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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. 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.

  3. A New Method for Detecting Transiting Circumbinary Planets in Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, William F.; Orosz, Jerome A.; Windmiller, Gur; Short, Donald R.

    2016-06-01

    The discovery of Kepler-16 started a new branch of exoplanet research: observations of transiting circumbinary planets. To date, eleven transiting circumbinary planets have been discovered. The detection of a circumbinary planet is much more difficult than the detection of a planet around a single star because the transit times are not strictly periodic, the transit widths and depths can change dramatically, and the deep binary star eclipses overwhelm the much smaller planetary transits. Because of these complications, most of the known circumbinary planets were discovered via visual inspection of the Kepler light curves. This requires that the transits be easily detectable by eye, which translates to large-radii planets. Here we present a new method for visual dectection of circumbinary planets, based on the idea of phase-folding the light curve into a "trailed eclipsogram" image. While this method works well for deep transits (and hence will work for new, large circumbinary planets to be found by TESS), in principle it can also be extended to much smaller planets below the threshold for visual detection using image pattern recognition tools.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Formation and Dynamics of Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Dong

    2016-05-01

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

  7. Kepler-16: a transiting circumbinary planet.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-16

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

  8. 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.

  9. Gaia's potential for the discovery of circumbinary planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahlmann, J.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Martin, D. V.

    2015-02-01

    The abundance and properties of planets orbiting binary stars - circumbinary planets - are largely unknown because they are difficult to detect with currently available techniques. Results from the Kepler satellite and other studies indicate a minimum occurrence rate of circumbinary giant planets of ˜10 per cent, yet only a handful are presently known. Here, we study the potential of ESA's Gaia mission to discover and characterize extrasolar planets orbiting nearby binary stars by detecting the binary's periodic astrometric motion caused by the orbiting planet. We expect that Gaia will discover hundreds of giant planets around binaries with FGK-dwarf primaries within 200 pc of the Sun, if we assume that the giant planet mass distribution and abundance are similar around binaries and single stars. If on the other hand all circumbinary gas giants have masses lower than two Jupiter masses, we expect only four detections. Gaia is critically sensitive to the properties of giant circumbinary planets and will therefore make the detailed study of their population possible. Gaia's precision is such that the distribution in mutual inclination between the binary and planetary orbital planes will be obtained. It also possesses the capacity to establish the frequency of planets across the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, both as a function of mass and of stellar evolutionary state from pre-main sequence to stellar remnants. Gaia's discoveries can reveal whether a second epoch of planetary formation occurs after the red giant phase.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. On the Possibility of Habitable, Trojan Planets in the Kepler Circumbinary Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudol, Jeffrey; Haghighipour, Nader

    2015-12-01

    The recent discovery of circumbinary planets with the Kepler space telescope has opened a new direction in the search for habitable planets. Three of the known Kepler circumbinary planets reside in habitable zones: Kepler 16b, Kepler 47c, and Kepler 453b. Although these planets are too large to be habitable, they present the possibility of having habitable, terrestrial-size Trojan planets and/or moons. Although no Trojan planets have yet been detected in any exoplanetary system, theoretical studies suggest Trojan planets can exist in stable orbits in circumbinary planetary systems and can be detected with current and future space telescopes. We have performed more than 1,000 numerical integrations of each of these systems in which we have included an Earth-mass object in a random orbit near one of the two Lagrangian points in the habitable zone. We present the results of these integrations and further discuss their implications for the formation and evolution of these particular systems. We also report on the detectability of Earth-mass Trojan planets via transits or transit timing variations.

  5. Modeling circumbinary planets: The case of Kepler-38

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kley, Wilhelm; Haghighipour, Nader

    2014-04-01

    Context. Recently, a number of planets orbiting binary stars have been discovered by the Kepler space telescope. In a few systems the planets reside close to the dynamical stability limit. Owing to the difficulty of forming planets in such close orbits, it is believed that they have formed farther out in the disk and migrated to their present locations. Aims: Our goal is to construct more realistic models of planet migration in circumbinary disks and to determine the final position of these planets more accurately. In our work, we focus on the system Kepler-38 where the planet is close to the stability limit. Methods: The evolution of the circumbinary disk is studied using two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations. We study locally isothermal disks as well as more realistic models that include full viscous heating, radiative cooling from the disk surfaces, and radiative diffusion in the disk midplane. After the disk has been brought into a quasi-equilibrium state, a 115 Earth-mass planet is embedded and its evolution is followed. Results: In all cases the planets stop inward migration near the inner edge of the disk. In isothermal disks with a typical disk scale height of H/r = 0.05, the final outcome agrees very well with the observed location of planet Kepler-38b. For the radiative models, the disk thickness and location of the inner edge is determined by the mass in the system. For surface densities on the order of 3000 g/cm2 at 1 AU, the inner gap lies close to the binary and planets stop in the region between the 5:1 and 4:1 mean-motion resonances with the binary. A model with a disk with approximately a quarter of the mass yields a final position very close to the observed one. Conclusions: For planets migrating in circumbinary disks, the final position is dictated by the structure of the disk. Knowing the observed orbits of circumbinary planets, radiative disk simulations with embedded planets can provide important information on the physical state of the

  6. A triple origin for the lack of tight coplanar circumbinary planets around short-period binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamers, Adrian; Perets, Hagai B.; Portegies Zwart, Simon

    2015-12-01

    Detection of transiting circumbinary planets is more tractable around short-period binaries. However, sofar, no such binaries have been found with orbits shorter than 7 days. Short-period main sequence binaries have been suggested to form in triple systems, through a combination of secular Kozai-Lidov cycles and tidal friction (KLCTF). Here, we show that coplanar circumbinary transiting planets are unlikely to exist around short-period binaries, due to triple evolution. We use secular analysis, N-body simulations and analytic considerations as well as population synthesis models to characterize their overall properties. We find that the existence of a circumbinary planet in a triple is likely to produce one of the following outcomes. (1) Sufficiently massive planets in tight and/or coplanar orbits around the inner binary can partially or completely quench the KL evolution, `shielding' the inner binary from the secular effects of the tertiary, and not allowing the KLCTF process to take place. In this case, the inner binary will not shrink to become a short-period binary. (2) KL evolution is not quenched and it drives the planetary orbit into high eccentricities, giving rise to an unstable configuration, in which the planet is most likely ejected from the system. (3) KL evolution is not quenched, but the planet survives the KLCTF evolution and the formation of the short-period binary; the planet orbit is likely to be much wider than the currently observed inner binary orbit, and is likely to be inclined in respect to the binary orbit, as well as eccentric. These outcomes lead to two main conclusions: (1) it is unlikely to find a (massive) planet on a tight and coplanar orbit around a short-period main-sequence binary, and (2) the frequency, masses and orbits of non-coplanar circumbinary planets in short-period binaries are constrained by their secular evolution.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Survival of Planets Around Shrinking Stellar Binaries: A New Population of Misaligned Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Dong

    2015-08-01

    The discovery of transiting circumbinary planets by the Kepler mission suggests that planets can form efficiently around binary stars. None of the stellar binaries known to host planets has a period shorter than 7 days, despite the large number of eclipsing binaries found in the Kepler target list with periods shorter than a few days. These compact binaries are believed to have evolved from wider orbits into their current configurations via tidal dissipation mediated by Lidov-Kozai oscillations in orbital eccentricity induced by a distant tertiary companion. 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 be ejected 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.Reference: D. Munoz and D. Lai 2015, submitted

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.; (The MOA Collaboration; Szymański, M. K.; Soszyński, I.; Ulaczyk, K.; Wyrzykowski, Ł.; The OGLE Collaboration; Allen, W.; DePoy, D.; Gal-Yam, A.; Gaudi, B. S.; Han, C.; Monard, I. A. G.; Ofek, E.; Pogge, R. W.; (The μFUN Collaboration; Street, R. A.; Bramich, D. M.; Dominik, M.; Horne, K.; Snodgrass, C.; Steele, I. A.; (The 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.; (The 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}ȯ . 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.

  17. Disruption of planetary orbits through evection resonance with an external companion: circumbinary planets and multiplanet systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Wenrui; Lai, Dong

    2016-07-01

    Planets around binary stars and those in multiplanet systems may experience resonant eccentricity excitation and disruption due to perturbations from a distant stellar companion. This `evection resonance' occurs when the apsidal precession frequency of the planet, driven by the quadrupole associated with the inner binary or the other planets, matches the orbital frequency of the external companion. We develop an analytic theory to study the effects of evection resonance on circumbinary planets and multiplanet systems. We derive the general conditions for effective eccentricity excitation or resonance capture of the planet as the system undergoes long-term evolution. Applying to circumbinary planets, we show that inward planet migration may lead to eccentricity growth due to evection resonance with an external perturber, and planets around shrinking binaries may not survive the resonant eccentricity growth. On the other hand, significant eccentricity excitation in multiplanet systems occurs in limited parameter space of planet and binary semimajor axes, and requires the planetary migration to be sufficiently slow.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Detection of Sharp Symmetric Features in the Circumbinary Disk around AK Sco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, under observing program 095.C-0346(B).

  2. Detection of Sharp Symmetric Features in the Circumbinary Disk around AK Sco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, under observing program 095.C-0346(B).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Effects of X-ray and extreme UV radiation on circumbinary planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanz-Forcada, J.; Desidera, S.; Micela, G.

    2014-10-01

    Context. Several circumbinary planets have recently been discovered. The orbit of a planet around a binary stellar system poses several dynamic constraints. In addition to these constraints, the effects that radiation from the host stars may have on the planet atmospheres must be considered. We here evaluate these effects. Because of the configuration of a close binary system, these stars have a high rotation rate, even for old stars. The fast rotation of close, tidally locked binaries causes a permanent state of high stellar activity and copious XUV radiation. The accumulated effects are stronger than for normal exoplanets around single stars and cause a faster evaporation of their atmospheres. Aims: We evaluate the effects that stellar radiation has on the evaporation of exoplanets around binary systems and on the survival of these planets. Methods: We considered the X-ray and EUV spectral ranges (XUV, 1-912 Å) to account for the photons that are easily absorbed by a planet atmosphere that is mainly composed of hydrogen. A more complex atmospheric composition is expected to absorb this radiation more efficiently. We used direct X-ray observations to evaluate the energy in the X-rays range and coronal models to calculate the (nondetectable) EUV part of the spectrum. Results: We considered in this problem different configurations of stellar masses, and a resonance of 4:1 and 3:1. The simulations show that exoplanets orbiting close binary systems in a close orbit will suffer strong photoevaporation that may cause a total loss of atmosphere in a short time. We also applied our models to the best real example, Kepler-47 b, to estimate the current mass-loss rates in circumbinary planets and the accumulated effects over the time. Conclusions: A binary system of two solar-like stars will be highly efficient in evaporating the atmosphere of the planet (less than 6 Gyr in our case). These systems will be difficult to find, even if they are dynamically stable. Still

  6. 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.

  7. The sdB+M Eclipsing System HW Virginis and its Circumbinary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Jae Woo; Kim, Seung-Lee; Kim, Chun-Hwey; Koch, Robert H.; Lee, Chung-Uk; Kim, Ho-Il; Park, Jang-Ho

    2009-02-01

    For the very short period subdwarf B eclipsing binary HW Vir, we present new CCD photometry made from 2000 through 2008. In order to obtain consistency of the binary parameters, our new light curves, showing sharp eclipses and a striking reflection effect, were analyzed simultaneously with previously published radial velocity data. The secondary star parameters of M 2 = 0.14 M sun, R 2 = 0.18 R sun, and T 2 = 3084 K are consistent with those of an M6-7 main-sequence star. A credibility issue regarding bolometric corrections is emphasized. More than 250 times of minimum light, including our 41 timings and spanning more than 24 yr, were used for a period study. From a detailed analysis of the O - C diagram, it emerged that the orbital period of HW Vir has varied as a combination of a downward-opening parabola and two sinusoidal variations, with cycle lengths of P 3 = 15.8 yr and P 4 = 9.1 yr and semiamplitudes of K 3 = 77 s and K 4 = 23 s, respectively. The continuous period decrease with a rate of -8.28 × 10-9 days yr-1 may be produced by angular momentum loss due to magnetic stellar wind braking but not by gravitational radiation. Of the possible causes of the cyclical components of the period change, apsidal motion and magnetic period modulation can be ruled out. The most reasonable explanation of both cyclical variations is a pair of light-travel-time effects driven by the presence of two substellar companions with projected masses of M 3sin i 3 = 19.2 M Jup and M 4sin i 4 = 8.5 M Jup. The two objects are the first circumbinary planets known to have been formed in a protoplanetary disk as well the first ones discovered by using the eclipse-timing method. The detection implies that planets could be common around binary stars just as are planets around single stars and demonstrates that planetary systems formed in a circumbinary disk can survive over long timescales. Depending on the thermal inertia of their massive atmospheres, the hemispheres of the planets

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The pulsating sdB+M eclipsing system NY Virginis and its circumbinary planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Jae Woo; Hinse, Tobias Cornelius; Youn, Jae-Hyuck; Han, Wonyong

    2014-12-01

    We searched for circumbinary planets orbiting NY Vir in historical eclipse times including our long-term CCD data. 68 times of minimum light with accuracies better than 10 s were used for the ephemeris computations. The best fit to those timings indicated that the orbital period of NY Vir has varied due to a combination of two sinusoids with periods of P3 = 8.2 yr and P4 = 27.0 yr and semi-amplitudes of K3 = 6.9 s and K4 = 27.3 s, respectively. The periodic variations most likely arise from a pair of light-time effects due to the presence of third and fourth bodies that are gravitationally bound to the eclipsing pair. We have derived the orbital parameters and the minimum masses, M3sin i3 = 2.8 MJup and M4sin i4 = 4.5 MJup, of both objects. A dynamical analysis suggests that the outer companion is less likely to orbit the binary on a circular orbit. Instead, we show that future timing data might push its eccentricity to moderate values for which the system exhibits long-term stability. The results demonstrate that NY Vir is probably a star-planet system, which consists of a very close binary star and two giant planets. The period ratio P3/P4 suggests that a long-term gravitational interaction between them would result in capture into a nearly 3:10 mean motion resonance. When the presence of the circumbinary planets is verified and understood more comprehensively, the formation and evolution of this planetary system should be advanced greatly.

  14. 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.

  15. Kepler-413b: A Slightly Misaligned, Neptune-size Transiting Circumbinary Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

    We report the discovery of a transiting, Rp = 4.347 ± 0.099R ⊕, circumbinary planet (CBP) orbiting the Kepler K+M eclipsing binary (EB) system KIC 12351927 (Kepler-413) every ~66 days on an eccentric orbit with ap = 0.355 ± 0.002 AU, ep = 0.118 ± 0.002. The two stars, with MA = 0.820 ± 0.015 M ⊙, RA = 0.776 ± 0.009 R ⊙ and MB = 0.542 ± 0.008 M ⊙, RB = 0.484 ± 0.024 R ⊙, respectively, revolve around each other every 10.11615 ± 0.00001 days on a nearly circular (e EB = 0.037 ± 0.002) orbit. The orbital plane of the EB is slightly inclined to the line of sight (i 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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%.

  19. 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.

  20. Wobbling Toward Planet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcy, G. W.

    1995-12-01

    Several techniques have matured during the past year which enable indirect detection of planets orbiting main sequence stars. These methods include: RADIAL VELOCITIES, LONG BASELINE INTERFEROMETRY (astrometric, not imaging), LARGE TELESCOPE ASTROMETRY, TRANSITS BY TERRESTRIAL PLANETS, and GRAVITATIONAL LENSING. Current velocity precision is better than 10 m/s (at several observatories) which enables detection of jupiter-like planets within 5AU. Ground-based astrometry by Gatewood achieves a precision of 0.001arcsec, sufficient to detect jupiter-like planets orbiting >5AU from nearby stars. The above two techniques will soon benefit from larger aperture (Keck, HET, VLT) and superior seeing. Future ground-based interferometric astrometry should be able to detect planets like Uranus and Neptune. Detection of terrestrial planets are possible, in principle, with techniques of transits or lensing. I will review each of the above techniques with regard to instrumentation status and ultimate usefulness. I will report the results to date of on-going projects to detect planetary systems, especially from velocities and single-aperture astrometry. The status of the companion to 51 Pegasus and other reported planets will be described.

  1. Circumbinary Planet Formation in the Kepler-16 System. II. A Toy Model for In Situ Planet Formation within a Debris Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meschiari, Stefano

    2014-07-01

    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 105 yr, therefore showing that even a primordial population of "small" planetesimals can feasibly form a planet.

  2. 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.

  3. Extrasolar planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. SPOTS: The Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars. II. First constraints on the frequency of sub-stellar companions on wide circumbinary orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

    A large number of direct imaging surveys for exoplanets have been performed in recent years, yielding the first directly imaged planets and providing constraints on the prevalence and distribution of wide planetary systems. However, like most of the radial velocity ones, these generally focus on single stars, hence binaries and higher-order multiples have not been studied to the same level of scrutiny. This motivated the Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars (SPOTS) survey, which is an ongoing direct imaging study of a large sample of close binaries, started with VLT/NACO and now continuing with VLT/SPHERE. To complement this survey, we have identified the close binary targets in 24 published direct imaging surveys. Here we present our statistical analysis of this combined body of data. We analysed a sample of 117 tight binary systems, using a combined Monte Carlo and Bayesian approach to derive the expected values of the frequency of companions, for different values of the companion's semi-major axis. Our analysis suggest that the frequency of sub-stellar companions in wide orbit is moderately low (≲ 13% with a best value of 6% at 95% confidence level) and not significantly different between single stars and tight binaries. One implication of this result is that the very high frequency of circumbinary planets in wide orbits around post-common envelope binaries, implied by eclipse timing, cannot be uniquely due to planets formed before the common-envelope phase (first generation planets), supporting instead the second generation planet formation or a non-Keplerian origin of the timing variations.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Detecting Planets Outside The Solar System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pravdo, Steven H.; Terrile, Richard J.; Ftaclas, Christ; Gatewood, George

    1993-01-01

    Report describes proposed Astrometric Imaging Telescope, used to detect planets in orbit around distant stars. Includes executive summary and statement of scientific objectives of Astrometric Imaging Telescope program.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. A Planet Detection Tutorial and Simulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, D.

    2000-12-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. Detecting planets around stars in nearby galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Covone, G.; de Ritis, R.; Dominik, M.; Marino, A. A.

    2000-05-01

    The only way to detect planets around stars at distances gtrsim several kpc is by (photometric or astrometric) microlensing (mu L) observations. In this paper, we show that the capability of photometric mu L extends to the detection of signals caused by planets around stars in nearby galaxies (e.g. M31) and that there is no other method that can achieve this. Due to the large crowding, mu L experiments towards M31 can only observe the high-magnification part of a lensing light curve. Therefore, the dominating channel for mu L signals by planets is in distortions near the peak of high-magnification events as discussed by Griest & Safizadeh (\\cite{GS98}). We calculate the probability to detect planetary anomalies for mu L experiments towards M31 and find that jupiter-like planets around stars in M31 can be detected. Though the characterization of the planet(s) involved in this signal will be difficult, the absence of such signals can yield strong constraints on the abundance of jupiter-like planets.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Microlensing detection of extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Giannini, Emanuela; Lunine, Jonathan I

    2013-05-01

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

  2. Secular and tidal evolution of circumbinary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Detecting distant planets with Space Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Page, T.

    1985-01-01

    In 1981 and in 1984, research projects were chosen by graduate students at the University of Houston which were designed for the Space Telescope (ST). The six ST instruments which were most important for their purposes (most were interested in the detection of planets of other stars) were: the wide field/planetary camera, the faint object camera, the faint object spectrograph, the high resolution spectrograph, the high speed photometer and the fine guidance system. The capability of these instruments is discussed along with the techniques likely to be most effective in the detection of planets of other stars. It is noted that the student proposals require a significant fraction of ST observing time; the ST Science Institute is laden with over-subscription.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Detecting the polarization signatures of extra-solar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hough, J. H.; Lucas, P. W.; Bailey, J. A.; Tamura, M.; Hirst, E.

    2006-06-01

    Direct detection of the light scattered from extra-solar planets is important in establishing the planet's mass, radius, albedo and nature of the particles in the planetary atmosphere. We describe, and present results from, a new optical polarimeter (PlanetPol) designed to reach fractional polarizations of 10 -6 or better from ground-based telescopes, necessary to detect the polarization signature of unresolved hot-Jupiters.

  9. 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.

  10. Placing limits on the transit timing variations of circumbinary exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong, D.; Martin, D. V.; Brown, G.; Faedi, F.; Gómez Maqueo Chew, Y.; Mardling, R.; Pollacco, D.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Udry, S.

    2013-10-01

    We present an efficient analytical method to predict the maximum transit timing variations of a circumbinary exoplanet, given some basic parameters of the host binary. We derive an analytical model giving limits on the potential location of transits for coplanar planets orbiting eclipsing binaries, then test it against numerical N-body simulations of a distribution of binaries and planets. We also show the application of the analytic model to Kepler-16b, -34b and -35b. The resulting method is fast, efficient and is accurate to approximately 1 per cent in predicting limits on possible times of transits over a 3-yr observing campaign. The model can easily be used to, for example, place constraints on transit timing while performing circumbinary planet searches on large data sets. It is adaptable to use in situations where some or many of the planet and binary parameters are unknown.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Results from SPOTS: The Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asensio Torres, Ruben; Thalmann, Christian; Janson, Markus

    2015-12-01

    A large number of direct imaging surveys for exoplanets have been performed in recent years, which have yielded the first directly imaged planets and provided constraints on the prevalence and distribution of wide planetary systems. However, these surveys generally focus on single stars, hence binaries and higher-order multiples have not been studied to the same level of scrutiny. This motivated the initiation of the SPOTS survey, which is an ongoing direct imaging study encompassing 67 close binaries in total, performed first with VLT/NACO and now with VLT/SPHERE. The study is the first to systematically study the distribution of wide planets in multiple systems, and may yield the first image on any circumbinary planet altogether. Here, we will describe the layout of the survey, the follow-up of planetary candidates in the sample, and the detection of novel features in a newly resolved circumbinary disk which may indicate the presence of one or two unseen planetary companions.

  16. Survival of planets around shrinking stellar binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munoz, Diego Jose; Lai, Dong

    2015-12-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:14678662

  19. 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. ...

  20. Formation and Detectability of Terrestrial Planets Around Alpha Centauri B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guedes, Javiera

    2009-01-01

    Alpha Centauri B belongs to a triple star system comprised of a central A/B binary and a third companion, Proxima Centauri. The system, our closest stellar neighbor, is of great interest for planet hunters because it may harbor Earth-mass planets possibly in the habitable zone of the stars of the A/B binary. To assess whether terrestrial planets can indeed form around these stars, we run a series of N-body accretionary simulations of a 1/r disk populated with 400-900 lunar-mass oligarchs is followed for 200 Myr. All simulations lead to the formation of multiple-planet systems with at least one planet in the 1-2 M_Earth mass range at 0.5-1.5 AU. We examine the detectability of our simulated planetary systems by generating synthetic radial velocity observations including noise. Using these synthetic observations, we find that we can reliably detect a 1.8 M_Earth planet in the habitable zone of Alpha Centauri B after only three years of high cadence observations. The observations will be carried out at the CTIO site in northern Chile on a 1.5-m underutilized telescope. We expect to report the detection (or non-detection) of Earth-like planets around Alpha Centauri B in 3 to 5 years.

  1. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-05-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets: Can We Detect Them Already?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endl, M.; Kürster, M.; Rouesnel, F.; Els, S.; Hatzes, A. P.; Cochran, W. D.

    With the example of Proxima Centauri we discuss the feasibility of detecting terrestrial planets (1 to a few Earth masses) using the high precision radial velocity (RV) technique. If a very high RV precision for M stars is achieved even planets with these extremely low masses become detectable. For Proxima Cen (M5V), one of the prime targets of our M stars planet search program using the UVES spectrograph and iodine cell at the ESO VLT UT2, we obtain a long term RV precision of 2.5 m/sec. Based on numerical simulations we determine that this level of precision would have already allowed us to detect planets with M sin i= 4 to 6 Earth masses inside the habitable zone of Proxima Cen.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burt, Jennifer

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Detection of extrasolar planets via microlensing and occultation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safizadeh, Neda

    2001-07-01

    As recently as five years ago, no extrasolar planetary companions of main sequence stars had been identified. The discovery 51 Peg b by Mayor & Queloz [49], was the first of many planetary detections. Since then, over fifty other planets have been found, all with the radial velocity technique. Here, we give an overview of various detection strategies for planets. We discuss studies in three separate areas of searching for extrasolar planets; high magnification and astrometric deviations during a microlensing event given a lens with a planetary companion, and the observational progress of a planet transit survey. We study the effects of a planetary companion to the lens during a microlensing event with numerical methods. By studying the photometric light curve of a microlensing event during its peak amplification, we find that a planetary signature can be definitively detected in the lensing zone (0.6-1.6 Einstein Ring Radii or RE) for masses greater than Jupiter's. The probability remains substantial for Saturn and even 10 Earth masses. The peak of the event can be predicted in advance, allowing for extrasolar planet detection with a relatively small use of resources over a short period of time. We introduce a new method of searching for extrasolar planets by monitoring the astrometric deviations of the source star during a microlensing event. We show that astrometric deviation curves can give information about the presence of a planet and allow for parameter extraction. By monitoring the center-of-light motion of microlensing alerts using high precision astrometric instruments, the probability of detecting a planet orbiting the lens is high. The addition of astrometric information to the photometric microlensing light curve greatly helps in determining the planetary mass and projected separation. We introduce a new numerical method for calculating astrometric motion and detecting probabilities. Lastly, we search for planet transits in old, relatively metal rich

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. ''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.

  3. 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.

  4. On possible circumbinary configurations of the planetary systems of α Centauri and EZ Aquarii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Possible configurations of the planetary systems of the binary stars α Cen A-BandEZAqr A-C are analyzed. The P-type orbits—circumbinary ones, i.e., the orbits around both stars of the binary, are studied. The choice of these systems is dictated by the fact that α Cen is closest to us in the Galaxy, while EZ Aqr is the closest system whose circumbinary planets, as it turns out, may reside in the "habitability zone." The analysis has been performed within the framework of the planar restricted three-body problem. The stability diagrams of circumbinary motion have been constructed: on representative sets of initial data (in the pericentric distance-eccentricity plane), we have computed the Lyapunov spectra of planetary motion and identified the domains of regular and chaotic motion through their statistical analysis. Based on present views of the dynamics and architecture of circumbinary planetary systems, we have determined the most probable planetary orbits to be at the centers of the main resonance cells, at the boundary of the dynamical chaos domain around the parent binary star, which allows the semimajor axes of the orbits to be predicted. In the case of EZ Aqr, the orbit of the circumbinary planet is near the habitability zone and, given that the boundary of this zone is uncertain, may belong to it.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Holman, Matthew J; Murray, Norman W

    2005-02-25

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. ICE LINES IN CIRCUMBINARY PROTOPLANETARY DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Clanton, Christian

    2013-05-01

    I examine the position of the ice line in circumbinary disks heated by steady mass accretion and stellar irradiation and compare with the critical semimajor axis, interior to which planetary orbits are unstable. There is a critical binary separation, dependent on the binary parameters and disk properties, for which binaries with separations larger than this critical value have ice lines that lie interior to the boundary of stability. For an equal-mass binary comprised of 1 M{sub Sun} components, this critical separation is Almost-Equal-To 1.04 AU, and scales weakly with mass accretion rate and Rosseland mean opacity ({proportional_to}[ M-dot {kappa}{sub R}]{sup 2/9}). Assuming a steady mass accretion rate of M-dot {approx}10{sup -8} M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1} and a Rosseland mean opacity of {kappa}{sub R} {approx} 1 cm{sup 2} g{sup -1}, I show that {approx}> 80% of all binary systems with component masses M{sub *} {approx}< 2.0 M{sub Sun} have ice lines that lie interior to the critical semimajor axis. This suggests that rocky planets should not form in these systems, a prediction which can be tested by looking for planets around binaries with separations larger than the critical separation with Kepler (difficult) and with microlensing.

  11. White-Light Nulling Interferometers for Detecting Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mennesson, Bertrand; Serabyn, Eugene; Shao, Michael; Levine, Bruce

    2004-01-01

    A report proposes the development of a white-light nulling interferometer to be used in conjunction with a singleaperture astronomical telescope that would be operated in outer space. When such a telescope is aimed at a given star, the interferometer would suppress the light of that star while passing enough light from planets (if any) orbiting the star, to enable imaging or spectroscopic examination of the planets. In a nulling interferometer, according to the proposal, scattered light would be suppressed by spatial filtering in an array of single-mode optical fibers rather than by requiring optical surfaces to be accurate within 1/4,000 wavelength as in a coronagraph or an apodized telescope. As a result, angstrom-level precision would be needed in only the small nulling combiner, and not in large, meter-sized optics. The nulling interferometer could work as an independent instrument in space or in conjunction with a coronagraphic system to detect planets outside our solar system.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The Automated Planet Finder's detection of a 6-planet system orbiting the bright, nearby star HD219134

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burt, Jennifer; Laughlin, Greg; Meschiari, Stefano; Vogt, Steve; Butler, R. Paul

    2015-12-01

    The Automated Planet Finder (APF) is the newest facility at Lick Observatory, comprised of a 2.4m telescope coupled with the high-resolution Levy echelle spectrograph. Purpose built for exoplanet detection and characterization, 80% of the telescope's observing time is dedicated to these science goals. The APF has demonstrated 1 m/s radial velocity precision on bright, RV standard stars and performs with the same speed-on-sky as Keck/HIRES when observing M-dwarfs.The APF has contributed to the detection of four planetary systems in its first two years of scientific operations. Our most recent detection is that of a 6-planet system around the bright (V=5.5), nearby (d=6.5pc), K3V star HD219134. The planets in this system have masses ranging from 3.5 to108 MEarth, with orbital periods from 3 to 2247 days. An independent detection of the inner 4 planets in this system by the HARPS-N team has shown that the 3d planet transits the star, making this system ideal for follow-up observations.I will discuss the APF's detections to date, highlighting HD219134, as well as the overall performance results of the telescope and our future observing strategy.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Sensitivity of the TPF Interferometer for Planet Detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beichman, C.; Velusamy, T.

    1999-01-01

    The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) offers the prospect of revolutionizing humanity's perception of its own place in the Universe by identifying habitable and possibly even life-bearing planets orbiting other stars.

  5. 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.

  6. Planet Formation around Binary Stars: Tatooine Made Easy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2015-06-01

    We examine characteristics of circumbinary orbits in the context of current planet formation scenarios. Analytical perturbation theory predicts the existence of nested circumbinary orbits that are generalizations of circular paths around a single star. These orbits have forced eccentric motion aligned with the binary as well as higher frequency oscillations, yet they do not cross, even in the presence of massive disks and perturbations from large planets. For this reason, dissipative gas and planetesimals can settle onto these “most circular” orbits, facilitating the growth of protoplanets. Outside a region close to the binary where orbits are generally unstable, circumbinary planets form in much the same way as their cousins around a single star. Here, we review the theory and confirm its predictions with a suite of representative simulations. We then consider the circumbinary planets discovered with NASA’s Kepler satellite. These Neptune- and Jupiter-size planets, or their planetesimal precursors, may have migrated inward to reach their observed orbits, since their current positions are outside of unstable zones caused by overlapping resonances. In situ formation without migration seems less likely, only because the surface density of the protoplanetary disks must be implausibly high. Otherwise, the circumbinary environment is friendly to planet formation, and we expect that many earth-like “Tatooines” will join the growing census of circumbinary planets.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. Planet scattering around binaries: ejections, not collisions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  10. 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. PMID:25230654

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Up to four planets around the M dwarf GJ 163. Sensitivity of Bayesian planet detection criteria to prior choice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuomi, M.; Anglada-Escudé, G.

    2013-08-01

    Context. Exoplanet Doppler surveys are currently the most efficient means to detect low-mass companions to nearby stars. Among these stars, the light M dwarfs provide the highest sensitivity to detect low-mass exoplanet candidates. Evidence is accumulating that a substantial fraction of these low-mass planets are found in high-multiplicity planetary systems. GJ 163 is a nearby inactive M dwarf with abundant public observations obtained using the HARPS spectrograph. Aims: We obtain and analyse radial velocities from the HARPS public spectra of GJ 163 and investigate the presence of a planetary companions orbiting it. The number of planet candidates detected might depend on some prior assumptions. Since the impact of prior choice has not been investigated throughly previously, we study the effects of different prior densities on the detectability of planet candidates around GJ 163. Methods: We use Bayesian tools, i.e. posterior samplings and model comparisons, when analysing the GJ 163 velocities. We consider models accounting for the possible correlations of subsequent measurements. We also search for activity-related counterparts of the signals we observe and test the dynamical stability of the planetary systems corresponding to our solutions using direct numerical integrations of the orbits. Results: We find that there are at least three planet candidates orbiting GJ 163. The existence of a fourth planet is supported by the data but the evidence in favor of the corresponding model is not yet conclusive. The second innermost planet candidate in the system with an orbital period of 25.6 days and a minimum mass of 8.7 M⊕ is inside the liquid-water habitable zone of the star. Conclusions: The architecture of GJ 163 system resembles a scaled-down Solar System in the sense that there are two low-mass planets on orbital periods of 8.7 and 25.6 days in the inner system, a possible slightly more massive companion on an intermediate orbit, and an outer sub

  16. Detection of Laplace-resonant three-planet systems from transit timing variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Libert, A.-S.; Renner, S.

    2013-04-01

    Transit timing variations (TTVs) are useful to constrain the existence of perturbing planets, especially in resonant systems where the variations are strongly enhanced. Here we focus on Laplace-resonant three-planet systems, and assume that the inner planet transits the star. A dynamical study is performed for different masses of the three bodies, with special attention to terrestrial planets. We consider a maximal time-span of ˜100 yr and discuss the shape of the inner planet TTVs curve. Using frequency analysis, we highlight the three periods related to the evolution of the system: two periods associated with the Laplace-resonant angle and the third one with the precession of the pericentres. These three periods are clearly detected in the TTVs of an inner giant planet perturbed by two terrestrial companions. Only two periods are detected for a Jupiter-Jupiter-Earth configuration (the ones associated with the giant interactions) or for three terrestrial planets (the Laplace periods). However, the latter system can be constrained from the inner planet TTVs. We finally remark that the TTVs of resonant three or two Jupiter systems mix up, when the period of the Laplace-resonant angle matches the pericentre precession of the two-body configuration. This study highlights the importance of TTVs long-term observational programmes for the detection of multiple-planet resonant systems.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Revisiting the proposed circumbinary multiplanet system NSVS 14256825

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinse, Tobias Cornelius; Lee, Jae Woo; Goździewski, Krzysztof; Horner, Jonathan; Wittenmyer, Robert A.

    2014-02-01

    In this work, we carry out an analysis of the observed times of primary and secondary eclipses of the post-common envelope binary NSVS 14256825. Recently, Almeida, Jablonski and Rodrigues proposed that two circumbinary companions orbit this short-period eclipsing binary, in order to explain observed variations in the timing of mutual eclipses between the two binary components. Using a standard weighted least-squares minimization technique, we have extensively explored the topology of χ2 parameter space of a single planet model. We find the data set to be insufficient to reliably constrain a one-companion model. Various models, each with similar statistical significance, result in substantially different orbital architectures for the additional companion. No evidence is seen for a second companion of planetary nature. We suspect insufficient coverage (baseline) of timing data causing the best-fitting parameters to be unconstrained.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. PlanetPol: A High Sensitivity Polarimetre for the Direct Detection and Characterisation of Scattered Light from Extra-solar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hough, J.; Lucas, P.; Bailey, J.; Hirst, E.; Tamura, M.; Harrison, D.

    2005-03-01

    After commissioning on the University of Hawaii 88-inch telescope, PlanetPol has been used successfully on the WHT in April and October 2004. The instrument, funded by PPARC, was designed and built at the University of Hertfordshire. PlanetPol is a stellar polarimetre designed to measure fractional polarisations of 10-6 or less. With this sensitivity PlanetPol should be capable of detecting the polarisation signature of so-called hot-Jupiters.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The Planets around the post-Common Envelope Binary NN Serpentis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hessman, Frederic V.; Beuermann, Klaus; Dreizler, Stefan; Marsh, Tom R.; Parsons, Steven G.; Copperwheat, Chris M.; Winget, Don E.; Miller, George F.; Hermes, James J.; Schreiber, Matthias R.; Kley, Wilhelm; Dhillon, Vik S.; Littlefair, Stuart P.

    2011-03-01

    We have detected 2 circumbinary planets around the close binary system NN Serpentis using the orbital time delay effect measured via the sharp eclipses of the white dwarf primary. The present pre-cataclysmic binary was formed when the original ~2 Msolar primary expanded into a red giant, causing the secondary star to drop from its original orbit at a separation of about 1.4 A.U. down to its current separation at 0.0043 A.U. A quasi-adiabatic evolution of the circumbinary planets' orbits during the common-envelope phase would have placed them in unstable configurations, suggesting that they may have suffered significant orbital drag effects and were originally in much larger orbits. Alternatively, they may have been created as 2nd-generation planets during the last million years from the substantial amount of material lost during the creation of the binary, making them the youngest planets known. Either solution shows how little we actually understand about planetary formation.

  7. Differential Astrometry to detect giant planets around A-stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monnier, John D.; Johnson, Keith; Swihart, Samuel; Ireland, Michael; Zhao, Ming; Ten Brummelaar, Theo

    2015-01-01

    The exoplanet field has remained vibrant and exciting due to the continuous development of new observing techniques and the refinement of older ones, both from the ground and from space. Here we propose to push the exoplanet frontier through the development of a new interferometric experiment that takes advantage of the Michigan Infrared Combiner (MIRC) on the CHARA Array, a visible and near-infrared interferometer boasting the longest baselines and finest angular resolution in the world. The ARMADA (ARrangement for Micro-Arcsecond Differential Astrometry) Project will search for astrometric wobble in a sample of hot stars (spectral type A,B) to search for giants planets in P<3 year orbits. Recent radial velocity (RV) work studying evolved sub-giants --``retired A stars" -- suggest up to a five-fold increase in the presence of massive gas giant planets in about 1 AU orbits compared to solar-type stars. Confirmation of this disputed result on A stars themselves would have profound effect on theories of planet formation but is difficult or impossible due to the broad, weak lines of hot stars. Using a novel etalon module already designed and fabricated to maintain precision wavelength calibration (Dl/l ~1x10-5), we aim to measure separations with <10 micro-arcsecond-level precision for binaries up to 0.25' separation.

  8. 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.

  9. Pre-history of planet detections: Focus on transits 1620 - 1995

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briot, D.; Schneider, J.; François, P.

    2015-10-01

    The discovery of 51 Peg b has been a wonderful scientific discovery, answering a multi-secular question and opening a extended new domain of astronomical research. We want to recall some old studies, some of them quite forgotten, which have used the same methods that those for planet detection, emphasizing transit method. In addition to an overview of planet search pre-history, some searchs for unknown planets in the Solar System since the seventeenth century will be evoked, as well as the search for exoplanet transits during the nineteenth and the twentieth century. The conclusion will be back to the future.

  10. Properties and Detection Limits of Planetary Caustic Perturbation Induced by a Wide-separation Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryu, Yoon-Hyun; Chung, Sun-Ju; Lee, Ki-Won; Kim, Han-Seek; Han, Du-Hwan

    2016-03-01

    Microlensing experiments are entering a next generation of survey types to monitor a wide field of view continuously with a frequent sampling. The theoretically predicted sensitivity of a planet detection on the lensing parameters can be used for the establishment of observational strategies for maximal planet detections. Hence, we investigate the detection condition of planetary signals caused by the planetary caustic. We calculate the deviation area induced by the planetary caustic for various lensing parameters and find that the deviation area generally increases according to the increase of the source radius. However, after the normalized source radius approaches a certain value the deviation area rapidly decreases and disappears at the same normalized source radius, regardless of the mass ratio and the separation between the planet and its host star. We find a simple relation between the normalized source radius and the deviation threshold for the largest and smallest deviation areas. From this relation we also find an analytic condition for the detection limit of the planetary signal as the function of the source radius and the deviation threshold. In addition, we compare the deviation areas and the light curves between the planetary caustic perturbation and a free-floating planet. We find that the planetary caustic perturbation can be approximated by the single-lensing light curve of the planet itself perturbed by the planetary caustic. Finally, we can expect to find a low-mass planet with the Earth’s mass or even that of the Earth's moon from the detection condition and conclude that our findings may help for maximal planet detections considering the source type and the photometric accuracy.

  11. 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.

  12. The OGLE-III planet detection efficiency from six years of microlensing observations (2003-2008)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsapras, Y.; Hundertmark, M.; Wyrzykowski, Ł.; Horne, K.; Udalski, A.; Snodgrass, C.; Street, R.; Bramich, D. M.; Dominik, M.; Bozza, V.; Figuera Jaimes, R.; Kains, N.; Skowron, J.; Szymański, M. K.; Pietrzyński, G.; Soszyński, I.; Ulaczyk, K.; Kozłowski, S.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Poleski, R.

    2016-04-01

    We use six years (2003-2008) of Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment-III microlensing observations to derive the survey detection efficiency for a range of planetary masses and projected distances from the host star. We perform an independent analysis of the microlensing light curves to extract the event parameters and compute the planet detection probability given the data. 2433 light curves satisfy our quality selection criteria and are retained for further processing. The aggregate of the detection probabilities over the range explored yields the expected number of microlensing planet detections. We employ a Galactic model to convert this distribution from dimensionless to physical units, α/au and M⊕. The survey sensitivity to small planets is highest in the range 1-4 au, shifting to slightly larger separations for more massive ones.

  13. 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.

  14. Angular Momentum Exchange by Gravitational Torques and Infall in the Circumbinary Disk of the Protostellar System L1551 NE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

    We report an ALMA observation of the Class I binary protostellar system L1551 NE in the 0.9 mm continuum, C18O (3-2), and 13CO (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.

  15. Activity induced detection limits for Earth-sized planets from radial velocity studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korhonen, Heidi; Gråe Jørgensen, Uffe; Andersen, Jan Marie

    2015-08-01

    The detection of exoplanets using any method is prone to confusion due to the intrinsic variability of the host star. We have recently investigated the effect of cool starspots on the detectability of exoplanets around solar-like stars and M dwarfs using the radial velocity method. Our methods use full radiative transfer, known stellar atomic and molecular lines, different surface spot configurations, and an added planetary signal. In this talk we present our methods, and apply them to studying the detectability of small planets, and especially the case of alpha Centauri B planet.

  16. Circumbinary Ring, Circumstellar Disks, and Accretion in the Binary System UY Aurigae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

    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 13CO 2-1, C18O 2-1, SO 5(6)-4(5) and 12CO 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.

  17. Toward Detection of Terrestrial Planets in the Habitable Zone of Our Closest Neighbor: Proxima Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endl, Michael; Kuerster, M.

    2009-01-01

    In recent years the precision of radial velocity (RV) measurements for the indirect detection of planetary companions to nearby stars has improved to a level that allowed the first discoveries of extrasolar planets in the Neptune and Super-Earth mass range. Detections of extremely low mass planets, possibly even down to 1 Earth mass or below, in short-period orbits can lie in the mid-term future of RV planet searches. Discoveries of such Earth-like planets via ground-based RV programs will help to determine the parameter eta_Earth, the frequency of potentially habitable planets around other stars. We monitored Proxima Centauri (M5V) as part of our M dwarf program in search of low-mass planetary companions. In the absence of a significant detection we want to use these data to demonstrate the general capability of the RV method to find terrestrial planets. For late M dwarfs the classic liquid surface water habitable zone (HZ) is located very close to the star, precisely where the RV method is most sensitive. We determine upper limits to the masses of companions in circular orbits via numerical simulations. As a result of our companion limit calculations we find that we successfully recover all test signals with RV amplitudes corresponding to planets with m sin i > 2-3 M_Earth residing inside the HZ of Proxima Cen with a statistical significance of >99%. Over the same period range we can recover 50% of the test planets with masses of m sin i > 1.5-2.5 M_Earth. We also discuss the effects of stellar activity on our RV measurements.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:22582018

  1. 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.

  2. Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets through Mean-motion Resonances. I. Simulations of Hypothetical Debris Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabeshian, Maryam; Wiegert, Paul A.

    2016-02-01

    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.

  3. Detecting Planet Pairs in Mean Motion Resonances via the Astrometry Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Dong-Hong; Liu, Hui-Gen; Yu, Zhou-Yi; Zhang, Hui; Zhou, Ji-Lin

    2016-07-01

    Gaia is leading us into a new era with a high astrometry precision of ˜10 μas. Under such precision, astrometry can play an important role in detecting and characterizing exoplanets. In particular, we can identify planet pairs in mean motion resonances (MMRs), which constrain the formation and evolution of planetary systems. In accordance with observations, we consider two-Jupiter or two-super-Earth systems in 1:2, 2:3, and 3:4 MMRs. Our simulations show that the false alarm probabilities (FAPs) of a third planet are extremely small, while the two real planets can be fitted well with a signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) \\gt 3. The probability of reconstructing a resonant system is related to the eccentricities and the resonance intensity. Generally, when the S/N ≥slant 10, if the eccentricities of both planets are larger than 0.01 and the resonance is quite strong, the probability of reconstructing the planet pair in MMRs is ≥slant 80 % . Jupiter pairs in MMRs are reconstructed more easily than super-Earth pairs with similar S/N when we consider dynamical stability. FAPs are also calculated when we detect planet pairs in or near MMRs. The FAPs for 1:2 MMRs are the largest, i.e., FAP \\gt 15 % when S/N ≤slant 10. Extrapolating from the Kepler planet pairs near MMRs and assuming a S/N ˜ 3, we discover and reconstruct a few tens of Jupiter pairs and hundreds of super-Earth pairs in 2:3 and 1:2 MMRs within 30 pc. We also compare the differences between even and uneven data cadence and find that planets are better measured with more uniform phase coverage.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 scienfific 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. Here I examine the direct detectability of planets 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 time scales exceeding 10(exp 3) yr in some cases. I examine 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. With emerging IR interferometric technology, thermally luminous Earth-sized objects can be detected in nearby star forming regions in 1-2 nights of observing time. Unfortunately, predictions indicated 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 h 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 less than or approximately equal to 100 young stars over a few tens of nights. The results obtained here 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. A Moon Based Telescope To Detect and Image Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondo, Y.; Oliversen, R. J.; Lowman, P.; Chen, P. C.

    2001-12-01

    A Moon-based telescope, suitably configured and equipped, can be employed as a low cost precursor to the Terrestrial Planet Finder mission. The concept is based in part on the ideas of Nisenson and Papaliolios (ApJ. Lett. 548:L201-205, 2001). The Moon is a highly stable observing platform. An advanced non-contact cryogenic bearing mechanism can provide super precise tracking and pointing. The telescope can use field rotation caused by lunar diurnal motion to sweep the optical diffraction pattern around a target star. The primary mirror is to be square, very lightweight, 1-2 meter on the side, with an off-axis shape. It must also have a highly precise optical figure and a superpolished surface. We suggest how such a mirror can be fabricated -at an affordable cost- using a process currently under development. Some preliminary laboratory test results will be presented. In addition, a variety of other advanced spacecraft technologies - propulsion, fuel saving trajectories, thermal management, low mass power systems and landers, etc. - can be combined to significantly reduce mission cost.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. INFRARED NON-DETECTION OF FOMALHAUT b: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PLANET INTERPRETATION

    SciTech Connect

    Janson, Markus; Carson, Joseph C.; Bent, John R.; Wong, Palmer; Lafreniere, David; Spiegel, David S.

    2012-03-10

    The nearby A4-type star Fomalhaut hosts a debris belt in the form of an eccentric ring, which is thought to be caused by dynamical influence from a giant planet companion. In 2008, a detection of a point source inside the inner edge of the ring was reported and was interpreted as a direct image of the planet, named Fomalhaut b. The detection was made at {approx}600-800 nm, but no corresponding signatures were found in the near-infrared range, where the bulk emission of such a planet should be expected. Here, we present deep observations of Fomalhaut with Spitzer/IRAC at 4.5 {mu}m, using a novel point-spread function subtraction technique based on angular differential imaging and Locally Optimized Combination of Images, in order to substantially improve the Spitzer contrast at small separations. The results provide more than an order of magnitude improvement in the upper flux limit of Fomalhaut b and exclude the possibility that any flux from a giant planet surface contributes to the observed flux at visible wavelengths. This renders any direct connection between the observed light source and the dynamically inferred giant planet highly unlikely. We discuss several possible interpretations of the total body of observations of the Fomalhaut system and find that the interpretation that best matches the available data for the observed source is scattered light from a transient or semi-transient dust cloud.

  13. Planets in Evolved Binary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perets, Hagai B.

    2011-03-01

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

  14. Detecting Earth-like Planets with the New Worlds Observer: The Stellar Targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turnbull, Margaret C.; Glassman, T.; Roberge, A.; Cash, W.; NWO Study Team

    2009-01-01

    The New Worlds Observer (NWO) is a telescope-plus-starshade mission concept with the primary science goal of detecting and characterizing Earth-like planets orbiting within the habitable zones of nearby stars. Given the constraints on inner working angle and planet-to-star contrast ratio for the NWO mission, which stars emerge as the best targets for such a search? Using completeness calculations for each star and exposure times for a variety of exo-zodiacal background levels, this poster will identify and discuss the unique characteristics of the highest priority stars in the search for Earths.

  15. DETECTABILITY OF FREE FLOATING PLANETS IN OPEN CLUSTERS WITH THE JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE

    SciTech Connect

    Pacucci, Fabio; Ferrara, Andrea; D'Onghia, Elena

    2013-12-01

    Recent observations have shown the presence of extra-solar planets in Galactic open stellar clusters, such as in Praesepe (M44). These systems provide a favorable environment for planetary formation due to the high heavy-element content exhibited by the majority of their population. The large stellar density, and corresponding high close-encounter event rate, may induce strong perturbations of planetary orbits with large semimajor axes. Here we present a set of N-body simulations implementing a novel scheme to treat the tidal effects of external stellar perturbers on planetary orbit eccentricity and inclination. By simulating five nearby open clusters, we determine the rate of occurrence of bodies extracted from their parent stellar system by quasi-impulsive tidal interactions. We find that the specific free-floating planet production rate N-dot {sub o} (total number of free-floating planets per unit of time, normalized by the total number of stars), is proportional to the stellar density ρ{sub *} of the cluster: N-dot {sub o}=αρ{sub ⋆}, with α = (23 ± 5) × 10{sup –6} pc{sup 3} Myr{sup –1}. For the Pleiades (M45), we predict that ∼26% of stars should have lost their planets. This raises the exciting possibility of directly observing these wandering planets with the James Webb Space Telescope in the near-infrared band. Assuming a surface temperature for the planet of ∼500 K, a free-floating planet of Jupiter size inside the Pleiades would have a specific flux of F {sub ν} (4.4 μm) ≈4 × 10{sup 2} nJy, which would lead to a very clear detection (S/N ∼ 100) in only one hour of integration.

  16. Rotation periods and seismic ages of KOIs - comparison with stars without detected planets from Kepler observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceillier, T.; van Saders, J.; García, R. A.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Creevey, O.; Mathis, S.; Mathur, S.; Pinsonneault, M. H.; Salabert, D.; Tayar, J.

    2016-02-01

    One of the most difficult properties to derive for stars is their age. For cool main-sequence stars, gyrochronology relations can be used to infer stellar ages from measured rotation periods and Hertzsprung Russell diagram positions. These relations have few calibrators with known ages for old, long rotation period stars. There is a significant sample of old Kepler objects of interest, or KOIs, which have both measurable surface rotation periods and precise asteroseismic measurements from which ages can be accurately derived. In this work, we determine the age and the rotation period of solar-like pulsating KOIs to both compare the rotation properties of stars with and without known planets and enlarge the gyrochronology calibration sample for old stars. We use Kepler photometric light curves to derive the stellar surface rotation periods while ages are obtained with asteroseismology using the Asteroseismic Modelling Portal in which individual mode frequencies are combined with high-resolution spectroscopic parameters. We thus determine surface rotation periods and ages for 11 planet-hosting stars, all over 2 Gyr old. We find that the planet-hosting stars exhibit a rotational behaviour that is consistent with the latest age-rotation models and similar to the rotational behaviour of stars without detected planets. We conclude that these old KOIs can be used to test and calibrate gyrochronology along with stars not known to host planets.

  17. On the RZ Draconis substellar circumbinary companions. Stability study of the proposed substellar circumbinary system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinse, Tobias C.; Horner, Jonathan; Lee, Jae Woo; Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Lee, Chung-Uk; Park, Jang-Ho; Marshall, Jonathan P.

    2014-05-01

    Context. Recently, using the light-travel time effect, planets and substellar companions have been proposed to orbit around binary star systems (also known as circumbinary companions) as a result of variations in timing of the observed eclipses. For the majority of these systems the proposed orbital architecture features a crossing of the orbital configurations as a result of high eccentricities for one or both of the companions. For such systems, strong mutual gravitational interactions are expected, resulting in catastrophic orbital instabilities, or collisions between the proposed components, on very short timescales. Aims: We re-examine the primary and secondary eclipse timings of the short-period and semi-detached binary RZ Draconis (RZ Dra). The proposed companions were reported to have masses of around ≃0.07 and ≃0.18 M⊙ with the inner companion on an orbit with moderate eccentricity (0.46), whose apocenter distance crosses the orbit of the outer companion. We show that the companions proposed previously follow highly unstable orbits. In an attempt to find a stable system we searched the underlying χ2 parameter space for a best-fit model and carried out an orbit-stability study to test possible best-fit models. If the binary period changes are truly due to additional massive companions in a hierarchical configuration, they must follow stable orbits. Methods: For numerical orbital stability calculations we used well established orbit integration routines. Computations were carried out using a large-scale multi-CPU computing environment. Our data analysis of times of primary and secondary eclipse is based on the Levenberg-Marquardt least-squares minimization algorithm using the two-body Keplerian light-travel time effect model. Results: Despite the wide variety of potential models tested for the RZ Dra system in this work, we found very few models that were stable for even one million years, with the vast majority of systems tested falling apart on

  18. 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.

  19. High contrast L' band adaptive optics imaging to detect extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinze, Ari; Hinz, Phil; Sivanandam, Suresh; Apai, Daniel; Meyer, Michael

    2006-06-01

    We are carrying out a survey to search for giant extrasolar planets around nearby, moderate-age stars in the mid-infrared L' and M bands (3.8 and 4.8 microns, respectively), using the Clio camera with the adaptive optics system on the MMT telescope. To date we have observed 7 stars, of a total 50 planned, including GJ 450 (distance about 8.55pc, age about 1 billion years, no real companions detected), which we use as our example here. We report the methods we use to obtain extremely high contrast imaging in L', and the performance we have obtained. We find that the rotation of a celestial object over time with respect to a telescope tracking it with an altazimuth mount can be a powerful tool for subtracting telescope-related stellar halo artifacts and detecting planets near bright stars. We have carried out a thorough Monte Carlo simulation demonstrating our ability to detect planets as small as 6 Jupiter masses around GJ 450. The division of a science data set into two independent parts, with companions required to be detected on both in order to be recognized as real, played a crucial role in detecting companions in this simulation. We mention also our discovery of a previously unknown faint stellar companion to another of our survey targets, HD 133002. Followup is needed to confirm this as a physical companion, and to determine its physical properties.

  20. A Combined Spitzer and Herschel Infrared Study of Gas and Dust in the Circumbinary Disk Orbiting V4046 Sgr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rapson, Valerie A.; Sargent, Benjamin; Germano Sacco, G.; Kastner, Joel H.; Wilner, David; Rosenfeld, Katherine; Andrews, Sean; Herczeg, Gregory; van der Marel, Nienke

    2015-09-01

    We present results from a spectroscopic Spitzer and Herschel mid-to-far-infrared study of the circumbinary disk orbiting the evolved (age ˜12-23 Myr) close binary T Tauri system V4046 Sgr. Spitzer InfraRed Spectrograph spectra show emission lines of [Ne ii], H2 S(1), CO2, and HCN, while Herschel Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer and Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver spectra reveal emission from [O i], OH, and tentative detections of H2O and high-J transitions of CO. We measure [Ne iii]/[Ne ii] ≲ 0.13, which is comparable to other X-ray/EUV luminous T Tauri stars that lack jets. We use the H2 S(1) line luminosity to estimate the gas mass in the relatively warm surface layers of the inner disk. The presence of [O i] emission suggests that CO, H2O, and/or OH is being photodissociated, and the lack of [C i] emission suggests any excess C may be locked up in HCN, CN, and other organic molecules. Modeling of silicate dust grain emission features in the mid-infrared indicates that the inner disk is composed mainly of large (r ˜ 5 μm) amorphous pyroxene and olivine grains (˜86% by mass) with a relatively large proportion of crystalline silicates. These results are consistent with other lines of evidence indicating that planet building is ongoing in regions of the disk within ˜30 AU of the central, close binary.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    2014-07-01

    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.

  3. 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

    2014-07-01

    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. PMID:24994642

  4. GAS ACCRETION FROM A CIRCUMBINARY DISK

    SciTech Connect

    Hanawa, Tomoyuki; Ochi, Yasuhiro; Ando, Koichi

    2010-01-01

    A new computational scheme is developed to study gas accretion from a circumbinary disk. The scheme decomposes the gas velocity into two components one of which denotes the Keplerian rotation and the other of which does the deviation from it. This scheme enables us to solve the centrifugal balance of a gas disk against gravity with better accuracy, since the former inertia force cancels the gravity. It is applied to circumbinary disk rotating around binary of which primary and secondary has mass ratio, 1.4:0.95. The gravity is reduced artificially softened only in small circular regions around the primary and secondary. The radii are 7% of the binary separation and much smaller than those in the previous grid based simulations. Seven models are constructed to study dependence on the gas temperature and the initial inner radius of the disk. The gas accretion shows both fast and slow time variations while the binary is assumed to have a circular orbit. The time variation is due to oscillation of spiral arms in the circumbinary disk. The masses of primary and secondary disks increase while oscillating appreciably. The mass accretion rate tends to be higher for the primary disk although the secondary disk has a higher accretion rate in certain periods. The accretion rates onto the two components are similar within the fluctuations in late times, i.e., after the binary rotates more than 20 times. The primary disk is perturbed intensely by the impact of gas flow so that the outer part is removed. The secondary disk is quiet in most of time on the contrary. Both the primary and secondary disks have traveling spiral waves which transfer angular momentum within them.

  5. Toward detection of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone of our closest neighbor: proxima Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endl, M.; Kürster, M.

    2008-09-01

    Context: The precision of radial velocity (RV) measurements to detect indirectly planetary companions of nearby stars has improved to enable the discovery of extrasolar planets in the Neptune and Super-Earth mass range. Detections of extremely low mass planets, even as small as 1 Earth mass or below, in short-period orbits now appears conceivable in ongoing RV planet searches. Discoveries of these Earth-like planets by means of ground-based RV programs will help to determine the parameter η⊕, the frequency of potentially habitable planets around other stars. Aims: In search of low-mass planetary companions we monitored Proxima Centauri (M5V) as part of our M dwarf program. In the absence of a significant detection, we use these data to demonstrate the general capability of the RV method in finding terrestrial planets. For late M dwarfs the classic liquid surface water habitable zone (HZ) is located close to the star, in which circumstances the RV method is most effective. We want to demonstrate that late M dwarfs are ideal targets for the search of terrestrial planets with the RV technique. Methods: Using the iodine cell technique we obtained differential RV measurements of Proxima Cen over a time span of 7 years with the UVES spectrograph at the ESO VLT. We determine upper limits to the masses of companions in circular orbits by means of numerical simulations. Results: The RV data of Proxima Cen have a total rms scatter of 3.1~m s-1 and a period search does not reveal any significant signals. In contrast to our earlier results for Barnard's star, the RV results for the active M dwarf Proxima Cen are only weakly correlated with Hα line index measurements. As a result of our companion limit calculations, we find that we successfully recover all test signals with RV amplitudes corresponding to planets with m sin i ≥ 2-3 M_⊕ residing inside the HZ of Proxima Cen with a statistical significance of >99%. Over the same period range, we can recover 50% of the test

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:24993348

  11. Interactions between planets and evolved stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  12. Photometric detection of extrasolar planets using L.S.T.-type telescopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

    Detection of planets similar to the earth and Jupiter that might be circling nearby stars is possible with the large space telescope (LST), or modifications of this instrument. The use of the moon as an occulter to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and the expected photon fluxes from hypothetical planetary companions to alpha Centauri A and B, tau Ceti, and epsilon Eridani are discussed. Because Barnard's Star is a red dwarf of visual apparent magnitude 9.5, photometric detection of its hypothetical Jupiter-like companion would be difficult using the LST-occulter system described in this paper.

  13. 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.

  14. The impact of M-dwarf atmosphere modelling on planet detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bozhinov, I.; Helling, Ch.; Stark, C. R.

    M dwarfs are discussed as targets for planet detection as these stars are less massive, less luminous and have smaller radii, making it possible to detect smaller and lighter planets. Therefore M-dwarfs could prove to be a valuable source for examining the lower mass end of planet distribution, In order to do that, the characteristics of the host stars must be well studied. We study the ATLAS9, MARCS and DRIFT-PHOENIX stellar atmosphere model families in the M-dwarf parameter space. We examine the differences in the (T_gas, p_gas) structures, synthetic photometric fluxes and related colour indices. We find discrepancies in the hotter regions of the stellar atmosphere between the ATLAS and MARCS models. The MARCS and DRIFT-PHOENIX models agree to a better extend with variances of less than 300 K. We compile and compare the broad-band synthetic photometric fluxes of all models for the Johnson UBVRI and 2MASS JHK_s filter systems.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

    2014-10-01

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Astrometric Detection of Extrasolar Planets: Results of a Feasibility Study with the Palomar 5 Meter Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pravdo, Steven H.; Shaklan, Stuart B.

    1996-01-01

    The detection of extrasolar planets around stars like the Sun remains an important goal of astronomy. We present results from Palomar 5 m observations of the open cluster NGC 2420 in which we measure some of the sources of noise that will be present in an astrometric search for extrasolar planets. This is the first time that such a large aperture has been used for high-precision astrometry. We find that the atmospheric noise is 150 micro-arcsec hr(exp 1/2) across a 90 sec field of view and that differential chromatic refraction (DCR) can be calibrated to 128 micro-arcsec for observations within 1 hr of the meridian and 45 deg of zenith. These results confirm that a model for astrometric measurements can be extrapolated to large apertures. We demonstrate, based upon these results, that a large telescope achieves the sensitivity required to perform a statistically significant search for extra solar planets. We describe an astrometric technique to detect planets, the astrometric signals expected, the role of reference stars, and the sources of measurement noise: photometric noise, atmospheric motion between stars, sky background, instrumental noise, and DCR. For the latter, we discuss a method to reduce the noise further to 66 micro-arcsecond for observations within 1 hr of the meridian and 45 deg of zenith. We discuss optimal lists of target stars taken from the latest Gliese & Jahreiss catalog of nearby stars with the largest potential astrometric signals, declination limits for both telescope accessibility and reduced DCR, and galactic latitude limits for a sufficiant number of reference stars. Two samples are described from which one can perform statistically significant searches for gas giant planets around nearby stars. One sample contains 100 "solar class" stars with an average stellar mass of 0.82 solar mass; the other maximizes the number of stars, 574, by searching mainly low-mass M stars. We perform Monte Carlo simulations of the statistical significance of

  20. 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.

  1. Extrasolar planets

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  2. Extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

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

    2000-11-01

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

  3. Extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

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

    2000-11-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Preliminary Characteristics of Kepler Long Cadence Data For Detection of Transiting Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, Jon Michael; Caldwell, D. A.; Gilliland, R. L.; Chandrasekaran, H.; Bryson, S. T.; Quintana, E. V.; Clarke, B. D.; Li, J.; Allen, C.; Tenenbaum, P.; Wu, H.; Van Cleve, J.; Koch, D. G.; Borucki, W. J.; Kepler Team

    2010-01-01

    We present results from the first 45 days of science data collected with the Kepler Photometer in May and June 2009. In general, the photometric precision for main sequence stars lies close to expectations based on the standard propagation of uncertainties. The bulk of these stars are within a factor of approximately 1.5 of the desired photometric precision required to detect Earth-sized planets transiting Sun-like stars. There is a strong separation between quietest giant stars’ photometric variability and that of quiet main-sequence stars. Most of the giant stars exhibit variability above 100 ppm on timescales of ½ hour (one Long Cadence). The photometric precision obtained to date is controlled by our ability to identify and remove instrumental systematic signatures due to such sources as pointing excursions and small changes in focus. The detection of transit-like features in the light curves has been complicated by the presence of some instrumental and systematic effects, but we have been able to identify and correct these sources to a level at which we can detect signatures of super-Earth and larger planets. We are able to discard false positives due to background eclipsing binaries in many cases by direct inspection of Kepler data. Kepler targets flagged by our Transiting Planet Search component are examined for correlation between shifts in their photocenters (centroids) and the detected photometric transit-like signature. Difference images have also been produced for these targets by subtracting the average of in-transit frames from out-of-transit frames, often exposing the location of the background eclipsing binary directly. These tools have proven to be invaluable in identifying cases where a target star is contaminated by a background eclipsing binary that is the source of the transit-like features. Funding for this mission is provided by NASA's Discovery Program Office, SMD.

  7. {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%.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  10. Detection of exozodiacal dust: a step toward Earth-like planet characterization with infrared interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defrère, Denis

    2009-12-01

    The existence of other habitable worlds and the possible development of life elsewhere in the Universe have been among mankind's fundamental questions for thousands of years. These interrogations about our origins and place in the Universe are today at the dawn of being answered in scientific terms. The key year was 1995 with the discovery of the first extrasolar planet orbiting around a solar-type star. About 400 extrasolar planets are known today and the possibility to identify habitable worlds and even life among them largely contributes to the growing interest about their nature and properties. However, characterizing planetary systems is a very difficult task due to both the huge contrast and the small angular separation between the host stars and their environment. New techniques have emerged during the past decades with the purpose of tackling these fantastic observational challenges. In that context, infrared interferometry is a very promising technique, since it provides the required angular resolution to separate the emission of the star from that of its environment. This dissertation is devoted to the characterization of extrasolar planetary systems using the high angular resolution and dynamic range capabilities of infrared interferometric techniques. The first part of the present work is devoted to the detection with current interferometric facilities of warm dust within the first few astronomical units of massive debris discs around nearby stars. In order to extend the imaging of planetary systems to fainter discs and to extrasolar planets, we investigate in a second step the performance of future space-based nulling interferometers and make a comparison with ground-based projects. Finally, the third part of this work is dedicated to the impact of exozodiacal discs on the performance of future life-searching space missions, the goal being to characterize extrasolar planets with sizes down to that of the Earth.

  11. Detection of a fatigue crack in a UH-60A planet gear carrier using vibration analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blunt, David M.; Keller, Jonathan A.

    2006-11-01

    Two new methods of detecting a fatigue crack in a planet carrier of an epicyclic transmission are developed. These are tested using vibration data from a number of US Army UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter main transmissions. Vibration measurements of faulted and un-faulted transmissions over a range of torque levels in controlled test-cell and on-aircraft conditions are used. The results show that new methods are reliable under test-cell conditions, but less effective under low-torque on-aircraft conditions.

  12. Astrometric detection of giant planets around nearby M dwarfs: the Gaia potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sozzetti, A.; Giacobbe, P.; Lattanzi, M. G.; Micela, G.; Morbidelli, R.; Tinetti, G.

    2014-01-01

    Cool M dwarfs within a few tens of parsecs from the Sun are becoming the focus of dedicated observational programs in the realm of exoplanet astrophysics. Gaia, in its all-sky survey of >109 objects, will deliver precision astrometry for a magnitude-limited (V = 20) sample of M dwarfs. We investigate some aspects of the synergy between the Gaia astrometric data on nearby M dwarfs and other ground-based and space-borne programs for planet detection and characterization. We carry out numerical simulations to gauge the Gaia potential for precision astrometry of exoplanets orbiting a sample of known dM stars within ˜30 pc from the Sun. We express Gaia detection thresholds as a function of system parameters and in view of the latest mission profile, including the most up-to-date astrometric error model. Our major findings are as follows: (1) it will be possible to accurately determine orbits and masses for Jupiter-mass planets with orbital periods in the range 0.2 ≲ P ≲ 6.0 yr and with an astrometric signal-to-noise ratio ς/σAL ≳ 10. Given present-day estimates of the planet fraction fp around M dwarfs, ≈102 giant planets could be found by Gaia around the sample. Comprehensive screening by Gaia of the reservoir of ˜4 × 105 M dwarfs within 100 pc could result in ˜2600 detections and as many as ˜500 accurate orbit determinations. The value of fp could then be determined with an accuracy of 2 per cent, an improvement by over an order of magnitude with respect to the most precise values available to-date; (2) in the same period range, inclination angles corresponding to quasi-edge-on configurations will be determined with enough precision (a few per cent) so that it will be possible to identify intermediate-separation planets which are potentially transiting within the errors. Gaia could alert us of the existence of 10 such systems. More than 250 candidates could be identified assuming solutions compatible with transit configurations within 10 per cent

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:26159412

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Imaging the dust sublimation front of a circumbinary disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillen, M.; Kluska, J.; Le Bouquin, J.-B.; Van Winckel, H.; Berger, J.-P.; Kamath, D.; Bujarrabal, V.

    2016-04-01

    Aims: We present the first near-IR milli-arcsecond-scale image of a post-AGB binary that is surrounded by hot circumbinary dust. Methods: A very rich interferometric data set in six spectral channels was acquired of IRAS 08544-4431 with the new RAPID camera on the PIONIER beam combiner at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). A broadband image in the H-band was reconstructed by combining the data of all spectral channels using the SPARCO method. Results: We spatially separate all the building blocks of the IRAS 08544-4431 system in our milliarcsecond-resolution image. Our dissection reveals a dust sublimation front that is strikingly similar to that expected in early-stage protoplanetary disks, as well as an unexpected flux signal of ~4% from the secondary star. The energy output from this companion indicates the presence of a compact circum-companion accretion disk, which is likely the origin of the fast outflow detected in Hα. Conclusions: Our image provides the most detailed view into the heart of a dusty circumstellar disk to date. Our results demonstrate that binary evolution processes and circumstellar disk evolution can be studied in detail in space and over time. Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under program ID 094.D-0865.

  20. 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.

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:21663401

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Detection of Water Vapor in the Terrestrial Planet Forming Region of a Transition Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salyk, Colette; Lacy, John H.; Richter, Matthew J.; Zhang, Ke; Blake, Geoffrey A.; Pontoppidan, Klaus M.

    2015-09-01

    We report a detection of water vapor in the protoplanetary disk around DoAr 44 with the Texas Echelon Cross Echelle Spectrograph—a visitor instrument on the Gemini north telescope. The DoAr 44 disk consists of an optically thick inner ring and outer disk, separated by a dust-cleared 36 AU gap, and has therefore been termed “pre-transitional.” To date, this is the only disk with a large inner gap known to harbor detectable quantities of warm (T∼ 450 K) water vapor. In this work, we detect and spectrally resolve three mid-infrared pure rotational emission lines of water vapor from this source, and use the shapes of the emission lines to constrain the location of the water vapor. We find that the emission originates near 0.3 AU—the inner disk region. This characteristic region coincides with that inferred for both optically thick and thin thermal infrared dust emission, as well as rovibrational CO emission. The presence of water in the dust-depleted region implies substantial columns of hydrogen (\\gt {10}22 {{cm}}-2) as the water vapor would otherwise be destroyed by photodissociation. Combined with the dust modeling, this column implies a gas/small-dust ratio in the optically thin dusty region of ≳ 1000. These results demonstrate that DoAr 44 has maintained similar physical and chemical conditions to classical protoplanetary disks in its terrestrial-planet forming regions, in spite of having formed a large gap.

  9. 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.

  10. Microlensing events by Proxima Centauri in 2014 and 2016: Opportunities for mass determination and possible planet detection

    SciTech Connect

    Sahu, Kailash C.; Bond, Howard E.; Anderson, Jay; Dominik, Martin E-mail: jayander@stsci.edu E-mail: md35@st-andrews.ac.uk

    2014-02-20

    We have found that Proxima Centauri, the star closest to our Sun, will pass close to a pair of faint background stars in the next few years. Using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images obtained in 2012 October, we determine that the passage close to a mag 20 star will occur in 2014 October (impact parameter 1.''6), and to a mag 19.5 star in 2016 February (impact parameter 0.''5). As Proxima passes in front of these stars, the relativistic deflection of light will cause shifts in the positions of the background stars of ∼0.5 and 1.5 mas, respectively, readily detectable by HST imaging, and possibly by Gaia and ground-based facilities such as the Very Large Telescope. Measurement of these astrometric shifts offers a unique and direct method to measure the mass of Proxima. Moreover, if Proxima has a planetary system, the planets may be detectable through their additional microlensing signals, although the probability of such detections is small. With astrometric accuracies of 0.03 mas (achievable with HST spatial scanning), centroid shifts caused by Jovian planets are detectable at separations of up to 2.''0 (corresponding to 2.6 AU at the distance of Proxima), and centroid shifts by Earth-mass planets are detectable within a small band of 8 mas (corresponding to 0.01 AU) around the source trajectories. Jovian planets within a band of about 28 mas (corresponding to 0.036 AU) around the source trajectories would produce a brightening of the source by >0.01 mag and could hence be detectable. Estimated timescales of the astrometric and photometric microlensing events due to a planet range from a few hours to a few days, and both methods would provide direct measurements of the planetary mass.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Planet transit and stellar granulation detection with interferometry. Using the three-dimensional stellar atmosphere Stagger-grid simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiavassa, A.; Ligi, R.; Magic, Z.; Collet, R.; Asplund, M.; Mourard, D.

    2014-07-01

    Context. Stellar activity and, in particular, convection-related surface structures, potentially cause bias in planet detection and characterisation. In the latter, interferometry can help disentangle the signal of the transiting planet. Aims: We used realistic three-dimensional (3D) radiative hydrodynamical (RHD) simulations from the Stagger-grid and synthetic images computed with the radiative transfer code Optim3D to provide interferometric observables to extract the signature of stellar granulation and transiting planets. Methods: We computed intensity maps from RHD simulations and produced synthetic stellar disk images as a nearby observer would see, thereby accounting for the centre-to-limb variations. We did this for twelve interferometric instruments covering wavelengths ranging from optical to infrared. We chose an arbitrary date and arbitrary star with coordinates, and this ensures observability throughout the night. This optimisation of observability allows for a broad coverage of spatial frequencies. The stellar surface asymmetries in the brightness distribution mostly affect closure phases, because of either convection-related structures or a faint companion. We then computed closure phases for all images and compared the system star with a transiting planet and the star alone. We considered the impact of magnetic spots with the construction of a hypothetical starspot image and compared the resulting closure phases with the system star that has a transiting planet. Results: We analysed the impact of convection at different wavelengths. All the simulation depart from the axisymmetric case (closure phases not equal to 0 or ± π) at all wavelengths. The levels of asymmetry and inhomogeneity of stellar disk images reach high values with stronger effects from the 3rd visibility lobe on. We present two possible targets (Beta Com and Procyon) either in the visible or in the infrared and find that departures up to 16° can be detected on the 3rd lobe and

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. The Response of a Circumbinary Disk to a Black Hole Merger

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haiman, Zoltan

    Finding electromagnetic counterparts of future gravitational wave sources would bring rich scientific benefits. A promising possibility, in the case of the coalescence of a super- massive black hole binary, is that prompt emission will be detectable from merger- induced disturbances in a circumbinary disk. Motivated by this possibility, we propose a major effort, to investigate the dynamical response of a circumbinary disk to the SMBH merger, and to compute the expected light-curve and spectrum of the emerging radiation. Our work will consist of several stages of increasing complexity: starting from semi- analytical orbital calculations for a collisionless disk of massless test particles, and culminating in three-dimensional simulations, with an approximate treatment of radiative transfer. The proposed collaboration is built on previous work of the PI and the Co-I, and will lead to an understanding of the physics of how the disturbed disks light up, as well as the nature of the disk emission. Our results will significantly enhance the science return from the LISA satellite, in which NASA is invested, and will directly support NASA's Strategic Plan, Sub-Goal 3D: ``Discover the origin, structure, evolution and destiny of the universe''.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. Near-infrared detection and characterization of the exoplanet HD 95086 b with the Gemini Planet Imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galicher, R.; Rameau, J.; Bonnefoy, M.; Baudino, J.-L.; Currie, T.; Boccaletti, A.; Chauvin, G.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Marois, C.

    2014-05-01

    HD 95086 is an intermediate-mass debris-disk-bearing star. VLT/NaCo 3.8 μm observations revealed it hosts a 5 ± 2 MJup companion (HD 95086 b) at ≃56 AU. Follow-up observations at 1.66 and 2.18 μm yielded a null detection, suggesting extremely red colors for the planet and the need for deeper direct-imaging data. In this Letter, we report H-(1.7 μm) and K1-(2.05 μm) band detections of HD 95086 b from Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) commissioning observations taken by the GPI team. The planet position in both spectral channels is consistent with the NaCo measurements and we confirm it to be comoving. Our photometry yields colors of H - L' = 3.6 ± 1.0 mag and K1 - L' = 2.4 ± 0.7 mag, consistent with previously reported 5-σ upper limits in H and Ks. The photometry of HD 95086 b best matches that of 2M 1207 b and HR 8799 cde. Comparing its spectral energy distribution with the BT-SETTL and LESIA planet atmospheric models yields Teff ~ 600-1500 K and log g ~ 2.1-4.5. Hot-start evolutionary models yield M = 5 ± 2 MJup. Warm-start models reproduce the combined absolute fluxes of the object for M = 4-14 MJup for a wide range of plausible initial conditions (Sinit = 8-13 kB/baryon). The color-magnitude diagram location of HD 95086 b and its estimated Teff and log g suggest that the planet is a peculiar L - T transition object with an enhanced amount of photospheric dust. Based on public data taken at the GPI commissioning.

  5. 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

    2015-03-01

    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.

  6. 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

    2015-03-01

    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. PMID:25745156

  7. Parasitic Interference in Long Baseline Optical Interferometry: Requirements for Hot Jupiter-like Planet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matter, A.; Lopez, B.; Lagarde, S.; Danchi, W. C.; Robbe-Dubois, S.; Petrov, R. G.; 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 λ/500 to λ/5 in the L band (λ = 3.5 μm), 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 λ/500 ≈ 2 nm and λ/30 ≈ 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 λ/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 of the parasitic phase by a

  8. Microlensing Events by Proxima Centauri in 2014 and 2016: Opportunities for Mass Determination and Possible Planet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Kailash C.; Bond, Howard E.; Anderson, Jay; Dominik, Martin

    2014-02-01

    We have found that Proxima Centauri, the star closest to our Sun, will pass close to a pair of faint background stars in the next few years. Using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images obtained in 2012 October, we determine that the passage close to a mag 20 star will occur in 2014 October (impact parameter 1.''6), and to a mag 19.5 star in 2016 February (impact parameter 0.''5). As Proxima passes in front of these stars, the relativistic deflection of light will cause shifts in the positions of the background stars of ~0.5 and 1.5 mas, respectively, readily detectable by HST imaging, and possibly by Gaia and ground-based facilities such as the Very Large Telescope. Measurement of these astrometric shifts offers a unique and direct method to measure the mass of Proxima. Moreover, if Proxima has a planetary system, the planets may be detectable through their additional microlensing signals, although the probability of such detections is small. With astrometric accuracies of 0.03 mas (achievable with HST spatial scanning), centroid shifts caused by Jovian planets are detectable at separations of up to 2.''0 (corresponding to 2.6 AU at the distance of Proxima), and centroid shifts by Earth-mass planets are detectable within a small band of 8 mas (corresponding to 0.01 AU) around the source trajectories. Jovian planets within a band of about 28 mas (corresponding to 0.036 AU) around the source trajectories would produce a brightening of the source by >0.01 mag and could hence be detectable. Estimated timescales of the astrometric and photometric microlensing events due to a planet range from a few hours to a few days, and both methods would provide direct measurements of the planetary mass. Based in part on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. PlanetPack: A radial-velocity time-series analysis tool facilitating exoplanets detection, characterization, and dynamical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baluev, Roman V.

    2013-08-01

    We present PlanetPack, a new software tool that we developed to facilitate and standardize the advanced analysis of radial velocity (RV) data for the goal of exoplanets detection, characterization, and basic dynamical N-body simulations. PlanetPack is a command-line interpreter, that can run either in an interactive mode or in a batch mode of automatic script interpretation. Its major abilities include: (i) advanced RV curve fitting with the proper maximum-likelihood treatment of unknown RV jitter; (ii) user-friendly multi-Keplerian as well as Newtonian N-body RV fits; (iii) use of more efficient maximum-likelihood periodograms that involve the full multi-planet fitting (sometimes called as “residual” or “recursive” periodograms); (iv) easily calculatable parametric 2D likelihood function level contours, reflecting the asymptotic confidence regions; (v) fitting under some useful functional constraints is user-friendly; (vi) basic tasks of short- and long-term planetary dynamical simulation using a fast Everhart-type integrator based on Gauss-Legendre spacings; (vii) fitting the data with red noise (auto-correlated errors); (viii) various analytical and numerical methods for the tasks of determining the statistical significance. It is planned that further functionality may be added to PlanetPack in the future. During the development of this software, a lot of effort was made to improve the calculational speed, especially for CPU-demanding tasks. PlanetPack was written in pure C++ (standard of 1998/2003), and is expected to be compilable and useable on a wide range of platforms.

  13. Early-Type Stars: Most Favorable Targets for Astrometrically Detectable Planets in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, Andrew; Ford, Eric B.; Fischer, Debra A.

    2003-07-01

    Early-type stars appear to be a difficult place to look for planets astrometrically. First, they are relatively heavy, and for fixed planetary mass the astrometric signal falls inversely as the stellar mass. Second, they are relatively rare (and so tend to be more distant), and for fixed orbital separation the astrometric signal falls inversely as the distance. Nevertheless, because early-type stars are relatively more luminous, their habitable zones are at larger semimajor axis. Since astrometric signal scales directly as orbital size, this gives early-type stars a strong advantage, which more than compensates for the other two factors. Using the Hipparcos Catalog, we show that F and A stars constitute the majority of viable targets for astrometric searches for planets with semimajor axes currently in the habitable zone. Thus, astrometric surveys are complementary to transit searches, which are primarily sensitive to habitable planets around late-type stars.

  14. 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.

  15. Direct and interferometric imaging approaches for detecting earth-like extrasolar planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diner, D. J.; Van Zyl, J.; Jones, D. L.; Tubbs, E.; Wright, V.

    1988-01-01

    This paper discusses functional requirements of space-based observational systems with sufficient sensitivity, resolution, and dynamic range to image earth-like extrasolar planets within a search radius of 10 parsecs from the sun. Both direct and interferometric systems operating at visible and infrared wavelengths are evaluated, and the methods used to establish the system tolerances are presented. Due to the more favorable star/planet contrast ratio in the infrared, optical tolerance requirements are less stringent than in the visible. However, reduction of thermal radiation from the telescope requires cooling of the primary optics. Other tradeoffs between various approaches are enumerated.

  16. 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.

  17. Simulations of Detectability of Extrasolar Planets by a Joint Doppler and WFIRST-AFTA Coronagraph Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chontos, Ashley; Macintosh, Bruce; Nielsen, Eric

    2016-03-01

    A long-term goal for the astronomical community is to image and characterize an Earth-like planet. The WFIRST-AFTA space mission will make advancements towards this goal. WFIRST will include a coronagraphic instrument to discover and characterize new exoplanets and to better characterize already known exoplanets. Although the WFIRST coronagraph will be very powerful, mission time to discover new planetary systems is limited. Identifying promising targets in advance could significantly enhance the scientific yield. We present results of simulations using a Doppler survey to find lower mass planets as possible targets for WFIRST. For simulations, simplified completeness estimates (Howard & Fulton 2014) are used to test the sensitivity of a prospective Doppler campaign. We use data from the HARPS spectrograph to determine exposure times needed to achieve 1 m/s uncertainty. Stellar jitter was randomly sampled from a uniform distribution based on spectral type, treating OBA-type, FGK-type, and M-type stars separately. For survey parameters, we use campaign parameters from the WIYN telescope, assuming 10 hours per night at 100 nights per year over 6 years. In any one simulation, we find roughly 45-50 new planets that are potentially observable by WFIRST. By limiting our targets to FGKM type stars within 10 parsecs, we expect one of those planets to be less than 10 Earth masses.

  18. Simulations of Detectability of Extrasolar Planets by a Joint Doppler and WFIRST-AFTA Coronagraph Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chontos, Ashley; Macintosh, Bruce; Nielsen, Eric L.

    2016-01-01

    A long-term goal for the astronomical community is to image and characterize an Earth-like planet. The WFIRST-AFTA space mission will make advancements towards this goal. WFIRST will include a coronagraphic instrument to discover and characterize new exoplanets and to better characterize already known exoplanets. We present results of simulations using a Doppler survey to find lower mass planets as possible targets for WFIRST. For simulations, simplified completeness estimates (Howard & Fulton 2014) are used to test the sensitivity of a prospective Doppler campaign. We use data from the HARPS spectrograph to determine exposure times needed to achieve 1 m/s uncertainty. Stellar jitter was randomly sampled from a uniform distribution based on spectral type, treating OBA-type, FGK-type, and M-type stars separately. For survey parameters, we use campaign parameters from the WIYN telescope, assuming 10 hours per night at 100 nights per year over 6 years. In any one simulation, we find roughly 45-50 new planets that are potentially observable by WFIRST. By limiting our targets to FGKM type stars within 10 parsecs, we expect one of those planets to be less than 10 ME.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.…

  1. Photometric detections of secondary and primary transits of extra-solar planet CoRoT-1b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, Stephanie

    The goal of this project is to determine the observational limitations of photometrically detecting secondary eclipses of exoplanets from a 0.6-meter ground-based telescope and to place constraints on the planet's thermal properties. Secondary eclipses have been successfully measured via space-based telescopes such as the Spitzer Space Telescope. Time on space-based telescopes is limited and highly competitive. Smaller, ground-based telescopes are more common and thus it is easier for observers to schedule large blocks of time on these telescopes. These smaller telescopes also can observe exoplanets in the z' band on which the planets' thermal emission begins to become significant and would be more useful for building up large samples of data. A primary transit in B, V, and z' filters and a secondary transit in the z' filter of CoRoT-1b are analyzed in this thesis. Constraints on the planet's temperature, albedo and energy transports can be found from analysis of these transits.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Possible detection of phase changes from the non-transiting planet HD 46375b by CoRoT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaulme, P.; Vannier, M.; Guillot, T.; Mosser, B.; Mary, D.; Weiss, W. W.; Schmider, F.-X.; Bourguignon, S.; Deeg, H. J.; Régulo, C.; Aigrain, S.; Schneider, J.; Bruntt, H.; Deheuvels, S.; Donati, J.-F.; Appourchaux, T.; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A.; Baudin, F.; Catala, C.; Michel, E.; Samadi, R.

    2010-07-01

    Context. The present work deals with the detection of phase changes in an exoplanetary system. HD 46375 is a solar analog known to host a non-transiting Saturn-mass exoplanet with a 3.0236 day period. It was observed by the CoRoT satellite for 34 days during the fall of 2008. Aims: We attempt to identify at optical wavelengths, the changing phases of the planet as it orbits its star. We then try to improve the star model by means of a seismic analysis of the same light curve and the use of ground-based spectropolarimetric observations. Methods: The data analysis relies on the Fourier spectrum and the folding of the time series. Results: We find evidence of a sinusoidal signal compatible in terms of both amplitude and phase with light reflected by the planet. Its relative amplitude is Δ Fp/Fstar = [13.0, 26.8] ppm, implying an albedo A = [0.16, 0.33] or a dayside visible brightness temperature Tb ≃ [1880, 2030] K by assuming a radius R = 1.1 RJup and an inclination i = 45°. Its orbital phase differs from that of the radial-velocity signal by at most 2 σ_RV. However, the tiny planetary signal is strongly blended by another signal, which we attribute to a telluric signal with a 1 day period. We show that this signal is suppressed, but not eliminated, when using the time series for HD 46179 from the same CoRoT run as a reference. Conclusions: This detection of reflected light from a non-transiting planet should be confirmable with a longer CoRoT observation of the same field. In any case, it demonstrates that non-transiting planets can be characterized using ultra-precise photometric lightcurves with present-day observations by CoRoT and Kepler. The combined detection of solar-type oscillations on the same targets (Gaulme et al. 2010a) highlights the overlap between exoplanetary science and asteroseismology and shows the high potential of a mission such as Plato. The CoRoT space mission, launched on 2006 December 27, was developed and is operated by the CNES, with

  8. Yet more on the circumbinary disk of SS 433

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowler, M. G.

    2013-08-01

    Context. Certain lines in spectra of the Galactic microquasar SS 433, in particular the Hα line and He I, have been interpreted as emission from a circumbinary disk. In this interpretation the orbital speed of the glowing material is in excess of 200 km s-1 and the mass of the binary system in excess of 40 M⊙. The data show that He I emission fades much faster than Hα. This requirement has been incorporated into successful heuristic models yet has remained unexplained hitherto. Aims: We present a model in which the different characteristics of the Hα and He I lines are naturally explained by the different ionization potentials of the atoms. Methods: A model was constructed in which the emission of any given patch of putative circumbinary disk material is determined both by its illumination and the depth of the ionization zone. Results: The depth of the ionization zones depend on the illumination with photons above ionization thresholds, much higher for He than for H. Thus in the new model the emission distribution round the ring is more uniform for Hα recombination lines than for He I. The new model provides an excellent description of the observations, including Hα intensity. The variations of the Hα and He I spectra with orbital phase are described quantitatively. Conclusions: The new model makes no appeal to ad hoc decay parameters and locates the differences between Hα and He I spectra in the different ionization potentials. If the circumbinary disk scenario is essentially correct, as now seems even more likely, the mass of the binary system must exceed 40 M⊙ and the compact object must be a rather massive stellar black hole.

  9. 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.

  10. Planet formation in multiple stellar systems: GG Tau A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Folco, E.; Dutrey, A.; Guilloteau, S.; Le Bouquin, J.-B.; Lacour, S.; Berger, J.-P.; Köhler, R.; Piétu, V.

    2014-12-01

    GG Tau is a hierarchical quadruple system of young, low-mass stars. Because of its well-studied bright circumbinary ring of dust and gas surrounding the main binary GG Tau A, it is a unique laboratory to study planet formation in the disturbed environment of binary/multiple stellar systems. We have started a large observing program of GG Tau A that combines several high-resolution instruments in a multi-wavelength approach. We have recently reported the detection of a new low-mass companion in GG Tau A that turns out to itself be a triple system. This discovery was possible thanks to the very high angular resolution of the near-IR instrument PIONIER on the VLT interferometer, and was confirmed with sub-aperture masking techniques on VLT/NaCo. The detected close binary GG Tau Ab (ρ = 0.032'', or about 5 AU) provides a natural explanation for two enigmas: the discrepancy between the dynamical mass and the spectral type estimates in GG Tau A, and the absence of dust thermal emission in the vicinity of the Ab component. GRAVITY will provide the adequate angular resolution to complete the astrometric characterization of the close binary in the next 10 years. With now 5 coeval low-mass stars, GG Tau is an ideal laboratory to calibrate stellar evolution tracks at young ages (few Myr). Beyond this peculiar system, GRAVITY also has a strong potential to study the impact of multiplicity on the existence of disks, and in fine on planet formation mechanisms in multiple systems.

  11. MOA 2010-BLG-477Lb: CONSTRAINING THE MASS OF A MICROLENSING PLANET FROM MICROLENSING PARALLAX, ORBITAL MOTION, AND DETECTION OF BLENDED LIGHT

    SciTech Connect

    Bachelet, E.; Fouque, P.; Shin, I.-G.; Han, C.; Gould, A.; Dong, Subo; Marshall, J.; Skowron, J.; Menzies, J. W.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Marquette, J.-B.; Bennett, D. P.; Bond, I. A.; Heyrovsky, D.; Street, R. A.; Sumi, T.; Udalski, A.; Abe, L.; Agabi, K.; Albrow, M. D.; Collaboration: PLANET Collaboration; FUN muCollaboration; MOA Collaboration; OGLE Collaboration; RoboNet Collaboration; MiNDSTEp Consortium; and others

    2012-07-20

    Microlensing detections of cool planets are important for the construction of an unbiased sample to estimate the frequency of planets beyond the snow line, which is where giant planets are thought to form according to the core accretion theory of planet formation. In this paper, we report the discovery of a giant planet detected from the analysis of the light curve of a high-magnification microlensing event MOA 2010-BLG-477. The measured planet-star mass ratio is q = (2.181 {+-} 0.004) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -3} and the projected separation is s = 1.1228 {+-} 0.0006 in units of the Einstein radius. The angular Einstein radius is unusually large {theta}{sub E} = 1.38 {+-} 0.11 mas. Combining this measurement with constraints on the 'microlens parallax' and the lens flux, we can only limit the host mass to the range 0.13 < M/M{sub Sun} < 1.0. In this particular case, the strong degeneracy between microlensing parallax and planet orbital motion prevents us from measuring more accurate host and planet masses. However, we find that adding Bayesian priors from two effects (Galactic model and Keplerian orbit) each independently favors the upper end of this mass range, yielding star and planet masses of M{sub *} = 0.67{sup +0.33}{sub -0.13} M{sub Sun} and m{sub p} = 1.5{sup +0.8}{sub -0.3} M{sub JUP} at a distance of D = 2.3 {+-} 0.6 kpc, and with a semi-major axis of a = 2{sup +3}{sub -1} AU. Finally, we show that the lens mass can be determined from future high-resolution near-IR adaptive optics observations independently from two effects, photometric and astrometric.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Second generation planet formation in NN Serpentis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Völschow, M.; Banerjee, R.; Hessman, F. V.

    2014-02-01

    In this paper, we study the general impact of stellar mass-ejection events in planetary orbits in post-common envelope binaries with circumbinary planets like those around NN Serpentis. We discuss a set of simple equations that determine upper and lower limits for orbital expansion and investigate the effect of initial eccentricity. We deduce the range of possible semi-major axes and initial eccentricity values of the planets prior to the common-envelope event. In addition to spherically-symmetric mass-ejection events, we consider planetary dynamics under the influence of an expanding disk. In order to have survived, we suggest that the present planets in NN Ser must have had semi-major axes ≳10 AU and high eccentricity values which is in conflict with current observations. Consequently, we argue that these planets were not formed together with their hosting stellar system, but rather originated from the fraction of matter of the envelope that remained bound to the binary. According to the cooling age of the white dwarf primary of 106 yr, the planets around NN Ser might be the youngest known so far and open up a wide range of further study of second generation planet formation.

  15. First step to detect an extrasolar planet using simultaneous observations with the VLTI instruments AMBER and MIDI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matter, A.; Vannier, M.; Morel, S.; Lopez, B.; Jaffe, W.; Lagarde, S.; Petrov, R. G.; Leinert, C.

    2010-06-01

    Aims: Performed in November 2007 as a part of the MIDI Guaranteed Time Observation Exoplanet Programme, the observation of Gliese 86b constituted the first attempt at an exoplanet detection with the VLTI instrument MIDI. It is also a technical achievement since it motivated the first VLTI observation using AMBER and MIDI simultaneously. Methods: Fringes were obtained for both instruments with the aim of reaching sufficient precision on the low differential phase signal of Gliese 86b. The principle is to correct the phase measured in N-band from the water vapour dispersion using the fringes in K-band. In N-band, the source, Gliese 86, has an estimated magnitude of 3.8. With a separation of 0.11 AU, a flux ratio of about 10-3 is expected between the planet and the star. According to the measurement principle and the planet signal signature, the effective expected interferometric phase is a curved-like function of the wavelength with a mean amplitude of about 0.03°. Results: Based on the MIDI phase measurements of the calibrator HD 9362, our study shows that a precision on the curvature measurement of about 0.33° is currently reached. Consequently, we stand at a factor 10 above the phase signal from the planet. The AMBER data, obtained in parallel, were too noisy to extrapolate and to remove the corresponding dispersion in N band at the required level of precision. However, we report the set of data obtained, we discuss the calibration process involved, and we estimate its theoretical efficiency. Based on GTO observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (ESO number: 080.C-0344).

  16. Keplerian Circumbinary Disk and Accretion Streams around the Protostellar Binary System L1551 NE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takakuwa, S.; Saito, M.; Lim, J.; Saigo, K.; Hanawa, T.; Matsumoto, T.

    2013-10-01

    We show our recent observational results of L1551 NE, an archetypal binary protostellar system, in the 0.9-mm dust continuum emission and the C18O (J=3-2) emission with the SubMillimeter Array (SMA). The SMA results show firm evidence for a Keplerian circumbinary disk, circumstellar disks, and an inner clearing in the circumbinary disk, in L1551 NE. We demonstrate that future observations of L1551 NE with Atacama Large Millimeter and submillimeter Array (ALMA) have the potential to unveil the theoretically-predicted “accretion streams” that channel material from the circumbinary disk to the individual circumstellar disks.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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.

    2016-08-01

    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.

  3. 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

    2014-09-01

    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, 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. PMID:24277805

  4. 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

    2014-09-01

    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, 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.

  5. The Occurrence of Potentially Habitable Planets Orbiting M Dwarfs Estimated from the Full Kepler Dataset and an Empirical Measurement of the Detection Sensitivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David

    2015-07-01

    We present an improved estimate of the occurrence rate of small planets orbiting small stars by searching the full four-year Kepler data set for transiting planets using our own planet detection pipeline and conducting transit injection and recovery simulations to empirically measure the search completeness of our pipeline. We identified 156 planet candidates, including one object that was not previously identified as a Kepler Object of Interest. We inspected all publicly available follow-up images, observing notes, and centroid analyses, and corrected for the likelihood of false positives. We evaluated the sensitivity of our detection pipeline on a star-by-star basis by injecting 2000 transit signals into the light curve of each target star. For periods shorter than 50 days, we find {0.56}-0.05+0.06 Earth-size planets (1‑1.5 R⊕) and {0.46}-0.05+0.07 super-Earths (1.5‑2 R⊕) per M dwarf. In total, we estimate a cumulative planet occurrence rate of 2.5 ± 0.2 planets per M dwarf with radii 1‑4 R⊕ and periods shorter than 200 days. Within a conservatively defined habitable zone (HZ) based on the moist greenhouse inner limit and maximum greenhouse outer limit, we estimate an occurrence rate of {0.16}-0.07+0.17 Earth-size planets and {0.12}-0.05+0.10 super-Earths per M dwarf HZ. Adopting the broader insolation boundaries of the recent Venus and early Mars limits yields a higher estimate of {0.24}-0.08+0.18 Earth-size planets and {0.21}-0.06+0.11 super-Earths per M dwarf HZ. This suggests that the nearest potentially habitable non-transiting and transiting Earth-size planets are 2.6 ± 0.4 pc and {10.6}-1.8+1.6 pc away, respectively. If we include super-Earths, these distances diminish to 2.1 ± 0.2 pc and {8.6}-0.8+0.7 pc.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Detection of Neptune-size planetary candidates with CoRoT data. Comparison with the planet occurrence rate derived from Kepler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonomo, A. S.; Chabaud, P. Y.; Deleuil, M.; Moutou, C.; Bouchy, F.; Cabrera, J.; Lanza, A. F.; Mazeh, T.; Aigrain, S.; Alonso, R.; Guterman, P.; Santerne, A.; Schneider, J.

    2012-11-01

    Context. The CoRoT space mission has been searching for transiting planets since the end of December 2006. It has led to the detection of about twenty Jupiter-size planets and three planets with radius Rp ≲ 5 R⊕. The latter are CoRoT-7b, the first super-Earth observed in transit, and two validated Neptunes, CoRoT-24b and c, in a multiple system. Aims: We aim to investigate the capability of CoRoT to detect small-size transiting planets in short-period orbits, and to compare the number of CoRoT planets with 2.0 ≤ Rp ≤ 4.0 R⊕ with the occurrence rate of small-size planets provided by the distribution of Kepler planetary candidates. Methods: We performed a test that simulates transits of super-Earths and Neptunes in real CoRoT light curves of six long observational runs and searches for them blindly by using the transit detection pipeline developed at the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille. Results: The CoRoT detection rate of planets with radius between 2 and 4 R⊕ and orbital period P ≤ 20 days is 59% (31%) around stars brighter than r' = 14.0 (15.5). The vast majority of the missed planets went undetected because of a low transit signal-to-noise ratio (S/N). However, in some cases, additional instrumental or astrophysical noise may prevent even transits with relatively high S/N, i.e. S/N ≥ 10, from being revealed. By properly taking the CoRoT detection rate for Neptune-size planets (2 ≤ Rp ≤ 4 R⊕) and the transit probability into account, we found that according to the Kepler planet occurrence rate, CoRoT should have discovered 12 ± 2 Neptunes orbiting G and K dwarfs with P ≤ 17 days in six observational runs. This estimate must be compared with the validated Neptune CoRoT-24b and five CoRoT planetary candidates in the considered range of planetary radii, the nature of which is still unsolved. We thus found a disagreement with expectations from Kepler at 3σ or 5σ, assuming a blend fraction of 0% (six Neptunes) and 100% (one Neptune

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lunine, J. I.

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

  13. The Astrometric Imaging Telescope - A space-based observatory for extra-solar planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pravdo, Steven H.

    1991-01-01

    The paper describes the objectives, techniques, instrumentation, and mission of the planned Astrometric Imaging Telescope. This space-based observatory is designed to detect and characterize extra-solar planetary systems. Results will contribute to the understanding of the astrophysics of stellar and planetary formation and provide an impetus for the study of exobiology.

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. OT1_gsacco_1: Characterizing the evolved, planet-forming disks orbiting the "old" classical T Tauri systems V4046 Sgr and MP Mus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacco, G.

    2010-07-01

    V4046 Sgr and MP Mus are the second and the third closest known classical (actively accreting) T Tauri systems, respectively (the intensively studied TW Hya being the closest). We have recently established that, like TW Hya, both systems are orbited by dusty, molecular disks. Given their proximity (d<100 pc), ages (~10 Myr), and masses (0.7-1.2 solar masses), these three systems represent readily-studied analogs of the young sun during the crucial, late phases of the star formation process, when the circumstellar disk still retains a significant gaseous component and giant planets likely are forming or have recently formed. Furthermore, the close binary V4046 Sgr affords an unusual opportunity to investigate planet formation within circumbinary disks. We propose to observe the V4046 Sgr and MP Mus disks using Herschel's PACS and SPIRE spectrometers with the complementary aims of (1) measuring the detailed spectral energy distribution of the continuum dust emission between 55 and 670 micron and (2) detecting the brightest atomic emission lines. These data, together with the comprehensive suite of X-ray, mid-infrared and radio observations we are already collecting for these two systems, will allow us to fully characterize the physical properties of both the dust and the gas components of their circumstellar disks and to investigate the effects of high energy emission from the central star on the evolution of the circumstellar, planet-forming environment.

  17. Upcoming Microlensing by Proxima Centauri: A Rare Opportunity for Mass Determination and Planet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Kailash C.; Bond, H. E.; Anderson, J.; Dominik, M.

    2013-06-01

    Proxima Centauri will pass close to two background stars in 2014 and 2016, with impact parameters of about 1.6 and 0.5 arc seconds. Because Proxima is so nearby, its angular Einstein ring radius is large 28 milli arc sec) and will lead to detectable relativistic deflections of the images of the background stars even at those angular separations. Measurement of the astrometric shifts offers a unique opportunity for an accurate determination of the mass of Proxima. Although the background stars are >8.5 mag fainter than Proxima, the large contrast is mitigated by the relatively large separations at which the gravitational deflection is still detectable, and well within the capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope. The upcoming events also offer the opportunity to detect and determine the masses of planetary companions, either through additional astrometric shifts, or in rare circumstances through a photometric microlensing event, leading to a brightening of the source star. These events would have durations of a few hours to several days.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Planet formation and searches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, Ryan Michael

    2009-08-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. The Antarctic Planet Interferometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swain, Mark R.; Walker, Christopher K.; Traub, Wesley A.; Storey, John W.; CoudeduForesto, Vincent; Fossat, Eric; Vakili, Farrok; Stark, Anthony A.; Lloyd, James P.; Lawson, Peter R.; Burrows, Adam S.; Ireland, Michael; Millan-Gabet, Rafael; vanBelle, Gerard T.; Lane, Benjamin; Vasisht, Gautam; Travouillon, Tony

    2004-01-01

    The Antarctic Planet Interferometer is an instrument concept designed to detect and characterize extrasolar planets by exploiting the unique potential of the best accessible site on earth for thermal infrared interferometry. High-precision interferometric techniques under development for extrasolar planet detection and characterization (differential phase, nulling and astrometry) all benefit substantially from the slow, low-altitude turbulence, low water vapor content, and low temperature found on the Antarctic plateau. At the best of these locations, such as the Concordia base being developed at Dome C, an interferometer with two-meter diameter class apertures has the potential to deliver unique science for a variety of topics, including extrasolar planets, active galactic nuclei, young stellar objects, and protoplanetary disks.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Extreme Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

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

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

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

  8. 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.

  9. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-01

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

  10. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-01

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

  11. 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

    2015-03-01

    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.

  12. 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

    2015-03-01

    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. PMID:25745157

  13. 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.

  14. Planets Around Neutron Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Model Atmospheres for Massive Gas Giants with Thick Clouds: Application to the HR 8799 Planets and Predictions for Future Detections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madhusudhan, Nikku; Burrows, Adam; Currie, Thayne

    2011-08-01

    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 μm modal particle size and (2) clouds made of 1 μm 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 MJ , 6-13 MJ , and 3-11 MJ , respectively, and imply coeval ages between ~10 and ~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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Characterizing Earth-like planets with terrestrial planet finder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seager, Sara; Ford, E. B.; Turner, E. L.

    2002-11-01

    For the first time in human history the possibility of detecting and studying Earth-like planets is on the horizon. Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), with a launch date in the 2015 timeframe, is being planned by NASA to find and characterize planets in the habitable zones of nearby stars. The mission Darwin from ESA has similar goals. The motivation for both of these space missions is the detection and spectroscopic characterization of extrasolar terrestrial planet atmospheres. Of special interest are atmospheric biomarkers-such as O2, O3, H2O, CO and CH4-which are either indicative of life as we know it, essential to life, or can provide clues to a planet's habitability. A mission capable of measuring these spectral features would also obtain sufficient signal-to-noise to characterize other terrestrial planet properties. For example, physical characteristics such as temperature and planetary radius can be constrained from low-resolution spectra. In addition, planet characteristics such as weather, rotation rate, presence of large oceans or surface ice, and existence of seasons could be derived from photometric measurements of the planet's variability. We will review the potential to characterize terrestrial planets beyond their spectral signatures. We will also discuss the possibility to detect strong surface biomarkers-such as Earth's vegetation red edge near 700 nm-that are different from any known atomic or molecular signature.

  2. Transiting Planet Candidates Beyond the Snow Line Detected by Visual Inspection of 7557 Kepler Objects of Interest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uehara, Sho; Kawahara, Hajime; Masuda, Kento; Yamada, Shin’ya; Aizawa, Masataka

    2016-05-01

    We visually inspected the light curves of 7557 Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) to search for single transit events (STEs) that were possibly due to long-period giant planets. We identified 28 STEs in 24 KOIs, among which 14 events are newly reported in this paper. We estimate the radius and orbital period of the objects causing STEs by fitting the STE light curves simultaneously with the transits of the other planets in the system or with prior information on the host star density. As a result, we found that STEs in seven of those systems are consistent with Neptune- to Jupiter-sized objects of orbital periods ranging from a few to ˜20 {years}. We also estimate that ≳ 20% of the compact multi-transiting systems host cool giant planets with periods ≳ 3 {years} on the basis of their occurrence in the KOIs with multiple candidates, assuming the small mutual inclination between inner and outer planetary orbits.

  3. 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...

  4. Multiple Planets Problems and Solutions in Astrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, Michael; Zhai, C.; Catanzarite, J.; Loredo, T.; McArthur, B.; Benedict, F.

    2009-01-01

    In early 2008, NASA asked the SIM project to conduct a double blind study to determine how well astrometry at the microarcsec level can detect Earth-like planets in the habitable zone in the environment of a multiple planet system. Astrometric planet detection looks for a periodic signature and confusion can result if two or more planets have orbital frequencies that can not be separated with a finite data set. 5 years of micro-arcsec level measurements from a mission like SIM, can not resolve orbital periods of planets separated by less than 0.2 cycles per year. Our solar system however has 4 planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune whose periods are all within 0.2 cycles/yr of each other. This paper describes the type of problems that arise and the procedures developed to work around these problems. The double blind study consisted of 48 multiple planet systems with a total of 98 planets and 483 asteroids and 48 of the 98 planets had a large enough signal to be detected, had they been "solo" planets. In the end the SIM science team was able to find 96% of the "48 planets", and 98% of the claimed detections were real. For terrestrial planets in the habitable zone all 13 planets were detected with no false positives.

  5. Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klahr, Hubert; Brandner, Wolfgang

    2011-02-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Radiation-driven warping of circumbinary disks around eccentric young star binaries

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-10

    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 10{sup 4} L {sub ☉}, the radiation-driven warping does not work for those around young binaries with the luminosity comparable to the solar luminosity.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Searching For Planets in "Holey Debris Disks"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meshkat, Tiffany; Bailey, Vanessa P.; Su, Kate Y. L.; Kenworthy, Matthew A.; Mamajek, Eric E.; Hinz, Philip; Smith, Paul S.

    2015-01-01

    Directly imaging planets provides a unique opportunity to study young planets in the context of their formation and evolution. It examines the underlying semi-major axis exoplanet distribution and enables the characterization of the planet itself with spectroscopic examination of its emergent flux. However, only a handful of planets have been directly imaged, and thus the stars best suited for planet imaging are still a subject of debate. The "Holey Debris Disk" project was created in order to help determine if debris disks with gaps are signposts for planets. These gaps may be dynamically caused by planets accreting the debris material as they form. We present the results from our survey with VLT/NACO and the apodized phase plate coronagraph. We demonstrate that these disks with holes are good targets for directly detecting planets with the discovery of a planet around two of our targets, HD 95086 and HD 106906, at L'-band. Our non-detection of HD 95086 b in H-band demonstrates the importance of thermal infrared observations. The detected planets shepherd the outer cool debris belt. The relatively dust-free gap in these disks implies the presence of one or more closer-in planets. We discuss our new constraints on planets around other targets in our survey as well as disk properties of these targets and describe how future instruments will find the inner planets.

  12. Characterizing extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Timothy M.

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

  13. Pluto: Planet or "Dwarf Planet"?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  14. Binary Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, Keegan; Nakajima, Miki; Stevenson, David J.

    2014-11-01

    Can a bound pair of similar mass terrestrial planets exist? We are interested here in bodies with a mass ratio of ~ 3:1 or less (so Pluto/Charon or Earth/Moon do not qualify) and we do not regard the absence of any such discoveries in the Kepler data set to be significant since the tidal decay and merger of a close binary is prohibitively fast well inside of 1AU. SPH simulations of equal mass “Earths” were carried out to seek an answer to this question, assuming encounters that were only slightly more energetic than parabolic (zero energy). We were interested in whether the collision or near collision of two similar mass bodies would lead to a binary in which the two bodies remain largely intact, effectively a tidal capture hypothesis though with the tidal distortion being very large. Necessarily, the angular momentum of such an encounter will lead to bodies separated by only a few planetary radii if capture occurs. Consistent with previous work, mostly by Canup, we find that most impacts are disruptive, leading to a dominant mass body surrounded by a disk from which a secondary forms whose mass is small compared to the primary, hence not a binary planet by our adopted definition. However, larger impact parameter “kissing” collisions were found to produce binaries because the dissipation upon first encounter was sufficient to provide a bound orbit that was then rung down by tides to an end state where the planets are only a few planetary radii apart. The long computational times for these simulation make it difficult to fully map the phase space of encounters for which this outcome is likely but the indications are that the probability is not vanishingly small and since planetary encounters are a plausible part of planet formation, we expect binary planets to exist and be a non-negligible fraction of the larger orbital radius exoplanets awaiting discovery.

  15. [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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Searching for planets with SIM-Lite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howard, Andrew; SIM-Lite Team

    2009-05-01

    SIM-Lite will search for planets with masses as small as the Earth's orbiting in the `habitable zones’ of the nearest stars (within 20 pc). If Earth-like planets are common, SIM-Lite could discover dozens of them in the planned "Deep Survey" of 60 nearby stars. Additional planets in these systems would also be detected, potentially revealing a rich variety of planetary system architectures while probing the theory of their formation. The nearby planets discovered by SIM-Lite will be natural targets for future direct detection missions such as Terrestrial Planet Finder and Darwin. SIM-Lite's "Broad Survey” of 1000 stars will characterize single and multiple-planet systems around a wide variety of stellar types, including many now inaccessible with the radial velocity and transit techniques. In particular, SIM-Lite will search for planets around young stars providing insights into how planetary systems are born and evolve with time.

  4. Infrared and the search for extrasolar planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meinel, Aden B.; Meinel, Marjorie P.

    1991-01-01

    Search for evidence concerning the existence of extrasolar planets will involve both indirect detection as well as direct (imaging). Indirect detection may be possible using ground based instrumentation on the Keck telescope, Imaging probably will require an orbiting system. Characterizing other planets for complex molecules will require a large orbiting or lunar-based telescope or inteferometer. Cryogenic infrared techniques appear to be necessary. Planning for a NASA ground and space-based program, Toward Other Planet Systems (TOPS), is proceeding.

  5. Proceedings of Protostars and Planets V

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Recovery of the Candidate Protoplanet HD 100546 b with Gemini/NICI and Detection of Additional (Planet-induced?) Disk Structure at Small Separations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, Thayne; Muto, Takayuki; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Honda, Mitsuhiko; Brandt, Timothy D.; Grady, Carol; Fukagawa, Misato; Burrows, Adam; Janson, Markus; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; McElwain, Michael W.; Follette, Katherine; Hashimoto, Jun; Henning, Thomas; Kandori, Ryo; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Kwon, Jungmi; Mede, Kyle; Morino, Jun-ichi; Nishikawa, Jun; Pyo, Tae-Soo; Serabyn, Gene; Suenaga, Takuya; Takahashi, Yasuhiro; Wisniewski, John; Tamura, Motohide

    2014-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Discovery and characterization of small planets from K2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinukoff, Evan; Howard, Andrew; Crossfield, Ian; Petigura, Erik; Schlieder, Joshua

    2015-12-01

    In 2014, the Kepler Telescope was repurposed for a new "K2" mission, searching for transiting planets in ~14 fields along the ecliptic, for 80 days each. We are conducting a follow-up program to detect and characterize K2 planets to better understand small planet diversity. I present the detection and confirmation of over 150 transiting planets, mostly sub-Neptune-size, in the first five K2 fields. This includes more than a dozen multi-planet systems, many of which are bright enough for spectroscopic follow-up to measure planet masses via radial velocities (RVs). I report preliminary masses and densities of planets in a few of these new multi-planet systems, constrained by Keck HIRES RVs. Continued RV follow-up will probe the compositional diversity of small planets, examining the degree to which environmental factors (e.g. stellar properties, incident flux, system architectures) sculpt the planet mass-radius diagram.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Spectral features of Earth-like planets and their detectability at different orbital distances around F, G, and K-type stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hedelt, P.; von Paris, P.; Godolt, M.; Gebauer, S.; Grenfell, J. L.; Rauer, H.; Schreier, F.; Selsis, F.; Trautmann, T.

    2013-05-01

    Context. In recent years, more and more transiting terrestrial extrasolar planets have been found. Spectroscopy already yielded the detection of molecular absorption bands in the atmospheres of Jupiter and Neptune-sized exoplanets. Detecting spectral features in the atmosphere of terrestrial planets is the next great challenge for exoplanet characterization. Aims: We investigate the spectral appearance of Earth-like exoplanets in the habitable zone (HZ) of different main sequence (F, G, and K-type) stars at different orbital distances. We furthermore discuss for which of these scenarios biomarker absorption bands and related compounds may be detected during primary or secondary transit with near-future telescopes and instruments. Methods: Atmospheric profiles from a 1D cloud-free atmospheric climate-photochemistry model were used to compute primary and secondary eclipse infrared spectra. The spectra were analyzed taking into account different filter bandpasses of two photometric instruments planned to be mounted to the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We analyzed in which filters and for which scenarios molecular absorption bands are detectable when using the space-borne JWST or the ground-based European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Results: Absorption bands of carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O), methane (CH4) and ozone (O3) are clearly visible in both high-resolution spectra as well as in the filters of photometric instruments. However, only during primary eclipse absorption bands of CO2, H2O and O3 are detectable for all scenarios when using photometric instruments and an E-ELT-like telescope setup. CH4 is only detectable at the outer HZ of the K-type star since here the atmospheric modeling results in very high abundances. Since the detectable CO2 and H2O absorption bands overlap, separate bands need to be observed to prove their existence in the planetary atmosphere. In order to detect H2O in a separate band, a ratio S/N > 7 needs to be achieved for E

  14. 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...

  15. Studying planet populations by gravitational microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dominik, Martin

    2010-09-01

    The ‘most curious’ effect of the bending of light by the gravity of stars has evolved into a successful technique unlike any other for studying planets within the Milky Way and even other galaxies. With a sensitivity to cool planets around low-mass stars even below the mass of Earth, gravitational microlensing fits in between other planet search techniques to form a complete picture of planet parameter space, which is required to understand their origin in general, that of habitable planets more particularly, and that of planet Earth especially. Current campaigns need to evolve from first detections to obtaining a sample with well-understood selection bias that allows to draw firm conclusions about the planet populations. With planetary signals being a transient phenomenon, gravitational microlensing is a driver for new technologies in scheduling and management of non-proprietary heterogeneous telescope networks, and can serve to demonstrate forefront science live to the general public.

  16. 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

  17. On the Origin of Planets at Very Wide Orbits from the Recapture of Free Floating Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perets, Hagai B.; Kouwenhoven, M. B. N.

    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 ~few × 100-106 AU and have a wide range of eccentricities (thermal distribution). Typically, 3-6 × (f FFP/1)% of all stars capture a planetary companion with such properties (where f 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 × (f FFP/1)% for capture of stars and planetary companions, respectively) due to their large mass. Finally

  18. 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.

  19. 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 }.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Planets of β Pictoris revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freistetter, F.; Krivov, A. V.; Löhne, T.

    2007-04-01

    Observations have revealed a large variety of structures (global asymmetries, warps, belts, rings) and dynamical phenomena ("falling-evaporating bodies" or FEBs, the "β Pic dust stream") in the disk of β Pictoris, most of which may indicate the presence of one or more planets orbiting the star. Because planets of β Pic have not been detected by observations yet, we use dynamical simulations to find "numerical evidence" for a planetary system. We show that one planet at 12 AU with a mass of 2 to 5 MJ and an eccentricity ⪉ 0.1 can probably already account for three major features (main warp, two inner belts, FEBs) observed in the β Pic disk. The existence of at least two additional planets at about 25 AU and 45 AU from the star seems likely. We find rather strong upper limits of 0.6 MJ and 0.2 MJ on the masses of those planets. The same planets could, in principle, also account for the outer rings observed at 500-800 AU.

  5. 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,…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. On the energy dissipation rate at the inner edge of circumbinary discs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terquem, Caroline; Papaloizou, John C. B.

    2016-10-01

    We study, by means of numerical simulations and analysis, the details of the accretion process from a disc onto 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 which drift into the cavity and, before being accreted, are accelerated onto 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 onto 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. First light of the VLT planet finder SPHERE. I. Detection and characterization of the substellar companion GJ 758 B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vigan, A.; Bonnefoy, M.; Ginski, C.; Beust, H.; Galicher, R.; Janson, M.; Baudino, J.-L.; Buenzli, E.; Hagelberg, J.; D'Orazi, V.; Desidera, S.; Maire, A.-L.; Gratton, R.; Sauvage, J.-F.; Chauvin, G.; Thalmann, C.; Malo, L.; Salter, G.; Zurlo, A.; Antichi, J.; Baruffolo, A.; Baudoz, P.; Blanchard, P.; Boccaletti, A.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Carle, M.; Claudi, R.; Costille, A.; Delboulbé, A.; Dohlen, K.; Dominik, C.; Feldt, M.; Fusco, T.; Gluck, L.; Girard, J.; Giro, E.; Gry, C.; Henning, T.; Hubin, N.; Hugot, E.; Jaquet, M.; Kasper, M.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Langlois, M.; Le Mignant, D.; Llored, M.; Madec, F.; Martinez, P.; Mawet, D.; Mesa, D.; Milli, J.; Mouillet, D.; Moulin, T.; Moutou, C.; Origné, A.; Pavlov, A.; Perret, D.; Petit, C.; Pragt, J.; Puget, P.; Rabou, P.; Rochat, S.; Roelfsema, R.; Salasnich, B.; Schmid, H.-M.; Sevin, A.; Siebenmorgen, R.; Smette, A.; Stadler, E.; Suarez, M.; Turatto, M.; Udry, S.; Vakili, F.; Wahhaj, Z.; Weber, L.; Wildi, F.

    2016-03-01

    GJ 758 B is a brown dwarf companion to a nearby (15.76%) solar-type, metal-rich (M / H = + 0.2 dex) main-sequence star (G9V) that was discovered with Subaru/HiCIAO in 2009. From previous studies, it has drawn attention as being the coldest (~600 K) companion ever directly imaged around a neighboring star. We present new high-contrast data obtained during the commissioning of the SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The data was obtained in Y-, J-, H-, and Ks-bands with the dual-band imaging (DBI) mode of IRDIS, thus providing a broad coverage of the full near-infrared (near-IR) range at higher contrast and better spectral sampling than previously reported. In this new set of high-quality data, we report the re-detection of the companion, as well as the first detection of a new candidate closer-in to the star. We use the new eight photometric points for an extended comparison of GJ 758 B with empirical objects and four families of atmospheric models. From comparison to empirical object, we estimate a T8 spectral type, but none of the comparison objects can accurately represent the observed near-IR fluxes of GJ 758 B. From comparison to atmospheric models, we attribute a Teff = 600 ± 100 K, but we find that no atmospheric model can adequately fit all the fluxes of GJ 758 B. The lack of exploration of metal enrichment in model grids appears as a major limitation that prevents an accurate estimation of the companion physical parameters. The photometry of the new candidate companion is broadly consistent with L-type objects, but a second epoch with improved photometry is necessary to clarify its status. The new astrometry of GJ 758 B shows a significant proper motion since the last epoch. We use this result to improve the determination of the orbital characteristics using two fitting approaches: Least-Squares Monte Carlo and Markov chain Monte Carlo. We confirm the high-eccentricity of the orbit (peak at 0.5), and find a most likely semi-major axis of

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Extrasolar planets and Their Parent Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Israelian, Garik

    2010-11-01

    Extrasolar planetas (exoplanets), or planets orbiting stars other than our own Sun, are a relatively new field of the astronomical and planetary sciences. After the discovery of Pluto in 1930, planet-finding activities appeared to have reached an end for the foreseeable future. Several brown dwarfs have been discovered between 1930 and 1993 orbiting other solar-type star. Brown dwarfs (or "failed stars") are low-mass celestial objects (M?10MJUP) that formed by stellar processes but did not obtain the critical mass required to sustain hydrogen burning within their core. Other claims for planetary detections were also made during the period 1944 - 1970 but were never verified or were later shown to be false, produced by timing artifacts or instrumentation errors. The first confirmed detection of an extrasolar planet occurred in 1992 when two bodies were found to be orbiting the millisecond pulsar PSR 1257+12 (Wolszczan and Frail, 1992). The first detection of an extrasolar planet orbiting a solar-type star occurred in 1994 with the claim of a Jupiter-type planet orbiting 51 Pegasi (Mayor and Queloz, 1995). As of January 2010, we currently know of 429 planets orbiting solar-type stars The vast majority of these detections have occurred via the radial velocity method (Udry & Santos 2007), although other methods such as that of transiting photometry and microlensing may become increasingly important in future planet searches as we seek to detect terrestrial-sized planetary bodies and utilize space- based observing programs.

  1. Catastrophic evaporation of rocky planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez-Becker, Daniel; Chiang, Eugene

    2013-08-01

    Short-period exoplanets can have dayside surface temperatures surpassing 2000 K, hot enough to vaporize rock and drive a thermal wind. Small enough planets evaporate completely. We construct a radiative hydrodynamic model of atmospheric escape from strongly irradiated, low-mass rocky planets, accounting for dust-gas energy exchange in the wind. Rocky planets with masses ≲ 0.1 M⊕ (less than twice the mass of Mercury) and surface temperatures ≳2000 K are found to disintegrate entirely in ≲10 Gyr. When our model is applied to Kepler planet candidate KIC 12557548b - which is believed to be a rocky body evaporating at a rate of dot{M} gtrsim 0.1 M_{{{oplus }}} Gyr-1 - our model yields a present-day planet mass of ≲ 0.02 M⊕ or less than about twice the mass of the Moon. Mass-loss rates depend so strongly on planet mass that bodies can reside on close-in orbits for Gyr with initial masses comparable to or less than that of Mercury, before entering a final short-lived phase of catastrophic mass-loss (which KIC 12557548b has entered). Because this catastrophic stage lasts only up to a few per cent of the planet's life, we estimate that for every object like KIC 12557548b, there should be 10-100 close-in quiescent progenitors with sub-day periods whose hard-surface transits may be detectable by Kepler - if the progenitors are as large as their maximal, Mercury-like sizes (alternatively, the progenitors could be smaller and more numerous). According to our calculations, KIC 12557548b may have lost ˜70 per cent of its formation mass; today we may be observing its naked iron core.

  2. Planets, debris and their host metallicity correlations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, Mark; Nayakshin, Sergei

    2016-09-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Biomarkers of extrasolar planets and their observability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selsis, Franck; Paillet, Jimmy; Allard, France

    The first space-borne instruments able to detect and characterize extrasolar terrestrial planets, Darwin (ESA) and TPF-C (Terrestrial Planet Finder-Coronograph, NASA), should be launched at the end of the next decade. Beyond the challenge of planet detection itself, the ability to measure mid-infrared (Darwin) and visible (TPF-C) spectra at low resolution will allow us to characterize the exoplanets discovered. The spectral analysis of these planets will extend the field of planetary science beyond the Solar System to the nearby Universe: It will give access to certain planetary properties (albedo, brightness temperature, radius) and reveal the presence of atmospheric compounds, which, together with the radiative budget of the planet, will provide the keys to understanding how the climate system works on these worlds. If terrestrial planets are sufficiently abundant, these missions will collect data for numerous planetary systems of different ages and orbiting different types of stars. Theories for the formation, evolution and habitability of the terrestrial planets will at last face the test observation. The most fascinating perspective offered by these space observatories is the ability to detect spectral signatures indicating biological activity. In this chapter, we review and discuss the concept of extrasolar biosignatures or biomarkers. We focus mainly on the identification of oxygen-rich atmospheres through the detection of O2 and O3 features, addressing also the case of other possible biomarkers and indicators of habitability.

  7. Observations of Extrasolar Planet Transits: What's next?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rauer, H.

    2014-03-01

    Transits of extrasolar planets are a goldmine for our understanding of the physical nature of planets beyond the Solar System. Measurements of radii from transit observations combined with mass determinations from radial velocity spectroscopy, or transit timing variations, have provided the first indications to the planetary composition and interior structure. It turns out that planets show a much richer diversity than found in our own planetary system, considering e.g. the so-called 'super-Earths', 'mini-Neptunes', and inflated giant planets. Transiting exoplanets also allow for spectroscopic observations of their atmospheres, either during transit or near secondary eclipse. Exoplanets showing transits have therefore been identified as key observables, not only for planet detection, but in particular for investigating further planetary nature. As a result, a new generation of instruments (space- and groundbased) for exoplanet transit observations is already in the construction phase and is planned for the near future. Most of these target specifically stars bright enough for spectroscopic follow-up observations, a èlesson learned' from past transit surveys. A clear goal for future investigations of habitable planets is the detection and characterization of terrestrial planets which potentially could harbor life. This talk will review the status and in particular the future of transit observations, with a focus on rocky planets in the habitable zone of their host stars.

  8. 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.

  9. Peeking at the Planets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddle, Bob

    2002-01-01

    Provides information about each of the planets in our solar system. Focuses on information related to the space missions that have visited or flown near each planet, and includes a summary of what is known about some of the features of each planet. (DDR)

  10. Journey to Planet Seven.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gow, Ellen

    1987-01-01

    An imaginary journey to Planet Seven is used to introduce the concept of number systems not based on ten. Activities include making a base 7 chart, performing base 7 addition and subtraction, designing Planet Seven currency, and developing other base systems for other planets. (MT)

  11. Kepler Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2015-01-01

    Kepler has vastly increased our knowledge of planets and planetary systems located close to stars. The new data shows surprising results for planetary abundances, planetary spacings and the distribution of planets on a mass-radius diagram. The implications of these results for theories of planet formation will be discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Searching for Extrasolar Planets with SIM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unwin, Stephen C.

    2000-01-01

    The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) will be the first spacebased long base-line Michelson interferometer designed for precision astrometry. SIM will extend the reach of astrometry to cover the entire Galaxy, and will address a wide range of problems in Galactic structure and stellar astrophysics. It will also serve as a technology precursor for future astrophysics missions using interferometers. SIM will be a powerful tool for discovering planets around nearby stars, through detection of the reflex motion, and it will directly measure masses for the planets detected this way. It will have a single-measurement precision of 1 microarcsecond in a frame defined by nearby reference stars, enabling SIM to search for planets with masses as small as a few earth masses around the nearest star. More massive planets will be detectable to much larger distances.

  17. 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.

  18. A tunnel and a traffic jam: How transition disks maintain a detectable warm dust component despite the presence of a large planet-carved gap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinilla, P.; Klarmann, L.; Birnstiel, T.; Benisty, M.; Dominik, C.; Dullemond, C. P.

    2016-01-01

    Context. Transition disks are circumstellar disks that show evidence of a dust cavity, which may be related to dynamical clearing by embedded planet(s). Most of these objects show signs of significant accretion, indicating that the inner disks are not truly empty, but that gas is still streaming through to the star. A subset of transition disks, sometimes called pre-transition disks, also shows a strong near-infrared excess, interpreted as an optically thick dusty belt located close to the dust sublimation radius within the first astronomical unit. Aims: We study the conditions for the survival and maintenance of such an inner disk in the case where a massive planet opens a gap in the disk. In this scenario, the planet filters out large dust grains that are trapped at the outer edge of the gap, while the inner regions of the disk may or may not be replenished with small grains. Methods: We combined hydrodynamical simulations of planet-disk interactions with dust evolution models that include coagulation and fragmentation of dust grains over a large range of radii and derived observational properties using radiative transfer calculations. We studied the role of the snow line in the survival of the inner disk of transition disks. Results: Inside the snow line, the lack of ice mantles in dust particles decreases the sticking efficiency between grains. As a consequence, particles fragment at lower collision velocities than in regions beyond the snow line. This effect allows small particles to be maintained for up to a few Myr within the first astronomical unit. These particles are closely coupled to the gas and do not drift significantly with respect to the gas. For lower mass planets (1 MJup), the pre-transition appearance can be maintained even longer because dust still trickles through the gap created by the planet, moves invisibly and quickly in the form of relatively large grains through the gap, and becomes visible again as it fragments and gets slowed down

  19. Tides in Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, David J.

    2015-11-01

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

  20. Studying planet populations with Einstein's blip.

    PubMed

    Dominik, Martin

    2010-08-13

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

  1. 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.

  2. Magnetic activity of planet-hosting stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppenhaeger, Katja

    2011-05-01

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

  3. SPOTS: The Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars. I. Survey description and first observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thalmann, C.; Desidera, S.; Bonavita, M.; Janson, M.; Usuda, T.; Henning, T.; Köhler, R.; Carson, J.; Boccaletti, A.; Bergfors, C.; Brandner, W.; Feldt, M.; Goto, M.; Klahr, H.; Marzari, F.; Mordasini, C.

    2014-12-01

    Direct imaging surveys for exoplanets commonly exclude binary stars from their target lists, leaving a large part of the overall planet demography unexplored. To address this gap in our understanding of planet formation and evolution, we have launched the first direct-imaging survey dedicated to circumbinary planets: SPOTS, the Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars. We discuss the theoretical context, scientific merit, and technical feasibility of such observations, describe the target sample and observational strategy of our survey, and report on the first results from our pilot survey of 26 targets with the VLT NaCo facility. While we have not found any confirmed substellar companions to date, a number of promising candidate companions remain to be tested for common proper motion in upcoming follow-up observations. We also report on the astrometry of the three resolved binaries in our target sample. This pilot survey constitutes a successful proof of concept for our survey strategy and paves the way for a second stage in the exploratory observations with VLT SPHERE. Based on data collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (ESO Programmes 088.C-0291 and 090.C-0416) and at the Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. The radial velocity search for extrasolar planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcmillan, Robert S.

    1991-01-01

    Radial velocity measurements are being made to search for planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. The reflex acceleration induced on stars by planets can be sensed by measuring the small, slow changes in the line-of-site velocities of stars. To detect these planetary perturbations, the data series must be made on a uniform instrumental scale for as long as it takes a planet to orbit its star. A spectrometer of extreme stability and unprecedented sensitivity to changes in stellar radial velocities was operated.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:24664923

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Terrestrial planet formation.

    PubMed

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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 classifier uniformly and consistently applies diagnostics developed by the Transiting Planet Search and Data Validation pipeline components and by TCERT to produce a robust catalog of planet candidates.The characteristics of the planet candidates detected by Kepler (planet radius and period) do not reflect the intrinsic planet population. Detection efficiency is a function of SNR, so the set of detected planet candidates is incomplete. Transit detection preferentially finds close-in planets with nearly edge-on orbits and misses planets whose orbital geometry precludes transits. Reliability of the planet candidates must also be considered, as they may be false positives. Errors in detected planet radius and in assumed star properties can also bias inference of intrinsic planet population characteristics.In this work we infer the intrinsic planet population, starting with the catalog of detected planet candidates produced by our random forest classifier, and accounting for detection biases and reliabilities as well as for radius errors in the detected population.Kepler was selected as the 10th mission

  16. Water contents of Earth-mass planets around M dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Feng; Ida, Shigeru

    2015-03-01

    Efforts to identify habitable extrasolar planets have focused on systems around M dwarfs, faint stars with less than half the solar mass. Habitable planets around M dwarfs are thought to be more plentiful and easier to detect than those orbiting Sun-like G dwarfs. However, unlike G dwarfs, M dwarfs experience a prolonged decline in luminosity early in their history, leading to an inward migration of the habitable zone to where planets may have lost their water through dissociation and hydrodynamic escape. Water-poor planets, such as Venus, are considered uninhabitable. In contrast, planets with too much water (>1 wt%) would lack continents, leading to climate instability and nutrient limitation problems. Here we combine a numerical planet population synthesis model with a model for water loss to show that the evolution of stellar luminosity leads to two types of planets of Earth-like mass (0.1 to 10 Earth masses) in the habitable zones around M dwarfs: ocean planets without continents, and desert planets, on which there are orders of magnitude less surface water than on Earth. According to our simulations, Earth-mass planets with Earth-like water contents are rare around M dwarfs and occur 10-100 times less frequently than around G dwarfs. We suggest that stars close to the size of the Sun should be the primary targets for detecting Earth-like planets.

  17. The size distribution of inhabited planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, Fergus

    2016-02-01

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

  18. First light of the Gemini Planet Imager

    DOE PAGES

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

    2014-05-12

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

  19. First light of the Gemini Planet Imager

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager is a dedicated facility for directly imaging and spectroscopically characterizing extrasolar planets. It combines a very high-order adaptive optics system, a diffraction-suppressing coronagraph, and an integral field spectrograph with low spectral resolution but high spatial resolution. Every aspect of the Gemini Planet Imager has been tuned for maximum sensitivity to faint planets near bright stars. During first-light observations, we achieved an estimated H band Strehl ratio of 0.89 and a 5-σ contrast of 106 at 0.75 arcseconds and 105 at 0.35 arcseconds. Observations of Beta Pictoris clearly detect the planet, Beta Pictoris b, in a single 60-s exposure with minimal postprocessing. Beta Pictoris b is observed at a separation of 434 ± 6 milliarcseconds (mas) and position angle 211.8 ± 0.5°. Fitting the Keplerian orbit of Beta Pic b using the new position together with previous astrometry gives a factor of 3 improvement in most parameters over previous solutions. The planet orbits at a semimajor axis of 9.0−0.4+0.8 AU near the 3:2 resonance with the previously known 6-AU asteroidal belt and is aligned with the inner warped disk. The observations give a 4% probability of a transit of the planet in late 2017. PMID:24821792

  20. First light of the Gemini Planet imager.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  1. First light of the Gemini Planet imager.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  2. First light of the Gemini Planet Imager

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-12

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

  3. Outer planet satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schenk, Paul M.

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

  4. Planets in Motion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddle, Bob

    2005-01-01

    All the planets in the solar system revolve around the Sun in the same direction, clockwise when viewed from above the North Pole. This is referred to as direct motion. From the perspective on the Earth's surface, the planets travel east across the sky in relation to the background of stars. The Sun also moves eastward daily, but this is an…

  5. Name That Planet!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beck, Judy; Rust, Cindy

    2002-01-01

    Presents an activity in which students in groups explore one planet in the solar system and present their findings to the whole class. Focuses on the planet's location in the solar system, geological features, rate of revolutions, and calendar year. (YDS)

  6. March of the Planets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Bruce

    2007-01-01

    The motion of the planets in their orbits can be demonstrated to students by using planetarium software programs. These allow time to be sped up so that the relative motions are readily observed. However, it is also valuable to have the students understand the real speed of the planets in their orbits. This paper describes an exercise that gives…

  7. Circumbinary dust disks - reconciling the theory of close binary evolution with observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brinkworth, Carolyn; Hoard, Donald; Marsh, Tom

    2008-03-01

    The evolution of all close binary systems is driven by the loss of angular momentum from the system. Standard theory invokes two mechanisms for this loss - gravitational radiation and magnetic braking - and forms the backbone of virtually all studies based on binary evolution rates. Recent studies, however, have shown that the extrapolations in which the standard theory is based are wrong, suggesting that the true evolutionary rate of binary systems should be 10 - 10000 slower than previously predicted. To confuse the matter further, observational studies show that binary systems are actually evolving around 1000 times faster than this revised theory suggests, leading to the speculation that there is another angular momentum loss mechanism at work. One of the more likely candidates is the presence of a cool, dusty disk around the binary, which drains angular momentum from the system via tidal coupling. We propose to combine a Spitzer search for circumbinary dust disks with results from an ongoing project to directly measure the evolutionary rates of a number of detached binary systems. By modelling these disks, we will be able to test for any correlation between disk mass and evolutionary rate, and test whether the presence of these dusty disks could finally bring the theory of close binary evolution into line with observation.

  8. Planets and Stars under the Magnifying Glass

    SciTech Connect

    Hazi, A U

    2007-02-12

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

  9. Formation of giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magni, G.; Coradini, A.

    2003-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-15

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

  11. Precursor Science for the Terrestrial Planet Finder

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

    This document outlines a path for the development of the field of extrasolar planet research, with a particular emphasis on the goals of the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF). Over the past decade, a new field of research has developed, the study of extrasolar planetary systems, driven by the discovery of massive planets around nearby stars. The planet count now stands at over 130. Are there Earth-like planets around nearby stars? Might any of those planets be conducive to the formation and maintenance of life? These arc the questions that TPF seeks to answer. TPF will be implemented as a suite of two space observatories, a 6-m class optical coronagraph, to be launched around 20 14, and a formation flying mid-infrared interferometer, to be launched sometime prior to 2020. These facilities will survey up to 165 or more nearby stars and detect planets like Earth should they be present in the 'habitable zone' around each star. With observations over a broad wavelength range, TPF will provide a robust determination of the atmospheric composition of planets to assess habitability and the presence of life. At this early stage of TPF's development, precursor observational and theoretical programs are essential to help define the mission, to aid our understanding of the planets that TPF could discover, and to characterize the stars that TPF will eventually study. This document is necessarily broad in scope because the significance of individual discoveries is greatly enhanced when viewed in thc context of the field as a whole. This document has the ambitious goal of taking us from our limited knowledge today, in 2004, to the era of TPF observations in the middle of the next decade. We must use the intervening years wisely. This document will be reviewed annually and updated as needed. The most recent edition is available online at http://tpf.jpl.nasa.gov/ or by email request to lawson@hucy.jpl.nasa.gov

  12. Optical Spectra of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heap, Sara R.; Hubeny, Ivan; Sudarsky, David; Burrows, Adam

    2004-01-01

    The flux distribution of a planet relative to its host star is a critical quantity for planning space observatories to detect and characterize extrasolar giant planets (EGP's). In this paper, we present optical planet-star contrasts of Jupiter-mass planets as a function of stellar type, orbital distance, and planetary cloud characteristics. As originally shown by Sudarsky et al. (2000, 2003), the phaseaveraged brightness of an EGP does not necessarily decrease monotonically with greater orbital distance because of changes in its albedo and absorption spectrum at lower temperatures. We apply our results to Eclipse, a 1.8-m optical telescope + coronograph to be proposed as a NASA Discovery mission later this year.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LAGRANGE, Anne-Marie

    2015-12-01

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

  14. LARGER PLANET RADII INFERRED FROM STELLAR ''FLICKER'' BRIGHTNESS VARIATIONS OF BRIGHT PLANET-HOST STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Bastien, Fabienne A.; Stassun, Keivan G.; Pepper, Joshua

    2014-06-10

    Most extrasolar planets have been detected by their influence on their parent star, typically either gravitationally (the Doppler method) or by the small dip in brightness as the planet blocks a portion of the star (the transit method). Therefore, the accuracy with which we know the masses and radii of extrasolar planets depends directly on how well we know those of the stars, the latter usually determined from the measured stellar surface gravity, log g. Recent work has demonstrated that the short-timescale brightness variations ({sup f}licker{sup )} of stars can be used to measure log g to a high accuracy of ∼0.1-0.2 dex. Here, we use flicker measurements of 289 bright (Kepmag < 13) candidate planet-hosting stars with T {sub eff} = 4500-6650 K to re-assess the stellar parameters and determine the resulting impact on derived planet properties. This re-assessment reveals that for the brightest planet-host stars, Malmquist bias contaminates the stellar sample with evolved stars: nearly 50% of the bright planet-host stars are subgiants. As a result, the stellar radii, and hence the radii of the planets orbiting these stars, are on average 20%-30% larger than previous measurements had suggested.

  15. The radial velocity search for extrasolar planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcmillen, Robert S.

    1988-01-01

    Researchers are measuring small changes in the line-of-sight velocities of stars to detect the oscillating reflex acceleration induced by large planets. The intention is to observe enough stars for a long enough time to be able to make a statement of the probability of planets in a certain range of masses even if no planetary perturbations are detected. To make these measurements of Doppler shift with the required sensitivity, a new instrument was specifically designed, built and tested for this campaign of ground-based planet detection. The instrument is an optical spectrometer for which wavelengths are first calibrated by transmission through a tunable Fabry-Perot etalon interferometer. The intrinsic stability of the etalon and an image-scrambling fiber optic light feed provide great sensitivity to line-of-sight accelerations and immunity to systematic errors.

  16. Planets around pulsars - a rare phenomenon?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greaves, J. S.; Holland, W. S.

    1997-12-01

    We have used the new submillimetre camera (SCUBA) at the JCMT to search for dusty disks around nearby millisecond pulsars. Such disks are expected to be the precursors of planets, such as those detected by Wolszczan & Frail around B1257+12. No dust emission was detected in our sample, which is 60% complete for millisecond pulsars within 1 kpc of the Sun (and includes B1257+12). The upper limits on dust masses are only a few Earth masses, assuming large grains, or somewhat higher masses are obtained if the grains are very small. In either case, planetesimals and Earth-mass planets are unlikely to be forming at the present time. An alternative is that rocky planets form rapidly in these systems - the (non)detection rate would imply the process takes less than 3 x 10(8) years.

  17. Gemini Planet Imager First Light and Campaign Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patience, J.; Macintosh, B. A.; Graham, J. R.; Gpies Team

    2014-03-01

    Detecting, characterizing, and modeling exoplanets are among the fastestgrowing and highest-profile fields in current international astrophysics research. With direct imaging, it is possible to investigate the frequency of planetary systems with an architecture similar to that of the Solar System by detecting Jupiter-like planets in orbits comparable to the location of the giant planets in the Solar System. The detection and characterization of a new population of wide orbit exoplanets is essential to obtain a full census of planetary systems and to provide crucial tests of planet formation and evolution theories. Directly imaged planets also present important systems for which the atmospheric properties can be characterized. Achieving this potential is the fundamental goal of the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). GPI, a facility instrument for the Gemini South Observatory, will be the most sensitive planet imager ever constructed, an order of magnitude more powerful than current facilities and capable of discovering young (<1 GYr) planets from 5-100 AU. The Gemini Observatory has allocated our team 890 hours of telescope time to carry out the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) - the largest single allocation in the history of Gemini. The GPIES survey is designed to observe ~600 young, nearby stars, at high sensitivity, optimized to provide detection and basic characterization of 20-50 1-10 MJ planets.

  18. First Light from Extrasolar Planets and Implications for Astrobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, L. Jeremy; Seager, Sara; Harrington, Joseph; Deming, Drake

    2005-01-01

    The first light from an extrasolar planet was recently detected. These results, obtained for two transiting extrasolar planets at different infrared wavelengths, open a new era in the field of extrasolar planet detection and characterization because for the first time we can now detect planets beyond the solar system directly. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope at 24 microns, we observed the modulation of combined light (star plus planet) from the HD 209458 system as the planet disappeared behind the star during secondary eclipse and later re-emerged, thereby isolating the light from the planet. We obtained a planet-to-star ratio of 0.26% at 24 microns, corresponding to a brightness temperature of 1130 + / - 150 K. We will describe this result in detail, explain what it can tell us about the atmosphere of HD 209458 b, and discuss implications for the field of astrobiology. These results represent a significant step on the path to detecting terrestrial planets around other stars and in understanding their atmospheres in terms of composition and temperature.

  19. Planet Formation Instrument for the Thirty Meter Telescope

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, B; Troy, M; Graham, J; Doyon, R

    2006-02-22

    In the closing years of the 20th Century humankind began its exploration of the planetary systems in the solar neighborhood. Precision radial velocity measurements have now yielded the discovery of over 160 planets. Direct imaging of these planets, as opposed to detection of the effects of orbital motion on their parent star, is now feasible, and the first young planet in a wide orbit may have been detected using adaptive optics systems. Gemini and the VLT are building the first generation of high contrast adaptive optics systems, which deliver planet-imaging performance within few Airy rings of the host star. These systems will make the first surveys of the outer regions of solar systems by detecting the self-luminous radiation of young planets. These instruments will establish whether Jovian planets form predominantly through 'top-down' (global gravitational instability) or 'bottom-up' (core accretion) processes. The 8-m 'extreme' AO systems cannot see close enough to the host stars to image Doppler planets, and they cannot reach the relatively distant, young clusters and associations where planets are forming. The Planet Formation Instrument will use the nearly four-fold improved angular resolution of TMT to peer into the inner solar systems of Doppler-planet bearing stars to yield a unified sample of planets with known Keplerian orbital elements and atmospheric properties. In star formation regions, where T Tauri stars (young solar type stars) are found in abundance, PFI can see into the snow line, where the icy cores of planets like Jupiter must have formed. Thus, TMT will be the first facility to witness the formation of new planets.

  20. The Gemini Planet-finding Campaign: The Frequency Of Giant Planets around Debris Disk Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

    We have completed a high-contrast direct imaging survey for giant planets around 57 debris disk stars as part of the Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign. We achieved median H-band contrasts of 12.4 mag at 0.''5 and 14.1 mag at 1'' separation. Follow-up observations of the 66 candidates with projected separation <500 AU show that all of them are background objects. To establish statistical constraints on the underlying giant planet population based on our imaging data, we have developed a new Bayesian formalism that incorporates (1) non-detections, (2) single-epoch candidates, (3) astrometric and (4) photometric information, and (5) the possibility of multiple planets per star to constrain the planet population. Our formalism allows us to include in our analysis the previously known β Pictoris and the HR 8799 planets. Our results show at 95% confidence that <13% of debris disk stars have a >=5 M Jup planet beyond 80 AU, and <21% of debris disk stars have a >=3 M Jup planet outside of 40 AU, based on hot-start evolutionary models. We model the population of directly imaged planets as d 2 N/dMdavpropm α a β, where m is planet mass and a is orbital semi-major axis (with a maximum value of a max). We find that β < -0.8 and/or α > 1.7. Likewise, we find that β < -0.8 and/or a max < 200 AU. For the case where the planet frequency rises sharply with mass (α > 1.7), this occurs because all the planets detected to date have masses above 5 M Jup, but planets of lower mass could easily have been detected by our search. If we ignore the β Pic and HR 8799 planets (should they belong to a rare and distinct group), we find that <20% of debris disk stars have a >=3 M Jup planet beyond 10 AU, and β < -0.8 and/or α < -1.5. Likewise, β < -0.8 and/or a max < 125 AU. Our Bayesian constraints are not strong enough to reveal any dependence of the planet frequency on stellar host mass. Studies of transition disks have suggested that about 20% of stars are undergoing planet

  1. Main-sequence progenitor configurations of the NN Ser candidate circumbinary planetary system are dynamically unstable

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mustill, Alexander; Marshall, Jonathan; Villaver, Eva; Veras, Dimitri; Davis, Philip; Horner, Jonathan; Witenmyer, Robert

    2013-07-01

    Recent observations of the NN Serpentis post-common envelope binary system have revealed eclipse timing variations that have been attributed to the presence of two Jovian-mass exo-planets. Under the assumption that these planets are real and survived from the binary's Main-Sequence state, we reconstruct initial binaries that give rise to the present NN Ser configuration and test the dynamical stability of the original system. Under standard assumptions regarding binary evolution, we find that survival of the planets through the entire Main-Sequence life-time is very unlikely. Hence, we conclude that the planets are not survivors from before the Common Envelope phase, implying that either they formed recently out of material ejected from the primary, or that the observed signals are of non-planetary origin.

  2. Main-sequence progenitor configurations of the NN Ser candidate circumbinary planetary system are dynamically unstable

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mustill, Alexander J.; Marshall, Jonathan P.; Villaver, Eva; Veras, Dimitri; Davis, Philip J.; Horner, Jonathan; Wittenmyer, Robert A.

    2013-12-01

    Recent observations of the NN Serpentis post-common envelope binary system have revealed eclipse timing variations that have been attributed to the presence of two Jovian-mass exo-planets. Under the assumption that these planets are real and survived from the binary's main-sequence state, we reconstruct initial binaries that give rise to the present NN Ser configuration and test the dynamical stability of the original system. Under standard assumptions about binary evolution, we find that survival of the planets through the entire main-sequence lifetime is very unlikely. Hence, we conclude that the planets are not survivors from before the common envelope phase, implying that either they formed recently out of material ejected from the primary or that the observed signals are of non-planetary origin.

  3. TRANSIT LIGHTCURVES OF EXTRASOLAR PLANETS ORBITING RAPIDLY ROTATING STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Barnes, Jason W.

    2009-11-01

    Main-sequence stars earlier than spectral-type approxF6 or so are expected to rotate rapidly due to their radiative exteriors. This rapid rotation leads to an oblate stellar figure. It also induces the photosphere to be hotter (by up to several thousand kelvin) at the pole than at the equator as a result of a process called gravity darkening that was first predicted by von Zeipel. Transits of extrasolar planets across such a non-uniform, oblate disk yield unusual and distinctive lightcurves that can be used to determine the relative alignment of the stellar rotation pole and the planet orbit normal. This spin-orbit alignment can be used to constrain models of planet formation and evolution. Orderly planet formation and migration within a disk that is coplanar with the stellar equator will result in spin-orbit alignment. More violent planet-planet scattering events should yield spin-orbit misaligned planets. Rossiter-McLaughlin measurements of transits of lower-mass stars show that some planets are spin-orbit aligned, and some are not. Since Rossiter-McLaughlin measurements are difficult around rapid rotators, lightcurve photometry may be the best way to determine the spin-orbit alignment of planets around massive stars. The Kepler mission will monitor approx10{sup 4} of these stars within its sample. The lightcurves of any detected planets will allow us to probe the planet formation process around high-mass stars for the first time.

  4. A young massive planet in a star-disk system.

    PubMed

    Setiawan, J; Henning, Th; Launhardt, R; Müller, A; Weise, P; Kürster, M

    2008-01-01

    There is a general consensus that planets form within disks of dust and gas around newly born stars. Details of their formation process, however, are still a matter of ongoing debate. The timescale of planet formation remains unclear, so the detection of planets around young stars with protoplanetary disks is potentially of great interest. Hitherto, no such planet has been found. Here we report the detection of a planet of mass (9.8+/-3.3)M(Jupiter) around TW Hydrae (TW Hya), a nearby young star with an age of only 8-10 Myr that is surrounded by a well-studied circumstellar disk. It orbits the star with a period of 3.56 days at 0.04 au, inside the inner rim of the disk. This demonstrates that planets can form within 10 Myr, before the disk has been dissipated by stellar winds and radiation.

  5. A New Way to Confirm Planet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

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

  6. Observational biases for transiting planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kipping, David M.; Sandford, Emily

    2016-09-01

    Observational biases distort our view of nature, such that the patterns we see within a surveyed population of interest are often unrepresentative of the truth we seek. Transiting planets currently represent the most informative data set on the ensemble properties of exoplanets within 1 AU of their star. However, the transit method is inherently biased due to both geometric and detection-driven effects. In this work, we derive the overall observational biases affecting the most basic transit parameters from first principles. By assuming