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Sample records for gemini planet imager

  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-? 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. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintosh, Bruce

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a next-generation coronagraph constructed for the Gemini Observatory. GPI will see first light this fall. It will be the most advanced planet-imaging system in operation - an order of magnitude more sensitive than any current instrument, capable of detecting and spectroscopically characterizing young Jovian planets 107 times fainter than their parent star at separations of 0.2 arcseconds. GPI was built from the beginning as a facility-class survey instrument, and the observatory will employ it that way. Our team has been selected by Gemini Observatory to carry out an 890-hour program - the GPI Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) campaign from 2014-2017. We will observe 600 stars spanning spectral types A-M. We will use published young association catalogs and a proprietary list in preparation that adds several hundred new young (<100 Myr, <75 pc) and adolescent (<300 Myr, <35 pc) stars. The range of separations studied by GPI is completely inaccessible to Doppler and transit techniques (even with Kepler or TESS) GPI offers a new window into planet formation. We will use GPI to produce the first-ever robust census of giant planet populations in the 5-50 AU range, allowing us to: 1) illuminate the formation pathways of Jovian planets; 2) reconstruct the early dynamical evolution of systems, including migration mechanisms and the interaction with disks and belts of debris; and 3) bridge the gap between Jupiter and the brown dwarfs with the first examples of cool low- gravity planetary atmospheres. Simulations predict this survey will discover approximately 50 exoplanets, increasing the number of exoplanet images by an order of magnitude, enough for statistical investigation. This Origins of Solar Systems proposal will support the execution of the GPI Exoplanet Survey campaign. We will develop tools needed to execute the survey efficiently. We will refine the existing GPI data pipeline to a final version that robustly removes residual speckle artifacts and provides accurate and calibrated recovery of exoplanet spectra. We will produce a complete archive of all reduced GPI data products (supplementing the existing Gemini archive of raw data) for use by our collaboration, and release that archive to the public on an 18-month cycle. Most importantly, we will execute the GPI observations, initially through classical telescope visits, transitioning to remote and queue modes as our techniques are refined. As the first direct-imaging planet search with statistical depth comparable to Doppler planet detection and the first to probe into the snow line, the GPI Exoplanet Survey will provide strong constraints on paradigms for planet formation, completing the picture of the giant planet distribution throughout other solar systems, and also illuminating its evolution with stellar age and mass. We will deliver a catalog of detected exoplanets the principal legacy of this campaignreleased for follow-up by the astronomical community within 18 months of observation, as well as searchable archive of fully reduced images and detection limits for all stars surveyed. For each detected planet, we will produce estimated effective temperatures, luminosities, and semi-major axes: for a subset, high-SNR fiducial spectra, orbital eccentricities, and dynamical characterization through polarimetric imaging of attendant debris disks. GPI will complete final acceptance testing this month (May 2013) and is now ready to ship to Chile for first light in September 2013. The GPI survey will provide the best-yet view of the nature of wide-orbit planetary companions, informing our knowledge of solar system formation to guide future NASA planet hunting missions, while simultaneously offering a real- world program using the techniques - from integral field spectroscopy to advanced coronagraphy - that will someday be used to directly image Earthlike planets from space.

  4. Vibration suppression for the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maly, Joseph R.; Erickson, Darren; Pargett, Timothy J.

    2010-07-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPi) is an instrument that will mount to either of two nominally identical Telescopes, Gemini North in Hawaii and Gemini South in Chile, to perform direct imaging and spectroscopy of extra-solar planets. This 2,000-kg instrument has stringent mass, center-of-gravity, flexure, and power constraints. The Flexure Sensitive Structure (FSS) supports the main opto-mechanical sub-systems of the GPi which work in series to process and analyse the telescope optical beam. The opto-mechanical sub-systems within the FSS are sensitive to mechanical vibrations, and passive damping strategies were considered to mitigate image jitter. Based on analysis with the system finite element model (FEM) of the GPi, an array of 1-kg tuned mass dampers (TMDs) was identified as an efficient approach to damp the first two FSS flexural modes which are the main sources of jitter. It is estimated that 5% of critical damping can be added to each of these modes with the addition of 23 kg of TMD mass. This estimate is based on installing TMD units on the FSS structural members. TMD mass can be reduced by nearly 50% if the units can be installed on the opto-mechanical sub-systems within the FSS with the highest modal displacements. This paper describes the structural design and vibration response of the FSS, modal test results, and plans for implementation of the TMDs. Modal measurements of the FSS structure were made to validate the FEM and to assess the viability of TMDs for reducing jitter. The test configuration differed from the operational one because some payloads were not present and the structure was mounted to a flexible base. However, this test was valuable for understanding the primary modes that will be addressed with the TMDs and measuring the effective mass of these modes.

  5. Wavefront control for the Gemini Planet Imager

    SciTech Connect

    Poyneer, L A; Veran, J; Dillon, D; Severson, S; Macintosh, B

    2006-04-14

    The wavefront control strategy for the proposed Gemini Planet Imager, an extreme adaptive optics coronagraph for planet detection, is presented. Two key parts of this strategy are experimentally verified in a testbed at the Laboratory for Adaptive Optics, which features a 32 x 32 MEMS device. Detailed analytic models and algorithms for Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor alignment and calibration are presented. It is demonstrated that with these procedures, the spatially filtered WFS and the Fourier Transform reconstructor can be used to flatten to the MEMS to 1 nm RMS in the controllable band. Performance is further improved using the technique of modifying the reference slopes using a measurement of the static wavefront error in the science leg.

  6. Gemini Planet Imager coronagraph testbed results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Soummer, Rémi; Oppenheimer, Ben R.; Carr, G. Lawrence; Mey, Jacob L.; Brenner, Doug; Mandeville, Charles W.; Zimmerman, Neil; Macintosh, Bruce A.; Graham, James R.; Saddlemyer, Les; Bauman, Brian; Carlotti, Alexis; Pueyo, Laurent; Tuthill, Peter G.; Dorrer, Christophe; Roberts, Robin; Greenbaum, Alexandra

    2010-07-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is an extreme AO coronagraphic integral field unit YJHK spectrograph destined for first light on the 8m Gemini South telescope in 2011. GPI fields a 1500 channel AO system feeding an apodized pupil Lyot coronagraph, and a nIR non-common-path slow wavefront sensor. It targets detection and characterizion of relatively young (<2GYr), self luminous planets up to 10 million times as faint as their primary star. We present the coronagraph subsystem's in-lab performance, and describe the studies required to specify and fabricate the coronagraph. Coronagraphic pupil apodization is implemented with metallic half-tone screens on glass, and the focal plane occulters are deep reactive ion etched holes in optically polished silicon mirrors. Our JH testbed achieves H-band contrast below a million at separations above 5 resolution elements, without using an AO system. We present an overview of the coronagraphic masks and our testbed coronagraphic data. We also demonstrate the performance of an astrometric and photometric grid that enables coronagraphic astrometry relative to the primary star in every exposure, a proven technique that has yielded on-sky precision of the order of a milliarsecond.

  7. Gemini Planet Imager Coronagraph Testbed Results

    SciTech Connect

    Sivaranmakrishnan, A.; Carr, G.; Soummer, R.; Oppenheimer, B.R.; Mey, J.L.; Brenner, D.; Mandeville, C.W.; Zimmerman, N. Macintosh, B.A.; Graham, J.R.; Saddlemyer, L.; Bauman, B.; Carlotti, A.; Pueyo, L.; Tuthill, P.G.; Dorrer, C.; Roberts, R.; Greenbaum, A.

    2010-12-08

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is an extreme AO coronagraphic integral field unit YJHK spectrograph destined for first light on the 8m Gemini South telescope in 2011. GPI fields a 1500 channel AO system feeding an apodized pupil Lyot coronagraph, and a nIR non-common-path slow wavefront sensor. It targets detection and characterizion of relatively young (<2GYr), self luminous planets up to 10 million times as faint as their primary star. We present the coronagraph subsystem's in-lab performance, and describe the studies required to specify and fabricate the coronagraph. Coronagraphic pupil apodization is implemented with metallic half-tone screens on glass, and the focal plane occulters are deep reactive ion etched holes in optically polished silicon mirrors. Our JH testbed achieves H-band contrast below a million at separations above 5 resolution elements, without using an AO system. We present an overview of the coronagraphic masks and our testbed coronagraphic data. We also demonstrate the performance of an astrometric and photometric grid that enables coronagraphic astrometry relative to the primary star in every exposure, a proven technique that has yielded on-sky precision of the order of a milliarsecond.

  8. Gemini Planet Imager: Preliminary Design Report

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, B

    2007-05-10

    For the first time in history, direct and indirect detection techniques have enabled the exploration of the environments of nearby stars on scales comparable to the size of our solar system. Precision Doppler measurements have led to the discovery of the first extrasolar planets, while high-contrast imaging has revealed new classes of objects including dusty circumstellar debris disks and brown dwarfs. The ability to recover spectrophotometry for a handful of transiting exoplanets through secondary-eclipse measurements has allowed us to begin to study exoplanets as individual entities rather than points on a mass/semi-major-axis diagram and led to new models of planetary atmospheres and interiors, even though such measurements are only available at low SNR and for a handful of planets that are automatically those most modified by their parent star. These discoveries have galvanized public interest in science and technology and have led to profound new insights into the formation and evolution of planetary systems, and they have set the stage for the next steps--direct detection and characterization of extrasolar Jovian planets with instruments such as the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). As discussed in Volume 1, the ability to directly detect Jovian planets opens up new regions of extrasolar planet phase space that in turn will inform our understanding of the processes through which these systems form, while near-IR spectra will advance our understanding of planetary physics. Studies of circumstellar debris disks using GPI's polarimetric mode will trace the presence of otherwise-invisible low-mass planets and measure the build-up and destruction of planetesimals. To accomplish the science mission of GPI will require a dedicated instrument capable of achieving contrast of 10{sup -7} or more. This is vastly better than that delivered by existing astronomical AO systems. Currently achievable contrast, about 10{sup -5} at separations of 1 arc second or larger, is completely limited by quasi-static wave front errors, so that contrast does not improve with integration times longer than about 1 minute. Using the rotation of the Earth to distinguish companions from artifacts or multiwavelength imaging improves this somewhat, but GPI will still need to surpass the performance of existing systems by one to two orders of magnitude--an improvement comparable to the transition from photographic plates to CCDs. This may sound daunting, but other areas of optical science have achieved similar breakthroughs, for example, the transition to nanometer-quality optics for extreme ultraviolet lithography, the development of MEMS wave front control devices, and the ultra-high contrast demonstrated by JPL's High Contrast Imaging Test-bed. In astronomy, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, long baseline radio interferometry, and multi-object spectrographs have led to improvements of similar or greater order of magnitude. GPI will be the first project to apply these revolutionary techniques to ground-based astronomy, with a systems engineering approach that studies the impact of every design decision on the key metric--final detectable planet contrast.

  9. Performance of the Gemini Planet Imager's adaptive optics system.

    PubMed

    Poyneer, Lisa A; Palmer, David W; Macintosh, Bruce; Savransky, Dmitry; Sadakuni, Naru; Thomas, Sandrine; Vran, Jean-Pierre; Follette, Katherine B; Greenbaum, Alexandra Z; Mark Ammons, S; Bailey, Vanessa P; Bauman, Brian; Cardwell, Andrew; Dillon, Daren; Gavel, Donald; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; Perrin, Marshall D; Rantakyr, Fredrik T; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Wang, Jason J

    2016-01-10

    The Gemini Planet Imager's adaptive optics (AO) subsystem was designed specifically to facilitate high-contrast imaging. A definitive description of the system's algorithms and technologies as built is given. 564 AO telemetry measurements from the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey campaign are analyzed. The modal gain optimizer tracks changes in atmospheric conditions. Science observations show that image quality can be improved with the use of both the spatially filtered wavefront sensor and linear-quadratic-Gaussian control of vibration. The error budget indicates that for all targets and atmospheric conditions AO bandwidth error is the largest term. PMID:26835769

  10. Gemini planet imager observational calibrations VII: on-sky polarimetric performance of the Gemini planet imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Perrin, Marshall D.; Graham, James R.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Maire, Jrme; Ingraham, Patrick; Savransky, Dmitry; Macintosh, Bruce A.; Thomas, Sandrine J.; Chilcote, Jeffrey K.; Draper, Zachary H.; Song, Inseok; Cardwell, Andrew; Goodsell, Stephen J.; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; Rantakyr, Fredrik; Sadakuni, Naru

    2014-07-01

    We present on-sky polarimetric observations with the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) obtained at straight Cassegrain focus on the Gemini South 8-m telescope. Observations of polarimetric calibrator stars, ranging from nearly un- polarized to strongly polarized, enable determination of the combined telescope and instrumental polarization. We find the conversion of Stokes I to linear and circular instrumental polarization in the instrument frame to be I --> (QIP, UIP, PIP, VIP) = (-0.037 +/- 0.010%, +0.4338 +/- 0.0075%, 0.4354 +/- 0.0075%, -6.64 +/- 0.56%). Such precise measurement of instrumental polarization enables ~0.1% absolute accuracy in measurements of linear polarization, which together with GPI's high contrast will allow GPI to explore scattered light from circumstellar disk in unprecedented detail, conduct observations of a range of other astronomical bodies, and potentially even study polarized thermal emission from young exoplanets. Observations of unpolarized standard stars also let us quantify how well GPI's differential polarimetry mode can suppress the stellar PSF halo. We show that GPI polarimetry achieves cancellation of unpolarized starlight by factors of 100-200, reaching the photon noise limit for sensitivity to circumstellar scattered light for all but the smallest separations at which the calibration for instrumental polarization currently sets the limit.

  11. The Gemini Planet Imager: From Science to Design to Construction

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, B; Graham, J R; Palmer, D; Doyon, R; Dunn, J; Gavel, D; Larkin, J; Oppenheimer, B; Saddlemyer, L; Sivaramakrishnan, A; Wallace, J K; Bauman, B; Erickson, D; Marois, C; Poyneer, L; Soummer, R

    2008-07-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a facility instrument under construction for the 8-m Gemini South telescope. It combines a 1500 subaperture AO system using a MEMS deformable mirror, an apodized-pupil Lyot coronagraph, a high-accuracy IR interferometer calibration system, and a near-infrared integral field spectrograph to allow detection and characterization of self-luminous extrasolar planets at planet/star contrast ratios of 10{sup -7}. I will discuss the evolution from science requirements through modeling to the final detailed design, provide an overview of the subsystems and show models of the instrument's predicted performance.

  12. Observations of Beta Pictoris b with the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chilcote, J.; Graham, J.; Barman, T.; Fitzgerald, M.; Larkin, J.; Macintosh, B.; Bauman, B.; Burrows, A.; Cardwell, A.; De Rosa, R.; Dillon, D.; Doyon, R.; Dunn, J.; Erikson, D.; Gavel, D.; Goodsell, S.; Hartung, M.; Hibon, P.; Ingraham, P.; Kalas, P.; Konopacky, Q.; Maire, J.; Marchis, F.; Marley, M.; Mcbride, J.; Millar-Blanchaer, M.; Morzinski, K.; Norton, A.; Oppenheimer, B.; Palmer, D.; Patience, J.; Pueyo, L.; Rantakyro, F.; Sadakuni, N.; Saddlemyer, L.; Savransky, D.; Serio, A.; Soummer, R.; Sivaramakrishnan, A.; Song, I.; Thomas, S.; Wallace, K.; Wiktorowicz, S.; Wolff, S.

    2014-09-01

    Using the recently installed Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), we present measurements of the planetary companion to the nearby young star beta Pic. GPI is a facility class instrument located at Gemini South designed to image and provide low-resolution spectra of Jupiter sized, self-luminous planetary companions around young nearby stars. We present the current imaged spectrum and atmospheric models of the planet based upon GPI's R 50 integral field spectrograph. Further, we present a joint analysis of the GPI and NACO astrometry, and the Snellen et al. (2014) radial velocity measurement of beta Pic b that provides the first constraint on the argument of periastron, providing a causal link to the infalling, evaporating bodies.

  13. Gemini planet imager observational calibrations II: detector performance and calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingraham, Patrick; Perrin, Marshall D.; Sadakuni, Naru; Ruffio, Jean-Baptiste; Maire, Jérôme; Chilcote, Jeff; Larkin, James; Marchis, Franck; Galicher, Raphael; Weiss, Jason

    2014-07-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager is a newly commissioned facility instrument designed to measure the near-infrared spectra of young extrasolar planets in the solar neighborhood and obtain imaging polarimetry of circumstellar disks. GPI's science instrument is an integral field spectrograph that utilizes a HAWAII-2RG detector with a SIDECAR ASIC readout system. This paper describes the detector characterization and calibrations performed by the GPI Data Reduction Pipeline to compensate for effects including bad/hot/cold pixels, persistence, non- linearity, vibration induced microphonics and correlated read noise.

  14. The Gemini Planet Imager Apodized Pupil Lyot Coronagraph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soummer, Remi; Sivaramakrishnan, A.; Oppenheimer, B. R.; Macintosh, B. A.; GPI Team

    2006-12-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager instrument is a multi-institution project which consists of an Extreme Adaptive Optics system, an Apodized Pupil Lyot Coronagraph, an Integral Field Unit and an active calibration system for speckle suppression. The AMNH group is designing and building the Apodized Pupil Lyot Coronagraph. This type of coronagraph is basically a classical Lyot coronagraph with an upstream pupil apodization, based on mathematical properties of the prolate spheroidal functions. An APLC produces a dramatic improvement over the classical Lyot coronagraph. We have identified appropriate technologies to manufacture the required components. We will present the current status of the design and laboratory infrared testing results.

  15. Wavefront sensing and correction with the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, S.; Poyneer, L.; Savransky, D.; Macintosh, B.; Hartung, M.; Dillon, D.; Gavel, D.; Dunn, Jennifer; Wallace, K.; Palmer, D.; De Rosa, Robert

    2012-07-01

    High-contrast imaging is a growing observational technique aimed at discovering and characterizing extrasolar planets. The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is designed to achieve contrast ratios of 10-6 - 10-7 and requires unprecedented wavefront correction and coronagraphic control of diffraction. G PI is a facility instrument now undergoing integration and testing and is scheduled for first light on the 8-m Gemini South telescope towards the end of 2012. In this paper, we focus on the wavefront sensing and correction aspects of the instrument. To measure the wavefront, GPI combines a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor and a high-accuracy infrared interferometric wavefront calibration system. The Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor uses 1700 subapertures to precisely sample the wavefront at 1.5 kHz and features a spatial filter to prevent aliasing. The wavefront calibration system measures the slower temporal frequency errors as well as non-common path aberrations. The wavefront correction is performed using a two-stage adaptive optics system employing a 9x9 piezoelectric deformable mirror and a 43x43 actuators MEMS deformable mirror operating in a woofer-tweeter configuration. Finally, an image sharpening technique is used to further increase the contrast of the final image. In this paper, we describe the three wavefront sensing methods and how we combine their respective information to achieve the best possible contrast.

  16. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) Campaign Initial Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patience, Jennifer; Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James R.; Barman, Travis; De Rosa, Robert; Konopacky, Quinn; Marley, Mark; Marois, Christian; Nielsen, Eric Ludwig; Pueyo, Laurent; Rajan, Abhijith; Rameau, Julien; Saumon, Didier; Wang, Jason

    2015-12-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a next-generation coronagraphic integral field unit with the sensitivity and resolution to detect planetary companions with separations of 0.2 to 1.0 around a large set of stars. An 890-hour GPI survey of 600 young, nearby stars commenced in late-2014, and approximately 100 stars have been observed thus far. The central aims of the program are: (1) the discovery of a population of giant planets with orbital radii of 5-50 AU comparable to Solar System gas giant orbits, (2) the characterization of the atmospheric properties of young planetary companions, and (3) the exploration of planet-disk interactions. Initial results from GPI exoplanet observations include the discovery of a new planetary companion to a young F-star; the planet spectrum shows a strong signature of methane absorption, indicating a cooler temperature than previously imaged young planets. An overview of the survey scope, current detection limits, and initial results will be presented.

  17. Resolving the HD 106906 Disk with the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajan, Abhijith; Kalas, Paul G.; Patience, Jennifer; Wang, Jason; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Chen, Christine H.; Dong, Ruobing; Graham, James R.; Macintosh, Bruce; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Matthews, Brenda; Rameau, Julien; Marois, Christian

    2015-12-01

    We present the first direct detection of the debris disk around the young star HD 106906 using the Integral Field Unit on the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). In addition to our detection of the inner warm component in the near infrared, we also recovered the cold outer region of the disk in the optical using archival HST/ACS data. The GPI observations show a near edge-on disk with a central cleared region at ~50 AU, and an outer extent >500 AU. The HST data show the outer regions are highly asymmetric, resembling the needle" morphology seen for the HD 15115 debris disk. The GPI images do not show the strong asymmetry seen in the HST data. The star HD 106906 has an ~11 Mjup planetary mass companion with a projected separation of 650 AU, which poses questions about the formation mechanisms for such a distant companion. We compared the literature photometry measurements of the companion to theoretical models and measure a redder than expected color which might suggest the presence of a disk around the companion as well. The H-band spectroscopy data was used to place constraints on the presence of further Jupiter-mass companions closer in to the star.

  18. GEMINI PLANET IMAGER SPECTROSCOPY OF THE HR 8799 PLANETS c AND d

    SciTech Connect

    Ingraham, Patrick; Macintosh, Bruce; Marley, Mark S.; Saumon, Didier; Marois, Christian; Dunn, Jennifer; Erikson, Darren; Barman, Travis; Bauman, Brian; Burrows, Adam; Chilcote, Jeffrey K.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Dillon, Daren; Gavel, Donald; Doyon, René; Goodsell, Stephen J.; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; Graham, James R.; and others

    2014-10-10

    During the first-light run of the Gemini Planet Imager we obtained K-band spectra of exoplanets HR 8799 c and d. Analysis of the spectra indicates that planet d may be warmer than planet c. Comparisons to recent patchy cloud models and previously obtained observations over multiple wavelengths confirm that thick clouds combined with horizontal variation in the cloud cover generally reproduce the planets' spectral energy distributions. When combined with the 3 to 4 μm photometric data points, the observations provide strong constraints on the atmospheric methane content for both planets. The data also provide further evidence that future modeling efforts must include cloud opacity, possibly including cloud holes, disequilibrium chemistry, and super-solar metallicity.

  19. Discovery and spectroscopy of the young jovian planet 51 Eri b with the Gemini Planet Imager.

    PubMed

    Macintosh, B; Graham, J R; Barman, T; De Rosa, R J; Konopacky, Q; Marley, M S; Marois, C; Nielsen, E L; Pueyo, L; Rajan, A; Rameau, J; Saumon, D; Wang, J J; Patience, J; Ammons, M; Arriaga, P; Artigau, E; Beckwith, S; Brewster, J; Bruzzone, S; Bulger, J; Burningham, B; Burrows, A S; Chen, C; Chiang, E; Chilcote, J K; Dawson, R I; Dong, R; Doyon, R; Draper, Z H; Duchêne, G; Esposito, T M; Fabrycky, D; Fitzgerald, M P; Follette, K B; Fortney, J J; Gerard, B; Goodsell, S; Greenbaum, A Z; Hibon, P; Hinkley, S; Cotten, T H; Hung, L-W; Ingraham, P; Johnson-Groh, M; Kalas, P; Lafreniere, D; Larkin, J E; Lee, J; Line, M; Long, D; Maire, J; Marchis, F; Matthews, B C; Max, C E; Metchev, S; Millar-Blanchaer, M A; Mittal, T; Morley, C V; Morzinski, K M; Murray-Clay, R; Oppenheimer, R; Palmer, D W; Patel, R; Perrin, M D; Poyneer, L A; Rafikov, R R; Rantakyrö, F T; Rice, E L; Rojo, P; Rudy, A R; Ruffio, J-B; Ruiz, M T; Sadakuni, N; Saddlemyer, L; Salama, M; Savransky, D; Schneider, A C; Sivaramakrishnan, A; Song, I; Soummer, R; Thomas, S; Vasisht, G; Wallace, J K; Ward-Duong, K; Wiktorowicz, S J; Wolff, S G; Zuckerman, B

    2015-10-01

    Directly detecting thermal emission from young extrasolar planets allows measurement of their atmospheric compositions and luminosities, which are influenced by their formation mechanisms. Using the Gemini Planet Imager, we discovered a planet orbiting the ~20-million-year-old star 51 Eridani at a projected separation of 13 astronomical units. Near-infrared observations show a spectrum with strong methane and water-vapor absorption. Modeling of the spectra and photometry yields a luminosity (normalized by the luminosity of the Sun) of 1.6 to 4.0 × 10(-6) and an effective temperature of 600 to 750 kelvin. For this age and luminosity, "hot-start" formation models indicate a mass twice that of Jupiter. This planet also has a sufficiently low luminosity to be consistent with the "cold-start" core-accretion process that may have formed Jupiter. PMID:26272904

  20. Discovery and spectroscopy of the young jovian planet 51 Eri b with the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintosh, B.; Graham, J. R.; Barman, T.; De Rosa, R. J.; Konopacky, Q.; Marley, M. S.; Marois, C.; Nielsen, E. L.; Pueyo, L.; Rajan, A.; Rameau, J.; Saumon, D.; Wang, J. J.; Patience, J.; Ammons, M.; Arriaga, P.; Artigau, E.; Beckwith, S.; Brewster, J.; Bruzzone, S.; Bulger, J.; Burningham, B.; Burrows, A. S.; Chen, C.; Chiang, E.; Chilcote, J. K.; Dawson, R. I.; Dong, R.; Doyon, R.; Draper, Z. H.; Duchêne, G.; Esposito, T. M.; Fabrycky, D.; Fitzgerald, M. P.; Follette, K. B.; Fortney, J. J.; Gerard, B.; Goodsell, S.; Greenbaum, A. Z.; Hibon, P.; Hinkley, S.; Cotten, T. H.; Hung, L.-W.; Ingraham, P.; Johnson-Groh, M.; Kalas, P.; Lafreniere, D.; Larkin, J. E.; Lee, J.; Line, M.; Long, D.; Maire, J.; Marchis, F.; Matthews, B. C.; Max, C. E.; Metchev, S.; Millar-Blanchaer, M. A.; Mittal, T.; Morley, C. V.; Morzinski, K. M.; Murray-Clay, R.; Oppenheimer, R.; Palmer, D. W.; Patel, R.; Perrin, M. D.; Poyneer, L. A.; Rafikov, R. R.; Rantakyrö, F. T.; Rice, E. L.; Rojo, P.; Rudy, A. R.; Ruffio, J.-B.; Ruiz, M. T.; Sadakuni, N.; Saddlemyer, L.; Salama, M.; Savransky, D.; Schneider, A. C.; Sivaramakrishnan, A.; Song, I.; Soummer, R.; Thomas, S.; Vasisht, G.; Wallace, J. K.; Ward-Duong, K.; Wiktorowicz, S. J.; Wolff, S. G.; Zuckerman, B.

    2015-10-01

    Directly detecting thermal emission from young extrasolar planets allows measurement of their atmospheric compositions and luminosities, which are influenced by their formation mechanisms. Using the Gemini Planet Imager, we discovered a planet orbiting the ~20-million-year-old star 51 Eridani at a projected separation of 13 astronomical units. Near-infrared observations show a spectrum with strong methane and water-vapor absorption. Modeling of the spectra and photometry yields a luminosity (normalized by the luminosity of the Sun) of 1.6 to 4.0 × 10-6 and an effective temperature of 600 to 750 kelvin. For this age and luminosity, “hot-start” formation models indicate a mass twice that of Jupiter. This planet also has a sufficiently low luminosity to be consistent with the “cold-start” core-accretion process that may have formed Jupiter.

  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. A Gemini Planet Imager investigation of the atmosphere of the HD 95086b planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rosa, Robert J.; Pueyo, Laurent; Patience, Jenny; Graham, James R.; Gemini Planet Imager Team

    2015-01-01

    We present Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) near-infrared observations of the ~5 Mjup companion to the young, dusty A-type star HD 95086, observed during the course of the verification and commissioning of the instrument. By combining binned low-resolution H and K-band IFS spectra from GPI, with literature near and mid-IR photometry, we have undertaken the most comprehensive analysis of the spectral energy distribution of HD 95086 b to-date. Comparing these observational results with atmospheric models, we constrain key parameters such as the effective temperature and surface gravity, and place the results in the context of analyses of other directly imaged planetary-mass companions (e.g. HR 8799 bcde, ? Pic b), and other substellar companions at a similar age (e.g. HD 106906 b, GQ Lup b). We also comment on the sensitivity of companions interior and exterior to HD 95086 b. Lastly, we present the color-corrections derived during the course of this study that are required to transform photometry obtained with GPI in the K1 and K2 filters into both the MKO and 2MASS photometric systems, essential for the propoer interpretation of K-band photometry measurements obtained with GPI.

  3. Characterizing Young Giant Planets with the Gemini Planet Imager: An Iterative Approach to Planet Characterization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark

    2015-01-01

    After discovery, the first task of exoplanet science is characterization. However experience has shown that the limited spectral range and resolution of most directly imaged exoplanet data requires an iterative approach to spectral modeling. Simple, brown dwarf-like models, must first be tested to ascertain if they are both adequate to reproduce the available data and consistent with additional constraints, including the age of the system and available limits on the planet's mass and luminosity, if any. When agreement is lacking, progressively more complex solutions must be considered, including non-solar composition, partial cloudiness, and disequilibrium chemistry. Such additional complexity must be balanced against an understanding of the limitations of the atmospheric models themselves. For example while great strides have been made in improving the opacities of important molecules, particularly NH3 and CH4, at high temperatures, much more work is needed to understand the opacity of atomic Na and K. The highly pressure broadened fundamental band of Na and K in the optical stretches into the near-infrared, strongly influencing the spectral shape of Y and J spectral bands. Discerning gravity and atmospheric composition is difficult, if not impossible, without both good atomic opacities as well as an excellent understanding of the relevant atmospheric chemistry. I will present examples of the iterative process of directly imaged exoplanet characterization as applied to both known and potentially newly discovered exoplanets with a focus on constraints provided by GPI spectra. If a new GPI planet is lacking, as a case study I will discuss HR 8799 c and d will explain why some solutions, such as spatially inhomogeneous cloudiness, introduce their own additional layers of complexity. If spectra of new planets from GPI are available I will explain the modeling process in the context of understanding these new worlds.

  4. The use of a high-order MEMS deformable mirror in the Gemini Planet Imager

    SciTech Connect

    Poyneer, L A; Bauman, B; Cornelissen, S; Jones, S; Macintosh, B; Palmer, D; Isaacs, J

    2010-12-17

    We briefly review the development history of the Gemini Planet Imager's 4K Boston Micromachines MEMS deformable mirror. We discuss essential calibration steps and algorithms to control the MEMS with nanometer precision, including voltage-phase calibration and influence function characterization. We discuss the integration of the MEMS into GPI's Adaptive Optics system at Lawrence Livermore and present experimental results of 1.5 kHz closed-loop control. We detail mitigation strategies in the coronagraph to reduce the impact of abnormal actuators on final image contrast.

  5. Peering into the Giant-planet-forming Region of the TW Hydrae Disk with the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rapson, Valerie A.; Kastner, Joel H.; Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A.; Dong, Ruobing

    2015-12-01

    We present Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) adaptive optics near-infrared images of the giant-planet-forming regions of the protoplanetary disk orbiting the nearby (D = 54 pc), pre-main-sequence (classical T Tauri) star TW Hydrae. The GPI images, which were obtained in coronagraphic/polarimetric mode, exploit starlight scattered off small dust grains to elucidate the surface density structure of the TW Hya disk from ∼80 AU to within ∼10 AU of the star at ∼1.5 AU resolution. The GPI polarized intensity images unambiguously confirm the presence of a gap in the radial surface brightness distribution of the inner disk. The gap is centered near ∼23 AU, with a width of ∼5 AU and a depth of ∼50%. In the context of recent simulations of giant-planet formation in gaseous, dusty disks orbiting pre-main-sequence stars, these results indicate that at least one young planet with a mass ∼0.2 MJ could be present in the TW Hya disk at an orbital semimajor axis similar to that of Uranus. If this (proto)planet is actively accreting gas from the disk, it may be readily detectable by GPI or a similarly sensitive, high-resolution infrared imaging system.

  6. The Gemini Deep Planet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lafrenire, David; Doyon, Ren; Marois, Christian; Nadeau, Daniel; Oppenheimer, Ben R.; Roche, Patrick F.; Rigaut, Franois; Graham, James R.; Jayawardhana, Ray; Johnstone, Doug; Kalas, Paul G.; Macintosh, Bruce; Racine, Ren

    2007-12-01

    We present the results of the Gemini Deep Planet Survey, a near-infrared adaptive optics search for giant planets and brown dwarfs around 85 nearby young stars. The observations were obtained with the Altair adaptive optics system at the Gemini North telescope, and angular differential imaging was used to suppress the speckle noise of the central star. Typically, the observations are sensitive to angular separations beyond 0.5" with 5 ? contrast sensitivities in magnitude difference at 1.6 ?m of 9.5 at 0.5", 12.9 at 1", 15.0 at 2", and 16.5 at 5". These sensitivities are sufficient to detect planets more massive than 2 MJ with a projected separation in the range 40-200 AU around a typical target. Second-epoch observations of 48 stars with candidates (out of 54) have confirmed that all candidates are unrelated background stars. A detailed statistical analysis of the survey results is presented. Assuming a planet mass distribution dn/dm~m-1.2 and a semimajor-axis distribution dn/da~a-1, the 95% credible upper limits on the fraction of stars with at least one planet of mass 0.5-13 MJ are 0.28 for the range 10-25 AU, 0.13 for 25-50 AU, and 0.093 for 50-250 AU; this result is weakly dependent on the semimajor-axis distribution power-law index. The 95% credible interval for the fraction of stars with at least one brown dwarf companion having a semimajor axis in the range 25-250 AU is 0.019+0.083-0.015, irrespective of any assumption on the mass and semimajor-axis distributions. The observations made as part of this survey have resolved the stars HD 14802, HD 166181, and HD 213845 into binaries for the first time. 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 Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (United Kingdom), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), CNPq (Brazil), and CONICET (Argentina).

  7. Characterizing Exoplanet Motions Using Random Orbit Generation for the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blunt, Sarah Caroline; Nielsen, Eric; Marchis, Franck; De Rosa, Robert; Konopacky, Quinn; Macintosh, Bruce; Wang, Jason; Marois, Christian; Pueyo, Laurent; Rameau, Julien; Graham, James R.; GPIES Collaboration

    2016-01-01

    Next generation planet-finders like the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) allow for direct imaging of exoplanets that are close enough to their host stars to undergo detectable orbital motion on monthly timescales, creating a need for methods that rapidly characterize newly discovered planets using short astrometric baselines. We present a computationally efficient Monte Carlo method that fits randomly generated orbital parameters to astrometry of directly imaged exoplanets from a fraction of an orbit. This code quickly and efficiently produces distributions of plausible orbital parameters, while a traditional Markov-Chain Monte Carlo algorithm would take much longer to converge given the same inputs (future work will directly compare the computational efficiencies and outputs of both algorithms).This technique allows us to predict the future motion of a planet by randomly generating plausible orbits that fit just a few epochs of astrometry, or even a single epoch. We first applied this method to predicting the future position of 51 Eri b, a giant exoplanet discovered by GPIES, using astrometry with only a 1-month baseline. Subsequent observations of 51 Eri b after seven months found the planet at the peak of the probability distributions predicting future motion. We demonstrate how this method can be applied to GPIES and the future WFIRST-AFTA space mission, from distinguishing bound planets from background objects to constraining orbital parameters given data from only a few observational epochs after discovery.This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation REU Program under Grant No. AST-1359346.

  8. Gemini Planet Imager observational calibrations I: Overview of the GPI data reduction pipeline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrin, Marshall D.; Maire, Jrme; Ingraham, Patrick; Savransky, Dmitry; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Wolff, Schuyler G.; Ruffio, Jean-Baptiste; Wang, Jason J.; Draper, Zachary H.; Sadakuni, Naru; Marois, Christian; Rajan, Abhijith; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James R.; Doyon, Ren; Larkin, James E.; Chilcote, Jeffrey K.; Goodsell, Stephen J.; Palmer, David W.; Labrie, Kathleen; Beaulieu, Mathilde; De Rosa, Robert J.; Greenbaum, Alexandra Z.; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; Konopacky, Quinn; Lafreniere, David; Lavigne, Jean-Francois; Marchis, Franck; Patience, Jenny; Pueyo, Laurent; Rantakyr, Fredrik T.; Soummer, Rmi; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Thomas, Sandrine; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Wiktorowicz, Sloane

    2014-07-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) has as its science instrument an infrared integral field spectrograph/polarimeter (IFS). Integral field spectrographs are scientificially powerful but require sophisticated data reduction systems. For GPI to achieve its scientific goals of exoplanet and disk characterization, IFS data must be reconstructed into high quality astrometrically and photometrically accurate datacubes in both spectral and polarization modes, via flexible software that is usable by the broad Gemini community. The data reduction pipeline developed by the GPI instrument team to meet these needs is now publicly available following GPI's commissioning. This paper, the first of a series, provides a broad overview of GPI data reduction, summarizes key steps, and presents the overall software framework and implementation. Subsequent papers describe in more detail the algorithms necessary for calibrating GPI data. The GPI data reduction pipeline is open source, available from planetimager.org, and will continue to be enhanced throughout the life of the instrument. It implements an extensive suite of task primitives that can be assembled into reduction recipes to produce calibrated datasets ready for scientific analysis. Angular, spectral, and polarimetric differential imaging are supported. Graphical tools automate the production and editing of recipes, an integrated calibration database manages reference files, and an interactive data viewer customized for high contrast imaging allows for exploration and manipulation of data.

  9. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey and the discovery of the young Jupiter analog 51 Eridani b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintosh, Bruce; Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    2016-01-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey has been began in November 2014 and has surveyed more than 100 young nearby stars. I will present an updated status of the survey, including instrument performance and completeness limits. We reported our first new exoplanet discovery, the 20 Myr planet 51 Eri b, in August of 2015. J and H band spectra show that it is among the coolest and lowest-luminosity exoplanets yet imaged, with strong methane absorption and a luminosity consistent with low-entropy formation. I will give an overview of the planet's properties, and results from observations in the second half of 2015.

  10. Gemini Planet Imager Observations of the AU Microscopii Debris Disk: Asymmetries within One Arcsecond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jason J.; Graham, James R.; Pueyo, Laurent; Nielsen, Eric L.; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; De Rosa, Robert J.; Kalas, Paul; Ammons, S. Mark; Bulger, Joanna; Cardwell, Andrew; Chen, Christine; Chiang, Eugene; Chilcote, Jeffrey K.; Doyon, René; Draper, Zachary H.; Duchêne, Gaspard; Esposito, Thomas M.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Goodsell, Stephen J.; Greenbaum, Alexandra Z.; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; Hinkley, Sasha; Hung, Li-Wei; Ingraham, Patrick; Larkin, James E.; Macintosh, Bruce; Maire, Jerome; Marchis, Franck; Marois, Christian; Matthews, Brenda C.; Morzinski, Katie M.; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Patience, Jenny; Perrin, Marshall D.; Rajan, Abhijith; Rantakyrö, Fredrik T.; Sadakuni, Naru; Serio, Andrew; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Soummer, Rémi; Thomas, Sandrine; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.; Wolff, Schuyler G.

    2015-10-01

    We present Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) observations of AU Microscopii, a young M dwarf with an edge-on, dusty debris disk. Integral field spectroscopy and broadband imaging polarimetry were obtained during the commissioning of GPI. In our broadband imaging polarimetry observations, we detect the disk only in total intensity and find asymmetries in the morphology of the disk between the southeast (SE) and northwest (NW) sides. The SE side of the disk exhibits a bump at 1″ (10 AU projected separation) that is three times more vertically extended and three times fainter in peak surface brightness than the NW side at similar separations. This part of the disk is also vertically offset by 69 ± 30 mas to the northeast at 1″ when compared to the established disk midplane and is consistent with prior Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and Hubble Space Telescope/Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph observations. We see hints that the SE bump might be a result of detecting a horizontal sliver feature above the main disk that could be the disk backside. Alternatively, when including the morphology of the NW side, where the disk midplane is offset in the opposite direction ∼50 mas between 0.″4 and 1.″2, the asymmetries suggest a warp-like feature. Using our integral field spectroscopy data to search for planets, we are 50% complete for ∼4 MJup planets at 4 AU. We detect a source, resolved only along the disk plane, that could either be a candidate planetary mass companion or a compact clump in the disk.

  11. The PDS 66 Circumstellar Disk as Seen in Polarized Light with the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, Schuyler G.; Perrin, Marshall; Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A.; Nielsen, Eric L.; Wang, Jason; Cardwell, Andrew; Chilcote, Jeffrey; Dong, Ruobing; Draper, Zachary H.; Duchêne, Gaspard; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Goodsell, Stephen J.; Grady, Carol A.; Graham, James R.; Greenbaum, Alexandra Z.; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; Hines, Dean C.; Hung, Li-Wei; Kalas, Paul; Macintosh, Bruce; Marchis, Franck; Marois, Christian; Pueyo, Laurent; Rantakyrö, Fredrik T.; Schneider, Glenn; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.

    2016-02-01

    We present H- and K-band imaging polarimetry for the PDS 66 circumstellar disk obtained during the commissioning of the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). Polarization images reveal a clear detection of the disk in to the 0.″12 inner working angle (IWA) in the H band, almost three times closer to the star than the previous Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations with NICMOS and STIS (0.″35 effective IWA). The centro-symmetric polarization vectors confirm that the bright inner disk detection is due to circumstellar scattered light. A more diffuse disk extends to a bright outer ring centered at 80 AU. We discuss several physical mechanisms capable of producing the observed ring + gap structure. GPI data confirm enhanced scattering on the east side of the disk that is inferred to be nearer to us. We also detect a lateral asymmetry in the south possibly due to shadowing from material within the IWA. This likely corresponds to a temporally variable azimuthal asymmetry observed in HST/STIS coronagraphic imaging.

  12. Astrometric Confirmation and Preliminary Orbital Parameters of the Young Exoplanet 51 Eridani b with the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, Eric Ludwig; Blunt, Sarah; De Rosa, Robert; Konopacky, Quinn; Graham, James R.; Macintosh, Bruce; Marchis, Franck; Wang, Jason; Pueyo, Laurent; Rameau, Julien; Marois, Christian

    2015-12-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey discovered the young, 2 Jupiter mass planet 51 Eri b based on observations conducted in December 2014 and January 2015. It is the lowest mass extrasolar planet ever detected by direct imaging and shows strong methane absorption, and is at a projected separation of just 13 AU from its host star. We present new astrometry from late 2015 that confirms 51 Eri b is a bound planet and not an interloping brown dwarf. Orbital motion is detected despite monitoring the system for less than a year. We have implemented a computationally efficient Monte Carlo technique for fitting a range of possible orbital motion based on astrometry covering a small fraction of the period and producing distributions of orbital parameters consistent with the measurements. We apply this technique to the astrometry of 51 Eri b and present preliminary orbital parameter distributions of this intriguing planet.

  13. Gemini Planet Imager Polarimetry of the Circumstellar Ring around HR 4796A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrin, Marshall D.; Duchene, Gaspard; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Graham, James R.; Wiktorowicz, Sloane; Kalas, Paul; Macintosh, Bruce; Gemini Planet Imager Team

    2015-01-01

    Using the Gemini Planet Imager we have obtained imaging polarimetry of the circumstellar ring around HR 4796A, revealing surprisingly complex morphology that challenges models and has forced us to drastically revise our understanding of the physical properties of this disk.GPI's differential polarimetry mode not only provides an increase in contrast for better detection of dust-scattered light, but also provides new insights into the properties of the scattering dust through measurement of the polarized scattering phase function. In polarized light, the disk is seen all the way in to its semi-minor axis for the first time, and exhibits surprisingly strong asymmetry in polarized intensity. Based on a synthesis of the total and polarized intensities, our revised model now envisions an optically thick ring composed of relatively large silicate dust particles, with the west side closer to us, contrary to most prior interpretations. These findings suggest that the ring is geometrically narrow and dynamically cold, perhaps shepherded by larger bodies in the same manner as Saturn's F ring. Deep multiwavelength observations from J to K bands are allowing further tests of this model.

  14. Resolving the HD 100546 Protoplanetary System with the Gemini Planet Imager: Evidence for Multiple Forming, Accreting Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, Thayne; Cloutier, Ryan; Brittain, Sean; Grady, Carol; Burrows, Adam; Muto, Takayuki; Kenyon, Scott J.; Kuchner, Marc J.

    2015-12-01

    We report Gemini Planet Imager H-band high-contrast imaging/integral field spectroscopy and polarimetry of the HD 100546, a 10 Myr old early-type star recently confirmed to host a thermal infrared (IR) bright (super-)Jovian protoplanet at wide separation, HD 100546 b. We resolve the inner disk cavity in polarized light, recover the thermal IR-bright arm, and identify one additional spiral arm. We easily recover HD 100546 b and show that much of its emission plausibly originates from an unresolved point source. The point-source component of HD 100546 b has extremely red IR colors compared to field brown dwarfs, qualitatively similar to young cloudy super-Jovian planets; however, these colors may instead indicate that HD 100546 b is still accreting material from a circumplanetary disk. Additionally, we identify a second point-source-like peak at rproj 14 AU, located just interior to or at the inner disk wall consistent with being a <10-20 MJ candidate second protoplanetHD 100546 cand lying within a weakly polarized region of the disk but along an extension of the thermal IR-bright spiral arm. Alternatively, it is equally plausible that this feature is a weakly polarized but locally bright region of the inner disk wall. Astrometric monitoring of this feature over the next 2 years and emission line measurements could confirm its status as a protoplanet, rotating disk hot spot that is possibly a signpost of a protoplanet, or a stationary emission source from within the disk.

  15. 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.

  16. First Scattered-light Image of the Debris Disk around HD 131835 with the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Li-Wei; Duchêne, Gaspard; Arriaga, Pauline; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Maire, Jérôme; Marois, Christian; Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A.; Bruzzone, Sebastian; Rajan, Abhijith; Pueyo, Laurent; Kalas, Paul G.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Graham, James R.; Konopacky, Quinn; Wolff, Schuyler G.; Ammons, S. Mark; Chen, Christine H.; Chilcote, Jeffrey K.; Draper, Zachary H.; Esposito, Thomas M.; Gerard, Benjamin; Goodsell, Stephen; Greenbaum, Alexandra; Hibon, Pascale; Hinkley, Sasha; Macintosh, Bruce; Marchis, Franck; Metchev, Stanimir; Nielsen, Eric L.; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Patience, Jennifer L.; Perrin, Marshall D.; Rantakyrö, Fredrik T.; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Wang, Jason J.; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.

    2015-12-01

    We present the first scattered-light image of the debris disk around HD 131835 in the H band using the Gemini Planet Imager. HD 131835 is a ∼15 Myr old A2IV star at a distance of ∼120 pc in the Sco-Cen OB association. We detect the disk only in polarized light and place an upper limit on the peak total intensity. No point sources resembling exoplanets were identified. Compared to its mid-infrared thermal emission, in scattered light the disk shows similar orientation but different morphology. The scattered-light disk extends from ∼75 to ∼210 AU in the disk plane with roughly flat surface density. Our Monte Carlo radiative transfer model can describe the observations with a model disk composed of a mixture of silicates and amorphous carbon. In addition to the obvious brightness asymmetry due to stronger forward scattering, we discover a weak brightness asymmetry along the major axis, with the northeast side being 1.3 times brighter than the southwest side at a 3σ level.

  17. 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.

  18. A Combined Very Large Telescope and Gemini Study of the Atmosphere of the Directly Imaged Planet, β Pictoris b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, Thayne; Burrows, Adam; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Fukagawa, Misato; Girard, Julien H.; Dawson, Rebekah; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Kenyon, Scott; Kuchner, Marc; Matsumura, Soko; Jayawardhana, Ray; Chambers, John; Bromley, Ben

    2013-10-01

    We analyze new/archival VLT/NaCo and Gemini/NICI high-contrast imaging of the young, self-luminous planet β Pictoris b in seven near-to-mid IR photometric filters, using advanced image processing methods to achieve high signal-to-noise, high precision measurements. While β Pic b's near-IR colors mimic those of a standard, cloudy early-to-mid L dwarf, it is overluminous in the mid-infrared compared to the field L/T dwarf sequence. Few substellar/planet-mass objects—i.e., κ And b and 1RXJ 1609B—match β Pic b's JHKsL' photometry and its 3.1 μm and 5 μm photometry are particularly difficult to reproduce. Atmosphere models adopting cloud prescriptions and large (~60 μm) dust grains fail to reproduce the β Pic b spectrum. However, models incorporating thick clouds similar to those found for HR 8799 bcde, but also with small (a few microns) modal particle sizes, yield fits consistent with the data within the uncertainties. Assuming solar abundance models, thick clouds, and small dust particles (langarang = 4 μm), we derive atmosphere parameters of log (g) = 3.8 ± 0.2 and T eff = 1575-1650 K, an inferred mass of 7^{+4}_{-3} MJ , and a luminosity of log(L/L ⊙) ~-3.80 ± 0.02. The best-estimated planet radius, ≈1.65 ± 0.06 RJ , is near the upper end of allowable planet radii for hot-start models given the host star's age and likely reflects challenges constructing accurate atmospheric models. Alternatively, these radii are comfortably consistent with hot-start model predictions if β Pic b is younger than ≈7 Myr, consistent with a late formation well after its host star's birth ~12^{+8}_{-4} Myr ago.

  19. A Combined Very Large Telescope and Gemini Study of the Atmosphere of the Directly Imaged Planet, Beta Pictoris b

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Currie, Thayne; Burrows, Adam; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Fukagawa, Misato; Girard, Julien H.; Dawson, Rebekah; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Kenyon, Scott; Kuchner, Marc J.; Matsumura, Soko; Jayawardhana, Ray; Chambers, John; Bromley, Ben

    2013-01-01

    We analyze new/archival VLT/NaCo and Gemini/NICI high-contrast imaging of the young, self-luminous planet Beta Pictoris b in seven near-to-mid IR photometric filters, using advanced image processing methods to achieve high signal-to-noise, high precision measurements. While Beta Pic b's near-IR colors mimic those of a standard, cloudy early-to-mid L dwarf, it is overluminous in the mid-infrared compared to the field L/T dwarf sequence. Few substellar/planet-mass objects-i.e., ? And b and 1RXJ 1609B-match Beta Pic b's JHKsL photometry and its 3.1 micron and 5 micron photometry are particularly difficult to reproduce. Atmosphere models adopting cloud prescriptions and large (approx. 60 micron)dust grains fail to reproduce the Beta Pic b spectrum. However, models incorporating thick clouds similar to those found forHR8799 bcde, but also with small (a fewmicrons) modal particle sizes, yield fits consistent with the data within the uncertainties. Assuming solar abundance models, thick clouds, and small dust particles (a = 4 micron), we derive atmosphere parameters of log(g) = 3.8 +/- 0.2 and Teff = 1575-1650 K, an inferred mass of 7+4 -3 MJ, and a luminosity of log(L/L) approx. -3.80 +/- 0.02. The best-estimated planet radius, is approx. equal to 1.65 +/- 0.06 RJ, is near the upper end of allowable planet radii for hot-start models given the host star's age and likely reflects challenges constructing accurate atmospheric models. Alternatively, these radii are comfortably consistent with hot-start model predictions if Beta Pic b is younger than is approx. equal to 7 Myr, consistent with a late formation well after its host star's birth approx. 12+8 -4 Myr ago.

  20. The Gemini Deep Planet Survey - GDPS

    SciTech Connect

    Lafreniere, D; Doyon, R; Marois, C; Nadeau, D; Oppenheimer, B R; Roche, P F; Rigaut, F; Graham, J R; Jayawardhana, R; Johnstone, D; Kalas, P G; Macintosh, B; Racine, R

    2007-06-01

    We present the results of the Gemini Deep Planet Survey, a near-infrared adaptive optics search for giant planets and brown dwarfs around nearby young stars. The observations were obtained with the Altair adaptive optics system at the Gemini North telescope and angular differential imaging was used to suppress the speckle noise of the central star. Detection limits for the 85 stars observed are presented, along with a list of all faint point sources detected around them. Typically, the observations are sensitive to angular separations beyond 0.5-inch with 5{sigma} contrast sensitivities in magnitude difference at 1.6 {micro}m of 9.6 at 0.5-inch, 12.9 at 1-inch, 15 at 2-inch, and 16.6 at 5-inch. For the typical target of the survey, a 100 Myr old K0 star located 22 pc from the Sun, the observations are sensitive enough to detect planets more massive than 2 M{sub Jup} with a projected separation in the range 40-200 AU. Depending on the age, spectral type, and distance of the target stars, the minimum mass that could be detected with our observations can be {approx}1 M{sub Jup}. Second epoch observations of 48 stars with candidates (out of 54) have confirmed that all candidates are unrelated background stars. A detailed statistical analysis of the survey results, which provide upper limits on the fractions of stars with giant planet or low mass brown dwarf companions, is presented. Assuming a planet mass distribution dn/dm {proportional_to} m{sup -1.2} and a semi-major axis distribution dn/da {proportional_to} a{sup -1}, the upper limits on the fraction of stars with at least one planet of mass 0.5-13 M{sub Jup} are 0.29 for the range 10-25 AU, 0.13 for 25-50 AU, and 0.09 for 50-250 AU, with a 95% confidence level; this result is weakly dependent on the semi-major axis distribution power-law index. Without making any assumption on the mass and semi-major axis distributions, the fraction of stars with at least one brown dwarf companion having a semi-major axis in the range 25-200 AU is 0.018{sub -0.014}{sup +0.078}, with a 95% confidence level. The observations made as part of this survey have resolved the stars HD 14802, HD 135363, HD 160934, HD 166181, and HD 213845 into close binaries for the first time.

  1. Astrometric Confirmation and Preliminary Orbital Parameters of the Young Exoplanet 51 Eridani b with the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rosa, Robert J.; Nielsen, Eric L.; Blunt, Sarah C.; Graham, James R.; Konopacky, Quinn M.; Marois, Christian; Pueyo, Laurent; Rameau, Julien; Ryan, Dominic M.; Wang, Jason J.; Bailey, Vanessa; Chontos, Ashley; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Follette, Katherine B.; Macintosh, Bruce; Marchis, Franck; Ammons, S. Mark; Arriaga, Pauline; Chilcote, Jeffrey K.; Cotten, Tara H.; Doyon, Ren; Duchne, Gaspard; Esposito, Thomas M.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Gerard, Benjamin; Goodsell, Stephen J.; Greenbaum, Alexandra Z.; Hibon, Pascale; Ingraham, Patrick; Johnson-Groh, Mara; Kalas, Paul G.; Lafrenire, David; Maire, Jerome; Metchev, Stanimir; Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A.; Morzinski, Katie M.; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Patel, Rahul I.; Patience, Jennifer L.; Perrin, Marshall D.; Rajan, Abhijith; Rantakyr, Fredrik T.; Ruffio, Jean-Baptiste; Schneider, Adam C.; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Song, Inseok; Tran, Debby; Vasisht, Gautam; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Wolff, Schuyler G.

    2015-11-01

    We present new Gemini Planet Imager observations of the young exoplanet 51 Eridani b that provide further evidence that the companion is physically associated with 51 Eridani. Combining this new astrometric measurement with those reported in the literature, we significantly reduce the posterior probability that 51 Eridani b is an unbound foreground or background T-dwarf in a chance alignment with 51 Eridani to 2 10-7, an order of magnitude lower than previously reported. If 51 Eridani b is indeed a bound object, then we have detected orbital motion of the planet between the discovery epoch and the latest epoch. By implementing a computationally efficient Monte Carlo technique, preliminary constraints are placed on the orbital parameters of the system. The current set of astrometric measurements suggest an orbital semimajor axis of {14}-3+7 AU, corresponding to a period of {41}-12+35 years (assuming a mass of 1.75 M? for the central star), and an inclination of {138}-13+15 deg. The remaining orbital elements are only marginally constrained by the current measurements. These preliminary values suggest an orbit that does not share the same inclination as the orbit of the distant M-dwarf binary, GJ 3305, which is a wide physically bound companion to 51 Eridani.

  2. 1 to 2.4 microns spectrum and orbital properties of the Giant Planet Beta Pictoris b obtained with the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pueyo, Laurent; Chilcote, Jeffrey; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Barman, Travis; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Graham, James R.; Larkin, James; Kalas, Paul G.; dawson, Rebekah; Wang, Jason; Perrin, Marshall; Moon, Dae-Sik; Macintosh, Bruce

    2015-12-01

    We present a low-resolution multi-band spectrum of the planetary companion to the nearby young star beta Pictoris using the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). GPI is designed to image and provide low-resolution spectra of Jupiter sized, self-luminous planetary companions around young nearby stars. While H-bandis the primary workhorse for the GPI Exoplanet Survey, the instrument is capable of observing in the near infrared covering Y, J, H, and K bands. These observations of Beta Pic Pictoris b were taken covering multiple bands as part of GPI’s verification and commissioning phase in 2013 and 2014. Using atmospheric models along with the H-band data we recently reported an effective temperature of 1600-1700 K and a surface gravity of log (g) = 3.5-4.5 (cgs units). A similar exercise was also carried out by an independent team using the J band data, and did yield similar conclusions. These values agree well with ”hot-start” predictions from planetary evolution models for a gas giant with mass between 10 and 12 M Jup and age between 10 and 20 Myr. Here we revisit these conclusions in light of a joint analysis of these two datasets along with the longer wavelength GPI spectrum in K band, and present refined constraints on the atmospheric properties of this giant planet. In addition, we present an updated orbit for Beta Pictoris b based on astrometric measurements taken using commissioning and subsequent monitoring observations, spanning 14 months. The planet has a semi-major axis of 9.2 (+1.5 -0.4) AU, with an eccentricity e≤ 0.26. The position angle of the ascending node is Ω=31.75 deg±0.15, offset from both the outer main disk and the inner disk seen in the GPI image. We finally discuss these properties in the context of planet-disk dynamical interactions.

  3. A COMBINED VERY LARGE TELESCOPE AND GEMINI STUDY OF THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE DIRECTLY IMAGED PLANET, β PICTORIS b

    SciTech Connect

    Currie, Thayne; Jayawardhana, Ray; Burrows, Adam; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Fukagawa, Misato; Girard, Julien H.; Dawson, Rebekah; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Kenyon, Scott; Kuchner, Marc; Matsumura, Soko; Chambers, John; Bromley, Ben

    2013-10-10

    We analyze new/archival VLT/NaCo and Gemini/NICI high-contrast imaging of the young, self-luminous planet β Pictoris b in seven near-to-mid IR photometric filters, using advanced image processing methods to achieve high signal-to-noise, high precision measurements. While β Pic b's near-IR colors mimic those of a standard, cloudy early-to-mid L dwarf, it is overluminous in the mid-infrared compared to the field L/T dwarf sequence. Few substellar/planet-mass objects—i.e., κ And b and 1RXJ 1609B—match β Pic b's JHK{sub s}L' photometry and its 3.1 μm and 5 μm photometry are particularly difficult to reproduce. Atmosphere models adopting cloud prescriptions and large (∼60 μm) dust grains fail to reproduce the β Pic b spectrum. However, models incorporating thick clouds similar to those found for HR 8799 bcde, but also with small (a few microns) modal particle sizes, yield fits consistent with the data within the uncertainties. Assuming solar abundance models, thick clouds, and small dust particles ((a) = 4 μm), we derive atmosphere parameters of log (g) = 3.8 ± 0.2 and T{sub eff} = 1575-1650 K, an inferred mass of 7{sup +4}{sub -3} M{sub J} , and a luminosity of log(L/L{sub ☉}) ∼–3.80 ± 0.02. The best-estimated planet radius, ≈1.65 ± 0.06 R{sub J} , is near the upper end of allowable planet radii for hot-start models given the host star's age and likely reflects challenges constructing accurate atmospheric models. Alternatively, these radii are comfortably consistent with hot-start model predictions if β Pic b is younger than ≈7 Myr, consistent with a late formation well after its host star's birth ∼12{sup +8}{sub -4} Myr ago.

  4. Polarimetry with the Gemini Planet Imager: Methods, Performance at First Light, and the Circumstellar Ring around HR 4796A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrin, Marshall D.; Duchene, Gaspard; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Graham, James R.; Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.; Kalas, Paul G.; Macintosh, Bruce; Bauman, Brian; Cardwell, Andrew; Chilcote, Jeffrey; De Rosa, Robert J.; Dillon, Daren; Doyon, Ren; Dunn, Jennifer; Erikson, Darren; Gavel, Donald; Goodsell, Stephen; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; Ingraham, Patrick; Kerley, Daniel; Konapacky, Quinn; Larkin, James E.; Maire, Jrme; Marchis, Franck; Marois, Christian; Mittal, Tushar; Morzinski, Katie M.; Oppenheimer, B. R.; Palmer, David W.; Patience, Jennifer; Poyneer, Lisa; Pueyo, Laurent; Rantakyr, Fredrik T.; Sadakuni, Naru; Saddlemyer, Leslie; Savransky, Dmitry; Soummer, Rmi; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Song, Inseok; Thomas, Sandrine; Wallace, J. Kent; Wang, Jason J.; Wolff, Schuyler G.

    2015-02-01

    We present the first results from the polarimetry mode of the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), which uses a new integral field polarimetry architecture to provide high contrast linear polarimetry with minimal systematic biases between the orthogonal polarizations. We describe the design, data reduction methods, and performance of polarimetry with GPI. Point-spread function (PSF) subtraction via differential polarimetry suppresses unpolarized starlight by a factor of over 100, and provides sensitivity to circumstellar dust reaching the photon noise limit for these observations. In the case of the circumstellar disk around HR 4796A, GPI's advanced adaptive optics system reveals the disk clearly even prior to PSF subtraction. In polarized light, the disk is seen all the way in to its semi-minor axis for the first time. The disk exhibits surprisingly strong asymmetry in polarized intensity, with the west side >~ 9 times brighter than the east side despite the fact that the east side is slightly brighter in total intensity. Based on a synthesis of the total and polarized intensities, we now believe that the west side is closer to us, contrary to most prior interpretations. Forward scattering by relatively large silicate dust particles leads to the strong polarized intensity on the west side, and the ring must be slightly optically thick in order to explain the lower brightness in total intensity there. These findings suggest that the ring is geometrically narrow and dynamically cold, perhaps shepherded by larger bodies in the same manner as Saturn's F ring.

  5. POLARIMETRY WITH THE GEMINI PLANET IMAGER: METHODS, PERFORMANCE AT FIRST LIGHT, AND THE CIRCUMSTELLAR RING AROUND HR 4796A

    SciTech Connect

    Perrin, Marshall D.; Duchene, Gaspard; Graham, James R.; Kalas, Paul G.; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Chilcote, Jeffrey; Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.; Dillon, Daren; Gavel, Donald; Macintosh, Bruce; Bauman, Brian; Cardwell, Andrew; Goodsell, Stephen; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; De Rosa, Robert J.; Doyon, René; Dunn, Jennifer; Erikson, Darren; and others

    2015-02-01

    We present the first results from the polarimetry mode of the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), which uses a new integral field polarimetry architecture to provide high contrast linear polarimetry with minimal systematic biases between the orthogonal polarizations. We describe the design, data reduction methods, and performance of polarimetry with GPI. Point-spread function (PSF) subtraction via differential polarimetry suppresses unpolarized starlight by a factor of over 100, and provides sensitivity to circumstellar dust reaching the photon noise limit for these observations. In the case of the circumstellar disk around HR 4796A, GPI's advanced adaptive optics system reveals the disk clearly even prior to PSF subtraction. In polarized light, the disk is seen all the way in to its semi-minor axis for the first time. The disk exhibits surprisingly strong asymmetry in polarized intensity, with the west side ≳ 9 times brighter than the east side despite the fact that the east side is slightly brighter in total intensity. Based on a synthesis of the total and polarized intensities, we now believe that the west side is closer to us, contrary to most prior interpretations. Forward scattering by relatively large silicate dust particles leads to the strong polarized intensity on the west side, and the ring must be slightly optically thick in order to explain the lower brightness in total intensity there. These findings suggest that the ring is geometrically narrow and dynamically cold, perhaps shepherded by larger bodies in the same manner as Saturn's F ring.

  6. Polarized Light Imaging of the HD 142527 Transition Disk with the Gemini Planet Imager: Dust around the Close-in Companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodigas, Timothy J.; Follette, Katherine B.; Weinberger, Alycia; Close, Laird; Hines, Dean C.

    2014-08-01

    When giant planets form, they grow by accreting gas and dust. HD 142527 is a young star that offers a scaled-up view of this process. It has a broad, asymmetric ring of gas and dust beyond ~100 AU and a wide inner gap. Within the gap, a low-mass stellar companion orbits the primary star at just ~12 AU, and both the primary and secondary are accreting gas. In an attempt to directly detect the dusty counterpart to this accreted gas, we have observed HD 142527 with the Gemini Planet Imager in polarized light at Y band (0.95-1.14 ?m). We clearly detect the companion in total intensity and show that its position and photometry are generally consistent with the expected values. We also detect a point source in polarized light that may be spatially separated by ~ a few AU from the location of the companion in total intensity. This suggests that dust is likely falling onto or orbiting the companion. Given the possible contribution of scattered light from this dust to previously reported photometry of the companion, the current mass limits should be viewed as upper limits only. If the dust near the companion is eventually confirmed to be spatially separated, this system would resemble a scaled-up version of the young planetary system inside the gap of the transition disk around LkCa 15. 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 National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministrio da Cincia, Tecnologia e Inovao (Brazil), and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina).

  7. Infrared Polarimetry of Self-Luminous Exoplanets with the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen-Clem, Rebecca M.; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Mawet, Dimitri; Graham, James R.; Knutson, Heather; Wiktorowicz, Sloane; Perrin, Marshall D.; Macintosh, Bruce; Hinkley, Sasha; Wallace, J. Kent; GPI Team

    2016-01-01

    Detecting polarized light from self-luminous exoplanets has the potential to provide key information about rotation, surface gravity, cloud grain size, and cloud coverage. While field brown dwarfs with polarized emission are common, no exoplanet or substellar companion has yet been detected in polarized light. With careful treatment of instrumental polarization, such a detection is now within the capabilities of modern high contrast imaging spectro-polarimeters such as GPI and SPHERE. Here, we present preliminary results from our 2015B GPI pilot program to search for polarized emission from known exoplanets and brown dwarf companions. We describe the effects of speckle noise and instrumental polarization on our analysis methods and discuss our results in the context of substellar cloud models and photometric variability.

  8. Astrometric Calibration of the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    We describe the astrometric calibration of the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. The Campaign requires a relative astrometric accuracy of ?20 mas across multiyear timescales in order to distinguish true companions from background stars by verifying common proper motion and parallax with their parent stars. The calibration consists of a correction for instrumental optical image distortion, plus on-sky imaging of astrometric fields to determine the pixel scale and image orientation. We achieve an accuracy of lsim7 mas between the center and edge of the 18'' NICI field, meeting the 20 mas requirement. Most of the Campaign data in the Gemini Science Archive are accurate to this level but we identify a number of anomalies and present methods to correct the errors. 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 National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministrio da Cincia, Tecnologia e Inovao (Brazil), and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina).

  9. POLARIZED LIGHT IMAGING OF THE HD 142527 TRANSITION DISK WITH THE GEMINI PLANET IMAGER: DUST AROUND THE CLOSE-IN COMPANION

    SciTech Connect

    Rodigas, Timothy J.; Weinberger, Alycia; Follette, Katherine B.; Close, Laird; Hines, Dean C.

    2014-08-20

    When giant planets form, they grow by accreting gas and dust. HD 142527 is a young star that offers a scaled-up view of this process. It has a broad, asymmetric ring of gas and dust beyond ∼100 AU and a wide inner gap. Within the gap, a low-mass stellar companion orbits the primary star at just ∼12 AU, and both the primary and secondary are accreting gas. In an attempt to directly detect the dusty counterpart to this accreted gas, we have observed HD 142527 with the Gemini Planet Imager in polarized light at Y band (0.95-1.14 μm). We clearly detect the companion in total intensity and show that its position and photometry are generally consistent with the expected values. We also detect a point source in polarized light that may be spatially separated by ∼ a few AU from the location of the companion in total intensity. This suggests that dust is likely falling onto or orbiting the companion. Given the possible contribution of scattered light from this dust to previously reported photometry of the companion, the current mass limits should be viewed as upper limits only. If the dust near the companion is eventually confirmed to be spatially separated, this system would resemble a scaled-up version of the young planetary system inside the gap of the transition disk around LkCa 15.

  10. 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 ? 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 ? a ?, where m is planet mass and a is orbital semi-major axis (with a maximum value of a max). We find that ? < -0.8 and/or ? > 1.7. Likewise, we find that ? < -0.8 and/or a max < 200 AU. For the case where the planet frequency rises sharply with mass (? > 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 ? 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 ? < -0.8 and/or ? < -1.5. Likewise, ? < -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 formation; our non-detections at large separations show that planets with orbital separation >40 AU and planet masses >3 M Jup do not carve the central holes in these disks. 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), Ministrio da Cincia e Tecnologia (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina).

  11. 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 frequency on stellar host mass. Studies of transition disks have suggested that about 20% of stars are undergoing planet formation; our non-detections at large separations show that planets with orbital separation >40 AU and planet masses >3 M{sub Jup} do not carve the central holes in these disks.

  12. Performance of the Gemini Planet Imager’s adaptive optics system

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Poyneer, Lisa A.; Palmer, David W.; Macintosh, Bruce; Savransky, Dmitry; Sadakuni, Naru; Thomas, Sandrine; Véran, Jean-Pierre; Follette, Katherine B.; Greenbaum, Alexandra Z.; Mark Ammons, S.; et al

    2016-01-07

    The Gemini Planet Imager’s adaptive optics (AO) subsystem was designed specifically to facilitate high-contrast imaging. We give a definitive description of the system’s algorithms and technologies as built. Ultimately, the error budget indicates that for all targets and atmospheric conditions AO bandwidth error is the largest term.

  13. Results from the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biller, Beth A.; Liu, Michael C.; Wahhaj, Zahed; Nielsen, Eric L.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Chun, Mark R.; Close, Laird M.; Ftaclas, Christ; Males, Jared R.; Hartung, Markus; Reid, I. N.; Shkolnik, Evgenya; Skemer, Andrew J.; Tecza, Matthias; Thatte, Niranjan A.; Clarke, Fraser; Toomey, Douglas

    2014-08-01

    From 2008 December to 2012 September, the NICI (Near-Infrared Coronagraphic Imager at the Gemini-South 8.1-m) Planet-Finding Campaign (Liu et al. 2010) obtained deep, high-contrast AO imaging of a carefully selected sample of over 200 young, nearby stars. In the course of the campaign, we discovered four co-moving brown dwarf companions: PZ Tel B (36+/-6 MJup, 16.4+/-1.0 AU), CD-35 2722B (31+/-8 MJup, 67+/-4 AU), HD 1160B (33+12 -9 MJup, 81+/- AU), and HIP 79797Bb (55+20-19MJup, 3 AU from the previously known brown dwarf companion HIP 79797Ba), as well as numerous stellar binaries. Three survey papers have been published to date, covering: 1) high mass stars (Nielsen et al. 2013), 2) debris disk stars (Wahhaj et al. 2013), and 3) stars which are members of nearby young moving groups (Biller et al. 2013). In addition, the Campaign has yielded new orbital constraints for the ~8-10 MJup planet Pic ? (Nielsen et al. 2014) and a high precision measurement of the star-disk offset for the well-known disk around HR 4796A (Wahhaj et al. 2014). Here we discuss constraints placed on the distribution of wide giant exoplanets from the NICI Campaign, new substellar companion discoveries, and characterization both of exoplanets and circumstellar disks.

  14. The Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign: Planet Frequency for Young Moving Group Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biller, Beth A.; Liu, M. C.; Wahhaj, Z.; Nielsen, E. L.; Hayward, T. L.; Close, L. M.; Chun, M.; Ftaclas, C.; Toomey, D. W.; Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign Team

    2013-01-01

    We report results of a direct imaging survey for giant planets of a sample of 79 young FGK stars which are members of the ? Pic, TW Hya, AB Dor, Tucana-Horologium, or Hercules-Lyra moving groups and were observed as part of the Gemini-NICI Planet Finding Campaign. For this sample, we obtained median contrasts of ?(mag)=14.0 mag at 1'' in in combined ADI+SDI mode. We found numerous candidate companions in our survey images. The vast majority of these candidates were eliminated as background objects either from archival observations or NICI followup. However, four co-moving brown dwarf or stellar companions were discovered in the moving group sample, including PZ Tel B and CD -35 2722B. From a Bayesian analysis for a wide range of parameters and power-law models of planet distributions, we restrict the planet frequency for 1-20 M_{Jup} objects at semi-major axes from 10-150 AU to <10.5% or less at a 98% confidence level. This survey is the deepest search to date for giant planets around young Moving Group stars.

  15. 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), Ministrio da Cincia e Tecnologia (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina).

  16. 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.

  17. Speckle Camera Imaging of the Planet Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Steve B.; Horch, Elliott P.; Everett, Mark E.; Ciardi, David R.

    2012-10-01

    We have obtained optical wavelength (692 nm and 880 nm) speckle imaging of the planet Pluto and its largest moon Charon. Using our DSSI speckle camera attached to the Gemini North 8 m telescope, we collected high resolution imaging with an angular resolution of ~20 mas, a value at the Gemini-N telescope diffraction limit. We have produced for this binary system the first speckle reconstructed images, from which we can measure not only the orbital separation and position angle for Charon, but also the diameters of the two bodies. Our measurements of these parameters agree, within the uncertainties, with the current best values for Pluto and Charon. The Gemini-N speckle observations of Pluto are presented to illustrate the capabilities of our instrument and the robust production of high accuracy, high spatial resolution reconstructed images. We hope our results will suggest additional applications of high resolution speckle imaging for other objects within our solar system and beyond. 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 National Science Foundation 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), Ministrio da Cincia, Tecnologia e Inovao (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina).

  18. The Gemini NICI planet-finding campaign: The offset ring of HR 4796 A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

    We present J,H, CH4 short (1.578 ?m), CH4 long (1.652 ?m) and Ks-band images of the dust ring around the 10 Myr old star HR 4796 A obtained using the Near Infrared Coronagraphic Imager (NICI) on the Gemini-South 8.1 m Telescope. Our images clearly show for the first time the position of the star relative to its circumstellar ring thanks to NICI's translucent focal plane occulting mask. We employ a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method to constrain the offset vector between the two. The resulting probability distribution shows that the ring center is offset from the star by 16.7 1.3 milliarcseconds along a position angle of 26 3, along the PA of the ring, 26.47 0.04. We find that the size of this offset is not large enough to explain the brightness asymmetry of the ring. The ring is measured to have mostly red reflectivity across the JHKs filters, which seems to indicate micron-sized grains. Just like Neptune's 3:2 and 2:1 mean-motion resonances delineate the inner and outer edges of the classical Kuiper belt, we find that the radial extent of the HR 4796 A and the Fomalhaut rings could correspond to the 3:2 and 2:1 mean-motion resonances of hypothetical planets at 54.7 AU and 97.7 AU in the two systems, respectively. A planet orbiting HR 4796 A at 54.7 AU would have to be less massive than 1.6 MJup so as not to widen the ring too much by stirring. 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), Ministrio da Cincia e Tecnologia (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina).Tables 5 and 6 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  19. The Gemini/NICI Planet-Finding Campaign: The Frequency of Planets around Young Moving Group Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biller, Beth A.; Liu, Michael C.; Wahhaj, Zahed; Nielsen, Eric L.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Males, Jared R.; Skemer, Andrew; Close, Laird M.; Chun, Mark; Ftaclas, Christ; Clarke, Fraser; Thatte, Niranjan; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Reid, I. Neill; Hartung, Markus; Boss, Alan; Lin, Douglas; Alencar, Silvia H. P.; de Gouveia Dal Pino, Elisabete; Gregorio-Hetem, Jane; Toomey, Douglas

    2013-11-01

    We report results of a direct imaging survey for giant planets around 80 members of the β Pic, TW Hya, Tucana-Horologium, AB Dor, and Hercules-Lyra moving groups, observed as part of the Gemini/NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. For this sample, we obtained median contrasts of ΔH = 13.9 mag at 1'' in combined CH4 narrowband ADI+SDI mode and median contrasts of ΔH = 15.1 mag at 2'' in H-band ADI mode. We found numerous (>70) candidate companions in our survey images. Some of these candidates were rejected as common-proper motion companions using archival data; we reobserved with Near-Infrared Coronagraphic Imager (NICI) all other candidates that lay within 400 AU of the star and were not in dense stellar fields. The vast majority of candidate companions were confirmed as background objects from archival observations and/or dedicated NICI Campaign followup. Four co-moving companions of brown dwarf or stellar mass were discovered in this moving group sample: PZ Tel B (36 ± 6 M Jup, 16.4 ± 1.0 AU), CD-35 2722B (31 ± 8 M Jup, 67 ± 4 AU), HD 12894B (0.46 ± 0.08 M ⊙, 15.7 ± 1.0 AU), and BD+07 1919C (0.20 ± 0.03 M ⊙, 12.5 ± 1.4 AU). From a Bayesian analysis of the achieved H band ADI and ASDI contrasts, using power-law models of planet distributions and hot-start evolutionary models, we restrict the frequency of 1-20 M Jup companions at semi-major axes from 10-150 AU to <18% at a 95.4% confidence level using DUSTY models and to <6% at a 95.4% using COND models. Our results strongly constrain the frequency of planets within semi-major axes of 50 AU as well. We restrict the frequency of 1-20 M Jup companions at semi-major axes from 10-50 AU to <21% at a 95.4% confidence level using DUSTY models and to <7% at a 95.4% using COND models. This survey is the deepest search to date for giant planets around young moving group stars. 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).

  20. THE GEMINI NICI PLANET-FINDING CAMPAIGN: THE FREQUENCY OF GIANT PLANETS AROUND YOUNG B AND A STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Nielsen, Eric L.; Liu, Michael C.; Chun, Mark; Ftaclas, Christ; Wahhaj, Zahed; Biller, Beth A.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Hartung, Markus; Alencar, Silvia H. P.; Artymowicz, Pawel; Boss, Alan; Clarke, Fraser; De Gouveia Dal Pino, Elisabete; Gregorio-Hetem, Jane; Kuchner, Marc; Lin, Douglas N. C.; and others

    2013-10-10

    We have carried out high contrast imaging of 70 young, nearby B and A stars to search for brown dwarf and planetary companions as part of the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. Our survey represents the largest, deepest survey for planets around high-mass stars (≈1.5-2.5 M{sub ☉}) conducted to date and includes the planet hosts β Pic and Fomalhaut. We obtained follow-up astrometry of all candidate companions within 400 AU projected separation for stars in uncrowded fields and identified new low-mass companions to HD 1160 and HIP 79797. We have found that the previously known young brown dwarf companion to HIP 79797 is itself a tight (3 AU) binary, composed of brown dwarfs with masses 58{sup +21}{sub -20} M{sub Jup} and 55{sup +20}{sub -19} M{sub Jup}, making this system one of the rare substellar binaries in orbit around a star. Considering the contrast limits of our NICI data and the fact that we did not detect any planets, we use high-fidelity Monte Carlo simulations to show that fewer than 20% of 2 M{sub ☉} stars can have giant planets greater than 4 M{sub Jup} between 59 and 460 AU at 95% confidence, and fewer than 10% of these stars can have a planet more massive than 10 M{sub Jup} between 38 and 650 AU. Overall, we find that large-separation giant planets are not common around B and A stars: fewer than 10% of B and A stars can have an analog to the HR 8799 b (7 M{sub Jup}, 68 AU) planet at 95% confidence. We also describe a new Bayesian technique for determining the ages of field B and A stars from photometry and theoretical isochrones. Our method produces more plausible ages for high-mass stars than previous age-dating techniques, which tend to underestimate stellar ages and their uncertainties.

  1. The Gemini/NICI Planet-Finding Campaign: The Frequency of Planets around Young Moving Group Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biller, B.; Liu, M.; Wahhaj, Z.; Nielsen, E.; NICI Campaign Team

    2014-03-01

    We report results of a direct imaging survey for giant planets around 80 members of the β Pic, TW Hya, Tucana-Horologium, AB Dor, and Hercules-Lyra moving groups, observed as part of the Gemini/NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. For this sample, we obtained median contrasts of ΔH = 13.9 mag at 1'' in combined CH4 narrowband ADI+SDI mode and median contrasts of ΔH = 15.1 mag at 2'' in H-band ADI mode. Four co-moving companions of brown dwarf or stellar mass were discovered in this moving group sample: PZ Tel B (36 ± 6 MJup, 16.4 ± 1.0 AU), CDñ35 2722B (31 ± 8 M Jup, 67 ± 4 AU), HD 12894B (0.46 ± 0.08 M., 15.7 ± 1.0 AU), and BD+07 1919C (0.20 ± 0.03 M., 12.5 ± 1.4 AU). From a Bayesian analysis of the achieved H band ADI and ASDI contrasts, using power-law models of planet distributions and hot-start evolutionary models, we restrict the frequency of 1-20 MJup companions at semi-major axes from 10-150 AU to <18% at a 95.4% confidence level using DUSTY models and to <6% at a 95.4% using COND models. This survey is the deepest search to date for giant planets around young moving group stars.

  2. THE GEMINI/NICI PLANET-FINDING CAMPAIGN: THE FREQUENCY OF PLANETS AROUND YOUNG MOVING GROUP STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Biller, Beth A.; Ftaclas, Christ; Liu, Michael C.; Wahhaj, Zahed; Nielsen, Eric L.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Hartung, Markus; Chun, Mark; Clarke, Fraser; Thatte, Niranjan; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Reid, I. Neill; Boss, Alan; Lin, Douglas; Alencar, Silvia H. P.; De Gouveia Dal Pino, Elisabete; Gregorio-Hetem, Jane [Universidade de Sao Paulo, IAG and others

    2013-11-10

    We report results of a direct imaging survey for giant planets around 80 members of the ? Pic, TW Hya, Tucana-Horologium, AB Dor, and Hercules-Lyra moving groups, observed as part of the Gemini/NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. For this sample, we obtained median contrasts of ?H = 13.9 mag at 1'' in combined CH{sub 4} narrowband ADI+SDI mode and median contrasts of ?H = 15.1 mag at 2'' in H-band ADI mode. We found numerous (>70) candidate companions in our survey images. Some of these candidates were rejected as common-proper motion companions using archival data; we reobserved with Near-Infrared Coronagraphic Imager (NICI) all other candidates that lay within 400 AU of the star and were not in dense stellar fields. The vast majority of candidate companions were confirmed as background objects from archival observations and/or dedicated NICI Campaign followup. Four co-moving companions of brown dwarf or stellar mass were discovered in this moving group sample: PZ Tel B (36 6 M{sub Jup}, 16.4 1.0 AU), CD35 2722B (31 8 M{sub Jup}, 67 4 AU), HD 12894B (0.46 0.08 M{sub ?}, 15.7 1.0 AU), and BD+07 1919C (0.20 0.03 M{sub ?}, 12.5 1.4 AU). From a Bayesian analysis of the achieved H band ADI and ASDI contrasts, using power-law models of planet distributions and hot-start evolutionary models, we restrict the frequency of 1-20 M{sub Jup} companions at semi-major axes from 10-150 AU to <18% at a 95.4% confidence level using DUSTY models and to <6% at a 95.4% using COND models. Our results strongly constrain the frequency of planets within semi-major axes of 50 AU as well. We restrict the frequency of 1-20 M{sub Jup} companions at semi-major axes from 10-50 AU to <21% at a 95.4% confidence level using DUSTY models and to <7% at a 95.4% using COND models. This survey is the deepest search to date for giant planets around young moving group stars.

  3. The Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign: The Offset Ring of HR 4796 A

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

    We present J, H, CH4 short (1.578 micrometers), CH4 long (1.652 micrometers) and K(sub s)-band images of the dust ring around the 10 Myr old star HR 4796 A obtained using the Near Infrared Coronagraphic Imager (NICI) on the Gemini-South 8.1 m Telescope. Our images clearly show for the first time the position of the star relative to its circumstellar ring thanks to NICI's translucent focal plane occulting mask. We employ a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method to constrain the offset vector between the two. The resulting probability distribution shows that the ring center is offset from the star by 16.7 +/- 1.3 milliarcseconds along a position angle of 26 +/- 3deg, along the PA of the ring, 26.47 +/- 0.04deg. We find that the size of this offset is not large enough to explain the brightness asymmetry of the ring. The ring is measured to have mostly red reflectivity across the JHKs filters, which seems to indicate micron-sized grains. Just like Neptune's 3:2 and 2:1 mean-motion resonances delineate the inner and outer edges of the classical Kuiper belt, we find that the radial extent of the HR 4796 A and the Fomalhaut rings could correspond to the 3:2 and 2:1 mean-motion resonances of hypothetical planets at 54.7 AU and 97.7 AU in the two systems, respectively. A planet orbiting HR 4796 A at 54.7 AU would have to be less massive than 1.6 Jup mass so as not to widen the ring too much by stirring.

  4. Wide Giant Planets are Rare: Planet Demographics from Direct Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biller, Beth

    2015-08-01

    The previous generation of direct imaging surveys probed samples of 100-200 stars with AO-driven coronagraphic imaging and advanced techniques such as Angular Differential Imaging (ADI) (e.g. surveys such as SEEDS, IDPS, the NICI Science Campaign, among others). These surveys found that wide giant planets are comparatively rare, especially at separations > 50 AU: for instance, Biller et al. 2013 find for a sample of 78 young moving group stars that the the frequency of 1-20 M Jup companions at semi-major axes from 10-150 AU is <18% at a 95.4% confidence level using DUSTY models and <6% at a 95.4% using COND models. As next generation planet-finding cameras such as GPI at Gemini, SPHERE at VLT, project 1640, and SceXAO at Suburu come online, our understanding of wide planet populations is likely to undergo a rapid evolution, especially for planets at separations of 10-50 AU. New large-scale surveys (400-500 stars) are now underway with these new instruments, e.g. NIRSUR with SPHERE and GPIES with GPI. In this talk, I will review the previous generation of surveys and the statistical results that they have yielded. I will also discuss prospects for the new generation of ongoing surveys.

  5. The Planet Formation Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraus, S.; Buscher, D. F.; Monnier, J. D.; PFI Science, the; Technical Working Group

    2014-04-01

    Among the most fascinating and hotly-debated areas in contemporary astrophysics are the means by which planetary systems are assembled from the large rotating disks of gas and dust which attend a stellar birth. Although important work is being done both in theory and observation, a full understanding of the physics of planet formation can only be achieved by opening observational windows able to directly witness the process in action. The key requirement is then to probe planet-forming systems at the natural spatial scales over which material is being assembled. By definition, this is the so-called Hill Sphere which delineates the region of influence of a gravitating body within its surrounding environment. The Planet Formation Imager project has crystallized around this challenging goal: to deliver resolved images of Hill-Sphere-sized structures within candidate planet-hosting disks in the nearest star-forming regions. In this contribution we outline the primary science case of PFI and discuss how PFI could significantly advance our understanding of the architecture and potential habitability of planetary systems. We present radiation-hydrodynamics simulations from which we derive preliminary specifications that guide the design of the facility. Finally, we give an overview about the interferometric and non-interferometric technologies that we are investigating in order to meet the specifications.

  6. Direct imaging of multiple planets orbiting the star HR 8799

    SciTech Connect

    Marois, C; Macintosh, B; Barman, T; Zuckerman, B; Song, I; Patience, J; Lafreniere, D; Doyon, R

    2008-10-14

    Direct imaging of exoplanetary systems is a powerful technique that can reveal Jupiter-like planets in wide orbits, can enable detailed characterization of planetary atmospheres, and is a key step towards imaging Earth-like planets. Imaging detections are challenging due to the combined effect of small angular separation and large luminosity contrast between a planet and its host star. High-contrast observations with the Keck and Gemini telescopes have revealed three planets orbiting the star HR 8799, with projected separations of 24, 38, and 68 astronomical units. Multi-epoch data show counter-clockwise orbital motion for all three imaged planets. The low luminosity of the companions and the estimated age of the system imply planetary masses between 5 and 13 times that of Jupiter. This system resembles a scaled-up version of the outer portion of our Solar System.

  7. The Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign: The Orbit of the Young Exoplanet ? Pictoris b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, Eric L.; Liu, Michael C.; Wahhaj, Zahed; Biller, Beth A.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Males, Jared R.; Close, Laird M.; Morzinski, Katie M.; Skemer, Andrew J.; Kuchner, Marc J.; Rodigas, Timothy J.; Hinz, Philip M.; Chun, Mark; Ftaclas, Christ; Toomey, Douglas W.

    2014-10-01

    We present new astrometry for the young (12-21 Myr) exoplanet ? Pictoris b taken with the Gemini/NICI and Magellan/MagAO instruments between 2009 and 2012. The high dynamic range of our observations allows us to measure the relative position of ? Pic b with respect to its primary star with greater accuracy than previous observations. Based on a Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis, we find the planet has an orbital semi-major axis of 9.1+5.3-0.5 AU and orbital eccentricity <0.15 at 68% confidence (with 95% confidence intervals of 8.2-48 AU and 0.00-0.82 for semi-major axis and eccentricity, respectively, due to a long narrow degenerate tail between the two). We find that the planet has reached its maximum projected elongation, enabling higher precision determination of the orbital parameters than previously possible, and that the planet's projected separation is currently decreasing. With unsaturated data of the entire ? Pic system (primary star, planet, and disk) obtained thanks to NICI's semi-transparent focal plane mask, we are able to tightly constrain the relative orientation of the circumstellar components. We find the orbital plane of the planet lies between the inner and outer disks: the position angle (P.A.) of nodes for the planet's orbit (211.8 0.3) is 7.4? greater than the P.A. of the spine of the outer disk and 3.2? less than the warped inner disk P.A., indicating the disk is not collisionally relaxed. Finally, for the first time we are able to dynamically constrain the mass of the primary star ? Pic to 1.76+0.18-0.17 M ?.

  8. The Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign: The Orbit of the Young Exoplanet Beta Pictoris b

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nielsen, Eric L.; Liu, Michael C.; Wahhaj, Zahed; Biller, Beth A.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Males, Jared R.; Close, Laird M.; Morzinski, Katie M.; Skemer, Andrew J.; Kuchner, Marc J.; Rodigas, Timothy J.; Hinz, Philip M.; Chun, Mark; Ftaclas, Christ; Toomey, Douglas W.

    2014-01-01

    We present new astrometry for the young (12-21 Myr) exoplanet beta Pictoris b taken with the Gemini/NICI and Magellan/MagAO instruments between 2009 and 2012. The high dynamic range of our observations allows us to measure the relative position of beta Pic b with respect to its primary star with greater accuracy than previous observations. Based on a Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis, we find the planet has an orbital semi-major axis of 9.1 (+ 5.3 / - 0.5) AU and orbital eccentricity less than 0.15 at 68% confidence (with 95% confidence intervals of 8.2 - 48 AU and 0.00 - 0.82 for semi-major axis and eccentricity, respectively, due to a long narrow degenerate tail between the two). We find that the planet has reached its maximum projected elongation, enabling higher precision determination of the orbital parameters than previously possible, and that the planet's projected separation is currently decreasing. With unsaturated data of the entire beta Pic system (primary star, planet, and disk) obtained thanks to NICI's semitransparent focal plane mask, we are able to tightly constrain the relative orientation of the circumstellar components. We find the orbital plane of the planet lies between the inner and outer disks: the position angle (P.A.) of nodes for the planet's orbit (211.8 +/- 0.3 deg) is 7.4 sigma greater than the P.A. of the spine of the outer disk and 3.2 sigma less than the warped inner disk P.A., indicating the disk is not collisionally relaxed. Finally, for the first time we are able to dynamically constrain the mass of the primary star beta Pic to 1.76 (+0.18 / -0.27) solar mass.

  9. The Gemini NICI planet-finding campaign: the orbit of the young exoplanet β Pictoris b

    SciTech Connect

    Nielsen, Eric L.; Liu, Michael C.; Chun, Mark; Ftaclas, Christ; Wahhaj, Zahed; Biller, Beth A.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Kuchner, Marc J.; Rodigas, Timothy J.; Toomey, Douglas W.

    2014-10-20

    We present new astrometry for the young (12-21 Myr) exoplanet β Pictoris b taken with the Gemini/NICI and Magellan/MagAO instruments between 2009 and 2012. The high dynamic range of our observations allows us to measure the relative position of β Pic b with respect to its primary star with greater accuracy than previous observations. Based on a Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis, we find the planet has an orbital semi-major axis of 9.1{sub −0.5}{sup +5.3} AU and orbital eccentricity <0.15 at 68% confidence (with 95% confidence intervals of 8.2-48 AU and 0.00-0.82 for semi-major axis and eccentricity, respectively, due to a long narrow degenerate tail between the two). We find that the planet has reached its maximum projected elongation, enabling higher precision determination of the orbital parameters than previously possible, and that the planet's projected separation is currently decreasing. With unsaturated data of the entire β Pic system (primary star, planet, and disk) obtained thanks to NICI's semi-transparent focal plane mask, we are able to tightly constrain the relative orientation of the circumstellar components. We find the orbital plane of the planet lies between the inner and outer disks: the position angle (P.A.) of nodes for the planet's orbit (211.8 ± 0.°3) is 7.4σ greater than the P.A. of the spine of the outer disk and 3.2σ less than the warped inner disk P.A., indicating the disk is not collisionally relaxed. Finally, for the first time we are able to dynamically constrain the mass of the primary star β Pic to 1.76{sub −0.17}{sup +0.18} M {sub ☉}.

  10. The Gemini NICI Planet-finding Campaign: Discovery of a Close Substellar Companion to the Young Debris Disk Star PZ Tel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biller, Beth A.; Liu, Michael C.; Wahhaj, Zahed; Nielsen, Eric L.; Close, Laird M.; Dupuy, Trent J.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Burrows, Adam; Chun, Mark; Ftaclas, Christ; Clarke, Fraser; Hartung, Markus; Males, Jared; Reid, I. Neill; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Skemer, Andrew; Tecza, Matthias; Thatte, Niranjan; Alencar, Silvia H. P.; Artymowicz, Pawel; Boss, Alan; de Gouveia Dal Pino, Elisabete; Gregorio-Hetem, Jane; Ida, Shigeru; Kuchner, Marc J.; Lin, Douglas; Toomey, Douglas

    2010-09-01

    We report the discovery of a tight substellar companion to the young solar analog PZ Tel, a member of the ? Pic moving group observed with high-contrast adaptive optics imaging as part of the Gemini Near-Infrared Coronagraphic Imager Planet-Finding Campaign. The companion was detected at a projected separation of 16.4 1.0 AU (0farcs33 0farcs01) in 2009 April. Second-epoch observations in 2010 May demonstrate that the companion is physically associated and shows significant orbital motion. Monte Carlo modeling constrains the orbit of PZ Tel B to eccentricities >0.6. The near-IR colors of PZ Tel B indicate a spectral type of M7 2 and thus this object will be a new benchmark companion for studies of ultracool, low-gravity photospheres. Adopting an age of 12+8 -4 Myr for the system, we estimate a mass of 36 6 M Jup based on the Lyon/DUSTY evolutionary models. PZ Tel B is one of the few young substellar companions directly imaged at orbital separations similar to those of giant planets in our own solar system. Additionally, the primary star PZ Tel A shows a 70 ?m emission excess, evidence for a significant quantity of circumstellar dust that has not been disrupted by the orbital motion of the companion. 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), Ministrio da Cincia e Tecnologia (Brazil), and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina).

  11. THE GEMINI NICI PLANET-FINDING CAMPAIGN: DISCOVERY OF A MULTIPLE SYSTEM ORBITING THE YOUNG A STAR HD 1160

    SciTech Connect

    Nielsen, Eric L.; Liu, Michael C.; Wahhaj, Zahed; Bowler, Brendan; Kraus, Adam; Chun, Mark; Ftaclas, Christ; Biller, Beth A.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Tecza, Matthias; Clarke, Fraser; Close, Laird M.; Hartung, Markus; Males, Jared R.; Skemer, Andrew J.; Reid, I. Neill; Alencar, Silvia H. P.; Burrows, Adam; and others

    2012-05-01

    We report the discovery of two low-mass companions to the young A0V star HD 1160 at projected separations of 81 {+-} 5 AU (HD 1160 B) and 533 {+-} 25 AU (HD 1160 C) by the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. Very Large Telescope images of the system taken over a decade for the purpose of using HD 1160 A as a photometric calibrator confirm that both companions are physically associated. By comparing the system to members of young moving groups and open clusters with well-established ages, we estimate an age of 50{sup +50}{sub -40} Myr for HD 1160 ABC. While the UVW motion of the system does not match any known moving group, the small magnitude of the space velocity is consistent with youth. Near-IR spectroscopy shows HD 1160 C to be an M3.5 {+-} 0.5 star with an estimated mass of 0.22{sup +0.03}{sub -0.04} M{sub Sun }, while NIR photometry of HD 1160 B suggests a brown dwarf with a mass of 33{sup +12}{sub -9} M{sub Jup}. The very small mass ratio (0.014) between the A and B components of the system is rare for A star binaries, and would represent a planetary-mass companion were HD 1160 A to be slightly less massive than the Sun.

  12. Image resolutions for ERTS, SKYLAB and GEMINI/APOLLO

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Colvocoresses, Alden P.

    1972-01-01

    Early in 1972 the first Earth Resource Technology Satellite (ERTS-A) is scheduled for launch in near-polar orbit. It will carry three return-beam-vidicon (RBV) TB cameras and a multispectral scanner (MSS). In 1973 a post-Apollo manned space flight called SKYLAB will orbit the earth at an inclination of 50 to the Equator. In addition to other sensors it will carry a battery of six multispectral cameras identified as experiment S190. This paper compares the images expected from ERTS and SKYLAB with those already obtained from GEMINI/APOLLO, all in terms of the photographic criterion of resolution. Recently provided data have led to several changes in the resolution of ERTS-A forecast a year ago (Colvocoresses, 1970).

  13. Planet Imager Discovers Young Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-07-01

    A debris disk just discovered around a nearby star is the closest thing yet seen to a young version of the Kuiper belt. This disk could be a key to better understanding the interactions between debris disks and planets, as well as how our solar system evolved early on in its lifetime. Hunting for an analog The best way to understand how the Kuiper belt — home to Pluto and thousands of other remnants of early icy planet formation in our solar system — developed would be to witness a similar debris disk in an earlier stage of its life. But before now, none of the disks we've discovered have been similar to our own: the rings are typically too large, the central star too massive, or the stars exist in regions very unlike what we think our Sun's birthplace was like. A collaboration led by Thayne Currie (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan) has changed this using the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), part of a new generation of extreme adaptive-optics systems. The team discovered a debris disk of roughly the same size as the Kuiper belt orbiting the star HD 115600, located in the nearest OB association. The star is only slightly more massive than our Sun, and it lives in a star-forming region similar to the early Sun's environment. HD 115600 is different in one key way, however: it is only 15 million years old. This means that observing it gives us the perfect opportunity to observe how our solar system might have behaved when it was much younger. A promising future GPI's spatially-resolved spectroscopy, combined with measurements of the reflectivity of the disk, have led the team to suspect that the disk might be composed partly of water ice, just as the Kuiper belt is. The disk also shows evidence of having been sculpted by the motions of giant planets orbiting the central star, in much the same way as the outer planets of our solar system may have shaped the Kuiper belt. The observations of HD 115600 are some of the very first to emerge from GPI and the new generation of planet-hunting instruments. The detection of this disk provides a promising outlook on what we can expect to discover in the future with these systems. Citation: Thayne Currie et al. 2015 ApJ 807 L7 doi:10.1088/2041-8205/807/1/L7

  14. Planet Imager Discovers Young Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    A debris disk just discovered around a nearby star is the closest thing yet seen to a young version of the Kuiper belt. This disk could be a key to better understanding the interactions between debris disks and planets, as well as how our solar system evolved early on in its lifetime.Hunting for an analogThe best way to understand how the Kuiper belt home to Pluto and thousands of other remnants of early icy planet formation in our solar system developed would be to witness a similar debris disk in an earlier stage of its life. But before now, none of the disks weve discovered have been similar to our own: the rings are typically too large, the central star too massive, or the stars exist in regions very unlike what we think our Suns birthplace was like.A collaboration led by Thayne Currie (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan) has changed this using the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), part of a new generation of extreme adaptive-optics systems. The team discovered a debris disk of roughly the same size as the Kuiper belt orbiting the star HD 115600, located in the nearest OB association. The star is only slightly more massive than our Sun, and it lives in a star-forming region similar to the early Suns environment. HD 115600 is different in one key way, however: it is only 15 million years old. This means that observing it gives us the perfect opportunity to observe how our solar system might have behaved when it was much younger.A promising futureGPIs spatially-resolved spectroscopy, combined with measurements of the reflectivity of the disk, have led the team to suspect that the disk might be composed partly of water ice, just as the Kuiper belt is. The disk also shows evidence of having been sculpted by the motions of giant planets orbiting the central star, in much the same way as the outer planets of our solar system may have shaped the Kuiper belt.The observations of HD 115600 are some of the very first to emerge from GPI and the new generation of planet-hunting instruments. The detection of this disk provides a promising outlook on what we can expect to discover in the future with these systems.Citation:Thayne Currie et al.2015 ApJ 807 L7 doi:10.1088/2041-8205/807/1/L7

  15. THE GEMINI NICI PLANET-FINDING CAMPAIGN: DISCOVERY OF A CLOSE SUBSTELLAR COMPANION TO THE YOUNG DEBRIS DISK STAR PZ Tel

    SciTech Connect

    Biller, Beth A.; Liu, Michael C.; Wahhaj, Zahed; Dupuy, Trent J.; Ftaclas, Christ; Nielsen, Eric L.; Close, Laird M.; Males, Jared; Skemer, Andrew; Hayward, Thomas L.; Hartung, Markus; Chun, Mark; Clarke, Fraser; Tecza, Matthias; Thatte, Niranjan; Reid, I. Neill; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Alencar, Silvia H. P.; Artymowicz, Pawel

    2010-09-01

    We report the discovery of a tight substellar companion to the young solar analog PZ Tel, a member of the {beta} Pic moving group observed with high-contrast adaptive optics imaging as part of the Gemini Near-Infrared Coronagraphic Imager Planet-Finding Campaign. The companion was detected at a projected separation of 16.4 {+-} 1.0 AU (0.''33 {+-} 0.''01) in 2009 April. Second-epoch observations in 2010 May demonstrate that the companion is physically associated and shows significant orbital motion. Monte Carlo modeling constrains the orbit of PZ Tel B to eccentricities >0.6. The near-IR colors of PZ Tel B indicate a spectral type of M7 {+-} 2 and thus this object will be a new benchmark companion for studies of ultracool, low-gravity photospheres. Adopting an age of 12{sup +8} {sub -4} Myr for the system, we estimate a mass of 36 {+-} 6 M {sub Jup} based on the Lyon/DUSTY evolutionary models. PZ Tel B is one of the few young substellar companions directly imaged at orbital separations similar to those of giant planets in our own solar system. Additionally, the primary star PZ Tel A shows a 70 {mu}m emission excess, evidence for a significant quantity of circumstellar dust that has not been disrupted by the orbital motion of the companion.

  16. Adaptive Wavefront Calibration and Control for the Gemini Planet Imager

    SciTech Connect

    Poyneer, L A; Veran, J

    2007-02-02

    Quasi-static errors in the science leg and internal AO flexure will be corrected. Wavefront control will adapt to current atmospheric conditions through Fourier modal gain optimization, or the prediction of atmospheric layers with Kalman filtering.

  17. Infrared imaging of extrasolar planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diner, David J.; Tubbs, Eldred F.; Gaiser, Steven L.; Korechoff, Robert P.

    1991-01-01

    An optical system for direct detection, in the infrared, of planets orbiting other stars is described. The proposed system consists of a large aperture (about 16 m) space-based telescope to which is attached a specialized imaging instrument containing a set of optical signal processing elements to suppress diffracted light from the central star. Starlight suppression is accomplished using coronagraphic apodization combined with rotational shearing interferometry. The possibility of designing the large telescope aperture to be of a deployable, multiarm configuration is examined, and it is shown that there is some sacrifice in performance relative to a filled, circular aperture.

  18. Maintenance and operation of the adaptive optics module for NICI, the high-contrast coronagraphic imager of GEMINI observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartung, Markus; Hayward, Tom L.; Chun, M.; Kellerer, A.

    2010-07-01

    NICI, the high-contrast coronagraphic imager of Gemini observatory, primarily dedicated to planet hunting has been offered to the astronomical community since end of 2008. We present our experiences in operating and maintaining NICI's 85 element curvature adaptive optics (AO) system. A detailed study of NICI AO telemetry data is also most relevant to prepare the arrival of next generation instruments. We summarize the behavior of interaction matrices, control matrices and error transfer functions under different operational conditions; a detailed understanding of the system helps monitoring and optimizing performance. Furthermore, we describe tuning (membrane mirror stroke/extra focal distance) for non-optimal seeing conditions as well as for niche applications of NICI such as observing small moons and asteroids. We compare on-sky measurements to theory or simulations.

  19. 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 etal., 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Beta Pictoris planet finally imaged?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-11-01

    A team of French astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have discovered an object located very close to the star Beta Pictoris, and which apparently lies inside its disc. With a projected distance from the star of only 8 times the Earth-Sun distance, this object is most likely the giant planet suspected from the peculiar shape of the disc and the previously observed infall of comets onto the star. It would then be the first image of a planet that is as close to its host star as Saturn is to the Sun. Sharpening Up Jupiter ESO PR Photo 42a/08 Beta Pictoris as seen in infrared light The hot star Beta Pictoris is one of the best-known examples of stars surrounded by a dusty 'debris' disc. Debris discs are composed of dust resulting from collisions among larger bodies like planetary embryos or asteroids. They are a bigger version of the zodiacal dust in our Solar System. Its disc was the first to be imaged -- as early as 1984 -- and remains the best-studied system. Earlier observations showed a warp of the disc, a secondary inclined disc and infalling comets onto the star. "These are indirect, but tell-tale signs that strongly suggest the presence of a massive planet lying between 5 and 10 times the mean Earth-Sun distance from its host star," says team leader Anne-Marie Lagrange. "However, probing the very inner region of the disc, so close to the glowing star, is a most challenging task." In 2003, the French team used the NAOS-CONICA instrument (or NACO [1]), mounted on one of the 8.2 m Unit Telescopes of ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), to benefit from both the high image quality provided by the Adaptive Optics system at infrared wavelengths and the good dynamics offered by the detector, in order to study the immediate surroundings of Beta Pictoris. Recently, a member of the team re-analysed the data in a different way to seek the trace of a companion to the star. Infrared wavelengths are indeed very well suited for such searches. "For this, the real challenge is to identify and subtract as accurately as possible the bright stellar halo," explains Lagrange. "We were able to achieve this after a precise and drastic selection of the best images recorded during our observations." The strategy proved very rewarding, as the astronomers were able to discern a feeble, point-like glow well inside the star's halo. To eliminate the possibility that this was an artefact and not a real object, a battery of tests was conducted and several members of the team, using three different methods, did the analysis independently, always with the same success. Moreover, the companion was also discovered in other data sets, further strengthening the team's conclusion: the companion is real. "Our observations point to the presence of a giant planet, about 8 times as massive as Jupiter and with a projected distance from its star of about 8 times the Earth-Sun distance, which is about the distance of Saturn in our Solar System [2]," says Lagrange. "We cannot yet rule out definitively, however, that the candidate companion could be a foreground or background object," cautions co-worker Gael Chauvin. "To eliminate this very small possibility, we will need to make new observations that confirm the nature of the discovery." The team also dug into the archives of the Hubble Space Telescope but couldn't see anything, "while most possible foreground or background objects would have been detected", remarks another team member, David Ehrenreich. The fact that the candidate companion lies in the plane of the disc also strongly implies that it is bound to the star and its proto-planetary disc. "Moreover, the candidate companion has exactly the mass and distance from its host star needed to explain all the disc's properties. This is clearly another nail in the coffin of the false alarm hypothesis," adds Lagrange. When confirmed, this candidate companion will be the closest planet from its star ever imaged. In particular, it will be located well inside the orbits of

  2. The Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign: asymmetries in the HD 141569 disc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biller, Beth A.; Liu, Michael C.; Rice, Ken; Wahhaj, Zahed; Nielsen, Eric; Hayward, Thomas; Kuchner, Marc J.; Close, Laird M.; Chun, Mark; Ftaclas, Christ; Toomey, Douglas W.

    2015-07-01

    We report here the highest resolution near-IR imaging to date of the HD 141569A disc taken as part of the NICI (near infrared coronagraphic imager) Science Campaign. We recover four main features in the NICI images of the HD 141569 disc discovered in previous Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging: (1) an inner ring/spiral feature. Once deprojected, this feature does not appear circular. (2) An outer ring which is considerably brighter on the western side compared to the eastern side, but looks fairly circular in the deprojected image. (3) An additional arc-like feature between the inner and outer ring only evident on the east side. In the deprojected image, this feature appears to complete the circle of the west side inner ring and (4) an evacuated cavity from 175 au inwards. Compared to the previous HST imaging with relatively large coronagraphic inner working angles (IWA), the NICI coronagraph allows imaging down to an IWA of 0.3 arcsec. Thus, the inner edge of the inner ring/spiral feature is well resolved and we do not find any additional disc structures within 175 au. We note some additional asymmetries in this system. Specifically, while the outer ring structure looks circular in this deprojection, the inner bright ring looks rather elliptical. This suggests that a single deprojection angle is not appropriate for this system and that there may be an offset in inclination between the two ring/spiral features. We find an offset of 4 2 au between the inner ring and the star centre, potentially pointing to unseen inner companions.

  3. 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 field of young-star identification, we carried out a systematic near-infrared search for young planetary companions to {approx}200 young stars. We also carried out targeted high-sensitivity observations of selected stars surrounded by circumstellar dust rings. We developed advanced image processing techniques to allow detection of even fainter sources buried in the noisy halo of scattered starlight. Even with these techniques, around most of our targets our search was only sensitive to planets in orbits significantly wider than our solar system. With some carefully selected targets--very young dusty stars in the solar neighborhood--we reach sensitivities sufficient to see solar systems like our own. Although we discovered no unambiguous planets, we can significantly constrain the frequency of such planets in wide (>50 AU) orbits, which helps determine which models of planet formation remain plausible. Successful modeling of our observations has led us to the design of a next-generation AO system that will truly be capable of exploring solar systems resembling our own.

  4. Molecular hydrogen high resolution imaging of NGC 2346 with GSAOI/GeMS on Gemini South

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manchado, Arturo; Stanghellini, Letizia; Villaver, Eva; Garcia-Segura, Guillermo; Shaw, Richard A.; Garcia-Hernandez, Domingo Anbal

    2015-08-01

    We present high spatial resolution ($\\approx60$--90 milliarcseconds) images of the molecular hydrogen emission in the Planetary Nebula (PN) NGC~2346.The data were acquired during the System Verification of the Gemini Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System (GeMS) + Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager GSAOI).At the distance of NGC~2346, 700 pc, the physical resolution corresponds to 56 AU, which is slightly higher than an H$\\alpha$image of NGC~2346 obtained with WFPC2 onboard the \\textit{Hubble Space Telescope}.GeMS comprises multiple deformable mirrors, three natural guide stars and five sodium laser guide stars.GSAOI is a near-infrared camera used with GeMS on Gemini South.GSAOI provides diffraction limited images in the 0.9--$2.4\\mu$ range over a field of view of $85 \\times 85$ arcsec, and a plate scale of 0.02 arcseoc per pixel.With this unprecedented resolution we were able to study in detail the structure of the molecular hydrogen within the nebula for the first time.We found it to be composed of knots and filaments, which at lower resolution had appeared to be a uniform torus of material.The clumps range in size from 112 to 238 AU.We explain how the formation of the clumps and filaments in this PN is consistent with a mechanism in which a central hot bubble of nebular gas surrounding the central star has been depressurized, and the thermal pressure of the photoionized region drives the fragmentation of the swept-up shell.

  5. Polarization of Directly Imaged Young Giant Planets as a Probe of Mass, Rotation, and Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark Scott; Sengupta, Sujan

    2012-01-01

    Young, hot gas giant planets at large separations from their primaries have been directly imaged around several nearby stars. More such planets will likely be detected by ongoing and new imaging surveys with instruments such as the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). Efforts continue to model the spectra of these planets in order to constrain their masses, effective temperatures, composition, and cloud structure. One potential tool for analyzing these objects, which has received relatively less attention, is polarization. Linear polarization of gas giant exoplanets can arise from the combined influences of light scattering by atmospheric dust and a rotationally distorted shape. The oblateness of gas giant planet increases of course with rotation rate and for fixed rotation also rises with decreasing gravity. Thus young, lower mass gas giant planets with youthful inflated radii could easily have oblateness greater than that of Saturn s 10%. We find that polarizations of over 1% may easily be produced in the near-infrared in such cases. This magnitude of polarization may be measurable by GPI and other instruments. Thus if detected, polarization of a young Jupiter places constraints on the combination of its gravity, rotation rate, and degree of cloudiness. We will present results of our multiple scattering analysis coupled with a self-consistent dusty atmospheric models to demonstrate the range of polarizations that might be expected from resolved exoplanets and the range of parameter space that such observations may inform.

  6. On the road to imaging extrasolar planets: Null results, other discoveries along the way, and signposts for the future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, Eric Ludwig

    I present my experiences designing, conducting, and analyzing the results from direct imaging surveys for extrasolar giant planets. Using the young, low-mass star AB Dor C, I show that models for low-mass stars and brown dwarfs at young ages are good representations of reality. I discuss the design of the Simultaneous Differential Imaging survey, and how Monte Carlo simulations of giant planet populations allow for the design of imaging surveys, including the choice of target list, that maximizes the expected yield of extrasolar planets. With the conclusion of the SDI survey, I examine how its null result for planets sets constraints on the allowable populations of long-period exoplanets, finding that fewer than 8% of sun-like stars can have planets more massive than 4M Jup between 20 and 100 AU, at 68% confidence. When I include null results from other direct imaging surveys, these constraints are further strengthened: at 68% confidence, fewer than 20% of sun-like stars can have planets more massive than 4M Jup , at orbital semi-major axes between 8.1 and 911 AU. Even when applying the mass scaling of Johnson et al. (2007), and the "cold start" planet luminosity models of Fortney et al. (2008), the results remain consistent: giant planets are rare at large separations around sun-like stars. I explain how these constraints and planet simulations were used to design the Gemini South NICI Planet-Finding Campaign survey and target list, in order to maximize the chance of NICI detecting a planet, and so giving the campaign the greatest ability to strongly constrain populations of extrasolar giant planets, even in the case of a null result. Finally, I discuss future directions for direct imaging planet searches, and the steps needed to move from existing surveys to a truly unified distribution of extrasolar planet populations.

  7. Direct imaging of extra-solar planets

    SciTech Connect

    Olivier, S.S.; Max, V.E.; Brase, J.M.; Caffano, C.J.; Gavel, D.T.; Macintosh, B.A.

    1997-03-01

    Direct imaging of extra-solar planets may be possible with the new generation of large ground-based telescopes equipped with state- of- the-art adaptive optics (AO) systems to compensate for the blurring effect of the Earth`s atmosphere. The first of these systems is scheduled to begin operation in 1998 on the 10 in Keck II telescope. In this paper, general formulas for high-contrast imaging with AO systems are presented and used to calculate the sensitivity of the Keck AO system. The results of these calculations show that the Keck AO system should achieve the sensitivity necessary to detect giant planets around several nearby bright stars.

  8. How do Most Planets Form?Constraints on Disk Instability from Direct Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janson, Markus; Bonavita, Mariangela; Klahr, Hubert; Lafrenire, David

    2012-01-01

    Core accretion and disk instability have traditionally been regarded as the two competing possible paths of planet formation. In recent years, evidence has accumulated in favor of core accretion as the dominant mode, at least for close-in planets. However, it might be hypothesized that a significant population of wide planets formed by disk instabilities could exist at large separations, forming an invisible majority. In previous work, we addressed this issue through a direct imaging survey of B2-A0-type stars and concluded that <30% of such stars form and retain planets and brown dwarfs through disk instability, leaving core accretion as the likely dominant mechanism. In this paper, we extend this analysis to FGKM-type stars by applying a similar analysis to the Gemini Deep Planet Survey sample. The results strengthen the conclusion that substellar companions formed and retained around their parent stars by disk instabilities are rare. Specifically, we find that the frequency of such companions is <8% for FGKM-type stars under our most conservative assumptions, for an outer disk radius of 300 AU, at 99% confidence. Furthermore, we find that the frequency is always <10% at 99% confidence independently of outer disk radius, for any radius from 5 to 500 AU. We also simulate migration at a wide range of rates and find that the conclusions hold even if the companions move substantially after formation. Hence, core accretion remains the likely dominant formation mechanism for the total planet population, for every type of star from M-type through B-type. Based on archival data from the Gemini North telescope.

  9. Imaging planets about other stars with UMBRAS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Alfred B.; Schroeder, Daniel J.; Jordan, Ian; Bruhweiler, Fred; DiSanti, Mike A.; Hart, Helen M.; Hamilton, Forrest C.; Hershey, John L.; Kochte, Mark; Miskey, Cherie L.; Chen, Kwang-Ping; Rodrigue, Melodi; Johnson, Bruce; Fadali, Sami

    1999-12-01

    Direct imaging of terrestrial and Jupiter-size planets about other stars is a major goal of NASA's Origins Program and should be as well for the next generation of spaceborne telescopes. In this paper, we discuss a free-flying occulter to augment the design and imaging capability of space-based telescopes. The Umbral Mission Blocking Radiating Astronomical Sources (UMBRAS) space mission would consist of a Solar- Powered Ion-Driven Eclipsing Rover (SPIDER) and possibly one or two metrology platforms. The UMBRAS spacecraft would be semi-autonomous, with their own propulsion systems, internal power (solar cells), communications, and navigation capability. The spacecraft (the telescope, SPIDER, and any metrology platform) would define a reference frame for aligning the telescope and the SPIDER with the observed target. When stationed at distances of 1,000 to 15,000 km from a telescope, the occulter will enable an 8 m telescope to image very faint sources as close as 0.15' from the target stars. Three of the Doppler-detected planets about nearby stars are at this separation and could be directly imaged with this observing technique. It would be possible to image giant planets as close as 5 Au from parent stars at distances from the Sun as great as 30 pc. With this technique, terrestrial- size planets could be detected around nearby stars within the next decade. We briefly discuss the diffraction effects caused by the occulter and a preliminary proof-of-concept design for the UMBRAS spacecraft. Finally, we suggest types of observations other than planet finding that could be performed with UMBRAS.

  10. Near infrared imaging of the outer planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthews, K.; Soifer, B. T.

    1991-01-01

    In the last year we have continued our program of near infrared imaging of the outer planets of the solar system. Uranus is virtually invisible at 2.3 microns, showing that the methane is an effective absorber of the incident sunlight and that there is very little aerosol content in the upper atmosphere. On the other hand, Neptune shows a haze present over the entire Northern Hemisphere at 2.3 microns. This leads to the inference that there is an aerosol layer at a high altitude. We have recovered the Neptune satellite, 1989 N1, which was first discovered in Voyager images. The satellite is exceedingly faint in the near infrared, and was detectable only because the planet itself was comparatively faint at this wavelength. Observations of this satellite, coupled with the Voyager images, permit us to substantially refine the satellite's orbit, and hence carefully probe the gravitational field of Neptune.

  11. On the Road to Imaging Extrasolar Planets: Null Results, Other Discoveries Along the Way, and Signposts for the Future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, Eric; Close, L. M.

    2010-01-01

    Despite recent successes, imaging extrasolar planets continues to be extremely challenging, with most surveys for planetary mass companions to nearby stars returning null results. By carefully considering these null results from multiple surveys, we have placed statistical constraints on the populations of extrasolar giant planets around stars of a solar mass or less. We have performed a uniform analysis of the null results from a VLT NACO broadband NIR survey (Masciadri et al. 2005), the VLT and MMT Simultaneous Differential Imaging (SDI) survey (Biller et al. 2007), and the Gemini Deep Planet Survey (Lareniere et al. 2007), using both the "hot start" models of planetary flux as a function of age and mass of Burrows et al. (2003) and Baraffe et al. (2003), as well as the newer core-accretion based models of Fortney et al. (2008). Our analysis shows that for FGKM stars, a model for extrasolar giant planets with power-laws for mass and semi-major axis as given by Cumming et al. (2008) cannot, with 95% confidence, have planets beyond 65 AU. We demonstrate the importance of considering past null results when designing future surveys, by considering the Near Infrared Coronagraphic Imager (NICI) survey, currently underway at the Gemini South Telescope. By designing a target list that incorporates the lessons of previous null results, we maximize our chances of detecting extrasolar planets, while ensuring that even a null result from the NICI survey will be of great scientific interest, placing even more stringent constraints on the population of extrasolar giant planets around Sun-like stars.

  12. The Gemini Frontier Field: Multi-conjugate Adaptive Optics Ks-band imaging of selected HST Frontier Field galaxy clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sivo, Gaetano; Carrasco, Rodrigo; Schirmer, Mischa; Pessev, Peter; Winge, Claudia; Garrel, Vincent; Neichel, Benoit; Vidal, Fabrice

    2015-01-01

    We use the Gemini Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System (GeMS) and the Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager (GSAOI) at the Gemini South telescope to image three of the six Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Frontier Field targets. These observations cover the gap between the HST observations beyond 1.7 microns and the 3.6 micron provided by Spitzer. GeMS is the first multi-conjugate adaptive optics system in use at an 8meter telescope. It delivers and uniform, close to diffraction-limited near-infrared images over a 2? field of view. In this presentation we describe the release of 100'' x 100'' high resolution wide-field images obtained for the galaxy clusters MACS J0416.1-2403 and Abell 2744 in Ks-band. The angular resolution achieved is between 70 to 110 mas, twice as high as HST/WFC3, using a single natural guide star only. This is a demonstration that even for fields at high galactic latitude, where natural guide stars are scarce, current multi-conjugated adaptive optics technology at 8m-telescopes has opened a new window on the distant Universe.

  13. Herschel Imaging of Debris Disks: Resolved Planet-Bearing Disks and a Planet-Disk Correlation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryden, Geoffrey

    2015-12-01

    We will present Herschel images from a far-IR survey of known planet-bearing systems. Among the systems with detectable debris disks, 15 such disks are spatially resolved, with radii of ~100 AU. Although this orbiting material is well separated from any radial-velocity-discovered planets in the same system, we nevertheless find a strong correlation between inner planets and outer disks, with disks around planet-bearing stars tending to be much brighter than those not known to have planets.

  14. Characterization and monitoring of Flamingos-II, a near-IR imager and spectrograph at Gemini South

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krogsrud, David; Diaz, Ruben; Ferrero, Gabriel; Mora, Marcelo; Navarete, Felipe; Schirmer, Mischa

    2015-01-01

    We present results of the characterization and continual monitoring of the Flamingos-II instrument. Currently installed at Gemini South Observatory, Flamingos-II is a near-IR imager and longslit/multi-object spectrograph. In addition to the characterization of the detector, methodologies and results of the Science Verification pipeline, Telluric corrections, and Multi-Object Spectrograph (MOS) mask design software are presented.

  15. OCTOCAM: a fast multi-channel imager and spectrograph for the Gemini telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Ugarte Postigo, Antonio

    2015-08-01

    OCTOCAM has been proposed as a future instrument for Gemini and is currently going through a feasibility study phase. Its a multi-channel instrument based on the use of high-efficiency dichroics to divide the light into eight optical and near-infrared arms. In its imaging mode it has a field of view of 3x3 that is simultaneously observed in eight bands. It is also designed to obtain spectroscopy from 370 to 2,400 nm in a single shot, with a spectral resolution of ~3,000. OCTOCAM will be capable of obtaining full-Stokes spectropolarimetry to study geometry and magnetic fields of astrophysical phenomena. It will be equipped with a mini-IFU (Integral Field Unit) to perform resolved spectroscopic studies in an area of a few arcseconds. Furthermore, thanks to the use of state of the art detectors, it will be able to reach high readout speeds, allowing science cases aimed at high time-resolution. We expect full frame rate reaching speeds of tens of Hertz, which will be even higher for windowed modes. This will also mean that OCTOCAM will virtually eliminate dead times in most observing modes, allowing duty cycles of roughly 100%. In this way, OCTOCAM will cover a region of the (spectral-resolution)-(spectral-coverage)-(temporal-resolution) diagram that is not occupied by any other single instrument in the world.

  16. Direct Imaging and Distant Planets: A Path Towards a Full View of Planet Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LAGRANGE, Anne-Marie

    2015-12-01

    ost of exo-planets have been found so far by indirect techniques, at separations typically less than 5 AU. Direct imaging offers the possibility to detect and study longer period planets. The few planets found so far, all giants, bring new challenges to the theories of planet formation and evolution. I will review the challenges associated to direct imaging, and the results obtained until today on these distant planets. I will stress on the opportunities offered by the new, extreme AO-fed, high contrasts imagers such as SPHERE and GPI and show the first results obtained with these instruments.I will also show how coupling imaging and indirect techniques can now help, for the first time, to investigate the population of giant planets, from a fraction up to hundreds of AU of some stars, giving the opportunity to estimate more accurately the frequency of giant planets around stars.I will finally propose a reasonable, longer term roadmap towards telluric planet imaging with the ELTs.

  17. HOW DO MOST PLANETS FORM?-CONSTRAINTS ON DISK INSTABILITY FROM DIRECT IMAGING

    SciTech Connect

    Janson, Markus; Bonavita, Mariangela; Klahr, Hubert; Lafreniere, David

    2012-01-20

    Core accretion and disk instability have traditionally been regarded as the two competing possible paths of planet formation. In recent years, evidence has accumulated in favor of core accretion as the dominant mode, at least for close-in planets. However, it might be hypothesized that a significant population of wide planets formed by disk instabilities could exist at large separations, forming an invisible majority. In previous work, we addressed this issue through a direct imaging survey of B2-A0-type stars and concluded that <30% of such stars form and retain planets and brown dwarfs through disk instability, leaving core accretion as the likely dominant mechanism. In this paper, we extend this analysis to FGKM-type stars by applying a similar analysis to the Gemini Deep Planet Survey sample. The results strengthen the conclusion that substellar companions formed and retained around their parent stars by disk instabilities are rare. Specifically, we find that the frequency of such companions is <8% for FGKM-type stars under our most conservative assumptions, for an outer disk radius of 300 AU, at 99% confidence. Furthermore, we find that the frequency is always <10% at 99% confidence independently of outer disk radius, for any radius from 5 to 500 AU. We also simulate migration at a wide range of rates and find that the conclusions hold even if the companions move substantially after formation. Hence, core accretion remains the likely dominant formation mechanism for the total planet population, for every type of star from M-type through B-type.

  18. South polar clouds on Titan imaged with adaptive optics on the Gemini and Keck telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roe, H. G.; de Pater, I.; Macintosh, B. A.; McKay, C. P.

    2002-09-01

    We report high spatial resolution narrowband imaging of Titan taken in December 2001 with adaptive optics on the Gemini North 8-meter and W.M. Keck II 10-meter telescopes. The narrowband filters were chosen to selectively probe Titan's surface, troposphere, and stratosphere. The data we present have been processed minimally using only standard near-infrared reduction techniques (sky subtraction, flat-fielding, and bad-pixel masking). Images in the tropospheric-probing filters show a general brightening south of ~50° S as well as discrete cloud features at far southern latitudes varying on the time scales of hours to days. In particular, over the period 18-21 December 2001 UT we observed the evolution of several features, including three discrete southern features (61° S, 76° S, and 85° S) that vary in intensity over just 3 hours on 21 December 2001 UT. In our tropospheric probing filter the flux from the discrete cloud features represents 0.1-1.% of Titan's total flux and the derived area for each cloud is in the range of 104}-10{5 km2, referenced to Titan's surface, making these cloud features apparently similar to those reported by Griffith (2000). Although Titan's global weather pattern almost certainly evolves on the timescale of years, our observations strongly suggest that the cloud features reported by Griffith et al.\\ (1998) and (2000) were in the southern polar region. We expect the current weather pattern to persist long enough that the Cassini mission should focus its initial Titan cloud observation plans on the southern polar region; due to the changing seasons on Titan, Cassini should look for clouds in the northern polar region later in its nominal mission. HGR was funded by a NASA Ames Research Center GSRP fellowship.

  19. Gemini Surfactants.

    PubMed

    Menger; Keiper

    2000-06-01

    How easy it is to dismiss the humdrum surfactant! After all, its structure is unglamorous by present-day norms. And the surfactant has been entrenched in so many areas of commerce for so many decades that its chemistry might seem old and tired. The purpose of this review is to persuade the reader otherwise, all the while focusing on a remarkable new surfactant, the gemini. Geminis, the common name for "bis-surfactants", can self-assemble at concentrations almost a hundredfold lower than for corresponding conventional surfactants. Surface activity can be improved a thousandfold. Geminis have already shown promise in skin care, antibacterial regimens, construction of high-porosity materials, analytical separations, and solubilization processes. Scores of patents dealing with geminis have appeared in the last few years. Indeed, geminis might well turn out, in the opinion of some, to be more useful to "l'homme de la rue" than crown ethers or fullerenes. This review delves into such topics as synthesis, critical micellization concentration, aggregate size and shape, gels, vesicles, and films. The information comes from scientists all over the world; one might say that gemini research is bathed in a continuous sunlight or summer. No prior knowledge of colloid chemistry is presupposed in this article. PMID:10940980

  20. The Gemini NICI Planet-finding Campaign: Discovery of a Substellar L Dwarf Companion to the Nearby Young M Dwarf CD-35 2722

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wahhaj, Zahed; Liu, Michael C.; Biller, Beth A.; Clarke, Fraser; Nielsen, Eric L.; Close, Laird M.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Mamajek, Eric E.; Cushing, Michael; Dupuy, Trent; Tecza, Matthias; Thatte, Niranjan; Chun, Mark; Ftaclas, Christ; Hartung, Markus; Reid, I. Neill; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Alencar, Silvia H. P.; Artymowicz, Pawel; Boss, Alan; de Gouveia Dal Pino, Elisabethe; Gregorio-Hetem, Jane; Ida, Shigeru; Kuchner, Marc; Lin, Douglas N. C.; Toomey, Douglas W.

    2011-03-01

    We present the discovery of a wide (67 AU) substellar companion to the nearby (21 pc) young solar-metallicity M1 dwarf CD-35 2722, a member of the ?100 Myr AB Doradus association. Two epochs of astrometry from the NICI Planet-Finding Campaign confirm that CD-35 2722 B is physically associated with the primary star. Near-IR spectra indicate a spectral type of L41 with a moderately low surface gravity, making it one of the coolest young companions found to date. The absorption lines and near-IR continuum shape of CD-35 2722 B agree especially well the dusty field L4.5 dwarf 2MASS J22244381-0158521, while the near-IR colors and absolute magnitudes match those of the 5 Myr old L4 planetary-mass companion, 1RXS J160929.1-210524 b. Overall, CD-35 2722 B appears to be an intermediate-age benchmark for L dwarfs, with a less peaked H-band continuum than the youngest objects and near-IR absorption lines comparable to field objects. We fit Ames-Dusty model atmospheres to the near-IR spectra and find T eff= 1700-1900 K and log(g)= 4.5 0.5. The spectra also show that the radial velocities of components A and B agree to within 10 km s-1, further confirming their physical association. Using the age and bolometric luminosity of CD-35 2722 B, we derive a mass of 31 8 M Jup from the Lyon/Dusty evolutionary models. Altogether, young late-M to mid-L type companions appear to be overluminous for their near-IR spectral type compared with field objects, in contrast to the underluminosity of young late-L and early-T dwarfs. 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), Ministrio da Cincia e Tecnologia (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina).

  1. Images of a fourth planet orbiting HR 8799.

    PubMed

    Marois, Christian; Zuckerman, B; Konopacky, Quinn M; Macintosh, Bruce; Barman, Travis

    2010-12-23

    High-contrast near-infrared imaging of the nearby star HR 8799 has shown three giant planets. Such images were possible because of the wide orbits (>25?astronomical units, where 1?au is the Earth-Sun distance) and youth (<100?Myr) of the imaged planets, which are still hot and bright as they radiate away gravitational energy acquired during their formation. An important area of contention in the exoplanet community is whether outer planets (>10?au) more massive than Jupiter form by way of one-step gravitational instabilities or, rather, through a two-step process involving accretion of a core followed by accumulation of a massive outer envelope composed primarily of hydrogen and helium. Here we report the presence of a fourth planet, interior to and of about the same mass as the other three. The system, with this additional planet, represents a challenge for current planet formation models as none of them can explain the in situ formation of all four planets. With its four young giant planets and known cold/warm debris belts, the HR 8799 planetary system is a unique laboratory in which to study the formation and evolution of giant planets at wide (>10?au) separations. PMID:21150902

  2. Planet signatures in collisionally active debris discs: scattered light images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thebault, P.; Kral, Q.; Ertel, S.

    2012-11-01

    Context. Planet perturbations have been often invoked as a potential explanation for many spatial structures that have been imaged in debris discs. So far this issue has been mostly investigated with pure N-body numerical models, which neglect the crucial effect collisions within the disc can have on the disc's response to dynamical perturbations. Aims: We numerically investigate how the coupled effect of collisions and radiation pressure can affect the formation and survival of radial and azimutal structures in a disc perturbed by a planet. We consider two different set-ups: a planet embedded within an extended disc and a planet exterior to an inner debris ring. One important issue we want to address is under which conditions a planet's signature can be observable in a collisionally active disc. Methods: We use our DyCoSS code, which is designed to investigate the structure of perturbed debris discs at dynamical and collisional steady-state, and derive synthetic images of the system in scattered light. The planet's mass and orbit, as well as the disc's collisional activity (parameterized by its average vertical optical depth ?0) are explored as free parameters. Results: We find that collisions always significantly damp planet-induced spatial structures. For the case of an embedded planet, the planet's signature, mostly a density gap around its radial position, should remain detectable in head-on images if Mplanet ? MSaturn. If the system is seen edge-on, however, inferring the presence of the planet is much more difficult, as only weak asymmetries remain in a collisionally active disc, although some planet-induced signatures might be observable under very favourable conditions. For the case of an inner ring and an external planet, planetary perturbations cannot prevent collision-produced small fragments from populating the regions beyond the ring. The radial luminosity profile exterior to the ring is in most cases close to the one it should have in the absence of the external planet. The most significant signature left by a Jovian planet on a circular orbit are precessing azimutal structures that can be used to indirectly infer its presence. For a planet on an eccentric orbit, we show that the ring becomes elliptic and that the well known pericentre glow effect is visible despite of collisions and radiation pressure, but that detecting such features in observed discs is not an unambiguous indicator of the presence of an outer planet. Movies are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  3. A UNIFORM ANALYSIS OF 118 STARS WITH HIGH-CONTRAST IMAGING: LONG-PERIOD EXTRASOLAR GIANT PLANETS ARE RARE AROUND SUN-LIKE STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Nielsen, Eric L.; Close, Laird M.

    2010-07-10

    We expand on the results of Nielsen et al., using the null result for giant extrasolar planets around the 118 target stars from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) NACO H- and Ks-band planet search (conducted by Masciadri and collaborators in 2003 and 2004), the VLT and MMT Simultaneous Differential Imager survey, and the Gemini Deep Planet Survey to set constraints on the population of giant extrasolar planets. Our analysis is extended to include the planet luminosity models of Fortney et al., as well as the correlation between stellar mass and frequency of giant planets found by Johnson et al. Doubling the sample size of FGKM stars strengthens our conclusions: a model for extrasolar giant planets with power laws for mass and semimajor axis as given by Cumming et al. cannot, with 95% confidence, have planets beyond 65 AU, compared to the value of 94 AU reported by Nielsen et al., using the models of Baraffe et al. When the Johnson et al. correction for stellar mass (which gives fewer Jupiter-mass companions to M stars with respect to solar-type stars) is applied, however, this limit moves out to 82 AU. For the relatively new Fortney et al. models, which predict fainter planets across most of parameter space, these upper limits, with and without a correction for stellar mass, are 182 and 234 AU, respectively.

  4. A Uniform Analysis of 118 Stars with High-contrast Imaging: Long-period Extrasolar Giant Planets are Rare Around Sun-like Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, Eric L.; Close, Laird M.

    2010-07-01

    We expand on the results of Nielsen et al., using the null result for giant extrasolar planets around the 118 target stars from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) NACO H- and Ks-band planet search (conducted by Masciadri and collaborators in 2003 and 2004), the VLT and MMT Simultaneous Differential Imager survey, and the Gemini Deep Planet Survey to set constraints on the population of giant extrasolar planets. Our analysis is extended to include the planet luminosity models of Fortney et al., as well as the correlation between stellar mass and frequency of giant planets found by Johnson et al. Doubling the sample size of FGKM stars strengthens our conclusions: a model for extrasolar giant planets with power laws for mass and semimajor axis as given by Cumming et al. cannot, with 95% confidence, have planets beyond 65 AU, compared to the value of 94 AU reported by Nielsen et al., using the models of Baraffe et al. When the Johnson et al. correction for stellar mass (which gives fewer Jupiter-mass companions to M stars with respect to solar-type stars) is applied, however, this limit moves out to 82 AU. For the relatively new Fortney et al. models, which predict fainter planets across most of parameter space, these upper limits, with and without a correction for stellar mass, are 182 and 234 AU, respectively.

  5. A Uniform Analysis of 118 Stars with High-contrast Imaging: Long-period Extrasolar Giant Planets are Rare Around Sun-like Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, E. L.; Close, L. M.; Liu, M.; Biller, B. A., Wahhaj, Z.

    2010-10-01

    Despite recent successes, imaging extrasolar planets continues to be extremely challenging, with most surveys for planetary mass companions to nearby stars returning null results. By carefully considering these null results from multiple surveys, we have placed statistical constraints on the populations of extrasolar giant planets around stars of a solar mass or less. We have performed a uniform analysis of the null results from a VLT NACO broadband NIR survey (Masciadri et al. 2005), the VLT and MMT Simultaneous Differential Imaging (SDI) survey (Biller et al. 2007), and the Gemini Deep Planet Survey (Lafreniere et al. 2007), using both the "hot start" models of planetary flux as a function of age and mass of Burrows et al. (2003) and Baraffe et al. (2003), as well as the newer core-accretion based models of Fortney et al. (2008). Our analysis shows that for FGKM stars, a model for extrasolar giant planets with power-laws for mass and semi-major axis as given by Cumming et al. (2008) cannot, with 95% confidence, have planets beyond 65 AU. We demonstrate the importance of considering past null results when designing future surveys, by considering the Near Infrared Coronagraphic Imager (NICI) survey, currently underway at the Gemini South Telescope. By designing a target list that incorporates the lessons of previous null results, we maximize our chances of detecting extrasolar planets, while ensuring that even a null result from the NICI survey will be of great scientific interest, placing even more stringent constraints on the population of extrasolar giant planets around Sun-like stars.

  6. Project Gemini online digital archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-01-01

    An archive containing the first high-resolution digital scans of the original flight films from Project Gemini, the second U.S. human spaceflight program, was unveiled by the NASA Johnson Space Center and Arizona State University's (ASU) School of Earth and Space Exploration on 6 January. The archive includes images from 10 flights. Project Gemini, which ran from 1964 to 1966, followed Project Mercury and preceded the Apollo spacecraft. Mercury and Apollo imagery are also available through ASU. For more information, see http://tothemoon.ser.asu.edu/gallery/gemini and http://apollo.sese.asu.edu/index.html.

  7. ALMA images of discs: are all gaps carved by planets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez, J.-F.; Laibe, G.; Maddison, S. T.; Pinte, C.; Mnard, F.

    2015-11-01

    Protoplanetary discs are now routinely observed and exoplanets, after the numerous indirect discoveries, are starting to be directly imaged. To better understand the planet formation process, the next step is the detection of forming planets or of signposts of young planets still in their disc, such as gaps. A spectacular example is the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) science verification image of HL Tau showing numerous gaps and rings in its disc. To study the observability of planet gaps, we ran 3D hydrodynamical simulations of a gas and dust disc containing a 5 MJ gap-opening planet and characterized the spatial distribution of migrating, growing and fragmenting dust grains. We then computed the corresponding synthetic images for ALMA. For a value of the dust fragmentation threshold of 15 m s-1 for the collisional velocity, we identify for the first time a self-induced dust pile-up in simulations taking fragmentation into account. This feature, in addition to the easily detected planet gap, causes a second apparent gap that could be mistaken for the signature of a second planet. It is therefore essential to be cautious in the interpretation of gap detections.

  8. Exozodiacal Dust and Direct Imaging of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuchner, Marc

    2008-01-01

    Direct imaging of extrasolar planets means contending with dust from extrasolar asteroids and comets. This 'exozodiacal dust' creates a structured background light that can easily outshine the light from an exoEarth and confuse a planet-search mission like TPF or TOPS. But exozodiacal dust can be both friend and foe: planets can stir dust clouds into patterns that reveal the presence of the planet and constrain its mass and orbit. I'll describe some recent research on this topic: 3-D dynamical models of dust clouds with planets and searches for exozodiacal dust with the Keck Interferometer. The author also offers a prediction for the typical zodiacal dust background found around solar analogs, based on seafloor sediment data.

  9. Gemini/GMOS imaging of globular cluster systems in five early-type galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faifer, Favio R.; Forte, Juan C.; Norris, Mark A.; Bridges, Terry; Forbes, Duncan A.; Zepf, Stephen E.; Beasley, Mike; Gebhardt, Karl; Hanes, David A.; Sharples, Ray M.

    2011-09-01

    In this paper, we present deep high-quality photometry of globular cluster systems (GCSs) belonging to five early-type galaxies, covering a range of mass and environment. Photometric data were obtained with the Gemini North and Gemini South telescopes in the filter passbands g', r' and i'. The combination of these filters with good seeing conditions allows an excellent separation between globular cluster (GC) candidates and unresolved field objects. In fact, our previously published spectroscopic data indicate a contamination level of only 10 per cent in our sample of GC candidates. Bimodal GC colour distributions are found in all five galaxies. Most of the GCSs appear bimodal even in the (g'-r') versus (r'-i') plane. A population of resolved/marginally resolved GC and ultracompact dwarf candidates was found in all the galaxies. A search for the so-called 'blue tilt' in the colour-magnitude diagrams reveals that NGC 4649 clearly shows this phenomenon, although no conclusive evidence was found for the other galaxies in the sample. This 'blue tilt' translates into a mass-metallicity relation given by Z?M0.28 0.03. This dependence was found using a new empirical (g'-i') versus [Z/H] relation, which relies on an homogeneous sample of GC colours and metallicities. In this paper, we also explore the radial trends in both colour and surface density for the blue (metal-poor) and red (metal-rich) GC subpopulations. As usual, the red GCs show a steeper radial distribution than the blue GCs. Evidence of galactocentric colour gradients is found in some of the GCSs, which is more significant for the two S0 galaxies in the sample. Red GC subpopulations show similar colours and gradients to the galaxy halo stars in their inner region. A GC mean colour-galaxy luminosity relation, consistent with [Z/H]?L0.26 0.08B, is present for the red GCs. Estimates of the total GC populations and specific frequency SN values are presented for NGC 3115, 3923 and 4649. 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 National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the NSF (United States), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (United Kingdom), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministrio da Cincia e Tecnologia (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina).

  10. A Uniform Analysis of 118 Sun-like Stars with High-Contrast Adaptive Optics Imaging: Long Period Giant Planets are Rare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, Eric; Close, L. M.

    2009-05-01

    We expand on the results of Nielsen et al. 2008, using the null result for giant extrasolar planets around the 118 target stars from the VLT NACO H and Ks planet search (Masciadri et al. 2005), the VLT and MMT Simultaneous Differential Imaging (SDI) survey (Biller et al. 2007), and the Gemini Deep Planet Survey (Lafrieniere et al. 2007) to set constraints on the population of giant exoplanets. Our analysis is extended to include the planet luminosity models of Fortney et al. 2008, as well as the correlation between stellar mass and frequency of giant planets found by Johnson et al. 2007. Doubling the sample size strengthens our conclusions: a model for extrasolar giant planets with power-laws for mass and semi-major axis as giving by Cumming et al. 2008 cannot, with 95% confidence, have planets beyond 47 AU, compared to the value of 75 AU reported in Nielsen et al. 2008, using the models of Burrows et al. 2003. When the Johnson et al. 2007 correction for stellar mass (which gives fewer Jupiter-mass companions to M stars with respect to solar-type stars) is applied, however, this limit moves out to 65 AU. For the relatively new Fortney et al. 2008 models, which predict fainter planets across most of parameter space, these upper limits, with and without a correction for stellar mass, are 100 and 124 AU, respectively.

  11. Planet Diversity Yields with Space-based Direct Imaging Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Hbrard, Eric; Stark, Chris; Robinson, Tyler D.; Roberge, Aki; Mandell, Avi; McElwain, Michael W.; Clampin, Mark; Meadows, Victoria; Arney, Giada; Advanced Technology Large Aperture Space Telescope Science Team, Exoplanet Climate Group

    2016-01-01

    In this presentation, we will estimate the yield for a diversity of planets from future space-based flagship telescopes. We first divvy up planets into categories that are based on current observables, and that should impact the spectra we hope to observe in the future. The two main classification parameters we use here are the size of a planet and the energy flux into the planet's atmosphere. These two parameters are measureable or inferable from present-day observations, and should have a strong influence on future spectroscopy observations from JWST, WFIRST (with a coronagraph and/or starshade), and concept flagship missions that would fly some time after WFIRST. This allows us to calculate "?planet" values for each kind of planet. These ? values then allow calculations of the expected yields from direct imaging missions, by leveraging the models and prior work by Stark and colleagues (2014, 2015). That work estimated the yields for potentially Earth-like worlds (i.e. of a size and stellar irradiation consistent with definitions of the habitable zone) for telescopes with a variety of observational parameters. We will do the same thing here, but for a wider variety of planets. This will allow us to discuss the implications of architecture and instrument properties on the diversity of worlds that future direct imaging missions would observe.

  12. Deep Thermal Infrared Imaging of HR 8799 bcde: New Atmospheric Constraints and Limits on a Fifth Planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Currie, Thayne; Burrows, Adam; Girard, Julien H.; Cloutier, Ryan; Fukagawa, Misato; Sorahana, Satoko; Kuchner, Marc; Kenyon, Scott J.; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Itoh, Yoichi; Jayawardhana, Ray; Matsumura, Soko; Pyo, Tae-Soo

    2014-01-01

    We present new L' (3.8 micrometer) and Br alpha (4.05 micrometer) data and reprocessed archival L' data for the young, planet-hosting star HR 8799 obtained with Keck/NIRC2, VLT/NaCo, and Subaru/IRCS. We detect all four HR 8799 planets in each data set at a moderate to high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N approximately greater than 6-15).We fail to identify a fifth planet, "HR 8799 f," at r less than 15AU at a 5 sigma confidence level: one suggestive, marginally significant residual at 0".2 is most likely a pointspread function artifact. Assuming companion ages of 30 Myr and the Baraffe planet cooling models, we rule out an HR 8799 f with a mass of 5 M(sub J) (7 MJ ), 7 M(sub J) (10 M(sub J)), or 12 M(sub J) (13 M(sub J)) at r(sub proj) approximately 12AU, 9AU, and 5AU, respectively. All four HR 8799 planets have red early T dwarf-like L'- [4.05] colors, suggesting that their spectral energy distributions peak in between the L' and M' broadband filters.We find no statistically significant difference in HR 8799 cde's color. Atmosphere models assuming thick, patchy clouds appear to better match HR 8799 bcde's photometry than models assuming a uniform cloud layer. While non-equilibrium carbon chemistry is required to explain HR 8799 b and c's photometry/spectra, evidence for it from HR 8799 d and e's photometry is weaker. Future, deep-IR spectroscopy/spectrophotometry with the Gemini Planet Imager, SCExAO/CHARIS, and other facilities may clarify whether the planets are chemically similar or heterogeneous.

  13. Deep thermal infrared imaging of HR 8799 bcde: new atmospheric constraints and limits on a fifth planet

    SciTech Connect

    Currie, Thayne; Cloutier, Ryan; Jayawardhana, Ray; Burrows, Adam; Girard, Julien H.; Fukagawa, Misato; Sorahana, Satoko; Kuchner, Marc; Kenyon, Scott J.; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Itoh, Yoichi; Matsumura, Soko; Pyo, Tae-Soo

    2014-11-10

    We present new L' (3.8 μm) and Brα (4.05 μm) data and reprocessed archival L' data for the young, planet-hosting star HR 8799 obtained with Keck/NIRC2, VLT/NaCo, and Subaru/IRCS. We detect all four HR 8799 planets in each data set at a moderate to high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N ≳ 6-15). We fail to identify a fifth planet, 'HR 8799 f', at r < 15 AU at a 5σ confidence level: one suggestive, marginally significant residual at 0.''2 is most likely a point-spread function artifact. Assuming companion ages of 30 Myr and the Baraffe planet cooling models, we rule out an HR 8799 f with a mass of 5 M{sub J} (7 M{sub J} ), 7 M{sub J} (10 M{sub J} ), or 12 M{sub J} (13 M{sub J} ) at r {sub proj} ∼ 12 AU, 9 AU, and 5 AU, respectively. All four HR 8799 planets have red early T dwarf-like L' – [4.05] colors, suggesting that their spectral energy distributions peak in between the L' and M' broadband filters. We find no statistically significant difference in HR 8799 cde's color. Atmosphere models assuming thick, patchy clouds appear to better match HR 8799 bcde's photometry than models assuming a uniform cloud layer. While non-equilibrium carbon chemistry is required to explain HR 8799 b and c's photometry/spectra, evidence for it from HR 8799 d and e's photometry is weaker. Future, deep-IR spectroscopy/spectrophotometry with the Gemini Planet Imager, SCExAO/CHARIS, and other facilities may clarify whether the planets are chemically similar or heterogeneous.

  14. Planet formation imager (PFI): introduction and technical considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monnier, John D.; Kraus, Stefan; Buscher, David; Berger, J.-P.; Haniff, Christopher; Ireland, Michael; Labadie, Lucas; Lacour, Sylvestre; Le Coroller, Herve; Petrov, Romain G.; Pott, Jorg-Uwe; Ridgway, Stephen; Surdej, Jean; ten Brummelaar, Theo; Tuthill, Peter; van Belle, Gerard

    2014-07-01

    Complex non-linear and dynamic processes lie at the heart of the planet formation process. Through numerical simulation and basic observational constraints, the basics of planet formation are now coming into focus. High resolution imaging at a range of wavelengths will give us a glimpse into the past of our own solar system and enable a robust theoretical framework for predicting planetary system architectures around a range of stars surrounded by disks with a diversity of initial conditions. Only long-baseline interferometry can provide the needed angular resolution and wavelength coverage to reach these goals and from here we launch our planning efforts. The aim of the Planet Formation Imager" (PFI) project is to develop the roadmap for the construction of a new near-/mid-infrared interferometric facility that will be optimized to unmask all the major stages of planet formation, from initial dust coagulation, gap formation, evolution of transition disks, mass accretion onto planetary embryos, and eventual disk dispersal. PFI will be able to detect the emission of the cooling, newlyformed planets themselves over the first 100 Myrs, opening up both spectral investigations and also providing a vibrant look into the early dynamical histories of planetary architectures. Here we introduce the Planet Formation Imager (PFI) Project (www.planetformationimager.org) and give initial thoughts on possible facility architectures and technical advances that will be needed to meet the challenging top-level science requirements.

  15. Direct imaging and spectroscopic characterization of habitable planets with ELTs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guyon, Olivier; Jovanovic, Nemanja; Lozi, Julien

    2015-12-01

    While the ~1e10 reflected light contrast between Earth-like planets and Sun-like stars is extremely challenging to overcome for ground-based telescopes, habitable planets around lower-mass stars can be "only" a 10 million times fainter than their host stars. Thanks to the small angular resolution offered by upcoming extremely large telescopes (ELTs) and recent advances in wavefront control and coronagraphic techniques, direct imaging and spectroscopic characterization of habitable planets will be possible around nearby M-type stars. Deep (~1e-8) contrast can be achieved by combining (1) sensitive fast visible light wavefront sensing (extreme-AO) with (2) kHz speckle control in the near-IR and (3) high efficiency coronagraphy. Spectroscopy will measure abundances of water, oxygen and methane, measure the planet rotation period, orbit, and identify main surface features through time-domain spectrophotometry.The Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme AO (SCExAO) system is a technology precursor to such a habitable planet imager for ELTs, and is currently under active development. By combining small inner working angle coronagraphy, visible-WFS based extreme-AO and fast speckle control, it will include the key elements of a future ELT system able to image and characterize habitable planets. We describe a technical plan to evolve SCExAO into a habitable planet imager for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), which is aimed at providing such scientific capability during the 2020 decade, and inform the design, deployment and scientific operation of a more capable Extreme-AO instrument.

  16. Spectral differential imaging detection of planets about nearby stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, W. Hayden

    1987-01-01

    Direct ground-based optical imaging of planets in orbit about nearby stars may be accomplished by spectral differential imaging using multiple passband acoustooptic filters with a CCD. This technique provides two essential results. First, it provides a means to modulate the stellar flux reflected from a planet while leaving the flux from the star and other sources in the same field of view unmodulated. Second, spectral differential imaging enables the CCD detector to achieve a sufficiently high dynamic range to locate planets near a star in spite of an integrated brightness differential of 5 x 10 to the 8th. Spectral differential imaging at nearby diffraction limited imaging conditions with telescope apodization can reduce the time to conduct a sensitive planetary search to a few hours in some cases. The feasibility of this idea is discussed here and shown to provide, in principle, the discrimination and sensitivity to detect a Jovian-class planet about stars at distances of about 10 parsecs. The detection of brown dwarfs is shown to be feasible as well.

  17. Gemini Space Program emblem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    The insignia of the Gemini space program is a disc of dark blue as a background for a gold Zodiac Gemini symbol. A white star on each of the two vertical curves of the Gemini symbol represent the Gemini twins, Pollux and Castor.

  18. The science case for the Planet Formation Imager (PFI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraus, Stefan; Monnier, John; Harries, Tim; Dong, Ruobing; Bate, Matthew; Whitney, Barbara; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Buscher, David; Berger, Jean-Philippe; Haniff, Chris; Ireland, Mike; Labadie, Lucas; Lacour, Sylvestre; Petrov, Romain; Ridgway, Steve; Surdej, Jean; ten Brummelaar, Theo; Tuthill, Peter; van Belle, Gerard

    2014-07-01

    Among the most fascinating and hotly-debated areas in contemporary astrophysics are the means by which planetary systems are assembled from the large rotating disks of gas and dust which attend a stellar birth. Although important work has already been, and is still being done both in theory and observation, a full understanding of the physics of planet formation can only be achieved by opening observational windows able to directly witness the process in action. The key requirement is then to probe planet-forming systems at the natural spatial scales over which material is being assembled. By definition, this is the so-called Hill Sphere which delineates the region of influence of a gravitating body within its surrounding environment. The Planet Formation Imager project (PFI; http://www.planetformationimager.org) has crystallized around this challenging goal: to deliver resolved images of Hill-Sphere-sized structures within candidate planethosting disks in the nearest star-forming regions. In this contribution we outline the primary science case of PFI. For this purpose, we briefly review our knowledge about the planet-formation process and discuss recent observational results that have been obtained on the class of transition disks. Spectro-photometric and multi-wavelength interferometric studies of these systems revealed the presence of extended gaps and complex density inhomogeneities that might be triggered by orbiting planets. We present detailed 3-D radiation-hydrodynamic simulations of disks with single and multiple embedded planets, from which we compute synthetic images at near-infrared, mid-infrared, far-infrared, and sub-millimeter wavelengths, enabling a direct comparison of the signatures that are detectable with PFI and complementary facilities such as ALMA. From these simulations, we derive some preliminary specifications that will guide the array design and technology roadmap of the facility.

  19. Direct Imaging Search for Extrasolar Planets in the Pleiades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yamamoto, Kodai; Matsuo, Taro; Shibai, Hiroshi; Itoh, Yoichi; Konishi, Mihokko; Sudo, Jun; Tanii, Ryoko; Fukagawa, Misato; Sumi, Takahiro; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Hashimoto, Jun; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Abe, Lyn; Brandner, Wolfgang; Brandt, Timothy D.; Carson, Joseph; Currie, Thayne; Egner, Sebastian E,; Feldt, Markus; Goto, Miwa; Grady, Carol; Guyon, Olivier; Hayano, Yutaka; McElwain, Mike; Serabyn, Eugene

    2013-01-01

    We carried out an imaging survey for extrasolar planets around stars in the Pleiades (125 Myr, 135 pc) in the H and K(sub S) bands using HiCIAO combined with adaptive optics, AO188, on the Subaru telescope. We found 13 companion candidates fainter than 14.5 mag in the H band around 9 stars. Five of these 13 were confirmed to be background stars by measurement of their proper motion. One was not found in the second epoch observation, and thus was not a background or companion object. One had multi-epoch images, but the precision of its proper motion was not sufficient to conclude whether it was a background object. Four other candidates are waiting for second-epoch observations to determine their proper motion. Finally, the remaining two were confirmed to be 60 M(sub J) brown dwarf companions orbiting around HD 23514 (G0) and HII 1348 (K5), respectively, as had been reported in previous studies. In our observations, the average detection limit for a point source was 20.3 mag in the H band beyond 1.'' 5 from the central star. On the basis of this detection limit, we calculated the detection efficiency to be 90% for a planet with 6 to 12 Jovian masses and a semi-major axis of 50–1000 AU. For this reason we extrapolated the distribution of the planet mass and the semi-major axis derived from radial velocity observations, and adopted the planet evolution model Baraffe et al. (2003, A&A, 402, 701). Since there was no detection of a planet, we estimated the frequency of such planets to be less than 17.9% (2 sigma) around one star of the Pleiades cluster.

  20. Geometric processing of digital images of the planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, K.

    1987-09-01

    New procedures and software have been developed for geometric transformation of images to support digital cartography of the planets. The procedures involve the correction of spacecraft camera orientation of each image with the use of ground control and the transformation of each image to a Sinusoidal Equal-Area map projection with an algorithm which allows the number of transformation calculations to vary as the distortion varies within the image. When the distortion is low in an area of an image, few transformation computations are required, and most pixels can be interpolated. When distortion is extreme, the location of each pixel is computed. Mosaics are made of these images and stored as digital databases. Completed Sinusoidal databases may be used for digital analysis and registration with other spatial data. They may also be reproduced as published image maps by digitally transforming them to appropriate map projections.

  1. Geometric processing of digital images of the planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, Kathleen

    1987-01-01

    New procedures and software have been developed for geometric transformation of images to support digital cartography of the planets. The procedures involve the correction of spacecraft camera orientation of each image with the use of ground control and the transformation of each image to a Sinusoidal Equal-Area map projection with an algorithm which allows the number of transformation calculations to vary as the distortion varies within the image. When the distortion is low in an area of an image, few transformation computations are required, and most pixels can be interpolated. When distortion is extreme, the location of each pixel is computed. Mosaics are made of these images and stored as digital databases. Completed Sinusoidal databases may be used for digital analysis and registration with other spatial data. They may also be reproduced as published image maps by digitally transforming them to appropriate map projections.

  2. Outer planet Pioneer imaging communications system study. [data compression

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    The effects of different types of imaging data compression on the elements of the Pioneer end-to-end data system were studied for three imaging transmission methods. These were: no data compression, moderate data compression, and the advanced imaging communications system. It is concluded that: (1) the value of data compression is inversely related to the downlink telemetry bit rate; (2) the rolling characteristics of the spacecraft limit the selection of data compression ratios; and (3) data compression might be used to perform acceptable outer planet mission at reduced downlink telemetry bit rates.

  3. GEOMETRIC PROCESSING OF DIGITAL IMAGES OF THE PLANETS.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edwards, Kathleen

    1987-01-01

    New procedures and software have been developed for geometric transformations of images to support digital cartography of the planets. The procedures involve the correction of spacecraft camera orientation of each image with the use of ground control and the transformation of each image to a Sinusoidal Equal-Area map projection with an algorithm which allows the number of transformation calculations to vary as the distortion varies within the image. When the distortion is low in an area of an image, few transformation computations are required, and most pixels can be interpolated. When distortion is extreme, the location of each pixel is computed. Mosaics are made of these images and stored as digital databases.

  4. Gemini Frontier Fields: Wide-field Adaptive Optics Ks-band Imaging of the Galaxy Clusters MACS J0416.1-2403 and Abell 2744

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schirmer, M.; Carrasco, E. R.; Pessev, P.; Garrel, V.; Winge, C.; Neichel, B.; Vidal, F.

    2015-04-01

    We have observed two of the six Frontier Fields galaxy clusters, MACS J0416.1-2403 and Abell 2744, using the Gemini Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System (GeMS) and the Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager (GSAOI). With 0.? 08-0.? 10 FWHM our data are nearly diffraction-limited over a 100\\prime\\prime 100\\prime\\prime wide area. GeMS/GSAOI complements the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) redwards of 1.6 ?m with twice the angular resolution. We reach a 5? depth of {{K}s} 25.6 mag (AB) for compact sources. In this paper, we describe the observations, data processing, and initial public data release. We provide fully calibrated, co-added images matching the native GSAOI pixel scale as well as the larger plate scales of the HST release, adding to the legacy value of the Frontier Fields. Our work demonstrates that even for fields at high galactic latitude where natural guide stars are rare, current multi-conjugated adaptive optics technology at 8 m telescopes has opened a new window on the distant universe. Observations of a third Frontier Field, Abell 370, are planned. 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), Ministrio da Cincia, Tecnologia e Inovao (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina). Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla and Paranal Observatories, Chile.

  5. Advancing the Gemini Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammel, Heidi B.; Levenson, Nancy A.

    2012-11-01

    Gemini Science and User Meeting; San Francisco, California, 17-20 July 2012 More than 100 astronomers gathered in San Francisco to discuss results from the Gemini Observatory and to plan for its future. The Gemini Observatory consists of twin 8.1 meter diameter optical/infrared telescopes located on mountaintops in Hawai'i and Chile. Gemini was built and is operated by an international partnership that currently includes the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Chile, Australia, Brazil, and Argentina.

  6. CONFIRMATION OF THE PLANET AROUND HD95086 BY DIRECT IMAGING

    SciTech Connect

    Rameau, J.; Chauvin, G.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Boccaletti, A.; Quanz, S. P.; Currie, T.; Mawet, D.; Girard, J. H.; Bonnefoy, M.

    2013-12-20

    VLT/NaCo angular differential imaging at L' (3.8 ?m) revealed a probable giant planet comoving with the young and early-type HD95086, also known to harbor an extended debris disk. The discovery was based on the proper motion analysis of two datasets spanning 15 months. However, the second dataset suffered from bad atmospheric conditions, which limited the significance of the re-detection at the 3? level. In this Letter, we report new VLT/NaCo observations of HD95086 obtained on 2013 June 26 and 27 at L' to recover the planet candidate. We unambiguously re-detect the companion HD95086b with multiple independent pipelines at a signal-to-noise ratio greater than or equal to 5. Combined with previously reported measurements, our astrometry decisively shows that the planet is comoving with HD95086 and inconsistent with a background object. With a revised mass of 5 2 Jupiter masses, estimated from its L' photometry and ''hot-start'' models at 17 4Myr, HD95086b becomes a new benchmark for further physical and orbital characterization of young giant planets.

  7. Imaging The Candidate Proto-planet HL Tau B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greaves, Jane; Rice, K.; Richards, A.; Muxlow, T.; Forgan, D.; Sibthorpe, B.

    2011-09-01

    Our VLA and MERLIN radio images of the HL Tau system trace the emission from the proto-planetary disc at ultra-high resolution. A candidate proto-planet is seen at tens of AU from the star, at these long wavelengths where it stands out from the bright background disc. A simulation shows that gravitational instability within the disc is capable of forming this 10 Jupiter-mass object. Submillimetre images made recently with SCUBA-2 show that HL Tau's disc is perturbed by an interaction with XZ Tau, and this may have helped trigger disc fragmentation, in a flyby event as recent as a few thousand years ago.

  8. High S/N Keck and Gemini AO imaging of Uranus during 2012-2014: New cloud patterns, increasing activity, and improved wind measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sromovsky, L. A.; de Pater, I.; Fry, P. M.; Hammel, H. B.; Marcus, P.

    2015-09-01

    We imaged Uranus in the near infrared from 2012 into 2014, using the Keck/NIRC2 camera and Gemini/NIRI camera, both with adaptive optics. We obtained exceptional signal to noise ratios by averaging 8-16 individual exposures in a planet-fixed coordinate system. These noise-reduced images revealed many low-contrast discrete features and large scale cloud patterns not seen before, including scalloped waveforms just south of the equator, and an associated transverse ribbon wave near 6°S. In all three years numerous small (600-700 km wide) and mainly bright discrete features were seen within the north polar region (north of about 55°N). Two small dark spots with bright companions were seen at middle latitudes. Over 850 wind measurements were made, the vast majority of which were in the northern hemisphere. Winds at high latitudes were measured with great precision, revealing an extended region of solid body rotation between 62°N and at least 83°N, at a rate of 4.08 ± 0.015°/h westward relative to the planet's interior (radio) rotation of 20.88°/h westward. Near-equatorial speeds measured with high accuracy give different results for waves and small discrete features, with eastward drift rates of 0.4°/h and 0.1°/h respectively. The region of polar solid body rotation is a close match to the region of small-scale polar cloud features, suggesting a dynamical relationship. The winds from prior years and those from 2012-2014 are consistent with a mainly symmetric wind profile up to middle latitudes, with a small asymmetric component of ∼0.09°/h peaking near ±30°, and about 60% greater amplitude if only prior years are included, suggesting a declining mid-latitude asymmetry. While winds at high southern latitudes (50-90°S) are unconstrained by groundbased observations, a recent reanalysis of 1986 Voyager 2 observations by Karkoschka (Karkoschka [2015]. Icarus 250, 294-307) has revealed an extremely large north-south asymmetry in this region, which might be seasonal. Greatly increased activity was seen in 2014, including the brightest ever feature seen in K‧ images (de Pater et al. [2015]. Icarus 252, 121-128), as well as other significant features, some of which had long lives. Over the 2012-2014 period we identified six persistent discrete features. Three were tracked for more than 2 years, two more for more than 1 year, and one for at least 5 months and continuing. Several drifted in latitude towards the equator, and others appeared to exhibit latitudinal oscillations with long periods. We found two pairs of long-lived features that survived multiple passages within their own diameters of each other. Zonally averaged cloud patterns were found to persist over 2012-2014. When averaged over longitude, there is a brightness variation with latitude from 55°N to the pole that is similar to effective methane mixing ratio variations with latitude derived from 2012 STIS observations (Sromovsky et al. [2014]. Icarus 238, 137-155).

  9. Predictions for shepherding planets in scattered light images of debris disks

    SciTech Connect

    Rodigas, Timothy J.; Hinz, Philip M.; Malhotra, Renu

    2014-01-01

    Planets can affect debris disk structure by creating gaps, sharp edges, warps, and other potentially observable signatures. However, there is currently no simple way for observers to deduce a disk-shepherding planet's properties from the observed features of the disk. Here we present a single equation that relates a shepherding planet's maximum mass to the debris ring's observed width in scattered light, along with a procedure to estimate the planet's eccentricity and minimum semimajor axis. We accomplish this by performing dynamical N-body simulations of model systems containing a star, a single planet, and an exterior disk of parent bodies and dust grains to determine the resulting debris disk properties over a wide range of input parameters. We find that the relationship between planet mass and debris disk width is linear, with increasing planet mass producing broader debris rings. We apply our methods to five imaged debris rings to constrain the putative planet masses and orbits in each system. Observers can use our empirically derived equation as a guide for future direct imaging searches for planets in debris disk systems. In the fortuitous case of an imaged planet orbiting interior to an imaged disk, the planet's maximum mass can be estimated independent of atmospheric models.

  10. Study of spin-scan imaging for outer planets missions. [imaging techniques for Jupiter orbiter missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, E. E.; Chandos, R. A.; Kodak, J. C.; Pellicori, S. F.; Tomasko, M. G.

    1974-01-01

    The constraints that are imposed on the Outer Planet Missions (OPM) imager design are of critical importance. Imager system modeling analyses define important parameters and systematic means for trade-offs applied to specific Jupiter orbiter missions. Possible image sequence plans for Jupiter missions are discussed in detail. Considered is a series of orbits that allow repeated near encounters with three of the Jovian satellites. The data handling involved in the image processing is discussed, and it is shown that only minimal processing is required for the majority of images for a Jupiter orbiter mission.

  11. Pupil phase apodization for achromatic imaging of extra- solar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Weidong

    2004-09-01

    Direct imaging of extra-solar planets in the visible and infrared region has generated great interest among scientists and the general public as well. However, this is a challenging problem. Difficulties of detecting a planet (faint source) are caused, mostly, by two factors: sidelobes caused by starlight diffraction from the edge of the pupil and the randomly scattered starlight caused by the phase errors from the imperfections in the optical system. While the latter difficulty can be corrected by high density active deformable mirrors with advanced phase sensing and control technology, the optimized strategy for suppressing the diffraction sidelobes is still an open question. In this thesis, I present a new approach to the sidelobe reduction problem: pupil phase apodization. It is based on a discovery that an anti-symmetric spatial phase modulation pattern imposed over a pupil or a relay plane causes diffracted starlight suppression sufficient for imaging of extra-solar planets. Numerical simulations with specific square pupil (side D) phase functions, such as f(x,y)=a[ln ((1+3)+ 2x/D)/((1+3)-2x/D) . ((1+3)+2y/D)/((1+3)-2y/D)] demonstrate annulling in at least one quadrant of the diffraction plane to the contrast level of better than 10-12 with an inner working angle down to 3.5?/D (with a = 3 and 3 = 10-3). Furthermore, our computer experiments show that phase apodization remains effective throughout a broad spectrum (60% of the central wavelength) covering the entire visible light range. In addition to the specific phase functions that can yield deep sidelobe reduction on one quadrant; we also found that a modified Gerchberg-Saxton algorithm can help to find small sized (101 x 101 element) discrete phase functions if regional sidelobe reduction is desired. Our simulation shows that a 101 x 101 segmented but gapless active mirror can also generate a dark region with Inner Working Distance about 2.8?/D in one quadrant. Phase-only modulation has the additional appeal of potential implementation via active segmented or deformable mirrors, thereby combining compensation of random phase aberrations and diffraction halo removal in a single optical element.

  12. Grand Tour outer planet missions definition phase. Part 1: Quantitative imaging of the outer planets and their satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belton, M. J. S.; Aksnes, K.; Davies, M. E.; Hartmann, W. K.; Millis, R. L.; Owen, T. C.; Reilly, T. H.; Sagan, C.; Suomi, V. E.; Collins, S. A., Jr.

    1972-01-01

    A recommended imaging system is outlined for use aboard the Outer Planet Grand Tour Explorer. The system features the high angular resolution capacity necessary to accommodate large encounter distances, and to satisfy the demand for a reasonable amount of time coverage. Specifications for all components within the system are provided in detail.

  13. 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.

  14. Occulter Based Missions of Different Scales for Terrestrial Planet Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasdin, N. J.; Spergel, D. N.; Vanderbei, R.; Shaklan, S.; Lisman, D. P.; Savransky, D.; Cady, E.; Soummer, R.

    2010-10-01

    Free flying occulters are an attractive option as a space mission architecture for imaging exosolar planets, particular ones in the habitable zone. Their appeal is two-fold: the inner working angle is largely decoupled from telescope diameter and, because they suppress starlight before entering the telescope, there is no need for wavefront control. We present the basic operating principles of occulters for high-contrast, including preliminary stationkeeping simulations, and a manufacturing approach being studied as part of NASA's Technology Demonstration for Exoplanet Missions. Our main focus is a comparison of mission architectures employing occulters at varying scales: large flagship observatories (THEIA, NWO), existing large aperture telescopes (JWST), small dedicated telescopes (O3), and small general purpose telescopes (such as a dark energy mission like EUCLID). THEIA, the Telescope for Habitable Exoplanets and Interstellar/Intergalactic Astronomy, is a multi-instrument space-telescope concept employing a 4-m diffraction-limited telescope operating at UV and Visible wavelengths that was developed as part of NASAs Astrophysics Strategic Mission Concept Studies in 2009 and presented to the US Academy's decadal survey review, Astro2010. By combining the telescope with a roughly 40 m occulter, operating at two different telescope-occulter separations, planets as small as Earth can be characterized over a broad band, including R>70 spectra. O3, the Occulting Ozone Observatory, is a smaller mission costing less than 1B that uses a 1 to 2 m telescope combined with a roughly 30 m occulter. O3 is capable of time-resolved photometry over 8 bands, focusing on biomarkers, such as detecting the strong ozone feature, and surface characterization. It also provides the capability for enough repeat visits to support orbit determination. We will compare the science yield and architecture and how different coronagraph and occulter approaches perform at these different mission scales.

  15. ATMOSPHERIC DYNAMICS OF BROWN DWARFS AND DIRECTLY IMAGED GIANT PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Showman, Adam P.; Kaspi, Yohai

    2013-10-20

    A variety of observations provide evidence for vigorous motion in the atmospheres of brown dwarfs and directly imaged giant planets. Motivated by these observations, we examine the dynamical regime of the circulation in the atmospheres and interiors of these objects. Brown dwarfs rotate rapidly, and for plausible wind speeds, the flow at large scales will be rotationally dominated. We present three-dimensional, global, numerical simulations of convection in the interior, which demonstrate that at large scales, the convection aligns in the direction parallel to the rotation axis. Convection occurs more efficiently at high latitudes than low latitudes, leading to systematic equator-to-pole temperature differences that may reach ?1 K near the top of the convection zone. The interaction of convection with the overlying, stably stratified atmosphere will generate a wealth of atmospheric waves, and we argue that, as in the stratospheres of planets in the solar system, the interaction of these waves with the mean flow will cause a significant atmospheric circulation at regional to global scales. At large scales, this should consist of stratified turbulence (possibly organizing into coherent structures such as vortices and jets) and an accompanying overturning circulation. We present an approximate analytic theory of this circulation, which predicts characteristic horizontal temperature variations of several to ?50 K, horizontal wind speeds of ?10-300 m s{sup 1}, and vertical velocities that advect air over a scale height in ?10{sup 5}-10{sup 6} s. This vertical mixing may help to explain the chemical disequilibrium observed on some brown dwarfs. Moreover, the implied large-scale organization of temperature perturbations and vertical velocities suggests that near the L/T transition, patchy clouds can form near the photosphere, helping to explain recent observations of brown-dwarf variability in the near-IR.

  16. High-resolution multi-band imaging for validation and characterization of small Kepler planets

    SciTech Connect

    Everett, Mark E.; Silva, David R.; Barclay, Thomas; Howell, Steve B.; Ciardi, David R.; Horch, Elliott P.; Crepp, Justin R.

    2015-02-01

    High-resolution ground-based optical speckle and near-infrared adaptive optics images are taken to search for stars in close angular proximity to host stars of candidate planets identified by the NASA Kepler Mission. Neighboring stars are a potential source of false positive signals. These stars also blend into Kepler light curves, affecting estimated planet properties, and are important for an understanding of planets in multiple star systems. Deep images with high angular resolution help to validate candidate planets by excluding potential background eclipsing binaries as the source of the transit signals. A study of 18 Kepler Object of Interest stars hosting a total of 28 candidate and validated planets is presented. Validation levels are determined for 18 planets against the likelihood of a false positive from a background eclipsing binary. Most of these are validated at the 99% level or higher, including five newly validated planets in two systems: Kepler-430 and Kepler-431. The stellar properties of the candidate host stars are determined by supplementing existing literature values with new spectroscopic characterizations. Close neighbors of seven of these stars are examined using multi-wavelength photometry to determine their nature and influence on the candidate planet properties. Most of the close neighbors appear to be gravitationally bound secondaries, while a few are best explained as closely co-aligned field stars. Revised planet properties are derived for each candidate and validated planet, including cases where the close neighbors are the potential host stars.

  17. Observational Signatures of Planets in Protoplanetary Disks: Spiral Arms Observed in Scattered Light Imaging Can Be Induced by Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Ruobing; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Rafikov, Roman R.; Stone, James M.

    2015-08-01

    Using 3D global hydro simulations coupled with radiative transfer calculations, we study the appearance of density waves induced by giant planets in direct imaging observations at near-infrared wavelengths. We find that a 6{M}{{J}} planet in a typical disk around a 1{M}? star can produce prominent and detectable spiral arms both interior and exterior to its orbit. The inner arms have (1) two well separated arms in roughly m = 2 symmetry, (2) exhibit 10-15 pitch angles, (3) 180-270 extension in the azimuthal direction, and (4) 150% surface brightness enhancement, all broadly consistent with observed spiral arms in the SAO 206462 and MWC 758 systems. The outer arms cannot explain observations as they are too tightly wound given typical disk scale height. We confirm previous results that the outer density waves excited by a 1{M}{{J}} planet exhibit low contrast in the IR and are practically not detectable. We also find that 3D effects of the waves are important. Compared to isothermal models, density waves in adiabatic disks exhibit weaker contrast in surface density but stronger contrast in scattered light images, due to a more pronounced vertical structure in the former caused by shock heating and maybe hydraulic jump effect. To drive observed pairs of arms with an external companion on a circular orbit, a massive planet, possibly a brown dwarf, is needed at around [r 0\\buildrel{\\prime\\prime}\\over{.} 7, {PA} 10^\\circ ] (position angle PA from north to east) in SAO 206462 and [r 0\\buildrel{\\prime\\prime}\\over{.} 6, {PA} 10^\\circ ] in MWC 758. Their existence may be confirmed by direct imaging planet searches.

  18. Directly Imaged Giant Planets: What Do We Hope to Learn?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark

    2015-01-01

    As we move into an era when GPI and SPHERE are (hopefully) discovering and characterizing new young giant planets, it is worthwhile to step back and review our science goals for young giant planets. Of course for individual planets we ideally would hope to measure mass, radius, atmospheric composition, temperature, and cloud properties, but how do these characteristics fit into our broader understanding of planetary system origin and evolution theories? In my presentation I will review both the specifics of what we hope to learn from newly discovered young worlds as well as how these characteristics inform our broader understanding of giant planets and planetary systems. Finally I will consider the limitations realistic datasets will place on our ability to understand newly discovered planets, illustrating with data from any new such worlds that are available by the conference date.

  19. FIB machining of occulting masks for imaging of extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raja, Shilpa N.; Aziz, Michael J.; Foley, James W.; Tolls, Volker

    2009-08-01

    We are developing the ability for Focused Ion Beam (FIB) machining of occulting masks for use in coronagraphs. These masks will be used as soft-edged Lyot stops to suppress light from stars and allow direct imaging of extrasolar planets. The FIB approach is attractive because it has the potential for higher precision than mechanical machining and for larger volumes than electron-beam lithography. The mask fabrication process is trifold: 1) a transparent material-currently, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)-is doped with dyes; 2) the mask shape is FIB milled into the material; and 3) the mask is coated with another layer of index-matching transparent absorber. Using a Zeiss NVision 40 FIB system, we have fabricated conical-shaped masks of various slopes in dye-doped PMMA. Inherent in this process is the advantage of control of the features through programming the ion beam track. We have also optically characterized these masks as well as the dye-doped absorbing material. We have found that the dye-doped PMMA has a very high absorbance, >1 OD.

  20. Design and Verification of External Occulters for Direct Imaging of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cady, Eric

    2011-01-01

    An occulter is an optical element which is placed in front of the telescope to block most of the light from a star before it reaches the optics inside, without blocking the planet.In our case, we use two spacecraft ying in formation: First has its edge shaped to cancel the starlight Second is the telescope which images the star and planet

  1. A giant planet imaged in the disk of the young star beta Pictoris.

    PubMed

    Lagrange, A-M; Bonnefoy, M; Chauvin, G; Apai, D; Ehrenreich, D; Boccaletti, A; Gratadour, D; Rouan, D; Mouillet, D; Lacour, S; Kasper, M

    2010-07-01

    Here, we show that the approximately 10-million-year-old beta Pictoris system hosts a massive giant planet, beta Pictoris b, located 8 to 15 astronomical units from the star. This result confirms that gas giant planets form rapidly within disks and validates the use of disk structures as fingerprints of embedded planets. Among the few planets already imaged, beta Pictoris b is the closest to its parent star. Its short period could allow for recording of the full orbit within 17 years. PMID:20538914

  2. Influence of Stellar Multiplicity on Planet Formation. IV. Adaptive Optics Imaging of Kepler Stars with Multiple Transiting Planet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    The Kepler mission provides a wealth of multiple transiting planet systems (MTPSs). The formation and evolution of multi-planet systems are likely to be influenced by companion stars given the abundance of multiple stellar systems. We study the influence of stellar companions by measuring the stellar multiplicity rate of MTPSs. We select 138 bright (KP < 13.5) Kepler MTPSs and search for stellar companions with adaptive optics (AO) imaging data and archival radial velocity data. We obtain new AO images for 73 MTPSs. Other MTPSs in the sample have archival AO imaging data from the Kepler Community Follow-up Observation Program. From these imaging data, we detect 42 stellar companions around 35 host stars. For stellar separation 1 AU < a < 100 AU, the stellar multiplicity rate is 5.2 ± 5.0% for MTPSs, which is 2.8σ lower than 21.1 ± 2.8% for the control sample, i.e., the field stars in the solar neighborhood. We identify two origins for the deficit of stellar companions within 100 AU of MTPSs: (1) a suppressive planet formation and (2) the disruption of orbital coplanarity due to stellar companions. To distinguish between the two origins, we compare the stellar multiplicity rates of MTPSs and single transiting planet systems (STPSs). However, current data are not sufficient for this purpose. For 100 AU < a < 2000 AU, the stellar multiplicity rates are comparable for MTPSs (8.0 ± 4.0%), STPSs (6.4 ± 5.8%), and the control sample (12.5 ± 2.8%).

  3. Direct Exoplanet Imaging with JWST NIRCam: Low-Mass Stars, Low-Mass Planets, and Critical Constraints on Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlieder, Joshua E.; Meyer, Michael; Reggiani, Maddalena; Quanz, Sascha; Beichman, Charles A.; Greene, Thomas P.; Burrows, Adam Seth

    2016-01-01

    As next generation exoplanet imagers are making their first discoveries, the largest population of stars in the Galaxy, the M dwarfs, are largely unaccounted for in their surveys. However, RV trends and micro lensing have revealed that M dwarfs host a substantial population of Neptune to Jupiter mass planets between ~1-10 AU. The unprecedented sensitivity of NIRCam on the JWST provides direct access to this population of gas-giants. A NIRCam 3 - 5 ?m survey for such planets will place critical constraints on planet formation by: 1) measuring the luminosities of young, sub-Jupiter mass planets, 2) providing constraints on the peak in the companion surface density vs. separation distribution, and 3) measuring the frequency of ?Jupiter mass giants in the outskirts of these systems (>10 AU). We have carefully constructed a sample of nearby, young, late-type stars, performed NIRCam survey simulations, and will report on the expected yield and advantages of JWST compared to current ground based capabilities.

  4. Imaging Extra-Solar Planets with an Ultra-Large Space Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Charles R.

    1998-01-01

    NASA's Origins Program is directed toward two main goals: Imaging of galactic evolution in the early universe, and searching for planets orbiting nearby stars. The Next-Generation Space Telescope (NGST), operating at low temperature with an 8-m aperture, is well designed to meet the first goal. The goal of imaging planets orbiting nearby stars is more problematic. One line of investigation has been the ULTIMA concept (Ultra-Large Telescope, Integrated Missions in Astronomy). In this report, I will lay out the resolution requirements for telescopes to achieve the imaging of extrasolar planets, and describe a modeling tool created to investigate the requirements for imaging a planet when it is very near a much brighter star.

  5. Gemini Observatory Newsletter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaud, Peter

    1999-12-01

    The Gemini project is a multi-national effort to build twin 8.1 meter astronomical telescopes utilizing new technology to produce some of the sharpest views of the universe ever. One telescope will be located atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea and the other atop Chile's Cerro Pachon - together they will provide complete unobstructed coverage of both the Northern and Southern skies. This newsletter discusses the progress of the project, such as the dedication ceremony for Gemini North, the expansion of the adaptive optics program, the sharing of the infrared spectrometer at the Keck observatory, and the improvement of the internet support for the Gemini South. Each of the seven countries involved in the project include a brief update. As the opening of the observatories nears, in this issue is a description of the mechanism to submit proposals for the use of the telescope.

  6. Interpreting the photometry and spectroscopy of directly imaged planets: a new atmospheric model applied to β Pictoris b and SPHERE observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baudino, J.-L.; Bézard, B.; Boccaletti, A.; Bonnefoy, M.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Galicher, R.

    2015-10-01

    Context. Since the end of 2013 a new generation of instruments optimized to image young giant planets around nearby stars directly is becoming available on 8-m class telescopes, both at Very Large Telescope and Gemini in the southern hemisphere. Beyond the achievement of high contrast and the discovery capability, these instruments are designed to obtain photometric and spectral information to characterize the atmospheres of these planets. Aims: We aim to interpret future photometric and spectral measurements from these instruments, in terms of physical parameters of the planets, with an atmospheric model using a minimal number of assumptions and parameters. Methods: We developed the Exoplanet Radiative-convective Equilibrium Model (Exo-REM) to analyze the photometric and spectroscopic data of directly imaged planets. The input parameters are a planet's surface gravity (g), effective temperature (Teff), and elemental composition. The model predicts the equilibrium temperature profile and mixing ratio profiles of the most important gases. Opacity sources include the H2-He collision-induced absorption and molecular lines from eight compounds (including CH4 updated with the Exomol line list). Absorption by iron and silicate cloud particles is added above the expected condensation levels with a fixed scale height and a given optical depth at some reference wavelength. Scattering was not included at this stage. Results: We applied Exo-REM to photometric and spectral observations of the planet β Pictoris b obtained in a series of near-infrared filters. We derived Teff = 1550 ± 150 K, log (g) = 3.5 ± 1, and radius R = 1.76 ± 0.24 RJup (2σ error bars from photometric measurements). These values are comparable to those found in the literature, although with more conservative error bars, consistent with the model accuracy. We were able to reproduce, within error bars, the J- and H-band spectra of β Pictoris b. We finally investigated the precision to which the above parameters can be constrained from SPHERE measurements using different sets of near-infrared filters as well as low-resolution spectroscopy.

  7. LGS-AO Imaging of Every Kepler Planet Candidate: the Robo-AO KOI Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Law, Nicholas Michael; Baranec, Christoph; Morton, Timothy; Ziegler, Carl; Atkinson, Dani; Riddle, Reed

    2015-08-01

    The Robo-AO Kepler Planetary Candidate Survey is observing every Kepler planet candidate host star with laser adaptive optics imaging, to search for blended nearby stars which may be physically associated companions and/or responsible for transit false positives. We will present the results from searching for companions around over 3,000 Kepler planet hosts in 2012-2015. We will describe our first data release covering 715 planet candidate hosts, and give a preview of ongoing results including improved statistics on the likelihood of false positive planet detections in the Kepler dataset, many new planets in multiple star systems, and new exotic multiple star systems containing Kepler planets.We will also describe the automated Robo-AO survey data reduction methods, including a method of using the large ensemble of target observations as mutual point-spread-function references, along with a new automated companion-detection algorithm designed for extremely large adaptive optics surveys.Our first data release covered 715 objects, searching for companions from 0.15 to 2.5 separation with contrast up to 6 magnitudes. We measured the overall nearby-star-probability for Kepler planet candidates to be 7.4+/-1.0%, and we will detail the variations in this number with stellar host parameters. We will also discuss several KOIs of particular interest, including KOI-191 and KOI-1151, which are both multi-planet systems with detected stellar companions whose unusual planetary system architecture might be best explained if they are ``coincident multiple'' systems, with several transiting planets shared between the two stars. Finally, we will discuss and update the 98%-confidence evidence from our survey that third bodies in star/planet systems produce an excess of close-in giant planets.

  8. Drag-o-llision Models of Extrasolar Planets in Debris Disks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuchner, Marc

    2009-01-01

    An extrasolar planet sculpts the famous debris disk around Fomalhaut; probably many other debris disks contain planets that we could locate if only we could better recognize their signatures in the dust that surrounds them. But the interaction between planets and debris disks involves both orbital resonances and collisions among grains and rocks in the disks---difficult processes to model simultaneously. The author describes new 3-D models of debris disk dynamics, Drag-o-llision models, that incorporate both collisions and resonant trapping of dust for the first time. The author also discusses the implications of these models for coronagraphic imaging with Gemini and other telescopes.

  9. The Effect of Photochemistry and Quenching on the Atmospheric Composition of Young Directly Imaged Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moses, Julianne I.; Line, Michael R.; Visscher, Channon; Marley, Mark S.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Wolff, Michael J.

    2015-11-01

    The last decade has seen significant progress on the direct detection and characterization of young, self-luminous giant planets at wide orbital separation from their host stars. Several of these planets show evidence for disequilibrium processes like transport-induced quenching in their atmospheres, which affects the relative abundances of methane and carbon monoxide and has other compositional consequences. Photochemistry is also potentially important on many of these planets, despite their large orbital distance, because the young host stars often have prodigious UV output. Disequilibrium chemical processes such as the above can alter the expected spectroscopic signatures of the planets and potentially confuse determinations of bulk elemental ratios, which provide important insights into planet-formation mechanisms. We use a thermochemical and photochemical kinetics and transport model to investigate the effects of photochemistry and quenching on young, directly imaged planets. Results for specific exoplanets such as the HR 8799 planets and 51 Eri b will be presented, as will more general trends as a function of planet mass, orbital distance, bulk atmospheric abundances, and stellar properties.

  10. Two-temperature Debris Disks: Signposts for Directly Imaged Planets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Grant M.; Wyatt, Mark C.

    2015-11-01

    This work considers debris disks whose spectra can be modelled by dust emission at two different temperatures. These disks are typically assumed to be a sign of multiple belts, but only a few cases have been confirmed via high resolution observations. We derive the properties of a sample of two-temperature disks, and explore whether this emission can arise from dust in a single narrow belt. While some two-temperature disks arise from single belts, it is probable that most have multiple spatial components. These disks are plausibly similar to the outer Solar System's configuration of Asteroid and Edgeworth-Kuiper belts separated by giant planets. Alternatively, the inner component could arise from inward scattering of material from the outer belt, again due to intervening planets. For either scenario, the ratio of warm/cool component temperatures is indicative of the scale of outer planetary systems, which typically span a factor of about ten in radius.

  11. 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 demonstrating that the testbed can operate in the necessary contrast regime. Wavefront measurements and simulations indicate that contrast is limited by wavefront error, not diffraction. I demonstrate feasibility of the MEMS deformable mirror for meeting the stringent residual wavefront error requirements of an extrasolar planet imager with closed-loop results of 0.54 nm rms within controllable spatial frequencies. Individual contributors to final wavefront quality have been identified and characterized. I also present contrast measurements of 2 x 10{sup -7} made with the MEMS device and identify amplitude errors as the limiting error source. Closed-loop performance and simulated far-field measurements using a Kolmogorov phase plate to introduce atmosphere-like optical errors are also presented.

  12. THE SEEDS DIRECT IMAGING SURVEY FOR PLANETS AND SCATTERED DUST EMISSION IN DEBRIS DISK SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Janson, Markus; Brandt, Timothy D.; Moro-Martin, Amaya; Usuda, Tomonori; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Egner, Sebastian; Thalmann, Christian; Carson, Joseph C.; Goto, Miwa; Currie, Thayne; McElwain, M. W.; Itoh, Yoichi; Fukagawa, Misato; Crepp, Justin; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Hashimoto, Jun; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Abe, Lyu; Brandner, Wolfgang; Feldt, Markus; and others

    2013-08-10

    Debris disks around young main-sequence stars often have gaps and cavities which for a long time have been interpreted as possibly being caused by planets. In recent years, several giant planet discoveries have been made in systems hosting disks of precisely this nature, further implying that interactions with planets could be a common cause of such disk structures. As part of the SEEDS high-contrast imaging survey, we are surveying a population of debris-disk-hosting stars with gaps and cavities implied by their spectral energy distributions, in order to attempt to spatially resolve the disk as well as to detect any planets that may be responsible for the disk structure. Here, we report on intermediate results from this survey. Five debris disks have been spatially resolved, and a number of faint point sources have been discovered, most of which have been tested for common proper motion, which in each case has excluded physical companionship with the target stars. From the detection limits of the 50 targets that have been observed, we find that {beta} Pic b-like planets ({approx}10 M{sub jup} planets around G-A-type stars) near the gap edges are less frequent than 15%-30%, implying that if giant planets are the dominant cause of these wide (27 AU on average) gaps, they are generally less massive than {beta} Pic b.

  13. The SEEDS Direct Imaging Survey for Planets and Scattered Dust Emission in Debris Disk Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Janson, Markus; Brandt, Timothy; Moro-Martin, Amaya; Usuda, Tomonori; Thalmann, Christian; Carson, Joseph C.; Goto, Miwa; Currie, Thayne; McElwain, M. W.; Itoh, Yoichi; Fukagawa, Misato; Crepp, Justin; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Hashimoto, Jun; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Abe, Lyu; Brandner, Wolfgang; Egner, Sebastian; Fedlt, Markus; Grady, Carol A.; Guyon, Olivier; Hayano, Yutaka; Hayashi, Masahiro; Hayashi, Saeko

    2013-01-01

    Debris disks around young main-sequence stars often have gaps and cavities which for a long time have been interpreted as possibly being caused by planets. In recent years, several giant planet discoveries have been made in systems hosting disks of precisely this nature, further implying that interactions with planets could be a common cause of such disk structures. As part of the SEEDS high-contrast imaging survey, we are surveying a population of debris disk-hosting stars with gaps and cavities implied by their spectral energy distributions, in order to attempt to spatially resolve the disk as well as to detect any planets that may be responsible for the disk structure. Here we report on intermediate results from this survey. Five debris disks have been spatially resolved, and a number of faint point sources have been discovered, most of which have been tested for common proper motion, which in each case has excluded physical companionship with the target stars. From the detection limits of the 50 targets that have been observed, we find that beta Pic b-like planets (approximately 10M(sub jup) planets around G-A-type stars) near the gap edges are less frequent than 15-30%, implying that if giant planets are the dominant cause of these wide (27 AU on average) gaps, they are generally less massive than beta Pic b.

  14. Gemini Scout Control Software

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2010-11-23

    The Gemini Scout Control Software consists of two Windows applications that allow the Gemini Scout vehicle to be controlled by an operator. The Embedded application runs on the vehicle's Gemini Scout Control Software onboard computer and controls the vehicle's various motors and sensors. This application reports the vehicle's status and receives vehicle commands overthe local-area-network. The Embedded applicationalso allows the user to control the vehicle using a USB game-pad connected directly to the vehicle. Themore » Operator Control Unit (OCU) application runs on an external PC and communicates with the vehicle via an Ethernet connection. The OCU application sends commands to and receives data from the Embedded application running on the vehicle. The OCU application also communicates directly with the digital video encoders and radios in order to display video from the vehicle's cameras and the status of the radio link. The OCU application has a graphical user interface (GUI) that displays the vehicle's status and allows the user to change various vehicle settings. Finally, the OCU application receives input from a USB game-pad connected to the PC in order to control the vehicle's functions.« less

  15. Gemini Scout Control Software

    SciTech Connect

    2010-11-23

    The Gemini Scout Control Software consists of two Windows applications that allow the Gemini Scout vehicle to be controlled by an operator. The Embedded application runs on the vehicle's Gemini Scout Control Software onboard computer and controls the vehicle's various motors and sensors. This application reports the vehicle's status and receives vehicle commands overthe local-area-network. The Embedded applicationalso allows the user to control the vehicle using a USB game-pad connected directly to the vehicle. The Operator Control Unit (OCU) application runs on an external PC and communicates with the vehicle via an Ethernet connection. The OCU application sends commands to and receives data from the Embedded application running on the vehicle. The OCU application also communicates directly with the digital video encoders and radios in order to display video from the vehicle's cameras and the status of the radio link. The OCU application has a graphical user interface (GUI) that displays the vehicle's status and allows the user to change various vehicle settings. Finally, the OCU application receives input from a USB game-pad connected to the PC in order to control the vehicle's functions.

  16. ON THE MISALIGNMENT OF THE DIRECTLY IMAGED PLANET {beta} PICTORIS b WITH THE SYSTEM'S WARPED INNER DISK

    SciTech Connect

    Dawson, Rebekah I.; Murray-Clay, Ruth A.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.

    2011-12-10

    The vertical warp in the debris disk {beta} Pictoris-an inclined inner disk extending into a flat outer disk-has long been interpreted as the signpost of a planet on an inclined orbit. Direct images spanning 2004-2010 have revealed {beta} Pictoris b, a planet with a mass and orbital distance consistent with this picture. However, it was recently reported that the orbit of planet b is aligned with the flat outer disk, not the inclined inner disk, and thus lacks the inclination to warp the disk. We explore three scenarios for reconciling the apparent misalignment of the directly imaged planet {beta} Pictoris b with the warped inner disk of {beta} Pictoris: observational uncertainty, an additional planet, and damping of planet b's inclination. We find that, at the extremes of the uncertainties, the orbit of {beta} Pictoris b has the inclination necessary to produce the observed warp. We also find that if planet b were aligned with the flat outer disk, it would prevent another planet from creating a warp with the observed properties; therefore planet b itself must be responsible for the warp. Finally, planet b's inclination could have been damped by dynamical friction and still produce the observed disk morphology, but the feasibility of damping depends on disk properties and the presence of other planets. More precise observations of the orbit of planet b and the position angle of the outer disk will allow us to distinguish between the first and third scenarios.

  17. Visible and Near-IR Imaging of Giant Planets: Outer Manifestations of Deeper Secrets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammel, Heidi B.

    1996-09-01

    Visible and near-infrared imaging of the giant planets -- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune -- probes the outermost layers of clouds in these gaseous atmospheres. Not only are the images beautiful and striking in their color and diversity of detail, they also provide quantitative clues to the dynamical and chemical processes taking place both at the cloud tops and deeper in the interior: zonal wind profiles can be extracted; wavelength-dependent center-to-limb brightness variations yield valuable data for modeling vertical aerosol structure; the presence of planetary-scale atmospheric waves can sometimes be deduced; variations of cloud color and brightness with latitude provide insight into the underlying mechanisms driving circulation; development and evolution of discrete atmospheric features trace both exogenic and endogenic events. During the 1980's, our understanding of the giant planets was revolutionized by detailed visible-wavelength images taken by the Voyager spacecraft of these planets' atmospheres. However, those images were static: brief snapshots in time of four complex and dynamic atmospheric systems. In short, those images no longer represent the current appearance of these planets. Recently, our knowledge of the atmospheres of the gas giant planets has undergone major new advances, due in part to the excellent imaging capability and longer-term temporal sampling of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the Galileo Mission to Jupiter. In this talk, I provide an update on our current understanding of the gas giants based on recent visible and near-infrared imaging, highlighting results from the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter, Saturn's White Spots, intriguing changes in the atmosphere of Uranus, and Neptune's peripatetic clouds.

  18. LGS-AO Imaging of Every Kepler Planet Candidate: the Robo-AO KOI Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baranec, Christoph; Law, Nicholas; Morton, Timothy; Ziegler, Carl; Nofi, Larissa; Atkinson, Dani; Riddle, Reed

    2015-12-01

    The Robo-AO Kepler Planetary Candidate Survey is observing every Kepler planet candidate host star with laser adaptive optics imaging, to search for blended nearby stars which may be physically associated companions and/or responsible for transit false positives. We will present the results from searching for companions around over 3,000 Kepler planet hosts in 2012-2015. We will describe our first data release covering 715 planet candidate hosts, and give a preview of ongoing results including improved statistics on the likelihood of false positive planet detections in the Kepler dataset, many new planets in multiple star systems, and new exotic multiple star systems containing Kepler planets. We will also describe the automated Robo-AO survey data reduction methods, including a method of using the large ensemble of target observations as mutual point-spread-function references, along with a new automated companion-detection algorithm designed for extremely large adaptive optics surveys. Our first data release covered 715 objects, searching for companions from 0.15 to 2.5 separation with contrast up to 6 magnitudes. We measured the overall nearby-star-probability for Kepler planet candidates to be 7.4+/-1.0%, and we will detail the variations in this number with stellar host parameters. We will also discuss plans to extend the survey to other transiting planet missions such as K2 and TESS as Robo-AO is in the process of being re-deployed to the 2.1-m telescope at Kitt Peak for 3 years and a higher-contrast Robo-AO system is being developed for the 2.2-m UH telescope on Maunakea.

  19. SPHERE: exo-planets science with the new frontier of high contrast imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claudi, R.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Feldt, M.; Mouillet, D.; Dohlen, K.; Puget, P.; Wildi, F.; Baruffolo, A.; Charton, J.; Antichi, J.; Boccaletti, A.; Desidera, S.; Fusco, T.; Gratton, R.; Langlois, M.; Mesa, D.; Pragt, J.; Raboub, P.; Roelfsema, R.; Saisse, M.; Schmid, H.-M.; Turatto, M.; Moutou, C.; Henning, T.; Udry, S.; Vakili, F.; Waters, R.

    2008-09-01

    ABSTRACT High contrast imaging will be the new frontier of exoplanets search providing the opportunity to have at once a deep glance in the neighborhood of the target star. In addition, coupling integral field spectrographs to extreme adaptive optics module at the focus of 8m telescope class and in future to ELTs, gives also the possibility to have a first order characterization of the exoplanets itself. SPHERE, second generation instrument for VLT, is an exo-solar planet imager, which goal is to detect giant exo-solar planets in the vicinity of bright stars and to characterize them through spectroscopic and polarimetric observations. It is a complete system with a core made of an extreme-Adaptive Optics (AO) turbulence correction, pupil tracker and interferential coronagraphs. At its back end, a differential dual imaging camera (IRDIS) and an integral field spectrograph (IFS) work in the Near Infrared (NIR) Y, J, H and Ks bands (0.95-2.32 μm) and a high resolution polarization camera (ZIMPOL) covers the visible (0.6 - 0.9 μm). The three instruments could work simultaneously. As matter of fact, as the instrument has been thought and designed, It should be considered more like an experiment than a typical ancillary instrumentation. The prime objective of SPHERE is the discovery and study of new planets orbiting stars by direct imaging of the circumstellar environment. The challenge consists in the very large contrast of luminosity between the star and the planet (larger than " 12.5 magnitudes or " 105 flux ratio), at very small angular separations, typically inside the seeing halo. The whole design of SPHERE is therefore optimized towards high contrast performance in a limited field of view and at short distances from the central star. Both evolved and young planetary systems will be detected, respectively through their reflected light (mostly by ZIMPOL) and through the intrinsic planet emission (IRDIS+IFS modes). Both components of the near-infrared arm of SPHERE will provide complementary detection capacities and characterization potential, in terms of field of view, contrast, and spectral domain. The number of planets expected to be detected is a very strong function of the (assumed) distribution of planet separation. Extending the semi-major axis distribution up to P=250 yr (about 40 AU) yield a number of planet detections about 3.5 larger than for the same distribution truncated at P=70 yr (about 17 AU). Several tens of planet detection (details depend on target number and selection criteria) are then expected between 20 and 40 AU if planets are there. SPHERE has clearly the potential for an accurate determination of the frequency of planets in wide orbits. Note that while giant planets are not expected to be found in large number at very wide separation (a >50-100 AU), brown dwarfs might instead be present. In this paper a brief description of the whole instrument is given. Furthermore, an analysis of the performances of the instrument with its foreseen ability in discovering and characterize warm planets is also given. Last, but not least, SPHERE and its USA counter part: GPI, open the path towards new high contrast istrumentation for ELT like EPICS.

  20. Speckle Imaging and Spectroscopy of Kepler Exo-planet Transit Candidate Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Steve B.; Sherry, William; Horch, Elliott; Doyle, Laurance

    2010-02-01

    The NASA Kepler mission was successfully launched on 6 March 2009 and has begun science operations. Commissioning tests done early on in the mission have shown that for the bright sources, 10-15 ppm relative photometry can be achieved. This level assures we will detect Earth- like transits if they are present. ``Hot Jupiter" and similar large planet candidates have already been discovered and will be discussed at the Jan. AAS meeting as well as in a special issue of Science magazine to appear near years end. The plethora of variability observed is astounding and includes a number of eclipsing binaries which appear to have Jupiter and smaller size objects as an orbiting their body. Our proposal consists of three highly related objectives: 1) To continue our highly successful speckle imaging program which is a major component of defense to weed out false positive candidate transiting planets found by Kepler and move the rest to probable or certain exo-planet detections; 2) To obtain low resolution ``discovery" type spectra for planet candidate stars in order to provide spectral type and luminosity class indicators as well as a first look triage to eliminate binaries and rapid rotators; and 3) to obtain ~1Aresolution time ordered spectra of eclipsing binaries that are exo-planet candidates in order to obtain the velocity solution for the binary star, allowing its signal to be modeled and removed from the Keck or HET exo-planet velocity search. As of this writing, Kepler has produced a list of 227 exo-planet candidates which require false positive decision tree observations. Our proposed effort performs much of the first line of defense for the mission.

  1. Combining high-dispersion spectroscopy with high contrast imaging: Probing rocky planets around our nearest neighbors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snellen, I.; de Kok, R.; Birkby, J. L.; Brandl, B.; Brogi, M.; Keller, C.; Kenworthy, M.; Schwarz, H.; Stuik, R.

    2015-04-01

    Context. Ground-based high-dispersion (R ~ 100 000) spectroscopy (HDS) is proving to be a powerful technique with which to characterize extrasolar planets. The planet signal is distilled from the bright starlight, combining ral and time-differential filtering techniques. In parallel, high-contrast imaging (HCI) is developing rapidly, aimed at spatially separating the planet from the star. While HDS is limited by the overwhelming noise from the host star, HCI is limited by residual quasi-static speckles. Both techniques currently reach planet-star contrast limits down to ~10-5, albeit for very different types of planetary systems. Aims: In this work, we discuss a way to combine HDS and HCI (HDS+HCI). For a planet located at a resolvable angular distance from its host star, the starlight can be reduced up to several orders of magnitude using adaptive optics and/or coronography. In addition, the remaining starlight can be filtered out using high-dispersion spectroscopy, utilizing the significantly different (or Doppler shifted) high-dispersion spectra of the planet and star. In this way, HDS+HCI can in principle reach contrast limits of ~10-5 × 10-5, although in practice this will be limited by photon noise and/or sky-background. In contrast to current direct imaging techniques, such as Angular Differential Imaging and Spectral Differential Imaging, it will work well at small working angles and is much less sensitive to speckle noise. For the discovery of previously unknown planets HDS+HCI requires a high-contrast adaptive optics system combined with a high-dispersion R ~ 100 000 integral field spectrograph (IFS). This combination currently does not exist, but is planned for the European Extremely Large Telescope. Methods: We present simulations of HDS+HCI observations with the E-ELT, both probing thermal emission from a planet at infrared wavelengths, and starlight reflected off a planet atmosphere at optical wavelengths. For the infrared simulations we use the baseline parameters of the E-ELT and METIS instrument, with the latter combining extreme adaptive optics with an R = 100 000 IFS. We include realistic models of the adaptive optics performance and atmospheric transmission and emission. For the optical simulation we also assume R = 100 000 IFS with adaptive optics capabilities at the E-ELT. Results: One night of HDS+HCI observations with the E-ELT at 4.8 μm (Δλ = 0.07 μm) can detect a planet orbiting α Cen A with a radius of R = 1.5 Rearth and a twin-Earth thermal spectrum of Teq = 300 K at a signal-to-noise (S/N) of 5. In the optical, with a Strehl ratio performance of 0.3, reflected light from an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri can be detected at a S/N of 10 in the same time frame. Recently, first HDS+HCI observations have shown the potential of this technique by determining the spin-rotation of the young massive exoplanet β Pictoris b. Conclusions: The exploration of the planetary systems of our neighbor stars is of great scientific and philosophical value. The HDS+HCI technique has the potential to detect and characterize temperate rocky planets in their habitable zones. Exoplanet scientists should not shy away from claiming a significant fraction of the future ELTs to make such observations possible.

  2. Scattered light images of spiral arms in marginally gravitationally unstable discs with an embedded planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohl, A.; Pinilla, P.; Benisty, M.; Ataiee, S.; Juhsz, A.; Dullemond, C. P.; Van Boekel, R.; Henning, T.

    2015-10-01

    Scattered light images of transition discs in the near-infrared often show non-axisymmetric structures in the form of wide-open spiral arms in addition to their characteristic low-opacity inner gap region. We study self-gravitating discs and investigate the influence of gravitational instability on the shape and contrast of spiral arms induced by planet-disc interactions. Two-dimensional non-isothermal hydrodynamical simulations including viscous heating and a cooling prescription are combined with three-dimensional dust continuum radiative transfer models for direct comparison to observations. We find that the resulting contrast between the spirals and the surrounding disc in scattered light is by far higher for pressure scaleheight variations, i.e. thermal perturbations, than for pure surface density variations. Self-gravity effects suppress any vortex modes and tend to reduce the opening angle of planet-induced spirals, making them more tightly wound. If the disc is only marginally gravitationally stable with a Toomre parameter around unity, an embedded massive planet (planet-to-star mass ratio of 10-2) can trigger gravitational instability in the outer disc. The spirals created by this instability and the density waves launched by the planet can overlap resulting in large-scale, more open spiral arms in the outer disc. The contrast of these spirals is well above the detection limit of current telescopes.

  3. WFIRST Exoplanet Imaging: Can Broadband Colors Efficiently Descriminate Planets from the Background?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turnbull, Margaret C.; Kotulla, Ralf C.; Gallagher, John S.; Merrelli, Aronne; L'Ecuyer, Tristan; Fu, Guangwei; Hu, Renyu

    2016-01-01

    As part of the WFIRST Preparatory Science program, we have begun exploring the broadband color combinations for WFIRST that will most efficiently (1) descriminate planets from background sources in a single image and (2) shed some light on the nature of those planets. This is a first look at the color-color space, and color-magnitude space, occupied by planets orbiting nearby K-F main sequence stars. We explore (1) Solar System analog planets, (2) a variety of Earths/Super-Earths having optically thin or partially cloudy Earth-like atmospheres over desert/forest/ocean/icey surfaces, and (3) mini-Neptunes through Jupiter-mass planets at a range of temperatures where they would potentially be detectable to WFIRST. These colors are compared to the expected Galactic and extragalactic background sources for the Galactic coordinates of high priority targets. We offer some preliminary conclusions about the expected background contamination in these fields and how well color information can be used to mitigate that threat to WFIRST's exoplanet science.

  4. Beyond Kepler: Direct Imaging of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belikov, Ruslan

    2012-01-01

    Is there another Earth out there? Is there life on it? People have been asking these questions for over two thousand years, and we finally stand on the verge of answering them. The Kepler space telescope is NASA's first mission designed to study Earthlike exoplanets (exo-Earths), and it will soon tell us how often exo-Earths occur in the habitable zones of their stars. The next natural step after Kepler is spectroscopic characterization of exo-Earths, which would tell us whether they possess an atmosphere, oxygen, liquid water, as well as other biomarkers. In order to do this, directly imaging an exo-Earth may be necessary (at least for Sun-like stars). Directly imaging an exo-Earth is challenging and likely requires a flagship-size optical space telescope with an unprecedented imaging system capable of achieving contrasts of 1(exp 10) very close to the diffraction limit. Several coronagraphs and external occulters have been proposed to meet this challenge and are in development. After first overviewing the history and current state of the field, my talk will focus on the work proceeding at the Ames Coronagraph Experiment (ACE) at the NASA Ames Research Center, where we are developing the Phase Induced Amplitude Apodization (PIAA) coronagraph in a collaboration with JPL. PIAA is a powerful technique with demonstrated aggressive performance that defines the state of the art at small inner working angles. At ACE, we have achieved contrasts of 2(exp -8) with an inner working angle of 2 lambda/D and 1(exp -6) at 1.4 lambda/D. On the path to exo-Earth imaging, we are also pursuing a smaller telescope concept called EXCEDE (EXoplanetary Circumstellar Environments and Disk Explorer), which was recently selected for technology development (Category III) by NASA's Explorer program. EXCEDE will do fundamental science on debris disks as well as serve as a technological and scientific pathfinder for an exo-Earth imaging mission.

  5. Direct imaging of nonsolar planets with infrared telescopes using apodized coronagraphs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mills, James P.; Gaiser, Steven L.; Diner, David J.; Watson, Steven M.

    1991-01-01

    This research examines the use of modified Lyot coronagraphs with monolithic and segmented infrared telescopic systems for imaging nonsolar planets. These systems are investigated with the aim of reducing the effects of stellar diffracted energy on the planet image in the final image plane. A square telescope objective is best for this purpose. The associated coronagraph is composed of a cross-shaped apodizer in the first focal plane and either a square Lyot stop or circular corner Lyot stops in the corners of the pupil plane. The consequences of segmenting the aperture and the effects of various segment spacings and random piston and tilt errors of the individual segments are examined. A system to correct for the misalignments is proposed.

  6. How to Directly Image a Habitable Planet Around Alpha Centauri with a 30cm Space Telescope.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belikov, R.; Bendek, E.; Thomas, S.; Black, D.

    2014-12-01

    More than 1,700 exoplanets have been discovered to date, including a handful of potentially habitable ones. There is on average more than one planet per star, and estimates of occurrence rates for potentially habitable planets (eta_Earth) from the Kepler mission range between 5 and 50%. Several mission concepts have been studied to directly image planets around nearby stars. Direct imaging enables spectroscopic detection of biomarkers such as atmospheric oxygen and methane, which would be highly suggestive of extraterrestrial life. It is commonly thought that directly imaging a potentially habitable exoplanet requires telescopes with apertures of at least 1m, costing at least $1B, and launching no earlier than the 2020s. A notable exception to this is Alpha Centauri. The system contains two Sun-like stars with a wide separation that allows dynamically stable habitable zones around either star. Habitable zones span about 0.5-1" in stellocentric angle, 3x wider than around any other FGKM star. A 30cm visible light space telescope is sufficient to resolve the habitable zone and detect a potentially habitable planet in minutes with ideal components, or days with realistic ones. We are developing a mission concept called ACEND (Alpha Centauri Direct Imager) consisting of a 30cm primary, a Phase-Induced Amplitude Apodization coronagraph, and a wavefront control system. It is designed to suppress the light leak from both stars and directly image their planetary systems in 3 color channels, including the capability to detect potentially habitable planets. Color imaging is sufficient to differentiate Venus-like, Earth-like, and Mars-like planets from each other and establish the presence of Earth-pressure atmosphere through Rayleigh scattering. Two factors make it possible to realize the requirements of ACEND (most notably 10^10 contrast) on a small budget and fast schedule: (a) ACEND will collect a long continuous sequence of images on Alpha Centauri A and B for 2 years, enabling much better speckle subtraction than missions that have many targets, thus greatly relaxing the requirements on the raw contrast of the coronagraph; (b) the small scale regime implies greater rigidity and stability, as well as smaller optics with better wavefronts.

  7. Sky Background Variability Measured on Maunakea at Gemini North Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Adam B.; Roth, Katherine; Stephens, Andrew W.

    2016-01-01

    Gemini North has recently implemented a Quality Assessment Pipeline (QAP) that automatically reduces images in realtime to determine sky condition quantities, including background sky brightness from the optical to near-infrared. Processing archived images through the QAP and mining the results allows us to look for trends and systematic issues with the instruments and optics during the first decade of Gemini.Here we present the results of using the QAP calculated values to quantify how airglow affects the background sky brightness of images taken with Gemini's imaging instruments, GMOS and NIRI, as well as searching for other factors that may cause changes in the sky brightness. By investigating the dependence of measured sky brightness as a function of a variety of variables, including time after twilight, airmass, season, distance from the moon, air temperature, etc., we quantify the effect of sky brightness and its impact on the sensitivity of Gemini optical and near-infrared imaging data. These measurements will be used to determine new sky background relationships for Maunakea, and to improve the Gemini Integration Time Calculators (ITCs).

  8. Constraints on Extrasolar Planet Populations from VLT NACO/SDI and MMT SDI and Direct Adaptive Optics Imaging Surveys: Giant Planets are Rare at Large Separations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, Eric L.; Close, Laird M.; Biller, Beth A.; Masciadri, Elena; Lenzen, Rainer

    2008-02-01

    We examine the implications for the distribution of extrasolar planets based on the null results from two of the largest direct imaging surveys published to date. Combining the measured contrast curves from 22 of the stars observed with the VLT NACO adaptive optics system by Masciadri and coworkers and 48 of the stars observed with the VLT NACO SDI and MMT SDI devices by Biller and coworkers (for a total of 60 unique stars), we consider what distributions of planet masses and semimajor axes can be ruled out by these data, based on Monte Carlo simulations of planet populations. We can set the following upper limit with 95% confidence: the fraction of stars with planets with semimajor axis between 20 and 100 AU, and mass above 4 MJup, is 20% or less. Also, with a distribution of planet mass of dN/dM propto M‑1.16 in the range of 0.5-13 MJup, we can rule out a power-law distribution for semimajor axis (dN/da propto aα) with index 0 and upper cutoff of 18 AU, and index -0.5 with an upper cutoff of 48 AU. For the distribution suggested by Cumming et al., a power-law of index –0.61, we can place an upper limit of 75 AU on the semimajor axis distribution. In general, we find that even null results from direct imaging surveys are very powerful in constraining the distributions of giant planets (0.5-13 MJup) at large separations, but more work needs to be done to close the gap between planets that can be detected by direct imaging, and those to which the radial velocity method is sensitive.

  9. Towards the habitable zone: Direct imaging of extrasolar planets with the Magellan AO system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Males, Jared Robert

    One of the most compelling scientific quests ever undertaken is the quest to find life in our Universe somewhere other than Earth. An important piece to this puzzle is finding and characterizing extrasolar planets. This effort, particularly the characterization step, requires the ability to directly image such planets. This is a challenging task---such planets are much fainter than their host stars. One of the major solutions to this problem is Adaptive Optics (AO), which allows us to correct the turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere, and thereby further the hunt for exoplanets with ground based telescopes. The Magellan Adaptive Optics system has recently obtained its first on-sky results at Las Campanas Observatory, marking a significant step forward in the development of high-resolution high-contrast ground-based direct imaging. MagAO includes a visible wavelength science camera, VisAO, which---for the first time---provides diffraction limited imaging, in long exposures, on a large filled-aperture (6.5 m) telescope. In this dissertation we report on the design, development, laboratory testing, and initial on-sky results of MagAO and VisAO, which include the first ground-based image of an exoplanet (beta Pictoris b) with a CCD. We also discuss some of the exciting science planned for this system now that it is operational. We close with an analysis of a new problem in direct imaging: planets orbiting their stars move fast enough in the habitable zone to limit our ability to detect them.

  10. Janus and Gemini Nanoplates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Zhengdong; Mejia, Andres; Chang, Ya-Wen; He, Peng; Diaz, Agustin; Clearfield, Abraham

    2011-03-01

    Janus particles were used to make stable Pickering emulsions (emulsions stabilized by particles). Here we demonstrated a novel method to produce high aspect ratio Janus plates with atomic thickness. Gemini plates with only the edges functionalized are also fabricated. These novel nanoplates are observed to have super surface activity. Most importantly, these particles overcome the two opposite effects in the stabilization of Pickering emulsions using spherical particles: stabilization requires particles as small as possible; but smaller particles are easy to escape the interface due to Brownian motion since the adsorption energy to the oil-water interface is proportional to the diameter of the spheres. Our nanoplates have a large aspect ratio due to the extremely thin thickness, which offers extraordinary stability to the liquid film between two emulsions to prevent coalescence. In the meantime, their large lateral surface area offers strong adsorption energy at the oil-water interface.

  11. The Subaru SEEDS Direct Imaging Survey for Planets of Early-Type Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawson, Kellen D.; Carson, Joseph; Thalmann, Christian; Seeds Survey Team

    2015-01-01

    We present results from the Subaru SEEDS sub-program to search for extrasolar planets around early-type (mostly A-type) stars. SEEDS, the Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru, is a multi-year, direct-imaging survey to explore the link between planets and disks, and the evolution of protoplanetary systems and debris disks. With first observations carried out in 2009, the early-type star sub-program uses the Subaru 8-meter Telescope, the AO188 adaptive optics system, the HiCIAO near infrared science camera, and an Angular Differential Imaging observing procedure to distinguish faint orbiting companions from the overwhelming light of the parent star. We summarize progress to date, including the nature of our data processing techniques, improved software sensitivities, and our prior discovery of the 'Super-Jupiter' Kappa Andromedae b.

  12. Gemini-IFU Spectroscopy of HH 111

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerqueira, A. H.; Vasconcelos, M. J.; Raga, A. C.; Feitosa, J.; Plana, H.

    2015-03-01

    We present new optical observations of the Herbig-Haro (HH) 111 jet using the Gemini Multi Object Spectrograph in its Integral Field Unit mode. Eight fields of 5\\prime\\prime 3\\buildrel{\\prime\\prime}\\over{.} 5 have been positioned along and across the HH 111 jet, covering the spatial region from knot E to L in HH 111 (namely, knots E, F, G, H, J, K, and L). We present images and velocity channel maps for the [O i] 6300+6360, H?, [N ii] 6548+6583, and [S ii] 6716+6730 lines, as well as for the [S ii] 6716/6730 line ratio. We find that the HH 111 jet has an inner region with lower excitation and higher radial velocity, surrounded by a broader region of higher excitation and lower radial velocity. Also, we find higher electron densities at lower radial velocities. These results imply that the HH 111 jet has a fast, axial region with lower velocity shocks surrounded by a lower velocity sheath with higher velocity shocks. 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), Ministrio da Cincia, Tecnologia e Inovao (Brazil), and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina).

  13. PVOL: The Planetary Virtual Observatory & Laboratory. An online database of the Outer Planets images.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgado, A.; Snchez-Lavega, A.; Rojas, J. F.; Hueso, R.

    2005-08-01

    The collaboration between amateurs astronomers and the professional community has been fruitful on many areas of astronomy. The development of the Internet has allowed a better than ever capability of sharing information worldwide and access to other observers data. For many years now the International Jupiter Watch (IJW) Atmospheric discipline has coordinated observational efforts for long-term studies of the atmosphere of Jupiter. The International Outer Planets Watch (IOPW) has extended its labours to the four Outer Planets. Here we present the Planetary Virtual Observatory & Laboratory (PVOL), a website database where we integer IJW and IOPW images. At PVOL observers can submit their data and professionals can search for images under a wide variety of useful criteria such as date and time, filters used, observer, or central meridian longitude. PVOL is aimed to grow as an organized easy to use database of amateur images of the Outer Planets. The PVOL web address is located at http://www.pvol.ehu.es/ and coexists with the traditional IOPW site: http://www.ehu.es/iopw/ Acknowledgements: This work has been funded by Spanish MCYT PNAYA2003-03216, fondos FEDER and Grupos UPV 15946/2004. R. Hueso acknowledges a post-doc fellowship from Gobierno Vasco.

  14. El Observatorio Gemini - Status actual

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levato, H.

    Se hace una breve descripcin de la situacin actual del Observatorio Gemini y de las ltimas decisiones del Board para incrementar la eficiencia operativa. Se hace tambin una breve referencia al uso argentino del observatorio.

  15. Gemini 9 spacecraft recovery operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    The Gemini 9-A spacecraft, with Astronauts Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan still inside, in water as the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Wasp, the recovery ship, comes alongside to recover the astronauts and their spaceship.

  16. High-resolution imaging of Kepler planet host candidates. A comprehensive comparison of different techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lillo-Box, J.; Barrado, D.; Bouy, H.

    2014-06-01

    Context. The Kepler mission has discovered thousands of planet candidates. Currently, some of them have already been discarded; more than 200 have been confirmed by follow-up observations (most by radial velocity and few by other methods), and several hundreds have been validated. However, the large majority of the candidates are still awaiting for confirmation. Thus, priorities (in terms of the probability of the candidate being a real planet) must be established for subsequent radial velocity observations. Aims: The motivation of this work is to provide a set of isolated (good) host candidates to be further tested by other techniques that allow confirmation of the planet. As a complementary goal, we aim to identify close companions of the candidates that could have contaminated the light curve of the planet host due to the large pixel size of the Kepler CCD and its typical PSF of around 6 arcsec. Both goals can also provide robust statistics about the multiplicity of the Kepler hosts. Methods: We used the AstraLux North instrument located at the 2.2 m telescope in the Calar Alto Observatory (Almera, Spain) to obtain diffraction-limited images of 174 Kepler objects of interest. A sample of demoted Kepler objects of interest (with rejected planet candidates) is used as a control for comparison of multiplicity statistics. The lucky-imaging technique used in this work is compared to other adaptive optics and speckle imaging observations of Kepler planet host candidates. To that end, we define a new parameter, the blended source confidence level (BSC), to assess the probability of an object to have blended non-detected eclipsing binaries capable of producing the detected transit. Results: We find that 67.2% of the observed Kepler hosts are isolated within our detectability limits, and 32.8% have at least one visual companion at angular separations below 6 arcsec. Indeed, we find close companions (below 3 arcsec) for the 17.2% of the sample. The planet properties of this sample of non-isolated hosts are revised according to the presence of such close companions. We report one possible S-type binary (KOI-3158), where the five planet candidates would orbit one of the components of the system. We also report three possible false positives (KOIs 1230.01, 3649.01, and 3886.01) due to the presence of close companions that modify candidate properties such that they cannot be considered as planets anymore. The BSC parameter is calculated for all the isolated targets and compared to both the value prior to any high-resolution image and, when possible, to observations from previous high-spatial resolution surveys in the Kepler sample. Tables 1, 3, 4, 7, and 11 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  17. The LEECH Exoplanet Imaging Survey. Further constraints on the planet architecture of the HR 8799 system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maire, A.-L.; Skemer, A. J.; Hinz, P. M.; Desidera, S.; Esposito, S.; Gratton, R.; Marzari, F.; Skrutskie, M. F.; Biller, B. A.; Defrre, D.; Bailey, V. P.; Leisenring, J. M.; Apai, D.; Bonnefoy, M.; Brandner, W.; Buenzli, E.; Claudi, R. U.; Close, L. M.; Crepp, J. R.; De Rosa, R. J.; Eisner, J. A.; Fortney, J. J.; Henning, T.; Hofmann, K.-H.; Kopytova, T. G.; Males, J. R.; Mesa, D.; Morzinski, K. M.; Oza, A.; Patience, J.; Pinna, E.; Rajan, A.; Schertl, D.; Schlieder, J. E.; Su, K. Y. L.; Vaz, A.; Ward-Duong, K.; Weigelt, G.; Woodward, C. E.

    2015-04-01

    Context. Astrometric monitoring of directly imaged exoplanets allows the study of their orbital parameters and system architectures. Because most directly imaged planets have long orbital periods (>20 AU), accurate astrometry is challenging when based on data acquired on timescales of a few years and usually with different instruments. The LMIRCam camera on the Large Binocular Telescope is being used for the LBT Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt (LEECH) survey to search for and characterize young and adolescent exoplanets in L' band (3.8 ?m), including their system architectures. Aims: We first aim to provide a good astrometric calibration of LMIRCam. Then, we derive new astrometry, test the predictions of the orbital model of 8:4:2:1 mean motion resonance proposed for the system, and perform new orbital fitting of the HR 8799 bcde planets. We also present deep limits on a putative fifth planet inside the known planets. Methods: We use observations of HR 8799 and the ?1 Ori C field obtained during the same run in October 2013. Results: We first characterize the distortion of LMIRCam. We determine a platescale and a true north orientation for the images of 10.707 0.012 mas/pix and -0.430 0.076, respectively. The errors on the platescale and true north orientation translate into astrometric accuracies at a separation of 1'' of 1.1 mas and 1.3 mas, respectively. The measurements for all planets agree within 3? with a predicted ephemeris. The orbital fitting based on the new astrometric measurements favors an architecture for the planetary system based on 8:4:2:1 mean motion resonance. The detection limits allow us to exclude a fifth planet slightly brighter or more massive than HR 8799 b at the location of the 2:1 resonance with HR 8799 e (~9.5 AU) and about twice as bright as HR 8799 cde at the location of the 3:1 resonance with HR 8799 e (~7.5 AU). The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy, and Germany. LBT Corporation partners are: The University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system; Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max-Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; The Ohio State University, and The Research Corporation, on behalf of The University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota, and University of Virginia.

  18. Inferring Planet Mass from Spiral Structures in Protoplanetary Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fung, Jeffrey; Dong, Ruobing

    2015-12-01

    Recent observations of protoplanetary disk have reported spiral structures that are potential signatures of embedded planets, and modeling efforts have shown that a single planet can excite multiple spiral arms, in contrast to conventional disk-planet interaction theory. Using two and three-dimensional hydrodynamics simulations to perform a systematic parameter survey, we confirm the existence of multiple spiral arms in disks with a single planet, and discover a scaling relation between the azimuthal separation of the primary and secondary arm, {? }{{sep}}, and the planet-to-star mass ratio q: {? }{{sep}}=102^\\circ {(q/0.001)}0.2 for companions between Neptune mass and 16 Jupiter masses around a 1 solar mass star, and {? }{{sep}}=180^\\circ for brown dwarf mass companions. This relation is independent of the disk's temperature, and can be used to infer a planet's mass to within an accuracy of about 30% given only the morphology of a face-on disk. Combining hydrodynamics and Monte-Carlo radiative transfer calculations, we verify that our numerical measurements of {? }{{sep}} are accurate representations of what would be measured in near-infrared scattered light images, such as those expected to be taken by Gemini/GPI, Very Large Telescope/SPHERE, or Subaru/SCExAO in the future. Finally, we are able to infer, using our scaling relation, that the planet responsible for the spiral structure in SAO 206462 has a mass of about 6 Jupiter masses.

  19. Constraints on Extrasolar Planet Populations from VLT NACO/SDI and MMT SDI and Direct Adaptive Optics Imaging Surveys: Giant Planets are Rare at Large Separations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, E. L.; Close, L. M.; Biller, B. A.; Masciadri, E.; Lenzen, R.

    2010-01-01

    We examine the implications for the distribution of extrasolar planets based on the null results from two of the largest direct imaging surveys published to date. Combining the measured contrast curves from Masciadri et al. (2005) and Biller et al. (2007), we consider what distributions of planet masses and semi-major axes can be ruled out by these data, based on Monte Carlo simulations of planet populations. We can set the following upper limit with 95% confidence: the fraction of stars with planets with semi-major axis between 20 and 100 AU, and mass above 4 MJup, is 20% or less. Also, with a distribution of planet mass of {dN}/{dM} ∝ M-1.16 in the range of 0.5-13 M Jup , we can rule out a power-law distribution for semi-major axis ({dN}/{da} ∝ aα) with index 0 and upper cut-off of 18 AU, and index -0.5 with an upper cut-off of 48 AU. For the distribution suggested by Cumming et al. (2008), a power-law of index -0.61, we can place an upper limit of 75 AU on the semi-major axis distribution.

  20. ADAPTIVE OPTICS IMAGES. II. 12 KEPLER OBJECTS OF INTEREST AND 15 CONFIRMED TRANSITING PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Adams, E. R.; Dupree, A. K.; Kulesa, C.; McCarthy, D.

    2013-07-01

    All transiting planet observations are at risk of contamination from nearby, unresolved stars. Blends dilute the transit signal, causing the planet to appear smaller than it really is, or producing a false positive detection when the target star is blended with an eclipsing binary. High spatial resolution adaptive optics images are an effective way of resolving most blends. Here we present visual companions and detection limits for 12 Kepler planet candidate host stars, of which 4 have companions within 4''. One system (KOI 1537) consists of two similar-magnitude stars separated by 0.''1, while KOI 174 has a companion at 0.''5. In addition, observations were made of 15 transiting planets that were previously discovered by other surveys. The only companion found within 1'' of a known planet is the previously identified companion to WASP-2b. An additional four systems have companions between 1'' and 4'': HAT-P-30b (3.''7, {Delta}Ks = 2.9), HAT-P-32b (2.''9, {Delta}Ks = 3.4), TrES-1b (2.''3, {Delta}Ks = 7.7), and WASP-P-33b (1.''9, {Delta}Ks = 5.5), some of which have not been reported previously. Depending on the spatial resolution of the transit photometry for these systems, these companion stars may require a reassessment of the planetary parameters derived from transit light curves. For all systems observed, we report the limiting magnitudes beyond which additional fainter objects located 0.''1-4'' from the target may still exist.

  1. ESTIMATES OF THE PLANET YIELD FROM GROUND-BASED HIGH-CONTRAST IMAGING OBSERVATIONS AS A FUNCTION OF STELLAR MASS

    SciTech Connect

    Crepp, Justin R.; Johnson, John Asher

    2011-06-01

    We use Monte Carlo simulations to estimate the number of extrasolar planets that are directly detectable in the solar neighborhood using current and forthcoming high-contrast imaging instruments. Our calculations take into consideration the important factors that govern the likelihood for imaging a planet, including the statistical properties of stars in the solar neighborhood, correlations between star and planet properties, observational effects, and selection criteria. We consider several different ground-based surveys, both biased and unbiased, and express the resulting planet yields as a function of stellar mass. Selecting targets based on their youth and visual brightness, we find that strong correlations between star mass and planet properties are required to reproduce high-contrast imaging results to date (i.e., HR 8799, {beta} Pic). Using the most recent empirical findings for the occurrence rate of gas-giant planets from radial velocity (RV) surveys, our simulations indicate that naive extrapolation of the Doppler planet population to semimajor axes accessible to high-contrast instruments provides an excellent agreement between simulations and observations using present-day contrast levels. In addition to being intrinsically young and sufficiently bright to serve as their own beacon for adaptive optics correction, A-stars have a high planet occurrence rate and propensity to form massive planets in wide orbits, making them ideal targets. The same effects responsible for creating a multitude of detectable planets around massive stars conspire to reduce the number orbiting low-mass stars. However, in the case of a young stellar cluster, where targets are approximately the same age and situated at roughly the same distance, MK-stars can easily dominate the number of detections because of an observational bias related to small number statistics. The degree to which low-mass stars produce the most planet detections in this special case depends upon whether multiple formation mechanisms are at work. Upon relaxing our assumption that planets in ultra-wide (a > 100 AU) orbits resemble the RV sample, our simulations suggest that the companions found orbiting late-type stars (AB Pic, 1RXSJ1609, GSC 06214, etc.) are consistent with a formation channel distinct from that of RV planets. These calculations explain why planets have thus far been imaged preferentially around A-stars and K-, M-stars, but no spectral types in between, despite concerted efforts targeting F-, G-stars.

  2. Estimates of the Planet Yield from Ground-based High-contrast Imaging Observations as a Function of Stellar Mass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crepp, Justin R.; Johnson, John Asher

    2011-06-01

    We use Monte Carlo simulations to estimate the number of extrasolar planets that are directly detectable in the solar neighborhood using current and forthcoming high-contrast imaging instruments. Our calculations take into consideration the important factors that govern the likelihood for imaging a planet, including the statistical properties of stars in the solar neighborhood, correlations between star and planet properties, observational effects, and selection criteria. We consider several different ground-based surveys, both biased and unbiased, and express the resulting planet yields as a function of stellar mass. Selecting targets based on their youth and visual brightness, we find that strong correlations between star mass and planet properties are required to reproduce high-contrast imaging results to date (i.e., HR 8799, ? Pic). Using the most recent empirical findings for the occurrence rate of gas-giant planets from radial velocity (RV) surveys, our simulations indicate that naive extrapolation of the Doppler planet population to semimajor axes accessible to high-contrast instruments provides an excellent agreement between simulations and observations using present-day contrast levels. In addition to being intrinsically young and sufficiently bright to serve as their own beacon for adaptive optics correction, A-stars have a high planet occurrence rate and propensity to form massive planets in wide orbits, making them ideal targets. The same effects responsible for creating a multitude of detectable planets around massive stars conspire to reduce the number orbiting low-mass stars. However, in the case of a young stellar cluster, where targets are approximately the same age and situated at roughly the same distance, MK-stars can easily dominate the number of detections because of an observational bias related to small number statistics. The degree to which low-mass stars produce the most planet detections in this special case depends upon whether multiple formation mechanisms are at work. Upon relaxing our assumption that planets in ultra-wide (a > 100 AU) orbits resemble the RV sample, our simulations suggest that the companions found orbiting late-type stars (AB Pic, 1RXSJ1609, GSC 06214, etc.) are consistent with a formation channel distinct from that of RV planets. These calculations explain why planets have thus far been imaged preferentially around A-stars and K-, M-stars, but no spectral types in between, despite concerted efforts targeting F-, G-stars.

  3. Connecting Young Brown Dwarfs and Directly Imaged Gas-Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Michael; Dupuy, Trent; Allers, Katelyn; Aller, Kimberly; Best, William; Magnier, Eugene

    2015-12-01

    Direct detections of gas-giant exoplanets and discoveries of young (~10-100 Myr) field brown dwarfs from all-sky surveys are strengthening the link between the exoplanet and brown dwarf populations, given the overlapping ages, masses, temperatures, and surface gravities. In light of the relatively small number of directly imaged planets and the modest associated datasets, the large census of young field brown dwarfsprovides a compelling laboratory for enriching our understanding of both classes of objects. However, work to date on young field objects has typically focused on individual discoveries.We present a large comprehensive study of the youngest field brown dwarfs, comprising both previously known objects and our new discoveries from the latest wide-field surveys (Pan-STARRS-1 and WISE). With masses now extending down to ~5 Jupiter masses, these objects have physical properties that largely overlap young gas-giant planets and thus are promising analogs for studying exoplanet atmospheres at unparalleled S/N, spectral resolution, and wavelength coverage. We combine high-quality spectra and parallaxes to determine spectral energy distributions, luminosities, temperatures, and ages for young field objects. We demonstrate that this population spans a continuum in the color-magnitude diagram, thereby forming a bridge between the hot and cool extremes of directly imaged planets. We find that the extremely dusty properties of the planets around 2MASS J1207-39 and HR 8799 do occur in some young brown dwarfs, but these properties do not have a simple correspondence with age, perhaps contrary to expectations. We find young field brown dwarfs can have unusually low temperatures and suggest a new spectral type-temperature scale appropriate for directly imaged planets.To help provide a reference for extreme-contrast imaging surveys, we establish a grid of spectral standards and benchmarks, based on membership in nearby young moving groups, in order to calibrate gravity (age) and temperature diagnostics from near-IR spectroscopy. Finally, we use our data to critically examine the possibility that free-floating objects and companions may share different evolutionary histories, thereby complicating the brown dwarf-exoplanet connection.

  4. Imaging the Sources and Full Extent of the Sodium Tail of the Planet Mercury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baumgardner, Jeffrey; Wilson, Jody; Mendillo, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Observations of sodium emission from Mercury can be used to describe the spatial and temporal patterns of sources and sinks in the planet s surface-boundary-exosphere. We report on new data sets that provide the highest spatial resolution of source regions at polar latitudes, as well as the extraordinary length of a tail of escaping Na atoms. The tail s extent of approx.1.5 degrees (nearly 1400 Mercury radii) is driven by radiation pressure effects upon Na atoms sputtered from the surface in the previous approx.5 hours. Wide-angle filtered-imaging instruments are thus capable of studying the time history of sputtering processes of sodium and other species at Mercury from ground-based observatories in concert with upcoming satellite missions to the planet. Plasma tails produced by photo-ionization of Na and other gases in Mercury s neutral tails may be observable by in-situ instruments.

  5. Planet Masses from Disk Spirals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    Young, forming planets can generate immense spiral structures within their protoplanetary disks. A recent study has shown that observations of these spiral structures may allow astronomers to measure the mass of the planets that create them.Spirals From WavesSnapshots of the surface density of a protoplanetary disk in a 2D simulation, 3D simulation, and synthesized scattered-light image. Click for a closer look! [Fung Dong, 2015]Recent studies have shown that a single planet, if it is massive enough, can excite multiple density waves within a protoplanetary disk as it orbits. These density waves can then interfere to produce a multiple-armed spiral structure in the disk inside of the planets orbit a structure which can potentially be observed in scattered-light images of the disk.But what do these arms look like, and what factors determine their structure? In a recently published study, Jeffrey Fung and Ruobing Dong, two researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, have modeled the spiral arms in an effort to answer these questions.Arms Provide AnswersA useful parameter for describing the structure is the azimuthal separation (sep) between the primary and secondary spiral arms. If you draw a circle within the disk and measure the angle between the two points where the primary and secondary arms cross it, thats sep.Azimuthal separation of the primary and secondary spiral arms, as a function of the planet-to-star mass ratio q. The different curves represent different disk aspect ratios. [Fung Dong, 2015]The authors find thatsep stays roughly constant for different radii, but its strongly dependent on the planets mass: for larger planets, sep increases. They discover that sep scales as a power of the planet mass for companions between Neptune mass and 16 Jupiter masses, orbiting around a solar-mass star. For larger, brown-dwarf-size companions, sep is a constant 180.If this new theory is confirmed, it could have very interesting implications for observations of protoplanetary disks: this would give us the ability to measure the mass of a planet in a disk without ever needing to directly observe the planet itself!Modeling ObservationsFung and Dong confirm their models by additionally running 3D simulations, which yield very similar outcomes. From these simulation results, they then synthesize scattered-light images similar to what we would expect to be able to observe with telescopes like the VLT, Gemini, or Subaru. The authors demonstrate that from these scattered-light images, they can correctly retrieve the planets mass to within 30%.Finally, as a proof-of-concept, the authors apply this modeling to an actual system: SAO 206462, a nearly face-on protoplanetary disk with an observed two-armed spiral within it. From the measured azimuthal separation of the two arms, the authors estimate that it contains a planet of about 6 Jupiter masses.CitationJeffrey Fung () and Ruobing Dong () 2015 ApJ 815 L21. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/815/2/L21

  6. Planet Masses from Disk Spirals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-12-01

    Young, forming planets can generate immense spiral structures within their protoplanetary disks. A recent study has shown that observations of these spiral structures may allow astronomers to measure the mass of the planets that create them.Spirals From WavesSnapshots of the surface density of a protoplanetary disk in a 2D simulation, 3D simulation, and synthesized scattered-light image. Click for a closer look! [Fung Dong, 2015]Recent studies have shown that a single planet, if it is massive enough, can excite multiple density waves within a protoplanetary disk as it orbits. These density waves can then interfere to produce a multiple-armed spiral structure in the disk inside of the planets orbit a structure which can potentially be observed in scattered-light images of the disk.But what do these arms look like, and what factors determine their structure? In a recently published study, Jeffrey Fung and Ruobing Dong, two researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, have modeled the spiral arms in an effort to answer these questions.Arms Provide AnswersA useful parameter for describing the structure is the azimuthal separation (sep) between the primary and secondary spiral arms. If you draw a circle within the disk and measure the angle between the two points where the primary and secondary arms cross it, thats sep.Azimuthal separation of the primary and secondary spiral arms, as a function of the planet-to-star mass ratio q. The different curves represent different disk aspect ratios. [Fung Dong, 2015]The authors find thatsep stays roughly constant for different radii, but its strongly dependent on the planets mass: for larger planets, sep increases. They discover that sep scales as a power of the planet mass for companions between Neptune mass and 16 Jupiter masses, orbiting around a solar-mass star. For larger, brown-dwarf-size companions, sep is a constant 180.If this new theory is confirmed, it could have very interesting implications for observations of protoplanetary disks: this would give us the ability to measure the mass of a planet in a disk without ever needing to directly observe the planet itself!Modeling ObservationsFung and Dong confirm their models by additionally running 3D simulations, which yield very similar outcomes. From these simulation results, they then synthesize scattered-light images similar to what we would expect to be able to observe with telescopes like the VLT, Gemini, or Subaru. The authors demonstrate that from these scattered-light images, they can correctly retrieve the planets mass to within 30%.Finally, as a proof-of-concept, the authors apply this modeling to an actual system: SAO 206462, a nearly face-on protoplanetary disk with an observed two-armed spiral within it. From the measured azimuthal separation of the two arms, the authors estimate that it contains a planet of about 6 Jupiter masses.CitationJeffrey Fung () and Ruobing Dong () 2015 ApJ 815 L21. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/815/2/L21

  7. The Planets Around Low-Mass Stars (PALMS) Direct Imaging Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, M. C.; Shkolnik, E.; Mann, A.; Tamura, M.

    2013-01-01

    Direct imaging is the only method to study the outer architecture (>10 AU) of extrasolar planetary systems in a targeted fashion. Previous imaging surveys have primarily focused on intermediate- and high-mass stars because of the relative dearth of known nearby young M dwarfs. As a result, even though M dwarfs make up 70% of stars in our galaxy, there are few constraints on the population of giant planets at moderate separations (10-100 AU) in this stellar mass regime. We present results from an ongoing high-contrast adaptive optics imaging survey targeting newly identified nearby (<35 pc) young (<300 Myr) M dwarfs with Keck-2/NIRC2 and Subaru/HiCIAO. We have already discovered four young brown dwarf companions with masses between 30-70 Mjup; two of these are members of the ~120 Myr AB Dor moving group, and another one will yield a dynamical mass in the near future. Follow-up optical and near-infrared spectroscopy of these companions reveal spectral types of late-M to early-L and spectroscopic indicators of youth such as angular H-band morphologies, weak J-band alkali lines, and Li absorption and Halpha emission in one target. Altogether our survey is sensitive to planet masses a few times that of Jupiter at separations down to ~10 AU. With a sample size of roughly 80 single M dwarfs, this program represents the deepest and most extensive imaging search for planets around young low-mass stars to date.

  8. A Laboratory Demonstration of the Capability to Image an Earth-like Extrasolar Planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trauger, John T.; Wesley, A. Traub

    2007-01-01

    The detection and characterization of an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star requires a telescope with an extraordinarily large contrast at small angular separations. At visible wavelengths, an Earth-like planet would be 1 times 10-10 times fainter than the star at angular separations of typically 0.1 arcsecond or less. There are several proposed space telescope systems that could, in principle, achieve this. Here we report a laboratory experiment that reaches these limits. We have suppressed the diffracted and scattered light near a star-like source to a level of 6 times 10-10 times the peak intensity in individual coronagraph images. In a series of such images, together with simple image processing, we have effectively reduced this to a residual noise level of about 0.1 times 10-10. This demonstrates that a coronagraphic telescope in space could detect and spectroscopically characterize nearby exoplanetary systems, with the sensitivity to image an 'Earth-twin' orbiting a nearby star.

  9. How to Directly Image a Habitable Planet Around Alpha Centauri with a ~30cm Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belikov, Ruslan; Acend Team, Acesat Team

    2015-01-01

    Several mission concepts are being studied to directly image planets around nearby stars. Direct imaging enables spectroscopic detection of biomarkers such as atmospheric oxygen and methane, which would be highly suggestive of extraterrestrial life. It is commonly thought that directly imaging a potentially habitable exoplanet requires telescopes with apertures of at least 1m, costing at least 1B, and launching no earlier than the 2020s.A notable exception to this is Alpha Centauri (A and B), which is an extreme outlier among FGKM stars in terms of apparent habitable zone size. Specifically, Alpha Centauri habitable zones span about 0.5-1' in stellocentric angle, ~3x wider than around any other FGKM star. This enables a ~30cm visible light space telescope equipped with a modern high performance coronagraph or starshade to resolve the habitable zone at high contrast and directly image any potentially habitable planet that may exist in the system. Due to the extreme apparent brightness of the stars, exposure times can be as short as minutes with ideal components, or days with realistic ones. This makes it possible to do color photometry on potentially habitable planets sufficient to differentiate Venus-like, Earth-like, and Mars-like planets from each other and establish the presence of Earth-pressure atmosphere through Rayleigh scattering.The raw contrast requirements for such an instrument can be relaxed to 1e-8 if the mission spends 2 years collecting tens of thousands of images on the same target, enabling a factor of 500-1000 speckle suppression in post processing. The light leak from both stars is controllable with a special wavefront control algorithm known as Multi-Star Wavefront Control (MSWC), which independently suppresses diffraction and aberrations from both stars using independent modes on the deformable mirror (see Thomas et al. at this conference).The presentation will describe the general studies and calculations in more detail and briefly present examples of small coronagraphic mission concepts currently being developed to take advantage of this opportunity. (For more detail about one such concept, see Bendek et al. at this conference).

  10. The trends high-contrast imaging survey. IV. The occurrence rate of giant planets around M dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Montet, Benjamin T.; Crepp, Justin R.; Johnson, John Asher; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.

    2014-01-20

    Doppler-based planet surveys have discovered numerous giant planets but are incomplete beyond several AU. At larger star-planet separations, direct planet detection through high-contrast imaging has proven successful, but this technique is sensitive only to young planets and characterization relies upon theoretical evolution models. Here we demonstrate that radial velocity measurements and high-contrast imaging can be combined to overcome these issues. The presence of widely separated companions can be deduced by identifying an acceleration (long-term trend) in the radial velocity of a star. By obtaining high spatial resolution follow-up imaging observations, we rule out scenarios in which such accelerations are caused by stellar binary companions with high statistical confidence. We report results from an analysis of Doppler measurements of a sample of 111 M-dwarf stars with a median of 29 radial velocity observations over a median time baseline of 11.8 yr. By targeting stars that exhibit a radial velocity acceleration ({sup t}rend{sup )} with adaptive optics imaging, we determine that 6.5% 3.0% of M-dwarf stars host one or more massive companions with 1 < m/M{sub J} < 13 and 0 < a < 20 AU. These results are lower than analyses of the planet occurrence rate around higher-mass stars. We find the giant planet occurrence rate is described by a double power law in stellar mass M and metallicity F ? [Fe/H] such that f(M,F)=0.039{sub ?0.028}{sup +0.056}M{sup 0.8{sub ?}{sub 0}{sub .}{sub 9}{sup +{sup 1{sup .{sup 1}}}}}10{sup (3.81.2)F}. Our results are consistent with gravitational microlensing measurements of the planet occurrence rate; this study represents the first model-independent comparison with microlensing observations.

  11. Index maps for Gemini earth photography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giddings, L. E.

    1975-01-01

    Index maps for the Gemini missions are presented; these are for the Gemini 3 through Gemini 12 missions. The maps are divided into four sections: the whole earth; the Western Hemisphere and eastern Pacific Ocean; Africa, India, and the Near East; and Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Ocean.

  12. Recovery of Gemini 4 spacecraft and astronauts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Recovery of Gemini 4 spacecraft and astronauts. Views include Astronaut James A. McDivitt, command pilot of the Gemini 4 space flight, sitting in life raft awaiting pickup by helicopter from the recovery ship, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Wasp (33490); Navy frogmen stand on the flotation collar of the Gemini 4 spacecraft during recovery operations (33491).

  13. Gemini 8-m Telescopes performance estimates update

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oschmann, Jim; Simons, Douglas A.

    1997-03-01

    The Gemini 8 meter telescopes performance with active and adaptive optics as a system is given. The telescopes are being designed to deliver near diffraction limited images at infrared wavelengths to the focal plane. This is achieved with a combination of innovative telescope design, a fully active control system and a natural guide star adaptive optics (AO) system for the Mauna Kea Telescope. The predicted delivered performance while under full active control is given at 2.2 microns. The top level AO system error budget is presented including the effects of instrumentation. The Gemini telescopes have been designed from the outset to be fully active; from control of the primary mirror surfaces and positioning of the secondary to ventilation of the enclosure by control over the ventilation gates. Descriptions of the concepts used in the various subsystems have been published previously. Here, we emphasize the system level interactions between the Gemini adaptive optics system and the telescope and instruments. This includes a performance summary of how the telescope operates with and without AO. First, the current system concept is outlined, which includes wavefront sensors/guiders in the following areas: (1) acquisition and guiding system, peripheral wavefront sensors; (2) scientific instruments, on instrument wavefront sensors; (3) adaptive optics system, facility wavefront sensor. The system performance depends upon the interactions of these three key sensor areas. For non-AO use, both peripheral and on instrument wavefront sensor may be used to support fast and slow guiding and active control of the telescope alignment and wavefront. For AO use, combinations of all three types of wavefront sensors may be used for adaptive atmospheric compensation in addition to the functions listed above. The system is designed to quickly change between modes of operation (AO to non-AO and back) under remote control.

  14. Shape model and rotational state of dwarf planet Ceres from Dawn FC stereo images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preusker, F.; Scholten, F.; Matz, K.-D.; Roatsch, T.; Elgner, S.; Jaumann, R.; Joy, S. P.; Polanskey, C. A.; Raymond, C. A.; Russell, C. T.

    2015-10-01

    In 2012, the Dawn mission completed its 14-month observation campaign at asteroid (4) Vesta and entered in March 2015 successfully into the orbit around its final target - the dwarf planet Ceres. Similar to the mapping strategy at Vesta, Ceres will be imaged in three different altitude orbits [1] Survey, High Altitude Mapping Orbit (HAMO), and Low Altitude Mapping Orbit (LAMO) using the onboard camera Dawn FC [2]. In June 2015 Dawn is going to start its Survey orbit and will acquire about 920 clear filter images with a resolution of about 400 m/pixel in eight different cycles. In each cycle Ceres will be mapped completely under similar illumination conditions (Sun elevation and azimuth), but different viewing conditions (by slewing the spacecraft offnadir). This will allow us to analyze the images stereoscopically and to construct stereo topographic maps. The topography is particularly important because it is essential for derivation of physical properties of Ceres, precise ortho-image registration, mosaicking, and map generation of monochrome/color FC images and VIR images [3]. Furthermore we will determine a precise description of the rotational state of Ceres.

  15. Gemini astronauts during medical examination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Astronaut John W. Young, pilot for the Gemini-Titan 3 mission, undergoes an ear, nose and throat examination by Dr. L. Ballenberger, U.S. Navy captain. The examination took place during the physical given to the GT-3 crew two days before launch (20422); Astronaut Virgil I. Grissom, command pilot for the GT-3 mission, receives eye examination (20423).

  16. GAPS IN THE HD 169142 PROTOPLANETARY DISK REVEALED BY POLARIMETRIC IMAGING: SIGNS OF ONGOING PLANET FORMATION?

    SciTech Connect

    Quanz, Sascha P.; Avenhaus, Henning; Garufi, Antonio; Schmid, Hans Martin; Buenzli, Esther; Wolf, Sebastian

    2013-03-20

    We present H-band Very Large Telescope/NACO polarized light images of the Herbig Ae/Be star HD 169142 probing its protoplanetary disk as close as {approx}0.''1 to the star. Our images trace the face-on disk out to {approx}1.''7 ({approx}250 AU) and reveal distinct substructures for the first time: (1) the inner disk ({approx}<20 AU) appears to be depleted in scattering dust grains; (2) an unresolved disk rim is imaged at {approx}25 AU; (3) an annular gap extends from {approx}40 to 70 AU; (4) local brightness asymmetries are found on opposite sides of the annular gap. We discuss different explanations for the observed morphology among which ongoing planet formation is a tempting, but yet to be proven, one. Outside of {approx}85 AU the surface brightness drops off roughly {proportional_to}r {sup -3.3}, but describing the disk regions between 85-120 AU and 120-250 AU separately with power laws {proportional_to}r {sup -2.6} and {proportional_to}r {sup -3.9} provides a better fit hinting toward another discontinuity in the disk surface. The flux ratio between the disk-integrated polarized light and the central star is {approx}4.1 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -3}. Finally, combining our results with those from the literature, {approx}40% of the scattered light in the H band appears to be polarized. Our results emphasize that HD 169142 is an interesting system for future planet formation or disk evolution studies.

  17. Direct imaging and spectroscopy of terrestrial planets with JWST and a starsahde

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soummer, R.; Valenti, J.; Brown, R. A.; Seager, S.; Tumlinson, J.; Cash, W.; Jordan, I.; Postman, M.; Mountain, M.; Glassman, T.; Pueyo, L.; Roberge, A.; NWP Team

    2010-10-01

    We present a study for using a starshade with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). This concept would enable imaging and spectroscopy of a planet similar to the Earth, the study of its habitability, and the search for signs of alien life. JWST was not specifically designed to observe with a starshade, but its instrumentation and its great sensitivity make it capable of achieving major results in the study of terrestrial-mass exoplanets. However, there are some challenges for the starshade designs mainly due to the very large wavelength sensitivity of the HgCdTe detectors. We discuss the combination of a starshade with internal filters in NIRCam and NIRSpec to optimize both science return and starshade performance. We discuss a possible filter upgrade to enable feasible observations of Earth-like planets and in particular spectroscopic characterization in the near infrared. The new filter would not affect NIRSpec's scientific performance nor its operations, but it would dramatically reduce the risk of adding a starshade to JWST in the future and enhance the performance of any starshade that is built.

  18. Hole-y Debris Disks, Batman! Where are the planets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, V.; Meshkat, T.; Hinz, P.; Kenworthy, M.; Su, K. Y. L.

    2014-03-01

    Giant planets at wide separations are rare and direct imaging surveys are resource-intensive, so a cheaper marker for the presence of giant planets is desirable. One intriguing possibility is to use the effect of planets on their host stars' debris disks. Theoretical studies indicate giant planets can gravitationally carve sharp boundaries and gaps in their disks; this has been seen for HR 8799, β Pic, and tentatively for HD 95086 (Su et al. 2009, Lagrange et al. 2010, Moor et al. 2013). If more broadly demonstrated, this link could help guide target selection for next generation direct imaging surveys. Using Spitzer MIPS/IRS spectral energy distributions (SEDs), we identify several dozen systems with two-component and/or large inner cavity disks (aka Hole-y Debris Disks). With LBT/LBTI, VLT/NaCo, GeminiS/NICI, MMT/Clio and Magellan/Clio, we survey a subset these SEDselected targets (~20). In contrast to previous disk-selected planet surveys (e.g.: Janson et al. 2013, Wahhaj et al. 2013) we image primarily in the thermal IR (L'-band), where planet-to-star contrast is more favorable and background contaminants less numerous. Thus far, two of our survey targets host planet-mass companions, both of which were discovered in L'-band after they were unrecognized or undetectable in H-band. For each system in our sample set, we will investigate whether the known companions and/or companions below our detection threshold could be responsible for the disk architecture. Ultimately, we will increase our effective sample size by incorporating detection limits from surveys that have independently targeted some of our systems of interest. In this way we will refine the conditions under which disk SED-based target selection is likely to be useful and valid.

  19. AO operations at Gemini South

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marin, Eduardo; Cardwell, Andrew; Pessev, Peter

    2014-08-01

    The 8m Gemini South telescope is entering an exciting new era of AO operations, which put it at the forefront of astronomical AO in terms of both wide field AO, and extreme-AO systems. Major milestones achieved were the successful commissioning of GeMS, in 2012, and GPI, in late 2013 and early 2014. Currently we are operating two of the worlds most advanced astronomical AO systems. Gemini, running primarily in queue, must balance the promise of AO with the demands of the community to use non-AO instruments. We discuss the current state of the two AO systems, and their operational models. The preparations that go into planning each AO run, the difficulties in scheduling around non-AO instruments, and the differences between scheduling LGS AO and non-LGS AO are discussed.

  20. GEMINI. Finite Element Structural Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Murray, R.C.

    1989-11-01

    GEMINI calculates the two and three-dimensional static and dynamic response of linear elastic structures using the finite element method. GEMINI is written in a modular format to allow new elements to be inserted and newly-developed equation solvers, eigenvalue routines, and modal analysis techniques to be implemented and evaluated. The current element library consists of a boundary spring, a truss beam element, a straight and curved pipe element, a general stiffness/flexibility matrix element, an axisymmetric shell, a plane stress membrane element, a two-dimensional solid element with temperature dependent orthotropic material properties, a plate bending element, a shell element combining the membrane and bending elements, and a general three-dimensional solid. In addition to standard stress recovery, surface stresses and Von Muses stress may be obtained for the beam, membrane, and shell elements.

  1. Searching for Brown Dwarfs using the Gemini Science Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coulson, Dolores; Aspin, C.; Geballe, T. R.

    2007-05-01

    The Gemini Science Archive (GSA) is a repository for all data taken on the two Gemini telescopes. After an 18 months proprietary period, these data are made available to the astronomical community. We have obtained from the GSA several high galactic latitude GMOS deep field images to search for L and T field brown dwarfs (BDs). We present analysis of two fields each imaged in two SDSS filters, i' and z'. We have used GAIA/SExtractor to identify and characterize point-like sources with i'-z'>2. These deep GSA images contain potential brown dwarfs with i'<24 magnitudes. These are sources which have a photometric errors <=10%. Future spectroscopy and J-band photometry will allow us to separate true BDs from high redshift quasars, which have similar optical colors.

  2. HIGH-CONTRAST IMAGING SEARCH FOR PLANETS AND BROWN DWARFS AROUND THE MOST MASSIVE STARS IN THE SOLAR NEIGHBORHOOD

    SciTech Connect

    Janson, Markus; Bonavita, Mariangela; Jayawardhana, Ray; Klahr, Hubert; Lafreniere, David; Zinnecker, Hans

    2011-08-01

    There has been a long-standing discussion in the literature as to whether core accretion or disk instability is the dominant mode of planet formation. Over the last decade, several lines of evidence have been presented showing that core accretion is most likely the dominant mechanism for the close-in population of planets probed by radial velocity and transits. However, this does not by itself prove that core accretion is the dominant mode for the total planet population, since disk instability might conceivably produce and retain large numbers of planets in the far-out regions of the disk. If this is a relevant scenario, then the outer massive disks of B-stars should be among the best places for massive planets and brown dwarfs to form and reside. In this study, we present high-contrast imaging of 18 nearby massive stars of which 15 are in the B2-A0 spectral-type range and provide excellent sensitivity to wide companions. By comparing our sensitivities to model predictions of disk instability based on physical criteria for fragmentation and cooling, and using Monte Carlo simulations for orbital distributions, we find that {approx}85% of such companions should have been detected in our images on average. Given this high degree of completeness, stringent statistical limits can be set from the null-detection result, even with the limited sample size. We find that <30% of massive stars form and retain disk instability planets, brown dwarfs, and very low mass stars of <100 M{sub jup} within 300 AU, at 99% confidence. These results, combined with previous findings in the literature, lead to the conclusion that core accretion is likely the dominant mode of planet formation.

  3. Gemini high-resolution optical spectrograph conceptual design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szeto, Kei; McConnachie, Alan; Anthony, André; Bohlender, David; Crampton, David; Desaulniers, Pierre; Dunn, Jennifer; Hardy, Tim; Hill, Alexis; Monin, Dmitry; Pazder, John; Schwab, Christian; Spano, Paola; Starkenburg, Else; Thibault, Simon; Walker, Gordon; Venn, Kim; Zhang, Hu

    2012-09-01

    A multiplexed moderate resolution (R = 34,000) and a single object high resolution (R = 90,000) spectroscopic facility for the entire 340 - 950nm wavelength region has been designed for Gemini. The result is a high throughput, versatile instrument that will enable precision spectroscopy for decades to come. The extended wavelength coverage for these relatively high spectral resolutions is achieved by use of an Echelle grating with VPH cross-dispersers and for the R = 90,000 mode utilization of an image slicer. The design incorporates a fast, efficient, reliable system for acquiring targets over the7 arcmin field of Gemini. This paper outlines the science case development and requirements flow-down process that leads to the configuration of the HIA instrument and describes the overall GHOS conceptual design. In addition, this paper discusses design trades examined during the conceptual design study instrument group of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics has been commissioned by the Gemini Observatory as one of the three competing organizations to conduct a conceptual design study for a new Gemini High-Resolution Optical Spectrograph (GHOS). This paper outlines the science case development and requirements flow-down process that leads to the configuration of the HIA instrument and describes the overall GHOS conceptual design. In addition, this paper discusses design trades examined during the conceptual design study.

  4. A History of the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS) Imaging Node's Map-A-Planet Legacy Web Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, P. A.; Isbell, C. E.; Gaddis, L. R.

    2015-06-01

    NASA Planetary Data System (PDS) Imaging Nodes Map-A-Planet Legacy Web Services have served the planetary data community for more than fifteen years. Here we look back at the evolution and development of the services over the that time.

  5. ExSPO: A Discovery Class Apodized Square Aperture (ASA) Expo-Planet Imaging Space Telescope Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gezari, D.; Harwit, M.; Lyon, R.; Melnick, G.; Papaliolos, G.; Ridgeway, S.; Woodruff, R.; Nisenson, P.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    ExSPO is a Discovery Class (approx. 4 meter) apodized square aperture (ASA) space telescope mission designed for direct imaging of extrasolar Earth-like planets, as a precursor to TPF. The ASA telescope concept, instrument design, capabilities, mission plan and science goals are described.

  6. Jets estelares observados con GSAOI/GEMINI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrero, L. V.; Gmez, M.; Gunthard, G.

    2015-08-01

    In this contribution we present H (2.122 m) and K (2.2 m) images of the Herbig-Haro object HH 137 and the stellar jet MHO 1502, taken with GSAOI+GeMS/GEMINI. The high resolution of GSAOI allows us to identify, with great definition, new internal structures not previously reported in the literature. We perform a detailed morphological description of each object. We detect the near-infrared counterpart of HH 137, that shows a bow shock-like terminal structure and an irregular profile. MHO 1502 shows a gentle ``S-shape'' as well as several nearby nebular (H) regions, probably not associated with this object, with bow shock-like shapes, not previously cataloged.

  7. Role of the spacer of cationic gemini amphiphiles in the condensation of DNA.

    PubMed

    Bombelli, Cecilia; Borocci, Stefano; Diociaiuti, Marco; Faggioli, Francesca; Galantini, Luciano; Luciani, Paola; Mancini, Giovanna; Sacco, Maria Grazia

    2005-11-01

    The condensation of calf thymus DNA into the cholesteric-like psi-phase was observed by circular dichroism in liposome suspensions formulated with specific cationic gemini surfactants. The stereochemistry of the gemini spacer, the presence of specific functional groups, and the covalent link between the headgroups are fundamental issues in the condensation of DNA. Transmission electron microscopy images showed a multilamellar morphology, which corresponds with condensation. PMID:16262274

  8. Adaptive Optics for the Gemini Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ridgway, S.

    1993-12-01

    Adaptive optics will play a critical role in achieving the highest possible image quality for the Gemini telescopes. An Adaptive Optics Working Group (R. Racine - chair, B. Ellerbroek, E. Kibblewhite, D. McCarthy, R. Myers, S. Ridgway, F. Roddier) is preparing to recommend an implementation strategy. The recommendations are still under discussion (the prospects for laser beacons are evolving rapidly). Current information will be presented in the poster. The working group is considering multiple stages of correction including a low order of correction at the secondary mirror, and a by-passable AO system with both medium and high order correction incorporated in the instrument support structure. It is proposed that a tilt reference sensor be provided in the acquisition and guiding unit, and that high order wavefront sensing should be provided in and optimized for each instrument which will use AO. The order of correction is to be optimized to the application. Low order correction can be implemented with natural reference stars and should be most effective at infrared wavelengths and over moderate fields. High order correction has the potential to provide excellent images at visible and red wavelengths over a small field, but will be more expensive and require bright reference stars or a laser beacon system. The Gemini project currently expects to initially provide tilting secondaries for both telescopes and AO for the Mauna Kea telescope. Issues of priority and strategy are still under active discussion, as the cost of the full proposed AO implementation likely exceeds available resources. This poster will describe recommendations for a phased implementation of adaptive optics and laser beacons, the projected performance, and possible instrument and telescope configurations.

  9. The Gemini 8-m Telescopes Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osmer, P. S.

    1992-05-01

    The Gemini Project is an international collaboration of Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States to construct and operate twin 8-m telescopes in Hawaii and Chile. The principal goal of the Gemini project is to give astronomers access to the whole sky with an unprecedented combination of superb image quality and high light gathering power over the entire range of optical and infrared wavelengths observable from the ground. Main features of the draft science requirements include: 1) Image quality of 0.1 arcsec in the near infrared over a 1 arcmin field, through the use of active optics and wavefront-tilt correction; 2) Wavelength coverage with high throughput over the range 0.3 to at least 30 microns (which will require capability for different mirror coatings); 3) An IR-optimized configuration with emissivity in the 2 - 4 \\ covering a 45 arcmin diameter field; 5) An optical/UV Nasmyth configuration to provide direct beam feeding of instruments requiring a gravity stable location; 6) Observing modes that will support the astronomer at the telescope and also provide for service observing, remote observing, and queue scheduling; and 7) Provision of capability for rapid switching between instruments to take advantage of changing weather conditions. The telescopes are to be as similar as possible, consistent with the science requirements. They are to have provision for future upgrades or modifications, so that they will remain frontline facilities over a lifetime expected to exceed fifty years. The project is to include an initial suite of instruments for each telescope, which will be procured from institutions within the partner countries on a competitive basis. The telescopes will also include provision for adaptive optics; the current plan is to begin with a system for low-order correction.

  10. Direct imaging and spectroscopy of habitable planets using JWST and a starshade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soummer, Rmi; Valenti, Jeff; Brown, Robert A.; Seager, Sara; Tumlinson, Jason; Cash, Webster; Jordan, Ian; Postman, Marc; Mountain, Matt; Glassman, Tiffany; Pueyo, Laurent; Roberge, Aki

    2010-07-01

    A starshade with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the only possible path forward in the next decade to obtain images and spectra of a planet similar to the Earth, to study its habitability, and search for signs of alien life. While JWST was not specifically designed to observe using a starshade, its near-infrared instrumentation is in principle capable of doing so and could achieve major results in the study of terrestrialmass exoplanets. However, because of technical reasons associated with broadband starlight suppression and filter red-leak, NIRSpec would need a slight modification to one of its target acquisition filters to enable feasible observations of Earth-like planets. This upgrade would 1) retire the high risk associated with the effects of the current filter red leak which are difficult to model given the current state of knowledge on instrument stray light and line spread function at large separation angles, 2) enable access to the oxygen band at 0.76 ?m in addition to the 1.26 ?m band, 3) enable a smaller starshade by relaxing requirements on bandwidth and suppression 4) reduce detector saturation and associated long recovery times. The new filter would not affect neither NIRSpecs scientific performance nor its operations, but it would dramatically reduce the risk of adding a starshade to JWST in the future and enhance the performance of any starshade that is built. In combination with a starshade, JWST could be the most capable and cost effective of all the exoplanet hunting missions proposed for the next decade, including purpose built observatories for medium-size missions.

  11. Obtaining coincident image observations for Mission to Planet Earth science data return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newman, Lauri Kraft; Folta, David C.; Farrell, James P.

    1994-01-01

    One objective of the Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) program involves comparing data from various instruments on multiple spacecraft to obtain a total picture of the Earth's systems. To correlate image data from instruments on different spacecraft, these spacecraft must be able to image the same location on the Earth at approximately the same time. Depending on the orbits of the spacecraft involved, complicated operational details must be considered to obtain such observations. If the spacecraft are in similar orbits, close formation flying or synchronization techniques may be used to assure coincident observations. If the orbits are dissimilar, the launch time of the second satellite may need to be restricted in order to align its orbit with that of the first satellite launched. This paper examines strategies for obtaining coincident observations for spacecraft in both similar and dissimilar orbits. Although these calculations may be performed easily for coplanar spacecraft, the non-coplanar case involves additional considerations which are incorporated into the algorithms presented herein.

  12. The performance evaluation test for prototype model of Longwave Infrared Imager (LIR) onboard PLANET-C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukuhara, Tetsuya; Taguchi, Makoto; Imamura, Takeshi

    The PLANET-C mission, which is one of the future planetary missions of Japan, aims at understanding the atmospheric circulation of Venus. Meteorological information will be obtained by globally mapping clouds and minor constituents successively with four imagers at ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths, and radio occultation experiments will provide vertical profiles of the atmospheric temperature. These systematic, continuous remote observations will provide us with an unprecedented large data set of the Venusian atmospheric dynamics. The Longwave Infrared Imager (LIR), which mounts a commercial uncooled micro-bolometer array (UMBA), is one of four imagers onboard the spacecraft and detects thermal emission from the top of the sulfur dioxide cloud in a rather wide wavelength region of 8-12 µm to map the cloud-top temperature which is typically as low as 230 K. Unlike other imagers, LIR is able to take images of both dayside and nightside with equal quality and accuracy. The cloud-top temperature map will reflect the cloud height distribution in which a few hundred meters of difference in cloud height corresponds to temperature difference of 0.3 K. In order to detect the cloud height difference of a few hundred meters, LIR requires a noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD) of 0.3 K. The commercial UMBA camera is typically used for observing room-temperature targets, and thus the electronics and the driving parameters have been optimized for low temperature-targets. Images of blackbody targets in room temperature (˜300 K) and low temperature (˜230 K) have been acquired in a vacuum environment using a prototype model of LIR, showing that the NETD of 0.2 K and 0.8 K are achieved in room temperature and low temperature, respectively. Although the NETD at the low temperature is 4 times worse than the case for the room temperature, we expect that the requirement of N ET D < 0.3 K for a low-temperature target will be achieved by averaging several tens of images which are acquired continuously. The vibration test for the UMBA was also carried out and the result showed the UMBA survived without any pixel defects or malfunctions. The tolerance to high-energy protons was tested and verified using a commercial camera in which a same type of UMBA is mounted. Based on these results, a flight model is now being manufactured with minor modifications from the prototype. The performance of flight model will be evaluated during 2008-09 in time for the scheduled launch year of 2010.

  13. Effects of latent heating on driving atmospheric circulation of brown dwarfs and directly imaged giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Xianyu; Showman, Adam P.

    2015-12-01

    Growing observations of brown dwarfs (BDs) and directly imaged extrasolar giant planets (EGPs), such as brightness variability and surface maps have provided evidence for strong atmospheric circulation on these worlds. Previous studies that serve to understand the atmospheric circulation of BDs include modeling of convection from the interior and its interactions with stably stratified atmospheres. These models show that such interactions can drive an atmospheric circulation, forming zonal jets and/or vortices. However, these models are dry, not including condensation of various chemical species. Latent heating from condensation of water has previously been shown to play an important role on driving the zonal jets on four giant planets in our solar system. As such, condensation cycles of various chemical species are believed to be an important source in driving the atmospheric circulation of BDs and directly imaged EGPs. Here we present results from three-dimensional simulations for the atmospheres of BDs and EGPs based on a general circulation model that includes the effect of a condensate cycle. Large-scale latent heating and molecular weight effect due to condensation of a single species are treated explicitly. We examine the circulation patterns caused by large-scale latent heating which results from condensation of silicate vapor in hot dwarfs and water vapor in the cold dwarfs. By varying the abundance of condensable vapor and the radiative timescale, we conclude that under normal atmospheric conditions of BDs (hot and thus with relatively short radiative timescale), latent heating alone by silicate vapor is unable to drive a global circulation, leaving a quiescent atmosphere, because of the suppression to moist instability by downward transport of dry air. Models with relatively long radiative timescale, which may be the case for cooler bodies, tend to maintain an active hydrological cycle and develop zonal jets. Once condensation happens, storms driven by moist instability can extend vertically over several pressure scale heights, reaching the photospheres and being able to induce flux variabilities — helping to explain patchy clouds inferred from near-IR light curves and inferred surface map of BDs.

  14. The Planet Pipeline: data curation and mining of Solar System images from WFPC2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mutchler, Max

    2010-09-01

    With the removal of the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 {WFPC2} in May 2009, during Hubble Space Telescope {HST} Servicing Mission 4 {SM4}, came the end of a remarkable scientific tour-de-force. The collection of WFPC2 Solar System observations is enormous and diverse: on the order of 10,000 individual exposures spanning over 15 years. It includes long-term monitoring of planetary surfaces and atmospheres, targeted and serendipitous observations of moons, and many cometary targets-of-opportunity. Some of these observations were taken to support the planning of other NASA and ESA planetary missions, and to complement the data they obtain. The standard HST data pipelines, which calibrate and combine images, are largely optimized for the processing of fixed-target data. Moving-target data cannot be simply combined and cleaned, due to the rapid motion and rotation of the targets. New multi-extension FITS formats and recent improvements to basic WFPC2 calibrations means that the entire data set can now be reduced better than ever before. We propose to take full advantage of this by creating a comprehensive, uniformly processed, well documented, and searchable collection of Solar System data. Our "planet pipeline" will populate the image headers with information unique to planetary data, to produce a truly science-ready collection of WFPC2 Solar System imaging data. Our final data products will be ingested into the Multimission Archive at Space Telescope {MAST}, as High Level Science Products {HLSP}. We will conduct new scientific analyses of our own, but we expect our data products to enable a wide range of analyses by other researchers for many years to come, and form an essential piece of Hubble's archival legacy.

  15. Bringing "The Moth" to Light: A Planet-Perturbed Disk Scenario for the HD 61005 System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, Thomas M.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Graham, James R.; Kalas, Paul G.; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Wang, Jason

    2015-12-01

    The HD 61005 debris disk ("The Moth") is notable for its unusual swept-back "wing" morphology, brightness asymmetries, dust ring offset, and a cleared region inside of ~50 AU. Here we present Gemini Planet Imager data that reveal this disk in scattered light down to Jupiter-like separations of <10 AU. Complementary W.M. Keck NIRC2/AO J,H,K imaging shows the disk's outer regions with high angular resolution. Based on these data, we propose a new explanation for the disk's features: that of an unseen planet on an inclined, eccentric orbit perturbing the disk material. To test this scenario, we used secular perturbation theory to construct 3-D dust distributions that informed 2-D scattered-light models, which we then compared with the data via an MCMC analysis. We found that the best-fit models reproduced morphological disk features similar to those observed, indicating that the perturber scenario is plausible for this system.

  16. The Atmospheres of Directly Imaged Planets: Where Has All the Methane Gone?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark S.; Zahnle, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Methane and ammonia both first appear at lower effective temperatures in brown dwarf atmospheres than equilibrium chemistry models would suggest. This has traditionally been understood as a consequence of vertical mixing timescales being shorter than chemical equilibration timescales in brown dwarf photospheres. Indeed the eddy diffusivity, a variable accounting for the vigor of vertical mixing, has become a standard part of the description of brown dwarf atmosphere models, along with Teff and log g. While some models have suggested that methane is less favored at lower gravity, the almost complete absence of methane in the atmospheres of directly imaged planets, such as those orbiting HR 8799, even at effective temperatures where methane is readily apparent in brown dwarf spectra, has been puzzling. To better understand the paucity of methane in low gravity atmospheres we have revisited the problem of methane chemistry and mixing. We employed a 1-D atmospheric chemistry code augmented with an updated and complete network of the chemical reactions that link CO to CH4. We find the methane abundance at altitudes at or above the effective photosphere is a strong function of surface gravity because higher g shifts the p-T structure to higher pressures (i.e., a given optical depth is proportional to p/g, a relation mitigated somewhat by pressure broadening). Thus quenching in more massive brown dwarfs occurs at a lower temperature and higher pressure, both favoring CH4. We predict that in the lowest mass young giant planets, methane will appear very late, at effective temperatures as low as 600 K rather than the 1200 K seen among field brown dwarfs. This methane deficiency has important implications for the interpretation of spectra as well as methane-based planetary companion searches, such as the NICI survey. The GPI and SPHERE surveys will test these ideas and probe atmospheric chemistry and composition in an entire new range of parameter space. A caveat is that these calculations presume that the C to O ratio is comfortably less than one; the behavior is quite different if C and O are equally abundant, and of course CH4 is always present if C exceeds O.

  17. Imaging polarimetry of the potentially planet-forming circumstellar disk HD 142527: The NaCo view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canovas, H.; Mnard, F.; Hales, A.; Jordn, A.; Schreiber, M. R.; Casassus, S.; Gledhill, T. M.; Pinte, C.

    2014-10-01

    HD 142527 is a unique protoplanetary disk in terms of planet formation. Its high accretion rate combined with its huge inner gap and short age make of it an ideal candidate for harboring forming planets. ALMA cycle-0 observations revealed gap crossing gas streams and showed that the millimeter-sized dust particles are distributed in a horse-shoe shape. Here we present our recent H- and Ks-band imaging polarimetry data of HD 142527 obtained with VLT/NaCo. By means of polarimetry, we remove most of the stellar light, directly imaging the disk's inner regions. Our observations allow us to constrain the dust properties (size and porosity) on the surface of the outer disk. We also detect two regions of the disk with low emission (``nulls") both in polarized and unpolarized light. Intriguingly, one of these nulls is azimuthally coincident with the maximum of the horse-shoe shape detected by ALMA.

  18. Gemini's instrumentation program: latest results and long-range plan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boccas, Maxime; Kleinman, S. J.; Goodsell, Stephen; Tollestrup, Eric; Adamson, Andrew; Arriagada, Gustavo; Christou, Julian; Gonzalez, Patricio; Hanna, Kevin; Hartung, Markus; Lazo, Manuel; Mason, Rachel; Neichel, Benot; Perez, Gabriel; Simons, Doug; Walls, Brian; White, John

    2012-09-01

    The Gemini Observatory is going through an extraordinary time with astronomical instrumentation. New powerful capabilities are delivered and are soon entering scientific operations. In parallel, new instruments are being planned and designed to align the strategy with community needs and enhance the competitiveness of the Observatory for the next decade. We will give a broad overview of the instrumentation program, focusing on achievements, challenges and strategies within a scientific, technical and management perspective. In particular we will discuss the following instruments and projects (some will have dedicated detailed papers in this conference): GMOS-CCD refurbishment, FLAMINGOS-2, GeMS (MCAO system and imager GSAOI), GPI, new generation of A&G, GRACES (fiber feed to CFHT ESPaDOnS) and GHOS (Gemini High-resolution Optical Spectrograph), and provide some updates about detector controllers, mid-IR instruments, Altair, GNIRS, GLAO and future workhorse instruments.

  19. Gemini

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    (the Twins; abbrev. Gem, gen. Geminorum; area 514 sq. deg.) A northern zodiacal constellation which lies between Auriga and Canis Minor, and culminates at midnight in early January. It represents Castor and Pollux, the twin sons of Leda, Queen of Sparta, in Greek mythology, whose brotherly love was rewarded by a place among the stars. Its brightest stars were cataloged by Ptolemy (c. AD 100-175) ...

  20. Detection and characterization of the atmospheres of the HR 8799 b and c planets with high contrast HST/WFC3 imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajan, Abhijith; Barman, Travis; Soummer, Remi; Pueyo, Laurent; Patience, Jenny; Brendan Hagan, J.; Macintosh, Bruce; Marois, Christian; Konopacky, Quinn M.

    2015-01-01

    We present results from our Hubble Space Telescope program to characterize the atmospheres of two planets, b and c, in the HR8799 system, the only directly imaged multi-planet system currently known. Images were taken in three near-infrared medium-band filters -- F098M, F127M and F137M -- using the Wide Field Camera 3. One of the three filters is sensitive to water absorption bands inaccessible from ground-based observations, providing a unique probe of the thermal emission from the atmospheres of these young, warm giant planets. To enable the detections, we utilized the exquisite pointing accuracy of HST in combination with an innovative pipeline designed to combine the dithered, angular differential imaging data which improved the image resolution while accurately capturing the photometric information. The program spanned 15 orbits and the full data set was analyzed with the Karhunen-Loeve Image Projection (KLIP) routine, an advanced image processing algorithm designed specifically to work with HST data. The results include the first images of the outer-most planet HR 8799 b in the water-band filter, and both the two outer planets in the J-band peak. By probing in regions of the planet spectral energy distribution previously unobservable, we place unique constraints on their atmospheric properties.

  1. Band-limited image plane masks for the Terrestrial Planet Finder coronagraph: materials and designs for broadband performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balasubramanian, Kunjithapatham

    2008-01-01

    Coronagraphs for detection and characterization of exosolar earthlike planets require accurate masks with broadband performance in the visible and near infrared spectrum. Design and fabrication of image plane masks capable of suppressing broadband starlight to 10-10 level contrast presents technical challenges. We discuss basic approaches, material choices, designs, and fabrication options for image plane masks with particular focus on material properties to obtain adequate spectral performance. Based on theoretical analysis, we show that metals such as Pt and Ni, and alloys such as Inconel, may be employed as promising mask materials that can meet broadband performance requirements.

  2. Redshift survey in the Linx Gemini region

    SciTech Connect

    Focardi, P.; Marano, B.

    1984-01-01

    The study of the redshift distribution on a complete sample of galaxies brighter than 14.5 mph has been accomplished over an area encompassing about 1800 square degrees in Linx and Gemini. The main result is the discovery of a new filament of galaxies in Gemini, at a radial velocity of 4800 km/s, mainly composed of spirals. The possible connection of the cloud of galaxies around the cluster A569, the new filament in Gemini and the Linx Ursa Major supercluster with the Perseus supercluster is briefly discussed. 16 references.

  3. Revision of Earth-sized Kepler Planet Candidate Properties with High-resolution Imaging by the Hubble Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cartier, Kimberly M. S.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Wright, Jason T.; Ciardi, David R.

    2015-05-01

    We present the results of our Hubble Space Telescope program and describe how our analysis methods were used to re-evaluate the habitability of some of the most interesting Kepler planet candidates. Our program observed 22 Kepler Object of Interest (KOI) host stars, several of which were found to be multiple star systems unresolved by Kepler. We use our high-resolution imaging to spatially resolve the stellar multiplicity of Kepler-296, KOI-2626, and KOI-3049, and develop a conversion to the Kepler photometry (Kp) from the F555W and F775W filters on WFC3/UVIS. The binary system Kepler-296 (five planets) has a projected separation of 0\\buildrel{\\prime\\prime}\\over{.} 217 (80 AU); KOI-2626 (one planet candidate) is a triple star system with a projected separation of 0\\buildrel{\\prime\\prime}\\over{.} 201 (70 AU) between the primary and secondary components and 0\\buildrel{\\prime\\prime}\\over{.} 161 (55 AU) between the primary and tertiary; and the binary system KOI-3049 (one planet candidate) has a projected separation of 0\\buildrel{\\prime\\prime}\\over{.} 464 (225 AU). We use our measured photometry to fit the separated stellar components to the latest Victoria-Regina Stellar Models with synthetic photometry to conclude that the systems are coeval. The components of the three systems range from mid-K dwarf to mid-M dwarf spectral types.We solved for the planetary properties of each system analytically and via an MCMC algorithm using our independent stellar parameters. The planets range from 1.6 to 4.2 {{R}\\oplus }, mostly Super Earths and mini-Neptunes. As a result of the stellar multiplicity, some planets previously in the Habitable Zone are, in fact, not, and other planets may be habitable depending on their assumed stellar host. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

  4. Direct imaging of extra-solar planets in star forming regions. Lessons learned from a false positive around IM Lupi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mawet, D.; Absil, O.; Montagnier, G.; Riaud, P.; Surdej, J.; Ducourant, C.; Augereau, J.-C.; Röttinger, S.; Girard, J.; Krist, J.; Stapelfeldt, K.

    2012-08-01

    Context. Most exoplanet imagers consist of ground-based adaptive optics coronagraphic cameras which are currently limited in contrast, sensitivity and astrometric precision, but advantageously observe in the near-infrared window (1-5 μm). Because of these practical limitations, our current observational aim at detecting and characterizing planets puts heavy constraints on target selection, observing strategies, data reduction, and follow-up. Most surveys so far have thus targeted young systems (1-100 Myr) to catch the putative remnant thermal radiation of giant planets, which peaks in the near-infrared. They also favor systems in the solar neighborhood (d < 80 pc), which eases angular resolution requirements but also ensures a good knowledge of the distance and proper motion, which are critical to secure the planet status, and enable subsequent characterization. Aims: Because of their youth, it is very tempting to target the nearby star forming regions, which are typically twice as far as the bulk of objects usually combed for planets by direct imaging. Probing these interesting reservoirs sets additional constraints that we review in this paper by presenting the planet search that we initiated in 2008 around the disk-bearing T Tauri star IM Lup, which is part of the Lupus star forming region (140-190 pc). Methods: We show and discuss why age determination, the choice of evolutionary model for both the central star and the planet, precise knowledge of the host star proper motion, relative or absolute (between different instruments) astrometric accuracy (including plate scale calibration), and patience are the key ingredients for exoplanet searches around more distant young stars. Results: Unfortunately, most of the time, precision and perseverance are not paying off: we discovered a candidate companion around IM Lup in 2008, which we report here to be an unbound background object. We nevertheless review in details the lessons learned from our endeavor, and additionally present the best detection limits ever calculated for IM Lup. We also accessorily report on the successful use of innovative data reduction techniques, such as the damped-LOCI and iterative roll subtraction. Based on the ESO observing programs 380.C-0910, 084.C-0444, 287.C-5040; and HST observing program 10177.

  5. Revision of Earth-sized Kepler Planet Candidate Properties with High Resolution Imaging by Hubble Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Star, Kimberly Michelle; Gilliland, Ronald L.

    2014-06-01

    In this paper we present the first results of our HST GO/SNAP program GO-12893 and describe how our image analysis using STScI's DrizzlePac software combined with our own empirical point spread function definition were used to re-evaluate the habitability of some of the most interesting Kepler planet candidates. We used our high resolution imaging to calibrate Kp to the F555W and F775W filters on WFC3/UVIS, and spatially resolved the stellar multiplicity of KOI-1422, KOI-2626, and KOI-3049. We found KOI-1422 to be a tight binary star system with a projected separation of 0.217 90 AU). We found KOI-2626 to be a triple star system with a projected separation of 0.201 110 AU) between the primary and secondary components and 0.161 90 AU) between the primary and tertiary components. We found KOI-3049 to be a binary star system with a projected separation of 0.464 330 AU). Using theoretical isochrones from the Dartmouth Stellar Evolution Database, we performed hierarchical fitting using our derived photometry and the synthetic photometry from the isochrones. Revised stellar parameters for the individual components of the systems show that the stars in these systems range from early-K dwarf to early-M dwarf spectral types. We report with high confidence that all three systems are bound and co-eval based on the tight isochrone fitting and false positive analysis. Using our best-fit stellar parameters from the isochrone matches, we solved for the properties of the planets in the three systems and found that the planets range in size from ~2REarth to ~4 REarth, placing them in the Super Earth/mini-Neptune range. Some planets analyzed here are potentially habitable depending on their stellar host and greenhouse effect level.

  6. Schirra, Stafford and Gemini on Deck

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Astronaut Walter H. Schirra Jr. (on right), Command pilot, climbs from his Gemini VI spacecraft as he and Astronaut Thomas P. Stafford (not in view) arrive aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Wasp. They are assisted by various McDonell Douglas technicians. The Gemini VI spacecraft splashed down in the western Atlantic recover area at 10:29 a.m. (EST) December 16, 1965, after a successful 25 hr. 52 minute mission in space.

  7. Understanding the Atmosphere of 51 Eri b: Do Photochemical Hazes Cloud the Planets Spectrum?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark Scott; Zahnle, Kevin; Moses, J.; Morley, C.

    2015-01-01

    The first young giant planet to be discovered by the Gemini Planet Imager was the (is) approximately 2MJ planet 51 Eri b. This approximately 20 Myr old young Jupiter is the first directly imaged planet to show unmistakable methane in H band. To constrain the planet's mass, atmospheric temperature, and composition, the GPI J and H band spectra as well as some limited photometric points were compared to the predictions of substellar atmosphere models. The best fitting models reported in the discovery paper (Macintosh et al. 2015) relied upon a combination of clear and cloudy atmospheric columns to reproduce the data. However for an object as cool as 700 K, the origin of the cloud coverage is somewhat puzzling, as the global silicate and iron clouds would be expected to have sunk well below the photosphere by this effective temperature. While strong vertical mixing in these low gravity atmospheres remains a plausible explanation, we have explored whether atmospheric photochemistry, driven by the UV flux from the primary star, may yield hazes that also influence the observed spectrum of the planet. To explore this possibility we have modeled the atmospheric photochemistry of 51 Eri b using two state-of-the-art photochemical models, both capable of predicting yields of complex hydrocarbons under various atmospheric conditions. In our presentation we will summarize the modeling approach employed to characterize 51 Eri b, explaining constraints on the planet's effective temperature, gravity, and atmospheric composition and also present results of our studies of atmospheric photochemistry. We will discuss whether photochemical hazes could indeed be responsible for the particulate opacity that apparently sculpts the spectrum of the planet.

  8. Active optics methods for exoplanet direct imaging. Stress polishing of supersmooth aspherics for VLT-SPHERE planet finder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugot, E.; Ferrari, M.; El Hadi, K.; Costille, A.; Dohlen, K.; Rabou, P.; Puget, P.; Beuzit, J. L.

    2012-02-01

    Context. The next generation of exoplanet hunters will be targeting hot Jupiter-like exoplanets orbiting around nearby stars through direct imaging. The high contrast needed for such planet finders requires optical surfaces free of high spatial frequency ripples that might remain in the post-coronagraphic image as quasi-static speckles. Aims: We report results on the manufacturing of three supersmooth aspherical mirrors for the ESO/VLT-SPHERE instrument. The excellent optical quality obtained will allow the future planet hunter to increase the level of achievable contrast by a strong reduction of the noise level and residual quasi-static speckles on the image plane. Methods: The stress polishing method used on these mirrors is well suited to superpolishing aspheric components for astronomy. The main advantage of this technique is the very high optical quality obtained either on the form errors or on the high spatial frequency errors. Furthermore, the roughness can be decreased to a few angstroms, thanks to the classical polishing with a large pitch tool. Results: Interferograms obtained during polishing and in the final stage show the supersmooth quality of each mirror. Errors in the high spatial frequency range are lower than 4 nm rms WF, thereby avoiding the degradation of the post-coronagraphic image. A comparison of the power spectral density (PSD) obtained by stress polishing and the PSD of the VLT-UT3 primary mirror demonstrates that the contrast capabilities will not be limited by the aspherical mirrors.

  9. Gemini-IFU spectroscopy of HH 111

    SciTech Connect

    Cerqueira, A. H.; Vasconcelos, M. J.; Feitosa, J.; Plana, H.; Raga, A. C.

    2015-03-01

    We present new optical observations of the HerbigHaro (HH) 111 jet using the Gemini Multi Object Spectrograph in its Integral Field Unit mode. Eight fields of 5{sup ??}3.{sup ??}5 have been positioned along and across the HH 111 jet, covering the spatial region from knot E to L in HH 111 (namely, knots E, F, G, H, J, K, and L). We present images and velocity channel maps for the [O i] 6300+6360, H?, [N ii] 6548+6583, and [S ii] 6716+6730 lines, as well as for the [S ii] 6716/6730 line ratio. We find that the HH 111 jet has an inner region with lower excitation and higher radial velocity, surrounded by a broader region of higher excitation and lower radial velocity. Also, we find higher electron densities at lower radial velocities. These results imply that the HH 111 jet has a fast, axial region with lower velocity shocks surrounded by a lower velocity sheath with higher velocity shocks.

  10. Optical images of an exosolar planet 25 light-years from Earth.

    PubMed

    Kalas, Paul; Graham, James R; Chiang, Eugene; Fitzgerald, Michael P; Clampin, Mark; Kite, Edwin S; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Marois, Christian; Krist, John

    2008-11-28

    Fomalhaut, a bright star 7.7 parsecs (25 light-years) from Earth, harbors a belt of cold dust with a structure consistent with gravitational sculpting by an orbiting planet. Here, we present optical observations of an exoplanet candidate, Fomalhaut b. Fomalhaut b lies about 119 astronomical units (AU) from the star and 18 AU of the dust belt, matching predictions of its location. Hubble Space Telescope observations separated by 1.73 years reveal counterclockwise orbital motion. Dynamical models of the interaction between the planet and the belt indicate that the planet's mass is at most three times that of Jupiter; a higher mass would lead to gravitational disruption of the belt, matching predictions of its location. The flux detected at 0.8 mum is also consistent with that of a planet with mass no greater than a few times that of Jupiter. The brightness at 0.6 mum and the lack of detection at longer wavelengths suggest that the detected flux may include starlight reflected off a circumplanetary disk, with dimension comparable to the orbits of the Galilean satellites. We also observe variability of unknown origin at 0.6 mum. PMID:19008414

  11. Optical Images of an Exosolar Planet 25 Light Years from Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kalas, Paul; Graham, James R.; Chiang, Eugene; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Clampin, Mark; Kite, Edwin S.; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Marois, Christian; Krist, John

    2008-01-01

    Fomalhaut is a bright star 7.7 parsecs (25 light years) from Earth that harbors a belt of cold dust with a structure consistent with gravitational sculpting by an orbiting planet. Here, we present optical observations of an exoplanet candidate, Fomalhaut b. In the plane of the belt, Fomalhaut b lies approximately 119 astronomical units (AU) from the star and 18 AU from the dust belt, matching predictions. We detect counterclockwise orbital motion using Hubble Space Telescope observations separated by 1.73 years. Dynamical models of the interaction between the planet and the belt indicate that the planet's mass is at most three times that of Jupiter for the belt to avoid gravitational disruption. The flux detected at 0.8 m is also consistent with that of a planet with mass no greater than a few times that of Jupiter. The brightness at 0.6 micron and the lack of detection at longer wavelengths suggest that the detected flux may include starlight reflected off a circumplanetary disk, with dimension comparable to the orbits of the Galilean satellites. We also observed variability of unknown origin at 0.6 micron.

  12. Optical Images of an Exosolar Planet 25 Light Years from Earth

    SciTech Connect

    Kalas, P; Graham, J R; Chiang, E; Fitzgerald, M P; Clampin, M; Kite, E S; Stapelfeldt, K; Krist, J

    2008-11-12

    Fomalhaut is a bright star 7.7 parsec (25 light years) from Earth that harbors a belt of cold dust with a structure consistent with gravitational sculpting by an orbiting planet. Here, we present optical observations of an exoplanet candidate, Fomalhaut b. In the plane of the belt, Fomalhaut b lies approximately 119 astronomical units (AU) from the star, and within 18 AU of the dust belt. We detect counterclockwise orbital motion using Hubble Space Telescope observations separated by 1.73 years. Dynamical models of the interaction between the planet and the belt indicate that the planet's mass is at most three times that of Jupiter for the belt to avoid gravitational disruption. The flux detected at 0.8 {micro}m is also consistent with that of a planet with mass no greater than a few times that of Jupiter. The brightness at 0.6 {micro}m and the lack of detection at longer wavelengths suggest that the detected flux may include starlight reflected off a circumplanetary disk, with dimension comparable to the orbits of the Galilean satellites. We also observed variability of unknown origin at 0.6 {micro}m.

  13. Toward Direct Imaging of Low-mass Gas-Giant Planets with the James Webb Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlieder, J. E.; Beichman, C. A.; Meyer, M. R.; Greene, T.

    2016-01-01

    In preparation for observations with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), we have identified new members of the nearby, young M dwarf sample and compiled an up to date list of these stars. Here we summarize our efforts to identify young M dwarfs, describe the current sample, and detail its demographics in the context of direct planet imaging. We also describe our investigations of the unprecedented sensitivity of the JWST when imaging nearby, young M dwarfs. The JWST is the only near term facility capable of routinely pushing direct imaging capabilities around M dwarfs to sub-Jovian masses and will provide key insight into questions regarding low-mass gas-giant properties, frequency, formation, and architectures.

  14. Toward Direct Imaging of Low-mass Gas-Giant Planets with the James Webb Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlieder, J. E.; Beichman, C. A.; Meyer, M. R.; Greene, T.

    2015-11-01

    In preparation for observations with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), we have identified new members of the nearby, young M dwarf sample and compiled an up to date list of these stars. Here we summarize our efforts to identify young M dwarfs, describe the current sample, and detail its demographics in the context of direct planet imaging. We also describe our investigations of the unprecedented sensitivity of the JWST when imaging nearby, young M dwarfs. The JWST is the only near term facility capable of routinely pushing direct imaging capabilities around M dwarfs to sub-Jovian masses and will provide key insight into questions regarding low-mass gas-giant properties, frequency, formation, and architectures.

  15. How to directly image a habitable planet around Alpha Centauri with a ~30-45cm space telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belikov, Ruslan; Bendek, Eduardo; Thomas, Sandrine; Males, Jared; Lozi, Julien

    2015-09-01

    Several mission concepts are being studied to directly image planets around nearby stars. It is commonly thought that directly imaging a potentially habitable exoplanet around a Sun-like star requires space telescopes with apertures of at least 1m. A notable exception to this is Alpha Centauri (A and B), which is an extreme outlier among FGKM stars in terms of apparent habitable zone size: the habitable zones are ~3x wider in apparent size than around any other FGKM star. This enables a ~30-45cm visible light space telescope equipped with a modern high performance coronagraph or starshade to resolve the habitable zone at high contrast and directly image any potentially habitable planet that may exist in the system. We presents a brief analysis of the astrophysical and technical challenges involved with direct imaging of Alpha Centauri with a small telescope and describe two new technologies that address some of the key technical challenges. In particular, the raw contrast requirements for such an instrument can be relaxed to 1e-8 if the mission spends 2 years collecting tens of thousands of images on the same target, enabling a factor of 500-1000 speckle suppression in post processing using a new technique called Orbital Difference Imaging (ODI). The raw light leak from both stars is controllable with a special wavefront control algorithm known as Multi-Star Wavefront Control (MSWC), which independently suppresses diffraction and aberrations from both stars using independent modes on the deformable mirror. We also show an example of a small coronagraphic mission concept to take advantage of this opportunity.

  16. How to Directly Image a Habitable Planet Around Alpha Centauri with a 30-45 cm Space Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belikov, Ruslan; Bendek, Eduardo; Thomas, Sandrine; Males, Jared

    2015-01-01

    Several mission concepts are being studied to directly image planets around nearby stars. It is commonly thought that directly imaging a potentially habitable exoplanet around a Sun-like star requires space telescopes with apertures of at least 1m. A notable exception to this is Alpha Centauri (A and B), which is an extreme outlier among FGKM stars in terms of apparent habitable zone size: the habitable zones are approximately 3x wider in apparent size than around any other FGKM star. This enables a approximately 30-45cm visible light space telescope equipped with a modern high performance coronagraph or star shade to resolve the habitable zone at high contrast and directly image any potentially habitable planet that may exist in the system. The raw contrast requirements for such an instrument can be relaxed to 1e-8 if the mission spends 2 years collecting tens of thousands of images on the same target, enabling a factor of 500-1000 speckle suppression in post processing using a new technique called Orbital Difference Imaging (ODI). The raw light leak from both stars is controllable with a special wave front control algorithm known as Multi-Star Wave front Control (MSWC), which independently suppresses diffraction and aberrations from both stars using independent modes on the deformable mirror. This paper will present an analysis of the challenges involved with direct imaging of Alpha Centauri with a small telescope and how the above technologies are used together to solve them. We also show an example of a small coronagraphic mission concepts to take advantage of this opportunity called "ACESat: Alpha Centauri Exoplanet Satellite" submitted to NASA's small Explorer (SMEX) program in December of 2014.

  17. Characterizing Extra-Solar Planets with Low Resolution Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Emily L.; Oppenheimer, B. R.; Zimmerman, N.; Roberts, L. C., Jr.; Hinkley, S.

    2012-01-01

    In the next few years, several high contrast imaging instruments equipped with integral field spectrographs will allow the direct spectral characterization of a variety of companions, from low-mass stars to Jupiter-mass extra-solar planets, at Solar System-like separations (4-40 AU). The spectra obtained by these instruments will be low resolution (R 30-60), making detailed thermo-chemical analysis difficult. Therefore, we have developed a technique that quantitatively compares observed low-resolution spectra with a set of synthetic spectra in order to obtain physical parameters, such as temperature and surface gravity, quickly and robustly. The technique requires no assumptions about age, mass, radius or metallicity of the companion or the primary. We describe this technique and demonstrate its effectiveness with simulated and observed spectra from Project 1640, the high contrast imager and integral field spectrograph on Palomar. The technique can also be used to optimize observing efficiency by determining the ideal wavelength range (for multi-filter instruments such as the Gemini Planet Imager) and signal to noise ratio for a desired precision and accuracy of inferred parameters. The current analysis uses the PHOENIX models as a basis for comparison, but the technique can be applied to any set of models and even used to quantify the differences between models created by different groups. This tool provides a necessary, fast, and comprehensive method of characterizing faint companions of stars, whether they be stellar, sub-stellar or planetary in nature.

  18. Focus and translation mechanism for the Gemini Multiobject Spectrograph (GMOS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hastings, Peter R.

    1997-03-01

    GMOS is the general-purpose optical spectrograph for the Gemini telescope. It is to be mounted at the Cassegrain focus and has been designed from the outset to have open-loop active correction for the effects of instrumental flexure. This is done by moving the CCD detector mosaic in two axes to counter the image drift due to flexure. GMOS is also focused by moving the detector and the three axis mechanism to achieve these motions is described here. The mechanism also provides the necessary thermal isolation for the cooled CCD and is driven by stepping motors outside the CCD vacuum vessel.

  19. Pointing and image stability for spaceborne sensors: from comet impactors to observations of extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendrick, Stephen E.; Stober, Jeremy; Gravseth, Ian

    2006-06-01

    From hitting a comet to long-term observations to find and characterize extrasolar planets, the spacecraft platform pointing accuracy and stability are fundamental. We describe the pointing requirements for Deep Impact, Kepler, and future extrasolar planet missions such as EPIC, and the approach to allow stable long-term measurements. The guidance, navigation, and control system consists of a suite of systems which can include star trackers, gyros, fine guidance sensors, reaction wheels, fast steering mirrors, and active and passive isolation features. One-fifth to one-twentieth of a pixel attitude determination may be needed with stabilities an order of magnitude tighter for observations that may last thousands of seconds. 1.5 milliarcsecond 3-sigma pointing stability can be achieved for the observatory enabling precision measurements by the scientific payloads.

  20. Radio-interferometric imaging of the subsurface emissions from the planet Mercury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, J. O.; Zeilik, M.; Gisler, G. R.; Borovsky, J. E.; Baker, D. N.

    1987-01-01

    The distribution of total and polarized intensities from Mercury's subsurface layers have been mapped using VLA observations. The first detection of a hot pole along the Hermean equator is reported and modeled as black-body reradiation from preferential diurnal heating. These observations appear to rule out any internal sources of heat within Mercury. Polarized emission from the limb of the planet is also found, and is understood in terms of the dielectric properties of the Hermean surface.

  1. Women Astronomers at Gemini: A Success Story

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodgers, Bernadette; Jorgensen, I.; Barker, N.; Edwards, M.; Trancho, G.

    2010-01-01

    Gemini Observatory has been very successful at attracting, hiring and retaining female Scientists. We present data on the growth of the scientific staff since the start of the Observatory, and science fellow recruiting from 2006-2008. At Gemini 31% of the Science Staff holding PhDs are female compared with 13.9% within the United States. The Science Management is 75% female, as is 50% of the Gemini Directorate. This critical mass of female representation within the science staff and management appears to have had a positive effect on female recruitment and hiring. The science fellow recruitment during the past 3 years has attracted 21-38% female applicants and 57% of new hires during this period have been female scientists. Perhaps even more significant, the retention rate of female science staff at Gemini is 88%, compared to 64% for male science staff. There are likely many factors that contribute to this success, but the conclusion is that Gemini has earned a reputation in the scientific community as a place where female scientists are valued and can be successful.

  2. Point spread function reconstruction on the Gemini Canopus bench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilles, Luc; Neichel, Benoit; Veran, Jean-Pierre; Ellerbroek, Brent

    2013-12-01

    This paper discusses an open loop, single-conjugate, point spread function reconstruction experiment performed with a bright calibration source and synthetic turbulence injected on the ground-level deformable mirror of the Multi Conjugate Adaptive Optics Canopus bench at Gemini South. Time histories of high-order Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor slopes were recorded on the telemetry circular buffer, and time histories of short exposure K-band point spread functions with and without turbulence injected were recorded with the Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager. We discuss the processing of the data and show that the long exposure background- and tip/tilt-removed turbulence image can be reconstructed at a percent level accuracy from the tip/tilt-removed de-noised wavefront sensor slope covariance matrix and from the long exposure background- and tip/tilt-removed static image. Future experiments are planned with multiple calibration sources at infinite and finite range and turbulence injected on 2 deformable mirrors, aiming at validating the recently published point spread function reconstruction algorithm [Gilles et. al. Appl. Opt. 51, 7443 (2012)] for closed loop laser guide star multi-conjugate adaptive optics.

  3. Spatially resolved images of dust belt(s) around the planet-hosting subgiant ? CrB

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonsor, Amy; Kennedy, Grant M.; Crepp, Justin R.; Johnson, John A.; Wyatt, Mark C.; Sibthorpe, Bruce; Su, Kate Y. L.

    2013-06-01

    We present Herschel spatially resolved images of the debris disc orbiting the subgiant ? Coronae Borealis (? CrB). Not only are these the first resolved images of a debris disc orbiting a subgiant, but ? CrB is a rare example of an intermediate mass star where a detailed study of the structure of the planetary system can be made, including both planets and planetesimal belt(s). The only way to discover planets using the radial velocity technique around such stars is to observe `retired' A stars, which are cooler and slower rotators compared to their main-sequence counterparts. A planetary companion has already been detected orbiting the subgiant ? CrB, with revised parameters of msin i = 2.1 MJ and apl = 2.8 au (Johnson et al. 2008). We present additional Keck I HIRES (High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer) radial velocity measurements that provide evidence for a second planetary companion, alongside Keck II adaptive optics imaging that places an upper limit on the mass of this companion. Modelling of our Herschel images shows that the dust is broadly distributed, but cannot distinguish between a single wide belt (from 20 to 220 au) or two narrow dust belts (at around 40 and 165 au). Given the existence of a second planetary companion beyond 3 au it is possible that the absence of dust within 20 au is caused by dynamical depletion, although the observations are not inconsistent with depletion of these regions by collisional erosion, which occurs at higher rates closer to the star.

  4. The Original Gemini 9 Prime Crew

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    The original Gemini 9 prime crew, astronauts Elliot M. See Jr. (left), command pilot, and Charles A. Bassett II, pilot, in space suits with their helmets on the table in front of them. On February 28, 1966 the prime crew for the Gemini 9 mission were killed when their twin seat T-38 trainer jet aircraft crashed into a building in which the Gemini spacecraft were being manufactured. They were on final approach to Lambert-Saint Louis Municipal Airport when bad weather conditions hampered pilot See's ability to make a good visual contact with the runway. Noticing the building at the last second as he came out of the low cloud cover, See went to full afterburner and attempted to nose-up the aircraft in an attempt to miss the building. He clipped it and his plane crashed.

  5. Antifungal activity of gemini quaternary ammonium salts.

    PubMed

    Obłąk, Ewa; Piecuch, Agata; Krasowska, Anna; Luczyński, Jacek

    2013-12-14

    A series of gemini quaternary ammonium chlorides and bromides with various alkyl chain and spacer lengths was synthesized. The most active compounds against fungi were chlorides with 10 carbon atoms within the hydrophobic chain. Among these compounds were few with no hemolytic activity at minimal inhibitory concentrations. None of the tested compounds were cytotoxic and mutagenic. Cationic gemini surfactants poorly reduced the adhesion of microorganisms to the polystyrene plate, but inhibited the filamentation of Candida albicans. One of the tested compounds eradicated C. albicans and Rodotorula mucilaginosa biofilm, what could be important in overcoming catheter-associated infections. It was also shown that gemini surfactants enhanced the sensitivity of C. albicans to azoles and polyenes, thus they might be potentially used in combined therapy against fungi. PMID:23827647

  6. Gemini 12 Liftoff Via Titan Launch Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    The Gemini 12 astronauts James Lovell and Edwin Aldrin lifted off aboard a Titan launch vehicle from the Kennedy Space Center on November 11, 1966, an hour and a half after their Agena target vehicle was orbited by an Atlas rocket. Launched atop an Atlas booster, the Agena target vehicle (ATV) was a spacecraft used by NASA to develop and practice orbital space rendezvous and docking techniques in preparation for the Apollo program lunar missions. The objective was for Agena and Gemini to rendezvous in space and practice docking procedures. An intermediate step between Project Mercury and the Apollo Program, the Gemini Program's major objectives were to subject two men and supporting equipment to long duration flights, to perfect rendezvous and docking with other orbiting vehicles, methods of reentry, and landing of the spacecraft.

  7. The Gemini Instrument Feasibilities Studies project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hibon, Pascale; Goodsell, Stephen J.; Hardie, Kayla

    2015-01-01

    The Gemini Instrument Feasibilities Studies (GIFS) project is part of a program that will provide a number of community-created science-driven instrumentation design study reports and presentations to the observatory, conforming to a number of desired principles.By the time of the AAS, Gemini will have received a number of proposals and will be evaluating them shortly afterwards with the expectation of placing 3 or more feasibility study contracts based on a facility instrument costing between USD 8,000,000 and USD 12,000,000. These instrument studies will provide synergies with new capabilities coming online (e.g. LSST, JWST, ALMA, etc)Following the project, Gemini together with the Gemini Science and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) and input from the wider community will decide on the top-level instrument requirements for the next facility instrument (Gen4#3) and launch a targeted Request for Proposals to design, build, test and deliver a suitable instrument. Gemini expects to release an RfP for Gen4#3 in Q4 2015.Each feasibility study will include fully developed science case(s), optical, mechanical, electronic and software design elements at the conceptual level as needed to demonstrate the technical viability. In particular, each design study will thoroughly identify and mitigate key risks.Each study team will present a status summary presentation at the 2015 Meeting on the Science and Future of Gemini held in Toronto in June 2015. The final GIFS reports and presentations are expected in Sept 2015.We will discuss the status of GIFS and the currently plans for Gen4#3.

  8. Innovation without Boundaries: The Gemini. Assistive Technology. Associate Editor's Column.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashton, Tamarah M.

    2001-01-01

    This article describes Gemini, an augmentative and alternative communication device that is also a full-featured Macintosh computer. The Gemini is designed to help individuals of all ages with learning, communication, or computer access difficulties to lead more independent lives. The benefits of Gemini are highlighted, including its weight of

  9. Radiation dosimetry for the Gemini program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richmond, R. G.

    1972-01-01

    The principal source of radiation for low-earth-orbit, low inclination space flights is in the area of the South Atlantic magnetic anomaly. None of the Gemini dose measurements reported in the paper are of high enough intensity to be considered hazardous. There is a trend toward larger doses as missions are flown higher and longer. Extended orbital operations between 1400 and 4400 kilometers would encounter high interior radiation levels. Pronounced spacecraft geometry effects have been measured in manned spacecraft. Instrumentation for radiation measurements on Gemini spacecraft is described.

  10. 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 Stphane Udry; 3. Characterizing extrasolar planets Timothy M. Brown; 4. From clouds to planet systems: formation and evolution of stars and planets Gnther 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 Agustn Snchez-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.

  11. 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 Stphane Udry; 3. Characterizing extrasolar planets Timothy M. Brown; 4. From clouds to planet systems: formation and evolution of stars and planets Gnther 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 Agustn Snchez-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.

  12. High-cadence, High-contrast Imaging for Exoplanet Mapping: Observations of the HR 8799 Planets with VLT/SPHERE Satellite-spot-corrected Relative Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apai, Dániel; Kasper, Markus; Skemer, Andrew; Hanson, Jake R.; Lagrange, Anne-Marie; Biller, Beth A.; Bonnefoy, Mickaël; Buenzli, Esther; Vigan, Arthur

    2016-03-01

    Time-resolved photometry is an important new probe of the physics of condensate clouds in extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs. Extreme adaptive optics systems can directly image planets, but precise brightness measurements are challenging. We present VLT/SPHERE high-contrast, time-resolved broad H-band near-infrared photometry for four exoplanets in the HR 8799 system, sampling changes from night to night over five nights with relatively short integrations. The photospheres of these four planets are often modeled by patchy clouds and may show large-amplitude rotational brightness modulations. Our observations provide high-quality images of the system. We present a detailed performance analysis of different data analysis approaches to accurately measure the relative brightnesses of the four exoplanets. We explore the information in satellite spots and demonstrate their use as a proxy for image quality. While the brightness variations of the satellite spots are strongly correlated, we also identify a second-order anti-correlation pattern between the different spots. Our study finds that KLIP reduction based on principal components analysis with satellite-spot-modulated artificial-planet-injection-based photometry leads to a significant (∼3×) gain in photometric accuracy over standard aperture-based photometry and reaches 0.1 mag per point accuracy for our data set, the signal-to-noise ratio of which is limited by small field rotation. Relative planet-to-planet photometry can be compared between nights, enabling observations spanning multiple nights to probe variability. Recent high-quality relative H-band photometry of the b–c planet pair agrees to about 1%.

  13. The First H-band Spectrum of the Giant Planet ? Pictoris b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chilcote, Jeffrey; Barman, Travis; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Graham, James R.; Larkin, James E.; Macintosh, Bruce; Bauman, Brian; Burrows, Adam S.; Cardwell, Andrew; De Rosa, Robert J.; Dillon, Daren; Doyon, Ren; Dunn, Jennifer; Erikson, Darren; Gavel, Donald; Goodsell, Stephen J.; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; Ingraham, Patrick; Kalas, Paul; Konopacky, Quinn; Maire, Jrme; Marchis, Franck; Marley, Mark S.; Marois, Christian; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Morzinski, Katie; Norton, Andrew; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Palmer, David; Patience, Jennifer; Perrin, Marshall; Poyneer, Lisa; Pueyo, Laurent; Rantakyr, Fredrik T.; Sadakuni, Naru; Saddlemyer, Leslie; Savransky, Dmitry; Serio, Andrew; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Song, Inseok; Soummer, Rmi; Thomas, Sandrine; Wallace, J. Kent; Wiktorowicz, Sloane; Wolff, Schuyler

    2015-01-01

    Using the recently installed Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), we have obtained the first H-band spectrum of the planetary companion to the nearby young star ? Pictoris. GPI is designed to image and provide low-resolution spectra of Jupiter-sized, self-luminous planetary companions around young nearby stars. These observations were taken covering the H band (1.65 ?m). The spectrum has a resolving power of ~45 and demonstrates the distinctive triangular shape of a cool substellar object with low surface gravity. Using atmospheric models, we find an effective temperature of 1600-1700 K and a surface gravity of log (g) = 3.5-4.5 (cgs units). These values agree well with "hot-start" predictions from planetary evolution models for a gas giant with mass between 10 and 12 M Jup and age between 10 and 20 Myr.

  14. THE FIRST H-BAND SPECTRUM OF THE GIANT PLANET β PICTORIS b

    SciTech Connect

    Chilcote, Jeffrey; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Larkin, James E.; Barman, Travis; Graham, James R.; Kalas, Paul; Macintosh, Bruce; Ingraham, Patrick; Bauman, Brian; Burrows, Adam S.; Cardwell, Andrew; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; De Rosa, Robert J.; Dillon, Daren; Gavel, Donald; Dunn, Jennifer; Erikson, Darren; Goodsell, Stephen J.; and others

    2015-01-01

    Using the recently installed Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), we have obtained the first H-band spectrum of the planetary companion to the nearby young star β Pictoris. GPI is designed to image and provide low-resolution spectra of Jupiter-sized, self-luminous planetary companions around young nearby stars. These observations were taken covering the H band (1.65 μm). The spectrum has a resolving power of ∼45 and demonstrates the distinctive triangular shape of a cool substellar object with low surface gravity. Using atmospheric models, we find an effective temperature of 1600-1700 K and a surface gravity of log (g) = 3.5-4.5 (cgs units). These values agree well with ''hot-start'' predictions from planetary evolution models for a gas giant with mass between 10 and 12 M {sub Jup} and age between 10 and 20 Myr.

  15. Geo-Engineering through Internet Informatics (GEMINI)

    SciTech Connect

    Doveton, John H.; Watney, W. Lynn

    2003-03-06

    The program, for development and methodologies, was a 3-year interdisciplinary effort to develop an interactive, integrated Internet Website named GEMINI (Geo-Engineering Modeling through Internet Informatics) that would build real-time geo-engineering reservoir models for the Internet using the latest technology in Web applications.

  16. A first-look atmospheric modeling study of the young directly imaged planet-mass companion, ROXS 42Bb

    SciTech Connect

    Currie, Thayne; Daemgen, Sebastian; Burrows, Adam

    2014-06-01

    We present and analyze JK{sub s}L' photometry and our previously published H-band photometry and K-band spectroscopy for ROXs 42Bb, an object Currie et al. first reported as a young directly imaged planet-mass companion. ROXs 42Bb exhibits IR colors redder than field L dwarfs but consistent with other planet-mass companions. From the H{sub 2}O-2 spectral index, we estimate a spectral type of L0 1; weak detections/non-detections of the CO bandheads, Na I, and Ca I support evidence for a young, low surface gravity object primarily derived from the H{sub 2}(K) index. ROXs 42Bb's photometry/K-band spectrum are inconsistent with limiting cases of dust-free atmospheres (COND) and marginally inconsistent with the AMES/DUSTY models and the BT-SETTL models. However, ROXS 42Bb data are simultaneously fit by atmosphere models incorporating several micron-sized dust grains entrained in thick clouds, although further modifications are needed to better reproduce the K-band spectral shape. ROXs 42Bb's best-estimated temperature is T {sub eff} ? 1950-2000 K, near the low end of the empirically derived range in Currie et al. For an age of ?1-3 Myr and considering the lifetime of the protostar phase, ROXs 42Bb's luminosity of log(L/L {sub ?}) ? 3.07 0.07 implies a mass of 9{sub ?3}{sup +3} M{sub J} , making it one of the lightest planetary-mass objects yet imaged.

  17. A First-look Atmospheric Modeling Study of the Young Directly Imaged Planet-mass Companion, ROXs 42Bb

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, Thayne; Burrows, Adam; Daemgen, Sebastian

    2014-06-01

    We present and analyze JKsL' photometry and our previously published H-band photometry and K-band spectroscopy for ROXs 42Bb, an object Currie et al. first reported as a young directly imaged planet-mass companion. ROXs 42Bb exhibits IR colors redder than field L dwarfs but consistent with other planet-mass companions. From the H2O-2 spectral index, we estimate a spectral type of L0 1; weak detections/non-detections of the CO bandheads, Na I, and Ca I support evidence for a young, low surface gravity object primarily derived from the H2(K) index. ROXs 42Bb's photometry/K-band spectrum are inconsistent with limiting cases of dust-free atmospheres (COND) and marginally inconsistent with the AMES/DUSTY models and the BT-SETTL models. However, ROXS 42Bb data are simultaneously fit by atmosphere models incorporating several micron-sized dust grains entrained in thick clouds, although further modifications are needed to better reproduce the K-band spectral shape. ROXs 42Bb's best-estimated temperature is T eff ~ 1950-2000 K, near the low end of the empirically derived range in Currie et al. For an age of ~1-3 Myr and considering the lifetime of the protostar phase, ROXs 42Bb's luminosity of log(L/L ?) ~ -3.07 0.07 implies a mass of 9^{+3}_{-3} MJ , making it one of the lightest planetary-mass objects yet imaged.

  18. Study of spin-scan imaging for outer planets missions: Executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, E. E.; Chandos, R. A.; Kodak, J. C.; Pellicori, S. F.; Tomasko, M. G.

    1974-01-01

    The development and characteristics of spin-scan imagers for interplanetary exploration are discussed. The spin-scan imaging photopolarimeter instruments of Pioneer 10 and 11 are described. In addition to the imaging function, the instruments are also used in a faint-light mode to take sky maps in both radiance and polarization. The performance of a visible-infrared spin-scan radiometer (VISSR), which operates in both visible and infrared wavelengths, is reported.

  19. Performance and upgrades of active optics on Gemini telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boccas, Maxime; Vucina, Tomislav

    2006-06-01

    Besides the increasing use of adaptive optics (AO) on modern telescopes, active optics (aO) are still of high importance to optimize Image Quality (IQ) for non-AO instruments and decrease the dynamic range needed for AO corrections. We will describe the design and operation of an optical alignment bench used to calibrate the aO models of the peripheral wavefront sensors. This setup is used to determine optical models in stable conditions in the laboratory and thus optimize wavefront correction on the sky. We will show results of this technique applied to our 2x2 Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor used for tip-tilt-focus-astigmatism correction of all our non-AO instruments. We will also review some sub-systems performance monitoring tools and finally gauge the performance of active optics on the Gemini telescopes by analyzing the delivered image quality for various instruments.

  20. Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Fonda, Mark (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Modern theories of star and planet formation and of the orbital stability of planetary systems are described and used to discuss possible characteristics of undiscovered planetary systems. The most detailed models of planetary growth are based upon observations of planets and smaller bodies within our own Solar System and of young stars and their environments. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth as do terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. These models predict that rocky planets should form in orbit about most single stars. It is uncertain whether or not gas giant planet formation is common, because most protoplanetary disks may dissipate before solid planetary cores can grow large enough to gravitationally trap substantial quantities of gas. A potential hazard to planetary systems is radial decay of planetary orbits resulting from interactions with material within the disk. Planets more massive than Earth have the potential to decay the fastest, and may be able to sweep up smaller planets in their path. The implications of the giant planets found in recent radial velocity searches for the abundances of habitable planets are discussed, and the methods that are being used and planned for detecting and characterizing extrasolar planets are reviewed.

  1. High-contrast imaging of Sirius A with VLT/SPHERE: looking for giant planets down to one astronomical unit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vigan, A.; Gry, C.; Salter, G.; Mesa, D.; Homeier, D.; Moutou, C.; Allard, F.

    2015-11-01

    Sirius has always attracted a lot of scientific interest, especially after the discovery of a companion white dwarf at the end of the 19th century. Very early on, the existence of a potential third body was put forward to explain some of the observed properties of the system. We present new coronagraphic observations obtained with VLT/SPHERE (Very Large Telescope/Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch) that explore, for the very first time, the innermost regions of the system down to 0.2 arcsec(0.5 au) from Sirius A. Our observations cover the near-infrared from 0.95 to 2.3 ?m and they offer the best on-sky contrast ever reached at these angular separations. After detailing the steps of our SPHERE/IRDIFS data analysis, we present a robust method to derive detection limits for multispectral data from high-contrast imagers and spectrographs. In terms of raw performance, we report contrasts of 14.3 mag at 0.2 arcsec, 16.3 mag in the 0.4-1.0 arcsec range and down to 19 mag at 3.7 arcsec. In physical units, our observations are sensitive to giant planets down to 11 MJup at 0.5 au, 6-7 MJup in the 1-2 au range and 4 MJup at 10 au. Despite the exceptional sensitivity of our observations, we do not report the detection of additional companions around Sirius A. Using a Monte Carlo orbital analysis, we show that we can reject, with about 50 per cent probability, the existence of an 8 MJup planet orbiting at 1 au.

  2. Planetcam UPV/EHU - A lucky imaging camera for multi-spectral observations of the Giant Planets in 0.38-1.7 microns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueso, R.; Mendikoa, I.; Sánchez-Lavega, A.; Pérez-Hoyos, S.; Rojas, J. F.; García-Melendo, E.

    2015-10-01

    PlanetCam UPV/EHU [1] is an astronomical instrument designed for high-resolution observations of Solar System planets. The main scientific themes are atmospheric dynamics and the vertical cloud structure of Jupiter and Saturn. The instrument uses a dichroic mirror to separate the light in two beams with spectral ranges from 380 nm to1 micron (visible channel) and from 1 to 1.7 microns (Short Wave InfraRed, SWIR channel) and two detectors working simultaneously with fast acquisition modes. High-resolution images are built using lucky imaging techniques [2]. Several hundred short exposed images are obtained and stored in fits files. Images are automatically reduced by a pipeline called PLAYLIST (written in IDL and requiring no interaction by the user)which selects the best frames and co-registers them using image correlation over several tie-points. The result is a high signal to noise ratio image that can be processed to show the faint structures in the data. PlanetCam is a visiting instrument mainly built for the 1.2 3 and 2.2m telescopes at Calar Alto Observatory in Spain but it has also been tested in the 1.5 m Telescope Carlos Sanchez in Tenerife and the 1.05 m Telescope at the Pic du Midi observatory.

  3. Direct Imaging of the Water Snow Line at the Time of Planet Formation using Two ALMA Continuum Bands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banzatti, A.; Pinilla, P.; Ricci, L.; Pontoppidan, K. M.; Birnstiel, T.; Ciesla, F.

    2015-12-01

    Molecular snow lines in protoplanetary disks have been studied theoretically for decades because of their importance in shaping planetary architectures and compositions. The water snow line lies in the planet formation region at ?10 AU, and so far its location has been estimated only indirectly from spatially unresolved spectroscopy. This work presents a proof-of-concept method to directly image the water snow line in protoplanetary disks through its physical and chemical imprint on the local dust properties. We adopt a physical disk model that includes dust coagulation, fragmentation, drift, and a change in fragmentation velocities of a factor of 10 between dry silicates and icy grains as found by laboratory work. We find that the presence of a water snow line leads to a sharp discontinuity in the radial profile of the dust emission spectral index ?mm due to replenishment of small grains through fragmentation. We use the ALMA simulator to demonstrate that this effect can be observed in protoplanetary disks using spatially resolved ALMA images in two continuum bands. We explore the model dependence on the disk viscosity and find that the spectral index reveals the water snow line for a wide range of conditions, with opposite trends when the emission is optically thin rather than thick. If the disk viscosity is low (?visc < 10-3), the snow line produces a ringlike structure with a minimum at ?mm 2 in the optically thick regime, possibly similar to what has been measured with ALMA in the innermost region of the HL Tau disk.

  4. DIRECT IMAGING OF FINE STRUCTURES IN GIANT PLANET-FORMING REGIONS OF THE PROTOPLANETARY DISK AROUND AB AURIGAE

    SciTech Connect

    Hashimoto, J.; Tamura, M.; Fukue, T.; Kokubo, E.; Muto, T.; Kudo, T.; Fukagawa, M.; Goto, M.; Henning, T.; Grady, C. A.; Hodapp, K.; Honda, M.; Inutsuka, S.; Knapp, G.; McElwain, M. W.; Turner, E. L.; Momose, M.; Okamoto, Y. K.; Ohashi, N.; Takami, M. E-mail: motohide.tamura@nao.ac.jp

    2011-03-10

    We report high-resolution 1.6 {mu}m polarized intensity (PI) images of the circumstellar disk around the Herbig Ae star AB Aur at a radial distance of 22 AU (0.''15) up to 554 AU (3.''85), which have been obtained by the high-contrast instrument HiCIAO with the dual-beam polarimetry. We revealed complicated and asymmetrical structures in the inner part ({approx}<140 AU) of the disk while confirming the previously reported outer (r {approx}> 200 AU) spiral structure. We have imaged a double ring structure at {approx}40 and {approx}100 AU and a ring-like gap between the two. We found a significant discrepancy of inclination angles between two rings, which may indicate that the disk of AB Aur is warped. Furthermore, we found seven dips (the typical size is {approx}45 AU or less) within two rings, as well as three prominent PI peaks at {approx}40 AU. The observed structures, including a bumpy double ring, a ring-like gap, and a warped disk in the innermost regions, provide essential information for understanding the formation mechanism of recently detected wide-orbit (r > 20 AU) planets.

  5. High-Contrast 3.8 Micron Imaging of the Brown Dwarf/Planet-Mass Companion to GJ 758

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Currie, Thayne; Bailey, Vanessa; Fabrycky, Daniel; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Rodigas, Timothy; Hinz, Phil

    2010-01-01

    We present L' band (3.8 Micron) MMT/Clio high-contrast imaging data for the nearby star GJ 758, which was recently reported by Thalmann et al. (2009) to have one -- possibly two-- faint comoving companions (GJ 7588 and "C", respectively). GJ 758B is detected in two distinct datasets. Additionally, we report a \\textit(possible) detection of the object identified by Thalmann et al as "GJ 758C" in our more sensitive dataset, though it is likely a residual speckle. However, if it is the same object as that reported by Thalmann et al. it cannot be a companion in a bound orbit. GJ 758B has a H-L'color redder than nearly all known L--T8 dwarfs. Based on comparisons with the COND evolutionary models, GJ 758B has Te approx. 560 K (+150 K, -90 K) and a mass ranging from approx. 10-20 Mj if it is approx. 1 Gyr old to approx. 25-40 Mj if it is 8.7 Gyr old. GJ 758B is likely in a highly eccentric orbit, e approx. 0.73 (+0.12,-0.21), with a semimajor axis of approx. 44 AU (+32 AU, -14 AU). Though GJ 758B is sometimes discussed within the context of exoplanet direct imaging, its mass is likely greater than the deuterium-burning limit and its formation may resemble that of binary stars rather than that of jovian-mass planets.

  6. High-Contrast 3.8 Micron Imaging of the Brown Dwarf/Planet-Mass Companion to GJ 758

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Currie, Thayne M.; Bailey, Vanessa; Fabrycky, Daniel; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Rodigas, Timothy; Hinz, Phil

    2011-01-01

    We present L' band (3.8 Micron) MMT/Clio high-contrast imaging data for the nearby star GJ 758, which was recently reported by Thalmann et al. (2009) to have one - possibly two - faint comoving companions (GJ 7588 and "C", respectively). GJ 758B is detected in two distinct datasets. Additionally, we report a \\textit{possible} detection of the object identified by Thalmann et al as "GJ 758C" in our more sensitive dataset, though it is likely a residual speckle. However, if it is the same object as that reported by Thalmann et al. it cannot be a companion in a bound orbit. GJ 7588 has a H-L' color redder than nearly all known L-T8 dwarfs. 8ased on comparisons with the COND evolutionary models, GJ 7588 has Te approx. 560 K (+150 K, -90 K) and a mass ranging from approx.10-20 Mj if it is approx.1 Gyr old to approx. 25-40 Mj if it is 8.7 Gyr old. GJ 7588 is likely in a highly eccentric orbit, e approx. 0.73 (+0.12,-0.21), with a semimajor axis of approx. 44 AU (+32 AU, -14 AU). Though GJ 7588 is sometimes discussed within the context of exoplanet direct imaging, its mass is likely greater than the deuterium-burning limit and its formation may resemble that of binary stars rather than that of jovian-mass planets.

  7. Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lunine, J. I.

    Beyond the inner solar system's terrestrial planets, with their compact orbits and rock -metal compositions, lies the realm of the outer solar system and the giant planets. Here the distance between planets jumps by an order of magnitude relative to the spacing of the terrestrial planets, and the masses of the giants are one to two orders of magnitude greater than Venus and Earth - the largest terrestrial bodies. Composition changes as well, since the giant planets are largely gaseous, with inferred admixtures of ice, rock, and metal, while the terrestrial planets are essentially pure rock and metal. The giant planets have many more moons than do the terrestrial planets, and the range of magnetic field strengths is larger in the outer solar system. It is the giant planets that sport rings, ranging from the magnificent ones around Saturn to the variable ring arcs of Neptune. Were it not for the fact that only Earth supports abundant life (with life possibly existing, but not proved to exist, in the martian crust and liquid water regions underneath the ice of Jupiter's moon Europa), the terrestrial planets would pale in interest next to the giant planets for any extraterrestrial visitor.

  8. Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Modern theories of star and planet formation, which are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments, predict that most single stars should have rocky planets in orbit about them; the frequency of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. Models for the formation of the giant planets found in recent radial velocity searches are discussed.

  9. Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    An overview of current theories of star and planet formation is presented. These models are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments. They predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, although it is possible that in some cases such planets are lost to orbital decay within the protoplanetary disk. The frequency of formation of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates.

  10. Observations Of The LCROSS Impact With NIFS On The Gemini North Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roth, Katherine; Stephens, A. W.; Trujillo, C. A.; McDermid, R. M.; Woodward, C. E.; Walls, B. D.; Coulson, D. M.; Matulonis, A. C.; Ball, J. G.; Wooden, D. H.

    2010-01-01

    The Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Centaur rocket impacted a permanently shadowed crater near the south pole of the Moon at 11:31 UTC 2009 October 09. Gemini, one of several telescopes in a coordinated network observing the impact, conducted observations using NIFS to obtain 3D K-band imaging spectroscopy to detect water ice in the ejected plume of material. The spectral slope of the NIFS data can constrain the grain size and height distribution as the plume evolves, measuring the total mass and the water ice concentration in the plume. These observations provided an engineering challenge for Gemini, including the need to track non-sidereal with constantly changing track rates and guide on small bright moon craters, in order to keep the impact site within the NIFS field-of-view. High quality images taken by GMOS-N, NIRI and the acquisition camera during engineering periods at specific lunar libration and illumination were also used by the LCROSS ground based observing team to supplement slit positioning and offset plans for other ground based observatories. LCROSS mission support and engineering has resulted in improved telescope functionality for non-sidereal targets, including the ability to upload and import target ephemerides directly into the TCS, starting in semester 2010B. In this poster we present the engineering results and observing improvements which will facilitate enhanced user capabilities of the Gemini telescopes arising from the intensive LCROSS support challenge. Gemini Observatory is operated by AURA, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the NSF (United States), the STFC (United Kingdom), the NRC (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the ARC (Australia), Ministrio da Cincia e Tecnologia (Brazil), and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina). In part this research was supported by NASA through contracts to SWRI and NSF grant AST-0706980 to the U. Minnesota.

  11. Gemini 4 Recovery with Green Marker Dye

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Overhead view of the Gemini 4 spacecraft showing the yellow flotation collar used to stabilize the spacecraft in choppy seas. The green marker dye is highly visible from the air and is used as a locating aid. A crewmember is being hoisted aboard a U.S. Navy helicopter during recovery operations following the successful four-day, 62 revolution mission highlighted by Ed White's space walk.

  12. Oligomeric Interfaces Under the Lens: Gemini

    PubMed Central

    Feverati, Giovanni; Lesieur, Claire

    2010-01-01

    The assembly of subunits in protein oligomers is an important topic to study as a vast number of proteins exists as stable or transient oligomer and because it is a mechanism used by some protein oligomers for killing cells (e.g., perforin from the human immune system, pore-forming toxins from bacteria, phage, amoeba, protein misfolding diseases, etc.). Only a few of the amino acids that constitute a protein oligomer seem to regulate the capacity of the protein to assemble (to form interfaces), and some of these amino acids are localized at the interfaces that link the different chains. The identification of the residues of these interfaces is rather difficult. We have developed a series of programs, under the common name of Gemini, that can select the subset of the residues that is involved in the interfaces of a protein oligomer of known atomic structure, and generate a 2D interaction network (or graph) of the subset. The graphs generated for several oligomers demonstrate the accuracy of the selection of subsets that are involved in the geometrical and the chemical properties of interfaces. The results of the Gemini programs are in good agreement with those of similar programs with an advantage that Gemini programs can perform the residue selection much more rapidly. Moreover, Gemini programs can also perform on a single protein oligomer without the need of comparison partners. The graphs are extremely useful for comparative studies that would help in addressing questions not only on the sequence specificity of protein interfaces but also on the mechanism of the assembly of unrelated protein oligomers. PMID:20360856

  13. Catanionic mixtures forming gemini-like amphiphiles.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Hideki; Okabe, Yuji; Tsuchiya, Koji; Sakai, Kenichi; Abe, Masahiko

    2011-01-01

    The properties of aqueous mixtures of cationic species with alkyl dicarboxylic acid compounds have been studied. The cationic compounds used in this study were tertiary amine-type N-methyl-N-(2,3-dioxypropyl)hexadecylamine (C16amine) and quaternary ammonium-type N,N-dimethyl-N-(2,3-dioxypropyl)hexadecylammonium chloride (C16Q). The alkyl dicarboxylic acid compounds used were HOOC(CH(2))(10)COOH (C12H) and its sodium salt (C12Na). Three aqueous mixtures were examined in this study: (System I) C16amine + C12H, (System II) C16Q + C12Na, and (System III) C16Q + C12H. The solution pH was set at 12 for System III. The combination of (1)H-NMR and mass spectroscopy data has suggested that a stoichiometric complex is formed in the aqueous solutions at a mole fraction of C12H (or C12Na) = 0.33. Here, the C12H (or C12Na) molecule added to the system bridges two cationic molecules, like a spacer of gemini surfactants. In fact, the static surface tensiometry has demonstrated that the stoichiometric complex behaves as gemini-like amphiphiles in aqueous solutions. Our current study offers a possible way for easily preparing gemini surfactant systems. PMID:22027019

  14. 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.

  15. Gemini 10 prime crew during post flight press conference

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    At podium during Gemini 10 press conference are (l-r) Dr. Robert C. Seamans, Astronauts John Young and Michael Collins and Dr. Robert R. Gilruth (39895); Wide angle view of the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) News Center during the Gemini 10 prime crew post flight press conference (38786); Astronaut Young draws diagram on chalk board of tethered extravehicular activity accomplished during Gemini 10 flight (39897).

  16. Mass-Radius Relationships for Low-Mass Planets: From Iron Planets to Water Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuchner, Marc

    2007-01-01

    Transit observations, and radial velocity measurements, have begun to populate the mass radius diagram for extrasolar planets; fubture astrometric measurements and direct images promise more mass and radius information. Clearly, the bulk density of a planet indicates something about a planet s composition--but what? I will attempt to answer this question in general for low-mass planets (planets obey a kind of universal mass-radius relationship: an expansion whose first term is M approx. R(sup 3).

  17. Cryostat design and fabrication for the Gemini NIRI instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Tony T.; Hodapp, Klaus-Werner; Douglass, Jeffrey W.; Neill, Doug; Irvin, E.; Robertson, Louis

    1998-08-01

    The Gemini Near IR Imager (NIRI) is a cryogenic instrument cooled by two closed-cycle cryo-coolers. The vacuum jacket is a hexagon shaped vacuum vessel made of three sections. Each section is forged out of aluminum 6061. All the internal structural components are made of aluminum 6061T6 except the supporting trusses, which are made of titanium. All the internal structural members are stress relieved to maintain dimensional stability and good optical alignment. The thermal insulation includes floating shields and cold shields. Two closed-cycle coolers are mounted opposite to each other and electronically synchronized in order to cancel the vibration caused by the oscillating expansion valve. Several different fabrication methods and stress relief methods are discussed.

  18. The Transformation of Observatory Newsletters - A Gemini Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiaoyu

    2015-08-01

    Astronomical observatories publish newsletters to communicate the observatory’s new discoveries and activities with its user communities, funding agencies, and general public. Gemini Observatory started publishing the newsletter in March 1992. Over the years, it transformed from a no-frills black and white publication to a full-color magazine type newsletter with a special name “GeminiFocus”. Since 2012, the contents of GeminiFocus moved from print to digital with an additional print issue of the Year in Review. The newsletter transformation is in sync with the rapid development of the internet technologies. We discuss here the evolvement of Gemini newsletter and the lessons learned.

  19. Stellar Multiplicity Rate of Planet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra; Xie, Jiwei

    2015-08-01

    Multiple stellar systems are common in the Universe. In such systems, stellar companions influence planet formation via a range of dynamical effects. As a result, the occurrence rate of planet in multiple stellar systems may be different from single stars. Similarly, stellar multiplicity rate of planet host stars may be different from stars without planets. The comparison of stellar multiplicity rate for stars with and without planets sheds light on the influence of stellar companions on planet formation and evolution. We measure stellar multiplicity rate using the radial velocity technique and adaptive optics imaging technique. We present results of stellar multiplicity rate measurement for different groups of stars: stars hosting small planets, stars hosting gas giant planets, stars with multiple planets and stars with only one detected planet candidate. We compare different groups and discuss the implications to planet formation in multiple stellar systems.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. MagAO Imaging of Long-period Objects (MILO). I. A Benchmark M Dwarf Companion Exciting a Massive Planet around the Sun-like Star HD 7449

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodigas, Timothy J.; Arriagada, Pamela; Faherty, Jackie; Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Kaib, Nathan; Butler, R. Paul; Shectman, Stephen; Weinberger, Alycia; Males, Jared R.; Morzinski, Katie M.; Close, Laird M.; Hinz, Philip M.; Crane, Jeffrey D.; Thompson, Ian; Teske, Johanna; Díaz, Matías; Minniti, Dante; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Adams, Fred C.; Boss, Alan P.

    2016-02-01

    We present high-contrast Magellan adaptive optics images of HD 7449, a Sun-like star with one planet and a long-term radial velocity (RV) trend. We unambiguously detect the source of the long-term trend from 0.6–2.15 μm at a separation of ∼0.″54. We use the object’s colors and spectral energy distribution to show that it is most likely an M4–M5 dwarf (mass ∼0.1–0.2 {M}ȯ ) at the same distance as the primary and is therefore likely bound. We also present new RVs measured with the Magellan/MIKE and Planet Finder Spectrograph spectrometers and compile these with archival data from CORALIE and HARPS. We use a new Markov chain Monte Carlo procedure to constrain both the mass (\\gt 0.17 {M}ȯ at 99% confidence) and semimajor axis (∼18 AU) of the M dwarf companion (HD 7449B). We also refine the parameters of the known massive planet (HD 7449Ab), finding that its minimum mass is {1.09}-0.19+0.52 MJ, its semimajor axis is {2.33}-0.02+0.01 AU, and its eccentricity is {0.8}-0.06+0.08. We use N-body simulations to constrain the eccentricity of HD 7449B to ≲0.5. The M dwarf may be inducing Kozai oscillations on the planet, explaining its high eccentricity. If this is the case and its orbit was initially circular, the mass of the planet would need to be ≲1.5 MJ. This demonstrates that strong constraints on known planets can be made using direct observations of otherwise undetectable long-period companions. This paper includes data obtained at the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

  3. 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.

  4. Gemini 4 prime crew in elevator at Pad 19 preparing to enter Gemini capsule

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Astronauts Edward H. White II and James A. McDivitt are shown in the elevator on their way to the white room as they prepare to enter the Gemini 4 spacecraft atop the Titan launch vehicle at Cape Kennedy, Florida.

  5. Gemini 4 prime crew in white room at Pad 19 preparing to enter Gemini capsule

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Astronauts Edward H. White II and James A. McDivitt are shown in the white room as they prepare to enter the Gemini 4 spacecraft atop the Titan launch vehicle at Cape Kennedy, Florida. The NASA Headquarters alternative photo number is 65-H-296.

  6. PIERCING THE GLARE: A DIRECT IMAGING SEARCH FOR PLANETS IN THE SIRIUS SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Thalmann, C.; Dominik, C.; Usuda, T.; Hayano, Y.; Minowa, Y.; Kenworthy, M.; Janson, M.; Mamajek, E. E.; Brandner, W.; Goto, M.; Henning, T.; Hinz, P. M.; Tamura, M.

    2011-05-10

    Astrometric monitoring of the Sirius binary system over the past century has yielded several predictions for an unseen third system component, the most recent one suggesting a {approx}<50 M{sub Jup} object in a {approx}6.3 year orbit around Sirius A. Here we present two epochs of high-contrast imaging observations performed with Subaru IRCS and AO188 in the 4.05 {mu}m narrowband Br {alpha} filter. These data surpass previous observations by an order of magnitude in detectable companion mass, allowing us to probe the relevant separation range down to the planetary-mass regime (6-12 M{sub Jup} at 1'', 2-4 M{sub Jup} at 2'', and 1.6 M{sub Jup} beyond 4''). We complement these data with one epoch of M-band observations from MMT/AO Clio, which reach comparable performance. No data set reveals any companion candidates above the 5{sigma} level, allowing us to refute the existence of Sirius C as suggested by the previous astrometric analysis. Furthermore, our Br {alpha} photometry of Sirius B confirms the lack of an infrared excess beyond the white dwarf's blackbody spectrum.

  7. 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.

  8. Astrometric performance of the Gemini multiconjugate adaptive optics system in crowded fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neichel, Benoit; Lu, Jessica R.; Rigaut, Franois; Ammons, S. Mark; Carrasco, Eleazar R.; Lassalle, Emmanuel

    2014-11-01

    The Gemini multiconjugate adaptive optics system (GeMS) is a facility instrument for the Gemini South telescope. It delivers uniform, near-diffraction-limited image quality at near-infrared wavelengths over a 2 arcmin field of view. Together with the Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager (GSAOI), a near-infrared wide-field camera, GeMS/GSAOI's combination of high spatial resolution and a large field of view will make it a premier facility for precision astrometry. Potential astrometric science cases cover a broad range of topics including exoplanets, star formation, stellar evolution, star clusters, nearby galaxies, black holes and neutron stars, and the Galactic Centre. In this paper, we assess the astrometric performance and limitations of GeMS/GSAOI. In particular, we analyse deep, mono-epoch images, multi-epoch data and distortion calibration. We find that for single-epoch, undithered data, an astrometric error below 0.2 mas can be achieved for exposure times exceeding 1 min, provided enough stars are available to remove high-order distortions. We show however that such performance is not reproducible for multi-epoch observations, and an additional systematic error of 0.4 mas is evidenced. This systematic multi-epoch error is the dominant error term in the GeMS/GSAOI astrometric error budget, and it is thought to be due to time-variable distortion induced by gravity flexure.

  9. Extreme Imaging: Revealing the structure of debris disks on solar systems scales with GPI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalas, Paul G.; Rajan, Abhijith; Wang, Jason; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Duchene, Gaspard; Chen, Christine H.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Patience, Jennifer; Dong, Ruobing; Graham, James R.; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Macintosh, Bruce

    2015-12-01

    A new generation of extreme adaptive optics systems enables an unprecedented exploration of dusty debris disks on solar system scales. Here we review the new science derived from over a dozen debris disks imaged in total intensity and polarized intensity with the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). These early results typically reveal narrow belts of material with evacuated regions roughly 50 AU in radius and with subtle asymmetries in structure. In many cases, complementary wider field images obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope uncover more extreme asymmetries in the distribution of dust on 100s of AU scales. We will discuss the possible causes of these asymmetries, such as the dynamical upheavals that can occur via internal or external perturbations. In a few cases, a gas giant planet has also been imaged in the system, raising new questions about the possible dynamical co-evolution of exoplanets and debris disks.

  10. Dicationic alkylammonium bromide gemini surfactants. Membrane perturbation and skin irritation.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Joo A S; Faneca, Henrique; Carvalho, Rui A; Marques, Eduardo F; Pais, Alberto A C C

    2011-01-01

    Dicationic alkylammonium bromide gemini surfactants represent a class of amphiphiles potentially effective as skin permeation enhancers. However, only a limited number of studies has been dedicated to the evaluation of the respective cytotoxicity, and none directed to skin irritation endpoints. Supported on a cell viability study, the cytotoxicity of gemini surfactants of variable tail and spacer length was assessed. For this purpose, keratinocyte cells from human skin (NCTC 2544 cell line), frequently used as a model for skin irritation, were employed. The impact of the different gemini surfactants on the permeability and morphology of model vesicles was additionally investigated by measuring the leakage of calcein fluorescent dye and analyzing the NMR spectra of P, respectively. Detail on the interaction of gemini molecules with model membranes was also provided by a systematic differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. An irreversible impact on the viability of the NCTC 2544 cell line was observed for gemini concentrations higher than 25 mM, while no cytotoxicity was found for any of the surfactants in a concentration range up to 10 mM. A higher cytotoxicity was also found for gemini surfactants presenting longer spacer and shorter tails. The same trend was obtained in the calorimetric and permeability studies, with the gemini of longest spacer promoting the highest degree of membrane destabilization. Additional structural and dynamical characterization of the various systems, obtained by P NMR and MD, provide some insight on the relationship between the architecture of gemini surfactants and the respective perturbation mechanism. PMID:22102870

  11. Gemini Observatory's Innovative Education and Outreach for 2006 and Beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harvey, J.

    2006-08-01

    Gemini Observatory, in preparation for its bold informal science plan for the next five years, is making an exciting effort to bring education outside our typical borders and into our partner countries and beyond. We will introduce some of the innovative outreach programs that have been highly successful in Hawaii/US and explain how Gemini's PIO efforts will further develop new concepts as we move forward in our next phase of education and outreach. In this presentation we will highlight a few of Gemini's highly successful initiatives: - Stars Over Mauna Kea Newspaper Tabloid, the second bi-annual publication giving a comprehensive review of astronomy on Mauna Kea - Hawaii's Journey through the Universe program which has been touted as the flagship program in the US. I will discuss how we envision introducing this novel education approach to our seven partner countries. - StarTeachers International teacher's exchange - The newly developed partnership between the Imiloa Astronomy Education Center's planetarium and Gemini's StarLab programs. - Extension of our Family Astro programs internationally. - Gemini's student "Time on the Telescope" mentor program. - "Gemini Live," a videoconference between our astronomers at the control room of Gemini and classrooms around the world. - The unique partnership created between Gemini's PIO department and the Department of Education in Hawaii, and how other astronomical facilities could play a prominent role in their state's/country's informal science education development.

  12. Syntheses, transfection efficacy and cell toxicity properties of novel cholesterol-based gemini lipids having hydroxyethyl head group.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Joydeep; Mishra, Santosh K; Kondaiah, Paturu; Bhattacharya, Santanu

    2011-06-21

    We have synthesized five new cholesterol based gemini cationic lipids possessing hydroxyethyl (-CH(2)CH(2)OH) function on each head group, which differ in the length of the polymethylene spacer chain. These gemini lipids are important for gene delivery processes as they possess pre-optimized molecular features, e.g., cholesterol backbone, ether linkage and a variable spacer chain between both the headgroups of the gemini lipids. Cationic liposomes were prepared from each of these lipids individually and as a mixture of individual cationic gemini lipid and 1,2-dioleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE). Each gemini lipid based formulation induced better transfection activity than that of their monomeric counterpart. One such gemini lipid with a -(CH(2))(12)- spacer, HG-12, showed dramatic increase in the mean fluorescence intensity due to the expression of green-fluorescence protein (GFP) in the presence of 10% FBS compared to the conditions where there was no serum. Other gemini lipids retained their gene transfection efficiency without any marked decrease in the presence of serum. The only exception was seen with the gemini with a -(CH(2))(3)- spacer, HG-3, which on gene transfection in the presence of 10% FBS lost ~70% of its transfection efficiency. Overall the gemini lipid with a -(CH(2))(5)- spacer, HG-5, showed the highest transfection activity at N/P (lipid/DNA) ratio of 0.5 and lipid : DOPE molar ratio of 2. Upon comparison of the relevant parameters, e.g., %-transfected cells, the amount of DNA transfected to each cell and %-cell viability all together against Lipofectamine 2000, one of the best commercial transfecting agents, the optimized lipid formulation based on DOPE/HG-5 was found to be comparable. In terms of its ability to induce gene-transfer in the presence of serum and shelf-life DOPE/HG-5 liposome was found to be superior to its commercial counterpart. Confocal imaging analysis confirmed that in the presence of 10% serum using a Lipid : DOPE of 1 : 4 and N/P charge ratio of 0.75 with 1.2 ?g DNA per well, HG-5 is better than Lipofectamine 2000. PMID:21537498

  13. Manned Space-Flight Experiments: Gemini V Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    This compilation of papers constitutes an interim report on the results of experiments conducted during the Gemini V manned space flight. The results of experiments conducted on Gemini III and IV manned space flights have been published previously in a similar interim report, "Manned Space Flight Experiments Symposium, Gemini Missions III and IV," which is available upon request from MSC Experiments Program Office, Houston, Texas (Code EX, Attention of R. Kinard). The Gemini V mission provided the greatest opportunity to date for conducting experiments; the increased mission duration of eight days provided this added capability. The total mission experiment complement was seventeen. Five experiments were designed to obtain basic scientific knowledge, five were medical, and seven were technological and engineering in nature. Six of the experiments had flown previously on Gemini IV, and eleven were new. The results of the experiments, including real-time modification to preflight plans made necessary by abnormal spacecraft system operation, are presented.

  14. Direct Imaging of an Asymmetric Debris Disk in the HD 106906 Planetary System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalas, Paul G.; Rajan, Abhijith; Wang, Jason J.; Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A.; Duchene, Gaspard; Chen, Christine; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Dong, Ruobing; Graham, James R.; Patience, Jennifer; Macintosh, Bruce; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Matthews, Brenda; Rameau, Julien; Marois, Christian; Chilcote, Jeffrey; De Rosa, Robert J.; Doyon, René; Draper, Zachary H.; Lawler, Samantha; Ammons, S. Mark; Arriaga, Pauline; Bulger, Joanna; Cotten, Tara; Follette, Katherine B.; Goodsell, Stephen; Greenbaum, Alexandra; Hibon, Pascale; Hinkley, Sasha; Hung, Li-Wei; Ingraham, Patrick; Konapacky, Quinn; Lafreniere, David; Larkin, James E.; Long, Douglas; Maire, Jérôme; Marchis, Franck; Metchev, Stan; Morzinski, Katie M.; Nielsen, Eric L.; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Perrin, Marshall D.; Pueyo, Laurent; Rantakyrö, Fredrik T.; Ruffio, Jean-Baptiste; Saddlemyer, Leslie; Savransky, Dmitry; Schneider, Adam C.; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Soummer, Rémi; Song, Inseok; Thomas, Sandrine; Vasisht, Gautam; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.; Wolff, Schuyler G.

    2015-11-01

    We present the first scattered light detections of the HD 106906 debris disk using the Gemini/Gemini Planet Imager in the infrared and Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/Advanced Camera for Surveys in the optical. HD 106906 is a 13 Myr old F5V star in the Sco-Cen association, with a previously detected planet-mass candidate HD 106906b projected 650 AU from the host star. Our observations reveal a near edge-on debris disk that has a central cleared region with radius ˜50 AU, and an outer extent >500 AU. The HST data show that the outer regions are highly asymmetric, resembling the “needle” morphology seen for the HD 15115 debris disk. The planet candidate is oriented ˜21° away from the position angle of the primary’s debris disk, strongly suggesting non-coplanarity with the system. We hypothesize that HD 106906b could be dynamically involved in the perturbation of the primary’s disk, and investigate whether or not there is evidence for a circumplanetary dust disk or cloud that is either primordial or captured from the primary. We show that both the existing optical properties and near-infrared colors of HD 106906b are weakly consistent with this possibility, motivating future work to test for the observational signatures of dust surrounding the planet.

  15. Tumbling and spaceflight: the Gemini VIII experience.

    PubMed

    Mohler, S R; Nicogossian, A E; McCormack, P D; Mohler, S R

    1990-01-01

    A malfunctioning orbital flight attitude thruster during the flight of Gemini VIII led to acceleration forces on astronauts Neil Armstrong (commander) and David Scott (pilot) that created the potential for derogation of oculo-vestibular and eye-hand coordination effects. The spacecraft attained an axial tumbling rotation of 50 rpm and would have exceeded this had not the commander accurately diagnosed the problem and taken immediate corrective action. By the time counter-measure controls were applied, both astronauts were experiencing vertigo and the physiological effects of the tumbling acceleration. Data from the recorders reveal that one astronaut experienced -Gy of 0.92 G-units, and the other +Gy of 0.92 for approximately 46 s. Both received a -Gz of 0.89 G-units from the waist up with a +Gz of 0.05 from the waist down. A substantial increase of time and/or an increase in rpm would ultimately have produced incapacitation of both astronauts. NASA corrected the Gemini thruster problem by changing the ignition system wiring. Future space-craft undertaking long-term missions could be equipped with unambiguous thruster fault displays and could have computer-controlled automatic cutoffs to control excessive thruster burns. PMID:2302130

  16. Self-Assembly of Gemini Surfactants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yethiraj, Arun; Mondal, Jagannath; Mahanthappa, Mahesh

    2013-03-01

    The self-assembly behavior of Gemini (dimeric or twin-tail) dicarboxylate disodium surfactants is studied using molecular dynamics simulations. This gemini architecture, in which two single tailed surfactants are joined through a flexible hydrophobic linker, has been shown to exhibit concentration-dependent aqueous self-assembly into lyotropic phases including hexagonal, gyroid, and lamellar morphologies. Our simulations reproduce the experimentally observed phases at similar amphiphile concentrations in water, including the unusual ability of these surfactants to form gyroid phases over unprecedentedly large amphiphile concentration windows. We demonstrate quanitative agreement between the predicted and experimentally observed domain spacings of these nanostructured materials. Through careful conformation analyses of the surfactant molecules, we show that the gyroid phase is electrostatically stabilized related to the lamellar phase. By starting with a lamellar phase, we show that decreasing the charge on the surfactant headgroups by carboxylate protonation or use of a bulkier tetramethyl ammonium counterion in place of sodium drives the formation of a gyroid phase.

  17. Mechanically selflocked chiral gemini-catenanes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Sheng-Hua; Zhang, Heng-Yi; Xu, Xiufang; Liu, Yu

    2015-01-01

    Mechanically interlocked and entangled molecular architectures represent one of the elaborate topological superstructures engineered at a molecular resolution. Here we report a methodology for fabricating mechanically selflocked molecules (MSMs) through highly efficient one-step amidation of a pseudorotaxane derived from dual functionalized pillar[5]arene (P[5]A) threaded by ?,?-diaminoalkane (DA-n; n=312). The monomeric and dimeric pseudo[1]catenanes thus obtained, which are inherently chiral due to the topology of P[5]A used, were isolated and fully characterized by NMR and circular dichroism spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and DFT calculations. Of particular interest, the dimeric pseudo[1]catenane, named gemini-catenane', contained stereoisomeric meso-erythro and dl-threo isomers, in which two P[5]A moieties are threaded by two DA-n chains in topologically different patterns. This access to chiral pseudo[1]catenanes and gemini-catenanes will greatly promote the practical use of such sophisticated chiral architectures in supramolecular and materials science and technology. PMID:26126502

  18. Shallow Cavities in Multiple-planet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffell, Paul C.; Dong, Ruobing

    2015-03-01

    Large cavities are often observed in protoplanetary disks, which might suggest the presence of planets opening gaps in the disk. Multiple planets are necessary to produce a wide cavity in the gas. However, multiple planets may also be a burden to the carving out of very deep gaps. When additional planets are added to the system, the time-dependent perturbations from these additional satellites can stir up gas in the gap, suppressing cavity opening. In this study, we perform two-dimensional numerical hydro calculations of gap opening for single and multiple planets, showing the effect that additional planets have on the gap depths. We show that multiple planets produce much shallower cavities than single planets, so that more massive planets are needed in the multiple-planet case to produce an equivalent gap depth as in the single-planet case. To deplete a gap by a factor of 100 for the parameters chosen in this study, one only requires Mp ≈ 3.5 MJ in the single-planet case, but much more massive planets, Mp ≈ 7 MJ are required in the multiple-planet case. This requirement of high-mass planets implies that such planets may be detectable in the next generation of direct imaging projects, in gaps whose depths are constrained to be sufficiently deep by ALMA.

  19. Planet formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    1993-01-01

    Models of planetary formation are developed using the present single example of a planetary system, supplemented by limited astrophysical observations of star-forming regions and circumstellar disks. The solar nebula theory and the planetesimal hypothesis are discussed. The latter is found to provide a viable theory of the growth of the terrestrial planets, the cores of the giant planets, and the smaller bodies present in the solar system. The formation of solid bodies of planetary size should be a common event, at least around young stars which do not have binary companions orbiting at planetary distances. Stochastic impacts of large bodies provide sufficient angular momentum to produce the obliquities of the planets. The masses and bulk compositions of the planets can be understood in a gross sense as resulting from planetary growth within a disk whose temperature and surface density decreased with distance from the growing sun.

  20. Structure of the complex monolayer of gemini surfactant and DNA at the air/water interface.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qibin; Kang, Xueli; Li, Rong; Du, Xuezhong; Shang, Yazhuo; Liu, Honglai; Hu, Ying

    2012-02-21

    The properties of the complex monolayers composed of cationic gemini surfactants, [C(18)H(37)(CH(3))(2)N(+)-(CH(2))(s)-N(+)(CH(3))(2)C(18)H(37)],2Br(-) (18-s-18 with s = 3, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12), and ds-DNA or ss-DNA at the air/water interface were in situ studied by the surface pressure-area per molecule (?-A) isotherm measurement and the infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS). The corresponding Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films were also investigated by the atomic force microscopy (AFM), the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and the circular dichroism spectroscopy (CD). The ?-A isotherms and AFM images reveal that the spacer of gemini surfactant has a significant effect on the surface properties of the complex monolayers. As s ? 6, the gemini/ds-DNA complex monolayers can both laterally and normally aggregate to form fibril structures with heights of 2.0-7.0 nm and widths of from several tens to ~300 nm. As s > 6, they can laterally condense to form the platform structure with about 1.4 nm height. Nevertheless, FT-IR, IRRAS, and CD spectra, as well as AFM images, suggest that DNA retains its double-stranded character when complexed. This is very important and meaningful for gene therapy because it is crucial to maintain the extracellular genes undamaged to obtain a high transfection efficiency. In addition, when s ? 6, the gemini/ds-DNA complex monolayers can experience a transition of DNA molecule from the double-stranded helical structure to a typical ?-phase with a supramolecular chiral order. PMID:22260723

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. Atlas-Agena Target Vehicle Launched for Gemini 12 Rendezvous

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    Launched atop an Atlas booster, the Agena target vehicle (ATV) was a spacecraft used by NASA to develop and practice orbital space rendezvous and docking techniques in preparation for the Apollo program lunar missions. This particular launch preceded the Gemini 12, which launched aboard a Titan launch vehicle one and one half hours later. The objective was for Agena and Gemini to rendezvous in space and practice docking procedures. An intermediate step between Project Mercury and the Apollo Program, the Gemini Program's major objectives were to subject two men and supporting equipment to long duration flights, to perfect rendezvous and docking with other orbiting vehicles, methods of reentry, and landing of the spacecraft.

  4. From Disks to Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isella, Andrea

    2015-08-01

    The unprecedented imaging capabilities offered by the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and the Karl Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA) are transforming our understanding of planet formation. During my talk, I will review the most recent millimeter-wave observations of nearby young circumstellar disks that probe the spatial distribution and the physical properties of the circumstellar dust and gas, and reveal planetary systems in the act of forming. I will discuss these observations in the framework of star formation and disk evolution models, as well as of the demographics of the know exoplanetary systems and current planet formation scenarios.

  5. Validation of a Monte Carlo simulation of the Philips Allegro/GEMINI PET systems using GATE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamare, F.; Turzo, A.; Bizais, Y.; Cheze LeRest, C.; Visvikis, D.

    2006-02-01

    A newly developed simulation toolkit, GATE (Geant4 Application for Tomographic Emission), was used to develop a Monte Carlo simulation of a fully three-dimensional (3D) clinical PET scanner. The Philips Allegro/GEMINI PET systems were simulated in order to (a) allow a detailed study of the parameters affecting the system's performance under various imaging conditions, (b) study the optimization and quantitative accuracy of emission acquisition protocols for dynamic and static imaging, and (c) further validate the potential of GATE for the simulation of clinical PET systems. A model of the detection system and its geometry was developed. The accuracy of the developed detection model was tested through the comparison of simulated and measured results obtained with the Allegro/GEMINI systems for a number of NEMA NU2-2001 performance protocols including spatial resolution, sensitivity and scatter fraction. In addition, an approximate model of the system's dead time at the level of detected single events and coincidences was developed in an attempt to simulate the count rate related performance characteristics of the scanner. The developed dead-time model was assessed under different imaging conditions using the count rate loss and noise equivalent count rates performance protocols of standard and modified NEMA NU2-2001 (whole body imaging conditions) and NEMA NU2-1994 (brain imaging conditions) comparing simulated with experimental measurements obtained with the Allegro/GEMINI PET systems. Finally, a reconstructed image quality protocol was used to assess the overall performance of the developed model. An agreement of <3% was obtained in scatter fraction, with a difference between 4% and 10% in the true and random coincidence count rates respectively, throughout a range of activity concentrations and under various imaging conditions, resulting in <8% differences between simulated and measured noise equivalent count rates performance. Finally, the image quality validation study revealed a good agreement in signal-to-noise ratio and contrast recovery coefficients for a number of different volume spheres and two different (clinical level based) tumour-to-background ratios. In conclusion, these results support the accurate modelling of the Philips Allegro/GEMINI PET systems using GATE in combination with a dead-time model for the signal flow description, which leads to an agreement of <10% in coincidence count rates under different imaging conditions and clinically relevant activity concentration levels.

  6. Validation of a Monte Carlo simulation of the Philips Allegro/GEMINI PET systems using GATE.

    PubMed

    Lamare, F; Turzo, A; Bizais, Y; Le Rest, C Cheze; Visvikis, D

    2006-02-21

    A newly developed simulation toolkit, GATE (Geant4 Application for Tomographic Emission), was used to develop a Monte Carlo simulation of a fully three-dimensional (3D) clinical PET scanner. The Philips Allegro/GEMINI PET systems were simulated in order to (a) allow a detailed study of the parameters affecting the system's performance under various imaging conditions, (b) study the optimization and quantitative accuracy of emission acquisition protocols for dynamic and static imaging, and (c) further validate the potential of GATE for the simulation of clinical PET systems. A model of the detection system and its geometry was developed. The accuracy of the developed detection model was tested through the comparison of simulated and measured results obtained with the Allegro/GEMINI systems for a number of NEMA NU2-2001 performance protocols including spatial resolution, sensitivity and scatter fraction. In addition, an approximate model of the system's dead time at the level of detected single events and coincidences was developed in an attempt to simulate the count rate related performance characteristics of the scanner. The developed dead-time model was assessed under different imaging conditions using the count rate loss and noise equivalent count rates performance protocols of standard and modified NEMA NU2-2001 (whole body imaging conditions) and NEMA NU2-1994 (brain imaging conditions) comparing simulated with experimental measurements obtained with the Allegro/GEMINI PET systems. Finally, a reconstructed image quality protocol was used to assess the overall performance of the developed model. An agreement of <3% was obtained in scatter fraction, with a difference between 4% and 10% in the true and random coincidence count rates respectively, throughout a range of activity concentrations and under various imaging conditions, resulting in <8% differences between simulated and measured noise equivalent count rates performance. Finally, the image quality validation study revealed a good agreement in signal-to-noise ratio and contrast recovery coefficients for a number of different volume spheres and two different (clinical level based) tumour-to-background ratios. In conclusion, these results support the accurate modelling of the Philips Allegro/GEMINI PET systems using GATE in combination with a dead-time model for the signal flow description, which leads to an agreement of <10% in coincidence count rates under different imaging conditions and clinically relevant activity concentration levels. PMID:16467589

  7. 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.

  8. Geological interpretation of a Gemini photo

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hemphill, William R.; Danilchik, Walter

    1968-01-01

    Study of the Gemini V photograph of the Salt Range and Potwar Plateau, West Pakistan, indicates that small-scale orbital photographs permit recognition of the regional continuity of some geologic features, particularly faults and folds that could he easily overlooked on conventional air photographs of larger scale. Some stratigraphic relationships can also be recognized on the orbital photograph, but with only minimal previous geologic knowledge of the area, these interpretations are less conclusive or reliable than the interpretation of structure. It is suggested that improved atmospheric penetration could be achieved through the use of color infrared film. Photographic expression of topography could also be improved by deliberately photographing some areas during periods of low sun angle.

  9. Geo-Engineering through Internet Informatics (GEMINI)

    SciTech Connect

    Watney, W. Lynn; Doveton, John H.; Victorine, John R.; Bohling, Goeffrey C.; Bhattacharya, Saibal; Byers, Alan P.; Carr, Timothy R.; Dubois, Martin K.; Gagnon, Glen; Guy, Willard J.; Look, Kurt; Magnuson, Mike; Moore, Melissa; Olea, Ricardo; Pakalapadi, Jayprakash; Stalder, Ken; Collins, David R.

    2002-06-25

    GEMINI will resolve reservoir parameters that control well performance; characterize subtle reservoir properties important in understanding and modeling hydrocarbon pore volume and fluid flow; expedite recognition of bypassed, subtle, and complex oil and gas reservoirs at regional and local scale; differentiate commingled reservoirs; build integrated geologic and engineering model based on real-time, iterate solutions to evaluate reservoir management options for improved recovery; provide practical tools to assist the geoscientist, engineer, and petroleum operator in making their tasks more efficient and effective; enable evaluations to be made at different scales, ranging from individual well, through lease, field, to play and region (scalable information infrastructure); and provide training and technology transfer to evaluate capabilities of the client.

  10. Gemini: A long-range cargo transport

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    The proposed Gemini, a long-range cargo transport, is designed as a high capacity, dedicated cargo transporter of 8'x8'x20' inter-modal containers, and long-range design. These requirements will result in a design that is larger than any existing aircraft. Due to the size, a conventional configuration would result in an aircraft unable to operate economically at existing airports. It is necessary to design for a minimum possible empty weight, wingspan, and landing gear track. After considering both a single fuselage biplane and a double fuselage biplane configuration, the design team choose the double fuselage biplane configuration. Both of these configuration choices result in a reduced wing root bending moment and subsequently in substantial savings in the wing weight. An overall decrease in the weight of the airplane, its systems, and fuel will be a direct result of the wing weight savings.

  11. Gemini multiobject spectrograph: a flexure critical design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szeto, Kei; Murowinski, Richard G.; Roberts, Scott; Saddlemyer, Leslie; Bennett, Richard; Dickson, Colin G.; Hastings, Peter

    1998-07-01

    Each of the two Gemini telescopes will be instrumented with the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS), a general purpose optical spectrograph mounted at one of the Cassegrain foci. Two GMOS are currently being designed and built by a team of scientists and engineers in Canada and in the UK. A stringent flexure specification is imposed on these instruments by the scientific requirement to measure velocity to high precision, 2 km/s at R equals 5,000 with 0.5 arcsec slits. This implies a basic stability specification of 3.125 micrometer/hour at the detector focal plane. The GMOS design has met this specification by using a combination of stiff structure (where flexure is minimized); Serrurier trusses (where the flexure is controlled); precision mechanisms (where mechanical hysteresis and error are minimized) and, finally, an open-loop active correction system at the detector focal plane (where the CCD is translated to counteract any residual flexure). Once the GMOS design was conceptualized and its component groups were identified, the design team divided the basic stability specification into allowable contribution from each group. The final division was weighted according to the degree of design difficulty, based on inputs from the engineers. An error budget was developed and maintained to ensure that GMOS would meet its overall flexure specification by controlling the contribution from each component. The error budget approach will be described and discussed in the paper. We will also look at examples from the GMOS design with reference to calculations, analyses, FEA and actual measurements from prototype components.

  12. Comparación fotométrica en imágenes Gemini/GMOS:

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Escudero, C. G.; Sesto, L. A.; González, N. M.; Faifer, F. R.; Smith Castelli, A.; Forte, J. C.

    2015-08-01

    We compare the performance and reliability of PSFEx and daophot ii in the construction and modeling of the Point Spread Function (PSF) on real images. Both methods were applied over photometric catalogs of globular cluster candidates in the elliptical galaxy NGC1395, generated with SExtractor on Gemini/GMOS images in the filters,,,. We use the PSF photometry obtained from both softwares to compare magnitudes, colour-colour and colour-magnitude diagrams. We also analyzed the new parameter spreadmodel used by SExtractor+PSFEx, which allows to separate point sources from extended objects.

  13. 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 determination for 12 new satellites to be announced in the next week or two. Additional satellites were lost, temporarily, due to unusually poor weather conditions on Mauna Kea. These objects will be recovered and their orbits published next year. A separate survey of the Uranus irregular satellites was published (Sheppard, Jewitt and Kleyna 2005). Away from the telescope, we have discovered the amazing result that the four giant planets possess similar numbers of irregular satellites. This flies in the face of the standard gas-drag model for satellite capture, since only two of the giant planets are gas giants and the others (Uranus and Neptune) formed by a different process and in the absence of much gas. The constancy of the satellite number (each giant holds approximately 100 irregular satellites measured down to the kilometer scale) is either a coincidence, with different capture mechanisms at different planets giving by chance the same total numbers of irregular satellites, or indicates that the satellites were captured by a completely different process. We favor the latter (Jewitt and Sheppard 2005).

  14. FIRST LIGHT LBT AO IMAGES OF HR 8799 bcde AT 1.6 AND 3.3 {mu}m: NEW DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN YOUNG PLANETS AND OLD BROWN DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Hinz, Philip M.; Rodigas, Timothy J.; Close, Laird; McCarthy, Don; Kulesa, Craig; Apai, Daniel; Bailey, Vanessa; Esposito, Simone; Arcidiacono, Carmelo; Mannucci, Filippo; Agapito, Guido; Argomedo, Javier; Briguglio, Runa; Burrows, Adam; Leisenring, Jarron; Skrutskie, Michael; Desidera, Silvano; Mesa, Dino; Boutsia, Konstantina; and others

    2012-07-01

    As the only directly imaged multiple planet system, HR 8799 provides a unique opportunity to study the physical properties of several planets in parallel. In this paper, we image all four of the HR 8799 planets at H band and 3.3 {mu}m with the new Large Binocular Telescope adaptive optics system, PISCES, and LBTI/LMIRCam. Our images offer an unprecedented view of the system, allowing us to obtain H and 3.3 {mu}m photometry of the innermost planet (for the first time) and put strong upper limits on the presence of a hypothetical fifth companion. We find that all four planets are unexpectedly bright at 3.3 {mu}m compared to the equilibrium chemistry models used for field brown dwarfs, which predict that planets should be faint at 3.3 {mu}m due to CH{sub 4} opacity. We attempt to model the planets with thick-cloudy, non-equilibrium chemistry atmospheres but find that removing CH{sub 4} to fit the 3.3 {mu}m photometry increases the predicted L' (3.8 {mu}m) flux enough that it is inconsistent with observations. In an effort to fit the spectral energy distribution of the HR 8799 planets, we construct mixtures of cloudy atmospheres, which are intended to represent planets covered by clouds of varying opacity. In this scenario, regions with low opacity look hot and bright, while regions with high opacity look faint, similar to the patchy cloud structures on Jupiter and L/T transition brown dwarfs. Our mixed-cloud models reproduce all of the available data, but self-consistent models are still necessary to demonstrate their viability.

  15. View of Gemini 11 experiment S-13 Ultraviolet Astronomical Camera

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    View of Gemini 11 experiment S-13 Ultraviolet Astronomical Camera before flight. Its object was to obtain data on ultraviolet radiation of hot stars and to develop and evaluate basic techniques for photography of celestial objects from manned spacecraft.

  16. Viscosity behavior of cationic gemini surfactants with long alkyl chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Lijuan; Chen, Hong; Luo, Pingya

    2004-08-01

    Viscosity experiments were carried out on aqueous micellar solutions of the cationic gemini surfactants as a function of surfactant concentration, aging time, temperature and shear rate. The viscosity behavior of cationic gemini surfactants in dilute solution is closely related to the alkyl chains and spacer groups of gemini surfactants. The viscosities of some gemini surfactants solutions vary with aging time, such as 16-4-16 and 18-4-18. For 12-2-12, the viscosity of solution decreases with the increase of temperature. But for series of 16- s-16 and 18- s-18 with s = 2 or 3, the viscosity variations of them are particularly unusual with the increasing of temperature, which increase at first, then reach a peak and decrease in the end. The effect of shear rate on the micellar solution of 22-4-22 was investigated and shear-induced thickening was not observed at the experimental shear rate ranges.

  17. Structural Characterization of Novel Gemini Non-viral DNA

    SciTech Connect

    Foldvari,M.; Badea, I.; Wettig, S.; Verrall, R.; Bagonluri, M.

    2006-01-01

    The structural and physicochemical properties of novel cationic lipid-based DNA complexes have been investigated for the purpose of designing micro/nano-scale self-assembling delivery systems for cutaneous gene therapy. DNA/gemini surfactant (spacer n = 3-16; chain m = 12 or 16) complexes (1 : 10 charge ratio), with or without dioleoylphosphatidyl-ethanolamine (DOPE), designed for cellular transfection, were generally in the range of 100-200 nm as demonstrated by atomic force microscopy and particle size analysis. Small-angle X-ray scattering measurements indicated that the DNA/gemini complexes lacked long-range order, whereas DNA/gemini/DOPE complexes exhibited lamellar and polymorphic phases other than hexagonal. Correlation studies using transfection efficiency data in PAM 212 keratinocytes and in vitro skin absorption indicated that formulations containing gemini surfactants having the ability to induce structures other than lamellar in the resulting complexes, generally exhibited greater transfection activity and cutaneous absorption.

  18. Food packets for use on the Gemini 3 flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Food packets for use on the Gemini 3 flight including dehydrated beef pot roast, bacon and egg bites, toasted bread cubes, orange juice and a wet wipe. Water is being inserted into the pouch of dehydrated food.

  19. Food packages for use on the Gemini 4 flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Food packages for use on the Gemini 4 flight. Packages include beef and gravy, peaches, strawberry cereal cubes and beef sandwiches. Water gun is used to reconstitute dehydrated food. Scissors are used to open the packages.

  20. A method to directly image exoplanets in multi-star systems such as Alpha-Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Sandrine J.; Belikov, Ruslan; Bendek, Eduardo

    2015-09-01

    Direct imaging of extra-solar planets is now a reality, especially with the deployment and commissioning of the first generation of specialized ground-based instruments such as the Gemini Planet Imager and SPHERE. These systems will allow detection of Jupiter-like planets 107 times fainter than their host star. Obtaining this contrast level and beyond requires the combination of a coronagraph to suppress light coming from the host star and a wavefront control system including a deformable mirror (DM) to remove residual starlight (speckles) created by the imperfections of telescope. However, all these current and future systems focus on detecting faint planets around single host stars, while several targets or planet candidates are located around nearby binary stars such as our neighboring star Alpha Centauri. Here, we present a method to simultaneously correct aberrations and diffraction of light coming from the target star as well as its companion star in order to reveal planets orbiting the target star. This method works even if the companion star is outside the control region of the DM (beyond its half-Nyquist frequency), by taking advantage of aliasing effects.

  1. Dicationic Alkylammonium Bromide Gemini Surfactants. Membrane Perturbation and Skin Irritation

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, João A. S.; Faneca, Henrique; Carvalho, Rui A.; Marques, Eduardo F.; Pais, Alberto A. C. C.

    2011-01-01

    Dicationic alkylammonium bromide gemini surfactants represent a class of amphiphiles potentially effective as skin permeation enhancers. However, only a limited number of studies has been dedicated to the evaluation of the respective cytotoxicity, and none directed to skin irritation endpoints. Supported on a cell viability study, the cytotoxicity of gemini surfactants of variable tail and spacer length was assessed. For this purpose, keratinocyte cells from human skin (NCTC 2544 cell line), frequently used as a model for skin irritation, were employed. The impact of the different gemini surfactants on the permeability and morphology of model vesicles was additionally investigated by measuring the leakage of calcein fluorescent dye and analyzing the NMR spectra of 31P, respectively. Detail on the interaction of gemini molecules with model membranes was also provided by a systematic differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. An irreversible impact on the viability of the NCTC 2544 cell line was observed for gemini concentrations higher than 25 mM, while no cytotoxicity was found for any of the surfactants in a concentration range up to 10 mM. A higher cytotoxicity was also found for gemini surfactants presenting longer spacer and shorter tails. The same trend was obtained in the calorimetric and permeability studies, with the gemini of longest spacer promoting the highest degree of membrane destabilization. Additional structural and dynamical characterization of the various systems, obtained by 31P NMR and MD, provide some insight on the relationship between the architecture of gemini surfactants and the respective perturbation mechanism. PMID:22102870

  2. GEMINI: integrative exploration of genetic variation and genome annotations.

    PubMed

    Paila, Umadevi; Chapman, Brad A; Kirchner, Rory; Quinlan, Aaron R

    2013-01-01

    Modern DNA sequencing technologies enable geneticists to rapidly identify genetic variation among many human genomes. However, isolating the minority of variants underlying disease remains an important, yet formidable challenge for medical genetics. We have developed GEMINI (GEnome MINIng), a flexible software package for exploring all forms of human genetic variation. Unlike existing tools, GEMINI integrates genetic variation with a diverse and adaptable set of genome annotations (e.g., dbSNP, ENCODE, UCSC, ClinVar, KEGG) into a unified database to facilitate interpretation and data exploration. Whereas other methods provide an inflexible set of variant filters or prioritization methods, GEMINI allows researchers to compose complex queries based on sample genotypes, inheritance patterns, and both pre-installed and custom genome annotations. GEMINI also provides methods for ad hoc queries and data exploration, a simple programming interface for custom analyses that leverage the underlying database, and both command line and graphical tools for common analyses. We demonstrate GEMINI's utility for exploring variation in personal genomes and family based genetic studies, and illustrate its ability to scale to studies involving thousands of human samples. GEMINI is designed for reproducibility and flexibility and our goal is to provide researchers with a standard framework for medical genomics. PMID:23874191

  3. GEMINI: Integrative Exploration of Genetic Variation and Genome Annotations

    PubMed Central

    Paila, Umadevi; Chapman, Brad A.; Kirchner, Rory; Quinlan, Aaron R.

    2013-01-01

    Modern DNA sequencing technologies enable geneticists to rapidly identify genetic variation among many human genomes. However, isolating the minority of variants underlying disease remains an important, yet formidable challenge for medical genetics. We have developed GEMINI (GEnome MINIng), a flexible software package for exploring all forms of human genetic variation. Unlike existing tools, GEMINI integrates genetic variation with a diverse and adaptable set of genome annotations (e.g., dbSNP, ENCODE, UCSC, ClinVar, KEGG) into a unified database to facilitate interpretation and data exploration. Whereas other methods provide an inflexible set of variant filters or prioritization methods, GEMINI allows researchers to compose complex queries based on sample genotypes, inheritance patterns, and both pre-installed and custom genome annotations. GEMINI also provides methods for ad hoc queries and data exploration, a simple programming interface for custom analyses that leverage the underlying database, and both command line and graphical tools for common analyses. We demonstrate GEMINI's utility for exploring variation in personal genomes and family based genetic studies, and illustrate its ability to scale to studies involving thousands of human samples. GEMINI is designed for reproducibility and flexibility and our goal is to provide researchers with a standard framework for medical genomics. PMID:23874191

  4. Pluto: Planet or "Dwarf Planet"?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voelzke, M. R.; de Arajo, 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.

  5. Atmospheric Dynamics of Brown Dwarfs and Directly Imaged Giant Planets: Emergence of Zonal Jets and Eddies from Small-Scale Convective Perturbations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showman, Adam P.; Zhang, Xi; Tan, Xianyu; Lewis, Nikole K.

    2014-11-01

    A variety of observations now provide evidence for vigorous motion in the atmospheres of brown dwarfs and directly imaged giant planets; these observations include spectral evidence for clouds, disequilibrium chemistry, lightcurve variability, and maps of surface patchiness. These observations raise major questions about the nature of the atmospheric circulation on these exotic worlds, which resemble high-heat-flux, high-gravity, rapidly rotating versions of Jupiter. Although brown dwarfs and directly imaged giant planets generally lack the strong external stellar irradiation that causes the atmospheric circulation on most solar system planets, the vigorous convection in their interiors will drive a wealth of waves and perhaps a coherent large-scale circulation in their overlying stably stratified atmospheres. Here, we investigate this process using state-of-the-art, global 3D simulations of the atmospheric circulation using the MITgcm. We parameterize convective perturbations near the radiative-convective boundary using a spatially and temporally random, isotropic, small-scale thermal forcing at the bottom of the domain. Radiation is parameterized with an idealized Newtonian cooling scheme. Clouds and condensates are neglected. Our simulations show that brown dwarfs can in many cases develop large-scale atmospheric circulations comprising banded flow patterns, zonal jets, turbulence, and in some cases stable vortices. We will describe how the amplitude, length scales, and fundamental nature of the circulation -- in particular, the tendency to favor zonal jets versus quasi-isotropic turbulence -- depends on the radiative time constant, the convective forcing amplitude and timescale, gravity, and other parameters. The simulations provide a foundation for understanding observed lightcurves and surface maps of brown dwarfs, and moreover illuminate the continuum of atmospheric-dynamics processes between brown dwarfs and Jupiter itself.

  6. A survey of young, nearby, and dusty stars conducted to understand the formation of wide-orbit giant planets. VLT/NaCo adaptive optics thermal and angular differential imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rameau, J.; Chauvin, G.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Klahr, H.; Bonnefoy, M.; Mordasini, C.; Bonavita, M.; Desidera, S.; Dumas, C.; Girard, J. H.

    2013-05-01

    Context. Over the past decade, direct imaging has confirmed the existence of substellar companions on wide orbits from their parent stars. To understand the formation and evolution mechanisms of these companions, their individual as well as the full population properties must be characterized. Aims: We aim at detecting giant planet and/or brown dwarf companions around young, nearby, and dusty stars. Our goal is also to provide statistics on the population of giant planets at wide-orbits and discuss planet formation models. Methods: We report the results of a deep survey of 59 stars, members of young stellar associations. The observations were conducted with the ground-based adaptive optics system VLT/NaCo at L'-band (3.8 ?m). We used angular differential imaging to reach the best detection performances down to the planetary mass regime. A statistical analysis of about 60% of the young and southern A-F stars closer than 65 pc allowed us to derive the fraction of giant planets on wide orbits. We used gravitational instability models and planet population synthesis models following the core-accretion scenario to discuss the occurrence of these companions. Results: We resolve and characterize new visual binaries and do not detect any new substellar companion. The survey's median detection performance reaches contrasts of 10 mag at 0.5? and 11.5 mag at 1.0?. We find the occurrence of planets to be between 10.8 and 24.8% at 68% confidence level assuming a uniform distribution of planets in the interval [1,13] MJ and [1,1000] AU. Considering the predictions of planetary formation models, we set important constraints on the occurrence of massive planets and brown dwarf companions that would have formed by gravitational instability. We show that this mechanism favors the formation of rather massive clumps (Mclump > 30 MJ) at wide (a > 40 AU) orbits, which may evolve dynamically and/or fragment. For the population of close-in giant planets that would have formed by core accretion (without considering any planet - planet scattering), our survey marginally explores physical separations (?20 AU) and cannot constrain this population. We will have to wait for the next generation of planet finders to start exploring that population, and even for the extremely large telescopes for a more complete overlap with other planet-hunting techniques. Based on observations collected at the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile, ESO: runs 084.C-0396A, 085.C-0675A, 085.C-0277B, 087.C-0292A, 087.C-0450B, 088.C-0085A, 089.C-0149A.

  7. Properties of Ellipticity Correlation with Atmospheric Structure From Gemini South

    SciTech Connect

    Asztalos, Stephen J.; de Vries, W.H.; Rosenberg, L.J; Treadway, T.; Burke, D.; Claver, C.; Saha, A.; Puxley, P.; /Gemini Observ., La Serena

    2007-01-17

    Cosmic shear holds great promise for a precision independent measurement of {Omega}{sub m}, the mass density of the universe relative to the critical density. The signal is expected to be weak, so a thorough understanding of systematic effects is crucial. An important systematic effect is the atmosphere: shear power introduced by the atmosphere is larger than the expected signal. Algorithms exist to extract the cosmic shear from the atmospheric component, though a measure of their success applied to a range of seeing conditions is lacking. To gain insight into atmospheric shear, Gemini South imaging in conjunction with ground condition and satellite wind data were obtained. We find that under good seeing conditions Point-Spread-Function (PSF) correlations persist well beyond the separation typical of high-latitude stars. Under these conditions, ellipticity residuals based on a simple PSF interpolation can be reduced to within a factor of a few of the shot-noise induced ellipticity floor. We also find that the ellipticity residuals are highly correlated with wind direction. Finally, we correct stellar shapes using a more sophisticated procedure and generate shear statistics from stars. Under all seeing conditions in our data set the residual correlations lie everywhere below the target signal level. For good seeing we find that the systematic error attributable to atmospheric turbulence is comparable in magnitude to the statistical error (shape noise) over angular scales relevant to present lensing surveys.

  8. 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.

  9. Protostars and Planets VI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beuther, Henrik; Klessen, Ralf S.; Dullemond, Cornelis P.; Henning, Thomas

    The Protostars and Planets book and conference series has been a long-standing tradition that commenced with the first meeting led by Tom Gehrels and held in Tucson, Arizona, in 1978. The goal then, as it still is today, was to bridge the gap between the fields of star and planet formation as well as the investigation of planetary systems and planets. As Tom Gehrels stated in the preface to the first Protostars and Planets book, "Cross-fertilization of information and understanding is bound to occur when investigators who are familiar with the stellar and interstellar phases meet with those who study the early phases of solar system formation." The central goal remained the same for the subsequent editions of the books and conferences Protostars and Planets II in 1984, Protostars and Planets III in 1990, Protostars and Planets IV in 1998, and Protostars and Planets V in 2005, but has now been greatly expanded by the flood of new discoveries in the field of exoplanet science. The original concept of the Protostars and Planets series also formed the basis for the sixth conference in the series, which took place on July 15-20, 2013. It was held for the first time outside of the United States in the bustling university town of Heidelberg, Germany. The meeting attracted 852 participants from 32 countries, and was centered around 38 review talks and more than 600 posters. The review talks were expanded to form the 38 chapters of this book, written by a total of 250 contributing authors. This Protostars and Planets volume reflects the current state-of-the-art in star and planet formation, and tightly connects the fields with each other. It is structured into four sections covering key aspects of molecular cloud and star formation, disk formation and evolution, planetary systems, and astrophysical conditions for life. All poster presentations from the conference can be found at www.ppvi.org. In the eight years that have passed since the fifth conference and book in the Protostars and Planets series, the field of star and planet formation has progressed enormously. The advent of new space observatories like Spitzer and more recently Herschel have opened entirely new windows to study the interstellar medium, the birthplaces of new stars, and the properties of protoplanetary disks. Millimeter and radio observatories, in particular interferometers, allow us to investigate even the most deeply embedded and youngest protostars. Complementary to these observational achievements, novel multi-scale and multi-physics theoretical and numerical models have provided new insights into the physical and chemical processes that govern the birth of stars and their planetary systems. Sophisticated radiative transfer modeling is critical in order to better connect theories with observations. Since the last Protostars and Planets volume, more than 1000 new extrasolar planets have been identified and there are thousands more waiting to be verified. Such a large database allows for the first time a statistical assessment of the planetary properties as well as their evolution pathways. These investigations show the enormous diversity of the architecture of planetary systems and the properties of planets. High-contrast imaging at short and long wavelengths has resolved protoplanetary disks and associated planets, and transit spectroscopy is a new tool that allows us to study even the physical properties of extrasolar planetary atmospheres. The understanding of our own solar system has also progressed enormously since 2005. For instance, the sample-return Stardust mission has provided direct insight into the composition of comets and asteroids, and has demonstrated the importance of mixing processes in the early solar system. And much more is now known about the origin and role of short-lived nuclides at these stages of the solar system. For generations of astronomers, the Protostars and Planets volumes have served as an essential resource for our understanding of star and planet formation. They are used by students to dive into new topics, and they are much valued by experienced researchers as a comprehensive overview of the field with all its interactions. We hope that you will enjoy reading (and learning from) this book as much as we do. The organization of the Protostars and Planets conference was carried out in close collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and the Center for Astronomy of the University Heidelberg, with generous support from the German Science Foundation. This volume is a product of effort and care by many people. First and foremost, we want to acknowledge the 250 contributing authors, as it is only due to their expertise and knowledge that such a comprehensive review compendium in all its depth and breadth is possible. The Protostars and Planets VI conference and this volume was a major undertaking, with support and contributions by many people and institutions. We like to thank the members of the Scientific Advisory Committee who selected the 38 teams and chapters out of more than 120 submitted proposals. Similarly, we are grateful to the reviewers, who provided valuable input and help to the chapter authors. The book would also not have been possible without the great support of Renée Dotson and other staff from USRA’s Lunar and Planetary Institute, who handled the detailed processing of all manuscripts and the production of the book, and of Allyson Carter and other staff from the University of Arizona Press. We are also grateful to Richard Binzel, the General Editor of the Space Science Series, for his constant support during the long process, from the original concept to this final product. Finally, we would like to express a very special thank you to the entire conference local organizing committee, and in particular, Carmen Cuevas and Natali Jurina, for their great commitment to the project and for a very fruitful and enjoyable collaboration.

  10. Altair at Gemini North: Full Sky Coverage Laser AO Correction at Visible Wavelengths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trujillo, Chadwick; Ball, Jesse; Boccas, Maxime; Cavedoni, Chas; Christou, Julian; Coulson, Dolores; Ebbers, Angelic; Emig, Kimberly; Jorgensen, Inger; Kang, Stacy; Lai, Olivier; Matulonis, Anthony; McDermid, Richard; Miller, Bryan; Neichel, Benoit; Oram, Richard; Rigaut, Franois; Roth, Kathy; Schneider, Thomas; Stephens, Andy; Trancho, Gelys; Walls, Brian; White, John; Gemini Software Team

    2013-12-01

    We present two recent upgrades to the Gemini North Adaptive Optics(AO) system, Altair. These two upgrades provide 100% sky coverage forlow performance AO suitable for improving the natural seeing byfactors of 2 to 3 from blue visible wavelengths (350 nm) through thenear infrared (2.5 micron wavelengths). The first upgrade, dubbed LGS + P1 "Super Seeing" mode allowscorrection of high order aberrations with an on-axis Laser Guide Star(LGS) while tip/tilt correction is performed with a more distantperipheral wavefront sensor (P1). Most currently operating LGS AOsystems are limited in their sky coverage, primarily due to tip/tiltstar availability. Although P1 provides sub-optimal tip/tiltcorrection due to its distance from the science source, its patrolradius allows operation in LGS + P1 mode anywhere in the sky fromdeclinations of +70 degrees to -30 degrees. This mode was offered forscience use at Gemini North in 2013A. We will present typicalperformance and use from its first semester in science operation,where we expect to improve image quality by a factor 2 to 3 overseeing limited images. The second upgrade is the commissioning of the AO system to correct atvisible wavelengths, which is expected to be completed in late 2013.In this mode, Altair will feed the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph(GMOS), which is an optical imager as well as a long-slit, multi-slitand integral field unit spectrograph. We intend to replace thecurrent Altair science dichroic with a sodium notch filter, passingonly the 589nm wavelength light from the LGS to the AO system. Therest of the spectrum from 400 nm to the GMOS red cutoff at 1.1 micronsis intended as science capable light. Tip/tilt correction will beperformed close to the science target with the GMOS on-instrumentwavefront sensor or with P1 as in the P1+LGS mode discussed above. Weexpect an image quality improvement of roughly a factor 2 in this modeover seeing limited observations. Since exposure time to reach a given signal-to-noise ratio scalesroughly as the square of the image quality, these two upgradesrepresent a substantial efficiency improvement which is available tonearly all targets normally observed at Gemini North.

  11. Tenth Planet Discovered

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    These time-lapse images of a newfound planet in our solar system, called 2003UB313, were taken on Oct. 21, 2003, using the Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory near San Diego, Calif. The planet, circled in white, is seen moving across a field of stars. The three images were taken about 90 minutes apart.

    A joint effort between JPL and the California Institute of Technology, the Palomar Observatory near San Diego houses a collection of famous telescopes, including the Hale 200-inch and Samuel Oschin 48-inch telescopes. The Palomar Adaptive Optics System, built by JPL and Caltech, corrects for the atmospheric blur of astronomical targets caused by turbulence in Earth's atmosphere. This system's camera was built by Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

  12. 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.

  13. Testing of the Gemini secondary mirrors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otto, Wolfgang

    1999-09-01

    The first 1-m secondary mirror for the Gemini 8-m telescopes project was delivered by Zeiss in 1998, and 2nd mirror will be delivered in the summer of 1999. For first use during commissioning we produced an extreme lightweight Zerodur solution prefabricated at Schott. To reach the 85 percent weight reduction a novel etching technique was used. INterferometric testing was done performing full aperture measurements using a concave matrix. In progress with the fabrication process of the matrix we applied 3D-mechanical measurements, IR-interferometry, and VIS-interferometry using null lenses to reach the final intrinsic quality of 6 nm rms. For interferometric testing of the secondaries phase shifting interferometry with a tunable laser diode was applied. The optical test results of the secondaries show, that the mirrors are well within specification. The finally achieved intrinsic surface quality is 17 nm rms for Unit 1 and 13 nm rms for Unit 2, dominated by cutting effects which were introduced by removing the oversize at the inner and outer edge of the mirror after the final polishing step.

  14. Giant Transiting Planets Observations GITPO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afonso, C.; Henning, Th.; Weldrake, D.; Mazeh, T.; Dreizler, S.

    The search for extrasolar planets is nowadays one of the most promising science drivers in Astronomy. The radial velocity technique proved to be successful in planet hunting, harvesting more than a hundred planets to date. In these last recent years, the transit method has come to fruition, with the detection of seven Jupiter-mass extrasolar transiting planets in close-in orbits ({ AU). Currently, the radius of planets can only be determined from transiting planets, representing the principal motivation and strength of this technique. The MPIA is presently building the Large Area Imager (LAIWO) for the 1m telescope in the Wise Observatory, Israel. LAIWO will have a field of view of one square degree. An intensive search for extra-solar planets will be performed with the 1m Wise telescope, together with the 1.2m MONET telescope in Texas. We will monitor three fields at a given time during three years and more than 200 nights per year. We expect several dozens of extra-solar planets.

  15. Giant Transiting Planets Observations - GITPO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afonso, C.

    2006-08-01

    The search for extrasolar planets is nowadays one of the most promising science drivers in Astronomy. The radial velocity technique proved to be successful in planet hunting, harvesting more than a hundred planets to date. In these last years, the transit method has come to fruition, with the detection of seven Jupiter-mass extrasolar transiting planets in close-in orbits (< 0.05 AU). Currently, the radius of planets can only be determined from transiting planets, representing the principal motivation and strength of this technique. The MPIA is presently building the Large Area Imager (LAIWO) for the 1m telescope in the Wise Observatory, Israel. LAIWO will have a field of view of one square degree. An intensive search for extra-solar planets will be performed with the 1m Wise telecope, together with the 1.2m MONET telescope in Texas. We will monitor three fields at a given time during three years and more than 200 nights per year. We expect several dozens of extra-solar planets.

  16. Observations of planet-building volatiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pontoppidan, Klaus Martin; Blevins, Sandra; Banzatti, Andrea; Zhang, Ke; Salyk, Colette; Blake, Geoffrey

    2015-08-01

    Water is observed to be a major constituent of planet-forming disks around young stars and its presence likely plays a major role in formation of planets and their atmospheres, including those destined to orbit in a habitable zone. Yet, the path from disks to planets is one fraught with complexity, making it difficult to derive precise theoretical predictions for planetary chemistry. Planet-forming disks are no longer considered uniform well-mixed structures; rather, they are complex worlds with many different heterogenous environments, most of which play some part in determining the composition of planetesimals and planets. Direct observations of atomic and molecular abundances on all size scales are therefore needed for understanding planet formation at a very fundamental level, and for answering the question of how chemically common the Earth is among exoplanets. In the past years, great progress has been made in observing protoplanetary chemistry, in particular in measuring the molecular composition in protoplanetary disks across the planet-forming regions from 1 to 10s of AU. We will present recent observations of water with Herschel, the VLT and Gemini in disks, and we will demonstrate how we retrieve the local abundances and radial distribution of water vapor and ice using detailed radiative transfer models. We find that most of the oxygen is likely bound in water near 1 AU in disks around solar-mass stars and that the disk surface composition at these radii is likely dominated by local gas-phase chemistry rather than by primordial material delivered from the interstellar medium. We discuss how these observations relate to complementary constraints from the solar system. We further discuss the implications for the observed composition of exoplanetary atmospheres.

  17. Building Planet Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cattermole, Peter

    2000-03-01

    Continental plates, moving as fast as human hair grows, collide, mountains buckle, the ocean abyss sucks in the Earth's crust, and volcanos explode. Here is a story that Hollywood wished it could option: the dynamic cycle of geological destruction and renewal that has stretched across billions of years and shaped our planet in its current image. Scene by scene, this action-packed blockbuster can be experienced in Building Planet Earth. Peter Cattermole begins the story by describing a cloud of matter that surrounds a primitive Sun. Out of this the Earth was formed through compaction and internal heating to the point at which it became a stable, layered structure with a core, mantle, and crust. Using eye-catching images, artwork, and diagrams, Building Planet Earth presents this geological development and goes on to discuss what is happening to our planet now and what we can expect in the future. Cattermole covers in fascinating detail the impact of mass extinctions, global-warming, and ozone holes. The book features 241 illustrations--128 in full-color--and a number of useful appendices. For anyone who has ever wondered how this miraculous planet continues to thrive and surprise, this elegantly-written book will be an essential read. Peter Cattermole is a principal investigator with NASA's Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program. He has written several books on geology and astronomy as well as numerous articles for both scholarly and popular media, including Atlas of Venus (Cambridge University Press, 1997) and The Story of the Earth (Cambridge University Press, 1985).

  18. GEO-ENGINEERING MODELING THROUGH INTERNET INFORMATICS (GEMINI)

    SciTech Connect

    W. Lynn Watney; John H. Doveton

    2004-05-13

    GEMINI (Geo-Engineering Modeling through Internet Informatics) is a public-domain web application focused on analysis and modeling of petroleum reservoirs and plays (http://www.kgs.ukans.edu/Gemini/index.html). GEMINI creates a virtual project by ''on-the-fly'' assembly and analysis of on-line data either from the Kansas Geological Survey or uploaded from the user. GEMINI's suite of geological and engineering web applications for reservoir analysis include: (1) petrofacies-based core and log modeling using an interactive relational rock catalog and log analysis modules; (2) a well profile module; (3) interactive cross sections to display ''marked'' wireline logs; (4) deterministic gridding and mapping of petrophysical data; (5) calculation and mapping of layer volumetrics; (6) material balance calculations; (7) PVT calculator; (8) DST analyst, (9) automated hydrocarbon association navigator (KHAN) for database mining, and (10) tutorial and help functions. The Kansas Hydrocarbon Association Navigator (KHAN) utilizes petrophysical databases to estimate hydrocarbon pay or other constituent at a play- or field-scale. Databases analyzed and displayed include digital logs, core analysis and photos, DST, and production data. GEMINI accommodates distant collaborations using secure password protection and authorized access. Assembled data, analyses, charts, and maps can readily be moved to other applications. GEMINI's target audience includes small independents and consultants seeking to find, quantitatively characterize, and develop subtle and bypassed pays by leveraging the growing base of digital data resources. Participating companies involved in the testing and evaluation of GEMINI included Anadarko, BP, Conoco-Phillips, Lario, Mull, Murfin, and Pioneer Resources.

  19. Gemini optical observations of binary millisecond pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Testa, V.; Mignani, R. P.; Pallanca, C.; Corongiu, A.; Ferraro, F. R.

    2015-11-01

    Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are rapidly spinning neutron stars, with spin periods Ps ? 10 ms, which have been most likely spun up after a phase of matter accretion from a companion star. In this work, we present the results of the search for the companion stars of four binary MSPs, carried out with archival data from the Gemini South telescope. Based upon a very good positional coincidence with the pulsar radio coordinates, we likely identified the companion stars to three MSPs, namely PSR J0614-3329 (g = 21.95 0.05), J1231-1411 (g = 25.40 0.23), and J2017+0603 (g = 24.72 0.28). For the last pulsar (PSR J0613-0200) the identification was hampered by the presence of a bright star (g = 16 0.03) at 2 arcsec from the pulsar radio coordinates and we could only set 3? upper limits of g = 25.0, r = 24.3, and i = 24.2 on the magnitudes of its companion star. The candidate companion stars to PSR J0614-3329, J1231-1411, and J2017+0603 can be tentatively identified as He white dwarfs (WDs) on the basis of their optical colours and brightness and the comparison with stellar model tracks. From the comparison of our multiband photometry with stellar model tracks we also obtained possible ranges on the mass, temperature, and gravity of the candidate WD companions to these three MSPs. Optical spectroscopy observations are needed to confirm their possible classification as He WDs and accurately measure their stellar parameters.

  20. Spinning Stardust into Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    A computerized animation simulates the formation of a stellar disk and planets. Ten images from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) show young stellar disks (taken with the Near-Infrared Camera Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS)) and stellar disks around young stars (taken with the Wide-Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2)). Dr. Deborah Padgett describes what astronomers see in the images of young stellar disks and Dr. Karl Stapelfeldt explains HST's role in helping astronomers to examine young stars in order to understand how solar systems like our own may form.

  1. Astronaut Virgil Grissom shown through window of open hatch on Gemini craft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Astronaut Virgil I. Grissom, the command pilot of the Gemini-Titan 3 three orbit mission, is shown through the window of the open hatch on Gemini spacecraft in the white room on the mornining of the launch.

  2. Astronaut James Lovell walks to elevator on Pad 19 before Gemini 7 launch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Astronaut James A. Lovell Jr., pilot of the Gemini 7 space flight, walks to the elevator at Pad 19 one hour and forty minutes before launch of the spacecraft. He is dressed in the new Gemini space suit.

  3. Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barlow, Nadine G.

    The four terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) and Earth's Moon display similar compositions, interior structures, and geologic histories. The terrestrial planets formed by accretion 4.5 Ga ago out of the solar nebula, whereas the Moon formed through accretion of material ejected off Earth during a giant impact event shortly after Earth formed. Geophysical investigations (gravity anomalies, seismic analysis, heat flow measurements, and magnetic field studies) reveal that all five bodies have differentiated into a low-density silicate crust, an intermediate density silicate mantle, and an iron-rich core. Seismic and heat flow measurements are only available for Earth and its Moon, and only Earth and Mercury currently exhibit actively produced magnetic fields (although Mars and the Moon retain remanent fields). Surface evolutions of all five bodies have been influenced by impact cratering, volcanism, tectonism, and mass wasting. Aeolian activity only occurs on bodies with a substantial atmosphere (Venus, Earth, and Mars) and only Earth and Mars display evidence of fluvial and glacial processes. Earth's volcanic and tectonic activity is largely driven by plate tectonics, whereas those processes on Venus result from vertical motions associated with hotspots and mantle upwellings. Mercury displays a unique tectonic regime of global contraction caused by gradual solidification of its large iron core. Early large impact events stripped away much of Mercury's crust and mantle, produced Venus' slow retrograde rotation, ejected material off Earth that became the Moon, and may have created the Martian hemispheric dichotomy. The similarities and differences between the interiors and surfaces of these five bodies provide scientists with a better understanding of terrestrial planet evolutionary paths.

  4. The system support associate model at Gemini Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hainaut, Marie-Claire; Coulson, Dolores

    2008-07-01

    At Gemini Observatory, the traditional employment position of telescope operator has been discarded in favor of a more diverse and flexible position known as System Support Associate (SSA). From the very beginning, the operational model of Gemini was designed to involve SSAs in observatory projects well beyond the strict operation of the telescope systems. We describe the motivation behind the original model, how it was eventually implemented and how it has evolved. We describe how the schedule allows SSAs to assume different roles within Gemini and how flexible time allows them to participate to a wide range of projects, increasing their motivation, deepening their knowledge and strengthening communication between groups, as well as allowing management to allocate resources to projects that would otherwise lack manpower. We give examples of such projects and comment on the difficulties inherent in the model.

  5. 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 of widely separated orbits. These two system architectures probably result from gravitational interactions among the planets and between the planets and the protoplanetary disk out of which they formed.

  6. PlanetCam UPV/EHU: A Two-channel Lucky Imaging Camera for Solar System Studies in the Spectral Range 0.38–1.7 μm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendikoa, Iñigo; Sánchez-Lavega, Agustín; Pérez-Hoyos, Santiago; Hueso, Ricardo; Félix Rojas, José; Aceituno, Jesús; Aceituno, Francisco; Murga, Gaizka; De Bilbao, Lander; García-Melendo, Enrique

    2016-03-01

    We present PlanetCam UPV/EHU, an astronomical camera designed fundamentally for high-resolution imaging of Solar System planets using the “lucky imaging” technique. The camera observes in a wavelength range from 380 nm to 1.7 μm and the driving science themes are atmosphere dynamics and vertical cloud structure of Solar System planets. The design comprises two configurations that include one channel (visible wavelengths) or two combined channels (visible and short wave infrared) working simultaneously at selected wavelengths by means of a dichroic beam splitter. In this paper the camera components for the two configurations are described, as well as camera performance and the different tests done for the precise characterization of its radiometric and astrometric capabilities at high spatial resolution. Finally, some images of solar system objects are presented as well as photometric results and different scientific cases on astronomical targets.

  7. Studying the Sky/Planets Can Drown You in Images: Machine Learning Solutions at JPL/Caltech

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fayyad, U. M.

    1995-01-01

    JPL is working to develop a domain-independent system capable of small-scale object recognition in large image databases for science analysis. Two applications discussed are the cataloging of three billion sky objects in the Sky Image Cataloging and Analysis Tool (SKICAT) and the detection of possibly one million small volcanoes visible in the Magellan synthetic aperture radar images of Venus (JPL Adaptive Recognition Tool, JARTool).

  8. Gemini 4 astronauts relax aboard Navy helicopter after recovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Gemini 4 astronauts, James A. McDivitt (right), command pilot, and Edward H. White II, (left), pilot, relax aboard a U.S. Navy helicopter on their way to the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Wasp after recovery from the Gemini 4 spacecraft. They had been picked up out of the Atlantic Ocean following a successful splashdown (33532); White (left) and McDivitt listen to the voice of President Lyndon B. Johnson as he congratulated them by telephone on the successful mission. They are shown aboard the carrier U.S.S. Wasp just after their recovery (33533).

  9. Thermal emissivity analysis of a GEMINI 8-meter telescopes design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    St. Clair Dinger, Ann

    1993-01-01

    The GEMINI 8-meter Telescopes Project is designing twin 8-meter telescopes to be located in Hawaii and Chile. The GEMINI telescopes will have interchangeable secondary mirrors for use in the visible and IR. The APART/PADE program is being used to evaluate the effective IR emissivity of the IR configuration plus enclosure as a function of mirror contamination at three IR wavelengths. The goal is to design a telescope whose effective IR emissivity is no more than 2 percent when the mirrors are clean.

  10. 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 be taken into consideration, for instance, the value of the pH, using universal indicator paper, color, through visual evaluation and the temperature with the help of a thermometer. There will be also registered some existent chemical parameters as chloride, alkalinity, total hardness (Ca2+ and Mg2+), nitrate, nitrite, ammonia and phosphate. Two methods will be used for analysis, the titration and the kit of semi-quantitative chemical analyses. This kit is composed by biocompatible substances, which means they are not harmful for the environment and can be disposed of by domestic sewage systems. The results will be subsequently analyzed bearing in mind the maximum and recommended standards values for each one of the parameters. After this, the results achieved will be discussed. I believe this project contains characteristics that will be of interest to our students, thus enabling them to participate actively and effectively develop their knowledge and enhance their scientific curiosity.

  11. Global stratigraphy of the dwarf planet Ceres from RC2 imaging data of the Dawn FC camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, R. J.; Schmedemann, N.; Kneissl, T.; Stephan, K.; Otto, K.; Krohn, K.; Schrder, S.; Kersten, E.; Roatsch, T.; Jaumann, R.; Williams, D. A.; Yingst, R. A.; Crown, D.; Mest, S. C.; Russell, C. T.

    2015-10-01

    On March 6, 2015, the Dawn spacecraft was captured into orbit around Ceres. During its approach phase since Dec. 1, 2014, imaging data returned by the framing camera (FC) have increased in spatial resolution exceeding that of the Hubble Space Telescope. In this paper, we use these first images to identify and map global geologic units and to establish a stratigraphic sequence.

  12. UNVEILING THE NEW GENERATION OF STARS IN NGC 604 WITH GEMINI-NIRI

    SciTech Connect

    Farina, Cecilia; Bosch, Guillermo L.

    2012-02-15

    We present a near-infrared study focused on the detection and characterization of the youngest stellar component of the NGC 604 giant star-forming region in the Triangulum galaxy (M 33). By means of color-color diagrams derived from the photometry of JHK{sub s} images taken with the Gemini Near Infrared Imaging and Spectrometer (NIRI), we have found 68 candidate massive young stellar objects. The spatial distribution of these sources matches the areas where previous studies suggested that star formation might be taking place, and the high spatial resolution of our deep NIRI imaging allows us to pinpoint the star-forming knots. An analysis of the fraction of objects that show infrared excess suggests that the star formation is still active, supporting the presence of a second generation of stars being born, although the evidence for or against sequential star formation does not seem to be conclusive.

  13. Classification of 3 DES supernovae by Gemini-North

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Y.-C.; Foley, R. J.; Maartens, R.; Gupta, R.; Kovacs, E.; Kuhlmann, S.; Spinka, H.; Ahn, E.; Finley, D. A.; Frieman, J.; Marriner, J.; Wester, W.; Aldering, G.; Kim, A. G.; Thomas, R. C.; Barbary, K.; Bloom, J. S.; Goldstein, D.; Nugent, P.; Perlmutter, S.; Casas, R.; Castander, F. J.; Desai, S.; Paech, K.; Smith, R. C.; Schubnell, M.; Kessler, R.; Lasker, J.; Scolnic, D.; Brout, D. J.; Gladney, L.; Sako, M.; Wolf, R. C.; Brown, P. J.; Krisciunas, K.; Suntzeff, N.; Nichol, R.; Papadopoulos, A.; Childress, M.; D'Andrea, C.; Smith, M.; Sullivan, M.

    2015-11-01

    We report optical spectroscopy of 3 supernovae discovered by the Dark Energy Survey. The spectra (380-820nm) were obtained using GMOS on Gemini-North. Object classification was performed using SNID (Blondin & Tonry, 2007, ApJ, 666, 1024) and superfit (Howell et al, 2005, ApJ, 634, 119), the details of which are reported in the table below.

  14. Northwestern Mexico as seen from the Gemini 9-A spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    Northwestern Mexico as seen from the Gemini 9-A spacecraft during its 32nd revolution of the earth. Large peninsula is Baja California. Body of water at lower right is Pacific Ocean. Land mass at upper left is State of Sonora. Gulf of California separates Sonora from peninsula. Nose of spacecraft is at left and at right is open hatch of spacecraft.

  15. Merging the CEM2k and LAQGSM Codes with GEMINI

    SciTech Connect

    Baznat, M.I.; Gudima, K.K.; Mashnik, S.G.; Prael, R.E.

    2005-05-24

    An improved version of the Cascade-Exciton Model (CEM) of nuclear reactions contained in the code CEM2k and the Los Alamos version of the Quark-Gluon String Model (LAQGSM) are merged with the well-known sequential-binary-decay model GEMINI by Charity. We present some results on proton-induced fragmentation, fission-product yields and on particle spectra predicted by these extended versions of CEM2k and LAQGSM. We show that merging CEM2k and LAQGSM with GEMINI allows us to describe many fission and fragmentation reactions in addition to the spallation and evaporation reactions which are already described well by these codes. Nevertheless, the current version of GEMINI merged with CEM2k and LAQGSM does not provide a completely satisfactory description of some complex-particle spectra, fragment emission, and spallation yields for some reactions, and is not yet a universal tool for applications. Our results show that GEMINI contains a powerful model to describe evaporation/fission/fragmentation reactions and often provides better results when compared to other models, especially for emission of heavy fragments from reactions on medium-heavy nuclei (where most other models simply fail), but it must be further extended and improved in order to properly describe arbitrary reactions.

  16. Interactions between adsorbed layers of cationic gemini surfactants.

    PubMed

    Blomberg, Eva; Verrall, Ronald; Claesson, Per M

    2008-02-19

    The forces acting between glass and between mica surfaces in the presence of two cationic gemini surfactants, 1,4 diDDAB (1,4-butyl-bis(dimethyldodecylammonium bromide)) and 1,12 diDDAB (1,12-dodecyl-bis(dimethyldodecylammonium bromide)), have been investigated below the critical micelle concentration (cmc) of the surfactants using two different surface force techniques. In both cases, it was found that a recharging of the surfaces occurred at a surfactant concentration of about 0.1 x cmc, and at all surfactant concentrations investigated repulsive double-layer forces dominated the interaction at large separations. At smaller separations, attractive forces, or regions of separation with (close to) constant force, were observed. This was interpreted as being due to desorption and rearrangement in the adsorbed layer induced by the proximity of a second surface. Analysis of the decay length of the repulsive double-layer force showed that the majority of the gemini surfactants were fully dissociated. However, the degree of ion pair formation, between a gemini surfactant and a bromide counterion, increased with increasing surfactant concentration and was larger for the gemini surfactant with a shorter spacer length. PMID:18052227

  17. Gemini 12 crew arrives aboard U.S.S. Wasp

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    A happy Gemini 12 prime crew arrives aboard the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Wasp. Astronauts James A. Lovell Jr. (left), command pilot, and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., pilot, had just been picked up from the splashdown area by helicopter.

  18. Designing Scalable PGAS Communication Subsystems on Cray Gemini Interconnect

    SciTech Connect

    Vishnu, Abhinav; Daily, Jeffrey A.; Palmer, Bruce J.

    2012-12-26

    The Cray Gemini Interconnect has been recently introduced as a next generation network architecture for building multi-petaflop supercomputers. Cray XE6 systems including LANL Cielo, NERSC Hopper, ORNL Titan and proposed NCSA BlueWaters leverage the Gemini Interconnect as their primary Interconnection network. At the same time, programming models such as the Message Passing Interface (MPI) and Partitioned Global Address Space (PGAS) models such as Unified Parallel C (UPC) and Co-Array Fortran (CAF) have become available on these systems. Global Arrays is a popular PGAS model used in a variety of application domains including hydrodynamics, chemistry and visualization. Global Arrays uses Aggregate Re- mote Memory Copy Interface (ARMCI) as the communication runtime system for Remote Memory Access communication. This paper presents a design, implementation and performance evaluation of scalable and high performance communication subsystems on Cray Gemini Interconnect using ARMCI. The design space is explored and time-space complexities of commu- nication protocols for one-sided communication primitives such as contiguous and uniformly non-contiguous datatypes, atomic memory operations (AMOs) and memory synchronization is presented. An implementation of the proposed design (referred as ARMCI-Gemini) demonstrates the efficacy on communication primitives, application kernels such as LU decomposition and full applications such as Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) application.

  19. Young family together after the Gemini 3 mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Gemini-Titan 3 Astronaut John W. Young is shown with his wife and children after his return to Cape Kennedy, March 25, from the recovery ship, U.S.S. Intrepid. Shown (left to right) are Young's daughter, Sandra; his son, John; and his wife Barbara.

  20. Gemini photographs of the world: A complete index

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giddings, L. E.

    1977-01-01

    The most authoritative catalogs of photographs of all Gemini missions are assembled. Included for all photographs are JSC (Johnson Space Center) identification number, percent cloud cover, geographical area in sight, and miscellaneous information. In addition, details are given on cameras, filters, films, and other technical details.

  1. Gemini Series Experiment Data Reduction and Storage Techniques

    SciTech Connect

    R. A. Berglin

    2011-11-01

    The presentation covers data formats expected from Gemini experiments; data quick look vs. in-depth analysis; iPDV object-oriented data storage; iPDV's traceability of analysis results; optimizing object memory usage in iPDV; and long-term archival of data objects by iPDV.

  2. Simulating Planet-Hunting in a Lab

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    Three simulated planets -- one as bright as Jupiter, one half as bright as Jupiter and one as faint as Earth -- stand out plainly in this image created from a sequence of 480 images captured by the High Contrast Imaging Testbed at JPL. A roll-subtraction technique, borrowed from space astronomy, was used to distinguish planets from background light. The asterisk marks the location of the system's simulated star.

  3. 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.

  4. Apodized Pupil Lyot Coronagraphs for Arbitrary Apertures. V. Hybrid Shaped Pupil Designs for Imaging Earth-like planets with Future Space Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    N’Diaye, Mamadou; Soummer, Rémi; Pueyo, Laurent; Carlotti, Alexis; Stark, Christopher C.; Perrin, Marshall D.

    2016-02-01

    We introduce a new class of solutions for Apodized Pupil Lyot Coronagraphs (APLC) with segmented aperture telescopes to remove broadband diffracted light from a star with a contrast level of 1010. These new coronagraphs provide a key advance to enabling direct imaging and spectroscopy of Earth twins with future large space missions. Building on shaped pupil (SP) apodization optimizations, our approach enables two-dimensional optimizations of the system to address any aperture features such as central obstruction, support structures, or segment gaps. We illustrate the technique with a design that could reach a 1010 contrast level at 34 mas for a 12 m segmented telescope over a 10% bandpass centered at a wavelength of {λ }0 = 500 nm. These designs can be optimized specifically for the presence of a resolved star and, in our example, for stellar angular size up to 1.1 mas. This would allow one to probe the vicinity of Sun-like stars located beyond 4.4 pc, therefore, fully retiring this concern. If the fraction of stars with Earth-like planets is {η }\\oplus =0.1, with 18% throughput, assuming a perfect, stable wavefront and considering photon noise only, 12.5 exo-Earth candidates could be detected around nearby stars with this design and a 12 m space telescope during a five-year mission with two years dedicated to exo-Earth detection (one total year of exposure time and another year of overheads). Our new hybrid APLC/SP solutions represent the first numerical solution of a coronagraph based on existing mask technologies and compatible with segmented apertures, and that can provide contrast compatible with detecting and studying Earth-like planets around nearby stars. They represent an important step forward toward enabling these science goals with future large space missions.

  5. 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.

  6. X-MIME: An Imaging X-ray Spectrometer for Detailed Study of Jupiter's Icy Moons and the Planet's X-ray Aurora

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elsner, R. F.; Ramsey, B. D.; Waite, J. H.; Rehak, P.; Johnson, R. E.; Cooper, J. F.; Swartz, D. A.

    2004-01-01

    Remote observations with the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the XMM-Newton Observatory have shown that the Jovian system is a source of x-rays with a rich and complicated structure. The planet's polar auroral zones and its disk are powerful sources of x-ray emission. Chandra observations revealed x-ray emission from the Io Plasma Torus and from the Galilean moons Io, Europa, and possibly Ganymede. The emission from these moons is certainly due to bombardment of their surfaces of highly energetic protons, oxygen and sulfur ions from the region near the Torus exciting atoms in their surfaces and leading to fluorescent x-ray emission lines. Although the x-ray emission from the Galilean moons is faint when observed from Earth orbit, an imaging x-ray spectrometer in orbit around these moons, operating at 200 eV and above with 150 eV energy resolution, would provide a detailed mapping (down to 40 m spatial resolution) of the elemental composition in their surfaces. Such maps would provide important constraints on formation and evolution scenarios for the surfaces of these moons. Here we describe the characteristics of X-MIME, an imaging x-ray spectrometer under going a feasibility study for the JIMO mission, with the ultimate goal of providing unprecedented x-ray studies of the elemental composition of the surfaces of Jupiter's icy moons and Io, as well as of Jupiter's auroral x-ray emission.

  7. X-MIME: An imaging x-ray spectrometer for detailed study of Jupiter's icy moons and the planet's x-ray aurora.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elsner, R. F.; Ramsey, B. D.; Waite, J. H.; Rehak, P.; Johnson, R. E.; Cooper, J. F.; Swartz, D. A.

    2004-11-01

    Remote observations with the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the XMM-Newton Observatory have shown that the Jovian system is a source of x-rays with a rich and complicated structure. The planet's polar auroral zones and its disk are powerful sources of x-ray emission. Chandra observations revealed x-ray emission from the Io Plasma Torus and from the Galilean moons Io, Europa, and possibly Ganymede. The emission from the moons is due to bombardment of their surfaces by highly energetic magnetospheric protons, oxygen and sulfur ions. These ions excite atoms in their surfaces leading to fluorescent x-ray emission lines. Although the x-ray emission from the Galilean moons is faint when observed from Earth orbit, an imaging x-ray spectrometer in orbit around these moons, operating at 200 eV and above with 150 eV energy resolution, would provide a detailed mapping of the elemental composition in their surfaces. Here we describe the physical processes leading to x-ray emission from the surfaces of Jupiter's moons and the instrumental properties required to map the elemental composition of their surfaces. We describe the characteristics of X-MIME, an imaging x-ray spectrometer undergoing a feasibility study for the JIMO mission, with the ultimate goal of providing unprecedented x-ray studies of the elemental composition of the surfaces of Jupiter's icy moons and Io, as well as of Jupiter's auroral x-ray emission.

  8. Novel fluorinated gemini surfactants with γ-butyrolactone segments.

    PubMed

    Kawase, Tokuzo; Okada, Kazuyuki; Oida, Tatsuo

    2015-01-01

    In this work, novel γ-butyrolactone-type monomeric and dimeric (gemini) surfactants with a semifluoroalkyl group [Rf- (CH2)3-; Rf = C4F9, C6F13, C8F17] as the hydrophobic group were successfully synthesized. Dimethyl malonate was dimerized or connected using Br(CH2)sBr (s = 0, 1, 2, 3) to give tetraesters, and they were bis-allylated. Radical addition of fluoroalkyl using Rf-I and an initiator, i.e., 2,2'-azobisisobutyronitrile for C4F9 or di-t-butyl peroxide for C6F13 and C8F17, was perform at high temperature, with prolonged heating, to obtain bis(semifluoroalkyl)-dilactone diesters. These dilactone diesters were hydrolyzed using KOH/EtOH followed by decarboxylation in AcOH to afford γ-butyrolactonetype gemini surfactants. Common 1 + 1 semifluoroalkyl lactone surfactants were synthesized using the same method. Their surfactant properties [critical micelle concentration (CMC), γCMC, pC20, ΓCMC, and AG] were investigated by measuring the surface tension of the γ-hydroxybutyrate form prepared in aqueous tetrabutylammonium hydroxide solution. As expected, the CMC values of the gemini surfactants were more than one order of magnitude smaller than those of the corresponding 1 + 1 surfactants. Other properties also showed the excellent ability of the gemini structure to reduce the surface tension. These surfactants were easily and quantitatively recovered by acidification. The monomeric surfactant was recovered in the γ-hydroxybutyric acid form, and the gemini surfactant as a mixture of γ-butyrolactone and γ-hydroxybutyric acid forms. PMID:25748377

  9. Planet Mercury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    Mariner 10's first image of Mercury acquired on March 24, 1974. During its flight, Mariner 10's trajectory brought it behind the lighted hemisphere of Mercury, where this image was taken, in order to acquire important measurements with other instruments. This picture was acquired from a distance of 3,340,000 miles (5,380,000 km) from the surface of Mercury. The diameter of Mercury (3,031 miles; 4,878 km) is about 1/3 that of Earth. Images of Mercury were acquired in two steps, an inbound leg (images acquired before passing into Mercury's shadow) and an outbound leg (after exiting from Mercury's shadow). More than 2300 useful images of Mercury were taken, both moderate resolution (3-20 km/pixel) color and high resolution (better than 1 km/pixel) black and white coverage.

  10. Planet Mercury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    Mariner 10's first image of Mercury acquired on March 24, 1974. During its flight, Mariner 10's trajectory brought it behind the lighted hemisphere of Mercury, where this image was taken, in order to acquire important measurements with other instruments.

    This picture was acquired from a distance of 3,340,000 miles (5,380,000 km) from the surface of Mercury. The diameter of Mercury (3,031 miles; 4,878 km) is about 1/3 that of Earth.

    Images of Mercury were acquired in two steps, an inbound leg (images acquired before passing into Mercury's shadow) and an outbound leg (after exiting from Mercury's shadow). More than 2300 useful images of Mercury were taken, both moderate resolution (3-20 km/pixel) color and high resolution (better than 1 km/pixel) black and white coverage.

  11. 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 of a few diehards, we may eventually have a seismic and heat flow network on Mars.

  12. The structure and morphology of gold nanoparticles produced in cationic gemini surfactant systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murawska, Magdalena; Wiatr, Michalina; Nowakowski, Pawe?; Szutkowski, Kosma; Skrzypczak, Andrzej; Kozak, Maciej

    2013-12-01

    Potential applications of gold nanoparticles (GNP) are strictly connected with their size and shape. The influence of different dicationic (gemini) surfactants, alkyloxymethylimidazolium derivatives derivatives, on the structure and morphology of GNP was studied. The synthesis of nanoparticles was performed in the presence of various gemini surfactantsdodecyloxymethylimidazolium nitrate (IMI_NO3_C4_C12), propionate (IMI_PROP_C4_C12) and 3,3'-[1,9-(2,8-dioxanonane)]bis-(1-nonyloxymethylimidazolium) chloride (IMI_Cl_oxyC7_C9), used as stabilizers and templates for obtaining different size and shape of gold nanoparticles. The samples obtained were examined using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), small angle scattering of synchrotron radiation (SAXS), UV-vis spectroscopy and NMR PFG spectroscopy. For the obtained solutions of nanoparticles the plasmon resonance was observed at the wavelengths corresponding to the presence of gold nanoparticles of sizes ranging from 5-100 nm, with a significant shift towards higher wavelength for the samples prepared with addition of dicationic surfactants. TEM images evidence the presence of gold nanoparticles with tetrahedral and spherical morphology in solutions prepared with the surfactants IMI_PROP_C4_C12, IMI_NO3_C4_C12, and those of spherical morphology, but strongly aggregated, in the solution with the cationic surfactant IMI_Cl_oxyC7_C9.

  13. The AAO's Gemini High-Resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST) concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ireland, Michael J.; Barnes, Stuart; Cochrane, David; Colless, Matthew; Connor, Peter; Horton, Anthony; Gibson, Steve; Lawrence, Jon; Martell, Sarah; McGregor, Peter; Nicolle, Tom; Nield, Kathryn; Orr, David; Robertson, J. G.; Ryder, Stuart; Sheinis, Andrew; Smith, Greg; Staszak, Nick; Tims, Julia; Xavier, Pascal; Young, Peter; Zheng, Jessica

    2012-09-01

    The Gemini High-Resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST) will fill an important gap in the current suite of Gemini instruments. We will describe the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO)-led concept for GHOST, which consists of a multi-object, compact, high-efficiency, fixed-format, fiber-fed design. The spectrograph itself is a four-arm variant of the asymmetric white-pupil echelle Kiwispec spectrograph, Kiwisped, produced by Industrial Research Ltd. This spectrograph has an R4 grating and a 100mm pupil, and separate cross-disperser and camera optics for each of the four arms, carefully optimized for their respective wavelength ranges. We feed this spectrograph with a miniature lensletbased IFU that sub-samples the seeing disk of a single object into 7 hexagonal sub-images, reformatting this into a slit with a second set of double microlenses at the spectrograph entrance with relatively little loss due to focal-ratio degradation. This reformatting enables high spectral resolution from a compact design that fits well within the relatively tight GHOST budget. We will describe our baseline 2-object R~50,000 design with full wavelength coverage from the ultraviolet to the silicon cutoff, as well as the high-resolution single-object R~75,000 mode.

  14. Evaluation of cellular uptake and intracellular trafficking as determining factors of gene expression for amino acid-substituted gemini surfactant-based DNA nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Gene transfer using non-viral vectors offers a non-immunogenic and safe method of gene delivery. Cellular uptake and intracellular trafficking of the nanoparticles can impact on the transfection efficiency of these vectors. Therefore, understanding the physicochemical properties that may influence the cellular uptake and the intracellular trafficking can aid the design of more efficient non-viral gene delivery systems. Recently, we developed novel amino acid-substituted gemini surfactants that showed higher transfection efficiency than their parent compound. In this study, we evaluated the mechanism of cellular uptake of the plasmid/gemini surfactant/helper lipid nanoparticles and their effect on the transfection efficiency. Results Nanoparticles were incubated with Sf 1 Ep cells in the presence of different endocytic inhibitors and gene expression (interferon-?) was measured using ELISA. Clathrin-mediated and caveolae-mediated uptake were found to be equally contributing to cellular internalization of both P/12-7NH-12/L (parent gemini surfactant) and P/12-7NGK-12/L (amino acid-substituted gemini surfactant) nanoparticles. The plasmid and the helper lipid were fluorescently tagged to track the nanoparticles inside the cells, using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Transmission electron microscopy images showed that the P/12-7NGK-12/L particles were cylindrical while the P/12-7NH-12/L particles were spherical which may influence the cellular uptake behaviour of these particles. Dye exclusion assay and pH-titration of the nanoparticles suggested that high buffering capacity, pH-dependent increase in particle size and balanced DNA binding properties may be contributing to a more efficient endosomal escape of P/12-7NGK-12/L compared to the P/12-7NH-12/L nanoparticles, leading to higher gene expression. Conclusion Amino-acid substitution in the spacer of gemini surfactant did not alter the cellular uptake pathway, showing similar pattern to the unsubstituted parent gemini surfactant. Glycyl-lysine substitution in the gemini spacer improved buffering capacity and imparted a pH-dependent increase of particle size. This property conferred to the P/12-7NGK-12/L nanoparticles the ability to escape efficiently from clathrin-mediated endosomes. Balanced binding properties (protection and release) of the 12-7NGK-12 in the presence of polyanions could contribute to the facile release of the nanoparticles internalized via caveolae-mediated uptake. A more efficient endosomal escape of the P/12-7NGK-12/L nanoparticles lead to higher gene expression compared to the parent gemini surfactant. PMID:22296763

  15. Hubble Observes the Planet Uranus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the planet Uranus reveals the planet's rings and bright clouds and a high altitude haze above the planet's south pole.

    Hubble's new view was obtained on August 14, 1994, when Uranus was 1.7 billion miles (2.8 billion kilometers) from Earth. These details, as imaged by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, were only previously seen by the Voyager 2 spacecraft, which flew by Uranus in 1986. Since then, none of these inner satellites has been further observed, and detailed observations of the rings have not been possible.

    Though Uranus' rings were discovered indirectly in 1977 (through stellar occultation observations), they have never before been seen in visible light through a ground-based telescope.

    Hubble resolves several of Uranus' rings, including the outermost Epsilon ring. The planet has a total of 11 concentric rings of dark dust. Uranus is tipped such that its rotation axis lies in the plane of its orbit, so the rings appear nearly face-on.

    Three of Uranus' inner moons each appear as a string of three dots at the bottom of the picture. This is because the picture is a composite of three images, taken about six minutes apart, and then combined to show the moons' orbital motions. The satellites are, from left to right, Cressida, Juliet, and Portia. The moons move much more rapidly than our own Moon does as it moves around the Earth, so they noticeably change position over only a few minutes.

    One of the four gas giant planets of our solar system, Uranus is largely featureless. HST does resolve a high altitude haze which appears as a bright 'cap' above the planet's south pole, along with clouds at southern latitudes (similar structures were observed by Voyager). Unlike Earth, Uranus' south pole points toward the Sun during part of the planet's 84-year orbit. Thanks to its high resolution and ability to make observations over many years, Hubble can follow seasonal changes in Uranus's atmosphere, which should be unusual given the planet's large tilt.

    The Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 was developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and managed by the Goddard Spaced Flight Center for NASA's Office of Space Science.

    This image and other images and data received from the Hubble Space Telescope are posted on the World Wide Web on the Space Telescope Science Institute home page at URL http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/

  16. 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,

  17. 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,…

  18. The Dependence of Signal-To-Noise Ratio (S/N) Between Star Brightness and Background on the Filter Used in Images Taken by the Vulcan Photometric Planet Search Camera

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mena-Werth, Jose

    1998-01-01

    The Vulcan Photometric Planet Search is the ground-based counterpart of Kepler Mission Proposal. The Kepler Proposal calls for the launch of telescope to look intently at a small patch of sky for four year. The mission is designed to look for extra-solar planets that transit sun-like stars. The Kepler Mission should be able to detect Earth-size planets. This goal requires an instrument and software capable of detecting photometric changes of several parts per hundred thousand in the flux of a star. The goal also requires the continuous monitoring of about a hundred thousand stars. The Kepler Mission is a NASA Discovery Class proposal similar in cost to the Lunar Prospector. The Vulcan Search is also a NASA project but based at Lick Observatory. A small wide-field telescope monitors various star fields successively during the year. Dozens of images, each containing tens of thousands of stars, are taken any night that weather permits. The images are then monitored for photometric changes of the order of one part in a thousand. These changes would reveal the transit of an inner-orbit Jupiter-size planet similar to those discovered recently in spectroscopic searches. In order to achieve a one part in one thousand photometric precision even the choice of a filter used in taking an exposure can be critical. The ultimate purpose of an filter is to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of one's observation. Ideally, filters reduce the sky glow cause by street lights and, thereby, make the star images more distinct. The higher the S/N, the higher is the chance to observe a transit signal that indicates the presence of a new planet. It is, therefore, important to select the filter that maximizes the S/N.

  19. Diamond turned high precision PIAA optics and four mirror PIAA system for high contrast imaging of exo-planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balasubramanian, Kunjithapatham; Cady, Eric; Pueyo, Laurent; An, Xin; Shaklan, Stuart; Guyon, Olivier; Belikov, Ruslan

    2011-10-01

    Off-axis, high-sag PIAA optics for high contrast imaging present challenges in manufacturing and testing. With smaller form factors and consequently smaller surface deformations (< 80 microns), diamond turned fabrication of these mirrors becomes feasible. Though such a design reduces the system throughput, it still provides 2λ/D inner working angle. We report on the design, fabrication, measurements, and initial assessment of the novel PIAA optics in a coronagraph testbed. We also describe, for the first time, a four mirror PIAA coronagraph that relaxes apodizer requirements and significantly improves throughput while preserving the low-cost benefits.

  20. Diamond Turned High Precision PIAA Optics and Four Mirror PIAA System for High Contrast Imaging of Exo-planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balasubramanian, Kunjithapatham; Cady, Eric; Pueyo, Laurent; Ana, Xin; Shaklan, Stuart; Guyon, Olivier; Belikov, Ruslan

    2011-01-01

    Off-axis, high-sag PIAA optics for high contrast imaging present challenges in manufacturing and testing. With smaller form factors and consequently smaller surface deformations (< 80 microns), diamond turned fabrication of these mirrors becomes feasible. Though such a design reduces the system throughput, it still provides 2(lambda)D inner working angle. We report on the design, fabrication, measurements, and initial assessment of the novel PIAA optics in a coronagraph testbed. We also describe, for the first time, a four mirror PIAA coronagraph that relaxes apodizer requirements and significantly improves throughput while preserving the low-cost benefits.

  1. Low-Cost High-Precision PIAA Optics for High Contrast Imaging with Exo-Planet Coronagraphs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balasubramanian, Kunjithapatham; Shaklan, Stuart B.; Pueyo, Laurent; Wilson, Daniel W.; Guyon, Olivier

    2010-01-01

    PIAA optics for high contrast imaging present challenges in manufacturing and testing due to their large surface departures from aspheric profiles at the aperture edges. With smaller form factors and consequent smaller surface deformations (<50 microns), fabrication of these mirrors with diamond turning followed by electron beam lithographic techniques becomes feasible. Though such a design reduces the system throughput to approx.50%, it still provides good performance down to 2 lambda/D inner working angle. With new achromatic focal plane mask designs, the system performance can be further improved. We report on the design, expected performance, fabrication challenges, and initial assessment of such novel PIAA optics.

  2. HUBBLE OBSERVES THE PLANET URANUS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the planet Uranus reveals the planet's rings and bright clouds and a high altitude haze above the planet's south pole. Hubble's new view was obtained on August 14, 1994, when Uranus was 1.7 billion miles (2.8 billion kilometers) from Earth. These details, as imaged by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, were only previously seen by the Voyager 2 spacecraft, which flew by Uranus in 1986. Since then, none of these inner satellites has been further observed, and detailed observations of the rings have not been possible. Though Uranus' rings were discovered indirectly in 1977 (through stellar occultation observations), they have never before been seen in visible light through a ground-based telescope. Hubble resolves several of Uranus' rings, including the outermost Epsilon ring. The planet has a total of 11 concentric rings of dark dust. Uranus is tipped such that its rotation axis lies in the plane of its orbit, so the rings appear nearly face-on. Three of Uranus' inner moons each appear as a string of three dots at the bottom of the picture. This is because the picture is a composite of three images, taken about six minutes apart, and then combined to show the moons' orbital motions. The satellites are, from left to right, Cressida, Juliet, and Portia. The moons move much more rapidly than our own Moon does as it moves around the Earth, so they noticeably change position over only a few minutes. One of the four gas giant planets of our solar system, Uranus is largely featureless. HST does resolve a high altitude haze which appears as a bright 'cap' above the planet's south pole, along with clouds at southern latitudes (similar structures were observed by Voyager). Unlike Earth, Uranus' south pole points toward the Sun during part of the planet's 84-year orbit. Thanks to its high resolution and ability to make observations over many years, Hubble can follow seasonal changes in Uranus's atmosphere, which should be unusual given the planet's large tilt. Credit: Kenneth Seidelmann, U.S. Naval Observatory, and NASA These observations were conducted by a team led by Dr. Ken Seidelmann of the U.S. Naval Observatory as Principal Investigator. These images have been processed by Professor Douglas Currie and Mr. Dan Dowling in the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland. Other team members are Dr. Ben Zellner at Georgia Southern University, Dr. Dan Pascu and Mr. Jim Rhode at the U.S. Naval Observatory, and Dr. Ed Wells, Mr. Charles Kowal (Computer Science Corporation) and Dr. Alex Storrs of the Space Telescope Science Institute.

  3. Spektral Fingerprint and UV environment of Habitable Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaltenegger, Lisa

    2015-12-01

    The fingerprint of a habitable planets changes with star type, stellar activity,and geological time. The changes determines if habitability can be detected on such planets, both in transmission and by direct imaging. We'll discuss the latest results and prioritization of planets for follow up observations with upcoming telescopes.

  4. Quick-MESS: A Fast Statistical Tool for Exoplanet Imaging Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonavita, M.; de Mooij, E. J. W.; Jayawardhana, R.

    2013-07-01

    Several tools have been developed in the past few years for the statistical analysis of the exoplanet search surveys, mostly using a combination of Monte Carlo simulations or a Bayesian approach. Here we present Quick-MESS, a grid-based, non-Monte Carlo tool aimed to perform statistical analyses on results from direct imaging surveys, as well as help with the planning of these surveys. Quick-MESS uses the (expected) contrast curves for direct imaging surveys to assess for each target the probability that a planet of a given mass and semimajor axis can be detected. By using a grid-based approach, Quick-MESS is typically more than an order of magnitude faster than tools based on Monte Carlo sampling of the planet distribution. In addition, Quick-MESS is extremely flexible, enabling the study of a large range of parameter space for the mass and semimajor axes distributions without the need of resimulating the planet distribution. In order to show examples of the capabilities of Quick-MESS, we present the analysis of the Gemini Deep Planet Survey and the predictions for upcoming surveys with extreme-AO instruments.

  5. Interaction of bovine serum albumin with gemini surfactants.

    PubMed

    Tardioli, Silvia; Bonincontro, Adalberto; La Mesa, Camillo; Muzzalupo, Rita

    2010-07-01

    The interactions between bovine serum albumin and cationic gemini surfactants were investigated as a function of concentration, under different pH conditions. The investigation deals with dielectric relaxation, dynamic light scattering, zeta-potential, circular dichroism, and UV spectroscopy. The interactive behavior of the anionic form is quite different from the cationic species. It indicates that protein-surfactant interactions are mostly electrostatic in nature and depend on the state of charge of bovine serum albumin. The results indicate the presence of both hydrophobic and electrostatic contributions in the interactions of gemini with bovine serum albumin. Comparison of dynamic light scattering, dielectric relaxation, electrophoretic mobility, and optical circular dichroism allows drawing some preliminary hypotheses on the different contributions to surfactant binding and supports former studies on the formation of complexes between the bovine serum albumin and the above species. PMID:20362296

  6. Kinetics of aqueous lubrication in the hydrophilic hydrogel Gemini interface.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Alison C; Pitenis, Angela A; Uruea, Juan M; Schulze, Kyle D; Angelini, Thomas E; Sawyer, W Gregory

    2015-12-01

    The exquisite sliding interfaces in the human body share the common feature of hydrated dilute polymer mesh networks. These networks, especially when they constitute a sliding interface such as the pre-corneal tear film on the ocular interface, are described by the molecular weight of the polymer chains and a characteristic size of a minimum structural unit, the mesh size, ?. In a Gemini interface where hydrophilic hydrogels are slid against each other, the aqueous lubrication behavior has been shown to be a function of sliding velocity, introducing a sliding timescale competing against the time scales of polymer fluctuation and relaxation at the surface. In this work, we examine two recent studies and postulate that when the Gemini interface slips faster than the single-chain relaxation time, chains must relax, suppressing the amplitude of the polymer chain thermal fluctuations. PMID:26614802

  7. Aqueous Gemini Surfactant Self-Assembly into Complex Lyotropic Phases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahanthappa, Mahesh; Sorenson, Gregory

    2012-02-01

    In spite of the potentially wide-ranging applications of aqueous bicontinuous lyotropic liquid crystals (LLCs), the discovery of amphiphiles that reliably form these non-constant mean curvature morphologies over large phase windows remains largely serendipitous. Recent work has established that cationic gemini surfactants exhibit a pronounced tendency to form bicontinuous cubic (e.g. gyroid) phases as compared to their parent single-tail amphiphiles. The universality of this phenomenon in other surfactant systems remains untested. In this paper, we will report the aqueous LLC phase behavior of a new class of anionic gemini surfactants derived from long chain carboxylic acids. Our studies show that these new surfactants favor the formation of non-constant mean curvature gyroid and primitive (``Plumber's Nightmare'') structures over amphiphile concentration windows up to 20 wt% wide. Based on these observations, we will discuss insights gained into the delicate force balance governing the self-assembly of these surfactants into aqueous bicontinuous LLCs.

  8. The Sun as a planet-host star: proxies from SDO images for HARPS radial-velocity variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haywood, R. D.; Collier Cameron, A.; Unruh, Y. C.; Lovis, C.; Lanza, A. F.; Llama, J.; Deleuil, M.; Fares, R.; Gillon, M.; Moutou, C.; Pepe, F.; Pollacco, D.; Queloz, D.; Ségransan, D.

    2016-04-01

    The Sun is the only star whose surface can be directly resolved at high resolution, and therefore constitutes an excellent test case to explore the physical origin of stellar radial-velocity (RV) variability. We present HARPS observations of sunlight scattered off the bright asteroid 4/Vesta, from which we deduced the Sun's activity-driven RV variations. In parallel, the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager instrument on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory provided us with simultaneous high spatial resolution magnetograms, Dopplergrams and continuum images of the Sun in the Fe I 6173 Å line. We determine the RV modulation arising from the suppression of granular blueshift in magnetized regions and the flux imbalance induced by dark spots and bright faculae. The rms velocity amplitudes of these contributions are 2.40 and 0.41 m s-1, respectively, which confirms that the inhibition of convection is the dominant source of activity-induced RV variations at play, in accordance with previous studies. We find the Doppler imbalances of spot and plage regions to be only weakly anticorrelated. Light curves can thus only give incomplete predictions of convective blueshift suppression. We must instead seek proxies that track the plage coverage on the visible stellar hemisphere directly. The chromospheric flux index R^' }_{HK} derived from the HARPS spectra performs poorly in this respect, possibly because of the differences in limb brightening/darkening in the chromosphere and photosphere. We also find that the activity-driven RV variations of the Sun are strongly correlated with its full-disc magnetic flux density, which may become a useful proxy for activity-related RV noise.

  9. Northwestern Mexico as seen from the Gemini 12 spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    Area of northwestern Mexico as seen from the Gemini 12 spacecraft during its 16th revolution of the earth. View is looking northwest. Body of water in foreground is Gulf of California. Pacific Ocean is in background. Peninsula in center of picture is Baja California. States of Sonora (upper right) and Sinaloa (lower center) of Mexican mainland is in right foreground. City of Guaymas, Sonora, is near center of picture.

  10. THE DIRECTLY IMAGED PLANET AROUND THE YOUNG SOLAR ANALOG 1RXS J160929.1 - 210524: CONFIRMATION OF COMMON PROPER MOTION, TEMPERATURE, AND MASS

    SciTech Connect

    Lafreniere, David; Jayawardhana, Ray; Van Kerkwijk, Marten H.

    2010-08-10

    Giant planets are usually thought to form within a few tens of AU of their host stars, and hence it came as a surprise when we found what appeared to be a planetary mass ({approx}0.008 M {sub sun}) companion around the 5 Myr old solar mass star 1RXS J160929.1 - 210524 in the Upper Scorpius association. At the time, we took the object's membership in Upper Scorpius-established from near-infrared, H- and K-band spectroscopy-and its proximity (2.''2 or 330 AU) to the primary as strong evidence for companionship, but could not verify their common proper motion. Here, we present follow-up astrometric measurements that confirm that the companion is indeed comoving with the primary star, which we interpret as evidence that it is a truly bound planetary mass companion. We also present new J-band spectroscopy and 3.0-3.8 {mu}m photometry of the companion. Based on a comparison with model spectra, these new measurements are consistent with the previous estimate of the companion effective temperature of 1800 {+-} 200 K. We present a new estimate of the companion mass based on evolution models and the calculated bolometric luminosity of the companion; we obtain a value of 0.008{sup +0.003} {sub -0.002} M {sub sun}, again consistent with our previous result. Finally, we present angular differential imaging observations of the system allowing us to rule out additional planets in the system more massive than 1 M {sub Jup}, 2 M {sub Jup}, and 8 M {sub Jup} at projected separations larger than 3'' ({approx}440 AU), 0.''7 ({approx}100 AU), and 0.''35 ({approx}50 AU), respectively. This companion is the least massive known to date at such a large orbital distance; it shows that objects in the planetary mass range exist at orbital separations of several hundred AU, posing a serious challenge for current formation models.

  11. 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.

  12. Easier Phase IIs: Recent Improvements to the Gemini User Tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Bryan; Nuez, A.

    2013-01-01

    During 2011 and 2012 Gemini Observatory undertook a significant project to improve the software tools used by investigators to propose for and prepare observations. The main goal was to make the definition of observation details (the Phase II process) easier and faster. The main initiatives included rewriting the observing proposal tool (Phase I Tool) and making several major improvements to the Observing Tool, including automatic settings for arc and flat exposures, automatic guide star selection for all instruments and wavefront sensors, and more complete initial template observations with capabilities for simultaneous editing of many observations. This poster explains these major changes as well as outlines future development plans. 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: 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), Ministrio da Cincia, Tecnologia e Inovao (Brazil), and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologa e Innovacin Productiva (Argentina).

  13. Exceptional Swift and Fermi GRBs: Gemini North Targets of Opportunity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cobb, Bethany; Bloom, Joshua; Cenko, Brad; Perley, Daniel; Chen, Hsiao-Wen; Prochaska, Jason X.; Glazebrook, Karl; Matzner, Chris; Lopez, Sebastian; Pettini, Max; Bunker, Andrew; Morgan, Adam; Modjaz, Maryam; Poznanski, Dovi; Bailyn, Charles; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico; Butler, Nat; Miller, Adam

    2010-02-01

    Swift and Fermi have led a renaissance in the study of GRBs, discovering an unprecedented number of events and promptly alerting the community to accurate localizations. However, it is in the follow-up, particularly at optical/infrared (OIR) wavebands, where the full scientific potential of these missions is realized. We propose to use the OIR instrument suite on both Gemini telescopes in a concerted effort to rapidly observe new GRBs. Our focus is on the extrema and rarities that hold the greatest potential as unique probes of the universe and stellar death: 1) high-redshift events (z > 6), offering spectroscopic probes of the universe during reionization, 2) low-redshift events (z < 1), allowing searches for and detailed studies of accompanying supernovae, 3) Fermi-LAT bursts, which require redshift measurements in order to constrain theories of quantum gravity and place limits on the Lorentz factor of the outflow and, (4) short GRBs, with the goal of constraining their still-mysterious progenitors. Gemini has emerged as the cornerstone facility of our group's GRB research and we will continue to use our proprietary access on smaller facilities to maximize the return of Gemini observations.

  14. Exceptional Swift and Fermi GRBs: Gemini North Targets of Opportunity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cobb, Bethany; Bloom, Joshua; Cenko, Brad; Perley, Daniel; Chen, Hsiao-Wen; Prochaska, Jason X.; Glazebrook, Karl; Matzner, Chris; Lopez, Sebastian; Pettini, Max; Bunker, Andrew; Morgan, Adam; Modjaz, Maryam; Poznanski, Dovi; Bailyn, Charles; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico; Butler, Nat; Miller, Adam

    2010-08-01

    Swift and Fermi have led a renaissance in the study of GRBs, discovering an unprecedented number of events and promptly alerting the community to accurate localizations. However, it is in the follow-up, particularly at optical/infrared (OIR) wavebands, where the full scientific potential of these missions is realized. We propose to use the OIR instrument suite on both Gemini telescopes in a concerted effort to rapidly observe new GRBs. Our focus is on the extrema and rarities that hold the greatest potential as unique probes of the universe and stellar death: 1) high-redshift events (z > 6), offering spectroscopic probes of the universe during reionization, 2) low-redshift events (z < 1), allowing searches for and detailed studies of accompanying supernovae, 3) Fermi-LAT bursts, which require redshift measurements in order to constrain theories of quantum gravity and place limits on the Lorentz factor of the outflow and, (4) short GRBs, with the goal of constraining their still-mysterious progenitors. Gemini has emerged as the cornerstone facility of our group's GRB research and we will continue to use our proprietary access on smaller facilities to maximize the return of Gemini observations.

  15. Slab laser development at MSNW - The Gemini and Centurion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eggleston, J. M.; Albrecht, G. F.

    Two, zig-zag-optical-path, slab-geometry, solid-state lasers, referred to as Gemini and Centurion, are described. The Nd:glass laser (Gemini) uses a pump geometry in which the flash lamps are located between two slabs in the same laser head. The dimensions and functions of the glass slabs are studied and the single-sided pumping of the Nd:glass laser is examined. The system is verified using the Nd:YAG laser system (Centurion). The Centurion system uses four flash lamps to pump a single 6 mm x 2 cm x 15.5 cm Nd:YAG slab; the reflector structure of the system is analyzed. The thermal-optical model for the Nd:glass laser and the Trace 3D, a three-dimensional flashlamp-slab coupling code, are evaluated. The oscillation performance and defocusing of a single-pass beam are measured; it is observed that the single-sided pump output is 30 percent more efficient than the standard configuration and no major defocusing effect is detected. The use of the Trace 3D code to design a reflector system for Gemini is discussed.

  16. Gemini surfactant based carriers in gene and drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Bombelli, C; Giansanti, L; Luciani, P; Mancini, G

    2009-01-01

    Lipid-based drug carriers, such as liposomes or drug/lipid complexes, have been extensively investigated in a large number of therapeutic protocols such as gene therapy, drug delivery, drug targeting and antibacterial treatments, in preclinical and clinical trials. Many formulations composed of natural and/or synthetic amphiphiles have been studied. Many synthetic lipids and surfactants have been designed and tested in order to improve liposomes and lipid complexes performances, such as fusion with cellular membrane, cellular uptake, target selectivity, transfection efficiency, low toxicity. Among these, gemini surfactants have been shown to be highly effective in delivering genetic material to cells, and also have been shown promising as synthetic additives in liposome formulations for drug delivery. The encouraging results obtained in gene therapy have given impulse to chemist creativity: an extensive selection of pH sensitive, sugar-, aminoacid- , and peptide-based gemini surfactants have been developed, many of which have shown good biological features. This review focuses on recent progress in gemini surfactant based formulations and their applications in different therapeutic protocols. PMID:19149569

  17. A Virtual Field Trip to the Gemini Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, R. Scott; Michaud, P. D.

    2010-01-01

    Live from Gemini (LfG) is a virtual field trip using video conferencing technology to connect primary, secondary and post-secondary students with scientists and educators at the Gemini Observatory. As a pilot project, LfG is rapidly becoming one of the observatory's most often-requested educational programs for learners of all ages. The program aligns exceptionally well with national science (and technology) standards, as well as existing school curricula. This combination makes it easy for teachers to justify participation in the program, especially as the necessary video conferencing technology becomes ever more ubiquitous in classrooms and technology learning centers around the world. In developing and testing this pilot project, a programmatic approach and philosophy evolved that includes post-field-trip educational materials, multi-disciplinary subject matter (astronomy, geology, mathematics, meteorology, engineering and even language - the program is offered in Spanish from Gemini South in Chile), and the establishment of a personal connection and rapport with students. The presenters work to create a comfortable interaction despite the perceived technological barriers. The authors experiences with the LfG pilot project convince us that this model is viable for almost any astronomical observatory and should be considered by any dynamic, technology- and education-oriented facility.

  18. On the Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hacker, B. C.

    1977-01-01

    Gemini was the intermediate manned space flight program between America's first steps into space with Mercury and the manned lunar expeditions of Apollo. Because of its position between these two other efforts, Gemini is probably less remembered. Still, it more than had its place in man's progress into this new frontier. Gemini accomplishments were manyfold. They included many firsts: first astronaut-controlled maneuvering in space; first rendezvous in space of one spacecraft with another; first docking of one spacecraft with a propulsive stage and use of that stage to transfer man to high altitude; first traverse of man into the earth's radiation belts; first extended manned flights of a week or more in duration; first extended stays of man outside his spacecraft; first controlled reentry and precision landing; and many more. These achievements were significant in ways one cannot truly evaluate even today, but two things stand out: (1) it was the time when America caught up and surpassed the Soviet Union in manned space flight, and (2) these demonstrations of capability were an absolute prerequisite to the phenomenal Apollo accomplishments then yet to come.

  19. Gemini surfactants affect the structure, stability, and activity of ribonuclease Sa.

    PubMed

    Amiri, Razieh; Bordbar, Abdol-Khalegh; Laurents, Douglas V

    2014-09-11

    Gemini surfactants have important advantages, e.g., low micromolar CMCs and slow millisecond monomer ? micelle kinetics, for membrane mimetics and for delivering nucleic acids for gene therapy or RNA silencing. However, as a prerequisite, it is important to characterize interactions occurring between Gemini surfactants and proteins. Here NMR and CD spectroscopies are employed to investigate the interactions of cationic Gemini surfactants with RNase Sa, a negatively charged ribonuclease. We find that RNase Sa binds Gemini surfactant monomers and micelles at pH values above 4 to form aggregates. Below pH 4, where the protein is positively charged, these aggregates dissolve and interactions are undetectable. Thermal denaturation experiments show that surfactant lowers RNase Sa's conformational stability, suggesting that surfactant binds the protein's denatured state preferentially. Finally, Gemini surfactants were found to bind RNA, leading to the formation of large complexes. Interestingly, Gemini surfactant binding did not prevent RNase Sa from cleaving RNA. PMID:25133582

  20. Direct Imaging of Exoplanets, from very large to extremely large telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasper, M.

    2015-10-01

    Presently, dedicated instruments at 8-m class telescopes (SPHERE for the VLT, GPI for Gemini) are about to discover and explore self-luminous giant planets by direct imaging and spectroscopy. In a decade, the next generation of 30m-40m ground-based Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) have the potential to dramatically enlarge the discovery space towards older giant planets seen in the reflected light and ultimately even a small number of rocky planets. In order to fulfill the demanding contrast requirements of a part in a million to a part in a billion at separations of one tenth of an arcsecond, the seeing limited PSF contrast must gradually be improved by eXtreme Adaptive optics (XAO), non-common path aberration compensation, coronagraphy, and science image post-processing. None of these steps alone is sufficient to leap the enormous contrast. High-contrast imaging (HCI) from the ground encompasses all those disciplines which are to be considered in a system approach. The presentation will introduce the principle of HCI and present the current implementation in the SPHERE, ESO's imager for giant exoplanets at the VLT. It will then discuss requirements and necessary R&D to reach the ultimate goal, observing terrestrial Exoplanets with the next generation of instruments for the ELTs.

  1. Characterization of a star/planet simulator for evaluating extrasolar planet detection techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendrick, Stephen E.; Robb, Christopher; Ebbets, Dennis; Atcheson, Paul

    2006-06-01

    Precise testbeds are required to investigate the physics and engineering aspects of suppressing extrasolar starlight sufficiently to discern faint companion planets. In addition, testbeds that can simultaneously produce star and planet stimuli will be necessary ground support equipment for evaluating instruments designed for imaging and characterizing extrasolar planets. Integral to this is the ability to represent the broad spectral bands and relative geometry of stars and planets. We have built upon the Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph (TPF-C) requirements as well as those of programs like Extrasolar Planet Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) and Eclipse to develop a star/planet simulator (SPS) that, in conjunction with other testbed modules, can facilitate the pursuit of pertinent questions. The star/planet simulator developed has a broadband visible light source that illuminates independently adjustable star and planet sources (angular separation and orientation, relative magnitude). It is capable of providing either collimated or direct imaged light to proposed instruments and can be configured to produce the source stimuli in a vacuum environment. We will describe the physical set-up, measurements, and initial observations as well as the plans for combining with a coronagraphic testbed.

  2. VR-Planets : a 3D immersive application for real-time flythrough images of planetary surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Civet, François; Le Mouélic, Stéphane

    2015-04-01

    During the last two decades, a fleet of planetary probes has acquired several hundred gigabytes of images of planetary surfaces. Mars has been particularly well covered thanks to the Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecrafts. HRSC, CTX, HiRISE instruments allowed the computation of Digital Elevation Models with a resolution from hundreds of meters up to 1 meter per pixel, and corresponding orthoimages with a resolution from few hundred of meters up to 25 centimeters per pixel. The integration of such huge data sets into a system allowing user-friendly manipulation either for scientific investigation or for public outreach can represent a real challenge. We are investigating how innovative tools can be used to freely fly over reconstructed landscapes in real time, using technologies derived from the game industry and virtual reality. We have developed an application based on a game engine, using planetary data, to immerse users in real martian landscapes. The user can freely navigate in each scene at full spatial resolution using a game controller. The actual rendering is compatible with several visualization devices such as 3D active screen, virtual reality headsets (Oculus Rift), and android devices.

  3. Line-by-line analysis of Neptune's near-IR spectrum observed with Gemini/NIFS and VLT/CRIRES

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irwin, P. G. J.; Lellouch, E.; de Bergh, C.; Courtin, R.; Bzard, B.; Fletcher, L. N.; Orton, G. S.; Teanby, N. A.; Calcutt, S. B.; Tice, D.; Hurley, J.; Davis, G. R.

    2014-01-01

    New line data describing the absorption of CH4 and CH3D from 1.26 to 1.71 ?m (WKMC-80K, Campargue, A., Wang, L., Mondelain, D., Kassi, S., Bzard, B., Lellouch, E., Coustenis, A., de Bergh, C., Hirtzig, M., Drossart, P. [2012]. Icarus 219, 110-128) have been applied to the analysis of Gemini-N/NIFS observations of Neptune made in 2009 and VLT/CRIRES observations made in 2010. The new line data are found to greatly improve the fit to the observed spectra and present a considerable advance over previous methane datasets. The improved fits lead to an empirically derived wavelength-dependent correction to the scattering properties of the main observable cloud deck at 2-3 bars that is very similar to the correction determined for Uranus' lower cloud using the same line dataset by Irwin et al. (Irwin, P.G.J., de Bergh, C., Courtin, R., Bzard, B., Teanby, N.A., Davis, G.R., Fletcher, L.N., Orton, G.S., Calcutt, S.B., Tice, D., Hurley, J. [2012]. Icarus 220, 369-382). By varying the abundance of CH3D in our simulations, analysis of the Gemini/NIFS observations leads to a new determination of the CH3D/CH4 ratio for Neptune of 3.0-0.9+1.010-4, which is smaller than previous determinations, but is identical (to within error) with the CH3D/CH4 ratio of 2.9-0.5+0.910-4 derived by a similar analysis of Gemini/NIFS observations of Uranus made in the same year. Thus it appears that the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune have an almost identical D/H ratio, which suggests that the icy planetisimals forming these planets came from the same source reservoir, or a reservoir that was well-mixed at the locations of ice giant formation, assuming complete mixing between the atmosphere and interior of both these planets. VLT/CRIRES observations of Neptune have also been analysed with the WKMC-80K methane line database, yielding very good fits, with little evidence for missing absorption features. The CRIRES spectra indicate that the mole fraction of CO at the 2-3 bar level must be substantially less than its estimated stratospheric value of 1 10-6, which suggests that the predominant source of CO in Neptune's atmosphere is external, through the influx of micrometeorites and comets, although these data cannot rule out an additional internal source.

  4. Gemini 7 prime crew during suiting up procedures at Launch Complex 16

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Astronaut James A. Lovell Jr. (left), Gemini 7 prime crew pilot, talks with NASA space suit technician Clyde Teague during suiting up procedures at Launch Complex 16, Kennedy Space Center. Lovell wears the new lightweight space suit planned for use during the Gemini 7 mission (61756); Astronaut Frank Borman, comand pilot of the Gemini 7 space flight, undergoes suiting up operations in Launch Complex 16 during prelaunch countdown. Medical biosensors are attached to his scalp (61757).

  5. Gemini 9-A spacecraft touches down in the Atlantic at end of mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    Gemini 9-A space flight is concluded as the Gemini 9 spacecraft touches down in the Atlantic. In this view its parachute is still deployed as the spacecraft hits the water (34117); Astronauts Thomas Stafford (right) and Eugene Cernan wave to the crowd aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Wasp as they emerge from their Gemini 9 capsule. John C. Stonesifer (far right), with the Manned Spacecraft Center's Landing and Recovery Division, was on board to greet the astronauts (34118).

  6. Determining the Narrow-Line Region Geometry of Mrk 3 with Gemini/NIFS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pope, Crystal L.; Fischer, Travis C.; Crenshaw, D. Michael

    2015-01-01

    We present a study of the narrow-line region (NLR) and inner disk of the Seyfert 2 Mrk 3, based on observations from the Gemini Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrometer (NIFS). Mrk 3 exhibits emission-line knots within the NLR that are in the shape of a backward S, which is likely due to dust/gas spirals in the galaxy's disk that have been illuminated by the AGN's ionizing bicone. With our NIFS observations, we determine the kinematics of Mrk 3 using an automated Bayesian model selection algorithm. Comparing the NLR kinematics measured with NIFS to those previously measured with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), we are able to test the accuracy of our previous kinematic outflow model.

  7. Watching How Planets Form

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-09-01

    Anatomy of a Planet-Forming Disc around a Star More Massive than the Sun With the VISIR instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have mapped the disc around a star more massive than the Sun. The very extended and flared disc most likely contains enough gas and dust to spawn planets. It appears as a precursor of debris discs such as the one around Vega-like stars and thus provides the rare opportunity to witness the conditions prevailing prior to or during planet formation. "Planets form in massive, gaseous and dusty proto-planetary discs that surround nascent stars. This process must be rather ubiquitous as more than 200 planets have now been found around stars other than the Sun," said Pierre-Olivier Lagage, from CEA Saclay (France) and leader of the team that carried out the observations. "However, very little is known about these discs, especially those around stars more massive than the Sun. Such stars are much more luminous and could have a large influence on their disc, possibly quickly destroying the inner part." The astronomers used the VISIR instrument [1] on ESO's Very Large Telescope to map in the infrared the disc surrounding the young star HD 97048. With an age of a few million years [2], HD 97048 belongs to the Chameleon I dark cloud, a stellar nursery 600 light-years away. The star is 40 times more luminous than our Sun and is 2.5 times as massive. The astronomers could only have achieved such a detailed view due to the high angular resolution offered by an 8-metre size telescope in the infrared, reaching a resolution of 0.33 arcsecond. They discovered a very large disc, at least 12 times more extended than the orbit of the farthest planet in the Solar System, Neptune. The observations suggest the disc to be flared. "This is the first time such a structure, predicted by some theoretical models, is imaged around a massive star," said Lagage. ESO PR Photo 36/06 ESO PR Photo 36/06 A Flared Proto-Planetary Disc Such a geometry can only be explained if the disc contains a large amount of gas, in this case, at least as much as 10 times the mass of Jupiter. It should also contain more than 50 Earth masses in dust. The dust mass derived here is more than thousand times larger than what is observed in debris discs and Kuiper belt-like structures found around older, 'Vega-like' stars, such as Beta Pictoris, Vega, Fomalhaut and HR 4796. The dust around these stars is thought to be produced by collisions of larger bodies. The dust mass observed around HD 97048 is similar to the mass invoked for the (undetected) parent bodies in the more evolved systems. HD 97048's disc is thus most likely a precursor of debris discs observed around older stars. "From the structure of the disc, we infer that planetary embryos may be present in the inner part of the disc," said Lagage. "We are planning follow-up observations at higher angular resolution with ESO's VLT interferometer in order to probe these regions." A video, made by the CEA, is also available. More Information The scientists report their discovery in the 28 September issue of Science Express, the rapid online publication service of the journal Science: "Anatomy of a flaring proto-planetary disc around a young intermediate-mass star", by P.-O. Lagage et al. The team is composed of Pierre-Olivier Lagage, Coralie Doucet, and Eric Pantin, (CEA Saclay, France), Sbastien Charnoz (Paris 7 Denis Diderot University), Emilie Habart (Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Orsay, France), Gaspard Duchne, Franois Mnard, and Christophe Pinte (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, France), and Jan-Willem Pel (Groningen University, The Netherlands).

  8. The Planet Observer's Handbook

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, Fred W.

    2000-10-01

    Foreword; Preface; Introduction: why observe the planets?; 1. The solar system; 2. The celestial sphere; 3. Telescopes and accessories; 4. The atmosphere and seeing; 5. Mercury; 6. Venus; 7. Mars; 8. The minor planets (asteroids); 9. Jupiter; 10. Saturn; 11. Uranus; 12. Neptune; 13. Pluto; 14. Constructing maps and planispheres; 15. Planetary photography and videography; 16. Photoelectric photometry of the minor planets, planets and their satellites; Name index; Subject index.

  9. 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, Jrgen; 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.; Dsert, Jean-Michel; Carter, Josh; Crepp, Justin R.; Hbrard, 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Journey to Planet Seven.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gow, Ellen

    1987-01-01

    An imaginary journey to Planet Seven is used to introduce the concept of number systems not based on ten. Activities include making a base 7 chart, performing base 7 addition and subtraction, designing Planet Seven currency, and developing other base systems for other planets. (MT)

  14. Characterizing Transiting Planet Atmospheres through 2025

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowan, N. B.; Greene, T.; Angerhausen, D.; Batalha, N. E.; Clampin, M.; Colón, K.; Crossfield, I. J. M.; Fortney, J. J.; Gaudi, B. S.; Harrington, J.; Iro, N.; Lillie, C. F.; Linsky, J. L.; Lopez-Morales, M.; Mandell, A. M.; Stevenson, K. B.

    2015-03-01

    The discovery of planets around other stars is revolutionizing our notions of planet formation and is poised to do the same for planetary climate. Studying transiting planets is complementary to eventual studies of directly imaged planets: (1) we can readily measure the mass and radius of transiting planets, linking atmospheric properties to bulk composition and formation, (2) many transiting planets are strongly irradiated and exhibit novel atmospheric physics, and (3) the most common temperate terrestrial planets orbit close to red dwarf stars and are difficult to image directly. We have only been able to comprehensively characterize the atmospheres of a handful of transiting planets, because most orbit faint stars. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover transiting planets orbiting the brightest stars, enabling, in principle, an atmospheric survey of 102-103 bright hot Jupiters and warm sub-Neptunes. Uniform observations of such a statistically significant sample would provide leverage to understand—and learn from—the diversity of short-period planets, and would identify the minority of truly special planets worthy of more intensive follow-up. We argue that the best way to maximize the scientific returns of TESS is to adopt a triage approach. A space mission consisting of a ~1 m telescope with an optical-NIR spectrograph could measure molecular absorption for nonterrestrial planets discovered by TESS, as well as eclipses and phase variations for the hottest jovians. Such a mission could observe up to 103 transits per year, thus enabling it to survey a large fraction of the bright (J < 11) hot-Jupiters and warm sub-Neptunes TESS is expected to find. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) could be used to perform detailed atmospheric characterization of the most interesting transiting targets (transit, eclipse, and—when possible—phase-resolved spectroscopy). TESS is also expected to discover a few temperate terrestrial planets transiting nearby M-Dwarfs. Characterizing these worlds will be time-intensive: JWST will need months to provide tantalizing constraints on the presence of an atmosphere, planetary rotational state, clouds, and greenhouse gases. Future flagship missions should be designed to provide better constraints on the habitability of M-Dwarf temperate terrestrial planets.

  15. Gemini spectra of 12000 K white dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Castanheira, B. G.; Costa, A. F. M.; Koester, D.

    2006-11-01

    We report signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) ~= 100 optical spectra for four DA white dwarf stars acquired with the GMOS spectrograph of the 8-m Gemini north telescope. These stars have 18 < g < 19 and are around Teff ~ 12000 K, where the hydrogen lines are close to maximum. Our purpose is to test if the effective temperatures and surface gravities derived from the relatively low-S/N ( ~ 21) optical spectra acquired by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey through model atmosphere fitting are trustworthy. Our spectra range from 3800 to 6000 , therefore including H? to H9. The H8 line was only marginally present in the SDSS spectra, but is crucial to determine the gravity. When we compare the values published by Kleinman et al. and Eisenstein et al. with our line-profile technique (LPT) fits, the average differences are: ?Teff ~= 320 K, systematically lower in the SDSS, and ? log g ~= 0.24 dex, systematically larger in the SDSS. The correlation between the gravity and the effective temperature can only be broken at wavelengths bluer than 3800 . The uncertainties in Teff are 60 per cent larger, and in log g larger by a factor of 4, than the internal uncertainties of Kleinman et al. and Eisenstein et al. 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 Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (United Kingdom), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), CNPq (Brazil) and CONICET (Argentina). E-mail: kepler@if.ufrgs.br

  16. The effect of a small heat source on PSF stability for high-contrast imaging.

    PubMed

    Evans, Julia W; Macintosh, Bruce; Norton, Andrew; Dillon, Daren; Gavel, Donald

    2009-07-01

    High-contrast adaptive optics systems, such as those needed to image extrasolar planets, are known to require excellent wavefront control and diffraction suppression. The Laboratory for Adaptive Optics at UC Santa Cruz is investigating limits to high-contrast imaging in support of the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). In this paper we examine the effect of heat sources in the testbed on point-spread-function (PSF) stability. Introducing a heat source primarily introduces image motion. The GPI error budget requires image motion to be less than 0.1 lambda /D. Systematic motion of the PSF core is typically 0.01 lambda /D rms and with a 20 watt heat source introduced near the pupil plane image motion is increased to 0.02 lambda /D rms. Therefore, even a heat source as large as 20 watts near the pupil plane causes errors below the GPI requirement, but the combination of the heat source and additional air turbulence on the system introduced by changes to the enclosure or the fan of other components can produce significantly more motion. Heat also can affect the speckle pattern in the high-contrast region, but in the final instrument other sources of error should be more significant. PMID:19582080

  17. Astrometry of Directly Imaged Exoplanets after PSF Subtraction using MCMC Forward Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jason; Graham, James R.; Pueyo, Laurent; Ruffio, Jean-Baptise; GPIES Collaboration

    2016-01-01

    Direct imaging allows for the characterization of the orbits of exoplanets. However, to remove the glare of the host star, we must use observing strategies (e.g., angular differential imaging and spectral differential imaging) and data reduction techniques (e.g., Karhunen-Loève Image Projection; KLIP) that distort the apparent position of an exoplanet. Using recent methods to forward model the point spread function of a planet after using KLIP to subtract out the stellar light (Pueyo 2015), we are able to account for these astrometric biases. With the forward models, we can use a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm to derive the posterior distribution on the position of an exoplanet. To test our methodology, we apply our technique to Gemini Planet Imager integral field spectroscopy (IFS) data of the newly discovered exoplanet around 51 Eri and the extensively studied exoplanet beta Pictoris b. In general, this technique is applicable to any broadband direct imaging data and IFS data where the spectrum is assumed to be known.

  18. Characterizing Transiting Exoplanet Atmospheres with Gemini/GMOS: First Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huitson, Catherine; Desert, Jean-Michel; Bean, Jacob; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Stevenson, Kevin B.; Bergmann, Marcel

    2015-01-01

    We present the first results from a 4-year ground-based survey of nine transiting exoplanet atmospheres. The program uses the Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on both Gemini north and south to repetitively measure transit lightcurves of individual exoplanets at high spectrophotometric precision. I will present the first results from this program. We attain photometric precisions per spectral bin of 200-600 ppm. Such precision enables us to construct transmission spectra of hot Jupiters. These transmission spectra reveal the dominant upper-atmosphere absorbers in the optical bandpass. Our overarching goal is to understand the prevalence and formation of high altitude clouds and hazes, and other important atmospheric constituents.

  19. Eastern Mediterranean as seen from Gemini 7 spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    The eastern Mediterranean area is photographed by Astronaut Frank Borman and James A. Lovell during the Gemini 7 mission. The Nile Delta in Egypt is at bottom. The Suez Canal, Gulf of Suez, and Red Sea are in center of photograph. Sinai Peninsula is in upper right corner of photograph. Body of water at top edge of photograph is Gulf of Aqaba. The Dead Sea can be seen in top center of picture. Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Syria are also at top center. The Island of Cyprus is at extreme left.

  20. Exo-planet Direct Imaging with On-Axis and/or Segmented Apertures in Space: Adaptive Compensation of Aperture Discontinuities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soummer, Remi

    Capitalizing on a recent breakthrough in wavefront control theory for obscured apertures made by our group, we propose to demonstrate a method to achieve high contrast exoplanet imaging with on-axis obscured apertures. Our new algorithm, which we named Adaptive Compensation of Aperture Discontinuities (ACAD), provides the ability to compensate for aperture discontinuities (segment gaps and/or secondary mirror supports) by controlling deformable mirrors in a nonlinear wavefront control regime not utilized before but conceptually similar to the beam reshaping used in PIAA coronagraphy. We propose here an in-air demonstration at 1E- 7 contrast, enabled by adding a second deformable mirror to our current test-bed. This expansion of the scope of our current efforts in exoplanet imaging technologies will enabling us to demonstrate an integrated solution for wavefront control and starlight suppression on complex aperture geometries. It is directly applicable at scales from moderate-cost exoplanet probe missions to the 2.4 m AFTA telescopes to future flagship UVOIR observatories with apertures potentially 16-20 m. Searching for nearby habitable worlds with direct imaging is one of the top scientific priorities established by the Astro2010 Decadal Survey. Achieving this ambitious goal will require 1e-10 contrast on a telescope large enough to provide angular resolution and sensitivity to planets around a significant sample of nearby stars. Such a mission must of course also be realized at an achievable cost. Lightweight segmented mirror technology allows larger diameter optics to fit in any given launch vehicle as compared to monolithic mirrors, and lowers total life-cycle costs from construction through integration & test, making it a compelling option for future large space telescopes. At smaller scales, on-axis designs with secondary obscurations and supports are less challenging to fabricate and thus more affordable than the off-axis unobscured primary mirror designs envisioned in many past mission concept studies. But until recently, it was believed that internal coronagraphs were incapable of yielding very high contrast on segmented or obscured telescopes. Recent developments now show that there is in fact a clear path to high contrast coronagraphy on such apertures. For the past several years we have been pursuing high contrast imaging development for segmented telescopes, supported in part by APRA (award NNX12AG05G, ROSES 2011). The ACAD algorithm, developed in the course of our current APRA, in principle appears to enable high contrast coronagraphy on obscured apertures as we set out to achieve. The practical laboratory demonstration of this new algorithm now requires additional resources not foreseen at the time of our prior proposal. Chief of these is the need for a second Boston Micromachines deformable mirror. The ACAD algorithm relies on the conversion of phase to amplitude as light propagates between two deformable mirrors at differing optical conjugates; a second DM is absolutely essential to its laboratory demonstration and validation. We propose now to demonstrate the ACAD algorithm in air at a contrast of ~1e-7 in narrow spectral bands, and extend that performance through development of broad band ~ 20%) optimization methods. Note that this proposal is a proper subset of an alternative proposal submitted to SAT-TDEM by our team that would also include additional higher TRL demonstrations.

  1. 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.

  2. Barnards Star: Planets or Pretense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartlett, Jennifer L.; Ianna, P. A.

    2014-01-01

    Barnards 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 Barnards 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 Barnards 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 Kamps 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 Barnards Star has lost its pretensions to hosting the first extrasolar planets known, its intrinsic properties will keep it under observation. NSF grant AST 98-20711, Litton Marine Systems, Levinson Fund, University of Virginia, Hampden-Sydney College, and US Naval Observatory supported this research.

  3. Gemini 8 spacecraft hoisted aboard the U.S.S. Leonard F. Mason

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    The Gemini 8 spacecraft, with Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and David R. Scott still aboard, is hoisted aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Leonard F. Mason. Trouble with the Gemini 8 Orbit Attitude and Maneuvering System (OAMS) forced an early termination of the mission.

  4. Update on the Gemini High-Resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margheim, Steven J.; Ghost Instrument Team

    2015-01-01

    The Gemini High-Resolution Opitcal SpecTrograph (GHOST) is under development for the Gemini telescopes in collaboration with the Austrailian Astronomical Observatory (AAO), the NRC-Herzberg in Canada, and the Australian National University (ANU). The latest design and project plan will be presented and the scientific role of the instrument will be discussed.

  5. A treatment procedure for Gemini North/NIFS data cubes: application to NGC 4151

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menezes, R. B.; Steiner, J. E.; Ricci, T. V.

    2014-03-01

    We present a detailed procedure for treating data cubes obtained with the Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrograph (NIFS) of the Gemini North telescope. This process includes the following steps: correction of the differential atmospheric refraction, spatial re-sampling, Butterworth spatial filtering, `instrumental fingerprint' removal and Richardson-Lucy deconvolution. The clearer contours of the structures obtained with the spatial re-sampling, the high spatial-frequency noise removed with the Butterworth spatial filtering, the removed `instrumental fingerprints' (which take the form of vertical stripes along the images) and the improvement of the spatial resolution obtained with the Richardson-Lucy deconvolution result in images with a considerably higher quality. An image of the Br? emission line from the treated data cube of NGC 4151 allows the detection of individual ionized-gas clouds (almost undetectable without the treatment procedure) of the narrow-line region of this galaxy, which are also seen in an [O III] image obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. The radial velocities determined for each one of these clouds seem to be compatible with models of biconical outflows proposed by previous studies. Considering the observed improvements, we believe that the procedure we describe in this work may result in more reliable analysis of data obtained with this instrument.

  6. 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.

  7. The interfacial tension between oil and gemini surfactant solution [rapid communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hong; Han, Lijuan; Luo, Pingya; Ye, Zhongbin

    2004-03-01

    The interfacial tensions between oil and solution of cationic gemini surfactants have been measured. It is found that gemini surfactants are more effective and efficient than corresponding conventional surfactants in reducing the interfacial tension and can lower the tension of kerosene-water interface to ultra-low at very low concentration without other additives. It is also found that gemini surfactants can reduce the interfacial tension to ultra-low only at a certain concentration range. The addition of salt results in more effectiveness of surfactant in reducing the tension of kerosene-water interface and shows that gemini surfactant has a good synergism with salt. For crude oil from Zhongyuan Oil Field of China, gemini surfactant is more effective on lowering crude oil-water tension and has an excellent ability in reducing the tension of crude oil-water interface. However, when the oil is hexadecane, ultra-low interfacial tension is not observed.

  8. Effect of hydrotropic salt on the assembly transitions and rheological responses of cationic gemini surfactant solutions.

    PubMed

    Lu, Ting; Huang, Jianbin; Li, Zihui; Jia, Shikai; Fu, Honglan

    2008-03-13

    Cationic gemini surfactant dimethylene-1,2-bis(dodecyldiethylammonium bromide), referred to as C12C2C12(Et), was synthesized. The effect of sodium salicylate (NaSal) on the assembly formation and transition of this cationic gemini surfactant solution was studied. Addition of NaSal induced rich aggregate morphologies in the C12C2C12(Et) system. The microstructures and rheological responses resulting from the addition of NaSal were studied systematically to explore the interaction between gemini surfactants and hydrotropic salts. The rich aggregation behavior can be attributed to the special molecular structure of the gemini surfactant and the appropriate interaction between the surfactant and NaSal. The study of gemini surfactant and hydrotropic salt interaction brings promise for applications in materials synthesis as soft templates. PMID:18275179

  9. Extreme Exoplanet Direct Imaging: New Results with GPI and SCExAO and the Path to Imaging Another Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, Thayne

    2015-12-01

    We describe the discovery of a bright, young Kuiper belt-like debris disk around HD 115600, a ˜ 1.4--1.5 M_{⊙}, ˜ 15 Myr old member of the Sco-Cen OB Association. Our H-band coronagraphy/integral field spectroscopy from the Gemini Planet Imager shows the ring has a (luminosity scaled) semi major axis of (˜ 22 AU) ˜ 48 AU, similar to the current Kuiper belt. The disk appears to have neutral scattering dust, is eccentric (e ˜ 0.1--0.2), and could be sculpted by analogues to the outer solar system planets. Spectroscopy of the disk ansae reveal a slightly blue to gray disk color, consistent with major Kuiper belt chemical constituents, where water-ice is a very plausible dominant constituent. Besides being the first object discovered with the next generation of extreme adaptive optics systems (i.e. SCExAO, GPI, SPHERE), HD 115600's debris ring and planetary system provides a key reference point for the early evolution of the solar system, the structure and composition of the Kuiper belt, and the interaction between debris disks and planets.

  10. Membrane-forming properties of pseudoglyceryl backbone based gemini lipids possessing oxyethylene spacers.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Santanu; Bajaj, Avinash

    2007-03-15

    Five pseudoglyceryl backbone based gemini lipids possessing varying lengths of oxyethylene [(-CH2-O-CH2-)n] spacers between cationic ammonium head groups have been synthesized, where n varies from 1 to 5. The membrane-forming properties of these gemini cationic lipids have been investigated. All the gemini lipids formed stable suspensions in water. The presence of membranous aggregates in such lipid suspensions was evidenced by transmission electron microscopy. The membrane-forming characteristics of these gemini lipids were compared with those of the corresponding monomeric lipid with one head group to understand the effect of lipid dimerization. The lipid suspensions were further characterized by dynamic light scattering and zeta potential measurements. Except for the gemini lipid with -CH2-CH2-O-CH2-CH2- spacer (2a), zeta potential of aggregates of all other gemini lipids were significantly greater than that of monomeric lipid suspensions. X-ray diffraction studies with lipid cast films revealed the increase in membrane bilayer width with increase in the length of the spacer (-CH2-O-CH2-)n. Clear thermotropic phase transitions typical of membranous assemblies were observed for all the lipid suspensions by high sensitivity differential scanning calorimetry. Aggregates of gemini lipid 2a bearing one oxyethylene [-(CH2-CH2-O-CH2-CH2)-] unit between headgroups manifested the highest phase transition temperature as compared to other gemini analogues as well as that of monomeric lipid 1. The phase transitions were reversible and exhibited large hysteresis, indicating that the observed phase transitions were of first order. To probe the surface hydration of these membranous aggregates, Paldan fluorescence studies were performed. These studies indicated the high polarity of the vesicular surface of gemini lipid 2a both in the gel and fluid melted phase as compared to vesicles of other gemini lipids. PMID:17309291

  11. Polymerizable semi-fluorinated gemini surfactants designed for antimicrobial materials.

    PubMed

    Caillier, Laurent; Taffin de Givenchy, Elisabeth; Levy, Richard; Vandenberghe, Yves; Geribaldi, Serge; Guittard, Frederic

    2009-04-01

    Introduction of biocide monomers during the process of polymerization is one of promising approaches in the development of new permanent non leaching biocide materials. In this perspective, new polymerizable semi-fluorinated gemini surfactants, with quaternary ammonium groups as polar heads and an acrylic function as the polymerizable moiety, were synthesized and tested to evaluate their surface active properties alongside with their antibacterial and antifungal properties. Four microbial strains, known for their implication in nosocomial infections, were used to perform the study: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger. The biocide efficacy measured by bacterial and fungal growth inhibition expressed as MIC (minimal inhibitory concentration) and MLC (minimal lethal concentration) values was discussed as a function of molecular parameters. As compared to homologue compounds without acrylic part, this study shows that even the introduction of a polymerizable moiety allows to keep remarkable both surfactant and bacteriostatic activities, and allows us to envisage the use of these surfactant monomers to build up advanced biocide materials. Moreover, semi-fluorinated gemini surfactant monomers with an amide connector came out as broad spectrum biocides (against Gram positive and negative bacteria and fungi). PMID:19144354

  12. Polarization control optimization of the Gemini South beam transfer optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araujo, Constanza; Moreno, Cristian; Fesquet, Vincent; Garrel, Vincent; Marchant, Claudio

    2014-08-01

    The Beam Transfer Optics (BTO) is a sub-system of the Gemini Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System (GeMS). The main purpose of the BTO is to relay the laser light from the laser service enclosure up to the Laser Launch Telescope (LLT), located behind the telescope secondary mirror, where the five laser beams are propagated to the sky. Other functionalities besides relaying the laser light from the laser to the LLT, is the laser polarization control, which is crucial to any AO related system. The polarization state of the laser output beam influences the photon return flux. It is proven that the backscattering efficiency is higher when exciting the sodium layer with a circular polarized beam than one with linear polarization. For this reason circular polarization of our five laser beams that exit the LLT is desired for any telescope position. The paper reviews the current status of the Gemini South Beam Transfer Optics polarization and its control scheme. It reports on the improvements already done on the polarization control and measurement data of the polarization state at different BTO sections. In addition we discuss further optimization and upgrade ideas of the system.

  13. Complexation of DNA with cationic gemini surfactant in aqueous solution.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiaofang; Shang, Yazhuo; Liu, Honglai; Hu, Ying

    2007-10-15

    Interactions between DNA and the cationic gemini surfactant trimethylene-1,3-bis(dodecyldimethylammonium bromide) (12-3-12) in aqueous solution have been investigated by UV-vis transmittance, zeta potential, and fluorescence emission spectrum. Complexes of DNA and gemini surfactant are observed in which the negative charges of DNA are neutralized by cationic surfactants effectively. The DNA-induced micelle-like structure of the surfactant due to the electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions is determined by the fluorescence spectrum of pyrene. It is found that the critical aggregation concentration (CAC) for DNA/12-3-12 complexes depends little on the addition of sodium bromide (NaBr) because of the counterbalance salt effect. However, at high surfactant concentration, NaBr facilitates the formation of larger DNA/surfactant aggregates. Displacement of ethidium bromide (EB) by surfactant evidently illustrates the strong cooperative binding between surfactant and DNA. In contrast to that in the absence of surfactant, the added NaBr at high surfactant concentration influences not only the binding of surfactant with DNA, but also the stability of DNA/EB complex. PMID:17631886

  14. Polycontinuous Lyotropic Liquid Crystalline Network Phases from Gemini Dicarboxylate Surfactants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahanthappa, Mahesh; Sorenson, Gregory; Schmitt, Adam

    2015-03-01

    Arising from the water concentration-dependent self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules, lyotropic liquid crystals (LLCs) form a wide variety of structurally periodic nanoscale morphologies including discontinuous micellar phases (I), hexagonally-packed cylinders (C), and lamellar (L) phases. In intermediate amphiphile concentration windows between the L and C phases, one typically observes three bicontinuous cubic network phases: gyroid (G), diamond (D), and primitive (P). Recent theoretical work has suggested the possible stability of a variety of non-cubic network phase LLCs, yet none of these phases have been previously observed. In this presentation, we describe the experimental discovery of the first triply periodic network phase LLC with 3D-hexagonal symmetry (space group #193) in binary mixtures of water with a simple gemini dicarboxylate surfactant based on dodecanoic acid. Using a combination of SAXS and rheological methods, we structurally characterize this new phase and show that it is comprised of three interpenetrating lipidic networks of 3-fold connectors in a matrix of water. This finding highlights the unusual aqueous phase behavior of gemini surfactants and suggests new methods for discovering and stabilizing new network phase LLCs beyond the gyroid.

  15. Optical contamination evidence from Skylab and Gemini flights.

    PubMed

    Muscari, J A; Westcott, P

    1975-12-01

    Final results from a part of the T027 experiment that was performed on the first Skylab mission are presented. The sample array system containing 248 optical surfaces and exposed outside the orbital workshop did not collect any significant contaminants. Unfortunate performance compromises and the relative cleanliness of the assembly on the antisolar side placed the amount of available surface contaminants at or below the limiting sensitivity of the ground measuring instruments. However, significant contamination was seen near the extravehicular hatch quadrant on the solar side of the orbiting assembly, and some results from returned samples are presented. Optical windows and mirrors exposed on the Gemini 12 mission showed degradation up to 35% in the uv wavelength region and solar absorptance increases up to 1.8 times the clean values. An expression for the attenuation coefficient vs wavelength is presented. The contaminant, a silicone base material, varied in thickness from 22 nm to 88 nm. The postflight sca ttered luminance of a contaminated Gemini 12 left-hand spacecraft hatch window was used to obtain threshold stellar visibility curves as a function of scattered and incident sunlight angles. PMID:20155127

  16. FORMATION, SURVIVAL, AND DETECTABILITY OF PLANETS BEYOND 100 AU

    SciTech Connect

    Veras, Dimitri; Crepp, Justin R.; Ford, Eric B.

    2009-05-10

    Direct imaging searches have begun to detect planetary and brown dwarf companions and to place constraints on the presence of giant planets at large separations from their host star. This work helps to motivate such planet searches by predicting a population of young giant planets that could be detectable by direct imaging campaigns. Both the classical core accretion and the gravitational instability model for planet formation are hard pressed to form long-period planets in situ. Here, we show that dynamical instabilities among planetary systems that originally formed multiple giant planets much closer to the host star could produce a population of giant planets at large ({approx} 10{sup 2}-10{sup 5} AU) separations. We estimate the limits within which these planets may survive, quantify the efficiency of gravitational scattering into both stable and unstable wide orbits, and demonstrate that population analyses must take into account the age of the system. We predict that planet scattering creates detectable giant planets on wide orbits that decreases in number on timescales of {approx} 10 Myr. We demonstrate that several members of such populations should be detectable with current technology, quantify the prospects for future instruments, and suggest how they could place interesting constraints on planet formation models.

  17. Journey to a Star Rich with Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for movie of Journey to a Star Rich with Planets

    This artist's animation takes us on a journey to 55 Cancri, a star with a family of five known planets - the most planets discovered so far around a star besides our own.

    The animation begins on Earth, with a view of the night sky and 55 Cancri (flashing dot), located 41 light-years away in the constellation Cancer. It then zooms through our solar system, passing our asteroids and planets, until finally arriving at the outskirts of 55 Cancri.

    The first planet to appear is the farthest out from the star -- a giant planet, probably made of gas, with a mass four times that of Jupiter. This planet orbits its star every 14 years, similar to Jupiter's 11.9-year orbit.

    As the movie continues, the three inner planets are shown, the closest of which is about 10 to 13 times the mass of Earth with an orbital period of less than three days.

    Zooming out, the animation highlights the newest member of the 55 Cancri family - a massive planet, likely made of gas, water and rock, about 45 times the mass of Earth and orbiting the star every 260 days. This planet is the fourth out from the star, and lies in the system's habitable zone (green). A habitable zone is the place around a star where liquid water would persist. Though the newest planet probably has a thick gaseous envelope, astronomers speculate that it could have one or more moons. In our own solar system, moons are common, so it seems likely that they also orbit planets in other solar systems. If such moons do exist, and if they are as large as Mars or Earth, astronomers speculate that they would retain atmospheres and surface liquid water that might make interesting environments for the development of life.

    The animation ends with a comparison between 55 Cancri and our solar system.

    The colors of the illustrated planets were chosen to resemble those of our own solar system. Astronomers do not know what the planets look like.

  18. OBSERVATIONS OF BINARY STARS WITH THE DIFFERENTIAL SPECKLE SURVEY INSTRUMENT. IV. OBSERVATIONS OF KEPLER, CoRoT, AND HIPPARCOS STARS FROM THE GEMINI NORTH TELESCOPE

    SciTech Connect

    Horch, Elliott P.; Howell, Steve B.; Everett, Mark E.; Ciardi, David R. E-mail: steve.b.howell@nasa.gov E-mail: ciardi@ipac.caltech.edu

    2012-12-01

    We present the results of 71 speckle observations of binary and unresolved stars, most of which were observed with the DSSI speckle camera at the Gemini North Telescope in 2012 July. The main purpose of the run was to obtain diffraction-limited images of high-priority targets for the Kepler and CoRoT missions, but in addition, we observed a number of close binary stars where the resolution limit of Gemini was used to better determine orbital parameters and/or confirm results obtained at or below the diffraction limit of smaller telescopes. Five new binaries and one triple system were discovered, and first orbits are calculated for other two systems. Several systems are discussed in detail.

  19. The planet Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whyte, A. J.

    The search for a planet exterior to Neptune and the discovery of Pluto are discussed, and current knowledge of the planet Pluto is reviewed. Following a review of the discovery of the outer planets Uranus and Neptune, the 80-year search for a body which would account for the observed residuals in the motions of Uranus and Neptune is considered, with particular attention given to the work of Percival Lowell in calculating likely positions of the planet. The discovery of a planet in the position predicted by Lowell at Lowell Observatory in 1930 is then described, and the naming of the body Pluto is discussed. Consideration is then given to information concerning the orbit, mass, dimensions, density, composition and surface properties of Pluto acquired by photography, spectroscopy, photometry and polarimetry in the nearly 50 years following its discovery, with particular emphasis given to the discovery of the Pluto satellite designated Charon. Planned space-borne observations of the planet Pluto are indicated.

  20. Magellan Adaptive Optics First-light Observations of the Exoplanet β Pic b. II. 3-5 μm Direct Imaging with MagAO+Clio, and the Empirical Bolometric Luminosity of a Self-luminous Giant Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morzinski, Katie M.; Males, Jared R.; Skemer, Andy J.; Close, Laird M.; Hinz, Phil M.; Rodigas, T. J.; Puglisi, Alfio; Esposito, Simone; Riccardi, Armando; Pinna, Enrico; Xompero, Marco; Briguglio, Runa; Bailey, Vanessa P.; Follette, Katherine B.; Kopon, Derek; Weinberger, Alycia J.; Wu, Ya-Lin

    2015-12-01

    Young giant exoplanets are a unique laboratory for understanding cool, low-gravity atmospheres. A quintessential example is the massive extrasolar planet β Pic b, which is 9 AU from and embedded in the debris disk of the young nearby A6V star β Pictoris. We observed the system with first light of the Magellan Adaptive Optics (MagAO) system. In Paper I we presented the first CCD detection of this planet with MagAO+VisAO. Here we present four MagAO+Clio images of β Pic b at 3.1 μm, 3.3 μm, L‧, and {M}\\prime , including the first observation in the fundamental CH4 band. To remove systematic errors from the spectral energy distribution (SED), we re-calibrate the literature photometry and combine it with our own data, for a total of 22 independent measurements at 16 passbands from 0.99 to 4.8 μm. Atmosphere models demonstrate the planet is cloudy but are degenerate in effective temperature and radius. The measured SED now covers >80% of the planet's energy, so we approach the bolometric luminosity empirically. We calculate the luminosity by extending the measured SED with a blackbody and integrating to find log({{L}}{bol}/{{L}}⊙ ) \\=\\-3.78+/- 0.03. From our bolometric luminosity and an age of 23 ± 3 Myr, hot-start evolutionary tracks give a mass of 12.7 ± 0.3 {{M}}{Jup}, radius of 1.45 ± 0.02 {{R}}{Jup}, and Teff of 1708 ± 23 K (model-dependent errors not included). Our empirically determined luminosity is in agreement with values from atmospheric models (typically -3.8 dex), but brighter than values from the field-dwarf bolometric correction (typically -3.9 dex), illustrating the limitations in comparing young exoplanets to old brown dwarfs.

  1. Giant planet magnetospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bagenal, Fran

    1992-01-01

    The classification of the giant planet magnetospheres into two varieties is examined: the large symmetric magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn and the smaller irregular ones of Uranus and Neptune. The characteristics of the plasma and the current understanding of the magnetospheric processes are considered for each planet. The energetic particle populations, radio emissions, and remote sensing of magnetospheric processes in the giant planet magneotospheres are discussed.

  2. Outlook: Testing Planet Formation Theories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boss, A. P.

    The discovery of the first planetary companion to a solar-type star by Mayor and Queloz (1995) launched the extrasolar planetary systems era. Observational and theoretical progress in this area has been made at a breathtaking pace since 1995, as evidenced by this workshop. We now have a large and growing sample of extrasolar gas giant planets with which to test our theories of their formation and evolution. The two competing theories for the formation of gas giant planets, core accretion and disk instability, appear to have testable predictions: (i) Core accretion seems to require exceptionally long-lived disks, implying that gas giants should be somewhat rare, while disk instability can occur in even the shortest-lived disk, implying that gas giants should be abundant. The ongoing census of gas giants by the spectroscopic search programs will determine the frequency of gas giants on Jupiter-like orbits within the next decade. (ii) Core accretion takes millions of years to form gas giants, while disk instability forms gaseous protoplanets in thousands of years. Determining the epoch of gas giant planet formation by searching for astrometric wobbles indicative of gas giant companions around young stars with a range of ages ( 0.1 Myr to 10 Myr) should be possible with the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM). (iii) Core accretion would seem to be bolstered by a higher ratio of dust to gas, whereas disk instability occurs equally well for a range of dust opacities. Determining whether a high primordial metallicity is necessary for gas giant planet formation can be accomplished by spectroscopic and astrometric searches for gas giants around metal-poor stars. Eventually, ice giant planets will be detectable as well. If ice giants are found to be much more frequent that gas giants, this may imply that core accretion occurs, but usually fails to form a gas giant. Terrestrial planets will be detected through photometry by Kepler and Eddington, astrometry by SIM, and imaging by Terrestrial Planet Finder and Darwin. Ultimately these detections will clarify the process of Earth formation by collisional accumulation, the only contending theory.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Planet Formation - Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2005-01-01

    Modern theories of star and planet formation are based upon observations of planets and smaller bodies within our own Solar System, exoplanets &round normal stars and of young stars and their environments. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth as do terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. These models predict that rocky planets should form in orbit about most single stars. It is uncertain whether or not gas giant planet formation is common, because most protoplanetary disks may dissipate before solid planetary cores can grow large enough to gravitationally trap substantial quantities of gas. A potential hazard to planetary systems is radial decay of planetary orbits resulting from interactions with material within the disk. Planets more massive than Earth have the potential to decay the fastest, and may be able to sweep up smaller planets in their path.

  6. Planet-crossing asteroid survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilder, P. D.

    1984-01-01

    The planet-crossing asteroid survey was begun in 1973 in order to study those asteroids which may intersect the orbits of the inner planets. Throughout the history of the survey, many of the various classes of asteroids were investigated. The near-Earth objects including the Apollo, Amor, and Aten families were studied in addition to asteroids whose orbits cross that of Mars, and some objects which are generally confined to the main belt. Observing was done on the 18 inch Schmidt telescope at the Palomar Mtn. Observatory. Typically, two consecutive photographs of a favorable field are taken. The exposure times of the films are usually twenty minutes and ten minutes, respectively. The telescope is guided at sidereal rate, so that asteroids will leave short trailed images. The films are then scanned for trails. By comparing the two films, the direction and approximate rate of motion of an asteroid may be determined.

  7. Adsorption of dissymmetric cationic gemini surfactants at silica/water interface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Yuhai; Feng, Yujun; Dong, Hongwei; Chen, Zhi

    2007-05-01

    Adsorption of a series of cationic gemini surfactants 12-2- m ( m = 8, 12, 16) on the surface of silica was investigated. The critical micelle concentrations, cmcs, of cationic gemini surfactants in the initial solutions and in the supernatants were measured by conductometry and tensiometer. The changes in cmc values indicate that the ion exchanges take place between polar groups of gemini surfactants adsorbed and ions bound on the surface of silica. The adsorption isotherms of cationic gemini surfactants were obtained by a solution depletion method. Based on the driving force, the adsorption includes two steps, one of which is ion exchange, and the other is hydrophobic interaction. In each step, the tendency of surfactant molecules in the solution to form aggregates or to be adsorbed on the silica varies with their structures. The maximum adsorption amount of gemini surfactants on the silica, ?max, decreases as increasing in the length of one alkyl chain, m, from 8, 12 to 16. So the results show that the adsorption behaviors of gemini surfactants are closely related to the dissymmetry of gemini molecules.

  8. Evaluating the Potential of Cray Gemini Interconnect for PGAS Communication Runtime Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Vishnu, Abhinav; ten Bruggencate, Monika; Olson, Ryan M.

    2011-08-24

    The Cray Gemini Interconnect has been recently introduced as the next generation network for building scalable multi-petascale supercomputers. The Cray XE6 systems, which use the Gemini Interconnect are becoming available with Message Passing Interface (MPI) and Partitioned Global Address Space (PGAS) Models such as as Global Arrays, Unified Parallel C, Co-Array Fortran and Cascade High Performance Language. These PGAS models use one-sided communication runtime systems such as MPI-Remote Memory Access, Aggregate Remote Memory Copy Interface and proprietary communication runtime systems. The primary objective of our work is to study the potential of Cray Gemini Interconnect by designing application specific micro-benchmarks using the DMAPP userspace library provided by the Gemini Interconnect. To meet this objective, we design micro-benchmarks to study the performance of simple communication primitives and application specific micro-benchmarks to understand the behavior of Gemini Interconnect at scale. In our experiments, the Gemini Interconnect can achieve a peak bandwidth of 6911 MB/s and a latency of 1us for get communication primitive. Scalability tests for atomic memory operations and shift communication operation up to 65536 processes shows the efficacy of the Gemini Interconnect.

  9. A novel type of highly effective nonionic gemini alkyl O-glucoside surfactants: a versatile strategy of design.

    PubMed

    Liu, Songbai; Sang, Ruocheng; Hong, Shan; Cai, Yujing; Wang, Hua

    2013-07-01

    A novel type of highly effective gemini alkyl glucosides has been rationally designed and synthesized. The gemini surfactants have been readily prepared by glycosylation of the gemini alkyl chains that are synthesized with regioselective ring-opening of ethylene glycol epoxides by the alkyl alcohols. The new gemini alkyl glucosides exhibit significantly better surface activity than the known results. Then rheological, DLS, and TEM studies have revealed the intriguing self-assembly behavior of the novel gemini surfactants. This study has proved the effectiveness of the design of gemini alkyl glucosides which is modular, extendable, and synthetically simple. The new gemini surfactants have great potential as nano carriers in drug and gene delivery. PMID:23806002

  10. The Radiometric Bode's Law and Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazio, T. Joseph, W.; Farrell, W. M.; Dietrick, Jill; Greenlees, Elizabeth; Hogan, Emily; Jones, Christopher; Hennig, L. A.

    2004-09-01

    We predict the radio flux densities of the extrasolar planets in the current census, making use of an empirical relation-the radiometric Bode's law-determined from the five ``magnetic'' planets in the solar system (the Earth and the four gas giants). Radio emission from these planets results from solar wind-powered electron currents depositing energy in the magnetic polar regions. We find that most of the known extrasolar planets should emit in the frequency range 10-1000 MHz and, under favorable circumstances, have typical flux densities as large as 1 mJy. We also describe an initial, systematic effort to search for radio emission in low radio frequency images acquired with the Very Large Array (VLA). The limits set by the VLA images (~300 mJy) are consistent with, but do not provide strong constraints on, the predictions of the model. Future radio telescopes, such as the Low Frequency Array and the Square Kilometer Array, should be able to detect the known extrasolar planets or place austere limits on their radio emission. Planets with masses much lower than those in the current census will probably radiate below 10 MHz and will require a space-based array.

  11. The Gemini Science User Support Department: A community-centered approach to user support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chené, André-Nicolas; Thomas-Osip, Joanna

    2016-01-01

    The Gemini Science User Support Department (SUSD) was formed a little more than a year ago to create a collaborative community of users and staff and to consolidate existing post-observing support throughout the observatory for more efficient use of resources as well as better visibility amongst our user community. This poster is an opportunity to exchange ideas about how Gemini can improve your experience while working with the Observatory and present details about new avenues of post-observing support coming soon. We encourage your feedback at any time.Shortly after its creation, the SUSD conducted a complete revision of the communication cycle between Gemini and its community of researchers. The cycle was then revisited from the perspective of an astronomer interested in using Gemini for their research. This exercise led to a series of proposed changes that are currently under development, and the implementation of a sub-selection is expected in 2016, including the following. (1) Email notifications: Gemini users will receive new forms of email communications that are more instructive and tailored to their program. The objective is to direct the users more efficiently toward the useful links and documentation all along the lifecycle of the program, from phaseII to after the data are completely reduced. (2) HelpDesk system: The HelpDesk will become more user-friendly and transparent. (3) Webpages: The organization of the Gemini webpages will be redesigned to optimize navigation; especially for anything regarding more critical periods likes phaseIs and phaseIIs. (4) Data Reduction User Forum: Following recommendations from Gemini users, new capabilities were added to the forum, like email notifications, and a voting system, in order to make it more practical. This forum's objective is to bring the Gemini community together to exchange their ideas, thoughts, questions and solutions about data reduction, a sort of Reddit, StackOverflow or Slashdot for Gemini data.

  12. On planet formation in HL Tau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dipierro, Giovanni; Price, Daniel; Laibe, Guillaume; Hirsh, Kieran; Cerioli, Alice; Lodato, Giuseppe

    2015-10-01

    We explain the axisymmetric gaps seen in recent long-baseline observations of the HL Tau protoplanetary disc with the Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array (ALMA) as being due to the different response of gas and dust to embedded planets in protoplanetary discs. We perform global, three-dimensional dusty smoothed particle hydrodynamics calculations of multiple planets embedded in dust/gas discs which successfully reproduce most of the structures seen in the ALMA image. We find a best match to the observations using three embedded planets with masses of 0.2, 0.27 and 0.55 MJ in the three main gaps observed by ALMA, though there remain uncertainties in the exact planet masses from the disc model.

  13. Ceremonies for Gemini 10 crew on the U.S.S. Guadalcanal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    Twelve-year-old Bill Doyle of Virginia Beach, VA., shakes hands with Gemini 10 pilot Michael Collins aboard the recovery ship U.S.S. Guadalcanal. At right is John W. Young, Gemini 10 command pilot. Billy represented 41 youngsters permitted aboard the Guadalcanal to witness the recovery with their Naval fathers or close relatives, marking the first time dependents have been permitted aboard a ship during a Gemini recovery operation. In front of them is a large cake baked by the ship's cooks for the occasion.

  14. Upgrade and standardization of real-time software for telescope systems at the Gemini telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rambold, William N.; Gigoux, Pedro; Urrutia, Cristian; Ebbers, Angelic; Taylor, Philip; Rippa, Mathew J.; Rojas, Roberto; Cumming, Tom

    2014-07-01

    The real-time control systems for the Gemini Telescopes were designed and built in the 1990s using state-of-the-art software tools and operating systems of that time. Since these systems are in use every night they have not been kept upto- date and are now obsolete and very labor intensive to support. Gemini is currently engaged in a major upgrade of its telescope control systems. This paper reviews the studies performed to select and develop a new standard operating environment for Gemini real-time systems and the work performed so far in implementing it.

  15. Gemini 8.2-m primary mirror no. 1 polishing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cayrel, Marc; Beraud, P.; Paseri, Jacques; Dromas, E.

    1998-08-01

    The 8-m class primary mirrors of the GEMINI Telescopes are thin ULE menisci actively supported. The two mirror blanks are produced by CORNING, the optical figuring, manufacturing and assembling of interfaces are done by REOSC. REOSC is as well in charge of the transportation of the mirror blanks from CORNING to REOSC, and of the shipment of the finished optics to Hawaii and to Chile. The mirror assembly requirements are summarized, the manufacturing and testing methods are addressed. REOSC had to design and manufacture a dedicated active supporting system, representative of the one used at the telescope level. Its design and performance are presented. The manufacturing steps undertaken at REOSC and the results achieved are then detailed: mirror blank surface generating and grinding, polishing, testing. The current status of the mirrors is finally presented.

  16. Fan-In Communications On A Cray Gemini Interconnect

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, Terry R; Settlemyer, Bradley W

    2014-01-01

    Using the Cray Gemini interconnect as our platform, we present a study of an important class of communication operations the fan-in communication pattern. By its nature, fan-in communications form hot spots that present significant challenges for any interconnect fabric and communication software stack. Yet despite the inherent challenges, these communication patterns are common in both applications (which often perform reductions and other collective operations that include fan-in communication such as barriers) and system software (where they assume an important role within parallel file systems and other components requiring high-bandwidth or low-latency I/O). Our study determines the effectiveness of differing clientserver fan-in strategies. We describe fan-in performance in terms of aggregate bandwidth in the presence of varying degrees of congestion, as well as several other key attributes. Comparison numbers are presented for the Cray Aries interconnect. Finally, we provide recommended communication strategies based on our findings.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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)

  1. 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…

  2. A two deformable-mirror concept to improve the laser efficiency of Gemini South MCAO (GeMS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Béchet, Clémentine; Guesalaga, Andrés; Neichel, Benoit; Fesquet, Vincent; Guzman, Dani

    2013-12-01

    Gem's is the first laser-based multi-conjugate adaptive optics offeredto the astronomical community. Its asterism of 5 laser guide stars hasrecently proved to provide very uniform turbulence correction over the85''x85'' observation field, opening the new era of wide-field highangular resolution studies from the ground. Good AO performance requireshowever good wavefront sensing measurements from the laser guide stars,which directly depends on the quality of the laser spot image. Theoptimization of the lasers launched out of the telescope requires tofollow frequent and constraining calibrations and alignments procedures(quasi-static aberrations), in order to guarantee satisfying amplitudeand phase of the beam. These complex and time-consuming procedures willstrongly penalize the availability of Gem's.A laser beam shaping concept has been recently suggested to overcomesuch issues. It consists in applying, in the beam transfer optics, afield-conjugation thanks to 2 deformable mirrors. We review thisconcept. In particular, we discuss the criterion to be optimized and thedesired amplitude and phase shapes at the output of the Gemini beamtransfer optics. We deduce the control to be applied to the mirrors fromthe optimization of the signal-to-noise ratio of the wavefront sensingin Gem's. An iterative algorithm is used to estimate the phases, with aweighted least-squares unwrapper to avoid branch points. This algorithmefficiency is demonstrated with adequate beam shaping simulations.Discussion is made about how to implement such concept at Gemini.

  3. High Precision Lightcurves of A Mutual Event of Transneptunian Binary (79360) Sila-Nunam From Gemini Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbiscer, Anne J.; Grundy, W.; Benecchi, S.; Rabinowitz, D.; Skrutskie, M. F.

    2013-10-01

    Cold-classical Kuiper Belt binary (79360) Sila-Nunam is in the midst of a decade-long mutual event season in which its nearly equal-sized components occult and eclipse each other as viewed from Earth (Grundy et al. 2012 Icarus 220, 74-83). On 14 February 2013 UT, the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS-N) camera at Gemini Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i imaged nearly an entire inferior event in which Nunam, the smaller of the two objects, eclipsed and occulted Sila. Alternating 200-second exposures in Sloan r' and i' filters continuously during the 9.3-hour event produced lightcurves containing information about sizes, colors, shapes, and albedo patterns on the system components. This mutual event is a rare opportunity to determine physical characteristics of a surface which has likely been unaltered since the time of Solar System formation. A. Verbiscer acknowledges support from NASA Planetary Astronomy. W. Grundy acknowledges support from NSF Planetary Astronomy.

  4. High gene delivery efficiency of alkylated low-molecular-weight polyethylenimine through gemini surfactant-like effect

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shan; Huang, Wei; Jin, Ming-Ji; Wang, Qi-Ming; Zhang, Gan-Lin; Wang, Xiao-Min; Shao, Shuai; Gao, Zhong-Gao

    2014-01-01

    To our knowledge, the mechanism underlying the high transfection efficiency of alkylated low-molecular-weight polyethylenimine (PEI) is not yet well understood. In this work, we grafted branched PEI (molecular weight of 1,800 Da; bPEI1800) with lauryl chains (C12), and found that bPEI1800-C12 was structurally similar to gemini surfactant and could similarly assemble into micelle-like particles. Stability, cellular uptake, and lysosome escape ability of bPEI1800-C12/DNA polyplexes were all greatly enhanced after C12 grafting. bPEI1800-C12/DNA polyplexes exhibited significantly higher transfection efficiency than Lipofectamine 2000 in the presence of serum. Bioluminescence imaging showed that systemic injection of bPEI1800-C12/DNA polyplexes resulted in intensive luciferase expression in vivo and bioluminescence signals that could be detected even in the head. Altogether, the high transfection efficacy of bPEI1800-C12 was because bPEI1800-C12, being an analog of gemini surfactant, facilitated lysosome escape and induced the coilglobule transition of DNA to assemble into a highly organized micelle-like structure that showed high stability. PMID:25114526

  5. Gemini ester quat surfactants and their biological activity.

    PubMed

    ?uczy?ski, Jacek; Fr?ckowiak, Renata; W?och, Aleksandra; Kleszczy?ska, Halina; Witek, Stanis?aw

    2013-03-01

    Cationic gemini surfactants are an important class of surface-active compounds that exhibit much higher surface activity than their monomeric counterparts. This type of compound architecture lends itself to the compound being easily adsorbed at interfaces and interacting with the cellular membranes of microorganisms. Conventional cationic surfactants have high chemical stability but poor chemical and biological degradability. One of the main approaches to the design of readily biodegradable and environmentally friendly surfactants involves inserting a bond with limited stability into the surfactant molecule to give a cleavable surfactant. The best-known example of such a compound is the family of ester quats, which are cationic surfactants with a labile ester bond inserted into the molecule. As part of this study, a series of gemini ester quat surfactants were synthesized and assayed for their biological activity. Their hemolytic activity and changes in the fluidity and packing order of the lipid polar heads were used as the measures of their biological activity. A clear correlation between the hemolytic activity of the tested compounds and their alkyl chain length was established. It was found that the compounds with a long hydrocarbon chain showed higher activity. Moreover, the compounds with greater spacing between their alkyl chains were more active. This proves that they incorporate more easily into the lipid bilayer of the erythrocyte membrane and affect its properties to a greater extent. A better understanding of the process of cell lysis by surfactants and of their biological activity may assist in developing surfactants with enhanced selectivity and in widening their range of application. PMID:23271433

  6. Planets X and Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoyt, W. G.

    It is pointed out that man has discovered some fundamental truths about the universe through mathematics. The 'X' in the title of the reported study refers to the trans-Neptunian planet postulated by Percival Lowell. Attention is given to Uranus and the asteroids, Neptune, the first search for planet X, the second search for planet X, the consideration of a trans-Neptunian planet, Lowell's legacies, the third search for planet X, the investigations performed by Clyde William Tombaugh, the early controversies regarding Pluto, and the ultimate resolution of the controversies. It was finally recognized that Pluto cannot have caused the perturbations in the motion of Uranus that Lowell, Pickering, Kourganoff and others found over the years.

  7. MEMS Deformable Mirrors for Adaptive Optics in Astronomical Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornelissen, S.; Bierden, P. A.; Bifano, T.

    We report on the development of micro-electromechanical (MEMS) deformable mirrors designed for ground and space-based astronomical instruments intended for imaging extra-solar planets. Three different deformable mirror designs, a 1024 element continuous membrane (32x32), a 4096 element continuous membrane (64x64), and a 331 hexagonal segmented tip-tilt-piston are being produced for the Planet Imaging Concept Testbed Using a Rocket Experiment (PICTURE) program, the Gemini Planet Imaging Instrument, and the visible nulling coronograph developed at JPL for NASA's TPF mission, respectively. The design of these polysilicon, surface-micromachined MEMS deformable mirrors builds on technology that was pioneered at Boston University and has been used extensively to correct for ocular aberrations in retinal imaging systems and for compensation of atmospheric turbulence in free-space laser communication. These light-weight, low power deformable mirrors will have an active aperture of up to 25.2mm consisting of thin silicon membrane mirror supported by an array of 1024 to 4096 electrostatic actuators exhibiting no hysteresis and sub-nanometer repeatability. The continuous membrane deformable mirrors, coated with a highly reflective metal film, will be capable of up to 4?m of stroke, have a surface finish of <10nm RMS with a fill factor of 99.8%. The segmented device will have a range of motion of 1um of piston and a 600 arc-seconds of tip/tilt simultaneously and a surface finish of 1nm RMS. The individual mirror elements in this unique device, are designed such that they will maintain their flatness throughout the range of travel. New design features and fabrication processes are combined with a proven device architecture to achieve the desired performance and high reliability. Presented in this paper are device characteristic and performance results of these devices.

  8. Gemini Surfactants Based on Bis-Imidazolium Alkoxy Derivatives as Effective Agents for Delivery of Nucleic Acids: A Structural and Spectroscopic Study

    PubMed Central

    Pietralik, Zuzanna; Kołodziejska, Żaneta; Weiss, Marek; Kozak, Maciej

    2015-01-01

    The success rate of gene therapy depends on the efficient transfection of genetic material into cells. The golden mean between harmlessness and high effectiveness can be provided by synthetic lipid-like molecules that are similar to the components of biological membranes. Cationic gemini surfactants are one such moiety and because of their favourable physicochemical properties (double positive electric charge, reduced toxicity, low values of critical micelle concentration), they show great potential as delivery system components for genetic material in gene therapy. The aim of this study was to investigate the process of the complexation of cationic gemini surfactants with nucleic acids: double-stranded DNA of different sizes (21 bp, ~185 bp, ~20 kbp) and siRNA (21 bp). The tested series of dicationic surfactants consists of bis-imidazolium quaternary salts with varying lengths of hydrophobic side chains (m = 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16). On the basis of the data obtained by circular dichroism spectroscopy and electrophoresis, we concluded that the studied gemini surfactants with long side chains effectively bind nucleic acids at low concentrations, which leads to the formation of stable lipoplexes. Images obtained by atomic force microscopy also confirmed the formation of vesicular structures, i.e., complexes between DNA and surfactants. The cytotoxicity of selected surfactants was also tested on HeLa cells. The surfactant toxicity significantly depends on surfactant geometry (the length of hydrophobic chain). PMID:26641889

  9. Releve de planetes geantes autour d'etoiles proches par imagerie directe et optimisation d'une technique d'imagerie multibande

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lafreniere, David

    The primary goal of this thesis is the search for exoplanets using direct imaging. Given the small angular separation and the very large luminosity ratio between a planet and its star this task is very difficult. The approach adopted for the present work is differential imaging, which consists in obtaining a reference image of the point-spread function (PSF) of the star, and subtracting this reference image from a target image to remove the stellar signal. Initially, two tools aimed at improving the quality of this subtraction are developed. The first is a new instrumental concept that makes it possible to increase the correlation of images obtained at different wavelengths in simultaneous spectral differential imaging. This concept consists in placing a holographic diffuser at the entrance focal plane of a multi-channel camera in order to break the coherence of the wavefront entering the camera; this largely reduces the effect of optical aberrations in the camera on the structure of the PSF recorded in each channel. A prototype based on this concept provided an attenuation of the PSF by a factor 12-15, an improvement by a factor 5 compared to the attenuation obtained without a diffuser. The second tool developed is a new algorithm allowing to combine several reference images of the stellar PSF together to form a reference image more faithful to the target image. The application of this algorithm to an angular differential imaging sequence of observations yielded an improvement in sensitivity by a factor of up to 3. Finally, the results of a search for giant planets around 85 nearby young stars are presented; this search was done with the Gemini North telescope. The sensitivity of the observations, expressed in difference of magnitudes at 1.6 mum between a planet and its star, is typically 9.5 at 0.5 ?, 12.9 at 1?, 15 at 2?, and 16.5 at 5?. For a typical target star, a 100 million year old K0 star located at 22 pc from the Sun, these sensitivities allow the detection of planets more massive than 2 MJup with a projected separation between 40 and 200 UA. Overall, more than 300 candidate exoplanets were identified around 54 of the stars observed; a follow-up of 48 of these stars has confirmed that their candidates are all unrelated background stars. A statistical analysis of the results indicates that, by assuming a mass function dn/dm ? m-1.1 and a semi-major axis distribution d n/da ? a-1 the upper limits on the fraction of stars with at least one planet of mass 0.5--13 MJup are 28% for the interval 10--25 AU, 13% for 25--50 AU, and 9.3% for 50--200 AU, with a 95% credibility. Keywords: exoplanets, high-contrast imaging, image processing, astronomical instrumentation

  10. Fisheye view of Gemini 4 prime crew during simulated exercises at Pad 19

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Fisheye view of Astronauts James A. McDivitt and Edward H. White II inside the Gemini 4 spacecraft during simulated exercises at pad 19, Cape Kennedy, Florida. NASA Headquarters alternative photo number is 65-H-274.

  11. Gemini 12 crew receive Official welcome aboard U.S.S. Wasp

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    Astronauts James A. Lovell Jr. (left), command pilot, and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., pilot, receive Official welcome as they arrive aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Wasp after their splashdown at the end of the Gemini 12 mission.

  12. Interactions between DNA and Gemini surfactant: impact on gene therapy: part I.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Taksim; Kamel, Amany O; Wettig, Shawn D

    2016-02-01

    Nonviral gene therapy using gemini surfactants is a unique approach to medicine that can be adapted toward the treatment of various diseases. Recently, gemini surfactants have been utilized as candidates for the formation of nonviral vectors. The chemical structure of the surfactant (variations in the alkyl tail length and spacer/head group) and the resulting physicochemical properties of the lipoplexes are critical parameters for efficient gene transfection. Moreover, studying the interaction of the surfactant with DNA can help in designing an efficient vector and understanding how transfection complexes overcome various cellular barriers. Part I of this review provides an overview of various types of gemini surfactants designed for gene therapy and their transfection efficiency; and Part II will focus on different novel methods utilized to understand the interactions between the gemini and DNA in a lipoplex. PMID:26785905

  13. SN 1987A after 18 Years: Mid-Infrared GEMINI and SPITZER Observations of the Remnant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bouchet, Patrice; Dwek, Eli; Danziger, John; Arendt, Richard G.; DeBuizer, James M.; Park, Sangwook; Suntzeff, Nicholas B.; Kirshner, Robert P.; Challis, Peter

    2007-01-01

    We present high resolution 11.7 and 18.3 micron mid-IR images of SN 1987A obtained on day 6526 since the explosion with the Thermal-Region Camera and Spectrograph (T-ReCS) attached to the Gemini South 8m telescope. The 11.7 micron flux has increased significantly since our last observations on day 6067. The images clearly show that all the emission arises from the equatorial ring (ER). Nearly contemporaneous spectra obtained on day 6184 with the MIPS at 24 micron, on day 6130 with the IRAC in 3.6- 8 micron region, and on day 6190 with the IRS in the 12-37 micron instruments on board the Spitzer Space Telescope's show that the emission consists of thermal emission from silicate dust that condensed out in the red giant wind of the progenitor star. The dust temperature is 1662(sup +18) (sub -12) K, and the emitting dust mass is (2.6(sup +2.0 (sub -1.4)) x 10 (exp -6) M(solar). Lines of [Ne II] 12.82 micron and [Ne III] 15.56 pm are clearly present in the Spitzer spectrum, as well as a weak [Si II] 3 34.8 micron line. We also detect two lines near 26 micron which we tentatively ascribe to [Fe II] 25.99 pm and [0 IV] 25.91 micron. Comparison of the mid-IR Gemini 11.7 micron image with X-ray images obtained by Chandra, UV-optical images obtained by HST, and radio synchrotron images obtained by the ATCA show generally good correlation of the images across all wavelengths. Because of the limited resolution of the mid-IR images we cannot uniquely determine the location. or heating mechanism of the dust giving rise to the emission. The dust could be collisionally heated by the X-ray emitting plasma, providing a unique diagnostic of plasma conditions. Alternatively, the dust could be radiatively heated in the dense UV-optical knots that are overrun by the advancing supernova blast wave. In either case the dust-to-gas mass ratio in the circumstellar medium around the supernova is significantly lower than that in the general interstellar medium of the LMC, suggesting either a low condensation efficiency in the wind of the progenitor star, or the efficient destruction of the dust by the SN blast wave. Overall, we are witnessing the interaction of the SN blast wave with its surrounding medium, creating an environment that is rapidly evolving at all wavelengths. Continuous multiwavelength observations of SN 1987A such as these provide unique snapshots of the very early evolution of supernova remnants.

  14. Efficient transfection of DNA by liposomes formulated with cationic gemini amphiphiles.

    PubMed

    Bombelli, Cecilia; Faggioli, Francesca; Luciani, Paola; Mancini, Giovanna; Sacco, Maria Grazia

    2005-08-11

    Cationic liposomes formulated with neutral 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine and cationic gemini surfactants were used for transfecting different cell lines with a reporter gene. The efficiency in the transfection has been correlated to the high extent of DNA condensation observed by circular dichroism, condensation shown to depend heavily on the gemini spacer structure. Transfection efficiency was better than that obtained with a commercial lipofection kit. PMID:16078856

  15. Constraints on the frequency of circumbinary planets in wide orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonavita, Mariangela; Thalmann, Christian; Desidera, Silvano; Vigan, Arthur; Chauvin, Gael; Biller, Beth

    2015-12-01

    In the past decade, an increasing amount of effort has been spent on studying the formation and evolution of planets in the environment of binary host star systems (see e.g. the book “Planets in Binaries”, Haghighipour 2010). The Exoplanets.org database (Wright et al. 2011) lists several confirmed planets that have been found in binary systems to date. All of these discoveries have been made with indirect detection methods such as Doppler spectroscopy or transit photometry methods, which are heavily biased towards planets with short orbital periods and, therefore, favor circumstellar (‘s-type’) configurations around individual components of wide binary systems. Despite this bias, the Kepler spacecraft has discovered seven planets in circumbinary (‘p-type’) orbits encompassing tight binary systems, hinting at the existence of an extensive unseen population of circumbinary planets.Direct imaging, on the other hand, is a powerful planet detection technique particularly well suited to planets on wide orbits, which complements the limited parameter space of the indirect detection methods. However, such surveys have typically rejected binary systems from their target sample, leaving the population of wide-orbit planets in such systems largely unexplored. To address this, the SPOTS project (Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars; Thalmann et al. 2014) is conducting the first dedicated direct imaging survey for circumbinary planets.In this talk I will present the results of a statistical analysis of the combined body of existing high contrast imaging constraints on circumbinary planets carried on to complement the results of our ongoing survey.

  16. 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 i