospitable to planets due to extreme XUV flux. These results have important implications for estimates of the number of stellar systems containing habitable planets in the Galaxy and allow for the selection of binaries suitable for follow-up searches for habitable planets.

  8. CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS ORBITING THE RAPIDLY PULSATING SUBDWARF B-TYPE BINARY NY Vir

    SciTech Connect

    Qian, S.-B.; Zhu, L.-Y.; Dai, Z.-B.; He, J.-J.; Xiang, F.-Y.

    2012-02-15

    We report here the tentative discovery of a Jovian planet in orbit around the rapidly pulsating subdwarf B-type (sdB-type) eclipsing binary NY Vir. By using newly determined eclipse times together with those collected from the literature, we detect that the observed-calculated (O - C) curve of NY Vir shows a small-amplitude cyclic variation with a period of 7.9 yr and a semiamplitude of 6.1 s, while it undergoes a downward parabolic change (revealing a period decrease at a rate of P-dot = -9.2 x 10{sup -12}). The periodic variation was analyzed for the light-travel-time effect via the presence of a third body. The mass of the tertiary companion was determined to be M{sub 3}sin i' = 2.3({+-} 0.3)M{sub Jupiter} when a total mass of 0.60 M{sub Sun} for NY Vir is adopted. This suggests that it is most probably a giant circumbinary planet orbiting NY Vir at a distance of about 3.3 astronomical units (AU). Since the rate of period decrease cannot be explained by true angular momentum loss caused by gravitational radiation or/and magnetic braking, the observed downward parabolic change in the O - C diagram may be only a part of a long-period (longer than 15 years) cyclic variation, which may reveal the presence of another Jovian planet ({approx}2.5 M{sub Jupiter}) in the system.

  9. Kepler-1647b: The Largest and Longest-period Kepler Transiting Circumbinary Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostov, Veselin B.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Welsh, William F.; Doyle, Laurance R.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Haghighipour, Nader; Quarles, Billy; Short, Donald R.; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Ford, Eric B.; Gregorio, Joao; Hinse, Tobias C.; Isaacson, Howard; Jenkins, Jon M.; Jensen, Eric L. N.; Kane, Stephen; Kull, Ilya; Latham, David W.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Mazeh, Tsevi; Müller, Tobias W. A.; Pepper, Joshua; Quinn, Samuel N.; Ragozzine, Darin; Shporer, Avi; Steffen, Jason H.; Torres, Guillermo; Windmiller, Gur; Borucki, William J.

    2016-08-01

    We report the discovery of a new Kepler transiting circumbinary planet (CBP). This latest addition to the still-small family of CBPs defies the current trend of known short-period planets orbiting near the stability limit of binary stars. Unlike the previous discoveries, the planet revolving around the eclipsing binary system Kepler-1647 has a very long orbital period (∼1100 days) and was at conjunction only twice during the Kepler mission lifetime. Due to the singular configuration of the system, Kepler-1647b is not only the longest-period transiting CBP at the time of writing, but also one of the longest-period transiting planets. With a radius of 1.06 ± 0.01 R Jup, it is also the largest CBP to date. The planet produced three transits in the light curve of Kepler-1647 (one of them during an eclipse, creating a syzygy) and measurably perturbed the times of the stellar eclipses, allowing us to measure its mass, 1.52 ± 0.65 M Jup. The planet revolves around an 11-day period eclipsing binary consisting of two solar-mass stars on a slightly inclined, mildly eccentric (e bin = 0.16), spin-synchronized orbit. Despite having an orbital period three times longer than Earth’s, Kepler-1647b is in the conservative habitable zone of the binary star throughout its orbit.

  10. Kepler-1647b: The Largest and Longest-period Kepler Transiting Circumbinary Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostov, Veselin B.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Welsh, William F.; Doyle, Laurance R.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Haghighipour, Nader; Quarles, Billy; Short, Donald R.; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Ford, Eric B.; Gregorio, Joao; Hinse, Tobias C.; Isaacson, Howard; Jenkins, Jon M.; Jensen, Eric L. N.; Kane, Stephen; Kull, Ilya; Latham, David W.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Mazeh, Tsevi; Müller, Tobias W. A.; Pepper, Joshua; Quinn, Samuel N.; Ragozzine, Darin; Shporer, Avi; Steffen, Jason H.; Torres, Guillermo; Windmiller, Gur; Borucki, William J.

    2016-08-01

    We report the discovery of a new Kepler transiting circumbinary planet (CBP). This latest addition to the still-small family of CBPs defies the current trend of known short-period planets orbiting near the stability limit of binary stars. Unlike the previous discoveries, the planet revolving around the eclipsing binary system Kepler-1647 has a very long orbital period (˜1100 days) and was at conjunction only twice during the Kepler mission lifetime. Due to the singular configuration of the system, Kepler-1647b is not only the longest-period transiting CBP at the time of writing, but also one of the longest-period transiting planets. With a radius of 1.06 ± 0.01 R Jup, it is also the largest CBP to date. The planet produced three transits in the light curve of Kepler-1647 (one of them during an eclipse, creating a syzygy) and measurably perturbed the times of the stellar eclipses, allowing us to measure its mass, 1.52 ± 0.65 M Jup. The planet revolves around an 11-day period eclipsing binary consisting of two solar-mass stars on a slightly inclined, mildly eccentric (e bin = 0.16), spin-synchronized orbit. Despite having an orbital period three times longer than Earth’s, Kepler-1647b is in the conservative habitable zone of the binary star throughout its orbit.

  11. KIC-5473556: the largest and longest-period Kepler transiting circumbinary planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostov, Veselin

    2015-12-01

    We report the discovery of a new Kepler transiting circumbinary planet (CBP). This latest addition to the still-small family of CBPs defies the current trend of short-period CBPs orbiting near the stability limit of binary stars. Unlike the previous discoveries, the planet in the KIC-5473556 system has a very long orbital period (~1100 days) and was at conjunction only twice during the Kepler mission -- making it the longest-period transiting CBP at the time of writing. With a radius of nearly 12 REarth, it is also the largest such planet to date. It produced three transits in the light curve of KIC 5473556, one of them during a syzygy. The planet revolves around an ~11-day Eclipsing Binary consisting of two Solar-mass stars on a slightly inclined to the line of sight, mildly eccentric (ebin = 0.16) orbit. The CBP measurably perturbs the times of the stellar eclipses, allowing us to constrain its mass well. Here we present our spectroscopic and photometric observations of the target, discuss our analysis of the system, and outline the theoretical implications of our discovery.

  12. Constraining the Radiation and Plasma Environment of the Kepler Circumbinary Habitable-zone Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Mason, Paul A.; Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A.

    2016-02-01

    The discovery of many planets using the Kepler telescope includes 10 planets orbiting eight binary stars. Three binaries, Kepler-16, Kepler-47, and Kepler-453, have at least one planet in the circumbinary habitable zone (BHZ). We constrain the level of high-energy radiation and the plasma environment in the BHZ of these systems. With this aim, BHZ limits in these Kepler binaries are calculated as a function of time, and the habitability lifetimes are estimated for hypothetical terrestrial planets and/or moons within the BHZ. With the time-dependent BHZ limits established, a self-consistent model is developed describing the evolution of stellar activity and radiation properties as proxies for stellar aggression toward planetary atmospheres. Modeling binary stellar rotation evolution, including the effect of tidal interaction between stars in binaries, is key to establishing the environment around these systems. We find that Kepler-16 and its binary analogs provide a plasma environment favorable for the survival of atmospheres of putative Mars-sized planets and exomoons. Tides have modified the rotation of the stars in Kepler-47, making its radiation environment less harsh in comparison to the solar system. This is a good example of the mechanism first proposed by Mason et al. Kepler-453 has an environment similar to that of the solar system with slightly better than Earth radiation conditions at the inner edge of the BHZ. These results can be reproduced and even reparameterized as stellar evolution and binary tidal models progress, using our online tool http://bhmcalc.net.

  13. TWO POSSIBLE CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS IN THE ECLIPSING POST-COMMON ENVELOPE SYSTEM NSVS 14256825

    SciTech Connect

    Almeida, L. A.; Jablonski, F.; Rodrigues, C. V.

    2013-03-20

    We present an analysis of eclipse timings of the post-common envelope binary NSVS 14256825, which is composed of an sdOB star and a dM star in a close orbit (P{sub orb} = 0.110374 days). High-speed photometry of this system was performed between 2010 July and 2012 August. Ten new mid-eclipse times were analyzed together with all available eclipse times in the literature. We revisited the (O - C) diagram using a linear ephemeris and verified a clear orbital period variation. On the assumption that these orbital period variations are caused by light travel time effects, the (O - C) diagram can be explained by the presence of two circumbinary bodies, even though this explanation requires a longer baseline of observations to be fully tested. The orbital periods of the best solution would be P{sub c} {approx} 3.5 years and P{sub d} {approx} 6.9 years. The corresponding projected semi-major axes would be a{sub c} sin i{sub c} {approx} 1.9 AU and a{sub d} sin i{sub d} {approx} 2.9 AU. The masses of the external bodies would be M{sub c} {approx} 2.9 M{sub Jupiter} and M{sub d} {approx} 8.1 M{sub Jupiter}, if we assume their orbits are coplanar with the close binary. Therefore NSVS 14256825 might be composed of a close binary with two circumbinary planets, though the orbital period variations is still open to other interpretations.

  14. Kepler-413B: A slightly misaligned, Neptune-size transiting circumbinary planet

    SciTech Connect

    Kostov, V. B.; McCullough, P. R.; Tsvetanov, Z. I.; Carter, J. A.; Deleuil, M.; Díaz, R. F.; Fabrycky, D. C.; Hébrard, G.; Hinse, T. C.; Mazeh, T.; Orosz, J. A.; Welsh, W. F.

    2014-03-20

    We report the discovery of a transiting, R{sub p} = 4.347 ± 0.099R {sub ⊕}, circumbinary planet (CBP) orbiting the Kepler K+M eclipsing binary (EB) system KIC 12351927 (Kepler-413) every ∼66 days on an eccentric orbit with a{sub p} = 0.355 ± 0.002 AU, e{sub p} = 0.118 ± 0.002. The two stars, with M{sub A} = 0.820 ± 0.015 M {sub ☉}, R{sub A} = 0.776 ± 0.009 R {sub ☉} and M{sub B} = 0.542 ± 0.008 M {sub ☉}, R{sub B} = 0.484 ± 0.024 R {sub ☉}, respectively, revolve around each other every 10.11615 ± 0.00001 days on a nearly circular (e {sub EB} = 0.037 ± 0.002) orbit. The orbital plane of the EB is slightly inclined to the line of sight (i {sub EB} = 87.°33 ± 0.°06), while that of the planet is inclined by ∼2.°5 to the binary plane at the reference epoch. Orbital precession with a period of ∼11 yr causes the inclination of the latter to the sky plane to continuously change. As a result, the planet often fails to transit the primary star at inferior conjunction, causing stretches of hundreds of days with no transits (corresponding to multiple planetary orbital periods). We predict that the next transit will not occur until 2020. The orbital configuration of the system places the planet slightly closer to its host stars than the inner edge of the extended habitable zone. Additionally, the orbital configuration of the system is such that the CBP may experience Cassini State dynamics under the influence of the EB, in which the planet's obliquity precesses with a rate comparable to its orbital precession. Depending on the angular precession frequency of the CBP, it could potentially undergo obliquity fluctuations of dozens of degrees (and complex seasonal cycles) on precession timescales.

  15. SPIN-ORBIT ALIGNMENT FOR THE CIRCUMBINARY PLANET HOST KEPLER-16 A

    SciTech Connect

    Winn, Joshua N.; Albrecht, Simon; Johnson, John Asher; Torres, Guillermo; Carter, Joshua A.; Ragozzine, Darin; Quinn, Samuel N.; Latham, David W.; Cochran, William D.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Howard, Andrew W.; Isaacson, Howard; Fischer, Debra; Doyle, Laurance; Welsh, William; Orosz, Jerome; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Shporer, Avi; Howell, Steve B.; Prsa, Andrej

    2011-11-01

    Kepler-16 is an eccentric low-mass eclipsing binary with a circumbinary transiting planet. Here, we investigate the angular momentum of the primary star, based on Kepler photometry and Keck spectroscopy. The primary star's rotation period is 35.1 {+-} 1.0 days, and its projected obliquity with respect to the stellar binary orbit is 1.{sup 0}6 {+-} 2.{sup 0}4. Therefore, the three largest sources of angular momentum-the stellar orbit, the planetary orbit, and the primary's rotation-are all closely aligned. This finding supports a formation scenario involving accretion from a single disk. Alternatively, tides may have realigned the stars despite their relatively wide separation (0.2 AU), a hypothesis that is supported by the agreement between the measured rotation period and the 'pseudosynchronous' period of tidal evolution theory. The rotation period, chromospheric activity level, and fractional light variations suggest a main-sequence age of 2-4 Gyr. Evolutionary models of low-mass stars can match the observed masses and radii of the primary and secondary stars to within about 3%.

  16. HOW NOT TO BUILD TATOOINE: THE DIFFICULTY OF IN SITU FORMATION OF CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS KEPLER 16b, KEPLER 34b, AND KEPLER 35b

    SciTech Connect

    Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan; Baruteau, Clement; Leinhardt, Zoee M.; Thebault, Philippe

    2012-07-20

    We study planetesimal evolution in circumbinary disks, focusing on the three systems Kepler 16, 34, and 35 where planets have been discovered recently. We show that for circumbinary planetesimals, in addition to secular forcing, eccentricities evolve on a dynamical timescale, which leads to orbital crossings even in the presence of gas drag. This makes the current locations of the circumbinary Kepler planets hostile to planetesimal accretion. We then present results from simulations including planetesimal formation and dust accretion, and show that even in the most favorable case of 100% efficient dust accretion, in situ growth starting from planetesimals smaller than {approx}10 km is difficult for Kepler 16b, Kepler 34b, and Kepler 35b. These planets were likely assembled further out in the disk, and migrated inward to their current location.

  17. Circumbinary planet formation in the Kepler-16 system. II. A toy model for in situ planet formation within a debris belt

    SciTech Connect

    Meschiari, Stefano

    2014-07-20

    Recent simulations have shown that the formation of planets in circumbinary configurations (such as those recently discovered by Kepler) is dramatically hindered at the planetesimal accretion stage. The combined action of the binary and the protoplanetary disk acts to raise impact velocities between kilometer-sized planetesimals beyond their destruction threshold, halting planet formation within at least 10 AU from the binary. It has been proposed that a primordial population of 'large' planetesimals (100 km or more in size), as produced by turbulent concentration mechanisms, would be able to bypass this bottleneck; however, it is not clear whether these processes are viable in the highly perturbed circumbinary environments. We perform two-dimensional hydrodynamical and N-body simulations to show that kilometer-sized planetesimals and collisional debris can drift and be trapped in a belt close to the central binary. Within this belt, planetesimals could initially grow by accreting debris, ultimately becoming 'indestructible' seeds that can accrete other planetesimals in situ despite the large impact speeds. We find that large, indestructible planetesimals can be formed close to the central binary within 10{sup 5} yr, therefore showing that even a primordial population of 'small' planetesimals can feasibly form a planet.

  18. Extrasolar planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Korechoff, R. P.; Diner, D. J.; Tubbs, E. F.; Gaiser, S. L.

    1994-01-01

    This paper discusses the concept of extrasolar planet detection using a large-aperture infared imaging telescope. Coronagraphic stellar apodization techniques are less efficient at infrared wavelengths compared to the visible, as a result of practical limitations on aperture dimensions, thus necessitating additional starlight suppression to make planet detection feasible in this spectral domain. We have been investigating the use of rotational shearing interferometry to provide up to three orders of magnitude of starlight suppression over broad spectral bandwidths. We present a theoretical analysis of the system performance requirements needed to make this a viable instrument for planet detection, including specifications on the interferometer design and telescope aperture characteristics. The concept of using rotational shearing interferometry as a wavefront error detector, thus providing a signal that can be used to adaptively correct the wavefront, will be discussed. We also present the status of laboratory studies of on-axis source suppression using a recently constructed rotational shearing interferometer that currently operates in the visible.

  19. Circumbinary Planetary Systems at Home and Abroad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kratter, Kaitlin M.; Shannon, Andrew B.; Youdin, Andrew; Kenyon, Scott

    2014-05-01

    The Kepler mission has revealed a new class of (main-sequence) planetary system: circumbinaries. In these systems, a tight binary is orbited by one or more planets. From a dynamical perspective, these systems are not new, but rather a scaled up version of the Pluto-Charon system. In this talk I will discuss what we can learn from a detailed study of the dynamics of both Pluto-Charon and Kepler circumbinary systems. I will describe how circumbinary planets may be crucial for our understanding of binary star formation, and why these unique systems may be excellent places to search for habitable zone planets.

  20. A GAS GIANT CIRCUMBINARY PLANET TRANSITING THE F STAR PRIMARY OF THE ECLIPSING BINARY STAR KIC 4862625 AND THE INDEPENDENT DISCOVERY AND CHARACTERIZATION OF THE TWO TRANSITING PLANETS IN THE KEPLER-47 SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Kostov, V. B.; Tsvetanov, Z. I.; McCullough, P. R.; Valenti, J. A.; Hinse, T. C.; Hebrard, G.; Diaz, R. F.; Deleuil, M.

    2013-06-10

    We report the discovery of a transiting, gas giant circumbinary planet orbiting the eclipsing binary KIC 4862625 and describe our independent discovery of the two transiting planets orbiting Kepler-47. We describe a simple and semi-automated procedure for identifying individual transits in light curves and present our follow-up measurements of the two circumbinary systems. For the KIC 4862625 system, the 0.52 {+-} 0.018 R{sub Jupiter} radius planet revolves every {approx}138 days and occults the 1.47 {+-} 0.08 M{sub Sun }, 1.7 {+-} 0.06 R{sub Sun} F8 IV primary star producing aperiodic transits of variable durations commensurate with the configuration of the eclipsing binary star. Our best-fit model indicates the orbit has a semi-major axis of 0.64 AU and is slightly eccentric, e = 0.1. For the Kepler-47 system, we confirm the results of Orosz et al. Modulations in the radial velocity of KIC 4862625A are measured both spectroscopically and photometrically, i.e., via Doppler boosting, and produce similar results.

  1. SPOTS: The Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars. II. First constraints on the frequency of sub-stellar companions on wide circumbinary orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonavita, M.; Desidera, S.; Thalmann, C.; Janson, M.; Vigan, A.; Chauvin, G.; Lannier, J.

    2016-09-01

    A large number of direct imaging surveys for exoplanets have been performed in recent years, yielding the first directly imaged planets and providing constraints on the prevalence and distribution of wide planetary systems. However, like most of the radial velocity ones, these generally focus on single stars, hence binaries and higher-order multiples have not been studied to the same level of scrutiny. This motivated the Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars (SPOTS) survey, which is an ongoing direct imaging study of a large sample of close binaries, started with VLT/NACO and now continuing with VLT/SPHERE. To complement this survey, we have identified the close binary targets in 24 published direct imaging surveys. Here we present our statistical analysis of this combined body of data. We analysed a sample of 117 tight binary systems, using a combined Monte Carlo and Bayesian approach to derive the expected values of the frequency of companions, for different values of the companion's semi-major axis. Our analysis suggest that the frequency of sub-stellar companions in wide orbit is moderately low (≲ 13% with a best value of 6% at 95% confidence level) and not significantly different between single stars and tight binaries. One implication of this result is that the very high frequency of circumbinary planets in wide orbits around post-common envelope binaries, implied by eclipse timing, cannot be uniquely due to planets formed before the common-envelope phase (first generation planets), supporting instead the second generation planet formation or a non-Keplerian origin of the timing variations.

  2. DETECTING VOLCANISM ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Kaltenegger, L.; Sasselov, D. D.; Henning, W. G.

    2010-11-15

    The search for extrasolar rocky planets has already found the first transiting rocky super-Earth, Corot 7b, with a surface temperature that allows for magma oceans. Here, we investigate whether we could distinguish rocky planets with recent major volcanism by remote observation. We develop a model for volcanic eruptions on an Earth-like exoplanet based on the present-day Earth and derive the observable features in emergent and transmission spectra for multiple scenarios of gas distribution and cloud cover. We calculate the observation time needed to detect explosive volcanism on exoplanets in primary as well as secondary eclipse and discuss the likelihood of observing volcanism on transiting Earth-sized to super-Earth-sized exoplanets. We find that sulfur dioxide from large explosive eruptions does present a spectral signal that is remotely detectable especially for secondary eclipse measurements around the closest stars and ground-based telescopes, and report the frequency and magnitude of the expected signatures. The transit probability of a planet in the habitable zone decreases with distance from the host star, making small, nearby host stars the best targets.

  3. Progress in extra-solar planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    1991-01-01

    Progress in extra-solar planet detection is reviewed. The following subject areas are covered: (1) the definition of a planet; (2) the weakness of planet signals; (3) direct techniques - imaging and spectral detection; and (4) indirect techniques - reflex motion and occultations.

  4. The Architecture of Circumbinary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smullen, Rachel; Kratter, Kaitlin M.

    2015-12-01

    Transiting circumbinary planets, as discovered by Kepler, provide unique insight into planet formation and planetary dynamics. These planets are low mass (about Neptune or smaller) and reside close to the stability limit of the binary. The question then becomes nature or nurture? Have circumbinary disks preferentially formed low mass, close in planets, or have dynamical processes sculpted the system into what we observe? We used N-body simulations to explore the impact of planet-planet scattering on the orbital architecture of four planetary populations around both single and binary stars. I will present the similarities and differences in the resultant planet populations. For instance, the final multiplicity is similar between single and binary stars, but planets in binary systems are much more likely to eject than collide. I will address the observable multiplicity and other unique characteristics our simulations have revealed. With this work and future observations, we will be able to better understand the underlying initial planetary distributions around binary stars and the formation mechanisms that allow these systems to form.

  5. Detecting Planets Outside The Solar System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pravdo, Steven H.; Terrile, Richard J.; Ftaclas, Christ; Gatewood, George

    1993-01-01

    Report describes proposed Astrometric Imaging Telescope, used to detect planets in orbit around distant stars. Includes executive summary and statement of scientific objectives of Astrometric Imaging Telescope program.

  6. Planet Detection: The Kepler Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Jon M.; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Twicken, Joseph D.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey

    2012-03-01

    The search for exoplanets is one of the hottest topics in astronomy and astrophysics in the twenty-first century, capturing the public's attention as well as that of the astronomical community. This nascent field was conceived in 1989 with the discovery of a candidate planetary companion to HD114762 [35] and was born in 1995 with the discovery of the first extrasolar planet 51 Peg-b [37] orbiting a main sequence star. As of March, 2011, over 500 exoplanets have been discovered* and 106 are known to transit or cross their host star, as viewed from Earth. Of these transiting planets, 15 have been announced by the Kepler Mission, which was launched into an Earth-trailing, heliocentric orbit in March, 2009 [1,4,6,15,18,20,22,31,32,34,36,43]. In addition, over 1200 candidate transiting planets have already been detected by Kepler [5], and vigorous follow-up observations are being conducted to vet these candidates. As the false-positive rate for Kepler is expected to be quite low [39], Kepler has effectively tripled the number of known exoplanets. Moreover, Kepler will provide an unprecedented data set in terms of photometric precision, duration, contiguity, and number of stars. Kepler's primary science objective is to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets transiting their Sun-like host stars in the habitable zone, that range of orbital distances for which liquid water would pool on the surface of a terrestrial planet such as Earth, Mars, or Venus. This daunting task demands an instrument capable of measuring the light output from each of over 100,000 stars simultaneously with an unprecedented photometric precision of 20 parts per million (ppm) at 6.5-h intervals. The large number of stars is required because the probability of the geometrical alignment of planetary orbits that permit observation of transits is the ratio of the size of the star to the size of the planetary orbit. For Earth-like planets in 1-astronomical unit (AU) orbits† about sun-like stars

  7. A Planet Detection Tutorial and Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knoch, David; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Detection of extra-solar planets has been a very popular topic with the general public for years. Considerable media coverage of recent detections (currently at about 50) has only heightened the interest in the topic. School children are particularly interested in learning about recent astronomical discoveries. Scientists have the knowledge and responsibility to present this information in both an understandable and interesting format. Most classrooms and homes are now connected to the internet, which can be utilized to provide more than a traditional 'flat' presentation. An interactive software package on planet detection has been developed. The major topics include: "1996 - The Break Through Year In Planet Detection"; "What Determines If A Planet Is Habitable?"; "How Can We Find Other Planets (Search Methods)"; "All About the Kepler Mission: How To Find Terrestrial Planets"; and "A Planet Detection Simulator". Using the simulator, the student records simulated observations and then analyzes and interprets the data within the program. One can determine the orbit and planet size, the planet's temperature and surface gravity, and finally determine if the planet is habitable. Originally developed for the Macintosh, a web based browser version is being developed.

  8. Planet Detection: The Kepler Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Jon M.; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Twicken, Joseph D.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey

    2012-03-01

    The search for exoplanets is one of the hottest topics in astronomy and astrophysics in the twenty-first century, capturing the public's attention as well as that of the astronomical community. This nascent field was conceived in 1989 with the discovery of a candidate planetary companion to HD114762 [35] and was born in 1995 with the discovery of the first extrasolar planet 51 Peg-b [37] orbiting a main sequence star. As of March, 2011, over 500 exoplanets have been discovered* and 106 are known to transit or cross their host star, as viewed from Earth. Of these transiting planets, 15 have been announced by the Kepler Mission, which was launched into an Earth-trailing, heliocentric orbit in March, 2009 [1,4,6,15,18,20,22,31,32,34,36,43]. In addition, over 1200 candidate transiting planets have already been detected by Kepler [5], and vigorous follow-up observations are being conducted to vet these candidates. As the false-positive rate for Kepler is expected to be quite low [39], Kepler has effectively tripled the number of known exoplanets. Moreover, Kepler will provide an unprecedented data set in terms of photometric precision, duration, contiguity, and number of stars. Kepler's primary science objective is to determine the frequency of Earth-size planets transiting their Sun-like host stars in the habitable zone, that range of orbital distances for which liquid water would pool on the surface of a terrestrial planet such as Earth, Mars, or Venus. This daunting task demands an instrument capable of measuring the light output from each of over 100,000 stars simultaneously with an unprecedented photometric precision of 20 parts per million (ppm) at 6.5-h intervals. The large number of stars is required because the probability of the geometrical alignment of planetary orbits that permit observation of transits is the ratio of the size of the star to the size of the planetary orbit. For Earth-like planets in 1-astronomical unit (AU) orbits† about sun-like stars

  9. Detection of Terrestrial Planets Using Transit Photometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koch, David; Witteborn, Fred; Jenkins, Jon; Dunham, Edward; Boruci, William; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Transit photometry detection of planets offers many advantages: an ability to detect terrestrial size planets, direct determination of the planet's size, applicability to all main-sequence stars, and a differential brightness change of the periodic signature being independent of stellar distance or planetary orbital semi-major axis. Ground and space based photometry have already been successful in detecting transits of the giant planet HD209458b. However, photometry 100 times better is required to detect terrestrial planets. We present results of laboratory measurements of an end-to-end photometric system incorporating all of the important confounding noise features of both the sky and a space based photometer including spacecraft jitter. In addition to demonstrating an instrumental noise of less than 10 ppm (an Earth transit of a solar-like star is 80 ppm), the brightnesses of individual stars were dimmed to simulate Earth-size transit signals. These 'transits' were reliably detected as part of the tests.

  10. Planet Detection Algorithms for the Terrestrial Planet Finder-C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasdin, N. J.; Braems, I.

    2005-12-01

    Critical to mission planning for the terrestrial planet finder coronagraph (TPF-C) is the ability to estimate integration times for planet detection. This detection is complicated by the presence of background noise due to local and exo-zodiacal dust, by residual speckle due optical errors, and by the dependence of the PSF shape on the specific coronagraph. In this paper we examine in detail the use of PSF fitting (matched filtering) for planet detection, derive probabilistic bounds for the signal-to-noise ratio by balancing missed detection and false alarm rates, and demonstrate that this is close to the optimal linear detection technique. We then compare to a Bayesian detection approach and show that for very low background the Bayesian method offers integration time improvements, but rapidly approaches the PSF fitting result for reasonable levels of background noise. We confirm via monte-carlo simulations. This work was supported under a grant from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and by a fellowship from the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique (INRIA).

  11. Super-earth Detection and "Planet Fever"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pont, Frederic; Aigrain, S.; Zucker, S.

    2009-09-01

    Radial-velocity spectrographs and space transit searches have become sensitive enough to detect planets only a few times more massive than the Earth - the telluric planets or "super-Earths." We are getting one step nearer to knowing how common are Earth analogs. There is a catch however: many of the super-Earth detections are very close to the detection thresholds, and intrinsic stellar variations are an important source of false positive with both the radial velocity and transit technique. In preparation for the coming harvest of new detections, it seems worth attempting to develop some vaccine against the most extreme strands of "planet fever," the contagious disease of seeing extra-solar planet in any signal.

  12. DETECTION OF A GIANT EXTRASOLAR PLANET ORBITING THE ECLIPSING POLAR DP LEO

    SciTech Connect

    Qian, S.-B.; Liao, W.-P.; Zhu, L.-Y.; Dai, Z.-B.

    2010-01-01

    DP Leo is the first discovered eclipsing polar with a short period of 1.4967 hours. The period variation of the eclipsing binary was analyzed by using five new determined eclipse times together with those compiled from the literature. It is discovered that the O - C curve of DP Leo shows a cyclic variation with a period of 23.8 years and a semiamplitude of 31.5 s. The small-amplitude periodic change can be plausibly explained as the light-travel time effect due to the presence of a tertiary companion. The mass of the tertiary component is determined to be M {sub 3}sin i' = 0.00600({+-}0.00055) M {sub sun} = 6.28({+-}0.58) M {sub Jupiter} when a total mass of 0.69 M {sub sun} is adopted. If the tertiary companion is coplanar to the eclipsing binary (i.e., i' = 79.{sup 0}5), it should be a giant extrasolar planet with a mass of 6.39 M {sub Jupiter} at a distance of 8.6 astronomical units to the central binary. One of the most interesting things that we have learned about extrasolar planets over the last 17 years is that they can exist almost anywhere. The detection of a giant planet orbiting a polar would provide insight into the formation and evolution of circumbinary planets (planets orbiting both components of short-period binaries) as well as the late evolution of binary stars.

  13. Circumbinary habitability niches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Paul A.; Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A.; Clark, Joni M.

    2015-07-01

    Binaries could provide the best niches for life in the Galaxy. Although counterintuitive, this assertion follows directly from stellar tidal interaction theory and the evolution of lower mass stars. There is strong evidence that chromospheric activity of rapidly rotating young stars may be high enough to cause mass loss from atmospheres of potentially habitable planets. The removal of atmospheric water is most critical. Tidal breaking in binaries could help reduce magnetic dynamo action and thereby chromospheric activity in favour of life. We call this the Binary Habitability Mechanism (BHM) that we suggest allows for water retention at levels comparable to or better than the Earth. We discuss novel advantages that life may exploit, in these cases, and suggest that life may even thrive on some circumbinary planets. We find that while many binaries do not benefit from BHM, high-quality niches do exist for various combinations of stars between 0.55 and 1.0 solar masses. For a given pair of stellar masses, BHM operates only for certain combinations of period and eccentricity. Binaries having a solar-type primary seem to be quite well-suited niches having wide and distant habitable zones with plentiful water and sufficient light for photosynthetic life. We speculate that, as a direct result of BHM, conditions may be suitable for life on several planets and possibly even moons of giant planets orbiting some binaries. Lower mass combinations, while more restrictive in parameter space, provide niches lasting many billions of years and are rich suppliers of photosynthetic photons. We provide a publicly available web-site (http://bit.ly/BHM-calculator or http://bit.ly/BHM-calculator-mirror), which calculates the BHM effects presented in this paper.

  14. Terrestrial Planet Finder, Planet Detection Test-Bed: Latest Results of Planet Light Detection in the Presence of Starlight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, Stefan R.; Booth, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    The Terrestrial Planet Finder, Planet Detection Test-bed is a lab based simulation of the optics and control systems for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer mission. The test-bed supports starlight nulling at 10um infrared wavelengths, with fringe tracking at 2um wavelengths and angle and shear tracking at visible wavelengths. It further allows injection of simulated planet light in the presence of the nulled star light, to allow testing of planet detection methods. We will describe the detailed construction and operation of the test-bed from an optical and control system perspective. We will also report the latest results for narrow band nulls, and the detection of broad band planet light in the presence of nulled starlight.

  15. Microlensing detection of extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Giannini, Emanuela; Lunine, Jonathan I

    2013-05-01

    We review the method of exoplanetary microlensing with a focus on two-body planetary lensing systems. The physical properties of planetary systems can be successfully measured by means of a deep analysis of lightcurves and high-resolution imaging of planetary systems, countering the concern that microlensing cannot determine planetary masses and orbital radii. Ground-based observers have had success in diagnosing properties of multi-planet systems from a few events, but space-based observations will be much more powerful and statistically more complete. Since microlensing is most sensitive to exoplanets beyond the snow line, whose statistics, in turn, allow for testing current planetary formation and evolution theories, we investigate the retrieval of semi-major axis density by a microlensing space-based survey with realistic parameters. Making use of a published statistical method for projected exoplanets quantities (Brown 2011), we find that one year of such a survey might distinguish between simple power-law semi-major axis densities. We conclude by briefly reviewing ground-based results hinting at a high abundance of free-floating planets and describing the potential contribution of space-based missions to understanding the frequency and mass distribution of these intriguing objects, which could help unveil the formation processes of planetary systems. PMID:23604071

  16. Secular and tidal evolution of circumbinary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correia, Alexandre C. M.; Boué, Gwenaël; Laskar, Jacques

    2016-08-01

    We investigate the secular dynamics of three-body circumbinary systems under the effect of tides. We use the octupolar non-restricted approximation for the orbital interactions, general relativity corrections, the quadrupolar approximation for the spins, and the viscous linear model for tides. We derive the averaged equations of motion in a simplified vectorial formalism, which is suitable to model the long-term evolution of a wide variety of circumbinary systems in very eccentric and inclined orbits. In particular, this vectorial approach can be used to derive constraints for tidal migration, capture in Cassini states, and stellar spin-orbit misalignment. We show that circumbinary planets with initial arbitrary orbital inclination can become coplanar through a secular resonance between the precession of the orbit and the precession of the spin of one of the stars. We also show that circumbinary systems for which the pericenter of the inner orbit is initially in libration present chaotic motion for the spins and for the eccentricity of the outer orbit. Because our model is valid for the non-restricted problem, it can also be applied to any three-body hierarchical system such as star-planet-satellite systems and triple stellar systems.

  17. ON THE HABITABLE ZONES OF CIRCUMBINARY PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, Stephen R.; Hinkel, Natalie R.

    2013-01-01

    The effect of the stellar flux on exoplanetary systems is becoming an increasingly important property as more planets are discovered in the habitable zone (HZ). The Kepler mission has recently uncovered circumbinary planets with relatively complex HZs due to the combined flux from the binary host stars. Here, we derive HZ boundaries for circumbinary systems and show their dependence on the stellar masses, separation, and time while accounting for binary orbital motion and the orbit of the planet. We include stability regimes for planetary orbits in binary systems with respect to the HZ. These methods are applied to several of the known circumbinary planetary systems such as Kepler-16, 34, 35, and 47. We also quantitatively show the circumstances under which single-star approximations break down for HZ calculations.

  18. Systematic aspects of direct extrasolar planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    1988-01-01

    Using the first optical observatory in space, the Hubble Space Telescope, images of possible extrasolar planets will have poor contrast against the background of diffracted and scattered starlight. The very long exposure time required to achieve an adequate signal-to-noise ratio will make their detection infeasible. For a future telescope, a 16-fold increase in either the smoothness of the collecting area of the optics would reduce the exposure time to a tolerable value, but the contrast would remain low and the required photometric precision high. In this situation, the feasibility of detection would be contingent on the careful identification and control of systematic errors.

  19. Radial Velocity Detection of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaye, T. G.

    2004-05-01

    Spectroscopy has long been an ignored corner of amateur astronomy and is generally regarded as difficult if not impossible with small telescopes. With the advent of robotic scopes and high efficiency CCD's, this aspect of astronomy is now open for exploration. The Spectrashift.com project is a team of amateurs that have constructed and implemented a spectrograph and tele- scope system capable of measuring radial velocities down to approximately 100 meters per second. This level of precision can detect extrasolar planets known as "hot Jupiters". The system's performance has been demonstrated on the star Tau Boötis.

  20. Progress in testing exo-planet signal extraction on the TPF-I Planet Detection Testbed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, Stefan R.; Szwaykowski, Piotr; Loya, Frank M.; Liewer, Kurt

    2006-01-01

    The TPF Interferometer (TPF-I) concept is being studied at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the TPF-I Planet Detection Testbed has been developed to simulate the detection process for an earthlike planet orbiting a star within about 15 pc. The testbed combines four beams of infrared light simulating the operation of a dual chopped Bracewell interferometer observing a star and a faint planet. This paper describes the results obtained this year including nulling of the starlight on four input beams at contrast ratios up to 250,000 to 1, and detection of faint planet signals at contrast ratios with the star of 2 million to 1.

  1. Detection of Extrasolar Planets by Transit Photometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Webster, Larry; Dunham, Edward; Witteborn, Fred; Jenkins, Jon; Caldwell, Douglas; Showen, Robert; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    A knowledge of other planetary systems that includes information on the number, size, mass, and spacing of the planets around a variety of star types is needed to deepen our understanding of planetary system formation and processes that give rise to their final configurations. Recent discoveries show that many planetary systems are quite different from the solar system in that they often possess giant planets in short period orbits. The inferred evolution of these planets and their orbital characteristics imply the absence of Earth-like planets near the habitable zone. Information on the properties of the giant-inner planets is now being obtained by both the Doppler velocity and the transit photometry techniques. The combination of the two techniques provides the mass, size, and density of the planets. For the planet orbiting star HD209458, transit photometry provided the first independent confirmation and measurement of the diameter of an extrasolar planet. The observations indicate a planet 1.27 the diameter of Jupiter with 0.63 of its mass (Charbonneau et al. 1999). The results are in excellent agreement with the theory of planetary atmospheres for a planet of the indicated mass and distance from a solar-like star. The observation of the November 23, 1999 transit of that planet made by the Ames Vulcan photometer at Lick Observatory is presented. In the future, the combination of the two techniques will greatly increase the number of discoveries and the richness of the science yield. Small rocky planets at orbital distances from 0.9 to 1.2 AU are more likely to harbor life than the gas giant planets that are now being discovered. However, new technology is needed to find smaller, Earth-like planets, which are about three hundred times less massive than Jupiter-like planets. The Kepler project is a space craft mission designed to discover hundreds of Earth-size planets in and near the habitable zone around a wide variety of stars. To demonstrate that the

  2. Extrasolar Binary Planets II: Detectability by Transit Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, K. M.; Ochiai, H.; Nagasawa, M.; Ida, S.

    2015-05-01

    We discuss the detectability of gravitationally bound pairs of gas-giant planets (which we call “binary planets”) in extrasolar planetary systems that are formed through orbital instability followed by planet-planet dynamical tides during their close encounters, based on the results of N-body simulations by Ochiai et al. (Paper I). Paper I showed that the formation probability of a binary is as much as ˜10% for three giant planet systems that undergo orbital instability, and after post-capture long-term tidal evolution, the typical binary separation is three to five times the sum of the physical radii of the planets. The binary planets are stable during the main-sequence lifetime of solar-type stars, if the stellarcentric semimajor axis of the binary is larger than 0.3 AU. We show that detecting modulations of transit light curves is the most promising observational method to detect binary planets. Since the likely binary separations are comparable to the stellar diameter, the shape of the transit light curve is different from transit to transit, depending on the phase of the binary’s orbit. The transit durations and depth for binary planet transits are generally longer and deeper than those for the single planet case. We point out that binary planets could exist among the known inflated gas-giant planets or objects classified as false positive detections at orbital radii ≳0.3 AU, propose a binary planet explanation for the CoRoT candidate SRc01 E2 1066, and show that binary planets are likely to be present in, and could be detected using, Kepler-quality data.

  3. MEMS-based extreme adaptive optics for planet detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James; Oppenheimer, Ben; Poyneer, Lisa; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Veran, Jean-Pierre

    2006-01-01

    The next major step in the study of extrasolar planets will be the direct detection, resolved from their parent star, of a significant sample of Jupiter-like extrasolar giant planets. Such detection will open up new parts of the extrasolar planet distribution and allow spectroscopic characterization of the planets themselves. Detecting Jovian planets at 5-50 AU scale orbiting nearby stars requires adaptive optics systems and coronagraphs an order of magnitude more powerful than those available today - the realm of "Extreme" adaptive optics. We present the basic requirements and design for such a system, the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI.) GPI will require a MEMS-based deformable mirror with good surface quality, 2-4 micron stroke (operated in tandem with a conventional low-order "woofer" mirror), and a fully-functional 48-actuator-diameter aperture.

  4. MEMS-based extreme adaptive optics for planet detection

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, B A; Graham, J R; Oppenheimer, B; Poyneer, L; Sivaramakrishnan, A; Veran, J

    2005-11-18

    The next major step in the study of extrasolar planets will be the direct detection, resolved from their parent star, of a significant sample of Jupiter-like extrasolar giant planets. Such detection will open up new parts of the extrasolar planet distribution and allow spectroscopic characterization of the planets themselves. Detecting Jovian planets at 5-50 AU scale orbiting nearby stars requires adaptive optics systems and coronagraphs an order of magnitude more powerful than those available today--the realm of ''Extreme'' adaptive optics. We present the basic requirements and design for such a system, the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI.) GPI will require a MEMS-based deformable mirror with good surface quality, 2-4 micron stroke (operated in tandem with a conventional low-order ''woofer'' mirror), and a fully-functional 48-actuator-diameter aperture.

  5. Kepler Mission to Detect Earth-like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kondo, Yoji

    2003-01-01

    Kepler Mission to detect Earth-like planets in our Milky Way galaxy was approved by NASA in December 2001 for a 4-5 year mission. The launch is planned in about 5 years. The Kepler observatory will be placed in an Earth-trailing orbit. The unique feature of the Kepler Mission is its ability to detect Earth-like planets orbiting around solar-type stars at a distance similar to that of Earth (from our Sun); such an orbit could provide an environment suitable for supporting life as we know it. The Kepler observatory accomplishes this feat by looking for the transits of planetary object in front of their suns; Kepler has a photometric precision of 10E-5 (0.00001) to achieve such detections. Other ongoing planetary detection programs (based mostly on a technique that looks for the shifting of spectral lines of the primary star due to its planetary companions' motions around it) have detected massive planets (with masses in the range of Jupiter); such massive planets are not considered suitable for supporting life. If our current theories for the formation of planetary systems are valid, we expect to detect about 50 Earth-like planets during Kepler's 4-year mission (assuming a random distribution of the planetary orbital inclinations with respect to the line of sight from Kepler). The number of detection will increase about 640 planets if the planets to be detected are Jupiter-sized.

  6. Kepler Mission to Detect Earth-like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kondo, Yoji

    2002-01-01

    Kepler Mission to detect Earth-like planets in our Milky Way galaxy was approved by NASA in December 2001 for a 4-5 year mission. The launch is planned in about 5 years. The Kepler observatory will be placed in an Earth-trailing orbit. The unique feature of the Kepler Mission is its ability to detect Earth-like planets orbiting around solar-type stars at a distance similar to that of Earth (from our Sun); such an orbit could provide an environment suitable for supporting life as we know it. The Kepler observatory accomplishes this feat by looking for the transits of planetary object in front of their suns; Kepler has a photometric precision of 10E-5 (0.00001) to achieve such detections. Other ongoing planetary detection programs (based mostly on a technique that looks for the shifting of spectral lines of the primary star due to its planetary companions' motions around it) have detected massive planets (with masses in the range of Jupiter); such massive planets are not considered suitable for supporting life. If our current theories for the formation of planetary systems are valid, we expect to detect about 50 Earth-like planets during Kepler's 4-year mission (assuming a random distribution of the planetary orbital inclinations with respect to the line of sight from Kepler). The number of detection will increase about 640 planets if the planets to be detected are Jupiter-sized.

  7. Developments in Planet Detection using Transit Timing Variations

    SciTech Connect

    Steffen, Jason H.; Agol, Eric; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.

    2006-12-01

    In a transiting planetary system, the presence of a second planet will cause the time interval between transits to vary. These transit timing variations (TTV) are particularly large near mean-motion resonances and can be used to infer the orbital elements of planets with masses that are too small to detect by any other means. The author presents the results of a study of simulated data where they show the potential that this planet detection technique has to detect and characterize secondary planets in transiting systems. These results have important ramifications for planetary transit searches since each transiting system presents an opportunity for additional discoveries through a TTV analysis. They present such an analysis for 13 transits of the HD 209458 system that were observed with the Hubble Space Telescope. This analysis indicates that a putative companion in a low-order, mean-motion resonance can be no larger than the mass of the Earth and constitutes, to date, the most sensitive probe for extrasolar planets that orbit main sequence stars. The presence or absence of small planets in low-order, mean-motion resonances has implications for theories of the formation and evolution of planetary systems. Since TTV is most sensitive in these regimes, it should prove a valuable tool not only for the detection of additional planets in transiting systems, but also as a way to determine the dominant mechanisms of planet formation and the evolution of planetary systems.

  8. Detectability of the Reflection Signal from Inner Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, W. J.; Jenkins, J. M.; Scargle, J.; Koch, D.; Doyle, L. R.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Mayor and Queloz (1996) and Marcy and Butler (1996) have found massive planets with orbital periods Tp=approx.4 days around two solar-like stars (51 Pegasi and v Andromeda). These planets are most likely similar in size and composition to the gas giants in our solar system (Burrows et al 1996). Based on this expectation and assuming the same albedo as Jupiter, we examined the feasibility of searching for similar planets with a dedicated space-based 1-m telescope. The Kepler mission will survey approximately 70,000 main-sequence dwarf stars from 9 to 14 mag continuously for four years to detect transiting Earthlike planets. Based on the detection statistics of Marcy and Butler, we expect to detect 1400 inner-orbit giant planets. Such planets in a much wider range of orbital inclinations (i) will produce nearly sinusoidal modulations of the star light flux due to the varying planetary phases. The relative signal amplitudes are of order 2x10(exp -5) and decrease as Tp(exp 4/3) for i >> 0deg. We estimated the expected signal to noise ratio (SNR) using the solar irradiance measurements from the ACRIM 1 experiment along with expected shot and detector noises. The figure shows SNR as a function of Tp for a 12 mag star, and indicates the planet radius required for detection. The survey will be sensitive to planets with periods from 12 hr to approx.8 days at the 6 sigma level.

  9. Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munoz, Diego Jose; Lai, Dong

    2015-12-01

    The discovery of transiting circumbinary planets by the Kepler mission suggests that planets can form efficiently around binary stars. None of the stellar binaries currently known to host planets has a period shorter than 7 days, despite the large number of eclipsing binaries found in the Kepler target list with periods shorter than a few days. These compact binaries are believed to have evolved from wider orbits into their current configurations via the so-called Lidov-Kozai migration mechanism, in which gravitational perturbations from a distant tertiary companion induce large-amplitude eccentricity oscillations in the binary, followed by orbital decay and circularization due to tidal dissipation in the stars. We present new results (PNAS 112, 30, p 9264) on the orbital evolution of planets around binaries undergoing orbital decay by this "LK+tide" mechanism. From secular and N-body calculations, we show how planets may survive and become misaligned from their host binary, or may develop erratic behavior in eccentricity, resulting in their consumption by the stars or ejection from the system as the binary decays. Either outcome can explain these planets' elusiveness to detection. Our results suggest that circumbinary planets around compact binaries could still exist, and we offer specific predictions as to what their orbital configurations should be like.

  10. Possibilities for the detection of microbial life on extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Knacke, Roger F

    2003-01-01

    We consider possibilities for the remote detection of microbial life on extrasolar planets. The Darwin/Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) telescope concepts for observations of terrestrial planets focus on indirect searches for life through the detection of atmospheric gases related to life processes. Direct detection of extraterrestrial life may also be possible through well-designed searches for microbial life forms. Satellites in Earth orbit routinely monitor colonies of terrestrial algae in oceans and lakes by analysis of reflected ocean light in the visible region of the spectrum. These remote sensing techniques suggest strategies for extrasolar searches for signatures of chlorophylls and related photosynthetic compounds associated with life. However, identification of such life-related compounds on extrasolar planets would require observations through strong, interfering absorptions and scattering radiances from the remote atmospheres and landmasses. Techniques for removal of interfering radiances have been extensively developed for remote sensing from Earth orbit. Comparable techniques would have to be developed for extrasolar planet observations also, but doing so would be challenging for a remote planet. Darwin/TPF coronagraph concepts operating in the visible seem to be best suited for searches for extrasolar microbial life forms with instruments that can be projected for the 2010-2020 decades, although resolution and signal-to-noise ratio constraints severely limit detection possibilities on terrestrial-type planets. The generation of telescopes with large apertures and extremely high spatial resolutions that will follow Darwin/TPF could offer striking possibilities for the direct detection of extrasolar microbial life. PMID:14678662

  11. Hubble Telescope Detects 'Sunscreen' Layer on Distant Planet

    NASA Video Gallery

    Using NASA’s Hubble Telescope, scientists detected a stratosphere on the planet WASP-33b. A stratosphere occurs when molecules in the atmosphere absorb ultraviolet and visible light from the star. ...

  12. Tatooine Nurseries: Structure and Evolution of Circumbinary Protoplanetary Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vartanyan, David; Garmilla, José A.; Rafikov, Roman R.

    2016-01-01

    Recent discoveries of circumbinary planets by the Kepler mission provide motivation for understanding their birthplaces—protoplanetary disks around stellar binaries with separations ≲ 1 {{AU}}. We explore properties and evolution of such circumbinary disks focusing on modification of their structure caused by tidal coupling to the binary. We develop a set of analytical scaling relations describing viscous evolution of the disk properties, which are verified and calibrated using 1D numerical calculations with realistic inputs. Injection of angular momentum by the central binary suppresses mass accretion onto the binary and causes radial distribution of the viscous angular momentum flux {F}J to be different from that in a standard accretion disk around a single star with no torque at the center. Disks with no mass accretion at the center develop an {F}J profile that is flat in radius. Radial profiles of temperature and surface density are also quite different from those in disks around single stars. Damping of the density waves driven by the binary and viscous dissipation dominates heating of the inner disk (within 1-2 AU), pushing the ice line beyond 3-5 AU, depending on disk mass and age. Irradiation by the binary governs disk thermodynamics beyond ˜10 AU. However, self-shadowing by the hot inner disk may render central illumination irrelevant out to ˜20 AU. Spectral energy distribution of a circumbinary disk exhibits a distinctive bump around 10 μm, which may facilitate identification of such disks around unresolved binaries. Efficient tidal coupling to the disk drives orbital inspiral of the binary and may cause low-mass and relatively compact binaries to merge into a single star within the disk lifetime. We generally find that circumbinary disks present favorable sites for planet formation (despite their wider zone of volatile depletion), in agreement with the statistics of Kepler circumbinary planets.

  13. Formation and Detectability of Terrestrial Planets Around Alpha Centauri B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guedes, Javiera

    2009-01-01

    Alpha Centauri B belongs to a triple star system comprised of a central A/B binary and a third companion, Proxima Centauri. The system, our closest stellar neighbor, is of great interest for planet hunters because it may harbor Earth-mass planets possibly in the habitable zone of the stars of the A/B binary. To assess whether terrestrial planets can indeed form around these stars, we run a series of N-body accretionary simulations of a 1/r disk populated with 400-900 lunar-mass oligarchs is followed for 200 Myr. All simulations lead to the formation of multiple-planet systems with at least one planet in the 1-2 M_Earth mass range at 0.5-1.5 AU. We examine the detectability of our simulated planetary systems by generating synthetic radial velocity observations including noise. Using these synthetic observations, we find that we can reliably detect a 1.8 M_Earth planet in the habitable zone of Alpha Centauri B after only three years of high cadence observations. The observations will be carried out at the CTIO site in northern Chile on a 1.5-m underutilized telescope. We expect to report the detection (or non-detection) of Earth-like planets around Alpha Centauri B in 3 to 5 years.

  14. On the stability of circumbinary planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popova, E. A.; Shevchenko, I. I.

    2016-07-01

    The dynamics of circumbinary planetary systems (the systems in which the planets orbit a central binary) with a small binary mass ratio discovered to date is considered. The domains of chaotic motion have been revealed in the "pericentric distance-eccentricity" plane of initial conditions for the planetary orbits through numerical experiments. Based on an analytical criterion for the chaoticity of planetary orbits in binary star systems, we have constructed theoretical curves that describe the global boundary of the chaotic zone around the central binary for each of the systems. In addition, based on Mardling's theory describing the separate resonance "teeth" (corresponding to integer resonances between the orbital periods of a planet and the binary), we have constructed the local boundaries of chaos. Both theoretical models are shown to describe adequately the boundaries of chaos on the numerically constructed stability diagrams, suggesting that these theories are efficient in providing analytical criteria for the chaoticity of planetary orbits.

  15. Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets: Can We Detect Them Already?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endl, M.; Kürster, M.; Rouesnel, F.; Els, S.; Hatzes, A. P.; Cochran, W. D.

    With the example of Proxima Centauri we discuss the feasibility of detecting terrestrial planets (1 to a few Earth masses) using the high precision radial velocity (RV) technique. If a very high RV precision for M stars is achieved even planets with these extremely low masses become detectable. For Proxima Cen (M5V), one of the prime targets of our M stars planet search program using the UVES spectrograph and iodine cell at the ESO VLT UT2, we obtain a long term RV precision of 2.5 m/sec. Based on numerical simulations we determine that this level of precision would have already allowed us to detect planets with M sin i= 4 to 6 Earth masses inside the habitable zone of Proxima Cen.

  16. Kepler Planet-Detection Mission: Introduction and First Results

    SciTech Connect

    Borucki, William J.; Koch, David; Basri, Gibor; Batalha, Natalie; Brown, Timothy; Caldwell, Douglas; Caldwell, John; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jorgen; Cochran, William D.; DeVore, Edna; Dunham, Edward W.; /Lowell Observ. /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.

    2010-01-01

    The Kepler mission was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets in and near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The habitable zone is the region where planetary temperatures are suitable for water to exist on a planet's surface. During the first 6 weeks of observations, Kepler monitored 156,000 stars, and five new exoplanets with sizes between 0.37 and 1.6 Jupiter radii and orbital periods from 3.2 to 4.9 days were discovered. The density of the Neptune-sized Kepler-4b is similar to that of Neptune and GJ 436b, even though the irradiation level is 800,000 times higher. Kepler-7b is one of the lowest-density planets ({approx}0.17 gram per cubic centimeter) yet detected. Kepler-5b, -6b, and -8b confirm the existence of planets with densities lower than those predicted for gas giant planets.

  17. The Keck Planet Search: Detectability and the Minimum Mass and Orbital Period Distribution of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cumming, Andrew; Butler, R. Paul; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Vogt, Steven S.; Wright, Jason T.; Fischer, Debra A.

    2008-05-01

    We analyze 8 years of precise radial velocity measurements from the Keck Planet Search, characterizing the detection threshold, selection effects, and completeness of the survey. We first carry out a systematic search for planets, by assessing the false-alarm probability associated with Keplerian orbit fits to the data. This allows us to understand the detection threshold for each star in terms of the number and time baseline of the observations, and the underlying "noise" from measurement errors, intrinsic stellar jitter, or additional low-mass planets. We show that all planets with orbital periods P < 2000 days, velocity amplitudes K > 20 m s-1, and eccentricities e lsim 0.6 have been announced, and we summarize the candidates at lower amplitudes and longer orbital periods. For the remaining stars, we calculate upper limits on the velocity amplitude of a companion. For orbital periods less than the duration of the observations, these are typically 10 m s-1 and increase vprop P2 for longer periods. We then use the nondetections to derive completeness corrections at low amplitudes and long orbital periods and discuss the resulting distribution of minimum mass and orbital period. We give the fraction of stars with a planet as a function of minimum mass and orbital period and extrapolate to long-period orbits and low planet masses. A power-law fit for planet masses >0.3 MJ and periods < 2000 days gives a mass-period distribution dN = CMαPβd ln Md ln P with α = -0.31 ± 0.2, β = 0.26 ± 0.1, and the normalization constant C such that 10.5% of solar type stars have a planet with mass in the range 0.3-10 MJ and orbital period 2-2000 days. The orbital period distribution shows an increase in the planet fraction by a factor of ≈5 for orbital periods gsim300 days. Extrapolation gives 17%-20% of stars having gas giant planets within 20 AU. Finally, we constrain the occurrence rate of planets orbiting M dwarfs compared to FGK dwarfs, taking into account differences in

  18. Detecting tree-like multicellular life on extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Doughty, Christopher E; Wolf, Adam

    2010-11-01

    Over the next two decades, NASA and ESA are planning a series of space-based observatories to find Earth-like planets and determine whether life exists on these planets. Previous studies have assessed the likelihood of detecting life through signs of biogenic gases in the atmosphere or a red edge. Biogenic gases and the red edge could be signs of either single-celled or multicellular life. In this study, we propose a technique with which to determine whether tree-like multicellular life exists on extrasolar planets. For multicellular photosynthetic organisms on Earth, competition for light and the need to transport water and nutrients has led to a tree-like body plan characterized by hierarchical branching networks. This design results in a distinct bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) that causes differing reflectance at different sun/view geometries. BRDF arises from the changing visibility of the shadows cast by objects, and the presence of tree-like structures is clearly distinguishable from flat ground with the same reflectance spectrum. We examined whether the BRDF could detect the existence of tree-like structures on an extrasolar planet by using changes in planetary albedo as a planet orbits its star. We used a semi-empirical BRDF model to simulate vegetation reflectance at different planetary phase angles and both simulated and real cloud cover to calculate disk and rotation-averaged planetary albedo for a vegetated and non-vegetated planet with abundant liquid water. We found that even if the entire planetary albedo were rendered to a single pixel, the rate of increase of albedo as a planet approaches full illumination would be comparatively greater on a vegetated planet than on a non-vegetated planet. Depending on how accurately planetary cloud cover can be resolved and the capabilities of the coronagraph to resolve exoplanets, this technique could theoretically detect tree-like multicellular life on exoplanets in 50 stellar systems

  19. Detecting Tree-like Multicellular Life on Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doughty, Christopher E.; Wolf, Adam

    2010-11-01

    Over the next two decades, NASA and ESA are planning a series of space-based observatories to find Earth-like planets and determine whether life exists on these planets. Previous studies have assessed the likelihood of detecting life through signs of biogenic gases in the atmosphere or a red edge. Biogenic gases and the red edge could be signs of either single-celled or multicellular life. In this study, we propose a technique with which to determine whether tree-like multicellular life exists on extrasolar planets. For multicellular photosynthetic organisms on Earth, competition for light and the need to transport water and nutrients has led to a tree-like body plan characterized by hierarchical branching networks. This design results in a distinct bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) that causes differing reflectance at different sun/view geometries. BRDF arises from the changing visibility of the shadows cast by objects, and the presence of tree-like structures is clearly distinguishable from flat ground with the same reflectance spectrum. We examined whether the BRDF could detect the existence of tree-like structures on an extrasolar planet by using changes in planetary albedo as a planet orbits its star. We used a semi-empirical BRDF model to simulate vegetation reflectance at different planetary phase angles and both simulated and real cloud cover to calculate disk and rotation-averaged planetary albedo for a vegetated and non-vegetated planet with abundant liquid water. We found that even if the entire planetary albedo were rendered to a single pixel, the rate of increase of albedo as a planet approaches full illumination would be comparatively greater on a vegetated planet than on a non-vegetated planet. Depending on how accurately planetary cloud cover can be resolved and the capabilities of the coronagraph to resolve exoplanets, this technique could theoretically detect tree-like multicellular life on exoplanets in 50 stellar systems.

  20. Planet detectability by an adaptive optics stellar coronagraph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakajima, T.

    1994-04-01

    We show the possibilities for imaging Jupiter-like planets around nearby bright stars, assuming the availability of stellar coronagraphs coupled with modest adaptive optics mounted on large ground-based telescopes. The adaptive optics sharpens the point-spread function (PSF) of the planet, permits the use of an occulting disk smaller than the seeing disk, reduces the PSF envelope of the bright star, and therefore enhances the contrast between the planet and background. We have generated the PSF of the planet and the PSF envelope of the main star, using Monte Carlo simulations based on the Kolmogorov theory of turbulence. We calculate the signal-to-noise ratio of a model planet as a function of the angular separation based on photon statistics and realistic assumptions on the system performance. We have derived a criterion for optimizing the combination of the degree of adaptive compensation and the telescope diameter. It is found that a stellar coronagraph with modest adaptive optics mounted on a large ground-based telescope will be capable of detecting Jupiter-like planets around nearby bright stars such as alpha Cen, Sirius, and Procyon at wavelengths between 0.7 and 2.2 micrometers. Near-infrared observations are preferred because usable telescopes and isoplanatic angles are larger at infrared wavelengths than optical wavelengths for a given adaptive optics system. We have also found seven other target stars around which planets will be above the detection limit.

  1. Adaptive Optics for Direct Detection of Extrasolar Planets: The Gemini Planet Imager

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, B; Graham, J; Palmer, D; Doyon, R; Gavel, D; Larkin, J; Oppenheimer, B; Saddlemyer, L; Wallace, J K; Bauman, B; Erikson, D; Poyneer, L; Sivaramakrishnan, A; Soummer, R; Veran, J

    2007-04-24

    The direct detection of photons emitted or reflected by extrasolar planets, spatially resolved from their parent star, is a major frontier in the study of other solar systems. Direct detection will provide statistical information on planets in 5-50 AU orbits, inaccessible to current Doppler searches, and allow spectral characterization of radius, temperature, surface gravity, and perhaps composition. Achieving this will require new dedicated high-contrast instruments. One such system under construction is the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI.) This combines a high-order/high-speed adaptive optics system to control wavefront errors from the Earth's atmosphere, an advanced coronagraph to block diffraction, ultrasmooth optics, a precision infrared interferometer to measure and correct systematic errors, and a integral field spectrograph/polarimeter to image and characterize target planetary systems. We predict that GPI will be able to detect planets with brightness less than 10{sup -7} of their parent star, sufficient to observe warm self-luminous planets around a large population of targets.

  2. Eclipsing Binaries: Precise Clocks to Detect Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kundra, Emil; Pribulla, Theodor; Vaňko, Martin; Hambálek, Ľubomír

    2014-04-01

    Project Dwarf is a new observing campaign focused on the detection of substellar companions to low-mass (composed of late-type, subdwarf (sd) or/and white dwarf (WD) components) detached eclipsing binaries using minima timing. The crucial condition for the object selection for this campaign is possibility to determine times of the minima with high precision. This is naturally fullfilled for eclipsing binaries with deep and narrow minima or systems hosting a WD component showing fast ingress or egress. The observing project includes three groups of close eclipsing binaries indicating presence of substellar circum-binary components: (i) systems with K or/and M dwarf components (ii) systems with hot subdwarf (sd) and M dwarf components (iii) systems with white dwarf (WD) component(s). The sample of the eclipsing systems have orbital periods in range of 0.1 to almost 3 days and their brightness fits possibilities of small telescopes equipped with a low-end CCD camera and at least VRI filter set. Such kind of telescopes allow us to develop observing network including also amateur astronomers.

  3. Photometric Detection of Extra-Solar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hatzes, Artie P.; Cochran, William D.

    2004-01-01

    This NASA Origins Program grant supported the TEMPEST Texas McDonald Photometric Extrasolar Search for Transits) program at McDonald Observatory, which searches for transits of extrasolar planets across the disks of their parent stars. The basic approach is to use a wide-field ground-based telescope (in our case the McDonald Observatory 0.76m telescope and it s Prime Focus Corrector) to search for transits of short period (1-15 day orbits) of close-in hot-Jupiter planets in orbit around a large sample of field stars. The next task is to search these data streams for possible transit events. We collected our first set of test data for this program using the 0.76 m PFC in the summer of 1998. From those data, we developed the optimal observing procedures, including tailoring the stellar density, exposure times, and filters to best-suit the instrument and project. In the summer of 1999, we obtained the first partial season of data on a dedicated field in the constellation Cygnus. These data were used to develop and refine the reduction and analysis procedures to produce high-precision photometry and search for transits in the resulting light curves. The TeMPEST project subsequently obtained three full seasons of data on six different fields using the McDonald Observatory 0.76m PFC.

  4. Detection of the Magnetospheric Emissions from Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazio, J.

    2014-12-01

    Planetary-scale magnetic fields are a window to a planet's interior and provide shielding of the planet's atmosphere. The Earth, Mercury, Ganymede, and the giant planets of the solar system all contain internal dynamo currents that generate planetary-scale magnetic fields. These internal dynamo currents arise from differential rotation, convection, compositional dynamics, or a combination of these. If coupled to an energy source, such as the incident kinetic or magnetic energy from the solar wind, a planet's magnetic field can produce electron cyclotron masers in its magnetic polar regions. The most well known example of this process is the Jovian decametric emission, but all of the giant planets and the Earth contain similar electron cyclotron masers within their magnetospheres. Extrapolated to extrasolar planets, the remote detection of the magnetic field of an extrasolar planet would provide a means of obtaining constraints on the thermal state, composition, and dynamics of its interior as well as improved understanding of the basic planetary dynamo process. The magnetospheric emissions from solar system planets and the discovery of extrasolar planets have motivated both theoretical and observational work on magnetospheric emissions from extrasolar planets. Stimulated by these advances, the W.M. Keck Institute for Space Studies hosted a workshop entitled "Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability." I summarize the current observational status of searches for magnetospheric emissions from extrasolar planets, based on observations from a number of ground-based radio telescopes, and future prospects for ground-based studies. Using the solar system planetary magnetic fields as a guide, future space-based missions will be required to study planets with magnetic field strengths lower than that of Jupiter. I summarize mission concepts identified in the KISS workshop, with a focus on the detection of planetary electron cyclotron maser emission. The

  5. Detection of extrasolar planets by the large deployable reflector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollenbach, D. J.; Takahashi, T.

    1984-01-01

    The best wavelength for observing Jupiter-size planetary companions to stars other than the Sun is one at which a planet's thermal emission is strongest; typically this would occur in the far-infrared region. It is assumed that the orbiting infrared telescope used is diffraction-limited so that the resolution of the planet from the central star is accomplished in the wings of the star's Airy pattern. Proxima Centauri, Barnard's Star, Wolf 359, and Epsilon Eridani are just a few of the many nearest main-sequence stars that could be studied with the large deployable relfector (LDR). The detectability of a planet improves for warmer planets and less luminous stars; therefore, planets around white dwarfs and those young planets which have sufficient internal gravitational energy release so as to cause a significant increase in their temperatures are considered. If white dwarfs are as old as they are usually assumed to be (5-10 billion yr), then only the nearest white dwarf (Sirius B) is within the range of LDR. The Ursa Major cluster and Perseu cluster are within LDR's detection range mainly because of their proximity and young age, respectively.

  6. Kepler Planet-Detection Mission: Introduction and First Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borucki, William J.; Koch, David; Basri, Gibor; Batalha, Natalie; Brown, Timothy; Caldwell, Douglas; Caldwell, John; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Cochran, William D.; DeVore, Edna; Dunham, Edward W.; Dupree, Andrea K.; Gautier, Thomas N.; Geary, John C.; Gilliland, Ronald; Gould, Alan; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Kondo, Yoji; Latham, David W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Meibom, Søren; Kjeldsen, Hans; Lissauer, Jack J.; Monet, David G.; Morrison, David; Sasselov, Dimitar; Tarter, Jill; Boss, Alan; Brownlee, Don; Owen, Toby; Buzasi, Derek; Charbonneau, David; Doyle, Laurance; Fortney, Jonathan; Ford, Eric B.; Holman, Matthew J.; Seager, Sara; Steffen, Jason H.; Welsh, William F.; Rowe, Jason; Anderson, Howard; Buchhave, Lars; Ciardi, David; Walkowicz, Lucianne; Sherry, William; Horch, Elliott; Isaacson, Howard; Everett, Mark E.; Fischer, Debra; Torres, Guillermo; Johnson, John Asher; Endl, Michael; MacQueen, Phillip; Bryson, Stephen T.; Dotson, Jessie; Haas, Michael; Kolodziejczak, Jeffrey; Van Cleve, Jeffrey; Chandrasekaran, Hema; Twicken, Joseph D.; Quintana, Elisa V.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Allen, Christopher; Li, Jie; Wu, Haley; Tenenbaum, Peter; Verner, Ekaterina; Bruhweiler, Frederick; Barnes, Jason; Prsa, Andrej

    2010-02-01

    The Kepler mission was designed to determine the frequency of Earth-sized planets in and near the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. The habitable zone is the region where planetary temperatures are suitable for water to exist on a planet’s surface. During the first 6 weeks of observations, Kepler monitored 156,000 stars, and five new exoplanets with sizes between 0.37 and 1.6 Jupiter radii and orbital periods from 3.2 to 4.9 days were discovered. The density of the Neptune-sized Kepler-4b is similar to that of Neptune and GJ 436b, even though the irradiation level is 800,000 times higher. Kepler-7b is one of the lowest-density planets (~0.17 gram per cubic centimeter) yet detected. Kepler-5b, -6b, and -8b confirm the existence of planets with densities lower than those predicted for gas giant planets.

  7. Spectral Astrometry Mission for Planets Detection

    SciTech Connect

    Erskine, D J; Edelstein, J

    2002-08-09

    The Spectral Astrometry Mission is a space-mission concept that uses simultaneous, multiple-star differential astrometry to measure exo-solar planet masses. The goal of SAM is to measure the reflex motions of hundreds of nearby ({approx}50 pc) F, G and K stars, relative to adjacent stars, with a resolution of 2.5 {micro}-arcsec. SAM is a new application of Spectral Interferometry (SI), also called Externally Dispersed Interferometry (EDI), that can simultaneously measure the angular difference between the target and multiple reference stars. SI has demonstrated the ability to measure a {lambda}/20,000 white-light fringe shift with only {lambda}/3 baseline control. SAM's structural stability and compensation requirements are therefore dramatically reduced compared to existing long-arm balanced-arm interferometric astrometry methods. We describe the SAM's mission concept, long-baseline SI astrometry method, and technical challenges to achieving the mission.

  8. Apparent Stellar Wobble by a Planet in a Circumstellar Disk: Limitations on Planet Detection by Astrometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Takeuchi, Taku; Velusamy, T.; Lin, D. N. C.

    2005-01-01

    Astrometric detection of a stellar wobble on the plane of the sky will provide us the next breakthrough in searching for extrasolar planets. The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) is expected to achieve high-precision astrometry as accurate as 1 (mu)as, which is precise enough to discover a newborn Jupiter mass planet around a pre-main-sequence (PMS) star in the Taurus-Auriga star-forming region. PMS stars, however, have circumstellar disks that may be obstacles to the precise measurement of the stellar position.We present results on disk influences on the stellar wobble. The density waves excited by a planet move both the disk's mass center and the photocenter. The motion of the disk mass center induces an additional wobble of the stellar position, and the motion of the disk photocenter causes a contamination in the measurement of the stellar position. We show that the additional stellar motion dynamically caused by the disk's gravity is always negligible but that the contamination by the disk light can interfere with the precise measurement of the stellar position if the planet's mass is smaller than approximately 10MJ. The motion of the disk photocenter is sensitive to a slight change in the wave pattern and the disk properties. Measurements by interferometers are generally insensitive to extended sources such as disks. Because of this property, SIM will not suffer significant contamination by the disk light, even if the planet's mass is as small as 1M(sub J).

  9. The photometric method of extrasolar planet detection revisited

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hale, Alan; Doyle, Laurance R.

    1994-01-01

    We investigate the geometry concerning the photometric method of extrasolar planet detection, i.e., the detection of dimunition of a parent star's brightness during a planetary transit. Under the assumption that planetary orbital inclinations can be defined by a Gaussian with a sigma of 10 deg centered on the parent star's equatorial plane, Monte Carlo simulations suggest that for a given star observed at an inclination of exactly 90 deg, the probability of at least one Earth-sized or larger planet being suitably placed for transits is approximately 4%. This probability drops to 3% for a star observed at an inclination of 80 deg, and is still approximately 0.5% for a star observed at an inclination of 60 deg. If one can select 100 stars with a pre-determined inclination equal or greater than 80 deg, the probability of at least one planet being suitably configured for transits is 95%. The majority of transit events are due to planets in small-a orbits similar to the Earth and Venus; thus, the photometric method in principle is the method best suited for the detection of Earthlike planets. The photometric method also allows for testing whether or not planets can exist within binary systems. This can ge done by selecting binary systems observed at high orbital inclinations, both eclipsing binaries and wider visual binaries. For a 'real-world' example, we look at the alpha Centauri system (i = 79.2 deg). If we assume that the equatorial planes of both components coincide with the system's orbital plane, Monte Carlo simulations suggest that the probability of at least one planet (of either component) being suitably configured for transits is approximately 8%. In conclusion, we present a non-exhaustive list of solar-type stars, both single and within binary systems, which exhibit a high equatorial inclination. These objects may be considered as preliminary candidates for planetary searches via the photometric method.

  10. Nature or nurture of coplanar Tatooines: the aligned circumbinary Kuiper belt analogue around HD 131511

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Grant M.

    2015-02-01

    A key discovery of the Kepler mission is of the circumbinary planets known as `Tatooines', which appear to be well aligned with their host stars' orbits. Whether this alignment is due to initially coplanar circumbinary planet-forming discs (i.e. nature), or subsequent alignment of initially misaligned discs by warping the inner disc or torquing the binary (i.e. nurture), is not known. Tests of which scenario dominates may be possible by observing circumbinary Kuiper belt analogues (`debris discs'), which trace the plane of the primordial disc. Here, the 140 au diameter circumbinary debris disc around HD 131511 is shown to be aligned to within 10° of the plane of the near edge-on 0.2 au binary orbit. The stellar equator is also consistent with being in this plane. If the primordial disc was massive enough to pull the binary into alignment, this outcome should be common and distinguishing nature versus nurture will be difficult. However, if only the inner disc becomes aligned with the binary, the HD 131511 system was never significantly misaligned. Given an initial misalignment, the ˜ Gyr main-sequence lifetime of the star allows secular perturbations to align the debris disc out to 100 au at the cost of an increased scaleheight. The observed debris disc scaleheight limits any misalignment to less than 25°. With only a handful known, many more such systems need to be characterized to help test whether the alignment of circumbinary planets is nature or nurture.

  11. Spectroscopic direct detection of reflected light from extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martins, J. H. C.; Figueira, P.; Santos, N. C.; Lovis, C.

    2013-12-01

    At optical wavelengths, an exoplanet's signature is essentially reflected light from the host star - several orders of magnitude fainter. Since it is superimposed on the star spectrum its detection has been a difficult observational challenge. However, the development of a new generation of instruments like Echelle Spectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations (ESPRESSO) and next-generation telescopes like the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) put us in a privileged position to detect these planets' reflected light as we will have access to extremely high signal-to-noise ratio spectra. With this work, we propose an alternative approach for the direct detection of the reflected light of an exoplanet. We simulated observations with ESPRESSO at Very Large Telescope (VLT) and high-resolution spectrograph (HIRES) at E-ELT of several star+planet systems, encompassing 10 h of the most favourable orbital phases. To the simulated spectra we applied the cross-correlation function to operate in a much higher signal-to-noise ratio domain than when compared with the spectra. The use of the cross-correlation function permitted us to recover the simulated planet signals at a level above 3σnoise significance on several prototypical (e.g. Neptune-type planet with a 2 d orbit with the VLT at 4.4σnoise significance) and real planetary systems (e.g. 55 Cnc e with the E-ELT at 4.9σnoise significance). Even by using a more pessimistic approach to the noise level estimation, where systematics in the spectra increase the noise 2-3 times, the detection of the reflected light from large close-orbit planets is possible. We have also shown that this kind of study is currently within reach of current instruments and telescopes (e.g. 51 Peg b with the VLT at 5.2σnoise significance), although at the limit of their capabilities.

  12. SIM PlanetQuest Key Project Precursor Observations to Detect Gas Giant Planets Around Young Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tanner, Angelle; Beichman, Charles; Akeson, Rachel; Ghez, Andrea; Grankin, Konstantin N.; Herbst, William; Hillenbrand, Lynne; Huerta, Marcos; Konopacky, Quinn; Metchev, Stanimir; Mohanty, Subhanjoy; Prato, L.; Simon, Michal

    2008-01-01

    We present a review of precursor observing programs for the SIM PlanetQuest Key project devoted to detecting Jupiter mass planets around young stars. In order to ensure that the stars in the sample are free of various sources of astrometric noise that might impede the detection of planets, we have initiated programs to collect photometry, high contrast images, interferometric data and radial velocities for stars in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. We have completed a high contrast imaging survey of target stars in Taurus and the Pleiades and found no definitive common proper motion companions within one arcsecond (140 AU) of the SIM targets. Our radial velocity surveys have shown that many of the target stars in Sco-Cen are fast rotators and a few stars in Taurus and the Pleiades may have sub-stellar companions. Interferometric data of a few stars in Taurus show no signs of stellar or sub-stellar companions with separations of <5 mas. The photometric survey suggests that approximately half of the stars initially selected for this program are variable to a degree (1(sigma) >0.1 mag) that would degrade the astrometric accuracy achievable for that star. While the precursor programs are still a work in progress, we provide a comprehensive list of all targets ranked according to their viability as a result of the observations taken to date. By far, the observable that removes the most targets from the SIM-YSO program is photometric variability.

  13. Pilot Study of Enhanced Minor Planet Detection Using NEOWISE Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cukrov, Greta; Mainzer, A. K.; Bauer, J. M.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J. R.; Cutri, R. M.; Wright, E. L.; Nugent, C.; Stevenson, R.; Clyne, E.; Masci, F. J.

    2014-01-01

    The solar system science component of NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), known as NEOWISE, extracted detections of more than 158,000 asteroids and comets, including 34,000 new discoveries. These objects were detected through a search algorithm that actively rejected inertially fixed sources such as stars and galaxies and selected candidate moving objects through the construction of position-time pairs known as tracklets. A minimum of five detections were required in order to construct a tracklet; this system enabled the discovery of new minor planets as well as detection of previously known objects. However, many more asteroids are potentially recoverable in the NEOWISE data, such as objects that failed to appear in five or more images. Stacking of objects with well-known ephemerides at the observational epoch has allowed for the recovery of many objects that fell below the single-frame detection threshold. Additional objects were recovered by searching the NEOWISE source lists for objects that appeared fewer than five times in single frames. We present the results of a pilot study that has allowed for the recovery of minor planets from the NEOWISE data using both techniques, resulting in the derivation of diameters and albedos for the sample. This pilot study will be extended to the entire catalog of known minor planets by the NEOWISE project in the near future.

  14. Animation: A Binary and Its Planets

    NASA Video Gallery

    This artist's movie illustrates Kepler-47, the first transiting circumbinary system -- a system with more than one planet orbiting a pair of stars -- 4,900 light-years from Earth, in the constellat...

  15. Formation and Evolution of Planets in and Around Binary Star Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, N.

    2015-07-01

    The discovery of planets in and around binary stars (also known as circumprimary and circumbinary planets) has opened a new chapter in the studies of the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems. Computational simulations indicate that in binaries with separations smaller than ˜50 au, the perturbation of the secondary star can have profound effects on the dynamics of solid bodies around the primary, prohibiting their collisions to result in coalescence and growth to larger objects. However, several circumprimary planets are known to exist in binaries with separations of ˜20 au raising questions about how these planets formed and acquired their final orbital architecture. Also, a survey of the currently known circumbinary planets (CBPs) points to several interesting characteristics of these bodies. The detection of multiple transits in these systems points to the (almost) co-planarity of the planet-binary orbits, giving strong support to the idea that these planets formed in circumbinary protoplanetary disks. The proximity of some of these planets to the boundary of orbital instability around the binary suggests an evolutionary scenario in which planets form at large distances and either migrate to their present orbits, or are scattered to their current locations. Surprisingly, all currently known CBPs are Neptune-sized or smaller, and no CBP seems to exist around very short-period binaries. These specific characteristics of binary-planetary systems have raised many questions regarding the formation, dynamical evolution, and orbital architecture of these objects. I will review the current state of research on the formation of planets in and around binary stars, and discuss the new developments on the understanding of their dynamical evolution.

  16. On possible circumbinary configurations of the planetary systems of α Centauri and EZ Aquarii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popova, E. A.; Shevchenko, I. I.

    2016-04-01

    Possible configurations of the planetary systems of the binary stars α Cen A-BandEZAqr A-C are analyzed. The P-type orbits—circumbinary ones, i.e., the orbits around both stars of the binary, are studied. The choice of these systems is dictated by the fact that α Cen is closest to us in the Galaxy, while EZ Aqr is the closest system whose circumbinary planets, as it turns out, may reside in the "habitability zone." The analysis has been performed within the framework of the planar restricted three-body problem. The stability diagrams of circumbinary motion have been constructed: on representative sets of initial data (in the pericentric distance-eccentricity plane), we have computed the Lyapunov spectra of planetary motion and identified the domains of regular and chaotic motion through their statistical analysis. Based on present views of the dynamics and architecture of circumbinary planetary systems, we have determined the most probable planetary orbits to be at the centers of the main resonance cells, at the boundary of the dynamical chaos domain around the parent binary star, which allows the semimajor axes of the orbits to be predicted. In the case of EZ Aqr, the orbit of the circumbinary planet is near the habitability zone and, given that the boundary of this zone is uncertain, may belong to it.

  17. HABITABLE PLANETS ECLIPSING BROWN DWARFS: STRATEGIES FOR DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION

    SciTech Connect

    Belu, Adrian R.; Selsis, Franck; Raymond, Sean N.; Bolmont, Emeline; Palle, Enric; Street, Rachel; Sahu, D. K.; Anupama, G. C.; Von Braun, Kaspar; Figueira, Pedro; Ribas, Ignasi

    2013-05-10

    Given the very close proximity of their habitable zones, brown dwarfs (BDs) represent high-value targets in the search for nearby transiting habitable planets that may be suitable for follow-up occultation spectroscopy. In this paper, we develop search strategies to find habitable planets transiting BDs depending on their maximum habitable orbital period (P{sub HZ{sub out}}). Habitable planets with P{sub HZ{sub out}} shorter than the useful duration of a night (e.g., 8-10 hr) can be screened with 100% completeness from a single location and in a single night (near-IR). More luminous BDs require continuous monitoring for longer duration, e.g., from space or from a longitude-distributed network (one test scheduling achieved three telescopes, 13.5 contiguous hours). Using a simulated survey of the 21 closest known BDs (within 7 pc) we find that the probability of detecting at least one transiting habitable planet is between 4.5{sup +5.6}{sub -1.4}% and 56{sup +31}{sub -13}%, depending on our assumptions. We calculate that BDs within 5-10 pc are characterizable for potential biosignatures with a 6.5 m space telescope using {approx}1% of a five-year mission's lifetime spread over a contiguous segment only one-fifth to one-tenth of this duration.

  18. DETECTING OCEANS ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS USING THE GLINT EFFECT

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Crisp, David

    2010-09-20

    Glint, the specular reflection of sunlight off Earth's oceans, may reveal the presence of oceans on an extrasolar planet. As an Earth-like planet nears crescent phases, the size of the ocean glint spot increases relative to the fraction of the illuminated disk, while the reflectivity of this spot increases. Both effects change the planet's visible reflectivity as a function of phase. However, strong forward scattering of radiation by clouds can also produce increases in a planet's reflectivity as it approaches crescent phases, and surface glint can be obscured by Rayleigh scattering and atmospheric absorption. Here, we explore the detectability of glint in the presence of an atmosphere and realistic phase-dependent scattering from oceans and clouds. We use the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model to simulate Earth's broadband visible brightness and reflectivity over an orbit. Our validated simulations successfully reproduce phase-dependent Earthshine observations. We find that the glinting Earth can be as much as 100% brighter at crescent phases than simulations that do not include glint, and that the effect is dependent on both orbital inclination and wavelength, where the latter dependence is caused by Rayleigh scattering limiting sensitivity to the surface. We show that this phenomenon may be observable using the James Webb Space Telescope paired with an external occulter.

  19. Radial velocity planet detection biases at the stellar rotational period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Plavchan, Peter; Johnson, John Asher; Ciardi, David R.; Swift, Jonathan; Kane, Stephen R.

    2016-07-01

    Future generations of precise radial velocity (RV) surveys aim to achieve sensitivity sufficient to detect Earth mass planets orbiting in their stars' habitable zones. A major obstacle to this goal is astrophysical RV noise caused by active areas moving across the stellar limb as a star rotates. In this paper, we quantify how stellar activity impacts exoplanet detection with radial velocities as a function of orbital and stellar rotational periods. We perform data-driven simulations of how stellar rotation affects planet detectability and compile and present relations for the typical time-scale and amplitude of stellar RV noise as a function of stellar mass. We show that the characteristic time-scales of quasi-periodic RV jitter from stellar rotational modulations coincides with the orbital period of habitable-zone exoplanets around early M-dwarfs. These coincident periods underscore the importance of monitoring the targets of RV habitable-zone planet surveys through simultaneous photometric measurements for determining rotation periods and activity signals, and mitigating activity signals using spectroscopic indicators and/or RV measurements at different wavelengths.

  20. Radial Velocity Planet Detection Biases at the Stellar Rotational Period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Plavchan, Peter; Asher Johnson, John; Ciardi, David R.; Swift, Jonathan; Kane, Stephen R.

    2016-04-01

    Future generations of precise radial velocity (RV) surveys aim to achieve sensitivity sufficient to detect Earth mass planets orbiting in their stars' habitable zones. A major obstacle to this goal is astrophysical radial velocity noise caused by active areas moving across the stellar limb as a star rotates. In this paper, we quantify how stellar activity impacts exoplanet detection with radial velocities as a function of orbital and stellar rotational periods. We perform data-driven simulations of how stellar rotation affects planet detectability and compile and present relations for the typical timescale and amplitude of stellar radial velocity noise as a function of stellar mass. We show that the characteristic timescales of quasi-periodic radial velocity jitter from stellar rotational modulations coincides with the orbital period of habitable zone exoplanets around early M-dwarfs. These coincident periods underscore the importance of monitoring the targets of RV habitable zone planet surveys through simultaneous photometric measurements for determining rotation periods and activity signals, and mitigating activity signals using spectroscopic indicators and/or RV measurements at different wavelengths.

  1. ''High-Speed, Photon-Counting Camera for the Detection of Extrasolar Planets''

    SciTech Connect

    Ullom, J; Cunningham, M; Macintosh, B; Miyazaki, T; Labov, S

    2003-02-07

    The search for extrasolar planets--planets orbiting stars outside out solar system-- is motivated by the desire to discover small planets similar to Earth. Since small planets are difficult to detect, the first step is finding giant planets with large orbits, like Jupiter. Solar systems containing these planets may have smaller, Earth-like planets travelling closer to the parent star. However, current methods detect extrasolar planets indirectly by observing a planet's gravitational influence on its parent star. These methods are primarily sensitive to giant planets with small orbits. A new method is needed to directly observe planets with large orbits. Direct observation can also provide additional information about a planet's composition and/or orbit. Directly observing an extrasolar planet from Earth is challenging because of the relative proximity of the planet to its parent star. Although a large, terrestrial telescope can provide the angular resolution necessary to visually separate the planet from the star, atmospheric turbulence limits the telescope's performance. In addition, the parent star appears much brighter than the planet. Adaptive optics (AO) can increase a planet's brightness, but they have little effect on residual star glare.

  2. The use of transit timing to detect terrestrial-mass extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Holman, Matthew J; Murray, Norman W

    2005-02-25

    Future surveys for transiting extrasolar planets are expected to detect hundreds of jovian-mass planets and tens of terrestrial-mass planets. For many of these newly discovered planets, the intervals between successive transits will be measured with an accuracy of 0.1 to 100 minutes. We show that these timing measurements will allow for the detection of additional planets in the system (not necessarily transiting) by their gravitational interaction with the transiting planet. The transit-time variations depend on the mass of the additional planet, and in some cases terrestrial-mass planets will produce a measurable effect. In systems where two planets are seen to transit, the density of both planets can be determined without radial-velocity observations. PMID:15731449

  3. ON THE DETECTABILITY OF STAR-PLANET INTERACTION

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Brendan P.; Gallo, Elena; Wright, Jason T.; Dupree, Andrea K.

    2012-08-01

    Magnetic (or tidal) interactions between 'hot Jupiters' and their host stars can potentially enhance chromospheric and coronal activity. An ideal test bed for investigating this effect is provided by the extreme WASP-18 system, which features a massive ({approx}10 times Jupiter) close-in ({approx}<1 day period) transiting planet orbiting a young F6 star. Optical and X-ray observations of WASP-18 were conducted in 2011 November. The high-resolution echelle spectrograph Magellan Inamori Kyocera Echelle was used on the 6.5 m Magellan Clay Telescope to obtain 13 spectra spanning planetary orbital phases of 0.7-1.4, while the X-ray Telescope on Swift provided contemporaneous monitoring with a stacked exposure of {approx}50 ks. The cores of the Ca II H and K lines do not show significant variability over multiple orbits spanning {approx}8 days, in contrast to the expectation of phase-dependent chromospheric activity enhancements for efficient star-planet interaction. The star is also X-ray faint, with log L{sub X} < 27.6, indicating that coronal activity is likewise low. The lack of detectable star-planet interaction in this extreme system requires that any such effect here must be transient, if indeed present. We demonstrate that searches for Ca II H and K variability can potentially mistake a stellar hotspot, if observed over a short segment of the rotation period, for planet-induced activity. Taken together, these results suggest that the utility of star-planet interaction as a robust method of estimating exoplanet magnetic field strengths may be limited.

  4. ICE LINES IN CIRCUMBINARY PROTOPLANETARY DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Clanton, Christian

    2013-05-01

    I examine the position of the ice line in circumbinary disks heated by steady mass accretion and stellar irradiation and compare with the critical semimajor axis, interior to which planetary orbits are unstable. There is a critical binary separation, dependent on the binary parameters and disk properties, for which binaries with separations larger than this critical value have ice lines that lie interior to the boundary of stability. For an equal-mass binary comprised of 1 M{sub Sun} components, this critical separation is Almost-Equal-To 1.04 AU, and scales weakly with mass accretion rate and Rosseland mean opacity ({proportional_to}[ M-dot {kappa}{sub R}]{sup 2/9}). Assuming a steady mass accretion rate of M-dot {approx}10{sup -8} M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1} and a Rosseland mean opacity of {kappa}{sub R} {approx} 1 cm{sup 2} g{sup -1}, I show that {approx}> 80% of all binary systems with component masses M{sub *} {approx}< 2.0 M{sub Sun} have ice lines that lie interior to the critical semimajor axis. This suggests that rocky planets should not form in these systems, a prediction which can be tested by looking for planets around binaries with separations larger than the critical separation with Kepler (difficult) and with microlensing.

  5. The Hunt for Planet Nine: Atmosphere, Spectra, Evolution, and Detectability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortney, Jonathan J.; Marley, Mark S.; Laughlin, Gregory; Nettelmann, Nadine; Morley, Caroline V.; Lupu, Roxana E.; Visscher, Channon; Jeremic, Pavle; Khadder, Wade G.; Hargrave, Mason

    2016-06-01

    We investigate the physical characteristics of the solar system’s proposed Planet Nine using modeling tools with a heritage of studying Uranus and Neptune. For a range of plausible masses and interior structures, we find upper limits on the intrinsic {T}{{eff}}, from ∼35 to 50 K for masses of 5–20 M ⊕, and we also explore lower {T}{{eff}} values. Possible planetary radii could readily span from 2.7 to 6 R ⊕, depending on the mass fraction of any H/He envelope. Given its cold atmospheric temperatures, the planet encounters significant methane condensation, which dramatically alters the atmosphere away from simple Neptune-like expectations. We find that the atmosphere is strongly depleted in molecular absorption at visible wavelengths, suggesting a Rayleigh scattering atmosphere with a high geometric albedo approaching 0.75. We highlight two diagnostics for the atmosphere’s temperature structure: (1) the value of the methane mixing ratio above the methane cloud and (2) the wavelength at which cloud scattering can be seen, which yields the cloud-top pressure. Surface reflection may be seen if the atmosphere is thin. Due to collision-induced opacity of H2 in the infrared, the planet would be extremely blue instead of red in the shortest wavelength WISE colors if methane is depleted and would, in some cases, exist on the verge of detectability by WISE. For a range of models, thermal fluxes from ∼3 to 5 μm are ∼20 orders of magnitude larger than blackbody expectations. We report a search of the AllWISE Source Catalog for Planet Nine, but find no detection.

  6. The Hunt for Planet Nine: Atmosphere, Spectra, Evolution, and Detectability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortney, Jonathan J.; Marley, Mark S.; Laughlin, Gregory; Nettelmann, Nadine; Morley, Caroline V.; Lupu, Roxana E.; Visscher, Channon; Jeremic, Pavle; Khadder, Wade G.; Hargrave, Mason

    2016-06-01

    We investigate the physical characteristics of the solar system’s proposed Planet Nine using modeling tools with a heritage of studying Uranus and Neptune. For a range of plausible masses and interior structures, we find upper limits on the intrinsic {T}{{eff}}, from ˜35 to 50 K for masses of 5–20 M ⊕, and we also explore lower {T}{{eff}} values. Possible planetary radii could readily span from 2.7 to 6 R ⊕, depending on the mass fraction of any H/He envelope. Given its cold atmospheric temperatures, the planet encounters significant methane condensation, which dramatically alters the atmosphere away from simple Neptune-like expectations. We find that the atmosphere is strongly depleted in molecular absorption at visible wavelengths, suggesting a Rayleigh scattering atmosphere with a high geometric albedo approaching 0.75. We highlight two diagnostics for the atmosphere’s temperature structure: (1) the value of the methane mixing ratio above the methane cloud and (2) the wavelength at which cloud scattering can be seen, which yields the cloud-top pressure. Surface reflection may be seen if the atmosphere is thin. Due to collision-induced opacity of H2 in the infrared, the planet would be extremely blue instead of red in the shortest wavelength WISE colors if methane is depleted and would, in some cases, exist on the verge of detectability by WISE. For a range of models, thermal fluxes from ˜3 to 5 μm are ˜20 orders of magnitude larger than blackbody expectations. We report a search of the AllWISE Source Catalog for Planet Nine, but find no detection.

  7. TPF Planet Detection Testbed: demonstrating deep, stable nulling and planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, Stefan

    2005-01-01

    The design of a testbed being built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is described. Simulatiung a dual chopped Bracewell interferometer, the testbed comprises a four beam star and planet source and nulling beam combiner. Since achieving a stable null is of great concern the testbed has many control systems designed to achieve stability of alignment and optical path difference over long periods of time. Comparisons between the testbed and the flight system are drawn and key performance parameters are discussed. The interaction between designs for phaseplate systems that achromatically invert the electric field of one of each pair of the incoming beams to achieve the null and the choice of fringe tracking schemes is also discussed.

  8. Toward a Model for Detecting Life on Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rye, R.; Storrie-Lombardi, M.

    2001-12-01

    available energy sources may be used by biology on detectably colonized planets. Simple feedback loops such as those governing Lovelock?s famous Daisyworld or the Walker CO2 feedback, offer starting points for thinking about global scale feedbacks. Feedbacks in microbial communities, e.g. those postulated in anaerobic methane oxidation communities, involving the use of one or more organisms? waste products as nutrients by another, hint at the local complexity from which we need to scale up. Our first attempt at bridging this gap involves describing the processes that may have helped stabilize the Archean climate. Archean biogenic methane production could have been rapid enough to provide 100s ppm atmospheric CH4. At such CH4 levels Earth would have remained ice free. Sudden increases in CH4 production might have led to runaway greenhouse conditions. However, if CH4/CO2 > 1 a UV absorbing aerosol haze should form. UV-labile ammonia could have accumulated in the atmosphere under the haze, quickly making rain pH > 7, dramatically slowing chemical weathering on the continents and interrupting vital phosphate delivery to the oceans. The residence time of P is ca.10,000 years. Thus, over a time scale of ca.10,000 years primary productivity dropped sharply. Biogenic methane production, near the base of the trophic ladder, suffered disproportionately. With little CH4 production CH4/CO2 fell to < 1. The UV screen and atmospheric NH3 disappeared in a few years. Rain pH dropped. Weathering restarted. Biological productivity recovered. The above testable scenario serves as an example of a plausible feedback involving interplay between biological, geochemical, atmospheric and stellar processes. Feedback loops of this sort will be central features of the fully realized VMC module for the VPL.

  9. White-Light Nulling Interferometers for Detecting Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mennesson, Bertrand; Serabyn, Eugene; Shao, Michael; Levine, Bruce

    2004-01-01

    A report proposes the development of a white-light nulling interferometer to be used in conjunction with a singleaperture astronomical telescope that would be operated in outer space. When such a telescope is aimed at a given star, the interferometer would suppress the light of that star while passing enough light from planets (if any) orbiting the star, to enable imaging or spectroscopic examination of the planets. In a nulling interferometer, according to the proposal, scattered light would be suppressed by spatial filtering in an array of single-mode optical fibers rather than by requiring optical surfaces to be accurate within 1/4,000 wavelength as in a coronagraph or an apodized telescope. As a result, angstrom-level precision would be needed in only the small nulling combiner, and not in large, meter-sized optics. The nulling interferometer could work as an independent instrument in space or in conjunction with a coronagraphic system to detect planets outside our solar system.

  10. An Infrared Telescope for Planet Detection and General Astrophysics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lillie, C. F.; Atkinson, C. B.; Casement, L. S.; Flannery, M. R.; Kroening, K. V.; Moses, S. L.

    2004-01-01

    NASA plans to launch a Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) mission in 2014 to detect and characterize Earth-like planets around nearby stars, perform comparative planetology studies, and obtain general astrophysics observations. During our recently completed a TPF Mission Architecture study for NASA/JPL we developed the conceptual design for a 28-meter telescope with an IR Coronagraph that meets these mission objectives. This telescope and the technology it embodies are directly applicable to future Far-IR and Submillimeter space missions. The detection of a 30th magnitude planet located within 50 milli-arc-seconds of a 5th (Visual) magnitude star is an exceptionally challenging objective. Observations in the thermal infrared (7-17 microns) are somewhat easier since the planet is "only" 15(sup m) fainter than the star at these wavelengths, but many severe challenges must still be overcome. These challenges include: 1. Designing a coronagraph for star:planet separations less than or equal to lambda/D. 2. Developing the deployment scheme for a 28m space telescope that can fit in an existing launch vehicle payload fairing. 3. Generating configuration layouts for the IR telescope, coronagraph, spacecraft bus, sunshade, solar array, and high-gain antenna. 4. Providing: Structural stability to within 10 microns to support the optics. Thermal control to achieve the necessary structural stability, as well as providing a stable (approx. 30K) thermal environment for the optics. Dynamics isolation from potential jitter sources. 5. Minimizing launch mass to provide the maximum payload for the science mission Interfacing to an EELV Heavy launch vehicle, including acoustic and stress loads for the launch environment. 6. Identifying the key technologies (which can be developed by 2009) that will enable TPF mission to be performed. 7. Generating a manufacturing plan that will permit TPF to be developed at a reasonable cost and schedule. Many of these design challenges result in

  11. Detecting Extrasolar Planets With Millimeter-Wave Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-01-01

    Do nearby stars have planetary systems like our own? How do such systems evolve? How common are such systems? Proposed radio observatories operating at millimeter wavelengths could start answering these questions within the next 6-10 years, according to scientists at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). Bryan Butler, Robert Brown, Richard Simon, Al Wootten and Darrel Emerson, all of NRAO, presented their findings today to the American Astronomical Society meeting in San Antonio, TX. Detecting planets circling other stars is a particularly difficult task, and only a few such planets have been discovered so far. In order to answer fundamental questions about planetary systems and their origin, scientists need to find and study many more extrasolar planets. According to the NRAO scientists, millimeter-wavelength observatories could provide valuable information about extrasolar planetary systems at all stages of their evolution. "With instruments planned by 2005, we could detect planets the size of Jupiter around a solar-type star out to a distance of 100 light-years," said Robert Brown, Associate Director of NRAO. "That means," he added, "that we could survey approximately 2,000 stars of different types to learn if they have planets this size." Millimeter waves occupy the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between radio microwaves and infrared waves. Telescopes for observing at millimeter wavelengths utilize advanced electronic equipment similar to that used in radio telescopes observing at longer wavelengths. Millimeter-wave observatories offer a number of advantages in the search for extrasolar planets. Planned multi-antenna millimeter-wave telescopes can provide much higher resolving power, or ability to see fine detail, than current optical or infrared telescopes. Millimeter-wave observations would not be degraded by interference from the "zodiacal light" reflected by interplanetary dust, either in the extrasolar system or our own solar system

  12. Fabrication experiments on supersmooth optics for extrasolar planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ftaclas, C.; Krim, M. H.; Terrile, R. J.

    1989-01-01

    The direct detection of extrasolar planets by imaging will require reductions in scattered and diffracted light by factors in excess of 1000 within one arcsecond of a bright source. While diffraction can be reduced by a number of approaches, small angle scatter can only be reduced by controlling midspatial frequency figure errors. The surface requirements are reviewed and their meaning when compared to the data base of existing mirrors is considered. Experiments are discribed that were successful in reducing midspatial frequency figure so that the scatter level was 500 times less than diffraction for a 25-cm spherical mirror.

  13. Kepler Planet Detection Mission: Introduction and First Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Basri, Gibor; Batalha, Natalie; Brown, Timothy; Lissauer, Jack J.; Morrison, David; Rowe, Jason; Bryson, Stephen T.; Dotson, Jessie; Haas,Michael; Gautier, Thomas N.

    2010-01-01

    The Kepler Mission is designed to determine the frequency of Earth-size and rocky planets in and near the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars. The HZ is defined to be the region of space where a rocky planet could maintain liquid water on its surface. Kepler is the 10th competitively-selected Discovery Mission and was launched on March 6, 2009. Since completing its commissioning, Kepler has observed over 156,000 stars simultaneously and near continuously to search for planets that periodically pass in front of their host star (transit). The photometric precision is approximately 23 ppm for 50% of the 12th magnitude dwarf stars for an integration period of 6.5 hours. During the first 3 months of operation the photometer detected transit-like signatures from more than 200 stars. Careful examination shows that many of these events are false-positives such as small stars orbiting large stars or blends of target stars with eclipsing binary stars. Ground-based follow-up observations confirm the discovery of five new exoplanets with sizes between 0.37 andl.6 Jupiter radii (R(sub J)) and orbital periods ranging from 3.2 to 4.9 days. Ground-based observations with the Keck 1, Hobby-Ebberly, Hale, WIYN, MMT, Tillinghast, Shane, and Nordic Optical Telescopes are used to vet the planetary candidates and measure the masses of the putative planets. Observations of occultations and phase variations of hot, short-period planets such as HT-P-7b provide a probe of atmospheric properties. Asteroseismic analysis already shows the presence of p-mode oscillations in several stars. Such observations will be used to measure the mean stellar density and infer the stellar size and age. For stars too dim to permit asteroseismology, observations of the centroid motion of target stars will be used to measure the parallax and be combined with photometric measurements to estimate stellar sizes. Four open clusters are being observed to determine stellar rotation rates as a function of age and

  14. Microlensing planet detection via geosynchronous and low Earth orbit satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mogavero, F.; Beaulieu, J. P.

    2016-01-01

    Planet detection through microlensing is usually limited by a well-known degeneracy in the Einstein timescale tE, which prevents mass and distance of the lens to be univocally determined. It has been shown that a satellite in geosynchronous orbit could provide masses and distances for most standard planetary events (tE ≈ 20 days) via a microlens parallax measurement. This paper extends the analysis to shorter Einstein timescales, tE ≈ 1 day, when dealing with the case of Jupiter-mass lenses. We then study the capabilities of a low Earth orbit satellite on even shorter timescales, tE ≈ 0.1 days. A Fisher matrix analysis is employed to predict how the 1-σ error on parallax depends on tE and the peak magnification of the microlensing event. It is shown that a geosynchronous satellite could detect parallaxes for Jupiter-mass free floaters and discover planetary systems around very low-mass brown dwarfs. Moreover, a low Earth orbit satellite could lead to the discovery of Earth-mass free-floating planets. Limitations to these results can be the strong requirements on the photometry, the effects of blending, and in the case of the low orbit, the Earth's umbra.

  15. Kepler-47: a transiting circumbinary multiplanet system.

    PubMed

    Orosz, Jerome A; Welsh, William F; Carter, Joshua A; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Cochran, William D; Endl, Michael; Ford, Eric B; Haghighipour, Nader; MacQueen, Phillip J; Mazeh, Tsevi; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Short, Donald R; Torres, Guillermo; Agol, Eric; Buchhave, Lars A; Doyle, Laurance R; Isaacson, Howard; Lissauer, Jack J; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Shporer, Avi; Windmiller, Gur; Barclay, Thomas; Boss, Alan P; Clarke, Bruce D; Fortney, Jonathan; Geary, John C; Holman, Matthew J; Huber, Daniel; Jenkins, Jon M; Kinemuchi, Karen; Kruse, Ethan; Ragozzine, Darin; Sasselov, Dimitar; Still, Martin; Tenenbaum, Peter; Uddin, Kamal; Winn, Joshua N; Koch, David G; Borucki, William J

    2012-09-21

    We report the detection of Kepler-47, a system consisting of two planets orbiting around an eclipsing pair of stars. The inner and outer planets have radii 3.0 and 4.6 times that of Earth, respectively. The binary star consists of a Sun-like star and a companion roughly one-third its size, orbiting each other every 7.45 days. With an orbital period of 49.5 days, 18 transits of the inner planet have been observed, allowing a detailed characterization of its orbit and those of the stars. The outer planet's orbital period is 303.2 days, and although the planet is not Earth-like, it resides within the classical "habitable zone," where liquid water could exist on an Earth-like planet. With its two known planets, Kepler-47 establishes that close binary stars can host complete planetary systems. PMID:22933522

  16. Transiting planets with LSST. I. Potential for LSST exoplanet detection

    SciTech Connect

    Lund, Michael B.; Pepper, Joshua; Stassun, Keivan G.

    2015-01-01

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is designed to meet several scientific objectives over a 10 year synoptic sky survey. Beyond its primary goals, the large amount of LSST data can be exploited for additional scientific purposes. We show that LSST data are sufficient to detect the transits of exoplanets, including planets orbiting stars that are members of stellar populations that have so far been largely unexplored. Using simulated LSST light curves, we find that existing transit detection algorithms can identify the signatures of Hot Jupiters around solar-type stars, Hot Neptunes around K-dwarfs, and (in favorable cases) Super-Earths in habitable-zone orbits of M-dwarfs. We also find that LSST may identify Hot Jupiters orbiting stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud—a remarkable possibility that would advance exoplanet science into the extragalactic regime.

  17. The Automated Planet Finder's detection of a 6-planet system orbiting the bright, nearby star HD219134

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burt, Jennifer; Laughlin, Greg; Meschiari, Stefano; Vogt, Steve; Butler, R. Paul

    2015-12-01

    The Automated Planet Finder (APF) is the newest facility at Lick Observatory, comprised of a 2.4m telescope coupled with the high-resolution Levy echelle spectrograph. Purpose built for exoplanet detection and characterization, 80% of the telescope's observing time is dedicated to these science goals. The APF has demonstrated 1 m/s radial velocity precision on bright, RV standard stars and performs with the same speed-on-sky as Keck/HIRES when observing M-dwarfs.The APF has contributed to the detection of four planetary systems in its first two years of scientific operations. Our most recent detection is that of a 6-planet system around the bright (V=5.5), nearby (d=6.5pc), K3V star HD219134. The planets in this system have masses ranging from 3.5 to108 MEarth, with orbital periods from 3 to 2247 days. An independent detection of the inner 4 planets in this system by the HARPS-N team has shown that the 3d planet transits the star, making this system ideal for follow-up observations.I will discuss the APF's detections to date, highlighting HD219134, as well as the overall performance results of the telescope and our future observing strategy.

  18. Detecting Extrasolar Planets With Millimeter-Wave Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-01-01

    Do nearby stars have planetary systems like our own? How do such systems evolve? How common are such systems? Proposed radio observatories operating at millimeter wavelengths could start answering these questions within the next 6-10 years, according to scientists at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). Bryan Butler, Robert Brown, Richard Simon, Al Wootten and Darrel Emerson, all of NRAO, presented their findings today to the American Astronomical Society meeting in San Antonio, TX. Detecting planets circling other stars is a particularly difficult task, and only a few such planets have been discovered so far. In order to answer fundamental questions about planetary systems and their origin, scientists need to find and study many more extrasolar planets. According to the NRAO scientists, millimeter-wavelength observatories could provide valuable information about extrasolar planetary systems at all stages of their evolution. "With instruments planned by 2005, we could detect planets the size of Jupiter around a solar-type star out to a distance of 100 light-years," said Robert Brown, Associate Director of NRAO. "That means," he added, "that we could survey approximately 2,000 stars of different types to learn if they have planets this size." Millimeter waves occupy the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between radio microwaves and infrared waves. Telescopes for observing at millimeter wavelengths utilize advanced electronic equipment similar to that used in radio telescopes observing at longer wavelengths. Millimeter-wave observatories offer a number of advantages in the search for extrasolar planets. Planned multi-antenna millimeter-wave telescopes can provide much higher resolving power, or ability to see fine detail, than current optical or infrared telescopes. Millimeter-wave observations would not be degraded by interference from the "zodiacal light" reflected by interplanetary dust, either in the extrasolar system or our own solar system

  19. Super Smooth Optics for Extra-Solar Planet Detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Terrile, Richard J.; Ftaclas, Christ

    1989-01-01

    The goal of imaging planets around the nearby stars has important scientific significance but requires the use of advanced methods of controlling diffracted and scattered light. Over the last three years we have undertaken a study of coronagraphic methods of controlling diffracted light and of figuring hyper-contrast optics. Progress in these two general areas have led to a proposed space-based, 1.9 meter diameter coronagraphic telescope designed specifically for very high performance in the imaging of faint objects near bright sources. This instrument, called the Circumstellar Imaging Telescope (CIT), relies on a new high efficiency coronagraph design and the careful control of scattered light by extremely smooth optics. The high efficiency coronagraph uses focal plane apodization in order to concentrate diffracted light more efficiently in the pupil. This allows convenient removal of the diffracted light by masking off parts of the telescope pupil while not sacrificing the center of the field. Reductions of diffracted light by factors exceeding 1000 are not only possible but are required in order to detect extra-solar planets. Laboratory experiments with this new design have confirmed the theoretical diffraction reductions to the limits of the optics used (factors of about 300) . The extremely high efficiency of this coronagraph puts strong constraints on the narrow angle scattered light due to figure errors in the telescope mirror. Since planets orbiting nearby stars are expected at angular distances of about 1 arcsecond, it is in this small angular range in which scattering must be controlled. The figure errors responsible for scattering in this range come from mid-spatial frequencies corresponding to correlation lengths of about 10 cm on the primary mirror. A primary mirror about 15 times smoother than the Hubble Space Telescope mirror is required for the CIT. Laboratory experiments indicate that small test mirrors can be fabricated with existing technology

  20. Planet Hunters: Kepler by Eye

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, C.; Fischer, D.; Smith, A. M.; Boyajian, T. S.; Brewer, J. M.; Giguere, M. J.; Lynn, S.; Parrish, M.; Schawinski, K.; Schmitt, J.; Simpson, R.; Wang, J.

    2014-01-01

    Planet Hunters (http://www.planethunters.org), part of the Zooniverse's (http://www.zooniverse.org) collection of online citizen science projects, uses the World Wide Web to enlist the general public to identify transits in the pubic Kepler light curves. Planet Hunters utilizes human pattern recognition to identify planet transits that may be missed by automated detection algorithms looking for periodic events. Referred to as ‘crowdsourcing’ or ‘citizen science’, the combined assessment of many non-expert human classifiers with minimal training can often equal or best that of a trained expert and in many cases outperform the best machine-learning algorithm. Visitors to the Planet Hunters' website are presented with a randomly selected ~30-day light curve segment from one of Kepler’s ~160,000 target stars and are asked to draw boxes to mark the locations of visible transits in the web interface. 5-10 classifiers review each 30-day light curve segment. Since December 2010, more than 260,000 volunteers world wide have participated, contributing over 20 million classifications. We have demonstrated the success of a citizen science approach with the project’s more than 20 planet candidates, the discovery of PH1b, a transiting circumbinary planet in a quadruple star system, and the discovery of PH2-b, a confirmed Jupiter-sized planet in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. I will provide an overview of Planet Hunters, highlighting several of project's most recent exoplanet and astrophysical discoveries. Acknowledgements: MES was supported in part by a NSF AAPF under award AST-1003258 and a American Philosophical Society Franklin Grant. We acknowledge support from NASA ADAP12-0172 grant to PI Fischer.

  1. NASA's Kepler Mission Discovers Multiple Planets Orbiting Twin Suns

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's Kepler mission has discovered the first transiting circumbinary system -- multiple planets orbiting two suns -- 4,900 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Cygnus, proving that more t...

  2. THE HABITABILITY AND DETECTION OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING COOL WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R.; Bagnulo, S.; Kowalski, P. M.; Shulyak, D. V.; Sterzik, M. F. E-mail: C.A.Haswell@open.ac.uk E-mail: r.busuttil@open.ac.uk E-mail: kowalski@gfz-potsdam.de E-mail: msterzik@eso.org

    2012-09-20

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for {approx}8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 10{sup 2} (10{sup 4}) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M{sub Sun} white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

  3. Diagrams of stability of circumbinary planetary systems (Abstract)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popova, E.

    2015-08-01

    The stability diagrams in the "pericentric distance - eccentricity" plane of initial data are built and analysed for Kepler-38, Kepler-47, and PH1. This completes a survey of stability of the known up to now circumbinary planetary systems, initiated by Popova and Shevchenko (ApJ, 769, 152, 2013), where the analysis was performed for Kepler-16, 34, and 35. In the diagrams, the planets appear to be "embedded" in the fractal chaos border; however, I make an attempt to measure the "distance" to the chaos border in a physically consistent way. The obtained distances are compared to those given by the widely used numerical-experimental criterion by Holman and Wiegert (1999), who employed smooth polynomial approximations to describe the border. I identify the resonance cells, hosting the planets. Results of this study will appear in Proceedings of IAU Symposium 310 "Complex planetary systems".

  4. Planet Scattering Around Binaries: Ejections, Not Collisions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smullen, Rachel A.; Kratter, Kaitlin M.; Shannon, Andrew

    2016-06-01

    Transiting circumbinary planets discovered by Kepler provide unique insight into binary star and planet formation. Several features of this new found population, for example the apparent pile-up of planets near the innermost stable orbit, may distinguish between formation theories. In this work, we determine how planet-planet scattering shapes planetary systems around binaries as compared to single stars. In particular, we look for signatures that arise due to differences in dynamical evolution in binary systems. We carry out a parameter study of N-body scattering simulations for four distinct planet populations around both binary and single stars. While binarity has little influence on the final system multiplicity or orbital distribution, the presence of a binary dramatically effects the means by which planets are lost from the system. Most circumbinary planets are lost due to ejections rather than planet-planet or planet-star collisions. The most massive planet in the system tends to control the evolution. Systems similar to the only observed multi-planet circumbinary system, Kepler-47, can arise from much more tightly packed, unstable systems. Only extreme initial conditions introduce differences in the final planet populations. Thus, we suggest that any intrinsic differences in the populations are imprinted by formation.

  5. A path to the detection of Earth-type planets (Jean Dominique Cassini Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayor, Michel

    2016-04-01

    "How many planets in the Milky Way?", "How many planets similar to our Earth?" On the last twenty years, significant results have been obtained in the domain of extrasolar planets. More than two thousand planets have characterized orbits, for several hundred of them their radii are known. We have discovered an amazing diversity of planetary systems. These observations have revealed the importance of new physical process to be taken into account for the formation and evolution of planetary systems. The synergy between ground-based radial velocity measurements and the detection of transiting planets have permitted exciting possibilities to characterize planets. Already we have the possibility to get clues on the internal composition of exoplanets and their atmosphere. Do we have the instrumental capabilities to detect and study planets as Earth analogues? What are the intruments in development and their scientific goals.

  6. Planet scattering around binaries: ejections, not collisions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smullen, Rachel A.; Kratter, Kaitlin M.; Shannon, Andrew

    2016-09-01

    Transiting circumbinary planets discovered by Kepler provide unique insight into binary star and planet formation. Several features of this new found population, for example the apparent pile-up of planets near the innermost stable orbit, may distinguish between formation theories. In this work, we determine how planet-planet scattering shapes planetary systems around binaries as compared to single stars. In particular, we look for signatures that arise due to differences in dynamical evolution in binary systems. We carry out a parameter study of N-body scattering simulations for four distinct planet populations around both binary and single stars. While binarity has little influence on the final system multiplicity or orbital distribution, the presence of a binary dramatically affects the means by which planets are lost from the system. Most circumbinary planets are lost due to ejections rather than planet-planet or planet-star collisions. The most massive planet in the system tends to control the evolution. Systems similar to the only observed multiplanet circumbinary system, Kepler-47, can arise from much more tightly packed, unstable systems. Only extreme initial conditions introduce differences in the final planet populations. Thus, we suggest that any intrinsic differences in the populations are imprinted by formation.

  7. Doppler spectroscopy as a path to the detection of Earth-like planets.

    PubMed

    Mayor, Michel; Lovis, Christophe; Santos, Nuno C

    2014-09-18

    Doppler spectroscopy was the first technique used to reveal the existence of extrasolar planetary systems hosted by solar-type stars. Radial-velocity surveys led to the detection of a rich population of super-Earths and Neptune-type planets. The numerous detected systems revealed a remarkable diversity. Combining Doppler measurements with photometric observations of planets transiting their host stars further provides access to the planet bulk density, a first step towards comparative exoplanetology. The development of new high-precision spectrographs and space-based facilities will ultimately lead us to characterize rocky planets in the habitable zone of our close stellar neighbours. PMID:25230654

  8. Planetary atmosphere evolution: do other habitable planets exist and can we detect them?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1996-01-01

    The goal of this conference is to consider whether it is possible within the next few decades to detect Earth-like planets around other stars using telescopes or interferometers on the ground or in space. Implicit in the term "Earth-like" is the idea that such planets might be habitable by Earth-like organisms, or that they might actually be inhabited. Here, I shall address two questions from the standpoint of planetary atmosphere evolution. First, what are the chances that habitable planets exist around other stars? And, second, if inhabited planets exist, what would be the best way to detect them?.

  9. Warped circumbinary disks in active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Hayasaki, Kimitake; Sohn, Bong Won; Jung, Taehyun; Zhao, Guangyao; Okazaki, Atsuo T.; Naito, Tsuguya

    2014-07-20

    We study a warping instability of a geometrically thin, non-self-gravitating disk surrounding binary supermassive black holes on a circular orbit. Such a circumbinary disk is subject to not only tidal torques due to the binary gravitational potential but also radiative torques due to radiation emitted from an accretion disk around each black hole. We find that a circumbinary disk initially aligned with the binary orbital plane is unstable to radiation-driven warping beyond the marginally stable warping radius, which is sensitive to both the ratio of vertical to horizontal shear viscosities and the mass-to-energy conversion efficiency. As expected, the tidal torques give no contribution to the growth of warping modes but tend to align the circumbinary disk with the orbital plane. Since the tidal torques can suppress the warping modes in the inner part of circumbinary disk, the circumbinary disk starts to be warped at radii larger than the marginally stable warping radius. If the warping radius is of the order of 0.1 pc, a resultant semi-major axis is estimated to be of the order of 10{sup –2} pc to 10{sup –4} pc for 10{sup 7} M{sub ☉} black hole. We also discuss the possibility that the central objects of observed warped maser disks in active galactic nuclei are binary supermassive black holes with a triple disk: two accretion disks around the individual black holes and one circumbinary disk surrounding them.

  10. Warped Circumbinary Disks in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayasaki, Kimitake; Sohn, Bong Won; Okazaki, Atsuo T.; Jung, Taehyun; Zhao, Guangyao; Naito, Tsuguya

    2014-07-01

    We study a warping instability of a geometrically thin, non-self-gravitating disk surrounding binary supermassive black holes on a circular orbit. Such a circumbinary disk is subject to not only tidal torques due to the binary gravitational potential but also radiative torques due to radiation emitted from an accretion disk around each black hole. We find that a circumbinary disk initially aligned with the binary orbital plane is unstable to radiation-driven warping beyond the marginally stable warping radius, which is sensitive to both the ratio of vertical to horizontal shear viscosities and the mass-to-energy conversion efficiency. As expected, the tidal torques give no contribution to the growth of warping modes but tend to align the circumbinary disk with the orbital plane. Since the tidal torques can suppress the warping modes in the inner part of circumbinary disk, the circumbinary disk starts to be warped at radii larger than the marginally stable warping radius. If the warping radius is of the order of 0.1 pc, a resultant semi-major axis is estimated to be of the order of 10-2 pc to 10-4 pc for 107 M ⊙ black hole. We also discuss the possibility that the central objects of observed warped maser disks in active galactic nuclei are binary supermassive black holes with a triple disk: two accretion disks around the individual black holes and one circumbinary disk surrounding them.

  11. A high sensitivity polarimeter for the direct detection and characterization of extra-solar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hough, James H.; Lucas, Philip W.; Bailey, Jeremy A.; Tamura, Motohide

    2003-02-01

    We are constructing a high sensitivity optical polarimeter capable of detecting fractional polarization levels below 10-6. The science goal is to directly detect extra-solar planets (ESP), in contrast to the indirect methods such as radial velocity measurements. The polarimeter will detect starlight scattered from the atmosphere of the planet as a polarisation signal thereby giving information on the planetary atmospheres. The radius of the planet and the planet temperature can be determined from the measured albedo. The position angle of polarisation will enable the mass of planets, detected through radial velocity measurements, to be determined without the uncertainty of the orbit inclination (Msini). The polarimeter has an essentially simple and classical design but is able to take advantage, inter alia, of modern detector technology.

  12. Influence of Stellar Multiplicity on Planet Formation. II. Planets are Less Common in Multiple-star Systems with Separations Smaller than 1500 AU

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Xie, Ji-Wei; Ciardi, David R.

    2014-08-01

    Almost half of the stellar systems in the solar neighborhood are made up of multiple stars. In multiple-star systems, planet formation is under the dynamical influence of stellar companions, and the planet occurrence rate is expected to be different from that of single stars. There have been numerous studies on the planet occurrence rate of single star systems. However, to fully understand planet formation, the planet occurrence rate in multiple-star systems needs to be addressed. In this work, we infer the planet occurrence rate in multiple-star systems by measuring the stellar multiplicity rate for planet host stars. For a subsample of 56 Kepler planet host stars, we use adaptive optics (AO) imaging and the radial velocity (RV) technique to search for stellar companions. The combination of these two techniques results in high search completeness for stellar companions. We detect 59 visual stellar companions to 25 planet host stars with AO data. Three stellar companions are within 2'' and 27 within 6''. We also detect two possible stellar companions (KOI 5 and KOI 69) showing long-term RV acceleration. After correcting for a bias against planet detection in multiple-star systems due to flux contamination, we find that planet formation is suppressed in multiple-star systems with separations smaller than 1500 AU. Specifically, we find that compared to single star systems, planets in multiple-star systems occur 4.5 ± 3.2, 2.6 ± 1.0, and 1.7 ± 0.5 times less frequently when a stellar companion is present at a distance of 10, 100, and 1000 AU, respectively. This conclusion applies only to circumstellar planets; the planet occurrence rate for circumbinary planets requires further investigation.

  13. Influence of stellar multiplicity on planet formation. II. Planets are less common in multiple-star systems with separations smaller than 1500 AU

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Xie, Ji-Wei; Ciardi, David R.

    2014-08-20

    Almost half of the stellar systems in the solar neighborhood are made up of multiple stars. In multiple-star systems, planet formation is under the dynamical influence of stellar companions, and the planet occurrence rate is expected to be different from that of single stars. There have been numerous studies on the planet occurrence rate of single star systems. However, to fully understand planet formation, the planet occurrence rate in multiple-star systems needs to be addressed. In this work, we infer the planet occurrence rate in multiple-star systems by measuring the stellar multiplicity rate for planet host stars. For a subsample of 56 Kepler planet host stars, we use adaptive optics (AO) imaging and the radial velocity (RV) technique to search for stellar companions. The combination of these two techniques results in high search completeness for stellar companions. We detect 59 visual stellar companions to 25 planet host stars with AO data. Three stellar companions are within 2'' and 27 within 6''. We also detect two possible stellar companions (KOI 5 and KOI 69) showing long-term RV acceleration. After correcting for a bias against planet detection in multiple-star systems due to flux contamination, we find that planet formation is suppressed in multiple-star systems with separations smaller than 1500 AU. Specifically, we find that compared to single star systems, planets in multiple-star systems occur 4.5 ± 3.2, 2.6 ± 1.0, and 1.7 ± 0.5 times less frequently when a stellar companion is present at a distance of 10, 100, and 1000 AU, respectively. This conclusion applies only to circumstellar planets; the planet occurrence rate for circumbinary planets requires further investigation.

  14. Reevaluating the feasibility of ground-based Earth-mass microlensing planet detections

    SciTech Connect

    Jung, Youn Kil; Park, Hyuk; Han, Cheongho; Hwang, Kyu-Ha; Shin, In-Gu; Choi, Joon-Young

    2014-05-10

    An important strength of the microlensing method to detect extrasolar planets is its high sensitivity to low-mass planets. However, many believe that microlensing detections of Earth-mass planets from ground-based observation would be difficult because of limits set by finite-source effects. This view comes from the previous estimation of planet detection probability based on the fractional deviation of planetary signals; however, a proper probability estimation is required when considering the source brightness, which is directly related to the photometric precision. In this paper, we reevaluate the feasibility of low-mass planet detections by considering photometric precision for different populations of source stars. From this, we find that the contribution of improved photometric precision to the planetary signal of a giant-source event is large enough to compensate for the decrease in magnification excess caused by finite-source effects. As a result, we conclude that giant-source events are suitable targets for Earth-mass planet detections with significantly higher detection probability than events involved with source stars of smaller radii, and we predict that Earth-mass planets could be detected by prospective high-cadence surveys.

  15. Viability and Detectability of Photosynthesis on Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolstencroft, Ramon; Raven, John

    Based on current understanding of how photosynthesis arose and developed on Earth,we consider what factors would limit or encourage the viability of photosynthetically energized organisms on Earth-like planets (ELP's) orbiting nearby ms stars with a range of surface temperature. Assuming that the ELP originally had an atmosphere similar to that of the early Earth and orbited within the parent star's habitable zone ,the main factors are: (1) an adequate photon flux incident on the organism in the photosynthetically active region (400 to 700nm on Earth); and (2) the need to avoid UV-B radiation - prior to the production of an atmospheric UV screen of ozone - which would damage the organism's DNA. Significant photosynthesis with the generation of molecular oxygen could take place with an incident photon flux at the organism of at least ten times that on today's Earth. If the parent star is hot enough for there to be appreciable levels of UV radiation, photosynthetic organisms can seek lower UV light levels in the ELP ocean with the benefit of the greater attenuation of UV-B radiation than of the 400-700nm radiation. In the case of cool stars where the flux of photosynthetically active photons may be too low, a major change in the photosynthetic apparatus would be required from the two-photon photosystem of terrestrial photosynthesis, which energises the electron transfer needed in photosynthesis, to a three- or four-photon photosystem which can make use of lower energy photons. The implications for the viability and spectroscopic detectability of photosynthetic organisms on ELP's will be discussed.

  16. The SOPHIE search for northern extrasolar planets. X. Detection and characterization of giant planets by the dozen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hébrard, G.; Arnold, L.; Forveille, T.; Correia, A. C. M.; Laskar, J.; Bonfils, X.; Boisse, I.; Díaz, R. F.; Hagelberg, J.; Sahlmann, J.; Santos, N. C.; Astudillo-Defru, N.; Borgniet, S.; Bouchy, F.; Bourrier, V.; Courcol, B.; Delfosse, X.; Deleuil, M.; Demangeon, O.; Ehrenreich, D.; Gregorio, J.; Jovanovic, N.; Labrevoir, O.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Lovis, C.; Lozi, J.; Moutou, C.; Montagnier, G.; Pepe, F.; Rey, J.; Santerne, A.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.; Vanhuysse, M.; Vigan, A.; Wilson, P. A.

    2016-04-01

    We present new radial velocity measurements of eight stars that were secured with the spectrograph SOPHIE at the 193 cm telescope of the Haute-Provence Observatory. The measurements allow detecting and characterizing new giant extrasolar planets. The host stars are dwarfs of spectral types between F5 and K0 and magnitudes of between 6.7 and 9.6; the planets have minimum masses Mp sin i of between 0.4 to 3.8 MJup and orbitalperiods of several days to several months. The data allow only single planets to be discovered around the first six stars (HD 143105, HIP 109600, HD 35759, HIP 109384, HD 220842, and HD 12484), but one of them shows the signature of an additional substellar companion in the system. The seventh star, HIP 65407, allows the discovery of two giant planets that orbit just outside the 12:5 resonance in weak mutual interaction. The last star, HD 141399, was already known to host a four-planet system; our additional data and analyses allow new constraints to be set on it. We present Keplerian orbits of all systems, together with dynamical analyses of the two multi-planet systems. HD 143105 is one of the brightest stars known to host a hot Jupiter, which could allow numerous follow-up studies to be conducted even though this is not a transiting system. The giant planets HIP 109600b, HIP 109384b, and HD 141399c are located in the habitable zone of their host star. Based on observations collected with the SOPHIE spectrograph on the 1.93-m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France, by the SOPHIE Consortium (programs 07A.PNP.CONS to 15A.PNP.CONS).Full version of the SOPHIE measurements (Table 1) is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/588/A145

  17. A Model for Estimating the Numbers of Stars for Which Terrestrial Planets Can Be Detected

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koch, David; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Borucki and Summers (1984) have suggested that extrasolar terrestrial planets can be detected by looking for transits. A discussion is presented of a model used to estimate the number of stars for which planets can be detected as a function of spectral type and luminosity, stellar brightness, planet size and realistic noise sources that must be considered. A choice for an optimum location of the field to search is described given the realistic constraints of a space mission and the desire to maximize the number of available stars.

  18. Educational And Public Outreach Software On Planet Detection For The Macintosh (TM)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koch, David; Brady, Victoria; Cannara, Rachel; Witteborn, Fred C. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    The possibility of extra-solar planets has been a very popular topic with the general public for years. Considerable media coverage of recent detections has only heightened the interest in the topic. School children are particularly interested in learning about space. Astronomers have the knowledge and responsibility to present this information in both an understandable and interesting format. Since most classrooms and homes are now equipped with computers this media can be utilized to provide more than a traditional "flat" presentation. An interactive "stack" has been developed using Hyperstudio (TM). The major topics include: "1996 - The Break Through Year In Planet Detection"; "What Determines If A Planet Is Habitable?"; "How Can We Find Other Planets (Search Methods)"; "All About the Kepler Mission: How To Find Earth-Sized Planets"; and "A Mission Simulator". Using the simulator, the student records simulated observations and then analyzes and interprets the data within the program stacks to determine the orbit and planet size, the planet's temperature and surface gravity, and finally determines if the planet is habitable. Additional related sections are also included. Many of the figures are animated to assist in comprehension of the material. A set of a dozen lesson plans for the middle school has also been drafted.

  19. Deep Space Detectives: Searching for Planets Suitable for Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pallant, Amy; Damelin, Daniel; Pryputniewicz, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    This article describes the High-Adventure Science curriculum unit "Is There Life in Space?" This free online investigation, developed by The Concord Consortium, helps students see how scientists use modern tools to locate planets around distant stars and explore the probability of finding extraterrestrial life. This innovative curriculum…

  20. DETECTING THE WIND-DRIVEN SHAPES OF EXTRASOLAR GIANT PLANETS FROM TRANSIT PHOTOMETRY

    SciTech Connect

    Barnes, Jason W.; Cooper, Curtis S.; Showman, Adam P.; Hubbard, William B.

    2009-11-20

    Several processes can cause the shape of an extrasolar giant planet's shadow, as viewed in transit, to depart from circular. In addition to rotational effects, cloud formation, non-homogenous haze production and movement, and dynamical effects (winds) could also be important. When such a planet transits its host star as seen from the Earth, the asphericity will introduce a deviation in the transit light curve relative to the transit of a perfectly spherical (or perfectly oblate) planet. We develop a theoretical framework to interpret planetary shapes. We then generate predictions for transiting planet shapes based on a published theoretical dynamical model of HD189733b. Using these shape models we show that planet shapes are unlikely to introduce detectable light-curve deviations (those >1 x 10{sup -5} of the host star), but that the shapes may lead to astrophysical sources of systematic error when measuring planetary oblateness, transit time, and impact parameter.

  1. A Planet Hunters Search of the Kepler TCE Inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwamb, Meg; Lintott, Chris; Fischer, Debra; Smith, Arfon; Boyajian, Tabetha; Brewer, John; Giguere, Matt; Lynn, Stuart; Schawinski, Kevin; Simpson, Rob; Wang, Ji

    2013-07-01

    NASA's Kepler spacecraft has spent the past 4 years monitoring ~160,000 stars for the signatures of transiting exoplanets. Planet Hunters (http://www.planethunters.org), part of the Zooniverse (http://www.zooniverse.org) collection of citizen science projects, uses the power of human pattern recognition via the World Wide Web to identify transits in the Kepler public data. We have demonstrated the success of a citizen science approach with the project's discoveries including PH1 b, a transiting circumbinary planet in a four star system., and over 20 previously unknown planet candidates. The Kepler team has released the list of 18,406 potential transit signals or threshold-crossing events (TCEs) identified in Quarters 1-12 (~1000 days) by their automated Transit Planet Search (TPS) algorithm. The majority of these detections found by TPS are triggered by transient events and are not valid planet candidates. To identify planetary candidates from the detected TCEs, a human review of the validation reports, generated by the Kepler pipeline for each TCE, is performed by several Kepler team members. We have undertaken an independent crowd-sourced effort to perform a systematic search of the Kepler Q1-12 TCE list. With the Internet we can obtain multiple assessments of each TCE's data validation report. Planet Hunters volunteers evaluate whether a transit is visible in the Kepler light curve folded on the expected period identified by TPS. We present the first results of this analysis.

  2. Differential Astrometry to detect giant planets around A-stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monnier, John D.; Johnson, Keith; Swihart, Samuel; Ireland, Michael; Zhao, Ming; Ten Brummelaar, Theo

    2015-01-01

    The exoplanet field has remained vibrant and exciting due to the continuous development of new observing techniques and the refinement of older ones, both from the ground and from space. Here we propose to push the exoplanet frontier through the development of a new interferometric experiment that takes advantage of the Michigan Infrared Combiner (MIRC) on the CHARA Array, a visible and near-infrared interferometer boasting the longest baselines and finest angular resolution in the world. The ARMADA (ARrangement for Micro-Arcsecond Differential Astrometry) Project will search for astrometric wobble in a sample of hot stars (spectral type A,B) to search for giants planets in P<3 year orbits. Recent radial velocity (RV) work studying evolved sub-giants --``retired A stars" -- suggest up to a five-fold increase in the presence of massive gas giant planets in about 1 AU orbits compared to solar-type stars. Confirmation of this disputed result on A stars themselves would have profound effect on theories of planet formation but is difficult or impossible due to the broad, weak lines of hot stars. Using a novel etalon module already designed and fabricated to maintain precision wavelength calibration (Dl/l ~1x10-5), we aim to measure separations with <10 micro-arcsecond-level precision for binaries up to 0.25' separation.

  3. Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deeg, Hans; Belmonte, Juan Antonio; Aparicio, Antonio

    2012-03-01

    Participants; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Extrasolar planet detection methods Laurance R. Doyle; 2. Statistical properties of exoplanets Stéphane Udry; 3. Characterizing extrasolar planets Timothy M. Brown; 4. From clouds to planet systems: formation and evolution of stars and planets Günther Wuchterl; 5. Abundances in stars with extrasolar planetary systems Garik Israelian; 6. Brown dwarfs: the bridge between stars and planets Rafael Rebolo; 7. The perspective: a panorama of the Solar System Agustín Sánchez-Lavega; 8. Habitable planets around the Sun and other stars James F. Kasting; 9. Biomarkers of extrasolar planets and their observability Franck Selsis, Jimmy Paillet and France Allard; Index.

  4. Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deeg, Hans; Belmonte, Juan Antonio; Aparicio, Antonio

    2007-10-01

    Participants; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Extrasolar planet detection methods Laurance R. Doyle; 2. Statistical properties of exoplanets Stéphane Udry; 3. Characterizing extrasolar planets Timothy M. Brown; 4. From clouds to planet systems: formation and evolution of stars and planets Günther Wuchterl; 5. Abundances in stars with extrasolar planetary systems Garik Israelian; 6. Brown dwarfs: the bridge between stars and planets Rafael Rebolo; 7. The perspective: a panorama of the Solar System Agustín Sánchez-Lavega; 8. Habitable planets around the Sun and other stars James F. Kasting; 9. Biomarkers of extrasolar planets and their observability Franck Selsis, Jimmy Paillet and France Allard; Index.

  5. On the feasibility of detecting extrasolar planets by reflected starlight using the Hubble Space Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Robert A.; Burrows, Christopher J.

    1990-01-01

    The best metrology data extant are presently used to estimate the center and wing point-spread function of the HST, in order to ascertain the implications of an observational criterion according to which a faint source's discovery can occur only when the signal recorded near its image's location is sufficiently larger than would be expected in its absence. After defining the maximum star-planet flux ratio, a figure of merit Q, defined as the contrast ratio between a 'best case' planet and the scattered starlight background, is introduced and shown in the HST's case to be unfavorable for extrasolar planet detection.

  6. Angular momentum exchange by gravitational torques and infall in the circumbinary disk of the protostellar system L1551 NE

    SciTech Connect

    Takakuwa, Shigehisa; Ho, Paul T. P.; Saito, Masao; Saigo, Kazuya; Matsumoto, Tomoaki; Lim, Jeremy; Hanawa, Tomoyuki

    2014-11-20

    We report an ALMA observation of the Class I binary protostellar system L1551 NE in the 0.9 mm continuum, C{sup 18}O (3-2), and {sup 13}CO (3-2) lines at a ∼1.6 times higher resolution and a ∼6 times higher sensitivity than those of our previous SubMillimeter Array (SMA) observations, which revealed a r ∼ 300 AU scale circumbinary disk in Keplerian rotation. The 0.9 mm continuum shows two opposing U-shaped brightenings in the circumbinary disk and exhibits a depression between the circumbinary disk and the circumstellar disk of the primary protostar. The molecular lines trace non-axisymmetric deviations from Keplerian rotation in the circumbinary disk at higher velocities relative to the systemic velocity, where our previous SMA observations could not detect the lines. In addition, we detect inward motion along the minor axis of the circumbinary disk. To explain the newly observed features, we performed a numerical simulation of gas orbits in a Roche potential tailored to the inferred properties of L1551 NE. The observed U-shaped dust features coincide with locations where gravitational torques from the central binary system are predicted to impart angular momentum to the circumbinary disk, producing shocks and hence density enhancements seen as a pair of spiral arms. The observed inward gas motion coincides with locations where angular momentum is predicted to be lowered by the gravitational torques. The good agreement between our observation and model indicates that gravitational torques from the binary stars constitute the primary driver for exchanging angular momentum so as to permit infall through the circumbinary disk of L1551 NE.

  7. Angular Momentum Exchange by Gravitational Torques and Infall in the Circumbinary Disk of the Protostellar System L1551 NE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takakuwa, Shigehisa; Saito, Masao; Saigo, Kazuya; Matsumoto, Tomoaki; Lim, Jeremy; Hanawa, Tomoyuki; Ho, Paul T. P.

    2014-11-01

    We report an ALMA observation of the Class I binary protostellar system L1551 NE in the 0.9 mm continuum, C18O (3-2), and 13CO (3-2) lines at a ~1.6 times higher resolution and a ~6 times higher sensitivity than those of our previous SubMillimeter Array (SMA) observations, which revealed a r ~ 300 AU scale circumbinary disk in Keplerian rotation. The 0.9 mm continuum shows two opposing U-shaped brightenings in the circumbinary disk and exhibits a depression between the circumbinary disk and the circumstellar disk of the primary protostar. The molecular lines trace non-axisymmetric deviations from Keplerian rotation in the circumbinary disk at higher velocities relative to the systemic velocity, where our previous SMA observations could not detect the lines. In addition, we detect inward motion along the minor axis of the circumbinary disk. To explain the newly observed features, we performed a numerical simulation of gas orbits in a Roche potential tailored to the inferred properties of L1551 NE. The observed U-shaped dust features coincide with locations where gravitational torques from the central binary system are predicted to impart angular momentum to the circumbinary disk, producing shocks and hence density enhancements seen as a pair of spiral arms. The observed inward gas motion coincides with locations where angular momentum is predicted to be lowered by the gravitational torques. The good agreement between our observation and model indicates that gravitational torques from the binary stars constitute the primary driver for exchanging angular momentum so as to permit infall through the circumbinary disk of L1551 NE.

  8. Circumbinary ring, circumstellar disks, and accretion in the binary system UY Aurigae

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Ya-Wen; Ho, Paul T. P.; Dutrey, Anne; Guilloteau, Stéphane; Di Folco, Emmanuel; Piétu, Vincent; Gueth, Fréderic; Beck, Tracy; Boehler, Yann; Bary, Jeff; Simon, Michal

    2014-09-20

    Recent exo-planetary surveys reveal that planets can orbit and survive around binary stars. This suggests that some fraction of young binary systems which possess massive circumbinary (CB) disks may be in the midst of planet formation. However, there are very few CB disks detected. We revisit one of the known CB disks, the UY Aurigae system, and probe {sup 13}CO 2-1, C{sup 18}O 2-1, SO 5(6)-4(5) and {sup 12}CO 3-2 line emission and the thermal dust continuum. Our new results confirm the existence of the CB disk. In addition, the circumstellar (CS) disks are clearly resolved in dust continuum at 1.4 mm. The spectral indices between the wavelengths of 0.85 mm and 6 cm are found to be surprisingly low, being 1.6 for both CS disks. The deprojected separation of the binary is 1.''26 based on our 1.4 mm continuum data. This is 0.''07 (10 AU) larger than in earlier studies. Combining the fact of the variation of UY Aur B in R band, we propose that the CS disk of an undetected companion UY Aur Bb obscures UY Aur Ba. A very complex kinematical pattern inside the CB disk is observed due to a mixing of Keplerian rotation of the CB disk, the infall and outflow gas. The streaming gas accreting from the CB ring toward the CS disks and possible outflows are also identified and resolved. The SO emission is found to be at the bases of the streaming shocks. Our results suggest that the UY Aur system is undergoing an active accretion phase from the CB disk to the CS disks. The UY Aur B might also be a binary system, making the UY Aur a triple system.

  9. PlanetPack software tool for exoplanets detection: coming new features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baluev, Roman V.

    2014-07-01

    We briefly overview the new features of PlanetPack2, the forthcoming update of PlanetPack, which is a software tool for exoplanets detection and characterization from Doppler radial velocity data. Among other things, this major update brings parallelized computing, new advanced models of the Doppler noise, handling of the so-called Keplerian periodogram, and routines for transits fitting and transit timing variation analysis.

  10. Properties and Detection Limits of Planetary Caustic Perturbation Induced by a Wide-separation Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryu, Yoon-Hyun; Chung, Sun-Ju; Lee, Ki-Won; Kim, Han-Seek; Han, Du-Hwan

    2016-03-01

    Microlensing experiments are entering a next generation of survey types to monitor a wide field of view continuously with a frequent sampling. The theoretically predicted sensitivity of a planet detection on the lensing parameters can be used for the establishment of observational strategies for maximal planet detections. Hence, we investigate the detection condition of planetary signals caused by the planetary caustic. We calculate the deviation area induced by the planetary caustic for various lensing parameters and find that the deviation area generally increases according to the increase of the source radius. However, after the normalized source radius approaches a certain value the deviation area rapidly decreases and disappears at the same normalized source radius, regardless of the mass ratio and the separation between the planet and its host star. We find a simple relation between the normalized source radius and the deviation threshold for the largest and smallest deviation areas. From this relation we also find an analytic condition for the detection limit of the planetary signal as the function of the source radius and the deviation threshold. In addition, we compare the deviation areas and the light curves between the planetary caustic perturbation and a free-floating planet. We find that the planetary caustic perturbation can be approximated by the single-lensing light curve of the planet itself perturbed by the planetary caustic. Finally, we can expect to find a low-mass planet with the Earth’s mass or even that of the Earth's moon from the detection condition and conclude that our findings may help for maximal planet detections considering the source type and the photometric accuracy.

  11. DETECTABILITY AND ERROR ESTIMATION IN ORBITAL FITS OF RESONANT EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Giuppone, C. A.; Beauge, C.; Tadeu dos Santos, M.; Ferraz-Mello, S.; Michtchenko, T. A.

    2009-07-10

    We estimate the conditions for detectability of two planets in a 2/1 mean-motion resonance from radial velocity data, as a function of their masses, number of observations and the signal-to-noise ratio. Even for a data set of the order of 100 observations and standard deviations of the order of a few meters per second, we find that Jovian-size resonant planets are difficult to detect if the masses of the planets differ by a factor larger than {approx}4. This is consistent with the present population of real exosystems in the 2/1 commensurability, most of which have resonant pairs with similar minimum masses, and could indicate that many other resonant systems exist, but are currently beyond the detectability limit. Furthermore, we analyze the error distribution in masses and orbital elements of orbital fits from synthetic data sets for resonant planets in the 2/1 commensurability. For various mass ratios and number of data points we find that the eccentricity of the outer planet is systematically overestimated, although the inner planet's eccentricity suffers a much smaller effect. If the initial conditions correspond to small-amplitude oscillations around stable apsidal corotation resonances, the amplitudes estimated from the orbital fits are biased toward larger amplitudes, in accordance to results found in real resonant extrasolar systems.

  12. The OGLE-III planet detection efficiency from six years of microlensing observations (2003-2008)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsapras, Y.; Hundertmark, M.; Wyrzykowski, Ł.; Horne, K.; Udalski, A.; Snodgrass, C.; Street, R.; Bramich, D. M.; Dominik, M.; Bozza, V.; Figuera Jaimes, R.; Kains, N.; Skowron, J.; Szymański, M. K.; Pietrzyński, G.; Soszyński, I.; Ulaczyk, K.; Kozłowski, S.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Poleski, R.

    2016-04-01

    We use six years (2003-2008) of Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment-III microlensing observations to derive the survey detection efficiency for a range of planetary masses and projected distances from the host star. We perform an independent analysis of the microlensing light curves to extract the event parameters and compute the planet detection probability given the data. 2433 light curves satisfy our quality selection criteria and are retained for further processing. The aggregate of the detection probabilities over the range explored yields the expected number of microlensing planet detections. We employ a Galactic model to convert this distribution from dimensionless to physical units, α/au and M⊕. The survey sensitivity to small planets is highest in the range 1-4 au, shifting to slightly larger separations for more massive ones.

  13. Activity induced detection limits for Earth-sized planets from radial velocity studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korhonen, Heidi; Gråe Jørgensen, Uffe; Andersen, Jan Marie

    2015-08-01

    The detection of exoplanets using any method is prone to confusion due to the intrinsic variability of the host star. We have recently investigated the effect of cool starspots on the detectability of exoplanets around solar-like stars and M dwarfs using the radial velocity method. Our methods use full radiative transfer, known stellar atomic and molecular lines, different surface spot configurations, and an added planetary signal. In this talk we present our methods, and apply them to studying the detectability of small planets, and especially the case of alpha Centauri B planet.

  14. Detection of Close-In Extrasolar Giant Planets Using theFourier-Kelvin Stellar Interferometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danchi, William C.; Deming, Drake; Kuchner, Marc J.; Seager, Sara

    2003-11-01

    We evaluate the direct detection of extrasolar giant planets with a two-aperture nulling infrared interferometer, working at angles θ<λ/2B and using a new ``ratio-of-two-wavelengths'' technique. Simple arguments suggest that interferometric detection and characterization should be quite possible for planets much closer than the conventional inner working angle, or angular resolution limit. We show that the peak signal from a nulling infrared interferometer of baseline <~40 m will often occur ``inside the null'' and that the signal variations from path difference fluctuations will cancel to first order in the ratio of two wavelengths. Using a new interferometer simulation code, we evaluate the detectability of all the known extrasolar planets as observed using this two-color method with the proposed Fourier-Kelvin Stellar Interferometer (FKSI). In its minimum configuration FKSI uses two 0.5 m apertures on a 12.5 m baseline and a +/-20° field of regard. We predict that ~7 known extrasolar planets are directly detectable using FKSI, with low-resolution spectroscopy (R~20) being possible in the most favorable cases. Spaceborne direct detection of extrasolar giant planets is possible with ~12 m baselines and does not require the much longer baselines provided by formation flying.

  15. Toward Detection of Terrestrial Planets in the Habitable Zone of Our Closest Neighbor: Proxima Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endl, Michael; Kuerster, M.

    2009-01-01

    In recent years the precision of radial velocity (RV) measurements for the indirect detection of planetary companions to nearby stars has improved to a level that allowed the first discoveries of extrasolar planets in the Neptune and Super-Earth mass range. Detections of extremely low mass planets, possibly even down to 1 Earth mass or below, in short-period orbits can lie in the mid-term future of RV planet searches. Discoveries of such Earth-like planets via ground-based RV programs will help to determine the parameter eta_Earth, the frequency of potentially habitable planets around other stars. We monitored Proxima Centauri (M5V) as part of our M dwarf program in search of low-mass planetary companions. In the absence of a significant detection we want to use these data to demonstrate the general capability of the RV method to find terrestrial planets. For late M dwarfs the classic liquid surface water habitable zone (HZ) is located very close to the star, precisely where the RV method is most sensitive. We determine upper limits to the masses of companions in circular orbits via numerical simulations. As a result of our companion limit calculations we find that we successfully recover all test signals with RV amplitudes corresponding to planets with m sin i > 2-3 M_Earth residing inside the HZ of Proxima Cen with a statistical significance of >99%. Over the same period range we can recover 50% of the test planets with masses of m sin i > 1.5-2.5 M_Earth. We also discuss the effects of stellar activity on our RV measurements.

  16. SIM Lite Detection of Habitable Planets in P-Type Binary-Planetary Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pan, Xiaopei; Shao, Michael; Shaklan, Stuart; Goullioud, Renaud

    2010-01-01

    Close binary stars like spectroscopic binaries create a completely different environment than single stars for the evolution of a protoplanetary disk. Dynamical interactions between one star and protoplanets in such systems provide more challenges for theorists to model giant planet migration and formation of multiple planets. For habitable planets the majority of host stars are in binary star systems. So far only a small amount of Jupiter-size planets have been discovered in binary stars, whose minimum separations are 20 AU and the median value is about 1000 AU (because of difficulties in radial velocity measurements). The SIM Lite mission, a space-based astrometric observatory, has a unique capability to detect habitable planets in binary star systems. This work analyzed responses of the optical system to the field stop for companion stars and demonstrated that SIM Lite can observe exoplanets in visual binaries with small angular separations. In particular we investigated the issues for the search for terrestrial planets in P-type binary-planetary systems, where the planets move around both stars in a relatively distant orbit.

  17. SIM-Lite detection of habitable planets in P-type binary-planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Xiaopei; Shao, Michael; Shaklan, Stuart; Goullioud, Renaud

    2010-07-01

    Close binary stars like spectroscopic binaries create a completely different environment than single stars for the evolution of a protoplanetary disk. Dynamical interactions between one star and protoplanets in such systems provide more challenges for theorists to model giant planet migration and formation of multiple planets. For habitable planets the majority of host stars are in binary star systems. So far only a small amount of Jupiter-size planets have been discovered in binary stars, whose minimum separations are 20 AU and the median value is about 1000 AU (because of difficulties in radial velocity measurements). The SIM Lite mission, a space-based astrometric observatory, has a unique capability to detect habitable planets in binary star systems. This work analyzed responses of the optical system to the field stop for companion stars and demonstrated that SIM Lite can observe exoplanets in visual binaries with small angular separations. In particular we investigated the issues for the search for terrestrial planets in P-type binary-planetary systems, where the planets move around both stars in a relatively distant orbit.

  18. Formation and detection of Earth mass planets around low mass stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, Ryan; Laughlin, Gregory

    2009-07-01

    We investigate an in situ formation scenario for Earth-mass terrestrial planets in short-period, potentially habitable orbits around low-mass stars (M∗ < 0.3M⊙). We then investigate the feasibility of detecting these Earth-sized planets. We find that such objects can feasibly be detected by a ground-based transit survey if their formation frequency is high and if correlated noise can be controlled to sub-milli-magnitude levels. Our simulations of terrestrial planet formation follow the growth of planetary embryos in an annular region spanning 0.036 AU ⩽ a ⩽ 0.4 AU around a fiducial M7 (0.12M⊙) primary. Initial distributions of planetary embryos are calculated using the semi-analytic evolutionary model outlined by Chambers [Chambers, J., 2006. Icarus 180, 496-513]. This model specifies how planetary embryos grow to the stage where the largest embryo masses lie in the 1024 g ⩽Membryo ⩽ 5 ×1026 g range (corresponding to the close of the so-called oligarchic growth phase). We then model the final phases of terrestrial planet assembly by allowing the embryos to interact with one another via a full N-body integration using the Mercury code. The final planetary system configurations produced in the simulations generally consist of 3-5 planets with masses of order 0.1- 1.0M⊕ in or near the habitable zone of the star. We explore a range of disk masses (0.2M⊕ to 3.3M⊕) to illuminate the role disk mass plays in our results. With a high occurrence fraction or fortunate alignments, transits by the planet formed in our simulations could be marginally detected with modest telescopes of aperture 1 m or smaller around the nearest M-dwarf stars. To obtain a concrete estimate of the detectability of the planets arising in our simulations, we present a detailed Monte-Carlo transit detection simulation incorporating sky observability, local weather, a target list of around 200 nearby M-dwarfs, and a comprehensive photometric noise model. We adopt a baseline 1

  19. A Single Circumbinary Disk in the HD 98800 Quadruple System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koerner, D. W.; Jensen, E. L. N.; Cruz, K.; Guild, T. B.; Gultekin, K.

    1999-12-01

    We present sub-arcsecond thermal infrared imaging of HD 98800, a young quadruple system composed of a pair of low-mass spectroscopic binaries separated by 0.8'', each with a K-dwarf primary. Images at wavelengths ranging from 5 to 24.5 microns show unequivocally that the optical secondary, HD 98800B, is the sole source of a comparatively large infrared excess upon which a silicate emission feature is superposed. The excess is detected only at wavelengths of 7.9 microns and longer, peaks at 25 microns, and has a best-fit black-body temperature of 146 K. With the assumption that the dust is in radiative equilibrium with the central stars, these characteristics require its location to be in a configuration that is circumbinary to the spectroscopic pair. A simple black-body fit underpredicts emission in the region of the broad silicate feature, however, and the feature itself requires a dust component with temperatures higher than 146 K by at least a factor of two. Further, the spectral slope at sub-millimeter wavelengths is flatter than expected for a collision-induced size-distribution of grains, suggesting a range of temperatures present at longer wavelengths. These facts suggest that the circumbinary dust is not confined to a narrow ring but is wide enough to exhibit a range of temperatures.

  20. Darwin--a mission to detect and search for life on extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Cockell, C S; Léger, A; Fridlund, M; Herbst, T M; Kaltenegger, L; Absil, O; Beichman, C; Benz, W; Blanc, M; Brack, A; Chelli, A; Colangeli, L; Cottin, H; Coudé du Foresto, F; Danchi, W C; Defrère, D; den Herder, J-W; Eiroa, C; Greaves, J; Henning, T; Johnston, K J; Jones, H; Labadie, L; Lammer, H; Launhardt, R; Lawson, P; Lay, O P; LeDuigou, J-M; Liseau, R; Malbet, F; Martin, S R; Mawet, D; Mourard, D; Moutou, C; Mugnier, L M; Ollivier, M; Paresce, F; Quirrenbach, A; Rabbia, Y D; Raven, J A; Rottgering, H J A; Rouan, D; Santos, N C; Selsis, F; Serabyn, E; Shibai, H; Tamura, M; Thiébaut, E; Westall, F; White, G J

    2009-01-01

    The discovery of extrasolar planets is one of the greatest achievements of modern astronomy. The detection of planets that vary widely in mass demonstrates that extrasolar planets of low mass exist. In this paper, we describe a mission, called Darwin, whose primary goal is the search for, and characterization of, terrestrial extrasolar planets and the search for life. Accomplishing the mission objectives will require collaborative science across disciplines, including astrophysics, planetary sciences, chemistry, and microbiology. Darwin is designed to detect rocky planets similar to Earth and perform spectroscopic analysis at mid-infrared wavelengths (6-20 mum), where an advantageous contrast ratio between star and planet occurs. The baseline mission is projected to last 5 years and consists of approximately 200 individual target stars. Among these, 25-50 planetary systems can be studied spectroscopically, which will include the search for gases such as CO(2), H(2)O, CH(4), and O(3). Many of the key technologies required for the construction of Darwin have already been demonstrated, and the remainder are estimated to be mature in the near future. Darwin is a mission that will ignite intense interest in both the research community and the wider public. PMID:19203238

  1. VizieR Online Data Catalog: OGLE-III planet detection efficiency (Tsapras+, 2016)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsapras, Y.; Hundertmark, M.; Wyrzykowski, L.; Horne, K.; Udalski, A.; Snodgrass, C.; Street, R.; Bramich, D. M.; Dominik, M.; Bozza, V.; Figuera Jaimes, R.; Kains, N.; Skowron, J.; Szymanski, M. K.; Pietrzynski, G.; Soszynski, I.; Ulaczyk, K.; Kozlowski, P.; Pietrukowicz, S.; Poleski, R.

    2016-02-01

    The FITS file represents the surface plotted in Figure 10, which is the main result of the paper. Each pixel value in the FITS file represents the expected number of planet detections at a specific planetary mass and orbital radius, assuming that each star surveyed has a single such planet (see figure caption for more details). The FITS file contains a world coordinate system in the header which gives coordinates to each pixel. The x coordinate is the log10(orbital radius in AU), and the y coordinate is the log 10(planet mass in Earth masses). The data product is essential for any further analysis of planet abundances using the original OGLE light curve data. (2 data files).

  2. The detection and characterization of a nontransiting planet by transit timing variations.

    PubMed

    Nesvorný, David; Kipping, David M; Buchhave, Lars A; Bakos, Gáspár Á; Hartman, Joel; Schmitt, Allan R

    2012-06-01

    The Kepler mission is monitoring the brightness of ~150,000 stars, searching for evidence of planetary transits. As part of the Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler (HEK) project, we report a planetary system with two confirmed planets and one candidate planet discovered with the publicly available data for KOI-872. Planet b transits the host star with a period P(b) = 33.6 days and exhibits large transit timing variations indicative of a perturber. Dynamical modeling uniquely detects an outer nontransiting planet c near the 5:3 resonance (P(c) = 57.0 days) with a mass 0.37 times that of Jupiter. Transits of a third planetary candidate are also found: a 1.7-Earth radius super-Earth with a 6.8-day period. Our analysis indicates a system with nearly coplanar and circular orbits, reminiscent of the orderly arrangement within the solar system. PMID:22582018

  3. The Photometric Method for the Detection of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giampapa, M. S.; Craine, E. R.; Hott, D. A.

    1995-12-01

    We offer further perspectives on the application of the photometric technique to the search for extrasolar planets. The principal obstacles to this approach include (1) the ambiguous interpretation of the photometric signature of a possible transit event arising from the potential for confusion with stellar activity, and (2) the observational intensity of the search technique. We emphasize that the former issue can be addressed through multiband observations combined with considerations of the characteristic time scales of forms of stellar activity compared to that of a transit event. In the case of the latter concern, the advent of modern, automated telescope technologies offers the realistic prospect of meeting the demanding observational requirements of this approach. We find that joint visual and near infrared observations are necessary to immediately distinguish between, for example, a planetary transit and a cool spot on the stellar surface. However, these observations by themselves do not appear sufficient to distinguish between a brown dwarf and a Jovian-size planetary companion of a dwarf M star. In such cases, other complementary observations will be necessary. We develop a computer simulation to estimate the average number of transits per year that would be presented for a stellar sample characterized by realistic properties in terms of spectral type distribution, effective temperatures, masses, and radii. A simple thermal model is adopted to estimate star-planet separations. The simulation suggests that the frequency of transit events will be dominated by M dwarf systems. This is due to the large number of these objects combined with the relative proximity to these cool stars within which planetary formation can occur according to current models.

  4. χ2 Discriminators for Transiting Planet Detection in Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seader, Shawn; Tenenbaum, P.; Jenkins, J.

    2012-10-01

    The Kepler Mission continuously observes a host of target stars in a 115 square-degree field of view to discover Earth-like planets transiting Sun-like stars through analysis of photometric data. The Kepler Science Operations Center at NASA Ames Research Center processes the data with the Science Processing Pipeline, which is composed of several modules including the Transiting Planet Search (TPS). To search for transit signatures, TPS employs a bank of wavelet-based matched filters that form a grid on a three dimensional parameter space of transit duration, period, and epoch. Owing to non-stationary and non-Gaussian noise, uncorrected systematics, and poorly mitigated noise events of either astrophysical or non-astrophysical nature, large spurious Threshold Crossing Events (TCE’s) can be produced by the matched filtering performed in TPS. These false alarms waste resources as they propagate through the remainder of the Pipeline, and so a method to discriminate against them is crucial in maintaining the desired sensitivity to true events. Here we describe four separate χ2 tests which represent a novel application of the formalism developed by Allen for false alarm mitigation in searches for gravitational waves. The basic idea behind these vetoes is to break up the matched filter output into several contributions and compare each contribution with what is expected under the assumption that a true signal is present in the data. Vetoes can then be constructed which, under certain assumptions, have been shown to be χ2 distributed with expectation values that are independent of whether or not a true signal is present, thereby making them useful discriminators. The four different ways of breaking up the output and forming χ2 vetoes illustrated here, allow discrimination against different classes of false alarms. Kepler was selected as the 10th mission of the Discovery Program. Funding for this mission is provided by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

  5. Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets through Mean-motion Resonances. I. Simulations of Hypothetical Debris Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabeshian, Maryam; Wiegert, Paul A.

    2016-02-01

    The gravitational influence of a planet on a nearby disk provides a powerful tool for detecting and studying extrasolar planetary systems. Here we demonstrate that gaps can be opened in dynamically cold debris disks at the mean-motion resonances of an orbiting planet. The gaps are opened away from the orbit of the planet itself, revealing that not all disk gaps need contain a planetary body. These gaps are large and deep enough to be detectable in resolved disk images for a wide range of reasonable disk-planet parameters, though we are not aware of any such gaps detected to date. The gap shape and size are diagnostic of the planet location, eccentricity and mass, and allow one to infer the existence of unseen planets, as well as many important parameters of both seen and unseen planets in these systems. We present expressions to allow the planetary mass and semimajor axis to be calculated from observed gap width and location.

  6. Detecting Close-In Extrasolar Giant Planets with the Kepler Photometer via Scattered Light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, J. M.; Doyle, L. R.; Kepler Discovery Mission Team

    2003-05-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission will be launched in 2007 primarily to search for transiting Earth-sized planets in the habitable zones of solar-like stars. In addition, it will be poised to detect the reflected light component from close-in extrasolar giant planets (CEGPs) similar to 51 Peg b. Here we use the DIARAD/SOHO time series along with models for the reflected light signatures of CEGPs to evaluate Kepler's ability to detect such planets. We examine the detectability as a function of stellar brightness, stellar rotation period, planetary orbital inclination angle, and planetary orbital period, and then estimate the total number of CEGPs that Kepler will detect over its four year mission. The analysis shows that intrinsic stellar variability of solar-like stars is a major obstacle to detecting the reflected light from CEGPs. Monte Carlo trials are used to estimate the detection threshold required to limit the total number of expected false alarms to no more than one for a survey of 100,000 stellar light curves. Kepler will likely detect 100-760 51 Peg b-like planets by reflected light with orbital periods up to 7 days. LRD was supported by the Carl Sagan Chair at the Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, a division of the SETI Institute. JMJ received support from the Kepler Mission Photometer and Science Office at NASA Ames Research Center.

  7. Detecting Planet Pairs in Mean Motion Resonances via the Astrometry Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Dong-Hong; Liu, Hui-Gen; Yu, Zhou-Yi; Zhang, Hui; Zhou, Ji-Lin

    2016-07-01

    Gaia is leading us into a new era with a high astrometry precision of ˜10 μas. Under such precision, astrometry can play an important role in detecting and characterizing exoplanets. In particular, we can identify planet pairs in mean motion resonances (MMRs), which constrain the formation and evolution of planetary systems. In accordance with observations, we consider two-Jupiter or two-super-Earth systems in 1:2, 2:3, and 3:4 MMRs. Our simulations show that the false alarm probabilities (FAPs) of a third planet are extremely small, while the two real planets can be fitted well with a signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) \\gt 3. The probability of reconstructing a resonant system is related to the eccentricities and the resonance intensity. Generally, when the S/N ≥slant 10, if the eccentricities of both planets are larger than 0.01 and the resonance is quite strong, the probability of reconstructing the planet pair in MMRs is ≥slant 80 % . Jupiter pairs in MMRs are reconstructed more easily than super-Earth pairs with similar S/N when we consider dynamical stability. FAPs are also calculated when we detect planet pairs in or near MMRs. The FAPs for 1:2 MMRs are the largest, i.e., FAP \\gt 15 % when S/N ≤slant 10. Extrapolating from the Kepler planet pairs near MMRs and assuming a S/N ˜ 3, we discover and reconstruct a few tens of Jupiter pairs and hundreds of super-Earth pairs in 2:3 and 1:2 MMRs within 30 pc. We also compare the differences between even and uneven data cadence and find that planets are better measured with more uniform phase coverage.

  8. THE CIRCUMBINARY OUTFLOW: A PROTOSTELLAR OUTFLOW DRIVEN BY A CIRCUMBINARY DISK

    SciTech Connect

    Machida, Masahiro N.; Inutsuka, Shu-ichiro; Matsumoto, Tomoaki E-mail: inutsuka@nagoya-u.j

    2009-10-10

    Protostellar outflow is a star's first cry at the moment of birth. The outflows have an indispensable role in the formation of single stars because they carry off the excess angular momentum from the center of the shrinking gas cloud, and permit further collapse to form a star. On the other hand, a significant fraction of stars is supposedly born as binaries with circumbinary disks that are frequently observed. Here, we investigate the evolution of a magnetized rotating cloud using a three-dimensional resistive MHD nested-grid code, and show that the outflow is driven by the circumbinary disk and has an important role even in the binary formation. After the adiabatic core formation in the collapsing cloud core, the magnetic flux is significantly removed from the center of the cloud by the Ohmic dissipation. Since this removal makes the magnetic braking ineffective, the adiabatic core continuously acquires the angular momentum to induce fragmentation and subsequent binary formation. The magnetic field accumulates in the circumbinary disk where the removal and accretion of magnetic field are balanced, and finally drives the circumbinary outflow. This result explains the spectacular morphology of some specific young stellar objects such as L1551 IRS5. We can infer that most of the bipolar molecular outflows observed by low density tracers (i.e., CO) would correspond to circumbinary or circum-multiple outflows found in this Letter, since most of the young stellar objects are supposed to be binaries or multiples.

  9. The detectability of extrasolar terrestrial and giant planets during their luminous final accretion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan

    1994-01-01

    One of the outstanding scienfific questions in astronomy is the frequency at which solar systems form. Answering this question is an observational challenge because extrasolar planets are intrinsically difficult to directly detect. Here I examine the direct detectability of planets during the short but unique epoch of giant impacts that is a hallmark of the standard theory of planetary formation. Sufficiently large impacts during this era are capable of creating a luminous, 1500-2500 K photosphere, which can persist for time scales exceeding 10(exp 3) yr in some cases. I examine the detectability of such events and the number of young stars one would need to examine to expect to find a luminous terrestrial-class planet after a giant impact. With emerging IR interferometric technology, thermally luminous Earth-sized objects can be detected in nearby star forming regions in 1-2 nights of observing time. Unfortunately, predictions indicated that approximately 250 young stars would have to be searched to expect to find one hot, terrestrial-sized planet. By comparison, the detection of Saturn and Uranus-Neptune-sized planets after a giant impact requires only 1-2 h of observing time. A single Keck-class telescope should be able to determine whether such planets are common in the nearest star forming regions by examining less than or approximately equal to 100 young stars over a few tens of nights. The results obtained here suggest a new strategy for the detection of solar systems with the potential for the observational confirmation of the standard theory of late-stage planetary accretion.

  10. The detectability of extrasolar terrestrial and giant planets during their luminous final accretion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan

    1994-01-01

    One of the outstanding scientific questions in astronomy is the frequency at which solar systems form. Answering this question is an observational challenge because extrasolar planets are intrinsically difficult to directly detect. The direct detectability of planets is examined during the short but unique epoch of giant impacts that is a hallmark of the standard theory of planetary formation. Sufficiently large impacts during this era are capable of creating a luminous, 1500-2500 K photosphere, which can persist for timescales exceeding 103 years in some cases. The detectability of such events and the number of young stars one would need to examine to expect to find a luminous terrestrial class planet after a giant impact are examined. With emerging IR interferometric technology, thermally-luminous earth-sized objects can be detected in nearby star forming regions in 1-2 nights observing time. Unfortunately, predictions indicate that approximately 250 young stars would have to be searched to expect to find one hot, terrestrial-sized planet. By comparison, the detection of Saturn and Uranus/Neptune-sized planets after a giant impact requires only 1-2 hours of observing time. A single Keck-class telescope should be able to determine whether such planets are common in the nearest star forming regions by examining about less than 100 young stars over a few tens of nights. The results obtained herein suggest a new strategy for the detection of solar systems with the potential for the observational confirmation of the standard theory of late-stage planetary accretion.

  11. Modelling circumbinary protoplanetary disks. I. Fluid simulations of the Kepler-16 and 34 systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lines, S.; Leinhardt, Z. M.; Baruteau, C.; Paardekooper, S.-J.; Carter, P. J.

    2015-10-01

    Context. The Kepler mission's discovery of a number of circumbinary planets orbiting close (ap< 1.1 au) to the stellar binary raises questions as to how these planets could have formed given the intense gravitational perturbations the dual stars impart on the disk. The gas component of circumbinary protoplanetary disks is perturbed in a similar manner to the solid, planetesimal dominated counterpart, although the mechanism by which disk eccentricity originates differs. Aims: This is the first work of a series that aims to investigate the conditions for planet formation in circumbinary protoplanetary disks. Methods: We present a number of hydrodynamical simulations that explore the response of gas disks around two observed binary systems: Kepler-16 and Kepler-34. We probe the importance of disk viscosity, aspect-ratio, inner boundary condition, initial surface density gradient, and self-gravity on the dynamical evolution of the disk, as well as its quasi-steady-state profile. Results: We find there is a strong influence of binary type on the mean disk eccentricity, e̅d, leading to e̅d = 0.02 - 0.08 for Kepler-16 and e̅d = 0.10 - 0.15 in Kepler-34. The value of α-viscosity has little influence on the disk, but we find a strong increase in mean disk eccentricity with increasing aspect-ratio due to wave propagation effects. The choice of inner boundary condition only has a small effect on the surface density and eccentricity of the disk. Our primary finding is that including disk self-gravity has little impact on the evolution or final state of the disk for disks with masses less than 12.5 times that of the minimum-mass solar nebula. This finding contrasts with the results of self-gravity relevance in circumprimary disks, where its inclusion is found to be an important factor in describing the disk evolution.

  12. Eclipse timing variations to detect possible Trojan planets in binary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarz, R.; Bazsó, Á.; Funk, B.; Zechner, R.

    2015-11-01

    This paper is devoted to study the circumstances favourable to detect Trojan planets in close binary star systems by the help of eclipse timing variations (ETVs). To determine the probability of the detection of such variations with ground-based telescopes and space telescopes (like former missions CoRoT and Kepler and future space missions like PLATO, TESS and CHEOPS), we investigated the dynamics of binary star systems with a planet in tadpole motion. We did numerical simulations by using the full three-body problem as a dynamical model. The stability and the ETVs are investigated by computing stability/ETV maps for different masses of the secondary star and the Trojan planet. In addition, we changed the eccentricity of the possible Trojan planet. By the help of the libration amplitude σ, we could show whether or not all stable objects are moving in tadpole orbits. We can conclude that many amplitudes of ETVs are large enough to detect Earth-like Trojan planets in binary star systems. As an application, we prepared a list of possible candidates.

  13. High-Contrast Imaging using Adaptive Optics for Extrasolar Planet Detection

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, J W

    2006-08-18

    Direct imaging of extrasolar planets is an important, but challenging, next step in planetary science. Most planets identified to date have been detected indirectly--not by emitted or reflected light but through the effect of the planet on the parent star. For example, radial velocity techniques measure the doppler shift in the spectrum of the star produced by the presence of a planet. Indirect techniques only probe about 15% of the orbital parameter space of our solar system. Direct methods would probe new parameter space, and the detected light can be analyzed spectroscopically, providing new information about detected planets. High contrast adaptive optics systems, also known as Extreme Adaptive Optics (ExAO), will require contrasts of between 10{sup -6} and 10{sup -7} at angles of 4-24 {lambda}/D on an 8-m class telescope to image young Jupiter-like planets still warm with the heat of formation. Contrast is defined as the intensity ratio of the dark wings of the image, where a planet might be, to the bright core of the star. Such instruments will be technically challenging, requiring high order adaptive optics with > 2000 actuators and improved diffraction suppression. Contrast is ultimately limited by residual static wavefront errors, so an extrasolar planet imager will require wavefront control with an accuracy of better than 1 nm rms within the low- to mid-spatial frequency range. Laboratory demonstrations are critical to instrument development. The ExAO testbed at the Laboratory for Adaptive Optics was designed with low wavefront error and precision optical metrology, which is used to explore contrast limits and develop the technology needed for an extrasolar planet imager. A state-of-the-art, 1024-actuator micro-electrical-mechanical-systems (MEMS) deformable mirror was installed and characterized to provide active wavefront control and test this novel technology. I present 6.5 x 10{sup -8} contrast measurements with a prolate shaped pupil and flat mirror

  14. Habitability of Planets Orbiting Binaries Consisting of Solar Mass Twins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Paul A.; Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Zhilkin, Andrey G.; Bisikalo, Dmitry V.

    2015-01-01

    An important problem in astrobiology is the study of the potential habitability of planets orbiting binary stars. Theoretical and observational studies of circumbinary planets indicate that it is not uncommon for circumbinary planets to be located in the habitable zones surrounding main sequence binaries. However, it is also clear that the time evolution of stellar activity of the individual stars in close binaries is of primary concern for the habitability of planets. For example, planets orbiting active stars may lose the entirety of their water budget due to atmospheric mass loss; despite being in the standard radiative habitable zone. Alternatively, stars in some binaries may undergo a reduction in stellar activity due to tidal effects that cause the rotation of the stars to slow faster than single stars. Thereby, magneto-coronal activity is reduced to less aggressive levels, allowing circumbinary planets to maintain surface water. We summarize these effects, which we call the Binary Habitability Mechanism (BHM). We performed orbital integrations of circumbinary, Earth-like, planets and find that resonances play a particularly important role in the stability of habitable zone planets orbiting solar twin binaries in the 20-60 day period range, allowing for the possibility of several habitable planets orbiting some binaries. We present numerical simulations of the effects of colliding winds in binaries containing solar mass twins. We used stellar wind parameters based on solar like conditions for our 3D hydrodynamic simulations. We find devastating effects for close in planets, yet relatively mild stellar wind conditions exist within the circumbinary habitable zone.

  15. Optical techniques for the detection of extrasolar planets - A critical review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matloff, G. L.; Fennelly, A. J.

    1976-01-01

    Proposed optical techniques of extrasolar planet detection are discussed and compared. These include terrestrial, orbital, and moon-based systems. Terrestrial systems include ground-level searches for random eclipses of primaries and 'light' echoes of stellar flares from companion planets as well as balloon-mounted telescopes operating in the stratosphere used in conjunction with orbital occulters. Space telescopes considered are multimirror systems simulating huge mirror diameters and single-mirror telescopes, such as the 3-meter Large Space Telescope, used in conjunction with occulters. Although very modest systems are capable of detecting extrasolar planets, the amount of information we can gather regarding these worlds is a function of system complexity and program duration.

  16. Use of the moon and the large space telescope as an extrasolar planet detection system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matloff, G. L.; Fennelly, A. J.

    1974-01-01

    Roman (1959), Spitzer (1962), and Huang (1973) have discussed photometric detection of extrasolar planets using a 3-m space telescope such as the Large Space Telescope (LST). A space telescope could be an extrasolar planet detection system if used in conjunction with an occulter placed 10,000 km in front of the telescope. The occulter would reduce the amount of light received from the star under observation. For a semi-infinite plane occulter 10,000 km in front of the telescope, Spitzer and Huang's results indicate that a Jupiter-like planet would be observed with a signal/noise of 1.00, for observations at 0.4 micron using a 3-m telescope like the LST.

  17. On the Detection of Non-transiting Hot Jupiters in Multiple-planet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millholland, Sarah; Wang, Songhu; Laughlin, Gregory

    2016-05-01

    We outline a photometric method for detecting the presence of a non-transiting short-period giant planet in a planetary system harboring one or more longer-period transiting planets. Within a prospective system of the type that we consider, a hot Jupiter on an interior orbit inclined to the line of sight signals its presence through approximately sinusoidal full-phase photometric variations in the stellar light curve, correlated with astrometrically induced transit timing variations for exterior transiting planets. Systems containing a hot Jupiter along with a low-mass outer planet or planets on inclined orbits are a predicted hallmark of in situ accretion for hot Jupiters, and their presence can thus be used to test planetary formation theories. We outline the prospects for detecting non-transiting hot Jupiters using photometric data from typical Kepler objects of interest (KOIs). As a demonstration of the technique, we perform a brief assessment of Kepler candidates and identify a potential non-transiting hot Jupiter in the KOI-1822 system. Candidate non-transiting hot Jupiters can be readily confirmed with a small number of Doppler velocity observations, even for stars with V ≳ 14.

  18. Study of meteoroid detection systems applicable to the outer planets missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brooks, A. D.; Parker, C. D.; Monteith, L. K.

    1973-01-01

    Modifications to the Pioneer 10/11 meteoroid detection experiment to allow it to be used for outer planet missions were investigated. Both pressurized cells and metal-oxide silicon (MOS) penetration detectors are considered. Both the sensors systems and the electronics are treated. Investigation of the calibration and characterization of the MOS penetration detector is reported.

  19. Planets in Evolved Binary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perets, Hagai B.

    2011-03-01

    Exo-planets are typically thought to form in protoplanetary disks left over from protostellar disk of their newly formed host star. However, additional planetary formation and evolution routes may exist in old evolved binary systems. Here we discuss the implications of binary stellar evolution on planetary systems in such environments. In these binary systems stellar evolution could lead to the formation of symbiotic stars, where mass is lost from one star and could be transferred to its binary companion, and may form an accretion disk around it. This raises the possibility that such a disk could provide the necessary environment for the formation of a new, second generation of planets in both circumstellar or circumbinary configurations. Pre-existing first generation planets surviving the post-MS evolution of such systems would be dynamically effected by the mass loss in the systems and may also interact with the newly formed disk. Such planets and/or planetesimals may also serve as seeds for the formation of the second generation planets, and/or interact with them, possibly forming atypical planetary systems. Second generation planetary systems should be typically found in white dwarf binary systems, and may show various observational signatures. Most notably, second generation planets could form in environment which are inaccessible, or less favorable, for first generation planets. The orbital phase space available for the second generation planets could be forbidden (in terms of the system stability) to first generation planets in the pre-evolved progenitor binaries. In addition planets could form in metal poor environments such as globular clusters and/or in double compact object binaries. Observations of exo-planets in such forbidden or unfavorable regions could possibly serve to uniquely identify their second generation character. Finally, we point out a few observed candidate second generation planetary systems, including Gl 86, HD 27442 and all of the

  20. On the RZ Draconis substellar circumbinary companions. Stability study of the proposed substellar circumbinary system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinse, Tobias C.; Horner, Jonathan; Lee, Jae Woo; Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Lee, Chung-Uk; Park, Jang-Ho; Marshall, Jonathan P.

    2014-05-01

    Context. Recently, using the light-travel time effect, planets and substellar companions have been proposed to orbit around binary star systems (also known as circumbinary companions) as a result of variations in timing of the observed eclipses. For the majority of these systems the proposed orbital architecture features a crossing of the orbital configurations as a result of high eccentricities for one or both of the companions. For such systems, strong mutual gravitational interactions are expected, resulting in catastrophic orbital instabilities, or collisions between the proposed components, on very short timescales. Aims: We re-examine the primary and secondary eclipse timings of the short-period and semi-detached binary RZ Draconis (RZ Dra). The proposed companions were reported to have masses of around ≃0.07 and ≃0.18 M⊙ with the inner companion on an orbit with moderate eccentricity (0.46), whose apocenter distance crosses the orbit of the outer companion. We show that the companions proposed previously follow highly unstable orbits. In an attempt to find a stable system we searched the underlying χ2 parameter space for a best-fit model and carried out an orbit-stability study to test possible best-fit models. If the binary period changes are truly due to additional massive companions in a hierarchical configuration, they must follow stable orbits. Methods: For numerical orbital stability calculations we used well established orbit integration routines. Computations were carried out using a large-scale multi-CPU computing environment. Our data analysis of times of primary and secondary eclipse is based on the Levenberg-Marquardt least-squares minimization algorithm using the two-body Keplerian light-travel time effect model. Results: Despite the wide variety of potential models tested for the RZ Dra system in this work, we found very few models that were stable for even one million years, with the vast majority of systems tested falling apart on

  1. DETECTABILITY OF FREE FLOATING PLANETS IN OPEN CLUSTERS WITH THE JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE

    SciTech Connect

    Pacucci, Fabio; Ferrara, Andrea; D'Onghia, Elena

    2013-12-01

    Recent observations have shown the presence of extra-solar planets in Galactic open stellar clusters, such as in Praesepe (M44). These systems provide a favorable environment for planetary formation due to the high heavy-element content exhibited by the majority of their population. The large stellar density, and corresponding high close-encounter event rate, may induce strong perturbations of planetary orbits with large semimajor axes. Here we present a set of N-body simulations implementing a novel scheme to treat the tidal effects of external stellar perturbers on planetary orbit eccentricity and inclination. By simulating five nearby open clusters, we determine the rate of occurrence of bodies extracted from their parent stellar system by quasi-impulsive tidal interactions. We find that the specific free-floating planet production rate N-dot {sub o} (total number of free-floating planets per unit of time, normalized by the total number of stars), is proportional to the stellar density ρ{sub *} of the cluster: N-dot {sub o}=αρ{sub ⋆}, with α = (23 ± 5) × 10{sup –6} pc{sup 3} Myr{sup –1}. For the Pleiades (M45), we predict that ∼26% of stars should have lost their planets. This raises the exciting possibility of directly observing these wandering planets with the James Webb Space Telescope in the near-infrared band. Assuming a surface temperature for the planet of ∼500 K, a free-floating planet of Jupiter size inside the Pleiades would have a specific flux of F {sub ν} (4.4 μm) ≈4 × 10{sup 2} nJy, which would lead to a very clear detection (S/N ∼ 100) in only one hour of integration.

  2. Modelling circumbinary protoplanetary disks. II. Gas disk feedback on planetesimal dynamical and collisional evolution in the circumbinary systems Kepler-16 and 34

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lines, S.; Leinhardt, Z. M.; Baruteau, C.; Paardekooper, S.-J.; Carter, P. J.

    2016-05-01

    Aims: We investigate the feasibility of planetesimal growth in circumbinary protoplanetary disks around the observed systems Kepler-16 and Kepler-34 under the gravitational influence of a precessing eccentric gas disk. Methods: We embed the results of our previous hydrodynamical simulations of protoplanetary disks around binaries into an N-body code to perform 3D, high-resolution, inter-particle gravity-enabled simulations of planetesimal growth and dynamics that include the gravitational force imparted by the gas. Results: Including the full, precessing asymmetric gas disk generates high eccentricity orbits for planetesimals orbiting at the edge of the circumbinary cavity, where the gas surface density and eccentricity have their largest values. The gas disk is able to efficiently align planetesimal pericenters in some regions leading to phased, non-interacting orbits. Outside of these areas eccentric planetesimal orbits become misaligned and overlap leading to crossing orbits and high relative velocities during planetesimal collisions. This can lead to an increase in the number of erosive collisions that far outweighs the number of collisions that result in growth. Gravitational focusing from the static axisymmetric gas disk is weak and does not significantly alter collision outcomes from the gas free case. Conclusions: Due to asymmetries in the gas disk, planetesimals are strongly perturbed onto highly eccentric orbits. Where planetesimals orbits are not well aligned, orbit crossings lead to an increase in the number of erosive collisions. This makes it difficult for sustained planetesimal accretion to occur at the location of Kepler-16b and Kepler-34b and we therefore rule out in situ growth. This adds further support to our initial suggestions that most circumbinary planets should form further out in the disk and migrate inwards.

  3. Rotation periods and seismic ages of KOIs - comparison with stars without detected planets from Kepler observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceillier, T.; van Saders, J.; García, R. A.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Creevey, O.; Mathis, S.; Mathur, S.; Pinsonneault, M. H.; Salabert, D.; Tayar, J.

    2016-02-01

    One of the most difficult properties to derive for stars is their age. For cool main-sequence stars, gyrochronology relations can be used to infer stellar ages from measured rotation periods and Hertzsprung Russell diagram positions. These relations have few calibrators with known ages for old, long rotation period stars. There is a significant sample of old Kepler objects of interest, or KOIs, which have both measurable surface rotation periods and precise asteroseismic measurements from which ages can be accurately derived. In this work, we determine the age and the rotation period of solar-like pulsating KOIs to both compare the rotation properties of stars with and without known planets and enlarge the gyrochronology calibration sample for old stars. We use Kepler photometric light curves to derive the stellar surface rotation periods while ages are obtained with asteroseismology using the Asteroseismic Modelling Portal in which individual mode frequencies are combined with high-resolution spectroscopic parameters. We thus determine surface rotation periods and ages for 11 planet-hosting stars, all over 2 Gyr old. We find that the planet-hosting stars exhibit a rotational behaviour that is consistent with the latest age-rotation models and similar to the rotational behaviour of stars without detected planets. We conclude that these old KOIs can be used to test and calibrate gyrochronology along with stars not known to host planets.

  4. Near-Term Prospects for Extra-Solar Planet Detection: The Astrometric Imaging Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terrile, Richard J.; Levy, Eugene H.; Gatewood, George D.

    The Astrometric Imaging Telescope (AIT) is a 1.5 to 2 meter diameter space-based telescope designed to carry out a comprehensive program of direct and indirect extra-solar planet detection. The telescope consists of two separate instruments, an astrometric experiment to measure the reflex motion of the parent stars and an imaging coronagraph to directly image planets and the circumstellar region. The astrometric technique utilizes the Multichannel Astrometric Photometer (MAP) which passes a Ronchi ruling over a field of stars and measures the centroid of the stars in two orthogonal observations. Used above the Earth's atmosphere this will be about two orders of magnitude more accurate than any existing astrometric instrument and will achieve an accuracy of about 10 microarcseconds. This will allow detection and study of Uranus-size or larger planets in Jovian orbits around several hundred nearby stars. The astrometric study of a parent star of a planetary system will lead to an accurate determination of its distance. The distance is inversely proportional to the magnitude of the annual parallactic motion. The same study yields the major characteristics of the individual bodies within the planetary system. The periods of the orbits are obtained from the analysis of the motions of the central star. Thy are directly related to the distances between the individual planets in the system and the system's sun. The distances in turn determine the thermal radiation level, or effective temperature, at the planet's orbit. With sufficient precision and time, the analysis of the apparent motion of the target star will also yield the eccentricities and the relative inclinations of the orbits of each of the planetary bodies. Assuming the mass of the primary star can be accurately estimated, the study will also yield the mass of each planet.

  5. The Impact of Stellar Rotation on the Detectability of Habitable Planets around M Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newton, Elisabeth R.; Irwin, Jonathan; Charbonneau, David; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Dittmann, Jason A.

    2016-04-01

    Stellar activity and rotation frustrate the detection of exoplanets through the radial velocity technique. This effect is particularly of concern for M dwarfs, which can remain magnetically active for billions of years. We compile rotation periods for late-type stars and for the M dwarf planet-host sample in order to investigate the rotation periods of older field stars across the main sequence. We show that for stars with masses between 0.25 and 0.5 {M}ȯ (M4V–M1V), the stellar rotation period typical of field stars coincides with the orbital periods of planets in the habitable zone. This will pose a fundamental challenge to the discovery and characterization of potentially habitable planets around early M dwarfs. Due to the longer rotation periods reached by mid M dwarfs and the shorter orbital period at which the planetary habitable zone is found, stars with masses between 0.1 and 0.25 {M}ȯ (M6V–M4V) offer better opportunities for the detection of habitable planets via radial velocities.

  6. Relevance of oxygen and ozone detections in the search for primitive life in extra solar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leger, A.; Pirre, M.; Marceau, F. J.

    1994-06-01

    Considering the future importance of the search for evidences of primitive life on a distant planet, we have revisited some points of the O2 and O3 detection criteria. The budget of free oxygen and organic carbon on Earth is studied. If one includes the organic carbon in sediments, it confirms that O2 is a very reactive gas whose massive presence in a telluric planet atmosphere implies a continuous production. Its detection would be a strong indication for photosynthetic activity, provides the planet is not in a runaway green-house phase. In principle, the direct detection of O2 could be possible in the visible flux of the planet at 760 nm (oxygen A-band) but it would be extremely difficult, considering the much larger flux from the star. The alternative search for the 9.7 micrometers absorption of O3 may be easier as the contrast with the star is increased by 3 orders of magnitude. A simple atmospheric model indicates that the O3 column density is not a linear tracer of the atmospheric O2 content. However, the detection of a substantial O3 absorption (tau greater than 25%) would indicate, within the validity of this model, a O2 ground pressure larger than 10 mbar. The question is raised of whether this pressure is sufficient to indicate a photosynthetic origin of the oxygen. If the answer was positive, it would be an even more sensitive test of photosynthetic activity than the detection of the oxygen A-band. Further studies of these points are clearly needed before determining an observation strategy.

  7. Detection of planets in extremely weak central perturbation microlensing events via next-generation ground-based surveys

    SciTech Connect

    Chung, Sun-Ju; Lee, Chung-Uk; Koo, Jae-Rim E-mail: leecu@kasi.re.kr

    2014-04-20

    Even though the recently discovered high-magnification event MOA-2010-BLG-311 had complete coverage over its peak, confident planet detection did not happen due to extremely weak central perturbations (EWCPs, fractional deviations of ≲ 2%). For confident detection of planets in EWCP events, it is necessary to have both high cadence monitoring and high photometric accuracy better than those of current follow-up observation systems. The next-generation ground-based observation project, Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet), satisfies these conditions. We estimate the probability of occurrence of EWCP events with fractional deviations of ≤2% in high-magnification events and the efficiency of detecting planets in the EWCP events using the KMTNet. From this study, we find that the EWCP events occur with a frequency of >50% in the case of ≲ 100 M {sub E} planets with separations of 0.2 AU ≲ d ≲ 20 AU. We find that for main-sequence and sub-giant source stars, ≳ 1 M {sub E} planets in EWCP events with deviations ≤2% can be detected with frequency >50% in a certain range that changes with the planet mass. However, it is difficult to detect planets in EWCP events of bright stars like giant stars because it is easy for KMTNet to be saturated around the peak of the events because of its constant exposure time. EWCP events are caused by close, intermediate, and wide planetary systems with low-mass planets and close and wide planetary systems with massive planets. Therefore, we expect that a much greater variety of planetary systems than those already detected, which are mostly intermediate planetary systems, regardless of the planet mass, will be significantly detected in the near future.

  8. Exoplanet detection. A terrestrial planet in a ~1-AU orbit around one member of a ~15-AU binary.

    PubMed

    Gould, A; Udalski, A; Shin, I-G; Porritt, I; Skowron, J; Han, C; Yee, J C; Kozłowski, S; Choi, J-Y; Poleski, R; Wyrzykowski, Ł; Ulaczyk, K; Pietrukowicz, P; Mróz, P; Szymański, M K; Kubiak, M; Soszyński, I; Pietrzyński, G; Gaudi, B S; Christie, G W; Drummond, J; McCormick, J; Natusch, T; Ngan, H; Tan, T-G; Albrow, M; DePoy, D L; Hwang, K-H; Jung, Y K; Lee, C-U; Park, H; Pogge, R W; Abe, F; Bennett, D P; Bond, I A; Botzler, C S; Freeman, M; Fukui, A; Fukunaga, D; Itow, Y; Koshimoto, N; Larsen, P; Ling, C H; Masuda, K; Matsubara, Y; Muraki, Y; Namba, S; Ohnishi, K; Philpott, L; Rattenbury, N J; Saito, To; Sullivan, D J; Sumi, T; Suzuki, D; Tristram, P J; Tsurumi, N; Wada, K; Yamai, N; Yock, P C M; Yonehara, A; Shvartzvald, Y; Maoz, D; Kaspi, S; Friedmann, M

    2014-07-01

    Using gravitational microlensing, we detected a cold terrestrial planet orbiting one member of a binary star system. The planet has low mass (twice Earth's) and lies projected at ~0.8 astronomical units (AU) from its host star, about the distance between Earth and the Sun. However, the planet's temperature is much lower, <60 Kelvin, because the host star is only 0.10 to 0.15 solar masses and therefore more than 400 times less luminous than the Sun. The host itself orbits a slightly more massive companion with projected separation of 10 to 15 AU. This detection is consistent with such systems being very common. Straightforward modification of current microlensing search strategies could increase sensitivity to planets in binary systems. With more detections, such binary-star planetary systems could constrain models of planet formation and evolution. PMID:24994642

  9. Detection of a Neptune-Mass Planet in the ρ1 Cancri System Using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McArthur, Barbara E.; Endl, Michael; Cochran, William D.; Benedict, G. Fritz; Fischer, Debra A.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Butler, R. Paul; Naef, Dominique; Mayor, Michel; Queloz, Diedre; Udry, Stephane; Harrison, Thomas E.

    2004-10-01

    We report the detection of the lowest mass extrasolar planet yet found around a Sun-like star-a planet with an Msini of only 14.21+/-2.91 M⊕ in an extremely short period orbit (P=2.808 days) around ρ1 Cancri, a planetary system that already has three known planets. Velocities taken from late 2003-2004 at McDonald Observatory with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope revealed this inner planet at 0.04 AU. We estimate an inclination of the outer planet ρ1 Cancri d, based on Hubble Space Telescope Fine Guidance Sensor measurements that suggest an inner planet of only 17.7+/-5.57 M⊕, if coplanarity is assumed for the system.

  10. Toward detection of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone of our closest neighbor: proxima Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endl, M.; Kürster, M.

    2008-09-01

    Context: The precision of radial velocity (RV) measurements to detect indirectly planetary companions of nearby stars has improved to enable the discovery of extrasolar planets in the Neptune and Super-Earth mass range. Detections of extremely low mass planets, even as small as 1 Earth mass or below, in short-period orbits now appears conceivable in ongoing RV planet searches. Discoveries of these Earth-like planets by means of ground-based RV programs will help to determine the parameter η⊕, the frequency of potentially habitable planets around other stars. Aims: In search of low-mass planetary companions we monitored Proxima Centauri (M5V) as part of our M dwarf program. In the absence of a significant detection, we use these data to demonstrate the general capability of the RV method in finding terrestrial planets. For late M dwarfs the classic liquid surface water habitable zone (HZ) is located close to the star, in which circumstances the RV method is most effective. We want to demonstrate that late M dwarfs are ideal targets for the search of terrestrial planets with the RV technique. Methods: Using the iodine cell technique we obtained differential RV measurements of Proxima Cen over a time span of 7 years with the UVES spectrograph at the ESO VLT. We determine upper limits to the masses of companions in circular orbits by means of numerical simulations. Results: The RV data of Proxima Cen have a total rms scatter of 3.1~m s-1 and a period search does not reveal any significant signals. In contrast to our earlier results for Barnard's star, the RV results for the active M dwarf Proxima Cen are only weakly correlated with Hα line index measurements. As a result of our companion limit calculations, we find that we successfully recover all test signals with RV amplitudes corresponding to planets with m sin i ≥ 2-3 M_⊕ residing inside the HZ of Proxima Cen with a statistical significance of >99%. Over the same period range, we can recover 50% of the test

  11. WISE Detections of Dust in the Habitable Zones of Planet-bearing Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales, Farisa Y.; Padgett, D. L.; Bryden, G.; Werner, M. W.; Furlan, E.

    2012-09-01

    We use data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky release to explore the incidence of warm dust in the habitable zones around exoplanet-host stars. Dust emission at 12 and/or 22 μm (T dust ~ 300 and/or ~150 K) traces events in the terrestrial planet zones; its existence implies replenishment by evaporation of comets or collisions of asteroids, possibly stirred by larger planets. Of the 591 planetary systems (728 extrasolar planets) in the Exoplanet Encyclopaedia as of 2012 January 31, 350 are robustly detected by WISE at >=5σ level. We perform detailed photosphere subtraction using tools developed for Spitzer data and visually inspect all the WISE images to confirm bona fide point sources. We find nine planet-bearing stars show dust excess emission at 12 and/or 22 μm at >=3σ level around young, main-sequence, or evolved giant stars. Overall, our results yield an excess incidence of ~2.6% for stars of all evolutionary stages, but ~1% for planetary debris disks around main-sequence stars. Besides recovering previously known warm systems, we identify one new excess candidate around the young star UScoCTIO 108.

  12. WISE Detections of Dust in the Habitable Zones of Planet-bearing Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales, Farisa Y.; Padgett, D.; Bryden, G.; Werner, M. W.; Furlan, E.

    2013-01-01

    We use data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky release to explore the incidence of warm dust in the habitable zones around exoplanet-host stars. Dust emission at 12 and/or 22 micron (T_dust ~300 and/or ~150 K) traces events in the terrestrial planet zones; its existence implies replenishment by evaporation of comets or collisions of asteroids, possibly stirred by larger planets. Of the 591 planetary systems (728 extrasolar planets) in the Exoplanet Encyclopaedia as of January 31, 2012, 350 are robustly detected by WISE at 5-sigma level. We perform detailed photosphere subtraction using tools developed for Spitzer data and visually inspect all the WISE images to conrm bona fide point sources. We find 9 planet bearing stars show dust excess emission at 12 and/or 22 micron at 3-sigma level around young, main sequence, or evolved giant stars. Overall, our results yield an excess incidence of 2.6% for stars of all evolutionary stages, but 1% for planetary debris disks around main-sequence stars. Besides recovering previously known warm systems, we identify one new excess candidate around the young star UScoCTIO 108.

  13. WISE DETECTIONS OF DUST IN THE HABITABLE ZONES OF PLANET-BEARING STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Morales, Farisa Y.; Bryden, G.; Werner, M. W.; Padgett, D. L.; Furlan, E.

    2012-09-20

    We use data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky release to explore the incidence of warm dust in the habitable zones around exoplanet-host stars. Dust emission at 12 and/or 22 {mu}m (T{sub dust} {approx} 300 and/or {approx}150 K) traces events in the terrestrial planet zones; its existence implies replenishment by evaporation of comets or collisions of asteroids, possibly stirred by larger planets. Of the 591 planetary systems (728 extrasolar planets) in the Exoplanet Encyclopaedia as of 2012 January 31, 350 are robustly detected by WISE at {>=}5{sigma} level. We perform detailed photosphere subtraction using tools developed for Spitzer data and visually inspect all the WISE images to confirm bona fide point sources. We find nine planet-bearing stars show dust excess emission at 12 and/or 22 {mu}m at {>=}3{sigma} level around young, main-sequence, or evolved giant stars. Overall, our results yield an excess incidence of {approx}2.6% for stars of all evolutionary stages, but {approx}1% for planetary debris disks around main-sequence stars. Besides recovering previously known warm systems, we identify one new excess candidate around the young star UScoCTIO 108.

  14. WISE Detections of Dust in the Habitable Zones of Planet-Bearing Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morales, Farisa Y.; Padgett, Deborah L.; Bryden, Geoffrey; Werner, M. W.; Furlan, E.

    2012-01-01

    We use data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky release to explore the incidence of warm dust in the habitable zones around exoplanet-host stars. Dust emission at 12 and/or 22 microns (T(sub dust) approx.300 and/or approx.150 K) traces events in the terrestrial planet zones; its existence implies replenishment by evaporation of comets or collisions of asteroids, possibly stirred by larger planets. Of the 591 planetary systems (728 extrasolar planets) in the Exoplanet Encyclopedia as of 2012 January 31, 350 are robustly detected by WISE at > or = 5(sigma) level. We perform detailed photosphere subtraction using tools developed for Spitzer data and visually inspect all the WISE images to confirm bona fide point sources. We find nine planet-bearing stars show dust excess emission at 12 and/or 22 microns at > or = 3(sigma) level around young, main-sequence, or evolved giant stars. Overall, our results yield an excess incidence of approx.2.6% for stars of all evolutionary stages, but approx.1% for planetary debris disks around main-sequence stars. Besides recovering previously known warm systems, we identify one new excess candidate around the young star UScoCTIO 108.

  15. The detection of dust around NN Ser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardy, Adam; Schreiber, Matthias R.; Parsons, Steven G.; Caceres, Claudio; Brinkworth, Carolyn; Veras, Dimitri; Gänsicke, Boris T.; Marsh, Thomas R.; Cieza, Lucas

    2016-07-01

    Eclipse timing variations observed from the post-common-envelope binary (PCEB) NN Ser offer strong evidence in favour of circumbinary planets existing around PCEBs. If real, these planets may be accompanied by a disc of dust. We here present the ALMA detection of flux at 1.3 mm from NN Ser, which is likely due to thermal emission from a dust disc of mass ˜0.8 ± 0.2 M⊕. We performed simulations of the history of NN Ser to determine possible origins of this dust, and conclude that the most likely origin is, in fact, common-envelope material which was not expelled from the system and instead formed a circumbinary disc. These discs have been predicted by theory but previously remained undetected. While the presence of this dust does not prove the existence of planets around NN Ser, it adds credibility to the possibility of planets forming from common-envelope material in a `second-generation' scenario.

  16. The Detection of Dust around NN Ser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardy, Adam; Schreiber, Matthias R.; Parsons, Steven G.; Caceres, Claudio; Brinkworth, Carolyn; Veras, Dimitri; Gänsicke, Boris T.; Marsh, Thomas R.; Cieza, Lucas

    2016-04-01

    Eclipse timing variations observed from the post common-envelope binary (PCEB) NN Ser offer strong evidence in favour of circumbinary planets existing around PCEBs. If real, these planets may be accompanied by a disc of dust. We here present the ALMA detection of flux at 1.3 mm from NN Ser, which is likely due to thermal emission from a dust disc of mass ˜0.8 ± 0.2 M⊕. We performed simulations of the history of NN Ser to determine possible origins of this dust, and conclude that the most likely origin is, in fact, common-envelope material which was not expelled from the system and instead formed a circumbinary disc. These discs have been predicted by theory but previously remained undetected. While the presence of this dust does not prove the existence of planets around NN Ser, it adds credibility to the possibility of planets forming from common-envelope material in a `second-generation' scenario.

  17. DETECTABILITY OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS IN CIRCUMSTELLAR HABITABLE ZONES OF BINARY STAR SYSTEMS WITH SUN-LIKE COMPONENTS

    SciTech Connect

    Eggl, Siegfried; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Haghighipour, Nader

    2013-02-20

    Given the considerable percentage of stars that are members of binaries or stellar multiples in the solar neighborhood, it is expected that many of these binaries host planets, possibly even habitable ones. The discovery of a terrestrial planet in the {alpha} Centauri system supports this notion. Due to the potentially strong gravitational interaction that an Earth-like planet may experience in such systems, classical approaches to determining habitable zones (HZ), especially in close S-type binary systems, can be rather inaccurate. Recent progress in this field, however, allows us to identify regions around the star permitting permanent habitability. While the discovery of {alpha} Cen Bb has shown that terrestrial planets can be detected in solar-type binary stars using current observational facilities, it remains to be shown whether this is also the case for Earth analogs in HZs. We provide analytical expressions for the maximum and rms values of radial velocity and astrometric signals, as well as transit probabilities of terrestrial planets in such systems, showing that the dynamical interaction of the second star with the planet may indeed facilitate the planets' detection. As an example, we discuss the detectability of additional Earth-like planets in the averaged, extended, and permanent HZs around both stars of the {alpha} Centauri system.

  18. A maximum entropy approach to detect close-in giant planets around active stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petit, P.; Donati, J.-F.; Hébrard, E.; Morin, J.; Folsom, C. P.; Böhm, T.; Boisse, I.; Borgniet, S.; Bouvier, J.; Delfosse, X.; Hussain, G.; Jeffers, S. V.; Marsden, S. C.; Barnes, J. R.

    2015-12-01

    Context. The high spot coverage of young active stars is responsible for distortions of spectral lines that hamper the detection of close-in planets through radial velocity methods. Aims: We aim to progress towards more efficient exoplanet detection around active stars by optimizing the use of Doppler imaging in radial velocity measurements. Methods: We propose a simple method to simultaneously extract a brightness map and a set of orbital parameters through a tomographic inversion technique derived from classical Doppler mapping. Based on the maximum entropy principle, the underlying idea is to determine the set of orbital parameters that minimizes the information content of the resulting Doppler map. We carry out a set of numerical simulations to perform a preliminary assessment of the robustness of our method, using an actual Doppler map of the very active star HR 1099 to produce a realistic synthetic data set for various sets of orbital parameters of a single planet in a circular orbit. Results: Using a simulated time series of 50 line profiles affected by a peak-to-peak activity jitter of 2.5 km s-1, in most cases we are able to recover the radial velocity amplitude, orbital phase, and orbital period of an artificial planet down to a radial velocity semi-amplitude of the order of the radial velocity scatter due to the photon noise alone (about 50 m s-1 in our case). One noticeable exception occurs when the planetary orbit is close to co-rotation, in which case significant biases are observed in the reconstructed radial velocity amplitude, while the orbital period and phase remain robustly recovered. Conclusions: The present method constitutes a very simple way to extract orbital parameters from heavily distorted line profiles of active stars, when more classical radial velocity detection methods generally fail. It is easily adaptable to most existing Doppler imaging codes, paving the way towards a systematic search for close-in planets orbiting young, rapidly

  19. Exoplanet detection. Stellar activity masquerading as planets in the habitable zone of the M dwarf Gliese 581.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Paul; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Endl, Michael; Roy, Arpita

    2014-07-25

    The M dwarf star Gliese 581 is believed to host four planets, including one (GJ 581d) near the habitable zone that could possibly support liquid water on its surface if it is a rocky planet. The detection of another habitable-zone planet--GJ 581g--is disputed, as its significance depends on the eccentricity assumed for d. Analyzing stellar activity using the Hα line, we measure a stellar rotation period of 130 ± 2 days and a correlation for Hα modulation with radial velocity. Correcting for activity greatly diminishes the signal of GJ 581d (to 1.5 standard deviations) while significantly boosting the signals of the other known super-Earth planets. GJ 581d does not exist, but is an artifact of stellar activity which, when incompletely corrected, causes the false detection of planet g. PMID:24993348

  20. Possible planet formation in the young, low-mass, multiple stellar system GG Tau A.

    PubMed

    Dutrey, Anne; Di Folco, Emmanuel; Guilloteau, Stéphane; Boehler, Yann; Bary, Jeff; Beck, Tracy; Beust, Hervé; Chapillon, Edwige; Gueth, Fredéric; Huré, Jean-Marc; Pierens, Arnaud; Piétu, Vincent; Simon, Michal; Tang, Ya-Wen

    2014-10-30

    The formation of planets around binary stars may be more difficult than around single stars. In a close binary star (with a separation of less than a hundred astronomical units), theory predicts the presence of circumstellar disks around each star, and an outer circumbinary disk surrounding a gravitationally cleared inner cavity around the stars. Given that the inner disks are depleted by accretion onto the stars on timescales of a few thousand years, any replenishing material must be transferred from the outer reservoir to fuel planet formation (which occurs on timescales of about one million years). Gas flowing through disk cavities has been detected in single star systems. A circumbinary disk was discovered around the young low-mass binary system GG Tau A (ref. 7), which has recently been shown to be a hierarchical triple system. It has one large inner disk around the single star, GG Tau Aa, and shows small amounts of shocked hydrogen gas residing within the central cavity, but other than a single weak detection, the distribution of cold gas in this cavity or in any other binary or multiple star system has not hitherto been determined. Here we report imaging of gas fragments emitting radiation characteristic of carbon monoxide within the GG Tau A cavity. From the kinematics we conclude that the flow appears capable of sustaining the inner disk (around GG Tau Aa) beyond the accretion lifetime, leaving time for planet formation to occur there. These results show the complexity of planet formation around multiple stars and confirm the general picture predicted by numerical simulations. PMID:25355359

  1. The Rossiter-McLaughlin effect of planets transiting M-dwarfs, and its impact on planet detection in Doppler surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cloutier, Ryan; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.; Menou, Kristen

    2015-12-01

    A major endeavour in recent exoplanetary science is to detect potentially habitable, Earth-like planets around nearby stars. The upcoming SPIRou (Le SpectroPolarimètre Infra-Rouge) Legacy Survey is one such initiative and is optimized for the detection of such exoplanets around cool M-dwarfs via the radial velocity method. If a planetary transit occurs, radial velocity observations made in-transit will be subject to an anomalous signal due to the occultation of the differentially Doppler shifted stellar limbs; the so-called Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect. Using the SPIRou Legacy Survey as a test case, we assess the impact of the RM effect on unevenly sampled Doppler survey data. Firstly, the stellar spectra taken during a Doppler survey, along with an assumed planetary mass-radius relationship, can be used to estimate the likelihood of a planetary transit. This is useful for target-selection of stars with potentially transiting exoplanets. However, if not properly accounted for in models of the stellar Doppler shift, the anomalous RM effect can result in 20-30% loss in planet detection rate. This significant loss can be easily remedied by our proposed simple process of iteratively re-sampling the timeseries and searching for periodicities. For the subset of the anticipated SPIRou planet population that is hidden by the RM effect, our algorithm is capable of recovering planets with the same efficiency as in the absence of the RM effect thus negating its effect.

  2. Photometric detection of extrasolar planets using L.S.T.-type telescopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fennelly, A. J.; Matloff, G. L.; Frye, G.

    1975-01-01

    Detection of planets similar to the earth and Jupiter that might be circling nearby stars is possible with the large space telescope (LST), or modifications of this instrument. The use of the moon as an occulter to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and the expected photon fluxes from hypothetical planetary companions to alpha Centauri A and B, tau Ceti, and epsilon Eridani are discussed. Because Barnard's Star is a red dwarf of visual apparent magnitude 9.5, photometric detection of its hypothetical Jupiter-like companion would be difficult using the LST-occulter system described in this paper.

  3. Ground-based detectability of terrestrial and Jovian extrasolar planets: observations of CM Draconis at Lick Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doyle, L. R.; Dunham, E. T.; Deeg, H. J.; Blue, J. E.; Jenkins, J. M.

    1996-01-01

    The detection of terrestrial-sized extrasolar planets from the ground has been thought to be virtually impossible due to atmospheric scintillation limits. However, we show that this is not the case especially selected (but nevertheless main sequence) stars, namely small eclipsing binaries. For the smallest of these systems, CM Draconis, several months to a few years of photometric observations with 1-m-class telescopes will be sufficient to detect the transits of any short-period planets of sizes > or = 1.5 Earth radii (RE), using cross-correlation analysis with moderately good photometry. Somewhat larger telescopes will be needed to extend this detectability to terrestrial planets in larger eclipsing binary systems. (We arbitrarily define "terrestrial planets" herein as those whose disc areas are closer to that of Earth's than Neptune's i.e., less than about 2.78 RE.) As a "spin-off" of such observations, we will also be able to detect the presence of Jovian-mass planets without transits using the timing of the eclipse minima. Eclipse minima will drift in time as the binary system is offset by a sufficiently massive planet (i.e., one Jupiter mass) about the binary/giant-planet barycenter, causing a periodic variation in the light travel time to the observer. We present here an outline of present observations taking place at the University of California Lick Observatory using the Crossley 0.9-m telescope in collaboration with other observatories (in South Korea, Crete, France, Canary Islands, and New York) to detect or constrain the existence of terrestrial planets around main sequence eclipsing binary star systems, starting with CM Draconis. We demonstrate the applicability of photometric data to the general detection of gas giant planets via eclipse minima timings in many other small-mass eclipsing binary systems as well.

  4. Interactions between planets and evolved stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shengbang, Qian; Zhongtao, Han; Fernández Lajús, E.; liying, Zhu; Wenping, Liao; Miloslav, Zejda; Linjia, Li; Voloshina, Irina; Liang, Liu; Jiajia., He

    2016-07-01

    Searching for planetary companions to evolved stars (e.g., white dwarfs (WD) and Cataclysmic Variables (CV)) can provide insight into the interaction between planets and evolved stars as well as on the ultimate fate of planets. We have monitored decades of CVs and their progenitors including some detached WD binaries since 2006 to search for planets orbiting these systems. In the present paper, we will show some observational results of circumbinary planets in orbits around CVs and their progenitors. Some of our findings include planets with the shortest distance to the central evolved binaries and a few multiple planetary systems orbiting binary stars. Finally, by comparing the observational properties of planetary companions to single WDs and WD binaries, the interaction between planets and evolved stars and the ultimate fate of planets are discussed.

  5. Astrometric Detection of Extrasolar Planets: Results of a Feasibility Study with the Palomar 5 Meter Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pravdo, Steven H.; Shaklan, Stuart B.

    1996-01-01

    The detection of extrasolar planets around stars like the Sun remains an important goal of astronomy. We present results from Palomar 5 m observations of the open cluster NGC 2420 in which we measure some of the sources of noise that will be present in an astrometric search for extrasolar planets. This is the first time that such a large aperture has been used for high-precision astrometry. We find that the atmospheric noise is 150 micro-arcsec hr(exp 1/2) across a 90 sec field of view and that differential chromatic refraction (DCR) can be calibrated to 128 micro-arcsec for observations within 1 hr of the meridian and 45 deg of zenith. These results confirm that a model for astrometric measurements can be extrapolated to large apertures. We demonstrate, based upon these results, that a large telescope achieves the sensitivity required to perform a statistically significant search for extra solar planets. We describe an astrometric technique to detect planets, the astrometric signals expected, the role of reference stars, and the sources of measurement noise: photometric noise, atmospheric motion between stars, sky background, instrumental noise, and DCR. For the latter, we discuss a method to reduce the noise further to 66 micro-arcsecond for observations within 1 hr of the meridian and 45 deg of zenith. We discuss optimal lists of target stars taken from the latest Gliese & Jahreiss catalog of nearby stars with the largest potential astrometric signals, declination limits for both telescope accessibility and reduced DCR, and galactic latitude limits for a sufficiant number of reference stars. Two samples are described from which one can perform statistically significant searches for gas giant planets around nearby stars. One sample contains 100 "solar class" stars with an average stellar mass of 0.82 solar mass; the other maximizes the number of stars, 574, by searching mainly low-mass M stars. We perform Monte Carlo simulations of the statistical significance of

  6. Planetfinder: An Online Interactive Module for Learning How Astronomers Detect Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCray, Richard

    Planetfinder is a Web-based module designed to enable undergraduates to learn how astronomers detect extrasolar planets through observations of the Doppler shifts of a star's spectral lines. The module guides students through the process of measuring the masses and orbital parameters of actual extrasolar planets by fitting model Doppler curves to the data. The main goal of the exercise is to give students an understanding of the process of scientific measurement and model fitting. The exercise can be done at various levels of difficulty, ranging from measuring the properties of planetary systems having nearly circular orbits without using algebra, to exploring properties of systems having eccentric orbits and the associated equations of motion. The module is self-checking. Student work is stored in a database that is easily accessible by the instructor. The module has been tested at several institutions and is available for public use.

  7. Extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Lissauer, J J; Marcy, G W; Ida, S

    2000-11-01

    The first known extrasolar planet in orbit around a Sun-like star was discovered in 1995. This object, as well as over two dozen subsequently detected extrasolar planets, were all identified by observing periodic variations of the Doppler shift of light emitted by the stars to which they are bound. All of these extrasolar planets are more massive than Saturn is, and most are more massive than Jupiter. All orbit closer to their stars than do the giant planets in our Solar System, and most of those that do not orbit closer to their star than Mercury is to the Sun travel on highly elliptical paths. Prevailing theories of star and planet formation, which are based on observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments, predict that planets should form in orbit about most single stars. However, these models require some modifications to explain the properties of the observed extrasolar planetary systems. PMID:11035782

  8. Extrasolar planets

    PubMed Central

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Ida, Shigeru

    2000-01-01

    The first known extrasolar planet in orbit around a Sun-like star was discovered in 1995. This object, as well as over two dozen subsequently detected extrasolar planets, were all identified by observing periodic variations of the Doppler shift of light emitted by the stars to which they are bound. All of these extrasolar planets are more massive than Saturn is, and most are more massive than Jupiter. All orbit closer to their stars than do the giant planets in our Solar System, and most of those that do not orbit closer to their star than Mercury is to the Sun travel on highly elliptical paths. Prevailing theories of star and planet formation, which are based on observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments, predict that planets should form in orbit about most single stars. However, these models require some modifications to explain the properties of the observed extrasolar planetary systems. PMID:11035782

  9. {chi}{sup 2} DISCRIMINATORS FOR TRANSITING PLANET DETECTION IN KEPLER DATA

    SciTech Connect

    Seader, Shawn; Tenenbaum, Peter; Jenkins, Jon M.; Burke, Christopher J. E-mail: peter.tenenbaum@nasa.gov E-mail: christopher.j.burke@nasa.gov

    2013-06-01

    The Kepler spacecraft observes a host of target stars to detect transiting planets. Requiring a 7.1{sigma} detection in three years of data yields over 100,000 detections, many of which are false alarms. After a second cut is made on a robust detection statistic, some 50,000 or more targets still remain. These false alarms waste resources as they propagate through the remainder of the software pipeline and so a method to discriminate against them is crucial in maintaining the desired sensitivity to true events. This paper describes a {chi}{sup 2} test which represents a novel application of an existing formalism developed for false alarm mitigation in searches for gravitational waves. Using this technique, the false alarm rate can be lowered to {approx}5%.

  10. Ground-based direct detection of close-in extra-solar planets with nulling and high order adaptive optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langlois, M.; Burrows, A.; Hinz, P.

    2006-01-01

    Ground-based direct detection of extra-solar planets is very challenging due to high planet to star brightness contrasts. For giant close-in planets, such as have been discovered by the radial velocity method, closer than 0.1 AU, the reflected light is predicted to be fairly high yielding a contrast ratio ranging from 10-4 to 10-5 at near infra-red wavelengths. In this paper, we investigate direct detection of reflected light from such planets using nulling interferometry, and high-order adaptive optics in conjunction with large double aperture ground-based telescopes. In this configuration, at least 10-3 suppression of the entire stellar Airy pattern with small loss of planet flux as close as 0.03 arcsec is achievable. Distinguishing residual starlight from the planet signal is achieved by using the center of gravity shift method or multicolor differential imaging. Using these assumptions, we derive exposure times from a few minutes to several hours for direct detection of many of the known extra-solar planets with several short-baseline double aperture telescopes such as the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Keck Telescope.

  11. The minimum mass of detectable planets in protoplanetary discs and the derivation of planetary masses from high-resolution observations

    PubMed Central

    Rosotti, Giovanni P.; Juhasz, Attila; Booth, Richard A.; Clarke, Cathie J.

    2016-01-01

    We investigate the minimum planet mass that produces observable signatures in infrared scattered light and submillimetre (submm) continuum images and demonstrate how these images can be used to measure planet masses to within a factor of about 2. To this end, we perform multi-fluid gas and dust simulations of discs containing low-mass planets, generating simulated observations at 1.65, 10 and 850 μm. We show that the minimum planet mass that produces a detectable signature is ∼15 M⊕: this value is strongly dependent on disc temperature and changes slightly with wavelength (favouring the submm). We also confirm previous results that there is a minimum planet mass of ∼20 M⊕ that produces a pressure maximum in the disc: only planets above this threshold mass generate a dust trap that can eventually create a hole in the submm dust. Below this mass, planets produce annular enhancements in dust outwards of the planet and a reduction in the vicinity of the planet. These features are in steady state and can be understood in terms of variations in the dust radial velocity, imposed by the perturbed gas pressure radial profile, analogous to a traffic jam. We also show how planet masses can be derived from structure in scattered light and submm images. We emphasize that simulations with dust need to be run over thousands of planetary orbits so as to allow the gas profile to achieve a steady state and caution against the estimation of planet masses using gas-only simulations. PMID:27279783

  12. The minimum mass of detectable planets in protoplanetary discs and the derivation of planetary masses from high-resolution observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosotti, Giovanni P.; Juhasz, Attila; Booth, Richard A.; Clarke, Cathie J.

    2016-07-01

    We investigate the minimum planet mass that produces observable signatures in infrared scattered light and submillimetre (submm) continuum images and demonstrate how these images can be used to measure planet masses to within a factor of about 2. To this end, we perform multi-fluid gas and dust simulations of discs containing low-mass planets, generating simulated observations at 1.65, 10 and 850 μm. We show that the minimum planet mass that produces a detectable signature is ˜15 M⊕: this value is strongly dependent on disc temperature and changes slightly with wavelength (favouring the submm). We also confirm previous results that there is a minimum planet mass of ˜20 M⊕ that produces a pressure maximum in the disc: only planets above this threshold mass generate a dust trap that can eventually create a hole in the submm dust. Below this mass, planets produce annular enhancements in dust outwards of the planet and a reduction in the vicinity of the planet. These features are in steady state and can be understood in terms of variations in the dust radial velocity, imposed by the perturbed gas pressure radial profile, analogous to a traffic jam. We also show how planet masses can be derived from structure in scattered light and submm images. We emphasize that simulations with dust need to be run over thousands of planetary orbits so as to allow the gas profile to achieve a steady state and caution against the estimation of planet masses using gas-only simulations.

  13. Application of super smooth optics to extra-solar planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Terrile, Richard J.; Ftaclas, Christ

    1989-01-01

    The observational constraints on direct detection of extrasolar planets around nearby stars are defined. The design of an instrument capable of meeting these goals requires the efficient reduction of diffracted and scattered light by about three orders of magnitude below the airy wings of the unapodized aperture. The diffraction reduction is achieved through the high-efficiency coronagraph, which uses Gaussian occulting masks in the first focus to concentrate better diffracted light in the pupil plane. Laboratory experiments confirm this high efficiency to the limits set by the experimental setup. Scattering due to midspatial scale figure error in the mirrors must also be reduced to a comparable level.

  14. INITIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF KEPLER LONG CADENCE DATA FOR DETECTING TRANSITING PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Jenkins, Jon M.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Chandrasekaran, Hema; Twicken, Joseph D.; Quintana, Elisa V.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Li, Jie; Tenenbaum, Peter; Wu, Hayley; Klaus, Todd C.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey

    2010-04-20

    The Kepler Mission seeks to detect Earth-size planets transiting solar-like stars in its {approx}115 deg{sup 2} field of view over the course of its 3.5 year primary mission by monitoring the brightness of each of {approx}156,000 Long Cadence stellar targets with a time resolution of 29.4 minutes. We discuss the photometric precision achieved on timescales relevant to transit detection for data obtained in the 33.5 day long Quarter 1 (Q1) observations that ended 2009 June 15. The lower envelope of the photometric precision obtained at various timescales is consistent with expected random noise sources, indicating that Kepler has the capability to fulfill its mission. The Kepler light curves exhibit high precision over a large dynamic range, which will surely permit their use for a large variety of investigations in addition to finding and characterizing planets. We discuss the temporal characteristics of both the raw flux time series and the systematic error-corrected flux time series produced by the Kepler Science Pipeline, and give examples illustrating Kepler's large dynamic range and the variety of light curves obtained from the Q1 observations.

  15. Beyond the Wobbles: Teaching Students About Detecting Planets with the Transit and Gravitational Microlensing Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prather, Edward E.; Wallace, Colin Scott; Chambers, Timothy G.; Brissenden, Gina; Traub, Wesley A.; Greene, W. M.; Biferno, Anya A.; Rodriguez, Joshua

    2015-01-01

    Members of the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory in collaboration with JPL scientists, visualization experts, and education and public outreach professionals with the Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) have recently completed classroom field-testing of a new suite of educational materials to help learners better understand how extrasolar planets are detected using the transit and gravitational microlensing techniques. This collaboration has created a set of evidence-based Think-Pair-Share questions, Lecture-Tutorials, animations, presentation slides, and instrucotrs guide that can be used together or separately to actively engage learners in reasoning about the data and scientific representations associated with these exciting new extrasolar planet detection methods. In this talk we present several of the conceptually challenging collaborative learning tasks that students encounter with this new suite of educational materials and some of the assessment questions we are using to assess the efficacy of their use in general education, college-level astronomy courses.

  16. Using graphical and pictorial representations to teach introductory astronomy students about the detection of extrasolar planets via gravitational microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, Colin S.; Chambers, Timothy G.; Prather, Edward E.; Brissenden, Gina

    2016-05-01

    The detection and study of extrasolar planets is an exciting and thriving field in modern astrophysics and an increasingly popular topic in introductory astronomy courses. One detection method relies on searching for stars whose light has been gravitationally microlensed by an extrasolar planet. In order to facilitate instructors' abilities to bring this interesting mix of general relativity and extrasolar planet detection into the introductory astronomy classroom, we have developed a new Lecture-Tutorial called "Detecting Exoplanets with Gravitational Microlensing." In this paper, we describe how this new Lecture-Tutorial's representations of astrophysical phenomena, which we selected and created based on theoretically motivated considerations of their pedagogical affordances, are used to help introductory astronomy students develop more expert-like reasoning abilities.

  17. Imaging the dust sublimation front of a circumbinary disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillen, M.; Kluska, J.; Le Bouquin, J.-B.; Van Winckel, H.; Berger, J.-P.; Kamath, D.; Bujarrabal, V.

    2016-04-01

    Aims: We present the first near-IR milli-arcsecond-scale image of a post-AGB binary that is surrounded by hot circumbinary dust. Methods: A very rich interferometric data set in six spectral channels was acquired of IRAS 08544-4431 with the new RAPID camera on the PIONIER beam combiner at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). A broadband image in the H-band was reconstructed by combining the data of all spectral channels using the SPARCO method. Results: We spatially separate all the building blocks of the IRAS 08544-4431 system in our milliarcsecond-resolution image. Our dissection reveals a dust sublimation front that is strikingly similar to that expected in early-stage protoplanetary disks, as well as an unexpected flux signal of ~4% from the secondary star. The energy output from this companion indicates the presence of a compact circum-companion accretion disk, which is likely the origin of the fast outflow detected in Hα. Conclusions: Our image provides the most detailed view into the heart of a dusty circumstellar disk to date. Our results demonstrate that binary evolution processes and circumstellar disk evolution can be studied in detail in space and over time. Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under program ID 094.D-0865.

  18. Open Source Cloud Computing for Transiting Planet Discovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCullough, Peter R.; Fleming, Scott W.; Zonca, Andrea; Flowers, Jack; Nguyen, Duy Cuong; Sinkovits, Robert; Machalek, Pavel

    2014-06-01

    We provide an update on the development of the open-source software suite designed to detect exoplanet transits using high-performance and cloud computing resources (https://github.com/openEXO). Our collaboration continues to grow as we are developing algorithms and codes related to the detection of transit-like events, especially in Kepler data, Kepler 2.0 and TESS data when available. Extending the work of Berriman et al. (2010, 2012), we describe our use of the XSEDE-Gordon supercomputer and Amazon EMR cloud to search for aperiodic transit-like events in Kepler light curves. Such events may be caused by circumbinary planets or transiting bodies, either planets or stars, with orbital periods comparable to or longer than the observing baseline such that only one transit is observed. As a bonus, we use the same code to find stellar flares too; whereas transits reduce the flux in a box-shaped profile, flares increase the flux in a fast-rise, exponential-decay (FRED) profile that nevertheless can be detected reliably with a square-wave finder.

  19. Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Diego J.; Lai, Dong

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of transiting circumbinary planets by the Kepler mission suggests that planets can form efficiently around binary stars. None of the stellar binaries currently known to host planets has a period shorter than 7 d, despite the large number of eclipsing binaries found in the Kepler target list with periods shorter than a few days. These compact binaries are believed to have evolved from wider orbits into their current configurations via the so-called Lidov–Kozai migration mechanism, in which gravitational perturbations from a distant tertiary companion induce large-amplitude eccentricity oscillations in the binary, followed by orbital decay and circularization due to tidal dissipation in the stars. Here we explore the orbital evolution of planets around binaries undergoing orbital decay by this mechanism. We show that planets may survive and become misaligned from their host binary, or may develop erratic behavior in eccentricity, resulting in their consumption by the stars or ejection from the system as the binary decays. Our results suggest that circumbinary planets around compact binaries could still exist, and we offer predictions as to what their orbital configurations should be like. PMID:26159412

  20. Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Diego J; Lai, Dong

    2015-07-28

    The discovery of transiting circumbinary planets by the Kepler mission suggests that planets can form efficiently around binary stars. None of the stellar binaries currently known to host planets has a period shorter than 7 d, despite the large number of eclipsing binaries found in the Kepler target list with periods shorter than a few days. These compact binaries are believed to have evolved from wider orbits into their current configurations via the so-called Lidov-Kozai migration mechanism, in which gravitational perturbations from a distant tertiary companion induce large-amplitude eccentricity oscillations in the binary, followed by orbital decay and circularization due to tidal dissipation in the stars. Here we explore the orbital evolution of planets around binaries undergoing orbital decay by this mechanism. We show that planets may survive and become misaligned from their host binary, or may develop erratic behavior in eccentricity, resulting in their consumption by the stars or ejection from the system as the binary decays. Our results suggest that circumbinary planets around compact binaries could still exist, and we offer predictions as to what their orbital configurations should be like. PMID:26159412

  1. High-order adaptive optics requirements for direct detection of extrasolar planets: Application to the SPHERE instrument.

    PubMed

    Fusco, T; Rousset, G; Sauvage, J-F; Petit, C; Beuzit, J-L; Dohlen, K; Mouillet, D; Charton, J; Nicolle, M; Kasper, M; Baudoz, P; Puget, P

    2006-08-21

    The detection of extrasolar planets implies an extremely high-contrast, long-exposure imaging capability at near infrared and probably visible wavelengths. We present here the core of any Planet Finder instrument, that is, the extreme adaptive optics (XAO) subsystem. The level of AO correction directly impacts the exposure time required for planet detection. In addition, the capacity of the AO system to calibrate all the instrument static defects ultimately limits detectivity. Hence, the extreme AO system has to adjust for the perturbations induced by the atmospheric turbulence, as well as for the internal aberrations of the instrument itself. We propose a feasibility study for an extreme AO system in the frame of the SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetry High-contrast Exoplanet Research) instrument, which is currently under design and should equip one of the four VLT 8-m telescopes in 2010. PMID:19529118

  2. Lightning Detection by LAC Onboard the Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter, Planet-C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Y.; Yoshida, J.; Yair, Y.; Imamura, T.; Nakamura, M.

    Lightning activity in Venus has been a mystery for a long period, although many studies based on observations both by spacecraft and by ground-based telescope have been carried out. This situation may be attributed to the ambiguity of these evidential measurements. In order to conclude this controversial subject, we are developing a new type of lightning detector, LAC (Lightning and Airglow Camera), which will be onboard Planet-C (Venus Climate Orbiter: VCO). Planet-C will be launched in 2010 by JAXA. To distinguish an optical lightning flash from other pulsing noises, high-speed sampling at 50 kHz for each pixel, that enables us to investigate the time variation of each lightning flash phenomenon, is adopted. On the other hand, spatial resolution is not the first priority. For this purpose we developed a new type of APD (avalanche photo diode) array with a format of 8×8. A narrow band interference filter at wavelength of 777.4 nm (OI), which is the expected lightning color based on laboratory discharge experiment, is chosen for lightning measurement. LAC detects lightning flash with an optical intensity of average of Earth's lightning or less at a distance of 3 Rv. In this paper, firstly we describe the background of the Venus lightning study to locate our spacecraft project, and then introduce the mission details.

  3. Lightning Detection by LAC Onboard the Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter, Planet-C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Y.; Yoshida, J.; Yair, Y.; Imamura, T.; Nakamura, M.

    2008-06-01

    Lightning activity in Venus has been a mystery for a long period, although many studies based on observations both by spacecraft and by ground-based telescope have been carried out. This situation may be attributed to the ambiguity of these evidential measurements. In order to conclude this controversial subject, we are developing a new type of lightning detector, LAC (Lightning and Airglow Camera), which will be onboard Planet-C (Venus Climate Orbiter: VCO). Planet-C will be launched in 2010 by JAXA. To distinguish an optical lightning flash from other pulsing noises, high-speed sampling at 50 kHz for each pixel, that enables us to investigate the time variation of each lightning flash phenomenon, is adopted. On the other hand, spatial resolution is not the first priority. For this purpose we developed a new type of APD (avalanche photo diode) array with a format of 8×8. A narrow band interference filter at wavelength of 777.4 nm (OI), which is the expected lightning color based on laboratory discharge experiment, is chosen for lightning measurement. LAC detects lightning flash with an optical intensity of average of Earth’s lightning or less at a distance of 3 Rv. In this paper, firstly we describe the background of the Venus lightning study to locate our spacecraft project, and then introduce the mission details.

  4. Extrasolar Planets and Prospects for Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Butler, R. Paul; Vogt, Steven S.; Fischer, Debra A.

    2004-06-01

    Examination of ˜2000 sun--like stars has revealed 97 planets (as of 2002 Nov), all residing within our Milky Way Galaxy and within ˜200 light years of our Solar System. They have masses between 0.1 and 10 times that of Jupiter, and orbital sizes of 0.05--5 AU. Thus planets occupy the entire detectable domain of mass and orbits. News &summaries about extrasolar planets are provided at: http://exoplanets.org. These planets were all discovered by the wobble of the host stars, induced gravitationally by the planets, causing a periodicity in the measured Doppler effect of the starlight. Earth--mass planets remain undetectable, but space--based missions such as Kepler, COROT and SIM may provide detections of terrestrial planets within the next decade. The number of planets increases with decreasing planet mass, indicating that nature makes more small planets than jupiter--mass planets. Extrapolation, though speculative, bodes well for an even larger number of earth--mass planets. These observations and the theory of planet formation suggests that single sun--like stars commonly harbor earth--sized rocky planets, as yet undetectable. The number of planets increases with increasing orbital distance from the host star, and most known planets reside in non--circular orbits. Many known planets reside in the habitable zone (albeit being gas giants) and most newly discovered planets orbit beyond 1 AU from their star. A population of Jupiter--like planets may reside at 5--10 AU from stars, not easily detectable at present. The sun--like star 55 Cancri harbors a planet of 4--10 Jupiter masses orbiting at 5.5 AU in a low eccentricity orbit, the first analog of our Jupiter, albeit with two large planets orbiting inward. To date, 10 multiple--planet systems have been discovered, with four revealing gravitational interactions between the planets in the form of resonances. GJ 876 has two planets with periods of 1 and 2 months. Other planetary systems are ``hierarchical'', consisting

  5. DETECTABILITY OF EXOPLANETS IN THE {beta} PIC MOVING GROUP WITH THE GEMINI PLANET IMAGER

    SciTech Connect

    Kataria, Tiffany; Simon, Michal

    2010-07-15

    We model the detectability of exoplanets around stars in the {beta} Pic Moving Group (BPMG) using the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), a coronagraphic instrument designed to detect companions by imaging. Members of the BPMG are considered promising targets for exoplanet searches because of their youth ({approx}12 Myr) and proximity (median distance {approx}35 pc). We wrote a modeling procedure to generate hypothetical companions of given mass, age, eccentricity, and semi-major axis, and place them around BPMG members that fall within the V-band range of the GPI. We count companions lying within the GPI's field of view and H-band fluxes that have a host-companion flux ratio placing them within its sensitivity as possible detections. The fraction of companions that could be detected depends on their brightness at 12 Myr, and hence formation mechanism, and on their distribution of semi-major axes. We used brightness models for formation by disk instability and core-accretion. We considered the two extreme cases of the semi-major axis distribution-the log-normal distribution of the nearby F- and G-type stars and a power-law distribution indicated by the exoplanets detected by the radial velocity technique. We find that the GPI could detect exoplanets of all the F and G spectral type stars in the BPMG sample with a probability that depends on the brightness model and semi-major axis distribution. At spectral type K-M1, exoplanet detectability depends on brightness and hence distance of the host star. GPI will be able to detect the companions of M stars later than M1 only if they are closer than 10 pc. Of the four A stars in the BPMG sample, only one has a V-band brightness in the range of GPI; the others are too bright.

  6. More on the circumbinary disk of SS 433

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowler, M. G.

    2011-07-01

    Context. Certain lines in spectra of the Galactic microquasar SS 433, in particular the brilliant Balmer Hα line, have been interpreted as emission from a circumbinary disk. In this interpretation the orbital speed of the glowing material is in excess of 200 km s-1 and the mass of the binary system in excess of 40 M⊙. A very simple model for excitation of disk material is in remarkable agreement with the observations, yet it seems that the very existence of a circumbinary disk is regarded as controversial. Aims: We investigate whether analysis of optical data from Hα and He I spectral lines in terms of a model, in which the disk is excited by radiation from the close environment of the compact object, can further illuminate the origin of these split spectral lines. Methods: A model in which the excitation of any given patch of putative circumbinary disk material is proportional to the inverse square of its instantaneous distance from the compact object was constructed and compared with published spectra, taken almost nightly over two orbital periods of the binary system. The Hα and He I lines were analysed as superpositions of Gaussian components. Results: The new model provides an excellent description of the observations. The variations of the Hα and He I spectra with orbital phase are described quantitatively, provided the radius of the orbit of the emitting ring is not much greater than the radius of the closest stable circumbinary orbit. The observed variations with orbital phase are not consistent with an origin in a radially expanding ring. Conclusions: The new analysis has greatly strengthened the case for a circumbinary disk orbiting the SS 433 system with a speed of over 200 km s-1 and presents supposed alternative explanations with major difficulties. If the circumbinary disk scenario is essentially correct, the mass of the binary system must exceed 40 M⊙ and the compact object must be a rather massive stellar black hole. This possibility should

  7. Interpretation of observations of the circumbinary disk of SS 433

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowler, M. G.

    2010-10-01

    Context. The Galactic microquasar SS 433 possesses a circumbinary disk most clearly seen in the brilliant Balmer Hα emission line. The orbital speed of the glowing material is an important determinant of the mass of the binary system. The circumbinary disk may be fed through the L2 point and in turn may feed a very extended radio feature known as the ruff. Aims: We present (i) an analysis of spectroscopic optical data from Hα and He I spectral lines which reveal the circumbinary disk (ii) comparisons of the rather different signals, to better understand the disk and improve estimates of the rotational speed of the inner rim (iii) a simple model that naturally explains some apparently bizarre spectral variations with orbital phase. Methods: Published spectra, taken almost nightly over two orbital periods of the binary system, show Hα and He I lines. These were analysed as superpositions of Gaussian components and a simple model in terms of a circumbinary disk was constructed. The possible contributions to the signal of an outflow through the L2 point were considered. Results: The data can be understood in terms of a hot spot, generated in proximity to the compact object and rotating round the inner circumbinary disk with a period of 13 days. The glowing material fades with time, quite slowly for the Hα source but more rapidly for the He I spectral lines. The orbital speed of the inner rim is approximately 250 km s-1. It may be that absorption lines attributed to the atmosphere of the companion are in fact formed in this circumbinary material. Conclusions: The mass of the binary system must exceed 40 M_⊙ and the compact object must be a rather massive stellar black hole. The corollary is that the orbital speed of the companion must exceed 130 km s-1.

  8. Using Biogenic Sulfur Gases as Remotely Detectable Biosignatures on Anoxic Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Claire, Mark W.; Kasting, James F.

    2011-06-01

    We used one-dimensional photochemical and radiative transfer models to study the potential of organic sulfur compounds (CS2, OCS, CH3SH, CH3SCH3, and CH3S2CH3) to act as remotely detectable biosignatures in anoxic exoplanetary atmospheres. Concentrations of organic sulfur gases were predicted for various biogenic sulfur fluxes into anoxic atmospheres and were found to increase with decreasing UV fluxes. Dimethyl sulfide (CH3SCH3, or DMS) and dimethyl disulfide (CH3S2CH3, or DMDS) concentrations could increase to remotely detectable levels, but only in cases of extremely low UV fluxes, which may occur in the habitable zone of an inactive M dwarf. The most detectable feature of organic sulfur gases is an indirect one that results from an increase in ethane (C2H6) over that which would be predicted based on the planet's methane (CH4) concentration. Thus, a characterization mission could detect these organic sulfur gases - and therefore the life that produces them - ;if it could sufficiently quantify the ethane and methane in the exoplanet's atmosphere.

  9. Using biogenic sulfur gases as remotely detectable biosignatures on anoxic planets.

    PubMed

    Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D; Meadows, Victoria S; Claire, Mark W; Kasting, James F

    2011-06-01

    We used one-dimensional photochemical and radiative transfer models to study the potential of organic sulfur compounds (CS(2), OCS, CH(3)SH, CH(3)SCH(3), and CH(3)S(2)CH(3)) to act as remotely detectable biosignatures in anoxic exoplanetary atmospheres. Concentrations of organic sulfur gases were predicted for various biogenic sulfur fluxes into anoxic atmospheres and were found to increase with decreasing UV fluxes. Dimethyl sulfide (CH(3)SCH(3), or DMS) and dimethyl disulfide (CH(3)S(2)CH(3), or DMDS) concentrations could increase to remotely detectable levels, but only in cases of extremely low UV fluxes, which may occur in the habitable zone of an inactive M dwarf. The most detectable feature of organic sulfur gases is an indirect one that results from an increase in ethane (C(2)H(6)) over that which would be predicted based on the planet's methane (CH(4)) concentration. Thus, a characterization mission could detect these organic sulfur gases-and therefore the life that produces them-if it could sufficiently quantify the ethane and methane in the exoplanet's atmosphere. PMID:21663401

  10. Using Biogenic Sulfur Gases as Remotely Detectable Biosignatures on Anoxic Planets

    PubMed Central

    Meadows, Victoria S.; Claire, Mark W.; Kasting, James F.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract We used one-dimensional photochemical and radiative transfer models to study the potential of organic sulfur compounds (CS2, OCS, CH3SH, CH3SCH3, and CH3S2CH3) to act as remotely detectable biosignatures in anoxic exoplanetary atmospheres. Concentrations of organic sulfur gases were predicted for various biogenic sulfur fluxes into anoxic atmospheres and were found to increase with decreasing UV fluxes. Dimethyl sulfide (CH3SCH3, or DMS) and dimethyl disulfide (CH3S2CH3, or DMDS) concentrations could increase to remotely detectable levels, but only in cases of extremely low UV fluxes, which may occur in the habitable zone of an inactive M dwarf. The most detectable feature of organic sulfur gases is an indirect one that results from an increase in ethane (C2H6) over that which would be predicted based on the planet's methane (CH4) concentration. Thus, a characterization mission could detect these organic sulfur gases—and therefore the life that produces them—if it could sufficiently quantify the ethane and methane in the exoplanet's atmosphere. Key Words: Exoplanets—Biosignatures—Anoxic atmospheres—Planetary atmospheres—Remote life detection—Photochemistry. Astrobiology 11, 419–441. PMID:21663401

  11. Detecting and Characterizing Exoplanets with the WFIRST Coronagraph: Colors of Planets in Standard and Designer Bandpasses-SETI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turnbull, Margaret

    The WFIRST mission is now envisioned to include a coronagraph for the purpose of direct detection of nearby exoplanets, including planets known to exist via radial velocity detection and new discoveries. Assuming that starlight rejection sufficient for planet detection (~1e-9) can be achieved, what can be learned about these planets given a realistic spectral resolution and signal-to-noise ratio? We propose to investigate the potential for WFIRST to efficiently discriminate planets from background sources, and to characterize planets in terms of important diagnostic atmospheric features, using broad- and intermediate band color data. We will map out this capability as a function of signal-to-noise ratio, bandpass location, and bandpass width. Our investigation will place emphasis on gas giants, ice giants, and mini-Neptunes (compatible with current AFTA-C baseline performance specifications), as well as a variety of super-Earths (an AFTA-C "stretch" goal). We will explore a variety of compositions, cloud types, phase angles, and (in the case of super-Earths with semi-transparent atmospheres) surface types. Noiseless spectra generated for these model planets will be passed through (a) standard bandpasses for comparison to prior work and (b) filter transmission curves corresponding to bandpasses of 5-20% over the full range of WFIRST's expected bandpass (400 - 1,000 nm). From this, filter combinations will be used to generate planet colors and find filter sets that most efficiently discriminate between planets and background sources, and between planets of different type. We will then repeat this exercise for S/N levels of 1-1,000 in order to (1) explore the true efficacy of broadband measurements in exoplanet studies, and (2) provide an estimate of total required integration time for a compelling WFIRST exoplanet program. To accomplish this, we will use model spectra for mini-Neptunes, and ice and gas giants of varying composition (Hu et al. 2013), and observed

  12. Interplanetary shock detection and impact at planets : a science case for CDPP tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Génot, V.; André, N.; Rouillard, A.; Cecconi, B.; Lavraud, B.; Bourrel, N.; Budnik, E.; Bouchemit, M.; Gangloff, M.; Dufourg, N.; Beigbeder, L.; Modolo, R.

    2014-04-01

    Using an automated algorithm for interplanetary shock detection (from the literature, Kruparova et al.,2013) the use of CDPP tools is illustrated. In this presentation a corresponding workflow will be shown : starting from AMDA (http://amda.cdpp.eu/), where the detection is performed and event lists produced, the pipeline proceeds to 3D visualization of in-situ data in solar wind / planetary context with the 3DView tool (http://3dview.cdpp.eu/). Finally the impact time of these shock events at planets is estimated using the newly developed Propagation tool (http://propagationtool.cdpp.eu/). The detection method will be applied to several interplanetary datasets including Wind, Stereo and Helios. Other complementary satellites data will eventually be used. The paper aims at showing how a consistent set of common space physics analysis can be performed and chained using free, online scientific tools. Some of the functionalities exposed here have been developed in the frame of the FP7 IMPEx project.

  13. The KELT Survey for Transiting Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oberst, T. E.; Beatty, T. G.; Bieryla, A.; Bozza, V.; Collins, K.; D'Ago, G.; Eastman, J. D.; Gaudi, B. S.; Jang-Condell, H.; Jensen, E. L. N.; Kielkopf, J.; Lund, M. B.; Manner, M.; McLeod, K. K.; Novati, S. C.; Penny, M. T.; Pepper, J.; Reed, P. A.; Rodriguez, J. E.; Scarpetta, G.; Siverd, R. J.; Stassun, K. G.; Street, R. A.

    2014-03-01

    KELT (the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope) is a transit survey for new exoplanets orbiting bright (8 < V < 10) stars. Such systems are ideally suited for high signal-to-noise follow-up studies of planetary atmospheres and compositions by current ground- and spaced-based observatories. KELT consists of two small-aperture, wide-field, robotic telescopes which have been monitoring ~ 50 % of the northern and southern skies for 6 and 3.5 years, respectively. Identification and vetting of candidates is ongoing. The survey has thus far discovered and confirmed three transiting planets - hot Jupiters KELT-2Ab and KELT-3b, and hot Saturn KELT- 6b - as well as the 27 MJ brown dwarf KELT-1b. The KELT Follow-up Network, a collaboration of over 20 amateur and professional astronomers and institutions, is actively confirming additional KELT discoveries. The Network has also started observing other interesting targets. While KELT is optimized for detecting gas giant companions of FGK stars, the Network is helping to observe Kepler-discovered eclipsing binaries and circumbinary planetary systems, potential super-Earths orbiting M dwarfs, and other variable stars and eclipsing binaries.

  14. The search for planets around CM Draconis: Analysis of the 1994--96 database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, E. L.; Deeg, H.; TEP Collaboration

    We present results of the international collaboration ``TEP'' aimed at monitoring photometrically the eclipsing binary CM Draconis in search for circumbinary planets. Planetary companions with more than ~2 earth radii should produce detectable occultations at the accuracy of our measurements. The observations started in spring 1994 and are still continuing with the participation of the following observatories: Haute Provence (France), Kouvovka (Russia), Lick (USA), La Palma (Spain), Rochester (USA), Skinakas (Greece), Taejon (Korea), Teide (Spain) and Wise (Israel). We have obtained a homogeneous dataset based on a common set of reference stars. So far, we have obtained some 1,000 hours of effective integration time on CM Dra. The analysis of the 1994-96 observations is complete, and list of about 20 events in the lightcurve has been obtained. These are being evaluated for their compatibility with possible planetary transits. Observations will be taken in 1997 again, to determine periodicities among these events.

  15. Microlensing events by Proxima Centauri in 2014 and 2016: Opportunities for mass determination and possible planet detection

    SciTech Connect

    Sahu, Kailash C.; Bond, Howard E.; Anderson, Jay; Dominik, Martin E-mail: jayander@stsci.edu E-mail: md35@st-andrews.ac.uk

    2014-02-20

    We have found that Proxima Centauri, the star closest to our Sun, will pass close to a pair of faint background stars in the next few years. Using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images obtained in 2012 October, we determine that the passage close to a mag 20 star will occur in 2014 October (impact parameter 1.''6), and to a mag 19.5 star in 2016 February (impact parameter 0.''5). As Proxima passes in front of these stars, the relativistic deflection of light will cause shifts in the positions of the background stars of ∼0.5 and 1.5 mas, respectively, readily detectable by HST imaging, and possibly by Gaia and ground-based facilities such as the Very Large Telescope. Measurement of these astrometric shifts offers a unique and direct method to measure the mass of Proxima. Moreover, if Proxima has a planetary system, the planets may be detectable through their additional microlensing signals, although the probability of such detections is small. With astrometric accuracies of 0.03 mas (achievable with HST spatial scanning), centroid shifts caused by Jovian planets are detectable at separations of up to 2.''0 (corresponding to 2.6 AU at the distance of Proxima), and centroid shifts by Earth-mass planets are detectable within a small band of 8 mas (corresponding to 0.01 AU) around the source trajectories. Jovian planets within a band of about 28 mas (corresponding to 0.036 AU) around the source trajectories would produce a brightening of the source by >0.01 mag and could hence be detectable. Estimated timescales of the astrometric and photometric microlensing events due to a planet range from a few hours to a few days, and both methods would provide direct measurements of the planetary mass.

  16. DETECTING PLANETS AROUND VERY LOW MASS STARS WITH THE RADIAL VELOCITY METHOD

    SciTech Connect

    Reiners, A.; Bean, J. L.; Dreizler, S.; Seifahrt, A.; Huber, K. F.; Czesla, S.

    2010-02-10

    The detection of planets around very low-mass stars with the radial velocity (RV) method is hampered by the fact that these stars are very faint at optical wavelengths where the most high-precision spectrometers operate. We investigate the precision that can be achieved in RV measurements of low mass stars in the near-infrared (NIR) Y-, J-, and H-bands, and we compare it to the precision achievable in the optical assuming comparable telescope and instrument efficiencies. For early-M stars, RV measurements in the NIR offer no or only marginal advantage in comparison with optical measurements. Although they emit more flux in the NIR, the richness of spectral features in the optical outweighs the flux difference. We find that NIR measurement can be as precise as optical measurements in stars of spectral type {approx}M4, and from there the NIR gains in precision toward cooler objects. We studied potential calibration strategies in the NIR finding that a stable spectrograph with a ThAr calibration can offer enough wavelength stability for m s{sup -1} precision. Furthermore, we simulate the wavelength-dependent influence of activity (cool spots) on RV measurements from optical to NIR wavelengths. Our spot simulations reveal that the RV jitter does not decrease as dramatically toward longer wavelengths as often thought. The jitter strongly depends on the details of the spots, i.e., on spot temperature and the spectral appearance of the spot. At low temperature contrast ({approx}200 K), the jitter shows a decrease toward the NIR up to a factor of 10, but it decreases substantially less for larger temperature contrasts. Forthcoming NIR spectrographs will allow the search for planets with a particular advantage in mid- and late-M stars. Activity will remain an issue, but simultaneous observations at optical and NIR wavelengths can provide strong constraints on spot properties in active stars.

  17. The ELODIE survey for northern extra-solar planets. III. Three planetary candidates detected with ELODIE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naef, D.; Mayor, M.; Beuzit, J. L.; Perrier, C.; Queloz, D.; Sivan, J. P.; Udry, S.

    2004-01-01

    We present our ELODIE radial-velocity measurements of HD 74156 and 14 Her (HD 145675). These stars exhibit low-amplitude radial-velocity variations induced by the presence of low-mass companions. The radial-velocity data of HD 74156 reveal the presence of two planetary companions: a 1.86 MJup planet on a 51.64-d orbit and a 6.2 MJup planet on a long-period (≃5.5 yr) orbit. Both orbits are fairly eccentric (e = 0.64 and 0.58). The 4.7 MJup companion to 14 Her has a long period (4.9 yr) and a moderately eccentric orbit (e = 0.34). We detect an additional linear radial-velocity trend superimposed on the periodic signal for this star. We also compute updated orbital solutions for HD 209458 and 51 Peg (HD 217014). Finally, we present our ELODIE radial-velocity data and orbital solutions for 5 stars known to host planetary companions: Ups And (HD 9826), 55 Cnc (HD 75732), 47 UMa (HD 95128), 70 Vir (HD 117176) and HD 187123. We confirm the previously published orbital solutions for Ups And, 70 Vir and HD 187123. Our data are not sufficient to fully confirm the orbital solutions for 55 Cnc and 47 UMa. Based on observations made with the ELODIE echelle spectrograph mounted on the 1.93-m Telescope at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS) and with the CORALIE echelle spectrograph mounted on the 1.2-m Euler Swiss Telescope at ESO-La Silla Observatory. The ELODIE and CORALIE measurements discussed in this paper are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/414/351

  18. Detection and Properties of Extrasolar Planets in Double and Multiple Star Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eggenberger, A.; Udry, S.; Mayor, M.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Lagrange, A. M.; Chauvin, G.

    2004-12-01

    Among the extrasolar planets known today, 19 are orbiting a component of a multiple star system. In this contribution, we show that the properties of planets found in multiple star systems seem to be different from the ones of planets orbiting isolated stars: (i) as pointed out by Zucker & Mazeh (2002), the most massive short-period planets are all found in binaries; (ii) planets orbiting a component of a multiple star system tend to have a very low eccentricity when their period is shorter than about 40 days. These observations suggest that some kind of migration has been present in the history of the short-period planets found in multiple star systems, but are not easily explained by the current models of planet formation and evolution. Our knowledge regarding the existence and the characteristics of extrasolar planets in multiple star systems is, however, far from being complete. In particular, the influence of stellar duplicity on planet formation and evolution is still to be quantified. This is the goal of our VLT/NACO adaptive optics survey, which is also discussed here.

  19. Exceptional Stars Origins, Companions, Masses and Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.; Hansen, Bradley M. S.; Phinney, Sterl; vanKerkwijk, Martin H.; Vasisht, Gautam

    2004-01-01

    As SIM Interdisciplinary Scientist, we will study the formation, nature and planetary companions of the exotic endpoints of stellar evolution. Our science begins with stars evolving from asymptotic branch giants into white dwarfs. We will determine the parallax and orbital inclination of several iron-deficient post-AGB stars, who peculiar abundances and infrared excesses are evidence that they are accreting gas depleted of dust from a circumbinary disk. Measurement of the orbital inclination, companion mass arid parallax will provide critical constraints. One of these stars is a prime candidate for trying nulling observations, which should reveal light reflected from both the circumbinary and Roche disks. The circumbinary disks seem favorable sites for planet formation. Next, we will search for planets around white dwarfs, both survivors froni the main-sequence stage, and ones newly formed from the circumbinary disks of post-AGB binaries or in white dwarf mergers. Moving up in mass, we will measure the orbital reflex of OB/Be companions to pulsars, determine natal kicks and presupernova orbits, and expand the sample of well-determined neutron star masses. We will obtain the parallax of a transient X-ray binary, whose quiescent emission may be thermal emission from the neutron star, aiming for precise measurement of the neutron star radius. Finally, black holes. We will measure the reflex motions of the companion of what appear to be the most massive stellar black holes. The visual orbits will determine natal kicks, and test the assumptions underlying mass estimates made from the radial velocity curves, projected rotation, and ellipsoidal variations. In addition, we will attempt to observe the visual orbit of SS 433, as well as the proper motion of the emission line clumps in its relativistic jets. Additional information is included in the original document.

  20. The Gemini NICI planet-finding campaign: The companion detection pipeline

    SciTech Connect

    Wahhaj, Zahed; Liu, Michael C.; Nielsen, Eric L.; Chun, Mark; Ftaclas, Christ; Biller, Beth A.; Close, Laird M.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Hartung, Markus

    2013-12-10

    We present high-contrast image processing techniques used by the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign to detect faint companions to bright stars. The Near-Infrared Coronographic Imager (NICI) is an adaptive optics instrument installed on the 8 m Gemini South telescope, capable of angular and spectral difference imaging and specifically designed to image exoplanets. The Campaign data pipeline achieves median contrasts of 12.6 mag at 0.''5 and 14.4 mag at 1'' separation, for a sample of 45 stars (V = 4.3-13.9 mag) from the early phase of the campaign. We also present a novel approach to calculating contrast curves for companion detection based on 95% completeness in the recovery of artificial companions injected into the raw data, while accounting for the false-positive rate. We use this technique to select the image processing algorithms that are more successful at recovering faint simulated point sources. We compare our pipeline to the performance of the Locally Optimized Combination of Images (LOCI) algorithm for NICI data and do not find significant improvement with LOCI.

  1. Impact of ηEarth on the Capabilities of Affordable Space Missions to Detect Biosignatures on Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Léger, Alain; Defrère, Denis; Malbet, Fabien; Labadie, Lucas; Absil, Olivier

    2015-08-01

    We present an analytic model to estimate the capabilities of space missions dedicated to the search for biosignatures in the atmosphere of rocky planets located in the habitable zone of nearby stars. Relations between performance and mission parameters, such as mirror diameter, distance to targets, and radius of planets, are obtained. Two types of instruments are considered: coronagraphs observing in the visible, and nulling interferometers in the thermal infrared. Missions considered are: single-pupil coronagraphs with a 2.4 m primary mirror, and formation-flying interferometers with 4 × 0.75 m collecting mirrors. The numbers of accessible planets are calculated as a function of ηEarth. When Kepler gives its final estimation for ηEarth, the model will permit a precise assessment of the potential of each instrument. Based on current estimations, ηEarth = 10% around FGK stars and 50% around M stars, the coronagraph could study in spectroscopy only ∼1.5 relevant planets, and the interferometer ∼14.0. These numbers are obtained under the major hypothesis that the exozodiacal light around the target stars is low enough for each instrument. In both cases, a prior detection of planets is assumed and a target list established. For the long-term future, building both types of spectroscopic instruments, and using them on the same targets, will be the optimal solution because they provide complementary information. But as a first affordable space mission, the interferometer looks the more promising in terms of biosignature harvest.

  2. A Demonstration Setup to Simulate Detection of Planets outside the Solar System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choopan, W.; Ketpichainarong, W.; Laosinchai, P.; Panijpan, B.

    2011-01-01

    We constructed a simple demonstration setup to simulate an extrasolar planet and its star revolving around the system's centre of mass. Periodic dimming of light from the star by the transiting planet and the star's orbital revolution simulate the two major ways of deducing the presence of an exoplanet near a distant star. Apart from being a…

  3. WHERE TO FIND HABITABLE ''EARTHS'' IN CIRCUMBINARY SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Huigen; Zhang Hui; Zhou Jilin

    2013-04-20

    Six P-type planets have been found thus far around five binary systems, i.e., Kepler-16b, 34b, 35b, 38b, and 47b and c, which are all Neptune- or Jupiter-like planets. The stability of planets and the habitable zones are influenced by the gravitational and radiative perturbations of binary companions. In this Letter, we check the stability of an additional habitable Earth-mass planet in each system. Based on our simulations in 10 Myr, a habitable ''Earth'' is hardly stable in Kepler-16, while a stable ''Earth'' in Kepler-47 close to the boundaries of the habitable zone is possible. In contrast, Kepler-34, 35, and 38 seem to have high probabilities of being able to tolerante a stable ''Earth'' in their habitable zones. The affects of transit time variations are quite small due to the small mass of an undetected ''Earth,'' except that of Kepler-16b. With a time precision of 10{sup -3} day ({approx}88 s), an ''Earth'' in the corotational resonance with Kepler-16b can be detected in three years, while habitable ''Earths'' in the Kepler-34 and 38 systems can be detected in 10 yr. Habitable ''Earths'' in Kepler-35 and 47 are not likely to be detected in 10 yr under this precision.

  4. The origin of planets orbiting millisecond pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tavani, Marco; Brookshaw, Leigh

    1992-01-01

    A model for the formation of planets around millisecond pulsar which no longer have stellar companions is suggested. Detailed hydrodynamical models are presented which suggest that planet formation can occur either in a low-mass X-ray binary progenitor to a progenitor of a star-vaporizing millisecond pulsar when the neutron star is accreting material driven off its companion by X-ray irradiation or after a pulsar has formed and is vaporizing its companion. In both cases a circumbinary disk is created in which planets can form on a timescale of 10 exp 5 to 10 exp 6 yrs and the planets can survive a second phase in which the companion star moves toward the pulsar and is completely vaporized.

  5. Modelling the photosphere of active stars for planet detection and characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrero, Enrique; Ribas, Ignasi; Jordi, Carme; Morales, Juan Carlos; Perger, Manuel; Rosich, Albert

    2016-02-01

    Context. Stellar activity patterns are responsible for jitter effects that are observed at different timescales and amplitudes in the measurements obtained from photometric and spectroscopic time series observations. These effects are currently in the focus of many exoplanet search projects, since the lack of a well-defined characterization and correction strategy hampers the detection of the signals associated with small exoplanets. Aims: Accurate simulations of the stellar photosphere based on the most recent available models for main-sequence stars can provide synthetic photometric and spectroscopic time series data. These may help to investigate the relation between activity jitter and stellar parameters when considering different active region patterns. Moreover, jitters can be analysed at different wavelength scales (defined by the passbands of given instruments or space missions) to design strategies to remove or minimize them. Methods: We present the StarSim tool, which is based on a model for a spotted rotating photosphere built from the integration of the spectral contribution of a fine grid of surface elements. The model includes all significant effects affecting the flux intensities and the wavelength of spectral features produced by active regions and planets. The resulting synthetic time series data generated with this simulator were used to characterize the effects of activity jitter in extrasolar planet measurements from photometric and spectroscopic observations. Results: Several cases of synthetic data series for Sun-like stars are presented to illustrate the capabilities of the methodology. A specific application for characterizing and modelling the spectral signature of active regions is considered, showing that the chromatic effects of faculae are dominant for low-temperature contrasts of spots. Synthetic multi-band photometry and radial velocity time series are modelled for HD 189733 by adopting the known system parameters and fitting for the

  6. The Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign: The Companion Detection Pipeline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wahhaj, Zahed; Liu, Michael C.; Biller, Beth A.; Nielsen, Eric L.; Close, Laird M.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Hartung, Markus; Chun, Mark; Ftaclas, Christ; Toomey, Douglas W.

    2013-12-01

    We present high-contrast image processing techniques used by the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign to detect faint companions to bright stars. The Near-Infrared Coronographic Imager (NICI) is an adaptive optics instrument installed on the 8 m Gemini South telescope, capable of angular and spectral difference imaging and specifically designed to image exoplanets. The Campaign data pipeline achieves median contrasts of 12.6 mag at 0.''5 and 14.4 mag at 1'' separation, for a sample of 45 stars (V = 4.3-13.9 mag) from the early phase of the campaign. We also present a novel approach to calculating contrast curves for companion detection based on 95% completeness in the recovery of artificial companions injected into the raw data, while accounting for the false-positive rate. We use this technique to select the image processing algorithms that are more successful at recovering faint simulated point sources. We compare our pipeline to the performance of the Locally Optimized Combination of Images (LOCI) algorithm for NICI data and do not find significant improvement with LOCI. Based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (United Kingdom), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (Argentina).

  7. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Raymond, Sean N.; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel

    2009-07-10

    We study the final architecture of planetary systems that evolve under the combined effects of planet-planet and planetesimal scattering. Using N-body simulations we investigate the dynamics of marginally unstable systems of gas and ice giants both in isolation and when the planets form interior to a planetesimal belt. The unstable isolated systems evolve under planet-planet scattering to yield an eccentricity distribution that matches that observed for extrasolar planets. When planetesimals are included the outcome depends upon the total mass of the planets. For M {sub tot} {approx}> 1 M{sub J} the final eccentricity distribution remains broad, whereas for M {sub tot} {approx}< 1 M{sub J} a combination of divergent orbital evolution and recircularization of scattered planets results in a preponderance of nearly circular final orbits. We also study the fate of marginally stable multiple planet systems in the presence of planetesimal disks, and find that for high planet masses the majority of such systems evolve into resonance. A significant fraction leads to resonant chains that are planetary analogs of Jupiter's Galilean satellites. We predict that a transition from eccentric to near-circular orbits will be observed once extrasolar planet surveys detect sub-Jovian mass planets at orbital radii of a {approx_equal} 5-10 AU.

  8. A Program To Detect and Characterize Extra-Solar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noyes, Robert W.; Boyce, Joseph M. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    This grant report highlights activity in the following areas: (1) Improvement in Precise Radial Velocity (PRV) analysis code; (2) Reanalysis of previous data; (3) Improvements to the AFOE (Advanced Fiber Optic Echelle) spectrograph; (4) Development of PRV capabilities for the Hectochelle; (5) Extra-solar planet studies; (6) Longer-term plans for the AFOE; (7) Completion and publication of the analysis of the transiting gas-giant planet HD 209458b.

  9. Near-infrared detection and characterization of the exoplanet HD 95086 b with the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galicher, R.; Rameau, J.; Bonnefoy, M.; Baudino, J.-L.; Currie, T.; Boccaletti, A.; Chauvin, G.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Marois, C.

    2014-05-01

    HD 95086 is an intermediate-mass debris-disk-bearing star. VLT/NaCo 3.8 μm observations revealed it hosts a 5 ± 2 MJup companion (HD 95086 b) at ≃56 AU. Follow-up observations at 1.66 and 2.18 μm yielded a null detection, suggesting extremely red colors for the planet and the need for deeper direct-imaging data. In this Letter, we report H-(1.7 μm) and K1-(2.05 μm) band detections of HD 95086 b from Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) commissioning observations taken by the GPI team. The planet position in both spectral channels is consistent with the NaCo measurements and we confirm it to be comoving. Our photometry yields colors of H - L' = 3.6 ± 1.0 mag and K1 - L' = 2.4 ± 0.7 mag, consistent with previously reported 5-σ upper limits in H and Ks. The photometry of HD 95086 b best matches that of 2M 1207 b and HR 8799 cde. Comparing its spectral energy distribution with the BT-SETTL and LESIA planet atmospheric models yields Teff ~ 600-1500 K and log g ~ 2.1-4.5. Hot-start evolutionary models yield M = 5 ± 2 MJup. Warm-start models reproduce the combined absolute fluxes of the object for M = 4-14 MJup for a wide range of plausible initial conditions (Sinit = 8-13 kB/baryon). The color-magnitude diagram location of HD 95086 b and its estimated Teff and log g suggest that the planet is a peculiar L - T transition object with an enhanced amount of photospheric dust. Based on public data taken at the GPI commissioning.

  10. Towards the Detection of Reflected Light from Exo-planets: a Comparison of Two Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodler, Florian; Kürster, Martin

    For exo-planets the huge brightness contrast between the star and the planet constitutes an enormous challenge when attempting to observe some kind of direct signal from the planet. With high resolution spectroscopy in the visual one can exploit the fact that the spectrum reflected from the planet is essentially a copy of the rich stellar absorption line spectrum. This spectrum is shifted in wavelength according to the orbital RV of the planet and strongly scaled down in brightness by a factor of a few times 10-5, and therefore deeply buried in the noise. The S/N of the plantetary signal can be increased by applying one of the following methods. The Least Squares Deconvolution Method (LSDM, eg. Collier Cameron et al. 2002) combines the observed spectral lines into a high S/N mean line profile (star + planet), determined by least-squares deconvolution of the observed spectrum with a template spectrum (from VALD, Kupka et al. 1999). Another approach is the Data Synthesis Method (DSM, eg. Charbonneau et al. 1999), a forward data modelling technique in which the planetary signal is modelled as a scaled-down and RV-shifted version of the stellar spectrum.

  11. Exoplanet detection. Comment on "Stellar activity masquerading as planets in the habitable zone of the M dwarf Gliese 581".

    PubMed

    Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Tuomi, Mikko

    2015-03-01

    Robertson et al. (Reports, 25 July 2014, p. 440) claimed that activity-induced variability is responsible for the Doppler signal of the proposed planet candidate GJ 581d. We point out that their analysis using periodograms of residual data is inappropriate and promotes inadequate tools. Because the claim challenges the viability of the method to detect exo-Earths, we encourage reanalysis and a deliberation on what the field-standard methods should be. PMID:25745156

  12. Parasitic Interference in Long Baseline Optical Interferometry: Requirements for Hot Jupiter-like Planet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matter, A.; Lopez, B.; Lagarde, S.; Danchi, W. C.; Robbe-Dubois, S.; Petrov, R. G.; Navarro, R.

    2009-12-01

    The observable quantities in optical interferometry, which are the modulus and the phase of the complex visibility, may be corrupted by parasitic fringes superimposed on the genuine fringe pattern. These fringes are due to an interference phenomenon occurring from stray light effects inside an interferometric instrument. We developed an analytical approach to better understand this phenomenon when stray light causes cross talk between beams. We deduced that the parasitic interference significantly affects the interferometric phase and thus the associated observables including the differential phase and the closure phase. The amount of parasitic flux coupled to the piston between beams appears to be very influential in this degradation. For instance, considering a point-like source and a piston ranging from λ/500 to λ/5 in the L band (λ = 3.5 μm), a parasitic flux of about 1% of the total flux produces a parasitic phase reaching at most one-third of the intrinsic phase. The piston, which can have different origins (instrumental stability, atmospheric perturbations, etc.), thus amplifies the effect of parasitic interference. According to the specifications of piston correction in space or at ground level (respectively λ/500 ≈ 2 nm and λ/30 ≈ 100 nm), the detection of hot Jupiter-like planets, one of the most challenging aims for current ground-based interferometers, limits parasitic radiation to about 5% of the incident intensity. This was evaluated by considering different types of hot Jupiter synthetic spectra. Otherwise, if no fringe tracking is used, the detection of a typical hot Jupiter-like system with a solar-like star would admit a maximum level of parasitic intensity of 0.01% for piston errors equal to λ/15. If the fringe tracking specifications are not precisely observed, it thus appears that the allowed level of parasitic intensity dramatically decreases and may prevent the detection. In parallel, the calibration of the parasitic phase by a

  13. PARASITIC INTERFERENCE IN LONG BASELINE OPTICAL INTERFEROMETRY: REQUIREMENTS FOR HOT JUPITER-LIKE PLANET DETECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Matter, A.; Lopez, B.; Lagarde, S.; Danchi, W. C.; Navarro, R.

    2009-12-01

    The observable quantities in optical interferometry, which are the modulus and the phase of the complex visibility, may be corrupted by parasitic fringes superimposed on the genuine fringe pattern. These fringes are due to an interference phenomenon occurring from stray light effects inside an interferometric instrument. We developed an analytical approach to better understand this phenomenon when stray light causes cross talk between beams. We deduced that the parasitic interference significantly affects the interferometric phase and thus the associated observables including the differential phase and the closure phase. The amount of parasitic flux coupled to the piston between beams appears to be very influential in this degradation. For instance, considering a point-like source and a piston ranging from lambda/500 to lambda/5 in the L band (lambda = 3.5 mum), a parasitic flux of about 1% of the total flux produces a parasitic phase reaching at most one-third of the intrinsic phase. The piston, which can have different origins (instrumental stability, atmospheric perturbations, etc.), thus amplifies the effect of parasitic interference. According to the specifications of piston correction in space or at ground level (respectively lambda/500 approx 2 nm and lambda/30 approx 100 nm), the detection of hot Jupiter-like planets, one of the most challenging aims for current ground-based interferometers, limits parasitic radiation to about 5% of the incident intensity. This was evaluated by considering different types of hot Jupiter synthetic spectra. Otherwise, if no fringe tracking is used, the detection of a typical hot Jupiter-like system with a solar-like star would admit a maximum level of parasitic intensity of 0.01% for piston errors equal to lambda/15. If the fringe tracking specifications are not precisely observed, it thus appears that the allowed level of parasitic intensity dramatically decreases and may prevent the detection. In parallel, the calibration

  14. Microlensing Events by Proxima Centauri in 2014 and 2016: Opportunities for Mass Determination and Possible Planet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Kailash C.; Bond, Howard E.; Anderson, Jay; Dominik, Martin

    2014-02-01

    We have found that Proxima Centauri, the star closest to our Sun, will pass close to a pair of faint background stars in the next few years. Using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images obtained in 2012 October, we determine that the passage close to a mag 20 star will occur in 2014 October (impact parameter 1.''6), and to a mag 19.5 star in 2016 February (impact parameter 0.''5). As Proxima passes in front of these stars, the relativistic deflection of light will cause shifts in the positions of the background stars of ~0.5 and 1.5 mas, respectively, readily detectable by HST imaging, and possibly by Gaia and ground-based facilities such as the Very Large Telescope. Measurement of these astrometric shifts offers a unique and direct method to measure the mass of Proxima. Moreover, if Proxima has a planetary system, the planets may be detectable through their additional microlensing signals, although the probability of such detections is small. With astrometric accuracies of 0.03 mas (achievable with HST spatial scanning), centroid shifts caused by Jovian planets are detectable at separations of up to 2.''0 (corresponding to 2.6 AU at the distance of Proxima), and centroid shifts by Earth-mass planets are detectable within a small band of 8 mas (corresponding to 0.01 AU) around the source trajectories. Jovian planets within a band of about 28 mas (corresponding to 0.036 AU) around the source trajectories would produce a brightening of the source by >0.01 mag and could hence be detectable. Estimated timescales of the astrometric and photometric microlensing events due to a planet range from a few hours to a few days, and both methods would provide direct measurements of the planetary mass. Based in part on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

  15. A matched filter method for ground-based sub-noise detection of terrestrial extrasolar planets in eclipsing binaries: application to CM Draconis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jenkins, J. M.; Doyle, L. R.; Cullers, D. K.

    1996-01-01

    The photometric detection of extrasolar planets by transits in eclipsing binary systems can be significantly improved by cross-correlating the observational light curves with synthetic models of possible planetary transit features, essentially a matched filter approach. We demonstrate the utility and application of this transit detection algorithm for ground-based detections of terrestrial-sized (Earth-to-Neptune radii) extrasolar planets in the dwarf M-star eclipsing binary system CM Draconis. Preliminary photometric observational data of this system demonstrate that the observational noise is well characterized as white and Gaussian at the observational time steps required for precision photometric measurements. Depending on planet formation scenarios, terrestrial-sized planets may form quite close to this low-luminosity system. We demonstrate, for example, that planets as small as 1.4 Earth radii with periods on the order of a few months in the CM Draconis system could be detected at the 99.9% confidence level in less than a year using 1-m class telescopes from the ground. This result contradicts commonly held assumptions limiting present ground-based efforts to, at best, detections of gas giant planets after several years of observation. This method can be readily extended to a number of other larger star systems with the utilization of larger telescopes and longer observing times. Its extension to spacecraft observations should also allow the determination of the presence of terrestrial-sized planets in nearly 100 other known eclipsing binary systems.

  16. PlanetPack: A radial-velocity time-series analysis tool facilitating exoplanets detection, characterization, and dynamical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baluev, Roman V.

    2013-08-01

    We present PlanetPack, a new software tool that we developed to facilitate and standardize the advanced analysis of radial velocity (RV) data for the goal of exoplanets detection, characterization, and basic dynamical N-body simulations. PlanetPack is a command-line interpreter, that can run either in an interactive mode or in a batch mode of automatic script interpretation. Its major abilities include: (i) advanced RV curve fitting with the proper maximum-likelihood treatment of unknown RV jitter; (ii) user-friendly multi-Keplerian as well as Newtonian N-body RV fits; (iii) use of more efficient maximum-likelihood periodograms that involve the full multi-planet fitting (sometimes called as “residual” or “recursive” periodograms); (iv) easily calculatable parametric 2D likelihood function level contours, reflecting the asymptotic confidence regions; (v) fitting under some useful functional constraints is user-friendly; (vi) basic tasks of short- and long-term planetary dynamical simulation using a fast Everhart-type integrator based on Gauss-Legendre spacings; (vii) fitting the data with red noise (auto-correlated errors); (viii) various analytical and numerical methods for the tasks of determining the statistical significance. It is planned that further functionality may be added to PlanetPack in the future. During the development of this software, a lot of effort was made to improve the calculational speed, especially for CPU-demanding tasks. PlanetPack was written in pure C++ (standard of 1998/2003), and is expected to be compilable and useable on a wide range of platforms.

  17. KEPLER'S OPTICAL SECONDARY ECLIPSE OF HAT-P-7b AND PROBABLE DETECTION OF PLANET-INDUCED STELLAR GRAVITY DARKENING

    SciTech Connect

    Morris, Brett M.; Deming, Drake; Mandell, Avi M.

    2013-02-20

    We present observations spanning 355 orbital phases of HAT-P-7 observed by Kepler from 2009 May to 2011 March (Q1-9). We find a shallower secondary eclipse depth than initially announced, consistent with a low optical albedo and detection of nearly exclusively thermal emission, without a reflected light component. We find an approximately 10 ppm perturbation to the average transit light curve near phase -0.02 that we attribute to a temperature decrease on the surface of the star, phased to the orbit of the planet. This cooler spot is consistent with planet-induced gravity darkening, slightly lagging the sub-planet position due to the finite response time of the stellar atmosphere. The brightness temperature of HAT-P-7b in the Kepler bandpass is T{sub B} = 2733 {+-} 21 K and the amplitude of the deviation in stellar surface temperature due to gravity darkening is approximately -0.18 K. The detection of the spot is not statistically unequivocal due its small amplitude, though additional Kepler observations should be able to verify the astrophysical nature of the anomaly.

  18. Direct and interferometric imaging approaches for detecting earth-like extrasolar planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diner, D. J.; Van Zyl, J.; Jones, D. L.; Tubbs, E.; Wright, V.

    1988-01-01

    This paper discusses functional requirements of space-based observational systems with sufficient sensitivity, resolution, and dynamic range to image earth-like extrasolar planets within a search radius of 10 parsecs from the sun. Both direct and interferometric systems operating at visible and infrared wavelengths are evaluated, and the methods used to establish the system tolerances are presented. Due to the more favorable star/planet contrast ratio in the infrared, optical tolerance requirements are less stringent than in the visible. However, reduction of thermal radiation from the telescope requires cooling of the primary optics. Other tradeoffs between various approaches are enumerated.

  19. Tracing characteristic perturbations resulting from Planet-Disk and Binary-Disk interaction in protoplanetary disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruge, Jan Philipp; Wolf, Sebastian; Uribe, Ana; Demidova, Tatiana; Klahr, Hubert; Grinin, Vladimir

    2013-07-01

    The perturbation by an additional, gravitating component (planet, binary star) within a protoplanetary disk induces characteristic large-scale structures in the disk density profile. We investigate the observability of these perturbations. On the basis of a large number of (M)HD and SPH simulations, we calculate synthetic scattered and polarized light images as well as thermal re-emission maps of these models and predict the observational results for different instruments from the optical to the (sub)mm wavelength range with a special focus on ALMA. In the first study (A) (Ruge et al., 2013a,c) we investigate the observability of the planet-disk interaction for different star-disk-planet configurations. We predict that ALMA is able to observe planet-induced gaps around stars of various types and for a large range of disk masses. Besides this, we find that ALMA can trace small, local perturbations indicating zonal flows in the disk. The detectability of gaps in scattered light is limited to a range of total disk masses between 1e-4 M_sun and 1e-6 M_sun. Gap detections in both wavelength ranges are feasible for M_disk ~ 1e-4 M_sun. In our second study (B) (Ruge et al. 2013b) we investigate the observability of perturbations in young circumbinary disks for several orbital elements of the binary system. We find that ALMA will allow one to trace characteristic AU-sized spiral arm features in disks in face-on orientation and also to detect binary-induced perturbations in the edge-on brightness profiles. We find that the technique of differential polarimetry offers the potential for significantly clearer detections of these disk structures than imaging in scattered light alone.

  20. Probing the presence of planets in transition discs' cavities via warps: the case of TW Hya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Facchini, Stefano; Ricci, Luca; Lodato, Giuseppe

    2014-08-01

    We are entering the era in which observations of protoplanetary disc's properties can indirectly probe the presence of massive planets or low-mass stellar companions interacting with the disc. In particular, the detection of warped discs can provide important clues to the properties of the star-disc system. In this paper, we show how observations of warped discs can be used to infer the dynamical properties of the systems. We concentrate on circumbinary discs, where the mass of the secondary can be planetary. First, we provide some simple relations that link the amplitude of the warp in the linear regime to the parameters of the system. Secondly, we apply our method to the case of TW Hya, a transition disc for which a warp has been proposed based on spectroscopic observations. Assuming values for the disc and stellar parameters from observations, we conclude that, in order for a warp induced by a planetary companion to be detectable, the planet mass should be large (Mp ≈ 10-14MJ) and the disc should be viscous (α ≈ 0.15-0.25). We also apply our model to LkCa 15 and T Cha, where a substellar companion has been detected within the central cavity of the transition discs.

  1. The Eccentricity Distribution of Short-period Planet Candidates Detected by Kepler in Occultation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shabram, Megan; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Cisewski, Jessi; Ford, Eric B.; Rogers, Leslie

    2016-04-01

    We characterize the eccentricity distribution of a sample of ∼50 short-period planet candidates using transit and occultation measurements from NASA’s Kepler Mission. First, we evaluate the sensitivity of our hierarchical Bayesian modeling and test its robustness to model misspecification using simulated data. When analyzing actual data assuming a Rayleigh distribution for eccentricity, we find that the posterior mode for the dispersion parameter is σ =0.081{+/- }0.0030.014. We find that a two-component Gaussian mixture model for e cos ω and e sin ω provides a better model than either a Rayleigh or Beta distribution. Based on our favored model, we find that ∼90% of planet candidates in our sample come from a population with an eccentricity distribution characterized by a small dispersion (∼0.01), and ∼10% come from a population with a larger dispersion (∼0.22). Finally, we investigate how the eccentricity distribution correlates with selected planet and host star parameters. We find evidence that suggests systems around higher metallicity stars and planet candidates with smaller radii come from a more complex eccentricity distribution.

  2. Simulations of Detectability of Extrasolar Planets by a Joint Doppler and WFIRST-AFTA Coronagraph Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chontos, Ashley; Macintosh, Bruce; Nielsen, Eric L.

    2016-01-01

    A long-term goal for the astronomical community is to image and characterize an Earth-like planet. The WFIRST-AFTA space mission will make advancements towards this goal. WFIRST will include a coronagraphic instrument to discover and characterize new exoplanets and to better characterize already known exoplanets. We present results of simulations using a Doppler survey to find lower mass planets as possible targets for WFIRST. For simulations, simplified completeness estimates (Howard & Fulton 2014) are used to test the sensitivity of a prospective Doppler campaign. We use data from the HARPS spectrograph to determine exposure times needed to achieve 1 m/s uncertainty. Stellar jitter was randomly sampled from a uniform distribution based on spectral type, treating OBA-type, FGK-type, and M-type stars separately. For survey parameters, we use campaign parameters from the WIYN telescope, assuming 10 hours per night at 100 nights per year over 6 years. In any one simulation, we find roughly 45-50 new planets that are potentially observable by WFIRST. By limiting our targets to FGKM type stars within 10 parsecs, we expect one of those planets to be less than 10 ME.

  3. Simulations of Detectability of Extrasolar Planets by a Joint Doppler and WFIRST-AFTA Coronagraph Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chontos, Ashley; Macintosh, Bruce; Nielsen, Eric

    2016-03-01

    A long-term goal for the astronomical community is to image and characterize an Earth-like planet. The WFIRST-AFTA space mission will make advancements towards this goal. WFIRST will include a coronagraphic instrument to discover and characterize new exoplanets and to better characterize already known exoplanets. Although the WFIRST coronagraph will be very powerful, mission time to discover new planetary systems is limited. Identifying promising targets in advance could significantly enhance the scientific yield. We present results of simulations using a Doppler survey to find lower mass planets as possible targets for WFIRST. For simulations, simplified completeness estimates (Howard & Fulton 2014) are used to test the sensitivity of a prospective Doppler campaign. We use data from the HARPS spectrograph to determine exposure times needed to achieve 1 m/s uncertainty. Stellar jitter was randomly sampled from a uniform distribution based on spectral type, treating OBA-type, FGK-type, and M-type stars separately. For survey parameters, we use campaign parameters from the WIYN telescope, assuming 10 hours per night at 100 nights per year over 6 years. In any one simulation, we find roughly 45-50 new planets that are potentially observable by WFIRST. By limiting our targets to FGKM type stars within 10 parsecs, we expect one of those planets to be less than 10 Earth masses.

  4. Nemesis, Tyche, Planet Nine Hypotheses. I. Can We Detect the Bodies Using Gravitational Lensing?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippov, J. P.; Chobanu, M. I.

    2016-08-01

    In this paper, the hypothesis of the existence of a massive dark body (Nemesis, Tyche, Planet Nine, or any other trans-Plutonian planet) at the Solar system periphery is analysed. Basic physical properties and orbital characteristics of such massive bodies are considered. The problem of the definition of a scattering angle of a photon in the gravitational field of a spherical lens is studied. It is shown that, the required value of the scattering angle can be measured for the cases of Nemesis and Tyche. The formation of gravitational lensing images is studied here for a point mass event. It is demonstrated that in most cases of the close rapprochement of a source and the lens (for Nemesis and Tyche), it is possible to resolve two images. The possibility of resolving these images is one of the main arguments favouring the gravitational lensing method as its efficiency in searching for dark massive objects at the edge of the Solar System is higher than the one corresponding to other methods such as stellar occultation. For the cases of Planet Nine and any other trans-Plutonian planet, the strong gravitational lensing is impossible because at least one of the images is always eclipsed.

  5. Planet Demographics from Transits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howard, Andrew

    2015-08-01

    From the demographics of planets detected by the Kepler mission, we have learned that there exists approximately one planet per star for planets larger than Earth orbiting inside of 1 AU. We have also learned the relative occurrence of these planets as a function of their orbital periods, sizes, and host star masses and metallicities. In this talk I will review the key statistical findings that the planet size distribution peaks in the range 1-3 times Earth-size, the orbital period distribution is characterized by a power-law cut off at short periods, small planets are more prevalent around small stars, and that approximately 20% of Sun-like stars hosts a planet 1-2 times Earth-size in a habitable zone. Looking forward, I will describe analysis of photometry from the K2 mission that is yielding initial planet discoveries and offering the opportunity to measure planet occurrence in widely separated regions of the galaxy. Finally, I will also discuss recent techniques to discover transiting planets in space-based photometry and to infer planet population properties from the ensemble of detected and non-detected transit signals.

  6. Extrasolar Planets in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    George, Samuel J.

    2011-01-01

    The field of extrasolar planets is still, in comparison with other astrophysical topics, in its infancy. There have been about 300 or so extrasolar planets detected and their detection has been accomplished by various different techniques. Here we present a simple laboratory experiment to show how planets are detected using the transit technique.…

  7. Photometric detections of secondary and primary transits of extra-solar planet CoRoT-1b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, Stephanie

    The goal of this project is to determine the observational limitations of photometrically detecting secondary eclipses of exoplanets from a 0.6-meter ground-based telescope and to place constraints on the planet's thermal properties. Secondary eclipses have been successfully measured via space-based telescopes such as the Spitzer Space Telescope. Time on space-based telescopes is limited and highly competitive. Smaller, ground-based telescopes are more common and thus it is easier for observers to schedule large blocks of time on these telescopes. These smaller telescopes also can observe exoplanets in the z' band on which the planets' thermal emission begins to become significant and would be more useful for building up large samples of data. A primary transit in B, V, and z' filters and a secondary transit in the z' filter of CoRoT-1b are analyzed in this thesis. Constraints on the planet's temperature, albedo and energy transports can be found from analysis of these transits.

  8. A transition in circumbinary accretion discs at a binary mass ratio of 1:25

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Orazio, Daniel J.; Haiman, Zoltán; Duffell, Paul; MacFadyen, Andrew; Farris, Brian

    2016-07-01

    We study circumbinary accretion discs in the framework of the restricted three-body problem (R3Bp) and via numerically solving the height-integrated equations of viscous hydrodynamics. Varying the mass ratio of the binary, we find a pronounced change in the behaviour of the disc near mass ratio q ≡ Ms/Mp ˜ 0.04. For mass ratios above q = 0.04, solutions for the hydrodynamic flow transition from steady, to strongly fluctuating; a narrow annular gap in the surface density around the secondary's orbit changes to a hollow central cavity; and a spatial symmetry is lost, resulting in a lopsided disc. This phase transition is coincident with the mass ratio above which stable orbits do not exist around the L4 and L5 equilibrium points of the R3Bp. Using the DISCO code, we find that for thin discs, for which a gap or cavity can remain open, the mass ratio of the transition is relatively insensitive to disc viscosity and pressure. The q = 0.04 transition has relevance for the evolution of massive black hole binary+disc systems at the centres of galactic nuclei, as well as for young stellar binaries and possibly planets around brown dwarfs.

  9. IBIS: An Interferometer-Based Imaging System for Detecting Extrasolar Planets with a Next Generation Space Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diner, David J.

    1989-01-01

    The direct detection of extrasolar planetary systems is a challenging observational objective. The observing system must be able to detect faint planetary signals against the background of diffracted and scattered starlight, zodiacal light, and in the IR, mirror thermal radiation. As part of a JPL study, we concluded that the best long-term approach is a 10-20 m filled-aperture telescope operating in the thermal IR (10-15 microns). At these wavelengths, the star/planet flux ratio is on the order of 10(exp 6)-10(exp 8). Our study supports the work of Angel et al., who proposed a cooled 16-m IR telescope and a special apodization mask to suppress the stellar light within a limited angular region around the star. Our scheme differs in that it is capable of stellar suppression over a much broader field-of- view, enabling more efficient planet searches. To do this, certain key optical signal-processing components are needed, including a coronagraph to apodize the stellar diffraction pattern, an infrared interferometer to provide further starlight suppression, a complementary visible-wavelength interferometer to sense figure errors in the telescope optics, and a deformable mirror to adaptively compensate for these errors. Because of the central role of interferometry we have designated this concept the Interferometer-Based Imaging System (IBIS). IBIS incorporates techniques originally suggested by Ken Knight for extrasolar planet detection at visible wavelengths. The type of telescope discussed at this workshop is well suited to implementation of the IBIS concept.

  10. IRAS 19135+3937: an SRd variable as interacting binary surrounded by a circumbinary disc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorlova, N.; Van Winckel, H.; Ikonnikova, N. P.; Burlak, M. A.; Komissarova, G. V.; Jorissen, A.; Gielen, C.; Debosscher, J.; Degroote, P.

    2015-08-01

    Semi-regular (SR) variables are not a homogeneous class and their variability is often explained due to pulsations and/or binarity. This study focuses on IRAS 19135+3937, an SRd variable with an infrared excess indicative of a dusty disc. A time series of high-resolution spectra, UBV photometry as well as a very accurate light curve obtained by the Kepler satellite, allowed us to study the object in unprecedented detail. We discovered it to be a binary with a period of 127 d. The primary has a low surface gravity and an atmosphere depleted in refractory elements. This combination of properties unambiguously places IRAS 19135+3937 in the subclass of post-asymptotic giant branch stars with dusty discs. We show that the light variations in this object cannot be due to pulsations, but are likely caused by the obscuration of the primary by the circumbinary disc during orbital motion. Furthermore, we argue that the double-peaked Fe emission lines provide evidence for the existence of a gaseous circumbinary Keplerian disc inside the dusty disc. A secondary set of absorption lines has been detected near light minimum, which we attribute to the reflected spectrum of the primary on the disc wall, which segregates due to the different Doppler shift. This corroborates the recent finding that reflection in the optical by this type of discs is very efficient. The system also shows a variable H α profile indicating a collimated outflow originating around the companion. IRAS 19135+3937 thus encompasses all the major emergent trends about evolved disc systems, that will eventually help to place these objects in the evolutionary context.

  11. Yet more on the circumbinary disk of SS 433

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowler, M. G.

    2013-08-01

    Context. Certain lines in spectra of the Galactic microquasar SS 433, in particular the Hα line and He I, have been interpreted as emission from a circumbinary disk. In this interpretation the orbital speed of the glowing material is in excess of 200 km s-1 and the mass of the binary system in excess of 40 M⊙. The data show that He I emission fades much faster than Hα. This requirement has been incorporated into successful heuristic models yet has remained unexplained hitherto. Aims: We present a model in which the different characteristics of the Hα and He I lines are naturally explained by the different ionization potentials of the atoms. Methods: A model was constructed in which the emission of any given patch of putative circumbinary disk material is determined both by its illumination and the depth of the ionization zone. Results: The depth of the ionization zones depend on the illumination with photons above ionization thresholds, much higher for He than for H. Thus in the new model the emission distribution round the ring is more uniform for Hα recombination lines than for He I. The new model provides an excellent description of the observations, including Hα intensity. The variations of the Hα and He I spectra with orbital phase are described quantitatively. Conclusions: The new model makes no appeal to ad hoc decay parameters and locates the differences between Hα and He I spectra in the different ionization potentials. If the circumbinary disk scenario is essentially correct, as now seems even more likely, the mass of the binary system must exceed 40 M⊙ and the compact object must be a rather massive stellar black hole.

  12. CIRCUMBINARY CHAOS: USING PLUTO'S NEWEST MOON TO CONSTRAIN THE MASSES OF NIX AND HYDRA

    SciTech Connect

    Youdin, Andrew N.; Kratter, Kaitlin M.; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2012-08-10

    The Pluto system provides a unique local laboratory for the study of binaries with multiple low-mass companions. In this paper, we study the orbital stability of P4, the most recently discovered moon in the Pluto system. This newfound companion orbits near the plane of the Pluto-Charon (PC) binary, roughly halfway between the two minor moons Nix and Hydra. We use a suite of few body integrations to constrain the masses of Nix and Hydra, and the orbital parameters of P4. For the system to remain stable over the age of the solar system, the masses of Nix and Hydra likely do not exceed 5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 16} kg and 9 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 16} kg, respectively. These upper limits assume a fixed mass ratio between Nix and Hydra at the value implied by their median optical brightness. Our study finds that stability is more sensitive to their total mass and that a downward revision of Charon's eccentricity (from our adopted value of 0.0035) is unlikely to significantly affect our conclusions. Our upper limits are an order of magnitude below existing astrometric limits on the masses of Nix and Hydra. For a density at least that of ice, the albedos of Nix and Hydra would exceed 0.3. This constraint implies they are icy, as predicted by giant impact models. Even with these low masses, P4 only remains stable if its eccentricity e {approx}< 0.02. The 5:1 commensurability with Charon is particularly unstable, combining stability constraints with the observed mean motion places the preferred orbit for P4 just exterior to the 5:1 resonance. These predictions will be tested when the New Horizons satellite visits Pluto. Based on the results for the PC system, we expect that circumbinary, multi-planet systems will be more widely spaced than their singleton counterparts. Further, circumbinary exoplanets close to the three-body stability boundary, such as those found by Kepler, are less likely to have other companions nearby.

  13. Terrestrial Planet Formation in Binary Star Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, J. J.; Quintana, E. V.; Adams, F. C.; Chambers, J. E.

    2006-01-01

    Most stars reside in binary/multiple star systems; however, previous models of planet formation have studied growth of bodies orbiting an isolated single star. Disk material has been observed around one or both components of various young close binary star systems. If planets form at the right places within such disks, they can remain dynamically stable for very long times. We have simulated the late stages of growth of terrestrial planets in both circumbinary disks around 'close' binary star systems with stellar separations ($a_B$) in the range 0.05 AU $\\le a_B \\le$ 0.4 AU and binary eccentricities in the range $0 \\le e \\le 0.8$ and circumstellar disks around individual stars with binary separations of tens of AU. The initial disk of planetary embryos is the same as that used for simulating the late stages of terrestrial planet growth within our Solar System and around individual stars in the Alpha Centauri system (Quintana et al. 2002, A.J., 576, 982); giant planets analogous to Jupiter and Saturn are included if their orbits are stable. The planetary systems formed around close binaries with stellar apastron distances less than or equal to 0.2 AU with small stellar eccentricities are very similar to those formed in the Sun-Jupiter-Saturn, whereas planetary systems formed around binaries with larger maximum separations tend to be sparser, with fewer planets, especially interior to 1 AU. Likewise, when the binary periastron exceeds 10 AU, terrestrial planets can form over essentially the entire range of orbits allowed for single stars with Jupiter-like planets, although fewer terrestrial planets tend to form within high eccentricity binary systems. As the binary periastron decreases, the radial extent of the terrestrial planet systems is reduced accordingly. When the periastron is 5 AU, the formation of Earth-like planets near 1 AU is compromised.

  14. The Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, L. J.; Seager, S.

    2007-01-01

    In this chapter we examine what can be learned about extrasolar planet atmospheres by concentrating on a class of planets that transit their parent stars. As discussed in the previous chapter, one way of detecting an extrasolar planet is by observing the drop in stellar intensity as the planet passes in front of the star. A transit represents a special case in which the geometry of the planetary system is such that the planet s orbit is nearly edge-on as seen from Earth. As we will explore, the transiting planets provide opportunities for detailed follow-up observations that allow physical characterization of extrasolar planets, probing their bulk compositions and atmospheres.

  15. Planet formation in multiple stellar systems: GG Tau A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Folco, E.; Dutrey, A.; Guilloteau, S.; Le Bouquin, J.-B.; Lacour, S.; Berger, J.-P.; Köhler, R.; Piétu, V.

    2014-12-01

    GG Tau is a hierarchical quadruple system of young, low-mass stars. Because of its well-studied bright circumbinary ring of dust and gas surrounding the main binary GG Tau A, it is a unique laboratory to study planet formation in the disturbed environment of binary/multiple stellar systems. We have started a large observing program of GG Tau A that combines several high-resolution instruments in a multi-wavelength approach. We have recently reported the detection of a new low-mass companion in GG Tau A that turns out to itself be a triple system. This discovery was possible thanks to the very high angular resolution of the near-IR instrument PIONIER on the VLT interferometer, and was confirmed with sub-aperture masking techniques on VLT/NaCo. The detected close binary GG Tau Ab (ρ = 0.032'', or about 5 AU) provides a natural explanation for two enigmas: the discrepancy between the dynamical mass and the spectral type estimates in GG Tau A, and the absence of dust thermal emission in the vicinity of the Ab component. GRAVITY will provide the adequate angular resolution to complete the astrometric characterization of the close binary in the next 10 years. With now 5 coeval low-mass stars, GG Tau is an ideal laboratory to calibrate stellar evolution tracks at young ages (few Myr). Beyond this peculiar system, GRAVITY also has a strong potential to study the impact of multiplicity on the existence of disks, and in fine on planet formation mechanisms in multiple systems.

  16. MOA 2010-BLG-477Lb: CONSTRAINING THE MASS OF A MICROLENSING PLANET FROM MICROLENSING PARALLAX, ORBITAL MOTION, AND DETECTION OF BLENDED LIGHT

    SciTech Connect

    Bachelet, E.; Fouque, P.; Shin, I.-G.; Han, C.; Gould, A.; Dong, Subo; Marshall, J.; Skowron, J.; Menzies, J. W.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Marquette, J.-B.; Bennett, D. P.; Bond, I. A.; Heyrovsky, D.; Street, R. A.; Sumi, T.; Udalski, A.; Abe, L.; Agabi, K.; Albrow, M. D.; Collaboration: PLANET Collaboration; FUN muCollaboration; MOA Collaboration; OGLE Collaboration; RoboNet Collaboration; MiNDSTEp Consortium; and others

    2012-07-20

    Microlensing detections of cool planets are important for the construction of an unbiased sample to estimate the frequency of planets beyond the snow line, which is where giant planets are thought to form according to the core accretion theory of planet formation. In this paper, we report the discovery of a giant planet detected from the analysis of the light curve of a high-magnification microlensing event MOA 2010-BLG-477. The measured planet-star mass ratio is q = (2.181 {+-} 0.004) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -3} and the projected separation is s = 1.1228 {+-} 0.0006 in units of the Einstein radius. The angular Einstein radius is unusually large {theta}{sub E} = 1.38 {+-} 0.11 mas. Combining this measurement with constraints on the 'microlens parallax' and the lens flux, we can only limit the host mass to the range 0.13 < M/M{sub Sun} < 1.0. In this particular case, the strong degeneracy between microlensing parallax and planet orbital motion prevents us from measuring more accurate host and planet masses. However, we find that adding Bayesian priors from two effects (Galactic model and Keplerian orbit) each independently favors the upper end of this mass range, yielding star and planet masses of M{sub *} = 0.67{sup +0.33}{sub -0.13} M{sub Sun} and m{sub p} = 1.5{sup +0.8}{sub -0.3} M{sub JUP} at a distance of D = 2.3 {+-} 0.6 kpc, and with a semi-major axis of a = 2{sup +3}{sub -1} AU. Finally, we show that the lens mass can be determined from future high-resolution near-IR adaptive optics observations independently from two effects, photometric and astrometric.

  17. Keplerian Circumbinary Disk and Accretion Streams around the Protostellar Binary System L1551 NE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takakuwa, S.; Saito, M.; Lim, J.; Saigo, K.; Hanawa, T.; Matsumoto, T.

    2013-10-01

    We show our recent observational results of L1551 NE, an archetypal binary protostellar system, in the 0.9-mm dust continuum emission and the C18O (J=3-2) emission with the SubMillimeter Array (SMA). The SMA results show firm evidence for a Keplerian circumbinary disk, circumstellar disks, and an inner clearing in the circumbinary disk, in L1551 NE. We demonstrate that future observations of L1551 NE with Atacama Large Millimeter and submillimeter Array (ALMA) have the potential to unveil the theoretically-predicted “accretion streams” that channel material from the circumbinary disk to the individual circumstellar disks.

  18. Limits on Surface Gravities of Kepler Planet-candidate Host Stars from Non-detection of Solar-like Oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campante, T. L.; Chaplin, W. J.; Lund, M. N.; Huber, D.; Hekker, S.; García, R. A.; Corsaro, E.; Handberg, R.; Miglio, A.; Arentoft, T.; Basu, S.; Bedding, T. R.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Davies, G. R.; Elsworth, Y. P.; Gilliland, R. L.; Karoff, C.; Kawaler, S. D.; Kjeldsen, H.; Lundkvist, M.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Silva Aguirre, V.; Stello, D.

    2014-03-01

    We present a novel method for estimating lower-limit surface gravities (log g) of Kepler targets whose data do not allow the detection of solar-like oscillations. The method is tested using an ensemble of solar-type stars observed in the context of the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium. We then proceed to estimate lower-limit log g for a cohort of Kepler solar-type planet-candidate host stars with no detected oscillations. Limits on fundamental stellar properties, as provided by this work, are likely to be useful in the characterization of the corresponding candidate planetary systems. Furthermore, an important byproduct of the current work is the confirmation that amplitudes of solar-like oscillations are suppressed in stars with increased levels of surface magnetic activity.

  19. Limits on surface gravities of Kepler planet-candidate host stars from non-detection of solar-like oscillations

    SciTech Connect

    Campante, T. L.; Chaplin, W. J.; Handberg, R.; Miglio, A.; Davies, G. R.; Elsworth, Y. P.; Lund, M. N.; Arentoft, T.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Karoff, C.; Kjeldsen, H.; Lundkvist, M.; Huber, D.; Hekker, S.; García, R. A.; Basu, S.; Bedding, T. R.; Gilliland, R. L.; Kawaler, S. D.; and others

    2014-03-10

    We present a novel method for estimating lower-limit surface gravities (log g) of Kepler targets whose data do not allow the detection of solar-like oscillations. The method is tested using an ensemble of solar-type stars observed in the context of the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium. We then proceed to estimate lower-limit log g for a cohort of Kepler solar-type planet-candidate host stars with no detected oscillations. Limits on fundamental stellar properties, as provided by this work, are likely to be useful in the characterization of the corresponding candidate planetary systems. Furthermore, an important byproduct of the current work is the confirmation that amplitudes of solar-like oscillations are suppressed in stars with increased levels of surface magnetic activity.

  20. ESA to test the smartest technique for detecting extrasolar planets from the ground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2002-03-01

    GENIE will use ESO's Very Large Telescopes Credits: European Southern Observatory This photo shows an aerial view of the observing platform on the top of Paranal mountain (from late 1999), with the four enclosu Three 1.8-m VLTI Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs) and paths of the light beams have been superposed on the photo. Also seen are some of the 30 'stations' where the ATs will be positioned for observations and from where the light beams from the telescopes can enter the Interferometric Tunnel below. The straight structures are supports for the rails on which the telescopes can move from one station to another. The Interferometric Laboratory (partly subterranean) is at the centre of the platform. How nulling interferometry works Credits: ESA 2002/Medialab How nulling interferometry works In nulling interferometry, light from a distant star (red beams) hits each telescope, labelled T1 and T2, simultaneously. Before the resultant light beams are combined, the beam from one telescope is delayed by half a wavelength. This means that when the rays are brought together, peaks from one telescope line up with troughs from the other and so are cancelled out (represented by the straight red line), leaving no starlight. Light from a planet (blue beams), orbiting the star, enters the telescopes at an angle. This introduces a delay in the light reaching the second telescope. So, even after the half wavelength change in one of the rays, when the beams are combined they are reinforced (represented by the large blue waves) rather than cancelled out. Illustration by Medialab. Nulling interferometry combines the signal from a number of different telescopes in such a way that the light from the central star is cancelled out, leaving the much fainter planet easier to see. This is possible because light is a wave with peaks and troughs. Usually when combining light from two or more telescopes, a technique called interferometry, the peaks are lined up with one another to boost the signal

  1. Detecting extra-solar planets with the Japanese 3.5 m SPICA space telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abe, Lyu; Enya, Keigo; Tanaka, Shinichiro; Nakagawa, Takao; Kataza, Hirokazu; Tamura, Motohide; Guyon, Olivier

    2007-04-01

    We present the 3.5 m SPace Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) space telescope, the launch of which is schedule around year 2015 by the Japanese HII-A rocket, and specifically discuss its use in the context of direct observation of extra-solar planets. This actively cooled (4.5 K), single aperture telescope will operate in the mid and far infrared spectral regions, and up to submillimetric wavelengths (200 μm). The lowest spectral region (5 to 20 μm), where the spatial resolution is the most favorable, will be dedicated to high contrast imaging with coronagraphy. This article describes the SPICA coronagraph project in terms of science, as well as our efforts to study a suitable instrumental concept, compatible with the constraints of the telescope architecture. To cite this article: L. Abe et al., C. R. Physique 8 (2007).

  2. Comments on the photometric method for the detection of extrasolar planets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giampapa, Mark S.; Craine, Eric R.; Hott, Douglas A.

    1995-11-01

    We offer further perspectives on the application of the photometric technique to the search for extrasolar planets. The principal obstacles to this approach include (1) the ambiguous interpretation of the photometric signature of a possible transit event arising from the potential for confusion with stellar activity and (2) the observational intensity of the search technique. We emphasize that the former issue can be addressed through multiband observations combined with consideration of the characteristic time scales of forms of stellar activity compared to the time scale of a transit event. In the case of the latter concern, the advent of modern, automated telescope technologies offers the realistic prospect of meeting the demanding observational requirements of this approach. We find that joint visual and near infrared observations are necessary to immediately distinguish between, for example, a planetary transit and a cool spot on the stellar surface. However, these observations by themselves do not appear sufficient to distinguish between a brown dwarf and a jovian-size planetary companion of a dwarf M star. In such cases, other complementary observations will be necessary. We developed a computer simulation to estimate the average number of transits per year that would be presented for a stellar sample characterized by realistic properties in terms of spectral type distribution, effective temperatures, masses, and radii. A simple thermal model is adopted to estimate star-planet separations. The simulation suggests that the frequency of transit events will be dominated by M dwarf systems. This is due to the large number of these objects combined with the relative proximity to these cool stars within which planetary formation can occur according to current models.

  3. Extrasolar binary planets. I. Formation by tidal capture during planet-planet scattering

    SciTech Connect

    Ochiai, H.; Nagasawa, M.; Ida, S.

    2014-08-01

    We have investigated (1) the formation of gravitationally bounded pairs of gas-giant planets (which we call 'binary planets') from capturing each other through planet-planet dynamical tide during their close encounters and (2) the subsequent long-term orbital evolution due to planet-planet and planet-star quasi-static tides. For the initial evolution in phase 1, we carried out N-body simulations of the systems consisting of three Jupiter-mass planets taking into account the dynamical tide. The formation rate of the binary planets is as much as 10% of the systems that undergo orbital crossing, and this fraction is almost independent of the initial stellarcentric semimajor axes of the planets, while ejection and merging rates sensitively depend on the semimajor axes. As a result of circularization by the planet-planet dynamical tide, typical binary separations are a few times the sum of the physical radii of the planets. After the orbital circularization, the evolution of the binary system is governed by long-term quasi-static tide. We analytically calculated the quasi-static tidal evolution in phase 2. The binary planets first enter the spin-orbit synchronous state by the planet-planet tide. The planet-star tide removes angular momentum of the binary motion, eventually resulting in a collision between the planets. However, we found that the binary planets survive the tidal decay for the main-sequence lifetime of solar-type stars (∼10 Gyr), if the binary planets are beyond ∼0.3 AU from the central stars. These results suggest that the binary planets can be detected by transit observations at ≳ 0.3 AU.

  4. Prospects for detecting the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect of Earth-like planets: the test case of TRAPPIST-1b and c

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cloutier, Ryan; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.

    2016-08-01

    The Rossiter-McLaughlin effect is the principal method of determining the sky-projected spin-orbit angle (β) of transiting planets. Taking the example of the recently discovered TRAPPIST-1 system, we explore how ultracool dwarfs facilitate the measurement of the spin-orbit angle for Earth-sized planets by creating an effect that can be an order of magnitude more ample than the Doppler reflex motion caused by the planet if the star is undergoing rapid rotation. In TRAPPIST-1's case we expect the semi-amplitudes to be 40 - 50 m s-1 for the known transiting planets. Accounting for stellar jitter expected for ultracool dwarfs and instrumental noise, and assuming radial velocity precisions both demonstrated and anticipated for upcoming near-infrared spectrographs, we quantify the observational effort required to measure the planets' masses and spin-orbit angles. We conclude that if the planetary system is well-aligned then β can be measured to a precision of ≲ 10° if the spectrograph is stable at the level of 2 m s-1. We also investigate the measure of Δβ, the mutual inclination, when multiple transiting planets are present in the system. Lastly, we note that the rapid rotation rate of many late M-dwarfs will amplify the Rossiter-McLaughlin signal to the point where variations in the chromatic Rossiter-McLaughlin effect from atmospheric absorbers should be detectable.

  5. Remote life-detection criteria, habitable zone boundaries, and the frequency of Earth-like planets around M and late K stars.

    PubMed

    Kasting, James F; Kopparapu, Ravikumar; Ramirez, Ramses M; Harman, Chester E

    2014-09-01

    The habitable zone (HZ) around a star is typically defined as the region where a rocky planet can maintain liquid water on its surface. That definition is appropriate, because this allows for the possibility that carbon-based, photosynthetic life exists on the planet in sufficient abundance to modify the planet's atmosphere in a way that might be remotely detected. Exactly what conditions are needed, however, to maintain liquid water remains a topic for debate. In the past, modelers have restricted themselves to water-rich planets with CO2 and H2O as the only important greenhouse gases. More recently, some researchers have suggested broadening the definition to include arid, "Dune" planets on the inner edge and planets with captured H2 atmospheres on the outer edge, thereby greatly increasing the HZ width. Such planets could exist, but we demonstrate that an inner edge limit of 0.59 AU or less is physically unrealistic. We further argue that conservative HZ definitions should be used for designing future space-based telescopes, but that optimistic definitions may be useful in interpreting the data from such missions. In terms of effective solar flux, S(eff), the recently recalculated HZ boundaries are: recent Venus--1.78; runaway greenhouse--1.04; moist greenhouse--1.01; maximum greenhouse--0.35; and early Mars--0.32. Based on a combination of different HZ definitions, the frequency of potentially Earth-like planets around late K and M stars observed by Kepler is in the range of 0.4-0.5. PMID:24277805

  6. ROTATIONAL VARIABILITY OF EARTH'S POLAR REGIONS: IMPLICATIONS FOR DETECTING SNOWBALL PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Cowan, Nicolas B.; Robinson, Tyler; Agol, Eric; Meadows, Victoria S.; Shields, Aomawa L.; Livengood, Timothy A.; Deming, Drake; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Wellnitz, Dennis D.; Charbonneau, David; Lisse, Carey M.

    2011-04-10

    We have obtained the first time-resolved, disk-integrated observations of Earth's poles with the Deep Impact spacecraft as part of the EPOXI mission of opportunity. These data mimic what we will see when we point next-generation space telescopes at nearby exoplanets. We use principal component analysis (PCA) and rotational light curve inversion to characterize color inhomogeneities and map their spatial distribution from these unusual vantage points, as a complement to the equatorial views presented by Cowan et al. in 2009. We also perform the same PCA on a suite of simulated rotational multi-band light curves from NASA's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional spectral Earth model. This numerical experiment allows us to understand what sorts of surface features PCA can robustly identify. We find that the EPOXI polar observations have similar broadband colors as the equatorial Earth, but with 20%-30% greater apparent albedo. This is because the polar observations are most sensitive to mid-latitudes, which tend to be more cloudy than the equatorial latitudes emphasized by the original EPOXI Earth observations. The cloudiness of the mid-latitudes also manifests itself in the form of increased variability at short wavelengths in the polar observations and as a dominant gray eigencolor in the south polar observation. We construct a simple reflectance model for a snowball Earth. By construction, our model has a higher Bond albedo than the modern Earth; its surface albedo is so high that Rayleigh scattering does not noticeably affect its spectrum. The rotational color variations occur at short wavelengths due to the large contrast between glacier ice and bare land in those wavebands. Thus, we find that both the broadband colors and diurnal color variations of such a planet would be easily distinguishable from the modern-day Earth, regardless of viewing angle.

  7. Rotational Variability of Earth's Polar Regions: Implications for Detecting Snowball Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowan, Nicolas B.; Robinson, Tyler; Livengood, Timothy A.; Deming, Drake; Agol, Eric; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Charbonneau, David; Lisse, Carey M.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Seager, Sara; Shields, Aomawa L.; Wellnitz, Dennis D.

    2011-04-01

    We have obtained the first time-resolved, disk-integrated observations of Earth's poles with the Deep Impact spacecraft as part of the EPOXI mission of opportunity. These data mimic what we will see when we point next-generation space telescopes at nearby exoplanets. We use principal component analysis (PCA) and rotational light curve inversion to characterize color inhomogeneities and map their spatial distribution from these unusual vantage points, as a complement to the equatorial views presented by Cowan et al. in 2009. We also perform the same PCA on a suite of simulated rotational multi-band light curves from NASA's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional spectral Earth model. This numerical experiment allows us to understand what sorts of surface features PCA can robustly identify. We find that the EPOXI polar observations have similar broadband colors as the equatorial Earth, but with 20%-30% greater apparent albedo. This is because the polar observations are most sensitive to mid-latitudes, which tend to be more cloudy than the equatorial latitudes emphasized by the original EPOXI Earth observations. The cloudiness of the mid-latitudes also manifests itself in the form of increased variability at short wavelengths in the polar observations and as a dominant gray eigencolor in the south polar observation. We construct a simple reflectance model for a snowball Earth. By construction, our model has a higher Bond albedo than the modern Earth; its surface albedo is so high that Rayleigh scattering does not noticeably affect its spectrum. The rotational color variations occur at short wavelengths due to the large contrast between glacier ice and bare land in those wavebands. Thus, we find that both the broadband colors and diurnal color variations of such a planet would be easily distinguishable from the modern-day Earth, regardless of viewing angle.

  8. Challenges of Using Earth's Atmosphere as a Proxy for Detecting Biosignatures on Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeMarines, J.

    2012-06-01

    Assessing the challenges associated with the detectability of primitive biosignatures present on early Earth (methane and ethane) and addressing the observational difficulties when we begin to observe extrasolar atmospheres with a TPF-O mission.

  9. The Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James; Palmer, David; Doyon, Rene; Gavel, Don; Larkin, James; Oppenheimer, Ben; Saddlemyer, Leslie; Wallace, J. Kent; Bauman, Brian; Evans, Julia; Erikson, Darren; Morzinski, Katie; Phillion, Donald; Poyneer, Lisa; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Soummer, Remi; Thibault, Simon; Veran, Jean-Pierre

    2006-06-01

    The next major frontier in the study of extrasolar planets is direct imaging detection of the planets themselves. With high-order adaptive optics, careful system design, and advanced coronagraphy, it is possible for an AO system on a 8-m class telescope to achieve contrast levels of 10 -7 to 10 -8, sufficient to detect warm self-luminous Jovian planets in the solar neighborhood. Such direct detection is sensitive to planets inaccessible to current radial-velocity surveys and allows spectral characterization of the planets, shedding light on planet formation and the structure of other solar systems. We have begun the construction of such a system for the Gemini Observatory. Dubbed the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), this instrument should be deployed in 2010 on the Gemini South telescope. It combines a 2000-actuator MEMS-based AO system, an apodized-pupil Lyot coronagraph, a precision infrared interferometer for real-time wavefront calibration at the nanometer level, and a infrared integral field spectrograph for detection and characterization of the target planets. GPI will be able to achieve Strehl ratios > 0.9 at 1.65 microns and to observe a broad sample of science targets with I band magnitudes less than 8. In addition to planet detection, GPI will also be capable of polarimetric imaging of circumstellar dust disks, studies of evolved stars, and high-Strehl imaging spectroscopy of bright targets. We present here an overview of the GPI instrument design, an error budget highlighting key technological challenges, and models of the system performance.

  10. The Gemini Planet Imager

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, B; al., e

    2006-05-02

    The next major frontier in the study of extrasolar planets is direct imaging detection of the planets themselves. With high-order adaptive optics, careful system design, and advanced coronagraphy, it is possible for an AO system on a 8-m class telescope to achieve contrast levels of 10{sup -7} to 10{sup -8}, sufficient to detect warm self-luminous Jovian planets in the solar neighborhood. Such direct detection is sensitive to planets inaccessible to current radial-velocity surveys and allows spectral characterization of the planets, shedding light on planet formation and the structure of other solar systems. We have begun the construction of such a system for the Gemini Observatory. Dubbed the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), this instrument should be deployed in 2010 on the Gemini South telescope. It combines a 2000-actuator MEMS-based AO system, an apodized-pupil Lyot coronagraph, a precision infrared interferometer for real-time wavefront calibration at the nanometer level, and a infrared integral field spectrograph for detection and characterization of the target planets. GPI will be able to achieve Strehl ratios > 0.9 at 1.65 microns and to observe a broad sample of science targets with I band magnitudes less than 8. In addition to planet detection, GPI will also be capable of polarimetric imaging of circumstellar dust disks, studies of evolved stars, and high-Strehl imaging spectroscopy of bright targets. We present here an overview of the GPI instrument design, an error budget highlighting key technological challenges, and models of the system performance.

  11. Evidence for Infalling Gas of Low Angular Momentum toward the L1551 NE Keplerian Circumbinary Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takakuwa, Shigehisa; Saito, Masao; Lim, Jeremy; Saigo, Kazuya

    2013-10-01

    We report follow-up C18O(3-2) line observations of the Class I binary protostellar system L1551 NE with the Submillimeter Array in its compact and subcompact configurations. Our previous observations at a higher angular resolution in the extended configuration revealed a circumbinary disk exhibiting Keplerian motion. The combined data, with more extensive spatial coverage (~140-2000 AU), verify the presence of a Keplerian circumbinary disk and reveal for the first time a distinct low-velocity (lsim ± 0.5 km s-1 from the systemic velocity) component that displays a velocity gradient along the minor axis of the circumbinary disk. Our simple model that reproduces the main features seen in the position-velocity diagrams comprises a circumbinary disk exhibiting Keplerian motion out to a radius of ~300 AU, beyond which the gas exhibits pure infall at a constant velocity of ~0.6 km s-1. This velocity is significantly smaller than the expected free-fall velocity of ~2.2 km s-1 onto the L1551 NE protostellar mass of ~0.8 M ⊙ at ~300 AU, suggesting that the infalling gas is decelerated as it moves into regions of high gas pressure in the circumbinary disk. The discontinuity in angular momenta between the outer infalling gas and the inner Keplerian circumbinary disk implies an abrupt transition in the effectiveness at which magnetic braking is able to transfer angular momentum outward, a result perhaps of the different plasma β values and the ionization fractions between the outer and inner regions of the circumbinary disk.

  12. Report from the Third Planet: Detect Temperature Inversions and Meteors with a Television Set.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Helms, Harry L.

    1991-01-01

    Described is how an ordinary FM radio or television receiver can indicate when a meteor streaks overhead by receiving distant broadcast signals. Temperature inversions and the presence of ionized clouds can also be detected using receivers. Information on the troposphere and ionosphere and directions for the activity are included. (KR)

  13. Remote life-detection criteria, habitable zone boundaries, and the frequency of Earth-like planets around M and late K stars

    PubMed Central

    Kasting, James F.; Kopparapu, Ravikumar; Ramirez, Ramses M.; Harman, Chester E.

    2014-01-01

    The habitable zone (HZ) around a star is typically defined as the region where a rocky planet can maintain liquid water on its surface. That definition is appropriate, because this allows for the possibility that carbon-based, photosynthetic life exists on the planet in sufficient abundance to modify the planet’s atmosphere in a way that might be remotely detected. Exactly what conditions are needed, however, to maintain liquid water remains a topic for debate. In the past, modelers have restricted themselves to water-rich planets with CO2 and H2O as the only important greenhouse gases. More recently, some researchers have suggested broadening the definition to include arid, “Dune” planets on the inner edge and planets with captured H2 atmospheres on the outer edge, thereby greatly increasing the HZ width. Such planets could exist, but we demonstrate that an inner edge limit of 0.59 AU or less is physically unrealistic. We further argue that conservative HZ definitions should be used for designing future space-based telescopes, but that optimistic definitions may be useful in interpreting the data from such missions. In terms of effective solar flux, Seff, the recently recalculated HZ boundaries are: recent Venus—1.78; runaway greenhouse—1.04; moist greenhouse—1.01; maximum greenhouse—0.35; and early Mars—0.32. Based on a combination of different HZ definitions, the frequency of potentially Earth-like planets around late K and M stars observed by Kepler is in the range of 0.4–0.5. PMID:24277805

  14. NGTS: a robotic transit survey to detect Neptune and super-Earth mass planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chazelas, Bruno; Pollacco, Don; Queloz, Didier; Rauer, Heike; Wheatley, Peter J.; West, Richard; Da Silva Bento, Joao; Burleigh, Matthew; McCormac, James; Eigmüller, Philipp; Erikson, Anders; Genolet, Ludovic; Goad, Mike; Jordán, Andrés.; Neveu, Marion; Walker, Simon

    2012-09-01

    NGTS is a new ground-based transit survey aimed at detecting sub-Neptune sized exoplanets around bright stars. The instrument will be installed at the ESO Paranal observatory in order to benefit from the excellent observing conditions and follow-up synergy with the VLT and E-ELT. It will be a robotic facility composed of 12, 200 mm telescopes equipped with 2Kx2K NIR sensitive detectors. It is built on the legacy of the WASP experience.

  15. Upcoming Microlensing by Proxima Centauri: A Rare Opportunity for Mass Determination and Planet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Kailash C.; Bond, H. E.; Anderson, J.; Dominik, M.

    2013-06-01

    Proxima Centauri will pass close to two background stars in 2014 and 2016, with impact parameters of about 1.6 and 0.5 arc seconds. Because Proxima is so nearby, its angular Einstein ring radius is large 28 milli arc sec) and will lead to detectable relativistic deflections of the images of the background stars even at those angular separations. Measurement of the astrometric shifts offers a unique opportunity for an accurate determination of the mass of Proxima. Although the background stars are >8.5 mag fainter than Proxima, the large contrast is mitigated by the relatively large separations at which the gravitational deflection is still detectable, and well within the capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope. The upcoming events also offer the opportunity to detect and determine the masses of planetary companions, either through additional astrometric shifts, or in rare circumstances through a photometric microlensing event, leading to a brightening of the source star. These events would have durations of a few hours to several days.

  16. THE RADIAL VELOCITY DETECTION OF EARTH-MASS PLANETS IN THE PRESENCE OF ACTIVITY NOISE: THE CASE OF {alpha} CENTAURI Bb

    SciTech Connect

    Hatzes, Artie P.

    2013-06-20

    We present an analysis of the publicly available HARPS radial velocity (RV) measurements for {alpha} Cen B, a star hosting an Earth-mass planet candidate in a 3.24 day orbit. The goal is to devise robust ways of extracting low-amplitude RV signals of low-mass planets in the presence of activity noise. Two approaches were used to remove the stellar activity signal which dominates the RV variations: (1) Fourier component analysis (pre-whitening), and (2) local trend filtering (LTF) of the activity using short time windows of the data. The Fourier procedure results in a signal at P = 3.236 days and K = 0.42 m s{sup -1}, which is consistent with the presence of an Earth-mass planet, but the false alarm probability for this signal is rather high at a few percent. The LTF results in no significant detection of the planet signal, although it is possible to detect a marginal planet signal with this method using a different choice of time windows and fitting functions. However, even in this case the significance of the 3.24 day signal depends on the details of how a time window containing only 10% of the data is filtered. Both methods should have detected the presence of {alpha} Cen Bb at a higher significance than is actually seen. We also investigated the influence of random noise with a standard deviation comparable to the HARPS data and sampled in the same way. The distribution of the noise peaks in the period range 2.8-3.3 days has a maximum of Almost-Equal-To 3.2 days and amplitudes approximately one-half of the K-amplitude for the planet. The presence of the activity signal may boost the velocity amplitude of these signals to values comparable to the planet. It may be premature to attribute the 3.24 day RV variations to an Earth-mass planet. A better understanding of the noise characteristics in the RV data as well as more measurements with better sampling will be needed to confirm this exoplanet.

  17. Numerical 3D Hydrodynamics Study of Gravitational Instabilities in a Circumbinary Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desai, Karna Mahadev; Steiman-Cameron, Thomas Y.; Michael, Scott; Cai, Kai; Durisen, Richard H.

    2016-01-01

    We present a 3D hydrodynamical study of gravitational instabilities (GIs) in a circumbinary protoplanetary disk around a Solar mass star and a brown dwarf companion (0.02 M⊙). GIs can play an important, and at times dominant, role in driving the structural evolution of protoplanetary disks. The reported simulations were performed employing CHYMERA, a radiative 3D hydrodynamics code developed by the Indiana University Hydrodynamics Group. The simulations include disk self-gravity and radiative cooling governed by realistic dust opacities. We examine the role of GIs in modulating the thermodynamic state of the disks, and determine the strengths of GI-induced density waves, non-axisymmetric density structures, radial mass transport, and gravitational torques. The principal goal of this study is to determine how the presence of the companion affects the nature and strength of GIs. Results are compared with a parallel simulation of a protoplanetary disk without the presence of the brown dwarf binary companion. We detect no fragmentation in either disk. A persistent vortex forms in the inner region of both disks. The vortex seems to be stabilized by the presence of the binary companion.

  18. Planet formation and searches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, Ryan Michael

    2009-08-01

    This thesis explores the possibilities for discovery of terrestrial-mass planets in the habitable zones of their host stars. Towards this aim, we present the results of three projects and discuss another two preliminary studies of further explorations. In so doing, we explore a fairly comprehensive range of possibilities regarding the formation and detection of terrestrial- mass planets in the habitable zone. We first study the potential for terrestrial planets to form in situ in and around the habitable zones of M-dwarf stars. We proceed to explore the feasibility of searches for these planets using the transit method via Monte- Carlo simulations. We find that M-dwarfs pose an interesting challenge for study: being inherently dim, widely spread on the sky, and photometrically variable. We present results of simulated ground-based transit search campaigns as well as simulated searches from a modest satellite mission. Our second project is a straightforward extension of the previous study: a collaborative effort to search for transit signals around the nearest M-dwarf: Proxima Centauri. We describe our observations as well as the Monte-Carlo analysis used to place constraints on the possible planetary radii and periods. Our third project is a search for transiting extra-solar Jovian planets using the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. We search through the private Keck radial- velocity datasets for undiscovered Rossiter-McLaughlin signals. We present our results in the form of both strong null-result datasets as well as potential transiting systems. We then briefly analyze these larger Jovian planets for potential to harbor potentially habitable terrestrial satellites. Our final preliminary analysis looks into the potential for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope to detect transiting Neptune-mass planets orbiting M-dwarfs which could then lead to terrestrial-mass planet detections. The sum of these efforts is a comprehensive investigation into the likelihood and

  19. ADAPTIVE ANNEALED IMPORTANCE SAMPLING FOR MULTIMODAL POSTERIOR EXPLORATION AND MODEL SELECTION WITH APPLICATION TO EXTRASOLAR PLANET DETECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Bin

    2014-07-01

    We describe an algorithm that can adaptively provide mixture summaries of multimodal posterior distributions. The parameter space of the involved posteriors ranges in size from a few dimensions to dozens of dimensions. This work was motivated by an astrophysical problem called extrasolar planet (exoplanet) detection, wherein the computation of stochastic integrals that are required for Bayesian model comparison is challenging. The difficulty comes from the highly nonlinear models that lead to multimodal posterior distributions. We resort to importance sampling (IS) to estimate the integrals, and thus translate the problem to be how to find a parametric approximation of the posterior. To capture the multimodal structure in the posterior, we initialize a mixture proposal distribution and then tailor its parameters elaborately to make it resemble the posterior to the greatest extent possible. We use the effective sample size (ESS) calculated based on the IS draws to measure the degree of approximation. The bigger the ESS is, the better the proposal resembles the posterior. A difficulty within this tailoring operation lies in the adjustment of the number of mixing components in the mixture proposal. Brute force methods just preset it as a large constant, which leads to an increase in the required computational resources. We provide an iterative delete/merge/add process, which works in tandem with an expectation-maximization step to tailor such a number online. The efficiency of our proposed method is tested via both simulation studies and real exoplanet data analysis.

  20. The planets and life.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, R. S.

    1971-01-01

    It is pointed out that planetary exploration is not simply a program designed to detect life on another planet. A planet similar to earth, such as Mars, when studied for evidence as to why life did not arise, may turn out to be scientifically more important than a planet which has already produced a living system. Of particular interest after Mars are Venus and Jupiter. Jupiter has a primitive atmosphere which may well be synthesizing organic molecules today. Speculations have been made concerning the possibility of a bio-zone in the upper atmosphere of Venus.

  1. Atmospheres of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark

    2006-01-01

    The next decade will almost certainly see the direct imaging of extrasolar giant planets around nearby stars. Unlike purely radial velocity detections, direct imaging will open the door to characterizing the atmosphere and interiors of extrasola planets and ultimately provide clues on their formation and evolution through time. This process has already begun for the transiting planets, placing new constraints on their atmospheric structure, composition, and evolution. Indeed the key to understanding giant planet detectability, interpreting spectra, and constraining effective temperature and hence evolution-is the atmosphere. I will review the universe of extrasolar giant planet models, focusing on what we have already learned from modeling and what we will likely be able to learn from the first generation of direct detection data. In addition to these theoretical considerations, I will review the observations and interpretation of the - transiting hot Jupiters. These objects provide a test of our ability to model exotic atmospheres and challenge our current understanding of giant planet evolution.

  2. THE KEPLER-19 SYSTEM: A TRANSITING 2.2 R{sub Circled-Plus} PLANET AND A SECOND PLANET DETECTED VIA TRANSIT TIMING VARIATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Ballard, Sarah; Fressin, Francois; Charbonneau, David; Desert, Jean-Michel; Torres, Guillermo; Holman, Matthew J.; Fabrycky, Daniel; Marcy, Geoffrey; Isaacson, Howard; Burke, Christopher J.; Henze, Christopher; Howell, Steven B.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Rowe, Jason F.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Steffen, Jason H.; Ciardi, David R.; Jenkins, Jon M. [SETI Institute and others

    2011-12-20

    We present the discovery of the Kepler-19 planetary system, which we first identified from a 9.3 day periodic transit signal in the Kepler photometry. From high-resolution spectroscopy of the star, we find a stellar effective temperature T{sub eff} = 5541 {+-} 60 K, a metallicity [Fe/H] = -0.13 {+-} 0.06, and a surface gravity log(g) = 4.59 {+-} 0.10. We combine the estimate of T{sub eff} and [Fe/H] with an estimate of the stellar density derived from the photometric light curve to deduce a stellar mass of M{sub *} = 0.936 {+-} 0.040 M{sub Sun} and a stellar radius of R{sub *} = 0.850 {+-} 0.018 R{sub Sun} (these errors do not include uncertainties in the stellar models). We rule out the possibility that the transits result from an astrophysical false positive by first identifying the subset of stellar blends that reproduce the precise shape of the light curve. Using the additional constraints from the measured color of the system, the absence of a secondary source in the high-resolution spectrum, and the absence of a secondary source in the adaptive optics imaging, we conclude that the planetary scenario is more than three orders of magnitude more likely than a blend. The blend scenario is independently disfavored by the achromaticity of the transit: we measure a transit depth with Spitzer at 4.5 {mu}m of 547{sup +113}{sub -110} ppm, consistent with the depth measured in the Kepler optical bandpass of 567 {+-} 6 ppm (corrected for stellar limb darkening). We determine a physical radius of the planet Kepler-19b of R{sub p} = 2.209 {+-} 0.048 R{sub Circled-Plus }; the uncertainty is dominated by uncertainty in the stellar parameters. From radial velocity observations of the star, we find an upper limit on the planet mass of 20.3 M{sub Circled-Plus }, corresponding to a maximum density of 10.4 g cm{sup -3}. We report a significant sinusoidal deviation of the transit times from a predicted linear ephemeris, which we conclude is due to an additional perturbing body in

  3. SYSTEMIC: A TESTBED FOR CHARACTERIZING THE DETECTION OF EXTRASOLAR PLANETS. II. NUMERICAL APPROACHES TO THE TRANSIT TIMING INVERSE PROBLEM

    SciTech Connect

    Meschiari, Stefano; Laughlin, Gregory P.

    2010-07-20

    Transit timing variations (TTVs)-deviations from strict periodicity between successive passages of a transiting planet-can be used to probe the structure and dynamics of multiple-planet systems. In this paper, we examine prospects for numerically solving the so-called inverse problem, the determination of the orbital elements of a perturbing body from the TTVs it induces. We assume that the planetary systems under examination have a limited number of Doppler velocity measurements and show that a more extensive radial velocity (RV) characterization with precision comparable to the semi-amplitude of the perturber may remove degeneracies in the solution. We examine several configurations of interest, including (1) a prototypical non-resonant system, modeled after HD 40307 b and c, which contains multiple super-Earth-mass planets, (2) a hypothetical system containing a transiting giant planet with a terrestrial-mass companion trapped in low-order mean motion resonance, and (3) the HAT-P-13 system, in which forced precession by an outer perturbing body that is well characterized by Doppler RV measurements can give insight into the interior structure of a perturbing planet, and for which the determination of mutual inclination between the transiting planet and its perturber is a key issue.

  4. The Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, J. R.; Palmer, D.; Doyon, R.; Larkin, J.; Oppenheimer, B.; Saddlemyer, L.; Veran, J.; Wallace, J. K.; Gemini Planet Imager Team

    2007-12-01

    Direct detection of extrasolar planets would be a major step in the study of other solar systems, sensitive to planets beyond the period cutoff of Doppler surveys. Furthermore, such planets can be spectrally characterized to measure temperature, gravity, and perhaps composition, shedding light on planet formation and evolution. Surveys of 50-100 young stars with current generation AO systems have excluded the presence of massive (2-10 MJ), young (? Myr) planets in wide (? AU) orbits, but to probe 5-20 AU scales around a large sample of target stars will require dedicated next-generation instruments. One such facility will be the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). It combines a 2000-actuator adaptive optics system, an apodized-pupil Lyot coronagraph, a precision infrared interferometer for real-time wavefront calibration at the nanometer level, and a near-infrared integral field spectrograph for detection and characterization of the target planets. GPI will be able to achieve Strehl ratios > 0.9 at 1.65 microns and to observe a broad sample of science targets with I band magnitudes less than 9. In addition to planet detection, GPI will also be capable of polarimetric imaging of circumstellar dust disks, studies of evolved stars, and high-Strehl imaging spectroscopy of bright targets - opening up a new field in the characterization of the environments of nearby stars. I will present an overview of the instrument design and its scientific capabilities. GPI is currently in the design phase, scheduled for deployment as a facility instrument on the Gemini South telescope in early 2011. Portions of this work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344. The Gemini Observatory is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership.

  5. Transit of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doyle, Laurance R.

    1998-01-01

    During the past five years we have pursued the detection of extrasolar planets by the photometric transit method, i.e. the detection of a planet by watching for a drop in the brightness of the light as it crosses in front of a star. The planetary orbit must cross the line-of-sight and so most systems will not be lined up for such a transit to ever occur. However, we have looked at eclipsing binary systems which are already edge-on. Such systems must be very small in size as this makes the differential light change due to a transit much greater for a given planet size (the brightness difference will be proportional to the area of the transiting planet to the disc area of the star). Also, the planet forming region should be closer to the star as small stars are generally less luminous (that is, if the same thermal regime for planet formation applies as in the solar system). This led to studies of the habitable zone around other stars, as well. Finally, we discovered that our data could be used to detect giant planets without transits as we had been carefully timing the eclipses of the stars (using a GPS antenna for time) and this will drift by being offset by any giant planets orbiting around the system, as well. The best summary of our work may be to just summarize the 21 refereed papers produced during the time of this grant. This will be done is chronological order and in each section separately.

  6. INSTRUMENTS AND METHODS OF INVESTIGATION Ice satellites of planets of the Solar System and the on-orbit radio detection of ultrahigh-energy particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gusev, G. A.; Lomonosov, B. N.; Ryabov, Vladimir A.; Chechin, V. A.

    2010-12-01

    The problem of detecting nature's most energetic particles—cosmic rays and neutrinos—is reviewed. Prospects for using orbital radio detectors for these highest-energy particles are examined. Apertures are calculated for space experiments using the Moon and similar-sized ice satellites of planets of the Solar System as targets for the interaction of cosmic-ray particles and neutrinos. A comparative analysis shows that using the Moon as a target is the most promising scenario.

  7. Exoplanet detection. Response to Comment on "Stellar activity masquerading as planets in the habitable zone of the M dwarf Gliese 581".

    PubMed

    Robertson, Paul; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Endl, Michael; Roy, Arpita

    2015-03-01

    Anglada-Escudé and Tuomi question the statistical rigor of our analysis while ignoring the stellar activity aspects that we present. Although we agree that improvements in multiparametric radial velocity (RV) modeling are necessary for the detection of Earth-mass planets, the key physical points we raised were not challenged. We maintain that activity on Gliese 581 induces RV shifts that were interpreted as exoplanets. PMID:25745157

  8. Extreme Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This artist's concept depicts the pulsar planet system discovered by Aleksander Wolszczan in 1992. Wolszczan used the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico to find three planets - the first of any kind ever found outside our solar system - circling a pulsar called PSR B1257+12. Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars, which are the collapsed cores of exploded massive stars. They spin and pulse with radiation, much like a lighthouse beacon. Here, the pulsar's twisted magnetic fields are highlighted by the blue glow.

    All three pulsar planets are shown in this picture; the farthest two from the pulsar (closest in this view) are about the size of Earth. Radiation from charged pulsar particles would probably rain down on the planets, causing their night skies to light up with auroras similar to our Northern Lights. One such aurora is illustrated on the planet at the bottom of the picture.

    Since this landmark discovery, more than 160 extrasolar planets have been observed around stars that are burning nuclear fuel. The planets spotted by Wolszczan are still the only ones around a dead star. They also might be part of a second generation of planets, the first having been destroyed when their star blew up. The Spitzer Space Telescope's discovery of a dusty disk around a pulsar might represent the beginnings of a similarly 'reborn' planetary system.

  9. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-01

    Observational surveys for extrasolar planets probe the diverse outcomes of planet formation and evolution. These surveys measure the frequency of planets with different masses, sizes, orbital characteristics, and host star properties. Small planets between the sizes of Earth and Neptune substantially outnumber Jupiter-sized planets. The survey measurements support the core accretion model, in which planets form by the accumulation of solids and then gas in protoplanetary disks. The diversity of exoplanetary characteristics demonstrates that most of the gross features of the solar system are one outcome in a continuum of possibilities. The most common class of planetary system detectable today consists of one or more planets approximately one to three times Earth's size orbiting within a fraction of the Earth-Sun distance. PMID:23641110

  10. MODEL ATMOSPHERES FOR MASSIVE GAS GIANTS WITH THICK CLOUDS: APPLICATION TO THE HR 8799 PLANETS AND PREDICTIONS FOR FUTURE DETECTIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Madhusudhan, Nikku; Burrows, Adam; Currie, Thayne E-mail: burrows@astro.princeton.edu

    2011-08-10

    We have generated an extensive new suite of massive giant planet atmosphere models and used it to obtain fits to photometric data for the planets HR 8799b, c, and d. We consider a wide range of cloudy and cloud-free models. The cloudy models incorporate different geometrical and optical thicknesses, modal particle sizes, and metallicities. For each planet and set of cloud parameters, we explore grids in gravity and effective temperature, with which we determine constraints on the planet's mass and age. Our new models yield statistically significant fits to the data, and conclusively confirm that the HR 8799 planets have much thicker clouds than those required to explain data for typical L and T dwarfs. Both models with (1) physically thick forsterite clouds and a 60 {mu}m modal particle size and (2) clouds made of 1 {mu}m sized pure iron droplets and 1% supersaturation fit the data. Current data are insufficient to accurately constrain the microscopic cloud properties, such as composition and particle size. The range of best-estimated masses for HR 8799b, HR 8799c, and HR 8799d conservatively span 2-12 M{sub J} , 6-13 M{sub J} , and 3-11 M{sub J} , respectively, and imply coeval ages between {approx}10 and {approx}150 Myr, consistent with previously reported stellar ages. The best-fit temperatures and gravities are slightly lower than values obtained by Currie et al. using even thicker cloud models. Finally, we use these models to predict the near-to-mid-IR colors of soon-to-be imaged planets. Our models predict that planet-mass objects follow a locus in some near-to-mid-IR color-magnitude diagrams that is clearly separable from the standard L/T dwarf locus for field brown dwarfs.

  11. Dynamics and Origin of Extra-solar Planetary Systems and Microlensing Detection of Extra-solar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peale, S. J.

    2003-01-01

    We compare a space-based microlensing search for planets, with a ground based microlensing search originally proposed by D. Tytler (Beichman, et al. 1996). Perturbations of microlensing light curves when the lens star has a planetary companion are sought by one wide angle survey telescope and an array of three or four followup narrow angle telescopes distributed in longitude that follow events with high precision, high time resolution photometry. Alternative ground based programs are considered briefly. With the four 2 meter telescopes distributed in longitude in the southern hemisphere in the Tytler proposal, observational constraints on a ground-based search for planets during microlensing events toward the center of the galaxy are severe. Probably less than 100 events could be monitored per year with high precision, high time resolution photometry with only about 42% coverage on the average regardless of how many events were discovered by the survey telescope. Statistics for the occurrence and properties for Jupiter-mass planets would be meaningful but relatively meager four years after the program was started, and meaningful statistics for Earth-mass planets would be non existent. In contrast, the 14,500 events in a proposed 4 year space based program (GEST = Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope) would yield very sound statistics on the occurrence, masses and separations of Jupiter-mass planets, and significant constraints on similar properties for Earth-mass planets. The significance of the Jupiter statistics would be to establish the frequency of planetary systems like our own, where terrestrial planets could exist inside the orbits of the giants.

  12. Model Atmospheres for Massive Gas Giants with Thick Clouds: Application to the HR 8799 Planets and Predictions for Future Detections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madhusudhan, Nikku; Burrows, Adam; Currie, Thayne

    2011-08-01

    We have generated an extensive new suite of massive giant planet atmosphere models and used it to obtain fits to photometric data for the planets HR 8799b, c, and d. We consider a wide range of cloudy and cloud-free models. The cloudy models incorporate different geometrical and optical thicknesses, modal particle sizes, and metallicities. For each planet and set of cloud parameters, we explore grids in gravity and effective temperature, with which we determine constraints on the planet's mass and age. Our new models yield statistically significant fits to the data, and conclusively confirm that the HR 8799 planets have much thicker clouds than those required to explain data for typical L and T dwarfs. Both models with (1) physically thick forsterite clouds and a 60 μm modal particle size and (2) clouds made of 1 μm sized pure iron droplets and 1% supersaturation fit the data. Current data are insufficient to accurately constrain the microscopic cloud properties, such as composition and particle size. The range of best-estimated masses for HR 8799b, HR 8799c, and HR 8799d conservatively span 2-12 MJ , 6-13 MJ , and 3-11 MJ , respectively, and imply coeval ages between ~10 and ~150 Myr, consistent with previously reported stellar ages. The best-fit temperatures and gravities are slightly lower than values obtained by Currie et al. using even thicker cloud models. Finally, we use these models to predict the near-to-mid-IR colors of soon-to-be imaged planets. Our models predict that planet-mass objects follow a locus in some near-to-mid-IR color-magnitude diagrams that is clearly separable from the standard L/T dwarf locus for field brown dwarfs.

  13. ALMOST ALL OF KEPLER'S MULTIPLE-PLANET CANDIDATES ARE PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steve B.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Kinemuchi, Karen; Koch, David G.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Adams, Elisabeth; Fressin, Francois; Geary, John; Holman, Matthew J.; Ragozzine, Darin; Buchhave, Lars A.; Ciardi, David R.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Ford, Eric B.; Morehead, Robert C.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; and others

    2012-05-10

    We present a statistical analysis that demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Kepler candidate multiple transiting systems (multis) indeed represent true, physically associated transiting planets. Binary stars provide the primary source of false positives among Kepler planet candidates, implying that false positives should be nearly randomly distributed among Kepler targets. In contrast, true transiting planets would appear clustered around a smaller number of Kepler targets if detectable planets tend to come in systems and/or if the orbital planes of planets encircling the same star are correlated. There are more than one hundred times as many Kepler planet candidates in multi-candidate systems as would be predicted from a random distribution of candidates, implying that the vast majority are true planets. Most of these multis are multiple-planet systems orbiting the Kepler target star, but there are likely cases where (1) the planetary system orbits a fainter star, and the planets are thus significantly larger than has been estimated, or (2) the planets orbit different stars within a binary/multiple star system. We use the low overall false-positive rate among Kepler multis, together with analysis of Kepler spacecraft and ground-based data, to validate the closely packed Kepler-33 planetary system, which orbits a star that has evolved somewhat off of the main sequence. Kepler-33 hosts five transiting planets, with periods ranging from 5.67 to 41 days.

  14. Planets Around Neutron Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolszczan, Alexander; Kulkarni, Shrinivas R; Anderson, Stuart B.

    2003-01-01

    The objective of this proposal was to continue investigations of neutron star planetary systems in an effort to describe and understand their origin, orbital dynamics, basic physical properties and their relationship to planets around normal stars. This research represents an important element of the process of constraining the physics of planet formation around various types of stars. The research goals of this project included long-term timing measurements of the planets pulsar, PSR B1257+12, to search for more planets around it and to study the dynamics of the whole system, and sensitive searches for millisecond pulsars to detect further examples of old, rapidly spinning neutron stars with planetary systems. The instrumentation used in our project included the 305-m Arecibo antenna with the Penn State Pulsar Machine (PSPM), the 100-m Green Bank Telescope with the Berkeley- Caltech Pulsar Machine (BCPM), and the 100-m Effelsberg and 64-m Parkes telescopes equipped with the observatory supplied backend hardware.

  15. PREDICTING PLANETS IN KEPLER MULTI-PLANET SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Fang, Julia; Margot, Jean-Luc

    2012-05-20

    We investigate whether any multi-planet systems among Kepler candidates (2011 February release) can harbor additional terrestrial-mass planets or smaller bodies. We apply the packed planetary systems hypothesis that suggests all planetary systems are filled to capacity, and use a Hill stability criterion to identify eight two-planet systems with significant gaps between the innermost and outermost planets. For each of these systems, we perform long-term numerical integrations of 10{sup 7} years to investigate the stability of 4000-8000 test particles injected into the gaps. We map out stability regions in orbital parameter space, and therefore quantify the ranges of semimajor axes and eccentricities of stable particles. Strong mean-motion resonances can add additional regions of stability in otherwise unstable parameter space. We derive simple expressions for the extent of the stability regions, which is related to quantities such as the dynamical spacing {Delta}, the separation between two planets in units of their mutual Hill radii. Our results suggest that planets with separation {Delta} < 10 are unlikely to host extensive stability regions, and that about 95 out of a total of 115 two-planet systems in the Kepler sample may have sizeable stability regions. We predict that Kepler candidate systems including KOI 433, KOI 72/Kepler-10, KOI 555, KOI 1596, KOI 904, KOI 223, KOI 1590, and KOI 139 can harbor additional planets or low-mass bodies between the inner and outer detected planets. These predicted planets may be detected by future observations.

  16. Wave-like warp propagation in circumbinary discs - I. Analytic theory and numerical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Facchini, Stefano; Lodato, Giuseppe; Price, Daniel J.

    2013-08-01

    In this paper we analyse the propagation of warps in protostellar circumbinary discs. We use these systems as a test environment in which to study warp propagation in the bending-wave regime, with the addition of an external torque due to the binary gravitational potential. In particular, we want to test the linear regime, for which an analytic theory has been developed. In order to do so, we first compute analytically the steady-state shape of an inviscid disc subject to the binary torques. The steady-state tilt is a monotonically increasing function of radius, but misalignment is found at the disc inner edge. In the absence of viscosity, the disc does not present any twist. Then, we compare the time-dependent evolution of the warped disc calculated via the known linearized equations both with the analytic solutions and with full 3D numerical simulations. The simulations have been performed with the PHANTOM smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code using two million particles. We find a good agreement both in the tilt and in the phase evolution for small inclinations, even at very low viscosities. Moreover, we have verified that the linearized equations are able to reproduce the diffusive behaviour when α > H/R, where α is the disc viscosity parameter. Finally, we have used the 3D simulations to explore the non-linear regime. We observe a strongly non-linear behaviour, which leads to the breaking of the disc. Then, the inner disc starts precessing with its own precessional frequency. This behaviour has already been observed with numerical simulations in accretion discs around spinning black holes. The evolution of circumstellar accretion discs strongly depends on the warp evolution. Therefore, the issue explored in this paper could be of fundamental importance in order to understand the evolution of accretion discs in crowded environments, when the gravitational interaction with other stars is highly likely, and in multiple systems. Moreover, the evolution of

  17. Transiting Planet Candidates Beyond the Snow Line Detected by Visual Inspection of 7557 Kepler Objects of Interest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uehara, Sho; Kawahara, Hajime; Masuda, Kento; Yamada, Shin’ya; Aizawa, Masataka

    2016-05-01

    We visually inspected the light curves of 7557 Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) to search for single transit events (STEs) that were possibly due to long-period giant planets. We identified 28 STEs in 24 KOIs, among which 14 events are newly reported in this paper. We estimate the radius and orbital period of the objects causing STEs by fitting the STE light curves simultaneously with the transits of the other planets in the system or with prior information on the host star density. As a result, we found that STEs in seven of those systems are consistent with Neptune- to Jupiter-sized objects of orbital periods ranging from a few to ∼20 {years}. We also estimate that ≳ 20% of the compact multi-transiting systems host cool giant planets with periods ≳ 3 {years} on the basis of their occurrence in the KOIs with multiple candidates, assuming the small mutual inclination between inner and outer planetary orbits.

  18. NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coulter, Daniel R.

    2004-01-01

    NASA has decided to move forward with two complementary Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) missions, a visible coronagraph and an infrared formation flying interferometer. These missions are major missions in the NASA Office of Space Science Origins Theme. The primary science objectives of the TPF missions are to search for, detect, and characterize planets and planetary systems beyond our own Solar System, including specifically Earth-like planets.

  19. Outer Planets

    NASA Video Gallery

    Did you know that through NASA’s various satellite missions we have learned more about these planetary bodies in recent years than we knew collectively since we started to study our planets? Throu...

  20. Radiation-driven warping of circumbinary disks around eccentric young star binaries

    SciTech Connect

    Hayasaki, Kimitake; Sohn, Bong Won; Jung, Taehyun; Zhao, Guangyao; Okazaki, Atsuo T.; Naito, Tsuguya

    2014-12-10

    We study a warping instability of a geometrically thin, non-self-gravitating, circumbinary disk around young binary stars on an eccentric orbit. Such a disk is subject to both the tidal torques due to a time-dependent binary potential and the radiative torques due to radiation emitted from each star. The tilt angle between the circumbinary disk plane and the binary orbital plane is assumed to be very small. We find that there is a radius within/beyond which the circumbinary disk is unstable to radiation-driven warping, depending on the disk density and temperature gradient indices. This marginally stable warping radius is very sensitive to viscosity parameters, a fiducial disk radius and the temperature measured there, the stellar luminosity, and the disk surface density at a radius where the disk changes from optically thick to thin for the irradiation from the central stars. On the other hand, it is insensitive to the orbital eccentricity and binary irradiation parameter, which is a function of the binary mass ratio and luminosity of each star. Since the tidal torques can suppress the warping in the inner part of the circumbinary disk, the disk starts to be warped in the outer part. While the circumbinary disks are most likely to be subject to the radiation-driven warping on an AU to kilo-AU scale for binaries with young massive stars more luminous than 10{sup 4} L {sub ☉}, the radiation-driven warping does not work for those around young binaries with the luminosity comparable to the solar luminosity.

  1. Radiation-driven Warping of Circumbinary Disks around Eccentric Young Star Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayasaki, Kimitake; Sohn, Bong Won; Okazaki, Atsuo T.; Jung, Taehyun; Zhao, Guangyao; Naito, Tsuguya

    2014-12-01

    We study a warping instability of a geometrically thin, non-self-gravitating, circumbinary disk around young binary stars on an eccentric orbit. Such a disk is subject to both the tidal torques due to a time-dependent binary potential and the radiative torques due to radiation emitted from each star. The tilt angle between the circumbinary disk plane and the binary orbital plane is assumed to be very small. We find that there is a radius within/beyond which the circumbinary disk is unstable to radiation-driven warping, depending on the disk density and temperature gradient indices. This marginally stable warping radius is very sensitive to viscosity parameters, a fiducial disk radius and the temperature measured there, the stellar luminosity, and the disk surface density at a radius where the disk changes from optically thick to thin for the irradiation from the central stars. On the other hand, it is insensitive to the orbital eccentricity and binary irradiation parameter, which is a function of the binary mass ratio and luminosity of each star. Since the tidal torques can suppress the warping in the inner part of the circumbinary disk, the disk starts to be warped in the outer part. While the circumbinary disks are most likely to be subject to the radiation-driven warping on an AU to kilo-AU scale for binaries with young massive stars more luminous than 104 L ⊙, the radiation-driven warping does not work for those around young binaries with the luminosity comparable to the solar luminosity.

  2. Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klahr, Hubert; Brandner, Wolfgang

    2011-02-01

    1. Historical notes on planet formation Bodenheimer; 2. The formation and evolution of planetary systems Bouwman et al.; 3. Destruction of protoplanetary disks by photoevaporation Richling, Hollenbach and Yorke; 4. Turbulence in protoplanetary accretion disks Klahr, Rozyczka, Dziourkevitch, Wunsch and Johansen; 5. The origin of solids in the early solar system Trieloff and Palme; 6. Experiments on planetesimal formation Wurm and Blum; 7. Dust coagulation in protoplanetary disks Henning, Dullemond, Wolf and Dominik; 8. The accretion of giant planet cores Thommes and Duncan; 9. Planetary transits: direct vision of extrasolar planets Lecavelier des Etangs and Vidal-Madjar; 10. The core accretion - gas capture model Hubickyj; 11. Properties of exoplanets Marcy, Fischer, Butler and Vogt; 12. Giant planet formation: theories meet observations Boss; 13. From hot Jupiters to hot Neptures … and below Lovis, Mayor and Udry; 14. Disk-planet interaction and migration Masset and Kley; 15. The Brown Dwarf - planet relation Bate; 16. From astronomy to astrobiology Brandner; 17. Overview and prospective Lin.

  3. Astrometric Planet Searches with SIM PlanetQuest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beichman, Charles A.; Unwin, Stephen C.; Shao, Michael; Tanner, Angelle M.; Catanzarite, Joseph H.; March, Geoffrey W.

    2007-01-01

    SIM will search for planets with masses as small as the Earth's orbiting in the habitable zones' around more than 100 of the stars and could discover many dozen if Earth-like planets are common. With a planned 'Deep Survey' of 100-450 stars (depending on desired mass sensitivity) SIM will search for terrestrial planets around all of the candidate target stars for future direct detection missions such as Terrestrial Planet Finder and Darwin, SIM's 'Broad Survey' of 2010 stars will characterize single and multiple-planet systems around a wide variety of stellar types, including many now inaccessible with the radial velocity technique. In particular, SIM will search for planets around young stars providing insights into how planetary systems are born and evolve with time.

  4. THE ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN PLANET SEARCH. XXII. TWO NEW MULTI-PLANET SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Horner, J.; Salter, G. S.; Tinney, C. G.; Bailey, J.; Tuomi, Mikko; Zhang, Z.; Butler, R. P.; Jones, H. R. A.; O'Toole, S. J.; Carter, B. D.; Jenkins, J. S.; Vogt, S. S.; Rivera, Eugenio J.

    2012-07-10

    We report the detection of two new planets from the Anglo-Australian Planet Search. These planets orbit two stars each previously known to host one planet. The new planet orbiting HD 142 has a period of 6005 {+-} 427 days, and a minimum mass of 5.3 M{sub Jup}. HD 142c is thus a new Jupiter analog: a gas-giant planet with a long period and low eccentricity (e = 0.21 {+-} 0.07). The second planet in the HD 159868 system has a period of 352.3 {+-} 1.3 days and m sin i = 0.73 {+-} 0.05 M{sub Jup}. In both of these systems, including the additional planets in the fitting process significantly reduced the eccentricity of the original planet. These systems are thus examples of how multiple-planet systems can masquerade as moderately eccentric single-planet systems.

  5. The Eclipsing System EP Andromedae and Its Circumbinary Companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Jae Woo; Hinse, Tobias Cornelius; Park, Jang-Ho

    2013-04-01

    We present new long-term CCD photometry for EP And acquired during the period 2007-2012. The light curves display total eclipses at primary minima and season-to-season light variability. Our synthesis for all available light curves indicates that the eclipsing pair is a W-type overcontact binary with parameters of q = 2.578, i = 83.°3, ΔT = 27 K, f = 28%, and l 3 = 2%-3%. The asymmetric light curves in 2007 were satisfactorily modeled by a cool spot on either of the eclipsing components from a magnetic dynamo. Including our 95 timing measurements, a total of 414 times of minimum light spanning about 82 yr was used for a period study. A detailed analysis of the eclipse timing diagram revealed that the orbital period of EP And has varied as a combination of an upward-opening parabola and two periodic variations, with cycle lengths of P 3 = 44.6 yr and P 4 = 1.834 yr and semi-amplitudes of K 3 = 0.0100 days and K 4 = 0.0039 days, respectively. The observed period increase at a fractional rate of +1.39 × 10-10 is in excellent agreement with that calculated from the W-D code and can be plausibly explained by some combination of mass transfer from the primary to the secondary star and angular momentum loss due to magnetic braking. The most reasonable explanation for both cycles is a pair of light-travel-time effects driven by the possible existence of a third and fourth component with projected masses of M 3 = 0.25 M ⊙ and M 4 = 0.90 M ⊙. The more massive companion could be revealed using high-resolution spectroscopic data extending over the course of a few years and could also be a binary itself. It is possible that the circumbinary objects may have played an important role in the formation and evolution of the eclipsing pair, which would cause it to have a short initial orbital period and thus evolve into an overcontact configuration by angular momentum loss.

  6. Retrograde binaries of massive black holes in circumbinary accretion discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaro-Seoane, Pau; Maureira-Fredes, Cristián; Dotti, Massimo; Colpi, Monica

    2016-06-01

    Context. We explore the hardening of a massive black hole binary embedded in a circumbinary gas disc under a specific circumstance: when the binary and the gas are coplanar and the gas is counter-rotating. The binary has unequal mass and the interaction of the gas with the lighter secondary black hole is the main cause of the braking torque on the binary that shrinks with time. The secondary black hole, revolving in the direction opposite to the gas, experiences a drag from gas-dynamical friction and from direct accretion of part of it. Aims: In this paper, using two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamical grid simulations we investigate the effect of changing the accretion prescriptions on the dynamics of the secondary black hole, which in turn affect the binary hardening and eccentricity evolution. Methods: We find that realistic accretion prescriptions lead to results that differ from those inferred assuming accretion of all the gas within the Roche Lobe of the secondary black hole. Results: When considering gas accretion within the gravitational influence radius of the secondary black hole (which is smaller than the Roche Lobe radius) to better describe gas inflows, the shrinking of the binary is slower. In addition, in this case, a smaller amount of accreted mass is required to reduce the binary separation by the same amount. Different accretion prescriptions result in different discs' surface densities, which alter the black hole's dynamics back. Full 3D Smoothed-particle hydrodynamics realizations of a number of representative cases, run over a shorter interval of time, validate the general trends observed in the less computationally demanding 2D simulations. Conclusions: Initially circular black hole binaries increase their eccentricity only slightly, which then oscillates around small values (<0.1) while they harden. By contrast, initially eccentric binaries become more and more eccentric. A semi-analytical model describing the black hole's dynamics under

  7. THE ECLIPSING SYSTEM EP ANDROMEDAE AND ITS CIRCUMBINARY COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Jae Woo; Hinse, Tobias Cornelius; Park, Jang-Ho E-mail: tchinse@gmail.com

    2013-04-15

    We present new long-term CCD photometry for EP And acquired during the period 2007-2012. The light curves display total eclipses at primary minima and season-to-season light variability. Our synthesis for all available light curves indicates that the eclipsing pair is a W-type overcontact binary with parameters of q = 2.578, i = 83. Degree-Sign 3, {Delta}T = 27 K, f = 28%, and l{sub 3} = 2%-3%. The asymmetric light curves in 2007 were satisfactorily modeled by a cool spot on either of the eclipsing components from a magnetic dynamo. Including our 95 timing measurements, a total of 414 times of minimum light spanning about 82 yr was used for a period study. A detailed analysis of the eclipse timing diagram revealed that the orbital period of EP And has varied as a combination of an upward-opening parabola and two periodic variations, with cycle lengths of P{sub 3} = 44.6 yr and P{sub 4} = 1.834 yr and semi-amplitudes of K{sub 3} = 0.0100 days and K{sub 4} = 0.0039 days, respectively. The observed period increase at a fractional rate of +1.39 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -10} is in excellent agreement with that calculated from the W-D code and can be plausibly explained by some combination of mass transfer from the primary to the secondary star and angular momentum loss due to magnetic braking. The most reasonable explanation for both cycles is a pair of light-travel-time effects driven by the possible existence of a third and fourth component with projected masses of M{sub 3} = 0.25 M{sub Sun} and M{sub 4} = 0.90 M{sub Sun }. The more massive companion could be revealed using high-resolution spectroscopic data extending over the course of a few years and could also be a binary itself. It is possible that the circumbinary objects may have played an important role in the formation and evolution of the eclipsing pair, which would cause it to have a short initial orbital period and thus evolve into an overcontact configuration by angular momentum loss.

  8. Debris Disks and Hidden Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuchner, Marc

    2008-01-01

    When a planet orbits inside a debris disk like the disk around Vega or Beta Pictoris, the planet may be invisible, but the patterns it creates in the disk may give it away. Observing and decoding these patterns may be the only way we can detect exo-Neptunes orbiting more than 20 AU from their stars, and the only way we can spot planets in systems undergoing the late stages of planet formation. Fortunately, every few months, a new image of a debris disk appears with curious structures begging for explanation. I'll describe some new ideas in the theory of these planet-disk interactions and provide a buyers guide to the latest models (and the planets they predict).

  9. Searching For Planets in "Holey Debris Disks"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meshkat, Tiffany; Bailey, Vanessa P.; Su, Kate Y. L.; Kenworthy, Matthew A.; Mamajek, Eric E.; Hinz, Philip; Smith, Paul S.

    2015-01-01

    Directly imaging planets provides a unique opportunity to study young planets in the context of their formation and evolution. It examines the underlying semi-major axis exoplanet distribution and enables the characterization of the planet itself with spectroscopic examination of its emergent flux. However, only a handful of planets have been directly imaged, and thus the stars best suited for planet imaging are still a subject of debate. The "Holey Debris Disk" project was created in order to help determine if debris disks with gaps are signposts for planets. These gaps may be dynamically caused by planets accreting the debris material as they form. We present the results from our survey with VLT/NACO and the apodized phase plate coronagraph. We demonstrate that these disks with holes are good targets for directly detecting planets with the discovery of a planet around two of our targets, HD 95086 and HD 106906, at L'-band. Our non-detection of HD 95086 b in H-band demonstrates the importance of thermal infrared observations. The detected planets shepherd the outer cool debris belt. The relatively dust-free gap in these disks implies the presence of one or more closer-in planets. We discuss our new constraints on planets around other targets in our survey as well as disk properties of these targets and describe how future instruments will find the inner planets.

  10. Three Planets Orbiting Wolf 1061

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, D. J.; Wittenmyer, R. A.; Tinney, C. G.; Bentley, J. S.; Zhao, Jinglin

    2016-02-01

    We use archival HARPS spectra to detect three planets orbiting the M3 dwarf Wolf 1061 (GJ 628). We detect a 1.36 M⊕ minimum-mass planet with an orbital period P = 4.888 days (Wolf 1061b), a 4.25 M⊕ minimum-mass planet with orbital period P = 17.867 days (Wolf 1061c), and a likely 5.21 M⊕ minimum-mass planet with orbital period P = 67.274 days (Wolf 1061d). All of the planets are of sufficiently low mass that they may be rocky in nature. The 17.867 day planet falls within the habitable zone for Wolf 1061 and the 67.274 day planet falls just outside the outer boundary of the habitable zone. There are no signs of activity observed in the bisector spans, cross-correlation FWHMs, calcium H & K indices, NaD indices, or Hα indices near the planetary periods. We use custom methods to generate a cross-correlation template tailored to the star. The resulting velocities do not suffer the strong annual variation observed in the HARPS DRS velocities. This differential technique should deliver better exploitation of the archival HARPS data for the detection of planets at extremely low amplitudes.

  11. Microlensing Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, Andrew

    The theory and practice of microlensing planet searches is developed in a systematic way, from an elementary treatment of the deflection of light by a massive body to a thorough discussion of the most recent results. The main concepts of planetary microlensing, including microlensing events, finite-source effects, and microlens parallax, are first introduced within the simpler context of point-lens events. These ideas are then applied to binary (and hence planetary) lenses and are integrated with concepts specific to binaries, including caustic topologies, orbital motion, and degeneracies, with an emphasis on analytic understanding. The most important results from microlensing planet searches are then reviewed, with emphasis both on understanding the historical process of discovery and the means by which scientific conclusions were drawn from light-curve analysis. Finally, the future prospects of microlensing planets searches are critically evaluated. Citations to original works provide the reader with multiple entry points into the literature.

  12. Characterizing extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Timothy M.

    Transiting extrasolar planets provide the best current opportunities for characterizing the physical properties of extrasolar planets. In this review, I first describe the geometry of planetary transits, and methods for detecting and refining the observations of such transits. I derive the methods by which transit light curves and radial velocity data can be analyzed to yield estimates of the planetary radius, mass, and orbital parameters. I also show how visible-light and infrared spectroscopy can be valuable tools for understanding the composition, temperature, and dynamics of the atmospheres of transiting planets. Finally, I relate the outcome of a participatory lecture-hall exercise relating to one term in the Drake equation, namely the lifetime of technical civilizations.

  13. Pluto: Planet or "Dwarf Planet"?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voelzke, M. R.; de Araújo, M. S. T.

    2010-09-01

    In August 2006 during the XXVI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), taken place in Prague, Czech Republic, new parameters to define a planet were established. According to this new definition Pluto will be no more the ninth planet of the Solar System but it will be changed to be a "dwarf planet". This reclassification of Pluto by the academic community clearly illustrates how dynamic science is and how knowledge of different areas can be changed and evolves through the time, allowing to perceive Science as a human construction in a constant transformation, subject to political, social and historical contexts. These epistemological characteristics of Science and, in this case, of Astronomy, constitute important elements to be discussed in the lessons, so that this work contributes to enable Science and Physics teachers who perform a basic education to be always up to date on this important astronomical fact and, thereby, carry useful information to their teaching.

  14. [Extrasolar terrestrial planets and possibility of extraterrestrial life].

    PubMed

    Ida, Shigeru

    2003-12-01

    Recent development of research on extrasolar planets are reviewed. About 120 extrasolar Jupiter-mass planets have been discovered through the observation of Doppler shift in the light of their host stars that is caused by acceleration due to planet orbital motions. Although the extrasolar planets so far observed may be limited to gas giant planets and their orbits differ from those of giant planets in our Solar system (Jupiter and Saturn), the theoretically predicted probability of existence of extrasolar terrestrial planets that can have liquid water ocean on their surface is comparable to that of detectable gas giant planets. Based on the number of extrasolar gas giants detected so far, about 100 life-sustainable planets may exist within a range of 200 light years. Indirect observation of extrasolar terrestrial planets would be done with space telescopes within several years and direct one may be done within 20 years. The latter can detect biomarkers on these planets as well. PMID:15136756

  15. Binary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, Keegan; Nakajima, Miki; Stevenson, David J.

    2014-11-01

    Can a bound pair of similar mass terrestrial planets exist? We are interested here in bodies with a mass ratio of ~ 3:1 or less (so Pluto/Charon or Earth/Moon do not qualify) and we do not regard the absence of any such discoveries in the Kepler data set to be significant since the tidal decay and merger of a close binary is prohibitively fast well inside of 1AU. SPH simulations of equal mass “Earths” were carried out to seek an answer to this question, assuming encounters that were only slightly more energetic than parabolic (zero energy). We were interested in whether the collision or near collision of two similar mass bodies would lead to a binary in which the two bodies remain largely intact, effectively a tidal capture hypothesis though with the tidal distortion being very large. Necessarily, the angular momentum of such an encounter will lead to bodies separated by only a few planetary radii if capture occurs. Consistent with previous work, mostly by Canup, we find that most impacts are disruptive, leading to a dominant mass body surrounded by a disk from which a secondary forms whose mass is small compared to the primary, hence not a binary planet by our adopted definition. However, larger impact parameter “kissing” collisions were found to produce binaries because the dissipation upon first encounter was sufficient to provide a bound orbit that was then rung down by tides to an end state where the planets are only a few planetary radii apart. The long computational times for these simulation make it difficult to fully map the phase space of encounters for which this outcome is likely but the indications are that the probability is not vanishingly small and since planetary encounters are a plausible part of planet formation, we expect binary planets to exist and be a non-negligible fraction of the larger orbital radius exoplanets awaiting discovery.

  16. Tidal disruptions in circumbinary disks. II. Observational signatures in the reverberation spectra

    SciTech Connect

    Brem, P.; Amaro-Seoane, P.; Cuadra, J.; Komossa, S.

    2014-09-10

    Supermassive binary black holes (SMBBHs) with sub-pc separations form in the course of galaxy mergers, if both galaxies harbor massive black holes. Clear observational evidence for them however still eludes us. We propose a novel method of identifying these systems by means of reverberation mapping their circumbinary disk after a tidal disruption event has ionized it. The tidal disruption of a star at the secondary leads to strong asymmetries in the disk response. We model the shape of the velocity-delay maps for various toy disk models and more realistic gas distributions obtained by smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations. The emissivity of the ionized disk is calculated with Cloudy. We find peculiar asymmetries in the maps for off center ionizing sources that may help us constrain geometrical parameters of a circumbinary disk such as semimajor axis and orbital phase of the secondary, as well as help strengthen the observational evidence for sub-parsec SMBBHs as such.

  17. Systems level feasibility study for the detection of extra-solar planets. Volume 1: Infrared interferometer (IRIS) known as the Stanford Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    A sensor system for the direct detection of extrasolar planets from an Earth orbit is evaluated: a spinning, infrared interferometer (IRIS). It is shuttle deployed, free flying, requires no on-orbit assembly and no reservicing over a design life of five years. The sensor concept and the mission objectives are reviewed, and the performance characteristics of a baseline sensor for standard observation conditions are derived. A baseline sensor design is given and the enabling technology discussed. Cost and weight estimates are performed; and a schedule for an IRIS program including technology development and assessment of risk are given. Finally, the sensor is compared with the apodized visual telescope sensor (APOTS) proposed for the same mission. The major conclusions are: that with moderate to strong technology advances, particularly in the fields of long life cryogenics, dynamical control, mirror manufacturing, and optical alignment, the detection of a Jupiter like planet around a Sunlike star at a distance of 30 light years is feasible, with a 3 meter aperture and an observation time of 1 hour. By contrast, major and possibly unlikely breakthroughs in mirror technology are required for APOTS to match this performance.

  18. A Large Sparse Aperture Densified Pupil Hypertelescope Concept for Ground Based Detection of Extra-Solar Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gezari, D.; Lyon, R.; Woodruff, R.; Labeyrie, A.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    A concept is presented for a large (10 - 30 meter) sparse aperture hyper telescope to image extrasolar earth-like planets from the ground in the presence of atmospheric seeing. The telescope achieves high dynamic range very close to bright stellar sources with good image quality using pupil densification techniques. Active correction of the perturbed wavefront is simplified by using 36 small flat mirrors arranged in a parabolic steerable array structure, eliminating the need for large delat lines and operating at near-infrared (1 - 3 Micron) wavelengths with flats comparable in size to the seeing cells.

  19. Circumbinary Dust in Magnetic Cataclysmic Variables - Exploring Polars in the Mid-Infrared

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoard, Donald; Brinkworth, Carolyn; Howell, Steve; Wachter, Stefanie

    2006-05-01

    As part of our Spitzer GO1 programs, we obtained the first-ever mid-IR observations of strongly magnetic cataclysmic variables (CVs), known as polars. We found excess mid-IR flux in our IRAC data, suggesting the presence of a radiating component in addition to the WD and secondary star. We have tentatively identified this component as originating from circumbinary dust. These results demonstrate the unexpected signature of circumbinary dust in polars. This suggests that circumbinary dust disks may, in fact, be ubiquitous in CVs regardless of mass transfer or outburst history. Thus, our current proposal represents the culmination of our GO1-2 surveys of CVs, which together will provide a broad overview of the nature of circumbinary dust in magnetic and non-magnetic CVs, the characteristics of low mass stellar and substellar secondary stars in extremely evolved CVs, and the overlap between those population samples. Specifically, we propose a 3-part program. In Part 1, we will obtain IRS spectra of a polar observed by us during GO1. This polar was found to be much brighter in the mid-IR than expected, making IRS SL observations feasible. These data will allow us to extend and constrain our models for polars further into the mid-IR. In Part 2, we will obtain IRAC observations of 5 new polars, in order to further explore the range of system parameter space (orbital period, magnetic field strength, etc.) occupied by the polars as a class. Finally, in Part 3, we will use up to 2 medium impact TOOs to make a second IRAC observation of any polar that we observe in GO3 (plus one from GO1) if they transition between accretion states during GO3 following their initial observation. We will trigger the TOOs using ground-based monitoring.

  20. Binary black hole accretion from a circumbinary disk: Gas dynamics inside the central cavity

    SciTech Connect

    Farris, Brian D.; Duffell, Paul; MacFadyen, Andrew I.; Haiman, Zoltan

    2014-03-10

    We present the results of two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamical simulations of circumbinary disk accretion using the finite-volume code DISCO. This code solves the 2D viscous Navier-Stokes equations on a high-resolution moving mesh which shears with the fluid flow, greatly reducing advection errors in comparison with a fixed grid. We perform a series of simulations for binary mass ratios in the range 0.026 ≤ q ≤ 1.0, each lasting longer than a viscous time so that we reach a quasi-steady accretion state. In each case, we find that gas is efficiently stripped from the inner edge of the circumbinary disk and enters the cavity along accretion streams, which feed persistent 'mini disks' surrounding each black hole. We find that for q ≳ 0.1, the binary excites eccentricity in the inner region of the circumbinary disk, creating an overdense lump which gives rise to enhanced periodicity in the accretion rate. The dependence of the periodicity on mass ratio may provide a method for observationally inferring mass ratios from measurements of the accretion rate. We also find that for all mass ratios studied, the magnitude of the accretion onto the secondary is sufficient to drive the binary toward larger mass ratio. This suggests a mechanism for biasing mass-ratio distributions toward equal mass.

  1. Binary Black Hole Accretion from a Circumbinary Disk: Gas Dynamics inside the Central Cavity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farris, Brian D.; Duffell, Paul; MacFadyen, Andrew I.; Haiman, Zoltan

    2014-03-01

    We present the results of two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamical simulations of circumbinary disk accretion using the finite-volume code DISCO. This code solves the 2D viscous Navier-Stokes equations on a high-resolution moving mesh which shears with the fluid flow, greatly reducing advection errors in comparison with a fixed grid. We perform a series of simulations for binary mass ratios in the range 0.026 <= q <= 1.0, each lasting longer than a viscous time so that we reach a quasi-steady accretion state. In each case, we find that gas is efficiently stripped from the inner edge of the circumbinary disk and enters the cavity along accretion streams, which feed persistent "mini disks" surrounding each black hole. We find that for q >~ 0.1, the binary excites eccentricity in the inner region of the circumbinary disk, creating an overdense lump which gives rise to enhanced periodicity in the accretion rate. The dependence of the periodicity on mass ratio may provide a method for observationally inferring mass ratios from measurements of the accretion rate. We also find that for all mass ratios studied, the magnitude of the accretion onto the secondary is sufficient to drive the binary toward larger mass ratio. This suggests a mechanism for biasing mass-ratio distributions toward equal mass.

  2. First Detection of a Dust Disk around Iota Horologii, a Southern Star Orbitted by an Extrasolar Giant Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pantin, E.; Els, S.; Marchis, F.; Endl, M.; Kürster, M.; Sterzik, M.

    2000-12-01

    The link between the presence of debris dust disks (Vega phenomenon) and planetary formation is still unclear; are they: excluding children, siamese twins, or just casual neighbours? Recenly, Trilling et al. (1999), thanks to coronograph observations in the Northern hemisphere, showed that 3 out of 6 stars with known planetary companions harbour a tenuous dust disk, probably some precursors to the analogues of our Solar System Kuiper belt and zodiacal disk. We have started to conduct a similar program in the southern hemisphere at the ESO 3.6m telescope using the adaptive optics system ADONIS. H band images taken in coronographic mode during good observing conditions reveal the presence of a tenuous dust disk around the star Iota Horologii. This star is know to have a planetary companion of 2.26 M.sin i Jupiter masses on a 1 AU orbit, revealed by radial velocities analysis. The ADONIS images show that the disk has an inclination with a tilt angle of 40 degrees with respect to the edge-on configuration. This information allows to remove the degeneracy on the estimation of the mass of the planet due to the unknown inclination of the orbit. Taking this value into account, we find that the planet mass is 3.41 Jupiter masses. In our ADONIS observations, the disk extends 3.7 arcsec from the star, i.e. about 65 AU taking into account the distance of 17 parcsecs of this system. Modelling of light scattering by dust particles are shown and compared to the observations in order to deduce the disk density profile. This density profile is compared to previous results on disks around Beta Pic and HD 100546.

  3. Searching for Planets Around Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-09-01

    Did you know that the very first exoplanets ever confirmed were found around a pulsar? The precise timing measurements of pulsar PSR 1257+12 were what made the discovery of its planetary companions possible. Yet surprisingly, though weve discovered thousands of exoplanets since then, only one other planet has ever been confirmed around a pulsar. Now, a team of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science researchers are trying to figure out why.Formation ChallengesThe lack of detected pulsar planets may simply reflect the fact that getting a pulsar-planet system is challenging! There are three main pathways:The planet formed before the host star became a pulsar which means it somehow survived its star going supernova (yikes!).The planet formed elsewhere and was captured by the pulsar.The planet formed out of the debris of the supernova explosion.The first two options, if even possible, are likely to be rare occurrences but the third option shows some promise. In this scenario, after the supernova explosion, a small fraction of the material falls back toward the stellar remnant and is recaptured, forming what is known as a supernova fallback disk. According to this model, planets could potentially form out of this disk.Disk ImplicationsLed by Matthew Kerr, the CSIRO astronomers set out to systematically look for these potential planets that might have formed in situ around pulsars. They searched a sample of 151 young, energetic pulsars, scouring seven years of pulse time-of-arrival data for periodic variation that could signal the presence of planetary companions. Their methods to mitigate pulsar timing noise and model realistic orbits allowed them to have good sensitivity to low-mass planets.The results? They found no conclusive evidence that any of these pulsars have planets.This outcome carries with it some significant implications. The pulsar sample spans 2 Myr in age, in which planets should have had enough time to form in debris disks. The fact that none were detected

  4. Infrared and the search for extrasolar planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meinel, Aden B.; Meinel, Marjorie P.

    1991-01-01

    Search for evidence concerning the existence of extrasolar planets will involve both indirect detection as well as direct (imaging). Indirect detection may be possible using ground based instrumentation on the Keck telescope, Imaging probably will require an orbiting system. Characterizing other planets for complex molecules will require a large orbiting or lunar-based telescope or inteferometer. Cryogenic infrared techniques appear to be necessary. Planning for a NASA ground and space-based program, Toward Other Planet Systems (TOPS), is proceeding.

  5. Proceedings of Protostars and Planets V

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Oral presentation sessions in this conference include: Clouds and cores; Star formation and protostars; Binaries and multiples; Newborn massive stars; jets and outflows; Clusters and associations; T Tauri stars and disks; Brown dwarfs; Planet formation and evolution; Extrasolar planets; Dust and protoplanetary disks; Early solar system and Astrobiology. Poster presentations included: Clouds and Cores. Collapse and Protostars, Binaries and Multiples, Clusters, Associations, and the IMF, Jets and Outflows, T Tauri Stars and Other Young Stars, Disks and Disk Accretion, Brown Dwarfs, Herbig Ae/Be Stars and Massive Stars, Solar System Objects, Planet Formation, Extrasolar Planets and Planet Detection, Properties of Protoplanetary Disks, Migration and Planetary Orbits and Meteoritics and Astrobiology

  6. Recovery of the Candidate Protoplanet HD 100546 b with Gemini/NICI and Detection of Additional (Planet-induced?) Disk Structure at Small Separations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, Thayne; Muto, Takayuki; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Honda, Mitsuhiko; Brandt, Timothy D.; Grady, Carol; Fukagawa, Misato; Burrows, Adam; Janson, Markus; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; McElwain, Michael W.; Follette, Katherine; Hashimoto, Jun; Henning, Thomas; Kandori, Ryo; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Kwon, Jungmi; Mede, Kyle; Morino, Jun-ichi; Nishikawa, Jun; Pyo, Tae-Soo; Serabyn, Gene; Suenaga, Takuya; Takahashi, Yasuhiro; Wisniewski, John; Tamura, Motohide

    2014-12-01

    We report the first independent, second epoch (re-)detection of a directly imaged protoplanet candidate. Using L' high-contrast imaging of HD 100546 taken with the Near-Infrared Coronagraph and Imager on Gemini South, we recover "HD 100546 b" with a position and brightness consistent with the original Very Large Telescope/NAos-COnica detection from Quanz et al., although data obtained after 2013 will be required to decisively demonstrate common proper motion. HD 100546 b may be spatially resolved, up to ≈12-13 AU in diameter, and is embedded in a finger of thermal IR-bright, polarized emission extending inward to at least 0.''3. Standard hot-start models imply a mass of ≈15 MJ . However, if HD 100546 b is newly formed or made visible by a circumplanetary disk, both of which are plausible, its mass is significantly lower (e.g., 1-7 MJ ). Additionally, we discover a thermal IR-bright disk feature, possibly a spiral density wave, at roughly the same angular separation as HD 100546 b but 90° away. Our interpretation of this feature as a spiral arm is not decisive, but modeling analyses using spiral density wave theory implies a wave launching point exterior to ≈0.''45 embedded within the visible disk structure: plausibly evidence for a second, hitherto unseen, wide-separation planet. With one confirmed protoplanet candidate and evidence for one to two others, HD 100546 is an important evolutionary precursor to intermediate-mass stars with multiple super-Jovian planets at moderate/wide separations like HR 8799.

  7. RECOVERY OF THE CANDIDATE PROTOPLANET HD 100546 b WITH GEMINI/NICI AND DETECTION OF ADDITIONAL (PLANET-INDUCED?) DISK STRUCTURE AT SMALL SEPARATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Currie, Thayne; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Muto, Takayuki; Honda, Mitsuhiko; Brandt, Timothy D.; Grady, Carol; Fukagawa, Misato; Burrows, Adam; Janson, Markus; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; McElwain, Michael W.; Follette, Katherine; Hashimoto, Jun; Henning, Thomas; Kandori, Ryo; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Morino, Jun-ichi; Nishikawa, Jun; Kwon, Jungmi; Mede, Kyle; and others

    2014-12-01

    We report the first independent, second epoch (re-)detection of a directly imaged protoplanet candidate. Using L' high-contrast imaging of HD 100546 taken with the Near-Infrared Coronagraph and Imager on Gemini South, we recover ''HD 100546 b'' with a position and brightness consistent with the original Very Large Telescope/NAos-COnica detection from Quanz et al., although data obtained after 2013 will be required to decisively demonstrate common proper motion. HD 100546 b may be spatially resolved, up to ≈12-13 AU in diameter, and is embedded in a finger of thermal IR-bright, polarized emission extending inward to at least 0.''3. Standard hot-start models imply a mass of ≈15 M{sub J} . However, if HD 100546 b is newly formed or made visible by a circumplanetary disk, both of which are plausible, its mass is significantly lower (e.g., 1-7 M{sub J} ). Additionally, we discover a thermal IR-bright disk feature, possibly a spiral density wave, at roughly the same angular separation as HD 100546 b but 90° away. Our interpretation of this feature as a spiral arm is not decisive, but modeling analyses using spiral density wave theory implies a wave launching point exterior to ≈0.''45 embedded within the visible disk structure: plausibly evidence for a second, hitherto unseen, wide-separation planet. With one confirmed protoplanet candidate and evidence for one to two others, HD 100546 is an important evolutionary precursor to intermediate-mass stars with multiple super-Jovian planets at moderate/wide separations like HR 8799.

  8. Confirmation of the OGLE-2005-BLG-169 Planet Signature and Its Characteristics with Lens-Source Proper Motion Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batista, V.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Bennett, D. P.; Gould, A.; Marquette, J.-B.; Fukui, A.; Bhattacharya, A.

    2015-08-01

    We present Keck NIRC2 high angular resolution adaptive optics observations of the microlensing event OGLE-2005-BLG-169Lb, taken 8.21 years after the discovery of this planetary system. For the first time for a microlensing planetary event, the source and the lens are completely resolved, providing a precise measurement of their heliocentric relative proper motion, {μ }{rel,{helio}}=7.44+/- 0.17 mas yr-1. This confirms and refines the initial model presented in the discovery paper and rules out a range of solutions that were allowed by the microlensing light curve. This is also the first time that parameters derived from a microlensing planetary signal are confirmed, both with the Keck measurements, presented in this paper, and independent measurements obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope in I,V and B bands, presented in a companion paper. Hence, this new measurement of {μ }{rel,{helio}}, as well as the measured brightness of the lens in H band, enabled the mass and distance of the system to be updated: a Uranus-mass planet ({m}{{p}}=13.2+/- 1.3{M}\\oplus ) orbiting a K5-type main sequence star ({M}*=0.65+/- 0.05{M}⊙ ) separated by {a}\\perp =3.4+/- 0.3 AU, at the distance {D}{{L}}=4.0+/- 0.4 kpc from us.

  9. Planet Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afonso, Isabel

    2014-05-01

    A more adequate name for Planet Earth could be Planet Ocean, seeing that ocean water covers more than seventy percent of the planet's surface and plays a fundamental role in the survival of almost all living species. Actually, oceans are aqueous solutions of extraordinary importance due to its direct implications in the current living conditions of our planet and its potential role on the continuity of life as well, as long as we know how to respect the limits of its immense but finite capacities. We may therefore state that natural aqueous solutions are excellent contexts for the approach and further understanding of many important chemical concepts, whether they be of chemical equilibrium, acid-base reactions, solubility and oxidation-reduction reactions. The topic of the 2014 edition of GIFT ('Our Changing Planet') will explore some of the recent complex changes of our environment, subjects that have been lately included in Chemistry teaching programs. This is particularly relevant on high school programs, with themes such as 'Earth Atmosphere: radiation, matter and structure', 'From Atmosphere to the Ocean: solutions on Earth and to Earth', 'Spring Waters and Public Water Supply: Water acidity and alkalinity'. These are the subjects that I want to develop on my school project with my pupils. Geographically, our school is located near the sea in a region where a stream flows into the sea. Besides that, our school water comes from a borehole which shows that the quality of the water we use is of significant importance. This project will establish and implement several procedures that, supported by physical and chemical analysis, will monitor the quality of water - not only the water used in our school, but also the surrounding waters (stream and beach water). The samples will be collected in the borehole of the school, in the stream near the school and in the beach of Carcavelos. Several physical-chemical characteristics related to the quality of the water will

  10. The searches for Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso, R.

    2010-12-01

    Several techniques are achieving nowadays the precision levels required to detect few-Earth-mass planets, but still a fruitful path needs to be explored in order to detect a planet like the Earth orbiting inside the habitable zone of a star. We summarize the different approaches followed to reach this goal, and highlight their achievements.

  11. An Update on Planet Nine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-07-01

    significantly constrains the parameters of Planet Nines orbit as well as where it currently could be within its orbit.Eliminating Hiding SpotsBrown and Batygin have returned, this time with more detailed estimates of Planet Nines potential orbit and location. By performing an enormous suite of simulations and then comparing the outcomes to actual observations of the distribution of KBOs, the authors narrow the allowed range for Planet Nines orbital characteristics.Authors predictions for the location, distance, brightness, and speed of Planet Nine throughout its orbit. Colored regions have been or will be explored by previous or current surveys capable of detecting the planet. Black regions remain places where Planet Nine could lurk. [Brown Batygin 2016]Brown and Batygin find that the allowed orbits for Planet Nine have perihelia of ~150350 AU, semimajor axes of ~380980 AU, and masses of ~520 Earth masses. Using these values and what we know about detection limits of previous and current surveys, we can rule out roughly two thirds of Planet Nines orbit, narrowing its position to be somewhere near aphelion.Planet Nines AtmosphereFinally, Jonathan Fortney (UC Santa Cruz) and collaborators model Planet Nines atmosphere. Rather than assuming the planet behaves like a blackbody, they use the planets predicted orbit as well as a range of plausible masses and interior structures in models that treat the body like the giant planets of our solar system.The authors find Planet Nine is likely quite cold, as expected, with an effective temperature of ~3550 K at most (for reference, Neptune is around 60 K). Because of this cool temperature, the authors speculate that methane may condense out of the atmosphere, changing the planets reflection and emission spectra. This would cause the planet to appear much bluer than planets like Uranus and Neptune in infrared energy bands.The constraints from these studies continue to support the existence of Planet Nine, narrow down the regions in which we

  12. An Update on Planet Nine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-07-01

    significantly constrains the parameters of Planet Nines orbit as well as where it currently could be within its orbit.Eliminating Hiding SpotsBrown and Batygin have returned, this time with more detailed estimates of Planet Nines potential orbit and location. By performing an enormous suite of simulations and then comparing the outcomes to actual observations of the distribution of KBOs, the authors narrow the allowed range for Planet Nines orbital characteristics.Authors predictions for the location, distance, brightness, and speed of Planet Nine throughout its orbit. Colored regions have been or will be explored by previous or current surveys capable of detecting the planet. Black regions remain places where Planet Nine could lurk. [Brown Batygin 2016]Brown and Batygin find that the allowed orbits for Planet Nine have perihelia of ~150350 AU, semimajor axes of ~380980 AU, and masses of ~520 Earth masses. Using these values and what we know about detection limits of previous and current surveys, we can rule out roughly two thirds of Planet Nines orbit, narrowing its position to be somewhere near aphelion.Planet Nines AtmosphereFinally, Jonathan Fortney (UC Santa Cruz) and collaborators model Planet Nines atmosphere. Rather than assuming the planet behaves like a blackbody, they use the planets predicted orbit as well as a range of plausible masses and interior structures in models that treat the body like the giant planets of our solar system.The authors find Planet Nine is likely quite cold, as expected, with an effective temperature of ~3550 K at most (for reference, Neptune is around 60 K). Because of this cool temperature, the authors speculate that methane may condense out of the atmosphere, changing the planets reflection and emission spectra. This would cause the planet to appear much bluer than planets like Uranus and Neptune in infrared energy bands.The constraints from these studies continue to support the existence of Planet Nine, narrow down the regions in which we

  13. Dark compact planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolos, Laura; Schaffner-Bielich, Jürgen

    2015-12-01

    We investigate compact objects formed by dark matter admixed with ordinary matter made of neutron-star matter and white-dwarf material. We consider non-self annihilating dark matter with an equation of state given by an interacting Fermi gas. We find new stable solutions, dark compact planets, with Earth-like masses and radii from a few Km to few hundred Km for weakly interacting dark matter which are stabilized by the mutual presence of dark matter and compact star matter. For the strongly interacting dark matter case, we obtain dark compact planets with Jupiter-like masses and radii of few hundred Km. These objects could be detected by observing exoplanets with unusually small radii. Moreover, we find that the recently observed 2 M⊙ pulsars set limits on the amount of dark matter inside neutron stars which is, at most, 1 0-6 M⊙ .

  14. STRUCTURE AND EVOLUTION OF CIRCUMBINARY DISKS AROUND SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Rafikov, Roman R.

    2013-09-10

    We explore properties of circumbinary disks around supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries in centers of galaxies by reformulating standard viscous disk evolution in terms of the viscous angular momentum flux F{sub J}. If the binary stops gas inflow and opens a cavity in the disk, then the inner disk evolves toward a constant-F{sub J} (rather than a constant M-dot ) state. We compute disk properties in different physical regimes relevant for SMBH binaries, focusing on the gas-assisted evolution of systems starting at separations 10{sup -4} - 10{sup -2} pc, and find the following. (1) Mass pileup at the inner disk edge caused by the tidal barrier accelerates binary inspiral. (2) Binaries can be forced to merge even by a disk with a mass below that of the secondary. (3) Torque on the binary is set non-locally, at radii far larger than the binary semi-major axis; its magnitude does not reflect disk properties in the vicinity of the binary. (4) Binary inspiral exhibits hysteresis-it depends on the past evolution of the disk. (5) The Eddington limit can be important for circumbinary disks even if they accrete at sub-Eddington rates, but only at late stages of the inspiral. (6) Gas overflow across the orbit of the secondary can be important for low secondary mass, high- M-dot systems, but mainly during the inspiral phase dominated by the gravitational wave emission. (7) Circumbinary disks emit more power and have harder spectra than constant M-dot disks; their spectra are very sensitive to the amount of overflow across the secondary orbit.

  15. Exploring Planet Sizes

    NASA Video Gallery

    This lesson combines a series of activities to compare models of the size of Earth to other planets and the distances to other planets. Activities highlight space missions to other planets in our s...

  16. ON THE RELATIVE SIZES OF PLANETS WITHIN KEPLER MULTIPLE-CANDIDATE SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Ciardi, David R.; Gautier, T. N. III; Howell, Steve B.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.

    2013-01-20

    We present a study of the relative sizes of planets within the multiple-candidate systems discovered with the Kepler mission. We have compared the size of each planet to the size of every other planet within a given planetary system after correcting the sample for detection and geometric biases. We find that for planet pairs for which one or both objects are approximately Neptune-sized or larger, the larger planet is most often the planet with the longer period. No such size-location correlation is seen for pairs of planets when both planets are smaller than Neptune. Specifically, if at least one planet in a planet pair has a radius of {approx}> 3 R {sub Circled-Plus }, 68% {+-} 6% of the planet pairs have the inner planet smaller than the outer planet, while no preferred sequential ordering of the planets is observed if both planets in a pair are smaller than {approx}< 3 R {sub Circled-Plus }.

  17. Planets in extreme magnetic environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moutou, Claire

    2015-12-01

    Interactions between stars and planets in very close-in systems include irradiation, tidal and magnetic effects, the relative amplitudes of which depend on the system parameters. The extent of magnetic interactions, however, is only poorly known since the magnetic fields of the parent star itself is barely characterized. In this presentation, I will review the recent efforts made to measure and characterize the magnetic fields of star hosting close-in planets, in order to provide quantitative constraints in the studies of star-planet interactions.We have been using the spectropolarimeters CFHT/ESPaDOnS and TBL/NARVAL to assess the our ability to detect the circular polarization of several dozens planet-host stars, and to map the large-scale magnetic topology of a sub-sample of these stars. The detection of magnetic fields as low as a few Gauss is possible around relatively bright, solar-like stars. After hot-Jupiter systems, we got interested in systems with smaller planets in close orbits. Several applications of these magnetic topologies have already been used in theoretical analyses of the star-planet interactions, that we will briefly review. Perspectives for this work include further observing programs and more detailed theoretical representations.

  18. Three Eclipsing Bodies

    NASA Video Gallery

    This artist's movie illustrates Kepler-16b, the first directly detected circumbinary planet, which is a planet that orbits two stars. The movie begins by showing the gaseous surface of the rotating...

  19. THE SDSS-HET SURVEY OF KEPLER ECLIPSING BINARIES: SPECTROSCOPIC DYNAMICAL MASSES OF THE KEPLER-16 CIRCUMBINARY PLANET HOSTS

    SciTech Connect

    Bender, Chad F.; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Deshpande, Rohit; Wright, Jason T.; Roy, Arpita; Terrien, Ryan C.; Sigurdsson, Steinn; Ramsey, Lawrence W.; Schneider, Donald P.; Fleming, Scott W.

    2012-06-01

    We have used high-resolution spectroscopy to observe the Kepler-16 eclipsing binary as a double-lined system and measure precise radial velocities for both stellar components. These velocities yield a dynamical mass ratio of q = 0.2994 {+-} 0.0031. When combined with the inclination, i 90.{sup 0}3401{sup +0.0016}{sub -0.0019}, measured from the Kepler photometric data by Doyle et al. (D11), we derive dynamical masses for the Kepler-16 components of M{sub A} = 0.654 {+-} 0.017 M{sub Sun} and M{sub B} = 0.1959 {+-} 0.0031 M{sub Sun }, a precision of 2.5% and 1.5%, respectively. Our results confirm at the {approx}2% level the mass-ratio derived by D11 with their photometric-dynamical model (PDM), q = 0.2937 {+-} 0.0006. These are among the most precise spectroscopic dynamical masses ever measured for low-mass stars and provide an important direct test of the results from the PDM technique.

  20. TIDAL DISRUPTIONS IN CIRCUMBINARY DISKS. I. STAR FORMATION, DYNAMICS, AND BINARY EVOLUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Amaro-Seoane, Pau; Brem, Patrick; Cuadra, Jorge E-mail: Patrick.Brem@aei.mpg.de

    2013-02-10

    In our current interpretation of the hierarchical structure of the universe, it is well established that galaxies collide and merge with each other during their lifetimes. If massive black holes (MBHs) reside in galactic centers, we expect them to form binaries in galactic nuclei surrounded by a circumbinary disk. If cooling is efficient enough, the gas in the disk will clump and trigger stellar formation in situ. In this first paper we address the evolution of the binary under the influence of the newly formed stars, which form individually and also clustered. We use smoothed particle hydrodynamics techniques to evolve the gas in the circumbinary disk and to study the phase of star formation. When the amount of gas in the disk is negligible, we further evolve the system with a high-accurate direct-summation N-body code to follow the evolution of the stars, the innermost binary and tidal disruption events (TDEs). For this, we modify the direct N-body code to include (1) treatment of TDEs and (2) 'gas cloud particles' that mimic the gas, so that the stellar clusters do not dissolve when we follow their infall on to the MBHs. We find that the amount of stars disrupted by either infalling stellar clusters or individual stars is as large as 10{sup -4} yr{sup -1} per binary, higher than expected for typical galaxies.

  1. A Double Dusty Dilemma - IRAC Flux Changes in Circumbinary Debris Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, Steven; Farihi, Jay; Gaensicke, Boris

    2015-10-01

    We have serendipitously discovered the first metal-polluted white dwarf with what appears to be a circumbinary dust disk. Both the atmospheric metals and infrared excess were found by our team a few years ago, but only recently did we (surprisingly!) identify a spectroscopic periodicity of 2.27 hr which unambiguously identifies this peculiar system as a close binary. Most remarkable for this proposal is that the system must be dynamically unstable, as a companion and canonical (flat, opaque) dust disk occupy overlapping orbital regions. We thus strongly suspected the system must be in a state of relatively rapid change, and recent DDT observations confirmed our hypothesis. We now propose to observe the system over a complete binary orbit to further constrain the changes in infrared flux, and to distentangle dust emission variability from any changes induced by the binary orbit itself. Micron-size dust grains should be subject to PR drag within a decade, and imply dust depletion on yearly timescales -- consistent with the DDT data. Our third epoch observations will provide an direct test by searching for a continuing decrease in dust emission. If such a decrease is not confirmed, it would imply the circumbinary dust reservoir is being replenished on yearly timescales.

  2. Resolving the relative influence of strong field spacetime dynamics and MHD on circumbinary disk physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zilhão, Miguel; Noble, Scott C.; Campanelli, Manuela; Zlochower, Yosef

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we evolve magnetized and unmagnetized circumbinary accretion disks around supermassive black hole binaries in the relativistic regime. We use a post-Newtonian expansion to construct an analytical spacetime and determine how the order of the post-Newtonian (PN) expansion affects the dynamics of the gas. We find very small differences in the late-time bulk dynamics of nonmagnetized hydrodynamic evolutions between the two spacetimes down to separations of approximately 40 GM /c2 where M is the total mass of the binary. For smaller separations, the differences due to PN order become comparable to differences caused by using initial data further from equilibrium. For magnetized gas, magnetohydrodynamic stresses, which drives the accretion dynamics, tends to mask all higher order PN effects even at separations of 20 GM /c2 , leading to essentially the same observed electromagnetic luminosity. This implies that our calculations of the electromagnetic signal may be robust down to small binary separations. Our investigation is the first to demonstrate how the level of PN accuracy affects a circumbinary disk's evolution and informs us of the range in separation within which to trust the PN approximation for this kind of study. We also address the influence the initial conditions and binary separation have on simulation predictions.

  3. Terrestrial Planet Geophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, R. J.

    2008-12-01

    Terrestrial planet geophysics beyond our home sphere had its start arguably in the early 1960s, with Keith Runcorn contending that the second-degree shape of the Moon is due to convection and Mariner 2 flying past Venus and detecting no planetary magnetic field. Within a decade, in situ surface geophysical measurements were carried out on the Moon with the Apollo program, portions of the lunar magnetic and gravity fields were mapped, and Jack Lorell and his colleagues at JPL were producing spherical harmonic gravity field models for Mars using tracking data from Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. Moreover, Mariner 10 discovered a planetary magnetic field at Mercury, and a young Sean Solomon was using geological evidence of surface contraction to constrain the thermal evolution of the innermost planet. In situ geophysical experiments (such as seismic networks) were essentially never carried out after Apollo, although they were sometimes planned just beyond the believability horizon in planetary mission queues. Over the last three decades, the discipline of terrestrial planet geophysics has matured, making the most out of orbital magnetic and gravity field data, altimetric measurements of surface topography, and the integration of geochemical information. Powerful constraints are provided by tectonic and volcanic information gleaned from surface images, and the engagement of geologists in geophysical exercises is actually quite useful. Accompanying these endeavors, modeling techniques, largely adopted from the Earth Science community, have become increasingly sophisticated and have been greatly enhanced by the dramatic increase in computing power over the last two decades. The future looks bright with exciting new data sets emerging from the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, the promise of the GRAIL gravity mission to the Moon, and the re-emergence of Venus as a worthy target for exploration. Who knows? With the unflagging optimism and persistence

  4. The Rocky Planet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Debra

    In direct support of the NASA Origins program, we propose the Rocky Planet Survey, a high cadence exoplanet search of sixty late G and K dwarf stars using the CHIRON spectrometer, which we built and commissioned at CTIO. CHIRON operates in two high- resolution modes (R=90,000 and R=120,000) and has a demonstrated precision of better than 1 m s-1. We are contributing 200 nights of telescope time for the next three years, for the excellent phase coverage needed to carry out this work. We have developed simulation software to optimize scheduling of observations to suppress aliases and quickly extract dynamical signals. Our science objectives are to (1) provide a statistical assessment of planet occurrence as a function of decreasing mass in the range of parameter space 3 < Msini < 30 MEARTH for orbital periods up to 50 days, (2) to determine the fraction of low mass planets in multi-planet architectures, and (3) detect planets with Msini < 3 MEARTH in orbital periods shorter than ~20 days. In addition to the science objectives, we intend to push the frontiers of extreme precision Doppler measurements to keep the U.S. competitive with the next generation of European Doppler spectroscopy (ESPRESSO on the VLT). Our team has significant expertise in optical design, fiber coupling, raw extraction, barycentric velocity corrections, and Doppler analysis. The proposed work includes a new optimal extraction algorithm, with the optical designers and software engineers working together on the 2-D PSF description needed for a proper row-by-row extraction and calibration. We will also develop and test upgrades to the barycentric correction code and improvements in the Doppler code that take advantage of stability in the dispersion solution, afforded by a new vacuum-enclosed grating upgrade (scheduled for November 2011). We will test use of emission wavelength calibrations to extend the iodine (absorption) wavelength calibration that we currently use to prepare for eventual use of

  5. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS. II. PREDICTIONS FOR OUTER EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Raymond, Sean N.; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel

    2010-03-10

    measurements capable of detecting planets with K {approx} 5 m s{sup -1} and periods in excess of 10 years will provide constraints on this regime. Finally, we present an analysis of the predicted separation of planets in two-planet systems, and of the population of planets in mean-motion resonances (MMRs). We show that, if there are systems with {approx} Jupiter-mass planets that avoid close encounters, the planetesimal disk acts as a damping mechanism and populates MMRs at a very high rate (50%-80%). In many cases, resonant chains (in particular the 4:2:1 Laplace resonance) are set up among all three planets. We expect such resonant chains to be common among massive planets in outer planetary systems.

  6. Probes to the Inferior Planets - A New Dawn for NEO and IEO Detection Technology Demonstration from Heliocentric Orbits Interior to the Earth's?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grundmann, J. T.; Mottola, S.; Drentschew, M.; Drobczyk, M.; Kahle, R.; Maiwald, V.; Quantius, D.; Zabel, P.; Van Zoest, T.

    2011-11-01

    With the launch of MESSENGER and VENUS EXPRESS, a new wave of exploration of the inner solar system has begun. Noting the growing number of probes to the inner solar system, it is proposed to connect the expertise of the respective spacecraft teams and the NEO and IEO survey community to best utilize the extended cruise phases and to provide additional data return in support of pure science as well as planetary defence. Several missions to Venus and Mercury are planned to follow in this decade. Increased interest in the inferior planets is accompanied by several missions designed to study the Sun and the interplanetary medium (IPM) from a position near or in Earth orbit, such as the STEREO probes and SDO. These augment established solar observation capabilities at the Sun-Earth L1 Lagrangian point such as the SOHO spacecraft. Thus, three distinct classes of spacecraft operate or observe interior to Earth's orbit. All these spacecraft carry powerful multispectral cameras optimized for their respective primary targets. MESSENGER is scheduled to end its six-year interplanetary cruise in March 2011 to enter Mercury orbit, but a similarly extended cruise with several gravity-assists awaits the European Mercury mission BEPICOLOMBO. Unfortunately, the automatic abort of the orbit insertion manoeuvre has also left AKATSUKI (a.k.a. Venus Climate Orbiter (VCO), Planet-C) stranded in heliocentric orbit. After an unintended fly-by, the probe will catch up with Venus in approximately six years. Meanwhile, it stays mostly interior to Venus in a planet-leading orbit. In addition to the study of comets and their interaction with the IPM, observations of small bodies akin to those carried out by outer solar system probes are occasionally attempted with the equipment available. The study of structures in the interplanetary dust (IPD) cloud has been a science objective during the cruise phase of the Japanese Venus probe AKATSUKI from Earth to Venus. IPD observations in the

  7. The Antarctic Planet Interferometer and the potential for interferometric observations of extrasolar planets from Dome C Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swain, M. R.; Foresto, V. Coude du; Vakili, F.

    2003-01-01

    We present a concept for the Antarctic Planet Interferometer (API) and discuss the improvements in interferometric detection and characterization of extrasolar planets by exploiting the unique potential of the best accessbile site on Earth for thermal infrared interferometry.

  8. Dance of the Planets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddle, Bob

    2005-01-01

    As students continue their monthly plotting of the planets along the ecliptic they should start to notice differences between inner and outer planet orbital motions, and their relative position or separation from the Sun. Both inner and outer planets have direct eastward motion, as well as retrograde motion. Inner planets Mercury and Venus,…

  9. Empirical study of simulated two-planet microlensing events

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Wei; Gould, Andrew; Penny, Matthew; Mao, Shude; Gendron, Rieul

    2014-10-10

    We undertake the first study of two-planet microlensing models recovered from simulations of microlensing events generated by realistic multiplanet systems in which 292 planetary events, including 16 two-planet events, were detected from 6690 simulated light curves. We find that when two planets are recovered, their parameters are usually close to those of the two planets in the system most responsible for the perturbations. However, in 1 of the 16 examples, the apparent mass of both detected planets was more than doubled by the unmodeled influence of a third, massive planet. This fraction is larger than but statistically consistent with the roughly 1.5% rate of serious mass errors due to unmodeled planetary companions for the 274 cases from the same simulation in which a single planet is recovered. We conjecture that an analogous effect due to unmodeled stellar companions may occur more frequently. For 7 out of 23 cases in which two planets in the system would have been detected separately, only one planet was recovered because the perturbations due to the two planets had similar forms. This is a small fraction (7/274) of all recovered single-planet models, but almost a third of all events that might plausibly have led to two-planet models. Still, in these cases, the recovered planet tends to have parameters similar to one of the two real planets most responsible for the anomaly.

  10. Direct Imaging of Warm Extrasolar Planets

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, B

    2005-04-11

    One of the most exciting scientific discoveries in the last decade of the twentieth century was the first detection of planets orbiting a star other than our own. By now more than 130 extrasolar planets have been discovered indirectly, by observing the gravitational effects of the planet on the radial velocity of its parent star. This technique has fundamental limitations: it is most sensitive to planets close to their star, and it determines only a planet's orbital period and a lower limit on the planet's mass. As a result, all the planetary systems found so far are very different from our own--they have giant Jupiter-sized planets orbiting close to their star, where the terrestrial planets are found in our solar system. Such systems have overturned the conventional paradigm of planet formation, but have no room in them for habitable Earth-like planets. A powerful complement to radial velocity detections of extrasolar planets will be direct imaging--seeing photons from the planet itself. Such a detection would allow photometric measurements to determine the temperature and radius of a planet. Also, direct detection is most sensitive to planets in wide orbits, and hence more capable of seeing solar systems resembling our own, since a giant planet in a wide orbit does not preclude the presence of an Earth-like planet closer to the star. Direct detection, however, is extremely challenging. Jupiter is roughly a billion times fainter than our sun. Two techniques allowed us to overcome this formidable contrast and attempt to see giant planets directly. The first is adaptive optics (AO) which allows giant earth-based telescopes, such as the 10 meter W.M. Keck telescope, to partially overcome the blurring effects of atmospheric turbulence. The second is looking for young planets: by searching in the infrared for companions to young stars, we can see thermal emission from planets that are still warm with the heat of their formation. Together with a UCLA team that leads the

  11. First light of the VLT planet finder SPHERE. I. Detection and characterization of the substellar companion GJ 758 B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vigan, A.; Bonnefoy, M.; Ginski, C.; Beust, H.; Galicher, R.; Janson, M.; Baudino, J.-L.; Buenzli, E.; Hagelberg, J.; D'Orazi, V.; Desidera, S.; Maire, A.-L.; Gratton, R.; Sauvage, J.-F.; Chauvin, G.; Thalmann, C.; Malo, L.; Salter, G.; Zurlo, A.; Antichi, J.; Baruffolo, A.; Baudoz, P.; Blanchard, P.; Boccaletti, A.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Carle, M.; Claudi, R.; Costille, A.; Delboulbé, A.; Dohlen, K.; Dominik, C.; Feldt, M.; Fusco, T.; Gluck, L.; Girard, J.; Giro, E.; Gry, C.; Henning, T.; Hubin, N.; Hugot, E.; Jaquet, M.; Kasper, M.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Langlois, M.; Le Mignant, D.; Llored, M.; Madec, F.; Martinez, P.; Mawet, D.; Mesa, D.; Milli, J.; Mouillet, D.; Moulin, T.; Moutou, C.; Origné, A.; Pavlov, A.; Perret, D.; Petit, C.; Pragt, J.; Puget, P.; Rabou, P.; Rochat, S.; Roelfsema, R.; Salasnich, B.; Schmid, H.-M.; Sevin, A.; Siebenmorgen, R.; Smette, A.; Stadler, E.; Suarez, M.; Turatto, M.; Udry, S.; Vakili, F.; Wahhaj, Z.; Weber, L.; Wildi, F.

    2016-03-01

    GJ 758 B is a brown dwarf companion to a nearby (15.76%) solar-type, metal-rich (M / H = + 0.2 dex) main-sequence star (G9V) that was discovered with Subaru/HiCIAO in 2009. From previous studies, it has drawn attention as being the coldest (~600 K) companion ever directly imaged around a neighboring star. We present new high-contrast data obtained during the commissioning of the SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The data was obtained in Y-, J-, H-, and Ks-bands with the dual-band imaging (DBI) mode of IRDIS, thus providing a broad coverage of the full near-infrared (near-IR) range at higher contrast and better spectral sampling than previously reported. In this new set of high-quality data, we report the re-detection of the companion, as well as the first detection of a new candidate closer-in to the star. We use the new eight photometric points for an extended comparison of GJ 758 B with empirical objects and four families of atmospheric models. From comparison to empirical object, we estimate a T8 spectral type, but none of the comparison objects can accurately represent the observed near-IR fluxes of GJ 758 B. From comparison to atmospheric models, we attribute a Teff = 600 ± 100 K, but we find that no atmospheric model can adequately fit all the fluxes of GJ 758 B. The lack of exploration of metal enrichment in model grids appears as a major limitation that prevents an accurate estimation of the companion physical parameters. The photometry of the new candidate companion is broadly consistent with L-type objects, but a second epoch with improved photometry is necessary to clarify its status. The new astrometry of GJ 758 B shows a significant proper motion since the last epoch. We use this result to improve the determination of the orbital characteristics using two fitting approaches: Least-Squares Monte Carlo and Markov chain Monte Carlo. We confirm the high-eccentricity of the orbit (peak at 0.5), and find a most likely semi-major axis of

  12. THE GEMINI PLANET-FINDING CAMPAIGN: THE FREQUENCY OF GIANT PLANETS AROUND DEBRIS DISK STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Wahhaj, Zahed; Liu, Michael C.; Nielsen, Eric L.; Ftaclas, Christ; Chun, Mark; Biller, Beth A.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Thatte, Niranjan; Tecza, Matthias; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Kuchner, Marc; Reid, I. Neill; De Gouveia Dal Pino, Elisabete M.; Gregorio-Hetem, Jane; Boss, Alan; Lin, Douglas N. C.; and others

    2013-08-20

    We have completed a high-contrast direct imaging survey for giant planets around 57 debris disk stars as part of the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. We achieved median H-band contrasts of 12.4 mag at 0.''5 and 14.1 mag at 1'' separation. Follow-up observations of the 66 candidates with projected separation <500 AU show that all of them are background objects. To establish statistical constraints on the underlying giant planet population based on our imaging data, we have developed a new Bayesian formalism that incorporates (1) non-detections, (2) single-epoch candidates, (3) astrometric and (4) photometric information, and (5) the possibility of multiple planets per star to constrain the planet population. Our formalism allows us to include in our analysis the previously known {beta} Pictoris and the HR 8799 planets. Our results show at 95% confidence that <13% of debris disk stars have a {>=}5 M{sub Jup} planet beyond 80 AU, and <21% of debris disk stars have a {>=}3 M{sub Jup} planet outside of 40 AU, based on hot-start evolutionary models. We model the population of directly imaged planets as d {sup 2} N/dMda{proportional_to}m {sup {alpha}} a {sup {beta}}, where m is planet mass and a is orbital semi-major axis (with a maximum value of a{sub max}). We find that {beta} < -0.8 and/or {alpha} > 1.7. Likewise, we find that {beta} < -0.8 and/or a{sub max} < 200 AU. For the case where the planet frequency rises sharply with mass ({alpha} > 1.7), this occurs because all the planets detected to date have masses above 5 M{sub Jup}, but planets of lower mass could easily have been detected by our search. If we ignore the {beta} Pic and HR 8799 planets (should they belong to a rare and distinct group), we find that <20% of debris disk stars have a {>=}3 M{sub Jup} planet beyond 10 AU, and {beta} < -0.8 and/or {alpha} < -1.5. Likewise, {beta} < -0.8 and/or a{sub max} < 125 AU. Our Bayesian constraints are not strong enough to reveal any dependence of the planet

  13. The Earth as an extrasolar transiting planet. II. HARPS and UVES detection of water vapour, biogenic O2, and O3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnold, L.; Ehrenreich, D.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Dumusque, X.; Nitschelm, C.; Querel, R. R.; Hedelt, P.; Berthier, J.; Lovis, C.; Moutou, C.; Ferlet, R.; Crooker, D.

    2014-04-01

    detected. Assuming no atmospheric perturbations, we show that the E-ELT is theoretically able to detect the O2A-band in 8 h of integration for an Earth twin at 10 pc. Conclusions: Biogenic O2, O3, and water vapour are detected in Earth observed as a transiting planet, and, in principle, would be within reach of the E-ELT for an Earth twin at 10 pc. Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under programme ID 086.C-0448.

  14. Lava Cave Microbial Communities Within Mats and Secondary Mineral Deposits: Implications for Life Detection on Other Planets

    PubMed Central

    Melim, L.A.; Spilde, M.N.; Hathaway, J.J.M.; Garcia, M.G.; Moya, M.; Stone, F.D.; Boston, P.J.; Dapkevicius, M.L.N.E.; Riquelme, C.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Lava caves contain a wealth of yellow, white, pink, tan, and gold-colored microbial mats; but in addition to these clearly biological mats, there are many secondary mineral deposits that are nonbiological in appearance. Secondary mineral deposits examined include an amorphous copper-silicate deposit (Hawai‘i) that is blue-green in color and contains reticulated and fuzzy filament morphologies. In the Azores, lava tubes contain iron-oxide formations, a soft ooze-like coating, and pink hexagons on basaltic glass, while gold-colored deposits are found in lava caves in New Mexico and Hawai‘i. A combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and molecular techniques was used to analyze these communities. Molecular analyses of the microbial mats and secondary mineral deposits revealed a community that contains 14 phyla of bacteria across three locations: the Azores, New Mexico, and Hawai‘i. Similarities exist between bacterial phyla found in microbial mats and secondary minerals, but marked differences also occur, such as the lack of Actinobacteria in two-thirds of the secondary mineral deposits. The discovery that such deposits contain abundant life can help guide our detection of life on extraterrestrial bodies. Key Words: Biosignatures—Astrobiology—Bacteria—Caves—Life detection—Microbial mats. Astrobiology 11, 601–618. PMID:21879833

  15. Lava cave microbial communities within mats and secondary mineral deposits: implications for life detection on other planets.

    PubMed

    Northup, D E; Melim, L A; Spilde, M N; Hathaway, J J M; Garcia, M G; Moya, M; Stone, F D; Boston, P J; Dapkevicius, M L N E; Riquelme, C

    2011-09-01

    Lava caves contain a wealth of yellow, white, pink, tan, and gold-colored microbial mats; but in addition to these clearly biological mats, there are many secondary mineral deposits that are nonbiological in appearance. Secondary mineral deposits examined include an amorphous copper-silicate deposit (Hawai'i) that is blue-green in color and contains reticulated and fuzzy filament morphologies. In the Azores, lava tubes contain iron-oxide formations, a soft ooze-like coating, and pink hexagons on basaltic glass, while gold-colored deposits are found in lava caves in New Mexico and Hawai'i. A combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and molecular techniques was used to analyze these communities. Molecular analyses of the microbial mats and secondary mineral deposits revealed a community that contains 14 phyla of bacteria across three locations: the Azores, New Mexico, and Hawai'i. Similarities exist between bacterial phyla found in microbial mats and secondary minerals, but marked differences also occur, such as the lack of Actinobacteria in two-thirds of the secondary mineral deposits. The discovery that such deposits contain abundant life can help guide our detection of life on extraterrestrial bodies. PMID:21879833

  16. The SIM PlanetQuest Science Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edberg, Stephen J.; Traub, Wesley A.; Unwin, Stephen C.; Marr, James C., IV

    2007-01-01

    SIM PlanetQuest (hereafter, just SIM) is a NASA mission to measure the angular positions of stars with unprecedented accuracy. We outline the main astrophysical science programs planned for SIM, and related opportunities for community participation. We focus especially on SIM's ability to detect exoplanets as small as the Earth around nearby stars. The planned synergy between SIM and other planet-finding missions including Kepler and GAIA, and planet-characterizing missions including the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), Terrestrial Planet Finder--Coronagraph (TPF-C), and Terrestrial Planet Finder--Interferometer (TPF-I), is a key element in NASA's Navigator Program to find Earth-like planets, determine their habitability, and search for signs of life in the universe. SIM's technology development is now complete and the project is proceeding towards a launch in the next decade.

  17. Observing Planet Formation in Young Protoplanetary Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jang-Condell, Hannah; Kuchner, M. J.; Debes, J. H.

    2009-01-01

    Identification and observation of where and when gaps form in protoplanetary disks is vital for learning about the process of planet formation. We will present simulations of radiative transfer in gas-rich protoplanetary disks with embedded planets that predict and model observable signatures of planet formation. Depending on the mass of the planet, the perturbation may be a local dimple or an annular gap. We will demonstate that these features can already be detected in some nearby gas-rich disks. The appearance of disks with embedded planets varies with wavelength as it ranges from optical through infrared to radio because of optical depth effects. Shorter wavelengths reveal superficial surface features of disks, while longer wavelengths probe deeper in the disk. Confirmation of a planet-induced gap in a disk requires multi-wavelength observations. Imaging of the predicted features of planet formation in disks requires very high spatial resolution, and is currently most feasible in the optical and radio. However, data in the infrared is crucial for constraining the models. Deep gaps created by very massive planets may be detectable in SEDs. Confirmation of a planet-induced gap in a disk requires multi-wavelength observations.

  18. Orbital Evolution and Migration of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trilling, D. E.; Benz, W.; Guillot, T.; Lunine, J. I.; Hubbard, W. B.; Burrows, A.

    1997-07-01

    Giant planets in circumstellar disks can migrate inward from their initial (formation) positions. Migration is caused by inward torques between the planet and the disk; by outward torques between the planet and the spinning star; and by outward torques due to Roche lobe overflow and mass loss from the planet. Summing torques on planets in disks with various physical parameters, we find that Jupiter-mass planets can stably arrive and survive at small heliocentric distances. Inward migration timescales can be approximately equal to or less than disk lifetimes and star spindown timescales. Therefore, the range of fates of Jupiter-mass planets is broad, and generally comprises three classes: (I) planets which migrate inward too rapidly and lose all their mass due to Roche lobe overflow; (II) planets which migrate inward and survive in very small orbits; and (III) planets which do not migrate very far. Some, but not all, of the planets in Class II lose mass during their evolution and migration times, resulting in planets with final masses smaller than their initial masses. For example, in our model, we produce planets similar to 51 Peg b which have lost ~ 75% of their initial mass. The observed extrasolar planets, both those with extremely small semi-major axes (51 Peg b at 0.05 AU, tau Boo b (0.046 AU), upsilon And b (0.057 AU), and 55 Cnc b (0.11 AU)) and those with more moderate semi-major axes (rho Cor Bor b (0.23 AU), 47 UMa b (2.1 AU)) form a subset of the potential outcomes of the system, in that Jupiter-mass objects can stably survive in orbits with a wide range of semi-major axes. Our numerical model produces planets which have similar characteristics to the observed planets, as well as planets similar to Jupiter, and many intermediate cases. Since Jupiters can stably migrate to various orbital separations, we predict that, as planetary detection techniques improve, Jupiter-mass planets will be found in a wide range of orbits, from much less than 1 AU to

  19. The GAPS programme with HARPS-N at TNG. IX. The multi-planet system KELT-6: Detection of the planet KELT-6 c and measurement of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect for KELT-6 b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damasso, M.; Esposito, M.; Nascimbeni, V.; Desidera, S.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bieryla, A.; Malavolta, L.; Biazzo, K.; Sozzetti, A.; Covino, E.; Latham, D. W.; Gandolfi, D.; Rainer, M.; Petrovich, C.; Collins, K. A.; Boccato, C.; Claudi, R. U.; Cosentino, R.; Gratton, R.; Lanza, A. F.; Maggio, A.; Micela, G.; Molinari, E.; Pagano, I.; Piotto, G.; Poretti, E.; Smareglia, R.; Di Fabrizio, L.; Giacobbe, P.; Gomez-Jimenez, M.; Murabito, S.; Molinaro, M.; Affer, L.; Barbieri, M.; Bedin, L. R.; Benatti, S.; Borsa, F.; Maldonado, J.; Mancini, L.; Scandariato, G.; Southworth, J.; Zanmar Sanchez, R.

    2015-09-01

    Aims: For more than 1.5 years we spectroscopically monitored the star KELT-6 (BD+31 2447), which is known to host the transiting hot-Saturn KELT-6 b, because a previously observed long-term trend in radial velocity time series suggested that there is an outer companion. Methods: We collected a total of 93 new spectra with the HARPS-N and TRES spectrographs. A spectroscopic transit of KELT-6 b was observed with HARPS-N, and simultaneous photometry was obtained with the IAC-80 telescope. Results: We proved the existence of an outer planet with a mininum mass Mpsin i = 3.71 ± 0.21 MJup and a moderately eccentric orbit (e = 0.21-0.036+0.039) of period P ~ 3.5 years. We improved the orbital solution of KELT-6 b and obtained the first measurement of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, showing that the planet has a likely circular, prograde, and slightly misaligned orbit with a projected spin-orbit angle of λ = -36 ± 11 degrees. We improved the KELT-6 b transit ephemeris from photometry and provide new measurements of the stellar parameters. KELT-6 appears as an interesting case for studying the formation and evolution of multi-planet systems. Based on observations made with (i) the HARPS-N spectrograph on the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG), operated on the island of La Palma by the INAF - Fundacion Galileo Galilei (Spanish Observatory of Roque de los Muchachos of the IAC); (ii) the Tillinghast Reflector Echelle Spectrograph (TRES) on the 1.5-m Tillinghast telescope, located at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Fred L. Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins in Arizona; (iii) the IAC-80 telescope at the Teide Observatory (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, IAC).Figure 4 and Tables 2 and 3 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  20. On the effect of ionization on the circumbinary material in symbiotic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shagatova, N.

    2015-12-01

    A double nature of the circumbinary matter in symbiotic systems, i. e. the presence of H0 and H+ regions, offers an opportunity to investigate both the properties of the wind from the donor star and the effect of radiation from the ionizing companion onto the surrounding material. In this contribution we explain the importance of the effect of ionization for a proper treating of the inversion problem for the wind velocity profile. The method allows us to obtain the models for total and neutral hydrogen column densities and corresponding wind velocity profiles. We describe in detail the process of modelling for the spherically symmetric wind and compare it with simpler approaches. The first application of our improved approach revealed that the effect of ionization on the column density shapes is not negligible for a wide range of orbital phases, in contrast to the assumptions in previous papers. Thus, it implies a higher concentration of the wind matter than it was supposed before.

  1. Masses, Radii, and Orbits of Small Kepler Planets: The Transition from Gaseous to Rocky Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.; Rowe, Jason F.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Latham, David W.; Howell, Steve B.; Gautier, Thomas N., III; Batalha, Natalie M.; Rogers, Leslie; Ciardi, David; Fischer, Debra A.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Kjeldsen, Hans; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Huber, Daniel; Chaplin, William J.; Basu, Sarbani; Buchhave, Lars A.; Quinn, Samuel N.; Borucki, William J.; Koch, David G.; Hunter, Roger; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey; Kolbl, Rea; Weiss, Lauren M.; Petigura, Erik; Seager, Sara; Morton, Timothy; Johnson, John Asher; Ballard, Sarah; Burke, Chris; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; MacQueen, Phillip; Everett, Mark E.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Ford, Eric B.; Torres, Guillermo; Fressin, Francois; Brown, Timothy M.; Steffen, Jason H.; Charbonneau, David; Basri, Gibor S.; Sasselov, Dimitar D.; Winn, Joshua; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Christiansen, Jessie; Adams, Elisabeth; Henze, Christopher; Dupree, Andrea; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Tarter, Jill; Holman, Matthew J.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Shporer, Avi; Lucas, Philip W.; Welsh, William F.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Bedding, T. R.; Campante, T. L.; Davies, G. R.; Elsworth, Y.; Handberg, R.; Hekker, S.; Karoff, C.; Kawaler, S. D.; Lund, M. N.; Lundkvist, M.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Miglio, A.; Silva Aguirre, V.; Stello, D.; White, T. R.; Boss, Alan; Devore, Edna; Gould, Alan; Prsa, Andrej; Agol, Eric; Barclay, Thomas; Coughlin, Jeff; Brugamyer, Erik; Mullally, Fergal; Quintana, Elisa V.; Still, Martin; Thompson, Susan E.; Morrison, David; Twicken, Joseph D.; Désert, Jean-Michel; Carter, Josh; Crepp, Justin R.; Hébrard, Guillaume; Santerne, Alexandre; Moutou, Claire; Sobeck, Charlie; Hudgins, Douglas; Haas, Michael R.; Robertson, Paul; Lillo-Box, Jorge; Barrado, David

    2014-02-01

    We report on the masses, sizes, and orbits of the planets orbiting 22 Kepler stars. There are 49 planet candidates around these stars, including 42 detected through transits and 7 revealed by precise Doppler measurements of the host stars. Based on an analysis of the Kepler brightness measurements, along with high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy, Doppler spectroscopy, and (for 11 stars) asteroseismology, we establish low false-positive probabilities (FPPs) for all of the transiting planets (41 of 42 have an FPP under 1%), and we constrain their sizes and masses. Most of the transiting planets are smaller than three times the size of Earth. For 16 planets, the Doppler signal was securely detected, providing a direct measurement of the planet's mass. For the other 26 planets we provide either marginal mass measurements or upper limits to their masses and densities; in many cases we can rule out a rocky composition. We identify six planets with densities above 5 g cm-3, suggesting a mostly rocky interior for them. Indeed, the only planets that are compatible with a purely rocky composition are smaller than ~2 R ⊕. Larger planets evidently contain a larger fraction of low-density material (H, He, and H2O). Based in part on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology.

  2. Warping and tearing of misaligned circumbinary disks around eccentric supermassive black hole binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayasaki, K.; Sohn, B. W.; Okazaki, A. T.; Jung, T.; Zhao, G.; Naito, T.

    2015-07-01

    We study the warping and tearing of a geometrically thin, non-self-gravitating disk surrounding binary supermassive black holes on an eccentric orbit. The circumbinary disk is significantly misaligned with the binary orbital plane, and is subject to the time-dependent tidal torques. In principle, such a disk is warped and precesses, and is torn into mutually misaligned rings in the region, where the tidal precession torques are stronger than the local viscous torques. We derive the tidal-warp and tearing radii of the misaligned circumbinary disks around eccentric SMBH binaries. We find that in disks with the viscosity parameter α larger than a critical value depending on the disk aspect ratio, the disk warping appears outside the tearing radius. This condition is expressed for small amplitude warps as α > √H/(3r) for H/rlesssim0.1, where H is the disk scale height. If α < √H/(3r), only the disk tearing occurs because the tidal warp radius is inside the tearing radius, where most of disk material is likely to rapidly accrete onto SMBHs. In warped and torn disks, both the tidal-warp and the tearing radii most strongly depend on the binary semi-major axis, although they also mildly depend on the other orbital and disk parameters. This strong dependence enables us to estimate the semi-major axis, once the tidal warp or tearing radius is determined observationally: for the tidal warp radius of 0.1 pc, the semi-major axis is estimated to be ~10-2 pc for 107 Msolar black hole with typical orbital and disk parameters. We also briefly discuss the possibility that central objects of observed warped maser disks in active galactic nuclei are supermassive black hole binaries.

  3. Characterizing K2 Planet Discoveries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Montet, Benjamin; Johnson, John; Buchhave, Lars A.; Zeng, Li; Bieryla, Allyson; Latham, David W.; Charbonneau, David; Harps-N Collaboration, The Robo-Ao Team

    2015-01-01

    We present an effort to confirm the first planet discovered by the two-wheeled Kepler mission. We analyzed K2 photometry, correcting for nonuniform detector response as a function of the spacecraft's pointing, and detected a transiting planet candidate. We describe our multi-telescope followup observing campaign, consisting of photometric, spectroscopic, and high resolution imaging observations, including over 40 HARPS-N radial velocity measurements. The new planet is a super-Earth orbiting a bright star amenable to followup observations. HARPS-N was funded by the Swiss Space Office, the Harvard Origin of Life Initiative, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, the University of Geneva, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Italian National Astrophysical Institute, the University of St. Andrews, Queens University Belfast, and the University of Edinburgh.

  4. MODELING THE INFRARED SPECTRUM OF THE EARTH-MOON SYSTEM: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF EARTHLIKE EXTRASOLAR PLANETS AND THEIR MOONLIKE COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, Tyler D.

    2011-11-01

    The Moon maintains large surface temperatures on its illuminated hemisphere and can contribute significant amounts of flux to spatially unresolved thermal infrared (IR) observations of the Earth-Moon system, especially at wavelengths where Earth's atmosphere is absorbing. In this paper we investigate the effects of an unresolved companion on IR observations of Earthlike exoplanets. For an extrasolar twin Earth-Moon system observed at full phase at IR wavelengths, the Moon consistently comprises about 20% of the total signal, approaches 30% of the signal in the 9.6 {mu}m ozone band and the 15 {mu}m carbon dioxide band, makes up as much as 80% of the signal in the 6.3 {mu}m water band, and more than 90% of the signal in the 4.3 {mu}m carbon dioxide band. These excesses translate to inferred brightness temperatures for Earth that are too large by 20-40 K and demonstrate that the presence of undetected satellites can have significant impacts on the spectroscopic characterization of exoplanets. The thermal flux contribution from an airless companion depends strongly on phase, implying that observations of exoplanets should be taken when the star-planet-observer angle (i.e., phase angle) is as large as feasibly possible if contributions from companions are to be minimized. We show that, by differencing IR observations of an Earth twin with a companion taken at both gibbous and crescent phases, Moonlike satellites may be detectable by future exoplanet characterization missions for a wide range of system inclinations.

  5. A Diffraction-limited Survey for Direct Detection of Halpha Emitting/Accreting ExtraSolar Planets with the 6.5m Magellan Telescope and the MagAO Visible AO system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Close, Laird

    steady diet of hydrogen gas. Such planets should then be quite bright in Halpha accretion emission. The key point is that: instead of a steep drop off in the luminosity of the planet’s atmosphere, the accretion luminosity of these planets will just linearly decrease with decreasing mass. At an accretion rate=6e-10 Msun/yr we find low mass (~1 Mjup) accreting gap planets are much (50-1000x) brighter (for 0-3.4 mag of Halpha extinction) in Halpha than at H band. PROOF-OF_CONCEPT: A 3 hour MagAO observation at Halpha of a transitional disk in April 2013 was made. The resulting deep diffraction-limited images discovered (at 10.5 sigma) an Halpha source that was 295% above the continuum just 0.083” from the star (edge of the inner 10 AU disk gap). We also detected (at 5 sigma) an excellent (though much fainter) ~1 Mjup mass Halpha planet candidate located auspiciously at the outer edge (145 AU) of the gap. If confirmed by our “second epoch” follow-up as common proper motion then this would be the lowest mass (~1 Mjup) planet ever imaged. SURVEY: Scaling off of this exciting success we propose to deeply image (120 min) all 14 nearby (D<250pc), bright (R<11 mag) , not edge-on (i<80 deg) , young (~5 Myr) transitional disks with MagAO simultaneously at Halpha and L’. In addition, we will use BrGamma instead of Halpha for 8 additional fainter (11detect (at 5 sigma) 1 Mjup planets accreting at 6e-10 Msun/yr in 3.4 mag of extinction at Halpha at, or past, 0.2” separations. Therefore, based on the theoretical prediction that the inner and outer gap planets should be >1 Mjup in mass, we integrate across our target list and find that, in the worst case of minimal masses (1+/-0.5 Mjup), and 3.4 mag extinction, at least seven ~1 Mjup planets should be discovered by this survey --meeting all three of our science goals above.

  6. Barnard’s Star: Planets or Pretense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartlett, Jennifer L.; Ianna, P. A.

    2014-01-01

    Barnard’s Star remains popular with planet hunters because it is not only an extremely near, high proper motion star, but also the object of early planet-detection claims. In 1963, van de Kamp explained perturbations in its proper motion by the presence of a planet. In 1969, he produced another single-planet solution and a two-planet solution to the astrometric wobbles detected. At least 19 studies have failed to confirm his results using a range of techniques, including radial velocity, direct imaging, and speckle interferometry. However, most of them lacked the sensitivity to detect the planets he described, including astrometric studies at the McCormick and Naval Observatories. However, radial-velocity monitoring of Barnard’s Star at Lick and Keck Observatories from 1987 through 2012 appears to have ruled out such planets. Based upon observations made at the Sproul Observatory between 1916 and 1962, van de Kamp claimed that Barnard’s Star had a planet with about 1.6 times the mass of Jupiter and an orbital period of 24 years. After accounting for instrumentation effects that might have been partially responsible for his initial results, he continued to assert that this red dwarf had two planets. In his 1982 analysis of ~20,000 exposures collected between 1938 and 1981, he calculated that two planets with 0.7- and 0.5-Jupiter masses in 12- and 20-year orbits, respectively, orbited the second-closest stellar system to our own. Starting in 1995, the dramatic successes of radial velocity searches for extrasolar planets drove van de Kamp’s unsubstantiated claims from popular consciousness. Although many low-mass stellar companions were discovered through astrometry, the technique has been less successful for planets: “The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia” identifies one such discovery out of the 997 planets listed on 2013 September 23. Although Barnard’s Star has lost its pretensions to hosting the first extrasolar planets known, its intrinsic

  7. Planets, debris and their host metallicity correlations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, Mark; Nayakshin, Sergei

    2016-06-01

    Recent observations of debris discs, believed to be made up of remnant planetesimals, brought a number of surprises. Debris disc presence does not correlate with the host star's metallicity, and may anti-correlate with the presence of gas giant planets. These observations contradict both assumptions and predictions of the highly successful Core Accretion model of planet formation. Here we explore predictions of the alternative Tidal Downsizing (TD) scenario of planet formation. In TD, small planets and planetesimal debris is made only when gas fragments, predecessors of giant planets, are tidally disrupted. We show that these disruptions are rare in discs around high metallicity stars but release more debris per disruption than their low [M/H] analogs. This predicts no simple relation between debris disc presence and host star's [M/H], as observed. A detected gas giant planet implies in TD that its predecessor fragment was not disputed, potentially explaining why DDs are less likely to be found around stars with gas giants. Less massive planets should correlate with DD presence, and sub-Saturn planets (Mp ˜ 50 M⊕) should correlate with DD presence stronger than sub-Neptunes (Mp ≲ 15 M⊕). These predicted planet-DD correlations will be diluted and weakened in observations by planetary systems' long term evolution and multi-fragment effects neglected here. Finally, although presently difficult to observe, DDs around M dwarf stars should be more prevalent than around Solar type stars.

  8. Planets, debris and their host metallicity correlations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, Mark; Nayakshin, Sergei

    2016-09-01

    Recent observations of debris discs (DDs), believed to be made up of remnant planetesimals, brought a number of surprises. DD presence does not correlate with the host star's metallicity, and may anticorrelate with the presence of gas giant planets. These observations contradict both assumptions and predictions of the highly successful Core Accretion model of planet formation. Here, we explore predictions of the alternative tidal downsizing (TD) scenario of planet formation. In TD, small planets and planetesimal debris is made only when gas fragments, predecessors of giant planets, are tidally disrupted. We show that these disruptions are rare in discs around high-metallicity stars but release more debris per disruption than their low [M/H] analogues. This predicts no simple relation between DD presence and host star's [M/H], as observed. A detected gas giant planet implies in TD that its predecessor fragment was not disputed, potentially explaining why DDs are less likely to be found around stars with gas giants. Less massive planets should correlate with DD presence, and sub-Saturn planets (Mp ˜ 50 M⊕) should correlate with DD presence stronger than sub-Neptunes (Mp ≲ 15 M⊕). These predicted planet-DD correlations will be diluted and weakened in observations by planetary systems' long-term evolution and multifragment effects neglected here. Finally, although presently difficult to observe, DDs around M dwarf stars should be more prevalent than around Solar type stars.

  9. Can CMB Experiments Find Planet Nine?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-04-01

    Recent studies have identified signs of an unseen, distant ninth planet in our solar system. How might we find the elusive Planet Nine? A team of scientists suggests the key might be cosmology experiments.AHypothetical PlanetOrbits of six distant Kuiper-belt objects. Their clustered perihelia and orbital orientations suggest they may have been shepherded by a massive object, hypothesized to be Planet Nine. [Caltech/Robert Hurt]Early this year, a study was published that demonstrated that the clustered orbits of distant Kuiper belt objects (and several other features of our solar system) can be explained by the gravitational tug of a yet-undiscovered planet. This hypothetical Planet Nine is predicted to be a giant planet similar to Neptune or Uranus, with a mass of more than ~10 Earthmasses, currently orbiting ~700 AU away.In a recent study, a team of scientists led by Nicolas Cowan (McGill University in Canada) has estimated the blackbody emission expected from Planet Nine. The team proposes how we might be able to search for this distant body using its heat signature.Heat from an Icy WorldCowan and collaborators first estimate Planet Nines effective temperature, based on the solar flux received at ~700 AU and assuming its internal heating is similar to Uranus or Neptune. They find that Planet Nines effective temperature would likely be an icy ~3050 K, corresponding to a blackbody peak at 50100 micrometers.Search space for Planet Nine. Based on its millimeter flux and annual parallax motion, several current and future cosmology experiments may be able to detect it. Experiments resolution ranges are shown with blue boxes. [Cowan et al. 2016]How can we detect an object withemission that peaks in this range? Intriguingly, cosmology experiments monitoring the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation are optimized for millimeter flux. At a wavelength of 1mm, Cowan and collaborators estimate that Planet Nine would have a very detectable flux level of ~30 mJy. The

  10. Three Low-Mass Planets from the Anglo-Australian Planet Search

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinney, C. G.; Butler, R. Paul; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Jones, Hugh R. A.; Penny, Alan J.; McCarthy, Chris; Carter, Brad D.; Fischer, Debra A.

    2005-04-01

    We report the detection of three new low-mass planets from the Anglo-Australian Planet Search. The three parent stars of these planets are chromospherically quiet main-sequence G dwarfs with metallicities ranging from roughly solar (HD 117618 and HD 208487) to metal enriched (HD 102117). The orbital periods range from 20.8 to 130 days, the minimum masses from roughly 0.5MSat to 0.5MJup, and the eccentricities from 0.08 to 0.37, with the planet in the smallest orbit (HD 102117) having the smallest eccentricity. With semiamplitudes of 10.6-19 m s-1, these planets induce Doppler amplitudes similar to those of Jupiter analogs, albeit with shorter periods. Many of the most interesting future Doppler planets will be detected at these semiamplitude levels, placing a premium on measurement precision. The detection of such amplitudes in data extending back 6 yr gives confidence in the Anglo-Australian Planet Search's ability to detect Jupiter analogs as our time baseline extends to 12 yr. We discuss the criticality of such detections for the design of the next generation of extremely large telescopes and also highlight prospects for suitable observing strategies to push to below 1 m s-1 precisions for bright stars in a search for sub-Neptunian planets. Based on observations obtained at the Anglo-Australian Telescope, Siding Spring, Australia.

  11. Planets and Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2001-12-01

    Astrobiology involves the study of the origin and history of life on Earth, planets and moons where life may have arisen, and the search for extraterrestrial life. It combines the sciences of biology, chemistry, palaeontology, geology, planetary physics and astronomy. This textbook brings together world experts in each of these disciplines to provide the most comprehensive coverage of the field currently available. Topics cover the origin and evolution of life on Earth, the geological, physical and chemical conditions in which life might arise and the detection of extraterrestrial life on other planets and moons. The book also covers the history of our ideas on extraterrestrial life and the origin of life, as well as the ethical, philosophical and educational issues raised by astrobiology. Written to be accessible to students from diverse backgrounds, this text will be welcomed by advanced undergraduates and graduates who are taking astrobiology courses.• Compiled by world experts in their disciplines to create a truly comprehensive book • Accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds • A welcome addition to this rapidly-growing field

  12. Radial velocities of stars with multiple co-orbital planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrovolskis, Anthony R.

    2015-04-01

    To date, well over a thousand planets have been discovered orbiting other stars, hundreds of them in multi-planet systems. Most of these exoplanets have been detected by either the transit method or the radial velocity method, rather than by other methods such as astrometry or direct imaging. Both the radial velocity and astrometric methods rely upon the reflex motion of the parent star induced by the gravitational attraction of its planets. However, this reflex motion is subject to misinterpretation when a star has two or more planets with the same orbital period. Such co-orbital planets may effectively "hide" from detection by current algorithms.

  13. Peeking at the Planets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddle, Bob

    2002-01-01

    Provides information about each of the planets in our solar system. Focuses on information related to the space missions that have visited or flown near each planet, and includes a summary of what is known about some of the features of each planet. (DDR)

  14. Terrestrial Planets: Comparative Planetology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    Papers were presented at the 47th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting on the Comparative planetology of Terrestrial Planets. Subject matter explored concerning terrestrial planets includes: interrelationships among planets; plaentary evolution; planetary structure; planetary composition; planetary Atmospheres; noble gases in meteorites; and planetary magnetic fields.

  15. Kepler Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2015-01-01

    Kepler has vastly increased our knowledge of planets and planetary systems located close to stars. The new data shows surprising results for planetary abundances, planetary spacings and the distribution of planets on a mass-radius diagram. The implications of these results for theories of planet formation will be discussed.

  16. Orbital and physical properties of planets and their hosts: new insights on planet formation and evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adibekyan, V. Zh.; Figueira, P.; Santos, N. C.; Mortier, A.; Mordasini, C.; Delgado Mena, E.; Sousa, S. G.; Correia, A. C. M.; Israelian, G.; Oshagh, M.

    2013-12-01

    Aims: We explore the relations between physical and orbital properties of planets and properties of their host stars to identify the main observable signatures of the formation and evolution processes of planetary systems. Methods: We used a large sample of FGK dwarf planet-hosting stars with stellar parameters derived in a homogeneous way from the SWEET-Cat database to study the relation between stellar metallicity and position of planets in the period-mass diagram. We then used all the radial-velocity-detected planets orbiting FGK stars to explore the role of planet-disk and planet-planet interaction on the evolution of orbital properties of planets with masses above 1 MJup. Results: Using a large sample of FGK dwarf hosts we show that planets orbiting metal-poor stars have longer periods than those in metal-rich systems. This trend is valid for masses at least from ≈10 M⊕ to ≈4 MJup. Earth-like planets orbiting metal-rich stars always show shorter periods (fewer than 20 days) than those orbiting metal-poor stars. However, in the short-period regime there are a similar number of planets orbiting metal-poor stars. We also found statistically significant evidence that very high mass giants (with a mass higher than 4 MJup) have on average more eccentric orbits than giant planets with lower mass. Finally, we show that the eccentricity of planets with masses higher than 4 MJup tends to be lower for planets with shorter periods. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the planets in the P - MP diagram are evolving differently because of a mechanism that operates over a wide range of planetary masses. This mechanism is stronger or weaker, depending on the metallicity of the respective system. One possibility is that planets in metal-poor disks form farther out from their central star and/or they form later and do not have time to migrate as far as the planets in metal-rich systems. The trends and dependencies obtained for very high mass planetary systems suggest

  17. Terrestrial Planet Finder: science overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unwin, Stephen C.; Beichman, C. A.

    2004-01-01

    The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) seeks to revolutionize our understanding of humanity's place in the universe - by searching for Earth-like planets using reflected light, or thermal emission in the mid-infrared. Direct detection implies that TPF must separate planet light from glare of the nearby star, a technical challenge which has only in recent years been recognized as surmountable. TPF will obtain a low-resolution spectra of each planets it detects, providing some of its basic physical characteristics and its main atmospheric constituents, thereby allowing us to assess the likelihood that habitable conditions exist there. NASA has decided the scientific importance of this research is so high that TPF will be pursued as two complementary space observatories: a visible-light coronagraph and a mid-infrared formation flying interferometer. The combination of spectra from both wavebands is much more valuable than either taken separately, and it will allow a much fuller understanding of the wide diversity of planetary atmospheres that may be expected to exist. Measurements across a broad wavelength range will yield not only physical properties such as size and albedo, but will also serve as the foundations of a reliable and robust assessment of habitability and the presence of life.

  18. A tunnel and a traffic jam: How transition disks maintain a detectable warm dust component despite the presence of a large planet-carved gap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinilla, P.; Klarmann, L.; Birnstiel, T.; Benisty, M.; Dominik, C.; Dullemond, C. P.

    2016-01-01

    Context. Transition disks are circumstellar disks that show evidence of a dust cavity, which may be related to dynamical clearing by embedded planet(s). Most of these objects show signs of significant accretion, indicating that the inner disks are not truly empty, but that gas is still streaming through to the star. A subset of transition disks, sometimes called pre-transition disks, also shows a strong near-infrared excess, interpreted as an optically thick dusty belt located close to the dust sublimation radius within the first astronomical unit. Aims: We study the conditions for the survival and maintenance of such an inner disk in the case where a massive planet opens a gap in the disk. In this scenario, the planet filters out large dust grains that are trapped at the outer edge of the gap, while the inner regions of the disk may or may not be replenished with small grains. Methods: We combined hydrodynamical simulations of planet-disk interactions with dust evolution models that include coagulation and fragmentation of dust grains over a large range of radii and derived observational properties using radiative transfer calculations. We studied the role of the snow line in the survival of the inner disk of transition disks. Results: Inside the snow line, the lack of ice mantles in dust particles decreases the sticking efficiency between grains. As a consequence, particles fragment at lower collision velocities than in regions beyond the snow line. This effect allows small particles to be maintained for up to a few Myr within the first astronomical unit. These particles are closely coupled to the gas and do not drift significantly with respect to the gas. For lower mass planets (1 MJup), the pre-transition appearance can be maintained even longer because dust still trickles through the gap created by the planet, moves invisibly and quickly in the form of relatively large grains through the gap, and becomes visible again as it fragments and gets slowed down

  19. Searching for Extrasolar Planets with SIM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unwin, Stephen C.

    2000-01-01

    The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) will be the first spacebased long base-line Michelson interferometer designed for precision astrometry. SIM will extend the reach of astrometry to cover the entire Galaxy, and will address a wide range of problems in Galactic structure and stellar astrophysics. It will also serve as a technology precursor for future astrophysics missions using interferometers. SIM will be a powerful tool for discovering planets around nearby stars, through detection of the reflex motion, and it will directly measure masses for the planets detected this way. It will have a single-measurement precision of 1 microarcsecond in a frame defined by nearby reference stars, enabling SIM to search for planets with masses as small as a few earth masses around the nearest star. More massive planets will be detectable to much larger distances.

  20. Characterizing Cool Giant Planets in Reflected Light

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark

    2016-01-01

    While the James Webb Space Telescope will detect and characterize extrasolar planets by transit and direct imaging, a new generation of telescopes will be required to detect and characterize extrasolar planets by reflected light imaging. NASA's WFIRST space telescope, now in development, will image dozens of cool giant planets at optical wavelengths and will obtain spectra for several of the best and brightest targets. This mission will pave the way for the detection and characterization of terrestrial planets by the planned LUVOIR or HabEx space telescopes. In my presentation I will discuss the challenges that arise in the interpretation of direct imaging data and present the results of our group's effort to develop methods for maximizing the science yield from these planned missions.

  1. Evolution and Atmospheric Circulation of "Pegasi Planets"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillot, T.; Showman, A.

    About one-quarter of the extrasolar giant planets discovered so far have orbital distances smaller than 0.1 AU. Among those are the first genuine giant planet detected outside our solar system, 51 Peg b, and the first characterized extrasolar planet, HD 209458b (also in the Pegasus constellation). These ``Pegasi planets'' form a class of objects whose evolution and structure is strongly affected by stellar irradiation and tides. We show in particular that the radius of HD 209458b cannot be reproduced by conventional evolution models unless its atmosphere is assumed to be unrealistically hot. We argue that the combination of the synchronization by stellar tides and the strong irradiation yield an atmosphere that has significant temperature variations and strong winds. The kinetic energy thus generated can be transported in the deep interior and slow the planet's contraction. We also discuss the consequences of the atmospheric circulation on the chemistry.

  2. Studying planet populations with Einstein's blip.

    PubMed

    Dominik, Martin

    2010-08-13

    Although Einstein originally judged that 'there is no great chance of observing this phenomenon', the 'most curious effect' of the bending of starlight by the gravity of intervening foreground stars--now commonly referred to as 'gravitational microlensing'--has become one of the successfully applied techniques to detect planets orbiting stars other than the Sun, while being quite unlike any other. With more than 400 extra-solar planets known altogether, the discovery of a true sibling of our home planet seems to have become simply a question of time. However, in order to properly understand the origin of Earth, carrying all its various life forms, models of planet formation and orbital evolution need to be brought into agreement with the statistics of the full variety of planets like Earth and unlike Earth. Given the complementarity of the currently applied planet detection techniques, a comprehensive picture will only arise from a combination of their respective findings. Gravitational microlensing favours a range of orbital separations that covers planets whose orbital periods are too long to allow detection by other indirect techniques, but which are still too close to their host star to be detected by means of their emitted or reflected light. Rather than being limited to the Solar neighbourhood, a unique opportunity is provided for inferring a census of planets orbiting stars belonging to two distinct populations within the Milky Way, with a sensitivity not only reaching down to Earth mass, but even below, with ground-based observations. The capabilities of gravitational microlensing extend even to obtaining evidence of a planet orbiting a star in another galaxy. PMID:20603366

  3. AN ULTRACOOL STAR'S CANDIDATE PLANET

    SciTech Connect

    Pravdo, Steven H.; Shaklan, Stuart B. E-mail: stuart.shaklan@jpl.nasa.gov

    2009-07-20

    We report here the discovery of the first planet around an ultracool dwarf star. It is also the first extrasolar giant planet astrometrically discovered around a main-sequence star. The statistical significance of the detection is shown in two ways. First, there is a 2 x 10{sup -8} probability that the astrometric motion fits a parallax-and-proper-motion-only model. Second, periodogram analysis shows a false alarm probability of 3 x 10{sup -5} that the discovered period is randomly generated. The planetary mass is M {sub 2} = 6.4 (+2.6,-3.1) Jupiter-masses (M {sub J}), and the orbital period is P = 0.744 (+0.013,-0.008) yr in the most likely model. In less likely models, companion masses that are higher than the 13 M {sub J} planetary mass limit are ruled out by past radial velocity (RV) measurements unless the system RV is more than twice the current upper limits and the near-periastron orbital phase was never observed. This new planetary system is remarkable, in part, because its star, VB 10, is near the lower mass limit for a star. Our astrometric observations provide a dynamical mass measurement and will in time allow us to confront the theoretical models of formation and evolution of such systems and their members. We thus add to the diversity of planetary systems and to the small number of known M-dwarf planets. Planets such as VB 10b could be the most numerous type of planets because M stars comprise >70% of all stars. To date they have remained hidden since the dominant RV planet-discovery technique is relatively insensitive to these dim, red systems.

  4. PLANET HUNTERS: ASSESSING THE KEPLER INVENTORY OF SHORT-PERIOD PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris J.; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Simpson, Robert J.; Fischer, Debra A.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Brewer, John M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin

    2012-08-01

    We present the results from a search of data from the first 33.5 days of the Kepler science mission (Quarter 1) for exoplanet transits by the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Planet Hunters enlists members of the general public to visually identify transits in the publicly released Kepler light curves via the World Wide Web. Over 24,000 volunteers reviewed the Kepler Quarter 1 data set. We examine the abundance of {>=}2 R{sub Circled-Plus} planets on short-period (<15 days) orbits based on Planet Hunters detections. We present these results along with an analysis of the detection efficiency of human classifiers to identify planetary transits including a comparison to the Kepler inventory of planet candidates. Although performance drops rapidly for smaller radii, {>=}4 R{sub Circled-Plus} Planet Hunters {>=}85% efficient at identifying transit signals for planets with periods less than 15 days for the Kepler sample of target stars. Our high efficiency rate for simulated transits along with recovery of the majority of Kepler {>=}4 R{sub Circled-Plus} planets suggests that the Kepler inventory of {>=}4 R{sub Circled-Plus} short-period planets is nearly complete.

  5. Tides in Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, David J.

    2015-11-01

    The arrival of Juno at Jupiter in less than a year necessitates analysis of what we can learn from the gravitational signal due to tides raised on the planet by satellites (especially Io but also Europa). In the existing literature, there is extensive work on static tidal theory (the response of the planet to a tidal potential whose time dependence is ignored) and this is what is usually quoted when people refer to tidal Love numbers. If this were correct then there would be almost no new information content in the measurement of tidally induced gravity field, since the perturbation is of the same kind as the response to rotation (i.e., the measurement of J2, a well-known quantity). However, tides are dynamic (that is, k2 is frequency dependent) and so there is new information in the frequency dependent part. There is also (highly important) information in the imaginary part (more commonly expressed as tidal Q) but there is no prospect of direct detection of this by Juno since that quadrature signal is so small. The difference between what we expect to measure and what we can already calculate directly from J2 is easily shown to be of order the square of tidal frequency over the lowest order normal mode frequency, and thus of order 10%. However, the governing equations are not simple (not separable) because of the Coriolis force. An approximate solution has been obtained for the n =1 polytrope showing that the correction to k2 is even smaller, typically a few percent, because the tidal frequency is not very different from twice the rotation frequency. Moreover, it is not highly sensitive to structure in standard models. However, the deep interior of the planet may be stably stratified because of a compositional gradient and this modifies the tidal flow amplitude, changing the dynamic k2 but not the static k2. This raises the exciting possibility that we can use the determination of k2 to set bounds on the extent of static stability, if any. There is also the slight

  6. Kepler's missing planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffen, Jason H.

    2013-08-01

    We investigate the distributions of the orbital period ratios of adjacent planets in high-multiplicity Kepler systems (four or more planets) and low-multiplicity systems (two planets). Modelling the low-multiplicity sample as essentially equivalent to the high-multiplicity sample, but with unobserved intermediate planets, we find some evidence for an excess of planet pairs between the 2:1 and 3:1 mean-motion resonances in the low-multiplicity sample. This possible excess may be the result of strong dynamical interactions near these or other resonances or it may be a byproduct of other evolutionary events or processes such as planetary collisions. Three-planet systems show a significant excess of planets near the 2:1 mean-motion resonance that is not as prominent in either of the other samples. This observation may imply a correlation between strong dynamical interactions and observed planet number - perhaps a relationship between resonance pairs and the inclinations or orbital periods of additional planets. The period ratio distributions can also be used to identify targets to search for missing planets in the each of the samples, the presence or absence of which would have strong implications for planet formation and dynamical evolution models.

  7. The SARG Planet Search

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desidera, S.; Gratton, R.; Endl, M.; Fiorenzano, A. F. Martinez; Barbieri, M.; Claudi, R.; Cosentino, R.; Scuderi, S.; Bonavita, M.

    The search for planets in multiple systems allows to improve our knowledge of planet formation and evolution. On one hand, the frequency of planets in binary systems has a strong effect on the global frequency of planets, as more than half of solar-type stars are in binary or multiple systems (Duquennoy and Mayor 1991). On the other hand, the properties of planets in binaries, and their differences with the properties of the planets orbiting single stars, would shed light on the effects caused by the presence of the companion stars. Indeed, the first analysis of the properties of planets in binaries showed the occurrence of some differences with respect to those orbiting single stars (Zucker and Mazeh 2002; Eggenberger et al. 2004).

  8. Magnetic activity of planet-hosting stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppenhaeger, Katja

    2011-05-01

    Magnetic activity in cool stars is a widely observed phenomenon, however it is still far from being understood. How fundamental stellar parameters like mass and rotational period quantitatively cause a stellar magnetic field which manifests itself in features such as spots, flares and high-energy coronal emission is a lively area of research in solar and stellar astrophysics. Especially for planet-hosting stars, stellar activity profiles are very interesting as exoplanets are affected by high-energy radiation, both at the time of planet formation as well as during the further lifetime of a star-planet system. In extreme cases, the atmosphere of a planet very close to its host star can be strongly heated by the stellar X-ray and EUV emission and finally escape the planet's gravitational attraction, so that the atmosphere of the planet evaporates over time. Theoretically, planets can also affect their host star's magnetic activity. In analogy to processes in binary stars which lead to enhanced - both overall and periodically varying - activity levels, also giant planets might influence the stellar activity by tidal or magnetic interaction processes, however on a weaker level than in binaries. Some indications for such interactions exist from chromospheric measurements in stars with Hot Jupiters. In this thesis I investigate the magnetic activity of planet-hosting stars and especially possible effects from star-planet interactions with an emphasis on stellar coronae in X-rays. I tested a complete sample of all known planet-hosting stars within 30 pc distance from the Sun for correlations of stellar X-ray properties with planetary parameters. A significant correlation exists between the stellar X-ray luminosity and the product of planetary mass and inverse semimajor axis. However, this could be traced back to a selection effect introduced by planetary detection methods. For stars in the solar neighborhood, planets are mainly detected by radial velocity shifts in the

  9. THE OCCURRENCE OF WIDE-ORBIT PLANETS IN BINARY STAR SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Zuckerman, B.

    2014-08-20

    The occurrence of planets in binary star systems has been investigated via a variety of techniques that sample a wide range of semi-major axes, but with a preponderance of such results applicable to planets with semi-major axes less than a few astronomical units. We utilize a new method—the presence or absence of heavy elements in the atmospheres of white dwarf stars—to elucidate the frequency in main sequence binary star systems of planets with semi-major axes greater than a few astronomical units. We consider only binaries where a putative planetary system orbits one member (no circumbinary planets). For main sequence binaries where the primary star is of spectral type A or F, data in the published literature suggests that the existence of a secondary star with a semi-major axis less than about 1000 AU suppresses the formation and/or long-term stability of an extended planetary system around the primary. For these spectral types and initial semi-major axis ≥1000 AU, extended planetary systems appear to be as common around stars in binary systems as they are around single stars.

  10. Simulator for Microlens Planet Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ipatov, Sergei I.; Horne, Keith; Alsubai, Khalid A.; Bramich, Daniel M.; Dominik, Martin; Hundertmark, Markus P. G.; Liebig, Christine; Snodgrass, Colin D. B.; Street, Rachel A.; Tsapras, Yiannis

    2014-04-01

    We summarize the status of a computer simulator for microlens planet surveys. The simulator generates synthetic light curves of microlensing events observed with specified networks of telescopes over specified periods of time. Particular attention is paid to models for sky brightness and seeing, calibrated by fitting to data from the OGLE survey and RoboNet observations in 2011. Time intervals during which events are observable are identified by accounting for positions of the Sun and the Moon, and other restrictions on telescope pointing. Simulated observations are then generated for an algorithm that adjusts target priorities in real time with the aim of maximizing planet detection zone area summed over all the available events. The exoplanet detection capability of observations was compared for several telescopes.

  11. Planets and Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2007-09-01

    Foreword; Preface; Contributors; Prologue; Part I. History: 1. History of astrobiological ideas W. T. Sullivan and D. Carney; 2. From exobiology to astrobiology S. J. Dick; Part II. The Physical Stage: 3. Formation of Earth-like habitable planets D. E. Brownlee and M. Kress; 4. Planetary atmospheres and life D. Catling and J. F. Kasting; Part III. The Origin of Life on Earth: 5. Does 'life' have a definition? C.E. Cleland and C. F. Chyba; 6. Origin of life: crucial issues R. Shapiro; 7. Origin of proteins and nucleic acids A. Ricardo and S. A. Benner; 8. The roots of metabolism G.D. Cody and J. H. Scott; 9. Origin of cellular life D. W. Deamer; Part IV. Life on Earth: 10. Evolution: a defining feature of life J. A. Baross; 11. Evolution of metabolism and early microbial communities J. A. Leigh, D. A. Stahl and J. T. Staley; 12. The earliest records of life on Earth R. Buick; 13. The origin and diversification of eukaryotes M. L. Sogin, D. J. Patterson and A. McArthur; 14. Limits of carbon life on Earth and elsewhere J. A. Baross, J. Huber and M. Schrenk; 15. Life in ice J. W. Deming and H. Eicken; 16. The evolution and diversification of life S. Awramik and K. J. McNamara; 17. Mass extinctions P. D. Ward; Part V. Potentially Habitable Worlds: 18. Mars B. M. Jakosky, F. Westall and A. Brack; 19. Europa C. F. Chyba and C. B. Phillips; 20. Titan J. I. Lunine and B. Rizk; 21. Extrasolar planets P. Butler; Part VI. Searching for Extraterrestrial Life: 22. How to search for life on other worlds C. P. McKay; 23. Instruments and strategies for detecting extraterrestrial life P. G. Conrad; 24. Societial and ethical concerns M. S. Race; 25. Planetary protection J. D. Rummel; 26. Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence J. C. Tarter; 27. Alien biochemistries P. D. Ward and S. A. Benner; Part VII. Future of the Field: 28. Disciplinary and educational opportunities L. Wells, J. Armstrong and J. Huber; Epilogue C. F. Chyba; Appendixes: A. Units and usages; B. Planetary

  12. The radial velocity search for extrasolar planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcmillan, Robert S.

    1991-01-01

    Radial velocity measurements are being made to search for planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. The reflex acceleration induced on stars by planets can be sensed by measuring the small, slow changes in the line-of-site velocities of stars. To detect these planetary perturbations, the data series must be made on a uniform instrumental scale for as long as it takes a planet to orbit its star. A spectrometer of extreme stability and unprecedented sensitivity to changes in stellar radial velocities was operated.

  13. Thermal escape from extrasolar giant planets.

    PubMed

    Koskinen, Tommi T; Lavvas, Panayotis; Harris, Matthew J; Yelle, Roger V

    2014-04-28

    The detection of hot atomic hydrogen and heavy atoms and ions at high altitudes around close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) such as HD209458b implies that these planets have hot and rapidly escaping atmospheres that extend to several planetary radii. These characteristics, however, cannot be generalized to all close-in EGPs. The thermal escape mechanism and mass loss rate from EGPs depend on a complex interplay between photochemistry and radiative transfer driven by the stellar UV radiation. In this study, we explore how these processes change under different levels of irradiation on giant planets with different characteristics. We confirm that there are two distinct regimes of thermal escape from EGPs, and that the transition between these regimes is relatively sharp. Our results have implications for thermal mass loss rates from different EGPs that we discuss in the context of currently known planets and the detectability of their upper atmospheres. PMID:24664923

  14. Thermal escape from extrasolar giant planets

    PubMed Central

    Koskinen, Tommi T.; Lavvas, Panayotis; Harris, Matthew J.; Yelle, Roger V.

    2014-01-01

    The detection of hot atomic hydrogen and heavy atoms and ions at high altitudes around close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) such as HD209458b implies that these planets have hot and rapidly escaping atmospheres that extend to several planetary radii. These characteristics, however, cannot be generalized to all close-in EGPs. The thermal escape mechanism and mass loss rate from EGPs depend on a complex interplay between photochemistry and radiative transfer driven by the stellar UV radiation. In this study, we explore how these processes change under different levels of irradiation on giant planets with different characteristics. We confirm that there are two distinct regimes of thermal escape from EGPs, and that the transition between these regimes is relatively sharp. Our results have implications for thermal mass loss rates from different EGPs that we discuss in the context of currently known planets and the detectability of their upper atmospheres. PMID:24664923

  15. From Pixels to Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brownston, Lee; Jenkins, Jon M.

    2015-01-01

    The Kepler Mission was launched in 2009 as NASAs first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. Its telescope consists of a 1.5-m primary mirror and a 0.95-m aperture. The 42 charge-coupled devices in its focal plane are read out every half hour, compressed, and then downlinked monthly. After four years, the second of four reaction wheels failed, ending the original mission. Back on earth, the Science Operations Center developed the Science Pipeline to analyze about 200,000 target stars in Keplers field of view, looking for evidence of periodic dimming suggesting that one or more planets had crossed the face of its host star. The Pipeline comprises several steps, from pixel-level calibration, through noise and artifact removal, to detection of transit-like signals and the construction of a suite of diagnostic tests to guard against false positives. The Kepler Science Pipeline consists of a pipeline infrastructure written in the Java programming language, which marshals data input to and output from MATLAB applications that are executed as external processes. The pipeline modules, which underwent continuous development and refinement even after data started arriving, employ several analytic techniques, many developed for the Kepler Project. Because of the large number of targets, the large amount of data per target and the complexity of the pipeline algorithms, the processing demands are daunting. Some pipeline modules require days to weeks to process all of their targets, even when run on NASA's 128-node Pleiades supercomputer. The software developers are still seeking ways to increase the throughput. To date, the Kepler project has discovered more than 4000 planetary candidates, of which more than 1000 have been independently confirmed or validated to be exoplanets. Funding for this mission is provided by NASAs Science Mission Directorate.

  16. Searching for Jupiter Analogues: Detection Limits of the McDonald Observatory Harlan J. Smith 2.7m Telescope Radial Velocity Planet Search

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caldwell, Caroline; Endl, M.; Cochran, W.; MacQueen, P. J.

    2012-01-01

    The McDonald Observatory Planet Search has recorded twelve years of high precision radial velocity measurements. Now it is possible to test the frequency of Jupiter analogues in the database. 81 stars with a twelve-year timeline and no known companions were selected, and simulations were performed to test our sensitivity to the radial velocity signals of Jupiter analogues. Our criteria for a Jupiter analogue are a planetary companion of a sun-like star with a mass between .8 to 4 Jupiter masses, at a distance ranging from 4 to 5.5 AU. A true Jupiter signal is near the limit of our observations at a distance of 5AU with a period of 4330 days, or 11.9 years. The results of these simulations show the database's sensitivity to Jupiter analogues and the frequency of Jupiter analogues. The results demonstrate that the McDonald Observatory Planet Search is a valuable source of high precision radial velocity measurements, and that the continuation of the program is beneficial to the discovery and study of extra solar planets.

  17. Terrestrial planet formation

    PubMed Central

    Righter, K.; O’Brien, D. P.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (∼106 y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few × 106 y), and finally embryos to planets (107–108 y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  18. Terrestrial planet formation.

    PubMed

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  19. Inferring Planet Occurrence Rates With a Q1-Q17 Kepler Planet Candidate Catalog Produced by a Machine Learning Classifier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catanzarite, Joseph; Jenkins, Jon Michael; McCauliff, Sean D.; Burke, Christopher; Bryson, Steve; Batalha, Natalie; Coughlin, Jeffrey; Rowe, Jason; mullally, fergal; thompson, susan; Seader, Shawn; Twicken, Joseph; Li, Jie; morris, robert; smith, jeffrey; haas, michael; christiansen, jessie; Clarke, Bruce

    2015-08-01

    NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope monitored the photometric variations of over 170,000 stars, at half-hour cadence, over its four-year prime mission. The Kepler pipeline calibrates the pixels of the target apertures for each star, produces light curves with simple aperture photometry, corrects for systematic error, and detects threshold-crossing events (TCEs) that may be due to transiting planets. The pipeline estimates planet parameters for all TCEs and computes diagnostics used by the Threshold Crossing Event Review Team (TCERT) to produce a catalog of objects that are deemed either likely transiting planet candidates or false positives.We created a training set from the Q1-Q12 and Q1-Q16 TCERT catalogs and an ensemble of synthetic transiting planets that were injected at the pixel level into all 17 quarters of data, and used it to train a random forest classifier. The classifier uniformly and consistently applies diagnostics developed by the Transiting Planet Search and Data Validation pipeline components and by TCERT to produce a robust catalog of planet candidates.The characteristics of the planet candidates detected by Kepler (planet radius and period) do not reflect the intrinsic planet population. Detection efficiency is a function of SNR, so the set of detected planet candidates is incomplete. Transit detection preferentially finds close-in planets with nearly edge-on orbits and misses planets whose orbital geometry precludes transits. Reliability of the planet candidates must also be considered, as they may be false positives. Errors in detected planet radius and in assumed star properties can also bias inference of intrinsic planet population characteristics.In this work we infer the intrinsic planet population, starting with the catalog of detected planet candidates produced by our random forest classifier, and accounting for detection biases and reliabilities as well as for radius errors in the detected population.Kepler was selected as the 10th mission

  20. THE CALIFORNIA PLANET SURVEY IV: A PLANET ORBITING THE GIANT STAR HD 145934 AND UPDATES TO SEVEN SYSTEMS WITH LONG-PERIOD PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Katherina Feng, Y.; Wright, Jason T.; Nelson, Benjamin; Wang, Sharon X.; Ford, Eric B.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.

    2015-02-10

    We present an update to seven stars with long-period planets or planetary candidates using new and archival radial velocities from Keck-HIRES and literature velocities from other telescopes. Our updated analysis better constrains orbital parameters for these planets, four of which are known multi-planet systems. HD 24040 b and HD 183263 c are super-Jupiters with circular orbits and periods longer than 8 yr. We present a previously unseen linear trend in the residuals of HD 66428 indicative of an additional planetary companion. We confirm that GJ 849 is a multi-planet system and find a good orbital solution for the c component: it is a 1 M {sub Jup} planet in a 15 yr orbit (the longest known for a planet orbiting an M dwarf). We update the HD 74156 double-planet system. We also announce the detection of HD 145934 b, a 2 M {sub Jup} planet in a 7.5 yr orbit around a giant star. Two of our stars, HD 187123 and HD 217107, at present host the only known examples of systems comprising a hot Jupiter and a planet with a well constrained period greater than 5 yr, and with no evidence of giant planets in between. Our enlargement and improvement of long-period planet parameters will aid future analysis of origins, diversity, and evolution of planetary systems.

  1. First light of the Gemini Planet imager.

    PubMed

    Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James R; Ingraham, Patrick; Konopacky, Quinn; Marois, Christian; Perrin, Marshall; Poyneer, Lisa; Bauman, Brian; Barman, Travis; Burrows, Adam S; Cardwell, Andrew; Chilcote, Jeffrey; De Rosa, Robert J; Dillon, Daren; Doyon, Rene; Dunn, Jennifer; Erikson, Darren; Fitzgerald, Michael P; Gavel, Donald; Goodsell, Stephen; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; Kalas, Paul; Larkin, James; Maire, Jerome; Marchis, Franck; Marley, Mark S; McBride, James; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Morzinski, Katie; Norton, Andrew; Oppenheimer, B R; Palmer, David; Patience, Jennifer; Pueyo, Laurent; Rantakyro, Fredrik; Sadakuni, Naru; Saddlemyer, Leslie; Savransky, Dmitry; Serio, Andrew; Soummer, Remi; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Song, Inseok; Thomas, Sandrine; Wallace, J Kent; Wiktorowicz, Sloane; Wolff, Schuyler

    2014-09-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager is a dedicated facility for directly imaging and spectroscopically characterizing extrasolar planets. It combines a very high-order adaptive optics system, a diffraction-suppressing coronagraph, and an integral field spectrograph with low spectral resolution but high spatial resolution. Every aspect of the Gemini Planet Imager has been tuned for maximum sensitivity to faint planets near bright stars. During first-light observations, we achieved an estimated H band Strehl ratio of 0.89 and a 5-σ contrast of 10(6) at 0.75 arcseconds and 10(5) at 0.35 arcseconds. Observations of Beta Pictoris clearly detect the planet, Beta Pictoris b, in a single 60-s exposure with minimal postprocessing. Beta Pictoris b is observed at a separation of 434 ± 6 milliarcseconds (mas) and position angle 211.8 ± 0.5°. Fitting the Keplerian orbit of Beta Pic b using the new position together with previous astrometry gives a factor of 3 improvement in most parameters over previous solutions. The planet orbits at a semimajor axis of [Formula: see text] near the 3:2 resonance with the previously known 6-AU asteroidal belt and is aligned with the inner warped disk. The observations give a 4% probability of a transit of the planet in late 2017. PMID:24821792

  2. First light of the Gemini Planet Imager

    PubMed Central

    Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James R.; Ingraham, Patrick; Konopacky, Quinn; Marois, Christian; Perrin, Marshall; Poyneer, Lisa; Bauman, Brian; Barman, Travis; Burrows, Adam S.; Cardwell, Andrew; Chilcote, Jeffrey; De Rosa, Robert J.; Dillon, Daren; Doyon, Rene; Dunn, Jennifer; Erikson, Darren; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Gavel, Donald; Goodsell, Stephen; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; Kalas, Paul; Larkin, James; Maire, Jerome; Marchis, Franck; Marley, Mark S.; McBride, James; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Morzinski, Katie; Norton, Andrew; Oppenheimer, B. R.; Palmer, David; Patience, Jennifer; Pueyo, Laurent; Rantakyro, Fredrik; Sadakuni, Naru; Saddlemyer, Leslie; Savransky, Dmitry; Serio, Andrew; Soummer, Remi; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Song, Inseok; Thomas, Sandrine; Wallace, J. Kent; Wiktorowicz, Sloane; Wolff, Schuyler

    2014-01-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager is a dedicated facility for directly imaging and spectroscopically characterizing extrasolar planets. It combines a very high-order adaptive optics system, a diffraction-suppressing coronagraph, and an integral field spectrograph with low spectral resolution but high spatial resolution. Every aspect of the Gemini Planet Imager has been tuned for maximum sensitivity to faint planets near bright stars. During first-light observations, we achieved an estimated H band Strehl ratio of 0.89 and a 5-σ contrast of 106 at 0.75 arcseconds and 105 at 0.35 arcseconds. Observations of Beta Pictoris clearly detect the planet, Beta Pictoris b, in a single 60-s exposure with minimal postprocessing. Beta Pictoris b is observed at a separation of 434 ± 6 milliarcseconds (mas) and position angle 211.8 ± 0.5°. Fitting the Keplerian orbit of Beta Pic b using the new position together with previous astrometry gives a factor of 3 improvement in most parameters over previous solutions. The planet orbits at a semimajor axis of 9.0−0.4+0.8 AU near the 3:2 resonance with the previously known 6-AU asteroidal belt and is aligned with the inner warped disk. The observations give a 4% probability of a transit of the planet in late 2017. PMID:24821792

  3. First light of the Gemini Planet Imager

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James R.; Ingraham, Patrick; Konopacky, Quinn; Marois, Christian; Perrin, Marshall; Poyneer, Lisa; Bauman, Brian; Barman, Travis; Burrows, Adam S.; Cardwell, Andrew; Chilcote, Jeffrey; De Rosa, Robert J.; Dillon, Daren; Doyon, Rene; Dunn, Jennifer; Erikson, Darren; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Gavel, Donald; Goodsell, Stephen; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; Kalas, Paul; Larkin, James; Maire, Jerome; Marchis, Franck; Marley, Mark S.; McBride, James; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Morzinski, Katie; Norton, Andrew; Oppenheimer, B. R.; Palmer, David; Patience, Jennifer; Pueyo, Laurent; Rantakyro, Fredrik; Sadakuni, Naru; Saddlemyer, Leslie; Savransky, Dmitry; Serio, Andrew; Soummer, Remi; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Song, Inseok; Thomas, Sandrine; Wallace, J. Kent; Wiktorowicz, Stone; Wolff, Schuyler

    2014-05-12

    The Gemini Planet Imager is a dedicated facility for directly imaging and spectroscopically characterizing extrasolar planets. It combines a very high-order adaptive optics system, a diffraction-suppressing coronagraph, and an integral field spectrograph with low spectral resolution but high spatial resolution. Every aspect of the Gemini Planet Imager has been tuned for maximum sensitivity to faint planets near bright stars. During first-light observations, we achieved an estimated H band Strehl ratio of 0.89 and a 5-σ contrast of 106 at 0.75 arcseconds and 105 at 0.35 arcseconds. Observations of Beta Pictoris clearly detect the planet, Beta Pictoris b, in a single 60-s exposure with minimal postprocessing. Beta Pictoris b is observed at a separation of 434 ± 6 milliarcseconds (mas) and position angle 211.8 ± 0.5°. Fitting the Keplerian orbit of Beta Pic b using the new position together with previous astrometry gives a factor of 3 improvement in most parameters over previous solutions. The planet orbits at a semimajor axis of 9.0+0.8–0.4 AU near the 3:2 resonance with the previously known 6-AU asteroidal belt and is aligned with the inner warped disk. In conclusion, the observations give a 4% probability of a transit of the planet in late 2017.

  4. First light of the Gemini Planet Imager

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James R.; Ingraham, Patrick; Konopacky, Quinn; Marois, Christian; Perrin, Marshall; Poyneer, Lisa; Bauman, Brian; Barman, Travis; Burrows, Adam S.; et al

    2014-05-12

    The Gemini Planet Imager is a dedicated facility for directly imaging and spectroscopically characterizing extrasolar planets. It combines a very high-order adaptive optics system, a diffraction-suppressing coronagraph, and an integral field spectrograph with low spectral resolution but high spatial resolution. Every aspect of the Gemini Planet Imager has been tuned for maximum sensitivity to faint planets near bright stars. During first-light observations, we achieved an estimated H band Strehl ratio of 0.89 and a 5-σ contrast of 106 at 0.75 arcseconds and 105 at 0.35 arcseconds. Observations of Beta Pictoris clearly detect the planet, Beta Pictoris b, in a singlemore » 60-s exposure with minimal postprocessing. Beta Pictoris b is observed at a separation of 434 ± 6 milliarcseconds (mas) and position angle 211.8 ± 0.5°. Fitting the Keplerian orbit of Beta Pic b using the new position together with previous astrometry gives a factor of 3 improvement in most parameters over previous solutions. The planet orbits at a semimajor axis of 9.0+0.8–0.4 AU near the 3:2 resonance with the previously known 6-AU asteroidal belt and is aligned with the inner warped disk. In conclusion, the observations give a 4% probability of a transit of the planet in late 2017.« less

  5. The size distribution of inhabited planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, Fergus

    2016-02-01

    Earth-like planets are expected to provide the greatest opportunity for the detection of life beyond the Solar system. However, our planet cannot be considered a fair sample, especially if intelligent life exists elsewhere. Just as a person's country of origin is a biased sample among countries, so too their planet of origin may be a biased sample among planets. The magnitude of this effect can be substantial: over 98 per cent of the world's population live in a country larger than the median. In the context of a simple model where the mean population density is invariant to planet size, we infer that a given inhabited planet (such as our nearest neighbour) has a radius r < 1.2r⊕ (95 per cent confidence bound). We show that this result is likely to hold not only for planets hosting advanced life, but also for those which harbour primitive life forms. Further, inferences may be drawn for any variable which influences population size. For example, since population density is widely observed to decline with increasing body mass, we conclude that most intelligent species are expected to exceed 300 kg.

  6. The Realm of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferlet, Roger

    2010-10-01

    In November 1995, an article published in Nature [1] put planetary sciences not only as a new hot field in both observational and theoretical astrophysics but also as a topic with a large impact toward the layman. This article was reporting the first discovery of a planet orbiting a star beyond our Sun, namely the solar-type star 51 Pegasi. Nearly four centuries after Giordano Bruno was burnt in public in Roma partly for having intuitively claimed the plurality of worlds, we were entering the extraordinary epoch in which one of the oldest inquiries of mankind-are we alone in the Universe?-can be tackled with the scientific method, leaving aside centuries of endless speculations. To date (July 2010), almost 500 extrasolar planets are known. We shall briefly review the main detection methods, together with the big surprises which arose during these last exciting fifteen years, without being exhaustive.

  7. Planets in Motion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddle, Bob

    2005-01-01

    All the planets in the solar system revolve around the Sun in the same direction, clockwise when viewed from above the North Pole. This is referred to as direct motion. From the perspective on the Earth's surface, the planets travel east across the sky in relation to the background of stars. The Sun also moves eastward daily, but this is an…

  8. March of the Planets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Bruce

    2007-01-01

    The motion of the planets in their orbits can be demonstrated to students by using planetarium software programs. These allow time to be sped up so that the relative motions are readily observed. However, it is also valuable to have the students understand the real speed of the planets in their orbits. This paper describes an exercise that gives…

  9. Name That Planet!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beck, Judy; Rust, Cindy

    2002-01-01

    Presents an activity in which students in groups explore one planet in the solar system and present their findings to the whole class. Focuses on the planet's location in the solar system, geological features, rate of revolutions, and calendar year. (YDS)

  10. Planets and Stars under the Magnifying Glass

    SciTech Connect

    Hazi, A U

    2007-02-12

    Looking out to the vastness of the night sky, stargazers often ponder questions about the universe, many wondering if planets like ours can be found somewhere out there. But teasing out the details in astronomical data that point to a possible Earth-like planet is exceedingly difficult. To find an extrasolar planet--a planet that circles a star other than the Sun--astrophysicists have in the past searched for Doppler shifts, changes in the wavelength emitted by an object because of its motion. When an astronomical object moves toward an observer on Earth, the light it emits becomes higher in frequency and shifts to the blue end of the spectrum. When the object moves away from the observer, its light becomes lower in frequency and shifts to the red end. By measuring these changes in wavelength, astrophysicists can precisely calculate how quickly objects are moving toward or away from Earth. When a giant planet orbits a star, the planet's gravitational pull on the star produces a small (meters-per-second) back-and-forth Doppler shift in the star's light. Using the Doppler-shift technique, astrophysicists have identified 179 planets within the Milky Way galaxy. However, most of these are giant gas planets, similar in size to Jupiter and Saturn, and they orbit parent stars that are much closer to them than the Sun is to Earth. Planets similar in size to Earth have also been found, but they, too, are so close to their suns that they would be much hotter than Earth and too hot for life to exist. In 2005, an international collaboration of astronomers working with telescope networks throughout the Southern Hemisphere uncovered clues to a small, rocky or icy planet similar to Earth. The new planet, designated ogLE-2005-BLg-290-Lb, is the farthest planet from our solar system detected to date. The discovery was made by the Probing Lensing Anomalies network (PLAnET) using microlensing--a technique developed nearly two decades ago by Livermore astrophysicists as part of the

  11. PLANET HUNTERS: NEW KEPLER PLANET CANDIDATES FROM ANALYSIS OF QUARTER 2

    SciTech Connect

    Lintott, Chris J.; Schwamb, Megan E.; Schwainski, Kevin; and others

    2013-06-15

    We present new planet candidates identified in NASA Kepler Quarter 2 public release data by volunteers engaged in the Planet Hunters citizen science project. The two candidates presented here survive checks for false positives, including examination of the pixel offset to constrain the possibility of a background eclipsing binary. The orbital periods of the planet candidates are 97.46 days (KIC 4552729) and 284.03 (KIC 10005758) days and the modeled planet radii are 5.3 and 3.8 R{sub Circled-Plus }. The latter star has an additional known planet candidate with a radius of 5.05 R{sub Circled-Plus} and a period of 134.49 days, which was detected by the Kepler pipeline. The discovery of these candidates illustrates the value of massively distributed volunteer review of the Kepler database to recover candidates which were otherwise uncataloged.

  12. Formation of giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magni, G.; Coradini, A.

    2003-04-01

    In this presentation we address the problem of the formation of giant planets and their regular satellites. We study in particular the problem of formation of the Jupiter System comparing the results of the model with the present characteristics of the system, in order to identify what are those better represented by our approach. In fact here, using a 3-D hydro-dynamical code, we study the modalities of gas accretion onto a solid core, believed to be the seed from which Jupiter started. To do that we have modelled three main regions: the central planet, a turbulent accretion disk surrounding it and an extended region from which the gas is collected. In the extended region we treat the gas as a frictionless fluid. Our main goal is to identify what are the characteristics of the planet during its growth and the physical parameters affecting its growth at the expenses of the nebular gas present in the feeding zone. Moreover we want to understand what are the thermodynamical parameters characterizing the gas captured by the planet and swirling around it. Finally, we check if a disk can be formed in prograde rotation around the planet and if this disk can survive the final phases of the planet formation. Due to the interaction between the accreting planet and the disk it has been necessary to develop a complete model of the Jupiter’s structure. In fact the radiation emitted by the growing planet heats up the surrounding gas. In turn the planet’s thermodynamic structure depend on the mass accretion rate onto it. When the accretion is rapid, shock waves in the gas are formed close to the planet. This region cannot be safely treated by a numerical code; for this reason we have developed a semi-analytically model of a a turbulent accretion disk to be considered as transition between the planet and the surrounding disk.

  13. Optical Spectra of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heap, Sara R.; Hubeny, Ivan; Sudarsky, David; Burrows, Adam

    2004-01-01

    The flux distribution of a planet relative to its host star is a critical quantity for planning space observatories to detect and characterize extrasolar giant planets (EGP's). In this paper, we present optical planet-star contrasts of Jupiter-mass planets as a function of stellar type, orbital distance, and planetary cloud characteristics. As originally shown by Sudarsky et al. (2000, 2003), the phaseaveraged brightness of an EGP does not necessarily decrease monotonically with greater orbital distance because of changes in its albedo and absorption spectrum at lower temperatures. We apply our results to Eclipse, a 1.8-m optical telescope + coronograph to be proposed as a NASA Discovery mission later this year.

  14. Precursor Science for the Terrestrial Planet Finder

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lawson, P. R. (Editor); Unwin, S. C. (Editor); Beichman, C. A. (Editor)

    2004-01-01

    This document outlines a path for the development of the field of extrasolar planet research, with a particular emphasis on the goals of the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF). Over the past decade, a new field of research has developed, the study of extrasolar planetary systems, driven by the discovery of massive planets around nearby stars. The planet count now stands at over 130. Are there Earth-like planets around nearby stars? Might any of those planets be conducive to the formation and maintenance of life? These arc the questions that TPF seeks to answer. TPF will be implemented as a suite of two space observatories, a 6-m class optical coronagraph, to be launched around 20 14, and a formation flying mid-infrared interferometer, to be launched sometime prior to 2020. These facilities will survey up to 165 or more nearby stars and detect planets like Earth should they be present in the 'habitable zone' around each star. With observations over a broad wavelength range, TPF will provide a robust determination of the atmospheric composition of planets to assess habitability and the presence of life. At this early stage of TPF's development, precursor observational and theoretical programs are essential to help define the mission, to aid our understanding of the planets that TPF could discover, and to characterize the stars that TPF will eventually study. This document is necessarily broad in scope because the significance of individual discoveries is greatly enhanced when viewed in thc context of the field as a whole. This document has the ambitious goal of taking us from our limited knowledge today, in 2004, to the era of TPF observations in the middle of the next decade. We must use the intervening years wisely. This document will be reviewed annually and updated as needed. The most recent edition is available online at http://tpf.jpl.nasa.gov/ or by email request to lawson@hucy.jpl.nasa.gov

  15. First Light from Extrasolar Planets and Implications for Astrobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, L. Jeremy; Seager, Sara; Harrington, Joseph; Deming, Drake

    2005-01-01

    The first light from an extrasolar planet was recently detected. These results, obtained for two transiting extrasolar planets at different infrared wavelengths, open a new era in the field of extrasolar planet detection and characterization because for the first time we can now detect planets beyond the solar system directly. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope at 24 microns, we observed the modulation of combined light (star plus planet) from the HD 209458 system as the planet disappeared behind the star during secondary eclipse and later re-emerged, thereby isolating the light from the planet. We obtained a planet-to-star ratio of 0.26% at 24 microns, corresponding to a brightness temperature of 1130 + / - 150 K. We will describe this result in detail, explain what it can tell us about the atmosphere of HD 209458 b, and discuss implications for the field of astrobiology. These results represent a significant step on the path to detecting terrestrial planets around other stars and in understanding their atmospheres in terms of composition and temperature.

  16. Larger Planet Radii Inferred from Stellar "Flicker" Brightness Variations of Bright Planet-host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastien, Fabienne A.; Stassun, Keivan G.; Pepper, Joshua

    2014-06-01

    Most extrasolar planets have been detected by their influence on their parent star, typically either gravitationally (the Doppler method) or by the small dip in brightness as the planet blocks a portion of the star (the transit method). Therefore, the accuracy with which we know the masses and radii of extrasolar planets depends directly on how well we know those of the stars, the latter usually determined from the measured stellar surface gravity, log g. Recent work has demonstrated that the short-timescale brightness variations ("flicker") of stars can be used to measure log g to a high accuracy of ~0.1-0.2 dex. Here, we use flicker measurements of 289 bright (Kepmag < 13) candidate planet-hosting stars with T eff = 4500-6650 K to re-assess the stellar parameters and determine the resulting impact on derived planet properties. This re-assessment reveals that for the brightest planet-host stars, Malmquist bias contaminates the stellar sample with evolved stars: nearly 50% of the bright planet-host stars are subgiants. As a result, the stellar radii, and hence the radii of the planets orbiting these stars, are on average 20%-30% larger than previous measurements had suggested.

  17. LARGER PLANET RADII INFERRED FROM STELLAR ''FLICKER'' BRIGHTNESS VARIATIONS OF BRIGHT PLANET-HOST STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Bastien, Fabienne A.; Stassun, Keivan G.; Pepper, Joshua

    2014-06-10

    Most extrasolar planets have been detected by their influence on their parent star, typically either gravitationally (the Doppler method) or by the small dip in brightness as the planet blocks a portion of the star (the transit method). Therefore, the accuracy with which we know the masses and radii of extrasolar planets depends directly on how well we know those of the stars, the latter usually determined from the measured stellar surface gravity, log g. Recent work has demonstrated that the short-timescale brightness variations ({sup f}licker{sup )} of stars can be used to measure log g to a high accuracy of ∼0.1-0.2 dex. Here, we use flicker measurements of 289 bright (Kepmag < 13) candidate planet-hosting stars with T {sub eff} = 4500-6650 K to re-assess the stellar parameters and determine the resulting impact on derived planet properties. This re-assessment reveals that for the brightest planet-host stars, Malmquist bias contaminates the stellar sample with evolved stars: nearly 50% of the bright planet-host stars are subgiants. As a result, the stellar radii, and hence the radii of the planets orbiting these stars, are on average 20%-30% larger than previous measurements had suggested.

  18. The radial velocity search for extrasolar planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcmillen, Robert S.

    1988-01-01

    Researchers are measuring small changes in the line-of-sight velocities of stars to detect the oscillating reflex acceleration induced by large planets. The intention is to observe enough stars for a long enough time to be able to make a statement of the probability of planets in a certain range of masses even if no planetary perturbations are detected. To make these measurements of Doppler shift with the required sensitivity, a new instrument was specifically designed, built and tested for this campaign of ground-based planet detection. The instrument is an optical spectrometer for which wavelengths are first calibrated by transmission through a tunable Fabry-Perot etalon interferometer. The intrinsic stability of the etalon and an image-scrambling fiber optic light feed provide great sensitivity to line-of-sight accelerations and immunity to systematic errors.

  19. The Kepler Mission: Search for Habitable Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, William; Likins, B.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Detecting extrasolar terrestrial planets orbiting main-sequence stars is of great interest and importance. Current ground-based methods are only capable of detecting objects about the size or mass of Jupiter or larger. The difficulties encountered with direct imaging of Earth-size planets from space are expected to be resolved in the next twenty years. Spacebased photometry of planetary transits is currently the only viable method for detection of terrestrial planets (30-600 times less massive than Jupiter). This method searches the extended solar neighborhood, providing a statistically large sample and the detailed characteristics of each individual case. A robust concept has been developed and proposed as a Discovery-class mission. Its capabilities and strengths are presented.

  20. Planet Formation Instrument for the Thirty Meter Telescope

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, B; Troy, M; Graham, J; Doyon, R

    2006-02-22

    In the closing years of the 20th Century humankind began its exploration of the planetary systems in the solar neighborhood. Precision radial velocity measurements have now yielded the discovery of over 160 planets. Direct imaging of these planets, as opposed to detection of the effects of orbital motion on their parent star, is now feasible, and the first young planet in a wide orbit may have been detected using adaptive optics systems. Gemini and the VLT are building the first generation of high contrast adaptive optics systems, which deliver planet-imaging performance within few Airy rings of the host star. These systems will make the first surveys of the outer regions of solar systems by detecting the self-luminous radiation of young planets. These instruments will establish whether Jovian planets form predominantly through 'top-down' (global gravitational instability) or 'bottom-up' (core accretion) processes. The 8-m 'extreme' AO systems cannot see close enough to the host stars to image Doppler planets, and they cannot reach the relatively distant, young clusters and associations where planets are forming. The Planet Formation Instrument will use the nearly four-fold improved angular resolution of TMT to peer into the inner solar systems of Doppler-planet bearing stars to yield a unified sample of planets with known Keplerian orbital elements and atmospheric properties. In star formation regions, where T Tauri stars (young solar type stars) are found in abundance, PFI can see into the snow line, where the icy cores of planets like Jupiter must have formed. Thus, TMT will be the first facility to witness the formation of new planets.

  1. A young massive planet in a star-disk system.

    PubMed

    Setiawan, J; Henning, Th; Launhardt, R; Müller, A; Weise, P; Kürster, M

    2008-01-01

    There is a general consensus that planets form within disks of dust and gas around newly born stars. Details of their formation process, however, are still a matter of ongoing debate. The timescale of planet formation remains unclear, so the detection of planets around young stars with protoplanetary disks is potentially of great interest. Hitherto, no such planet has been found. Here we report the detection of a planet of mass (9.8+/-3.3)M(Jupiter) around TW Hydrae (TW Hya), a nearby young star with an age of only 8-10 Myr that is surrounded by a well-studied circumstellar disk. It orbits the star with a period of 3.56 days at 0.04 au, inside the inner rim of the disk. This demonstrates that planets can form within 10 Myr, before the disk has been dissipated by stellar winds and radiation. PMID:18172492

  2. X-ray properties of planet-bearing host stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, Jurgen

    2007-10-01

    We propose to carry out a complete X-ray census of planet-bearing host stars with a distance limit of 30 pc. We specifically propose to obtain well-exposed EPIC spectra of those stars harboring close-in (Porb < 10 days) planets and to carry out detection experiments on planet-bearing stars hitherto not detected in X-rays. With the these data we will characterize the high-energy radiation field for a representative sample of nearby planet-bearing stars, compute the expected evaporation rates due to the host stars' X-ray and UV irradiation, study the metal abundance of the coronae of planet bearing host stars, assess the frequency of flaring events in our sample, construct luminosity distribution functions and place the high-energy environment of the Sun in the context of that for extrasolar planets.

  3. The Gemini Planet-finding Campaign: The Frequency Of Giant Planets around Debris Disk Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wahhaj, Zahed; Liu, Michael C.; Nielsen, Eric L.; Biller, Beth A.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Close, Laird M.; Males, Jared R.; Skemer, Andrew; Ftaclas, Christ; Chun, Mark; Thatte, Niranjan; Tecza, Matthias; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Kuchner, Marc; Reid, I. Neill; de Gouveia Dal Pino, Elisabete M.; Alencar, Silvia H. P.; Gregorio-Hetem, Jane; Boss, Alan; Lin, Douglas N. C.; Toomey, Douglas W.

    2013-08-01

    We have completed a high-contrast direct imaging survey for giant planets around 57 debris disk stars as part of the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. We achieved median H-band contrasts of 12.4 mag at 0.''5 and 14.1 mag at 1'' separation. Follow-up observations of the 66 candidates with projected separation <500 AU show that all of them are background objects. To establish statistical constraints on the underlying giant planet population based on our imaging data, we have developed a new Bayesian formalism that incorporates (1) non-detections, (2) single-epoch candidates, (3) astrometric and (4) photometric information, and (5) the possibility of multiple planets per star to constrain the planet population. Our formalism allows us to include in our analysis the previously known β Pictoris and the HR 8799 planets. Our results show at 95% confidence that <13% of debris disk stars have a >=5 M Jup planet beyond 80 AU, and <21% of debris disk stars have a >=3 M Jup planet outside of 40 AU, based on hot-start evolutionary models. We model the population of directly imaged planets as d 2 N/dMdavpropm α a β, where m is planet mass and a is orbital semi-major axis (with a maximum value of a max). We find that β < -0.8 and/or α > 1.7. Likewise, we find that β < -0.8 and/or a max < 200 AU. For the case where the planet frequency rises sharply with mass (α > 1.7), this occurs because all the planets detected to date have masses above 5 M Jup, but planets of lower mass could easily have been detected by our search. If we ignore the β Pic and HR 8799 planets (should they belong to a rare and distinct group), we find that <20% of debris disk stars have a >=3 M Jup planet beyond 10 AU, and β < -0.8 and/or α < -1.5. Likewise, β < -0.8 and/or a max < 125 AU. Our Bayesian constraints are not strong enough to reveal any dependence of the planet frequency on stellar host mass. Studies of transition disks have suggested that about 20% of stars are undergoing planet

  4. The Hot Companion and Circumbinary Disk of the Be Star HR 2142

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, Geraldine J.; Wang, Luqian; Gies, Douglas R.; Grundstrom, Erika D.

    2016-09-01

    We present a spectroscopic investigation of the Be+sdO binary system HR 2142 that is based upon large sets of ultraviolet observations from the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) and ground-based Hα observations. We measured radial velocities for the Be star component from these spectra and computed a revised orbit. In order to search for the spectral signature of the hot subdwarf, we cross-correlated the short wavelength end of each IUE spectrum with a model hot star spectrum, and then we used the predicted Doppler shifts of the subdwarf to shift-and-add all the cross-correlation functions to the frame of the subdwarf. This merged function shows the weak signal from the spectral lines of the hot star, and a best fit is obtained with a mass ratio {M}2/{M}1=0.07+/- 0.02, companion temperature {T}{{eff}}≥slant 43+/- 5 kK, projected rotational velocity V\\sin i\\lt 30 km s‑1, and a monochromatic flux ratio near 1170 Å of {f}2/{f}1\\gt 0.009+/- 0.001. This hot subdwarf creates a one-armed spiral, tidal wake in the disk of the Be star, and we present a circumbinary disk model that can explain the occurrence of shell absorption lines by gas enhancements that occur where gas crossing the gap created by the subdwarf strikes the disk boundaries. The faint companion of HR 2142 may be representative of a significant fraction of Be stars with undetected former mass donor companion stars.

  5. Near-Infrared Imaging Polarimetry of the GG Tauri Circumbinary Ring.

    PubMed

    Silber; Gledhill; Duchêne; Ménard

    2000-06-20

    We present 1 µm Hubble Space Telescope/near-infrared camera and multiobject spectrometer resolved imaging polarimetry of the GG Tau circumbinary ring. We find that the ring displays east-west asymmetries in surface brightness as well as several pronounced irregularities but is smoother than suggested by ground-based adaptive optics observations. The data are consistent with a 37 degrees system inclination and a projected rotational axis at a position angle of 7 degrees east of north, determined from millimeter imaging. The ring is strongly polarized, up to approximately 50%, which is indicative of Rayleigh-like scattering from submicron dust grains. Although the polarization pattern is broadly centrosymmetric and clearly results from illumination of the ring by the central stars, departures from true centrosymmetry and the irregular flux suggest that binary illumination, scattering through unresolved circumstellar disks, and shading by these disks may all be factors influencing the observed morphology. We confirm a approximately 0&farcs;25 shift between the inner edges of the near-infrared and millimeter images and find that the global morphology of the ring and the polarimetry provide strong evidence for a geometrically thick ring. A simple Monte Carlo scattering simulation is presented that reproduces these features and supports the thick-ring hypothesis. We cannot confirm filamentary streaming from the binary to the ring, also observed in the ground-based images, although it is possible that there is material inside the dynamically cleared region that might contribute to filamentary deconvolution artifacts. Finally, we find a faint fifth point source in the GG Tau field that, if it is associated with the system, is almost certainly a brown dwarf. PMID:10859125

  6. TRANSIT LIGHTCURVES OF EXTRASOLAR PLANETS ORBITING RAPIDLY ROTATING STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Barnes, Jason W.

    2009-11-01

    Main-sequence stars earlier than spectral-type approxF6 or so are expected to rotate rapidly due to their radiative exteriors. This rapid rotation leads to an oblate stellar figure. It also induces the photosphere to be hotter (by up to several thousand kelvin) at the pole than at the equator as a result of a process called gravity darkening that was first predicted by von Zeipel. Transits of extrasolar planets across such a non-uniform, oblate disk yield unusual and distinctive lightcurves that can be used to determine the relative alignment of the stellar rotation pole and the planet orbit normal. This spin-orbit alignment can be used to constrain models of planet formation and evolution. Orderly planet formation and migration within a disk that is coplanar with the stellar equator will result in spin-orbit alignment. More violent planet-planet scattering events should yield spin-orbit misaligned planets. Rossiter-McLaughlin measurements of transits of lower-mass stars show that some planets are spin-orbit aligned, and some are not. Since Rossiter-McLaughlin measurements are difficult around rapid rotators, lightcurve photometry may be the best way to determine the spin-orbit alignment of planets around massive stars. The Kepler mission will monitor approx10{sup 4} of these stars within its sample. The lightcurves of any detected planets will allow us to probe the planet formation process around high-mass stars for the first time.

  7. Hazards to Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bally, J.

    2001-05-01

    The Orion Nebula provides a remarkable window on the first few million years in the lives of typical young stars and planetary systems. HST has demonstrated that most young stars in the Nebula are surrounded by circumstellar disks (the so-called `proplyds'). While these observations show that planet forming environments may be common, they also demonstrate that Orion's disks are being destroyed by intense UV radiation fields. `Gravel' sufficiently large to resist photo-erosion (meter scale solids or ices) may lock-up sufficient material to eventually build rocky planets. Indeed, there is evidence for large solids in some proplyds. But, the hydrogen and helium needed for the formation of giant planets will be removed. To form in Orion-like environments, giant planets must be assembled promptly prior to UV exposure. Even rocky planets may not form if the photoionized disk corona causes surviving large particles in the disk to spiral into the central star. Thus, nearby massive stars pose severe hazards to planet formation. Star counts indicate that most stars form in Orion-like environments. Only about 10% of young stars are born in shielded environments such as the Taurus or L1641 clouds where disks may escape photo-erosion. In dark clouds, the majority of stars (> 80%) form in non-hierarchal multiple star systems where close encounters with sibling stars can destroy disks and eject young planets. Thus, most stars may never develop planetary systems. These considerations indicate that extra-Solar planets may be rare, contrary to the popular view. These conclusions are consistent with the recent discoveries of extra-Solar planets around a few percent of single stars.

  8. A New Way to Confirm Planet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    What was the big deal behind the Kepler news conference yesterday? Its not just that the number of confirmed planets found by Kepler has more than doubled (though thats certainly exciting news!). Whats especially interesting is the way in which these new planets were confirmed.Number of planet discoveries by year since 1995, including previous non-Kepler discoveries (blue), previous Kepler discoveries (light blue) and the newly validated Kepler planets (orange). [NASA Ames/W. Stenzel; Princeton University/T. Morton]No Need for Follow-UpBefore Kepler, the way we confirmed planet candidates was with follow-up observations. The candidate could be validated either by directly imaging (which is rare) or obtaining a large number radial-velocity measurements of the wobble of the planets host star due to the planets orbit. But once Kepler started producing planet candidates, these approaches to validation became less feasible. A lot of Kepler candidates are small and orbit faint stars, making follow-up observations difficult or impossible.This problem is what inspired the development of whats known as probabilistic validation, an analysis technique that involves assessing the likelihood that the candidates signal is caused by various false-positive scenarios. Using this technique allows astronomers to estimate the likelihood of a candidate signal being a true planet detection; if that likelihood is high enough, the planet candidate can be confirmed without the need for follow-up observations.A breakdown of the catalog of Kepler Objects of Interest. Just over half had previously been identified as false positives or confirmed as candidates. 1284 are newly validated, and another 455 have FPP of1090%. [Morton et al. 2016]Probabilistic validation has been used in the past to confirm individual planet candidates in Kepler data, but now Timothy Morton (Princeton University) and collaborators have taken this to a new level: they developed the first code thats designed to do fully

  9. THE OCCURRENCE RATE OF SMALL PLANETS AROUND SMALL STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David

    2013-04-10

    We use the optical and near-infrared photometry from the Kepler Input Catalog to provide improved estimates of the stellar characteristics of the smallest stars in the Kepler target list. We find 3897 dwarfs with temperatures below 4000 K, including 64 planet candidate host stars orbited by 95 transiting planet candidates. We refit the transit events in the Kepler light curves for these planet candidates and combine the revised planet/star radius ratios with our improved stellar radii to revise the radii of the planet candidates orbiting the cool target stars. We then compare the number of observed planet candidates to the number of stars around which such planets could have been detected in order to estimate the planet occurrence rate around cool stars. We find that the occurrence rate of 0.5-4 R{sub Circled-Plus} planets with orbital periods shorter than 50 days is 0.90{sup +0.04}{sub -0.03} planets per star. The occurrence rate of Earth-size (0.5-1.4 R{sub Circled-Plus }) planets is constant across the temperature range of our sample at 0.51{sub -0.05}{sup +0.06} Earth-size planets per star, but the occurrence of 1.4-4 R{sub Circled-Plus} planets decreases significantly at cooler temperatures. Our sample includes two Earth-size planet candidates in the habitable zone, allowing us to estimate that the mean number of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone is 0.15{sup +0.13}{sub -0.06} planets per cool star. Our 95% confidence lower limit on the occurrence rate of Earth-size planets in the habitable zones of cool stars is 0.04 planets per star. With 95% confidence, the nearest transiting Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a cool star is within 21 pc. Moreover, the nearest non-transiting planet in the habitable zone is within 5 pc with 95% confidence.

  10. Irregular Satellites of the Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    2005-01-01

    This proposal is directed towards the observational exploration of the irregular satellite systems of the planets. Primarily we use large-format CCD cameras on the world's largest telescopes, on Mauna Kea, to discover new irregular satellites and then to monitor their positions in order to ascertain their orbital characteristics. Separate observations are taken to determine the physical properties of the irregular satellites. The big picture science objective is to determine how these satellites were captures, and to use the properties of the satellites and their orbits to place constraints on early solar system (including formation) processes. Work in the first year has focussed on a major investigation of the Saturn irregular satellite system. We secured observing time on the Subaru and Gemini 8-m diameter telescopes in December 2004, January, February and March 2005 for the conduct of a deep, wide-area survey. This has resulted in the detection and orbit