Science.gov

Sample records for detecting circumbinary planets

  1. Caustic Structures and Detectability of Circumbinary Planets in Microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  3. The Fate of Unstable Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-03-01

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

  4. Dynamical Evolution and Migration of Circumbinary Planets and Their Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, N.; Kley, W.; Kaltenegger, L.

    2014-03-01

    The recent success of the Kepler space telescope in detecting several circumbinary planets has raised many questions on the formation, evolution, and habitability of these objects. The detection of multiple transists in these systems points to the co-planarity of the orbital planes of the binary and planet(s), giving strong support to the idea that these planets formed in circumbinary protoplanetary disks. The proximity of some of these planets to the boundary of orbital instability around the binary suggests an evolutionary scenario in which planets form at larger distances and migrate to their present orbits. How such planets form, and how the binarity of the system affects their formation and subsequent migration are among fundamental questions that require deep understanding of the growth and evolution of solid objects in circumbinary environments, and their dynamical evolution. Given that several of the currently known circumbinary planets are in the habitable zone, the habitability of planet-hosting binary systems has also become an important topic of research. We have carried out extensive analysis of the dynamical evolution of planets in a circumbinary disk, and their habitability. The results of our hydrodynamical simulations indicate that planets migrate inward and settle near the inner edge of the circumbinary disk (the stability limit), in good agreement with the results of the observations. Our model of habitability takes into account, self-consistently, the contribution of each star to the total flux received at the top of the planet's atmosphere, producing accurate maps of the HZ of the system. We present the results of our studies and discuss their applications to the formation and habitability of the currently known Kepler circumbinary planets.

  5. Kepler-16: a transiting circumbinary planet.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-16

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

  6. Stability of habitable exomoons of circumbinary planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satyal, Suman; Haghighipour, Nader; Quarles, Billy

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Constraints on the frequency of circumbinary planets in wide orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonavita, Mariangela; Thalmann, Christian; Desidera, Silvano; Vigan, Arthur; Chauvin, Gael; Biller, Beth

    2015-12-01

    In the past decade, an increasing amount of effort has been spent on studying the formation and evolution of planets in the environment of binary host star systems (see e.g. the book “Planets in Binaries”, Haghighipour 2010). The Exoplanets.org database (Wright et al. 2011) lists several confirmed planets that have been found in binary systems to date. All of these discoveries have been made with indirect detection methods such as Doppler spectroscopy or transit photometry methods, which are heavily biased towards planets with short orbital periods and, therefore, favor circumstellar (‘s-type’) configurations around individual components of wide binary systems. Despite this bias, the Kepler spacecraft has discovered seven planets in circumbinary (‘p-type’) orbits encompassing tight binary systems, hinting at the existence of an extensive unseen population of circumbinary planets.Direct imaging, on the other hand, is a powerful planet detection technique particularly well suited to planets on wide orbits, which complements the limited parameter space of the indirect detection methods. However, such surveys have typically rejected binary systems from their target sample, leaving the population of wide-orbit planets in such systems largely unexplored. To address this, the SPOTS project (Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars; Thalmann et al. 2014) is conducting the first dedicated direct imaging survey for circumbinary planets.In this talk I will present the results of a statistical analysis of the combined body of existing high contrast imaging constraints on circumbinary planets carried on to complement the results of our ongoing survey.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  9. BIRTH LOCATIONS OF THE KEPLER CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Silsbee, Kedron; Rafikov, Roman R.

    2015-07-20

    The Kepler mission has discovered about a dozen circumbinary planetary systems, all containing planets on ∼1 AU orbits. We place bounds on the locations in the circumbinary protoplanetary disk, where these planets could have formed through collisional agglomeration starting from small (kilometer-sized or less) planetesimals. We first present a model of secular planetesimal dynamics that accounts for the (1) perturbation due to the eccentric precessing binary, as well as the (2) gravity and (3) gas drag from a precessing eccentric disk. Their simultaneous action leads to rich dynamics, with (multiple) secular resonances emerging in the disk. We derive analytic results for size-dependent planetesimal eccentricity and demonstrate the key role of the disk gravity for circumbinary dynamics. We then combine these results with a simple model for collisional outcomes and find that in systems like Kepler-16, planetesimal growth starting with 10–100 m planetesimals is possible outside a few AU. The exact location exterior to which this happens is sensitive to disk eccentricity, density, and precession rate, as well as to the size of the first generation of planetesimals. Strong perturbations from the binary in the inner part of the disk, combined with a secular resonance at a few AU, inhibit the growth of kilometer-sized planetesimals within 2–4 AU of the binary. In situ planetesimal growth in the Kepler circumbinary systems is possible only starting from large initial planetesimals (few-kilometer-sized even assuming favorable disk properties, i.e., low surface density)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    May, E. M.; Rauscher, E.

    2016-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-20

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

  12. Observations of Kepler Habitable Zone Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, W. F.; Orosz, J. A.

    2014-03-01

    Kepler has recently revealed nine transiting circumbinary planets (CBPs) and a few more candidates are currently being worked on. While few in number, the sample exhibits some interesting trends: i) The Kepler CBPs are not seen in the shortest-period binary systems. ii) The CBPs tend to orbit very close to their host stars. If the planets were much closer, they would experience instabilities due to dynamical interactions with the binary. Excluding the outer planets of the three-planet Kepler-47 system, 9 of 12 systems have semi-major axes within a factor of two of the critical minimum orbit for stability. This tendency to reside near the instability limit is an unsolved problem. iii) As a consequence of their close-in orbits and the spectral types of their host stars, a surprisingly large fraction, roughly ~25%, of the Kepler CBPs lie within the habitable zone. In my talk I will review the observations of Kepler CBPs and will share the latest candidate planet discoveries. I will discuss the highly variable insolation the planets receive due to the binary nature of their host stars, with emphasis on their locations within the habitable zone.

  13. Terrestrial Planet Growth in Circumbinary Disks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, J. J.; Quintana, E. V.

    2006-01-01

    We examine the accuulation of terrestrial from circumbinary disks surrounding pairs of stars with masses of either 0.5 solar masses each or 0.8 and 0.2 solar masses and orbital separations of 0.05 AU to 0.4 AU by performing numerical simulations of the late stages of planetary growth. Initial disks contain about 2.6 Earth masses of lunar to Mars-sized bodies orbiting within 2 AU of the center of mass of the system, plus giant planets with masses and orbits analogous to those of Jupiter and Saturn. We also performed simulations using analogous disks orbiting single 1 solar mass stars. The dynamics of planetary growth is quite chaotic because the gravitational perturbations resulting from close approaches greatly amplify differences in orbits. Thus, several simulations of each configuration were run with very slightly different initial conditions to enable us to distinguish systematic effects resulting from differences in the binary orbit (or differences of the initial orbits of the bodies within the disk) from pseudo-random variability in outcomes resulting from chaos. Most runs simulated 200 million years of evolution. At least one terrestrial planet remained at the end of each run; one simulation produced 6 terrestrial planets in a configuration that appears to be quite stable. The systems that formed around stars with binary apastron separations of less than 0.2 AU contained on average slightly more planets than those that formed around single stars, with the outermost planet typically orbiting at a greater distance from the system barycenter. Greater stellar separations tended to result in fewer planets, with the inner planet orbiting farther from the stars. More eccentric binaries have a more pronounced effect for the same apastron distance. The statistical distribution of final systems is not sensitive to moderate differences in the initial eccentricities of the bodies in the disk.

  14. A transiting circumbinary planet in KIC 10753734

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Kepler Circumbinary Planets: The Best of Both Worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, W.

    2015-07-01

    While long anticipated in both in science and science fiction, the existence of a planet orbiting a pair of normal stars was not firmly established until the discovery of Kepler-16. With that single discovery, many questions soon arose about the nature of circumbinary planets: What kinds of orbits, masses, and radii could they have? What kinds of binary stars can host planets? How common are they? Since 2011, nine more transiting Kepler circumbinary planets have been discovered, and several more candidate systems are under investigation. While still few in number, the sample is becoming large enough that some intriguing patterns are starting to emerge, regarding the planets' radii, orbits, host star binary periods, and their proximity to the habitable zone. In this talk I will discuss the discovery and characterization of the Kepler circumbinary planets, the emerging trends, and present the latest discoveries and candidate systems.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-10-10

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

  17. Analytic Orbit Propagation for Transiting Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Eggl, Siegfried

    2015-04-01

    The analytical framework presented herein fully describes the motion of coplanar systems consisting of a stellar binary and a planet orbiting both stars on orbital as well as secular timescales. Perturbations of the Runge-Lenz vector are used to derive short-period evolution of the system, while octupole secular theory is applied to describe its long-term behavior. A post-Newtonian correction on the stellar orbit is included. The planetary orbit is initially circular and the theory developed here assumes that the planetary eccentricity remains relatively small ({{e}2}\\lt 0.2). Our model is tested against results from numerical integrations of the full equations of motion and is then applied to investigate the dynamical history of some of the circumbinary planetary systems discovered by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. Our results suggest that the formation history of the systems Kepler-34 and Kepler-413 has most likely been different from that of Kepler-16, Kepler-35, Kepler-38 and Kepler-64, since the observed planetary eccentricities for those systems are not compatible with the assumption of initially circular orbits.

  18. Kepler 453 b - The 10th Kepler Transiting Circumbinary Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  19. ASSEMBLY OF PROTOPLANETARY DISKS AND INCLINATIONS OF CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Foucart, Francois; Lai, Dong

    2013-02-10

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

  20. Transiting circumbinary planets Kepler-34 b and Kepler-35 b.

    PubMed

    Welsh, William F; Orosz, Jerome A; Carter, Joshua A; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B; Lissauer, Jack J; Prša, Andrej; Quinn, Samuel N; Ragozzine, Darin; Short, Donald R; Torres, Guillermo; Winn, Joshua N; Doyle, Laurance R; Barclay, Thomas; Batalha, Natalie; Bloemen, Steven; Brugamyer, Erik; Buchhave, Lars A; Caldwell, Caroline; Caldwell, Douglas A; Christiansen, Jessie L; Ciardi, David R; Cochran, William D; Endl, Michael; Fortney, Jonathan J; Gautier, Thomas N; Gilliland, Ronald L; Haas, Michael R; Hall, Jennifer R; Holman, Matthew J; Howard, Andrew W; Howell, Steve B; Isaacson, Howard; Jenkins, Jon M; Klaus, Todd C; Latham, David W; Li, Jie; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Mazeh, Tsevi; Quintana, Elisa V; Robertson, Paul; Shporer, Avi; Steffen, Jason H; Windmiller, Gur; Koch, David G; Borucki, William J

    2012-01-11

    Most Sun-like stars in the Galaxy reside in gravitationally bound pairs of stars (binaries). Although long anticipated, the existence of a 'circumbinary planet' orbiting such a pair of normal stars was not definitively established until the discovery of the planet transiting (that is, passing in front of) Kepler-16. Questions remained, however, about the prevalence of circumbinary planets and their range of orbital and physical properties. Here we report two additional transiting circumbinary planets: Kepler-34 (AB)b and Kepler-35 (AB)b, referred to here as Kepler-34 b and Kepler-35 b, respectively. Each is a low-density gas-giant planet on an orbit closely aligned with that of its parent stars. Kepler-34 b orbits two Sun-like stars every 289 days, whereas Kepler-35 b orbits a pair of smaller stars (89% and 81% of the Sun's mass) every 131 days. The planets experience large multi-periodic variations in incident stellar radiation arising from the orbital motion of the stars. The observed rate of circumbinary planets in our sample implies that more than ∼1% of close binary stars have giant planets in nearly coplanar orbits, yielding a Galactic population of at least several million.

  1. Searching for circumbinary planets with CB-BLS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ofir, Aviv

    2015-08-01

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

  2. Circumbinary planets - II. When transits come and go

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, David V.

    2017-03-01

    Circumbinary planets are generally more likely to transit than equivalent single-star planets, but practically the geometry and orbital dynamics of circumbinary planets make the chance of observing a transit inherently time-dependent. In this follow-up paper to Martin & Triaud (2015), the time-dependence is probed deeper by analytically calculating when and for how long the binary and planet orbits overlap, allowing for transits to occur. The derived equations are applied to the known transiting circumbinary planets found by Kepler to predict when future transits will occur, and whether they will be observable by upcoming space telescopes TESS, CHEOPS and PLATO. The majority of these planets spend less than 50 per cent of their time in a transiting configuration, some less than 20 per cent. From this it is calculated that the known Kepler eclipsing binaries likely host an additional ∼17-30 circumbinary planets that are similar to the 10 published discoveries, and they will ultimately transit someday, potentially during the TESS and PLATO surveys.

  3. Searching for circumbinary planets with CB-BLS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ofir, Aviv

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Meschiari, Stefano

    2012-12-10

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

  5. Transits of planets with small intervals in circumbinary systems

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-01

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

  6. FORMATION OF CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS IN A DEAD ZONE

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-08-10

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

  7. An Analytic Theory for the Orbits of Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  8. AN ANALYTIC THEORY FOR THE ORBITS OF CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-02-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-10

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-10

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

  11. Planet Hunters: A Transiting Circumbinary Planet in a Quadruple Star System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Carter, Joshua A.; Welsh, William F.; Fischer, Debra A.; Torres, Guillermo; Howard, Andrew W.; Crepp, Justin R.; Keel, William C.; Lintott, Chris J.; Kaib, Nathan A.; Terrell, Dirk; Gagliano, Robert; Jek, Kian J.; Parrish, Michael; Smith, Arfon M.; Lynn, Stuart; Simpson, Robert J.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Schawinski, Kevin

    2013-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  13. SPOTS: Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars A Direct Imaging Survey for Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thalmann, C.; Desidera, S.; Bergfors, C.; Boccaletti, A.; Bonavita, M.; Carson, J. C.; Feldt, M.; Goto, M.; Henning, T.; Janson, M.; Mordasini, C.

    2013-09-01

    Over the last decade, a vast amount of effort has been poured into gaining a better understanding of the fre- quency and diversity of extrasolar planets. Yet, most of these studies focus on single stars, leaving the population of planets in multiple systems poorly explored. This investigational gap persists despite the fact that both theoretical and observational evidence suggest that such systems represent a significant fraction of the overall planet population. With SPOTS, the Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars, we are now carrying out the first direct imaging campaign dedicated to circumbinary planets. Our long-term goals are to survey 66 spectroscopic binaries in H-band with VLT NaCo and VLT SPHERE over the course of 4-5 years. This will establish first constraints on the wide-orbit circumbinary planet population, and may yield the spectacular first image of a bona fide circumbinary planet. Here we report on the results of the first two years of the SPOTS survey, as well as on our ongoing observation program.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-10-20

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

  15. On the Orbit of the Circumbinary Planet Kepler-16b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Man Hoi; Leung, C. K.

    2012-05-01

    The orbit of the circumbinary planet Kepler-16b is significantly non-Keplerian because of the large secondary-to-primary mass ratio (0.29) and orbital eccentricity (0.15) of the binary, as well as the proximity of the planet to the binary (orbital period ratio 5.6). We present an analytic theory which models the motion of the planet (treated as a test particle) by the superposition of the circular motion of a guiding center, the forced oscillations due to the non-axisymmetric components of the binary's potential, the epicyclic motion, and the vertical motion. In this analytic theory, the periapse and ascending node of the planet precess at nearly equal rates in opposite directions, and the largest forced oscillation term corresponds to a forced eccentricity of 0.035. The nodal precession period (42 years) found in direct numerical orbit integration is in excellent agreement with the analytic theory, while the periapse precession period (49 years) and forced eccentricity (0.038) are slightly larger than the analytic values. The comparison with direct numerical orbit integration also shows that the planet's orbit has a nonzero epicyclic (or free) eccentricity of 0.027. This work is supported in part by Hong Kong RGC grant HKU 7034/09P.

  16. Is There a Circumbinary Planet around NSVS 14256825?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nasiroglu, Ilham; Goździewski, Krzysztof; Słowikowska, Aga; Krzeszowski, Krzysztof; Żejmo, Michał; Zola, Staszek; Er, Huseyin; Ogłoza, Waldemar; Dróżdż, Marek; Koziel-Wierzbowska, Dorota; Debski, Bartlomiej; Karaman, Nazli

    2017-03-01

    The cyclic behavior of (O–C) residuals of eclipse timings in the sdB+M eclipsing binary NSVS 14256825 was previously attributed to one or two Jovian-type circumbinary planets. We report 83 new eclipse timings that not only fill in the gaps in those already published but also extend the time span of the (O–C) diagram by three years. Based on the archival and our new data spanning over more than 17 years, we re-examined the up-to-date system (O–C). The data revealed a systematic, quasi-sinusoidal variation deviating from an older linear ephemeris by about 100 s. It also exhibits a maximum in the (O–C) near JD 2,456,400 that was previously unknown. We consider two most credible explanations of the (O–C) variability: the light propagation time due to the presence of an invisible companion in a distant circumbinary orbit, and magnetic cycles reshaping one of the binary components, known as the Applegate or Lanza–Rodonó effect. We found that the latter mechanism is unlikely due to the insufficient energy budget of the M-dwarf secondary. In the framework of the third-body hypothesis, we obtained meaningful constraints on the Keplerian parameters of a putative companion and its mass. Our best-fitting model indicates that the observed quasi-periodic (O–C) variability can be explained by the presence of a brown dwarf with the minimal mass of 15 Jupiter masses rather than a planet, orbiting the binary in a moderately elliptical orbit (e≃ 0.175) with a period of ∼10 years. Our analysis rules out the two-planet model proposed earlier.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-30

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

  18. The First Circumbinary Planet Found by Microlensing: OGLE-2007-BLG-349L(AB)c

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, D. P.; Rhie, S. H.; Udalski, A.; Gould, A.; Tsapras, Y.; Kubas, D.; Bond, I. A.; Greenhill, J.; Cassan, A.; Rattenbury, N. J.; Boyajian, T. S.; Luhn, J.; Penny, M. T.; Anderson, J.; Abe, F.; Bhattacharya, A.; Botzler, C. S.; Donachie, M.; Freeman, M.; Fukui, A.; Hirao, Y.; Itow, Y.; Koshimoto, N.; Li, M. C. A.; Suzuki, Daisuke

    2016-01-01

    We present the analysis of the first circumbinary planet microlensing event, OGLE-2007-BLG-349. This event has a strong planetary signal that is best fit with a mass ratio of q approx. = 3.4×10(exp -4), but there is an additional signal due to an additional lens mass, either another planet or another star. We find acceptable light-curve fits with two classes of models: two-planet models (with a single host star) and circumbinary planet models. The light curve also reveals a significant microlensing parallax effect, which constrains the mass of the lens system to be M(sub L) approx. = 0.7 Stellar Mass. Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images resolve the lens and source stars from their neighbors and indicate excess flux due to the star(s) in the lens system. This is consistent with the predicted flux from the circumbinary models, where the lens mass is shared between two stars, but there is not enough flux to be consistent with the two-planet, one-star models. So, only the circumbinary models are consistent with the HST data. They indicate a planet of mass m(sub c) = 80 +/- 13 Stellar Mass, orbiting a pair of M dwarfs with masses of M(sub A) = 0.41+/- 0.07 and M(sub B) = 0.30 +/- 0.07, which makes this the lowest-mass circumbinary planet system known. The ratio of the separation between the planet and the center of mass to the separation of the two stars is approx.40, so unlike most of the circumbinary planets found by Kepler, the planet does not orbit near the stability limit.

  19. The First Circumbinary Planet Found by Microlensing: OGLE-2007-BLG-349L(AB)c

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, D. P.; Rhie, S. H.; Udalski, A.; Gould, A.; Tsapras, Y.; Kubas, D.; Bond, I. A.; Greenhill, J.; Cassan, A.; Rattenbury, N. J.; Boyajian, T. S.; Luhn, J.; Penny, M. T.; Anderson, J.; Abe, F.; Bhattacharya, A.; Botzler, C. S.; Donachie, M.; Freeman, M.; Fukui, A.; Hirao, Y.; Itow, Y.; Koshimoto, N.; Li, M. C. A.; Ling, C. H.; Masuda, K.; Matsubara, Y.; Muraki, Y.; Nagakane, M.; Ohnishi, K.; Oyokawa, H.; Perrott, Y. C.; Saito, To.; Sharan, A.; Sullivan, D. J.; Sumi, T.; Suzuki, D.; Tristram, P. J.; Yonehara, A.; Yock, P. C. M.; MOA Collaboration; Szymański, M. K.; Soszyński, I.; Ulaczyk, K.; Wyrzykowski, Ł.; OGLE Collaboration; Allen, W.; DePoy, D.; Gal-Yam, A.; Gaudi, B. S.; Han, C.; Monard, I. A. G.; Ofek, E.; Pogge, R. W.; μFUN Collaboration; Street, R. A.; Bramich, D. M.; Dominik, M.; Horne, K.; Snodgrass, C.; Steele, I. A.; Robonet Collaboration; Albrow, M. D.; Bachelet, E.; Batista, V.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Brillant, S.; Caldwell, J. A. R.; Cole, A.; Coutures, C.; Dieters, S.; Dominis Prester, D.; Donatowicz, J.; Fouqué, P.; Hundertmark, M.; Jørgensen, U. G.; Kains, N.; Kane, S. R.; Marquette, J.-B.; Menzies, J.; Pollard, K. R.; Ranc, C.; Sahu, K. C.; Wambsganss, J.; Williams, A.; Zub, M.; PLANET Collaboration

    2016-11-01

    We present the analysis of the first circumbinary planet microlensing event, OGLE-2007-BLG-349. This event has a strong planetary signal that is best fit with a mass ratio of q ≈ 3.4 × 10-4, but there is an additional signal due to an additional lens mass, either another planet or another star. We find acceptable light-curve fits with two classes of models: two-planet models (with a single host star) and circumbinary planet models. The light curve also reveals a significant microlensing parallax effect, which constrains the mass of the lens system to be M L ≈ 0.7 {M}⊙ . Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images resolve the lens and source stars from their neighbors and indicate excess flux due to the star(s) in the lens system. This is consistent with the predicted flux from the circumbinary models, where the lens mass is shared between two stars, but there is not enough flux to be consistent with the two-planet, one-star models. So, only the circumbinary models are consistent with the HST data. They indicate a planet of mass m c = 80 ± 13 {M}\\oplus , orbiting a pair of M dwarfs with masses of M A = 0.41 ± 0.07 and M B = 0.30 ± 0.07, which makes this the lowest-mass circumbinary planet system known. The ratio of the separation between the planet and the center of mass to the separation of the two stars is ˜40, so unlike most of the circumbinary planets found by Kepler, the planet does not orbit near the stability limit.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-01-20

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

  1. The role of disc self-gravity in circumbinary planet systems - I. Disc structure and evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mutter, Matthew M.; Pierens, Arnaud; Nelson, Richard P.

    2017-03-01

    We present the results of two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of self-gravitating circumbinary discs around binaries whose parameters match those of the circumbinary planet-hosting systems Kepler-16, Kepler-34 and Kepler-35. Previous work has shown that non-self-gravitating discs in these systems form an eccentric precessing inner cavity due to tidal truncation by the binary, and planets which form at large radii migrate until stalling at this cavity. Whilst this scenario appears to provide a natural explanation for the observed orbital locations of the circumbinary planets, previous simulations have failed to match the observed planet orbital parameters. The aim of this work is to examine the role of self-gravity in modifying circumbinary disc structure as a function of disc mass, prior to considering the evolution of embedded circumbinary planets. In agreement with previous work, we find that for disc masses between one and five times the minimum mass solar nebula (MMSN), disc self-gravity affects modest changes in the structure and evolution of circumbinary discs. Increasing the disc mass to 10 or 20 MMSN leads to two dramatic changes in disc structure. First, the scale of the inner cavity shrinks substantially, bringing its outer edge closer to the binary. Secondly, in addition to the eccentric inner cavity, additional precessing eccentric ring-like features develop in the outer regions of the discs. If planet formation starts early in the disc lifetime, these changes will have a significant impact on the formation and evolution of planets and precursor material.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Rafikov, Roman R.

    2013-02-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brakensiek, Joshua; Ragozzine, D.

    2012-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, Nader

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Kepler Circumbinary Planet KIC 9632895b: Implications of Planet’s Orbital Inclination for its Origin and Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, Nader; Orosz, Jerome; welsh, William

    2014-11-01

    To date, there are eight published transiting circumbinary planets (CBPs) discovered by the Kepler space telescope. The transiting nature of these objects unambiguously confirms their presence as the third orbiting body. The detection of multiple transits in these systems points to the co-planarity of the planet-binary orbits. However, due to dynamical interactions, the orbit of a transiting CBP may develop slight inclination and the planet may not always transit. The planet KIC 9632895b is one of such CBPs. The photodynamical models predict the inclinations of the planet and binary oscillate with a period of approximately 100 years. In this rocking back and forth, the orbital inclination of the planet varies by a few degrees causing the planet to be outside the transit-visible window for more than about 90% of the times. An interesting implication of this finding is that because of the limitations in the duration of observations, for every CBP system that transits (similar to KIC 9632895), there are approximately 12 similar systems that do not transit (therefore, we do not see them). This occasional transit phenomenon has immediate implications for the formation, dynamical evolution, and population of CBPs. Combined with the fact that the majority of the currently known CBPs are close to the boundary of orbital stability, this suggests that, similar to planet formation around single stars, CBPs form in multiples and at large distances in the circumbinary disk. These planets may migrate through their interactions with the disk, and may be scattered into inclined orbits via planet-planet scattering. The fact that such CBPs transit their host binaries for only a certain amount of time strongly implies that many more CBPs may exist in each of these systems. I will discuss the KIC 9632895 system in detail with emphasis on the models of the formation, migration, and dynamical evolution of planets around binary stars.

  6. DETECTION OF SHARP SYMMETRIC FEATURES IN THE CIRCUMBINARY DISK AROUND AK Sco

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Meschiari, Stefano

    2012-06-10

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

  9. Stable five-body orbits in the Kepler-47 exoplanet system: Predicting stable orbits of a possible third circumbinary planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinse, Tobias Cornelius

    2014-09-01

    Kepler-47 is the first multi-body circumbinary planetary system detected by the Kepler space telescope. The two planets were detected by the transit method. In the discovery paper, the authors report on the presence of an additional transit-like signal in their data set, which cannot be explained by a four-body (binary + 2 planets) system. Therefore, it is likely that the unexplained signal could be due to a third planet. I will present recent results from a dynamical investigation of the five-body system (binary + 3 planets). We have applied the MEGNO technique to detect regions of quasi- or near-quasi-periodic orbits of a hypothetical third planet. Quasiperiodic regions exist for a third planet and the long-term stability has been tested. Although the existence of a third planet is most likely to be confirmed from transit photometry we calculate transit-timing variation (TTV) signals due to the third planet, which also can be used to infer its presence.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-09-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-02-15

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

  13. Climate variations on Earth-like circumbinary planets.

    PubMed

    Popp, Max; Eggl, Siegfried

    2017-04-06

    The discovery of planets orbiting double stars at close distances has sparked increasing scientific interest in determining whether Earth-analogues can remain habitable in such environments and how their atmospheric dynamics is influenced by the rapidly changing insolation. In this work we present results of the first three-dimensional numerical experiments of a water-rich planet orbiting a double star. We find that the periodic forcing of the atmosphere has a noticeable impact on the planet's climate. Signatures of the forcing frequencies related to the planet's as well as to the binary's orbital periods are present in a variety of climate indicators such as temperature and precipitation, making the interpretation of potential observables challenging. However, for Earth-like greenhouse gas concentrations, the variable forcing does not change the range of insolation values allowing for habitable climates substantially.

  14. Climate variations on Earth-like circumbinary planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popp, Max; Eggl, Siegfried

    2017-04-01

    The discovery of planets orbiting double stars at close distances has sparked increasing scientific interest in determining whether Earth-analogues can remain habitable in such environments and how their atmospheric dynamics is influenced by the rapidly changing insolation. In this work we present results of the first three-dimensional numerical experiments of a water-rich planet orbiting a double star. We find that the periodic forcing of the atmosphere has a noticeable impact on the planet's climate. Signatures of the forcing frequencies related to the planet's as well as to the binary's orbital periods are present in a variety of climate indicators such as temperature and precipitation, making the interpretation of potential observables challenging. However, for Earth-like greenhouse gas concentrations, the variable forcing does not change the range of insolation values allowing for habitable climates substantially.

  15. The Eccentric Response of Kepler's Circumbinary Planets to Common-Envelope Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Keavin; Veselin B. Kostov, Daniel Tamayo, Ray Jayawardhana, Stephen A. Rinehart

    2016-10-01

    Inspired by the recent Kepler discoveries of circumbinary planets orbiting close binary stars, we explore the fate of the former as the latter evolve off the main sequence. By combining binary stellar evolutionary models and dynamical simulations using numerical integration, we study the orbital evolution of these planets as a result of the common-envelope stages of their host binaries. Half of the Kepler systems experiences at least one common-envelope stage using their default physical parameters. During the common-envelope stage, the binary stars either shrink to very short orbits or coalesce; one system may trigger a double-degenerate supernova explosion. As the common-envelope stage is a complex and still-uncertain process, we test multiple efficiency parameters for each system. Much of the uncertainty in circumbinary systems is believed to be a result of tidal effects, and so we also vary the tides within our simulations. We find that, for common-envelope mass-loss rates of 1 solar mass per year, their planets predominantly remain gravitationally bound to the system at the end of this stage, migrate to larger orbits, and gain significant eccentricity. This orbital expansion can be up to an order of magnitude, and occurs over the course of a single planetary orbit. Some systems retain their planets even in the runaway regime of instantaneous mass loss. For slower mass loss rates of 0.1 solar masses per year, our results indicate an adiabatic orbital expansion for all except Kepler-1647, where this mass loss corresponds to the transition regime. Interestingly, the planets can experience both adiabatic and non-adiabatic orbital expansion if the host binaries experience multiple common-envelope stages (i.e. Kepler-1647); multiplanet circumbinary systems like Kepler-47 can experience both modes simultaneously during the same common-envelope stage. Our results show that, unlike Mercury, a circumbinary planet with the same semi-major axis can survive the common

  16. Libration of arguments of circumbinary-planet orbits at resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubart, Joachim

    2017-02-01

    The paper refers to fictitious resonant orbits of planet type that surround both components of a binary system. In case of 16 studied examples a suitable choice of the starting values leads to a process of libration of special angular arguments and to an evolution with an at least temporary stay of the planet in the resonant orbit. The ratio of the periods of revolution of the binary and a planet is equal to 1:5. Eight orbits depend on the ratio 1:5 of the masses of the binary components, but two other ratios appear as well. The basis of this study is the planar, elliptic or circular restricted problem of three bodies, but remarks at the end of the text refer to a four-body problem.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  18. On The Existence Of Earth-like Planets In The Circumbinary System Kepler-16

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quarles, Billy L.; Musielak, Z. E.; Cuntz, M.

    2012-01-01

    The newly discovered circumbinary system Kepler-16 contains a pair of low-mass stars and a Saturn-mass planet (Doyle et al. 2011) [Science 333, 1602]. A truly fascinating problem is to explore whether Earth-like planets can exist in the habitable zone (HZ) of this unique system. The HZ of this system is mainly due to the primary star and extends from 0.36 AU to 0.71 AU. We have performed extensive numerical studies of long-term orbital stability of Earth-like planets in this HZ by considering both S-type and P-type planetary orbits. The semi-major axis for S-type orbits has been determined as 0.0675 ± 0.0039 AU from the stellar primary. This distance is well inside the inner limit of habitability where the influence of the runaway greenhouse effect becomes important. Consequently, the existence of a habitable Earth-like planet in an S-type orbit is highly unlikely. However it appears possible that such a planet can exist in a P-type orbit inside the HZ thus providing a realistic possibility for long-term evolution of life in this type of system. The obtained results are of special interest because they can assist in the selection process of system candidates in future terrestrial planet search missions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostov, Veselin

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  1. CONSTRAINING THE RADIATION AND PLASMA ENVIRONMENT OF THE KEPLER CIRCUMBINARY HABITABLE-ZONE PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-02-20

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

  2. Tatooine’s Future: The Eccentric Response of Kepler’s Circumbinary Planets to Common-envelope Evolution of Their Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostov, Veselin B.; Moore, Keavin; Tamayo, Daniel; Jayawardhana, Ray; Rinehart, Stephen A.

    2016-12-01

    Inspired by the recent Kepler discoveries of circumbinary planets orbiting nine close binary stars, we explore the fate of the former as the latter evolve off the main sequence. We combine binary star evolution models with dynamical simulations to study the orbital evolution of these planets as their hosts undergo common-envelope (CE) stages, losing in the process a tremendous amount of mass on dynamical timescales. Five of the systems experience at least one Roche-lobe overflow and CE stage (Kepler-1647 experiences three), and the binary stars either shrink to very short orbits or coalesce; two systems trigger a double-degenerate supernova explosion. Kepler’s circumbinary planets predominantly remain gravitationally bound at the end of the CE phase, migrate to larger orbits, and may gain significant eccentricity; their orbital expansion can be more than an order of magnitude and can occur over the course of a single planetary orbit. The orbits these planets can reach are qualitatively consistent with those of the currently known post-CE, eclipse-time variations circumbinary candidates. Our results also show that circumbinary planets can experience both modes of orbital expansion (adiabatic and nonadiabatic) if their host binaries undergo more than one CE stage; multiplanet circumbinary systems like Kepler-47 can experience both modes during the same CE stage. Additionally, unlike Mercury orbiting the Sun, a circumbinary planet with the same semimajor axis can survive the CE evolution of a close binary star with a total mass of 1 {M}⊙ .

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-03-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-20

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

  7. Detecting Extrasolar Planets Directly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guenther, E. W.; Neuhäuser, R.; Huélamo, N.; Ott, T.; Brandner, W.; Alves, J.; Comerón, F.; Eckart, A.; Hatzes, A.

    Up to now, all extrasolar planets have been found by means of indirect methods. Direct detection of planets orbiting even the nearest stars seems at first glance to be impossible with present day equipment, because of the enormous difference in brightness between the star and the planet, and the small angular separation between them. However, young planets which are still in the contraction phase of evolution are comparatively bright in the infrared, and since many of the extrasolar planets detected have excentric orbits, where they are most of the time at a relatively large distance from the stars, the prospect of detecting young planets directly is much better. In fact, it is principle be possible to detect an extrasolar giant planet, if the planet is younger than 100 millon years, and if the distance is less than 100 pc. Three years ago we thus have embarked on a survey to observe more than one-hundred young, nearby stars in the near infrared. In this talk, we will review the status of the survey. In order to find out whether these stars have additionally a planet at a small distance from the star, we also carried out sensitive radial velocity observation of a subsample using an iodine-cell and the Echelle spectrograph of the Alfred-Jensch Telescope in Tautenburg.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Meschiari, Stefano

    2014-07-20

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

  9. Uncovering Circumbinary Planetary Architectural Properties from Selection Biases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Gongjie; Holman, Matthew J.; Tao, Molei

    2016-11-01

    Studying newly discovered circumbinary planetary systems improves our understanding of planetary system formation. Learning the architectural properties of these systems is essential for constraining the different formation mechanisms. We first revisit the stability limit of circumbinary planets. Next, we focus on eclipsing stellar binaries and obtain an analytical expression for the transit probability in a realistic setting, where a finite observation period and planetary orbital precession are included. Our understanding of the architectural properties of the currently observed transiting systems is then refined, based on Bayesian analysis and a series of tested hypotheses. We find that (1) it is not a selection bias that the innermost planets reside near the stability limit for eight of the nine observed systems, and this pile-up is consistent with a log uniform distribution of the planetary semimajor axis; (2) it is not a selection bias that the planetary and stellar orbits are nearly coplanar (≲3°), and this—along with previous studies—may imply an occurrence rate of circumbinary planets similar to that of single star systems; (3) the dominance of observed circumbinary systems with only one transiting planet may be caused by selection effects; (4) formation mechanisms involving Lidov-Kozai oscillations, which may produce misalignment and large separation between planets and stellar binaries, are consistent with the lack of transiting circumbinary planets around short-period stellar binaries, in agreement with previous studies. As a consequence of (4), eclipse timing variations may better suit the detection of planets in such configurations.

  10. Extrasolar planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  11. Circumbinary Planetary Systems at Home and Abroad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  12. Assessing circumbinary habitable zones using latitudinal energy balance modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forgan, Duncan

    2014-01-01

    Previous attempts to describe circumbinary habitable zones (HZs) have been concerned with the spatial extent of the zone, calculated analytically according to the combined radiation field of both stars. By contrast to these `spatial HZs', we present a numerical analysis of the `orbital HZ', an HZ defined as a function of planet orbital elements. This orbital HZ is better equipped to handle (for example) eccentric planet orbits, and is more directly connected to the data returned by exoplanet observations. Producing an orbital HZ requires a large number of climate simulations to be run to investigate the parameter space - we achieve this using latitudinal energy balance models, which handle the insolation of the planet by both stars (including mutual eclipses), as well as the planetary atmosphere's ability to absorb, transfer and lose heat. We present orbital HZs for several known circumbinary planetary systems: Kepler-16, Kepler-34, Kepler-35, Kepler-47 and PH-1. Generally, the orbital HZs at zero eccentricity are consistent with spatial HZs derived by other authors, although we detect some signatures of variability that coincide with resonances between the binary and planet orbital periods. We confirm that Earth-like planets around Kepler-47 with Kepler-47c's orbital parameters could possess liquid water, despite current uncertainties regarding its eccentricity. Kepler-16b is found to be outside the HZ, as well as the other circumbinary planets investigated.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-10

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

  14. Extra-solar planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shao, Michael

    1991-01-01

    Extra-solar planet detection has been a goal of astronomers for many decades. This paper describes current efforts in planet detection using interferometric techniques. At present, the Mark III long baseline interferometer has been operational for a number of years. The Mark III has achieved significant improvement in astrometric accuracy in two areas, wide angle astrometry and double star astrometry. Two new interferometers are being developed. The first is a direct combination IR interferometer, an upgrade of the UCB IR heterodyne interferometer. The second is the Keck Interferometer Array. This instrument, to be operational at the end of the decade will be a major interferometric facility, with the capability to combine coherently the light from the two 10-meter Keck telescopes as well as four 1.5-meter movable outrigger telescopes. The last project directed at planet detection is OSI, a space-based long-baseline interferometer with a planned astrometric accuracy of 1-10 microarcsec.

  15. TPF interferometer planet detection sensitivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elias, Nicholas M., II; Noecker, M. Charles

    2003-11-01

    Data-reduction algorithms for nulling interferometers can be divided into two categories, model-fitting and imaging. We deal mostly with single-Bracewell instruments because of their simplicity, even though they suffer from "nuisance sources" such as stellar leakage and exo-zodiacal light. To simplify data reduction, we work with the Fourier compo-nents of the time series. Exo-zodiacal light dominates at low frequencies. In principle, it should be possible to model the exo-zodiacal light contribution and separate it from planets using data from a single observation. In practice, however, the uncertainty in the exact form of the exo-zodiacal cloud limits our ability to model and remove its contribution. The only unambiguous way to detect planets with a single Bracewell is to observe a system multiple times through its orbit, and look for month-to-month variations in the Fourier components. To calculate the planet parameters, we discuss a cor-relation technique based on Fourier components instead of time series, in conjunction with a linearized least-squares so-lution. Because the fringe pattern on the sky is wavelength dependent, observations over multiple bandpasses signifi-cantly increases the confidence in planet detection. These algorithms may be used with other types of nulling interfer-ometers. We briefly discuss their application to dual Bracewell data.

  16. DETECTING VOLCANISM ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-15

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

  17. Progress in extra-solar planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    1991-01-01

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

  18. The Architecture of Circumbinary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smullen, Rachel; Kratter, Kaitlin M.

    2015-12-01

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

  19. A Planet Detection Tutorial and Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knoch, David; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

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

  20. Planet Detection: The Kepler Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  1. Detection of Terrestrial Planets Using Transit Photometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasdin, N. J.; Braems, I.

    2005-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Super-earth Detection and "Planet Fever"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-09-01

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

  5. Mass Flow through Gaps in Circumbinary Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artymowicz, Pawel; Lubow, Stephen H.

    1996-08-01

    We demonstrate through smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations that a circumbinary disk can supply mass to the central binary through gas streams that penetrate the disk gap without closing it. The conditions for an efficient flow typically require the disk thickness-to-radius ratio z/r >~ 0.05, if the turbulent viscosity parameter alpha is greater than 0.01. This mass flow may be important for both the individual systems and their statistics. It occurs preferentially onto the lower mass object and acts toward equalization of component masses. The less massive component may be more luminous and easier to detect, owing to its larger accretion luminosity. For eccentric binaries, the mass flow is strongly modulated in time, providing diagnostics for both the disk and the binary. In the protostellar disks, the flow could be detected as shock emission phased with the binary orbit, resulting from stream impact with the circumstellar disks and/or the young stars. In the (super)massive black hole binaries in nuclei of galaxies, the flow may result from the surrounding interstellar medium and produce nearly periodic emission, as observed in quasar OJ 287. For star-planet-disk systems, our results show that the opening of a gap around a planet is not always sufficient for the termination of its growth. This suggests that planets supplied by gas streams from protoplanetary disks may outgrow Jupiter to become "superplanets" with properties heretofore reserved for stars.

  6. Circumbinary habitability niches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  7. Microlensing detection of extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Giannini, Emanuela; Lunine, Jonathan I

    2013-05-01

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

  8. Secular and tidal evolution of circumbinary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  9. Adaptive Nulling for Interferometric Detection of Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lay, Oliver P.; Peters, Robert D.

    2010-01-01

    An adaptive-nulling method has been proposed to augment the nulling-optical- interferometry method of detection of Earth-like planets around distant stars. The method is intended to reduce the cost of building and aligning the highly precise optical components and assemblies needed for nulling. Typically, at the mid-infrared wavelengths used for detecting planets orbiting distant stars, a star is millions of times brighter than an Earth-sized planet. In order to directly detect the light from the planet, it is necessary to remove most of the light coming from the star. Nulling interferometry is one way to suppress the light from the star without appreciably suppressing the light from the planet. In nulling interferometry in its simplest form, one uses two nominally identical telescopes aimed in the same direction and separated laterally by a suitable distance. The light collected by the two telescopes is processed through optical trains and combined on a detector. The optical trains are designed such that the electric fields produced by an on-axis source (the star) are in anti-phase at the detector while the electric fields from the planet, which is slightly off-axis, combine in phase, so that the contrast ratio between the star and the planet is greatly decreased. If the electric fields from the star are exactly equal in amplitude and opposite in phase, then the star is effectively nulled out. Nulling is effective only if it is complete in the sense that it occurs simultaneously in both polarization states and at all wavelengths of interest. The need to ensure complete nulling translates to extremely tight demands upon the design and fabrication of the complex optical trains: The two telescopes must be highly symmetric, the reflectivities of the many mirrors in the telescopes and other optics must be carefully tailored, the optical coatings must be extremely uniform, sources of contamination must be minimized, optical surfaces must be nearly ideal, and alignments

  10. ON THE HABITABLE ZONES OF CIRCUMBINARY PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, Stephen R.; Hinkel, Natalie R.

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Systematic aspects of direct extrasolar planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    1988-01-01

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

  12. Detection of Extrasolar Planets by Transit Photometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  13. Detecting Earth-Mass Planets with Gravitational Microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, David P.; Rhie, Sun Hong

    1996-11-01

    We show that Earth-mass planets orbiting stars in the Galactic disk and bulge can be detected by monitoring microlensed stars in the Galactic bulge. The star and its planet act as a binary lens which generates a light curve that can differ substantially from the light curve due only to the star itself. We show that the planetary signal remains detectable for planetary masses as small as an Earth mass when realistic source star sizes are included in the light curve calculation. These planets are detectable if they reside in the "lensing zone," which is centered between 1 and 4 AU from the lensing star and spans about a factor of 2 in distance. If we require a minimum deviation of 4% from the standard point-lens microlensing light curve, then we find that more than 2% of all M⊕ planets and 10% of all 10 M⊕ in the lensing zone can be detected. If a third of all lenses have no planets, a third have 1 M⊕ planets, and the remaining third have 10 M⊕ planets then we estimate that an aggressive ground-based microlensing planet search program could find one Earth-mass planet and half a dozen 10 M⊕ planets per year.

  14. SPIRAL PATTERNS IN PLANETESIMAL CIRCUMBINARY DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Demidova, Tatiana V.; Shevchenko, Ivan I.

    2015-05-20

    Planet formation scenarios and the observed planetary dynamics in binaries pose a number of theoretical challenges, especially concerning circumbinary planetary systems. We explore the dynamical stirring of a planetesimal circumbinary disk in the epoch when the gas component disappears. For this purpose, following theoretical approaches by Heppenheimer and Moriwaki and Nakagawa, we develop a secular theory of the dynamics of planetesimals in circumbinary disks. If a binary is eccentric and its components have unequal masses, a spiral density wave is generated, engulfing the disk on a secular timescale, which may exceed 10{sup 7} yr, depending on the problem parameters. The spiral pattern is transient; thus, its observed presence may betray a system’s young age. We explore the pattern both analytically and in numerical experiments. The derived analytical spiral is a modified lituus; it matches the numerical density wave in the gas-free case perfectly. Using the smoothed particle hydrodynamics scheme, we explore the effect of residual gas on the wave propagation.

  15. MEMS-based extreme adaptive optics for planet detection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-11-18

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

  16. EXTRASOLAR BINARY PLANETS. II. DETECTABILITY BY TRANSIT OBSERVATIONS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-05-20

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

  17. Coevolution of binaries and circumbinary gaseous discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleming, David P.; Quinn, Thomas R.

    2017-01-01

    The recent discoveries of circumbinary planets by Kepler raise questions for contemporary planet formation models. Understanding how these planets form requires characterizing their formation environment, the circumbinary protoplanetary disc and how the disc and binary interact and change as a result. The central binary excites resonances in the surrounding protoplanetary disc which drive evolution in both the binary orbital elements and in the disc. To probe how these interactions impact binary eccentricity and disc structure evolution, N-body smooth particle hydrodynamics simulations of gaseous protoplanetary discs surrounding binaries based on Kepler 38 were run for 104 binary periods for several initial binary eccentricities. We find that nearly circular binaries weakly couple to the disc via a parametric instability and excite disc eccentricity growth. Eccentric binaries strongly couple to the disc causing eccentricity growth for both the disc and binary. Discs around sufficiently eccentric binaries which strongly couple to the disc develop an m = 1 spiral wave launched from the 1:3 eccentric outer Lindblad resonance which corresponds to an alignment of gas particle longitude of periastrons. All systems display binary semimajor axis decay due to dissipation from the viscous disc.

  18. Kepler Mission to Detect Earth-like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kondo, Yoji

    2002-01-01

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

  19. Kepler Mission to Detect Earth-like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kondo, Yoji

    2003-01-01

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

  20. Developments in Planet Detection using Transit Timing Variations

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-12-01

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

  1. Possibilities for the Detection of Microbial Life on Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knacke, Roger F.

    2003-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Knacke, Roger F

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Video Gallery

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Diagrams of stability of circumbinary planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popova, Elena

    2014-07-01

    The stability diagrams in the ``pericentric distance - eccentricity'' plane of initial data are built and analyzed for Kepler-38, Kepler-47, and Kepler-64 (PH1). This completes a survey of stability of the known up to now circumbinary planetary systems, initiated by Popova & Shevchenko (2013), where the analysis was performed for Kepler-16, 34, and 35. In the diagrams, the planets appear to be ``embedded'' in the fractal chaos border; however, I make an attempt to measure the ``distance'' to the chaos border in a physically consistent way. The obtained distances are compared to those given by the widely used numerical-experimental criterion by Holman & Wiegert (1999), who employed smooth polynomial approximations to describe the border. I identify the resonance cells, hosting the planets.

  6. On the stability of circumbinary planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  7. Extrasolar planets detections and statistics through gravitational microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassan, A.

    2014-10-01

    Gravitational microlensing was proposed thirty years ago as a promising method to probe the existence and properties of compact objects in the Galaxy and its surroundings. The particularity and strength of the technique is based on the fact that the detection does not rely on the detection of the photon emission of the object itself, but on the way its mass affects the path of light of a background, almost aligned source. Detections thus include not only bright, but also dark objects. Today, the many successes of gravitational microlensing have largely exceeded the original promises. Microlensing contributed important results and breakthroughs in several astrophysical fields as it was used as a powerful tool to probe the Galactic structure (proper motions, extinction maps), to search for dark and compact massive objects in the halo and disk of the Milky Way, to probe the atmospheres of bulge red giant stars, to search for low-mass stars and brown dwarfs and to hunt for extrasolar planets. As an extrasolar planet detection method, microlensing nowadays stands in the top five of the successful observational techniques. Compared to other (complementary) detection methods, microlensing provides unique information on the population of exoplanets, because it allows the detection of very low-mass planets (down to the mass of the Earth) at large orbital distances from their star (0.5 to 10 AU). It is also the only technique that allows the discovery of planets at distances from Earth greater than a few kiloparsecs, up to the bulge of the Galaxy. Microlensing discoveries include the first ever detection of a cool super-Earth around an M-dwarf star, the detection of several cool Neptunes, Jupiters and super-Jupiters, as well as multi-planetary systems and brown dwarfs. So far, the least massive planet detected by microlensing has only three times the mass of the Earth and orbits a very low mass star at the edge of the brown dwarf regime. Several free-floating planetary

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-05-01

    We analyze 8 years of precise radial velocity measurements from the Keck Planet Search, characterizing the detection threshold, selection effects, and completeness of the survey. We first carry out a systematic search for planets, by assessing the false-alarm probability associated with Keplerian orbit fits to the data. This allows us to understand the detection threshold for each star in terms of the number and time baseline of the observations, and the underlying “noise” from measurement errors, intrinsic stellar jitter, or additional low-mass planets. We show that all planets with orbital periods P < 2000 days, velocity amplitudes K > 20 m s-1, and eccentricities e ≲ 0.6 have been announced, and we summarize the candidates at lower amplitudes and longer orbital periods. For the remaining stars, we calculate upper limits on the velocity amplitude of a companion. For orbital periods less than the duration of the observations, these are typically 10 m s-1 and increase ∝ P2 for longer periods. We then use the nondetections to derive completeness corrections at low amplitudes and long orbital periods and discuss the resulting distribution of minimum mass and orbital period. We give the fraction of stars with a planet as a function of minimum mass and orbital period and extrapolate to long-period orbits and low planet masses. A power-law fit for planet masses >0.3 MJ and periods < 2000 days gives a mass-period distribution dN = CMα Pβ d ln Md ln P with α = -0.31 ± 0.2, β = 0.26 ± 0.1, and the normalization constant C such that 10.5% of solar type stars have a planet with mass in the range 0.3–10 MJ and orbital period 2–2000 days. The orbital period distribution shows an increase in the planet fraction by a factor of ≈5 for orbital periods ≳300 days. Extrapolation gives 17%–20% of stars having gas giant planets within 20 AU. Finally, we constrain the occurrence rate of planets orbiting M dwarfs compared to FGK dwarfs, taking into account

  9. Kepler planet-detection mission: introduction and first results.

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-19

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Direct detection of extrasolar planets with the eXtreme Adaptive Optics Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintosh, B. A.; Graham, J. R.; Duchene, G.; Jones, S.; Kalas, P.; Lloyd, J.; Makidon, R. B.; Olivier, S.; Palmer, D.; Perrin, M.; Poyneer, L.; Sheinis, A.; Sivaramakrishnan, A.; Severson, S.; Sommargren, G.; Troy, M.; Wallace, J. K.

    2003-05-01

    Current radial-velocity searches for extrasolar planets, though powerful, are fundamentally constrained in the range of orbits they can access by the need for a near-complete orbital period: the largest detectable semi-major axis only grows with time to the 2/3 power. In the next several decades, radial velocity detection will barely reach planets with orbits comparable to Saturn. However, planets in our solar system exist at wider separations and dusty disks frequently exceed 100 AU, some with evidence for perturbing planets in wide orbits. To probe the 5-100 AU range different techniques are needed. Direct detection of photons emitted by extrasolar planets is one such technique, but requires contrast levels of 107-109 at near-infrared wavelengths. We have designed an adaptive optics (AO) system capable of reaching these contrasts. XAOPI, the eXtreme Adaptive Optics Planet Imager, is a proposed 4096-actuator adaptive optics system for an 8-10m telescope. It will achieve Strehl ratios >0.9, and is optimized to remove scattered light from 0.2-1 arcseconds, even light scattered by errors in a segmented primary mirror. Simulations predict that it will achieve contrast ratios of 107 -108 for target stars with R<7. Monte Carlo analysis of target samples shows that this allows detection of near-IR emission from warm extrasolar planets younger and/or more massive than Jupiter around a significant sample of target stars. We will examine the scientific rationale for, and capabilities of, this proposed instrument. This work has been supported by the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Adaptive Optics, managed by the University of California at Santa Cruz under cooperative agreement No. AST - 987 Portions of this work were also performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration by the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract No. W-7405-Eng-48.

  12. The Automated Planet Finder telescope's automation and first three years of planet detections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burt, Jennifer

    2016-08-01

    The Automated Planet Finder (APF) is a 2.4m, f/15 telescope located at the UCO's Lick Observatory, atop Mt. Hamilton. The telescope has been specifically optimized to detect and characterize extrasolar planets via high precision, radial velocity (RV) observations using the high-resolution Levy echelle spectrograph. The telescope has demonstrated world-class internal precision levels of 1 m/s when observing bright, RV standard stars. Observing time on the telescope is divided such that ˜80% is spent on exoplanet related research and the remaining ˜20% is made available to the University of California consortium for other science goals. The telescope achieved first light in 2013, and this work describes the APF's early science achievements and its transition from a traditional observing approach to a fully autonomous facility. First we provide a characteristic look at the APF telescope and the Levy spectrograph, focusing on the stability of the instrument and its performance on RV standard stars. Second, we describe the design and implementation of the dynamic scheduling software which has been running our team's nightly observations on the APF for the past year. Third, we discuss the detection of a Neptune-mass planet orbiting the nearby, low-mass star GL687 by the APF in collaboration with the HIRES instrument on Keck I. Fourth, we summarize the APF's detection of two multi-planet systems: the four planet system orbiting HD 141399 and the 6 planet system orbiting HD 219134. Fifth, we expand our science focus to assess the impact that the APF - with the addition of a new, time-varying prioritization scheme to the telescope's dynamic scheduling software - can have on filling out the exoplanet Mass-Radius diagram when pursuing RV follow-up of transiting planets detected by NASA's TESS satellite. Finally, we outline some likely next science goals for the telescope.

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

    PubMed

    Doughty, Christopher E; Wolf, Adam

    2010-11-01

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

  14. Adaptive optics for direct detection of extrasolar planets: the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James; Palmer, David; Doyon, Rene; Gavel, Don; Larkin, James; Oppenheimer, Ben; Saddlemyer, Leslie; Wallace, J. Kent; Bauman, Brian; Erikson, Darren; Poyneer, Lisa; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Soummer, Rémi; Veran, Jean-Pierre

    2007-04-01

    The direct detection of photons emitted or reflected by extrasolar planets, spatially resolved from their parent star, is a major frontier in the study of other solar systems. Direct detection will provide statistical information on planets in 5 50 AU orbits, inaccessible to current Doppler searches, and allow spectral characterization of radius, temperature, surface gravity, and perhaps composition. Achieving this will require new, dedicated, high-contrast instruments. One such system under construction is the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). This combines a high-order/high-speed adaptive optics system to control wavefront errors from the Earth's atmosphere, an advanced coronagraph to block diffraction, ultrasmooth optics, a precision infrared interferometer to measure and correct systematic errors, and a integral field spectrograph/polarimeter to image and characterize target planetary systems. We predict that GPI will be able to detect planets with brightness less than 10-7 of their parent star, sufficient to observe warm self-luminous planets around a large population of targets. To cite this article: B. Macintosh et al., C. R. Physique 8 (2007).

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-04-24

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

  16. Detection of the Magnetospheric Emissions from Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazio, J.

    2014-12-01

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

  17. High Probabilities of Planet Detection during Microlensing Events.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peale, S. J.

    2000-10-01

    The averaged probability of detecting a planetary companion of a lensing star during a gravitational microlensing event toward the Galactic center when the planet-lens mass ratio is 0.001 is shown to have a maximum exceeding 20% for a distribution of source-lens impact parameters that is determined by the efficiency of event detection, and a maximum exceeding 10% for a uniform distribution of impact parameters. The probability varies as the square root of the planet-lens mass ratio. A planet is assumed detectable if the perturbation of the light curve exceeds 2/(S/N) for a significant number of data points, where S/N is the signal-to noise ratio for the photometry of the source. The probability peaks at a planetary semimajor axis a that is close to the mean Einstein ring radius of the lenses of about 2 AU along the line of sight, and remains significant for 0.6<= a<= 10 AU. The low value of the mean Einstein ring radius results from the dominance of M stars in the mass function of the lenses. The probability is averaged over the distribution of the projected position of the planet onto the lens plane, over the lens mass function, over the distribution of impact parameters, over the distribution of lens along the line of sight to the source star, over the I band luminosity function of the sources adjusted for the source distance, and over the source distribution along the line of sight. If two or more parameters of the lensing event are known, such as the I magnitude of the source and the impact parameter, the averages over these parameters can be omitted and the probability of detection determined for a particular event. The calculated probabilities behave as expected with variations in the line of sight, the mass function of the lenses, the extinction and distance to and magnitude of the source, and with a more demanding detection criterion. The relatively high values of the probabilities are robust to plausible variations in the assumptions. The high

  18. Detection of extrasolar planets by the large deployable reflector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hollenbach, D. J.; Takahashi, T.

    1984-01-01

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

  19. Spectral Astrometry Mission for Planets Detection

    SciTech Connect

    Erskine, D J; Edelstein, J

    2002-08-09

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

  20. Planet Hunters, Undergraduate Research, and Detection of Extrasolar Planet Kepler-818 b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, David; Crannell, Graham; Duncan, James; Hays, Aryn; Hendrix, Landon

    2017-01-01

    Detection of extrasolar planets provides an excellent research opportunity for undergraduate students. In Spring 2012, we searched for transiting extrasolar planets using Kepler spacecraft data in our Research Experience in Physics course at Austin College. Offered during the regular academic year, these Research Experience courses engage students in the scientific process, including proposal writing, paper submission, peer review, and oral presentations. Since 2004, over 190 undergraduate students have conducted authentic scientific research through Research Experience courses at Austin College.Zooniverse’s citizen science Planet Hunters web site offered an efficient method for rapid analysis of Kepler data. Light curves from over 5000 stars were analyzed, of which 2.3% showed planetary candidates already tagged by the Kepler team. Another 1.5% of the light curves suggested eclipsing binary stars, and 1.6% of the light curves had simulated planets for training purposes.One of the stars with possible planetary transits had not yet been listed as a planetary candidate. We reported possible transits for Kepler ID 4282872, which later was promoted to planetary candidate KOI-1325 in 2012 and confirmed to host extrasolar planet Kepler-818 b in 2016 (Morton et al. 2016). Kepler-818 b is a “hot Neptune” with period 10.04 days, flux decrease during transit ~0.4%, planetary radius 4.69 Earth radii, and semi-major axis 0.089 au.

  1. The photometric method of extrasolar planet detection revisited

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hale, Alan; Doyle, Laurance R.

    1994-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Grant M.

    2015-02-01

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

  3. Animation: A Binary and Its Planets

    NASA Video Gallery

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, N.

    2015-07-01

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

  6. High throughput interferometric Doppler technique for planet detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahadevan, Suvrath

    We have developed a novel instrument called the Exoplanet Tracker (ET) that can measure precise differential radial velocities, as well as barycentric radial velocities. ET is installed at the Kitt Peak 2.1 meter telescope and uses a Michelson interferometer in series with a medium resolution spectrograph. This instrument allows stellar radial velocities to be measured precisely without the use of a high resolution spectrograph. This allows the instrument to be very efficient in collecting light from the telescope. ET can achieve a radial velocity precision of 5-10 m s-1 over a 10 day observing run. A survey for extrasolar planets using the ET instrument has led to the detection of radial velocity variability for the star HD102195. Using photometry, CaII HK measurements, and precision radial velocities we demonstrate that these radial velocity variations are caused by a giant planet in a 4.11 day orbit around HD102195. A prototype monolithic interferometer has also been built for the ET instrument and is capable of delivering precise radial velocities. A large multi-object radial velocity instrument based on the ET instrument has been built and installed at the wide field Sloan 2.5 m telescope. This instrument, called the W. M. Keck Exoplanet Tracker, is capable of obtaining precise radial velocities for 59 stars simultaneously. Over the next few years this multi-object instrument will be used to conduct an All Sky ExoPlanet Survey capable of efficiently searching thousands of stars for planets.

  7. Habitable Planets Eclipsing Brown Dwarfs: Strategies for Detection and Characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-10

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

  9. DETECTING OCEANS ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS USING THE GLINT EFFECT

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-09-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2003-02-07

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Holman, Matthew J; Murray, Norman W

    2005-02-25

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

  13. ON THE DETECTABILITY OF STAR-PLANET INTERACTION

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortney, Jonathan J.; Marley, Mark; Laughlin, Gregory P.; Nettelmann, Nadine; Morley, Caroline; Lupu, Roxana E.; Visscher, Channon

    2016-10-01

    We investigate the physical characteristics of the Solar System's proposed Planet Nine using modeling tools with a heritage in studying Uranus and Neptune. For a range of plausible masses and interior structures, we find upper limits on the intrinsic Teff, from ~35-50 K for masses of 5-20 M_Earth, and we also explore lower Teff values. Possible planetary radii could readily span from 2.7 to 6 R_Earth depending on the mass fraction of any H/He envelope. Given its cold temperature, the planet encounters significant methane condensation, which dramatically alters the atmosphere away from simple Neptune-like expectations. We find the atmosphere is strongly depleted in molecular absorption at visible wavelengths, suggesting a Rayleigh scattering atmosphere with a high geometric albedo approaching 0.75. We highlight two diagnostics for the atmosphere's temperature structure, the first being the value of the methane mixing ratio above the methane cloud. The second is the wavelength at which cloud scattering can be seen, which yields the cloud-top pressure. Surface reflection may be seen if the atmosphere is thin. Due to collision-induced opacity of H2 in the infrared, the planet would be extremely blue (instead of red) in the shortest wavelength WISE colors if methane is depleted, and would, in some cases, exist on the verge of detectability by WISE. For a range of models, thermal fluxes from ~3-5 microns are ~20 orders of magnitude larger than blackbody expectations. We report a search of the AllWISE Source Catalog for Planet Nine, but find no detection.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. Detection of Hot Earths by Giant Planet Transit Tming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deming, Drake; Jennings, Donald E.; Sada, Pedro

    2008-08-01

    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 25 hot Jupiters transiting stars brighter than V=13. A transit timing survey of these systems could detect hot Earths in resonance, via the large (typically 180 second) perturbations they induce on the giant planet transits. The relatively large sample now available implies that a transit timing survey is well matched to classical observing and telescope scheduling. We propose exploratory observations to perform transit photometry using the 2.1-meter/FLAMINGOS instrument in the J-band, where stellar limb darkening is minimal and transit photometry has maximum sensitivity to shifts in transit time. If our exploratory observations confirm timing precision approaching the predicted values (about 10 seconds for a typical system), we will propose additional observations in later semesters to establish a timing survey.

  17. TRANSITING PLANETS WITH LSST. II. PERIOD DETECTION OF PLANETS ORBITING 1 M{sub ⊙} HOSTS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-07-15

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will photometrically monitor ∼10{sup 9} stars for 10 years. The resulting light curves can be used to detect transiting exoplanets. In particular, as demonstrated by Lund et al., LSST will probe stellar populations currently undersampled in most exoplanet transit surveys, including out to extragalactic distances. In this paper we test the efficiency of the box-fitting least-squares (BLS) algorithm for accurately recovering the periods of transiting exoplanets using simulated LSST data. We model planets with a range of radii orbiting a solar-mass star at a distance of 7 kpc, with orbital periods ranging from 0.5 to 20 days. We find that standard-cadence LSST observations will be able to reliably recover the periods of Hot Jupiters with periods shorter than ∼3 days; however, it will remain a challenge to confidently distinguish these transiting planets from false positives. At the same time, we find that the LSST deep-drilling cadence is extremely powerful: the BLS algorithm successfully recovers at least 30% of sub-Saturn-size exoplanets with orbital periods as long as 20 days, and a simple BLS power criterion robustly distinguishes ∼98% of these from photometric (i.e., statistical) false positives.

  18. Transiting Planets with LSST. II. Period Detection of Planets Orbiting 1 M⊙ Hosts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will photometrically monitor ∼109 stars for 10 years. The resulting light curves can be used to detect transiting exoplanets. In particular, as demonstrated by Lund et al., LSST will probe stellar populations currently undersampled in most exoplanet transit surveys, including out to extragalactic distances. In this paper we test the efficiency of the box-fitting least-squares (BLS) algorithm for accurately recovering the periods of transiting exoplanets using simulated LSST data. We model planets with a range of radii orbiting a solar-mass star at a distance of 7 kpc, with orbital periods ranging from 0.5 to 20 days. We find that standard-cadence LSST observations will be able to reliably recover the periods of Hot Jupiters with periods shorter than ∼3 days; however, it will remain a challenge to confidently distinguish these transiting planets from false positives. At the same time, we find that the LSST deep-drilling cadence is extremely powerful: the BLS algorithm successfully recovers at least 30% of sub-Saturn-size exoplanets with orbital periods as long as 20 days, and a simple BLS power criterion robustly distinguishes ∼98% of these from photometric (i.e., statistical) false positives.

  19. An Infrared Telescope for Planet Detection and General Astrophysics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  20. Fabrication experiments on supersmooth optics for extrasolar planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  1. Coronagraphic Amplitude and Phase Correction for Detecting Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodgate, Bruce E.; Bowers, Charles W.

    2003-01-01

    Detection of earth-like planets around other stars using coronagraphy requires the optical beam into the coronagraph to be extremely uniform in both phase and amplitude. Errors in phase can be corrected using a deformable mirror, and error in amplitude can be corrected using a spatial light modulator, both in the pupil plan,a. These corrections can be combined using a Michelson interferometer. If amplitude corrections of only a few percent range are needed, the required accuracy of 10 (circumflex) -4 can be obtained with spatial light modulators with the modest dynamic range of 8 bits.

  2. Planet Hunters: A Status Report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Orosz, J. A.; Carter, J. A.; Fischer, D. A.; Howard, A. W.; Crepp, J. R.; Welsh, W. F.; Kaib, N. A.; Lintott, C. J.; Terrell, D.; Jek, K. J.; Gagliano, R.; Parrish, M.; Smith, A. M.; Lynn, S.; Brewer, J. M.; Giguere, M. J.; Schawinski, K.; Simpson, R. J.

    2012-10-01

    The Planet Hunters (http://www.planethunters.org) citizen science project uses the power of human pattern recognition via the World Wide Web to identify transits in the Kepler public data. Planet Hunters uses the Zooniverse (http://www.zooniverse.org) platform to present visitors to the Planet Hunters website with a randomly selected 30-day light curve segment from one of Kepler's 160,000 target stars. Volunteers are asked to draw boxes to mark the locations of visible transits with multiple independent classifiers reviewing each 30-day light curve segment. Since December 2010, more than 170,000 members of the general public have participated in Planet Hunters contributing over 12.5 million classifications searching the 1 1/2 years of publicly released Kepler observations. Planet Hunters is a novel and complementary technique to the automated transit detection algorithms, providing an independent assessment of the completeness of the Kepler exoplanet inventory. We report the latest results from Planet Hunters, highlighting in particular our latest efforts to search for circumbinary planets (planets orbiting a binary star) and single transit events in the first 1.5 years of public Kepler data. We will present a status report of our search of the first 6 Quarters of Kepler data, introducing our new planet candidates and sharing the results of our observational follow-up campaign to characterize these planetary systems. Acknowledgements: MES is supported by a NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship under award AST-1003258. This is research is supported in part by an American Philosophical Society Franklin Grant.

  3. Kepler Planet Detection Mission: Introduction and First Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mogavero, F.; Beaulieu, J. P.

    2016-01-01

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

  5. The Effects Of Stellar Activity On Detecting And Characterising Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aigrain, Suzanne; Angus, R.; Barstow, J.; Rajpaul, V.; Gillen, E.; Parviainen, H.; Pope, B.; Roberts, S.; McQuillan, A.; Gibson, N.; Mazeh, T.; Pont, F.; Zucker, S.

    2016-08-01

    Intrinsic stellar variability associated with magnetic activity, rotation and convection, affects the detection of exoplanets via the transit and radial velocity methods, and the characterisation of their atmospheres. I will review the increasingly sophisticated methods developed in the last few years to mitigate this problem, and outline how stellar variability is likely to impact the field of exoplanets in the future. Planetary transits last a few hours, much shorter than the rotational modulation of star spots (day to weeks), but smaller-scale variability is nonetheless an important limiting factor in our ability to detect transits of Earth analogs in Kepler and Plato data. In radial velocity, the problem is even more severe, as the planet's signal occurs on the orbital timescale, which can coincide with the range expected for stellar rotation periods or activity cycles - but the spectra used to extract radial velocities contain a wealth of information about stellar activity that can be used to disentangle the two types of signals. Finally, when using transits or phase curves to probe the composition and dynamics of planetary atmospheres, star spots must be accounted for very carefully, as they can mimic or mask planetary atmosphere signals. On the positive side, the sensitivity of planet search and characterisation experiments to stellar activity means that they are a treasure trove of information about stellar activity. The continued success of exoplanet surveys depends on our making the best possible use of this information.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-21

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Detecting Extrasolar Planets With Millimeter-Wave Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-01-01

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

  9. Super Smooth Optics for Extra-Solar Planet Detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Terrile, Richard J.; Ftaclas, Christ

    1989-01-01

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

  10. Planet Hunters: Kepler by Eye

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. P-type Planet–Planet Scattering: Kepler Close Binary Configurations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Yan-Xiang

    2017-01-01

    A hydrodynamical simulation shows that a circumbinary planet will migrate inward to the edge of the disk cavity. If multiple planets form in a circumbinary disk, successive migration will lead to planet–planet scattering (PPS). PPS of Kepler-like circumbinary planets is discussed in this paper. The aim of this paper is to answer how PPS affects the formation of these planets. We find that a close binary has a significant influence on the scattering process. If PPS occurs near the unstable boundary of a binary, about 10% of the systems can be completely destroyed after PPS. In more than 90% of the systems, there is only one planet left. Unlike the eccentricity distribution produced by PPS in a single star system, the surviving planets generally have low eccentricities if PPS take place near the location of the currently found circumbinary planets. In addition, the ejected planets are generally the innermost of two initial planets. The above results depend on the initial positions of the two planets. If the initial positions of the planets are moved away from the binary, the evolution tends toward statistics similar to those around single stars. In this process, the competition between the planet–planet force and the planet-binary force makes the eccentricity distribution of surviving planets diverse. These new features of P-type PPS will deepen our understanding of the formation of these circumbinary planets.

  12. Kepler Mission: Detecting Earth-sized Planets in Habitable Zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kondo, Yoji; Fisher, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The Kepler Mission, which is presently in Phase A, is being proposed for launch in 5 years for a 4-year mission to determine the frequency of Earth-sized or larger planets in habitable zones in our galaxy. Kepler will be placed in an Earth-trailing orbit to provide stable physical environments for the sensitive scientific instruments. The satellite is equipped with a photometric system with the precision of 10E-5, which should be sufficient for detecting the transits of Earth-sized or larger planets in front of dwarf stars similar to the Sun. Approximately 100,000 or more sun-like stars brighter than the 14th apparently magnitude will be monitored continuously for 4 years in a preselected region of the sky, which is about 100 square degrees in size. In addition, Kepler will have a participating scientist program that will enable research in intrinsic variable stars, interacting binaries including cataclysmic stars and X-ray binaries, and a large number of solar analogs in our galaxy. Several ten thousand additional stars may be investigated in the guest observer program open to the whole world.

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

    NASA Video Gallery

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-09-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popova, E.

    2015-08-01

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

  16. Kepler Planet Detection Mission: Introduction and First Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borucki, William J.; Koch, D.; Basri, G.; Batalha, N. M.; Brown, T.; Caldwell, D. A.; Caldwell, J.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Cochran, W.; DeVore, E.; Dunham, E.; Dupree, A.; Gautier, T.; Geary, J.; Gilliland, R.; Gould, A.; Howell, S.; Jenkins, J.; Kjeldsen, H.; Kondo, Y.; Latham, D.; Lissauer, J.; Marcy, G.; Meibom, S.; Monet, D.; Morrison, D.; Sasselov, D.; Tarter, J.

    2010-01-01

    The Kepler Mission is designed to determine the frequency of Earth-size and terrestrial size planets in and near the HZ of solar-like stars. It was competitively selected as Discovery Mission #10 and launched on March 6, 2009. Since completion of commissioning, it has continuously observed over 145,000 main sequence stars. The photometric precision reaches 20 ppm for 12th magnitude stars on the least noisy detectors in 6.5 hours. During the first month of operation, the photometer detected transit-like signatures from over 100 stars. Careful examination of these events shows many of them to be false-positives such as background eclipsing binaries. However ground-based follow up observations confirm the discovery of exoplanets with sizes ranging from 0.6 Rj to1.5Rj and orbital periods ranging from 3 to 9 days. Observations at Keck, Hobby-Eberly, Harlan-Smith, WIYN, MMT, Tillighast, Shane, and Nordic Optic telescopes are vetting many of the candidates and measuring their masses. Discovery of the HAT-P7b occultation will be used to derive atmospheric properties and demonstrates the precision necessary to detect Earth-size planets. Asteroseismic analyses of several stars show the presence of p-mode oscillations that can be used to determine stellar size and age. This effort is being organized by the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium at Aarhus University in Denmark. Stellar parallaxes are determined from the centroid motion of the stellar images and will be combined with photometric measurements to get the sizes of stars too dim for asteroseismic measurement. Four open clusters are being observed to determine rotation rates with stellar age and spectral type. Many types of stellar variability are observed with unprecedented precision and over long continuous time periods. Examples of many of these discoveries are presented. Funding by the Exoplanet Exploration Program of the NASA Astrophysics Division is gratefully acknowledged.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayor, Michel

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Progress in four-beam nulling: results from the Terrestrial Planet Finder Planet Detection Testbed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, Stefan

    2006-01-01

    The Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer (TPF-I) is a large space telescope consisting of four 4 meter diameter telescopes flying in formation in space together with a fifth beam combiner spacecraft.

  19. Progress in four-beam nulling: results from the Terrestrial Planet Finder planet detection testbed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, Stefan

    2006-01-01

    The Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer (TPF-I) is a large space telescope consisting of four 4 meter diameter telescopes flying in formation in space together with a fifth beam combiner spacecraft.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-02-19

    Sun-like stars. The habitable zone is the region where planetary temperatures are suitable for water to exist on a planet?s surface. During the first 6... planetary temperatures are suitable for water to exist on a planet’s surface. During the first 6 weeks of observations, Kepler monitored 156,000 stars...inward migration of a giant planet is expected to remove inner, smaller planets by scattering them into the star or out of the planetary system, a second

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

    PubMed

    Kasting, J F

    1996-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-18

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1996-01-01

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

  4. Warped circumbinary disks in active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-20

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

  5. Warped Circumbinary Disks in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  6. The Detection of Kepler K2 Campaigns 3 and 4 Planet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

    The K2 mission, developed to repurpose the Kepler spacecraft, is providing light curve data quality that exceeds initial K2 design specifications despite the failure of two reaction wheels. We discuss the modification of the five modules of the Kepler Science Processing Pipeline for K2 data planet transit detection. The modified pipeline was applied to K2 Campaign 3 and 4 data sets. Despite the inherently noiser K2 light curves, which are mostly due to spacecraft roll motion, the modified pipeline proved to be effective at detecting transiting planets in K2 light curves. From the Campaign 3 data set, which consists of 70 days of observations of 16,375 targets, we present a catalog of 41 planet candidates in 33 systems. We calculate stellar radii for these 33 stars to obtain initial planet parameters. The catalog contains many systems of interest, including 26 planets with radii less than four Earth radii and two three-planet systems.

  7. Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets through Mean-Motion Resonances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabeshian, Maryam; Wiegert, Paul

    2016-10-01

    Exoplanets are often detected indirectly through their influence on the light arriving from their host stars. We propose another indirect method to detect and characterize planets via their resonant interaction with debris disks. Using simulations, we show that the properties of gaps produced by mean-motion resonances with a single planet orbiting interior or exterior to the disk can help constrain the planet's mass and semimajor axis even if the planet itself remains as-yet undetected. Results published in the Astrophysical Journal (ApJ, 818, 159) will be discussed as well as a follow-up study that attempts to constrain the perturbing planet's orbital eccentricity based on its effect on the disk. Expressions that allow observers to determine the planet's mass and orbital parameters from the width, shape and location of the gaps will be presented.

  8. Astrometric Detection of Binary Companions and Planets: Acceleration of Proper Motion

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-07-14

    the ESO Symp. From Extrasolar Planets to Cosmology: The VLT Opening Symposium, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, p. 492 Appendix A: Simplified development of...Astron. Nachr./AN 324, No. 5, 419–424 (2003) / DOI 10.1002/asna.200310159 Astrometric detection of binary companions and planets : Acceleration of...period is at least several times the span of observations. We estimate orbit dimensions and distances at which low-mass companions and planets may be

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-20

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

  10. Updating the M Dwarf Planet Occurrence Rate by Injecting and Detecting Transits in Kepler Light Curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, D.

    2014-01-01

    The primary goal of the Kepler mission is to constrain the occurrence rate of planets around stars with a range of spectral types. Previously, we estimated the M dwarf planet occurrence rate by revising the stellar parameters of the Kepler M dwarfs and analyzing the first six quarters of Kepler data. We found that there are 0.90 Earth-size (0.5-1.4 Earth radius) planets with periods <50 days per small star. We also found an occurrence rate of 0.15 Earth-size planets within the habitable zone per small star, implying a most probable distance of 13 pc to the nearest transiting potentially habitable planet. Our previous estimate of the occurrence rate assumed 100% detection efficiency at SNR=7.1 sigma, but the occurrence rate would have been underestimated if the actual detection efficiency is lower. In order to more accurately model the detection efficiency, we have developed a customized transit search pipeline tailored for application to M dwarfs. We measure the detection efficiency of our pipeline by injecting known transit signals into Kepler light curves and attempting to recover the signals. We are currently conducting a search for additional transiting planets using our pipeline and will compare our list of detected candidates to the candidates found by the Kepler team. We will then combine our more sophisticated model for the detection threshold and the list of planet candidates found using an additional ten quarters of Kepler data with our revised stellar parameters to present an updated measurement of the planet occurrence rate for M dwarfs. Our revised measurement will help enable predictions of the population of planets that will be detected by ongoing and future planet surveys such as MEarth and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-10

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

  12. Detections of Planets in Binaries Through the Channel of Chang–Refsdal Gravitational Lensing Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Cheongho; Shin, In-Gu; Jung, Youn Kil

    2017-02-01

    Chang–Refsdal (C–R) lensing, which refers to the gravitational lensing of a point mass perturbed by a constant external shear, provides a good approximation in describing lensing behaviors of either a very wide or a very close binary lens. C–R lensing events, which are identified by short-term anomalies near the peak of high-magnification lensing light curves, are routinely detected from lensing surveys, but not much attention is paid to them. In this paper, we point out that C–R lensing events provide an important channel to detect planets in binaries, both in close and wide binary systems. Detecting planets through the C–R lensing event channel is possible because the planet-induced perturbation occurs in the same region of the C–R lensing-induced anomaly and thus the existence of the planet can be identified by the additional deviation in the central perturbation. By presenting the analysis of the actually observed C–R lensing event OGLE-2015-BLG-1319, we demonstrate that dense and high-precision coverage of a C–R lensing-induced perturbation can provide a strong constraint on the existence of a planet in a wide range of planet parameters. The sample of an increased number of microlensing planets in binary systems will provide important observational constraints in giving shape to the details of planet formation, which have been restricted to the case of single stars to date.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Detection and Characterization of Non-Transiting Planets from Transit Timing Variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nesvorny, David; Kipping, David; Terrell, Dirk

    2014-11-01

    The Transit Timing Variations (TTVs) can be used as a diagnostic of gravitational interactions between planets in a multi-planet system. Here we conduct a photo-dynamical analysis of several Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) that exhibit significant TTVs. We show that KOI-142, KOI-227 and KOI-319 are (at least) two planet systems. KOI-142.01's TTVs uniquely detect a non-transiting companion with a mass 0.63 that of Jupiter. KOI-142.01's mass inferred from the TTVs is consistent with the measured transit depth, suggesting a Neptune-class planet. The orbital period ratio 2.03 indicates that the two planets are just wide of the 2:1 resonance. For KOI-319 and KOI-884, the observed TTVs of the inner transiting planet are used to detect an outer non-transiting planet. The outer planet in KOI-884 is 2.6 Jupiter masses and has the orbital period just narrow of the 3:1 resonance with the inner planet (orbital period ratio 2.93). The distribution of parameters inferred from KOI-319.01's TTVs is bimodal with either a 1.6 Neptune-mass planet wide of the 5:3 resonance (period 80.1 d) or a Saturn-mass planet wide of the 7:3 resonance (period 109.2 d). The radial velocity measurements can be used in this case to determine which of these parameter modes is correct. We discuss how the orbital architecture of KOI-142, KOI-227 and KOI-319 systems constrains their formation.

  15. The Various Challenges of Subtracting Speckles and Planet Detection/Characterization in High Contrast Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marois, Christian

    2015-08-01

    Significant progresses have been achieved over the last 20 years in the field of speckle subtraction and planet detection. From the early days of simple “reference star subtraction”, astronomers are now using more advance observing techniques, such as the SDI and ADI, that are combined with complex image processing algorithms to gain more than two orders of magnitude of contrast. I will review the various observing techniques and algorithms now used in the field, as well as the various challenges when trying to optimize the speckle subtraction to maximize planet detection and characterization. In addition, I will review the difficult problem of identifying faint planets in noisy speckle-limited images.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pallant, Amy; Damelin, Daniel; Pryputniewicz, Sarah

    2013-01-01

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

  18. A 3D Numerical Study of Gravitational Instabilities in Young Circumbinary Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Kai; Michael, Scott; Durisen, Richard

    2013-07-01

    Gravitational instabilities (GIs) in protoplanetary disks have been suggested as one of the major formation mechanisms of giant planets. Theoretical and computational studies have indicated that certain family of GIs can be excited in a circumbinary disk, which could lead to enhanced protoplanet formation (e.g., Sellwood & Lin 1989, Boss 2006). We have carried out a 3D simulation of a gravitationally unstable circumbinary disk around a young Sun-like star and a 0.02-Msun companion, both inside the central hole of the disk. Here we present a preliminary comparison between this simulation and a similarly simulated circumstellar disk around a solar-mass star but without the low-mass companion. The GIs stimulated by the binary and those that arise spontaneously are quite different in structure and strength. However, no fragmentation is observed, even after many orbital periods as measured in the outer disk.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-11-20

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

  20. A Planet Hunters Search of the Kepler TCE Inventory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  1. Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  2. Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  3. A Bayesian multi-planet Kepler periodogram for exoplanet detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregory, P. C.

    2005-12-01

    A Bayesian multi-planet Kepler periodogram has been developed for the analysis of precision radial velocity data (Gregory, Ap. J., 631, 1198, 2005). The periodogram employs a parallel tempering Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm with a novel statistical control system. Examples of its use will be presented, including a re-analysis of data for HD 208487 (Gregory, 2005b, astro-ph/0509412) for which we find strong evidence for a second planet with a period of 998-62+57 days, an eccentricity of 0.19-0.18+0.05, and an M sin i = 0.46-0.13+0.05 MJ. This research was supported in part by a grant from the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada at the University of British Columbia.

  4. How many habitable planets can we detect around nearby M dwarfs, and are they really habitable?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pegues, Hope; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Montet, Benjamin; Johnson, John A.

    2017-01-01

    M dwarfs offer the best prospects around which to detect and characterize habitable exoplanets because of their small size, abundance and cool surface temperature. We know from previous research that these stars have a large number of planets around them. However, M dwarfs are known to be magnetically active at young ages and they may remain active for billions of years. Because of this, these stars may not be able to host truly habitable planets. We simulated the existence of exoplanets around all known M dwarfs in the northern hemisphere within 20 parsecs of our Sun. We randomly select planet properties according to distributions from derived from the Kepler M dwarf sample. We consider the capabilities of current detection methods in order to predict the number of planets that will be discovered orbiting the habitable zone. We predict that only 1 such planet can be found using the transit method, but that 18 habitable zone exoplanets can be found using the radial velocity method. We then consider the effect of high-energy radiation on planets in the habitable zone. We use stellar rotation periods and rotation-activity relations to estimate the stellar x-ray and UV luminosities, and evaluate the amount of stellar radiation incident on the planets.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Robert A.; Burrows, Christopher J.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-11-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-20

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

  8. LOCATING THE TRAILING EDGE OF THE CIRCUMBINARY RING IN THE KH 15D SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Capelo, Holly L.; Herbst, William; Leggett, S. K.; Hamilton, Catrina M.; Johnson, John A.

    2012-09-20

    Following two years of complete occultation of both stars in the binary T Tauri star KH 15D by its opaque circumbinary ring, KH 15D has abruptly brightened again during apastron phases, reaching I = 15 mag. Here, we show that the brightening is accompanied by a change in spectral class from K6/K7 (the spectral class of star A) to {approx}K1, and a bluing of the system in V - I by about 0.3 mag. A radial velocity measurement confirms that, at apastron, we are now seeing direct light from star B, which is more luminous and of earlier spectral class than star A. Evidently, the trailing edge of the occulting screen has just become tangent to one anse of star B's projected orbit. This confirms a prediction of the precession models, supports the view that the tilted ring is self-gravitating, and ushers in a new era of the system's evolution that should be accompanied by the same kind of dramatic phenomena observed from 1995 to 2009. It also promotes KH 15D from a single-lined to a double-lined eclipsing binary, greatly enhancing its value for testing pre-main-sequence models. The results of our study strengthen the case for truncation of the outer ring at around 4 AU by a sub-stellar object such as an extremely young giant planet. The system is currently at an optimal configuration for detecting the putative planet and we urge expedient follow-up observations.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-07-10

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  13. A High Throughput Interferometeric Technique For Planet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahadevan, Suvrath

    2007-12-01

    We have developed a novel instrument called the Exoplanet Tracker (ET) that can measure precise radial velocities. ET is installed at the Kitt Peak 2.1m telescope and uses a Michelson interferometer in series with a medium resolution spectrograph, enabling high light-collection effeciency. A survey for exoplanet systems using ET has lead to the discovery of a hot-Jupiter planet around the star HD102195. We have also built a stable monolithic Michelson interferometer for ET, enabling higher stability and precision. The development of the fixed-delay interferometer technology with the ET prototype has lead to the development of a large multi-object instrument capable of observing over 60 objects simultaneoulsy in the 3 degree field of view of the Sloan telescope. An upgraded version of this instrument will be used to conduct a large-scale survey for exoplanetary systems starting July 2008.

  14. χ2 Discriminators for Transiting Planet Detection in Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  15. DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF EXTRASOLAR PLANETS THROUGH MEAN-MOTION RESONANCES. I. SIMULATIONS OF HYPOTHETICAL DEBRIS DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Tabeshian, Maryam; Wiegert, Paul A.

    2016-02-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-10-10

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan

    1994-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. The Astronomical Detection of Biosignatures on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets: The Virtual Planetary Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crisp, D.; Meadows, V. S.; Parkinson, C. D.; Allen, M. A.; Velusami, T.; Tinetti, G.; Rye, R.; Krelove, K.

    2003-05-01

    NASA and ESA are designing space-based observatories to detect and characterize extrasolar terrestrial planets. Because these systems will initially resolve planets only as point sources, we must learn to distinguish habitable worlds and to discriminate between planets with and without life based entirely on the interpretation of remote sensing observations of disk-averaged spectra. The Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL) is being developed to assess the information content of such observations and to optimize the designs and search strategies for future missions. The VPL is a suite of computer models that simulates environmental processes that contribute to a planet's spectrum. Its core consists of coupled radiative transfer, climate, and atmospheric chemistry models that have been validated in studies of the Earth and our neighboring planets. Geologic, biospheric, and exogenic modules are being added to simulate a broad range of environments on planets in orbit around stars with different luminosities and stellar types. A self consistent description of these physical, chemical, and biological processes is essential for assessing the detectability of spectral biosignatures because these processes can conspire to exaggerate or mask discriminating spectral features. Given initial conditions (stellar type, orbit characteristics, mass, radius, rotation rate, surface and atmospheric bulk composition, surface type, volatile inventory, etc.), the VPL marches forward in time to generate an equilibrium environment. It then produces a disk-averaged spectrum for a specified viewing geometry, processes this spectrum with an instrument simulator model, and analyzes it to assess the detectability of biosignatures with instruments like those being considered for NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder and ESA's Darwin missions. Here, we review the objectives, scope, and architecture of the VPL, and summarize some preliminary results. This work was performed by the Jet Propulsion

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, Julia Wilhelmsen

    2006-01-01

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

  3. Adaptive Optics Imaging of the Circumbinary Disk around the T Tauri Binary UY Aurigae: Estimates of the Binary Mass and Circumbinary Dust Grain Size Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Close, L. M.; Dutrey, A.; Roddier, F.; Guilloteau, S.; Roddier, C.; Northcott, M.; Ménard, F.; Duvert, G.; Graves, J. E.; Potter, D.

    1998-05-01

    We have obtained high-resolution (FWHM = 0.15") deep images of the UY Aur binary at J, H, and K' with the University of Hawaii adaptive optics instrument. We clearly detect an R ~ 500 AU circumbinary disk discovered with millimeter interferometry, making UY Aur the second young binary with a confirmed circumbinary disk. It appears that the disk is inclined ~42° from face on. We find that the near side of the disk is brighter than the far side by factors of 2.6, 2.7, and 6.5 times at K', H, and J, respectively. The original GG Tau circumbinary disk has been reexamined and is found to have similar flux ratios of 1.5, 2.6, and 3.6 at K', H, and J, respectively. A realistic power-law distribution (p = 4.7) of spherical dust aggregates (composed of silicates, amorphous carbon, and graphite) that reproduces the observed ISM extinction curve also predicts these observed flux ratios from Mie scattering theory. We find the observed preference of forward-scattering over back-scattering is well fitted (global χ2 minimization) by Mie scattering off particles in the range amin = 0.03 μm to amax = 0.5-0.6 μm. The existence of a significant population of grain radii larger than 0.6 μm is not supported by the scattering observations. Based on the observed disk inclination we derive an orbit for UY Aur where the mass for the binary is 1.6+0.47-0.67 M⊙. Based on the observed K7 and M0 spectral types for UY Aur A and B, accretion disk models for the inner disks around the central stars were constructed. The models suggest that small (lower limit R ~ 5-10 AU) inner disks exist around B and A. It appears that B is accreting ~5 times faster than A, and that both inner disks may be exhausted in ~102-103 yr without replenishment from the outer circumbinary disk. Our images suggest that these inner disks may indeed be resupplied with material through thin streamers of material that penetrate inside the circumbinary disk. Currently it appears that such a streamer may be a close to UY

  4. Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets through Mean-Motion Resonances: Simulations of Hypothetical Debris Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabeshian, Maryam; Wiegert, Paul A.

    2015-11-01

    A planet orbiting interior or exterior to a debris disk may produce signatures in the disk that reveal the planet's presence even if it remains undetected. These features appear near mean-motion resonances and provide a powerful tool to not only detect unseen planets in extra-solar systems, but also help constrain their mass and orbital parameters. I will present results from simulations of hypothetical debris disks both for interior and exterior resonances, showing that gaps can be opened in cold debris disks away from the orbit of the planet, and thus that not all disk gaps need contain a planetary body. The results allow us to constrain planet masses, semi-major axes and eccentricities based on the locations and widths of the gaps. Moreover, distinct features likely arising from Lindblad resonances are seen when the planet perturbing the disk has non-zero orbital eccentricity. Finally, I will present expressions that relate the planetary mass to the widths and locations of the observed gaps.

  5. Fast and robust exo-planet detection in multi-spectral, multi-temporal data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiébaut, Éric; Denis, Loïc.; Mugnier, Laurent; Ferrari, André; Mary, David; Langlois, Maud; Cantalloube, Faustine; Devaney, Nicholas

    2016-07-01

    Exo-planet detection is a signal processing problem that can be addressed by several detection approaches. This paper provides a review of methods from detection theory that can be applied to detect exo-planets in coronographic images such as those provided by SPHERE and GPI. In a first part, we recall the basics of signal detection and describe how to derive a fast and robust detection criterion based on a heavy tail model that can account for outliers in the residuals. In a second part, we derive detectors that handle jointly several wavelengths and exposures and focus on an approach that prevents from interpolating the data, thereby preserving the statistics of the original data.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1974-01-01

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

  8. Detection of a Third Planet in the HD 74156 System Using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bean, Jacob L.; McArthur, Barbara E.; Benedict, G. Fritz; Armstrong, Amber

    2008-01-01

    We report the discovery of a third planetary-mass companion to the G0 star HD 74156. High-precision radial velocity measurements made with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope aided the detection of this object. The best-fit triple-Keplerian model to all the available velocity data yields an orbital period of 347 days and a minimum mass of 0.4 MJup for the new planet. We determine revised orbital periods of 51.7 and 2477 days and minimum masses of 1.9 and 8.0 MJup, respectively, for the previously known planets. Preliminary calculations indicate that the derived orbits are stable, although all three planets have significant orbital eccentricities (e = 0.64, 0.43, and 0.25). With our detection, HD 74156 becomes the eighth normal star known to host three or more planets. Further study of this system's dynamical characteristics will likely give important insight into planet formation and evolutionary processes. Based on data obtained with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET). The HET is a joint project of the University of Texas at Austin, the Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Muenchen, and Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. The HET is named in honor of its principal benefactors, William P. Hobby and Robert E. Eberly.

  9. MOA-2011-BLG-293Lb: A TEST OF PURE SURVEY MICROLENSING PLANET DETECTIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Yee, J. C.; Gould, A.; Skowron, J.; Collaboration: MOA Collaboration; OGLE Collaboration; muFUN Collaboration; and others

    2012-08-20

    Because of the development of large-format, wide-field cameras, microlensing surveys are now able to monitor millions of stars with sufficient cadence to detect planets. These new discoveries will span the full range of significance levels including planetary signals too small to be distinguished from the noise. At present, we do not understand where the threshold is for detecting planets. MOA-2011-BLG-293Lb is the first planet to be published from the new surveys, and it also has substantial follow-up observations. This planet is robustly detected in survey+follow-up data ({Delta}{chi}{sup 2} {approx} 5400). The planet/host mass ratio is q = (5.3 {+-} 0.2) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -3}. The best-fit projected separation is s = 0.548 {+-} 0.005 Einstein radii. However, due to the s{r_reversible}s{sup -1} degeneracy, projected separations of s{sup -1} are only marginally disfavored at {Delta}{chi}{sup 2} = 3. A Bayesian estimate of the host mass gives M{sub L} = 0.43{sup +0.27}{sub -0.17} M{sub Sun }, with a sharp upper limit of M{sub L} < 1.2 M{sub Sun} from upper limits on the lens flux. Hence, the planet mass is m{sub p} = 2.4{sup +1.5}{sub -0.9} M{sub Jup}, and the physical projected separation is either r {approx_equal} 1.0 AU or r {approx_equal} 3.4 AU. We show that survey data alone predict this solution and are able to characterize the planet, but the {Delta}{chi}{sup 2} is much smaller ({Delta}{chi}{sup 2} {approx} 500) than with the follow-up data. The {Delta}{chi}{sup 2} for the survey data alone is smaller than for any other securely detected planet. This event suggests a means to probe the detection threshold, by analyzing a large sample of events like MOA-2011-BLG-293, which have both follow-up data and high-cadence survey data, to provide a guide for the interpretation of pure survey microlensing data.

  10. A circumbinary debris disk in a polluted white dwarf system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.; Parsons, S. G.; Gänsicke, B. T.

    2017-03-01

    Planetary systems commonly survive the evolution of single stars, as evidenced by terrestrial-like planetesimal debris observed orbiting and polluting the surfaces of white dwarfs 1,2 . Here, we report the identification of a circumbinary dust disk surrounding a white dwarf with a substellar companion in a 2.27 h orbit. The system bears the dual hallmarks of atmospheric metal pollution and infrared excess 3,4 ; however, the standard (flat and opaque) disk configuration is dynamically precluded by the binary. Instead, the detected reservoir of debris must lie well beyond the Roche limit in an optically thin configuration, where erosion by stellar irradiation is relatively rapid. This finding shows that rocky planetesimal formation is robust around close binaries, even those with low mass ratios.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  12. Detection and Exploration of Planets from the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donovan, Francis T.; Charbonneau, D.; Hillenbrand, L.

    2006-12-01

    The Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES) is a network of three small-aperture telescopes dedicated to searching the skies for new transiting extrasolar gas giants. The TrES team have discovered two of the 14 known transiting exoplanets. We discuss the detection and exploration of these nearby planets and present the latest observations of TrES-2. TrES-2 is the most massive of the nearby transiting planets, and the first transiting planet found within the field of view of the NASA Kepler transit-search mission. TrES was motivated by our incomplete understanding of the structure and composition of highly-insolated gas giants, and is one of several wide-field photometric campaigns to find new transiting planets. Astrophysical false positives, such as grazing eclipsing binaries, are the dominant source of transit-like periodic signals from these campaigns. Hence follow-up observations are required for all planet candidates. In particular, recent experience has highlighted the need for careful analysis to eliminate astronomical systems where light from a faint eclipsing binary is blended with that from a bright star. We present here examples of the procedure followed by the TrES network to identify false positive candidates. This material is based upon work supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under grant NNG05GJ29G, issued through the Origins of Solar Systems Program.

  13. Formation of Planets around Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banit, M.; Ruderman, M. A.; Shaham, J.; Applegate, J. H.

    1993-10-01

    Pulse arrival-time delays PSR 1257+ 12 suggest the existence of at least two planets in nearly circular orbits around it. In this paper we discuss different scenarios for the formation of planets in circular orbits around pulsars. Among other topics, we look in some detail at wind emission mechanisms that are particularly relevant to the process of evaporation of planets around pulsars and discuss their possible role in orbit circularization. We conclude that the formation of such planets may occur in a very late phase of low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) or binary millisecond pulsar (BMP) evolution. Evaporation of the companion star in these phases supplies matter to a circumbinary "excretion" disk in which the physical conditions, similar to those appropriate for the BMP 1957+20 system, may allow the formation of planets like those observed in PSR 1257+12.

  14. Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. A new SKRgram based demodulation technique for planet bearing fault detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Tianyang; Han, Qinkai; Chu, Fulei; Feng, Zhipeng

    2016-12-01

    Planet bearing fault detection is one of the most challenging issues in planetary gearbox condition monitoring. The intricate structure of a planetary gearbox will fail traditional bearing fault diagnosis algorithms by bringing in strong and complex planetary gear noise. In specific, planetary gear noise with multi-sidebands and high magnitude will not only fail the former gear noise elimination algorithms but also affect the methods designed for highlighting bearing-fault-related content. As such, we propose a new approach with four main steps to address this issue: a) calculate the spectral kurtosis (SK) matrix of a healthy planetary gearbox as baseline, b) obtain SKRgram (Spectral kurtosis ratio gram) by calculating the ratio between SK matrix of raw signal and the baseline, c) locate potential filtering areas from the SKRgram using SKR value as criterion and then select potential optimal filter bands among them with the standard of kurtosis value, d) highlight the faulty planet bearing content by filtering the raw signal through potential filter bands and identify the fault type of planet bearing by comparing the filtered results with the fault envelope pattern. The accuracy and effectiveness of the proposed planet bearing fault detection algorithm are verified by both the simulated and experimental data.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-04-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1994-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-04

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-09-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-02-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-25

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

  4. The detection of dust around NN Ser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-30

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

  6. Planet Hunters in the Kepler Extended Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, C. J.; Fischer, D.; Brewer, J. M.; Giguere, M. J.; Lynn, S.; Parrish, M.; Schawinski, K.; Simpson, R.; Smith, A. M.; Orosz, J. A.; Carter, J. A.; Howard, A.; Torres, G.; Crepp, J. R.; Keel, W. C.; Welsh, W. F.; Kaib, N. A.; Terrell, D.; Gagliano, R.; Jek, K. J.

    2013-01-01

    Planet Hunters (http://www.planethunters.org), part of the Zooniverse's (http://www.zooniverse.org) collection of online citizen science projects, uses the World Wide Web to enlist the general public to identify transits in the Kepler light curves. Volunteers are asked to draw boxes to mark the locations of visible transits, with multiple independent classifiers reviewing a randomly selected ~30-day light curve segment from one of Kepler's ~160,000 target stars. Since December 2010, more than 170,000 members of the general public have participated in Planet Hunters contributing over 13 million classifications. With the start of the Kepler extended mission, Planet Hunters has entered a new phase. We will detail the upgrades and new features added to the project, highlighting in particular our search for circumbinary planets (planets orbiting both stars in binary) in the the extended mission Quarterly data releases. We will also report on our latest planet candidates, including the characterization of our first confirmed planet candidate, a circumbinary planet in a four star system. Acknowledgements: MES is supported by a National Science Foundation Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship under award AST-1003258 and in part by an American Philosophical Society Franklin Grant.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doyle, Laurance R.; Dunham, Edward T.; Deeg, Hans-Jörg; Blue, J. Ellen; Jenkins, Jon M.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-06-25

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCray, Richard

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

  10. Planet detection and spectroscopy in visible light with a single aperture telescope and a nulling coronagraph

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shao, Michael; Serabyn, Eugene; Levine, Bruce Martin; Beichman, Charles; Liu, Duncan; Martin, Stefan; Orton, Glen; Mennesson, Bertrand; Morgan, Rhonda; Velusamy, Thangasamy; Wallace, J. Kent; Unwin, Stephen

    2003-01-01

    This talk describes a new concept for visible direct detection of Earth like extra solar planets using a nulling coronagraph instrument behind a 4m telescope in space. In the baseline design, a 4 beam nulling interferometer is synthesized from the telescope pupil, producing a very deep theta^4null which is then filtered by a coherent array of single mode fibers to suppress the residual scattered light. With perfect optics, the stellar leakage is less than 1e-11 of the starlight at the location of the planet. With diffraction limited telescope optics (lambda/20), suppression of the starlight to 1e-10 is possible. The concept is described along with the key advantages over more traditional approaches such as apodized aperture telescopes and Lyot type coronagraphs.

  11. Extrasolar planets

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  12. Extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

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

    2000-11-07

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

  13. The Most Conserved Genome Segments for Life Detection on Earth and Other Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isenbarger, Thomas A.; Carr, Christopher E.; Johnson, Sarah Stewart; Finney, Michael; Church, George M.; Gilbert, Walter; Zuber, Maria T.; Ruvkun, Gary

    2008-12-01

    On Earth, very simple but powerful methods to detect and classify broad taxa of life by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are now standard practice. Using DNA primers corresponding to the 16S ribosomal RNA gene, one can survey a sample from any environment for its microbial inhabitants. Due to massive meteoritic exchange between Earth and Mars (as well as other planets), a reasonable case can be made for life on Mars or other planets to be related to life on Earth. In this case, the supremely sensitive technologies used to study life on Earth, including in extreme environments, can be applied to the search for life on other planets. Though the 16S gene has become the standard for life detection on Earth, no genome comparisons have established that the ribosomal genes are, in fact, the most conserved DNA segments across the kingdoms of life. We present here a computational comparison of full genomes from 13 diverse organisms from the Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya to identify genetic sequences conserved across the widest divisions of life. Our results identify the 16S and 23S ribosomal RNA genes as well as other universally conserved nucleotide sequences in genes encoding particular classes of transfer RNAs and within the nucleotide binding domains of ABC transporters as the most conserved DNA sequence segments across phylogeny. This set of sequences defines a core set of DNA regions that have changed the least over billions of years of evolution and provides a means to identify and classify divergent life, including ancestrally related life on other planets.

  14. The most conserved genome segments for life detection on Earth and other planets.

    PubMed

    Isenbarger, Thomas A; Carr, Christopher E; Johnson, Sarah Stewart; Finney, Michael; Church, George M; Gilbert, Walter; Zuber, Maria T; Ruvkun, Gary

    2008-12-01

    On Earth, very simple but powerful methods to detect and classify broad taxa of life by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are now standard practice. Using DNA primers corresponding to the 16S ribosomal RNA gene, one can survey a sample from any environment for its microbial inhabitants. Due to massive meteoritic exchange between Earth and Mars (as well as other planets), a reasonable case can be made for life on Mars or other planets to be related to life on Earth. In this case, the supremely sensitive technologies used to study life on Earth, including in extreme environments, can be applied to the search for life on other planets. Though the 16S gene has become the standard for life detection on Earth, no genome comparisons have established that the ribosomal genes are, in fact, the most conserved DNA segments across the kingdoms of life. We present here a computational comparison of full genomes from 13 diverse organisms from the Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya to identify genetic sequences conserved across the widest divisions of life. Our results identify the 16S and 23S ribosomal RNA genes as well as other universally conserved nucleotide sequences in genes encoding particular classes of transfer RNAs and within the nucleotide binding domains of ABC transporters as the most conserved DNA sequence segments across phylogeny. This set of sequences defines a core set of DNA regions that have changed the least over billions of years of evolution and provides a means to identify and classify divergent life, including ancestrally related life on other planets.

  15. Planets, Moons, and Multiple Stars - Gravitational Microlensing by Three-Body Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heyrovsky, David; Danek, Kamil

    2017-01-01

    Gravitational microlensing has proved to be a useful tool for detecting exoplanets, particularly those separated a few AU from the lens star. Of the 43 microlensing-detected planets published so far, four are members of two-planet systems, and a further three are associated with binary stars (two circumprimary and one circumbinary). While the lensing by a single star with a single planet is well understood, systematic insight into the substantially more diverse lensing by three-body systems is still lacking. We introduce efficient methods for studying and visualizing the different regimes of lensing by a triple lens with a given combination of masses. For illustration, we present here full analyses of critical-curve regimes of the following lenses in arbitrary spatial configuration: an equal-mass triple, an equal-mass binary with a planet, and a hierarchical star-planet-moon system. Such studies can facilitate the interpretation and analysis of observed microlensing light curves due to triple lenses.

  16. SPOTS: The Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thalmann, Christian; Desidera, Silvano; Bergfors, Carolina; Boccaletti, Anthony; Bonavita, Mariangela; Carson, Joseph; Feldt, Markus; Goto, Miwa; Henning, Thomas; Janson, Markus; Klahr, Hubert; Marzari, Francesco; Mordasini, Christoph

    2013-07-01

    Over the last decade, a vast amount of effort has been poured into gaining a better understanding of the frequency and diversity of extrasolar planets. Yet, most of these studies focus on single stars, leaving the population of planets in multiple systems poorly explored. This investigational gap persists despite the fact that both theoretical and observational evidence suggest that such systems represent a significant fraction of the overall planet population. With SPOTS, the Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars, we are now carrying out the first direct imaging campaign dedicated to circumbinary planets. Our long-term goals are to survey 66 spectroscopic binaries in H-band with VLT NaCo and VLT SPHERE over the course of 4-5 years. This will establish first constraints on the wide-orbit circumbinary planet population, and may yield the spectacular first image of a bona fide circumbinary planet. Here we report on the results of the first two years of the SPOTS survey, as well as on our ongoing observation program.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-01

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

  18. Single mode fiber array for planet detection using a visible nulling interferometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, Duncan; Levine, B. Martin; Shao, Michael; Aguayo, Franciso

    2005-01-01

    We report the design, fabrication, and testing of a coherent large mode field diameter fiber array to be used as a spatial filter in a planet finding visible nulling interferometer. The array is a key component of a space instrument for visible-light detection and spectroscopy of Earth like extrasolar planets. In this concept, a nulling interferometer is synthesized from a pupil image of a single aperture which is then spatially filtered by a coherent array of single mode fibers to suppress the residual scattered star light. The use of the fiber array preserves spatial information between the star and planet. The fiber array uses a custom commercial large mode field or low NA step-index single mode fiber to relax alignment tolerances. A matching custom micro lens array is used to couple light into the fibers, and to recollimate the light out of the fiber array. The use of large mode field diameter fiber makes the fabrication of a large spatial filter array with 300 to 1000 elements feasible.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  20. Testing dust trapping in the circumbinary disk around GG Tauri A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cazzoletti, P.; Ricci, L.; Birnstiel, T.; Lodato, G.

    2017-03-01

    Context. The protoplanetary disk around the GG Tau A binary system is one of the most studied young circumbinary disk, and it has been observed at many different wavelengths. Observations of the dust continuum emission at sub-mm/mm wavelengths have detected a dust ring located between 200 AU and 300 AU from the center of mass of the system. According to the classical theory of tidal interaction between a binary system and its circumbinary disk, the measured inner radius of the mm-sized dust ring is significantly larger than the predicted truncation radius, given the observed projected separation of the stars in the binary system (0.25'', corresponding to 34 AU). A possible explanation for this apparent tension between observations and theory is that a local maximum in the gas radial pressure is created at the location of the center of the dust ring in the disk as a result of the tidal interaction with the binary. An alternative scenario invokes the presence of a misalignment between the disk and the stellar orbital planes. Aims: We investigate the origin of this dust ring structure in the GG Tau A circumbinary disk, test whether the interaction between the binary and the disk can produce a gas pressure radial bump at the location of the observed ring, and discuss whether the alternative hypothesis of a misaligned disk offers a more viable solution. Methods: We run a set of 3D hydrodynamical simulations for an orbit consistent with the astrometric solutions for the GG Tau A stellar proper motions, different disk temperature profiles, and for different levels of viscosity. Using the obtained gas surface density and radial velocity profiles, we then apply a dust evolution model in post-processing in order to to retrieve the expected distribution of mm-sized grains. Results: We compare the results of our models with the observational results and show that, if the binary orbit and the disk were coplanar, not only would the tidal truncation of the circumbinary disk occur

  1. Detection of co-orbital planets by combining transit and radial-velocity measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leleu, A.; Robutel, P.; Correia, A. C. M.; Lillo-Box, J.

    2017-03-01

    Co-orbital planets have not yet been discovered, although they constitute a frequent by-product of planetary formation and evolution models. This lack may be due to observational biases, since the main detection methods are unable to spot co-orbital companions when they are small or near the Lagrangian equilibrium points. However, for a system with one known transiting planet (with mass m1), we can detect a co-orbital companion (with mass m2) by combining the time of mid-transit with the radial-velocity data of the star. Here, we propose a simple method that allows the detection of co-orbital companions, valid for eccentric orbits, that relies on a single parameter α, which is proportional to the mass ratio m2/m1. Therefore, when α is statistically different from zero, we have a strong candidate to harbour a co-orbital companion. We also discuss the relevance of false positives generated by different planetary configurations.

  2. Exploiting physical constraints for multi-spectral exo-planet detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiébaut, Éric; Devaney, Nicholas; Langlois, Maud; Hanley, Kenneth

    2016-07-01

    We derive a physical model of the on-axis PSF for a high contrast imaging system such as GPI or SPHERE. This model is based on a multi-spectral Taylor series expansion of the diffraction pattern and predicts that the speckles should be a combination of spatial modes with deterministic chromatic magnification and weighting. We propose to remove most of the residuals by fitting this model on a set of images at multiple wavelengths and times. On simulated data, we demonstrate that our approach achieves very good speckle suppression without additional heuristic parameters. The residual speckles1, 2 set the most serious limitation in the detection of exo-planets in high contrast coronographic images provided by instruments such as SPHERE3 at the VLT, GPI4, 5 at Gemini, or SCExAO6 at Subaru. A number of post-processing methods have been proposed to remove as much as possible of the residual speckles while preserving the signal from the planets. These methods exploit the fact that the speckles and the planetary signal have different temporal and spectral behaviors. Some methods like LOCI7 are based on angular differential imaging8 (ADI), spectral differential imaging9, 10 (SDI), or on a combination of ADI and SDI.11 Instead of working on image differences, we propose to tackle the exo-planet detection as an inverse problem where a model of the residual speckles is fit on the set of multi-spectral images and, possibly, multiple exposures. In order to reduce the number of degrees of freedom, we impose specific constraints on the spatio-spectral distribution of stellar speckles. These constraints are deduced from a multi-spectral Taylor series expansion of the diffraction pattern for an on-axis source which implies that the speckles are a combination of spatial modes with deterministic chromatic magnification and weighting. Using simulated data, the efficiency of speckle removal by fitting the proposed multi-spectral model is compared to the result of using an approximation

  3. Bayesian detection and characterization of extra-solar planets via photometric variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Placek, Ben

    Exoplanets are known to be responsible for a variety of photometric effects, which collectively can be used for both exoplanet detection and characterization. A portion of the observed flux variation originates directly from the exoplanet itself as both a reflected light component and thermal emission. Additional effects originate from the influence of the exoplanet on its host star. These include Doppler boosting, or beaming, caused by the radial velocity variations due to the stellar wobble, as well as variations in flux caused by the ellipsoidal shape of the star, which is induced by the planetary tidal forces. The newly developed EXONEST algorithm uses Bayesian inference in order to estimate the values of the physical parameters on which these effects depend. In addition, EXONEST computes the Bayesian evidence, which can be used to test a variety of models, some of which may either allow for, or neglect, these effects. Presented here is a comprehensive study of model-generated synthetic data demonstrating EXONEST's ability to perform parameter estimation and model selection, two confirmed exoplanets KOI-13b and Kepler-2b further demonstrating EXONEST's ability to work with real data, another confirmed Earth-like planet Kepler-91b, where EXONEST is applied to determine if there is a trojan planet present, and finally KIC-5436161, which is most likely a hierarchical triple star system discovered using the EXONEST algorithm. By considering only the non-transiting portions of the light curve, we demonstrate that it is possible to estimate the photometrically-relevant model parameters of KOI-13b and Kepler-2b, and that the orbit of KOI-13b has a detectable eccentricity. Furthermore, Bayesian model selection shows that there is likely a trojan planet around Kepler-91b based on the photometric data alone.

  4. Detecting planets around active stars: impact of magnetic fields on radial velocities and line bisectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hébrard, É. M.; Donati, J.-F.; Delfosse, X.; Morin, J.; Boisse, I.; Moutou, C.; Hébrard, G.

    2014-09-01

    Although technically challenging, detecting Earth-like planets around very low mass stars is in principle accessible to the existing velocimeters of highest radial-velocity (RV) precision. However, low-mass stars being active, they often feature dark spots and magnetic regions at their surfaces generating a noise level in RV curves (called activity jitter) that can severely limit our practical ability at detecting Earth-like planets. Whereas the impact of dark spots on RV data has been extensively studied in the literature, that of magnetic features only received little attention up to now. In this paper, we aim at quantifying the impact of magnetic fields (and the Zeeman broadening they induce) on line profiles, line bisectors and RV data. With a simple model, we quantitatively study the RV signals and bisector distortions that small magnetic regions or global magnetic dipoles can generate, especially at infrared wavelengths where the Zeeman broadening is much larger than that in the visible. We report in particular that the impact of magnetic features on line bisectors can be different from that of cool spots when the rotational broadening is comparable to or larger than the Zeeman broadening; more specifically, we find in this case that the top and bottom sections of the bisectors are anticorrelated, i.e. the opposite behaviour of what is observed for cool spots. We finally suggest new options to show and ultimately filter the impact of the magnetic activity on RV curves.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-04-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Diego J.; Lai, Dong

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Diego J; Lai, Dong

    2015-07-28

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

  10. Extrasolar Planets and Prospects for Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-06-01

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

  11. The detection and exploration of planets from the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donovan, Francis Thomas

    I present the discovery of three transiting planets (TrES-2, TrES-3, and TrES-4) of nearby bright stars made with the ten-centimeter telescope Sleuth as part of the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES). TrES-2 is the first transiting exoplanet detected in the field of view of NASA’s Kepler mission. Of the 20 known transiting exoplanets, TrES-3 has the second shortest period, facilitating the study of orbital decay and atmospheric evaporation. Its visible/infrared brightness makes TrES-3 an ideal target for observations to determine the atmospheric composition. TrES-4 has the largest radius and lowest density of the known transiting planets. These three planets have radii larger than that of Jupiter, and the radius of TrES-4 significantly exceeds predictions from models of hot Jupiters, indicating a possible lack of an energy source in these models. I present the results of Spitzer observations of TrES-2. I reject tidal dissipation of eccentricity as an explanation for the inflated radius, and examine the spectrum for evidence of atmospheric absorption.I have monitored 19 fields each containing 6,000-36,000 stars for evidence of transits. I discuss the rejection of six of my candidate transiting systems from an early field that represent examples of the 67 astrophysical false positives that I encountered in Sleuth data. These six false positives highlight the benefit of a multisite survey such as TrES, and also of comprehensive follow-up of transit candidates. As a further example, I present the candidate GSC 03885-00829 from Sleuth data that was revealed to be a blend of a bright F dwarf and a fainter K-dwarf eclipsing binary. This candidate proved nontrivial to reject, requiring multicolor follow-up photometry to produce evidence of the true binary nature of this candidate.The yield of planets from transit surveys is not yet well constrained or understood. There are numerous factors that affect the predictions such as the amount of correlated photometric noise

  12. Transiting Planets with LSST. III. Detection Rate per Year of Operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacklin, Savannah R.; Lund, Michael B.; Pepper, Joshua; Stassun, Keivan G.

    2017-04-01

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will generate light curves for approximately 1 billion stars. Our previous work has demonstrated that, by the end of the LSST 10-year mission, large numbers of transiting exoplanetary systems could be recovered using the LSST “deep-drilling” cadence. Here, we extend our previous work to examine how the recoverability of transiting planets over a range of orbital periods and radii evolves per year of LSST operation. As specific example systems, we consider hot Jupiters orbiting solar-type stars and hot Neptunes orbiting K-dwarfs at distances from Earth of several kpc, as well as super-Earths orbiting nearby low-mass M-dwarfs. The detection of transiting planets increases steadily with the accumulation of data over time, generally becoming large (≳10%) after 4–6 years of operation. However, we also find that short-period (≲2 days) hot Jupiters orbiting G-dwarfs and hot Neptunes orbiting K-dwarfs can already be discovered within the first 1–2 years of LSST operation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  14. Planet Detection, Magnetic Field of Protostars and Brown Dwarfs Meteorology with SPIRou

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artigau, É.; Donati, J.-F.; Delfosse, X.

    2011-12-01

    SPIRou is a near-infrared spectro-polarimeter proposed as a next-generation CFHT instrument that should see first light in 2014. The instrument will consist of a single-object bench-mounted cross-dispersed spectrograph with a complete 0.98-2.40 μm coverage, 1 m/s radial-velocity accuracy and polarimetric capability. The instrument builds largely on the ESPaDOnS (current CFHT spectro-polarimeter) and HARPS (high-resolution spectrograph at La Silla 3.6m) designs and experience. We present here a brief overview of the instrument characteristics and various aspects of its science case. Low-mass stars and brown dwarfs will be prime targets for SPIRou; it is mostly aimed at detecting Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of low-mass stars and at investigating how magnetic fields impact star and planet formation. Other envisioned SPIRou science projects include the Doppler imaging of L and T dwarf weather patterns, the search for Jupiter-mass companions to BDs, spectroscopic binarity of L and T dwarfs and dynamo processes in red and brown dwarfs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-21

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

  16. 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.

  17. DETECTION OF A LOW-ECCENTRICITY AND SUPER-MASSIVE PLANET TO THE SUBGIANT HD 38801

    SciTech Connect

    Harakawa, Hiroki; Ida, Shigeru; Hori, Yasunori; Sato, Bun'ei; Fischer, Debra A.; Omiya, Masashi; Johnson, John A.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Howard, Andrew W.; Toyota, Eri

    2010-05-20

    We report the detection of a large mass planet orbiting around the K0 metal-rich subgiant HD38801 (V = 8.26) by precise radial velocity (RV) measurements from the Subaru Telescope and the Keck Telescope. The star has a mass of 1.36 M{sub sun} and a metallicity of [Fe/H] = +0.26. The RV variations are consistent with a circular orbit with a period of 696.0 days and a velocity semiamplitude of 200.0 m s{sup -1}, which yield a minimum mass for the companion of 10.7 M{sub JUP} and a semimajor axis of 1.71 AU. Such super-massive objects with very low eccentricities and periods of hundreds of days are uncommon among the ensemble of known exoplanets.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turnbull, Margaret

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

  1. KOI-676: An active star with two transiting planets and a third possible candidate detected with TTV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ioannidis, P.; Schmitt, J.; Avdellidou, C.; von Essen, C.; Eric, A.

    2013-09-01

    We report the detection and characterization of two short period, Neptune sized planets, around the active star KOI-676. The orbital elements of both planets are not the expected ones, as they lead to miscalculation of the stellar parameters. We discuss various scenarios which could cause that discrepancy and we suggest that the reason is most probably the high eccentricities of the orbits. We use the Transit Timing Variations, detected in both planets' O-C diagrams to support our theory, while due to the lack of autocorrelation in their pattern we suggest the existence of a third, more massive, mutual inclined, outer perturber. To clarify our suggestions we use n-body simulations to model the TTVs and check the stability of the system.

  2. The KELT Survey for Transiting Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  3. Detecting planets in Kepler lightcurves using methods developed for CoRoT.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grziwa, S.; Korth, J.; Pätzold, M.

    2011-10-01

    Launched in March 2009, Kepler is the second space telescope dedicated to the search for extrasolar planets. NASA released 150.000 lightcurves to the public in 2010 and announced that Kepler has found 1.235 candidates. The Rhenish Institute for Environmental Research (RIU-PF) is one of the detection groups from the CoRoT space mission. RIU-PF developed the software package EXOTRANS for the detection of transits in stellar lightcurves. EXOTRANS is designed for the fast automated processing of huge amounts of data and was easily adapted to the analysis of Kepler lightcurves. The use of different techniques and philosophies helps to find more candidates and to rule out others. We present the analysis of the Kepler lightcurves with EXOTRANS. Results of our filter (trend, harmonic) and detection (dcBLS) techniques are compared with the techniques used by Kepler (PDC, TPS). The different approaches to rule out false positives are discussed and additional candidates found by EXOTRANS are presented.

  4. The stability of the suggested planet in the ν Octantis system: a numerical and statistical study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quarles, Billy; Cuntz, Manfred; Musielak, Zdzislaw

    2012-03-01

    Exoplanets in binary systems have received heightened interest by the scientific community. Especially with the recent detection of a circumbinary planet of Kepler-16b (Doyle et al. 2011)[Science 333, 1602] planets in binary systems have warranted second and even third glances. The system of ν Octantis has been a system of great controversy since the suggested planet in this system (Ramm et al. 2009)[MNRAS 394, 1695] appears to be located beyond its theoretical stability limit. In order to resolve this controversy we seek to determine whether the proposed planet can exist in the context of current stability theory. We have performed detailed simulations by exploiting the uncertainty measurements to determine the short and long-term stability of a prograde starting configuration. However to follow up on the previous results by Eberle & Cuntz (2010)[ApJ 721, L168], we have investigated the hypothesis of a retrograde orbit in more detail by considering a larger set of possible initial conditions to determine the possibility of a retrograde configuration with respect to the motion of the binary system. We will show that a retrograde configuration is preferred by both stability considerations with respect to the maximum Lyapunov exponent and numerical statistical considerations.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-02-10

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

  6. 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.

  7. WALL EMISSION IN CIRCUMBINARY DISKS: THE CASE OF CoKu TAU/4

    SciTech Connect

    Nagel, Erick; D'Alessio, Paola; Calvet, Nuria; Espaillat, Catherine; Sargent, Ben; Hernandez, Jesus; Forrest, William J.

    2010-01-01

    A few years ago, the mid-IR spectrum of a Weak Line T Tauri Star, CoKu Tau/4, was explained as emission from the inner wall of a circumstellar disk, with the inner disk truncated at approx10 AU. Based on the spectral energy distribution (SED) shape and the assumption that it was produced by a single star and its disk, CoKu Tau/4 was classified as a prototypical transitional disk, with a clean inner hole possibly carved out by a planet, some other orbiting body, or by photodissociation. However, recently it has been discovered that CoKu Tau/4 is a close binary system. This implies that the observed mid-IR SED is probably produced by the circumbinary disk. The aim of the present paper is to model the SED of CoKu Tau/4 as arising from the inner wall of a circumbinary disk, with parameters constrained by what is known about the central stars and by a dynamical model for the interaction between these stars and their surrounding disk. We lack a physical prescription for the shape of the wall, thus, here we use a simplified and unrealistic assumption: the wall is vertical. In order to fit the Spitzer IRS SED, the binary orbit should be almost circular, implying a small mid-IR variability (10%) related to the variable distances of the stars to the inner wall of the circumbinary disk. In the context of the present model, higher eccentricities would imply that the stars are farther from the wall, the latter being too cold to explain the observed SED. Our models suggest that the inner wall of CoKu Tau/4 is located at 1.7a, where a is the semi-major axis of the binary system (a approx 8 AU). A small amount of optically thin dust in the hole (approx<0.01 lunar masses) helps to improve the fit to the 10 mum silicate band. Also, we find that water ice should be absent or have a very small abundance (a dust to gas mass ratio approx<5.6 x 10{sup -5}). In general, for a binary system with eccentricity e>0, the model predicts mid-IR variability with periods similar to orbital

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Huigen; Zhang Hui; Zhou Jilin

    2013-04-20

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

  12. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-07-10

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

  13. Analytic orbit propagation of planets in binary star systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eggl, Siegfried; Georgakarakos, Nikolaos

    2015-08-01

    We present an analytical framework that accurately describes the motion of co-planar planets in binary star systems on orbital as well as secular timescales. The method builds upon analytic solutions of the differential equations governing the behavior of the system's perturbed Laplace-Runge-Lenz vectors. Multiple time-scale analysis is used to derive the short period evolutions of the system, while octupole secular theory is applied to describe its long term behavior. A post Newtonian correction on the stellar orbit is included for circumbinary planets. Our model is tested against results from numerical integrations of the full equations of motion. An application to circumbinary planetary systems discovered by NASA's Kepler satellite reveals that the formation history of the systems Kepler-34 and Kepler-413 has most likely been different from the one of Kepler-16, Kepler-35, Kepler-38 and Kepler-64, as the former systems are not compatible with the assumption of almost circular initial planetary orbits.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodler, Florian; Kürster, Martin

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

  18. VizieR Online Data Catalog: SPOTS II. Planets Orbiting Two Stars (Bonavita+, 2016)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

    We present a statistical analysis of the combined body of existing high-contrast imaging constraints on circumbinary planets, to complement our ongoing SPOTS direct imaging survey dedicated to such planets. The sample of stars considered includes 117 objects and comes from a search for tight binaries within the target lists of 23 published direct imaging surveys, including some of the deepest ones performed to data. (2 data files).

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

    PubMed

    Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Tuomi, Mikko

    2015-03-06

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-12-01

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

  1. Simulation of Rogue Planet Encounters with the Solar System: Is Planet 9 a Captured Rogue?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vesper, James; Mason, Paul A.

    2017-01-01

    Rogue, or free-floating, planets may be abundant in the Galaxy. Several have been observed in the solar neighborhood. They have been predicted to even outnumber stars by a large fraction, and may partially account for dark matter in the disk of the galaxy, as the result of circumbinary planet formation. We performed N-body simulations of rogue encounters with the solar system with a variety of impact parameters. We find that Jupiter mass and higher rogues leave a significant imprint on planetary system architecture. Rogue formation models are therefore constrained by observed planetary system structure. We speculate that if rogue planets are abundant as predicted, then, Planet 9 may be a captured rogue.

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-02-01

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

  3. On-sky Doppler performance of TOU optical very high-resolution spectrograph for detecting low-mass planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Jian; Ma, Bo; Sithajan, Sirinrat; Singer, Michael A.; Powell, Scott; Varosi, Frank; Zhao, Bo; Schofield, Sidney; Liu, Jian; Grieves, Nolan; Cassette, Anthony; Avner, Louis; Jakeman, Hali; Muterspaugh, Matthew; Williamson, Michael; Barnes, Rory

    2016-08-01

    The TOU robotic, compact very high resolution optical spectrograph (R=100,000, 0.38-0.9 microns) has been fully characterized at the 2 meter Automatic Spectroscopy Telescope (AST) at Fairborn Observatory in Arizona during its pilot survey of 12 bright FGK dwarfs in 2015. This instrument has delivered sub m/s Doppler precision for bright reference stars (e.g., 0.7 m/s for Tau Ceti over 60 days) with 5-30 min exposures and 0.7 m/s long-term instrument stability, which is the best performance among all of the known Doppler spectrographs to our knowledge. This performance was achieved by maintaining the instrument in a very high vacuum of 1 micron torr and about 0.5 mK (RMS) long-term temperature stability through an innovative close-loop instrument bench temperature control. It has discovered a 21 Earth-mass planet (P=43days) around a bright K dwarf and confirmed three super-Earth planetary systems, HD 1461, 190360 and HD 219314. This instrument will be used to conduct the Dharma Planet Survey (DPS) in 2016-2019 to monitor 100 nearby very bright FGK dwarfs (most of them brighter than V=8) at the dedicated 50-inch Robotic Telescope on Mt. Lemmon. With very high RV precision and high cadence ( 100 observations per target randomly spread over 450 days), a large number of rocky planets, including possible habitable ones, are expected to be detected. The survey also provides the largest single homogenous high precision RV sample of nearby stars for studying low mass planet populations and constraining various planet formation models. Instrument on-sky performance is summarized.

  4. IMPACT OF η{sub Earth} ON THE CAPABILITIES OF AFFORDABLE SPACE MISSIONS TO DETECT BIOSIGNATURES ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-08-01

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

  5. On the Radial Velocity Detection of Additional Planets in Transiting, Slowly Rotating M-dwarf Systems: The Case of GJ 1132

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cloutier, Ryan; Doyon, René; Menou, Kristen; Delfosse, Xavier; Dumusque, Xavier; Artigau, Étienne

    2017-01-01

    M-dwarfs are known to commonly host high-multiplicity planetary systems. Therefore, M-dwarf planetary systems with a known transiting planet are expected to contain additional small planets (rp ≤ 4 R⊕, mp ≲ 20 M⊕) that are not seen in transit. In this study, we investigate the effort required to detect such planets using precision velocimetry around the sizable subset of M-dwarfs that are slowly rotating (Prot ≳ 40 days), and hence more likely to be inactive. We focus on the test case of GJ 1132. Specifically, we perform a suite of Monte-Carlo simulations of the star’s radial velocity signal, featuring astrophysical contributions from stellar jitter due to rotationally modulated active regions, as well as Keplerian signals from the known transiting planet and hypothetical additional planets not seen in transit. We then compute the detection completeness of non-transiting planets around GJ 1132 and consequently estimate the number of RV measurements required to detect those planets. We show that, with 1 m s‑1 precision per measurement, only ∼50 measurements are required to achieve a 50% detection completeness for all non-transiting planets in the system, as well as planets that are potentially habitable. Throughout this work, we advocate the use of Gaussian process regression as an effective tool for mitigating the effects of stellar jitter including stars with high activity. Given that GJ 1132 is representative of a large population of slowly rotating M-dwarfs, we conclude with a discussion of how our results may be extended to other systems with known transiting planets, such as those that will be discovered with TESS.

  6. Possibility of detection of Earth-like exo-planets and recognition of their surface areas with a hypertelescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tcherniavski, Iouri

    2014-02-01

    A possible variant of the direct observation of Earth-like planets with the help of a hypertelescope containing circular and/or annular collecting mirrors is considered. Analytical expressions describing the imaging in the focal plane are presented. They give the opportunity to estimate the influence of the photodetector pixel exposure time and accuracy parameters of the mirror control/stabilization system on the quality of the image in the plane of the photodetector and to evaluate a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at its output. Numerical results obtained for the hypertelescope containing 126 (for detection) and 1164 (for recognition) identical annular mirrors of diameter 1 m illustrate an opportunity of detecting an Earth-like exo-planet moving around a Sun-like star at a distance of 1 au and recognizing its surface area at a distance of 1 pc on conditions that some technique blocking out the radiation from the exo-planet's star is used. Some dependencies of the corresponding SNR values on the pixel exposure time and the accuracy parameters of the mirror stabilization system are shown. Several typical aperture configurations are investigated for the case of recognition and the most appropriate configuration is defined.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-02-20

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

  8. Planet Demographics from Transits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howard, Andrew

    2015-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  10. CIRCUMBINARY GAS ACCRETION ONTO A CENTRAL BINARY: INFRARED MOLECULAR HYDROGEN EMISSION FROM GG Tau A

    SciTech Connect

    Beck, Tracy L.; Lubow, S. H.; Bary, Jeffrey S.; Dutrey, Anne; Guilloteau, Stephane; Pietu, Vincent; Simon, M. E-mail: lubow@stsci.edu E-mail: Anne.Dutrey@obs.u-bordeaux1.fr E-mail: pietu@iram.fr

    2012-07-20

    We present high spatial resolution maps of ro-vibrational molecular hydrogen emission from the environment of the GG Tau A binary component in the GG Tau quadruple system. The H{sub 2} v = 1-0 S(1) emission is spatially resolved and encompasses the inner binary, with emission detected at locations that should be dynamically cleared on several hundred year timescales. Extensions of H{sub 2} gas emission are seen to {approx}100 AU distances from the central stars. The v = 2-1 S(1) emission at 2.24 {mu}m is also detected at {approx}30 AU from the central stars, with a line ratio of 0.05 {+-} 0.01 with respect to the v = 1-0 S(1) emission. Assuming gas in LTE, this ratio corresponds to an emission environment at {approx}1700 K. We estimate that this temperature is too high for quiescent gas heated by X-ray or UV emission from the central stars. Surprisingly, we find that the brightest region of H{sub 2} emission arises from a spatial location that is exactly coincident with a recently revealed dust 'streamer' which seems to be transferring material from the outer circumbinary ring around GG Tau A into the inner region. As a result, we identify a new excitation mechanism for ro-vibrational H{sub 2} stimulation in the environment of young stars. The H{sub 2} in the GG Tau A system appears to be stimulated by mass accretion infall as material in the circumbinary ring accretes onto the system to replenish the inner circumstellar disks. We postulate that H{sub 2} stimulated by accretion infall could be present in other systems, particularly binaries and 'transition disk' systems which have dust-cleared gaps in their circumstellar environments.

  11. Extrasolar Planets in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    George, Samuel J.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  13. On the stability of the detected planet in the triple system HD 131399

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funk, B.; Pilat-Lohinger, E.; Bazsó, Á.; Bancelin, D.

    2017-03-01

    Wagner et al. (2016) reported the discovery of a Jovian planet within a triple-star system by using direct imaging. In their paper they suspect the planet might be on an unstable orbit. Due to the discovery by direct imaging the orbital parameters of the system (distances and eccentricities) possess large uncertainties. Therefore in our work we tested different dynamical configurations to determine the stable regions in the system HD 131399 by varying the distances and the eccentricities of the stellar and the planetary components. Using different numerical methods we could show that stable regions remain for almost all possible orbital parameters. Additionally we also investigated the possible habitability of the system HD 131399.

  14. Photometric and spectroscopic detection of the primary transit of the 111-day-period planet HD 80 606 b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moutou, C.; Hébrard, G.; Bouchy, F.; Eggenberger, A.; Boisse, I.; Bonfils, X.; Gravallon, D.; Ehrenreich, D.; Forveille, T.; Delfosse, X.; Desort, M.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Lovis, C.; Mayor, M.; Pepe, F.; Perrier, C.; Pont, F.; Queloz, D.; Santos, N. C.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.; Vidal-Madjar, A.

    2009-04-01

    We report the detection of the primary transit of the extra-solar planet HD 80 606 b, thanks to photometric and spectroscopic observations performed at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence, simultaneously with the CCD camera at the 120-cm telescope and the SOPHIE spectrograph on the 193-cm telescope. We observed the whole egress of the transit and partially its central part, in both datasets with the same timings. The ingress occurred before sunset so was not observed. The full duration of the transit was between 9.5 and 17.2 h. The data allows the planetary radius to be measured (Rp = 0.9 ± 0.10 {R}_Jup) and other parameters of the system to be refined. Radial velocity measurements show the detection of a prograde Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, and provide a hint of a spin-orbit misalignment. If confirmed, this misalignment would corroborate the hypothesis that HD 80 606 b owes its unusual orbital configuration to Kozai migration. HD 80 606 b is by far the transiting planet on the longest period detected today. Its unusually small radius reinforces the observed relationship between the planet radius and the incident flux received from the star and opens new questions for theory. Orbiting a bright star (V=9), it opens opportunities for numerous follow-up studies. Based on observations made with the 1.20-m and 1.93-m telescopes at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France, by the SOPHIE consortium (program 07A.PNP.CONS). Radial velocity and photometry tables are available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/498/L5

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diner, David J.

    1989-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-08-10

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

  17. Terrestrial Planet Formation in Binary Star Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  18. The Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, L. J.; Seager, S.

    2007-01-01

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

  19. A Search for Low Mass Stars and Substellar Companions and A Study of Circumbinary Gas and Dust Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, David R.

    2011-01-01

    We have searched for nearby low-mass stars and brown dwarfs and have studied the planet-forming environment of binary stars. We have carried out a search for young, low-mass stars in nearby stellar associations using X-ray and UV source catalogs. We discovered a new technique to identify 10-100 Myr-old low-mass stars within 100 pc of the Earth using GALEX-optical/near-IR data. We present candidate young stars found by applying this new method in the 10 Myr old TW Hydrae and Scorpius-Centaurus associations. In addition, we have searched for the coolest brown dwarf class: Y-dwarfs, expected to appear at temperatures <500 K. Using wide-field near infrared imaging with ground (CTIO, Palomar, KPNO) and space (Spitzer, AKARI) observatories, we have looked for companions to nearby, old (2 Gyr or older), high proper motion white dwarfs. We present results for Southern Hemisphere white dwarfs. Additionally, we have characterized how likely planet formation occurs in binary star systems. While 20% of planets have been discovered around one member of a binary system, these binaries have semi-major axes larger than 20 AU. We have performed an AO and spectroscopic search for binary stars among a sample of known debris disk stars, which allows us to indirectly study planet formation and evolution in binary systems. As a case study, we examined the gas and dust present in the circumbinary disk around V4046 Sagittarii, a 2.4-day spectroscopic binary. Our results demonstrate it is unlikely that planets can form in binaries with stellar semi-major axes of 10s of AU. This research has been funded by a NASA ADA grant to UCLA and RIT.

  20. Detection of Earth-like planets around nearby stars using a petal-shaped occulter.

    PubMed

    Cash, Webster

    2006-07-06

    Direct observation of Earth-like planets is extremely challenging, because their parent stars are about 10(10) times brighter but lie just a fraction of an arcsecond away. In space, the twinkle of the atmosphere that would smear out the light is gone, but the problems of light scatter and diffraction in telescopes remain. The two proposed solutions--a coronagraph internal to a telescope and nulling interferometry from formation-flying telescopes--both require exceedingly clean wavefront control in the optics. An attractive variation to the coronagraph is to place an occulting shield outside the telescope, blocking the starlight before it even enters the optical path. Diffraction and scatter around or through the occulter, however, have limited effective suppression in practically sized missions. Here I report an occulter design that would achieve the required suppression and can be built with existing technology. The compact mission architecture of a coronagraph is traded for the inconvenience of two spacecraft, but the daunting optics challenges are replaced with a simple deployable sheet 30 to 50 m in diameter. When such an occulter is flown in formation with a telescope of at least one metre aperture, terrestrial planets could be seen and studied around stars to a distance of ten parsecs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2002-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-10

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

  3. The Extraordinary Albedo Variations on Pluto Detected by New Horizons and Implications for Dwarf Planet Eris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buratti, Bonnie J.; Hofgartner, Jason D.; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Verbiscer, Anne J.; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Catherine B.; Young, Leslie; New Horizons Geology and Geophysics Team

    2016-10-01

    The New Horizons mission returned stunning observations of active geology on the surface of Pluto (Stern et al., 2015, Science 350, 292). One of the markers for activity on planets or moons is normal albedos approaching 1.0, as is the case for Enceladus (Buratti et al., 1984, Icarus 58, 254; Verbiscer et al., 2005, Icarus 173, 66). When all corrections for viewing geometry are made for Pluto, it has normal albedos that approach unity in the regions that show evidence for activity by a lack of craters, notably the region informally named Sputnik Planum. On the other hand, Pluto also has a very dark (normal albedo ~0.10) equatorial belt.The geometric albedo of Eris, another large dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt, is 0.96 (Sicardy et al., 2011, Nature 478, 493), close to that of Enceladus. Coupled with a high density of 2.5 gm/cc (Sicardy et al., ibid.), implying an even larger amount of radiogenic heating than that for Pluto (with a density near 1.9 gm/cc), we find it highly likely that Eris is also active with some type of solid state convection or cryovolcanism on its surface. Alternate explanations such as complete condensation of methane frost onto its surface in the colder environment at nearly 100 AUs would not lead to the high albedo observed.Another implication of the extreme albedo variations on Pluto is that the temperature varies by at least 20K on its surface, spawning possible aeolian processes and associated features such as wind streaks and dunes, which are currently being sought on New Horizons images. Finally, low albedo regions on Pluto, with normal reflectances less than 0.10, provide possible evidence for dust in the Kuiper Belt that is accreting onto the surface of Pluto. Another - or additional - explanation for this low-albedo dust is native material created in Pluto's hazy atmosphere.New Horizons funding by NASA is gratefully acknowledged.

  4. Extrasolar planets: constraints for planet formation models.

    PubMed

    Santos, Nuno C; Benz, Willy; Mayor, Michel

    2005-10-14

    Since 1995, more than 150 extrasolar planets have been discovered, most of them in orbits quite different from those of the giant planets in our own solar system. The number of discovered extrasolar planets demonstrates that planetary systems are common but also that they may possess a large variety of properties. As the number of detections grows, statistical studies of the properties of exoplanets and their host stars can be conducted to unravel some of the key physical and chemical processes leading to the formation of planetary systems.

  5. Integrated optics in the mid-infrared: application to nulling interferometry for the detection of earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labadie, L.

    Nulling interferometry, a coronographic technique used in astronomy, is the core of the ESA Darwin mission dedicated to the direct detection of extrasolar earth-like planets. This technique requires a very stable optical system for the combination of multiple beams. Moreover, the scientific objectives require the use of modal filtering of the incoming beams. This thesis focuses on the development of mid-infrared integrated optics (IO) that can perform both combination and modal filtering functions. The initial context is thus the extension of single-mode IO from the near-infrared to the mid-infrared range, which corresponds to an important spectral domain for planet searches. After a description of nulling interferometry requirements, I present the fundamental guided-optics notions used to study the dielectric waveguides and the hollow metallic waveguides solutions. Moreover, I discuss the issue of coupling light into the waveguide. The lab characterization work at 10 microns has involved the implementation of dedicated methods and breadboards in the mid-infrared, which permitted me to demonstrate the waveguide and the single-mode behavior of the first manufactured structures. The preliminary measurements of the signal extinction have also shown the importance of pursuing this technological research for purposes of modal filtering. Mid-infrared integrated optics has now reached a new and important step and will contribute, on a mid-term basis, to the implemetation of nulling interferometry.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  8. Eccentricity Pumping Through Circumbinary Disks in Hot Subdwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vos, J.

    2015-12-01

    Hot subdwarf-B stars in long-period binaries are found to be on eccentric orbits, even though current binary-evolution theory predicts these objects to be circularized before the onset of Roche-lobe overflow (RLOF). We have tested three different eccentricity pumping processes on their viability to reproduce the observed wide sdB population; tidally-enhanced wind mass-loss, phase-dependent RLOF on eccentric orbits and the interaction between a circumbinary (CB) disk and the binary. The binary module of the stellar-evolution code Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA) is extended to include the eccentricity-pumping processes, and a parameter study is carried out. We find that models including phase-dependent RLOF or a CB disk can reach the observed periods and eccentricities. However, the models cannot explain the observed correlation between period and eccentricity. Nor can circular short period systems be formed when eccentricity pumping mechanisms are active.

  9. Rapid Orbital Decay in Detached Binaries: Evidence for Circumbinary Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Wen-Cong; Podsiadlowski, Philipp

    2017-03-01

    Some short-period, detached binary systems have recently been reported as experiencing very rapid orbital decay, much faster than is expected from the angular-momentum loss caused by gravitational radiation alone. As these systems contain fully convective stars, magnetic braking is not believed to be operative, making the large orbital-period derivative puzzling. Here, we explore whether a resonant interaction between the binary and a surrounding circumbinary (CB) disk could account for the observed orbital decay. Our calculations indicate that the observed orbital-period derivatives in seven detached binaries can be produced by the resonant interaction between the binary and a CB disk if the latter has a mass in the range of {10}-4{--}{10}-2 {M}ȯ , which is of the same order as the inferred disk mass (∼ 2.4× {10}-4 {M}ȯ ) in the post-common-envelope binary NN Ser.

  10. Telescope array for extrasolar planet detection from the far side of the Moon.

    PubMed

    Galan, Maximilian; Strojnik, Marija; Garcia-Torales, Guillermo; Kirk, Maureen S

    2016-12-01

    We propose that an array of 4×4 small-diameter telescopes, possibly 1 m in radius, be placed on the far side of the Moon for continuous monitoring of nearby stars for the existence of a planetary companion, similar to the Earth, and feasible for human colonization. The advantages of this location include long intervals of darkness, availability of a rigid platform in the form of a moon body, and most importantly, the absence of the atmosphere that allows the complete transmission of radiation in the spectral range from UV to millimeter waves. The task is facilitated in that the telescopes would act as light "buckets" to collect photons during long integration periods. All other technology has already been demonstrated, as humans in person delivered optical elements to the Moon's surface during the Apollo era. The disadvantages are primarily operational, in terms of requiring the establishment of a human habitat on the Moon. Likewise, all aspects of constructing a large 75 m by 75 m mirror array on the Moon's surface will be challenging. Simultaneously, the decreased gravity requires less effort and less energy to perform the construction tasks. The absence of atmosphere permits the search to extend from less than 10 to 300 μm to find Earth-like or even much colder planets.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-02

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

  13. Observational signatures of linear warps in circumbinary discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juhász, Attila; Facchini, Stefano

    2017-01-01

    In recent years an increasing number of observational studies have hinted at the presence of warps in protoplanetary discs, however a general comprehensive description of observational diagnostics of warped discs was missing. We performed a series of 3D SPH hydrodynamic simulations and combined them with 3D radiative transfer calculations to study the observability of warps in circumbinary discs, whose plane is misaligned with respect to the orbital plane of the central binary. Our numerical hydrodynamic simulations confirm previous analytical results on the dependence of the warp structure on the viscosity and the initial misalignment between the binary and the disc. To study the observational signatures of warps we calculate images in the continuum at near-infrared and sub-millimetre wavelengths and in the pure rotational transition of CO in the sub-millimetre. Warped circumbinary discs show surface brightness asymmetry in near-infrared scattered light images as well as in optically thick gas lines at sub-millimetre wavelengths. The asymmetry is caused by self-shadowing of the disc by the inner warped regions, thus the strength of the asymmetry depends on the strength of the warp. The projected velocity field, derived from line observations, shows characteristic deviations, twists and a change in the slope of the rotation curve, from that of an unperturbed disc. In extreme cases even the direction of rotation appears to change in the disc inwards of a characteristic radius. The strength of the kinematical signatures of warps decreases with increasing inclination. The strength of all warp signatures decreases with decreasing viscosity.

  14. CIRCUMBINARY MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC ACCRETION INTO INSPIRALING BINARY BLACK HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Noble, Scott C.; Mundim, Bruno C.; Nakano, Hiroyuki; Campanelli, Manuela; Zlochower, Yosef; Krolik, Julian H.; Yunes, Nicolas

    2012-08-10

    We have simulated the magnetohydrodynamic evolution of a circumbinary disk surrounding an equal-mass binary comprising two non-spinning black holes during the period in which the disk inflow time is comparable to the binary evolution time due to gravitational radiation. Both the changing spacetime and the binary orbital evolution are described by an innovative technique utilizing high-order post-Newtonian approximations. Prior to the beginning of the inspiral, the structure of the circumbinary disk is predicted well by extrapolation from Newtonian results: a gap of roughly two binary separation radii is cleared, and matter piles up at the outer edge of this gap as inflow is retarded by torques exerted by the binary; the accretion rate is roughly half its value at large radius. During inspiral, the inner edge of the disk initially moves inward in coordination with the shrinking binary, but-as the orbital evolution accelerates-the inward motion of the disk edge falls behind the rate of binary compression. In this stage, the binary torque falls substantially, but the accretion rate decreases by only 10%-20%. When the binary separation is tens of gravitational radii, the rest-mass efficiency of disk radiation is a few percent, suggesting that supermassive binary black holes could be very luminous at this stage of their evolution. Inner disk heating is modulated at a beat frequency comparable to the binary orbital frequency. However, a disk with sufficient surface density to be luminous may be optically thick, suppressing periodic modulation of the luminosity.

  15. Detection of Potential Transit Signals in 17 Quarters of Kepler Data: Results of the Final Kepler Mission Transiting Planet Search (DR25)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Twicken, Joseph D.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Seader, Shawn E.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Smith, Jeffrey C.; Brownston, Lee S.; Burke, Christopher J.; Catanzarite, Joseph H.; Clarke, Bruce D.; Cote, Miles T.; Girouard, Forrest R.; Klaus, Todd C.; Li, Jie; McCauliff, Sean D.; Morris, Robert L.; Wohler, Bill; Campbell, Jennifer R.; Kamal Uddin, Akm; Zamudio, Khadeejah A.; Sabale, Anima; Bryson, Steven T.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Coughlin, Jeffrey L.; Haas, Michael R.; Henze, Christopher E.; Sanderfer, Dwight T.; Thompson, Susan E.

    2016-12-01

    We present results of the final Kepler Data Processing Pipeline search for transiting planet signals in the full 17-quarter primary mission data set. The search includes a total of 198,709 stellar targets, of which 112,046 were observed in all 17 quarters and 86,663 in fewer than 17 quarters. We report on 17,230 targets for which at least one transit signature is identified that meets the specified detection criteria: periodicity, minimum of three observed transit events, detection statistic (i.e., signal-to-noise ratio) in excess of the search threshold, and passing grade on three statistical transit consistency tests. Light curves for which a transit signal is identified are iteratively searched for additional signatures after a limb-darkened transiting planet model is fitted to the data and transit events are removed. The search for additional planets adds 16,802 transit signals for a total of 34,032; this far exceeds the number of transit signatures identified in prior pipeline runs. There was a strategic emphasis on completeness over reliability for the final Kepler transit search. A comparison of the transit signals against a set of 3402 well-established, high-quality Kepler Objects of Interest yields a recovery rate of 99.8%. The high recovery rate must be weighed against a large number of false-alarm detections. We examine characteristics of the planet population implied by the transiting planet model fits with an emphasis on detections that would represent small planets orbiting in the habitable zone of their host stars.

  16. A Program to Detect and Characterize Extra-Solar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindstrom, David (Technical Monitor); Noyes, Robert W.

    2003-01-01

    We initiated a significant hardware upgrade to the AFOE, to increase its efficiency for precise radial velocity studies to the level where we can continue to contribute usefully to extrasolar planet research on relatively bright stars. The AFOE, at a 1.5-m telescope, will of course not have the sensitivity of radial velocity instruments at larger telescopes, such as the HIRES on Keck or the Hectochelle on the MMT telescope (about to come on line). However, it has been possible to increase its efficiency for precise radial velocity studies by a factor of 4 to 5, which-combined with the large amount of telescope time available at the 1.5-m telescope-will permit us to do intensive follow-up observations of stars brighter than about 8 magnitude. The AFOE was originally designed primarily for asteroseismology using a ThAr reference. This provided useful wavelength stability over tens of minutes as required for asteroseismology, but we were unable to get a long-term (month-to-month) velocity precision better than about 15 m/s with that setup. Hence, we implemented an iodine cell as a wavelength reference for extrasolar planet studies. However, the optical design of the original AFOE did not completely span the wavelength range covered by the iodine absorption spectrum, and furthermore the optics suffered significant light loss through optical obscuration in the camera secondary. To remedy this, we replaced the AFOE grating with a new one that covered the entire iodine spectral range at somewhat lower spectral resolution, and replaced the camera with a transmitting lens. (The use of a lens was made possible by restricting the spectral range covered by the upgraded AFOE to only the iodine region.) These upgrades were successfully completed, and the instrument was tested for three nights in fall of 2002. The expected improvement in sensitivity by a factor of 4 to 5 was observed: that is, the same velocity precision as previously attained (of order 5 to 7 m/s) was now

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-04-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  19. The Gemini Planet Imager

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, B; al., e

    2006-05-02

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

  20. Wavelet-based filter methods for the detection of small transiting planets: Application to Kepler and K2 light curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grziwa, Sascha; Korth, Judith; Paetzold, Martin; KEST

    2016-10-01

    The Rheinisches Institut für Umweltforschung (RIU-PF) has developed the software package EXOTRANS for the detection of transits of exoplanets in stellar light curves. This software package was in use during the CoRoT space mission (2006-2013). EXOTRANS was improved by different wavelet-based filter methods during the following years to separate stellar variation, orbital disturbances and instrumental effects from stellar light curves taken by space telescopes (Kepler, K2, TESS and PLATO). The VARLET filter separates faint transit signals from stellar variations without using a-priori information about the target star. VARLET considers variations by frequency, amplitude and shape simultaneously. VARLET is also able to extract most instrumental jumps and glitches. The PHALET filter separates periodic features independent of their shape and is used with the intention to separate diluting stellar binaries. It is also applied for the multi transit search. Stellar light curves of the K2 mission are constructed from the processing of target pixel files which corrects disturbances caused by the reduced pointing precision of the Kepler telescope after the failure of two gyroscopes. The combination of target pixel file processing with both filter techniques and the proven detection pipeline EXOTRANS lowers the detection limit, reduces false alarms and simplifies the detection of faint transits in light curves of the K2 mission. Using EXOTRANS many new candidates were detected in K2 light curves by using EXOTRANS which were successfully confirmed by ground-based follow-up observation of the KEST collaboration. New candidates and confirmed planets are presented.

  1. Migrating Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, N.; Hansen, B.; Holman, M.; Tremaine, S.

    1998-01-01

    A planet orbiting in a disk of planetesimals can experience an instability in which it migrates to smaller orbital radii. Resonant interactions between the planet and planetesimals remove angular momentum from the planetesimals, increasing their eccentricities. Subsequently, the planetesimals either collide with or are ejected by the planet, reducing the semimajor axis of the planet. If the surface density of planetesimals exceeds a critical value, corresponding to 0.03 solar masses of gas inside the orbit of Jupiter, the planet will migrate inward a large distance. This instability may explain the presence of Jupiter-mass objects in small orbits around nearby stars.

  2. EVIDENCE FOR INFALLING GAS OF LOW ANGULAR MOMENTUM TOWARD THE L1551 NE KEPLERIAN CIRCUMBINARY DISK

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-10-10

    We report follow-up C{sup 18}O(3-2) line observations of the Class I binary protostellar system L1551 NE with the Submillimeter Array in its compact and subcompact configurations. Our previous observations at a higher angular resolution in the extended configuration revealed a circumbinary disk exhibiting Keplerian motion. The combined data, with more extensive spatial coverage (∼140-2000 AU), verify the presence of a Keplerian circumbinary disk and reveal for the first time a distinct low-velocity (∼< ± 0.5 km s{sup –1} from the systemic velocity) component that displays a velocity gradient along the minor axis of the circumbinary disk. Our simple model that reproduces the main features seen in the position-velocity diagrams comprises a circumbinary disk exhibiting Keplerian motion out to a radius of ∼300 AU, beyond which the gas exhibits pure infall at a constant velocity of ∼0.6 km s{sup –1}. This velocity is significantly smaller than the expected free-fall velocity of ∼2.2 km s{sup –1} onto the L1551 NE protostellar mass of ∼0.8 M{sub ☉} at ∼300 AU, suggesting that the infalling gas is decelerated as it moves into regions of high gas pressure in the circumbinary disk. The discontinuity in angular momenta between the outer infalling gas and the inner Keplerian circumbinary disk implies an abrupt transition in the effectiveness at which magnetic braking is able to transfer angular momentum outward, a result perhaps of the different plasma β values and the ionization fractions between the outer and inner regions of the circumbinary disk.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Helms, Harry L.

    1991-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hatzes, Artie P.

    2013-06-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Homes for extraterrestrial life: extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Latham, D W

    2001-12-01

    Astronomers are now discovering giant planets orbiting other stars like the sun by the dozens. But none of these appears to be a small rocky planet like the earth, and thus these planets are unlikely to be capable of supporting life as we know it. The recent discovery of a system of three planets is especially significant because it supports the speculation that planetary systems, as opposed to single orbiting planets, may be common. Our ability to detect extrasolar planets will continue to improve, and space missions now in development should be able to detect earth-like planets.

  8. Terrestrial planet formation surrounding close binary stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quintana, Elisa V.; Lissauer, Jack J.

    2006-11-01

    Most stars reside in binary/multiple star systems; however, previous models of planet formation have studied growth of bodies orbiting an isolated single star. Disk material has been observed around both components of some young close binary star systems. Additionally, it has been shown that if planets form at the right places within such disks, they can remain dynamically stable for very long times. Herein, we numerically simulate the late stages of terrestrial planet growth in circumbinary disks around 'close' binary star systems with stellar separations 0.05 AU⩽a⩽0.4 AU and binary eccentricities 0⩽e⩽0.8. In each simulation, the sum of the masses of the two stars is 1 M, and giant planets are included. The initial disk of planetary embryos is the same as that used for simulating the late stages of terrestrial planet formation within our Solar System by Chambers [Chambers, J.E., 2001. Icarus 152, 205-224], and around each individual component of the α Centauri AB binary star system by Quintana et al. [Quintana, E.V., Lissauer, J.J., Chambers, J.E., Duncan, M.J., 2002. Astrophys. J. 576, 982-996]. Multiple simulations are performed for each binary star system under study, and our results are statistically compared to a set of planet formation simulations in the Sun-Jupiter-Saturn system that begin with essentially the same initial disk of protoplanets. The planetary systems formed around binaries with apastron distances Q≡a(1+e)≲0.2 AU are very similar to those around single stars, whereas those with larger maximum separations tend to be sparcer, with fewer planets, especially interior to 1 AU. We also provide formulae that can be used to scale results of planetary accretion simulations to various systems with different total stellar mass, disk sizes, and planetesimal masses and densities.

  9. Orbital period decay of compact black hole X-ray binaries: the influence of circumbinary disks?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Wen-Cong; Li, Xiang-Dong

    2015-11-01

    Context. Recently, compact black hole X-ray binaries XTE J 1118+480 and A0620-00 have been reported to be experiencing a fast orbital period decay, which is two orders of magnitude higher than expected with gravitational wave radiation. Magnetic braking of an Ap/Bp star has been suggested to account for the period change when the surface magnetic field of the companion star Bs ≳ 104 G. However, our calculation indicates that anomalous magnetic braking cannot significantly contribute to the large orbital period decay rates observed in these two sources even if Bs ≳ 104 G. Aims: Observations have provided evidence that circumbinary disks around two compact black hole X-ray binaries may exist. Our analysis shows that, for some reasonable parameters, tidal torque between the circumbinary disk and the binary can efficiently extract the orbital angular momentum from the binary, and result in a large orbital period change rate. Methods: Based on the circumbinary disk model, we simulate the evolution of XTE J 1118+480 via a stellar evolution code. Results: Our computations are approximatively in agreement with the observed data (the masses of two components, donor star radius, orbital period, and orbital period derivative). Conclusions: The mass transfer rate and circumbinary disk mass are obviously far greater than the inferred values from observations. Therefore, it seems that the circumbinary disk is unlikely to be the main cause of the rapid orbital decay observed in some compact black hole X-ray binaries.

  10. Predictions for the Detection and Characterization of a Population of Free-floating Planets with K2 Campaign 9

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penny, Matthew T.; Rattenbury, Nicholas J.; Gaudi, B. Scott; Kerins, Eamonn

    2017-04-01

    K2 Campaign 9 (K2C9) offers the first chance to measure parallaxes and masses of members of the large population of free-floating planets (FFPs) that has previously been inferred from measurements of the rate of short-timescale microlensing events. Using detailed simulations of the nominal campaign (ignoring the loss of events due to Kepler’s emergency mode) and ground-based microlensing surveys, we predict the number of events that can be detected if there is a population of 1 {M}{Jupiter} FFPs matching current observational constraints. Using a Fisher matrix analysis, we also estimate the number of detections for which it will be possible to measure the microlensing parallax, angular Einstein radius, and FFP mass. We predict that between 1.4 and 7.9 events will be detected in the K2 data, depending on the noise floor that can be reached, but with the optimistic scenario being more likely. For nearly all of these, it will be possible to either measure the parallax or constrain it to be probabilistically consistent with only planetary-mass lenses. We expect that for between 0.42 and 0.98 events it will be possible to gain a complete solution and measure the FFP mass. For the emergency-mode truncated campaign, these numbers are reduced by 20 percent. We argue that when combined with prompt high-resolution imaging of a larger sample of short-timescale events, K2C9 will conclusively determine if the putative FFP population is indeed both planetary and free-floating.

  11. The planets and life.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, R. S.

    1971-01-01

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

  12. A Program to Detect and Characterize Extra-Solar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindstrim, David (Technical Monitor); Noyes, Robert W.

    2004-01-01

    The upgrade to the AFOE spectrograph at the 1.5-m Tillinghast telescope at FLWO Observatory, described in detail in the previous progress report, was completed. Work included installing a new CCD detector (using SA0 internal funds) to replace the previous detector, which had failed after many thermal cyclings during the previous nearly ten years of operation. The new detector (a back-illuminated Marconi 2K x 2K detector) shows excellent quantum efficiency, and employs dual readout channels to keep the readout time as short as 20 seconds. Tests of the attainable radial velocity precision of the upgraded spectrograph with the new detector show an improvement in radial velocity detection efficiency by a factor of about 10 over the previous AFOE configuration, allowing us to push the photon-noise-limited doppler precision of 7 m/s to correspondingly fainter stars. This work was carried out by Co-investigator Sylvain Korzennik, along with the late Peter Nisenson.

  13. Predictions on the detection of the free-floating planet population with K2 and spitzer microlensing campaigns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamolli, L.; De Paolis, F.; Hafizi, M.; Nucita, A. A.

    2017-01-01

    The K2's Campaign 9 (K2C9) by the Kepler satellite for microlensing observations towards the Galactic bulge started on April 7, 2016, and is going to last for about three months. It offers the first chance to measure the masses of members of the large population of the isolated dark low-mass objects further away in our Galaxy, free-floating planets (FFPs). Intentionally, this observational period of K2 will overlap with that of the 2016 Spitzer follow-up microlensing project expected to start in June, 2016. Therefore, for the first time it is going to be possible to observe simultaneously the same microlensing events from a ground-based telescope and two satellites. This will help in removing the two-fold degeneracy of the impact parameter and in estimating the FFP mass, provided that the angular Einstein ring radius ΘE is measured. In this paper we calculate the probability that a microlensing event is detectable by two or more telescopes and study how it depends on the mass function index of FFPs and the position of the observers on the orbit.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Bin

    2014-07-01

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

  15. The complex circumstellar and circumbinary environment of V356 Sgr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lomax, Jamie R.; Fullard, Andrew G.; Malatesta, Michael A.; Babler, Brian; Bednarski, Daniel; Berdis, Jodi R.; Bjorkman, Karen S.; Bjorkman, Jon E.; Carciofi, Alex C.; Davidson, James W., Jr.; Keil, Marcus; Meade, Marilyn R.; Nordsieck, Kenneth; Scheffler, Matt; Hoffman, Jennifer L.; Wisniewski, John P.

    2017-01-01

    We analyse 45 spectropolarimetric observations of the eclipsing, interacting binary star V356 Sgr, obtained over a period of ˜21 yr, to characterize the geometry of the system's circumstellar material. After removing interstellar polarization from these data, we find that the system exhibits a large intrinsic polarization signature arising from electron scattering. In addition, the lack of repeatable eclipses in the polarization phase curves indicates the presence of a substantial pool of scatterers not occulted by either star. We suggest that these scatterers form either a circumbinary disc coplanar with the gainer's accretion disc or an elongated structure perpendicular to the orbital plane of V356 Sgr, possibly formed by bipolar outflows. We also observe small-scale, cycle-to-cycle variations in the magnitude of intrinsic polarization at individual phases, which we interpret as evidence of variability in the amount of scattering material present within and around the system. This may indicate a mass-transfer or mass-loss rate that varies on the time-scale of the system's orbital period. Finally, we compare the basic polarimetric properties of V356 Sgr with those of the well-studied β Lyr system; the significant differences observed between the two systems suggest diversity in the basic circumstellar geometry of Roche lobe overflow systems.

  16. The Complex Circumstellar and Circumbinary Environment of V356 Sgr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fullard, Andrew; Lomax, Jamie R.; Malatesta, Michael A.; Babler, Brian L.; Bednarski, Daniel; Berdis, Jodi; Bjorkman, Karen S.; Bjorkman, Jon Eric; Carciofi, Alex C.; Davidson, James W.; Keil, Marcus; Meade, Marilyn; Nordsieck, Kenneth H.; Scheffler, Matt; Hoffman, Jennifer L.; Wisniewski, John P.

    2017-01-01

    The eclipsing, interacting binary star V356 Sgr is a particularly exciting object for analysis due to its probable nonconservative mass loss and the possible progenitor link between Roche-lobe overflow systems and core-collapse supernovae. We present the results of 45 spectropolarimetric observations of V356 Sgr taken over 21 years, which we used to characterize the geometry of the system's circumstellar material. We find that V356 Sgr exhibits a large intrinsic polarization signature arising from electron scattering. The lack of repeatable eclipses in the polarization phase curves indicates the presence of a substantial pool of scatterers not occulted by either star. We suggest that these scatterers form either a circumbinary disk coplanar with the gainer's accretion disk, or an elongated structure perpendicular to the orbital plane of V356 Sgr, possibly formed by bipolar outflows.We also observe small-scale, cycle-to-cycle variations in the magnitude of intrinsic polarization at individual phases. These may indicate a mass transfer or mass loss rate that varies on the time-scale of the system's orbital period. Finally, we present a comparison of V356 Sgr with the well studied beta Lyr system; the significant differences observed between the two systems suggests diversity in the basic circumstellar geometry of Roche-lobe overflow binaries.

  17. Atmospheres of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark

    2006-01-01

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

  18. Transit of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doyle, Laurance R.

    1998-01-01

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

  19. Extreme Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

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

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

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-12-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Meschiari, Stefano; Laughlin, Gregory P.

    2010-07-20

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

  2. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-03

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-05-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-06

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

  6. PREDICTING PLANETS IN KEPLER MULTI-PLANET SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Fang, Julia; Margot, Jean-Luc

    2012-05-20

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peale, S. J.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-08-10

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

  9. Planets or Pretense?: The Search for Substellar Objects around Post Common Envelope Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardy, Adam; Schreiber, Matthias R.; Parsons, Steven; Caceres, Claudio; Canovas, Hector

    2015-12-01

    Many believe post-common envelope binary systems (PCEBs), consisting of a white dwarf and a close main-sequence companion, host a unique class of planetary system. Given the well known age and history of the host binary stars, these systems have the potential to provide new insights into the evolution of planetary systems. However, the existence of the planets should be treated with some skepticism as their presence has so far been inferred only by the indirect method of eclipse timing variations. This method has proved somewhat flawed, as many of the claimed planetary systems have been found dynamically unstable, and others have dramatically failed when confronted with more recent high-precision times. It is therefore of the utmost importance that complementary observations be performed to test the planetary hypothesis, and we have recently performed two such pioneering observations:1. We use SPHERE on the VLT to image the PCEB V471 Tau. A circumbinary companion to this PCEB has been predicted for more than 30 years with eclipse timings, but only recently has a direct detection become technically possible.2. We use ALMA to search for dusty material around the young PCEB NN Ser. The planetary model for NN Ser is one of the most convincing, and these planets would likely be present alongside considerable dusty material, now detectable thanks to the sensitivity of ALMA.I will present the results of these two important observations and discuss their far-reaching implications for the existence and charactistics of planetary systems around PCEBs.

  10. The Search for Planet Nine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Michael E.; Batygin, Konstantin

    2016-10-01

    We use an extensive suite of numerical simulations to constrain the mass and orbit of Planet Nine, and we use these constraints to begin the search for this newly proposed planet in new and in archival data. Here, we compare our simulations to the observed population of aligned eccentric high semimajor axis Kuiper belt objects and determine which simulation parameters are statistically compatible with the observations. We find that only a narrow range of orbital elements can reproduce the observations. In particular, the combination of semimajor axis, eccentricity, and mass of Planet Nine strongly dictates the semimajor axis range of the orbital confinement of the distant eccentric Kuiper belt objects. Allowed orbits, which confine Kuiper belt objects with semimajor axis beyond 380 AU, have perihelia roughly between 150 and 350 AU, semimajor axes between 380 and 980 AU, and masses between 5 and 20 Earth masses. Orbitally confined objects also generally have orbital planes similar to that of the planet, suggesting that the planet is inclined approximately 30 degrees to the ecliptic. We compare the allowed orbital positions and estimated brightness of Planet Nine to previous and ongoing surveys which would be sensitive to the planet's detection and use these surveys to rule out approximately two-thirds of the planet's orbit. Planet Nine is likely near aphelion with an approximate brightness of 22detected within 24 hours. We discuss the state of our current and archival searches for this newly predicted planet.

  11. Outer Planets

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  12. Astrometric Planet Searches with SIM PlanetQuest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-10

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

  14. Atmospheres of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marley, M. S.; Fortney, J.; Seager, S.; Barman, T.

    The key to understanding an extrasolar giant planet's spectrum - and hence its detectability and evolution - lies with its atmosphere. Now that direct observations of thermal emission from extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) are in hand, atmosphere models can be used to constrain atmospheric composition, thermal structure, and ultimately the formation and evolution of detected planets. We review the important physical processes that influence the atmospheric structure and evolution of EGPs and consider what has already been learned from the first generation of observations and modeling. We pay particular attention to the roles of cloud structure, metallicity, and atmospheric chemistry in affecting detectable properties through Spitzer Space Telescope observations of the transiting giant planets. Our review stresses the uncertainties that ultimately limit our ability to interpret EGP observations. Finally we will conclude with a look to the future as characterization of multiple individual planets in a single stellar system leads to the study of comparative planetary architectures.

  15. Radiation-driven Warping of Circumbinary Disks around Eccentric Young Star Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    We study a warping instability of a geometrically thin, non-self-gravitating, circumbinary disk around young binary stars on an eccentric orbit. Such a disk is subject to both the tidal torques due to a time-dependent binary potential and the radiative torques due to radiation emitted from each star. The tilt angle between the circumbinary disk plane and the binary orbital plane is assumed to be very small. We find that there is a radius within/beyond which the circumbinary disk is unstable to radiation-driven warping, depending on the disk density and temperature gradient indices. This marginally stable warping radius is very sensitive to viscosity parameters, a fiducial disk radius and the temperature measured there, the stellar luminosity, and the disk surface density at a radius where the disk changes from optically thick to thin for the irradiation from the central stars. On the other hand, it is insensitive to the orbital eccentricity and binary irradiation parameter, which is a function of the binary mass ratio and luminosity of each star. Since the tidal torques can suppress the warping in the inner part of the circumbinary disk, the disk starts to be warped in the outer part. While the circumbinary disks are most likely to be subject to the radiation-driven warping on an AU to kilo-AU scale for binaries with young massive stars more luminous than 104 L ⊙, the radiation-driven warping does not work for those around young binaries with the luminosity comparable to the solar luminosity.

  16. Primordial Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schild, Rudolph E.; Gibson, Carl H.

    Recent spacecraft observations exploring solar system properties impact standard paradigms of the formation of stars, planets and comets. We stress the unexpected cloud of microscopic dust resulting from the DEEP IMPACT mission, and the existence of molten nodules in STARDUST samples. And the theory of star formation does not explain the common occurrence of binary and multiple star systems in the standard gas fragmentation scenario. No current theory of planet formation can explain the iron core of the earth, under oceans of water. These difficulties are avoided in a scenario where the planet mass objects form primordially and are today the baryonic dark matter. They have been detected in quasar microlensing and anomalous quasar radio brightening bursts. The primordial planets often concentrate together to form a star, with residual matter seen in pre-stellar accretion discs around the youngest stars. These primordial planet mass bodies were formed of hydrogen-helium, aggregated in dense clumps of a trillion at the time of plasma neutralization 380,000 years after the big bang. Most have been frozen and invisible, but are now manifesting themselves in numerous ways as sensitive modern space telescopes become operational. Their key detection signature is their thermal emission spectrum, pegged at the 13.8 degrees Kelvin triple point of hydrogen, the baryonic dark matter (Staplefeldt et al. 1999).

  17. Debris Disks and Hidden Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuchner, Marc

    2008-01-01

    When a planet orbits inside a debris disk like the disk around Vega or Beta Pictoris, the planet may be invisible, but the patterns it creates in the disk may give it away. Observing and decoding these patterns may be the only way we can detect exo-Neptunes orbiting more than 20 AU from their stars, and the only way we can spot planets in systems undergoing the late stages of planet formation. Fortunately, every few months, a new image of a debris disk appears with curious structures begging for explanation. I'll describe some new ideas in the theory of these planet-disk interactions and provide a buyers guide to the latest models (and the planets they predict).

  18. Retrograde binaries of massive black holes in circumbinary accretion discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaro-Seoane, Pau; Maureira-Fredes, Cristián; Dotti, Massimo; Colpi, Monica

    2016-06-01

    Context. We explore the hardening of a massive black hole binary embedded in a circumbinary gas disc under a specific circumstance: when the binary and the gas are coplanar and the gas is counter-rotating. The binary has unequal mass and the interaction of the gas with the lighter secondary black hole is the main cause of the braking torque on the binary that shrinks with time. The secondary black hole, revolving in the direction opposite to the gas, experiences a drag from gas-dynamical friction and from direct accretion of part of it. Aims: In this paper, using two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamical grid simulations we investigate the effect of changing the accretion prescriptions on the dynamics of the secondary black hole, which in turn affect the binary hardening and eccentricity evolution. Methods: We find that realistic accretion prescriptions lead to results that differ from those inferred assuming accretion of all the gas within the Roche Lobe of the secondary black hole. Results: When considering gas accretion within the gravitational influence radius of the secondary black hole (which is smaller than the Roche Lobe radius) to better describe gas inflows, the shrinking of the binary is slower. In addition, in this case, a smaller amount of accreted mass is required to reduce the binary separation by the same amount. Different accretion prescriptions result in different discs' surface densities, which alter the black hole's dynamics back. Full 3D Smoothed-particle hydrodynamics realizations of a number of representative cases, run over a shorter interval of time, validate the general trends observed in the less computationally demanding 2D simulations. Conclusions: Initially circular black hole binaries increase their eccentricity only slightly, which then oscillates around small values (<0.1) while they harden. By contrast, initially eccentric binaries become more and more eccentric. A semi-analytical model describing the black hole's dynamics under

  19. THE ECLIPSING SYSTEM EP ANDROMEDAE AND ITS CIRCUMBINARY COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Jae Woo; Hinse, Tobias Cornelius; Park, Jang-Ho E-mail: tchinse@gmail.com

    2013-04-15

    We present new long-term CCD photometry for EP And acquired during the period 2007-2012. The light curves display total eclipses at primary minima and season-to-season light variability. Our synthesis for all available light curves indicates that the eclipsing pair is a W-type overcontact binary with parameters of q = 2.578, i = 83. Degree-Sign 3, {Delta}T = 27 K, f = 28%, and l{sub 3} = 2%-3%. The asymmetric light curves in 2007 were satisfactorily modeled by a cool spot on either of the eclipsing components from a magnetic dynamo. Including our 95 timing measurements, a total of 414 times of minimum light spanning about 82 yr was used for a period study. A detailed analysis of the eclipse timing diagram revealed that the orbital period of EP And has varied as a combination of an upward-opening parabola and two periodic variations, with cycle lengths of P{sub 3} = 44.6 yr and P{sub 4} = 1.834 yr and semi-amplitudes of K{sub 3} = 0.0100 days and K{sub 4} = 0.0039 days, respectively. The observed period increase at a fractional rate of +1.39 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -10} is in excellent agreement with that calculated from the W-D code and can be plausibly explained by some combination of mass transfer from the primary to the secondary star and angular momentum loss due to magnetic braking. The most reasonable explanation for both cycles is a pair of light-travel-time effects driven by the possible existence of a third and fourth component with projected masses of M{sub 3} = 0.25 M{sub Sun} and M{sub 4} = 0.90 M{sub Sun }. The more massive companion could be revealed using high-resolution spectroscopic data extending over the course of a few years and could also be a binary itself. It is possible that the circumbinary objects may have played an important role in the formation and evolution of the eclipsing pair, which would cause it to have a short initial orbital period and thus evolve into an overcontact configuration by angular momentum loss.

  20. Microlensing Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, Andrew

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

  1. THREE PLANETS ORBITING WOLF 1061

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-02-01

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

  2. [Extrasolar terrestrial planets and possibility of extraterrestrial life].

    PubMed

    Ida, Shigeru

    2003-12-01

    Recent development of research on extrasolar planets are reviewed. About 120 extrasolar Jupiter-mass planets have been discovered through the observation of Doppler shift in the light of their host stars that is caused by acceleration due to planet orbital motions. Although the extrasolar planets so far observed may be limited to gas giant planets and their orbits differ from those of giant planets in our Solar system (Jupiter and Saturn), the theoretically predicted probability of existence of extrasolar terrestrial planets that can have liquid water ocean on their surface is comparable to that of detectable gas giant planets. Based on the number of extrasolar gas giants detected so far, about 100 life-sustainable planets may exist within a range of 200 light years. Indirect observation of extrasolar terrestrial planets would be done with space telescopes within several years and direct one may be done within 20 years. The latter can detect biomarkers on these planets as well.

  3. Planet detection down to a few λ/D: an RSDI/TLOCI approach to PSF subtraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerard, Benjamin L.; Marois, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Most current high contrast imaging point spread function (PSF) subtraction algorithms use some form of a least-squares noise minimization to find exoplanets that are, before post-processing, often hidden below the instrumental speckle noise. In the current standard PSF subtraction algorithms, a set of reference images is derived from the target image sequence to subtract each target image, using Angular and/or Simultaneous Spectral Differential Imaging (ADI, SSDI, respectively). However, to avoid excessive exoplanet self-subtraction, ADI and SSDI (in the absence of a strong spectral feature) severely limit the available number of reference images at small separations. This limits the performance of the least-squares algorithm, resulting in lower sensitivity to exoplanets at small angular separations. Possible solutions are to use additional reference images by acquiring longer sequences, use SSDI if the exoplanet is expected to show strong spectral features, or use images acquired on other targets. The latter option, known as Reference Star Differential Imaging (RSDI), which relies on the use of reference images that are highly correlated to the target image, has been ineffective in previous ground-based high contrast imaging surveys. The now >200 target reference library from the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) allows for a detailed RSDI analysis to possibly improve contrast performance near the focal plane mask, at 2-7λ/D separations. We present the results of work to optimize PSF subtraction with the GPIES reference library using a least-squares algorithm designed to minimize speckle noise and maximize planet throughput, thus maximizing the planet signal to noise ratio (SNR). Using December 2014 51 Eri GPI data in the inner 100 mas to 300 mas annulus, we find no apparent improvement in SNR when using RSDI and/or our optimization scheme. This result, while still being investigated, seems to show that current algorithms on ADI+SSDI data sets are

  4. A Large Sparse Aperture Densified Pupil Hypertelescope Concept for Ground Based Detection of Extra-Solar Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gezari, D.; Lyon, R.; Woodruff, R.; Labeyrie, A.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    A concept is presented for a large (10 - 30 meter) sparse aperture hyper telescope to image extrasolar earth-like planets from the ground in the presence of atmospheric seeing. The telescope achieves high dynamic range very close to bright stellar sources with good image quality using pupil densification techniques. Active correction of the perturbed wavefront is simplified by using 36 small flat mirrors arranged in a parabolic steerable array structure, eliminating the need for large delat lines and operating at near-infrared (1 - 3 Micron) wavelengths with flats comparable in size to the seeing cells.

  5. Tidal disruptions in circumbinary disks. II. Observational signatures in the reverberation spectra

    SciTech Connect

    Brem, P.; Amaro-Seoane, P.; Cuadra, J.; Komossa, S.

    2014-09-10

    Supermassive binary black holes (SMBBHs) with sub-pc separations form in the course of galaxy mergers, if both galaxies harbor massive black holes. Clear observational evidence for them however still eludes us. We propose a novel method of identifying these systems by means of reverberation mapping their circumbinary disk after a tidal disruption event has ionized it. The tidal disruption of a star at the secondary leads to strong asymmetries in the disk response. We model the shape of the velocity-delay maps for various toy disk models and more realistic gas distributions obtained by smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations. The emissivity of the ionized disk is calculated with Cloudy. We find peculiar asymmetries in the maps for off center ionizing sources that may help us constrain geometrical parameters of a circumbinary disk such as semimajor axis and orbital phase of the secondary, as well as help strengthen the observational evidence for sub-parsec SMBBHs as such.

  6. Systems level feasibility study for the detection of extra-solar planets. Volume 1: Infrared interferometer (IRIS) known as the Stanford Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    A sensor system for the direct detection of extrasolar planets from an Earth orbit is evaluated: a spinning, infrared interferometer (IRIS). It is shuttle deployed, free flying, requires no on-orbit assembly and no reservicing over a design life of five years. The sensor concept and the mission objectives are reviewed, and the performance characteristics of a baseline sensor for standard observation conditions are derived. A baseline sensor design is given and the enabling technology discussed. Cost and weight estimates are performed; and a schedule for an IRIS program including technology development and assessment of risk are given. Finally, the sensor is compared with the apodized visual telescope sensor (APOTS) proposed for the same mission. The major conclusions are: that with moderate to strong technology advances, particularly in the fields of long life cryogenics, dynamical control, mirror manufacturing, and optical alignment, the detection of a Jupiter like planet around a Sunlike star at a distance of 30 light years is feasible, with a 3 meter aperture and an observation time of 1 hour. By contrast, major and possibly unlikely breakthroughs in mirror technology are required for APOTS to match this performance.

  7. AK Sco: evidence of tide driven filling of the inner gap in the circumbinary disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez de Castro, Ana I.; Lopez-Santiago, Javier; Talavera, Antonio; Sytov, A. Yu.; Bisikalo, Dmitri

    2013-07-01

    AK Sco stands out among pre-main sequence binaries because of its prominent ultraviolet excess, the high eccentricity of its orbit and the strong tides driven by it. AK Sco is made of two F5 type stars that get as close as 11R* at periastron passage. The presence of a dense (ne ~ 1011 cm-3) extended envelope has been unveiled recently. In this article, we report the results from a XMM-Newton based, monitoring of the system. We show that at periastron, X-ray and UV fluxes are enhanced by a factor of ~3 with respect to the apastron values. The X-ray radiation is produced in an optically thin plasma with T~6.4 MK and it is found that the NH column rises from 0.35 1021 cm-2 at periastron to 1.11 1021 cm-2 at apastron, in good agreement with previous polarimetric observations. The UV emission detected in the OM band seems to be caused by the reprocessing of the high energy magnetospheric radiation on the circumstellar material. Moreover, further evidence of the strong magnetospheric disturbances is provided by the detection of line broadening of 279 km s-1 in the N V line with HST/STIS. Numerical simulations of the mass flow from the circumbinary disk to the components have been carried out. They provide a consistent scenario to interpret AK Sco observations. We show that the eccentric orbit acts like a gravitational piston. At apastron, matter is dragged efficiently from the inner disk border, filling the inner gap and producing accretion streams that end as ring-like structures around each component of the system. At periastron, the ring-like structures get in contact, leading to angular momentum annihilation, and thus producing an accretion outburst. These results are published in Gómez de Castro et al. 2013, ApJ, 766, 62 We have also discovered a 780 s period oscillation in the UV continuum light curve triggered at periastron passage (Gómez de Castro, Lopez-Santiago & Talavera, 2013, MNRAS, 429, L1).

  8. Imaging Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowler, Brendan P.

    2016-10-01

    High-contrast adaptive optics (AO) imaging is a powerful technique to probe the architectures of planetary systems from the outside-in and survey the atmospheres of self-luminous giant planets. Direct imaging has rapidly matured over the past decade and especially the last few years with the advent of high-order AO systems, dedicated planet-finding instruments with specialized coronagraphs, and innovative observing and post-processing strategies to suppress speckle noise. This review summarizes recent progress in high-contrast imaging with particular emphasis on observational results, discoveries near and below the deuterium-burning limit, and a practical overview of large-scale surveys and dedicated instruments. I conclude with a statistical meta-analysis of deep imaging surveys in the literature. Based on observations of 384 unique and single young (≈5-300 Myr) stars spanning stellar masses between 0.1 and 3.0 M ⊙, the overall occurrence rate of 5-13 M Jup companions at orbital distances of 30-300 au is {0.6}-0.5+0.7 % assuming hot-start evolutionary models. The most massive giant planets regularly accessible to direct imaging are about as rare as hot Jupiters are around Sun-like stars. Dividing this sample into individual stellar mass bins does not reveal any statistically significant trend in planet frequency with host mass: giant planets are found around {2.8}-2.3+3.7 % of BA stars, <4.1% of FGK stars, and <3.9% of M dwarfs. Looking forward, extreme AO systems and the next generation of ground- and space-based telescopes with smaller inner working angles and deeper detection limits will increase the pace of discovery to ultimately map the demographics, composition, evolution, and origin of planets spanning a broad range of masses and ages.

  9. Binary Black Hole Accretion from a Circumbinary Disk: Gas Dynamics inside the Central Cavity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farris, Brian D.; Duffell, Paul; MacFadyen, Andrew I.; Haiman, Zoltan

    2014-03-01

    We present the results of two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamical simulations of circumbinary disk accretion using the finite-volume code DISCO. This code solves the 2D viscous Navier-Stokes equations on a high-resolution moving mesh which shears with the fluid flow, greatly reducing advection errors in comparison with a fixed grid. We perform a series of simulations for binary mass ratios in the range 0.026 <= q <= 1.0, each lasting longer than a viscous time so that we reach a quasi-steady accretion state. In each case, we find that gas is efficiently stripped from the inner edge of the circumbinary disk and enters the cavity along accretion streams, which feed persistent "mini disks" surrounding each black hole. We find that for q >~ 0.1, the binary excites eccentricity in the inner region of the circumbinary disk, creating an overdense lump which gives rise to enhanced periodicity in the accretion rate. The dependence of the periodicity on mass ratio may provide a method for observationally inferring mass ratios from measurements of the accretion rate. We also find that for all mass ratios studied, the magnitude of the accretion onto the secondary is sufficient to drive the binary toward larger mass ratio. This suggests a mechanism for biasing mass-ratio distributions toward equal mass.

  10. Binary black hole accretion from a circumbinary disk: Gas dynamics inside the central cavity

    SciTech Connect

    Farris, Brian D.; Duffell, Paul; MacFadyen, Andrew I.; Haiman, Zoltan

    2014-03-10

    We present the results of two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamical simulations of circumbinary disk accretion using the finite-volume code DISCO. This code solves the 2D viscous Navier-Stokes equations on a high-resolution moving mesh which shears with the fluid flow, greatly reducing advection errors in comparison with a fixed grid. We perform a series of simulations for binary mass ratios in the range 0.026 ≤ q ≤ 1.0, each lasting longer than a viscous time so that we reach a quasi-steady accretion state. In each case, we find that gas is efficiently stripped from the inner edge of the circumbinary disk and enters the cavity along accretion streams, which feed persistent 'mini disks' surrounding each black hole. We find that for q ≳ 0.1, the binary excites eccentricity in the inner region of the circumbinary disk, creating an overdense lump which gives rise to enhanced periodicity in the accretion rate. The dependence of the periodicity on mass ratio may provide a method for observationally inferring mass ratios from measurements of the accretion rate. We also find that for all mass ratios studied, the magnitude of the accretion onto the secondary is sufficient to drive the binary toward larger mass ratio. This suggests a mechanism for biasing mass-ratio distributions toward equal mass.

  11. The evolution of binary millisecond pulsars and the formation of planets around them

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banit, Menashe

    1993-01-01

    We show that the formation of planets around a millisecond pulsar may occur in a very late phase of Low-Mass X-Ray Binary (LMXB) or Binary-Millisecond-Pulsar (BMP) evolution. We propose a new mechanism in which the companion winds in these phases form through the combined action of the radiation heat on the companion's atmosphere and the radiation force on the slowly lifting wind. This mechanism can produce relatively high mass flow rates, and provided the companion is bloated, it explains the observed rapid angular momentum loss of the binary millisecond pulsar 1957 + 20. With such wind the evaporated matter can be supplied to a circumbinary 'excretion' disk in which the physical conditions, similar to those appropriate for the BMP1957 + 20 system, may allow the formation of planets like those observed in PSR1257 + 12. This model connects the conventional evolutionary scenario for the formation of a millisecond pulsar with the formation of planets around it.

  12. Using the Sun to estimate Earth-like planets detection capabilities. V. Parameterizing the impact of solar activity components on radial velocities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borgniet, S.; Meunier, N.; Lagrange, A.-M.

    2015-09-01

    Context. Stellar activity induced by active structures such as stellar spots and faculae is known to have a strong impact on the radial velocity (RV) time series. It is therefore a strong limitation to the detection of small planetary RV signals, such as that of an Earth-mass planet in the habitable zone of a solar-like star. In a series of previous papers, we have studied the detectability of such planets around the Sun observed as a star in an edge-on configuration. For this purpose, we computed the RV, photometric and astrometric variations induced by solar magnetic activity, using all active structures observed over one entire cycle. Aims: Our goal is to perform similar studies on stars with different physical and geometrical properties. As a first step, we focus on Sun-like stars seen with various inclinations, and on estimating detection capabilities with future instruments. Methods: To do so, we first parameterize the solar active structures with the most realistic pattern so as to obtain results consistent with the observed ones. We simulate the growth, evolution and decay of solar magnetic features (spots, faculae and network), using parameters and empiric laws derived from solar observations and literature. We generate the corresponding structure lists over a full solar cycle. We then build the resulting spectra and deduce the RV and photometric variations, first in the case of a sun seen edge-on and then with various inclinations. The produced RV signal takes into account the photometric contribution of spots and faculae as well as the attenuation of the convective blueshift in faculae. We then use these patterns to study solar-like stars with various inclinations. Results: The comparison between our simulated activity pattern and the observed pattern validates our model. We show that the inclination of the stellar rotation axis has a significant impact on the photometric and RV time series. Radial velocity long-term amplitudes and short-term jitters are

  13. Searching for Planets Around Pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-09-01

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

  14. First Detection of a Dust Disk around Iota Horologii, a Southern Star Orbitted by an Extrasolar Giant Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pantin, E.; Els, S.; Marchis, F.; Endl, M.; Kürster, M.; Sterzik, M.

    2000-12-01

    The link between the presence of debris dust disks (Vega phenomenon) and planetary formation is still unclear; are they: excluding children, siamese twins, or just casual neighbours? Recenly, Trilling et al. (1999), thanks to coronograph observations in the Northern hemisphere, showed that 3 out of 6 stars with known planetary companions harbour a tenuous dust disk, probably some precursors to the analogues of our Solar System Kuiper belt and zodiacal disk. We have started to conduct a similar program in the southern hemisphere at the ESO 3.6m telescope using the adaptive optics system ADONIS. H band images taken in coronographic mode during good observing conditions reveal the presence of a tenuous dust disk around the star Iota Horologii. This star is know to have a planetary companion of 2.26 M.sin i Jupiter masses on a 1 AU orbit, revealed by radial velocities analysis. The ADONIS images show that the disk has an inclination with a tilt angle of 40 degrees with respect to the edge-on configuration. This information allows to remove the degeneracy on the estimation of the mass of the planet due to the unknown inclination of the orbit. Taking this value into account, we find that the planet mass is 3.41 Jupiter masses. In our ADONIS observations, the disk extends 3.7 arcsec from the star, i.e. about 65 AU taking into account the distance of 17 parcsecs of this system. Modelling of light scattering by dust particles are shown and compared to the observations in order to deduce the disk density profile. This density profile is compared to previous results on disks around Beta Pic and HD 100546.

  15. On the Habitability of Planets in Binary Star Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilat-Lohinger, E.; Eggl, S.; Gyergyovits, M.

    2012-04-01

    The discovery of more and more extra-solar planets in and around binary star systems cause questions concerning the determination of the classical habitable zone (HZ). We present calculations of the radiative and gravitational perturbations of two stars on a terrestrial planet moving in the HZ in different binary - planet configurations. Two types of planetary motion will be considered, i.e. S-type motion (or circumprimary motion) where the planet orbits one star only and P-type (or circumbinary motion) where the binary revolves inside the planet's orbit. It was found that the HZ in S-type configurations tend to be gravitationally dominated, the radiative input due to the second star is negligible compared to its dynamical influence causing secular changes in the eccentricity of the planets. This alters the amount of incident radiation significantly. In P-type configurations the radiation estimates can be determined on shorter time-scales. The radiation amplitude depends on the eccentricity of the binary in both configurations. Finally we present time independent analytical estimates about the habitability of a terrestrial planet in the HZ of a binary star system as shown by Eggl et al.(2012). This work was financed by the Austrian Science Fonds (FWF) P22603-N16 and AS11608-N16 and S.Eggl was financed by the University of Vienna (Forschungsstipendium 2012). Ref.: Eggl, S., Pilat-Lohinger, E., Gerogakarakos, N., Gyergyovits, M. and Funk, B., "Habitable Zones in S-Type Binary Star Systems", ApJ, submitted.

  16. Polarimetry of gas planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joos, Franco

    The quest for new worlds was not only an adventure at the times of Columbus. Also nowadays mankind searches for new, undiscovered territories. But today they lie no longer only on our Earth, but also well outside the solar system. There, new planets are sought and found. One of the challenges of modern astrophysics is the direct detection of extra- solar planets. To reach this goal, the largest available telescopes and most sophisticated detection techniques are required. A promising method to "see" and analyse extra-solar planets is based on the fact, that light reflected by a planet can be polarised. For its detection, accurate polarisation measurements are needed. This is one of the methods ESO intends to make use of to find new planets outside the solar system. The Institute of Astronomy of ETH Zürich contributes ZIMPOL to this planet-finder project. ZIMPOL is a very sensitive imaging polarimeter. This thesis is situated within the ESO-planet-finder project. It deals with two problems that are crucial for a successful mission: (1) Instrumental polarisation can seriously hamper the performance of the instrument. It is therefore essential, to keep instrumental polarisation very low. (2) A knowledge of the polarisation properties of our targets would be very helpful. For this reason the polarisation properties of our solar system planets are investigated. Promising candidates for a detection with ZIMPOL are large planets with atmospheres similar to those of our giant gas planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. In the first part of the thesis the planet-finder project is presented and the role of ZIMPOL is explained. To obtain the instrumental polarisation, the polarimetric properties of mirrors and other optical components of our planet- finder instrument are analysed. The instrumental polarisation for the wavelength range of 600 to 1000 nm and for all zenith distances is calculated with Mueller matrices. Methods for reducing the instrumental polarisation

  17. The Chemistry of Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oberg, Karin I.

    2017-01-01

    Exo-planets are common, and they span a large range of compositions. The origins of the observed diversity of planetary compositions is largely unconstrained, but must be linked to the planet formation physics and chemistry. Among planets that are Earth-like, a second question is how often such planets form hospitable to life. A fraction of exo-planets are observed to be ‘physically habitable’, i.e. of the right temperature and bulk composition to sustain a water-based prebiotic chemistry, but this does not automatically imply that they are rich in the building blocks of life, in organic molecules of different sizes and kinds, i.e. that they are chemically habitable. In this talk I will argue that characterizing the chemistry of protoplanetary disks, the formation sites of planets, is key to address both the origins of planetary bulk compositions and the likelihood of finding organic matter on planets. The most direct path to constrain the chemistry in disks is to directly observe it. In the age of ALMA it is for the first time possible to image the chemistry of planet formation, to determine locations of disk snowlines, and to map the distributions of different organic molecules. Recent ALMA highlights include constraints on CO snowline locations, the discovery of spectacular chemical ring systems, and first detections of more complex organic molecules. Observations can only provide chemical snapshots, however, and even ALMA is blind to the majority of the chemistry that shapes planet formation. To interpret observations and address the full chemical complexity in disks requires models, both toy models and astrochemical simulations. These models in turn must be informed by laboratory experiments, some of which will be shown in this talk. It is thus only when we combine observational, theoretical and experimental constraints that we can hope to characterize the chemistry of disks, and further, the chemical compositions of nascent planets.

  18. Planet Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afonso, Isabel

    2014-05-01

    A more adequate name for Planet Earth could be Planet Ocean, seeing that ocean water covers more than seventy percent of the planet's surface and plays a fundamental role in the survival of almost all living species. Actually, oceans are aqueous solutions of extraordinary importance due to its direct implications in the current living conditions of our planet and its potential role on the continuity of life as well, as long as we know how to respect the limits of its immense but finite capacities. We may therefore state that natural aqueous solutions are excellent contexts for the approach and further understanding of many important chemical concepts, whether they be of chemical equilibrium, acid-base reactions, solubility and oxidation-reduction reactions. The topic of the 2014 edition of GIFT ('Our Changing Planet') will explore some of the recent complex changes of our environment, subjects that have been lately included in Chemistry teaching programs. This is particularly relevant on high school programs, with themes such as 'Earth Atmosphere: radiation, matter and structure', 'From Atmosphere to the Ocean: solutions on Earth and to Earth', 'Spring Waters and Public Water Supply: Water acidity and alkalinity'. These are the subjects that I want to develop on my school project with my pupils. Geographically, our school is located near the sea in a region where a stream flows into the sea. Besides that, our school water comes from a borehole which shows that the quality of the water we use is of significant importance. This project will establish and implement several procedures that, supported by physical and chemical analysis, will monitor the quality of water - not only the water used in our school, but also the surrounding waters (stream and beach water). The samples will be collected in the borehole of the school, in the stream near the school and in the beach of Carcavelos. Several physical-chemical characteristics related to the quality of the water will

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Confirmation of the OGLE-2005-BLG-169 Planet Signature and Its Characteristics with Lens-Source Proper Motion Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batista, V.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Bennett, D. P.; Gould, A.; Marquette, J.-B.; Fukui, A.; Bhattacharya, A.

    2015-08-01

    We present Keck NIRC2 high angular resolution adaptive optics observations of the microlensing event OGLE-2005-BLG-169Lb, taken 8.21 years after the discovery of this planetary system. For the first time for a microlensing planetary event, the source and the lens are completely resolved, providing a precise measurement of their heliocentric relative proper motion, {μ }{rel,{helio}}=7.44+/- 0.17 mas yr-1. This confirms and refines the initial model presented in the discovery paper and rules out a range of solutions that were allowed by the microlensing light curve. This is also the first time that parameters derived from a microlensing planetary signal are confirmed, both with the Keck measurements, presented in this paper, and independent measurements obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope in I,V and B bands, presented in a companion paper. Hence, this new measurement of {μ }{rel,{helio}}, as well as the measured brightness of the lens in H band, enabled the mass and distance of the system to be updated: a Uranus-mass planet ({m}{{p}}=13.2+/- 1.3{M}\\oplus ) orbiting a K5-type main sequence star ({M}*=0.65+/- 0.05{M}⊙ ) separated by {a}\\perp =3.4+/- 0.3 AU, at the distance {D}{{L}}=4.0+/- 0.4 kpc from us.

  1. Radio Search For Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarka, P.

    Theoretical justification and ongoing observational efforts in view of detecting radio emissions from extrasolar planets will be presented. On the "prediction" side, a heuris- tic scaling law has been established relating the radio output of any magnetized flow- obstacle system to the incident magnetic energy flux on the obstacle. Its confirmation by the observation of radio emission from extrasolar planets would help to understand the energy budget of such a system. On the "detection" side, specific procedures have been developed for interference mitigation and weak burst detection.

  2. An Update on Planet Nine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-07-01

    significantly constrains the parameters of Planet Nines orbit as well as where it currently could be within its orbit.Eliminating Hiding SpotsBrown and Batygin have returned, this time with more detailed estimates of Planet Nines potential orbit and location. By performing an enormous suite of simulations and then comparing the outcomes to actual observations of the distribution of KBOs, the authors narrow the allowed range for Planet Nines orbital characteristics.Authors predictions for the location, distance, brightness, and speed of Planet Nine throughout its orbit. Colored regions have been or will be explored by previous or current surveys capable of detecting the planet. Black regions remain places where Planet Nine could lurk. [Brown Batygin 2016]Brown and Batygin find that the allowed orbits for Planet Nine have perihelia of ~150350 AU, semimajor axes of ~380980 AU, and masses of ~520 Earth masses. Using these values and what we know about detection limits of previous and current surveys, we can rule out roughly two thirds of Planet Nines orbit, narrowing its position to be somewhere near aphelion.Planet Nines AtmosphereFinally, Jonathan Fortney (UC Santa Cruz) and collaborators model Planet Nines atmosphere. Rather than assuming the planet behaves like a blackbody, they use the planets predicted orbit as well as a range of plausible masses and interior structures in models that treat the body like the giant planets of our solar system.The authors find Planet Nine is likely quite cold, as expected, with an effective temperature of ~3550 K at most (for reference, Neptune is around 60 K). Because of this cool temperature, the authors speculate that methane may condense out of the atmosphere, changing the planets reflection and emission spectra. This would cause the planet to appear much bluer than planets like Uranus and Neptune in infrared energy bands.The constraints from these studies continue to support the existence of Planet Nine, narrow down the regions in which we

  3. ON THE ORIGIN OF PLANETS AT VERY WIDE ORBITS FROM THE RECAPTURE OF FREE FLOATING PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Perets, Hagai B.; Kouwenhoven, M. B. N. E-mail: thijskouwenhoven@gmail.com

    2012-05-01

    In recent years, several planets have been discovered at wide orbits (>100 AU) around their host stars. Theoretical studies encounter difficulties in explaining their formation and origin. Here we propose a novel scenario for the production of planetary systems at such orbits, through the dynamical recapture of free floating planets (FFPs) in dispersing stellar clusters and stellar associations. This process is a natural extension of the recently suggested scenario for the formation of wide stellar binaries. We use N-body simulations of dispersing clusters with 10-1000 stars and comparable numbers of FFPs to study this process. We find that planets are captured into wide orbits in the typical range {approx}few Multiplication-Sign 100-10{sup 6} AU and have a wide range of eccentricities (thermal distribution). Typically, 3-6 Multiplication-Sign (f{sub FFP}/1)% of all stars capture a planetary companion with such properties (where f{sub FFP} is the number of FFP per star in the birth clusters). The planetary capture efficiency is comparable to that of capture-formed stellar binaries, and shows a similar dependence on the cluster size and structure. It is almost independent of the specific planetary mass; planets as well as substellar companions of any mass can be captured. The capture efficiency decreases with increasing cluster size, and for a given cluster size it increases with the host/primary mass. We also find that more than one planet can be captured around the same host through independent consecutive captures; similarly, planets can be captured into binary systems, both in circumstellar and circumbinary orbits. We also expect planets to be captured into pre-existing planetary (and protoplanetary systems) as well as into orbits around black holes and massive white dwarfs, if these formed early enough before the cluster dispersal. In particular, stellar black holes have a high capture efficiency (>50% and 5-10 Multiplication-Sign (f{sub FFP}/1)% for capture of

  4. Exploring Planet Sizes

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  5. ON THE RELATIVE SIZES OF PLANETS WITHIN KEPLER MULTIPLE-CANDIDATE SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Ciardi, David R.; Gautier, T. N. III; Howell, Steve B.; Lissauer, Jack J.; Rowe, Jason F.

    2013-01-20

    We present a study of the relative sizes of planets within the multiple-candidate systems discovered with the Kepler mission. We have compared the size of each planet to the size of every other planet within a given planetary system after correcting the sample for detection and geometric biases. We find that for planet pairs for which one or both objects are approximately Neptune-sized or larger, the larger planet is most often the planet with the longer period. No such size-location correlation is seen for pairs of planets when both planets are smaller than Neptune. Specifically, if at least one planet in a planet pair has a radius of {approx}> 3 R {sub Circled-Plus }, 68% {+-} 6% of the planet pairs have the inner planet smaller than the outer planet, while no preferred sequential ordering of the planets is observed if both planets in a pair are smaller than {approx}< 3 R {sub Circled-Plus }.

  6. 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.

  7. STRUCTURE AND EVOLUTION OF CIRCUMBINARY DISKS AROUND SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARIES

    SciTech Connect

    Rafikov, Roman R.

    2013-09-10

    We explore properties of circumbinary disks around supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries in centers of galaxies by reformulating standard viscous disk evolution in terms of the viscous angular momentum flux F{sub J}. If the binary stops gas inflow and opens a cavity in the disk, then the inner disk evolves toward a constant-F{sub J} (rather than a constant M-dot ) state. We compute disk properties in different physical regimes relevant for SMBH binaries, focusing on the gas-assisted evolution of systems starting at separations 10{sup -4} - 10{sup -2} pc, and find the following. (1) Mass pileup at the inner disk edge caused by the tidal barrier accelerates binary inspiral. (2) Binaries can be forced to merge even by a disk with a mass below that of the secondary. (3) Torque on the binary is set non-locally, at radii far larger than the binary semi-major axis; its magnitude does not reflect disk properties in the vicinity of the binary. (4) Binary inspiral exhibits hysteresis-it depends on the past evolution of the disk. (5) The Eddington limit can be important for circumbinary disks even if they accrete at sub-Eddington rates, but only at late stages of the inspiral. (6) Gas overflow across the orbit of the secondary can be important for low secondary mass, high- M-dot systems, but mainly during the inspiral phase dominated by the gravitational wave emission. (7) Circumbinary disks emit more power and have harder spectra than constant M-dot disks; their spectra are very sensitive to the amount of overflow across the secondary orbit.

  8. ALMA observations of the nearby AGB star L2 Puppis. I. Mass of the central star and detection of a candidate planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kervella, P.; Homan, W.; Richards, A. M. S.; Decin, L.; McDonald, I.; Montargès, M.; Ohnaka, K.

    2016-12-01

    Six billion years from now, while evolving on the asymptotic giant branch (AGB), the Sun will metamorphose from a red giant into a beautiful planetary nebula. This spectacular evolution will impact the solar system planets, but observational confirmations of the predictions of evolution models are still elusive as no planet orbiting an AGB star has yet been discovered. The nearby AGB red giant L2 Puppis (d = 64 pc) is surrounded by an almost edge-on circumstellar dust disk. We report new observations with ALMA at very high angular resolution (18 × 15 mas) in band 7 (ν ≈ 350 GHz) that allow us to resolve the velocity profile of the molecular disk. We establish that the gas velocity profile is Keplerian within the central cavity of the dust disk, allowing us to derive the mass of the central star L2 Pup A, mA = 0.659 ± 0.011 ± 0.041 M⊙ (± 6.6%). From evolutionary models, we determine that L2 Pup A had a near-solar main-sequence mass, and is therefore a close analog of the future Sun in 5 to 6 Gyr. The continuum map reveals a secondary source (B) at a radius of 2 AU contributing fB/fA = 1.3 ± 0.1% of the flux of the AGB star. L2 Pup B is also detected in CO emission lines at a radial velocity of vB = 12.2 ± 1.0 km s-1. The close coincidence of the center of rotation of the gaseous disk with the position of the continuum emission from the AGB star allows us to constrain the mass of the companion to mB = 12 ± 16 MJup. L2 Pup B is most likely a planet or low-mass brown dwarf with an orbital period of about five years. Its continuum brightness and molecular emission suggest that it may be surrounded by an extended molecular atmosphere or an accretion disk. L2 Pup therefore emerges as a promising vantage point on the distant future of our solar system.

  9. Three Eclipsing Bodies

    NASA Video Gallery

    This artist's movie illustrates Kepler-16b, the first directly detected circumbinary planet, which is a planet that orbits two stars. The movie begins by showing the gaseous surface of the rotating...

  10. Dependence of Small Planet Frequency on Stellar Metallicity Hidden by Their Prevalence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Wei; Wang, Ji; Huang, Chelsea

    2016-12-01

    The dependence of gas giant planet occurrence rate on stellar metallicity has been firmly established. We extend this so-called planet-metallicity correlation to broader ranges of metallicities and planet masses/radii. In particular, we assume that the planet-metallicity correlation is a power law below some critical saturation threshold, and that the probability of hosting at least one planet is unity for stars with metallicity above the threshold. We then are able to explain the discrepancy between the tentative detection and null detection in previous studies regarding the planet-metallicity correlation for small planets. In particular, we find that the null detection of this correlation can be attributed to the combination of high planet occurrence rate and low detection efficiency. Therefore, a planet-metallicity correlation for small planets cannot be ruled out. We propose that stars with metallicities lower than the solar value are better targets for testing the planet-metallicity correlation for small planets.

  11. Terrestrial Planet Geophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, R. J.

    2008-12-01

    Terrestrial planet geophysics beyond our home sphere had its start arguably in the early 1960s, with Keith Runcorn contending that the second-degree shape of the Moon is due to convection and Mariner 2 flying past Venus and detecting no planetary magnetic field. Within a decade, in situ surface geophysical measurements were carried out on the Moon with the Apollo program, portions of the lunar magnetic and gravity fields were mapped, and Jack Lorell and his colleagues at JPL were producing spherical harmonic gravity field models for Mars using tracking data from Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. Moreover, Mariner 10 discovered a planetary magnetic field at Mercury, and a young Sean Solomon was using geological evidence of surface contraction to constrain the thermal evolution of the innermost planet. In situ geophysical experiments (such as seismic networks) were essentially never carried out after Apollo, although they were sometimes planned just beyond the believability horizon in planetary mission queues. Over the last three decades, the discipline of terrestrial planet geophysics has matured, making the most out of orbital magnetic and gravity field data, altimetric measurements of surface topography, and the integration of geochemical information. Powerful constraints are provided by tectonic and volcanic information gleaned from surface images, and the engagement of geologists in geophysical exercises is actually quite useful. Accompanying these endeavors, modeling techniques, largely adopted from the Earth Science community, have become increasingly sophisticated and have been greatly enhanced by the dramatic increase in computing power over the last two decades. The future looks bright with exciting new data sets emerging from the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, the promise of the GRAIL gravity mission to the Moon, and the re-emergence of Venus as a worthy target for exploration. Who knows? With the unflagging optimism and persistence

  12. THE SDSS-HET SURVEY OF KEPLER ECLIPSING BINARIES: SPECTROSCOPIC DYNAMICAL MASSES OF THE KEPLER-16 CIRCUMBINARY PLANET HOSTS

    SciTech Connect

    Bender, Chad F.; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Deshpande, Rohit; Wright, Jason T.; Roy, Arpita; Terrien, Ryan C.; Sigurdsson, Steinn; Ramsey, Lawrence W.; Schneider, Donald P.; Fleming, Scott W.

    2012-06-01

    We have used high-resolution spectroscopy to observe the Kepler-16 eclipsing binary as a double-lined system and measure precise radial velocities for both stellar components. These velocities yield a dynamical mass ratio of q = 0.2994 {+-} 0.0031. When combined with the inclination, i 90.{sup 0}3401{sup +0.0016}{sub -0.0019}, measured from the Kepler photometric data by Doyle et al. (D11), we derive dynamical masses for the Kepler-16 components of M{sub A} = 0.654 {+-} 0.017 M{sub Sun} and M{sub B} = 0.1959 {+-} 0.0031 M{sub Sun }, a precision of 2.5% and 1.5%, respectively. Our results confirm at the {approx}2% level the mass-ratio derived by D11 with their photometric-dynamical model (PDM), q = 0.2937 {+-} 0.0006. These are among the most precise spectroscopic dynamical masses ever measured for low-mass stars and provide an important direct test of the results from the PDM technique.

  13. The Rocky Planet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Debra

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-03-10

    measurements capable of detecting planets with K {approx} 5 m s{sup -1} and periods in excess of 10 years will provide constraints on this regime. Finally, we present an analysis of the predicted separation of planets in two-planet systems, and of the population of planets in mean-motion resonances (MMRs). We show that, if there are systems with {approx} Jupiter-mass planets that avoid close encounters, the planetesimal disk acts as a damping mechanism and populates MMRs at a very high rate (50%-80%). In many cases, resonant chains (in particular the 4:2:1 Laplace resonance) are set up among all three planets. We expect such resonant chains to be common among massive planets in outer planetary systems.

  15. Dance of the Planets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddle, Bob

    2005-01-01

    As students continue their monthly plotting of the planets along the ecliptic they should start to notice differences between inner and outer planet orbital motions, and their relative position or separation from the Sun. Both inner and outer planets have direct eastward motion, as well as retrograde motion. Inner planets Mercury and Venus,…

  16. TIDAL DISRUPTIONS IN CIRCUMBINARY DISKS. I. STAR FORMATION, DYNAMICS, AND BINARY EVOLUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Amaro-Seoane, Pau; Brem, Patrick; Cuadra, Jorge E-mail: Patrick.Brem@aei.mpg.de

    2013-02-10

    In our current interpretation of the hierarchical structure of the universe, it is well established that galaxies collide and merge with each other during their lifetimes. If massive black holes (MBHs) reside in galactic centers, we expect them to form binaries in galactic nuclei surrounded by a circumbinary disk. If cooling is efficient enough, the gas in the disk will clump and trigger stellar formation in situ. In this first paper we address the evolution of the binary under the influence of the newly formed stars, which form individually and also clustered. We use smoothed particle hydrodynamics techniques to evolve the gas in the circumbinary disk and to study the phase of star formation. When the amount of gas in the disk is negligible, we further evolve the system with a high-accurate direct-summation N-body code to follow the evolution of the stars, the innermost binary and tidal disruption events (TDEs). For this, we modify the direct N-body code to include (1) treatment of TDEs and (2) 'gas cloud particles' that mimic the gas, so that the stellar clusters do not dissolve when we follow their infall on to the MBHs. We find that the amount of stars disrupted by either infalling stellar clusters or individual stars is as large as 10{sup -4} yr{sup -1} per binary, higher than expected for typical galaxies.

  17. A Double Dusty Dilemma - IRAC Flux Changes in Circumbinary Debris Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, Steven; Farihi, Jay; Gaensicke, Boris

    2015-10-01

    We have serendipitously discovered the first metal-polluted white dwarf with what appears to be a circumbinary dust disk. Both the atmospheric metals and infrared excess were found by our team a few years ago, but only recently did we (surprisingly!) identify a spectroscopic periodicity of 2.27 hr which unambiguously identifies this peculiar system as a close binary. Most remarkable for this proposal is that the system must be dynamically unstable, as a companion and canonical (flat, opaque) dust disk occupy overlapping orbital regions. We thus strongly suspected the system must be in a state of relatively rapid change, and recent DDT observations confirmed our hypothesis. We now propose to observe the system over a complete binary orbit to further constrain the changes in infrared flux, and to distentangle dust emission variability from any changes induced by the binary orbit itself. Micron-size dust grains should be subject to PR drag within a decade, and imply dust depletion on yearly timescales -- consistent with the DDT data. Our third epoch observations will provide an direct test by searching for a continuing decrease in dust emission. If such a decrease is not confirmed, it would imply the circumbinary dust reservoir is being replenished on yearly timescales.

  18. On the energy dissipation rate at the inner edge of circumbinary discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terquem, Caroline; Papaloizou, John C. B.

    2017-01-01

    We study, by means of numerical simulations and analysis, the details of the accretion process from a disc on to a binary system. We show that energy is dissipated at the edge of a circumbinary disc and this is associated with the tidal torque that maintains the cavity: angular momentum is transferred from the binary to the disc through the action of compressional shocks and viscous friction. These shocks can be viewed as being produced by fluid elements that drift into the cavity and, before being accreted, are accelerated on to trajectories that send them back to impact the disc. The rate of energy dissipation is approximately equal to the product of potential energy per unit mass at the disc's inner edge and the accretion rate, estimated from the disc parameters just beyond the cavity edge, that would occur without the binary. For very thin discs, the actual accretion rate on to the binary may be significantly less. We calculate the energy emitted by a circumbinary disc taking into account energy dissipation at the inner edge and also irradiation arising there from reprocessing of light from the stars. We find that, for tight PMS binaries, the SED is dominated by emission from the inner edge at wavelengths between 1-4 and 10 μm. This may apply to systems like CoRoT 223992193 and V1481 Ori.

  19. The Antarctic Planet Interferometer and the potential for interferometric observations of extrasolar planets from Dome C Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swain, M. R.; Foresto, V. Coude du; Vakili, F.

    2003-01-01

    We present a concept for the Antarctic Planet Interferometer (API) and discuss the improvements in interferometric detection and characterization of extrasolar planets by exploiting the unique potential of the best accessbile site on Earth for thermal infrared interferometry.

  20. New strategy for planets serach in debris disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakhozhay, O.

    2014-09-01

    Based on the modern theory of planet formation, planetary systems are formed in protoplanetary disks that could surround young stellar and substellar objects. Giant planets formation process starts at first 100 thousand years as a consequence of disk gravitational instability. Rocky planets form later, through the coagulation of planetesimals. Common feature in both types planets formation scenarios is that once planet reaches stable orbit (especially if orbit is circular), planet clears a gap in the disk along the planet's orbit. By the debris disk stage the gap opened by planet becomes optically thin. There are two observational methods to study the structure of debris disks: with an image and via an excess in stellar spectral energy distribution (SED) at the infrared. The image of such disk is the best way to detect the gap opened by planet and even the planet itself. It is almost impossible to detect the planet around the star by studying SED, due to the big difference of their luminosities. But it is possible to suspect planet based on the param- eters of the gap cleaned by planet, that could be derived based on the analysis of SED profile. The aim of present work is to investigate a possibility to detect planet in debris disk via SED profile analyze and to determine planets physical parameters that can be derived with this method. I will present the results of numerical calculations for systems with low-mass stellar and substellar objects at 1 Gyr. Debris disk particles radii vary from 0.1 microns to 1 meter; disk masses vary from 10**-16 to 0.05 masses of the star (that initially doesn't account extinction due to the gap opened by the planet). Width of the gap opened by the planet is determined as a diameter of Hill sphere. Planet masses are varied from 10 Earth to 10 Jupiter masses. Distance from the planet to the central star is within all possible positions along the disk radius.

  1. Empirical study of simulated two-planet microlensing events

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Wei; Gould, Andrew; Penny, Matthew; Mao, Shude; Gendron, Rieul

    2014-10-10

    We undertake the first study of two-planet microlensing models recovered from simulations of microlensing events generated by realistic multiplanet systems in which 292 planetary events, including 16 two-planet events, were detected from 6690 simulated light curves. We find that when two planets are recovered, their parameters are usually close to those of the two planets in the system most responsible for the perturbations. However, in 1 of the 16 examples, the apparent mass of both detected planets was more than doubled by the unmodeled influence of a third, massive planet. This fraction is larger than but statistically consistent with the roughly 1.5% rate of serious mass errors due to unmodeled planetary companions for the 274 cases from the same simulation in which a single planet is recovered. We conjecture that an analogous effect due to unmodeled stellar companions may occur more frequently. For 7 out of 23 cases in which two planets in the system would have been detected separately, only one planet was recovered because the perturbations due to the two planets had similar forms. This is a small fraction (7/274) of all recovered single-planet models, but almost a third of all events that might plausibly have led to two-planet models. Still, in these cases, the recovered planet tends to have parameters similar to one of the two real planets most responsible for the anomaly.

  2. Hubble Extra Solar Planet Interferometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shao, M.

    1991-01-01

    This paper describes a proposed third-generation Hubble instrument for extra-solar planet detection, the Hubble Extra-Solar Planet Interferometer (HESPI). This instrument would be able to achieve starlight cancellation at the 10 exp 6 to 10 exp 8 level, given a stellar wavefront with phase errors comparable to the present Hubble telescope wavefront. At 10 exp 6 starlight cancellation, HESPI would be able to detect a Jupiter-like planet next to a star at a distance of about 10 parsec, for which there are about 400 candidate stars. This paper describes a novel approach for starlight suppression, using a combination of active control and single-mode spatial filters, to achieve starlight suppression far below the classical limit set by scattering due to microsurface imperfections. In preliminary lab experiments, suppression by a factor of 40 below the classical scatter limit due to optical wavefront errors has been demonstrated.

  3. Probes to the Inferior Planets - A New Dawn for NEO and IEO Detection Technology Demonstration from Heliocentric Orbits Interior to the Earth's?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grundmann, J. T.; Mottola, S.; Drentschew, M.; Drobczyk, M.; Kahle, R.; Maiwald, V.; Quantius, D.; Zabel, P.; Van Zoest, T.

    2011-11-01

    With the launch of MESSENGER and VENUS EXPRESS, a new wave of exploration of the inner solar system has begun. Noting the growing number of probes to the inner solar system, it is proposed to connect the expertise of the respective spacecraft teams and the NEO and IEO survey community to best utilize the extended cruise phases and to provide additional data return in support of pure science as well as planetary defence. Several missions to Venus and Mercury are planned to follow in this decade. Increased interest in the inferior planets is accompanied by several missions designed to study the Sun and the interplanetary medium (IPM) from a position near or in Earth orbit, such as the STEREO probes and SDO. These augment established solar observation capabilities at the Sun-Earth L1 Lagrangian point such as the SOHO spacecraft. Thus, three distinct classes of spacecraft operate or observe interior to Earth's orbit. All these spacecraft carry powerful multispectral cameras optimized for their respective primary targets. MESSENGER is scheduled to end its six-year interplanetary cruise in March 2011 to enter Mercury orbit, but a similarly extended cruise with several gravity-assists awaits the European Mercury mission BEPICOLOMBO. Unfortunately, the automatic abort of the orbit insertion manoeuvre has also left AKATSUKI (a.k.a. Venus Climate Orbiter (VCO), Planet-C) stranded in heliocentric orbit. After an unintended fly-by, the probe will catch up with Venus in approximately six years. Meanwhile, it stays mostly interior to Venus in a planet-leading orbit. In addition to the study of comets and their interaction with the IPM, observations of small bodies akin to those carried out by outer solar system probes are occasionally attempted with the equipment available. The study of structures in the interplanetary dust (IPD) cloud has been a science objective during the cruise phase of the Japanese Venus probe AKATSUKI from Earth to Venus. IPD observations in the

  4. Direct Imaging of Warm Extrasolar Planets

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, B

    2005-04-11

    One of the most exciting scientific discoveries in the last decade of the twentieth century was the first detection of planets orbiting a star other than our own. By now more than 130 extrasolar planets have been discovered indirectly, by observing the gravitational effects of the planet on the radial velocity of its parent star. This technique has fundamental limitations: it is most sensitive to planets close to their star, and it determines only a planet's orbital period and a lower limit on the planet's mass. As a result, all the planetary systems found so far are very different from our own--they have giant Jupiter-sized planets orbiting close to their star, where the terrestrial planets are found in our solar system. Such systems have overturned the conventional paradigm of planet formation, but have no room in them for habitable Earth-like planets. A powerful complement to radial velocity detections of extrasolar planets will be direct imaging--seeing photons from the planet itself. Such a detection would allow photometric measurements to determine the temperature and radius of a planet. Also, direct detection is most sensitive to planets in wide orbits, and hence more capable of seeing solar systems resembling our own, since a giant planet in a wide orbit does not preclude the presence of an Earth-like planet closer to the star. Direct detection, however, is extremely challenging. Jupiter is roughly a billion times fainter than our sun. Two techniques allowed us to overcome this formidable contrast and attempt to see giant planets directly. The first is adaptive optics (AO) which allows giant earth-based telescopes, such as the 10 meter W.M. Keck telescope, to partially overcome the blurring effects of atmospheric turbulence. The second is looking for young planets: by searching in the infrared for companions to young stars, we can see thermal emission from planets that are still warm with the heat of their formation. Together with a UCLA team that leads the

  5. THE GEMINI PLANET-FINDING CAMPAIGN: THE FREQUENCY OF GIANT PLANETS AROUND DEBRIS DISK STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Wahhaj, Zahed; Liu, Michael C.; Nielsen, Eric L.; Ftaclas, Christ; Chun, Mark; Biller, Beth A.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Thatte, Niranjan; Tecza, Matthias; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Kuchner, Marc; Reid, I. Neill; De Gouveia Dal Pino, Elisabete M.; Gregorio-Hetem, Jane; Boss, Alan; Lin, Douglas N. C.; and others

    2013-08-20

    We have completed a high-contrast direct imaging survey for giant planets around 57 debris disk stars as part of the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. We achieved median H-band contrasts of 12.4 mag at 0.''5 and 14.1 mag at 1'' separation. Follow-up observations of the 66 candidates with projected separation <500 AU show that all of them are background objects. To establish statistical constraints on the underlying giant planet population based on our imaging data, we have developed a new Bayesian formalism that incorporates (1) non-detections, (2) single-epoch candidates, (3) astrometric and (4) photometric information, and (5) the possibility of multiple planets per star to constrain the planet population. Our formalism allows us to include in our analysis the previously known {beta} Pictoris and the HR 8799 planets. Our results show at 95% confidence that <13% of debris disk stars have a {>=}5 M{sub Jup} planet beyond 80 AU, and <21% of debris disk stars have a {>=}3 M{sub Jup} planet outside of 40 AU, based on hot-start evolutionary models. We model the population of directly imaged planets as d {sup 2} N/dMda{proportional_to}m {sup {alpha}} a {sup {beta}}, where m is planet mass and a is orbital semi-major axis (with a maximum value of a{sub max}). We find that {beta} < -0.8 and/or {alpha} > 1.7. Likewise, we find that {beta} < -0.8 and/or a{sub max} < 200 AU. For the case where the planet frequency rises sharply with mass ({alpha} > 1.7), this occurs because all the planets detected to date have masses above 5 M{sub Jup}, but planets of lower mass could easily have been detected by our search. If we ignore the {beta} Pic and HR 8799 planets (should they belong to a rare and distinct group), we find that <20% of debris disk stars have a {>=}3 M{sub Jup} planet beyond 10 AU, and {beta} < -0.8 and/or {alpha} < -1.5. Likewise, {beta} < -0.8 and/or a{sub max} < 125 AU. Our Bayesian constraints are not strong enough to reveal any dependence of the planet

  6. The SIM PlanetQuest Science Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  7. A Planet Found by Pulsations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-10-01

    Searching for planets around very hot stars is much more challenging than looking around cool stars. For this reason, the recent discovery of a planet around a main-sequence A star is an important find both because of its unique position near the stars habitable zone, and because of the way in which the planet was discovered.Challenges in VariabilityIn the past three decades, weve discovered thousands of exoplanets yet most of them have been found around cool stars (like M dwarfs) or moderate stars (like G stars like our Sun). Very few of the planets that weve found orbit hot stars; in fact, weve only discovered ~20 planets orbiting the very hot, main-sequence A stars.The instability strip, indicated on an H-R diagram. Stellar classification types are listed across the bottom of the diagram. Many main-sequence A stars reside in the instability strip. [Rursus]Why is this? We dont expect that main-sequence A stars host fewer planets than cooler stars. Instead, its primarily because the two main techniques that we use to find planets namely, transits and radial velocity cant be used as effectively on the main-sequence A stars that are most likely to host planets, because the luminosities of these stars are often variable.These stars can lie on whats known as the classical instability strip in the Herzsprung-Russell diagram. Such variable stars pulsate due to changes in the ionization state of atoms deep in their interiors, which causes the stars to puff up and then collapse back inward. For variable main-sequence A stars, the periods for these pulsations can be several to several tens of times per day.These very pulsations that make transits and radial-velocity measurements so difficult, however, can potentially be used to detect planets in a different way. Led by Simon Murphy (University of Sydney, Australia and Aarhus University, Denmark), a team of scientists has recently detected the first planet ever to be discovered around a main-sequence A star from the timing

  8. 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

  9. Lava cave microbial communities within mats and secondary mineral deposits: implications for life detection on other planets.

    PubMed

    Northup, D E; Melim, L A; Spilde, M N; Hathaway, J J M; Garcia, M G; Moya, M; Stone, F D; Boston, P J; Dapkevicius, M L N E; Riquelme, C

    2011-09-01

    Lava caves contain a wealth of yellow, white, pink, tan, and gold-colored microbial mats; but in addition to these clearly biological mats, there are many secondary mineral deposits that are nonbiological in appearance. Secondary mineral deposits examined include an amorphous copper-silicate deposit (Hawai'i) that is blue-green in color and contains reticulated and fuzzy filament morphologies. In the Azores, lava tubes contain iron-oxide formations, a soft ooze-like coating, and pink hexagons on basaltic glass, while gold-colored deposits are found in lava caves in New Mexico and Hawai'i. A combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and molecular techniques was used to analyze these communities. Molecular analyses of the microbial mats and secondary mineral deposits revealed a community that contains 14 phyla of bacteria across three locations: the Azores, New Mexico, and Hawai'i. Similarities exist between bacterial phyla found in microbial mats and secondary minerals, but marked differences also occur, such as the lack of Actinobacteria in two-thirds of the secondary mineral deposits. The discovery that such deposits contain abundant life can help guide our detection of life on extraterrestrial bodies.

  10. Lava Cave Microbial Communities Within Mats and Secondary Mineral Deposits: Implications for Life Detection on Other Planets

    PubMed Central

    Melim, L.A.; Spilde, M.N.; Hathaway, J.J.M.; Garcia, M.G.; Moya, M.; Stone, F.D.; Boston, P.J.; Dapkevicius, M.L.N.E.; Riquelme, C.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Lava caves contain a wealth of yellow, white, pink, tan, and gold-colored microbial mats; but in addition to these clearly biological mats, there are many secondary mineral deposits that are nonbiological in appearance. Secondary mineral deposits examined include an amorphous copper-silicate deposit (Hawai‘i) that is blue-green in color and contains reticulated and fuzzy filament morphologies. In the Azores, lava tubes contain iron-oxide formations, a soft ooze-like coating, and pink hexagons on basaltic glass, while gold-colored deposits are found in lava caves in New Mexico and Hawai‘i. A combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and molecular techniques was used to analyze these communities. Molecular analyses of the microbial mats and secondary mineral deposits revealed a community that contains 14 phyla of bacteria across three locations: the Azores, New Mexico, and Hawai‘i. Similarities exist between bacterial phyla found in microbial mats and secondary minerals, but marked differences also occur, such as the lack of Actinobacteria in two-thirds of the secondary mineral deposits. The discovery that such deposits contain abundant life can help guide our detection of life on extraterrestrial bodies. Key Words: Biosignatures—Astrobiology—Bacteria—Caves—Life detection—Microbial mats. Astrobiology 11, 601–618. PMID:21879833

  11. Infrared radiation from an extrasolar planet.

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-07

    A class of extrasolar giant planets--the so-called 'hot Jupiters' (ref. 1)--orbit within 0.05 au of their primary stars (1 au is the Sun-Earth distance). These planets should be hot and so emit detectable infrared radiation. The planet HD 209458b (refs 3, 4) is an ideal candidate for the detection and characterization of this infrared light because it is eclipsed by the star. This planet has an anomalously large radius (1.35 times that of Jupiter), which may be the result of ongoing tidal dissipation, but this explanation requires a non-zero orbital eccentricity (approximately 0.03; refs 6, 7), maintained by interaction with a hypothetical second planet. Here we report detection of infrared (24 microm) radiation from HD 209458b, by observing the decrement in flux during secondary eclipse, when the planet passes behind the star. The planet's 24-microm flux is 55 +/- 10 microJy (1sigma), with a brightness temperature of 1,130 +/- 150 K, confirming the predicted heating by stellar irradiation. The secondary eclipse occurs at the midpoint between transits of the planet in front of the star (to within +/- 7 min, 1sigma), which means that a dynamically significant orbital eccentricity is unlikely.

  12. Is the Galactic Bulge Devoid of Planets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penny, Matthew T.; Henderson, Calen B.; Clanton, Christian

    2016-10-01

    We consider a sample of 31 exoplanetary systems detected by gravitational microlensing and investigate whether or not the estimated distances to these systems conform to the Galactic distribution of planets expected from models. We derive the expected distribution of distances and relative proper motions from a simulated microlensing survey, correcting for the dominant selection effects that affect the sensitivity of planet detection as a function of distance, and compare it to the observed distribution using Anderson-Darling (AD) hypothesis testing. Taking the relative abundance of planets in the bulge to that in the disk, {f}{bulge}, as a model parameter, we find that our model is consistent with the observed distribution only for {f}{bulge}\\lt 0.54 (for a p-value threshold of 0.01) implying that the bulge may be devoid of planets relative to the disk. Allowing for a dependence of planet abundance on metallicity and host mass, or an additional dependence of planet sensitivity on event timescale, does not restore consistency for {f}{bulge}=1. We examine the distance estimates of some events in detail, and conclude that some parallax-based estimates could be significantly in error. Only by combining the removal of one problematic event from our sample and the inclusion of strong dependences of planet abundance or detection sensitivity on host mass, metallicity, and event timescale are we able to find consistency with the hypothesis that the bulge and disk have equal planet abundance.

  13. Demographic studies of extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morton, Timothy

    Uncovering the demographics of extrasolar planets is crucial to understanding the processes of their formation and evolution. In this thesis, we present four studies that contribute to this end, three of which relate to NASA's Kepler mission, which has revolutionized the field of exoplanets in the last few years. In the pre-Kepler study, we investigate a sample of exoplanet spin-orbit measurements---measurements of the inclination of a planet's orbit relative to the spin axis of its host star---to determine whether a dominant planet migration channel can be identified, and at what confidence. Applying methods of Bayesian model comparison to distinguish between the predictions of several different migration models, we find that the data strongly favor a two-mode migration scenario combining planet-planet scattering and disk migration over a single-mode Kozai migration scenario. While we test only the predictions of particular Kozai and scattering migration models in this work, these methods may be used to test the predictions of any other spin-orbit misaligning mechanism. We then present two studies addressing astrophysical false positives in Kepler data. The Kepler mission has identified thousands of transiting planet candidates, and only relatively few have yet been dynamically confirmed as bona fide planets, with only a handful more even conceivably amenable to future dynamical confirmation. As a result, the ability to draw detailed conclusions about the diversity of exoplanet systems from Kepler detections relies critically on understanding the probability that any individual candidate might be a false positive. We show that a typical a priori false positive probability for a well-vetted Kepler candidate is only about 5-10%, enabling confidence in demographic studies that treat candidates as true planets. We also present a detailed procedure that can be used to securely and efficiently validate any individual transit candidate using detailed information of the

  14. The GAPS programme with HARPS-N at TNG. IX. The multi-planet system KELT-6: Detection of the planet KELT-6 c and measurement of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect for KELT-6 b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damasso, M.; Esposito, M.; Nascimbeni, V.; Desidera, S.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bieryla, A.; Malavolta, L.; Biazzo, K.; Sozzetti, A.; Covino, E.; Latham, D. W.; Gandolfi, D.; Rainer, M.; Petrovich, C.; Collins, K. A.; Boccato, C.; Claudi, R. U.; Cosentino, R.; Gratton, R.; Lanza, A. F.; Maggio, A.; Micela, G.; Molinari, E.; Pagano, I.; Piotto, G.; Poretti, E.; Smareglia, R.; Di Fabrizio, L.; Giacobbe, P.; Gomez-Jimenez, M.; Murabito, S.; Molinaro, M.; Affer, L.; Barbieri, M.; Bedin, L. R.; Benatti, S.; Borsa, F.; Maldonado, J.; Mancini, L.; Scandariato, G.; Southworth, J.; Zanmar Sanchez, R.

    2015-09-01

    Aims: For more than 1.5 years we spectroscopically monitored the star KELT-6 (BD+31 2447), which is known to host the transiting hot-Saturn KELT-6 b, because a previously observed long-term trend in radial velocity time series suggested that there is an outer companion. Methods: We collected a total of 93 new spectra with the HARPS-N and TRES spectrographs. A spectroscopic transit of KELT-6 b was observed with HARPS-N, and simultaneous photometry was obtained with the IAC-80 telescope. Results: We proved the existence of an outer planet with a mininum mass Mpsin i = 3.71 ± 0.21 MJup and a moderately eccentric orbit (e = 0.21-0.036+0.039) of period P ~ 3.5 years. We improved the orbital solution of KELT-6 b and obtained the first measurement of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, showing that the planet has a likely circular, prograde, and slightly misaligned orbit with a projected spin-orbit angle of λ = -36 ± 11 degrees. We improved the KELT-6 b transit ephemeris from photometry and provide new measurements of the stellar parameters. KELT-6 appears as an interesting case for studying the formation and evolution of multi-planet systems. Based on observations made with (i) the HARPS-N spectrograph on the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG), operated on the island of La Palma by the INAF - Fundacion Galileo Galilei (Spanish Observatory of Roque de los Muchachos of the IAC); (ii) the Tillinghast Reflector Echelle Spectrograph (TRES) on the 1.5-m Tillinghast telescope, located at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Fred L. Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins in Arizona; (iii) the IAC-80 telescope at the Teide Observatory (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, IAC).Figure 4 and Tables 2 and 3 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  15. Barnard’s Star: Planets or Pretense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Can CMB Experiments Find Planet Nine?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-04-01

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

  17. Viscous hydrodynamics simulations of circumbinary accretion discs: variability, quasi-steady state and angular momentum transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miranda, Ryan; Muñoz, Diego J.; Lai, Dong

    2017-04-01

    We carry out numerical simulations of circumbinary discs, solving the viscous hydrodynamics equations on a polar grid covering an extended disc outside the binary co-orbital region. We use carefully controlled outer boundary conditions and long-term integrations to ensure that the disc reaches a quasi-steady state, in which the time-averaged mass accretion rate on to the binary, < dot{M}>, matches the mass supply rate at the outer disc. We focus on binaries with comparable masses and a wide range of eccentricities (eB). For eB ≲ 0.05, the mass accretion rate of the binary is modulated at about five times the binary period; otherwise, it is modulated at the binary period. The inner part of the circumbinary disc (r ≲ 6aB) generally becomes coherently eccentric. For low and high eB, the disc line of apsides precesses around the binary, but for intermediate eB (0.2-0.4), it instead becomes locked with that of the binary. By considering the balance of angular momentum transport through the disc by advection, viscous stress and gravitational torque, we determine the time-averaged net angular momentum transfer rate to the binary, < dot{J}>. The specific angular momentum, l_0 = < dot{J}> /< dot{M}>, depends non-monotonically on eB. Contrary to previous claims, we find that l0 is positive for most eB, implying that the binary receives net angular momentum, which may cause its separation to grow with time. The minimum l0 occurs at intermediate eB (0.2-0.4), corresponding to the regime where the inner eccentric disc is apsidally aligned with the binary.

  18. Warping and tearing of misaligned circumbinary disks around eccentric supermassive black hole binaries

    SciTech Connect

    Hayasaki, K.; Sohn, B.W.; Jung, T.; Zhao, G.; Okazaki, A.T.; Naito, T. E-mail: bwsohn@kasi.re.kr E-mail: thjung@kasi.re.kr E-mail: tsuguya@ygu.ac.jp

    2015-07-01

    We study the warping and tearing of a geometrically thin, non-self-gravitating disk surrounding binary supermassive black holes on an eccentric orbit. The circumbinary disk is significantly misaligned with the binary orbital plane, and is subject to the time-dependent tidal torques. In principle, such a disk is warped and precesses, and is torn into mutually misaligned rings in the region, where the tidal precession torques are stronger than the local viscous torques. We derive the tidal-warp and tearing radii of the misaligned circumbinary disks around eccentric SMBH binaries. We find that in disks with the viscosity parameter α larger than a critical value depending on the disk aspect ratio, the disk warping appears outside the tearing radius. This condition is expressed for small amplitude warps as α > √H/(3r) for H/r∼<0.1, where H is the disk scale height. If α < √H/(3r), only the disk tearing occurs because the tidal warp radius is inside the tearing radius, where most of disk material is likely to rapidly accrete onto SMBHs. In warped and torn disks, both the tidal-warp and the tearing radii most strongly depend on the binary semi-major axis, although they also mildly depend on the other orbital and disk parameters. This strong dependence enables us to estimate the semi-major axis, once the tidal warp or tearing radius is determined observationally: for the tidal warp radius of 0.1 pc, the semi-major axis is estimated to be ∼10{sup −2} pc for 10{sup 7} M{sub ⊙} black hole with typical orbital and disk parameters. We also briefly discuss the possibility that central objects of observed warped maser disks in active galactic nuclei are supermassive black hole binaries.

  19. 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.

  20. A Diffraction-limited Survey for Direct Detection of Halpha Emitting/Accreting ExtraSolar Planets with the 6.5m Magellan Telescope and the MagAO Visible AO system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Close, Laird

    steady diet of hydrogen gas. Such planets should then be quite bright in Halpha accretion emission. The key point is that: instead of a steep drop off in the luminosity of the planet’s atmosphere, the accretion luminosity of these planets will just linearly decrease with decreasing mass. At an accretion rate=6e-10 Msun/yr we find low mass (~1 Mjup) accreting gap planets are much (50-1000x) brighter (for 0-3.4 mag of Halpha extinction) in Halpha than at H band. PROOF-OF_CONCEPT: A 3 hour MagAO observation at Halpha of a transitional disk in April 2013 was made. The resulting deep diffraction-limited images discovered (at 10.5 sigma) an Halpha source that was 295% above the continuum just 0.083” from the star (edge of the inner 10 AU disk gap). We also detected (at 5 sigma) an excellent (though much fainter) ~1 Mjup mass Halpha planet candidate located auspiciously at the outer edge (145 AU) of the gap. If confirmed by our “second epoch” follow-up as common proper motion then this would be the lowest mass (~1 Mjup) planet ever imaged. SURVEY: Scaling off of this exciting success we propose to deeply image (120 min) all 14 nearby (D<250pc), bright (R<11 mag) , not edge-on (i<80 deg) , young (~5 Myr) transitional disks with MagAO simultaneously at Halpha and L’. In addition, we will use BrGamma instead of Halpha for 8 additional fainter (11detect (at 5 sigma) 1 Mjup planets accreting at 6e-10 Msun/yr in 3.4 mag of extinction at Halpha at, or past, 0.2” separations. Therefore, based on the theoretical prediction that the inner and outer gap planets should be >1 Mjup in mass, we integrate across our target list and find that, in the worst case of minimal masses (1+/-0.5 Mjup), and 3.4 mag extinction, at least seven ~1 Mjup planets should be discovered by this survey --meeting all three of our science goals above.

  1. The Radiometric Bode’s law and Extrasolar Planets

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-09-01

    THE RADIOMETRIC BODE’S LAW AND EXTRASOLAR PLANETS T. Joseph, W. Lazio Naval Research Laboratory, Code 7213, Washington, DC 20375-5351; joseph.lazio...the magnetic polar regions. We find that most of the known extrasolar planets should emit in the frequency range 10–1000 MHz and, under favorable...detect the known extrasolar planets or place austere limits on their radio emission. Planets with masses much lower than those in the current census

  2. Kepler Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2015-01-01

    Kepler has vastly increased our knowledge of planets and planetary systems located close to stars. The new data shows surprising results for planetary abundances, planetary spacings and the distribution of planets on a mass-radius diagram. The implications of these results for theories of planet formation will be discussed.

  3. Terrestrial Planets: Comparative Planetology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    Papers were presented at the 47th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting on the Comparative planetology of Terrestrial Planets. Subject matter explored concerning terrestrial planets includes: interrelationships among planets; plaentary evolution; planetary structure; planetary composition; planetary Atmospheres; noble gases in meteorites; and planetary magnetic fields.

  4. Sensitivity of the terrestrial planet finder

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beichman, Charles

    1998-01-01

    A key long-term goal of NASA's Origins program is the detection and characterization of habitable planets orbiting stars within the solar neighborhood. A cold, space-borne interferometer operating in the mid-infrared with a approx. 75 m baseline can null the light of a parent star and detect the million-times fainter radiation from an Earth-like planet located in the "habitable zone" around stars as far as 15 pc away. Such an interferometer, designated the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) by NASA, could even detect atmospheric signatures of species such as CO2, O3, and H2O indicative of either the possibility or presence of primitive life. This talk highlights some of the sensitivity issues affecting the detectability of terrestrial planets. Sensitivity calculations show that a system consisting of 2 m apertures operating at 5 AU or 4 m apertures operating at 1 AU can detect terrestrial planets in reasonable integration times for levels of exo-zodiacal emission up to 10 times that seen in our solar system (hereafter denoted as 10xSS). Additionally, simulations show that confusion noise from structures in the exo-zodiacal cloud should not impede planet detection until the exo-zodiacal emission reaches the 10xSS level.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Terrestrial Planet Finder: science overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  7. Extreme Adaptive Optics Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintosh, B.; Graham, J. R.; Ghez, A.; Kalas, P.; Lloyd, J.; Makidon, R.; Olivier, S.; Patience, J.; Perrin, M.; Poyneer, L.; Severson, S.; Sheinis, A.; Sivaramakrishnan, A.; Troy, M.; Wallace, J.; Wilhelmsen, J.

    2002-12-01

    Direct detection of photons emitted or reflected by extrasolar planets is the next major step in extrasolar planet studies. Current adaptive optics (AO) systems, with <300 subapertures and Strehl ratio 0.4-0.7, can achieve contrast levels of 106 at 2" separations; this is sufficient to see very young planets in wide orbits but insufficient to detect solar systems more like our own. Contrast levels of 107 - 108 in the near-IR are needed to probe a significant part of the extrasolar planet phase space. The NSF Center for Adaptive Optics is carrying out a design study for a dedicated ultra-high-contrast "Extreme" adaptive optics system for an 8-10m telescope. With 3000 controlled subapertures it should achieve Strehl ratios > 0.9 in the near-IR. Using a spatially filtered wavefront sensor, the system will be optimized to control scattered light over a large radius and suppress artifacts caused static errors. We predict that it will achieve contrast levels of 107-108 around a large sample of stars (R<7-10), sufficient to detect Jupiter-like planets through their near-IR emission over a wide range of ages and masses. The system will be capable of a variety of high-contrast science including studying circumstellar dust disks at densities a factor of 10-100 lower than currently feasible and a systematic inventory of other solar systems on 10-100 AU scale. This work was supported by the NSF Science and Technology Center for Adaptive Optics, managed by UC Santa Cruz under AST-9876783. Portions of this work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy, under contract No. W-7405-Eng-48.

  8. Characterizing Cool Giant Planets in Reflected Light

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark

    2016-01-01

    While the James Webb Space Telescope will detect and characterize extrasolar planets by transit and direct imaging, a new generation of telescopes will be required to detect and characterize extrasolar planets by reflected light imaging. NASA's WFIRST space telescope, now in development, will image dozens of cool giant planets at optical wavelengths and will obtain spectra for several of the best and brightest targets. This mission will pave the way for the detection and characterization of terrestrial planets by the planned LUVOIR or HabEx space telescopes. In my presentation I will discuss the challenges that arise in the interpretation of direct imaging data and present the results of our group's effort to develop methods for maximizing the science yield from these planned missions.

  9. AN ULTRACOOL STAR'S CANDIDATE PLANET

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-07-20

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

  10. Studying planet populations with Einstein's blip.

    PubMed

    Dominik, Martin

    2010-08-13

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

  11. PLANET HUNTERS: ASSESSING THE KEPLER INVENTORY OF SHORT-PERIOD PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris J.; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Simpson, Robert J.; Fischer, Debra A.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Brewer, John M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin

    2012-08-01

    We present the results from a search of data from the first 33.5 days of the Kepler science mission (Quarter 1) for exoplanet transits by the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Planet Hunters enlists members of the general public to visually identify transits in the publicly released Kepler light curves via the World Wide Web. Over 24,000 volunteers reviewed the Kepler Quarter 1 data set. We examine the abundance of {>=}2 R{sub Circled-Plus} planets on short-period (<15 days) orbits based on Planet Hunters detections. We present these results along with an analysis of the detection efficiency of human classifiers to identify planetary transits including a comparison to the Kepler inventory of planet candidates. Although performance drops rapidly for smaller radii, {>=}4 R{sub Circled-Plus} Planet Hunters {>=}85% efficient at identifying transit signals for planets with periods less than 15 days for the Kepler sample of target stars. Our high efficiency rate for simulated transits along with recovery of the majority of Kepler {>=}4 R{sub Circled-Plus} planets suggests that the Kepler inventory of {>=}4 R{sub Circled-Plus} short-period planets is nearly complete.

  12. Planet Hunters: Assessing the Kepler Inventory of Short-period Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwamb, Megan E.; Lintott, Chris J.; Fischer, Debra A.; Giguere, Matthew J.; Lynn, Stuart; Smith, Arfon M.; Brewer, John M.; Parrish, Michael; Schawinski, Kevin; Simpson, Robert J.

    2012-08-01

    We present the results from a search of data from the first 33.5 days of the Kepler science mission (Quarter 1) for exoplanet transits by the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Planet Hunters enlists members of the general public to visually identify transits in the publicly released Kepler light curves via the World Wide Web. Over 24,000 volunteers reviewed the Kepler Quarter 1 data set. We examine the abundance of >=2 R ⊕ planets on short-period (<15 days) orbits based on Planet Hunters detections. We present these results along with an analysis of the detection efficiency of human classifiers to identify planetary transits including a comparison to the Kepler inventory of planet candidates. Although performance drops rapidly for smaller radii, >=4 R ⊕ Planet Hunters >=85% efficient at identifying transit signals for planets with periods less than 15 days for the Kepler sample of target stars. Our high efficiency rate for simulated transits along with recovery of the majority of Kepler >=4 R ⊕ planets suggests that the Kepler inventory of >=4 R ⊕ short-period planets is nearly complete.

  13. Outlook: Testing Planet Formation Theories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boss, A. P.

    The discovery of the first planetary companion to a solar-type star by Mayor and Queloz (1995) launched the extrasolar planetary systems era. Observational and theoretical progress in this area has been made at a breathtaking pace since 1995, as evidenced by this workshop. We now have a large and growing sample of extrasolar gas giant planets with which to test our theories of their formation and evolution. The two competing theories for the formation of gas giant planets, core accretion and disk instability, appear to have testable predictions: (i) Core accretion seems to require exceptionally long-lived disks, implying that gas giants should be somewhat rare, while disk instability can occur in even the shortest-lived disk, implying that gas giants should be abundant. The ongoing census of gas giants by the spectroscopic search programs will determine the frequency of gas giants on Jupiter-like orbits within the next decade. (ii) Core accretion takes millions of years to form gas giants, while disk instability forms gaseous protoplanets in thousands of years. Determining the epoch of gas giant planet formation by searching for astrometric wobbles indicative of gas giant companions around young stars with a range of ages (˜ 0.1 Myr to ˜ 10 Myr) should be possible with the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM). (iii) Core accretion would seem to be bolstered by a higher ratio of dust to gas, whereas disk instability occurs equally well for a range of dust opacities. Determining whether a high primordial metallicity is necessary for gas giant planet formation can be accomplished by spectroscopic and astrometric searches for gas giants around metal-poor stars. Eventually, ice giant planets will be detectable as well. If ice giants are found to be much more frequent that gas giants, this may imply that core accretion occurs, but usually fails to form a gas giant. Terrestrial planets will be detected through photometry by Kepler and Eddington, astrometry by SIM, and

  14. On the Eccentricities of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marzari, F.; Weidenschilling, S. J.

    1999-09-01

    Extrasolar planets (ESPs) seem to be divided into two groups: circular orbits very close to their stars, or eccentric orbits at larger distances. The latter may be the result of gravitational scattering of planets that formed in unstable orbits (Weidenschilling and Marzari 1996, Nature 384, 619). For systems of three Jupiter-mass planets, the most common outcome is ejection of one planet, leaving the others in stable orbits with significant eccentricities and mutual inclinations. We have compiled statistics for orbital elements of the survivors. At the time of ejection, the eccentricity of the inner one has a broad distribution with modal value 0.5, ranging from about 0.1 to 0.9; smaller and larger values are rare. In contrast, among observed eccentric ESPs only 2 of 11 have e > 0.5, and none have e > 0.7, although there is no observational bias against detection of planets on eccentric orbits. One possible explanation is a large cross-section for young gas giant planets still in their contraction phase, so that non-collisional encounters yield smaller velocity changes. However, even if the effective radius is twice Jupiter's present value, the eccentricity distribution does not change significantly. The "snapshot" distribution at the time one planet is ejected may be misleading. The orbits of the remaining planets are subject to mutual perturbations. The inner planet's eccentricity may oscillate with large amplitude on timescales of 10(7) - 10(8) y. Peak values bring some periastrons low enough for tides to circularize orbits. For planets with large initial eccentricities, the time-averaged e is lower, yielding better agreement with the observed distribution. Still, some orbits with eccentricities up to 0.9, should be detected in a large enough sample of ESPs. If none are found, their absence would argue against gravitational scattering as a general phenomenon in planetary systems.

  15. Numerical adventures in exoplanet formation, detection and characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meschiari, Stefano

    2012-11-01

    present the discovery of four new exoplanet candidates characterized with Keck/HIRES RV observations. The new exoplanets discovered around the host stars HD31253, HD218566, HD177830 and HD99492 comprise masses between M sin i ≈ 27 M⊕ to M sin i ≈ 8 MJ . Of particular interest for the scope of this thesis, HD177830 is currently the only multiple-planet system orbiting a binary with aB < 100 AU. This separation is slightly below the limit at which the binarity of the system influences planet formation. Finally, we strengthen the case for the non-detection of HD74156d, the detection of which was claimed to be in accordance to the "Packed Planetary System" hypothesis. Chapter 5 explores a class of self-gravitating instabilities driven by features in the surface density of protoplanetary disks (groove modes ). The emergence of these instabilities is studied via a generalized eigenvalue code and full two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations. I find that gaps in the surface density, such as those naturally carved in response to the formation of a giant planet, can excite a global two-armed mode at comparatively lower disk masses than in absence of such gaps. Chapter 6 describes a new code, SPHIGA, used to explore the issue of forming planets in circumstellar (CS) or circumbinary (CB) orbits during the planetesimal accretion phase and its feasibility within the core accretion framework. I investigate the balance between accreting and erosive impacts for the circumbinary planet Kepler 16-b and the feasibility of planet formation in situ as opposed to migration of an embryo formed at or outside the ice line. This dissertation includes reprints of the following material: (a) Meschiari, S., & Laughlin, G. 2008, ApJ, 679, L135; (b) Meschiari, S., Wolf, A. S., Rivera, E., et al. 2009, PASP, 121, 1016; (c) Meschiari, S., & Laughlin, G. P. 2010, ApJ, 718, 543; (d) Meschiari, S., Laughlin, G., Vogt, S. S., et al. 2011, ApJ, 727, 117; (e) Meschiari, S., 2012, ApJ, in press.

  16. Wave of a Planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    This plot tells astronomers that a fifth planet is in orbit around the star 55 Cancri, making the star the record-holder for hosting the most known exoplanets.

    As planets circle around their stars, they cause the stars to wobble back and forth in a regular pattern. By looking for this motion in a star, scientists can find planets that can't be seen with telescopes.

    The wobble caused by the fifth planet discovered around 55 Cancri is represented here by the sinuous line in blue. The actual data points are yellow and error bars are the lines above and below the yellow dots. The cycle of the wobble indicates that the planet circles around its star about every 260 days. The amplitude of the wobble indicates that the planet is a giant at least 45 times the mass of Earth.

    The wobbles caused by the other four planets has been removed from this plot, to reveal that caused by the fifth. The departure from a perfect sine wave suggests the planet's orbit is not perfectly circular.

    Because 55 Cancri has multiple planets, the star had to be observed for a long time before astronomers could find and confirm its fifth planet. These data were collected over a period of 18 years using both the Lick Observatory near San Jose, Calif., and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

  17. THE OCCURRENCE OF WIDE-ORBIT PLANETS IN BINARY STAR SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Zuckerman, B.

    2014-08-20

    The occurrence of planets in binary star systems has been investigated via a variety of techniques that sample a wide range of semi-major axes, but with a preponderance of such results applicable to planets with semi-major axes less than a few astronomical units. We utilize a new method—the presence or absence of heavy elements in the atmospheres of white dwarf stars—to elucidate the frequency in main sequence binary star systems of planets with semi-major axes greater than a few astronomical units. We consider only binaries where a putative planetary system orbits one member (no circumbinary planets). For main sequence binaries where the primary star is of spectral type A or F, data in the published literature suggests that the existence of a secondary star with a semi-major axis less than about 1000 AU suppresses the formation and/or long-term stability of an extended planetary system around the primary. For these spectral types and initial semi-major axis ≥1000 AU, extended planetary systems appear to be as common around stars in binary systems as they are around single stars.

  18. Does the Galactic Bulge Have Fewer Planets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-12-01

    The Milky Ways dense central bulge is a very different environment than the surrounding galactic disk in which we live. Do the differences affect the ability of planets to form in the bulge?Exploring Galactic PlanetsSchematic illustrating how gravitational microlensing by an extrasolar planet works. [NASA]Planet formation is a complex process with many aspects that we dont yet understand. Do environmental properties like host star metallicity, the density of nearby stars, or the intensity of the ambient radiation field affect the ability of planets to form? To answer these questions, we will ultimately need to search for planets around stars in a large variety of different environments in our galaxy.One way to detect recently formed, distant planets is by gravitational microlensing. In this process, light from a distant source star is bent by a lens star that is briefly located between us and the source. As the Earth moves, this momentary alignment causes a blip in the sources light curve that we can detect and planets hosted by the lens star can cause an additional observable bump.Artists impression of the Milky Way galaxy. The central bulge is much denserthan the surroundingdisk. [ESO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Kornmesser/R. Hurt]Relative AbundancesMost source stars reside in the galactic bulge, so microlensing events can probe planetary systems at any distance between the Earth and the galactic bulge. This means that planet detections from microlensing could potentially be used to measure the relative abundances of exoplanets in different parts of our galaxy.A team of scientists led by Matthew Penny, a Sagan postdoctoral fellow at Ohio State University, set out to do just that. The group considered a sample of 31 exoplanetary systems detected by microlensing and asked the following question: are the planet abundances in the galactic bulge and the galactic disk the same?A Paucity of PlanetsTo answer this question, Penny and collaborators derived the expected

  19. Planets and Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Woodruff T., III; Baross, John

    2007-09-01

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

  20. Thermal escape from extrasolar giant planets

    PubMed Central

    Koskinen, Tommi T.; Lavvas, Panayotis; Harris, Matthew J.; Yelle, Roger V.

    2014-01-01

    The detection of hot atomic hydrogen and heavy atoms and ions at high altitudes around close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) such as HD209458b implies that these planets have hot and rapidly escaping atmospheres that extend to several planetary radii. These characteristics, however, cannot be generalized to all close-in EGPs. The thermal escape mechanism and mass loss rate from EGPs depend on a complex interplay between photochemistry and radiative transfer driven by the stellar UV radiation. In this study, we explore how these processes change under different levels of irradiation on giant planets with different characteristics. We confirm that there are two distinct regimes of thermal escape from EGPs, and that the transition between these regimes is relatively sharp. Our results have implications for thermal mass loss rates from different EGPs that we discuss in the context of currently known planets and the detectability of their upper atmospheres. PMID:24664923

  1. Thermal escape from extrasolar giant planets.

    PubMed

    Koskinen, Tommi T; Lavvas, Panayotis; Harris, Matthew J; Yelle, Roger V

    2014-04-28

    The detection of hot atomic hydrogen and heavy atoms and ions at high altitudes around close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) such as HD209458b implies that these planets have hot and rapidly escaping atmospheres that extend to several planetary radii. These characteristics, however, cannot be generalized to all close-in EGPs. The thermal escape mechanism and mass loss rate from EGPs depend on a complex interplay between photochemistry and radiative transfer driven by the stellar UV radiation. In this study, we explore how these processes change under different levels of irradiation on giant planets with different characteristics. We confirm that there are two distinct regimes of thermal escape from EGPs, and that the transition between these regimes is relatively sharp. Our results have implications for thermal mass loss rates from different EGPs that we discuss in the context of currently known planets and the detectability of their upper atmospheres.

  2. A High-mass Protobinary System with Spatially Resolved Circumstellar Accretion Disks and Circumbinary Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraus, S.; Kluska, J.; Kreplin, A.; Bate, M.; Harries, T. J.; Hofmann, K.-H.; Hone, E.; Monnier, J. D.; Weigelt, G.; Anugu, A.; de Wit, W. J.; Wittkowski, M.

    2017-01-01

    High-mass multiples might form via fragmentation of self-gravitational disks or alternative scenarios such as disk-assisted capture. However, only a few observational constraints exist on the architecture and disk structure of high-mass protobinaries and their accretion properties. Here, we report the discovery of a close (57.9 ± 0.2 mas = 170 au) high-mass protobinary, IRAS17216-3801, where our VLTI/GRAVITY+AMBER near-infrared interferometry allows us to image the circumstellar disks around the individual components with ∼3 mas resolution. We estimate the component masses to ∼20 and ∼18 M⊙ and find that the radial intensity profiles can be reproduced with an irradiated disk model, where the inner regions are excavated of dust, likely tracing the dust sublimation region in these disks. The circumstellar disks are strongly misaligned with respect to the binary separation vector, which indicates that the tidal forces did not have time to realign the disks, pointing toward a young dynamical age of the system. We constrain the distribution of the Brγ and CO-emitting gas using VLTI/GRAVITY spectro-interferometry and VLT/CRIRES spectro-astrometry and find that the secondary is accreting at a higher rate than the primary. VLT/NACO imaging shows L‧-band emission on (3–4)× larger scales than the binary separation, matching the expected dynamical truncation radius for the circumbinary disk. The IRAS17216-3801 system is ∼3× more massive and ∼5× more compact than other high-mass multiplies imaged at infrared wavelength and the first high-mass protobinary system where circumstellar and circumbinary dust disks could be spatially resolved. This opens exciting new opportunities for studying star–disk interactions and the role of multiplicity in high-mass star formation. Based on observations made with ESO telescopes at Paranal Observatory under program IDs 60.A-9174(A), 089.C-0819(A,C), 089.C-0959(D,E), 094.C-0153(A), 096.C-0652(A).

  3. From Pixels to Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brownston, Lee; Jenkins, Jon M.

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Terrestrial planet formation

    PubMed Central

    Righter, K.; O’Brien, D. P.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (∼106 y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few × 106 y), and finally embryos to planets (107–108 y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  5. Planet Formation - Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2005-01-01

    Modern theories of star and planet formation are based upon observations of planets and smaller bodies within our own Solar System, exoplanets &round normal stars and of young stars and their environments. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth as do terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. These models predict that rocky planets should form in orbit about most single stars. It is uncertain whether or not gas giant planet formation is common, because most protoplanetary disks may dissipate before solid planetary cores can grow large enough to gravitationally trap substantial quantities of gas. A potential hazard to planetary systems is radial decay of planetary orbits resulting from interactions with material within the disk. Planets more massive than Earth have the potential to decay the fastest, and may be able to sweep up smaller planets in their path.

  6. Terrestrial planet formation.

    PubMed

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.

  7. Architecture of Kepler's Multiple Planet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lissauer, Jack

    We propose to determine the typical characteristics of planetary systems within 1 AU of stars. We will address basic questions including: How many planets are typical? What are their orbital spacings? How do these relate to planet sizes, relative inclinations, and stellar type? These questions probe the signatures of planet formation that are recorded in the catalogs of Kepler planet candidates. We propose to update the findings Lissauer et al. (2011, ApJS 197, 8), which used the first four months of Kepler observations, and Fabrycky et al. (2014, ApJ 790, 146) to encompass the additional planet candidates that have and will be cataloged by the Kepler project. The current catalog (Coughlin et al. (2015, arXiv 1512.06149) includes four times as many planet candidates as were known in 2011, almost twice as many as the catalog used by Fabrycky et al., as well as vastly improved measures of planetary radii and stellar properties. The improved catalogs will allow us to minimize detection biases andperform independent analyses of subsets of the data to compare distributions of planet periodratios, transit durations and planet radii to determine how these vary with orbital distance orincident fluxes. Analyses of the early Kepler data also identified an excess of planets just wide of resonance and a deficit just narrow of resonance. We propose to discriminate between tidal and dynamical models for this phenomenon with improved distributions of period ratios, sorted by planet size and orbit period, since tidal effects decline rapidly with distance from the star.

  8. Optimization of Planet Finder Observing Strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinukoff, E.

    2014-03-01

    We evaluate radial velocity observing strategies to be considered for future planethunting surveys with the Automated Planet Finder, a new 2.4-m telescope at Lick Observatory. Observing strategies can be optimized to mitigate stellar noise, which can mask and imitate the weak Doppler signals of low-mass planets. We estimate and compare sensitivities of 5 different observing strategies to planets around G2-M2 dwarfs, constructing RV noise models for each stellar spectral type, accounting for acoustic, granulation, and magnetic activity modes. The strategies differ in exposure time, nightly and monthly cadence, and number of years. Synthetic RV time-series are produced by injecting a planet signal onto the stellar noise, sampled according to each observing strategy. For each star and each observing strategy, thousands of planet injection recovery trials are conducted to determine the detection efficiency as a function of orbital period, minimum mass, and eccentricity. We find that 4-year observing strategies of 10 nights per month are sensitive to planets ~25-40% lower in mass than the corresponding 1 year strategies of 30 nights per month. Three 5-minute exposures spaced evenly throughout each night provide a 10% gain in sensitivity over the corresponding single 15-minute exposure strategies. All strategies are sensitive to planets of lowest mass around the modeled K7 dwarf. This study indicates that APF surveys adopting the 4-year strategies should detect Earth-mass planets on < 10-day orbits around quiet late-K dwarfs as well as > 1.6 Earth-mass planets in their habitable zones.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-02-10

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

  10. Inferring Planet Occurrence Rates With a Q1-Q17 Kepler Planet Candidate Catalog Produced by a Machine Learning Classifier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catanzarite, Joseph; Jenkins, Jon Michael; McCauliff, Sean D.; Burke, Christopher; Bryson, Steve; Batalha, Natalie; Coughlin, Jeffrey; Rowe, Jason; mullally, fergal; thompson, susan; Seader, Shawn; Twicken, Joseph; Li, Jie; morris, robert; smith, jeffrey; haas, michael; christiansen, jessie; Clarke, Bruce

    2015-08-01

    NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope monitored the photometric variations of over 170,000 stars, at half-hour cadence, over its four-year prime mission. The Kepler pipeline calibrates the pixels of the target apertures for each star, produces light curves with simple aperture photometry, corrects for systematic error, and detects threshold-crossing events (TCEs) that may be due to transiting planets. The pipeline estimates planet parameters for all TCEs and computes diagnostics used by the Threshold Crossing Event Review Team (TCERT) to produce a catalog of objects that are deemed either likely transiting planet candidates or false positives.We created a training set from the Q1-Q12 and Q1-Q16 TCERT catalogs and an ensemble of synthetic transiting planets that were injected at the pixel level into all 17 quarters of data, and used it to train a random forest classifier. The