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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 136118 FROM HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE ASTROMETRY AND HIGH-PRECISION RADIAL VELOCITIES

    SciTech Connect

    Martioli, Eder; McArthur, Barbara E.; Benedict, G. Fritz; Armstrong, Amber; Bean, Jacob L.; Harrison, Thomas E.

    2010-01-01

    We use Hubble Space Telescope fine guidance sensor astrometry and high-cadence radial velocities for HD 136118 from the Hobby-Eberly Telescope with archival data from Lick to determine the complete set of orbital parameters for HD 136118 b. We find an orbital inclination for the candidate exoplanet of i{sub b} = 163.{sup 0}1 +- 3.{sup 0}0. This establishes the actual mass of the object, M{sub b} = 42{sup +11}{sub -18} M{sub J} , in contrast to the minimum mass determined from the radial velocity data only, M{sub b} sin i approx 12 M{sub J} . Therefore, the low-mass companion to HD 136118 is now identified as a likely brown dwarf residing in the 'brown dwarf desert'.

  3. Undercover Stars Among Exoplanet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-03-01

    events by monitoring the brightness of a very large number of stars over extended time intervals. During the past years, it has also included a search for periodic, very shallow "dips" in the brightness of stars, caused by the regular transit of small orbiting objects (small stars, brown dwarfs [2] or Jupiter-size planets). The OGLE team has since announced 177 "planetary transit candidates" from their survey of several hundred thousand stars in three southern sky fields, one in the direction of the Galactic Centre, another within the Carina constellation and the third within the Centaurus/Musca constellations. The nature of the transiting object can however only be established by subsequent radial-velocity observations of the parent star. The size of the velocity variations (the amplitude) is directly related to the mass of the companion object and therefore allows discrimination between stars and planets as the cause of the observed brightness "dip". A Bonanza of Low-Mass Stars An international team of astronomers [3] has made use of the 8.2-m VLT Kueyen telescope for this work. Profiting from the multiplex capacity of the FLAMES/UVES facility that permits to obtain high-resolution spectra of up to 8 objects simultaneously, they have looked at 60 OGLE transit candidate stars, measuring their radial velocities with an accuracy of about 50 m/s [4]. This ambitious programme has so far resulted in the discovery of five new transiting exoplanets (see, e.g., ESO PR 11/04 for the announcement of two of those). Most of the other transit candidates identified by OGLE have turned out to be eclipsing binaries, that is, in most cases common, small and low-mass stars passing in front of a solar-like star. This additional wealth of data on small and light stars is a real bonanza for the astronomers. Constraining the Relation Between Mass and Radius Low-mass stars are exceptionally interesting objects, also because the physical conditions in their interiors have much in common with

  4. 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.

  5. Kepler Observations of Three Pre-launch Exoplanet Candidates: Discovery of Two Eclipsing Binaries and a New Exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Steve B.; Rowe, Jason F.; Sherry, William; von Braun, Kaspar; Ciardi, David R.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Feldmeier, John J.; Horch, Elliott; van Belle, Gerard T.

    2010-12-01

    Three transiting exoplanet candidate stars were discovered in a ground-based photometric survey prior to the launch of NASA's Kepler mission. Kepler observations of them were obtained during Quarter 1 of the Kepler mission. All three stars are faint by radial velocity follow-up standards, so we have examined these candidates with regard to eliminating false positives and providing high confidence exoplanet selection. We present a first attempt to exclude false positives for this set of faint stars without high-resolution radial velocity analysis. This method of exoplanet confirmation will form a large part of the Kepler mission follow-up for Jupiter-sized exoplanet candidates orbiting faint stars. Using the Kepler light curves and pixel data, as well as medium-resolution reconnaissance spectroscopy and speckle imaging, we find that two of our candidates are binary stars. One consists of a late-F star with an early M companion, while the other is a K0 star plus a late M-dwarf/brown dwarf in a 19 day elliptical orbit. The third candidate (BOKS-1) is an r = 15 G8V star hosting a newly discovered exoplanet with a radius of 1.12 R Jupiter in a 3.9 day orbit.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. High-contrast imaging search for stellar and substellar companions of exoplanet host stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugrauer, M.; Ginski, C.

    2015-07-01

    We present the results of our high-contrast imaging survey of close stellar and substellar companions of exoplanet host stars, carried out with the adaptive optics imager NACO at the ESO Paranal observatory, in Chile. In total, 33 exoplanet host stars were observed with NACO in the Ks-band. New comoving companions could be identified close to the stars HD 9578, HD 96167, and HD 142245. The newly detected companions exhibit masses between 0.21 and 0.56 M⊙ and are located at projected separations from their primaries between about 190 and 510 au. In the case of HD 142245, we found evidence that the detected companion is actually a close binary itself with a projected separation of only about 4 au, i.e. HD 142245 might be a hierarchical triple stellar system, which hosts an exoplanet, a new member in the short list of such systems, presently known. In our imaging campaign, a limiting magnitude of Ks = 18.5 mag is reached in average in the background noise limited region around our targets at projected separations beyond about 100 au, which allows the detection of substellar companions with masses down to about 60 MJup. With our NACO observations we can rule out additional stellar companions at projected separations between about 30 and 370 au around the observed exoplanet host stars.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  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}ȯ , 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. Follow-up of Candidate Companions to Vega

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janson, Markus; Quanz, Sascha; Carson, Joseph; Thalmann, Christian; Lafreniere, David; Amara, Adam

    2014-12-01

    Vega hosts one of the most nearby massive debris disks, with a morphology that may be indicative of wide giant planetary companions. Its proximity and relatively young age also make it an attractive target for direct imaging searches for such companions. We therefore observed Vega with Spitzer during cycle 9, which provides the best sensitivity to planets in wide orbits that is available with any existing facility. Three candidates were discovered in the data which are substantially brighter at 4.5 micron than at 3.6 micron, while typical background sources have much smaller brightness differences between these bands. We now propose to follow the system up in a second epoch to test the three candidates for common proper motion with the primary star. If real, physical companions, the candidates have separations of 265-335 AU and masses of 2-3 Mjup according to evolutionary models (regardless of initial entropy conditions), and would therefore constitute the coldest and lowest-mass planets ever imaged outside of the Solar System.

  16. 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

  17. STIS Spectroscopy of Candidate Substellar Companions Imaged by NICMOS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, G.; NICMOS IDT/EONS Team; STIS/8176 Team

    2000-05-01

    Recently, many old isolated "field" brown dwarfs have been discovered from large ground-based surveys such as the 2-Micron All-Sky and Sloan Digital Sky surveys, and subsequently confirmed spectroscopically. Indeed, it has been suggested that brown dwarfs, once considered somewhat exotic objects, may be as common as stars. Yet, the companion mass fraction of these substellar objects which occupy a niche in the mass function between planets and stars remains largely unknown. How common are they? Do companion brown dwarfs form in a process more like planets than stars? How does the presence of a brown dwarf companion effect the evolution of a newly-forming solar system? To address these and related questions, during HST Cycle 7 the Near Infrared Camera and MultiObject Spectrometer Instrument Definition Team conducted a coronagraphic imaging survey designed to identify candidate substellar companions across the mass-spectrum bridging the stellar main sequence into the planetary domain. Now, as part of our follow-up observations we are using the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph to ascertain the physical nature of those candidates. Here we present the first results from that program, including spectra of likely 20 and 40 Jupiter mass companions to the young stars CD -33.7795 and HR 7329, respectively, and the somewhat older GL 577. While many more objects will have to be identified and studied to answer the questions fundamental posited above we believe these first steps are indicative of the bright prospects for continuing such investigations in the near future. This work is based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc. under NASA contract NAS2-6555 and supported by NASA grants NAG5-3042 GO-98.8176A to the NICMOS IDT and EONS teams.

  18. 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.

  19. Five Kepler Target Stars That Show Multiple Transiting Exoplanet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffen, Jason H.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Borucki, William J.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; Fressin, François; Ford, Eric B.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Haas, Michael J.; Holman, Matthew J.; Howell, Steve B.; Isaacson, Howard; Jenkins, Jon M.; Koch, David; Latham, David W.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Moorhead, Althea V.; Morehead, Robert C.; Marcy, Geoffrey; MacQueen, Phillip J.; Quinn, Samuel N.; Ragozzine, Darin; Rowe, Jason F.; Sasselov, Dimitar D.; Seager, Sara; Torres, Guillermo; Welsh, William F.

    2010-12-01

    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 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Follow-up spectroscopic observations of HD 107148 B: A new white dwarf companion of an exoplanet host star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugrauer, M.; Dinçel, B.

    2016-07-01

    We report on our follow-up spectroscopy of HD 1071478 B, a recently detected faint co-moving companion of the exoplanet host star HD 107148 A. The companion is separated from its primary star by about 35 arcsec (or 1790 AU of projected separation) and its optical and near infrared photometry is consistent with a white dwarf, located at the distance of HD 107148 A. In order to confirm the white dwarf nature of the co-moving companion, we obtained follow-up spectroscopic observations of HD 107148 B with CAFOS at the CAHA 2.2 m telescope. According to our CAFOS spectroscopy HD 107148 B is a DA white dwarf with an effective temperature in the range between 5900 and 6400 K. The properties of HD 107148 B can further be constrained with the derived effective temperature and the known visual and infrared photometry of the companion, using evolutionary models of DA white dwarfs. We obtain for HD 107148 B a mass of 0.56±0.05 M_⊙, a luminosity of (2.0±0.2)×10-4 L_⊙, log g [cm s-2])=7.95±0.09, and a cooling age of 2100±270 Myr. With its white dwarf companion the exoplanet host star HD 107148 A forms an evolved stellar system, which hosts at least one exoplanet. So far, only few of these evolved systems are known, which represent only about 5 % of all known exoplanet host multiple stellar systems. HD 107148 B is the second confirmed white dwarf companion of an exoplanet host star with a projected separation to its primary star of more than 1000 AU. Based on observations collected at the Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán (CAHA) at Calar Alto, operated jointly by the Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC).

  8. Follow-up spectroscopic observations of HD 107148 B: A new white dwarf companion of an exoplanet host star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugrauer, M.; Dinçel, B.

    2016-07-01

    We report on our follow-up spectroscopy of HD 1071478 B, a recently detected faint co-moving companion of the exoplanet host star HD 107148 A. The companion is separated from its primary star by about 35 arcsec (or 1790 AU of projected separation) and its optical and near infrared photometry is consistent with a white dwarf, located at the distance of HD 107148 A. In order to confirm the white dwarf nature of the co-moving companion, we obtained follow-up spectroscopic observations of HD 107148 B with CAFOS at the CAHA 2.2 m telescope. According to our CAFOS spectroscopy HD 107148 B is a DA white dwarf with an effective temperature in the range between 5900 and 6400 K. The properties of HD 107148 B can further be constrained with the derived effective temperature and the known visual and infrared photometry of the companion, using evolutionary models of DA white dwarfs. We obtain for HD 107148 B a mass of 0.56±0.05 M_ȯ, a luminosity of (2.0±0.2)×10-4 L_ȯ, log g [cm s-2])=7.95±0.09, and a cooling age of 2100±270 Myr. With its white dwarf companion the exoplanet host star HD 107148 A forms an evolved stellar system, which hosts at least one exoplanet. So far, only few of these evolved systems are known, which represent only about 5 % of all known exoplanet host multiple stellar systems. HD 107148 B is the second confirmed white dwarf companion of an exoplanet host star with a projected separation to its primary star of more than 1000 AU. Based on observations collected at the Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán (CAHA) at Calar Alto, operated jointly by the Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC).

  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. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. High-precision ground-based observations of transiting exoplanets to detect their magnetic fields and undiscovered companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryleigh Fitzpatrick, Morgan; Watson, Zachary; Zellem, Robert; Pearson, Kyle; Griffith, Caitlin Ann; AzGOE

    2015-01-01

    Here we present U and B band photometric light curves of several bright transiting exoplanets observed with the University of Arizona's 61''/Mont4k in order to better determine their physical parameters and search for their magnetic fields and undiscovered planetary companions. Recent studies suggest that it is possible to determine the presence and constrain the strength of a magnetic field by observing an exoplanet's bow shock. The shock would be detected via asymmetries in the UV and optical light curves, specifically if the ingress in the near-UV occurs earlier than in the optical. The size of this offset indicates the planet's magnetic field strength. In addition, our photometry, which spans multiple nights, is used to more precisely measure the radius of these exoplanets and determine any transit timing variations that could potentially indicate a nearby companion. The data are reduced via an in-house, publicly available pipeline, ExoDRPL. Our research group, AzGOE, is made primarily of undergraduate students from the University of Arizona in cooperation with the University of Arizona Astronomy Club, and gives these students the ability to take, reduce, and publish their own ground based observations.

  15. 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.

  16. Space weather: recovering the variation of the stellar EUV spectral Energy distribution from the companion exoplanet FUV transit observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben-Jaffel, Lotfi; Guo, Jianheng

    2016-07-01

    The stellar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) irradiation determines the atmospheric properties of exoplanets. Recently, by varying the profiles of the EUV spectral energy distribution (SED), we tested the influences of stellar EUV SEDs on the physical and chemical properties of the escaping atmosphere (Guo & Ben-Jaffel, 2015). One of our major results was that the composition and species distributions in the atmosphere could be dramatically modified by the different profiles of the EUV SED. For exoplanets with a high hydrodynamic escape rate, the amount of atomic hydrogen produced by photoionization at different altitudes can vary by one to two orders of magnitude with the variation of stellar EUV SEDs. For exoplanet HD 189733b, it was possible to explain the time variability observed during transit in the Lyman-α line by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) between 2010 and 2011 by a change in the EUV SED of the host K star. Our proposed technique provides a straightforward and easy-to-follow proxy to connect the EUV SED of the star with the planetary companion Lyman--α transit absorption, the monitoring of which may provide a direct measure of the stellar EUV flux. Here, we extend our study using new HST FUV observations.

  17. Two Suns in The Sky: Stellar Multiplicity in Exoplanet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raghavan, D. R.; Henry, T. J.; Mason, B. D.; Subasavage, J. P.; Jao, W. C.; Beaulieu, T. D.; Hambly, N. C.

    2005-12-01

    We present results of a reconnaissance for stellar companions to all 131 radial-velocity-detected candidate extrasolar planetary systems known as of July 1, 2005. Common proper motion (CPM) companions were investigated using the multi-epoch STScI Digitized Sky Surveys (DSS), and confirmed by matching the trigonometric parallax distances of the primaries to companion distances estimated photometrically using SuperCOSMOS plate, CCD optical and 2MASS infrared photometry. We evaluate whether the ``companions" listed in the Washington Double Star Catalog (WDS) are gravitationally bound to the primary or coincidental alignments in the sky. We also attempt to confirm or refute companions listed in the Catalog of Nearby Stars (CNS), Hipparcos, and Duquennoy & Mayor, 1991. Our findings indicate that a lower limit of 29 (22%) of the 131 exoplanet systems have stellar companions, and an additional 7 (5%) have candidate companions. We report a previously unknown stellar companion to planet host HD 38529, and identify a companion candidate to HD 188015. We confirm 16 previously reported stellar companions to exoplanet hosts, and report 8 additional companions --- these are known stellar companions, but previously not recognized to be in exoplanet systems. In addition, we have confirmed the gravitational connection for a WDS entry for HD 222582. We have also found evidence for 20 entries in WDS that are not gravitationally bound companions --- they do not show any related proper motion in the DSS plates. At least three, and possibly five of the exoplanet systems are contained within triple star systems, and of these, HD 38529 may have a fourth stellar companion as well. Two of the exoplanet systems contain white dwarf companions. These results indicate that solar systems are found in a variety of stellar multiplicity environments -- singles, binaries, triples, and possibly quadruples; and that planets survive post-main-sequence evolution of companion stars.

  18. 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.

  19. Algol: An Early Candidate for a Transiting Exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    French, Linda M.; Stuart, I.

    2008-09-01

    Virtually every astronomy text credits John Goodricke (1764-1786) with the discovery of the period of variability of the star Algol (β Per) and with the explanation of its variation (eclipses by an unseen stellar companion). Today, Algol is considered a prototype of an eclipsing binary star. In actuality, John Goodricke worked in collaboration with his neighbor, mentor, and distant relative, Edward Pigott. As observed by Hoskin1, the observing journals2 of the two clearly show that the eclipse explanation originated with Edward. Both originally used the term "planet” to describe the eclipsing body. However, in Goodricke's 1783 paper describing Algol, he writes: "....I should imagine it could hardly be accounted for otherwise than either by the interposition of a large body revolving round Algol, or some kind of motion of its own, whereby part of its body, covered with spots or such like matter...."3 Goodricke was later to soften his stance still further after the two discovered several other variable stars; his last published work4 mentions only starspots as an explanation for the light variation of Algol. Although the physics of the time would not have allowed Goodricke and Pigott to distinguish between a star and a planet as the unseen companion, the eighteenth-century astronomers showed great prescience in realizing that the eclipses of Algol were just that. Their mental leap, at a time when astronomers were just beginning to think seriously of discovering planets around other stars, should not go unremembered by modern planetary scientists. Footnotes 1 Hoskin, M. (1982). In Stellar Astronomy, Science History Publications Ltd., Chalfont St. Giles, England. 2 Goodricke and Pigott journals. York City Archives, York, England. 3 Goodricke, J. G. (1783). Phil. Soc. Roy. Soc. London 73, 474-482. 4 Goodricke, J. G. (1786). Phil. Soc. Roy. Soc. London 76, 48-61.

  20. 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.

  1. Transit, Secondary Eclipse, and Phase Curve Modeling to Characterize Kepler Exoplanet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarnas, Jesse; Redfield, Seth

    2016-01-01

    The high sensitivity and continuous coverage of Kepler allows for analysis of optical phase curves, which provide detailed exoplanet characterization by fitting photometric features caused by thermal emission, reflected light, Doppler boosting, and ellipsoidal variations. Combined with transit and secondary eclipse analysis to reduce model degeneracy, phase curves can resolve atmospheric characteristics, dayside-nightside temperatures, and even mass using single-band photometry. We will present an integrated phase curve, transit, and secondary eclipse analysis of Kepler exoplanet candidates, building on the phase curve model constructed by Serindag & Redfield (2015). Phase curves can also be present in non-transiting systems. We will explore the feasibility of detecting and characterizing these non-transiting exoplanets. We will also investigate the possibility of analyzing exoplanet phase curves in K2 data. We gratefully acknowledge support through a grant (14-K2GO1_2-0071) associated with the K2 Guest Observer — Cycle 1 program of Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES-2014; NNH14ZDA001N).

  2. Companions to APOGEE Stars. I. A Milky Way-spanning Catalog of Stellar and Substellar Companion Candidates and Their Diverse Hosts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troup, Nicholas W.; Nidever, David L.; De Lee, Nathan; Carlberg, Joleen; Majewski, Steven R.; Fernandez, Martin; Covey, Kevin; Chojnowski, S. Drew; Pepper, Joshua; Nguyen, Duy T.; Stassun, Keivan; Nguyen, Duy Cuong; Wisniewski, John P.; Fleming, Scott W.; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Frinchaboy, Peter M.; García-Hernández, D. A.; Ge, Jian; Hearty, Fred; Meszaros, Szabolcs; Pan, Kaike; Allende Prieto, Carlos; Schneider, Donald P.; Shetrone, Matthew D.; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Wilson, John; Zamora, Olga

    2016-03-01

    In its three years of operation, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE-1) observed >14,000 stars with enough epochs over a sufficient temporal baseline for the fitting of Keplerian orbits. We present the custom orbit-fitting pipeline used to create this catalog, which includes novel quality metrics that account for the phase and velocity coverage of a fitted Keplerian orbit. With a typical radial velocity precision of ˜100-200 m s-1, APOGEE can probe systems with small separation companions down to a few Jupiter masses. Here we present initial results from a catalog of 382 of the most compelling stellar and substellar companion candidates detected by APOGEE, which orbit a variety of host stars in diverse Galactic environments. Of these, 376 have no previously known small separation companion. The distribution of companion candidates in this catalog shows evidence for an extremely truncated brown dwarf (BD) desert with a paucity of BD companions only for systems with a\\quad \\lt 0.1-0.2 AU, with no indication of a desert at larger orbital separation. We propose a few potential explanations of this result, some which invoke this catalog’s many small separation companion candidates found orbiting evolved stars. Furthermore, 16 BD and planet candidates have been identified around metal-poor ([Fe/H] < -0.5) stars in this catalog, which may challenge the core accretion model for companions \\gt 10{M}{Jup}. Finally, we find all types of companions are ubiquitous throughout the Galactic disk with candidate planetary-mass and BD companions to distances of ˜6 and ˜16 kpc, respectively.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Stellar companions of exoplanet host stars (Ginski+, 2012)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ginski, C.; Mugrauer, M.; Seeliger, M.; Eisenbeiss, T.

    2013-01-01

    Our sample consists of stars with RV planet candidates discovered between 2008 and 2011. They are all observable from the Northern hemisphere with declinations down to -22° and a relatively even distribution in right ascension. All observations were carried out with the Calar Alto 2.2-m telescope in combination with the AstraLux instrument. (2 data files).

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Two nearby Sub-Earth-sized Exoplanet Candidates in the GJ 436 System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-08-01

    We report the detection of UCF-1.01, a strong exoplanet candidate with a radius 0.66 ± 0.04 times that of Earth (R ⊕). This sub-Earth-sized planet transits the nearby M-dwarf star GJ 436 with a period of 1.365862 ± 8 × 10-6 days. We also report evidence of a 0.65 ± 0.06 R ⊕ 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-3, we predict both candidates to have similar masses (~0.28 Earth-masses, M ⊕, 2.6 Mars-masses) and surface gravities of ~0.65 g (where g is the gravity on Earth). UCF-1.01's equilibrium temperature (T 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 μm light curve shows indications of stellar activity, making a reliable secondary eclipse measurement impossible. A second non-detection at 4.5 μm supports our previous work in which we find a methane-deficient and carbon monoxide-rich dayside atmosphere.

  13. 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.

  14. The SOPHIE search for northern extrasolar planets. VIII. Follow-up of ELODIE candidates: long-period brown-dwarf companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouchy, F.; Ségransan, D.; Díaz, R. F.; Forveille, T.; Boisse, I.; Arnold, L.; Astudillo-Defru, N.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Bonfils, X.; Borgniet, S.; Bourrier, V.; Courcol, B.; Delfosse, X.; Demangeon, O.; Delorme, P.; Ehrenreich, D.; Hébrard, G.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Mayor, M.; Montagnier, G.; Moutou, C.; Naef, D.; Pepe, F.; Perrier, C.; Queloz, D.; Rey, J.; Sahlmann, J.; Santerne, A.; Santos, N. C.; Sivan, J.-P.; Udry, S.; Wilson, P. A.

    2016-01-01

    Long-period brown dwarf companions detected in radial velocity surveys are important targets for direct imaging and astrometry to calibrate the mass-luminosity relation of substellar objects. Through a 20-yr radial velocity monitoring of solar-type stars that began with ELODIE and was extended with SOPHIE spectrographs, giant exoplanets and brown dwarfs with orbital periods longer than ten years are discovered. We report the detection of five new potential brown dwarfs with minimum masses between 32 and 83 MJup orbiting solar-type stars with periods longer than ten years. An upper mass limit of these companions is provided using astrometric Hipparcos data, high-angular resolution imaging made with PUEO, and a deep analysis of the cross-correlation function of the main stellar spectra to search for blend effects or faint secondary components. These objects double the number of known brown dwarf companions with orbital periods longer than ten years and reinforce the conclusion that the occurrence of such objects increases with orbital separation. With a projected separation larger than 100 mas, all these brown dwarf candidates are appropriate targets for high-contrast and high angular resolution imaging. Based on observations made with ELODIE and SOPHIE spectrographs on the 1.93-m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS/AMU), France.Tables 5-9 (RV data) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/585/A46

  15. 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.

  16. THE WIDEST-SEPARATION SUBSTELLAR COMPANION CANDIDATE TO A BINARY T TAURI STAR

    SciTech Connect

    Kuzuhara, M.; Tamura, M.; Kudo, T.; Kandori, R.; Ishii, M.; Nishiyama, S.

    2011-04-15

    The results of near-infrared imaging and spectroscopy of a substellar companion (SR12 C), with a possible planetary mass, of a binary T Tauri star (SR12 AB) in the {rho} Ophiuchi star-forming region are presented. The object is separated by {approx}8.''7, corresponding to {approx}1100 AU at 125 pc, and has an H-band brightness of 15.2 mag and infrared spectra suggesting a spectral type of M9.0 {+-} 0.5. It is confirmed that SR12 C is physically related to the {rho} Ophiuchi star-forming region from its common proper motion with SR12 AB and its youth is confirmed by a gravity-sensitive spectral feature. Furthermore, based on the number of known members of the {rho} Ophiuchi star-forming region in the area in which SR12 AB exists, the probability of a chance alignment is {approx}1% and it is therefore likely that SR12 C is physically associated with SR12 AB. The mass of SR12 C is estimated by comparing its estimated luminosity and assumed age with the theoretical age-luminosity relation. SR12 C is identified as an extremely low-mass (0.013 {+-} 0.007 M{sub sun}) object, but its separation from its parent star is the widest among planetary-mass companion (PMC) candidates imaged to date. In addition, SR12 C is the first PMC candidate directly imaged around a binary star. This discovery suggests that PMCs form via multiple star formation processes including disk gravitational instability and cloud core fragmentation.

  17. 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.

    2016-08-01

    In this work we keep pushing K2 data to a high photometric precision, close to that of the Kepler main mission, using a 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Discovery of a Companion Candidate in the HD 169142 Transition Disk and the Possibility of Multiple Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reggiani, Maddalena; Quanz, Sascha P.; Meyer, Michael R.; Pueyo, Laurent; Absil, Olivier; Amara, Adam; Anglada, Guillem; Avenhaus, Henning; Girard, Julien H.; Carrasco Gonzalez, Carlos; Graham, James; Mawet, Dimitri; Meru, Farzana; Milli, Julien; Osorio, Mayra; Wolff, Schuyler; 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 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Exoplanet habitability.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Exoplanet habitability.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23641111

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. VERY-LOW-MASS STELLAR AND SUBSTELLAR COMPANIONS TO SOLAR-LIKE STARS FROM MARVELS. III. A SHORT-PERIOD BROWN DWARF CANDIDATE AROUND AN ACTIVE G0IV SUBGIANT

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-01-01

    We present an eccentric, short-period brown dwarf candidate orbiting the active, slightly evolved subgiant star TYC 2087-00255-1, which has effective temperature T{sub eff} = 5903 {+-} 42 K, surface gravity log (g) = 4.07 {+-} 0.16 (cgs), and metallicity [Fe/H] = -0.23 {+-} 0.07. This candidate was discovered using data from the first two years of the Multi-object APO Radial Velocity Exoplanets Large-area Survey, which is part of the third phase of Sloan Digital Sky Survey. From our 38 radial velocity measurements spread over a two-year time baseline, we derive a Keplerian orbital fit with semi-amplitude K = 3.571 {+-} 0.041 km s{sup -1}, period P = 9.0090 {+-} 0.0004 days, and eccentricity e = 0.226 {+-} 0.011. Adopting a mass of 1.16 {+-} 0.11 M{sub Sun} for the subgiant host star, we infer that the companion has a minimum mass of 40.0 {+-} 2.5 M{sub Jup}. Assuming an edge-on orbit, the semimajor axis is 0.090 {+-} 0.003 AU. The host star is photometrically variable at the {approx}1% level with a period of {approx}13.16 {+-} 0.01 days, indicating that the host star spin and companion orbit are not synchronized. Through adaptive optics imaging we also found a point source 643 {+-} 10 mas away from TYC 2087-00255-1, which would have a mass of 0.13 M{sub Sun} if it is physically associated with TYC 2087-00255-1 and has the same age. Future proper motion observation should be able to resolve if this tertiary object is physically associated with TYC 2087-00255-1 and make TYC 2087-00255-1 a triple body system. Core Ca II H and K line emission indicate that the host is chromospherically active, at a level that is consistent with the inferred spin period and measured v{sub rot}sin i, but unusual for a subgiant of this T{sub eff}. This activity could be explained by ongoing tidal spin-up of the host star by the companion.

  17. 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.

  18. TWO PLANETARY COMPANIONS AROUND THE K7 DWARF GJ 221: A HOT SUPER-EARTH AND A CANDIDATE IN THE SUB-SATURN DESERT RANGE

    SciTech Connect

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

    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{sub Circled-Plus} (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{sub Circled-Plus }) in a hot orbit (3.87 day period, GJ 221c). Spectroscopic and photometric calibrations suggest that GJ 221 is slightly depleted ([Fe/H] {approx} -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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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}ȯ , 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}ȯ and the secondary has a mass of 0.44 ± 0.05 {M}ȯ . 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Wide Cool and Ultracool Companions to Nearby Stars from Pan-STARRS 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Transiting Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haswell, Carole A.

    2010-07-01

    1. Our solar system from afar; 2. Exoplanet discoveries by the transit method; 3. What the transit lightcurve tells us; 4. The transiting exoplanet population; 5. Transmission spectroscopy and Rossiter-McLaughlin effect; 6. Secondary eclipses and phase variations; 7. Transit timing variations and orbital dynamics; 8. Brave new worlds: the future; Index.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The Qatar Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alsubai, K. A.; Parley, N. R.; Bramich, D. M.; Horne, K.; Collier Cameron, A.; West, R. G.; Sorensen, P. M.; Pollacco, D.; Smith, J. C.; Fors, O.

    2013-12-01

    The Qatar Exoplanet Survey (QES) is discovering hot Jupiters and aims to discover hot Saturns and hot Neptunes that transit in front of relatively bright host stars. QES currently operates a robotic wide-angle camera system to identify promising transiting exoplanet candidates among which are the confirmed exoplanets Qatar 1b and 2b. This paper describes the first generation QES instrument, observing strategy, data reduction techniques, and follow-up procedures. The QES cameras in New Mexico complement the SuperWASP cameras in the Canary Islands and South Africa, and we have developed tools to enable the QES images and light curves to be archived and analysed using the same methods developed for the SuperWASP datasets. With its larger aperture, finer pixel scale, and comparable field of view, and with plans to deploy similar systems at two further sites, the QES, in collaboration with SuperWASP, should help to speed the discovery of smaller radius planets transiting bright stars in northern skies.

  14. 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.

  15. The VLT/NaCo large program to probe the occurrence of exoplanets and brown dwarfs at wide orbits . III. The frequency of brown dwarfs and giant planets as companions to solar-type stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

    Context. In recent years there have been many attempts to characterize the occurrence and distribution of stellar, brown dwarf (BD), and planetary-mass companions to solar-type stars with the aim of constraining formation mechanisms. From radial velocity observations a dearth of companions with masses between 10-40 MJupiter has been noticed at close separations, suggesting the possibility of a distinct formation mechanism for objects above and below this range. Aims: We present a model for the substellar companion mass function (CMF). This model consists of the superposition of the planet and BD companion mass distributions, assuming that we can extrapolate the radial velocity measured CMF for planets to larger separations and the stellar companion mass-ratio distribution over all separations into the BD mass regime. By using both the results of the VLT/NaCo large program (NaCo-LP) and the complementary archive datasets, which probe the occurrence of planets and BDs on wide orbits around solar-type stars, we place some constraints on the planet and BD distributions. Methods: We developed a Monte Carlo simulation tool to predict the outcome of a given survey, depending on the shape of the orbital parameter distributions (mass, semimajor axis, eccentricity, and inclination). Comparing the predictions with the results of the observations, we calculate the likelihood of different models and which models can be ruled out. Results: Current observations are consistent with the proposed model for the CMF, as long as a sufficiently small outer truncation radius (≲100 AU) is introduced for the planet separation distribution. Some regions of parameter space can be excluded by the observations. Conclusions: We conclude that the results of the direct imaging surveys searching for substellar companions around Sun-like stars are consistent with a combined substellar mass spectrum of planets and BDs. This mass distribution has a minimum between 10 and 50 MJupiter, in agreement

  16. GRO source candidates: (A) Nearby modest-size molecular clouds; (B) Pulsar with Wolf-Rayet companion that has lost its H-envelope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silberberg, R.; Murphy, Ronald J.

    1989-01-01

    Within 100 pc of the sun there are over a hundred cirrus clouds with masses of approx. 60 solar mass and dense molecular clouds with masses of approx. 4 solar mass. If the local interstellar density of cosmic rays is also present in these clouds, the flux of neutral pion from the decay of gamma rays from the core of a cloud at a distance of 20 pc is approx. 13 x 10(exp -8) photons/sq cm/s. The flux from the more extensive cirrus cloud is approx 4 x 10(exp -7) photons/sq cm/s. A relativistic beam of particles generated by a compact stellar object and incident upon a large, close companion can be a strong gamma ray line source if more of the beam energy is used in interactions with C and O and heavier nuclei and less with H and He. This would be the case if the companion has lost its hydrogen envelope and nucleosynthesized much of its He into C, O, and Ne. Such objects are Wolf-Rayet stars and it is believed that some Wolf-Rayet stars do, in fact, have compact companions. For a beam of protons of 10(exp 37) erg/s, the flux at 1 kpc of the 4.4 MeV C-12 line could be as high as 5 x 10(exp -6) photons/sq cm/s. The fluxes of the deexcitation lines from the spallation products of O-16 are also presented.

  17. Adaptive Optics Imaging of Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, Miranda; Waaler, Mason; Patience, Jennifer; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Rajan, Abhijith; McCarthy, Don; Kulesa, Craig; Wilson, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    With the Arizona Infrared imager and Echelle Spectrograph (ARIES) instrument on the 6.5m MMT telescope, we obtained high angular resolution adaptive optics images of 12 exoplanet host stars. The targets are all systems with exoplanets in extremely close orbits such that the planets transit the host stars and cause regular brightness changes in the stars. The transit depth of the light curve is used to infer the radius and, in combination with radial velocity measurements, the density of the planet, but the results can be biased if the light from the host star is the combined light of a pair of stars in a binary system or a chance alignment of two stars. Given the high frequency of binary star systems and the increasing number of transit exoplanet discoveries from Kepler, K2, and anticipated discoveries with the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), this is a crucial point to consider when interpreting exoplanet properties. Companions were identified around five of the twelve targets at separations close enough that the brightness measurements of these host stars are in fact the combined brightness of two stars. Images of the resolved stellar systems and reanalysis of the exoplanet properties accounting for the presence of two stars are presented.

  18. Exoplanet plenitude

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín, E. L.

    2012-11-01

    The main aim of the present paper is to give a brief overview of the revolution in exoplanet discoveries which started about two decades ago and the new concepts and perspectives that these observational findings have brought about. The level of the text is simple, as deemed suitable for reading by young scientists with different levels of expertise. The paper is organized in the following sections: 1) Historical background. 2) Basic concepts and definitions of what is a planet. 3) Observational evidence of planetary diversity and the theoretical pathways to explain what we see. 4) Future research directions.

  19. 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

  20. Two Extremely Hot Exoplanets Caught in Transit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-05-01

    VLT Measures Properties of New Jupiter-Size Objects in Very Close Orbits Summary A European team of astronomers [1] are announcing the discovery and study of two new extra-solar planets (exoplanets). They belong to the OGLE transit candidate objects and could be characterized in detail. This trebles the number of exoplanets discovered by the transit method; three such objects are now known. The observations were performed in March 2004 with the FLAMES multi-fiber spectrograph on the 8.2-m VLT Kueyen telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory (Chile). They enabled the astronomers to measure accurate radial velocities for forty-one stars for which a temporary brightness "dip" had been detected by the OGLE survey. This effect might be the signature of the transit in front of the star of an orbiting planet, but may also be caused by a small stellar companion. For two of the stars (OGLE-TR-113 and OGLE-TR-132), the measured velocity changes revealed the presence of planetary-mass companions in extremely short-period orbits. This result confirms the existence of a new class of giant planets, designated "very hot Jupiters" because of their size and very high surface temperature. They are extremely close to their host stars, orbiting them in less than 2 (Earth) days. The transit method for detecting exoplanets will be "demonstrated" for a wide public on June 8, 2004, when planet Venus passes in front of the solar disc, cf. the VT-2004 programme. PR Photo 14a/04: Sky Field with OGLE-TR-113 PR Photo 14b/04: Sky Field with OGLE-TR-132 PR Photo 14c/04: Brightness "Dips" Caused by Two Transiting Exoplanets PR Photo 14d/04: Velocity Variations Caused by Two Transiting Exoplanets PR Photo 14e/04: Properties of Known Transiting Exoplanets Discovering other Worlds During the past decade, astronomers have learned that our Solar System is not unique, as more than 120 giant planets orbiting other stars were discovered by radial-velocity surveys (cf. ESO PR 13/00, ESO PR 07/01, and ESO

  1. 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.

  2. Search for exoplanet around northern circumpolar stars. Four planets around HD 11755, HD 12648, HD 24064, and 8 Ursae Minoris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, B.-C.; Park, M.-G.; Lee, S.-M.; Jeong, G.; Oh, H.-I.; Han, I.; Lee, J. W.; Lee, C.-U.; Kim, S.-L.; Kim, K.-M.

    2015-12-01

    Aims: This program originated as the north pole region extension of the established exoplanet survey using the 1.8 m telescope at Bohyunsan Optical Astronomy Observatory (BOAO). The aim of our paper is to find exoplanets in northern circumpolar stars with a precise radial velocity (RV) survey. Methods: We selected about 200 northern circumpolar stars with the following criteria: δ ≥ 70°, 0.6 < B - V < 1.6, Hipparcosscat < 0.05 mag, and 5.0 < mv < 7.0. The high-resolution, fiber-fed Bohyunsan Observatory Echelle Spectrograph (BOES) was used for the RV survey. Chromospheric activities, the Hipparcos photometry, and line bisectors were analyzed to exclude other causes for the RV variations. Results: In 2010, we started to monitor the candidates and have completed initial screening for all stars for the past five years. We present the detection of four new exoplanets. Stars HD 11755, HD 12648, HD 24064, and 8 UMi all show evidence of giant planets in Keplerian motion. The companion to HD 11755 has a minimum mass of 6.5 MJup in a 433-day orbit with an eccentricity of 0.19. HD 12648 is orbited by a companion with a minimum mass of 2.9 MJup, a period of 133 days, and an eccentricity of 0.04. Weak surface activity was suspected in HD 24064. However, no evidence was found to be associated with the RV variations. Its companion has a minimum mass of 9.4 MJup, a period of 535 days, and an eccentricity of 0.35. Finally, 8 UMi has a minimum mass of 1.5 MJup and a period of 93 days with an eccentricity of 0.06. Based on observations made with the BOES instrument on the 1.8 m telescope at Bohyunsan Optical Astronomy Observatory in Korea.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Spectroscopically Unlocking Exoplanet Characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, Nikole

    2016-05-01

    Spectroscopy plays a critical role in a number of areas of exoplanet research. The first exoplanets were detected by precisely measuring Doppler shifts in high resolution (R ~ 100,000) stellar spectra, a technique that has become known as the Radial Velocity (RV) method. The RV method provides critical constraints on exoplanet masses, but is currently limited to some degree by robust line shape predictions. Beyond the RV method, spectroscopy plays a critical role in the characterization of exoplanets beyond their mass and radius. The Hubble Space Telescope has spectroscopically observed the atmospheres of exoplanets that transit their host stars as seen from Earth giving us key insights into atmospheric abundances of key atomic and molecular species as well as cloud optical properties. Similar spectroscopic characterization of exoplanet atmospheres will be carried out at higher resolution (R ~ 100-3000) and with broader wavelength coverage with the James Webb Space Telescope. Future missions such as WFIRST that seek to the pave the way toward the detection and characterization of potentially habitable planets will have the capability of directly measuring the spectra of exoplanet atmospheres and potentially surfaces. Our ability to plan for and interpret spectra from exoplanets relies heavily on the fidelity of the spectroscopic databases available and would greatly benefit from further laboratory and theoretical work aimed at optical properties of atomic, molecular, and cloud/haze species in the pressure and temperature regimes relevant to exoplanet atmospheres.

  13. Hot Stars With Cool Companions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gullikson, Kevin; Kraus, Adam; Dodson-Robinson, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    Young intermediate-mass stars have become high-priority targets for direct-imaging planet searches following the recent discoveries of planets orbiting e.g. HR 8799 and Beta Pictoris Close stellar companions to these stars can affect the formation and orbital evolution of any planets, and so a census of the multiplicity properties of nearby intermediate mass stars is needed. Additionally, the multiplicity can help constrain the important binary star formation physics. We report initial results from a spectroscopic survey of 400 nearby A- and B-type stars. We search for companions by cross-correlating high resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio echelle spectra of the targets stars against model spectra for F- to M-type stars. We have so far found 18 new candidate companions, and have detected the spectral lines of the secondary in 4 known spectroscopic binary systems. We present the distribution of mass-ratios for close companions, and find that it differs from the distribution for wide (a ≳ 100 AU) intermediate-mass binaries, which may indicate a different formation mechanism for the two populations.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:23013272

  5. 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.

  6. Asteroseismology and Exoplanet Hosts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, Daniel

    2015-08-01

    Asteroseismology is among the most powerful observational tools to determine fundamental properties of stars. Space-based photometry has recently enabled the systematic detection of oscillations in exoplanet host stars, allowing a combination of asteroseismology with transit and radial-velocity measurements to precisely characterize planetary systems. In this talk I will review the latest asteroseismic detections in exoplanet host stars spanning from the main sequence to the red-giant branch, focusing in particular on radii and ages of stars hosting small (sub-Neptune sized) planets discovered by the Kepler mission. I will furthermore discuss applications of asteroseismology to measure spin-orbit inclinations in multiplanet systems, and their implications for formation theories of hot Jupiters. Finally I will give an outlook on asteroseismic studies of exoplanet hosts with current and future space- and ground-based facilities such as K2, SONG, TESS, and PLATO.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Exoplanet's Atmospheres Characteristics vs. Exoplanet's Orbital Elements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molaverdikhani, Karan

    2009-10-01

    400 years after Galileo Galilei was detected Jovian system, we know about 400 exoplanets in other stellar systems. But we identify just about their major properties like some of orbital elements, planet's radii or density. Also, there are many scientists who interested in searching for life or habitability on these planets. They are working in different ways such as planetary formation, planetary orbital stability or immigration, HabStars, composition of atmospheres, most probable zone in sky for exoplanets detection, etc. In this research we distinct and defined some main characteristics of terrestrial planet's atmospheres with surveying on solar system's planets and matching with current theorems on atmosphere formation. On the other hand, we were modeled Mars, Venus, Titan, single Hadley Earth and virtual Venus with different tilt angel (applying Global Circulation Modeling) to finding a critical limit on Polar Vortex formation in our last research. With extension this method on hypothetical terrestrial planets in constraint mass between 0.7 to 2.5 Earth's mass on Green Belt and applying host stars from 0.5 to 1.5 Sun's mass, we found some limitations on planet's atmosphere formation and estimation values of atmosphere's main characteristics.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:26687857

  14. Development of Companion Diagnostics

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26687857

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Is this a Brown Dwarf or an Exoplanet?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-04-01

    Since the discovery in 1995 of the first planet orbiting a normal star other than the Sun, there are now more than 150 candidates of these so-called exoplanets known. Most of them are detected by indirect methods, based either on variations of the radial velocity or the dimming of the star as the planet passes in front of it (see ESO PR 06/03, ESO PR 11/04 and ESO PR 22/04). Astronomers would, however, prefer to obtain a direct image of an exoplanet, allowing them to better characterize the object's physical nature. This is an exceedingly difficult task, as the planet is generally hidden in the "glare" of its host star. To partly overcome this problem, astronomers study very young objects. Indeed, sub-stellar objects are much hotter and brighter when young and therefore can be more easily detected than older objects of similar mass. Based on this approach, it might well be that last year's detection of a feeble speck of light next to the young brown dwarf 2M1207 by an international team of astronomers using the ESO Very Large Telescope (ESO PR 23/04) is the long-sought bona-fide image of an exoplanet. A recent report based on data from the Hubble Space Telescope seems to confirm this result. The even more recent observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope of the warm infrared glows of two previously detected "hot Jupiter" planets is another interesting result in this context. This wealth of new results, obtained in the time span of a few months, illustrates perfectly the dynamic of this field of research. Tiny Companion ESO PR Photo 10a/05 ESO PR Photo 10a/05 The Sub-Stellar Companion to GQ Lupi (NACO/VLT) [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 429 pix - 22k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 875 pix - 132k] [Full Res - JPEG: 1042 x 1116 pix - 241k] Caption: ESO PR Photo 10a/05 shows the VLT NACO image, taken in the Ks-band, of GQ Lupi. The feeble point of light to the right of the star is the newly found cold companion. It is 250 times fainter than the star itself and it located 0

  18. Young Exo-Planet Transit Initiative (YETI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuhäuser, Ralph; Errmann, Ronny; Raetz, Stefanie; Chen, Wen-Ping; Hu, Seline; Torres, Guillermo; Kellerer, Aglae; Kitze, Manfred; YETI Team

    2013-07-01

    The Young Exo-Planet Transit Initiative (YETI) uses a network of about 20 telescopes worldwide to monitor several young stellar clusters in order to study all kinds of variability, but primarily to identify planetary transits. We will present first results from the clusters Trumpler-37 and 25 Ori including follow-up imaging and spectroscopy of our first three transit candidates. Discovery of a transiting planet (with direct mass and radius estimates) in a cluster younger than about 10 Myr allows critical tests of planetary formation theories. We will also present additional science results on variability of young stars and eclipsing young binaries.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Dynamical Constraints on Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horner, Jonti; Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Tinney, Chris; Hinse, Tobias C.; Marshall, Jonathan P.

    2014-01-01

    Dynamical studies of new exoplanet systems are a critical component of the discovery and characterisation process. Such studies can provide firmer constraints on the parameters of the newly discovered planets, and may even reveal that the proposed planets do not stand up to dynamical scrutiny. Here, we demonstrate how dynamical studies can assist the characterisation of such systems through two examples: QS Virginis and HD 73526.

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The Direct Imaging Search of Exoplanets from Ground and Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dou, Jiangpei; Ren, Deqing; Zhu, Yongtian

    2015-08-01

    Exoplanets search is one of the hottest topics in both modern astronomy and public domain. Until now over 1990 exoplanets have been confirmed mostly by the indirect radial velocity and transiting approaches, yielding several important physical information such as masses and radius. The study of the physics of planet formation and evolution will focus on giant planets through the direct imaging.However, the direct imaging of exoplanets remains challenging, due to the large flux ratio difference and the nearby angular distance. In recent years, the extreme adaptive optics (Ex-AO) coronagraphic instrumentation has been proposed and developed on 8-meter class telescopes, which is optimized for the high-contrast imaging observation from ground, for the giant exoplanets and other faint stellar companions. Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) has recently come to its first light, with a development period over 10 years. The contrast level has been pushed to 10-6. Due to the space limitation or this or other reasons, none professional adaptive optics is available for most of current 3~4 meter class telescopes, which will limit its observation power to some extent, especially in the research of high-contrast imaging of exoplanets.In this presentation, we will report the latest observation results by using our Extreme Adaptive Optics (Ex-AO) as a visiting instrument for high-contrast imaging on ESO’s 3.58-meter NTT telescope at LSO, and on 3.5-meter ARC telescope at Apache Point Observatory, respectively. It has demonstrated the Ex-AO can be used for the scientific research of exoplanets and brown dwarfs. With a update of the currect configuration with critical hardware, the dedicated instrument called as EDICT for imaging research of young giant exoplanets will be presented. Meanwhile, we have fully demonstrated in the lab a contrast on the order of 10-9 in a large detection area, which is a critical technique for future Earth-like exoplanets imaging space missions. And a space

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Diagnostics of models and observations in the contexts of exoplanets, brown dwarfs, and very low-mass stars.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopytova, Taisiya

    2016-01-01

    When studying isolated brown dwarfs and directly imaged exoplanets with insignificant orbital motion,we have to rely on theoretical models to determine basic parameters such as mass, age, effective temperature, and surface gravity.While stellar and atmospheric models are rapidly evolving, we need a powerful tool to test and calibrate them.In my thesis, I focussed on comparing interior and atmospheric models with observational data, in the effort of taking into account various systematic effects that can significantly influence the data analysis.As a first step, about 460 candidate member os the Hyades were screened for companions using diffraction limited imaging observation (both our own data and archival data). As a result I could establish the single star sequence for the Hyades comprising about 250 stars (Kopytova et al. 2015, accepted to A&A). Open clusters contain many coeval objects of the same chemical composition and age, and spanning a range of masses. We compare the obtained sequence with a set of theoretical isochrones identifying systematic offsets and revealing probable issues in the models.However, there are many cases when it is impossible to test models before comparing them with observations.As a second step, we apply atmospheric models for constraining parameters of WISE 0855-07, the coolest known Y dwarf(Kopytova et al. 2014, ApJ 797, 3). We demonstrate the limits of constraining effective temperature and the presence/absence of water clouds.As a third step, we introduce a novel method to take into account the above-mentioned systematics. We construct a "systematics vector" that allows us to reveal problematic wavelength ranges when fitting atmospheric models to observed near-infrared spectraof brown dwarfs and exoplanets (Kopytova et al., in prep.). This approach plays a crucial role when retrieving abundances for these objects, in particularly, a C/O ratio. The latter parameter is an important key to formation scenarios of brown dwarf and

  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. 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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Automatic Classification of Kepler Planetary Transit Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCauliff, Sean D.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Catanzarite, Joseph; Burke, Christopher J.; Coughlin, Jeffrey L.; Twicken, Joseph D.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Seader, Shawn; Li, Jie; Cote, Miles

    2015-06-01

    In the first three years of operation, the Kepler mission found 3697 planet candidates (PCs) from a set of 18,406 transit-like features detected on more than 200,000 distinct stars. Vetting candidate signals manually by inspecting light curves and other diagnostic information is a labor intensive effort. Additionally, this classification methodology does not yield any information about the quality of PCs; all candidates are as credible as any other. The torrent of exoplanet discoveries will continue after Kepler, because a number of exoplanet surveys will have an even broader search area. This paper presents the application of machine-learning techniques to the classification of the exoplanet transit-like signals present in the Kepler light curve data. Transit-like detections are transformed into a uniform set of real-numbered attributes, the most important of which are described in this paper. Each of the known transit-like detections is assigned a class of PC; astrophysical false positive; or systematic, instrumental noise. We use a random forest algorithm to learn the mapping from attributes to classes on this training set. The random forest algorithm has been used previously to classify variable stars; this is the first time it has been used for exoplanet classification. We are able to achieve an overall error rate of 5.85% and an error rate for classifying exoplanets candidates of 2.81%.

  14. Saturn as a Transiting Exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalba, Paul A.; Muirhead, Philip S.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Hedman, Matthew M.; Nicholson, Philip D.; Veyette, Mark J.

    2015-11-01

    Previous investigations of exoplanet atmospheres have not targeted those resembling the gas giant planets in our solar system. These types of exoplanets are too cold to be directly imaged or observed in emission, and their low transit probabilities and frequencies make characterization via transmission spectroscopy a challenging endeavor. However, studies of cold giant exoplanets would be highly valuable to our understanding of planet formation and migration and could place the gas giant members of our own solar system in a greater context. Here, we use solar occultations observed by the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer aboard the Cassini Spacecraft to extract the 1 to 5 μm transmission spectrum of Saturn, as if it were a transiting exoplanet. We detect absorption features from several molecules despite the presence of ammonia clouds. Self-consistent exoplanet atmosphere models show good agreement with Saturn's transmission spectrum but fail to reproduce the largest feature in the spectrum. We also find that atmospheric refraction determines the minimum altitude that could be probed during mid-transit of a Saturn-twin exoplanet around a Sun-like star. These results suggest that transmission spectroscopy of cold, long-period gaseous exoplanets should be possible with current and future observatories.

  15. 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

  16. 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).

  17. How stellar activity affects exoplanet's parameters estimation and exoplanet's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oshagh, Mahmoudreza

    2015-07-01

    The next large facility with the potential to characterize the atmosphere of exoplanets will be the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a 6.5 m telescope to be launched in 2018. The JWST will be equipped with four instruments; three in the near InfaRed (1-5 microns): NIRCAM, NIRSPEC and NIRISS, and one in the mid-InfraRed (5-28 microns): MIRI. MIRI is of particular interest to characterize temperate exoplanets; it includes an imager with three observing modes: imagery, coronagraphy and low resolution (R=100) spectroscopy, and an Integral Field Spectrometer with a spectral resolution around 3000. I will discuss the capabilities of the instrument to characterize exoplanets, showing simulations of transit observations, as well as direct imaging observations, which include instrumental test results. It should be stressed that the JWST is not dedicated to exoplanets and we can expect a large pressure on the observing time.

  18. VIP: Vortex Image Processing pipeline for high-contrast direct imaging of exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez Gonzalez, Carlos Alberto; Wertz, Olivier; Christiaens, Valentin; Absil, Olivier; Mawet, Dimitri

    2016-03-01

    VIP (Vortex Image Processing pipeline) provides pre- and post-processing algorithms for high-contrast direct imaging of exoplanets. Written in Python, VIP provides a very flexible framework for data exploration and image processing and supports high-contrast imaging observational techniques, including angular, reference-star and multi-spectral differential imaging. Several post-processing algorithms for PSF subtraction based on principal component analysis are available as well as the LLSG (Local Low-rank plus Sparse plus Gaussian-noise decomposition) algorithm for angular differential imaging. VIP also implements the negative fake companion technique coupled with MCMC sampling for rigorous estimation of the flux and position of potential companions.

  19. On the thick-disc exoplanet host subgiant HD 155358

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuhrmann, Klaus; Bernkopf, Jan

    2008-03-01

    The nearby subgiant HD 155358 has very recently been announced by Cochran et al. to harbour two Jovian-mass planetary companions and to be the lowest metallicity exoplanet host star yet found. Here, we present a model atmosphere analysis and stellar evolutionary tracks for HD 155358, and demonstrate that it is actually a member of the ancient thick-disc population of the Milky Way (τ >= 12 Gyr). As such, HD 155358 is considerably rich in its α-chain nuclei, and hence only about a factor of 2 below the solar abundance in terms of these species. Yet, as a precursor to the thin disc and residing on the metal-poor end of the thin-disc metal abundance distribution, HD 155358 gives way to the principal possibility that any star of the thin-disc population of the Galaxy can be a potential exoplanet host. As opposed to this, the formation of planets and even planetary systems for HD 155358 and HD 37124 (another previously known thick-disc exoplanet host) is mentionable, as there is strong evidence for a vigorous starburst phase in the early Milky Way, and secondly, the direct census of an unbiased nearby thick-disc sample implies a minimum fraction of no less than 30 per cent multiple star systems (N >= 3) to originate from that epoch.

  20. SOPHIE velocimetry of Kepler transit candidates. XV. KOI-614b, KOI-206b, and KOI-680b: a massive warm Jupiter orbiting a G0 metallic dwarf and two highly inflated planets with a distant companion around evolved F-type stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almenara, J. M.; Damiani, C.; Bouchy, F.; Havel, M.; Bruno, G.; Hébrard, G.; Diaz, R. F.; Deleuil, M.; Barros, S. C. C.; Boisse, I.; Bonomo, A. S.; Montagnier, G.; Santerne, A.

    2015-03-01

    We report the validation and characterization of three new transiting exoplanets using SOPHIE radial velocities: KOI-614b, KOI-206b, and KOI-680b. KOI-614b has a mass of 2.86 ± 0.35 MJup and a radius of 1.13 +0.26-0.18 RJup, and it orbits a G0, metallic ([ Fe/H ] = 0.35 ± 0.15) dwarf in 12.9 days. Its mass and radius are familiar and compatible with standard planetary evolution models, so it is one of the few known transiting planets in this mass range to have an orbital period over ten days. With an equilibrium temperature of Teq = 1000 ± 45 K, this places KOI-614b at the transition between what is usually referred to as "hot" and "warm" Jupiters. KOI-206b has a mass of 2.82 ± 0.52 MJup and a radius of 1.45 ± 0.16 RJup, and it orbits a slightly evolved F7-type star in a 5.3-day orbit. It is a massive inflated hot Jupiter that is particularly challenging for planetary models because it requires unusually large amounts of additional dissipated energy in the planet. On the other hand, KOI-680b has a much lower mass of 0.84 ± 0.15 MJup and requires less extra-dissipation to explain its uncommonly large radius of 1.99 ± 0.18 RJup. It is one of the biggest transiting planets characterized so far, and it orbits a subgiant F9-star well on its way to the red giant stage, with an orbital period of 8.6 days. With host stars of masses of 1.46 ± 0.17 M⊙ and 1.54 ± 0.09 M⊙, respectively, KOI-206b, and KOI-680b are interesting objects for theories of formation and survival of short-period planets around stars more massive than the Sun. For those two targets, we also find signs of a possible distant additional companion in the system. Based on observations made with SOPHIE on the 1.93-m telescope at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France.Figures 11-14 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  1. The Architecture of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatzes, Artie P.

    2016-05-01

    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Observations of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crossfield, Ian J. M.

    2015-10-01

    Detailed characterization of an extrasolar planet's atmosphere provides the best hope for distinguishing the makeup of its outer layers, and the only hope for understanding the interplay between initial composition, chemistry, dynamics and circulation, and disequilibrium processes. In recent years, some areas have seen rapid progress, while developments in others have come more slowly and/or have been hotly contested. This article gives an observer's perspective on the current understanding of extrasolar planet atmospheres prior to the considerable advances expected from the next generation of observing facilities. Atmospheric processes of both transiting and directly imaged planets are discussed, including molecular and atomic abundances, cloud properties, thermal structure, and planetary energy budgets. In the future we can expect a continuing and accelerating stream of new discoveries, which will fuel the ongoing exoplanet revolution for many years to come.

  8. 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.

  9. Structure of exoplanets.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    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.

  10. Structure of exoplanets.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  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. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. "Some Like it Hot” - Evidence for the Shrinking Orbit of the 2.2-day Transiting Hot Jupiter Exoplanet HD 189733b - Evidence of Transfer of Planet Orbital Momentum to its Host Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santapaga, Thomas; Guinan, E. F.; Ballouz, R.; Engle, S. G.; Dewarf, L.

    2011-01-01

    HD189733A is a K2V star that has attracted much attention because it hosts a transiting, hot Jupiter-exoplanet. HD189733b has one of the shortest known orbital-periods (P = 2.22-days) and is only 0.031AU from its host star (Buchy et al. 2005). Based on measurements of the K2V star's P(rot) from starspot-modulations of 12-d, coronal Lx 1028 ergs/s, and chromospheric Ca II-HK emission, indicate an age 0.6 -1.0 Gyr - inferred from our rotation-age-activity relations. However, this age is discrepant with an older-age inferred from the star's low Lithium-abundance ( 1/10 Solar.). However, the age-rotation-activity determination assumes no tidal-effects from close companions- such as close planet. Recently Gaspar et al. (2006) discovered a dM4 companion star (HD 189733 B: 12'' distance to the K-dwarf). X MM-Newton observations of the HD 189733 A&B carried out recently by Pilliteri et al. (2010), surprisingly revealed that HD 189733B shows no X-ray emission, with an upper limit of 9*1026 ergs/s. Using activity-age relationships for dM-stars, we expected a Lx of an order of magnitude higher for age <1.0 Ga. This apparent discrepancy can be resolved by the supposition that the K2V-star has been spun-up by its nearby planetary companion, and that its age determined from activity-rotation relationships is invalid. This supposition is supported by the recent photometry by the Kepler for 300+ exoplanet candidate systems discovered thus far (Borucki et al. 2010). The analysis these data have reveal that tidal locking between the planet and host star has occurred for a significant number of exoplanet with short orbital periods. We explain the fast rotation of the K2 star via the transfer of the planet's orbital angular momentum to the star via tidal interactions. The significance of these finding with respect to the evolution of planetary systems is discussed. This work is partially supported by NSF/RUI grant AST-1009903.

  3. Taking the Galactic Exoplanet Census with K2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christiansen, Jessie; CHAI (California/Hawaii/Arizona/Indiana) K2 Follow-up Consortium

    2016-06-01

    The NASA Kepler mission was designed and executed with the goal of measuring planet occurrence rates. The stellar sample, the science pipeline, and the planet candidate sample have all been chosen and characterised with an eye to generating uniform, robust statistical measurements. The subsequent K2 mission, however, has been much more open to all science goals, and subsequently the target selection, planet candidate generation and catalogue assembly have been substantially more ad hoc. Here we discuss the pathway forward to using the Galactic latitude coverage of K2 to begin the Galactic exoplanet census that will be continued by the NASA TESS mission.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:24664924

  6. 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.

  7. The Close Stellar Companions to Intermediate-mass Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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 105 or 2 × 105 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 ˜107 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.

  8. 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)

  9. Asteroseismology of Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kayhan, Cenk; Çelik Orhan, Zeynep; Yildiz, Mutlu

    2016-07-01

    Exoplanet studies are one of the most interesting and attractive topics in astrophysics. Besides of ground-based observations, Kepler and CoRoT space missions improved our knowledge by providing unprecedented data of exoplanets and host stars. Precise determination of basic properties of planets depends on how we accurately determine fundamental properties of host stars. Asteroseismology is a powerful tool to study stellar structure and evolution and provides us radius, mass and age of the host stars. In this study, we construct stellar interior models of these stars with the MESA evolution code and compare model frequencies with the oscillation frequencies derived from Kepler data. Then, we obtain fundamental parameters of the host stars. Finally, fundamental parameters of exoplanets are reevaluated.

  10. 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

  11. Exoplanets around pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitiashvili, I.; Gusev, A.

    2003-04-01

    Surprise discovery of thrid planets and cometary body (!?) near the pulsar PSR~B1257+12 (Wolszczan and Frail, 1992) posed the problems of describing their moving around pulsar, their origin and early rotation. At the present time the question whether there exist another three pulsars in the planetary systems is under discussion: PSR 0329+54 (1 planet), PSR B1620--26 (1 planet) and PSR 1828--11 (3 planets, Stairs et al., 2000) . It is known the time scale of pulsars is very stable, then in some cases the periodical fluctuation in time of arrival may be provoked motion of planetary bodies, free precession or concerned with the interior of the neutron star. Discovery exoplanets around PSR~B1257+12 gave strong push for search and investigate planets around neutron stars. Dust disks around stars still retain information about the formation processes of the exoplanetary systems as they are formed by collisions of planetesimals or protoplanets.The conventional explanation for the formation gas giant planets, core accretion, presumes that a gaseous envelope collapses upon a roughly 10 M⊕, solid core that was formed by the collisional accumulation of planetary embryos orbiting in a gaseous disk (Boss, 2002). Small protoplanets torque the disk at the Lindblad and corotation resonances, and the resulting back-torque can propel a planet into the star (Ward, 1997). We investigate the equations of the magneto-rotational instability of the Keplerian disk in linear approximation by qualitative and bifurcation methods. The separation of 3-dimensional parameter space of dynamical system by bifurcation surfaces is obtained. The obtained gallery of more ten phase portraits of disk evolution illustrates the various regimes of the planetary systems evolution. Investigation of a matter around young pulsars will allow us to answer about a possibility of birth of planets after explosion of a supernova star.

  12. 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.

  13. Kinematics of exoplanet host stars: membership in young moving groups and the thin/thick disc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montes, D.; Caballero, J. A.; Rojas-Peña, I.; Sánchez de Miguel, A.; Alloza, L. J.; Bertrán de Lis, S.; Fernández Rodríguez, C. J.; Garrido Rubio, A.; Greciano, R.; Herranz Luque, J. E.; Juárez-Martínez, I.; Manjavacas, E.; Ocaña, F.; Pila Díez, B.; Tapia Ayuga, C. E.

    2013-05-01

    We present a detailed study of the kinematics of known exoplanets host stars with known parallactic distance and precise proper motion and radial velocity measurements, from where the Galactic space motions (U, V, W) were computed. For the stars with U and V velocity components inside or near the boundaries that determine the young disc population, we have analyzed the possible membership in the classical moving groups and nearby loose associations with ages between 10 and 600 Ma. For the candidate members, we have compiled the information available in the literature in order to constrain their membership by applying age-dating methods for late-type stars. We identify several dozen young exoplanet host star candidates, many of which were considered to have solar-like ages. We also look for old exoplanet host stars in the Galactic thick disc and the thin-thick transition.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:24047111

  16. 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.

  17. 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; Graham, James R.; Wallace, J. Kent; Macintosh, Bruce; Hinkley, Sasha; Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.; Perrin, Marshall D.; Marley, Mark S.; et al

    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

  18. 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

  19. The James Webb Space Telescope: Capabilities for Transiting Exoplanet Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clampin, Mark

    2015-07-01

    Emission from zodiacal dust disks in other planetary systems, is both a noise source for future exoplanet imaging missions and a signpost of rocky material in, or near, the habitable zone. The LBT Interferometer has been designed to discover and characterize faint exozodiacal dust around nearby stars. I will summarize what we currently know about this dust and what we aim to learn with the LBTI's survey, the Hunt for Observable Signatures of Terrestrial Planets (HOSTS), along with its companion survey, LEECH, designed to identify wide-orbit giant planets a similar sample of stars. As an example of this, I will discuss the characterization the beta Leo system with both HOSTS and LEECH.

  20. Cloud Driven Variability on Young Brown Dwarfs and Giant Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biller, Beth

    2016-01-01

    Variability has now been robustly observed in a range of L and T type field brown dwarfs, primarily at near-IR and mid-IR wavelengths. The probable cause of this variability is surface inhomogeneities in the clouds of these objects, causing a semi-periodic variability signal when combined with the rotational modulation from the 3-12 hour period expected for these objects. Variability at similar or even higher amplitudes may be expected for young brown dwarfs and giant exoplanets, which share similar Teff as field brown dwarfs, but have considerably lower surface gravities. Variability studies of these objects relative to old field objects is then a direct probe of the effects of surface gravity on atmospheric structure. Here I discuss ongoing efforts to detect variability from these young objects, both for free-floating objects and companions to stars, including preliminary results from an ongoing survey of young, low surface gravity objects with NTT SOFI.

  1. Photochemistry of Terrestrial Exoplanet Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Renyu; Seager, S.

    2013-01-01

    Terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres require photochemistry for their study. This is because the steady state composition depends critically on the component gas sources (surface emission) and sinks (chemical reactions initiated by UV photolysis). For my Ph.D. research I have developed a comprehensive photochemistry model for terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres from the ground up, which includes 111 molecules and aerosols made of C, H, O, N, S elements, and more than 800 chemical reactions linking them. With updated numerical algorithms, the photochemistry model has desirable features for exoplanet exploration, notably the capacity of treating both reduced and oxidized atmospheres, the elimination of the need of fine-tuned initial conditions, and the flexibility of choosing a subset of chemical species and chemical reactions for the computation. Using the photochemistry model, I provided benchmark atmospheric composition models for reducing, weakly oxidizing, and highly oxidizing atmospheres on terrestrial exoplanets; I systemized the short-lived nature of sulfur gases on virtually all types of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres; I revisited O2 as the remote-sensing probe of biotic photosynthesis and found a potential false positive in high CO2 atmospheres without surface emission of reducing gases (e.g., H2 and CH4); and I provided atmosphere models to propose NH3 as a new biosignature gas in hydrogen-rich atmospheres. I have also extended the photochemistry model to the regime of thick atmospheres (at depths of which thermochemical equilibrium can be effectively achieved), and summarized a “zoo of super-Earths” including water planets, hydrocarbon planets, and even oxygen planets depending on the C-H-O elemental abundances of their atmospheres.

  2. 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

  3. 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%.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. A SEARCH FOR GIANT PLANET COMPANIONS TO T TAURI STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Crockett, Christopher J.; Mahmud, Naved I.; Johns-Krull, Christopher M.; Hartigan, Patrick M.; Prato, L.; Jaffe, Daniel T.; Beichman, Charles A. E-mail: lprato@lowell.edu E-mail: cmj@rice.edu

    2012-12-20

    We present results from an ongoing multiwavelength radial velocity (RV) survey of the Taurus-Auriga star-forming region as part of our effort to identify pre-main-sequence giant planet hosts. These 1-3 Myr old T Tauri stars present significant challenges to traditional RV surveys. The presence of strong magnetic fields gives rise to large, cool star spots. These spots introduce significant RV jitter which can mimic the velocity modulation from a planet-mass companion. To distinguish between spot-induced and planet-induced RV modulation, we conduct observations at {approx}6700 A and {approx}2.3 {mu}m and measure the wavelength dependence (if any) in the RV amplitude. CSHELL observations of the known exoplanet host Gl 86 demonstrate our ability to detect not only hot Jupiters in the near-infrared but also secular trends from more distant companions. Observations of nine very young stars reveal a typical reduction in RV amplitude at the longer wavelengths by a factor of {approx}2-3. While we cannot confirm the presence of planets in this sample, three targets show different periodicities in the two wavelength regions. This suggests different physical mechanisms underlying the optical and the K-band variability.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Polarimetry, Exoplanets and Biosignatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparks, W. B.

    2011-12-01

    A fundamental topic in astronomy is the study of extrasolar planets, the ultimate goal of which is to image and characterize Earth-like planets around other stars and determine whether they host life. Polarization and spectropolarization observations provide unique diagnostic information and can contribute to both the detection and characterization phases of extasolar planet astronomy. Ultimately polarization may even be able to help us to determine whether life is present. Polarimetry can be used in several ways to facilitate planetary detection, and can influence mission design by providing an effective discriminant for true companions shining by reflected light against background objects. This may be particularly effective when coupled to other differential methods such as integral field spectroscopy (Sparks and Ford 2002). Spectropolarimetry can play an important role in the characterization phase of extrasolar planets in general, probing aerosols and surface and atmospheric scattering. In the search for life, time resolved spectropolarimetry can be used to seek evidence of special features such as a strongly polarized specular reflection, "glint", that would arise from the liquid surface of an extrasolar ocean, or rainbows from liquid droplets (Bailey 2007; Zugger et al 2010; Karalidi et al 2011). Looking further into the future, precision circular spectropolarimetry may offer a direct probe of the presence of microbial photosynthesis or vegetation. The unique homochirality of biological material coupled to the optical activity of biological compounds means that biological matter can influence the polarization, circular polarization in particular, of reflected light. Homochirality arises as a consequence of self-replication hence is likely to be generic to all forms of biological life and has the potential to produce a macroscopic signature. We have shown that a variety of photosynthetic microbial organisms, as well as macroscopic vegetation, yield significant

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Extreme Space Weather on Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, O.; Drake, J. J.; Kashyap, V. L.; Glocer, A.; Garraffo, C.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2013-12-01

    The current search for exoplanets is focused on detecting Earth-like rocky planets in the habitable zone around faint, M-dwarf stars, where the definition of the habitable zone is the bounded distances from the star at which liquid water can exist on the planetary surface. However, other factors may play a role in the habitability of the planet. In particular, planets that orbit their host star in a close-in orbit, reside in an extreme space environment, where both the stellar wind and transient Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) can erode the planetary atmosphere. We present a detailed, three-dimensional modeling study of the space plasma physics of close-in exoplanets. The study includes the effect of the extreme space conditions on the planetary atmosphere, magnetospheric and upper atmosphere dynamics, extreme space weather on close-in planets, and star-planet magnetic interaction.

  15. 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. PMID:24143867

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Astrometric Exoplanet Detection with Gaia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    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 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. High-fidelity photometry and astrometry of high-contrast imaged companions using LOCI processing.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maire, Jérôme; Gagné, Jonathan; Lafrenière, David; Graham, James R.; Doyon, René

    2014-01-01

    abstract-type="normal"> Résumé Direct imaging and spectroscopy of exoplanets is a key element for understanding planet formation and migration. Such direct detections and characterizations remains technologically challenging, since a very high contrast ratio and small angular separation are involved, and futhermore speckle noise limits the high-contrast imaging performance. We further discuss a speckle subtraction and suppression technique that fully takes advantage of spectral and time-domain information on quasi-static speckles to measure the highest-fidelity photometry as well as accurate astrometry of detected companions.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. Search for transiting exoplanets and variable stars in the open cluster NGC 7243

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garai, Z.; Pribulla, T.; Hambálek, Ľ.; Errmann, R.; Adam, Ch.; Buder, S.; Butterley, T.; Dhillon, V. S.; Dincel, B.; Gilbert, H.; Ginski, Ch.; Hardy, L. K.; Kellerer, A.; Kitze, M.; Kundra, E.; Littlefair, S. P.; Mugrauer, M.; Nedoroščík, J.; Neuhäuser, R.; Pannicke, A.; Raetz, S.; Schmidt, J. G.; Schmidt, T. O. B.; Seeliger, M.; Vaňko, M.; Wilson, R. W.

    2016-03-01

    We report results of the first five observing campaigns for the open stellar cluster NGC 7243 in the frame of project Young Exoplanet Transit Initiative (YETI). The project focuses on the monitoring of young and nearby stellar clusters, with the aim to detect young transiting exoplanets and to study other variability phenomena on time-scales from minutes to years. After five observing campaigns and additional observations during 2013 and 2014, a clear and repeating transit-like signal was detected in the light curve of J221550.6+495611. Furthermore, we detected and analysed 37 new eclipsing binary stars in the studied region. The best fit parameters and light curves of all systems are given. Finally, we detected and analysed 26 new, presumably pulsating variable stars in the studied region. The follow-up investigation of these objects, including spectroscopic measurements of the exoplanet candidate, is currently planned.

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

  10. DISCOVERY OF A PLANETARY-MASS COMPANION TO A BROWN DWARF IN TAURUS

    SciTech Connect

    Todorov, K.; Luhman, K. L.; McLeod, K. K.

    2010-05-01

    We have performed a survey for substellar companions to young brown dwarfs in the Taurus star-forming region using the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on board the Hubble Space Telescope. In these data, we have discovered a candidate companion at a projected separation of 0.''105 from one of the brown dwarfs, corresponding to 15 AU at the distance of Taurus. To determine if this object is a companion, we have obtained images of the pair at a second epoch with the adaptive optics system at Gemini Observatory. The astrometry from the Hubble and Gemini data indicates that the two objects share similar proper motions and thus are likely companions. We estimate a mass of 5-10 M {sub Jup} for the secondary based on a comparison of its bolometric luminosity to the predictions of theoretical evolutionary models. This object demonstrates that planetary-mass companions to brown dwarfs can form on a timescale of {tau} {approx}< 1 Myr. Companion formation on such a rapid timescale is more likely to occur via gravitational instability in a disk or fragmentation of a cloud core than through core accretion. The Gemini images also reveal a possible substellar companion ({rho} = 0.''23) to a young low-mass star that is 12.''4 from the brown dwarf targeted by Hubble. If these four objects comprise a quadruple system, then its hierarchical configuration would suggest that the fragmentation of molecular cloud cores can produce companions below 10 M {sub Jup}.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. New theoretical aspects of potential radio wave emission from Jupiter like exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Christof; Rucker, Helmut; Vocks, Christian

    2015-04-01

    The UTR-2 (Ukrainian T-shaped Radio Telescope 2nd generation), LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) or the upgrade of LOFAR in Nancay (the NENUFAR project) are promising facilities with sensitivities sufficiently low to be able to detect radio emission from exoplanets, especially from so-called Hot Jupiters. These are Jovian like planets very close to their host star (about 0.045 AU) and their radio emission is expected to be up to 10E5 times higher than the emission from Jupiter in our solar system. Also recent investigations of the possibility of moons around a Jovian exoplanet (an analog of the Io-Jupiter system) are promising candidates amongst the exoplanets for a future detection of exoplanetary radio emission. As is well known Io triggers radio emission up to 40 MHz in the Jovian case, a frequency which lies well above the ionospheric cutoff of 10 MHz and thus can be measured with ground-based facilities on Earth. We present simulation results for wave growth rates at Jupiter-like exoplanets orbiting at distances smaller than 0.1 AU from their parent star. Under sophisticated assumptions for the plasma environment at these exoplanets we find that the cyclotron maser instability (CMI), the process which is very likely responsible for the generation of radio waves in our solar system, produces radio waves which can propagate away from the planet. Furthermore we check the influence of a magnetodisc at Hot Jupiters on the possible power of the emitted radio waves.

  14. 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. PMID:26860453

  15. 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

  16. Wide Low-Mass Tertiary Companions of Binary Star Systems as a Test of Star Formation Theories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, Stephanie; Allen, P.

    2012-01-01

    We will present the status of a common proper motion search for wide low-mass stellar and sub-stellar companions to known white dwarf-M dwarf binary systems. I-band observations were made using the 31" NURO telescope at Lowell Observatory. Candidate companions are selected using astrometry from our own data and 2MASS photometry. We have begun to spectroscopically confirm candidates that pass our selection criteria. The ultimate goal of the search is to test star formation theories which predict that close binary systems form by transferring angular momentum to a third companion. To this end, we will model the physical companion population and perform Bayesian statistical analysis to determine the best-fit population model to our data. Here we will present our spectroscopically confirmed companions as well as the preliminary results of our population models and statistical analysis.

  17. Time Domain Challenges for Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dawson, Rebekah Ilene

    2016-01-01

    Over the past couple decades, thousands of extra-solar planets have been discovered orbiting other stars. Most have been detected and characterized using transit and/or radial velocity time series, and these techniques have undergone huge improvements in instrumental precision. However, the improvements in precision have brought to light new statistical challenges in detecting and characterizing exoplanets in the presence of correlated noise caused by stellar activity (transits and radial velocities) and gaps in the time sampling (radial velocities). These challenges have afflicted many of the most interesting exoplanets, from Earth-like planets to planetary systems whose orbital dynamics place important constraints on how planetary systems form and evolve. In the first part of the talk, I will focus on the problem of correlated noise for characterizing transiting exoplanets using transit timing variations. I will present a comparison of several techniques using wavelets, Gaussian processes, and polynomial splines to account for correlated noise in the likelihood function when inferring planetary parameters. I will also present results on the characteristics of correlated noise that cause planets to be missed by the Kepler and homegrown pipelines despite high nominal signal-to-noise. In the second part of the talk, I will focus on the problem of aliasing caused by gaps in the radial-velocity time series on yearly, daily, and monthly timescales. I will present results on identifying aliases in the Fourier domain by taking advantage of aliasing on multiple timescales and discuss the interplay between aliasing and stellar activity for several habitable-zone "planets" that have recently been called into question as possible spurious signals caused by activity. As we push toward detecting and characterizing lower mass planets, it is essential that astrostatistical advances keep pace with advances in instrumentation.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The Young Exoplanet Transit Initiative (YETI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuhäuser, R.; Errmann, R.; Berndt, A.; Maciejewski, G.; Takahashi, H.; Chen, W. P.; Dimitrov, D. P.; Pribulla, T.; Nikogossian, E. H.; Jensen, E. L. N.; Marschall, L.; Wu, Z.-Y.; Kellerer, A.; Walter, F. M.; Briceño, C.; Chini, R.; Fernandez, M.; Raetz, St.; Torres, G.; Latham, D. W.; Quinn, S. N.; Niedzielski, A.; Bukowiecki, Ł.; Nowak, G.; Tomov, T.; Tachihara, K.; Hu, S. C.-L.; Hung, L. W.; Kjurkchieva, D. P.; Radeva, V. S.; Mihov, B. M.; Slavcheva-Mihova, L.; Bozhinova, I. N.; Budaj, J.; Vaňko, M.; Kundra, E.; Hambálek, Ľ.; Krushevska, V.; Movsessian, T.; Harutyunyan, H.; Downes, J. J.; Hernandez, J.; Hoffmeister, V. H.; Cohen, D. H.; Abel, I.; Ahmad, R.; Chapman, S.; Eckert, S.; Goodman, J.; Guerard, A.; Kim, H. M.; Koontharana, A.; Sokol, J.; Trinh, J.; Wang, Y.; Zhou, X.; Redmer, R.; Kramm, U.; Nettelmann, N.; Mugrauer, M.; Schmidt, J.; Moualla, M.; Ginski, C.; Marka, C.; Adam, C.; Seeliger, M.; Baar, S.; Roell, T.; Schmidt, T. O. B.; Trepl, L.; Eisenbeiß, T.; Fiedler, S.; Tetzlaff, N.; Schmidt, E.; Hohle, M. M.; Kitze, M.; Chakrova, N.; Gräfe, C.; Schreyer, K.; Hambaryan, V. V.; Broeg, C. H.; Koppenhoefer, J.; Pandey, A. K.

    2011-07-01

    We present the Young Exoplanet Transit Initiative (YETI), in which we use several 0.2 to 2.6-m telescopes around the world to monitor continuously young (≤100 Myr), nearby (≤1 kpc) stellar clusters mainly to detect young transiting planets (and to study other variability phenomena on time-scales from minutes to years). The telescope network enables us to observe the targets continuously for several days in order not to miss any transit. The runs are typically one to two weeks long, about three runs per year per cluster in two or three subsequent years for about ten clusters. There are thousands of stars detectable in each field with several hundred known cluster members, e.g. in the first cluster observed, Tr-37, a typical cluster for the YETI survey, there are at least 469 known young stars detected in YETI data down to R=16.5 mag with sufficient precision of 50 millimag rms (5 mmag rms down to R=14.5 mag) to detect transits, so that we can expect at least about one young transiting object in this cluster. If we observe ˜10 similar clusters, we can expect to detect ˜10 young transiting planets with radius determinations. The precision given above is for a typical telescope of the YETI network, namely the 60/90-cm Jena telescope (similar brightness limit, namely within ± 1 mag, for the others) so that planetary transits can be detected. For targets with a periodic transit-like light curve, we obtain spectroscopy to ensure that the star is young and that the transiting object can be sub-stellar; then, we obtain Adaptive Optics infrared images and spectra, to exclude other bright eclipsing stars in the (larger) optical PSF; we carry out other observations as needed to rule out other false positive scenarios; finally, we also perform spectroscopy to determine the mass of the transiting companion. For planets with mass and radius determinations, we can calculate the mean density and probe the internal structure. We aim to constrain planet formation models and

  6. 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

  7. YETI observations of the young transiting planet candidate CVSO 30 b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raetz, St.; Schmidt, T. O. B.; Czesla, S.; Klocová, T.; Holmes, L.; Errmann, R.; Kitze, M.; Fernández, M.; Sota, A.; Briceño, C.; Hernández, J.; Downes, J. J.; Dimitrov, D. P.; Kjurkchieva, D.; Radeva, V.; Wu, Z.-Y.; Zhou, X.; Takahashi, H.; Henych, T.; Seeliger, M.; Mugrauer, M.; Adam, Ch.; Marka, C.; Schmidt, J. G.; Hohle, M. M.; Ginski, Ch.; Pribulla, T.; Trepl, L.; Moualla, M.; Pawellek, N.; Gelszinnis, J.; Buder, S.; Masda, S.; Maciejewski, G.; Neuhäuser, R.

    2016-08-01

    CVSO 30 is a unique young low-mass system, because, for the first time, a close-in transiting and a wide directly imaged planet candidates are found around a common host star. The inner companion, CVSO 30 b, is the first possible young transiting planet orbiting a previously known weak-lined T Tauri star. With five telescopes of the `Young Exoplanet Transit Initiative' located in Asia, Europe and South America, we monitored CVSO 30 over three years in a total of 144 nights and detected 33 fading events. In two more seasons we carried out follow-up observations with three telescopes. We can confirm that there is a change in the shape of the fading event between different observations and that the fading event even disappears and reappears. A total of 38 fading event light curves were simultaneously modelled. We derived the planetary, stellar and geometrical properties of the system and found them slightly smaller but in agreement with the values from the discovery paper. The period of the fading event was found to be 1.36 s shorter and 100 times more precise than the previous published value. If CVSO 30 b would be a giant planet on a precessing orbit, which we cannot confirm, yet, the precession period may be shorter than previously thought. But if confirmed as a planet it would be the youngest transiting planet ever detected and will provide important constraints on planet formation and migration time-scales.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:25230656

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. APIC: Absolute Position Interfero Coronagraph for direct exoplanet detection: first laboratory results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allouche, Fatmé; Glindemann, Andreas; Aristidi, Eric; Vakili, Farrokh

    2010-07-01

    For the detection and direct imaging of exoplanets, when the intensity ratio between a star and its orbiting planet can largely exceed 106, coronagraphic methods are mandatory. In 1996, a concept of achromatic interferocoronagraph (AIC) was presented by J. Gay and Y. Rabbia for the detection of very faint stellar companions, such as exoplanets. In an earlier paper, we presented a modified version of the AIC permitting to determine the relative position of these faint companions with respect to the parent star, a problem unsolved in the original design of the AIC. Our modification lied in the use of cylindrical lens doublets as field rotator. By placing two of them in one arm of the interferometric set-up of AIC, we destroyed the axis of symmetry induced by the AIC's original design. Our theoretical study, along with the numerical computations, presented then, and the preliminary test bench results aiming at validating the cylindrical lens doublet field rotation capability, presented in this paper, show that the axis of symmetry is destroyed when one of the cylindrical doublets is rotated around the optic axis.

  17. No Timing Variations Observed in Third Transit of Snow-line Exoplanet Kepler-421b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalba, Paul A.; Muirhead, Philip S.

    2016-07-01

    We observed Kepler-421 during the anticipated third transit of the snow-line exoplanet Kepler-421b in order to constrain the existence and extent of transit timing variations (TTVs). Previously, the Kepler spacecraft only observed two transits of Kepler-421b, leaving the planet’s transit ephemeris unconstrained. Our visible light, time-series observations from the 4.3 m Discovery Channel Telescope were designed to capture pre-transit baseline and the partial transit of Kepler-421b, barring significant TTVs. We use the light curves to assess the probabilities of various transit models using both the posterior odds ratio and the Bayesian Information Criterion, and find that a transit model with no TTVs is favored to 3.6σ confidence. These observations suggest that Kepler-421b is either alone in its system or is only experiencing minor dynamic interactions with an unseen companion. With the Kepler-421b ephemeris constrained, we calculate future transit times and discuss the opportunity to characterize the atmosphere of this cold, long-period exoplanet via transmission spectroscopy. Our investigation emphasizes the difficulties associated with observing long-period exoplanet transits and the consequences that arise from failing to refine transit ephemerides.

  18. A search for eclipses of HD 114762 by a low-mass companion

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, E.L.; Cochran, A.L.; Cochran, W.D.; Shafter, A.W.; Zhang, Erho Beijing Observatory )

    1990-02-01

    HD 114762 has an unseen companion with a dynamical mass that satisfies the constraint mass sin i = 2.5 x 10 to the 31st gm. The companion is a good candidate for a planetary-mass object, but the inclination of its orbit is unknown and its mass is indeterminate. Tests were conducted for the specific case of a nearly edge-on orbit by looking for eclipses of HD 114762 by the companion. Although the a priori probability of an eclipse is low, this is a crucial case because the companion has its minimum mass if the orbit is edge on. No eclipses were found with a depth greater than 0.01 mag and, therefore, the inclination of the orbit of HD 114762 is less than 89 deg. 12 refs.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Spectra as windows into exoplanet atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Burrows, Adam S

    2014-09-01

    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.

  3. Spectra as windows into exoplanet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burrows, Adam S.

    2014-09-01

    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.

  4. Spectra as windows into exoplanet atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Burrows, Adam S

    2014-09-01

    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

  5. An Astrometric Search for a Stellar Companion to the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perlmutter, Saul

    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 mv = 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 >= 2.5 arcseconds. We are measuring the parallax of 2,770 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^'times 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, ma, of the candidate stars is found to a precision of sigma_{ma}~0.08 pixel ~0.2 arcseconds for fields with N fiducial>= 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Exoplanets and their Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, J.

    2016-06-01

    Among the most fundamental astrophysical discoveries are clearly the detections of many thousands of ``extrasolar'' planets orbiting their hosts. The majority of these new planetary systems have properties dramatically different from those in our solar system. The large distances to extrasolar planets imply that they can only be observed together with their hosts. Modern observations have shown that stars and planets are not merely accidental celestial neighbors bound by the force of gravity, rather they influence each other in a variety of ways. This also and specifically applies to the X-ray properties of exoplanet systems which I will review in my talk and give some ideas for future work in this area.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. Imaginary companions in childhood and adult creativity.

    PubMed

    Myers, W A

    1979-01-01

    Case material is presented to illustrate the thesis that the ability to create an imaginary companion during childhood is an early expression of the special ego aptitudes found in creative individuals in adult life. Such "companions" allow these children to attempt to master creatively a variety of narcissistic mortifications suffered in reality and to displace unacceptable affects. In creative adults who had imaginary companions in childhood, the early fantasies serve as an organizing schema in memory for the childhood traumata. Stimuli in adult life which evoke the earlier traumata may revive the original imaginary companion fantasies. These then serve as nodal bases for the creation of specific adult works of art.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The Moving Group Targets of the SEEDS High-contrast Imaging Survey of Exoplanets and Disks: Results and Observations from the First Three Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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-Martín, A.; Thalmann, C.; Kudo, T.; Kusakabe, N.; Hashimoto, J.; Abe, L.; Brandner, W.; Currie, T.; Egner, S.; Feldt, M.; Golota, T.; Goto, M.; Grady, C. A.; Guyon, O.; Hayano, Y.; Hayashi, M.; Hayashi, S.; Henning, T.; Hodapp, K. W.; Ishii, M.; Iye, M.; Kandori, R.; Kwon, J.; Mede, K.; Miyama, S.; Morino, J.-I.; Nishimura, T.; Pyo, T.-S.; Serabyn, E.; Suenaga, T.; Suto, H.; Suzuki, R.; Takami, M.; Takahashi, Y.; Takato, N.; Terada, H.; Tomono, D.; Watanabe, M.; Yamada, T.; Takami, H.; Usuda, T.; Tamura, M.

    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 ~105 at 1'' and ~106 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Astrometric exoplanet surveys in practice: challenges, opportunities, and results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahlmann, Johannes

    2015-08-01

    Conversely to the transit photometry and radial velocity methods, the astrometric discovery of exoplanets is still limited by the sensitivity of available instruments. Furthermore, the signature of a planet (described by 7 free parameters) is orders of magnitude smaller than the standard motion of a star (5 free parameters), which has to be solved for first. This has important implications in the design and implementation of astrometric planet search surveys and the large parameter space to be explored calls for efficient fitting algorithms. I will present results of the so-far most precise astrometric planet search from the ground, targeting 20 very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs with an accuracy of 100 micro-arcseconds, which include the discovery of binaries with components in the planetary mass regime and several planet candidates with Neptune-to-Jupiter masses. The employed genetic and MCMC algorithms were shown to be efficient in constraining all astrometric parameters, which makes them important tools for the exploitation of the data currently collected by the Gaia satellite. Gaia is expected to astrometrically discover thousands of giant exoplanets and I will report on several ongoing projects in preparation of this unique harvest, including the expected yield of circumbinary planets.

  19. EChO: What are exoplanets made of?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinetti, G.; Drossart, P.; Isaak, K.; Krause, O.; Lovis, C.; Micela, G.; Ollivier, M.; Ribas, I.; Snellen, I.; Swinyard, AB(B.

    2012-09-01

    The Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory, EChO, will be the first dedicated mission to investigate the physics and chemistry of exoplanetary atmospheres. EChO will expand the playground of planetary science beyond our solar system, by providing a representative sample of exoplanet spectra under a wide range of physical and chemical conditions. The observed chemical composition largely depends on the planet's thermal structure, which in turn depends on the planet's orbital distance and metallicity, and the host star's luminosity and stellar type. The planetary mass determines the planet's ability to retain an atmosphere. The range of planets and stellar environments explored by EChO extends from the very hot to the temperate zone and includes gas-giants, Neptunes and super-Earths. EChO has been selected in 2011 as one of the four ESA M3 mission candidates, and it is currently in assessment phase. Here we will focus on the science of EChO and present the results obtained by the EChO Science Study Team.

  20. SPICA: Mid-IR exoplanet spectroscopy in Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waldmann, I. P.; Swinyard, B.; Tessenyi, M.; Tinetti, G.

    2014-04-01

    In less than three decades, the field of exoplanetary science has undergone nothing short of a revolution. We have gone from the oddball discovery of a 'planetary sized object' orbiting a pulsar star (Wolszczan and Frail, 1992) to efficient and systematic all-sky surveys with nearly two thousand confirmed exoplanets and over three thousand candidates awaiting confirmation (Burke et al., 2013). With such wealth of systems discovered, we are constantly edging closer to finding the holy grail of planetary science: an Earth analogue with habitable conditions. To understand conditions of habitability, we must characterise the exoplanets. This is best achieved by the spectroscopy of their atmospheres in the near to mid-IR wavelength ranges (5-20 microns) where complex molecules emit. Whilst JWST/MIRI does cover these wavelength ranges in four separate filters, the importance of oneshot, simultaneous wavelength coverage to constrain stellar and planetary variability cannot be overstated. In this talk we will present the concept of a highstability spectrograph on the proposed SPICA mission, featuring a continuous wavelength coverage from the near to mid-IR, ideally placed to characterise warm- Neptunes to habitable zone planets.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The possible false-detection of a transiting brown dwarf candidate in the overlapping fields of Kepler and MARVELS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reyes, Alan; Ge, Jian; Thomas, Neil; Ma, Bo; Heslar, Michael Francis; SDSS-III MARVELS Team

    2016-01-01

    While searching for exoplanets via the transit method, it has been documented that the periodicity of an unresolved background eclipsing binary (BEB) can be misinterpreted as the orbital companion of a target star. We explore the possibility that this false-positive contamination method can also occur in Doppler surveys if the angular separation between a BEB and a selected primary is under a certain threshold, dependent on the fiber diameter of the spectrometer instrument. The case example of this investigation is a K2 giant in the constellation Cygnus, in the region of overlap of the Kepler and MARVELS surveys. This star was originally flagged for potentially having a 5.56d period companion as per the Kepler transit photometry. It was also imbricated with radial velocity (RV) observations performed by the SDSS-III MARVELS survey, in which Doppler information was extracted from along the dispersion direction of the fiducially-calibrated, post-pipeline-rendered spectra. The 5.56d period was corroborated after testing its probability against that of others via a Lomb-Scargle periodogram analysis. The pipeline mass determination yielded a ~17 MJupiter companion, within the characteristic mass-range of brown dwarfs. The MARVELS results seem to constitute an independent discovery, and hence confirmation, of the brown dwarf candidate. However, a later investigation conducted by EXPERT, intent upon refining the system's physical parameters, failed to identify the RV signal of any companion whatsoever. EXPERT, with its superior resolving power (R=30,000 vs R=11,000 in MARVELS), finer fiber width (1.2 vs 1.9 arcsec), and higher degree of precision (~10 m/s), was expected to finalize the confirmation, but now offers a major challenge to previous models of the system. Additionally, high-resolution adaptive optics imaging reveals the presence of a distinct, close-in object. The object may itself be an unbound BEB, and thus the source of the period signals reported by Kepler

  6. 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. PMID:26109316

  7. A brown dwarf companion to the intermediate-mass star HR 6037

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huélamo, N.; Nürnberger, D. E. A.; Ivanov, V. D.; Chauvin, G.; Carraro, G.; Sterzik, M. F.; Melo, C. H. F.; Bonnefoy, M.; Hartung, M.; Haubois, X.; Foellmi, C.

    2010-10-01

    Context. The frequency of brown dwarf and planetary-mass companions around intermediate-mass stars is still unknown. Imaging and radial velocity surveys have revealed a small number of substellar companions to these stars. Aims: In the course of an imaging survey we detected a visual companion to the intermediate-mass star HR 6037. We here confirm it as a co-moving substellar object. Methods: We present two epoch observations of HR 6037, an A6-type star with a companion candidate at 6farcs67 and position angle of 294 degrees. We also analyze near-infrared spectroscopy of the companion. Results: Two epoch observations of HR 6037 have allowed us to confirm HR 6037 B as a co-moving companion. Its J and H band spectra suggest that the object has a spectral type of M9, with a surface gravity that is intermediate between a 10 Myr dwarf and a field dwarf of the same spectral type. The comparison of its Ks-band photometry with evolutionary tracks allows us to derive a mass, effective temperature, and surface gravity of 62±20 MJup, Teff = 2330±200 K, and log g = 5.1±0.2, respectively. The low binary mass ratio, q 0.03, and its long orbital period, 5000 yr, make HR 6037 a rare and uncommon binary system. Based on observations collected at the Paranal Observatory under programs 272.D-5068(A), 77.D-0147(A), and 285.C-5008(A).

  8. 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

  9. ECHO - the Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tessenyi, Marcell

    2010-10-01

    A famous example of Super Earth is GJ 1214b, found by Charbonneau et al. in 2009 as part of the Mearth project: it is believed to be a small (2 Earth masses) ice world. But most of the currently known Exoplanets are of the Hot Jupiter type, large gas giants orbiting bright stars. Attention is now turning to these Super Earths, orbiting low mass late-type stars - many yet to be detected - as they offer the opportunity of obtaining spectral signatures from their atmospheres when found in a transiting or even non-transiting scenarios, via data obtained by ground based and space observatories, compared to simulated climate scenarios. As more of these planets await detection, we estimate from microlensing and radial velocity surveys - which report that Super Earths form 24 to 100% of planets at orbits between 1 and 5 A.U. of their parent stars - and catalogs of stars (RECONS, PMSU, 2MASS), that within 30pc from our sun, over 50 Super Earths transit, orbiting within the Habitable Zone of their host star.

  10. Observed Exoplanets and Intelligent Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, G. H. A.

    2006-05-01

    If intelligent life were common in the Universe, should we not be aware of it on Earth through contact with advanced space ships and automatic probes? Would we not at least expect to intercept communication signals between space travellers? That this is not found has led to much speculation in the past. Recent discoveries of planets around other stars (called here exoplanets) and, separately, recent discoveries in the evolution of life on Earth, including Homo sapiens, allow this question to be considered again but now with more information than before. This is the subject of the present paper. The study involves aspects of physics and chemistry in combination with biological studies. It is concluded here that the places where technologically capable intelligent life might be expected to be found in our Galaxy are so few that any such “centres of civilisation” must be separated by large distances, probably in excess of 50 light years. If true, this would make the different centres essentially isolated and would suggest that each manifestation of advanced intelligent life is a purely local development. This would agree with our experience of aloneness. Nevertheless, the number of centres throughout the Universe would still be astronomically large, even if each galaxy had only one centre. An hypothesis is proposed which could account for the existence of such centres in this form.

  11. 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.

  12. Modeling transiting exoplanet and spots For interferometric study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ligi, Roxanne; Mourard, Denis; Perraut, Karine; Bério, Philippe; Bigot, Lionel; Chiavassa, Andrea; Lagrange, Anne-Marie; Nardetto, Nicolas

    2014-08-01

    Up to now, many techniques have been developed to detect and observe exoplanets, the radial velocity (RV) method being the most prolific one. However, stellar magnetic spots can mimic an exoplanet transit signal and lead to a false detection. A few models have already been developed to constrain the different signature of exoplanets and spots, but they only concern RV measurements or photometry. An interferometric approach, with high angular resolution capabilities, could resolve this problem. Optical interferometry is a powerful method to measure accurate stellar diameters, and derive fundamental parameters of stars and exoplanets minimum masses. We have built an analytical code able to calculate visibility moduli and closure phases of stars with a transiting exoplanet, to be compared with a star with no exoplanet. From the difference of interferometric signal, we can derive the presence of the exoplanet, but this requires that the star is resolved enough. We have tested this code with current available facilities like VEGA/CHARA and determined which already discovered exoplanets systems can be resolved enough to test this method. To make a more general study, we also tested different parameters (exoplanet and stellar diameters, exoplanet position) that can lead to a variation of the minimum baseline length required to see the exoplanet signal on the visibility modulus and the phase. Stellar spots act in the same way, but the difference of local intensity between an exoplanet transit and a spot can easily be studied thanks to the interferometric measurements.

  13. TRANSMISSION SPECTROSCOPY OF EXOPLANET XO-2b OBSERVED WITH HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE NICMOS

    SciTech Connect

    Crouzet, N.; McCullough, P. R.; Long, D.; Burke, C.

    2012-12-10

    Spectroscopy during planetary transits is a powerful tool to probe exoplanet atmospheres. We present the near-infrared transit spectroscopy of XO-2b obtained with Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS. Uniquely for NICMOS transit spectroscopy, a companion star of similar properties to XO-2 is present in the field of view. We derive improved star and planet parameters through a photometric white-light analysis. We show a clear correlation of the spectrum noise with instrumental parameters, in particular the angle of the spectral trace on the detector. An MCMC method using a decorrelation from instrumental parameters is used to extract the planetary spectrum. Spectra derived independently from each of the three visits have an rms of 430, 510, and 1000 ppm, respectively. The same analysis is performed on the companion star after numerical injection of a transit with a depth constant at all wavelengths. The extracted spectra exhibit residuals of similar amplitude as for XO-2, which represent the level of remaining NICMOS systematics. This shows that extracting planetary spectra is at the limit of NICMOS's capability. We derive a spectrum for the planet XO-2b using the companion star as a reference. The derived spectrum can be represented by a theoretical model including atmospheric water vapor or by a flat spectrum model. We derive a 3{sigma} upper limit of 1570 ppm on the presence of water vapor absorption in the atmosphere of XO-2b. In the Appendix, we perform a similar analysis for the gas giant planet XO-1b.

  14. Exoplanets bouncing between binary stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moeckel, Nickolas; Veras, Dimitri

    2012-05-01

    Exoplanetary systems are found not only among single stars, but also among binaries of widely varying parameters. Binaries with separations of 100-1000 au are prevalent in the solar neighbourhood; at these separations, planet formation around a binary member may largely proceed as if around a single star. During the early dynamical evolution of a planetary system, planet-planet scattering can eject planets from a star's grasp. In a binary, the motion of a planet ejected from one star has effectively entered a restricted three-body system consisting of itself and the two stars, and the equations of motion of the three-body problem will apply as long as the ejected planet remains far from the remaining planets. Depending on its energy, escape from the binary as a whole may be impossible or delayed until the three-body approximation breaks down, and further close interactions with its planetary siblings boost its energy when it passes close to its parent star. Until then, this planet may be able to transition from the space around one star to the other, and chaotically 'bounce' back and forth. In this paper, we directly simulate scattering planetary systems that are around one member of a circular binary, and quantify the frequency of bouncing in scattered planets. We find that a great majority (70-85 per cent) of ejected planets will pass at least once through the space of it's host's binary companion, and depending on the binary parameters about 35-75 per cent will begin bouncing. The time spent bouncing is roughly lognormally distributed with a peak at about 104 yr, with only a small percentage bouncing for more than 1 Myr. This process may perturb and possibly incite instability among existing planets around the companion star. In rare cases, the presence of multiple planets orbiting both stars may cause post-bouncing capture or planetary swapping.

  15. [Companion Diagnostics for Solid Tumors].

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Atsushi

    2015-11-01

    Companion diagnostics (CoDx) will likely continue to rapidly increase in number and application to disease areas including solid tumors, for example EGFR for gefitinib and ALK fusion gene for crizotinib in non-small-cell lung cancer; KRAS against the use of cetuximab and panitumumab in colorectal cancer; HER2 for trastuzumab in breast cancer. CoDx are an indispensable part of personalized medicine and pharmacogenomics. In CoDx development, there are still many challenges, such as the business model promoting cooperation between diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies, and also the regulations related to CoDx. The FDA notice on the development of CoDx in 2011 recommended the co-development of a new drug and CoDx as the best practice, and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan also issued a statement in 2013. In addition, the recent discovery of many novel variants in the DNA sequence, advances in sequencing and genomic technology, and improved analytic methods have enabled the impact of germline and somatic mutations to be determined using multiplex diagnosis. The complex challenges to develop CoDx necessitate a close collaboration among academic institutions, regulatory authorities, and pharmaceutical companies. [Review]. PMID:26995877

  16. [Companion Diagnostics for Solid Tumors].

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Atsushi

    2015-11-01

    Companion diagnostics (CoDx) will likely continue to rapidly increase in number and application to disease areas including solid tumors, for example EGFR for gefitinib and ALK fusion gene for crizotinib in non-small-cell lung cancer; KRAS against the use of cetuximab and panitumumab in colorectal cancer; HER2 for trastuzumab in breast cancer. CoDx are an indispensable part of personalized medicine and pharmacogenomics. In CoDx development, there are still many challenges, such as the business model promoting cooperation between diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies, and also the regulations related to CoDx. The FDA notice on the development of CoDx in 2011 recommended the co-development of a new drug and CoDx as the best practice, and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan also issued a statement in 2013. In addition, the recent discovery of many novel variants in the DNA sequence, advances in sequencing and genomic technology, and improved analytic methods have enabled the impact of germline and somatic mutations to be determined using multiplex diagnosis. The complex challenges to develop CoDx necessitate a close collaboration among academic institutions, regulatory authorities, and pharmaceutical companies. [Review].

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:24357312

  1. Test Particle Stability in Exoplanet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frewen, Shane; Hansen, B. M.

    2011-01-01

    Astronomy is currently going through a golden age of exoplanet discovery. Yet despite that, there is limited research on the evolution of exoplanet systems driven by stellar evolution. In this work we look at the stability of test particles in known exoplanet systems during the host star's main sequence and white dwarf stages. In particular, we compare the instability regions that develop before and after the star loses mass to form a white dwarf, a process which causes the semi-major axes of the outer planets to expand adiabatically. We investigate the possibility of secular and resonant perturbations resulting in these regions as well as the method of removal of test particles for the instability regions, such as ejection and collision with the central star. To run our simulations we used the MERCURY software package (Chambers, 1999) and evolved our systems for over 108 years using a hybrid symplectic/Bulirsch-Stoer integrator.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:24664919

  5. Companion rabbit and companion bird management practices among a representative sample of guardians in Victoria, Australia.

    PubMed

    Howell, Tiffani J; Mornement, Kate; Bennett, Pauleen C

    2015-01-01

    Although companion animal management practices used by caregivers can influence the welfare of the companion animals, there is little existing information about the ways in which people attempt to meet their companion animals' needs. A representative sample of rabbit guardians (n = 93, representing 63,000 people) and bird guardians (n = 203, representing 157,000 people) in Victoria, Australia, completed an online survey. Items were related to the environmental, diet/exercise, behavioral, social, and health management practices used by guardians. Guardians sometimes meet their companion animals' welfare needs, but they do not always engage in best practices. Most (79%) bird guardians reported that they interacted with their birds daily, but only 68% of rabbit guardians did the same. Likewise, 32% of rabbit guardians and 55% of bird guardians never had their companion animals vaccinated. These results may be used for educational campaigns for improving companion animal welfare.

  6. 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)

  7. Regulatory considerations for companion diagnostic devices.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eunice Y; Shen, Hsin-Chieh Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of companion diagnostic devices has been spurred by drug discovery and development efforts towards targeted therapies, particularly in oncology. Companion diagnostics and their corresponding therapeutics are often codeveloped, or developed in parallel, to ensure the safe and effective use of the products. The regulatory framework for companion diagnostics has gradually evolved as a result of the essential role of diagnostic tests to identify the intended population for a corresponding treatment. Here, we describe the current regulatory model for companion diagnostics in the US and outline key strategies for a successful codevelopment program from the device perspective. We also discuss how technological advances and changes in clinical management may challenge the regulatory model in the future. PMID:25605456

  8. MEPHISTO - Mapping the Exoplanet Population via High-Contrast Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apai, Daniel

    The surprising recent discovery of four large-separation super-Jupiters highlighted how little we know about the giant exoplanet population beyond 5 AU. The HR8799bcd system includes three 7-10 jupiter-mass planets at separations > 24 AU. This system is not simply the result of a scaled-up version of the Solar System formation, but suggests a qualitatively different way of super-jupiter formation, perhaps efficient only in initially massive disks. At the same time, these spectacular images demonstrated the opportunity high-contrast imaging has to offer in answering three fundamental questions: 1)How frequent are gas giants and super-Jupiters as a function of host star mass? 2)What are the planet mass and semi-major axis distributions? 3)How frequent are HR8799-like multiple super-jupiter systems? In addition to answering these questions, most large-separation giant planets discovered from ground-based observations today will also be ideal targets for JWST for in-depth spectroscopic characterization. To study the properties of the large-separation giant exoplanet population we developed new high-contrast imaging techniques that work in the 3-4 micron atmospheric window. These ground-based observations reach the most favorable contrasts and sensitivities to giant planets and also remain sensitive to few Gyr-old planets, in contrast to shorter- wavelength observations. We demonstrated the advantage of these techniques in technical papers, on-sky published surveys, on the HR8799bcd planets and by confirming the nature of the planet candidate around Beta Pictoris b (results in press in Science). Here we propose to utilize these well-tested, powerful techniques to significantly extend our sensitive imaging surveys to image all 138 known southern stars around which we are capable of detecting at least 5 Jupiter-mass planets on separations smaller than 70 AU, analogs to the HR8799bcd system. Our goal is to provide a statistically well sampled range of spectral type and

  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. Video Otoscopy in Exotic Companion Mammals.

    PubMed

    Jekl, Vladimir; Hauptman, Karel; Knotek, Zdenek

    2015-09-01

    Ear disease is a common disorder seen in exotic companion mammals, especially in ferrets, rabbits, and rats. This article describes patient preparation, equipment, and video otoscopy technique in exotic companion mammals. This noninvasive technique facilitates accurate diagnosis of diseases affecting the external ear canal or middle ear. Moreover, therapeutic otoscopic evaluation of the external ear facilitates foreign body removal, external ear canal flushing, intralesional drug administration, myringotomy, and middle ear cavity flushing.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Exoplanet environments to harbour extremophile life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janot-Pacheco, Eduardo; Lage, Claudia A. S.; Lima, Ivan G. P.

    2010-02-01

    In this contribution, we estimate the temperature at the surface of known exoplanets and of their putative satellites for two albedo extreme cases (Venus and Mars) and present a selection of extremophiles living on Earth that can live under those conditions. We examine also the possibility of survival of microorganisms in planetary systems of variable stars.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Structures induced by companions in galactic discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

    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 by 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 (parameterized 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 (SFASI) 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 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 ILR to a radius close to, but inside, corotation.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Binary pulsars studies with multiwavelength sky surveys - I. Companion star identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mignani, R. P.; Corongiu, A.; Pallanca, C.; Oates, S. R.; Yershov, V. N.; Breeveld, A. A.; Page, M. J.; Ferraro, F. R.; Possenti, A.; Jackson, A. C.

    2014-09-01

    The identification of the stellar companions to binary pulsars is key to studying the evolution of the binary system and how this is influenced by the interactions between the two stars. For only a fraction of the known binary pulsars, the stellar companions have been identified. Here, we used 11 source catalogues available from multiwavelength (ultraviolet, optical, infrared) imaging sky surveys to search for the stellar companions of a sample of 144 field binary pulsars (i.e. not in globular clusters) selected from the Australia Telescope National Facility data base (version 1.48) and from the public list of γ-ray pulsars detected by Fermi. We found positional associations in at least one source catalogue for 22 pulsars, of which 10 are detected in γ-rays by Fermi, including 15 millisecond pulsars. For six pulsars in our compilation, we confirm their identifications. For another seven pulsars that had yet not been identified, we examine potential identifications. In particular, we identified a likely companion star candidate to PSR J2317+1439, whereas for both PSR B1953+29 and PSR J1935+1726 the companion star identification is more uncertain. Follow-up observations of these three pulsars are needed to settle the proposed identifications. For the remaining nine pulsars that had been already identified, we provide additional spectral information in at least one of the surveys' spectral bands, which we will use to better constrain the stars' spectral energy distributions.

  9. Synthesizing exoplanet demographics from radial velocity and microlensing surveys. I. Methodology

    SciTech Connect

    Clanton, Christian; Gaudi, B. Scott

    2014-08-20

    Motivated by the order of magnitude difference in the frequency of giant planets orbiting M dwarfs inferred by microlensing and radial velocity (RV) surveys, we present a method for comparing the statistical constraints on exoplanet demographics inferred from these methods. We first derive the mapping from the observable parameters of a microlensing-detected planet to those of an analogous planet orbiting an RV-monitored star. Using this mapping, we predict the distribution of RV observables for the planet population inferred from microlensing surveys, taking care to adopt reasonable priors for, and properly marginalize over, the unknown physical parameters of microlensing-detected systems. Finally, we use simple estimates of the detection limits for a fiducial RV survey to predict the number and properties of analogs of the microlensing planet population such an RV survey should detect. We find that RV and microlensing surveys have some overlap, specifically for super-Jupiter mass planets (m{sub p} ≳ 1 M {sub Jup}) with periods between ∼3-10 yr. However, the steeply falling planetary mass function inferred from microlensing implies that, in this region of overlap, RV surveys should infer a much smaller frequency than the overall giant planet frequency (m{sub p} ≳ 0.1 M {sub Jup}) inferred by microlensing. Our analysis demonstrates that it is possible to statistically compare and synthesize data sets from multiple exoplanet detection techniques in order to infer exoplanet demographics over wider regions of parameter space than are accessible to individual methods. In a companion paper, we apply our methodology to several representative microlensing and RV surveys to derive the frequency of planets around M dwarfs with orbits of ≲ 30 yr.

  10. Three wide planetary-mass companions to FW Tau, ROXs 12, and ROXs 42B

    SciTech Connect

    Kraus, Adam L.; Ireland, Michael J.; Cieza, Lucas A.; Bowler, Brendan P.; Liu, Michael C.; Hinkley, Sasha; Dupuy, Trent J.

    2014-01-20

    We report the discovery of three planetary-mass companions (M = 6-20 M {sub Jup}) in wide orbits (ρ ∼ 150-300 AU) around the young stars FW Tau (Taurus-Auriga), ROXs 12 (Ophiuchus), and ROXs 42B (Ophiuchus). All three wide planetary-mass companions (PMCs) were reported as candidate companions in previous binary survey programs, but then were neglected for >10 yr. We therefore obtained followup observations that demonstrate that each candidate is comoving with its host star. Based on the absolute M{sub K{sup ′}} magnitudes, we infer masses (from hot-start evolutionary models) and projected separations of 10 ± 4 M {sub Jup} and 330 ± 30 AU for FW Tau b, 16 ± 4 M {sub Jup} and 210 ± 20 AU for ROXs 12, and 10 ± 4 M {sub Jup} and 140 ± 10 AU for ROXs 42B b. We also present similar observations for 10 other candidates that show that they are unassociated field stars, as well as multicolor JHK'L' near-infrared photometry for our new PMCs and for five previously identified substellar or planetary-mass companions. The near-infrared photometry for our sample of eight known and new companions generally parallels the properties of free-floating, low-mass brown dwarfs in these star-forming regions. However, five of the seven objects with M < 30 M {sub Jup} are redder in K' – L' than the distribution of young free-floating counterparts of similar J – K' color. We speculate that this distinction could indicate a structural difference in circumplanetary disks, perhaps tied to higher disk mass since at least two of the objects in our sample are known to be accreting more vigorously than typical free-floating counterparts.

  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. 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

    2016-09-01

    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.

  13. Genomic Analysis of Companion Rabbit Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    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

  14. Genomic Analysis of Companion Rabbit Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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

  16. Wide sub-stellar companions-Something of a rarity also around Ursa Major group members?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eiff, M. Ammler-Von; Bedalov, A.; Mugrauer, M.; Neuhäuser, R.; Guenther, E. W.

    2009-02-01

    The Ursa Major group is the closest moving group with its densest part being located in the direction of the Big Dipper constellation at a distance of about 25 pc. In spite of the small distance, the relatively young age of 200-600 Myrs, and the on average high proper motions, this sample of stars has not yet been addressed as a whole by direct imaging studies of sub-stellar companions in wide orbits. We searched the fields around more than 20 nearby Ursa Major group members at a distance of less than 30 pc using adaptive optics and coronography with NAOS/CONICA at the ESO VLT, Chile. Many sub-stellar companion candidates were detected in the first epoch imaging in 2003/2004. However the second epoch imaging in 2005/2006 revealed that none of these displayed common proper motion so that the candidates turned out to be unrelated objects.

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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. 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. PMID:24664918

  9. 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.

  10. Exoplanet Science with E-ELT/METIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quanz, S. P.

    2015-10-01

    METIS - the Mid-infrared E-ELT Imager and Spectrograph - is foreseen as one of the first instruments for the 39-m European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). It will provide diffraction limited imaging and spectroscopy in the L, M, N and Q band and also feature a high-dispersion integral field unit in the L and M band. While being a multi-purpose instrument with a broad and diverse science case, exoplanets are one of the driving science topics for METIS. In this talk I will highlight a few areas in exoplanet research, where METIS will be uniquely positioned to deliver breakthrough results early in the era of ground-based ELTs. In fact, it might be METIS that takes the first image of a small and possibly rocky planet around a nearby star.

  11. Exoplanets in the M2K Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyajian, Tabetha; Fischer, Debra; Gaidos, Eric; Giguere, Matt

    2013-07-01

    Late type stars are ideal targets for the detection of low-mass planets residing in habitable zones. In such systems, not only is the stellar noise a minimum, but the lower stellar mass affords larger reflex velocities and the lower stellar luminosity moves the habitable zone inward. The M2K program is a high precision Doppler survey monitoring a couple hundred late-type stars over the past few years in search for such important exoplanetary systems. We present updated orbits of known exoplanet systems and newly detected exoplanet systems that have resulted from this program. We also advertise the Planethunters.org "Guest Scientist" program as well as our survey to measure stellar diameters and temperatures with long baseline optical interferometry.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:20307188

  19. 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.

  20. 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})

  1. THE FREQUENCY OF LOW-MASS EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    O'Toole, S. J.; Jones, H. R. A.; Tinney, C. G.; Bailey, J.; Wittenmyer, R. A.; Butler, R. P.; Marcy, G. W.; Carter, B.

    2009-08-20

    We report first results from the Anglo-Australian Telescope Rocky Planet Search-an intensive, high-precision Doppler planet search targeting low-mass exoplanets in contiguous 48 night observing blocks. On this run, we targeted 24 bright, nearby and intrinsically stable Sun-like stars selected from the Anglo-Australian Planet Search's main sample. These observations have already detected one low-mass planet reported elsewhere (HD 16417b), and here we reconfirm the detection of HD 4308b. Further, we have Monte Carlo simulated data from this run on a star-by-star basis to produce robust detection constraints. These simulations demonstrate clear differences in the exoplanet detectability functions from star to star due to differences in sampling, data quality and intrinsic stellar stability. They reinforce the importance of star-by-star simulation when interpreting the data from Doppler planet searches. These simulations indicate that for some of our target stars we are sensitive to close-orbiting planets as small as a few Earth masses. The two low-mass planets present in our 24-star sample indicate that the exoplanet minimum mass function at low masses is likely to be a flat {alpha} {approx} -1 (for dN/dM {proportional_to} M {sup {alpha}}) and that between 15% {+-} 10% (at {alpha} = -0.3) and 48% {+-} 34% (at {alpha} = -1.3) of stars host planets with orbital periods of less than 16 days and minimum masses greater than 3 M {sub +}.

  2. 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.

  3. Archaeology and direct imaging of exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, John B.

    The search for extraterrestrial technology effectively began 45 years ago with Frank Drake's Project Ozma and a radioastronomy start to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Eventually searches began for possible interstellar probes in stable orbits in the Solar System, as well as for infrared excesses from possible Dyson spheres round Sun-like stars. Whilst the Cold War was still underway, some scientists looked for evidence of nuclear waste dumps and nuclear wars elsewhere in the Milky Way. None of this work was carried out by archaeologists, even though by their very nature archaeologists are experts in the detection of ancient technologies. The technologies being searched for would have been partly ancient in age though advanced in techniques and science. The development of ESA's Darwin and NASA's TPF for detection and imaging of Earth-like exoplanets in our galactic neighbourhood represents an opportunity for the testing of techniques for detecting signatures of technological activities. Ideally, both Darwin and TPF might be able to provide spectroscopic data on the chemistry and biochemistry of the atmospheres of Earth-like exoplanets, and thus to detect some of the signs of life. If this can be accomplished successfully, then in theory evidence for pollution and nuclear accidents and wars should be detectable. Some infrared signatures of ETT on or round exoplanets might be detectable. Direct visual imaging of ETT structures will probably not be feasible till we have extremely powerful interstellar telescopes or actually send orbital craft.

  4. CHEOPS: CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isaak, K. G.

    2015-10-01

    CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) is the first exoplanet mission dedicated to the search for transits of exoplanets by means of ultrahigh precision photometry of bright stars already known to host planets. CHEOPS will provide the unique capability of determining radii to ~10% accuracy for a subset of those planets in the super-Earth to Neptune mass range. The high photometric precision of CHEOPS will be achieved using a photometer covering the 0.4 - 1.1um waveband and designed around a single frame-transfer CCD which is mounted in the focal plane of a 30 cm equivalent aperture diameter, f/5 on-axis Ritchey-Chretien telescope. Key to reaching the required performance is rejection of straylight from the Earth that is achieved using a specially designed optical baffle. CHEOPS is the first S-class mission in ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025, and is currently planned to be launch-ready by the end of 2017. The mission is a partnership between Switzerland and ESA's science programme, with important contributions from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In this presentation I will give a scientific and technical overview of the mission, as well as an update on the status of the project.

  5. 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).

  6. Coronagraphic search for wide substellar companions among members of the Ursa Major moving group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

    Context. We present the results of a survey to detect low-mass companions of Ursa Major (UMa) group members, carried out in 2003-2006 with NACO at the ESO VLT. While many extra-solar planets and planetary candidates have been found in close orbits around stars by the radial velocity and the transit methods, direct detections at wider orbits are rare. The UMa group, a young nearby stellar association at an age of about 200-600 Myr, has not yet been addressed as a whole although its members represent a very interesting sample to search for and characterize substellar companions by direct imaging. Aims: Our goal was to find or to provide detection limits on wide substellar companions around nearby UMa group members using high-resolution imaging. Methods: We searched for faint companions around 20 UMa group members within 30 pc. The primaries were placed below a semi-transparent coronagraph, a rarely used mode of NACO, to increase the dynamic range of the images. In most cases, second epoch images of companion candidates were taken to check whether they share common proper motion with the primary. Results: Our coronagraphic images rule out substellar companions around the stars of the sample. A typical dynamical range of 13-15 mag in the Ks band was achieved at separations beyond 3'' from the star. Candidates as faint as Ks ≈ 20 were securely identified and measured. The survey is most sensitive between separations of 100 and 200 au but only on average because of the very different target distance. Field coverage reaches about 650 au for the most distant targets. Most of the 200 candidates detected in the covered fields are visible in two epochs and were rejected because they are distant background objects. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, in programmes 72.C-0485, 73.C-0225, 76.C-0777, 77.C-0268, 384.C-0245A.Table D.1 is also available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

  9. Close Friendship and Imaginary Companions in Adolescence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seiffge-Krenke, Inge

    1993-01-01

    Examined the developmental benefits of adolescents' close intimate friendships with real same-sex friends and imaginary companions in two studies of adolescents who wrote diaries. Found that, even with a high incidence of imaginary companionship as described in diaries, adolescents preferred intense relationships with close real same-sex friends…

  10. A Developmental Investigation of Children's Imaginary Companions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Marjorie; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Children with and without imaginary companions (ICs) were asked to describe the IC or a real friend. Seven months later, children's descriptions of ICs were as stable as their descriptions of real friends. Children with and without ICs did not differ in their ability to distinguish fantasy from reality. (BC)

  11. When Toddlers Provide Care: Infants Companion Space.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braten, Stein

    1996-01-01

    Hypothesizes regarding factors that enhance prosociality in children, implying that the quality of childrearing and early companionship have profound impact on toddlers' social behavior. Discusses observation space versus companion space, prosocial behavior across cultures, when toddlers abuse, and the implications of a circular reenactment of…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Hiding in the Shadows. II. Collisional Dust as Exoplanet Markers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobinson, Jack; Leinhardt, Zoë M.; Lines, Stefan; Carter, Philip J.; Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E.; Teanby, Nick A.

    2016-03-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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.…

  5. 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.

  6. Companion animals: Translational scientist's new best friends.

    PubMed

    Kol, Amir; Arzi, Boaz; Athanasiou, Kyriacos A; Farmer, Diana L; Nolta, Jan A; Rebhun, Robert B; Chen, Xinbin; Griffiths, Leigh G; Verstraete, Frank J M; Murphy, Christopher J; Borjesson, Dori L

    2015-10-01

    Knowledge and resources derived from veterinary medicine represent an underused resource that could serve as a bridge between data obtained from diseases models in laboratory animals and human clinical trials. Naturally occurring disease in companion animals that display the defining attributes of similar, if not identical, diseases in humans hold promise for providing predictive proof of concept in the evaluation of new therapeutics and devices. Here we outline comparative aspects of naturally occurring diseases in companion animals and discuss their current uses in translational medicine, benefits, and shortcomings. Last, we envision how these natural models of disease might ultimately decrease the failure rate in human clinical trials and accelerate the delivery of effective treatments to the human clinical market.

  7. Companion animals: Translational scientist's new best friends.

    PubMed

    Kol, Amir; Arzi, Boaz; Athanasiou, Kyriacos A; Farmer, Diana L; Nolta, Jan A; Rebhun, Robert B; Chen, Xinbin; Griffiths, Leigh G; Verstraete, Frank J M; Murphy, Christopher J; Borjesson, Dori L

    2015-10-01

    Knowledge and resources derived from veterinary medicine represent an underused resource that could serve as a bridge between data obtained from diseases models in laboratory animals and human clinical trials. Naturally occurring disease in companion animals that display the defining attributes of similar, if not identical, diseases in humans hold promise for providing predictive proof of concept in the evaluation of new therapeutics and devices. Here we outline comparative aspects of naturally occurring diseases in companion animals and discuss their current uses in translational medicine, benefits, and shortcomings. Last, we envision how these natural models of disease might ultimately decrease the failure rate in human clinical trials and accelerate the delivery of effective treatments to the human clinical market. PMID:26446953

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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).

  13. A Desktop Transiting Exoplanet Shimer, Aurnou

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimer, P.; Aurnou, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    We will present, on-site, a small-scale experiment that simulates the transit of an exoplanet across the face of a star. This experiment consists of i) a rotating table with a light source ('star') at the center; ii) a variable length arm affixed to the table; iii) a small cylinder or sphere ('planet') affixed to the end of the arm; iv) a light intensity sensor ('telescope') placed in the system's orbital plane. Using the characteristic dip in light intensity as the transiting body blocks part of the light source, it is possible to invert the data to infer the body's radius.

  14. Exoplanet Observation from the Vattican Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, Kyle; Zellem, Rob; Griffith, Caitlin

    2014-11-01

    We report our spectroscopic investigation of the transiting hot Jupiter HD 189733b's atmospheric transmission and the first exoplanet transit taken with the Vattican Observatory 1.8m telescope on Mt.Graham using the medium resolution spectrograph VATTSpec. We reconfirm existing planet/star radius ratio measurements with 2675 individual channel measurements spanning ~400-900nm. We provide the first in depth look at the steps necessary for well-calibrated VATTspec observations and provide advice for future observations with this instrument.

  15. Searches for Exoplanets with Gravitational Microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, Alexander

    2016-07-01

    There are different methods for finding exoplanets such as radial spectral shifts, astrometrical measurements, transits, timing etc. Gravitational microlensing (including pixel-lensing) is among the most promising techniques with the potentiality of detecting Earth-like planets at distances about a few astronomical units from their host star. We emphasize the importance of polarization measurements which can help to resolve degeneracies in theoretical models. In particular, the polarization angle could give additional information about the relative position of the lens with respect to the source.

  16. 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. PMID:25230655

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. Astrometric and spectroscopic confirmation of a brown dwarf companion to GSC 08047-00232. VLT/NACO deep imaging and spectroscopic observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chauvin, G.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Lacombe, F.; Dumas, C.; Mouillet, D.; Zuckerman, B.; Gendron, E.; Song, I.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Lowrance, P.; Fusco, T.

    2005-02-01

    We report VLT/NACO imaging observations of the stars GSC 08047-00232 and HIP 6856, probable members of the large Tucana-Horologium association. During our previous ADONIS/SHARPII deep imaging survey, a substellar candidate companion was discovered around each star. Based on VLT/NACO astrometric measurements, we find that GSC 08047-00232 and the faint candidate companion near to it share the same proper motion with a significance of 3.1 σ. On the contrary, the candidate companion to HIP 6856 is probably a background object with a significance of 4.3 σ. We also detect a new fainter and closer candidate companion to HIP 6856, but which is likely a background object too with a significance of 4 σ. Recent VLT/NACO spectroscopic measurements of GSC 08047-00232 finally confirm the substellar nature of this young brown dwarf with a derived spectral type M 9.5±1. GSC 08047-00232 B, with an estimated mass of 25±10 MJup and an effective temperature of 2100±200 K, is presently the third substellar companion identified among young, nearby associations. Based on observations obtained at the VLT in ESO with programs 70.C-0677 and 072.C-0644.

  20. Characterization of the Companion μ Her

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Lewis C., Jr.; Mason, Brian D.; Aguilar, Jonathan; Carson, Joseph; Crepp, Justin; Beichman, Charles; Brenner, Douglas; Burruss, Rick; Cady, Eric; Luszcz-Cook, Statia; Dekany, Richard; Hillenbrand, Lynne; Hinkley, Sasha; King, David; Lockhart, Thomas G.; Nilsson, Ricky; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Parry, Ian R.; Pueyo, Laurent; Rice, Emily L.; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Soummer, Rémi; Vasisht, Gautam; Veicht, Aaron; Wang, Ji; Zhai, Chengxing; Zimmerman, Neil T.

    2016-06-01

    μ Her is a nearby quadruple system with a G-subgiant primary and several low-mass companions arranged in a 2+2 architecture. While the BC components have been well characterized, the Ab component has been detected astrometrically and with direct imaging but there has been some confusion over its nature, in particular, whether the companion is stellar or substellar. Using near-infrared spectroscopy, we are able to estimate the spectral type of the companion as an M4±1V star. In addition, we have measured the astrometry of the system for over a decade. We combined the astrometry with archival radial velocity measurements to compute an orbit of the system. From the combined orbit, we are able to compute the mass sum of the system. Using the estimated mass of the primary, we estimate the mass of the secondary as 0.32 {M}⊙ , which agrees with the estimated spectral type. Our computed orbit is preliminary due to the incomplete orbital phase coverage, but it should be sufficient to predict ephemerides over the next decade.

  1. 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.

  2. Exoplanet Magnetic Fields and Their Detectability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, S.; Tian, B. Y.; Vilim, R.

    2014-12-01

    The investigation of planetary magnetic fields in our solar system provides a wealth of information on planetary interior structure and dynamics. Satellite magnetic data demonstrates that planetary dynamos can produce a range of magnetic field morphologies and intensities. Numerical dynamo simulations are working towards determining relationships between planetary properties and the resulting magnetic field characteristics. However, with only a handful of planetary dynamos in our solar system, it is challenging to determine specific dependence of magnetic field properties on planetary characteristics. Extrasolar planets therefore provide a unique opportunity by significantly increasing the number of planets for study as well as offering a much larger range of planetary properties to investigate. Although detection of exoplanet magnetic fields is challenging at present, the increasing sophistication of observational tools available to astronomers implies these extrasolar planetary magnetic fields may eventually be detectable. This presentation will discuss potential observational trends for magnetic field strength and morphology for exoplanets based on numerical simulations and interior structure modeling. We will focus on the influence of planetary age, environment, composition and structure.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:24015759

  6. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA's Kepler Mission.

    PubMed

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-01

    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.

  7. Exoplanet Science in the National Science Olympiad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komacek, Thaddeus D.; Young, Donna

    2015-11-01

    The National Science Olympiad is one of the United States' largest science competitions, reaching over 6,000 schools in 48 states. The Olympiad includes a wide variety of events, stretching a full range of potential future STEM careers, from biological sciences to engineering to earth and space sciences. The Astronomy event has been a mainstay at the high school level for well over a decade, and nominally focuses on aspects of stellar evolution. For the 2014-2015 competition season, the event focus was aligned to include exoplanet discovery and characterization along with star formation. Teams studied both the qualitative features of exoplanets and exoplanetary systems and the quantitative aspects behind their discovery and characterization, including basic calculations with the transit and radial velocity methods. Students were also expected to have a qualitative understanding of stellar evolution and understand the differences between classes of young stars including T Tauri and FU Orionis variables, and Herbig Ae/Be stars. Based on the successes of this event topic, we are continuing this event into the 2015-2016 academic year. The key modification is the selection of new exoplanetary systems for students to research. We welcome feedback from the community on how to improve the event and the related educational resources that are created for Science Olympiad students and coaches. We also encourage any interested community members to contact your regional or state Science Olympiad tournament directors and volunteer to organize competitions and supervise events locally.

  8. An Exoplanet Radius and Transit Timing Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deming, Drake; Jennings, Jonald; Sada, Pedro

    2010-02-01

    Many exoplanet systems contain Jupiter-mass planets on close-in orbits. Theories of planetary system formation account for these hot Jupiters as being end states of inward migration. Variants of those theories also predict terrestrial planets to be captured in mean motion resonance with the hot Jupiters. A continuing explosion of discoveries by transit surveys have given us a sample of 45 hot Jupiters transiting planets brighter than V=13. A transit timing survey of these systems could detect hot Earths in resonance, via the large (~ 180 second) perturbations they induce on the giant planet transits. Moreover, the discovery photometry for these systems usually provides only relatively coarse photometric precision, but larger-aperture follow-up can determine the giant planet radius to a precision limited only by knowledge of the stellar mass, and thereby reveal the diversity of giant exoplanet structure, such as the presence of heavy element cores. The relatively large sample now available means that a radius- and transit timing-survey is well matched to classical observing and telescope scheduling. We propose continued observations to perform transit photometry using FLAMINGOS on the 2.1-meter in the J-band, where stellar limb darkening is minimal and transit photometry has excellent sensitivity to planetary radii and shifts in transit time.

  9. An Exoplanet Radius and Transit Timing Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deming, Drake; Jennings, Jonald; Sada, Pedro

    2009-08-01

    Many exoplanet systems contain Jupiter-mass planets on close-in orbits. Theories of planetary system formation account for these hot Jupiters as being end states of inward migration. Variants of those theories also predict terrestrial planets to be captured in mean motion resonance with the hot Jupiters. A recent explosion of discoveries by transit surveys have given us a sample of 37 hot Jupiters transiting planets brighter than V=13. A transit timing survey of these systems could detect hot Earths in resonance, via the large (~ 180 second) perturbations they induce on the giant planet transits. Moreover, the discovery photometry for these systems usually provides only relatively coarse photometric precision, but larger-aperture follow-up can determine the giant planet radius to a precision limited only by knowledge of the stellar mass, and thereby reveal the diversity of giant exoplanet structure, such as the presence of heavy element cores. The relatively large sample now available means that a radius- and transit timing-survey is well matched to classical observing and telescope scheduling. We propose continued observations to perform transit photometry using FLAMINGOS on the 2.1-meter in the J-band, where stellar limb darkening is minimal and transit photometry has excellent sensitivity to planetary radii and shifts in transit time.

  10. Exoplanet Curriculum at the International Space University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burke, J. D.; Hill, H. G. M.

    2012-04-01

    Rapidly-expanding knowledge of exoplanets is providing a huge opportunity for education at all levels. In addition to the intrinsic scientific interest of finding other planetary systems and developing testable hypotheses about stellar evolution, based for the first time in history on more than one example, there is the prospect of finding habitats for other life. Even if actual life signatures cannot yet be unambiguously detected, just a credible possibility is enough to catalyze new discussions and stimulate new ideas emerging from the rich background of science fiction and the ancient concept of a plurality of inhabited worlds. At the International Space University, a graduate-level institution devoted to identifying, informing and encouraging young professionals from throughout the world, this exploding new field of science provides a grand opportunity for seminars and other activities engaging students in creative thinking about the vast human implications of a populated cosmos. Once a planet's existence and orbit are confirmed by long-continued observations, it may be a suitable object for spectrometry and other techniques to begin finding characteristics of its interior, atmosphere, magnetosphere, possibly even oceans. These observations require not only very advanced instrumentation and data methods but also patience and skill in operations both on Earth and in space. They can serve as an organizing principle for education across all of the specialties represented at ISU. In this paper we discuss the ISU curriculum, focusing on those parts of it that can benefit from the interdisciplinary expansion enabled by exoplanet discoveries.

  11. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA's Kepler Mission.

    PubMed

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-01

    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. PMID:25049406

  12. The clinical benefits, ethics, and economics of stratified medicine and companion diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Trusheim, Mark R; Berndt, Ernst R

    2015-12-01

    The stratified medicine companion diagnostic (CDx) cut-off decision integrates scientific, clinical, ethical, and commercial considerations, and determines its value to developers, providers, payers, and patients. Competition already sharpens these issues in oncology, and might soon do the same for emerging stratified medicines in autoimmune, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, respiratory, and other conditions. Of 53 oncology targets with a launched therapeutic, 44 have competing therapeutics. Only 12 of 141 Phase III candidates addressing new targets face no competition. CDx choices might alter competitive positions and reimbursement. Under current diagnostic incentives, payers see novel stratified medicines that improve public health and increase costs, but do not observe companion diagnostics for legacy treatments that would reduce costs. It would be in the interests of payers to rediscover their heritage of direct investment in diagnostic development. PMID:26542060

  13. Colors of Alien Worlds from Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Renyu

    2016-01-01

    Future direct-imaging exoplanet missions such as WFIRST will measure the reflectivity of exoplanets at visible wavelengths. Most of the exoplanets to be observed will be located further away from their parent stars than is Earth from the Sun. These "cold" exoplanets have atmospheric environments conducive for the formation of water and/or ammonia clouds, like Jupiter in the Solar System. I find the mixing ratio of methane and the pressure level of the uppermost cloud deck on these planets can be uniquely determined from their reflection spectra, with moderate spectral resolution, if the cloud deck is between 0.6 and 1.5 bars. The existence of this unique solution is useful for exoplanet direct imaging missions for several reasons. First, the weak bands and strong bands of methane enable the measurement of the methane mixing ratio and the cloud pressure, although an overlying haze layer can bias the estimate of the latter. Second, the cloud pressure, once derived, yields an important constraint on the internal heat flux from the planet, and thus indicating its thermal evolution. Third, water worlds having H2O-dominated atmospheres are likely to have water clouds located higher than the 10-3 bar pressure level, and muted spectral absorption features. These planets would occupy a confined phase space in the color-color diagrams, likely distinguishable from H2-rich giant exoplanets by broadband observations. Therefore, direct-imaging exoplanet missions may offer the capability to broadly distinguish H2-rich giant exoplanets versus H2O-rich super-Earth exoplanets, and to detect ammonia and/or water clouds and methane gas in their atmospheres.

  14. Colors of Alien Worlds from Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Renyu

    2015-08-01

    Future direct-imaging exoplanet missions such as WFIRST/AFTA, Exo-C, and Exo-S will measure the reflectivity of exoplanets at visible wavelengths. Most of the exoplanets to be observed will be located further away from their parent stars than is Earth from the Sun. These “cold” exoplanets have atmospheric environments conducive for the formation of water and/or ammonia clouds, like Jupiter in the Solar System. I find the mixing ratio of methane and the pressure level of the uppermost cloud deck on these planets can be uniquely determined from their reflection spectra, with moderate spectral resolution, if the cloud deck is between 0.6 and 1.5 bars. The existence of this unique solution is useful for exoplanet direct imaging missions for several reasons. First, the weak bands and strong bands of methane enable the measurement of the methane mixing ratio and the cloud pressure, although an overlying haze layer can bias the estimate of the latter. Second, the cloud pressure, once derived, yields an important constraint on the internal heat flux from the planet, and thus indicating its thermal evolution. Third, water worlds having H2O-dominated atmospheres are likely to have water clouds located higher than the 10-3 bar pressure level, and muted spectral absorption features. These planets would occupy a confined phase space in the color-color diagrams, likely distinguishable from H2-rich giant exoplanets by broadband observations. Therefore, direct-imaging exoplanet missions may offer the capability to broadly distinguish H2-rich giant exoplanets versus H2O-rich super-Earth exoplanets, and to detect ammonia and/or water clouds and methane gas in their atmospheres.

  15. 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.

  16. Detecting the Signature of Eccentric Exoplanets During Periastron Passage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kane, Stephen; Gelino, Dawn; Dragomir, Diana; Howard, Andrew; Knutson, Heather; Krick, Jessica; Laughlin, Gregory; Mahadevan, Suvrath; von Braun, Kaspar; Wright, Jason

    2011-05-01

    Characterization of exoplanets has matured in recent years, particularly through studies of exoplanetary atmospheres of transiting planets at infra-red wavelenegths. A relatively unexplored region of exoplanet parameter space is the thermal detection of long-period eccentric planets during periastron passage. Detection of these signatures reveals important information on the albedo, radiative time constant, and heat redistribution efficiency of giant planetary atmospheres under these extreme conditions. Here we propose to monitor three such exoplanets whose orbital parameters have already been refined to great precision. The results of this study will constrain heat signatures from these planets and be used in building atmospheric models for planets which undergo large changes in flux.

  17. Blind source separation approaches for exoplanet signal extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savransky, Dmitry

    2015-09-01

    Post-processing is a key step in the extraction of exoplanet signals from direct imaging data. Multiple currently employed techniques (including all variations on principal component analysis and singular value decomposition) belong to a general class of algorithms called Blind Source Separation (BSS). Here we demonstrate two other BSS algorithms that have previously not been tested on exoplanet imaging data: independent component analysis and common spatial pattern filtering. We utilize synthetic data with known signals to evaluate the performance of these techniques and discuss the relative strengths of each approach as a function of the correlation and relative magnitude of various noise sources commonly found in exoplanet imaging data.

  18. THESIS: the terrestrial habitable-zone exoplanet spectroscopy infrared spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swain, Mark R.; Vasisht, Gautam; Henning, Thomas; Tinetti, Giovanna; Beaulieu, Jean-Phillippe

    2010-07-01

    THESIS, the Transiting Habitable-zone Exoplanet Spectroscopy Infrared Spacecraft, is a concept for a medium/Probe class exoplanet mission. Building on the recent Spitzer successes in exoplanet characterization, THESIS would extend these types of measurements to super-Earth-like planets. A strength of the THESIS concept is simplicity, low technical risk, and modest cost. The mission concept has the potential to dramatically advance our understanding of conditions on extrasolar worlds and could serve as a stepping stone to more ambitious future missions. We envision this mission as a joint US-European effort with science objectives that resonate with both the traditional astronomy and planetary science communities.

  19. Exoplanet atmosphere. Thermal structure of an exoplanet atmosphere from phase-resolved emission spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Kevin B; Désert, Jean-Michel; Line, Michael R; Bean, Jacob L; Fortney, Jonathan J; Showman, Adam P; Kataria, Tiffany; Kreidberg, Laura; McCullough, Peter R; Henry, Gregory W; Charbonneau, David; Burrows, Adam; Seager, Sara; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Williamson, Michael H; Homeier, Derek

    2014-11-14

    Exoplanets that orbit close to their host stars are much more highly irradiated than their solar system counterparts. Understanding the thermal structures and appearances of these planets requires investigating how their atmospheres respond to such extreme stellar forcing. We present spectroscopic thermal emission measurements as a function of orbital phase ("phase-curve observations") for the highly irradiated exoplanet WASP-43b spanning three full planet rotations using the Hubble Space Telescope. With these data, we construct a map of the planet's atmospheric thermal structure, from which we find large day-night temperature variations at all measured altitudes and a monotonically decreasing temperature with pressure at all longitudes. We also derive a Bond albedo of 0.18(-0.12)(+0.07) and an altitude dependence in the hot-spot offset relative to the substellar point.

  20. Exoplanet atmosphere. Thermal structure of an exoplanet atmosphere from phase-resolved emission spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Kevin B; Désert, Jean-Michel; Line, Michael R; Bean, Jacob L; Fortney, Jonathan J; Showman, Adam P; Kataria, Tiffany; Kreidberg, Laura; McCullough, Peter R; Henry, Gregory W; Charbonneau, David; Burrows, Adam; Seager, Sara; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Williamson, Michael H; Homeier, Derek

    2014-11-14

    Exoplanets that orbit close to their host stars are much more highly irradiated than their solar system counterparts. Understanding the thermal structures and appearances of these planets requires investigating how their atmospheres respond to such extreme stellar forcing. We present spectroscopic thermal emission measurements as a function of orbital phase ("phase-curve observations") for the highly irradiated exoplanet WASP-43b spanning three full planet rotations using the Hubble Space Telescope. With these data, we construct a map of the planet's atmospheric thermal structure, from which we find large day-night temperature variations at all measured altitudes and a monotonically decreasing temperature with pressure at all longitudes. We also derive a Bond albedo of 0.18(-0.12)(+0.07) and an altitude dependence in the hot-spot offset relative to the substellar point. PMID:25301972

  1. VLT Detects First Superstorm on Exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-06-01

    Astronomers have measured a superstorm for the first time in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, the well-studied "hot Jupiter" HD209458b. The very high-precision observations of carbon monoxide gas show that it is streaming at enormous speed from the extremely hot day side to the cooler night side of the planet. The observations also allow another exciting "first" - measuring the orbital speed of the exoplanet itself, providing a direct determination of its mass. The results appear this week in the journal Nature. "HD209458b is definitely not a place for the faint-hearted. By studying the poisonous carbon monoxide gas with great accuracy we found evidence for a super wind, blowing at a speed of 5000 to 10 000 km per hour" says Ignas Snellen, who led the team of astronomers. HD209458b is an exoplanet of about 60% the mass of Jupiter orbiting a solar-like star located 150 light-years from Earth towards the constellation of Pegasus (the Winged Horse). Circling at a distance of only one twentieth the Sun-Earth distance, the planet is heated intensely by its parent star, and has a surface temperature of about 1000 degrees Celsius on the hot side. But as the planet always has the same side to its star, one side is very hot, while the other is much cooler. "On Earth, big temperature differences inevitably lead to fierce winds, and as our new measurements reveal, the situation is no different on HD209458b," says team member Simon Albrecht. HD209458b was the first exoplanet to be found transiting: every 3.5 days the planet moves in front of its host star, blocking a small portion of the starlight during a three-hour period. During such an event a tiny fraction of the starlight filters through the planet's atmosphere, leaving an imprint. A team of astronomers from the Leiden University, the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON), and MIT in the United States, have used ESO's Very Large Telescope and its powerful CRIRES spectrograph to detect and analyse these faint

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:11540498

  4. Combinatorics and companion galaxies: Paradox lost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newman, William I.; Terzian, Yervant

    1995-01-01

    Arp (1994) has presented redshift data for the Local Group of galaxies and for the next major group, whose largest galaxies are M31 and M81, respectively. He observed that the relative redshifts of all 22 of their companions were positive and claimed that the likelihood that this would occur is 1 in 4 x 10(exp 6). We show using the classical combinatoric paradigm of ordered samples (without replacement) that the correct probability for the dominant member of each cluster to possess the lowest observed redshift is approximately 8%.

  5. First Solid Evidence for a Rocky Exoplanet - Mass and density of smallest exoplanet finally measured

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-09-01

    The longest set of HARPS measurements ever made has firmly established the nature of the smallest and fastest-orbiting exoplanet known, CoRoT-7b, revealing its mass as five times that of Earth's. Combined with CoRoT-7b's known radius, which is less than twice that of our terrestrial home, this tells us that the exoplanet's density is quite similar to the Earth's, suggesting a solid, rocky world. The extensive dataset also reveals the presence of another so-called super-Earth in this alien solar system. "This is science at its thrilling and amazing best," says Didier Queloz, leader of the team that made the observations. "We did everything we could to learn what the object discovered by the CoRoT satellite looks like and we found a unique system." In February 2009, the discovery by the CoRoT satellite [1] of a small exoplanet around a rather unremarkable star named TYC 4799-1733-1 was announced one year after its detection and after several months of painstaking measurements with many telescopes on the ground, including several from ESO. The star, now known as CoRoT-7, is located towards the constellation of Monoceros (the Unicorn) at a distance of about 500 light-years. Slightly smaller and cooler than our Sun, CoRoT-7 is also thought to be younger, with an age of about 1.5 billion years. Every 20.4 hours, the planet eclipses a small fraction of the light of the star for a little over one hour by one part in 3000 [2]. This planet, designated CoRoT-7b, is only 2.5 million kilometres away from its host star, or 23 times closer than Mercury is to the Sun. It has a radius that is about 80% greater than the Earth's. The initial set of measurements, however, could not provide the mass of the exoplanet. Such a result requires extremely precise measurements of the velocity of the star, which is pulled a tiny amount by the gravitational tug of the orbiting exoplanet. The problem with CoRoT-7b is that these tiny signals are blurred by stellar activity in the form of

  6. BANYAN. VI. Discovery of a Companion at the Brown Dwarf/Planet-Mass Limit to a Tucana–Horologium M Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artigau, Étienne; Gagné, Jonathan; Faherty, Jacqueline; Malo, Lison; Naud, Marie-Eve; Doyon, René; Lafrenière, David; Beletsky, Yuri

    2015-06-01

    We report the discovery of a substellar companion to 2MASS J02192210–3925225, a young M6 γ candidate member of the Tucana–Horologium association (30–40 Myr). This L4 γ companion has been discovered with seeing-limited direct imaging observations; at a 4″ separation (160 AU) and a modest contrast ratio, it joins the very short list of young low-mass companions amenable to study without the aid of adaptive optics, enabling its characterization with a much wider suite of instruments than is possible for companions uncovered by high-contrast imaging surveys. With a model-dependent mass of 12–15 {M}{Jup}, it straddles the boundary between the planet and brown dwarf mass regimes. We present near-infrared spectroscopy of this companion and compare it to various similar objects uncovered in the last few years. The J0219–3925 system falls in a sparsely populated part of the host mass versus mass ratio diagram for binaries; the dearth of known similar companions may be due to observational biases in previous low-mass companion searches.

  7. Exoplanet Habitability: Effects of Planetesimal Carbon Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Torrence; Mousis, Olivier; Lunine, Jonathan; Madhusudhan, Nikku

    2014-05-01

    We explore the effects of reported differences in C/O values for exoplanet host stars on the composition of planetesimals formed beyond the snow line in these systems. Since the value of C/O in a planet forming nebula has a strong effect on amount of oxygen available for water ice in an oxidizing nebula, exoplanet systems for host stars with C/O greater than the solar value may have planetesimals with very little or no water ice. We have estimated the composition of volatile and refractory material in extrasolar planetesimals using a set of stars with a wide range of measured C/O abundances (Johnson et al. ApJ. 757(2), 192, 2012). The volatile ice content of planetesimals in these systems varies significantly with C/O, controlled primarily by the availability of O for H2O ice condensation. Systems with C/O less than the solar value (C/O = 0.55) should have very water ice rich planetesimals, while water ice mass fraction decreases rapidly with increasing C/O until only ices of CO and CO2 are left in significant proportions. If a significant fraction of C is in the form of refractory CHON particles, C and O are removed from the gas phase and the condensates for super-solar C/O values will be water-poor mixtures of silicates and metal, carbon, and carbon-bearing volatile ices, depending on temperature. For very carbon-rich systems, oxidizing conditions cannot be sustained beyond about C/O=1, due to the oxygen sequestered in solid silicates, oxides and CHON, for refractory C fractions within the Pollack et al. range of 0.4 - 0.7 (ApJ. 421, 615, 1994). These results have implications for assessing the habitability of exoplanets since they constrain the amount of water available beyond the snow line for dynamical delivery to inner planets, depending on the host star's C/O in the circumstellar nebula. Thus one the key chemical ingredients for habitability may be in short supply in carbon-rich, oxygen-poor systems even if planets exist in the 'habitable zone'. TVJ

  8. Dynamos in Terrestrial Exoplanets as Magnetic Shields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Driscoll, Peter; Olson, Peter

    2010-05-01

    In order to retain large amounts of water and maintain a habitable surface over long time-scales a magnetic field may be required to shield the atmosphere from mass loss and the surface from harmful stellar radiation. Terrestrial exoplanets in the 1-10 Earth-mass regime orbiting inside of 3 AU with an Earth-like composition, referred to as Super-Earths, are expected to have large, mostly Iron cores that could sustain a convectively driven dynamo. We present a model to estimate the maximum self-sustained magnetic moment of a terrestrial dynamo given the total mass and core-mass fraction. Assuming the magnetic field is self-sustained by a convectively driven dynamo we estimate the magnetic moment using a dynamo scaling law, which relies on dynamical properties of the planetary interior, such as the convective heat flux at the core-mantle boundary and size of the dynamo region. To estimate these properties we model the internal structure of the planet using a sub-solidus, mobile lid convection profile for the mantle and a thermal convection profile for the core. We present models for 1-10 Earth-masses and a range of core-mass fractions. In order to maintain a strong magnetic field we maximize the energy available to drive the dynamo by allowing the core-mantle boundary temperature to be at the perovskite solidus, denoted as the "optimal" state for magnetic field generation. We estimate an optimal Earth-mass planet can maintain a core heat flow of 30 TW, which implies a surface field intensity and magnetic moment of about twice that of the Earth. For a 10 Earth-mass planet that is 65% core by mass (Super-Mercury) we find a core heat flow of 180 TW, and a surface field intensity and magnetic moment of about 6 and 25 times that of the Earth, respectively. We demonstrate that exoplanets with large cores that produce strong magnetic fields can act to shield the surface from stellar radiation, minimizing atmospheric volatile loss and maintaining a habitable surface over

  9. Mass-Radius Relationships for Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swift, D. C.; Eggert, J. H.; Hicks, D. G.; Hamel, S.; Caspersen, K.; Schwegler, E.; Collins, G. W.; Nettelmann, N.; Ackland, G. J.

    2012-01-01

    For planets other than Earth, particularly exoplanets, interpretation of the composition and structure depends largely on comparing the mass and radius with the composition expected given their distance from the parent star. The composition implies a mass-radius relation which relies heavily on equations of state calculated from electronic structure theory and measured experimentally on Earth. We lay out a method for deriving and testing equations of state, and deduce mass-radius and mass-pressure relations for key, relevant materials whose equation of state (EOS) is reasonably well established, and for differentiated Fe/rock. We find that variations in the EOS, such as may arise when extrapolating from low-pressure data, can have significant effects on predicted mass-radius relations and on planetary pressure profiles. The relations are compared with the observed masses and radii of planets and exoplanets, broadly supporting recent inferences about exoplanet structures. Kepler-10b is apparently "Earth-like," likely with a proportionately larger core than Earth's, nominally 2/3 of the mass of the planet. CoRoT-7b is consistent with a rocky mantle over an Fe-based core which is likely to be proportionately smaller than Earth's. GJ 1214b lies between the mass-radius curves for H2O and CH4, suggesting an "icy" composition with a relatively large core or a relatively large proportion of H2O. CoRoT-2b is less dense than the hydrogen relation, which could be explained by an anomalously high degree of heating or by higher than assumed atmospheric opacity. HAT-P-2b is slightly denser than the mass-radius relation for hydrogen, suggesting the presence of a significant amount of matter of higher atomic number. CoRoT-3b lies close to the hydrogen relation. The pressure at the center of Kepler-10b is 1.5+1.2 - 1.0 TPa. The central pressure in CoRoT-7b is probably close to 0.8 TPa, though may be up to 2 TPa. These pressures are accessible by planar shock and ramp

  10. Direct exoplanet detection and characterization using the ANDROMEDA method: Performance on VLT/NaCo data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantalloube, F.; Mouillet, D.; Mugnier, L. M.; Milli, J.; Absil, O.; Gomez Gonzalez, C. A.; Chauvin, G.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Cornia, A.

    2015-10-01

    Context. The direct detection of exoplanets with high-contrast imaging requires advanced data processing methods to disentangle potential planetary signals from bright quasi-static speckles. Among them, angular differential imaging (ADI) permits potential planetary signals with a known rotation rate to be separated from instrumental speckles that are either statics or slowly variable. The method presented in this paper, called ANDROMEDA for ANgular Differential OptiMal Exoplanet Detection Algorithm, is based on a maximum likelihood approach to ADI and is used to estimate the position and the flux of any point source present in the field of view. Aims: In order to optimize and experimentally validate this previously proposed method, we applied ANDROMEDA to real VLT/NaCo data. In addition to its pure detection capability, we investigated the possibility of defining simple and efficient criteria for automatic point source extraction able to support the processing of large surveys. Methods: To assess the performance of the method, we applied ANDROMEDA on VLT/NaCo data of TYC-8979-1683-1 which is surrounded by numerous bright stars and on which we added synthetic planets of known position and flux in the field. In order to accommodate the real data properties, it was necessary to develop additional pre-processing and post-processing steps to the initially proposed algorithm. We then investigated its skill in the challenging case of a well-known target, β Pictoris, whose companion is close to the detection limit and we compared our results to those obtained by another method based on principal component analysis (PCA). Results: Application on VLT/NaCo data demonstrates the ability of ANDROMEDA to automatically detect and characterize point sources present in the image field. We end up with a robust method bringing consistent results with a sensitivity similar to the recently published algorithms, with only two parameters to be fine tuned. Moreover, the companion flux

  11. A Statistical Study of Brown Dwarf Companions from the SDSS-III MARVELS Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grieves, Nolan; Ge, Jian; Thomas, Neil; Ma, Bo; De Lee, Nathan M.; Lee, Brian L.; Fleming, Scott W.; Sithajan, Sirinrat; Varosi, Frank; Liu, Jian; Zhao, Bo; Li, Rui; Agol, Eric; MARVELS Team

    2016-01-01

    We present 23 new Brown Dwarf (BD) candidates from the Multi-object APO Radial-Velocity Exoplanet Large-Area Survey (MARVELS) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III). The BD candidates were selected from the processed MARVELS data using the latest University of Florida 2D pipeline, which shows significant improvement and reduction of systematic errors over the 1D pipeline results included in the SDSS Data Release 12. This sample is the largest BD yield from a single radial velocity survey. Of the 23 candidates, 18 are around main sequence stars and 5 are around giant stars. Given a giant contamination rate of ~24% for the MARVELS survey, we find a BD occurrence rate around main sequence stars of ~0.7%, which agrees with previous studies and confirms the BD desert, while the BD occurrence rate around the MARVELS giant stars is ~0.6%. Preliminary results show that our new candidates around solar type stars support a two population hypothesis, where BDs are divided at a mass of ~42.5 MJup. BDs less massive than 42.5 MJup have eccentricity distributions consistent with planet-planet scattering models, where BDs more massive than 42.5 MJup have both period and eccentricity distributions similar to that of stellar binaries. Special Brown Dwarf systems such as multiple BD systems and highly eccentric BDs will also be presented.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Thesis: A Combined-light Mission For Exoplanet Molecular Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deroo, Pieter; Swain, M. R.; Tinetti, G.; Griffith, C.; Vasisht, G.; Deming, D.; Henning, T.; Beaulieu, J.

    2010-01-01

    THESIS, the Transiting Habitable-zone Exoplanet Spectroscopy Infrared Spacecraft, is a concept for a MIDEX/Discovery class exoplanet mission. Building on the recent Spitzer and Hubble successes in exoplanet characterization and molecular spectroscopy, THESIS would extend these types of measurements to a large population of planets including non-transiting planets and super-Earths. The ability to acquire high-stability, spectroscopic data from the near-visible to the mid-infrared is a unique aspect of THESIS. A strength of the THESIS concept is simplicity low technical risk, and modest cost. By enabling molecular spectroscopy of exoplanet atmospheres, THESIS mission has the potential to dramatically advance our understanding of conditions on extrasolar worlds while serving as a stepping stone to more ambitious future missions.

  15. French Pro/Am collaborations in exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santerne, A.; Moutou, C.; Vanhuysse, M.; Bouchy, F.; Buil, C.; Cochard, F.; Thizy, O.; Martinez, P.; Desnoux, V.; Pujol, M.; Colas, F.

    2011-10-01

    Amateur astronomers have access to huge telescope time and can reach photometric precision up to a few mmag as well as radial velocity precision up to ˜ 50m.s-1 on brightest stars. We will first present some results of french amateur astronomers in transit photometry and radial velocity and then, we will present an over-view of all the collaborations which can be done between professional and amateur astronomers in the competitive exoplanet domain, and especially the current collaboration between french Pro & Am astronomers which was used in publication in A&A. Finally, we will present a new internet wiki page which goal is to develop such collaboration in different countries.

  16. HOMES Holographic Optical Method for Exoplanet Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ditto, Thomas D.; McGrew, Stephen P.

    2013-09-01

    A novel telescope architecture is proposed specifically for the purpose of taking spectra of exoplanets orbiting stars within 10 pc ("the neighborhood"). The primary objective and the secondary spectrograph are holographic optical elements (HOEs) formed on flat membrane substrates of low areal mass that can be transported on cylinder rolls that are compatible with the payload geometry of delivery vehicles. Ribbon-shaped HOEs of up to 100 x 10 meters are contemplated. Computer models are presented with these dimensions. The models predict resolving power better than 10 mas. Because the primary separates wavelengths, we consider coronagraphs that use the divide and conquer strategy of one wavelength at a time. After delivery at the second Lagrange point, the stowed membranes are unfurled into flat holographic optics positioned in a four part formation spanning 1 km of open space.

  17. Diagnosing clouds and hazes in exoplanet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraine, Jonathan David

    Exoplanet atmospheres provide a probe into the conditions on alien worlds, from hot Jupiters to Super-Earths. We can now glimpse the behaviour of extreme solar systems that defy our understanding of planet formation and capture our imaginations about the possibilities for understanding planets and life in our universe. I combined multi-epoch, multi-instrument observations from both space and ground based facilities. I developed observational techniques and tools to constrain exoplanetary atmospheric compositions, temperature profiles, and scale heights over a span of planetary masses and wavelengths, that provided a probe into the properties of these diverse planetary atmospheres. I led a team that used the Spitzer Space Telescope, with the IR Array Camera (IRAC), to observe the well known transiting Super-Earth, GJ 1214b (˜2.7 R⊕). My precisely constrained infrared transit depth, error ˜ O(40 ppm), significantly constrained the lack of any molecular detections out to a wavelength of 5mum. The significance of this null detection challenges self-consistent models for the atmosphere of this super-Earth. Models must invoke thick, grey opacity clouds that uniformly cause the atmosphere to be opaque at all wavelengths. My team and I used the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 (HST-WFC3) to spectroscopically probe the atmosphere of the transiting warm Neptune, HAT-P-11b (˜4.5 R⊕), and detected the first molecular signature from a small exoplanet (Rp < RSaturn), inferring the presence of a hydrogen rich atmosphere. The average densities of many transiting exoplanets are known, but the degree to which atmospheric composition---abundance of Hydrogen relative to other atoms and molecules---correlates with the bulk composition has not yet been established. In an effort to characterize the atmospheric metallicity in greater detail, my team observed HAT-P-11 using warm Spitzer IRAC at 3.6 and 4.5mum. The non-detections of eclipses HAT-P-11b provided upper limits

  18. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet.

    PubMed

    Barclay, Thomas; Rowe, Jason F; Lissauer, Jack J; Huber, Daniel; Fressin, François; Howell, Steve B; Bryson, Stephen T; Chaplin, William J; Désert, Jean-Michel; Lopez, Eric D; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Mullally, Fergal; Ragozzine, Darin; Torres, Guillermo; Adams, Elisabeth R; Agol, Eric; Barrado, David; Basu, Sarbani; Bedding, Timothy R; Buchhave, Lars A; Charbonneau, David; Christiansen, Jessie L; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Ciardi, David; Cochran, William D; Dupree, Andrea K; Elsworth, Yvonne; Everett, Mark; Fischer, Debra A; Ford, Eric B; Fortney, Jonathan J; Geary, John C; Haas, Michael R; Handberg, Rasmus; Hekker, Saskia; Henze, Christopher E; Horch, Elliott; Howard, Andrew W; Hunter, Roger C; Isaacson, Howard; Jenkins, Jon M; Karoff, Christoffer; Kawaler, Steven D; Kjeldsen, Hans; Klaus, Todd C; Latham, David W; Li, Jie; Lillo-Box, Jorge; Lund, Mikkel N; Lundkvist, Mia; Metcalfe, Travis S; Miglio, Andrea; Morris, Robert L; Quintana, Elisa V; Stello, Dennis; Smith, Jeffrey C; Still, Martin; Thompson, Susan E

    2013-02-28

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanets, it has been known that other planetary systems can look quite unlike our own. Until fairly recently, we have been able to probe only the upper range of the planet size distribution, and, since last year, to detect planets that are the size of Earth or somewhat smaller. Hitherto, no planets have been found that are smaller than those we see in the Solar System. Here we report a planet significantly smaller than Mercury. This tiny planet is the innermost of three that orbit the Sun-like host star, which we have designated Kepler-37. Owing to its extremely small size, similar to that of the Moon, and highly irradiated surface, the planet, Kepler-37b, is probably rocky with no atmosphere or water, similar to Mercury.

  19. Investigating nearby exoplanets via interstellar radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheffer, Louis K.

    2014-01-01

    Interstellar radar is a potential intermediate step between passive observation of exoplanets and interstellar exploratory missions. Compared with passive observation, it has the traditional advantages of radar astronomy. It can measure surface characteristics, determine spin rates and axes, provide extremely accurate ranges, construct maps of planets, distinguish liquid from solid surfaces, find rings and moons, and penetrate clouds. It can do this even for planets close to the parent star. Compared with interstellar travel or probes, it also offers significant advantages. The technology required to build such a radar already exists, radar can return results within a human lifetime, and a single facility can investigate thousands of planetary systems. The cost, although too high for current implementation, is within the reach of Earth's economy.

  20. Exoplanet Population Estimate from Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2015-11-01

    The intrinsic population of exoplanets around Kepler target stars is estimated by comparing the observed numbers of planets at each radius and period against a simulation that accounts for the probability of transit and the estimated instrument sensitivity. By assuming that the population can be modeled as a function of period times a function of radius, and further assuming that these functions are broken power laws, sufficient leverage is gained such that the well-measured short-period planet distribution can effectively be used as a template for the less-well sampled long-period terrestrial planets. The resulting population distribution provides a challenge to models of the origin and evolution of planetary systems.

  1. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet.

    PubMed

    Barclay, Thomas; Rowe, Jason F; Lissauer, Jack J; Huber, Daniel; Fressin, François; Howell, Steve B; Bryson, Stephen T; Chaplin, William J; Désert, Jean-Michel; Lopez, Eric D; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Mullally, Fergal; Ragozzine, Darin; Torres, Guillermo; Adams, Elisabeth R; Agol, Eric; Barrado, David; Basu, Sarbani; Bedding, Timothy R; Buchhave, Lars A; Charbonneau, David; Christiansen, Jessie L; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Ciardi, David; Cochran, William D; Dupree, Andrea K; Elsworth, Yvonne; Everett, Mark; Fischer, Debra A; Ford, Eric B; Fortney, Jonathan J; Geary, John C; Haas, Michael R; Handberg, Rasmus; Hekker, Saskia; Henze, Christopher E; Horch, Elliott; Howard, Andrew W; Hunter, Roger C; Isaacson, Howard; Jenkins, Jon M; Karoff, Christoffer; Kawaler, Steven D; Kjeldsen, Hans; Klaus, Todd C; Latham, David W; Li, Jie; Lillo-Box, Jorge; Lund, Mikkel N; Lundkvist, Mia; Metcalfe, Travis S; Miglio, Andrea; Morris, Robert L; Quintana, Elisa V; Stello, Dennis; Smith, Jeffrey C; Still, Martin; Thompson, Susan E

    2013-02-28

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanets, it has been known that other planetary systems can look quite unlike our own. Until fairly recently, we have been able to probe only the upper range of the planet size distribution, and, since last year, to detect planets that are the size of Earth or somewhat smaller. Hitherto, no planets have been found that are smaller than those we see in the Solar System. Here we report a planet significantly smaller than Mercury. This tiny planet is the innermost of three that orbit the Sun-like host star, which we have designated Kepler-37. Owing to its extremely small size, similar to that of the Moon, and highly irradiated surface, the planet, Kepler-37b, is probably rocky with no atmosphere or water, similar to Mercury. PMID:23426260

  2. COMPLETENESS OF IMAGING SURVEYS FOR ECCENTRIC EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, Stephen R.

    2013-03-20

    The detection of exoplanets through direct imaging has produced numerous new positive identifications in recent years. The technique is biased toward planets at wide separations due to the difficulty in removing the stellar signature at small angular separations. Planets in eccentric orbits will thus move in and out of the detectable region around a star as a function of time. Here we use the known diversity of orbital eccentricities to determine the range of orbits that may lie beneath the detection threshold of current surveys. We quantify the percentage of the orbit that yields a detectable signature as a function of semimajor axis, eccentricity, and orbital inclination and estimate the fraction of planets which likely remain hidden by the flux of the host star.

  3. TERMS PHOTOMETRY OF KNOWN TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Dragomir, Diana; Kane, Stephen R.; Ciardi, David R.; Gelino, Dawn M.; Payne, Alan; Ramirez, Solange V.; Von Braun, Kaspar; Wyatt, Pamela; Pilyavsky, Genady; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Wright, Jason T.; Zachary Gazak, J.; Rabus, Markus

    2011-10-15

    The Transit Ephemeris Refinement and Monitoring Survey conducts radial velocity and photometric monitoring of known exoplanets in order to refine planetary orbits and predictions of possible transit times. This effort is primarily directed toward planets not known to transit, but a small sample of our targets consists of known transiting systems. Here we present precision photometry for six WASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) planets acquired during their transit windows. We perform a Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis for each planet and combine these data with previous measurements to redetermine the period and ephemerides for these planets. These observations provide recent mid-transit times which are useful for scheduling future observations. Our results improve the ephemerides of WASP-4b, WASP-5b, and WASP-6b and reduce the uncertainties on the mid-transit time for WASP-29b. We also confirm the orbital, stellar, and planetary parameters of all six systems.

  4. Engaging Undergraduate Students in Transiting Exoplanet Research with Small Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephens, Denise C.; Stoker, E.; Gaillard, C.; Ranquist, E.; Lara, P.; Wright, K.

    2013-10-01

    Brigham Young University has a relatively large undergraduate physics program with 300 to 360 physics majors. Each of these students is required to be engaged in a research group and to produce a senior thesis before graduating. For the astronomy professors, this means that each of us is mentoring at least 4-6 undergraduate students at any given time. For the past few years I have been searching for meaningful research projects that make use of our telescope resources and are exciting for both myself and my students. We first started following up Kepler Objects of Interest with our 0.9 meter telescope, but quickly realized that most of the transits we could observe were better analyzed with Kepler data and were false positive objects. So now we have joined a team that is searching for transiting planets, and my students are using our 16" telescope to do ground based follow-up on the hundreds of possible transiting planet candidates produced by this survey. In this presentation I will describe our current telescopes, the observational setup, and how we use our telescopes to search for transiting planets. I'll describe some of the software the students have written. I'll also explain how to use the NASA Exoplanet Archive to gather data on known transiting planets and Kepler Objects of Interests. These databases are useful for determining the observational limits of your small telescopes and teaching your students how to reduce and report data on transiting planets. Once that is in place, you are potentially ready to join existing transiting planet missions by doing ground-based follow-up. I will explain how easy it can be to implement this type of research at any high school, college, or university with a small telescope and CCD camera.

  5. The search for exoplanets in the ESA Science Programme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volonte, S.; Fridlund, C. V. M.

    2003-10-01

    The Darwin mission is a mission aimed at the search for and study of Terrestrial Exoplanets. As such it may be one of the most ambitious objectives undertaken by the European Space Agency. We describe the place of it as an integral part in the COSMIC VISION science plans and the topic of exo-planets. We describe the context within which it will be carried out in the next decade.

  6. Tidal Decay and Disruption of Gaseous Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Brian K.; Arras, Phil; Jensen, Emily; Peacock, Sarah; Marchant, Pablo; Penev, Kaloyan

    2015-11-01

    Many gaseous exoplanets in short-period orbits are on the verge of Roche-lobe overflow, and observations, along with orbital stability analysis, show tides probably drive significant orbital decay. Thus, the coupled processes of orbital evolution and tidal disruption likely shape the observed distribution of close-in exoplanets and may even be responsible for producing the shortest-period solid planets. However, the exact outcome for an overflowing planet depends on its internal response to mass loss and variable stellar insolation, and the accompanying orbital evolution can act to enhance or inhibit the disruption process. The final orbits of the denuded remnants of gas giants may be predictable from their mass-radius relationship, and so a distinctive mass-period relationship for some short-period solid planets may provide evidence for their origins as gaseous planets. In this presentation, we will discuss our work on tidal decay and disruption of close-in gaseous planets using a new model that accounts for the fact that short-period planets have hot, distended atmospheres, which can result in overflow even for planets that are not officially in Roche lobe contact. We will also point out that the orbital expansion that can accompany mass transfer may be less effective than previously realized because the resulting accretion disk may not return all of its angular momentum to the donor, as is usually assumed. Both of these effects have bee incorporated into the fully-featured and robust Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA) suite.

  7. EQUATORIAL SUPERROTATION ON TIDALLY LOCKED EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Showman, Adam P.; Polvani, Lorenzo M.

    2011-09-01

    The increasing richness of exoplanet observations has motivated a variety of three-dimensional (3D) atmospheric circulation models of these planets. Under strongly irradiated conditions, models of tidally locked, short-period planets (both hot Jupiters and terrestrial planets) tend to exhibit a circulation dominated by a fast eastward, or 'superrotating', jet stream at the equator. When the radiative and advection timescales are comparable, this phenomenon can cause the hottest regions to be displaced eastward from the substellar point by tens of degrees longitude. Such an offset has been subsequently observed on HD 189733b, supporting the possibility of equatorial jets on short-period exoplanets. Despite its relevance, however, the dynamical mechanisms responsible for generating the equatorial superrotation in such models have not been identified. Here, we show that the equatorial jet results from the interaction of the mean flow with standing Rossby waves induced by the day-night thermal forcing. The strong longitudinal variations in radiative heating-namely intense dayside heating and nightside cooling-trigger the formation of standing, planetary-scale equatorial Rossby and Kelvin waves. The Rossby waves develop phase tilts that pump eastward momentum from high latitudes to the equator, thereby inducing equatorial superrotation. We present an analytic theory demonstrating this mechanism and explore its properties in a hierarchy of one-layer (shallow-water) calculations and fully 3D models. The wave-mean-flow interaction produces an equatorial jet whose latitudinal width is comparable to that of the Rossby waves, namely the equatorial Rossby deformation radius modified by radiative and frictional effects. For conditions typical of synchronously rotating hot Jupiters, this length is comparable to a planetary radius, explaining the broad scale of the equatorial jet obtained in most hot-Jupiter models. Our theory illuminates the dependence of the equatorial jet

  8. The Circumstellar Environments of Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Christine

    The WFIRST-AFTA mission currently includes the provision for a high contrast imaging instrument with a primary goal of discovering new, low mass exoplanets and characterizing their atmospheres. To date, eight exoplanetary systems have been discovered via direct imaging using the current generation of ground-based high-contrast facilities. Five of those systems, including the iconic beta Pictoris and HR 8799 systems, possess infrared excesses, indicative of the presence of circumstellar dust. Detailed studies of dust and gas morphology in the beta Pictoris disk provided the impetus for searching for, and eventually imaging the planet. These studies further suggest that additional planets orbit the star, but are below current detection thresholds. Such systems will be prime targets for WFIRST-AFTA, which will obtain visual spectroscopy of several spectral features from molecules in the exoplanet atmospheres including CH4, H2O, and CO2. We propose to: (1) model the dust in exoplanetary systems with well characterized planets and infrared excesses to better constrain the dust geometry and particle properties; (2) generate synthetic WFIRST-AFTA images of these disks with embedded known and putative planets using point-spread-functions generated by JPL, and run our simulations though a WFIRST-AFTA pipeline; and (3) evaluate the sensitivity of WFIRST-AFTA to known and putative planets that have a range of masses and distances from their host stars. The proposed simulations will also assist the community in understanding how WFIRST-AFTA will contribute to our knowledge of debris disks and the role that minor bodies play in the delivery of water into the terrestrial planet zone. The proposed project is complementary to the efforts currently being carried out by the Science Definition Team (SDT), which focus on simulating planets embedded in tenuous disks, analogous to the Zodiacal dust system in our Solar System, the Earth s resonant dust ring, and the HR 4796 dust ring

  9. Spectroscopy of Exoplanet Atmospheres with the FINESSE Explorer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deroo, Pieter; Swain, Mark R.; Green, Robert O.

    2012-01-01

    FINESSE (Fast INfrared Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Explorer) will provide uniquely detailed information on the growing number of newly discovered planets by characterizing their atmospheric composition and temperature structure. This NASA Explorer mission, selected for a competitive Phase A study, is unique in its breath and scope thanks to broad instantaneous spectroscopy from the optical to the mid-IR (0.7 - 5 micron), with a survey of exoplanets measured in a consistent, uniform way. For 200 transiting exoplanets ranging from Terrestrial to Jovians, FINESSE will measure the chemical composition and temperature structure of their atmospheres and trace changes over time with exoplanet longitude. The mission will do so by measuring the spectroscopic time series for a primary and secondary eclipse over the exoplanet orbital phase curve. With spectrophotometric precision being a key enabling aspect for combined light exoplanet characterization, FINESSE is designed to produce spectrophotometric precision of better than 100 parts-per-million per spectral channel without the need for decorrelation. The exceptional stability of FINESSE will even allow the mission to characterize non-transiting planets, potentially as part of FINESSE's Participating Scientist Program. In this paper, we discuss the flow down from the target availability to observations and scheduling to the analysis and calibration of the data and how it enables FINESSE to be the mission that will truly expand the new field of comparative exoplanetology.

  10. The relationship between companion animals and loneliness among rural adolescents.

    PubMed

    Black, Keri

    2012-04-01

    The relationship between loneliness and companion animal bonding was explored among 293 rural adolescents. Participants from two ethnically diverse southwestern high schools completed self-report measures of loneliness, pet ownership, companion animal attachment, and social support. Pet owners reported significantly lower loneliness scores than non-pet owners. Furthermore, companion animal bonding scores were inversely related to loneliness scores. Companion animal attachment was positively related to the number of humans in the social support network. The results of this study indicate that interventions promoting a pet relationship may be valuable in reducing loneliness among adolescents. PMID:22341188

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Spectrashift Exoplanet Transit Search Project: 40,000 Light Curves and Counting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaye, Thomas G.; Healy, David

    2009-05-01

    Spectrashift has recently branched out from its radial velocity work detecting exoplanets, and has now fully implemented an exoplanet transit search program. Junk Bond Observatory's 0.8 meter fully automated RC telescope has been engaged in this effort full-time since October of 2008. To date the search has examined more than 40,000 light curves. The Spectrashift strategy is to look at fewer but fainter stars putting this search into the magnitude range the majority of professional searches can not penetrate. Custom software was developed for the reduction pipeline to handle the volume of data. The software implements artificial intelligence algorithms to sort out the most likely candidates for human inspection at the end of the pipeline. To date the project has come up with several "triple hits" where a transit-like event has happened on three occasions. The Spectrashift team's ultimate goal is to include a network of non-professional telescopes around the world for 24 hour coverage of star fields. It is believed this is the first serious non-professional transit search effort.

  14. An abundance of small exoplanets around stars with a wide range of metallicities.

    PubMed

    Buchhave, Lars A; Latham, David W; Johansen, Anders; Bizzarro, Martin; Torres, Guillermo; Rowe, Jason F; Batalha, Natalie M; Borucki, William J; Brugamyer, Erik; Caldwell, Caroline; Bryson, Stephen T; Ciardi, David R; Cochran, William D; Endl, Michael; Esquerdo, Gilbert A; Ford, Eric B; Geary, John C; Gilliland, Ronald L; Hansen, Terese; Isaacson, Howard; Laird, John B; Lucas, Philip W; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Morse, Jon A; Robertson, Paul; Shporer, Avi; Stefanik, Robert P; Still, Martin; Quinn, Samuel N

    2012-06-21

    The abundance of heavy elements (metallicity) in the photospheres of stars similar to the Sun provides a 'fossil' record of the chemical composition of the initial protoplanetary disk. Metal-rich stars are much more likely to harbour gas giant planets, supporting the model that planets form by accumulation of dust and ice particles. Recent ground-based surveys suggest that this correlation is weakened for Neptunian-sized planets. However, how the relationship between size and metallicity extends into the regime of terrestrial-sized exoplanets is unknown. Here we report spectroscopic metallicities of the host stars of 226 small exoplanet candidates discovered by NASA's Kepler mission, including objects that are comparable in size to the terrestrial planets in the Solar System. We find that planets with radii less than four Earth radii form around host stars with a wide range of metallicities (but on average a metallicity close to that of the Sun), whereas large planets preferentially form around stars with higher metallicities. This observation suggests that terrestrial planets may be widespread in the disk of the Galaxy, with no special requirement of enhanced metallicity for their formation. PMID:22722196

  15. 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

  16. Methods for the detection and characterization of exoplanets and their population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foreman-Mackey, Daniel

    The study of exoplanets has been revolutionized in recent years thanks, in large part, to new data collected by NASA's Kepler Mission. The Mission has enabled the discovery of thousands of planets orbiting stars throughout the Galaxy. These discoveries span orders of magnitude in physical parameter space but many of the most physically interesting questions remain open. The deepest of these questions is: how common are planetary systems like our own Solar System? In this dissertation, I approach this question from several different angles and make inferences about the frequency and distribution of planets based on the large, publicly-available datasets from the Kepler Mission. I develop two powerful and practical methods for mining for planetary transit signals in the hundreds of thousands of stellar light curves measured by Kepler. The first method is designed to find planets using the data from the K2 phase of the Mission where systematics introduced by the instrument dominate the measurements. Applying this method to the first publicly available dataset from K2, Campaign 1, I published more than thirty new exoplanet candidates. The second transit search technique is designed to find transits of planets with orbital periods longer than the four year baseline of the Kepler Mission. These are interesting planets because they are expected to have the largest dynamical influence on the formation and evolution of their planetary systems but, to date, no systematic search for these signals has been published. I demonstrate that this method is robust and tractable and make predictions for the planet yields in the Kepler dataset. I derive a general framework for making justified probabilistic inferences about the population of planets based on noisy and incomplete catalogs of exoplanet measurements. Applying this to a previously published catalog of exoplanets orbiting stars like our Sun, I measure the joint period-radius distribution of these planets taking into account

  17. KEPLER ECLIPSING BINARIES WITH STELLAR COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Gies, D. R.; Matson, R. A.; Guo, Z.; Lester, K. V.; Orosz, J. A.; Peters, G. J. E-mail: rmatson@chara.gsu.edu E-mail: lester@chara.gsu.edu E-mail: gjpeters@mucen.usc.edu

    2015-12-15

    Many short-period binary stars have distant orbiting companions that have played a role in driving the binary components into close separation. Indirect detection of a tertiary star is possible by measuring apparent changes in eclipse times of eclipsing binaries as the binary orbits the common center of mass. Here we present an analysis of the eclipse timings of 41 eclipsing binaries observed throughout the NASA Kepler mission of long duration and precise photometry. This subset of binaries is characterized by relatively deep and frequent eclipses of both stellar components. We present preliminary orbital elements for seven probable triple stars among this sample, and we discuss apparent period changes in seven additional eclipsing binaries that may be related to motion about a tertiary in a long period orbit. The results will be used in ongoing investigations of the spectra and light curves of these binaries for further evidence of the presence of third stars.

  18. Evidence for Nemesis: a solar companion star

    SciTech Connect

    Muller, R.A.

    1985-01-01

    The evidence that the sun has a companion star ''Nemesis'' responsible for periodic mass extinctions is reviewed. A gaussian ideogram of the rates of family extinctions in the oceans shows periods of 26 and 30 Myr. Analysis of impact cratering on the earth shows a period of either 28.4 or 30 Myr, depending on the crater selection. Models which attempt to explain these periods with either oscillations through the galactic plane, or through the effects of a tenth planet, are seriously flawed. If the periods seen in the data are real (and not a spurious result of a statistical fluctuation) then the ''Nemesis hypothesis'' is the only suggested explanation that has survived close scrutiny. The Nemesis model predicts that the impacts took place during brief storms of several million years duration, perhaps accounting for the ''extended'' nature of the mass extinctions. A search for Nemesis is under way at Berkeley. 18 refs., 4 figs.

  19. Astrometric confirmation and preliminary orbital parameters of the young exoplanet 51 Eridani b with the Gemini Planet Imager

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-11-13

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

  20. Astrometric confirmation and preliminary orbital parameters of the young exoplanet 51 Eridani b with the Gemini Planet Imager

    DOE PAGES

    De Rosa, Robert J.; Nielsen, Eric L.; Blunt, Sarah C.; Graham, James R.; Konopacky, Quinn M.; Marois, Christian; Pueyo, Laurent; Rameau, Julien; Ryan, Dominic M.; Wang, Jason J.; et al

    2015-11-13

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

  1. La recherche de naines brunes et d'exoplanetes: Developpement d'une technique d'imagerie multibande

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marois, Christian

    2004-10-01

    The technique of simultaneous spectral differential imaging (SSDI) is used to image directly brown dwarfs and exoplanets around nearby stars. An analytical PSF model is first presented with numerical simulations to estimate the PSF noise attenuation performance. A three-wavelength infrared camera (TRIDENT) implementing the SSDI technique is then described. Results from a survey of 35 nearby stars carried out with TRIDENT at the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope are presented. Performance estimates show that a companion 9.5 magnitudes fainter than a star is detectable (6 sigma) at 0.5" separation. An analysis of the observations suggests that non-common path aberrations between TRIDENT optical channels are the limiting factor preventing further PSF noise attenuation. A new camera concept using a multi-wavelength detector featuring a microlens array combined with micro-filters is presented to overcome the non-common path aberration problem. Another imaging technique, differential angular imaging, is also discussed to obtain a reference PSF in each optical channel while observing a target. Finally, the accuracy of FFT-based image shifting, scaling and rotating algorithms is studied to show that a companion 10^9 times fainter than a star can theoretically be detected by those algorithms.

  2. Watching the Sun to Improve Exoplanet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-12-01

    Looking for stars that wobble is one of the key ways by which we detect exoplanets: the gravitational pull of planets cause tiny variations in stars radial velocities. But our ability to detect Earth twins is currently limited by our ability to distinguish between radial-velocity variations caused by exoplanets, and those caused by noise from the star itself. A team of scientists has recently proposed that the key to solving this problem may be to examine our own star.Precision Amid NoiseThe radial-velocity technique works well for detecting large planets on close orbits, but detecting an Earth twin requires being able to detect star motion on the order of 10 cm/s! This precision is hard to reach, because activity on the stellar surface i.e., sunspots, plages (bright spots), or granulation can also cause variations in the measured radial velocity for the star, obscuring the signature of a planet.Because the stars were examining arent resolved, we cant track the activity on their surfaces so how can we better understand the imprint that stellar activity has on radial-velocity measurements? A team of scientists has come up with a clever approach: examine the Sun as though it were a distant star.Wealth of InformationThe team, led by Xavier Dumusque (Branco-Weiss Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and David F. Phillips (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), has begun a project to observe the Sun with a ground-based solar telescope. The telescope observes the full disk of the Sun and feeds the data into the HARPS-N spectrograph in Spain, a spectrograph normally used for radial-velocity measurements of other stars in the hunt for exoplanets.But the team has access to other data about the Sun, too: information from satellites like the Solar Dynamics Observatory and SORCE about the solar activity and total irradiance during the time when the spectra were taken. Dumusque and collaborators have combined all of this information, during a week

  3. Seismic constraints on rotation of Sun-like star and mass of exoplanet

    PubMed Central

    Gizon, Laurent; Ballot, Jérome; Michel, Eric; Stahn, Thorsten; Vauclair, Gérard; Bruntt, Hans; Quirion, Pierre-Olivier; Benomar, Othman; Vauclair, Sylvie; Appourchaux, Thierry; Auvergne, Michel; Baglin, Annie; Barban, Caroline; Baudin, Fréderic; Bazot, Michaël; Campante, Tiago; Catala, Claude; Chaplin, William; Creevey, Orlagh; Deheuvels, Sébastien; Dolez, Noël; Elsworth, Yvonne; García, Rafael; Gaulme, Patrick; Mathis, Stéphane; Mathur, Savita; Mosser, Benoît; Régulo, Clara; Roxburgh, Ian; Salabert, David; Samadi, Réza; Sato, Kumiko; Verner, Graham; Hanasoge, Shravan; Sreenivasan, Katepalli R.

    2013-01-01

    Rotation is thought to drive cyclic magnetic activity in the Sun and Sun-like stars. Stellar dynamos, however, are poorly understood owing to the scarcity of observations of rotation and magnetic fields in stars. Here, inferences are drawn on the internal rotation of a distant Sun-like star by studying its global modes of oscillation. We report asteroseismic constraints imposed on the rotation rate and the inclination of the spin axis of the Sun-like star HD 52265, a principal target observed by the CoRoT satellite that is known to host a planetary companion. These seismic inferences are remarkably consistent with an independent spectroscopic observation (rotational line broadening) and with the observed rotation period of star spots. Furthermore, asteroseismology constrains the mass of exoplanet HD 52265b. Under the standard assumption that the stellar spin axis and the axis of the planetary orbit coincide, the minimum spectroscopic mass of the planet can be converted into a true mass of , which implies that it is a planet, not a brown dwarf. PMID:23898183

  4. Exoplanet detection with simultaneous spectral differential imaging: effects of out-of-pupil-plane optical aberrations

    SciTech Connect

    Marois, C; Phillion, D W; Macintosh, B

    2006-05-02

    Imaging faint companions (exoplanets and brown dwarfs) around nearby stars is currently limited by speckle noise. To efficiently attenuate this noise, a technique called simultaneous spectral differential imaging (SSDI) can be used. This technique consists of acquiring simultaneously images of the field of view in several adjacent narrow bands and in combining these images to suppress speckles. Simulations predict that SSDI can achieve, with the acquisition of three wavelengths, speckle noise attenuation of several thousands. These simulations are usually performed using the Fraunhofer approximation, i.e. considering that all aberrations are located in the pupil plane. We have performed wavefront propagation simulations to evaluate how out-of-pupil-plane aberrations affect SSDI speckle noise attenuation performance. The Talbot formalism is used to give a physical insight of the problem; results are confirmed using a proper wavefront propagation algorithm. We will show that near-focal-plane aberrations can significantly reduce SSDI speckle noise attenuation performance at several {lambda}/D separation. It is also shown that the Talbot effect correctly predicts the PSF chromaticity. Both differential atmospheric refraction effects and the use of a coronagraph will be discussed.

  5. Seismic constraints on rotation of Sun-like star and mass of exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gizon, L.; Ballot, J.; Michel, E.; Stahn, T.; Vauclair, G.; Bruntt, H.; Quirion, P.-O.; Benomar, O.; Vauclair, S.; Appourchaux, T.; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A.; Barban, C.; Baudin, F.; Bazot, M.; Campante, T.; Catala, C.; Chaplin, W.; Creevey, O.; Deheuvels, S.; Dolez, N.; Elsworth, Y.; Garcia, R.; Gaulme, P.; Mathis, S.; Mathur, S.; Mosser, B.; Regulo, C.; Roxburgh, I.; Salabert, D.; Samadi, R.; Sato, K.; Verner, G.; Hanasoge, S.; Sreenivasan, K. R.

    2013-08-01

    Rotation is thought to drive cyclic magnetic activity in the Sun and Sun-like stars. Stellar dynamos, however, are poorly understood owing to the scarcity of observations of rotation and magnetic fields in stars. Here, inferences are drawn on the internal rotation of a distant Sun-like star by studying its global modes of oscillation. We report asteroseismic constraints imposed on the rotation rate and the inclination of the spin axis of the Sun-like star HD 52265, a principal target observed by the CoRoT satellite that is known to host a planetary companion. These seismic inferences are remarkably consistent with an independent spectroscopic observation (rotational line broadening) and with the observed rotation period of star spots. Furthermore, asteroseismology constrains the mass of exoplanet HD 52265b. Under the standard assumption that the stellar spin axis and the axis of the planetary orbit coincide, the minimum spectroscopic mass of the planet can be converted into a true mass of 1.85 (+0.52,-0.42) M_Jupiter, which implies that it is a planet, not a brown dwarf.

  6. Exoplanet detection via microlensing with RoboNet-1.0

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgdorf, M. J.; Bramich, D. M.; Dominik, M.; Bode, M. F.; Horne, K. D.; Steele, I. A.; Rattenbury, N.; Tsapras, Y.

    2007-04-01

    RoboNet-1.0 is a prototype global network of three two-meter robotic telescopes, placed in La Palma (Canary Islands), Maui (Hawaii), and Siding Spring (Australia). In April 2004, funding for RoboNet-1.0 until July 2007 was approved by PPARC's Science Committee, and the project commenced in earnest in August 2004. The search for cool extra-solar planets by optimised robotic monitoring of Galactic microlensing events is one of the two core elements of its scientific programme - observations of gamma-ray bursts is the other. During the 2005 observing season, light curves of more than 60 microlensing events have been sampled at regular intervals. One particular event, OGLE-2005-BLG-71, showed an anomaly caused by an extrasolar planet, which constituted the second detection of a planet by microlensing. As a by-product, our dense monitoring during caustic crossing events can resolve the brightness profile of observed source stars, providing an observational test of stellar atmosphere models. Current development work uses e-science to create a fully automated chain linking event monitoring to the detection of anomalies in the microlensing lightcurves that could be indications of planetary companions and on to the triggering of follow-up observations. In order to fully exploit the potential of such a network for detecting exoplanets, it will be necessary to complement the existing RoboNet with additional telescopes in the southern hemisphere.

  7. Seismic constraints on rotation of Sun-like star and mass of exoplanet.

    PubMed

    Gizon, Laurent; Ballot, Jérome; Michel, Eric; Stahn, Thorsten; Vauclair, Gérard; Bruntt, Hans; Quirion, Pierre-Olivier; Benomar, Othman; Vauclair, Sylvie; Appourchaux, Thierry; Auvergne, Michel; Baglin, Annie; Barban, Caroline; Baudin, Fréderic; Bazot, Michaël; Campante, Tiago; Catala, Claude; Chaplin, William; Creevey, Orlagh; Deheuvels, Sébastien; Dolez, Noël; Elsworth, Yvonne; García, Rafael; Gaulme, Patrick; Mathis, Stéphane; Mathur, Savita; Mosser, Benoît; Régulo, Clara; Roxburgh, Ian; Salabert, David; Samadi, Réza; Sato, Kumiko; Verner, Graham; Hanasoge, Shravan; Sreenivasan, Katepalli R

    2013-08-13

    Rotation is thought to drive cyclic magnetic activity in the Sun and Sun-like stars. Stellar dynamos, however, are poorly understood owing to the scarcity of observations of rotation and magnetic fields in stars. Here, inferences are drawn on the internal rotation of a distant Sun-like star by studying its global modes of oscillation. We report asteroseismic constraints imposed on the rotation rate and the inclination of the spin axis of the Sun-like star HD 52265, a principal target observed by the CoRoT satellite that is known to host a planetary companion. These seismic inferences are remarkably consistent with an independent spectroscopic observation (rotational line broadening) and with the observed rotation period of star spots. Furthermore, asteroseismology constrains the mass of exoplanet HD 52265b. Under the standard assumption that the stellar spin axis and the axis of the planetary orbit coincide, the minimum spectroscopic mass of the planet can be converted into a true mass of 1.85(-0.42)(+0.52)M(Jupiter), which implies that it is a planet, not a brown dwarf. PMID:23898183

  8. Seismic constraints on rotation of Sun-like star and mass of exoplanet.

    PubMed

    Gizon, Laurent; Ballot, Jérome; Michel, Eric; Stahn, Thorsten; Vauclair, Gérard; Bruntt, Hans; Quirion, Pierre-Olivier; Benomar, Othman; Vauclair, Sylvie; Appourchaux, Thierry; Auvergne, Michel; Baglin, Annie; Barban, Caroline; Baudin, Fréderic; Bazot, Michaël; Campante, Tiago; Catala, Claude; Chaplin, William; Creevey, Orlagh; Deheuvels, Sébastien; Dolez, Noël; Elsworth, Yvonne; García, Rafael; Gaulme, Patrick; Mathis, Stéphane; Mathur, Savita; Mosser, Benoît; Régulo, Clara; Roxburgh, Ian; Salabert, David; Samadi, Réza; Sato, Kumiko; Verner, Graham; Hanasoge, Shravan; Sreenivasan, Katepalli R

    2013-08-13

    Rotation is thought to drive cyclic magnetic activity in the Sun and Sun-like stars. Stellar dynamos, however, are poorly understood owing to the scarcity of observations of rotation and magnetic fields in stars. Here, inferences are drawn on the internal rotation of a distant Sun-like star by studying its global modes of oscillation. We report asteroseismic constraints imposed on the rotation rate and the inclination of the spin axis of the Sun-like star HD 52265, a principal target observed by the CoRoT satellite that is known to host a planetary companion. These seismic inferences are remarkably consistent with an independent spectroscopic observation (rotational line broadening) and with the observed rotation period of star spots. Furthermore, asteroseismology constrains the mass of exoplanet HD 52265b. Under the standard assumption that the stellar spin axis and the axis of the planetary orbit coincide, the minimum spectroscopic mass of the planet can be converted into a true mass of 1.85(-0.42)(+0.52)M(Jupiter), which implies that it is a planet, not a brown dwarf.

  9. SED peculiarities of protoplnetary disk with an embedded companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakhozhay, Olga

    2016-07-01

    In our work we study the indicators of substellar and planetary companions formation in protoplanetary disks based on the spectral energy distribution (SED). Once companion reaches a stable orbit, it starts to clear a gap in the disk along its orbital motion. It is impossible to detect companion around the star by studying the SED, due to the big difference of their luminosities. But it is possible to suspect companion based on the parameters of the gap cleaned by it, that could be derived based on the analysis of SED profile. We establish that with this approach companion's maximum and the most probable mass can be derived. Using this masses and corresponding evolutionary models (like Baraffe et al. (1998, 2008), for example) additionally companion's temperature and radius can be determined, as far as presence of the disk and information about the physical condition of its material gives a good constrain about the age of the system. We will present the synthetic spectral energy distributions of the protoplanetary disks with embedded companions that are located at different distances and have masses down to few Jovian masses. The special emphasis will be paid to the wavelength regime at which the presence of companion is more evident.

  10. [Current situation and challenges in companion diagnostics development].

    PubMed

    Nishida, Miwa

    2014-12-01

    The personalized health care, it is defined as a medical care which provide the optimal therapy for each individual in consideration of a patient's individual difference, such as a genetic background and a physiological state. A companion diagnosis to stratify a patient appropriately is essential for the spread of personalized health care, and it is important that a companion diagnostic reagent used for the companion diagnosis is properly developed and clinically applied. However, as for the development of companion diagnostics and pharmaceuticals that require it, there are still many challenges such as its business model of cooperation of diagnostics companies and pharmaceutical companies, also, the regulations related to companion diagnostics. Furthermore, even in clinical practice, there are many issues such as the way of reimbursement for companion diagnostics and also the handling of laboratory developed test (LDT) as companion diagnostics. These are issues that should continue to discuss with industry, government and academia. In this report, from the point of view of a diagnostics company, we discuss the various challenges in clinical applications from the development of companion diagnostics. PMID:25596043

  11. CARMENES science preparation: characterisation of M dwarfs with low-resolution spectroscopy and search for low-mass wide companions to young stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso-Floriano, F. J.

    2015-11-01

    motion companions, especially of low mass, to members of the near young beta Pictoris moving group. First, we compiled a list of 185 members and candidate members to beta Pictoris from 35 representatives studies on this moving group. Next, we used the Aladin and STILTS virtual observatory tools, as well as the PPMXL proper motion and Washington double stars catalogues. The objects that showed similar proper motions to those stars of the sample were targets of an astro-photometric follow-up. The 36 common proper motion companion eventually obtained were subjects of a study of binding energies to determine their physical ligation.

  12. Confirmation and characterization of young planetary companions hidden in the HST NICMOS archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pueyo, Laurent

    2013-10-01

    We propose to conduct WFC3 high contrast observations of six faint planetary candidates orbiting young {1 to 100 Myrs} stars identified in archival HST NICMOS coronagraphic data as part of our team's program AR-12652. Such rare objects are of the utmost importance to comparative exo-planetology as their physical properties reflect the initial conditions of still poorly constrained planetary formation mechanisms. Moreover directly imaged systems are precious artifacts in the expanding exo-planetary treasure trove as they are readily available for spectroscopic characterization. Our statistical analysis, which combines population synthesis models and empirical inspections of the entire NICMOS field of view for all sources observed in coronaraphic mode, almost guarantees that one of these six faint candidates is associated with its putative host star. We will conduct our observation in four near infrared filter, F125W, F160W to establish the baseline luminosity of our candidates and in F127M and F139M in order to probe the depth their water absorption features, characteristic of substellar /exo-planetary like atmospheres. Because of the youth of our targets, this program, which only requires a modest 12 HST orbits, will almost certainly identify and image a young or adolescent exo-planet.

  13. IMPACT OF TYPE Ia SUPERNOVA EJECTA ON BINARY COMPANIONS IN THE SINGLE-DEGENERATE SCENARIO

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Kuo-Chuan; Ricker, Paul M.; Taam, Ronald E. E-mail: pmricker@illinois.edu

    2012-05-10

    Type Ia supernovae are thought to be caused by thermonuclear explosions of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf in close binary systems. In the single-degenerate scenario (SDS), the companion star is non-degenerate and can be significantly affected by the explosion. We explore this interaction by means of multi-dimensional adaptive mesh refinement simulations using the FLASH code. We consider several different companion types, including main-sequence-like stars (MS), red giants (RG), and helium stars (He). In addition, we include the symmetry-breaking effects of orbital motion, rotation of the non-degenerate star, and Roche-lobe overflow. A detailed study of a sub-grid model for Type Ia supernovae is also presented. We find that the dependence of the unbound stellar mass and kick velocity on the initial binary separation can be fitted by power-law relations. By using the tracer particles in FLASH, the process leading to the unbinding of matter is dominated by ablation, which has usually been neglected in past analytical studies. The level of Ni/Fe contamination of the companion that results from the passage of the supernova ejecta is found to be {approx}10{sup -5} M{sub Sun} for the MS star, {approx}10{sup -4} M{sub Sun} for the He star, and {approx}10{sup -8} M{sub Sun} for the RG. The spinning MS companion star loses about half of its initial angular momentum during the impact, causing the rotational velocity to drop to a quarter of the original rotational velocity, suggesting that the Tycho G star is a promising progenitor candidate in the SDS.

  14. RULING OUT STELLAR COMPANIONS AND RESOLVING THE INNERMOST REGIONS OF TRANSITIONAL DISKS WITH THE KECK INTERFEROMETER

    SciTech Connect

    Pott, Jorg-Uwe; Perrin, Marshall D.; Furlan, Elise; Ghez, Andrea M.; Metchev, Stanimir; Herbst, Tom M. E-mail: mperrin@astro.ucla.ed E-mail: elise.furlan@jpl.nasa.go E-mail: herbst@mpia.d

    2010-02-10

    With the Keck Interferometer, we have studied at 2 {mu}m the innermost regions of several nearby, young, dust-depleted 'transitional' disks. Our observations target five of the six clearest cases of transitional disks in the Taurus/Auriga star-forming region (DM Tau, GM Aur, LkCa 15, UX Tau A, and RY Tau) to explore the possibility that the depletion of optically thick dust from the inner disks is caused by stellar companions rather than the more typical planet-formation hypothesis. At the 99.7% confidence level, the observed visibilities exclude binaries with flux ratios of at least 0.05 and separations ranging from 2.5 to 30 mas (0.35-4 AU) over {approx}>94% of the area covered by our measurements. All targets but DM Tau show near-infrared (NIR) excess in their spectral energy distribution (SED) higher than our companion flux ratio detection limits. While a companion has previously been detected in the candidate transitional disk system CoKu Tau/4, we can exclude similar mass companions as the typical origin for the clearing of inner dust in transitional disks and of the NIR excess emission. Unlike CoKu Tau/4, all our targets show some evidence of accretion. We find that all but one of the targets are clearly spatially resolved, and UX Tau A is marginally resolved. Our data are consistent with hot material on small scales (0.1 AU) inside of and separated from the cooler outer disk, consistent with the recent SED modeling. These observations support the notion that some transitional disks have radial gaps in their optically thick material, which could be an indication for planet formation in the habitable zone ({approx} a few AU) of a protoplanetary disk.

  15. A Be-type star with a black-hole companion.

    PubMed

    Casares, J; Negueruela, I; Ribó, M; Ribas, I; Paredes, J M; Herrero, A; Simón-Díaz, S

    2014-01-16

    Stellar-mass black holes have all been discovered through X-ray emission, which arises from the accretion of gas from their binary companions (this gas is either stripped from low-mass stars or supplied as winds from massive ones). Binary evolution models also predict the existence of black holes accreting from the equatorial envelope of rapidly spinning Be-type stars (stars of the Be type are hot blue irregular variables showing characteristic spectral emission lines of hydrogen). Of the approximately 80 Be X-ray binaries known in the Galaxy, however, only pulsating neutron stars have been found as companions. A black hole was formally allowed as a solution for the companion to the Be star MWC 656 (ref. 5; also known as HD 215227), although that conclusion was based on a single radial velocity curve of the Be star, a mistaken spectral classification and rough estimates of the inclination angle. Here we report observations of an accretion disk line mirroring the orbit of MWC 656. This, together with an improved radial velocity curve of the Be star through fitting sharp Fe II profiles from the equatorial disk, and a refined Be classification (to that of a B1.5-B2 III star), indicates that a black hole of 3.8 to 6.9 solar masses orbits MWC 656, the candidate counterpart of the γ-ray source AGL J2241+4454 (refs 5, 6). The black hole is X-ray quiescent and fed by a radiatively inefficient accretion flow giving a luminosity less than 1.6 × 10(-7) times the Eddington luminosity. This implies that Be binaries with black-hole companions are difficult to detect in conventional X-ray surveys. PMID:24429635

  16. A Be-type star with a black-hole companion.

    PubMed

    Casares, J; Negueruela, I; Ribó, M; Ribas, I; Paredes, J M; Herrero, A; Simón-Díaz, S

    2014-01-16

    Stellar-mass black holes have all been discovered through X-ray emission, which arises from the accretion of gas from their binary companions (this gas is either stripped from low-mass stars or supplied as winds from massive ones). Binary evolution models also predict the existence of black holes accreting from the equatorial envelope of rapidly spinning Be-type stars (stars of the Be type are hot blue irregular variables showing characteristic spectral emission lines of hydrogen). Of the approximately 80 Be X-ray binaries known in the Galaxy, however, only pulsating neutron stars have been found as companions. A black hole was formally allowed as a solution for the companion to the Be star MWC 656 (ref. 5; also known as HD 215227), although that conclusion was based on a single radial velocity curve of the Be star, a mistaken spectral classification and rough estimates of the inclination angle. Here we report observations of an accretion disk line mirroring the orbit of MWC 656. This, together with an improved radial velocity curve of the Be star through fitting sharp Fe II profiles from the equatorial disk, and a refined Be classification (to that of a B1.5-B2 III star), indicates that a black hole of 3.8 to 6.9 solar masses orbits MWC 656, the candidate counterpart of the γ-ray source AGL J2241+4454 (refs 5, 6). The black hole is X-ray quiescent and fed by a radiatively inefficient accretion flow giving a luminosity less than 1.6 × 10(-7) times the Eddington luminosity. This implies that Be binaries with black-hole companions are difficult to detect in conventional X-ray surveys.

  17. PULSATION FREQUENCIES AND MODES OF GIANT EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Le Bihan, Bastien; Burrows, Adam E-mail: burrows@astro.princeton.edu

    2013-02-10

    We calculate the eigenfrequencies and eigenfunctions of the acoustic oscillations of giant exoplanets and explore the dependence of the characteristic frequency {nu}{sub 0} and the eigenfrequencies on several parameters: the planet mass, the planet radius, the core mass, and the heavy element mass fraction in the envelope. We provide the eigenvalues for degree l up to 8 and radial order n up to 12. For the selected values of l and n, we find that the pulsation eigenfrequencies depend strongly on the planet mass and radius, especially at high frequency. We quantify this dependence through the calculation of the characteristic frequency {nu}{sub 0} which gives us an estimate of the scale of the eigenvalue spectrum at high frequency. For the mass range 0.5 M{sub J} {<=} M{sub P} {<=} 15 M{sub J} , and fixing the planet radius to the Jovian value, we find that {nu}{sub 0} {approx} 164.0 Multiplication-Sign (M{sub P} /M{sub J} ){sup 0.48}{mu}Hz, where M{sub P} is the planet mass and M{sub J} is Jupiter's mass. For the radius range from 0.9 to 2.0 R{sub J} , and fixing the planet's mass to the Jovian value, we find that {nu}{sub 0} {approx} 164.0 Multiplication-Sign (R{sub P} /R{sub J} ){sup -2.09}{mu}Hz, where R{sub P} is the planet radius and R{sub J} is Jupiter's radius. We explore the influence of the presence of a dense core on the pulsation frequencies and on the characteristic frequency of giant exoplanets. We find that the presence of heavy elements in the envelope affects the eigenvalue distribution in ways similar to the presence of a dense core. Additionally, we apply our formalism to Jupiter and Saturn and find results consistent with both the observational data of Gaulme et al. and previous theoretical work.

  18. Towards Automatic Classification of Exoplanet-Transit-Like Signals: A Case Study on Kepler Mission Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valizadegan, Hamed; Martin, Rodney; McCauliff, Sean D.; Jenkins, Jon Michael; Catanzarite, Joseph; Oza, Nikunj C.

    2015-08-01

    Building new catalogues of planetary candidates, astrophysical false alarms, and non-transiting phenomena is a challenging task that currently requires a reviewing team of astrophysicists and astronomers. These scientists need to examine more than 100 diagnostic metrics and associated graphics for each candidate exoplanet-transit-like signal to classify it into one of the three classes. Considering that the NASA Explorer Program's TESS mission and ESA's PLATO mission survey even a larger area of space, the classification of their transit-like signals is more time-consuming for human agents and a bottleneck to successfully construct the new catalogues in a timely manner. This encourages building automatic classification tools that can quickly and reliably classify the new signal data from these missions. The standard tool for building automatic classification systems is the supervised machine learning that requires a large set of highly accurate labeled examples in order to build an effective classifier. This requirement cannot be easily met for classifying transit-like signals because not only are existing labeled signals very limited, but also the current labels may not be reliable (because the labeling process is a subjective task). Our experiments with using different supervised classifiers to categorize transit-like signals verifies that the labeled signals are not rich enough to provide the classifier with enough power to generalize well beyond the observed cases (e.g. to unseen or test signals). That motivated us to utilize a new category of learning techniques, so-called semi-supervised learning, that combines the label information from the costly labeled signals, and distribution information from the cheaply available unlabeled signals in order to construct more effective classifiers. Our study on the Kepler Mission data shows that semi-supervised learning can significantly improve the result of multiple base classifiers (e.g. Support Vector Machines, Ada

  19. First Solid Evidence for a Rocky Exoplanet - Mass and density of smallest exoplanet finally measured

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-09-01

    The longest set of HARPS measurements ever made has firmly established the nature of the smallest and fastest-orbiting exoplanet known, CoRoT-7b, revealing its mass as five times that of Earth's. Combined with CoRoT-7b's known radius, which is less than twice that of our terrestrial home, this tells us that the exoplanet's density is quite similar to the Earth's, suggesting a solid, rocky world. The extensive dataset also reveals the presence of another so-called super-Earth in this alien solar system. "This is science at its thrilling and amazing best," says Didier Queloz, leader of the team that made the observations. "We did everything we could to learn what the object discovered by the CoRoT satellite looks like and we found a unique system." In February 2009, the discovery by the CoRoT satellite [1] of a small exoplanet around a rather unremarkable star named TYC 4799-1733-1 was announced one year after its detection and after several months of painstaking measurements with many telescopes on the ground, including several from ESO. The star, now known as CoRoT-7, is located towards the constellation of Monoceros (the Unicorn) at a distance of about 500 light-years. Slightly smaller and cooler than our Sun, CoRoT-7 is also thought to be younger, with an age of about 1.5 billion years. Every 20.4 hours, the planet eclipses a small fraction of the light of the star for a little over one hour by one part in 3000 [2]. This planet, designated CoRoT-7b, is only 2.5 million kilometres away from its host star, or 23 times closer than Mercury is to the Sun. It has a radius that is about 80% greater than the Earth's. The initial set of measurements, however, could not provide the mass of the exoplanet. Such a result requires extremely precise measurements of the velocity of the star, which is pulled a tiny amount by the gravitational tug of the orbiting exoplanet. The problem with CoRoT-7b is that these tiny signals are blurred by stellar activity in the form of

  20. A Statistical Analysis of SEEDS and Other High-contrast Exoplanet Surveys: Massive Planets or Low-mass Brown Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Timothy D.; McElwain, Michael W.; Turner, Edwin L.; Mede, Kyle; Spiegel, David S.; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Wisniewski, John P.; Abe, L.; Biller, B.; Brandner, W.; Carson, J.; Currie, T.; Egner, S.; Feldt, M.; Golota, T.; Goto, M.; Grady, C. A.; Guyon, O.; Hashimoto, J.; Hayano, Y.; Hayashi, M.; Hayashi, S.; Henning, T.; Hodapp, K. W.; Inutsuka, S.; Ishii, M.; Iye, M.; Janson, M.; Kandori, R.; Knapp, G. R.; Kudo, T.; Kusakabe, N.; Kwon, J.; Matsuo, T.; Miyama, S.; Morino, J.-I.; Moro-Martín, A.; Nishimura, T.; Pyo, T.-S.; Serabyn, E.; Suto, H.; Suzuki, R.; Takami, M.; Takato, N.; Terada, H.; Thalmann, C.; Tomono, D.; Watanabe, M.; Yamada, T.; Takami, H.; Usuda, T.; Tamura, M.

    2014-10-01

    We conduct a statistical analysis of a combined sample of direct imaging data, totalling nearly 250 stars. The stars cover a wide range of ages and spectral types, and include five detections (κ And b, two ~60 M J brown dwarf companions in the Pleiades, PZ Tel B, and CD-35 2722B). For some analyses we add a currently unpublished set of SEEDS observations, including the detections GJ 504b and GJ 758B. We conduct a uniform, Bayesian analysis of all stellar ages using both membership in a kinematic moving group and activity/rotation age indicators. We then present a new statistical method for computing the likelihood of a substellar distribution function. By performing most of the integrals analytically, we achieve an enormous speedup over brute-force Monte Carlo. We use this method to place upper limits on the maximum semimajor axis of the distribution function derived from radial-velocity planets, finding model-dependent values of ~30-100 AU. Finally, we model the entire substellar sample, from massive brown dwarfs to a theoretically motivated cutoff at ~5 M J, with a single power-law distribution. We find that p(M, a)vpropM -0.65 ± 0.60 a -0.85 ± 0.39 (1σ errors) provides an adequate fit to our data, with 1.0%-3.1% (68% confidence) of stars hosting 5-70 M J companions between 10 and 100 AU. This suggests that many of the directly imaged exoplanets known, including most (if not all) of the low-mass companions in our sample, formed by fragmentation in a cloud or disk, and represent the low-mass tail of the brown dwarfs. Based on data collected at Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

  1. Discovery of a Probable 4-5 Jupiter-mass Exoplanet to HD 95086 by Direct Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rameau, J.; Chauvin, G.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Boccaletti, A.; Quanz, S. P.; Bonnefoy, M.; Girard, J. H.; Delorme, P.; Desidera, S.; Klahr, H.; Mordasini, C.; Dumas, C.; 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 μm) images. This discovery is based on observations with more than a year time lapse. Our first epoch clearly revealed the source at ~= 10σ, while our second epoch lacks good observing conditions, yielding a ~= 3σ 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 3σ confidence level. The planetary nature of the source is reinforced by a non-detection in the Ks-band (2.18 μm) 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 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. Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile, under program Nos. 087.C-0292, 088.C.0085, 090.C-0538, 090.C-0698, and 090.C-0728.

  2. A statistical analysis of seeds and other high-contrast exoplanet surveys: massive planets or low-mass brown dwarfs?

    SciTech Connect

    Brandt, Timothy D.; Spiegel, David S.; McElwain, Michael W.; Grady, C. A.; Turner, Edwin L.; Mede, Kyle; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Brandner, W.; Feldt, M.; Wisniewski, John P.; Abe, L.; Biller, B.; Carson, J.; Currie, T.; Egner, S.; Golota, T.; Guyon, O.; Goto, M.; Hashimoto, J.; and others

    2014-10-20

    We conduct a statistical analysis of a combined sample of direct imaging data, totalling nearly 250 stars. The stars cover a wide range of ages and spectral types, and include five detections (κ And b, two ∼60 M {sub J} brown dwarf companions in the Pleiades, PZ Tel B, and CD–35 2722B). For some analyses we add a currently unpublished set of SEEDS observations, including the detections GJ 504b and GJ 758B. We conduct a uniform, Bayesian analysis of all stellar ages using both membership in a kinematic moving group and activity/rotation age indicators. We then present a new statistical method for computing the likelihood of a substellar distribution function. By performing most of the integrals analytically, we achieve an enormous speedup over brute-force Monte Carlo. We use this method to place upper limits on the maximum semimajor axis of the distribution function derived from radial-velocity planets, finding model-dependent values of ∼30-100 AU. Finally, we model the entire substellar sample, from massive brown dwarfs to a theoretically motivated cutoff at ∼5 M {sub J}, with a single power-law distribution. We find that p(M, a)∝M {sup –0.65} {sup ±} {sup 0.60} a {sup –0.85} {sup ±} {sup 0.39} (1σ errors) provides an adequate fit to our data, with 1.0%-3.1% (68% confidence) of stars hosting 5-70 M {sub J} companions between 10 and 100 AU. This suggests that many of the directly imaged exoplanets known, including most (if not all) of the low-mass companions in our sample, formed by fragmentation in a cloud or disk, and represent the low-mass tail of the brown dwarfs.

  3. BIOSIGNATURE GASES IN H{sub 2}-DOMINATED ATMOSPHERES ON ROCKY EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Seager, S.; Bains, W.; Hu, R.

    2013-11-10

    Super-Earth exoplanets are being discovered with increasing frequency and some will be able to retain stable H{sub 2}-dominated atmospheres. We study biosignature gases on exoplanets with thin H{sub 2} atmospheres and habitable surface temperatures, using a model atmosphere with photochemistry and a biomass estimate framework for evaluating the plausibility of a range of biosignature gas candidates. We find that photochemically produced H atoms are the most abundant reactive species in H{sub 2} atmospheres. In atmospheres with high CO{sub 2} levels, atomic O is the major destructive species for some molecules. In Sun-Earth-like UV radiation environments, H (and in some cases O) will rapidly destroy nearly all biosignature gases of interest. The lower UV fluxes from UV-quiet M stars would produce a lower concentration of H (or O) for the same scenario, enabling some biosignature gases to accumulate. The favorability of low-UV radiation environments to accumulate detectable biosignature gases in an H{sub 2} atmosphere is closely analogous to the case of oxidized atmospheres, where photochemically produced OH is the major destructive species. Most potential biosignature gases, such as dimethylsulfide and CH{sub 3}Cl, are therefore more favorable in low-UV, as compared with solar-like UV, environments. A few promising biosignature gas candidates, including NH{sub 3} and N{sub 2}O, are favorable even in solar-like UV environments, as these gases are destroyed directly by photolysis and not by H (or O). A more subtle finding is that most gases produced by life that are fully hydrogenated forms of an element, such as CH{sub 4} and H{sub 2}S, are not effective signs of life in an H{sub 2}-rich atmosphere because the dominant atmospheric chemistry will generate such gases abiologically, through photochemistry or geochemistry. Suitable biosignature gases in H{sub 2}-rich atmospheres for super-Earth exoplanets transiting M stars could potentially be detected in transmission

  4. A direct imaging search for close stellar and sub-stellar companions to young nearby stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, N.; Mugrauer, M.; Neuhäuser,