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Sample records for candidate exoplanet companion

  1. Most sub-arcsecond companions of Kepler exoplanet candidate host stars are gravitationally bound

    SciTech Connect

    Horch, Elliott P.; Howell, Steve B.; Everett, Mark E.; Ciardi, David R. E-mail: steve.b.howell@nasa.gov E-mail: ciardi@ipac.caltech.edu

    2014-11-01

    Using the known detection limits for high-resolution imaging observations and the statistical properties of true binary and line-of-sight companions, we estimate the binary fraction of Kepler exoplanet host stars. Our speckle imaging programs at the WIYN 3.5 m and Gemini North 8.1 m telescopes have observed over 600 Kepler objects of interest and detected 49 stellar companions within ∼1 arcsec. Assuming binary stars follow a log-normal period distribution for an effective temperature range of 3000-10,000 K, then the model predicts that the vast majority of detected sub-arcsecond companions are long period (P > 50 yr), gravitationally bound companions. In comparing the model predictions to the number of real detections in both observational programs, we conclude that the overall binary fraction of host stars is similar to the 40%-50% rate observed for field stars.

  2. The Mass of the Candidate Exoplanet Companion to HD 33636 from Hubble Space Telescope Astrometry and High-Precision Radial Velocities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bean, Jacob L.; McArthur, Barbara E.; Benedict, G. Fritz; Harrison, Thomas E.; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Nelan, Edmund; Smith, Verne V.

    2007-08-01

    We have determined a dynamical mass for the companion to HD 33636 that indicates it is a low-mass star instead of an exoplanet. Our result is based on an analysis of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) astrometry and ground-based radial velocity data. We have obtained high-cadence radial velocity measurements spanning 1.3 yr of HD 33636 with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory. We combined these data with previously published velocities to create a data set that spans 9 yr. We used this data set to search for, and place mass limits on, the existence of additional companions in the HD 33636 system. Our high-precision astrometric observations of the system with the HST Fine Guidance Sensor 1r span 1.2 yr. We simultaneously modeled the radial velocity and astrometry data to determine the parallax, proper motion, and perturbation orbit parameters of HD 33636. Our derived parallax, πabs=35.6+/-0.2 mas, agrees within the uncertainties with the Hipparcos value. We find a perturbation period P=2117.3+/-0.8 days, semimajor axis aA=14.2+/-0.2 mas, and system inclination i=4.1deg+/-0.1deg. Assuming the mass of the primary star to be MA=1.02+/-0.03 Msolar, we obtain a companion mass MB=142+/-11 MJup=0.14+/-0.01 Msolar. The much larger true mass of the companion relative to its minimum mass estimated from the spectroscopic orbit parameters (Msini=9.3 MJup) is due to the nearly face-on orbit orientation. This result demonstrates the value of follow-up astrometric observations to determine the true masses of exoplanet candidates detected with the radial velocity method. Based on data obtained with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET). The HST observations were obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. The HET is a joint project of the University of Texas at Austin, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford

  3. Spectroscopy of Kepler Candidate Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Everett, Mark E.; Howell, Steve B.; Silva, David R.; Szkody, Paula

    2014-02-01

    Currently the NASA Kepler Mission has identified 3449 exoplanet candidates, one third with estimated radii R_p<2.5R_oplus and orbiting faint (m_Kep>14.5) host stars. The NASA sponsored Kepler Follow-up Program is focusing on small exoplanet candidates (R_p<2.5R_oplus) and those in habitable zone orbits. Planet radii estimates depend on estimates of host star radii. Based on spectra previously obtained at the KPNO Mayall 4-m for 220 stars with candidate exoplanets, Everett et al. (2013) have shown that many host stars are larger than originally assumed (up to factor of 2). Therefore, the exoplanet candidates they host must be larger than originally assumed, which conversely reduces the number of known Earth- sized exoplanet candidates. Determination of the frequency of such Earth-sized planets is a cornerstone Kepler mission objective and of keen general interest. These Mayall spectra were also used to confirm the Buchhave et al. (2012) result that exoplanet candidates larger than 4R_oplus in short-period orbits are preferentially associated with host stars with solar or higher metallicity, using a fainter and larger sample of stars than Buchhave et al. In short, followup Mayall optical spectroscopy is critical to confirming the detection of Earth-sized exoplanets, a Kepler cornerstone goal, as well as characterizing the relationship between host star properties and planetary system properties. Here, we propose to continue our reconnaissance survey with a focus on the smallest (most rare) exoplanet candidates orbiting the faintest Kepler host stars.

  4. MICROLENSING BINARIES WITH CANDIDATE BROWN DWARF COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Shin, I.-G.; Han, C.; Gould, A.; Skowron, J.; Udalski, A.; Szymanski, M. K.; Kubiak, M.; Soszynski, I.; Pietrzynski, G.; Poleski, R.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Kozlowski, S.; Wyrzykowski, L.; Sumi, T.; Dominik, M.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Tsapras, Y.; Bozza, V.; Abe, F.; Collaboration: OGLE Collaboration; MOA Collaboration; muFUN Collaboration; and others

    2012-12-01

    Brown dwarfs are important objects because they may provide a missing link between stars and planets, two populations that have dramatically different formation histories. In this paper, we present the candidate binaries with brown dwarf companions that are found by analyzing binary microlensing events discovered during the 2004-2011 observation seasons. Based on the low mass ratio criterion of q < 0.2, we found seven candidate events: OGLE-2004-BLG-035, OGLE-2004-BLG-039, OGLE-2007-BLG-006, OGLE-2007-BLG-399/MOA-2007-BLG-334, MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172, MOA-2011-BLG-149, and MOA-201-BLG-278/OGLE-2011-BLG-012N. Among them, we are able to confirm that the companions of the lenses of MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172 and MOA-2011-BLG-149 are brown dwarfs by determining the mass of the lens based on the simultaneous measurement of the Einstein radius and the lens parallax. The measured masses of the brown dwarf companions are 0.02 {+-} 0.01 M {sub Sun} and 0.019 {+-} 0.002 M {sub Sun} for MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172 and MOA-2011-BLG-149, respectively, and both companions are orbiting low-mass M dwarf host stars. More microlensing brown dwarfs are expected to be detected as the number of lensing events with well-covered light curves increases with new-generation searches.

  5. Robo-AO Kepler Planetary Candidate Survey. II. Adaptive Optics Imaging of 969 Kepler Exoplanet Candidate Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baranec, Christoph; Ziegler, Carl; Law, Nicholas M.; Morton, Tim; Riddle, Reed; Atkinson, Dani; Schonhut, Jessica; Crepp, Justin

    2016-07-01

    We initiated the Robo-AO Kepler Planetary Candidate Survey in 2012 to observe each Kepler exoplanet candidate host star with high angular resolution, visible light, laser adaptive optics (AOs) imaging. Our goal is to find nearby stars lying in Kepler's photometric apertures that are responsible for the relatively high probability of false-positive exoplanet detections and that cause underestimates of the size of transit radii. Our comprehensive survey will also shed light on the effects of stellar multiplicity on exoplanet properties and will identify rare exoplanetary architectures. In this second part of our ongoing survey, we observed an additional 969 Kepler planet candidate hosts and we report blended stellar companions up to {{Δ }}m≈ 6 that contribute to Kepler's measured light curves. We found 203 companions within ˜4″ of 181 of the Kepler stars, of which 141 are new discoveries. We measure the nearby star probability for this sample of Kepler planet candidate host stars to be 10.6% ± 1.1% at angular separations up to 2.″5, significantly higher than the 7.4% ± 1.0% probability discovered in our initial sample of 715 stars; we find the probability increases to 17.6% ± 1.5% out to a separation of 4.″0. The median position of Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) observed in this survey are 1.°1 closer to the galactic plane, which may account for some of the nearby star probability enhancement. We additionally detail 50 Keck AO images of Robo-AO observed KOIs in order to confirm 37 companions detected at a <5σ significance level and to obtain additional infrared photometry on higher significance detected companions.

  6. CANDID: Companion Analysis and Non-Detection in Interferometric Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallenne, A.; Mérand, A.; Kervella, P.; Monnier, J. D.; Schaefer, G. H.; Baron, F.; Breitfelder, J.; Le Bouquin, J. B.; Roettenbacher, R. M.; Gieren, W.; Pietrzynski, G.; McAlister, H.; ten Brummelaar, T.; Sturmann, J.; Sturmann, L.; Turner, N.; Ridgway, S.; Kraus, S.

    2015-05-01

    CANDID finds faint companion around star in interferometric data in the OIFITS format. It allows systematically searching for faint companions in OIFITS data, and if not found, estimates the detection limit. The tool is based on model fitting and Chi2 minimization, with a grid for the starting points of the companion position. It ensures all positions are explored by estimating a-posteriori if the grid is dense enough, and provides an estimate of the optimum grid density.

  7. Combing the Brown Dwarf Desert with the APOGEE Catalog of Stellar and Substellar Companion Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troup, Nicholas William; De Lee, Nathan M.; Carlberg, Joleen K.; Nidever, David L.; Majewski, Steven R.; Stassun, Keivan; Covey, Kevin R.; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Allende-Prieto, Carlos; Hearty, Fred R.; APOGEE Substellar Companions Working Group

    2016-01-01

    While both exoplanets and stellar-mass companions have been found in extremely short-period orbits, there has been a paucity of brown dwarf (BD) companions orbiting Sun-like stars, a phenomenon known as the "Brown Dwarf Desert." However, more recent work has shown that this Desert might be limited in extent, only existing for small separation (a < 5-10 AU) companions, and may not be as "dry" as initially thought. It has been previously suggested that there may be an "F Dwarf Oasis," where the BD Desert observed for Solar-like stars ceases to exist for F dwarf stars. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III) Apache Point Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) has compiled a catalog of ~400 of its most compelling stellar and substellar companion candidates orbiting host stars of various spectral types and evolutionary states. Among these candidates, approximately 100 had a derived companion mass in the BD regime (13-80 MJup), which is a significant increase compared to the number of known small separation (a < 1 AU) BD companions. Our sample appears to manifest the BD desert, but only for seperations < 0.2 AU rather than the previously held 5 AU. This is explained by one of the unique qualities of our sample when compared to previous companions surveys: Two-thirds of the BD candidates in our sample are orbiting evolved stars, most of which were F dwarfs during their main sequence lifetime, consistent with the notion of an F Dwarf Oasis. Using this sample, we further test this hypothesis by constraining the formation mechanisms of BD companions, and exploring their orbital evolution as their host evolves off the main sequence.

  8. Speckle Imaging of Kepler and CoRoT Exo-planet Transit Candidate Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Steve B.; Horch, Elliott; Sherry, William; Ciardi, David

    2010-08-01

    Kepler and CoRoT are complementary space missions dedicated to the detection of exoplanets. The primary science goal of CoRoT is to find Neptune-sized (>3 Earth radii) planets in intermediate orbits, while the prime science goal of Kepler is to find Earth-sized planets (<3 Earth radii) in year-long orbits. Both missions employ the photometric transit method and both spacecraft are performing well with nominal operation of the spacecraft, telescopes, electronics, and instruments. As with ground-based surveys, Kepler and CoRoT candidates need to be screened for background eclipsing binary stars which, when photometrically blended with the primary target, can mimic exo-planetary transits. The list of candidate transiting planets found by Kepler/CoRoT requires follow-up to ascertain probable or certain exo- planet detection. While Earth-sized (and Neptune-sized in long orbital periods) exo-planets can not currently (easily) be confirmed from the ground, many of the false positive eliminations steps can be performed by ground-based observations. Follow-up for Kepler exo-planet candidates is now aimed at Neptune-size and smaller planets in longer period orbits. This proposal aims to obtain high resolution speckle imaging to observe Kepler/CoRoT exo-planet transit candidates in order to eliminate the largest false positive contributor in any transit search - background eclipsing binary stars or faint companion stars.

  9. A Systematic Search for Exoplanet Candidates in K2 Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahre, Tarryn; Karnes, Katherine L.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Smith, Jeffrey C.

    2016-01-01

    We present a catalog of 41 promising exoplanet candidates in 33 stellar systems from the K2 Campaign 3 data. The K2 Mission was developed upon the mechanical failure of the second of four reaction wheels, as the Kepler Spacecraft could not continue the original Kepler Mission. The Kepler Mission was a 4-year mission designed to determine the prevalence of exoplanets in our galaxy, and the configuration and diversity of those planetary systems discovered. The K2 Mission has a similar goal, though the spacecraft now points at fields along the ecliptic in ~75 day campaigns (Howell et al. 2014). Although the light curves in K2 data are noisier and have significant motion-induced systematics, it has been shown that there is success in finding exoplanets and exoplanet candidates (Foreman-Mackey et al. 2015; Montet et al. 2015). Utilizing the Transiting Planet Search and Data Validation from the Kepler Processing Pipeline, we systematically search K2 Campaign 3 for potential exoplanet candidates. Setting a 7.1s maximum folded statistic threshold minimum for a minimum of three transit events, we define our initial candidate list. Our list is further narrowed by the results from Data Validation, as it allows us to statistically identify false positives, such as eclipsing binaries or uncorrected roll-drift, in our sample. We further draw parallels between our results and other transit-searching pipeline results published for Campaign 3.

  10. WHICH RADIAL VELOCITY EXOPLANETS HAVE UNDETECTED OUTER COMPANIONS?

    SciTech Connect

    Rodigas, Timothy J.; Hinz, Philip M.

    2009-09-01

    The observed radial velocity (RV) eccentricity distribution for extrasolar planets in single-planet systems shows that a significant fraction of planets are eccentric (e > 0.1). However, an RV planet's eccentricity, which comes from the Keplerian fitting, can be biased by low signal-to-noise ratio and poor sampling. Here, we investigate the effects on eccentricity produced by undetected outer companions. We have carried out Monte Carlo simulations of mock RV data to understand this effect and predict its impact on the observed distribution. We first quantify the statistical bias of known RV planets' eccentricities produced by undetected zero-eccentricity wide-separation companions and show that this effect alone cannot explain the observed distribution. We then modify the simulations to consist of two populations, one of zero-eccentricity planets in double-planet systems and the other of single planets drawn from an eccentric distribution. Our simulations show that a good fit to the observed distribution is obtained with 45% zero-eccentricity double planets and 55% single eccentric planets. Assuming that our two simulated populations of planets are a good approximation for the true RV population, matching the observed distribution allows us to determine the probability that a known RV planet's orbital eccentricity has been biased by an undetected wide-separation companion. Averaged over eccentricity we calculate this probability to be {approx}4%, suggesting that a small fraction of systems may have a yet to be discovered outer companion. Our simulations show that moderately eccentric planets, with 0.1 < e < 0.3 and 0.1 < e < 0.2, have a {approx}13% and {approx}19% probability, respectively, of having an undetected outer companion. We encourage both high-contrast direct imaging and RV follow-up surveys of known RV planets with moderate eccentricities to test our predictions and look for previously undetected outer companions.

  11. Limits on stellar companions to exoplanet host stars with eccentric planets

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, Stephen R.; Hinkel, Natalie R.; Howell, Steve B.; Horch, Elliott P.; Feng, Ying; Wright, Jason T.; Ciardi, David R.; Everett, Mark E.; Howard, Andrew W.

    2014-04-20

    Though there are now many hundreds of confirmed exoplanets known, the binarity of exoplanet host stars is not well understood. This is particularly true of host stars that harbor a giant planet in a highly eccentric orbit since these are more likely to have had a dramatic dynamical history that transferred angular momentum to the planet. Here we present observations of four exoplanet host stars that utilize the excellent resolving power of the Differential Speckle Survey Instrument on the Gemini North telescope. Two of the stars are giants and two are dwarfs. Each star is host to a giant planet with an orbital eccentricity >0.5 and whose radial velocity (RV) data contain a trend in the residuals to the Keplerian orbit fit. These observations rule out stellar companions 4-8 mag fainter than the host star at passbands of 692 nm and 880 nm. The resolution and field of view of the instrument result in exclusion radii of 0.''05-1.''4, which excludes stellar companions within several AU of the host star in most cases. We further provide new RVs for the HD 4203 system that confirm that the linear trend previously observed in the residuals is due to an additional planet. These results place dynamical constraints on the source of the planet's eccentricities, place constraints on additional planetary companions, and inform the known distribution of multiplicity amongst exoplanet host stars.

  12. Searching for Long-Period Companions and False Positives within the APOGEE Catalog of Companion Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Duy; Troup, Nicholas William; Majewski, Steven R.

    2017-01-01

    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) is a large-scale, high-resolution, H-band, spectroscopic survey that has acquired high S/N spectra of 146,000 stars distributed across the Galactic bulge, disk, and halo with a radial velocity (RV) precision of ~100 m/s. We follow up stellar companion detections from the APOGEE DR12 catalog of 382 total APOGEE-identified companions, of which 376 are previously unknown companion candidates. The APOGEE team strives not only to continue expanding the census of extrasolar companions, but also to confirm and characterize our RV detections through a variety of means.We present findings from our investigation of the Kozai mechanism, which explains the development of close-orbiting binaries through an ejected third companion. To do so, we are undertaking a targeted search for long-period companions with hopes to provide further evidence for the Kozai mechanism. This hunt for longer period companions begins with a search for long-term RV trends within the APOGEE data. We have also obtained diffraction-limited imaging using speckle interferometry at WIYN and Gemini North Observatories, as well as AO LMIRcam images from the LBT, to make direct searches for long-period stellar companions.It is critical to purge our companion candidate detections of false positives, and we discuss several methods we are pursuing to do this. For example, highly active stars have been observed to mimic RV measurements. We have obtained optical high-resolution spectral follow-ups from the ARC 3.5m, the HET, and MMT to analyze potential stellar activity indicators such as Calcium H and K. Emission detected in these well-known stellar activity indicators suggests a false radial velocity measurement.

  13. Stellar Companions to the Exoplanet Host Stars HD 2638 and HD 164509

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittrock, Justin M.; Kane, Stephen R.; Horch, Elliott P.; Hirsch, Lea; Howell, Steve B.; Ciardi, David R.; Everett, Mark E.; Teske, Johanna K.

    2016-11-01

    An important aspect of searching for exoplanets is understanding the binarity of the host stars. It is particularly important, because nearly half of the solar-like stars within our own Milky Way are part of binary or multiple systems. Moreover, the presence of two or more stars within a system can place further constraints on planetary formation, evolution, and orbital dynamics. As part of our survey of almost a hundred host stars, we obtained images at 692 and 880 nm bands using the Differential Speckle Survey Instrument (DSSI) at the Gemini-North Observatory. From our survey, we detect stellar companions to HD 2638 and HD 164509. The stellar companion to HD 2638 has been previously detected, but the companion to HD 164509 is a newly discovered companion. The angular separation for HD 2638 is 0.512 ± 0.″002 and for HD 164509 is 0.697+/- 0\\buildrel{\\prime\\prime}\\over{.} 002. This corresponds to a projected separation of 25.6 ± 1.9 au and 36.5 ± 1.9 au, respectively. By employing stellar isochrone models, we estimate the mass of the stellar companions of HD 2638 and HD 164509 to be 0.483 ± 0.007 M ⊙ and 0.416+/- 0.007 {M}⊙ , respectively, and their effective temperatures to be 3570 ± 8 K and 3450 ± 7 K, respectively. These results are consistent with the detected companions being late-type M dwarfs.

  14. A Catalog of Kepler Habitable Zone Exoplanet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kane, Stephen R.; Hill, Michelle L.; Kasting, James F.; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Quintana, Elisa V.; Barclay, Thomas; Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Ciardi, David R.; Haghighipour, Nader; Hinkel, Natalie R.; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Selsis, Franck; Torres, Guillermo

    2016-10-01

    The NASA Kepler mission ha s discovered thousands of new planetary candidates, many of which have been confirmed through follow-up observations. A primary goal of the mission is to determine the occurrence rate of terrestrial-size planets within the Habitable Zone (HZ) of their host stars. Here we provide a list of HZ exoplanet candidates from the Kepler Q1-Q17 Data Release 24 data-vetting process. This work was undertaken as part of the Kepler HZ Working Group. We use a variety of criteria regarding HZ boundaries and planetary sizes to produce complete lists of HZ candidates, including a catalog of 104 candidates within the optimistic HZ and 20 candidates with radii less than two Earth radii within the conservative HZ. We cross-match our HZ candidates with the stellar properties and confirmed planet properties from Data Release 25 to provide robust stellar parameters and candidate dispositions. We also include false-positive probabilities recently calculated by Morton et al. for each of the candidates within our catalogs to aid in their validation. Finally, we performed dynamical analysis simulations for multi-planet systems that contain candidates with radii less than two Earth radii as a step toward validation of those systems.

  15. Five Kepler target stars that show multiple transiting exoplanet candidates

    SciTech Connect

    Steffen, Jason H.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Fressin, Francois; Ford, Eric B.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; /UC, Santa Cruz, Phys. Dept. /NASA, Ames

    2010-06-01

    We present and discuss five candidate exoplanetary systems identified with the Kepler spacecraft. These five systems show transits from multiple exoplanet candidates. Should these objects prove to be planetary in nature, then these five systems open new opportunities for the field of exoplanets and provide new insights into the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems. We discuss the methods used to identify multiple transiting objects from the Kepler photometry as well as the false-positive rejection methods that have been applied to these data. One system shows transits from three distinct objects while the remaining four systems show transits from two objects. Three systems have planet candidates that are near mean motion commensurabilities - two near 2:1 and one just outside 5:2. We discuss the implications that multitransiting systems have on the distribution of orbital inclinations in planetary systems, and hence their dynamical histories; as well as their likely masses and chemical compositions. A Monte Carlo study indicates that, with additional data, most of these systems should exhibit detectable transit timing variations (TTV) due to gravitational interactions - though none are apparent in these data. We also discuss new challenges that arise in TTV analyses due to the presence of more than two planets in a system.

  16. FIVE KEPLER TARGET STARS THAT SHOW MULTIPLE TRANSITING EXOPLANET CANDIDATES

    SciTech Connect

    Steffen, Jason H.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Haas, Michael J.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Koch, David; Lissauer, Jack J.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Fressin, Francois; Holman, Matthew J.; Latham, David W.; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Ford, Eric B.; Moorhead, Althea V.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Howell, Steve B.; Isaacson, Howard

    2010-12-10

    We present and discuss five candidate exoplanetary systems identified with the Kepler spacecraft. These five systems show transits from multiple exoplanet candidates. Should these objects prove to be planetary in nature, then these five systems open new opportunities for the field of exoplanets and provide new insights into the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems. We discuss the methods used to identify multiple transiting objects from the Kepler photometry as well as the false-positive rejection methods that have been applied to these data. One system shows transits from three distinct objects while the remaining four systems show transits from two objects. Three systems have planet candidates that are near mean motion commensurabilities-two near 2:1 and one just outside 5:2. We discuss the implications that multi-transiting systems have on the distribution of orbital inclinations in planetary systems, and hence their dynamical histories, as well as their likely masses and chemical compositions. A Monte Carlo study indicates that, with additional data, most of these systems should exhibit detectable transit timing variations (TTVs) due to gravitational interactions, though none are apparent in these data. We also discuss new challenges that arise in TTV analyses due to the presence of more than two planets in a system.

  17. PLANET HUNTERS. VIII. CHARACTERIZATION OF 41 LONG-PERIOD EXOPLANET CANDIDATES FROM KEPLER ARCHIVAL DATA

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Picard, Alyssa; Schmitt, Joseph R.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Barclay, Thomas; Bowler, Brendan P.; Riddle, Reed; Jek, Kian J.; LaCourse, Daryll; Simister, Dean Joseph; Grégoire, Boscher; Babin, Sean P.; Poile, Trevor; Jacobs, Thomas Lee; Baranec, Christoph; Law, Nicholas M.; Lintott, Chris; Schawinski, Kevin; and others

    2015-12-20

    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.

  18. SPECTROSCOPY OF FAINT KEPLER MISSION EXOPLANET CANDIDATE HOST STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Everett, Mark E.; Silva, David R.; Howell, Steve B.; Szkody, Paula

    2013-07-10

    Stellar properties are measured for a large set of Kepler mission exoplanet candidate host stars. Most of these stars are fainter than 14th magnitude, in contrast to other spectroscopic follow-up studies. This sample includes many high-priority Earth-sized candidate planets. A set of model spectra are fitted to R {approx} 3000 optical spectra of 268 stars to improve estimates of T{sub eff}, log (g), and [Fe/H] for the dwarfs in the range 4750 {<=} T{sub eff} {<=} 7200 K. These stellar properties are used to find new stellar radii and, in turn, new radius estimates for the candidate planets. The result of improved stellar characteristics is a more accurate representation of this Kepler exoplanet sample and identification of promising candidates for more detailed study. This stellar sample, particularly among stars with T{sub eff} {approx}> 5200 K, includes a greater number of relatively evolved stars with larger radii than assumed by the mission on the basis of multi-color broadband photometry. About 26% of the modeled stars require radii to be revised upward by a factor of 1.35 or greater, and modeling of 87% of the stars suggest some increase in radius. The sample presented here also exhibits a change in the incidence of planets larger than 3-4 R{sub Circled-Plus} as a function of metallicity. Once [Fe/H] increases to {>=} - 0.05, large planets suddenly appear in the sample while smaller planets are found orbiting stars with a wider range of metallicity. The modeled stellar spectra, as well as an additional 84 stars of mostly lower effective temperatures, are made available to the community.

  19. Know the Star, Know the Planet. III. Discovery of Late-Type Companions to Two Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Lewis C., Jr.; Tokovinin, Andrei; Mason, Brian D.; Riddle, Reed L.; Hartkopf, William I.; Law, Nicholas M.; Baranec, Christoph

    2015-04-01

    We discuss two multiple star systems that host known exoplanets: HD 2638 and 30 Ari B. Adaptive optics imagery revealed an additional stellar companion to both stars. We collected multi-epoch images of the systems with Robo-AO and the PALM-3000 adaptive optics systems at Palomar Observatory and provide relative photometry and astrometry. The astrometry indicates that the companions share common proper motion with their respective primaries. Both of the new companions have projected separations less than 30 AU from the exoplanet host star. Using the projected separations to compute orbital periods of the new stellar companions, HD 2638 has a period of 130 yr and 30 Ari B has a period of 80 yr. Previous studies have shown that the true period is most likely within a factor of three of these estimated values. The additional component to 30 Ari makes it the second confirmed quadruple system known to host an exoplanet. HD 2638 hosts a hot Jupiter and the discovery of a new companion strengthens the connection between hot Jupiters and binary stars. We place the systems on a color-magnitude diagram and derive masses for the companions which turn out to be roughly 0.5 solar mass stars.

  20. Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seager, S.

    2010-12-01

    -mass planets and those further from the star. All in all, technology enables slow but sure progress, and this fuels ongoing discovery. Theory, like observations, also takes time to unfold and mature. We can anticipate an "ultimate" planet formation model similar to the "millenimum simulation" for galaxy formation and evolution. In time, incorporating detailed physics as well as being able to reproduce the generic outcome of planet populations (mass, radius, and orbital characteristics, including period) will enable a deeper understanding of planet formation and migration. Similarly, the ideal exoplanet atmosphere code of the future could be a three-dimensional Monte Carlo code that includes radiative transfer with inhomogeneous cloud coverage and surface features, a code that also solves for the temperature structure and combines with a hydrodynamical simulation to calculate the three-dimensional temperature and wind structure. Classical orbital mechanics, already reinvigorated by interesting exoplanet systems (e.g., planets in resonant orbits, hot Jupiter exoplanets that orbit in the direction opposite to the stellar rotation), also has a role to play in explaining fundamental mechanisms of how planetary system configurations came to be. Orbital dynamics modeling is driving the search for moons and other unseen planet companions by their perturbations on transiting planet signatures. Exoplanets is a unique science because it involves so many disciplines within and beyond planetary science and astrophysics. The other disciplines include geophysics, high-pressure mineral physics, quantum mechanics, chemistry, and even microbiology. While exoplanet observations clearly belong under the branch of astronomy, for many years the whole discipline of exoplanets lacked a true home. Physics departments have said "Exoplanets: It's interesting, but is it physics?" Planetary and Earth science departments used to collecting real data in their hands from Earth and in situ measurements from

  1. AN EFFICIENT AUTOMATED VALIDATION PROCEDURE FOR EXOPLANET TRANSIT CANDIDATES

    SciTech Connect

    Morton, Timothy D.

    2012-12-10

    Surveys searching for transiting exoplanets have found many more candidates than they have been able to confirm as true planets. This situation is especially acute with the Kepler survey, which has found over 2300 candidates but has to date confirmed only a small fraction of them as planets. I present here a general procedure that can quickly be applied to any planet candidate to calculate its false positive probability. This procedure takes into account the period, depth, duration, and shape of the signal; the colors of the target star; arbitrary spectroscopic or imaging follow-up observations; and informed assumptions about the populations and distributions of field stars and multiple-star properties. Applying these methods to a sample of known Kepler planets, I demonstrate that many signals can be validated with very limited follow-up observations: in most cases with only a spectrum and an adaptive optics image. Additionally, I demonstrate that this procedure can reliably identify false positive signals. Because of the computational efficiency of this analysis, it is feasible to apply it to all Kepler planet candidates in the near future, and it will streamline the follow-up efforts for Kepler and other current and future transit surveys.

  2. Search for circum-planetary material and orbital period variations of short-period Kepler exoplanet candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garai, Z.; Zhou, G.; Budaj, J.; Stellingwerf, R. F.

    2014-12-01

    A unique short-period ({P = 0.65356(1)} d) Mercury-size Kepler exoplanet candidate KIC012557548b has been discovered recently by {Rappaport et al. (2012)}. This object is a transiting disintegrating exoplanet with a circum-planetary material-comet-like tail. Close-in exoplanets, like KIC012557548b, are subjected to the greatest planet-star interactions. This interaction may have various forms. In certain cases it may cause formation of the comet-like tail. Strong interaction with the host star, and/or presence of an additional planet may lead to variations in the orbital period of the planet. Our main aim is to search for comet-like tails similar to KIC012557548b and for long-term orbital period variations. We are curious about frequency of comet-like tail formation among short-period Kepler exoplanet candidates. We concentrate on a sample of 20 close-in candidates with a period similar to KIC012557548b from the Kepler mission. We first improved the preliminary orbital periods and obtained the transit light curves. Subsequently we searched for the signatures of a circum-planetary material in these light curves. For this purpose the final transit light curve of each planet was fitted with a theoretical light curve, and the residuals were examined for abnormalities. We then searched for possible long-term changes of the orbital periods using the method of phase dispersion minimization. In 8 cases out of 20 we found some interesting peculiarities, but none of the exoplanet candidates showed signs of a comet-like tail. It seems that the frequency of comet-like tail formation among short-period Kepler exoplanet candidates is very low. We searched for comet-like tails based on the period criterion. Based on our results we can conclude that the short-period criterion is not enough to cause comet-like tail formation. This result is in agreement with the theory of the thermal wind and planet evaporation (Perez-Becker & Chiang 2013). We also found 3 cases of candidates which

  3. KNOW THE STAR, KNOW THE PLANET. V. CHARACTERIZATION OF THE STELLAR COMPANION TO THE EXOPLANET HOST STAR HD 177830

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, Lewis C. Jr.; Beichman, Charles; Burruss, Rick; Cady, Eric; Lockhart, Thomas G.; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Brenner, Douglas; Luszcz-Cook, Statia; Nilsson, Ricky; Crepp, Justin R.; Baranec, Christoph; Dekany, Richard; Hillenbrand, Lynne; Hinkley, Sasha; King, David; Parry, Ian R.; Pueyo, Laurent; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Soummer, Rémi; Rice, Emily L.; and others

    2015-10-15

    HD 177830 is an evolved K0IV star with two known exoplanets. In addition to the planetary companions it has a late-type stellar companion discovered with adaptive optics imagery. We observed the binary star system with the PHARO near-IR camera and the Project 1640 coronagraph. Using the Project 1640 coronagraph and integral field spectrograph we extracted a spectrum of the stellar companion. This allowed us to determine that the spectral type of the stellar companion is a M4 ± 1 V. We used both instruments to measure the astrometry of the binary system. Combining these data with published data, we determined that the binary star has a likely period of approximately 800 years with a semimajor axis of 100–200 AU. This implies that the stellar companion has had little or no impact on the dynamics of the exoplanets. The astrometry of the system should continue to be monitored, but due to the slow nature of the system, observations can be made once every 5–10 years.

  4. THE PHASES DIFFERENTIAL ASTROMETRY DATA ARCHIVE. V. CANDIDATE SUBSTELLAR COMPANIONS TO BINARY SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Muterspaugh, Matthew W.; Lane, Benjamin F.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Konacki, Maciej; Burke, Bernard F.; Colavita, M. M.; Shao, M.; Hartkopf, William I.; Boss, Alan P.; Williamson, M. E-mail: blane@draper.co

    2010-12-15

    The Palomar High-precision Astrometric Search for Exoplanet Systems monitored 51 subarcsecond binary systems to evaluate whether tertiary companions as small as Jovian planets orbited either the primary or secondary stars, perturbing their otherwise smooth Keplerian motions. Six binaries are presented that show evidence of substellar companions orbiting either the primary or secondary star. Of these six systems, the likelihoods of two of the detected perturbations to represent real objects are considered to be 'high confidence', while the remaining four systems are less certain and will require continued observations for confirmation.

  5. RESOLVED COMPANIONS OF CEPHEIDS: TESTING THE CANDIDATES WITH X-RAY OBSERVATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, Nancy Remage; Pillitteri, Ignazio; Wolk, Scott; Karovska, Margarita; Tingle, Evan; Guinan, Edward; Engle, Scott; Bond, Howard E.; Schaefer, Gail H.; Mason, Brian D. E-mail: heb11@psu.edu

    2016-04-15

    We have made XMM-Newton observations of 14 Galactic Cepheids that have candidate resolved (≥5″) companion stars based on our earlier HST Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) imaging survey. Main-sequence stars that are young enough to be physical companions of Cepheids are expected to be strong X-ray producers in contrast to field stars. XMM-Newton exposures were set to detect essentially all companions hotter than spectral type M0 (corresponding to 0.5 M{sub ⊙}). The large majority of our candidate companions were not detected in X-rays, and hence are not confirmed as young companions. One resolved candidate (S Nor #4) was unambiguously detected, but the Cepheid is a member of a populous cluster. For this reason, it is likely that S Nor #4 is a cluster member rather than a gravitationally bound companion. Two further Cepheids (S Mus and R Cru) have X-ray emission that might be produced by either the Cepheid or the candidate resolved companion. A subsequent Chandra observation of S Mus shows that the X-rays are at the location of the Cepheid/spectroscopic binary. R Cru and also V659 Cen (also X-ray bright) have possible companions closer than 5″ (the limit for this study) which are the likely sources of X-rays. One final X-ray detection (V473 Lyr) has no known optical companion, so the prime suspect is the Cepheid itself. It is a unique Cepheid with a variable amplitude. The 14 stars that we observed with XMM constitute 36% of the 39 Cepheids found to have candidate companions in our HST/WFC3 optical survey. No young probable binary companions were found with separations of ≥5″ or 4000 au.

  6. Resolved Companions of Cepheids: Testing the Candidates with X-Ray Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Nancy Remage; Pillitteri, Ignazio; Wolk, Scott; Karovska, Margarita; Tingle, Evan; Guinan, Edward; Engle, Scott; Bond, Howard E.; Schaefer, Gail H.; Mason, Brian D.

    2016-04-01

    We have made XMM-Newton observations of 14 Galactic Cepheids that have candidate resolved (≥5″) companion stars based on our earlier HST Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) imaging survey. Main-sequence stars that are young enough to be physical companions of Cepheids are expected to be strong X-ray producers in contrast to field stars. XMM-Newton exposures were set to detect essentially all companions hotter than spectral type M0 (corresponding to 0.5 M⊙). The large majority of our candidate companions were not detected in X-rays, and hence are not confirmed as young companions. One resolved candidate (S Nor #4) was unambiguously detected, but the Cepheid is a member of a populous cluster. For this reason, it is likely that S Nor #4 is a cluster member rather than a gravitationally bound companion. Two further Cepheids (S Mus and R Cru) have X-ray emission that might be produced by either the Cepheid or the candidate resolved companion. A subsequent Chandra observation of S Mus shows that the X-rays are at the location of the Cepheid/spectroscopic binary. R Cru and also V659 Cen (also X-ray bright) have possible companions closer than 5″ (the limit for this study) which are the likely sources of X-rays. One final X-ray detection (V473 Lyr) has no known optical companion, so the prime suspect is the Cepheid itself. It is a unique Cepheid with a variable amplitude. The 14 stars that we observed with XMM constitute 36% of the 39 Cepheids found to have candidate companions in our HST/WFC3 optical survey. No young probable binary companions were found with separations of ≥5″ or 4000 au. Based on observations obtained with XMM-Newton, an ESA science mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States and the USA (NASA).

  7. Very Low Mass Stellar and Substellar Companions to Solar-like Stars from MARVELS. IV. A Candidate Brown Dwarf or Low-mass Stellar Companion to HIP 67526

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Peng; Ge, Jian; Cargile, Phillip; Crepp, Justin R.; De Lee, Nathan; Porto de Mello, Gustavo F.; Esposito, Massimiliano; Ferreira, Letícia D.; Femenia, Bruno; Fleming, Scott W.; Gaudi, B. Scott; Ghezzi, Luan; González Hernández, Jonay I.; Hebb, Leslie; Lee, Brian L.; Ma, Bo; Stassun, Keivan G.; Wang, Ji; Wisniewski, John P.; Agol, Eric; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Brewington, Howard; Chang, Liang; Nicolaci da Costa, Luiz; Eastman, Jason D.; Ebelke, Garrett; Gary, Bruce; Kane, Stephen R.; Li, Rui; Liu, Jian; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Maia, Marcio A. G.; Malanushenko, Viktor; Malanushenko, Elena; Muna, Demitri; Nguyen, Duy Cuong; Ogando, Ricardo L. C.; Oravetz, Audrey; Oravetz, Daniel; Pan, Kaike; Pepper, Joshua; Paegert, Martin; Allende Prieto, Carlos; Rebolo, Rafael; Santiago, Basilio X.; Schneider, Donald P.; Shelden Bradley, Alaina C.; Sivarani, Thirupathi; Snedden, Stephanie; van Eyken, J. C.; Wan, Xiaoke; Weaver, Benjamin A.; Zhao, Bo

    2013-09-01

    We report the discovery of a candidate brown dwarf (BD) or a very low mass stellar companion (MARVELS-5b) to the star HIP 67526 from the Multi-object Apache point observatory Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS). The radial velocity curve for this object contains 31 epochs spread over 2.5 yr. Our Keplerian fit, using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach, reveals that the companion has an orbital period of 90.2695^{+0.0188}_{-0.0187} days, an eccentricity of 0.4375 ± 0.0040, and a semi-amplitude of 2948.14^{+16.65}_{-16.55} m s-1. Using additional high-resolution spectroscopy, we find the host star has an effective temperature T eff = 6004 ± 34 K, a surface gravity log g (cgs) =4.55 ± 0.17, and a metallicity [Fe/H] =+0.04 ± 0.06. The stellar mass and radius determined through the empirical relationship of Torres et al. yields 1.10 ± 0.09 M ⊙ and 0.92 ± 0.19 R ⊙. The minimum mass of MARVELS-5b is 65.0 ± 2.9M Jup, indicating that it is likely to be either a BD or a very low mass star, thus occupying a relatively sparsely populated region of the mass function of companions to solar-type stars. The distance to this system is 101 ± 10 pc from the astrometric measurements of Hipparcos. No stellar tertiary is detected in the high-contrast images taken by either FastCam lucky imaging or Keck adaptive optics imaging, ruling out any star with mass greater than 0.2 M ⊙ at a separation larger than 40 AU.

  8. VERY LOW MASS STELLAR AND SUBSTELLAR COMPANIONS TO SOLAR-LIKE STARS FROM MARVELS. IV. A CANDIDATE BROWN DWARF OR LOW-MASS STELLAR COMPANION TO HIP 67526

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang Peng; Ge Jian; De Lee, Nathan; Fleming, Scott W.; Lee, Brian L.; Ma Bo; Wang, Ji; Cargile, Phillip; Hebb, Leslie; Stassun, Keivan G.; Crepp, Justin R.; Porto de Mello, Gustavo F.; Ferreira, Leticia D.; Esposito, Massimiliano; Femenia, Bruno; Gonzalez Hernandez, Jonay I.; Ghezzi, Luan; Wisniewski, John P.; Agol, Eric; and others

    2013-09-15

    We report the discovery of a candidate brown dwarf (BD) or a very low mass stellar companion (MARVELS-5b) to the star HIP 67526 from the Multi-object Apache point observatory Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS). The radial velocity curve for this object contains 31 epochs spread over 2.5 yr. Our Keplerian fit, using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach, reveals that the companion has an orbital period of 90.2695{sup +0.0188}{sub -0.0187} days, an eccentricity of 0.4375 {+-} 0.0040, and a semi-amplitude of 2948.14{sup +16.65}{sub -16.55} m s{sup -1}. Using additional high-resolution spectroscopy, we find the host star has an effective temperature T{sub eff} = 6004 {+-} 34 K, a surface gravity log g (cgs) =4.55 {+-} 0.17, and a metallicity [Fe/H] =+0.04 {+-} 0.06. The stellar mass and radius determined through the empirical relationship of Torres et al. yields 1.10 {+-} 0.09 M{sub Sun} and 0.92 {+-} 0.19 R{sub Sun }. The minimum mass of MARVELS-5b is 65.0 {+-} 2.9M{sub Jup}, indicating that it is likely to be either a BD or a very low mass star, thus occupying a relatively sparsely populated region of the mass function of companions to solar-type stars. The distance to this system is 101 {+-} 10 pc from the astrometric measurements of Hipparcos. No stellar tertiary is detected in the high-contrast images taken by either FastCam lucky imaging or Keck adaptive optics imaging, ruling out any star with mass greater than 0.2 M{sub Sun} at a separation larger than 40 AU.

  9. THE LICK-CARNEGIE SURVEY: FOUR NEW EXOPLANET CANDIDATES

    SciTech Connect

    Meschiari, Stefano; Laughlin, Gregory; Vogt, Steven S.; Rivera, Eugenio J.; Haghighipour, Nader; Jalowiczor, Peter

    2011-02-01

    We present new precise HIRES radial velocity (RV) data sets of five nearby stars obtained at Keck Observatory. HD 31253, HD 218566, HD 177830, HD 99492, and HD 74156 are host stars of spectral classes F through K and show RV variations consistent with new or additional planetary companions in Keplerian motion. The orbital parameters of the candidate planets in the five planetary systems span minimum masses of M sin i = 27.43 M{sub +} to 8.28 M{sub J}, periods of 17.05-4696.95 days and eccentricities ranging from circular to extremely eccentric (e {approx} 0.63). The fifth star, HD 74156, was known to have both a 52 day and a 2500 day planet, and was claimed to also harbor a third planet at 336 days, in apparent support of the 'Packed Planetary System' hypothesis. Our greatly expanded data set for HD 74156 provides strong confirmation of both the 52 day and 2500 day planets, but strongly contradicts the existence of a 336 day planet, and offers no significant evidence for any other planets in the system.

  10. Confirming a substellar companion candidate around a neutron star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Posselt, Bettina; Luhman, Kevin

    2014-08-01

    In a search for substellar companions around young neutron stars, we found an indication for a very faint near-infrared source at the position of the isolated neutron star RXJ0806.4-4123. The suspected near-IR source cannot be the neutron star itself because the latter is much too faint to be detected. Recent Herschel 160 microm observations of the field point to an additional dusty belt around the neutron star. The outer location of the dusty belt could be explained by the presence of a substellar companion around the neutron star. We propose deeper near-infrared observations with FLAMINGOS-2 to confirm that the near-infrared source is real. The observation could provide the first direct detection of a substellar companion around a neutron star. However, even a non-detection would be interesting to constrain evolution models of the dusty belt around the neutron star.

  11. Transiting exoplanet candidates from K2 Campaigns 5 and 6

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pope, Benjamin J. S.; Parviainen, Hannu; Aigrain, Suzanne

    2016-10-01

    We introduce a new transit search and vetting pipeline for observations from the K2 mission, and present the candidate transiting planets identified by this pipeline out of the targets in Campaigns 5 and 6. Our pipeline uses the Gaussian process-based K2SC code to correct for the K2 pointing systematics and simultaneously model stellar variability. The systematics-corrected, variability-detrended light curves are searched for transits with the box-least-squares method, and a period-dependent detection threshold is used to generate a preliminary candidate list. Two or three individuals vet each candidate manually to produce the final candidate list, using a set of automatically generated transit fits and assorted diagnostic tests to inform the vetting. We detect 145 single-planet system candidates and 5 multi-planet systems, independently recovering the previously published hot Jupiters EPIC 212110888b, WASP-55b (EPIC 212300977b) and Qatar-2b (EPIC 212756297b). We also report the outcome of reconnaissance spectroscopy carried out for all candidates with Kepler magnitude Kp ≤ 13, identifying 12 targets as likely false positives. We compare our results to those of other K2 transit search pipelines, noting that ours performs particularly well for variable and/or active stars, but that the results are very similar overall. All the light curves and code used in the transit search and vetting process are publicly available, as are the follow-up spectra.

  12. CARBON AND OXYGEN ABUNDANCES IN THE HOT JUPITER EXOPLANET HOST STAR XO-2B AND ITS BINARY COMPANION

    SciTech Connect

    Teske, Johanna K.; Schuler, Simon C.; Cunha, Katia; Smith, Verne V.; Griffith, Caitlin A.

    2013-05-01

    With the aim of connecting the compositions of stars and planets, we present the abundances of carbon and oxygen, as well as iron and nickel, for the transiting exoplanet host star XO-2N and its wide-separation binary companion XO-2S. Stellar parameters are derived from high-resolution, high signal-to-noise spectra, and the two stars are found to be similar in their T{sub eff}, log g, iron ([Fe/H]), and nickel ([Ni/H]) abundances. Their carbon ([C/H]) and oxygen ([O/H]) abundances also overlap within errors, although XO-2N may be slightly more C-rich and O-rich than XO-2S. The C/O ratios of both stars ({approx}0.60 {+-} 0.20) may also be somewhat larger than solar (C/O {approx} 0.50). The XO-2 system has a transiting hot Jupiter orbiting one binary component but not the other, allowing us to probe the potential effects planet formation might have on the host star composition. Additionally, with multiple observations of its atmosphere the transiting exoplanet XO-2b lends itself to compositional analysis, which can be compared to the natal chemical environment established by our binary star elemental abundances. This work sets the stage for determining how similar or different exoplanet and host star compositions are, and the implications for planet formation, by discussing the C/O ratio measurements in the unique environment of a visual binary system with one star hosting a transiting hot Jupiter.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-02-01

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

  14. Validation and characterization of Kepler exoplanet candidates with Warm Spitzer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desert, Jean-Michel; Charbonneau, D.; Kepler Science Team

    2011-05-01

    I present the status and results from an ongoing project that uses 800 hours of the Spitzer Space Telescope to gather near-infrared photometric measurements of transiting extrasolar planet candidates detected by the Kepler Mission. The main purposes of this project is to validate planetary candidates, and to characterize confirmed planets. By comparing the light curves spanning times of primary transit for candidates observed with Kepler and Spitzer, we can exclude significant sources of astrophysical false positives resulting from blends (e.g. background eclipsing binaries) that mimic an exoplanetary signature in the Kepler bandpass. I show how our infrared observations can help to validate the planetary nature of several candidates with small radii, which could be rocky in composition. By combining occultation measurements of the reflected starlight in the optical with estimates of the thermal emission in the near-infrared, we are able to constrain the energy budget of a handful of hot-Jupiters and compare such constraints to those for other giant planets.

  15. The APOGEE DR13 Catalog of Stellar and Substellar Companion Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troup, Nicholas William; APOGEE RV Variability Working Group

    2017-01-01

    The SDSS Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), expanding beyond its original intent as a Galactic structure survey, has demonstrated its capability as a radial velocity (RV) machine with the publication of a catalog of stellar and substellar companion candidates based on SDSS’s 12th data release (DR12). We expand upon this work by taking advantage of the improved parameters and additional information provided in APOGEE’s latest data release (DR13) to build an improved catalog of stellar and substellar companions. The newly available rotational velocity measurements provides an additional check against false-positive orbital solutions, and aids investigations of the role of tidal interactions in shaping the brown dwarf desert. In addition, we present initial tests of an automated cross-corellation function (CCF) bisector analysis code that allows us to detect spectrally unresolved companions and, in some cases, break the inclination degeneracy of RV detections. Finally, we present analysis of the detailed chemical abundances of the host stars in our sample. In particular, we use this abundance information to disentangle the formation mechanisms of brown dwarf companions from those of gas giant planets and low mass stellar companions.

  16. Robo-AO Kepler Planetary Candidate Survey. III. Adaptive Optics Imaging of 1629 Kepler Exoplanet Candidate Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegler, Carl; Law, Nicholas M.; Morton, Tim; Baranec, Christoph; Riddle, Reed; Atkinson, Dani; Baker, Anna; Roberts, Sarah; Ciardi, David R.

    2017-02-01

    The Robo-AO Kepler Planetary Candidate Survey is observing every Kepler planet candidate host star with laser adaptive optics imaging to search for blended nearby stars, which may be physically associated companions and/or responsible for transit false positives. In this paper, we present the results of our search for stars nearby 1629 Kepler planet candidate hosts. With survey sensitivity to objects as close as ∼0.″15, and magnitude differences Δm ≤slant 6, we find 223 stars in the vicinity of 206 target KOIs; 209 of these nearby stars have not been previously imaged in high resolution. We measure an overall nearby-star probability for Kepler planet candidates of 12.6 % +/- 0.9 % at separations between 0.″15 and 4.″0. Particularly interesting KOI systems are discussed, including 26 stars with detected companions that host rocky, habitable zone candidates and five new candidate planet-hosting quadruple star systems. We explore the broad correlations between planetary systems and stellar binarity, using the combined data set of Baranec et al. and this paper. Our previous 2σ result of a low detected nearby star fraction of KOIs hosting close-in giant planets is less apparent in this larger data set. We also find a significant correlation between detected nearby star fraction and KOI number, suggesting possible variation between early and late Kepler data releases.

  17. Widest Separation and the Lowest Mass Objects among Planetary-mass Companion Candidates around Young Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, D.

    2014-08-01

    Two substellar companion candidates with planetary mass, around a T-Tauri star in the ρ Ophiuchi star-forming region, are discovered by results of near-infrared imaging. Candidates are separated by 1454AU, candi 1 for short, and 542AU, candi 2 for short. There are high possibilities that both candidates are physically related to its primary star from their common proper motions, colors and statistics of YSOs in star forming region. candi 2 is identified as an extremely low-mass object, 0.0070.002 ⊙, and this is the lowest mass among planetary-mass companion(PMC) candidates imaged to date. In addition, separation from its primary star of candi 1, 0.014 ± 0.002 ⊙, is the widest among PMC candidates imaged to date. Formation of these extremely wide separated, > 100AU, PMCs, like candi 1 and c, is not fully explained by current planet formation theories, core accretion or gravitational instability. This discovery may suggest that PMCs separated by > 100AU form via extreme mass ratio case of cloud core fragmentation for multiple stars. Apologies : Because of our team policy, we cannot present the name and details of this target currently.

  18. Speckle Imaging Excludes Low-mass Companions Orbiting the Exoplanet Host Star TRAPPIST-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Steve B.; Everett, Mark E.; Horch, Elliott P.; Winters, Jennifer G.; Hirsch, Lea; Nusdeo, Dan; Scott, Nicholas J.

    2016-09-01

    We have obtained the highest-resolution images available of TRAPPIST-1 using the Gemini-South telescope and our speckle imaging camera. Observing at 692 and 883 nm, we reached the diffraction limit of the telescope providing a best resolution of 27 mas or, at the distance of TRAPPIST-1, a spatial resolution of 0.32 au. Our imaging of the star extends from 0.32 to 14.5 au. We show that to a high confidence level, we can exclude all possible stellar and brown dwarf companions, indicating that TRAPPIST-1 is a single star.

  19. Robotic laser adaptive optics imaging of 715 Kepler exoplanet candidates using Robo-AO

    SciTech Connect

    Law, Nicholas M.; Ziegler, Carl; Morton, Tim; Riddle, Reed; Tendulkar, Shriharsh P.; Bui, Khanh; Dekany, Richard G.; Kulkarni, Shrinivas; Punnadi, Sujit; Baranec, Christoph; Ravichandran, Ganesh; Johnson, John Asher; Burse, Mahesh P.; Das, H. K.; Ramaprakash, A. N.

    2014-08-10

    The Robo-AO Kepler Planetary Candidate Survey is observing every Kepler planet candidate host star with laser adaptive optics imaging to search for blended nearby stars, which may be physically associated companions and/or responsible for transit false positives. In this paper, we present the results from the 2012 observing season, searching for stars close to 715 Kepler planet candidate hosts. We find 53 companions, 43 of which are new discoveries. We detail the Robo-AO survey data reduction methods including a method of using the large ensemble of target observations as mutual point-spread-function references, along with a new automated companion-detection algorithm designed for large adaptive optics surveys. Our survey is sensitive to objects from ≈0.''15 to 2.''5 separation, with magnitude differences up to Δm ≈ 6. We measure an overall nearby-star probability for Kepler planet candidates of 7.4% ± 1.0%, and calculate the effects of each detected nearby star on the Kepler-measured planetary radius. We discuss several Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) of particular interest, including KOI-191 and KOI-1151, which are both multi-planet systems with detected stellar companions whose unusual planetary system architecture might be best explained if they are 'coincident multiple' systems, with several transiting planets shared between the two stars. Finally, we find 98% confidence evidence that short-period giant planets are two to three times more likely than longer-period planets to be found in wide stellar binaries.

  20. Robotic Laser Adaptive Optics Imaging of 715 Kepler Exoplanet Candidates Using Robo-AO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Law, Nicholas M.; Morton, Tim; Baranec, Christoph; Riddle, Reed; Ravichandran, Ganesh; Ziegler, Carl; Johnson, John Asher; Tendulkar, Shriharsh P.; Bui, Khanh; Burse, Mahesh P.; Das, H. K.; Dekany, Richard G.; Kulkarni, Shrinivas; Punnadi, Sujit; Ramaprakash, A. N.

    2014-08-01

    The Robo-AO Kepler Planetary Candidate Survey is observing every Kepler planet candidate host star with laser adaptive optics imaging to search for blended nearby stars, which may be physically associated companions and/or responsible for transit false positives. In this paper, we present the results from the 2012 observing season, searching for stars close to 715 Kepler planet candidate hosts. We find 53 companions, 43 of which are new discoveries. We detail the Robo-AO survey data reduction methods including a method of using the large ensemble of target observations as mutual point-spread-function references, along with a new automated companion-detection algorithm designed for large adaptive optics surveys. Our survey is sensitive to objects from ≈0.''15 to 2.''5 separation, with magnitude differences up to Δm ≈ 6. We measure an overall nearby-star probability for Kepler planet candidates of 7.4% ± 1.0%, and calculate the effects of each detected nearby star on the Kepler-measured planetary radius. We discuss several Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) of particular interest, including KOI-191 and KOI-1151, which are both multi-planet systems with detected stellar companions whose unusual planetary system architecture might be best explained if they are "coincident multiple" systems, with several transiting planets shared between the two stars. Finally, we find 98% confidence evidence that short-period giant planets are two to three times more likely than longer-period planets to be found in wide stellar binaries.

  1. First results of the Kourovka Planet Search: discovery of transiting exoplanet candidates in the first three target fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burdanov, Artem Y.; Benni, Paul; Krushinsky, Vadim V.; Popov, Alexander A.; Sokov, Evgenii N.; Sokova, Iraida A.; Rusov, Sergei A.; Lyashenko, Artem Yu.; Ivanov, Kirill I.; Moiseev, Alexei V.; Rastegaev, Denis A.; Dyachenko, Vladimir V.; Balega, Yuri Yu.; Baştürk, Özgür; Özavcı, Ibrahim; Puchalski, Damian; Marchini, Alessandro; Naves, Ramon; Shadick, Stan; Bretton, Marc

    2016-10-01

    We present the first results of our search for transiting exoplanet candidates as part of the Kourovka Planet Search (KPS) project. The primary objective of the project is to search for new hot Jupiters which transit their host stars, mainly in the Galactic plane, in the Rc magnitude range of 11-14 mag. Our observations were performed with the telescope of the MASTER robotic network, installed at the Kourovka astronomical observatory of the Ural Federal University (Russia), and the Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph, installed at the private Acton Sky Portal Observatory (USA). As test observations, we observed three celestial fields of size 2 × 2 deg2 during the period from 2012 to 2015. As a result, we discovered four transiting exoplanet candidates among the 39 000 stars of the input catalogue. In this paper, we provide the description of the project and analyse additional photometric, spectral, and speckle interferometric observations of the discovered transiting exoplanet candidates. Three of the four transiting exoplanet candidates are most likely astrophysical false positives, while the nature of the fourth (most promising) candidate remains to be ascertained. Also, we propose an alternative observing strategy that could increase the project's exoplanet haul.

  2. Spitzer Meets K2: Spitzer Studies of Candidate Exoplanets Identified by K2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werner, Michael W.; Spitzer/K2 Study Team

    2016-01-01

    We are in the midst of a ~450 hr program of Spitzer photometry of candidate transiting planets orbiting M dwarf stars, identified in the K2 fields. Whereas the Kepler prime mission eschewed M stars, they have become a major focus of the community-driven target selection for K2. M stars are the most common stars in the galaxy, and planets orbiting M stars can be very attractive candidates for transit and eclipse atmospheric studies, including studies aimed at exploring potentially habitable exoplanets. We will review and show the results of the observations planned and executed to date, which total 21 transits of 16 planets orbiting 13 stars. Our results greatly improve on the characterization of the exoplanets and their orbits over what is possible from the K2 data alone. In addition, the improved ephemerides we generate will facilitate studies of interesting K2 targets from JWST. __________________________________________This work is based in part on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech.

  3. Search for light curve modulations among Kepler candidates. Three very low-mass transiting companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lillo-Box, J.; Ribas, A.; Barrado, D.; Merín, B.; Bouy, H.

    2016-07-01

    Context. Light curve modulations in the sample of Kepler planet candidates allows the disentangling of the nature of the transiting object by photometrically measuring its mass. This is possible by detecting the effects of the gravitational pull of the companion (ellipsoidal modulations) and in some cases, the photometric imprints of the Doppler effect when observing in a broad band (Doppler beaming). Aims: We aim to photometrically unveil the nature of some transiting objects showing clear light curve modulations in the phase-folded Kepler light curve. Methods: We selected a subsample among the large crop of Kepler objects of interest (KOIs) based on their chances to show detectable light curve modulations, i.e., close (a< 12 R⋆) and large (in terms of radius, according to their transit signal) candidates. We modeled their phase-folded light curves with consistent equations for the three effects, namely, reflection, ellipsoidal and beaming (known as REB modulations). Results: We provide detailed general equations for the fit of the REB modulations for the case of eccentric orbits. These equations are accurate to the photometric precisions achievable by current and forthcoming instruments and space missions. By using this mathematical apparatus, we find three close-in very low-mass companions (two of them in the brown dwarf mass domain) orbiting main-sequence stars (KOI-554, KOI-1074, and KOI-3728), and reject the planetary nature of the transiting objects (thus classifying them as false positives). In contrast, the detection of the REB modulations and transit/eclipse signal allows the measurement of their mass and radius that can provide important constraints for modeling their interiors since just a few cases of low-mass eclipsing binaries are known. Additionally, these new systems can help to constrain the similarities in the formation process of the more massive and close-in planets (hot Jupiters), brown dwarfs, and very low-mass companions.

  4. Characterization of Exoplanet Atmospheres and Kepler Planet Candidates with Multi-Color Photometry from the Gran Telescopio Canarias

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colon, Knicole; Ford, E. B.

    2012-01-01

    With over 180 confirmed transiting exoplanets and NASA's Kepler mission's recent discovery of over 1200 transiting exoplanet candidates, we can conduct detailed investigations into the (i) properties of exoplanet atmospheres and (ii) false positive rates for planet search surveys. To aid these investigations, we developed a novel technique of using the Optical System for Imaging and low Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy (OSIRIS) installed on the 10.4-meter Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) to acquire near-simultaneous multi-color photometry of (i) HD 80606b in bandpasses around the potassium (K I) absorption feature, (ii) GJ 1214b in bandpasses around a possible methane absorption feature and (iii) several Kepler planet candidates. For HD 80606b, we measure a significant color change during transit between wavelengths that probe the K I line core and the K I wing, equivalent to a 4.2% change in the apparent planetary radius. We hypothesize that the excess absorption may be due to K I in a high-speed wind being driven from the exoplanet's exosphere. This is one of the first detections of K I in an exoplanet atmosphere. For GJ 1214b, we compare the transit depths measured "on” and "off” a possible methane absorption feature and use our results to help resolve conflicting results from other studies regarding the composition of this super-Earth-size planet's atmosphere. For Kepler candidates, we use the color change during transit to reject candidates that are false positives (e.g., a blend with an eclipsing binary either in the background/foreground or bound to the target star). We target small planets (<6 Earth radii) with short orbital periods (<6 days), since eclipsing binaries can mimic planets in this regime. Our results include identification of two false positives and test recent predictions of the false positive rates for the Kepler sample. This research demonstrates the value of the GTC for exoplanet follow-up.

  5. TWO NEARBY SUB-EARTH-SIZED EXOPLANET CANDIDATES IN THE GJ 436 SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Stevenson, Kevin B.; Harrington, Joseph; Lust, Nate B.; Blecic, Jasmina; Hardy, Ryan A.; Cubillos, Patricio; Campo, Christopher J.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Montagnier, Guillaume; Moses, Julianne I.; Visscher, Channon

    2012-08-10

    We report the detection of UCF-1.01, a strong exoplanet candidate with a radius 0.66 {+-} 0.04 times that of Earth (R{sub Circled-Plus }). This sub-Earth-sized planet transits the nearby M-dwarf star GJ 436 with a period of 1.365862 {+-} 8 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -6} days. We also report evidence of a 0.65 {+-} 0.06 R{sub Circled-Plus} exoplanet candidate (labeled UCF-1.02) orbiting the same star with an undetermined period. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, we measure the dimming of light as the planets pass in front of their parent star to assess their sizes and orbital parameters. If confirmed today, UCF-1.01 and UCF-1.02 would be designated GJ 436c and GJ 436d, respectively, and would be part of the first multiple-transiting-planet system outside of the Kepler field. Assuming Earth-like densities of 5.515 g cm{sup -3}, we predict both candidates to have similar masses ({approx}0.28 Earth-masses, M{sub Circled-Plus }, 2.6 Mars-masses) and surface gravities of {approx}0.65 g (where g is the gravity on Earth). UCF-1.01's equilibrium temperature (T{sub eq}, where emitted and absorbed radiation balance for an equivalent blackbody) is 860 K, making the planet unlikely to harbor life as on Earth. Its weak gravitational field and close proximity to its host star imply that UCF-1.01 is unlikely to have retained its original atmosphere; however, a transient atmosphere is possible if recent impacts or tidal heating were to supply volatiles to the surface. We also present additional observations of GJ 436b during secondary eclipse. The 3.6 {mu}m light curve shows indications of stellar activity, making a reliable secondary eclipse measurement impossible. A second non-detection at 4.5 {mu}m supports our previous work in which we find a methane-deficient and carbon monoxide-rich dayside atmosphere.

  6. Presenting new exoplanet candidates for the CoRoT chromatic light curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boufleur, Rodrigo; Emilio, Marcelo; Andrade, Laerte; Janot-Pacheco, Eduardo; De La Reza, Ramiro

    2015-08-01

    One of the most promising topics of modern Astronomy is the discovery and characterization of extrasolar planets due to its importance for the comprehension of planetary formation and evolution. Missions like MOST (Microvariability and Oscillations of Stars Telescope) (Walker et al., 2003) and especially the satellites dedicated to the search for exoplanets CoRoT (Convection, Rotation and planetary Transits) (Baglin et al., 1998) and Kepler (Borucki et al., 2003) produced a great amount of data and together account for hundreds of new discoveries. An important source of error in the search for planets with light curves obtained from space observatories are the displacements occuring in the data due to external causes. This artificial charge generation phenomenon associated with the data is mainly caused by the impact of high energy particles onto the CCD (Pinheiro da Silva et al. 2008), although other sources of error, not as well known also need to be taken into account. So, an effective analysis of the light curves depends a lot on the mechanisms employed to deal with these phenomena. To perform our research, we developed and applied a different method to fix the light curves, the CDAM (Corot Detrend Algorithm Modified), inspired by the work of Mislis et al. (2012). The paradigms were obtained using the BLS method (Kovács et al., 2002). After a semiautomatic pre-analysis associated with a visual inspection of the planetary transits signatures, we obtained dozens of exoplanet candidates in very good agreement with the literature and also new unpublished cases. We present the study results and characterization of the new cases for the chromatic channel public light curves of the CoRoT satellite.

  7. Using Kepler Candidates to Examine the Properties of Habitable Zone Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Arthur D.; Kane, Stephen R.

    2016-07-01

    An analysis of the currently known exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) of their host stars is of interest both in the wake of the NASA Kepler mission and with prospects for expanding the known planet population through future ground- and space-based projects. In this paper, we compare the empirical distributions of the properties of stellar systems with transiting planets to those with transiting HZ planets. This comparison includes two categories: confirmed/validated transiting planet systems, and Kepler planet and candidate planet systems. These two categories allow us to present quantitative analyses on both a conservative data set of known planets and a more optimistic and numerous sample of Kepler candidates. Both are subject to similar instrumental and detection biases, and are vetted against false positive detections. We examine whether the HZ distributions vary from the overall distributions in the Kepler sample with respect to planetary radius as well as stellar mass, effective temperature, and metallicity. We find that while the evidence is strongest in suggesting a difference between the size distributions of planets in the HZ and the overall size distribution, none of the statistical results provide strong empirical evidence for HZ planets or HZ planet-hosting stars being significantly different from the full Kepler sample with respect to these properties.

  8. A candidate infrared companion in the pre-main sequence multiple system V773 Tau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duchene, G.; Ghez, A. M.; McCabe, C.

    2001-12-01

    We present new near-infrared (1.6 and 2.2 micron) adaptive optics images with the 10m-Keck II telescope of the low-mass pre-main sequence multiple system V773 Tau. In addition to the already known unresolved double-lined spectroscopic binary and its 83 milliarcsec companion, our images reveal a fourth star located only 0.21'' (projected distance: 30 AU) away from the brightest component. This object appears to be much redder than the other stars in the system. We also obtained a medium-resolution (R=3500) long-slit spectrum of this object which covers the 2.0-2.4 micron wavelength range. The spectrum of this dim fourth component in the system shows no photospheric feature but has a small Brγ emission line (equivalent width of about 0.5Å). If this object is not an extincted background giant, which the hydrogen emission line seems to exclude, it is very reminiscent of a small class of objects known as "infrared companions" to T Tauri stars. The tight visual binary has been followed over the last years through speckle interferometry technique, and these data indicate a strange behaviour with a large "jump" in position angle. This may reveal some strong photometric variability in the candidate IRC, which would reinforce its status. We also emphasize that such a quadruple system, with four stars located within 30 AU or so, is extremely rare among main sequence solar-type objects while many T Tauri binaries in Taurus turned out to have additionalcompanions when observed with higher resolution and/or sensitivity. This may indicate that this region is all but typical of star formation in the Galaxy.

  9. Robust high-contrast companion detection from interferometric observations. The CANDID algorithm and an application to six binary Cepheids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallenne, A.; Mérand, A.; Kervella, P.; Monnier, J. D.; Schaefer, G. H.; Baron, F.; Breitfelder, J.; Le Bouquin, J. B.; Roettenbacher, R. M.; Gieren, W.; Pietrzyński, G.; McAlister, H.; ten Brummelaar, T.; Sturmann, J.; Sturmann, L.; Turner, N.; Ridgway, S.; Kraus, S.

    2015-07-01

    Context. Long-baseline interferometry is an important technique to spatially resolve binary or multiple systems in close orbits. By combining several telescopes together and spectrally dispersing the light, it is possible to detect faint components around bright stars in a few hours of observations. Aims: We provide a rigorous and detailed method to search for high-contrast companions around stars, determine the detection level, and estimate the dynamic range from interferometric observations. Methods: We developed the code CANDID (Companion Analysis and Non-Detection in Interferometric Data), a set of Python tools that allows us to search systematically for point-source, high-contrast companions and estimate the detection limit using all interferometric observables, i.e., the squared visibilities, closure phases and bispectrum amplitudes. The search procedure is made on a N × N grid of fit, whose minimum needed resolution is estimated a posteriori. It includes a tool to estimate the detection level of the companion in the number of sigmas. The code CANDID also incorporates a robust method to set a 3σ detection limit on the flux ratio, which is based on an analytical injection of a fake companion at each point in the grid. Our injection method also allows us to analytically remove a detected component to 1) search for a second companion; and 2) set an unbiased detection limit. Results: We used CANDID to search for the companions around the binary Cepheids V1334 Cyg, AX Cir, RT Aur, AW Per, SU Cas, and T Vul. First, we showed that our previous discoveries of the components orbiting V1334 Cyg and AX Cir were detected at >25σ and >13σ, respectively. The astrometric positions and flux ratios provided by CANDID for these two stars are in good agreement with our previously published values. The companion around AW Per is detected at more than 15σ with a flux ratio of f = 1.22 ± 0.30%, and it is located at ρ = 32.16 ± 0.29 mas and PA = 67.1 ± 0.3°. We made a

  10. A PSF-based approach to Kepler/K2 data - II. Exoplanet candidates in Praesepe (M 44)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Libralato, M.; Nardiello, D.; Bedin, L. R.; Borsato, L.; Granata, V.; Malavolta, L.; Piotto, G.; Ochner, P.; Cunial, A.; Nascimbeni, V.

    2016-12-01

    In this work, we keep pushing K2 data to a high photometric precision, close to that of the Kepler main mission, using a point-spread function (PSF)-based, neighbour-subtraction technique, which also overcome the dilution effects in crowded environments. We analyse the open cluster M 44 (NGC 2632), observed during the K2 Campaign 5, and extract light curves of stars imaged on module 14, where most of the cluster lies. We present two candidate exoplanets hosted by cluster members and five by field stars. As a by-product of our investigation, we find 1680 eclipsing binaries and variable stars, 1071 of which are new discoveries. Among them, we report the presence of a heartbeat binary star. Together with this work, we release to the community a catalogue with the variable stars and the candidate exoplanets found, as well as all our raw and detrended light curves.

  11. DIRECT IMAGING CONFIRMATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF A DUST-ENSHROUDED CANDIDATE EXOPLANET ORBITING FOMALHAUT

    SciTech Connect

    Currie, Thayne; Debes, John; Rodigas, Timothy J.; Burrows, Adam; Itoh, Yoichi; Fukagawa, Misato; Kenyon, Scott J.; Kuchner, Marc; Matsumura, Soko

    2012-12-01

    We present Subaru/IRCS J-band data for Fomalhaut and a (re)reduction of archival 2004-2006 HST/ACS data first presented by Kalas et al. We confirm the existence of a candidate exoplanet, Fomalhaut b, in both the 2004 and 2006 F606W data sets at a high signal-to-noise ratio. Additionally, we confirm the detection at F814W and present a new detection in F435W. Fomalhaut b's space motion may be consistent with it being in an apsidally aligned, non-debris ring-crossing orbit, although new astrometry is required for firmer conclusions. We cannot confirm that Fomalhaut b exhibits 0.7-0.8 mag variability cited as evidence for planet accretion or a semi-transient dust cloud. The new, combined optical spectral energy distribution and IR upper limits confirm that emission identifying Fomalhaut b originates from starlight scattered by small dust, but this dust is most likely associated with a massive body. The Subaru and IRAC/4.5 {mu}m upper limits imply M < 2 M{sub J} , still consistent with the range of Fomalhaut b masses needed to sculpt the disk. Fomalhaut b is very plausibly 'a planet identified from direct imaging' even if current images of it do not, strictly speaking, show thermal emission from a directly imaged planet.

  12. Exoplanets Galore!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-05-01

    : 800 x 483 pix - 184k] Caption : A representation of the sizes and shapes of the orbits of the eight new planetary and brown-dwarf candidates. The colours indicate the deduced minimum masses: about one Saturn mass or less (red); between 1 and 3 Jupiter masses (green); above 10 Jupiter masses (blue). The dashed line indicates the size of the Earth's orbit (radius 150 million km). The sizes and shapes of the orbits of the eight new planets and brown-dwarf candidates are illustrated in Photo 12/00 . More details about the individual objects are given below. A sub-saturnian planet in orbit around HD 168746 HD 168746 is a quiescent solar-like star of type G5 in the constellation Scutum (The Shield). It is slightly less massive than the Sun (0.92 solar mass) and is located at a distance of about 140 light-years. The visual magnitude is 7.9, i.e. about six times too faint to be seen with the unaided eye. The Swiss team found a new planet that orbits this star every 6.4 days, a fairly short period. The orbit is circular and the deduced minimum mass of the planet is only 80% of the mass of planet Saturn. This is only the third exoplanet detected so far with a possible sub-saturnian mass. Two planets slightly more massive than Saturn around HD 83443 and HD 108147 The planetary candidates detected around HD 83443 (visual magnitude 8.2; in the constellation Vela - the Sail) and HD 108147 (7.0 mag; Crux - the Cross) also have very low minimum masses, 0.35 and 0.34 times the mass of planet Jupiter, or 1.17 and 1.15 times that of Saturn, respectively. The companion of HD 83443 is particularly remarkable, not only by virtue of its low mass - it is also the exoplanet so far detected with the shortest period (2.986 days) and the smallest distance to the central star, only 5.7 million km (0.038 AU), i.e., 26 times smaller than the Sun-Earth distance. HD 83443 is of type K0V, it is at a distance of 141 light-years and is somewhat less massive than our Sun (0.8 solar mass). Most

  13. The Robo-AO KOI Survey: Laser Adaptive Optics Imaging of Every Kepler Exoplanet Candidate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegler, Carl; Law, Nicholas M.; Baranec, Christoph; Morton, Tim; Riddle, Reed L.

    2016-01-01

    The Robo-AO Kepler Planetary Candidate Survey is observing every Kepler planet candidate host star (KOI) with laser adaptive optics imaging to hunt for blended nearby stars which may be physically associated companions. With the unparalleled efficiency provided by the first fully robotic adaptive optics system, we perform the critical search for nearby stars (0.15" to 4.0" separation with contrasts up to 6 magnitudes) that pollute the observed planetary transit signal, contributing to inaccurate planetary characteristics or astrophysical false positives. We present approximately 3300 high resolution observations of Kepler planetary hosts from 2012-2015, with ~500 observed nearby stars. We measure an overall nearby star probability rate of 16.2±0.8%. With this large dataset, we are uniquely able to explore broad correlations between multiple star systems and the properties of the planets which they host. We then use these clues for insight into the formation and evolution of these exotic systems. Several KOIs of particular interest will be discussed, including possible quadruple star systems hosting planets and updated properties for possible rocky planets orbiting in the habitable zone.

  14. The Robo-AO KOI survey: laser adaptive optics imaging of every Kepler exoplanet candidate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegler, Carl; Law, Nicholas M.; Baranec, Christoph; Morton, Tim; Riddle, Reed; Atkinson, Dani; Nofi, Larissa

    2016-07-01

    The Robo-AO Kepler Planetary Candidate Survey is observing every Kepler planet candidate host star (KOI) with laser adaptive optics imaging to hunt for blended nearby stars which may be physically associated companions. With the unparalleled efficiency provided by the first fully robotic adaptive optics system, we perform the critical search for nearby stars (0.15" to 4.0" separation with contrasts up to 6 magnitudes) that dilute the observed planetary transit signal, contributing to inaccurate planetary characteristics or astrophysical false positives. We present 3313 high resolution observations of Kepler planetary hosts from 2012-2015, discovering 479 nearby stars. We measure an overall nearby star probability rate of 14.5+/-0.8%. With this large data set, we are uniquely able to explore broad correlations between multiple star systems and the properties of the planets which they host, providing insight into the formation and evolution of planetary systems in our galaxy. Several KOIs of particular interest will be discussed, including possible quadruple star systems hosting planets and updated properties for possible rocky planets orbiting with in their star's habitable zone.

  15. AN ALMA DISK MASS FOR THE CANDIDATE PROTOPLANETARY COMPANION TO FW TAU

    SciTech Connect

    Kraus, Adam L.; Andrews, Sean M.; Bowler, Brendan P.; Herczeg, Gregory; Ireland, Michael J.; Liu, Michael C.; Metchev, Stanimir; Cruz, Kelle L.

    2015-01-01

    We present ALMA observations of the FW Tau system, a close binary pair of M5 stars with a wide-orbit (300 AU projected separation) substellar companion. The companion is extremely faint and red in the optical and near-infrared, but boasts a weak far-infrared excess and optical/near-infrared emission lines indicative of a primordial accretion disk of gas and dust. The component-resolved 1.3 mm continuum emission is found to be associated only with the companion, with a flux (1.78 ± 0.03 mJy) that indicates a dust mass of 1-2 M {sub ⊕}. While this mass reservoir is insufficient to form a giant planet, it is more than sufficient to produce an analog of the Kepler-42 exoplanetary system or the Galilean satellites. The mass and geometry of the disk-bearing FW Tau companion remains unclear. Near-infrared spectroscopy shows deep water bands that indicate a spectral type later than M5, but substantial veiling prevents a more accurate determination of the effective temperature (and hence mass). Both a disk-bearing ''planetary-mass'' companion seen in direct light or a brown dwarf tertiary viewed in light scattered by an edge-on disk or envelope remain possibilities.

  16. Candidate Very-Low-Mass Companions to Nearby Stars Found in the WISE Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mennen, Anne; Dutcher, D.; Lepine, S.; Faherty, J.

    2012-01-01

    We report the identification in the Wide-Field Survey Explorer (WISE) preliminary release of 36 probable very-low-mass companions to nearby stars from the SUPERBLINK proper motion catalogue. We examined all WISE sources within one arcminute of a subset of 156,000 SUPERBLINK stars with proper motions between 0.040 and 0.015 seconds of arc per year, photometric distances within 100 parsecs, and positions at least seven degrees from the galactic plane. Using proper motions calculated by comparing the WISE positions of the sources to those of their counterparts in the 2MASS Catalogue, we identified all WISE sources sharing a common proper motion with the SUPERBLINK star. We eliminated all sources detected in the Palomar Sky Survey blue plates, keeping only those red enough to be low-mass or brown dwarf companions. We used WISE and 2MASS colors to select only objects consistent with being M, L, or T dwarfs, leaving only 36 likely companions. Based on their color and assumed distances, we estimate the 36 low-mass companions to be either late M or early L dwarfs. Follow-up spectroscopic observations will be required for confirmation and formal spectral classification of the companions. We acknowledge the American Museum of Natural History and the National Science Foundation for their support.

  17. DISCOVERY OF A COMPANION CANDIDATE IN THE HD 169142 TRANSITION DISK AND THE POSSIBILITY OF MULTIPLE PLANET FORMATION

    SciTech Connect

    Reggiani, Maddalena; Quanz, Sascha P.; Meyer, Michael R.; Amara, Adam; Avenhaus, Henning; Meru, Farzana; Pueyo, Laurent; Wolff, Schuyler; Absil, Olivier; Anglada, Guillem; Osorio, Mayra; Gonzalez, Carlos Carrasco; Graham, James; Torrelles, Jose-Maria

    2014-09-01

    We present L'- and J-band high-contrast observations of HD 169142, obtained with the Very Large Telescope/NACO AGPM vector vortex coronagraph and the Gemini Planet Imager, respectively. A source located at 0.''156 ± 0.''032 north of the host star (P.A. = 7.°4 ± 11.°3) appears in the final reduced L' image. At the distance of the star (∼145 pc), this angular separation corresponds to a physical separation of 22.7 ± 4.7 AU, locating the source within the recently resolved inner cavity of the transition disk. The source has a brightness of L' = 12.2 ± 0.5 mag, whereas it is not detected in the J band (J >13.8 mag). If its L' brightness arose solely from the photosphere of a companion and given the J – L' color constraints, it would correspond to a 28-32 M {sub Jupiter} object at the age of the star, according to the COND models. Ongoing accretion activity of the star suggests, however, that gas is left in the inner disk cavity from which the companion could also be accreting. In this case, the object could be lower in mass and its luminosity enhanced by the accretion process and by a circumplanetary disk. A lower-mass object is more consistent with the observed cavity width. Finally, the observations enable us to place an upper limit on the L'-band flux of a second companion candidate orbiting in the disk annular gap at ∼50 AU, as suggested by millimeter observations. If the second companion is also confirmed, HD 169142 might be forming a planetary system, with at least two companions opening gaps and possibly interacting with each other.

  18. Know the Star, Know the Planet. III. Discovery of the Late-Type Companions to Two Exoplanet Host Stars

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-03-04

    separations to compute orbital periods of the new stellar companions, HD 2638 has a period of 130 yr and 30 Ari B has a period of 80 yr. Previous...be roughly 0.5 solar mass stars. Key words: binaries: visual – instrumentation: adaptive optics – stars: individual (HD 2638, 30 Ari B) – stars: solar ... array of architectures. With this variety has come an increasing number of models and theories to explain these systems. It has also been realized that

  19. A lucky imaging multiplicity study of exoplanet host stars - II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ginski, C.; Mugrauer, M.; Seeliger, M.; Buder, S.; Errmann, R.; Avenhaus, H.; Mouillet, D.; Maire, A.-L.; Raetz, S.

    2016-04-01

    The vast majority of extrasolar planets are detected by indirect detection methods such as transit monitoring and radial velocity measurements. While these methods are very successful in detecting short-periodic planets, they are mostly blind to wide sub-stellar or even stellar companions on long orbits. In our study, we present high-resolution imaging observations of 60 exoplanet hosts carried out with the lucky imaging instrument AstraLux at the Calar Alto 2.2 m telescope as well as with the new Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE) high-resolution adaptive optics imager at the ESO/VLT in the case of a known companion of specific interest. Our goal is to study the influence of stellar multiplicity on the planet formation process. We detected and confirmed four previously unknown stellar companions to the exoplanet hosts HD 197037, HD 217786, Kepler-21 and Kepler-68. In addition, we detected 11 new low-mass stellar companion candidates which must still be confirmed as bound companions. We also provide new astrometric and photometric data points for the recently discovered very close binary systems WASP-76 and HD 2638. Furthermore, we show for the first time that the previously detected stellar companion to the HD 185269 system is a very low mass binary. Finally, we provide precise constraints on additional companions for all observed stars in our sample.

  20. The multiplicity of exoplanet host stars. Spectroscopic confirmation of the companions GJ 3021 B and HD 27442 B, one new planet host triple-star system, and global statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugrauer, M.; Neuhäuser, R.; Mazeh, T.

    2007-07-01

    Aims:We present new results from our ongoing multiplicity study of exoplanet host stars and present a list of 29 confirmed planet host multiple-star systems. Furthermore, we discuss the properties of these stellar systems and compare the properties of exoplanets detected in these systems with those of planets orbiting single stars. Methods: We used direct imaging to search for wide stellar and substellar companions of exoplanet host stars. With infrared and/or optical spectroscopy, we determined the spectral properties of the newly-found co-moving companions. Results: We obtained infrared H- and K-band spectra of the co-moving companion GJ 3021 B. The infrared spectra and the apparent H-band photometry of the companion is consistent with an M3-M5 dwarf at the distance of the exoplanet host star. HD 40979 AB is a wide planet host stellar system, with a separation of ~ 6400 AU. The companion to the exoplanet host star turned out to be a close stellar pair with a projected separation of ~130 AU, hence, this system is a new member of those rare planet host triple-star systems of which only three other systems are presently known. HD 27442 AB is a wide binary system listed in the Washington Double Star Catalogue, whose common proper motion was recently confirmed. This system is composed of the subgiant HD 27442 A hosting the exoplanet, and its faint companion HD 27442 B. The visible and infrared J-, H-, and K_S-band photometry of HD 27442 B at the distance of the primary star shows that the companion is probably a white dwarf. Our multi-epochs SofI imaging observations confirm this result and even refine the suggested physical characteristics of HD 27442 B. This companion should be a relatively young, hot white dwarf with an effective temperature of ~14 400 K, and cooling age of ~220 Myr. Finally, we could unambiguously confirm the white dwarf nature of HD 27442 B with follow-up optical and infrared spectroscopy. The spectra of the companion show Hydrogen absorption

  1. SPLAT: Using Spectral Indices to Identify and Characterize Ultracool Stars, Brown Dwarfs and Exoplanets in Deep Surveys and as Companions to Nearby Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aganze, Christian; Burgasser, Adam J.; Martin, Eduardo; Konopacky, Quinn; Masters, Daniel C.

    2016-06-01

    The majority of ultracool dwarf stars and brown dwarfs currently known were identified in wide-field red optical and infrared surveys, enabling measures of the local, typically isolated, population in a relatively shallow (<100 pc radius) volume. Constraining the properties of the wider Galactic population (scale height, radial distribution, Population II sources), and close brown dwarf and exoplanet companions to nearby stars, requires specialized instrumentation, such as high-contrast, coronagraphic spectrometers (e.g., Gemini/GPI, VLT/Sphere, Project 1640); and deep spectral surveys (e.g., HST/WFC3 parallel fields, Euclid). We present a set of quantitative methodologies to identify and robustly characterize sources for these specific populations, based on templates and tools developed as part of the SpeX Prism Library Analysis Toolkit. In particular, we define and characterize specifically-tuned sets spectral indices that optimize selection of cool dwarfs and distinguish rare populations (subdwarfs, young planetary-mass objects) based on low-resolution, limited-wavelength-coverage spectral data; and present a template-matching classification method for these instruments. We apply these techniques to HST/WFC3 parallel fields data in the WISPS and HST-3D programs, where our spectral index set allows high completeness and low contamination for searches of late M, L and T dwarfs to distances out to ~3 kpc.The material presented here is based on work supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. NNX15AI75G.

  2. Confirmation and Characterization of Kepler Mission Exoplanets: The Era of Rock and Ice Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knutson, Heather; Charbonneau, D.

    2009-05-01

    In the past 4 years, the combination of ground-based transit surveys and the remarkable stability of the Spitzer Space Telescope permitted the direct investigation of the atmospheres of one specific class of exoplanet, namely the Hot Jupiters. The NASA Kepler mission (scheduled for launch early this year) will have the ability to discover dozens of transiting exoplanets that are not currently detectable from the ground, including large numbers of transiting hot Neptune and hot Super-Earth exoplanets, as well as cooler Jupiters. Our Exploration Science program will measure the two-color planetary emission for 20 representative members of these previously inaccessible exoplanets, providing the first opportunity to directly test theoretical models of exoplanetary atmospheres of varying compositions (notably Super-Earths and Neptunes) and under differing levels of irradiation (cooler Jovian companions). The same data will permit an estimate of the orbital eccentricities, thus providing a test of models of the orbital migration and tidal dissipation for these various types of exoplanets. We will also use Spitzer to follow up Kepler-identified candidate terrestrial exoplanets to prove that these signals are indeed planetary in origin. By gathering single color time series spanning times of primary transit, we will exclude a significant source of astrophysical false positives (resulting from blends of triple star systems containing an eclipsing binary) that can precisely mimic an exoplanetary signature in the Kepler data. These infrared data will provide a crucial confirmation of the planetary nature of the most exciting terrestrial-planet candidates.

  3. The Nature of the Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abt, Helmut A.

    2011-07-01

    We wonder whether the exoplanets discovered to date were formed in disk systems, like the Solar System, or like stellar and brown-dwarf companions to stars. We show for large samples that the stellar companions, brown-dwarf companions, and exoplanets have large eccentricities (greater than 0.1 in half of the cases) but in only one of the eight planets in the Solar System. Also the stellar, brown-dwarf, and exoplanets usually are close to the primaries, unlike in the Solar System. These suggest that the exoplanets discovered to date were formed like stellar and brown dwarf companions, probably by captures in three-body encounters, and not in disk systems. This is confirmed in that binaries among metal-poor stars have a peak period of 900 days, unlike the 20 days for metal-rich stars, so that explains why few of the exoplanets discovered in the past few years occur around metal-poor stars.

  4. Search for Exoplanets around Young Stellar Objects by Direct Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uyama, Taichi; Tamura, Motohide; Hashimoto, Jun; Kuzuhara, Masayuki

    2015-12-01

    SEEDS project, exploring exoplanets and protoplanetary disks with Subaru/HiCIAO, has observed about 500 stars by Direct Imaging from 2009 Dec to 2015 Apr. Among these targets we explore around Young Stellar Objects (YSOs; age ≦ 10Myr) which often have the protoplanetary disks where planets are being formed in order to detect young exoplanets and to understand the formation process. We analyzed 66 YSOs (about 100 data in total) with LOCI data reduction. We will report the results (companion candidates and detection limit) of our exploration.

  5. Low-mass spectroscopic binaries in the Hyades: a candidate brown dwarf companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, I. Neill; Mahoney, S.

    2000-08-01

    We have used the HIRES echelle spectrograph on the Keck I telescope to obtain high-resolution spectroscopy of 51 late-type M dwarfs in the Hyades cluster. Cross-correlating the calibrated data against spectra of white dwarfs allows us to determine heliocentric velocities with an accuracy of +/-0.3kms-1. 27 stars were observed at two epochs in 1997; two stars, RHy 42 and RHy 403, are confirmed spectroscopic binaries. RHy 42 is a double-lined, equal-mass system; RHy 403 is a single-lined, short-period binary, P~1.275d. RHy 403A has an absolute magnitude of MI=10.85, consistent with a mass of 0.15Msolar. The systemic mass function has a value M2sin(i)]3/(M1+M2)2 =0.0085, which, combined with the non-detection of a secondary peak in the cross-correlation function, implies 0.095>M2>0.07Msolar, and the strong possibility that the companion is the first Hyades brown dwarf to be identified. Unfortunately, the maximum expected angular separation in the system is only ~0.25mas. Five other low-mass Hyads are identified as possible spectroscopic binaries, based either on repeat observations or on a comparison between the observed radial velocity and the value expected for Hyades cluster members. Combined with HST imaging data, we infer a binary fraction between 23 and 30per cent. All of the stars are chromospherically active. RHy 281 was caught in mid-flare and, based on that detection, we estimate a flaring frequency of ~2.5per cent for low-mass Hyades stars. Nine stars have rotational velocities, vsin(i), exceeding 20kms-1, and most of the sample have detectable rotation. We examine the H&alpha emission characteristics of low-mass cluster members, and show that there is no evidence for a correlation with rotation.

  6. The EXOTIME Monitoring Program Discovers Substellar Companion Candidates around the Rapidly Pulsating Subdwarf B Stars V1636 Ori and DW Lyn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuh, S.; Silvotti, R.; Lutz, R.; Kim, S.-L.; Exotime Collaboration

    2014-04-01

    The EXOTIME monitoring program has discovered sub-stellar companion candidates around the rapidly pulsating subdwarf B stars V1636 Ori and DW Lyn using the timing method. Here we motivate our continuing search, and refer to descriptions of the photometric data collected, the data analysis and the characteristics of the O-C diagrams obtained. We also discuss our on-going efforts to consolidate the candidate discoveries with additional simulations and confirm them with independent methods.

  7. Exoplanet Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seager, Sara

    2013-05-01

    The search for exoplanets includes the promise to eventually find and identify habitable worlds. The thousands of known exoplanets and planet candidates are extremely diverse in terms of their masses or sizes, orbits, and host star type. The diversity extends to new kinds of planets, which are very common yet have no solar system counterparts. Even with the requirement that a planet’s surface temperature must be compatible with liquid water (because all life on Earth requires liquid water), a new emerging view is that planets very different from Earth may have the right conditions for life. The broadened possibilities will increase the future chances of discovering an inhabited world.

  8. Exoplanet habitability.

    PubMed

    Seager, Sara

    2013-05-03

    The search for exoplanets includes the promise to eventually find and identify habitable worlds. The thousands of known exoplanets and planet candidates are extremely diverse in terms of their masses or sizes, orbits, and host star type. The diversity extends to new kinds of planets, which are very common yet have no solar system counterparts. Even with the requirement that a planet's surface temperature must be compatible with liquid water (because all life on Earth requires liquid water), a new emerging view is that planets very different from Earth may have the right conditions for life. The broadened possibilities will increase the future chances of discovering an inhabited world.

  9. Very Low-mass Stellar and Substellar Companions to Solar-like Stars from MARVELS. VI. A Giant Planet and a Brown Dwarf Candidate in a Close Binary System HD 87646

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Bo; Ge, Jian; Wolszczan, Alex; Muterspaugh, Matthew W.; Lee, Brian; Henry, Gregory W.; Schneider, Donald P.; Martín, Eduardo L.; Niedzielski, Andrzej; Xie, Jiwei; Fleming, Scott W.; Thomas, Neil; Williamson, Michael; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Agol, Eric; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Nicolaci da Costa, Luiz; Jiang, Peng; Martinez Fiorenzano, A. F.; González Hernández, Jonay I.; Guo, Pengcheng; Grieves, Nolan; Li, Rui; Liu, Jane; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Mazeh, Tsevi; Nguyen, Duy Cuong; Paegert, Martin; Sithajan, Sirinrat; Stassun, Keivan; Thirupathi, Sivarani; van Eyken, Julian C.; Wan, Xiaoke; Wang, Ji; Wisniewski, John P.; Zhao, Bo; Zucker, Shay

    2016-11-01

    We report the detections of a giant planet (MARVELS-7b) and a brown dwarf (BD) candidate (MARVELS-7c) around the primary star in the close binary system, HD 87646. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first close binary system with more than one substellar circumprimary companion that has been discovered. The detection of this giant planet was accomplished using the first multi-object Doppler instrument (KeckET) at the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) telescope. Subsequent radial velocity observations using the Exoplanet Tracker at the Kitt Peak National Observatory, the High Resolution Spectrograph at the Hobby Eberley telescope, the “Classic” spectrograph at the Automatic Spectroscopic Telescope at the Fairborn Observatory, and MARVELS from SDSS-III confirmed this giant planet discovery and revealed the existence of a long-period BD in this binary. HD 87646 is a close binary with a separation of ˜22 au between the two stars, estimated using the Hipparcos catalog and our newly acquired AO image from PALAO on the 200 inch Hale Telescope at Palomar. The primary star in the binary, HD 87646A, has {T}{eff} = 5770 ± 80 K, log g = 4.1 ± 0.1, and [Fe/H] = -0.17 ± 0.08. The derived minimum masses of the two substellar companions of HD 87646A are 12.4 ± 0.7 {M}{Jup} and 57.0 ± 3.7 {M}{Jup}. The periods are 13.481 ± 0.001 days and 674 ± 4 days and the measured eccentricities are 0.05 ± 0.02 and 0.50 ± 0.02 respectively. Our dynamical simulations show that the system is stable if the binary orbit has a large semimajor axis and a low eccentricity, which can be verified with future astrometry observations.

  10. Validation and Characterization of K2 Exoplanet Candidates with NIR Transit Photometry from the 4m Mayall and 3.5m WIYN Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colón, Knicole D.; Barclay, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    We present new ground-based near-infrared (NIR) transit photometry of exoplanet candidates recently discovered by the NASA K2 mission. These observations support the confirmation and characterization of these newly discovered transiting exoplanets, many which are in the super-Earth to mini-Neptune size regime and orbit cool, nearby stars. We specifically used NEWFIRM on the 4m Mayall telescope and WHIRC on the 3.5m WIYN telescope, both located at Kitt Peak National Observatory, to observe several K2 exoplanet candidates in transit. To our knowledge, these facilities have not been tested for such high-precision differential transit photometry before. Follow-up transit photometry with the high spatial resolution NIR cameras installed on the Mayall and WIYN telescopes allows us to confirm the transit host, which is critical given the large pixel scale of the Kepler spacecraft. NIR transit photometry in particular allows us to verify that the transit is achromatic, after comparing the NIR transit depth to the transit depth measured in the optical from K2. Finding a different depth in different bandpasses indicates that the candidate is instead an eclipsing binary false positive. Furthermore, NIR transit photometry provides robust constraints on the measured planet radius, since stellar limb darkening is minimized in the NIR. Finally, the high-precision and high-cadence photometry we achieve allows us to refine the transit ephemeris, which is crucial for future follow-up efforts with other facilities like NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. The capabilities of these ground-based facilities therefore approach those of space telescopes, since we are able use these ground-based observatories to refine transit parameters and constrain properties for the exoplanets that K2 is discovering, all the way down to super-Earth-size planets.

  11. Confirmation and Characterization of Kepler Mission Exoplanets: The Era of Rock and Ice Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charbonneau, David; Borucki, William; Brown, Timothy; Deming, Drake; Ford, Eric; Fortney, Jonathan; Gilliland, Ronald; Knutson, Heather; Latham, David; Seager, Sara

    2008-12-01

    In the past 4 years, the combination of ground-based transit surveys and the remarkable stability of the Spitzer Space Telescope permitted the direct investigation of the atmospheres of one specific class of exoplanet, namely the Hot Jupiters. The power of the NASA Kepler Mission will be to discover dozens of transiting exoplanets that are not detectable from the ground either due to the shallow transit depth or the low transit frequency resulting from their longer orbital periods. Kepler will find large numbers of transiting hot Neptunes and hot SuperEarth exoplanets, as well as cooler Jupiters, each of which are nonetheless amenable to direct study of their infrared emission. We propose to use Spitzer to observe Kepler-detected exoplanets and candidates to pursue two goals. First, we will measure the two-color planetary emission for 20 representative members of these previously inaccessible cexoplanets. Such observations will permit the first opportunity to directly test theoretical models of exoplanetary atmospheres of varying compositions (notably SuperEarths and Neptunes) and under differing levels of irradiation (cooler Jovian companions). The same data will permit an estimate of the orbital eccentricities, thus providing a test of models of the orbital migration, and tidal dissipation for these various types of exoplanets. Second, we will use Spitzer to follow up Kepler-identified candidate terrestrial exoplanets to prove that these signals are indeed planetary in origin. By gathering single color time series spanning times of primary transit, we will exclude a significant source of astrophysical false positives (resulting from blends of triple stars systems containing an eclipsing binary) that will precisely mimic an exoplanetary signature in the Kepler data. These infrared data will provide a crucial step in confirming the planetary nature of many of the most exciting candidates, namely the planets with the smallest radii that are likely rocky in

  12. SOPHIE velocimetry of Kepler transit candidates. XVII. The physical properties of giant exoplanets within 400 days of period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santerne, A.; Moutou, C.; Tsantaki, M.; Bouchy, F.; Hébrard, G.; Adibekyan, V.; Almenara, J.-M.; Amard, L.; Barros, S. C. C.; Boisse, I.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bruno, G.; Courcol, B.; Deleuil, M.; Demangeon, O.; Díaz, R. F.; Guillot, T.; Havel, M.; Montagnier, G.; Rajpurohit, A. S.; Rey, J.; Santos, N. C.

    2016-03-01

    While giant extrasolar planets have been studied for more than two decades now, there are still some open questions as to their dominant formation and migration processes, as well as to their atmospheric evolution in different stellar environments. In this paper, we study a sample of giant transiting exoplanets detected by the Kepler telescope with orbital periods up to 400 days. We first defined a sample of 129 giant-planet candidates that we followed up with the SOPHIE spectrograph (OHP, France) in a 6-year radial velocity campaign. This allowed us to unveil the nature of these candidates and to measure a false-positive rate of 54.6 ± 6.5% for giant-planet candidates orbiting within 400 days of period. Based on a sample of confirmed or likely planets, we then derived the occurrence rates of giant planets in different ranges of orbital periods. The overall occurrence rate of giant planets within 400 days is 4.6 ± 0.6%. We recovered, for the first time in the Kepler data, the different populations of giant planets reported by radial velocity surveys. Comparing these rates with other yields, we find that the occurrence rate of giant planets is lower only for hot Jupiters but not for the longer-period planets. We also derive a first measurement of the occurrence rate of brown dwarfs in the brown-dwarf desert with a value of 0.29 ± 0.17%. Finally, we discuss the physical properties of the giant planets in our sample. We confirm that giant planets receiving moderate irradiation are not inflated, but we find that they are on average smaller than predicted by formation and evolution models. In this regime of low-irradiated giant planets, we find a possible correlation between their bulk density and the iron abundance of the host star, which needs more detections to be confirmed. Based on observations made with SOPHIE on the 1.93 m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France.RV data (Appendices C and D) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to

  13. A Discovery of a Candidate Companion to a Transiting System KOI-94: A Direct Imaging Study for a Possibility of a False Positive

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Takahashi, Yasuhiro; Narita, Norio; Hirano, Teruyuki; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Tamura, Motohide; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Hashimoto, Jun; Sato, Bun'ei; Abe, Lyu; Brandner, Wolfgang; Brandt, Timothy D.; Carson, Joseph C.; Currie, Thayne; Egner, Sebastian; Feldt, Markus; Goto, Miwa; Grady, Carol A.; Guyon, Olivier; Hayano, Yutaka; Hayashi, Masahiko; Hayashi, Saeko S.; Henning, Thomas; Hodapp, Klaus W.; McElwain, Michael W.

    2013-01-01

    We report a discovery of a companion candidate around one of Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs), KOI-94, and results of our quantitative investigation of the possibility that planetary candidates around KOI-94 are false positives. KOI-94 has a planetary system in which four planetary detections have been reported by Kepler, suggesting that this system is intriguing to study the dynamical evolutions of planets. However, while two of those detections (KOI-94.01 and 03) have been made robust by previous observations, the others (KOI-94.02 and 04) are marginal detections, for which future confirmations with various techniques are required. We have conducted high-contrast direct imaging observations with Subaru/HiCIAO in H band and detected a faint object located at a separation of approximately 0.6 sec from KOI-94. The object has a contrast of approximately 1 × 10(exp -3) in H band, and corresponds to an M type star on the assumption that the object is at the same distance of KOI-94. Based on our analysis, KOI-94.02 is likely to be a real planet because of its transit depth, while KOI-94.04 can be a false positive due to the companion candidate. The success in detecting the companion candidate suggests that high-contrast direct imaging observations are important keys to examine false positives of KOIs. On the other hand, our transit light curve reanalyses lead to a better period estimate of KOI-94.04 than that on the KOI catalogue and show that the planetary candidate has the same limb darkening parameter value as the other planetary candidates in the KOI-94 system, suggesting that KOI-94.04 is also a real planet in the system.

  14. Two Planetary Companions around the K7 Dwarf GJ 221: A Hot Super-Earth and a Candidate in the Sub-Saturn Desert Range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arriagada, Pamela; Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Butler, R. Paul; Crane, Jeffrey D.; Shectman, Stephen A.; Thompson, Ian; Wende, Sebastian; Minniti, Dante

    2013-07-01

    We report two low-mass companions orbiting the nearby K7 dwarf GJ 221 that have emerged from reanalyzing 4.4 yr of publicly available HARPS spectra complemented with 2 years of high-precision Doppler measurements with Magellan/PFS. The HARPS measurements alone contain the clear signal of a low-mass companion with a period of 125 days and a minimum mass of 53.2 M ⊕ (GJ 221b), falling in a mass range where very few planet candidates have been found (sub-Saturn desert). The addition of 17 PFS observations allows the confident detection of a second low-mass companion (6.5 M ⊕) in a hot orbit (3.87 day period, GJ 221c). Spectroscopic and photometric calibrations suggest that GJ 221 is slightly depleted ([Fe/H] ~ -0.1) compared to the Sun, so the presence of two low-mass companions in the system confirms the trend that slightly reduced stellar metallicity does not prevent the formation of planets in the super-Earth to sub-Saturn mass regime. Based on observations obtained with the Magellan Telescopes, operated by the Carnegie Institution, Harvard University, University of Michigan, University of Arizona, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  15. KNOW THE STAR, KNOW THE PLANET. I. ADAPTIVE OPTICS OF EXOPLANET HOST STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, Lewis C.; Turner, Nils H.; Ten Brummelaar, Theo A.; Mason, Brian D.; Hartkopf, William I. E-mail: nils@chara-array.org E-mail: bdm@usno.navy.mil

    2011-11-15

    The results of an adaptive optics survey of exoplanet host stars for stellar companions are presented. We used the Advanced Electro-Optical System telescope and its adaptive optics system to collect deep images of the stars in the I band. Sixty-two exoplanet host stars were observed and fifteen multiple star systems were resolved. Of these eight are known multiples, while seven are new candidate binaries. For all binaries, we measured the relative astrometry of the pair and the differential magnitude in the I band. We improved the orbits of HD 19994 and {tau} Boo. These observations will provide improved statistics on the duplicity of exoplanet host stars and provide an increased understanding of the dynamics of known binary star exoplanet hosts.

  16. The NASA Exoplanet Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akeson, Rachel L.; Christiansen, Jessie; Ciardi, David R.; Ramirez, Solange; Schlieder, Joshua; Van Eyken, Julian C.; NASA Exoplanet Archive Team

    2017-01-01

    The NASA Exoplanet Archive supports research and mission planning by the exoplanet community by operating a service providing confirmed and candidate planets, numerous project and contributed data sets and integrated analysis tools. We present the current data contents and functionality of the archive including: interactive tables of confirmed and candidate planetary and stellar properties; Kepler planet candidates, threshold-crossing events, data validation and occurrence rate products; light curves from Kepler, CoRoT, SuperWASP, KELT and other ground-based projects; and spectra and radial velocity data from the literature. Tools provided include a transit ephemeris predictor, light curve viewing utilities, a periodogram service and user-configurable interactive tables. The NASA Exoplanet Archive is funded by NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program.

  17. DIRECT IMAGING AND SPECTROSCOPY OF A CANDIDATE COMPANION BELOW/NEAR THE DEUTERIUM-BURNING LIMIT IN THE YOUNG BINARY STAR SYSTEM, ROXs 42B

    SciTech Connect

    Currie, Thayne; Daemgen, Sebastian; Jayawardhana, Ray; Debes, John; Lafreniere, David; Itoh, Yoichi; Ratzka, Thorsten; Correia, Serge

    2014-01-10

    We present near-infrared high-contrast imaging photometry and integral field spectroscopy of ROXs 42B, a binary M0 member of the 1-3 Myr old ρ Ophiuchus star-forming region, from data collected over 7 years. Each data set reveals a faint companion—ROXs 42Bb—located ∼1.''16 (r {sub proj} ≈ 150 AU) from the primaries at a position angle consistent with a point source identified earlier by Ratzka et al.. ROXs 42Bb's astrometry is inconsistent with a background star but consistent with a bound companion, possibly one with detected orbital motion. The most recent data set reveals a second candidate companion at ∼0.''5 of roughly equal brightness, though preliminary analysis indicates it is a background object. ROXs 42Bb's H and K{sub s} band photometry is similar to dusty/cloudy young, low-mass late M/early L dwarfs. K band VLT/SINFONI spectroscopy shows ROXs 42Bb to be a cool substellar object (M8-L0; T {sub eff} ≈ 1800-2600 K), not a background dwarf star, with a spectral shape indicative of young, low surface gravity planet-mass companions. We estimate ROXs 42Bb's mass to be 6-15 M{sub J} , either below the deuterium-burning limit and thus planet mass or straddling the deuterium-burning limit nominally separating planet-mass companions from other substellar objects. Given ROXs 42b's projected separation and mass with respect to the primaries, it may represent the lowest mass objects formed like binary stars or a class of planet-mass objects formed by protostellar disk fragmentation/disk instability, the latter slightly blurring the distinction between non-deuterium-burning planets like HR 8799 bcde and low-mass, deuterium-burning brown dwarfs.

  18. The NASA Exoplanet Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akeson, Rachel L.

    2015-11-01

    The NASA Exoplanet Archive is an online astronomical exoplanet and stellar catalog and data service that collates and cross-correlates astronomical data on exoplanets and their host stars and provides tools to work with these data. The Exoplanet Archive is dedicated to collecting and serving important public data sets involved in the search for and characterization of extrasolar planets and their host stars. The data include stellar parameters, exoplanet parameters and discovery/characterization data from the astronomical literature. The Archive also hosts mission and survey data, including Kepler pipeline data such as candidate lists and data validation products and ground-based surveys from SuperWASP and KELT. Tools provided for users to work with these data include a transit ephemeris predictor, light curve viewing utilities and a periodogram service.

  19. Dynamical Masses of Young M Dwarfs: Masses and Orbital Parameters of GJ 3305 AB, the Wide Binary Companion to the Imaged Exoplanet Host 51 Eri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montet, Benjamin T.; Bowler, Brendan P.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Deck, Katherine M.; Wang, Ji; Horch, Elliott P.; Liu, Michael C.; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Kraus, Adam L.; Charbonneau, David

    2015-11-01

    We combine new high resolution imaging and spectroscopy from Keck/NIRC2, Discovery Channel Telescope/DSSI, and Keck/HIRES with published astrometry and radial velocities to measure individual masses and orbital elements of the GJ 3305 AB system, a young (˜20 Myr) M+M binary (unresolved spectral type M0) member of the β Pictoris moving group comoving with the imaged exoplanet host 51 Eri. We measure a total system mass of 1.11 ± 0.04 {M}⊙ , a period of 29.03 ± 0.50 year, a semimajor axis of 9.78 ± 0.14 AU, and an eccentricity of 0.19 ± 0.02. The primary component has a dynamical mass of 0.67 ± 0.05 {M}⊙ and the secondary has a mass of 0.44 ± 0.05 {M}⊙ . The recently updated BHAC15 models are consistent with the masses of both stars to within 1.5σ . Given the observed masses the models predict an age of the GJ 3305 AB system of 37 ± 9 Myr. Based on the observed system architecture and our dynamical mass measurement, it is unlikely that the orbit of 51 Eri b has been significantly altered by the Kozai-Lidov mechanism. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.

  20. Synthesizing Exoplanet Demographics: A Single Population of Long-period Planetary Companions to M Dwarfs Consistent with Microlensing, Radial Velocity, and Direct Imaging Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clanton, Christian; Gaudi, B. Scott

    2016-03-01

    We present the first study to synthesize results from five different exoplanet surveys using three independent detection methods: microlensing, radial velocity, and direct imaging. The constraints derived herein represent the most comprehensive picture of the demographics of large-separation (≳2 AU) planets orbiting the most common stars in our Galaxy that has been constructed to date. We assume a simple, joint power-law planet distribution function of the form {d}2{N}{{pl}}/(d{log} {m}p d{log} a)={ A }{({m}p/{M}{{Sat}})}α {(a/2.5{{AU}})}β with an outer cutoff radius of the separation distribution function of aout. Generating populations of planets from these models and mapping them into the relevant observables for each survey, we use actual or estimated detection sensitivities to determine the expected observations for each survey. Comparing with the reported results, we derive constraints on the parameters \\{α ,β ,{ A },{a}{{out}}\\} that describe a single population of planets that is simultaneously consistent with the results of microlensing, radial velocity, and direct imaging surveys. We find median and 68% confindence intervals of α =-{0.86}-0.19+0.21 (-{0.85}-0.19+0.21), β ={1.1}-1.4+1.9 ({1.1}-1.3+1.9), { A }={0.21}-0.15+0.20 {{dex}}-2 ({0.21}-0.15+0.20 {{dex}}-2), and {a}{{out}}={10}-4.7+26 AU ({12}-6.2+50 AU) assuming “hot-start” (“cold-start”) planet evolutionary models. These values are consistent with all current knowledge of planets on orbits beyond ∼2 AU around single M dwarfs.

  1. The search for substellar companions to subdwarf B stars in connection with evolutionary aspects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutz, Ronny

    2011-09-01

    The formation and evolution of single hot subdwarf B stars is not entirely understood. Enhanced mass loss during the red giant phase is a prerequisite to explain the very existence of these stars, yet its cause is a matter of debate. One hypothesis predicts that substellar companions like brown dwarfs and exoplanets may be able to have a decisive influence on the formation and evolution of single subdwarf B stars. This dissertation investigates two pulsating subdwarf B stars with the goal to search for substellar companions and to directly measure the evolutionary timescales. The long-term multi-site photometric data were taken in the framework of the EXOTIME (EXOplanet search with the TIming MEthod) program and cover a baseline of several tens of months. The secular behaviour of several pulsations in each target is investigated by applying a timing method and constructing O-C (Observed minus Calculated) diagrams. The analysis results in the fundamental insight that both targets are in a phase of global expansion, that their pulsation periods increase on a timescale of several million years and that the two target stars have probably already undergone core Helium exhaustion. Furthermore, the O-C diagrams show evidence for the presence of substellar companions. The star HS0444+0458 has a brown dwarf companion candidate of roughly 31 Jupiter masses in an orbit of 0.27 astronomical units. An exoplanet candidate of 5.6 Jupiter masses is found to orbit its host star HS0702+6043 at a distance of 1.15 astronomical units. These detections provide a direct support for a formation channel of single subdwarf B stars that includes substellar companions as the mass loss trigger.

  2. Wide cool and ultracool companions to nearby stars from Pan-STARRS 1

    SciTech Connect

    Deacon, Niall R.; Liu, Michael C.; Magnier, Eugene A.; Aller, Kimberly M.; Best, William M. J.; Bowler, Brendan P.; Burgett, William S.; Chambers, Kenneth C.; Flewelling, H.; Kaiser, Nick; Kudritzki, Rolf-Peter; Morgan, Jeff S.; Tonry, John L.; Dupuy, Trent; Mann, Andrew W.; Redstone, Joshua A.; Draper, Peter W.; Metcalfe, Nigel; Hodapp, Klaus W.; Price, Paul A.; and others

    2014-09-10

    We present the discovery of 57 wide (>5'') separation, low-mass (stellar and substellar) companions to stars in the solar neighborhood identified from Pan-STARRS 1 (PS1) data and the spectral classification of 31 previously known companions. Our companions represent a selective subsample of promising candidates and span a range in spectral type of K7-L9 with the addition of one DA white dwarf. These were identified primarily from a dedicated common proper motion search around nearby stars, along with a few as serendipitous discoveries from our Pan-STARRS 1 brown dwarf search. Our discoveries include 23 new L dwarf companions and one known L dwarf not previously identified as a companion. The primary stars around which we searched for companions come from a list of bright stars with well-measured parallaxes and large proper motions from the Hipparcos catalog (8583 stars, mostly A-K dwarfs) and fainter stars from other proper motion catalogs (79170 stars, mostly M dwarfs). We examine the likelihood that our companions are chance alignments between unrelated stars and conclude that this is unlikely for the majority of the objects that we have followed-up spectroscopically. We also examine the entire population of ultracool (>M7) dwarf companions and conclude that while some are loosely bound, most are unlikely to be disrupted over the course of ∼10 Gyr. Our search increases the number of ultracool M dwarf companions wider than 300 AU by 88% and increases the number of L dwarf companions in the same separation range by 82%. Finally, we resolve our new L dwarf companion to HIP 6407 into a tight (0.''13, 7.4 AU) L1+T3 binary, making the system a hierarchical triple. Our search for these key benchmarks against which brown dwarf and exoplanet atmosphere models are tested has yielded the largest number of discoveries to date.

  3. Multiple rings in the transition disk and companion candidates around RX J1615.3-3255. High contrast imaging with VLT/SPHERE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Boer, J.; Salter, G.; Benisty, M.; Vigan, A.; Boccaletti, A.; Pinilla, P.; Ginski, C.; Juhasz, A.; Maire, A.-L.; Messina, S.; Desidera, S.; Cheetham, A.; Girard, J. H.; Wahhaj, Z.; Langlois, M.; Bonnefoy, M.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Buenzli, E.; Chauvin, G.; Dominik, C.; Feldt, M.; Gratton, R.; Hagelberg, J.; Isella, A.; Janson, M.; Keller, C. U.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Lannier, J.; Menard, F.; Mesa, D.; Mouillet, D.; Mugrauer, M.; Peretti, S.; Perrot, C.; Sissa, E.; Snik, F.; Vogt, N.; Zurlo, A.; SPHERE Consortium

    2016-11-01

    Context. The effects of a planet sculpting the disk from which it formed are most likely to be found in disks that are in transition between being classical protoplanetary and debris disks. Recent direct imaging of transition disks has revealed structures such as dust rings, gaps, and spiral arms, but an unambiguous link between these structures and sculpting planets is yet to be found. Aims: We aim to find signs of ongoing planet-disk interaction and study the distribution of small grains at the surface of the transition disk around RX J1615.3-3255 (RX J1615). Methods: We observed RX J1615 with VLT/SPHERE. From these observations, we obtained polarimetric imaging with ZIMPOL (R'-band) and IRDIS (J), and IRDIS (H2H3) dual-band imaging with simultaneous spatially resolved spectra with the IFS (YJ). Results: We image the disk for the first time in scattered light and detect two arcs, two rings, a gap and an inner disk with marginal evidence for an inner cavity. The shapes of the arcs suggest that they are probably segments of full rings. Ellipse fitting for the two rings and inner disk yield a disk inclination i = 47 ± 2° and find semi-major axes of 1.50 ± 0.01'' (278 au), 1.06 ± 0.01'' (196 au) and 0.30 ± 0.01'' (56 au), respectively. We determine the scattering surface height above the midplane, based on the projected ring center offsets. Nine point sources are detected between 2.1'' and 8.0'' separation and considered as companion candidates. With NACO data we recover four of the nine point sources, which we determine to be not co-moving, and therefore unbound to the system. Conclusions: We present the first detection of the transition disk of RX J1615 in scattered light. The height of the rings indicate limited flaring of the disk surface, which enables partial self-shadowing in the disk. The outermost arc either traces the bottom of the disk or it is another ring with semi-major axis ≳ 2.35'' (435 au). We explore both scenarios, extrapolating the complete

  4. The NASA Exoplanet Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, Solange; Akeson, R. L.; Ciardi, D.; Kane, S. R.; Plavchan, P.; von Braun, K.; NASA Exoplanet Archive Team

    2013-01-01

    The NASA Exoplanet Archive is an online service that compiles and correlates astronomical information on extra solar planets and their host stars. The data in the archive include exoplanet parameters (such as orbits, masses, and radii), associated data (such as published radial velocity curves, photometric light curves, images, and spectra), and stellar parameters (such as magnitudes, positions, and temperatures). All the archived data are linked to the original literature reference.The archive provides tools to work with these data, including interactive tables (with plotting capabilities), interactive light curve viewer, periodogram service, transit and ephemeris calculator, and application program interface.The NASA Exoplanet Archive is the U.S. portal to the public CoRoT mission data for both the Exoplanet and Asteroseismology data sets. The NASA Exoplanet Archive also serves data related to Kepler Objects of Interest (Planet Candidates and the Kepler False Positives, KOI) in an integrated and interactive table containing stellar and transit parameters. In support of the Kepler Extended Mission, the NASA Exoplanet Archive will host transit modeling parameters, centroid results, several statistical values, and summary and detailed reports for all transit-like events identified by the Kepler Pipeline. To access this information visit us at: http://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu

  5. The Photoeccentric Effect and Proto-hot Jupiters. II. KOI-1474.01, a Candidate Eccentric Planet Perturbed by an Unseen Companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dawson, Rebekah I.; Johnson, John Asher; Morton, Timothy D.; Crepp, Justin R.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Murray-Clay, Ruth A.; Howard, Andrew W.

    2012-12-01

    The exoplanets known as hot Jupiters—Jupiter-sized planets with periods of less than 10 days—likely are relics of dynamical processes that shape all planetary system architectures. Socrates et al. argued that high eccentricity migration (HEM) mechanisms proposed for situating these close-in planets should produce an observable population of highly eccentric proto-hot Jupiters that have not yet tidally circularized. HEM should also create failed-hot Jupiters, with periapses just beyond the influence of fast circularization. Using the technique we previously presented for measuring eccentricities from photometry (the "photoeccentric effect"), we are distilling a collection of eccentric proto- and failed-hot Jupiters from the Kepler Objects of Interest (KOI). Here, we present the first, KOI-1474.01, which has a long orbital period (69.7340 days) and a large eccentricity e = 0.81+0.10 -0.07, skirting the proto-hot Jupiter boundary. Combining Kepler photometry, ground-based spectroscopy, and stellar evolution models, we characterize host KOI-1474 as a rapidly rotating F star. Statistical arguments reveal that the transiting candidate has a low false-positive probability of 3.1%. KOI-1474.01 also exhibits transit-timing variations of the order of an hour. We explore characteristics of the third-body perturber, which is possibly the "smoking-gun" cause of KOI-1474.01's large eccentricity. We use the host star's period, radius, and projected rotational velocity to measure the inclination of the stellar spin. Comparing KOI 1474.01's inclination, we find that its orbit is marginally consistent with being aligned with the stellar spin axis, although a reanalysis is warranted with future additional data. Finally, we discuss how the number and existence of proto-hot Jupiters will not only demonstrate that hot Jupiters migrate via HEM, but also shed light on the typical timescale for the mechanism.

  6. THE PHOTOECCENTRIC EFFECT AND PROTO-HOT JUPITERS. II. KOI-1474.01, A CANDIDATE ECCENTRIC PLANET PERTURBED BY AN UNSEEN COMPANION

    SciTech Connect

    Dawson, Rebekah I.; Murray-Clay, Ruth A.; Johnson, John Asher; Morton, Timothy D.; Crepp, Justin R.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Howard, Andrew W.

    2012-12-20

    The exoplanets known as hot Jupiters-Jupiter-sized planets with periods of less than 10 days-likely are relics of dynamical processes that shape all planetary system architectures. Socrates et al. argued that high eccentricity migration (HEM) mechanisms proposed for situating these close-in planets should produce an observable population of highly eccentric proto-hot Jupiters that have not yet tidally circularized. HEM should also create failed-hot Jupiters, with periapses just beyond the influence of fast circularization. Using the technique we previously presented for measuring eccentricities from photometry (the ''photoeccentric effect''), we are distilling a collection of eccentric proto- and failed-hot Jupiters from the Kepler Objects of Interest (KOI). Here, we present the first, KOI-1474.01, which has a long orbital period (69.7340 days) and a large eccentricity e 0.81{sup +0.10}{sub -0.07}, skirting the proto-hot Jupiter boundary. Combining Kepler photometry, ground-based spectroscopy, and stellar evolution models, we characterize host KOI-1474 as a rapidly rotating F star. Statistical arguments reveal that the transiting candidate has a low false-positive probability of 3.1%. KOI-1474.01 also exhibits transit-timing variations of the order of an hour. We explore characteristics of the third-body perturber, which is possibly the ''smoking-gun'' cause of KOI-1474.01's large eccentricity. We use the host star's period, radius, and projected rotational velocity to measure the inclination of the stellar spin. Comparing KOI 1474.01's inclination, we find that its orbit is marginally consistent with being aligned with the stellar spin axis, although a reanalysis is warranted with future additional data. Finally, we discuss how the number and existence of proto-hot Jupiters will not only demonstrate that hot Jupiters migrate via HEM, but also shed light on the typical timescale for the mechanism.

  7. A Low-mass Exoplanet Candidate Detected by K2 Transiting the Praesepe M Dwarf JS 183

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pepper, Joshua; Gillen, Ed; Parviainen, Hannu; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Cody, Ann Marie; Aigrain, Suzanne; Stauffer, John; Vrba, Frederick J.; David, Trevor; Lillo-Box, Jorge; Stassun, Keivan G.; Conroy, Kyle E.; Pope, Benjamin J. S.; Barrado, David

    2017-04-01

    We report the discovery of a repeating photometric signal from a low-mass member of the Praesepe open cluster that we interpret as a Neptune-sized transiting planet. The star is JS 183 (HSHJ 163, EPIC 211916756), with T eff = 3325 ± 100 K, M * = 0.44 ± 0.04 M ⊙, R * = 0.44 ± 0.03 R ⊙, and {log}{g}* = 4.82+/- 0.06. The planet has an orbital period of 10.134588 days and a radius of R P = 0.32 ± 0.02 R J. Since the star is faint at V = 16.5 and J = 13.3, we are unable to obtain a measured radial velocity orbit, but we can constrain the companion mass to below about 1.7 M J, and thus well below the planetary boundary. JS 183b (since designated as K2-95b) is the second transiting planet found with K2 that resides in a several-hundred-megayear open cluster; both planets orbit mid-M dwarf stars and are approximately Neptune sized. With a well-determined stellar density from the planetary transit, and with an independently known metallicity from its cluster membership, JS 183 provides a particularly valuable test of stellar models at the fully convective boundary. We find that JS 183 is the lowest-density transit host known at the fully convective boundary, and that its very low density is consistent with current models of stars just above the fully convective boundary but in tension with the models just below the fully convective boundary.

  8. Are isolated planetary-mass objects really isolated?. A brown dwarf-exoplanet system candidate in the σ Orionis cluster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caballero, J. A.; Martín, E. L.; Dobbie, P. D.; Barrado Y Navascués, D.

    2006-12-01

    Context: .Free-floating planetary-mass objects have masses below the deuterium burning mass limit at about 13 Jupiter masses, and have mostly been found in very young open clusters. Their origin and relationship to stars and brown dwarfs are still a mystery. Aims: .The recent detection by direct imaging of three giant planets at wide separation (50-250 AU) from their primaries has raised the question about the true "isolation" of planetary-mass objects in clusters. Our goal was to test the possibility that some free-floating planetary-mass objects could in fact be part of wide planetary systems. Methods: .We searched in the literature for stellar and brown-dwarf candidates members of the σ Orionis cluster (~3 Ma, ~360 pc) at small angular separations from published candidate planetary-mass objects. We found one candidate planetary system composed of an X-ray source, SE 70, and a planetary-mass object, S Ori 68, separated by only 4.6 arcsec. In order to assess the cluster membership of the X-ray source, we obtained mid-resolution optical spectroscopy using ISIS on the William Herschel Telescope. We also compiled additional data on the target from available astronomical catalogues. Results: .We have found that SE 70 follows the spectrophotometric sequence of the cluster and displays spectroscopic features of youth, such as lithium in absorption and chromospheric Hα emission. The radial velocity is consistent with cluster membership. Hence, SE 70 is very probably a member of the σ Orionis cluster. The projected physical separation between SE 70 and S Ori 68 is 1700~± 300 AU at the distance of the cluster. If a common proper motion is confirmed in the near future, the system would be composed of an M5-6 brown dwarf with an estimated mass of ~45 M_Jup and an L5 ± 2 giant planet with an estimated mass of ~5 M_Jup. It would be the widest and one of the lowest-mass planetary systems known so far.

  9. WIDE COMPANIONS TO HIPPARCOS STARS WITHIN 67 pc OF THE SUN

    SciTech Connect

    Tokovinin, Andrei; Lepine, Sebastien E-mail: lepine@amnh.org

    2012-10-01

    A catalog of common-proper-motion (CPM) companions to stars within 67 pc of the Sun is constructed based on the SUPERBLINK proper-motion survey. It contains 1392 CPM pairs with angular separations 30'' < {rho} < 1800'', relative proper motion between the two components less than 25 mas yr{sup -1}, and magnitudes and colors of the secondaries consistent with those of dwarfs in the (M{sub V} , V - J) diagram. In addition, we list 21 candidate white dwarf CPM companions with separations under 300'', about half of which should be physical. We estimate a 0.31 fraction of pairs with red dwarf companions to be physical systems (about 425 objects), while the rest (mostly wide pairs) are chance alignments. For each candidate companion, the probability of a physical association is evaluated. The distribution of projected separations s of the physical pairs between 2 kAU and 64 kAU follows f(s){proportional_to}s {sup -1.5}, which decreases faster than Oepik's law. We find that solar-mass dwarfs have no less than 4.4% {+-} 0.3% companions with separations larger than 2 kAU, or 3.8% {+-} 0.3% per decade of orbital separation in the 2-16 kAU range. The distribution of mass ratio of those wide companions is approximately uniform in the 0.1 < q < 1.0 range, although we observe a dip at q {approx_equal} 0.5 which, if confirmed, could be evidence of bimodal distribution of companion masses. New physical CPM companions to two exoplanet host stars are discovered.

  10. KEPLER-20: A SUN-LIKE STAR WITH THREE SUB-NEPTUNE EXOPLANETS AND TWO EARTH-SIZE CANDIDATES

    SciTech Connect

    Gautier, Thomas N. III; Rowe, Jason F.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Rogers, Leslie A.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Ciardi, David R.; Ford, Eric B.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Walkowicz, Lucianne M.; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; and others

    2012-04-10

    We present the discovery of the Kepler-20 planetary system, which we initially identified through the detection of five distinct periodic transit signals in the Kepler light curve of the host star 2MASS J19104752+4220194. From high-resolution spectroscopy of the star, we find a stellar effective temperature T{sub eff} = 5455 {+-} 100 K, a metallicity of [Fe/H] = 0.01 {+-} 0.04, and a surface gravity of log g = 4.4 {+-} 0.1. We combine these estimates with an estimate of the stellar density derived from the transit light curves to deduce a stellar mass of M{sub *} = 0.912 {+-} 0.034 M{sub Sun} and a stellar radius of R{sub *} = 0.944{sup +0.060}{sub -0.095} R{sub Sun }. For three of the transit signals, we demonstrate that our results strongly disfavor the possibility that these result from astrophysical false positives. We accomplish this by first identifying the subset of stellar blends that reproduce the precise shape of the light curve and then using the constraints on the presence of additional stars from high angular resolution imaging, photometric colors, and the absence of a secondary component in our spectroscopic observations. We conclude that the planetary scenario is more likely than that of an astrophysical false positive by a factor of 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 5} (Kepler-20b), 1 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 5} (Kepler-20c), and 1.1 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 3} (Kepler-20d), sufficient to validate these objects as planetary companions. For Kepler-20c and Kepler-20d, the blend scenario is independently disfavored by the achromaticity of the transit: from Spitzer data gathered at 4.5 {mu}m, we infer a ratio of the planetary to stellar radii of 0.075 {+-} 0.015 (Kepler-20c) and 0.065 {+-} 0.011 (Kepler-20d), consistent with each of the depths measured in the Kepler optical bandpass. We determine the orbital periods and physical radii of the three confirmed planets to be 3.70 days and 1.91{sup +0.12}{sub -0.21} R{sub Circled-Plus} for Kepler-20b, 10

  11. SOPHIE velocimetry of Kepler transit candidates. XII. KOI-1257 b: a highly eccentric three-month period transiting exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santerne, A.; Hébrard, G.; Deleuil, M.; Havel, M.; Correia, A. C. M.; Almenara, J.-M.; Alonso, R.; Arnold, L.; Barros, S. C. C.; Behrend, R.; Bernasconi, L.; Boisse, I.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bouchy, F.; Bruno, G.; Damiani, C.; Díaz, R. F.; Gravallon, D.; Guillot, T.; Labrevoir, O.; Montagnier, G.; Moutou, C.; Rinner, C.; Santos, N. C.; Abe, L.; Audejean, M.; Bendjoya, P.; Gillier, C.; Gregorio, J.; Martinez, P.; Michelet, J.; Montaigut, R.; Poncy, R.; Rivet, J.-P.; Rousseau, G.; Roy, R.; Suarez, O.; Vanhuysse, M.; Verilhac, D.

    2014-11-01

    In this paper we report a new transiting warm giant planet: KOI-1257 b. It was first detected in photometry as a planet-candidate by the Kepler space telescope and then validated thanks to a radial velocity follow-up with the SOPHIE spectrograph. It orbits its host star with a period of 86.647661 d ± 3 s and a high eccentricity of 0.772 ± 0.045. The planet transits the main star of a metal-rich, relatively old binary system with stars of mass of 0.99 ± 0.05 M⊙ and 0.70 ± 0.07 M⊙ for the primary and secondary, respectively. This binary system is constrained thanks to a self-consistent modelling of the Kepler transit light curve, the SOPHIE radial velocities, line bisector and full-width half maximum (FWHM) variations, and the spectral energy distribution. However, future observations are needed to confirm it. The PASTIS fully-Bayesian software was used to validate the nature of the planet and to determine which star of the binary system is the transit host. By accounting for the dilution from the binary both in photometry and in radial velocity, we find that the planet has a mass of 1.45 ± 0.35 M⊙ , and a radius of 0.94 ± 0.12 R⊙ , and thus a bulk density of 2.1 ± 1.2 g cm-3. The planet has an equilibrium temperature of 511 ± 50 K, making it one of the few known members of the warm-Jupiter population. The HARPS-N spectrograph was also used to observe a transit of KOI-1257 b, simultaneously with a joint amateur and professional photometric follow-up, with the aim of constraining the orbital obliquity of the planet. However, the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect was not clearly detected, resulting in poor constraints on the orbital obliquity of the planet. Based on observations made with SOPHIE on the 1.93 m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France, and with the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) operated on the island of La Palma by the Fundación Galileo Galilei of the INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) at the Spanish

  12. Systematic Exoplanet Searches During Predicted Mesolensing Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthews, James; Di Stefano, R.

    2012-01-01

    Thus far, exoplanet lensing searches have relied on passive monitoring, in which a field is regularly observed in anticipation of a so-called 'serendipitous event'. This poster focuses on studying individual mesolensing events which can predicted in advance. Each such event can be used to probe for the presence of exoplanets. We have computed the probability of detecting an exoplanet lens by modeling the planet's mass and the characteristics of its orbit. For each event, planets will either be discovered, or we will place limits on possible parameter regimes if they are not. Our work will assist in the design of focused observing programs, and will greatly improve the chances of finding exoplanets through lensing events. In particular, the motion of the M-dwarf VB10 and possible exoplanet companions has been modeled for a predicted mesolensing event in December 2011.

  13. SOPHIE velocimetry of Kepler transit candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

    As CoRoT, the Kepler space mission found a large amount of planetary transit candidates for which radial velocity follow-up is necessary in order to establish the planetary nature and then, to characterize the mass of the transiting companion. We are following up some interesting Kepler candidates with the SOPHIE spectrograph mounted at the 1.93-m telescope in Observatoire de Haute Provence (France). More than one year after the first Kepler release, we will present the strategy used to select the most promising Kepler candidates, within reach of a detection with SOPHIE, using the experience of more than 4 years of CoRoT, SWASP and HAT radial velocity follow-up. We will also highlight the results of the first year of observations that led to the discovery of several new transiting exoplanets and help the understanding of the false positive rate of the Kepler mission.

  14. Exoplanets: The Hunt Continues!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-04-01

    Swiss Telescope at La Silla Very Successful Summary The intensive and exciting hunt for planets around other stars ( "exoplanets" ) is continuing with great success in both hemispheres. Today, an international team of astronomers from the Geneva Observatory and other research institutes [1] is announcing the discovery of no less than eleven new, planetary companions to solar-type stars, HD 8574, HD 28185, HD 50554, HD 74156, HD 80606, HD 82943, HD 106252, HD 141937, HD 178911B, HD 141937, among which two new multi-planet systems . The masses of these new objects range from slightly less than to about 10 times the mass of the planet Jupiter [2]. The new detections are based on measured velocity changes of the stars [3], performed with the CORALIE spectrometer on the Swiss 1.2-m Leonard Euler telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory , as well as with instruments on telescopes at the Haute-Provence Observatory and on the Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea (Hawaii, USA). Some of the new planets are unusual: * a two-planet system (around the star HD 82943) in which one orbital period is nearly exactly twice as long as the other - cases like this (refered to as "orbital resonance") are well known in our own solar system; * another two-planet system (HD 74156), with a Jupiter-like planet and a more massive planet further out; * a planet with the most elongated orbit detected so far (HD 80606), moving between 5 and 127 million kilometers from the central star; * a giant planet moving in an orbit around its Sun-like central star that is very similar to the one of the Earth and whose potential satellites (in theory, at least) might be "habitable". At this moment, there are 63 know exoplanet candidates with minimum masses below 10 Jupiter masses, and 67 known objects with minimum masses below 17 Jupiter masses. The present team of astronomers has detected about half of these. PR Photo 13a/01 : Radial-velocity measurements of HD 82943, a two-planet system . PR Photo 13b/01 : Radial

  15. Influence of stellar multiplicity on planet formation. I. Evidence of suppressed planet formation due to stellar companions within 20 au and validation of four planets from the Kepler multiple planet candidates

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Xie, Ji-Wei; Barclay, Thomas

    2014-03-01

    The planet occurrence rate for multiple stars is important in two aspects. First, almost half of stellar systems in the solar neighborhood are multiple systems. Second, the comparison of the planet occurrence rate for multiple stars to that for single stars sheds light on the influence of stellar multiplicity on planet formation and evolution. We developed a method of distinguishing planet occurrence rates for single and multiple stars. From a sample of 138 bright (K{sub P} < 13.5) Kepler multi-planet candidate systems, we compared the stellar multiplicity rate of these planet host stars to that of field stars. Using dynamical stability analyses and archival Doppler measurements, we find that the stellar multiplicity rate of planet host stars is significantly lower than field stars for semimajor axes less than 20 AU, suggesting that planet formation and evolution are suppressed by the presence of a close-in companion star at these separations. The influence of stellar multiplicity at larger separations is uncertain because of search incompleteness due to a limited Doppler observation time baseline and a lack of high-resolution imaging observation. We calculated the planet confidence for the sample of multi-planet candidates and find that the planet confidences for KOI 82.01, KOI 115.01, KOI 282.01, and KOI 1781.02 are higher than 99.7% and thus validate the planetary nature of these four planet candidates. This sample of bright Kepler multi-planet candidates with refined stellar and orbital parameters, planet confidence estimation, and nearby stellar companion identification offers a well-characterized sample for future theoretical and observational study.

  16. 32 New Exoplanets Found

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-10-01

    oday, at an international ESO/CAUP exoplanet conference in Porto, the team who built the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, better known as HARPS, the spectrograph for ESO's 3.6-metre telescope, reports on the incredible discovery of some 32 new exoplanets, cementing HARPS's position as the world's foremost exoplanet hunter. This result also increases the number of known low-mass planets by an impressive 30%. Over the past five years HARPS has spotted more than 75 of the roughly 400 or so exoplanets now known. "HARPS is a unique, extremely high precision instrument that is ideal for discovering alien worlds," says Stéphane Udry, who made the announcement. "We have now completed our initial five-year programme, which has succeeded well beyond our expectations." The latest batch of exoplanets announced today comprises no less than 32 new discoveries. Including these new results, data from HARPS have led to the discovery of more than 75 exoplanets in 30 different planetary systems. In particular, thanks to its amazing precision, the search for small planets, those with a mass of a few times that of the Earth - known as super-Earths and Neptune-like planets - has been given a dramatic boost. HARPS has facilitated the discovery of 24 of the 28 planets known with masses below 20 Earth masses. As with the previously detected super-Earths, most of the new low-mass candidates reside in multi-planet systems, with up to five planets per system. In 1999, ESO launched a call for opportunities to build a high resolution, extremely precise spectrograph for the ESO 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla, Chile. Michel Mayor, from the Geneva Observatory, led a consortium to build HARPS, which was installed in 2003 and was soon able to measure the back-and-forward motions of stars by detecting small changes in a star's radial velocity - as small as 3.5 km/hour, a steady walking pace. Such a precision is crucial for the discovery of exoplanets and the radial velocity method

  17. Chandra Pilot Survey of Extrasolar Planet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsuboi, Yohko

    2012-09-01

    We propose to detect planetary-mass companion around young nearby stars by X-ray direct imaging observations with Chandra. Our goals are to determine I. if the X-ray band can be a new probe to the exo-planet search, and II. if a planet emit detectable X-rays with a magnetic origin at a young age. This should be a challenging observation but a brand-new discovery space unique to Chandra. The abundant population of YSOs in the same field of view will enable us to obtain complete X-ray catalogues of YSOs with all categories of masses. We will also execute simultaneous deep NIR observations with IRSF/SIRIUS and Nishiharima 2m telescope to search for the other X-ray-emitting very low-mass objects near our aiming planet candidates.

  18. Transiting Exoplanet Observations at Grinnell College

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauerhaft, Julia; Slough, P.; Cale, B.; Kempton, E.

    2014-01-01

    Grinnell College, a small liberal arts college in Grinnell, Iowa with 1600 undergraduate students, is home to the Grant O. Gale Observatory. Over the past year, we have successfully detected extrasolar planets using the transit method with our 24-inch Cassegrain reflecting telescope equipped with a CCD camera. With little light pollution and an easily accessible observatory, Grinnell College is an optimal location for transiting exoplanet observations. With the current telescope set-up and CCD camera, we have taken time series data and created image calibration and post-processing programs that detect exoplanet transits at high photometric precision. In the future, we will continue to use these observation and data reduction procedures to conduct transiting exoplanet research. Goals for our research program include performing follow-up observations of transiting exoplanet candidates to confirm their planetary nature, searching for additional exoplanets in known planetary systems using the transit timing detection method, tracking long period transiting planets, and refining properties of exoplanets and their host stars. Ground-based transiting planet science is especially important in the post-Kepler era, and our dedicated mid-sized telescope with plenty of access to dark clear nights provides an ideal resource for a variety of follow up and exoplanet detection efforts.

  19. Astrometric Follow Up of Wide Planetary Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durkan, Stephen; Janson, Markus; Carson, Joseph

    2014-12-01

    The current population of known exoplanets is biased towards close in, short period planets due to the detection rate of transit and radial velocity techniques. However the advancement in direct imaging technologies and image reduction techniques has opened up sensitivity to massive planets at large separations, rapidly expanding the parameter space over which planetary existence and characteristics can be probed. The Spitzer space telescope is ideally suited for the direct imaging of such planets that have peak thermal emission at wavelengths around 4.5 microns. Previous Spitzer data collected under programs 34 and 48 has recently been the subject of a sophisticated principal components analysis reduction technique. This technique has removed stellar PSF to a much greater degree than preceding studies have achieved, the reduced archival Spitzer observations are sensitive to planetary mass companions at a much smaller separations than previously attainable. This reduction technique accompanied by stringent criteria, such as ≥5 sigma significance, realistic visual characteristics and taking into account the predicted spectral energy distribution of Jupiter mass planets, has identified a number of potential planetary companions. These targets must be observed in a 2nd epoch to test for common proper motion to offer a firm confirmation or refutation of the candidate's planetary nature. Here we propose to observe 12 of these targets for which data does not exist in a 2nd epoch to a sufficient degree of sensitivity to recover the potential planetary candidates for astrometric investigation.

  20. Enabling the Kepler Exoplanet Census

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morton, Tim

    2013-01-01

    The Kepler mission, with its unrivaled photometric precision and nearly continuous monitoring, provides an unprecedented opportunity for an exoplanet census. However, while it has identified thousands of transiting planet candidates, only relatively few have yet been dynamically confirmed as bona fide planets, with only a handful more even conceivably amenable to future dynamical confirmation. As a result, the ability to draw detailed conclusions about the diversity of exoplanet systems from Kepler detections relies critically on assigning false positive probabilities to thousands of unconfirmed candidates. I have developed a procedure to calculate these probabilities using only the Kepler photometry, optionally including available follow-up observations. Using this, I can often statistically validate a candidate signal using two single-epoch observations: a stellar spectrum and a high-resolution image. Accordingly, I have applied this procedure to the publicly released Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) using results from several large follow-up campaigns: spectroscopic surveys of >100 KOIs with TripleSpec at the Palomar 200-in and >700 KOIs with Keck/HIRES, and imaging surveys of >60 KOIs with Keck/NIRC2 and nearly 1000 KOIs with the Palomar Robo-AO system. This has enabled me to identify hundreds of Kepler candidates as newly secure planets, identify some as likely false positives, and prescribe the most useful follow-up observations for the rest of the KOIs. These results will enable Kepler to fulfill its promise as a mission to study the statistics of exoplanet systems. In addition, this new approach to transit survey follow-up---detailed probabilistic assessment of large numbers of candidates in order to inform the application of relatively scarce follow-up resources---will remain fruitful as transit surveys continue to produce many more candidates than can be followed up with traditional strategies.

  1. Discovery of the development candidate N-tert-butyl nodulisporamide: a safe and efficacious once monthly oral agent for the control of fleas and ticks on companion animals.

    PubMed

    Meinke, Peter T; Colletti, Steven L; Fisher, Michael H; Wyvratt, Matthew J; Shih, Thomas L; Ayer, Michelle B; Li, Chunshi; Lim, Julie; Ok, Dong; Salva, Steve; Warmke, Lynn M; Zakson, Michelle; Michael, Bruce F; Demontigny, Pierre; Ostlind, Dan A; Fink, David; Drag, Marlene; Schmatz, Dennis M; Shoop, Wesley L

    2009-06-11

    Nodulisporic acid A (1) is a structurally complex fungal metabolite that exhibits systemic efficacy against fleas via modulation of an invertebrate specific glutamate-gated ion channel. In order to identify a nodulisporamide suitable for monthly oral dosing in dogs, a library of 335 nodulisporamides was examined in an artificial flea feeding system for intrinsic systemic potency as well as in a mouse/bedbug assay for systemic efficacy and safety. A cohort of 66 nodulisporamides were selected for evaluation in a dog/flea model; pharmacokinetic analysis correlated plasma levels with flea efficacy. These efforts resulted in the identification of the development candidate N-tert-butyl nodulisporamide (3) as a potent and efficacious once monthly oral agent for the control of fleas and ticks on dogs and cats which was directly compared to the topical agents fipronil and imidacloprid, with favorable results obtained. Multidose studies over 3 months confirmed the in vivo ectoparasiticidal efficacy and established that 3 lacked overt mammalian toxicity. Tissue distribution studies in mice using [(14)C]-labeled 3 indicate that adipose beds serve as ligand depots, contributing to the long terminal half-lives of these compounds.

  2. KNOW THE STAR, KNOW THE PLANET. II. SPECKLE INTERFEROMETRY OF EXOPLANET HOST STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Mason, Brian D.; Hartkopf, William I.; Raghavan, Deepak; Subasavage, John P.; Roberts, Lewis C.; Turner, Nils H.; Ten Brummelaar, Theo A. E-mail: wih@usno.navy.mil E-mail: jsubasavage@ctio.noao.edu E-mail: nils@chara-array.org

    2011-11-15

    A study of the host stars to exoplanets is important for understanding their environment. To that end, we report new speckle observations of a sample of exoplanet host primaries. The bright exoplanet host HD 8673 (= HIP 6702) is revealed to have a companion, although at this time we cannot definitively establish the companion as physical or optical. The observing lists for planet searches and for these observations have for the most part been pre-screened for known duplicity, so the detected binary fraction is lower than what would otherwise be expected. Therefore, a large number of double stars were observed contemporaneously for verification and quality control purposes, to ensure that the lack of detection of companions for exoplanet hosts was valid. In these additional observations, 10 pairs are resolved for the first time and 60 pairs are confirmed. These observations were obtained with the USNO speckle camera on the NOAO 4 m telescopes at both KPNO and CTIO from 2001 to 2010.

  3. The Discovered Exoplanets Have The Same Orbital Elements As Stellar Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abt, Helmut A.

    2012-05-01

    The Discovered Exoplanets Have the Same Orbital Elements as Stellar Systems Helmut A. Abt Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, AZ 85726; abt@noao.edu There are two ways in which planetary masses are formed. One is in debris disks like that that produced the solar system. The other is as separate condensations in stars clusters. We now know that the luminosity function extends from stars through brown dwarfs to planetary masses. In the case of separate condensations, many planetary masses will be captured to become companions of stars. The exoplanet eccentricities are the same as those of stellar companions, and are six times larger than those of solar system planets. The exoplanet semi-major axes are like those of stellar companions and are six times smaller than solar system planets. We conclude that most of the exoplanets discovered to date were produced as separate condensations like stars and not in disks.

  4. Know the Star, Know the Planet. 2. Speckle Interferometry of Exoplanet Host Stars

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-11-01

    reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. KNOW THE STAR, KNOW THE PLANET. II. SPECKLE INTERFEROMETRY OF EXOPLANET HOST STARS Brian D. Mason1,6, William I. Hartkopf1,6...October 17 ABSTRACT A study of the host stars to exoplanets is important for understanding their environment. To that end, we report new speckle...observations of a sample of exoplanet host primaries. The bright exoplanet host HD 8673 (= HIP 6702) is revealed to have a companion, although at this time we

  5. Planet Hunters. X. Searching for Nearby Neighbors of 75 Planet and Eclipsing Binary Candidates from the K2 Kepler extended mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, Joseph R.; Tokovinin, Andrei; Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Kristiansen, Martti H.; LaCourse, Daryll M.; Gagliano, Robert; Tan, Arvin Joseff V.; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Omohundro, Mark R.; Venner, Alexander; Terentev, Ivan; Schmitt, Allan R.; Jacobs, Thomas L.; Winarski, Troy; Sejpka, Johann; Jek, Kian J.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Brewer, John M.; Ishikawa, Sascha T.; Lintott, Chris; Lynn, Stuart; Schawinski, Kevin; Schwamb, Megan E.; Weiksnar, Alex

    2016-06-01

    We present high-resolution observations of a sample of 75 K2 targets from Campaigns 1-3 using speckle interferometry on the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope and adaptive optics imaging at the Keck II telescope. The median SOAR I-band and Keck Ks-band detection limits at 1\\prime\\prime were {{Δ }}{m}I=4.4 mag and {{Δ }}{m}{Ks}=6.1 mag, respectively. This sample includes 37 stars likely to host planets, 32 targets likely to be eclipsing binaries (EBs), and 6 other targets previously labeled as likely planetary false positives. We find nine likely physically bound companion stars within 3\\prime\\prime of three candidate transiting exoplanet host stars and six likely EBs. Six of the nine detected companions are new discoveries. One of these new discoveries, EPIC 206061524, is associated with a planet candidate. Among the EB candidates, companions were only found near the shortest period ones (P\\lt 3 days), which is in line with previous results showing high multiplicity near short-period binary stars. This high-resolution data, including both the detected companions and the limits on potential unseen companions, will be useful in future planet vetting and stellar multiplicity rate studies for planets and binaries.

  6. Understanding exoplanet populations with simulation-based methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morehead, Robert Charles

    The Kepler candidate catalog represents an unprecedented sample of exoplanet host stars. This dataset is ideal for probing the populations of exoplanet systems and exploring their architectures. Confirming transiting exoplanets candidates through traditional follow-up methods is challenging, especially for faint host stars. Most of Kepler's validated planets relied on statistical methods to separate true planets from false-positives. Multiple transiting planet systems (MTPS) have been previously shown to have low false-positive rates and over 850 planets in MTPSs have been statistically validated so far. We show that the period-normalized transit duration ratio (xi) offers additional information that can be used to establish the planetary nature of these systems. We briefly discuss the observed distribution of xi for the Q1-Q17 Kepler Candidate Search. We also use xi to develop a Bayesian statistical framework combined with Monte Carlo methods to determine which pairs of planet candidates in an MTPS are consistent with the planet hypothesis for a sample of 862 MTPSs that include candidate planets, confirmed planets, and known false-positives. This analysis proves to be efficient and advantageous in that it only requires catalog-level bulk candidate properties and galactic population modeling to compute the probabilities of a myriad of feasible scenarios composed of background and companion stellar blends in the photometric aperture, without needing additional observational follow-up. Our results agree with the previous results of a low false-positive rate in the Kepler MTPSs. This implies, independently of any other estimates, that most of the MTPSs detected by Kepler are planetary in nature, but that a substantial fraction could be orbiting stars other than then the putative target star, and therefore may be subject to significant error in the inferred planet parameters resulting from unknown or mismeasured stellar host attributes. We also apply approximate

  7. Lightest exoplanet yet discovered

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-04-01

    at ESO's La Silla Observatory and announced two years ago -- this star was known to harbour a system with a Neptune-sized planet (ESO 30/05) and two super-Earths (ESO 22/07). With the discovery of Gliese 581 e, the planetary system now has four known planets, with masses of about 1.9 (planet e), 16 (planet b), 5 (planet c), and 7 Earth-masses (planet d). The planet furthest out, Gliese 581 d, orbits its host star in 66.8 days. "Gliese 581 d is probably too massive to be made only of rocky material, but we can speculate that it is an icy planet that has migrated closer to the star," says team member Stephane Udry. The new observations have revealed that this planet is in the habitable zone, where liquid water could exist. "‘d' could even be covered by a large and deep ocean -- it is the first serious 'water world' candidate," continued Udry. The gentle pull of an exoplanet as it orbits the host star introduces a tiny wobble in the star's motion -- only about 7 km/hour, corresponding to brisk walking speed -- that can just be detected on Earth with today's most sophisticated technology. Low-mass red dwarf stars such as Gliese 581 are potentially fruitful hunting grounds for low-mass exoplanets in the habitable zone. Such cool stars are relatively faint and their habitable zones lie close in, where the gravitational tug of any orbiting planet found there would be stronger, making the telltale wobble more pronounced. Even so, detecting these tiny signals is still a challenge, and the discovery of Gliese 581 e and the refinement of Gliese 581 d's orbit were only possible due to HARPS's unique precision and stability. "It is amazing to see how far we have come since we discovered the first exoplanet around a normal star in 1995 -- the one around 51 Pegasi," says Mayor. "The mass of Gliese 581 e is 80 times less than that of 51 Pegasi b. This is tremendous progress in just 14 years." The astronomers are confident that they can still do better. "With similar observing

  8. Astrophysical false positives in direct imaging for exoplanets: a white dwarf close to a rejuvenated star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zurlo, A.; Vigan, A.; Hagelberg, J.; Desidera, S.; Chauvin, G.; Almenara, J. M.; Biazzo, K.; Bonnefoy, M.; Carson, J. C.; Covino, E.; Delorme, P.; D'Orazi, V.; Gratton, R.; Mesa, D.; Messina, S.; Moutou, C.; Segransan, D.; Turatto, M.; Udry, S.; Wildi, F.

    2013-06-01

    Context. As is the case for all techniques involved in the research for exoplanets, direct imaging has to take into account the probability of so-called astrophysical false positives, which are phenomena that mimic the signature of the objects we are seeking. Aims: In this work we present the case of a false positive found during a direct-imaging survey conducted with VLT/NACO. A promising exoplanet candidate was detected around the K2-type star HD 8049 in July 2010. Its contrast of ΔH = 7.05 at 1.57 arcsec allowed us to assume a 35 MJup companion at 50 projected AU, for the nominal system age and heliocentric distance. Methods: To check whether it was gravitationally bound to the host star, as opposed to an unrelated background object, we re-observed the system one year later and concluded a high probability of a bound system. We also used radial velocity measurements of the host star, spanning a time range of ~30 yr, to constrain the companion's mass and orbital properties, as well as to probe the host star's spectral age indicators and general spectral energy distribution. We also obtained U-band imaging with EFOSC and near-infrared spectroscopy for the companion. Results: Combining all these information we conclude that the companion of HD 8049 is a white dwarf (WD) with temperature Teff = 18 800 ± 2100 K and mass MWD = 0.56 ± 0.08 M⊙. The significant radial velocity trend combined with the imaging data indicates that the most probable orbit has a semi-major axis of about 50 AU. The discrepancy between the age indicators speaks against a bona-fide young star. The moderately high level of chromospheric activity and fast rotation, mimicking the properties of a young star, might be induced by the exchange of mass with the progenitor of the WD. This example demonstrates some of the challenges in determining accurate age estimates and identifications of faint companions. Based on observations collected at La Silla and Paranal Observatory, ESO (Chile): Programs

  9. Direct Imaging of Giant Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamura, Motohide

    Since the first detection of exoplanets around a Sun-like star 51 Peg in 1995, their detection and characterization are mainly led by indirect methods such as radial velocity and transit methods. However, recent progresses of observational techniques have finally enabled the direct imaging observations of giant planets of solar-system-scale orbit (with their semi-major axes less than about 50 AU) around A-type stars (e.g., Marois et al. 2008, 2010) and G-type stars (e.g., Kuzuhara et al. 2013). Direct imaging is useful to obtain the physical and atmospheric parameters of exoplanets. In fact not only colors but also a medium-resolution spectroscopy of such planets has been successfully obtained for their atmospheric characterization (Barman et al. 2013). Their masses are typically a few to ~10 Jupiter masses and they orbit at a Saturn- to-Pluto distance. Therefore, like hot-Jupiters and super-Earths they are unlike any solar-system planets, and called wide-orbit giant planets. A recent large search for planets and disk on the Subaru 8.2-m telescope (SEEDS project) has detected a 3-5 Jupiter-masses planet around a Sun-like star GJ 504 (Kuzuhara et al. 2013). It is the coolest planetary companion so far directly imaged and its near-infrared color is “bluer” than that of other directly imaged planets. In this contribution, I will review the recent progresses on direct imaging of exoplanets, highlight the results of the SEEDS project, and discuss the future developments.

  10. THE PHASES DIFFERENTIAL ASTROMETRY DATA ARCHIVE. III. LIMITS TO TERTIARY COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Muterspaugh, Matthew W.; Lane, Benjamin F.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Konacki, Maciej; Burke, Bernard F.; Colavita, M. M.; Shao, M. E-mail: blane@draper.co

    2010-12-15

    The Palomar High-precision Astrometric Search for Exoplanet Systems (PHASES) monitored 51 subarcsecond binary systems to evaluate whether tertiary companions as small as Jovian planets orbited either the primary or secondary stars, perturbing their otherwise smooth Keplerian motions. Twenty-one of those systems were observed 10 or more times and show no evidence of additional companions. A new algorithm is presented for identifying astrometric companions and establishing the (companion mass)-(orbital period) combinations that can be excluded from existence with high confidence based on the PHASES observations, and the regions of mass-period phase space being excluded are presented for 21 PHASES binaries.

  11. Molecular opacities for exoplanets

    PubMed Central

    Bernath, Peter F.

    2014-01-01

    Spectroscopic observations of exoplanets are now possible by transit methods and direct emission. Spectroscopic requirements for exoplanets are reviewed based on existing measurements and model predictions for hot Jupiters and super-Earths. Molecular opacities needed to simulate astronomical observations can be obtained from laboratory measurements, ab initio calculations or a combination of the two approaches. This discussion article focuses mainly on laboratory measurements of hot molecules as needed for exoplanet spectroscopy. PMID:24664921

  12. Molecular opacities for exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Bernath, Peter F

    2014-04-28

    Spectroscopic observations of exoplanets are now possible by transit methods and direct emission. Spectroscopic requirements for exoplanets are reviewed based on existing measurements and model predictions for hot Jupiters and super-Earths. Molecular opacities needed to simulate astronomical observations can be obtained from laboratory measurements, ab initio calculations or a combination of the two approaches. This discussion article focuses mainly on laboratory measurements of hot molecules as needed for exoplanet spectroscopy.

  13. Spitzer’s Past and Future Exoplanet Legacy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seager, Sara

    2014-01-01

    Spitzer initiated and revolutionized the field exoplanet atmosphere studies from the first secondary eclipse measurements announced in 2005. Since that time Spitzer has accrued a long list of compelling exoplanet findings, including: thermal phase curves for atmospheric dynamics and heat transport constraints; inference of clouds; evidence for thermal inversions; and suggestions of high C/O atmospheric ratios. Cold Spitzer continued an exoplanet legacy by: discovery of transits of 55 Cnc e; unique atmosphere insights either alone or in tandem with visible wavelength telescopes; and validation of Kepler small planet candidates via primary eclipse measurements at Spitzer wavelengths to rule out astrophysical false positives. The future of Spitzer’s exoplanet program remains bright via continued observations of warm and hot exoplanet transits, secondary eclipses, and thermal phase curves, including small planets via long-duration campaigns.

  14. Exoplanet Surveys at Universidad de Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rojo, Patricio; Jenkins, James; Hoyer, Sergio; Jones, Matías

    2014-04-01

    We present and highlight the first results of the three main exoplanet surveys we are currently conducting at Universidad de Chile: CHEPS, Red Giant Exoplanets (radial velocity), and TraMoS (transit lightcurves). We have several interesting candidates at the Calan-Hertfordshire Extrasolar Planet Search (CHEPS) project, which is aimed at searching for the currently missing southern bright transiting planets at a few m/s radial velocity precision. Using the same technique, we are also characterizing the planetary population in a constrained sample of Red Giant stars. The Transit Monitoring from the South (TraMoS) project is aimed both at improving transit parameters and at detecting any kind of lightcurve variability from several known southern exoplanet systems.

  15. Overlooked wide companions of nearby F stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, R.-D.

    2016-03-01

    Aims: We checked a sample of 545 F stars within 50 pc for wide companions using existing near-infrared and optical sky surveys. Methods: Applying the common proper motion (CPM) criterion, we detected wide companion candidates with 6-120 arcsec angular separations by visual inspection of multi-epoch finder charts and by searching in proper motion catalogues. Final proper motions were measured by involving positional measurements from up to eleven surveys. Spectral types of red CPM companions were estimated from their absolute J-band magnitudes based on the Hipparcos distances of the primaries. Results: In addition to about 100 known CPM objects, we found 19 new CPM companions and confirmed 31 previously known candidates. A few CPM objects are still considered as candidates according to their level of proper motion agreement. Among the new objects there are nine M0-M4, eight M5-M6, one ≈L3.5 dwarf (HD 3861B), and one white dwarf (WD) (HD 2726B), whereas we confirmed two K, 19 M0-M4, six M5-M6, two early-L dwarfs, and two DA WDs as CPM companions. In a few cases, previous spectral types were available that all agree well with our estimates. Two companions (HD 22879B and HD 49933B) are associated with moderately metal-poor Gaia benchmark stars. One doubtful CPM companion, spectroscopically classified as WD but found to be very bright (J = 11.1) by others, should either be a very nearby foreground WD or a different kind of object associated with HD 165670. Tables A.1, B.1, and C.1 are also 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/587/A51

  16. Comparative Habitability of Transiting Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, Rory; Meadows, Victoria S.; Evans, Nicole

    2015-12-01

    Exoplanet habitability is traditionally assessed by comparing a planet’s semimajor axis to the location of its host star’s “habitable zone,” the shell around a star for which Earth-like planets can possess liquid surface water. The Kepler space telescope has discovered numerous planet candidates near the habitable zone, and many more are expected from missions such as K2, TESS, and PLATO. These candidates often require significant follow-up observations for validation, so prioritizing planets for habitability from transit data has become an important aspect of the search for life in the universe. We propose a method to compare transiting planets for their potential to support life based on transit data, stellar properties and previously reported limits on planetary emitted flux. For a planet in radiative equilibrium, the emitted flux increases with eccentricity, but decreases with albedo. As these parameters are often unconstrained, there is an “eccentricity-albedo degeneracy” for the habitability of transiting exoplanets. Our method mitigates this degeneracy, includes a penalty for large-radius planets, uses terrestrial mass-radius relationships, and, when available, constraints on eccentricity to compute a number we call the “habitability index for transiting exoplanets” that represents the relative probability that an exoplanet could support liquid surface water. We calculate it for Kepler objects of interest and find that planets that receive between 60% and 90% of the Earth’s incident radiation, assuming circular orbits, are most likely to be habitable. Finally, we make predictions for the upcoming TESS and James Webb Space Telescope missions.

  17. COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Barnes, Rory; Meadows, Victoria S.; Evans, Nicole

    2015-12-01

    Exoplanet habitability is traditionally assessed by comparing a planet’s semimajor axis to the location of its host star’s “habitable zone,” the shell around a star for which Earth-like planets can possess liquid surface water. The Kepler space telescope has discovered numerous planet candidates near the habitable zone, and many more are expected from missions such as K2, TESS, and PLATO. These candidates often require significant follow-up observations for validation, so prioritizing planets for habitability from transit data has become an important aspect of the search for life in the universe. We propose a method to compare transiting planets for their potential to support life based on transit data, stellar properties and previously reported limits on planetary emitted flux. For a planet in radiative equilibrium, the emitted flux increases with eccentricity, but decreases with albedo. As these parameters are often unconstrained, there is an “eccentricity-albedo degeneracy” for the habitability of transiting exoplanets. Our method mitigates this degeneracy, includes a penalty for large-radius planets, uses terrestrial mass–radius relationships, and, when available, constraints on eccentricity to compute a number we call the “habitability index for transiting exoplanets” that represents the relative probability that an exoplanet could support liquid surface water. We calculate it for Kepler objects of interest and find that planets that receive between 60% and 90% of the Earth’s incident radiation, assuming circular orbits, are most likely to be habitable. Finally, we make predictions for the upcoming TESS and James Webb Space Telescope missions.

  18. SEEDS -- Direct Imaging Survey for Exoplanets and Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helminiak, K. G.; Kuzuhara, M.; Kudo, T.; Tamura, M.; Usuda, T.; Hashimoto, J.; Matsuo, T.; McElwain, M. W.; Momose, M.; Tsukagoshi, T.

    2015-01-01

    Exoplanets on wide orbits (r ≳ 10 AU) can be revealed by high-contrast direct imaging, which is efficient for their detailed detections and characterizations compared with indirect techniques. The SEEDS campaign, using the 8.2-m Subaru Telescope , is one of the most extensive campaigns to search for wide-orbit exoplanets via direct imaging. Since 2009 to date, the campaign has surveyed exoplanets around stellar targets selected from the solar neighborhood, moving groups, open clusters, and star-forming regions. It also surveys exoplanets in planetary systems with debris disks . The survey is designed to perform observations of ˜500 stars, covering the age range of 1 Myr to a few Gyr. As a result of the observations performed so far, SEEDS has detected new sub-stellar companions , including planets with properties that are unique compared with the previously directly imaged exoplanets. High-contrast imaging by SEEDS has also provided better characterizations of exoplanet systems identified by indirect techniques.

  19. New Features of the Exoplanet Orbit Database at Exoplanets.org

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Ying; Han, E.; Wright, J.; Fakhouri, O.; Ford, E. B.; Planet Survey, California

    2013-01-01

    We report a series of updates and enhancements on the Exoplanet Orbit Database (EOD), which contains peer-reviewed orbital and transit parameters of exoplanets and stellar parameters of their host stars. Along with inputting new planets, we regularly check the Astrophysics Data System and arXiv.org for updates to the orbits of known planets. Since December 2010, the EOD expanded from 427 planets to 640 planets, as of September 2012. The EOD can be explored through the Exoplanet Data Explorer Plotter and Table, available at http://exoplanets.org. Additions to the reported fields include stellar radius, asymmetric uncertainties, references for almost all parameters, and more. We are preparing to merge the EOD with data from the Exoplanet Archive's Kepler candidate list, and so have added many Kepler fields to the EOD including Kepler magnitude. This will allow for the confirmed exoplanets to be merged with Kepler candidates in the Exoplanet Data Explorers (EDE). We also plan to add microlensing and imaged planets, so that the entire population of high-quality, peer-reviewed planet detections can be displayed in the Table and Plotter EDEs. To minimize data entry errors in stellar parameters, a new program we wrote automatically retrieves fields like magnitudes, right ascension and declination, and the SAO identifier from SIMBAD data. We have also cross-examined our data with a few other independent databases to screen for typos and errors. We are also show fits of orbits of new and known planets of almost two dozen stars. Using the latest Keck velocities, we update solutions for several long period planets.

  20. The VLT/NaCo large program to probe the occurrence of exoplanets and brown dwarfs at wide orbits. II. Survey description, results, and performances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chauvin, G.; Vigan, A.; Bonnefoy, M.; Desidera, S.; Bonavita, M.; Mesa, D.; Boccaletti, A.; Buenzli, E.; Carson, J.; Delorme, P.; Hagelberg, J.; Montagnier, G.; Mordasini, C.; Quanz, S. P.; Segransan, D.; Thalmann, C.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Biller, B.; Covino, E.; Feldt, M.; Girard, J.; Gratton, R.; Henning, T.; Kasper, M.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Messina, S.; Meyer, M.; Mouillet, D.; Moutou, C.; Reggiani, M.; Schlieder, J. E.; Zurlo, A.

    2015-01-01

    Context. Young, nearby stars are ideal targets for direct imaging searches for giant planets and brown dwarf companions. After the first-imaged planet discoveries, vast efforts have been devoted to the statistical analysis of the occurence and orbital distributions of giant planets and brown dwarf companions at wide (≥5-6 AU) orbits. Aims: In anticipation of the VLT/SPHERE planet-imager, guaranteed-time programs, we have conducted a preparatory survey of 86 stars between 2009 and 2013 to identify new faint comoving companions to ultimately analyze the occurence of giant planets and brown dwarf companions at wide (10-2000 AU) orbits around young, solar-type stars. Methods: We used NaCo at VLT to explore the occurrence rate of giant planets and brown dwarfs between typically 0.1 and 8''. Diffraction-limited observations in H-band combined with angular differential imaging enabled us to reach primary star-companion brightness ratios as small as 10-6 at 1.5''. Repeated observations at several epochs enabled us to discriminate comoving companions from background objects. Results: During our survey, twelve systems were resolved as new binaries, including the discovery of a new white dwarf companion to the star HD 8049. Around 34 stars, at least one companion candidate was detected in the observed field of view. More than 400 faint sources were detected; 90% of them were in four crowded fields. With the exception of HD 8049 B, we did not identify any new comoving companions. The survey also led to spatially resolved images of the thin debris disk around HD 61005 that have been published earlier. Finally, considering the survey detection limits, we derive a preliminary upper limit on the frequency of giant planets for the semi-major axes of [10, 2000] AU: typically less than 15% between 100 and 500 AU and less than 10% between 50 and 500 AU for exoplanets that are more massive than 5 MJup and 10 MJup respectively, if we consider a uniform input distribution and a

  1. The SEEDS High-Contrast Imaging Survey of Exoplanets Around Young Stellar Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uyama, Taichi; Hashimoto, Jun; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Mayama, Satoshi; Akiyama, Eiji; Currie, Thayne; Livingston, John; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Abe, Lyu; Brandner, Wolfgang; Brandt, Timothy D.; Carson, Joseph C.; Egner, Sebastian; Feldt, Markus; Goto, Miwa; Grady, Carol A.; Guyon, Olivier; Hayano, Yutaka; Hayashi, Masahiko; Hayashi, Saeko S.; Henning, Thomas; Hodapp, Klaus W.; Ishii, Miki; Iye, Masanori; Janson, Markus; Kandori, Ryo; Knapp, Gillian R.; Kwon, Jungmi; Matsuo, Taro; Mcelwain, Michael W.; Miyama, Shoken; Morino, Jun-Ichi; Moro-Martin, Amaya; Nishimura, Tetsuo; Pyo, Tae-Soo; Serabyn, Eugene; Suenaga, Takuya; Suto, Hiroshi; Suzuki, Ryuji; Takahashi, Yasuhiro H.; Takami, Michihiro; Takato, Naruhisa; Terada, Hiroshi; Thalmann, Christian; Turner, Edwin L.; Watanabe, Makoto; Wisniewski, John; Yamada, Toru; Takami, Hideki; Usuda, Tomonori; Tamura, Motohide

    2017-03-01

    We present high-contrast observations of 68 young stellar objects (YSOs) that have been explored as part of the Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru (SEEDS) survey on the Subaru telescope. Our targets are very young (<10 Myr) stars, which often harbor protoplanetary disks where planets may be forming. We achieve a typical contrast of ∼10‑4–10‑5.5 at an angular distance of 1″ from the central star, corresponding to typical mass sensitivities (assuming hot-start evolutionary models) of ∼10 M J at 70 au and ∼6 M J at 140 au. We detected a new stellar companion to HIP 79462 and confirmed the substellar objects GQ Lup b and ROXs 42B b. An additional six companion candidates await follow-up observations to check for common proper motion. Our SEEDS YSO observations probe the population of planets and brown dwarfs at the very youngest ages; these may be compared to the results of surveys targeting somewhat older stars. Our sample and the associated observational results will help enable detailed statistical analyses of giant planet formation.

  2. Observing Exoplanets with the James Webb Space Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clampin Mark

    2011-01-01

    The search for exoplanets and characterization of their properties has seen increasing success over the last few years. In excess of 500 exoplanets are known and Kepler has approx. 1000 additional candidates. Recently, progress has been made in direct imaging planets, both from the ground and in space. This presentation will discuss the history and current state of technology used for such discoveries, and highlight the new capabilities that will be enabled by the James Webb Space Telescope.

  3. Variable Star and Exoplanet Section of the Czech Astronomical Society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brát, L.; Zejda, M.

    2010-12-01

    We present activities of Czech variable star observers organized in the Variable Star and Exoplanet Section of the Czech Astronomical Society. We work in four observing projects: B.R.N.O. - eclipsing binaries, MEDUZA - intrinsic variable stars, TRESCA - transiting exoplanets and candidates, HERO - objects of high energy astrophysics. Detailed information together with O-C gate (database of eclipsing binaries minima timings) and OEJV (Open European Journal on Variable stars) are available on our internet portal http://var.astro.cz.

  4. Two Suns in the Sky: Stellar Multiplicity in Exoplanet Systems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-03-29

    ions at projected separations of 20 AU, similar to the Sun– Uranus distance. Finally, two of the exoplanet systems contain white dwarf companions...similar to the Sun– Uranus distance). HD 19994.—WDS lists 14 observations for this companion. This pair was first resolved by Admiral Smyth in 1836 with a 6...Note that the projected separation between A and B is just 22 AU, similar to the separation of the Sun and Uranus . HD 40979.—This CPM pair is clearly

  5. Astronomy: Tycho's mystery companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Branch, David

    2004-10-01

    A famous sixteenth century supernova, seen by Tycho Brahe, is still a hot topic. The stellar explosion might have been initiated by a companion star -- and modern astronomers have at last identified it.

  6. The Hubble Exoplanet Classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevens, Laura; Carson, J.; Ruwadi, D.; Low, K.; Jordan, S.; Schneider, G.

    2013-01-01

    We present a status report on the Hubble Exoplanet Classroom, an interactive website designed to engage 8-12th grade students in physical science concepts using the exciting field of exoplanet studies. Addressing national teaching standards, the webpage allows educators to enhance their physical science, physics, and astronomy curriculum with student-driven lessons. The webpage records students' performance on lessons and quizzes and compiles the results, which can be accessed by the instructor using a secure website.

  7. The Exoplanet Orbit Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, J. T.; Fakhouri, O.; Marcy, G. W.; Han, E.; Feng, Y.; Johnson, John Asher; Howard, A. W.; Fischer, D. A.; Valenti, J. A.; Anderson, J.; Piskunov, N.

    2011-04-01

    We present a database of well-determined orbital parameters of exoplanets, and their host stars’ properties. This database comprises spectroscopic orbital elements measured for 427 planets orbiting 363 stars from radial velocity and transit measurements as reported in the literature. We have also compiled fundamental transit parameters, stellar parameters, and the method used for the planets discovery. This Exoplanet Orbit Database includes all planets with robust, well measured orbital parameters reported in peer-reviewed articles. The database is available in a searchable, filterable, and sortable form online through the Exoplanets Data Explorer table, and the data can be plotted and explored through the Exoplanet Data Explorer plotter. We use the Data Explorer to generate publication-ready plots, giving three examples of the signatures of exoplanet migration and dynamical evolution: We illustrate the character of the apparent correlation between mass and period in exoplanet orbits, the different selection biases between radial velocity and transit surveys, and that the multiplanet systems show a distinct semimajor-axis distribution from apparently singleton systems.

  8. Surviving Companions of Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerzendorf, W.

    2016-06-01

    Most supernovae should occur in binaries. Massive stars, the progenitors of core collapse supernovae (SN II/Ib/c), have a very high binarity fraction of 80 percent (on average, they have 1.5 companions). Binary systems are also required to produce thermonuclear supernovae (SN Ia). Understanding the role that binarity plays in pre-supernova evolution is one of the great mysteries in supernova research. Finding and studying surviving companions of supernovae has the power to shed light on some of these mysteries. Searching Galactic and nearby supernova remnants for surviving companions is a particularly powerful technique. This might allow to study the surviving companion in great detail possibly enabling a relatively detailed reconstruction of the pre-supernova evolution. In this talk, I will summarize the multitude of theoretical studies that have simulated the impact of the shockwave on the companion star and the subsequent evolution of the survivor. I will then give an overview of the searches that used these theoretical findings to identify surviving companions in nearby supernova remnants as well as their results. Finally, I will give an outlook of new opportunities in the relatively young field.

  9. [Imaginary companion in adolescence].

    PubMed

    Sawa, Takako; Oae, Hiroyuki; Abiru, Takeshi; Furuhashi, Tadaaki

    2002-01-01

    The phenomenon of imaginary companions, which is usually regarded as normal in children, but which when encountered in adolescence suggests a psychopathologic condition, appears to have had limited investigation. This study indicates some psychopathologic characteristics of imaginary companions by interviewing adolescent patients. Imaginary companions are experienced as one or more invisible persons who have some conversations with patients directly and mutually for a period of time. They consist of vivid images which range between pure perceptions and pure images. The position of these images is not specified, and includes images perceived internally and externally by the patient. Adolescent patients sense the reality of these images and think of them as other persons, but recognize that these are not real people. Generally, imaginary companions are beneficial to the patients. These characteristics indicate that the phenomenon of imaginary companions has a mainly pathologic structure, but some characteristics, such as the patients' recognition of the imaginary aspect of the companion and the benefit for patients, does not fall under the category of psychopathology. We suppose that elucidation of this phenomenon would lead us to productive research in the psychopathologic field.

  10. Multiplicity in transiting planet-host stars. A lucky imaging study of Kepler candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

    Context. In the exoplanetary era, the Kepler spacecraft is causing a revolution by discovering thousands of new planet candidates. However, a follow-up program is needed to reject false candidates and fully characterize the bona-fide exoplanets. Aims: Our main aims are to 1./ detect and analyze close companions inside the typical Kepler point spread function (PSF) to study whether they are the responsible for the dimming found in Kepler light curves, 2./ study the change in the stellar and planetary parameters caused by an unresolved object, 3./ help validate the Kepler objects of interest (KOI) that do not have any object inside the Kepler PSF, and 4./ study the multiplicity rate of planet-host candidates. Such a large sample of observed planet-host candidates allows us to derive statistics for close (visual or bounded) companions to the harboring star. Methods: We present lucky imaging observations for a total of 98 KOIs. This technique is based on the acquisition of thousands of very-short-exposure-time images. A selection and combination of a small amount of the highest quality frames provides a high resolution image with objects having a 0.1 arcsec PSF. We apply this technique to carry out observations in the Sloan i and z filters of our Kepler candidates. Results: We find blended objects inside the Kepler PSF for a significant percentage of KOIs. On the one hand, only 58.2% of the hosts do not have any object within 6 arcsec. On the other hand, we find 19 companions closer than 3 arcsec in 17 KOIs. According to their magnitudes and i - z colors, 8 of them could be physically bound to the host star.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kataria, Tiffany; Simon, Michal

    2010-07-15

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

  12. Validating the First Habitable-Zone Planet Candidates Identified by the NASA Kepler Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charbonneau, David; Desert, Jean-Michel; Fressin, Francois; Ballard, Sarah; Borucki, William; Latham, David; Gilliland, Ronald; Seager, Sara; Knutson, Heather; Fortney, Jonathan; Brown, Timothy; Ford, Eric; Deming, Drake; Torres, Guillermo

    2011-05-01

    At the beginning of Cycle 8, the NASA Kepler Mission will have completed two years of science observations, the minimum baseline sufficient to identify candidate transiting exoplanets orbiting within the habitable-zones of Sun-like stars. The principal task that lies ahead is to reject from this sample the false positives (blends of eclipsing binaries that precisely mimic the signal of a transiting exoplanet), and to confirm the planetary nature of the remaining candidates. For planets more massive than Neptune, the direct confirmation of their planetary status can be accomplished by radial-velocity measurements. However, such planets possess primordial envelopes of hydrogen and helium that make them unsuitable to life as we know it. The most exciting candidates -- and the ones that Kepler is specifically tasked with finding -- are super-Earth and Earth-sized planets orbiting within their stellar habitable zones. Kepler has just begun to identify such planet candidates, and it will identify many more as its baseline increases throughout the coming year. While the Kepler team has developed powerful tools to weed out the impostors, Spitzer possesses the unique ability to provide the final validation of these candidates as planets, namely by measuring the depth of the transit at infrared wavelengths. By combining the infrared and optical measurements of the transit depth with models of hypothetical stellar blends, we can definitively test the stellar-blend hypothesis. We propose to observe the transits of 20 candidate habitable-zone super-Earths to be identified by the Kepler Mission. The results from this Exploration Science Program will be twofold: First, we will definitively validate the first potentially habitable planets ever identified. Second, we will determine the rate of occurrence of impostors. This rate of false positives can then be applied to the much larger sample of candidates identified by Kepler, to deduce the true rate of planetary companions.

  13. Is This Speck of Light an Exoplanet?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-09-01

    nature of this intriguing object. Thus, the astronomers refer to it as a "Giant Planet Candidate Companion (GPCC)" [4]. Observations will now be made to ascertain whether the motion in the sky of GPCC is compatible with that of a planet orbiting 2M1207. This should become evident within 1-2 years at the most. PR Photo 26a/04: NACO image of the brown dwarf object 2M1207 and GPCC PR Photo 26b/04: Near-infrared spectrum of the brown dwarf object 2M1207 and GPCC PR Photo 26c/04: Comparison between the possible 2M1207 system and the solar system Just a speck of light ESO PR Photo 26a/04 ESO PR Photo 26a/04 The Brown Dwarf Object 2M1207 and GPCC [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 471 pix - 65k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 942 pix - 158k] Caption: ESO PR Photo 26a/04 is a composite image of the brown dwarf object 2M1207 (centre) and the fainter object seen near it, at an angular distance of 778 milliarcsec. Designated "Giant Planet Candidate Companion" by the discoverers, it may represent the first image of an exoplanet. Further observations, in particular of its motion in the sky relative to 2M1207 are needed to ascertain its true nature. The photo is based on three near-infrared exposures (in the H, K and L' wavebands) with the NACO adaptive-optics facility at the 8.2-m VLT Yepun telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory. Since 1998, a team of European and American astronomers [2] is studying the environment of young, nearby "stellar associations", i.e., large conglomerates of mostly young stars and the dust and gas clouds from which they were recently formed. The stars in these associations are ideal targets for the direct imaging of sub-stellar companions (planets or brown dwarf objects). The leader of the team, ESO astronomer Gael Chauvin notes that "whatever their nature, sub-stellar objects are much hotter and brighter when young - tens of millions of years - and therefore can be more easily detected than older objects of similar mass". The team especially focused on the study of the TW

  14. Hubble Space Telescope High-Resolution Imaging of Kepler Small and Cool Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

    High-resolution imaging is an important tool for follow-up study of exoplanet candidates found via transit detection with the Kepler mission. We discuss here Hubble Space Telescope imaging with the WFC3 of 23 stars that host particularly interesting Kepler planet candidates based on their small size and cool equilibrium temperature estimates. Results include detections, exclusion of background stars that could be a source of false positives for the transits, and detection of physically associated companions in a number of cases providing dilution measures necessary for planet parameter refinement. For six Kepler objects of interest, we find that there is ambiguity regarding which star hosts the transiting planet(s), with potentially strong implications for planetary characteristics. Our sample is evenly distributed in G, K, and M spectral types. Albeit with a small sample size, we find that physically associated binaries are more common than expected at each spectral type, reaching a factor of 10 frequency excess in M. We document the program detection sensitivities, detections, and deliverables to the Kepler follow-up program archive. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

  15. Hubble space telescope high-resolution imaging of Kepler small and cool exoplanet host stars

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-01

    High-resolution imaging is an important tool for follow-up study of exoplanet candidates found via transit detection with the Kepler mission. We discuss here Hubble Space Telescope imaging with the WFC3 of 23 stars that host particularly interesting Kepler planet candidates based on their small size and cool equilibrium temperature estimates. Results include detections, exclusion of background stars that could be a source of false positives for the transits, and detection of physically associated companions in a number of cases providing dilution measures necessary for planet parameter refinement. For six Kepler objects of interest, we find that there is ambiguity regarding which star hosts the transiting planet(s), with potentially strong implications for planetary characteristics. Our sample is evenly distributed in G, K, and M spectral types. Albeit with a small sample size, we find that physically associated binaries are more common than expected at each spectral type, reaching a factor of 10 frequency excess in M. We document the program detection sensitivities, detections, and deliverables to the Kepler follow-up program archive.

  16. Development of companion diagnostics

    SciTech Connect

    Mankoff, David A.; Edmonds, Christine E.; Farwell, Michael D.; Pryma, Daniel A.

    2015-12-12

    The goal of individualized and targeted treatment and precision medicine requires the assessment of potential therapeutic targets to direct treatment selection. The biomarkers used to direct precision medicine, often termed companion diagnostics, for highly targeted drugs have thus far been almost entirely based on in vitro assay of biopsy material. Molecular imaging companion diagnostics offer a number of features complementary to those from in vitro assay, including the ability to measure the heterogeneity of each patient’s cancer across the entire disease burden and to measure early changes in response to treatment. We discuss the use of molecular imaging methods as companion diagnostics for cancer therapy with the goal of predicting response to targeted therapy and measuring early (pharmacodynamic) response as an indication of whether the treatment has “hit” the target. We also discuss considerations for probe development for molecular imaging companion diagnostics, including both small-molecule probes and larger molecules such as labeled antibodies and related constructs. We then describe two examples where both predictive and pharmacodynamic molecular imaging markers have been tested in humans: endocrine therapy for breast cancer and human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2–targeted therapy. Lastly, the review closes with a summary of the items needed to move molecular imaging companion diagnostics from early studies into multicenter trials and into the clinic.

  17. Development of companion diagnostics

    DOE PAGES

    Mankoff, David A.; Edmonds, Christine E.; Farwell, Michael D.; ...

    2015-12-12

    The goal of individualized and targeted treatment and precision medicine requires the assessment of potential therapeutic targets to direct treatment selection. The biomarkers used to direct precision medicine, often termed companion diagnostics, for highly targeted drugs have thus far been almost entirely based on in vitro assay of biopsy material. Molecular imaging companion diagnostics offer a number of features complementary to those from in vitro assay, including the ability to measure the heterogeneity of each patient’s cancer across the entire disease burden and to measure early changes in response to treatment. We discuss the use of molecular imaging methods asmore » companion diagnostics for cancer therapy with the goal of predicting response to targeted therapy and measuring early (pharmacodynamic) response as an indication of whether the treatment has “hit” the target. We also discuss considerations for probe development for molecular imaging companion diagnostics, including both small-molecule probes and larger molecules such as labeled antibodies and related constructs. We then describe two examples where both predictive and pharmacodynamic molecular imaging markers have been tested in humans: endocrine therapy for breast cancer and human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2–targeted therapy. Lastly, the review closes with a summary of the items needed to move molecular imaging companion diagnostics from early studies into multicenter trials and into the clinic.« less

  18. Development of Companion Diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Mankoff, David A; Edmonds, Christine E; Farwell, Michael D; Pryma, Daniel A

    2016-01-01

    The goal of individualized and targeted treatment and precision medicine requires the assessment of potential therapeutic targets to direct treatment selection. The biomarkers used to direct precision medicine, often termed companion diagnostics, for highly targeted drugs have thus far been almost entirely based on in vitro assay of biopsy material. Molecular imaging companion diagnostics offer a number of features complementary to those from in vitro assay, including the ability to measure the heterogeneity of each patient's cancer across the entire disease burden and to measure early changes in response to treatment. We discuss the use of molecular imaging methods as companion diagnostics for cancer therapy with the goal of predicting response to targeted therapy and measuring early (pharmacodynamic) response as an indication of whether the treatment has "hit" the target. We also discuss considerations for probe development for molecular imaging companion diagnostics, including both small-molecule probes and larger molecules such as labeled antibodies and related constructs. We then describe two examples where both predictive and pharmacodynamic molecular imaging markers have been tested in humans: endocrine therapy for breast cancer and human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2-targeted therapy. The review closes with a summary of the items needed to move molecular imaging companion diagnostics from early studies into multicenter trials and into the clinic.

  19. The history of exoplanet detection.

    PubMed

    Perryman, Michael

    2012-10-01

    I summarize the early developments of the more quantitative aspects of exoplanet detection. After a brief overview of the observational methods currently applied to exoplanet searches and a summary of the first true exoplanet detections resulting from these various techniques, the more relevant historical background is organized according to the observational techniques that are currently most relevant.

  20. Close Binary Progenitors and Ejected Companions of Thermonuclear Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geier, S.; Kupfer, T.; Heber, U.; Nemeth, P.; Ziegerer, E.; Irrgang, A.; Schindewolf, M.; Marsh, T. R.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Barlow, B. N.; Bloemen, S.

    2017-03-01

    Hot subdwarf stars (sdO/Bs) are evolved core helium-burning stars with very thin hydrogen envelopes, which can be formed by common envelope ejection. Close sdB binaries with massive white dwarf (WD) companions are potential progenitors of thermonuclear supernovae type Ia (SN Ia). We discovered such a progenitor candidate as well as a candidate for a surviving companion star, which escapes from the Galaxy. More candidates for both types of objects have been found by cross-matching known sdB stars with proper motion and light curve catalogues. We found 72 sdO/B candidates with high Galactic restframe velocities, 12 of them might be unbound to our Galaxy. Furthermore, we discovered the second-most compact sdB+WD binary known. However, due to the low mass of the WD companion, it is unlikely to be a SN Ia progenitor.

  1. Two Ultracool Degenerate Companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.

    2005-07-01

    In the course of an extensive survey for low mass stellar and substellar companions to nearby white dwarfs, two extrememly cool degenerate objects have been discovered. GD 392B is one of only a few known white dwarfs with Teff⪉4000 K and exhibits collision induced absorption in the near infrared tep{far04}. GD 1400B is the second known L dwarf companion to a white dwarf and a possible brown dwarf (Farihi & Christopher 2004). Interested readers should consult the references for a complete description of these two cool objects.

  2. Uncovering Exoplanets using Polarimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stam, D. M.

    2012-12-01

    Since the first discovery of a planet around a solar-type star by Mayor & Queloz in 1995, more than 700 of these exoplanets have been detected. Most of these are giant, gaseous planets, but small, presumably solid, exoplanets, that are much harder to detect, have also been found. Among the latter are even some that orbit in their star's habitable zone, where temperatures could be just right to allow liquid water on a planet's surface. Liquid water is generally considered to be essential for the existence of life. Whether liquid water actually exists on a planet depends strongly on the atmosphere's thickness and characteristics, such as the surface pressure and composition. Famous examples in the Solar System are Venus and the Earth, with similar sizes, inner compositions and orbital radii, but wildly different surface conditions. The characterization of the atmospheres of giant, gaseous exoplanets, and of the atmospheres and/or surfaces of small, solid exoplanets will allow a comparison with Solar System planets and it will open up a treasure trove of knowledge about the formation and evolution of planetary atmospheres and surfaces, thanks to the vast range of orbital distances, planet sizes and ages that can be studied. Characterization will also allow studying conditions for life and ultimately the existence of life around other stars. Some information about the upper atmospheric properties has already been derived for a few close-in, hot, giant exoplanets, whose thermal flux can be derived from measurements of the combined flux of the star and the planet. This method has also provided traces of an atmosphere around a large solid planet orbiting red dwarf star GJ1214. Characterization of the atmosphere and/or surface of exoplanets in wide orbits, resembling the cool planets in our Solar System, and in particular of small, solid, Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars, is virtually impossible with transit observations. Indeed, polarimetry

  3. Companion Animals. [Information Packet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Anti-Vivisection Society, Chicago, IL.

    This collection of articles reprinted from other National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) publications was compiled to educate the public on issues of importance to NAVS concerning companion animals. Topics covered include spaying and neutering, animal safety, pet theft, and the use of cats and dogs in research. The article on spaying and…

  4. LOW-MASS VISUAL COMPANIONS TO NEARBY G-DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Tokovinin, Andrei

    2011-02-15

    A complete census of wide visual companions to nearby G-dwarf stars can be achieved by selecting candidates from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) Point-Source Catalog and checking their status by second-epoch imaging. Such data are obtained for 124 candidates with separations up to 20'', 47 of which are shown to be new physical low-mass stellar companions. A list of visual binaries with G-dwarf primaries is produced by combining newly found companions with historical data. Maximum likelihood analysis leads to a companion frequency of 0.13 {+-} 0.015 per decade of separation. The mass ratio is distributed almost uniformly, with a power-law index between -0.4 and 0. The remaining uncertainty in the index is related to modeling of the companion detection threshold in 2MASS. These findings are confirmed by an alternative analysis of wider companions in 2MASS, removing the contamination by background stars statistically. Extension of this work will lead to a complete detection of visual companions-a necessary step toward reaching unbiased multiplicity statistics over the full range of orbital periods and, eventually, understanding the origin of multiple systems.

  5. Planets around Low-mass Stars (PALMS). VI. Discovery of a Remarkably Red Planetary-mass Companion to the AB Dor Moving Group Candidate 2MASS J22362452+4751425*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C.; Mawet, Dimitri; Ngo, Henry; Malo, Lison; Mace, Gregory N.; McLane, Jacob N.; Lu, Jessica R.; Tristan, Isaiah I.; Hinkley, Sasha; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Benneke, Björn; Best, William M. J.

    2017-01-01

    We report the discovery of an extremely red planetary-mass companion to 2MASS J22362452+4751425, a ≈0.6 M⊙ late-K dwarf likely belonging to the ∼120 Myr AB Doradus moving group. 2M2236+4751 b was identified in multi-epoch NIRC2 adaptive optics imaging at Keck Observatory at a separation of 3\\buildrel{\\prime\\prime}\\over{.} 7, or 230 ± 20 AU in projection at the kinematic distance of 63 ± 5 pc to its host star. Assuming membership in the AB Dor group, as suggested from its kinematics, the inferred mass of 2M2236+4751 b is 11–14 MJup. Follow-up Keck/OSIRIS K-band spectroscopy of the companion reveals strong CO absorption similar to other faint red L dwarfs and lacks signs of methane absorption, despite having an effective temperature of ≈900–1200 K. With a (J–K)MKO color of 2.69 ± 0.12 mag, the near-infrared slope of 2M2236+4751 b is redder than all of the HR 8799 planets and instead resembles the ≈23 Myr isolated planetary-mass object PSO J318.5–22, implying that similarly thick photospheric clouds can persist in the atmospheres of giant planets at ages beyond 100 Myr. In near-infrared color–magnitude diagrams, 2M2236+4751 b is located at the tip of the red L dwarf sequence and appears to define the “elbow” of the AB Dor substellar isochrone separating low-gravity L dwarfs from the cooler young T dwarf track. 2M2236+4751 b is the reddest substellar companion to a star and will be a valuable benchmark to study the shared atmospheric properties of young low-mass brown dwarfs and extrasolar giant planets. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.

  6. Subaru SEEDS Survey of Exoplanets and Disks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McElwain, Michael W.

    2012-01-01

    The Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks at Subaru (SEEDS) is the first strategic observing program (SSOPs) awarded by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). SEEDS targets a broad sample of stars that span a wide range of masses and ages to explore the formation and evolution of planetary systems. This survey has been awarded 120 nights over five years time to observe nearly 500 stars. Currently in the second year, SEEDS has already produced exciting new results for the protoplanetary disk AB Aur, transitional disk LkCa15, and nearby companion to GJ 758. We present the survey architecture, performance, recent results, and the projected sample. Finally, we will discuss planned upgrades to the high contrast instrumentation at the Subaru Telescope

  7. Exoplanet atmosphere highlights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Muñoz, A.

    2017-03-01

    In only two decades since the first identification of a planet outside the Solar System,and about one since the pioneering detection of an atmosphere, exoplanet science has established itself as a mature field of astrophysics. As the search of as-of-yet undiscovered planets goes on, the field is steadily expanding its focus from detection only to detection and characterization. The information to be grasped from exoplanet atmospheres provides valuable insight into the formation and evolution of the planets and, in turn, into how unique our Solar System is. Ultimately, a dedicated search for life in these distant worlds will have to deal with the information encoded in their atmospheres. In recent years there has been rapid progress on both the theoretical and observational fronts in the investigation of exoplanet atmospheres. Theorists are predicting the prevailing conditions (temperature, chemical composition, cloud occurrence, energy transport) in these objects' envelopes, and are building the frameworks with which to approach the interpretation of observables. In parallel, observers have consolidated the remote sensing techniques that were utilized during the early years, and are now venturing into techniques that hold great promise for the future. With a number of space missions soon to fly and ground-based telescopes and instruments to be commissioned, all of them conceived during the exoplanet era, the field is set to experience unprecedented progress.

  8. The Population of Long-period Transiting Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foreman-Mackey, Daniel; Morton, Timothy D.; Hogg, David W.; Agol, Eric; Schölkopf, Bernhard

    2016-12-01

    The Kepler mission has discovered thousands of exoplanets and revolutionized our understanding of their population. This large, homogeneous catalog of discoveries has enabled rigorous studies of the occurrence rate of exoplanets and planetary systems as a function of their physical properties. However, transit surveys such as Kepler are most sensitive to planets with orbital periods much shorter than the orbital periods of Jupiter and Saturn, the most massive planets in our solar system. To address this deficiency, we perform a fully automated search for long-period exoplanets with only one or two transits in the archival Kepler light curves. When applied to the ˜40,000 brightest Sun-like target stars, this search produces 16 long-period exoplanet candidates. Of these candidates, six are novel discoveries and five are in systems with inner short-period transiting planets. Since our method involves no human intervention, we empirically characterize the detection efficiency of our search. Based on these results, we measure the average occurrence rate of exoplanets smaller than Jupiter with orbital periods in the range 2-25 years to be 2.0 ± 0.7 planets per Sun-like star.

  9. Imaginary Companions and Peer Acceptance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gleason, Tracy R.

    2004-01-01

    Early research on imaginary companions suggests that children who create them do so to compensate for poor social relationships. Consequently, the peer acceptance of children with imaginary companions was compared to that of their peers. Sociometrics were conducted on 88 preschool-aged children; 11 had invisible companions, 16 had personified…

  10. Atmospheric Circulation of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showman, A. P.; Cho, J. Y.-K.; Menou, K.

    2010-12-01

    We survey the basic principles of atmospheric dynamics relevant to explaining existing and future observations of exoplanets, both gas giant and terrestrial. Given the paucity of data on exoplanet atmospheres, our approach is to emphasize fundamental principles and insights gained from solar system studies that are likely to be generalizable to exoplanets. We begin by presenting the hierarchy of basic equations used in atmospheric dynamics, including the Navier-Stokes, primitive, shallow-water, and two-dimensional nondivergent models. We then survey key concepts in atmospheric dynamics, including the importance of planetary rotation, the concept of balance, and simple scaling arguments to show how turbulent interactions generally produce large-scale east-west banding on rotating planets. We next turn to issues specific to giant planets, including their expected interior and atmospheric thermal structures, the implications for their wind patterns, and mechanisms to pump their east-west jets. Hot Jupiter atmospheric dynamics are given particular attention, as these close-in planets have been the subject of most of the concrete developments in the study of exoplanetary atmospheres. We then turn to the basic elements of circulation on terrestrial planets as inferred from solar system studies, including Hadley cells, jet streams, processes that govern the large-scale horizontal temperature contrasts, and climate, and we discuss how these insights may apply to terrestrial exoplanets. Although exoplanets surely possess a greater diversity of circulation regimes than seen on the planets in our solar system, our guiding philosophy is that the multidecade study of solar system planets reviewed here provides a foundation upon which our understanding of more exotic exoplanetary meteorology must build.

  11. Search for brown-dwarf companions of stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahlmann, J.; Ségransan, D.; Queloz, D.; Udry, S.; Santos, N. C.; Marmier, M.; Mayor, M.; Naef, D.; Pepe, F.; Zucker, S.

    2011-01-01

    Context. The frequency of brown-dwarf companions in close orbit around Sun-like stars is low compared to the frequency of planetary and stellar companions. There is presently no comprehensive explanation of this lack of brown-dwarf companions. Aims: By combining the orbital solutions obtained from stellar radial-velocity curves and Hipparcos astrometric measurements, we attempt to determine the orbit inclinations and therefore the masses of the orbiting companions. By determining the masses of potential brown-dwarf companions, we improve our knowledge of the companion mass-function. Methods: The radial-velocity solutions revealing potential brown-dwarf companions are obtained for stars from the CORALIE and HARPS planet-search surveys or from the literature. The best Keplerian fit to our radial-velocity measurements is found using the Levenberg-Marquardt method. The spectroscopic elements of the radial-velocity solution constrain the fit to the intermediate astrometric data of the new Hipparcos reduction. The astrometric solution and the orbit inclination are found using non-linear χ2-minimisation on a two-parameter search grid. The statistical confidence of the adopted orbital solution is evaluated based on the distribution-free permutation test. Results: The discovery of nine new brown-dwarf candidates orbiting stars in the CORALIE and HARPS radial-velocity surveys is reported. New CORALIE radial velocities yielding accurate orbits of six previously-known hosts of potential brown-dwarf companions are presented. Including the literature targets, 33 hosts of potential brown-dwarf companions are examined. Employing innovative methods, we use the new reduction of the Hipparcos data to fully characterise the astrometric orbits of six objects, revealing M-dwarf companions of masses between 90 MJ and 0.52 M_⊙. In addition, the masses of two companions can be restricted to the stellar domain. The companion to HD 137510 is found to be a brown dwarf. At 95% confidence

  12. Harnessing the Power of the WFIRST-Coronagraph: A Coordinated Plan for Exoplanet and Disk Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turnbull, Margaret

    We propose to form a WFIRST Coronagraph Science Investigation Team (WFIRST-C SIT) for the purpose of defining the coronagraph scientific performance requirements, designing an exoplanet and debris disk observing program, and developing data analysis techniques including faint source detection and spectral retrieval. Our team will accomplish these tasks by: 1. Providing detailed characterization of the candidate target stars in terms of stellar/substeller companions, circumstellar debris, and astrophysical background in order to inform the final target selection by the community. As part of this effort, we will make a plan for coordination between WFIRST and Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) target selection, to obtain both scattered light and thermal emission observations of exozodiacal dust in the same systems. This will be important precursor science for future exoEarth direct imaging missions. 2. Creating simulated spatial-spectral data cubes representative of what the WFIRST coronagraph may see around the candidate targets, including known and hypothetical exoplanets, dynamically consistent interplanetary dust distributions, and astrophysical background contamination. The code framework to make the high-fidelity input models exists within our team, and we currently have a complete spectral data cube that allows us to generate images at any wavelength between 0.3 microns and 2.5 microns. To generate the simulated datasets for WFIRST, we will make use of instrument simulation tools provided by the coronagraph design team, spanning the range of expected coronagraph performance characteristics. We will also add functionality to these tools, or build our own, as required. 3. Designing and conducting a â€oeblind retrieval challenge― study to distribute these data amongst source detection and spectral modeling teams in the exoplanet and wider astrophysics community. Given the variety of sources expected in each planet-finding field, we expect

  13. Exoplanets: Misaligned, Migratory, Metallic, and Mini

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.

    2011-01-01

    The past year saw paradigms challenged and long-sought domains detected from Doppler, transit, microlensing, and direct imaging observations of exoplanets. The tilt of orbital planes with respect to stellar equators has been studied in over 30 planetary systems. Shockingly, they are not generally aligned, including some orbits quite tilted relative to the star's equator and a few even retrograde. These misalignments utterly contradict the accepted theory of planet migration in a gaseous protoplanetary disk, and they differ from the co-planar orbits in our own solar system. Equally puzzling, many close-in gas giants display grossly inflated radii, temperature inversions of mysterious origin, and non-equilibrium abundances of CO and methane. Meanwhile, Doppler-detected exoplanets reveal, for the first time, a rapidly rising mass function toward lower masses - all the way to 3 Earth-masses, pointing to the occurrence frequency of Earth-mass planets. The NASA Kepler Mission has discovered over 700 candidate planets, with most having diameters less than 5 times that of Earth and some as small as that of Earth. One planet has a radius, mass, and density in a new domain having no counterpart in our Solar System, opening a new chapter in planetary science. The mutual inclinations and gravitational interactions among planets measured by Kepler provide key information on the formation and evolution of planetary systems. The diversity of exoplanets continues to confound, delight, and inform us about planetary systems in general, with our Solar System being just one example.

  14. Understanding Young Exoplanet Analogs with WISE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Emily

    We propose to tackle outstanding questions about the fundamental properties of young brown dwarfs, which are atmospheric analogs to massive gas giant exoplanets, using public archive data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) combined with our extensive dataset of optical and near-infrared observations, including spectra, proper motions, and parallaxes. Using WISE data we will construct color-color diagrams, color- magnitude diagrams, and spectral energy distributions for our sample of candidate young brown dwarfs. We will fully characterize the spectral properties of the candidates and evaluate their membership in nearby young moving groups in order to obtain independent age estimates. The practical outcomes of this project will allow the research community to use observed colors and spectra to reliably constrain the properties - including effective temperature, gravity, and dust/cloud properties - of both brown dwarfs and gas giant exoplanets. We will also search for new young brown dwarfs in the WISE archive using colors and proper motions. The expanded sample of young brown dwarfs will be used to create a self-contained feedback loop to identify and address the shortcomings of cool atmosphere models and low-mass evolutionary tracks, both of which are already being used to infer the properties of massive exoplanets. Disentangling the effects of physical parameters on the observed properties of young brown dwarfs is directly relevant to studies of exoplanets. Direct observations of exoplanets are currently very limited, and young brown dwarfs are the laboratories in which we can solve existing problems before the onslaught of new observations from instruments capable of directly imaging exoplanets, including the Gemini Planet Imager, Project 1640 at the Palomar Observatory, SPHERE on the VLT, and the James Webb Space Telescope. This project addresses the goal of the NASA Science Mission Directorate to discover how the universe works; in particular

  15. Confirmation of an exoplanet using the transit color signature: Kepler-418b, a blended giant planet in a multiplanet system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tingley, B.; Parviainen, H.; Gandolfi, D.; Deeg, H. J.; Palle, E.; Montañés Rodriguez, P.; Murgas, F.; Alonso, R.; Bruntt, H.; Fridlund, M.

    2014-07-01

    Aims: We announce confirmation of Kepler-418b, one of two proposed planets in this system. This is the first confirmation of an exoplanet based primarily on the transit color signature technique. Methods: We used the Kepler public data archive combined with multicolor photometry from the Gran Telescopio de Canarias and radial velocity follow-up using FIES at the Nordic Optical Telescope for confirmation. Results: We report a confident detection of a transit color signature that can only be explained by a compact occulting body, entirely ruling out a contaminating eclipsing binary, a hierarchical triple, or a grazing eclipsing binary. Those findings are corroborated by our radial velocity measurements, which put an upper limit of ~1 MJup on the mass of Kepler-418b. We also report that the host star is significantly blended, confirming the ~10% light contamination suspected from the crowding metric in the Kepler light curve measured by the Kepler team. We report detection of an unresolved light source that contributes an additional ~30% to the target star, which would not have been detected without multicolor photometric analysis. The resulting planet-star radius ratio is 0.110 ± 0.0025, more than 25% more than the 0.087 measured by Kepler leading to a radius of 1.20 ± 0.16 RJup instead of the 0.94 RJup measured by the Kepler team. Conclusions: This is the first confirmation of an exoplanet candidate based primarily on the transit color signature, demonstrating that this technique is viable from ground for giant planets. It is particularly useful for planets with long periods such as Kepler-418b, which tend to have long transit durations. While this technique is limited to candidates with deep transits from the ground, it may be possible to confirm earth-like exoplanet candidates with a few hours of observing time with an instrument like the James Webb Space Telescope. Additionally, multicolor photometric analysis of transits can reveal unknown stellar neighbors

  16. Exoplanets in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borucki, W. J.; Kaltenegger, L.; Doyle, L.

    2012-12-01

    Nearly 3000 planetary candidates have been found with an enormous range of sizes, densities, semi-major axes, and types of stellar hosts. In particular, exoplanets near the size of Earth's moon to those larger than Jupiter have been found orbiting stars much cooler and smaller than the Sun as well to stars hotter and often larger than the Sun. Orbital periods range from 0.84 days to over 1000 days and orbital distances range from 0.01 AU to many AU. In addition to the photometric determination of the sizes of planets, masses can be determined for those planets with large masses and/or short orbital-periods from radial velocity and transit timing measurements. By combining these results, densities of these planets are calculated. The results are indicative of planetary compositions that range from mostly gas, to water planets, and to iron-rich rocky planets. Surprisingly wide ranges of densities have been found for closely-packed planets orbiting the same star. This result implies that contrary to what is observed in our Solar System, the composition (whether rocky, water-rich, or gas) cannot be deduced from its semi-major axis or insolation. For planets with an atmosphere, the surface temperature will be higher than equilibrium temperature Teq and will depend on the amount and spectral characteristics of the insolation as well as atmospheric properties such as mass, composition, and albedo. Unfortunately, the latter are unknown and there are substantial uncertainties in the former because the stellar size is often poorly known. Variations of insolation can be very large for planets orbiting binary stars as well as for those planets with high eccentricity. Thus the associated climatic conditions vary over a very wide range. Because it is much more difficult to find small planets in the HZ compared to finding large planets in short period orbits, only a few dozen planetary candidates and confirmed planets have been discovered in the HZ. Therefore the estimate of the

  17. Exoplanets, extremophiles and habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janot Pacheco, E.; Bernardes, L.

    2012-09-01

    Estimates of the average surface temperature and CO2 partial atmospheric pressure of already discovered exoplanets supposed to be in their Habitable Zone of their stars were surveyed from the Exoplanet Encyclopedia database. Moreover, since planetary surface temperature strongly depends on its albedo and geodynamic conditions, we have been feeding exoplanetary data into a comprehensive model of Earth's atmosphere to get better estimations. We also investigated the possible presence of "exomoons" belonging to giant planets capable of harbour dynamic stability and to retain atmospheric layers and keep geodynamic activity for long time spans. Collected information on biological data of micro-organisms classified as "extremophiles" indicate that such kind of microbial species could dwell in many of them. We thus propose an extension of the more astronomically defined "Habitable Zone" concept into the more astrobiologically "Extremophile Zone", taking into account other refined parameters allowing survival of more robust life forms.

  18. Exoplanets Search Plan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vodniza, Alberto Quijano; Pereira, M. Rojas; Lopez, J. P.

    2007-12-01

    The event of the variable stars by eclipse occurs owing to the rotation of at least two stars around its center of mass and it's relatively easy to detect because of the large size of the bodies that are involved on it. But in the case of the exoplanets the eclipse that originates is very small, because the variation of the luminous intensity generated is very little on the whole. However, with photometric techniques of high precision, it is possible to detect those passages. Also, there exist astrometrical methods quite complicated for an amateur, so the one we will employ at the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Nariño (COLOMBIA) and which better adapts to our equipment and capacity is the photometric method. Through differential photometry, we will analyze first variable stars weaker than tenth magnitude so we can acquire enough experience on determining stellar passages and then begin a systematic search for exoplanets, in which case photometry must have an accuracy of the order of thousandths of magnitude. We have already made trials with some variable stars, like the GCVS FZ ORIONIS and the results are quite good, because the accuracy is of the hundredths order of magnitude, but in order to search exoplanets, photometry must have a resolution in the order of few thousandths of magnitude. First of all we'll test our methodology with stars that have already been established as to hold planets so then we'll start the research seeking after possible exoplanets around other stars. On the poster it'll be explained the scientific methodology.

  19. Surface Temperatures of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weisfeiler, M.; Turcotte, D. L.; Kellogg, L. H.

    2015-12-01

    In the search for habitable exoplanets, the planet's surface temperature plays a crucial role. Unfortunately, direct measurements of surface temperature are not available at this time. Many physical processes influence the surface temperature distribution of a planet. However, the dominating influence is an energy balance between the stellar radiation input and the radiative surface loss of heat. With the further assumptions of a uniform planetary surface temperature, no filtering of the incoming radiation, and black body emission, the only variables are the stellar luminosity and the radial distance of the exoplanet from the star. For the solar system, agreement with observations is quite good except for Venus. The agreement is good for both the inner planets and the outer planets. In this paper we systematically look at methods of improving the zero order approach given above. We consider the filtering of the incoming radiation and the grey body emission. This accounts for the greenhouse effect and can explain the surface temperature of Venus. We systematically vary the filtering of incoming radiation and the emissivities of the daytime and nighttime surfaces. There is evidence that greenhouse heating on the Earth is primarily at nighttime. Different emissivities can explain this effect. It is straightforward to extend the energy balance analysis to include the latitude dependence of surface temperature. Good agreement is obtained at low latitudes but temperature buffering and heat transport by the oceans and atmosphere are clearly important at high latitudes. It is also straightforward to estimate the difference between the daytime and nighttime temperatures. The important parameter is the rotation rate of the exoplanet. The roles of the oceans and the atmosphere in moderating this difference on the Earth will be discussed. Some exoplanets are sufficiently close to their star to have temperatures above the melting temperatures and even the vaporization

  20. A Census of Distant, Giant Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Timothy D.

    Hundreds of planets have recently been discovered around other stars, revealing a startling diversity of planetary systems. However, these exoplanets lie almost exclusively within a few astronomical units (AU) of their host stars. A full picture of planet formation also requires a census and statistical analysis of planets at wide separations. This thesis uses the SEEDS direct imaging survey, together with archival data, to search for massive, >~5 M J companions tens of AU from their host stars. These objects are not sufficiently massive to fuse hydrogen, and simply cool and fade as they radiate away their heat of formation. As a result, SEEDS targets young, nearby stars using HiCIAO, a high-contrast infrared camera on the Subaru telescope. I first present an analysis of HiCIAO, deriving the distortion correction needed to reduce high-contrast data, and optimizing HiCIAO's entrance pupil to vastly improve its performance. I then describe ACORNS-ADI, software I have written to reduce HiCIAO data. This software includes several new algorithms that both improve its performance and efficiently compute each observation's sensitivity. I use ACORNS-ADI to uniformly reduce data from the SEEDS survey, including images of members of young moving groups and of debris disk hosts. The ages of these stars, together with substellar cooling models, are needed to convert our sensitivities from luminosities to masses. I therefore present a uniform Bayesian analysis of all targets, deriving a posterior age distribution for each using both proposed moving group membership and observed stellar activity. Finally, I combine the published SEEDS results with additional archival imaging to assemble a diverse sample of nearly 200 stars. A statistical analysis of five brown dwarfs and massive exoplanets discovered by HiCIAO provides a limit of ~50--200 AU, depending on the models used, beyond which the distribution of exoplanets at small separations cannot extend. By treating massive planets

  1. Water in exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Tinetti, Giovanna; Tennyson, Jonathan; Griffith, Caitlin A; Waldmann, Ingo

    2012-06-13

    Exoplanets--planets orbiting around stars other than our own Sun--appear to be common. Significant research effort is now focused on the observation and characterization of exoplanet atmospheres. Species such as water vapour, methane, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide have been observed in a handful of hot, giant, gaseous planets, but cooler, smaller planets such as Gliese 1214b are now analysable with current telescopes. Water is the key chemical dictating habitability. The current observations of water in exoplanets from both space and the ground are reviewed. Controversies surrounding the interpretation of these observations are discussed. Detailed consideration of available radiative transfer models and linelists are used to analyse these differences in interpretation. Models suggest that there is a clear need for data on the pressure broadening of water transitions by H(2) at high temperatures. The reported detections of water appear to be robust, although final confirmation will have to await the better quality observational data provided by currently planned dedicated space missions.

  2. Exoplanet observations with GTC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pallé, Enric

    2015-12-01

    Our group is presently conducting an observational campaign, using the 10-meter Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), to obtain the transmission spectrum of several exoplanets during a transit event. The GTC instrument OSIRIS is used in its long-slit spectroscopic mode, covering the spectral range of 520-1040 nm, and observations are taken using a set of custom-built slits of various, broad, widths. We integrate the stellar flux of both stars in different wavelength regions producing several light curves and fit transit models in order to obtain the star-to-planet radius ratio Rp/Rs across wavelength. A Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) Bayesian approach is used for the transit fitting. We will show that with our instrumental setup, OSIRIS has been able to reach precisions down to 250 ppm (WASP-48b, V=11.06 mag) for each color light curve 10 nm wide, in a single transit. And accuracies of the order of 500ppm can be obtained for objects with V=16. Central transit timing accuracies have been measured down to 6 seconds.Here, we will present refined planet parameters, the detection of planet color signatures, and the transmission spectra of a set of know and unpublished transiting exoplanets. We will also discuss the capabilities and limitations of GTC with current and future instrumentation, and the role of GTC as tool for the follow up of faint exoplanet targets.

  3. Low-mass Visual Companions to Nearby G-dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokovinin, Andrei

    2011-02-01

    A complete census of wide visual companions to nearby G-dwarf stars can be achieved by selecting candidates from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) Point-Source Catalog and checking their status by second-epoch imaging. Such data are obtained for 124 candidates with separations up to 20'', 47 of which are shown to be new physical low-mass stellar companions. A list of visual binaries with G-dwarf primaries is produced by combining newly found companions with historical data. Maximum likelihood analysis leads to a companion frequency of 0.13 ± 0.015 per decade of separation. The mass ratio is distributed almost uniformly, with a power-law index between -0.4 and 0. The remaining uncertainty in the index is related to modeling of the companion detection threshold in 2MASS. These findings are confirmed by an alternative analysis of wider companions in 2MASS, removing the contamination by background stars statistically. Extension of this work will lead to a complete detection of visual companions—a necessary step toward reaching unbiased multiplicity statistics over the full range of orbital periods and, eventually, understanding the origin of multiple systems.

  4. PUMPING THE ECCENTRICITY OF EXOPLANETS BY TIDAL EFFECT

    SciTech Connect

    Correia, Alexandre C. M.; Boue, Gwenaeel; Laskar, Jacques

    2012-01-10

    Planets close to their host stars are believed to undergo significant tidal interactions, leading to a progressive damping of the orbital eccentricity. Here we show that when the orbit of the planet is excited by an outer companion, tidal effects combined with gravitational interactions may give rise to a secular increasing drift on the eccentricity. As long as this secular drift counterbalances the damping effect, the eccentricity can increase to high values. This mechanism may explain why some of the moderate close-in exoplanets are observed with substantial eccentricity values.

  5. SEEDS - Strategic explorations of exoplanets and disks with the Subaru Telescope.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Motohide

    2016-01-01

    The first convincing detection of planets orbiting stars other than the Sun, or exoplanets, was made in 1995. In only 20 years, the number of the exoplanets including promising candidates has already accumulated to more than 5000. Most of the exoplanets discovered so far are detected by indirect methods because the direct imaging of exoplanets needs to overcome the extreme contrast between the bright central star and the faint planets. Using the large Subaru 8.2-m Telescope, a new high-contrast imager, HiCIAO, and second-generation adaptive optics (AO188), the most ambitious high-contrast direct imaging survey to date for giant planets and planet-forming disks has been conducted, the SEEDS project. In this review, we describe the aims and results of the SEEDS project for exoplanet/disk science. The completeness and uniformity of this systematic survey mean that the resulting data set will dominate this field of research for many years.

  6. Do HI Companions to HII Galaxies Have Optical Counterparts?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, C. L.; Skillman, E. D.; Brinks, E.

    1994-05-01

    Taylor, Brinks & Skillman (1993; AJ 105, 128 and 1994; BAAS 25, 1342) mapped thirty dwarf galaxies undergoing bursts of star formation (HII galaxies) in the 21--cm line with the VLA. They discovered an HI rich companion population in the vicinity of these otherwise isolated galaxies. Of the thirty HII galaxies observed, eighteen have a total of twenty-two confirmed companions and two more have unconfirmed candidate companions. Ten had no companions within the primary beam of the VLA (30(') ) and inside the velocity range covered (+/- 250 km/s of each galaxy). The high detection rate of companions near HII galaxies suggests that interactions may have a role in instigating their bursts of star formation. Seven of the companions have high surface brightness optical counterparts, easily seen in the POSS. A further three were detected in preliminary R band CCD follow--up observations, leaving eight undetected down to a limiting surface brightness of 23 magnitudes per square arcsecond. We will present new observations of these fields, which will push our limiting surface brightness down to 26 magnitudes per square arcsecond, in an effort to determine whether or not these objects are truly intergalactic HI clouds, or are extremely low surface brightness dwarf galaxies. If it can be shown that the companions have have no stars then the study of these galaxy--massed HI clouds will yield constraints on what conditions are necessary for star formation to take place.

  7. Dynamical measurements of the interior structure of exoplanets

    SciTech Connect

    Becker, Juliette C.; Batygin, Konstantin

    2013-12-01

    Giant gaseous planets often reside on orbits in sufficient proximity to their host stars for the planetary quadrupole gravitational field to become non-negligible. In presence of an additional planetary companion, a precise characterization of the system's orbital state can yield meaningful constraints on the transiting planet's interior structure. However, such methods can require a very specific type of system. This paper explores the dynamic range of applicability of these methods and shows that interior structure calculations are possible for a wide array of orbital architectures. The HAT-P-13 system is used as a case study, and the implications of perturbations arising from a third distant companion on the feasibility of an interior calculation are discussed. We find that the method discussed here is likely to be useful in studying other planetary systems, allowing the possibility of an expanded survey of the interiors of exoplanets.

  8. Imaginary companions of preschool children.

    PubMed

    Gleason, T R; Sebanc, A M; Hartup, W W

    2000-07-01

    The developmental significance of preschool children's imaginary companions was examined. Mothers of 78 children were interviewed about their children's social environments and imaginary companions (if their children had them). Results revealed differences between invisible companions and personified objects (e.g., stuffed animals or dolls) in terms of the pretend friends' stability and ubiquity, identity, and relationship with the child. Relationships with invisible companions were mostly described as sociable and friendly, whereas personified objects were usually nurtured. Mothers reported that personification of objects frequently occurred as a result of acquiring a toy, whereas invisible friends were often viewed as fulfilling a need for a relationship. Compared to children without imaginary companions, children with imaginary companions were more likely to be firstborn and only children.

  9. MARVELS-1b: A Short-period, Brown Dwarf Desert Candidate from the SDSS-III Marvels Planet Search

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Brian L.; Ge, Jian; Fleming, Scott W.; Stassun, Keivan G.; Gaudi, B. Scott; Barnes, Rory; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Eastman, Jason D.; Wright, Jason; Siverd, Robert J.; Gary, Bruce; Ghezzi, Luan; Laws, Chris; Wisniewski, John P.; Porto de Mello, G. F.; Ogando, Ricardo L. C.; Maia, Marcio A. G.; Nicolaci da Costa, Luiz; Sivarani, Thirupathi; Pepper, Joshua; Nguyen, Duy Cuong; Hebb, Leslie; De Lee, Nathan; Wang, Ji; Wan, Xiaoke; Zhao, Bo; Chang, Liang; Groot, John; Varosi, Frank; Hearty, Fred; Hanna, Kevin; van Eyken, J. C.; Kane, Stephen R.; Agol, Eric; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Bochanski, John J.; Brewington, Howard; Chen, Zhiping; Costello, Erin; Dou, Liming; Eisenstein, Daniel J.; Fletcher, Adam; Ford, Eric B.; Guo, Pengcheng; Holtzman, Jon A.; Jiang, Peng; French Leger, R.; Liu, Jian; Long, Daniel C.; Malanushenko, Elena; Malanushenko, Viktor; Malik, Mohit; Oravetz, Daniel; Pan, Kaike; Rohan, Pais; Schneider, Donald P.; Shelden, Alaina; Snedden, Stephanie A.; Simmons, Audrey; Weaver, B. A.; Weinberg, David H.; Xie, Ji-Wei

    2011-02-01

    We present a new short-period brown dwarf (BD) candidate around the star TYC 1240-00945-1. This candidate was discovered in the first year of the Multi-object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanets Large-area Survey (MARVELS), which is part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) III, and we designate the BD as MARVELS-1b. MARVELS uses the technique of dispersed fixed-delay interferometery to simultaneously obtain radial velocity (RV) measurements for 60 objects per field using a single, custom-built instrument that is fiber fed from the SDSS 2.5 m telescope. From our 20 RV measurements spread over a ~370 day time baseline, we derive a Keplerian orbital fit with semi-amplitude K = 2.533 ± 0.025 km s-1, period P = 5.8953 ± 0.0004 days, and eccentricity consistent with circular. Independent follow-up RV data confirm the orbit. Adopting a mass of 1.37 ± 0.11 M sun for the slightly evolved F9 host star, we infer that the companion has a minimum mass of 28.0 ± 1.5 M Jup, a semimajor axis 0.071 ± 0.002 AU assuming an edge-on orbit, and is probably tidally synchronized. We find no evidence for coherent intrinsic variability of the host star at the period of the companion at levels greater than a few millimagnitudes. The companion has an a priori transit probability of ~14%. Although we find no evidence for transits, we cannot definitively rule them out for companion radii lsim1 R Jup.

  10. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintosh, Bruce

    artifacts and provides accurate and calibrated recovery of exoplanet spectra. We will produce a complete archive of all reduced GPI data products (supplementing the existing Gemini archive of raw data) for use by our collaboration, and release that archive to the public on an 18-month cycle. Most importantly, we will execute the GPI observations, initially through classical telescope visits, transitioning to remote and queue modes as our techniques are refined. As the first direct-imaging planet search with statistical depth comparable to Doppler planet detection and the first to probe into the snow line, the GPI Exoplanet Survey will provide strong constraints on paradigms for planet formation, completing the picture of the giant planet distribution throughout other solar systems, and also illuminating its evolution with stellar age and mass. We will deliver a catalog of detected exoplanets— the principal legacy of this campaign—released for follow-up by the astronomical community within 18 months of observation, as well as searchable archive of fully reduced images and detection limits for all stars surveyed. For each detected planet, we will produce estimated effective temperatures, luminosities, and semi-major axes: for a subset, high-SNR fiducial spectra, orbital eccentricities, and dynamical characterization through polarimetric imaging of attendant debris disks. GPI will complete final acceptance testing this month (May 2013) and is now ready to ship to Chile for first light in September 2013. The GPI survey will provide the best-yet view of the nature of wide-orbit planetary companions, informing our knowledge of solar system formation to guide future NASA planet hunting missions, while simultaneously offering a real- world program using the techniques - from integral field spectroscopy to advanced coronagraphy - that will someday be used to directly image Earthlike planets from space.

  11. FRIENDS OF HOT JUPITERS. III. AN INFRARED SPECTROSCOPIC SEARCH FOR LOW-MASS STELLAR COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Piskorz, Danielle; Knutson, Heather A.; Ngo, Henry; Batygin, Konstantin; Muirhead, Philip S.; Crepp, Justin R.; Hinkley, Sasha; Morton, Timothy D.

    2015-12-01

    Surveys of nearby field stars indicate that stellar binaries are common, yet little is known about the effects that these companions may have on planet formation and evolution. The Friends of Hot Jupiters project uses three complementary techniques to search for stellar companions to known planet-hosting stars: radial velocity monitoring, adaptive optics imaging, and near-infrared spectroscopy. In this paper, we examine high-resolution K band infrared spectra of fifty stars hosting gas giant planets on short-period orbits. We use spectral fitting to search for blended lines due to the presence of cool stellar companions in the spectra of our target stars, where we are sensitive to companions with temperatures between 3500 and 5000 K and projected separations less than 100 AU in most systems. We identify eight systems with candidate low-mass companions, including one companion that was independently detected in our AO imaging survey. For systems with radial velocity accelerations, a spectroscopic non-detection rules out scenarios involving a stellar companion in a high inclination orbit. We use these data to place an upper limit on the stellar binary fraction at small projected separations, and show that the observed population of candidate companions is consistent with that of field stars and also with the population of wide-separation companions detected in our previous AO survey. We find no evidence that spectroscopic stellar companions are preferentially located in systems with short-period gas giant planets on eccentric and/or misaligned orbits.

  12. Characterizing Exoplanets with WFIRST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Stapelfeldt, Karl R.; Marley, Mark S.; Marchis, Franck; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2017-01-01

    The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission is expected to be equipped with a Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) that will study and explore a diversity of exoplanets in reflected light. Beyond being a technology demonstration, the CGI will provide our first glimpses of temperate worlds around our nearest stellar neighbors. In this presentation, we explore how instrumental and astrophysical parameters will affect the ability of the WFIRST/CGI to obtain spectral and photometric observations that are useful for characterizing its planetary targets. We discuss the development of an instrument noise model suitable for studying the spectral characterization potential of a coronagraph-equipped, space-based telescope. To be consistent with planned technologies, we assume a baseline set of telescope and instrument parameters that include a 2.4 meter diameter primary aperture, an up-to-date filter set spanning the visible wavelength range, a spectroscopic wavelength range of 600-970 nm, and an instrument spectral resolution of 70. We present applications of our baseline model to a variety of spectral models of different planet types, emphasizing warm jovian exoplanets. With our exoplanet spectral models, we explore wavelength-dependent planet-star flux ratios for main sequence stars of various effective temperatures, and discuss how coronagraph inner and outer working angle constraints will influence the potential to study different types of planets. For planets most favorable to spectroscopic characterization—gas giants with extensive water vapor clouds—we study the integration times required to achieve moderate signal-to-noise ratio spectra. We also explore the sensitivity of the integration times required to detect key methane absorption bands to exozodiacal light levels. We conclude with a discussion of the opportunities for characterizing smaller, potentially rocky, worlds under a “rendezvous” scenario, where an external starshade is later paired with

  13. Eccentricity of small exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Eylen, Vincent; Albrecht, Simon

    2015-12-01

    Solar system planets move on almost circular orbits. In strong contrast, many massive gas giant exoplanets travel on highly elliptical orbits, whereas the shape of the orbits of smaller, more terrestrial, exoplanets remained largely elusive. This is because the stellar radial velocity caused by these small planets is extremely challenging to measure. Knowing the eccentricity distribution in systems of small planets would be important as it holds information about the planet's formation and evolution. Furthermore the location of the habitable zone depends on eccentricity, and eccentricity also influences occurrence rates inferred for these planets because planets on circular orbits are less likely to transit. We make these eccentricity measurements of small planets using photometry from the Kepler satellite and utilizing a method relying on Kepler's second law, which relates the duration of a planetary transit to its orbital eccentricity, if the stellar density is known.I present a sample of 28 multi-planet systems with precise asteroseismic density measurements, which host 74 planets with an average radius of 2.6 R_earth. We find that the eccentricity of planets in these systems is low and can be described by a Rayleigh distribution with sigma = 0.049 +- 0.013. This is in full agreement with solar system eccentricities, but in contrast to the eccentricity distributions previously derived for exoplanets from radial velocity studies. I further report the first results on the eccentricities of over 50 Kepler single-planet systems, and compare them with the multi-planet systems. I close the talk by showing how transit durations help distinguish between false positives and true planets, and present six new planets.

  14. The Unseen Companion of HD 114762

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latham, David W.

    2014-01-01

    I have told the story of the discovery of the unseen companion of HD114762 (Latham et al. 1989, Nature, 389, 38-40) in a recent publication (Latham 2012, New Astronomy Reviews 56, 16-18). The discovery was enabled by a happy combination of some thinking outside the box by Tsevi Mazeh at Tel Aviv University and the development of new technology for measuring stellar spectra at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Tsevi's unconventional idea was that giant exoplanets might be found much closer to their host stars than Jupiter and Saturn are to the Sun, well inside the snow line. Our instrument was a high-resolution echelle spectrograph optimized for measuring radial velocities of stars similar to the Sun. The key technological developments were an intensified Reticon photon-counting detector under computer control combined with sophisticated analysis of the digital spectra. The detector signal-processing electronics eliminated persistence, which had plagued other intensified systems. This allowed bright Th-Ar calibration exposures before and after every stellar observation, which in turn enabled careful correction for spectrograph drifts. We built three of these systems for telescopes in Massachusetts and Arizona and christened them the "CfA Digital Speedometers". The discovery of HD 114762-b was serendipitous, but not accidental.

  15. Ruling Out Possible Secondary Stars to Exoplanet Host Stars Using the CHARA Array

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-05-17

    north. – 19 – Table 4. Exoplanet Host Star and Planet Observed Parameters Observed Stellar Parameters Planetary System Parameters Spectral θLD σLD K π...Because it is more likely that the companion is a planetary -mass object in a moderate- to high-inclination orbit than a low-mass stellar object in a...likely that the companion is a planetary -mass object in a moderate- to high-inclination orbit than a low-mass stellar object in a nearly face-on orbit

  16. Imaginary Companions of Preschool Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gleason, Tracy R.; Sebanc, Anne M.; Hartup, Willard W.

    2000-01-01

    Interviewed mothers to examine the developmental significance of preschoolers' imaginary companions. Found that relationships with invisible companions were described as sociable and friendly, whereas personified objects were usually nurtured. Object personification frequently occurred as a result of acquiring a toy; invisible friends were viewed…

  17. 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.

  18. Exoplanets and Multiverses (Abstract)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trimble, V.

    2016-12-01

    (Abstract only) To the ancients, the Earth was the Universe, of a size to be crossed by a god in a day, by boat or chariot, and by humans in a lifetime. Thus an exoplanet would have been a multiverse. The ideas gradually separated over centuries, with gradual acceptance of a sun-centered solar system, the stars as suns likely to have their own planets, other galaxies beyond the Milky Way, and so forth. And whenever the community divided between "just one' of anything versus "many," the "manies" have won. Discoveries beginning in 1991 and 1995 have gradually led to a battalion or two of planets orbiting other stars, very few like our own little family, and to moderately serious consideration of even larger numbers of other universes, again very few like our own. I'm betting, however, on habitable (though not necessarily inhabited) exoplanets to be found, and habitable (though again not necessarily inhabited) universes. Only the former will yield pretty pictures.

  19. PynPoint code for exoplanet imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amara, A.; Quanz, S. P.; Akeret, J.

    2015-04-01

    We announce the public release of PynPoint, a Python package that we have developed for analysing exoplanet data taken with the angular differential imaging observing technique. In particular, PynPoint is designed to model the point spread function of the central star and to subtract its flux contribution to reveal nearby faint companion planets. The current version of the package does this correction by using a principal component analysis method to build a basis set for modelling the point spread function of the observations. We demonstrate the performance of the package by reanalysing publicly available data on the exoplanet β Pictoris b, which consists of close to 24,000 individual image frames. We show that PynPoint is able to analyse this typical data in roughly 1.5 min on a Mac Pro, when the number of images is reduced by co-adding in sets of 5. The main computational work, the calculation of the Singular-Value-Decomposition, parallelises well as a result of a reliance on the SciPy and NumPy packages. For this calculation the peak memory load is 6 GB, which can be run comfortably on most workstations. A simpler calculation, by co-adding over 50, takes 3 s with a peak memory usage of 600 MB. This can be performed easily on a laptop. In developing the package we have modularised the code so that we will be able to extend functionality in future releases, through the inclusion of more modules, without it affecting the users application programming interface. We distribute the PynPoint package under GPLv3 licence through the central PyPI server, and the documentation is available online (http://pynpoint.ethz.ch).

  20. Transit Timing Variations for Eccentric and Inclined Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesvorný, David

    2009-08-01

    The Transit Timing Variation (TTV) method relies on monitoring changes in timing of transits of known exoplanets. Nontransiting planets in the system can be inferred from TTVs by their gravitational interactions with the transiting planet. The TTV method is sensitive to low-mass planets that cannot be detected by other means. Inferring the orbital elements and mass of the nontransiting planets from TTVs, however, is more challenging than for other planet detection schemes. It is a difficult inverse problem. Here, we extended the new inversion method proposed by Nesvorný & Morbidelli to eccentric transiting planets and inclined orbits. We found that the TTV signal can be significantly amplified for hierarchical planetary systems with substantial orbital inclinations and/or for an eccentric transiting planet with anti-aligned orbit of the planetary companion. Thus, a fortuitous orbital setup of an exoplanetary system may significantly enhance our chances of TTV detection. We also showed that the detailed shape of the TTV signal is sensitive to the orbital inclination of the nontransiting planetary companion. The TTV detection method may thus provide important constraints on the orbital inclination of exoplanets and be used to test theories of planetary formation and evolution.

  1. TRANSIT TIMING VARIATIONS FOR ECCENTRIC AND INCLINED EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Nesvorny, David

    2009-08-20

    The Transit Timing Variation (TTV) method relies on monitoring changes in timing of transits of known exoplanets. Nontransiting planets in the system can be inferred from TTVs by their gravitational interactions with the transiting planet. The TTV method is sensitive to low-mass planets that cannot be detected by other means. Inferring the orbital elements and mass of the nontransiting planets from TTVs, however, is more challenging than for other planet detection schemes. It is a difficult inverse problem. Here, we extended the new inversion method proposed by Nesvorny and Morbidelli to eccentric transiting planets and inclined orbits. We found that the TTV signal can be significantly amplified for hierarchical planetary systems with substantial orbital inclinations and/or for an eccentric transiting planet with anti-aligned orbit of the planetary companion. Thus, a fortuitous orbital setup of an exoplanetary system may significantly enhance our chances of TTV detection. We also showed that the detailed shape of the TTV signal is sensitive to the orbital inclination of the nontransiting planetary companion. The TTV detection method may thus provide important constraints on the orbital inclination of exoplanets and be used to test theories of planetary formation and evolution.

  2. Light Scattering in Exoplanet Transits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2016-10-01

    Transit spectroscopy is currently the leading technique for studying exoplanet atmospheric composition, and has led to the detection of molecular species, clouds, and/or hazes for numerous worlds outside the Solar System. The field of exoplanet transit spectroscopy will be revolutionized with the anticipated launch of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in 2018. Over the course of the design five year mission for JWST, the observatory is expected to provide in-depth observations of many tens of transiting exoplanets, including some worlds in the poorly understood 2-4 Earth-mass regime. As the quality of transit spectrum observations continues to improve, so should models of exoplanet transits. Thus, certain processes initially thought to be of second-order importance should be revisited and possibly added to modeling tools. For example, atmospheric refraction, which was commonly omitted from early transit spectrum models, has recently been shown to be of critical importance in some terrestrial exoplanet transits. Beyond refraction, another process that has seen little study with regards to exoplanet transits is light multiple scattering. In most cases, scattering opacity in exoplanet transits has been treated as equivalent to absorption opacity. However, this equivalence cannot always hold, such as in the case of a strongly forward scattering, weakly absorbing aerosol. In this presentation, we outline a theory of exoplanet transit spectroscopy that spans the geometric limit (used in most modern models) to a fully multiple scattering approach. We discuss a new technique for improving model efficiency that effectively separates photon paths, which tend to vary slowly in wavelength, from photon absorption, which can vary rapidly in wavelength. Using this newly developed approach, we explore situations where cloud or haze scattering may be important to JWST observations of gas giants, and comment on the conditions necessary for scattering to become a major

  3. Search of Exoplanets - Phase I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vodniza, Alberto Q.; Pereira, M. R.; Lopez, J. P.; Reyes, K.; Chaves, L.

    2008-09-01

    From the Astronomical Observatory at the University of Nariño-COLOMBIA, we have begun a systematic search for exoplanets. Initially we made differential photometry on variable stars weaker than the tenth magnitude to get enough experience on the establishment of stellar transits, so then we could undertake the work with exoplanets. We have already confirmed the transits of two exoplanets with good photometry data: At the exoplanet HAT-P-5b, discovered by Bakos and other investigators and which turns around the GSC 02634-01087, with an orbital period of 2.788491 days according to measurements of the discoverers, and also at the exoplanet TrES-3, discovered by O'Donovan and other investigators and which turns around the GSC 03089-00929, with an orbital period of 1.30619 days, established by its discoverers. Both exoplanets are quite interesting because they have one of the smallest periods found on exoplanets. The TrES-3 also provides a big opportunity for studying the orbital decay and mass loss due to evaporation, caused by the great closeness to its star. We have captured a lot of data to elaborate the lightcurves so we can estimate physical parameters of the bodies. We are getting data on various dates. Actually we are preparing the equipment to develop observations of radial velocities through spectrometry. In a later phase, we expect to verify the presence of other exoplanets which cause less deep transits, and then we can investigate stars with possible exoplanets around them. Besides we hope to design a mathematical model of the studied systems. The equipment we employed is: 14"LX200 GPS MEADE telescope, ST-7XME SBIG camera, STL-1001 SBIG camera, LHIRES III Spectrograph, and SGS-SBIG Spectrograph. On the poster it is explained at length the methodology followed over the search, the data we obtained and the physical- mathematical analysis that was carried out.

  4. NASA's Missions for Exoplanet Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unwin, Stephen

    2014-05-01

    Exoplanets are detected and characterized using a range of observational techniques - including direct imaging, astrometry, transits, microlensing, and radial velocities. Each technique illuminates a different aspect of exoplanet properties and statistics. This diversity of approach has contributed to the rapid growth of the field into a major research area in only two decades. In parallel with exoplanet observations, major efforts are now underway to interpret the physical and atmospheric properties of exoplanets for which spectroscopy is now possible. In addition, comparative planetology probes questions of interest to both exoplanets and solar system studies. In this talk I describe NASA's activities in exoplanet research, and discuss plans for near-future missions that have reflected-light spectroscopy as a key goal. The WFIRST-AFTA concept currently under active study includes a major microlensing survey, and now includes a visible light coronagraph for exoplanet spectroscopy and debris disk imaging. Two NASA-selected community-led teams are studying probe-scale (< 1B) mission concepts for imaging and spectroscopy. These concepts complement existing NASA missions that do exoplanet science (such as transit spectroscopy and debris disk imaging with HST and Spitzer) or are under development (survey of nearby transiting exoplanets with TESS, and followup of the most important targets with transit spectroscopy on JWST), and build on the work of ground-based instruments such as LBTI and observing with HIRES on Keck. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Copyright 2014. California Institute of Technology. Government sponsorship acknowledged.

  5. 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.

  6. THE CLOSE STELLAR COMPANIONS TO INTERMEDIATE-MASS BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    MacLeod, Morgan; Ramirez-Ruiz, Enrico; Trenti, Michele

    2016-03-01

    When embedded in dense cluster cores, intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) acquire close stellar or stellar-remnant companions. These companions are not only gravitationally bound, but also tend to hierarchically isolate from other cluster stars through series of multibody encounters. In this paper we study the demographics of IMBH companions in compact star clusters through direct N-body simulations. We study clusters initially composed of 10{sup 5} or 2 × 10{sup 5} stars with IMBHs of 75 and 150 solar masses, and we follow their evolution for 6–10 Gyr. A tight, innermost binary pair of IMBH and stellar object rapidly forms. The IMBH has a companion with an orbital semimajor axis at least three times tighter than the second-most-bound object over 90% of the time. These companionships have typical periods on the order of years and are subject to cycles of exchange and destruction. The most frequently observed, long-lived pairings persist for ∼10{sup 7} years. The demographics of IMBH companions in clusters are diverse: they include both main-sequence, giant stars and stellar remnants. Companion objects may reveal the presence of an IMBH in a cluster in one of several ways. The most-bound companion stars routinely suffer grazing tidal interactions with the IMBH, offering a dynamical mechanism to produce repeated flaring episodes like those seen in the IMBH candidate HLX-1. The stellar winds of companion stars provide a minimum quiescent accretion rate for IMBHs, with implications for radio searches for IMBH accretion in globular clusters. Finally, gravitational wave inspirals of compact objects occur with promising frequency.

  7. The Architecture of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatzes, Artie P.

    2016-12-01

    Prior to the discovery of exoplanets our expectations of their architecture were largely driven by the properties of our solar system. We expected giant planets to lie in the outer regions and rocky planets in the inner regions. Planets should probably only occupy orbital distances 0.3-30 AU from the star. Planetary orbits should be circular, prograde and in the same plane. The reality of exoplanets have shattered these expectations. Jupiter-mass, Neptune-mass, Superearths, and even Earth-mass planets can orbit within 0.05 AU of the stars, sometimes with orbital periods of less than one day. Exoplanetary orbits can be eccentric, misaligned, and even in retrograde orbits. Radial velocity surveys gave the first hints that the occurrence rate increases with decreasing mass. This was put on a firm statistical basis with the Kepler mission that clearly demonstrated that there were more Neptune- and Superearth-sized planets than Jupiter-sized planets. These are often in multiple, densely packed systems where the planets all orbit within 0.3 AU of the star, a result also suggested by radial velocity surveys. Exoplanets also exhibit diversity along the main sequence. Massive stars tend to have a higher frequency of planets (≈ 20-25 %) that tend to be more massive (M≈ 5-10 M_{Jup}). Giant planets around low mass stars are rare, but these stars show an abundance of small (Neptune and Superearth) planets in multiple systems. Planet formation is also not restricted to single stars as the Kepler mission has discovered several circumbinary planets. Although we have learned much about the architecture of planets over the past 20 years, we know little about the census of small planets at relatively large (a>1 AU) orbital distances. We have yet to find a planetary system that is analogous to our own solar system. The question of how unique are the properties of our own solar system remains unanswered. Advancements in the detection methods of small planets over a wide range of

  8. DEBRIS DISKS IN KEPLER EXOPLANET SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Lawler, S. M.; Gladman, B.

    2012-06-10

    The Kepler mission recently identified 997 systems hosting candidate extrasolar planets, many of which are super-Earths. Realizing these planetary systems are candidates to host extrasolar asteroid belts, we use mid-infrared data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) to search for emission from dust in these systems. We find excesses around eight stars, indicating the presence of warm to hot dust ({approx}100-500 K), corresponding to orbital distances of 0.1-10 AU for these solar-type stars. The strongest detection, KOI 1099, demands {approx}500 K dust interior to the orbit of its exoplanet candidate. One star, KOI 904, may host very hot dust ({approx}1200 K, corresponding to 0.02 AU). Although the fraction of these exoplanet-bearing stars with detectable warm excesses ({approx}3%) is similar to that found by Spitzer surveys of solar-type field stars, the excesses detectable in the WISE data have much higher fractional luminosities (L{sub dust}/L{sub *}) than most known debris disks, implying that the fraction with debris disks of comparable luminosity may actually be significantly higher. It is difficult to explain the presence of dust so close to the host stars, generally corresponding to dust rings at radii <0.3 AU; both the collisional and Poynting-Robertson drag timescales to remove dust from the system are hundreds of years or less at these distances. Assuming a steady state for these systems implies large mass consumption rates with these short removal timescales, meaning that the dust production mechanism in these systems must almost certainly be episodic in nature.

  9. Assessing the Effect of Stellar Companions to Kepler Objects of Interest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirsch, Lea; Ciardi, David R.; Howard, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    Unknown stellar companions to Kepler planet host stars dilute the transit signal, causing the planetary radii to be underestimated. We report on the analysis of 165 stellar companions detected with high-resolution imaging to be within 2" of 159 KOI host stars. The majority of the planets and planet candidates in these systems have nominal radii smaller than 6 REarth. Using multi-filter photometry on each companion, we assess the likelihood that the companion is bound and estimate its stellar properties, including stellar radius and flux. We then recalculate the planet radii in these systems, determining how much each planet's size is underestimated if it is assumed to 1) orbit the primary star, 2) orbit the companion star, or 3) be equally likely to orbit either star in the system. We demonstrate the overall effect of unknown stellar companions on our understanding of Kepler planet sizes.

  10. A Cloudy View of Exoplanets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

    The lack of absorption features in the transmission spectrum of exoplanet GJ1214b rules out a hydrogen-rich atmosphere for the planet. It is consistent with an atmosphere rich in water vapour or abundant in clouds.

  11. Analyzing Kepler lightcurves of exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dulz, Shannon Diane; Reed, Mike

    2016-10-01

    The Kepler space telescope successfully found thousands of exoplanets. The next step is characterizing what those planets are like. Additional processing of the light curves and meticulous removal of spacecraft artifacts from the data such as pointing adjustments, safing events and thermal variations, may yield more information on the features of exoplanet systems. Bond albedo can be measured from the exoplanet's day-side flux contribution prior to secondary eclipse and asymmetries in the day-side contribution may indicate thermal asymmetries driven by motion in the planet's atmosphere. Transit timing variations indicate non-circular or precessing orbits, potentially due to a non-transiting third body, which influence the planetary environment and atmosphere. We investigated transit timing variations and day-side flux contributions of an exoplanet.

  12. Exoplanet searches with gravitational microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, Alexander

    2012-07-01

    Depending on gravitational lens masses, people are speaking about different regimes of gravitational lensing or more precisely, different regimes correspond to different angular distances, assuming that lenses and sources are located at cosmological distances. If a gravitational lens has a stellar mass, the regime is called microlensing. Since a distance between images depends on a square root of a lens mass, a regime for a lens with a planet mass (10^{-6} M_{⊙}) is called nanolensing. Therefore, searches for light exoplanets with gravitational lensing may be called nanolensing. There are different techniques to find exoplanets such as Doppler shift measurements, transits, pulsar timing, astrometrical measurements. It was noted that gravitational microlensing is the most promising technique to find exoplanets near the habitable zone with a temperature at exoplanet surface in the range 1 - 100° C (or in the temperature range for temperature of liquid water).

  13. Weird Warm Spot on Exoplanet

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animation illustrates an unexpected warm spot on the surface of a gaseous exoplanet. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope discovered that the hottest part of the planet, shown here as bright, orange...

  14. Exoplanet Clouds in the Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Alexandria; Cziczo, Daniel J.; Seager, Sara; Charbonneau, David; Bauer, Amy J. R.

    2015-12-01

    The lack of strong spectral features of some exoplanet atmospheres may suggest the presence of a cloud layer and poses great challenges for atmospheric characterization. We aim to address these observations and the challenges by leveraging lab-based terrestrial cloud particle instrumentation as a means of investigating how particles representative of those in exoplanet atmospheres interact with incoming radiation. In the end we hope to achieve two goals - First, to better understand the observable properties of cloud particles in exoplanet atmospheres. Second, to determine how these clouds might directly limit our ability to observe and characterize the atmosphere below.In this presentation I will discuss the cloud chamber used for this work, how we leverage terrestrial based cloud knowledge, our initial investigation of the light scattered by ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) across temperature and relative humidity dependent phase changes, and future work with suspected exoplanet atmospheric condensates under various atmospheric compositions, pressures, and temperatures.

  15. Structure of exoplanets

    PubMed Central

    Spiegel, David S.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Sotin, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    The hundreds of exoplanets that have been discovered in the past two decades offer a new perspective on planetary structure. Instead of being the archetypal examples of planets, those of our solar system are merely possible outcomes of planetary system formation and evolution, and conceivably not even especially common outcomes (although this remains an open question). Here, we review the diverse range of interior structures that are both known and speculated to exist in exoplanetary systems—from mostly degenerate objects that are more than 10× as massive as Jupiter, to intermediate-mass Neptune-like objects with large cores and moderate hydrogen/helium envelopes, to rocky objects with roughly the mass of Earth. PMID:24379369

  16. Structure of exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Spiegel, David S; Fortney, Jonathan J; Sotin, Christophe

    2014-09-02

    The hundreds of exoplanets that have been discovered in the past two decades offer a new perspective on planetary structure. Instead of being the archetypal examples of planets, those of our solar system are merely possible outcomes of planetary system formation and evolution, and conceivably not even especially common outcomes (although this remains an open question). Here, we review the diverse range of interior structures that are both known and speculated to exist in exoplanetary systems--from mostly degenerate objects that are more than 10× as massive as Jupiter, to intermediate-mass Neptune-like objects with large cores and moderate hydrogen/helium envelopes, to rocky objects with roughly the mass of Earth.

  17. Visualising Astronomy: Visualising Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyatt, R.

    2012-05-01

    In my previous column1, I described some of the varied means of diagramming the data about exoplanets and exoplanetary systems. Frankly, however, those methods don't do justice to the bigger picture: we need a wider range of tools to help people grok2 (to understand intuitively) what astronomical observations have revealed. (Normally, I use the term "visualisation" to refer to the visual representation of data, but I'm going to relax that a little in this context; instead, I'll interpret the word in its more commonplace usage of creating a mental image.) How can we help people comprehend the scope, the breadth, and the impact of the spectacular observations of planets around other stars?

  18. Geoengineering on exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lockley, Andrew

    2015-04-01

    Solar radiation management (SRM) geoengineering can be used to deliberately alter the Earth's radiation budget, by reflecting sunlight to space. SRM has been suggested as a response to Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), to partly or fully balance radiative forcing from AGW [1]. Approximately 22% of sun-like stars have Earth-like exoplanets[2]. Advanced civilisations may exist on these, and may use geoengineering for positive or negative radiative forcing. Additionally, terraforming projects [e.g. 3], may be used to expand alien habitable territory, or for resource management or military operations on non-home planets. Potential observations of alien geoengineering and terraforming may enable detection of technologically advanced alien civilisations, and may help identify widely-used and stable geoengineering technologies. This knowledge may assist the development of safe and stable geoengineering methods for Earth. The potential risks and benefits of possible alien detection of Earth-bound geoengineering schemes must be considered before deployment of terrestrial geoengineering schemes.

  19. Astrometric exoplanet surveys in practice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahlmann, Johannes

    2016-10-01

    Conversely to the transit photometry and radial velocity methods, the astrometric discovery of exoplanets is still limited by the sensitivity of available instruments. Ground-based surveys are now sensitive to giant planets in orbit around nearby low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. In 2014, ESA's Gaia mission began its survey, which is expected to discover thousands of giant exoplanets by detecting the astrometric orbital motions of the host stars.

  20. Multiplicity and properties of Kepler planet candidates: High spatial imaging and RV studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrado, D.; Lillo-Box, J.; Bouy, H.; Aceituno, J.; Sánchez, S.

    2013-04-01

    The Kepler space telescope is discovering thousands of new planet candidates. However, a follow up program is needed in order to reject false candidates and to fully characterize the bona-fide exoplanets. Our main aims are: 1./ Detect and analyze close companions inside the typical Kepler PSF to study if they are the responsible of the dim in the Kepler light curves, 2./ Study the change in the stellar and planetary parameters due to the presence of an unresolved object, 3./ Help to validate those Kepler Objects of Interest that do not present any object inside the Kepler PSF and 4./ Study the multiplicity rate in planet host candidates. Such a large sample of observed planet host candidates allows us to do statistics about the presence of close (visual or bounded) companions to the harboring star. We present here Lucky Imaging observations for a total amount of 98 Kepler Objects of Interest. This technique is based on the acquisition of thousands of very short exposure time images. Then, a selection and combination of a small amount of the best quality frames provides a high resolution image with objects having a 0.1 arcsec PSF. We applied this technique to carry out observations in the Sloan i and Sloan z filters of our Kepler candidates. We find blended objects inside the Kepler PSF for a significant percentage of KOIs. On one hand, only 58.2% of the hosts do not present any object within 6 arcsec. On the other hand, we have found 19 companions closer than 3 arcsec in 17 KOIs. According to their magnitudes and i - z color, 8 of them could be physically bounded to the host star. We are also collecting high-spectral resolution spectroscopuy in order to derive the planet properties. Based on observations collected at the German-Spanish Astronomical Center, Calar Alto, jointly operated by the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie Heidelberg and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC)

  1. Exoplanet Yield Estimation for Decadal Study Concepts using EXOSIMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Rhonda; Lowrance, Patrick; Savransky, Dmitry; Garrett, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    The anticipated upcoming large mission study concepts for the direct imaging of exo-earths present an exciting opportunity for exoplanet discovery and characterization. While these telescope concepts would also be capable of conducting a broad range of astrophysical investigations, the most difficult technology challenges are driven by the requirements for imaging exo-earths. The exoplanet science yield for these mission concepts will drive design trades and mission concept comparisons.To assist in these trade studies, the Exoplanet Exploration Program Office (ExEP) is developing a yield estimation tool that emphasizes transparency and consistent comparison of various design concepts. The tool will provide a parametric estimate of science yield of various mission concepts using contrast curves from physics-based model codes and Monte Carlo simulations of design reference missions using realistic constraints, such as solar avoidance angles, the observatory orbit, propulsion limitations of star shades, the accessibility of candidate targets, local and background zodiacal light levels, and background confusion by stars and galaxies. The python tool utilizes Dmitry Savransky's EXOSIMS (Exoplanet Open-Source Imaging Mission Simulator) design reference mission simulator that is being developed for the WFIRST Preliminary Science program. ExEP is extending and validating the tool for future mission concepts under consideration for the upcoming 2020 decadal review. We present a validation plan and preliminary yield results for a point design.

  2. Multi-Transiting Systems and Exoplanet Mutual Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coughlin, Jared; Ragozzine, D.; Holman, M. J.

    2011-01-01

    Until recently, studies of transiting exoplanets- planets that cross in front of their host star- have focused almost exclusively upon systems where there is only one transiting planet. Those studies that have considered additional planets have mostly done so with the goal of determining the perturbing effects that additional planets would have upon the orbit, and therefore the light curve, of the transiting planet. This work considers, in detail, a specific type of event known as an exoplanet mutual event. Such events occur when one planet passes in front of another. While such events can occur whether or not these planets are transiting, predicting and understanding these events is best done in systems with multiple transiting planets. We estimate, through an ensemble simulation, how frequently exoplanet mutual events occur and which systems are most likely to undergo exoplanet mutual events. We also investigate what information can be learned about not only the planets themselves but also the orbital architecture in such systems. We conclude that while ODT (overlapping double-transit) events occur with a much lower frequency than PPO (planet-planet occultation) events, ODT mutual events are capable of producing detectable signals, that Kepler will detect a few, and recommend that candidate systems for these events, such as KOI 191, be observed in short cadence(Steffen et. al 2010, Holman et. al 2010). This work is supported in part by the NSF REU and DOD ASSURE programs under NSF grant no. 0754568 and by the Smithsonian Institution.

  3. Imaging exoplanets with the WFIRST Coronagraph: A background check of high priority targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

    The WFIRST coronagraph is envisioned to achieve a limiting contrast for exoplanet detection of 10e-9. This revolutionary mission will enable the direct detection of known and newly discovered exoplanets amongst the nearest stars, from super-Earths to giants. However, at this contrast the coronagraph will essentially see a Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF) in every image. For targets near the Galactic Plane on the sky, distant stars with varying levels of extinction and reddening will dominate the background. Away from the plane, we then expect extragalactic sources to dominate. What impact will these background sources have on the WFIRST exoplanet imaging program? How can we efficiently distinguish background sources from exoplanet targets in a single image? To have a comprehensive understanding of the distribution of background sources across the sky, we have used the HUDF to model extragalactic faint sources, and "Trilegal" simulations to model galactic background sources. Through some preliminary color and point source analysis, we offer a statistical estimation of expected background contamination and the probability of false positive background sources. In this poster we show plots relating number of extragalactic sources versus magnitude in HUDF and "Trilegal" simulation. We present a table of high priority WFIRST exoplanet imaging targets, with an assessment of the "background threat" due to background stars, galaxies, and binary companions.

  4. Exoplanet Caught on the Move

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-06-01

    observations, taken during autumn 2009, revealed the object on the other side of the disc after a period of hiding either behind or in front of the star (in which case it is hidden in the glare of the star). This confirmed that the source indeed was an exoplanet and that it was orbiting its host star. It also provided insights into the size of its orbit around the star. Images are available for approximately ten exoplanets, and the planet around Beta Pictoris (designated "Beta Pictoris b") has the smallest orbit known so far. It is located at a distance between 8 and 15 times the Earth-Sun separation - or 8-15 Astronomical Units - which is about the distance of Saturn from the Sun. "The short period of the planet will allow us to record the full orbit within maybe 15-20 years, and further studies of Beta Pictoris b will provide invaluable insights into the physics and chemistry of a young giant planet's atmosphere," says student researcher Mickael Bonnefoy. The planet has a mass of about nine Jupiter masses and the right mass and location to explain the observed warp in the inner parts of the disc. This discovery therefore bears some similarity to the prediction of the existence of Neptune by astronomers Adams and Le Verrier in the 19th century, based on observations of the orbit of Uranus. "Together with the planets found around the young, massive stars Fomalhaut and HR8799, the existence of Beta Pictoris b suggests that super-Jupiters could be frequent byproducts of planet formation around more massive stars," explains Gael Chauvin, a member of the team. Such planets disturb the discs around their stars, creating structures that should be readily observable with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the revolutionary telescope being built by ESO together with international partners. A few other planetary candidates have been imaged, but they are all located further from their host star than Beta Pictoris b. If located in the Solar System, they all would

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a next-generation coronagraphic integral field unit with the sensitivity and resolution to detect planetary companions with separations of 0”.2 to 1”.0 around a large set of stars. An 890-hour GPI survey of 600 young, nearby stars commenced in late-2014, and approximately 100 stars have been observed thus far. The central aims of the program are: (1) the discovery of a population of giant planets with orbital radii of 5-50 AU comparable to Solar System gas giant orbits, (2) the characterization of the atmospheric properties of young planetary companions, and (3) the exploration of planet-disk interactions. Initial results from GPI exoplanet observations include the discovery of a new planetary companion to a young F-star; the planet spectrum shows a strong signature of methane absorption, indicating a cooler temperature than previously imaged young planets. An overview of the survey scope, current detection limits, and initial results will be presented.

  6. The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudgins, Douglas M.; Blackwood, Gary H.; Gagosian, John S.

    2015-12-01

    The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) is chartered to implement the NASA space science goals of detecting and characterizing exoplanets and to search for signs of life. The ExEP manages space missions, future studies, technology investments, and ground-based science that either enables future missions or completes mission science. The exoplanet science community is engaged by the Program through Science Definition Teams and through the Exoplanet Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG). The ExEP includes the space science missions of Kepler, K2 , and the proposed WFIRST-AFTA that includes dark energy science, a widefield infrared survey, a microlensing survey for outer-exoplanet demographics, and a coronagraph for direct imaging of cool outer gas- and ice-giants around nearby stars. Studies of probe-scale (medium class) missions for a coronagraph (internal occulter) and starshade (external occulter) explore the trades of cost and science and provide motivation for a technology investment program to enable consideration of missions at the next decadal survey for NASA Astrophysics. Program elements include follow-up observations using the Keck Observatory, which contribute to the science yield of Kepler and K2, and include mid-infrared observations of exo-zodiacal dust by the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer which provide parameters critical to the design and predicted science yield of the next generation of direct imaging missions. ExEP includes the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute which provides archives, tools, and professional education for the exoplanet community. Each of these program elements contribute to the goal of detecting and characterizing earth-like planets orbiting other stars, and seeks to respond to rapid evolution in this discovery-driven field and to ongoing programmatic challenges through engagement of the scientific and technical communities.

  7. The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudgins, Douglas M.; Blackwood, Gary; Gagosian, John

    2014-11-01

    The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) is chartered to implement the NASA space science goals of detecting and characterizing exoplanets and to search for signs of life. The ExEP manages space missions, future studies, technology investments, and ground-based science that either enables future missions or completes mission science. The exoplanet science community is engaged by the Program through Science Definition Teams and through the Exoplanet Program Analysis Group. The ExEP includes the space science missions of Kepler, K2, and the proposed WFIRST-AFTA that includes dark energy science, a widefield infrared survey, a microlensing survey for outer-exoplanet demographics, and a coronagraph for direct imaging of cool outer gas- and ice-giants around nearby stars. Studies of probe-scale (medium class) missions for a coronagraph (internal occulter) and starshade (external occulter) explore the trades of cost and science and provide motivation for a technology investment program to enable consideration of missions at the next decadal survey for NASA Astrophysics. Program elements include follow-up observations using the Keck Observatory which contribute to the science yield of Kepler and K2, and include mid-infrared observations of exo-zodiacal dust by the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer which provide parameters critical to the design and predicted science yield of the next generation of direct imaging missions. ExEP includes the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute which provides archives, tools, and professional education for the exoplanet community. Each of these program elements contribute to the goal of detecting and characterizing earth-like planets orbiting other stars, and seeks to respond to rapid evolution in this discovery-driven field and to ongoing programmatic challenges through engagement of the scientific and technical communities.

  8. Characterizing K2 Exoplanets with NIR Transit Photometry from the 3.5m WIYN Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colon, Knicole D.; Barclay, Thomas; Thompson, Susan E.; Coughlin, Jeffrey; Barentsen, Geert; Quintana, Elisa V.

    2017-01-01

    The NASA K2 mission has discovered over 400 transiting exoplanets as of October 2016 and continues to produce new discoveries on a regular basis. Expected to launch in late 2017, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will continue the era of exoplanet discovery by performing an all-sky search for transiting exoplanets. Given the ever increasing number of known exoplanets, it is critical that we optimize follow-up observations now in order to characterize the many interesting systems discovered by these missions. For example, K2 is finding (and TESS will find even more) small, super-Earth-size planets around cool, nearby stars. I will present results from our program for near-infrared (NIR) transit photometry of K2 exoplanet candidates conducted using the 3.5m WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. NIR transit photometry with the high spatial resolution WHIRC imager installed on the WIYN telescope allows us to confirm the transit host, to verify that the transit is achromatic, and to constrain the planet radius by minimizing effects of stellar limb darkening. Furthermore, the high-precision and high-cadence photometry from WIYN+WHIRC allows us to track and constrain the transit ephemeris, which is crucial for future follow-up efforts with other facilities like the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Ultimately, this program will vet K2 exoplanet candidates and identify prime targets for detailed characterization with JWST. This program complements K2 follow-up being done with the Spitzer Space Telescope and demonstrates the capabilities of a ground-based facility that can be used to characterize small planets from K2 and TESS for years to come.This work was supported by the NASA-NSF Exoplanet Observational Research (NN-EXPLORE) program.

  9. Point Source Polarimetry with the Gemini Planet Imager: Sensitivity Characterization with T5.5 Dwarf Companion HD 19467 B

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Mawet, Dimitri; Graham, James R.; Wallace, J. Kent; Macintosh, Bruce; Hinkley, Sasha; Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.; Perrin, Marshall D.; Marley, Mark S.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Ammons, S. Mark; Rantakyro, Fredrik T.; Marchis, Franck

    2016-01-01

    Detecting polarized light from self-luminous exoplanets has the potential to provide key information about rotation, surface gravity, cloud grain size, and cloud coverage. While field brown dwarfs with detected polarized emission are common, no exoplanet or substellar companion has yet been detected in polarized light. With the advent of high contrast imaging spectro-polarimeters such as GPI and SPHERE, such a detection may now be possible with careful treatment of instrumental polarization. In this paper, we present 28 minutes of H-band GPI polarimetric observations of the benchmark T5.5 companion HD 19467 B. We detect no polarization signal from the target, and place an upper limit on the degree of linear polarization of pCL99:73% less than 1:7%. We discuss our results in the context of T dwarf cloud models and photometric variability.

  10. Point source polarimetry with the Gemini planet imager: Sensitivity characterization with T5.5 dwarf companion HD 19467 B

    DOE PAGES

    Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Mawet, Dimitri; ...

    2016-03-29

    Detecting polarized light from self-luminous exoplanets has the potential to provide key information about rotation, surface gravity, cloud grain size, and cloud coverage. While field brown dwarfs with detected polarized emission are common, no exoplanet or substellar companion has yet been detected in polarized light. With the advent of high contrast imaging spectro-polarimeters such as GPI and SPHERE, such a detection may now be possible with careful treatment of instrumental polarization. In this paper, we present 28 minutes of H-band GPI polarimetric observations of the benchmark T5.5 companion HD 19467 B. We detect no polarization signal from the target, and place an upper limit on the degree of linear polarization ofmore » $${p}_{\\mathrm{CL}99.73\\%}\\leqslant 2.4\\%$$. In conclusion, we discuss our results in the context of T dwarf cloud models and photometric variability.« less

  11. Point source polarimetry with the Gemini planet imager: Sensitivity characterization with T5.5 dwarf companion HD 19467 B

    SciTech Connect

    Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Mawet, Dimitri; Graham, James R.; Wallace, J. Kent; Macintosh, Bruce; Hinkley, Sasha; Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.; Perrin, Marshall D.; Marley, Mark S.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Ammons, S. Mark; Rantakyrö, Fredrik T.; Marchis, Franck

    2016-03-29

    Detecting polarized light from self-luminous exoplanets has the potential to provide key information about rotation, surface gravity, cloud grain size, and cloud coverage. While field brown dwarfs with detected polarized emission are common, no exoplanet or substellar companion has yet been detected in polarized light. With the advent of high contrast imaging spectro-polarimeters such as GPI and SPHERE, such a detection may now be possible with careful treatment of instrumental polarization. In this paper, we present 28 minutes of H-band GPI polarimetric observations of the benchmark T5.5 companion HD 19467 B. We detect no polarization signal from the target, and place an upper limit on the degree of linear polarization of ${p}_{\\mathrm{CL}99.73\\%}\\leqslant 2.4\\%$. In conclusion, we discuss our results in the context of T dwarf cloud models and photometric variability.

  12. 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

  13. Direct imaging of exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Lagrange, Anne-Marie

    2014-04-28

    Most of the exoplanets known today have been discovered by indirect techniques, based on the study of the host star radial velocity or photometric temporal variations. These detections allowed the study of the planet populations in the first 5-8 AU from the central stars and have provided precious information on the way planets form and evolve at such separations. Direct imaging on 8-10 m class telescopes allows the detection of giant planets at larger separations (currently typically more than 5-10 AU) complementing the indirect techniques. So far, only a few planets have been imaged around young stars, but each of them provides an opportunity for unique dedicated studies of their orbital, physical and atmospheric properties and sometimes also on the interaction with the 'second-generation', debris discs. These few detections already challenge formation theories. In this paper, I present the results of direct imaging surveys obtained so far, and what they already tell us about giant planet (GP) formation and evolution. Individual and emblematic cases are detailed; they illustrate what future instruments will routinely deliver for a much larger number of stars. I also point out the limitations of this approach, as well as the needs for further work in terms of planet formation modelling. I finally present the progress expected in direct imaging in the near future, thanks in particular to forthcoming planet imagers on 8-10 m class telescopes.

  14. Be stars with white dwarf companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orio, Marina; Luna, Gerardo; Zemko, Polina; Kotulla, Ralf; Gallagher, Jay; Harbeck, Daniel

    2016-07-01

    A handful of supersoft X-ray sources in the Magellanic Clouds that could not be identified with transient nova outbursts turned out to be mainly massive close binaries. Recently, we have clearly identified a Be binary in M31, and are currently collecting data for another candidate in that galaxy. Work is in progress to assess whether the compact object companion really is a hydrogen burning white dwarf (the alternative being a massive stellar-mass black hole). If we can prove that Be+white dwarf interacting close binaries are common, and that hydrogen is often ignited on the white dwarf in these systems, we have discovered a new promising channel towards the explosion of supernovae of type Ia in star forming regions, without invoking double degenerate systems

  15. ARIEL - Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinetti, Giovanna; Drossart, Pierre; Eccleston, Paul; Hartogh, Paul; Leconte, Jérémy; Micela, Giusi; Ollivier, Marc; Pilbratt, Göran; Puig, Ludovic; Turrini, Diego; Vandenbussche, Bart; Wolkenberg, Paulina; ARIEL Consortium, ARIEL ESA Study Team

    2016-10-01

    The Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (ARIEL) is one of the three candidate missions selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) for its next medium-class science mission due for launch in 2026. The goal of the ARIEL mission is to investigate the atmospheres of several hundreds planets orbiting distant stars in order to address the fundamental questions on how planetary systems form and evolve.During its four (with a potential extension to six) years mission ARIEL will observe 500+ exoplanets in the visible and the infrared with its meter-class telescope in L2. ARIEL targets will include Jupiter- and Neptune-size down to super-Earth and Earth-size around different types of stars. The main focus of the mission will be on hot and warm planets orbiting very close to their star, as they represent a natural laboratory in which to study the chemistry and formation of exoplanets. In cooler planets, different gases separate out through condensation and sinking into distinct cloud layers. The scorching heat experienced by hot exoplanets overrides these processes and keeps all molecular species circulating throughout the atmosphere.The ARIEL mission concept has been developed by a consortium of more than 50 institutes from 12 countries, which include UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Ireland and Portugal. The analysis of ARIEL spectra and photometric data will allow to extract the chemical fingerprints of gases and condensates in the planets' atmospheres, including the elemental composition for the most favorable targets. It will also enable the study of thermal and scattering properties of the atmosphere as the planet orbit around the star.ARIEL will have an open data policy, enabling rapid access by the general community to the high-quality exoplanet spectra that the core survey will deliver.

  16. LOW-MASS TERTIARY COMPANIONS TO SPECTROSCOPIC BINARIES. I. COMMON PROPER MOTION SURVEY FOR WIDE COMPANIONS USING 2MASS

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, Peter R.; Burgasser, Adam J.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy

    2012-08-15

    We report the first results of a multi-epoch search for wide (separations greater than a few tens of AU), low-mass tertiary companions of a volume-limited sample of 118 known spectroscopic binaries within 30 pc of the Sun, using the Two Micron All Sky Survey Point Source Catalog and follow-up observations with the KPNO and CTIO 4 m telescopes. Note that this sample is not volume complete but volume limited, and, thus, there is incompleteness in our reported companion rates. We are sensitive to common proper motion companions with separations from roughly 200 AU to 10,000 AU ({approx}10'' {yields} {approx} 10'). From 77 sources followed-up to date, we recover 11 previously known tertiaries, 3 previously known candidate tertiaries, of which 2 are spectroscopically confirmed and 1 rejected, and 3 new candidates, of which 2 are confirmed and 1 rejected. This yields an estimated wide tertiary fraction of 19.5{sup +5.2}{sub -3.7}%. This observed fraction is consistent with predictions set out in star formation simulations where the fraction of wide, low-mass companions to spectroscopic binaries is >10%.

  17. The Orbital Design of Alpha Centauri Exoplanet Satellite (ACESat)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weston, Sasha; Belikov, Rus; Bendek, Eduardo

    2015-01-01

    Exoplanet candidates discovered by Kepler are too distant for biomarkers to be detected with foreseeable technology. Alpha Centauri has high separation from other stars and is of close proximity to Earth, which makes the binary star system 'low hanging fruit' for scientists. Alpha Centauri Exoplanet Satellite (ACESat) is a mission proposed to Small Explorer Program (SMEX) that will use a coronagraph to search for an orbiting planet around one of the stars of Alpha Centauri. The trajectory design for this mission is presented here where three different trajectories are considered: Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO) and a Heliocentric Orbit. Uninterrupted stare time to Alpha Centauri is desirable for meeting science requirements, or an orbit that provides 90% stare time to the science target. The instrument thermal stability also has stringent requirements for proper function, influencing trajectory design.

  18. Habitable zone lifetimes of exoplanets around main sequence stars.

    PubMed

    Rushby, Andrew J; Claire, Mark W; Osborn, Hugh; Watson, Andrew J

    2013-09-01

    The potential habitability of newly discovered exoplanets is initially assessed by determining whether their orbits fall within the circumstellar habitable zone of their star. However, the habitable zone (HZ) is not static in time or space, and its boundaries migrate outward at a rate proportional to the increase in luminosity of a star undergoing stellar evolution, possibly including or excluding planets over the course of the star's main sequence lifetime. We describe the time that a planet spends within the HZ as its "habitable zone lifetime." The HZ lifetime of a planet has strong astrobiological implications and is especially important when considering the evolution of complex life, which is likely to require a longer residence time within the HZ. Here, we present results from a simple model built to investigate the evolution of the "classic" HZ over time, while also providing estimates for the evolution of stellar luminosity over time in order to develop a "hybrid" HZ model. These models return estimates for the HZ lifetimes of Earth and 7 confirmed HZ exoplanets and 27 unconfirmed Kepler candidates. The HZ lifetime for Earth ranges between 6.29 and 7.79×10⁹ years (Gyr). The 7 exoplanets fall in a range between ∼1 and 54.72 Gyr, while the 27 Kepler candidate planets' HZ lifetimes range between 0.43 and 18.8 Gyr. Our results show that exoplanet HD 85512b is no longer within the HZ, assuming it has an Earth analog atmosphere. The HZ lifetime should be considered in future models of planetary habitability as setting an upper limit on the lifetime of any potential exoplanetary biosphere, and also for identifying planets of high astrobiological potential for continued observational or modeling campaigns.

  19. Hubble Space Telescope Snapshot Survey for Resolved Companions of Galactic Cepheids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Nancy Remage; Bond, Howard E.; Schaefer, Gail H.; Mason, Brian D.; Tingle, Evan; Karovska, Margarita; Pillitteri, Ignazio

    2016-05-01

    We have conducted an imaging survey with the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) of 70 Galactic Cepheids, typically within 1 kpc, with the aim of finding resolved physical companions. The WFC3 field typically covers the 0.1 pc area where companions are expected. In this paper, we identify 39 Cepheids having candidate companions, based on their positions in color-magnitude diagrams, and having separations ⩾ 5'' from the Cepheids. We use follow-up observations of 14 of these candidates with XMM-Newton, and of one of them with ROSAT, to separate X-ray-active young stars (probable physical companions) from field stars (chance alignments). Our preliminary estimate, based on the optical and X-ray observations, is that only 3% of the Cepheids in the sample have wide companions. Our survey easily detects resolved main-sequence companions as faint as spectral type K. Thus the fact that the two most probable companions (those of FF Aql and RV Sco) are earlier than type K is not simply a function of the detection limit. We find no physical companions having separations larger than 4000 au in the X-ray survey. Two Cepheids are exceptions in that they do have young companions at significantly larger separations (δ Cep and S Nor), but both belong to a cluster or a loose association, so our working model is that they are not gravitationally bound binary members, but rather cluster/association members. All of these properties provide constraints on both star formation and subsequent dynamical evolution. The low frequency of true physical companions at separations > 5'' is confirmed by examination of the subset of the nearest Cepheids and also the density of the fields. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

  20. The LEECH Exoplanet Imaging Survey: Characterization of the Coldest Directly Imaged Exoplanet, GJ 504 b, and Evidence for Superstellar Metallicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Morley, Caroline V.; Zimmerman, Neil T.; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Leisenring, Jarron; Buenzli, Esther; Bonnefoy, Mickael; Bailey, Vanessa; Hinz, Philip; Defrére, Denis; Esposito, Simone; Apai, Dániel; Biller, Beth; Brandner, Wolfgang; Close, Laird; Crepp, Justin R.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Desidera, Silvano; Eisner, Josh; Fortney, Jonathan; Freedman, Richard; Henning, Thomas; Hofmann, Karl-Heinz; Kopytova, Taisiya; Lupu, Roxana; Maire, Anne-Lise; Males, Jared R.; Marley, Mark; Morzinski, Katie; Oza, Apurva; Patience, Jenny; Rajan, Abhijith; Rieke, George; Schertl, Dieter; Schlieder, Joshua; Stone, Jordan; Su, Kate; Vaz, Amali; Visscher, Channon; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Weigelt, Gerd; Woodward, Charles E.

    2016-02-01

    As gas giant planets and brown dwarfs radiate away the residual heat from their formation, they cool through a spectral type transition from L to T, which encompasses the dissipation of cloud opacity and the appearance of strong methane absorption. While there are hundreds of known T-type brown dwarfs, the first generation of directly imaged exoplanets were all L type. Recently, Kuzuhara et al. announced the discovery of GJ 504 b, the first T dwarf exoplanet. GJ 504 b provides a unique opportunity to study the atmosphere of a new type of exoplanet with a ˜500 K temperature that bridges the gap between the first directly imaged planets (˜1000 K) and our own solar system's Jupiter (˜130 K). We observed GJ 504 b in three narrow L-band filters (3.71, 3.88, and 4.00 μm), spanning the red end of the broad methane fundamental absorption feature (3.3 μm) as part of the LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt (LEECH) exoplanet imaging survey. By comparing our new photometry and literature photometry with a grid of custom model atmospheres, we were able to fit GJ 504 b's unusual spectral energy distribution for the first time. We find that GJ 504 b is well fit by models with the following parameters: Teff = 544 ± 10 K, g < 600 m s-2, [M/H] = 0.60 ± 0.12, cloud opacity parameter of fsed = 2-5, R = 0.96 ± 0.07 RJup, and log(L) = -6.13 ± 0.03 L⊙, implying a hot start mass of 3-30 Mjup for a conservative age range of 0.1-6.5 Gyr. Of particular interest, our model fits suggest that GJ 504 b has a superstellar metallicity. Since planet formation can create objects with nonstellar metallicities, while binary star formation cannot, this result suggests that GJ 504 b formed like a planet, not like a binary companion. The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy, and Germany. LBT Corporation partners are the University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system; Istituto Nazionale di Astrophisica, Italy; LBT

  1. THE LEECH EXOPLANET IMAGING SURVEY: CHARACTERIZATION OF THE COLDEST DIRECTLY IMAGED EXOPLANET, GJ 504 b, AND EVIDENCE FOR SUPERSTELLAR METALLICITY

    SciTech Connect

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Leisenring, Jarron; Bailey, Vanessa; Hinz, Philip; Defrére, Denis; Apai, Dániel; Close, Laird; Eisner, Josh; Morley, Caroline V.; Fortney, Jonathan; Zimmerman, Neil T.; Buenzli, Esther; Bonnefoy, Mickael; Biller, Beth; Brandner, Wolfgang; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Esposito, Simone; Crepp, Justin R.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Desidera, Silvano; and others

    2016-02-01

    As gas giant planets and brown dwarfs radiate away the residual heat from their formation, they cool through a spectral type transition from L to T, which encompasses the dissipation of cloud opacity and the appearance of strong methane absorption. While there are hundreds of known T-type brown dwarfs, the first generation of directly imaged exoplanets were all L type. Recently, Kuzuhara et al. announced the discovery of GJ 504 b, the first T dwarf exoplanet. GJ 504 b provides a unique opportunity to study the atmosphere of a new type of exoplanet with a ∼500 K temperature that bridges the gap between the first directly imaged planets (∼1000 K) and our own solar system's Jupiter (∼130 K). We observed GJ 504 b in three narrow L-band filters (3.71, 3.88, and 4.00 μm), spanning the red end of the broad methane fundamental absorption feature (3.3 μm) as part of the LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt (LEECH) exoplanet imaging survey. By comparing our new photometry and literature photometry with a grid of custom model atmospheres, we were able to fit GJ 504 b's unusual spectral energy distribution for the first time. We find that GJ 504 b is well fit by models with the following parameters: T{sub eff} = 544 ± 10 K, g < 600 m s{sup −2}, [M/H] = 0.60 ± 0.12, cloud opacity parameter of f{sub sed} = 2–5, R = 0.96 ± 0.07 R{sub Jup}, and log(L) = −6.13 ± 0.03 L{sub ⊙}, implying a hot start mass of 3–30 M{sub jup} for a conservative age range of 0.1–6.5 Gyr. Of particular interest, our model fits suggest that GJ 504 b has a superstellar metallicity. Since planet formation can create objects with nonstellar metallicities, while binary star formation cannot, this result suggests that GJ 504 b formed like a planet, not like a binary companion.

  2. The Routledge Companion to Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arthur, James, Ed.; Peterson, Andrew, Ed.

    2011-01-01

    "The Routledge Companion to Education" presents the most comprehensive, up-to-date guide available to the key theories, themes and topics in education. Forty specially commissioned chapters, covering all aspects of education, introduce you to the ideas, research and issues that have shaped this most diverse, dynamic and fluid field. Part one…

  3. Kernel-Phase Interferometry for Super-Resolution Detection of Faint Companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Factor, Samuel M.; Kraus, Adam L.

    2017-01-01

    Direct detection of close in companions (exoplanets or binary systems) is notoriously difficult. While coronagraphs and point spread function (PSF) subtraction can be used to reduce contrast and dig out signals of companions under the PSF, there are still significant limitations in separation and contrast. Non-redundant aperture masking (NRM) interferometry can be used to detect companions well inside the PSF of a diffraction limited image, though the mask discards ˜95% of the light gathered by the telescope and thus the technique is severely flux limited. Kernel-phase analysis applies interferometric techniques similar to NRM to a diffraction limited image utilizing the full aperture. Instead of non-redundant closure-phases, kernel-phases are constructed from a grid of points on the full aperture, simulating a redundant interferometer. I have developed my own faint companion detection pipeline which utilizes an Bayesian analysis of kernel-phases. I have used this pipeline to search for new companions in archival images from HST/NICMOS in order to constrain planet and binary formation models at separations inaccessible to previous techniques. Using this method, it is possible to detect a companion well within the classical λ/D Rayleigh diffraction limit using a fraction of the telescope time as NRM. This technique can easily be applied to archival data as no mask is needed and will thus make the detection of close in companions cheap and simple as no additional observations are needed. Since the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be able to perform NRM observations, further development and characterization of kernel-phase analysis will allow efficient use of highly competitive JWST telescope time.

  4. Polarimetry for rocky exoplanet characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stam, Daphne; Karalidi, Theodora

    2013-04-01

    Since the first discovery of a planet around a solar-type star by Mayor & Queloz in 1995, several hundreds of exoplanets have been detected. Indeed, it appears that practically all Sun-like stars have planets. Inevitable, Earth-sized, rocky planets that orbit in their star's habitable zone, where temperatures could be just right to allow liquid water on a planet's surface, will be found. Liquid water is generally considered to be essential for the existence of life. Whether liquid water actually exists on a planet depends strongly on the atmosphere's thickness and characteristics, such as the surface pressure and composition. Famous examples in the Solar System are Venus and the Earth, with similar sizes, inner compositions and orbital radii, but wildly different surface conditions. The characterization of the atmospheres and/or surfaces of exoplanets will allow a comparison with Solar System planets and it will open up a treasure trove of knowledge about the formation and evolution of planetary atmospheres and surfaces, thanks to the vast range of orbital distances, planet sizes and ages that can be studied. Characterization will also allow studying conditions for life and ultimately the existence of life around other stars. Information about the upper atmospheres of close-in, hot, giant exoplanets, can be derived from measurements of the combined flux of the star and the planet, in particular when the planet is transiting its star. This method has also provided traces of an atmosphere around a large solid planet orbiting red dwarf star GJ1214. Detection and characterization of the atmospheres and/or surfaces of small, solid, Earth-like exoplanets in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars, is virtually impossible with transit observations. For these exiting planets, polarimetry appears to be a strong tool. Polarimetry helps the detection of exoplanets, because direct starlight is usually unpolarized, while starlight that has been reflected by a planet is usually

  5. Imaginary Companions: Considerations for the Health Professional.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schilling, Lynne S.

    1985-01-01

    A small but significant proportion of preschoolers have imaginary companions who serve many different developmental functions. Prevalence and related demographic and environmental factors surrounding the phenomenon of imaginary companions and implications for health care professionals are discussed. (Author/DST)

  6. Precision Astrometry of the Exoplanet Host Candidate GD 66

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

    the cause of the variations in pulsation timing. Key words: stars: individual: GD 66 – planetary systems – white dwarfs. 1 IN T RO D U C T I O N...Observations of extrasolar planetary systems in the post-main se- quence have implications for the survival of the Earth and the ter- restrial planets, and...Fellow. confirmed by independent means (gravitational perturbations; Rasio et al. 1992; Wolszczan 1994). Planetary systems around white dwarfs offer a

  7. Allegorical Lives: Children and Their Imaginary Companions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friedberg, Robert D.

    1995-01-01

    Reviews research on children's imaginary companions. Notes that companions may serve many psychological functions, such as compensating for real or perceived deficits, and helping the child through difficult developmental times. Suggests that the companion does not compromise reality testing or social development, but may foster developmental,…

  8. The Third Transit of Snow-Line Exoplanet Kepler-421b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalba, Paul A.; Muirhead, Philip Steven

    2016-10-01

    The Kepler Mission has uncovered a handful of long-period transiting exoplanets that orbit from the cold outer reaches of their systems, despite their low transit probabilities. The atmospheres of these cold gas giant exoplanets are amenable to transit transmission spectroscopy enabling tests of planetary formation and evolution theories. Of particular scientific interest is Kepler-421b, a Neptune-sized exoplanet with a 704-day orbital period residing near the snow-line. Since the Kepler Spacecraft only observed two transits of Kepler-421b, the transit ephemeris is relatively uncertain. We observed Kepler-421 during the anticipated third transit of Kepler-421b in order to constrain the existence and extent of transit timing variations (TTVs). Barring significant TTVs, our visible light, time-series observations from the 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) were designed to capture pre-transit baseline and the partial transit of Kepler-421b. We find strong evidence in favor of transit models with no TTVs, suggesting that Kepler-421b is either alone in its system or is only experiencing minor dynamic interactions with an unseen companion. With the combined Kepler and DCT observations, we calculate the timing of future transits and discuss the unique opportunity to characterize the atmosphere of this cold, long-period exoplanet via transmission spectroscopy.

  9. The Companion's Role in the Doctor-Elderly Patient-Companion Interaction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beisecker, Analee E.; Fuemmeler, Elizabeth F.

    Based on Beisecker's earlier finding that patients over age 60 brought companions to their medical appointments more often than did patients aged 25-59, a study was conducted to examine the role of the companion. Eleven of 21 patients aged 60-85 brought companions. Companions were either spouses or adult children of the patients. Within this…

  10. First Estimate of the Exoplanet Population from Kepler Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borucki, William J.; Koch, D. G.; Batalha, N.; Caldwell, D.; Dunham, E. W.; Gautier, T. N., III; Howell, S. B.; Jenkins, J. M.; Marcy, G. W.; Rowe, J.; Charbonneau, D.; Ciardi, D.; Ford, E. B.; Christiansen, J. L.; Kolodziejczak, J.; Prsa, A.

    2011-05-01

    William J. Borucki, David G. Koch, Natalie Batalha, Derek Buzasi , Doug Caldwell, David Charbonneau, Jessie L. Christiansen, David R. Ciardi, Edward Dunham, Eric B. Ford, Steve Thomas N. Gautier III, Steve Howell, Jon M. Jenkins, Jeffery Kolodziejczak, Geoffrey W. Marcy, Jason Rowe, and Andrej Prsa A model was developed to provide a first estimate of the intrinsic frequency of planetary candidates based on the number of detected planetary candidates and the measured noise for each of the 156,000 observed stars. The estimated distributions for the exoplanet frequency are presented with respect to the semi-major axis and the stellar effective temperature and represent values appropriate only to short-period candidates. Improved estimates are expected after a Monte Carlo study of the sensitivity of the data analysis pipeline to transit signals injected at the pixel level is completed.

  11. Climates of Oblique Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrovolskis, A. R.

    2008-12-01

    A previous paper (Dobrovolskis 2007; Icarus 192, 1-23) showed that eccentricity can have profound effects on the climate, habitability, and detectability of extrasolar planets. This complementary study shows that obliquity can have comparable effects. The known exoplanets exhibit a wide range of orbital eccentricities, but those within several million km of their suns are generally in near-circular orbits. This fact is widely attributed to the dissipation of tides in the planets, which is particularly effective for solid/liquid bodies like "Super-Earths". Along with friction between a solid mantle and a liquid core, tides also are expected to despin a planet until it is captured in the synchronous resonance, so that its rotation period is identical to its orbital period. The canonical example of synchronous spin is the way that our Moon always keeps nearly the same hemisphere facing the Earth. Tides also tend to reduce the planet's obliquity (the angle between its spin and orbital angular velocities). However, orbit precession can cause the rotation to become locked in a "Cassini state", where it retains a nearly constant non-zero obliquity. For example, our Moon maintains an obliquity of about 6.7° with respect to its orbit about the Earth. For comparison, stable Cassini states can exist for practically any obliquity up to 180° for planets of binary stars, or in multi-planet systems with high mutual inclinations, such as are produced by scattering or by the Kozai mechanism. This work considers planets in synchronous rotation with circular orbits. For obliquities greater than 90°, the ground track of the sub-solar point wraps around all longitudes on the surface of such a planet. For smaller obliquities, the sub-solar track takes the figure-8 shape of an analemma. This can be visualized as the intersection of the planet's spherical surface with a right circular cylinder, parallel to the spin axis and tangent to the equator from the inside. The excursion of the

  12. Three Distinct Exoplanet Regimes Inferred From Host Star Metallicities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Bizzarro, Martin; Latham, David W.; Sasselov, Dimitar D.

    2014-06-01

    The occurrence rate of exoplanets smaller than 4 Earth radii (RE) in short orbits is ~50%. Despite their sheer abundance, the compositions of planets populating this regime are largely unknown. The available evidence suggests the existence of a compositional range, from small high-density rocky planets to low-density planets consisting of rocky cores surrounded by thick H/He gas envelopes. Understanding the transition from the gaseous planets to Earth-like rocky worlds is important to estimate the number of potentially habitable planets in our Galaxy and provide constraints on planet formation theories. Here, we report the abundances of heavy elements (metallicities) of over 400 stars hosting 600 exoplanet candidates discovered by the Kepler Mission and find that the exoplanets can be categorized into three populations defined by statistically distinct 4.5σ) metallicity regions. We interpret these regions as reflecting the formation regimes of terrestrial-like planets (RP < 1.7 RE), gas-dwarf planets with rocky cores and H/He envelopes (1.7 < RP < 3.9 RE) and ice/gas-giant planets (RP > 3.9 RE). These transitions resonate well with those inferred from dynamical mass estimates, implying that host-star metallicity - a proxy for the initial solid inventory of the protoplanetary disk - is a key ingredient regulating the structure of planetary systems.

  13. Enabling Technologies for Characterizing Exoplanet Systems with Exo-C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cahoy, Kerri Lynn; Belikov, Ruslan; Stapelfeldt, Karl R.; Chakrabarti, Supriya; Trauger, John T.; Serabyn, Eugene; McElwain, Michael W.; Pong, Christopher M.; Brugarolas, Paul

    2015-01-01

    requirements) and to integrate these subsystems together for a hardware-in-the-loop end-to-end demonstration, the overall readiness of the suite of enabling technologies makes a compelling case for Exo-C among the exoplanet direct imaging mission candidates.

  14. Stable regions around Exoplanets: the search for Exomoons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandes Guimaraes, Ana Helena; Moretto Tusnski, Luis Ricardo; Vieira-Neto, Ernesto; Silva Valio, Adriana

    2015-08-01

    There are hundreds of exoplanets which the data are available to a dynamical investigation. We extracted from the data base (exoplanets.org) all planets and candidates which have the necessary data available for the numerical investigation of the orbital stability of a body around a exoplanet in a total of 2749 of those.There is a wealth diversity of exoplanets types and the expectation in find our Earth-living conditions in another planet motivates the search for extra-solar planets, and a satellite around a planet would, in addiction, help to keep a favorable climate.Using the planets class according to PHL@Arecibo, those planets were sorted out in groups. Analyses of density, distance from the primary body, and mass ratios were done beside the suggested classification to fit some no-classified planets into one of the groups.The aim of this work is to derive the upper stability limit (or upper critical orbit) of fictitious direct satellites around exoplanets of any density, or size, orbiting single stars. Our search is for stable regions around the planet, the called S-type orbits. This orbit type determines if there is any chance to exist (or not) bodies around the planets. The investigation is limited to single stars, excluding binaries.We derived such limit purely through numerical simulations. Our proposal involved long-term integration of the circular restricted three bodies problem . Basically, the cut off of the stability zone determined in the previous work by Domingos et al. (2006) were confirmed for any planet type. However, the limitation due the Roche limit of the own satellite showed to be lower. We used this to determined possible size and to adjust orbital range were a third body could orbit the exoplanet.Independently of densities, distance, and sizes of the objects involved, the idea was to delimit where to find celestial bodies in any given system around single stars. Furthermore, we aim to provide tracks to the search for exomoons using

  15. The Influence of Eccentricity Cycles on Exoplanet Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baskin, N. J. K.; Fabrycky, D. C.; Abbot, D. S.

    2015-12-01

    In our search for habitable exoplanets, it is important to understand how planetary habitability is influenced by orbital configurations that differ from those of the terrestrial planets in our Solar system. In particular, observational surveys have revealed the prevalence of planetary systems around binary stars. Within these systems, the gravitational influence of a companion star can induce libration in the eccentricity of the planet's orbit (referred to as Kozai Cycles) on timescales as short as thousands of years. The resulting fluctuations in stellar flux at the top of the atmosphere can potentially induce dramatic variations in surface temperatures, with direct implications for the planet's habitability prospects. We investigate this research problem using two steps. First, we utilize the MERCURY N-body integrator in order to calculate the eccentricity of a hypothetical Earth-analogue under the gravitational influence of a stellar companion. Second, we run a coupled Global Climate Model (GCM) at various stages of a cycle provided by the MERCURY runs in order to examine if the increase in insolation renders the planet uninhabitable. This work will allow us to better understand how Kozai cycles influence the boundaries of a planet's habitable zone.

  16. SUB-STELLAR COMPANIONS AND STELLAR MULTIPLICITY IN THE TAURUS STAR-FORMING REGION

    SciTech Connect

    Daemgen, Sebastian; Bonavita, Mariangela; Jayawardhana, Ray; Lafrenière, David; Janson, Markus

    2015-02-01

    We present results from a large, high-spatial-resolution near-infrared imaging search for stellar and sub-stellar companions in the Taurus-Auriga star-forming region. The sample covers 64 stars with masses between those of the most massive Taurus members at ∼3 M {sub ☉} and low-mass stars at ∼0.2 M {sub ☉}. We detected 74 companion candidates, 34 of these reported for the first time. Twenty-five companions are likely physically bound, partly confirmed by follow-up observations. Four candidate companions are likely unrelated field stars. Assuming physical association with their host star, estimated companion masses are as low as ∼2 M {sub Jup}. The inferred multiplicity frequency within our sensitivity limits between ∼10-1500 AU is 26.3{sub −4.9}{sup +6.6}%. Applying a completeness correction, 62% ± 14% of all Taurus stars between 0.7 and 1.4 M {sub ☉} appear to be multiple. Higher order multiples were found in 1.8{sub −1.5}{sup +4.2}% of the cases, in agreement with previous observations of the field. We estimate a sub-stellar companion frequency of ∼3.5%-8.8% within our sensitivity limits from the discovery of two likely bound and three other tentative very low-mass companions. This frequency appears to be in agreement with what is expected from the tail of the stellar companion mass ratio distribution, suggesting that stellar and brown dwarf companions share the same dominant formation mechanism. Further, we find evidence for possible evolution of binary parameters between two identified sub-populations in Taurus with ages of ∼2 Myr and ∼20 Myr, respectively.

  17. Glowing Hot Transiting Exoplanet Discovered

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-04-01

    VLT Spectra Indicate Shortest-Known-Period Planet Orbiting OGLE-TR-3 Summary More than 100 exoplanets in orbit around stars other than the Sun have been found so far. But while their orbital periods and distances from their central stars are well known, their true masses cannot be determined with certainty, only lower limits. This fundamental limitation is inherent in the common observational method to discover exoplanets - the measurements of small and regular changes in the central star's velocity, caused by the planet's gravitational pull as it orbits the star. However, in two cases so far, it has been found that the exoplanet's orbit happens to be positioned in such a way that the planet moves in front of the stellar disk, as seen from the Earth. This "transit" event causes a small and temporary dip in the star's brightness, as the planet covers a small part of its surface, which can be observed. The additional knowledge of the spatial orientation of the planetary orbit then permits a direct determination of the planet's true mass. Now, a group of German astronomers [1] have found a third star in which a planet, somewhat larger than Jupiter, but only half as massive, moves in front of the central star every 28.5 hours . The crucial observation of this solar-type star, designated OGLE-TR-3 [2] was made with the high-dispersion UVES spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the ESO Paranal Observatory (Chile). It is the exoplanet with the shortest period found so far and it is very close to the star, only 3.5 million km away. The hemisphere that faces the star must be extremely hot, about 2000 °C and the planet is obviously losing its atmosphere at high rate . PR Photo 10a/03 : The star OGLE-TR-3 . PR Photo 10b/03 : VLT UVES spectrum of OGLE-TR-3. PR Photo 10c/03 : Relation between stellar brightness and velocity (diagram). PR Photo 10d/03 : Observed velocity variation of OGLE-TR-3. PR Photo 10e/03 : Observed brightness variation of OGLE-TR-3. The search

  18. Optical Phase Curves of Kepler Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esteves, Lisa J.; De Mooij, Ernst J. W.; Jayawardhana, Ray

    2013-07-01

    We conducted a comprehensive search for optical phase variations of all close-in (a/R sstarf < 10) planet candidates in 15 quarters of Kepler space telescope data. After correcting for systematics, we found eight systems that show secondary eclipses as well as phase variations. Of these, five (Kepler-5, Kepler-6, Kepler-8, KOI-64, and KOI-2133) are new and three (TrES-2, HAT-P-7, and KOI-13) have published phase curves, albeit with many fewer observations. We model the full phase curve of each planet candidate, including the primary and secondary transits, and derive their albedos, dayside and nightside temperatures, ellipsoidal variations, and Doppler beaming. We find that KOI-64 and KOI-2133 have nightside temperatures well above their equilibrium values (while KOI-2133 also has an albedo, >1), so we conclude that they are likely to be self-luminous objects rather than planets. The other six candidates have characteristics consistent with their being planets with low geometric albedos (<0.3). For TrES-2 and KOI-13, the Kepler bandpass appears to probe atmospheric layers hotter than the planet's equilibrium temperature. For KOI-13, we detect a never-before-seen third cosine harmonic with an amplitude of 6.7 ± 0.3 ppm and a phase shift of -1.1 ± 0.1 rad in the phase curve residual, possibly due to its spin-orbit misalignment. We report derived planetary parameters for all six planets, including masses from ellipsoidal variations and Doppler beaming, and compare our results to published values when available. Our results nearly double the number of Kepler exoplanets with measured phase curve variations, thus providing valuable constraints on the properties of hot Jupiters.

  19. OPTICAL PHASE CURVES OF KEPLER EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Esteves, Lisa J.; De Mooij, Ernst J. W.; Jayawardhana, Ray E-mail: demooij@astro.utoronto.ca

    2013-07-20

    We conducted a comprehensive search for optical phase variations of all close-in (a/R{sub *} < 10) planet candidates in 15 quarters of Kepler space telescope data. After correcting for systematics, we found eight systems that show secondary eclipses as well as phase variations. Of these, five (Kepler-5, Kepler-6, Kepler-8, KOI-64, and KOI-2133) are new and three (TrES-2, HAT-P-7, and KOI-13) have published phase curves, albeit with many fewer observations. We model the full phase curve of each planet candidate, including the primary and secondary transits, and derive their albedos, dayside and nightside temperatures, ellipsoidal variations, and Doppler beaming. We find that KOI-64 and KOI-2133 have nightside temperatures well above their equilibrium values (while KOI-2133 also has an albedo, >1), so we conclude that they are likely to be self-luminous objects rather than planets. The other six candidates have characteristics consistent with their being planets with low geometric albedos (<0.3). For TrES-2 and KOI-13, the Kepler bandpass appears to probe atmospheric layers hotter than the planet's equilibrium temperature. For KOI-13, we detect a never-before-seen third cosine harmonic with an amplitude of 6.7 {+-} 0.3 ppm and a phase shift of -1.1 {+-} 0.1 rad in the phase curve residual, possibly due to its spin-orbit misalignment. We report derived planetary parameters for all six planets, including masses from ellipsoidal variations and Doppler beaming, and compare our results to published values when available. Our results nearly double the number of Kepler exoplanets with measured phase curve variations, thus providing valuable constraints on the properties of hot Jupiters.

  20. Exoplanet Science from NASA’s Kepler Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Steffen, Jason

    2012-09-12

    NASA's exoplanet mission is the world's premier instrument for the discovery and study of planets orbiting distant stars. As the nominal mission comes to a close, Kepler has discovered nearly 2500 planet candidates, confirmed dozens of multi-planet systems, provided important insights into the orbital architectures of planetary systems, identified specific systems that challenge theories of planet formation and dynamical evolution, has revolutionized our understanding of stellar interiors, and is gearing to measure the frequency of Earth-like planets in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars in its extended mission phase. I present the most recent results from the Kepler mission.

  1. Emerging Science Capabilities of Modern Adaptive Optics Systems for Exoplanet and Stellar Astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen-Clem, Rebecca M.

    2017-01-01

    In this dissertation talk, I discuss new science capabilities enabled by the latest generation of adaptive optics systems in the context of faint companion detection and characterization. I address two regimes of adaptive optics: 1) extreme-AO systems that are combined with coronagraphs to detect companions many times fainter than their parent stars; 2) AO systems that are designed to maximize observing efficiency. GPI and SPHERE, two recent extreme-AO high contrast spectro-polarimeters, embody the first regime. These instruments’ design and sensitivity open up the possibility of a new observable for exoplanet characterization: polarized radiation from self-luminous, directly imaged exoplanets in the near-infrared. As part of my dissertation, I demonstrated that GPI can detect linear polarizations on the 1% scale predicted for cloudy, oblate gas giant exoplanets. Future polarimetric surveys will provide the empirical data needed to build the next generation of cloudy atmospheric models, shedding new light on the compositions of exoplanet atmospheres. The second regime of efficiency-optimized adaptive optics is embodied by Robo-AO, a robotic laser guide star AO system newly installed at the Kitt Peak 2.1-m telescope. Capable of observing over 1000 targets per week, Robo-AO enables LGS-AO surveys of unprecedented scale. I exploited Robo-AO’s efficiency to study the origins of stellar angular momentum: by resolving binaries from among the 700+ Pleiades members observed by K2, I related binary separations to K2’s photometrically determined rotation periods. In this talk, I will also describe Robo-AO’s commissioning at the 2.1-m and subsequent pipeline development.

  2. Galactic cosmic ray-induced radiation dose on terrestrial exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Atri, Dimitra; Hariharan, B; Grießmeier, Jean-Mathias

    2013-10-01

    This past decade has seen tremendous advancements in the study of extrasolar planets. Observations are now made with increasing sophistication from both ground- and space-based instruments, and exoplanets are characterized with increasing precision. There is a class of particularly interesting exoplanets that reside in the habitable zone, which is defined as the area around a star where the planet is capable of supporting liquid water on its surface. Planetary systems around M dwarfs are considered to be prime candidates to search for life beyond the Solar System. Such planets are likely to be tidally locked and have close-in habitable zones. Theoretical calculations also suggest that close-in exoplanets are more likely to have weaker planetary magnetic fields, especially in the case of super-Earths. Such exoplanets are subjected to a high flux of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) due to their weak magnetic moments. GCRs are energetic particles of astrophysical origin that strike the planetary atmosphere and produce secondary particles, including muons, which are highly penetrating. Some of these particles reach the planetary surface and contribute to the radiation dose. Along with the magnetic field, another factor governing the radiation dose is the depth of the planetary atmosphere. The higher the depth of the planetary atmosphere, the lower the flux of secondary particles will be on the surface. If the secondary particles are energetic enough, and their flux is sufficiently high, the radiation from muons can also impact the subsurface regions, such as in the case of Mars. If the radiation dose is too high, the chances of sustaining a long-term biosphere on the planet are very low. We have examined the dependence of the GCR-induced radiation dose on the strength of the planetary magnetic field and its atmospheric depth, and found that the latter is the decisive factor for the protection of a planetary biosphere.

  3. DISCRIMINATING BETWEEN CLOUDY, HAZY, AND CLEAR SKY EXOPLANETS USING REFRACTION

    SciTech Connect

    Misra, Amit K.; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2014-11-01

    We propose a method to distinguish between cloudy, hazy, and clear sky (free of clouds and hazes) exoplanet atmospheres that could be applicable to upcoming large aperture space- and ground-based telescopes such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). These facilities will be powerful tools for characterizing transiting exoplanets, but only after a considerable amount of telescope time is devoted to a single planet. A technique that could provide a relatively rapid means of identifying haze-free targets (which may be more valuable targets for characterization) could potentially increase the science return for these telescopes. Our proposed method utilizes broadband observations of refracted light in the out-of-transit spectrum. Light refracted through an exoplanet atmosphere can lead to an increase of flux prior to ingress and subsequent to egress. Because this light is transmitted at pressures greater than those for typical cloud and haze layers, the detection of refracted light could indicate a cloud- or haze-free atmosphere. A detection of refracted light could be accomplished in <10 hr for Jovian exoplanets with JWST and <5 hr for super-Earths/mini-Neptunes with E-ELT. We find that this technique is most effective for planets with equilibrium temperatures between 200 and 500 K, which may include potentially habitable planets. A detection of refracted light for a potentially habitable planet would strongly suggest the planet was free of a global cloud or haze layer, and therefore a promising candidate for follow-up observations.

  4. ARIEL: Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinetti, Giovanna

    2015-11-01

    More than 1,000 extrasolar systems have been discovered, hosting nearly 2,000 exoplanets. Ongoing and planned ESA and NASA missions from space such as GAIA, Cheops, PLATO, K2 and TESS will increase the number of known systems to tens of thousands.Of all these exoplanets we know very little, i.e. their orbital data and, for some of these, their physical parameters such as their size and mass. In the past decade, pioneering results have been obtained using transit spectroscopy with Hubble, Spitzer and ground-based facilities, enabling the detection of a few of the most abundant ionic, atomic and molecular species and to constrain the planet’s thermal structure. Future general purpose facilities with large collecting areas will allow the acquisition of better exoplanet spectra, compared to the currently available, especially from fainter targets. A few tens of planets will be observed with JWST and E-ELT in great detail.A breakthrough in our understanding of planet formation and evolution mechanisms will only happen through the observation of the planetary bulk and atmospheric composition of a statistically large sample of planets. This requires conducting spectroscopic observations covering simultaneously a broad spectral region from the visible to the mid-IR. It also requires a dedicated space mission with the necessary photometric stability to perform these challenging measurements and sufficient agility to observe multiple times ~500 exoplanets over mission life-time.The ESA-M4 mission candidate ARIEL is designed to accomplish this goal and will provide a complete, statistically significant sample of gas-giants, Neptunes and super-Earths with temperatures hotter than 600K, as these types of planets will allow direct observation of their bulk properties, enabling us to constrain models of planet formation and evolution.The ARIEL consortium currently includes academic institutes and industry from eleven countries in Europe; the consortium is open and invites new

  5. Balloon exoplanet nulling interferometer (BENI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyon, Richard G.; Clampin, Mark; Woodruff, Robert A.; Vasudevan, Gopal; Ford, Holland; Petro, Larry; Herman, Jay; Rinehart, Stephen; Carpenter, Kenneth; Marzouk, Joe

    2009-08-01

    We evaluate the feasibility of a balloon-borne nulling interferometer to detect and characterize an exosolar planet and the surrounding debris disk. The existing instrument consists of a three-telescope Fizeau imaging interferometer with thre fast steering mirrors and three delay lines operating at 800 Hz for closed-loop control of wavefront errors and fine pointing. A compact visible nulling interferometer would be coupled to the imaging interferometer and in principle, allows deep starlight suppression. Atmospheric simulations of the environment above 100,000 feet show that balloonborne payloads are a possible path towards the direct detection and characterization of a limited set of exoplanets and debris disks. Furthermore, rapid development of lower cost balloon payloads provide a path towards advancement of NASA technology readiness levels for future space-based exoplanet missions. Discussed are the BENI mission and instrument, the balloon environment and the feasibility of such a balloon-borne mission.

  6. Analysis of Exoplanet Light Curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erdem, A.; Budding, E.; Rhodes, M. D.; Püsküllü, Ç.; Soydugan, F.; Soydugan, E.; Tüysüz, M.; Demircan, O.

    2015-07-01

    We have applied the close binary system analysis package WINFITTER to a variety of exoplanet transiting light curves taken both from the NASA Exoplanet Archive and our own ground-based observations. WINFitter has parameter options for a realistic physical model, including gravity brightening and structural parameters derived from Kopal's applications of the relevant Radau equation, and it includes appropriate tests for determinacy and adequacy of its best fitting parameter sets. We discuss a number of issues related to empirical checking of models for stellar limb darkening, surface maculation, Doppler beaming, microvariability, and transit time variation (TTV) effects. The Radau coefficients used in the light curve modeling, in principle, allow structural models of the component stars to be tested.

  7. In the Search of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crespo, Luis Cuesta

    The Spanish Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial has a network of three telescopes located in some of the best places for Astronomy in Spain: the Observatory of Calar Alto, in Almería, near Calatayud, in Zaragoza, at the summit of a 1,400m high mountain, and at the campus of INTA, in Madrid. The three telescopes have diameters between 40 and 50cm, and are equipped with instrumentation very adequate to identify exoplanets.

  8. The slow spin of the young substellar companion GQ Lupi b and its orbital configuration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarz, Henriette; Ginski, Christian; de Kok, Remco J.; Snellen, Ignas A. G.; Brogi, Matteo; Birkby, Jayne L.

    2016-09-01

    The spin of a planet or brown dwarf is related to the accretion process, and therefore studying spin can help promote our understanding of the formation of such objects. We present the projected rotational velocity of the young substellar companion GQ Lupi b, along with its barycentric radial velocity. The directly imaged exoplanet or brown dwarf companion joins a small but growing ensemble of wide-orbit, substellar companions with a spin measurement. The GQ Lupi system was observed at high spectral resolution (R ~ 100 000), and in the analysis we made use of both spectral and spatial filtering to separate the signal of the companion from that of the host star. We detect both CO (S/N = 11.6) and H2O (S/N = 7.7) in the atmosphere of GQ Lupi b by cross-correlating with model spectra, and we find it to be a slow rotator with a projected rotational velocity of 5.3+ 0.9-1.0 km s-1. The slow rotation is most likely due to its young age of < 5 Myr, as it is still in the process of accreting material and angular momentum. We measure the barycentric radial velocity of GQ Lupi b to be 2.0 ± 0.4 km s-1, and discuss the allowed orbital configurations and their implications for formation scenarios for GQ Lupi b.

  9. Three Red Giants With Substellar-Mass Companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niedzielski, A.; Wolszczan, A.; Nowak, G.; Adamów, M.; Kowalik, K.; Maciejewski, G.; Deka-Szymankiewicz, B.; Adamczyk, M.

    2015-04-01

    We present three giant stars from the ongoing Penn State-Toruń Planet Search with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, which exhibit radial velocity (RV) variations that point to the presence of planetary-mass companions around them. BD+49 828 is a M=1.52+/- 0.22 {{M}⊙ } K0 giant with a m sin i=1.6-0.2+0.4 {{M}J} minimum mass companion in a = 4.2+0.32-0.2 AU (2590+300-180d), e = 0.35+0.24-0.10 orbit. HD 95127, a log L/{{L}⊙ }=2.28+/- 0.38, R=20+/- 9 {{R}⊙ }, M=1.20+/- 0.22 {{M}⊙ } K0 giant, has a m sin i = 5.01-0.44+0.61 {{M}J} minimum mass companion in a = 1.28+0.01-0.01 AU (482+5-5d), e = 0.11+0.15-0.06 orbit. Finally, HD 216536 is a M=1.36+/- 0.38 {{M}⊙ } K0 giant with a msin i=1.47-0.12+0.20 {{M}J} minimum mass companion in a=0.609-0.002+0.002 AU (148.6-0.7+0.7d), e = 0.38+0.12-0.10 orbit. Both HD 95127 b and HD 216536 b in their compact orbits are very close to the engulfment zone and hence prone to ingestion in the near future. BD+49 828 b is among the longest-period planets detected with the RV technique until now and it will remain unaffected by stellar evolution up to a very late stage of its host. We discuss general properties of planetary systems around evolved stars and planet survivability using existing data on exoplanets in more detail. Based on observations obtained with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, which is a joint project of the University of Texas at Austin, the Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

  10. Looking inside exoplanets. Exoplanetary Atmospheres.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lampon, M.; Lara, L. M.; Jimenez-Ortega, J.; Gomez-Gonzalez, J. L.

    2017-03-01

    If we want to help to obtain answers to scientific key questions like, what are exoplanets made of?, why are planets as they are?, how were they formed and how did they evolve?, we have to understand their atmospheres, so to be able to build suitable exoplanetary atmospheric models. For this purpose, we are developing the necessary tools. At present, we are able to build a one dimensional equilibrium thermodynamic atmospheric model for exoplanets, that is a first approximation to their characterization. In the near future, our model will be implemented with new tools for describing disequilibrium processes and therefore will let us to reach a deeper understanding. In this work we expose a sample of 3 exoplanets, 1 hot Jupiter and 2 hot Neptunes-like at which we build several one dimensional equilibrium thermodynamic atmospheric models. The purpose of this work is show the different variables that even in a first approximation (i.e. equilibrium thermodynamic model) seriously affect the characterization of the system.

  11. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ricker, G. R.; Clampin, M.; Latham, D. W.; Seager, S.; Vanderspek, R. K.; Villasenor, J. S.; Winn, J. N.

    2012-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. In a two-year survey, TESS will monitor more than 500,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances. No ground-based survey can achieve this feat. A large fraction of TESS target stars will be 30-100 times brighter than those observed by Kepler satellite, and therefore TESS . planets will be far easier to characterize with follow-up observations. TESS will make it possible to study the masses, sizes, densities, orbits, and atmospheres of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars. TESS will provide prime targets for observation with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future. TESS data will be released with minimal delay (no proprietary period), inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the very nearest and brightest main-sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets, thus providing future observers with the most favorable targets for detailed investigations.

  12. Astrometric exoplanet detection with Gaia

    SciTech Connect

    Perryman, Michael; Hartman, Joel; Bakos, Gáspár Á.; Lindegren, Lennart

    2014-12-10

    We provide a revised assessment of the number of exoplanets that should be discovered by Gaia astrometry, extending previous studies to a broader range of spectral types, distances, and magnitudes. Our assessment is based on a large representative sample of host stars from the TRILEGAL Galaxy population synthesis model, recent estimates of the exoplanet frequency distributions as a function of stellar type, and detailed simulation of the Gaia observations using the updated instrument performance and scanning law. We use two approaches to estimate detectable planetary systems: one based on the signal-to-noise ratio of the astrometric signature per field crossing, easily reproducible and allowing comparisons with previous estimates, and a new and more robust metric based on orbit fitting to the simulated satellite data. With some plausible assumptions on planet occurrences, we find that some 21,000 (±6000) high-mass (∼1-15M {sub J}) long-period planets should be discovered out to distances of ∼500 pc for the nominal 5 yr mission (including at least 1000-1500 around M dwarfs out to 100 pc), rising to some 70,000 (±20, 000) for a 10 yr mission. We indicate some of the expected features of this exoplanet population, amongst them ∼25-50 intermediate-period (P ∼ 2-3 yr) transiting systems.

  13. Ultraviolet emission from main-sequence companions of AGB stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz, Roberto; Guerrero, Martín A.

    2016-09-01

    Although the majority of known binary asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars are symbiotic systems (i.e. with a white dwarf as a secondary star), main-sequence companions of AGB stars can be more numerous, even though they are more difficult to find because the primary high luminosity hampers the detection of the companion at visual wavelengths. However, in the ultraviolet the flux emitted by a secondary with Teff > 5500 ˜ 6000 K may prevail over that of the primary, and then it can be used to search for candidates to binary AGB stars. In this work, theoretical atmosphere models are used to calculate the UV excess in the GALEX near- and far-UV bands due to a main-sequence companion. After analysing a sample of confirmed binary AGB stars, we propose as a criterium for binarity: (1) the detection of the AGB star in the GALEX far-UV band and/or (2) a GALEX near-UV observed-to-predicted flux ratio >20. These criteria have been applied to a volume-limited sample of AGB stars within 500 pc of the Sun; 34 out of the sample of 58 AGB stars (˜60 per cent) fulfill them, implying to have a main-sequence companion of spectral type earlier than K0. The excess in the GALEX near- and far-UV bands cannot be attributed to a single temperature companion star, thus suggesting that the UV emission of the secondary might be absorbed by the extended atmosphere and circumstellar envelope of the primary or that UV emission is produced in accretion flows.

  14. Validation of Kepler's Multiple Planet Candidates. II. Refined Statistical Framework and Descriptions of Systems of Special Interest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Rowe, Jason F.; Jontof-Hutter, Daniel; Agol, Eric; Borucki, William J.; Carter, Joshua A.; Ford, Eric B.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Kolbl, Rea; Star, Kimberly M.; Steffen, Jason H.; Torres, Guillermo

    2014-03-01

    We extend the statistical analysis performed by Lissauer et al. in 2012, which demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Kepler candidate multiple transiting systems (multis) represents true transiting planets, and we develop therefrom a procedure to validate large numbers of planet candidates in multis as bona fide exoplanets. We show that this statistical framework correctly estimates the abundance of false positives already identified around Kepler targets with multiple sets of transit-like signatures based on their abundance around targets with single sets of transit-like signatures. We estimate the number of multis that represent split systems of one or more planets orbiting each component of a binary star system. We use the high reliability rate for multis to validate more than one dozen particularly interesting multi-planet systems herein. Hundreds of additional multi-planet systems are validated in a companion paper by Rowe et al. We note that few very short period (P < 1.6 days) planets orbit within multiple transiting planet systems and discuss possible reasons for their absence. There also appears to be a shortage of planets with periods exceeding a few months in multis.

  15. Validation of Kepler's multiple planet candidates. II. Refined statistical framework and descriptions of systems of special interest

    SciTech Connect

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Rowe, Jason F.; Jontof-Hutter, Daniel; Borucki, William J.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Kolbl, Rea; Agol, Eric; Carter, Joshua A.; Torres, Guillermo; Ford, Eric B.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Star, Kimberly M.; Steffen, Jason H.

    2014-03-20

    We extend the statistical analysis performed by Lissauer et al. in 2012, which demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Kepler candidate multiple transiting systems (multis) represents true transiting planets, and we develop therefrom a procedure to validate large numbers of planet candidates in multis as bona fide exoplanets. We show that this statistical framework correctly estimates the abundance of false positives already identified around Kepler targets with multiple sets of transit-like signatures based on their abundance around targets with single sets of transit-like signatures. We estimate the number of multis that represent split systems of one or more planets orbiting each component of a binary star system. We use the high reliability rate for multis to validate more than one dozen particularly interesting multi-planet systems herein. Hundreds of additional multi-planet systems are validated in a companion paper by Rowe et al. We note that few very short period (P < 1.6 days) planets orbit within multiple transiting planet systems and discuss possible reasons for their absence. There also appears to be a shortage of planets with periods exceeding a few months in multis.

  16. An Orbital Stability Study of the Proposed Companions of SW Lyncis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinse, T. C.; Horner, Jonathan; Wittenmyer, Robert A.

    2014-09-01

    We have investigated the dynamical stability of the proposed companions orbiting the Algol type short-period eclipsing binary SW Lyncis (Kim et al. 2010). The two candidate companions are of stellar to substellar nature, and were inferred from timing measurements of the system's primary and secondary eclipses. We applied well-tested numerical techniques to accurately integrate the orbits of the two companions and to test for chaotic dynamical behavior. We carried out the stability analysis within a systematic parameter survey varying both the geometries and orientation of the orbits of the companions, as well as their masses. In all our numerical integrations we found that the proposed SW Lyn multi-body system is highly unstable on time-scales on the order of 1000 years. Our results cast doubt on the interpretation that the timing variations are caused by two companions. This work demonstrates that a straightforward dynamical analysis can help to test whether a best-fit companion-based model is a physically viable explanation for measured eclipse timing variations. We conclude that dynamical considerations reveal that the proposed SW Lyncis multi-body system most likely does not exist or the companions have significantly different orbital properties from those conjectured in Kim et al. (2010).

  17. NEW M, L, AND T DWARF COMPANIONS TO NEARBY STARS FROM THE WIDE-FIELD INFRARED SURVEY EXPLORER

    SciTech Connect

    Luhman, Kevin L.; Loutrel, Nicholas P.; McCurdy, Nicholas S.; Melso, Nicole D.; Star, Kimberly M.; Terrien, Ryan C.; Mace, Gregory N.; McLean, Ian S.; Young, Michael D.; Rhode, Katherine L.; Davy Kirkpatrick, J.

    2012-12-01

    We present 11 candidate late-type companions to nearby stars identified with data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). Eight of the candidates are likely to be companions based on their common proper motions with the primaries. The remaining three objects are rejected as companions, one of which is a free-floating T7 dwarf. Spectral types are available for five of the companions, which consist of M2V, M8.5V, L5, T8, and T8. Based on their photometry, the unclassified companions are probably two mid-M dwarfs and one late-M/early-L dwarf. One of the T8 companions, WISE J142320.84+011638.0, has already been reported by Pinfield and coworkers. The other T8 companion, ULAS J095047.28+011734.3, was discovered by Burningham and coworkers through the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope Infrared Deep Sky Survey, but its companionship has not been previously recognized in the literature. The L5 companion, 2MASS J17430860+8526594, is a new member of a class of L dwarfs that exhibit unusually blue near-IR colors. Among the possible mechanisms that have been previously proposed for the peculiar colors of these L dwarfs, low metallicity does not appear to be a viable explanation for 2MASS J17430860+8526594 since our spectrum of the primary suggests that its metallicity is not significantly subsolar.

  18. How Many Exoplanets Does it Take to Constrain the Origin of Mercury?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, L.

    2015-12-01

    The origin of Mercury's enhanced iron content is a matter of ongoing debate. The characterization of rocky exoplanets promises to provide new independent insights on this topic, by constraining the occurrence rate, physical, and orbital properties of iron-enhanced planets orbiting distant stars. The ultra-short-period transiting planet candidate KOI-1843.03 (0.6 Earth-radius, 4.245 hour orbital period) represents the first exo-Mercury planet candidate ever identified. For KOI-1843.03 to have avoided tidal disruption on such a short orbit, it must have a mean density of at least 7g/cc and be at least as iron rich as Mercury (Rappaport et al. 2013). In contrast, Dressing et al. (2015) have noted that, to date, all confirmed transiting small (< 1.6 Earth-radius) exoplanets with masses measured to better than 20% precision have mean densities that are consistent with Earth-like bulk compositions, though significant compositional dispersion is also admitted within the observational uncertainties. This presentation will describe the application of hierarchical Bayesian models to constrain the underlying distribution of rocky exoplanet iron contents from a sample of noisy mass-radius measurements coupled to rocky planet interior structure models. In addition to deriving constraints on the distribution of iron-enhanced exo-Mercuries from the exoplanet mass-radius measurements in hand, we also apply this approach to simulated data sets to predict how the constraints should improve as increasing numbers of exoplanets are characterized. The work outlines an observational pathway toward using exoplanets to place Mercury into context.

  19. How Many Exoplanets Does it Take to Constrain the Origin of Mercury?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, Leslie

    2016-01-01

    The origin of Mercury's enhanced iron content is a matter of ongoing debate. The characterization of rocky exoplanets promises to provide new independent insights on this topic by constraining the occurrence rate and physical and orbital properties of iron-enhanced planets orbiting distant stars. The ultra-short-period transiting planet candidate KOI-1843.03 (0.6 Earth-radius, 4.245 hour orbital period) represents the first exo-Mercury planet candidate ever identified. For KOI-1843.03 to have avoided tidal disruption on such a short orbit, it must have a mean density of at least 7g/cc and be at least as iron rich as Mercury (Rappaport et al. 2013). In contrast, Dressing et al. (2015) have noted that, to date, all confirmed transiting small (< 1.5 Earth-radius) exoplanets with masses measured to better than 20% precision have mean densities that are consistent with Earth-like bulk compositions, though significant compositional dispersion is also admitted within the observational uncertainties. This presentation will describe the application of hierarchical Bayesian models to constrain the underlying distribution of rocky exoplanet iron contents from a sample of noisy mass-radius measurements coupled to rocky planet interior structure models. In addition to deriving constraints on the distribution of iron-enhanced exo-Mercuries from the exoplanet mass-radius measurements in hand, we also apply this approach to simulated data sets to predict how the constraints should improve as increasing numbers of exoplanets are characterized. The work outlines an observational pathway toward using exoplanets to place Mercury into context.

  20. A Model for Astrometric Detection and Characterization of Multi-Exoplanet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    April Thompson, Maggie; Spergel, David N.

    2017-01-01

    In this thesis, we develop an approximate linear model of stellar motion in multi- planet systems as an aid to observers using the astrometric method to detect and characterize exoplanets. Recent and near-term advances in satellite and ground-based instruments are on the threshold of achieving sufficient (~10 micro-arcsecond) angular accuracies to allow astronomers to measure and analyze the transverse mo- tion of stars about the common barycenter in single- and multi-planet systems due to the gravitational influence of companion planets. Given the emerging statistics of extrasolar planetary systems and the long observation periods required to assess exoplanet influences, astronomers should find an approximate technique for preliminary estimates of multiple planet numbers, masses and orbital parameters useful in determining the most likely stellar systems for follow-up studies. In this paper, we briefly review the history of astrometry and discuss its advantages and limitations in exoplanet research. In addition, we define the principal astrometric signature and describe the main variables affecting it, highlighting astrometry’s complementary role to radial velocity and photometric transit exoplanet detection techniques. We develop and test a Python computer code using actual data and projections of the Sun’s motion due to the influence of the four gas giants in the solar system. We then apply this model to over 50 hypothetical massive two- and three-exoplanet systems to discover useful general patterns by employing a heuristic examination of key aspects of the host star’s motion over long observation intervals. Finally, we modify the code by incorporating an inverse least-squares fit program to assess its efficiency in identifying the main characteristics of multi-planet systems based on observational records over 5-, 10- and 20-year periods for a variety of actual and hypothetical exoplanetary systems. We also explore the method’s sensitivity to

  1. SEEDS — Strategic explorations of exoplanets and disks with the Subaru Telescope —

    PubMed Central

    TAMURA, Motohide

    2016-01-01

    The first convincing detection of planets orbiting stars other than the Sun, or exoplanets, was made in 1995. In only 20 years, the number of the exoplanets including promising candidates has already accumulated to more than 5000. Most of the exoplanets discovered so far are detected by indirect methods because the direct imaging of exoplanets needs to overcome the extreme contrast between the bright central star and the faint planets. Using the large Subaru 8.2-m Telescope, a new high-contrast imager, HiCIAO, and second-generation adaptive optics (AO188), the most ambitious high-contrast direct imaging survey to date for giant planets and planet-forming disks has been conducted, the SEEDS project. In this review, we describe the aims and results of the SEEDS project for exoplanet/disk science. The completeness and uniformity of this systematic survey mean that the resulting data set will dominate this field of research for many years. PMID:26860453

  2. Exoplanet Community Report on Direct Infrared Imaging of Exoplanets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Danchi, William C.; Lawson, Peter R.

    2009-01-01

    Direct infrared imaging and spectroscopy of exoplanets will allow for detailed characterization of the atmospheric constituents of more than 200 nearby Earth-like planets, more than is possible with any other method under consideration. A flagship mission based on larger passively cooled infrared telescopes and formation flying technologies would have the highest angular resolution of any concept under consideration. The 2008 Exoplanet Forum committee on Direct Infrared Imaging of Exoplanets recommends: (1) a vigorous technology program including component development, integrated testbeds, and end-to-end modeling in the areas of formation flying and mid-infrared nulling; (2) a probe-scale mission based on a passively cooled structurally connected interferometer to be started within the next two to five years, for exoplanetary system characterization that is not accessible from the ground, and which would provide transformative science and lay the engineering groundwork for the flagship mission with formation flying elements. Such a mission would enable a complete exozodiacal dust survey (<1 solar system zodi) in the habitable zone of all nearby stars. This information will allow for a more efficient strategy of spectral characterization of Earth-sized planets for the flagship missions, and also will allow for optimization of the search strategy of an astrometric mission if such a mission were delayed due to cost or technology reasons. (3) Both the flagship and probe missions should be pursued with international partners if possible. Fruitful collaboration with international partners on mission concepts and relevant technology should be continued. (4) Research and Analysis (R&A) should be supported for the development of preliminary science and mission designs. Ongoing efforts to characterize the the typical level of exozodiacal light around Sun-like stars with ground-based nulling technology should be continued.

  3. Direct Imaging discovery of a second planet candidate around the possibly transiting planet host CVSO 30

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, T. O. B.; Neuhäuser, R.; Briceño, C.; Vogt, N.; Raetz, St.; Seifahrt, A.; Ginski, C.; Mugrauer, M.; Buder, S.; Adam, C.; Hauschildt, P.; Witte, S.; Helling, Ch.; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.

    2016-09-01

    Context. Direct imaging has developed into a very successful technique for the detection of exoplanets in wide orbits, especially around young stars. Directly imaged planets can be both followed astrometrically on their orbits and observed spectroscopically and thus provide an essential tool for our understanding of the early solar system. Aims: We surveyed the 25 Ori association for direct-imaging companions. This association has an age of only few million years. Among other targets, we observed CVSO 30, which has recently been identified as the first T Tauri star found to host a transiting planet candidate. Methods: We report on photometric and spectroscopic high-contrast observations with the Very Large Telescope, the Keck telescopes, and the Calar Alto observatory. They reveal a directly imaged planet candidate close to the young M3 star CVSO 30. Results: The JHK-band photometry of the newly identified candidate is at better than 1σ consistent with late-type giants, early-T and early-M dwarfs, and free-floating planets. Other hypotheses such as galaxies can be excluded at more than 3.5σ. A lucky imaging z' photometric detection limit z' = 20.5 mag excludes early-M dwarfs and results in less than 10 MJup for CVSO 30 c if bound. We present spectroscopic observations of the wide companion that imply that the only remaining explanation for the object is that it is the first very young (<10 Myr) L - T-type planet bound to a star, meaning that it appears bluer than expected as a result of a decreasing cloud opacity at low effective temperatures. Only a planetary spectral model is consistent with the spectroscopy, and we deduce a best-fit mass of 4-5 Jupiter masses (total range 0.6-10.2 Jupiter masses). Conclusions: This means that CVSO 30 is the first system in which both a close-in and a wide planet candidate are found to have a common host star. The orbits of the two possible planets could not be more different: they have orbital periods of 10.76 h and about 27

  4. First Temperate Exoplanet Sized Up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-03-01

    Combining observations from the CoRoT satellite and the ESO HARPS instrument, astronomers have discovered the first "normal" exoplanet that can be studied in great detail. Designated Corot-9b, the planet regularly passes in front of a star similar to the Sun located 1500 light-years away from Earth towards the constellation of Serpens (the Snake). "This is a normal, temperate exoplanet just like dozens we already know, but this is the first whose properties we can study in depth," says Claire Moutou, who is part of the international team of 60 astronomers that made the discovery. "It is bound to become a Rosetta stone in exoplanet research." "Corot-9b is the first exoplanet that really does resemble planets in our solar system," adds lead author Hans Deeg. "It has the size of Jupiter and an orbit similar to that of Mercury." "Like our own giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn, the planet is mostly made of hydrogen and helium," says team member Tristan Guillot, "and it may contain up to 20 Earth masses of other elements, including water and rock at high temperatures and pressures." Corot-9b passes in front of its host star every 95 days, as seen from Earth [1]. This "transit" lasts for about 8 hours, and provides astronomers with much additional information on the planet. This is fortunate as the gas giant shares many features with the majority of exoplanets discovered so far [2]. "Our analysis has provided more information on Corot-9b than for other exoplanets of the same type," says co-author Didier Queloz. "It may open up a new field of research to understand the atmospheres of moderate- and low-temperature planets, and in particular a completely new window in our understanding of low-temperature chemistry." More than 400 exoplanets have been discovered so far, 70 of them through the transit method. Corot-9b is special in that its distance from its host star is about ten times larger than that of any planet previously discovered by this method. And unlike all such

  5. A METAL-RICH LOW-GRAVITY COMPANION TO A MASSIVE MILLISECOND PULSAR

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, D. L.; Bhalerao, V. B.; Van Kerkwijk, M. H.; Koester, D.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Stovall, K. E-mail: mhvk@astro.utoronto.ca

    2013-03-10

    Most millisecond pulsars with low-mass companions are in systems with either helium-core white dwarfs or non-degenerate (''black widow'' or ''redback'') stars. A candidate counterpart to PSR J1816+4510 was identified by Kaplan et al. whose properties were suggestive of both types of companions although identical to neither. We have assembled optical spectroscopy of the candidate companion and confirm that it is part of the binary system with a radial velocity amplitude of 343 {+-} 7 km s{sup -1}, implying a high pulsar mass, M{sub psr}sin {sup 3} i = 1.84 {+-} 0.11 M{sub Sun }, and a companion mass M{sub c} sin {sup 3} i = 0.193 {+-} 0.012 M{sub Sun }, where i is the inclination of the orbit. The companion appears similar to proto-white dwarfs/sdB stars, with a gravity log{sub 10}(g) = 4.9 {+-} 0.3, and effective temperature 16, 000 {+-} 500 K. The strongest lines in the spectrum are from hydrogen, but numerous lines from helium, calcium, silicon, and magnesium are present as well, with implied abundances of roughly 10 times solar (relative to hydrogen). As such, while from the spectrum the companion to PSR J1816+4510 is superficially most similar to a low-mass white dwarf, it has much lower gravity, is substantially larger, and shows substantial metals. Furthermore, it is able to produce ionized gas eclipses, which had previously been seen only for low-mass, non-degenerate companions in redback or black widow systems. We discuss the companion in relation to other sources, but find that we understand neither its nature nor its origins. Thus, the system is interesting for understanding unusual stellar products of binary evolution, as well as, independent of its nature, for determining neutron-star masses.

  6. MODELING THE INFRARED SPECTRUM OF THE EARTH-MOON SYSTEM: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF EARTHLIKE EXTRASOLAR PLANETS AND THEIR MOONLIKE COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, Tyler D.

    2011-11-01

    The Moon maintains large surface temperatures on its illuminated hemisphere and can contribute significant amounts of flux to spatially unresolved thermal infrared (IR) observations of the Earth-Moon system, especially at wavelengths where Earth's atmosphere is absorbing. In this paper we investigate the effects of an unresolved companion on IR observations of Earthlike exoplanets. For an extrasolar twin Earth-Moon system observed at full phase at IR wavelengths, the Moon consistently comprises about 20% of the total signal, approaches 30% of the signal in the 9.6 {mu}m ozone band and the 15 {mu}m carbon dioxide band, makes up as much as 80% of the signal in the 6.3 {mu}m water band, and more than 90% of the signal in the 4.3 {mu}m carbon dioxide band. These excesses translate to inferred brightness temperatures for Earth that are too large by 20-40 K and demonstrate that the presence of undetected satellites can have significant impacts on the spectroscopic characterization of exoplanets. The thermal flux contribution from an airless companion depends strongly on phase, implying that observations of exoplanets should be taken when the star-planet-observer angle (i.e., phase angle) is as large as feasibly possible if contributions from companions are to be minimized. We show that, by differencing IR observations of an Earth twin with a companion taken at both gibbous and crescent phases, Moonlike satellites may be detectable by future exoplanet characterization missions for a wide range of system inclinations.

  7. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Overlooked wide companions of nearby F stars (Scholz, 2016)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, R.-D.

    2016-02-01

    We checked a sample of 545 F stars within 50pc for wide companions using existing near-infrared and optical sky surveys. Applying the common proper motion (CPM) criterion, we detected wide companion candidates with 6-120arcsec angular separations by visual inspection of multi-epoch finder charts and by searching in proper motion catalogues. Final proper motions were measured by involving positional measurements from up to eleven surveys. Spectral types of red CPM companions were estimated from their absolute J-band magnitudes based on the Hipparcos distances of the primaries. In addition to about 100 known CPM objects, we found 19 new CPM companions and confirmed 31 previously known candidates. A few CPM objects are still considered as candidates according to their level of proper motion agreement. Among the new objects there are nine M0-M4, eight M5-M6, one ~L3.5 dwarf (HD 3861B), and one white dwarf (WD) (HD 2726B), whereas we confirmed two K, 19 M0-M4, six M5-M6, two early-L dwarfs, and two DA WDs as CPM companions. In a few cases, previous spectral types were available that all agree well with our estimates. Two companions (HD 22879B and HD 49933B) are associated with moderately metal-poor Gaia benchmark stars. One doubtful CPM companion, spectroscopically classified as WD but found to be very bright (J=11.1) by others, should either be a very nearby foreground WD or a different kind of object associated with HD 165670. The main results of this research note, data on new, confirmed, and rejected CPM pairs, are listed in tablea1.dat, tableb1.dat, and tablec1.dat, respectively. (4 data files).

  8. First supernova companion star found

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-01-01

    Supernova 1993J exploding hi-res Size hi-res: 222 kb Credits: ESA and Justyn R. Maund (University of Cambridge) Supernova 1993J exploding (artist’s impression) New observations with the Hubble Space Telescope allow a look into a supernova explosion under development. In this artist’s view the red supergiant supernova progenitor star (left) is exploding after having transferred about 10 solar masses of hydrogen gas to the blue companion star (right). This interaction process happened over about 250 years and affected the supernova explosion to such an extent that SN 1993J was later known as one of the most peculiar supernovae ever seen. Supernova 1993J exploding hi-res Size hi-res: 4200 kb Credits: ESA and Justyn R. Maund (University of Cambridge) The site of the Supernova 1993J explosion A virtual journey into one of the spiral arms of the grand spiral Messier 81 (imaged with the Isaac Newton Telescope on La Palma, left) reveals the superb razor-sharp imaging power of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (Hubble’s WFPC2 instrument, below). The close-up (with Hubble’s ACS, to the right) is centred on the newly discovered companion star to Supernova 1993J that itself is no longer visible. The quarter-circle around the supernova companion is a so-called light echo originating from sheets of dust in the galaxy reflecting light from the original supernova explosion. Supernova 1993J explosing site hi-res Size hi-res: 1502 kb Credits: ESA and Justyn R. Maund (University of Cambridge) Close-up of the Supernova 1993J explosion site (ACS/HRC image) This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the area in Messier 81 where Supernova 1993J exploded. The companion to the supernova ‘mother star’ that remains after the explosion is seen in the centre of the image. The image is taken with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and is a combination of four exposures taken with ACS’ High Resolution Camera. The exposures were taken through two near-UV filters (250W

  9. SAM Companion Documents and Sample Collection Procedures

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    SAM Companion Documents and Sample Collection Procedures provide information intended to complement the analytical methods listed in Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Remediation and Recovery (SAM).

  10. A COMPARISON OF SPECTROSCOPIC VERSUS IMAGING TECHNIQUES FOR DETECTING CLOSE COMPANIONS TO KEPLER OBJECTS OF INTEREST

    SciTech Connect

    Teske, Johanna K.; Everett, Mark E.; Hirsch, Lea; Furlan, Elise; Ciardi, David R.; Horch, Elliott P.; Howell, Steve B.; Gonzales, Erica; Crepp, Justin R.

    2015-11-15

    Kepler planet candidates require both spectroscopic and imaging follow-up observations to rule out false positives and detect blended stars. Traditionally, spectroscopy and high-resolution imaging have probed different host star companion parameter spaces, the former detecting tight binaries and the latter detecting wider bound companions as well as chance background stars. In this paper, we examine a sample of 11 Kepler host stars with companions detected by two techniques—near-infrared adaptive optics and/or optical speckle interferometry imaging, and a new spectroscopic deblending method. We compare the companion effective temperatures (T{sub eff}) and flux ratios (F{sub B}/F{sub A}, where A is the primary and B is the companion) derived from each technique and find no cases where both companion parameters agree within 1σ errors. In 3/11 cases the companion T{sub eff} values agree within 1σ errors, and in 2/11 cases the companion F{sub B}/F{sub A} values agree within 1σ errors. Examining each Kepler system individually considering multiple avenues (isochrone mapping, contrast curves, probability of being bound), we suggest two cases for which the techniques most likely agree in their companion detections (detect the same companion star). Overall, our results support the advantage that the spectroscopic deblending technique has for finding very close-in companions (θ ≲ 0.″02–0.″05) that are not easily detectable with imaging. However, we also specifically show how high-contrast AO and speckle imaging observations detect companions at larger separations (θ ≥ 0.″02–0.″05) that are missed by the spectroscopic technique, provide additional information for characterizing the companion and its potential contamination (e.g., position angle, separation, magnitude differences), and cover a wider range of primary star effective temperatures. The investigation presented here illustrates the utility of combining the two techniques to reveal higher

  11. Insolation patterns on eccentric exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrovolskis, Anthony R.

    2015-04-01

    Several studies have found that synchronously-rotating Earth-like planets in the habitable zones of M-dwarf stars should exhibit an "eyeball" climate pattern, with a pupil of open ocean facing the parent star, and ice everywhere else. Recent work on eccentric exoplanets by Wang et al. (Wang, Y., Tian, F., Hu, Y. [2014b] Astrophys. J. 791, L12) has extended this conclusion to the 2:1 spin-orbit resonance as well, where the planet rotates twice during one orbital period. However, Wang et al. also found that the 3:2 and 5:2 half-odd resonances produce a zonally-striped climate pattern with polar icecaps instead. Unfortunately, they used incorrect insolation functions for the 3:2 and 5:2 resonances whose long-term time averages are essentially independent of longitude. This paper presents the correct insolation patterns for eccentric exoplanets with negligible obliquities in the 0:1, 1:2, 1:1, 3:2, 2:1, 5:2, 3:1, 7:2, and 4:1 spin-orbit resonances. I confirm that the mean insolation is distributed in an eyeball pattern for integer resonances; but for half-odd resonances, the mean insolation takes a "double-eyeball" pattern, identical over the "eastern" and "western" hemispheres. Presuming that liquids, ices, clouds, albedo, and thermal emission are similarly distributed, this has significant implications for the observation and interpretation of potentially habitable exoplanets. Finally, whether a striped ball, eyeball, or double-eyeball pattern emerges, the possibility exists that long-term build-up of ice (or liquid) away from the hot spots may alter the planet's inertia tensor and quadrupole moments enough to re-orient the planet, ultimately changing the distribution of liquid and ice.

  12. Enabling Participation In Exoplanet Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Stuart F.

    2015-08-01

    Determining the distribution of exoplanets has required the contributions of a community of astronomers, who all require the support of colleagues to finish their projects in a manner to enable them to enter new collaborations to continue to contribute to understanding exoplanet science.The contributions of each member of the astronomy community are to be encouraged and must never be intentionally obstructed.We present a member’s long pursuit to be a contributing part of the exoplanet community through doing transit photometry as a means of commissioning the telescopes for a new observatory, followed by pursuit of interpreting the distributions in exoplanet parameter data.We present how the photometry projects have been presented as successful by the others who have claimed to have completed them, but how by requiring its employees to present results while omitting one member has been obstructive against members working together and has prevented the results from being published in what can genuinely be called a peer-reviewed fashion.We present how by tolerating one group to obstruct one member from finishing participation and then falsely denying credit is counterproductive to doing science.We show how expecting one member to attempt to go around an ostracizing group by starting something different is destructive to the entire profession. We repeat previously published appeals to help ostracized members to “go around the observatory” by calling for discussion on how the community must act to reverse cases of shunning, bullying, and other abuses. Without better recourse and support from the community, actions that do not meet standard good collegial behavior end up forcing good members from the community. The most important actions are to enable an ostracized member to have recourse to participating in group papers by either working through other authors or through the journal. All journals and authors must expect that no co-author is keeping out a major

  13. Thermal Infrared Imaging of Exoplanets

    SciTech Connect

    Apai, Daniel

    2009-08-05

    High-contrast imaging remains the only way to search for and study weakly-irradiated giant exoplanets. We review here in brief a new high-contrast imaging technique that operates in the 3-5 mum window and show the exquisite sensitivity that can be reached using this technique. The two key advantages of the L-band high-contrast imaging are the superior image quality and the 2-to 4-magnitude gain in sensitivity provided by the red color of giant planets. Most excitingly, this method can be applied to constrain the yet-unexplored giant planet population at radii between 3 and 30 AU.

  14. DISCOVERY OF A LOW-MASS COMPANION TO A METAL-RICH F STAR WITH THE MARVELS PILOT PROJECT

    SciTech Connect

    Fleming, Scott W.; Ge Jian; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Lee, Brian; Cuong Nguyen, Duy; Morehead, Robert C.; Wan Xiaoke; Zhao Bo; Liu Jian; Guo Pengcheng; Kane, Stephen R.; Eastman, Jason D.; Siverd, Robert J.; Scott Gaudi, B.; Niedzielski, Andrzej; Sivarani, Thirupathi; Stassun, Keivan G.; Gary, Bruce; Wolszczan, Alex; Barnes, Rory

    2010-08-01

    We report the discovery of a low-mass companion orbiting the metal-rich, main sequence F star TYC 2949-00557-1 during the Multi-object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS) pilot project. The host star has an effective temperature T{sub eff} = 6135 {+-} 40 K, logg = 4.4 {+-} 0.1, and [Fe/H] = 0.32 {+-} 0.01, indicating a mass of M = 1.25 {+-} 0.09 M{sub sun} and R = 1.15 {+-} 0.15 R{sub sun}. The companion has an orbital period of 5.69449 {+-} 0.00023 days and straddles the hydrogen burning limit with a minimum mass of 64 M{sub J} , and thus may be an example of the rare class of brown dwarfs orbiting at distances comparable to those of 'Hot Jupiters'. We present relative photometry that demonstrates that the host star is photometrically stable at the few millimagnitude level on time scales of hours to years, and rules out transits for a companion of radius {approx}>0.8 R{sub J} at the 95% confidence level. Tidal analysis of the system suggests that the star and companion are likely in a double synchronous state where both rotational and orbital synchronization have been achieved. This is the first low-mass companion detected with a multi-object, dispersed, fixed-delay interferometer.

  15. Preferred Hosts for Short-Period Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-12-01

    In an effort to learn more about how planets form around their host stars, a team of scientists has analyzed the population of Kepler-discovered exoplanet candidates, looking for trends in where theyre found.Planetary OccurrenceSince its launch in 2009, Kepler has found thousands of candidate exoplanets around a variety of star types. Especially intriguing is the large population of super-Earths and mini-Neptunes planets with masses between that of Earth and Neptune that have short orbital periods. How did they come to exist so close to their host star? Did they form in situ, or migrate inwards, or some combination of both processes?To constrain these formation mechanisms, a team of scientists led by Gijs Mulders (University of Arizona and NASAs NExSS coalition) analyzed the population of Kepler planet candidates that have orbital periods between 2 and 50 days.Mulders and collaborators used statistical reconstructions to find the average number of planets, within this orbital range, around each star in the Kepler field. They then determined how this planet occurrence rate changed for different spectral types and therefore the masses of the host stars: do low-mass M-dwarf stars host more or fewer planets than higher-mass, main-sequence F, G, or K stars?Challenging ModelsAuthors estimates for the occurrence rate for short-period planets of different radii around M-dwarfs (purple) and around F, G, and K-type stars (blue). [Mulders et al. 2015]The team found that M dwarfs, compared to F, G, or K stars, host about half as many large planets with orbital periods of P 50 days. But, surprisingly, they host significantly more small planets, racking up an average of 3.5 times the number of planets in the size range of 12.8 Earth-radii.Could it be that M dwarfs have a lower total mass of planets, but that mass is distributed into more, smaller planets? Apparently not: the authors show that the mass of heavy elements trapped in short-orbital-period planets is higher for M

  16. Detecting non-transiting exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Placek, Ben; Richards, Zachary; Knuth, Kevin H.

    2013-08-01

    Currently, the most popular way of detecting Extra-solar planets (exoplanets) is via the Transit Method. This method is limited only to planets with orbits such that we observe them transiting their host star. In this work in progress, we propose to identify non-transiting exoplanets in the data currently being collected by the Kepler Space Telescope by detecting orbital phase reflected light variations. Since such variations are due to light from the host star reflected by the planet, we expect this method to work best on closely orbitting large planets. Using the Metropolis-Hastings Monte Carlo and Nested Sampling algorithms, we will determine the presence or absence of nontransiting planets and estimate their orbital parameters such as, orbital inclination, semi-major axis, period, and eccentricity. Our estimates indicate that the development of this technique has the potential to double the number of detectable planets in the Kepler data sets. Here we demonstrate feasibility using portions of data from one of the first transiting planets detected by Kepler, HAT-P-7b.

  17. Stellar Echo Imaging of Exoplanets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mann, Chris; Lerch, Kieran; Lucente, Mark; Meza-Galvan, Jesus; Mitchell, Dan; Ruedin, Josh; Williams, Spencer; Zollars, Byron

    2016-01-01

    All stars exhibit intensity fluctuations over several timescales, from nanoseconds to years. These intensity fluctuations echo off bodies and structures in the star system. We posit that it is possible to take advantage of these echoes to detect, and possibly image, Earth-scale exoplanets. Unlike direct imaging techniques, temporal measurements do not require fringe tracking, maintaining an optically-perfect baseline, or utilizing ultra-contrast coronagraphs. Unlike transit or radial velocity techniques, stellar echo detection is not constrained to any specific orbital inclination. Current results suggest that existing and emerging technology can already enable stellar echo techniques at flare stars, such as Proxima Centauri, including detection, spectroscopic interrogation, and possibly even continent-level imaging of exoplanets in a variety of orbits. Detection of Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars appears to be extremely challenging, but cannot be fully quantified without additional data on micro- and millisecond-scale intensity fluctuations of the Sun. We consider survey missions in the mold of Kepler and place preliminary constraints on the feasibility of producing 3D tomographic maps of other structures in star systems, such as accretion disks. In this report we discuss the theory, limitations, models, and future opportunities for stellar echo imaging.

  18. PYNPOINT: an image processing package for finding exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amara, Adam; Quanz, Sascha P.

    2012-12-01

    We present the scientific performance results of PYNPOINT, our Python-based software package that uses principal component analysis to detect and estimate the flux of exoplanets in two-dimensional imaging data. Recent advances in adaptive optics and imaging technology at visible and infrared wavelengths have opened the door to direct detections of planetary companions to nearby stars, but image processing techniques have yet to be optimized. We show that the performance of our approach gives a marked improvement over what is presently possible using existing methods such as LOCI. To test our approach, we use real angular differential imaging (ADI) data taken with the adaptive optics-assisted high resolution near-infrared camera NACO at the VLT. These data were taken during the commissioning of the apodizing phase plate (APP) coronagraph. By inserting simulated planets into these data, we test the performance of our method as a function of planet brightness for different positions on the image. We find that in all cases PYNPOINT has a detection threshold that is superior to that given by our LOCI analysis when assessed in a common statistical framework. We obtain our best improvements for smaller inner working angles (IWAs). For an IWA of ˜0.29 arcsec we find that we achieve a detection sensitivity that is a factor of 5 better than LOCI. We also investigate our ability to correctly measure the flux of planets. Again, we find improvements over LOCI, with PYNPOINT giving more stable results. Finally, we apply our package to a non-APP data set of the exoplanet β Pictoris b and reveal the planet with high signal-to-noise. This confirms that PYNPOINT can potentially be applied with high fidelity to a wide range of high-contrast imaging data sets.

  19. PULSE: the Palomar Ultraviolet Laser for the Study of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottom, Michael; Dekany, R.; Bowler, B. P.; Baranec, C.; Burruss, R.

    2014-01-01

    PULSE is a project to augment the currently operating 5.1-m Hale PALM-3000 exoplanet adaptive optics system with an ultraviolet Rayleigh laser and associated wavefront sensor. By using a bright (U ~ 7) ultraviolet laser to measure the high spatial and temporal order turbulence near the telescope aperture, where it dominates, one can extend the faintness limit of natural guide stars needed by PALM-3000. Initial simulations indicate that very-high infrared contrast ratios and good visible-light adaptive optics performance will be achieved by such an upgraded system on stars as faint as mV = 16-17 using an optimized low-order NGS sensor. This will enable direct imaging searches for, and subsequent characterization of, companions around cool, low-mass stars for the first time, as well as routine visible-light imaging twice as sharp as HST for fainter targets. PULSE will reuse the laser and wavefront sensor technology developed for the automated Robo-AO laser system currently operating at the Palomar 60-inch telescope, as well as take advantage of pending optimization of low-order NGS wavefront sensing and planned new interfaces to the PALM-3000 real-time reconstruction computer. PULSE will dramatically extend the AO sky coverage of the telescope from 1% to 50%. More specifically, this will boost the yield from a number of operational exoplanet instruments at Palomar including PHARO, a NIR imager, spectrograph, and coronagraph; a fiber nulling interferometer; and Project 1640, a coronagraph and IFS. Two additional funded instruments expected to benefit from PULSE in the coming years are the SDC; a NIR/visible self-calibrating vector vortex coronagraph, and DARKNESS; an energy-resolving, photon counting MKIDS camera.

  20. Searching for new diagnostics of exoplanet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oklopcic, Antonija; Hirata, Christopher M.; Heng, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    By characterizing the atmospheres of exoplanets we learn about their physical properties and chemical composition. This knowledge will ultimately lead to better understanding of the processes that govern planetary formation and evolution. In the light of upcoming space- and ground-based observatories that will enable remarkable advancement in our observational capabilities, it is important to keep searching for new diagnostic tools that may help us place more robust and reliable constraints on different atmospheric properties. As part of my Ph.D. thesis I investigated new methods for probing the atmospheres of exoplanets. I this talk I will present how observing the spectral signatures of Raman scattering imprinted in the reflected light of gaseous exoplanets at short optical wavelengths can be used to constrain the bulk composition of an exoplanet atmosphere, its temperature, and the presence and/or the altitude of thick clouds. I will discuss the prospects for detecting these signatures in nearby exoplanets using the next generation of observational facilities. I will finish by presenting my recent work on looking for new diagnostics of extended exoplanet atmospheres which may help us to better understand the processes of atmospheric escape and mass loss in exoplanets close to their host stars.

  1. Parents' Views of Children's Imaginary Companions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, Mackenzie; Knowles, Don

    1982-01-01

    Semistructured interview and questionnaire were used to determine attitudes of 100 mothers and fathers toward their young children's creation of imaginary companions. Results indicated that parents did not hold positive attitudes about their children playing with imaginary companions. Many reported they would react neutrally to such play and a…

  2. Hot Exoplanet Atmospheres Resolved with Transit Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyttenbach, Aurélien; Ehrenreich, David

    2015-12-01

    The field of exoplanet atmospheres is booming thanks to (low-resolution) space-borne spectrographs and high-resolution (narrow-ranged) NIR spectrographs on ground-based 8m-class telescopes. Atmospheres are important because they are our observing window on the physical, chemical, and evolutionary processes occurring on exoplanets. Transiting exoplanets are the best suitable targets for atmospheric studies. Observing a transit in different filters or with a spectrograph reveals the transmission spectrum of the planet atmosphere. More than one decade of such observations allowed the exploration of these remote words by detecting some constituents of their atmospheres, but revealing also the presence of scattering hazes and clouds in several exoplanets preventing the detection of major chemical constituents at low to medium resolution even from space.Transit observations from the ground with stabilised high-resolution spectrograph, such HARPS, have key roles to play in this context. Observation of the hot-jupiter HD 189733b with HARPS allow the detection of sodium in the planet atmosphere. The high-resolution transmission spectra allowed to probe a new region high in the atmosphere and revealed rapid winds and a heating thermosphere. This new use of the famous planet hunter turned HARPS into a powerful exoplanet characterisation machine. It has the precision level of the Hubble Space Telescope, albeit at 20 higher resolution.A survey of a large set of known hot transiting exoplanets with HARPS and later with ESPRESSO will allow the detection of key tracers of atmospheric physics, chemistry, and evolution, above the scattering haze layers known to dominate low-resolution visible spectra of exoplanets.Such observation, in total sinergy with other technics, will rmly establish stabilised, high-resolution spectrographs on 4m telescopes as corner-stones for the characterisation of exoplanets. This is instrumental considering the upcoming surveys (NGTS,K2, CHEOPS, TESS

  3. Companion diagnostics: a regulatory perspective from the last 5 years of molecular companion diagnostic approvals.

    PubMed

    Roscoe, Donna M; Hu, Yun-Fu; Philip, Reena

    2015-01-01

    Companion diagnostics are essential for the safe and effective use of the corresponding therapeutic products. The US FDA has approved a number of companion diagnostics used to select cancer patients for treatment with contemporaneously approved novel therapeutics. The processes of co-development and co-approval of a therapeutic product and its companion diagnostic have been a learning experience that continues to evolve. Using several companion diagnostics as examples, this article describes the challenges associated with the scientific, clinical and regulatory hurdles faced by FDA and industry alike. Taken together, this discussion is intended to assist manufacturers toward a successful companion diagnostics development plan.

  4. Atmospheric Retrievals from Exoplanet Observations and Simulations with BART

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrington, Joseph

    This project will determine the observing plans needed to retrieve exoplanet atmospheric composition and thermal profiles over a broad range of planets, stars, instruments, and observing modes. Characterizing exoplanets is hard. The dim planets orbit bright stars, giving orders of magnitude more relative noise than for solar-system planets. Advanced statistical techniques are needed to determine what the data can - and more importantly cannot - say. We therefore developed Bayesian Atmospheric Radiative Transfer (BART). BART explores the parameter space of atmospheric chemical abundances and thermal profiles using Differential-Evolution Markov-Chain Monte Carlo. It generates thousands of candidate spectra, integrates over observational bandpasses, and compares to data, generating a statistical model for an atmosphere's composition and thermal structure. At best, it gives abundances and thermal profiles with uncertainties. At worst, it shows what kinds of planets the data allow. It also gives parameter correlations. BART is open-source, designed for community use and extension (http://github.com/exosports/BART). Three arXived PhD theses (papers in publication) provide technical documentation, tests, and application to Spitzer and HST data. There are detailed user and programmer manuals and community support forums. Exoplanet analysis techniques must be tested against synthetic data, where the answer is known, and vetted by statisticians. Unfortunately, this has rarely been done, and never sufficiently. Several recent papers question the entire body of Spitzer exoplanet observations, because different analyses of the same data give different results. The latest method, pixel-level decorrelation, produces results that diverge from an emerging consensus. We do not know the retrieval problem's strengths and weaknesses relative to low SNR, red noise, low resolution, instrument systematics, or incomplete spectral line lists. In observing eclipses and transits, we assume

  5. Highlights in the study of exoplanet atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Burrows, Adam S

    2014-09-18

    Exoplanets are now being discovered in profusion. To understand their character, however, we require spectral models and data. These elements of remote sensing can yield temperatures, compositions and even weather patterns, but only if significant improvements in both the parameter retrieval process and measurements are made. Despite heroic efforts to garner constraining data on exoplanet atmospheres and dynamics, reliable interpretation has frequently lagged behind ambition. I summarize the most productive, and at times novel, methods used to probe exoplanet atmospheres; highlight some of the most interesting results obtained; and suggest various broad theoretical topics in which further work could pay significant dividends.

  6. Highlights in the study of exoplanet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burrows, Adam S.

    2014-09-01

    Exoplanets are now being discovered in profusion. To understand their character, however, we require spectral models and data. These elements of remote sensing can yield temperatures, compositions and even weather patterns, but only if significant improvements in both the parameter retrieval process and measurements are made. Despite heroic efforts to garner constraining data on exoplanet atmospheres and dynamics, reliable interpretation has frequently lagged behind ambition. I summarize the most productive, and at times novel, methods used to probe exoplanet atmospheres; highlight some of the most interesting results obtained; and suggest various broad theoretical topics in which further work could pay significant dividends.

  7. Ultraviolet-excess sources with a red/infrared counterpart: low-mass companions, debris discs and QSO selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbeek, Kars; Groot, Paul J.; Scaringi, Simone; Casares, Jorge; Corral-Santana, Jesus M.; Deacon, Niall; Drew, Janet E.; Gänsicke, Boris T.; González-Solares, Eduardo; Greimel, Robert; Heber, Ulrich; Napiwotzki, Ralf; Østensen, Roy H.; Steeghs, Danny; Wright, Nicholas J.; Zijlstra, Albert

    2014-02-01

    We present the result of the cross-matching between ultraviolet (UV)-excess sources selected from the UV-Excess Survey of the Northern Galactic Plane (UVEX) and several infrared (IR) surveys (2MASS, UKIDSS and WISE). From the position in the (J - H) versus (H - K) colour-colour diagram, we select UV-excess candidate white dwarfs with an M-dwarf type companion, candidates that might have a lower mass, brown-dwarf type companion and candidates showing an IR-excess only in the K band, which might be due to a debris disc. Grids of reddened DA+dM and sdO+MS/sdB+MS model spectra are fitted to the U, g, r, i, z, J, H, K photometry in order to determine spectral types and estimate temperatures and reddening. From a sample of 964 hot candidate white dwarfs with (g - r) < 0.2, the spectral energy distribution fitting shows that ˜2-4 per cent of the white dwarfs have an M-dwarf companion, ˜2 per cent have a lower-mass companion, and no clear candidates for having a debris disc are found. Additionally, from WISE six UV-excess sources are selected as candidate quasi-stellar objects (QSOs). Two UV-excess sources have a WISE IR-excess showing up only in the mid-IR W3 band of WISE, making them candidate luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs) or Sbc starburst galaxies.

  8. GATE (Gaia Transiting Exoplanets): Detecting Transiting Exoplanets with Gaia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zucker, Shay; Eyer, Laurent; Hodgkin, Simon; Clementini, Gisella

    2016-10-01

    Gaia will have a revolutionary impact on most fields of astronomy. However, its scanning law is too sparse for traditional transit detection approaches (de Bruijne 2012). Practically, only stars brighter than 16th magnitude are relevant for follow-up of transiting exoplanets. For those stars, Gaia's precision is of the order of 1 mmag (Eyer et al. 2015). On average, Gaia will have sampled each target 70 times, but certain stars may be observed as many as 200 times (Voss et al. 2013). Hipparcos scanning law was similar, but its precision much worse. Nevertheless the transit of HD209458 could be seen, aposteriori, in Hipparcos' data (Söderhelm 1999). This inspired our GATE initiative.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-10

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

  10. Direct imaging of the cold jovian (?) companion GJ504b with VLT/SPHERE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonnefoy, Mickaël

    2015-12-01

    In 2008, the Subaru/SEEDS survey reported the direct imaging discovery of a Jovian exoplanet around the Sun-like star GJ 504. With a mass of 3-10 MJup and projected separation of 43.5 AU, this object challenges the core-accretion paradigm. This is the only known nearly mature (age ≫ 50 Myr) gas giant planet imaged so far. The very low (500 K) estimated temperature of the object makes it a benchmark for the study of the physical and chemical processes at play into the non-irradiated atmospheres of gas giants.We will present new SPHERE dual-band imaging data on the system gathered from 0.95 to 2.25 microns. The data enable to detect the companion and complete its spectral energy distribution. We use them to refine the effective temperature, surface gravity, and metallicity estimates for the object. This in turns enables to discuss the nature of the companion. We also set constraints on additional companions in the system.

  11. The Kepler Q1 - Q16 Planet Candidate Catalog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullally, Fergal; Kepler Team

    2015-01-01

    We present an update of the Kepler planet candidate catalog based on analysis of 16 quarters of data. The addition of one more year of data over that presented by Rowe et al. (2015) yields nearly 1500 new objects of interest, from which we identify over 500 new planet candidates. These new candidates are typically smaller, and have longer orbital periods than the KOI sets from our previous work. The full catalog is available at the NASA Exoplanet Archive. We discuss a few features of the catalog that may trip up an unsuspecting user, and highlight some interesting planet candidates.

  12. The Moving Group Targets of the Seeds High-Contrast Imaging Survey of Exoplanets and Disks: Results and Observations from the First Three Years

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, Timothy D.; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; McElwain, Michael W.; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Wisniewski, John P.; Turner, Edwin L.; Carson, J.; Matsuo, T.; Biller, B.; Bonnefoy, M.; Dressing, C.; Janson, M.; Knapp, G. R.; Moro-Martin, A.; Thalmann, C.; Kudo, T.; Kusakabe, N.; Hashimoto, J.; Abe, L.; Brandner, W.; Currie, T.; Egner, S.; Feldt, M.; Golota, T.; Goto, M.; Brady, C. A.; Guyon, O.; Hayano, Y.; Hyashi, M.; Hayashi, S.; Henning, T.; Hodapp, W.; Ishi, M.; Iye, M.; Kandori, R.

    2014-01-01

    We present results from the first three years of observations of moving group (MG) targets in the Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru (SEEDS) high-contrast imaging survey of exoplanets and disks using the Subaru telescope. We achieve typical contrasts of (is) approximately10(exp 5) at 1" and (is) approximately 10(exp 6) beyond 2" around 63 proposed members of nearby kinematic MGs. We review each of the kinematic associations to which our targets belong, concluding that five, beta Pictoris ((is) approximately 20 Myr), AB Doradus ((is) approximately 100 Myr), Columba ((is) approximately 30 Myr), Tucana-Horogium ((is) approximately 30 Myr), and TW Hydrae ((is) approximately 10 Myr), are sufficiently well-defined to constrain the ages of individual targets. Somewhat less than half of our targets are high-probability members of one of these MGs. For all of our targets, we combine proposed MG membership with other age indicators where available, including Ca ii HK emission, X-ray activity, and rotation period, to produce a posterior probability distribution of age. SEEDS observations discovered a substellar companion to one of our targets, kappa And, a late B star. We do not detect any other substellar companions, but do find seven new close binary systems, of which one still needs to be confirmed. A detailed analysis of the statistics of this sample, and of the companion mass constraints given our age probability distributions and exoplanet cooling models, will be presented in a forthcoming paper.

  13. The moving group targets of the seeds high-contrast imaging survey of exoplanets and disks: Results and observations from the first three years

    SciTech Connect

    Brandt, Timothy D.; Turner, Edwin L.; Janson, M.; Knapp, G. R.; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; McElwain, Michael W.; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Carson, J.; Biller, B.; Bonnefoy, M.; Brandner, W.; Wisniewski, John P.; Hashimoto, J.; Matsuo, T.; Dressing, C.; Moro-Martín, A.; Kudo, T.; Kusakabe, N.; Abe, L.; and others

    2014-05-01

    We present results from the first three years of observations of moving group (MG) targets in the Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru (SEEDS) high-contrast imaging survey of exoplanets and disks using the Subaru telescope. We achieve typical contrasts of ∼10{sup 5} at 1'' and ∼10{sup 6} beyond 2'' around 63 proposed members of nearby kinematic MGs. We review each of the kinematic associations to which our targets belong, concluding that five, β Pictoris (∼20 Myr), AB Doradus (∼100 Myr), Columba (∼30 Myr), Tucana-Horogium (∼30 Myr), and TW Hydrae (∼10 Myr), are sufficiently well-defined to constrain the ages of individual targets. Somewhat less than half of our targets are high-probability members of one of these MGs. For all of our targets, we combine proposed MG membership with other age indicators where available, including Ca II HK emission, X-ray activity, and rotation period, to produce a posterior probability distribution of age. SEEDS observations discovered a substellar companion to one of our targets, κ And, a late B star. We do not detect any other substellar companions, but do find seven new close binary systems, of which one still needs to be confirmed. A detailed analysis of the statistics of this sample, and of the companion mass constraints given our age probability distributions and exoplanet cooling models, will be presented in a forthcoming paper.

  14. Increasing the sensitivity of Kepler to Earth-like exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foreman-Mackey, Daniel; Hogg, David W.; Schölkopf, Bernhard; Wang, Dun

    2015-01-01

    Many transiting exoplanets have been discovered using photometry from the Kepler mission but the results are still very incomplete in some of the most interesting parts of parameter space: small planetary radius and long orbital period. We have developed a method for detecting transiting exoplanet signals in stellar light curves that is more sensitive to small planets on long orbits than previously published procedures. It is standard practice to start by "de-trending" the light curves—by filtering—to remove the instrumental systematics and stellar variability from the time series. Instead, we build an flexible model for these effects using a Gaussian Process. We use as inputs to the Gaussian Process not just time but also the light curves of dozens of other stars. This exploits the causal structure of the problem: permitting the noise model to capture spacecraft-induced covariability. Since we know a priori that the other stars are causally unrelated to the star of interest, any information that they share must be due to systematics. A key motivation for our work is that any filtering—no matter how robust—reduces the amplitude of the signals of interest. By marginalizing over the stellar and instrumental variability while simultaneously fitting for the transits, we maintain sensitivity to transit signals and reduce contamination. We apply our method to light curves from the Kepler mission. Using synthetic transits generated by realistic planetary systems injected into raw aperture photometry from the pipeline, we determine the detection efficiency of our method and train a supervised classification algorithm to weed out false signals. Our pipeline returns all of the ingredients needed for studies of exoplanet populations: a catalog of planet candidates, posterior samples for the physical parameters of these planets and their host stars, and an empirical measurement of the detection efficiency as a function of all of these parameters.

  15. Lightning and Life on Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rimmer, Paul; Ardaseva, Aleksandra; Hodosan, Gabriella; Helling, Christiane

    2016-07-01

    Miller and Urey performed a ground-breaking experiment, in which they discovered that electric discharges through a low redox ratio gas of methane, ammonia, water vapor and hydrogen produced a variety of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Since this experiment, there has been significant interest on the connection between lightning chemistry and the origin of life. Investigation into the atmosphere of the Early Earth has generated a serious challenge for this project, as it has been determined both that Earth's early atmosphere was likely dominated by carbon dioxide and molecular nitrogen with only small amounts of hydrogen, having a very high redox ratio, and that discharges in gases with high redox ratios fail to yield more than trace amounts of biologically relevant products. This challenge has motivated several origin of life researchers to abandon lightning chemistry, and to concentrate on other pathways for prebiotic synthesis. The discovery of over 2000 exoplanets includes a handful of rocky planets within the habitable zones around their host stars. These planets can be viewed as remote laboratories in which efficient lightning driven prebiotic synthesis may take place. This is because many of these rocky exoplanets, called super-Earths, have masses significantly greater than that of Earth. This higher mass would allow them to more retain greater amounts hydrogen within their atmosphere, reducing the redox ratio. Discharges in super-Earth atmospheres can therefore result in a significant yield of amino acids. In this talk, I will discuss new work on what lightning might look like on exoplanets, and on lightning driven chemistry on super-Earths. Using a chemical kinetics model for a super-Earth atmosphere with smaller redox ratios, I will show that in the presence of lightning, the production of the amino acid glycine is enhanced up to a certain point, but with very low redox ratios, the production of glycine is again inhibited. I will conclude

  16. Walking on Exoplanets: Is Star Wars Right?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballesteros, Fernando J.; Luque, B.

    2016-05-01

    As the number of detected extrasolar planets increases, exoplanet databases become a valuable resource, confirming some details about planetary formation but also challenging our theories with new, unexpected properties.

  17. Possible radio-emission signatures of exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budding, E.; Slee, O. B.; Johnston-Hollitt, M.

    2015-03-01

    A brief review of possibly detectable radio-effects from exoplanets is presented. Previous observations may show relevant effects, when appropriate theory is taken into account. Pointers to contemporary and future lines of investigation are also presented.

  18. Spectra as windows into exoplanet atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Burrows, Adam S

    2014-09-02

    Understanding a planet's atmosphere is a necessary condition for understanding not only the planet itself, but also its formation, structure, evolution, and habitability. This requirement puts a premium on obtaining spectra and developing credible interpretative tools with which to retrieve vital planetary information. However, for exoplanets, these twin goals are far from being realized. In this paper, I provide a personal perspective on exoplanet theory and remote sensing via photometry and low-resolution spectroscopy. Although not a review in any sense, this paper highlights the limitations in our knowledge of compositions, thermal profiles, and the effects of stellar irradiation, focusing on, but not restricted to, transiting giant planets. I suggest that the true function of the recent past of exoplanet atmospheric research has been not to constrain planet properties for all time, but to train a new generation of scientists who, by rapid trial and error, are fast establishing a solid future foundation for a robust science of exoplanets.

  19. Exoplanet Demographics with Microlensing Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaudi, B.

    2014-04-01

    Because of its unique sensitivity to low-mass, long-period, and free-floating planets, microlensing is an essential complement to our arsenal of planet detection methods. I motivate microlensing surveys for exoplanets, and in particular describe how they can be used to test models for planet formation, as well as inform our understanding of the frequency and potential habitability of low-mass planets located in the habitable zones of their host stars. I review results from current microlensing surveys, and then discuss expectations for next-generation experiments. I explain why a space-based mission is necessary to realize the full potential of microlensing. When combined with the results from complementary surveys such as Kepler, a space-based microlensing survey will yield a nearly complete picture of the demographics of planetary systems throughout the Galaxy.

  20. Exoplanet Forecast: Hot and Wet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for larger poster version

    This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope tells astronomers that a toasty gas exoplanet, or a planet beyond our solar system, contains water vapor.

    Spitzer observed the planet, called HD 189733b, cross in front of its star at three different infrared wavelengths: 3.6 microns; 4.5 microns and 8 microns (see lime-colored dots). For each wavelength, the planet's atmosphere absorbed different amounts of the starlight that passed through it. The pattern by which this absorption varies with wavelength matches known signatures of water, as shown by the theoretical model in blue.

  1. Balloon Exoplanet Nulling Interferometer (BENI)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyon, Richard G.; Clampin, Mark; Woodruff, Robert A.; Vasudevan, Gopal; Ford, Holland; Petro, Larry; Herman, Jay; Rinehart, Stephen; Carpenter, Kenneth; Marzouk, Joe

    2009-01-01

    We evaluate the feasibility of using a balloon-borne nulling interferometer to detect and characterize exosolar planets and debris disks. The existing instrument consists of a 3-telescope Fizeau imaging interferometer with 3 fast steering mirrors and 3 delay lines operating at 800 Hz for closed-loop control of wavefront errors and fine pointing. A compact visible nulling interferometer is under development which when coupled to the imaging interferometer would in-principle allow deep suppression of starlight. We have conducted atmospheric simulations of the environment above 100,000 feet and believe balloons are a feasible path forward towards detection and characterization of a limited set of exoplanets and their debris disks. Herein we will discuss the BENI instrument, the balloon environment and the feasibility of such as mission.

  2. Investigating Exoplanets Within Stellar Clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaser, Joseph Paul; Reisinger, Tyler; Thornton, Jonathan; McMillan, Stephen L. W.

    2017-01-01

    Recent surveys exploring nearby open clusters have yielded noticeable differences in the planetary population from that seen in the Field. This is surprising, as it is widely accepted that a majority of stars form within clustered environments before dispersing throughout the galaxy. Though dynamical arguments have been used to explain this discrepancy in the past, previous surveys' observational statistics and detection biases can also be used to argue that the open cluster planet population is indistinguishable from the Field.Our group aims to explore the role of stellar close encounters and interplanetary interactions in producing the observed exoplanet populations for both open cluster stars and Field stars. We employ a variety of different computational techniques to investigate these effects, ranging from traditional Monte Carlo scattering experiments to multi-scale n-body simulations. We are interested in: the effects of stellar binaries; Hot Jupiter migrations; long-period ice giants; and the habitability history of terrestrial planets.

  3. Tidal synchronization of close-in satellites and exoplanets: II. Spin dynamics and extension to Mercury and exoplanet host stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraz-Mello, Sylvio

    2015-08-01

    This paper deals with the application of the creep tide theory (Ferraz-Mello, Celest Mech Dyn Astron 116:109, 2013a) to the rotation of close-in satellites, Mercury, close-in exoplanets, and their host stars. The solutions show different behaviors with two extreme cases: close-in giant gaseous planets with fast relaxation (low viscosity) and satellites and Earth-like planets with slow relaxation (high viscosity). The rotation of close-in gaseous planets follows the classical Darwinian pattern: it is tidally driven toward a stationary solution that is synchronized with the orbital motion when the orbit is circular, but if the orbit is elliptical, it has a frequency larger than the orbital mean motion. The rotation of rocky bodies, however, may be driven to several attractors whose frequencies are times the mean motion. The number of attractors increases with the viscosity of the body and with the orbital eccentricity. The final stationary state depends on the initial conditions. The classical example is Mercury, whose rotational period is 2/3 of the orbital period (3/2 attractor). The planet behaves as a molten body with a relaxation that allowed it to cross the 2/1 attractor without being trapped but not to escape being trapped in the 3/2 one. In that case, the relaxation is estimated to lie in the interval (equivalent to a quality factor roughly constrained to the interval ). The stars have a relaxation similar to the hot Jupiters, and their rotation is also driven to the only stationary solution existing in these cases. However, solar-type stars may lose angular momentum due to stellar wind, braking the rotation and displacing the attractor toward larger periods. Old, active host stars with big close-in companions generally have rotational periods larger than the orbital periods of the companions. The paper also includes a study of energy dissipation and the evolution of orbital eccentricity.

  4. Confirming sub-Neptunian Transiting Exoplanets with Kepler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batalha, Natalie M.; Kepler Science Team

    2011-01-01

    NASA's Kepler Mission, launched in March 2009, uses transit photometry to detect and characterize exoplanets with the objective of determining the frequency of earth-size planets in the habitable zone. The instrument is a wide field-of-view (115 square degrees) photometer comprised of a 0.95-meter effective aperture Schmidt telescope feeding an array of 42 CCDs that continuously and simultaneously monitors the brightness of up to 170,000 stars. In January, 2010, the team announced its first 5 planet discoveries identified in the first 43 days of data and confirmed by radial velocity follow-up. The "first five" are all short-period giant planets, the smallest being comparable in size to Neptune. Collectively, they are similar to the sample of transiting exoplanets that have been identified to date, the roster of which currently hovers around 100. In August 2010, an additional two planets, each orbiting the star Kepler-9, were confirmed by a combination of radial velocity and transit timing measurements. A third, smaller planet in the same system was validated stastistically by probing the parameter space for potential false-positives. Throughout 2010, a concerted effort was made to push radial velocity confirmation down toward the smaller planets. Recent progress on our efforts to confirm such candidates is discussed.

  5. Mission Status for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, George R.; TESS Science Team

    2017-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. TESS will monitor ~ 200,000 pre-selected bright stars in the solar neighborhood for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances.TESS stars will typically be 30 — 100 times brighter than those surveyed by the Kepler satellite; thus, TESS planets will be far easier to characterize with follow-up observations. For the first time it will be possible to study the masses, sizes, densities, orbits, and atmospheres of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars.An additional data product from the TESS mission will be full frame images (FFI) with a cadence of 30 minutes. These FFI will provide precise photometric information for every object within the 2300 square degree instantaneous field of view of the TESS cameras. In total, more than 30 million stars and galaxies brighter than magnitude I=16 will be precisely photometered during the two-year prime mission. In principle, the lunar-resonant TESS orbit could provide opportunities for an extended mission lasting more than a decade.The baselined long duration survey by TESS of regions surrounding the North and South Ecliptic Poles will provide prime exoplanet targets for characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future.TESS will issue data releases every 4 months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets, as well as commensal survey candidates from the FFI. A NASA Guest Investigator program is planned for TESS. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest main-sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets

  6. MAGNETIC ACTIVITY CYCLES IN THE EXOPLANET HOST STAR {epsilon} ERIDANI

    SciTech Connect

    Metcalfe, T. S.; Mathur, S.; Buccino, A. P.; Mauas, P. J. D.; Petrucci, R.; Brown, B. P.; Soderblom, D. R.; Henry, T. J.; Hall, J. C.; Basu, S.

    2013-02-01

    The active K2 dwarf {epsilon} Eri has been extensively characterized both as a young solar analog and more recently as an exoplanet host star. As one of the nearest and brightest stars in the sky, it provides an unparalleled opportunity to constrain stellar dynamo theory beyond the Sun. We confirm and document the 3-year magnetic activity cycle in {epsilon} Eri originally reported by Hatzes and coworkers, and we examine the archival data from previous observations spanning 45 years. The data show coexisting 3-year and 13-year periods leading into a broad activity minimum that resembles a Maunder minimum-like state, followed by the resurgence of a coherent 3-year cycle. The nearly continuous activity record suggests the simultaneous operation of two stellar dynamos with cycle periods of 2.95 {+-} 0.03 years and 12.7 {+-} 0.3 years, which, by analogy with the solar case, suggests a revised identification of the dynamo mechanisms that are responsible for the so-called 'active' and 'inactive' sequences as proposed by Boehm-Vitense. Finally, based on the observed properties of {epsilon} Eri, we argue that the rotational history of the Sun is what makes it an outlier in the context of magnetic cycles observed in other stars (as also suggested by its Li depletion), and that a Jovian-mass companion cannot be the universal explanation for the solar peculiarities.

  7. VizieR Online Data Catalog: CANDID code for interferometric observations (Gallenne+, 2015)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallenne, A.; Merand, A.; Kervella, P.; Monnier, J. D.; Schaefer, G. H.; Baron, F.; Breitfelder, J.; Le Bouquin, J. B.; Roettenbacher, R. M.; Gieren, W.; Pietrzynski, G.; McAlister, H.; Ten Brummelaar, T.; Sturmann, J.; Sturmann, L.; Turner, N.; Ridgway, S.; Kraus, S.

    2015-07-01

    This is a suite of Python2.7 tools to find faint companion around star in interferometric data in the OIFITS format. This tool allows to systematically search for faint companions in OIFITS data, and if not found, estimates the detection limit. All files are also available at https://github.com/amerand/CANDID . (3 data files).

  8. Imaginary Play Companions: Characteristics and Functions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalyan-Masih, V.

    1986-01-01

    Investigates some of the following characteristics associated with young children playing with imaginary play companions (IPCs): intelligence, parental and socioeconomic and educational background, family size, and birth order. Compares these children to those without IPCs. (HOD)

  9. Atmospheric Properties of T Dwarfs Inferred from Model Fits at Low Spectral Resolution as Exoplanet Atmosphere Analogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godfrey, Paige A.

    2017-01-01

    Exoplanet direct detections are reaching the temperature regime of cool brown dwarfs, motivating further understanding of the coolest substellar atmospheres. These objects, T and Y dwarfs, are numerous and isolated in the field, thus making them easier to study in detail than objects in companion systems. Brown dwarf spectral types are derived from spectral morphology and generally appear to correspond with decreasing mass and effective temperature (Teff). However, spectral subclasses of the colder objects do not share this monotonic temperature correlation, indicating that secondary parameters (gravity, metallicity, dust) significantly influence spectral morphology. These secondary atmospheric parameters can provide insight into age and formation mechanism. We seek to disentangle the fundamental parameters that underlie the spectral morphology of T dwarfs, the coolest fully populated spectral class of brown dwarfs, using comparisons to atmospheric models. We investigate the relationship between spectral type and Teff from the best fit model parameters for a sample of 152 T dwarfs with low resolution (R~75-100) near-infrared SpeX Prism spectra. We use synthetic spectra from four model grids (Saumon & Marley 2008, Morley+ 2012, Saumon+ 2012, and BT Settl 2013) and a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) analysis to determine robust best fit parameters with uncertainties. To evaluate the consistency of each model grid, we perform our analysis on the full spectrum and on narrower wavelength ranges where directly detected exoplanets are typically characterized. We provide foundational assessments of the factors that affect T dwarf spectral morphology to prescribe the best approach to interpreting spectra of cool substellar objects. Using T dwarfs as exoplanet analogs, we create spectral templates from observed spectra for comparison to cool companion spectra of high contrast imaged objects. Our analysis of these proof-of-concept cases provide the backbone for interpreting

  10. Coronal mass ejection (CME) activity of low mass M stars as an important factor for the habitability of terrestrial exoplanets. I. CME impact on expected magnetospheres of Earth-like exoplanets in close-in habitable zones.

    PubMed

    Khodachenko, Maxim L; Ribas, Ignasi; Lammer, Helmut; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Leitner, Martin; Selsis, Franck; Eiroa, Carlos; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Biernat, Helfried K; Farrugia, Charles J; Rucker, Helmut O

    2007-02-01

    Low mass M- and K-type stars are much more numerous in the solar neighborhood than solar-like G-type stars. Therefore, some of them may appear as interesting candidates for the target star lists of terrestrial exoplanet (i.e., planets with mass, radius, and internal parameters identical to Earth) search programs like Darwin (ESA) or the Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph/Inferometer (NASA). The higher level of stellar activity of low mass M stars, as compared to solar-like G stars, as well as the closer orbital distances of their habitable zones (HZs), means that terrestrial-type exoplanets within HZs of these stars are more influenced by stellar activity than one would expect for a planet in an HZ of a solar-like star. Here we examine the influences of stellar coronal mass ejection (CME) activity on planetary environments and the role CMEs may play in the definition of habitability criterion for the terrestrial type exoplanets near M stars. We pay attention to the fact that exoplanets within HZs that are in close proximity to low mass M stars may become tidally locked, which, in turn, can result in relatively weak intrinsic planetary magnetic moments. Taking into account existing observational data and models that involve the Sun and related hypothetical parameters of extrasolar CMEs (density, velocity, size, and occurrence rate), we show that Earth-like exoplanets within close-in HZs should experience a continuous CME exposure over long periods of time. This fact, together with small magnetic moments of tidally locked exoplanets, may result in little or no magnetospheric protection of planetary atmospheres from a dense flow of CME plasma. Magnetospheric standoff distances of weakly magnetized Earth-like exoplanets at orbital distances

  11. Two Substellar Companions Orbiting HD 168443

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Butler, R. Paul; Vogt, Steven S.; Liu, Michael C.; Laughlin, Gregory; Apps, Kevin; Graham, J. R.; Lloyd, J.; Luhman, Kevin L.; Jayawardhana, Ray

    2001-07-01

    Precise Doppler measurements during 4.4 yr from the Keck/HIRES spectrometer reveal two superimposed Keplerian velocity variations for HD 168443 (G6 IV). A simultaneous orbital fit to both companions yields companion masses of Msini=7.7 and 17.2 MJUP, orbital periods of P=58 days and 4.8 yr, semimajor axes of a=0.29 and 2.9 AU, and eccentricities of e=0.53 and 0.20. An upper limit to the mass of the outer companion of 42 MJUP is derived from the lack of astrometric wobble. The outer companion was not detected with Keck adaptive optics in the near-IR. Dynamical simulations show that the system is remarkably stable for all possible masses of both companions. The two orbiting companions have masses that are probably near and slightly above the upper end of the observed mass distribution of ``planets'' at 10 MJUP. Formation in a protoplanetary disk seems plausible. But these objects present a puzzle about their formation and dynamical history, as well as about their possible kinship with planetary systems and triple-star systems. Based on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology.

  12. DISCOVERY OF THE COLDEST IMAGED COMPANION OF A SUN-LIKE STAR

    SciTech Connect

    Thalmann, C.; Carson, J.; Goto, M.; Feldt, M.; Henning, T.; Klahr, H.; Mordasini, C.; Janson, M.; McElwain, M.; Egner, S.; Hayano, Y.; Suzuki, R.; Hashimoto, J.; Kandori, R.; Kudo, T.; Kusakabe, N.; Morino, J.-I.; Suto, H.; Tamura, M.; Hodapp, K. W.

    2009-12-20

    We present the discovery of a brown dwarf or possible planet at a projected separation of 1.''9 = 29 AU around the star GJ 758, placing it between the separations at which substellar companions are expected to form by core accretion (approx5 AU) or direct gravitational collapse (typically approx>100 AU). The object was detected by direct imaging of its thermal glow with Subaru/HiCIAO. At 10-40 times the mass of Jupiter and a temperature of 550-640 K, GJ 758 B constitutes one of the few known T-type companions, and the coldest ever to be imaged in thermal light around a Sun-like star. Its orbit is likely eccentric and of a size comparable to Pluto's orbit, possibly as a result of gravitational scattering or outward migration. A candidate second companion is detected at 1.''2 at one epoch.

  13. An astrometric search for a stellar companion to the sun

    SciTech Connect

    Perlmutter, S.

    1986-11-25

    A companion star within 0.8 pc of the Sun has been postulated to explain a possible 26 Myr periodicity in mass extinctions of species on the Earth. Such a star would already be catalogued in the Yale Bright Star catalogue unless it is fainter than m/sub nu/ = 6.5; this limits the possible stellar types for an unseen companion to red dwarfs, brown dwarfs, or compact objects. Red dwarfs account for about 75% of these possible stars. We describe here the design and development of an astrometric search for a nearby red dwarf companion with a six-month peak-to-peak parallax of greater than or equal to2.5 arcseconds. We are measuring the parallax of 2770 candidate faint red stars selected from the Dearborn Observatory catalogue. An automated 30-inch telescope and CCD camera system collect digitized images of the candidate stars, along with a 13' x 16' surrounding field of background stars. Second-epoch images, taken a few months later, are registered to the first epoch images using the background stars as fiducials. An apparent motion, m/sub a/, of the candidate stars is found to a precision of sigma/sub m//sub a/ approx. = 0.08 pixel approx. = 0.2 arcseconds for fields with N/sub fiducial/ greater than or equal to 10 fiducial stars visible above the background noise. This precision is sufficient to detect the parallactic motion of a star at 0.8 pc with a two month interval between the observation epochs. Images with fewer fiducial stars above background noise are observed with a longer interval between epochs. If a star is found with high parallactic motion, we will confirm its distance with further parallax measurements, photometry, and spectral studies, and will measure radial velocity and proper motion to establish its orbit. We have demonstrated the search procedure with observations of 41 stars, and have shown that none of these is a nearby star. 37 refs., 16 figs., 3 tabs.

  14. Polarisation of Planets and Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Jeremy; Kedziora-Chudczer, Lucyna; Bott, Kimberly; Cotton, Daniel V.

    2015-11-01

    We present observations of the linear polarisation of several hot Jupiter systems with our new high-precision polarimeter HIPPI (HIgh Precision Polarimetric Instrument). By looking at the combined light of the star and planet we aim to detect the polarised light reflected from the planet's atmosphere. This can provide information on the presence of, and nature of clouds in the atmosphere, and constrain the geometric albedo of the planet. The method is applicable to both transitting and non-transitting planets, and can also be used to determine the inclination of the system, and thus the true mass for radial velocity detected planets.To predict and interpret the polarisation from such observations, we have also developed an advanced polarimetric modelling capability, by incoroporating full polarised radiative transfer into our atmospheric modelling code VSTAR. This is done using the VLIDORT vector radiative transfer solver (Spurr, 2006). The resulting code allows us to predict disc-resolved, phase-resolved, and spectrally-resolved intensity and linear polarisation for any planet, exoplanet, brown dwarf or cool star atmosphere that can be modelled with VSTAR. We have tested the code by reproducing benchmark calculations in polarised radiative transfer, and by Solar System test cases, including reproducing the classic Hansen and Hovenier (1974) calculation of the polarisation phase curves of Venus.Hansen, J.E., & Hovenier, J.W., 1974, J. Atmos. Sci., 31, 1137Spurr, R., 2006, JQSRT, 102, 316.

  15. Frontiers of Exoplanet Atmosphere Characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreidberg, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Exoplanet atmosphere characterization has the potential to reveal the origins, nature, and even habitability of distant worlds. In this dissertation talk, I will present work that is a step toward realizing that potential for a diverse group of four extrasolar planets. I will discuss the results of intensive observational campaigns with the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes to study the atmospheres of the super-Earth GJ 1214b and the hot Jupiters WASP-43b, WASP-12b, and WASP-103b. For GJ 1214b, I measured an unprecedentedly precise near-infrared transmission spectrum that definitively reveals the presence of clouds in the planet's atmosphere. For WASP-43b and WASP-12b, I also obtained very precise spectra. These exhibit water features at high confidence (>7 sigma). The retrieved water abundance for WASP-43b extends the well-known Solar System trend of decreasing atmospheric metallicity with increasing planet mass. The detection of water for WASP-12b marks the first spectroscopic identification of a molecule in the planet's atmosphere and implies that it has solar composition, ruling out carbon-to-oxygen ratios greater than unity. For WASP-103b, I will present preliminary results from the new technique of phase-resolved spectroscopy that constrain the planet's temperature structure, dynamics, and energy budget. Taken together, these results provide a foundation for comparative planetology beyond the Solar System and the investigation of Earth-like, potentially habitable planets with future observing facilities.

  16. Exoplanet Transit Analysis of KIC 8462852

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera, Noah Isaac; Schmitt, Michael H.

    2017-01-01

    KIC 8462852 was among the ~100k stars observed by NASA’s Kepler satellite over its primary mission. Unlike a typical exoplanet harboring star, its light curve exhibits an abnormal shape with multiple unexpectedly large depths. Several explanations for this behavior have been presented, such as circumstellar dust or a family of comets in orbit around the star as being the source of its fluctuations in brightness. We focus on the exoplanet hypothesis and apply the analysis of the transit detection method to KIC 8462852’s light curve. From this method we determined radii and semi-major axes of possible exoplanets in the range of 0.7 to 7.21 MJ (Jupiter Masses) and 8.27 to 402.65 AU, respectively. By method of maximum likelihood, we fit probability distribution functions to histograms of observed planet radii and semi-major axes. Using these functions to calculate tail-probabilities for the planet masses and orbital semi-major axes from our transit analysis, we determined that our exoplanets have a probability of being drawn from observed distributions of 2.41 x 10-163 to 7.59 x 10-5 % and therefore verify the improbability of the exoplanet explanation hypothesis.

  17. The NASA Exoplanet Archive: Data Inventory Service

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, Solange; Akeson, Rachel L.; Ciardi, David R.; Chen, Xi; Christiansen, Jessie; Plavchan, Peter

    2014-06-01

    We present here the latest addition to the NASA Exoplanet Archive - the Data Inventory Service, a tool aimed to provide the user with all the data available within the archive (exoplanet and stellar parameters, time series from ground-based transit surveys (such as Super WASP, XO, HAT-P, KELT), Kepler Pipeline products, CoRoT light curves, etc.) at or near the location of an astronomical object. The NASA Exoplanet Archive is an online service dedicated to compile and to serve public astronomical data sets involved in the search for and characterization of extrasolar planets and their host stars. The data in the archive include stellar parameters (e.g., positions, magnitudes, temperatures, etc.), exoplanet parameters (such as masses and orbital parameters) and discovery/characterization data (e.g., published radial velocity curves, photometric light curves, spectra, etc.). In support of the Kepler Extended Mission, the NASA Exoplanet Archive also hosts data related to Kepler Objects of Interest (KOI), Kepler Pipeline products such as Threshold Crossing Events (TCE) and Data Validation Reports, and Kepler Stellar parameters as used by the Kepler Pipeline. The archive provides tools to work with these data, including interative tables (with plotting capabilities), interactive light curve viewer, periodogram service, transit and ephemeris calculator, and application program interface. To access this information visit us at: http://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu

  18. Deriving the True Mass of an Unresolved Brown Dwarf Companion with AO Aided Astrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Eva; Kürster, M.

    2010-01-01

    From radial velocity detections alone one does not get all orbital parameters needed to derive the true mass of a non-transiting, unresolved substellar companion to a star. Additional astrometric measurements are needed to calculate the inclination and the longitude of the ascending node. Until today only few true companion masses have been determined by this method with the HST fine guidance sensor (Benedict 2006, Benedict 2002). We aim to derive the true mass of a brown dwarf candidate companion to an early M 2.5V dwarf with groundbased high-resolution astrometry aided by adaptive optics. We found this unique brown dwarf desert object, which distance to the host star is only 0.42 AU, in our UVES precision radial velocity survey of M dwarfs, inferring a minimum companion mass of 27 Jupiter masses (Kuerster 2008). Combining the data with HIPPARCOS astrometry, we found a probability of only 2.9% that the companion is stellar. We are therefore observing the host star and a reference star within a monitoring program with VLT/NACO to derive the true mass of the companion and establish its nature (BD vs. star). Simultaneous observations of a reference field in a globular cluster are performed to determine the stability of the AO plus detector system and check its suitability for such high-precision astrometric measurements over several epochs which are needed to find and analyse extrasolar planet systems. We present preliminary results of the analysis of the astrometric displacements of the host star due to the unseen companion after correcting for differential refraction and differential aberration, as well as a first orbit fit and mass estimation.

  19. Zoonotic Poxviruses Associated with Companion Animals

    PubMed Central

    Tack, Danielle M.; Reynolds, Mary G.

    2011-01-01

    Simple Summary Contemporary enthusiasm for the ownership of exotic animals and hobby livestock has created an opportunity for the movement of poxviruses—such as monkeypox, cowpox, and orf—outside their traditional geographic range bringing them into contact with atypical animal hosts and groups of people not normally considered at risk. It is important that pet owners and practitioners of human and animal medicine develop a heightened awareness for poxvirus infections and understand the risks that can be associated with companion animals and livestock. This article reviews the epidemiology and clinical features of zoonotic poxviruses that are most likely to affect companion animals. Abstract Understanding the zoonotic risk posed by poxviruses in companion animals is important for protecting both human and animal health. The outbreak of monkeypox in the United States, as well as current reports of cowpox in Europe, point to the fact that companion animals are increasingly serving as sources of poxvirus transmission to people. In addition, the trend among hobbyists to keep livestock (such as goats) in urban and semi-urban areas has contributed to increased parapoxvirus exposures among people not traditionally considered at high risk. Despite the historic notoriety of poxviruses and the diseases they cause, poxvirus infections are often missed. Delays in diagnosing poxvirus-associated infections in companion animals can lead to inadvertent human exposures. Delays in confirming human infections can result in inappropriate treatment or prolonged recovery. Early recognition of poxvirus-associated infections and application of appropriate preventive measures can reduce the spread of virus between companion animals and their owners. This review will discuss the epidemiology and clinical features associated with the zoonotic poxvirus infections most commonly associated with companion animals. PMID:26486622

  20. Structures induced by companions in galactic discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kyziropoulos, P. E.; Efthymiopoulos, C.; Gravvanis, G. A.; Patsis, P. A.

    2016-12-01

    Using N-body simulations, we study the structures induced on a galactic disc by repeated flybys of a companion in decaying eccentric orbit around the disc. Our system is composed of a stellar disc, bulge and live dark matter halo, and we study the system's dynamical response to a sequence of a companion's flybys, when we vary (i) the disc's temperature (parametrized by Toomre's Q-parameter) and (ii) the companion's mass and initial orbit. We use a new 3D Cartesian grid code: MAIN (Mesh-adaptive Approximate Inverse N-body solver). The main features of MAIN are reviewed, with emphasis on the use of a new Symmetric Factored Approximate Sparse Inverse matrix in conjunction with the multigrid method that allows the efficient solution of Poisson's equation in three space variables. We find that (i) companions need to be assigned initial masses in a rather narrow window of values in order to produce significant and more long-standing non-axisymmetric structures (bars and spirals) in the main galaxy's disc by the repeated flyby mechanism. (ii) A crucial phenomenon is the antagonism between companion-excited and self-excited modes on the disc. Values of Q > 1.5 are needed in order to allow for the growth of the companion-excited modes to prevail over the growth of the disc's self-excited modes. (iii) We give evidence that the companion-induced spiral structure is best represented by a density wave with pattern speed nearly constant in a region extending from the inner Lindblad resonance to a radius close to, but inside, corotation.

  1. A SUBSTELLAR COMMON PROPER-MOTION COMPANION TO THE PLEIAD H II 1348

    SciTech Connect

    Geissler, Kerstin; Metchev, Stanimir A.; Pham, Alfonse; Larkin, James E.; McElwain, Michael; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.

    2012-02-10

    We announce the identification of a proper-motion companion to the star H II 1348, a K5 V member of the Pleiades open cluster. The existence of a faint point source 1.''1 away from H II 1348 was previously known from adaptive optics imaging by Bouvier et al. However, because of a high likelihood of background star contamination and in the absence of follow-up astrometry, Bouvier et al. tentatively concluded that the candidate companion was not physically associated with H II 1348. We establish the proper-motion association of the pair from adaptive optics imaging with the Palomar 5 m telescope. Adaptive optics spectroscopy with the integral field spectrograph OSIRIS on the Keck 10 m telescope reveals that the companion has a spectral type of M8 {+-} 1. According to substellar evolution models, the M8 spectral type resides within the substellar mass regime at the age of the Pleiades. The primary itself is a known double-lined spectroscopic binary, which makes the resolved companion, H II 1348B, the least massive and widest component of this hierarchical triple system and the first substellar companion to a stellar primary in the Pleiades.

  2. Detection of faint companions in multi-spectral data using a maximum likelihood approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanley, Kenneth; Devaney, Nicholas; Thiébaut, Éric

    2016-07-01

    Direct, ground-based exoplanet detection is an extremely challenging task requiring extreme adaptive optics (AO) systems and very high contrast. Dedicated planet hunters, such as SPHERE and GPI have been designed with these requirements in mind. Despite this, direct detection is still limited due to the presence of residual speckles. Smith et al.1 described a maximum likelihood estimation technique for the detection of exoplanets in speckle data in which the planet appears to rotate about a host star when observing with an alt-az telescope. We propose the adaptation of this technique to operate on multi-spectral data, such as produced by the integral field spectrographs present on both SPHERE2 or GPI.3 As the speckle pattern approximately scales smoothly with wavelength, it is possible to resample data to a single reference wavelength in which speckles will remain fixed in the wavelength dimension while any companions that are present will exhibit radial motion in a predictable manner. We simulate data comparable to SPHERE and with this we compare the performance of our algorithm with another multi-spectral detection technique; spectral deconvolution. We compare the techniques using a ROC (Receiver Operating Characteristic) analysis.

  3. An integrated payload design for the Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (ARIEL)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eccleston, Paul; Tinetti, Giovanna; Beaulieu, Jean-Philippe; Güdel, Manuel; Hartogh, Paul; Micela, Giuseppina; Min, Michiel; Rataj, Miroslaw; Ray, Tom; Ribas, Ignasi; Vandenbussche, Bart; Auguères, Jean-Louis; Bishop, Georgia; Da Deppo, Vania; Focardi, Mauro; Hunt, Thomas; Malaguti, Giuseppe; Middleton, Kevin; Morgante, Gianluca; Ollivier, Marc; Pace, Emanuele; Pascale, Enzo; Taylor, William

    2016-07-01

    ARIEL (the Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey) is one of the three candidates for the next ESA medium-class science mission (M4) expected to be launched in 2026. This mission will be devoted to observing spectroscopically in the infrared a large population of warm and hot transiting exoplanets (temperatures from ~500 K to ~3000 K) in our nearby Galactic neighborhood, opening a new discovery space in the field of extrasolar planets and enabling the understanding of the physics and chemistry of these far away worlds. The three candidate missions for M4 are now in a Phase A study which will run until mid-2017 at which point one mission will be selected for implementation. ARIEL is based on a 1-m class telescope feeding both a moderate resolution spectrometer covering the wavelengths from 1.95 to 7.8 microns, and a four channel photometer (which also acts as a Fine Guidance Sensor) with bands between 0.55 and 1.65 microns. During its 3.5 years of operation from an L2 orbit, ARIEL will continuously observe exoplanets transiting their host star.

  4. New Low-Mass Wide Companions to Members of the Sco-Cen OB Association

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finn, Molly; Mamajek, Eric E.; Luhman, Kevin; Murphy, Simon

    2017-01-01

    We have conducted a survey for wide common proper motion companions to 512 members of the Upper Cen-Lup (UCL) and Lower Cen-Cru (LCC) subgroups of the Sco-Cen OB association using astrometry and photometry from the SPM4 catalog. Companion candidates were selected within 3 arcminutes (23 kau = 0.11 pc at d = 130 pc). We find that 12% of the Sco-Cen members have stellar companions in the separation range 3-20 kau. Optical spectra of 16 candidate companions were taken with the new COSMOS spectrograph on the Blanco 4-m telescope and the Wide Field Spectrograph on the Australian National University 2.3-m telescope. The spectroscopic survey yielded 14 M-type stars with Na I surface gravity index indicative of pre-MS status, of which half were Li-rich (along with two background giant interlopers). Seven stars in the range M1-M4.5 appear to be Li depleted, but otherwise seem to be pre-MS due to their chromospheric activity, low surface gravity via the Na I index, and their co- movement with other young stars in Sco-Cen. We suggest that these stars represent the Li depletion boundary for UCL and LCC. We acknowledge support from NSF award AST-1313029 and the REU Site in Physics and Astrophysics at the University of Rochester supported by NSF award PHY-1156339.

  5. Reading Aloud: Companion Reader vs. No Companion Reader--An Experimental Research Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruivo, Paula

    2006-01-01

    This study has been done to gather data as to whether there is improvement in vocabulary development, reading comprehension and reading fluency when a child is reading aloud and he or she has a reading companion as opposed to not having a reading companion. As this literature review indicates there has been a lot of research on the benefits of…

  6. FINESSE: A Dedicated Transiting Exoplanet Spectroscopy Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bean, Jacob; FINESSE Science Team

    2017-01-01

    FINESSE (Fast INfrared Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey Explorer) is a proposed space mission dedicated to performing a statistical census of transiting exoplanet atmospheres. The objectives of FINESSE are to test theories of planetary origins and climate, enable comparative planetology, and open up discovery space on atmospheric chemistry, planetary evolution, and other topics. The baseline design for FINESSE is a 75 cm telescope observing from L2. The FINESSE instrument is a high throughput spectrometer with continuous coverage from 0.5 to 5.0 microns in a single shot. FINESSE will survey on order of 1000 exoplanets with a combination of transmission, dayside emission, and phase-resolved emission spectroscopy during a two year mission. As of this writing FINESSE will be proposed for the NASA Medium-Class Explorers (MIDEX) announcement of opportunity in December 2016. I will present an overview of FINESSE, including the mission concept, science drivers, and expected results from extensive simulations.

  7. Constraining exoplanet mass from transmission spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    de Wit, Julien; Seager, Sara

    2013-12-20

    Determination of an exoplanet's mass is a key to understanding its basic properties, including its potential for supporting life. To date, mass constraints for exoplanets are predominantly based on radial velocity (RV) measurements, which are not suited for planets with low masses, large semimajor axes, or those orbiting faint or active stars. Here, we present a method to extract an exoplanet's mass solely from its transmission spectrum. We find good agreement between the mass retrieved for the hot Jupiter HD 189733b from transmission spectroscopy with that from RV measurements. Our method will be able to retrieve the masses of Earth-sized and super-Earth planets using data from future space telescopes that were initially designed for atmospheric characterization.

  8. The Demographics of Exoplanetary Companions to M Dwarfs: Synthesizing Results from Microlensing, Radial Velocity, and Direct Imaging Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clanton, Christian Dwain

    Over the past 20 years, we have learned that exoplanets are ubiquitous throughout our Galaxy and show a diverse set of demographics, yet there is much work to be done to understand this diversity. Determining the distributions of the fundamental properties of exoplanets will provide vital clues regarding their formation and evolution. This is a difficult task, as exoplanet surveys are not uniformly sensitive to the full range of planet parameter space. Various observational biases and selection effects intrinsic to each of the different discovery techniques constrain the types of planets to which they are sensitive. Herein, I record a collection of the first studies to develop and apply the methodology of synthesizing results from multiple detection techniques to construct a statistically-complete census of planetary companions to M dwarfs that samples a wide region of their parameter space. I present a robust comparison of exoplanet discoveries from microlensing and radial velocity (RV) surveys of M dwarfs which infer giant planet frequencies that differ by more than an order of magnitude and are, prima facie, in direct conflict. I demonstrate that current, state-of-the-art RV surveys are capable of detecting only the high-mass tail of the population of planets beyond the ice line inferred by microlensing studies, engendering a large, apparent difference in giant planet frequency. This comparison further establishes that results from these types of surveys are, in fact, consistent over the region of parameter space wherein their sensitivities overlap. A synthesis of results from microlensing and RV surveys yields planet occurrence rates for M dwarfs that span several orders of magnitude in mass and orbital period. On average, each M dwarf hosts about two planets, and while Jupiter and super-Jupiter companions are relatively rare ( 3%), gas giants, in general, are quite common ( 15%). These occurrence rates are significantly lower than those inferred around FGK

  9. Single transit candidates from K2: detection and period estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborn, H. P.; Armstrong, D. J.; Brown, D. J. A.; McCormac, J.; Doyle, A. P.; Louden, T. M.; Kirk, J.; Spake, J. J.; Lam, K. W. F.; Walker, S. R.; Faedi, F.; Pollacco, D. L.

    2016-04-01

    Photometric surveys such as Kepler have the precision to identify exoplanet and eclipsing binary candidates from only a single transit. K2, with its 75 d campaign duration, is ideally suited to detect significant numbers of single-eclipsing objects. Here we develop a Bayesian transit-fitting tool (`Namaste: An Mcmc Analysis of Single Transit Exoplanets') to extract orbital information from single transit events. We achieve favourable results testing this technique on known Kepler planets, and apply the technique to seven candidates identified from a targeted search of K2 campaigns 1, 2 and 3. We find EPIC203311200 to host an excellent exoplanet candidate with a period, assuming zero eccentricity, of 540 ^{+410}_{-230} d and a radius of 0.51 ± 0.05RJup. We also find six further transit candidates for which more follow-up is required to determine a planetary origin. Such a technique could be used in the future with TESS, PLATO and ground-based photometric surveys such as NGTS, potentially allowing the detection of planets in reach of confirmation by Gaia.

  10. A substellar companion to Pleiades HII 3441

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konishi, Mihoko; Matsuo, Taro; Yamamoto, Kodai; Samland, Matthias; Sudo, Jun; Shibai, Hiroshi; Itoh, Yoichi; Fukagawa, Misato; Sumi, Takahiro; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Hashimoto, Jun; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Abe, Lyu; Akiyama, Eiji; Brandner, Wolfgang; Brandt, Timothy D.; Carson, Joseph C.; Feldt, Markus; Goto, Miwa; Grady, Carol A.; Guyon, Olivier; Hayano, Yutaka; Hayashi, Masahiko; Hayashi, Saeko S.; Henning, Thomas; Hodapp, Klaus W.; Ishii, Miki; Iye, Masanori; Janson, Markus; Kandori, Ryo; Knapp, Gillian R.; Kwon, Jungmi; McElwain, Michael W.; Mede, Kyle; Miyama, Shoken; Morino, Jun-Ichi; Moro-Martín, Amaya; Nishimura, Tetsuo; Oh, Daehyeon; Pyo, Tae-Soo; Serabyn, Eugene; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Suenaga, Takuya; Suto, Hiroshi; Suzuki, Ryuji; Takahashi, Yasuhiro H.; Takami, Michihiro; Takato, Naruhisa; Terada, Hiroshi; Thalmann, Christian; Turner, Edwin L.; Watanabe, Makoto; Wisniewski, John P.; Yamada, Toru; Takami, Hideki; Usuda, Tomonori; Tamura, Motohide

    2016-12-01

    We find a new substellar companion to the Pleiades member star, Pleiades HII 3441, using the Subaru telescope with adaptive optics. The discovery is made as part of the high-contrast imaging survey to search for planetary-mass and substellar companions in the Pleiades and young moving groups. The companion has a projected separation of 0{^''.}49 ± 0{^''.}02 (66 ± 2 au) and a mass of 68 ± 5 MJ based on three observations in the J-, H-, and Ks-bands. The spectral type is estimated to be M7 (˜2700 K), and thus no methane absorption is detected in the H band. Our Pleiades observations result in the detection of two substellar companions including one previously reported among 20 observed Pleiades stars, and indicate that the fraction of substellar companions in the Pleiades is about 10.0^{+26.1}_{-8.8}%. This is consistent with multiplicity studies of both the Pleiades stars and other open clusters.

  11. Genomic Analysis of Companion Rabbit Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, Mark A.; Harrison, Ewan M.; Fisher, Elizabeth A.; Graham, Elizabeth M.; Parkhill, Julian; Foster, Geoffrey; Paterson, Gavin K.

    2016-01-01

    In addition to being an important human pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus is able to cause a variety of infections in numerous other host species. While the S. aureus strains causing infection in several of these hosts have been well characterised, this is not the case for companion rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), where little data are available on S. aureus strains from this host. To address this deficiency we have performed antimicrobial susceptibility testing and genome sequencing on a collection of S. aureus isolates from companion rabbits. The findings show a diverse S. aureus population is able to cause infection in this host, and while antimicrobial resistance was uncommon, the isolates possess a range of known and putative virulence factors consistent with a diverse clinical presentation in companion rabbits including severe abscesses. We additionally show that companion rabbit isolates carry polymorphisms within dltB as described as underlying host-adaption of S. aureus to farmed rabbits. The availability of S. aureus genome sequences from companion rabbits provides an important aid to understanding the pathogenesis of disease in this host and in the clinical management and surveillance of these infections. PMID:26963381

  12. Study of TrES-3 Exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vodniza, A. Q.; Rojas, M.; Reyes, K.

    2011-10-01

    The first amateur observation of an exoplanet was made from the Nyrola Observatory in September 16, 2000. (Marko Moilanen, Jalo Ojanperä, Jouni Sorvari, Aki Id and Arto Oksanen). The jovian-type planet orbits a star that is 153 light years far away, and was called HD209458b in Pegasus [1]. The equipment used by this Observatory was a 16 inches MEADE LX200, a ST7E CCD SBIG camera with a V photometric filter and an f/6.3 focal distance reducer. At the University of Nariño Observatory we have a similar equipment. The equipment we employed is: 14"LX200 GPS MEADE telescope and STL-1001 SBIG. The camera we used in our search is much more sensible than the one used by the Nyrola Observatory [2]. From the Astronomical Observatory at the University of Nariño-COLOMBIA, we begun a systematic search for exoplanets. We have already confirmed the transit of the exoplanet TrES-3. This exoplanet was discovered by O'Donovan and other investigators, and turns around the GSC 03089- 00929, with an orbital period of 1.30619 days (31.34856 hours) and inclination of 82.15 deg [3]. The TrES-3 is quite interesting because it has one of the smallest periods found on exoplanets. Jessie L. Christiansen, et.al. observed seven transits and they found that the duration of transit is 81.9+/-1.1 minutes and inclination of 81.99+/-0.30 deg [4], [5]. We have captured a lot of data to elaborate the lightcurves so we can estimate the physical parameters of the exoplanet.

  13. Burrell-Optical-Kepler Survey (BOKS): Exo-planet Search In Cygnus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proctor, Amanda; Howell, S.; Sherry, W.; Everett, M.; von Braun, K.; Feldmeier, J.; BOKS Consortium

    2007-12-01

    We present the results of >20; continuous days of time series photometric observations of a 1.0 sq. deg field in Cygnus centered on the NASA Kepler Mission field of view. Using the Case Western Burrell Schmidt telescope located at Kitt Peak National Observatory we gathered a dataset containing light curves of roughly 30000 stars between 14exo-planet occultations. We present a summary of our photometric project including many examples of eclipsing binaries and characterization the level and content of stellar variability in this portion of the Kepler field. We will also discuss our potential exo-planet candidates.

  14. Exoplanet Characterization With Spitzer Eclipses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrington, Joseph

    We will analyze our existing Spitzer eclipse data for 11 exoplanets (GJ 436b, WASP-8b, WASP-29b, WASP-11b, TrES-1, WASP-34b, WASP-43b, HD 209458b, HAT-P-30b, HAT-P-13b, and WASP-12b) along with all other Spitzer eclipse and transit data for these systems (723 hours of total data). In combination with transit results, these measurements reveal the surface fluxes emitted by the planets' atmospheres in the six Spitzer bandpasses (3.6, 4.5, 5.8, 8.0, 16, and 24 1-4m), as well as orbital eccentricity and in a few cases possibly even precession rate. The fluxes, in turn, can constrain atmospheric composition and thermal profiles. We propose here to analyze data for these planets using Monte Carlo-driven, radiative-transfer, model-fitting codes; to conduct aggregate analyses; and to develop and share statistical modeling tools. Secondary eclipses provide us with a unique way to characterize exoplanetary atmospheres. Since other techniques like spectroscopy divide the planetary signal into many channels, they require very high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) and are only possible for a few planets. Broadband eclipse photometry is thus the only technique that can measure dozens of atmospheres and identify the mechanisms that cause planets at a given irradiation level to behave so differently from one another. Until JWST becomes available, the broad variety of Spitzer data that we already have in hand, along with observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and possibly SOFIA, are our best way to understand the wide diversity of exoplanetary atmospheres. Since 2010, the team has produced six papers from a new, highly modular pipeline that implements optimal methods for analysis of Spitzer photometric time series, and our efficiency is increasing. The sensitivity needed for these measurements is up to 100 times better than Spitzer's design criteria, so careful treatment of systematic error is critically important and first-order approximations rarely work. The new pipeline

  15. Key Challenges for Exoplanet Biosignature Gas Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seager, S.

    2014-03-01

    Biosignature gases are gases emitted by life that can accumulate in an exoplanet atmosphere to remotely detectable levels by future space telescopes. Until now, the dominant focus has been on Earth-like planets, because Earth is the only known planet with life. Yet exoplanets are astonishingly diverse--in terms of their masses, densities, orbits, and host star types--and this diversity motivates a radical extension of what conventionally constitutes a habitable planet. By building a general framework with which to understand a wide range of plausible biosignature gases, we will increase our chances of identifying inhabited worlds.

  16. An Automated System for Citizen Searches for Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edberg, Stephen J.

    2016-05-01

    The Panoptic Astronomical Networked OPtical observatory for Transiting Exoplanets Survey (PANOPTES) is a citizen science project which aims to build low cost, automated, robotic sky patrol camera systems which can be used to detect transiting exoplanets: planets orbiting other stars. The goal is to establish a worldwide network to image the nighttime celestial hemisphere 24/7/365. PANOPTES will search for exoplanets using the reduction in starlight caused when an exoplanet transits its host star. Individuals or groups can construct a PANOPTES station, tie it in the data reporting system, and contribute to the discovery of exoplanets across the large area of the sky not yet surveyed.

  17. PLANETESIMAL COMPOSITIONS IN EXOPLANET SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Torrence V.; Mousis, Olivier; Lunine, Jonathan I.; Madhusudhan, Nikku

    2012-10-01

    We have used recent surveys of the composition of exoplanet host stars to investigate the expected composition of condensed material in planetesimals formed beyond the snow line in the circumstellar nebulae of these systems. Of the major solid-forming elements, C and O abundances (and particularly the C/O abundance ratio) strongly affect the amounts of volatile ices and refractory phases in icy planetesimals formed in these systems. This results from these elements' effects on the partitioning of O among gas, refractory solid and ice phases in the final condensate. The calculations use a self-consistent model for the condensation sequence of volatile ices from the nebula gas after refractory (silicate and metal) phases have condensed. The resultant mass fractions (compared to the total condensate) of refractory phases and ices were calculated for a range of nebular temperature structures and redox conditions. Planetesimals in systems with sub-solar C/O should be water ice-rich, with lower than solar mass fractions of refractory materials, while in super-solar C/O systems planetesimals should have significantly higher mass fractions of refractories, in some cases having little or no water ice. C-bearing volatile ices and clathrates also become increasingly important with increasing C/O depending on the assumed nebular temperatures. These compositional variations in early condensates in the outer portions of the nebula will be significant for the equivalent of the Kuiper Belt in these systems, icy satellites of giant planets, and the enrichment (over stellar values) of volatiles and heavy elements in giant planet atmospheres.

  18. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, George R.; Winn, Joshua N.; Vanderspek, Roland; Latham, David W.; Bakos, Gáspár. Á.; Bean, Jacob L.; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Brown, Timothy M.; Buchhave, Lars; Butler, Nathaniel R.; Butler, R. Paul; Chaplin, William J.; Charbonneau, David; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Clampin, Mark; Deming, Drake; Doty, John; De Lee, Nathan; Dressing, Courtney; Dunham, E. W.; Endl, Michael; Fressin, Francois; Ge, Jian; Henning, Thomas; Holman, Matthew J.; Howard, Andrew W.; Ida, Shigeru; Jenkins, Jon; Jernigan, Garrett; Johnson, John A.; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Kawai, Nobuyuki; Kjeldsen, Hans; Laughlin, Gregory; Levine, Alan M.; Lin, Douglas; Lissauer, Jack J.; MacQueen, Phillip; Marcy, Geoffrey; McCullough, P. R.; Morton, Timothy D.; Narita, Norio; Paegert, Martin; Palle, Enric; Pepe, Francesco; Pepper, Joshua; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Rinehart, S. A.; Sasselov, Dimitar; Sato, Bun'ei; Seager, Sara; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Stassun, Keivan G.; Sullivan, Peter; Szentgyorgyi, Andrew; Torres, Guillermo; Udry, Stephane; Villasenor, Joel

    2014-08-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS ) will search for planets transiting bright and nearby stars. TESS has been selected by NASA for launch in 2017 as an Astrophysics Explorer mission. The spacecraft will be placed into a highly elliptical 13.7-day orbit around the Earth. During its two-year mission, TESS will employ four wide-field optical CCD cameras to monitor at least 200,000 main-sequence dwarf stars with IC (approximately less than) 13 for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. Each star will be observed for an interval ranging from one month to one year, depending mainly on the star's ecliptic latitude. The longest observing intervals will be for stars near the ecliptic poles, which are the optimal locations for follow-up observations with the James Webb Space Telescope. Brightness measurements of preselected target stars will be recorded every 2 min, and full frame images will be recorded every 30 min. TESS stars will be 10-100 times brighter than those surveyed by the pioneering Kepler mission. This will make TESS planets easier to characterize with follow-up observations. TESS is expected to find more than a thousand planets smaller than Neptune, including dozens that are comparable in size to the Earth. Public data releases will occur every four months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest stars hosting transiting planets, which will endure as highly favorable targets for detailed investigations.

  19. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, George R.; Winn, Joshua N.; Vanderspek, Roland; Latham, David W.; Bakos, Gáspár Á.; Bean, Jacob L.; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Brown, Timothy M.; Buchhave, Lars; Butler, Nathaniel R.; Butler, R. Paul; Chaplin, William J.; Charbonneau, David; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Clampin, Mark; Deming, Drake; Doty, John; De Lee, Nathan; Dressing, Courtney; Dunham, Edward W.; Endl, Michael; Fressin, Francois; Ge, Jian; Henning, Thomas; Holman, Matthew J.; Howard, Andrew W.; Ida, Shigeru; Jenkins, Jon M.; Jernigan, Garrett; Johnson, John Asher; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Kawai, Nobuyuki; Kjeldsen, Hans; Laughlin, Gregory; Levine, Alan M.; Lin, Douglas; Lissauer, Jack J.; MacQueen, Phillip; Marcy, Geoffrey; McCullough, Peter R.; Morton, Timothy D.; Narita, Norio; Paegert, Martin; Palle, Enric; Pepe, Francesco; Pepper, Joshua; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Rinehart, Stephen A.; Sasselov, Dimitar; Sato, Bun'ei; Seager, Sara; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Stassun, Keivan G.; Sullivan, Peter; Szentgyorgyi, Andrew; Torres, Guillermo; Udry, Stephane; Villasenor, Joel

    2015-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will search for planets transiting bright and nearby stars. TESS has been selected by NASA for launch in 2017 as an Astrophysics Explorer mission. The spacecraft will be placed into a highly elliptical 13.7-day orbit around the Earth. During its 2-year mission, TESS will employ four wide-field optical charge-coupled device cameras to monitor at least 200,000 main-sequence dwarf stars with IC≈4-13 for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. Each star will be observed for an interval ranging from 1 month to 1 year, depending mainly on the star's ecliptic latitude. The longest observing intervals will be for stars near the ecliptic poles, which are the optimal locations for follow-up observations with the James Webb Space Telescope. Brightness measurements of preselected target stars will be recorded every 2 min, and full frame images will be recorded every 30 min. TESS stars will be 10 to 100 times brighter than those surveyed by the pioneering Kepler mission. This will make TESS planets easier to characterize with follow-up observations. TESS is expected to find more than a thousand planets smaller than Neptune, including dozens that are comparable in size to the Earth. Public data releases will occur every 4 months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest stars hosting transiting planets, which will endure as highly favorable targets for detailed investigations.

  20. Possible climates on terrestrial exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Forget, F; Leconte, J

    2014-04-28

    What kind of environment may exist on terrestrial planets around other stars? In spite of the lack of direct observations, it may not be premature to speculate on exoplanetary climates, for instance, to optimize future telescopic observations or to assess the probability of habitable worlds. To begin with, climate primarily depends on (i) the atmospheric composition and the volatile inventory; (ii) the incident stellar flux; and (iii) the tidal evolution of the planetary spin, which can notably lock a planet with a permanent night side. The atmospheric composition and mass depends on complex processes, which are difficult to model: origins of volatiles, atmospheric escape, geochemistry, photochemistry, etc. We discuss physical constraints, which can help us to speculate on the possible type of atmosphere, depending on the planet size, its final distance for its star and the star type. Assuming that the atmosphere is known, the possible climates can be explored using global climate models analogous to the ones developed to simulate the Earth as well as the other telluric atmospheres in the solar system. Our experience with Mars, Titan and Venus suggests that realistic climate simulators can be developed by combining components, such as a 'dynamical core', a radiative transfer solver, a parametrization of subgrid-scale turbulence and convection, a thermal ground model and a volatile phase change code. On this basis, we can aspire to build reliable climate predictors for exoplanets. However, whatever the accuracy of the models, predicting the actual climate regime on a specific planet will remain challenging because climate systems are affected by strong positive feedbacks. They can drive planets with very similar forcing and volatile inventory to completely different states. For instance, the coupling among temperature, volatile phase changes and radiative properties results in instabilities, such as runaway glaciations and runaway greenhouse effect.

  1. Exoplanet transmission spectroscopy using KMOS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parviainen, Hannu; Aigrain, Suzanne; Thatte, Niranjan; Barstow, Joanna K.; Evans, Thomas M.; Gibson, Neale

    2015-11-01

    KMOS (K-Band Multi Object Spectrograph) is a novel integral field spectrograph installed in the Very Large Telescope's (VLT's) ANTU unit. The instrument offers an ability to observe 24 2.8 arcsec × 2.8 arcsec subfields positionable within a 7.2 arcmin patrol field, each subfield producing a spectrum with a 14 × 14-pixel spatial resolution. The main science drivers for KMOS are the study of galaxies, star formation, and molecular clouds, but its ability to simultaneously measure spectra of multiple stars makes KMOS an interesting instrument for exoplanet atmosphere characterization via transmission spectroscopy. We set to test whether transmission spectroscopy is practical with KMOS, and what are the conditions required to achieve the photometric precision needed, based on observations of a partial transit of WASP-19b, and full transits of GJ 1214b and HD 209458b. Our analysis uses the simultaneously observed comparison stars to reduce the effects from instrumental and atmospheric sources, and Gaussian processes to model the residual systematics. We show that KMOS can, in theory, deliver the photometric precision required for transmission spectroscopy. However, this is shown to require (a) pre-imaging to ensure accurate centring and (b) a very stable night with optimal observing conditions (seeing ˜0.8 arcsec). Combining these two factors with the need to observe several transits, each with a sufficient out-of-transit baseline (and with the fact that similar or better precision can be reached with telescopes and instruments with smaller pressure), we conclude that transmission spectroscopy is not the optimal science case to take advantage of the abilities offered by KMOS and VLT.

  2. Discovery of an Ultracool White Dwarf Companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.

    2004-08-01

    The discovery of a low-luminosity common proper-motion companion to the white dwarf GD 392 at a wide separation of 46" is reported. BVRI photometry suggests a low temperature (Teff~4000 K), while JHK data strongly indicate suppressed flux at all near-infrared wavelengths. Thus, GD 392B is one of the few white dwarfs to show significant collision-induced absorption due to the presence of photospheric H2 and the first ultracool white dwarf detected as a companion to another star. Models fail to explain GD 392B as a normal-mass white dwarf. If correct, the cool companion may be explained as a low-mass white dwarf or unresolved double degenerate. The similarities of GD 392B to known ultracool degenerates are discussed, including some possible implications for the faint end of the white dwarf luminosity function.

  3. Characterising exoplanet atmospheres with EChO: Updated results for a new payload design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tessenyi, M.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Ollivier, M.; Tinetti, G.; Coudé du Foresto, V.; Reess, J.-M.

    2012-12-01

    The field of exoplanets is one of the fastest growing and most novel in astrophysics, with hundreds of planetary discoveries and thousands of candidates waiting to be confirmed. Many of these planets are very different from the planets in our Solar System, yet at present we do not have an explanation nor a clear understanding of this diversity. The atmospheric composition of these remote worlds may provide a key to interpreting this diversity. Spectroscopic measurement of transiting exoplanets is the only viable technique we can use today to sound these exotic atmospheres. EChO, the Exoplanet Characterization Observatory is a Medium class ESA mission candidate, currently being assessed as part of the COSMIC VISION programme. EChO will be the first mission fully dedicated to the systematic study of the physics and chemistry of a large portfolio of exoplanet atmospheres. The targets will cover a wide range of planets: from hot planets to temperate ones, from large, gaseous Jupiter-like planets to small telluric planets. The baseline mission design is a 1.2 m off axis telescope with one instrument composed of several channels covering the spectral range 0.4-16 μm with a spectral resolution in the 300-30 range. The satellite is optimised for stability and is based on the legacy of previous successful ESA missions. EChO will observe primary transits and secondary eclipses, and also phase curves of some non-transiting planets. We present updated results for secondary eclipses, based on methods from previous studies and incorporating the evolution of the payload design.

  4. Evidence for a solar companion star

    SciTech Connect

    Muller, R.A.

    1984-08-01

    Periodicity seen in both the mass extinctions and large impact cratering on earth can be explained if one postulates that the sun has a companion star, orbiting in a moderately eccentric orbit with a major axis of 2.8 light-years. No other explanations that have been suggested are compatible with known facts of physics and astronomy. If the companion is a red dwarf star, the most common kind in the galaxy, then no previous astronomical observations would have found it. A search for red objects with large parallax is now underway at Berkeley, and has a good chance of identifying the star in the near future.

  5. The evolving potential of companion diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Khoury, Joseph D

    2016-01-01

    The scope of companion diagnostics in cancer has undergone significant shifts in the past few years, with increased development of targeted therapies and novel testing platforms. This has provided new opportunities to effect unprecedented paradigm shifts in the application of personalized medicine principles for patients with cancer. These shifts involve assay platforms, analytes, regulations, and therapeutic approaches. As opportunities involving each of these facets of companion diagnostics expand, close collaborations between key stakeholders should be enhanced to ensure optimal performance characteristics and patient outcomes.

  6. Orthoses and exoprostheses for companion animals.

    PubMed

    Marcellin-Little, Denis J; Drum, Marti G; Levine, David; McDonald, Susan S

    2015-01-01

    Exoprostheses are devices that are secured to incomplete limbs to enable locomotion. By comparison, orthoses are devices externally applied to support or protect an injured body part. Orthoses also can be used to control, guide, protect, limit motion of, or immobilize an extremity, a joint, or a body segment. Exoprostheses and orthoses are a growing aspect of the physical rehabilitation of companion animals. They require precise design and fabrication. Patients and owners must be trained to use the devices. Exoprostheses and orthoses can have a profound beneficial impact on the mobility and the quality of life of companion animals.

  7. The Joker: A custom Monte Carlo sampler for binary-star and exoplanet radial velocity data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price-Whelan, Adrian M.; Hogg, David W.; Foreman-Mackey, Daniel; Rix, Hans-Walter

    2017-01-01

    Given sparse or low-quality radial-velocity measurements of a star, there are often many qualitatively different stellar or exoplanet companion orbit models that are consistent with the data. The consequent multimodality of the likelihood function leads to extremely challenging search, optimization, and MCMC posterior sampling over the orbital parameters. The Joker is a custom-built Monte Carlo sampler that can produce a posterior sampling for orbital parameters given sparse or noisy radial-velocity measurements, even when the likelihood function is poorly behaved. The method produces correct samplings in orbital parameters for data that include as few as three epochs. The Joker can therefore be used to produce proper samplings of multimodal pdfs, which are still highly informative and can be used in hierarchical (population) modeling.

  8. Massive Stars and their Siblings: the Extreme End of the Companion Mass Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Mink, Selma

    2014-10-01

    The gold-rush for detecting exoplanets has lead to an exponential improvement of optimization algorithms for high-contrast imaging optimized for HST. We propose to exploit these to probe the virtually unexplored population of low mass stars in the very close vicinity of young massive stars in order to I. progress our understanding of how low-mass stars form and survive under the influence of the ionizing radiation of their massive host and II. provide urgently needed constraints on competing theories of massive star formation by measuring their multiplicity. The high spatial and temporal stability of HST's point spread function is essential for the detection of very faint companions down to sub-arcsecond separations even in crowded regions at contrast up to delta-mag ~ 10, i.e. flux ratios up to 10,000. Furthermore the characterization of the low mass companions calls for wavelength bands largely affected by absorption by H2O in the earth's atmosphere. To achieve this goal we propose to use WFC3/IR to observe two adjacent fields in the center of the very young, nearby star cluster Trumpler 14, which harbors a rich population of massive stars.

  9. Massive Stars and their Siblings: the Extreme End of the Companion Mass Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Mink, Selma

    2013-10-01

    The gold-rush for detecting exoplanets has lead to an exponential improvement of optimization algorithms for high-contrast imaging optimized for HST. We propose to exploit these to probe the virtually unexplored population of low mass stars in the very close vicinity of young massive stars in order to I. progress our understanding of how low-mass stars form and survive under the influence of the ionizing radiation of their massive host and II. provide urgently needed constraints on competing theories of massive star formation by measuring their multiplicity. The high spatial and temporal stability of HST's point spread function is essential for the detection of very faint companions down to sub-arcsecond separations even in crowded regions at contrast up to delta-mag ~ 10, i.e. flux ratios up to 10,000. Furthermore the characterization of the low mass companions calls for wavelength bands largely affected by absorption by H2O in the earth's atmosphere. To achieve this goal we propose to use WFC3/IR to observe two adjacent fields in the center of the very young, nearby star cluster Trumpler 14, which harbors a rich population of massive stars.

  10. Hubble Exoplanet Pro/Am Collaboration (Abstract)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conti, D. M.

    2016-06-01

    (Abstract only) A collaborative effort is being organized between a world-wide network of amateur astronomers and a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) science team. The purpose of this collaboration is to supplement an HST near-infrared spectroscopy survey of some 15 exoplanets with ground-based observations in the visible range.

  11. Microphysics of Exoplanet Clouds and Hazes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Peter; Benneke, Björn; Knutson, Heather; Yung, Yuk

    2016-01-01

    Clouds and hazes are ubiquitous in the atmospheres of exoplanets. However, as most of these planets have temperatures between 600 and 2000 K, their clouds and hazes are likely composed of exotic condensates such as silicates, metals, and salts. We currently lack a satisfactory understanding of the microphysical processes that govern the distribution of these clouds and hazes, thus creating a gulf between the cloud properties retrieved from observations and the cloud composition predictions from condensation equilibrium models. In this work we present a 1D microphysical cloud model that calculates, from first principles, the rates of condensation, evaporation, coagulation, and vertical transport of chemically mixed cloud and haze particles in warm and hot exoplanet atmospheres. The model outputs the equilibrium number density of cloud particles with altitude, the particle size distribution, and the chemical makeup of the cloud particles as a function of altitude and particle mass. The model aims to (1) explain the observed variability in "cloudiness" of individual exoplanets, (2) assess whether the proposed cloud materials are capable of forming the observed particle distributions, and (3) examine the role clouds have in the transport of (cloud-forming) heavy elements in exoplanet atmospheres.

  12. Microphysics of Exoplanet Clouds and Hazes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Peter; Benneke, Björn; Knutson, Heather A.; Yung, Yuk L.

    2015-11-01

    Clouds and hazes are ubiquitous in the atmospheres of exoplanets. However, as most of these planets have temperatures between 600 and 2000 K, their clouds and hazes are likely composed of exotic condensates such as silicates, metals, and salts. We currently lack a satisfactory understanding of the microphysical processes that govern the distribution of these clouds and hazes, thus creating a gulf between the cloud properties retrieved from observations and the cloud composition predictions from condensation equilibrium models. In this work we present a 1D microphysical cloud model that calculates, from first principles, the rates of condensation, evaporation, coagulation, and vertical transport of chemically mixed cloud and haze particles in warm and hot exoplanet atmospheres. The model outputs the equilibrium number density of cloud particles with altitude, the particle size distribution, and the chemical makeup of the cloud particles as a function of altitude and particle mass. The model aims to (1) explain the observed variability in “cloudiness” of individual exoplanets, (2) assess whether the proposed cloud materials are capable of forming the observed particle distributions, and (3) examine the role clouds have in the transport of (cloud-forming) heavy elements in exoplanet atmospheres.

  13. Microphysics of Exoplanet Clouds and Hazes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Peter; Benneke, Björn; Knutson, Heather; Yung, Yuk

    2015-12-01

    Clouds and hazes are ubiquitous in the atmospheres of exoplanets. However, as most of these planets have temperatures between 600 and 2000 K, their clouds and hazes are likely composed of exotic condensates such as silicates, metals, and salts. We currently lack a satisfactory understanding of the microphysical processes that govern the distribution of these clouds and hazes, thus creating a gulf between the cloud properties retrieved from observations and the cloud composition predictions from condensation equilibrium models. In this work we present a 1D microphysical cloud model that calculates, from first principles, the rates of condensation, evaporation, coagulation, and vertical transport of chemically mixed cloud and haze particles in warm and hot exoplanet atmospheres. The model outputs the equilibrium number density of cloud particles with altitude, the particle size distribution, and the chemical makeup of the cloud particles as a function of altitude and particle mass. The model aims to (1) explain the observed variability in “cloudiness” of individual exoplanets, (2) assess whether the proposed cloud materials are capable of forming the observed particle distributions, and (3) examine the role clouds have in the transport of (cloud-forming) heavy elements in exoplanet atmospheres.

  14. Spectra as windows into exoplanet atmospheres

    PubMed Central

    Burrows, Adam S.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding a planet’s atmosphere is a necessary condition for understanding not only the planet itself, but also its formation, structure, evolution, and habitability. This requirement puts a premium on obtaining spectra and developing credible interpretative tools with which to retrieve vital planetary information. However, for exoplanets, these twin goals are far from being realized. In this paper, I provide a personal perspective on exoplanet theory and remote sensing via photometry and low-resolution spectroscopy. Although not a review in any sense, this paper highlights the limitations in our knowledge of compositions, thermal profiles, and the effects of stellar irradiation, focusing on, but not restricted to, transiting giant planets. I suggest that the true function of the recent past of exoplanet atmospheric research has been not to constrain planet properties for all time, but to train a new generation of scientists who, by rapid trial and error, are fast establishing a solid future foundation for a robust science of exoplanets. PMID:24613929

  15. Deformable Mirrors Capture Exoplanet Data, Reflect Lasers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2014-01-01

    To image and characterize exoplanets, Goddard Space Flight Center turned to deformable mirrors (DMs). Berkeley, California-based Iris AO, Inc. worked with Goddard through the SBIR program to improve the company’s microelectromechanical DMs, which are now being evaluated and used for biological research, industrial applications, and could even be used by drug manufacturers.

  16. Comparison of BT Settl Model Spectra in NIR to Brown Dwarfs and Massive Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popinchalk, Mark; Buzard, Cam; Alam, Munazza; Camnasio, Sara; Cruz, Kelle L.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Rice, Emily L.

    2017-01-01

    Brown dwarfs and giant exoplanets are difficult to observe, which hampers our understanding of their properties. Model spectra, such as the BT Settl model grid, can provide an opportunity to augment and validate our understanding of these faint objects by serving to contrast and complement our analysis of their observed spectra. We present work from an upcoming paper that leverages this opportunity. The near infrared (NIR) wavelength region is favorable for analysis of low mass brown dwarfs and high mass gaseous companions, in particular the K band (1.97 - 2.40 µm) due to its relatively high resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio wavelength range for spectra of planetary companions. We present a method to analyze two regions of the K band spectral structure (2.03 - 2.10 µm and 2.215 - 2.290 µm), and apply it to a sample of objects with field gravity, low gravity, and planetary mass as well as the BT Settl model grid for a similar range of effective temperatures and surface gravities. A correlation between spectral structure and effective temperature is found for the shorter wavelength region and there is evidence of gravity dependence for the longer wavelength range. This work suggests that the K band has the potential to be an indicator for brown dwarf and exoplanet surface gravity and effective temperature. We also present preliminary analysis from another upcoming paper. We examine equivalent widths of K I absorption lines at 1.1693 µm, 1.1773 µm, 1.2436 µm and 1.2525 µm in a selection of L dwarfs to explore their physical properties by comparing them to equivalent measurements in the BT Settl model grid.

  17. MAPPING DIRECTLY IMAGED GIANT EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Kostov, Veselin; Apai, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    With the increasing number of directly imaged giant exoplanets, the current atmosphere models are often not capable of fully explaining the spectra and luminosity of the sources. A particularly challenging component of the atmosphere models is the formation and properties of condensate cloud layers, which fundamentally impact the energetics, opacity, and evolution of the planets. Here we present a suite of techniques that can be used to estimate the level of rotational modulations these planets may show. We propose that the time-resolved observations of such periodic photometric and spectroscopic variations of extrasolar planets due to their rotation can be used as a powerful tool to probe the heterogeneity of their optical surfaces. In this paper, we develop simulations to explore the capabilities of current and next-generation ground- and space-based instruments for this technique. We address and discuss the following questions: (1) what planet properties can be deduced from the light curve and/or spectra, and in particular can we determine rotation periods, spot coverage, spot colors, and spot spectra?; (2) what is the optimal configuration of instrument/wavelength/temporal sampling required for these measurements?; and (3) can principal component analysis be used to invert the light curve and deduce the surface map of the planet? Our simulations describe the expected spectral differences between homogeneous (clear or cloudy) and patchy atmospheres, outline the significance of the dominant absorption features of H{sub 2}O, CH{sub 4}, and CO, and provide a method to distinguish these two types of atmospheres. Assuming surfaces with and without clouds for most currently imaged planets the current models predict the largest variations in the J band. Simulated photometry from current and future instruments is used to estimate the level of detectable photometric variations. We conclude that future instruments will be able to recover not only the rotation periods

  18. Observed Properties of Exoplanets: Masses, Orbits, and Metallicities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcy, G.; Butler, R. P.; Fischer, D.; Vogt, S.; Wright, J. T.; Tinney, C. G.; Jones, H. R. A.

    We review the observed properties of exoplanets found by the Doppler technique that has revealed 152 planets to date. We focus on the ongoing 18-year survey of 1330 FGKM type stars at Lick, Keck, and the Anglo-Australian Telescopes that offers both uniform Doppler precision (3 m s-1) and long duration. The 104 planets detected in this survey have minimum masses (M sin i) as low as 6 MEarth, orbiting between 0.02 and 6 AU. The core-accretion model of planet formation is supported by four observations: 1) The mass distribution rises toward the lowest detectable masses, dN/dM ∝ M-1.0. 2) Stellar metallicity correlates strongly with the presence of planets. 3) One planet (1.3 MSat) has a massive rocky core, MCore ≈ 70 MEarth. 4) A super-Earth of ˜ 7 MEarth has been discovered. The distribution of semi-major axes rises from 0.3 -- 3.0 AU (dN/d log a) and extrapolation suggests that ˜12% of the FGK stars harbor gas-giant exoplanets within 20 AU. The median orbital eccentricity is < e > = 0.25, and even planets beyond 3 AU reside in eccentric orbits, suggesting that the circular orbits in our Solar System are unusual. The occurrence ``hot Jupiters'' within 0.1 AU of FGK stars is 1.2 ± 0.2%. Among stars with one planet, 14% have at least one additional planet, occasionally locked in resonances. Kepler and COROT will measure the occurrence of earth-sized planets. The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) will detect planets with masses as low as 3 MEarth orbiting within 2 AU of stars within 10 pc, and it will measure masses, orbits, and multiplicity. The candidate rocky planets will be amenable to follow-up spectroscopy by the ``Terrestrial Planet Finder'' and Darwin.

  19. Just the Photometry: Constraining exoplanet orbits by measuring stellar densities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sliski, David; Kipping, D. M.

    2014-01-01

    One unique trick in toolkit of astronomers studying transiting exoplanets, is that the mean stellar density may be determined using the shape of the light curve, under various idealized assumptions such as a circular orbit and the target star is unblended. “Asterodensity profiling” seeks to exploit this trick by comparing the light curve derived stellar density to that from some independent measurement. Any difference between the two measures indicates that one or more of the idealized assumptions are invalid. Therefore, the major challenge with single-planet systems (so-called “single-body asterodensity profiling” or SAP) is distinguishing whether the difference is due to a blend, orbital eccentricity or some combination. By careful consideration of the input priors, utilizing constraints from secondary eclipses and a Bayesian analysis of the system in question, the problem is tractable though, offering the chance to determine the underlying eccentricity distribution of exoplanets and even aid in validating planet candidates through blend analysis. In this talk, I will discuss single-body asterodensity profiling (SAP) for targets with asteroseismologically determined stellar densities, which is generally considered a gold-standard measure. We have investigated several targets with the largest apparent discrepancies between the transit-derived stellar density and that from asteroseismology. By independently detrending and fitting the transit light curves, we have calculated a revised value of this crucial ratio, with various priors tried. I will present the current results our work and discuss implications for the eccentricity and blend validation of these studied systems. I will finish by exploring the exciting potential of this technique in the TESS-era, where the fact our technique requires bright-star photometry alone, opens the door to constraints for hundreds/thousands of objects.

  20. THE EFFECTS OF VIEWING ANGLE ON THE MASS DISTRIBUTION OF EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Lopez, S.; Jenkins, J. S.

    2012-09-10

    We present a mathematical method to statistically decouple the effects of unknown inclination angles on the mass distribution of exoplanets that have been discovered using radial-velocity (RV) techniques. The method is based on the distribution of the product of two random variables. Thus, if one assumes a true mass distribution, the method makes it possible to recover the observed distribution. We compare our prediction with available RV data. Assuming that the true mass function is described by a power law, the minimum mass function that we recover proves a good fit to the observed distribution at both mass ends. In particular, it provides an alternative explanation for the observed low-mass decline, usually explained as sample incompleteness. In addition, the peak observed near the low-mass end arises naturally in the predicted distribution as a consequence of imposing a low-mass cutoff in the true distribution. If the low-mass bins below 0.02 M{sub J} are complete, then the mass distribution in this regime is heavily affected by the small fraction of lowly inclined interlopers that are actually more massive companions. Finally, we also present evidence that the exoplanet mass distribution changes form toward low mass, implying that a single power law may not adequately describe the sample population.

  1. Subaru Direct Imaging Survey of Wide-Orbit Exoplanets and Solar-System-Scale Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamura, Motohide

    2015-08-01

    SEEDS (Strategic Explorations of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru) is the first Subaru Strategic Program, whose aim is to conduct a direct imaging survey for giant planets as well as protoplanetary/debris disks at a few to a few tens of AU region around 500 nearby solar-type or more massive young stars devoting 120 Subaru nights for 5 years from 2009. The targets are composed of five categories spanning the ages of ~1 Myr to ~1 Gyr. Some RV-planet targets with older ages are also observed. We describe this survey and present its main results. The topics include (1) statistic of wide-orbit planets, (2) detection and characterization of one of the most lowest-mass planet via direct imaging. (3) detection of a super-Jupiter around the most massive star ever imaged, (4) detection of companions around retrograde exoplanet, (5) the discovery of unprecedentedly detailed structures of more than a dozen of protoplanetary disks and some debris disks. The detected structures such as wide gaps and spirals arms of a Solar-system scale could be signpost of planet.

  2. DAVE: Discovery and Vetting of K2 Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coughlin, Jeffrey; Mullally, Fergal; Mullally, Susan; Colón, Knicole D.; Barentsen, Geert; Quintana, Elisa V.; Burke, Christopher J.; Barclay, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    NASA's K2 mission is capable of finding planets as small as the Earth around bright, nearby stars. These targets are well-suited for JWST follow-up to study their density and atmospheric composition. Such observations will yield a better understanding of the difference between rocky and gaseous planets, particularly how composition varies as a function of radius. K2 observes over 10,000 stars every 90 days, which coupled with significant systematics due to spacecraft pointing jitter, presents a challenge in rapidly detecting high-quality planet candidates. In this talk, we present results from our Discovery and Vetting of K2 Exoplanets (DAVE) team. DAVE focuses on applying robotic vetting techniques, formulated as part of the prime Kepler mission, to possible K2 planets detected by both DAVE and other teams. We highlight these robotic vetting techniques and the types of false positives they eliminate, and present examples of well-vetted candidates. We make the DAVE pipeline, including the vetting tools, publicly available at http://github.com/barentsen/dave. This work is funded by a K2 Guest Observer Cycle 2 grant.

  3. Building A Work Force of Senior Companions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slack, Georgia

    1976-01-01

    Two programs in the Miami area enable Florida senior citizens to earn money while aiding others. The Senior Surrogate Parent Program offers classroom instruction and on-the-job training in child care. Home nursing skills and nutrition are taught in the Companion Aide to the Elderly Program. (Author/MS)

  4. Asteroidal companions in the visible: HST data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Storrs, Alex; Vilas, Faith; Landis, Rob; Gaffey, Michael J.; Makhoul, Khaldoun; Davis, MIke; Richmond, Mike

    2016-01-01

    We present a reanalysis of HST images of five asteroids with known companions (45 Eugenia, 87 Sylvia, 93 Minerva, 107 Camilla, 121 Hermione). It is remarkable that all of these companion bodies are much redder in the visible region than their primary bodies. Storrs et al. (2009, BAAS vol. 41, no. 4, p 189) attributed this to space weathering, however, all of these bodies belong to dark C- or X-type groups. Current modeling of space weathering effects are limited to bright asteroids (e.g. Cloutis et al., Icarus 252, pp. 39-82, 2015) and show little change on the scale reported here. We suggest that the interaction of dark, possibly organic-rich surfaces with the solar wind produces reddening on a much greater scale than is observed in bright, silica-rich surfaces, and that this effect is easily reset by collisions. Thus, while both the parent and companion object accumulate the effects, the parent is much more likely to be "reset" by small collisions than the companion, due to the differences in their cross-sections.

  5. The Impact of Stellar Multiplicity on Planetary Systems. I. The Ruinous Influence of Close Binary Companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraus, Adam L.; Ireland, Michael J.; Huber, Daniel; Mann, Andrew W.; Dupuy, Trent J.

    2016-07-01

    The dynamical influence of binary companions is expected to profoundly influence planetary systems. However, the difficulty of identifying planets in binary systems has left the magnitude of this effect uncertain; despite numerous theoretical hurdles to their formation and survival, at least some binary systems clearly host planets. We present high-resolution imaging of 382 Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) obtained using adaptive-optics imaging and nonredundant aperture-mask interferometry on the Keck II telescope. Among the full sample of 506 candidate binary companions to KOIs, we super-resolve some binary systems to projected separations of <5 au, showing that planets might form in these dynamically active environments. However, the full distribution of projected separations for our planet-host sample more broadly reveals a deep paucity of binary companions at solar-system scales. For a field binary population, we should have found 58 binary companions with projected separation ρ < 50 au and mass ratio q > 0.4 we instead only found 23 companions (a 4.6σ deficit), many of which must be wider pairs that are only close in projection. When the binary population is parametrized with a semimajor axis cutoff a cut and a suppression factor inside that cutoff S bin, we find with correlated uncertainties that inside {a}{cut}={47}-23+59 au, the planet occurrence rate in binary systems is only {S}{bin}={0.34}-0.15+0.14 times that of wider binaries or single stars. Our results demonstrate that a fifth of all solar-type stars in the Milky Way are disallowed from hosting planetary systems due to the influence of a binary companion.

  6. A PAN-STARRS + UKIDSS SEARCH FOR YOUNG, WIDE PLANETARY-MASS COMPANIONS IN UPPER SCORPIUS

    SciTech Connect

    Aller, Kimberly M.; Kraus, Adam L.; Liu, Michael C.; Burgett, William S.; Chambers, Kenneth C.; Hodapp, Klaus W.; Kaiser, Nick; Magnier, Eugene A.; Price, Paul A.

    2013-08-10

    We have combined optical and NIR photometry from Pan-STARRS 1 and UKIDSS to search the young (5-10 Myr) star-forming region of Upper Scorpius for wide ( Almost-Equal-To 400-4000 AU) substellar companions down to {approx}5 M{sub Jup}. Our search is Almost-Equal-To 4 mag deeper than previous work based on the Two Micron All Sky Survey. We identified several candidates around known stellar members using a combination of color selection and spectral energy distribution fitting. Our follow-up spectroscopy has identified two new companions as well as confirmed two companions previously identified from photometry, with spectral types of M7.5-M9 and masses of {approx}15-60 M{sub Jup}, indicating a frequency for such wide substellar companions of {approx}0.6% {+-} 0.3%. Both USco 1610-1913B and USco 1612-1800B are more luminous than expected for their spectral type compared with known members of Upper Sco. HIP 77900B has an extreme mass ratio (M{sub 2}/M{sub 1} Almost-Equal-To 0.005) and an extreme separation of 3200 AU. USco 1602-2401B also has a very large separation of 1000 AU. We have also confirmed a low-mass stellar companion, USco 1610-2502B (730 AU, M5.5). Our substellar companions appear both non-coeval with their primary stars according to evolutionary models and, as a group, are systematically more luminous than the Upper Sco cluster sequence. One possible reason for these luminosity discrepancies could be different formation processes or accretion histories for these objects.

  7. A Pan-STARRS + UKIDSS Search for Young, Wide Planetary-mass Companions in Upper Scorpius

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aller, Kimberly M.; Kraus, Adam L.; Liu, Michael C.; Burgett, William S.; Chambers, Kenneth C.; Hodapp, Klaus W.; Kaiser, Nick; Magnier, Eugene A.; Price, Paul A.

    2013-08-01

    We have combined optical and NIR photometry from Pan-STARRS 1 and UKIDSS to search the young (5-10 Myr) star-forming region of Upper Scorpius for wide (≈400-4000 AU) substellar companions down to ~5 M Jup. Our search is ≈4 mag deeper than previous work based on the Two Micron All Sky Survey. We identified several candidates around known stellar members using a combination of color selection and spectral energy distribution fitting. Our follow-up spectroscopy has identified two new companions as well as confirmed two companions previously identified from photometry, with spectral types of M7.5-M9 and masses of ~15-60 M Jup, indicating a frequency for such wide substellar companions of ~0.6% ± 0.3%. Both USco 1610-1913B and USco 1612-1800B are more luminous than expected for their spectral type compared with known members of Upper Sco. HIP 77900B has an extreme mass ratio (M 2/M 1 ≈ 0.005) and an extreme separation of 3200 AU. USco 1602-2401B also has a very large separation of 1000 AU. We have also confirmed a low-mass stellar companion, USco 1610-2502B (730 AU, M5.5). Our substellar companions appear both non-coeval with their primary stars according to evolutionary models and, as a group, are systematically more luminous than the Upper Sco cluster sequence. One possible reason for these luminosity discrepancies could be different formation processes or accretion histories for these objects.

  8. The First Exoplanet Smaller than the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballard, Sarah

    2009-12-01

    Our team has collected good evidence for a planet smaller than the Earth transiting the nearby M-dwarf star GJ 436, which is already known to host a Neptune-sized planet. We first identified the signal in a 3-week-long photometric monitoring campaign by the NASA EPOXI Mission. Based on the EPOXI data, we predicted a transit event in an extant Spitzer 8-micron data set of this star. Our subsequent analysis of those Spitzer data confirmed the signal of the predicted depth and at the predicted time. However, the existing EPOXI and Spitzer data are not sufficient to support such an extraordinary claim. We propose to confirm the existence of this planet by observing the star for 18 hours spanning a predicted time of transit and at a wavelength where the signal-to-noise would provide an ironclad detection. With a radius only 75% that of the Earth, the new planet GJ 436c would be by far the smallest exoplanet yet discovered and indeed the first exoplanet akin to the terrestrial planets of the Solar system. Moreover, the star's low mass and nearby distance imply that the planetary mass could be estimated from a dedicated radial-velocity campaign. When combined with the radius estimate we will obtain from our proposed Spitzer data, this would provide the first constraint on the average density and hence bulk composition of an Earth-like exoplanet. We argue for Director's Discretionary Time based both on the compelling scientific opportunity to study an Earth-like exoplanet, and the fact that our prediction for the transit times degrades rapidly with time, making it imperative to obtain these observations in the 2010 Jan 14 - Feb 25 visibility window. If successful, our program would provide a dramatic example of the value of an extended Warm Mission during the coming years when humanity uncovers the population of rock and ice exoplanets orbiting nearby stars.

  9. Direct Spectroscopy of Non-Transiting Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bender, Chad F.; Carr, J. S.

    2008-09-01

    We are using ground-based infrared spectroscopy to directly characterize the atmospheric properties of the close-in exoplanet population. These planets, discovered through indirect means such as precision radial velocity surveys, are strongly irradiated by their parent stars, resulting in exotic atmospheric conditions. Recent direct measurements of transiting exoplanets using space-based facilities have provided information about a variety of atmospheric processes, including energy transfer from the day-side to the night-side, atmospheric structure and temperature at depth, and cloud cover. However, the sample of transiting planets that can be measured with these techniques is very small; to understand the close-in planets as a population, measurements of non-transiting planets are necessary. The temperature of a close-in exoplanet atmosphere determines whether CH4 or CO is the dominant carbon bearing species, so the measurement of either species probes the equilibrium temperature of the atmosphere. We are observing close-in exoplanet systems with the NIRSPEC spectrometer on the Keck II telescope, obtaining blended star-planet spectra at the 3.3 micron CH4 fundamental and at the 4.6 micron CO fundamental. Our observations achieve a signal-to-noise of several thousand with a spectral resolution of R 25000. We use a correlation analysis to search for the contribution from the planet, with a predicted planet-star flux of one part in 104 - 105. Here, we will present preliminary results from our search for CH4 absorption from the exoplanet 55Cnc b, using spectra obtained in December 2007 and March 2008. We will also describe the techniques that are yielding high signal-to-noise spectra in the thermal infrared, and our detailed terrestrial absorption correction using line-by-line atmospheric synthesis of the transmission function. CB is supported by an NRC Research Associateship at NRL; basic research in infrared astronomy at NRL is supported by 6.1 base funding.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  11. Consolidating and Crushing Exoplanet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volk, Kathryn; Gladman, Brett

    2015-05-01

    Kepler revealed the common existence of tightly-packed planetary systems around solar-type stars, existing entirely on orbits with periods shorter than ~200 days. Those systems must have survived for the ages of their host stars (~5 Gyr), so their formation mechanism must provide inter-planet spacings that permit long-term stability. If one postulates that most planetary systems form with tightly-packed inner planets, their current absence in some systems could be explained by the collisional destruction of the inner system after a period of meta-stability. The signatures of such intense collisional environments may have been observed around stars in the form of rapidly varying debris disks; in these observed disks, collisional products are being disposed of via drag down onto the star or grinding to the nearly instantaneous dust blow-out limit. We use the orbital spacings and planet masses of the observed Kepler multi-planet systems to investigate the stability and long-term behavior of the systems. We find that many of our Kepler system analogs are unstable on 100 Myr timescales, even for initially small eccentricities (0-0.05); the instability timescales in these systems are distributed such that equal fractions of the systems experience planetary collisions in each decade in time. We discuss the likely outcomes of collisions in these systems based on the typical collision speeds from our numerical integrations and what implications this has for interpreting the observed Kepler multi-planet systems. The possible implications for our Solar System are discussed in a companion abstract (Gladman and Volk).

  12. VLT Captures First Direct Spectrum of an Exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-01-01

    By studying a triple planetary system that resembles a scaled-up version of our own Sun's family of planets, astronomers have been able to obtain the first direct spectrum - the "chemical fingerprint" [1] - of a planet orbiting a distant star [2], thus bringing new insights into the planet's formation and composition. The result represents a milestone in the search for life elsewhere in the Universe. "The spectrum of a planet is like a fingerprint. It provides key information about the chemical elements in the planet's atmosphere," says Markus Janson, lead author of a paper reporting the new findings. "With this information, we can better understand how the planet formed and, in the future, we might even be able to find tell-tale signs of the presence of life." The researchers obtained the spectrum of a giant exoplanet that orbits the bright, very young star HR 8799. The system is at about 130 light-years from Earth. The star has 1.5 times the mass of the Sun, and hosts a planetary system that resembles a scaled-up model of our own Solar System. Three giant companion planets were detected in 2008 by another team of researchers, with masses between 7 and 10 times that of Jupiter. They are between 20 and 70 times as far from their host star as the Earth is from the Sun; the system also features two belts of smaller objects, similar to our Solar System's asteroid and Kuiper belts. "Our target was the middle planet of the three, which is roughly ten times more massive than Jupiter and has a temperature of about 800 degrees Celsius," says team member Carolina Bergfors. "After more than five hours of exposure time, we were able to tease out the planet's spectrum from the host star's much brighter light." This is the first time the spectrum of an exoplanet orbiting a normal, almost Sun-like star has been obtained directly. Previously, the only spectra to be obtained required a space telescope to watch an exoplanet pass directly behind its host star in an "exoplanetary

  13. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Search for UMa group companions (Ammler-von Eiff+, 2016)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ammler-von Eiff, M.; Bedalov, A.; Kranhold, C.; Mugrauer, M.; Schmidt, T. O. B.; Neuhaeuser, R.; Errmann, R.

    2016-03-01

    The astrometric and photometric data of companion candidates of members of the Ursa Major (UMa) group are presented. They were identified by coronagraphic observations obtained with the S27 camera of NACO at the ESO VLT, Chile, in 2003-2006. Most of the candidates were observed a second time to assess whether they share the proper motion of the star. For this purpose, the change in position with respect to the star was compared to the stellar parallactic and proper motion known from Hipparcos. This way, all candidates with two epochs of observations were rejected being distant background objects. The layout of the included table deviates from the article version to facilitate automatic reading, i.e. the epoch date and the primary name are added to each row, and the candidate identifier is added to the corresponding data set for each epoch. (2 data files).

  14. Validating and Characterizing Transiting Exoplanets from Space with EPOXI, Kepler, and Warm Spitzer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballard, Sarah

    2012-01-01

    My thesis work comprises analyses of transiting exoplanets with observations from three space-based instruments. The Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization (EPOCh) component of the EPOXI mission repurposed the Deep Impact Spacecraft to gather photometry of six known transiting exoplanet systems. I systematically searched the EPOXI light curves for additional transiting planets, and identified one such candidate in the exoplanet system GJ 436. I gathered Warm Spitzer light curves of GJ 436 during a predicted transit of this putative planet: while I ruled out the presence of the hypothesized planet, I developed a novel reduction technique for Warm Spitzer observations and demonstrated the sensitivity of that instrument to sub-Earth-sized transiting planets. I next applied these techniques to a sample of super-Earth-sized planetary candidates identified by the Kepler mission. In the absence of radial velocity confirmation (challenging for such low-mass planets), it is nonetheless possible to make a statistical argument for the planetary nature of the candidate, if the combined likelihood of all false positive scenarios is sufficiently smaller than the planet scenario. An authentic planet will exhibit an achromatic transit depth, as measured in the optical with Kepler and near-infrared with Warm Spitzer. The eclipse from a stellar blend, in contrast, would likely vary with wavelength. I presented the discovery of the Kepler-19 system, applying Warm Spitzer observations toward validation of the transiting 2.2 REarth planet, Kepler-19b. I identified systematic variations in the transit times of Kepler-19b, which led to the first robust detection of a non-transiting planet using the transit timing variation method: Kepler-19c. Support for EPOXI was provided by NASA's Discovery Program via Agreement NNX08AB64A. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope. Support for Spitzer observations is provided by NASA through an award issued

  15. A Good Story: Children with Imaginary Companions Create Richer Narratives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trionfi, Gabriel; Reese, Elaine

    2009-01-01

    In line with theories that children's pretend play reflects and extends their narrative skills, children with imaginary companions were predicted to have better narrative skills than children without imaginary companions. Forty-eight 5 1/2-year-old children and their mothers participated in interviews about children's imaginary companions.…

  16. Benford's Distribution in Extrasolar World: Do the Exoplanets Follow Benford's Distribution?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, Abhishek; Pandey, Ankit Kumar; Pathak, Anirban

    2017-03-01

    In many real life situations, it is observed that the first digits (i.e., 1,2,…,9) of a numerical data-set, which is expressed using decimal system, do not follow a uniform distribution. In fact, the probability of occurrence of these digits decreases in an almost exponential fashion starting from 30.1 % for 1 to 4.6 % for 9. Specifically, smaller numbers are favoured by nature in accordance with a logarithmic distribution law, which is referred to as Benford's law. The existence and applicability of this empirical law have been extensively studied by physicists, accountants, computer scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, etc., and it has been observed that a large number of data-sets related to diverse problems follow this distribution. However, except two recent works related to astronomy, applicability of Benford's law has not been tested for extrasolar objects. Motivated by this fact, this paper investigates the existence of Benford's distribution in the extrasolar world using Kepler data for exoplanets. The quantitative investigations have revealed the presence of Benford's distribution in various physical properties of these exoplanets. Further, some specific comments have been made on the possible generalizations of the obtained results, its potential applications in analysing the data-set of candidate exoplanets.

  17. New prospects for observing and cataloguing exoplanets in well-detached binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

    This paper is devoted to study the circumstances favourable to detect circumstellar and circumbinary planets in well-detached binary-star systems using eclipse timing variations (ETVs). We investigated the dynamics of well-detached binary star systems with a star separation from 0.5 to 3 au, to determine the probability of the detection of such variations with ground-based telescopes and space telescopes (like former missions CoRoT and Kepler and future space missions Plato, Tess and Cheops). For the chosen star separations both dynamical configurations (circumstellar and circumbinary) may be observable. We performed numerical simulations by using the full three-body problem as dynamical model. The dynamical stability and the ETVs are investigated by computing ETV maps for different masses of the secondary star and the exoplanet (Earth, Neptune and Jupiter size). In addition we changed the planet's and binary's eccentricities. We conclude that many amplitudes of ETVs are large enough to detect exoplanets in binary-star systems. As an application, we prepared statistics of the catalogue of exoplanets in binary star systems which we introduce in this article and compared the statistics with our parameter-space which we used for our calculations. In addition to these statistics of the catalogue we enlarged them by the investigation of well-detached binary star systems from several catalogues and discussed the possibility of further candidates.

  18. Exoplanets: Interiors, Atmospheres, and the Search for Habitable Worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seager, Sara

    2008-04-01

    For centuries people have wondered, ``Are we alone?'' With over 250 exoplanets known to orbit nearby stars, this question has moved from science fiction to mainstream study. Now that the existence of exoplanets is firmly established, a new era of ``exoplanet characterization'' has begun. A subset of exoplanets--called transiting planets--pass in front of their stars as seen from Earth. Transiting planets have opened a whole new opportunity for exoplanets, because their physical properties, including average density and basic atmospheric properties, can now be routinely measured. The race to find habitable exoplanets has accelerated with the realization that big Earths orbiting small stars can be both discovered and characterized with current technology. These ideas will lead us down a path to the ultimate goal of space-based discovery and characterization of Earth analogs.

  19. Kepler Mission Discovers Trove of Extrasolar Planet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2011-02-01

    NASA's Kepler discovery mission is collecting more than just pennies from heaven. Results from the first 4 months of science operations of the Kepler space telescope, announced on 2 February, include the discovery of 1235 candidate planets orbiting 997 stars in a small portion of the Milky Way galaxy examined by the telescope. Follow-up observations likely could confirm about 80% of the candidates as actual planets rather than false positives, according to researchers. This new trove of possible exoplanets could greatly expand the number of known planets outside of our solar system.

  20. Habitability constraints on water-rich exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noack, Lena; Höning, Dennis; Rivoldini, Attilio; Heistracher, Clemens; Zimov, Nastasia; Journaux, Baptiste; Lammer, Helmut; Van Hoolst, Tim; Hendrik Bredehöft, Jan

    2016-04-01

    This research addresses the characterization, modelling, thermal evolution and possible habitability of water-rich exoplanets. Water is necessary for the origin and survival of life as we know it. In the search for habitable worlds, water-rich planets therefore seem obvious candidates. The water layer on such planets could be hundreds of kilometers deep. Depending on the temperature profile and the pressure gradient, it is likely that at great depths a significant part of the water layer is solid high pressure ice. Whether the solid ice layer extends to the bottom of the water layer, or if a shallow lower ocean forms above the silicate mantle, depends amongst others on the thermal state of the planet. We therefore model the thermal evolution of water-rich planets with a 1D parameterized model. Depth-dependent profiles for thermodynamic properties as well as pressure and gravity are obtained by solving the Poisson equation for the gravity and the hydrostatic pressure equation for pre-defined mass and composition (in terms of iron, silicates and water) [1]. For density, equations of state are applied. For the simulation of the thermal evolution of water-rich planets, several parameters (as initial temperatures or layer thicknesses) are unknown. We therefore employ a quantitatve study with more than 20'000 simulations, where we investigated which parameters have the largest influence on the appearance of a lower ocean, i.e. the possible melting of high-pressure ice by heat flowing out of the silicate mantle [2]. We find that the surface temperature has the largest influence on the thickness of water layers, for which a lower ocean can still form between the high-pressure ice layer and the silicate mantle. For higher surface temperatures, not only entirely liquid oceans are possible for deeper water shells, also a liquid ocean can form under high-pressure ice layers of hundreds of kilometer thickness (for a 1 Earth-mass planet). Deeper down, the lower ocean can still

  1. An H i/Optical Atlas of H II Galaxies and Their Companions: Erratum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Christopher L.; Brinks, Elias; Grashuis, Randy M.; Skillman, Evan D.

    1996-01-01

    In the paper "An H I/Optical Atlas of H II Galaxies and Their Companions" by C. L. Taylor, E. Brinks, R. M. Grashuis, & E. D. Skillman (ApJS, 99,427(1995]), three objects were erroneously identified as being H I companion objects. The majority of the companion objects are unambiguously identified with optical counterparts and are considered to be genuine. For six objects we reported that no optical counterparts were present at about the 23 mag arcsec^-2^ level. Three of the six appear partially merged with their parent galaxies and will require VLA C-configuration observations to confirm their reality; the other three were well separated from the parent H II galaxy. Although these three objects met the same selection criteria as used to find the genuine companion objects, recent observations conducted to confirm their reality detected only one out of three: the companions UM 483A and UM 491B were not recovered and are taken to be false detections in the original observations, whereas the companion UM 422C was detected at the expected level and is confirmed as a genuine companion object. Further observations showed that UM 323A, for which we have no optical data, is a spurious detection as well. The spurious detections were caused by the presence of solar interference during the H I observations. Such interference is time- variable and frequency-dependent, and the measures described in the original paper were inadequate to entirely remove the effects of the interference in the instances of the false detections. As solar interference can be spatially correlated from channel to channel, the selection criteria, which assume random Gaussian noise, failed in the presence of the nonrandom residual interference. The residual interference mimicked a low-mass, H I-rich object as it would appear in observations of low spatial and velocity resolution. The process of companion candidate identification was designed to be followed up with confirmation observations, but it was

  2. Efficient Geometric Probabilities of Multi-transiting Systems, Circumbinary Planets, and Exoplanet Mutual Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brakensiek, Joshua; Ragozzine, D.

    2012-10-01

    The transit method for discovering extra-solar planets relies on detecting regular diminutions of light from stars due to the shadows of planets passing in between the star and the observer. NASA's Kepler Mission has successfully discovered thousands of exoplanet candidates using this technique, including hundreds of stars with multiple transiting planets. In order to estimate the frequency of these valuable systems, our research concerns the efficient calculation of geometric probabilities for detecting multiple transiting extrasolar planets around the same parent star. In order to improve on previous studies that used numerical methods (e.g., Ragozzine & Holman 2010, Tremaine & Dong 2011), we have constructed an efficient, analytical algorithm which, given a collection of conjectured exoplanets orbiting a star, computes the probability that any particular group of exoplanets are transiting. The algorithm applies theorems of elementary differential geometry to compute the areas bounded by circular curves on the surface of a sphere (see Ragozzine & Holman 2010). The implemented algorithm is more accurate and orders of magnitude faster than previous algorithms, based on comparison with Monte Carlo simulations. Expanding this work, we have also developed semi-analytical methods for determining the frequency of exoplanet mutual events, i.e., the geometric probability two planets will transit each other (Planet-Planet Occultation) and the probability that this transit occurs simultaneously as they transit their star (Overlapping Double Transits; see Ragozzine & Holman 2010). The latter algorithm can also be applied to calculating the probability of observing transiting circumbinary planets (Doyle et al. 2011, Welsh et al. 2012). All of these algorithms have been coded in C and will be made publicly available. We will present and advertise these codes and illustrate their value for studying exoplanetary systems.

  3. EVIDENCE OF POSSIBLE SPIN-ORBIT MISALIGNMENT ALONG THE LINE OF SIGHT IN TRANSITING EXOPLANET SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Schlaufman, Kevin C.

    2010-08-10

    Of the 26 transiting exoplanet systems with measurements of the Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect, eight have now been found to be significantly spin-orbit misaligned in the plane of the sky (i.e., RM misalignment angle |{lambda}| {approx}> 30{sup 0} and inconsistent with {lambda} = 0{sup 0}). Unfortunately, the RM effect does not constrain the complement misalignment angle between the orbit of the planet and the spin of its host star along the line of sight (LOS). I use a simple model of stellar rotation benchmarked with observational data to statistically identify 10 exoplanet systems from a sample of 75 for which there is likely a significant degree of spin-orbit misalignment along the LOS: HAT-P-7, HAT-P-14, HAT-P-16, HD 17156, Kepler-5, Kepler-7, TrES-4, WASP-1, WASP-12, and WASP-14. All 10 systems have host stellar masses M {sub *} in the range 1.2 M {sub sun} {approx}< M {sub *} {approx}< 1.5 M {sub sun}, and the probability of this occurrence by chance is less than one in ten thousand. In addition, the planets in the candidate-misaligned systems are preferentially massive and eccentric. The coupled distribution of misalignment from the RM effect and from this analysis suggests that transiting exoplanets are more likely to be spin-orbit aligned than expected given predictions for a transiting planet population produced entirely by planet-planet scattering or Kozai cycles and tidal friction. For that reason, there are likely two populations of close-in exoplanet systems: a population of aligned systems and a population of apparently misaligned systems in which the processes that lead to misalignment or to the survival of misaligned systems operate more efficiently in systems with massive stars and planets.

  4. ARIEL - The Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eccleston, P.; Tinetti, G.

    2015-10-01

    More than 1,000 extrasolar systems have been discovered, hosting nearly 2,000 exoplanets. Ongoing and planned ESA and NASA missions from space such as GAIA, Cheops, PLATO, K2 and TESS, plus ground based surveys, will increase the number of known systems to tens of thousands. Of all these exoplanets we know very little; i.e. their orbital data and, for some of these, their physical parameters such as their size and mass. In the past decade, pioneering results have been obtained using transit spectroscopy with Hubble, Spitzer and ground-based facilities, enabling the detection of a few of the most abundant ionic, atomic and molecular species and to constrain the planet's thermal structure. Future general purpose facilities with large collecting areas will allow the acquisition of better exoplanet spectra, compared to the currently available, especially from fainter targets. A few tens of planets will be observed with JWST and E-ELT in great detail. A breakthrough in our understanding of planet formation and evolution mechanisms will only happen through the observation of the planetary bulk and atmospheric composition of a statistically large sample of planets. This requires conducting spectroscopic observations covering simultaneously a broad spectral region from the visible to the mid-IR. It also requires a dedicated space mission with the necessary photometric stability to perform these challenging measurements and sufficient agility to observe multiple times ~500 exoplanets over 3.5 years. The ESA Cosmic Vision M4 mission candidate ARIEL is designed to accomplish this goal and will provide a complete, statistically significant sample of gas-giants, Neptunes and super-Earths with temperatures hotter than 600K, as these types of planets will allow direct observation of their bulk properties, enabling us to constrain models of planet formation and evolution. The ARIEL consortium currently includes academic institutes and industry from eleven countries in Europe; the

  5. The science of ARIEL (Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinetti, G.; Drossart, P.; Eccleston, P.; Hartogh, P.; Heske, A.; Leconte, J.; Micela, G.; Ollivier, M.; Pilbratt, G.; Puig, L.; Turrini, D.; Vandenbussche, B.; Wolkenberg, P.; Pascale, E.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Güdel, M.; Min, M.; Rataj, M.; Ray, T.; Ribas, I.; Barstow, J.; Bowles, N.; Coustenis, A.; Coudé du Foresto, V.; Decin, L.; Encrenaz, T.; Forget, F.; Friswell, M.; Griffin, M.; Lagage, P. O.; Malaguti, P.; Moneti, A.; Morales, J. C.; Pace, E.; Rocchetto, M.; Sarkar, S.; Selsis, F.; Taylor, W.; Tennyson, J.; Venot, O.; Waldmann, I. P.; Wright, G.; Zingales, T.; Zapatero-Osorio, M. R.

    2016-07-01

    The Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (ARIEL) is one of the three candidate missions selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) for its next medium-class science mission due for launch in 2026. The goal of the ARIEL mission is to investigate the atmospheres of several hundred planets orbiting distant stars in order to address the fundamental questions on how planetary systems form and evolve. During its four (with a potential extension to six) years mission ARIEL will observe 500+ exoplanets in the visible and the infrared with its meter-class telescope in L2. ARIEL targets will include gaseous and rocky planets down to the Earth-size around different types of stars. The main focus of the mission will be on hot and warm planets orbiting close to their star, as they represent a natural laboratory in which to study the chemistry and formation of exoplanets. The ARIEL mission concept has been developed by a consortium of more than 50 institutes from 12 countries, which include UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Ireland and Portugal. The analysis of the ARIEL spectra and photometric data in the 0.5-7.8 micron range will allow to extract the chemical fingerprints of gases and condensates in the planets' atmospheres, including the elemental composition for the most favorable targets. It will also enable the study of thermal and scattering properties of the atmosphere as the planet orbit around the star. ARIEL will have an open data policy, enabling rapid access by the general community to the high-quality exoplanet spectra that the core survey will deliver.

  6. Exoplanet Observations in SOFIA's Cycle 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angerhausen, Daniel

    2013-06-01

    The NASA/DLR Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a 2.5-meter infrared telescope on board a Boeing 747-SP, will conduct 0.3 - 1,600 micron photometric, spectroscopic, and imaging observations from altitudes as high as 45,000 ft. The airborne-based platform has unique advantages in comparison to ground- and space-based observatories in the field of characterization of the physical properties of exoplanets: parallel optical and near-infrared photometric and spectrophotometric follow-up observations during planetary transits and eclipses will be feasible with SOFIA's instrumentation, in particular the HIPO-FLITECAM optical/NIR instruments and possible future dedicated instrumentation. Here we present spectrophotometric exoplanet observations that were or will be conducted in SOFIA's cycle 1.

  7. Infrared spectroscopy of exoplanets: observational constraints.

    PubMed

    Encrenaz, Thérèse

    2014-04-28

    The exploration of transiting extrasolar planets is an exploding research area in astronomy. With more than 400 transiting exoplanets identified so far, these discoveries have made possible the development of a new research field, the spectroscopic characterization of exoplanets' atmospheres, using both primary and secondary transits. However, these observations have been so far limited to a small number of targets. In this paper, we first review the advantages and limitations of both primary and secondary transit methods. Then, we analyse what kind of infrared spectra can be expected for different types of planets and discuss how to optimize the spectral range and the resolving power of the observations. Finally, we propose a list of favourable targets for present and future ground-based observations.

  8. Observing Exoplanets in the Mid-Ultraviolet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heap. Sara

    2008-01-01

    There are good reasons for pushing the spectral range of observation to shorter wavelengths than currently envisaged for terrestrial planet-finding missions utilizing with a 4-m, diffraction-limited, optical telescope: (1) The angular resolution is higher, so the image of an exoplanet is better separated from that of the much brighter star. (2) The exozodiacal background per resolution element is smaller, so exposure times are reduced for the same incident flux. (3) Most importantly, the sensitivity to the ozone biomarker is increased by several hundred-fold by access to the ozone absorption band at 250-300 nm. These benefits must be weighed against challenges arising from the faintness of exoplanets in the mid-UV. We will evaluate both the technical and cost challenges including image quality of large telescopes, advanced mirror coatings and innovative designs for enhanced optical throughput, and CCD detectors optimized for 250-400 nm.

  9. Ground-based observations of exoplanet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Mooij, Ernst Johan Walter

    2011-11-01

    This thesis focuses on the properties of exoplanet atmospheres. The results for ground-based near-infrared secondary eclipse observations of three different exoplanets, TrES-3b, HAT-P-1b and WASP-33b, are presented which have been obtained with ground-based telescopes as part of the GROUSE project. In addition to secondary eclipse observations, the broadband transmission spectrum of the super-Earth GJ1214b is also presented. The transmission spectrum for this low-density planet indicates that it probably has a low-metallicity, hydrogen dominated atmosphere. Finally the results for an ensemble study of the thermal emission properties of hot Jupiters is presented, including the average spectrum for these planets separated based on the level of incident radiation and the activity of their host-stars.

  10. Infrared spectroscopy of exoplanets: observational constraints

    PubMed Central

    Encrenaz, Thérèse

    2014-01-01

    The exploration of transiting extrasolar planets is an exploding research area in astronomy. With more than 400 transiting exoplanets identified so far, these discoveries have made possible the development of a new research field, the spectroscopic characterization of exoplanets' atmospheres, using both primary and secondary transits. However, these observations have been so far limited to a small number of targets. In this paper, we first review the advantages and limitations of both primary and secondary transit methods. Then, we analyse what kind of infrared spectra can be expected for different types of planets and discuss how to optimize the spectral range and the resolving power of the observations. Finally, we propose a list of favourable targets for present and future ground-based observations. PMID:24664918

  11. Deciphering spectral fingerprints of habitable exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Kaltenegger, Lisa; Selsis, Frank; Fridlund, Malcolm; Lammer, Helmut; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Léger, Alain; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    We discuss how to read a planet's spectrum to assess its habitability and search for the signatures of a biosphere. After a decade rich in giant exoplanet detections, observation techniques have advanced to a level where we now have the capability to find planets of less than 10 Earth masses (M(Earth)) (so-called "super Earths"), which may be habitable. How can we characterize those planets and assess whether they are habitable? This new field of exoplanet search has shown an extraordinary capacity to combine research in astrophysics, chemistry, biology, and geophysics into a new and exciting interdisciplinary approach to understanding our place in the Universe. The results of a first-generation mission will most likely generate an amazing scope of diverse planets that will set planet formation, evolution, and our planet into an overall context.

  12. Dispatch Scheduling to Maximize Exoplanet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Samson; McCrady, Nate; MINERVA

    2016-01-01

    MINERVA is a dedicated exoplanet detection telescope array using radial velocity measurements of nearby stars to detect planets. MINERVA will be a completely robotic facility, with a goal of maximizing the number of exoplanets detected. MINERVA requires a unique application of queue scheduling due to its automated nature and the requirement of high cadence observations. A dispatch scheduling algorithm is employed to create a dynamic and flexible selector of targets to observe, in which stars are chosen by assigning values through a weighting function. I designed and have begun testing a simulation which implements the functions of a dispatch scheduler and records observations based on target selections through the same principles that will be used at the commissioned site. These results will be used in a larger simulation that incorporates weather, planet occurrence statistics, and stellar noise to test the planet detection capabilities of MINERVA. This will be used to heuristically determine an optimal observing strategy for the MINERVA project.

  13. Statistical Signatures of Panspermia in Exoplanet Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Henry W.; Loeb, Abraham

    2015-09-01

    A fundamental astrobiological question is whether life can be transported between extrasolar systems. We propose a new strategy to answer this question based on the principle that life which arose via spreading will exhibit more clustering than life which arose spontaneously. We develop simple statistical models of panspermia to illustrate observable consequences of these excess correlations. Future searches for biosignatures in the atmospheres of exoplanets could test these predictions: a smoking gun signature of panspermia would be the detection of large regions in the Milky Way where life saturates its environment interspersed with voids where life is very uncommon. In a favorable scenario, detection of as few as ∼25 biologically active exoplanets could yield a 5σ detection of panspermia. Detectability of position-space correlations is possible unless the timescale for life to become observable once seeded is longer than the timescale for stars to redistribute in the Milky Way.

  14. ASTRO 850: Teaching Teachers about Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barringer, Daniel; Palma, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    The Earth and Space Science Partnership (ESSP) is a collaboration among Penn State scientists, science educators and seven school districts across Pennsylvania. Penn State also offers through its fully online World Campus the opportunity for In-Service science teachers to earn an M.Ed. degree in Earth Science, and we currently offer a required online astronomy course for that program. We have previously presented descriptions of how have incorporated research-based pedagogical practices into ESSP-sponsored workshops for in-service teachers (Palma et al. 2013), a pilot section of introductory astronomy for non-science majors (Palma et al. 2014), and into the design of an online elective course on exoplanets for the M.Ed. in Earth Science (Barringer and Palma, 2016). Here, we present the finished version of that exoplanet course, ASTRO 850. We gratefully acknowledge support from the NSF MSP program award DUE#0962792.

  15. Instrumentation for the detection and characterization of exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Pepe, Francesco; Ehrenreich, David; Meyer, Michael R

    2014-09-18

    In no other field of astrophysics has the impact of new instrumentation been as substantial as in the domain of exoplanets. Before 1995 our knowledge of exoplanets was mainly based on philosophical and theoretical considerations. The years that followed have been marked, instead, by surprising discoveries made possible by high-precision instruments. Over the past decade, the availability of new techniques has moved the focus of research from the detection to the characterization of exoplanets. Next-generation facilities will produce even more complementary data that will lead to a comprehensive view of exoplanet characteristics and, by comparison with theoretical models, to a better understanding of planet formation.

  16. The Oxford Companion to the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hancock, Paul L.

    2001-06-01

    Here is a wealth of information on planet Earth, ranging from the heights of the ionsphere down to the red-hot molten core. Written by some 200 expert contributors, and illustrated with over 600 pictures, including 16 pages of color plates, The Oxford Companion to the Earth offers 900 alphabetically arranged entries that cover everything from deserts and wetlands to mountains, caves, glaciers, and coral reefs. There are articles on natural phenomena such as tornadoes and tsunamis, volcanoes and earthquakes, jet streams and weather fronts; on the history of Earth, including the origin of life, Burgess Shale fauna, dinosaurs, and the Ice Ages; on key figures, such as Agassiz, Cuvier, Darwin, and Lamarck; and on such important ecological concerns as acid rain, the ozone layer, industrial waste disposal, and the greenhouse effect. The Companion also examines the great sources of wealth to be found in the Earth, from coal and oil to gold, silver, and diamonds, and many curious land formations, from sinkholes and fiords to yardangs and quicksand. There are brief entries on rock types, from amber to travertine, and extensive essays on cutting-edge aspects of the earth sciences, such as seismology and marine geology. The Companion includes extensive cross-references, suggested further reading, an index, and many useful appendices, with a geological timescale, facts and figures about the Earth, and a table of chemical elements. The Oxford Companion to the Earth is a unique reference work, offering unrivaled coverage of our home planet. Generously illustrated and vividly written, it is a treasure house of information for all lovers of natural history, geology, and ecology, whether professional or amateur.

  17. Prevalence of imaginary companions in a normal child population.

    PubMed

    Pearson, D; Rouse, H; Doswell, S; Ainsworth, C; Dawson, O; Simms, K; Edwards, L; Faulconbridge, J

    2001-01-01

    Approximately 1800 children between the ages of 5 and 12 years were randomly selected and asked whether they had present or past experiences of imaginary companions. It was found that 829 (46.2%) children reported experiences of imaginary companions. These findings were unexpected as previous studies had suggested that imaginary companions are generally experienced by fewer, much younger children. There were no significant differences in creativity scores between children who reported imaginary companions compared with those who did not. Imaginary companions were reported by more girls than boys, and were not restricted to very young children.

  18. The Formation of Close-in Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, Jacob B.

    2017-01-01

    Approximately half of Sun-like stars harbor exoplanets packed within a radius of 0.3 AU (85 day orbital period), but the formation of these planets and why they form in only ~50% of known systems are still not well understood. In order to gain physical insight into the origin of these close-in exoplanets, I describe a one-dimensional steady state model incorporating Shakura & Sunyaev alpha values extracted from recent numerical simulations of protoplanetary disk accretion processes. Due to the dominance of the Hall effect at small radii in these disks, the magnitude of alpha, and thus the steady-state gas surface density, depends on the orientation of large scale magnetic fields with respect to the disk’s rotation axis. Solving for the metallicity as a function of radius, I find that for fields anti-aligned with the rotation axis, the inner regions of the model disk often falls within a region of parameter space not suitable for planetesimal formation, whereas in the aligned case, the inner disk regions are likely to produce planetesimals through some combination of streaming instability and gravitational collapse, though the degree to which this is true depends on the assumed parameters of our model. More robustly, the aligned field case always produces higher concentrations of solids at small radii compared to the anti-aligned case. In the in situ formation model, this bimodal distribution in solid enhancement leads directly to the observed dichotomy in close-in exoplanets, and thus, magnetic field geometry may very well be the key to explaining the bimodal distribution of exoplanet configurations.

  19. Evaporating Atmospheres Around Close-in Exoplanets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, J.; Jackson, A.; Wu, Y.; Adams, F.

    2014-12-01

    The majority of currently observed exoplanets appear exceeding close to the central star (<0.1 AU) and as such are subject to intense high energy radiation from UV & X-ray photons. We will discuss that in such environments the atmospheres these planets are heated sufficiently that they can escape the planet's gravitational field in a hydrodynamic trans-sonic wind. We will show that this hydrodynamic mass-loss occurs for the majority of exoplanets at short periods, and for low-mass planets (<50 Mearth) is vigorous enough to significantly alter the planet's evolution. In some cases we will argue that an originally gas rich exoplanet can be completely evaporated leaving behind a bare rock core. In addition, we will present new multi-dimensional simulations of evaporation that include realistic treatment of the radiative transfer. These new simulations show that evaporation from 'hot' Jupiters is likely to be magnetically controlled, where mass-loss can only occur along open filed lines, where the interaction between the stellar and planetary magnetic field strongly controls the geometry of the evaporative flow. We will indicate how these new multi-dimensional radiation-magneto-hydrodynamic calculations can be used to study the time-dependence of the outflow and link the small but growing number of observations of exoplanet evaporation to the theoretical models. Finally, we will indicate that asymmetric evaporative flows can lead to orbital evolution of planets at close separations. Figure Caption: "Flow structure from an evaporating Hot Jupiter with a magnetic field strength of 0.3 Gauss. Top panels show density and magnetic field configuration and bottom panel shows plasma beta and velocity structure; left panels show simulation domain, right panels show a zoom in on the planet."

  20. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite: Mission Status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, George R.; TESS Team

    2015-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor more than 200,000 bright stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances.TESS stars will typically be 30-100 times brighter than those surveyed by the Kepler satellite; thus, TESS planets will be far easier to characterize with follow-up observations. For the first time it will be possible to study the masses, sizes, densities, orbits, and atmospheres of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars. Full frame images with a cadence of 30 minutes or less will provide precise photometric information for more than 20 million stars during observation sessions of several weeks. The brighter TESS stars will potentially yield valuable asteroseismic information as a result of monitoring at a rapid cadence of 2 minute or less. An extended survey by TESS of regions surrounding the North and South Ecliptic Poles will provide prime exoplanet targets for characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future.TESS will issue data releases every 4 months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest main-sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets, which will endure as the most favorable targets for detailed future investigations.TESS has a planned launch date in 2017 as a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission.

  1. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, G. R.

    2014-03-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor more than 500,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances. TESS stars will typically be 30-100 times brighter than those surveyed by the Kepler satellite; thus, TESS planets will be far easier to characterize with follow-up observations. For the first time it will be possible to study the masses, sizes, densities, orbits, and atmospheres of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars. Full frame images with a cadence of 30 minutes or less will provide precise photometric information for several million stars during observation sessions of several weeks. The brighter TESS stars will potentially yield valuable asteroseismic information as a result of monitoring at a rapid cadence of 1 minute or less. An extended survey by TESS of the Ecliptic caps will provide prime exoplanet targets for characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future. TESS will serve as the "People's Telescope," with data releases every 4 months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest main-sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets, which will endure as the most favorable targets for detailed future investigations. TESS has been selected by NASA for launch in 2017 as an Astrophysics Explorer mission.

  2. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, G. R.

    2014-06-01

    (Abstract only) The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor more than 500,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances. TESS stars will typically be 30 to 100 times brighter than those surveyed by the Kepler satellite; thus,TESS planets will be far easier to characterize with follow-up observations. For the first time it will be possible to study the masses, sizes, densities, orbits, and atmospheres of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars. All of the half-million plus TESS targets will be observed at a rapid cadence (1 minute or less). Hence, the brighter TESS stars will potentially yield valuable asteroseismic information. TESS will provide prime exoplanet targets for characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future. TESS will serve as the "People's Telescope," with data releases every 4 months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest main-sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets, which will endure as the most favorable targets for detailed future investigations. TESS has been selected by NASA for launch in 2017 as an Astrophysics Explorer mission.

  3. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, George R.; Vanderspek, Roland Kraft; Latham, David W.; Winn, Joshua N.

    2014-06-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor more than 200,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances. TESS stars will typically be 30-100 times brighter than those surveyed by the Kepler satellite; thus, TESS planets will be far easier to characterize with follow-up observations. For the first time it will be possible to study the masses, sizes, densities, orbits, and atmospheres of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars. Full frame images with a cadence of 30 minutes or less will provide precise photometric information for several million stars during observation sessions of several weeks. The brighter TESS stars will potentially yield valuable asteroseismic information as a result of monitoring at a rapid cadence of 1 minute or less. An extended survey by TESS of regions surrounding the North and South Ecliptic Poles will provide prime exoplanet targets for characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future. TESS will serve as the “People’s Telescope,” with data releases every 4 months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest main-sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets, which will endure as the most favorable targets for detailed future investigations.TESS has been selected by NASA for launch in 2017 as an Astrophysics Explorer mission.

  4. Calibration of surface temperature on rocky exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashyap Jagadeesh, Madhu

    2016-07-01

    Study of exoplanets and the search for life elsewhere has been a very fascinating area in recent years. Presently, lots of efforts have been channelled in this direction in the form of space exploration and the ultimate search for the habitable planet. One of the parametric methods to analyse the data available from the missions such as Kepler, CoRoT, etc, is the Earth Similarity Index (ESI), defined as a number between zero (no similarity) and one (identical to Earth), introduced to assess the Earth likeness of exoplanets. A multi-parameter ESI scale depends on the radius, density, escape velocity and surface temperature of exoplanets. Our objective is to establish how exactly the individual parameters, entering the interior ESI and surface ESI, are contributing to the global ESI, using the graphical analysis. Presently, the surface temperature estimates are following a correction factor of 30 K, based on the Earth's green-house effect. The main objective of this work in calculations of the global ESI using the HabCat data is to introduce a new method to better estimate the surface temperature of exoplanets, from theoretical formula with fixed albedo factor and emissivity (Earth values). From the graphical analysis of the known data for the Solar System objects, we established the calibration relation between surface and equilibrium temperatures for the Solar System objects. Using extrapolation we found that the power function is the closest description of the trend to attain surface temperature. From this we conclude that the correction term becomes very effective way to calculate the accurate value of the surface temperature, for further analysis with our graphical methodology.

  5. THEORETICAL SPECTRA OF TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANET SURFACES

    SciTech Connect

    Hu Renyu; Seager, Sara; Ehlmann, Bethany L.

    2012-06-10

    We investigate spectra of airless rocky exoplanets with a theoretical framework that self-consistently treats reflection and thermal emission. We find that a silicate surface on an exoplanet is spectroscopically detectable via prominent Si-O features in the thermal emission bands of 7-13 {mu}m and 15-25 {mu}m. The variation of brightness temperature due to the silicate features can be up to 20 K for an airless Earth analog, and the silicate features are wide enough to be distinguished from atmospheric features with relatively high resolution spectra. The surface characterization thus provides a method to unambiguously identify a rocky exoplanet. Furthermore, identification of specific rocky surface types is possible with the planet's reflectance spectrum in near-infrared broad bands. A key parameter to observe is the difference between K-band and J-band geometric albedos (A{sub g}(K) - A{sub g}(J)): A{sub g}(K) - A{sub g}(J) > 0.2 indicates that more than half of the planet's surface has abundant mafic minerals, such as olivine and pyroxene, in other words primary crust from a magma ocean or high-temperature lavas; A{sub g}(K) - A{sub g}(J) < -0.09 indicates that more than half of the planet's surface is covered or partially covered by water ice or hydrated silicates, implying extant or past water on its surface. Also, surface water ice can be specifically distinguished by an H-band geometric albedo lower than the J-band geometric albedo. The surface features can be distinguished from possible atmospheric features with molecule identification of atmospheric species by transmission spectroscopy. We therefore propose that mid-infrared spectroscopy of exoplanets may detect rocky surfaces, and near-infrared spectrophotometry may identify ultramafic surfaces, hydrated surfaces, and water ice.

  6. Advances in exoplanet science from Kepler.

    PubMed

    Lissauer, Jack J; Dawson, Rebekah I; Tremaine, Scott

    2014-09-18

    Numerous telescopes and techniques have been used to find and study extrasolar planets, but none has been more successful than NASA's Kepler space telescope. Kepler has discovered most of the known exoplanets, the smallest planets to orbit normal stars and the planets most likely to be similar to Earth. Most importantly, Kepler has provided us with our first look at the typical characteristics of planets and planetary systems for planets with sizes as small as, and orbits as large as, those of Earth.

  7. The far future of exoplanet direct characterization.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Jean; Léger, Alain; Fridlund, Malcolm; White, Glenn J; Eiroa, Carlos; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Lammer, Helmut; Liseau, René; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Selsis, Franck; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Lunine, Jonathan; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna

    2010-01-01

    We describe future steps in the direct characterization of habitable exoplanets subsequent to medium and large mission projects currently underway and investigate the benefits of spectroscopic and direct imaging approaches. We show that, after third- and fourth-generation missions have been conducted over the course of the next 100 years, a significant amount of time will lapse before we will have the capability to observe directly the morphology of extrasolar organisms.

  8. Extension of Companion Modeling Using Classification Learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torii, Daisuke; Bousquet, François; Ishida, Toru

    Companion Modeling is a methodology of refining initial models for understanding reality through a role-playing game (RPG) and a multiagent simulation. In this research, we propose a novel agent model construction methodology in which classification learning is applied to the RPG log data in Companion Modeling. This methodology enables a systematic model construction that handles multi-parameters, independent of the modelers ability. There are three problems in applying classification learning to the RPG log data: 1) It is difficult to gather enough data for the number of features because the cost of gathering data is high. 2) Noise data can affect the learning results because the amount of data may be insufficient. 3) The learning results should be explained as a human decision making model and should be recognized by the expert as being the result that reflects reality. We realized an agent model construction system using the following two approaches: 1) Using a feature selction method, the feature subset that has the best prediction accuracy is identified. In this process, the important features chosen by the expert are always included. 2) The expert eliminates irrelevant features from the learning results after evaluating the learning model through a visualization of the results. Finally, using the RPG log data from the Companion Modeling of agricultural economics in northeastern Thailand, we confirm the capability of this methodology.

  9. Integrated Wavefront Correction and Bias Estimation for the High-Contrast Imaging of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riggs, A. J. Eldorado

    Just over two decades ago the first planet outside our solar system was found, and thousands more have been discovered since. Nearly all these exoplanets were indirectly detected by sensing changes in their host stars' light. However, exoplanets must be directly imaged to determine their atmospheric compositions and the orbital parameters unavailable from only indirect detections. The main challenge of direct imaging is to observe stellar companions much fainter than the star and at small angular separations. Coronagraphy is one method of suppressing stellar diffraction to provide high star-to-planet contrast, but coronagraphs are extremely sensitive to quasi-static aberrations in the optical system. Active correction of the stellar wavefront is performed with deformable mirrors to recover high-contrast regions in the image. Estimation and control of the stellar electric field is performed iteratively in the camera's focal plane to avoid non-common path aberrations arising from a separate pupil sensor. Estimation can thus be quite time consuming because it requires several high-contrast intensity images per correction iteration. This thesis focuses on efficient focal plane wavefront correction (FPWC) for coronagraphy. Time is a precious commodity for a space telescope, so there is a strong incentive to reduce the total exposure time required for focal plane wavefront estimation. Much of our work emphasizes faster, more robust estimation via Kalman filtering, which optimally combines prior data with new measurements. The other main contribution of this thesis is a paradigm shift in the use of estimation images. Time for FPWC has generally been considered to be lost overhead, but we demonstrate that estimation images can be used for the detection and characterization of exoplanets and disks. These science targets are incoherent with their host stars, so we developed and implemented an iterated extended Kalman filter (IEKF) for simultaneous estimation of the stellar

  10. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, Eric L.; Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James R.; Barman, Travis S.; Doyon, Rene; Fabrycky, Daniel; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Kalas, Paul; Konopacky, Quinn M.; Marchis, Franck; Marley, Mark S.; Marois, Christian; Patience, Jenny; Perrin, Marshall D.; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Song, Inseok; GPIES Team

    2017-01-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) is one of the largest most sensitive direct imaging searches for exoplanets conducted to date, and having observed more than 300 stars the survey is halfway complete. We present highlights from the first half of the survey, including the discovery and characterization of the young exoplanet 51 Eri b and the brown dwarf HR 2562 B, new imaging of multiple disks, and resolving the young stellar binary V343 Nor for the first time. GPI has also provided new spectra and orbits of previous known planets and brown dwarfs and polarization measurements of a wide range of disks. Finally, we discuss the constraints placed by the first half of the GPIES campaign on the population of giant planets at orbital separations beyond that of Jupiter. Supported by NSF grants AST-0909188 and AST-1313718, AST-1411868, AST 141378, NNX11AF74G, and DGE-1232825, and by NASA grants NNX15AD95G/NEXSS and NNX11AD21G.

  11. Radial Velocity Eclipse Mapping of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolov, Nikolay; Sainsbury-Martinez, Felix

    2015-07-01

    Planetary rotation rates and obliquities provide information regarding the history of planet formation, but have not yet been measured for evolved extrasolar planets. Here we investigate the theoretical and observational perspective of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect during secondary eclipse (RMse) ingress and egress for transiting exoplanets. Near secondary eclipse, when the planet passes behind the parent star, the star sequentially obscures light from the approaching and receding parts of the rotating planetary surface. The temporal block of light emerging from the approaching (blueshifted) or receding (redshifted) parts of the planet causes a temporal distortion in the planet’s spectral line profiles resulting in an anomaly in the planet’s radial velocity curve. We demonstrate that the shape and the ratio of the ingress-to-egress radial velocity amplitudes depends on the planetary rotational rate, axial tilt, and impact factor (i.e., sky-projected planet spin-orbital alignment). In addition, line asymmetries originating from different layers in the atmosphere of the planet could provide information regarding zonal atmospheric winds and constraints on the hot spot shape for giant irradiated exoplanets. The effect is expected to be most-pronounced at near-infrared wavelengths, where the planet-to-star contrasts are large. We create synthetic near-infrared, high-dispersion spectroscopic data and demonstrate how the sky-projected spin axis orientation and equatorial velocity of the planet can be estimated. We conclude that the RMse effect could be a powerful method to measure exoplanet spins.

  12. Optical & Infrared Spectroscopy of Transiting Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffith, C. A.; Tinetti, G.

    2010-10-01

    Two types of spectra can be measured from transiting extrasolar planets. The primary eclipse provides a transmission spectra of the exoplanet's limb as the planet passes in front of the star. These data probe the gas and particle composition of the atmosphere, as well as the atmospheric scale height. The secondary eclipse measures the emission of mainly the planet's dayside atmosphere from the planet plus star's emission minus the emission of star alone, when it eclipses the planet. These data probe the temperature and composition structure of the exoplanet. Only in the past 3 years, have infrared transmission and emission spectroscopy revealed the presence of the primary carbon and oxygen species (CH4, CO2, CO, and H2O). Efforts to constrain the abundances of these molecules are hindered by degenerate effects of the temperature and composition in the emission spectra. Transmission spectra, while less sensitive to the atmospheric temperatures, are difficult to interpret because the composition derived depends delicately on the assumed radius at a specified pressure level. This talk will discuss the correlations in the degenerate solutions that result from the radiative transfer analyses of both emission and transmission spectroscopy. The physical implications of these correlations are assessed in order to determine the temperature and composition structure of extrasolar planets, and their significance with respect to the exoplanet's chemistry and dynamics.

  13. TWO EXOPLANETS DISCOVERED AT KECK OBSERVATORY

    SciTech Connect

    Valenti, Jeff A.; Fischer, Debra; Giguere, Matt; Isaacson, Howard; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Howard, Andrew W.; Johnson, John A.; Henry, Gregory W.; Wright, Jason T.

    2009-09-10

    We present two exoplanets detected at Keck Observatory. HD 179079 is a G5 subgiant that hosts a hot Neptune planet with M sin i = 27.5 M{sub +} in a 14.48 days, low-eccentricity orbit. The stellar reflex velocity induced by this planet has a semiamplitude of K = 6.6 m s{sup -1}. HD 73534 is a G5 subgiant with a Jupiter-like planet of M sin i = 1.1 M{sub Jup} and K = 16 m s{sup -1} in a nearly circular 4.85 yr orbit. Both stars are chromospherically inactive and metal-rich. We discuss a known, classical bias in measuring eccentricities for orbits with velocity semiamplitudes, K, comparable to the radial velocity uncertainties. For exoplanets with periods longer than 10 days, the observed exoplanet eccentricity distribution is nearly flat for large amplitude systems (K > 80 m s{sup -1}), but rises linearly toward low eccentricity for lower amplitude systems (K > 20 m s{sup -1})

  14. RADIAL VELOCITY ECLIPSE MAPPING OF EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Nikolov, Nikolay; Sainsbury-Martinez, Felix

    2015-07-20

    Planetary rotation rates and obliquities provide information regarding the history of planet formation, but have not yet been measured for evolved extrasolar planets. Here we investigate the theoretical and observational perspective of the Rossiter–McLaughlin effect during secondary eclipse (RMse) ingress and egress for transiting exoplanets. Near secondary eclipse, when the planet passes behind the parent star, the star sequentially obscures light from the approaching and receding parts of the rotating planetary surface. The temporal block of light emerging from the approaching (blueshifted) or receding (redshifted) parts of the planet causes a temporal distortion in the planet’s spectral line profiles resulting in an anomaly in the planet’s radial velocity curve. We demonstrate that the shape and the ratio of the ingress-to-egress radial velocity amplitudes depends on the planetary rotational rate, axial tilt, and impact factor (i.e., sky-projected planet spin–orbital alignment). In addition, line asymmetries originating from different layers in the atmosphere of the planet could provide information regarding zonal atmospheric winds and constraints on the hot spot shape for giant irradiated exoplanets. The effect is expected to be most-pronounced at near-infrared wavelengths, where the planet-to-star contrasts are large. We create synthetic near-infrared, high-dispersion spectroscopic data and demonstrate how the sky-projected spin axis orientation and equatorial velocity of the planet can be estimated. We conclude that the RMse effect could be a powerful method to measure exoplanet spins.

  15. Using direct imaging to investigate the formation and migration histories of gas giant exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ngo, Henry

    2016-10-01

    Gas giant exoplanets are found around their host stars at orbital separations spanning more than four orders of magnitude (0.01 to 100 AU). However, it is not known whether the planets at the extreme ends of this range could have formed in situ or if they instead formed closer to ice lines between 1-10 AU and then migrated to their present day locations. In this study, we use two direct imaging surveys to explore the potential origins of hot Jupiters and to characterize the population of gas giant planets beyond the ice line. In our first survey, we focus on the role of stellar companions in hot Jupiter formation and migration. We determine that less than 20% of hot Jupiters have stellar companions capable of inducing migration via Kozai-Lidov oscillations. In addition, we find that hot Jupiter hosts are three times more likely to have a stellar companion between 50-2000 AU than field stars, suggesting that binary star systems may be favorable environments for gas giant planet formation. In our second study, we present the results from the first year of a two-year direct imaging planet survey of 200 young M-dwarf stars. By imaging in L-band (3.8 micron) and taking advantage of the new 80 milliarcsecond inner working angle "vortex" coronagraph on Keck NIRC2, we are sensitive to young planets with masses between 1-10 Jupiter masses with projected separations between 1-10 AU. We can compare the semi-major axis distribution of directly imaged planets beyond 10 AU to that of intermediate period gas giants from radial velocity surveys and determine whether or not these two populations form a continuous distribution. If so, this would imply these populations share common formation (core accretion) and migration channels.

  16. Using direct imaging to investigate the formation and migration histories of gas giant exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ngo, Henry

    2017-01-01

    Gas giant exoplanets are found around their host stars at orbital separations spanning more than four orders of magnitude (0.01 to 100 AU). However, it is not known whether the planets at the extreme ends of this range could have formed in situ or if they instead formed closer to ice lines between 1-10 AU and then migrated to their present day locations. In this study, we use two direct imaging surveys to explore the potential origins of hot Jupiters and to characterize the population of gas giant planets beyond the ice line. In our first survey, we focus on the role of stellar companions in hot Jupiter formation and migration. We determine that less than 20% of hot Jupiters have stellar companions capable of inducing migration via Kozai-Lidov oscillations. In addition, we find that hot Jupiter hosts are three times more likely to have a stellar companion between 50-2000 AU than field stars, suggesting that binary star systems may be favorable environments for gas giant planet formation. In our second study, we present the results from the first year of a two-year direct imaging planet survey of 200 young M-dwarf stars. By imaging in L-band (3.8 micron) and taking advantage of the new 80 milliarcsecond inner working angle "vortex" coronagraph on Keck NIRC2, we are sensitive to young planets with masses between 1-10 Jupiter masses with projected separations between 1-10 AU. We can compare the semi-major axis distribution of directly imaged planets beyond 10 AU to that of intermediate period gas giants from radial velocity surveys and determine whether or not these two populations form a continuous distribution. If so, this would imply these populations share common formation (core accretion) and migration channels.

  17. A good story: children with imaginary companions create richer narratives.

    PubMed

    Trionfi, Gabriel; Reese, Elaine

    2009-01-01

    In line with theories that children's pretend play reflects and extends their narrative skills, children with imaginary companions were predicted to have better narrative skills than children without imaginary companions. Forty-eight 5(1/2)-year-old children and their mothers participated in interviews about children's imaginary companions. Children also completed language and narrative assessments. Twenty-three of the children (48%) were deemed to have engaged in imaginary companion play. Children with and without imaginary companions were similar in their vocabulary skills, but children with imaginary companions told richer narratives about a storybook and a personal experience compared to children without imaginary companions. This finding supports theories of a connection between pretend play and storytelling by the end of early childhood.

  18. A New Way to Confirm Planet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    automated batch processing of a large number of candidates.In a recently published study the results of which were announced yesterday the teamapplied their code to the entire catalog of 7,470 Kepler objects of interest.New Planets and False PositivesThe teams code was able to successfully evaluate the total false-positive probability (FPP) for 7,056 of the objects of interest. Of these, 428 objects previously identified as candidates were found to have FPP of more than 90%, suggesting that they are most likely false positives.Periods and radii of candidate and confirmed planets in the Kepler Objects of Interest catalog. Blue circles have previously been identified as confirmed planets. Candidates (orange) are shaded by false positive probability; more transparent means more likely to be a false positive. [Morton et al. 2016]In contrast, 1,935 candidates were found to have FPP of less than 1%, and were therefore declared validated planets. Of these confirmations, 1,284 were previously unconfirmed, more than doubling Keplers previous catalog of 1,041 confirmed planets. Morton and collaborators believe that 9 of these newly confirmed planets may fall within the habitable zone of their host stars.While the announcement of 1,284 newly confirmed planets is huge, the analysis presented in this study is the real news. The code used is publicly available and can be applied to any transiting exoplanet candidate. This means that this analysis technique can be used to find batches of exoplanets in data from the extended Kepler mission (K2) or from the future TESS and PLATO transit missions.CitationTimothy D. Morton et al 2016 ApJ 822 86. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/822/2/86

  19. DISCOVERY OF A PROBABLE 4-5 JUPITER-MASS EXOPLANET TO HD 95086 BY DIRECT IMAGING

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-08-01

    Direct imaging has only begun to inventory the population of gas giant planets on wide orbits around young stars in the solar neighborhood. Following this approach, we carried out a deep imaging survey in the near-infrared using VLT/NaCo to search for substellar companions. Here we report the discovery of a probable companion orbiting the young (10-17 Myr), dusty, early-type (A8) star HD 95086 at 56 AU in L' (3.8 {mu}m) images. This discovery is based on observations with more than a year time lapse. Our first epoch clearly revealed the source at {approx_equal} 10{sigma}, while our second epoch lacks good observing conditions, yielding a {approx_equal} 3{sigma} detection. Various tests were thus made to rule out possible artifacts. This recovery is consistent with the signal at the first epoch but requires cleaner confirmation. Nevertheless, our astrometric precision suggests that the companion is comoving with the star with a 3{sigma} confidence level. The planetary nature of the source is reinforced by a non-detection in the Ks-band (2.18 {mu}m) images according to its possible extremely red Ks-L' color. Conversely, background contamination is rejected with good confidence level. The luminosity yields a predicted mass of about 4-5 M{sub Jup} (at 10-17 Myr) using ''hot-start'' evolutionary models, making HD 95086 b the exoplanet with the lowest mass ever imaged around a star.

  20. The detection and exploration of planets from the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donovan, Francis Thomas

    I present the discovery of three transiting planets (TrES-2, TrES-3, and TrES-4) of nearby bright stars made with the ten-centimeter telescope Sleuth as part of the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES). TrES-2 is the first transiting exoplanet detected in the field of view of NASA’s Kepler mission. Of the 20 known transiting exoplanets, TrES-3 has the second shortest period, facilitating the study of orbital decay and atmospheric evaporation. Its visible/infrared brightness makes TrES-3 an ideal target for observations to determine the atmospheric composition. TrES-4 has the largest radius and lowest density of the known transiting planets. These three planets have radii larger than that of Jupiter, and the radius of TrES-4 significantly exceeds predictions from models of hot Jupiters, indicating a possible lack of an energy source in these models. I present the results of Spitzer observations of TrES-2. I reject tidal dissipation of eccentricity as an explanation for the inflated radius, and examine the spectrum for evidence of atmospheric absorption.I have monitored 19 fields each containing 6,000-36,000 stars for evidence of transits. I discuss the rejection of six of my candidate transiting systems from an early field that represent examples of the 67 astrophysical false positives that I encountered in Sleuth data. These six false positives highlight the benefit of a multisite survey such as TrES, and also of comprehensive follow-up of transit candidates. As a further example, I present the candidate GSC 03885-00829 from Sleuth data that was revealed to be a blend of a bright F dwarf and a fainter K-dwarf eclipsing binary. This candidate proved nontrivial to reject, requiring multicolor follow-up photometry to produce evidence of the true binary nature of this candidate.The yield of planets from transit surveys is not yet well constrained or understood. There are numerous factors that affect the predictions such as the amount of correlated photometric noise

  1. ARIEL: an ESA M4 mission candidate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puig, L.; Pilbratt, G. L.; Heske, A.; Escudero Sanz, I.; Crouzet, P.-E.

    2016-07-01

    The Atmospheric Remote sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large survey (ARIEL) mission is an M-class mission candidate within the science program Cosmic Vision of the European Space Agency (ESA). It was selected in June 2015 as one of three candidates to enter an assessment phase (phase 0/A). This process involves the definition of science and mission requirements as well as a preliminary model payload, and an internal Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) study providing the input to parallel industrial studies (in progress since 2016). After this process, the three candidates will be reviewed and in mid-2017 one of them will be selected as the M4 mission for launch in 2026. ARIEL is a survey-type mission dedicated to the characterisation of exoplanetary atmospheres. Using the differential technique of transit spectroscopy, ARIEL will obtain transmission and/or emission spectra of the atmospheres of a large and diverse sample of known exoplanets (~500) covering a wide range of masses, densities, equilibrium temperatures, orbital properties and host-star characteristics. This will include hot Jupiters to warm Super-Earths, orbiting M5 to F0 stars. This paper describes critical requirements, and reports on the results of the Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) study that was conducted in June / July 2015, providing a description of the resulting spacecraft design. It will employ a 0.7 m x 1.1 m off-axis three mirror telescope, feeding four photometric channels in the VNIR range (0.5-1.95 μm) and an IR spectrometer covering 1.95-7.8 μm.

  2. Visible spectroscopy of terrestrial exoplanets with SEE-COAST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maire, A.-L.; Galicher, R.; Boccaletti, A.; Schneider, J.; Baudoz, P.

    2010-12-01

    While more than 450 exoplanets have been discovered, mid-infrared photometry and near-infrared (NIR) low-resolution spectroscopy were obtained for a few transiting gazeous planets. Nevertheless, the transit method is limited to close-in planets (≲0.1 AU). To study the chemical composition and structure of the atmosphere of wide-separated planets (≳1 AU), direct imaging is requested. To date, 12 planet candidates were detected by this method. In a near future (2011-2014), ground-based instruments (SPHERE, GPI, HiCIAO) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will survey a large sample of gazeous planets around young and M-dwarf stars in the solar neighborhood. To characterize terrestrial planets, extremely good and stable conditions as in space are required. Our team propose the SEE-COAST mission, a 1.5-m space telescope, that aims at visible spectro-polarimetry of mature giant and massive terrestrial planets. Here we briefly recall the principle of this mission and its objectives. We detailed the image analysis used to retrieve the planet spectra and we present the performance of SEE-COAST obtained by numerical simulations.

  3. HIDING IN THE SHADOWS. II. COLLISIONAL DUST AS EXOPLANET MARKERS

    SciTech Connect

    Dobinson, Jack; Leinhardt, Zoë M.; Lines, Stefan; Carter, Philip J.; Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E.; Teanby, Nick A.

    2016-03-20

    Observations of the youngest planets (∼1–10 Myr for a transitional disk) will increase the accuracy of our planet formation models. Unfortunately, observations of such planets are challenging and time-consuming to undertake, even in ideal circumstances. Therefore, we propose the determination of a set of markers that can preselect promising exoplanet-hosting candidate disks. To this end, N-body simulations were conducted to investigate the effect of an embedded Jupiter-mass planet on the dynamics of the surrounding planetesimal disk and the resulting creation of second-generation collisional dust. We use a new collision model that allows fragmentation and erosion of planetesimals, and dust-sized fragments are simulated in a post-process step including non-gravitational forces due to stellar radiation and a gaseous protoplanetary disk. Synthetic images from our numerical simulations show a bright double ring at 850 μm for a low-eccentricity planet, whereas a high-eccentricity planet would produce a characteristic inner ring with asymmetries in the disk. In the presence of first-generation primordial dust these markers would be difficult to detect far from the orbit of the embedded planet, but would be detectable inside a gap of planetary origin in a transitional disk.

  4. INFERENCE OF INHOMOGENEOUS CLOUDS IN AN EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERE

    SciTech Connect

    Demory, Brice-Olivier; De Wit, Julien; Lewis, Nikole; Zsom, Andras; Seager, Sara; Fortney, Jonathan; Knutson, Heather; Desert, Jean-Michel; Heng, Kevin; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Gillon, Michael; Barclay, Thomas; Cowan, Nicolas B.

    2013-10-20

    We present new visible and infrared observations of the hot Jupiter Kepler-7b to determine its atmospheric properties. Our analysis allows us to (1) refine Kepler-7b's relatively large geometric albedo of Ag = 0.35 ± 0.02, (2) place upper limits on Kepler-7b thermal emission that remains undetected in both Spitzer bandpasses and (3) report a westward shift in the Kepler optical phase curve. We argue that Kepler-7b's visible flux cannot be due to thermal emission or Rayleigh scattering from H{sub 2} molecules. We therefore conclude that high altitude, optically reflective clouds located west from the substellar point are present in its atmosphere. We find that a silicate-based cloud composition is a possible candidate. Kepler-7b exhibits several properties that may make it particularly amenable to cloud formation in its upper atmosphere. These include a hot deep atmosphere that avoids a cloud cold trap, very low surface gravity to suppress cloud sedimentation, and a planetary equilibrium temperature in a range that allows for silicate clouds to potentially form in the visible atmosphere probed by Kepler. Our analysis does not only present evidence of optically thick clouds on Kepler-7b but also yields the first map of clouds in an exoplanet atmosphere.

  5. THE EXOPLANET CENSUS: A GENERAL METHOD APPLIED TO KEPLER

    SciTech Connect

    Youdin, Andrew N.

    2011-11-20

    We develop a general method to fit the underlying planetary distribution function (PLDF) to exoplanet survey data. This maximum likelihood method accommodates more than one planet per star and any number of planet or target star properties. We apply the method to announced Kepler planet candidates that transit solar-type stars. The Kepler team's estimates of the detection efficiency are used and are shown to agree with theoretical predictions for an ideal transit survey. The PLDF is fit to a joint power law in planet radius, down to 0.5 R{sub Circled-Plus }, and orbital period, up to 50 days. The estimated number of planets per star in this sample is {approx}0.7-1.4, where the range covers systematic uncertainties in the detection efficiency. To analyze trends in the PLDF we consider four planet samples, divided between shorter and longer periods at 7 days and between large and small radii at 3 R{sub Circled-Plus }. The size distribution changes appreciably between these four samples, revealing a relative deficit of {approx}3 R{sub Circled-Plus} planets at the shortest periods. This deficit is suggestive of preferential evaporation and sublimation of Neptune- and Saturn-like planets. If the trend and explanation hold, it would be spectacular observational support of the core accretion and migration hypotheses, and would allow refinement of these theories.

  6. Earth-Like Exoplanets: The Science of NASA's Navigator Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lawson, Peter R. (Editor); Traub, Wesley A. (Editor)

    2006-01-01

    This book outlines the exoplanet science content of NASA's Navigator Program, and it identifies the exoplanet research priorities. The goal of Navigator Program missions is to detect and characterize Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of nearby stars and to search for signs of life on those planets.

  7. Characterization of Transiting Exoplanets by Way of Differential Photometry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowley, Michael; Hughes, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a simple activity for plotting and characterizing the light curve from an exoplanet transit event by way of differential photometry analysis. Using free digital imaging software, participants analyse a series of telescope images with the goal of calculating various exoplanet parameters, including size, orbital radius and…

  8. Characterizing Companions to Low-Mass Stars: A Large-Scale, Volume-Limited Survey of Local M-dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Patience, J.; De Rosa, R.; Rajan, A.

    2013-01-01

    M-dwarfs constitute the major fraction of stars within both the solar neighborhood and nearby star-forming regions. However, key M-dwarf companion characteristics - including multiplicity fraction, mass ratios, and separation distributions - are less certain for field stars, due to limited sample sizes and non-uniform selection criteria. Studies of star-forming regions often compare results to solar-type field stars due to the extensive population statistics available for G-dwarfs, but field M-dwarfs represent a more analogous population for comparison due to their prevalence. We present results on a stellar and substellar companion study covering separations from ~1 - 10,000 AU, based on a volume-limited survey of ~300 M-dwarfs within 15 pc. Our study constrains the frequency of binary companions and the shape of the companion separation and mass ratio distributions. Diffraction-limited, mid-to-near infrared archival data were obtained from the Very Large Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, and Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, to detect nearby companions to M-dwarfs from ~1 to 100 AU. To supplement the high-resolution data, wide-field archival plates were searched for companions with separations of 100 to 10,000 AU. The all-sky survey data include multiple epochs, and follow up observations at higher resolution will allow us to confirm or reject the new companion candidates detected during our analysis. These multi-epoch observations provide confirmation of common proper motions, thereby minimizing background contamination and providing comprehensive statistics for M-star binaries. Preliminary analysis of an initial subset of the sample suggests a lower limit to the multiplicity of 23 ± 7% within the restricted separation range. Characterizations of the binary frequency for M-dwarfs provide crucial insights into the low-mass star formation environment, and hold additional implications for the frequency and evolutionary histories of their associated disks and

  9. Stellar Companions to Stars with Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patience, J.; White, R. J.; Ghez, A. M.; McCabe, C.; McLean, I. S.; Larkin, J. E.; Prato, L.; Kim, Sungsoo S.; Lloyd, J. P.; Liu, M. C.; Graham, J. R.; Macintosh, B. A.; Gavel, D. T.; Max, C. E.; Bauman, B. J.; Olivier, S. S.; Wizinowich, P.; Acton, D. S.

    2002-12-01

    A combination of high-resolution and wide-field imaging reveals two binary stars and one triple star system among the sample of the first 11 stars with planets detected by radial velocity variations. High-resolution speckle or adaptive optics (AO) data probe subarcsecond scales down to the diffraction limit of the Keck 10 m or the Lick 3 m, and direct images or AO images are sensitive to a wider field, extending to 10" or 38", depending on the camera. One of the binary system-HD 114762-was not previously known to be a spatially resolved multiple system; additional data taken with the combination of Keck adaptive optics and NIRSPEC are used to characterize the new companion. The second binary system-τ Boo-was a known multiple with two conflicting orbital solutions; the current data will help constrain the discrepant estimates of periastron time and separation. Another target-16 Cyg B-was a known common proper motion binary, but the current data resolve a new third component, close to the wide companion 16 Cyg A. Both the HD 114762 and 16 Cyg B systems harbor planets in eccentric orbits, while the τ Boo binary contains an extremely close planet in a tidally circularized orbit. Although the sample is currently small, the proportion of binary systems is comparable to that measured in the field over a similar separation range. Incorporating the null result from another companion search project lowers the overall fraction of planets in binary systems, but the detections in our survey reveal that planets can form in binaries separated by less than 50 AU.

  10. Control of DEMETER DNA demethylase gene transcription in male and female gamete companion cells in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jin-Sup; Frost, Jennifer M.; Park, Kyunghyuk; Ohr, Hyonhwa; Park, Guen Tae; Kim, Seohyun; Eom, Hyunjoo; Lee, Ilha; Brooks, Janie S.; Fischer, Robert L.; Choi, Yeonhee

    2017-01-01

    The DEMETER (DME) DNA glycosylase initiates active DNA demethylation via the base-excision repair pathway and is vital for reproduction in Arabidopsis thaliana. DME-mediated DNA demethylation is preferentially targeted to small, AT-rich, and nucleosome-depleted euchromatic transposable elements, influencing expression of adjacent genes and leading to imprinting in the endosperm. In the female gametophyte, DME expression and subsequent genome-wide DNA demethylation are confined to the companion cell of the egg, the central cell. Here, we show that, in the male gametophyte, DME expression is limited to the companion cell of sperm, the vegetative cell, and to a narrow window of time: immediately after separation of the companion cell lineage from the germline. We define transcriptional regulatory elements of DME using reporter genes, showing that a small region, which surprisingly lies within the DME gene, controls its expression in male and female companion cells. DME expression from this minimal promoter is sufficient to rescue seed abortion and the aberrant DNA methylome associated with the null dme-2 mutation. Within this minimal promoter, we found short, conserved enhancer sequences necessary for the transcriptional activities of DME and combined predicted binding motifs with published transcription factor binding coordinates to produce a list of candidate upstream pathway members in the genetic circuitry controlling DNA demethylation in gamete companion cells. These data show how DNA demethylation is regulated to facilitate endosperm gene imprinting and potential transgenerational epigenetic regulation, without subjecting the germline to potentially deleterious transposable element demethylation. PMID:28130550

  11. Control of DEMETER DNA demethylase gene transcription in male and female gamete companion cells in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Park, Jin-Sup; Frost, Jennifer M; Park, Kyunghyuk; Ohr, Hyonhwa; Park, Guen Tae; Kim, Seohyun; Eom, Hyunjoo; Lee, Ilha; Brooks, Janie S; Fischer, Robert L; Choi, Yeonhee

    2017-02-21

    The DEMETER (DME) DNA glycosylase initiates active DNA demethylation via the base-excision repair pathway and is vital for reproduction in Arabidopsis thaliana DME-mediated DNA demethylation is preferentially targeted to small, AT-rich, and nucleosome-depleted euchromatic transposable elements, influencing expression of adjacent genes and leading to imprinting in the endosperm. In the female gametophyte, DME expression and subsequent genome-wide DNA demethylation are confined to the companion cell of the egg, the central cell. Here, we show that, in the male gametophyte, DME expression is limited to the companion cell of sperm, the vegetative cell, and to a narrow window of time: immediately after separation of the companion cell lineage from the germline. We define transcriptional regulatory elements of DME using reporter genes, showing that a small region, which surprisingly lies within the DME gene, controls its expression in male and female companion cells. DME expression from this minimal promoter is sufficient to rescue seed abortion and the aberrant DNA methylome associated with the null dme-2 mutation. Within this minimal promoter, we found short, conserved enhancer sequences necessary for the transcriptional activities of DME and combined predicted binding motifs with published transcription factor binding coordinates to produce a list of candidate upstream pathway members in the genetic circuitry controlling DNA demethylation in gamete companion cells. These data show how DNA demethylation is regulated to facilitate endosperm gene imprinting and potential transgenerational epigenetic regulation, without subjecting the germline to potentially deleterious transposable element demethylation.

  12. Detection and Exploration of Planets from the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donovan, Francis T.; Charbonneau, D.; Hillenbrand, L.

    2006-12-01

    The Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES) is a network of three small-aperture telescopes dedicated to searching the skies for new transiting extrasolar gas giants. The TrES team have discovered two of the 14 known transiting exoplanets. We discuss the detection and exploration of these nearby planets and present the latest observations of TrES-2. TrES-2 is the most massive of the nearby transiting planets, and the first transiting planet found within the field of view of the NASA Kepler transit-search mission. TrES was motivated by our incomplete understanding of the structure and composition of highly-insolated gas giants, and is one of several wide-field photometric campaigns to find new transiting planets. Astrophysical false positives, such as grazing eclipsing binaries, are the dominant source of transit-like periodic signals from these campaigns. Hence follow-up observations are required for all planet candidates. In particular, recent experience has highlighted the need for careful analysis to eliminate astronomical systems where light from a faint eclipsing binary is blended with that from a bright star. We present here examples of the procedure followed by the TrES network to identify false positive candidates. This material is based upon work supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under grant NNG05GJ29G, issued through the Origins of Solar Systems Program.

  13. Do imaginary companions die? An exploratory study.

    PubMed

    Kastenbaum, Robert; Fox, Lynn

    Adults in this exploratory study usually recalled that their childhood imaginary companions faded away or were dismissed as other options for social interaction became more appealing. However, eight participants reported that their IC had died. Analysis of these deaths offers a glimpse of the child's talent for transitional thought processes that navigate between the emerging constraints of logic and the continuing appeal of fantasy. It is suggested that young children are testing the limits and possibilities of what it means to be "real" at the same time they are trying to puzzle out "alive" and "dead."

  14. The search for companions to Epsilon Eridani.

    PubMed

    Lawton, A T; Wright, P

    1990-12-01

    The authors review efforts to examine the star Epsilon Eridani and determine the possibility for the existence of an Earth-like planet. Early data indicated that there must be a habitable ecosphere about 82.5 million Km from the primary. Research into the existence of another planetary system determined that Epsilon Eridani was a binary star with an Oort cloud system, indicating the possibility of planet formation. A review of the evidence suggests that the presence of the small red Dwarf companion star precludes the existence of a planetary system surrounding Epsilon Eridani. It is suggested that observations continue to provide further data about the formation of binary systems.

  15. Probability of the Physical Association of 104 Blended Companions to Kepler Objects of Interest Using Visible and Near-infrared Adaptive Optics Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

    We determine probabilities of physical association for stars in blended Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs), and find that 14.5{ % }-3.4 % +3.8 % of companions within ∼4″ are consistent with being physically unassociated with their primary. This produces a better understanding of potential false positives in the Kepler catalog and will guide models of planet formation in binary systems. Physical association is determined through two methods of calculating multi-band photometric parallax using visible and near-infrared adaptive optics observations of 84 KOI systems with 104 contaminating companions within ∼4″. We find no evidence that KOI companions with separations of less than 1″ are more likely to be physically associated than KOI companions generally. We also reinterpret transit depths for 94 planet candidates, and calculate that 2.6% ± 0.4% of transits have R> 15{R}\\oplus , which is consistent with prior modeling work.

  16. High-resolution Speckle Imaging of Kepler Exoplanet Host Stars - Validation of Earth-size, Habitable Zone Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

    We propose to utilize our speckle imaging instrument on the Gemini- North 8-m telescope to obtain high spatial resolution imaging of Kepler planetary candidate systems that host planets smaller than 1.5 R_earth. The high contrast images afforded by the speckle camera on Gemini-North, resolution to 0.02 arc-sec and (Delta)mag to 10, in conjunction with the Kepler data, will allow us to fully validate ~100 Kepler systems with earth-sized planets or smaller in or near the habitable zone independently of any other follow-up data. Additionally, we will provide unique information on the binary fraction of solar-like stars due to our speckle images reaching to ~10 AU separations, the RV determined peak of solar-type binary separations. Our speckle+Gemini-N observations will serve to not only validate the many Earth-like exoplanets in long period orbits and assess the binary fraction of the Kepler planet host stars, we will also re-determine the planetary radii in some cases after taking into account blending by physically associated or co-aligned stars. Gemini-N speckle imaging will detect possible blends that, if unaccounted for, can affect the measured planet sizes or could suggest a false positive in the form of a faint eclipsing binary blended with the target star.

  17. DiskDetective.org: Finding Homes for Exoplanets Through Citizen Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuchner, Marc J.

    2016-01-01

    The Disk Detective project is scouring the data archive from the WISE all-sky survey to find new debris disks and protoplanetary disks-the dusty dens where exoplanets form and dwell. Volunteers on this citizen science website have already performed 1.6 million classifications, searching a catalog 8x the size of any published WISE survey. We follow up candidates using ground based telescopes in California, Arizona, Chile, Hawaii, and Argentina. We ultimately expect to increase the pool of known debris disks by approx. 400 and triple the solid angle in clusters of young stars examined with WISE, providing a unique new catalog of isolated disk stars, key planet-search targets, and candidate advanced extraterrestrial civilizations. Come to this talk to hear the news about our latest dusty discoveries and the trials and the ecstasy of launching a new citizen science project. Please bring your laptop or smartphone if you like!

  18. TRUE MASSES OF RADIAL-VELOCITY EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Robert A.

    2015-06-01

    We study the task of estimating the true masses of known radial-velocity (RV) exoplanets by means of direct astrometry on coronagraphic images to measure the apparent separation between exoplanet and host star. Initially, we assume perfect knowledge of the RV orbital parameters and that all errors are due to photon statistics. We construct design reference missions for four missions currently under study at NASA: EXO-S and WFIRST-S, with external star shades for starlight suppression, EXO-C and WFIRST-C, with internal coronagraphs. These DRMs reveal extreme scheduling constraints due to the combination of solar and anti-solar pointing restrictions, photometric and obscurational completeness, image blurring due to orbital motion, and the “nodal effect,” which is the independence of apparent separation and inclination when the planet crosses the plane of the sky through the host star. Next, we address the issue of nonzero uncertainties in RV orbital parameters by investigating their impact on the observations of 21 single-planet systems. Except for two—GJ 676 A b and 16 Cyg B b, which are observable only by the star-shade missions—we find that current uncertainties in orbital parameters generally prevent accurate, unbiased estimation of true planetary mass. For the coronagraphs, WFIRST-C and EXO-C, the most likely number of good estimators of true mass is currently zero. For the star shades, EXO-S and WFIRST-S, the most likely numbers of good estimators are three and four, respectively, including GJ 676 A b and 16 Cyg B b. We expect that uncertain orbital elements currently undermine all potential programs of direct imaging and spectroscopy of RV exoplanets.

  19. True Masses of Radial-Velocity Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    2015-06-01

    We study the task of estimating the true masses of known radial-velocity (RV) exoplanets by means of direct astrometry on coronagraphic images to measure the apparent separation between exoplanet and host star. Initially, we assume perfect knowledge of the RV orbital parameters and that all errors are due to photon statistics. We construct design reference missions for four missions currently under study at NASA: EXO-S and WFIRST-S, with external star shades for starlight suppression, EXO-C and WFIRST-C, with internal coronagraphs. These DRMs reveal extreme scheduling constraints due to the combination of solar and anti-solar pointing restrictions, photometric and obscurational completeness, image blurring due to orbital motion, and the “nodal effect,” which is the independence of apparent separation and inclination when the planet crosses the plane of the sky through the host star. Next, we address the issue of nonzero uncertainties in RV orbital parameters by investigating their impact on the observations of 21 single-planet systems. Except for two—GJ 676 A b and 16 Cyg B b, which are observable only by the star-shade missions—we find that current uncertainties in orbital parameters generally prevent accurate, unbiased estimation of true planetary mass. For the coronagraphs, WFIRST-C and EXO-C, the most likely number of good estimators of true mass is currently zero. For the star shades, EXO-S and WFIRST-S, the most likely numbers of good estimators are three and four, respectively, including GJ 676 A b and 16 Cyg B b. We expect that uncertain orbital elements currently undermine all potential programs of direct imaging and spectroscopy of RV exoplanets.

  20. Light Scattering from Exoplanet Oceans and Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zugger, Michael; Kasting, J. F.; Williams, D. M.; Kane, T. J.; Philbrick, C. R.

    2011-01-01

    Orbital variation in reflected starlight from exoplanets could eventually be used to detect surface oceans. Exoplanets with rough surfaces, or dominated by atmospheric Rayleigh scattering, should reach peak brightness in full phase, orbital longitude = 180deg, whereas ocean planets with transparent atmospheres should reach peak brightness in crescent phase near OL = 30deg. Application of Fresnel theory to a planet with no atmosphere covered by a calm ocean predicts a peak polarization fraction of 1 at OL = 74deg; however, our model shows that clouds, wind-driven waves, aerosols, absorption, and Rayleigh scattering in the atmosphere and within the water column, dilute the polarization fraction and shift the peak to other OLs. Observing at longer wavelengths reduces the obfuscation of the water polarization signature by Rayleigh scattering but does not mitigate the other effects. Planets with thick Rayleigh scattering atmospheres reach peak polarization near OL = 90deg, but clouds and Lambertian surface scattering dilute and shift this peak to smaller OL. A shifted Rayleigh peak might be mistaken for a water signature unless data from multiple wavelength bands are available. Our calculations suggest that polarization alone may not positively identify the presence of an ocean under an Earth-like atmosphere; however polarization adds another dimension which can be used, in combination with unpolarized orbital light curves and contrast ratios, to detect extrasolar oceans, atmospheric water aerosols, and water clouds. Additionally, the presence and direction of the polarization vector could be used to determine planet association with the star, and constrain orbit inclination. This research was funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the University of Washington Virtual Planetary Laboratory, and the Penn State Astrobiology Institute. Authors M. Zugger, J. Kasting, and D. Williams are members of the Penn State Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds.

  1. Weighing Rocky Exoplanets with Improved Radial Velocimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xuesong Wang, Sharon; Wright, Jason; California Planet Survey Consortium

    2016-01-01

    The synergy between Kepler and the ground-based radial velocity (RV) surveys have made numerous discoveries of small and rocky exoplanets, opening the age of Earth analogs. However, most (29/33) of the RV-detected exoplanets that are smaller than 3 Earth radii do not have their masses constrained to better than 20% - limited by the current RV precision (1-2 m/s). Our work improves the RV precision of the Keck telescope, which is responsible for most of the mass measurements for small Kepler exoplanets. We have discovered and verified, for the first time, two of the dominant terms in Keck's RV systematic error budget: modeling errors (mostly in deconvolution) and telluric contamination. These two terms contribute 1 m/s and 0.6 m/s, respectively, to the RV error budget (RMS in quadrature), and they create spurious signals at periods of one sidereal year and its harmonics with amplitudes of 0.2-1 m/s. Left untreated, these errors can mimic the signals of Earth-like or Super-Earth planets in the Habitable Zone. Removing these errors will bring better precision to ten-year worth of Keck data and better constraints on the masses and compositions of small Kepler planets. As more precise RV instruments coming online, we need advanced data analysis tools to overcome issues like these in order to detect the Earth twin (RV amplitude 8 cm/s). We are developing a new, open-source RV data analysis tool in Python, which uses Bayesian MCMC and Gaussian processes, to fully exploit the hardware improvements brought by new instruments like MINERVA and NASA's WIYN/EPDS.

  2. Search for surviving companions in type Ia supernova remnants

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Kuo-Chuan; Ricker, Paul M.; Taam, Ronald E. E-mail: pmricker@illinois.edu E-mail: taam@asiaa.sinica.edu.tw

    2014-09-01

    The nature of the progenitor systems of type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) is still unclear. One way to distinguish between the single-degenerate scenario and double-degenerate scenario for their progenitors is to search for the surviving companions (SCs). Using a technique that couples the results from multi-dimensional hydrodynamics simulations with calculations of the structure and evolution of main-sequence- (MS-) and helium-rich SCs, the color and magnitude of MS- and helium-rich SCs are predicted as functions of time. The SC candidates in Galactic type Ia supernova remnants (Ia SNR) and nearby extragalactic Ia SNRs are discussed. We find that the maximum detectable distance of MS SCs (helium-rich SCs) is 0.6-4 Mpc (0.4-16 Mpc), if the apparent magnitude limit is 27 in the absence of extinction, suggesting that the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds and the Andromeda Galaxy are excellent environments in which to search for SCs. However, only five Ia SNRs have been searched for SCs, showing little support for the standard channels in the singe-degenerate scenario. To better understand the progenitors of SNe Ia, we encourage the search for SCs in other nearby Ia SNRs.

  3. Search for Surviving Companions in Type Ia Supernova Remnants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Kuo-Chuan; Ricker, Paul M.; Taam, Ronald E.

    2014-09-01

    The nature of the progenitor systems of type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) is still unclear. One way to distinguish between the single-degenerate scenario and double-degenerate scenario for their progenitors is to search for the surviving companions (SCs). Using a technique that couples the results from multi-dimensional hydrodynamics simulations with calculations of the structure and evolution of main-sequence- (MS-) and helium-rich SCs, the color and magnitude of MS- and helium-rich SCs are predicted as functions of time. The SC candidates in Galactic type Ia supernova remnants (Ia SNR) and nearby extragalactic Ia SNRs are discussed. We find that the maximum detectable distance of MS SCs (helium-rich SCs) is 0.6-4 Mpc (0.4-16 Mpc), if the apparent magnitude limit is 27 in the absence of extinction, suggesting that the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds and the Andromeda Galaxy are excellent environments in which to search for SCs. However, only five Ia SNRs have been searched for SCs, showing little support for the standard channels in the singe-degenerate scenario. To better understand the progenitors of SNe Ia, we encourage the search for SCs in other nearby Ia SNRs.

  4. Exploring Earth as an Exoplanet (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, T. D.; Meadows, V. S.; Crisp, D.

    2013-12-01

    Earth is our only example of a habitable planet, or a planet capable of maintaining liquid water on its surface. As a result, Earth serves as the archetypal habitable world in conceptual studies of future exoplanet characterization missions, or in studies of techniques for the remote characterization of potentially habitable exoplanets. Pioneering studies of a distant Earth used spatially resolved observations from the Galileo Earth encounters. However, for the foreseeable future, direct observations of exoplanets will be spatially unresolved, depicting their targets as points of light. As a consequence, characterization techniques will be limited to using disk integrated spectroscopic observations, as well as rotational and orbital light curves. This challenge offers a unique opportunity for collaborations between the Earth sciences and the astronomical sciences, working together to retrieve information from spectra of Earth-like worlds seen at interstellar distances. There are a number of existing observations of the distant Earth that can be used to test our ability to remotely characterize the environment of a habitable exoplanet, including its surface temperature and the presence of an ocean. However, such datasets are rare, and are often limited in wavelength range, spectral resolution, temporal coverage, and viewing geometry. As a result, models of Earth's disk-integrated spectrum provide the best means for understanding the appearance of the Pale Blue Dot, and can serve as suitable replacements for data in characterization studies. One such model is the Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional, line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model. This model incorporates realistic absorption and scattering by the atmosphere and surface, including specular reflectance from the ocean, and direction-dependent scattering by clouds and aerosols. Data from Earth-observing satellites are used to specify the time- and location-dependent state of the surface

  5. Collaboration and Competition in Exoplanet Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beichman, Charles

    2009-01-01

    Collaboration and competition are strong driving forces in the modern search for exoplanets, appears between individuals, agencies and nations as well as between observing techniques and theoretical interpretation. I will argue that these forces, taken in balance, are beneficial to the field and are partly responsible for the rapid progress in the search for planets and ultimately the search for life beyond the solar system. Specific examples will include indirect detection of Earth analogs from ground and space and the direct detection of gas giant and terrestrial planets.

  6. Transit of Exoplanet WASP 24-b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Robert; Turner, J.; Hardegree-Ullman, K.; Raphael, B.; Smith, C.; Towner, A. P.; Walker-LaFollette, A.; Wallace, S.; Berkson, E.; Greenwood, N.

    2013-01-01

    We observed two primary transits of exoplanet WASP-24b with the Steward Observatory 1.55 meter Kuiper Telescope in the R photometric band. With our results, we have been able to produce a more complete light curve and refine previously published values for the planet’s mass, radius, density, surface gravity, Safronov number, equilibrium temperature, orbital distance, orbital inclination. One of the goals of this project is to give undergraduates opportunity to learn astronomical observing techniques, get practical experience using a research-class telescope, and perform data reduction using IRAF and Transit Analysis Package (TAP).

  7. The SEEDS High-Contrast Imaging Survey: Exoplanet and Brown Dwarf Survey for Nearby Young Stars Dated with Gyrochronology and Activity Age Indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Tamura, Motohide; Helminiak, Kris; Mede, Kyle; Brandt, Timothy; Janson, Markus; Kandori, Ryo; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Hashimoto, Jun

    2015-12-01

    The SEEDS campaign has successfully discovered and characterized exoplanets, brown dwarfs, and circumstellar disks since it began in 2009, via the direct imaging technique. The survey has targeted nearby young stars, as well as stars associated to star-forming regions, the Pleiades open cluster, moving groups, and debris disks. We selected the nearby young stars that have been dated with age indicators based on stellar rotation periods (i.e., gyrochronology) and chromoshperic/coronal activities. Of these, nearly 40 were observed, with ages mainly between 100 and 1000 Myr and distances less than 40 pc. Our observations typically attain the contrast of ~6 x 10-6 at 1'' and better than ~1 x 10-6 beyond 2'', enabling us to detect a planetary-mass companion even around such old stars. Indeed, the SEEDS team reported the discovery that the nearby Sun-like star GJ 504 hosts a Jovian companion GJ 504b, which has a mass of 3-8.5 Jupiter masses that is inferred according to the hot-start cooling models and our estimated system age of 100-510 Myr. The remaining observations out of the selected ~40 stars have resulted in no detection of additional planets or brown dwarf companions. Meanwhile, we have newly imaged a low-mass stellar companion orbiting the G-type star HIP 10321, for which the presence of companion was previously announced via radial velocity technique. The astrometry and radial velocity measurements are simultaneously analyzed to determine the orbit, providing constraints on the dynamical mass of both objects and stellar evolution models. Here we summarize our direct imaging observations for the nearby young stars dated with gyrochrolorogy and activity age indicators. Furthermore, we report the analysis for the HIP 10321 system with the imaged low-mass companion.

  8. Palomar Ultraviolet Laser for the Study of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baranec, C.; Dekany, R.; van Dam, M.; Burruss, R.

    2013-09-01

    PULSE is a new concept to augment the currently operating 5.1-m Hale PALM-3000 exoplanet adaptive optics system with an ultraviolet Rayleigh laser and associated wavefront sensor. By using an ultraviolet laser to measure the high spatial and temporal order turbulence near the telescope aperture, where it dominates, one can extend the faintness limit of natural guide stars needed by PALM-3000. Initial simulations indicate that very-high infrared contrast ratios and good visible-light adaptive optics performance will be achieved by such an upgraded system on stars as faint as mV = 16-17 using an optimized low-order NGS sensor. This will enable direct imaging searches for, and subsequent characterization of, companions around cool, low-mass stars for the first time, as well as routine visible-light imaging twice as sharp as HST for fainter targets. PULSE will reuse the laser and wavefront sensor technology developed for the automated Robo-AO laser system currently operating at the Palomar 60-inch telescope, as well as take advantage of pending optimization of low-order NGS wavefront sensing and planned new interfaces to the PALM-3000 real-time reconstruction computer. A copy of the Robo-AO laser will be installed in the prime focus cage of the 5.1-m, and a new ultraviolet high-order wavefront sensor, fed by an ultraviolet dichroic, will be installed in the space above the PALM-3000 optical bench near the calibration sources. The laser measurements will drive the 3,388 active element high-order deformable mirror in open-loop, while an adaptive optics sharpened faint natural source will be measured by the current PALM-3000 wavefront sensor in its lowest spatial sampling mode, with commands sent in closed-loop to the 241 active element low-order deformable mirror. The natural guide star loop corrects for both the relatively weak low-order high-altitude turbulence as well as functioning as both the tip-tilt and low-bandwidth `truth' sensor loops in a traditional laser

  9. A new interferometric study of four exoplanet host stars: θ Cygni, 14 Andromedae, υ Andromedae and 42 Draconis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ligi, R.; Mourard, D.; Lagrange, A. M.; Perraut, K.; Boyajian, T.; Bério, Ph.; Nardetto, N.; Tallon-Bosc, I.; McAlister, H.; ten Brummelaar, T.; Ridgway, S.; Sturmann, J.; Sturmann, L.; Turner, N.; Farrington, C.; Goldfinger, P. J.

    2012-09-01

    Context. Since the discovery of the first exoplanet in 1995 around a solar-type star, the interest in exoplanetary systems has kept increasing. Studying exoplanet host stars is of the utmost importance to establish the link between the presence of exoplanets around various types of stars and to understand the respective evolution of stars and exoplanets. Aims: Using the limb-darkened diameter (LDD) obtained from interferometric data, we determine the fundamental parameters of four exoplanet host stars. We are particularly interested in the F4 main-sequence star, θ Cyg, for which Kepler has recently revealed solar-like oscillations that are unexpected for this type of star. Furthermore, recent photometric and spectroscopic measurements with SOPHIE and ELODIE (OHP) show evidence of a quasi-periodic radial velocity of ~150 days. Models of this periodic change in radial velocity predict either a complex planetary system orbiting the star, or a new and unidentified stellar pulsation mode. Methods: We performed interferometric observations of θ Cyg, 14 Andromedae, υ Andromedae and 42 Draconis for two years with VEGA/CHARA (Mount Wilson, California) in several three-telescope configurations. We measured accurate limb darkened diameters and derived their radius, mass and temperature using empirical laws. Results: We obtain new accurate fundamental parameters for stars 14 And, υ And and 42 Dra. We also obtained limb darkened diameters with a minimum precision of ~1.3%, leading to minimum planet masses of Msini = 5.33 ± 0.57, 0.62 ± 0.09 and 3.79 ± 0.29 MJup for 14 And b, υ And b and 42 Dra b, respectively. The interferometric measurements of θ Cyg show a significant diameter variability that remains unexplained up to now. We propose that the presence of these discrepancies in the interferometric data is caused either by an intrinsic variation of the star or an unknown close companion orbiting around it. Based on interferometric observations with the VEGA

  10. First light of the VLT planet finder SPHERE. I. Detection and characterization of the substellar companion GJ 758 B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vigan, A.; Bonnefoy, M.; Ginski, C.; Beust, H.; Galicher, R.; Janson, M.; Baudino, J.-L.; Buenzli, E.; Hagelberg, J.; D'Orazi, V.; Desidera, S.; Maire, A.-L.; Gratton, R.; Sauvage, J.-F.; Chauvin, G.; Thalmann, C.; Malo, L.; Salter, G.; Zurlo, A.; Antichi, J.; Baruffolo, A.; Baudoz, P.; Blanchard, P.; Boccaletti, A.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Carle, M.; Claudi, R.; Costille, A.; Delboulbé, A.; Dohlen, K.; Dominik, C.; Feldt, M.; Fusco, T.; Gluck, L.; Girard, J.; Giro, E.; Gry, C.; Henning, T.; Hubin, N.; Hugot, E.; Jaquet, M.; Kasper, M.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Langlois, M.; Le Mignant, D.; Llored, M.; Madec, F.; Martinez, P.; Mawet, D.; Mesa, D.; Milli, J.; Mouillet, D.; Moulin, T.; Moutou, C.; Origné, A.; Pavlov, A.; Perret, D.; Petit, C.; Pragt, J.; Puget, P.; Rabou, P.; Rochat, S.; Roelfsema, R.; Salasnich, B.; Schmid, H.-M.; Sevin, A.; Siebenmorgen, R.; Smette, A.; Stadler, E.; Suarez, M.; Turatto, M.; Udry, S.; Vakili, F.; Wahhaj, Z.; Weber, L.; Wildi, F.

    2016-03-01

    GJ 758 B is a brown dwarf companion to a nearby (15.76%) solar-type, metal-rich (M / H = + 0.2 dex) main-sequence star (G9V) that was discovered with Subaru/HiCIAO in 2009. From previous studies, it has drawn attention as being the coldest (~600 K) companion ever directly imaged around a neighboring star. We present new high-contrast data obtained during the commissioning of the SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The data was obtained in Y-, J-, H-, and Ks-bands with the dual-band imaging (DBI) mode of IRDIS, thus providing a broad coverage of the full near-infrared (near-IR) range at higher contrast and better spectral sampling than previously reported. In this new set of high-quality data, we report the re-detection of the companion, as well as the first detection of a new candidate closer-in to the star. We use the new eight photometric points for an extended comparison of GJ 758 B with empirical objects and four families of atmospheric models. From comparison to empirical object, we estimate a T8 spectral type, but none of the comparison objects can accurately represent the observed near-IR fluxes of GJ 758 B. From comparison to atmospheric models, we attribute a Teff = 600 ± 100 K, but we find that no atmospheric model can adequately fit all the fluxes of GJ 758 B. The lack of exploration of metal enrichment in model grids appears as a major limitation that prevents an accurate estimation of the companion physical parameters. The photometry of the new candidate companion is broadly consistent with L-type objects, but a second epoch with improved photometry is necessary to clarify its status. The new astrometry of GJ 758 B shows a significant proper motion since the last epoch. We use this result to improve the determination of the orbital characteristics using two fitting approaches: Least-Squares Monte Carlo and Markov chain Monte Carlo. We confirm the high-eccentricity of the orbit (peak at 0.5), and find a most likely semi-major axis of

  11. Detecting and Characterizing Exoplanets: The GJ 436 and HD 149026 Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, Kevin B.; Harrington, J.; Madhusudhan, N.; Seager, S.; Deming, D.; Rauscher, E.; Fortney, J. J.; Loredo, T. J.; Lewis, N.; Moses, J. I.; Visscher, C. W.; UCF Exoplanets Group

    2013-01-01

    This research utilized the Spitzer Space Telescope to make secondary eclipse measurements, when the exoplanet passes behind its parent star, to provide direct measurements of emitted planetary flux. Multiple observations at different wavelengths help to constrain a planet's thermal profile and atmospheric composition. We will present dayside atmospheric constraints of two known extrasolar planets, GJ 436b and HD 149026b, and discuss the serendipitous discovery of UCF-1.01 and UCF-1.02, two sub-Earth-sized exoplanet candidates. The Neptune-sized exoplanet GJ 436b transits a relatively cool M-dwarf star in a 2.64-day orbit. With an equilibrium temperature of only 714 K, the dominant carbon-bearing species in GJ 436b's atmosphere is expected to be methane, not carbon monoxide. However, Spitzer observations of the system during secondary eclipse indicate a possible methane deficiency by a factor of ~7000. We will present additional atmospheric constraints and discuss several disequilibrium processes as possible explanations. The Saturn-sized exoplanet HD 149026b transits a large, relatively hot parent star at a distance of only 0.042 AU. The planet's high average density suggests that most of HD 149026b's mass must be in its large, icy/rocky core. Previous work reported contradicting eclipse depths at 8.0 microns. We reanalyzed these data and combined the results with nine new secondary-eclipse observations at five infrared wavelengths to present constraints on the thermal profile and atmospheric composition of HD 149026b. UCF-1.01 and UCF-1.02 are extrasolar planet candidates only two-thirds the size of the Earth. These objects transit the nearby M-dwarf star GJ 436 (located only 33 ly away). We will describe two new techniques that played a critical role in their detection, present details on eliminating false positives, and hypothesize possible atmospheric end states. Spitzer is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a

  12. ORBITAL ORIENTATIONS OF EXOPLANETS: HAT-P-4b IS PROGRADE AND HAT-P-14b IS RETROGRADE

    SciTech Connect

    Winn, Joshua N.; Albrecht, Simon; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Johnson, John Asher; Crepp, Justin R.; Morton, Timothy D.; Shporer, Avi; Bakos, Gaspar A.; Hartman, Joel D.; Holman, Matthew J.

    2011-02-15

    We present observations of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect for two exoplanetary systems, revealing the orientations of their orbits relative to the rotation axes of their parent stars. HAT-P-4b is prograde, with a sky-projected spin-orbit angle of {lambda} = -4.9 {+-} 11.9 deg. In contrast, HAT-P-14b is retrograde, with {lambda} = 189.1 {+-} 5.1 deg. These results conform with a previously noted pattern among the stellar hosts of close-in giant planets: hotter stars have a wide range of obliquities and cooler stars have low obliquities. This, in turn, suggests that three-body dynamics and tidal dissipation are responsible for the short-period orbits of many exoplanets. In addition, our data revealed a third body in the HAT-P-4 system, which could be a second planet or a companion star.

  13. The science of exoplanets and their systems.

    PubMed

    Lammer, Helmut; Blanc, Michel; Benz, Willy; Fridlund, Malcolm; Foresto, Vincent Coudé du; Güdel, Manuel; Rauer, Heike; Udry, Stephane; Bonnet, Roger-Maurice; Falanga, Maurizio; Charbonneau, David; Helled, Ravit; Kley, Willy; Linsky, Jeffrey; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T; Alibert, Yann; Chassefière, Eric; Encrenaz, Therese; Hatzes, Artie P; Lin, Douglas; Liseau, Rene; Lorenzen, Winfried; Raymond, Sean N

    2013-09-01

    A scientific forum on "The Future Science of Exoplanets and Their Systems," sponsored by Europlanet and the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) and co-organized by the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) of the University of Bern, was held during December 5 and 6, 2012, in Bern, Switzerland. It gathered 24 well-known specialists in exoplanetary, Solar System, and stellar science to discuss the future of the fast-expanding field of exoplanetary research, which now has nearly 1000 objects to analyze and compare and will develop even more quickly over the coming years. The forum discussions included a review of current observational knowledge, efforts for exoplanetary atmosphere characterization and their formation, water formation, atmospheric evolution, habitability aspects, and our understanding of how exoplanets interact with their stellar and galactic environment throughout their history. Several important and timely research areas of focus for further research efforts in the field were identified by the forum participants. These scientific topics are related to the origin and formation of water and its delivery to planetary bodies and the role of the disk in relation to planet formation, including constraints from observations as well as star-planet interaction processes and their consequences for atmosphere-magnetosphere environments, evolution, and habitability. The relevance of these research areas is outlined in this report, and possible themes for future ISSI workshops are identified that may be proposed by the international research community over the coming 2-3 years.

  14. Key Exoplanets in the Era of JWST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batalha, Natasha; Mandell, Avi; Lewis, Nikole K.; Pontoppidan, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    In 2018, exoplanet science will enter a new era with the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). With JWST's observing power, several studies have sought to characterize how the instruments will perform and what atmospheric spectral features could theoretically be detected using transmission spectroscopy. With just two years left until launch, it is imperative that the exoplanet community begins to digest and integrate these studies into their observing plans and strategies. In order to encourage this and to allow all members of the community access to JWST simulations, we present here an open source tool for creating observation simulations of all observatory-supported time-series spectroscopy modes. We describe our tool, PandExo and use it to calculate the expected signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for every confirmed planetary system with J<12. Assuming chemical equilibrium, we then determine how many observation hours are needed to attain a SNR of 5 on key molecular absorption bands of H2O, CH4, and CO. We end by determining the number of planets (hot Jupiters, warm Neptunes, super-Earths, etc.) that are currently attainable with JWST.

  15. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA's Kepler Mission.

    PubMed

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-02

    The Kepler Mission is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems. Its legacy will be a catalog of discoveries sufficient for computing planet occurrence rates as a function of size, orbital period, star type, and insolation flux. The mission has made significant progress toward achieving that goal. Over 3,500 transiting exoplanets have been identified from the analysis of the first 3 y of data, 100 planets of which are in the habitable zone. The catalog has a high reliability rate (85-90% averaged over the period/radius plane), which is improving as follow-up observations continue. Dynamical (e.g., velocimetry and transit timing) and statistical methods have confirmed and characterized hundreds of planets over a large range of sizes and compositions for both single- and multiple-star systems. Population studies suggest that planets abound in our galaxy and that small planets are particularly frequent. Here, I report on the progress Kepler has made measuring the prevalence of exoplanets orbiting within one astronomical unit of their host stars in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's long-term goal of finding habitable environments beyond the solar system.

  16. Coronagraphic phase diversity for exoplanet detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, B.; Sauvage, J.-F.; Mugnier, L. M.; N'Diaye, M.; Dohlen, K.; Ferrari, M.; Fusco, T.

    2012-09-01

    The final performance of current and future instruments dedicated to exoplanet detection and characterisation (such as SPHERE on the VLT, GPI on Gemini North or EPICS on E-ELT) is limited by intensity residuals in the scientific image plane, which originate in uncorrected optical aberrations. After correction of the atmospheric turbulence, the main contribution to these residuals are the quasi-static aberrations introduced upstream of the coronagraphic mask. In order to reach the final detectivity, these aberrations have to be estimated and compensated for. Some of these aberrations are not seen by the wave-front sensor of the AO loop but only by the scientific instruments. In order to measure and compensate for these aberrations, we have recently proposed a dedicated focal-plane sensor called COFFEE (for COronagraphic Focal-plane wave-Front Estimation for Exoplanet detection), based on an analytical model for coronagraphic imaging. In this communication, we first present a thorough characterisation of COFFEE's performance, by means of numerical simulations. We additionally present an experimental validation of COFFEE for low orders aberrations using an in-house Adaptive Optics Bench and an apodized Roddier and Roddier phase mask coronagraph.

  17. Rotation periods of exoplanet host stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, E. K.; Baliunas, S. L.; Henry, G. W.; Watson, C. A.

    2010-11-01

    The stellar rotation periods of 10 exoplanet host stars have been determined using newly analysed CaII H&K flux records from the Mount Wilson Observatory and Strömgren b, y photometric measurements from Tennessee State University's automatic photometric telescopes at the Fairborn Observatory. Five of the rotation periods have not previously been reported, with that of HD 130322 very strongly detected at Prot = 26.1 +/- 3.5 d. The rotation periods of five other stars have been updated using new data. We use the rotation periods to derive the line-of-sight inclinations of the stellar rotation axes, which may be used to probe theories of planet formation and evolution when combined with the planetary orbital inclination found from other methods. Finally, we estimate the masses of 14 exoplanets under the assumption that the stellar rotation axis is aligned with the orbital axis. We calculate the mass of HD 92788 b (28 MJ) to be within the low-mass brown dwarf regime and suggest that this object warrants further investigation to confirm its true nature.

  18. Characterization of Kepler Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Steve B.; Everett, M.; Ciardi, D. R.; Silva, D.; Szkody, P.

    2014-01-01

    Using a sample of 220 Exoplanet host stars in the Kepler field for which spectroscopic properties have been determined, we examine their spatial, physical, and time variable properties. Covering effective temperatures from 4670K to 6400K (K4 to F4) and masses from 0.7 to 1.4 M-sun, this sample represents host stars covering the entire Kepler field of view. The majority of the host stars contain one or more Earth-sized exoplanet and range in log g from 4.0 to 4.7 and [Fe/H] from -02.4 to +0.3. Using Yale-Yonsei isochrone fits and photometric information form the Howell-Everett UBV survey of the Kepler field, we examine a complete set of parameters for these stars including their likely residence in the thin or thick disk of the Galaxy. the variability of this sample, in terms of time sale and amplitude, is examined as well.

  19. A Cubesat Payload for Exoplanet Detection

    PubMed Central

    Iuzzolino, Marcella; Accardo, Domenico; Rufino, Giancarlo; Oliva, Ernesto; Tozzi, Andrea; Schipani, Pietro

    2017-01-01

    The search for undiscovered planets outside the solar system is a scientific topic that is rapidly spreading into the astrophysical and engineering communities. In this framework, the design of an innovative payload to detect exoplanets from a nano-sized space platform, like a 3U cubesat, is presented. The selected detection method is photometric transit, and the payload aims to detect flux decrements down to ~0.01% with a precision of 12 ppm. The payload design is also aimed at false positive recognition. The solution consists of a four-facets pyramid on the top of the payload, to allow for measurement redundancy and low-resolution spectral dispersion of the star images. The innovative concept is the use of a small and cheap platform for a relevant astronomical mission. The faintest observable target star has V-magnitude equal to 3.38. Despite missions aimed at ultra-precise photometry from microsatellites (e.g., MOST, BRITE), the transit of exoplanets orbiting very bright stars has not yet been surveyed photometrically from space, since any observation from a small/medium sized (30 cm optical aperture) telescope would saturate the detector. This cubesat mission can provide these missing measurements. This work is set up as a demonstrative project to verify the feasibility of the payload concept. PMID:28257111

  20. Light from Exoplanets: Present and Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deming, Leo

    2010-01-01

    Measurements using the Spitzer Space Telescope have revealed thermal emission from planets orbiting very close to solar-type stars, primarily transiting "hot Jupiter" exoplanets. The thermal emission spectrum of these worlds has been measured by exploiting their secondary eclipse. Also, during transit of the planet, absorption signatures from atoms and molecules in the planet's atmosphere are imprinted onto the spectrum of the star. Results to date from transit and eclipse studies show that the hot Jupiters often have significant haze and cloud components in their atmospheres, and the temperature structure can often be inverted, i.e. temperature is rising with height. New and very strongly irradiated examples of hot Jupiters have been found that are being stripped of their atmospheres by tidal forces from the star. In parallel, transiting superEarth exoplanets are being discovered, and their atmospheres should also be amenable to study using transit techniques. The 2014 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope will clarify the physical nature of hot Jupiters, and will extend transit and eclipse studies to superEarths orbiting in the habitable zones of lower main sequence stars.

  1. The Zodiacal Exoplanets in Time (ZEIT) Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mann, Andrew; Gaidos, Eric; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Rizzuto, Aaron C.; Vanderburg, Andrew; Mace, Gregory N.; Kraus, Adam L.

    2017-01-01

    Planets and their host stars evolve with time, and the first few hundred million years are thought to be the most formative. However, the majority of known exoplanets orbit stars older than the timescales of interest (>1 Gyr). We have launched the Zodiacal Exoplanets in Time (ZEIT) survey with the goal of identifying and characterizing young (<1 Gyr) transiting planets. To this end, we have utilized high-precision photometry of nearby young clusters and stellar associations taken as part of the K2 mission. Thus far we have discovered transiting planets in the Hyades and Praesepe clusters (˜800 Myr), and the Upper Scorpius OB association (˜11 Myr), but interestingly none in the Pleiades (˜125 Myr). These discoveries can be used to set limits on the migration timescale, estimate atmosphere loss around young planets, and provide independent tests of pre-main sequence stellar models. Here I overview some key science results from our survey and briefly discuss our plans to identify more young planetary systems.