Science.gov

Sample records for additional non-transiting planets

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millholland, Sarah; Wang, Songhu; Laughlin, Gregory

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  3. Prospects on the detection of additional circumbinary extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  4. Dynamical Detection of Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. A SEARCH FOR ADDITIONAL PLANETS IN THE NASA EPOXI OBSERVATIONS OF THE EXOPLANET SYSTEM GJ 436

    SciTech Connect

    Ballard, Sarah; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Charbonneau, David; Holman, Matthew J.; Fabrycky, Daniel; Deming, Drake; Barry, Richard K.; Kuchner, Marc J.; Livengood, Timothy A.; Hewagama, Tilak; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Wellnitz, Dennis D.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Hampton, Don L.; Lisse, Carey M.; Seager, Sara; Veverka, Joseph F.

    2010-06-20

    We present time series photometry of the M dwarf transiting exoplanet system GJ 436 obtained with the Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization (EPOCh) component of the NASA EPOXI mission. We conduct a search of the high-precision time series for additional planets around GJ 436, which could be revealed either directly through their photometric transits or indirectly through the variations these second planets induce on the transits of the previously known planet. In the case of GJ 436, the presence of a second planet is perhaps indicated by the residual orbital eccentricity of the known hot Neptune companion. We find no candidate transits with significance higher than our detection limit. From Monte Carlo tests of the time series, we rule out transiting planets larger than 1.5 R{sub +} interior to GJ 436b with 95% confidence and larger than 1.25 R{sub +} with 80% confidence. Assuming coplanarity of additional planets with the orbit of GJ 436b, we cannot expect that putative planets with orbital periods longer than about 3.4 days will transit. However, if such a planet were to transit, we would rule out planets larger than 2.0 R{sub +} with orbital periods less than 8.5 days with 95% confidence. We also place dynamical constraints on additional bodies in the GJ 436 system, independent of radial velocity measurements. Our analysis should serve as a useful guide for similar analyses of transiting exoplanets for which radial velocity measurements are not available, such as those discovered by the Kepler mission. From the lack of observed secular perturbations, we set upper limits on the mass of a second planet as small as 10 M{sub +} in coplanar orbits and 1 M{sub +} in non-coplanar orbits close to GJ 436b. We present refined estimates of the system parameters for GJ 436. We find P = 2.64389579 {+-} 0.00000080 d, R{sub *} = 0.437 {+-} 0.016 R{sub sun}, and R{sub p} = 3.880 {+-} 0.147 R{sub +}. We also report a sinusoidal modulation in the GJ 436 light curve

  6. Hot Jupiters with relatives: discovery of additional planets in orbit around WASP-41 and WASP-47

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neveu-VanMalle, M.; Queloz, D.; Anderson, D. R.; Brown, D. J. A.; Collier Cameron, A.; Delrez, L.; Díaz, R. F.; Gillon, M.; Hellier, C.; Jehin, E.; Lister, T.; Pepe, F.; Rojo, P.; Ségransan, D.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Turner, O. D.; Udry, S.

    2016-02-01

    We report the discovery of two additional planetary companions to WASP-41 and WASP-47. WASP-41 c is a planet of minimum mass 3.18 ± 0.20 MJup and eccentricity 0.29 ± 0.02, and it orbits in 421 ± 2 days. WASP-47 c is a planet of minimum mass 1.24 ± 0.22 MJup and eccentricity 0.13 ± 0.10, and it orbits in 572 ± 7 days. Unlike most of the planetary systems that include a hot Jupiter, these two systems with a hot Jupiter have a long-period planet located at only ~1 au from their host star. WASP-41 is a rather young star known to be chromospherically active. To differentiate its magnetic cycle from the radial velocity effect induced by the second planet, we used the emission in the Hα line and find this indicator well suited to detecting the stellar activity pattern and the magnetic cycle. The analysis of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect induced by WASP-41 b suggests that the planet could be misaligned, though an aligned orbit cannot be excluded. WASP-47 has recently been found to host two additional transiting super Earths. With such an unprecedented architecture, the WASP-47 system will be very important for understanding planetary migration. Using data collected at ESO's La Silla Observatory, Chile: HARPS on the ESO 3.6 m (Prog ID 087.C-0649 & 089.C-0151), the Swiss Euler Telescope, TRAPPIST, the 1.54-m Danish telescope (Prog CN2013A-159), and at the LCOGT's Faulkes Telescope South.Photometric lightcurve and RV tables are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/586/A93

  7. Refining Mass Measurements of Kepler Planets with Keck/HIRES.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isaacson, Howard T.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Howard, Andrew

    2015-12-01

    We present improved radial velocity mass measurements from Keck/HIRES for exoplanets detected by NASA’s Kepler Mission. Since Kepler’s launch 6 years ago, ~30 planetary systems have been monitored with radial velocities, resulting in measured masses for many planets between 1.0 and 4.0 Earth radii. The resulting planet masses have been used to determine the transition between planets with a rocky interior and those with a lower density interior which requiring significant H/He atmospheres. We provide updated masses and densities for those planets published in Marcy et al (2014) based on two additional observing seasons with HIRES of the Kepler field. These radial velocities also reveal non-transiting planets in systems with previously found transiting planets. One such system has a non-transiting planet with a period between two transiting planets, providing a constraint on the co-planarity of the system. Finally, we provide an updated mass-radius relation, showing the distinction between planets that must have a substantial iron-silicate interior, and those requiring significant contributions from volatiles such as hydrogen and helium.

  8. Can there be additional rocky planets in the Habitable Zone of tight binary stars with a known gas giant?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funk, B.; Pilat-Lohinger, E.; Eggl, S.

    2015-04-01

    Locating planets in Habitable Zones (HZs) around other stars is a growing field in contemporary astronomy. Since a large percentage of all G-M stars in the solar neighbourhood are expected to be part of binary or multiple stellar systems, investigations of whether habitable planets are likely to be discovered in such environments are of prime interest to the scientific community. As current exoplanet statistics predicts that the chances are higher to find new worlds in systems that are already known to have planets, we examine four known extrasolar planetary systems in tight binaries in order to determine their capacity to host additional habitable terrestrial planets. Those systems are Gliese 86, γ Cephei, HD 41004 and HD 196885. In the case of γ Cephei, our results suggest that only the M dwarf companion could host additional potentially habitable worlds. Neither could we identify stable, potentially habitable regions around HD 196885 A. HD 196885 B can be considered a slightly more promising target in the search for Earth-twins. Gliese 86 A turned out to be a very good candidate, assuming that the system's history has not been excessively violent. For HD 41004, we have identified admissible stable orbits for habitable planets, but those strongly depend on the parameters of the system. A more detailed investigation shows that for some initial conditions stable planetary motion is possible in the HZ of HD 41004 A. In spite of the massive companion HD 41004 Bb, we found that HD 41004 B, too, could host additional habitable worlds.

  9. The fates of Solar system analogues with one additional distant planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veras, Dimitri

    2016-08-01

    The potential existence of a distant planet ("Planet Nine") in the Solar system has prompted a re-think about the evolution of planetary systems. As the Sun transitions from a main sequence star into a white dwarf, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are currently assumed to survive in expanded but otherwise unchanged orbits. However, a sufficiently-distant and sufficiently-massive extra planet would alter this quiescent end scenario through the combined effects of Solar giant branch mass loss and Galactic tides. Here, I estimate bounds for the mass and orbit of a distant extra planet that would incite future instability in systems with a Sun-like star and giant planets with masses and orbits equivalent to those of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. I find that this boundary is diffuse and strongly dependent on each of the distant planet's orbital parameters. Nevertheless, I claim that instability occurs more often than not when the planet is as massive as Jupiter and harbours a semimajor axis exceeding about 300 au, or has a mass of a super-Earth and a semimajor axis exceeding about 3000 au. These results hold for orbital pericentres ranging from 100 to at least 400 au. This instability scenario might represent a common occurrence, as potentially evidenced by the ubiquity of metal pollution in white dwarf atmospheres throughout the Galaxy.

  10. Late Chondritic Additions and Planet and Planetesimal Growth: Evaluation of Physical and Chemical Mechanisms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Righter, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    Studies of terrestrial peridotite and martian and achondritic meteorites have led to the conclusion that addition of chondritic material to growing planets or planetesimals, after core formation, occurred on Earth, Mars, asteroid 4 Vesta, and the parent body of the angritic meteorites [1-4]. One study even proposed that this was a common process in the final stages of growth [5]. These conclusions are based almost entirely on the highly siderophile elements (HSE; Re, Au, Pt, Pd, Rh, Ru, Ir, Os). The HSE are a group of eight elements that have been used to argue for late accretion of chondritic material to the Earth after core formation was complete (e.g., [6]). This idea was originally proposed because the D(metal/silicate) values for the HSE are so high, yet their concentration in the mantle is too high to be consistent with such high Ds. The HSE also are present in chondritic relative abundances and hence require similar Ds if this is the result of core-mantle equilibration. Since the work of [6] there has been a realization that core formation at high PT conditions can explain the abundances of many siderophile elements in the mantle (e.g., [7]), but such detailed high PT partitioning data are lacking for many of the HSE to evaluate whether such ideas are viable for all four bodies. Consideration of other chemical parameters reveals larger problems that are difficult to overcome, but must be addressed in any scenario which calls on the addition of chondritic material to a reduced mantle. Yet these problems are rarely discussed or emphasized, making the late chondritic (or late veneer) addition hypothesis suspect.

  11. A Deep Search for Additional Satellites around the Dwarf Planet Haumea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkhart, Luke D.; Ragozzine, Darin; Brown, Michael E.

    2016-06-01

    Haumea is a dwarf planet with two known satellites, an unusually high spin rate, and a large collisional family, making it one of the most interesting objects in the outer solar system. A fully self-consistent formation scenario responsible for the satellite and family formation is still elusive, but some processes predict the initial formation of many small moons, similar to the small moons recently discovered around Pluto. Deep searches for regular satellites around Kuiper belt objects are difficult due to observational limitations, but Haumea is one of the few for which sufficient data exist. We analyze Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations, focusing on a 10-consecutive-orbit sequence obtained in 2010 July, to search for new very small satellites. To maximize the search depth, we implement and validate a nonlinear shift-and-stack method. No additional satellites of Haumea are found, but by implanting and recovering artificial sources, we characterize our sensitivity. At distances between ∼10,000 and ∼350,000 km from Haumea, satellites with radii as small as ∼10 km are ruled out, assuming an albedo (p≃ 0.7) similar to Haumea. We also rule out satellites larger than ≳40 km in most of the Hill sphere using other HST data. This search method rules out objects similar in size to the small moons of Pluto. By developing clear criteria for determining the number of nonlinear rates to use, we find that far fewer shift rates are required (∼35) than might be expected. The nonlinear shift-and-stack method to discover satellites (and other moving transients) is tractable, particularly in the regime where nonlinear motion begins to manifest itself.

  12. A SEARCH FOR ADDITIONAL PLANETS IN FIVE OF THE EXOPLANETARY SYSTEMS STUDIED BY THE NASA EPOXI MISSION

    SciTech Connect

    Ballard, Sarah; Charbonneau, David; Holman, Matthew J.; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Deming, Drake; Barry, Richard K.; Kuchner, Marc J.; Livengood, Timothy A.; Hewagama, Tilak; Hampton, Don L.; Lisse, Carey M.; Seager, Sara; Veverka, Joseph F.

    2011-05-01

    We present time series photometry and constraints on additional planets in five of the exoplanetary systems studied by the EPOCh (Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization) component of the NASA EPOXI mission: HAT-P-4, TrES-3, TrES-2, WASP-3, and HAT-P-7. We conduct a search of the high-precision time series for photometric transits of additional planets. We find no candidate transits with significance higher than our detection limit. From Monte Carlo tests of the time series using putative periods from 0.5 days to 7 days, we demonstrate the sensitivity to detect Neptune-sized companions around TrES-2, sub-Saturn-sized companions in the HAT-P-4, TrES-3, and WASP-3 systems, and Saturn-sized companions around HAT-P-7. We investigate in particular our sensitivity to additional transits in the dynamically favorable 3:2 and 2:1 exterior resonances with the known exoplanets: if we assume coplanar orbits with the known planets, then companions in these resonances with HAT-P-4b, WASP-3b, and HAT-P-7b would be expected to transit, and we can set lower limits on the radii of companions in these systems. In the nearly grazing exoplanetary systems TrES-3 and TrES-2, additional coplanar planets in these resonances are not expected to transit. However, we place lower limits on the radii of companions that would transit if the orbits were misaligned by 2.{sup 0}0 and 1.{sup 0}4 for TrES-3 and TrES-2, respectively.

  13. THE GJ1214 SUPER-EARTH SYSTEM: STELLAR VARIABILITY, NEW TRANSITS, AND A SEARCH FOR ADDITIONAL PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Berta, Zachory K.; Charbonneau, David; Bean, Jacob; Irwin, Jonathan; Burke, Christopher J.; Desert, Jean-Michel; Nutzman, Philip; Falco, Emilio E.

    2011-07-20

    The super-Earth GJ1214b transits a nearby M dwarf that exhibits a 1% intrinsic variability in the near-infrared. Here, we analyze new observations to refine the physical properties of both the star and planet. We present three years of out-of-transit photometric monitoring of the stellar host GJ1214 from the MEarth Observatory and find the rotation period to be long, most likely an integer multiple of 53 days, suggesting low levels of magnetic activity and an old age for the system. We show that such variability will not pose significant problems to ongoing studies of the planet's atmosphere with transmission spectroscopy. We analyze two high-precision transit light curves from ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) along with seven others from the MEarth and Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory 1.2 m telescopes, finding physical parameters for the planet that are consistent with previous work. The VLT light curves show tentative evidence for spot occultations during transit. Using two years of MEarth light curves, we place limits on additional transiting planets around GJ1214 with periods out to the habitable zone of the system. We also improve upon the previous photographic V-band estimate for the star, finding V = 14.71 {+-} 0.03.

  14. The GJ1214 Super-Earth System: Stellar Variability, New Transits, and a Search for Additional Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berta, Zachory K.; Charbonneau, David; Bean, Jacob; Irwin, Jonathan; Burke, Christopher J.; Désert, Jean-Michel; Nutzman, Philip; Falco, Emilio E.

    2011-07-01

    The super-Earth GJ1214b transits a nearby M dwarf that exhibits a 1% intrinsic variability in the near-infrared. Here, we analyze new observations to refine the physical properties of both the star and planet. We present three years of out-of-transit photometric monitoring of the stellar host GJ1214 from the MEarth Observatory and find the rotation period to be long, most likely an integer multiple of 53 days, suggesting low levels of magnetic activity and an old age for the system. We show that such variability will not pose significant problems to ongoing studies of the planet's atmosphere with transmission spectroscopy. We analyze two high-precision transit light curves from ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) along with seven others from the MEarth and Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory 1.2 m telescopes, finding physical parameters for the planet that are consistent with previous work. The VLT light curves show tentative evidence for spot occultations during transit. Using two years of MEarth light curves, we place limits on additional transiting planets around GJ1214 with periods out to the habitable zone of the system. We also improve upon the previous photographic V-band estimate for the star, finding V = 14.71 ± 0.03.

  15. Planet hunters. VII. Discovery of a new low-mass, low-density planet (PH3 C) orbiting Kepler-289 with mass measurements of two additional planets (PH3 B and D)

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitt, Joseph R.; Fischer, Debra A.; Wang, Ji; Margossian, Charles; Brewer, John M.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Agol, Eric; Deck, Katherine M.; Rogers, Leslie A.; Gazak, J. Zachary; Holman, Matthew J.; Jek, Kian J.; Omohundro, Mark R.; Winarski, Troy; Lintott, Chris; Simpson, Robert; Lynn, Stuart; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin; Schwamb, Megan E.; and others

    2014-11-10

    We report the discovery of one newly confirmed planet (P = 66.06 days, R {sub P} = 2.68 ± 0.17 R {sub ⊕}) and mass determinations of two previously validated Kepler planets, Kepler-289 b (P = 34.55 days, R {sub P} = 2.15 ± 0.10 R {sub ⊕}) and Kepler-289-c (P = 125.85 days, R {sub P} = 11.59 ± 0.10 R {sub ⊕}), through their transit timing variations (TTVs). We also exclude the possibility that these three planets reside in a 1:2:4 Laplace resonance. The outer planet has very deep (∼1.3%), high signal-to-noise transits, which puts extremely tight constraints on its host star's stellar properties via Kepler's Third Law. The star PH3 is a young (∼1 Gyr as determined by isochrones and gyrochronology), Sun-like star with M {sub *} = 1.08 ± 0.02 M {sub ☉}, R {sub *} = 1.00 ± 0.02 R {sub ☉}, and T {sub eff} = 5990 ± 38 K. The middle planet's large TTV amplitude (∼5 hr) resulted either in non-detections or inaccurate detections in previous searches. A strong chopping signal, a shorter period sinusoid in the TTVs, allows us to break the mass-eccentricity degeneracy and uniquely determine the masses of the inner, middle, and outer planets to be M = 7.3 ± 6.8 M {sub ⊕}, 4.0 ± 0.9M {sub ⊕}, and M = 132 ± 17 M {sub ⊕}, which we designate PH3 b, c, and d, respectively. Furthermore, the middle planet, PH3 c, has a relatively low density, ρ = 1.2 ± 0.3 g cm{sup –3} for a planet of its mass, requiring a substantial H/He atmosphere of 2.1{sub −0.3}{sup +0.8}% by mass, and joins a growing population of low-mass, low-density planets.

  16. The architecture of the multi-planet system of υ And: υ And b - a super-inflated hot Jupiter in a cosmic ping-pong game

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodler, Florian

    2015-12-01

    The gas giant Upsilon Andromeda b (υ And b) was one of the first discovered exoplanets. This planet orbits around a bright, similar to the Sun star only 13.5 parsecs away from us. υ And b is also the innermost planet of a confirmed three-planet system, all of them non-transiting. As with all non-transiting planets, their exact masses and sizes are unknown, with their orbital inclination being the key parameter to unveil those values. Astrometric measurements have placed constraints to the orbital inclinations of the two outer planets in this system, indicating that we look almost 'face-on' on the system (McArthur et al. 2010). However, the orbital inclination for the innermost planet remained unknown.Photometric monitoring of υ And b orbit at infrared wavelengths has revealed significant brightness changes between the day-side and the night-side of the planet (Crossfield et al. 2010). The amplitude of those brightness variations depends on the orbital inclination of the planet and on its radius, therefore we can tightly constrain the size of the planet if its inclination is known.Here we present the measurement of the orbital inclination for the innermost planet υ And b, 23 deg, obtained by monitoring the Doppler shift of carbon monoxide (CO) lines on the atmospheric day-side of the planet with Keck/NIRSPEC. From this measurement we establish a planet mass of 1.7 times the mass of Jupiter and a minimum planet radius of 1.8 times the size of Jupiter. This result reveals that υ And b is likely to be one of the most inflated giant planets discovered to date. In addition, the observed strong CO absorption suggests an atmosphere with temperature uniformly decreasing towards higher altitudes, which suggests the absence of an atmospheric thermal inversion (Rodler et al. 2015).

  17. Additives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smalheer, C. V.

    1973-01-01

    The chemistry of lubricant additives is discussed to show what the additives are chemically and what functions they perform in the lubrication of various kinds of equipment. Current theories regarding the mode of action of lubricant additives are presented. The additive groups discussed include the following: (1) detergents and dispersants, (2) corrosion inhibitors, (3) antioxidants, (4) viscosity index improvers, (5) pour point depressants, and (6) antifouling agents.

  18. Kepler's missing planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffen, Jason H.

    2013-08-01

    We investigate the distributions of the orbital period ratios of adjacent planets in high-multiplicity Kepler systems (four or more planets) and low-multiplicity systems (two planets). Modelling the low-multiplicity sample as essentially equivalent to the high-multiplicity sample, but with unobserved intermediate planets, we find some evidence for an excess of planet pairs between the 2:1 and 3:1 mean-motion resonances in the low-multiplicity sample. This possible excess may be the result of strong dynamical interactions near these or other resonances or it may be a byproduct of other evolutionary events or processes such as planetary collisions. Three-planet systems show a significant excess of planets near the 2:1 mean-motion resonance that is not as prominent in either of the other samples. This observation may imply a correlation between strong dynamical interactions and observed planet number - perhaps a relationship between resonance pairs and the inclinations or orbital periods of additional planets. The period ratio distributions can also be used to identify targets to search for missing planets in the each of the samples, the presence or absence of which would have strong implications for planet formation and dynamical evolution models.

  19. Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  20. Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. RECOVERY OF THE CANDIDATE PROTOPLANET HD 100546 b WITH GEMINI/NICI AND DETECTION OF ADDITIONAL (PLANET-INDUCED?) DISK STRUCTURE AT SMALL SEPARATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Currie, Thayne; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Muto, Takayuki; Honda, Mitsuhiko; Brandt, Timothy D.; Grady, Carol; Fukagawa, Misato; Burrows, Adam; Janson, Markus; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; McElwain, Michael W.; Follette, Katherine; Hashimoto, Jun; Henning, Thomas; Kandori, Ryo; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Morino, Jun-ichi; Nishikawa, Jun; Kwon, Jungmi; Mede, Kyle; and others

    2014-12-01

    We report the first independent, second epoch (re-)detection of a directly imaged protoplanet candidate. Using L' high-contrast imaging of HD 100546 taken with the Near-Infrared Coronagraph and Imager on Gemini South, we recover ''HD 100546 b'' with a position and brightness consistent with the original Very Large Telescope/NAos-COnica detection from Quanz et al., although data obtained after 2013 will be required to decisively demonstrate common proper motion. HD 100546 b may be spatially resolved, up to ≈12-13 AU in diameter, and is embedded in a finger of thermal IR-bright, polarized emission extending inward to at least 0.''3. Standard hot-start models imply a mass of ≈15 M{sub J} . However, if HD 100546 b is newly formed or made visible by a circumplanetary disk, both of which are plausible, its mass is significantly lower (e.g., 1-7 M{sub J} ). Additionally, we discover a thermal IR-bright disk feature, possibly a spiral density wave, at roughly the same angular separation as HD 100546 b but 90° away. Our interpretation of this feature as a spiral arm is not decisive, but modeling analyses using spiral density wave theory implies a wave launching point exterior to ≈0.''45 embedded within the visible disk structure: plausibly evidence for a second, hitherto unseen, wide-separation planet. With one confirmed protoplanet candidate and evidence for one to two others, HD 100546 is an important evolutionary precursor to intermediate-mass stars with multiple super-Jovian planets at moderate/wide separations like HR 8799.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. The Occurrence of Additional Giant Planets Inside the Water–Ice Line in Systems with Hot Jupiters: Evidence Against High-Eccentricity Migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlaufman, Kevin C.; Winn, Joshua N.

    2016-07-01

    The origin of Jupiter-mass planets with orbital periods of only a few days is still uncertain. It is widely believed that these planets formed near the water–ice line of the protoplanetary disk, and subsequently migrated into much smaller orbits. Most of the proposed migration mechanisms can be classified either as disk-driven migration, or as excitation of a very high eccentricity followed by tidal circularization. In the latter scenario, the giant planet that is destined to become a hot Jupiter spends billions of years on a highly eccentric orbit, with apastron near the water–ice line. Eventually, tidal dissipation at periastron shrinks and circularizes the orbit. If this is correct, then it should be especially rare for hot Jupiters to be accompanied by another giant planet interior to the water–ice line. Using the current sample of giant planets discovered with the Doppler technique, we find that hot Jupiters with P orb < 10 days are no more or less likely to have exterior Jupiter-mass companions than longer-period giant planets with P orb ≥ 10 days. This result holds for exterior companions both inside and outside of the approximate location of the water–ice line. These results are difficult to reconcile with the high-eccentricity migration scenario for hot Jupiter formation.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Extreme Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

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

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

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

  9. PREDICTING PLANETS IN KEPLER MULTI-PLANET SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Fang, Julia; Margot, Jean-Luc

    2012-05-20

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

  10. The Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-06-01

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

  11. The Gemini Planet Imager

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, B; al., e

    2006-05-02

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

  12. DECOUPLING PHASE VARIATIONS IN MULTI-PLANET SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, Stephen R.; Gelino, Dawn M.

    2013-01-10

    Due to the exquisite photometric precision, transiting exoplanet discoveries from the Kepler mission are enabling several new techniques of confirmation and characterization. One of these newly accessible techniques analyzes the phase variations of planets as they orbit their stars. The predicted phase variation for multi-planet systems can become rapidly complicated and depends upon the period, radius, and albedo distributions for planets in the system. Here we describe the confusion that may occur due to short-period terrestrial planets and/or non-transiting planets in a system, which can add high-frequency correlated noise or low-frequency trends to the data stream. We describe these sources of ambiguity with several examples, including that of our solar system. We further show how decoupling of these signals may be achieved with application to the Kepler-20 and Kepler-33 multi-planet systems.

  13. Outer Planets

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  14. Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klahr, Hubert; Brandner, Wolfgang

    2011-02-01

    1. Historical notes on planet formation Bodenheimer; 2. The formation and evolution of planetary systems Bouwman et al.; 3. Destruction of protoplanetary disks by photoevaporation Richling, Hollenbach and Yorke; 4. Turbulence in protoplanetary accretion disks Klahr, Rozyczka, Dziourkevitch, Wunsch and Johansen; 5. The origin of solids in the early solar system Trieloff and Palme; 6. Experiments on planetesimal formation Wurm and Blum; 7. Dust coagulation in protoplanetary disks Henning, Dullemond, Wolf and Dominik; 8. The accretion of giant planet cores Thommes and Duncan; 9. Planetary transits: direct vision of extrasolar planets Lecavelier des Etangs and Vidal-Madjar; 10. The core accretion - gas capture model Hubickyj; 11. Properties of exoplanets Marcy, Fischer, Butler and Vogt; 12. Giant planet formation: theories meet observations Boss; 13. From hot Jupiters to hot Neptures … and below Lovis, Mayor and Udry; 14. Disk-planet interaction and migration Masset and Kley; 15. The Brown Dwarf - planet relation Bate; 16. From astronomy to astrobiology Brandner; 17. Overview and prospective Lin.

  15. Taxonomy of the extrasolar planet.

    PubMed

    Plávalová, Eva

    2012-04-01

    When a star is described as a spectral class G2V, we know that the star is similar to our Sun. We know its approximate mass, temperature, age, and size. When working with an extrasolar planet database, it is very useful to have a taxonomy scale (classification) such as, for example, the Harvard classification for stars. The taxonomy has to be easily interpreted and present the most relevant information about extrasolar planets. I propose an extrasolar planet taxonomy scale with four parameters. The first parameter concerns the mass of an extrasolar planet in the form of units of the mass of other known planets, where M represents the mass of Mercury, E that of Earth, N Neptune, and J Jupiter. The second parameter is the planet's distance from its parent star (semimajor axis) described in a logarithm with base 10. The third parameter is the mean Dyson temperature of the extrasolar planet, for which I established four main temperature classes: F represents the Freezing class, W the Water class, G the Gaseous class, and R the Roasters class. I devised one additional class, however: P, the Pulsar class, which concerns extrasolar planets orbiting pulsar stars. The fourth parameter is eccentricity. If the attributes of the surface of the extrasolar planet are known, we are able to establish this additional parameter where t represents a terrestrial planet, g a gaseous planet, and i an ice planet. According to this taxonomy scale, for example, Earth is 1E0W0t, Neptune is 1N1.5F0i, and extrasolar planet 55 Cnc e is 9E-1.8R1. PMID:22506608

  16. The Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  17. THE ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN PLANET SEARCH. XXII. TWO NEW MULTI-PLANET SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Horner, J.; Salter, G. S.; Tinney, C. G.; Bailey, J.; Tuomi, Mikko; Zhang, Z.; Butler, R. P.; Jones, H. R. A.; O'Toole, S. J.; Carter, B. D.; Jenkins, J. S.; Vogt, S. S.; Rivera, Eugenio J.

    2012-07-10

    We report the detection of two new planets from the Anglo-Australian Planet Search. These planets orbit two stars each previously known to host one planet. The new planet orbiting HD 142 has a period of 6005 {+-} 427 days, and a minimum mass of 5.3 M{sub Jup}. HD 142c is thus a new Jupiter analog: a gas-giant planet with a long period and low eccentricity (e = 0.21 {+-} 0.07). The second planet in the HD 159868 system has a period of 352.3 {+-} 1.3 days and m sin i = 0.73 {+-} 0.05 M{sub Jup}. In both of these systems, including the additional planets in the fitting process significantly reduced the eccentricity of the original planet. These systems are thus examples of how multiple-planet systems can masquerade as moderately eccentric single-planet systems.

  18. Microlensing Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, Andrew

    The theory and practice of microlensing planet searches is developed in a systematic way, from an elementary treatment of the deflection of light by a massive body to a thorough discussion of the most recent results. The main concepts of planetary microlensing, including microlensing events, finite-source effects, and microlens parallax, are first introduced within the simpler context of point-lens events. These ideas are then applied to binary (and hence planetary) lenses and are integrated with concepts specific to binaries, including caustic topologies, orbital motion, and degeneracies, with an emphasis on analytic understanding. The most important results from microlensing planet searches are then reviewed, with emphasis both on understanding the historical process of discovery and the means by which scientific conclusions were drawn from light-curve analysis. Finally, the future prospects of microlensing planets searches are critically evaluated. Citations to original works provide the reader with multiple entry points into the literature.

  19. SOPHIE velocimetry of Kepler transit candidates. X. KOI-142 c: first radial velocity confirmation of a non-transiting exoplanet discovered by transit timing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barros, S. C. C.; Díaz, R. F.; Santerne, A.; Bruno, G.; Deleuil, M.; Almenara, J.-M.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bouchy, F.; Damiani, C.; Hébrard, G.; Montagnier, G.; Moutou, C.

    2014-01-01

    The exoplanet KOI-142b (Kepler-88b) shows transit timing variations (TTVs) with a semi-amplitude of ~12 h, which earned it the nickname "king of transit variations". Only the transit of planet b was detected in the Kepler data with an orbital period of ~10.92 days and a radius of ~0.36 RJup. The TTVs together with the transit duration variations of KOI-142b were analysed recently, finding a unique solution for a companion-perturbing planet. An outer non-transiting companion was predicted, KOI-142c, with a mass of 0.626 ± 0.03 MJup and a period of 22.3397-0.0018+0.0021 days, which is close to the 2:1 mean-motion resonance with the inner transiting planet. We report an independent confirmation of KOI-142c using radial velocity observations with the SOPHIE spectrograph at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence. We derive an orbital period of 22.10 ± 0.25 days and a minimum planetary mass of 0.760.16+0.32 MJup, both in good agreement with the predictions by previous transit timing analysis. Therefore, this is the first radial velocity confirmation of a non-transiting planet discovered with TTVs, providing an independent validation of the TTVs technique. Based on observations collected with the NASA Kepler satellite and with the SOPHIE spectrograph on the 1.93-m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France.Tables 2 and 3 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  20. 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.

  1. Planets in Evolved Binary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perets, Hagai B.

    2011-03-01

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

  2. Pluto: Planet or "Dwarf Planet"?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voelzke, M. R.; de Araújo, M. S. T.

    2010-09-01

    In August 2006 during the XXVI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), taken place in Prague, Czech Republic, new parameters to define a planet were established. According to this new definition Pluto will be no more the ninth planet of the Solar System but it will be changed to be a "dwarf planet". This reclassification of Pluto by the academic community clearly illustrates how dynamic science is and how knowledge of different areas can be changed and evolves through the time, allowing to perceive Science as a human construction in a constant transformation, subject to political, social and historical contexts. These epistemological characteristics of Science and, in this case, of Astronomy, constitute important elements to be discussed in the lessons, so that this work contributes to enable Science and Physics teachers who perform a basic education to be always up to date on this important astronomical fact and, thereby, carry useful information to their teaching.

  3. 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.

  4. Orbits and Interiors of Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batygin, Konstantin

    2012-05-01

    independent constraints for the solar system's birth environment. Next, we addressed a significant drawback of the original Nice model, namely its inability to create the physically unique, cold classical population of the Kuiper Belt. Specifically, we showed that a locally-formed cold belt can survive the transient instability, and its relatively calm dynamical structure can be reproduced. The last four chapters of this thesis address various aspects and consequences of dynamical relaxation of planetary orbits through dissipative effects as well as the formation of planets in binary stellar systems. Using octopole-order secular perturbation theory, we demonstrated that in multi-planet systems, tidal dissipation often drives orbits onto dynamical "fixed points," characterized by apsidal alignment and lack of periodic variations in eccentricities. We applied this formalism towards investigating the possibility that the large orbital eccentricity of the transiting Neptune-mass planet Gliese 436b is maintained in the face of tidal dissipation by a second planet in the system and computed a locus of possible orbits for the putative perturber. Following up along similar lines, we used various permutations of secular theory to show that when applied specifically to close-in low-mass planetary systems, various terms in the perturbation equations become separable, and the true masses of the planets can be solved for algebraically. In practice, this means that precise knowledge of the system's orbital state can resolve the sin( i) degeneracy inherent to non-transiting planets. Subsequently, we investigated the onset of chaotic motion in dissipative planetary systems. We worked in the context of classical secular perturbation theory, and showed that planetary systems approach chaos via the so-called period-doubling route. Furthermore, we demonstrated that chaotic strange attractors can exist in mildly damped systems, such as photo-evaporating nebulae that host multiple planets. Finally

  5. ORBITAL DISTRIBUTIONS OF CLOSE-IN PLANETS AND DISTANT PLANETS FORMED BY SCATTERING AND DYNAMICAL TIDES

    SciTech Connect

    Nagasawa, M.; Ida, S.

    2011-12-01

    We investigated the formation of close-in planets (hot Jupiters) by a combination of mutual scattering, Kozai effect, and tidal circularization, through N-body simulations of three gas giant planets, and compared the results with discovered close-in planets. We found that in about 350 cases out of 1200 runs ({approx}30%), the eccentricity of one of the planets is excited highly enough for tidal circularization by mutual close scatterings followed by secular effects due to outer planets, such as the Kozai mechanism, and the planet becomes a close-in planet through the damping of eccentricity and semimajor axis. The formation probability of close-in planets by such scattering is not affected significantly by the effect of the general relativity and inclusion of inertial modes in addition to fundamental modes in the tides. Detailed orbital distributions of the formed close-in planets and their counterpart distant planets in our simulations were compared with observational data. We focused on the possibility for close-in planets to retain non-negligible eccentricities ({approx}> 0.1) on timescales of {approx}10{sup 9} yr and have high inclinations, because close-in planets in eccentric or highly inclined orbits have recently been discovered. In our simulations we found that as many as 29% of the close-in planets have retrograde orbits, and the retrograde planets tend to have small eccentricities. On the other hand, eccentric close-in planets tend to have orbits of small inclinations.

  6. 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

  7. THE OCCURRENCE RATE OF SMALL PLANETS AROUND SMALL STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David

    2013-04-10

    We use the optical and near-infrared photometry from the Kepler Input Catalog to provide improved estimates of the stellar characteristics of the smallest stars in the Kepler target list. We find 3897 dwarfs with temperatures below 4000 K, including 64 planet candidate host stars orbited by 95 transiting planet candidates. We refit the transit events in the Kepler light curves for these planet candidates and combine the revised planet/star radius ratios with our improved stellar radii to revise the radii of the planet candidates orbiting the cool target stars. We then compare the number of observed planet candidates to the number of stars around which such planets could have been detected in order to estimate the planet occurrence rate around cool stars. We find that the occurrence rate of 0.5-4 R{sub Circled-Plus} planets with orbital periods shorter than 50 days is 0.90{sup +0.04}{sub -0.03} planets per star. The occurrence rate of Earth-size (0.5-1.4 R{sub Circled-Plus }) planets is constant across the temperature range of our sample at 0.51{sub -0.05}{sup +0.06} Earth-size planets per star, but the occurrence of 1.4-4 R{sub Circled-Plus} planets decreases significantly at cooler temperatures. Our sample includes two Earth-size planet candidates in the habitable zone, allowing us to estimate that the mean number of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone is 0.15{sup +0.13}{sub -0.06} planets per cool star. Our 95% confidence lower limit on the occurrence rate of Earth-size planets in the habitable zones of cool stars is 0.04 planets per star. With 95% confidence, the nearest transiting Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a cool star is within 21 pc. Moreover, the nearest non-transiting planet in the habitable zone is within 5 pc with 95% confidence.

  8. 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

  9. Exploring Planet Sizes

    NASA Video Gallery

    This lesson combines a series of activities to compare models of the size of Earth to other planets and the distances to other planets. Activities highlight space missions to other planets in our s...

  10. 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.

  11. Dynamical constraints on outer planets in super-Earth systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Read, Matthew J.; Wyatt, Mark C.

    2016-03-01

    This paper considers secular interactions within multi-planet systems. In particular, we consider dynamical evolution of known planetary systems resulting from an additional hypothetical planet on an eccentric orbit. We start with an analytical study of a general two-planet system, showing that a planet on an elliptical orbit transfers all of its eccentricity to an initially circular planet if the two planets have comparable orbital angular momenta. Application to the single super-Earth system HD 38858 shows that an additional hypothetical planet below current radial velocity (RV) constraints with M sini = 3-10 M⊕, semi-major axis 1-10 au and eccentricity 0.2-0.8 is unlikely to be present from the eccentricity that would be excited in the known planet (albeit cyclically). However, additional planets in proximity to the known planet could stabilize the system against secular perturbations from outer planets. Moreover, these additional planets can have an M sini below RV sensitivity and still affect their neighbours. For example, application to the two super-Earth system 61 Vir shows that an additional hypothetical planet cannot excite high eccentricities in the known planets, unless its mass and orbit lie in a restricted area of parameter space. Inner planets in HD 38858 below RV sensitivity would also modify conclusions above about excluded parameter space. This suggests that it may be possible to infer the presence of additional stabilizing planets in systems with an eccentric outer planet and an inner planet on an otherwise suspiciously circular orbit. This reinforces the point that the full complement of planets in a system is needed to assess its dynamical state.

  12. Flow of Planets, Not Weak Tidal Evolution, Produces the Short-Period Planet Distribution with More Planets than Expected

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Stuart F.

    2013-01-01

    being anti-correlated with additional planets. We present results from our study of inward migration.

  13. EFFECTS OF DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION OF GIANT PLANETS ON SURVIVAL OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Matsumura, Soko; Ida, Shigeru; Nagasawa, Makiko

    2013-04-20

    The orbital distributions of currently observed extrasolar giant planets allow marginally stable orbits for hypothetical, terrestrial planets. In this paper, we propose that many of these systems may not have additional planets on these ''stable'' orbits, since past dynamical instability among giant planets could have removed them. We numerically investigate the effects of early evolution of multiple giant planets on the orbital stability of the inner, sub-Neptune-like planets which are modeled as test particles, and determine their dynamically unstable region. Previous studies have shown that the majority of such test particles are ejected out of the system as a result of close encounters with giant planets. Here, we show that secular perturbations from giant planets can remove test particles at least down to 10 times smaller than their minimum pericenter distance. Our results indicate that, unless the dynamical instability among giant planets is either absent or quiet like planet-planet collisions, most test particles down to {approx}0.1 AU within the orbits of giant planets at a few AU may be gone. In fact, out of {approx}30% of survived test particles, about three quarters belong to the planet-planet collision cases. We find a good agreement between our numerical results and the secular theory, and present a semi-analytical formula which estimates the dynamically unstable region of the test particles just from the evolution of giant planets. Finally, our numerical results agree well with the observations, and also predict the existence of hot rocky planets in eccentric giant planet systems.

  14. Urey Prize Lecture: Orbital Dynamics of Extrasolar Planets, Large and Small

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Eric B.

    2012-10-01

    For centuries, planet formation theories were fine tuned to explain the details of solar system. Since 1999, the Doppler technique has discovered dozens of multiple planet systems. The diversity of architectures of systems with giant planets challenged previous theories and led to insights into planet formation, orbital migration and the excitation of orbital eccentricities and inclinations. Recently, NASA's Kepler mission has identified over 300 systems with multiple transiting planet candidates, including many potentially rocky planets. Precise measurements of the orbital period and phase constrain the significance of mutual gravitational interactions and potential orbital resonances. For systems that are tightly-packed or near an orbital resonance, measurements of transit timing variations provide a new means for confirming transiting planets and detecting non-transiting planets in multiple planet systems, even around faint target stars. Over the course of the extended mission, Kepler is poised to measure the gravitational effects of mutual planetary perturbations for 200 planets, providing precise (but complex) constraints on planetary masses, densities and orbits. I will survey the systems with multiple transiting planet candidates identified by Kepler and discuss early efforts to translate these observations into new constraints on the formation and orbital evolution of planetary systems with low-mass planets.

  15. 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.

  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. The Kepler-454 System: A Small, Not-rocky Inner Planet, a Jovian World, and a Distant Companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gettel, Sara; Charbonneau, David; Dressing, Courtney D.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Dumusque, Xavier; Vanderburg, Andrew; Bonomo, Aldo S.; Malavolta, Luca; Pepe, Francesco; Collier Cameron, Andrew; Latham, David W.; Udry, Stéphane; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.; Davies, Guy R.; Silva Aguirre, Victor; Kjeldsen, Hans; Bedding, Timothy R.; Lopez, Eric; Affer, Laura; Cosentino, Rosario; Figueira, Pedro; Fiorenzano, Aldo F. M.; Harutyunyan, Avet; Johnson, John Asher; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Lovis, Christophe; Mayor, Michel; Micela, Giusi; Molinari, Emilio; Motalebi, Fatemeh; Phillips, David F.; Piotto, Giampaolo; Queloz, Didier; Rice, Ken; Sasselov, Dimitar; Ségransan, Damien; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Watson, Chris; Basu, Sarbani; Campante, Tiago L.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Kawaler, Steven D.; Metcalfe, Travis S.; Handberg, Rasmus; Lund, Mikkel N.; Lundkvist, Mia S.; Huber, Daniel; Chaplin, William J.

    2016-01-01

    Kepler-454 (KOI-273) is a relatively bright (V = 11.69 mag), Sun-like star that hosts a transiting planet candidate in a 10.6 day orbit. From spectroscopy, we estimate the stellar temperature to be 5687 ± 50 K, its metallicity to be [m/H] = 0.32 ± 0.08, and the projected rotational velocity to be v sin i < 2.4 km s-1. We combine these values with a study of the asteroseismic frequencies from short cadence Kepler data to estimate the stellar mass to be {1.028}-0.03+0.04{M}⊙ , the radius to be 1.066 ± 0.012 R⊙, and the age to be {5.25}-1.39+1.41 Gyr. We estimate the radius of the 10.6 day planet as 2.37 ± 0.13 R⊕. Using 63 radial velocity observations obtained with the HARPS-N spectrograph on the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo and 36 observations made with the HIRES spectrograph at the Keck Observatory, we measure the mass of this planet to be 6.8 ± 1.4 M⊕. We also detect two additional non-transiting companions, a planet with a minimum mass of 4.46 ± 0.12 MJ in a nearly circular 524 day orbit and a massive companion with a period >10 years and mass >12.1 MJ. The 12 exoplanets with radii <2.7 R⊕ and precise mass measurements appear to fall into two populations, with those <1.6 R⊕ following an Earth-like composition curve and larger planets requiring a significant fraction of volatiles. With a density of 2.76 ± 0.73 g cm-3, Kepler-454b lies near the mass transition between these two populations and requires the presence of volatiles and/or H/He gas.

  18. On the detection of non-transiting exoplanets with dusty tails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, J.; Rappaport, S.; Sanchis-Ojeda, R.; Hoffman, K.; Rowe, J.

    2016-09-01

    We present a way of searching for non-transiting exoplanets with dusty tails. In the transiting case, the extinction by dust during the transit removes more light from the beam than is scattered into it. Thus, the forward scattering component of the light is best seen either just prior to ingress, or just after egress, but with reduced amplitude over the larger peak that is obscured by the transit. This picture suggests that it should be equally productive to search for positive-going peaks in the flux from non-transiting exoplanets with dusty tails. We discuss what amplitudes are expected for different orbital inclination angles. The signature of such objects should be distinct from normal transits, starspots, and most - but not all - types of stellar pulsations.

  19. Hydrogen Exchange Before Dissociation in the Photolysis of Acetaldehyde: a Non-Transition State Mechanism.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heazlewood, B. R.; Andrews, D.; Maccarone, A. T.; Jordan, M. T. J.; Kable, S. H.

    2010-06-01

    Non-transition state (TS) reaction mechanisms continue to attract a great deal of attention, experimentally and theoretically, because they challenge the paradigms of kinetic theories. The ``roaming'' mechanism was first described 5 years ago in the photolysis of H2CO. It was originally described as a non-TS mechanism, although recent work has characterized a "roaming" TS, which is very flat, and without a well-defined structure. In addition, roaming reactions may re-cross this TS many times in an excursion from reactant to product and so conventional TS theories are still inadequate for predicting the rate of such reactions. Photolysis of the more complex acetaldehyde (CH3CHO) has proven to be a benchmark molecule for studies of roaming because the higher molecular complexity, and the near energetic equivalence of the TS to CH4 + CO and the C-C bond cleavage to CH3 + HCO produces a much higher flux of roaming reactions. In this seminar, we shall present experimental results on the photolysis of isotopically-labeled acetaldehyde, CD3CHO, and, hopefully, CH3CDO. Photolysis of CD3CHO is shown to produce almost 10% of the radical flux as DCO products. We have performed ab initio calculations of the critical points on the global C2, D3, H, O potential energy surface at energies below the experimental photolysis energy, revealing several pathways to DCO products. From these theoretical energies, vibrational frequencies and rotational constants we have calculated RRKM rates for each forward and reverse reaction on this surface. A master equation analysis of the product rates predicts that the yield of DCO, via these conventional TS pathways, should only be <0.1%, which is about two orders of magnitude less than observed experimentally. We have not included the known roaming pathway to CH4 + CO, but that would only reduce the DCO product. The mechanism for the observed DCO production is at the present time unknown, but we hypothesise that another roaming-type mechanism

  20. Inferring Planet Occurrence Rates With a Q1-Q16 Kepler Planet Candidate Catalog Produced by a Machine Learning Classifier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catanzarite, Joseph; Jenkins, Jon Michael; Burke, Christopher J.; McCauliff, Sean D.; Kepler Science Operations Center

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Kepler Space Telescope monitored the photometric variations of over 170,000 stars within a ~100 square degree field in the constellation Cygnus, at half-hour cadence, over its four year prime mission. The Kepler SOC (Science Operations Center) pipeline calibrates the pixels of the target apertures for each star, corrects light curves for systematic error, and detects TCEs (threshold-crossing events) that may be due to transiting planets. Finally the pipeline estimates planet parameters for all TCEs and computes quantitative diagnostics that are used by the TCERT (Threshold Crossing Event Review Team) to produce a catalog containing KOIs (Kepler Objects of Interest). KOIs are TCEs that are determined to be either likely transiting planets or astrophysical false positives such as background eclipsing binary stars. Using examples from the Q1-Q16 TCERT KOI catalog as a training set, we created a machine-learning classifier that dispositions the TCEs into categories of PC (planet candidate), AFP (astrophysical false positive) and NTP (non-transiting phenomenon). The classifier uniformly and consistently applies heuristics developed by TCERT as well as other diagnostics to the Q1-Q16 TCEs to produce a more robust and reliable catalog of planet candidates than is possible with only human classification. In this work, we estimate planet occurrence rates, based on the machine-learning-produced catalog of Kepler planet candidates. Kepler was selected as the 10th mission of the Discovery Program. Funding for this mission is provided by NASA, Science Mission Directorate.

  1. The Rocky Planet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Debra

    In direct support of the NASA Origins program, we propose the Rocky Planet Survey, a high cadence exoplanet search of sixty late G and K dwarf stars using the CHIRON spectrometer, which we built and commissioned at CTIO. CHIRON operates in two high- resolution modes (R=90,000 and R=120,000) and has a demonstrated precision of better than 1 m s-1. We are contributing 200 nights of telescope time for the next three years, for the excellent phase coverage needed to carry out this work. We have developed simulation software to optimize scheduling of observations to suppress aliases and quickly extract dynamical signals. Our science objectives are to (1) provide a statistical assessment of planet occurrence as a function of decreasing mass in the range of parameter space 3 < Msini < 30 MEARTH for orbital periods up to 50 days, (2) to determine the fraction of low mass planets in multi-planet architectures, and (3) detect planets with Msini < 3 MEARTH in orbital periods shorter than ~20 days. In addition to the science objectives, we intend to push the frontiers of extreme precision Doppler measurements to keep the U.S. competitive with the next generation of European Doppler spectroscopy (ESPRESSO on the VLT). Our team has significant expertise in optical design, fiber coupling, raw extraction, barycentric velocity corrections, and Doppler analysis. The proposed work includes a new optimal extraction algorithm, with the optical designers and software engineers working together on the 2-D PSF description needed for a proper row-by-row extraction and calibration. We will also develop and test upgrades to the barycentric correction code and improvements in the Doppler code that take advantage of stability in the dispersion solution, afforded by a new vacuum-enclosed grating upgrade (scheduled for November 2011). We will test use of emission wavelength calibrations to extend the iodine (absorption) wavelength calibration that we currently use to prepare for eventual use of

  2. Integrated software package STAMP for minor planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kochetova, O. M.; Shor, Viktor A.

    1992-01-01

    The integrated software package STAMP allowed for rapid and exact reproduction of the tables of the year-book 'Ephemerides of Minor Planets.' Additionally, STAMP solved the typical problems connected with the use of the year-book. STAMP is described. The year-book 'Ephemerides of Minor Planets' (EMP) is a publication used in many astronomical institutions around the world. It contains all the necessary information on the orbits of the numbered minor planets. Also, the astronomical coordinates are provided for each planet during its suitable observation period.

  3. Orbits and Interiors of Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batygin, Konstantin

    2012-05-01

    independent constraints for the solar system's birth environment. Next, we addressed a significant drawback of the original Nice model, namely its inability to create the physically unique, cold classical population of the Kuiper Belt. Specifically, we showed that a locally-formed cold belt can survive the transient instability, and its relatively calm dynamical structure can be reproduced. The last four chapters of this thesis address various aspects and consequences of dynamical relaxation of planetary orbits through dissipative effects as well as the formation of planets in binary stellar systems. Using octopole-order secular perturbation theory, we demonstrated that in multi-planet systems, tidal dissipation often drives orbits onto dynamical "fixed points," characterized by apsidal alignment and lack of periodic variations in eccentricities. We applied this formalism towards investigating the possibility that the large orbital eccentricity of the transiting Neptune-mass planet Gliese 436b is maintained in the face of tidal dissipation by a second planet in the system and computed a locus of possible orbits for the putative perturber. Following up along similar lines, we used various permutations of secular theory to show that when applied specifically to close-in low-mass planetary systems, various terms in the perturbation equations become separable, and the true masses of the planets can be solved for algebraically. In practice, this means that precise knowledge of the system's orbital state can resolve the sin( i) degeneracy inherent to non-transiting planets. Subsequently, we investigated the onset of chaotic motion in dissipative planetary systems. We worked in the context of classical secular perturbation theory, and showed that planetary systems approach chaos via the so-called period-doubling route. Furthermore, we demonstrated that chaotic strange attractors can exist in mildly damped systems, such as photo-evaporating nebulae that host multiple planets. Finally

  4. Finding Spring on Planet X

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simoson, Andrew J.

    2007-01-01

    For a given orbital period and eccentricity, we determine the maximum time lapse between the winter solstice and the spring equinox on a planet. In addition, given an axial precession path, we determine the effects on the seasons. This material can be used at various levels to illustrate ideas such as periodicity, eccentricity, polar coordinates,…

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Planets and Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2001-12-01

    Astrobiology involves the study of the origin and history of life on Earth, planets and moons where life may have arisen, and the search for extraterrestrial life. It combines the sciences of biology, chemistry, palaeontology, geology, planetary physics and astronomy. This textbook brings together world experts in each of these disciplines to provide the most comprehensive coverage of the field currently available. Topics cover the origin and evolution of life on Earth, the geological, physical and chemical conditions in which life might arise and the detection of extraterrestrial life on other planets and moons. The book also covers the history of our ideas on extraterrestrial life and the origin of life, as well as the ethical, philosophical and educational issues raised by astrobiology. Written to be accessible to students from diverse backgrounds, this text will be welcomed by advanced undergraduates and graduates who are taking astrobiology courses.• Compiled by world experts in their disciplines to create a truly comprehensive book • Accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds • A welcome addition to this rapidly-growing field

  9. 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.

  10. The SARG Planet Search

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desidera, S.; Gratton, R.; Endl, M.; Fiorenzano, A. F. Martinez; Barbieri, M.; Claudi, R.; Cosentino, R.; Scuderi, S.; Bonavita, M.

    The search for planets in multiple systems allows to improve our knowledge of planet formation and evolution. On one hand, the frequency of planets in binary systems has a strong effect on the global frequency of planets, as more than half of solar-type stars are in binary or multiple systems (Duquennoy and Mayor 1991). On the other hand, the properties of planets in binaries, and their differences with the properties of the planets orbiting single stars, would shed light on the effects caused by the presence of the companion stars. Indeed, the first analysis of the properties of planets in binaries showed the occurrence of some differences with respect to those orbiting single stars (Zucker and Mazeh 2002; Eggenberger et al. 2004).

  11. Detection of Terrestrial Planets Using Transit Photometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  12. Planet Masses from Disk Spirals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-12-01

    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

  13. On the mass and orbit of the ninth planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ugwoke, Azubike Christian

    2016-07-01

    ON THE MASS AND ORBIT OF THE NINTH PLANET A new planet is currently being proposed in the literature.This yet to be observed planet has its mass and orbit yet to be determined. However, if this planet is to escape being labelled a plutinoid, it must posses all the characteristics of a planet as currently set by the IAU. In addition it must be massive enough to enable it couple into the gravitational potential of the sun. Our earlier paper on this issue has suggested that no new planets are expected beyond Neptune , due to the vanishing gravitational potential of the sun within that orbit.Any new planet must be indeed very massive to be gravitationally linked sufficiently to the sun. In the current paper we have obtained estimates for planet 9 orbit and mass using this method.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Kepler Stars with Multiple Transiting Planet Candidates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2012-01-01

    NASA's Kepler spacecraft was launched into an Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit in March of 2009. Kepler is designed to conduct a statistical census of planetary system properties using transit photometry. Among the most exciting early results from Kepler are target stars found to have photometric signatures that suggest the presence of more than one transiting planet. Individual transiting planets provide information on the size and orbital period distributions of exoplanets. Multiple transiting planets provide additional information on the spacing and flatness distributions of planetary systems. Results to d ate and plans for future analysis will be presented.

  16. THE CALIFORNIA PLANET SURVEY IV: A PLANET ORBITING THE GIANT STAR HD 145934 AND UPDATES TO SEVEN SYSTEMS WITH LONG-PERIOD PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Katherina Feng, Y.; Wright, Jason T.; Nelson, Benjamin; Wang, Sharon X.; Ford, Eric B.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.

    2015-02-10

    We present an update to seven stars with long-period planets or planetary candidates using new and archival radial velocities from Keck-HIRES and literature velocities from other telescopes. Our updated analysis better constrains orbital parameters for these planets, four of which are known multi-planet systems. HD 24040 b and HD 183263 c are super-Jupiters with circular orbits and periods longer than 8 yr. We present a previously unseen linear trend in the residuals of HD 66428 indicative of an additional planetary companion. We confirm that GJ 849 is a multi-planet system and find a good orbital solution for the c component: it is a 1 M {sub Jup} planet in a 15 yr orbit (the longest known for a planet orbiting an M dwarf). We update the HD 74156 double-planet system. We also announce the detection of HD 145934 b, a 2 M {sub Jup} planet in a 7.5 yr orbit around a giant star. Two of our stars, HD 187123 and HD 217107, at present host the only known examples of systems comprising a hot Jupiter and a planet with a well constrained period greater than 5 yr, and with no evidence of giant planets in between. Our enlargement and improvement of long-period planet parameters will aid future analysis of origins, diversity, and evolution of planetary systems.

  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. 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)

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2003-02-07

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

  1. Formation of giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magni, G.; Coradini, A.

    2003-04-01

    In this presentation we address the problem of the formation of giant planets and their regular satellites. We study in particular the problem of formation of the Jupiter System comparing the results of the model with the present characteristics of the system, in order to identify what are those better represented by our approach. In fact here, using a 3-D hydro-dynamical code, we study the modalities of gas accretion onto a solid core, believed to be the seed from which Jupiter started. To do that we have modelled three main regions: the central planet, a turbulent accretion disk surrounding it and an extended region from which the gas is collected. In the extended region we treat the gas as a frictionless fluid. Our main goal is to identify what are the characteristics of the planet during its growth and the physical parameters affecting its growth at the expenses of the nebular gas present in the feeding zone. Moreover we want to understand what are the thermodynamical parameters characterizing the gas captured by the planet and swirling around it. Finally, we check if a disk can be formed in prograde rotation around the planet and if this disk can survive the final phases of the planet formation. Due to the interaction between the accreting planet and the disk it has been necessary to develop a complete model of the Jupiter’s structure. In fact the radiation emitted by the growing planet heats up the surrounding gas. In turn the planet’s thermodynamic structure depend on the mass accretion rate onto it. When the accretion is rapid, shock waves in the gas are formed close to the planet. This region cannot be safely treated by a numerical code; for this reason we have developed a semi-analytically model of a a turbulent accretion disk to be considered as transition between the planet and the surrounding disk.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Holman, Matthew J; Murray, Norman W

    2005-02-25

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

  4. TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION DURING THE MIGRATION AND RESONANCE CROSSINGS OF THE GIANT PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Lykawka, Patryk Sofia; Ito, Takashi

    2013-08-10

    The newly formed giant planets may have migrated and crossed a number of mutual mean motion resonances (MMRs) when smaller objects (embryos) were accreting to form the terrestrial planets in the planetesimal disk. We investigated the effects of the planetesimal-driven migration of Jupiter and Saturn, and the influence of their mutual 1:2 MMR crossing on terrestrial planet formation for the first time, by performing N-body simulations. These simulations considered distinct timescales of MMR crossing and planet migration. In total, 68 high-resolution simulation runs using 2000 disk planetesimals were performed, which was a significant improvement on previously published results. Even when the effects of the 1:2 MMR crossing and planet migration were included in the system, Venus and Earth analogs (considering both orbits and masses) successfully formed in several runs. In addition, we found that the orbits of planetesimals beyond a {approx} 1.5-2 AU were dynamically depleted by the strengthened sweeping secular resonances associated with Jupiter's and Saturn's more eccentric orbits (relative to the present day) during planet migration. However, this depletion did not prevent the formation of massive Mars analogs (planets with more than 1.5 times Mars's mass). Although late MMR crossings (at t > 30 Myr) could remove such planets, Mars-like small mass planets survived on overly excited orbits (high e and/or i), or were completely lost in these systems. We conclude that the orbital migration and crossing of the mutual 1:2 MMR of Jupiter and Saturn are unlikely to provide suitable orbital conditions for the formation of solar system terrestrial planets. This suggests that to explain Mars's small mass and the absence of other planets between Mars and Jupiter, the outer asteroid belt must have suffered a severe depletion due to interactions with Jupiter/Saturn, or by an alternative mechanism (e.g., rogue super-Earths)

  5. PLANET HUNTERS: NEW KEPLER PLANET CANDIDATES FROM ANALYSIS OF QUARTER 2

    SciTech Connect

    Lintott, Chris J.; Schwamb, Megan E.; Schwainski, Kevin; and others

    2013-06-15

    We present new planet candidates identified in NASA Kepler Quarter 2 public release data by volunteers engaged in the Planet Hunters citizen science project. The two candidates presented here survive checks for false positives, including examination of the pixel offset to constrain the possibility of a background eclipsing binary. The orbital periods of the planet candidates are 97.46 days (KIC 4552729) and 284.03 (KIC 10005758) days and the modeled planet radii are 5.3 and 3.8 R{sub Circled-Plus }. The latter star has an additional known planet candidate with a radius of 5.05 R{sub Circled-Plus} and a period of 134.49 days, which was detected by the Kepler pipeline. The discovery of these candidates illustrates the value of massively distributed volunteer review of the Kepler database to recover candidates which were otherwise uncataloged.

  6. Hazards to Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bally, J.

    2001-05-01

    The Orion Nebula provides a remarkable window on the first few million years in the lives of typical young stars and planetary systems. HST has demonstrated that most young stars in the Nebula are surrounded by circumstellar disks (the so-called `proplyds'). While these observations show that planet forming environments may be common, they also demonstrate that Orion's disks are being destroyed by intense UV radiation fields. `Gravel' sufficiently large to resist photo-erosion (meter scale solids or ices) may lock-up sufficient material to eventually build rocky planets. Indeed, there is evidence for large solids in some proplyds. But, the hydrogen and helium needed for the formation of giant planets will be removed. To form in Orion-like environments, giant planets must be assembled promptly prior to UV exposure. Even rocky planets may not form if the photoionized disk corona causes surviving large particles in the disk to spiral into the central star. Thus, nearby massive stars pose severe hazards to planet formation. Star counts indicate that most stars form in Orion-like environments. Only about 10% of young stars are born in shielded environments such as the Taurus or L1641 clouds where disks may escape photo-erosion. In dark clouds, the majority of stars (> 80%) form in non-hierarchal multiple star systems where close encounters with sibling stars can destroy disks and eject young planets. Thus, most stars may never develop planetary systems. These considerations indicate that extra-Solar planets may be rare, contrary to the popular view. These conclusions are consistent with the recent discoveries of extra-Solar planets around a few percent of single stars.

  7. Planet formation and searches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, Ryan Michael

    2009-08-01

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

  8. The planets and life.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, R. S.

    1971-01-01

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

  9. Kepler-16: a transiting circumbinary planet.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-16

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

  10. PLANETS ON THE EDGE

    SciTech Connect

    Valsecchi, Francesca; Rasio, Frederic A.

    2014-05-20

    Hot Jupiters formed through circularization of high-eccentricity orbits should be found at orbital separations a exceeding twice that of their Roche limit a {sub R}. Nevertheless, about a dozen giant planets have now been found well within this limit (a {sub R} < a < 2 a {sub R}), with one coming as close as 1.2 a {sub R}. In this Letter, we show that orbital decay (starting beyond 2 a {sub R}) driven by tidal dissipation in the star can naturally explain these objects. For a few systems (WASP-4 and 19), this explanation requires the linear reduction in convective tidal dissipation proposed originally by Zahn and verified by recent numerical simulations, but rules out the quadratic prescription proposed by Goldreich and Nicholson. Additionally, we find that WASP-19-like systems could potentially provide direct empirical constraints on tidal dissipation, as we could soon be able to measure their orbital decay through high precision transit timing measurements.

  11. Mission to Planet Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tilford, Shelby G.; Koczor, Ron; Lee, Jonathan; Grady, Kevin J.; Hudson, Wayne R.; Johnston, Gordon I.; Njoku, Eni G.

    1990-01-01

    To preserve the earth, it is necessary to understand the tremendously complex interactions of the atmosphere, oceans, land, and man's activities deeply enough to construct models that can predict the consequences of our actions and help us make sound environmental, energy, agriculture, and economic decisions. Mission to Planet Earth is NASA's suggested share and the centerpiece of the U.S. contribution to understanding the environment, the Global Change Research Program. The first major element of the mission would be the Earth Observing System, which would give the simultaneous, comprehensive, long-term earth coverage lacking previously. NASA's Geosynchronous Earth Observatory with two additional similar spacecraft would be orbited by the U.S., plus one each by Japan and the European Space Agency. These would be the first geostationary satellites to span all the disciplines of the earth sciences. A number of diverse data gathering payloads are also planned to be carried aboard the Polar Orbiting Platform. Making possible the long, continuous observations planned and coping with the torrent of data acquired will require technical gains across a wide front. Finally, how all this data is consolidated and disseminated by the EOS Data and Information System is discussed.

  12. The Earth: A Changing Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribas, Núria; Màrquez, Conxita

    2013-04-01

    hours of class time for students from 13 to 14 years of age. During the learning process, different methodological tools of teaching and learning have been used. After reading and understanding news about natural disasters such as earthquakes and eruptions, cooperative group work and an oral presentation are prepared. In addition, it has been very useful to follow-up with some web simulations to predict natural phenomena, which can then be tested in the laboratory. Finally, the students apply their new understanding on a visit to a geological formation, where applying the language learned by observing the rocks, they demonstrate that the planet Earth has changed over the course of many millions of years. Natural hazards are a small and timely demonstration of the ability to change our planet.

  13. Kepler's Multiple Planet Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2012-01-01

    Among the 1800 Kepler targets that have candidate planets, 20% have two or more candidate planets. While most of these objects have not yet been confirmed as true planets, several considerations strongly suggest that the vast majority of these multi-candidate systems are true planetary systems. Virtually all candidate systems are stable, as tested by numerical integrations (assuming a nominal mass-radius relationship). Statistical studies performed on these candidates reveal a great deal about the architecture of planetary systems, including the typical spacing of orbits and flatness of planetary systems. The distribution of observed period ratios shows that the vast majority of candidate pairs are neither in nor near low-order mean motion resonances. Nonetheless, there are small but statistically significant excesses of candidate pairs both in resonance and spaced slightly too far apart to be in resonance, particularly near the 2:1 resonance. The characteristics of the confirmed Kepler multi-planet systems will also be discussed.

  14. Magnetic Mystery Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fillingim, M. O.; Brain, D. A.; Peticolas, L. M.; Yan, D.; Fricke, K. W.; Thrall, L.

    2013-12-01

    The magnetic fields of the large terrestrial planets, Venus, Earth, and Mars, are all vastly different from each other. These differences can tell us a lot about the interior structure, interior history, and even give us clues to the atmospheric history of these planets. This presentation highlights a classroom presentation and accompanying activity that focuses on the differences between the magnetic fields of Venus, Earth, and Mars, what these differences mean, and how we measure these differences. During the activity, students make magnetic field measurements and draw magnetic field lines around "mystery planets" using orbiting "spacecraft" (small compasses). Based on their observations, the students then determine whether they are orbiting Venus-like, Earth-like, or Mars-like planets. This activity is targeted to middle/high school age audiences. However, we also show a scaled-down version that has been used with elementary school age audiences.

  15. Managing Planet Earth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, William C.

    1989-01-01

    Discusses the human use of the planet earth. Describes the global patterns and the regional aspects of change. Four requirements for the cultivation of leadership and institutional competence are suggested. Lists five references for further reading. (YP)

  16. Students Discover Unique Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-12-01

    Three undergraduate students, from Leiden University in the Netherlands, have discovered an extrasolar planet. The extraordinary find, which turned up during their research project, is about five times as massive as Jupiter. This is also the first planet discovered orbiting a fast-rotating hot star. Omega Centauri ESO PR Photo 45a/08 A planet around a hot star The students were testing a method of investigating the light fluctuations of thousands of stars in the OGLE database in an automated way. The brightness of one of the stars was found to decrease for two hours every 2.5 days by about one percent. Follow-up observations, taken with ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile, confirmed that this phenomenon is caused by a planet passing in front of the star, blocking part of the starlight at regular intervals. According to Ignas Snellen, supervisor of the research project, the discovery was a complete surprise. "The project was actually meant to teach the students how to develop search algorithms. But they did so well that there was time to test their algorithm on a so far unexplored database. At some point they came into my office and showed me this light curve. I was completely taken aback!" The students, Meta de Hoon, Remco van der Burg, and Francis Vuijsje, are very enthusiastic. "It is exciting not just to find a planet, but to find one as unusual as this one; it turns out to be the first planet discovered around a fast rotating star, and it's also the hottest star found with a planet," says Meta. "The computer needed more than a thousand hours to do all the calculations," continues Remco. The planet is given the prosaic name OGLE2-TR-L9b. "But amongst ourselves we call it ReMeFra-1, after Remco, Meta, and myself," says Francis. The planet was discovered by looking at the brightness variations of about 15 700 stars, which had been observed by the OGLE survey once or twice per night for about four years between 1997 and 2000. Because the data had been made public

  17. Planets Around Neutron Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  18. The planet Saturn (1970)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The present-day knowledge on Saturn and its environment are described for designers of spacecraft which are to encounter and investigate the planet. The discussion includes physical properties of the planet, gravitational field, magnetic and electric fields, electromagnetic radiation, satellites and meteoroids, the ring system, charged particles, atmospheric composition and structure, and clouds and atmospheric motions. The environmental factors which have pertinence to spacecraft design criteria are also discussed.

  19. Outer planet satellites

    SciTech Connect

    Schenk, P.M. )

    1991-01-01

    Recent findings on the outer-planet satellites are presented, with special consideration given to data on the rheologic properties of ice on icy satellites, the satellite surfaces and exogenic processes, cratering on dead cratered satellites, volcanism, and the interiors of outer-planet satellites. Particular attention is given to the state of Titan's surface and the properties of Triton, Pluto, and Charon. 210 refs.

  20. Atmospheres of Jovian Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chanover, Nancy

    The giant planets of the solar system have been studied for centuries using a wide range of remote sensing and in situ techniques. An understanding of the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune has dramatically improved since the dawn of spacecraft exploration of the outer solar system in the 1970s. Cloud decks that were predicted to exist from thermochemical equilibrium arguments have been observationally confirmed, although the exact vertical distribution of condensible species in these atmospheres remains an active area of study. All four of the giant planets have fast zonal (east-west) winds with prograde and retrograde jets, which dominate their atmospheric circulations. Each planet also contains long-lived cyclonic features or convective cloud features that appear and disappear on short timescales. These features suggest a link between the energy transport in the deep atmosphere and the visible cloud tops; the exact nature of this connection remains an outstanding question in giant planet atmosphere studies. The chemistry of the giant planet atmospheres is driven by both the convective processes that loft disequilibrium species from the deep atmosphere into the stratosphere and the interaction between stratospheric materials and ultraviolet sunlight. A unique opportunity to study these interactions was presented to planetary scientists in 1994, when the 22 fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacted Jupiter. The future of giant planet atmospheric studies is promising. Several mission concepts that will answer fundamental questions regarding giant planet atmospheres are in various stages of development, and the James Webb Space Telescope will also contribute especially to our understanding of Uranus and Neptune. As an understanding of giant planet formation and evolution expands and deepens, these knowledge gains must be examined against the backdrop of the numerous exoplanet systems recently discovered, very few of which resemble our own.

  1. The planet Mercury (1971)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The physical properties of the planet Mercury, its surface, and atmosphere are presented for space vehicle design criteria. The mass, dimensions, mean density, and orbital and rotational motions are described. The gravity field, magnetic field, electromagnetic radiation, and charged particles in the planet's orbit are discussed. Atmospheric pressure, temperature, and composition data are given along with the surface composition, soil mechanical properties, and topography, and the surface electromagnetic and temperature properties.

  2. Planets' magnetic environments

    SciTech Connect

    Lanzerotti, L.J.; Uberoi, C.

    1989-02-01

    The magnetospheres of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and comets and the heliomagnetosphere are examined. The orientations of the planetary spin and magnetic axes, the size of the magnetospheres, and the magnetic properties and the radio emissions of the planets are compared. Results from spacecraft studies of the planets are included. Plans for the Voyager 2 mission and its expected study of the Neptune magnetosphere are considered.

  3. Transit of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doyle, Laurance R.

    1998-01-01

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

  4. Planets, pluralism, and conceptual lineage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brusse, Carl

    2016-02-01

    Conceptual change can occur for a variety of reasons; some more scientifically significant than others. The 2006 definition of 'planet', which saw Pluto reclassified as a dwarf planet, is an example toward the more mundane end of the scale. I argue however that this case serves as a useful example of a related phenomenon, whereby what appears to be a single kind term conceals two or more distinct concepts with independent scientific utility. I examine the historical background to this case, as a template for developing additional evidence for pluralist approaches to conceptual disputes within science and elsewhere. "I would like to note that the two speakers who have spoken so far have both done the same extremely insulting gaffe," he said. "They have used the expression 'a physical definition of a planet' - by implication, suggesting that a dynamical definition is not physics!" He said he felt he had to teach the panel "something you should know": that dynamics was indeed physics, and in fact was addressed before solid-state physics in every textbook ever written." (Boyle, 2010, p. 126)

  5. Building a virtual planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meadows, V. S.

    2002-01-01

    The virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL) is a recently funded 5-yr project, which seeks toimprove our understanding of the range of plausible environments and the likely signatures for life on extrasolar terrestrial planets. To achieve these goals we are developing a suite of innovative modeling tools to simulate the environments and spectra of extrasolar planets. The core of the VPL IS a coupled radiative transfer/climate/chemistry model, which is augmented by interchangeable modules which characterize geological, exogenic, atmospheric escape, and life processes. The VPL is validated using data derived from terrestrial planets within our own solar system. The VPL will be used to explore the plausible range of atmospheric composittions and globally averaged spectra for extrasolar planets and for early Earth, and will improve our understanding of the effect of life on a planet's atmospheric spectrum and composition. The models will also be used to create a comprehensive spectral catalog to provide recommendations on the optimum wavelength range, spectral resolution, and instrument sensitivity required to characterize extrasolar terrestrial planets. Although developed by our team, the VPL is envisioned to be a comprehensive and flexible tool, which can be collaboratively used by the broader planetary science and astrobiology communities. This presentation will describe the project concept, the tasks involved, and will outline current progress to date. This work is funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

  6. 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

  7. Improved Dynamical Parameters for Transiting Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  8. The Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, L. J.; Seager, S.

    2007-01-01

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

  9. A Search for Short-period Rocky Planets around WDs with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandhaus, Phoebe H.; Debes, John H.; Ely, Justin; Hines, Dean C.; Bourque, Matthew

    2016-05-01

    The search for transiting habitable exoplanets has broadened to include several types of stars that are smaller than the Sun in an attempt to increase the observed transit depth and hence the atmospheric signal of the planet. Of all spectral types, white dwarfs (WDs) are the most favorable for this type of investigation. The fraction of WDs that possess close-in rocky planets is unknown, but several large angle stellar surveys have the photometric precision and cadence to discover at least one if they are common. Ultraviolet observations of WDs may allow for detection of molecular oxygen or ozone in the atmosphere of a terrestrial planet. We use archival Hubble Space Telescope data from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph to search for transiting rocky planets around UV-bright WDs. In the process, we discovered unusual variability in the pulsating WD GD 133, which shows slow sinusoidal variations in the UV. While we detect no planets around our small sample of targets, we do place stringent limits on the possibility of transiting planets, down to sub-lunar radii. We also point out that non-transiting small planets in thermal equilibrium are detectable around hotter WDs through infrared excesses, and identify two candidates. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

  10. A Search for Rocky Planets in Close Orbits around White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debes, John; Sandhaus, Phoebe; Ely, Justin

    2015-12-01

    The search for transiting habitable exoplanets has broadened to include several types of stars that are smaller than the Sun in order to increase the observed transit depth and hence the atmospheric signal of the planet. Of all current spectral types, white dwarfs are the most favorable for this type of investigation. The fraction of white dwarfs that possess close-in rocky planets is unknown, but several large angle surveys of stars have the photometric precision and cadence to discover at least one if they are common. Ultraviolet observations of white dwarfs may allow for detection of molecular oxygen or ozone in the atmosphere of a terrestrial planet. We use archival Hubble Space Telescope data from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph to search for transiting rocky planets around UV-bright white dwarfs. In the process, we discovered unusual variability in the pulsating white dwarf GD~133, which shows slow sinusoidal variations in the UV. While we detect no planets around our small sample of targets, we do place stringent limits on the possibility of transiting planets, down to sub-lunar radii. We also point out that non-transiting small planets in thermal equilibrium are detectable around hotter white dwarfs through infrared excesses, and identify two candidates.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-01

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

  12. Dynamical Simulations of Terrestrial Planet Formation During Giant Planet Migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandell, A. M.; Raymond, S. N.; Sigurdsson, S.

    2005-12-01

    We present preliminary results of dynamical simulations of young planetary systems undergoing migration of a Jovian-type planet through the terrestrial region. We find that a significant fraction (10-40%) of the initial planetary embryos remain after giant planet migration, and subsequent evolution of the system results in the formation of terrestrial planets in various configurations, often including a planet in the Habitable Zone. In simulations with gas drag, 3-6 Earth mass planets are formed interior to the migrating Jovian planet, swept inward through moving resonances, and eccentricities are damped for all planets. Systematic variations are seen between simulations with and without gas drag. The presence of a second, non-migrating giant planet reduces the water content and mass of the planets formed throughout the system. This research was supported in part by the Penn State Astrobiology Research Center and the Goddard Center for Astrobiology.

  13. The effect of planets beyond the ice line on the accretion of volatiles by habitable-zone rocky planets

    SciTech Connect

    Quintana, Elisa V.; Lissauer, Jack J.

    2014-05-01

    Models of planet formation have shown that giant planets have a large impact on the number, masses, and orbits of terrestrial planets that form. In addition, they play an important role in delivering volatiles from material that formed exterior to the snow line (the region in the disk beyond which water ice can condense) to the inner region of the disk where terrestrial planets can maintain liquid water on their surfaces. We present simulations of the late stages of terrestrial planet formation from a disk of protoplanets around a solar-type star and we include a massive planet (from 1 M {sub ⊕} to 1 M {sub J}) in Jupiter's orbit at ∼5.2 AU in all but one set of simulations. Two initial disk models are examined with the same mass distribution and total initial water content, but with different distributions of water content. We compare the accretion rates and final water mass fraction of the planets that form. Remarkably, all of the planets that formed in our simulations without giant planets were water-rich, showing that giant planet companions are not required to deliver volatiles to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone. In contrast, an outer planet at least several times the mass of Earth may be needed to clear distant regions of debris truncating the epoch of frequent large impacts. Observations of exoplanets from radial velocity surveys suggest that outer Jupiter-like planets may be scarce, therefore, the results presented here suggest that there may be more habitable planets residing in our galaxy than previously thought.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Likely Planet Candidates Identified by Machine Learning Applied to Four Years of Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Jon M.; McCauliff, S. D.; Catanzarite, J.; Twicken, J. D.; Burke, C. J.; Campbell, J.; Seader, S.

    2014-01-01

    Over 3200 transiting planet candidates, 134 confirmed planets, and ~2,400 eclipsing binaries have been identified by the Kepler Science pipeline since launch in March 2009. Compiling the list of candidates is an intensive manual effort as over 18,000 transit-like signatures are identified for a run across 34 months. The vast majority are caused by artifacts that mimic transits. While the pipeline provides diagnostics that can reduce the initial list down to ~5,000 light curves, this effort can overlook valid planetary candidates. The large number of diagnostics 100) makes it difficult to examine all the information available. The effort required for vetting all threshold-crossing events (TCEs) takes several months by many individuals associated with the Kepler Threshold Crossing Event Review Team (TCERT). We have developed a random-forest classifier that classifies each TCE as `planet candidate’, `astrophysical false positive’, or `non-transiting phenomena’. Ideally the algorithm will generate a list of candidates that approximates those generated by human review, thereby allowing the humans to focus on the most interesting cases. By using a machine learning-based auto-vetting process, we have the opportunity to identify the most important metrics and diagnostics for separating signatures of transiting planets and eclipsing binaries from instrument-induced features, thereby improving the efficiency of the manual effort. We report the results of applying a random forest classifier to four years of Kepler data. We present characteristics of the likely planet candidates identified by the auto-vetter as well as those objects classified as astrophysical false positives (eclipsing binaries and background eclipsing binaries). We examine the auto-vetter's performance through receiver operating characteristic curves for each of three classes: planet candidate, astrophysical false positive, and non-transiting phenomena. Funding for this mission is provided by NASA

  17. Magnetic Mystery Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fillingim, M.; Brain, D.; Peticolas, L.; Yan, D.; Fricke, K.; Thrall, L.

    2014-07-01

    The magnetic fields of the large terrestrial planets, Venus, Earth, and Mars, are all vastly different from each other. These differences can tell us a lot about the interior structure, interior history, and they can even give us clues to the atmospheric history of these planets. This paper highlights a classroom presentation and accompanying activity that focuses on the differences between the magnetic fields of Venus, Earth, and Mars, what these differences mean, and how we measure these differences. During the activity, students make magnetic field measurements and draw magnetic field lines of “mystery planets” using orbiting “spacecraft” (small compasses). Based on their observations, the students then determine whether they are orbiting Venus-like, Earth-like, or Mars-like planets. This activity is targeted to middle and high school audiences. However, we have also used a scaled-down version with elementary school audiences.

  18. Outer Planet Flagship Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cutts, James; Niebur, C.; Dudzinski, L.; Coradini, M.; Lebreton, J.

    2008-09-01

    Studies for Outer Planet Missions have been ongoing for many years, but in 2007 NASA commissioned four specific studies to be considered for further examination; the Europa Explorer, Titan Explorer, Enceladus Mission and Jupiter Science Orbiter. During the same time frame ESA invited Outer Planet proposals under the Cosmic Vision call. Two were submitted, TandEm and LaPlace, which focused on Titan/Enceladus and Jupiter System science respectively. In 2008, NASA selected two of the missions, Europa Explorer and Titan Explorer, and ESA selected the two outer planet proposals for further study. This poster describes the process by which NASA and ESA are collaborating on the current studies which are now named the Titan/Saturn (TSSM) and Europa/Jupiter Missions (EJSM). We provide an update on the background, organization and schedule for these two mission studies.

  19. Outer Planet Flagship Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niebur, C.; Dudzinski, L.; Coradini, M.; Lebreton, J.; Cutts, J. A.

    2008-05-01

    Studies for Outer Planet Missions have been ongoing for many years, but in 2007 NASA commissioned four specific studies to be considered for further examination; the Europa Explorer, Titan Explorer, Enceladus Mission and Jupiter Science Orbiter. During the same time frame ESA invited Outer Planet proposals under the Cosmic Vision call. Two were submitted, TandEM and LaPlace, which focused on Titan/Enceladus and Jupiter System science respectively. In 2008, NASA selected two of the missions, Europa Explorer and Titan Explorer, and ESA selected the two outer planet proposals for further study. This poster describes the process by which NASA and ESA are collaborating on the current studies which are now named the Titan/Saturn and Europa/Jupiter Missions. We provide the background, organization and schedule that are presently envisaged for these two mission studies.

  20. Outer Planets Flagship Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niebur, C.; Dudzinski, L.; Coradini, M.; Lebreton, J. P.; Cutts, J. A.

    2008-09-01

    Studies for Outer Planet Missions have been ongoing for many years, but in 2007 NASA commissioned four specific studies to be considered for further examination; the Europa Explorer, Titan Explorer, Enceladus Mission and Jupiter Science Orbiter. During the same time frame ESA invited Outer Planet proposals under the Cosmic Vision call. Two were submitted, TandEm and LaPlace, which focused on Titan/Enceladus and Jupiter System science respectively. In 2008, NASA selected two of the missions, Europa Explorer and Titan Explorer, and ESA selected the two outer planet proposals for further study. This poster describes the process by which NASA and ESA are collaborating on the current studies which are now named the Titan/Saturn (TSSM) and Europa/Jupiter Missions (EJSM). We provide an update on the background, organization and schedule for these two mission studies.

  1. Recipes for planet formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Michael R.

    2009-11-01

    Anyone who has ever used baking soda instead of baking powder when trying to make a cake knows a simple truth: ingredients matter. The same is true for planet formation. Planets are made from the materials that coalesce in a rotating disk around young stars - essentially the "leftovers" from when the stars themselves formed through the gravitational collapse of rotating clouds of gas and dust. The planet-making disk should therefore initially have the same gas-to-dust ratio as the interstellar medium: about 100 to 1, by mass. Similarly, it seems logical that the elemental composition of the disk should match that of the star, reflecting the initial conditions at that particular spot in the galaxy.

  2. Characterizing extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Timothy M.

    Transiting extrasolar planets provide the best current opportunities for characterizing the physical properties of extrasolar planets. In this review, I first describe the geometry of planetary transits, and methods for detecting and refining the observations of such transits. I derive the methods by which transit light curves and radial velocity data can be analyzed to yield estimates of the planetary radius, mass, and orbital parameters. I also show how visible-light and infrared spectroscopy can be valuable tools for understanding the composition, temperature, and dynamics of the atmospheres of transiting planets. Finally, I relate the outcome of a participatory lecture-hall exercise relating to one term in the Drake equation, namely the lifetime of technical civilizations.

  3. Commission 53: Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boss, Alan; Lecavelier des Etangs, Alain; Mayor, Michel; Bodenheimer, Peter; Collier-Cameron, Andrew; Kokubo, Eiichiro; Mardling, Rosemary; Minniti, Dante; Queloz, Didier

    2012-04-01

    Commission 53 was created at the 2006 Prague General Assembly (GA) of the IAU, in recognition of the outburst of astronomical progress in the field of extrasolar planet discovery, characterization, and theoretical work that has occurred since the discovery of the first planet in orbit around a solar-type star in 1995. Commission 53 is the logical successor to the IAU Working Group on Extrasolar Planets (WGESP), which ended its six years of existence in August 2006. The founding President of Commission 53 was Michael Mayor, in honor of his seminal contributions to this new field of astronomy. The current President is Alan Boss, the former chair of the WGESP. The current members of the Commission 53 (C53) Organizing Committee (OC) began their service in August 2009 at the conclusion of the Rio de Janeiro IAU GA.

  4. Constraints on a second planet in the WASP-3 system

    SciTech Connect

    Maciejewski, G.; Niedzielski, A.; Nowak, G.; Deka, B.; Adamów, M.; Górecka, M.; Wolszczan, A.; Neuhäuser, R.; Errmann, R.; Seeliger, M.; Winn, J. N.; McKnight, L.; Fernández, M.; Aceituno, F. J.; Ohlert, J.; Dimitrov, D.; Latham, D. W.; Esquerdo, G. A.; Holman, M. J.; Jensen, E. L. N.; and others

    2013-12-01

    There have been previous hints that the transiting planet WASP-3b is accompanied by a second planet in a nearby orbit, based on small deviations from strict periodicity of the observed transits. Here we present 17 precise radial velocity (RV) measurements and 32 transit light curves that were acquired between 2009 and 2011. These data were used to refine the parameters of the host star and transiting planet. This has resulted in reduced uncertainties for the radii and masses of the star and planet. The RV data and the transit times show no evidence for an additional planet in the system. Therefore, we have determined the upper limit on the mass of any hypothetical second planet, as a function of its orbital period.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, Nader

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Mission to Planet Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tilford, Shelby G.; Asrar, Ghassem; Backlund, Peter W.

    1994-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the Earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic Earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the Earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the Earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment.

  7. Mission to Planet Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Gregory S.; Backlund, Peter W.

    1992-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment.

  8. Heat Pipe Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, William B.; Simon, Justin I.; Webb, A. Alexander G.

    2014-01-01

    When volcanism dominates heat transport, a terrestrial body enters a heat-pipe mode, in which hot magma moves through the lithosphere in narrow channels. Even at high heat flow, a heat-pipe planet develops a thick, cold, downwards-advecting lithosphere dominated by (ultra-)mafic flows and contractional deformation at the surface. Heat-pipes are an important feature of terrestrial planets at high heat flow, as illustrated by Io. Evidence for their operation early in Earth's history suggests that all terrestrial bodies should experience an episode of heat-pipe cooling early in their histories.

  9. Location of Planet X

    SciTech Connect

    Harrington, R.S.

    1988-10-01

    Observed positions of Uranus and Neptune along with residuals in right ascension and declination are used to constrain the location of a postulated tenth planet. The residuals are converted into residuals in ecliptic longitude and latitude. The results are then combined into seasonal normal points, producing average geocentric residuals spaced slightly more than a year apart that are assumed to represent the equivalent heliocentric average residuals for the observed oppositions. Such a planet is found to most likely reside in the region of Scorpius, with considerably less likelihood that it is in Taurus. 8 references.

  10. Stars and Planets: A New Set of Middle School Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Urquhart, M. L.

    2002-01-01

    A set of lesson plans for grades 6-8 which deal with the sizes and distances of stars and planets using a scale factor of 1 to 10 billion, the life cycle of stars, and the search for planets beyond the solar system. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  11. Planet Formation and the Characteristics of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    An overview of current theories of planetary growth, emphasizing the formation of extrasolar planets, is presented. Models of planet formation are based upon observations of the Solar System, extrasolar planets, and 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 like terrestrial planets, but if they become massive enough before the protoplanetary disk dissipates, then they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas. 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.

  12. Five Planets Transiting a Ninth Magnitude Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Becker, Juliette C.; Kristiansen, Martti H.; Bieryla, Allyson; Duev, Dmitry A.; Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Morton, Timothy D.; Latham, David W.; Adams, Fred C.; Baranec, Christoph; Berlind, Perry; Calkins, Michael L.; Esquerdo, Gilbert A.; Kulkarni, Shrinivas; Law, Nicholas M.; Riddle, Reed; Salama, Maïssa; Schmitt, Allan R.

    2016-08-01

    The Kepler mission has revealed a great diversity of planetary systems and architectures, but most of the planets discovered by Kepler orbit faint stars. Using new data from the K2 mission, we present the discovery of a five-planet system transiting a bright (V = 8.9, K = 7.7) star called HIP 41378. HIP 41378 is a slightly metal-poor late F-type star with moderate rotation (v sin i ≃ 7 {km} {{{s}}}-1) and lies at a distance of 116 ± 18 pc from Earth. We find that HIP 41378 hosts two sub-Neptune-sized planets orbiting 3.5% outside a 2:1 period commensurability in 15.6 and 31.7 day orbits. In addition, we detect three planets that each transit once during the 75 days spanned by K2 observations. One planet is Neptune-sized in a likely ∼160 day orbit, one is sub-Saturn-sized, likely in a ∼130 day orbit, and one is a Jupiter-sized planet in a likely ∼1 year orbit. We show that these estimates for the orbital periods can be made more precise by taking into account dynamical stability considerations. We also calculate the distribution of stellar reflex velocities expected for this system, and show that it provides a good target for future radial velocity observations. If a precise orbital period can be determined for the outer Jovian planets through future observations, this system will be an excellent candidate for follow-up transit observations to study its atmosphere and measure its oblateness.

  13. Five Planets Transiting a Ninth Magnitude Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderburg, Andrew; Becker, Juliette C.; Kristiansen, Martti H.; Bieryla, Allyson; Duev, Dmitry A.; Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Morton, Timothy D.; Latham, David W.; Adams, Fred C.; Baranec, Christoph; Berlind, Perry; Calkins, Michael L.; Esquerdo, Gilbert A.; Kulkarni, Shrinivas; Law, Nicholas M.; Riddle, Reed; Salama, Maïssa; Schmitt, Allan R.

    2016-08-01

    The Kepler mission has revealed a great diversity of planetary systems and architectures, but most of the planets discovered by Kepler orbit faint stars. Using new data from the K2 mission, we present the discovery of a five-planet system transiting a bright (V = 8.9, K = 7.7) star called HIP 41378. HIP 41378 is a slightly metal-poor late F-type star with moderate rotation (v sin i ≃ 7 {km} {{{s}}}-1) and lies at a distance of 116 ± 18 pc from Earth. We find that HIP 41378 hosts two sub-Neptune-sized planets orbiting 3.5% outside a 2:1 period commensurability in 15.6 and 31.7 day orbits. In addition, we detect three planets that each transit once during the 75 days spanned by K2 observations. One planet is Neptune-sized in a likely ˜160 day orbit, one is sub-Saturn-sized, likely in a ˜130 day orbit, and one is a Jupiter-sized planet in a likely ˜1 year orbit. We show that these estimates for the orbital periods can be made more precise by taking into account dynamical stability considerations. We also calculate the distribution of stellar reflex velocities expected for this system, and show that it provides a good target for future radial velocity observations. If a precise orbital period can be determined for the outer Jovian planets through future observations, this system will be an excellent candidate for follow-up transit observations to study its atmosphere and measure its oblateness.

  14. FAME's Search for Extrasolar Planet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, K.

    FAME is a five year survey mission to observe the positions, proper motions, and parallaxes of 40,000,000 stars down to 15th magnitude with accuracies of 50 microarcseconds at 9th magnitude. In addition to producing an astrometric and photometric catalog unparalleled for its accuracy and size, the survey will provide significant astrophysics results and search for extrasolar planet candidates.

  15. 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.

  16. Positions of minor planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gressmann, M.

    A continuation of Gressman's (1980) observations is given using the Schmidt-camera 34/40 cm, f = 76. Topocentric positions of several minor planets are presented, and reference stars are obtained from the AGK(3), and applied to the two-star method to avoid any major errors. Parallax constants are also given, along with coordinates for the epoch 1950.0.

  17. Planets and Pucks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brueningsen, Christopher; Krawiec, Wesley

    1993-01-01

    Presents a simple activity designed to allow students to experimentally verify Kepler's second law, sometimes called the law of equal areas. It states that areas swept out by a planet as it orbits the Sun are equal for equal time intervals. (PR)

  18. A Planet for Goldilocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batalha, N.

    2014-07-01

    The search for life beyond Earth has inspired Solar System exploration and SETI surveys. Today, the search for life also leads to exoplanet discovery and characterization. Launched in March 2009, NASA's Kepler Mission has discovered thousands of exoplanets with diverse properties. Though each new world is interesting in its own right, Kepler aims to understand the population as a whole. Its primary objective is to determine the frequency of exoplanets of different sizes and orbital periods. Of special interest are the Earth-size planets in the “Goldilocks” (or habitable) Zone where the flux of incoming starlight is conducive to the existence of surface liquid water. Once Kepler establishes the prevalence of such planets in the Solar neighborhood, future missions can be designed to find not just a planet in the Goldilocks Zone but a planet for Goldilocks—a truly habitable environment for life as we know it. Kepler discoveries and progress will be described as well as the resources available to bring Kepler science to the public and into the classroom. The possibility of finding evidence of life beyond Earth is working its way into the public consciousness and has the potential to inspire generations. Scientific literacy is a natural consequence of awakening the spirit of exploration and discovery that led Goldilocks into the forest and leads humans into space.

  19. The Artificial Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glover, D. R.

    An interim milestone for interstellar space travel is proposed: the artificial planet. Interstellar travel will require breakthroughs in the areas of propulsion systems, energy systems, construction of large space structures, protection from space & radiation effects, space agriculture, closed environmental & life support systems, and many other areas. Many difficult problems can be attacked independently of the propulsion and energy challenges through a project to establish an artificial planet in our solar system. Goals of the project would include construction of a large space structure, development of space agriculture, demonstration of closed environmental & life support systems over long time periods, selection of gravity level for long-term spacecraft, demonstration of a self-sufficient colony, and optimization of space colony habitat. The artificial planet would use solar energy as a power source. The orbital location will be selected to minimize effects of the Earth, yet be close enough for construction, supply, and rescue operations. The artificial planet would start out as a construction station and evolve over time to address progressive goals culminating in a self-sufficient space colony.

  20. Twist planet drive

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vranish, John M. (Inventor)

    1996-01-01

    A planetary gear system includes a sun gear coupled to an annular ring gear through a plurality of twist-planet gears, a speeder gear, and a ground structure having an internal ring gear. Each planet gear includes a solid gear having a first half portion in the form of a spur gear which includes vertical gear teeth and a second half portion in the form of a spur gear which includes helical gear teeth that are offset from the vertical gear teeth and which contact helical gear teeth on the speeder gear and helical gear teeth on the outer ring gear. One half of the twist planet gears are preloaded downward, while the other half are preloaded upwards, each one alternating with the other so that each one twists in a motion opposite to its neighbor when rotated until each planet gear seats against the sun gear, the outer ring gear, the speeder gear, and the inner ring gear. The resulting configuration is an improved stiff anti-backlash gear system.

  1. Take a Planet Walk

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schuster, Dwight

    2008-01-01

    Physical models in the classroom "cannot be expected to represent the full-scale phenomenon with complete accuracy, not even in the limited set of characteristics being studied" (AAAS 1990). Therefore, by modifying a popular classroom activity called a "planet walk," teachers can explore upper elementary students' current understandings; create an…

  2. Accumulation of the planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wetherill, G. W.

    1987-01-01

    In modeling the accumulation of planetesimals into planets, it is appropriate to distinguish between two stages: an early stage, during which approximately 10 km diameter planetesimals accumulate locally to form bodies approximate 10 to the 25th g in mass; and a later stage in which the approximately 10 to the 25th g planetesimals accumulate into the final planets. In the terrestrial planet region, an initial planetesimal swarm corresponding to the critical mass of dust layer gravitational instabilities is considered. In order to better understand the accumulation history of Mercury-sized bodies, 19 Monte-Carlo simulations of terrestrial planet growth were calculated. A Monte Carlo technique was used to investigate the orbital evolution of asteroidal collision debris produced interior to 2.6 AU. It was found that there are two regions primarily responsible for production of Earth-crossing meteoritic material and Apollo objects. The same techniques were extended to include the origin of Earth-approaching asteroidal bodies. It is found that these same two resonant mechanisms predict a steady-state number of Apollo-Amor about 1/2 that estimated based on astronomical observations.

  3. Making and Differentiating Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, G. J.

    2015-07-01

    The rocky planets formed by progressive aggregation of dust to make planetesimals which joined to make large objects called planetary embryos that finally accumulated into planets, one of which we live on. This chaotic process is complicated further by chemical changes with distance from the Sun, including differences in oxidation conditions and water concentration. Once the inner planets began to form, metallic iron sank to form cores, reacting with the rocky portions in the process. David C. Rubie (University of Bayreuth, Germany) and colleagues in Germany, France, and the United States put all this planetary action into an impressively thorough computer model of planet formation and differentiation. They show that the observed compositions of the Earth can be matched by simulations that include the Grand Tack (Jupiter and Saturn migrate inwards towards the Sun and then back out), and chemical gradients in the Solar System, with more reducing conditions near the Sun, more oxidizing farther from the Sun, and oxidizing and hydrated conditions even farther from the Sun. The study identifies other important variables, such as the extent to which metallic iron chemically equilibrated with the silicate making up the Earth's mantle, the pressure at which it happened, and the likelihood that Earth accreted heterogeneously.

  4. Finding Planets around other stars

    NASA Video Gallery

    Just as the Earth revolves around the sun, our closest star, other planets might orbit the stars you see in the night sky. Think of all the planets in the universe that may be just the right distan...

  5. NASA Reveals Most Unusual Planet

    NASA Video Gallery

    In exploring the universe, NASA has uncovered one planet more unusual than all others. This 30 second video shows you which planet that is, and explains that NASA science helps us better understand...

  6. On the possibility of Earth-type habitable planets in the 55 Cancri system.

    PubMed

    von Bloh, W; Cuntz, M; Franck, S; Bounama, C

    2003-01-01

    We discuss the possibility of Earth-type planets in the planetary system of 55 Cancri, a nearby G8 V star, which is host to two, possibly three, giant planets. We argue that Earth-type planets around 55 Cancri are in principle possible. Several conditions are necessary. First, Earth-type planets must have formed despite the existence of the close-in giant planet(s). In addition, they must be orbitally stable in the region of habitability considering that the stellar habitable zone is relatively close to the star compared to the Sun because of 55 Cancri's low luminosity and may therefore be affected by the close-in giant planet(s). We estimate the likelihood of Earth-type planets around 55 Cancri based on the integrated system approach previously considered, which provides a way of assessing the long-term possibility of photosynthetic biomass production under geodynamic conditions. PMID:14987474

  7. Spectra and Biomarkers of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2005-01-01

    During this period, and focussing on ow work at SAO only, we have produced significant results in five areas: coronagraphs, color, Earthshine, near infrared, and meetings. We developed the theory of a new type of coronograph for detecting and characterizing extrasolar planets. We wrote two papers, the first laying out the one-dimensional theory, and the second developing the two-dimensional theory, plus additional results. We gained new insights into the role that simple color measurements can play in characterizing extrasolar planets.

  8. Classifying Planets: Nature vs. Nurture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beichman, Charles A.

    2009-05-01

    The idea of a planet was so simple when we learned about the solar system in elementary school. Now students and professional s alike are faced with confusing array of definitions --- from "Brown Dwarfs” to "Super Jupiters", from "Super Earths” to "Terrestrial Planets", and from "Planets” to "Small, Sort-of Round Things That Aren't Really Planets". I will discuss how planets might be defined by how they formed, where they are found, or by the life they might support.

  9. Finding Planet Nine: a Monte Carlo approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Fuente Marcos, C.; de la Fuente Marcos, R.

    2016-06-01

    Planet Nine is a hypothetical planet located well beyond Pluto that has been proposed in an attempt to explain the observed clustering in physical space of the perihelia of six extreme trans-Neptunian objects or ETNOs. The predicted approximate values of its orbital elements include a semimajor axis of 700 au, an eccentricity of 0.6, an inclination of 30°, and an argument of perihelion of 150°. Searching for this putative planet is already under way. Here, we use a Monte Carlo approach to create a synthetic population of Planet Nine orbits and study its visibility statistically in terms of various parameters and focusing on the aphelion configuration. Our analysis shows that, if Planet Nine exists and is at aphelion, it might be found projected against one out of the four specific areas in the sky. Each area is linked to a particular value of the longitude of the ascending node and two of them are compatible with an apsidal anti-alignment scenario. In addition and after studying the current statistics of ETNOs, a cautionary note on the robustness of the perihelia clustering is presented.

  10. Lithium Abundance in Planet Search Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myles, Justin; Yale Exoplanets

    2016-01-01

    Since most lithium in the universe is primordial and is destroyed in stars, lithium abundance can be used as a stellar age indicator. Some research seems to show that planet formation may also affect lithium abundance in exoplanet host stars (EHS). However, small and heterogenous samples have made both of these phenomena unclear. Further study of lithium abundance in EHS is needed to better understand possible physical roles of lithium in planet formation theory. We use a large homogenous sample with accurate stellar parameters on which we will use equivalent width analysis to determine precise lithium abundances. From these abundance values we determine an age vs. abundance relation. Additionally, we aim to explore correlation between lithium abundance and planet formation.

  11. Dark matter and the habitability of planets

    SciTech Connect

    Hooper, Dan; Steffen, Jason H. E-mail: jsteffen@fnal.gov

    2012-07-01

    In many models, dark matter particles can elastically scatter with nuclei in planets, causing those particles to become gravitationally bound. While the energy expected to be released through the subsequent annihilations of dark matter particles in the interior of the Earth is negligibly small (a few megawatts in the most optimistic models), larger planets that reside in regions with higher densities of slow moving dark matter could plausibly capture and annihilate dark matter at a rate high enough to maintain liquid water on their surfaces, even in the absence of additional energy from starlight or other sources. On these rare planets, it may be dark matter rather than light from a host star that makes it possible for life to emerge, evolve, and survive.

  12. Extrasolar Planets in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    George, Samuel J.

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Protoplanetary Disks Including Radiative Feedback from Accreting Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montesinos, Matías; Cuadra, Jorge; Perez, Sebastian; Baruteau, Clément; Casassus, Simon

    2015-06-01

    While recent observational progress is converging on the detection of compact regions of thermal emission due to embedded protoplanets, further theoretical predictions are needed to understand the response of a protoplanetary disk to the radiative feedback from planet formation. This is particularly important to make predictions for the observability of circumplanetary regions. In this work we use 2D hydrodynamical simulations to examine the evolution of a viscous protoplanetary disk in which a luminous Jupiter-mass planet is embedded. We use an energy equation that includes the radiative heating of the planet as an additional mechanism for planet formation feedback. Several models are computed for planet luminosities ranging from 10-5 to 10-3 solar luminosities. We find that the planet radiative feedback enhances the disk’s accretion rate at the planet’s orbital radius, producing a hotter and more luminous environement around the planet, independently of the prescription used to model the disk’s turbulent viscosity. We also estimate the thermal signature of the planet feedback for our range of planet luminosities, finding that the emitted spectrum of a purely active disk, without passive heating, is appreciably modified in the infrared. We simulate the protoplanetary disk around HD 100546 where a planet companion is located at about 68 AU from the star. Assuming the planet mass is five Jupiter masses and its luminosity is ˜ 2.5× {10}-4 {L}⊙ , we find that the radiative feedback of the planet increases the luminosity of its ˜5 AU circumplanetary disk from {10}-5 {L}⊙ (without feedback) to {10}-3 {L}⊙ , corresponding to an emission of ˜ 1 {mJy} in the {L}\\prime band after radiative transfer calculations, a value that is in good agreement with HD 100546b observations.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-05-10

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

  15. How Giant Planets Shape the Characteristics of Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barclay, Thomas; Quintana, Elisa V.

    2016-01-01

    The giant planets in the Solar System likely played a defining role in shaping the properties of the Earth and other terrestrial planets during their formation. Observations from the Kepler spacecraft indicate that terrestrial planets are highly abundant. However, there are hints that giant planets a few AU from their stars are not ubiquitous. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that many terrestrial planets lack a Jupiter-like companion. We use a recently developed, state-of-the-art N-body model that allows for collisional fragmentation to perform hundreds of numerical simulations of the final stages of terrestrial planet formation around a Sun-like star -- with and without giant outer planets. We quantify the effects that outer giant planet companions have on collisions and the planet accretion process. We focus on Earth-analogs that form in each system and explore how giant planets influence the relative frequency of giant impacts occurring at late times and the delivery of volitiles. This work has important implications for determining the frequency of habitable planets.

  16. Six Planets Orbiting HD 219134

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, Steven S.; Burt, Jennifer; Meschiari, Stefano; Butler, R. Paul; Henry, Gregory W.; Wang, Songhu; Holden, Brad; Gapp, Cyril; Hanson, Russell; Arriagada, Pamela; Keiser, Sandy; Teske, Johanna; Laughlin, Gregory

    2015-11-01

    We present new, high-precision Doppler radial velocity (RV) data sets for the nearby K3V star HD 219134. The data include 175 velocities obtained with the HIRES Spectrograph at the Keck I Telescope and 101 velocities obtained with the Levy Spectrograph at the Automated Planet Finder Telescope at Lick Observatory. Our observations reveal six new planetary candidates, with orbital periods of P = 3.1, 6.8, 22.8, 46.7, 94.2, and 2247 days, spanning masses of {M}{sin}i=3.8, 3.5, 8.9, 21.3, 10.8, and 108 {{M}}\\oplus , respectively. Our analysis indicates that the outermost signal is unlikely to be an artifact induced by stellar activity. In addition, several years of precision photometry with the T10 0.8 m automatic photometric telescope at Fairborn Observatory demonstrated a lack of brightness variability to a limit of ∼0.0002 mag, providing strong support for planetary-reflex motion as the source of the RV variations. The HD 219134 system with its bright (V = 5.6) primary provides an excellent opportunity to obtain detailed orbital characterization (and potentially follow-up observations) of a planetary system that resembles many of the multiple-planet systems detected by Kepler, which are expected to be detected by NASA’s forthcoming TESS Mission and by ESA’s forthcoming PLATO Mission.

  17. Developments in Planet Detection using Transit Timing Variations

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-12-01

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

  18. Mission to Planet Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Gregory S.; Backlund, Peter W.

    1992-01-01

    Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) is NASA's concept for an international science program to produce the understanding needed to predict changes in the Earth's environment. NASA and its interagency and international partners will place satellites carrying advanced sensors in strategic Earth orbits to gather multidisciplinary data. A sophisticated data system will process and archive an unprecedented amount of information about the Earth and how it works as a system. Increased understanding of the Earth system is a basic human responsibility, a prerequisite to informed management of the planet's resources and to the preservation of the global environment. An overview of the MTPE, flight programs, data and information systems, interdisciplinary research efforts, and international coordination, is presented.

  19. Dark compact planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolos, Laura; Schaffner-Bielich, Jürgen

    2015-12-01

    We investigate compact objects formed by dark matter admixed with ordinary matter made of neutron-star matter and white-dwarf material. We consider non-self annihilating dark matter with an equation of state given by an interacting Fermi gas. We find new stable solutions, dark compact planets, with Earth-like masses and radii from a few Km to few hundred Km for weakly interacting dark matter which are stabilized by the mutual presence of dark matter and compact star matter. For the strongly interacting dark matter case, we obtain dark compact planets with Jupiter-like masses and radii of few hundred Km. These objects could be detected by observing exoplanets with unusually small radii. Moreover, we find that the recently observed 2 M⊙ pulsars set limits on the amount of dark matter inside neutron stars which is, at most, 1 0-6 M⊙ .

  20. Planet Detection: The Kepler Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  1. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-05-01

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

  3. Planet Forming Protostellar Disks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lubow, Stephen

    1998-01-01

    The project achieved many of its objectives. The main area of investigation was the interaction of young binary stars with surrounding protostellar disks. A secondary objective was the interaction of young planets with their central stars and surrounding disks. The grant funds were used to support visits by coinvestigators and visitors: Pawel Artymowicz, James Pringle, and Gordon Ogilvie. Funds were also used to support travel to meetings by Lubow and to provide partial salary support.

  4. Pluto: Dwarf planet 134340

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, L. V.

    2016-01-01

    In recent decades, investigations of Pluto with up-to-date astronomical instruments yielded results that have been generally confirmed by the New Horizons mission. In 2006, in Prague, the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) reclassified Pluto as a member of the dwarf planet category according to the criteria defined by the IAU for the term "planet". At the same time, interest in studies of Pluto was increasing, while the space investigations of Pluto were delayed. In 2006, the New Horizons Pluto spacecraft started its journey to Pluto. On July 14, 2015, the spacecraft, being in fly-by mode, made its closest approach to Pluto. The heterogeneities and properties of the surface and rarified atmosphere were investigated thoroughly. Due to the extreme remoteness of the spacecraft and the energy limitations, it will take 18 months to transmit the whole data volume. Along with the preliminary results of the New Horizons Pluto mission, this paper reviews the basics on Pluto and its moons acquired from the ground-based observations and with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). There are only a few meteorite craters on the surfaces of Pluto and Charon, which distinctly marks them apart from such satellites of the giant planets as Ganymede and Callisto. The explanation is that the surface of Pluto is young: its age is estimated at less than 100 Myr. Ice glaciers of apparently a nitrogen nature were found. Nitrogen is also the main component of the atmosphere of Pluto. The planet demonstrates the signs of strong geologic activity, though the energy sources of these processes are unknown.

  5. 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

  6. The genesis of planets.

    PubMed

    Lin, Douglas N C

    2008-05-01

    Barely a decade ago scientists who study how planets form had to base their theory on a single example-our solar system. Now they have dozens of mature systems and dozens more in birth throes. No two are alike. The basic idea behind the leading theory of planetary formation--tiny grains stick together and swoop up gas--conceals many levels of intricacy. A chaotic interplay among competing mechanisms leads to a huge diversity of outcomes. PMID:18444325

  7. Choosing Stars to Search for Habitable Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-04-01

    oxygen in the planetary atmosphere. This type of detection will only be feasible for low-mass dwarfs, however, due to the relative size of the star and the planet.An Ideal RangeStellar rotation period as a function of stellar mass. The blue shaded region shows the habitable zone as a function of stellar mass. For M dwarfs between ~0.25 and ~0.5 solar mass, the habitable-zone period overlaps with the stellar rotation period. [Newton et al. 2016]Newton and collaborators find that stars in the mass range of 0.25 to 0.5 solar mass (stellar class M1V-M4V) are non-ideal targets, because their stellar rotation periods (or a multiple thereof) coincide with the orbital periods of their habitable zones. In addition, atmospheric characterization will only be feasible in the near future for stars with mass less than ~0.25 solar mass.On the other hand, dwarfs with mass less than ~0.1 solar masses (stellar classes later than M6V) will retain their stellar activity and faster rotation rates throughout most of their lifetimes, making them non-ideal targets as well.When searching for habitable exoplanets, the best targets are therefore the mid M dwarfs in the mass range of 0.1 to 0.25 solar mass (stellar class M4V-M6V). Building a sample focused on these stars will reduce the likelihood that planets found in the stars habitable zones are false detections. This will hopefully produce a catalog of potentially habitable exoplanets that we can eventually follow up with atmospheric observations.CitationElisabeth R. Newton et al 2016 ApJ 821 L19. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/821/1/L19

  8. The Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, James R.; Macintosh, Bruce; Perrin, Marshall D.; Ingraham, Patrick; Konopacky, Quinn M.; Marois, Christian; Poyneer, Lisa; Bauman, Brian; Barman, Travis; Burrows, Adam Seth; Cardwell, Andrew; Chilcote, Jeffrey K.; De Rosa, Robert John J.; Dillon, Daren; Doyon, Rene; Dunn, Jennifer; Erikson, Darren; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Gavel, Donald; Goodsell, Stephen J.; Hartung, Markus; Hibon, Pascale; Kalas, Paul; Larkin, James E.; Maire, Jerome; Marchis, Franck; Marley, Mark S.; McBride, James; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Morzinski, Kathleen M.; Nielsen, Eric L.; Norton, Andew; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Palmer, David; Patience, Jenny; Pueyo, Laurent; Rantakyro, Fredrik; Sadakuni, Naru; Saddlemeyer, Leslie; Savransky, Dmitry; Serio, Andrew W.; Soummer, Remi; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Song, Inseok; Thomas, Sandrine; Wallace, J. Kent; Wang, Jason; Wiktorowicz, Sloane; Wolff, Schulyer; Gpi/Gpies Team

    2015-01-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) 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 GPI has been tuned for maximum sensitivity to faint planets near bright stars. GPI has undergone a year of commissioning, verification, and calibration work. We have achieved an estimated H-band contrast (5-sigma) of 106 at 0.75 arcseconds and 105 at 0.35 arcseconds in spectral mode, and suppression of unpolarized starlight by a factor of 800 in imaging polarimetry mode. Early science observations include study of the spectra of β Pic b and HR 8799, orbital investigations of β Pic b and PZ Tel, and observations of the debris disk systems associated with β Pic, AU Mic, and HR 4796A. An 890-hour exoplanet survey with GPI is scheduled to begin in late 2014. A status report for the campaign will be presented.

  9. Complex patterns in the distribution of planets show planet migration and planet and star properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Stuart F.

    2015-08-01

    We present dramatic patterns in the distribution of exoplanet periods and eccentricities that vary as functions of iron abundance of the host star, planet mass, stellar properties, and presence of a stellar companion. These patterns include surprising peaks and gaps. They raise the question of whether planets themselves contribute to increasing stellar metallicity by causing other planets or material to “pollute” the star.We also show that the falloff in planets at the shortest periods can be used to determine the rate of planets migrating into the star as a function of the strength of tidal dissipation in the star. A small rate of planets migrating into the star can produce the observed population of the shortest period planets without having to invoke extremely weak tidal dissipation. Tidal dissipation strengths stronger than the tidal quality factor Q being equal to 107 are possible if there is a moderate flow of giant planets into the star. It is likely that within a decade it will be possible to measure the time shift of transits of the shortest period orbits due to orbital period decreases caused by tidal migration.The distribution of the shortest period planets indicates that the strength of tidal dissipation in stars is a function of stellar mass, making it worthwhile to monitor the shortest period systems for time shifts across a range of stellar masses. This time shift is inversely proportional to the lifetime of a planet.It is essential to know the rate of planets migrating into stars in order to understand whether inflated planets are only briefly inflated during a faster migration into the star, or if planets maintain anomalously large radii for longer periods of time.The paucity of Neptune-mass planets at the shortest periods could be due either to a lower rate of inward migration or to evaporation. Knowing how evaporation contributes to this paucity could help determine the fractions of planets that are rock, liquid water, or gas.

  10. The Effect of Giant Planets on Terrestrial Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barclay, Thomas; Quintana, Elisa

    2015-12-01

    The giant planets in the Solar System likely played a defining role in shaping the properties of the Earth and other terrestrial planets during their formation. Observations from the Kepler spacecraft indicate that terrestrial planets are highly abundant. However, there are hints that giant planets a few AU from their stars are relatively uncommon based on long baseline radial velocity searches. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that many terrestrial planets lack a Jupiter-like companion. We use a recently developed, state-of-the-art N-body model that allows for collisional fragmentation to perform hundreds of numerical simulations of the final stages of terrestrial planet formation around a Sun-like star -- with and without giant outer planets. We quantify the effects that outer giant planet companions have on collisions and the planet accretion process. We focus on Earth-analogs that form in each system and explore how giant planets influence the relative frequency of giant impacts occurring at late times.

  11. Planet Hunters. VI. An Independent Characterization of KOI-351 and Several Long Period Planet Candidates from the Kepler Archival Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, Joseph R.; Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Jek, Kian J.; Moriarty, John C.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin; Simpson, Robert; LaCourse, Daryll; Omohundro, Mark R.; Winarski, Troy; Goodman, Samuel Jon; Jebson, Tony; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Paterson, David A.; Sejpka, Johann; Terentev, Ivan; Jacobs, Tom; Alsaadi, Nawar; Bailey, Robert C.; Ginman, Tony; Granado, Pete; Vonstad Guttormsen, Kristoffer; Mallia, Franco; Papillon, Alfred L.; Rossi, Franco; Socolovsky, Miguel

    2014-08-01

    We report the discovery of 14 new transiting planet candidates in the Kepler field from the Planet Hunters citizen science program. None of these candidates overlapped with Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) at the time of submission. We report the discovery of one more addition to the six planet candidate system around KOI-351, making it the only seven planet candidate system from Kepler. Additionally, KOI-351 bears some resemblance to our own solar system, with the inner five planets ranging from Earth to mini-Neptune radii and the outer planets being gas giants; however, this system is very compact, with all seven planet candidates orbiting <~ 1 AU from their host star. A Hill stability test and an orbital integration of the system shows that the system is stable. Furthermore, we significantly add to the population of long period transiting planets; periods range from 124 to 904 days, eight of them more than one Earth year long. Seven of these 14 candidates reside in their host star's habitable zone. .

  12. Planet hunters. VI. An independent characterization of KOI-351 and several long period planet candidates from the Kepler archival data

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitt, Joseph R.; Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Moriarty, John C.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Jek, Kian J.; LaCourse, Daryll; Omohundro, Mark R.; Winarski, Troy; Goodman, Samuel Jon; Jebson, Tony; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Paterson, David A.; Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris; Simpson, Robert; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin; and others

    2014-08-01

    We report the discovery of 14 new transiting planet candidates in the Kepler field from the Planet Hunters citizen science program. None of these candidates overlapped with Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) at the time of submission. We report the discovery of one more addition to the six planet candidate system around KOI-351, making it the only seven planet candidate system from Kepler. Additionally, KOI-351 bears some resemblance to our own solar system, with the inner five planets ranging from Earth to mini-Neptune radii and the outer planets being gas giants; however, this system is very compact, with all seven planet candidates orbiting ≲ 1 AU from their host star. A Hill stability test and an orbital integration of the system shows that the system is stable. Furthermore, we significantly add to the population of long period transiting planets; periods range from 124 to 904 days, eight of them more than one Earth year long. Seven of these 14 candidates reside in their host star's habitable zone.

  13. Planet Detection: The Kepler Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  14. 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).

  15. Hydrodynamic Simulations of Unevenly Irradiated Jovian Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langton, Jonathan; Laughlin, Gregory

    2008-02-01

    We employ a two-dimensional, grid-based hydrodynamic model to simulate upper atmospheric dynamics on extrasolar giant planets. The hydrodynamic equations of motion are integrated on a rotating, irradiated sphere using a pseudospectral algorithm. We use a two-frequency, two-stream approximation of radiative transfer to model the temperature forcing. This model is well suited to simulate the dynamics of the atmospheres of planets with high orbital eccentricity, which are subject to widely varying irradiation conditions. We identify six such planets, with eccentricities between e = 0.28 and e = 0.93 and semimajor axes from a = 0.0508 AU to a = 0.432 AU, as particularly interesting. For each, we determine the temperature profile and resulting infrared light curves in the 8 μm Spitzer band. Especially notable are the results for HD 80606b, which has the largest eccentricity (e = 0.9321) of any known planet, and HAT-P-2b, which transits its parent star, so that its physical properties are well constrained. Despite the varied orbital parameters, the atmospheric dynamics of these planets display a number of interesting common properties. In all cases, the atmospheric response is primarily driven by the intense irradiation at periastron. The resulting expansion of heated air produces high-velocity turbulent flow, including long-lived circumpolar vortices. In addition, a superrotating acoustic front develops on some planets; the strength of this disturbance depends on both the eccentricity and the temperature gradient from uneven heating. The specifics of the resulting infrared light curves depend strongly on the orbital geometry. We show, however, that the variations on HD 80606b and HAT-P-2b should be readily detectable at 4.5 and 8 μm using Spitzer. These two objects present the most attractive observational targets of all known high-e exoplanets.

  16. Interiors of the giant planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hubbard, W. B.

    1976-01-01

    Various investigations concerning Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn are discussed. Revisions in the Galilean satellite ephemerides led to a new interpretation of earth-based measurements of Jovian oblateness which agrees with Pioneer measurements. In the area of scintillation theory, a semi-qualitative result was obtained for spike profiles produced by finite stellar disks viewed through Kolmogorov turbulence. It was also possible to set limits on the systematic distortion of stellar occulation profiles by turbulence which minimize the systematic distortion problem. The position of Miranda was studied for the purpose of obtaining an accurate prediction of a possible stellar occultation by Miranda in 1977, following an occultation of the same star by Uranus. In addition, using thermodynamic calculations, a model was developed for the adiabiatic cooling of Jovian-type planets and an observational test of the model was proposed. The dynamic structure of Saturn's rings was also studied.

  17. Global stratigraphy. [of planet Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tanaka, Kenneth L.; Scott, David H.; Greeley, Ronald

    1992-01-01

    Attention is given to recent major advances in the definition and documentation of Martian stratigraphy and geology. Mariner 9 provided the images for the first global geologic mapping program, resulting in the recognition of the major geologic processes that have operated on the planet, and in the definition of the three major chronostratigraphic divisions: the Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian Systems. Viking Orbiter images permitted the recognition of additional geologic units and the formal naming of many formations. Epochs are assigned absolute ages based on the densities of superposed craters and crater-flux models. Recommendations are made with regard to future areas of study, namely, crustal stratigraphy and structure, the highland-lowland boundary, the Tharsis Rise, Valles Marineris, channels and valley networks, and possible Martian oceans, lakes, and ponds.

  18. CHARACTERIZATION OF MICROLENSING PLANETS WITH MODERATELY WIDE SEPARATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Han, Cheongho

    2009-08-01

    In future high-cadence microlensing surveys, planets can be detected through a new channel of an independent event produced by the planet itself. The two populations of planets to be detected through this channel are wide-separation planets and free-floating planets. Although they appear as similar short timescale events, the two populations of planets are widely different in nature and thus distinguishing them is important. In this paper, we investigate the lensing properties of events produced by planets with moderately wide separations from host stars. We find that the lensing behavior of these events is well described by the Chang-Refsdal lensing, and the shear caused by the primary not only produces a caustic but also makes the magnification contour elongated along the primary-planet axis. The elongated magnification contour implies that the light curves of these planetary events are generally asymmetric, and thus the asymmetry can be used to distinguish the events from those produced by free-floating planets. The asymmetry can be noticed from the overall shape of the light curve and thus can hardly be missed unlike the very short duration central perturbation caused by the caustic. In addition, the asymmetry occurs regardless of the event magnification, and thus the bound nature of the planet can be identified for majority of these events. The close approximation of the lensing light curve to that of the Chang-Refsdal lensing implies that the analysis of the light curve yields only the information about the projected separation between the host star and the planet.

  19. Capture of terrestrial-sized moons by gas giant planets.

    PubMed

    Williams, Darren M

    2013-04-01

    Terrestrial moons with masses >0.1 M (symbol in text) possibly exist around extrasolar giant planets, and here we consider the energetics of how they might form. Binary-exchange capture can occur if a binary-terrestrial object (BTO) is tidally disrupted during a close encounter with a giant planet and one of the binary members is ejected while the other remains as a moon. Tidal disruption occurs readily in the deep gravity wells of giant planets; however, the large encounter velocities in the wells make binary exchange more difficult than for planets of lesser mass. In addition, successful capture favors massive binaries with large rotational velocities and small component mass ratios. Also, since the interaction tends to leave the captured moons on highly elliptical orbits, permanent capture is only possible around planets with sizable Hill spheres that are well separated from their host stars. PMID:23537110

  20. Astrometric Planet Searches with SIM PlanetQuest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beichman, Charles A.; Unwin, Stephen C.; Shao, Michael; Tanner, Angelle M.; Catanzarite, Joseph H.; March, Geoffrey W.

    2007-01-01

    SIM will search for planets with masses as small as the Earth's orbiting in the habitable zones' around more than 100 of the stars and could discover many dozen if Earth-like planets are common. With a planned 'Deep Survey' of 100-450 stars (depending on desired mass sensitivity) SIM will search for terrestrial planets around all of the candidate target stars for future direct detection missions such as Terrestrial Planet Finder and Darwin, SIM's 'Broad Survey' of 2010 stars will characterize single and multiple-planet systems around a wide variety of stellar types, including many now inaccessible with the radial velocity technique. In particular, SIM will search for planets around young stars providing insights into how planetary systems are born and evolve with time.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Atmospheric models for post- giant impact planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lupu, R.; Zahnle, K. J.; Marley, M. S.; Schaefer, L. K.; Fegley, B.; Morley, C.; Cahoy, K.; Freedman, R. S.; Fortney, J. J.

    2013-12-01

    the reflected and emergent flux. We find that these atmospheres are dominated by H2O and CO2, while the formation of CH4, and NH3 is quenched due to short dynamical timescales. Other important constituents are HF, HCl, NaCl, and SO2. These are apparent in the emerging spectra, and can be indicative that an impact has occurred. Estimates including photochemistry and vertical mixing show that these atmospheres are enhanced in sulfur-bearing species, particularly SO2, one of the most important absorbers. At this stage we do not address cloud formation and aerosol opacity. Estimated luminosities for post-impact planets, although lower than predicted by previous models, show that the hottest post-giant-impact planets will be detectable with the planned 30 m-class telescopes. Finally, we use the models to describe the cooling of a post-impact terrestrial planet and briefly investigate its time evolution, which ends as the planet transitions into a more conventional steam atmosphere runaway greenhouse. This calculation brings a significant improvement over previous runaway greenhouse models, by including additional opacity sources and comprehensive line lists for H2O and CO2. We find that the cooling timescale for post-giant impact Earths ranges between about 10^5 and 10^6 years, where the slower cooling is associated with the planet going through a runaway greenhouse stage.

  3. DISCOVERING HABITABLE EARTHS, HOT JUPITERS, AND OTHER CLOSE PLANETS WITH MICROLENSING

    SciTech Connect

    Di Stefano, R.

    2012-06-20

    Searches for planets via gravitational lensing have focused on cases in which the projected separation, a, between planet and star is comparable to the Einstein radius, R{sub E} . This paper considers smaller orbital separations and demonstrates that evidence of close-orbit planets can be found in the low-magnification portion of the light curves generated by the central star. We develop a protocol for discovering hot Jupiters as well as Neptune-mass and Earth-mass planets in the stellar habitable zone. When planets are not discovered, our method can be used to quantify the probability that the lens star does not have planets within specified ranges of the orbital separation and mass ratio. Nearby close-orbit planets discovered by lensing can be subject to follow-up observations to study the newly discovered planets or to discover other planets orbiting the same star. Careful study of the low-magnification portions of lensing light curves should produce, in addition to the discoveries of close-orbit planets, definite detections of wide-orbit planets through the discovery of 'repeating' lensing events. We show that events exhibiting extremely high magnification can effectively be probed for planets in close, intermediate, and wide distance regimes simply by adding several-time-per-night monitoring in the low-magnification wings, possibly leading to gravitational lensing discoveries of multiple planets occupying a broad range of orbits, from close to wide, in a single planetary system.

  4. Uncovering the Chemistry of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Li; Jacobsen, Stein; Sasselov, Dimitar D.

    2015-01-01

    We propose to use evidence from our solar system to understand exoplanets, and in particular, to predict their surface chemistry and thereby the possibility of life. An Earth-like planet, born from the same nebula as its host star, is composed primarily of silicate rocks and an iron-nickel metal core, and depleted in volatile content in a systematic manner. The more volatile (easier to vaporize or dissociate into gas form) an element is in an Earth-like planet, the more depleted the element is compared to its host star. After depletion, an Earth-like planet would go through the process of core formation due to heat from radioactive decay and collisions. Core formation depletes a planet's rocky mantle of siderophile (iron-loving) elements, in addition to the volatile depletion. After that, Earth-like planets likely accrete some volatile-rich materials, called 'late veneer'. The late veneer could be essential to the origins of life on Earth and Earth-like planets, as it also delivers the volatiles such as nitrogen, sulfur, carbon and water to the planet's surface, which are crucial for life to occur. We plan to build an integrative model of Earth-like planets from the bottom up. We would like to infer their chemical compositions from their mass-radius relations and their host stars' elemental abundances, and understand the origins of volatile contents (especially water) on their surfaces, and thereby shed light on the origins of life on them.

  5. Tidal Constraints on the Masses of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trilling, D. E.

    2000-07-01

    Tidal theory predicts that the orbits of close extrasolar giant planets will circularize on timescales that can be comparable to the ages of those systems. Additionally, planets that are close enough and massive enough can spin up their central stars. Since the eccentricities of extrasolar planet orbits are determined by the radial velocity technique and since stellar rotation rates are observed, or at least derived, limits on the masses of close extrasolar planets can be placed. We find upper limits on the masses of eight extrasolar planets, including limiting the masses of υ And b, HD 75289b, HD 187123b, and 51 Peg b to less than 1.48, 1.21, 0.59, and 0.51 Jupiter masses, respectively. There is a contradiction in the constrained mass of HD 217107b, in that its eccentricity is apparently too high. This anomalously high eccentricity could be real and caused by other planets in that system; or it could be an artifact of fitting a one-orbit solution to multiplanet data. The tidal limits placed on all these extrasolar planets are only as good as the knowledge of the stellar parameters (age, rotation period), which in some cases is not very good; better detailed knowledge of stars hosting planets will be necessary.

  6. 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

  7. 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).

  8. Planets Suitable for Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peter, Ulmschneider

    When searching for extraterrestrial life, and particularly intelligent life, elsewhere in the solar system or in our galaxy, the obvious places to look are habitable Earth-like planets. This is because most living organisms are quite vulnerable to harsh conditions, and thus the presence of life will be most likely when very favorable conditions occur. Here organisms that survive under extreme conditions on Earth represent no contradiction, because they have adapted to their way of life by the fierce battle of survival on the basis of Darwin's theory (discussed in Chap. 6). But what are the conditions that are favorable for life?

  9. 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.

  10. NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coulter, Daniel R.

    2004-01-01

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

  11. Planet X - Fact or fiction?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, John

    1988-01-01

    The search for a possible tenth planet in our solar system is examined. The history of the discoveries of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are reviewed. Searches of the sky with telescopes and theoretical studies of the gravitational influences on the orbits of known objects in the solar system are discussed. Information obtained during the Pioneer 10 and 11 missions which could suggest the presence of an undiscovered planet and computer simulations of the possible orbit of a tenth planet are presented.

  12. Starting a Planet Protectors Club

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    US Environmental Protection Agency, 2007

    2007-01-01

    If your mission is to teach children how to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste and create the next generation of Planet Protectors, perhaps leading a Planet Protectors Club is part of your future challenges. You don't have to be an expert in waste reduction and recycling to lead a a Planet Protectors Club. You don't even have to be a teacher. You do…

  13. Planet X - ract or fiction

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.

    1988-08-01

    The search for a possible tenth planet in our solar system is examined. The history of the discoveries of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are reviewed. Searches of the sky with telescopes and theoretical studies of the gravitational influences on the orbits of known objects in the solar system are discussed. Information obtained during the Pioneer 10 and 11 missions which could suggest the presence of an undiscovered planet and computer simulations of the possible orbit of a tenth planet are presented.

  14. Dynamical Interactions Among Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laughlin, G.

    For certain multiple planet systems such as GJ 876 and 55 Cancri, which have (1) been observed for a large number of orbital periods, and which (2) have strong planet-planet gravitational interactions, the approximation that the planets are orbiting on independent Keplerian ellipses is inadequate. We discuss the production of self-consistent dynamical fits to these interacting systems, in which a minimization scheme (such as the Levenberg-Marquardt technique, or a Genetic Algorithm) is used to repeatedly drive an N-body integrator and improve the agreement between the integrated reflex motion of the central star and the observed radial velocities.

  15. Stars and Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neta, Miguel

    2014-05-01

    'Estrelas e Planetas' (Stars and Planets) project was developed during the academic year 2009/2010 and was tested on three 3rd grade classes of one school in Quarteira, Portugal. The aim was to encourage the learning of science and the natural and physical phenomena through the construction and manipulation of materials that promote these themes - in this case astronomy. Throughout the project the students built a small book containing three themes of astronomy: differences between stars and planets, the solar system and the phases of the Moon. To each topic was devoted two sessions of about an hour each: the first to teach the theoretical aspects of the theme and the second session to assembly two pages of the book. All materials used (for theoretical sessions and for the construction of the book) and videos of the finished book are available for free use in www.miguelneta.pt/estrelaseplanetas. So far there is only a Portuguese version but soon will be published in English as well. This project won the Excellency Prize 2011 of Casa das Ciências, a portuguese site for teachers supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Fundation (www.casadasciencias.org).

  16. The Planet Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luhmann, Janet

    This book is not so much for the space scientist looking for background material for research as it is for one interested in the history of planetary exploration. The first half (˜100 pps) is devoted to studies of Venus before the space age, starting at several hundred years BC. It is obvious from the multitude of detailed descriptions of observers' accounts that considerable library research went into this section. While sometimes tedious, this chronology of Venus research is punctuated with amusing facts. While many may know about the Velikovsky theory of the cometary origin of the planet, few may know that Lowell drew pictures of Cytherian canals similar to the canals of Mars or that Frederick the Great of Prussia proposed to name the (once suspected) satellite of Venus D'Alembert, after the mathematician. An equally amusing appendix shows the ups and downs of the rotation period of this planet with the invisible surface. Much attention is focused on early telescope observations, the ashen light, and transits of Venus. At the end of this half, one appreciates that Venus has played a fairly important role in history in the areas of religion, science, and technology.

  17. The Giant Planet Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, John H.

    2009-07-01

    Part I. Observing Jupiter: 1. Observations from Earth; 2. Observations from spacecraft; Part II. The Visible Structure of the Atmosphere: 3. Horizontal structure: belts, currents, spots and storms; 4. Vertical structure: colours and clouds; Part III. The Observational Record of the Atmosphere: 5. The Polar Region; 6. North North Temperate Regions (57°N to 35°N); 7. North Temperate Region (35°N to 23°N); 8. North Tropical Region (23°N to 9°N); 9. Equatorial Region (9°N to 9°S); 10. South Tropical Region (9°S to 27°S); 11. South Temperate Region (27°S to 37°S); 12. South South Temperate Region (37°S to 53°S); Part IV: The Physics and Chemistry of the Atmosphere: 13. Possible large-scale and long-term patterns; 14. The dynamics of individual spots; 15. Theoretical models of the atmosphere; 16. The composition of the planet; Part V. The Electrodynamic Environment of Jupiter: 17. Lights in the Jovian night; 18. The magnetosphere and radiation belts; Part VI. The Satellites: 19. The inner satellites and the ring; 20. The Galilean satellites; 21. Io; 22. Europa; 23. Ganymede; 24. Callisto; 25. The outer satellites; Appendices: 1. Measurement of longitude; 2. Measurement of latitude; 3. Lists of apparitions and published reports; 4. Bibliography (The planet); 5. Bibliography (The magnetosphere and satellites); Index.

  18. The Planet around 51 Pegasi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Butler, R. Paul; Williams, Eric; Bildsten, Lars; Graham, James R.; Ghez, Andrea M.; Jernigan, J. Garrett

    1997-05-01

    Doppler measurements of 51 Pegasi have been made from 1995 October through 1996 August, with a precision of 5 m s-1. We find a period of 4.231 days, a velocity amplitude of 56 +/- 1 m s-1, and a velocity curve that is essentially sinusoidal, all in excellent agreement with Mayor & Queloz. The only viable interpretation is a companion having minimum mass, m sin i = 0.45 MJupiter, in a circular orbit of radius of 0.051 AU, with an eccentricity less than 0.01. Alternative explanations involving stellar surface phenomena such as pulsation or spots are ruled out. The lack of tidal spin-up of the star constrains the mass of the companion to be less than 15 MJupiter. If the tidal Q-value is less than ~106 for the planet (close to Jupiter's presumed value), then internal dissipation is adequate to circularize the orbit and synchronize the planet's rotation. After subtracting the best-fit Keplerian velocity curve, the residuals exhibit no apparent variations at a level of 5 m s-1 during 10 months. The absence of further reflex motion along with limits from IR speckle observations rule out additional companions in a large portion of the parameter space of mass and orbital radius, including all masses greater than 1 MJupiter within 2.0 AU. Based on observations obtained at Lick Observatory, which is operated by the University of California, and on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology.

  19. Sub-Nanostructured Non Transition Metal Complex Grids for Hydrogen Storage

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Orhan Talu; Dr. Surendra N. Tewari

    2007-10-27

    This project involved growing sub-nanostructured metal grids to increase dynamic hydrogen storage capacity of metal hydride systems. The nano particles of any material have unique properties unlike its bulk form. Nano-structuring metal hydride materials can result in: {sm_bullet}Increased hydrogen molecule dissociation rate, {sm_bullet} Increased hydrogen atom transport rate, {sm_bullet} Decreased decrepitation caused by cycling, {sm_bullet} Increased energy transfer in the metal matrix, {sm_bullet} Possible additional contribution by physical adsorption, and {sm_bullet} Possible additional contribution by quantum effects The project succeeded in making nano-structured palladium using electrochemical growth in templates including zeolites, mesoporous silica, polycarbonate films and anodized alumina. Other metals were used to fine-tune the synthesis procedures. Palladium was chosen to demonstrate the effects of nano-structuring since its bulk hydrogen storage capacity and kinetics are well known. Reduced project funding was not sufficient for complete characterization of these materials for hydrogen storage application. The project team intends to seek further funding in the future to complete the characterization of these materials for hydrogen storage.

  20. How to Pluck a Spectrum from a Planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    This diagram illustrates how astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope can capture the elusive spectra of hot-Jupiter planets. Spectra are an object's light spread apart into its basic components, or wavelengths. By dissecting light in this way, scientists can sort through it and uncover clues about the composition of the object giving off the light.

    To obtain a spectrum for an object, one first needs to capture its light. Hot-Jupiter planets are so close to their stars that even the most powerful telescopes can't distinguish their light from the light of their much brighter stars.

    But, there are a few planetary systems that allow astronomers to measure the light from just the planet by using a clever technique. Such 'transiting' systems are oriented in such a way that, from our vantage point, the planets' orbits are seen edge-on and cross directly in front of and behind their stars.

    In this technique, known as the secondary eclipse method, changes in the total infrared light from a star system are measured as its planet transits behind the star, vanishing from our Earthly point of view. The dip in observed light can then be attributed to the planet alone.

    To capture a spectrum of the planet, Spitzer must observe the system twice. It takes a spectrum of the star together with the planet (first panel), then, as the planet disappears from view, a spectrum of just the star (second panel). By subtracting the star's spectrum from the combined spectrum of the star plus the planet, it is able to get the spectrum for just the planet (third panel).

    This ground-breaking technique was used by Spitzer to obtain the first-ever spectra of two planets beyond our solar system, HD 209458b and HD 189733b. The results suggest that the hot planets are socked in with dry clouds high up in the planet's stratospheres. In addition, HD 209458b showed hints of silicates, indicating those high clouds might be made of very fine sand-like particles.

  1. CONSEQUENCES OF THE EJECTION AND DISRUPTION OF GIANT PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Guillochon, James; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico; Lin, Douglas

    2011-05-10

    The discovery of Jupiter-mass planets in close orbits about their parent stars has challenged models of planet formation. Recent observations have shown that a number of these planets have highly inclined, sometimes retrograde orbits about their parent stars, prompting much speculation as to their origin. It is known that migration alone cannot account for the observed population of these misaligned hot Jupiters, which suggests that dynamical processes after the gas disk dissipates play a substantial role in yielding the observed inclination and eccentricity distributions. One particularly promising candidate is planet-planet scattering, which is not very well understood in the nonlinear regime of tides. Through three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations of multi-orbit encounters, we show that planets that are scattered into an orbit about their parent stars with closest approach distance being less than approximately three times the tidal radius are either destroyed or completely ejected from the system. We find that as few as 9 and as many as 12 of the currently known hot Jupiters have a maximum initial apastron for scattering that lies well within the ice line, implying that these planets must have migrated either before or after the scattering event that brought them to their current positions. If stellar tides are unimportant (Q{sub *} {approx}> 10{sup 7}), disk migration is required to explain the existence of the hot Jupiters present in these systems. Additionally, we find that the disruption and/or ejection of Jupiter-mass planets deposits a Sun's worth of angular momentum onto the host star. For systems in which planet-planet scattering is common, we predict that planetary hosts have up to a 35% chance of possessing an obliquity relative to the invariable plane of greater than 90{sup 0}.

  2. Inside-out Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, Sourav; Tan, Jonathan C.

    2014-01-01

    The compact multi-transiting planet systems discovered by Kepler challenge planet formation theories. Formation in situ from disks with radial mass surface density, Σ, profiles similar to the minimum mass solar nebula but boosted in normalization by factors >~ 10 has been suggested. We propose that a more natural way to create these planets in the inner disk is formation sequentially from the inside-out via creation of successive gravitationally unstable rings fed from a continuous stream of small (~cm-m size) "pebbles," drifting inward via gas drag. Pebbles collect at the pressure maximum associated with the transition from a magnetorotational instability (MRI)-inactive ("dead zone") region to an inner MRI-active zone. A pebble ring builds up until it either becomes gravitationally unstable to form an ~1 M ⊕ planet directly or induces gradual planet formation via core accretion. The planet may undergo Type I migration into the active region, allowing a new pebble ring and planet to form behind it. Alternatively, if migration is inefficient, the planet may continue to accrete from the disk until it becomes massive enough to isolate itself from the accretion flow. A variety of densities may result depending on the relative importance of residual gas accretion as the planet approaches its isolation mass. The process can repeat with a new pebble ring gathering at the new pressure maximum associated with the retreating dead-zone boundary. Our simple analytical model for this scenario of inside-out planet formation yields planetary masses, relative mass scalings with orbital radius, and minimum orbital separations consistent with those seen by Kepler. It provides an explanation of how massive planets can form with tightly packed and well-aligned system architectures, starting from typical protoplanetary disk properties.

  3. Inside-out planet formation

    SciTech Connect

    Chatterjee, Sourav; Tan, Jonathan C. E-mail: jt@astro.ufl.edu

    2014-01-01

    The compact multi-transiting planet systems discovered by Kepler challenge planet formation theories. Formation in situ from disks with radial mass surface density, Σ, profiles similar to the minimum mass solar nebula but boosted in normalization by factors ≳ 10 has been suggested. We propose that a more natural way to create these planets in the inner disk is formation sequentially from the inside-out via creation of successive gravitationally unstable rings fed from a continuous stream of small (∼cm-m size) 'pebbles', drifting inward via gas drag. Pebbles collect at the pressure maximum associated with the transition from a magnetorotational instability (MRI)-inactive ('dead zone') region to an inner MRI-active zone. A pebble ring builds up until it either becomes gravitationally unstable to form an ∼1 M {sub ⊕} planet directly or induces gradual planet formation via core accretion. The planet may undergo Type I migration into the active region, allowing a new pebble ring and planet to form behind it. Alternatively, if migration is inefficient, the planet may continue to accrete from the disk until it becomes massive enough to isolate itself from the accretion flow. A variety of densities may result depending on the relative importance of residual gas accretion as the planet approaches its isolation mass. The process can repeat with a new pebble ring gathering at the new pressure maximum associated with the retreating dead-zone boundary. Our simple analytical model for this scenario of inside-out planet formation yields planetary masses, relative mass scalings with orbital radius, and minimum orbital separations consistent with those seen by Kepler. It provides an explanation of how massive planets can form with tightly packed and well-aligned system architectures, starting from typical protoplanetary disk properties.

  4. Proxima Centauri's Influence on Planet Formation in Alpha Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worth, Rachel; Sigurdsson, Steinn

    2016-01-01

    It is likely that the nearby M dwarf Proxima Centauri is in a loosely bound orbit around the Alpha Centauri binary and that the system formed as a more tightly-bound triple but evolved to its current state. We quantify how this evolution would have affected the protoplanetary disks around the stars, and characterize the size and location of planets that may be found there. These three stars are our closest neighbors, and thus present an excellent opportunity for detailed observations of any planets they may harbor, so it is particularly important to understand this system as thoroughly as possible. In addition, it gives us additional insight into planet formation in multistellar systems, which contain a large fraction of potential planet host stars.

  5. Proxima Centauri's Influence on Planet Formation in Alpha Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worth, Rachel J.; Sigurdsson, Steinn

    2015-12-01

    It is likely that the nearby M dwarf Proxima Centauri is in a loosely bound orbit around the Alpha Centauri binary and that the system formed as a more tightly-bound triple but evolved to its current state. We quantify how this evolution would have affected the protoplanetary disks around the stars, and characterize the size and location of planets that may be found there. These three stars are our closest neighbors, and thus present an excellent opportunity for detailed observations of any planets they may harbor, so it is particularly important to understand this system as thoroughly as possible. In addition, it gives us additional insight into planet formation in multistellar systems, which contain a large fraction of potential planet host stars.

  6. Planets and Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2007-09-01

    Foreword; Preface; Contributors; Prologue; Part I. History: 1. History of astrobiological ideas W. T. Sullivan and D. Carney; 2. From exobiology to astrobiology S. J. Dick; Part II. The Physical Stage: 3. Formation of Earth-like habitable planets D. E. Brownlee and M. Kress; 4. Planetary atmospheres and life D. Catling and J. F. Kasting; Part III. The Origin of Life on Earth: 5. Does 'life' have a definition? C.E. Cleland and C. F. Chyba; 6. Origin of life: crucial issues R. Shapiro; 7. Origin of proteins and nucleic acids A. Ricardo and S. A. Benner; 8. The roots of metabolism G.D. Cody and J. H. Scott; 9. Origin of cellular life D. W. Deamer; Part IV. Life on Earth: 10. Evolution: a defining feature of life J. A. Baross; 11. Evolution of metabolism and early microbial communities J. A. Leigh, D. A. Stahl and J. T. Staley; 12. The earliest records of life on Earth R. Buick; 13. The origin and diversification of eukaryotes M. L. Sogin, D. J. Patterson and A. McArthur; 14. Limits of carbon life on Earth and elsewhere J. A. Baross, J. Huber and M. Schrenk; 15. Life in ice J. W. Deming and H. Eicken; 16. The evolution and diversification of life S. Awramik and K. J. McNamara; 17. Mass extinctions P. D. Ward; Part V. Potentially Habitable Worlds: 18. Mars B. M. Jakosky, F. Westall and A. Brack; 19. Europa C. F. Chyba and C. B. Phillips; 20. Titan J. I. Lunine and B. Rizk; 21. Extrasolar planets P. Butler; Part VI. Searching for Extraterrestrial Life: 22. How to search for life on other worlds C. P. McKay; 23. Instruments and strategies for detecting extraterrestrial life P. G. Conrad; 24. Societial and ethical concerns M. S. Race; 25. Planetary protection J. D. Rummel; 26. Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence J. C. Tarter; 27. Alien biochemistries P. D. Ward and S. A. Benner; Part VII. Future of the Field: 28. Disciplinary and educational opportunities L. Wells, J. Armstrong and J. Huber; Epilogue C. F. Chyba; Appendixes: A. Units and usages; B. Planetary

  7. Tides in Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, David J.

    2015-11-01

    The arrival of Juno at Jupiter in less than a year necessitates analysis of what we can learn from the gravitational signal due to tides raised on the planet by satellites (especially Io but also Europa). In the existing literature, there is extensive work on static tidal theory (the response of the planet to a tidal potential whose time dependence is ignored) and this is what is usually quoted when people refer to tidal Love numbers. If this were correct then there would be almost no new information content in the measurement of tidally induced gravity field, since the perturbation is of the same kind as the response to rotation (i.e., the measurement of J2, a well-known quantity). However, tides are dynamic (that is, k2 is frequency dependent) and so there is new information in the frequency dependent part. There is also (highly important) information in the imaginary part (more commonly expressed as tidal Q) but there is no prospect of direct detection of this by Juno since that quadrature signal is so small. The difference between what we expect to measure and what we can already calculate directly from J2 is easily shown to be of order the square of tidal frequency over the lowest order normal mode frequency, and thus of order 10%. However, the governing equations are not simple (not separable) because of the Coriolis force. An approximate solution has been obtained for the n =1 polytrope showing that the correction to k2 is even smaller, typically a few percent, because the tidal frequency is not very different from twice the rotation frequency. Moreover, it is not highly sensitive to structure in standard models. However, the deep interior of the planet may be stably stratified because of a compositional gradient and this modifies the tidal flow amplitude, changing the dynamic k2 but not the static k2. This raises the exciting possibility that we can use the determination of k2 to set bounds on the extent of static stability, if any. There is also the slight

  8. DO GIANT PLANETS SURVIVE TYPE II MIGRATION?

    SciTech Connect

    Hasegawa, Yasuhiro; Ida, Shigeru E-mail: ida@geo.titech.ac.jp

    2013-09-10

    Planetary migration is one of the most serious problems to systematically understand the observations of exoplanets. We clarify that the theoretically predicted type II, migration (like type I migration) is too fast, by developing detailed analytical arguments in which the timescale of type II migration is compared with the disk lifetime. In the disk-dominated regime, the type II migration timescale is characterized by a local viscous diffusion timescale, while the disk lifetime is characterized by a global diffusion timescale that is much longer than the local one. Even in the planet-dominated regime where the inertia of the planet mass reduces the migration speed, the timescale is still shorter than the disk lifetime except in the final disk evolution stage where the total disk mass decays below the planet mass. This suggests that most giant planets plunge into the central stars within the disk lifetime, and it contradicts the exoplanet observations that gas giants are piled up at r {approx}> 1 AU. We examine additional processes that may arise in protoplanetary disks: dead zones, photoevaporation of gas, and gas flow across a gap formed by a type II migrator. Although they make the type II migration timescale closer to the disk lifetime, we show that none of them can act as an effective barrier for rapid type II migration with the current knowledge of these processes. We point out that gas flow across a gap and the fraction of the flow accreted onto the planets are uncertain and they may have the potential to solve the problem. Much more detailed investigation for each process may be needed to explain the observed distribution of gas giants in extrasolar planetary systems.

  9. Geothermal heating enhances atmospheric asymmetries on synchronously rotating planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haqq-Misra, Jacob; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Earth-like planets within the liquid water habitable zone of M-type stars may evolve into synchronous rotators. On these planets, the substellar hemisphere experiences perpetual daylight while the opposing antistellar hemisphere experiences perpetual darkness. Because the night-side hemisphere has no direct source of energy, the air over this side of the planet is prone to freeze out and deposit on the surface, which could result in atmospheric collapse. However, general circulation models (GCMs) have shown that atmospheric dynamics can counteract this problem and provide sufficient energy transport to the antistellar side. Here, we use an idealized GCM to consider the impact of geothermal heating on the habitability of synchronously rotating planets. Geothermal heating may be expected due to tidal interactions with the host star, and the effects of geothermal heating provide additional habitable surface area and may help to induce melting of ice on the antistellar hemisphere. We also explore the persistence of atmospheric asymmetries between the Northern and Southern hemispheres, and we find that the direction of the meridional circulation (for rapidly rotating planets) or the direction of zonal wind (for slowly rotating planets) reverses on either side of the substellar point. We show that the zonal circulation approaches a theoretical state similar to a Walker circulation only for slowly rotating planets, while rapidly rotating planets show a zonal circulation with the opposite direction. We find that a cross-polar circulation is present in all cases and provides an additional mechanism of mass and energy transport from the substellar to antistellar point. Characterization of the atmospheres of synchronously rotating planets should include consideration of hemispheric differences in meridional circulation and examination of transport due to cross-polar flow.

  10. What Makes a Habitable Planet?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elkins-Tanton, L.

    2013-04-01

    Space missions help answer one of humanity's most profound questions: Are we alone in the universe? To begin to understand what makes a planet habitable, and thus where to look for life both within and outside of Earth's solar system, scientists need to understand what in planetary formation and what in its subsequent evolution combine to produce a habitable planet.

  11. The fate of scattered planets

    SciTech Connect

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott J. E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu

    2014-12-01

    As gas giant planets evolve, they may scatter other planets far from their original orbits to produce hot Jupiters or rogue planets that are not gravitationally bound to any star. Here, we consider planets cast out to large orbital distances on eccentric, bound orbits through a gaseous disk. With simple numerical models, we show that super-Earths can interact with the gas through dynamical friction to settle in the remote outer regions of a planetary system. Outcomes depend on planet mass, the initial scattered orbit, and the evolution of the time-dependent disk. Efficient orbital damping by dynamical friction requires planets at least as massive as the Earth. More massive, longer-lived disks damp eccentricities more efficiently than less massive, short-lived ones. Transition disks with an expanding inner cavity can circularize orbits at larger distances than disks that experience a global (homologous) decay in surface density. Thus, orbits of remote planets may reveal the evolutionary history of their primordial gas disks. A remote planet with an orbital distance ∼100 AU from the Sun is plausible and might explain correlations in the orbital parameters of several distant trans-Neptunian objects.

  12. Three Planets Orbiting Wolf 1061

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, D. J.; Wittenmyer, R. A.; Tinney, C. G.; Bentley, J. S.; Zhao, Jinglin

    2016-02-01

    We use archival HARPS spectra to detect three planets orbiting the M3 dwarf Wolf 1061 (GJ 628). We detect a 1.36 M⊕ minimum-mass planet with an orbital period P = 4.888 days (Wolf 1061b), a 4.25 M⊕ minimum-mass planet with orbital period P = 17.867 days (Wolf 1061c), and a likely 5.21 M⊕ minimum-mass planet with orbital period P = 67.274 days (Wolf 1061d). All of the planets are of sufficiently low mass that they may be rocky in nature. The 17.867 day planet falls within the habitable zone for Wolf 1061 and the 67.274 day planet falls just outside the outer boundary of the habitable zone. There are no signs of activity observed in the bisector spans, cross-correlation FWHMs, calcium H & K indices, NaD indices, or Hα indices near the planetary periods. We use custom methods to generate a cross-correlation template tailored to the star. The resulting velocities do not suffer the strong annual variation observed in the HARPS DRS velocities. This differential technique should deliver better exploitation of the archival HARPS data for the detection of planets at extremely low amplitudes.

  13. Pluto: The Farthest Planet (Usually).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Universe in the Classroom, 1988

    1988-01-01

    Provides background information about the planet Pluto. Includes the history of Pluto and discusses some of the common misconceptions about the planets. Addresses some of the recent discoveries about Pluto and contains a resource list of books, articles, and a videotape. (TW)

  14. The search for life on Earth and other planets.

    PubMed

    Gross, Michael

    2012-04-10

    As the NASA rover Curiosity approaches Mars on its quest to look for signs of past or present life there and sophisticated instruments like the space telescopes Kepler and CoRoT keep discovering additional, more Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars, science faces the question of how to spot life on other planets. Even here on Earth biotopes remain to be discovered and explored. PMID:22611562

  15. Searching for Planets Around Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-09-01

    Did you know that the very first exoplanets ever confirmed were found around a pulsar? The precise timing measurements of pulsar PSR 1257+12 were what made the discovery of its planetary companions possible. Yet surprisingly, though weve discovered thousands of exoplanets since then, only one other planet has ever been confirmed around a pulsar. Now, a team of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science researchers are trying to figure out why.Formation ChallengesThe lack of detected pulsar planets may simply reflect the fact that getting a pulsar-planet system is challenging! There are three main pathways:The planet formed before the host star became a pulsar which means it somehow survived its star going supernova (yikes!).The planet formed elsewhere and was captured by the pulsar.The planet formed out of the debris of the supernova explosion.The first two options, if even possible, are likely to be rare occurrences but the third option shows some promise. In this scenario, after the supernova explosion, a small fraction of the material falls back toward the stellar remnant and is recaptured, forming what is known as a supernova fallback disk. According to this model, planets could potentially form out of this disk.Disk ImplicationsLed by Matthew Kerr, the CSIRO astronomers set out to systematically look for these potential planets that might have formed in situ around pulsars. They searched a sample of 151 young, energetic pulsars, scouring seven years of pulse time-of-arrival data for periodic variation that could signal the presence of planetary companions. Their methods to mitigate pulsar timing noise and model realistic orbits allowed them to have good sensitivity to low-mass planets.The results? They found no conclusive evidence that any of these pulsars have planets.This outcome carries with it some significant implications. The pulsar sample spans 2 Myr in age, in which planets should have had enough time to form in debris disks. The fact that none were detected

  16. From Pixels to Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brownston, Lee; Jenkins, Jon M.

    2015-01-01

    The Kepler Mission was launched in 2009 as NASAs first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. Its telescope consists of a 1.5-m primary mirror and a 0.95-m aperture. The 42 charge-coupled devices in its focal plane are read out every half hour, compressed, and then downlinked monthly. After four years, the second of four reaction wheels failed, ending the original mission. Back on earth, the Science Operations Center developed the Science Pipeline to analyze about 200,000 target stars in Keplers field of view, looking for evidence of periodic dimming suggesting that one or more planets had crossed the face of its host star. The Pipeline comprises several steps, from pixel-level calibration, through noise and artifact removal, to detection of transit-like signals and the construction of a suite of diagnostic tests to guard against false positives. The Kepler Science Pipeline consists of a pipeline infrastructure written in the Java programming language, which marshals data input to and output from MATLAB applications that are executed as external processes. The pipeline modules, which underwent continuous development and refinement even after data started arriving, employ several analytic techniques, many developed for the Kepler Project. Because of the large number of targets, the large amount of data per target and the complexity of the pipeline algorithms, the processing demands are daunting. Some pipeline modules require days to weeks to process all of their targets, even when run on NASA's 128-node Pleiades supercomputer. The software developers are still seeking ways to increase the throughput. To date, the Kepler project has discovered more than 4000 planetary candidates, of which more than 1000 have been independently confirmed or validated to be exoplanets. Funding for this mission is provided by NASAs Science Mission Directorate.

  17. Astrophysics: Growing planet brought to light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Zhaohuan

    2015-11-01

    Thousands of extrasolar planets have been discovered, but none is a planet in its infancy. Observations have finally been made of a young planet growing in its birthplace -- opening the way to many more such discoveries. See Letter p.342

  18. The Metallicity of Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorngren, Daniel P.; Fortney, Jonathan

    2015-12-01

    Unique clues about the formation processes of giant planets can be found in their bulk compositions. Transiting planets provide us with bulk density determinations that can then be compared to models of planetary structure and evolution, to deduce planet bulk metallicities. At a given mass, denser planets have a higher mass fraction of metals. However, the unknown hot Jupiter "radius inflation" mechanism leads to under-dense planets that severely biases this work. Here we look at cooler transiting gas giants (Teff < 1000 K), which do not exhibit the radius inflation effect seen in their warmer cousins. We identified 40 such planets between 20 M_Earth and 20 M_Jup from the literature and used evolution models to determine their bulk heavy-element ("metal") mass. Several important trends are apparent. We see that all planets have at least ~10 M_Earth of metals, and that the mass of metal correlates strongly with the total mass of the planet. The heavy-element mass goes as the square root of the total mass. Both findings are consistent with the core accretion model. We also examined the effect of the parent star metallicity [Fe/H], finding that planets around high-metallicity stars are more likely to have large amounts of metal, but the relation appears weaker than previous studies with smaller sample sizes had suggested. We also looked for connections between bulk composition and planetary orbital parameters and stellar parameters, but saw no pattern, which is also an important result. This work can be directly compared to current and future outputs from planet formation models, including population synthesis.

  19. The Effect of Giant Planets on Habitable Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quintana, Elisa V.; Barclay, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    The giant planets in the Solar System likely played a large role in shaping the properties of the Earth during its formation. To explore their effects, we numerically model the growth of Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars with and without Jupiter and Saturn analog companions. Employing state-of-the-art dynamical formation models that allow both accretion and collisional fragmentation, we perform hundreds of simulations and quantify the specific impact energies of all collisions that lead to the formation of an Earth-analog. Our model tracks the bulk compositions and water abundances in the cores and mantles of the growing protoplanets to constrain the types of giant planet configurations that allow the formation of habitable planets. We find significant differences in the collisional histories and bulk compositions of the final planets formed in the presence of different giant planet configurations. Exoplanet surveys like Kepler hint at a paucity of Jupiter analogs, thus these analyses have important implications for determining the frequency of habitable planets and also support target selection for future exoplanet characterization missions.

  20. Planets around Giant Stars: Results from the Lick Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quirrenbach, Andreas; Reffert, Sabine; Trifonov, Trifon; Bergmann, Christoph; Schwab, Christian

    2015-12-01

    We present results from a radial-velocity survey of 373 giant stars at Lick Observatory, which started in 1999. We have detected planets around 15 of these stars; an additional 20 stars host planet candidates. Companions with up to 25 Jupiter masses are rather commonly found around stars with about 2 Solar masses. The frequency of detected planetary companions appears to increase with metallicity. No planets or planet candidates are found around stars with more than 2.7 Solar masses, although our sample contains 113 such stars. We conclude that the occurrence rate of giant planets as a function of Stellar mass peaks around 2 Solar masses. This has important consequences for our understanding of giant planet formation.The stars 91 Aqr and tau Gem have companions with orbits that are among those with the lowest eccentricities of all known exoplanets, perhaps due to tidal circularization during the RGB phase. If confirmed, this would be the first evidence of planetary orbits modified through stellar evolution.We have discovered several multiple systems in our sample. An extensive dynamical analysis of the eta Cet system indicates that it contains two massive planets in a 2:1 orbital resonance. The star nu Oph is orbited by two brown dwarf companions in a 6:1 resonance. It is likely that they arrived in this resonance through migration in a circumstellar disk, arguing strongly that objects with more than 20 Jupiter masses can be formed in disks around Herbig Ae stars.

  1. 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.; Ménard, 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.

  2. An Update on Planet Nine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-07-01

    Whats the news coming from the research world on the search for Planet Nine? Read on for an update from a few of the latest studies.Artists illustration of Planet Nine, a hypothesized Neptune-sized planet orbiting in the distant reaches of our solar system. [Caltech/Robert Hurt]What is Planet Nine?In January of this year, Caltech researchers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown presented evidence of a distant ninth planet in our solar system. They predicted this planet to be of a mass and volume consistent with a super-Earth, orbiting on a highly eccentric pathwith a period of tens of thousands of years.Since Batygin and Browns prediction, scientists have been hunting for further signs of Planet Nine. Though we havent yet discovered an object matching its description, we have come up with new strategies for finding it, we set some constraints on where it might be, and we made some interesting theoretical predictions about its properties.Visualizations of the resonant orbits of the four longest-period Kuiper belt objects, depicted in a frame rotating with the mean angular velocity of Planet Nine. Planet Nines position is on the right (with the trace of possible eccentric orbits e=0.17 and e=0.4 indicated in red). [Malhotra et al 2016]Here are some of the newest constraints on Planet Nine from studies published just within the past two weeks.Resonant OrbitsRenu Malhotra (University of Arizonas Lunar and Planetary Laboratory) and collaborators present further evidence of the shaping of solar system orbits by the hypothetical Planet Nine. The authors point out that the four longest-period Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) have orbital periods close to integer ratios with each other. Could it be that these outer KBOs have become locked into resonant orbits with a distant, massive body?The authors find that a distant planet orbiting with a period of ~17,117 years and a semimajor axis ~665 AU would have N/1 and N/2 period ratios with these four objects. If this is correct, it

  3. An Update on Planet Nine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-07-01

    Whats the news coming from the research world on the search for Planet Nine? Read on for an update from a few of the latest studies.Artists illustration of Planet Nine, a hypothesized Neptune-sized planet orbiting in the distant reaches of our solar system. [Caltech/Robert Hurt]What is Planet Nine?In January of this year, Caltech researchers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown presented evidence of a distant ninth planet in our solar system. They predicted this planet to be of a mass and volume consistent with a super-Earth, orbiting on a highly eccentric pathwith a period of tens of thousands of years.Since Batygin and Browns prediction, scientists have been hunting for further signs of Planet Nine. Though we havent yet discovered an object matching its description, we have come up with new strategies for finding it, we set some constraints on where it might be, and we made some interesting theoretical predictions about its properties.Visualizations of the resonant orbits of the four longest-period Kuiper belt objects, depicted in a frame rotating with the mean angular velocity of Planet Nine. Planet Nines position is on the right (with the trace of possible eccentric orbits e=0.17 and e=0.4 indicated in red). [Malhotra et al 2016]Here are some of the newest constraints on Planet Nine from studies published just within the past two weeks.Resonant OrbitsRenu Malhotra (University of Arizonas Lunar and Planetary Laboratory) and collaborators present further evidence of the shaping of solar system orbits by the hypothetical Planet Nine. The authors point out that the four longest-period Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) have orbital periods close to integer ratios with each other. Could it be that these outer KBOs have become locked into resonant orbits with a distant, massive body?The authors find that a distant planet orbiting with a period of ~17,117 years and a semimajor axis ~665 AU would have N/1 and N/2 period ratios with these four objects. If this is correct, it

  4. THE FIRST PLANETS: THE CRITICAL METALLICITY FOR PLANET FORMATION

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Jarrett L.; Li Hui

    2012-06-01

    A rapidly growing body of observational results suggests that planet formation takes place preferentially at high metallicity. In the core accretion model of planet formation this is expected because heavy elements are needed to form the dust grains which settle into the midplane of the protoplanetary disk and coagulate to form the planetesimals from which planetary cores are assembled. As well, there is observational evidence that the lifetimes of circumstellar disks are shorter at lower metallicities, likely due to greater susceptibility to photoevaporation. Here we estimate the minimum metallicity for planet formation, by comparing the timescale for dust grain growth and settling to that for disk photoevaporation. For a wide range of circumstellar disk models and dust grain properties, we find that the critical metallicity above which planets can form is a function of the distance r at which the planet orbits its host star. With the iron abundance relative to that of the Sun [Fe/H] as a proxy for the metallicity, we estimate a lower limit for the critical abundance for planet formation of [Fe/H]{sub crit} {approx_equal} -1.5 + log (r/1 AU), where an astronomical unit (AU) is the distance between the Earth and the Sun. This prediction is in agreement with the available observational data, and carries implications for the properties of the first planets and for the emergence of life in the early universe. In particular, it implies that the first Earth-like planets likely formed from circumstellar disks with metallicities Z {approx}> 0.1 Z{sub Sun }. If planets are found to orbit stars with metallicities below the critical metallicity, this may be a strong challenge to the core accretion model.

  5. The Effect of Star-Planet Interactions on Planetary Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shields, Aomawa; Meadows, Victoria; Bitz, Cecilia; Pierrehumbert, Raymond; Joshi, Manoj; Robinson, Tyler; Agol, Eric; Barnes, Rory; Charnay, Benjamin; Virtual Planetary Laboratory

    2015-01-01

    In this work I explored the effect on planetary climate and habitability of interactions between a host star, an orbiting planet and additional planets in a stellar system. I developed and tested models that include both radiative and gravitational effects, and simulated planets covered by ocean, land and water ice, with incident stellar radiation from stars of different spectral types. These simulations showed that ice-covered conditions occurred on an F-dwarf planet with a much smaller decrease in stellar flux than planets orbiting stars with less near-UV radiation, due to ice reflecting strongly in the visible and near-UV. The surface ice-albedo feedback effect is less important at the outer edge of the habitable zone, where ˜3-10 bars of CO2 could entirely mask the climatic effect of ice and snow, leaving the traditional outer limit of the habitable zone unaffected by the spectral dependence of water ice and snow albedo. The exit out of global ice cover was also sensitive to host star spectral energy distribution. A planet orbiting an M-dwarf star exhibited a smaller resistance to melting out of a frozen state, requiring a smaller stellar flux to initiate deglaciation than planets orbiting hotter, brighter stars. Given their greater climate stability, planets orbiting cooler, lower-mass stars may be the best candidates for long-term habitability and life beyond the Solar System. A specific case was explored—that of Kepler-62f, a potentially habitable planet in a five-planet system orbiting a K-dwarf star. Simulations using a 3-D Global Climate Model indicated that Kepler-62f would have areas of the planet with surface temperatures above the freezing point of water with 1 bar or more of CO2 in its atmosphere. In a low-CO2 case, increases in planetary obliquity and orbital eccentricity coupled with an orbital configuration that places the summer solstice at or near pericenter generated regions of the planet with above-freezing surface temperatures, which may

  6. A Planet at 5 AU around 55 Cancri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Butler, R. Paul; Fischer, Debra A.; Laughlin, Greg; Vogt, Steven S.; Henry, Gregory W.; Pourbaix, Dimitri

    2002-12-01

    We report precise Doppler-shift measurements of 55 Cancri (G8 V) obtained from 1989 to 2002 at Lick Observatory. The velocities reveal evidence for an outer planetary companion to 55 Cancri orbiting at 5.5 AU. The velocities also confirm a second, inner planet at 0.11 AU. The outer planet is the first extrasolar planet found that orbits near or beyond the orbit of Jupiter. It was drawn from a sample of ~50 stars observed with sufficient duration and quality to detect a giant planet at 5 AU, implying that such planets are not rare. The properties of this Jupiter analog may be compared directly to those of the Jovian planets in our solar system. Its eccentricity is modest, e=0.16, compared with e=0.05 for both Jupiter and Saturn. Its mass is at least 4.0 MJUP (Msini). The two planets do not perturb each other significantly. Moreover, a third planet of sub-Jupiter mass could easily survive between these two known planets. Indeed, a third periodicity remains in the velocity measurements with P=44.3 days and a semiamplitude of 13 m s-1. This periodicity is caused either by a third planet at a=0.24 AU or by inhomogeneities on the stellar surface that rotate with period 42 days. The planet interpretation is more likely, as the stellar surface is quiet both chromospherically [log(R'HK)=-5.0] and photospherically (brightness variations less than 1 mmag). Moreover, any hypothetical surface inhomogeneity would have to persist in longitude for 14 yr. Even with all three planets, an additional planet of terrestrial mass could orbit stably at ~1 AU. The star 55 Cancri is apparently a normal, middle-aged main-sequence star with a mass of 0.95 Msolar, rich in heavy elements ([Fe/H]=+0.27). This high metallicity raises the issue of the precise relationship between its age, rotation, and chromosphere. Based on observations obtained at Lick Observatory, which is operated by the University of California, and on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated

  7. Characterizing the Atmosphere of a Young Planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Since the discovery of the young, directly imaged planet 51 Eri b, its emergent spectrum has proved challenging to interpret. The initial discovery paper (Macintosh et al. 2015) interpreted the spectrum as indicative of a low mass (few Jupiter masses), effective temperature near 700 degrees Kelvin, and partial cloudiness. Subsequent observations in the K band, however, seem to invalidate the early models. In addition, newly improved photochemical data point to the likely presence of exotic haze species in the atmosphere. In my presentation I will explore the photochemistry of the atmosphere and discuss whether disequilibrium chemistry, hazes, clouds, or non-solar abundances of heavy elements may be responsible for the unusual spectrum of this planet. The implications for the interpretation of other young Jupiters in this mass and effective temperature range will also be considered.

  8. Uncovering the Chemistry of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, L.; Jacobsen, S. B.; Sasselov, D. D.

    2015-12-01

    We propose to use the evidence from our solar system to understand exoplanets, and in particular, to predict their surface chemistry and thereby the possibility of life. An Earth-like planet, born from the same nebula as its host star, is composed primarily of silicate rocks and an iron-nickel metal core, and depleted in volatile content in a systematic manner. The more volatile (easier to vaporize or dissociate into gas form) an element is in an Earth-like planet, the more depleted the element is compared to its host star. After depletion, an Earth-like planet would go through the process of core formation due to heat from radioactive decay and collisions. Core formation depletes a planet's rocky mantle of siderophile (iron-loving) elements, in addition to the volatile depletion. After that, Earth-like planets likely accrete some volatile-rich materials, called "late veneer". The late veneer could be essential to the origins of life on Earth and Earth-like planets, as it also delivers the volatiles such as nitrogen, sulfur, carbon and water to the planet's surface, which are crucial for life to occur. Here we build an integrative model of Earth-like planets from the bottom up. Thus the chemical compositions of Earth-like planets could be inferred from their mass-radius relations and their host stars' elemental abundances, and the origins of volatile contents (especially water) on their surfaces could be understood, and thereby shed light on the origins of life on them. This elemental abundance model could be applied to other rocky exoplanets in exoplanet systems.

  9. Direct thermal imaging of circumstellar discs and exo-planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pantin, Eric; Siebenmorgen, Ralf; Cavarroc, Celine; Sterzik, Michael F.

    2008-07-01

    The phase A study of a mid infrared imager and spectrograph for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), called METIS, was endorsed in May 2008. Two key science drivers of METIS are: a) direct thermal imaging of exo-planets and b) characterization of circumstellar discs from the early proto-planetary to the late debris phase. Observations in the 10μm atmospheric window (N band) require a contrast ratio between stellar light and emitted photons from the exo-planet or the disc of ~ 105. At shorter wavelengths the contrast between star and reflected light from the planet-disc system exceeds >~ 107 posing technical challenges. By means of end-to-end detailed simulations we demonstrate that the superb spatial resolution of a 42m telescope in combination with stellar light rejection methods such as coronagraphic or differential imaging will allow detections at 10μm for a solar type system down to a star-planet separation of 0.1" and a mass limit for irradiated planets of 1 Jupiter (MJ) mass. In case of self-luminous planets observations are possible further out e.g. at the separation limit of JWST of ~ 0.7", METIS will detect planets >~5MJ. This allows to derive a census of all such exo-planets by means of thermal imaging in a volume limited sample of up to 6pc. In addition, METIS will provide the possibility to study the chemical composition of atmospheres of exo-planets using spectroscopy at moderate spectral resolution (λ/Δλ ~ 100) for the brightest targets. Based on detailed performance and sensitivity estimates, we demonstrate that a mid-infrared instrument on an ELT is perfectly suited to observe gravitationally created structures such as gaps in proto- and post- planetary discs, in a complementary way to space missions (e.g. JWST, SOFIA) and ALMA which can only probe the cold dust emission further out.

  10. A Ninth Planet in Our Solar System?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    The recent discovery that the orbits of some Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) share properties has proved puzzling. A pair of scientists have now proposed a bold explanation: there may be a planet-sized object yet undetected in our solar system.Mysterious ClusteringKBOs, the population of mainly small objects beyond Neptune, have proven an especially interesting subject of study in the last decade as many small, distant bodies (such as Eris, the object that led to the demotion of Pluto to dwarf planet) have been discovered.Previous studies have recently discovered that some especially distant KBOs those that orbit with semimajor axes of a 150 AU, nearly four times that of Pluto all cross the ecliptic at a similar phase in their elliptical trajectories. This is unexpected, since gravitational tugs from the giant planets should have randomized this parameter over our solar systems multi-billion-year lifespan.Physical alignment of the orbits of Kuiper belt objects with a 250 AU (and two objects with a 150 AU that are dynamically stable). [Batygin Brown 2016]Two scientists at California Institute of Technology, Konstantin Batygin and Michael Brown (you might recognize Brown as the man who killed Pluto) have now increased the mystery. In a recently published a study, they demonstrate that for KBOs that have orbits with a 250 AU, the orbits are actually physically aligned.To explain this unexpected alignment which Batygin and Brown calculate has only a 0.007% probability of having occurred by chance the authors ask an exciting question: could this be caused by the presence of an unseen, large, perturbing body further out in the solar system?Simulating a Ninth PlanetThe authors test this hypothesis by carrying out both analytical calculations and numerical N-body simulations designed to determine if the gravitational influence of a distant, planetary-mass companion can explain the behavior we observe from the large-orbit KBOs.Simulation of the effect of a distant planet (M = 10

  11. Five New Exoplanets Orbiting Three Metal-rich, Massive Stars: Two-planet Systems Including Long-period Planets and an Eccentric Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harakawa, Hiroki; Sato, Bun'ei; Omiya, Masashi; Fischer, Debra A.; Hori, Yasunori; Ida, Shigeru; Kambe, Eiji; Yoshida, Michitoshi; Izumiura, Hideyuki; Koyano, Hisashi; Nagayama, Shogo; Shimizu, Yasuhiro; Okada, Norio; Okita, Kiichi; Sakamoto, Akihiro; Yamamuro, Tomoyasu

    2015-06-01

    We report detections of new exoplanets from a radial-velocity (RV) survey of metal-rich FGK stars by using three telescopes. By optimizing our RV analysis method to long time-baseline observations, we have succeeded in detecting five new Jovian planets around three metal-rich stars, HD 1605, HD 1666, and HD 67087, with masses of 1.3 {{M}⊙ }, 1.5 {{M}⊙ }, and 1.4 {{M}⊙ }, respectively. A K1 subgiant star, HD 1605 hosts two planetary companions with minimum masses of {{M}p}sin i=0.96{{M}Jup} and 3.5{{M}Jup} in circular orbits with the planets’ periods P=577.9 and 2111 days, respectively. HD 1605 shows a significant linear trend in RVs. Such a system consisting of Jovian planets in circular orbits has rarely been found and thus HD 1605 should be an important example of a multi-planetary system that is likely unperturbed by planet-planet interactions. HD 1666 is an F7 main-sequence star that hosts an eccentric and massive planet of {{M}p}sin i=6.4{{M}Jup} in an orbit with {{a}p}=0.94 AU and eccentricity e=0.63. Such an eccentric and massive planet can be explained as a result of planet-planet interactions among Jovian planets. While we have found large residuals of rms=35.6 m {{s}-1}, the periodogram analysis does not support any additional periodicities. Finally, HD 67087 hosts two planets of {{M}p}sin i=3.1{{M}Jup} and 4.9{{M}Jup} in orbits with P=352.2 and 2374 days, and e=0.17 and 0.76, respectively. Although the current RVs do not lead to accurate determinations of its orbit and mass, HD 67087 c can be one of the most eccentric planets ever discovered in multiple systems.

  12. Giant Planet Candidates, Brown Dwarfs, and Binaries from the SDSS-III MARVELS Planet Survey.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Neil; Ge, Jian; Li, Rui; de Lee, Nathan M.; Heslar, Michael; Ma, Bo; SDSS-Iii Marvels Team

    2015-01-01

    We report the discoveries of giant planet candidates, brown dwarfs, and binaries from the SDSS-III MARVELS survey. The finalized 1D pipeline has provided 18 giant planet candidates, 16 brown dwarfs, and over 500 binaries. An additional 96 targets having RV variability indicative of a giant planet companion are also reported for future investigation. These candidates are found using the advanced MARVELS 1D data pipeline developed at UF from scratch over the past three years. This pipeline carefully corrects most of the instrument effects (such as trace, slant, distortion, drifts and dispersion) and observation condition effects (such as illumination profile, fiber degradation, and tracking variations). The result is long-term RV precisions that approach the photon limits in many cases for the ~89,000 individual stellar observations. A 2D version of the pipeline that uses interferometric information is nearing completion and is demonstrating a reduction of errors to half the current levels. The 2D processing will be used to increase the robustness of the detections presented here and to find new candidates in RV regions not confidently detectable with the 1D pipeline. The MARVELS survey has produced the largest homogeneous RV measurements of 3300 V=7.6-12 FGK stars with a well defined cadence of 27 RV measurements over 2 years. The MARVELS RV data and other follow-up data (photometry, high contrast imaging, high resolution spectroscopy and RV measurements) will explore the diversity of giant planet companion formation and evolution around stars with a broad range in metallicity (Fe/H -1.5-0.5), mass ( 0.6-2.5M(sun)), and environment (thin disk and thick disk), and will help to address the key scientific questions identified for the MARVELS survey including, but not limited to: Do metal poor stars obey the same trends for planet occurrence as metal rich stars? What is the distribution of giant planets around intermediate-mass stars and binaries? Is the 'planet desert

  13. Comparative ionospheres. I - The inner planets. II - The outer planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cravens, T. E.

    1983-01-01

    A description is given first of the fundamental physical and chemical processes controlling the thermospheres and ionospheres of the inner planets, Venus and Mars. A comparison is made between the neutral composition and temperature structure of Venus and Mars and those of the earth. Consideration is then given to the chemical and diffusion processes in the ionosphere. After a brief treatment of the ionospheric energetics and heat sources, the mechanisms underlying the maintenance of the nightside ionosphere of Venus are reviewed. A description is then given of the upper atmospheres and ionospheres of the major planets, Jupiter and Saturn. The treatment of the temperature structure and composition of the thermospheres of the major planets includes a description of the physical and chemical processes controlling the hydrocarbons and atomic hydrogen. A comparison is then made between the ionospheres of the major planets and those of the inner planets. It is noted that Io and Titan also have atmospheres and ionospheres, and these are treated briefly. Even though comets cannot be classed as planets, they have atmospheres and ionospheres that are not gravitationally confined.

  14. Migration & Extra-solar Terrestrial Planets: Watering the Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter-Bond, Jade C.; O'Brien, David P.; Raymond, Sean N.

    2014-04-01

    A diverse range of terrestrial planet compositions is believed to exist within known extrasolar planetary systems, ranging from those that are relatively Earth-like to those that are highly unusual, dominated by species such as refractory elements (Al and Ca) or C (as pure C, TiC and SiC)(Bond et al. 2010b). However, all prior simulations have ignored the impact that giant planet migration during planetary accretion may have on the final terrestrial planetary composition. Here, we combined chemical equilibrium models of the disk around five known planetary host stars (Solar, HD4203, HD19994, HD213240 and Gl777) with dynamical models of terrestrial planet formation incorporating various degrees of giant planet migration. Giant planet migration is found to drastically impact terrestrial planet composition by 1) increasing the amount of Mg-silicate species present in the final body; and 2) dramatically increasing the efficiency and amount of water delivered to the terrestrial bodies during their formation process.

  15. Prognosis for a sick planet.

    PubMed

    Maslin, Mark

    2008-12-01

    Global warming is the most important science issue of the 21st century, challenging the very structure of our global society. The study of past climate has shown that the current global climate system is extremely sensitive to human-induced climate change. The burning of fossil fuels since the beginning of the industrial revolution has already caused changes with clear evidence for a 0.75 degrees C rise in global temperatures and 22 cm rise in sea level during the 20th century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change synthesis report (2007) predicts that global temperatures by 2100 could rise by between 1.1 degrees C and 6.4 degrees C. Sea level could rise by between 28 cm and 79 cm, more if the melting of the polar ice caps accelerates. In addition, weather patterns will become less predictable and the occurrence of extreme climate events, such as storms, floods, heat waves and droughts, will increase. The potential effects of global warming on human society are devastating. We do, however, already have many of the technological solutions to cure our sick planet. PMID:19149275

  16. Planets to Cosmology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livio, Mario; Casertano, Stefano

    2006-04-01

    Preface; 1. Hubble's view of transiting planets D. Charbonneau; 2. Unsolved problems in star formation C. J. Clarke; 3. Star formation in clusters S. S. Larson; 4. HST abundance studies of low metallicity stars J. W. Truran, C. Sneden, F. Primas, J. J. Cowan and T. Beers; 5. Physical environments and feedback: HST studies of intense star-forming environments J. S. Gallagher, L. J. Smith and R. W. O'Connell; 6. Quasar hosts: growing up with monstrous middles K. K. McLeod; 7. Reverberation mapping of active galactic nuclei B. M. Peterson and K. Horne; 8. Feedback at high redshift A. E. Shapley; 9. The baryon content of the local intergalactic medium J. T. Stocke, J. M. Shull, and S. V. Penton; 10. Hot baryons in supercluster filaments E. D. Miller, R. A. Dupke and J. N. Bregman; 11. Galaxy assembly E. F. Bell; 12. Probing the reionization history of the Universe Z. Haiman; 13. Studying distant infrared-luminous galaxies with Spitzer and Hubble C. Papovich, E. Egami, E. Le Floc'h, P. Pérez-González, G. Rieke, J. Rigby, H. Dole and M. Reike; 14. Galaxies at z = g-i'-drop selection and the GLARE Project E. R. Stanway, K. Glazebrook, A. J. Bunker and the GLARE Consortium; 15. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field with NIMCOS R. I. Thompson, R. J. Bouwens and G. Illingworth.

  17. Planets to Cosmology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livio, Mario; Casertano, Stefano

    2011-11-01

    Preface; 1. Hubble's view of transiting planets D. Charbonneau; 2. Unsolved problems in star formation C. J. Clarke; 3. Star formation in clusters S. S. Larson; 4. HST abundance studies of low metallicity stars J. W. Truran, C. Sneden, F. Primas, J. J. Cowan and T. Beers; 5. Physical environments and feedback: HST studies of intense star-forming environments J. S. Gallagher, L. J. Smith and R. W. O'Connell; 6. Quasar hosts: growing up with monstrous middles K. K. McLeod; 7. Reverberation mapping of active galactic nuclei B. M. Peterson and K. Horne; 8. Feedback at high redshift A. E. Shapley; 9. The baryon content of the local intergalactic medium J. T. Stocke, J. M. Shull, and S. V. Penton; 10. Hot baryons in supercluster filaments E. D. Miller, R. A. Dupke and J. N. Bregman; 11. Galaxy assembly E. F. Bell; 12. Probing the reionization history of the Universe Z. Haiman; 13. Studying distant infrared-luminous galaxies with Spitzer and Hubble C. Papovich, E. Egami, E. Le Floc'h, P. Pérez-González, G. Rieke, J. Rigby, H. Dole and M. Reike; 14. Galaxies at z = g-i'-drop selection and the GLARE Project E. R. Stanway, K. Glazebrook, A. J. Bunker and the GLARE Consortium; 15. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field with NIMCOS R. I. Thompson, R. J. Bouwens and G. Illingworth.

  18. Outer planets satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, D.

    1983-01-01

    The present investigation takes into account the published literature on outer planet satellites for 1979-1982. It is pointed out that all but three (the moon and the two Martian satellites) of the known planetary satellites are found in the outer solar system. Most of these are associated with the three regular satellite systems of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. The largest satellites are Titan in the Saturn system and Ganymede and Callisto in the Jupiter system. Intermediate in size between Mercury and Mars, each has a diameter of about 5000 km. Presumably each has an internal composition about 60 percent rock and 40 ice, and each is differentiated with a dense core extending out about 75 percent of the distance to the surface, with a mantle of high-pressure ice and a crust of ordinary ice perhaps 100 km thick. Attention is also given to Io, Europa, the icy satellites of Saturn, the satellites of Uranus, the small satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, Triton and the Pluto system, and plans for future studies.

  19. Likely Planet Candidates Identified by Machine Learning Applied to Four Years of Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Jon M.; McCauliff, S. D.; Catanzarite, J. H.; Twicken, J. D.; Klaus, T. C.; SOC, Kepler; SO, Kepler

    2013-10-01

    Over 3,200 transiting planet candidates, 134 confirmed planets, and ~2,400 eclipsing binaries have been identified by the Kepler Science pipeline since launch in March 2009. Compiling the list of candidates is an intensive manual effort as over 18,000 transit-like signatures are identified for a run across 34 months. The vast majority are caused by artifacts that mimic transits. While the pipeline provides diagnostics that can reduce the initial list down to ~5,000 light curves, this effort can overlook valid planetary candidates. The large number of diagnostics 100) makes it difficult to examine all the information available in identifying planetary candidates. The effort required for vetting all threshold-crossing events (TCEs) takes several months by many individuals associated with the Kepler Threshold Crossing Event Review Team (TCERT). We have developed a random-forest classifier that decides whether a TCE should be called `planet candidate’, `astrophysical false positive’, or `non-transiting phenomena’. Ideally a machine learning algorithm will generate a list of candidates that approximates those generated by human review, thereby allowing the humans to focus on the most interesting cases. By using a machine learning-based auto-vetting process, we have the opportunity to identify the most important metrics and diagnostics for separating signatures of transiting planets and eclipsing binaries from instrument-induced features, thereby improving the efficiency of the manual effort. We report the results of a applying a random forest classifier to four years of Kepler data. We present characteristics of the likely planet candidates identified by the auto-vetter as well as those objects classified as astrophysical false positives (eclipsing binaries and background eclipsing binaries). We examine the auto-vetter's performance through receiver operating characteristic curves for each of three classes: planet candidate, astrophysical false positive, and

  20. ARCHITECTURE OF PLANETARY SYSTEMS BASED ON KEPLER DATA: NUMBER OF PLANETS AND COPLANARITY

    SciTech Connect

    Fang, Julia; Margot, Jean-Luc

    2012-12-20

    We investigated the underlying architecture of planetary systems by deriving the distribution of planet multiplicity (number of planets) and the distribution of orbital inclinations based on the sample of planet candidates discovered by the Kepler mission. The scope of our study included solar-like stars and planets with orbital periods less than 200 days and with radii between 1.5 and 30 Earth radii, and was based on Kepler planet candidates detected during Quarters 1-6. We created models of planetary systems with different distributions of planet multiplicity and inclinations, simulated observations of these systems by Kepler, and compared the properties of the transits of detectable objects to actual Kepler planet detections. Specifically, we compared with both the Kepler sample's transit numbers and normalized transit duration ratios in order to determine each model's goodness of fit. We did not include any constraints from radial velocity surveys. Based on our best-fit models, 75%-80% of planetary systems have one or two planets with orbital periods less than 200 days. In addition, over 85% of planets have orbital inclinations less than 3 Degree-Sign (relative to a common reference plane). This high degree of coplanarity is comparable to that seen in our solar system. These results have implications for planet formation and evolution theories. Low inclinations are consistent with planets forming in a protoplanetary disk, followed by evolution without significant and lasting perturbations from other bodies capable of increasing inclinations.

  1. Thermoelectric Outer Planets Spacecraft (TOPS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    The research and advanced development work is reported on a ballistic-mode, outer planet spacecraft using radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) power. The Thermoelectric Outer Planet Spacecraft (TOPS) project was established to provide the advanced systems technology that would allow the realistic estimates of performance, cost, reliability, and scheduling that are required for an actual flight mission. A system design of the complete RTG-powered outer planet spacecraft was made; major technical innovations of certain hardware elements were designed, developed, and tested; and reliability and quality assurance concepts were developed for long-life requirements. At the conclusion of its active phase, the TOPS Project reached its principal objectives: a development and experience base was established for project definition, and for estimating cost, performance, and reliability; an understanding of system and subsystem capabilities for successful outer planets missions was achieved. The system design answered long-life requirements with massive redundancy, controlled by on-board analysis of spacecraft performance data.

  2. Astrographic Positions of Minor Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naskrecki, W.; Swierkowska, S.

    The paper presents the photographic position of minor planets taken in the years 1986/1987 at the Astronomical Observatory of A. Mickiewicz University, Poznan, with an astrograph of the F=1500 mm, d=300 mm.

  3. Astrographic Positions of Minor Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nasrecki, W.; Swierkowska, S.

    The paper presents the photographic position of minor planets taken in the years 1985-1986 at the Astronomical Observatory of A. Mickiewicz University, Poznan, with a astrograph of the F=1500 mm, d=300 mm.

  4. Magnetospheres of the outer planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanallen, James A.

    1987-01-01

    The five qualitatively different types of magnetism that a planet body can exhibit are outlined. Potential sources of energetic particles in a planetary magnetosphere are discussed. The magnetosphere of Uranus and Neptune are then described using Pioneer 10 data.

  5. Voyager to the Seventh Planet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gold, Michael

    1986-01-01

    Presents recent findings obtained by the Voyager 2 mission on Uranus. Updates information on the planet's moons, rings, atmosphere, and magnetic field. Illustrations and diagrams of selected aspects of Uranus are included. (ML)

  6. Planet Hunters: Kepler by Eye

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Debris disks as signposts of terrestrial planet formation. II. Dependence of exoplanet architectures on giant planet and disk properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raymond, S. N.; Armitage, P. J.; Moro-Martín, A.; Booth, M.; Wyatt, M. C.; Armstrong, J. C.; Mandell, A. M.; Selsis, F.; West, A. A.

    2012-05-01

    We present models for the formation of terrestrial planets, and the collisional evolution of debris disks, in planetary systems that contain multiple marginally unstable gas giants. We previously showed that in such systems, the dynamics of the giant planets introduces a correlation between the presence of terrestrial planets and cold dust, i.e., debris disks, which is particularly pronounced at λ ~ 70 μm. Here we present new simulations that show that this connection is qualitatively robust to a range of parameters: the mass distribution of the giant planets, the width and mass distribution of the outer planetesimal disk, and the presence of gas in the disk when the giant planets become unstable. We discuss how variations in these parameters affect the evolution. We find that systems with equal-mass giant planets undergo the most violent instabilities, and that these destroy both terrestrial planets and the outer planetesimal disks that produce debris disks. In contrast, systems with low-mass giant planets efficiently produce both terrestrial planets and debris disks. A large fraction of systems with low-mass (M ≲ 30 M⊕) outermost giant planets have final planetary separations that, scaled to the planets' masses, are as large or larger than the Saturn-Uranus and Uranus-Neptune separations in the solar system. We find that the gaps between these planets are not only dynamically stable to test particles, but are frequently populated by planetesimals. The possibility of planetesimal belts between outer giant planets should be taken into account when interpreting debris disk SEDs. In addition, the presence of ~ Earth-mass "seeds" in outer planetesimal disks causes the disks to radially spread to colder temperatures, and leads to a slow depletion of the outer planetesimal disk from the inside out. We argue that this may explain the very low frequency of >1 Gyr-old solar-type stars with observed 24 μm excesses. Our simulations do not sample the full range of

  8. Planets in extreme magnetic environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moutou, Claire

    2015-12-01

    Interactions between stars and planets in very close-in systems include irradiation, tidal and magnetic effects, the relative amplitudes of which depend on the system parameters. The extent of magnetic interactions, however, is only poorly known since the magnetic fields of the parent star itself is barely characterized. In this presentation, I will review the recent efforts made to measure and characterize the magnetic fields of star hosting close-in planets, in order to provide quantitative constraints in the studies of star-planet interactions.We have been using the spectropolarimeters CFHT/ESPaDOnS and TBL/NARVAL to assess the our ability to detect the circular polarization of several dozens planet-host stars, and to map the large-scale magnetic topology of a sub-sample of these stars. The detection of magnetic fields as low as a few Gauss is possible around relatively bright, solar-like stars. After hot-Jupiter systems, we got interested in systems with smaller planets in close orbits. Several applications of these magnetic topologies have already been used in theoretical analyses of the star-planet interactions, that we will briefly review. Perspectives for this work include further observing programs and more detailed theoretical representations.

  9. Kuiper Prize: Giant Planet Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingersoll, Andrew P.

    2007-10-01

    The study of giant planet atmospheres is near and dear to me, for several reasons. First, the giant planets are photogenic; the colored clouds are great tracers, and one can make fantastic movies of the atmosphere in motion. Second, the giant planets challenge us with storms that last for hundreds of years and winds that blow faster the farther you go from the sun. Third, they remind us of Earth with their hurricanes, auroras, and lightning, but they also are the link to the 200 giant planets that have been discovered around other stars. This talk will cover the past, present, and future (one hopes) of giant planet research. I will review the surprises of the Voyager and Galileo eras, and will discuss what we are learning now from the Cassini orbiter. I will review the prospects for answering the outstanding questions like: Where's the water? What is providing the colors of the clouds? How deep do the features extend? Where do the winds get their energy? What is the role of the magnetic field? Finally, I will briefly discuss how extrasolar giant planets compare with objects in our own solar system.

  10. Evolution of ore deposits on terrestrial planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, R. G.

    1991-01-01

    Ore deposits on terrestrial planets materialized after core formation, mantle evolution, crustal development, interactions of surface rocks with the hydrosphere and atmosphere, and, where life exists on a planet, the involvement of biological activity. Core formation removed most of the siderophilic and chalcophilic elements, leaving mantles depleted in many of the strategic and noble metals relative to their chondritic abundances. Basaltic magma derived from partial melting of the mantle transported to the surface several metals contained in immiscible silicate and sulfide melts. Magmatic ore deposits were formed during cooling, fractional crystallization and density stratification from the basaltic melts. Such ore deposits found in earth's Archean rocks were probably generated during early histories of all terrestrial planets and may be the only types of igneous ores on Mars. Where plate tectonic activity was prevalent on a terrestrial planet, temporal evolution of ore deposits took place. Repetitive episodes of subduction modified the chemical compositions of the crust and upper mantles, leading to porphyry copper and molybdenum ores in calc-alkaline igneous rocks and granite-hosted tin and tungsten deposits. Such plate tectonic-induced mineralization in relatively young igneous rocks on earth may also have produced hydrothermal ore deposits on Venus in addition to the massive sulfide and cumulate chromite ores associated with Venusian mafic igneous rock. Sedimentary ore deposits resulting from mechanical and chemical weathering in reducing atmospheres in Archean earth included placer deposits (e.g., uraninite, gold, pyrite ores). Chromite, ilmenite, and other dense unreactive minerals could also be present on channel floors and in valley networks on Mars, while banded iron formations might underlie the Martian northern plains regions. As oxygen evolved in earth's atmosphere, so too did oxide ores. By analogy, gossans above sulfide ores probably occur on Mars

  11. Planet Hunters. VIII. Characterization of 41 Long-period Exoplanet Candidates from Kepler Archival Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Barclay, Thomas; Picard, Alyssa; Ma, Bo; Bowler, Brendan P.; Schmitt, Joseph R.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Jek, Kian J.; LaCourse, Daryll; Baranec, Christoph; Riddle, Reed; Law, Nicholas M.; Lintott, Chris; Schawinski, Kevin; Simister, Dean Joseph; Grégoire, Boscher; Babin, Sean P.; Poile, Trevor; Jacobs, Thomas Lee; Jebson, Tony; Omohundro, Mark R.; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Sejpka, Johann; Terentev, Ivan A.; Gagliano, Robert; Paakkonen, Jari-Pekka; Otnes Berge, Hans Kristian; Winarski, Troy; Green, Gerald R.; Schmitt, Allan R.; Kristiansen, Martti H.; Hoekstra, Abe

    2015-12-01

    The census of exoplanets is incomplete for orbital distances larger than 1 AU. Here, we present 41 long-period planet candidates in 38 systems identified by Planet Hunters based on Kepler archival data (Q0-Q17). Among them, 17 exhibit only one transit, 14 have two visible transits, and 10 have more than three visible transits. For planet candidates with only one visible transit, we estimate their orbital periods based on transit duration and host star properties. The majority of the planet candidates in this work (75%) have orbital periods that correspond to distances of 1-3 AU from their host stars. We conduct follow-up imaging and spectroscopic observations to validate and characterize planet host stars. In total, we obtain adaptive optics images for 33 stars to search for possible blending sources. Six stars have stellar companions within 4″. We obtain high-resolution spectra for 6 stars to determine their physical properties. Stellar properties for other stars are obtained from the NASA Exoplanet Archive and the Kepler Stellar Catalog by Huber et al. We validate 7 planet candidates that have planet confidence over 0.997 (3σ level). These validated planets include 3 single-transit planets (KIC-3558849b, KIC-5951458b, and KIC-8540376c), 3 planets with double transits (KIC-8540376b, KIC-9663113b, and KIC-10525077b), and 1 planet with four transits (KIC-5437945b). This work provides assessment regarding the existence of planets at wide separations and the associated false positive rate for transiting observation (17%-33%). More than half of the long-period planets with at least three transits in this paper exhibit transit timing variations up to 41 hr, which suggest additional components that dynamically interact with the transiting planet candidates. The nature of these components can be determined by follow-up radial velocity and transit observations.

  12. Collisional Evolution of Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agnor, C. B.; Asphaug, E. I.

    2003-05-01

    The currently accepted model for the formation of terrestrial planets describes their growth as the collisional accumulation of rocky or sometimes molten planetesimals. The characteristics of the planets produced by this process are, to a large degree, determined by their collisional evolution, and their associated differentiation and thermal evolution. Studies of planet formation and planetary collisional evolution have typically been conducted separately. Most works of late-stage planet formation use perfectly inelastic mergers to model collisions (e.g. Agnor, Canup & Levison 1999, Chambers 2001, Levison & Agnor 2003), with certain recognized inadequacies, notably rotationally unstable spin rates acquired as a planet grows. Do planets really accrete in this manner? On the other hand, most of the work studying the collisional evolution of terrestrial planets has focused on determining the efficacy of single impacts to account for particular planetary characteristics and the formation of satellites (e.g. Benz et al. 1988, Canup & Asphaug 2001). It has been recognized for some time (Wetherill 1985) that the final characteristics (e.g. spin state, bulk composition, isotopic age) of an accreting planet are determined not by the last or single largest collision (Agnor, Canup & Levison 1999) but by all of the major collisional encounters in a planet's history. As demonstrated in our impact models, each major impact changes the silicate to metal ratio, the thermal state, and the spin state, and sets the stage for subsequent collisions. We have commenced a detailed study of collision dynamics and outcomes common to the late stage of terrestrial planet accretion. We are modeling collisions using smooth particle hydrodynamics to examine, primarily, the regimes of impact that truly allow for accretion (i.e. mass accumulation instead of mass loss). We are also studying the cumulative affect of giant impacts on major planetary characteristics (such as composition and spin) and

  13. The signature of orbital motion from the dayside of the planet τ Boötis b.

    PubMed

    Brogi, Matteo; Snellen, Ignas A G; de Kok, Remco J; Albrecht, Simon; Birkby, Jayne; de Mooij, Ernst J W

    2012-06-28

    The giant planet orbiting τ Boötis (named τ Boötis b) was amongst the first extrasolar planets to be discovered. It is one of the brightest exoplanets and one of the nearest to us, with an orbital period of just a few days. Over the course of more than a decade, measurements of its orbital inclination have been announced and refuted, and have hitherto remained elusive. Here we report the detection of carbon monoxide absorption in the thermal dayside spectrum of τ Boötis b. At a spectral resolution of ∼100,000, we trace the change in the radial velocity of the planet over a large range in phase, determining an orbital inclination of 44.5° ± 1.5° and a mass 5.95 ± 0.28 times that of Jupiter, demonstrating that atmospheric characterization is possible for non-transiting planets. The strong absorption signal points to an atmosphere with a temperature that is decreasing towards higher altitudes, in contrast to the temperature inversion inferred for other highly irradiated planets. This supports the hypothesis that the absorbing compounds believed to cause such atmospheric inversions are destroyed in τ Boötis b by the ultraviolet emission from the active host star. PMID:22739313

  14. Evolution of Noncoplanar Disks and Planets in Binary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lubow, Stephen H.; Martin, Rebecca G.

    2016-06-01

    We have been analyzing the evolution of a gaseous disk and planet that orbit a member of a binary star system. The disk and planet lie in orbital planes that are initially tilted with respect to the binary orbital plane. Some of our main results are as follows.1) A disk without a planet that is tilted by more than about 40 degrees can undergo coherent Kozai-Lidov tilt oscillations that cause oscillations in disk eccentricity and enhanced dissipation.2) A disk and planet that are initially mutually coplanar, but tilted by a small angle with respect to the binary orbital plane, do not remain mutually coplanar. They undergo mutual tilt oscillations that are amplified by a secular resonance.3) A disk and planet that are initially mutually coplanar, but somewhat tilted with respect to the binary orbital plane, each undergo Kozai-Lidov oscillations, in addition to the mutual tilt oscillations discussed in item 2. The latter oscillations can boost a relatively small initial tilt into the Kozai-Lidov regime.4) Kozai-Lidov disk oscillations of a disk with some self-gravity expedite disk fragmentation. The fragmentation may in turn result in planet formation.

  15. TRANSITS OF TRANSPARENT PLANETS-ATMOSPHERIC LENSING EFFECTS

    SciTech Connect

    Sidis, Omer; Sari, Re'em

    2010-09-01

    Light refracted by the planet's atmosphere is usually ignored in analysis of planetary transits. Here, we show that refraction can add shoulders to the transit light curve, i.e., an increase in the observed flux, mostly just before and after the transit. During transit, light may be refracted away from the observer. Therefore, even completely transparent planets will display a very similar signal to that of a standard transit, i.e., of an opaque planet. We provide analytical expression for the amount of additional light deflected toward the observer before the transit, and show that the effect may be as large as 10{sup -4} of the stellar light and therefore measurable by current instruments. By observing this effect, we can directly measure the scale height of the planet's atmosphere. We also consider the attenuation of starlight in the planetary atmosphere due to Rayleigh scattering and discuss the conditions under which the atmospheric lensing effect is most prominent. We show that, for planets on orbital periods larger than about 70 days, the size of the transit is determined by refraction effects, and not by absorption within the planet.

  16. Characterizing the shortest-period planets found by Kepler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchis Ojeda, Roberto; Winn, Joshua N.; Rappaport, Saul A.

    2015-01-01

    It is no coincidence that the first exoplanets known to have rocky compositions, CoRoT-7b and Kepler-10b, both have orbital periods shorter than one day. Such ultra-short periods facilitate planet discovery and characterization, by enabling a large number of transits to be observed, enhancing the amplitude of the radial-velocity signal, and allowing a cleaner separation of the radial-velocity signal from the slower spurious variations due to stellar activity. We have constructed a list of 106 planet candidates with periods shorter than one day, based on an independent search of the Kepler database as well as a critical review of previously published candidates. Our survey has revealed that ultra-short-period planets are approximately as common as hot Jupiters, but are almost always smaller than 2 RE. In addition, the ultra-short-period planets tend to be found as part of compact multi-planet systems, in contrast to the 'loneliness' of hot Jupiters. I will describe our ongoing efforts to characterize this new family of planets, with a combination of stellar spectroscopy and radial-velocity monitoring using the Keck telescopes.

  17. GIANT PLANETS ORBITING METAL-RICH STARS SHOW SIGNATURES OF PLANET-PLANET INTERACTIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Dawson, Rebekah I.; Murray-Clay, Ruth A.

    2013-04-20

    Gas giants orbiting interior to the ice line are thought to have been displaced from their formation locations by processes that remain debated. Here we uncover several new metallicity trends, which together may indicate that two competing mechanisms deliver close-in giant planets: gentle disk migration, operating in environments with a range of metallicities, and violent planet-planet gravitational interactions, primarily triggered in metal-rich systems in which multiple giant planets can form. First, we show with 99.1% confidence that giant planets with semimajor axes between 0.1 and 1 AU orbiting metal-poor stars ([Fe/H] < 0) are confined to lower eccentricities than those orbiting metal-rich stars. Second, we show with 93.3% confidence that eccentric proto-hot Jupiters undergoing tidal circularization primarily orbit metal-rich stars. Finally, we show that only metal-rich stars host a pile-up of hot Jupiters, helping account for the lack of such a pile-up in the overall Kepler sample. Migration caused by stellar perturbers (e.g., stellar Kozai) is unlikely to account for the trends. These trends further motivate follow-up theoretical work addressing which hot Jupiter migration theories can also produce the observed population of eccentric giant planets between 0.1 and 1 AU.

  18. Validation of Kepler's multiple planet candidates. III. Light curve analysis and announcement of hundreds of new multi-planet systems

    SciTech Connect

    Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Jontof-Hutter, Daniel; Mullally, Fergal; Howell, Steve B.; Borucki, William J.; Haas, Michael; Huber, Daniel; Thompson, Susan E.; Quintana, Elisa; Barclay, Thomas; Still, Martin; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Issacson, Howard; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Ford, Eric; Steffen, Jason H.; Gautier, T. N. III; and others

    2014-03-20

    The Kepler mission has discovered more than 2500 exoplanet candidates in the first two years of spacecraft data, with approximately 40% of those in candidate multi-planet systems. The high rate of multiplicity combined with the low rate of identified false positives indicates that the multiplanet systems contain very few false positive signals due to other systems not gravitationally bound to the target star. False positives in the multi-planet systems are identified and removed, leaving behind a residual population of candidate multi-planet transiting systems expected to have a false positive rate less than 1%. We present a sample of 340 planetary systems that contain 851 planets that are validated to substantially better than the 99% confidence level; the vast majority of these have not been previously verified as planets. We expect ∼two unidentified false positives making our sample of planet very reliable. We present fundamental planetary properties of our sample based on a comprehensive analysis of Kepler light curves, ground-based spectroscopy, and high-resolution imaging. Since we do not require spectroscopy or high-resolution imaging for validation, some of our derived parameters for a planetary system may be systematically incorrect due to dilution from light due to additional stars in the photometric aperture. Nonetheless, our result nearly doubles the number verified exoplanets.

  19. Validation of Kepler's Multiple Planet Candidates. III. Light Curve Analysis and Announcement of Hundreds of New Multi-planet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Jontof-Hutter, Daniel; Mullally, Fergal; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Issacson, Howard; Ford, Eric; Howell, Steve B.; Borucki, William J.; Haas, Michael; Huber, Daniel; Steffen, Jason H.; Thompson, Susan E.; Quintana, Elisa; Barclay, Thomas; Still, Martin; Fortney, Jonathan; Gautier, T. N., III; Hunter, Roger; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Ciardi, David R.; Devore, Edna; Cochran, William; Jenkins, Jon; Agol, Eric; Carter, Joshua A.; Geary, John

    2014-03-01

    The Kepler mission has discovered more than 2500 exoplanet candidates in the first two years of spacecraft data, with approximately 40% of those in candidate multi-planet systems. The high rate of multiplicity combined with the low rate of identified false positives indicates that the multiplanet systems contain very few false positive signals due to other systems not gravitationally bound to the target star. False positives in the multi-planet systems are identified and removed, leaving behind a residual population of candidate multi-planet transiting systems expected to have a false positive rate less than 1%. We present a sample of 340 planetary systems that contain 851 planets that are validated to substantially better than the 99% confidence level; the vast majority of these have not been previously verified as planets. We expect ~two unidentified false positives making our sample of planet very reliable. We present fundamental planetary properties of our sample based on a comprehensive analysis of Kepler light curves, ground-based spectroscopy, and high-resolution imaging. Since we do not require spectroscopy or high-resolution imaging for validation, some of our derived parameters for a planetary system may be systematically incorrect due to dilution from light due to additional stars in the photometric aperture. Nonetheless, our result nearly doubles the number verified exoplanets.

  20. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  1. Collisional Evolution of Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agnor, C.; Asphaug, E.

    2004-12-01

    The terrestrial planets are generally thought to have formed via the collisional accumulation of rocky bodies. The characteristics of the planets produced by this process are, to a large degree, determined by their collisional evolution, and their associated differentiation and thermal evolution. Studies of planet formation and planetary collisional evolution have typically been conducted separately. Most works of late-stage planet formation use perfectly inelastic mergers to model collisions (e.g. Agnor, Canup & Levison 1999, Chambers 2001, Levison & Agnor 2003), with certain recognized inadequacies, notably prohibitively large spin angular momentum acquired as a planet grows. To date, studies of the collisional evolution of terrestrial planets has focused on determining the efficacy of single impacts to account for particular planetary characteristics and the formation of satellites (e.g. Benz et al. 1988, Canup & Asphaug 2001, Canup 2004). It has been recognized for some time (Wetherill 1985) that the final characteristics (e.g. spin state, bulk composition, isotopic age) of an accreting planet are determined not by the last or single largest collision but by all of the major collisional encounters in a planet's history (Agnor, Canup & Levison 1999). As demonstrated by our impact models, each major impact changes the silicate to metal ratio, the thermal state, and the spin state, and sets the stage for the subsequent collision. We are studying collisional dynamics and outcomes common to the late stage of terrestrial planet formation. We use smooth particle hydrodynamics model collisions in an effort to identify the range of impact dynamics that allow for accretion (i.e. mass growth instead of mass loss). In our initial study we found that for dynamical environments typical of most late stage accretion models, about half of all collisions between equal mass planetary embryos do not result in accumulation into a larger embryo (Agnor & Asphaug 2004). We will

  2. Reaching for the red planet

    PubMed

    David, L

    1996-05-01

    The distant shores of Mars were reached by numerous U.S. and Russian spacecraft throughout the 1960s to mid 1970s. Nearly 20 years have passed since those successful missions which orbited and landed on the Martian surface. Two Soviet probes headed for the planet in July, 1988, but later failed. In August 1993, the U.S. Mars Observer suddenly went silent just three days before it was to enter orbit around the planet and was never heard from again. In late 1996, there will be renewed activity on the launch pads with three probes departing for the red planet: 1) The U.S. Mars Global Surveyor will be launched in November on a Delta II rocket and will orbit the planet for global mapping purposes; 2) Russia's Mars '96 mission, scheduled to fly in November on a Proton launcher, consists of an orbiter, two small stations which will land on the Martian surface, and two penetrators that will plow into the terrain; and finally, 3) a U.S. Discovery-class spacecraft, the Mars Pathfinder, has a December launch date atop a Delta II booster. The mission features a lander and a microrover that will travel short distances over Martian territory. These missions usher in a new phase of Mars exploration, setting the stage for an unprecedented volley of spacecraft that will orbit around, land on, drive across, and perhaps fly at low altitudes over the planet. PMID:11538726

  3. INTERACTION OF A GIANT PLANET IN AN INCLINED ORBIT WITH A CIRCUMSTELLAR DISK

    SciTech Connect

    Marzari, F.; Nelson, Andrew F. E-mail: andy.nelson@lanl.go

    2009-11-10

    We investigate the dynamical evolution of a Jovian-mass planet injected into an orbit highly inclined with respect to its nesting gaseous disk. Planet-planet scattering induced by convergent planetary migration and mean motion resonances may push a planet into such an out-of-plane configuration with inclinations as large as 20{sup 0}-30{sup 0}. In this scenario, the tidal interaction of the planet with the disk is more complex and, in addition to the usual Lindblad and corotation resonances, it also involves inclination resonances responsible for bending waves. We have performed three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the disk and of its interactions with the planet with a smoothed particle hydrodynamics code. A main result is that the initial large eccentricity and inclination of the planetary orbit are rapidly damped on a timescale of the order of 10{sup 3} yr, almost independently of the initial semimajor axis and eccentricity of the planet. The disk is warped in response to the planet perturbations and it precesses. Inward migration also occurs when the planet is inclined, and it has a drift rate that is intermediate between type I and type II migration. The planet is not able to open a gap until its inclination becomes lower than approx10{sup 0}, when it also begins to accrete a significant amount of mass from the disk.

  4. Planet Scattering Around Binaries: Ejections, Not Collisions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  5. Photometric detection of non-transiting short-period low-mass companions through the beaming, ellipsoidal and reflection effects in Kepler and CoRoT light curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faigler, S.; Mazeh, T.

    2011-08-01

    We present a simple algorithm, BEER, to search for a combination of the BEaming, Ellipsoidal and the Reflection/heating periodic modulations, induced by short-period non-transiting low-mass companions. The beaming effect is due to the increase (decrease) in the brightness of any light source approaching (receding from) the observer. To first order, the beaming and the reflection/heating effects modulate the stellar brightness at the orbital period, with phases separated by a quarter of a period, whereas the ellipsoidal effect is modulated with the orbital first harmonic. The phase and harmonic differences between the three modulations allow the algorithm to search for a combination of the three effects and identify stellar candidates for low-mass companions. The paper presents the algorithm, including an assignment of a likelihood factor to any possible detection, based on the expected ratio of the beaming and ellipsoidal effects, given an order-of-magnitude estimate of the three effects. As predicted by Loeb & Gaudi and by Zucker, Mazeh & Alexander, the Kepler and the CoRoT light curves are precise enough to allow detection of massive planets and brown-dwarf/low-mass-stellar companions with orbital period up to 10-30 days. To demonstrate the feasibility of the algorithm, we present two examples of candidates found in the first 33 days of the Q1 Kepler light curves. Although we used a relatively short time-span, the light curves were precise enough to enable the detection of periodic effects with amplitudes as small as one part in 104 of the stellar flux.

  6. Mercury - the hollow planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rothery, D. A.

    2012-04-01

    Mercury is turning out to be a planet characterized by various kinds of endogenous hole (discounting impact craters), which are compared here. These include volcanic vents and collapse features on horizontal scales of tens of km, and smaller scale depressions ('hollows') associated with bright crater-floor deposits (BCFD). The BCFD hollows are tens of metres deep and kilometres or less across and are characteristically flat-floored, with steep, scalloped walls. Their form suggests that they most likely result from removal of surface material by some kind of mass-wasting process, probably associated with volume-loss caused by removal (via sublimation?) of a volatile component. These do not appear to be primarily a result of undermining. Determining the composition of the high-albedo bluish surface coating in BCFDs will be a key goal for BepiColombo instruments such as MIXS (Mercury Imaging Xray Spectrometer). In contrast, collapse features are non-circular rimless pits, typically on crater floors (pit-floor craters), whose morphology suggests collapse into void spaces left by magma withdrawal. This could be by drainage of either erupted lava (or impact melt) or of shallowly-intruded magma. Unlike the much smaller-scale BCFD hollows, these 'collapse pit' features tend to lack extensive flat floors and instead tend to be close to triangular in cross-section with inward slopes near to the critical angle of repose. The different scale and morphology of BCFD hollows and collapse pits argues for quite different modes of origin. However, BCFD hollows adjacent to and within the collapse pit inside Scarlatti crater suggest that the volatile material whose loss was responsible for the growth of the hollows may have been emplaced in association with the magma whose drainage caused the main collapse. Another kind of volcanic collapse can be seen within a 25 km-wide volcanic vent outside the southern rim of the Caloris basin (22.5° N, 146.1° E), on a 28 m/pixel MDIS NAC image

  7. Growth of planets from planetesimals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Stewart, Glen R.

    1993-01-01

    The paper reviews the formation of terrestrial planets and the cores of Jovian planets within the framework of the planetesimal hypothesis, wherein planets are assumed to grow via the pairwise accumulation of small solid bodies. The rate of (proto)planetary growth is determined by the size and mass of the protoplanet, the surface density of planetesimals, and the distribution of planetesimal velocities relative to the protoplanet. Planetesimal velocities are modified by mutual gravitational interactions and collisions, which convert energy present in the ordered relative motions of orbiting particles into random motions and tend to reduce the velocities of the largest bodies in the swarm relative to those of smaller bodies, as well as by gas drag, which damps eccentricities and inclinations. The evolution of planetesimal size distribution is determined by the gravitationally enhanced collision cross section, which favors collisions between planetesimals with smaller velocities.

  8. 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.

  9. Habitable zone limits for dry planets.

    PubMed

    Abe, Yutaka; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Sleep, Norman H; Zahnle, Kevin J

    2011-06-01

    Most discussion of habitable planets has focused on Earth-like planets with globally abundant liquid water. For an "aqua planet" like Earth, the surface freezes if far from its sun, and the water vapor greenhouse effect runs away if too close. Here we show that "land planets" (desert worlds with limited surface water) have wider habitable zones than aqua planets. For planets at the inner edge of the habitable zone, a land planet has two advantages over an aqua planet: (i) the tropics can emit longwave radiation at rates above the traditional runaway limit because the air is unsaturated and (ii) the dry air creates a dry stratosphere that limits hydrogen escape. At the outer limits of the habitable zone, the land planet better resists global freezing because there is less water for clouds, snow, and ice. Here we describe a series of numerical experiments using a simple three-dimensional global climate model for Earth-sized planets. Other things (CO(2), rotation rate, surface pressure) unchanged, we found that liquid water remains stable at the poles of a low-obliquity land planet until net insolation exceeds 415 W/m(2) (170% that of modern Earth), compared to 330 W/m(2) (135%) for the aqua planet. At the outer limits, we found that a low-obliquity land planet freezes at 77%, while the aqua planet freezes at 90%. High-obliquity land and aqua planets freeze at 58% and 72%, respectively, with the poles offering the last refuge. We show that it is possible that, as the Sun brightens, an aqua planet like Earth can lose most of its hydrogen and become a land planet without first passing through a sterilizing runaway greenhouse. It is possible that Venus was a habitable land planet as recently as 1 billion years ago. PMID:21707386

  10. Habitable planets with high obliquities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, D. M.; Kasting, J. F.

    1997-01-01

    Earth's obliquity would vary chaotically from 0 degrees to 85 degrees were it not for the presence of the Moon (J. Laskar, F. Joutel, and P. Robutel, 1993, Nature 361, 615-617). The Moon itself is thought to be an accident of accretion, formed by a glancing blow from a Mars-sized planetesimal. Hence, planets with similar moons and stable obliquities may be extremely rare. This has lead Laskar and colleagues to suggest that the number of Earth-like planets with high obliquities and temperate, life-supporting climates may be small. To test this proposition, we have used an energy-balance climate model to simulate Earth's climate at obliquities up to 90 degrees. We show that Earth's climate would become regionally severe in such circumstances, with large seasonal cycles and accompanying temperature extremes on middle- and high-latitude continents which might be damaging to many forms of life. The response of other, hypothetical, Earth-like planets to large obliquity fluctuations depends on their land-sea distribution and on their position within the habitable zone (HZ) around their star. Planets with several modest-sized continents or equatorial supercontinents are more climatically stable than those with polar supercontinents. Planets farther out in the HZ are less affected by high obliquities because their atmospheres should accumulate CO2 in response to the carbonate-silicate cycle. Dense, CO2-rich atmospheres transport heat very effectively and therefore limit the magnitude of both seasonal cycles and latitudinal temperature gradients. We conclude that a significant fraction of extrasolar Earth-like planets may still be habitable, even if they are subject to large obliquity fluctuations.

  11. AN ULTRACOOL STAR'S CANDIDATE PLANET

    SciTech Connect

    Pravdo, Steven H.; Shaklan, Stuart B. E-mail: stuart.shaklan@jpl.nasa.gov

    2009-07-20

    We report here the discovery of the first planet around an ultracool dwarf star. It is also the first extrasolar giant planet astrometrically discovered around a main-sequence star. The statistical significance of the detection is shown in two ways. First, there is a 2 x 10{sup -8} probability that the astrometric motion fits a parallax-and-proper-motion-only model. Second, periodogram analysis shows a false alarm probability of 3 x 10{sup -5} that the discovered period is randomly generated. The planetary mass is M {sub 2} = 6.4 (+2.6,-3.1) Jupiter-masses (M {sub J}), and the orbital period is P = 0.744 (+0.013,-0.008) yr in the most likely model. In less likely models, companion masses that are higher than the 13 M {sub J} planetary mass limit are ruled out by past radial velocity (RV) measurements unless the system RV is more than twice the current upper limits and the near-periastron orbital phase was never observed. This new planetary system is remarkable, in part, because its star, VB 10, is near the lower mass limit for a star. Our astrometric observations provide a dynamical mass measurement and will in time allow us to confront the theoretical models of formation and evolution of such systems and their members. We thus add to the diversity of planetary systems and to the small number of known M-dwarf planets. Planets such as VB 10b could be the most numerous type of planets because M stars comprise >70% of all stars. To date they have remained hidden since the dominant RV planet-discovery technique is relatively insensitive to these dim, red systems.

  12. A Catalog of Transit Timing Posterior Distributions for all Kepler Planet Candidate Transit Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montet, Benjamin Tyler; Becker, Juliette C.; Johnson, John Asher

    2015-12-01

    Kepler has ushered in a new era of planetary dynamics, enabling the detection of interactions between multiple planets in transiting systems for hundreds of systems. These interactions, observed as transit timing variations (TTVs), have been used to find non-transiting companions to transiting systems and to measure masses, eccentricities, and inclinations of transiting planets. Often, physical parameters are inferred by comparing the observed light curve to the result of a photodynamical model, a time-intensive process that often ignores the effects of correlated noise in the light curve. Catalogs of transit timing observations have previously neglected non-Gaussian uncertainties in the times of transit, uncertainties in the transit shape, and short cadence data. Here, I present a catalog of not only times of transit centers, but also posterior distributions on the time of transit for every planet candidate transit event in the Kepler data, developed through importance sampling of each transit. This catalog allows one to marginalize over uncertainties in the transit shape and incorporate short cadence data, the effects of correlated noise, and non-Gaussian posteriors. Our catalog will enable dynamical studies that reflect accurately the precision of Kepler and its limitations without requiring the computational power to model the light curve completely with every integration. I will also present our open-source N-body photodynamical modeling code, which integrates planetary and stellar orbits accounting for the effects of GR, tidal effects, and Doppler beaming.

  13. A Catalog of Transit Timing Posterior Distributions for all Kepler Planet Candidate Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montet, Benjamin Tyler; Becker, Juliette C.; Johnson, John

    2015-08-01

    Kepler has ushered in a new era of planetary dynamics, enabling the detection of interactions between multiple planets in transiting systems for hundreds of systems. These interactions, observed as transit timing variations (TTVs), have been used to find non-transiting companions to transiting systems and to measure masses, eccentricities, and inclinations of transiting planets. Often, physical parameters are inferred by comparing the observed light curve to the result of a photodynamical model, a time-intensive process that often ignores the effects of correlated noise in the light curve. Catalogs of transit timing observations have previously neglected non-Gaussian uncertainties in the times of transit, uncertainties in the transit shape, and short cadence data. Here, we present a catalog of not only times of transit centers, but also posterior distributions on the time of transit for every planet candidate transit event in the Kepler data, developed through importance sampling of each transit. This catalog allows us to marginalize over uncertainties in the transit shape and incorporate short cadence data, the effects of correlated noise, and non-Gaussian posteriors. Our catalog will enable dynamical studies that reflect accurately the precision of Kepler and its limitations without requiring the computational power to model the light curve completely with every integration.

  14. PLANET ENGULFMENT BY {approx}1.5-3 M{sub sun} RED GIANTS

    SciTech Connect

    Kunitomo, M.; Ikoma, M.; Sato, B.; Ida, S.; Katsuta, Y.

    2011-08-20

    Recent radial-velocity surveys for GK clump giants have revealed that planets also exist around {approx}1.5-3 M{sub sun} stars. However, no planets have been found inside 0.6 AU around clump giants, in contrast to solar-type main-sequence stars, many of which harbor short-period planets such as hot Jupiters. In this study, we examine the possibility that planets were engulfed by host stars evolving on the red-giant branch (RGB). We integrate the orbital evolution of planets in the RGB and helium-burning phases of host stars, including the effects of stellar tide and stellar mass loss. Then we derive the critical semimajor axis (or the survival limit) inside which planets are eventually engulfed by their host stars after tidal decay of their orbits. Specifically, we investigate the impact of stellar mass and other stellar parameters on the survival limit in more detail than previous studies. In addition, we make detailed comparisons with measured semimajor axes of planets detected so far, which no previous study has done. We find that the critical semimajor axis is quite sensitive to stellar mass in the range between 1.7 and 2.1 M{sub sun}, which suggests a need for careful comparison between theoretical and observational limits of the existence of planets. Our comparison demonstrates that all planets orbiting GK clump giants that have been detected are beyond the survival limit, which is consistent with the planet-engulfment hypothesis. However, on the high-mass side (>2.1M{sub sun}), the detected planets are orbiting significantly far from the survival limit, which suggests that engulfment by host stars may not be the main reason for the observed lack of short-period giant planets. To confirm our conclusion, the detection of more planets around clump giants, especially with masses {approx}> 2.5M{sub sun}, is required.

  15. Chemical kinetics on extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Moses, Julianne I

    2014-04-28

    Chemical kinetics plays an important role in controlling the atmospheric composition of all planetary atmospheres, including those of extrasolar planets. For the hottest exoplanets, the composition can closely follow thermochemical-equilibrium predictions, at least in the visible and infrared photosphere at dayside (eclipse) conditions. However, for atmospheric temperatures approximately <2000K, and in the uppermost atmosphere at any temperature, chemical kinetics matters. The two key mechanisms by which kinetic processes drive an exoplanet atmosphere out of equilibrium are photochemistry and transport-induced quenching. I review these disequilibrium processes in detail, discuss observational consequences and examine some of the current evidence for kinetic processes on extrasolar planets. PMID:24664912

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Recent Kepler Results On Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  19. Urban city transportation mode and respiratory health effect of air pollution: a cross-sectional study among transit and non-transit workers in Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Ekpenyong, Chris E; Ettebong, E O; Akpan, E E; Samson, T K; Daniel, Nyebuk E

    2012-01-01

    Objectives To assess the respiratory health effect of city ambient air pollutants on transit and non-transit workers and compare such effects by transportation mode, occupational exposure and sociodemographic characteristics of participants. Design Cross-sectional, randomised survey. Setting A two primary healthcare centre survey in 2009/2010 in Uyo metropolis, South-South Nigeria. Participants Of the 245 male participants recruited, 168 (50 taxi drivers, 60 motorcyclists and 58 civil servants) met the inclusion criteria. These include age 18–35 years, a male transit worker or civil servant who had worked within Uyo metropolis for at least a year prior to the study, and had no history of respiratory disorders/impairment or any other debilitating illness. Main outcome measure The adjusted ORs for respiratory function impairment (force vital capacity (FVC) and/or FEV1<80% predicted or FEV1/FVC<70% predicted) using Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases (GOLD) and National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) criteria were calculated. In order to investigate specific occupation-dependent respiratory function impairment, a comparison was made between the ORs for respiratory impairment in the three occupations. Adjustments were made for some demographic variables such as age, BMI, area of residence, etc. Results Exposure to ambient air pollution by occupation and transportation mode was independently associated with respiratory functions impairment and incident respiratory symptoms among participants. Motorcyclists had the highest effect, with adjusted OR 3.10, 95% CI 0.402 to 16.207 for FVC<80% predicted and OR 1.71, 95% CI 0.61 to 4.76 for FEV1/FVC<70% predicted using GOLD and NICE criteria. In addition, uneducated, currently smoking transit workers who had worked for more than 1 year, with three trips per day and more than 1 h transit time per trip were significantly associated with higher odds for respiratory function

  20. 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.

  1. Large eccentricity, low mutual inclination: the three-dimensional architecture of a hierarchical system of giant planets

    SciTech Connect

    Dawson, Rebekah I.; Clubb, Kelsey I.; Johnson, John Asher; Murray-Clay, Ruth A.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Foreman-Mackey, Daniel; Buchhave, Lars A.; Cargile, Phillip A.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Howard, Andrew W.; Hebb, Leslie; Huber, Daniel; Shporer, Avi; Valenti, Jeff A.

    2014-08-20

    We establish the three-dimensional architecture of the Kepler-419 (previously KOI-1474) system to be eccentric yet with a low mutual inclination. Kepler-419b is a warm Jupiter at semi-major axis a=0.370{sub −0.006}{sup +0.007} AU with a large eccentricity (e = 0.85{sub −0.07}{sup +0.08}) measured via the 'photoeccentric effect'. It exhibits transit timing variations (TTVs) induced by the non-transiting Kepler-419c, which we uniquely constrain to be a moderately eccentric (e = 0.184 ± 0.002), hierarchically separated (a = 1.68 ± 0.03 AU) giant planet (7.3 ± 0.4 M {sub Jup}). We combine 16 quarters of Kepler photometry, radial-velocity (RV) measurements from the HIgh Resolution Echelle Spectrometer on Keck, and improved stellar parameters that we derive from spectroscopy and asteroseismology. From the RVs, we measure the mass of the inner planet to be 2.5 ± 0.3 M {sub Jup} and confirm its photometrically measured eccentricity, refining the value to e = 0.83 ± 0.01. The RV acceleration is consistent with the properties of the outer planet derived from TTVs. We find that despite their sizable eccentricities, the planets are coplanar to within 9{sub −6}{sup +8} degrees, and therefore the inner planet's large eccentricity and close-in orbit are unlikely to be the result of Kozai migration. Moreover, even over many secular cycles, the inner planet's periapse is most likely never small enough for tidal circularization. Finally, we present and measure a transit time and impact parameter from four simultaneous ground-based light curves from 1 m class telescopes, demonstrating the feasibility of ground-based follow-up of Kepler giant planets exhibiting large TTVs.

  2. Application of Synergistic Multipayload Assistance with Rotating Tethers (SMART) Concept to Outer Planet Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forward, R. L.; Hoyt, R. P.; Nordley, G. D.

    2001-01-01

    We propose an innovative approach to outer planet exploration using the Synergistic Multipayload Assistance with Rotating Tethers (SMART) concept invented by Gerald David Nordley. The basic concept can be implemented in many different ways to accomplish many different types of planetary missions, especially missions to the outer planets. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  3. 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.

  4. Planet scattering around binaries: ejections, not collisions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Uncovering the Chemistry of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Li; Sasselov, Dimitar; Jacobsen, Stein

    2015-08-01

    We propose to use the evidence from our solar system to understand exoplanets, and in particular, to predict their surface chemistry and thereby the possibility of life. An Earth-like planet, born from the same nebula as its host star, is composed primarily of silicate rocks and an iron-nickel metal core, and depleted in volatile content in a systematic manner. The more volatile (easier to vaporize or dissociate into gas form) an element is in an Earth-like planet, the more depleted the element is compared to its host star. After depletion, an Earth-like planet would go through the process of core formation due to heat from radioactive decay and collisions. Core formation depletes a planet’s rocky mantle of siderophile (iron-loving) elements, in addition to the volatile depletion. After that, Earth-like planets likely accrete some volatile-rich materials, called “late veneer”. The late veneer could be essential to the origins of life on Earth and Earth-like planets, as it also delivers the volatiles such as nitrogen, sulfur, carbon and water to the planet’s surface, which are crucial for life to occur. Here we build an integrative model of Earth-like planets from the bottom up. Thus the chemical compositions of Earth-like planets could be inferred from their mass-radius relations and their host stars’ elemental abundances, and the origins of volatile contents (especially water) on their surfaces could be understood, and thereby shed light on the origins of life on them. This elemental abundance model could be applied to other rocky exoplanets in exoplanet systems.

  7. Accreting planets as dust dams in 'transition' disks

    SciTech Connect

    Owen, James E.

    2014-07-01

    We investigate under what circumstances an embedded planet in a protoplanetary disk may sculpt the dust distribution such that it observationally presents as a 'transition' disk. We concern ourselves with 'transition' disks that have large holes (≳ 10 AU) and high accretion rates (∼10{sup –9}-10{sup –8} M {sub ☉} yr{sup –1}), particularly, those disks which photoevaporative models struggle to explain. Adopting the observed accretion rates in 'transition' disks, we find that the accretion luminosity from the forming planet is significant, and can dominate over the stellar luminosity at the gap edge. This planetary accretion luminosity can apply a significant radiation pressure to small (s ≲ 1 μm) dust particles provided they are suitably decoupled from the gas. Secular evolution calculations that account for the evolution of the gas and dust components in a disk with an embedded, accreting planet, show that only with the addition of the radiation pressure can we explain the full observed characteristics of a 'transition' disk (NIR dip in the spectral energy distribution (SED), millimeter cavity, and high accretion rate). At suitably high planet masses (≳ 3-4 M{sub J} ), radiation pressure from the accreting planet is able to hold back the small dust particles, producing a heavily dust-depleted inner disk that is optically thin to infrared radiation. The planet-disk system will present as a 'transition' disk with a dip in the SED only when the planet mass and planetary accretion rate are high enough. At other times, it will present as a disk with a primordial SED, but with a cavity in the millimeter, as observed in a handful of protoplanetary disks.

  8. Tidal effects on Earth, Planets, Sun by far visiting moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fargion, Daniele

    2016-07-01

    The Earth has been formed by a huge mini-planet collision forming our Earth surface and our Moon today. Such a central collision hit was statistically rare. A much probable skimming or nearby encounter by other moons or planets had to occur. Indeed Recent observations suggest that many planetary-mass objects may be present in the outer solar system between the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud. Gravitational perturbations may occasionally bring them into the inner solar system. Their passage near Earth could have generated gigantic tidal waves, large volcanic eruptions, sea regressions, large meteoritic impacts and drastic changes in global climate. They could have caused the major biological mass extinctions in the past in the geological records. For instance a ten times a terrestrial radius nearby impact scattering by a peripherical encounter by a small moon-like object will force huge tidal waves (hundred meter height), able to lead to huge tsunami and Earth-quake. Moreover the historical cumulative planet hits in larger and wider planets as Juppiter, Saturn, Uranus will leave a trace, as observed, in their tilted spin axis. Finally a large fraction of counter rotating moons in our solar system probe and test such a visiting mini-planet captur origination. In addition the Earth day duration variability in the early past did show a rare discountinuity, very probably indebt to such a visiting planet crossing event. These far planets in rare trajectory to our Sun may, in thousands event capture, also explain sudden historical and recent temperature changes.

  9. Close-in planet migration due to magnetic torques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strugarek, Antoine; Brun, Allan Sacha; Matt, Sean; Réville, Victor

    2015-08-01

    The diversity of masses, sizes and orbits of known exoplanets has prompted recent efforts in the scientific community to explore the broad range of interactions that can exist between planets and their host stars. In addition to tidal interactions, planets orbiting inside the stellar wind Alfv ´en radius can magnetically interact with their host. These interactions could lead to an angular momentum transfer between the planet and its host, resulting in a substantial planetary migration and participating in the dynamical (in)stability of the system. Among the star-planet interaction (SPI) models that have been developed, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations combine state of the art numerical models of cool star magnetospheres with simplified models of planets. The advantage of these global, dynamical models is the ability to assess the effects of SPI in a self-consistent way, by modelling the full interaction channel from the planetary magnetosphere down to the lower stellar corona.We will present our study of global magnetic SPI using the PLUTO code. We first give an overview of different types of interactions, depending on the stellar wind and orbital properties. Based on our previous exploratory 2D axisymmetric study, we develop our magnetic interaction model in 3D to tackle the full geometry of the star-wind- planet connection. We study the formation of Aflv ´en wings and parametrize the key physical ingredients (magnetic field strength and topology, orbital distance, stellar wind mass and angular momentum loss rates) controlling the magnetic torques which lead to planet migration. These torques are shown to operate on time-scales comparable to tidal torques for sufficiently compact systems and favorable magnetic topologies.

  10. A Dozen Red Giant Stars That May Have Accreted Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlberg, Joleen K.; Cunha, K.; Smith, V. V.; Majewski, S. R.

    2011-09-01

    We have identified twelve red giant stars as candidates for having accreted a former planetary companion in a previous study aimed at understanding the role of planet accretion in creating the unusual red giant rapid rotators. Their planet accretion candidacy is based on the apparent replenishment of lithium in their atmospheres and (in some cases) enhanced rotation speeds, coupled with the difficulty of alternative Li-enhancement mechanisms working at these stars' evolutionary stages. The stellar mass estimates, however, are not precise enough to unambiguously describe the mass-dependent chemical processing (e.g., the degree of light element dilution) expected in these stars. In this study, we explore additional chemical signatures expected to be unique to planet accretion. For example, one hallmark of a planetary composition is a trend of increased abundance with condensation temperature, i.e., relative enhancement of refractory elements over volatiles. In main sequence stars, a relative enhancement of refractory elements in stellar atmospheres has been explored as a signature of the accretion of planetary material (e.g., Smith et al. 2001) while the opposite trend (depleted refractories in the Sun) has been suggested as a possible indicator that a star hosts terrestrial planets (Melendez et al. 2009). Here we explore whether condensation temperature dependent abundance patterns exist in our red giant planet-accretion candidates and the implications of the presence or absence of such a trend. Finally, we briefly highlight future experiments to further test our hypothesis that these stars have accreted planets, such as looking for changes in specific abundance ratios and the feasibility of radial velocity monitoring to look for unaccreted planets.

  11. Return to the Red Planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, W.

    1996-01-01

    In November 1996, NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will begin America's return to Mars after a 20-year absence by launching the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft. This mission will usher in a new and exciting era of scientific missions to study the red planet.

  12. Terrestrial Planet Finder: science overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unwin, Stephen C.; Beichman, C. A.

    2004-01-01

    The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) seeks to revolutionize our understanding of humanity's place in the universe - by searching for Earth-like planets using reflected light, or thermal emission in the mid-infrared. Direct detection implies that TPF must separate planet light from glare of the nearby star, a technical challenge which has only in recent years been recognized as surmountable. TPF will obtain a low-resolution spectra of each planets it detects, providing some of its basic physical characteristics and its main atmospheric constituents, thereby allowing us to assess the likelihood that habitable conditions exist there. NASA has decided the scientific importance of this research is so high that TPF will be pursued as two complementary space observatories: a visible-light coronagraph and a mid-infrared formation flying interferometer. The combination of spectra from both wavebands is much more valuable than either taken separately, and it will allow a much fuller understanding of the wide diversity of planetary atmospheres that may be expected to exist. Measurements across a broad wavelength range will yield not only physical properties such as size and albedo, but will also serve as the foundations of a reliable and robust assessment of habitability and the presence of life.

  13. Giant Planets in Open Clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinn, S. N.; White, R. J.; Latham, D. W.

    2015-10-01

    Two decades after the discovery of 51 Peg b, more than 200 hot Jupiters have now been confirmed, but the details of their inward migration remain uncertain. While it is widely accepted that short period giant planets could not have formed in situ, several different mechanisms (e.g., Type II migration, planet-planet scattering, Kozai-Lidov cycles) may contribute to shrinking planetary orbits, and the relative importance of each is not well-constrained. Migration through the gas disk is expected to preserve circular, coplanar orbits and must occur quickly (within ˜ 10 Myr), whereas multi-body processes should initially excite eccentricities and inclinations and may take hundreds of millions of years. Subsequent evolution of the system (e.g., orbital circularization and inclination damping via tidal interaction with the host star) may obscure these differences, so observing hot Jupiters soon after migration occurs can constrain the importance of each mechanism. Fortunately, the well-characterized stars in young and adolescent open clusters (with known ages and compositions) provide natural laboratories for such studies, and recent surveys have begun to take advantage of this opportunity. We present a review of the discoveries in this emerging realm of exoplanet science, discuss the constraints they provide for giant planet formation and migration, and reflect on the future direction of the field.

  14. Tracking Planets around the Sun

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddle, Bob

    2008-01-01

    In earlier columns, the celestial coordinate system of hour circles of right ascension and degrees of declination was introduced along with the use of an equatorial star chart (see SFA Star Charts in Resources). This system shows the planets' motion relative to the ecliptic, the apparent path the Sun follows during the year. An alternate system,…

  15. Do Other Planets Have Summer?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, George

    2005-01-01

    It's important to keep two things in mind when thinking about the cause of the seasons: (1) Earth and all the other planets except Pluto and Mercury move around the Sun in almost perfect circles, getting neither closer nor farther away from the Sun during the year; and (2) Earth's rotation axis is tilted with respect to the plane of its orbit…

  16. MEMS AO for Planet Finding

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rao, Shanti; Wallace, J. Kent; Shao, Mike; Schmidtlin, Edouard; Levine, B. Martin; Samuele, Rocco; Lane, Benjamin; Chakrabarti, Supriya; Cook, Timothy; Hicks, Brian; Jung, Paul

    2008-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews a method for planet finding using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) Adaptive Optics (AO). The use of a deformable mirror (DM) is described as a part of the instrument that was designed with a nulling interferometer. The strategy that is used is described in detail.

  17. Venus and Mercury as Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    A general evolutionary history of the solar planetary system is given. The previously observed characteristics of Venus and Mercury (i.e. length of day, solar orbit, temperature) are discussed. The role of the Mariner 10 space probe in gathering scientific information on the two planets is briefly described.

  18. The Chemistry of the Planets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blake, Peter

    1988-01-01

    Introduces knowledge of planetary chemistry for possible use in teaching. Discusses the chemical composition of the planets; the atmosphere and clouds of Venus, Jupiter and its moons, and Titan. Includes diagrams of the greenhouse effects in the solar system, elemental abundances, and the chemical composition of Jupiter. (RT)

  19. Jupiter: Lord of the Planets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaufmann, William

    1984-01-01

    Presents a chapter from an introductory college-level astronomy textbook in which full-color photographs and numerous diagrams highlight an extensive description of the planet Jupiter. Topics include Jupiter's geology, rotation, magnetic field, atmosphere (including clouds and winds), and the Great Red Spot. (DH)

  20. How Common are Habitable Planets?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Earth is teeming with life, which, occupies a diverse array of environments; other bodies in our Solar System offer fewer, if any, niches which are habitable by life as we know it. Nonetheless, astronomical studies suggest that a large number of habitable planets-are likely to be present within our Galaxy.

  1. The Geology of the Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carr, M. H. (Editor); Saunders, R. S.; Strom, R. G.; Wilhelms, D. E.

    1984-01-01

    The geologic history of the terrestrial planets is outlined in light of recent exploration and the revolution in geologic thinking. Among the topics considered are planet formation; planetary craters, basins, and general surface characteristics; tectonics; planetary atmospheres; and volcanism.

  2. Tour of Planet With Extreme Temperature Swings

    NASA Video Gallery

    A computer simulation of the planet HD 80606b. The point of closest approach -- and maximum heating -- occurs about 4.5 seconds into the animation. As the planet whips around the star, we see the e...

  3. Kepler Discovers Earth-size Planet Candidates

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's Kepler mission has discovered its first Earth-size planet candidates and its first candidates in the habitable zone, a region where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface. Five of th...

  4. Kepler Discovers Its First Rocky Planet

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's Kepler mission confirmed the discovery of its first rocky planet, named Kepler-10b. Measuring 1.4 times the size of Earth, it is the smallest planet ever discovered outside our solar system....

  5. Outer planet studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lutz, Barry L.

    1991-01-01

    The focus is on observational studies of the composition, structure, and variability of planetary, satellite, and cometary atmospheres. The techniques used include spectroscopy, spectrophotometry, and photometric imaging in the spectral region from 3000 A to 5 microns. In addition to carrying out basic research into the origin, evolution, and current state of the solar system, these studies provide ground-truth support for observations of the solar system by NASA's missions, including the Voyager and Galileo Spacecraft, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the proposed Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF)-Cassini Mission.

  6. The planets and our culture a history and a legacy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, Theodore C.; Bolton, Scott J.

    2010-01-01

    This manuscript relates the great literature, great art and the vast starry vault of heaven. It relates the myths of gods and heroes for whom the planets and the Medicean moons of Jupiter are named. The myths are illustrated by great art works of the Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo periods which reveal poignant moments in the myths. The manuscript identifies constellations spun off of these myths. In addition to the images of great art are associated images of the moons and planets brought to us by spacecraft in our new age of exploration, the New Renaissance, in which we find ourselves deeply immersed.

  7. Water in the terrestrial planets and the moon

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, L.G.

    1988-04-01

    Current thermal models for the terrestrial planets, with the exception of Mercury, point to the probability of a partial melting zone's presence in the mantles of both Venus and Mars, but not in that of the earth; this is attested by the fact that plate tectonics is not apparent on Mars and Venus. In addition, the CO/sub 2/-dominated atmospheres of Venus and Mars may indicate that a large-scale hydrosphere has never (or only very briefly) existed on these planets. Most of the free H/sub 2/O above the water line of Venus and Mars is probably still trapped inside mantle melts. 37 references.

  8. Blue Marble: Remote Characterization of Habitable Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woolf, Neville; Lewis, Brian; Chartres, James; Genova, Anthony

    2009-01-01

    The study of the nature and distribution of habitable environments beyond the Solar System is a key area for Astrobiology research. At the present time, our Earth is the only habitable planet that can be characterized in the same way that we might characterize planets beyond the Solar System. Due to limitations in our current and near-future technology, it is likely that extra-solar planets will be observed as single-pixel objects. To understand this data, we must develop skills in analyzing and interpreting the radiation obtained from a single pixel. These skills must include the study of the time variation of the radiation, and the range of its photometric, spectroscopic and polarimetric properties. In addition, to understand whether we are properly analyzing the single pixel data, we need to compare it with a ground truth of modest resolution images in key spectral bands. This paper discusses the concept for a mission called Blue Marble that would obtain data of the Earth using a combination of spectropolarimetry, spectrophotometry, and selected band imaging. To obtain imagery of the proper resolution, it is desirable to place the Blue Marble spacecraft no closer than the outer region of cis-lunar space. This paper explores a conceptual mission design that takes advantage of low-cost launchers, bus designs and mission elements to provide a cost effective observing platform located at one of the stable Earth-moon Lagrangian points (L4, L5). The mission design allows for the development and use of novel technologies, such as a spinning moon sensor for attitude control, and leverages lessons-learned from previous low-cost spacecraft such as Lunar Prospector to yield a low-risk mission concept.

  9. A Quantitative Criterion for Defining Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margot, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    A simple metric can be used to determine whether a planet or exoplanet can clear its orbital zone during a characteristic time scale, such as the lifetime of the host star on the main sequence. This criterion requires only estimates of star mass, planet mass, and orbital period, making it possible to immediately classify 99% of all known exoplanets. All 8 planets and all classifiable exoplanets satisfy the criterion. This metric may be useful in generalizing and simplifying the definition of a planet.

  10. A Quantitative Criterion for Defining Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margot, Jean-Luc

    2015-12-01

    A simple metric can be used to determine whether a planet or exoplanet can clear its orbital zone during a characteristic time scale, such as the lifetime of the host star on the main sequence. This criterion requires only estimates of star mass, planet mass, and orbital period, making it possible to immediately classify 99% of all known exoplanets. All eight planets and all classifiable exoplanets satisfy the criterion. This metric may be useful in generalizing and simplifying the definition of a planet.

  11. In search of satellites of minor planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maley, P. D.

    1980-12-01

    The detection of satellites of asteroids in observations of the occultation of stars is discussed. Anomalous occultation events recorded in addition to the possible discovery of a natural satellite of Herculina in 1978 are related, including the secondary occultation of Gamma Ceti by Hebe in March, 1977, a secondary occultation by Melpomene in December 1978, and unexplained occultations by Eros, Cybele and Metis. A procedure which may be used by amateur astronomers to provide reliable evidence for minor planet parasitic satellites is outlined, and the importance of multiple observations of stellar occultations by asteroids to the detection of parasitic satellites is emphasized. Additional observations supporting the existence of asteroid satellites are noted, and the factors casting doubt on the reality of the inferred satellites are pointed out.

  12. THE PROPOSED GIANT PLANET ORBITING VB 10 DOES NOT EXIST

    SciTech Connect

    Bean, Jacob L.; Seifahrt, Andreas; Reiners, Ansgar; Dreizler, Stefan; Hartman, Henrik; Nilsson, Hampus; Henry, Todd J.; Wiedemann, Guenter

    2010-03-01

    We present high-precision relative radial velocities of the very low mass star VB 10 that were obtained over a time span of 0.61 years as part of an ongoing search for planets around stars at the end of the main sequence. The radial velocities were measured from high-resolution near-infrared spectra obtained using the CRIRES instrument on the Very Large Telescope with an ammonia gas cell. The typical internal precision of the measurements is 10 m s{sup -1}. These data do not exhibit significant variability and are essentially constant at a level consistent with the measurement uncertainties. Therefore, we do not detect the radial velocity variations of VB 10 expected due to the presence of an orbiting giant planet similar to that recently proposed by Pravdo and Shaklan based on apparent astrometric perturbations. In addition, we do not confirm the {approx}1 km s{sup -1} radial velocity variability of the star tentatively detected by Zapatero Osorio and colleagues with lower precision measurements. Our measurements rule out planets with M {sub p} > 3 M {sub Jup} and the orbital period and inclination suggested by Pravdo and Shaklan at better than 5{sigma} confidence. We conclude that the planet detection claimed by Pravdo and Shaklan is spurious on the basis of this result. Although the outcome of this work is a non-detection, it illustrates the potential of using ammonia cell radial velocities to detect planets around very low mass stars.

  13. The Disk and Planets of Solar Analogue τCeti

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawler, S. M.; Francesco, J. Di; Kennedy, G.; Sibthorpe, B.; Booth, M.; Vandenbussche, B.; Matthews, B.; Tuomi, M.

    2015-01-01

    τ Ceti is a nearby, mature star very similar to our Sun, with a massive Kuiper belt analogue tep{Greavesetal2004} and possible multiplanet system tep{Tuomietal2013} that has been compared to our Solar System. We present infrared and submillimeter observations of the debris disk from the Herschel Space Observatory and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). We find the best model of the disk is a wide annulus ranging from 5-55 AU, inclined from face-on by 30°. tet{Tuomietal2013} report five possible super-Earths tightly nestled inside 1.4 AU, and we model this planetary system and place dynamical constraints on the inner edge of the disk. We find that due to the low masses and fairly circular orbits of the planets, the disk could reach as close to the star as 1.5 AU, with some stable orbits even possible between the two outermost planets. The photometric modelling cannot rule out a disk inner edge as close to the star as 1 AU, though 5-10 AU produces a better fit to the data. Dynamical modelling shows that the 5 planet system is stable with the addition of a Saturn-mass planet on an orbit outside 5 AU, where the Tuomi et al. analysis would not have detected a planet of this mass.

  14. Type I planet migration in nearly laminar disks

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Hui; Li, Shengtai; Lubow, S H; Lin, D

    2008-01-01

    We describe two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the migration of low-mass planets ({<=}30 M{sub {circle_plus}}) in nearly laminar disks (viscosity parameter {alpha} < 10{sup -3}) over timescales of several thousand orbit periods. We consider disk masses of 1, 2, and 5 times the minimum mass solar nebula, disk thickness parameters of H/r = 0.035 and 0.05, and a variety of {alpha} values and planet masses. Disk self-gravity is fully included. Previous analytic work has suggested that Type I planet migration can be halted in disks of sufficiently low turbulent viscosity, for {alpha} {approx} 10{sup -4}. The halting is due to a feedback effect of breaking density waves that results in a slight mass redistribution and consequently an increased outward torque contribution. The simulations confirm the existence of a critical mass (M{sub {alpha}} {approx} 10M{sub {circle_plus}}) beyond which migration halts in nearly laminar disks. For {alpha} {approx}> 10{sup -3}, density feedback effects are washed out and Type I migration persists. The critical masses are in good agreement with the analytic model of Rafikov. In addition, for {alpha} {approx}> 10{sup -4} steep density gradients produce a vortex instability, resulting in a small time-varying eccentricity in the planet's orbit and a slight outward migration. Migration in nearly laminar disks may be sufficiently slow to reconcile the timescales of migration theory with those of giant planet formation in the core accretion model.

  15. Tidal Downsizing model - IV. Destructive feedback in planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nayakshin, Sergei

    2016-09-01

    The role of negative feedback from a massive solid core on its massive gas envelope in the Tidal Downsizing scenario of planet formation is investigated via one-dimensional planet evolution models followed by population synthesis calculations. It is shown that cores more massive than ˜10 M⊕ release enough energy to reverse contraction of their parent gas envelopes, culminating in their destruction. This process may help to explain why observed gas giant planets are so rare, why massive cores are so ubiquitous, and why there is a sharp rollover in the core mass function above ˜20 M⊕. Additionally, the short time-scales with which these massive cores are assembled in TD may help explain formation route of Uranus, Neptune and the suspected HL Tau planets. Given the negative role of cores in assembly of gas giants in the model, an antimony is found between massive cores and gas giants: cores in survived gas giant planets are on average less massive than cores free of massive envelopes. In rare circumstances when core feedback self-regulates, extremely metal-rich gas giants, such as CoRoT-20b, a gas giant made of heavy elements by up to ˜50 per cent, can be made.

  16. Orbital dynamics of multi-planet systems with eccentricity diversity

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, Stephen R.; Raymond, Sean N.

    2014-04-01

    Since exoplanets were detected using the radial velocity method, they have revealed a diverse distribution of orbital configurations. Among these are planets in highly eccentric orbits (e > 0.5). Most of these systems consist of a single planet but several have been found to also contain a longer period planet in a near-circular orbit. Here we use the latest Keplerian orbital solutions to investigate four known systems which exhibit this extreme eccentricity diversity; HD 37605, HD 74156, HD 163607, and HD 168443. We place limits on the presence of additional planets in these systems based on the radial velocity residuals. We show that the two known planets in each system exchange angular momentum through secular oscillations of their eccentricities. We calculate the amplitude and timescale for these eccentricity oscillations and associated periastron precession. We further demonstrate the effect of mutual orbital inclinations on the amplitude of high-frequency eccentricity oscillations. Finally, we discuss the implications of these oscillations in the context of possible origin scenarios for unequal eccentricities.

  17. eXtreme Adaptive Optics Planet Imager: Overview and status

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, B A; Bauman, B; Evans, J W; Graham, J; Lockwood, C; Poyneer, L; Dillon, D; Gavel, D; Green, J; Lloyd, J; Makidon, R; Olivier, S; Palmer, D; Perrin, M; Severson, S; Sheinis, A; Sivaramakrishnan, A; Sommargren, G; Soumer, R; Troy, M; Wallace, K; Wishnow, E

    2004-08-18

    As adaptive optics (AO) matures, it becomes possible to envision AO systems oriented towards specific important scientific goals rather than general-purpose systems. One such goal for the next decade is the direct imaging detection of extrasolar planets. An 'extreme' adaptive optics (ExAO) system optimized for extrasolar planet detection will have very high actuator counts and rapid update rates - designed for observations of bright stars - and will require exquisite internal calibration at the nanometer level. In addition to extrasolar planet detection, such a system will be capable of characterizing dust disks around young or mature stars, outflows from evolved stars, and high Strehl ratio imaging even at visible wavelengths. The NSF Center for Adaptive Optics has carried out a detailed conceptual design study for such an instrument, dubbed the eXtreme Adaptive Optics Planet Imager or XAOPI. XAOPI is a 4096-actuator AO system, notionally for the Keck telescope, capable of achieving contrast ratios >10{sup 7} at angular separations of 0.2-1'. ExAO system performance analysis is quite different than conventional AO systems - the spatial and temporal frequency content of wavefront error sources is as critical as their magnitude. We present here an overview of the XAOPI project, and an error budget highlighting the key areas determining achievable contrast. The most challenging requirement is for residual static errors to be less than 2 nm over the controlled range of spatial frequencies. If this can be achieved, direct imaging of extrasolar planets will be feasible within this decade.

  18. 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.

  19. The Use of Planisphere to Locate Planets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kwok, Ping-Wai

    2013-01-01

    Planisphere is a simple and useful tool in locating constellations of the night sky at a specific time, date and geographic location. However it does not show the planet positions because planets are not fixed on the celestial sphere. It is known that the planet orbital planes are nearly coplanar and close to the ecliptic plane. By making…

  20. Terrestrial Planet Evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, Vicki L.

    2005-01-01

    The goals of this proposal involved constructing 1:5M scale geologic maps of V-23 (Niobe Planitia) and V-24 (Greenaway) quadrangles, and ancillary materials to be submitted to USGS as part of the VMAP project. Complete geologic maps and packages of ancillary materials for V-23 and V-24 have been submitted to USGS and are currently under review. In addition to these products, we have published or submitted various manuscript and/abstracts detailing the results of our research that has grown out of the proposed work. We presented our maps in various stages of construction at NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics Mappers' meeting each year. We have also presented talks or posters summarizing our work at various conferences including: he Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, and the National Geological Society of America meeting. The work resulted in exciting developments of Venus lowland resurfacing. The products and publications resulting from this work are listed below.

  1. ARE THE KEPLER NEAR-RESONANCE PLANET PAIRS DUE TO TIDAL DISSIPATION?

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Man Hoi; Fabrycky, D.; Lin, D. N. C. E-mail: daniel.fabrycky@gmail.com

    2013-09-01

    The multiple-planet systems discovered by the Kepler mission show an excess of planet pairs with period ratios just wide of exact commensurability for first-order resonances like 2:1 and 3:2. In principle, these planet pairs could have both resonance angles associated with the resonance librating if the orbital eccentricities are sufficiently small, because the width of first-order resonances diverges in the limit of vanishingly small eccentricity. We consider a widely held scenario in which pairs of planets were captured into first-order resonances by migration due to planet-disk interactions, and subsequently became detached from the resonances, due to tidal dissipation in the planets. In the context of this scenario, we find a constraint on the ratio of the planet's tidal dissipation function and Love number that implies that some of the Kepler planets are likely solid. However, tides are not strong enough to move many of the planet pairs to the observed separations, suggesting that additional dissipative processes are at play.

  2. KOI-142, THE KING OF TRANSIT VARIATIONS, IS A PAIR OF PLANETS NEAR THE 2:1 RESONANCE

    SciTech Connect

    Nesvorný, David; Terrell, Dirk; Kipping, David; Hartman, Joel; Bakos, Gáspár Á.; Buchhave, Lars A.

    2013-11-01

    The transit timing variations (TTVs) can be used as a diagnostic of gravitational interactions between planets in a multi-planet system. Many Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) exhibit significant TTVs, but KOI-142.01 stands out among them with an unrivaled ≅12 hr TTV amplitude. Here we report a thorough analysis of KOI-142.01's transits. We discover periodic transit duration variations (TDVs) of KOI-142.01 that are nearly in phase with the observed TTVs. We show that KOI-142.01's TTVs and TDVs uniquely detect a non-transiting companion with a mass ≅0.63 that of Jupiter (KOI-142c). KOI-142.01's mass inferred from the transit variations is consistent with the measured transit depth, suggesting a Neptune-class planet (KOI-142b). The orbital period ratio P{sub c} /P{sub b} = 2.03 indicates that the two planets are just wide of the 2:1 resonance. The present dynamics of this system, characterized here in detail, can be used to test various formation theories that have been proposed to explain the near-resonant pairs of exoplanets.

  3. Search for Terrestrial Planets with SIM Planet Quest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shao, Michael; Tanner, Angelle M.; Catanzarite, Joseph H.

    2006-01-01

    SIM is an astrometric mission that will be capable of 1 microarcsec relative astrometric accuracy in a single measurement of approx.1000 sec. The search for terrestrial planets in the habitable zone around nearby stars is one of the main science goals of the project. In 2001, NASA through the peer review process selected 10 key projects, two of which had as its goal, the search for terrestrial planets around nearby stars. The two teams, one led by G. Marcy (UC Berkeley) and one lead by M. Shao (JPL), have an extensive preparatory science program underway. This paper describes the status of this activity as well as the technology status of SIM's narrow angle astrometry capability, to reach 1 uas in a single epoch measure and its ability to average multiple epoch measurements to well below 1 uas.

  4. Evolution and magnitudes of candidate Planet Nine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linder, Esther F.; Mordasini, Christoph

    2016-04-01

    Context. The recently renewed interest in a possible additional major body in the outer solar system prompted us to study the thermodynamic evolution of such an object. We assumed that it is a smaller version of Uranus and Neptune. Aims: We modeled the temporal evolution of the radius, temperature, intrinsic luminosity, and the blackbody spectrum of distant ice giant planets. The aim is also to provide estimates of the magnitudes in different bands to assess whether the object might be detectable. Methods: Simulations of the cooling and contraction were conducted for ice giants with masses of 5, 10, 20, and 50 M⊕ that are located at 280, 700, and 1120 AU from the Sun. The core composition, the fraction of H/He, the efficiency of energy transport, and the initial luminosity were varied. The atmospheric opacity was set to 1, 50, and 100 times solar metallicity. Results: We find for a nominal 10 M⊕ planet at 700 AU at the current age of the solar system an effective temperature of 47 K, much higher than the equilibrium temperature of about 10 K, a radius of 3.7 R⊕, and an intrinsic luminosity of 0.006 L♃. It has estimated apparent magnitudes of Johnson V, R, I, L, N, Q of 21.7, 21.4, 21.0, 20.1, 19.9, and 10.7, and WISE W1-W4 magnitudes of 20.1, 20.1, 18.6, and 10.2. The Q and W4 band and other observations longward of about 13 μm pick up the intrinsic flux. Conclusions: If candidate Planet 9 has a significant H/He layer and an efficient energy transport in the interior, then its luminosity is dominated by the intrinsic contribution, making it a self-luminous planet. At a likely position on its orbit near aphelion, we estimate for a mass of 5, 10, 20, and 50 M⊕ a V magnitude from the reflected light of 24.3, 23.7, 23.3, and 22.6 and a Q magnitude from the intrinsic radiation of 14.6, 11.7, 9.2, and 5.8. The latter would probably have been detected by past surveys.

  5. Uranus, towards the planet's pole of rotation.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    These two pictures of Uranus were compiled from images recorded by Voyager 2 on Jan. 1O, 1986, when the NASA spacecraft was 18 million kilometers (11 million miles) from the planet. The images were obtained by Voyager's narrow-angle camera; the view is toward the planet's pole of rotation, which lies just left of center. The picture on the left has been processed to show Uranus as human eyes would see it from the vantage point of the spacecraft. The second picture is an exaggerated false-color view that reveals details not visible in the true-color view -- including indications of what could be a polar haze of smog-like particles. The true-color picture was made by combining pictures taken through blue, green and orange filters. The dark shading of the upper right edge of the disk is the terminator, or day-night boundary. The blue-green appearance of Uranus results from methane in the atmosphere; this gas absorbs red wavelengths from the incoming sunlight, leaving the predominant bluish color seen here. The picture on the right uses false color and contrast enhancement to bring out subtle details in the polar region of the atmosphere. Images shuttered through different color filters were added and manipulated by computer, greatly enhancing the low-contrast details in the original images. Ultraviolet, violet- and orange-filtered images were displayed, respectively, as blue, green and red to produce this false-color picture. The planet reveals a dark polar hood surrounded by a series of progressively lighter convective bands. The banded structure is real, though exaggerated here. The brownish color near the center of the planet could be explained as being caused by a thin haze concentrated over the pole -- perhaps the product of chemical reactions powered by ultraviolet light from the Sun. One such reaction produces acetylene from methane -- acetylene has been detected on Uranus by an Earth-orbiting spacecraft -- and further reactions involving acetylene are known to

  6. Evolution and magnitudes of candidate Planet Nine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linder, Esther F.; Mordasini, Christoph

    2016-05-01

    Context. The recently renewed interest in a possible additional major body in the outer solar system prompted us to study the thermodynamic evolution of such an object. We assumed that it is a smaller version of Uranus and Neptune. Aims: We modeled the temporal evolution of the radius, temperature, intrinsic luminosity, and the blackbody spectrum of distant ice giant planets. The aim is also to provide estimates of the magnitudes in different bands to assess whether the object might be detectable. Methods: Simulations of the cooling and contraction were conducted for ice giants with masses of 5, 10, 20, and 50 M⊕ that are located at 280, 700, and 1120 AU from the Sun. The core composition, the fraction of H/He, the efficiency of energy transport, and the initial luminosity were varied. The atmospheric opacity was set to 1, 50, and 100 times solar metallicity. Results: We find for a nominal 10 M⊕ planet at 700 AU at the current age of the solar system an effective temperature of 47 K, much higher than the equilibrium temperature of about 10 K, a radius of 3.7 R⊕, and an intrinsic luminosity of 0.006 L♃. It has estimated apparent magnitudes of Johnson V, R, I, L, N, Q of 21.7, 21.4, 21.0, 20.1, 19.9, and 10.7, and WISE W1-W4 magnitudes of 20.1, 20.1, 18.6, and 10.2. The Q and W4 band and other observations longward of about 13 μm pick up the intrinsic flux. Conclusions: If candidate Planet 9 has a significant H/He layer and an efficient energy transport in the interior, then its luminosity is dominated by the intrinsic contribution, making it a self-luminous planet. At a likely position on its orbit near aphelion, we estimate for a mass of 5, 10, 20, and 50 M⊕ a V magnitude from the reflected light of 24.3, 23.7, 23.3, and 22.6 and a Q magnitude from the intrinsic radiation of 14.6, 11.7, 9.2, and 5.8. The latter would probably have been detected by past surveys.

  7. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasdin, N. J.; Braems, I.

    2005-12-01

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

  9. Hot Jupiters from secular planet-planet interactions.

    PubMed

    Naoz, Smadar; Farr, Will M; Lithwick, Yoram; Rasio, Frederic A; Teyssandier, Jean

    2011-05-12

    About 25 per cent of 'hot Jupiters' (extrasolar Jovian-mass planets with close-in orbits) are actually orbiting counter to the spin direction of the star. Perturbations from a distant binary star companion can produce high inclinations, but cannot explain orbits that are retrograde with respect to the total angular momentum of the system. Such orbits in a stellar context can be produced through secular (that is, long term) perturbations in hierarchical triple-star systems. Here we report a similar analysis of planetary bodies, including both octupole-order effects and tidal friction, and find that we can produce hot Jupiters in orbits that are retrograde with respect to the total angular momentum. With distant stellar mass perturbers, such an outcome is not possible. With planetary perturbers, the inner orbit's angular momentum component parallel to the total angular momentum need not be constant. In fact, as we show here, it can even change sign, leading to a retrograde orbit. A brief excursion to very high eccentricity during the chaotic evolution of the inner orbit allows planet-star tidal interactions to rapidly circularize that orbit, decoupling the planets and forming a retrograde hot Jupiter. PMID:21562558

  10. Food additives

    MedlinePlus

    Food additives are substances that become part of a food product when they are added during the processing or making of that food. "Direct" food additives are often added during processing to: Add nutrients ...

  11. Terraforming the Planets and Climate Change Mitigation on Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toon, O. B.

    2008-12-01

    Hopefully, purposeful geo-engineering of the Earth will remain a theoretical concept. Of course, we have already inadvertently changed the Earth, and over geologic history life has left an indelible imprint on our planet. We can learn about geo-engineering schemes by reference to Earth history, for example climate changes after volcanic eruptions provide important clues to using sulfates to modify the climate. The terrestrial planets and Titan offer additional insights. For instance, Mars and Venus both have carbon dioxide dominated greenhouses. Both have more than 10 times as much carbon dioxide in their atmospheres as Earth, and both absorb less sunlight than Earth, yet one is much colder than Earth and one is much hotter. These facts provide important insights into carbon dioxide greenhouses that I will review. Mars cools dramatically following planet wide dust storms, and Titan has what is referred to as an anti- greenhouse climate driven by aerosols. These data can be used to reassure us that we can model aerosol caused changes to the climate of a planet, and also provide examples of aerosols offsetting a gas-driven greenhouse effect. People have long considered whether we might make the other planets habitable. While most of the schemes considered belong in the realm of science fiction, it is possible that some schemes might be practical. Terraforming brings to mind a number of issues that are thought provoking, but not so politically charged as geo-engineering. For example: What criteria define habitability, is it enough for people to live in isolated glass enclosures, or do we need to walk freely on the planet? Different creatures have different needs. Is a planet habitable if plants can thrive in the open, or do animals also need to be free? Are the raw materials present on any planet to make it habitable? If not, can we make the materials, or do we have to import them? Is it ethical to change a planetary climate? What if there are already primitive

  12. Planet X : The Search for an Illusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGaha, J.

    2006-10-01

    The search for Planet X began soon after the discovery of Uranus in 1781. The scientific search, over the next 200 years, resulted in the discovery of many new "Objects" (Planets and Minor Planets) but not the elusive Planet X. The data now indicate there never was a Planet X to find and the scientific search ended in the early 1990's. In the last 10 years the search has begun anew, not by scientists, interested in adding to our knowledge, but by groups advocating apocalyptic ideas. They have a wide following and are interested in promoting their pseudoscientific beliefs. This talk will discuss this history.

  13. Proceedings of Protostars and Planets V

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Oral presentation sessions in this conference include: Clouds and cores; Star formation and protostars; Binaries and multiples; Newborn massive stars; jets and outflows; Clusters and associations; T Tauri stars and disks; Brown dwarfs; Planet formation and evolution; Extrasolar planets; Dust and protoplanetary disks; Early solar system and Astrobiology. Poster presentations included: Clouds and Cores. Collapse and Protostars, Binaries and Multiples, Clusters, Associations, and the IMF, Jets and Outflows, T Tauri Stars and Other Young Stars, Disks and Disk Accretion, Brown Dwarfs, Herbig Ae/Be Stars and Massive Stars, Solar System Objects, Planet Formation, Extrasolar Planets and Planet Detection, Properties of Protoplanetary Disks, Migration and Planetary Orbits and Meteoritics and Astrobiology

  14. Minor planets and other solar system objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bec-Borsenberger, A.

    1989-06-01

    The work performed to include observable planets and planet satellites in the Hipparcos input catalog is presented. The preparatory astrometric and photometric work needed to prepare the observations, and the considerations applied to their selection, are discussed. The magnitude of the minor planets proposed for observation by Hipparcos is analyzed, and those retained for observation are given. The position of minor planets in the input catalog is given by using their ephemerides, and examples of plots for Hebe and Flora planets, are given. Moreover, it is shown that Europa and Titan satellites can be adequately modulated by the Hipparcos main grid.

  15. Food additives

    PubMed Central

    Spencer, Michael

    1974-01-01

    Food additives are discussed from the food technology point of view. The reasons for their use are summarized: (1) to protect food from chemical and microbiological attack; (2) to even out seasonal supplies; (3) to improve their eating quality; (4) to improve their nutritional value. The various types of food additives are considered, e.g. colours, flavours, emulsifiers, bread and flour additives, preservatives, and nutritional additives. The paper concludes with consideration of those circumstances in which the use of additives is (a) justified and (b) unjustified. PMID:4467857

  16. MESSENGER: Exploring the Innermost Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomon, S. C.

    2011-12-01

    One of Earth's closest planetary neighbors, Mercury remained comparatively unexplored for the more than three decades that followed the three flybys of the innermost planet by the Mariner 10 spacecraft in 1974-75. Mariner 10 imaged 45% of Mercury's surface at about 1 km/pixel average resolution, confirmed Mercury's anomalously high bulk density and implied large fractional core size, discovered Mercury's internal magnetic field, documented that H and He are present in the planet's tenuous exosphere, and made the first exploration of Mercury's magnetosphere and solar wind environment. Ground-based astronomers later reported Na, K, and Ca in Mercury's exosphere; the presence of deposits in the floors of polar craters having radar characteristics best matched by water ice; and strong evidence from the planet's forced libration amplitude that Mercury has a fluid outer core. Spacecraft exploration of Mercury resumed with the selection for flight, under NASA's Discovery Program, of the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission. Launched in 2004, MESSENGER flew by the innermost planet three times in 2008-2009 en route to becoming the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury in March of this year. MESSENGER's first chemical remote sensing measurements of Mercury's surface indicate that the planet's bulk silicate fraction differs from those of the other inner planets, with a low-Fe surface composition intermediate between basalts and ultramafic rocks and best matched among terrestrial rocks by komatiites. Moreover, surface materials are richer in the volatile constituents S and K than predicted by most planetary formation models. Global image mosaics and targeted high-resolution images (to resolutions of 10 m/pixel) reveal that Mercury experienced globally extensive volcanism, including large expanses of plains emplaced as flood lavas and widespread examples of pyroclastic deposits likely emplaced during explosive eruptions of volatile

  17. Simulator for Microlens Planet Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ipatov, Sergei I.; Horne, Keith; Alsubai, Khalid A.; Bramich, Daniel M.; Dominik, Martin; Hundertmark, Markus P. G.; Liebig, Christine; Snodgrass, Colin D. B.; Street, Rachel A.; Tsapras, Yiannis

    2014-04-01

    We summarize the status of a computer simulator for microlens planet surveys. The simulator generates synthetic light curves of microlensing events observed with specified networks of telescopes over specified periods of time. Particular attention is paid to models for sky brightness and seeing, calibrated by fitting to data from the OGLE survey and RoboNet observations in 2011. Time intervals during which events are observable are identified by accounting for positions of the Sun and the Moon, and other restrictions on telescope pointing. Simulated observations are then generated for an algorithm that adjusts target priorities in real time with the aim of maximizing planet detection zone area summed over all the available events. The exoplanet detection capability of observations was compared for several telescopes.

  18. Ionospheres of the terrestrial planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schunk, R. W.; Nagy, A. F.

    1980-11-01

    The theory and observations relating to the ionospheres of the terrestrial planets Venus, the earth, and Mars are reviewed. Emphasis is placed on comparing the basic differences and similarities between the planetary ionospheres. The review covers the plasma and electric-magnetic field environments that surround the planets, the theory leading to the creation and transport of ionization in the ionospheres, the relevant observations, and the most recent model calculations. The theory section includes a discussion of ambipolar diffusion in a partially ionized plasma, diffusion in a fully ionized plasma, supersonic plasma flow, photochemistry, and heating and cooling processes. The sections on observations and model calculations cover the neutral atmosphere composition, the ion composition, the electron density, and the electron, ion, and neutral temperatures.

  19. Security for a Smarter Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagaratnam, Nataraj

    Bit by bit, our planet is getting smarter. By this, we mean the systems that run, the way we live and work as a society. Three things have brought this about - the world is becoming instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. Given the planet is becoming instrumented and interconnected, this opens up more risks that need to be managed. Escalating security and privacy concerns along with a renewed focus on organizational oversight are driving governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) to the forefront of the business. Compliance regulations have increasingly played a larger role by attempting to establish processes and controls that mitigate the internal and external risks organizations have today. To effectively meet the requirements of GRC, companies must prove that they have strong and consistent controls over who has access to critical applications and data.

  20. Artemis: A Stratospheric Planet Finder

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ford, H. C.; Petro, L. D.; Burrows, C.; Ftaclas, C.; Roggemann, M. C.; Trauger, J. T.

    2003-01-01

    The near-space environment of the stratosphere is far superior to terrestrial sites for optical and infrared observations. New balloon technologies will enable flights and safe recovery of 2-ton payloads at altitudes of 35 km for 100 days and longer. The combination of long flights and superb observing conditions make it possible to undertake science programs that otherwise could only be done from orbit. We propose to fly an "Ultra-Hubble" Stratospheric Telescope (UHST) equipped with a coronagraphic camera and active optics at 35 km to search for planets around 200 of the nearest stars. This ULDB mission will establish the frequency of solar-type planetary systems, and provide targets to search for earth-like planets.

  1. The Realm of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferlet, Roger

    2010-10-01

    In November 1995, an article published in Nature [1] put planetary sciences not only as a new hot field in both observational and theoretical astrophysics but also as a topic with a large impact toward the layman. This article was reporting the first discovery of a planet orbiting a star beyond our Sun, namely the solar-type star 51 Pegasi. Nearly four centuries after Giordano Bruno was burnt in public in Roma partly for having intuitively claimed the plurality of worlds, we were entering the extraordinary epoch in which one of the oldest inquiries of mankind-are we alone in the Universe?-can be tackled with the scientific method, leaving aside centuries of endless speculations. To date (July 2010), almost 500 extrasolar planets are known. We shall briefly review the main detection methods, together with the big surprises which arose during these last exciting fifteen years, without being exhaustive.

  2. Ionospheres of the terrestrial planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schunk, R. W.; Nagy, A. F.

    1980-01-01

    The theory and observations relating to the ionospheres of the terrestrial planets Venus, the earth, and Mars are reviewed. Emphasis is placed on comparing the basic differences and similarities between the planetary ionospheres. The review covers the plasma and electric-magnetic field environments that surround the planets, the theory leading to the creation and transport of ionization in the ionospheres, the relevant observations, and the most recent model calculations. The theory section includes a discussion of ambipolar diffusion in a partially ionized plasma, diffusion in a fully ionized plasma, supersonic plasma flow, photochemistry, and heating and cooling processes. The sections on observations and model calculations cover the neutral atmosphere composition, the ion composition, the electron density, and the electron, ion, and neutral temperatures.

  3. Interactions between planets and evolved stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  4. Astrometeric Science with SIM PlanetQuest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shao, Michael; Unwin, Stephen

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews Astrometry with the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) PlanetQuest. The topics include: 1) SIM PlanetQuest - the World's First Long- Baseline Optical Interferometer in Space; 2) National Academy of Sciences / NRC endorses SIM PlanetQuest; 3) SIM Planet Search; 4) Planetary System Architectures & Diversity; 5) SIM Search for 110 M(sub Earth) Planets Around Nearby Stars; 6) Deep Search of 120 nearby stars; 7) Planets around Young Stars; 8) SIM PlanetQuest Science Team; 9) Dark Halo of our Galaxy; 10) Dynamics of Galaxy Groups within 5 Mpc; 11) Probing Active Galactic Nuclei with Astrometry; 12) Snapshot Observing Mode: Astrometry for the masses; 13) SIM Technology Development is Complete; and 14) SIM Hardware, Tested for Flight.

  5. Observed positions of minor planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bem, J.; Szczodrowska-Kozar, B.

    Photographic positions were determined for the six minor planets Ceres, Vesta, Hebe, Flora, Eunomia, and Melromene, the observations being made from the Wroclaw Astronomical Observatory between February 1981 and February 1982. Tabulated data include UT of the observation, epoch-1950 topocentric positions, standard deviation of a reference star, the number of reference stars, and the exposure time. The AGK3, SAO, and Perth 70 catalogs were used for reference star positions.

  6. Electrodynamics on extrasolar giant planets

    SciTech Connect

    Koskinen, T. T.; Yelle, R. V.; Lavvas, P.; Cho, J. Y-K.

    2014-11-20

    Strong ionization on close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) suggests that their atmospheres may be affected by ion drag and resistive heating arising from wind-driven electrodynamics. Recent models of ion drag on these planets, however, are based on thermal ionization only and do not include the upper atmosphere above the 1 mbar level. These models are also based on simplified equations of resistive magnetohydrodynamics that are not always valid in extrasolar planet atmospheres. We show that photoionization dominates over thermal ionization over much of the dayside atmosphere above the 100 mbar level, creating an upper ionosphere dominated by ionization of H and He and a lower ionosphere dominated by ionization of metals such as Na, K, and Mg. The resulting dayside electron densities on close-in exoplanets are higher than those encountered in any planetary ionosphere of the solar system, and the conductivities are comparable to the chromosphere of the Sun. Based on these results and assumed magnetic fields, we constrain the conductivity regimes on close-in EGPs and use a generalized Ohm's law to study the basic effects of electrodynamics in their atmospheres. We find that ion drag is important above the 10 mbar level where it can also significantly alter the energy balance through resistive heating. Due to frequent collisions of the electrons and ions with the neutral atmosphere, however, ion drag is largely negligible in the lower atmosphere below the 10 mbar level for a reasonable range of planetary magnetic moments. We find that the atmospheric conductivity decreases by several orders of magnitude in the night side of tidally locked planets, leading to a potentially interesting large-scale dichotomy in electrodynamics between the day and night sides. A combined approach that relies on UV observations of the upper atmosphere, phase curve and Doppler measurements of global dynamics, and visual transit observations to probe the alkali metals can potentially be

  7. The Giant Planet Satellite Exospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGrath, Melissa A.

    2014-01-01

    Exospheres are relatively common in the outer solar system among the moons of the gas giant planets. They span the range from very tenuous, surface-bounded exospheres (e.g., Rhea, Dione) to quite robust exospheres with exobase above the surface (e.g., lo, Triton), and include many intermediate cases (e.g., Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus). The exospheres of these moons exhibit an interesting variety of sources, from surface sputtering, to frost sublimation, to active plumes, and also well illustrate another common characteristic of the outer planet satellite exospheres, namely, that the primary species often exists both as a gas in atmosphere, and a condensate (frost or ice) on the surface. As described by Yelle et al. (1995) for Triton, "The interchange of matter between gas and solid phases on these bodies has profound effects on the physical state of the surface and the structure of the atmosphere." A brief overview of the exospheres of the outer planet satellites will be presented, including an inter-comparison of these satellites exospheres with each other, and with the exospheres of the Moon and Mercury.

  8. Exploring Mercury. The iron planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strom, Robert G.; Sprague, Ann L.

    How did Mercury get such an enormous iron core? Why is its tectonic framework so different from any other planet or satellite? What is its crystal composition? Why is the crust so depleted in iron when the interior is so rich in that element? What are the polar deposits? Where do the elements in the exosphere come from? Mercury is a planet shrouded in mystery. Only 45 percent of its surface has been seen in any detail, and that was from the Mariner 10 flyby in 1974. Yet what is known only makes the planet more fascinating. New Earth-based observations have shed light on surface and exosphere compositions, and re-evaluations of the Mariner 10 data, using modern image processing techniques, show evidence for volcanic flow fronts, pyroclastics and other volcanic phenomena not seen before. This ground-breaking book not only chronicles what has been discovered, but looks ahead to what has yet to emerge. An accompanying CD contains all the best Mariner 10 images, including the data for each image, photomosaics and maps.

  9. DETECTING VOLCANISM ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-15

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

  10. Looking for a habitable planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, Leonid

    Only very favorable combination of many physical parameters may provide the necessary con-ditions for unicellular organisms to evolve into multicellular animals. The main factors of the planet, that is critical for the evolution and existence of life, form a peculiar labyrinth with many impasses. Most important are mass and temperature conditions on the planet. The planet that meets RNA/ DNA life requirements must have: •a mass about 5E27 g; •some zones with a favorable thermal conditions (273-340K); •an atmosphere that is able to absorb an external hard radiation but transparent for photons with 1-3 eV energy; •a sufficient den-sity of a stellar radiation; •presence of other sources of energy, e.g. of oxidation species in the atmosphere; •a moderate gravitation; •open water with big islands or continents; •a moderate rotation period; •a moderate eccentricity of the orbit; •a moderate inclination of equator plane to the orbit plane; •an intensive meteoritic impacts or other cosmic catastrophes that stimulate evolution of the most perfect beings; •one or more massive satellites; •an intensive volcanism and/or plate tectonics.

  11. Studies of Constraints from the Terrestrial Planets, Asteroid Belt and Giant Planet Obliquities on the Early Solar System Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesvorny, David

    The planetary instability has been invoked as a convenient way to explain several observables in the present Solar System. This theory, frequently referred to under a broad and somewhat ill-defined umbrella as the ‘Nice model’, postulates that at least one of the ice giants suffered scattering encounters with Jupiter and Saturn. This could explain several things, including the excitation of the proper eccentric mode in Jupiter's orbit, survival of the terrestrial planets during giant planet migration, and, if the instability was conveniently delayed, also the Late Heavy Bombardment of the Moon. These properties/events would be unexpected if the migration histories of the outer planets were ideally smooth (at least no comprehensive model has yet been fully developed to collectively explain them). Additional support for the planetary instability comes from the dynamical properties of the asteroid and Kuiper belts, Trojans, and planetary satellites. We created a large database of dynamical evolutions of the outer planets through and 100 Myr past the instability (Nesvorny and Morbidelli 2012. Many of these dynamical histories have been found to match constraints from the orbits of the outer planets themselves. We now propose to test these different scenarios using constraints from the terrestrial planets, asteroid belt and giant planet obliquities. As we explain in the proposal narrative, we will bring all these constraints together in an attempt to develop a comprehensive model of early Solar System's evolution. This will be a significant improvement over the past work, where different constraints were considered piecewise and in various approximations. Our work has the potential to generate support for the Nice-type instability, or to rule it out, which could help in sparking interest in developing better models. RELEVANCE The proposed research is fundamental to understanding the formation and early evolution of the Solar System. This is a central theme of NASA

  12. Stop Hitting Yourself: Did most Terrestrial Impactors Originate from the Terrestrial Planets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, A. P.; Asphaug, E.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Minton, D. A.

    2015-02-01

    In addition to building planets giant impacts also release large quantities of debris. The ultimate fate of this is largely re-accretion, and this debris population could be the dominant source of impactors in the early solar system.

  13. Outer Planet Assessment Group (OPAG) Recommended Exploration Strategy for the Outer Planets 2013-2022

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, William B.; Steering Committee, Opag; Planets Community, Outer

    2010-05-01

    The Outer Solar System provides critical clues to how solar systems form and evolve, how planetary systems become habitable, and how life has evolved in our solar system. NASA's Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) was established to identify scientific priorities and pathways for Outer Solar System exploration. Fundamental new discoveries are best made with a mixture of mission sizes that includes large (flagship) missions, and medium-sized and smaller-sized (as practical) missions, along with vigorous support for basic research, data analysis, and technology development — a balanced strategy most efficiently implemented as an Outer Planets Exploration Program. Missions to the Outer Solar System are major undertakings, requiring large and expensive launch vehicles, long mission durations, highly reliable (frequently radiation hard) and autonomous spacecraft, and radioisotope power sources in most cases. OPAG has recommended to the US National Research Council Planetary Science Decadal Survey to explore the possibilities for ‘small flagship' class missions to be considered, providing a greater range of choice and capabilities in the mix to balance program size and science return. With the Galileo mission concluded, the Cassini equinox mission in progress, and Juno in development, OPAG has strongly endorsed the competitive selection by NASA of the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) as the next Outer Planets Flagship and as part of the Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) with ESA, a collaboration that includes a Ganymede orbiter and an increased focus on Jupiter science; OPAG has strongly recommended support of JEO and EJSM in the Decadal Survey. In addition, OPAG has strongly endorsed approval by NASA of the Cassini Solstice Mission, including the Juno-like end-of-mission scenario, given the likely phenomenal return on investment. OPAG also advocates the need for a focused technology program for the next Outer Planet Flagship Mission after EJSM, in order to be ready

  14. Secular Orbital Dynamics of Hierarchical Two-planet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veras, Dimitri; Ford, Eric B.

    2010-06-01

    The discovery of multi-planet extrasolar systems has kindled interest in using their orbital evolution as a probe of planet formation. Accurate descriptions of planetary orbits identify systems that could hide additional planets or be in a special dynamical state, and inform targeted follow-up observations. We combine published radial velocity data with Markov Chain Monte Carlo analyses in order to obtain an ensemble of masses, semimajor axes, eccentricities, and orbital angles for each of the five dynamically active multi-planet systems: HD 11964, HD 38529, HD 108874, HD 168443, and HD 190360. We dynamically evolve these systems using 52,000 long-term N-body integrations that sample the full range of possible line-of-sight and relative inclinations, and we report on the system stability, secular evolution, and the extent of the resonant interactions. We find that planetary orbits in hierarchical systems exhibit complex dynamics and can become highly eccentric and maybe significantly inclined. Additionally, we incorporate the effects of general relativity in the long-term simulations and demonstrate that it can qualitatively affect the dynamics of some systems with high relative inclinations. The simulations quantify the likelihood of different dynamical regimes for each system and highlight the dangers of restricting simulation phase space to a single set of initial conditions or coplanar orbits.

  15. The Evryscope and extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fors, Octavi; Law, Nicholas Michael; Ratzloff, Jeffrey; del Ser, Daniel; Wulfken, Philip J.; Kavanaugh, Dustin

    2015-08-01

    The Evryscope (Law et al. 2015) is a 24-camera hemispherical all-sky gigapixel telescope (8,000 sq.deg. FoV) with rapid cadence (2mins exposure, 4sec readout) installed at CTIO. Ground-based single-station transiting surveys typically suffer from light curve sparsity and suboptimal efficiency because of their limited field of view (FoV), resulting in incomplete and biased detections. In contrast, the Evryscope offers 97% survey efficiency and one of the single-station most continuous and simultaneous monitoring of millions of stars (only limited by the day-night window).This unique facility is capable of addressing new and more extensive planetary populations, including: 1) for the first time, continuously monitor every 2mins a set of ~1000 bright white dwarfs (WDs). This will allow us to put constraints on the habitable planet fraction of Ceres-size planetesimals at the level of 30%, only in a survey timescales of a few weeks, as well as first-time testing planetary evolution models beyond the AGB phase. 2) search for rocky planets in the habitable zone around ~5,000 bright, nearby M-dwarfs. 3) synergies between Evryscope and upcoming exoplanets missions (e.g. TESS, PLATO) are also promising for target pre-imaging characterization, and increasing the giant planet yield by recovering multiple transits from planets seen as single transit events from space. 4) all-sky 2-min cadence of rare microlensing events of nearby stars. 5) all-sky continuous survey of microlensing events of nearby stars at 2mins cadence. 6) increase the census of giant planets around ~70,000 nearby, bright (g<10) solar-type stars, whose atmospheres can be characterized by follow-up observations. We are developing new data analysis algorithms to address the above scientific goals: from detecting the extremely short and faint transits around WDs, to disentangle planetary signals from very bright stars, and to combine space-based light curves with the Evryscope's ones. We will present the first

  16. Kepler-9: a system of multiple planets transiting a Sun-like star, confirmed by timing variations.

    PubMed

    Holman, Matthew J; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ragozzine, Darin; Ford, Eric B; Steffen, Jason H; Welsh, William F; Lissauer, Jack J; Latham, David W; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Walkowicz, Lucianne M; Batalha, Natalie M; Jenkins, Jon M; Rowe, Jason F; Cochran, William D; Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Buchhave, Lars A; Sasselov, Dimitar D; Borucki, William J; Koch, David G; Basri, Gibor; Brown, Timothy M; Caldwell, Douglas A; Charbonneau, David; Dunham, Edward W; Gautier, Thomas N; Geary, John C; Gilliland, Ronald L; Haas, Michael R; Howell, Steve B; Ciardi, David R; Endl, Michael; Fischer, Debra; Fürész, Gábor; Hartman, Joel D; Isaacson, Howard; Johnson, John A; MacQueen, Phillip J; Moorhead, Althea V; Morehead, Robert C; Orosz, Jerome A

    2010-10-01

    The Kepler spacecraft is monitoring more than 150,000 stars for evidence of planets transiting those stars. We report the detection of two Saturn-size planets that transit the same Sun-like star, based on 7 months of Kepler observations. Their 19.2- and 38.9-day periods are presently increasing and decreasing at respective average rates of 4 and 39 minutes per orbit; in addition, the transit times of the inner body display an alternating variation of smaller amplitude. These signatures are characteristic of gravitational interaction of two planets near a 2:1 orbital resonance. Six radial-velocity observations show that these two planets are the most massive objects orbiting close to the star and substantially improve the estimates of their masses. After removing the signal of the two confirmed giant planets, we identified an additional transiting super-Earth-size planet candidate with a period of 1.6 days. PMID:20798283

  17. TESTING IN SITU ASSEMBLY WITH THE KEPLER PLANET CANDIDATE SAMPLE

    SciTech Connect

    Hansen, Brad M. S.; Murray, Norm E-mail: murray@cita.utoronto.ca

    2013-09-20

    We present a Monte Carlo model for the structure of low-mass (total mass <25 M{sub ⊕}) planetary systems that form by the in situ gravitational assembly of planetary embryos into final planets. Our model includes distributions of mass, eccentricity, inclination, and period spacing that are based on the simulation of a disk of 20 M{sub ⊕}, forming planets around a solar-mass star, and assuming a power-law surface density distribution that drops with distance a as ∝ a {sup –1.5}. The output of the Monte Carlo model is then subjected to the selection effects that mimic the observations of a transiting planet search such as that performed by the Kepler satellite. The resulting comparison of the output to the properties of the observed sample yields an encouraging agreement in terms of the relative frequencies of multiple-planet systems and the distribution of the mutual inclinations when moderate tidal circularization is taken into account. The broad features of the period distribution and radius distribution can also be matched within this framework, although the model underpredicts the distribution of small period ratios. This likely indicates that some dissipation is still required in the formation process. The most striking deviation between the model and observations is in the ratio of single to multiple systems in that there are roughly 50% more single-planet candidates observed than are produced in any model population. This suggests that some systems must suffer additional attrition to reduce the number of planets or increase the range of inclinations.

  18. 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

  19. Setting the stage for habitable planets.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Guillermo

    2014-01-01

    Our understanding of the processes that are relevant to the formation and maintenance of habitable planetary systems is advancing at a rapid pace, both from observation and theory. The present review focuses on recent research that bears on this topic and includes discussions of processes occurring in astrophysical, geophysical and climatic contexts, as well as the temporal evolution of planetary habitability. Special attention is given to recent observations of exoplanets and their host stars and the theories proposed to explain the observed trends. Recent theories about the early evolution of the Solar System and how they relate to its habitability are also summarized. Unresolved issues requiring additional research are pointed out, and a framework is provided for estimating the number of habitable planets in the Universe. PMID:25370028

  20. Kepler constraints on planets near hot Jupiters

    SciTech Connect

    Steffen, Jason H.; Ragozzine, Darin; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Carter, Joshua A.; Ford, Eric B.; Holman, Matthew J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Welsh, William F.; Borucki, William J.; Boss, Alan P.; Ciardi, David R.; /Caltech /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.

    2012-05-01

    We present the results of a search for planetary companions orbiting near hot Jupiter planet candidates (Jupiter-size candidates with orbital periods near 3 d) identified in the Kepler data through its sixth quarter of science operations. Special emphasis is given to companions between the 2:1 interior and exterior mean-motion resonances. A photometric transit search excludes companions with sizes ranging from roughly two-thirds to five times the size of the Earth, depending upon the noise properties of the target star. A search for dynamically induced deviations from a constant period (transit timing variations) also shows no significant signals. In contrast, comparison studies of warm Jupiters (with slightly larger orbits) and hot Neptune-size candidates do exhibit signatures of additional companions with these same tests. These differences between hot Jupiters and other planetary systems denote a distinctly different formation or dynamical history.

  1. Setting the Stage for Habitable Planets

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez, Guillermo

    2014-01-01

    Our understanding of the processes that are relevant to the formation and maintenance of habitable planetary systems is advancing at a rapid pace, both from observation and theory. The present review focuses on recent research that bears on this topic and includes discussions of processes occurring in astrophysical, geophysical and climatic contexts, as well as the temporal evolution of planetary habitability. Special attention is given to recent observations of exoplanets and their host stars and the theories proposed to explain the observed trends. Recent theories about the early evolution of the Solar System and how they relate to its habitability are also summarized. Unresolved issues requiring additional research are pointed out, and a framework is provided for estimating the number of habitable planets in the Universe. PMID:25370028

  2. Host Star Evolution for Planet Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallet, Florian; Charbonnel, Corinne; Amard, Louis

    2016-04-01

    With about 2000 exoplanets discovered within a large range of different configurations of distance from the star, size, mass, and atmospheric conditions, the concept of habitability cannot rely only on the stellar effective temperature anymore. In addition to the natural evolution of habitability with the intrinsic stellar parameters, tidal, magnetic, and atmospheric interactions are believed to have strong impact on the relative position of the planets inside the so-called habitable zone. Moreover, the notion of habitability itself strongly depends on the definition we give to the term "habitable". The aim of this contribution is to provide a global and up-to-date overview of the work done during the last few years about the description and the modelling of the habitability, and to present the physical processes currently includes in this description.

  3. Wave observations in outer planet magnetospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scarf, F. L.

    1985-01-01

    The first measurements of plasma waves and wave-particle interactions in the magnetospheres of the outer planets were provided by instruments on Voyager 1 and 2. At Jupiter, the observations yielded new information on upstream electrons and ions, bow shock dissipation processes, trapped radio waves in the magnetospheres and extended Jovian magnetotail, pitch angle diffusion mechanisms and whistlers from atmospheric lightning. Many of these same emissions were detected at Saturn. In addition, the Voyager plasma wave instruments detected dust particles associated with the tenuous outer rings of Saturn as they impacted the spacecraft. Most of the plasma wave activity at Jupiter and Saturn is in the audio range, and recordings of the wave observations have been useful for analysis.

  4. Planet Hunting With HATNet and HATSouth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakos, G.

    2012-06-01

    (Abstract only) Transiting exoplanets (TEPs), especially those found around bright stars, are particularly important as they provide unique opportunities to study the physical properties of planetary mass objects. The Hungarian-made Automated Telescope Network (HATNet) project - one of the small telescope surveys - has been extremely successful in the field of TEPs, contributing twenty-seven published discoveries, and one independent discovery of a previously published planet. Publications on several additional planetary systems are in preparation. I will discuss how HATNet operates around the globe, and how these fully automated small (11cm diameter) telescopes produce big science. I will also mention the related HATSouth project, now in full operation, and monitoring selected southern fields round-the-clock. Finally, I will conclude on how small and big telescopes collaborate in exoplanet science.

  5. Kepler constraints on planets near hot Jupiters

    PubMed Central

    Steffen, Jason H.; Ragozzine, Darin; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Carter, Joshua A.; Ford, Eric B.; Holman, Matthew J.; Rowe, Jason F.; Welsh, William F.; Borucki, William J.; Boss, Alan P.; Ciardi, David R.; Quinn, Samuel N.

    2012-01-01

    We present the results of a search for planetary companions orbiting near hot Jupiter planet candidates (Jupiter-size candidates with orbital periods near 3 d) identified in the Kepler data through its sixth quarter of science operations. Special emphasis is given to companions between the 2∶1 interior and exterior mean-motion resonances. A photometric transit search excludes companions with sizes ranging from roughly two-thirds to five times the size of the Earth, depending upon the noise properties of the target star. A search for dynamically induced deviations from a constant period (transit timing variations) also shows no significant signals. In contrast, comparison studies of warm Jupiters (with slightly larger orbits) and hot Neptune-size candidates do exhibit signatures of additional companions with these same tests. These differences between hot Jupiters and other planetary systems denote a distinctly different formation or dynamical history. PMID:22566651

  6. Exotic Earths: forming habitable worlds with giant planet migration.

    PubMed

    Raymond, Sean N; Mandell, Avi M; Sigurdsson, Steinn

    2006-09-01

    Close-in giant planets (e.g., "hot Jupiters") are thought to form far from their host stars and migrate inward, through the terrestrial planet zone, via torques with a massive gaseous disk. Here we simulate terrestrial planet growth during and after giant planet migration. Several-Earth-mass planets also form interior to the migrating jovian planet, analogous to recently discovered "hot Earths." Very-water-rich, Earth-mass planets form from surviving material outside the giant planet's orbit, often in the habitable zone and with low orbital eccentricities. More than a third of the known systems of giant planets may harbor Earth-like planets. PMID:16960000

  7. Biases In A Magnitude Limited Versus A Distant Limited Planet Search

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koch, David; Borucki, William; Witteborn, Fred C. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    All methods utilized to conduct a search or survey inevitably have some built-in biases. These biases are often traced to some limitation of the instrument used or some inherent character of the signal being recorded. We address these limitations for various methods used or proposed for planet detection: spectroscopy, astrometry, interferometry, and photometry. For spectroscopy, the turbulence in the photosphere limits the minimum measurable dossier velocity to 3 m/s and hence the minimum planet to star mass ratio, thereby favoring massive close-in planets. Limited available observing time will necessarily introduce additional selection biases in the targets observed and telescope aperture will limit the faintest magnitude stars to be measured; For astrometry, the angular resolution of the instrument along with motions in the photometric center of the star limit the furthest distance for which giant planets can be detected to about 10 pc and favor massive outer orbit planets around low mass non-solar like stars; For imaging interferometry, the minimum angular size of the central null limits both the distance to the star and closeness of the planet to the host star to about 1 AU at 10 pc and thus to the very few solar-like stars within 10 pc. Solar and extra-solar zodiacal emission will limit the minimum size of the detectable planet. For photometry, the inherent variability of the star does not limit the minimum planet size until earth-sized or smaller planets are considered around solar-like stars. The telescope aperture limits the faintest stars that can be monitored. As with spectroscopy, there is no inherent distant limit to the method. After addressing the limiting factors of each method, an estimate is made of the number of planets of various sizes that could be found for each stellar type based on the detection probability and the number of stars that can be searched for planets.

  8. Characterization and Validation of Transiting Planets in the Kepler and TESS Pipelines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Twicken, Joseph; Brownston, Lee; Catanzarite, Joseph; Clarke, Bruce; Cote, Miles; Girouard, Forrest; Li, Jie; McCauliff, Sean; Seader, Shawn; Tenenbaum, Peter; Wohler, Bill; Jenkins, Jon Michael; Batalha, Natalie; Bryson, Steve; Burke, Christopher; Caldwell, Douglas

    2015-08-01

    Light curves for Kepler targets are searched for transiting planet signatures in the Transiting Planet Search (TPS) component of the Science Operations Center (SOC) Processing Pipeline. Targets for which the detection threshold is exceeded are subsequently processed in the Data Validation (DV) Pipeline component. The primary functions of DV are to (1) characterize planets identified in the transiting planet search, (2) search for additional transiting planet signatures in light curves after modeled transit signatures have been removed, and (3) perform a comprehensive suite of diagnostic tests to aid in discrimination between true transiting planets and false positive detections. DV output products include extensive reports by target, one-page report summaries by planet candidate, and tabulated planet model fit and diagnostic test results. The DV products are employed by humans and automated systems to vet planet candidates identified in the pipeline. The final revision of the Kepler SOC codebase (9.3) was released in March 2015. It will be utilized to reprocess the complete Q1-Q17 data set later this year. At the same time, the SOC Pipeline codebase is being ported to support the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission. TESS is expected to launch in 2017 and survey the entire sky for transiting exoplanets over a period of two years. We describe the final revision of the Kepler Data Validation component with emphasis on the diagnostic tests and reports. This revision also serves as the DV baseline for TESS. The diagnostic tests exploit the flux (i.e., light curve), centroid and pixel time series associated with each target to facilitate the determination of the true origin of each purported transiting planet signature. Candidate planet detections and DV products for Kepler are delivered to the Exoplanet Archive at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI). The Exoplanet Archive is located at exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu. Funding for the Kepler

  9. Planets migrating into stars: Rates and Signature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Stuart F.

    2015-01-01

    New measurements of the occurrence distribution of planets (POD) make it possible to make the first determination of the rate of planet migration into stars as a function of the strength of stellar tidal dissipation. We show how the period at which there is falloff in the POD due to planets migrating into the star can be used to calculate this rate. We show that it does not take extremely weak tidal dissipation for this rate to be low enough to be supplied by a reasonable number of planets being scattered into the lowest period region. The presence of the shortest period giant planets can be better explained by the ongoing migration of giant planets into stars. The presence of giant planets in period on the order of a day and less had prompted some to conclude that tidal dissipation in stars must necessarily be much weaker for planet mass than for binary star mass companions. However, a flow of less than one planet per thousand stars per gigayear could explain their presence without requiring as much of a difference in tidal dissipation strength in stars for planetary than for stellar mass companions. We show several new analytical expressions describing the rate of evolution of the falloff in the POD, as well as the rate of planet. The question of how strong is the tidal dissipation (the quality factor 'Q') for planet-mass companions may be answered within a few years by a measurable time shift in the transit period. We show that the distribution of remaining planet lifetimes indicates a mass-dependence of the stellar tidal dissipation. The possibility of regular merger of planets with stars has led us to find several correlations of iron abundance in stars with planet parameters, starting with the iron-eccentricity correlation (Taylor 2012, Dawson & Murray-Clay 2013). These correlations change in the presence of a stellar companion. We show that the distribution of planets of iron-rich planets is significantly different from the distribution of iron poor stars in

  10. Detection of Extrasolar Planets by Transit Photometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  11. Orbital Evolution and Migration of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trilling, D. E.; Benz, W.; Guillot, T.; Lunine, J. I.; Hubbard, W. B.; Burrows, A.

    1997-07-01

    Giant planets in circumstellar disks can migrate inward from their initial (formation) positions. Migration is caused by inward torques between the planet and the disk; by outward torques between the planet and the spinning star; and by outward torques due to Roche lobe overflow and mass loss from the planet. Summing torques on planets in disks with various physical parameters, we find that Jupiter-mass planets can stably arrive and survive at small heliocentric distances. Inward migration timescales can be approximately equal to or less than disk lifetimes and star spindown timescales. Therefore, the range of fates of Jupiter-mass planets is broad, and generally comprises three classes: (I) planets which migrate inward too rapidly and lose all their mass due to Roche lobe overflow; (II) planets which migrate inward and survive in very small orbits; and (III) planets which do not migrate very far. Some, but not all, of the planets in Class II lose mass during their evolution and migration times, resulting in planets with final masses smaller than their initial masses. For example, in our model, we produce planets similar to 51 Peg b which have lost ~ 75% of their initial mass. The observed extrasolar planets, both those with extremely small semi-major axes (51 Peg b at 0.05 AU, tau Boo b (0.046 AU), upsilon And b (0.057 AU), and 55 Cnc b (0.11 AU)) and those with more moderate semi-major axes (rho Cor Bor b (0.23 AU), 47 UMa b (2.1 AU)) form a subset of the potential outcomes of the system, in that Jupiter-mass objects can stably survive in orbits with a wide range of semi-major axes. Our numerical model produces planets which have similar characteristics to the observed planets, as well as planets similar to Jupiter, and many intermediate cases. Since Jupiters can stably migrate to various orbital separations, we predict that, as planetary detection techniques improve, Jupiter-mass planets will be found in a wide range of orbits, from much less than 1 AU to

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-11-20

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

  13. Exceptional Stars Origins, Companions, Masses and Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Stability of habitable exomoons of circumbinary planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satyal, Suman; Haghighipour, Nader; Quarles, Billy

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Disc-planet interactions in subkeplerian discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paardekooper, S.-J.

    2009-11-01

    Context: One class of protoplanetary disc models, the X-wind model, predicts strongly subkeplerian orbital gas velocities, a configuration that can be sustained by magnetic tension. Aims: We investigate disc-planet interactions in these subkeplerian discs, focusing on orbital migration for low-mass planets and gap formation for high-mass planets. Methods: We use linear calculations and nonlinear hydrodynamical simulations to measure the torque and look at gap formation. In both cases, the subkeplerian nature of the disc is treated as a fixed external constraint. Results: We show that, depending on the degree to which the disc is subkeplerian, the torque on low-mass planets varies between the usual type I torque and the one-sided outer Lindblad torque, which is also negative but an order of magnitude stronger. In strongly subkeplerian discs, corotation effects can be ignored, making migration fast and inward. Gap formation near the planet's orbit is more difficult in such discs, since there are no resonances close to the planet accommodating angular momentum transport. The location of the gap is shifted inwards with respect to the planet, leaving the planet on the outside of a surface density depression. Conclusions: Depending on the degree to which a protoplanetary disc is subkeplerian, disc-planet interactions can be very different from the usual Keplerian picture, making these discs in general more hazardous for young planets.

  16. A Planet Detection Tutorial and Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knoch, David; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, Stefan R.; Booth, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Characterization of the KOI-94 system with transit timing variation analysis: Implication for the planet-planet eclipse

    SciTech Connect

    Masuda, Kento; Taruya, Atsushi; Suto, Yasushi; Hirano, Teruyuki; Nagasawa, Makiko

    2013-12-01

    The KOI-94 system is a closely packed, multi-transiting planetary system discovered by the Kepler space telescope. It is known as the first system that exhibited a rare event called a 'planet-planet eclipse (PPE)', in which two planets partially overlap with each other in their double-transit phase. In this paper, we constrain the parameters of the KOI-94 system with an analysis of the transit timing variations (TTVs). Such constraints are independent of the radial velocity (RV) analysis recently performed by Weiss and coworkers, and valuable in examining the reliability of the parameter estimate using TTVs. We numerically fit the observed TTVs of KOI-94c, KOI-94d, and KOI-94e for their masses, eccentricities, and longitudes of periastrons, and obtain the best-fit parameters including m{sub c}=9.4{sub −2.1}{sup +2.4} M{sub ⊕}, m{sub d}=52.1{sub −7.1}{sup +6.9} M{sub ⊕}, m{sub e}=13.0{sub −2.1}{sup +2.5} M{sub ⊕}, and e ≲ 0.1 for all the three planets. While these values are mostly in agreement with the RV result, the mass of KOI-94d estimated from the TTV is significantly smaller than the RV value m {sub d} = 106 ± 11 M {sub ⊕}. In addition, we find that the TTV of the outermost planet KOI-94e is not well reproduced in the current modeling. We also present analytic modeling of the PPE and derive a simple formula to reconstruct the mutual inclination of the two planets from the observed height, central time, and duration of the brightening caused by the PPE. Based on this model, the implication of the results of TTV analysis for the time of the next PPE is discussed.

  19. Securing the Extremely Low-Densities of Low-Mass Planets Characterized by Transit Timing Variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Eric B.

    2015-12-01

    Transit timing variations (TTVs) provide an excellent tool to characterize the masses and orbits of dozens of small planets, including many at orbital periods beyond the reach of both Doppler surveys and photoevaporation-induced atmospheric loss. Dynamical modeling of these systems has identified low-mass planets with surprisingly large radii and low densities (e.g., Kepler-79d, Jontof-Hutter et al. 2014; Kepler-51, Masuda 2014; Kepler-87c, Ofir et al. 2014). Additional low-density, low-mass planets will likely become public before ESS III (Jontof-Hutter et al. in prep). Collectively, these results suggest that very low density planets with masses of 2-6 MEarth are not uncommon in compact multiple planet systems. Some astronomers have questioned whether there could be an alternative interpretation of the TTV observations. Indeed, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. While the physics of TTVs is rock solid, the statistical analysis of Kepler observations can be challenging, due to the complex interactions between model parameters and high-dimensional parameter spaces that must be explored. We summarize recent advances in computational statistics that enable robust characterization of planetary systems using TTVs. We present updated analyses of a few particularly interesting systems and discuss the implications for the robustness of extremely low densities for low-mass planets. Such planets pose an interesting challenge for planet formation theory and are motivating detailed theoretical studies (e.g., Lee & Chiang 2015 and associated ESS III abstracts).

  20. Corrections in the Application of the Habitable Zone to Planets in Elliptical Orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendez, A.

    2014-04-01

    Estimates on the occurrence of exoplanets orbiting within the habitable zone of their star, including those potentially habitable, require the correct application of formal definitions of the habitable zone. About 74% of all known confirmed planets have eccentricities larger than Earth. It is then often assumed that the mean equilibrium temperature of a planet in an elliptical orbit can be simply calculated from its mean orbital distance or stellar flux. Here we calculated analytic solutions for both the spatial and temporal averages of orbital distance, stellar flux, and equilibrium temperature. Our solutions demonstrate that while elliptical orbits do cause an increase of the mean stellar flux as compared to a circular orbit, the mean equilibrium temperature of a planet decreases with eccentricity until a converging value. Therefore, the mean surface temperature of a planet in an elliptical orbit might decrease or increase depending on the greenhouse effect as compared to a circular orbit. This result is important to correctly assess whether planets in elliptical orbits are within the habitable zone or not. This analysis was incorporated for all known confirmed planets in the PHL's Exoplanet Orbit Catalog where many were duly reclassified. About 12% of all known confirmed planets are in the habitable zone, but only 4% of the Kepler candidates. Additional suggestions will be presented on how to classify planets and their potential habitability.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  2. Have protoplanetary discs formed planets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greaves, J. S.; Rice, W. K. M.

    2010-09-01

    It has recently been noted that many discs around T Tauri stars appear to comprise only a few Jupiter masses of gas and dust. Using millimetre surveys of discs within six local star formation regions, we confirm this result, and find that only a few per cent of young stars have enough circumstellar material to build gas giant planets, in standard core accretion models. Since the frequency of observed exoplanets is greater than this, there is a `missing-mass' problem. As alternatives to simply adjusting the conversion of dust flux to disc mass, we investigate three other classes of solution. Migration of planets could hypothetically sweep up the disc mass reservoir more efficiently, but trends in multiplanet systems do not support such a model, and theoretical models suggest that the gas accretion time-scale is too short for migration to sweep the disc. Enhanced inner-disc mass reservoirs are possible, agreeing with predictions of disc evolution through self-gravity, but not adding to millimetre dust flux as the inner disc is optically thick. Finally, the incidence of massive discs is shown to be higher at the protostellar stages, Classes 0 and I, where discs substantial enough to form planets via core accretion are abundant enough to match the frequency of exoplanets. Gravitational instability may also operate in the Class 0 epoch, where half the objects have potentially unstable discs of >~30 per cent of the stellar mass. However, recent calculations indicate that forming gas giants inside 50 au by instability is unlikely, even in such massive discs. Overall, the results presented suggest that the canonically `protoplanetary' discs of Class II T Tauri stars have globally low masses in dust observable at millimetre wavelengths, and conversion to larger bodies (anywhere from small rocks up to planetary cores) must already have occurred.

  3. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS. II. PREDICTIONS FOR OUTER EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-03-10

    We develop an idealized dynamical model to predict the typical properties of outer extrasolar planetary systems, at radii comparable to the Jupiter-to-Neptune region of the solar system. The model is based upon the hypothesis that dynamical evolution in outer planetary systems is controlled by a combination of planet-planet scattering and planetary interactions with an exterior disk of small bodies ('planetesimals'). Our results are based on 5000 long duration N-body simulations that follow the evolution of three planets from a few to 10 AU, together with a planetesimal disk containing 50 M{sub +} from 10 to 20 AU. For large planet masses (M {approx}> M{sub Sat}), the model recovers the observed eccentricity distribution of extrasolar planets. For lower-mass planets, the range of outcomes in models with disks is far greater than that which is seen in isolated planet-planet scattering. Common outcomes include strong scattering among massive planets, sudden jumps in eccentricity due to resonance crossings driven by divergent migration, and re-circularization of scattered low-mass planets in the outer disk. We present the distributions of the eccentricity and inclination that result, and discuss how they vary with planet mass and initial system architecture. In agreement with other studies, we find that the currently observed eccentricity distribution (derived primarily from planets at a {approx}< 3 AU) is consistent with isolated planet-planet scattering. We explain the observed mass dependence-which is in the opposite sense from that predicted by the simplest scattering models-as a consequence of strong correlations between planet masses in the same system. At somewhat larger radii, initial planetary mass correlations and disk effects can yield similar modest changes to the eccentricity distribution. Nonetheless, strong damping of eccentricity for low-mass planets at large radii appears to be a secure signature of the dynamical influence of disks. Radial velocity

  4. Our Solar System Features Eight Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    Our solar system features eight planets, seen in this artist's diagram. Although there is some debate within the science community as to whether Pluto should be classified as a Planet or a dwarf planet, the International Astronomical Union has decided on the term plutoid as a name for dwarf planets like Pluto.

    This representation is intentionally fanciful, as the planets are depicted far closer together than they really are. Similarly, the bodies' relative sizes are inaccurate. This is done for the purpose of being able to depict the solar system and still represent the bodies with some detail. (Otherwise the Sun would be a mere speck, and the planets even the majestic Jupiter would be far too small to be seen.)

  5. Volatile components and continental material of planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Florenskiy, K. P.; Nikolayeva, O. V.

    1986-01-01

    It is shown that the continental material of the terrestrial planets varies in composition from planet to planet according to the abundances and composition of true volatiles (H20, CO2, etc.) in the outer shells of the planets. The formation of these shells occurs very early in a planet's evolution when the role of endogenous processes is indistinct and continental materials are subject to melting and vaporizing in the absence of an atmosphere. As a result, the chemical properties of continental materials are related not only to fractionation processes but also to meltability and volatility. For planets retaining a certain quantity of true volatile components, the chemical transformation of continental material is characterized by a close interaction between impact melting vaporization and endogeneous geological processes.

  6. Genesis of a planet in Messier 4

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sigurdsson, Steinn

    1993-01-01

    The anomalous spin period second derivative of the binary millisecond pulsar PSR 1620-26 in the globular cluster M4 is best explained by a sub-Jovian mass planet in a moderately eccentric about 7 AU orbit about the pulsar binary. We consider formation scenarios for PSR 1620-26. A planet scavenged from a single main-sequence star during an exchange encounter naturally produces systems such as PSR 1620-26. The position of the pulsar just outside the core of M4 is shown to fit naturally with the preferred formation scenario and permit a planet to have survived in the inferred orbit about the binary. It is possible that the orbital eccentricity of the binary was induced by the planet. A confirmation of a planet in eccentric orbit about PSR 1620-26 would strongly suggest that planets form ubiquitously around low-mass main-sequence stars, even stars of low metallicity.

  7. The SIM PlanetQuest Science Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edberg, Stephen J.; Traub, Wesley A.; Unwin, Stephen C.; Marr, James C., IV

    2007-01-01

    SIM PlanetQuest (hereafter, just SIM) is a NASA mission to measure the angular positions of stars with unprecedented accuracy. We outline the main astrophysical science programs planned for SIM, and related opportunities for community participation. We focus especially on SIM's ability to detect exoplanets as small as the Earth around nearby stars. The planned synergy between SIM and other planet-finding missions including Kepler and GAIA, and planet-characterizing missions including the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), Terrestrial Planet Finder--Coronagraph (TPF-C), and Terrestrial Planet Finder--Interferometer (TPF-I), is a key element in NASA's Navigator Program to find Earth-like planets, determine their habitability, and search for signs of life in the universe. SIM's technology development is now complete and the project is proceeding towards a launch in the next decade.

  8. Four new planets around giant stars and the mass-metallicity correlation of planet-hosting stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, M. I.; Jenkins, J. S.; Brahm, R.; Wittenmyer, R. A.; Olivares E., F.; Melo, C. H. F.; Rojo, P.; Jordán, A.; Drass, H.; Butler, R. P.; Wang, L.

    2016-05-01

    Context. Exoplanet searches have revealed interesting correlations between the stellar properties and the occurrence rate of planets. In particular, different independent surveys have demonstrated that giant planets are preferentially found around metal-rich stars and that their fraction increases with the stellar mass. Aims: During the past six years we have conducted a radial velocity follow-up program of 166 giant stars to detect substellar companions and to characterize their orbital properties. Using this information, we aim to study the role of the stellar evolution in the orbital parameters of the companions and to unveil possible correlations between the stellar properties and the occurrence rate of giant planets. Methods: We took multi-epoch spectra using FEROS and CHIRON for all of our targets, from which we computed precision radial velocities and derived atmospheric and physical parameters. Additionally, velocities computed from UCLES spectra are presented here. By studying the periodic radial velocity signals, we detected the presence of several substellar companions. Results: We present four new planetary systems around the giant stars HIP 8541, HIP 74890, HIP 84056, and HIP 95124. Additionally, we study the correlation between the occurrence rate of giant planets with the stellar mass and metallicity of our targets. We find that giant planets are more frequent around metal-rich stars, reaching a peak in the detection of f = 16.7+15.5-5.9% around stars with [Fe/H] ~ 0.35 dex. Similarly, we observe a positive correlation of the planet occurrence rate with the stellar mass, between M⋆ ~ 1.0 and 2.1 M⊙, with a maximum of f = 13.0+10.1-4.2% at M⋆ = 2.1 M⊙. Conclusions: We conclude that giant planets are preferentially formed around metal-rich stars. In addition, we conclude that they are more efficiently formed around more massive stars, in the stellar mass range of ~1.0-2.1 M⊙. These observational results confirm previous findings for solar

  9. Strategy for outer planets exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    NASA's Planetary Programs Office formed a number of scientific working groups to study in depth the potential scientific return from the various candidate missions to the outer solar system. The results of these working group studies were brought together in a series of symposia to evaluate the potential outer planet missions and to discuss strategies for exploration of the outer solar system that were consistent with fiscal constraints and with anticipated spacecraft and launch vehicle capabilities. A logical, scientifically sound, and cost effective approach to exploration of the outer solar system is presented.

  10. 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.

  11. The magnetic field of planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dolginov, S. S.

    1985-01-01

    The strength of the dipole fields H sub Oi of the various inspected planets are connected by simple scaling law, involving observable angular velocity omega, planetary radia R sub p velocity omega and amplitude alpha of planetary precession, and radia R sub c, densities RHO sub c, conductivities sigma sub c of their liquid cores according to the contemporary models of planetary inner structure. The Lunar paleofield of 1G, its decay to zero is also explained in the frame of precession-dynamo model, evolution of the Earth-Moon system and primeval satellites in its suggested by Runcorn.

  12. The magnetic field of planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dolginov, S. S.

    The strength of the dipole fields HOi of the various inspected planets are connected by simple scaling law, involving observable angular velocity omega, planetary radia Rp velocity omega and amplitude alpha of planetary precession, and radia Rc, densities RHOc, conductivities sigmac of their liquid cores according to the contemporary models of planetary inner structure. The Lunar paleofield of 1G, its decay to zero is also explained in the frame of precession-dynamo model, evolution of the Earth-Moon system and primeval satellites in its suggested by Runcorn.

  13. Magnetospheres of the outer planets

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, A.F.

    1986-12-01

    The magnetospheres of the outer planets have been shown by Voyager explorations to strongly interact with the surfaces and atmospheres of their planetary satellites and rings. In the cases of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, the processes of charged particle sputtering, neutral gas cloud formation, and rapid plasma injection from the ionization of the neutral clouds, have important implications both for the magnetospheres as a whole and for the surfaces and atmospheres of their satellites. The general methodology employed in these researches has involved comparisons of the planetary magnetospheres in order to identify common physical processes. 16 references.

  14. Food additives.

    PubMed

    Berglund, F

    1978-01-01

    The use of additives to food fulfils many purposes, as shown by the index issued by the Codex Committee on Food Additives: Acids, bases and salts; Preservatives, Antioxidants and antioxidant synergists; Anticaking agents; Colours; Emulfifiers; Thickening agents; Flour-treatment agents; Extraction solvents; Carrier solvents; Flavours (synthetic); Flavour enhancers; Non-nutritive sweeteners; Processing aids; Enzyme preparations. Many additives occur naturally in foods, but this does not exclude toxicity at higher levels. Some food additives are nutrients, or even essential nutritents, e.g. NaCl. Examples are known of food additives causing toxicity in man even when used according to regulations, e.g. cobalt in beer. In other instances, poisoning has been due to carry-over, e.g. by nitrate in cheese whey - when used for artificial feed for infants. Poisonings also occur as the result of the permitted substance being added at too high levels, by accident or carelessness, e.g. nitrite in fish. Finally, there are examples of hypersensitivity to food additives, e.g. to tartrazine and other food colours. The toxicological evaluation, based on animal feeding studies, may be complicated by impurities, e.g. orthotoluene-sulfonamide in saccharin; by transformation or disappearance of the additive in food processing in storage, e.g. bisulfite in raisins; by reaction products with food constituents, e.g. formation of ethylurethane from diethyl pyrocarbonate; by metabolic transformation products, e.g. formation in the gut of cyclohexylamine from cyclamate. Metabolic end products may differ in experimental animals and in man: guanylic acid and inosinic acid are metabolized to allantoin in the rat but to uric acid in man. The magnitude of the safety margin in man of the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is not identical to the "safety factor" used when calculating the ADI. The symptoms of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome, although not hazardous, furthermore illustrate that the whole ADI

  15. Observational Studies of Transiting Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Southworth, J.

    2015-07-01

    The study of transiting extrasolar planets is only 15 years old, but has matured into a rich area of research. I review the observational aspects of this work, concentrating on the discovery of transits, the characterization of planets from photometry and spectroscopy, the Homogeneous Studies project, starspots, orbital obliquities, and the atmospheric properties of the known planets. I begin with historical context and conclude with a glance to a future of TESS, CHEOPS, Gaia and PLATO.

  16. 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.

  17. DISENTANGLING PLANETS AND STELLAR ACTIVITY FOR GLIESE 667C

    SciTech Connect

    Robertson, Paul; Mahadevan, Suvrath

    2014-10-01

    Gliese 667C is an M1.5V star with a multi-planet system, including planet candidates in the habitable zone. The exact number of planets in the system is unclear, because the existing radial velocity (RV) measurements are known to contain contributions from stellar magnetic activity. Following our analysis of Gliese 581, we have analyzed the effect of stellar activity on the HARPS/HARPS-TERRA RVs of GJ 667C, finding a significant RV-activity correlation when using the width (FWHM) of the HARPS cross-correlation function to trace the magnetic activity. When we correct for this correlation, we confirm the detections of the previously observed planets b and c in the system, while simultaneously ascribing the RV signal near 90 days ({sup p}lanet d{sup )} to an artifact of the stellar rotation. We are unable to confirm the existence of the additional RV periodicities described in Anglada-Escudé et al. in our activity-corrected data.

  18. A SYSTEMATIC SEARCH FOR TROJAN PLANETS IN THE KEPLER DATA

    SciTech Connect

    Janson, Markus

    2013-09-10

    Trojans are circumstellar bodies that reside in characteristic 1:1 orbital resonances with planets. While all the trojans in our solar system are small ({approx}<100 km), stable planet-size trojans may exist in extrasolar planetary systems, and the Kepler telescope constitutes a formidable tool to search for them. Here we report on a systematic search for extrasolar trojan companions to 2244 known Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs), with epicyclic orbital characteristics similar to those of the Jovian trojan families. No convincing trojan candidates are found, despite a typical sensitivity down to Earth-size objects. This fact, however, cannot be used to stringently exclude the existence of trojans in this size range, since stable trojans need not necessarily share the same orbital plane as the planet, and thus may not transit. Following this reasoning, we note that if Earth-sized trojans exist at all, they are almost certainly both present and in principle detectable in the full set of Kepler data, although a very substantial computational effort would be required to detect them. Additionally, we also note that some of the existing KOIs could in principle be trojans themselves, with a primary planet orbiting outside of the transiting plane. A few examples are given for which this is a readily testable scenario.

  19. Miscibility Calculations for Water and Hydrogen in Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soubiran, François; Militzer, Burkhard

    2015-06-01

    We present results from ab initio simulations of liquid water-hydrogen mixtures in the range from 2 to 70 GPa and from 1000 to 6000 K, covering conditions in the interiors of ice giant planets and parts of the outer envelope of gas giant planets. In addition to computing the pressure and the internal energy, we derive the Gibbs free energy by performing a thermodynamic integration. For all conditions under consideration, our simulations predict hydrogen and water to mix in all proportions. The thermodynamic behavior of the mixture can be well described with an ideal mixing approximation. We suggest that a substantial fraction of water and hydrogen in giant planets may occur in homogeneously mixed form rather than in separate layers. The extent of mixing depends on the planet’s interior dynamics and its conditions of formation, in particular on how much hydrogen was present when icy planetesimals were delivered. Based on our results, we do not predict water-hydrogen mixtures to phase separate during any stage of the evolution of giant planets. We also show that the hydrogen content of an exoplanet is much higher if the mixed interior is assumed.

  20. Short-period terrestrial planets and radial velocity stellar jitter.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumusque, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    Stellar jitter is the main limitation to ultra-precise radial velocity (RV) measurements. It currently precludes our ability to detect a planet like the Earth. Short-period terrestrial planets present first the advantage of inducing a stronger RV signal. In addition, the signal produced by these planets have a period completely different than stellar activity. This allows us, when the observational strategy is adequate, to decorrelate the planetary signal from the jitter induced by the star using filtering techniques. I will show the examples of Kepler-78b and Corot-7b, where the amplitude of the planetary signal can be detected, despite the stellar activity jitter that is 5 and 3 times larger, respectively. The cases of Alpha Cen Bb will also be reviewed, with a new reduction of the published data that increases the significance of the planetary signal.This project is funded by ETAEARTH, a transnational collaboration between European countries and the US (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) setup to optimize the synergy between space-and ground-based data whose scientific potential for the characterization of extrasolar planets can only be fully exploited when analyzed together.

  1. Planet-B: A Japanese Mars aeronomy observer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsuruda, K.

    1992-12-01

    An introduction is given to a Japanese Mars mission (Planet-B) which is being planned at the Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science (ISAS), Japan. Planet-B aims to study the upper atmosphere of Mars and its interaction with the solar wind. The launch of Planet-B is planned for 1996 on a new launcher, M-L, which is being developed at ISAS. In addition to the interaction with the solar wind, the structure of the Martian upper atmosphere is thought to be controlled by the meteorological condition in the lower atmosphere. The orbit of Planet-B was chosen so that it will pass two important regions, the region where the solar wind interacts with the Martian upper atmosphere and the tail region where ion acceleration is taking place. Considering the drag due to the Martian atmosphere, the periapsis altitude of 150 km and apoapsis of 10 Martian radii are planned. The orbit plane will be nearly parallel to the ecliptic plane. The altitude of the spacecraft will be spin stabilized and its spin axis will be controlled to the point of the earth. The dry weight of the spacecraft will be about 250 kg, including the scientific payload which consists of a magnetometer, plasma instruments, HF sounder, UV imaging spectrometer, and lower atmosphere monitor.

  2. The Effect of Material Properties on Dynamo Generation in Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vilim, Ryan

    2015-10-01

    In this thesis I use a three dimensional numerical dynamo model to explore the effect of novel material properties and core states on magnetic field generation in the planet Mercury, and in rocky extra-solar planets. In the first part of this work I focus on the recent evidence of pressure induced metallisation in materials which commonly comprise planetary mantles. In this scenario the materials which make up the lower mantle of a planet conduct electricity with a conductivity similar to that of iron. I show that a metallised mantle changes the way in which magnetic field is generated by providing a new source of magnetic shear between the fluid outer core and the solid mantle. I then show that this has the effect of making planetary magnetic fields more difficult to observe from Earth. The second and third parts of this work focus on the planet Mercury. First, I incorporate recent evidence of buoyancy sources mid-way through Mercury's liquid core (known as "snow zones") to show that they can explain the weak observed magnetic field of Mercury. In a second project on Mercury I test whether recent evidence of a dense solid layer at the top of Mercury's core, attributed to a solid, electrically conducting layer of FeS, could help explain Mercury's weak magnetic field. I find that the addition of this layer causes the dynamo to generate a strong, dipolar magnetic field, which does not match the observations made by the MESSENGER spacecraft.

  3. Searching for Planets with the Space Interferometry Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unwin, Stephen

    2000-01-01

    The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) will be the first space-based long baseline Michelson interferometer designed for precision astrometry. It will address a wide range of problems in stellar astrophysics and Galactic structure, delivering precision astrometry of stars down to 20 magnitude throughout the entire Galaxy. SIM uses a 10-m Michelson interferometer in Earth-trailing solar orbit to provide 4 microarcsecond (gas) precision astrometry. With a 5-year mission lifetime, SIM will be a powerful tool for discovering planets around nearby stars, through detection of the stellar reflex motion. The astrometric method complements the radial velocity technique which as already yielded many new planets, with an important benefit of directly measuring planetary masses. SIM will have a single-measurement precision of 1 microarcsecond in a frame defined by nearby reference stars, enabling searches for planets with masses as small as a few earth masses around the nearest stars. More massive planets will be detectable to much larger distances. In addition to precision astrometry SIM will also serve an important role as a technology precursor for future astrophysics missions using interferometers. Two technologies demonstrated will be high dynamic-range aperture synthesis imaging at 10-milliarcsec resolution in the optical, and fringe nulling to 10 (exp -4).

  4. Planet-B: A Japanese Mars aeronomy observer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsuruda, K.

    1992-01-01

    An introduction is given to a Japanese Mars mission (Planet-B) which is being planned at the Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science (ISAS), Japan. Planet-B aims to study the upper atmosphere of Mars and its interaction with the solar wind. The launch of Planet-B is planned for 1996 on a new launcher, M-L, which is being developed at ISAS. In addition to the interaction with the solar wind, the structure of the Martian upper atmosphere is thought to be controlled by the meteorological condition in the lower atmosphere. The orbit of Planet-B was chosen so that it will pass two important regions, the region where the solar wind interacts with the Martian upper atmosphere and the tail region where ion acceleration is taking place. Considering the drag due to the Martian atmosphere, the periapsis altitude of 150 km and apoapsis of 10 Martian radii are planned. The orbit plane will be nearly parallel to the ecliptic plane. The altitude of the spacecraft will be spin stabilized and its spin axis will be controlled to the point of the earth. The dry weight of the spacecraft will be about 250 kg, including the scientific payload which consists of a magnetometer, plasma instruments, HF sounder, UV imaging spectrometer, and lower atmosphere monitor.

  5. Constraints on planet formation from Kepler’s multiple planet systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quintana, Elisa V.

    2015-01-01

    The recent haul of hundreds of multiple planet systems discovered by Kepler provides a treasure trove of new clues for planet formation theories. The substantial amount of protoplanetary disk mass needed to form the most commonly observed multi-planet systems - small (Earth-sized to mini-Neptune-sized) planets close to their stars - argues against pure in situ formation and suggests that the planets in these systems must have undergone some form of migration. I will present results from numerical simulations of terrestrial planet formation that aim to reproduce the sizes and architecture of Kepler's multi-planet systems, and will discuss the observed resonances and giant planets (or the lack thereof) associated with these systems.

  6. ACCRETION OF ROCKY PLANETS BY HOT JUPITERS

    SciTech Connect

    Ketchum, Jacob A.; Adams, Fred C.; Bloch, Anthony M.

    2011-11-01

    The observed population of Hot Jupiters displays a stunning variety of physical properties, including a wide range of densities and core sizes for a given planetary mass. Motivated by the observational sample, this Letter studies the accretion of rocky planets by Hot Jupiters, after the Jovian planets have finished their principal migration epoch and become parked in {approx}4 day orbits. In this scenario, rocky planets form later and then migrate inward due to torques from the remaining circumstellar disk, which also damps the orbital eccentricity. This mechanism thus represents one possible channel for increasing the core masses and metallicities of Hot Jupiters. This Letter determines probabilities for the possible end states for the rocky planet: collisions with the Jovian planets, accretion onto the star, ejection from the system, and long-term survival of both planets. These probabilities depend on the mass of the Jovian planet and its starting orbital eccentricity, as well as the eccentricity damping rate for the rocky planet. Since these systems are highly chaotic, a large ensemble (N {approx} 10{sup 3}) of simulations with effectively equivalent starting conditions is required. Planetary collisions are common when the eccentricity damping rate is sufficiently low, but are rare otherwise. For systems that experience planetary collisions, this work determines the distributions of impact velocities-both speeds and impact parameters-for the collisions. These velocity distributions help determine the consequences of the impacts, e.g., where energy and heavy elements are deposited within the giant planets.

  7. 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.

  8. Searching for Planets Around other Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    In this colloquim presentation, Professor of Astronomy, Geoffrey Marcy discusses the discovery of planets orbiting other stars. Using the Doppler shift caused by stellar wobble that is caused by nearby planetary mass, astronomers have been able to infer the existence of Jupiter-sized planets around other stars. Using a special spectrometer at Lick Observatory, the wobble of several stars have been traced over the years required to generate an accurate pattern required to infer the stellar wobble. Professor Marcy, discusses the findings of planets around 47 Ursae Majoris, 16 Cygni B, 51 Pegasus, and 56 Rho 1 Cne. In the case of 56 Rho 1 Cne the planet appears to be close to the star, within 1.5 astronomical units. The observations from the smaller Lick Observatory will be augmented by new observations from the larger telescope at the Kek observatory. This move will allow observations of smaller planets, as opposed to the massive planets thus far discovered. The astronomers also hope to observe smaller stars with the Kek data. Future spaceborne observations will allow the discovery of even smaller planets. A spaceborne interferometer is in the planning stages, and an even larger observatory, called the Terrestrial Planet Finder, is hoped for. Professor Marcy shows artists' renderings of two of the planets thus far discovered. He also briefly discusses planetary formation and shows slides of both observations from the Orion Nebula and models of stellar system formation.

  9. Planets, debris and their host metallicity correlations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, Mark; Nayakshin, Sergei

    2016-06-01

    Recent observations of debris discs, believed to be made up of remnant planetesimals, brought a number of surprises. Debris disc presence does not correlate with the host star's metallicity, and may anti-correlate with the presence of gas giant planets. These observations contradict both assumptions and predictions of the highly successful Core Accretion model of planet formation. Here we explore predictions of the alternative Tidal Downsizing (TD) scenario of planet formation. In TD, small planets and planetesimal debris is made only when gas fragments, predecessors of giant planets, are tidally disrupted. We show that these disruptions are rare in discs around high metallicity stars but release more debris per disruption than their low [M/H] analogs. This predicts no simple relation between debris disc presence and host star's [M/H], as observed. A detected gas giant planet implies in TD that its predecessor fragment was not disputed, potentially explaining why DDs are less likely to be found around stars with gas giants. Less massive planets should correlate with DD presence, and sub-Saturn planets (Mp ˜ 50 M⊕) should correlate with DD presence stronger than sub-Neptunes (Mp ≲ 15 M⊕). These predicted planet-DD correlations will be diluted and weakened in observations by planetary systems' long term evolution and multi-fragment effects neglected here. Finally, although presently difficult to observe, DDs around M dwarf stars should be more prevalent than around Solar type stars.

  10. The PRIMA Astrometric Planet Search project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quirrenbach, Andreas; Henning, Thomas; Queloz, Didier; Albrecht, Simon; Bakker, Eric J.; Baumeister, Harald; Bizenberger, Peter; Bleuler, Hannes; Dandliker, Rene; de Jong, Jeroen A.; Fleury, Michel; Frink, Sabine; Gillet, Denis; Jaffe, Walter J.; Hiddo Hanenburg, S.; Hekker, Saskia; Launhardt, Ralf; Le Poole, Rudolf S.; Maire, Charles; Mathar, Richard; Mullhaupt, Philippe; Murakawa, Koji; Pepe, Francesco; Pragt, Johan H.; Sache, Laurent; Scherler, Olivier; Segransan, Damien; Setiawan, Johny; Sosnowska, Danuta; Tubbs, Robert N.; Venema, Lars B.; Wagner, Karl; Weber, Luc; Wuethrich, Rolf

    2004-10-01

    The PRIMA facility will implement dual-star astrometry at the VLTI. We have formed a consortium that will build the PRIMA differential delay lines, develop an astrometric operation and calibration plan, and deliver astrometric data reduction software. This will enable astrometric planet surveys with a target precision of 10μas. Our scientific goals include determining orbital inclinations and masses for planets already known from radial-velocity surveys, searches for planets around stars that are not amenable to high-precision radial-velocity observations, and a search for large rocky planets around nearby low-mass stars.

  11. Observing Planet Formation in Young Protoplanetary Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jang-Condell, Hannah; Kuchner, M. J.; Debes, J. H.

    2009-01-01

    Identification and observation of where and when gaps form in protoplanetary disks is vital for learning about the process of planet formation. We will present simulations of radiative transfer in gas-rich protoplanetary disks with embedded planets that predict and model observable signatures of planet formation. Depending on the mass of the planet, the perturbation may be a local dimple or an annular gap. We will demonstate that these features can already be detected in some nearby gas-rich disks. The appearance of disks with embedded planets varies with wavelength as it ranges from optical through infrared to radio because of optical depth effects. Shorter wavelengths reveal superficial surface features of disks, while longer wavelengths probe deeper in the disk. Confirmation of a planet-induced gap in a disk requires multi-wavelength observations. Imaging of the predicted features of planet formation in disks requires very high spatial resolution, and is currently most feasible in the optical and radio. However, data in the infrared is crucial for constraining the models. Deep gaps created by very massive planets may be detectable in SEDs. Confirmation of a planet-induced gap in a disk requires multi-wavelength observations.

  12. Comparing Planet Formation Signatures in two Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deroo, Pieter

    2012-10-01

    Following the discovery of exoplanet systems with multiple transiting planets - unique laboratories for studying planet formation and evolution - we propose to characterize and compare the exoplanet atmospheric composition in the compact solar system analog Kepler-11. We propose WFC3/G141 transmission spectroscopy of three low-density super-Earth/Neptune planets in the six-planet system. The proposed grism spectroscopy targets the strong 1.4-micron water band and the distinct 1.6-micron methane features, thus probing the principal thermochemical reservoirs of oxygen and carbon for the planets we will observe. The carbon and oxygen abundance and their ratio are key diagnostics of planet formation and evolution, and the proposed observations will provide a unique observational constraint because comparing planets in the same exoplanet system removes the variables that influence inter-system comparative exoplanetology. Together with the only other multi-planet system observation {PI Desert}, the proposed observations aim at starting the process of observationally differentiating inter-system and intra-system parameters that influence the composition of individual planets. In so doing, we will improve our understanding of whether our own solar system is typical or exceptional.

  13. Disk's Spiral Arms Point to Possible Planets

    NASA Video Gallery

    Simulations of young stellar systems suggest that planets embedded in a circumstellar disk can produce many distinctive structures, including rings, gaps and spiral arms. This video compares comput...

  14. Planets, debris and their host metallicity correlations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, Mark; Nayakshin, Sergei

    2016-09-01

    Recent observations of debris discs (DDs), believed to be made up of remnant planetesimals, brought a number of surprises. DD presence does not correlate with the host star's metallicity, and may anticorrelate with the presence of gas giant planets. These observations contradict both assumptions and predictions of the highly successful Core Accretion model of planet formation. Here, we explore predictions of the alternative tidal downsizing (TD) scenario of planet formation. In TD, small planets and planetesimal debris is made only when gas fragments, predecessors of giant planets, are tidally disrupted. We show that these disruptions are rare in discs around high-metallicity stars but release more debris per disruption than their low [M/H] analogues. This predicts no simple relation between DD presence and host star's [M/H], as observed. A detected gas giant planet implies in TD that its predecessor fragment was not disputed, potentially explaining why DDs are less likely to be found around stars with gas giants. Less massive planets should correlate with DD presence, and sub-Saturn planets (Mp ˜ 50 M⊕) should correlate with DD presence stronger than sub-Neptunes (Mp ≲ 15 M⊕). These predicted planet-DD correlations will be diluted and weakened in observations by planetary systems' long-term evolution and multifragment effects neglected here. Finally, although presently difficult to observe, DDs around M dwarf stars should be more prevalent than around Solar type stars.

  15. The Fate of Unstable Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-03-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Orbital stability of systems of closely-spaced planets, II: configurations with coorbital planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Andrew W.; Lissauer, Jack J.

    2010-08-01

    We numerically investigate the stability of systems of 1 {M_{oplus}} planets orbiting a solar-mass star. The systems studied have either 2 or 42 planets per occupied semimajor axis, for a total of 6, 10, 126, or 210 planets, and the planets were started on coplanar, circular orbits with the semimajor axes of the innermost planets at 1 AU. For systems with two planets per occupied orbit, the longitudinal initial locations of planets on a given orbit were separated by either 60° (Trojan planets) or 180°. With 42 planets per semimajor axis, initial longitudes were uniformly spaced. The ratio of the semimajor axes of consecutive coorbital groups in each system was approximately uniform. The instability time for a system was taken to be the first time at which the orbits of two planets with different initial orbital distances crossed. Simulations spanned virtual times of up to 1 × 108, 5 × 105, and 2 × 105 years for the 6- and 10-planet, 126-planet, and 210-planet systems, respectively. Our results show that, for a given class of system (e.g., five pairs of Trojan planets orbiting in the same direction), the relationship between orbit crossing times and planetary spacing is well fit by the functional form log( t c / t 0) = b β + c, where t c is the crossing time, t 0 = 1 year, β is the separation in initial orbital semimajor axis (in terms of the mutual Hill radii of the planets), and b and c are fitting constants. The same functional form was observed in the previous studies of single planets on nested orbits (Smith and Lissauer 2009). Pairs of Trojan planets are more stable than pairs initially separated by 180°. Systems with retrograde planets (i.e., some planets orbiting in the opposite sense from others) can be packed substantially more closely than can systems with all planets orbiting in the same sense. To have the same characteristic lifetime, systems with 2 or 42 planets per orbit typically need to have about 1.5 or 2 times the orbital separation as

  18. Deep Imaging of Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chauvin, G.

    2010-10-01

    With the development of high contrast imaging instruments and techniques, vast efforts have been devoted during the past decade to detect and characterize lighter, cooler and closer companions to nearby stars, and ultimately image new planetary systems. Complementary to other observing techniques (radial velocity, transit, micro-lensing, pulsar-timing and astrometry), this approach has opened a new astrophysical window to study the physical properties and the formation and evolution mechanisms of giant planets at orbits larger than a few AUs. In this review, I will briefly present the main motivations to use deep imaging to search for exoplanets and review the constant progress achieved thanks to improved performances of advanced instrumentation and data analysis techniques. I will describe the main classes of stars identified and observed so far to increase the chances of detection. I will also detail the classical strategy adopted to identify false alarms and characterize true companions. I will review the current status of the different deep imaging surveys as well as the main results that recently led to the discovery of giant planets probably formed like the ones of our solar system. Finally, I will rise the questions and uncertainties related to the formation mechanisms, the physical properties and the frequency of these planetary mass companions to conclude with the exciting and attractive perspectives offered with the future generation of deep imaging instruments.

  19. Microlensing detection of extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Giannini, Emanuela; Lunine, Jonathan I

    2013-05-01

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

  20. The fragility of the terrestrial planets during a giant-planet instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaib, Nathan A.; Chambers, John E.

    2016-02-01

    Many features of the outer Solar system are replicated in numerical simulations if the giant planets undergo an orbital instability that ejects one or more ice giants. During this instability, Jupiter and Saturn's orbits diverge, crossing their 2:1 mean motion resonance (MMR), and this resonance-crossing can excite the terrestrial planet orbits. Using a large ensemble of simulations of this giant-planet instability, we directly model the evolution of the terrestrial planet orbits during this process, paying special attention to systems that reproduce the basic features of the outer planets. In systems that retain four giant planets and finish with Jupiter and Saturn beyond their 2:1 MMR, we find at least an 85 per cent probability that at least one terrestrial planet is lost. Moreover, systems that manage to retain all four terrestrial planets often finish with terrestrial planet eccentricities and inclinations larger than the observed ones. There is less than a ˜5 per cent chance that the terrestrial planet orbits will have a level of excitation comparable to the observed orbits. If we factor in the probability that the outer planetary orbits are well replicated, we find a probability of 1 per cent or less that the orbital architectures of the inner and outer planets are simultaneously reproduced in the same system. These small probabilities raise the prospect that the giant-planet instability occurred before the terrestrial planets had formed. This scenario implies that the giant-planet instability is not the source of the Late Heavy Bombardment and that terrestrial planet formation finished with the giant planets in their modern configuration.

  1. All for the Planet, the Planet for everyone!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drndarski, Marina

    2014-05-01

    The Eco-Musketeers are unique voluntary group of students. They have been established in Belgrade, in Primary school 'Drinka Pavlović'. Since the founding in year 2000, Eco-Musketeers have been involved in peer and citizens education guided by motto: All for the planet, the planet for all! Main goals of this group are spreading and popularization of environmental approach as well as gaining knowledge through collaborative projects and research. A great number of students from other schools in Serbia have joined Eco-Musketeers in observations aiming to better understand the problem of global climate change. In the past several years Eco-Musketeers have also participated in many national and international projects related to the active citizenship and rising the awareness of the importance of biodiversity and environment for sustainable development of society. In this presentation we will show some of the main activities, eco-performances and actions of our organization related to the environment, biodiversity, conservation and recycling, such as: spring cleaning the streets of Belgrade, cleaning the Sava and the Danube river banks, removing insect moth pupae in the area of Lipovica forest near Belgrade. Also, Eco-Musketeers worked on education of employees of Coca-Cola HBC Serbia about energy efficiency. All the time, we have working on raising public awareness of the harmful effects of plastic bags on the environment, too. In order to draw attention on rare and endangered species in Serbia and around the globe, there were several performing street-plays about biodiversity and also the plays about the water ecological footprint. Eco-Musketeers also participated in international projects Greenwave-signs of spring (Fibonacci project), European Schools For A Living Planet (WWF Austria and Erste stiftung) and Eco Schools. The eco dream of Eco-Musketeers is to influence the Government of the Republic of Serbia to determine and declare a 'green habits week'. This should

  2. The Discovery of Extrasolar Planets via Transits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunham, Edward W.; Borucki, W. J.; Jenkins, J. M.; Batalha, N. M.; Caldwell, D. A.; Mandushev, G.

    2014-01-01

    The goal of detecting extrasolar planets has been part of human thought for many centuries and several plausible approaches for detecting them have been discussed for many decades. At this point in history the two most successful approaches have been the reflex radial velocity and transit approaches. These each have the additional merit of corroborating a discovery by the other approach, at least in some cases, thereby producing very convincing detections of objects that can't be seen. In the transit detection realm the key enabling technical factors were development of: - high quality large area electronic detectors - practical fast optics with wide fields of view - automated telescope systems - analysis algorithms to correct for inadequacies in the instrumentation - computing capability sufficient to cope with all of this This part of the equation is relatively straightforward. The more important part is subliminal, namely what went on in the minds of the proponents and detractors of the transit approach as events unfolded. Three major paradigm shifts had to happen. First, we had to come to understand that not all solar systems look like ours. The motivating effect of the hot Jupiter class of planet was profound. Second, the fact that CCD detectors can be much more stable than anybody imagined had to be understood. Finally, the ability of analysis methods to correct the data sufficiently well for the differential photometry task at hand had to be understood by proponents and detractors alike. The problem of capturing this changing mind-set in a collection of artifacts is a difficult one but is essential for a proper presentation of this bit of history.

  3. Factors Affecting the Habitability of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meadows, Victoria; NAI-Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team

    2014-03-01

    Habitability is a measure of an environment's potential to support life. For exoplanets, the concept of habitability can be used broadly - to inform our calculations of the possibility and distribution of life elsewhere - or as a practical tool to inform mission designs and to prioritize specific targets in the search for extrasolar life. Although a planet's habitability does depend critically on the effect of stellar type and planetary semi-major axis on climate balance, work in the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology has identified many additional factors that can affect a planet's environment and its potential ability to support life. Life requires material for metabolism and structures, a liquid medium for chemical transport, and an energy source to drive metabolism and other life processes. Whether a planet's surface or sub-surface can provide these requirements is the result of numerous planetary and astrophysical processes that affect the planet's formation and evolution. Many of these factors are interdependent, and fall into three main categories: stellar effects, planetary effects and planetary system effects. Key abiotic processes affecting the resultant planetary environment include photochemistry (e.g. Segura et al., 2003; 2005), stellar effects on climate balance (e.g. Joshii et al., 2012; Shields et al., 2013), atmospheric loss (e.g. Lopez and Fortney, 2013), and gravitational interactions with the star (e.g. Barnes et al., 2013). In many cases, the effect of these processes is strongly dependent on a specific planet's existing environmental properties. Examples include the resultant UV flux at a planetary surface as a product of stellar activity and the strength of a planet's atmospheric UV shield (Segura et al., 2010); and the amount of tidal energy available to a planet to drive plate tectonics and heat the surface (Barnes et al., 2009), which is in turn due to a combination of stellar mass, planetary mass and composition, planetary orbital

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Studies of thermal wave phenomena on the Jovian planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deming, Drake

    1991-01-01

    Ground-based and Voyager observations of Jupiter provided evidence that the tropospheric temperature shows global-scale longitudinal variations which are often wavelike in character. The investigation is presented which is directed toward obtaining additional ground-based data in IR spectral bands whose contribution functions are optimized for specific atmospheric regions, in order to confirm the previous results, and to identify the nature and physical significance of wavelike longitudinal temperature fluctuations on the Jovian planets.

  6. Vetting Kepler planet candidates in the sub-Jovian desert with multiband photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colón, Knicole D.; Morehead, Robert C.; Ford, Eric B.

    2015-09-01

    We present new multiband transit photometry of three small (Rp ≲ 6 R⊕), short-period (P ≲ 6 d) Kepler planet candidates acquired with the Gran Telescopio Canarias. These observations supplement the results presented in Colón & Ford and Colón, Ford & Morehead, where we used multicolour transit photometry of five Kepler planet candidates to search for wavelength-dependent transit depths and either validate planet candidates or identify eclipsing binary false positives within our sample. In those previous studies, we provided evidence that three targets were false positives and two targets were planets. Here, we present observations that provide evidence supporting a planetary nature for Kepler Object of Interest (KOI) 439.01 and KOI 732.01, and we find that KOI 531.01, a 6 R⊕ planet candidate around an M dwarf, is likely a false positive. We also present a discussion of the purported `sub-Jovian desert' in the orbital period-planet radius plane, which cannot be easily explained by observational bias. Both KOI 439.01 and KOI 732.01 are likely planets located within the so-called desert and should be investigated with further follow-up observations. As only ˜30 of the ˜3600 currently active Kepler planet candidates are located within the sub-Jovian desert, it will be interesting to see if these candidates also survive the vetting process and fill in the gap in the period-radius plane. Confirming planets in this regime will be important for understanding planetary migration and evolution processes, and we urge additional follow-up observations of these planet candidates to confirm their nature.

  7. Planet Candidate Validation and Spin-Orbit Misalignments from Doppler Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Marshall C.

    2016-01-01

    Short-period planets around intermediate-mass (~1.5-2.5 M⊙ A-mid F type) stars are a largely unexplored region of parameter space. These stars' typically rapid rotation and rotationally broadened spectral lines preclude the use of the precise radial velocity measurements that are typically used to discover planets and confirm transiting planet candidates. Nonetheless, exploring this population is important for constraining models of planet formation and migration. I have been using Doppler tomography to investigate this population. As a planet transits a rotating star, it successively obscures regions of the stellar disk with different radial velocities, resulting in a perturbation to the rotationally broadened line profile; this is the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. In Doppler tomography, I spectroscopically resolve this perturbation and its movement during the transit. This allows me to not only validate transiting planet candidates, as I can show that the transiting object orbits the target star and is not a blended background eclipsing binary, but also to measure the spin-orbit misalignments of these planets. This is the (sky-projected) angle between the stellar spin and planetary orbital angular momentum vectors, and is a statistical probe of planetary migration; different migration mechanisms predict different distributions of spin-orbit misalignments. In this dissertation talk I will discuss my work to validate Kepler planet candidates around rapidly rotating stars using Doppler tomography, and to measure the spin-orbit misalignments of hot Jupiters discovered by ground-based surveys. I will also discuss the use of Doppler tomography to provide additional characterization of planets and their host stars, such as the detection of planetary orbital precession and stellar differential rotation. Finally, I will highlight the potential of current and future missions such as K2 and TESS to expand our knowledge of planets around intermediate-mass stars.

  8. Newly Discovered Planets Orbiting HD 5319, HD 11506, HD 75784 and HD 10442 from the N2K Consortium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giguere, Matthew J.; Fischer, Debra A.; Payne, Matthew J.; Brewer, John M.; Johnson, John Asher; Howard, Andrew W.; Isaacson, Howard T.

    2015-01-01

    Initially designed to discover short-period planets, the N2K campaign has since evolved to discover new worlds at large separations from their host stars. Detecting such worlds will help determine the giant planet occurrence at semi-major axes beyond the ice line, where gas giants are thought to mostly form. Here we report four newly discovered gas giant planets (with minimum masses ranging from 0.4 to 2.1 M Jup) orbiting stars monitored as part of the Next 2000 target stars (N2K) Doppler Survey program. Two of these planets orbit stars already known to host planets: HD 5319 and HD 11506. The remaining discoveries reside in previously unknown planetary systems: HD 10442 and HD 75784. The refined orbital period of the inner planet orbiting HD 5319 is 641 days. The newly discovered outer planet orbits in 886 days. The large masses combined with the proximity to a 4:3 mean motion resonance make this system a challenge to explain with current formation and migration theories. HD 11506 has one confirmed planet, and here we confirm a second. The outer planet has an orbital period of 1627.5 days, and the newly discovered inner planet orbits in 223.6 days. A planet has also been discovered orbiting HD 75784 with an orbital period of 341.7 days. There is evidence for a longer period signal; however, several more years of observations are needed to put tight constraints on the Keplerian parameters for the outer planet. Lastly, an additional planet has been detected orbiting HD 10442 with a period of 1043 days. Based on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology. Keck time has been granted by NOAO and NASA.

  9. NEWLY DISCOVERED PLANETS ORBITING HD 5319, HD 11506, HD 75784 AND HD 10442 FROM THE N2K CONSORTIUM

    SciTech Connect

    Giguere, Matthew J.; Fischer, Debra A.; Brewer, John M.; Payne, Matthew J.; Johnson, John Asher; Howard, Andrew W.; Isaacson, Howard T.

    2015-01-20

    Initially designed to discover short-period planets, the N2K campaign has since evolved to discover new worlds at large separations from their host stars. Detecting such worlds will help determine the giant planet occurrence at semi-major axes beyond the ice line, where gas giants are thought to mostly form. Here we report four newly discovered gas giant planets (with minimum masses ranging from 0.4 to 2.1 M {sub Jup}) orbiting stars monitored as part of the Next 2000 target stars (N2K) Doppler Survey program. Two of these planets orbit stars already known to host planets: HD 5319 and HD 11506. The remaining discoveries reside in previously unknown planetary systems: HD 10442 and HD 75784. The refined orbital period of the inner planet orbiting HD 5319 is 641 days. The newly discovered outer planet orbits in 886 days. The large masses combined with the proximity to a 4:3 mean motion resonance make this system a challenge to explain with current formation and migration theories. HD 11506 has one confirmed planet, and here we confirm a second. The outer planet has an orbital period of 1627.5 days, and the newly discovered inner planet orbits in 223.6 days. A planet has also been discovered orbiting HD 75784 with an orbital period of 341.7 days. There is evidence for a longer period signal; however, several more years of observations are needed to put tight constraints on the Keplerian parameters for the outer planet. Lastly, an additional planet has been detected orbiting HD 10442 with a period of 1043 days.

  10. Barnard’s Star: Planets or Pretense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartlett, Jennifer L.; Ianna, P. A.

    2014-01-01

    Barnard’s Star remains popular with planet hunters because it is not only an extremely near, high proper motion star, but also the object of early planet-detection claims. In 1963, van de Kamp explained perturbations in its proper motion by the presence of a planet. In 1969, he produced another single-planet solution and a two-planet solution to the astrometric wobbles detected. At least 19 studies have failed to confirm his results using a range of techniques, including radial velocity, direct imaging, and speckle interferometry. However, most of them lacked the sensitivity to detect the planets he described, including astrometric studies at the McCormick and Naval Observatories. However, radial-velocity monitoring of Barnard’s Star at Lick and Keck Observatories from 1987 through 2012 appears to have ruled out such planets. Based upon observations made at the Sproul Observatory between 1916 and 1962, van de Kamp claimed that Barnard’s Star had a planet with about 1.6 times the mass of Jupiter and an orbital period of 24 years. After accounting for instrumentation effects that might have been partially responsible for his initial results, he continued to assert that this red dwarf had two planets. In his 1982 analysis of ~20,000 exposures collected between 1938 and 1981, he calculated that two planets with 0.7- and 0.5-Jupiter masses in 12- and 20-year orbits, respectively, orbited the second-closest stellar system to our own. Starting in 1995, the dramatic successes of radial velocity searches for extrasolar planets drove van de Kamp’s unsubstantiated claims from popular consciousness. Although many low-mass stellar companions were discovered through astrometry, the technique has been less successful for planets: “The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia” identifies one such discovery out of the 997 planets listed on 2013 September 23. Although Barnard’s Star has lost its pretensions to hosting the first extrasolar planets known, its intrinsic

  11. Terrestrial Planet Formation in Binary Star Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  12. Potlining Additives

    SciTech Connect

    Rudolf Keller

    2004-08-10

    In this project, a concept to improve the performance of aluminum production cells by introducing potlining additives was examined and tested. Boron oxide was added to cathode blocks, and titanium was dissolved in the metal pool; this resulted in the formation of titanium diboride and caused the molten aluminum to wet the carbonaceous cathode surface. Such wetting reportedly leads to operational improvements and extended cell life. In addition, boron oxide suppresses cyanide formation. This final report presents and discusses the results of this project. Substantial economic benefits for the practical implementation of the technology are projected, especially for modern cells with graphitized blocks. For example, with an energy savings of about 5% and an increase in pot life from 1500 to 2500 days, a cost savings of $ 0.023 per pound of aluminum produced is projected for a 200 kA pot.

  13. Phosphazene additives

    SciTech Connect

    Harrup, Mason K; Rollins, Harry W

    2013-11-26

    An additive comprising a phosphazene compound that has at least two reactive functional groups and at least one capping functional group bonded to phosphorus atoms of the phosphazene compound. One of the at least two reactive functional groups is configured to react with cellulose and the other of the at least two reactive functional groups is configured to react with a resin, such as an amine resin of a polycarboxylic acid resin. The at least one capping functional group is selected from the group consisting of a short chain ether group, an alkoxy group, or an aryloxy group. Also disclosed are an additive-resin admixture, a method of treating a wood product, and a wood product.

  14. STARS DO NOT EAT THEIR YOUNG MIGRATING PLANETS: EMPIRICAL CONSTRAINTS ON PLANET MIGRATION HALTING MECHANISMS

    SciTech Connect

    Plavchan, Peter

    2013-06-01

    The discovery of ''hot Jupiters'' very close to their parent stars confirmed that Jovian planets migrate inward via several potential mechanisms. We present empirical constraints on planet migration halting mechanisms. We compute model density functions of close-in exoplanets in the orbital semi-major axis-stellar mass plane to represent planet migration that is halted via several mechanisms, including the interior 1:2 resonance with the magnetospheric disk truncation radius, the interior 1:2 resonance with the dust sublimation radius, and several scenarios for tidal halting. The models differ in the predicted power-law dependence of the exoplanet orbital semi-major axis as a function of stellar mass, and thus we also include a power-law model with the exponent as a free parameter. We use a Bayesian analysis to assess the model success in reproducing empirical distributions of confirmed exoplanets and Kepler candidates that orbit interior to 0.1 AU. Our results confirm a correlation of the halting distance with stellar mass. Tidal halting provides the best fit to the empirical distribution of confirmed Jovian exoplanets at a statistically robust level, consistent with the Kozai mechanism and the spin-orbit misalignment of a substantial fraction of hot Jupiters. We can rule out migration halting at the interior 1:2 resonances with the magnetospheric disk truncation radius and the interior 1:2 resonance with the dust disk sublimation radius, a uniform random distribution, and a distribution with no dependence on stellar mass. Note that our results do not rule out Type-II migration, but rather eliminate the role of a circumstellar disk in stopping exoplanet migration. For Kepler candidates, which have a more restricted range in stellar mass compared to confirmed planets, we are unable to discern between the tidal dissipation and magnetospheric disk truncation braking mechanisms at a statistically significant level. The power-law model favors exponents in the range of

  15. Improving health aid for a better planet: The planning, monitoring and evaluation tool (PLANET)

    PubMed Central

    Sridhar, Devi; Car, Josip; Chopra, Mickey; Campbell, Harry; Woods, Ngaire; Rudan, Igor

    2015-01-01

    Background International development assistance for health (DAH) quadrupled between 1990 and 2012, from US$ 5.6 billion to US$ 28.1 billion. This generates an increasing need for transparent and replicable tools that could be used to set investment priorities, monitor the distribution of funding in real time, and evaluate the impact of those investments. Methods In this paper we present a methodology that addresses these three challenges. We call this approach PLANET, which stands for planning, monitoring and evaluation tool. Fundamentally, PLANET is based on crowdsourcing approach to obtaining information relevant to deployment of large–scale programs. Information is contributed in real time by a diverse group of participants involved in the program delivery. Findings PLANET relies on real–time information from three levels of participants in large–scale programs: funders, managers and recipients. At each level, information is solicited to assess five key risks that are most relevant to each level of operations. The risks at the level of funders involve systematic neglect of certain areas, focus on donor’s interests over that of program recipients, ineffective co–ordination between donors, questionable mechanisms of delivery and excessive loss of funding to “middle men”. At the level of managers, the risks are corruption, lack of capacity and/or competence, lack of information and /or communication, undue avoidance of governmental structures / preference to non–governmental organizations and exclusion of local expertise. At the level of primary recipients, the risks are corruption, parallel operations / “verticalization”, misalignment with local priorities and lack of community involvement, issues with ethics, equity and/or acceptability, and low likelihood of sustainability beyond the end of the program’s implementation. Interpretation PLANET is intended as an additional tool available to policy–makers to prioritize, monitor and evaluate

  16. Stars do not Eat Their Young Migrating Planets: Empirical Constraints on Planet Migration Halting Mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plavchan, Peter; Bilinski, Christopher

    2013-06-01

    The discovery of "hot Jupiters" very close to their parent stars confirmed that Jovian planets migrate inward via several potential mechanisms. We present empirical constraints on planet migration halting mechanisms. We compute model density functions of close-in exoplanets in the orbital semi-major axis-stellar mass plane to represent planet migration that is halted via several mechanisms, including the interior 1:2 resonance with the magnetospheric disk truncation radius, the interior 1:2 resonance with the dust sublimation radius, and several scenarios for tidal halting. The models differ in the predicted power-law dependence of the exoplanet orbital semi-major axis as a function of stellar mass, and thus we also include a power-law model with the exponent as a free parameter. We use a Bayesian analysis to assess the model success in reproducing empirical distributions of confirmed exoplanets and Kepler candidates that orbit interior to 0.1 AU. Our results confirm a correlation of the halting distance with stellar mass. Tidal halting provides the best fit to the empirical distribution of confirmed Jovian exoplanets at a statistically robust level, consistent with the Kozai mechanism and the spin-orbit misalignment of a substantial fraction of hot Jupiters. We can rule out migration halting at the interior 1:2 resonances with the magnetospheric disk truncation radius and the interior 1:2 resonance with the dust disk sublimation radius, a uniform random distribution, and a distribution with no dependence on stellar mass. Note that our results do not rule out Type-II migration, but rather eliminate the role of a circumstellar disk in stopping exoplanet migration. For Kepler candidates, which have a more restricted range in stellar mass compared to confirmed planets, we are unable to discern between the tidal dissipation and magnetospheric disk truncation braking mechanisms at a statistically significant level. The power-law model favors exponents in the range of 0

  17. Can CMB Experiments Find Planet Nine?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-04-01

    Recent studies have identified signs of an unseen, distant ninth planet in our solar system. How might we find the elusive Planet Nine? A team of scientists suggests the key might be cosmology experiments.AHypothetical PlanetOrbits of six distant Kuiper-belt objects. Their clustered perihelia and orbital orientations suggest they may have been shepherded by a massive object, hypothesized to be Planet Nine. [Caltech/Robert Hurt]Early this year, a study was published that demonstrated that the clustered orbits of distant Kuiper belt objects (and several other features of our solar system) can be explained by the gravitational tug of a yet-undiscovered planet. This hypothetical Planet Nine is predicted to be a giant planet similar to Neptune or Uranus, with a mass of more than ~10 Earthmasses, currently orbiting ~700 AU away.In a recent study, a team of scientists led by Nicolas Cowan (McGill University in Canada) has estimated the blackbody emission expected from Planet Nine. The team proposes how we might be able to search for this distant body using its heat signature.Heat from an Icy WorldCowan and collaborators first estimate Planet Nines effective temperature, based on the solar flux received at ~700 AU and assuming its internal heating is similar to Uranus or Neptune. They find that Planet Nines effective temperature would likely be an icy ~3050 K, corresponding to a blackbody peak at 50100 micrometers.Search space for Planet Nine. Based on its millimeter flux and annual parallax motion, several current and future cosmology experiments may be able to detect it. Experiments resolution ranges are shown with blue boxes. [Cowan et al. 2016]How can we detect an object withemission that peaks in this range? Intriguingly, cosmology experiments monitoring the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation are optimized for millimeter flux. At a wavelength of 1mm, Cowan and collaborators estimate that Planet Nine would have a very detectable flux level of ~30 mJy. The

  18. PHOTOMETRIC ORBITS OF EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Robert A.

    2009-09-10

    We define and analyze the photometric orbit (PhO) of an extrasolar planet observed in reflected light. In our definition, the PhO is a Keplerian entity with six parameters: semimajor axis, eccentricity, mean anomaly at some particular time, argument of periastron, inclination angle, and effective radius, which is the square root of the geometric albedo times the planetary radius. Preliminarily, we assume a Lambertian phase function. We study in detail the case of short-period giant planets (SPGPs) and observational parameters relevant to the Kepler mission: 20 ppm photometry with normal errors, 6.5 hr cadence, and three-year duration. We define a relevant 'planetary population of interest' in terms of probability distributions of the PhO parameters. We perform Monte Carlo experiments to estimate the ability to detect planets and to recover PhO parameters from light curves. We calibrate the completeness of a periodogram search technique, and find structure caused by degeneracy. We recover full orbital solutions from synthetic Kepler data sets and estimate the median errors in recovered PhO parameters. We treat in depth a case of a Jupiter body-double. For the stated assumptions, we find that Kepler should obtain orbital solutions for many of the 100-760 SPGP that Jenkins and Doyle estimate Kepler will discover. Because most or all of these discoveries will be followed up by ground-based radial velocity observations, the estimates of inclination angle from the PhO may enable the calculation of true companion masses: Kepler photometry may break the 'msin i' degeneracy. PhO observations may be difficult. There is uncertainty about how low the albedos of SPGPs actually are, about their phase functions, and about a possible noise floor due to systematic errors from instrumental and stellar sources. Nevertheless, simple detection of SPGPs in reflected light should be robust in the regime of Kepler photometry, and estimates of all six orbital parameters may be feasible in

  19. ON THE ANOMALOUS RADII OF THE TRANSITING EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Laughlin, Gregory; Crismani, Matteo

    2011-03-01

    We present a systematic evaluation of the agreement between the observed radii of 90 well-characterized transiting extrasolar giant planets and their corresponding model radii. Our model radii are drawn from previously published calculations of coreless giant planets that have attained their asymptotic radii, and which have been tabulated for a range of planet masses and equilibrium temperatures. (We report a two-dimensional polynomial fitting function that accurately represents the models.) As expected, the model radii provide a statistically significant improvement over a null hypothesis that the sizes of giant planets are completely independent of mass and effective temperature. As is well known, however, fiducial models provide an insufficient explanation; the planetary radius anomalies, R{identical_to}R{sub obs}-R{sub pred}, are strongly correlated with planetary equilibrium temperature. We find that the radius anomalies have a best-fit dependence, R{proportional_to}T{sub eff}{sup {alpha}}, with {alpha} = 1.4 {+-} 0.6. Incorporating this relation into the model radii leads to substantially less scatter in the radius correlation. The extra temperature dependence represents an important constraint on theoretical models for hot Jupiters. Using simple scaling arguments, we find support for the hypothesis of Batygin and Stevenson that this correlation can be attributed to a planetary heating mechanism that is mediated by magnetohydrodynamic coupling between the planetary magnetic field and near-surface flow that is accompanied by ohmic dissipation at adiabatic depth. Additionally, we find that the temperature dependence is likely too strong to admit kinetic heating as the primary source of anomalous energy generation within the majority of the observed transiting planets.

  20. Extrasolar Giant Planet in Earth-like Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-07-01

    the Earth's motion can be excluded. A second complication arises from the fact that for Earth-bound telescopes, the visibility of a particular star changes in the course of the year. This creates `windows of opportunity', i.e. certain times when a given star can best be observed. That leads to a tendency to observe and re-observe the star when the planet is in the same part of its orbit. The full variation in radial velocity will therefore only be revealed after a sufficiently long time span has elapsed, covering several revolutions of the planet around the central star. More planets in the iota Hor system? The comparatively high scatter of the data points from the best fitting radial velocity curve presents an additional puzzle. While the accuracy of these measurements was determined as ± 17 m/sec (for other, similar stars, with and without known planets, an even higher precision of ± 14 m/sec was found with the same instrument), the scatter of the measurements around the mean velocity curve is higher, about ± 27 m/sec. This indicates that the discovered planet cannot be the whole story. There are two possible explanations for this additional variability. Either there is a second planet with another period in the same system, or activity on the surface of the star causes slight changes in its spectrum, influencing the velocity measurements. There are in fact indications that iota Hor is more active than the Sun, hence making the second explanation quite plausible. If so, it appears that the new planet is orbiting around a relatively young star, since such stars are typically more active than older ones like the Sun. Follow-up observations One of the next steps during the investigation of iota Hor will therefore be to get clues to its age. In any case, it is important to learn more about the properties of planetary orbits around young stars, in order to improve the theory of star and planet formation. After an upgrade to a spectral resolution more than twice as

  1. Formation and Dynamics of Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Dong

    2016-05-01

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

  2. Photographic observations of minor planets at Pulkovo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasil'Eva, T. A.; Kiseleva, T. P.; Orlova, O. N.

    Results of photographic positional observations of minor planets at the normal astrograph of the Pulkovo observatory are reported. The AGK-3 catalog is used as a reference catalog. The study involves the reduction of 88 plates with six minor planets, a list of which, as well as opposition dates, number of plates, and rms observational errors, is given.

  3. Characterization of Extrasolar Planets Using SOFIA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

    Topics include: the landscape of extrasolar planets, why focus on transiting planets, some history and Spitzer results, problems in atmospheric structure or hot Jupiters and hot super Earths, what observations are needed to make progress, and what SOFIA can currently do and comments on optimized instruments.

  4. THE STATISTICS OF MULTI-PLANET SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Tremaine, Scott; Dong Subo

    2012-04-15

    We describe statistical methods for measuring the exoplanet multiplicity function (the fraction of host stars containing a given number of planets) and inclination distribution from transit and radial-velocity (RV) surveys. The analysis is based on the approximation of separability-that the distribution of planetary parameters in an n-planet system is the product of identical 1-planet distributions. We review the evidence that separability is a valid approximation for exoplanets and conclude that it captures many, but not all, of the known characteristics of multi-planet systems. We show how to relate the observable multiplicity function in surveys with similar host-star populations but different sensitivities. We also show how to correct for geometrical selection effects to derive the multiplicity function from transit surveys if the distribution of relative inclinations is known. Applying these tools to the Kepler transit survey and to RV surveys, we find that (1) the Kepler data alone do not constrain the mean inclination of multi-planet systems; even spherical distributions are allowed by the data but only if a small fraction of host stars contain large planet populations ({approx}> 30); (2) comparing the Kepler and RV surveys shows that the mean inclination of multi-planet systems is less than 5 Degree-Sign ; and (3) the multiplicity function of the Kepler planets is not well determined by the present data.

  5. PLANETS NEAR MEAN-MOTION RESONANCES

    SciTech Connect

    Petrovich, Cristobal; Malhotra, Renu; Tremaine, Scott E-mail: renu@lpl.arizona.edu

    2013-06-10

    The multiple-planet systems discovered by the Kepler mission exhibit the following feature: planet pairs near first-order mean-motion resonances prefer orbits just outside the nominal resonance, while avoiding those just inside the resonance. We explore an extremely simple dynamical model for planet formation, in which planets grow in mass at a prescribed rate without orbital migration or dissipation. We develop an analytic version of this model for two-planet systems in two limiting cases: the planet mass grows quickly or slowly relative to the characteristic resonant libration time. In both cases, the distribution of systems in period ratio develops a characteristic asymmetric peak-trough structure around the resonance, qualitatively similar to that observed in the Kepler sample. We verify this result with numerical integrations of the three-body problem. We show that for the 3 : 2 resonance, where the observed peak-trough structure is strongest, our simple model is consistent with the observations for a range of mean planet masses 20-100 M{sub Circled-Plus }. This predicted mass range is higher-by at least a factor of three-than the range expected from the few Kepler planets with measured masses, but part of this discrepancy could be due to oversimplifications in the dynamical model or uncertainties in the planetary mass-radius relation.

  6. The planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (1971)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palluconi, F. D.

    1972-01-01

    Design criteria relating to spacecraft intended to investigate the planets of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are presented. Assessments were made of the potential effects of environmental properties on vehicle performance. Pertinent data on the mass, radius, shape, mean density, rotational pole location, and mean orbital elements for the three planets are given in graphs and tables.

  7. Our Planets at a Glance. Information Summaries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC. Scientific and Technical Information Branch.

    People have gazed up at the cosmos for thousands of years and wondered about the wanderers of the heavens: the planets. The past 20 years have been the golden age of planetary exploration because of many expeditions, most notably the Voyager and other unmanned space craft. This document is a summary of the information known about the planets of…

  8. Star-planet connection through metallicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adibekyan, V. Zh.; Figueira, P.; Santos, N. C.; Israelian, G.; Mortier, A.; Mordasini, C.; Delgado Mena, E.; Sousa, S. G.; Correi, A. C. M.; Oshagh, M.

    2014-07-01

    We used a large sample of FGK dwarf planet-hosting stars with stellar parameters derived in a homogeneous way from the SWEET-Cat database (Santos et al. 2013) to study the relation between stellar metallicity and position of planets in the period-mass diagram. Using this large sample we show that planets orbiting metal-poor stars have longer periods than those in metal-rich systems. This trend is valid for masses at least from ≈ 10 M⊕ to ≈ 4 MJup. Moreover, Earth-like planets orbiting metal-rich stars always show shorter periods (≤20 days) than those orbiting metal-poor stars. However, in the short-period regime there are a similar number of planets orbiting metal-poor stars. Our results suggest that the planets in the P-MP diagram are evolving differently because of a mechanism that operates over a wide range of planetary masses. This mechanism is stronger or weaker depending on the metallicity of the respective system. Most probably planets in metal-poor disks form farther out from their central star and/or they form later and do not have time to migrate as far as the planets in metal-rich systems.

  9. The searches for Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso, R.

    2010-12-01

    Several techniques are achieving nowadays the precision levels required to detect few-Earth-mass planets, but still a fruitful path needs to be explored in order to detect a planet like the Earth orbiting inside the habitable zone of a star. We summarize the different approaches followed to reach this goal, and highlight their achievements.

  10. First light of the VLT planet finder SPHERE. IV. Physical and chemical properties of the planets around HR8799

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonnefoy, M.; Zurlo, A.; Baudino, J. L.; Lucas, P.; Mesa, D.; Maire, A.-L.; Vigan, A.; Galicher, R.; Homeier, D.; Marocco, F.; Gratton, R.; Chauvin, G.; Allard, F.; Desidera, S.; Kasper, M.; Moutou, C.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Antichi, J.; Baruffolo, A.; Baudrand, J.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Boccaletti, A.; Cantalloube, F.; Carbillet, M.; Charton, J.; Claudi, R. U.; Costille, A.; Dohlen, K.; Dominik, C.; Fantinel, D.; Feautrier, P.; Feldt, M.; Fusco, T.; Gigan, P.; Girard, J. H.; Gluck, L.; Gry, C.; Henning, T.; Janson, M.; Langlois, M.; Madec, F.; Magnard, Y.; Maurel, D.; Mawet, D.; Meyer, M. R.; Milli, J.; Moeller-Nilsson, O.; Mouillet, D.; Pavlov, A.; Perret, D.; Pujet, P.; Quanz, S. P.; Rochat, S.; Rousset, G.; Roux, A.; Salasnich, B.; Salter, G.; Sauvage, J.-F.; Schmid, H. M.; Sevin, A.; Soenke, C.; Stadler, E.; Turatto, M.; Udry, S.; Vakili, F.; Wahhaj, Z.; Wildi, F.

    2016-03-01

    Context. The system of fourplanets discovered around the intermediate-mass star HR8799 offers a unique opportunity to test planet formation theories at large orbital radii and to probe the physics and chemistry at play in the atmospheres of self-luminous young (~30 Myr) planets. We recently obtained new photometry of the four planets and low-resolution (R ~ 30) spectra of HR8799 d and e with the SPHERE instrument (Paper III). Aims: In this paper (Paper IV), we aim to use these spectra and available photometry to determine how they compare to known objects, what the planet physical properties are, and how their atmospheres work. Methods: We compare the available spectra, photometry, and spectral energy distribution (SED) of the planets to field dwarfs and young companions. In addition, we use the extinction from corundum, silicate (enstatite and forsterite), or iron grains likely to form in the atmosphere of the planets to try to better understand empirically the peculiarity of their spectrophotometric properties. To conclude, we use three sets of atmospheric models (BT-SETTL14, Cloud-AE60, Exo-REM) to determine which ingredients are critically needed in the models to represent the SED of the objects, and to constrain their atmospheric parameters (Teff, log g, M/H). Results: We find that HR8799d and e properties are well reproduced by those of L6-L8 dusty dwarfs discovered in the field, among which some are candidate members of young nearby associations. No known object reproduces well the properties of planets b and c. Nevertheless, we find that the spectra and WISE photometry of peculiar and/or young early-T dwarfs reddened by submicron grains made of corundum, iron, enstatite, or forsterite successfully reproduce the SED of these planets. Our analysis confirms that only the Exo-REM models with thick clouds fit (within 2σ) the whole set of spectrophotometric datapoints available for HR8799 d and e for Teff = 1200 K, log g in the range 3.0-4.5, and M/H = +0.5. The

  11. DENSITY AND ECCENTRICITY OF KEPLER PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Wu Yanqin; Lithwick, Yoram

    2013-07-20

    We analyze the transit timing variations (TTV) obtained by the Kepler mission for 22 sub-Jovian planet pairs (19 published, 3 new) that lie close to mean motion resonances. We find that the TTV phases for most of these pairs lie close to zero, consistent with an eccentricity distribution that has a very low root-mean-squared value of e {approx} 0.01; but about a quarter of the pairs possess much higher eccentricities, up to e {approx} 0.1-0.4. For the low-eccentricity pairs, we are able to statistically remove the effect of eccentricity to obtain planet masses from TTV data. These masses, together with those measured by radial velocity, yield a best-fit mass-radius relation M {approx} 3 M{sub Circled-Plus }(R/R{sub Circled-Plus }). This corresponds to a constant surface escape velocity of {approx}20 km s{sup -1}. We separate the planets into two distinct groups: ''mid-sized'' (those greater than 3 R{sub Circled-Plus }) and 'compact' (those smaller). All mid-sized planets are found to be less dense than water and therefore must contain extensive H/He envelopes that are comparable in mass to that of their cores. We argue that these planets have been significantly sculpted by photoevaporation. Surprisingly, mid-sized planets, a minority among Kepler candidates, are discovered exclusively around stars more massive than 0.8 M{sub Sun }. The compact planets, on the other hand, are often denser than water. Combining our density measurements with those from radial velocity studies, we find that hotter compact planets tend to be denser, with the hottest ones reaching rock density. Moreover, hotter planets tend to be smaller in size. These results can be explained if the compact planets are made of rocky cores overlaid with a small amount of hydrogen, {<=}1% in mass, with water contributing little to their masses or sizes. Photoevaporation has exposed bare rocky cores in cases of the hottest planets. Our conclusion that these planets are likely not water worlds contrasts

  12. Kepler Planets: A Tale of Evaporation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, James E.; Wu, Yanqin

    2013-10-01

    Inspired by the Kepler mission's planet discoveries, we consider the thermal contraction of planets close to their parent star, under the influence of evaporation. The mass-loss rates are based on hydrodynamic models of evaporation that include both X-ray and EUV irradiation. We find that only low mass planets with hydrogen envelopes are significantly affected by evaporation, with evaporation being able to remove massive hydrogen envelopes inward of ~0.1 AU for Neptune-mass objects, while evaporation is negligible for Jupiter-mass objects. Moreover, most of the evaporation occurs in the first 100 Myr of stars' lives when they are more chromospherically active. We construct a theoretical population of planets with varying core masses, envelope masses, orbital separations, and stellar spectral types, and compare this population with the sizes and densities measured for low-mass planets, both in the Kepler mission and from radial velocity surveys. This exercise leads us to conclude that evaporation is the driving force of evolution for close-in Kepler planets. In fact, some 50% of the Kepler planet candidates may have been significantly eroded. Evaporation explains two striking correlations observed in these objects: a lack of large radius/low density planets close to the stars and a possible bimodal distribution in planet sizes with a deficit of planets around 2 R ⊕. Planets that have experienced high X-ray exposures are generally smaller than this size, and those with lower X-ray exposures are typically larger. A bimodal planet size distribution is naturally predicted by the evaporation model, where, depending on their X-ray exposure, close-in planets can either hold on to hydrogen envelopes ~0.5%-1% in mass or be stripped entirely. To quantitatively reproduce the observed features, we argue that not only do low-mass Kepler planets need to be made of rocky cores surrounded with hydrogen envelopes, but few of them should have initial masses above 20 M ⊕ and the

  13. 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

  14. KEPLER PLANETS: A TALE OF EVAPORATION

    SciTech Connect

    Owen, James E.; Wu, Yanqin E-mail: wu@astro.utoronto.ca

    2013-10-01

    Inspired by the Kepler mission's planet discoveries, we consider the thermal contraction of planets close to their parent star, under the influence of evaporation. The mass-loss rates are based on hydrodynamic models of evaporation that include both X-ray and EUV irradiation. We find that only low mass planets with hydrogen envelopes are significantly affected by evaporation, with evaporation being able to remove massive hydrogen envelopes inward of ∼0.1 AU for Neptune-mass objects, while evaporation is negligible for Jupiter-mass objects. Moreover, most of the evaporation occurs in the first 100 Myr of stars' lives when they are more chromospherically active. We construct a theoretical population of planets with varying core masses, envelope masses, orbital separations, and stellar spectral types, and compare this population with the sizes and densities measured for low-mass planets, both in the Kepler mission and from radial velocity surveys. This exercise leads us to conclude that evaporation is the driving force of evolution for close-in Kepler planets. In fact, some 50% of the Kepler planet candidates may have been significantly eroded. Evaporation explains two striking correlations observed in these objects: a lack of large radius/low density planets close to the stars and a possible bimodal distribution in planet sizes with a deficit of planets around 2 R{sub ⊕}. Planets that have experienced high X-ray exposures are generally smaller than this size, and those with lower X-ray exposures are typically larger. A bimodal planet size distribution is naturally predicted by the evaporation model, where, depending on their X-ray exposure, close-in planets can either hold on to hydrogen envelopes ∼0.5%-1% in mass or be stripped entirely. To quantitatively reproduce the observed features, we argue that not only do low-mass Kepler planets need to be made of rocky cores surrounded with hydrogen envelopes, but few of them should have initial masses above 20 M

  15. 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

  16. Faint Satellites of Outer Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veillet, C.

    1982-03-01

    In astronomy, as in other matters, the charm 01 novelty is one of the important lactors that govern the choice 01 the observations. How many objects saw suddenly many eyes or kinds of detectors looking at them, before linding again, some months or years later, their sidereal quietness! ... However, it is often after a long time of regular observations that they confide a (small) part 01 their secrets. The laint satellites 01 planets don't transgress this fortunately approximative rule. The deliciency in observations during many consecutive years makes the determination 01 their motion very difficult, and it is olten too late to make up lor lost time. We shall try to i1lustrate this lact in the next lines using the observations of the systems of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune we made in April 1981 on the DanishESO 1.5-m reflector.

  17. Geophysical and atmospheric evolution of habitable planets.

    PubMed

    Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Frank; Chassefière, Eric; Breuer, Doris; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Kulikov, Yuri N; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Biernat, Helfried K; Leblanc, Francois; Kallio, Esa; Lundin, Richard; Westall, Frances; Bauer, Siegfried J; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Fridlund, Malcolm; Gröller, Hannes; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Hausleitner, Walter; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Leitzinger, Martin; Lichtenegger, Herbert I M; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Motschmann, Uwe; Odert, Petra; Paresce, Francesco; Parnell, John; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Rauer, Heike; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Spohn, Tilman; Stadelmann, Anja; Stangl, Günter; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The evolution of Earth-like habitable planets is a complex process that depends on the geodynamical and geophysical environments. In particular, it is necessary that plate tectonics remain active over billions of years. These geophysically active environments are strongly coupled to a planet's host star parameters, such as mass, luminosity and activity, orbit location of the habitable zone, and the planet's initial water inventory. Depending on the host star's radiation and particle flux evolution, the composition in the thermosphere, and the availability of an active magnetic dynamo, the atmospheres of Earth-like planets within their habitable zones are differently affected due to thermal and nonthermal escape processes. For some planets, strong atmospheric escape could even effect the stability of the atmosphere. PMID:20307182

  18. Dynamics and Chemistry of Planet Construction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, G. J.

    2010-03-01

    Sophisticated calculations of how planetesimals assembled into the terrestrial planets can be tested by using models of the chemistry of the solar nebula. Jade Bond (previously at University of Arizona and now at the Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ), Dante Lauretta (University of Arizona) and Dave O'Brien (Planetary Sciences Institute) combined planetary accretion simulations done by O'Brien, Alessandro Morbidelli (Observatoire de Nice, France), and Hal Levison (Southwest Research Institute, Boulder) with calculations of the solar nebula chemistry as a function of time and distance from the Sun to determine the overall chemical composition of the planets formed in the simulations. They then compared the simulated planets with the compositions of Earth and Mars. The simulated planets have chemical compositions similar to real planets, indicating that the accretion calculations are reasonable. Questions remain about the accretion of water and other highly volatile compounds, including C and N, which are essential for life.

  19. Evolution and Atmospheric Circulation of "Pegasi Planets"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillot, T.; Showman, A.

    About one-quarter of the extrasolar giant planets discovered so far have orbital distances smaller than 0.1 AU. Among those are the first genuine giant planet detected outside our solar system, 51 Peg b, and the first characterized extrasolar planet, HD 209458b (also in the Pegasus constellation). These ``Pegasi planets'' form a class of objects whose evolution and structure is strongly affected by stellar irradiation and tides. We show in particular that the radius of HD 209458b cannot be reproduced by conventional evolution models unless its atmosphere is assumed to be unrealistically hot. We argue that the combination of the synchronization by stellar tides and the strong irradiation yield an atmosphere that has significant temperature variations and strong winds. The kinetic energy thus generated can be transported in the deep interior and slow the planet's contraction. We also discuss the consequences of the atmospheric circulation on the chemistry.

  20. Chemical composition of Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ronco, M. P.; Thiabaud, A.; Marboeuf, U.; Alibert, Y.; de Elía, G. C.; Guilera, O. M.

    2015-08-01

    Models of planet formation are mainly focused on the accretion and dynamical processes of the planets, neglecting their chemical composition. In this work, we calculate the condensation sequence of the different chemical elements for a low-mass protoplanetary disk around a solar-type star. We incorporate this sequence of chemical elements (refractory and volatile elements) in our semi-analytical model of planet formation which calculates the formation of a planetary system during its gaseous phase. The results of the semi-analytical model (final distributions of embryos and planetesimals) are used as initial conditions to develope N-body simulations that compute the post-oligarchic formation of terrestrial-type planets. The results of our simulations show that the chemical composition of the planets that remain in the habitable zone has similar characteristics to the chemical composition of the Earth. However, differences exist that can be associated to the dynamical environment in which they were formed.

  1. Chemistry of the outer planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scattergood, Thomas W.

    1992-01-01

    Various aspects were studied of past or present chemistry in the atmospheres of the outer planets and their satellites using lab simulations. Three areas were studied: (1) organic chemistry induced by kinetically hot hydrogen atoms in the region of Jupiter's atmosphere containing the ammonia cirrus clouds; (2) the conversion of NH3 into N2 by plasmas associated with entry of meteors and other objects into the atmosphere of early Titan; and (3) the synthesis of simple hydrocarbons and HCN by lightning in mixtures containing N2, CH4, and NH3 representing the atmospheres of Titan and the outer planets. The results showed that: (1) hot H2 atoms formed from the photodissociation of NH3 in Jupiter's atmosphere could account for some of the atmospheric chemistry in the ammonia cirrus cloud region; (2) the thermalization of hot H2 atoms in atmospheres predominated by molecular H is not as rapid as predicted by elastic collision theory; (3) the net quantum loss of NH3 in the presence of a 200 fold excess of H2 is 0.02, much higher than was expected from the amount of H2 present; (4) the conversion of NH3 into N2 in plasmas associated with infalling meteors is very efficient and rapid, and could account for most of the N2 present on Titan; (5) the yields of C2H2 and HCN from lightning induced chemistry in mixtures of CH4 and N2 is consistent with quenched thermodynamic models of the discharge core; and (6) photolysis induced by the UV light emitted by the gases in the hot plasmas may account for some, if not most, of the excess production of C2H6 and the more complex hydrocarbons.

  2. Primordial Cratering Regimes on Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartmann, W. K.

    2004-11-01

    Understanding of planetary surface evolution (and possibly biological evolution) is hampered by a longstanding uncertainty over the nature of impact cratering and interplanetary debris in the first 600 My of solar system history. On the one hand, a number of researchers (1-3) treat a cataclysmic spike in cratering 3.9 Gy ago as an observational fact, arguing that little or no cratering occurred from 4.5 to 4.0 Gy ago, and that all multi-ring lunar basins formed 3.85 to 4.0 Gy ago. On the other hand, dynamical theorists have had problems trying to explain the a large impactor spike, as reviewed in (4). Worse yet, meteorite evidence on lunar and asteroidal impact melts (3,5) fail to confirm the strong spike in Apollo-sample impact melts at 3.9 Gy. A semi-quantitative model has been suggested to reconcile the findings (5). References: (1) Tera, F., D.A. Papanastassiou, G. J. Wasserberg 1974. Isotopic evidence for a terminal Lunar cataclysm, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 22, 1-21. (2) Stoeffler, D., G. Ryder 2001. "Stratigraphy and Isotope Ages of Lunar Geologic Units: Chronological Standard for the Inner Solar System," in Chronology and Evolution of Mars, Eds. R. Kallenbach, J. Geiss, W. K. Hartmann. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, pp. 105-164. (3) Cohen, B. A., T. D. Swindle, D. A. Kring 2000. Support for the Lunar Cataclysm Hypothesis from Lunar Meteorite Impact Melt Ages. Science 290, 1754-1756. (4) Hartmann, W. K., G. Ryder, L. Dones, D. Grinspoon 2000. The Time-Dependent Intense Bombardment of the Primordial Earth/Moon System. In Origin of the Earth and Moon, Eds. R. M. Canup, K. Righter (Tucson: Univ. Arizona Press), pp. 493-512. (5) Hartmann, W. K. 2003. Megaregolith evolution and cratering cataclysm models - Lunar cataclysm as a misconception (28 years later). Meteor. Planet. Sci. 38, 579-593.

  3. Planet Hunters: Two New Confirmed Planets and the First Kepler Seven Candidate System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, Joseph; Wang, J.; Jek, K.; Fischer, D.; Agol, E.; Hunters, Planet

    2014-01-01

    Planet Hunters has confirmed two new planets, PH3 b and PH3 c, through transit timing variations (TTVs) and discovered a seventh planet candidate KOI-351.07, marking the first Kepler seven candidate system. Since most Kepler multiple planet candidates are true planets, KOI-351.07 is the strongest proposed seventh planet candidate in any planetary system. KOI-351 is a very compact system; all candidates have periods < 1 year. . Although errors are large, the inner five planets appear to all be sub-Neptune, while the outer two are likely gas giants. In our new confirmed system PH3, both confirmed planets experience significant TTVs, with PH3 b having an amplitude of over 5 hours. Along with the third candidate in the system (KOI-1353.02), this system may be in a Laplace resonance: Pout/Pmid = Pmid/Pin = 1.91. These new discoveries add to Planet Hunters previous successes: two previously confirmed planets and ≈ 60 other planet candidates.

  4. Double Planet Meets Triple Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2002-08-01

    High-Resolution VLT Image of Pluto Event on July 20, 2002 A rare celestial phenomenon involving the distant planet Pluto has occurred twice within the past month. Seen from the Earth, this planet moved in front of two different stars on July 20 and August 21, respectively, providing observers at various observatories in South America and in the Pacific area with a long awaited and most welcome opportunity to learn more about the tenuous atmosphere of that cold planet. On the first date, a series of very sharp images of a small sky field with Pluto and the star was obtained with the NAOS-CONICA (NACO) adaptive optics (AO) camera mounted on the ESO VLT 8.2-m YEPUN telescope at the Paranal Observatory. With a diameter of about 2300 km, Pluto is about six times smaller than the Earth. Like our own planet, it possesses a relatively large moon, Charon , measuring 1200 km across and circling Pluto at a distance of about 19,600 km once every 6.4 days. In fact, because of the similarity of the two bodies, the Pluto-Charon system is often referred to as a double planet . At the current distance of nearly 4,500 million km from the Earth, Pluto's disk subtends a very small angle in the sky, 0.107 arcsec. It is therefore very seldom that Pluto - during its orbital motion - passes exactly in front of a comparatively bright star. Such events are known as "occultations" , and it is difficult to predict exactly when and where on the Earth's surface they are visible. Stellar occultations When Pluto moves in front of a star, it casts a "shadow" on the Earth's surface within which an observer cannot see the star, much like the Earth's Moon hides the Sun during a total solar eclipse. During the occultation event, Pluto's "shadow" also moves across the Earth's surface. The width of this shadow is equal to Pluto's diameter, i.e. about 2300 km. One such occultation event was observed in 1988, and two others were expected to occur in 2002, according to predictions published in 2000 by

  5. YOUNG SOLAR SYSTEM's FIFTH GIANT PLANET?

    SciTech Connect

    Nesvorny, David

    2011-12-15

    Studies of solar system formation suggest that the solar system's giant planets formed and migrated in the protoplanetary disk to reach the resonant orbits with all planets inside {approx}15 AU from the Sun. After the gas disk's dispersal, Uranus and Neptune were likely scattered by the gas giants, and approached their current orbits while dispersing the transplanetary disk of planetesimals, whose remains survived to this time in the region known as the Kuiper Belt. Here we performed N-body integrations of the scattering phase between giant planets in an attempt to determine which initial states are plausible. We found that the dynamical simulations starting with a resonant system of four giant planets have a low success rate in matching the present orbits of giant planets and various other constraints (e.g., survival of the terrestrial planets). The dynamical evolution is typically too violent, if Jupiter and Saturn start in the 3:2 resonance, and leads to final systems with fewer than four planets. Several initial states stand out in that they show a relatively large likelihood of success in matching the constraints. Some of the statistically best results were obtained when assuming that the solar system initially had five giant planets and one ice giant, with the mass comparable to that of Uranus and Neptune, and which was ejected to interstellar space by Jupiter. This possibility appears to be conceivable in view of the recent discovery of a large number of free-floating planets in interstellar space, which indicates that planet ejection should be common.

  6. A HIGH-ECCENTRICITY COMPONENT IN THE DOUBLE-PLANET SYSTEM AROUND HD 163607 AND A PLANET AROUND HD 164509

    SciTech Connect

    Giguere, Matthew J.; Fischer, Debra A.; Spronck, Julien; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard T.; Johnson, John A.; Henry, Gregory W.; Wright, Jason T.; Hou Fengji

    2012-01-01

    We report the detection of three new exoplanets from Keck Observatory. HD 163607 is a metal-rich G5IV star with two planets. The inner planet has an observed orbital period of 75.29 {+-} 0.02 days, a semi-amplitude of 51.1 {+-} 1.4 m s{sup -1}, an eccentricity of 0.73 {+-} 0.02, and a derived minimum mass of M{sub P} sin i = 0.77 {+-} 0.02 M{sub Jup}. This is the largest eccentricity of any known planet in a multi-planet system. The argument of periastron passage is 78.7 {+-} 2.{sup 0}0; consequently, the planet's closest approach to its parent star is very near the line of sight, leading to a relatively high transit probability of 8%. The outer planet has an orbital period of 3.60 {+-} 0.02 years, an orbital eccentricity of 0.12 {+-} 0.06, and a semi-amplitude of 40.4 {+-} 1.3 m s{sup -1}. The minimum mass is M{sub P} sin i = 2.29 {+-} 0.16 M{sub Jup}. HD 164509 is a metal-rich G5V star with a planet in an orbital period of 282.4 {+-} 3.8 days and an eccentricity of 0.26 {+-} 0.14. The semi-amplitude of 14.2 {+-} 2.7 m s{sup -1} implies a minimum mass of 0.48 {+-} 0.09 M{sub Jup}. The radial velocities (RVs) of HD 164509 also exhibit a residual linear trend of -5.1 {+-} 0.7 m s{sup -1} year{sup -1}, indicating the presence of an additional longer period companion in the system. Photometric observations demonstrate that HD 163607 and HD 164509 are constant in brightness to submillimagnitude levels on their RV periods. This provides strong support for planetary reflex motion as the cause of the RV variations.

  7. Long-Term Stability of Planets in the Alpha Centauri System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack; Quarles, Billy

    2015-01-01

    The alpha Centauri system is billions of years old, so planets are only expected to be found in regions where their orbits are long-lived. We evaluate the extent of the regions within the alpha Centauri AB star system where small planets are able to orbit for billion-year timescales, and we map the positions in the sky plane where planets on stable orbits about either stellar component may appear. We confirm the qualitative results of Wiegert & Holman (Astron. J. 113, 1445, 1997) regarding the approximate size of the regions of stable orbits of a single planet, which are larger for retrograde orbits relative to the binary than for pro-grade orbits. Additionally, we find that mean motion resonances with the binary orbit leave an imprint on the limits of orbital stability, and the effects of the Lidov-Kozai mechanism are also readily apparent. Overall, orbits of a single planet in the habitable zones near the plane of the binary are stable, whereas high-inclination orbits are short-lived. However, even well within regions where single planets are stable, multiple planet systems must be significantly more widely-spaced than they need to be around an isolated star in order to be long-lived.

  8. Views from EPOXI: Colors in Our Solar System as an Analog for Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crow, Carolyn A.; McFadden, L. A.; Robinson, T.; Meadows, V. S.; Livengood, T. A.; Hewagama, T.; Barry, R. K.; Deming, L. D.; Lisse, C. M.; Wellnitz, Dennis

    2011-01-01

    The first visible-light studies of Earth-sized extrasolar planets will employ photometry or low-resolution spectroscopy. This work uses EPOCh medium-hand filter photometry between 150 and 950 nm obtained with the Deep Impact (DI) High Resolution Instrument (HRI) of Earth, the Moon, and Mars in addition to previous full-disk observations of the other six solar system planets and Titan to analyze the limitations of using photometric colors to characterize extrasolar planets. We determined that the HRI 350, 550, and 850 nm filters are optimal for distinguishing Earth from the other planets and separating planets to first order based on their atmospheric and surface properties. Detailed conclusions that can be drawn about exoplanet atmospheres simply from a color-color plot are limited due to potentially competing physical processes in the atmosphere. The presence of a Rayleigh scattering atmosphere can be detected by an increase in the 350-550 nm brightness ratio, but the absence of Rayleigh scattering cannot be confirmed due to the existence of atmospheric and surface absorbing species in the UV. Methane and ammonia are the only species responsible for strong absorption in the 850 nm filter in our solar system. The combination of physical processes present on extrasolar planets may differ from those we see locally. Nevertheless, a generation of telescopes capable of collecting such photometric observations can serve a critical role in first-order characterization and constraining the population of Earth-like extrasolar planets.

  9. Long-Term Stability of Planets in the Alpha Centauri System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lissauer, Jack; Quarles, Billy

    2015-12-01

    The α Centauri system is billions of years old, so planets are only expected to be found in regions where their orbits are long-lived. We evaluate the extent of the regions within the α Centauri AB star system where small planets are able to orbit for billion-year timescales, and we map the positions in the sky plane where planets on stable orbits about either stellar component may appear. We confirm the qualitative results of Wiegert & Holman (Astron. J. 113, 1445, 1997) regarding the approximate size of the regions of stable orbits of a single planet, which are larger for retrograde orbits relative to the binary than for prograde orbits. Additionally, we find that mean motion resonances with the binary orbit leave an imprint on the limits of orbital stability, and the effects of the Lidov-Kozai mechanism are also readily apparent. Overall, orbits of a single planet in the habitable zones near the plane of the binary are stable, whereas high-inclination orbits are short-lived. However, even well within regions where single planets are stable, multiple planet systems must be significantly more widely-spaced than they need to be around an isolated star in order to be long-lived.

  10. 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

  11. Orbital and physical properties of planets and their hosts: new insights on planet formation and evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adibekyan, V. Zh.; Figueira, P.; Santos, N. C.; Mortier, A.; Mordasini, C.; Delgado Mena, E.; Sousa, S. G.; Correia, A. C. M.; Israelian, G.; Oshagh, M.

    2013-12-01

    Aims: We explore the relations between physical and orbital properties of planets and properties of their host stars to identify the main observable signatures of the formation and evolution processes of planetary systems. Methods: We used a large sample of FGK dwarf planet-hosting stars with stellar parameters derived in a homogeneous way from the SWEET-Cat database to study the relation between stellar metallicity and position of planets in the period-mass diagram. We then used all the radial-velocity-detected planets orbiting FGK stars to explore the role of planet-disk and planet-planet interaction on the evolution of orbital properties of planets with masses above 1 MJup. Results: Using a large sample of FGK dwarf hosts we show that planets orbiting metal-poor stars have longer periods than those in metal-rich systems. This trend is valid for masses at least from ≈10 M⊕ to ≈4 MJup. Earth-like planets orbiting metal-rich stars always show shorter periods (fewer than 20 days) than those orbiting metal-poor stars. However, in the short-period regime there are a similar number of planets orbiting metal-poor stars. We also found statistically significant evidence that very high mass giants (with a mass higher than 4 MJup) have on average more eccentric orbits than giant planets with lower mass. Finally, we show that the eccentricity of planets with masses higher than 4 MJup tends to be lower for planets with shorter periods. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the planets in the P - MP diagram are evolving differently because of a mechanism that operates over a wide range of planetary masses. This mechanism is stronger or weaker, depending on the metallicity of the respective system. One possibility is that planets in metal-poor disks form farther out from their central star and/or they form later and do not have time to migrate as far as the planets in metal-rich systems. The trends and dependencies obtained for very high mass planetary systems suggest

  12. Magnetic activity of planet-hosting stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppenhaeger, Katja

    2011-05-01

    Magnetic activity in cool stars is a widely observed phenomenon, however it is still far from being understood. How fundamental stellar parameters like mass and rotational period quantitatively cause a stellar magnetic field which manifests itself in features such as spots, flares and high-energy coronal emission is a lively area of research in solar and stellar astrophysics. Especially for planet-hosting stars, stellar activity profiles are very interesting as exoplanets are affected by high-energy radiation, both at the time of planet formation as well as during the further lifetime of a star-planet system. In extreme cases, the atmosphere of a planet very close to its host star can be strongly heated by the stellar X-ray and EUV emission and finally escape the planet's gravitational attraction, so that the atmosphere of the planet evaporates over time. Theoretically, planets can also affect their host star's magnetic activity. In analogy to processes in binary stars which lead to enhanced - both overall and periodically varying - activity levels, also giant planets might influence the stellar activity by tidal or magnetic interaction processes, however on a weaker level than in binaries. Some indications for such interactions exist from chromospheric measurements in stars with Hot Jupiters. In this thesis I investigate the magnetic activity of planet-hosting stars and especially possible effects from star-planet interactions with an emphasis on stellar coronae in X-rays. I tested a complete sample of all known planet-hosting stars within 30 pc distance from the Sun for correlations of stellar X-ray properties with planetary parameters. A significant correlation exists between the stellar X-ray luminosity and the product of planetary mass and inverse semimajor axis. However, this could be traced back to a selection effect introduced by planetary detection methods. For stars in the solar neighborhood, planets are mainly detected by radial velocity shifts in the

  13. Characterization of exoplanets from their formation. I. Models of combined planet formation and evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mordasini, C.; Alibert, Y.; Klahr, H.; Henning, T.

    2012-11-01

    Context. A first characterization of extrasolar planets by the observational determination of the radius has recently been achieved for a large number of planets. For some planets, a measurement of the luminosity has also been possible, with many more directly imaged planets expected in the near future. The statistical characterization of exoplanets through their mass-radius and mass-luminosity diagram is becoming possible. This is for planet formation and evolution theory of similar importance as the mass-distance diagram. Aims: Our aim is to extend our planet-formation model into a coupled formation and evolution model. We want to calculate from one single model in a self-consistent way all basic quantities describing a planet: its mass, semimajor axis, composition, radius, and luminosity. We then want to use this model for population synthesis calculations. Methods: In this and a companion paper, we show how we solve the structure equations describing the gaseous envelope of a protoplanet during the early-formation phase, the gas runaway accretion phase, and the evolutionary phase at constant mass on Gyr timescales. We improve the model further with a new prescription for the disk-limited gas accretion rate, an internal structure model for the planetary core assuming a differentiated interior, and the inclusion of radioactive decay as an additional heat source in the core. Results: We study the in situ formation and evolution of Jupiter, the mass-radius relationship of giant planets, the influence of the core mass on the radius, and the luminosity both in the "hot start" and the "cold start" scenario. Special emphasis is placed on the validation of the model by comparing it with other models of planet formation and evolution. We find that our results agree very well with those of more complex models, despite a number of simplifications we make in our calculations. Conclusions: The upgraded model yields the most important physical quantities describing a planet

  14. Planets and Stars under the Magnifying Glass

    SciTech Connect

    Hazi, A U

    2007-02-12

    Looking out to the vastness of the night sky, stargazers often ponder questions about the universe, many wondering if planets like ours can be found somewhere out there. But teasing out the details in astronomical data that point to a possible Earth-like planet is exceedingly difficult. To find an extrasolar planet--a planet that circles a star other than the Sun--astrophysicists have in the past searched for Doppler shifts, changes in the wavelength emitted by an object because of its motion. When an astronomical object moves toward an observer on Earth, the light it emits becomes higher in frequency and shifts to the blue end of the spectrum. When the object moves away from the observer, its light becomes lower in frequency and shifts to the red end. By measuring these changes in wavelength, astrophysicists can precisely calculate how quickly objects are moving toward or away from Earth. When a giant planet orbits a star, the planet's gravitational pull on the star produces a small (meters-per-second) back-and-forth Doppler shift in the star's light. Using the Doppler-shift technique, astrophysicists have identified 179 planets within the Milky Way galaxy. However, most of these are giant gas planets, similar in size to Jupiter and Saturn, and they orbit parent stars that are much closer to them than the Sun is to Earth. Planets similar in size to Earth have also been found, but they, too, are so close to their suns that they would be much hotter than Earth and too hot for life to exist. In 2005, an international collaboration of astronomers working with telescope networks throughout the Southern Hemisphere uncovered clues to a small, rocky or icy planet similar to Earth. The new planet, designated ogLE-2005-BLg-290-Lb, is the farthest planet from our solar system detected to date. The discovery was made by the Probing Lensing Anomalies network (PLAnET) using microlensing--a technique developed nearly two decades ago by Livermore astrophysicists as part of the

  15. The Role of Tides in Known Multi-Planet Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; DeVincenzi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The first known extrasolar planet system, upsilon Andromedae, was discovered in 1999. The number of stars known to possess more than one planet has been growing rapidly since then. The dynamical interactions among such planets can be quite strong. These interactions can excite the orbital eccentricities of planets, even planets orbiting very close to their stars. Stellar tides can damp the eccentricities of such close-in planets, removing dynamical energy from the system and ultimately affecting the motions of all of the planets. These and other effects of tides in extrasolar multi-planet systems will be discussed.

  16. Survival of habitable planets in unstable planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrera, Daniel; Davies, Melvyn B.; Johansen, Anders

    2016-09-01

    Many observed giant planets lie on eccentric orbits. Such orbits could be the result of strong scatterings with other giant planets. The same dynamical instability that produces these scatterings may also cause habitable planets in interior orbits to become ejected, destroyed, or be transported out of the habitable zone. We say that a habitable planet has resilient habitability if it is able to avoid ejections and collisions and its orbit remains inside the habitable zone. Here we model the orbital evolution of rocky planets in planetary systems where giant planets become dynamically unstable. We measure the resilience of habitable planets as a function of the observed, present-day masses and orbits of the giant planets. We find that the survival rate of habitable planets depends strongly on the giant planet architecture. Equal-mass planetary systems are far more destructive than systems with giant planets of unequal masses. We also establish a link with observation; we find that giant planets with present-day eccentricities higher than 0.4 almost never have a habitable interior planet. For a giant planet with an present-day eccentricity of 0.2 and semimajor axis of 5 AU orbiting a Sun-like star, 50% of the orbits in the habitable zone are resilient to the instability. As semimajor axis increases and eccentricity decreases, a higher fraction of habitable planets survive and remain habitable. However, if the habitable planet has rocky siblings, there is a significant risk of rocky planet collisions that would sterilize the planet.

  17. Strategy for exploration of the outer planets: 1986-1996

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    Over the past decade COMPLEX has published three strategy reports which, taken together, encompass the entire planetary system and recommend a coherent program of planetary exploration. The highest priority for outer planet exploration during the next decade is intensive study of Saturn (the planet, satellites, rings, and magnetosphere) as a system. The Committee additionally recommends that NASA engage in the following supporting activities: increased support of laboratory and theoretical studies; pursuit of earth-based and earth-orbital observations; commitment to continued operation of productive spacecraft; implementation of the instrument development plan as appropriate for the outer solar system; studies of deep atmospheric probes; development of penetrators or other hard landers; development of radiation-hardened spacecraft; and development of low-thrust propulsion systems. Longer-term objectives include exploration and intensive study of: the Uranus and Neptune systems; planetology of the Galilean satellites and Titan; and the inner Jovian system.

  18. Our Magnetic Planet (Arthur Holmes Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laj, Carlo

    2015-04-01

    resolution measurements. With this equipment we intensively worked on sedimentary sequences, focusing on those with high deposition rates. We successively constructed two paleointensity stacks, first NAPIS-75 (from cores in the North Atlantic), then a more global stack, GLOPIS-75. We could show that the main part of the fluctuations in 14C atmospheric concentration arises from changes in the geomagnetic dipole intensity modulating the flux of cosmic rays at the origin of the 14C production in the upper atmosphere. Finally, the GLOPIS record, augmented with volcanic data, has allowed a reconstruction of the absolute geomagnetic field intensity for the last 75 kyr with a unique precision in both the intensity and the age model. This reconstruction shows that the Laschamp and the Mono Lake excursions are two distinct events separated by a period of 7 kyr when the intensity recovered to almost non-transitional values. The present rate of decrease of the Earth dipole appears consistent with an impeding reversal or excursion, rather than with a simple fluctuation not related to a polarity change. Considered together with other results from different authors, this leads to the still unanswered question: are we witnessing the beginning of a polarity change of the geomagnetic field?

  19. A New Way to Confirm Planet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    What was the big deal behind the Kepler news conference yesterday? Its not just that the number of confirmed planets found by Kepler has more than doubled (though thats certainly exciting news!). Whats especially interesting is the way in which these new planets were confirmed.Number of planet discoveries by year since 1995, including previous non-Kepler discoveries (blue), previous Kepler discoveries (light blue) and the newly validated Kepler planets (orange). [NASA Ames/W. Stenzel; Princeton University/T. Morton]No Need for Follow-UpBefore Kepler, the way we confirmed planet candidates was with follow-up observations. The candidate could be validated either by directly imaging (which is rare) or obtaining a large number radial-velocity measurements of the wobble of the planets host star due to the planets orbit. But once Kepler started producing planet candidates, these approaches to validation became less feasible. A lot of Kepler candidates are small and orbit faint stars, making follow-up observations difficult or impossible.This problem is what inspired the development of whats known as probabilistic validation, an analysis technique that involves assessing the likelihood that the candidates signal is caused by various false-positive scenarios. Using this technique allows astronomers to estimate the likelihood of a candidate signal being a true planet detection; if that likelihood is high enough, the planet candidate can be confirmed without the need for follow-up observations.A breakdown of the catalog of Kepler Objects of Interest. Just over half had previously been identified as false positives or confirmed as candidates. 1284 are newly validated, and another 455 have FPP of1090%. [Morton et al. 2016]Probabilistic validation has been used in the past to confirm individual planet candidates in Kepler data, but now Timothy Morton (Princeton University) and collaborators have taken this to a new level: they developed the first code thats designed to do fully

  20. First light of the Gemini Planet imager.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager is a dedicated facility for directly imaging and spectroscopically characterizing extrasolar planets. It combines a very high-order adaptive optics system, a diffraction-suppressing coronagraph, and an integral field spectrograph with low spectral resolution but high spatial resolution. Every aspect of the Gemini Planet Imager has been tuned for maximum sensitivity to faint planets near bright stars. During first-light observations, we achieved an estimated H band Strehl ratio of 0.89 and a 5-σ contrast of 10(6) at 0.75 arcseconds and 10(5) at 0.35 arcseconds. Observations of Beta Pictoris clearly detect the planet, Beta Pictoris b, in a single 60-s exposure with minimal postprocessing. Beta Pictoris b is observed at a separation of 434 ± 6 milliarcseconds (mas) and position angle 211.8 ± 0.5°. Fitting the Keplerian orbit of Beta Pic b using the new position together with previous astrometry gives a factor of 3 improvement in most parameters over previous solutions. The planet orbits at a semimajor axis of [Formula: see text] near the 3:2 resonance with the previously known 6-AU asteroidal belt and is aligned with the inner warped disk. The observations give a 4% probability of a transit of the planet in late 2017. PMID:24821792

  1. 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

  2. Light from Red-Hot Planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    This figure charts 30 hours of observations taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of a strongly irradiated exoplanet (an planet orbiting a star beyond our own). Spitzer measured changes in the planet's heat, or infrared light.

    The lower graph shows precise measurements of infrared light with a wavelength of 8 microns coming from the HD 80606 stellar system. The system consists of a sun-like star and a planetary companion on an extremely eccentric, comet-like orbit. The geometry of the planet-star encounter is shown in the upper part of the figure.

    As the planet swung through its closest approach to the star, the Spitzer observations indicated that it experienced very rapid heating (as shown by the red curve). Just before close approach, the planet was eclipsed by the star as seen from Earth, allowing astronomers to determine the amount of energy coming from the planet in comparison to the amount coming from the star.

    The observations were made in Nov. of 2007, using Spitzer's infrared array camera. They represent a significant first for astronomers, opening the door to studying changes in atmospheric conditions of planets far beyond our own solar system.

  3. Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munoz, Diego Jose; Lai, Dong

    2015-12-01

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

  4. First light of the Gemini Planet Imager

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-12

    The Gemini Planet Imager is a dedicated facility for directly imaging and spectroscopically characterizing extrasolar planets. It combines a very high-order adaptive optics system, a diffraction-suppressing coronagraph, and an integral field spectrograph with low spectral resolution but high spatial resolution. Every aspect of the Gemini Planet Imager has been tuned for maximum sensitivity to faint planets near bright stars. During first-light observations, we achieved an estimated H band Strehl ratio of 0.89 and a 5-σ contrast of 106 at 0.75 arcseconds and 105 at 0.35 arcseconds. Observations of Beta Pictoris clearly detect the planet, Beta Pictoris b, in a single 60-s exposure with minimal postprocessing. Beta Pictoris b is observed at a separation of 434 ± 6 milliarcseconds (mas) and position angle 211.8 ± 0.5°. Fitting the Keplerian orbit of Beta Pic b using the new position together with previous astrometry gives a factor of 3 improvement in most parameters over previous solutions. The planet orbits at a semimajor axis of 9.0+0.8–0.4 AU near the 3:2 resonance with the previously known 6-AU asteroidal belt and is aligned with the inner warped disk. In conclusion, the observations give a 4% probability of a transit of the planet in late 2017.

  5. First light of the Gemini Planet Imager

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James R.; Ingraham, Patrick; Konopacky, Quinn; Marois, Christian; Perrin, Marshall; Poyneer, Lisa; Bauman, Brian; Barman, Travis; Burrows, Adam S.; et al

    2014-05-12

    The Gemini Planet Imager is a dedicated facility for directly imaging and spectroscopically characterizing extrasolar planets. It combines a very high-order adaptive optics system, a diffraction-suppressing coronagraph, and an integral field spectrograph with low spectral resolution but high spatial resolution. Every aspect of the Gemini Planet Imager has been tuned for maximum sensitivity to faint planets near bright stars. During first-light observations, we achieved an estimated H band Strehl ratio of 0.89 and a 5-σ contrast of 106 at 0.75 arcseconds and 105 at 0.35 arcseconds. Observations of Beta Pictoris clearly detect the planet, Beta Pictoris b, in a singlemore » 60-s exposure with minimal postprocessing. Beta Pictoris b is observed at a separation of 434 ± 6 milliarcseconds (mas) and position angle 211.8 ± 0.5°. Fitting the Keplerian orbit of Beta Pic b using the new position together with previous astrometry gives a factor of 3 improvement in most parameters over previous solutions. The planet orbits at a semimajor axis of 9.0+0.8–0.4 AU near the 3:2 resonance with the previously known 6-AU asteroidal belt and is aligned with the inner warped disk. In conclusion, the observations give a 4% probability of a transit of the planet in late 2017.« less

  6. Terrestrial Planet Formation Around Close Binary Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Quintana, Elisa V.

    2003-01-01

    Most stars reside in multiple star systems; however, virtually all models of planetary growth have assumed an isolated single star. Numerical simulations of the collapse of molecular cloud cores to form binary stars suggest that disks will form within such systems. Observations indirectly suggest disk material around one or both components within young binary star systems. If planets form at the right places within such circumstellar disks, they can remain in stable orbits within the binary star systems for eons. We are simulating the late stages of growth of terrestrial planets around close binary stars, using a new, ultrafast, symplectic integrator that we have developed for this purpose. The sum of the masses of the two stars is one solar mass, and the initial disk of planetary embryos is the same as that used for simulating the late stages of terrestrial planet growth within our Solar System and in the Alpha Centauri wide binary star system. Giant planets &are included in the simulations, as they are in most simulations of the late stages of terrestrial planet accumulation in our Solar System. When the stars travel on a circular orbit with semimajor axis of up to 0.1 AU about their mutual center of mass, the planetary embryos grow into a system of terrestrial planets that is statistically identical to those formed about single stars, but a larger semimajor axis and/or a significantly eccentric binary orbit can lead to significantly more dynamically hot terrestrial planet systems.

  7. A spectrum of an extrasolar planet.

    PubMed

    Richardson, L Jeremy; Deming, Drake; Horning, Karen; Seager, Sara; Harrington, Joseph

    2007-02-22

    Of the over 200 known extrasolar planets, 14 exhibit transits in front of their parent stars as seen from Earth. Spectroscopic observations of the transiting planets can probe the physical conditions of their atmospheres. One such technique can be used to derive the planetary spectrum by subtracting the stellar spectrum measured during eclipse (planet hidden behind star) from the combined-light spectrum measured outside eclipse (star + planet). Although several attempts have been made from Earth-based observatories, no spectrum has yet been measured for any of the established extrasolar planets. Here we report a measurement of the infrared spectrum (7.5-13.2 microm) of the transiting extrasolar planet HD 209458b. Our observations reveal a hot thermal continuum for the planetary spectrum, with an approximately constant ratio to the stellar flux over this wavelength range. Superposed on this continuum is a broad emission peak centred near 9.65 microm that we attribute to emission by silicate clouds. We also find a narrow, unidentified emission feature at 7.78 microm. Models of these 'hot Jupiter' planets predict a flux peak near 10 microm, where thermal emission from the deep atmosphere emerges relatively unimpeded by water absorption, but models dominated by water fit the observed spectrum poorly. PMID:17314975

  8. The Cambridge photographic atlas of the planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, G.; Taylor, F.

    1982-01-01

    The origin of the solar systems is considered along with the formation of the planets, the evolution of the planets, the surfaces of solid planets, and the atmosphere of the planets. A description is provided of the various planets of the solar system. It is pointed out that Mercury was little known until March 1974 when the Mariner 10 spacecraft made the first of its three flybys of that body. In the case of Venus, the Pioneer mission to Venus by NASA in 1978 provided a breakthrough concerning a knowledge of the solid body hidden beneath the clouds. The characteristics of the planet earth are discussed together with information about the moon. A shaded relief map of Mars illustrates the geographic features of this planet. The map was produced with the aid of Mariner 9 photographs. Maps of the Jovian system based on photographs provided by space missions are also presented, and the Saturnian system is discussed, taking into account major satellites and rings of Saturn.

  9. The size distribution of inhabited planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, Fergus

    2016-02-01

    Earth-like planets are expected to provide the greatest opportunity for the detection of life beyond the Solar system. However, our planet cannot be considered a fair sample, especially if intelligent life exists elsewhere. Just as a person's country of origin is a biased sample among countries, so too their planet of origin may be a biased sample among planets. The magnitude of this effect can be substantial: over 98 per cent of the world's population live in a country larger than the median. In the context of a simple model where the mean population density is invariant to planet size, we infer that a given inhabited planet (such as our nearest neighbour) has a radius r < 1.2r⊕ (95 per cent confidence bound). We show that this result is likely to hold not only for planets hosting advanced life, but also for those which harbour primitive life forms. Further, inferences may be drawn for any variable which influences population size. For example, since population density is widely observed to decline with increasing body mass, we conclude that most intelligent species are expected to exceed 300 kg.

  10. Imagine Moving Off the Planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elfrey, Priscilla R.

    2006-01-01

    Moving off the planet will be a defining moment of this century as landing on the Moon was in the last. For that to happen for humans to go where humans cannot go-- simulation is the sole solution. NASA supports simulation for life-cycle activities: design, analysis, test, checkout, operations, review and training. We contemplate time spans of a century and more, teams dispersed to different planets and the need for systems that endure or adapt as missions, teams and technology change. Without imagination such goals are impossible. But with imagination we can go outside our present perception of reality to think about and take action on what has been, is and, especially, what might be. Consciously maturing an imagined, possibly workable, idea through framing it to optimization to design, and building the product provides us with a new approach to innovation and simulation fidelity. We address options, analyze, test and make improvements in how we think and work. Each step includes increasingly exact information about costs, schedule, who will be needed, where, when and how. NASA i integrating such thinking into its Exploration Product Realization Hierarchy for simulation and analysis, test and verification, and stimulus response goals. Technically NASA follows a timeline of studies, analysis, definition, design, development and operations with concurrent documentation. We have matched this Product Realization Hierarchy with a continuum from image to realization that incorporates commitment, current and needed research and communication to ensure superior and creative problem solving as well as advances in simulation. One result is a new approach to collaborative systems. Another is a distributed observer network prototyped using game engine technology bringing advanced 3-D simulation of a simulation to the desktop enabling people to develop shared consensus of its meaning. Much of the value of simulation comes from developing in people their ability to make good

  11. VALFAST: Secure Probabilistic Validation of Hundreds of Kepler Planet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morton, Tim; Petigura, E.; Johnson, J. A.; Howard, A.; Marcy, G. W.; Baranec, C.; Law, N. M.; Riddle, R. L.; Ciardi, D. R.; Robo-AO Team

    2014-01-01

    The scope, scale, and tremendous success of the Kepler mission has necessitated the rapid development of probabilistic validation as a new conceptual framework for analyzing transiting planet candidate signals. While several planet validation methods have been independently developed and presented in the literature, none has yet come close to addressing the entire Kepler survey. I present the results of applying VALFAST---a planet validation code based on the methodology described in Morton (2012)---to every Kepler Object of Interest. VALFAST is unique in its combination of detail, completeness, and speed. Using the transit light curve shape, realistic population simulations, and (optionally) diverse follow-up observations, it calculates the probability that a transit candidate signal is the result of a true transiting planet or any of a number of astrophysical false positive scenarios, all in just a few minutes on a laptop computer. In addition to efficiently validating the planetary nature of hundreds of new KOIs, this broad application of VALFAST also demonstrates its ability to reliably identify likely false positives. This extensive validation effort is also the first to incorporate data from all of the largest Kepler follow-up observing efforts: the CKS survey of ~1000 KOIs with Keck/HIRES, the Robo-AO survey of >1700 KOIs, and high-resolution images obtained through the Kepler Follow-up Observing Program. In addition to enabling the core science that the Kepler mission was designed for, this methodology will be critical to obtain statistical results from future surveys such as TESS and PLATO.

  12. A study of the shortest-period planets found with Kepler

    SciTech Connect

    Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Rappaport, Saul; Winn, Joshua N.; Kotson, Michael C.; Levine, Alan; Mellah, Ileyk El E-mail: sar@mit.edu E-mail: ileyk@apc.univ-paris7.fr

    2014-05-20

    We present the results of a survey aimed at discovering and studying transiting planets with orbital periods shorter than one day (ultra-short-period, or USP, planets), using data from the Kepler spacecraft. We computed Fourier transforms of the photometric time series for all 200,000 target stars, and detected transit signals based on the presence of regularly spaced sharp peaks in the Fourier spectrum. We present a list of 106 USP candidates, of which 18 have not previously been described in the literature. This list of candidates increases the number of planet candidates with orbital periods shorter than about six hours from two to seven. In addition, among the objects we studied, there are 26 USP candidates that had been previously reported in the literature which do not pass our various tests. All 106 of our candidates have passed several standard tests to rule out false positives due to eclipsing stellar systems. A low false positive rate is also implied by the relatively high fraction of candidates for which more than one transiting planet signal was detected. By assuming these multi-transit candidates represent coplanar multi-planet systems, we are able to infer that the USP planets are typically accompanied by other planets with periods in the range 1-50 days, in contrast with hot Jupiters which very rarely have companions in that same period range. Another clear pattern is that almost all USP planets are smaller than 2 R {sub ⊕}, possibly because gas giants in very tight orbits would lose their atmospheres by photoevaporation when subject to extremely strong stellar irradiation. Based on our survey statistics, USP planets exist around approximately (0.51 ± 0.07)% of G-dwarf stars, and (0.83 ± 0.18)% of K-dwarf stars.

  13. A Study of the Shortest-period Planets Found with Kepler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Rappaport, Saul; Winn, Joshua N.; Kotson, Michael C.; Levine, Alan; El Mellah, Ileyk

    2014-05-01

    We present the results of a survey aimed at discovering and studying transiting planets with orbital periods shorter than one day (ultra-short-period, or USP, planets), using data from the Kepler spacecraft. We computed Fourier transforms of the photometric time series for all 200,000 target stars, and detected transit signals based on the presence of regularly spaced sharp peaks in the Fourier spectrum. We present a list of 106 USP candidates, of which 18 have not previously been described in the literature. This list of candidates increases the number of planet candidates with orbital periods shorter than about six hours from two to seven. In addition, among the objects we studied, there are 26 USP candidates that had been previously reported in the literature which do not pass our various tests. All 106 of our candidates have passed several standard tests to rule out false positives due to eclipsing stellar systems. A low false positive rate is also implied by the relatively high fraction of candidates for which more than one transiting planet signal was detected. By assuming these multi-transit candidates represent coplanar multi-planet systems, we are able to infer that the USP planets are typically accompanied by other planets with periods in the range 1-50 days, in contrast with hot Jupiters which very rarely have companions in that same period range. Another clear pattern is that almost all USP planets are smaller than 2 R ⊕, possibly because gas giants in very tight orbits would lose their atmospheres by photoevaporation when subject to extremely strong stellar irradiation. Based on our survey statistics, USP planets exist around approximately (0.51 ± 0.07)% of G-dwarf stars, and (0.83 ± 0.18)% of K-dwarf stars.

  14. Statistics of Long Period Gas Giant Planets in Known Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryan, Marta L.; Knutson, Heather A.; Howard, Andrew W.; Ngo, Henry; Batygin, Konstantin; Crepp, Justin R.; Fulton, B. J.; Hinkley, Sasha; Isaacson, Howard; Johnson, John A.; Marcy, Geoffry W.; Wright, Jason T.

    2016-04-01

    We conducted a Doppler survey at Keck combined with NIRC2 K-band adaptive optics (AO) imaging to search for massive, long-period companions to 123 known exoplanet systems with one or two planets detected using the radial velocity (RV) method. Our survey is sensitive to Jupiter-mass planets out to 20 au for a majority of stars in our sample, and we report the discovery of eight new long-period planets, in addition to 20 systems with statistically significant RV trends that indicate the presence of an outer companion beyond 5 au. We combine our RV observations with AO imaging to determine the range of allowed masses and orbital separations for these companions, and account for variations in our sensitivity to companions among stars in our sample. We estimate the total occurrence rate of companions in our sample to be 52 ± 5% over the range 1–20 MJup and 5–20 au. Our data also suggest a declining frequency for gas giant planets in these systems beyond 3–10 au, in contrast to earlier studies that found a rising frequency for giant planets in the range 0.01–3 au. This suggests either that the frequency of gas giant planets peaks between 3 and 10 au, or that outer companions in these systems have a different semi-major axis distribution than the overall population of gas giant planets. Our results also suggest that hot gas giants may be more likely to have an outer companion than cold gas giants. We find that planets with an outer companion have higher average eccentricities than their single counterparts, suggesting that dynamical interactions between planets may play an important role in these systems.

  15. Scattering outcomes of close-in planets: Constraints on planet migration

    SciTech Connect

    Petrovich, Cristobal; Rafikov, Roman; Tremaine, Scott

    2014-05-10

    Many exoplanets in close-in orbits are observed to have relatively high eccentricities and large stellar obliquities. We explore the possibility that these result from planet-planet scattering by studying the dynamical outcomes from a large number of orbit integrations in systems with two and three gas-giant planets in close-in orbits (0.05 AU < a < 0.15 AU). We find that at these orbital separations, unstable systems starting with low eccentricities and mutual inclinations (e ≲ 0.1, i ≲ 0.1) generally lead to planet-planet collisions in which the collision product is a planet on a low-eccentricity, low-inclination orbit. This result is inconsistent with the observations. We conclude that eccentricity and inclination excitation from planet-planet scattering must precede migration of planets into short-period orbits. This result constrains theories of planet migration: the semi-major axis must shrink by 1-2 orders of magnitude without damping the eccentricity and inclination.

  16. SECULAR BEHAVIOR OF EXOPLANETS: SELF-CONSISTENCY AND COMPARISONS WITH THE PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING HYPOTHESIS

    SciTech Connect

    Timpe, Miles; Barnes, Rory; Kopparapu, Ravikumar; Raymond, Sean N.; Greenberg, Richard; Gorelick, Noel

    2013-09-15

    If mutual gravitational scattering among exoplanets occurs, then it may produce unique orbital properties. For example, two-planet systems that lie near the boundary between circulation and libration of their periapses could result if planet-planet scattering ejected a former third planet quickly, leaving one planet on an eccentric orbit and the other on a circular orbit. We first improve upon previous work that examined the apsidal behavior of known multiplanet systems by doubling the sample size and including observational uncertainties. This analysis recovers previous results that demonstrated that many systems lay on the apsidal boundary between libration and circulation. We then performed over 12,000 three-dimensional N-body simulations of hypothetical three-body systems that are unstable, but stabilize to two-body systems after an ejection. Using these synthetic two-planet systems, we test the planet-planet scattering hypothesis by comparing their apsidal behavior, over a range of viewing angles, to that of the observed systems and find that they are statistically consistent regardless of the multiplicity of the observed systems. Finally, we combine our results with previous studies to show that, from the sampled cases, the most likely planetary mass function prior to planet-planet scattering follows a power law with index -1.1. We find that this pre-scattering mass function predicts a mutual inclination frequency distribution that follows an exponential function with an index between -0.06 and -0.1.

  17. Masses, Radii, and Orbits of Small Kepler Planets: The Transition from Gaseous to Rocky Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.; Rowe, Jason F.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Latham, David W.; Howell, Steve B.; Gautier, Thomas N., III; Batalha, Natalie M.; Rogers, Leslie; Ciardi, David; Fischer, Debra A.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Kjeldsen, Hans; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Huber, Daniel; Chaplin, William J.; Basu, Sarbani; Buchhave, Lars A.; Quinn, Samuel N.; Borucki, William J.; Koch, David G.; Hunter, Roger; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey; Kolbl, Rea; Weiss, Lauren M.; Petigura, Erik; Seager, Sara; Morton, Timothy; Johnson, John Asher; Ballard, Sarah; Burke, Chris; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; MacQueen, Phillip; Everett, Mark E.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Ford, Eric B.; Torres, Guillermo; Fressin, Francois; Brown, Timothy M.; Steffen, Jason H.; Charbonneau, David; Basri, Gibor S.; Sasselov, Dimitar D.; Winn, Joshua; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Christiansen, Jessie; Adams, Elisabeth; Henze, Christopher; Dupree, Andrea; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Tarter, Jill; Holman, Matthew J.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Shporer, Avi; Lucas, Philip W.; Welsh, William F.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Bedding, T. R.; Campante, T. L.; Davies, G. R.; Elsworth, Y.; Handberg, R.; Hekker, S.; Karoff, C.; Kawaler, S. D.; Lund, M. N.; Lundkvist, M.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Miglio, A.; Silva Aguirre, V.; Stello, D.; White, T. R.; Boss, Alan; Devore, Edna; Gould, Alan; Prsa, Andrej; Agol, Eric; Barclay, Thomas; Coughlin, Jeff; Brugamyer, Erik; Mullally, Fergal; Quintana, Elisa V.; Still, Martin; Thompson, Susan E.; Morrison, David; Twicken, Joseph D.; Désert, Jean-Michel; Carter, Josh; Crepp, Justin R.; Hébrard, Guillaume; Santerne, Alexandre; Moutou, Claire; Sobeck, Charlie; Hudgins, Douglas; Haas, Michael R.; Robertson, Paul; Lillo-Box, Jorge; Barrado, David

    2014-02-01

    We report on the masses, sizes, and orbits of the planets orbiting 22 Kepler stars. There are 49 planet candidates around these stars, including 42 detected through transits and 7 revealed by precise Doppler measurements of the host stars. Based on an analysis of the Kepler brightness measurements, along with high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy, Doppler spectroscopy, and (for 11 stars) asteroseismology, we establish low false-positive probabilities (FPPs) for all of the transiting planets (41 of 42 have an FPP under 1%), and we constrain their sizes and masses. Most of the transiting planets are smaller than three times the size of Earth. For 16 planets, the Doppler signal was securely detected, providing a direct measurement of the planet's mass. For the other 26 planets we provide either marginal mass measurements or upper limits to their masses and densities; in many cases we can rule out a rocky composition. We identify six planets with densities above 5 g cm-3, suggesting a mostly rocky interior for them. Indeed, the only planets that are compatible with a purely rocky composition are smaller than ~2 R ⊕. Larger planets evidently contain a larger fraction of low-density material (H, He, and H2O). Based in part on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology.

  18. THE EFFECT OF PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING ON THE SURVIVAL OF EXOMOONS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-20

    Compared to the giant planets in the solar system, exoplanets have many remarkable properties, such as the prevalence of giant planets on eccentric orbits and the presence of hot Jupiters. Planet-planet scattering (PPS) between giant planets is a possible mechanism to interpret the above and other observed properties. If the observed giant planet architectures are indeed outcomes of PPS, such a drastic dynamical process must affect their primordial moon systems. In this Letter, we discuss the effect of PPS on the survival of exoplanets' regular moons. From an observational viewpoint, some preliminary conclusions are drawn from the simulations. (1) PPS is a destructive process to the moon systems; single planets on eccentric orbits are not ideal moon-search targets. (2) If hot Jupiters formed through PPS, their original moons have little chance of survival. (3) Planets in multiple systems with small eccentricities are more likely to hold their primordial moons. (4) Compared with lower-mass planets, massive planets in multiple systems may not be the preferred moon-search targets if the system underwent a PPS history.

  19. Studying planet populations with Einstein's blip.

    PubMed

    Dominik, Martin

    2010-08-13

    Although Einstein originally judged that 'there is no great chance of observing this phenomenon', the 'most curious effect' of the bending of starlight by the gravity of intervening foreground stars--now commonly referred to as 'gravitational microlensing'--has become one of the successfully applied techniques to detect planets orbiting stars other than the Sun, while being quite unlike any other. With more than 400 extra-solar planets known altogether, the discovery of a true sibling of our home planet seems to have become simply a question of time. However, in order to properly understand the origin of Earth, carrying all its various life forms, models of planet formation and orbital evolution need to be brought into agreement with the statistics of the full variety of planets like Earth and unlike Earth. Given the complementarity of the currently applied planet detection techniques, a comprehensive picture will only arise from a combination of their respective findings. Gravitational microlensing favours a range of orbital separations that covers planets whose orbital periods are too long to allow detection by other indirect techniques, but which are still too close to their host star to be detected by means of their emitted or reflected light. Rather than being limited to the Solar neighbourhood, a unique opportunity is provided for inferring a census of planets orbiting stars belonging to two distinct populations within the Milky Way, with a sensitivity not only reaching down to Earth mass, but even below, with ground-based observations. The capabilities of gravitational microlensing extend even to obtaining evidence of a planet orbiting a star in another galaxy. PMID:20603366

  20. Precursor Science for the Terrestrial Planet Finder

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lawson, P. R. (Editor); Unwin, S. C. (Editor); Beichman, C. A. (Editor)

    2004-01-01

    This document outlines a path for the development of the field of extrasolar planet research, with a particular emphasis on the goals of the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF). Over the past decade, a new field of research has developed, the study of extrasolar planetary systems, driven by the discovery of massive planets around nearby stars. The planet count now stands at over 130. Are there Earth-like planets around nearby stars? Might any of those planets be conducive to the formation and maintenance of life? These arc the questions that TPF seeks to answer. TPF will be implemented as a suite of two space observatories, a 6-m class optical coronagraph, to be launched around 20 14, and a formation flying mid-infrared interferometer, to be launched sometime prior to 2020. These facilities will survey up to 165 or more nearby stars and detect planets like Earth should they be present in the 'habitable zone' around each star. With observations over a broad wavelength range, TPF will provide a robust determination of the atmospheric composition of planets to assess habitability and the presence of life. At this early stage of TPF's development, precursor observational and theoretical programs are essential to help define the mission, to aid our understanding of the planets that TPF could discover, and to characterize the stars that TPF will eventually study. This document is necessarily broad in scope because the significance of individual discoveries is greatly enhance