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Sample records for earthlike planet orbiting

  1. Effect of UV Radiation on the Spectral Fingerprints of Earth-like Planets Orbiting M Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rugheimer, S.; Kaltenegger, L.; Segura, A.; Linsky, J.; Mohanty, S.

    2015-08-01

    We model the atmospheres and spectra of Earth-like planets orbiting the entire grid of M dwarfs for active and inactive stellar models with Teff = 2300 K to Teff = 3800 K and for six observed MUSCLES M dwarfs with UV radiation data. We set the Earth-like planets at the 1 AU equivalent distance and show spectra from the visible to IR (0.4-20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges with the James Webb Space Telescope and other future ground- and spaced-based missions to characterize exo-Earths. We focus on the effect of UV activity levels on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl. To observe signatures of life—O2/O3 in combination with reducing species like CH4—we find that early and active M dwarfs are the best targets of the M star grid for future telescopes. The O2 spectral feature at 0.76 μm is increasingly difficult to detect in reflected light of later M dwarfs owing to low stellar flux in that wavelength region. N2O, another biosignature detectable in the IR, builds up to observable concentrations in our planetary models around M dwarfs with low UV flux. CH3Cl could become detectable, depending on the depth of the overlapping N2O feature. We present a spectral database of Earth-like planets around cool stars for directly imaged planets as a framework for interpreting future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone to design and assess future telescope capabilities.

  2. UV SURFACE ENVIRONMENT OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING FGKM STARS THROUGH GEOLOGICAL EVOLUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Rugheimer, S.; Sasselov, D.; Segura, A.

    2015-06-10

    The UV environment of a host star affects the photochemistry in the atmosphere, and ultimately the surface UV environment for terrestrial planets and therefore the conditions for the origin and evolution of life. We model the surface UV radiation environment for Earth-sized planets orbiting FGKM stars in the circumstellar Habitable Zone for Earth through its geological evolution. We explore four different types of atmospheres corresponding to an early-Earth atmosphere at 3.9 Gyr ago and three atmospheres covering the rise of oxygen to present-day levels at 2.0 Gyr ago, 0.8 Gyr ago, and modern Earth. In addition to calculating the UVmore » flux on the surface of the planet, we model the biologically effective irradiance, using DNA damage as a proxy for biological damage. We find that a pre-biotic Earth (3.9 Gyr ago) orbiting an F0V star receives 6 times the biologically effective radiation as around the early Sun and 3520 times the modern Earth–Sun levels. A pre-biotic Earth orbiting GJ 581 (M3.5 V) receives 300 times less biologically effective radiation, about 2 times modern Earth–Sun levels. The UV fluxes calculated here provide a grid of model UV environments during the evolution of an Earth-like planet orbiting a range of stars. These models can be used as inputs into photo-biological experiments and for pre-biotic chemistry and early life evolution experiments.« less

  3. Conditions for oceans on Earth-like planets orbiting within the habitable zone: importance of volcanic CO{sub 2} degassing

    SciTech Connect

    Kadoya, S.; Tajika, E., E-mail: kadoya@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp, E-mail: tajika@astrobio.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp

    2014-08-01

    Earth-like planets in the habitable zone (HZ) have been considered to have warm climates and liquid water on their surfaces if the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working as on Earth. However, it is known that even the present Earth may be globally ice-covered when the rate of CO{sub 2} degassing via volcanism becomes low. Here we discuss the climates of Earth-like planets in which the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working, with focusing particularly on insolation and the CO{sub 2} degassing rate. The climate of Earth-like planets within the HZ can be classified into three climate modes (hot, warm, and snowballmore » climate modes). We found that the conditions for the existence of liquid water should be largely restricted even when the planet is orbiting within the HZ and the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle is working. We show that these conditions should depend strongly on the rate of CO{sub 2} degassing via volcanism. It is, therefore, suggested that thermal evolution of the planetary interiors will be a controlling factor for Earth-like planets to have liquid water on their surface.« less

  4. Climate of Earth-Like Planets With and Without Ocean Heat Transport Orbiting a Range of M and K Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kiang, N. Y.; Jablonski, Emma R.; Way, Michael J.; Del Genio, Anthony; Roberge, Aki

    2015-01-01

    The mean surface temperature of a planet is now acknowledged as insufficient to surmise its full potential habitability. Advancing our understanding requires exploration with 3D general circulation models (GCMs), which can take into account how gradients and fluxes across a planet's surface influence the distribution of heat, clouds, and the potential for heterogeneous distribution of liquid water. Here we present 3D GCM simulations of the effects of alternative stellar spectra, instellation, model resolution, and ocean heat transport, on the simulated distribution of heat and moisture of an Earth-like planet (ELP).

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Properties of an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star: Earth observed by the EPOXI mission.

    PubMed

    Livengood, Timothy A; Deming, L Drake; A'hearn, Michael F; Charbonneau, David; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M; McFadden, Lucy A; Meadows, Victoria S; Robinson, Tyler D; Seager, Sara; Wellnitz, Dennis D

    2011-11-01

    NASA's EPOXI mission observed the disc-integrated Earth and Moon to test techniques for reconnoitering extrasolar terrestrial planets, using the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to observe Earth at the beginning and end of Northern Hemisphere spring, 2008, from a range of ∼1/6 to 1/3 AU. These observations furnish high-precision and high-cadence empirical photometry and spectroscopy of Earth, suitable as "ground truth" for numerically simulating realistic observational scenarios for an Earth-like exoplanet with finite signal-to-noise ratio. Earth was observed at near-equatorial sub-spacecraft latitude on 18-19 March, 28-29 May, and 4-5 June (UT), in the range of 372-4540 nm wavelength with low visible resolving power (λ/Δλ=5-13) and moderate IR resolving power (λ/Δλ=215-730). Spectrophotometry in seven filters yields light curves at ∼372-948 nm filter-averaged wavelength, modulated by Earth's rotation with peak-to-peak amplitude of ≤20%. The spatially resolved Sun glint is a minor contributor to disc-integrated reflectance. Spectroscopy at 1100-4540 nm reveals gaseous water and carbon dioxide, with minor features of molecular oxygen, methane, and nitrous oxide. One-day changes in global cloud cover resulted in differences between the light curve beginning and end of ≤5%. The light curve of a lunar transit of Earth on 29 May is color-dependent due to the Moon's red spectrum partially occulting Earth's relatively blue spectrum. The "vegetation red edge" spectral contrast observed between two long-wavelength visible/near-IR bands is ambiguous, not clearly distinguishing between the verdant Earth diluted by cloud cover versus the desolate mineral regolith of the Moon. Spectrophotometry in at least one other comparison band at short wavelength is required to distinguish between Earth-like and Moon-like surfaces in reconnaissance observations. However, measurements at 850 nm alone, the high-reflectance side of the red edge, could be sufficient to

  8. The effect of a strong stellar flare on the atmospheric chemistry of an earth-like planet orbiting an M dwarf.

    PubMed

    Segura, Antígona; Walkowicz, Lucianne M; Meadows, Victoria; Kasting, James; Hawley, Suzanne

    2010-09-01

    Main sequence M stars pose an interesting problem for astrobiology: their abundance in our galaxy makes them likely targets in the hunt for habitable planets, but their strong chromospheric activity produces high-energy radiation and charged particles that may be detrimental to life. We studied the impact of the 1985 April 12 flare from the M dwarf AD Leonis (AD Leo), simulating the effects from both UV radiation and protons on the atmospheric chemistry of a hypothetical, Earth-like planet located within its habitable zone. Based on observations of solar proton events and the Neupert effect, we estimated a proton flux associated with the flare of 5.9 × 10⁸ protons cm⁻² sr⁻¹ s⁻¹ for particles with energies >10 MeV. Then we calculated the abundance of nitrogen oxides produced by the flare by scaling the production of these compounds during a large solar proton event called the Carrington event. The simulations were performed with a 1-D photochemical model coupled to a 1-D radiative/convective model. Our results indicate that the UV radiation emitted during the flare does not produce a significant change in the ozone column depth of the planet. When the action of protons is included, the ozone depletion reaches a maximum of 94% two years after the flare for a planet with no magnetic field. At the peak of the flare, the calculated UV fluxes that reach the surface, in the wavelength ranges that are damaging for life, exceed those received on Earth during less than 100 s. Therefore, flares may not present a direct hazard for life on the surface of an orbiting habitable planet. Given that AD Leo is one of the most magnetically active M dwarfs known, this conclusion should apply to planets around other M dwarfs with lower levels of chromospheric activity.

  9. The Effect of a Strong Stellar Flare on the Atmospheric Chemistry of an Earth-like Planet Orbiting an M Dwarf

    PubMed Central

    Walkowicz, Lucianne M.; Meadows, Victoria; Kasting, James; Hawley, Suzanne

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Main sequence M stars pose an interesting problem for astrobiology: their abundance in our galaxy makes them likely targets in the hunt for habitable planets, but their strong chromospheric activity produces high-energy radiation and charged particles that may be detrimental to life. We studied the impact of the 1985 April 12 flare from the M dwarf AD Leonis (AD Leo), simulating the effects from both UV radiation and protons on the atmospheric chemistry of a hypothetical, Earth-like planet located within its habitable zone. Based on observations of solar proton events and the Neupert effect, we estimated a proton flux associated with the flare of 5.9 × 108 protons cm−2 sr−1 s−1 for particles with energies >10 MeV. Then we calculated the abundance of nitrogen oxides produced by the flare by scaling the production of these compounds during a large solar proton event called the Carrington event. The simulations were performed with a 1-D photochemical model coupled to a 1-D radiative/convective model. Our results indicate that the UV radiation emitted during the flare does not produce a significant change in the ozone column depth of the planet. When the action of protons is included, the ozone depletion reaches a maximum of 94% two years after the flare for a planet with no magnetic field. At the peak of the flare, the calculated UV fluxes that reach the surface, in the wavelength ranges that are damaging for life, exceed those received on Earth during less than 100 s. Therefore, flares may not present a direct hazard for life on the surface of an orbiting habitable planet. Given that AD Leo is one of the most magnetically active M dwarfs known, this conclusion should apply to planets around other M dwarfs with lower levels of chromospheric activity. Key Words: M dwarf—Flare—Habitable zone—Planetary atmospheres. Astrobiology 10, 751–771. PMID:20879863

  10. Climate variations on Earth-like circumbinary planets

    PubMed Central

    Popp, Max; Eggl, Siegfried

    2017-01-01

    The discovery of planets orbiting double stars at close distances has sparked increasing scientific interest in determining whether Earth-analogues can remain habitable in such environments and how their atmospheric dynamics is influenced by the rapidly changing insolation. In this work we present results of the first three-dimensional numerical experiments of a water-rich planet orbiting a double star. We find that the periodic forcing of the atmosphere has a noticeable impact on the planet's climate. Signatures of the forcing frequencies related to the planet's as well as to the binary's orbital periods are present in a variety of climate indicators such as temperature and precipitation, making the interpretation of potential observables challenging. However, for Earth-like greenhouse gas concentrations, the variable forcing does not change the range of insolation values allowing for habitable climates substantially. PMID:28382929

  11. Spectral fingerprints of Earth-like planets around FGK stars.

    PubMed

    Rugheimer, Sarah; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Zsom, Andras; Segura, Antígona; Sasselov, Dimitar

    2013-03-01

    We present model atmospheres for an Earth-like planet orbiting the entire grid of main sequence FGK stars with effective temperatures ranging from Teff=4250 K to Teff=7000 K in 250 K intervals. We have modeled the remotely detectable spectra of Earth-like planets for clear and cloudy atmospheres at the 1 AU equivalent distance from the VIS to IR (0.4 to 20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges in accordance with the James Webb Space Telescope and future design concepts to characterize exo-Earths. We have also explored the effect of the stellar UV levels as well as spectral energy distribution on a terrestrial atmosphere, concentrating on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl. The increase in UV dominates changes of O3, OH, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl, whereas the increase in stellar temperature dominates changes in H2O. The overall effect as stellar effective temperatures and corresponding UV increase is a lower surface temperature of the planet due to a bigger part of the stellar flux being reflected at short wavelengths, as well as increased photolysis. Earth-like atmosphere models show more O3 and OH but less stratospheric CH4, N2O, CH3Cl, and tropospheric H2O (but more stratospheric H2O) with increasing effective temperature of main sequence stars. The corresponding detectable spectral features, on the other hand, show different detectability depending on the wavelength observed. We concentrate on directly imaged planets here as a framework to interpret future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone at varying orbital positions.

  12. Spectral Fingerprints of Earth-like Planets Around FGK Stars

    PubMed Central

    Kaltenegger, Lisa; Zsom, Andras; Segura, Antígona; Sasselov, Dimitar

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We present model atmospheres for an Earth-like planet orbiting the entire grid of main sequence FGK stars with effective temperatures ranging from Teff=4250 K to Teff=7000 K in 250 K intervals. We have modeled the remotely detectable spectra of Earth-like planets for clear and cloudy atmospheres at the 1 AU equivalent distance from the VIS to IR (0.4 to 20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges in accordance with the James Webb Space Telescope and future design concepts to characterize exo-Earths. We have also explored the effect of the stellar UV levels as well as spectral energy distribution on a terrestrial atmosphere, concentrating on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl. The increase in UV dominates changes of O3, OH, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl, whereas the increase in stellar temperature dominates changes in H2O. The overall effect as stellar effective temperatures and corresponding UV increase is a lower surface temperature of the planet due to a bigger part of the stellar flux being reflected at short wavelengths, as well as increased photolysis. Earth-like atmosphere models show more O3 and OH but less stratospheric CH4, N2O, CH3Cl, and tropospheric H2O (but more stratospheric H2O) with increasing effective temperature of main sequence stars. The corresponding detectable spectral features, on the other hand, show different detectability depending on the wavelength observed. We concentrate on directly imaged planets here as a framework to interpret future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone at varying orbital positions. Key Words: Habitability—Planetary atmospheres—Extrasolar terrestrial planets—Spectroscopic biosignatures. Astrobiology 13, 251–269. PMID:23537136

  13. Biomarker response to galactic cosmic ray-induced NOx and the methane greenhouse effect in the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet orbiting an M dwarf star.

    PubMed

    Grenfell, John Lee; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Patzer, Beate; Rauer, Heike; Segura, Antigona; Stadelmann, Anja; Stracke, Barbara; Titz, Ruth; Von Paris, Philip

    2007-02-01

    Planets orbiting in the habitable zone of M dwarf stars are subject to high levels of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), which produce nitrogen oxides (NOx) in Earth-like atmospheres. We investigate to what extent these NO(Mx) species may modify biomarker compounds such as ozone (O3) and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as related compounds such as water (H2O) (essential for life) and methane (CH4) (which has both abiotic and biotic sources). Our model results suggest that such signals are robust, changing in the M star world atmospheric column due to GCR NOx effects by up to 20% compared to an M star run without GCR effects, and can therefore survive at least the effects of GCRs. We have not, however, investigated stellar cosmic rays here. CH4 levels are about 10 times higher on M star worlds than on Earth because of a lowering in hydroxyl (OH) in response to changes in the ultraviolet. The higher levels of CH4 are less than reported in previous studies. This difference arose partly because we used different biogenic input. For example, we employed 23% lower CH4 fluxes compared to those studies. Unlike on Earth, relatively modest changes in these fluxes can lead to larger changes in the concentrations of biomarker and related species on the M star world. We calculate a CH4 greenhouse heating effect of up to 4K. O3 photochemistry in terms of the smog mechanism and the catalytic loss cycles on the M star world differs considerably compared with that of Earth.

  14. Uncovering the Chemistry of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Uncovering the Chemistry of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Uncovering the Chemistry of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Li; Sasselov, Dimitar; Jacobsen, Stein

    2015-08-01

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

  17. Cosmic ray impact on extrasolar earth-like planets in close-in habitable zones.

    PubMed

    Griessmeier, J-M; Stadelmann, A; Motschmann, U; Belisheva, N K; Lammer, H; Biernat, H K

    2005-10-01

    Because of their different origins, cosmic rays can be subdivided into galactic cosmic rays and solar/stellar cosmic rays. The flux of cosmic rays to planetary surfaces is mainly determined by two planetary parameters: the atmospheric density and the strength of the internal magnetic moment. If a planet exhibits an extended magnetosphere, its surface will be protected from high-energy cosmic ray particles. We show that close-in extrasolar planets in the habitable zone of M stars are synchronously rotating with their host star because of the tidal interaction. For gravitationally locked planets the rotation period is equal to the orbital period, which is much longer than the rotation period expected for planets not subject to tidal locking. This results in a relatively small magnetic moment. We found that an Earth-like extrasolar planet, tidally locked in an orbit of 0.2 AU around an M star of 0.5 solar masses, has a rotation rate of 2% of that of the Earth. This results in a magnetic moment of less than 15% of the Earth's current magnetic moment. Therefore, close-in extrasolar planets seem not to be protected by extended Earth-like magnetospheres, and cosmic rays can reach almost the whole surface area of the upper atmosphere. Primary cosmic ray particles that interact with the atmosphere generate secondary energetic particles, a so-called cosmic ray shower. Some of the secondary particles can reach the surface of terrestrial planets when the surface pressure of the atmosphere is on the order of 1 bar or less. We propose that, depending on atmospheric pressure, biological systems on the surface of Earth-like extrasolar planets at close-in orbital distances can be strongly influenced by secondary cosmic rays.

  18. Climate stability of habitable Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menou, Kristen

    2015-11-01

    The carbon-silicate cycle regulates the atmospheric CO2 content of terrestrial planets on geological timescales through a balance between the rates of CO2 volcanic outgassing and planetary intake from rock weathering. It is thought to act as an efficient climatic thermostat on Earth and, by extension, on other habitable planets. If, however, the weathering rate increases with the atmospheric CO2 content, as expected on planets lacking land vascular plants, the carbon-silicate cycle feedback can become severely limited. Here we show that Earth-like planets receiving less sunlight than current Earth may no longer possess a stable warm climate but instead repeatedly cycle between unstable glaciated and deglaciated climatic states. This has implications for the search for life on exoplanets in the habitable zone of nearby stars.

  19. Biosignatures from Earth-like planets around M dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Segura, Antígona; Kasting, James F; Meadows, Victoria; Cohen, Martin; Scalo, John; Crisp, David; Butler, Rebecca A H; Tinetti, Giovanna

    2005-12-01

    Coupled one-dimensional photochemical-climate calculations have been performed for hypothetical Earth-like planets around M dwarfs. Visible/near-infrared and thermal-infrared synthetic spectra of these planets were generated to determine which biosignature gases might be observed by a future, space-based telescope. Our star sample included two observed active M dwarfs-AD Leo and GJ 643-and three quiescent model stars. The spectral distribution of these stars in the ultraviolet generates a different photochemistry on these planets. As a result, the biogenic gases CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl have substantially longer lifetimes and higher mixing ratios than on Earth, making them potentially observable by space-based telescopes. On the active M-star planets, an ozone layer similar to Earth's was developed that resulted in a spectroscopic signature comparable to the terrestrial one. The simultaneous detection of O2 (or O3) and a reduced gas in a planet's atmosphere has been suggested as strong evidence for life. Planets circling M stars may be good locations to search for such evidence.

  20. The Kepler Mission: A Photometric Search for Earthlike Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Borucki, William; Koch, David; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    If Earth lies in or near the orbital plane of an extrasolar planet, that planet passes in front of the disk of its star once each orbit as viewed from Earth. Precise photometry can reveal such transits, which can be distinguished from rotationally-modulated starspots and intrinsic stellar variability by their periodicity, square-well shapes and relative spectral neutrality. Transit observations would provide the size and orbital period of the detected planet. Although geometrical considerations limit the fraction of planets detectable by this technique, many stars can be surveyed within the field of view of one telescope, so transit photometry is quite efficient. Scintillation in and variability of Earth's atmosphere limit photometric precision to roughly one-thousandth of a magnitude, allowing detection of transits by Jupiter-sized planets but not by Earth-sized planets from the ground. The COROT spacecraft will be able to detect Uranus-sized planets orbiting near stars. The Kepler Mission, which is being proposed to NASA's Discovery Program this year, will have a photometer with a larger aperture (1 meter) than will COROT, so it will be able to detect transits by planets as small as Earth. Moreover, the Kepler mission will examine the same star field for four years, allowing confirmation of planets with orbital periods of a year. If the Sun's planetary system is typical for single stars, Kepler should detect approximately 480 terrestrial planets. Assuming the statistics from radial velocity surveys are typical, Kepler should also detect transits of 150 inner giant planets and reflected light variations of 1400 giant planets with orbital periods of less than one week.

  1. Birth of an Earth-like Planet (Artist concept)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    This artist's conception shows a binary-star, or two-star, system, called HD 113766, where astronomers suspect a rocky Earth-like planet is forming around one of the stars. At approximately 10 to 16 million years old, astronomers suspect this star is at just the right age for forming rocky planets. The system is located approximately 424 light-years away from Earth.

    The two yellow spots in the image represent the system's two stars. The brown ring of material circling closest to the central star depicts a huge belt of dusty material, more than 100 times as much as in our asteroid belt, or enough to build a Mars-size planet or larger. The rocky material in the belt represents the early stages of planet formation, when dust grains clump together to form rocks, and rocks collide to form even more massive rocky bodies called planetesimals. The belt is located in the middle of the system's terrestrial habitable zone, or the region around a star where liquid water could exist on any rocky planets that might form. Earth is located in the middle of our sun's terrestrial habitable zone.

    Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers learned that the belt material in HD 113866 is more processed than the snowball-like stuff that makes up infant solar systems and comets, which contain pristine ingredients from the early solar system. However, it is not as processed as the stuff found in mature planets and asteroids. This means that the dust belt is made out of just the right mix of materials to be forming an Earth-like planet. It is composed mainly of rocky silicates and metal sulfides (like fool's gold), similar to the material found in lava flows.

    The white outer ring shows a concentration of icy dust also detected in the system. This material is at the equivalent position of the asteroid belt in our solar system, but only contains about one-sixth as much material as the inner ring. Astronomers say it is not clear from the Spitzer observations if

  2. A Direct Path to Finding Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heap, Sara R.; Linder, Don J.

    2009-01-01

    As envisaged by the 2000 astrophysics decadal survey panel: The main goal of Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) is nothing less than to search for evidence of life on terrestrial planets around nearby stars . Here, we consider how an optical telescope paired with a free-flying occulter blocking light from the star can reach this goal directly, without knowledge of results from prior astrometric, doppler, or transit exoplanet observations. Using design reference missions and other simulations, we explore the potential of TPF-O to find planets in the habitable zone around their central stars, to spectrally characterize the atmospheres of detected planets, and to obtain rudimentary information about their orbits. We emphasize the importance of ozone absorption in the UV spectrum of a planet as a marker of photosynthesis by plants, algae, and cyanobacteria.

  3. Modeling the Surface Temperature of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vladilo, Giovanni; Silva, Laura; Murante, Giuseppe; Filippi, Luca; Provenzale, Antonello

    2015-05-01

    We introduce a novel Earth-like planet surface temperature model (ESTM) for habitability studies based on the spatial-temporal distribution of planetary surface temperatures. The ESTM adopts a surface energy balance model (EBM) complemented by: radiative-convective atmospheric column calculations, a set of physically based parameterizations of meridional transport, and descriptions of surface and cloud properties more refined than in standard EBMs. The parameterization is valid for rotating terrestrial planets with shallow atmospheres and moderate values of axis obliquity (ɛ ≲ 45{}^\\circ ). Comparison with a 3D model of atmospheric dynamics from the literature shows that the equator-to-pole temperature differences predicted by the two models agree within ≈ 5 K when the rotation rate, insolation, surface pressure and planet radius are varied in the intervals 0.5≲ {Ω }/{{{Ω }}\\oplus }≲ 2, 0.75≲ S/{{S}\\circ }≲ 1.25, 0.3≲ p/(1 bar)≲ 10, and 0.5≲ R/{{R}\\oplus }≲ 2, respectively. The ESTM has an extremely low computational cost and can be used when the planetary parameters are scarcely known (as for most exoplanets) and/or whenever many runs for different parameter configurations are needed. Model simulations of a test-case exoplanet (Kepler-62e) indicate that an uncertainty in surface pressure within the range expected for terrestrial planets may impact the mean temperature by ˜ 60 K. Within the limits of validity of the ESTM, the impact of surface pressure is larger than that predicted by uncertainties in rotation rate, axis obliquity, and ocean fractions. We discuss the possibility of performing a statistical ranking of planetary habitability taking advantage of the flexibility of the ESTM.

  4. A laboratory demonstration of the capability to image an Earth-like extrasolar planet.

    PubMed

    Trauger, John T; Traub, Wesley A

    2007-04-12

    The detection and characterization of an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star requires a telescope with an extraordinarily large contrast at small angular separations. At visible wavelengths, an Earth-like planet would be 1 x 10(-10) times fainter than the star at angular separations of typically 0.1 arcsecond or less. There are several proposed space telescope systems that could, in principle, achieve this. Here we report a laboratory experiment that reaches these limits. We have suppressed the diffracted and scattered light near a star-like source to a level of 6 x 10(-10) times the peak intensity in individual coronagraph images. In a series of such images, together with simple image processing, we have effectively reduced this to a residual noise level of about 0.1 x 10(-10). This demonstrates that a coronagraphic telescope in space could detect and spectroscopically characterize nearby exoplanetary systems, with the sensitivity to image an 'Earth-twin' orbiting a nearby star.

  5. CO2 condensation is a serious limit to the deglaciation of Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turbet, Martin; Forget, Francois; Leconte, Jeremy; Charnay, Benjamin; Tobie, Gabriel

    2017-10-01

    It is widely believed that the carbonate-silicate cycle is the main agent, through volcanism, to trigger deglaciations by CO2 greenhouse warming on Earth and on Earth-like planets when they get in a frozen state. Here we use a 3D Global Climate Model to simulate the ability of planets initially completely frozen to escape from glaciation episodes by accumulating enough gaseous CO2. The model includes CO2 condensation and sublimation processes and the water cycle. We find that planets with Earth-like characteristics (size, mass, obliquity, rotation rate, etc.) orbiting a Sun-like star may never be able to escape from a glaciation era, if their orbital distance is greater than ∼1.27 Astronomical Units (Flux < 847 Wm-2 or 62% of the Solar constant), because CO2 would condense at the poles - here the cold traps - forming permanent CO2 ice caps. This limits the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and thus its greenhouse effect. Furthermore, our results indicate that for (1) high rotation rates (Prot < 24 h), (2) low obliquity (obliquity <23.5°), (3) low background gas partial pressures (<1 bar), and (4) high water ice albedo (H2O albedo > 0.6), this critical limit could occur at a significantly lower equivalent distance (or higher insolation). For each possible configuration, we show that the amount of CO2 that can be trapped in the polar caps depends on the efficiency of CO2 ice to flow laterally as well as its gravitational stability relative to subsurface water ice. We find that a frozen Earth-like planet located at 1.30 AU of a Sun-like star could store as much as 1.5, 4.5 and 15 bars of dry ice at the poles, for internal heat fluxes of 100, 30 and 10 mW m-2, respectively. But these amounts are in fact lower limits. For planets with a significant water ice cover, we show that CO2 ice deposits should be gravitationally unstable. They get buried beneath the water ice cover in geologically short timescales of ∼104 yrs, mainly controlled by the viscosity of water ice

  6. Ozone concentrations and ultraviolet fluxes on Earth-like planets around other stars.

    PubMed

    Segura, Antígona; Krelove, Kara; Kasting, James F; Sommerlatt, Darrell; Meadows, Victoria; Crisp, David; Cohen, Martin; Mlawer, Eli

    2003-01-01

    Coupled radiative-convective/photochemical modeling was performed for Earth-like planets orbiting different types of stars (the Sun as a G2V, an F2V, and a K2V star). O(2) concentrations between 1 and 10(-5) times the present atmospheric level (PAL) were simulated. The results were used to calculate visible/near-IR and thermal-IR spectra, along with surface UV fluxes and relative dose rates for erythema and DNA damage. For the spectral resolution and sensitivity currently planned for the first generation of terrestrial planet detection and characterization missions, we find that O(2) should be observable remotely in the visible for atmospheres containing at least 10(-2) PAL of O(2). O(3) should be visible in the thermal-IR for atmospheres containing at least 10(-3) PAL of O(2). CH(4) is not expected to be observable in 1 PAL O(2) atmospheres like that of modern Earth, but it might be observable at thermal-IR wavelengths in "mid-Proterozoic-type" atmospheres containing approximately 10(-1) PAL of O(2). Thus, the simultaneous detection of both O(3) and CH(4) - considered to be a reliable indication of life - is within the realm of possibility. High-O(2) planets orbiting K2V and F2V stars are both better protected from surface UV radiation than is modern Earth. For the F2V case the high intrinsic UV luminosity of the star is more than offset by the much thicker ozone layer. At O(2) levels below approximately 10(-2) PAL, planets around all three types of stars are subject to high surface UV fluxes, with the F2V planet exhibiting the most biologically dangerous radiation environment. Thus, while advanced life is theoretically possible on high-O(2) planets around F stars, it is not obvious that it would evolve as it did on Earth.

  7. Searching for and characterising extrasolar Earth-like planets and moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Jean

    2002-10-01

    The physical bases of the detection and characterisation of extrasolar Earth-like planets and moons in the reflected light and thermal emission regimes are reviewed. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, including artefacts, in the determination of planet physical parameters (mass, size, albedo, surface and atmospheric conditions etc.). After a short panorama of detection methods and the first findings, new perspectives for these different aspects are also presented. Finally brief account of the ground based programmes and space-based projects and their potentialities for Earth-like planets is made and discussed.

  8. Factors Affecting the Habitability of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meadows, Victoria; NAI-Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team

    2014-03-01

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

  9. Selections from 2017: Atmosphere Around an Earth-Like Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-12-01

    Editors note:In these last two weeks of 2017, well be looking at a few selections that we havent yet discussed on AAS Nova from among the most-downloaded paperspublished in AAS journals this year. The usual posting schedule will resume in January.Detection of the Atmosphere of the 1.6 M Exoplanet GJ 1132 bPublished March2017Main takeaway:An atmosphere was detected around the roughly Earth-size exoplanet GJ 1132 b using a telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. A team of scientists led byJohn Southworth (Keele University) found features indicating the presence of an atmosphere in theobservationsof this 1.6-Earth-mass planet as it transits an M-dwarf host star. This is the lowest-mass planet with a detected atmosphere thus far.Why its interesting:M dwarfs are among the most common stars in our galaxy, and weve found manyEarth-sizeexoplanets in or near the habitable zones around M-dwarf hosts. But M dwarfs are also more magnetically active than stars like our Sun, suggesting that the planets in M-dwarfhabitable zones may not be able to support life due to stellar activity eroding their atmospheres. The detection of an atmosphere around GJ 1132 b suggests that some planets orbiting M dwarfsare able to retain their atmospheres which meansthat these planetsmay be an interesting place to search for life after all.How the atmosphere was detected:The measured planetary radius for GJ 1132 b as a function of the wavelength used to observe it. [Southworth et al. 2017]When measuring the radius of GJ 1132 b based on its transits, the authors noticed that the planet appeared to be largerwhen observed in some wavelengths than in others. This can beexplained if the planet has asurface radius of 1.4 Earth radii, overlaid by an atmosphere that extends out another few tenths of an Earth radius. The atmosphere, which may consist of water vapor or methane, is transparent to some wavelengths and absorbs others which is why the apparent size of the planet changes

  10. The Effect of Varying Atmospheric Pressure upon Habitability and Biosignatures of Earth-like Planets.

    PubMed

    Keles, Engin; Grenfell, John Lee; Godolt, Mareike; Stracke, Barbara; Rauer, Heike

    2018-02-01

    Understanding the possible climatic conditions on rocky extrasolar planets, and thereby their potential habitability, is one of the major subjects of exoplanet research. Determining how the climate, as well as potential atmospheric biosignatures, changes under different conditions is a key aspect when studying Earth-like exoplanets. One important property is the atmospheric mass, hence pressure and its influence on the climatic conditions. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to understand the influence of atmospheric mass on climate, hence habitability, and the spectral appearance of planets with Earth-like, that is, N 2 -O 2 dominated, atmospheres orbiting the Sun at 1 AU. This work utilizes a 1D coupled, cloud-free, climate-photochemical atmospheric column model; varies atmospheric surface pressure from 0.5 to 30 bar; and investigates temperature and key species profiles, as well as emission and brightness temperature spectra in a range between 2 and 20 μm. Increasing the surface pressure up to 4 bar leads to an increase in the surface temperature due to increased greenhouse warming. Above this point, Rayleigh scattering dominates, and the surface temperature decreases, reaching surface temperatures below 273 K (approximately at ∼34 bar surface pressure). For ozone, nitrous oxide, water, methane, and carbon dioxide, the spectral response either increases with surface temperature or pressure depending on the species. Masking effects occur, for example, for the bands of the biosignatures ozone and nitrous oxide by carbon dioxide, which could be visible in low carbon dioxide atmospheres. Key Words: Planetary habitability and biosignatures-Atmospheres-Radiative transfer. Astrobiology 18, 116-132.

  11. Wobbly Planet Orbital Schematic Illustration

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-02-04

    This illustration shows the unusual orbit of planet Kepler-413b around a close pair of orange and red dwarf stars. The planet 66-day orbit is tilted 2.5 degrees with respect to the plane of the binary stars orbit.

  12. Astronomy: A small star with an Earth-like planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deming, Drake

    2015-11-01

    A rocky planet close in size to Earth has been discovered in the cosmic vicinity of our Sun. The small size and proximity of the associated star bode well for studies of the planet's atmosphere. See Letter p.204

  13. Direct imaging of multiple planets orbiting the star HR 8799.

    PubMed

    Marois, Christian; Macintosh, Bruce; Barman, Travis; Zuckerman, B; Song, Inseok; Patience, Jennifer; Lafrenière, David; Doyon, René

    2008-11-28

    Direct imaging of exoplanetary systems is a powerful technique that can reveal Jupiter-like planets in wide orbits, can enable detailed characterization of planetary atmospheres, and is a key step toward imaging Earth-like planets. Imaging detections are challenging because of the combined effect of small angular separation and large luminosity contrast between a planet and its host star. High-contrast observations with the Keck and Gemini telescopes have revealed three planets orbiting the star HR 8799, with projected separations of 24, 38, and 68 astronomical units. Multi-epoch data show counter clockwise orbital motion for all three imaged planets. The low luminosity of the companions and the estimated age of the system imply planetary masses between 5 and 13 times that of Jupiter. This system resembles a scaled-up version of the outer portion of our solar system.

  14. Earthlike planets: Surfaces of Mercury, Venus, earth, moon, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murray, B.; Malin, M. C.; Greeley, R.

    1981-01-01

    The surfaces of the earth and the other terrestrial planets of the inner solar system are reviewed in light of the results of recent planetary explorations. Past and current views of the origin of the earth, moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are discussed, and the surface features characteristic of the moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus are outlined. Mechanisms for the modification of planetary surfaces by external factors and from within the planet are examined, including surface cycles, meteoritic impact, gravity, wind, plate tectonics, volcanism and crustal deformation. The origin and evolution of the moon are discussed on the basis of the Apollo results, and current knowledge of Mercury and Mars is examined in detail. Finally, the middle periods in the history of the terrestrial planets are compared, and future prospects for the exploration of the inner planets as well as other rocky bodies in the solar system are discussed.

  15. Understanding divergent evolution of Earth-like planets: The case for a Venus exploration program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crisp, D.

    The planet Venus is our most Earth-like neighbor in size, mass, and solar distance. In spite of these similarities, the Venus surface and atmosphere are characterized by some of the most enigmatic features seen anywhere in the solar system. Here, we propose a Venus exploration program designed to explain the origin and divergent evolution of the interiors, surfaces, and atmospheres of the terrestrial planets in our solar system, and provide greater insight into the conditions that may affect the habitability of terrestrial planets in other solar systems. This program includes: - The Noble Gas and Trace Gas Explorer is the highest priority mission because itsdata are vital to our understanding of the origin of Venus. This Discovery classmission requires a single entry probe that will carry the state-of-the-art instrumentsneeded to complete the noble gas and trace gas inventories between the cloud topsand the surface. - The Global Geological Process Mapping Orbiter is a Discovery class mission. Itwill carry a C- and/or X-band radar designed for stereo or interferometric imaging,to provide global maps of the surface at horizontal resolutions of 25 to 50 metersto identify and characterize the geologic processes that have shaped the Venussurface. - The Atmospheric Composition Orbiter is a Discovery class mission that will carryremote sensing instruments for characterizing clouds and trace gas variationsthroughout the atmosphere. This mission will collect the data needed tocharacterize the radiative, chemical, and dynamical processes that are maintainingthe thermal structure and composition of the present atmosphere. - The Atmospheric Dynamics Explorer is a New Frontiers class mission that willdeploy 12 to 24 long-lived balloons over a range of latitudes and altitudes toidentify the mechanisms responsible for maintaining the atmosphericsuperrotation. - The Surface and Interior Explorer is a New Frontiers class mission that will deploythree or more long-lived landers on

  16. The atmospheres of earthlike planets after giant impact events

    SciTech Connect

    Lupu, R. E.; Freedman, Richard; Zahnle, Kevin

    2014-03-20

    It is now understood that the accretion of terrestrial planets naturally involves giant collisions, the moon-forming impact being a well-known example. In the aftermath of such collisions, the surface of the surviving planet is very hot and potentially detectable. Here we explore the atmospheric chemistry, photochemistry, and spectral signatures of post-giant-impact terrestrial planets enveloped by thick atmospheres consisting predominantly of CO{sub 2} and H{sub 2}O. The atmospheric chemistry and structure are computed self-consistently for atmospheres in equilibrium with hot surfaces with composition reflecting either the bulk silicate Earth (which includes the crust, mantle, atmosphere, and oceans) or Earth's continental crust.more » We account for all major molecular and atomic opacity sources including collision-induced absorption. We find that these atmospheres are dominated by H{sub 2}O and CO{sub 2}, while the formation of CH{sub 4} and NH{sub 3} is quenched because of short dynamical timescales. Other important constituents are HF, HCl, NaCl, and SO{sub 2}. These are apparent in the emerging spectra and can be indicative that an impact has occurred. The use of comprehensive opacities results in spectra that are a factor of two lower brightness temperature in the spectral windows than predicted by previous models. The estimated luminosities show that the hottest post-giant-impact planets will be detectable with near-infrared coronagraphs on the planned 30 m class telescopes. The 1-4 μm will be most favorable for such detections, offering bright features and better contrast between the planet and a potential debris disk. We derive cooling timescales on the order of 10{sup 5-6} yr on the basis of the modeled effective temperatures. This leads to the possibility of discovering tens of such planets in future surveys.« less

  17. Habitable Planetary Systems (un)like our own: Which of the Known Extra-Solar Systems Could Harbor Earth-like Planets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raymond, Sean; Mandell, A.; Sigurdsson, S.

    2006-12-01

    Gas giant planets are far easier than terrestrial planets to detect around other stars, and are thought to form much more quickly than terrestrial planets. Thus, in systems with giant planets, the final stages of terrestrial planet formation are strongly affected by the giant planets' dynamical presence. Observations of giant planet orbits may therefore constrain the systems that can harbor potentially habitable, Earth-like planets. We combine two recent studies (1,2) and establish rough inner and outer limits for the giant planet orbits that allow terrestrial planets of at least 0.3 Earth masses to form in the habitable zone (HZ). For a star like the Sun, potentially habitable planets can form in systems with relatively low-eccentricity giant planets inside 0.5 Astronomical Units (AU) or outside 2.5 AU. More than one third of the currently known giant planet systems could have formed and now harbor a habitable planet. We thank NASA Astrobiology Institute for funding, through the Penn State, NASA Goddard, Virtual Planetary Laboratory, and University of Colorado lead teams. (1. Raymond, S.N., 2006, ApJ, 643, L131.; 2. Raymond, S.N., Mandell, A.M., Sigurdsson, S. 2006, Science, 313, 1413).

  18. Gas Planet Orbits

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2008-08-19

    Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are known as the jovian Jupiter-like planets because they are all gigantic compared with Earth, and they have a gaseous nature. This diagram shows the approximate distance of the jovian planets from the Sun.

  19. Beyond Kepler: Direct Imaging of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belikov, Ruslan

    2012-01-01

    Is there another Earth out there? Is there life on it? People have been asking these questions for over two thousand years, and we finally stand on the verge of answering them. The Kepler space telescope is NASA's first mission designed to study Earthlike exoplanets (exo-Earths), and it will soon tell us how often exo-Earths occur in the habitable zones of their stars. The next natural step after Kepler is spectroscopic characterization of exo-Earths, which would tell us whether they possess an atmosphere, oxygen, liquid water, as well as other biomarkers. In order to do this, directly imaging an exo-Earth may be necessary (at least for Sun-like stars). Directly imaging an exo-Earth is challenging and likely requires a flagship-size optical space telescope with an unprecedented imaging system capable of achieving contrasts of 1(exp 10) very close to the diffraction limit. Several coronagraphs and external occulters have been proposed to meet this challenge and are in development. After first overviewing the history and current state of the field, my talk will focus on the work proceeding at the Ames Coronagraph Experiment (ACE) at the NASA Ames Research Center, where we are developing the Phase Induced Amplitude Apodization (PIAA) coronagraph in a collaboration with JPL. PIAA is a powerful technique with demonstrated aggressive performance that defines the state of the art at small inner working angles. At ACE, we have achieved contrasts of 2(exp -8) with an inner working angle of 2 lambda/D and 1(exp -6) at 1.4 lambda/D. On the path to exo-Earth imaging, we are also pursuing a smaller telescope concept called EXCEDE (EXoplanetary Circumstellar Environments and Disk Explorer), which was recently selected for technology development (Category III) by NASA's Explorer program. EXCEDE will do fundamental science on debris disks as well as serve as a technological and scientific pathfinder for an exo-Earth imaging mission.

  20. Two drastically different climate states on an Earth-like land planet with overland water recycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalidindi, S.; Reick, C. H.; Raddatz, T.; Claussen, M.

    2017-12-01

    Prior studies have demonstrated that habitable areas on low-obliquity land planets are confined to the edges of frozen ice caps. Whether such dry planets can maintain long-lived liquid water is unclear. Leconte et al. 2013 argue that on such planets mechanisms like gravity driven ice flows and geothermal flux can maintain liquid water at the edges of thick ice caps and this water may flow back to the lower latitudes through rivers. However, there exists no modelling study which investigates the climate of an Earth-like land planet with an overland recycling mechanism bringing fresh water back from higher to lower latitudes. In our study, by using a comprehensive climate model ICON, we find that an Earth-like land planet with an overland recycling mechanism can exist in two drastically different climate states for the same set of boundary conditions and parameter values: A Cold and Wet (CW) state with dominant low-latitude precipitation and, a Hot and Dry (HD) state with only high-latitude precipitation. For perpetual equinox conditions, both climate states are stable below a certain threshold value of background soil albedo (α) while above that only the CW state is stable. Starting from the HD state and increasing α above the threshold causes an abrupt shift from the HD state to the CW state resulting in a sudden cooling of about 35°C globally which is of the order of the temperature difference between the present-day and the Snowball Earth state. In contrast to the Snowball Earth instability, we find that the sudden cooling in our study is driven by the cloud albedo feedback rather than the snow-albedo feedback. Also, when α in the CW state is reduced back to zero the land planet does not display a closed hysteresis. Our study also has implications for the habitability of Earth-like land planets. At the inner edge of the habitable zone, the higher cloud cover in the CW state cools the planet and may prevent the onset of a runaway greenhouse state. At the outer

  1. A space telescope for infrared spectroscopy of earth-like planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Angel, J. R. P.; Cheng, A. Y. S.; Woolf, N. J.

    1986-01-01

    It is shown here that a space telescope of 16 m diameter, apodized in a new way, could image and measure oxygen n in the thermal infrared spectral of earthlike planets up to 4 pc away. The problems of visible light imaging for this case are discussed, and it is argued that imaging the thermal emission, with greatly reduced requirements for gain and hence surface accuracy, is preferable. The requirements for such imaging are discussed, including the apodization solution.

  2. THREE PLANETS ORBITING WOLF 1061

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, D. J.; Wittenmyer, R. A.; Tinney, C. G.

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

  3. Plate Tectonics on Earth-like Planets: Implications for Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noack, L.; Breuer, D.

    2011-12-01

    Plate tectonics has been suggested to be essential for life (see e.g. [1]) due to the replenishment of nutrients and its role in the stabilization of the atmosphere temperature through the carbon-silicate cycle. Whether plate tectonics can prevail on a planet should depend on several factors, e.g. planetary mass, age of the planet, water content (at the surface and in the interior), surface temperature, mantle rheology, density variations in the mantle due to partial melting, and life itself by promoting erosion processes and perhaps even the production of continental rock [2]. In the present study, we have investigated how planetary mass, internal heating, surface temperature and water content in the mantle would factor for the probability of plate tectonics to occur on a planet. We allow the viscosity to be a function of pressure [3], an effect mostly neglected in previous discussions of plate tectonics on exoplanets [4, 5]. With the pressure-dependence of viscosity allowed for, the lower mantle may become too viscous in massive planets for convection to occur. When varying the planetary mass between 0.1 and 10 Earth masses, we find a maximum for the likelihood of plate tectonics to occur for planetary masses around a few Earth masses. For these masses the convective stresses acting at the base of the lithosphere are strongest and may become larger than the lithosphere yield strength. The optimum planetary mass varies slightly depending on the parameter values used (e.g. wet or dry rheology; initial mantle temperature). However, the peak in likelihood of plate tectonics remains roughly in the range of one to five Earth masses for reasonable parameter choices. Internal heating has a similar effect on the occurrence of plate tectonics as the planetary mass, i.e. there is a peak in the probability of plate tectonics depending on the internal heating rate. This result suggests that a planet may evolve as a consequence of radioactive decay into and out of the plate

  4. Two drastically different climate states on an Earth-like terra-planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalidindi, Sirisha; Reick, Christian H.; Raddatz, Thomas; Claussen, Martin

    2018-06-01

    We study an Earth-like terra-planet (water-limited terrestrial planet) with an overland recycling mechanism bringing fresh water back from the high latitudes to the low latitudes. By performing model simulations for such a planet we find two drastically different climate states for the same set of boundary conditions and parameter values: a cold and wet (CW) state with dominant low-latitude precipitation and a hot and dry (HD) state with only high-latitude precipitation. We notice that for perpetual equinox conditions, both climate states are stable below a certain threshold value of background soil albedo while above the threshold only the CW state is stable. Starting from the HD state and increasing background soil albedo above the threshold causes an abrupt shift from the HD state to the CW state resulting in a sudden cooling of about 35 °C globally, which is of the order of the temperature difference between present day and the Snowball Earth state. When albedo starting from the CW state is reduced down to zero the terra-planet does not shift back to the HD state (no closed hysteresis). This is due to the high cloud cover in the CW state hiding the surface from solar irradiation so that surface albedo has only a minor effect on the top of the atmosphere radiation balance. Additional simulations with present-day Earth's obliquity all lead to the CW state, suggesting a similar abrupt transition from the HD state to the CW state when increasing obliquity from zero. Our study also has implications for the habitability of Earth-like terra-planets. At the inner edge of the habitable zone, the higher cloud cover in the CW state cools the planet and may prevent the onset of a runaway greenhouse state. At the outer edge, the resupply of water at low latitudes stabilizes the greenhouse effect and keeps the planet in the HD state and may prevent water from getting trapped at high latitudes in frozen form. Overall, the existence of bistability in the presence of an

  5. Extrusive and Intrusive Magmatism Greatly Influence the Tectonic Mode of Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lourenco, D.; Tackley, P. J.; Rozel, A.; Ballmer, M.

    2017-09-01

    Plate tectonics on Earth-like planets is typically modelling using a strongly temperature-dependent visco-plastic rheology. Previous analyses have generally focussed on purely thermal convection. However, we have shown that the influence of compositional heterogeneity in the form of continental or oceanic crust can greatly influence plate tectonics by making it easier (i.e. it occurs at a lower yield stress or friction coefficient). Here we present detailed results on this topic, in particular focussing on the influence of intrusive vs. extrusive magmatism on the tectonic mode.

  6. Orbital stability of compact three-planets systems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gavino, Sacha; Lissauer, Jack

    2018-04-01

    Recent discoveries unveiled a significant number of compact multi-planetary systems, where the adjacent planets orbits are much closer to those found in the Solar System. Studying the orbital stability of such compact systems provides information on how they form and how long they survive. We performed a general study of three Earth-like planets orbiting a Sun-mass star in circular and coplanar prograde orbits. The simulations were performed over a wide range of mutual Hill radii and were conducted for virtual times reaching at most 10 billion years. Both equally-spaced and unequally spaced planet systems are investigated. We recover the results of previous studies done for systems of planets spaced uniformly in mutual Hill radius and we investigate mean motion resonances and test chaos. We also study systems with different initial spacing between the adjacent inner pair of planets and the outer pair of planets and we displayed their lifetime on a grid at different resolution. Over 45000 simulations have been done. We then characterize isochrones for lifetime of systems of equivalent spacing. We find that the stability time increases significantly for values of mutual Hill radii beyond 8. We also study the affects of mean motion resonances, the degree of symmetry in the grid and test chaos.

  7. The Carbonate-Silicate Cycle on Earth-like Planets Near The End Of Their Habitable Lifetimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rushby, A. J.; Mills, B.; Johnson, M.; Claire, M.

    2016-12-01

    The terrestrial cycle of silicate weathering and metamorphic outgassing buffers atmospheric CO2 and global climate over geological time on Earth. To first order, the operation of this cycle is assumed to occur on Earth-like planets in the orbit of other main-sequence stars in the galaxy that exhibit similar continent/ocean configurations. This has important implications for studies of planetary habitability, atmospheric and climatic evolution, and our understanding of the potential distribution of life in the Universe. We present results from a simple biogeochemical carbon cycle model developed to investigate the operation of the carbonate-silicate cycle under conditions of differing planet mass and position within the radiative habitable zone. An active carbonate-silicate cycle does extend the length of a planet's habitable period through the regulation of the CO2 greenhouse. However, the breakdown of the negative feedback between temperature, pCO2, and weathering rates towards the end of a planet's habitable lifespan results in a transitory regime of `carbon starvation' that would inhibit the ability of oxygenic photoautotrophs to metabolize, and result in the collapse of any putative biosphere supported by these organisms, suggesting an earlier limit for the initiation of inhabitable conditions than when considering temperature alone. This conclusion stresses the importance of considering the full suite of planetary properties when determining potential habitability. A small sample of exoplanets was tested using this model, and the length of their habitable periods were found to be significantly longer than that of the Earth, primarily as a function of the differential rates of stellar evolution expected from their host stars. Furthermore, we carried out statistical analysis of a series of model input parameters, determining that both the mass of the planet and the sensitivity of seafloor weathering processes to dissolved CO2 exhibit significant controls on the

  8. Assessing the Chemistry of Tidally Locked Earth-like Planets around M-type Stars Using a 3D Coupled Chemistry-Climate Model (CESM/WACCM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzano, Alexander

    2016-10-01

    Given recent discoveries there is a very real potential for tidally-locked Earth-like planets to exist orbiting M stars. To determine whether these planets may be habitable it is necessary to understand the nature of their atmospheres. In our investigation we simulate the evolution of present-day Earth while placed in tidally-locked orbit (meaning the same side of the planet always faces the star) around an M dwarf star. We are particularly interested in the evolution of the planet's ozone layer and whether it will shield the planet, and therefore life, from harmful radiation.To accomplish the above objectives we use a state-of-the-art 3-D terrestrial model, the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM), which fully couples chemistry and climate, and therefore allows self-consistent simulations of atmospheric constituents and their effects on a planet's climate, surface radiation and thus habitability. Preliminary results show that this model is stable and that a tidally-locked Earth is protected from harmful UV radiation produced by G stars. The next step shall be to adapt this model for an M star by including its UV and visible spectrum.This investigation will both provide an insight into the potential for habitable exoplanets and further define the nature of the habitable zones for M class stars. We will also be able to narrow the definition of the habitable zones around distant stars, which will help us identify these planets in the future. Furthermore, this project will allow for a more thorough analysis of data from past and future exoplanet observing missions by defining the atmospheric composition of Earth-like planets around a variety of types of stars.

  9. Orbits and Interiors of Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batygin, Konstantin

    2012-05-01

    The focus of this thesis is a collection of problems of timely interest in orbital dynamics and interior structure of planetary bodies. The first three chapters are dedicated to understanding the interior structure of close-in, gaseous extrasolar planets (hot Jupiters). In order to resolve a long-standing problem of anomalously large hot Jupiter radii, we proposed a novel magnetohydrodynamic mechanism responsible for inflation. The mechanism relies on the electro-magnetic interactions between fast atmospheric flows and the planetary magnetic field in a thermally ionized atmosphere, to induce electrical currents that flow throughout the planet. The resulting Ohmic dissipation acts to maintain the interior entropies, and by extension the radii of hot Jupiters at an enhanced level. Using self-consistent calculations of thermal evolution of hot Jupiters under Ohmic dissipation, we demonstrated a clear tendency towards inflated radii for effective temperatures that give rise to significant ionization of K and Na in the atmosphere, a trend fully consistent with the observational data. Furthermore, we found that in absence of massive cores, low-mass hot Jupiters can over-flow their Roche-lobes and evaporate on Gyr time-scales, possibly leaving behind small rocky cores. Chapters four through six focus on the improvement and implications of a model for orbital evolution of the solar system, driven by dynamical instability (termed the "Nice" model). Hydrodynamical studies of the orbital evolution of planets embedded in protoplanetary disks suggest that giant planets have a tendency to assemble into multi-resonant configurations. Following this argument, we used analytical methods as well as self-consistent numerical N-body simulations to identify fully-resonant primordial states of the outer solar system, whose dynamical evolutions give rise to orbital architectures that resemble the current solar system. We found a total of only eight such initial conditions, providing

  10. Understanding Divergent Evolution Among Earth-like Planets, the Case for Venus Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crisp, D.

    2001-11-01

    Venus was once considered to be Earth's twin because of its similar size, mass, and solar distance. Prevailing theories early in the 20th century alternately characterized it as a hot, lifeless desert or a cool, habitable swamp. Venus was therefore the target of intense scrutiny during the first three decades of the space age. Those studies found that although Venus and Earth apparently formed in similar parts of the solar nebula, sharing common inventories of refractory and volatile constituents, these two planets followed dramatically different evolutionary paths. While the Earth evolved into the only known oasis for life, Venus developed an almost unimaginably inhospitable environment for such an Earth-like planet. Some features of Venus can be understood as products of its location in the solar system, but other properties and processes governing the evolution and present state of its interior, surface, and climate remain mysterious or even contradictory. A more comprehensive understanding of these factors is clearly essential as NASA embarks on efforts to detect and then characterize Earth-like planets in other solar systems. As part of the National Research Council's effort to identify themes and priorities for solar system exploration over the next decade, an open community panel was formed to provide input on future Venus exploration. A comprehensive investigation of the processes driving the divergent evolution of Venus is emerging as the primary focus. In other words, why is Venus a failed Earth? From this theme, we will define specific measurement objectives, instrument requirements, and mission requirements. Priorities will then be based on a number of factors including the needs for simultaneous or correlative measurements, technology readiness, and available opportunities.

  11. Atmospheric circulations of terrestrial planets orbiting low-mass stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edson, Adam; Lee, Sukyoung; Bannon, Peter; Kasting, James F.; Pollard, David

    2011-03-01

    Circulations and habitable zones of planets orbiting low-mass stars are investigated. Many of these planets are expected to rotate synchronously relative to their parent stars, thereby raising questions about their surface temperature distributions and habitability. We use a global circulation model to study idealized, synchronously rotating (tidally locked) planets of various rotation periods, with surfaces of all land or all water, but with an Earth-like atmosphere and solar insolation. The dry planets exhibit wide variations in surface temperature: >80 °C on the dayside to <-110 °C on the nightside for the 240-h rotator, for example. The water-covered aquaplanets are warmer and exhibit narrower ranges of surface temperatures, e.g., ∼40 °C to >-60 °C for the 240-h orbiter. They also have a larger habitable area, defined here as the region where average surface temperatures are between 0 °C and 50 °C. This concept has little relevance for either dry or aquaplanets, but might become relevant on a planet with both land area and oceans. The circulations on these tidally locked planets exhibit systematic changes as the rotation period is varied. However, they also reveal abrupt transitions between two different circulation regimes and multiple equilibria. For the dry planet, the transition occurs between a 4-day and a 5-day period, while for the aquaplanet, it occurs between a 3-day and a 4-day period. For both dry and aqua planets, this transition occurs when the Rossby deformation radius exceeds half the planetary radius. Further investigation on the dry planet reveals that multiple equilibria exist between 100- and 221-h periods. These multiple equilibria may be relevant for real planets within the habitable zones of late K and M stars, because these planets are expected to have rotation periods between 8 and 100 Earth days.

  12. Spectra of Earth-like Planets through Geological Evolution around FGKM Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rugheimer, S.; Kaltenegger, L.

    2018-02-01

    Future observations of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres will occur for planets at different stages of geological evolution. We expect to observe a wide variety of atmospheres and planets with alternative evolutionary paths, with some planets resembling Earth at different epochs. For an Earth-like atmospheric time trajectory, we simulate planets from the prebiotic to the current atmosphere based on geological data. We use a stellar grid F0V to M8V ({T}{eff}=7000–2400 K) to model four geological epochs of Earth's history corresponding to a prebiotic world (3.9 Ga), the rise of oxygen at 2.0 Ga and at 0.8 Ga, and the modern Earth. We show the VIS–IR spectral features, with a focus on biosignatures through geological time for this grid of Sun-like host stars and the effect of clouds on their spectra. We find that the observability of biosignature gases reduces with increasing cloud cover and increases with planetary age. The observability of the visible O2 feature for lower concentrations will partly depend on clouds, which, while slightly reducing the feature, increase the overall reflectivity, and thus the detectable flux of a planet. The depth of the IR ozone feature contributes substantially to the opacity at lower oxygen concentrations, especially for the high near-UV stellar environments around F stars. Our results are a grid of model spectra for atmospheres representative of Earth's geological history to inform future observations and instrument design and are available online at http://carlsaganinstitute.org/data/.

  13. The Stability of Hydrogen-Rich Atmospheres of Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    Understanding hydrogen escape is essential to understanding the limits to habitability, both for liquid water where the Sun is bright, but also to assess the true potential of H2 as a greenhouse gas where the Sun is faint. Hydrogen-rich primary atmospheres of Earth-like planets can result either from gravitational capture of solar nebular gases (with helium), or from impact shock processing of a wide variety of volatile-rich planetesimals (typically accompanied by H2O, CO2, and under the right circumstances, CH4). Most studies of hydrogen escape from planets focus on determining how fast the hydrogen escapes. In general this requires solving hydro- dynamic equations that take into account the acceleration of hydrogen through a critical transonic point and an energy budget that should include radiative heating and cooling, thermal conduction, the work done in lifting the hydrogen against gravity, and the residual heat carried by the hydrogen as it leaves. But for planets from which hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which is much simpler, and for which a relatively full-featured treatment of radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ is straightforward. Previous work has overlooked the fact that the H2 molecule is extremely efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, and thus that radiative cooling can be markedly more efficient when H2 is abundant. We map out the region of phase space in which terrestrial planets keep hydrogen-rich atmospheres, which is what we actually want to know for habitability. We will use this framework to reassess Tian et al's hypothesis that H2-rich atmospheres may have been rather long-lived on Earth itself. Finally, we will address the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than 1.6 Earth radii.

  14. PHOTOMETRIC ORBITS OF EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Robert A.

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

  15. Un-Earth-like interiors of the Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shim, S. H. D.; Nisr, C.; Pagano, M.; Chen, H.; Ko, B.; Noble, S.; Leinenweber, K. D.; Young, P.; Desch, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    A number of exoplanets have been described as "Earth-like" planets (or even exo-earths) based on the mass-radius relations. Yet, significant variations have been documented in elemental abundances of planet-hosting stars, which will result in very different structures and processes in the interiors of rocky exoplanets. Recent data suggest that the Mg/Si ratio can be as small as less than 1 and as large as more than 2, opening the possibilities for the upper mantles to be dominated by pyroxene and olivine, respectively, and the lower mantles to be dominated by bridgmanite and ferropericlase, respectively. The changes in mineralogy will alter key properties, such as discontinuity structures (and therefore scale of mantle mixing), viscosity, and volatiles storage, of the mantle. Partial melting of such mantles would result in different compositions of the crusts, affecting the tectonics. However, the prediction should be made carefully because oxygen fugacity and contents of volatiles can change the mineralogy even for the same bulk composition. In extremely reducing proto-planetary disks, carbides will form instead of oxides and silicates, and become main constituents of planets in the system. Because carbides have high thermal conductivity and low thermal expansivity, internal heat transport of such planets may be dominated by conduction and mantle mixing would be much more limited than that of the Earth. However, the behaviors and properties of carbides need to be understood better at high pressure and high temperature. Some rocky exoplanets may have very thick layers of water and other icy materials. Interactions between ice (or fluid) and rock at extreme conditions would be the key to understand dynamics and habitability of such exoplanets.

  16. Modeling the Entry of Micrometeoroids into the Atmospheres of Earth-like Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pevyhouse, A. R.; Kress, M. E.

    2011-01-01

    The temperature profiles of micrometeors entering the atmospheres of Earth-like planets are calculated to determine the altitude at which exogenous organic compounds may be released. Previous experiments have shown that flash-heated micrometeorite analogs release organic compounds at temperatures from roughly 500 to 1000 K [1]. The altitude of release is of great importance because it determines the fate of the compound. Organic compounds that are released deeper in the atmosphere are more likely to rapidly mix to lower altitudes where they can accumulate to higher abundances or form more complex molecules and/or aerosols. Variables that are explored here are particle size, entry angle, atmospheric density profiles, spectral type of the parent star, and planet mass. The problem reduces to these questions: (1) How much atmosphere does the particle pass through by the time it is heated to 500 K? (2) Is the atmosphere above sufficient to attenuate stellar UV such that the mixing timescale is shorter than the photochemical timescale for a particular compound? We present preliminary results that the effect of the planetary and particle parameters have on the altitude of organic release.

  17. 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, E-mail: siegfried.eggl@univie.ac.at

    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 ofmore » {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.« less

  18. Melting-induced crustal production helps plate tectonics on Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lourenço, Diogo L.; Rozel, Antoine; Tackley, Paul J.

    2016-04-01

    Within our Solar System, Earth is the only planet to be in a mobile-lid regime. It is generally accepted that the other terrestrial planets are currently in a stagnant-lid regime, with the possible exception of Venus that may be in an episodic-lid regime (Armann and Tackley, JGR 2012). Using plastic yielding to self-consistently generate plate tectonics on an Earth-like planet with strongly temperature-dependent viscosity is now well-established, but such models typically focus on purely thermal convection, whereas compositional variations in the lithosphere can alter the stress state and greatly influence the likelihood of plate tectonics. For example, Rolf and Tackley (GRL, 2011) showed that the addition of a continent can reduce the critical yield stress for mobile-lid behaviour by a factor of around two. Moreover, it has been shown that the final tectonic state of the system can depend on the initial condition (Tackley, G3 2000 - part 2). Weller and Lenardic (GRL, 2012) found that the parameter range in which two solutions are obtained increases with viscosity contrast. We can also say that partial melting has a major role in the long-term evolution of rocky planets: (1) partial melting causes differentiation in both major elements and trace elements, which are generally incompatible (Hofmann, Nature 1997). Trace elements may contain heat-producing isotopes, which contribute to the heat loss from the interior; (2) melting and volcanism are an important heat loss mechanism at early times that act as a strong thermostat, buffering mantle temperatures and preventing it from getting too hot (Xie and Tackley, JGR 2004b); (3) mantle melting dehydrates and hardens the shallow part of the mantle (Hirth and Kohlstedt, EPSL 1996) and introduces viscosity and compositional stratifications in the shallow mantle due to viscosity variations with the loss of hydrogen upon melting (Faul and Jackson, JGR 2007; Korenaga and Karato, JGR 2008). We present a set of 2D spherical

  19. THE STATISTICAL MECHANICS OF PLANET ORBITS

    SciTech Connect

    Tremaine, Scott, E-mail: tremaine@ias.edu

    2015-07-10

    The final “giant-impact” phase of terrestrial planet formation is believed to begin with a large number of planetary “embryos” on nearly circular, coplanar orbits. Mutual gravitational interactions gradually excite their eccentricities until their orbits cross and they collide and merge; through this process the number of surviving bodies declines until the system contains a small number of planets on well-separated, stable orbits. In this paper we explore a simple statistical model for the orbit distribution of planets formed by this process, based on the sheared-sheet approximation and the ansatz that the planets explore uniformly all of the stable region ofmore » phase space. The model provides analytic predictions for the distribution of eccentricities and semimajor axis differences, correlations between orbital elements of nearby planets, and the complete N-planet distribution function, in terms of a single parameter, the “dynamical temperature,” that is determined by the planetary masses. The predicted properties are generally consistent with N-body simulations of the giant-impact phase and with the distribution of semimajor axis differences in the Kepler catalog of extrasolar planets. A similar model may apply to the orbits of giant planets if these orbits are determined mainly by dynamical evolution after the planets have formed and the gas disk has disappeared.« less

  20. An Earth-sized planet with an Earth-like density.

    PubMed

    Pepe, Francesco; Cameron, Andrew Collier; Latham, David W; Molinari, Emilio; Udry, Stéphane; Bonomo, Aldo S; Buchhave, Lars A; Charbonneau, David; Cosentino, Rosario; Dressing, Courtney D; Dumusque, Xavier; Figueira, Pedro; Fiorenzano, Aldo F M; Gettel, Sara; Harutyunyan, Avet; Haywood, Raphaëlle D; Horne, Keith; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Lovis, Christophe; Malavolta, Luca; Mayor, Michel; Micela, Giusi; Motalebi, Fatemeh; Nascimbeni, Valerio; Phillips, David; Piotto, Giampaolo; Pollacco, Don; Queloz, Didier; Rice, Ken; Sasselov, Dimitar; Ségransan, Damien; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Szentgyorgyi, Andrew; Watson, Christopher A

    2013-11-21

    Recent analyses of data from the NASA Kepler spacecraft have established that planets with radii within 25 per cent of the Earth's (R Earth symbol) are commonplace throughout the Galaxy, orbiting at least 16.5 per cent of Sun-like stars. Because these studies were sensitive to the sizes of the planets but not their masses, the question remains whether these Earth-sized planets are indeed similar to the Earth in bulk composition. The smallest planets for which masses have been accurately determined are Kepler-10b (1.42 R Earth symbol) and Kepler-36b (1.49 R Earth symbol), which are both significantly larger than the Earth. Recently, the planet Kepler-78b was discovered and found to have a radius of only 1.16 R Earth symbol. Here we report that the mass of this planet is 1.86 Earth masses. The resulting mean density of the planet is 5.57 g cm(-3), which is similar to that of the Earth and implies a composition of iron and rock.

  1. The Leonard Award Address: On the Difficulties of Making Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Stuart Ross

    1999-05-01

    in addition to explaining the angular momentum, orbital characteristics and unique composition of the Moon. Plate tectonics, unique among the terrestrial planets, led to the development of the continental crust on the Earth, an essential platform for the evolution of Homo sapiens. Random major impacts have punctuated the geological record, accentuating the directionless course of evolution. Thus a massive asteroidal impact terminated the Cretaceous Period, resulted in the extinction of at least 70% of species living at that time and led to the rise of mammals. This sequence of events that resulted in the formation and evolution of our planet were thus unique within our system. The individual nature of the eight planets is repeated among the 60-odd satellites: no two seem identical. This survey of our solar system raises the question whether the random sequence of events that led to the formation of the Earth are likely to be repeated in detail elsewhere. Preliminary evidence from the 'new planets' is not reassuring. The discovery of other planetary systems has removed the previous belief that they would consist of a central star surrounded by an inner zone of rocky planets and an outer zone of giant planets beyond a few AU. Jupiter-sized bodies in close orbits around other stars probably formed in a similar manner to our giant planets at several AU from their parent star and subsequently migrated inwards becoming stranded in close but stable orbits as 'hot Jupiters', when the nebula gas was depleted. Such events would prevent the formation of terrestrial-type planets in such systems.

  2. Under an Orange Sky: The Many Implications of Organic Haze for Earthlike Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arney, Giada; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Wolf, Eric; Schwieterman, Edward W.; Charnay, Benjamin; Claire, Mark; Hebrard, Eric

    2015-11-01

    Geochemical evidence suggests Archean Earth was intermittently enshrouded in an organic haze resulting from methane photolysis. Hazy exoplanets may be common, and hazes can significantly impact the environment of habitable planets. Earth is frequently studied as an analog for habitable exoplanets, and Archean Earth is the most alien planet we have geochemical data for. We have used 1D photochemical-climate and radiative transfer simulations to examine the climate, surface radiation environment, and spectra of Archean Earth with fractal hydrocarbon haze. We find that haze would have strongly impacted Earth’s climate, lowering the planetary surface temperature by 20-30 K. However, this cooling can be countered by concentrations of greenhouses gases consistent with geochemical constraints. For example, an atmosphere with 2% CO2, 0.37% CH4 and a self-consistent hydrocarbon haze has a globally averaged surface temperature of 274 K, which GCM models have shown is consistent with a large open ocean fraction (Charnay et al 2013). The cooling from haze means that there exists a “hazy habitable zone” closer to the star than the traditional habitable zone boundaries. Our results suggest that the hazy habitable zone can extend to the distance of Venus. An organic haze produces strong, remotely detectable spectral features, especially at wavelengths < 0.5 μm, reddening the planet’s color. The strong absorption of UV radiation by this haze means it could have provided a UV shield for the Archean Earth prior to the rise of oxygen when there was no ozone layer: we show that an organic haze can block 97% of the surface-incident UVC (λ < 0.28 μm) radiation compared to a haze-free planet. UVC radiation directly dissociates DNA, and it is blocked by ozone in the modern atmosphere. Organic hazes may therefore benefit surface biospheres on Earth and similar exoplanets. Finally, assuming geochemical constraints on the Archean atmospheric composition, we show that abiotic

  3. Star Masses and Star-Planet Distances for Earth-like Habitability.

    PubMed

    Waltham, David

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents statistical estimates for the location and duration of habitable zones (HZs) around stars of different mass. The approach is based upon the assumption that Earth's location, and the Sun's mass, should not be highly atypical of inhabited planets. The results support climate-model-based estimates for the location of the Sun's HZ except models giving a present-day outer-edge beyond 1.64 AU. The statistical approach also demonstrates that there is a habitability issue for stars smaller than 0.65 solar masses since, otherwise, Earth would be an extremely atypical inhabited world. It is difficult to remove this anomaly using the assumption that poor habitability of planets orbiting low-mass stars results from unfavorable radiation regimes either before, or after, their stars enter the main sequence. However, the anomaly is well explained if poor habitability results from tidal locking of planets in the HZs of small stars. The expected host-star mass for planets with intelligent life then has a 95% confidence range of 0.78 M ⊙ < M < 1.04 M ⊙ , and the range for planets with at least simple life is 0.57 M ⊙  < M < 1.64 M ⊙ . Key Words: Habitability-Habitable zone-Anthropic-Red dwarfs-Initial mass function. Astrobiology 17, 61-77.

  4. Star Masses and Star-Planet Distances for Earth-like Habitability

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Abstract This paper presents statistical estimates for the location and duration of habitable zones (HZs) around stars of different mass. The approach is based upon the assumption that Earth's location, and the Sun's mass, should not be highly atypical of inhabited planets. The results support climate-model-based estimates for the location of the Sun's HZ except models giving a present-day outer-edge beyond 1.64 AU. The statistical approach also demonstrates that there is a habitability issue for stars smaller than 0.65 solar masses since, otherwise, Earth would be an extremely atypical inhabited world. It is difficult to remove this anomaly using the assumption that poor habitability of planets orbiting low-mass stars results from unfavorable radiation regimes either before, or after, their stars enter the main sequence. However, the anomaly is well explained if poor habitability results from tidal locking of planets in the HZs of small stars. The expected host-star mass for planets with intelligent life then has a 95% confidence range of 0.78 M⊙ < M < 1.04 M⊙, and the range for planets with at least simple life is 0.57 M⊙ < M < 1.64 M⊙. Key Words: Habitability—Habitable zone—Anthropic—Red dwarfs—Initial mass function. Astrobiology 17, 61–77. PMID:28103107

  5. Increased insolation threshold for runaway greenhouse processes on Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leconte, Jérémy; Forget, Francois; Charnay, Benjamin; Wordsworth, Robin; Pottier, Alizée

    2013-12-01

    The increase in solar luminosity over geological timescales should warm the Earth's climate, increasing water evaporation, which will in turn enhance the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Above a certain critical insolation, this destabilizing greenhouse feedback can `run away' until the oceans have completely evaporated. Through increases in stratospheric humidity, warming may also cause evaporative loss of the oceans to space before the runaway greenhouse state occurs. The critical insolation thresholds for these processes, however, remain uncertain because they have so far been evaluated using one-dimensional models that cannot account for the dynamical and cloud feedback effects that are key stabilizing features of the Earth's climate. Here we use a three-dimensional global climate model to show that the insolation threshold for the runaway greenhouse state to occur is about 375 W m-2, which is significantly higher than previously thought. Our model is specifically developed to quantify the climate response of Earth-like planets to increased insolation in hot and extremely moist atmospheres. In contrast with previous studies, we find that clouds have a destabilizing feedback effect on the long-term warming. However, subsident, unsaturated regions created by the Hadley circulation have a stabilizing effect that is strong enough to shift the runaway greenhouse limit to higher values of insolation than are inferred from one-dimensional models. Furthermore, because of wavelength-dependent radiative effects, the stratosphere remains sufficiently cold and dry to hamper the escape of atmospheric water, even at large fluxes. This has strong implications for the possibility of liquid water existing on Venus early in its history, and extends the size of the habitable zone around other stars.

  6. Increased insolation threshold for runaway greenhouse processes on Earth-like planets.

    PubMed

    Leconte, Jérémy; Forget, Francois; Charnay, Benjamin; Wordsworth, Robin; Pottier, Alizée

    2013-12-12

    The increase in solar luminosity over geological timescales should warm the Earth's climate, increasing water evaporation, which will in turn enhance the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Above a certain critical insolation, this destabilizing greenhouse feedback can 'run away' until the oceans have completely evaporated. Through increases in stratospheric humidity, warming may also cause evaporative loss of the oceans to space before the runaway greenhouse state occurs. The critical insolation thresholds for these processes, however, remain uncertain because they have so far been evaluated using one-dimensional models that cannot account for the dynamical and cloud feedback effects that are key stabilizing features of the Earth's climate. Here we use a three-dimensional global climate model to show that the insolation threshold for the runaway greenhouse state to occur is about 375 W m(-2), which is significantly higher than previously thought. Our model is specifically developed to quantify the climate response of Earth-like planets to increased insolation in hot and extremely moist atmospheres. In contrast with previous studies, we find that clouds have a destabilizing feedback effect on the long-term warming. However, subsident, unsaturated regions created by the Hadley circulation have a stabilizing effect that is strong enough to shift the runaway greenhouse limit to higher values of insolation than are inferred from one-dimensional models. Furthermore, because of wavelength-dependent radiative effects, the stratosphere remains sufficiently cold and dry to hamper the escape of atmospheric water, even at large fluxes. This has strong implications for the possibility of liquid water existing on Venus early in its history, and extends the size of the habitable zone around other stars.

  7. 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.

  8. Tidal Heating of Earth-like Exoplanets around M Stars: Thermal, Magnetic, and Orbital Evolutions.

    PubMed

    Driscoll, P E; Barnes, R

    2015-09-01

    The internal thermal and magnetic evolution of rocky exoplanets is critical to their habitability. We focus on the thermal-orbital evolution of Earth-mass planets around low-mass M stars whose radiative habitable zone overlaps with the "tidal zone," where tidal dissipation is expected to be a significant heat source in the interior. We develop a thermal-orbital evolution model calibrated to Earth that couples tidal dissipation, with a temperature-dependent Maxwell rheology, to orbital circularization and migration. We illustrate thermal-orbital steady states where surface heat flow is balanced by tidal dissipation and cooling can be stalled for billions of years until circularization occurs. Orbital energy dissipated as tidal heat in the interior drives both inward migration and circularization, with a circularization time that is inversely proportional to the dissipation rate. We identify a peak in the internal dissipation rate as the mantle passes through a viscoelastic state at mantle temperatures near 1800 K. Planets orbiting a 0.1 solar-mass star within 0.07 AU circularize before 10 Gyr, independent of initial eccentricity. Once circular, these planets cool monotonically and maintain dynamos similar to that of Earth. Planets forced into eccentric orbits can experience a super-cooling of the core and rapid core solidification, inhibiting dynamo action for planets in the habitable zone. We find that tidal heating is insignificant in the habitable zone around 0.45 (or larger) solar-mass stars because tidal dissipation is a stronger function of orbital distance than stellar mass, and the habitable zone is farther from larger stars. Suppression of the planetary magnetic field exposes the atmosphere to stellar wind erosion and the surface to harmful radiation. In addition to weak magnetic fields, massive melt eruption rates and prolonged magma oceans may render eccentric planets in the habitable zone of low-mass stars inhospitable for life.

  9. Celestial Exoplanet Survey Occulter: A Concept for Direct Imaging of Extrasolar Earth-like Planets from the Ground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janson, M.

    2007-02-01

    We present a new concept for detecting and characterizing extrasolar planets down to Earth size or smaller through direct imaging. The New Worlds Observer (NWO) occulter developed by Cash and coworkers is placed in a particular geometrical setup in which fuel requirements are small and the occulter is used in combination with ground-based telescopes, presumably leading to an extreme cost efficiency compared to other concepts with similar science goals. We investigate the various aspects of the given geometry, such as the dynamics and radiation environment of the occulter, and construct a detailed example target list to ensure that an excellent science case can be maintained despite the limited sky coverage. It is found that more than 200 systems can be observed with two to three visits per system, using only a few tons of fuel. For each system, an Earth-sized planet with an Earth-like albedo can be found in the habitable zone in less than 2 hr.

  10. Tidal Heating of Earth-like Exoplanets around M Stars: Thermal, Magnetic, and Orbital Evolutions

    PubMed Central

    Barnes, R.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The internal thermal and magnetic evolution of rocky exoplanets is critical to their habitability. We focus on the thermal-orbital evolution of Earth-mass planets around low-mass M stars whose radiative habitable zone overlaps with the “tidal zone,” where tidal dissipation is expected to be a significant heat source in the interior. We develop a thermal-orbital evolution model calibrated to Earth that couples tidal dissipation, with a temperature-dependent Maxwell rheology, to orbital circularization and migration. We illustrate thermal-orbital steady states where surface heat flow is balanced by tidal dissipation and cooling can be stalled for billions of years until circularization occurs. Orbital energy dissipated as tidal heat in the interior drives both inward migration and circularization, with a circularization time that is inversely proportional to the dissipation rate. We identify a peak in the internal dissipation rate as the mantle passes through a viscoelastic state at mantle temperatures near 1800 K. Planets orbiting a 0.1 solar-mass star within 0.07 AU circularize before 10 Gyr, independent of initial eccentricity. Once circular, these planets cool monotonically and maintain dynamos similar to that of Earth. Planets forced into eccentric orbits can experience a super-cooling of the core and rapid core solidification, inhibiting dynamo action for planets in the habitable zone. We find that tidal heating is insignificant in the habitable zone around 0.45 (or larger) solar-mass stars because tidal dissipation is a stronger function of orbital distance than stellar mass, and the habitable zone is farther from larger stars. Suppression of the planetary magnetic field exposes the atmosphere to stellar wind erosion and the surface to harmful radiation. In addition to weak magnetic fields, massive melt eruption rates and prolonged magma oceans may render eccentric planets in the habitable zone of low-mass stars inhospitable for life. Key Words

  11. Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars.

    PubMed

    Petigura, Erik A; Howard, Andrew W; Marcy, Geoffrey W

    2013-11-26

    Determining whether Earth-like planets are common or rare looms as a touchstone in the question of life in the universe. We searched for Earth-size planets that cross in front of their host stars by examining the brightness measurements of 42,000 stars from National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Kepler mission. We found 603 planets, including 10 that are Earth size ( ) and receive comparable levels of stellar energy to that of Earth (1 - 2 R[Symbol: see text] ). We account for Kepler's imperfect detectability of such planets by injecting synthetic planet-caused dimmings into the Kepler brightness measurements and recording the fraction detected. We find that 11 ± 4% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet receiving between one and four times the stellar intensity as Earth. We also find that the occurrence of Earth-size planets is constant with increasing orbital period (P), within equal intervals of logP up to ~200 d. Extrapolating, one finds 5.7(-2.2)(+1.7)% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet with orbital periods of 200-400 d.

  12. Hubble Finds Planet Orbiting Pair of Stars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    Two's company, but three might not always be a crowd — at least in space. Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, and a trick of nature, have confirmed the existence of a planet orbiting two stars in the system OGLE-2007-BLG-349, located 8,000 light-years away towards the center of our galaxy. The planet orbits roughly 300 million miles from the stellar duo, about the distance from the asteroid belt to our sun. It completes an orbit around both stars roughly every seven years. The two red dwarf stars are a mere 7 million miles apart, or 14 times the diameter of the moon's orbit around Earth. The Hubble observations represent the first time such a three-body system has been confirmed using the gravitational microlensing technique. Gravitational microlensing occurs when the gravity of a foreground star bends and amplifies the light of a background star that momentarily aligns with it. The particular character of the light magnification can reveal clues to the nature of the foreground star and any associated planets. The three objects were discovered in 2007 by an international collaboration of five different groups: Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics (MOA), the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE), the Microlensing Follow-up Network (MicroFUN), the Probing Lensing Anomalies Network (PLANET), and the Robonet Collaboration. These ground-based observations uncovered a star and a planet, but a detailed analysis also revealed a third body that astronomers could not definitively identify. Image caption: This artist's illustration shows a gas giant planet circling a pair of red dwarf stars in the system OGLE-2007-BLG-349, located 8,000 light-years away. The Saturn-mass planet orbits roughly 300 million miles from the stellar duo. The two red dwarf stars are 7 million miles apart. Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI) Read more: go.nasa.gov/2dcfMns NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four

  13. The elemental abundances (with uncertainties) of the most Earth-like planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Haiyang S.; Lineweaver, Charles H.; Ireland, Trevor R.

    2018-01-01

    To first order, the Earth as well as other rocky planets in the Solar System and rocky exoplanets orbiting other stars, are refractory pieces of the stellar nebula out of which they formed. To estimate the chemical composition of rocky exoplanets based on their stellar hosts' elemental abundances, we need a better understanding of the devolatilization that produced the Earth. To quantify the chemical relationships between the Earth, the Sun and other bodies in the Solar System, the elemental abundances of the bulk Earth are required. The key to comparing Earth's composition with those of other objects is to have a determination of the bulk composition with an appropriate estimate of uncertainties. Here we present concordance estimates (with uncertainties) of the elemental abundances of the bulk Earth, which can be used in such studies. First we compile, combine and renormalize a large set of heterogeneous literature values of the primitive mantle (PM) and of the core. We then integrate standard radial density profiles of the Earth and renormalize them to the current best estimate for the mass of the Earth. Using estimates of the uncertainties in i) the density profiles, ii) the core-mantle boundary and iii) the inner core boundary, we employ standard error propagation to obtain a core mass fraction of 32.5 ± 0.3 wt%. Our bulk Earth abundances are the weighted sum of our concordance core abundances and concordance PM abundances. Unlike previous efforts, the uncertainty on the core mass fraction is propagated to the uncertainties on the bulk Earth elemental abundances. Our concordance estimates for the abundances of Mg, Sn, Br, B, Cd and Be are significantly lower than previous estimates of the bulk Earth. Our concordance estimates for the abundances of Na, K, Cl, Zn, Sr, F, Ga, Rb, Nb, Gd, Ta, He, Ar, and Kr are significantly higher. The uncertainties on our elemental abundances usefully calibrate the unresolved discrepancies between standard Earth models under

  14. Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars

    PubMed Central

    Petigura, Erik A.; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.

    2013-01-01

    Determining whether Earth-like planets are common or rare looms as a touchstone in the question of life in the universe. We searched for Earth-size planets that cross in front of their host stars by examining the brightness measurements of 42,000 stars from National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Kepler mission. We found 603 planets, including 10 that are Earth size () and receive comparable levels of stellar energy to that of Earth (). We account for Kepler’s imperfect detectability of such planets by injecting synthetic planet–caused dimmings into the Kepler brightness measurements and recording the fraction detected. We find that 11 ± 4% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet receiving between one and four times the stellar intensity as Earth. We also find that the occurrence of Earth-size planets is constant with increasing orbital period (P), within equal intervals of logP up to ∼200 d. Extrapolating, one finds % of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet with orbital periods of 200–400 d. PMID:24191033

  15. Dependence of the Onset of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect on the Latitudinal Surface Water Distribution of Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodama, T.; Nitta, A.; Genda, H.; Takao, Y.; O'ishi, R.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Abe, Y.

    2018-02-01

    Liquid water is one of the most important materials affecting the climate and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Liquid water vaporizes entirely when planets receive insolation above a certain critical value, which is called the runaway greenhouse threshold. This threshold forms the inner most limit of the habitable zone. Here we investigate the effects of the distribution of surface water on the runaway greenhouse threshold for Earth-sized planets using a three-dimensional dynamic atmosphere model. We considered a 1 bar atmosphere whose composition is similar to the current Earth's atmosphere with a zonally uniform distribution of surface water. As previous studies have already showed, we also recognized two climate regimes: the land planet regime, which has dry low-latitude and wet high-latitude regions, and the aqua planet regime, which is globally wet. We showed that each regime is controlled by the width of the Hadley circulation, the amount of surface water, and the planetary topography. We found that the runaway greenhouse threshold varies continuously with the surface water distribution from about 130% (an aqua planet) to 180% (the extreme case of a land planet) of the present insolation at Earth's orbit. Our results indicate that the inner edge of the habitable zone is not a single sharp boundary, but a border whose location varies depending on planetary surface condition, such as the amount of surface water. Since land planets have wider habitable zones and less cloud cover, land planets would be good targets for future observations investigating planetary habitability.

  16. Migrating Jupiter up to the habitable zone: Earth-like planet formation and water delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darriba, L. A.; de Elía, G. C.; Guilera, O. M.; Brunini, A.

    2017-11-01

    Context. Several observational works have shown the existence of Jupiter-mass planets covering a wide range of semi-major axes around Sun-like stars. Aims: We aim to analyse the planetary formation processes around Sun-like stars that host a Jupiter-mass planet at intermediate distances ranging from 1 au to 2 au. Our study focusses on the formation and evolution of terrestrial-like planets and water delivery in the habitable zone (HZ) of the system. Our goal is also to analyse the long-term dynamical stability of the resulting systems. Methods: A semi-analytic model was used to define the properties of a protoplanetary disk that produces a Jupiter-mass planet around the snow line, which is located at 2.7 au for a solar-mass star. Then, it was used to describe the evolution of embryos and planetesimals during the gaseous phase up to the formation of the Jupiter-mass planet, and we used the results as the initial conditions to carry out N-body simulations of planetary accretion. We developed sixty N-body simulations to describe the dynamical processes involved during and after the migration of the gas giant. Results: Our simulations produce three different classes of planets in the HZ: "water worlds", with masses between 2.75 M⊕ and 3.57 M⊕ and water contents of 58% and 75% by mass, terrestrial-like planets, with masses ranging from 0.58 M⊕ to 3.8 M⊕ and water contents less than 1.2% by mass, and "dry worlds", simulations of which show no water. A relevant result suggests the efficient coexistence in the HZ of a Jupiter-mass planet and a terrestrial-like planet with a percentage of water by mass comparable to the Earth. Moreover, our study indicates that these planetary systems are dynamically stable for at least 1 Gyr. Conclusions: Systems with a Jupiter-mass planet located at 1.5-2 au around solar-type stars are of astrobiological interest. These systems are likely to harbour terrestrial-like planets in the HZ with a wide diversity of water contents.

  17. Abiotic production of nitrous oxide by lightning. Implications for a false positive identification of life on Earth-Like Planets around quiescent M Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navarro, Karina F.; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; McKay, Christopher P.

    Nitrous oxide (N _{2}O) is uniformly mixed in the troposphere with a concentration of about 310 ppb but disappears in the stratosphere (Prinn et al., 1990); N _{2}O is mostly emitted at a rate of 1x10 (13) g yr (-1) as a byproduct of microbial activity in soils and in the ocean by two processes: a) denitrification (reduction of nitrate and nitrite), and b) nitrification (oxidation of ammonia) (Maag and Vinther, 1996). The abiotic emission of N _{2}O in the contemporaneous Earth is small, mostly arising from lightning activity (2x10 (9) g yr (-1) , Hill et al., 1984) and by reduction of nitrite by Fe(II)-minerals in soils in Antarctica (Samarkin et al., 2010). Since N _{2}O has absorption bands in the mid-IR (7.8, 8.5, and 17 mumm) that makes it detectable by remote sensing (Topfer et al., 1997; Des Marais et al., 2002), it has been suggested as a potential biosignature in the search for life in extrasolar planets (Churchill and Kasting, 2000). However, the minimum required concentration for positive identification is 10,000 ppb with missions like Terrestrial Planet Finder and Darwin (Churchill and Kasting, 2000). Therefore, it is not a suitable biomarker for extrasolar Earth-like planets orbiting stars similar to the Sun. Because N _{2}O is protected in the troposphere from UV photolysis by the stratospheric ozone layer, its concentration would decrease with decreasing oxygen (O _{2}) concentrations, if the biological source strength remains constant (Kasting and Donahue, 1980). For a primitive Earth-like (Hadean) atmosphere dominated by CO _{2}, and no free O _{2}, the expected N _{2}O concentration would be about 3 ppb with the current microbial N _{2}O flux (Churchill and Kasting, 2000). The resulting N _{2}O spectral signature of this atmosphere would be undetectable unless the N _{2}O microbial flux would be 10 (4) greater than its present value (Churchill and Kasting, 2000). Since this flux is unlikely, it is impossible to use it as a biomarker in anoxic CO

  18. On the mass and orbit of the ninth planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ugwoke, Azubike Christian

    2016-07-01

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

  19. Detection of Planets Orbiting Sun-Like Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Butler, R. Paul

    1996-12-01

    During the past 11 months, astronomers have finally discovered planets orbiting Sun-like stars. A total of eight planets has been detected by the Doppler technique, and there are possible planets detected by astrometry around one other star. Some of the new planets exhibit properties similar to those in our Solar System. But many of them have properties that were unexpected. Several planets are more massive than Jupiter, and some orbit their host star in orbits smaller than Mercury's orbit. Equally unexpected is that three of these planets have noncircular orbits. Current theory of the formation of planetary systems is challenged to account for these new planetary properties, but several models are emerging, involving gravitational scattering of planetesimals and viscous or tidal decay of orbits. The occurrence rate of true analogs of our Solar System will soon be determined with the detection of long-period gas giants analogous to Jupiter.

  20. Characterising the three-dimensional ozone distribution of a tidally locked Earth-like planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proedrou, Elisavet; Hocke, Klemens

    2016-06-01

    We simulate the 3D ozone distribution of a tidally locked Earth-like exoplanet using the high-resolution, 3D chemistry-climate model CESM1(WACCM) and study how the ozone layer of a tidally locked Earth (TLE) (Ω _{TLE}= 1/365 days) differs from that of our present-day Earth (PDE) (Ω _{PDE}= 1/1 day). The middle atmosphere reaches a steady state asymptotically within the first 80 days of the simulation. An upwelling, centred on the subsolar point, is present on the day side while a downwelling, centred on the antisolar point, is present on the night side. In the mesosphere, we find similar global ozone distributions for the TLE and the PDE, with decreased ozone on the day side and enhanced ozone on the night side. In the lower mesosphere, a jet stream transitions into a large-scale vortex around a low-pressure system, located at low latitudes of the TLE night side. In the middle stratosphere, the concentration of odd oxygen is approximately equal to that of the ozone [({O}x) ≈ ({O}3)]. At these altitudes, the lifetime of odd oxygen is ˜16 h and the transport processes significantly contribute to the global distribution of stratospheric ozone. Compared to the PDE, where the strong Coriolis force acts as a mixing barrier between low and high latitudes, the transport processes of the TLE are governed by jet streams variable in the zonal and meridional directions. In the middle stratosphere of the TLE, we find high ozone values on the day side, due to the increased production of atomic oxygen on the day side, where it immediately recombines with molecular oxygen to form ozone. In contrast, the ozone is depleted on the night side, due to changes in the solar radiation distribution and the presence of a downwelling. As a result of the reduced Coriolis force, the tropical and extratropical air masses are well mixed and the global temperature distribution of the TLE stratosphere has smaller horizontal gradients than the PDE. Compared to the PDE, the total ozone column

  1. Equilibrium Temperatures and Albedos of Habitable Earth-Like Planets in a Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean GCM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Del Genio, Anthony; Way, Michael; Amundsen, David; Sohl, Linda; Fujii, Yuka; Ebihara, Yuka; Kiang, Nancy; Chandler, Mark; Aleinov, Igor; Kelley, Maxwell

    2017-01-01

    The potential habitability of detected exoplanets is typically assessed using the concept of equilibrium temperature (T[subscript] e) based on cloud-free 1-D models with assumed albedo equal to Earth's (0.3) to determine whether a planet lies in the habitable zone. Incident stellar flux appears to be a better metric for stars unlike the Sun. These estimates, however, ignore the effect of clouds on planetary albedo and the fact that the climates of synchronously rotating planets are not well predicted by 1-D models. Given that most planet candidates that will be detected in the next few years will be tidally locked and orbiting M stars, how might the habitable zone e tailored to better in-form characterization with scarce observing resources?

  2. The potential of planets orbiting red dwarf stars to support oxygenic photosynthesis and complex life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gale, Joseph; Wandel, Amri

    2017-01-01

    We review the latest findings on extra-solar planets and their potential of having environmental conditions that could support Earth-like life. Focusing on planets orbiting red dwarf (RD) stars, the most abundant stellar type in the Milky Way, we show that including RDs as potential life supporting host stars could increase the probability of finding biotic planets by a factor of up to a thousand, and reduce the estimate of the distance to our nearest biotic neighbour by up to 10. We argue that binary and multiple star systems need to be taken into account when discussing habitability and the abundance of biotic exoplanets, in particular RDs in such systems. Early considerations indicated that conditions on RD planets would be inimical to life, as their habitable zones would be so close to the host star as to make planets tidally locked. This was thought to cause an erratic climate and expose life forms to flares of ionizing radiation. Recent calculations show that these negative factors are less severe than originally thought. It has also been argued that the lesser photon energy of the radiation of the relatively cool RDs would not suffice for oxygenic photosynthesis (OP) and other related energy expending reactions. Numerous authors suggest that OP on RD planets may evolve to utilize photons in the infrared. We however argue, by analogy to the evolution of OP and the environmental physiology and distribution of land-based vegetation on Earth, that the evolutionary pressure to utilize infrared radiation would be small. This is because vegetation on RD planets could enjoy continuous illumination of moderate intensity, containing a significant component of photosynthetic 400-700 nm radiation. We conclude that conditions for OP could exist on RD planets and consequently the evolution of complex life might be possible. Furthermore, the huge number and the long lifetime of RDs make it more likely to find planets with photosynthesis and life around RDs than around

  3. Orbital Dynamics of Exomoons During Planet–Planet Scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Yu-Cian; Lunine, Jonathan I.; Nicholson, Philip; Raymond, Sean N.

    2018-04-01

    Planet–planet scattering is the leading mechanism to explain the broad eccentricity distribution of observed giant exoplanets. Here we study the orbital stability of primordial giant planet moons in this scenario. We use N-body simulations including realistic oblateness and evolving spin evolution for the giant planets. We find that the vast majority (~80%–90% across all our simulations) of orbital parameter space for moons is destabilized. There is a strong radial dependence, as moons past are systematically removed. Closer-in moons on Galilean-moon-like orbits (<0.04 R Hill) have a good (~20%–40%) chance of survival. Destabilized moons may undergo a collision with the star or a planet, be ejected from the system, be captured by another planet, be ejected but still orbiting its free-floating host planet, or survive on heliocentric orbits as "planets." The survival rate of moons increases with the host planet mass but is independent of the planet's final (post-scattering) orbits. Based on our simulations, we predict the existence of an abundant galactic population of free-floating (former) moons.

  4. Constraining the primordial orbits of the terrestrial planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brasser, R.; Walsh, K. J.; Nesvorný, D.

    2013-08-01

    Evidence in the Solar system suggests that the giant planets underwent an epoch of radial migration that was very rapid, with an e-folding time-scale shorter than 1 Myr. It is probable that the cause of this migration was that the giant planets experienced an orbital instability that caused them to encounter each other, resulting in radial migration. A promising and heavily studied way to accomplish such a fast migration is for Jupiter to have scattered one of the ice giants outwards; this event has been called the `jumping Jupiter' scenario. Several works suggest that this dynamical instability occurred `late', long after all the planets had formed and the solar nebula had dissipated. Assuming that the terrestrial planets had already formed, then their orbits would have been affected by the migration of the giant planets as many powerful resonances would sweep through the terrestrial planet region. This raises two questions. First, what is the expected increase in dynamical excitement of the terrestrial planet orbits caused by late and very fast giant planet migration? And secondly, assuming that the migration occurred late, can we use this migration of the giant planets to obtain information on the primordial orbits of the terrestrial planets? In this work, we attempt to answer both of these questions using numerical simulations. We directly model a large number of terrestrial planet systems and their response to the smooth migration of Jupiter and Saturn, and also two jumping Jupiter simulations. We study the total dynamical excitement of the terrestrial planet system with the angular momentum deficit (AMD) value, including the way it is shared among the planets. We conclude that to reproduce the current AMD with a reasonable probability (˜20 per cent) after late rapid giant planet migration and a favourable jumping Jupiter evolution, the primordial AMD should have been lower than ˜70 per cent of the current value, but higher than 10 per cent. We find that a

  5. The runaway Greenhouse revisited: it's "theoretically possible for an Earth-like planet at 1 AU", plus implications for more diverse planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldblatt, C.; Zahnle, K. J.; Crisp, D.; Robinson, T. D.

    2013-12-01

    For water-vapour rich atmospheres, there is an asymptotic limit on thermal emission to space. If more sunlight is absorbed than this limit, energy balance is no longer possible and runaway heating occurs, evaporating the ocean and sterilizing the planet en route. Here, we present recently published work (Goldblatt et al., 2013) which was the first full re-evaluation of the problem since classic 1980's era work (e.g. Watson et al., 1984; Abe & Matsui, 1988; Kasting, 1988). With modern molecular absorption databases and a line-by-line resolution model, we find that the thermal limit is lower than previous estimates (282Wm-2, down from 310Wm-2) and that much more sunlight is absorbed by a steam atmosphere (294Wm-2, up from 222Wm-2). The immediate implication is that a cloud-free moist atmosphere on Earth would cause a runaway greenhouse. Triggering it would simply be a matter of sufficient heating, with around 30,000ppmv being sufficient in our most Earth-like model. This is substantially different than previous calculations, where weak solar absorption meant that a higher solar flux was required. Our published calculations are for the limit of clear-skies; any clouds would reduce both the thermal radiation emitted and the solar radiation absorbed, so clouds could make the runaway greenhouse either more or less likely. It can be shown that and excess of cloud reflection over cloud greenhouse is required to maintain temperate climate on Earth today - but how clouds will change in a warming atmosphere is far from clear. Work in progress (and hopefully ready by December!) on cloudy runaway greenhouse models will hopefully constrain this better. Wider implications for planetary stability will also be discussed. For example, water-world planets, with minimal background gas in the atmosphere may be highly susceptible to runaway greenhouses (heating Europa might take it directly from a snowball to a runaway). High CO2 levels after previous Snowball Earth events did not

  6. The MEarth project: an all-sky survey for transiting Earth-like exoplanets orbiting nearby M-dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irwin, Jonathan; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Charbonneau, David; Dittmann, Jason; Newton, Elisabeth R.

    2015-01-01

    The MEarth project is an operational all-sky survey searching for transiting Earth-like exoplanets around 3,000 of the closest mid-to-late M-dwarfs. These will be among the best planets in their size class for atmospheric characterization using present day and near-future instruments such as HST, JWST and ground-based Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs), by virtue of the large observational signal sizes afforded by their small and bright host stars. We present an update on the status and recent scientific results of the survey from our two observing stations: MEarth-North at Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, Mount Hopkins, Arizona, and MEarth-South at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Chile. MEarth-North discovered the transiting mini-Neptune exoplanet GJ 1214b, which currently has the best-studied atmosphere of any exoplanet in its size class. In addition to searching for planets, we actively pursue stellar astrophysics topics and characterization of the target star sample using MEarth data and supplementary spectroscopic follow-up. This has included measuring astrometric parallaxes for more than 1500 nearby stars, the discovery of 6 new low-mass eclipsing binaries amenable to direct measurement of the masses and radii of their components, and rotation periods, spectral classifications, metallicities and activity indices for hundreds of stars. The MEarth light curves themselves also provide a detailed record of the photometric behavior of the target stars, which include the most favorable and interesting targets to search for small and potentially habitable planets. This will be a valuable resource for all future surveys searching for planets around these stars. All light curves gathered during the survey are made publicly available after one year.The MEarth project gratefully acknowledges funding from the David and Lucile Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, the National Science Foundation under grants AST-0807690, AST-1109468, and AST-1004488

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

    SciTech Connect

    Nagasawa, M.; Ida, S., E-mail: nagasawa.m.ad@m.titech.ac.jp

    2011-12-01

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

  8. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gebauer, S.; Grenfell, J. L.; Stock, J. W.; Lehmann, R.; Godolt, M.; von Paris, P.; Rauer, H.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O2, whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O2 is formed abiotically via CO2 photolysis. The O2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. (2006) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH4 with increasing O2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O2 is unique. Mixing, CH4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases remove O2 that

  9. Outward Migration of Giant Planets in Orbital Resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Angelo, G.; Marzari, F.

    2013-05-01

    A pair of giant planets interacting with a gaseous disk may be subject to convergent orbital migration and become locked into a mean motion resonance. If the orbits are close enough, the tidal gaps produced by the planets in the disk may overlap. This represents a necessary condition to activate the outward migration of the pair. However, a number of other conditions must also be realized in order for this mechanism to operate. We have studied how disk properties, such as turbulence viscosity, temperature, surface density gradient, mass, and age, may affect the outcome of the outward migration process. We have also investigated the implications on this mechanism of the planets' gas accretion. If the pair resembles Jupiter and Saturn, the 3:2 orbital resonance may drive them outward until they reach stalling radii for migration, which are within ~10 AU of the star for disks representative of the early proto-solar nebula. However, planet post-formation conditions in the disk indicate that such planets become typically locked in the 1:2 orbital resonance, which does not lead to outward migration. Planet growth via gas accretion tends to alter the planets' mass-ratio and/or the disk accretion rate toward the star, reducing or inhibiting outward migration. Support from NASA Outer Planets Research Program and NASA Origins of Solar Systems Program is gratefully acknowledged.

  10. Sleeping with an Elephant: Asteroids that Share a Planet's Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiegert, Paul; Connors, Martin; Brasser, Ramon; Mikkola, Seppo; Stacey, Greg; Innanen, Kimmo

    2005-08-01

    Under special circumstances, relatively small asteroids are able to safely share the orbit of a much larger planet. The best known examples of such "co-orbital" bodies are the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter, over 1700 of which are known to travel either 60 degrees ahead of or behind this giant planet in its orbit. The stability of such configurations might be thought to depend on the asteroid giving the planet a wide berth. In reality, co-orbital asteroids may approach their planet relatively closely, to within a few times its Hill sphere (which is five times the distance to the Moon in the case of the Earth). For many co-orbital bodies such approaches occur rarely or not at all, but recently examples of co-orbital states that become trapped near their planet have been found. Such "quasi-satellites" may remain near their much larger partner for thousands of years, though in actuality they are not true satellites and continue to orbit the Sun. Here we discuss the behaviour of some recently discovered co-orbital asteroids with emphasis on 2004 GU9, recently found to have a long-lived quasi-satellite state relative to the Earth.

  11. On evolutionary climate tracks in deep mantle volatile cycle computed from numerical mantle convection simulations and its impact on the habitability of the Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakagawa, T.; Tajika, E.; Kadoya, S.

    2017-12-01

    Discussing an impact of evolution and dynamics in the Earth's deep interior on the surface climate change for the last few decades (see review by Ehlmann et al., 2016), the mantle volatile (particularly carbon) degassing in the mid-oceanic ridges seems to play a key role in understanding the evolutionary climate track for Earth-like planets (e.g. Kadoya and Tajika, 2015). However, since the mantle degassing occurs not only in the mid-oceanic ridges but also in the wedge mantle (island arc volcanism) and hotspots, to incorporate more accurate estimate of mantle degassing flux into the climate evolution framework, we developed a coupled model of surface climate-deep Earth evolution in numerical mantle convection simulations, including more accurate deep water and carbon cycle (e.g. Nakagawa and Spiegelman, 2017) with an energy balance theory of climate change. Modeling results suggest that the evolution of planetary climate computed from a developed model is basically consistent with an evolutionary climate track in simplified mantle degassing model (Kadoya and Tajika, 2015), but an occurrence timing of global (snowball) glaciation is strongly dependent on mantle degassing rate occurred with activities of surface plate motions. With this implication, the surface plate motion driven by deep mantle dynamics would play an important role in the planetary habitability of such as the Earth and Earth-like planets over geologic time-scale.

  12. Venus: The Atmosphere, Climate, Surface, Interior and Near-Space Environment of an Earth-Like Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Fredric W.; Svedhem, Håkan; Head, James W.

    2018-02-01

    This is a review of current knowledge about Earth's nearest planetary neighbour and near twin, Venus. Such knowledge has recently been extended by the European Venus Express and the Japanese Akatsuki spacecraft in orbit around the planet; these missions and their achievements are concisely described in the first part of the review, along with a summary of previous Venus observations. The scientific discussions which follow are divided into three main sections: on the surface and interior; the atmosphere and climate; and the thermosphere, exosphere and magnetosphere. These reports are intended to provide an overview for the general reader, and also an introduction to the more detailed topical surveys in the following articles in this issue, where full references to original material may be found.

  13. A SUPER-EARTH-SIZED PLANET ORBITING IN OR NEAR THE HABITABLE ZONE AROUND A SUN-LIKE STAR

    SciTech Connect

    Barclay, Thomas; Burke, Christopher J.; Howell, Steve B.

    We present the discovery of a super-Earth-sized planet in or near the habitable zone of a Sun-like star. The host is Kepler-69, a 13.7 mag G4V-type star. We detect two periodic sets of transit signals in the 3-year flux time series of Kepler-69, obtained with the Kepler spacecraft. Using the very high precision Kepler photometry, and follow-up observations, our confidence that these signals represent planetary transits is >99.3%. The inner planet, Kepler-69b, has a radius of 2.24{sup +0.44}{sub -0.29} R{sub Circled-Plus} and orbits the host star every 13.7 days. The outer planet, Kepler-69c, is a super-Earth-sized object with a radiusmore » of 1.7{sup +0.34}{sub -0.23} R{sub Circled-Plus} and an orbital period of 242.5 days. Assuming an Earth-like Bond albedo, Kepler-69c has an equilibrium temperature of 299 {+-} 19 K, which places the planet close to the habitable zone around the host star. This is the smallest planet found by Kepler to be orbiting in or near the habitable zone of a Sun-like star and represents an important step on the path to finding the first true Earth analog.« less

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-02

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

  15. Dynamical Constraints on Nontransiting Planets Orbiting TRAPPIST-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jontof-Hutter, Daniel; Truong, Vinh H.; Ford, Eric B.; Robertson, Paul; Terrien, Ryan C.

    2018-06-01

    We derive lower bounds on the orbital distance and inclination of a putative planet beyond the transiting seven planets of TRAPPIST-1, for a range of masses ranging from 0.08 M Jup to 3.5 M Jup. While the outer architecture of this system will ultimately be constrained by radial velocity measurements over time, we present dynamical constraints from the remarkably coplanar configuration of the seven transiting planets, which is sensitive to modestly inclined perturbers. We find that the observed configuration is unlikely if a Jovian-mass planet inclined by ≥3° to the transiting planet exists within 0.53 au, exceeding any constraints from transit timing variations (TTV) induced in the known planets from an undetected perturber. Our results will inform RV programs targeting TRAPPIST-1, and for near coplanar outer planets, tighter constraints are anticipated for radial velocity (RV) precisions of ≲140 m s‑1. At higher inclinations, putative planets are ruled out to greater orbital distances with orbital periods up to a few years.

  16. An Earth-mass planet orbiting α Centauri B.

    PubMed

    Dumusque, Xavier; Pepe, Francesco; Lovis, Christophe; Ségransan, Damien; Sahlmann, Johannes; Benz, Willy; Bouchy, François; Mayor, Michel; Queloz, Didier; Santos, Nuno; Udry, Stéphane

    2012-11-08

    Exoplanets down to the size of Earth have been found, but not in the habitable zone--that is, at a distance from the parent star at which water, if present, would be liquid. There are planets in the habitable zone of stars cooler than our Sun, but for reasons such as tidal locking and strong stellar activity, they are unlikely to harbour water-carbon life as we know it. The detection of a habitable Earth-mass planet orbiting a star similar to our Sun is extremely difficult, because such a signal is overwhelmed by stellar perturbations. Here we report the detection of an Earth-mass planet orbiting our neighbour star α Centauri B, a member of the closest stellar system to the Sun. The planet has an orbital period of 3.236 days and is about 0.04 astronomical units from the star (one astronomical unit is the Earth-Sun distance).

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-08

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

  18. 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

  19. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model.

    PubMed

    Gebauer, S; Grenfell, J L; Stock, J W; Lehmann, R; Godolt, M; von Paris, P; Rauer, H

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O 2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O 2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O 2 , whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O 2 is formed abiotically via CO 2 photolysis. The O 2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. ( 2006 ) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH 4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH 4 with increasing O 2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O 2 is unique. Mixing, CH 4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O 2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O 2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, Stephen R.; Raymond, Sean N., E-mail: skane@sfsu.edu

    2014-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubart, Joachim

    2017-06-01

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

  2. SPOTS: The Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  3. The habitability of planets orbiting M-dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shields, Aomawa L.; Ballard, Sarah; Johnson, John Asher

    2016-12-01

    The prospects for the habitability of M-dwarf planets have long been debated, due to key differences between the unique stellar and planetary environments around these low-mass stars, as compared to hotter, more luminous Sun-like stars. Over the past decade, significant progress has been made by both space- and ground-based observatories to measure the likelihood of small planets to orbit in the habitable zones of M-dwarf stars. We now know that most M dwarfs are hosts to closely-packed planetary systems characterized by a paucity of Jupiter-mass planets and the presence of multiple rocky planets, with roughly a third of these rocky M-dwarf planets orbiting within the habitable zone, where they have the potential to support liquid water on their surfaces. Theoretical studies have also quantified the effect on climate and habitability of the interaction between the spectral energy distribution of M-dwarf stars and the atmospheres and surfaces of their planets. These and other recent results fill in knowledge gaps that existed at the time of the previous overview papers published nearly a decade ago by Tarter et al. (2007) and Scalo et al. (2007). In this review we provide a comprehensive picture of the current knowledge of M-dwarf planet occurrence and habitability based on work done in this area over the past decade, and summarize future directions planned in this quickly evolving field.

  4. Using Orbital Platforms to Study Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brisset, J.; Colwell, J. E.; Dove, A.; Maukonen, D.

    2017-08-01

    We will present results from the ISS NanoRocks experiment as well as the design of the Q-PACE CubeSat to demonstrate how orbital miniaturized payloads can be used to collect unprecedented amounts of data on the collision behavior of PPD dust grains.

  5. 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.

  6. The Pan-Pacific Planet Search. VII. The Most Eccentric Planet Orbiting a Giant Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Jones, M. I.; Horner, Jonathan; Kane, Stephen R.; Marshall, J. P.; Mustill, A. J.; Jenkins, J. S.; Pena Rojas, P. A.; Zhao, Jinglin; Villaver, Eva; Butler, R. P.; Clark, Jake

    2017-12-01

    Radial velocity observations from three instruments reveal the presence of a 4 M Jup planet candidate orbiting the K giant HD 76920. HD 76920b has an orbital eccentricity of 0.856 ± 0.009, making it the most eccentric planet known to orbit an evolved star. There is no indication that HD 76920 has an unseen binary companion, suggesting a scattering event rather than Kozai oscillations as a probable culprit for the observed eccentricity. The candidate planet currently approaches to about four stellar radii from its host star, and is predicted to be engulfed on a ∼100 Myr timescale due to the combined effects of stellar evolution and tidal interactions.

  7. A Venus-mass Planet Orbiting a Brown Dwarf: A Missing Link between Planets and Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Udalski, A.; Jung, Y. K.; Han, C.; Gould, A.; Kozłowski, S.; Skowron, J.; Poleski, R.; Soszyński, I.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Mróz, P.; Szymański, M. K.; Wyrzykowski, Ł.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pietrzyński, G.; Shvartzvald, Y.; Maoz, D.; Kaspi, S.; Gaudi, B. S.; Hwang, K.-H.; Choi, J.-Y.; Shin, I.-G.; Park, H.; Bozza, V.

    2015-10-01

    The co-planarity of solar system planets led Kant to suggest that they formed from an accretion disk, and the discovery of hundreds of such disks around young stars as well as hundreds of co-planar planetary systems by the Kepler satellite demonstrate that this formation mechanism is extremely widespread. Many moons in the solar system, such as the Galilean moons of Jupiter, also formed out of the accretion disks that coalesced into the giant planets. Here we report the discovery of an intermediate system, OGLE-2013-BLG-0723LB/Bb, composed of a Venus-mass planet orbiting a brown dwarf, which may be viewed either as a scaled-down version of a planet plus a star or as a scaled-up version of a moon plus a planet orbiting a star. The latter analogy can be further extended since they orbit in the potential of a larger, stellar body. For ice-rock companions formed in the outer parts of accretion disks, like Uranus and Callisto, the scaled masses and separations of the three types of systems are similar, leading us to suggest that the formation processes of companions within accretion disks around stars, brown dwarfs, and planets are similar.

  8. Do Close-in Giant Planets Orbiting Evolved Stars Prefer Eccentric Orbits?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grunblatt, Samuel K.; Huber, Daniel; Gaidos, Eric; Lopez, Eric D.; Barclay, Thomas; Chontos, Ashley; Sinukoff, Evan; Van Eylen, Vincent; Howard, Andrew W.; Isaacson, Howard T.

    2018-07-01

    The NASA Kepler and K2 Missions have recently revealed a population of transiting giant planets orbiting moderately evolved, low-luminosity red giant branch stars. Here, we present radial velocity (RV) measurements of three of these systems, revealing significantly non-zero orbital eccentricities in each case. Comparing these systems with the known planet population suggests that close-in giant planets around evolved stars tend to have more eccentric orbits than those around main sequence stars. We interpret this as tentative evidence that the orbits of these planets pass through a transient, moderately eccentric phase where they shrink faster than they circularize due to tides raised on evolved host stars. Additional RV measurements of currently known systems, along with new systems discovered by the recently launched NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission, may constrain the timescale and mass dependence of this process.

  9. EXOFIT: orbital parameters of extrasolar planets from radial velocities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balan, Sreekumar T.; Lahav, Ofer

    2009-04-01

    Retrieval of orbital parameters of extrasolar planets poses considerable statistical challenges. Due to sparse sampling, measurement errors, parameters degeneracy and modelling limitations, there are no unique values of basic parameters, such as period and eccentricity. Here, we estimate the orbital parameters from radial velocity data in a Bayesian framework by utilizing Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulations with the Metropolis-Hastings algorithm. We follow a methodology recently proposed by Gregory and Ford. Our implementation of MCMC is based on the object-oriented approach outlined by Graves. We make our resulting code, EXOFIT, publicly available with this paper. It can search for either one or two planets as illustrated on mock data. As an example we re-analysed the orbital solution of companions to HD 187085 and HD 159868 from the published radial velocity data. We confirm the degeneracy reported for orbital parameters of the companion to HD 187085, and show that a low-eccentricity orbit is more probable for this planet. For HD 159868, we obtained slightly different orbital solution and a relatively high `noise' factor indicating the presence of an unaccounted signal in the radial velocity data. EXOFIT is designed in such a way that it can be extended for a variety of probability models, including different Bayesian priors.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  11. Limits on Planets Orbiting Massive Stars from Radio Pulsar Timing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thorsett, S. E.; Dewey, R. J.

    1993-01-01

    When a massive star collapses to a neutron star, rapidly losing over half its mass in a symmetric supernova explosiosn, any planets orbiting the star will be unbound. However, to explain the observed space velocity and binary fraction of radio pulsars, an asymmetric kick must be given to the neutron star of birth.

  12. High-resolution simulations of the final assembly of Earth-like planets. 2. Water delivery and planetary habitability.

    PubMed

    Raymond, Sean N; Quinn, Thomas; Lunine, Jonathan I

    2007-02-01

    The water content and habitability of terrestrial planets are determined during their final assembly, from perhaps 100 1,000-km "planetary embryos " and a swarm of billions of 1-10-km "planetesimals. " During this process, we assume that water-rich material is accreted by terrestrial planets via impacts of water-rich bodies that originate in the outer asteroid region. We present analysis of water delivery and planetary habitability in five high-resolution simulations containing about 10 times more particles than in previous simulations. These simulations formed 15 terrestrial planets from 0.4 to 2.6 Earth masses, including five planets in the habitable zone. Every planet from each simulation accreted at least the Earth's current water budget; most accreted several times that amount (assuming no impact depletion). Each planet accreted at least five water-rich embryos and planetesimals from the past 2.5 astronomical units; most accreted 10-20 water-rich bodies. We present a new model for water delivery to terrestrial planets in dynamically calm systems, with low-eccentricity or low-mass giant planets-such systems may be very common in the Galaxy. We suggest that water is accreted in comparable amounts from a few planetary embryos in a " hit or miss " way and from millions of planetesimals in a statistically robust process. Variations in water content are likely to be caused by fluctuations in the number of water-rich embryos accreted, as well as from systematic effects, such as planetary mass and location, and giant planet properties.

  13. Kepler’s Earth-like Planets Should Not Be Confirmed without Independent Detection: The Case of Kepler-452b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullally, Fergal; Thompson, Susan E.; Coughlin, Jeffrey L.; Burke, Christopher J.; Rowe, Jason F.

    2018-05-01

    We show that the claimed confirmed planet Kepler-452b (a.k.a., K07016.01, KIC 8311864) cannot be confirmed using a purely statistical validation approach. Kepler detects many more periodic signals from instrumental effects than it does from transits, and it is likely impossible to confidently distinguish the two types of events at low signal-to-noise. As a result, the scenario that the observed signal is due to an instrumental artifact cannot be ruled out with 99% confidence, and the system must still be considered a candidate planet. We discuss the implications for other confirmed planets in or near the habitable zone.

  14. Orbital evolution studies of planet-crossing asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahn, Gerhard; Lagerkvist, Claes-Ingvar

    The orbits of 26 planet-crossing Aten-Apollo-Amor asteroids are predicted on the basis of numerical integrations covering 33,000 or 100,000 yrs; the values reported supplement the preliminary findings of Hahn and Lagerkvist (1987). A solar-system dynamics model accounting for the effects of all planets from Venus to Neptune is employed, along with the 15th-order integration algorithm RADAU (Everhart, 1985). The results are presented in extensive tables and graphs and discussed in detail.

  15. The Dynamics of Orbit-Clearing for Planets on Eccentric Orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hastings, Danielle; Margot, Jean-Luc

    2016-10-01

    The third requirement in the 2006 International Astronomical Union (IAU) definition of a planet is that the object has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit. Margot (2015) proposed a metric that quantitatively determines if an object has enough mass to clear an orbital zone of a specific extent within a defined time interval. In this metric, the size of the zone to be cleared is given by CRH, where C is a constant and RH is the Hill Radius. Margot (2015) adopts C=2*31/2 to describe the minimum extent of orbital clearing on the basis of the planet's feeding zone. However, this value of C may only apply for eccentricities up to about 0.3 (Quillen & Faber 2006). Here, we explore the timescales and boundaries of orbital clearing for planets over a range of orbital eccentricities and planet-star mass ratios using the MERCURY integration package (Chambers 1999). The basic setup for the integrations includes a single planet orbiting a star and a uniform distribution of massless particles extending beyond CRH. The system is integrated for at least 106 revolutions and the massless particles are tracked in order to quantify the timescale and extent of the clearing.

  16. Kepler’s DR25 Most Earth-like Planet Candidates: What To Know Before You Go

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Susan E.; Kepler Team

    2018-01-01

    The Kepler mission’s latest catalog of planet candidates (data release 25 KOI catalog at the NASA exoplanet archive) was released in June of 2017. The catalog contains 4034 candidates including a significant population of terrestrial-size planets in the habitable zone of FGK dwarf stars. I will highlight what we know about these planet candidates in the DR25 catalog and discuss some of the caveats when working with these detections. Specifically, I will discuss how the noise in the Kepler light curves (from both the instrument and the stars) is known to occasionally produce weak, transit-like signals. We use simulations of this noise to measure how often these signals sneak into the catalog. I will also demonstrate ways to select a high-reliability sample using information available in the catalog. Such considerations may prove useful for anyone planning to use these planet candidates for occurrence rate calculations, choosing targets for follow-up, or deciding which planet to visit on his/her next holiday.

  17. Detecting cold, wide orbit planets in the solar neighbourhood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deacon, Niall; Kraus, Adam

    2018-05-01

    Direct imaging exoplanet studies have recently unveiled a previously unexpected population of massive planets in wide orbits (>100AU). Although most of these discoveries have been around younger stars and have been of similar temperatures to field brown dwarfs, one object (WD 0806-661B), is the coldest planet known outside our solar system. In Spitzer Cycle 11 we surveyed stars and brown dwarfs within 8pc to identify massive planetary companions in the 150-1500AU separation range. Only 56 of our 196 stars were observed with two epochs of observation. We propose second epoch observations for 80 targets with first, but little or no second epoch observations. We will 1) Measure the fraction of wide planetary mass companions to stars in the Solar neighbourhood. 2) Identify approximately 5 planets, three of which will have temperatures below 300K making them ideal targets to study water clouds in cold atmospheres with both JWST and the next generation of ground-based extremely large telescopes. 3) Identify all planets around our target stars with masses above 8 Jupiter masses in our chosen projected separation range with lower mass limits for closer and younger stars. Our survey will be the most complete survey for wide planets to-date and will provide both a measurement of the wide planet population and a legacy of cold, well-constrained targets for future observations with JWST and Extremely Large Telescopes.

  18. Two Earth-sized planets orbiting Kepler-20.

    PubMed

    Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Rowe, Jason F; Charbonneau, David; Rogers, Leslie A; Ballard, Sarah; Batalha, Natalie M; Borucki, William J; Bryson, Stephen T; Buchhave, Lars A; Ciardi, David R; Désert, Jean-Michel; Dressing, Courtney D; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B; Gautier, Thomas N; Henze, Christopher E; Holman, Matthew J; Howard, Andrew; Howell, Steve B; Jenkins, Jon M; Koch, David G; Latham, David W; Lissauer, Jack J; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Quinn, Samuel N; Ragozzine, Darin; Sasselov, Dimitar D; Seager, Sara; Barclay, Thomas; Mullally, Fergal; Seader, Shawn E; Still, Martin; Twicken, Joseph D; Thompson, Susan E; Uddin, Kamal

    2011-12-20

    Since the discovery of the first extrasolar giant planets around Sun-like stars, evolving observational capabilities have brought us closer to the detection of true Earth analogues. The size of an exoplanet can be determined when it periodically passes in front of (transits) its parent star, causing a decrease in starlight proportional to its radius. The smallest exoplanet hitherto discovered has a radius 1.42 times that of the Earth's radius (R(⊕)), and hence has 2.9 times its volume. Here we report the discovery of two planets, one Earth-sized (1.03R(⊕)) and the other smaller than the Earth (0.87R(⊕)), orbiting the star Kepler-20, which is already known to host three other, larger, transiting planets. The gravitational pull of the new planets on the parent star is too small to measure with current instrumentation. We apply a statistical method to show that the likelihood of the planetary interpretation of the transit signals is more than three orders of magnitude larger than that of the alternative hypothesis that the signals result from an eclipsing binary star. Theoretical considerations imply that these planets are rocky, with a composition of iron and silicate. The outer planet could have developed a thick water vapour atmosphere.

  19. Orbital evolution studies of planet-crossing asteroids.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahn, Gerhard; Lagerkvist, Claes-Ingvar

    1987-03-01

    Numerical integrations of 26 orbits of planet-crossing astetoids of Apollo-Amor type have been performed, in a solar system model including the perturbations by the planets from Venus to Neptune. The 15:th order RADAU integrator (Everhart, 1985) has been used. Orbits for the asteroids 433 Eros, 887 Alinda, 1036 Ganymed, 1221 Amor, 1580 Betulia, 1627 Ivar, 1685 Toro, 1862 Apollo, 1863 Antinous, 1864 Daedalus, 1865 Cerberus, 1915 Quetzalcoatl and 1916 Boreas have been integrated over 100 000 years forward in time and for 1866 Sisyphus, 2102 Tantalus, 2201 Oljato, 2329 Orthos, 3360 1981 VA, 3552 1983 SA, 1981 EJ30, 1985 PA, 1985 WA, 1986 DA 1986 JK and 1986 RA a period of about 33 000 years has been covered. The orbital evolutions of these asteroids are discussed. This work is part of a larger study of the long-term orbital evolution of planet-crossing asteroids and will be continued within the project SPACEGUARD (Milani et al., 1987).

  20. On the Lack of Circumbinary Planets Orbiting Isolated Binary Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleming, David; Barnes, Rory; Graham, David E.; Luger, Rodrigo; Quinn, Thomas R.

    2018-04-01

    To date, no binary star system with an orbital period less than 7.5 days has been observed to host a circumbinary planet (CBP), a puzzling observation given the thousands of binary stars with orbital periods < 10 days discovered by the Kepler mission (Kirk et al., 2016) and the observational biases that favor their detection (Munoz & Lai, 2015). We outline a mechanism that explains the observed lack of CBPs via coupled stellar-tidal evolution of isolated binary stars. Tidal forces between low-mass, short-period binary stars on the pre-main sequence slow the stellar rotations, transferring rotational angular momentum to the orbit as the stars approach the tidally locked state. This transfer increases the binary orbital period, expanding the region of dynamical instability around the binary, and destabilizing CBPs that tend to preferentially orbit just beyond the initial dynamical stability limit. After the stars tidally lock, we find that angular momentum loss due to magnetic braking can significantly shrink the binary orbit, and hence the region of dynamical stability, over time impacting where surviving CBPs are observed relative to the boundary. We perform simulations over a wide range of parameter space and find that the expansion of the instability region occurs for most plausible initial conditions and that in some cases, the stability semi-major axis doubles from its initial value. We examine the dynamical and observable consequences of a CBP falling within the dynamical instability limit by running N-body simulations of circumbinary planetary systems and find that typically, at least one planet is ejected from the system. We apply our theory to the shortest period Kepler binary that possesses a CBP, Kepler-47, and find that its existence is consistent with our model. Under conservative assumptions, we find that coupled stellar-tidal evolution of pre-main sequence binary stars removes at least one close-in CBP in 87% of multi-planet circumbinary systems.

  1. LO2/LH2 propulsion for outer planet orbiter spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrison, P. W.; Sigurdson, K. B.

    1983-01-01

    Galileo class orbiter missions (750-1500 kg) to the outer planets require a large postinjection delta-V for improved propulsion performance. The present investigation shows that a pump-fed low thrust LO2/LH2 propulsion system can provide a significantly larger net on-orbit mass for a given delta-V than a state-of-the-art earth storable, N2O4/monomethylhydrazine pressure-fed propulsion system. A description is given of a conceptual design for a LO2/LH2 pump-fed propulsion system developed for a Galileo class mission to the outer planets. Attention is given to spacecraft configuration, details regarding the propulsion system, the thermal control of the cryogenic propellants, and aspects of mission performance.

  2. Potential advantages of solar electric propulsion for outer planet orbiters.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sauer, C. G.; Atkins, K. L.

    1972-01-01

    Past studies of solar electric propulsion for outer planet orbiters have generally emphasized the advantages of flight time reduction and payload increases. However, several subtle advantages exist, which may become important in an environment of increasingly difficult requirements as ways to extend current technology are sought. These advantages accrue primarily because of the inherent capability, unique to electric propulsion, to efficiently shape a trajectory while enroute. Stressed in this paper are: the ability to meet orbital constraints due to assumed radiation belts, science flexibility in a dual launch program, increased numbers of observational passes, and the lengthening of launch periods. These are examined for years representative of relatively easy and difficult ballistic missions. The results indicate that an early investment in solar electric technology will provide a strong performance foundation for a long range outer planet exploration program which evolves from current spacecraft technology.

  3. Kepler-36: a pair of planets with neighboring orbits and dissimilar densities.

    PubMed

    Carter, Joshua A; Agol, Eric; Chaplin, William J; Basu, Sarbani; Bedding, Timothy R; Buchhave, Lars A; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Deck, Katherine M; Elsworth, Yvonne; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B; Fortney, Jonathan J; Hale, Steven J; Handberg, Rasmus; Hekker, Saskia; Holman, Matthew J; Huber, Daniel; Karoff, Christopher; Kawaler, Steven D; Kjeldsen, Hans; Lissauer, Jack J; Lopez, Eric D; Lund, Mikkel N; Lundkvist, Mia; Metcalfe, Travis S; Miglio, Andrea; Rogers, Leslie A; Stello, Dennis; Borucki, William J; Bryson, Steve; Christiansen, Jessie L; Cochran, William D; Geary, John C; Gilliland, Ronald L; Haas, Michael R; Hall, Jennifer; Howard, Andrew W; Jenkins, Jon M; Klaus, Todd; Koch, David G; Latham, David W; MacQueen, Phillip J; Sasselov, Dimitar; Steffen, Jason H; Twicken, Joseph D; Winn, Joshua N

    2012-08-03

    In the solar system, the planets' compositions vary with orbital distance, with rocky planets in close orbits and lower-density gas giants in wider orbits. The detection of close-in giant planets around other stars was the first clue that this pattern is not universal and that planets' orbits can change substantially after their formation. Here, we report another violation of the orbit-composition pattern: two planets orbiting the same star with orbital distances differing by only 10% and densities differing by a factor of 8. One planet is likely a rocky "super-Earth," whereas the other is more akin to Neptune. These planets are 20 times more closely spaced and have a larger density contrast than any adjacent pair of planets in the solar system.

  4. Stability of Multi-Planet Systems Orbiting in the Alpha Centauri AB System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lissauer, Jack

    2018-04-01

    We evaluate how closely-spaced planetary orbits in multiple planet systems can be and still survive for billion-year timescales within the alpha Centauri AB system. Although individual planets on nearly circular, coplanar orbits can survive throughout the habitable zones of both stars, perturbations from the companion star imply that the spacing of such planets in multi-planet systems must be significantly larger than the spacing of similar systems orbiting single stars in order to be long-lived. Because the binary companion induces a forced eccentricity upon circumstellar planets, stable orbits with small initial eccentricities aligned with the binary orbit are possible to slightly larger initial semimajor axes than are initially circular orbits. Initial eccentricities close to the appropriate forced eccentricity can have a much larger affect on how closely planetary orbits can be spaced, on how many planets may remain in the habitable zones, although the required spacing remains significantly higher than for planets orbiting single stars.

  5. Effects of Variable Eccentricity on the Climate of an Earth-like World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Way, M. J.; Georgakarakos, Nikolaos

    2017-01-01

    The Kepler era of exoplanetary discovery has presented the astronomical community with a cornucopia of planetary systems that are very different from the one that we inhabit. It has long been known that Jupiter plays a major role in the orbital parameters of Mars and its climate, but there is also a long-standing belief that Jupiter would play a similar role for Earth if not for the Moon. Using a three-dimensional general circulation model (3D GCM) with a fully coupled ocean, we simulate what would happen to the climate of an Earth-like world if Mars did not exist, but a Jupiter-like planet was much closer to Earth’s orbit. We investigate two scenarios that involve the evolution of the Earth-like planet’s orbital eccentricity from 0 to 0.283 over 6500 years, and from 0 to 0.066 on a timescale of 4500 years. In both cases we discover that they would maintain relatively temperate climates over the timescales simulated. More Earth-like planets in multi-planet systems will be discovered as we continue to survey the skies and the results herein show that the proximity of large gas giant planets may play an important role in the habitability of these worlds. These are the first such 3D GCM simulations using a fully coupled ocean with a planetary orbit that evolves over time due to the presence of a giant planet.

  6. Development of a Model of Geophysical and Geochemical Controls on Abiotic Carbon Cycling on Earth-Like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neveu, M.; Felton, R.; Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Desch, S. J.; Arney, G. N.

    2017-12-01

    About 20 Earth-sized planets (0.6-1.6 Earth masses and radii) have now been discovered beyond our solar system [1]. Although such planets are prime targets in the upcoming search for atmospheric biosignatures, their composition, geology, and climate are essentially unconstrained. Yet, developing an understanding of how these factors influence planetary evolution through time and space is essential to establishing abiotic backgrounds against which any deviations can provide evidence for biological activity. To this end, we are building coupled geophysical-geochemical models of abiotic carbon cycling on such planets. Our models are controlled by atmospheric factors such as temperature and composition, and compute interior inputs to atmospheric species. They account for crustal weathering, ocean-atmosphere equilibria, and exchange with the deep interior as a function of planet composition and size (and, eventually, age).Planets in other solar systems differ from the Earth not only in their bulk physical properties, but also likely in their bulk chemical composition [2], which influences key parameters such as the vigor of mantle convection and the near-surface redox state. Therefore, simulating how variations in such parameters affect carbon cycling requires us to simulate the above processes from first principles, rather than by using arbitrary parameterizations derived from observations as is often done with models of carbon cycling on Earth [3] or extrapolations thereof [4]. As a first step, we have developed a kinetic model of crustal weathering using the PHREEQC code [5] and kinetic data from [6]. We will present the ability of such a model to replicate Earth's carbon cycle using, for the time being, parameterizations for surface-interior-atmosphere exchange processes such as volcanism (e.g., [7]).[1] exoplanet.eu, 7/28/2017.[2] Young et al. (2014) Astrobiology 14, 603-626.[3] Lerman & Wu (2008) Kinetics of Global Geochemical Cycles. In Kinetics of Water

  7. 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

    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 1more » 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.« less

  8. Orbital Eccentricity and the Stability of Planets in the Alpha Centauri System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack

    2016-01-01

    Planets on initially circular orbits are typically more dynamically stable than planets initially having nonzero eccentricities. However, the presence of a major perturber that forces periodic oscillations of planetary eccentricity can alter this situation. We investigate the dependance of system lifetime on initial eccentricity for planets orbiting one star within the alpha Centauri system. Our results show that initial conditions chosen to minimize free eccentricity can substantially increase stability compared to planets on circular orbits.

  9. On the Lack of Circumbinary Planets Orbiting Isolated Binary Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleming, David P.; Barnes, Rory; Graham, David E.; Luger, Rodrigo; Quinn, Thomas R.

    2018-05-01

    We outline a mechanism that explains the observed lack of circumbinary planets (CBPs) via coupled stellar–tidal evolution of isolated binary stars. Tidal forces between low-mass, short-period binary stars on the pre-main sequence slow the stellar rotations transferring rotational angular momentum to the orbit as the stars approach the tidally locked state. This transfer increases the binary orbital period, expanding the region of dynamical instability around the binary, and destabilizing CBPs that tend to preferentially orbit just beyond the initial dynamical stability limit. After the stars tidally lock, we find that angular momentum loss due to magnetic braking can significantly shrink the binary orbit, and hence the region of dynamical stability, over time, impacting where surviving CBPs are observed relative to the boundary. We perform simulations over a wide range of parameter space and find that the expansion of the instability region occurs for most plausible initial conditions and that, in some cases, the stability semimajor axis doubles from its initial value. We examine the dynamical and observable consequences of a CBP falling within the dynamical instability limit by running N-body simulations of circumbinary planetary systems and find that, typically, at least one planet is ejected from the system. We apply our theory to the shortest-period Kepler binary that possesses a CBP, Kepler-47, and find that its existence is consistent with our model. Under conservative assumptions, we find that coupled stellar–tidal evolution of pre-main sequence binary stars removes at least one close-in CBP in 87% of multi-planet circumbinary systems.

  10. NASA's Hubble Sees Martian Moon Orbiting the Red Planet

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-07-20

    The sharp eye of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured the tiny moon Phobos during its orbital trek around Mars. Because the moon is so small, it appears star-like in the Hubble pictures. Over the course of 22 minutes, Hubble took 13 separate exposures, allowing astronomers to create a time-lapse video showing the diminutive moon's orbital path. The Hubble observations were intended to photograph Mars, and the moon's cameo appearance was a bonus. A football-shaped object just 16.5 miles by 13.5 miles by 11 miles, Phobos is one of the smallest moons in the solar system. It is so tiny that it would fit comfortably inside the Washington, D.C. Beltway. The little moon completes an orbit in just 7 hours and 39 minutes, which is faster than Mars rotates. Rising in the Martian west, it runs three laps around the Red Planet in the course of one Martian day, which is about 24 hours and 40 minutes. It is the only natural satellite in the solar system that circles its planet in a time shorter than the parent planet's day. About two weeks after the Apollo 11 manned lunar landing on July 20, 1969, NASA's Mariner 7 flew by the Red Planet and took the first crude close-up snapshot of Phobos. On July 20, 1976 NASA's Viking 1 lander touched down on the Martian surface. A year later, its parent craft, the Viking 1 orbiter, took the first detailed photograph of Phobos, revealing a gaping crater from an impact that nearly shattered the moon. Phobos was discovered by Asaph Hall on August 17, 1877 at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., six days after he found the smaller, outer moon, named Deimos. Hall was deliberately searching for Martian moons. Both moons are named after the sons of Ares, the Greek god of war, who was known as Mars in Roman mythology. Phobos (panic or fear) and Deimos (terror or dread) accompanied their father into battle. Close-up photos from Mars-orbiting spacecraft reveal that Phobos is apparently being torn apart by the gravitational pull of Mars

  11. Plutonic-squishy lid and beyond: implications of intrusive magmatism and characterization of a new global-tectonic regime on Earth-like planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louro Lourenço, Diogo; Rozel, Antoine; Ballmer, Maxim; Tackley, Paul

    2017-04-01

    It is now well established that compositional variations in the lithosphere can alter the stress state and greatly influence the likelihood of plate tectonics. Mechanisms that have been found to facilitate plate tectonics include: water circulation [Regenauer-Lieb et al., Science 2001; Dymkova and Gerya, GRL 2013], presence of continents [Rolf and Tackley, GRL 2011], and melting [Korenaga, GJI 2009; Armann and Tackley, JGR 2012]. In a recent work by Lourenço et al. [EPSL 2016], it has been shown that Earth-like plate tectonics is more likely to occur in planets that can produce a crust of variable thickness and density through melt extraction from the mantle. The authors employed a first-order approximation by assuming that all magmatism was extrusive. However, volumes of intruded magmas are observed to be around 4- 9 times more present on Earth than erupted magmas [Crisp, J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. 1984]. Therefore, intrusive magmatism is thought to play a role in the dynamics of the lithosphere on Earth [Cawood et al., Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 2013] and other Earth-like planets. We extend the work of Lourenço et al. [2016] by taking into account intrusive magmatism, and systematically investigate the effect of plutonism, in conjugation with eruptive volcanism. We present a set of 2D spherical annulus simulations of thermo-compositional global mantle convection using StagYY [Tackley, PEPI 2008], which uses a finite-volume discretization of the governing compressible anelastic Stokes equations. Tracers are used to track composition and to allow for the treatment of partial melting and crustal formation. A direct solver is employed to obtain a solution of the Stokes and continuity equations, using the PETSc toolkit. The heat equation is solved in two steps: advection is performed using the MPDATA scheme and diffusion is then solved implicitly using a PETSc solver. Results show that three common convection regimes are usually reached in simulations when using a visco

  12. Elliptic Capture Orbits for Missions to the Near Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Casal, Federico G.; Swenson, Byron L.; Mascy, Alfred C.

    1968-01-01

    Elliptic capture orbits around Mars and Venus have often been considered as means for reducing arrival and departure energy requirements for two-way missions. It had also generally been feared that the energy savings obtained by capturing a spacecraft into a highly elliptical orbit (rather than a near circular orbit of the same periapsis) would largely be offset by the penalties incurred in aligning the semi-major axis of the ellipse in such a way as to obtain the proper orientation of the departure hyperbola. This paper, presents the results of an analysis which takes into consideration the penalties arising from the requirement to match the orientation of the elliptical orbit with the asymptote of the departure hyperbola. The scientific aspects of elliptical orbits around the target planet are discussed, and it is shown that such orbits exhibit characteristics which may be considered advantageous or disadvantageous depending on the purpose of the mission. Alignment of ' the semi-major axis of the capture, ellipse relative to the, asymptote of the escape hyperbola was found not to be a critical requirement since the kinetic energy remains high over a substantial portion of the elliptical capture orbit. This 'means that the escape stage can operate efficiently even when ignited at some angle from the true periapsis point. Considerable freedom in choosing this angle is available at little propulsive cost. The resulting latitude in the choice of angles between arrival and escape asymptotes makes it possible to consider a wide variety of interplanetary transfers and planetary staytimes without the need for separate propulsive maneuvers to realign the capture ellipse before departure., Special consideration has also been g1ven to plane change maneuvers around the planet. These may be required for reasons of orbit dynamics or scientific experimentation and are not uniquely tied to elliptical captures. The sensitivity of the mass of the excursion module to the

  13. Response of Atmospheric Biomarkers to NOx-Induced Photochemistry Generated by Stellar Cosmic Rays for Earth-like Planets in the Habitable Zone of M Dwarf Stars

    PubMed Central

    Grießmeier, Jean-Mathias; von Paris, Philip; Patzer, A. Beate C.; Lammer, Helmut; Stracke, Barbara; Gebauer, Stefanie; Schreier, Franz; Rauer, Heike

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Understanding whether M dwarf stars may host habitable planets with Earth-like atmospheres and biospheres is a major goal in exoplanet research. If such planets exist, the question remains as to whether they could be identified via spectral signatures of biomarkers. Such planets may be exposed to extreme intensities of cosmic rays that could perturb their atmospheric photochemistry. Here, we consider stellar activity of M dwarfs ranging from quiet up to strong flaring conditions and investigate one particular effect upon biomarkers, namely, the ability of secondary electrons caused by stellar cosmic rays to break up atmospheric molecular nitrogen (N2), which leads to production of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the planetary atmosphere, hence affecting biomarkers such as ozone (O3). We apply a stationary model, that is, without a time dependence; hence we are calculating the limiting case where the atmospheric chemistry response time of the biomarkers is assumed to be slow and remains constant compared with rapid forcing by the impinging stellar flares. This point should be further explored in future work with time-dependent models. We estimate the NOx production using an air shower approach and evaluate the implications using a climate-chemical model of the planetary atmosphere. O3 formation proceeds via the reaction O+O2+M→O3+M. At high NOx abundances, the O atoms arise mainly from NO2 photolysis, whereas on Earth this occurs via the photolysis of molecular oxygen (O2). For the flaring case, O3 is mainly destroyed via direct titration, NO+O3→NO2+O2, and not via the familiar catalytic cycle photochemistry, which occurs on Earth. For scenarios with low O3, Rayleigh scattering by the main atmospheric gases (O2, N2, and CO2) became more important for shielding the planetary surface from UV radiation. A major result of this work is that the biomarker O3 survived all the stellar-activity scenarios considered except for the strong case, whereas the biomarker

  14. Response of atmospheric biomarkers to NO(x)-induced photochemistry generated by stellar cosmic rays for earth-like planets in the habitable zone of M dwarf stars.

    PubMed

    Grenfell, John Lee; Grießmeier, Jean-Mathias; von Paris, Philip; Patzer, A Beate C; Lammer, Helmut; Stracke, Barbara; Gebauer, Stefanie; Schreier, Franz; Rauer, Heike

    2012-12-01

    Understanding whether M dwarf stars may host habitable planets with Earth-like atmospheres and biospheres is a major goal in exoplanet research. If such planets exist, the question remains as to whether they could be identified via spectral signatures of biomarkers. Such planets may be exposed to extreme intensities of cosmic rays that could perturb their atmospheric photochemistry. Here, we consider stellar activity of M dwarfs ranging from quiet up to strong flaring conditions and investigate one particular effect upon biomarkers, namely, the ability of secondary electrons caused by stellar cosmic rays to break up atmospheric molecular nitrogen (N(2)), which leads to production of nitrogen oxides (NO(x)) in the planetary atmosphere, hence affecting biomarkers such as ozone (O(3)). We apply a stationary model, that is, without a time dependence; hence we are calculating the limiting case where the atmospheric chemistry response time of the biomarkers is assumed to be slow and remains constant compared with rapid forcing by the impinging stellar flares. This point should be further explored in future work with time-dependent models. We estimate the NO(x) production using an air shower approach and evaluate the implications using a climate-chemical model of the planetary atmosphere. O(3) formation proceeds via the reaction O+O(2)+M→O(3)+M. At high NO(x) abundances, the O atoms arise mainly from NO(2) photolysis, whereas on Earth this occurs via the photolysis of molecular oxygen (O(2)). For the flaring case, O(3) is mainly destroyed via direct titration, NO+O(3)→NO(2)+O(2), and not via the familiar catalytic cycle photochemistry, which occurs on Earth. For scenarios with low O(3), Rayleigh scattering by the main atmospheric gases (O(2), N(2), and CO(2)) became more important for shielding the planetary surface from UV radiation. A major result of this work is that the biomarker O(3) survived all the stellar-activity scenarios considered except for the strong

  15. Climate of an Earth-Like World with Changing Eccentricity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-02-01

    Having a giant planet like Jupiter next door can really wreak havoc on your orbit! A new study examines what such a bad neighbor might mean for the long-term climate of an Earth-like planet.Influence of a Bad NeighborThe presence of a Jupiter-like giant planet in a nearby orbit can significantly affect how terrestrial planets evolve dynamically, causing elements like the planets orbital eccentricities and axial tilts to change over time. Earth is saved this inconvenience Jupiter isnt close enough to significantly influence us, and our large moon stabilizes our orbit against Jupiters tugs.Top panels: Authors simulationoutcomes for Case1, in which the planets eccentricity varies from 0 to 0.283 over 6500 years. Bottom panels: Outcomes for Case 2, in which the planets eccentricity varies from 0 to 0.066 over 4500 years. The highereccentricities reached in Case 1 causes the climate parameters to vary more widely. Click for a better look! [Way Georgakarakos 2017]Mars, on the other hand, isnt as lucky: its possible that Jupiters gravitational pull causes Marss axial tilt, for instance, to evolve through a range as large as 0 to 60 degrees on timescales of millions of years! Marss orbital eccentricity is similarly thought to vary due to Jupiters influence, and both of these factors play a major role in determining Marss climate.As exoplanet missions discover more planets many of which are Earth-like we must carefully consider which among these are most likely to be capable of sustaining life. If having a nearby neighbor like a Jupiter can tug an Earth-like world into an orbit with varying eccentricity, how does this affect the planets climate? Will the planet remain temperate? Or will it develop a runaway heating or cooling effect as it orbits, rendering it uninhabitable?Oceans and OrbitsTo examine these questions, two scientists have built the first ever 3D global climate model simulations of an Earth-like world using a fully coupled ocean (necessary for understanding

  16. 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., E-mail: robinson@astro.washington.edu

    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%more » 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.« less

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    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 0.5more » 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.« less

  18. A possible giant planet orbiting the cataclysmic variable LX Ser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Kai; Hu, Shaoming; Zhou, Jilin; Wu, Donghong; Guo, Difu; Jiang, Yunguo; Gao, Dongyang; Chen, Xu; Wang, Xianyu

    2017-04-01

    LX Ser is a deeply eclipsing cataclysmic variable with an orbital period of 0.1584325 d. 62 new eclipse times were determined by our observations and the AAVSO International Data base. Combining all available eclipse times, we analyzed the O - C behavior of LX Ser. We found that the O - C diagram of LX Ser shows a sinusoidal oscillation with a period of 22.8 yr and an amplitude of 0.00035 d. Two mechanisms (i.e., the Applegate mechanism and the light-travel time effect) are applied to explain the cyclic modulation. We found that it is difficult to apply the Applegate mechanism to explain the cyclic oscillation in the orbital period. Therefore, the cyclic period change is most likely to be caused by the light-travel time effect due to the presence of a third body. The mass of the tertiary component was determined to be M3 ∼ 7.5 MJup. We supposed that the tertiary companion is plausibly a giant planet. The stability of the giant planet was checked, and we found that the multiple system is stable.

  19. SOLARIS: Software for planet formation and orbital integrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Süli software, Á.

    2013-11-01

    I present SOLARIS a general purpose software package for doing N-body and planet formation simulations. SOLARIS is capable to (i) to follow the orbital evolution of the solar system's major planets and minor bodies, (ii) to study the dynamics of exoplanetary systems, and (iii) to study the early and later phases of planetary formation. The process to bring bodies with different epochs to one common epoch, i.e. synchronization is implemented. Apart from the Newtonian gravitational forces, aerodynamic drag force, and type I and II migration forces are also implemented. The code also includes a nebula model. To speed up the computation, SOLARIS treats particles with different interaction properties. Several two-body events are monitored, such as collision, ejection etc. Arbitrary chemical composition can be assigned to massive bodies and during collisions the new body's composition is based on the mergers. The input is given in XML to define the parameters in a well-structured and flexible way. SOLARIS is designed to be versatile and easy to use, accepting initial conditions in either Cartesian coordinates or Keplerian orbital elements.

  20. The (Historical) Search for Planets Orbiting Proxima Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-08-01

    The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is widely expected to address the reportsofthe discovery of a planet orbiting our nearest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri, today. Due to its proximity 4.25 light-years away this red dwarf star has been a prime target for exoplanet searches throughout the last couple decades.Hubble image of Proxima Centauri, our nearest stellar neighbor. [ESA/Hubble]In anticipation of ESOspress conference this afternoon, lets take a look at someof the past work in the search for planetary companions around Proxima Centauri.The Early Years of Exploring Proxima CentauriProxima Centauri was discovered by astronomer Robert Innes in 1915. Studies of this star over the next eighty years primarily focused on better understanding its orbital motion (is it part of the Alpha Centauri star system?) and its flaring nature. But in the 1990s, after the detection of the first exoplanets, Proxima Centauri became a target for its potential to host planet-mass companions.Top: Images of Proxima Centauri on two different days from Hubbles FOS instrument. The bar across the center is an occulter that partially blocks the light from Proxima Centauri. Middle: Reconstructed images allowing a closer look at a moving feature identified by the authors as a possible companion. Bottom: diagram of the position of the planet candidate (box) relative to Proxima Centauri (star) in the two frames. [Schultz et al. 1998]1990s: A Possible Planet Detected With Hubble?In January 1998, a paper led by A.B. Schultz (STScI) reported the possible visual detection of a planetary companion to Proxima Centauri. Observations from Hubbles Faint Object Spectrograph, which was being used as a coronagraphic camera, revealed excess light that could be interpreted as a substellar object located ~0.5 AU from Proxima Centauri, a small separation that could imply either a short (~1 yr) period or a highly eccentric orbit.But follow-up observations led by David Golimowski (Johns Hopkins University

  1. Using polarimetry to retrieve the cloud coverage of Earth-like exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, L.; Stam, D. M.

    2017-11-01

    Context. Clouds have already been detected in exoplanetary atmospheres. They play crucial roles in a planet's atmosphere and climate and can also create ambiguities in the determination of atmospheric parameters such as trace gas mixing ratios. Knowledge of cloud properties is required when assessing the habitability of a planet. Aims: We aim to show that various types of cloud cover such as polar cusps, subsolar clouds, and patchy clouds on Earth-like exoplanets can be distinguished from each other using the polarization and flux of light that is reflected by the planet. Methods: We have computed the flux and polarization of reflected starlight for different types of (liquid water) cloud covers on Earth-like model planets using the adding-doubling method, that fully includes multiple scattering and polarization. Variations in cloud-top altitudes and planet-wide cloud cover percentages were taken into account. Results: We find that the different types of cloud cover (polar cusps, subsolar clouds, and patchy clouds) can be distinguished from each other and that the percentage of cloud cover can be estimated within 10%. Conclusions: Using our proposed observational strategy, one should be able to determine basic orbital parameters of a planet such as orbital inclination and estimate cloud coverage with reduced ambiguities from the planet's polarization signals along its orbit.

  2. Star-planet interactions. IV. Possibility of detecting the orbit-shrinking of a planet around a red giant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meynet, Georges; Eggenberger, Patrick; Privitera, Giovanni; Georgy, Cyril; Ekström, Sylvia; Alibert, Yann; Lovis, Christophe

    2017-06-01

    The surface rotations of some red giants are so fast that they must have been spun up by tidal interaction with a close companion, either another star, a brown dwarf, or a planet. We focus here on the case of red giants that are spun up by tidal interaction with a planet. When the distance between the planet and the star decreases, the spin period of the star decreases, the orbital period of the planet decreases, and the reflex motion of the star increases. We study the change rate of these three quantities when the circular orbit of a planet of 15 MJ that initially orbits a 2 M⊙ star at 1 au shrinks under the action of tidal forces during the red giant phase. We use stellar evolution models coupled with computations of the orbital evolution of the planet, which allows us to follow the exchanges of angular momentum between the star and the orbit in a consistent way. We obtain that the reflex motion of the red giant star increases by more than 1 m s-1 per year in the last 40 yr before the planet engulfment. During this phase, the reflex motion of the star is between 660 and 710 m s-1. The spin period of the star increases by more than about 10 min per year in the last 3000 yr before engulfment. During this period, the spin period of the star is shorter than 0.7 yr. During this same period, the variation in orbital period, which is shorter than 0.18 yr, is on the same order of magnitude. Changes in reflex-motion and spin velocities are very small and thus most likely out of reach of being observed. The most promising way of detecting this effect is through observations of transiting planets, that is, through changes of the beginning or end of the transit. For the relatively long orbital periods expected around red giants, long observing runs of typically a few years are needed. Interesting star-planet systems that currently are in this stage of orbit-shrinking would be red giants with fast rotation (above typically 4-5 km s-1), a low surface gravity (log g lower

  3. Earth-like aqueous debris-flow activity on Mars at high orbital obliquity in the last million years

    PubMed Central

    de Haas, T.; Hauber, E.; Conway, S. J.; van Steijn, H.; Johnsson, A.; Kleinhans, M. G.

    2015-01-01

    Liquid water is currently extremely rare on Mars, but was more abundant during periods of high obliquity in the last few millions of years. This is testified by the widespread occurrence of mid-latitude gullies: small catchment-fan systems. However, there are no direct estimates of the amount and frequency of liquid water generation during these periods. Here we determine debris-flow size, frequency and associated water volumes in Istok crater, and show that debris flows occurred at Earth-like frequencies during high-obliquity periods in the last million years on Mars. Results further imply that local accumulations of snow/ice within gullies were much more voluminous than currently predicted; melting must have yielded centimetres of liquid water in catchments; and recent aqueous activity in some mid-latitude craters was much more frequent than previously anticipated. PMID:26102485

  4. Effects of Variable Eccentricity on the Climate of an Earth-Like World

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Way, M. J.; Georgakarakos, Nikolaos

    2017-01-01

    The Kepler era of exoplanetary discovery has presented the Astronomical community with a cornucopia of planetary systems very different from the one which we inhabit. It has long been known that Jupiter plays a major role in the orbital parameters of Mars and its climate, but there is also a long-standing belief that Jupiter would play a similar role for Earth if not for its large moon. Using a three dimensional general circulation model (3-D GCM) with a fully-coupled ocean we simulate what would happen to the climate of an Earth-like world if Mars did not exist, but a Jupiter-like planet was much closer to Earths orbit. We investigate two scenarios that involve evolution of the Earth-like planets orbital eccentricity from 0 to 0.066 on a time scale of 4500 years, and from 0 to 0.283 over 6500 years. We discover that during most of the 6500 year scenario the planet would experience a moist greenhouse effect when near periastron. This could have implications for the ability of such a world to retain an ocean on time scales of 109 years. More Earth-like planets in multi-planet systems will be discovered as we continue to survey the skies and the results herein show that the proximity of large gas giant planets may play an important role in the habitabilty of these worlds. These are the first such 3-D GCM simulations using a fully-coupled ocean with a planetary orbit that evolves over time due to the presence of a giant planet.

  5. NASA's Kepler Mission Discovers Multiple Planets Orbiting Twin Suns (Reporter Pkg)

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-08-28

    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 than one planets can form and survive in orbit around a binary star.

  6. Asymmetric orbital distribution near mean motion resonance: Application to planets observed by Kepler and radial velocities

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, Ji-Wei, E-mail: jwxie@nju.edu.cn, E-mail: jwxie@astro.utoronto.ca

    2014-05-10

    Many multiple-planet systems have been found by the Kepler transit survey and various radial velocity (RV) surveys. Kepler planets show an asymmetric feature, namely, there are small but significant deficits/excesses of planet pairs with orbital period spacing slightly narrow/wide of the exact resonance, particularly near the first order mean motion resonance (MMR), such as 2:1 and 3:2 MMR. Similarly, if not exactly the same, an asymmetric feature (pileup wide of 2:1 MMR) is also seen in RV planets, but only for massive ones. We analytically and numerically study planets' orbital evolutions near and in the MMR. We find that theirmore » orbital period ratios could be asymmetrically distributed around the MMR center regardless of dissipation. In the case of no dissipation, Kepler planets' asymmetric orbital distribution could be partly reproduced for 3:2 MMR but not for 2:1 MMR, implying that dissipation might be more important to the latter. The pileup of massive RV planets just wide of 2:1 MMR is found to be consistent with the scenario that planets formed separately then migrated toward the MMR. The location of the pileup infers a K value of 1-100 on the order of magnitude for massive planets, where K is the damping rate ratio between orbital eccentricity and semimajor axis during planet migration.« less

  7. Cassini-Huygens enters orbit around the ringed planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-07-01

    opportunity to attempt to discriminate individual components within the rings, as Cassini is not planned to come this close to them again. The orbiter’s instruments also took advantage of its proximity to the planet to make an in-depth study of its atmosphere and environment. A second crossing of the ring plane took place at 05:50 UT. The spacecraft is in perfect shape to begin its tour of the Saturnian system with at least 76 orbits around the ringed planet and 52 close encounters with seven of its 31 known moons. This tour actually began before insertion with a close fly-by of an eighth moon, Phoebe, on 11 June. The primary target for Cassini-Huygens will be the largest of these moons, Titan, with a first fly-by at an altitude of 1200 kilometres on 26 October. During the coming months, ESA’s scientists will prepare for the release of their main contribution to the mission, the Huygens probe, which will be released on 25 December to enter the atmosphere of Titan on 14 January 2005. Built for ESA by an industrial team led by Alcatel Space, this 320 kilogram probe carries six science instruments to analyse and characterise the atmosphere and its dynamics during its descent. If the probe survives the impact on reaching the surface, it will also analyse the physical properties of its environment after landing. Actually bigger than Mercury, Titan features a hazy nitrogen-rich atmosphere containing carbon-based compounds. The chemical environment on Titan is thought to be similar to that of Earth before life, although colder (-180°C) and lacking liquid water. The in situ results from Huygens, combined with global observations from repeated fly-bys of Titan by the Cassini orbiter, are expected to help us understand the evolution of the early Earth's atmosphere and provide clues about the mechanisms that led to the dawn of life on our planet. The Cassini orbiter, the largest and most complex deep-space probe ever launched, carries 12 science instruments developed by US and

  8. Geophysical and atmospheric evolution of habitable planets.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Minerva-Red: Small Planets Orbiting Small Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blake, Cullen

    2018-06-01

    Recent results from Kepler and ground-based exoplanet surveys suggest that low-mass stars are host to numerous small planets. Since low-mass stars are intrinsically faint at optical wavelengths, obtaining the Doppler precision necessary to detect these companions remains a challenge for existing instruments. I will describe MINERVA-Red, a project to use a robotic, near-infrared optimized 0.7-meter telescope and a specialized Doppler spectrometer to carry out an intensive, multi-year campaign designed to reveal the planetary systems orbiting some of the closest stars to the Sun. The MINERVA-Red cross-dispersed echelle spectrograph is optimized for the “deep red”, between 800 nm and 900 nm, where the stars that will be targeted are relatively bright. The instrument is very compact and designed for the ultimate in Doppler precision – it uses a single-mode fiber input. I will describe the spectrometer and the status of the MINERVA-Red project, which is expected to begin routine operations at Whipple Observatory on Mt Hopkins, Arizona, in 2018.

  10. Observational Constraints on the Orbit and Location of Planet Nine in the Outer Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Michael E.; Batygin, Konstantin

    2016-06-01

    We use an extensive suite of numerical simulations to constrain the mass and orbit of Planet Nine, the recently proposed perturber in a distant eccentric orbit in the outer solar system. We compare our simulations to the observed population of aligned eccentric high semimajor axis Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) 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 KBOs. Allowed orbits, which confine KBOs 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°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 22< V< 25. At opposition, its motion, mainly due to parallax, can easily be detected within 24 hours.

  11. Innocent Bystanders: Orbital Dynamics of Exomoons During Planet–Planet Scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Yu-Cian; Raymond, Sean N.; Nicholson, Philip D.; Lunine, Jonathan I.

    2018-01-01

    Planet–planet scattering is the leading mechanism to explain the broad eccentricity distribution of observed giant exoplanets. Here we study the orbital stability of primordial giant planet moons in this scenario. We use N-body simulations including realistic oblateness and evolving spin evolution for the giant planets. We find that the vast majority (∼80%–90% across all our simulations) of orbital parameter space for moons is destabilized. There is a strong radial dependence, as moons past ∼ 0.1 {R}{Hill} are systematically removed. Closer-in moons on Galilean-moon-like orbits (<0.04 R Hill) have a good (∼20%–40%) chance of survival. Destabilized moons may undergo a collision with the star or a planet, be ejected from the system, be captured by another planet, be ejected but still orbiting its free-floating host planet, or survive on heliocentric orbits as “planets.” The survival rate of moons increases with the host planet mass but is independent of the planet’s final (post-scattering) orbits. Based on our simulations, we predict the existence of an abundant galactic population of free-floating (former) moons.

  12. Self-organizing systems in planetary physics: Harmonic resonances of planet and moon orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aschwanden, Markus J.

    2018-01-01

    The geometric arrangement of planet and moon orbits into a regularly spaced pattern of distances is the result of a self-organizing system. The positive feedback mechanism that operates a self-organizing system is accomplished by harmonic orbit resonances, leading to long-term stable planet and moon orbits in solar or stellar systems. The distance pattern of planets was originally described by the empirical Titius-Bode law, and by a generalized version with a constant geometric progression factor (corresponding to logarithmic spacing). We find that the orbital periods Ti and planet distances Ri from the Sun are not consistent with logarithmic spacing, but rather follow the quantized scaling (Ri + 1 /Ri) =(Ti + 1 /Ti) 2 / 3 =(Hi + 1 /Hi) 2 / 3 , where the harmonic ratios are given by five dominant resonances, namely (Hi + 1 :Hi) =(3 : 2) ,(5 : 3) ,(2 : 1) ,(5 : 2) ,(3 : 1) . We find that the orbital period ratios tend to follow the quantized harmonic ratios in increasing order. We apply this harmonic orbit resonance model to the planets and moons in our solar system, and to the exo-planets of 55 Cnc and HD 10180 planetary systems. The model allows us a prediction of missing planets in each planetary system, based on the quasi-regular self-organizing pattern of harmonic orbit resonance zones. We predict 7 (and 4) missing exo-planets around the star 55 Cnc (and HD 10180). The accuracy of the predicted planet and moon distances amounts to a few percents. All analyzed systems are found to have ≈ 10 resonant zones that can be occupied with planets (or moons) in long-term stable orbits.

  13. Kepler Detects Planet Orbiting Two Stars (Kepler-16b) Reporter Package for TWAN

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-09-19

    NASA's Kepler Mission has made the first detection of a planet orbiting two stars. About 200 light years away from our solar system, the planet Kepler-16b is cold, gaseous and about the size of Saturn. Its stars are both smaller than the Sun and about 2 billion years younger than our Solar System. They orbit around each other, so from our vantage point they take turns eclipsing each other about every 41 days. The planet Kepler-16b orbits around both stars every 229 days.

  14. The formation of giant planets in wide orbits by photoevaporation-synchronized migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guilera, O. M.; Miller Bertolami, M. M.; Ronco, M. P.

    2017-10-01

    The discovery of giant planets in wide orbits represents a major challenge for planet formation theory. In the standard core accretion paradigm, planets are expected to form at radial distances ≲20 au in order to form massive cores (with masses ≳10 M⊕) able to trigger the gaseous runaway growth before the dissipation of the disc. This has encouraged authors to find modifications of the standard scenario as well as alternative theories like the formation of planets by gravitational instabilities in the disc to explain the existence of giant planets in wide orbits. However, there is not yet consensus on how these systems are formed. In this Letter, we present a new natural mechanism for the formation of giant planets in wide orbits within the core accretion paradigm. If photoevaporation is considered, after a few Myr of viscous evolution a gap in the gaseous disc is opened. We found that, under particular circumstances planet migration becomes synchronized with the evolution of the gap, which results in an efficient outward planet migration. This mechanism is found to allow the formation of giant planets with masses Mp ≲ 1MJup in wide stable orbits as large as ∼130 au from the central star.

  15. The Prevalence of Earth-size Planets Orbiting Sun-like Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petigura, Erik; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Howard, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    In less than two decades since the discovery of the first planet orbiting another Sun-like star, the study of extrasolar planets has matured beyond individual discoveries to detailed characterization of the planet population as a whole. No mission has played more of a role in this paradigm shift than NASA's Kepler mission. Kepler photometry has shown that planets like Earth are common throughout the Milky Way Galaxy. Our group performed an independent search of Kepler photometry using our custom transit-finding pipeline, TERRA, and produced our own catalog of planet candidates. We conducted spectroscopic follow-up of their host stars in order to rule out false positive scenarios and to better constrain host star properties. We measured TERRA's sensitivity to planets of different sizes and orbital periods by injecting synthetic planets into raw Kepler photometry and measuring the recovery rate. Correcting for orbital tilt and survey completeness, we found that ~80% of GK stars harbor one or more planets within 1 AU and that ~22% of Sun-like stars harbor an Earth-size planet that receives similar levels of stellar radiation as Earth. I will present the latest results from our efforts to characterize the demographics of small planets revealed by Kepler.

  16. Spin-Orbit Misalignment of Two-Planet-System KOI-89 Via Gravity Darkening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahlers, Jonathon; Barnes, Jason W.; Barnes, Rory

    2015-12-01

    We investigate the potential causes of spin-orbit misalignment in multiplanetary systems via two-planet-system KOI-89. We focus on this system because it can experimentally constrain the outstanding hypotheses that have been proposed to cause misalignments. Using gravity darkening, we constrain both the spin-orbit angles and the angle between the planes of the orbits. Our best-fit model shows that the 85-day-orbit and 208-day-orbit planets are misaligned from the host star's rotation axis by 72° ± 3° and 73° (+11 -5°), respectively. From these results, we limit KOI-89's potential causes of spin-orbit misalignment based on three criteria: agreement with KOI-89's fundamental parameters, the capability to cause extreme misalignment, and conformance with mutually aligned planets. Our results disfavor planet-embryo collisions, chaotic evolution of stellar spin, magnetic torquing, coplanar high-eccentricity migration, and inclination resonance, limiting possible causes to star-disk binary interactions, disk warping via planet-disk interactions, Kozai resonance, planet-planet scattering, or internal gravity waves in the convective interior of the star.

  17. Searching for co-orbital planets by combining transit and radial-velocity measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robutel, p.; Leleu, A.; Correia, A.; Lillo-Box, J.

    2017-09-01

    Co-orbital planetary systems consist of two planets orbiting with the same period a central star. If co-orbital bodies are common in the solar system and are also a natural output of planetary formation models, so far none have been found in extrasolar systems. This lack may be due to observational biases, since the main detection methods are unable to spot co-orbital companions when they are small or near the Lagrangian equilibrium points. We propose a simple method, based on an idea from Ford & Gaudi (2006), that allows the detection of co-orbital companions, and relies on a single parameter proportional to the mass ratio of the two planets. This method is applied to archival radial velocity data of 46 close-in transiting planets among which a few are strong candidates to harbor a co-orbital companion.

  18. 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.

  19. Planet Formation in Disks with Inclined Binary Companions: Can Primordial Spin-Orbit Misalignment be Produced?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zanazzi, J. J.; Lai, Dong

    2018-04-01

    Many hot Jupiter (HJ) systems have been observed to have their stellar spin axis misaligned with the planet's orbital angular momentum axis. The origin of this spin-orbit misalignment and the formation mechanism of HJs remain poorly understood. A number of recent works have suggested that gravitational interactions between host stars, protoplanetary disks, and inclined binary companions may tilt the stellar spin axis with respect to the disk's angular angular momentum axis, producing planetary systems with misaligned orbits. These previous works considered idealized disk evolution models and neglected the gravitational influence of newly formed planets. In this paper, we explore how disk photoevaporation and planet formation and migration affect the inclination evolution of planet-star-disk-binary systems. We take into account planet-disk interactions and the gravitational spin-orbit coupling between the host star and the planet. We find that the rapid depletion of the inner disk via photoevaporation reduces the excitation of stellar obliquities. Depending on the formation and migration history of HJs, the spin-orbit coupling between the star and the planet may reduces and even completely suppress the excitation of stellar obliquities. Our work constrains the formation/migration history of HJs. On the other hand, planetary systems with "cold" Jupiters or close-in super-earths may experience excitation of stellar obliquities in the presence of distant inclined companions.

  20. Planet formation in discs with inclined binary companions: can primordial spin-orbit misalignment be produced?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zanazzi, J. J.; Lai, Dong

    2018-07-01

    Many hot Jupiter (HJ) systems have been observed to have their stellar spin axis misaligned with the planet's orbital angular momentum axis. The origin of this spin-orbit misalignment and the formation mechanism of HJs remain poorly understood. A number of recent works have suggested that gravitational interactions between host stars, protoplanetary discs, and inclined binary companions may tilt the stellar spin axis with respect to the disc's angular angular momentum axis, producing planetary systems with misaligned orbits. These previous works considered idealized disc evolution models and neglected the gravitational influence of newly formed planets. In this paper, we explore how disc photoevaporation and planet formation and migration affect the inclination evolution of planet-star-disc-binary systems. We take into account planet-disc interactions and the gravitational spin-orbit coupling between the host star and the planet. We find that the rapid depletion of the inner disc via photoevaporation reduces the excitation of stellar obliquities. Depending on the formation and migration history of HJs, the spin-orbit coupling between the star and the planet may reduces and even completely suppress the excitation of stellar obliquities. Our work constrains the formation/migration history of HJs. On the other hand, planetary systems with `cold' Jupiters or close-in super-earths may experience excitation of stellar obliquities in the presence of distant inclined companions.

  1. The Solar Neighborhood. 34. A Search for Planets Orbiting Nearby M Dwarfs Using Astrometry

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-11-01

    astrometrically determined upper mass limits on potential super- Jupiter companions at orbits of two years and longer. As part of a continuing survey...these results are consistent with the paucity of super- Jupiter and brown dwarf companions we find among the over 250 red dwarfs within 25 pc observed...fraction of M dwarfs host terrestrial planets at short orbital periods. Less is known about the populations of Jupiter - mass planets and brown dwarfs around

  2. ScienceCast 54: Getting to Know the Goldilocks Planet

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-03-29

    NASA's Kepler spacecraft is discovering a veritable avalanche of alien worlds. It seems to be just a matter of time before Kepler finds what astronomers are really looking for: an Earth-like planet orbiting its star in the "Goldilocks zone".

  3. Characterization of extrasolar terrestrial planets from diurnal photometric variability.

    PubMed

    Ford, E B; Seager, S; Turner, E L

    2001-08-30

    The detection of massive planets orbiting nearby stars has become almost routine, but current techniques are as yet unable to detect terrestrial planets with masses comparable to the Earth's. Future space-based observatories to detect Earth-like planets are being planned. Terrestrial planets orbiting in the habitable zones of stars-where planetary surface conditions are compatible with the presence of liquid water-are of enormous interest because they might have global environments similar to Earth's and even harbour life. The light scattered by such a planet will vary in intensity and colour as the planet rotates; the resulting light curve will contain information about the planet's surface and atmospheric properties. Here we report a model that predicts features that should be discernible in the light curve obtained by low-precision photometry. For extrasolar planets similar to Earth, we expect daily flux variations of up to hundreds of per cent, depending sensitively on ice and cloud cover as well as seasonal variations. This suggests that the meteorological variability, composition of the surface (for example, ocean versus land fraction) and rotation period of an Earth-like planet could be derived from photometric observations. Even signatures of Earth-like plant life could be constrained or possibly, with further study, even uniquely determined.

  4. Global warming as a detectable thermodynamic marker of Earth-like extrasolar civilizations: the case for a telescope like Colossus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Jeff R.; Berdyugina, Svetlana V.

    2015-07-01

    Earth-like civilizations generate heat from the energy that they utilize. The thermal radiation from this heat can be a thermodynamic marker for civilizations. Here we model such planetary radiation on Earth-like planets and propose a strategy for detecting such an alien unintentional thermodynamic electromagnetic biomarker. We show that astronomical infrared (IR) civilization biomarkers may be detected within an interestingly large cosmic volume using a 70 m-class or larger telescope. In particular, the Colossus telescope with achievable coronagraphic and adaptive optics performance may reveal Earth-like civilizations from visible and IR photometry timeseries' taken during an exoplanetary orbit period. The detection of an alien heat signature will have far-ranging implications, but even a null result, given 70 m aperture sensitivity, could also have broad social implications.

  5. Global warming as a detectable thermodynamic marker of Earth-like extrasolar civilizations: the case for a telescope like Colossus.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Jeff R; Berdyugina, Svetlana V

    2015-07-01

    Earth-like civilizations generate heat from the energy that they utilize. The thermal radiation from this heat can be a thermodynamic marker for civilizations. Here we model such planetary radiation on Earth-like planets and propose a strategy for detecting such an alien unintentional thermodynamic electromagnetic biomarker. We show that astronomical infrared (IR) civilization biomarkers may be detected within an interestingly large cosmic volume using a 70 m-class or larger telescope. In particular, the Colossus telescope with achievable coronagraphic and adaptive optics performance may reveal Earth-like civilizations from visible and IR photometry timeseries' taken during an exoplanetary orbit period. The detection of an alien heat signature will have far-ranging implications, but even a null result, given 70 m aperture sensitivity, could also have broad social implications.

  6. Pervasive orbital eccentricities dictate the habitability of extrasolar earths.

    PubMed

    Kita, Ryosuke; Rasio, Frederic; Takeda, Genya

    2010-09-01

    The long-term habitability of Earth-like planets requires low orbital eccentricities. A secular perturbation from a distant stellar companion is a very important mechanism in exciting planetary eccentricities, as many of the extrasolar planetary systems are associated with stellar companions. Although the orbital evolution of an Earth-like planet in a stellar binary system is well understood, the effect of a binary perturbation on a more realistic system containing additional gas-giant planets has been very little studied. Here, we provide analytic criteria confirmed by a large ensemble of numerical integrations that identify the initial orbital parameters leading to eccentric orbits. We show that an extrasolar earth is likely to experience a broad range of orbital evolution dictated by the location of a gas-giant planet, which necessitates more focused studies on the effect of eccentricity on the potential for life.

  7. Solar flux incident on an orbiting surface after reflection from a planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Modest, M. F.

    1980-01-01

    Algorithms describing the solar radiation impinging on an infinitesimal surface after reflection from a gray and diffuse planet are derived. The following conditions apply: only radiation from the sunny half of the planet is taken into account; the radiation must fall on the top of the orbiting surface, and radiation must come from that part of the planet that can be seen from the orbiting body. A simple approximate formula is presented which displays excellent accuracy for all significant situations, with an error which is always less than 5% of the maximum possible reflected flux. Attention is also given to solar albedo flux on a surface directly facing the planet, the influence of solar position on albedo flux, and to solar albedo flux as a function of the surface-planet tilt angle.

  8. The effect of lunarlike satellites on the orbital infrared light curves of Earth-analog planets.

    PubMed

    Moskovitz, Nicholas A; Gaidos, Eric; Williams, Darren M

    2009-04-01

    We have investigated the influence of lunarlike satellites on the infrared orbital light curves of Earth-analog extrasolar planets. Such light curves will be obtained by NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and ESA's Darwin missions as a consequence of repeat observations to confirm the companion status of a putative planet and determine its orbit. We used an energy balance model to calculate disk-averaged infrared (bolometric) fluxes from planet-satellite systems over a full orbital period (one year). The satellites are assumed to lack an atmosphere, have a low thermal inertia like that of the Moon, and span a range of plausible radii. The planets are assumed to have thermal and orbital properties that mimic those of Earth, while their obliquities and orbital longitudes of inferior conjunction remain free parameters. Even if the gross thermal properties of the planet can be independently constrained (e.g., via spectroscopy or visible-wavelength detection of specular glint from a surface ocean), only the largest (approximately Mars-sized) lunarlike satellites can be detected by light curve data from a TPF-like instrument (i.e., one that achieves a photometric signal-to-noise ratio of 10 to 20 at infrared wavelengths). Nondetection of a lunarlike satellite can obfuscate the interpretation of a given system's infrared light curve so that it may resemble a single planet with high obliquity, different orbital longitude of vernal equinox relative to inferior conjunction, and in some cases drastically different thermal characteristics. If the thermal properties of the planet are not independently established, then the presence of a lunarlike satellite cannot be inferred from infrared data, which would thus demonstrate that photometric light curves alone can only be used for preliminary study, and the addition of spectroscopic data will be necessary.

  9. Atomic Spectroscopy of the Solar Atmosphere to Enable Earth-like Exoplanet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milbourne, Timothy; Langellier, Nicholas; Ravi, Aakash; Dolliff, Christian; Phillips, David; Walsworth, Ronald

    2017-04-01

    The radial velocity (RV) method has proved to be one of the most prolific means of exoplanet detection. This technique uses measurements of periodic Doppler shifts of the stellar spectrum to deduce the mass and semi-major axis of orbiting exoplanets. The detection an Earth-like exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star requires RV sensitivity below 10 cm/s (corresponding to kHz shifts of GHz-wide spectral lines). The installation of a laser-frequency ``astro-comb'' at the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Search for the Northern Hemisphere (HARPS-N) spectrograph on La Palma has enabled such observations. Exoplanet measurements is now limited by the noise of the stars themselves: sunspots, convection, and other types of stellar activity produce RV variations on the order of m/s, far above the detection threshold for Earth-like planets. Here, we use the Sun as a test case to better understand RV variations due to stellar activity. By comparing solar spectra taken by a purpose-built Solar Telescope on La Palma with images taken by the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), we hope to identify feature in the solar spectrum which are correlated with solar activity. Such correlates will allow us to build more sophisticated models of stellar activity, and will enable more precise measurements of Earth-like exoplanets.

  10. Origin of the orbital architecture of the giant planets of the Solar System.

    PubMed

    Tsiganis, K; Gomes, R; Morbidelli, A; Levison, H F

    2005-05-26

    Planetary formation theories suggest that the giant planets formed on circular and coplanar orbits. The eccentricities of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, however, reach values of 6 per cent, 9 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively. In addition, the inclinations of the orbital planes of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune take maximum values of approximately 2 degrees with respect to the mean orbital plane of Jupiter. Existing models for the excitation of the eccentricity of extrasolar giant planets have not been successfully applied to the Solar System. Here we show that a planetary system with initial quasi-circular, coplanar orbits would have evolved to the current orbital configuration, provided that Jupiter and Saturn crossed their 1:2 orbital resonance. We show that this resonance crossing could have occurred as the giant planets migrated owing to their interaction with a disk of planetesimals. Our model reproduces all the important characteristics of the giant planets' orbits, namely their final semimajor axes, eccentricities and mutual inclinations.

  11. Addressing the statistical mechanics of planet orbits in the solar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mogavero, Federico

    2017-10-01

    The chaotic nature of planet dynamics in the solar system suggests the relevance of a statistical approach to planetary orbits. In such a statistical description, the time-dependent position and velocity of the planets are replaced by the probability density function (PDF) of their orbital elements. It is natural to set up this kind of approach in the framework of statistical mechanics. In the present paper, I focus on the collisionless excitation of eccentricities and inclinations via gravitational interactions in a planetary system. The future planet trajectories in the solar system constitute the prototype of this kind of dynamics. I thus address the statistical mechanics of the solar system planet orbits and try to reproduce the PDFs numerically constructed by Laskar (2008, Icarus, 196, 1). I show that the microcanonical ensemble of the Laplace-Lagrange theory accurately reproduces the statistics of the giant planet orbits. To model the inner planets I then investigate the ansatz of equiprobability in the phase space constrained by the secular integrals of motion. The eccentricity and inclination PDFs of Earth and Venus are reproduced with no free parameters. Within the limitations of a stationary model, the predictions also show a reasonable agreement with Mars PDFs and that of Mercury inclination. The eccentricity of Mercury demands in contrast a deeper analysis. I finally revisit the random walk approach of Laskar to the time dependence of the inner planet PDFs. Such a statistical theory could be combined with direct numerical simulations of planet trajectories in the context of planet formation, which is likely to be a chaotic process.

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

    PubMed

    Gross, Michael

    2012-04-10

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

  13. STABLE CONIC-HELICAL ORBITS OF PLANETS AROUND BINARY STARS: ANALYTICAL RESULTS

    SciTech Connect

    Oks, E.

    2015-05-10

    Studies of planets in binary star systems are especially important because it was estimated that about half of binary stars are capable of supporting habitable terrestrial planets within stable orbital ranges. One-planet binary star systems (OBSS) have a limited analogy to objects studied in atomic/molecular physics: one-electron Rydberg quasimolecules (ORQ). Specifically, ORQ, consisting of two fully stripped ions of the nuclear charges Z and Z′ plus one highly excited electron, are encountered in various plasmas containing more than one kind of ion. Classical analytical studies of ORQ resulted in the discovery of classical stable electronic orbits with the shape ofmore » a helix on the surface of a cone. In the present paper we show that despite several important distinctions between OBSS and ORQ, it is possible for OBSS to have stable planetary orbits in the shape of a helix on a conical surface, whose axis of symmetry coincides with the interstellar axis; the stability is not affected by the rotation of the stars. Further, we demonstrate that the eccentricity of the stars’ orbits does not affect the stability of the helical planetary motion if the center of symmetry of the helix is relatively close to the star of the larger mass. We also show that if the center of symmetry of the conic-helical planetary orbit is relatively close to the star of the smaller mass, a sufficiently large eccentricity of stars’ orbits can switch the planetary motion to the unstable mode and the planet would escape the system. We demonstrate that such planets are transitable for the overwhelming majority of inclinations of plane of the stars’ orbits (i.e., the projections of the planet and the adjacent start on the plane of the sky coincide once in a while). This means that conic-helical planetary orbits at binary stars can be detected photometrically. We consider, as an example, Kepler-16 binary stars to provide illustrative numerical data on the possible parameters and the

  14. Two Small Transiting Planets and a Possible Third Body Orbiting HD 106315

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crossfield, Ian J. M.; Ciardi, David R.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.; Petigura, Erik A.; Weiss, Lauren M.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Sinukoff, Evan; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Mawet, Dimitri; Ruane, Garreth; de Pater, Imke; de Kleer, Katherine; Davies, Ashley G.; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Dressing, Courtney D.; Hirsch, Lea; Benneke, Björn; Crepp, Justin R.; Kosiarek, Molly; Livingston, John; Gonzales, Erica; Beichman, Charles A.; Knutson, Heather A.

    2017-06-01

    The masses, atmospheric makeups, spin-orbit alignments, and system architectures of extrasolar planets can be best studied when the planets orbit bright stars. We report the discovery of three bodies orbiting HD 106315, a bright (V = 8.97 mag) F5 dwarf targeted by our K2 survey for transiting exoplanets. Two small transiting planets are found to have radii {2.23}-0.25+0.30 {R}\\oplus and {3.95}-0.39+0.42 {R}\\oplus and orbital periods 9.55 days and 21.06 days, respectively. A radial velocity (RV) trend of 0.3 ± 0.1 m s-1 day-1 indicates the likely presence of a third body orbiting HD 106315 with period ≳160 days and mass ≳45 M ⊕. Transits of this object would have depths ≳0.1% and are definitively ruled out. Although the star has v sin I = 13.2 km s-1, it exhibits a short-timescale RV variability of just 6.4 m s-1. Thus, it is a good target for RV measurements of the mass and density of the inner two planets and the outer object’s orbit and mass. Furthermore, the combination of RV noise and moderate v sin I makes HD 106315 a valuable laboratory for studying the spin-orbit alignment of small planets through the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. Space-based atmospheric characterization of the two transiting planets via transit and eclipse spectroscopy should also be feasible. This discovery demonstrates again the power of K2 to find compelling exoplanets worthy of future study.

  15. Water loss from terrestrial planets orbiting ultracool dwarfs: Implications for the planets of TRAPPIST-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolmont, Emeline; Selsis, Franck; Owen, James E.; Ribas, Ignasi; Raymond, Sean N.; Leconte, Jérémy; Gillon, Michael

    2016-10-01

    Ultracool dwarfs (UCDs) encompass the population of extremely low mass stars (later than M6-type) and brown dwarfs.Because UCDs cool monotonically, their habitable zone (HZ) sweeps inward in time.Assuming they possess water, planets found in the HZ of UCDs have experienced a runaway greenhouse phase too hot for liquid water prior to entering the HZ.It has been proposed that such planets are desiccated by this hot early phase and enter the HZ as dry, inhospitable worlds.Here we model the water loss during this pre-HZ hot phase taking into account recent upper limits on the XUV emission of UCDs and using 1D radiation-hydrodynamic simulations.We address the whole range of UCDs but also focus on the planets b, c and d recently found around the 0.08 M⊙ dwarf TRAPPIST-1.Despite assumptions maximizing the FUV-photolysis of water and the XUV-driven escape of hydrogen, we find that planets can retain significant amounts of water in the HZ of UCDs, with a sweet spot in the 0.04-0.06 M⊙ range.We also studied the TRAPPIST-1 system using observed constraints on the XUV-flux.We found that TRAPPIST-1b and c can lose as much as 15 Earth Ocean and planet d -- which may be inside the HZ depending on its actual period -- may have lost less than 1 Earth Ocean.Depending on its initial content, they could have enough water to remain habitable.TRAPPIST-1 planets are key targets for atmospheric characterization and could provide strong constraints on the water erosion around UCDs.

  16. 275 Candidates and 149 Validated Planets Orbiting Bright Stars in K2 Campaigns 0–10

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayo, Andrew W.; Vanderburg, Andrew; Latham, David W.; Bieryla, Allyson; Morton, Timothy D.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Dressing, Courtney D.; Beichman, Charles; Berlind, Perry; Calkins, Michael L.; Ciardi, David R.; Crossfield, Ian J. M.; Esquerdo, Gilbert A.; Everett, Mark E.; Gonzales, Erica J.; Hirsch, Lea A.; Horch, Elliott P.; Howard, Andrew W.; Howell, Steve B.; Livingston, John; Patel, Rahul; Petigura, Erik A.; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Scott, Nicholas J.; Schumer, Clea F.; Sinukoff, Evan; Teske, Johanna; Winters, Jennifer G.

    2018-03-01

    Since 2014, NASA’s K2 mission has observed large portions of the ecliptic plane in search of transiting planets and has detected hundreds of planet candidates. With observations planned until at least early 2018, K2 will continue to identify more planet candidates. We present here 275 planet candidates observed during Campaigns 0–10 of the K2 mission that are orbiting stars brighter than 13 mag (in Kepler band) and for which we have obtained high-resolution spectra (R = 44,000). These candidates are analyzed using the vespa package in order to calculate their false-positive probabilities (FPP). We find that 149 candidates are validated with an FPP lower than 0.1%, 39 of which were previously only candidates and 56 of which were previously undetected. The processes of data reduction, candidate identification, and statistical validation are described, and the demographics of the candidates and newly validated planets are explored. We show tentative evidence of a gap in the planet radius distribution of our candidate sample. Comparing our sample to the Kepler candidate sample investigated by Fulton et al., we conclude that more planets are required to quantitatively confirm the gap with K2 candidates or validated planets. This work, in addition to increasing the population of validated K2 planets by nearly 50% and providing new targets for follow-up observations, will also serve as a framework for validating candidates from upcoming K2 campaigns and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, expected to launch in 2018.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Giguere, Matthew J.; Fischer, Debra A.; Brewer, John M.

    2015-01-20

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

  18. Coupled Evolution with Tides of the Radius and Orbit of Transiting Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibgui, Laurent; Burrows, A.

    2009-12-01

    Some transiting extrasolar giant planets have measured radii larger than predicted by the standard theory. We explore the possibility that an earlier episode of tidal heating can explain such radius anomalies and apply the formalism we develop to HD 209458b as an example. We find that for strong enough tides the planet's radius can undergo a transient phase of inflation that temporarily interrupts canonical, monotonic shrinking due to radiative losses. Importantly, an earlier episode of tidal heating can result in a planet with an inflated radius, even though its orbit has nearly circularized. Moreover, we confirm that at late times, and under some circumstances, by raising tides on the star itself a planet can spiral into its host. We note that a 3 to 10 solar planet atmospheric opacity with no tidal heating is sufficient to explain the observed radius of HD 209458b. However, our model demonstrates that with an earlier phase of episodic tidal heating we can fit the observed radius of HD 209458b even with lower (solar) atmospheric opacities. This work demonstrates that, if a planet is left with an appreciable eccentricity after early inward migration and/or dynamical interaction, coupling radius and orbit evolution in a consistent fashion that includes tidal heating, stellar irradiation, and detailed model atmospheres might offer a generic solution to the inflated radius puzzle for transiting extrasolar giant planets.

  19. ORBITAL STABILITY OF MULTI-PLANET SYSTEMS: BEHAVIOR AT HIGH MASSES

    SciTech Connect

    Morrison, Sarah J.; Kratter, Kaitlin M., E-mail: morrison@lpl.arizona.edu, E-mail: kkratter@email.arizona.edu

    2016-06-01

    In the coming years, high-contrast imaging surveys are expected to reveal the characteristics of the population of wide-orbit, massive, exoplanets. To date, a handful of wide planetary mass companions are known, but only one such multi-planet system has been discovered: HR 8799. For low mass planetary systems, multi-planet interactions play an important role in setting system architecture. In this paper, we explore the stability of these high mass, multi-planet systems. While empirical relationships exist that predict how system stability scales with planet spacing at low masses, we show that extrapolating to super-Jupiter masses can lead to up to an ordermore » of magnitude overestimate of stability for massive, tightly packed systems. We show that at both low and high planet masses, overlapping mean-motion resonances trigger chaotic orbital evolution, which leads to system instability. We attribute some of the difference in behavior as a function of mass to the increasing importance of second order resonances at high planet–star mass ratios. We use our tailored high mass planet results to estimate the maximum number of planets that might reside in double component debris disk systems, whose gaps may indicate the presence of massive bodies.« less

  20. WFIRST: Searching for Microlens Planets in Very Wide Orbits and the MOA Microlensing Data Release

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirao, Yuki; Bennett, David; Sumi, Takahiro; MOA Collaboration

    2018-01-01

    Gravitational microlensing is an unique technique to detect exoplanets down to low mass planets beyond the snow line because it is sensitive to planets orbiting near the Einstein ring radius of a few AU away from its host star, which is complementary to the other methods. Detecting such planets are important for understanding the formation of our solar system because gas giants and ice giants planets are believed to be formed beyond the snow line, where the protoplanetary disk is cold enough for ice to condense, in the core accretion theory. Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics (MOA) group has conducted high cadence survey observations towards the Galactic bulge to detect exoplanets since 2006 at Mt.John University Observatory in NZ using MOA-II 1.8 meter telescope equipped with a very wide field-of-view MOA-cam3 CCD camera. MOA has alerted about 600 microlensing events every year and detected dozens of exoplanets in wide orbits. Future space telescope, WFIRST will conduct survey observations towards the Galactic bulge and is expected to detect thousands of planets in wide orbit via microlensing to complete the census of exoplanets begun by Kepler Space telescope which found planets in close orbits via transit method. To contribute to the WFIRST and make the microlensing community larger, MOA will open its data from 2006 to 2014 to the public. Through the off-line analysis, we have found some short binary events which were not detected in the real time analysis. Short-timescale microlensing events are important because they are candidates of free-floating or wide-separation planets. The poster will present the data release and some results of the analysis of short-timescale binary events.

  1. The sustainability of habitability on terrestrial planets: Insights, questions, and needed measurements from Mars for understanding the evolution of Earth-like worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Anderson, F. S.; Andrews-Hanna, J.; Catling, D. C.; Christensen, P. R.; Cohen, B. A.; Dressing, C. D.; Edwards, C. S.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Farley, K. A.; Fassett, C. I.; Fischer, W. W.; Fraeman, A. A.; Golombek, M. P.; Hamilton, V. E.; Hayes, A. G.; Herd, C. D. K.; Horgan, B.; Hu, R.; Jakosky, B. M.; Johnson, J. R.; Kasting, J. F.; Kerber, L.; Kinch, K. M.; Kite, E. S.; Knutson, H. A.; Lunine, J. I.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Mangold, N.; McCubbin, F. M.; Mustard, J. F.; Niles, P. B.; Quantin-Nataf, C.; Rice, M. S.; Stack, K. M.; Stevenson, D. J.; Stewart, S. T.; Toplis, M. J.; Usui, T.; Weiss, B. P.; Werner, S. C.; Wordsworth, R. D.; Wray, J. J.; Yingst, R. A.; Yung, Y. L.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2016-10-01

    What allows a planet to be both within a potentially habitable zone and sustain habitability over long geologic time? With the advent of exoplanetary astronomy and the ongoing discovery of terrestrial-type planets around other stars, our own solar system becomes a key testing ground for ideas about what factors control planetary evolution. Mars provides the solar system's longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky planet with an atmosphere and hydrosphere. Here we review current understanding and update the timeline of key processes in early Mars history. We then draw on knowledge of exoplanets and the other solar system terrestrial planets to identify six broad questions of high importance to the development and sustaining of habitability (unprioritized): (1) Is small planetary size fatal? (2) How do magnetic fields influence atmospheric evolution? (3) To what extent does starting composition dictate subsequent evolution, including redox processes and the availability of water and organics? (4) Does early impact bombardment have a net deleterious or beneficial influence? (5) How do planetary climates respond to stellar evolution, e.g., sustaining early liquid water in spite of a faint young Sun? (6) How important are the timescales of climate forcing and their dynamical drivers? Finally, we suggest crucial types of Mars measurements (unprioritized) to address these questions: (1) in situ petrology at multiple units/sites; (2) continued quantification of volatile reservoirs and new isotopic measurements of H, C, N, O, S, Cl, and noble gases in rocks that sample multiple stratigraphic sections; (3) radiometric age dating of units in stratigraphic sections and from key volcanic and impact units; (4) higher-resolution measurements of heat flux, subsurface structure, and magnetic field anomalies coupled with absolute age dating. Understanding the evolution of early Mars will feed forward to

  2. The Sustainability of Habitability on Terrestrial Planets: Insights, Questions, and Needed Measurements from Mars for Understanding the Evolution of Earth-Like Worlds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Anderson, F. S.; Andrews-Hanna, J.; Catling, D. C.; Christensen, P. R.; Cohen, B. A.; Dressing, C. D.; Edwards, C. S.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Farley, K. A.; hide

    2016-01-01

    What allows a planet to be both within a potentially habitable zone and sustain habitability over long geologic time? With the advent of exoplanetary astronomy and the ongoing discovery of terrestrial-type planets around other stars, our own solar system becomes a key testing ground for ideas about what factors control planetary evolution. Mars provides the solar systems longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky planet with an atmosphere and hydrosphere. Here we review current understanding and update the timeline of key processes in early Mars history. We then draw on knowledge of exoplanets and the other solar system terrestrial planets to identify six broad questions of high importance to the development and sustaining of habitability (unprioritized): (1) Is small planetary size fatal? (2) How do magnetic fields influence atmospheric evolution? (3) To what extent does starting composition dictate subsequent evolution, including redox processes and the availability of water and organics? (4) Does early impact bombardment have a net deleterious or beneficial influence? (5) How do planetary climates respond to stellar evolution, e.g., sustaining early liquid water in spite of a faint young Sun? (6) How important are the timescales of climate forcing and their dynamical drivers? Finally, we suggest crucial types of Mars measurements (unprioritized) to address these questions: (1) in situ petrology at multiple units/sites; (2) continued quantification of volatile reservoirs and new isotopic measurements of H, C, N, O, S, Cl, and noble gases in rocks that sample multiple stratigraphic sections; (3) radiometric age dating of units in stratigraphic sections and from key volcanic and impact units; (4) higher-resolution measurements of heat flux, subsurface structure, and magnetic field anomalies coupled with absolute age dating. Understanding the evolution of early Mars will feed forward to

  3. THE DISTRIBUTION OF TRANSIT DURATIONS FOR KEPLER PLANET CANDIDATES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THEIR ORBITAL ECCENTRICITIES

    SciTech Connect

    Moorhead, Althea V.; Ford, Eric B.; Morehead, Robert C.

    Doppler planet searches have discovered that giant planets follow orbits with a wide range of orbital eccentricities, revolutionizing theories of planet formation. The discovery of hundreds of exoplanet candidates by NASA's Kepler mission enables astronomers to characterize the eccentricity distribution of small exoplanets. Measuring the eccentricity of individual planets is only practical in favorable cases that are amenable to complementary techniques (e.g., radial velocities, transit timing variations, occultation photometry). Yet even in the absence of individual eccentricities, it is possible to study the distribution of eccentricities based on the distribution of transit durations (relative to the maximum transit duration formore » a circular orbit). We analyze the transit duration distribution of Kepler planet candidates. We find that for host stars with T{sub eff} > 5100 K we cannot invert this to infer the eccentricity distribution at this time due to uncertainties and possible systematics in the host star densities. With this limitation in mind, we compare the observed transit duration distribution with models to rule out extreme distributions. If we assume a Rayleigh eccentricity distribution for Kepler planet candidates, then we find best fits with a mean eccentricity of 0.1-0.25 for host stars with T{sub eff} {<=} 5100 K. We compare the transit duration distribution for different subsets of Kepler planet candidates and discuss tentative trends with planetary radius and multiplicity. High-precision spectroscopic follow-up observations for a large sample of host stars will be required to confirm which trends are real and which are the results of systematic errors in stellar radii. Finally, we identify planet candidates that must be eccentric or have a significantly underestimated stellar radius.« less

  4. Confirmation of Earth-Mass Planets Orbiting the Millisecond Pulsar PSR B1257 + 12.

    PubMed

    Wolszczan, A

    1994-04-22

    The discovery of two Earth-mass planets orbiting an old ( approximately 10(9) years), rapidly spinning neutron star, the 6.2-millisecond radio pulsar PSR B1257+12, was announced in early 1992. It was soon pointed out that the approximately 3:2 ratio of the planets' orbital periods should lead to accurately predictable and possibly measurable gravitational perturbations of their orbits. The unambiguous detection of this effect, after 3 years of systematic timing observations of PSR B1257+12 with the 305-meter Arecibo radiotelescope, as well as the discovery of another, moon-mass object in orbit around the pulsar, constitutes irrefutable evidence that the first planetary system around a star other than the sun has been identified.

  5. THE GRAVITATIONAL INTERACTION BETWEEN PLANETS ON INCLINED ORBITS AND PROTOPLANETARY DISKS AS THE ORIGIN OF PRIMORDIAL SPIN–ORBIT MISALIGNMENTS

    SciTech Connect

    Matsakos, Titos; Königl, Arieh

    Many of the observed spin–orbit alignment properties of exoplanets can be explained in the context of the primordial disk misalignment model, in which an initially aligned protoplanetary disk is torqued by a distant stellar companion on a misaligned orbit, resulting in a precessional motion that can lead to large-amplitude oscillations of the spin–orbit angle. We consider a variant of this model in which the companion is a giant planet with an orbital radius of a few astronomical units. Guided by the results of published numerical simulations, we model the dynamical evolution of this system by dividing the disk into inner andmore » outer parts—separated at the location of the planet—that behave as distinct, rigid disks. We show that the planet misaligns the inner disk even as the orientation of the outer disk remains unchanged. In addition to the oscillations induced by the precessional motion, whose amplitude is larger the smaller the initial inner-disk-to-planet mass ratio, the spin–orbit angle also exhibits a secular growth in this case—driven by ongoing mass depletion from the disk—that becomes significant when the inner disk’s angular momentum drops below that of the planet. Altogether, these two effects can produce significant misalignment angles for the inner disk, including retrograde configurations. We discuss these results within the framework of the Stranded Hot Jupiter scenario and consider their implications, including the interpretation of the alignment properties of debris disks.« less

  6. Long-Term Evolution of Orbits About a Precessing Oblate Planet: 3. A Semianalytical and a Purely Numerical Approach

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-01

    Keywords Orbital elements · Osculating elements · Mars · Natural satellites · Natural satellites’ orbits · Deimos · Equinoctial precession · The...theory of orbits about a precessing and nutating oblate planet, in terms of osculating elements defined in a frame associated with the equator of...solar-gravity-perturbed satellite orbiting an oblate planet subject to nonuniform equinoctial precession. This nonuniformity of precession is caused by

  7. How can periodic orbits puzzle out the coexistence of terrestrial planets with giant eccentric ones?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antoniadou, K. I.; Libert, A.-S.

    2017-09-01

    Hitherto unprecedented detections of exoplanets have been triggered by missions and ground based telescopes. The quest of ``exo-Earths'' has become intriguing and the long-term stability of planetary orbits is a crucial factor for the biosphere to evolve. Planets in mean-motion resonances (MMRs) prompt the investigation of the dynamics in the framework of the three-body problem, where the families of stable periodic orbits constitute the backbone of stability domains in phase space. In this talk, we address the question of the possible coexistence of terrestrial planets with a giant companion on circular or eccentric orbit and explore the extent of the stability regions, when both the eccentricity of the outer giant planet and the semi-major axis of the inner terrestrial one vary, i.e. we investigate both non-resonant and resonant configurations. The families of periodic orbits in the restricted three-body problem are computed for the 3/2, 2/1, 5/2, 3/1, 4/1 and 5/1 MMRs. We then construct maps of dynamical stability (DS-maps) to identify the boundaries of the stability domains where such a coexistence is allowed. Guided by the periodic orbits, we delve into regular motion in phase space and propose the essential values of the orbital elements, in order for such configurations to survive long time spans and hence, for observations to be complemented or revised.

  8. The TROY project: Searching for co-orbital bodies to known planets. I. Project goals and first results from archival radial velocity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lillo-Box, J.; Barrado, D.; Figueira, P.; Leleu, A.; Santos, N. C.; Correia, A. C. M.; Robutel, P.; Faria, J. P.

    2018-01-01

    Context. The detection of Earth-like planets, exocomets or Kuiper belts show that the different components found in the solar system should also be present in other planetary systems. Trojans are one of these components and can be considered fossils of the first stages in the life of planetary systems. Their detection in extrasolar systems would open a new scientific window to investigate formation and migration processes. Aims: In this context, the main goal of the TROY project is to detect exotrojans for the first time and to measure their occurrence rate (η-Trojan). In this first paper, we describe the goals and methodology of the project. Additionally, we used archival radial velocity data of 46 planetary systems to place upper limits on the mass of possible trojans and investigate the presence of co-orbital planets down to several tens of Earth masses. Methods: We used archival radial velocity data of 46 close-in (P < 5 days) transiting planets (without detected companions) with information from high-precision radial velocity instruments. We took advantage of the time of mid-transit and secondary eclipses (when available) to constrain the possible presence of additional objects co-orbiting the star along with the planet. This, together with a good phase coverage, breaks the degeneracy between a trojan planet signature and signals coming from additional planets or underestimated eccentricity. Results: We identify nine systems for which the archival data provide >1σ evidence for a mass imbalance between L4 and L5. Two of these systems provide >2σ detection, but no significant detection is found among our sample. We also report upper limits to the masses at L4/L5 in all studied systems and discuss the results in the context of previous findings. Radial velocity data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/609/A96

  9. Alpha Centauri's siren call has frustrated planet hunters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clery, Daniel

    2018-04-01

    Alpha Centauri, a three-star system just 4 light-years away that is the sun's nearest neighbor, ought to be a great place to look for Earth-like planets. But last week, at a meeting of the European Astronomical Society here, astronomers lamented that the system has so far thwarted discovery efforts—and announced new schemes to probe it. The two sunlike stars, Alpha Centauri A and B, orbit each other closely while Proxima Centauri, a tempestuous red dwarf, hangs onto the system tenuously in a much more distant orbit. In 2016, astronomers discovered an Earth-mass planet around Proxima Centauri, but few think the planet, blasted by radiation and fierce stellar winds, is habitable. Astrobiologists believe the other two stars are more likely to host temperate, Earth-like worlds.

  10. Coupled Evolution with Tides of the Radius and Orbit of Transiting Giant Planets: General Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibgui, Laurent; Burrows, Adam

    2009-08-01

    Some transiting extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) have measured radii larger than predicted by the standard theory. In this paper, we explore the possibility that an earlier episode of tidal heating can explain such radius anomalies and apply the formalism we develop to HD 209458b as an example. We find that for strong enough tides the planet's radius can undergo a transient phase of inflation that temporarily interrupts canonical, monotonic shrinking due to radiative losses. Importantly, an earlier episode of tidal heating can result in a planet with an inflated radius, even though its orbit has nearly circularized. Moreover, we confirm that at late times, and under some circumstances, by raising tides on the star itself a planet can spiral into its host. We note that a 3× to 10× solar planet atmospheric opacity with no tidal heating is sufficient to explain the observed radius of HD 209458b. However, our model demonstrates that with an earlier phase of episodic tidal heating, we can fit the observed radius of HD 209458b even with lower (solar) atmospheric opacities. This work demonstrates that, if a planet is left with an appreciable eccentricity after early inward migration and/or dynamical interaction, coupling radius and orbit evolution in a consistent fashion that includes tidal heating, stellar irradiation, and detailed model atmospheres might offer a generic solution to the inflated radius puzzle for transiting EGPs such as WASP-12b, TrES-4, and WASP-6b.

  11. On disk-planet interactions and orbital eccentricities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ward, William R.

    1988-01-01

    While Lindblad resonances both within and without a perturber's orbit excite its eccentricity, the present study of the eccentricity evolution due to the density wave interaction between a planetesimal and a Keplerian disk notes that coronation resonances in these regions lose their eccentricity damping effectiveness if the object is embedded in a continuous disk without a gap. Attention is given to another class of Lindblad resonances which, under these conditions, operates on disk material coorbiting with the perturber; these resonances thereby become the most important source of eccentricity damping. A model problem indicates that eccentricity ultimately undergoes decay.

  12. The dynamics of the multi-planet system orbiting Kepler-56

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Gongjie; Naoz, Smadar; Johnson, John Asher

    2014-10-20

    Kepler-56 is a multi-planet system containing two coplanar inner planets that are in orbits misaligned with respect to the spin axis of the host star, and an outer planet. Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain the broad distribution of spin-orbit angles among exoplanets, and these theories fall under two broad categories. The first is based on dynamical interactions in a multi-body system, while the other assumes that disk migration is the driving mechanism in planetary configuration and that the star (or disk) is titled with respect to the planetary plane. Here we show that the large observed obliquity ofmore » Kepler 56 system is consistent with a dynamical origin. In addition, we use observations by Huber et al. to derive the obliquity's probability distribution function, thus improving the constrained lower limit. The outer planet may be the cause of the inner planets' large obliquities, and we give the probability distribution function of its inclination, which depends on the initial orbital configuration of the planetary system. We show that even in the presence of precise measurement of the true obliquity, one cannot distinguish the initial configurations. Finally we consider the fate of the system as the star continues to evolve beyond the main sequence, and we find that the obliquity of the system will not undergo major variations as the star climbs the red giant branch. We follow the evolution of the system and find that the innermost planet will be engulfed in ∼129 Myr. Furthermore we put an upper limit of ∼155 Myr for the engulfment of the second planet. This corresponds to ∼3% of the current age of the star.« less

  13. Exo-Mercury Analogues and the Roche Limit for Close-Orbiting Rocky Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, Leslie A.; Price, Ellen

    2015-12-01

    The origin of Mercury's enhanced iron content is a matter of ongoing debate. The characterization of rocky exoplanets promises to provide new independent insights on this topic, by constraining the occurrence rate and physical and orbital properties of iron-enhanced planets orbiting distant stars. The ultra-short-period transiting planet candidate KOI-1843.03 (0.6 Earth-radius, 4.245 hour orbital period, 0.46 Solar-mass host star) represents the first exo-Mercury planet candidate ever identified. For KOI-1843.03 to have avoided tidal disruption on such a short orbit, Rappaport et al. (2013) estimate that it must have a mean density of at least 7g/cc and be at least as iron rich as Mercury. This density lower-limit, however, relies upon interpolating the Roche limits of single-component polytrope models, which do not accurately capture the density profiles of >1000 km differentiated rocky bodies. A more exact calculation of the Roche limit for the case of rocky planets of arbitrary composition and central concentration is needed. We present 3D interior structure simulations of ultra-short-period tidally distorted rocky exoplanets, calculated using a modified version of Hachisu’s self-consistent field method and realistic equations of state for silicates and iron. We derive the Roche limits of rocky planets as a function of mass and composition, and refine the composition constraints on KOI-1843.03. We conclude by discussing the implications of our simulations for the eventual characterization of short-period transiting planets discovered by K2, TESS, CHEOPS and PLATO.

  14. Earth-Like Exoplanets: The Science of NASA's Navigator Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lawson, Peter R. (Editor); Traub, Wesley A. (Editor)

    2006-01-01

    This book outlines the exoplanet science content of NASA's Navigator Program, and it identifies the exoplanet research priorities. The goal of Navigator Program missions is to detect and characterize Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of nearby stars and to search for signs of life on those planets.

  15. Study of spin-scan imaging for outer planets missions. [imaging techniques for Jupiter orbiter missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, E. E.; Chandos, R. A.; Kodak, J. C.; Pellicori, S. F.; Tomasko, M. G.

    1974-01-01

    The constraints that are imposed on the Outer Planet Missions (OPM) imager design are of critical importance. Imager system modeling analyses define important parameters and systematic means for trade-offs applied to specific Jupiter orbiter missions. Possible image sequence plans for Jupiter missions are discussed in detail. Considered is a series of orbits that allow repeated near encounters with three of the Jovian satellites. The data handling involved in the image processing is discussed, and it is shown that only minimal processing is required for the majority of images for a Jupiter orbiter mission.

  16. Specific effects of large asteroids on the orbits of terrestrial planets and the ASETEP database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aljbaae, S.; Souchay, J.

    2012-04-01

    The necessity to take into account the perturbations caused by a large number of asteroids on the terrestrial planets is fundamental in the construction of modern numerical ephemeris on the solar system. Therefore about 300 of the largest asteroids were taken into account in recent ephemeris. Yet, the uncertainty on the mass values of the great majority of these asteroids constitutes a crucial and the main limit of accuracy of this ephemeris. Consequently, it is important to conduct a specific and detailed study of their individual effects especially on the terrestrial planets, which are far more affected than the giant planets. This was already done explicitly, but only for Mars and for only two orbital elements (a and λ). We aim both to confirm these previous results and to extend the study to all orbital elements and to the other three terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus and the Earth), which are priori less affected by asteroid perturbations. Our methodology consists in several steps: we carried out precise computations of the orbital motions of the planets at short (100 y) and longer (1000 y) time scales with numerical integration. For that purpose we included the eight planets and also considered 43 of the most powerful asteroids. These were added to the numerical integrations once separately and once combined to determine their specific effects on the orbital elements of the Earth and the three other terrestrial planets. This procedure also allowed us to assess the spatial geocentric coordinates of the three terrestrial planets. We determined the signal that represents the effects by simple subtraction. Then we systematically analyzed this signal by FFT (fast Fourier transform), and finally we adjusted the signal with a set of sinusoidal components. We analyzed in detail the variations of the six orbital elements a, e, i, Ω, ˜ ω and λ of Mercury, Venus, the Earth-Moon barycenter (EMB) and Mars that are caused by the individual influences of the set of

  17. Orbital alignment of circumbinary planets that form in misaligned circumbinary discs: the case of Kepler-413b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierens, A.; Nelson, R. P.

    2018-06-01

    Although most of the circumbinary planets detected by the Kepler spacecraft are on orbits that are closely aligned with the binary orbital plane, the systems Kepler-413 and Kepler-453 exhibit small misalignments of ˜2.5°. One possibility is that these planets formed in a circumbinary disc whose midplane was inclined relative to the binary orbital plane. Such a configuration is expected to lead to a warped and twisted disc, and our aim is to examine the inclination evolution of planets embedded in these discs. We employed 3D hydrodynamical simulations that examine the disc response to the presence of a modestly inclined binary with parameters that match the Kepler-413 system, as a function of disc parameters and binary inclinations. The discs all develop slowly varying warps, and generally display very small amounts of twist. Very slow solid body precession occurs because a large outer disc radius is adopted. Simulations of planets embedded in these discs resulted in the planet aligning with the binary orbit plane for disc masses close to the minimum mass solar nebular, such that nodal precession of the planet was controlled by the binary. For higher disc masses, the planet maintains near coplanarity with the local disc midplane. Our results suggest that circumbinary planets born in tilted circumbinary discs should align with the binary orbit plane as the disc ages and loses mass, even if the circumbinary disc remains misaligned from the binary orbit. This result has important implications for understanding the origins of the known circumbinary planets.

  18. A Census of Habitable Planets around Nearby stars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leger, Alain M.

    2015-12-01

    One day or another, a spectroscopic mission will be launched searching for biosignatures in the atmospheres of Earth-like planets, i.e. planets located in the Habitable Zone (HZ) of their stars and hopefully rocky. This could be done blindly, the expensive spectroscopic mission searching for the candidates before performing their spectroscopy. According to a clear tendency in the Kepler data, the mean number of Earth-like planets, ηEarth, around the Kepler stars is rather low (10% - 20%). It makes this approach pretty inefficient, most of the stars studied (90% - 80%) having no such planets, and the corresponding mission time being essentially lost. This is more severe when the random position of planets on their orbits is taken into account. An exhaustive census of these planets around the nearby stars, the only ones accessible to the mission, appears desirable priorly to its launch.Up to now, the detection of low mas planets in the HZ of their stars by the Radial Velocity technique is limited to stars with very low activity (~ 2% of F,G,K stars). The detection by transits is limited by the low probability the randomly oriented orbits, few of them leading to a transit (0.5% for solar-type stars). On the other hand, ultra accurate astrometry is less sensitive to stellar activity and could detect Earth-like planets around most of the nearby solar-type stars.We present the project of a space mission, Theia+, that could do the job and measure the masses and orbits of these planets, a key piece of information to derive a possible statement about the likelihood of the actual presence of life on a planet. Other capabilities of the mission regarding Dark Matter, Very Compact Object, Cosmology, and Stellar Formation is also rapidly mentioned.

  19. Production of Star-Grazing and Star-Impacting Planetestimals via Orbital Migration of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quillen, A. C.; Holman, M.

    2000-01-01

    During the orbital migration of a giant extrasolar planet via ejection of planetesimals (as studied by Murray et al. in 1998), inner mean-motion resonances can be strong enough to cause planetesimals to graze or impact the star. We integrate numerically the motions of particles which pass through the 3:1 or 4:1 mean-motion resonances of a migrating Jupiter-mass planet. We find that many particles can be trapped in the 3:1 or 4:1 resonances and pumped to high enough eccentricities that they impact the star. This implies that for a planet migrating a substantial fraction of its semimajor axis, a fraction of its mass in planetesimals could impact the star. This process may be capable of enriching the metallicity of the star at a time when the star is no longer fully convective. Upon close approaches to the star, the surfaces of these planetesimals will be sublimated. Orbital migration should cause continuing production of evaporating bodies, suggesting that this process should be detectable with searches for transient absorption lines in young stars. The remainder of the particles will not impact the star but can be ejected subsequently by the planet as it migrates further inward. This allows the planet to migrate a substantial fraction of its initial semimajor axis by ejecting planetesimals.

  20. The Automation and Exoplanet Orbital Characterization from the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jinfei Wang, Jason; Graham, James; Perrin, Marshall; Pueyo, Laurent; Savransky, Dmitry; Kalas, Paul; arriaga, Pauline; Chilcote, Jeffrey K.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Ruffio, Jean-Baptiste; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey Collaboration

    2018-01-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) is a multi-year 600-star survey to discover and characterize young Jovian exoplanets and their planet forming environments. For large surveys like GPIES, it is critical to have a uniform dataset processed with the latest techniques and calibrations. I will describe the GPI Data Cruncher, an automated data processing framework that is able to generate fully reduced data minutes after the data are taken and can also reprocess the entire campaign in a single day on a supercomputer. The Data Cruncher integrates into a larger automated data processing infrastructure which syncs, logs, and displays the data. I will discuss the benefits of the GPIES data infrastructure, including optimizing observing strategies, finding planets, characterizing instrument performance, and constraining giant planet occurrence. I will also discuss my work in characterizing the exoplanets we have imaged in GPIES through monitoring their orbits. Using advanced data processing algorithms and GPI's precise astrometric calibration, I will show that GPI can achieve one milliarcsecond astrometry on the extensively-studied planet Beta Pic b. With GPI, we can confidently rule out a possible transit of Beta Pic b, but have precise timings on a Hill sphere transit, and I will discuss efforts to search for transiting circumplanetary material this year. I will also discuss the orbital monitoring of other exoplanets as part of GPIES.

  1. Investigating the Orbital Period Valley of Giant Planets in Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Brianna P.; Birkby, Jayne L.

    2016-01-01

    Transit light curves contain a wealth of information about the basic properties of a planet, such as its radius, semi-major axis, and orbital period. For the latter property, there is a distinct lack of planets with periods between 10 to 100 days. This gap could be caused by something as simple as observational bias, or as prominent as planetary formation or migration. Here, we report an investigation into the atmosphere of planets within this orbital period valley, to search for differences that may indicate a different formation mechanism or migration path to those outside of it. We do this by searching for the secondary eclipse of planets in the valley in order to measure their albedos. We determined an optimal target for this: KOI-366 b (P ~ 75 days). However, we find that despite the exquisite precision of Kepler data, it cannot constrain the albedo for this long-orbit planet candidate. We measure a 1σ upper limit on the geometric albedo of Ag,1σ ≤ 2.0. We highlight that additional scatter in the light curve is likely caused by a ~ 2-day pulsation of the giant host star, and that further data is required to measure the secondary eclipse. KOI-366 is one of the best suited of all host stars with long period exoplanet candidates for follow-up due to its relatively bright magnitude (Kp = 11.7 mag), but the full investigation of the reflective properties of long period planets may require space-based observations from future instruments, such as WFIRST, that will be more sensitive to objects further away from their host stars. This work was supported in part by the NSF REU and DoD ASSURE programs under NSF grant no. 1262851 and by the Smithsonian Institution. This work was performed in part under contract with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) funded by NASA through the Sagan Fellowship Program executed by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute.

  2. Tidal Dissipation In Rotating Low Mass Stars: Implications For The Orbital Evolution Of Close In Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallet, Florian; Bolmont, Emeline; Mathis, Stéphane; Charbonnel, Corinne; Amard, Louis; Alibert, Yann

    2017-10-01

    Close-in planets represent a large fraction of the population of confirmed exoplanets. To understand the dynamical evolution of these planets, star-planet interactions must be taken into account. In particular, the dependence of the tidal interactions on the structural parameters of the star, its rotation, and its metallicity should be treated in the models. We quantify how the tidal dissipation in the convective envelope of rotating low-mass stars evolves in time. We also investigate the possible consequences of this evolution on planetary orbital evolution. In Gallet et al. (2017) and Bolmont et al. (2017) we generalized the work of Bolmont & Mathis (2016) by following the orbital evolution of close-in planets using the new tidal dissipation predictions for advanced phases of stellar evolution and non-solar metallicity. We find that during the pre-main sequence the evolution of tidal dissipation is controlled by the evolution of the internal structure of the star through the stellar contraction. On the main-sequence tidal dissipation is strongly driven by the evolution of the surface rotation that is impacted by magnetized stellar winds braking. Finally, during the more evolved phases, the tidal dissipation sharply decreases as radiative core retreats in mass and radius towards the red-giant branch. Using an orbital evolution model, we also show that changing the metallicity leads to diUerent orbital evolutions (e.g., planets migrate farther out from an initially fast rotating metal rich star). By using this model, we qualitatively reproduced the observational trends of the population of hot Jupiters with the metallicity of their host stars. However, more work still remain to be do so as to be able to quantitatively fit our results to the observations.

  3. KOI-2700b—A Planet Candidate with Dusty Effluents on a 22 hr Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rappaport, Saul; Barclay, Thomas; DeVore, John; Rowe, Jason; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Still, Martin

    2014-03-01

    Kepler planet candidate KOI-2700b (KIC 8639908b), with an orbital period of 21.84 hr, exhibits a distinctly asymmetric transit profile, likely indicative of the emission of dusty effluents, and reminiscent of KIC 1255b. The host star has T eff = 4435 K, M ~= 0.63 M ⊙, and R ~= 0.57 R ⊙, comparable to the parameters ascribed to KIC 12557548. The transit egress can be followed for ~25% of the orbital period and, if interpreted as extinction from a dusty comet-like tail, indicates a long lifetime for the dust grains of more than a day. We present a semiphysical model for the dust tail attenuation and fit for the physical parameters contained in that expression. The transit is not sufficiently deep to allow for a study of the transit-to-transit variations, as is the case for KIC 1255b however, it is clear that the transit depth is slowly monotonically decreasing by a factor of ~2 over the duration of the Kepler mission. We infer a mass-loss rate in dust from the planet of ~2 lunar masses per Gyr. The existence of a second star hosting a planet with a dusty comet-like tail would help to show that such objects may be more common and less exotic than originally thought. According to current models, only quite small planets with Mp <~ 0.03 M ⊕ are likely to release a detectable quantity of dust. Thus, any "normal-looking" transit that is inferred to arise from a rocky planet of radius greater than ~1/2 R ⊕ should not exhibit any hint of a dusty tail. Conversely, if one detects an asymmetric transit due to a dusty tail, then it will be very difficult to detect the hard body of the planet within the transit because, by necessity, the planet must be quite small (i.e., <~ 0.3 R ⊕).

  4. 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

  5. The formation of co-orbital planets and their resulting transit signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granados Contreras, Agueda Paula; Boley, Aaron

    2018-04-01

    Systems with Tightly-packed Inner Planets (STIPs) are metastable, exhibiting sudden transitions to an unstable state that can potentially lead to planet consolidation. When these systems are embedded in a gaseous disc, planet-disc interactions can significantly reduce the frequency of instabilities, and if they do occur, disc torques alter the dynamical outcomes. We ran a suite of N-body simulations of synthetic 6-planet STIPs using an independent implementation of IAS15 that includes a prescription for gaseous tidal damping. The algorithm is based on the results of disc simulations that self-consistently evolve gas and planets. Even for very compact configurations, the STIPS are resistant to instability when gas is present. However, instability can still occur, and in some cases, the combination of system instability and gaseous damping leads to the formation of co-orbiting planets that are stable even when gas damping is removed. While rare, such systems should be detectable in transit surveys, although the dynamics of the system can make the transit signature difficult to identify.

  6. No large population of unbound or wide-orbit Jupiter-mass planets.

    PubMed

    Mróz, Przemek; Udalski, Andrzej; Skowron, Jan; Poleski, Radosław; Kozłowski, Szymon; Szymański, Michał K; Soszyński, Igor; Wyrzykowski, Łukasz; Pietrukowicz, Paweł; Ulaczyk, Krzysztof; Skowron, Dorota; Pawlak, Michał

    2017-08-10

    Planet formation theories predict that some planets may be ejected from their parent systems as result of dynamical interactions and other processes. Unbound planets can also be formed through gravitational collapse, in a way similar to that in which stars form. A handful of free-floating planetary-mass objects have been discovered by infrared surveys of young stellar clusters and star-forming regions as well as wide-field surveys, but these studies are incomplete for objects below five Jupiter masses. Gravitational microlensing is the only method capable of exploring the entire population of free-floating planets down to Mars-mass objects, because the microlensing signal does not depend on the brightness of the lensing object. A characteristic timescale of microlensing events depends on the mass of the lens: the less massive the lens, the shorter the microlensing event. A previous analysis of 474 microlensing events found an excess of ten very short events (1-2 days)-more than known stellar populations would suggest-indicating the existence of a large population of unbound or wide-orbit Jupiter-mass planets (reported to be almost twice as common as main-sequence stars). These results, however, do not match predictions of planet-formation theories and surveys of young clusters. Here we analyse a sample of microlensing events six times larger than that of ref. 11 discovered during the years 2010-15. Although our survey has very high sensitivity (detection efficiency) to short-timescale (1-2 days) microlensing events, we found no excess of events with timescales in this range, with a 95 per cent upper limit on the frequency of Jupiter-mass free-floating or wide-orbit planets of 0.25 planets per main-sequence star. We detected a few possible ultrashort-timescale events (with timescales of less than half a day), which may indicate the existence of Earth-mass and super-Earth-mass free-floating planets, as predicted by planet-formation theories.

  7. Richest Planetary System Discovered - Up to seven planets orbiting a Sun-like star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-08-01

    Astronomers using ESO's world-leading HARPS instrument have discovered a planetary system containing at least five planets, orbiting the Sun-like star HD 10180. The researchers also have tantalising evidence that two other planets may be present, one of which would have the lowest mass ever found. This would make the system similar to our Solar System in terms of the number of planets (seven as compared to the Solar System's eight planets). Furthermore, the team also found evidence that the distances of the planets from their star follow a regular pattern, as also seen in our Solar System. "We have found what is most likely the system with the most planets yet discovered," says Christophe Lovis, lead author of the paper reporting the result. "This remarkable discovery also highlights the fact that we are now entering a new era in exoplanet research: the study of complex planetary systems and not just of individual planets. Studies of planetary motions in the new system reveal complex gravitational interactions between the planets and give us insights into the long-term evolution of the system." The team of astronomers used the HARPS spectrograph, attached to ESO's 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla, Chile, for a six-year-long study of the Sun-like star HD 10180, located 127 light-years away in the southern constellation of Hydrus (the Male Water Snake). HARPS is an instrument with unrivalled measurement stability and great precision and is the world's most successful exoplanet hunter. Thanks to the 190 individual HARPS measurements, the astronomers detected the tiny back and forth motions of the star caused by the complex gravitational attractions from five or more planets. The five strongest signals correspond to planets with Neptune-like masses - between 13 and 25 Earth masses [1] - which orbit the star with periods ranging from about 6 to 600 days. These planets are located between 0.06 and 1.4 times the Earth-Sun distance from their central star. "We also have

  8. Precise Masses & Radii of the Planets Orbiting K2-3 and GJ3470

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kosiarek, Molly; Crossfield, Ian; Hardegree-Ullman, Kevin; Livingston, John; Howard, Andrew; Fulton, Benjamin; Hirsch, Lea; Isaacson, Howard; Petigura, Erik; Sinukoff, Evan; Weiss, Lauren; Knutson, Heather; Bonfils, Xavier; Benneke, Björn; Beichman, Charles; Dressing, Courtney

    2018-01-01

    We report improved masses, radii, and densities for two planetary systems, K2-3 and GJ3470, derived from a combination of new radial velocity and transit observations. Both stars are nearby, early M dwarfs. K2-3 hosts three super-Earth planets between 1.5 and 2 Earth-radii at orbital periods between 10 and 45 days, while GJ 3470 hosts one 4 Earth-radii planet with a period of 3.3 days. Furthermore, we confirmed GJ3470's rotation period through multi-year ground-based photometry; RV analysis must account for this rotation signature. Due to the planets' low densities (all < 4.2 g/cm3) and bright host stars, they are among the best candidates for transmission spectroscopy with JWST and HST in order to characterize their atmospheric compositions.

  9. Quasi-Tangency Points on the Orbits of a Small Body and a Planet at the Low-Velocity Encounter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emel'yanenko, N. Yu.

    2018-03-01

    We propose a method for selecting a low-velocity encounter of a small body with a planet from the evolution of the orbital elements. Polar orbital coordinates of the quasi-tangency point on the orbit of a small body are determined. Rectangular heliocentric coordinates of the quasi-tangency point on the orbit of a planet are determined. An algorithm to search for low-velocity encounters in the evolution of the orbital elements of small bodies is described. The low-velocity encounter of comet 39P/Oterma with Jupiter is considered as an example.

  10. An Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a cool star.

    PubMed

    Quintana, Elisa V; Barclay, Thomas; Raymond, Sean N; Rowe, Jason F; Bolmont, Emeline; Caldwell, Douglas A; Howell, Steve B; Kane, Stephen R; Huber, Daniel; Crepp, Justin R; Lissauer, Jack J; Ciardi, David R; Coughlin, Jeffrey L; Everett, Mark E; Henze, Christopher E; Horch, Elliott; Isaacson, Howard; Ford, Eric B; Adams, Fred C; Still, Martin; Hunter, Roger C; Quarles, Billy; Selsis, Franck

    2014-04-18

    The quest for Earth-like planets is a major focus of current exoplanet research. Although planets that are Earth-sized and smaller have been detected, these planets reside in orbits that are too close to their host star to allow liquid water on their surfaces. We present the detection of Kepler-186f, a 1.11 ± 0.14 Earth-radius planet that is the outermost of five planets, all roughly Earth-sized, that transit a 0.47 ± 0.05 solar-radius star. The intensity and spectrum of the star's radiation place Kepler-186f in the stellar habitable zone, implying that if Kepler-186f has an Earth-like atmosphere and water at its surface, then some of this water is likely to be in liquid form.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  12. Finding Mars-Sized Planets in Inner Orbits of Other Stars by Photometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, W.; Cullers, K.; Dunham, E.; Koch, D.; Mena-Werth, J.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    High precision photometry from a spaceborne telescope has the potential of discovering sub-earth sized inner planets. Model calculations by Wetherill indicate that Mars-sized planets can be expected to form throughout the range of orbits from that of Mercury to Mars. While a transit of an Earth-sized planet causes a 0.084% decrease in brightness from a solar-like star, a transit of a planet as small as Mars causes a flux decrease of only 0.023%. Stellar variability will be the limiting factor for transit measurements. Recent analysis of solar variability from the SOLSTICE experiment shows that much of the variability is in the UV at <400 nm. Combining this result with the total flux variability measured by the ACRIM-1 photometer implies that the Sun has relative amplitude variations of about 0.0007% in the 17-69 pHz bandpass and is presumably typical for solar-like stars. Tests were conducted at Lick Observatory to determine the photometric precision of CCD detectors in the 17-69 pHz bandpass. With frame-by-frame corrections of the image centroids it was found that a precision of 0.001% could be readily achieved, corresponding to a signal to noise ratio of 1.4, provided the telescope aperture was sufficient to keep the statistical noise below 0.0006%. With 24 transits a planet as small as Mars should be reliably detectable. If Wetherill's models are correct in postulating that Mars-like planets are present in Mercury-like orbits, then a six year search should be able to find them.

  13. Influence of tides in viscoelastic bodies of planet and satellite on the satellite's orbital motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emelyanov, N. V.

    2018-06-01

    The problem of influence of tidal friction in both planetary and satellite bodies upon satellite's orbital motion is considered. Using the differential equations in satellite's rectangular planetocentric coordinates, the differential equations describing the changes in semimajor axis and eccentricity are derived. The equations in rectangular coordinates were taken from earlier works on the problem. The calcultations carried out for a number of test examples prove that the averaged solutions of equations in coordinates and precise solutions of averaged equations in the Keplerian elements are identical. For the problem of tides raised on planet's body, it was found that, if satellite's mean motion n is equal to 11/18 Ω, where Ω is the planet's angular rotation rate, the orbital eccentricity does not change. This conclusion is in agreement with the results of other authors. It was also found that there is essential discrepancy between the equations in the elements obtained in this paper and analogous equations published by earlier researchers.

  14. Giant Impacts on Earth-Like Worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    Earth has experienced a large number of impacts, from the cratering events that may have caused mass extinctions to the enormous impact believed to have formed the Moon. A new study examines whether our planets impact history is typical for Earth-like worlds.N-Body ChallengesTimeline placing the authors simulations in context of the history of our solar system (click for a closer look). [Quintana et al. 2016]The final stages of terrestrial planet formation are thought to be dominated by giant impacts of bodies in the protoplanetary disk. During this stage, protoplanets smash into one another and accrete, greatly influencing the growth, composition, and habitability of the final planets.There are two major challenges when simulating this N-body planet formation. The first is fragmentation: since computational time scales as N^2, simulating lots of bodies that split into many more bodies is very computationally intensive. For this reason, fragmentation is usually ignored; simulations instead assume perfect accretion during collisions.Total number of bodies remaining within the authors simulations over time, with fragmentation included (grey) and ignored (red). Both simulations result in the same final number of bodies, but the ones that include fragmentation take more time to reach that final number. [Quintana et al. 2016]The second challengeis that many-body systems are chaotic, which means its necessary to do a large number of simulations to make statistical statements about outcomes.Adding FragmentationA team of scientists led by Elisa Quintana (NASA NPP Senior Fellow at the Ames Research Center) has recently pushed at these challenges by modeling inner-planet formation using a code that does include fragmentation. The team ran 140 simulations with and 140 without the effects of fragmentation using similar initial conditions to understand how including fragmentation affects the outcome.Quintana and collaborators then used the fragmentation-inclusive simulations to

  15. CONDITIONS OF PASSAGE AND ENTRAPMENT OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS IN SPIN-ORBIT RESONANCES

    SciTech Connect

    Makarov, Valeri V., E-mail: vvm@usno.navy.mil

    The dynamical evolution of terrestrial planets resembling Mercury in the vicinity of spin-orbit resonances is investigated using comprehensive harmonic expansions of the tidal torque taking into account the frequency-dependent quality factors and Love numbers. The torque equations are integrated numerically with a small step in time, including the oscillating triaxial torque components but neglecting the layered structure of the planet and assuming a zero obliquity. We find that a Mercury-like planet with a current value of orbital eccentricity (0.2056) is always captured in 3:2 resonance. The probability of capture in the higher 2:1 resonance is approximately 0.23. These results aremore » confirmed by a semi-analytical estimation of capture probabilities as functions of eccentricity for both prograde and retrograde evolutions of spin rate. As follows from analysis of equilibrium torques, entrapment in 3:2 resonance is inevitable at eccentricities between 0.2 and 0.41. Considering the phase space parameters at the times of periastron, the range of spin rates and phase angles for which an immediate resonance passage is triggered is very narrow, and yet a planet like Mercury rarely fails to align itself into this state of unstable equilibrium before it traverses 2:1 resonance.« less

  16. The Anglo-Australian Planet Search. XXV. A Candidate Massive Saturn Analog Orbiting HD 30177

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Horner, Jonathan; Mengel, M. W.; Butler, R. P.; Wright, D. J.; Tinney, C. G.; Carter, B. D.; Jones, H. R. A.; Anglada-Escudé, G.; Bailey, J.; O'Toole, Simon J.

    2017-04-01

    We report the discovery of a second long-period giant planet orbiting HD 30177, a star previously known to host a massive Jupiter analog (HD 30177b: a = 3.8 ± 0.1 au, m sin I = 9.7 ± 0.5 M Jup). HD 30177c can be regarded as a massive Saturn analog in this system, with a = 9.9 ± 1.0 au and m sin I = 7.6 ± 3.1 M Jup. The formal best-fit solution slightly favors a closer-in planet at a ˜ 7 au, but detailed n-body dynamical simulations show that configuration to be unstable. A shallow local minimum of longer period, lower eccentricity solutions was found to be dynamically stable, and hence we adopt the longer period in this work. The proposed ˜32 year orbit remains incomplete; further monitoring of this and other stars is necessary to reveal the population of distant gas giant planets with orbital separations a ˜ 10 au, analogous to that of Saturn.

  17. Stable habitable zones of single Jovian planet systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agnew, Matthew T.; Maddison, Sarah T.; Thilliez, Elodie; Horner, Jonathan

    2017-11-01

    With continued improvement in telescope sensitivity and observational techniques, the search for rocky planets in stellar habitable zones is entering an exciting era. With so many exoplanetary systems available for follow-up observations to find potentially habitable planets, one needs to prioritize the ever-growing list of candidates. We aim to determine which of the known planetary systems are dynamically capable of hosting rocky planets in their habitable zones, with the goal of helping to focus future planet search programmes. We perform an extensive suite of numerical simulations to identify regions in the habitable zones of single Jovian planet systems where Earth-mass planets could maintain stable orbits, specifically focusing on the systems in the Catalog of Earth-like Exoplanet Survey Targets (CELESTA). We find that small, Earth-mass planets can maintain stable orbits in cases where the habitable zone is largely, or partially, unperturbed by a nearby Jovian, and that mutual gravitational interactions and resonant mechanisms are capable of producing stable orbits even in habitable zones that are significantly or completely disrupted by a Jovian. Our results yield a list of 13 single Jovian planet systems in CELESTA that are not only capable of supporting an Earth-mass planet on stable orbits in their habitable zone, but for which we are also able to constrain the orbits of the Earth-mass planet such that the induced radial velocity signals would be detectable with next generation instruments.

  18. Long-term Stability of Tightly Packed Multi-planet Systems in Prograde, Coplanar, Circumstellar Orbits within the α Centauri AB System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quarles, B.; Lissauer, Jack J.

    2018-03-01

    We perform long-term simulations, up to ten billion years, of closely spaced configurations of 2–6 planets, each as massive as the Earth, traveling on nested orbits about either stellar component in α Centauri AB. The innermost planet initially orbits at either the inner edge of its star’s empirical habitable zone (HZ) or the inner edge of its star’s conservative HZ. Although individual planets on low inclination, low eccentricity, orbits can survive throughout the HZs of both stars, perturbations from the companion star require that the minimum spacing of planets in multi-planet systems within the HZs of each star must be significantly larger than the spacing of similar multi-planet systems orbiting single stars in order to be long-lived. The binary companion induces a forced eccentricity upon the orbits of planets in orbit around either star. Planets on appropriately phased circumstellar orbits with initial eccentricities equal to their forced eccentricities can survive on more closely spaced orbits than those with initially circular orbits, although the required spacing remains higher than for planets orbiting single stars. A total of up to nine planets on nested prograde orbits can survive for the current age of the system within the empirical HZs of the two stars, with five of these orbiting α Centauri B and four orbiting α Centauri A.

  19. Circumbinary Planets Orbiting the Rapidly Pulsating Subdwarf B-type Binary NY Vir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  20. Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph 2005: Overview of Technology Development and System Design Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ford, Virginia G.

    2005-01-01

    Technology research, design trades, and modeling and analysis guide the definition of a Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph Mission that will search for and characterize earth-like planets around near-by stars. Operating in visible wavebands, this mission will use coronagraphy techniques to suppress starlight to enable capturing and imaging the reflected light from a planet orbiting in the habitable zone of its parent star. The light will be spectrally characterized to determine the presence of life-indicating chemistry in the planet atmosphere.

  1. EUV-driven ionospheres and electron transport on extrasolar giant planets orbiting active stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chadney, J. M.; Galand, M.; Koskinen, T. T.; Miller, S.; Sanz-Forcada, J.; Unruh, Y. C.; Yelle, R. V.

    2016-03-01

    The composition and structure of the upper atmospheres of extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) are affected by the high-energy spectrum of their host stars from soft X-rays to the extreme ultraviolet (EUV). This emission depends on the activity level of the star, which is primarily determined by its age. In this study, we focus upon EGPs orbiting K- and M-dwarf stars of different ages - ɛ Eridani, AD Leonis, AU Microscopii - and the Sun. X-ray and EUV (XUV) spectra for these stars are constructed using a coronal model. These spectra are used to drive both a thermospheric model and an ionospheric model, providing densities of neutral and ion species. Ionisation - as a result of stellar radiation deposition - is included through photo-ionisation and electron-impact processes. The former is calculated by solving the Lambert-Beer law, while the latter is calculated from a supra-thermal electron transport model. We find that EGP ionospheres at all orbital distances considered (0.1-1 AU) and around all stars selected are dominated by the long-lived H+ ion. In addition, planets with upper atmospheres where H2 is not substantially dissociated (at large orbital distances) have a layer in which H3+ is the major ion at the base of the ionosphere. For fast-rotating planets, densities of short-lived H3+ undergo significant diurnal variations, with the maximum value being driven by the stellar X-ray flux. In contrast, densities of longer-lived H+ show very little day/night variability and the magnitude is driven by the level of stellar EUV flux. The H3+ peak in EGPs with upper atmospheres where H2 is dissociated (orbiting close to their star) under strong stellar illumination is pushed to altitudes below the homopause, where this ion is likely to be destroyed through reactions with heavy species (e.g. hydrocarbons, water). The inclusion of secondary ionisation processes produces significantly enhanced ion and electron densities at altitudes below the main EUV ionisation peak, as

  2. Close encounters of a rotating star with planets in parabolic orbits of varying inclination and the formation of hot Jupiters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, P. B.; Papaloizou, J. C. B.

    2011-10-01

    In this paper we extend the theory of close encounters of a giant planet on a parabolic orbit with a central star developed in our previous work (Ivanov and Papaloizou in MNRAS 347:437, 2004; MNRAS 376:682, 2007) to include the effects of tides induced on the central star. Stellar rotation and orbits with arbitrary inclination to the stellar rotation axis are considered. We obtain results both from an analytic treatment that incorporates first order corrections to normal mode frequencies arising from stellar rotation and numerical treatments that are in satisfactory agreement over the parameter space of interest. These results are applied to the initial phase of the tidal circularisation problem. We find that both tides induced in the star and planet can lead to a significant decrease of the orbital semi-major axis for orbits having periastron distances smaller than 5-6 stellar radii with tides in the star being much stronger for retrograde orbits compared to prograde orbits. Assuming that combined action of dynamic and quasi-static tides could lead to the total circularisation of orbits this corresponds to observed periods up to 4-5 days. We use the simple Skumanich law to characterise the rotational history of the star supposing that the star has its rotational period equal to one month at the age of 5 Gyr. The strength of tidal interactions is characterised by circularisation time scale, t ev , which is defined as a typical time scale of evolution of the planet's semi-major axis due to tides. This is considered as a function of orbital period P obs , which the planet obtains after the process of tidal circularisation has been completed. We find that the ratio of the initial circularisation time scales corresponding to prograde and retrograde orbits, respectively, is of order 1.5-2 for a planet of one Jupiter mass having P obs ~ 4 days. The ratio grows with the mass of the planet, being of order five for a five Jupiter mass planet with the same P orb . Note

  3. NASA’s Hubble Sees Martian Moon Orbiting the Red Planet

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-12-08

    While photographing Mars, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a cameo appearance of the tiny moon Phobos on its trek around the Red Planet. Discovered in 1877, the diminutive, potato-shaped moon is so small that it appears star-like in the Hubble pictures. Phobos orbits Mars in just 7 hours and 39 minutes, which is faster than Mars rotates. The moon’s orbit is very slowly shrinking, meaning it will eventually shatter under Mars’ gravitational pull, or crash onto the planet. Hubble took 13 separate exposures over 22 minutes to create a time-lapse video showing the moon’s orbital path. Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI) NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  4. Magnetospheric structure and atmospheric Joule heating of habitable planets orbiting M-dwarf stars

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen, O.; Drake, J. J.; Garraffo, C.

    2014-07-20

    We study the magnetospheric structure and the ionospheric Joule Heating of planets orbiting M-dwarf stars in the habitable zone using a set of magnetohydrodynamic models. The stellar wind solution is used to drive a model for the planetary magnetosphere, which is coupled with a model for the planetary ionosphere. Our simulations reveal that the space environment around close-in habitable planets is extreme, and the stellar wind plasma conditions change from sub- to super-Alfvénic along the planetary orbit. As a result, the magnetospheric structure changes dramatically with a bow shock forming in the super-Alfvénic sectors, while no bow shock forms inmore » the sub-Alfvénic sectors. The planets reside most of the time in the sub-Alfvénic sectors with poor atmospheric protection. A significant amount of Joule Heating is provided at the top of the atmosphere as a result of the intense stellar wind. For the steady-state solution, the heating is about 0.1%-3% of the total incoming stellar irradiation, and it is enhanced by 50% for the time-dependent case. The significant Joule Heating obtained here should be considered in models for the atmospheres of habitable planets in terms of the thickness of the atmosphere, the top-side temperature and density, the boundary conditions for the atmospheric pressure, and particle radiation and transport. Here we assume constant ionospheric Pedersen conductance similar to that of the Earth. The conductance could be greater due to the intense EUV radiation leading to smaller heating rates. We plan to quantify the ionospheric conductance in future study.« less

  5. A Neptune-sized transiting planet closely orbiting a 5–10-million-year-old star.

    PubMed

    David, Trevor J; Hillenbrand, Lynne A; Petigura, Erik A; Carpenter, John M; Crossfield, Ian J M; Hinkley, Sasha; Ciardi, David R; Howard, Andrew W; Isaacson, Howard T; Cody, Ann Marie; Schlieder, Joshua E; Beichman, Charles A; Barenfeld, Scott A

    2016-06-30

    Theories of the formation and early evolution of planetary systems postulate that planets are born in circumstellar disks, and undergo radial migration during and after dissipation of the dust and gas disk from which they formed. The precise ages of meteorites indicate that planetesimals—the building blocks of planets—are produced within the first million years of a star’s life. Fully formed planets are frequently detected on short orbital periods around mature stars. Some theories suggest that the in situ formation of planets close to their host stars is unlikely and that the existence of such planets is therefore evidence of large-scale migration. Other theories posit that planet assembly at small orbital separations may be common. Here we report a newly born, transiting planet orbiting its star with a period of 5.4 days. The planet is 50 per cent larger than Neptune, and its mass is less than 3.6 times that of Jupiter (at 99.7 per cent confidence), with a true mass likely to be similar to that of Neptune. The star is 5–10 million years old and has a tenuous dust disk extending outward from about twice the Earth–Sun separation, in addition to the fully formed planet located at less than one-twentieth of the Earth–Sun separation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-04

    Using gravitational microlensing, we detected a cold terrestrial planet orbiting one member of a binary star system. The planet has low mass (twice Earth's) and lies projected at ~0.8 astronomical units (AU) from its host star, about the distance between Earth and the Sun. However, the planet's temperature is much lower, <60 Kelvin, because the host star is only 0.10 to 0.15 solar masses and therefore more than 400 times less luminous than the Sun. The host itself orbits a slightly more massive companion with projected separation of 10 to 15 AU. This detection is consistent with such systems being very common. Straightforward modification of current microlensing search strategies could increase sensitivity to planets in binary systems. With more detections, such binary-star planetary systems could constrain models of planet formation and evolution. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  7. A Candidate Young Massive Planet in Orbit around the Classical T Tauri Star CI Tau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johns-Krull, Christopher M.; McLane, Jacob N.; Prato, L.; Crockett, Christopher J.; Jaffe, Daniel T.; Hartigan, Patrick M.; Beichman, Charles A.; Mahmud, Naved I.; Chen, Wei; Skiff, B. A.; Cauley, P. Wilson; Jones, Joshua A.; Mace, G. N.

    2016-08-01

    The ˜2 Myr old classical T Tauri star CI Tau shows periodic variability in its radial velocity (RV) variations measured at infrared (IR) and optical wavelengths. We find that these observations are consistent with a massive planet in a ˜9 day period orbit. These results are based on 71 IR RV measurements of this system obtained over five years, and on 26 optical RV measurements obtained over nine years. CI Tau was also observed photometrically in the optical on 34 nights over ˜one month in 2012. The optical RV data alone are inadequate to identify an orbital period, likely the result of star spot and activity-induced noise for this relatively small data set. The infrared RV measurements reveal significant periodicity at ˜9 days. In addition, the full set of optical and IR RV measurements taken together phase coherently and with equal amplitudes to the ˜9 day period. Periodic RV signals can in principle be produced by cool spots, hotspots, and reflection of the stellar spectrum off the inner disk, in addition to resulting from a planetary companion. We have considered each of these and find the planet hypothesis most consistent with the data. The RV amplitude yields an M\\sin I of ˜8.1 M Jup; in conjunction with a 1.3 mm continuum emission measurement of the circumstellar disk inclination from the literature, we find a planet mass of ˜11.3 M Jup, assuming alignment of the planetary orbit with the disk. This paper includes data taken at The McDonald Observatory of The University of Texas at Austin.

  8. Conditions of Passage and Entrapment of Terrestrial Planets in Spin-Orbit Resonances

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-06-10

    A Third moment of inertia C Moment of inertia around spin axis n Mean motion, i.e., 2π/Porb G Gravitational constant, = 66468 m3 kg−1 yr−2 τM Maxwell...0.0000 0.0002 0.0004 rate of rotation n an gu la r ac ce le ra tio n .. yr 2 θ θ θ Figure 1. Rotation acceleration caused by the secular tidal torque...the vicinity of spin- orbit resonances θ̇ = (1 + q/2)n. Figure 1 shows in detail the dependence of the overall angular acceleration θ̈ of the planet

  9. 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 frommore » 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

  10. "Dry" Mercury and "wet" Mars: comparison of two terrestrial planets with strongly differing orbital frequencies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochemasov, G.

    The modern wave planetology states that "orbits make structures". It means that all celestial bodies moving in non-round keplerian elliptical (and parabolic) orbits and rotating (all bodies rotate) are subjected to warping action of inertia-gravity waves . The waves appear in bodies due to periodically changing accelerations during cyclic orbital movements; they have a stationary character, 4 intersecting ortho- and diagonal directions and various lengths. Wave intersections and superpositions produce uplifting (+), subsiding (-) and neutral (0) regularly disposed tectonic blocks. Their sizes depend on wavelengths. The longest in a globe fundamental wave1 long 2πR is responsible for ubiquitous appearance in all celestial bodies of tectonic dichotomy or segmentation (2πR-structure). The first overtone wave2 produces tectonic sectoring (πR-structure). On this already complex wave structurization are superposed individual waves whose lengths are proportional to orbital periods or inversely proportional to orbital frequencies: higher frequency - smaller waves, lower frequency - larger waves. These waves are responsible for production of tectonic granules. In a row of terrestrial planets according to their orb. fr. sizes of the granules are as follows (this row can be started with the solar photosphere that orbits around the center of the solar system with about one month period): Photosphere πR/60, Mercury πR/16, Venus πR/6, Earth πR/4, Mars πR/2, asteroids πR/1. By this way a bridging is made between planets and stars in that concerns their wave structurization. The calculated granule sizes are rather known in nature. The solar supergranulation about 30-40 thousand km across, prevailing sizes of mercurian craters ˜500 km in diameter (a radar image from Earth), venusian "blobs" ˜3000 km across, superstructures of the Earth's cratons ˜ 5000 km across (seen now on NASA image PIA04159), martian elongated shape due to 2 waves inscribed in equator, asteroids

  11. Transit timing variations for planets co-orbiting in the horseshoe regime

    SciTech Connect

    Vokrouhlický, David; Nesvorný, David, E-mail: vokrouhl@cesnet.cz, E-mail: davidn@boulder.swri.edu

    2014-08-10

    Although not yet detected, pairs of exoplanets in 1:1 mean motion resonance probably exist. Low eccentricity, near-planar orbits, which in the comoving frame follow horseshoe trajectories, are one of the possible stable configurations. Here we study transit timing variations (TTVs) produced by mutual gravitational interaction of planets in this orbital architecture, with the goal to develop methods that can be used to recognize this case in observational data. In particular, we use a semi-analytic model to derive parametric constraints that should facilitate data analysis. We show that characteristic traits of the TTVs can directly constrain the (1) ratio of planetarymore » masses and (2) their total mass (divided by that of the central star) as a function of the minimum angular separation as seen from the star. In an ideal case, when transits of both planets are observed and well characterized, the minimum angular separation can also be inferred from the data. As a result, parameters derived from the observed transit timing series alone can directly provide both planetary masses scaled to the central star mass.« less

  12. Scenarios of giant planet formation and evolution and their impact on the formation of habitable terrestrial planets.

    PubMed

    Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2014-04-28

    In our Solar System, there is a clear divide between the terrestrial and giant planets. These two categories of planets formed and evolved separately, almost in isolation from each other. This was possible because Jupiter avoided migrating into the inner Solar System, most probably due to the presence of Saturn, and never acquired a large-eccentricity orbit, even during the phase of orbital instability that the giant planets most likely experienced. Thus, the Earth formed on a time scale of several tens of millions of years, by collision of Moon- to Mars-mass planetary embryos, in a gas-free and volatile-depleted environment. We do not expect, however, that this clear cleavage between the giant and terrestrial planets is generic. In many extrasolar planetary systems discovered to date, the giant planets migrated into the vicinity of the parent star and/or acquired eccentric orbits. In this way, the evolution and destiny of the giant and terrestrial planets become intimately linked. This paper discusses several evolutionary patterns for the giant planets, with an emphasis on the consequences for the formation and survival of habitable terrestrial planets. The conclusion is that we should not expect Earth-like planets to be typical in terms of physical and orbital properties and accretion history. Most habitable worlds are probably different, exotic worlds.

  13. CORRELATIONS BETWEEN COMPOSITIONS AND ORBITS ESTABLISHED BY THE GIANT IMPACT ERA OF PLANET FORMATION

    SciTech Connect

    Dawson, Rebekah I.; Lee, Eve J.; Chiang, Eugene, E-mail: rdawson@psu.edu

    The giant impact phase of terrestrial planet formation establishes connections between super-Earths’ orbital properties (semimajor axis spacings, eccentricities, mutual inclinations) and interior compositions (the presence or absence of gaseous envelopes). Using N -body simulations and analytic arguments, we show that spacings derive not only from eccentricities, but also from inclinations. Flatter systems attain tighter spacings, a consequence of an eccentricity equilibrium between gravitational scatterings, which increase eccentricities, and mergers, which damp them. Dynamical friction by residual disk gas plays a critical role in regulating mergers and in damping inclinations and eccentricities. Systems with moderate gas damping and high solid surfacemore » density spawn gas-enveloped super-Earths with tight spacings, small eccentricities, and small inclinations. Systems in which super-Earths coagulate without as much ambient gas, in disks with low solid surface density, produce rocky planets with wider spacings, larger eccentricities, and larger mutual inclinations. A combination of both populations can reproduce the observed distributions of spacings, period ratios, transiting planet multiplicities, and transit duration ratios exhibited by Kepler super-Earths. The two populations, both formed in situ, also help to explain observed trends of eccentricity versus planet size, and bulk density versus method of mass measurement (radial velocities versus transit timing variations). Simplifications made in this study—including the limited time span of the simulations, and the approximate treatments of gas dynamical friction and gas depletion history—should be improved on in future work to enable a detailed quantitative comparison to the observations.« less

  14. Dynamics and Origin of the 2:1 Orbital Resonances of the GJ 876 Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Man Hoi; Peale, S. J.

    2002-03-01

    The discovery by Marcy and coworkers of two planets in 2:1 orbital resonance about the star GJ 876 has been supplemented by a dynamical fit to the data by Laughlin & Chambers, which places the planets in coplanar orbits deep in three resonances at the 2:1 mean-motion commensurability. The selection of this almost singular state by the dynamical fit means that the resonances are almost certainly real, and with the small amplitudes of libration of the resonance variables, indefinitely stable. Several unusual properties of the 2:1 resonances are revealed by the GJ 876 system. The libration of both lowest order mean-motion resonance variables and the secular resonance variable, θ1=λ1- 2λ2+ϖ1, θ2=λ1- 2λ2+ϖ2, and θ3=ϖ1-ϖ2, about 0° (where λ1,2 are the mean longitudes of the inner and outer planet and ϖ1,2 are the longitudes of periapse) differs from the familiar geometry of the Io-Europa pair, where θ2 and θ3 librate about 180°. By considering the condition that ϖ1=ϖ2 for stable simultaneous librations of θ1 and θ2, we show that the GJ 876 geometry results from the large orbital eccentricities ei, whereas the very small eccentricities in the Io-Europa system lead to the latter's geometry. Surprisingly, the GJ 876 configuration, with θ1, θ2, and θ3 all librating, remains stable for e1 up to 0.86 and for amplitude of libration of θ1 approaching 45° with the current eccentricities-further supporting the indefinite stability of the existing system. Any process that drives originally widely separated orbits toward each other could result in capture into the observed resonances at the 2:1 commensurability. We find that forced inward migration of the outer planet of the GJ 876 system results in certain capture into the observed resonances if initially e1<~0.06 and e2<~0.03 and the migration rate |a2/a2|<~3×10- 2(a2/AU)-3/2yr-1. Larger eccentricities lead to likely capture into higher order resonances before the 2:1 commensurability is reached. The

  15. The Fate of Close-in Planets: Tidal or Magnetic Migration?

    SciTech Connect

    Strugarek, A.; Bolmont, E.; Mathis, S.

    Planets in close-in orbits interact magnetically and tidally with their host stars. These interactions lead to a net torque that makes close-in planets migrate inward or outward depending on their orbital distance. We systematically compare the strength of magnetic and tidal torques for typical observed star–planet systems (T-Tauri and hot Jupiter, M-dwarf and Earth-like planet, K star and hot Jupiter) based on state-of-the-art scaling laws. We find that depending on the characteristics of the system, tidal or magnetic effects can dominate. For very close-in planets, we find that both torques can make a planet migrate on a timescale as smallmore » as 10–100 thousands of years. Both effects thus have to be taken into account when predicting the evolution of compact systems.« less

  16. ORBITAL PHASE VARIATIONS OF THE ECCENTRIC GIANT PLANET HAT-P-2b

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, Nikole K.; Showman, Adam P.; Knutson, Heather A.

    2013-04-01

    We present the first secondary eclipse and phase curve observations for the highly eccentric hot Jupiter HAT-P-2b in the 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, and 8.0 {mu}m bands of the Spitzer Space Telescope. The 3.6 and 4.5 {mu}m data sets span an entire orbital period of HAT-P-2b (P = 5.6334729 d), making them the longest continuous phase curve observations obtained to date and the first full-orbit observations of a planet with an eccentricity exceeding 0.2. We present an improved non-parametric method for removing the intrapixel sensitivity variations in Spitzer data at 3.6 and 4.5 {mu}m that robustly maps position-dependent flux variations. Wemore » find that the peak in planetary flux occurs at 4.39 {+-} 0.28, 5.84 {+-} 0.39, and 4.68 {+-} 0.37 hr after periapse passage with corresponding maxima in the planet/star flux ratio of 0.1138% {+-} 0.0089%, 0.1162% {+-} 0.0080%, and 0.1888% {+-} 0.0072% in the 3.6, 4.5, and 8.0 {mu}m bands, respectively. Our measured secondary eclipse depths of 0.0996% {+-} 0.0072%, 0.1031% {+-} 0.0061%, 0.071%{sub -0.013%}{sup +0.029,} and 0.1392% {+-} 0.0095% in the 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, and 8.0 {mu}m bands, respectively, indicate that the planet cools significantly from its peak temperature before we measure the dayside flux during secondary eclipse. We compare our measured secondary eclipse depths to the predictions from a one-dimensional radiative transfer model, which suggests the possible presence of a transient day side inversion in HAT-P-2b's atmosphere near periapse. We also derive improved estimates for the system parameters, including its mass, radius, and orbital ephemeris. Our simultaneous fit to the transit, secondary eclipse, and radial velocity data allows us to determine the eccentricity (e = 0.50910 {+-} 0.00048) and argument of periapse ({omega} = 188. Degree-Sign 09 {+-} 0. Degree-Sign 39) of HAT-P-2b's orbit with a greater precision than has been achieved for any other eccentric extrasolar planet. We also find evidence for a long

  17. Artemis: A Stratospheric Planet Finder

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  18. The SOPHIE search for northern extrasolar planets. VII. A warm Neptune orbiting HD 164595

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

    High-precision radial velocity surveys explore the population of low-mass exoplanets orbiting bright stars. This allows accurately deriving their orbital parameters such as their occurrence rate and the statistical distribution of their properties. Based on this, models of planetary formation and evolution can be constrained. The SOPHIE spectrograph has been continuously improved in past years, and thanks to an appropriate correction of systematic instrumental drift, it is now reaching 2 m s-1precision in radial velocity measurements on all timescales. As part of a dedicated radial velocity survey devoted to search for low-mass planets around a sample of 190 bright solar-type stars in the northern hemisphere, we report the detection of a warm Neptune with a minimum mass of 16.1 ± 2.7M⊕ orbiting the solar analog HD 164595 in 40 ± 0.24 days. We also revised the parameters of the multiplanetary system around HD 190360. We discuss this new detection in the context of the upcoming space mission CHEOPS, which is devoted to a transit search of bright stars harboring known exoplanets. Based on observations made with SOPHIE spectrograph on the 1.93-m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS/OSU Pythéas), France (program 07A.PNP.CONS).Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  19. 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.

  20. Anthropic selection and the habitability of planets orbiting M and K dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waltham, Dave

    2011-10-01

    The Earth may have untypical characteristics which were necessary preconditions for the emergence of life and, ultimately, intelligent observers. This paper presents a rigorous procedure for quantifying such "anthropic selection" effects by comparing Earth's properties to those of exoplanets. The hypothesis that there is anthropic selection for stellar mass (i.e. planets orbiting stars with masses within a particular range are more favourable for the emergence of observers) is then tested. The results rule out the expected strong selection for low mass stars which would result, all else being equal, if the typical timescale for the emergence of intelligent observers is very long. This indicates that the habitable zone of small stars may be less hospitable for intelligent life than the habitable zone of solar-mass stars. Additional planetary properties can also be analyzed, using the approach introduced here, once relatively complete and unbiased statistics are made available by current and planned exoplanet characterization projects.

  1. The Orbital and Planetary Phase Variations of Jupiter-sized Planets: Characterizing Present and Future Giants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayorga, Laura C.; Jackiewicz, Jason; Rages, Kathy; West, Robert; Knowles, Ben; Lewis, Nikole K.; Marley, Mark S.

    2018-01-01

    Knowledge of how the brightness and color of a planet varies with viewing angle is essential for the design of future direct imaging missions and deriving constraints on atmospheric properties. However, measuring the phase curves for the solar system gas giants is impossible from the ground. Using data Cassini/ISS obtained during its flyby of Jupiter, I measured Jupiter's phase curve in six bands spanning 400-1000 nm. I found that Jupiter's brightness is less than that of a Lambertian scatterer and that its color varies more with phase angle than predicted by theoretical models. For hot Jupiters, the light from the planet cannot be spatially isolated from that of the star. As a result, determining the planetary phase curve requires removing the phase-dependent contributions from the host star. I consider the effect of varying the stellar model and present a parameterization of the Doppler beaming amplitude that depends upon the planetary mass, orbital period, and the stellar temperature. I consider the detectability of Doppler beaming amplitudes with data from TESS and find that TESS will be less sensitive to this signal than Kepler. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the New Mexico Higher Education Department Graduate Scholarship Program.

  2. The mass of the super-Earth orbiting the brightest Kepler planet hosting star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; HARPS-N Team

    2016-01-01

    HD 179070, aka Kepler-21, is a V = 8.25 oscillating F6IV star and the brightest exoplanet host discovered by Kepler. An early analysis of the Q0 - Q5 Kepler light curves by Howell et al. (2012) revealed transits of a planetary companion, Kepler-21b, with a radius of 1.6 R_Earth and an orbital period of 2.7857 days. However, they could not determine the mass of the planet from the initial radial velocity observations with Keck-HIRES, and were only able to impose a 2s upper limit of about 10 M_Earth. Here we present 82 new radial velocity observations of this system obtained with the HARPS-N spectrograph. We detect the Doppler shift signal of Kepler-21b at the 3.6s level, and measure a planetary mass of 5.9 ± 1.6 M_Earth. We also update the radius of the planet to 1.65 ± 0.08 R_Earth, using the now available Kepler Q0 - Q17 photometry for this target. The mass of Kepler-21b appears to fall on the apparent dividing line between super-Earths that have lost all the material in their outer layers and those that have retained a significant amount of volatiles. Based on our results Kepler-21b belongs to the first group. Acknowledgement: This work was supported by funding from the NASA XRP Program and the John Templeton Foundation.

  3. Physical properties of the planet Mercury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, Pamela E.

    1988-01-01

    The global physical properties of Mercury are summarized with attention given to its figure and orbital parameters. The combination of properties suggests that Mercury has an extensive iron-rich core, possibly with a still-functioning dynamo, which is 42 percent of the interior by volume. Mercury's three major axes are comparable in size, indicating that the planet is a triaxial ellipsoid rather than an oblate spheroid. In terms of the domination of its surface by an intermediate plains terrane, it is more Venus- or Mars-like; however, due to the presence of a large metallic magnetic core, its interior may be more earth-like.

  4. Super-elite plasma rings and the orbits of planets and satellites isomorphic to the orbits of electrons in the Bohr's model of the hydrogen atom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabinovich, B. I.

    2007-10-01

    This paper continues the series of papers [1 5] and generalizes the previous results to a proto-ring of magnetized plasma whose density decreases in the radial direction. The problem of quantization of the sector and orbital velocities, and of the radii and periods of revolution of elite plasma rings is considered. A new concept of super-elite rings is introduced. Their isomorphism with the orbits of the planets and planetary satellites in the Solar System is proved. This isomorphism also extends to the orbits of electrons in the Bohr’s model of the hydrogen atom.

  5. Occurrence of Earth-like bodies in planetary systems.

    PubMed

    Wetherill, G W

    1991-08-02

    Present theories of terrestrial planet formation predict the rapid ;;runaway formation'' of planetary embryos. The sizes of the embryos increase with heliocentric distance. These embryos then merge to form planets. In earlier Monte Carlo simulations of the merger of these embryos it was assumed that embryos did not form in the asteroid belt, but this assumption may not be valid. Simulations in which runaways were allowed to form in the asteroid belt show that, although the initial distributions of mass, energy, and angular momentum are different from those observed today, during the growth of the planets these distributions spontaneously evolve toward those observed, simply as a result of known solar system processes. Even when a large planet analogous to ;;Jupiter'' does not form, an Earth-sized planet is almost always found near Earth's heliocentric distance. These results suggest that occurrence of Earth-like planets may be a common feature of planetary systems.

  6. Occurrence of earth-like bodies in planetary systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wetherill, George W.

    1991-01-01

    Present theories of terrestrial planet formation predict the rapid 'runaway formation' of planetary embryos. The sizes of the embryos increase with heliocentric distance. These embryos then emerge to form planets. In earlier Monte Carlo simulations of the merger of these embryos it was assumed that embryos did not form in the asteroid belt, but this assumption may not be valid. Simulations in which runaways were allowed to form in the asteroid belt show that, although the initial distributions of mass, energy, and angular momentum are different from those observed today, during the growth of the planets these distributions spontaneously evolve toward those observed, simply as a result of known solar system processes. Even when a large planet analogous to 'Jupiter' does not form, an earth-sized planet is almost always found near earth's heliocentric distance. These results suggest that occurrence of earthlike planets may be a common feature of planetary systems.

  7. Europe Scores New Planetary Success: Venus Express Enters Orbit around the Hothouse Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-04-01

    During the next four weeks, the Venus Express probe will perform a series of manoeuvres to reach the scheduled operational orbit for its scientific mission. It will move from its current highly elongated 9-day orbit to a 24-hour polar orbit, culminating at 66,000 km. From this vantage point, the orbiter will conduct an in-depth observation of the structure, chemistry and dynamics of the atmosphere of Venus for at least two Venusian days (486 Earth days). Enigmatic atmosphere From previous missions to Venus as well as observations directly from Earth, we already know that our neighbouring planet is shrouded in a thick atmosphere where extremes of temperature and pressure conditions are common. This atmosphere creates a greenhouse effect of tremendous proportions as it spins around the planet in four days in an unexplained “super-rotation” phenomenon. The mission of Venus Express will be to carry out a detailed characterisation of this atmosphere, using state-of-the-art sensors in order to answer the questions and solve the mysteries left behind by the first wave of explorers. It will also be the first Venus orbiter to conduct optical observations of the surface through “visibility windows” discovered in the infrared spectrum.V The commissioning of the onboard scientific instruments will begin shortly and the first raw data are expected within days. The overall science payload is planned to be fully operational within two months. Europe explores the Solar System With this latest success, ESA is adding another celestial body to its range of solar system studies. ESA also operates Mars Express around Mars, SMART-1 around the Moon and is NASA’s partner on the Cassini orbiter around Saturn. In addition, ESA is also operating the Rosetta probe en route to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It should reach its target and become the first spacecraft ever to enter orbit around a comet nucleus by 2014. Meanwhile, ESA also plans to complete the survey of our celestial

  8. Tectonic granulation of terrestrial planets in connection with their orbital frequencies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochemasov, G.

    2007-08-01

    The comparative wave planetology states that "orbits make structures" [1, 2 & others]. Moving in elliptical keplerian orbits with periodically changing accelerations celestial bodies are subjected to a warping action of inertia-gravity waves. In rotating bodies they acquire a stationary character and go in 4 crossing ortho- and diagonal directions. Interference of these directions produces uplifting (+), subsiding (-) and neutral (0) tectonic blocks size of which depends on lengths of warping waves. The fundamental wave 1 long 2πR produces ubiquitous tectonic dichotomy - an opposition of two segments - one (+), another (-). Well known at Earth, Mars and the Moon it is not so sharp at Venus and just discovered on Mercury (Dr. Ksanfomality's telescopic observations of a huge basin > 2000 km in diameter on unknown portion of Mercury's surface). Asteroids at the farthest end of the terrestrial planets row all show oblong and convexo-concave shape due to warping action of wave 1. The fundamental wave 1 has overtones of which the first long πR produces tectonic sectors - very prominent features. At Earth, for an example, these are continents and secondary oceans (the primary Pacific is a segment - a part of the dichotomous structure). On these common for all planets basic warpings are superimposed individual warpings or tectonic granules. Their sizes are inversely proportional to orbital frequencies: higher frequency - smaller grain and, vice versa, lower frequency - larger grain. Starting from the solar photosphere (it orbits the center of the solar system with frequency 1/1month) one has the following row of tectonic grains sizes (a half of a wavelength): photosphere πR/60, Mercury πR/16, Venus πR/6, Earth πR/4, Mars πR/2, asteroids πR/1. Photosphere grains are famous solar supergranules about 30000 km across (this size was never explained by the solar physics). Mercury's grains are typical small basins occupying 3-4° of a big circle arc. Venus' grains are 12

  9. Detectability of the Reflection Signal from Inner Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, W. J.; Jenkins, J. M.; Scargle, J.; Koch, D.; Doyle, L. R.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Mayor and Queloz (1996) and Marcy and Butler (1996) have found massive planets with orbital periods Tp=approx.4 days around two solar-like stars (51 Pegasi and v Andromeda). These planets are most likely similar in size and composition to the gas giants in our solar system (Burrows et al 1996). Based on this expectation and assuming the same albedo as Jupiter, we examined the feasibility of searching for similar planets with a dedicated space-based 1-m telescope. The Kepler mission will survey approximately 70,000 main-sequence dwarf stars from 9 to 14 mag continuously for four years to detect transiting Earthlike planets. Based on the detection statistics of Marcy and Butler, we expect to detect 1400 inner-orbit giant planets. Such planets in a much wider range of orbital inclinations (i) will produce nearly sinusoidal modulations of the star light flux due to the varying planetary phases. The relative signal amplitudes are of order 2x10(exp -5) and decrease as Tp(exp 4/3) for i >> 0deg. We estimated the expected signal to noise ratio (SNR) using the solar irradiance measurements from the ACRIM 1 experiment along with expected shot and detector noises. The figure shows SNR as a function of Tp for a 12 mag star, and indicates the planet radius required for detection. The survey will be sensitive to planets with periods from 12 hr to approx.8 days at the 6 sigma level.

  10. Organic Haze as a Biosignature in Anoxic Earth-like Atmospheres

    PubMed Central

    Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Early Earth may have hosted a biologically mediated global organic haze during the Archean eon (3.8–2.5 billion years ago). This haze would have significantly impacted multiple aspects of our planet, including its potential for habitability and its spectral appearance. Here, we model worlds with Archean-like levels of carbon dioxide orbiting the ancient Sun and an M4V dwarf (GJ 876) and show that organic haze formation requires methane fluxes consistent with estimated Earth-like biological production rates. On planets with high fluxes of biogenic organic sulfur gases (CS2, OCS, CH3SH, and CH3SCH3), photochemistry involving these gases can drive haze formation at lower CH4/CO2 ratios than methane photochemistry alone. For a planet orbiting the Sun, at 30× the modern organic sulfur gas flux, haze forms at a CH4/CO2 ratio 20% lower than at 1× the modern organic sulfur flux. For a planet orbiting the M4V star, the impact of organic sulfur gases is more pronounced: at 1× the modern Earth organic sulfur flux, a substantial haze forms at CH4/CO2 ∼ 0.2, but at 30× the organic sulfur flux, the CH4/CO2 ratio needed to form haze decreases by a full order of magnitude. Detection of haze at an anomalously low CH4/CO2 ratio could suggest the influence of these biogenic sulfur gases and therefore imply biological activity on an exoplanet. When these organic sulfur gases are not readily detectable in the spectrum of an Earth-like exoplanet, the thick organic haze they can help produce creates a very strong absorption feature at UV-blue wavelengths detectable in reflected light at a spectral resolution as low as 10. In direct imaging, constraining CH4 and CO2 concentrations will require higher spectral resolution, and R > 170 is needed to accurately resolve the structure of the CO2 feature at 1.57 μm, likely the most accessible CO2 feature on an Archean-like exoplanet. Key Words: Organic haze—Organic sulfur gases—Biosignatures—Archean Earth

  11. Organic Haze as a Biosignature in Anoxic Earth-Like Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arney, Giada; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2017-01-01

    Early Earth may have hosted a biologically mediated global organic haze during the Archean eon (3.8-2.5 billion years ago). This haze would have significantly impacted multiple aspects of our planet, including its potential for habitability and its spectral appearance. Here, we model worlds with Archean-like levels of carbon dioxide orbiting the ancient Sun and anM4Vdwarf (GJ 876) and show that organic haze formation requires methane fluxes consistent with estimated Earth-like biological production rates. On planets with high fluxes of biogenic organic sulfur gases (CS2, OCS, CH3SH, and CH3SCH3), photochemistry involving these gases can drive haze formation at lower CH4/CO2 ratios than methane photochemistry alone. For a planet orbiting the Sun, at 30x the modern organic sulfur gas flux, haze forms at a CH4/CO2 ratio 20% lower than at 1x the modern organic sulfur flux. For a planet orbiting the M4V star, the impact of organic sulfur gases is more pronounced: at 1x the modern Earth organic sulfur flux, a substantial haze forms at CH4/CO2 approx. 0.2, but at 30x the organic sulfur flux, the CH4/CO2 ratio needed to form haze decreases by a full order of magnitude. Detection of haze at an anomalously low CH4/ CO2 ratio could suggest the influence of these biogenic sulfur gases and therefore imply biological activity on an exoplanet. When these organic sulfur gases are not readily detectable in the spectrum of an Earth-like exoplanet, the thick organic haze they can help produce creates a very strong absorption feature at UV-blue wavelengths detectable in reflected light at a spectral resolution as low as 10. In direct imaging, constraining CH4 and CO2 concentrations will require higher spectral resolution, and R > 170 is needed to accurately resolve the structure of the CO2 feature at 1.57 microns, likely the most accessible CO2 feature on an Archean-like exoplanet.

  12. Organic Haze as a Biosignature in Anoxic Earth-like Atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Arney, Giada; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D; Meadows, Victoria S

    2018-03-01

    Early Earth may have hosted a biologically mediated global organic haze during the Archean eon (3.8-2.5 billion years ago). This haze would have significantly impacted multiple aspects of our planet, including its potential for habitability and its spectral appearance. Here, we model worlds with Archean-like levels of carbon dioxide orbiting the ancient Sun and an M4V dwarf (GJ 876) and show that organic haze formation requires methane fluxes consistent with estimated Earth-like biological production rates. On planets with high fluxes of biogenic organic sulfur gases (CS 2 , OCS, CH 3 SH, and CH 3 SCH 3 ), photochemistry involving these gases can drive haze formation at lower CH 4 /CO 2 ratios than methane photochemistry alone. For a planet orbiting the Sun, at 30× the modern organic sulfur gas flux, haze forms at a CH 4 /CO 2 ratio 20% lower than at 1× the modern organic sulfur flux. For a planet orbiting the M4V star, the impact of organic sulfur gases is more pronounced: at 1× the modern Earth organic sulfur flux, a substantial haze forms at CH 4 /CO 2 ∼ 0.2, but at 30× the organic sulfur flux, the CH 4 /CO 2 ratio needed to form haze decreases by a full order of magnitude. Detection of haze at an anomalously low CH 4 /CO 2 ratio could suggest the influence of these biogenic sulfur gases and therefore imply biological activity on an exoplanet. When these organic sulfur gases are not readily detectable in the spectrum of an Earth-like exoplanet, the thick organic haze they can help produce creates a very strong absorption feature at UV-blue wavelengths detectable in reflected light at a spectral resolution as low as 10. In direct imaging, constraining CH 4 and CO 2 concentrations will require higher spectral resolution, and R > 170 is needed to accurately resolve the structure of the CO 2 feature at 1.57 μm, likely the most accessible CO 2 feature on an Archean-like exoplanet. Key Words: Organic haze-Organic sulfur gases-Biosignatures-Archean Earth

  13. A terrestrial planet candidate in a temperate orbit around Proxima Centauri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Amado, Pedro J.; Barnes, John; Berdiñas, Zaira M.; Butler, R. Paul; Coleman, Gavin A. L.; de La Cueva, Ignacio; Dreizler, Stefan; Endl, Michael; Giesers, Benjamin; Jeffers, Sandra V.; Jenkins, James S.; Jones, Hugh R. A.; Kiraga, Marcin; Kürster, Martin; López-González, María J.; Marvin, Christopher J.; Morales, Nicolás; Morin, Julien; Nelson, Richard P.; Ortiz, José L.; Ofir, Aviv; Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan; Reiners, Ansgar; Rodríguez, Eloy; Rodríguez-López, Cristina; Sarmiento, Luis F.; Strachan, John P.; Tsapras, Yiannis; Tuomi, Mikko; Zechmeister, Mathias

    2016-08-01

    At a distance of 1.295 parsecs, the red dwarf Proxima Centauri (α Centauri C, GL 551, HIP 70890 or simply Proxima) is the Sun’s closest stellar neighbour and one of the best-studied low-mass stars. It has an effective temperature of only around 3,050 kelvin, a luminosity of 0.15 per cent of that of the Sun, a measured radius of 14 per cent of the radius of the Sun and a mass of about 12 per cent of the mass of the Sun. Although Proxima is considered a moderately active star, its rotation period is about 83 days (ref. 3) and its quiescent activity levels and X-ray luminosity are comparable to those of the Sun. Here we report observations that reveal the presence of a small planet with a minimum mass of about 1.3 Earth masses orbiting Proxima with a period of approximately 11.2 days at a semi-major-axis distance of around 0.05 astronomical units. Its equilibrium temperature is within the range where water could be liquid on its surface.

  14. On the Diversity in Mass and Orbital Radius of Giant Planets Formed via Disk Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Simon; Helled, Ravit; Mayer, Lucio

    2018-02-01

    We present a semi-analytical population synthesis model of protoplanetary clumps formed by disk instability at radial distances of 80–120 au. Various clump density profiles, initial mass functions, protoplanetary disk models, stellar masses, and gap opening criteria are considered. When we use more realistic gap opening criteria, we find that gaps open only rarely, which strongly affects clump survival rates and their physical properties (mass, radius, and radial distance). The inferred surviving population is then shifted toward less massive clumps at smaller radial distances. We also find that populations of surviving clumps are very sensitive to the model assumptions and used parameters. Depending on the chosen parameters, the protoplanets occupy a mass range between 0.01 and 16 M J and may either orbit close to the central star or as far out as 75 au, with a sweet spot at 10–30 au for the massive ones. However, in all of the cases we consider, we find that massive giant planets at very large radial distances are rare, in qualitative agreement with current direct imaging surveys. We conclude that caution should be taken in deriving population synthesis models as well as when comparing the models’ results with observations.

  15. A terrestrial planet candidate in a temperate orbit around Proxima Centauri.

    PubMed

    Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Amado, Pedro J; Barnes, John; Berdiñas, Zaira M; Butler, R Paul; Coleman, Gavin A L; de la Cueva, Ignacio; Dreizler, Stefan; Endl, Michael; Giesers, Benjamin; Jeffers, Sandra V; Jenkins, James S; Jones, Hugh R A; Kiraga, Marcin; Kürster, Martin; López-González, Marίa J; Marvin, Christopher J; Morales, Nicolás; Morin, Julien; Nelson, Richard P; Ortiz, José L; Ofir, Aviv; Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan; Reiners, Ansgar; Rodríguez, Eloy; Rodrίguez-López, Cristina; Sarmiento, Luis F; Strachan, John P; Tsapras, Yiannis; Tuomi, Mikko; Zechmeister, Mathias

    2016-08-25

    At a distance of 1.295 parsecs, the red dwarf Proxima Centauri (α Centauri C, GL 551, HIP 70890 or simply Proxima) is the Sun's closest stellar neighbour and one of the best-studied low-mass stars. It has an effective temperature of only around 3,050 kelvin, a luminosity of 0.15 per cent of that of the Sun, a measured radius of 14 per cent of the radius of the Sun and a mass of about 12 per cent of the mass of the Sun. Although Proxima is considered a moderately active star, its rotation period is about 83 days (ref. 3) and its quiescent activity levels and X-ray luminosity are comparable to those of the Sun. Here we report observations that reveal the presence of a small planet with a minimum mass of about 1.3 Earth masses orbiting Proxima with a period of approximately 11.2 days at a semi-major-axis distance of around 0.05 astronomical units. Its equilibrium temperature is within the range where water could be liquid on its surface.

  16. Kepler-432 b: a massive planet in a highly eccentric orbit transiting a red giant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciceri, S.; Lillo-Box, J.; Southworth, J.; Mancini, L.; Henning, Th.; Barrado, D.

    2015-01-01

    We report the first disclosure of the planetary nature of Kepler-432 b (aka Kepler object of interest KOI-1299.01). We accurately constrained its mass and eccentricity by high-precision radial velocity measurements obtained with the CAFE spectrograph at the CAHA 2.2-m telescope. By simultaneously fitting these new data and Kepler photometry, we found that Kepler-432 b is a dense transiting exoplanet with a mass of Mp = 4.87 ± 0.48MJup and radius of Rp = 1.120 ± 0.036RJup. The planet revolves every 52.5 d around a K giant star that ascends the red giant branch, and it moves on a highly eccentric orbit with e = 0.535 ± 0.030. By analysing two near-IR high-resolution images, we found that a star is located at 1.1'' from Kepler-432, but it is too faint to cause significant effects on the transit depth. Together with Kepler-56 and Kepler-91, Kepler-432 occupies an almost-desert region of parameter space, which is important for constraining the evolutionary processes of planetary systems. RV data (Table A.1) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/573/L5

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

    DOE PAGES

    De Rosa, Robert J.; Nielsen, Eric L.; Blunt, Sarah C.; ...

    2015-11-13

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    De Rosa, Robert J.; Nielsen, Eric L.; Blunt, Sarah C.

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

  19. Pale Orange Dots: The Impact of Organic Haze on the Habitability and Detectability of Earthlike Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arney, Giada; Meadows, Victoria; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Deming, Drake; Robinson, Tyler D.; Tovar, Guadalupe; Wolf, Eric; Schwieterman, Edward

    2016-10-01

    Hazes are common in planetary atmospheres, and geochemical evidence suggests early Earth occasionally supported an organic haze. The formation of organic hazes is initiated by methane photochemistry sensitive to the host star UV spectrum. Because methane can be produced by a variety of biological and geological processes, organic-rich terrestrial planets with hazes may be common in the galaxy. We use a 1D photochemical-climate model to examine the production of fractal organic haze on Archean Earthlike planets orbiting several different stars: the modern and early Sun, AD Leo (M3.5V), GJ 876 (M4V), a modeled quiescent M dwarf (M3.5V), ɛ Eridani (K2V), and σ Boötis (F2V). For the planetary atmospheric compositions used, planets orbiting stars with the highest or lowest UV fluxes do not form haze. Low UV-stars are unable to drive the photochemistry needed for haze formation. High UV stars generate photochemical oxygen radicals that halt haze production. Organic hazes can impact planetary habitability via UV shielding and surface cooling, but this cooling is minimized for hazy M dwarf planets whose incident stellar radiation arrives at wavelengths where organic hazes are largely transparent. We generate synthetic planetary spectra to test the detectability of haze. For 10 transits of an Archean-analog planet orbiting GJ 876 observed by the James Webb Space Telescope, gaseous absorption features at wavelengths < 2.5μm are 2-10σ shallower in the presence of a haze compared to a clear-sky planet, and methane and carbon dioxide are detectable at >5σ assuming photon-limited noise levels. An absorption feature from the haze can be detected at the 5σ level near 6.3μm, but higher signal-to-noise would be needed to uniquely distinguish haze from other absorbers in this spectral region. For direct imaging of a planet at 10 parsecs using a coronagraphic 10-meter class ultraviolet-visible-near infrared telescope, a UV-blue haze absorption feature would be strongly

  20. Correcting Estimates of the Occurrence Rate of Earth-like Exoplanets for Stellar Multiplicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantor, Elliot; Dressing, Courtney D.; Ciardi, David R.; Christiansen, Jessie

    2018-06-01

    One of the most prominent questions in the exoplanet field has been determining the true occurrence rate of potentially habitable Earth-like planets. NASA’s Kepler mission has been instrumental in answering this question by searching for transiting exoplanets, but follow-up observations of Kepler target stars are needed to determine whether or not the surveyed Kepler targets are in multi-star systems. While many researchers have searched for companions to Kepler planet host stars, few studies have investigated the larger target sample. Regardless of physical association, the presence of nearby stellar companions biases our measurements of a system’s planetary parameters and reduces our sensitivity to small planets. Assuming that all Kepler target stars are single (as is done in many occurrence rate calculations) would overestimate our search completeness and result in an underestimate of the frequency of potentially habitable Earth-like planets. We aim to correct for this bias by characterizing the set of targets for which Kepler could have detected Earth-like planets. We are using adaptive optics (AO) imaging to reveal potential stellar companions and near-infrared spectroscopy to refine stellar parameters for a subset of the Kepler targets that are most amenable to the detection of Earth-like planets. We will then derive correction factors to correct for the biases in the larger set of target stars and determine the true frequency of systems with Earth-like planets. Due to the prevalence of stellar multiples, we expect to calculate an occurrence rate for Earth-like exoplanets that is higher than current figures.

  1. The unstable fate of the planet orbiting the A star in the HD 131399 triple stellar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veras, Dimitri; Mustill, Alexander J.; Gänsicke, Boris T.

    2017-02-01

    Validated planet candidates need not lie on long-term stable orbits, and instability triggered by post-main-sequence stellar evolution can generate architectures which transport rocky material to white dwarfs, hence polluting them. The giant planet HD 131399Ab orbits its parent A star at a projected separation of about 50-100 au. The host star, HD 131399A, is part of a hierarchical triple with HD 131399BC being a close binary separated by a few hundred au from the A star. Here, we determine the fate of this system, and find the following: (I) Stability along the main sequence is achieved only for a favourable choice of parameters within the errors. (II) Even for this choice, in almost every instance, the planet is ejected during the transition between the giant branch and white dwarf phases of HD 131399A. This result provides an example of both how the free-floating planet population may be enhanced by similar systems and how instability can manifest in the polluted white dwarf progenitor population.

  2. MESSENGER, MErcury: Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging; A Mission to Orbit and Explore the Planet Mercury

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    MESSENGER is a scientific mission to Mercury. Understanding this extraordinary planet and the forces that have shaped it is fundamental to understanding the processes that have governed the formation, evolution, and dynamics of the terrestrial planets. MESSENGER is a MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging mission to orbit Mercury for one Earth year after completing two flybys of that planet following two flybys of Venus. The necessary flybys return significant new data early in the mission, while the orbital phase, guided by the flyby data, enables a focused scientific investigation of this least-studied terrestrial planet. Answers to key questions about Mercury's high density, crustal composition and structure, volcanic history, core structure, magnetic field generation, polar deposits, exosphere, overall volatile inventory, and magnetosphere are provided by an optimized set of miniaturized space instruments. Our goal is to gain new insight into the formation and evolution of the solar system, including Earth. By traveling to the inner edge of the solar system and exploring a poorly known world, MESSENGER fulfills this quest.

  3. Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  4. Synthesizing exoplanet demographics from radial velocity and microlensing surveys. II. The frequency of planets orbiting M dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Clanton, Christian; Gaudi, B. Scott, E-mail: clanton@astronomy.ohio-state.edu

    2014-08-20

    In contrast to radial velocity (RV) surveys, results from microlensing surveys indicate that giant planets with masses greater than the critical mass for core accretion (∼0.1 M {sub Jup}) are relatively common around low-mass stars. Using the methodology developed in the first paper, we predict the sensitivity of M-dwarf RV surveys to analogs of the population of planets inferred by microlensing. We find that RV surveys should detect a handful of super-Jovian (>M {sub Jup}) planets at the longest periods being probed. These planets are indeed found by RV surveys, implying that the demographic constraints inferred from these two methodsmore » are consistent. Finally, we combine the results from both methods to estimate planet frequencies spanning wide regions of parameter space. We find that the frequency of Jupiters and super-Jupiters (1 ≲ m{sub p} sin i/M {sub Jup} ≲ 13) with periods 1 ≤ P/days ≤ 10{sup 4} is f{sub J}=0.029{sub −0.015}{sup +0.013}, a median factor of 4.3 (1.5-14 at 95% confidence) smaller than the inferred frequency of such planets around FGK stars of 0.11 ± 0.02. However, we find the frequency of all giant planets with 30 ≲ m{sub p} sin i/M {sub ⊕} ≲ 10{sup 4} and 1 ≤ P/days ≤ 10{sup 4} to be f{sub G}=0.15{sub −0.07}{sup +0.06}, only a median factor of 2.2 (0.73-5.9 at 95% confidence) smaller than the inferred frequency of such planets orbiting FGK stars of 0.31 ± 0.07. For a more conservative definition of giant planets (50 ≲ m{sub p} sin i/M {sub ⊕} ≲ 10{sup 4}), we find f{sub G{sup ′}}=0.11±0.05, a median factor of 2.2 (0.73-6.7 at 95% confidence) smaller than that inferred for FGK stars of 0.25 ± 0.05. Finally, we find the frequency of all planets with 1 ≤ m{sub p} sin i/M {sub ⊕} ≤ 10{sup 4} and 1 ≤ P/days ≤ 10{sup 4} to be f{sub p} = 1.9 ± 0.5.« less

  5. The Thermal Expansion of Ring Particles and the Secular Orbital Evolution of Rings Around Planets and Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rubincam, David P.

    2013-01-01

    The thermal expansion and contraction of ring particles orbiting a planet or asteroid can cause secular orbit evolution. This effect, called here the thermal expansion effect, depends on ring particles entering and exiting the shadow of the body they orbit. A particle cools off in the shadow and heats up again in the sunshine, suffering thermal contraction and expansion. The changing cross-section it presents to solar radiation pressure plus time lags due to thermal inertia lead to a net along-track force. The effect causes outward drift for rocky particles. For the equatorial orbits considered here, the thermal expansion effect is larger than Poynting-Robertson drag in the inner solar system for particles in the size range approx. 0.001 - 0.02 m. This leads to a net increase in the semimajor axis from the two opposing effects at rates ranging from approx. 0.1 R per million years for Mars to approx. 1 R per million years for Mercury, for distances approx. 2R from the body, where R is the body's radius. Asteroid 243 Ida has approx. 10 R per million years, while a hypothetical Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) can have faster rates of approx. 0.5 R per thousand years, due chiefly to its small radius compared to the planets. The thermal expansion effect weakens greatly at Jupiter and is overwhelmed by Poynting-Robertson for icy particles orbiting Saturn. Meteoroids in eccentric orbits about the Sun also suffer the thermal expansion effect, but with only approx. 0.0003e2 AU change in semimajor axis over a million years for a 2 m meteoroid orbiting between Mercury and Earth.

  6. Extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

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

    2000-11-07

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

  7. Extrasolar planets

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Convection and plate tectonics on extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotin, C.; Grasset, O.; Schubert, G.

    2012-04-01

    The number of potential Earth-like exoplanets is still very limited compared to the overall number of detected exoplanets. But the different methods keep improving, giving hope for this number to increase significantly in the coming years. Based on the relationship between mass and radius, two of the easiest parameters that can be known for exoplanets, four categories of planets have been identified: (i) the gas giants including hot Jupiters, (ii) the icy giants that can be like their solar system cousins Uranus and Neptune or that can have lost their H2-He atmosphere and have become the so-called ocean planets, (iii) the Earth-like planets with a fraction of silicates and iron similar to that of the Earth, and (iv) the Mercury like planet that have a much larger fraction of iron. The hunt for exoplanets is very much focused on Earth-like planets because of the desire to find alien forms of life and the science goal to understand how life started and developed on Earth. One science question is whether heat transfer by subsolidus convection can lead to plate tectonics, a process that allows material to be recycled in the interior on timescales of hundreds of millions of years. Earth-like exoplanets may have conditions quite different from Earth. For example, COROT-7b is so close to its star that it is likely locked in synchronous orbit with one very hot hemisphere and one very cold hemisphere. It is also worth noting that among the three Earth-like planets of the solar system (Earth, Venus and Mars), only Earth is subject to plate tectonics at present time. Venus may have experienced plate tectonics before the resurfacing event that erased any clue that such a process existed. This study investigates some of the parameters that can influence the transition from stagnant-lid convection to mobile-lid convection. Numerical simulations of convective heat transfer have been performed in 3D spherical geometry in order to determine the stress field generated by convection

  10. Atmospheric reconnaissance of the habitable-zone Earth-sized planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Wit, Julien; Wakeford, Hannah R.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Delrez, Laetitia; Gillon, Michaël; Selsis, Frank; Leconte, Jérémy; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Bolmont, Emeline; Bourrier, Vincent; Burgasser, Adam J.; Grimm, Simon; Jehin, Emmanuël; Lederer, Susan M.; Owen, James E.; Stamenković, Vlada; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.

    2018-03-01

    Seven temperate Earth-sized exoplanets readily amenable for atmospheric studies transit the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 (refs 1,2). Their atmospheric regime is unknown and could range from extended primordial hydrogen-dominated to depleted atmospheres3-6. Hydrogen in particular is a powerful greenhouse gas that may prevent the habitability of inner planets while enabling the habitability of outer ones6-8. An atmosphere largely dominated by hydrogen, if cloud-free, should yield prominent spectroscopic signatures in the near-infrared detectable during transits. Observations of the innermost planets have ruled out such signatures9. However, the outermost planets are more likely to have sustained such a Neptune-like atmosphere10, 11. Here, we report observations for the four planets within or near the system's habitable zone, the circumstellar region where liquid water could exist on a planetary surface12-14. These planets do not exhibit prominent spectroscopic signatures at near-infrared wavelengths either, which rules out cloud-free hydrogen-dominated atmospheres for TRAPPIST-1 d, e and f, with significance of 8σ, 6σ and 4σ, respectively. Such an atmosphere is instead not excluded for planet g. As high-altitude clouds and hazes are not expected in hydrogen-dominated atmospheres around planets with such insolation15, 16, these observations further support their terrestrial and potentially habitable nature.

  11. Comparative Habitable Planet Signatures in Polarized Light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bott, K.; Bailey, J.; Meadows, V.; Kedziora-Chudczer, L.; Cotton, D.; Crisp, D.

    2017-11-01

    VSTAR polarized light models of terrestrial worlds are compared for varying cloud, atmospheric, and surface conditions. Archetypal "Earth-like" planets are compared and the observability of their combined polarimetric effects assessed.

  12. Kepler-539: A young extrasolar system with two giant planets on wide orbits and in gravitational interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mancini, L.; Lillo-Box, J.; Southworth, J.; Borsato, L.; Gandolfi, D.; Ciceri, S.; Barrado, D.; Brahm, R.; Henning, Th.

    2016-05-01

    We confirm the planetary nature of Kepler-539 b (aka Kepler object of interest K00372.01), a giant transiting exoplanet orbiting a solar-analogue G2 V star. The mass of Kepler-539 b was accurately derived thanks to a series of precise radial velocity measurements obtained with the CAFE spectrograph mounted on the CAHA 2.2-m telescope. A simultaneous fit of the radial-velocity data and Kepler photometry revealed that Kepler-539 b is a dense Jupiter-like planet with a mass of Mp = 0.97 ± 0.29 MJup and a radius of Rp = 0.747 ± 0.018 RJup, making a complete circular revolution around its parent star in 125.6 days. The semi-major axis of the orbit is roughly 0.5 au, implying that the planet is at ≈0.45 au from the habitable zone. By analysing the mid-transit times of the 12 transit events of Kepler-539 b recorded by the Kepler spacecraft, we found a clear modulated transit time variation (TTV), which is attributable to the presence of a planet c in a wider orbit. The few timings available do not allow us to precisely estimate the properties of Kepler-539 c and our analysis suggests that it has a mass between 1.2 and 3.6 MJup, revolving on a very eccentric orbit (0.4 planet c is the probable cause of the TTV modulation of planet b. The analysis of the CAFE spectra revealed a relatively high photospheric lithium content, A(Li) = 2.48 ± 0.12 dex, which, together with both a gyrochronological and isochronal analysis, suggests that the parent star is relatively young. RV/BVS measurements are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/590/A112

  13. Long-term evaluation of orbital dynamics in the Sun-planet system considering axial-tilt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakhtiari, Majid; Daneshjou, Kamran

    2018-05-01

    In this paper, the axial-tilt (obliquity) effect of planets on the motion of planets’ orbiter in prolonged space missions has been investigated in the presence of the Sun gravity. The proposed model is based on non-simplified perturbed dynamic equations of planetary orbiter motion. From a new point of view, in this work, the dynamic equations regarding a disturbing body in elliptic inclined three-dimensional orbit are derived. The accuracy of this non-simplified method is validated with dual-averaged method employed on a generalized Earth-Moon system. It is shown that the neglected short-time oscillations in dual-averaged technique can accumulate and propel to remarkable errors in the prolonged evolution. After validation, the effects of the planet’s axial-tilt on eccentricity, inclination and right ascension of the ascending node of the orbiter are investigated. Moreover, a generalized model is provided to study the effects of third-body inclination and eccentricity on orbit characteristics. It is shown that the planet’s axial-tilt is the key to facilitating some significant changes in orbital elements in long-term mission and short-time oscillations must be considered in accurate prolonged evaluation.

  14. MINERVA-Red: A telescope dedicated to the discovery of planets orbiting the nearest low-mass stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sliski, David; Blake, Cullen; Johnson, John A.; Plavchan, Peter; Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Eastman, Jason D.; Barnes, Stuart; Baker, Ashley

    2017-01-01

    Results from Kepler and ground-based exoplanet surveys suggest that M-dwarfs host numerous small sized planets. Additionally, the discovery of the Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting Proxima Centauri and Trappist 1 demonstrate that these stars can host terrestrial planets in their habitable zones. Since low-mass stars are intrinsically faint at optical wavelengths, obtaining 1 m/s Doppler resolution to detect their planetary companions remains a challenge for instruments designed for sun-like stars. We describe a novel, high-cadence approach aimed at detecting and characterizing planets orbiting the closest low-mass stars to the Sun. MINERVA-Red is an echelle spectrograph optimized for the 'deep red', between 800 nm and 900 nm, where M-dwarfs are brightest. The spectrograph will be temperature controlled at 20C +/- 10mk and in a vacuum chamber which maintains a pressure below 0.01 mbar while using a Fabry-Perot etalon and U/Ne lamp for wavelength calibration. The spectrometer will operate with a robotic, 0.7-meter telescope at Mt. Hopkins, Arizona. We expect first light in 2017.

  15. Lightning chemistry on Earth-like exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ardaseva, Aleksandra; Rimmer, Paul B.; Waldmann, Ingo; Rocchetto, Marco; Yurchenko, Sergey N.; Helling, Christiane; Tennyson, Jonathan

    2017-09-01

    We present a model for lightning shock-induced chemistry that can be applied to atmospheres of arbitrary H/C/N/O chemistry, hence for extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs. The model couples hydrodynamics and the STAND2015 kinetic gas-phase chemistry. For an exoplanet analogue to the contemporary Earth, our model predicts NO and NO2 yields in agreement with observation. We predict height-dependent mixing ratios during a storm soon after a lightning shock of NO ≈10-3 at 40 km and NO2 ≈10-4 below 40 km, with O3 reduced to trace quantities (≪10-10). For an Earth-like exoplanet with a CO2/N2 dominated atmosphere and with an extremely intense lightning storm over its entire surface, we predict significant changes in the amount of NO, NO2, O3, H2O, H2 and predict a significant abundance of C2N. We find that, for the Early Earth, O2 is formed in large quantities by lightning but is rapidly processed by the photochemistry, consistent with previous work on lightning. The chemical effect of persistent global lightning storms are predicted to be significant, primarily due to NO2, with the largest spectral features present at ˜3.4 and ˜6.2 μm. The features within the transmission spectrum are on the order of 1 ppm and therefore are not likely detectable with the James Webb Space Telescope. Depending on its spectral properties, C2N could be a key tracer for lightning on Earth-like exoplanets with a N2/CO2 bulk atmosphere, unless destroyed by yet unknown chemical reactions.

  16. K2-137 b: an Earth-sized planet in a 4.3-h orbit around an M-dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, A. M. S.; Cabrera, J.; Csizmadia, Sz; Dai, F.; Gandolfi, D.; Hirano, T.; Winn, J. N.; Albrecht, S.; Alonso, R.; Antoniciello, G.; Barragán, O.; Deeg, H.; Eigmüller, Ph; Endl, M.; Erikson, A.; Fridlund, M.; Fukui, A.; Grziwa, S.; Guenther, E. W.; Hatzes, A. P.; Hidalgo, D.; Howard, A. W.; Isaacson, H.; Korth, J.; Kuzuhara, M.; Livingston, J.; Narita, N.; Nespral, D.; Nowak, G.; Palle, E.; Pätzold, M.; Persson, C. M.; Petigura, E.; Prieto-Arranz, J.; Rauer, H.; Ribas, I.; Van Eylen, V.

    2018-03-01

    We report the discovery in K2's Campaign 10 of a transiting terrestrial planet in an ultra-short-period orbit around an M3-dwarf. K2-137 b completes an orbit in only 4.3 h, the second shortest orbital period of any known planet, just 4 min longer than that of KOI 1843.03, which also orbits an M-dwarf. Using a combination of archival images, adaptive optics imaging, radial velocity measurements, and light-curve modelling, we show that no plausible eclipsing binary scenario can explain the K2 light curve, and thus confirm the planetary nature of the system. The planet, whose radius we determine to be 0.89 ± 0.09 R⊕, and which must have an iron mass fraction greater than 0.45, orbits a star of mass 0.463 ± 0.052 M⊙ and radius 0.442 ± 0.044 R⊙.

  17. Low-speed impact phenomena and orbital resonances in the moon- and planet-building process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, C. R.

    1977-01-01

    A simulation of collisional and gravitational interaction in the early solar system generates planets approximately 1000 km in diameter from an initial swarm of kilometer sized planetesimals. The model treats collisions according to experimental and theoretical impact results (such as rebound, cratering, and catastrophic fragmentation) for a variety of materials whose parameters span plausible values for early solid objects. The small planets form in approximately 1000 yr, during which time most of the mass of the system continues to reside in particles near the original size. The simulation is terminated when the largest objects' random motion is of smaller dimension than their collision cross-sections. The few 1000 km planets may act as seeds for the subsequent, gradual, accretional growth into full-sized planets.

  18. The Problem of Extraterrestrial Civilizations and Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2015-07-01

    The problem of extraterrestrial intelligence is the best example of multidisciplinary science. Here philosophy and religion, astronomy, radiophysics, spectrography, space flights and astronautics, geology and planetology, astroecology, chemistry and biology, history and archaeology, psychology, sociology, linguistics, diplomacy, UFOs and peculiar phenomena are involved. Among these many-sided studies, astronomers have probably displayed the most progress by discovering thousands of extrasolar planets. At present, a number of search programs are being accomplished, including those with space telescopes, and planets in so-called "habitable zone" are considered as most important ones, for which various orbital and physical parameters are being calculated. As the discovery of extraterrestrial life is the final goal, a special attention is given to Earth-like planets, for the discovery of which most sensitive technical means are necessary.

  19. Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

    An overview of current theories of star and planet formation is presented. These models are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments. They predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, although it is possible that in some cases such planets are lost to orbital decay within the protoplanetary disk. The frequency of formation of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates.

  20. Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Modern theories of star and planet formation, which are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments, predict that most single stars should have rocky planets in orbit about them; the frequency of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. Models for the formation of the giant planets found in recent radial velocity searches are discussed.

  1. Habitable moons around extrasolar giant planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, D. M.; Kasting, J. F.; Wade, R. A.

    1997-01-01

    Possible planetary objects have now been discovered orbiting nine different main-sequence stars. These companion objects (some of which might actually be brown dwarfs) all have a mass at least half that of Jupiter, and are therefore unlikely to be hospitable to Earth-like life: jovian planets and brown dwarfs support neither a solid nor a liquid surface near which organisms might dwell. Here we argue that rocky moons orbiting these companions could be habitable if the planet-moon system orbits the parent star within the so-called 'habitable zone', where life-supporting liquid water could be present. The companions to the stars 16 Cygni B and 47 Ursae Majoris might satisfy this criterion. Such a moon would, however, need to be large enough (>0.12 Earth masses) to retain a substantial and long-lived atmosphere, and would also need to possess a strong magnetic field in order to prevent its atmosphere from being sputtered away by the constant bombardment of energetic ions from the planet's magnetosphere.

  2. Habitable moons around extrasolar giant planets.

    PubMed

    Williams, D M; Kasting, J F; Wade, R A

    1997-01-16

    Possible planetary objects have now been discovered orbiting nine different main-sequence stars. These companion objects (some of which might actually be brown dwarfs) all have a mass at least half that of Jupiter, and are therefore unlikely to be hospitable to Earth-like life: jovian planets and brown dwarfs support neither a solid nor a liquid surface near which organisms might dwell. Here we argue that rocky moons orbiting these companions could be habitable if the planet-moon system orbits the parent star within the so-called 'habitable zone', where life-supporting liquid water could be present. The companions to the stars 16 Cygni B and 47 Ursae Majoris might satisfy this criterion. Such a moon would, however, need to be large enough (>0.12 Earth masses) to retain a substantial and long-lived atmosphere, and would also need to possess a strong magnetic field in order to prevent its atmosphere from being sputtered away by the constant bombardment of energetic ions from the planet's magnetosphere.

  3. Atmospheric mass-loss of extrasolar planets orbiting magnetically active host stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lalitha, Sairam; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.; Dash, Spandan

    2018-06-01

    Magnetic stellar activity of exoplanet hosts can lead to the production of large amounts of high-energy emission, which irradiates extrasolar planets, located in the immediate vicinity of such stars. This radiation is absorbed in the planets' upper atmospheres, which consequently heat up and evaporate, possibly leading to an irradiation-induced mass-loss. We present a study of the high-energy emission in the four magnetically active planet-bearing host stars, Kepler-63, Kepler-210, WASP-19, and HAT-P-11, based on new XMM-Newton observations. We find that the X-ray luminosities of these stars are rather high with orders of magnitude above the level of the active Sun. The total XUV irradiation of these planets is expected to be stronger than that of well-studied hot Jupiters. Using the estimated XUV luminosities as the energy input to the planetary atmospheres, we obtain upper limits for the total mass- loss in these hot Jupiters.

  4. Kepler Mission: A Search for Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koch, D.; Borucki, W.; Jenkens, J.; Dunham, E.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The Kepler Mission is a search for terrestrial planets by monitoring a large ensemble of stars for the periodic transits of planets. The mission consists of a 95-cm aperture photometer with 105 square deg field of view that monitors 100,000 dwarf stars for four years. The mission is unique in its ability to detect Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of other stars in the extended solar neighborhood. An Earth-size transit of a solar-like star causes a change in brightness of about 100 ppm. Laboratory testing has demonstrated that a total system noise level of 20 ppm is readily achievable on the timescale of transits. Earth-like transits have been created and reliably measured in an end-to-end system test that has all known sources of noise including, spacecraft jitter. To detect Earth-size planets, the photometer must be spaceborne; this also eliminates the day-night and seasonal cycle interruptions of ground-based observing. The photometer will stare at a single field of stars for four years, with an option to continue for two more years. This allows for detection of four transits of planets in Mars-like orbits and detection of planets even smaller than Earth especially for short period orbits, since the signal to noise improves as the square root of the number of transits observed. In addition to detection of planets, Kepler data are also useful for understanding the activity cycles and rotation rates of the stars observed. For the 3,000 stars brighter than mv= 11.4 p-mode oscillations are measured. The mission has been selected as one of three candidates for NASA's next Discovery mission.

  5. Two planetary systems with transiting Earth-size and super-Earth planets orbiting late-type dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso, E. Díez; Hernández, J. I. González; Suárez Gómez, S. L.; Aguado, D. S.; González Gutiérrez, C.; Suárez Mascareño, A.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.; González-Nuevo, J.; Toledo-Padrón, B.; Gracia, J.; de Cos Juez, F. J.; Rebolo, R.

    2018-06-01

    We present two new planetary systems found around cool dwarf stars with data from the K2 mission. The first system was found in K2-XX1 (EPIC 248545986), characterized in this work as M3.0V and observed in the 14th campaign of K2. It consists of three Earth-size transiting planets with radii of 1.1, 1.0 and 1.1 R⊕, showing a compact configuration with orbital periods of 5.24, 7.78 and 10.1 days, close to 2:3:4 resonance. The second was found in K2-XX2 (EPIC 249801827), characterized in this work as M0.5V and observed in the 15th campaign. It consists of two transiting super-Earths with radii 2.0 and 1.8 R⊕ and orbital periods of 6.03 and 20.5 days. The equilibrium temperatures of the atmospheres of these planets are estimated to be in the range of 380-600 K and the amplitudes of signals in transmission spectroscopy are estimated at ˜ 10 ppm.

  6. VLT/SPHERE robust astrometry of the HR8799 planets at milliarcsecond-level accuracy. Orbital architecture analysis with PyAstrOFit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wertz, O.; Absil, O.; Gómez González, C. A.; Milli, J.; Girard, J. H.; Mawet, D.; Pueyo, L.

    2017-02-01

    Context. HR8799 is orbited by at least four giant planets, making it a prime target for the recently commissioned Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (VLT/SPHERE). As such, it was observed on five consecutive nights during the SPHERE science verification in December 2014. Aims: We aim to take full advantage of the SPHERE capabilities to derive accurate astrometric measurements based on H-band images acquired with the Infra-Red Dual-band Imaging and Spectroscopy (IRDIS) subsystem, and to explore the ultimate astrometric performance of SPHERE in this observing mode. We also aim to present a detailed analysis of the orbital parameters for the four planets. Methods: We performed thorough post-processing of the IRDIS images with the Vortex Imaging Processing (VIP) package to derive a robust astrometric measurement for the four planets. This includes the identification and careful evaluation of the different contributions to the error budget, including systematic errors. Combining our astrometric measurements with the ones previously published in the literature, we constrain the orbital parameters of the four planets using PyAstrOFit, our new open-source python package dedicated to orbital fitting using Bayesian inference with Monte-Carlo Markov Chain sampling. Results: We report the astrometric positions for epoch 2014.93 with an accuracy down to 2.0 mas, mainly limited by the astrometric calibration of IRDIS. For each planet, we derive the posterior probability density functions for the six Keplerian elements and identify sets of highly probable orbits. For planet d, there is clear evidence for nonzero eccentricity (e 0.35), without completely excluding solutions with smaller eccentricities. The three other planets are consistent with circular orbits, although their probability distributions spread beyond e = 0.2, and show a peak at e ≃ 0.1 for planet e. The four planets have consistent inclinations of approximately 30° with respect to the sky

  7. On-Orbit Planetary Science Laboratories for Simulating Surface Conditions of Planets and Small Bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thangavelautham, J.; Asphaug, E.; Schwartz, S.

    2017-02-01

    Our work has identified the use of on-orbit centrifuge science laboratories as a key enabler towards low-cost, fast-track physical simulation of off-world environments for future planetary science missions.

  8. An Economical Semi-Analytical Orbit Theory for Retarded Satellite Motion About an Oblate Planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gordon, R. A.

    1980-01-01

    Brouwer and Brouwer-Lyddanes' use of the Von Zeipel-Delaunay method is employed to develop an efficient analytical orbit theory suitable for microcomputers. A succinctly simple pseudo-phenomenologically conceptualized algorithm is introduced which accurately and economically synthesizes modeling of drag effects. The method epitomizes and manifests effortless efficient computer mechanization. Simulated trajectory data is employed to illustrate the theory's ability to accurately accommodate oblateness and drag effects for microcomputer ground based or onboard predicted orbital representation. Real tracking data is used to demonstrate that the theory's orbit determination and orbit prediction capabilities are favorably adaptable to and are comparable with results obtained utilizing complex definitive Cowell method solutions on satellites experiencing significant drag effects.

  9. Hypersurface Insertion Window for Long Term Orbital Stability of Artificial Satellites About the Planet Venus

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-12-01

    Conversion of the Geopotential into the Modified Orbital Elements 83 Appendix C: Useful Derivatives for the Geopotential Calculations 87 Appendix D...replaced by two equinoctial elements , h and k (from a coordinate system with singularities at i = x and for rectilinear orbits ). Also, for long term 3...0. 10 and 0.55 i 15.5) a more well behaved set of variables will be used: two of the equinoctial elements , h and k. These elements eliminate the

  10. New Extra-Solar Planet - thermal state and structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valencia, D.; O'Connell, R. J.; Sasselov, D.

    2005-12-01

    For the last decade astronomers have found more than 160 planets orbiting stars other than our sun. All but three of them are gaseous planets. The variety of characteristics of these newly discovered planets opens a new field with questions about planetary formation, structure and evolution, as well as the possibility of existence of life beyond our solar system. Planetary formation models suggested the existence of terrestrial extra-solar planets with masses up to 10 times the mass of the Earth. In June of 2005 the first Super-Earth was discovered orbiting a star 15 light years away with a mass that is about 7.5 times the mass of the Earth and a period of 1.94 days. The composition of this planet is unknown but probably has an Earth-like composition. Astronomers believe the surface temperature ranges between ~500 K and ~700 K. Liquid water can exist at temperatures above T=400K at high pressures (above 10 MPa) allowing for the possibility of a water layer on top of a rocky core. Our work focuses on determining scaling relationships with mass, internal structure parameters and thermal state. We explore the effects of a water/icy layer above a rocky core as well as other types of compositions in determining the internal structure. This water layer may convect causing the planet to have two layer convection. We explore the effects of a layer convection mode versus whole mantle convection for a Super-Earth. Due to the closeness of this planet to its parent star we can expect substantial tidal heating that can affect the thermal state of this planet. We explore the effects of tidal heating in the internal structure of a planet. Differences in composition have much larger effects in the mass-radius relationship than the uncertainties in thermodynamic parameters of the minerals composing the planet.

  11. Consequences of tidal interaction between disks and orbiting protoplanets for the evolution of multi-planet systems with architecture resembling that of Kepler 444

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papaloizou, J. C. B.

    2016-11-01

    We study orbital evolution of multi-planet systems with masses in the terrestrial planet regime induced through tidal interaction with a protoplanetary disk assuming that this is the dominant mechanism for producing orbital migration and circularization. We develop a simple analytic model for a system that maintains consecutive pairs in resonance while undergoing orbital circularization and migration. This model enables migration times for each planet to be estimated once planet masses, circularization times and the migration time for the innermost planet are specified. We applied it to a system with the current architecture of Kepler 444 adopting a simple protoplanetary disk model and planet masses that yield migration times inversely proportional to the planet mass, as expected if they result from torques due to tidal interaction with the protoplanetary disk. Furthermore the evolution time for the system as a whole is comparable to current protoplanetary disk lifetimes. In addition we have performed a number of numerical simulations with input data obtained from this model. These indicate that although the analytic model is inexact, relatively small corrections to the estimated migration rates yield systems for which period ratios vary by a minimal extent. Because of relatively large deviations from exact resonance in the observed system of up to 2 %, the migration times obtained in this way indicate only weak convergent migration such that a system for which the planets did not interact would contract by only {˜ }1 % although undergoing significant inward migration as a whole. We have also performed additional simulations to investigate conditions under which the system could undergo significant convergent migration before reaching its final state. These indicate that migration times have to be significantly shorter and resonances between planet pairs significantly closer during such an evolutionary phase. Relative migration rates would then have to decrease

  12. The Pan-Pacific Planet Search. IV. Two Super-Jupiters in a 3:5 Resonance Orbiting the Giant Star HD 33844

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Johnson, John Asher; Butler, R. P.; Horner, Jonathan; Wang, Liang; Robertson, Paul; Jones, M. I.; Jenkins, J. S.; Brahm, R.; Tinney, C. G.; Mengel, M. W.; Clark, J.

    2016-02-01

    We report the discovery of two giant planets orbiting the K giant HD 33844 based on radial velocity data from three independent campaigns. The planets move on nearly circular orbits with semimajor axes {a}b\\=1.60+/- 0.02 AU and {a}c=2.24+/- 0.05 AU, and have minimum masses (m sin I) of {M}b=1.96+/- 0.12 {M}{{Jup}} and {M}c=1.76+/- 0.18 {M}{{Jup}}. Detailed N-body dynamical simulations show that the two planets have remained on stable orbits for more than 106 years for low eccentricities and are most likely trapped in a mutual 3:5 mean motion resonance.

  13. Suppression of the water ice and snow albedo feedback on planets orbiting red dwarf stars and the subsequent widening of the habitable zone.

    PubMed

    Joshi, Manoj M; Haberle, Robert M

    2012-01-01

    M stars comprise 80% of main sequence stars, so their planetary systems provide the best chance for finding habitable planets, that is, those with surface liquid water. We have modeled the broadband albedo or reflectivity of water ice and snow for simulated planetary surfaces orbiting two observed red dwarf stars (or M stars), using spectrally resolved data of Earth's cryosphere. The gradual reduction of the albedos of snow and ice at wavelengths greater than 1 μm, combined with M stars emitting a significant fraction of their radiation at these same longer wavelengths, means that the albedos of ice and snow on planets orbiting M stars are much lower than their values on Earth. Our results imply that the ice/snow albedo climate feedback is significantly weaker for planets orbiting M stars than for planets orbiting G-type stars such as the Sun. In addition, planets with significant ice and snow cover will have significantly higher surface temperatures for a given stellar flux if the spectral variation of cryospheric albedo is considered, which in turn implies that the outer edge of the habitable zone around M stars may be 10-30% farther away from the parent star than previously thought.

  14. On the history and future of cosmic planet formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behroozi, Peter; Peeples, Molly S.

    2015-12-01

    We combine constraints on galaxy formation histories with planet formation models, yielding the Earth-like and giant planet formation histories of the Milky Way and the Universe as a whole. In the Hubble volume (1013 Mpc3), we expect there to be ˜1020 Earth-like and ˜1020 giant planets; our own galaxy is expected to host ˜109 and ˜1010 Earth-like and giant planets, respectively. Proposed metallicity thresholds for planet formation do not significantly affect these numbers. However, the metallicity dependence for giant planets results in later typical formation times and larger host galaxies than for Earth-like planets. The Solar system formed at the median age for existing giant planets in the Milky Way, and consistent with past estimates, formed after 80 per cent of Earth-like planets. However, if existing gas within virialized dark matter haloes continues to collapse and form stars and planets, the Universe will form over 10 times more planets than currently exist. We show that this would imply at least a 92 per cent chance that we are not the only civilization the Universe will ever have, independent of arguments involving the Drake equation.

  15. On The History and Future of Cosmic Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behroozi, Peter

    2016-03-01

    We combine constraints on galaxy formation histories with planet formation models, yielding the Earth-like and giant planet formation histories of the Milky Way and the Universe as a whole. In the Hubble Volume (1013 Mpc3), we expect there to be ~1020 Earth-like and ~1020 giant planets; our own galaxy is expected to host ~109 and ~1010 Earth-like and giant planets, respectively. Proposed metallicity thresholds for planet formation do not significantly affect these numbers. However, the metallicity dependence for giant planets results in later typical formation times and larger host galaxies than for Earth-like planets. The Solar System formed at the median age for existing giant planets in the Milky Way, and consistent with past estimates, formed after 80% of Earth-like planets. However, if existing gas within virialised dark matter haloes continues to collapse and form stars and planets, the Universe will form over 10 times more planets than currently exist. We show that this would imply at least a 92% chance that we are not the only civilisation the Universe will ever have, independent of arguments involving the Drake Equation.

  16. Preliminary design and performance of an advanced gamma ray spectrometer for future orbiter missions. [composition and evolution of planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Metzger, A. E.; Parker, R. H.; Arnold, J. R.; Reedy, R. C.; Trombka, J. I.

    1975-01-01

    A knowledge of the composition of planets, satellites, and asteroids is of primary importance in understanding the formation and evolution of the solar system. Gamma-ray spectroscopy is capable of measuring the composition of meter-depth surface material from orbit around any body possessing little or no atmosphere. Measurement sensitivity is determined by detector efficiency and resolution, counting time, and the background flux while the effective spatial resolution depends upon the field-of-view and counting time together with the regional contrast in composition. The advantages of using germanium as a detector of gamma rays in space are illustrated experimentally and a compact instrument cooled by passive thermal radiation is described. Calculations of the expected sensitivity of this instrument at the Moon and Mars show that at least a dozen elements will be detected, twice the number which have been isolated in the Apollo gamma-ray data.

  17. MINERVA: Small Planets from Small Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Johnson, John Asher; Wright, Jason; McCrady, Nate; Swift, Jonathan; Bottom, Michael; Plavchan, Peter; Riddle, Reed; Muirhead, Philip S.; Herzig, Erich; Myles, Justin; Blake, Cullen H.; Eastman, Jason; Beatty, Thomas G.; Lin, Brian; Zhao, Ming; Gardner, Paul; Falco, Emilio; Criswell, Stephen; Nava, Chantanelle; Robinson, Connor; Hedrick, Richard; Ivarsen, Kevin; Hjelstrom, Annie; de Vera, Jon; Szentgyorgyi, Andrew

    2015-09-01

    The Kepler mission has shown that small planets are extremely common. It is likely that nearly every star in the sky hosts at least one rocky planet. We just need to look hard enough-but this requires vast amounts of telescope time. MINERVA (MINiature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array) is a dedicated exoplanet observatory with the primary goal of discovering rocky, Earth-like planets orbiting in the habitable zone of bright, nearby stars. The MINERVA team is a collaboration among UNSW Australia, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Penn State University, University of Montana, and the California Institute of Technology. The four-telescope MINERVA array will be sited at the F.L. Whipple Observatory on Mt Hopkins in Arizona, USA. Full science operations will begin in mid-2015 with all four telescopes and a stabilised spectrograph capable of high-precision Doppler velocity measurements. We will observe ~100 of the nearest, brightest, Sun-like stars every night for at least five years. Detailed simulations of the target list and survey strategy lead us to expect new low-mass planets.

  18. THE NASA-UC ETA-EARTH PROGRAM. II. A PLANET ORBITING HD 156668 WITH A MINIMUM MASS OF FOUR EARTH MASSES

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-01-10

    We report the discovery of HD 156668 b, an extrasolar planet with a minimum mass of M{sub P} sin i = 4.15 M{sub +}. This planet was discovered through Keplerian modeling of precise radial velocities from Keck-HIRES and is the second super-Earth to emerge from the NASA-UC Eta-Earth Survey. The best-fit orbit is consistent with circular and has a period of P = 4.6455 days. The Doppler semi-amplitude of this planet, K = 1.89 m s{sup -1}, is among the lowest ever detected, on par with the detection of GJ 581 e using HARPS. A longer period (P {approx} 2.3more » years), low-amplitude signal of unknown origin was also detected in the radial velocities and was filtered out of the data while fitting the short-period planet. Additional data are required to determine if the long-period signal is due to a second planet, stellar activity, or another source. Photometric observations using the Automated Photometric Telescopes at Fairborn Observatory show that HD 156668 (an old, quiet K3 dwarf) is photometrically constant over the radial velocity period to 0.1 mmag, supporting the existence of the planet. No transits were detected down to a photometric limit of {approx}3 mmag, ruling out transiting planets dominated by extremely bloated atmospheres, but not precluding a transiting solid/liquid planet with a modest atmosphere.« less

  19. Spin-Orbit Misalignments of Three Jovian Planets via Doppler Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Marshall C.; Cochran, William D.; Addison, Brett C.; Tinney, Chris G.; Wright, Duncan J.

    2017-10-01

    We present measurements of the spin-orbit misalignments of the hot Jupiters HAT-P-41 b and WASP-79 b, and the aligned warm Jupiter Kepler-448 b. We obtain these measurements with Doppler tomography, where we spectroscopically resolve the line profile perturbation during the transit due to the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. We analyze time series spectra obtained during portions of five transits of HAT-P-41 b, and find a value of the spin-orbit misalignment of λ =-{22.1}-6.0{+0.8^\\circ }. We reanalyze the radial velocity Rossiter-McLaughlin data on WASP-79 b obtained by Addison et al. using Doppler tomographic methodology. We measure λ =-{99.1}-3.9{+4.1^\\circ }, consistent with but more precise than the value found by Addison et al. For Kepler-448 b we perform a joint fit to the Kepler light curve, Doppler tomographic data, and a radial velocity data set from Lillo-Box et al. We find an approximately aligned orbit (λ =-{7.1}-2.8{+4.2^\\circ }), in agreement with the value found by Bourrier et al. Through analysis of the Kepler light curve we measure a stellar rotation period of {P}{rot}=1.27+/- 0.11 days, and use this to argue that the full three-dimensional spin-orbit misalignment is small, \\psi ˜ 0^\\circ . Based in part 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.

  20. Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph : technology and mission design studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ford, Virginia G.

    2004-01-01

    The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) coronagraph study involves exploring the technologies that enable a coronagraph style instrument to image and characterize earth-like planets orbiting nearby stars. Testbeds have been developed to demonstrate the emerging technologies needed for this effort and an architecture study has resulted in designs of a facility that will provide the environment needed for the technology to function in this role. A broad community of participants is involved in this work through studies, analyses, fabrication of components, and participation in the design effort. The scope of activities - both on the technology side and in the architecture study side - will be presented in this paper. The status and the future plans of the activities will be reviewed.

  1. Long-term evolution of orbits about a precessing oblate planet: 3. A semianalytical and a purely numerical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurfil, Pini; Lainey, Valéry; Efroimsky, Michael

    2007-12-01

    Construction of an accurate theory of orbits about a precessing and nutating oblate planet, in terms of osculating elements defined in a frame associated with the equator of date, was started in Efroimsky and Goldreich (2004) and Efroimsky (2004, 2005, 2006a, b). Here we continue this line of research by combining that analytical machinery with numerical tools. Our model includes three factors: the J 2 of the planet, its nonuniform equinoctial precession described by the Colombo formalism, and the gravitational pull of the Sun. This semianalytical and seminumerical theory, based on the Lagrange planetary equations for the Keplerian elements, is then applied to Deimos on very long time scales (up to 1 billion years). In parallel with the said semianalytical theory for the Keplerian elements defined in the co-precessing equatorial frame, we have also carried out a completely independent, purely numerical, integration in a quasi-inertial Cartesian frame. The results agree to within fractions of a percent, thus demonstrating the applicability of our semianalytical model over long timescales. Another goal of this work was to make an independent check of whether the equinoctial-precession variations predicted for a rigid Mars by the Colombo model could have been sufficient to repel its moons away from the equator. An answer to this question, in combination with our knowledge of the current position of Phobos and Deimos, will help us to understand whether the Martian obliquity could have undergone the large changes ensuing from the said model (Ward 1973; Touma and Wisdom 1993, 1994; Laskar and Robutel 1993), or whether the changes ought to have been less intensive (Bills 2006; Paige et al. 2007). It has turned out that, for low initial inclinations, the orbit inclination reckoned from the precessing equator of date is subject only to small variations. This is an extension, to non-uniform equinoctial precession given by the Colombo model, of an old result obtained by

  2. Verified solutions for the gravitational attraction to an oblate spheroid: Implications for planet mass and satellite orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofmeister, Anne M.; Criss, Robert E.; Criss, Everett M.

    2018-03-01

    Forces external to the oblate spheroid shape, observed from planetary to galactic scales, are demonstrably non-central, which has important ramifications for planetary science. We simplify historic formulae and derive new analytical solutions for the gravitational potential and force outside a constant density oblate. Numerical calculations that sum point mass contributions in a >109 element mesh confirm our equations. We show that contours of constant force and potential about oblate bodies are closely approximated by two confocal families whose foci (f) respectively are (9/10)½ae and (3/5)½ae for a body with f = ae. This leads to useful approximations that address internal density variations. We demonstrate that the force on a general point is not directed towards the oblate's center, nor are forces simply proportional to the inverse square of that distance, despite forces in the equatorial and axial directions pointing towards the center. Our results explain complex dynamics of galactic systems. Because most planets and stars have an aspect ratio >0.9, the spherical approximation is reasonable except for orbits within ∼2 body radii. We show that applying the "generalized" potential, which assumes central forces, yields J2 values half those expected for oblate bodies, and probably underestimates masses of Uranus and Neptune by ∼0.2%. We show that the inner Saturnian moons are subject to non-central forces, which may affect calculations of their orbital precession. Our new series should improve interpretation of flyby data.

  3. ON THE APPARENT ORBITAL INCLINATION CHANGE OF THE EXTRASOLAR TRANSITING PLANET TrES-2b

    SciTech Connect

    Scuderi, Louis J.; Dittmann, Jason A.; Males, Jared R.

    2010-05-01

    On 2009 June 15 UT the transit of TrES-2b was detected using the University of Arizona's 1.55 m Kuiper Telescope with 2.0-2.5 millimag rms accuracy in the I band. We find a central transit time of T{sub c} = 2454997.76286 {+-} 0.00035 HJD, an orbital period of P = 2.4706127 {+-} 0.0000009 days, and an inclination angle of i = 83.{sup 0}92 {+-} 0{sup 0}.05, which is consistent with our re-fit of the original I-band light curve of O'Donovan et al. where we find i = 83.{sup 0}84 {+-} 0{sup 0}.05. We calculate an insignificant inclination change of {Delta}i =more » -0.{sup 0}08 {+-} 0{sup 0}.07 over the last three years, and as such, our observations rule out, at the {approx}11{sigma} level, the apparent change of orbital inclination to i{sub predicted} = 83.{sup 0}35 {+-} 0{sup 0}.1 as predicted by Mislis and Schmitt and Mislis et al. for our epoch. Moreover, our analysis of a recently published Kepler Space Telescope light curve for TrES-2b finds an inclination of i = 83.{sup 0}91 {+-} 0.{sup 0}03 for a similar epoch. These Kepler results definitively rule out change in i as a function of time. Indeed, we detect no significant changes in any of the orbital parameters of TrES-2b.« less

  4. Atmospheric Mining in the Outer Solar System: Outer Planet Orbital Transfer and Lander Analyses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric mining in the outer solar system has been investigated as a means of fuel production for high energy propulsion and power. Fusion fuels such as Helium 3 (3He) and deuterium can be wrested from the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune and either returned to Earth or used in-situ for energy production. Helium 3 and deuterium were the primary gases of interest with hydrogen being the primary propellant for nuclear thermal solid core and gas core rocket-based atmospheric flight. A series of analyses were undertaken to investigate resource capturing aspects of atmospheric mining in the outer solar system. This included the gas capturing rate, storage options, and different methods of direct use of the captured gases. While capturing 3He, large amounts of hydrogen and 4He are produced. Analyses of orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs), landers, and the issues with in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) mining factories are included. Preliminary observations are presented on near-optimal selections of moon base orbital locations, OTV power levels, and OTV and lander rendezvous points. For analyses of round trip OTV flights from Uranus to Miranda or Titania, a 10-Megawatt electric (MWe) OTV power level and a 200-metric ton (MT) lander payload were selected based on a relative short OTV trip time and minimization of the number of lander flights. A similar optimum power level is suggested for OTVs flying from low orbit around Neptune to Thalassa or Triton. Several moon base sites at Uranus and Neptune and the OTV requirements to support them are also addressed.

  5. Atmospheric Mining in the Outer Solar System: Outer Planet Orbital Transfer and Lander Analyses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric mining in the outer solar system has been investigated as a means of fuel production for high energy propulsion and power. Fusion fuels such as Helium 3 (3He) and deuterium can be wrested from the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune and either returned to Earth or used in-situ for energy production. Helium 3 and deuterium were the primary gases of interest with hydrogen being the primary propellant for nuclear thermal solid core and gas core rocket-based atmospheric flight. A series of analyses were undertaken to investigate resource capturing aspects of atmospheric mining in the outer solar system. This included the gas capturing rate, storage options, and different methods of direct use of the captured gases. While capturing 3He, large amounts of hydrogen and 4He are produced. Analyses of orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs), landers, and the issues with in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) mining factories are included. Preliminary observations are presented on near-optimal selections of moon base orbital locations, OTV power levels, and OTV and lander rendezvous points. For analyses of round trip OTV flights from Uranus to Miranda or Titania, a 10- Megawatt electric (MWe) OTV power level and a 200 metricton (MT) lander payload were selected based on a relative short OTV trip time and minimization of the number of lander flights. A similar optimum power level is suggested for OTVs flying from low orbit around Neptune to Thalassa or Triton. Several moon base sites at Uranus and Neptune and the OTV requirements to support them are also addressed.

  6. Survival of a planet in short-period Neptunian desert under effect of photoevaporation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ionov, Dmitry E.; Pavlyuchenkov, Yaroslav N.; Shematovich, Valery I.

    2018-06-01

    Despite the identification of a great number of Jupiter-like and Earth-like planets at close-in orbits, the number of `hot Neptunes' - the planets with 0.6-18 times of Neptune mass and orbital periods less than 3 d - turned out to be very small. The corresponding region in the mass-period distribution was assigned as the `short-period Neptunian desert'. The common explanation of this fact is that the gaseous planet with few Neptune masses would not survive in the vicinity of host star due to intensive atmosphere outflow induced by heating from stellar radiation. To check this hypothesis, we performed numerical simulations of atmosphere dynamics for a hot Neptune. We adopt the previously developed self-consistent 1D model of hydrogen-helium atmosphere with suprathermal electrons accounted. The mass-loss rates as a function of orbital distances and stellar ages are presented. We conclude that the desert of short-period Neptunes could not be entirely explained by evaporation of planet atmosphere caused by the radiation from a host star. For the less massive Neptune-like planet, the estimated upper limits of the mass-loss may be consistent with the photoevaporation scenario, while the heavier Neptune-like planets could not lose the significant mass through this mechanism. We also found the significant differences between our numerical results and widely used approximate estimates of the mass-loss.

  7. Exoplanet dynamics. Asynchronous rotation of Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars.

    PubMed

    Leconte, Jérémy; Wu, Hanbo; Menou, Kristen; Murray, Norman

    2015-02-06

    Planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars are often assumed to be in a state of tidally synchronized rotation, which would considerably affect their putative habitability. Although thermal tides cause Venus to rotate retrogradely, simple scaling arguments tend to attribute this peculiarity to the massive Venusian atmosphere. Using a global climate model, we show that even a relatively thin atmosphere can drive terrestrial planets' rotation away from synchronicity. We derive a more realistic atmospheric tide model that predicts four asynchronous equilibrium spin states, two being stable, when the amplitude of the thermal tide exceeds a threshold that is met for habitable Earth-like planets with a 1-bar atmosphere around stars more massive than ~0.5 to 0.7 solar mass. Thus, many recently discovered terrestrial planets could exhibit asynchronous spin-orbit rotation, even with a thin atmosphere. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  8. The abundance of biotic exoplanets and life on planets of Red Dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wandel, Amri; Gale, Joseph

    2016-07-01

    The Kepler mission has shown that Earthlike planets orbiting within the Habitable Zones of their host stars are common. We derive an expression for the abundance of life bearing (biotic) extra-solar-system planets (exoplanets) in terms of the (yet unknown) probability for the evolution of biotic life. This "biotic probability" may be estimated by future missions and observations, e.g. spectral analyses of the atmospheres of exoplanets, looking for biomarkers. We show that a biotic probability in the range 0.001-1 implies that a biotic planet may be expected within ~10-100 light years from Earth. Of particular interest in the search for exolife are planets orbiting Red Dwarf (RD) stars, the most frequent stellar type. Previous researches suggested that conditions on planets near RDs would be inimical to life, e.g. the Habitable Zone of RDs is small, so their habitable planets would be close enough to be tidally locked. Recent calculations show that this and other properties of RDs, presumed hostile for the evolution of life, are less severe than originally estimated. We conclude that RD planets could be hospitable for the evolution of life as we know it, not less so than planets of solar-type stars. This result, together with the large number of RDs and their Kepler planet-statistics, makes finding life on RD planets ~10-1000 times more likely than on planets of solar-type stars. Our nearest biotic RD-planet is likely to be 2-10 times closer than the nearest solar-type one.

  9. HAT-P-16b: A 4 M J Planet Transiting a Bright Star on an Eccentric Orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchhave, L. A.; Bakos, G. Á.; Hartman, J. D.; Torres, G.; Kovács, G.; Latham, D. W.; Noyes, R. W.; Esquerdo, G. A.; Everett, M.; Howard, A. W.; Marcy, G. W.; Fischer, D. A.; Johnson, J. A.; Andersen, J.; Fűrész, G.; Perumpilly, G.; Sasselov, D. D.; Stefanik, R. P.; Béky, B.; Lázár, J.; Papp, I.; Sári, P.

    2010-09-01

    We report the discovery of HAT-P-16b, a transiting extrasolar planet orbiting the V = 10.8 mag F8 dwarf GSC 2792-01700, with a period P = 2.775960 ± 0.000003 days, transit epoch Tc = 2455027.59293 ± 0.00031 (BJD10), and transit duration 0.1276 ± 0.0013 days. The host star has a mass of 1.22 ± 0.04 M sun, radius of 1.24 ± 0.05 R sun, effective temperature 6158 ± 80 K, and metallicity [Fe/H] = +0.17 ± 0.08. The planetary companion has a mass of 4.193 ± 0.094 M J and radius of 1.289 ± 0.066 R J, yielding a mean density of 2.42 ± 0.35 g cm-3. Comparing these observed characteristics with recent theoretical models, we find that HAT-P-16b is consistent with a 1 Gyr H/He-dominated gas giant planet. HAT-P-16b resides in a sparsely populated region of the mass-radius diagram and has a non-zero eccentricity of e = 0.036 with a significance of 10σ. Based in part on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. Based in part on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology. Keck time has been granted by NASA (N018Hr).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1996-01-01

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

  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. 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,…

  13. Preliminary constraints on the location of the recently hypothesized new planet of the Solar System from planetary orbital dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iorio, Lorenzo

    2017-01-01

    It has been recently proposed that the observed grouping of either the perihelia and the orbital planes of some observed distant Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) can be explained by the shepherding influence of a remote (150 au≲ qX≲350 au), still unseen massive object PX having planetary size (5 m_{oplus} ≲ mX≲20 m_{oplus}) and moving along an ecliptically inclined (22 deg≲ IX≲ 40 deg), eccentric (380 au≲ aX ≲980 au) Heliocentric bound orbit located in space at 80 deg≲ΩX≲120 deg and which is anti-aligned (120 deg≲ω_{ X}≲160 deg) with those of the considered KBOs. The trajectory of Saturn is nowadays known at essentially the same accuracy level of the inner planets due to the telemetry of the Cassini spacecraft. Thus, the expected perturbations dot{π}, dot{Ω} due to PX on the Kronian apsidal and draconitic orbital motions are theoretically investigated to tentatively constrain the configuration space of PX itself. To this aim, we compare our predictions dot{π}_{theo}, dot{Ω}_{theo} to the currently available experimental intervals of values Δdot{Ω}_{obs}, Δdot{π}_{ obs} determined by astronomers in the recent past without explicitly modeling and solving for PX itself. As such, our results, despite being plausible and in agreement to a large extent with other constraints released in the literature, should be regarded as proof-of-principle investigations aimed to encourage more accurate analyses in future. It turns out that the admissible region in its configuration space is moderately narrow as far as its position along its orbit, reckoned by the true anomaly fX, is concerned, being concentrated around approximately 130 deg≲ f X≲240 deg. PX is certainly far from its perihelion (fX=0 deg), in agreement with other recent studies. The future analysis of the data from the ongoing New Horizons mission might be helpful in further constraining the scenario considered here for PX. Its impact on the spacecraft's range over a multi-year span is

  14. A TREND BETWEEN COLD DEBRIS DISK TEMPERATURE AND STELLAR TYPE: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FORMATION AND EVOLUTION OF WIDE-ORBIT PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Ballering, Nicholas P.; Rieke, George H.; Su, Kate Y. L.

    2013-09-20

    Cold debris disks trace the limits of planet formation or migration in the outer regions of planetary systems, and thus have the potential to answer many of the outstanding questions in wide-orbit planet formation and evolution. We characterized the infrared excess spectral energy distributions of 174 cold debris disks around 546 main-sequence stars observed by both the Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph and the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer. We found a trend between the temperature of the inner edges of cold debris disks and the stellar type of the stars they orbit. This argues against the importance of strictly temperature-dependent processesmore » (e.g., non-water ice lines) in setting the dimensions of cold debris disks. Also, we found no evidence that delayed stirring causes the trend. The trend may result from outward planet migration that traces the extent of the primordial protoplanetary disk, or it may result from planet formation that halts at an orbital radius limited by the efficiency of core accretion.« less

  15. The Surface UV Environment on Planets Orbiting M Dwarfs: Implications for Prebiotic Chemistry and the Need for Experimental Follow-up

    SciTech Connect

    Ranjan, Sukrit; Sasselov, Dimitar D.; Wordsworth, Robin, E-mail: sranjan@cfa.harvard.edu

    Potentially habitable planets orbiting M dwarfs are of intense astrobiological interest because they are the only rocky worlds accessible to biosignature search over the next 10+ years because of a confluence of observational effects. Simultaneously, recent experimental and theoretical work suggests that UV light may have played a key role in the origin of life on Earth, especially the origin of RNA. Characterizing the UV environment on M-dwarf planets is important for understanding whether life as we know it could emerge on such worlds. In this work, we couple radiative transfer models to observed M-dwarf spectra to determine the UVmore » environment on prebiotic Earth-analog planets orbiting M dwarfs. We calculate dose rates to quantify the impact of different host stars on prebiotically important photoprocesses. We find that M-dwarf planets have access to 100–1000 times less bioactive UV fluence than the young Earth. It is unclear whether UV-sensitive prebiotic chemistry that may have been important to abiogenesis, such as the only known prebiotically plausible pathways for pyrimidine ribonucleotide synthesis, could function on M-dwarf planets. This uncertainty affects objects like the recently discovered habitable-zone planets orbiting Proxima Centauri, TRAPPIST-1, and LHS 1140. Laboratory studies of the sensitivity of putative prebiotic pathways to irradiation level are required to resolve this uncertainty. If steady-state M-dwarf UV output is insufficient to power these pathways, transient elevated UV irradiation due to flares may suffice; laboratory studies can constrain this possibility as well.« less

  16. The Surface UV Environment on Planets Orbiting M Dwarfs: Implications for Prebiotic Chemistry and the Need for Experimental Follow-up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranjan, Sukrit; Wordsworth, Robin; Sasselov, Dimitar D.

    2017-07-01

    Potentially habitable planets orbiting M dwarfs are of intense astrobiological interest because they are the only rocky worlds accessible to biosignature search over the next 10+ years because of a confluence of observational effects. Simultaneously, recent experimental and theoretical work suggests that UV light may have played a key role in the origin of life on Earth, especially the origin of RNA. Characterizing the UV environment on M-dwarf planets is important for understanding whether life as we know it could emerge on such worlds. In this work, we couple radiative transfer models to observed M-dwarf spectra to determine the UV environment on prebiotic Earth-analog planets orbiting M dwarfs. We calculate dose rates to quantify the impact of different host stars on prebiotically important photoprocesses. We find that M-dwarf planets have access to 100–1000 times less bioactive UV fluence than the young Earth. It is unclear whether UV-sensitive prebiotic chemistry that may have been important to abiogenesis, such as the only known prebiotically plausible pathways for pyrimidine ribonucleotide synthesis, could function on M-dwarf planets. This uncertainty affects objects like the recently discovered habitable-zone planets orbiting Proxima Centauri, TRAPPIST-1, and LHS 1140. Laboratory studies of the sensitivity of putative prebiotic pathways to irradiation level are required to resolve this uncertainty. If steady-state M-dwarf UV output is insufficient to power these pathways, transient elevated UV irradiation due to flares may suffice; laboratory studies can constrain this possibility as well.

  17. On the feasibility of studying the exospheres of Earth-like exoplanets by Lyman- α monitoring. Detectability constraints for nearby M stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castro, Ana I. Gómez de; Beitia-Antero, Leire; Ustamujic, Sabina

    2018-04-01

    Observations of the Earth's exosphere have unveiled an extended envelope of hydrogen reaching further than 10 Earth radii composed of atoms orbiting around the Earth. This large envelope increases significantly the opacity of the Earth to Lyman α (Ly α) photons coming from the Sun, to the point of making feasible the detection of the Earth's transit signature from 1.35 pc if pointing with an 8 meter primary mirror space telescope through a clean line of sight ( N H < 1017 cm- 2), as we show. In this work, we evaluate the potential detectability of Earth analogs orbiting around nearby M-type stars by monitoring the variability of the Ly α flux variability. We show that, in spite of the interstellar, heliospheric and astrospheric absorption, the transit signature in M5 V type stars would be detectable with a dedicated Ly α flux monitor implemented in a 4-8 m class space telescope. Such monitoring programs would enable measuring the robustness of planetary atmospheres under heavy space weather conditions like those produced by M-type stars. A 2-m class telescope, such as the World Space Observatory, would suffice to detect an Earth-like planet orbiting around Proxima Centauri, if there was such a planet or nearby M5 type stars.

  18. Detecting Oceans on Extrasolar Planets Using the Glint Effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

    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.

  19. DETECTING OCEANS ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS USING THE GLINT EFFECT

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Crisp, David, E-mail: robinson@astro.washington.ed

    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 ofmore » 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.« less

  20. A Model of the Temporal Variability of Optical Light from Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-05-01

    New observatories such as TPF (NASA) and Darwin (ESA) are being designed to detect light directly from terrestrial-mass planets. Such observations will provide new data to constrain theories of planet formation and may identify the possible presence of liquid water and even spectroscopic signatures suggestive of life. We model the light scattered by Earth-like planets focusing on temporal variability due to planetary rotation and weather. Since a majority of the scattered light comes from only a small fraction of the planet's surface, significant variations in brightness are possible. The variations can be as large as a factor of two for a cloud-free planet which has a range of albedos similar to those of the different surfaces found on Earth. If a significant fraction of the observed light is scattered by the planet's atmosphere, including clouds, then the amplitude of variations due to surface features will be diluted. Atmospheric variability (e.g. clouds) itself is extremely interesting because it provides evidence for weather. The planet's rotation period, fractional ice and cloud cover, gross distribution of land and water on the surface, large scale weather patterns, large regions of unusual reflectivity or color (such as major desserts or vegetation's "red edge") as well as the geometry of its spin, orbit, and illumination relative to the observer all have substantial effects on the planet's rotational light curve.

  1. Portrait of Distant Planets

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-04-14

    This image taken with the Palomar Observatory Hale Telescope, shows the light from three planets orbiting a star 120 light-years away. The planets star, called HR8799, is located at the spot marked with an X.

  2. MINERVA-Red: A Census of Planets Orbiting the Nearest Low-mass Stars to the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blake, Cullen; Johnson, John; Plavchan, Peter; Sliski, David; Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Eastman, Jason D.; Barnes, Stuart

    2015-01-01

    Recent results from Kepler and ground-based exoplanet surveys suggest that low-mass stars host numerous small planets. Since low-mass stars are intrinsically faint at optical wavelengths, obtaining the Doppler precision necessary to detect these companions remains a challenge for existing instruments. We describe MINERVA-Red, a project to use a dedicated, robotic, near-infrared optimized 0.7 meter telescope and a specialized Doppler spectrometer to carry out an intensive, multi-year campaign designed to reveal the planetary systems orbiting some of the closest stars to the Sun. The MINERVA-Red cross-dispersed echelle spectrograph is optimized for the 'deep red', between 800 nm and 900 nm, where these stars are relatively bright. The instrument is very compact and designed for the ultimate in Doppler precision by using single-mode fiber input. We describe the spectrometer and the status of the MINERVA-Red project, which is expected to begin routine operations at Whipple Observatory on Mt Hopkins, Arizona, in 2015.

  3. THE EVOLUTION OF CIRCUMPLANETARY DISKS AROUND PLANETS IN WIDE ORBITS: IMPLICATIONS FOR FORMATION THEORY, OBSERVATIONS, AND MOON SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Shabram, Megan; Boley, Aaron C.

    2013-04-10

    Using radiation hydrodynamics simulations, we explore the evolution of circumplanetary disks around wide-orbit proto-gas giants. At large distances from the star ({approx}100 AU), gravitational instability followed by disk fragmentation can form low-mass substellar companions (massive gas giants and/or brown dwarfs) that are likely to host large disks. We examine the initial evolution of these subdisks and their role in regulating the growth of their substellar companions, as well as explore consequences of their interactions with circumstellar material. We find that subdisks that form in the context of GIs evolve quickly from a very massive state. Long-term accretion rates from themore » subdisk onto the proto-gas giant reach {approx}0.3 Jupiter masses kyr{sup -1}. We also find consistency with previous simulations, demonstrating that subdisks are truncated at {approx}1/3 of the companion's Hill radius and are thick, with (h/r) of {approx}> 0.2. The thickness of subdisks draws to question the use of thin-disk approximations for understanding the behavior of subdisks, and the morphology of subdisks has implications for the formation and extent of satellite systems. These subdisks create heating events in otherwise cold regions of the circumstellar disk and serve as planet formation beacons that can be detected by instruments such as ALMA.« less

  4. 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.

  5. The NASA-UC-UH Eta-Earth program. IV. A low-mass planet orbiting an M dwarf 3.6 PC from Earth

    SciTech Connect

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

    We report the discovery of a low-mass planet orbiting Gl 15 A based on radial velocities from the Eta-Earth Survey using HIRES at Keck Observatory. Gl 15 Ab is a planet with minimum mass Msin i = 5.35 ± 0.75 M {sub ⊕}, orbital period P = 11.4433 ± 0.0016 days, and an orbit that is consistent with circular. We characterize the host star using a variety of techniques. Photometric observations at Fairborn Observatory show no evidence for rotational modulation of spots at the orbital period to a limit of ∼0.1 mmag, thus supporting the existence of the planet. Wemore » detect a second RV signal with a period of 44 days that we attribute to rotational modulation of stellar surface features, as confirmed by optical photometry and the Ca II H and K activity indicator. Using infrared spectroscopy from Palomar-TripleSpec, we measure an M2 V spectral type and a sub-solar metallicity ([M/H] = –0.22, [Fe/H] = –0.32). We measure a stellar radius of 0.3863 ± 0.0021 R {sub ☉} based on interferometry from CHARA.« less

  6. COUPLED EVOLUTIONS OF THE STELLAR OBLIQUITY, ORBITAL DISTANCE, AND PLANET'S RADIUS DUE TO THE OHMIC DISSIPATION INDUCED IN A DIAMAGNETIC HOT JUPITER AROUND A MAGNETIC T TAURI STAR

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Yu-Ling; Gu, Pin-Gao; Bodenheimer, Peter H.

    We revisit the calculation of the ohmic dissipation in a hot Jupiter presented by Laine et al. by considering more realistic interior structures, stellar obliquity, and the resulting orbital evolution. In this simplified approach, the young hot Jupiter of one Jupiter mass is modeled as a diamagnetic sphere with a finite resistivity, orbiting across tilted stellar magnetic dipole fields in vacuum. Since the induced ohmic dissipation occurs mostly near the planet's surface, we find that the dissipation is unable to significantly expand the young hot Jupiter. Nevertheless, the planet inside a small corotation orbital radius can undergo orbital decay bymore » the dissipation torque and finally overfill its Roche lobe during the T Tauri star phase. The stellar obliquity can evolve significantly if the magnetic dipole is parallel/antiparallel to the stellar spin. Our results are validated by the general torque-dissipation relation in the presence of the stellar obliquity. We also run the fiducial model of Laine et al. and find that the planet's radius is sustained at a nearly constant value by the ohmic heating, rather than being thermally expanded to the Roche radius as suggested by the authors.« less

  7. Proposed Missions - Terrestrial Planet Finder

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-20

    NASA Terrestrial Planet Finder will use multiple telescopes working together to take family portraits of stars and their orbiting planets and determine which planets may have the right chemistry to sustain life.

  8. Systems of Multiple Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcy, G. W.; Fischer, D. A.; Butler, R. P.; Vogt, S. S.

    To date, 10 stars are known which harbor two or three planets. These systems reveal secular and mean motion resonances in some systems and consist of widely separated, eccentric orbits in others. Both of the triple planet systems, namely Upsilon And and 55 Cancri, exhibit evidence of resonances. The two planets orbiting GJ 876 exhibit both mean-motion and secular resonances and they perturb each other so strongly that the evolution of the orbits is revealed in the Doppler measurements. The common occurrence of resonances suggests that delicate dynamical processes often shape the architecture of planetary systems. Likely processes include planet migration in a viscous disk, eccentricity pumping by the planet-disk interaction, and resonance capture of two planets. We find a class of "hierarchical" double-planet systems characterized by two planets in widely separated orbits, defined to have orbital period ratios greater than 5 to 1. In such systems, resonant interactions are weak, leaving high-order interactions and Kozai resonances plausibly important. We compare the planets that are single with those in multiple systems. We find that neither the two mass distributions nor the two eccentricity distributions are significantly different. This similarity in single and multiple systems suggests that similar dynamical processes may operate in both. The origin of eccentricities may stem from a multi-planet past or from interactions between planets and disk. Multiple planets in resonances can pump their eccentricities pumping resulting in one planet being ejected from the system or sent into the star, leaving a (more massive) single planet in an eccentric orbit. The distribution of semimajor axes of all known extrasolar planets shows a rise toward larger orbits, portending a population of gas-giant planets that reside beyond 3 AU, arguably in less perturbed, more circular orbits.

  9. Terrestrial planet formation in the presence of migrating super-Earths

    SciTech Connect

    Izidoro, André; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Raymond, Sean N., E-mail: izidoro.costa@gmail.com, E-mail: morbidelli@oca.eu, E-mail: rayray.sean@gmail.com

    Super-Earths with orbital periods less than 100 days are extremely abundant around Sun-like stars. It is unlikely that these planets formed at their current locations. Rather, they likely formed at large distances from the star and subsequently migrated inward. Here we use N-body simulations to study the effect of super-Earths on the accretion of rocky planets. In our simulations, one or more super-Earths migrate inward through a disk of planetary embryos and planetesimals embedded in a gaseous disk. We tested a wide range of migration speeds and configurations. Fast-migrating super-Earths (τ{sub mig} ∼ 0.01-0.1 Myr) only have a modest effectmore » on the protoplanetary embryos and planetesimals. Sufficient material survives to form rocky, Earth-like planets on orbits exterior to the super-Earths'. In contrast, slowly migrating super-Earths shepherd rocky material interior to their orbits and strongly deplete the terrestrial planet-forming zone. In this situation any Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone are extremely volatile-rich and are therefore probably not Earth-like.« less

  10. HAT-P-34b-HAT-P-37b: FOUR TRANSITING PLANETS MORE MASSIVE THAN JUPITER ORBITING MODERATELY BRIGHT STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Bakos, G. A.; Hartman, J. D.; Csubry, Z.

    2012-07-15

    We report the discovery of four transiting extrasolar planets (HAT-P-34b-HAT-P-37b) with masses ranging from 1.05 to 3.33 M{sub J} and periods from 1.33 to 5.45 days. These planets orbit relatively bright F and G dwarf stars (from V = 10.16 to V = 13.2). Of particular interest is HAT-P-34b which is moderately massive (3.33 M{sub J}), has a high eccentricity of e = 0.441 {+-} 0.032 at a period of P = 5.452654 {+-} 0.000016 days, and shows hints of an outer component. The other three planets have properties that are typical of hot Jupiters.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  12. Planet formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    1993-01-01

    Models of planetary formation are developed using the present single example of a planetary system, supplemented by limited astrophysical observations of star-forming regions and circumstellar disks. The solar nebula theory and the planetesimal hypothesis are discussed. The latter is found to provide a viable theory of the growth of the terrestrial planets, the cores of the giant planets, and the smaller bodies present in the solar system. The formation of solid bodies of planetary size should be a common event, at least around young stars which do not have binary companions orbiting at planetary distances. Stochastic impacts of large bodies provide sufficient angular momentum to produce the obliquities of the planets. The masses and bulk compositions of the planets can be understood in a gross sense as resulting from planetary growth within a disk whose temperature and surface density decreased with distance from the growing sun.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-01

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

  14. An Improved Transit Measurement for a 2.4 R ⊕ Planet Orbiting A Bright Mid-M Dwarf K2–28

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Ge; Knutson, Heather A.; Dressing, Courtney D.; Morley, Caroline V.; Werner, Michael; Gorjian, Varoujan; Beichman, Charles; Benneke, Björn; Christiansen, Jessie L.; Ciardi, David; Crossfield, Ian; Howell, Steve B.; Krick, Jessica E.; Livingston, John; Morales, Farisa Y.; Schlieder, Joshua E.

    2018-05-01

    We present a new Spitzer transit observation of K2–28b, a sub-Neptune (R p = 2.45 ± 0.28 R ⊕) orbiting a relatively bright (V mag = 16.06, K mag = 10.75) metal-rich M4 dwarf (EPIC 206318379). This star is one of only seven with masses less than 0.2 {M}ȯ known to host transiting planets, and the planet appears to be a slightly smaller analogue of GJ 1214b (2.85+/- 0.20 {R}\\oplus ). Our new Spitzer observations were taken two years after the original K2 discovery data and have a significantly higher cadence, allowing us to derive improved estimates for this planet’s radius, semimajor axis, and orbital period, which greatly reduce the uncertainty in the prediction of near future transit times for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) observations. We also evaluate the system’s suitability for atmospheric characterization with JWST and find that it is currently the only small (< 3 {R}\\oplus ) and cool (<600 K) planet aside from GJ 1214b with a potentially detectable secondary eclipse. We also note that this system is a favorable target for near-infrared radial velocity instruments on larger telescopes (e.g., the Habitable Planet Finder on the Hobby–Eberly Telescope), making it one of only a handful of small, cool planets accessible with this technique. Finally, we compare our results with the simulated catalog of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and find K2–28b to be representative of the kind of mid-M systems that should be detectable in the TESS sample.

  15. Possible Outcomes of Coplanar High-eccentricity Migration: Hot Jupiters, Close-in Super-Earths, and Counter-orbiting Planets

    SciTech Connect

    Xue, Yuxin; Masuda, Kento; Suto, Yasushi, E-mail: yuxin@utap.phys.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp

    We investigate the formation of close-in planets in near-coplanar eccentric hierarchical triple systems via the secular interaction between an inner planet and an outer perturber (Coplanar High-eccentricity Migration; CHEM). We generalize the previous work on the analytical condition for successful CHEM for point masses interacting only through gravity by taking into account the finite mass effect of the inner planet. We find that efficient CHEM requires that the systems should have m {sub 1}≪m {sub 0} and m {sub 1} ≪ m {sub 2}. In addition to the gravity for point masses, we examine the importance of the short-range forces,more » and provide an analytical estimate of the migration timescale. We perform a series of numerical simulations in CHEM for systems consisting of a Sun-like central star, giant gas inner planet, and planetary outer perturber, including the short-range forces and stellar and planetary dissipative tides. We find that most of such systems end up with a tidal disruption; a small fraction of the systems produce prograde hot Jupiters (HJs), but no retrograde HJ. In addition, we extend CHEM to super-Earth mass range, and show that the formation of close-in super-Earths in prograde orbits is also possible. Finally, we carry out CHEM simulation for the observed hierarchical triple and counter-orbiting HJ systems. We find that CHEM can explain a part of the former systems, but it is generally very difficult to reproduce counter-orbiting HJ systems.« less

  16. Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer Science Working Group Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lawson, Peter R. (Editor); Lay, Oliver P. (Editor); Johnston, Kenneth J. (Editor); Beichman, Charles A. (Editor)

    2007-01-01

    Over the past two years, the focus of the project for the interferometric version of the Terrestrial Planet Finder(TPF-I) has been on the development of the scientific rational for the mission, the assessment of TPF-I architectures, the laboratory demonstration of key technologies, and the development of a detailed technology roadmap. The Science Working Group (SWG), in conjunction with European colleagues working on the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Darwin project, has reaffirmed the goals of TPF-I as part of a broad vision for the detection and characterization of Earth-like planets orbiting nearby stars and for the search for life on those planets. The SWG also helped to assess the performance of different interferometric configurations for TPF-I/Darwin. Building on earlier SWG reports, this document restates the scientific case for TPF-I, assesses suitable target stars and relevant wavelengths for observation, discusses dramatic new capabilities for general astrophysical observations, and summarizes how Spitzer has improved our knowledge of the incidence of zodiacal emission on the search for planets. This document discusses in some detail on laboratory advances in interferometric nulling and formation flying. Laboratory experiments have now achieved stable narrow- and broad-band nulling the levels of 10-6 and 2.0x10-5, respectively. A testbed has demonstrated formation flying using two realistic spacecraft mockups. With a suitably funded program of technology development, as summarized herein and described in more detail in the Technology Plan for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer (2005), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and ESA would be able to start within the coming decade a full-scale TPF-I/Darwin mission capable of finding Earths orbiting more than 150 nearby stars, or a scaled back interferometer capable of studying more than 30 stars. Finding evidence for life on just one of those planets would revolutionize our

  17. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XXVII. CoRoT-28b, a planet orbiting an evolved star, and CoRoT-29b, a planet showing an asymmetric transit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabrera, J.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Montagnier, G.; Fridlund, M.; Ammler-von Eiff, M.; Chaintreuil, S.; Damiani, C.; Deleuil, M.; Ferraz-Mello, S.; Ferrigno, A.; Gandolfi, D.; Guillot, T.; Guenther, E. W.; Hatzes, A.; Hébrard, G.; Klagyivik, P.; Parviainen, H.; Pasternacki, Th.; Pätzold, M.; Sebastian, D.; Tadeu dos Santos, M.; Wuchterl, G.; Aigrain, S.; Alonso, R.; Almenara, J.-M.; Armstrong, J. D.; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A.; Barge, P.; Barros, S. C. C.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Carpano, S.; Chaffey, C.; Deeg, H. J.; Díaz, R. F.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.; Grziwa, S.; Korth, J.; Lammer, H.; Lindsay, C.; Mazeh, T.; Moutou, C.; Ofir, A.; Ollivier, M.; Pallé, E.; Rauer, H.; Rouan, D.; Samuel, B.; Santerne, A.; Schneider, J.

    2015-07-01

    Context. We present the discovery of two transiting extrasolar planets by the satellite CoRoT. Aims: We aim at a characterization of the planetary bulk parameters, which allow us to further investigate the formation and evolution of the planetary systems and the main properties of the host stars. Methods: We used the transit light curve to characterize the planetary parameters relative to the stellar parameters. The analysis of HARPS spectra established the planetary nature of the detections, providing their masses. Further photometric and spectroscopic ground-based observations provided stellar parameters (log g, Teff, v sin i) to characterize the host stars. Our model takes the geometry of the transit to constrain the stellar density into account, which when linked to stellar evolutionary models, determines the bulk parameters of the star. Because of the asymmetric shape of the light curve of one of the planets, we had to include the possibility in our model that the stellar surface was not strictly spherical. Results: We present the planetary parameters of CoRoT-28b, a Jupiter-sized planet (mass 0.484 ± 0.087 MJup; radius 0.955 ± 0.066 RJup) orbiting an evolved star with an orbital period of 5.208 51 ± 0.000 38 days, and CoRoT-29b, another Jupiter-sized planet (mass 0.85 ± 0.20 MJup; radius 0.90 ± 0.16 RJup) orbiting an oblate star with an orbital period of 2.850 570 ± 0.000 006 days. The reason behind the asymmetry of the transit shape is not understood at this point. Conclusions: These two new planetary systems have very interesting properties and deserve further study, particularly in the case of the star CoRoT-29. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27th 2006, was developed and is operated by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA (RSSD and Science Programme), Germany, and Spain. Based on observations obtained with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark, Finland, Iceland

  18. Tidal dissipation in rotating low-mass stars and implications for the orbital evolution of close-in massive planets. II. Effect of stellar metallicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolmont, E.; Gallet, F.; Mathis, S.; Charbonnel, C.; Amard, L.; Alibert, Y.

    2017-08-01

    Observations of hot-Jupiter exoplanets suggest that their orbital period distribution depends on the metallicity of the host stars. We investigate here whether the impact of the stellar metallicity on the evolution of the tidal dissipation inside the convective envelope of rotating stars and its resulting effect on the planetary migration might be a possible explanation for this observed statistical trend. We use a frequency-averaged tidal dissipation formalism coupled to an orbital evolution code and to rotating stellar evolution models in order to estimate the effect of a change of stellar metallicity on the evolution of close-in planets. We consider here two different stellar masses: 0.4 M⊙ and 1.0 M⊙ evolving from the early pre-main sequence phase up to the red-giant branch. We show that the metallicity of a star has a strong effect on the stellar parameters, which in turn strongly influence the tidal dissipation in the convective region. While on the pre-main sequence, the dissipation of a metal-poor Sun-like star is higher than the dissipation of a metal-rich Sun-like star; on the main sequence it is the opposite. However, for the 0.4 M⊙ star, the dependence of the dissipation with metallicity is much less visible. Using an orbital evolution model, we show that changing the metallicity leads to different orbital evolutions (e.g., planets migrate farther out from an initially fast-rotating metal-rich star). Using this model, we qualitatively reproduced the observational trends of the population of hot Jupiters with the metallicity of their host stars. However, more steps are needed to improve our model to try to quantitatively fit our results to the observations. Specifically, we need to improve the treatment of the rotation evolution in the orbital evolution model, and ultimately we need to consistently couple the orbital model to the stellar evolution model.

  19. 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…

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

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitt, Joseph R.; Fischer, Debra A.; Wang, Ji

    2014-11-10

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

  1. The Terrestrial Planet Finder coronagraph dynamics error budget

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaklan, Stuart B.; Marchen, Luis; Green, Joseph J.; Lay, Oliver P.

    2005-01-01

    The Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph (TPF-C) demands extreme wave front control and stability to achieve its goal of detecting earth-like planets around nearby stars. We describe the performance models and error budget used to evaluate image plane contrast and derive engineering requirements for this challenging optical system.

  2. Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1.

    PubMed

    Gillon, Michaël; Triaud, Amaury H M J; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Jehin, Emmanuël; Agol, Eric; Deck, Katherine M; Lederer, Susan M; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Ingalls, James G; Bolmont, Emeline; Leconte, Jeremy; Raymond, Sean N; Selsis, Franck; Turbet, Martin; Barkaoui, Khalid; Burgasser, Adam; Burleigh, Matthew R; Carey, Sean J; Chaushev, Aleksander; Copperwheat, Chris M; Delrez, Laetitia; Fernandes, Catarina S; Holdsworth, Daniel L; Kotze, Enrico J; Van Grootel, Valérie; Almleaky, Yaseen; Benkhaldoun, Zouhair; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier

    2017-02-22

    One aim of modern astronomy is to detect temperate, Earth-like exoplanets that are well suited for atmospheric characterization. Recently, three Earth-sized planets were detected that transit (that is, pass in front of) a star with a mass just eight per cent that of the Sun, located 12 parsecs away. The transiting configuration of these planets, combined with the Jupiter-like size of their host star-named TRAPPIST-1-makes possible in-depth studies of their atmospheric properties with present-day and future astronomical facilities. Here we report the results of a photometric monitoring campaign of that star from the ground and space. Our observations reveal that at least seven planets with sizes and masses similar to those of Earth revolve around TRAPPIST-1. The six inner planets form a near-resonant chain, such that their orbital periods (1.51, 2.42, 4.04, 6.06, 9.1 and 12.35 days) are near-ratios of small integers. This architecture suggests that the planets formed farther from the star and migrated inwards. Moreover, the seven planets have equilibrium temperatures low enough to make possible the presence of liquid water on their surfaces.

  3. Finding Terrestrial Planets Using External Occulters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heap, Sara

    2007-01-01

    In order to identify a detected exoplanet as an Earth-like (habitable) planet, we must obtain its spectrum to verify that its atmosphere shows evidence of water vapor. We argue that a regular, optical telescope combined with a large occulter to block light from the star offers the most promising, cost-effective way to detect and characterize exoplanets.

  4. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintosh, Bruce

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

  5. Lighting Automation - Flying an Earthlike Habit Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Falker, Jay; Howard, Ricky; Culbert, Christopher; Clark, Toni Anne; Kolomenski, Andrei

    2017-01-01

    Our proposal will enable the development of automated spacecraft habitats for long duration missions. Majority of spacecraft lighting systems employ lamps or zone specific switches and dimmers. Automation is not in the "picture". If we are to build long duration environments, which provide earth-like habitats, minimize crew time, and optimize spacecraft power reserves, innovation in lighting automation is a must. To transform how spacecraft lighting environments are automated, we will provide performance data on a standard lighting communication protocol. We will investigate utilization and application of an industry accepted lighting control protocol, DMX512. We will demonstrate how lighting automation can conserve power, assist with lighting countermeasures, and utilize spatial body tracking. By using DMX512 we will prove the "wheel" does not need to be reinvented in terms of smart lighting and future spacecraft can use a standard lighting protocol to produce an effective, optimized and potentially earthlike habitat.

  6. Habitable planets with high obliquities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  7. Adaptive Nulling for Interferometric Detection of Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lay, Oliver P.; Peters, Robert D.

    2010-01-01

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

  8. The Potential for Volcanism and Tectonics on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Roberge, Aki

    2018-01-01

    JWST and other next-generation space telescopes (e.g., LUVOIR, HabEx, & OST) will usher in a new era of exoplanet characterization that may lead to the identification of habitable, Earth-like worlds. Like the planets and moons in our solar system, the surfaces and interiors of terrestrial exoplanets may be shaped by volcanism and tectonics (Fu et al., 2010; van Summeren et al., 2011; Henning and Hurford, 2014). The magnitude and rate of occurrence of these dynamic processes can either facilitate or preclude the existence of habitable environments. Likewise, it has been suggested that detections of cryovolcanism on icy exoplanets, in the form of geyser-like plumes, could indicate the presence of subsurface oceans (Quick et al., 2017).The presence of volcanic and tectonic activity on solid exoplanets will be intimately linked to planet size and heat output in the form of radiogenic and/or tidal heating. In order to place bounds on the potential for such activity, we estimated the heat output of a variety of exoplanets observed by Kepler. We considered planets whose masses and radii range from 0.067 ME (super-Ganymede) to 8 ME (super-Earth), and 0.5 to 1.8 RE, respectively. These heat output estimates were then compared to those of planets, moons, and dwarf planets in our solar system for which we have direct evidence for the presence/absence of volcanic and tectonic activity. After exoplanet heating rates were estimated, depths to putative molten layers in their interiors were also calculated. For planets such as TRAPPIST-1h, whose densities, orbital parameters, and effective temperatures are consistent with the presence of significant amounts of H2O (Luger et al., 2017), these calculations reveal the depths to internal oceans which may serve as habitable niches beneath surface ice layers.

  9. Orbital Dynamics and Habitability of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deitrick, Russell J.

    's Pleistocene ice ages. Mutual inclinations lead not only to larger variations in a planet's obliquity, but also uncover secular spin-orbit resonances, which lead to yet more dramatic behavior. I modeled the obliquity evolution of planets in this highly non-linear dynamical regime. Connecting the dynamical models to an simple climate model with ice sheets, I modeled the effects of such dynamical evolution on an Earth-like planet's climate. As expected, such "exo-Milankovitch cycles" can be rapid and dramatic, often leading to complete collapse into a snowball state. By demonstrating a handful of the many ways dynamics can influence habitability, this research provides context to observations of exoplanets and connects to one of the key goals of astrobiology, to "Determine the potential for habitable planets beyond the Solar System, and characterize those that are observable" (Des Marais et al., 2008). It provides tools and techniques that may be used to help prioritize exoplanet targets for characterization missions when very little information is known other than orbital properties. It also demonstrates how orbital evolution affects observable quantities like albedo, and will assist in the interpretation of spectra.

  10. Titan and habitable planets around M-dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Lunine, Jonathan I

    2010-01-01

    The Cassini-Huygens mission discovered an active "hydrologic cycle" on Saturn's giant moon Titan, in which methane takes the place of water. Shrouded by a dense nitrogen-methane atmosphere, Titan's surface is blanketed in the equatorial regions by dunes composed of solid organics, sculpted by wind and fluvial erosion, and dotted at the poles with lakes and seas of liquid methane and ethane. The underlying crust is almost certainly water ice, possibly in the form of gas hydrates (clathrate hydrates) dominated by methane as the included species. The processes that work the surface of Titan resemble in their overall balance no other moon in the solar system; instead, they are most like that of the Earth. The presence of methane in place of water, however, means that in any particular planetary system, a body like Titan will always be outside the orbit of an Earth-type planet. Around M-dwarfs, planets with a Titan-like climate will sit at 1 AU--a far more stable environment than the approximately 0.1 AU where Earth-like planets sit. However, an observable Titan-like exoplanet might have to be much larger than Titan itself to be observable, increasing the ratio of heat contributed to the surface atmosphere system from internal (geologic) processes versus photons from the parent star.

  11. Giant Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Angelo, G.; Durisen, R. H.; Lissauer, J. J.

    2010-12-01

    Gas giant planets play a fundamental role in shaping the orbital architecture of planetary systems and in affecting the delivery of volatile materials to terrestrial planets in the habitable zones. Current theories of gas giant planet formation rely on either of two mechanisms: the core accretion model and the disk instability model. In this chapter, we describe the essential principles upon which these models are built and discuss the successes and limitations of each model in explaining observational data of giant planets orbiting the Sun and other stars.

  12. A radiogenic heating evolution model for cosmochemically Earth-like exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, Elizabeth A.; Meyer, Bradley S.; Mojzsis, Stephen J.

    2014-11-01

    Discoveries of rocky worlds around other stars have inspired diverse geophysical models of their plausible structures and tectonic regimes. Severe limitations of observable properties require many inexact assumptions about key geophysical characteristics of these planets. We present the output of an analytical galactic chemical evolution (GCE) model that quantitatively constrains one of those key properties: radiogenic heating. Earth's radiogenic heat generation has evolved since its formation, and the same will apply to exoplanets. We have fit simulations of the chemical evolution of the interstellar medium in the solar annulus to the chemistry of our Solar System at the time of its formation and then applied the carbonaceous chondrite/Earth's mantle ratio to determine the chemical composition of what we term ;cosmochemically Earth-like; exoplanets. Through this approach, predictions of exoplanet radiogenic heat productions as a function of age have been derived. The results show that the later a planet forms in galactic history, the less radiogenic heat it begins with; however, due to radioactive decay, today, old planets have lower heat outputs per unit mass than newly formed worlds. The long half-life of 232Th allows it to continue providing a small amount of heat in even the most ancient planets, while 40K dominates heating in young worlds. Through constraining the age-dependent heat production in exoplanets, we can infer that younger, hotter rocky planets are more likely to be geologically active and therefore able to sustain the crustal recycling (e.g. plate tectonics) that may be a requirement for long-term biosphere habitability. In the search for Earth-like planets, the focus should be made on stars within a billion years or so of the Sun's age.

  13. Understanding stellar activity and flares to search for Earth-like exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Sordo, Fabio

    2015-08-01

    The radial velocity method is a powerful way to search for exoplanetary systems and it led to many discoveries of exoplanets in the last 20 years. Nowadays, understanding stellar activity, flares and noise is a key factor for achieving a substantial improvement in such technique.Radial-velocity data are time-series containing the effect of both planets and stellar disturbances: the detection of Earth-like planets requires to improve the signal-to-noise ratio, i.e. it is central to understand the noise present in the data. Noise is caused by physical processes which operate on different time-scales, oftentimes acting in a non-periodic fashion. We present here an approach to such problem: to look for multifractal structures in the time-series coming from radial velocity measurements, identifying the underlying long-range correlations and fractal scaling properties, connecting them to the underlying physical processes (stellar oscillations, stellar wind, granulation, rotation, magnetic activity). This method has been previously applied to satellite data related to Arctic sea albedo, relevant for identify trends and noise in the Arctic sea ice (Agarwal, Moon, Wettlaufer, 2012). Here we suggest to use such analysis for exoplanetary data related to possible Earth-like planets.

  14. An exact solution for orbit view-periods from a station on a tri-axial ellipsoidal planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, C. C. H.

    1986-08-01

    This paper presents the concise exact solution for predicting view-periods to be observed from a masked or unmasked tracking station on a tri-axial ellipsoidal surface. The new exact approach expresses the azimuth and elevation angles of a spacecraft in terms of the station-centered geodetic topocentric coordinates in an elegantly concise manner. A simple and efficient algorithm is developed to avoid costly repetitive computations in searching for neighborhoods near the rise and set times of each satellite orbit for each station. Only one search for each orbit is necessary for each station. Sample results indicate that the use of an assumed spherical earth instead of an 'actual' tri-axial ellipsoidal earth could introduce an error up to a few minutes in a view-period prediction for circular orbits of low or medium altitude. For an elliptical orbit of high eccentricity and long period, the maximum error could be even larger. The analytic treatment and the efficient algorithm are designed for geocentric orbits, but they should be applicable to interplanetary trajectories by an appropriate coordinates transformation at each view-period calculation. This analysis can be accomplished only by not using the classical orbital elements.

  15. An exact solution for orbit view-periods from a station on a tri-axial ellipsoidal planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tang, C. C. H.

    1986-01-01

    This paper presents the concise exact solution for predicting view-periods to be observed from a masked or unmasked tracking station on a tri-axial ellipsoidal surface. The new exact approach expresses the azimuth and elevation angles of a spacecraft in terms of the station-centered geodetic topocentric coordinates in an elegantly concise manner. A simple and efficient algorithm is developed to avoid costly repetitive computations in searching for neighborhoods near the rise and set times of each satellite orbit for each station. Only one search for each orbit is necessary for each station. Sample results indicate that the use of an assumed spherical earth instead of an 'actual' tri-axial ellipsoidal earth could introduce an error up to a few minutes in a view-period prediction for circular orbits of low or medium altitude. For an elliptical orbit of high eccentricity and long period, the maximum error could be even larger. The analytic treatment and the efficient algorithm are designed for geocentric orbits, but they should be applicable to interplanetary trajectories by an appropriate coordinates transformation at each view-period calculation. This analysis can be accomplished only by not using the classical orbital elements.

  16. Observsational Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Ruobing; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Fung, Jeffrey

    2017-06-01

    Planets form in gaseous protoplanetary disks surrounding newborn stars. As such, the most direct way to learn how they form from observations, is to directly watch them forming in disks. In the past, this was very difficult due to a lack of observational capabilities; as such, planet formation was largely a subject of pure theoretical astrophysics. Now, thanks to a fleet of new instruments with unprecedented resolving power that have come online recently, we have just started to unveil features in resolve images of protoplanetary disks, such as gaps and spiral arms, that are most likely associated with embedded (unseen) planets. By comparing observations with theoretical models of planet-disk interactions, the masses and orbits of these still forming planets may be constrained. Such planets may help us to directly test various planet formation models. This marks the onset of a new field — observational planet formation. I will introduce the current status of this field.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ochiai, H.; Nagasawa, M.; Ida, S., E-mail: nagasawa.m.ad@m.titech.ac.jp

    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 semimajormore » 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.« less

  18. The VLT/NaCo large program to probe the occurrence of exoplanets and brown dwarfs at wide orbits. IV. Gravitational instability rarely forms wide, giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-06-01

    Understanding the formation and evolution of giant planets (≥1 MJup) at wide orbital separation (≥5 AU) is one of the goals of direct imaging. Over the past 15 yr, many surveys have placed strong constraints on the occurrence rate of wide-orbit giants, mostly based on non-detections, but very few have tried to make a direct link with planet formation theories. In the present work, we combine the results of our previously published VLT/NaCo large program with the results of 12 past imaging surveys to constitute a statistical sample of 199 FGK stars within 100 pc, including three stars with sub-stellar companions. Using Monte Carlo simulations and assuming linear flat distributions for the mass and semi-major axis of planets, we estimate the sub-stellar companion frequency to be within 0.75-5.70% at the 68% confidence level (CL) within 20-300 AU and 0.5-75 MJup, which is compatible with previously published results. We also compare our results with the predictions of state-of-the-art population synthesis models based on the gravitational instability (GI) formation scenario with and without scattering. We estimate that in both the scattered and non-scattered populations, we would be able to detect more than 30% of companions in the 1-75 MJup range (95% CL). With the threesub-stellar detections in our sample, we estimate the fraction of stars that host a planetary system formed by GI to be within 1.0-8.6% (95% CL). We also conclude that even though GI is not common, it predicts a mass distribution of wide-orbit massive companions that is much closer to what is observed than what the core accretion scenario predicts. Finally, we associate the present paper with the release of the Direct Imaging Virtual Archive (DIVA), a public database that aims at gathering the results of past, present, and future direct imaging surveys. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (ESO Large Program 184.C-0157 and Open Time 089.C-0137A and 090.C-0252

  19. 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 22planet.

  20. Hazy Archean Earth as an Analog for Hazy Earthlike Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arney, Giada; Meadows, Victoria; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Claire, Mark; Schwieterman, Edward

    2015-01-01

    Hazy exoplanets may be common (Bean et al. 2010, Sing et al. 2011, Kreidberg et al 2014), and in our solar system, Venus and Titan have photochemically-produced hazes. There is evidence that Earth itself had a hydrocarbon haze in the Archean (Zerkle et al. 2012, Domagal-Goldman et al. 2008) with important climatic effects (Pavlov et al. 2001, Trainer et al. 2006, Haqq-Misra et al. 2008, Wolf and Toon 2012). We use a 1D coupled photochemical-climate model and a line-by-line radiative transfer model to investigate the climactic and spectral impacts of a fractal hydrocarbon haze on Archean Earth. The haze absorbs significantly at shorter wavelengths and can strongly suppress the Rayleigh scattering tail, a broadband effect that would be remotely detectable at low spectral resolution at wavelengths less than 0.5 μm. Hazes may have a more significant impact on transit transmission spectra. Using the transit transmission radiative transfer model developed by Misra et al. (2014) to generate hazy Archean spectra, we find that even a thin hydrocarbon haze masks the lower atmosphere from the visible into the near infrared where the haze optical depth exceeds unity. The transit transmission spectra we generate for hazy Archean Earth are steeply sloped like the Titan solar occultation spectrum observed by Robinson et al. (2014). Thick hazes can also cool the planet significantly: for example, the thick fractal haze generated around Archean Earth with 0.3% CH4, 1% CO2 and 1 ppm C2H6 cools the planet from roughly 290 K without the haze to below freezing with the haze. Finally, we investigate the impact of host star spectral type on haze formation, comparing the hazes generated around a solar-type star to those generated at an Earth analog planet around the M dwarf AD Leo. Our results indicate hazes around M dwarfs for the same initial atmospheric composition may be thinner due to decreased UV photolysis of methane and other hydrocarbons needed for haze formation. Earthlike

  1. Qatar-2: A K Dwarf Orbited by a Transiting Hot Jupiter and a Longer-Period Massive Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryan, Marta; Alsubai, K. A.; Latham, D. W.; Quinn, S. N.; Collier Cameron, A.; Carter, J. A.; Buchave, L. A.

    2012-01-01

    We report the discovery and initial characterization of Qatar-2b, a hot Jupiter transiting a K dwarf in a circular orbit with a short period, Pb = 1.34 days. Differential photometry and model fitting of transit data from both KeplerCam and LCOGT yielded light curve parameters Rp/Rs, a/Rs, u1, u2, and i that were optimized using the Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique. Radial velocity measurements from the Tillinghast Reflector Echelle Spectrograph of Qatar-2 over a span of 153 days provided a mass estimate for Qatar-2b, with velocity residuals from the orbital solution that pointed to the presence of a third body in the system. The light curve parameter a/Rs and spectroscopic values for effective temperature and metallicity were used in conjunction with stellar models to estimate the mass and radius of Qatar-2, leading to a mass and radius for Qatar-2b of MP = 2.54 MJ and RP = 1.14 RJ, respectively. Next we used the Systemic Console to explore possible orbital solutions for the outer companion, Qatar-2c. Plausible solutions have periods slightly less than a year and a mass of several MJ. However, further observations are needed to determine a reliable orbit for Qatar-2c. Qatar-2 is only the fourth example in the short but growing list of systems with a transiting hot Jupiter and an outer companion. This system architecture is in sharp contrast to that found by Kepler for multi-transiting systems, which are dominated by objects smaller than Neptune, usually with tightly spaced orbits that must be nearly coplanar.

  2. Orbital

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanson, Robert M.

    2003-06-01

    ORBITAL requires the following software, which is available for free download from the Internet: Netscape Navigator, version 4.75 or higher, or Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 5.0 or higher; Chime Plug-in, version compatible with your OS and browser (available from MDL).

  3. Simulated JWST/NIRISS Spectroscopy of Anticipated TESS Planets and Selected Super-Earths Discovered from K2 and Ground-Based Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louie, Dana; Albert, Loic; Deming, Drake

    2017-01-01

    The 2018 launch of James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), coupled with the 2017 launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), heralds a new era in Exoplanet Science, with TESS projected to detect over one thousand transiting sub-Neptune-sized planets (Ricker et al, 2014), and JWST offering unprecedented spectroscopic capabilities. Sullivan et al (2015) used Monte Carlo simulations to predict the properties of the planets that TESS is likely to detect, and published a catalog of 962 simulated TESS planets. Prior to TESS launch, the re-scoped Kepler K2 mission and ground-based surveys such as MEarth continue to seek nearby Earth-like exoplanets orbiting M-dwarf host stars. The exoplanet community will undoubtedly employ JWST for atmospheric characterization follow-up studies of promising exoplanets, but the targeted planets for these studies must be chosen wisely to maximize JWST science return. The goal of this project is to estimate the capabilities of JWST’s Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS)—operating with the GR700XD grism in Single Object Slitless Spectrography (SOSS) mode—during observations of exoplanets transiting their host stars. We compare results obtained for the simulated TESS planets, confirmed K2-discovered super-Earths, and exoplanets discovered using ground-based surveys. By determining the target planet characteristics that result in the most favorable JWST observing conditions, we can optimize the choice of target planets in future JWST follow-on atmospheric characterization studies.

  4. The effects of circumstellar gas on terrestrial planet formation: Theory and observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandell, Avram M.

    the remaining planets would be located in the Habitable Zone, suggesting that planetary systems with close-in giant planets are viable targets for searches for Earth-like habitable planets around other stars. I then present more realistic dynamical simulations of the effects of a migrating giant planet on a disk of protoplanetary material embedded in a gaseous disk, and the subsequent post-scattering evolution of the planetary system. I numerically investigate the dynamics of several types of post-migration planetary systems over 200 million years: a model with a single migrating giant planet, a model with one migrating and one nonmigrating giant planet, and a model excluding the effects of the gas disk. Material that is shepherded in front of the migrating giant planet by moving mean motion resonances accretes into "hot Earths", but survival of these bodies is strongly dependent on dynamical damping. Furthermore, a significant amount of material scattered outward by the giant planet survives in highly excited orbits; the orbits of these scattered bodies are then damped by gas drag and dynamical friction over the remaining accretion time. In all simulations Earth-mass planets accrete on approximately 100 Myr timescales, often with orbits in the Habitable Zone. These planets range in mass and water content, with both quantities increasing with the presence of a gas disk and decreasing with the presence of an outer giant planet. I use scaling arguments and previous results to derive a simple recipe that constrains which giant planet systems are able to form and harbor Earth-like planets in the Habitable Zone, demonstrating that roughly one third of the known planetary systems are potentially habitable. Finally, I present results from a search for new molecular tracers of warm gas in circumstellar disks using the NIRSPEC instrument on the Keck II telescope. I have detected emission from multiple ro-vibrational transitions in the v = 1--0 band of hydroxyl (OH) located in

  5. The planet Mercury (1971)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

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

  6. Planet Formation - Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2005-01-01

    Modern theories of star and planet formation are based upon observations of planets and smaller bodies within our own Solar System, exoplanets &round normal stars and of young stars and their environments. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth as do terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. These models predict that rocky planets should form in orbit about most single stars. It is uncertain whether or not gas giant planet formation is common, because most protoplanetary disks may dissipate before solid planetary cores can grow large enough to gravitationally trap substantial quantities of gas. A potential hazard to planetary systems is radial decay of planetary orbits resulting from interactions with material within the disk. Planets more massive than Earth have the potential to decay the fastest, and may be able to sweep up smaller planets in their path.

  7. A companion on the planet/brown dwarf mass boundary on a wide orbit discovered by gravitational microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poleski, R.; Udalski, A.; Bond, I. A.; Beaulieu, J. P.; Clanton, C.; Gaudi, S.; Szymański, M. K.; Soszyński, I.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Kozłowski, Szymon; Skowron, J.; Wyrzykowski, Ł.; Ulaczyk, K.; Bennett, D. P.; Sumi, T.; Suzuki, D.; Rattenbury, N. J.; Koshimoto, N.; Abe, F.; Asakura, Y.; Barry, R. K.; Bhattacharya, A.; Donachie, M.; Evans, P.; Fukui, A.; Hirao, Y.; Itow, Y.; Li, M. C. A.; Ling, C. H.; Masuda, K.; Matsubara, Y.; Muraki, Y.; Nagakane, M.; Ohnishi, K.; Ranc, C.; Saito, To.; Sharan, A.; Sullivan, D. J.; Tristram, P. J.; Yamada, T.; Yamada, T.; Yonehara, A.; Batista, V.; Marquette, J. B.

    2017-08-01

    We present the discovery of a substellar companion to the primary host lens in the microlensing event MOA-2012-BLG-006. The companion-to-host mass ratio is 0.016, corresponding to a companion mass of ≈8 MJup(M∗/ 0.5 M⊙). Thus, the companion is either a high-mass giant planet or a low-mass brown dwarf, depending on the mass of the primary M∗. The companion signal was separated from the peak of the primary event by a time that was as much as four times longer than the event timescale. We therefore infer a relatively large projected separation of the companion from its host of ≈10 au(M∗/ 0.5 M⊙)1 / 2 for a wide range (3-7 kpc) of host star distances from the Earth. We also challenge a previous claim of a planetary companion to the lens star in microlensing event OGLE-2002-BLG-045.

  8. The Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, L. J.; Seager, S.

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Particle-in-cell simulations of Earth-like magnetosphere during a magnetic field reversal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbosa, M. V. G.; Alves, M. V.; Vieira, L. E. A.; Schmitz, R. G.

    2017-12-01

    The geologic record shows that hundreds of pole reversals have occurred throughout Earth's history. The mean interval between the poles reversals is roughly 200 to 300 thousand years and the last reversal occurred around 780 thousand years ago. Pole reversal is a slow process, during which the strength of the magnetic field decreases, become more complex, with the appearance of more than two poles for some time and then the field strength increases, changing polarity. Along the process, the magnetic field configuration changes, leaving the Earth-like planet vulnerable to the harmful effects of the Sun. Understanding what happens with the magnetosphere during these pole reversals is an open topic of investigation. Only recently PIC codes are used to modeling magnetospheres. Here we use the particle code iPIC3D [Markidis et al, Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, 2010] to simulate an Earth-like magnetosphere at three different times along the pole reversal process. The code was modified, so the Earth-like magnetic field is generated using an expansion in spherical harmonics with the Gauss coefficients given by a MHD simulation of the Earth's core [Glatzmaier et al, Nature, 1995; 1999; private communication to L.E.A.V.]. Simulations show the qualitative behavior of the magnetosphere, such as the current structures. Only the planet magnetic field was changed in the runs. The solar wind is the same for all runs. Preliminary results show the formation of the Chapman-Ferraro current in the front of the magnetosphere in all the cases. Run for the middle of the reversal process, the low intensity magnetic field and its asymmetrical configuration the current structure changes and the presence of multiple poles can be observed. In all simulations, a structure similar to the radiation belts was found. Simulations of more severe solar wind conditions are necessary to determine the real impact of the reversal in the magnetosphere.

  10. Ultraviolet Spectral Comparison of "Quiescent" M-dwarf Flares with Solar and "Active" M-dwarf Flares and the Implications for an Earth-like Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loyd, R. O. Parke; France, Kevin; Youngblood, Allison

    2015-08-01

    All flares are not created equal. In particular, flares on low-mass stars are notable for their diversity, even between events on the same star. To better characterize these differences and the range of flare morphologies possible on low-mass stars, we analyzed a sample of such flares in detail using temporally resolved UV spectroscopy from the growing body of MUSCLES Treasury Survey data. Specifically, we used the data to analyze the response of several UV emission lines (e.g. C II, Si III, Si IV) and the UV continuum following each impulsive event. From this analysis, we present a qualitative picture of energy deposition and propagation in the stellar atmosphere during a few representative events. These data also permitted a spectral comparison with flares typical of the Sun, and we describe the most prominent differences that emerged from this comparison. Additionally, by including flares from all the observed MUSCLES stars, we create an energy-frequency plot for flares on “quiescent” M-dwarfs and compare it to that of the Sun and of well-studied “active” M-dwarfs such as AD Leo. Flares like those we detected and analyzed can strip some atmosphere from closely orbiting planets, adversely affecting the long-term habitability of planets that might have initially supported liquid surface water. To gauge the amplitude of this effect, we used the flare data to make an empirically driven estimate of how much mass each representative flare might remove from the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet.

  11. Planet formation: constraints from transiting extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillot, T.; Santos, N.; Pont, F.; Iro, N.; Melo, C.; Ribas, I.

    Ten extrasolar planets with masses between 105 and 430M⊕ are known to transit their star. The knowledge of their mass and radius allows an estimate of their composition, but uncertainties on equations of state, opacities and possible missing energy sources imply that only inaccurate constraints can be derived when considering each planet separately. This is illustrated by HD209458b and XO-1b, two planets that appear to be larger than models would predict. Using a relatively simple evolution model, we show that the radius anomaly, i.e. the difference between the measured and theoretically calculated radii, is anticorrelated with the metallicity of the parent star. This implies that the present size, structure and composition of these planets is largely determined by the initial metallicity of the protoplanetary disk, and not, or to a lesser extent, by other processes such as the differences in the planets' orbital evolutions, tides due to finite eccentricities/inclinations and planet evaporation. Using evolution models including the presence of a core and parametrized missing physics, we show that all nine planets belong to a same ensemble characterized by a mass of heavy elements MZ that is a steep function of the stellar metallicity: from ˜ 10 M⊕ around a solar composition star, to ˜ 100 M⊕ for twice the solar metallicity. Together with the observed lack of giant planets in close orbits around metal-poor stars, these results imply that heavy elements play a key role in the formation of close-in giant planets. The large values of MZ and of the planet enrichments for metal-rich stars shows the need for alternative theories of planet formation including migration and subsequent collection of planetesimals.

  12. Seeing, touching and smelling the extraordinarily Earth-like world of Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-01-01

    , these are rock-like solid at Titan's temperatures. Titan's soil appears to consist at least in part of precipitated deposits of the organic haze that shrouds the planet. This dark material settles out of the atmosphere. When washed off high elevations by methane rain, it concentrates at the bottom of the drainage channels and riverbeds contributing to the dark areas seen in DISR images. New, stunning evidence based on finding atmospheric argon 40 indicates that Titan has experienced volcanic activity generating not lava, as on Earth, but water ice and ammonia. Thus, while many of Earth's familiar geophysical processes occur on Titan, the chemistry involved is quite different. Instead of liquid water, Titan has liquid methane. Instead of silicate rocks, Titan has frozen water ice. Instead of dirt, Titan has hydrocarbon particles settling out of the atmosphere, and instead of lava, Titanian volcanoes spew very cold ice. Titan is an extraordinary world having Earth-like geophysical processes operating on exotic materials in very alien conditions. "We are really extremely excited about these results. The scientists have worked tirelessly for the whole week because the data they have received from Huygens are so thrilling. This is only the beginning, these data will live for many years to come and they will keep the scientists very very busy", said Jean-Pierre Lebreton, ESA's Huygens Project Scientist and Mission manager. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperation between NASA, ESA and ASI, the Italian space agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, is managing the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington DC. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter while ESA operated the Huygens atmospheric probe.

  13. The fate of scattered planets

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Discovery of Temperate Earth-Sized Planets Transiting a Nearby Ultracool Dwarf Star

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jehin, Emmanuel; Gillon, Michael; Lederer, Susan M.; Delrez, Laetitia; De Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Van Grootel, Valerie; Burgasser, Adam; Triaud, Amaury; Demory, Brice-Olivier; hide

    2016-01-01

    We report the discovery of three short-period Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star using data collected by the Liège TRAPPIST telescope, located in la Silla (Chile). TRAPPIST-1 is an isolated M8.0+/-0.5-type dwarf star at a distance of 12.0+/-0.4 parsecs as measured by its trigonometric parallax, with an age constrained to be > 500 Myr, and with a luminosity, mass, and radius of 0.05%, 8% and 11.5% those of the Sun, respectively. The small size of the host star, only slightly larger than Jupiter, translates into Earth-like radii for the three discovered planets, as deduced from their transit depths. The inner two planets receive four and two times the irradiation of Earth, respectively, placing them close to the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star. Several orbits remain possible for the third planet based on our current data. The infrared brightness of the host star combined with its Jupiter-like size offer the possibility of thoroughly characterizing the components of this nearby planetary system.

  15. Lighting Automation Flying an Earthlike Habitat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, Toni A.; Kolomenski, Andrei

    2017-01-01

    Currently, spacecraft lighting systems are not demonstrating innovations in automation due to perceived costs in designing circuitry for the communication and automation of lights. The majority of spacecraft lighting systems employ lamps or zone specific manual switches and dimmers. This type of 'hardwired' solution does not easily convert to automation. With advances in solid state lighting, the potential to enhance a spacecraft habitat is lost if the communication and automation problem is not tackled. If we are to build long duration environments, which provide earth-like habitats, minimize crew time, and optimize spacecraft power reserves, innovation in lighting automation is a must. This project researched the use of the DMX512 communication protocol originally developed for high channel count lighting systems. DMX512 is an internationally governed, industry-accepted, lighting communication protocol with wide industry support. The lighting industry markets a wealth of hardware and software that utilizes DMX512, and there may be incentive to space certify the system. Our goal in this research is to enable the development of automated spacecraft habitats for long duration missions. To transform how spacecraft lighting environments are automated, our project conducted a variety of tests to determine a potential scope of capability. We investigated utilization and application of an industry accepted lighting control protocol, DMX512 by showcasing how the lighting system could help conserve power, assist with lighting countermeasures, and utilize spatial body tracking. We hope evaluation and the demonstrations we built will inspire other NASA engineers, architects and researchers to consider employing DMX512 "smart lighting" capabilities into their system architecture. By using DMX512 we will prove the 'wheel' does not need to be reinvented in terms of smart lighting and future spacecraft can use a standard lighting protocol to produce an effective, optimized and

  16. Lighting Automation - Flying an Earthlike Habitat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, Tori A. (Principal Investigator); Kolomenski, Andrei

    2017-01-01

    Currently, spacecraft lighting systems are not demonstrating innovations in automation due to perceived costs in designing circuitry for the communication and automation of lights. The majority of spacecraft lighting systems employ lamps or zone specific manual switches and dimmers. This type of 'hardwired' solution does not easily convert to automation. With advances in solid state lighting, the potential to enhance a spacecraft habitat is lost if the communication and automation problem is not tackled. If we are to build long duration environments, which provide earth-like habitats, minimize crew time, and optimize spacecraft power reserves, innovation in lighting automation is a must. This project researched the use of the DMX512 communication protocol originally developed for high channel count lighting systems. DMX512 is an internationally governed, industry-accepted, lighting communication protocol with wide industry support. The lighting industry markets a wealth of hardware and software that utilizes DMX512, and there may be incentive to space certify the system. Our goal in this research is to enable the development of automated spacecraft habitats for long duration missions. To transform how spacecraft lighting environments are automated, our project conducted a variety of tests to determine a potential scope of capability. We investigated utilization and application of an industry accepted lighting control protocol, DMX512 by showcasing how the lighting system could help conserve power, assist with lighting countermeasures, and utilize spatial body tracking. We hope evaluation and the demonstrations we built will inspire other NASA engineers, architects and researchers to consider employing DMX512 "smart lighting" capabilities into their system architecture. By using DMX512 we will prove the 'wheel' does not need to be reinvented in terms of smart lighting and future spacecraft can use a standard lighting protocol to produce an effective, optimized and

  17. 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.

  18. Habitable zone limits for dry planets.

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

  19. Planet X - Fact or fiction?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, John

    1988-01-01

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

  20. Spin-orbital Tidal Dynamics and Tidal Heating in the TRAPPIST-1 Multiplanet System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makarov, Valeri V.; Berghea, Ciprian T.; Efroimsky, Michael

    2018-04-01

    We perform numerical simulations of the TRAPPIST-1 system of seven exoplanets orbiting a nearby M dwarf, starting with a previously suggested stable configuration. The long-term stability of this configuration is confirmed, but the motion of planets is found to be chaotic. The eccentricity values are found to vary within finite ranges. The rates of tidal dissipation and tidal evolution of orbits are estimated, assuming an Earth-like rheology for the planets. We find that under this assumption, the planets b, d, and e were captured in the 3:2 or higher spin–orbit resonances during the initial spin-down, but slipped further down into the 1:1 resonance. Depending on its rheology, the innermost planet b may be captured in a stable pseudosynchronous rotation. Nonsynchronous rotation ensures higher levels of tidal dissipation and internal heating. The positive feedback between the viscosity and the dissipation rate—and the ensuing runaway heating—are terminated by a few self-regulation processes. When the temperature is high and the viscosity is low enough, the planet spontaneously leaves the 3:2 resonance. Further heating is stopped either by passing the peak dissipation or by the emergence of partial melt in the mantle. In the post-solidus state, the tidal dissipation is limited to the levels supported by the heat transfer efficiency. The tides on the host star are unlikely to have had a significant dynamical impact. The tides on the synchronized inner planets tend to reduce these planets’ orbital eccentricity, possibly contributing thereby to the system’s stability.

  1. Planet Formation and the Characteristics of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

    An overview of current theories of planetary growth, emphasizing the formation of extrasolar planets, is presented. Models of planet formation are based upon observations of the Solar System, extrasolar planets, and young stars and their environments. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but if they become massive enough before the protoplanetary disk dissipates, then they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas. These models predict that rocky planets should form in orbit about most single stars. It is uncertain whether or not gas giant planet formation is common, because most protoplanetary disks may dissipate before solid planetary cores can grow large enough to gravitationally trap substantial quantities of gas. A potential hazard to planetary systems is radial decay of planetary orbits resulting from interactions with material within the disk. Planets more massive than Earth have the potential to decay the fastest, and may be able to sweep up smaller planets in their path. The implications of the giant planets found in recent radial velocity searches for the abundances of habitable planets are discussed.

  2. On the orbits of low-mass companions to white dwarfs and the fates of the known exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordhaus, J.; Spiegel, D. S.

    2013-06-01

    The ultimate fates of binary companions to stars (including whether the companion survives and the final orbit of the binary) are of interest in light of an increasing number of recently discovered, low-mass companions to white dwarfs (WDs). In this Letter, we study the evolution of a two-body system wherein the orbit adjusts due to structural changes in the primary, dissipation of orbital energy via tides, and mass-loss during the giant phases; previous studies have not incorporated changes in the primary's spin. For companions ranging from Jupiter's mass to ˜0.3 M⊙ and primaries ranging from 1 to 3 M⊙, we determine the minimum initial semimajor axis required for the companion to avoid engulfment by the primary during post-main-sequence evolution, and highlight the implications for the ultimate survival of the known exoplanets. We present regions in secondary mass and orbital period space where an engulfed companion might be expected to survive the common envelope phase (CEP), and compare with known M dwarf+WD short-period binaries. Finally, we note that engulfed Earth-like planets cannot survive a CEP. Detection of a first-generation terrestrial planet in the WD habitable zone requires scattering from a several au orbit to a high-eccentricity orbit (with a periastron of ˜R⊙) from which it is damped into a circular orbit via tidal friction, possibly rendering it an uninhabitable, charred ember.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  4. The Chemistry of Planet Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oberg, Karin I.

    2017-01-01

    Exo-planets are common, and they span a large range of compositions. The origins of the observed diversity of planetary compositions is largely unconstrained, but must be linked to the planet formation physics and chemistry. Among planets that are Earth-like, a second question is how often such planets form hospitable to life. A fraction of exo-planets are observed to be ‘physically habitable’, i.e. of the right temperature and bulk composition to sustain a water-based prebiotic chemistry, but this does not automatically imply that they are rich in the building blocks of life, in organic molecules of different sizes and kinds, i.e. that they are chemically habitable. In this talk I will argue that characterizing the chemistry of protoplanetary disks, the formation sites of planets, is key to address both the origins of planetary bulk compositions and the likelihood of finding organic matter on planets. The most direct path to constrain the chemistry in disks is to directly observe it. In the age of ALMA it is for the first time possible to image the chemistry of planet formation, to determine locations of disk snowlines, and to map the distributions of different organic molecules. Recent ALMA highlights include constraints on CO snowline locations, the discovery of spectacular chemical ring systems, and first detections of more complex organic molecules. Observations can only provide chemical snapshots, however, and even ALMA is blind to the majority of the chemistry that shapes planet formation. To interpret observations and address the full chemical complexity in disks requires models, both toy models and astrochemical simulations. These models in turn must be informed by laboratory experiments, some of which will be shown in this talk. It is thus only when we combine observational, theoretical and experimental constraints that we can hope to characterize the chemistry of disks, and further, the chemical compositions of nascent planets.

  5. Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer: 2007-2008 Progress and Plans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lawson, P. R.; Lay, O. P.; Martin, S. R.; Peters, R. D.; Gappinger, R. O.; Ksendzov, A.; Scharf, D. P.; Booth, A. J.; Beichman, C. A.; Serabyn, E.; hide

    2008-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of technology development for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer (TPF-I). TPF-I is a mid-infrared space interferometer being designed with the capability of detecting Earth-like planets in the habitable zones around nearby stars. The overall technology roadmap is presented and progress with each of the testbeds is summarized. The current interferometer architecture, design trades, and the viability of possible reduced-scope mission concepts are also presented.

  6. The Effect of Orbital Configuration on the Possible Climates and Habitability of Kepler-62f.

    PubMed

    Shields, Aomawa L; Barnes, Rory; Agol, Eric; Charnay, Benjamin; Bitz, Cecilia; Meadows, Victoria S

    2016-06-01

    As lower-mass stars often host multiple rocky planets, gravitational interactions among planets can have significant effects on climate and habitability over long timescales. Here we explore a specific case, Kepler-62f (Borucki et al., 2013 ), a potentially habitable planet in a five-planet system with a K2V host star. N-body integrations reveal the stable range of initial eccentricities for Kepler-62f is 0.00 ≤ e ≤ 0.32, absent the effect of additional, undetected planets. We simulate the tidal evolution of Kepler-62f in this range and find that, for certain assumptions, the planet can be locked in a synchronous rotation state. Simulations using the 3-D Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) Generic global climate model (GCM) indicate that the surface habitability of this planet is sensitive to orbital configuration. With 3 bar of CO2 in its atmosphere, we find that Kepler-62f would only be warm enough for surface liquid water at the upper limit of this eccentricity range, providing it has a high planetary obliquity (between 60° and 90°). A climate similar to that of modern-day Earth is possible for the entire range of stable eccentricities if atmospheric CO2 is increased to 5 bar levels. In a low-CO2 case (Earth-like levels), simulations with version 4 of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM4) GCM and LMD Generic GCM indicate that increases in planetary obliquity and orbital eccentricity coupled with an orbital configuration that places the summer solstice at or near pericenter permit regions of the planet with above-freezing surface temperatures. This may melt ice sheets formed during colder seasons. If Kepler-62f is synchronously rotating and has an ocean, CO2 levels above 3 bar would be required to distribute enough heat to the nightside of the planet to avoid atmospheric freeze-out and permit a large enough region of open water at the planet's substellar point to remain stable. Overall, we find multiple plausible combinations of

  7. Theories of Giant Planet Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    An overview of current theories of planetary formation, with emphasis on giant planets, is presented. The most detailed models are based upon observations of our own Solar System and of young stars and their environments. While these models predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, the frequency of formation of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth as do terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. Most models for extrasolar giant planets suggest that they formed as did Jupiter and Saturn (in nearly circular orbits, far enough from the star that ice could), and subsequently migrated to their current positions, although some models suggest in situ formation.

  8. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-03

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

  9. Atmospheric dynamics and habitability range in Earth-like aquaplanets obliquity simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowajewski, Priscilla; Rojas, M.; Rojo, P.; Kimeswenger, S.

    2018-05-01

    We present the evolution of the atmospheric variables that affect planetary climate by increasing the obliquity by using a general circulation model (PlaSim) coupled to a slab ocean with mixed layer flux correction. We increase the obliquity between 30° and 90° in 16 aquaplanets with liquid sea surface and perform the simulation allowing the sea ice cover formation to be a consequence of its atmospheric dynamics. Insolation is maintained constant in each experiment, but changing the obliquity affects the radiation budget and the large scale circulation. Earth-like atmospheric dynamics is observed for planets with obliquity under 54°. Above this value, the latitudinal temperature gradient is reversed giving place to a new regime of jet streams, affecting the shape of Hadley and Ferrel cells and changing the position of the InterTropical Convergence Zone. As humidity and high temperatures determine Earth's habitability, we introduce the wet bulb temperature as an atmospheric index of habitability for Earth-like aquaplanets with above freezing temperatures. The aquaplanets are habitable all year round at all latitudes for values under 54°; above this value habitability decreases toward the poles due to high temperatures.

  10. 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

  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 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

  13. Iceball Planet Artist's Concept

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-04-26

    This artist's concept shows OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb, a planet discovered through a technique called microlensing. The planet was reported in a 2017 study in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. Study authors used the Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet), operated by the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, to track the microlensing event and find the planet. Although OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb is about the same mass as Earth, and the same distance from its host star as our planet is from our sun, the similarities may end there. This planet is nearly 13,000 light-years away and orbits a star so small, scientists aren't sure if it's a star at all. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21430

  14. Light from Red-Hot Planet

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-01-28

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

  15. Development of a model to compute the extension of life supporting zones for Earth-like exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Neubauer, David; Vrtala, Aron; Leitner, Johannes J; Firneis, Maria G; Hitzenberger, Regina

    2011-12-01

    A radiative convective model to calculate the width and the location of the life supporting zone (LSZ) for different, alternative solvents (i.e. other than water) is presented. This model can be applied to the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets in the solar system as well as (hypothetical, Earth-like) terrestrial exoplanets. Cloud droplet formation and growth are investigated using a cloud parcel model. Clouds can be incorporated into the radiative transfer calculations. Test runs for Earth, Mars and Titan show a good agreement of model results with observations.

  16. Moon or Planet? The Exomoon Hunt Continues Artist Concept

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-04-10

    Researchers have detected the first exomoon candidate -- a moon orbiting a planet that lies outside our solar system. Using a technique called microlensing, they observed what could be either a moon and a planet -- or a planet and a star.

  17. Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  18. The Effect of Orbital Configuration on the Possible Climates and Habitability of Kepler-62f

    PubMed Central

    Barnes, Rory; Agol, Eric; Charnay, Benjamin; Bitz, Cecilia; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract As lower-mass stars often host multiple rocky planets, gravitational interactions among planets can have significant effects on climate and habitability over long timescales. Here we explore a specific case, Kepler-62f (Borucki et al., 2013), a potentially habitable planet in a five-planet system with a K2V host star. N-body integrations reveal the stable range of initial eccentricities for Kepler-62f is 0.00 ≤ e ≤ 0.32, absent the effect of additional, undetected planets. We simulate the tidal evolution of Kepler-62f in this range and find that, for certain assumptions, the planet can be locked in a synchronous rotation state. Simulations using the 3-D Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD) Generic global climate model (GCM) indicate that the surface habitability of this planet is sensitive to orbital configuration. With 3 bar of CO2 in its atmosphere, we find that Kepler-62f would only be warm enough for surface liquid water at the upper limit of this eccentricity range, providing it has a high planetary obliquity (between 60° and 90°). A climate similar to that of modern-day Earth is possible for the entire range of stable eccentricities if atmospheric CO2 is increased to 5 bar levels. In a low-CO2 case (Earth-like levels), simulations with version 4 of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM4) GCM and LMD Generic GCM indicate that increases in planetary obliquity and orbital eccentricity coupled with an orbital configuration that places the summer solstice at or near pericenter permit regions of the planet with above-freezing surface temperatures. This may melt ice sheets formed during colder seasons. If Kepler-62f is synchronously rotating and has an ocean, CO2 levels above 3 bar would be required to distribute enough heat to the nightside of the planet to avoid atmospheric freeze-out and permit a large enough region of open water at the planet's substellar point to remain stable. Overall, we find multiple plausible combinations

  19. Constraints on Climate and Habitability for Earth-like Exoplanets Determined from a General Circulation Model

    SciTech Connect

    Wolf, Eric T.; Toon, Owen B.; Shields, Aomawa L.

    Conventional definitions of habitability require abundant liquid surface water to exist continuously over geologic timescales. Water in each of its thermodynamic phases interacts with solar and thermal radiation and is the cause for strong climatic feedbacks. Thus, assessments of the habitable zone require models to include a complete treatment of the hydrological cycle over geologic time. Here, we use the Community Atmosphere Model from the National Center for Atmospheric Research to study the evolution of climate for an Earth-like planet at constant CO{sub 2}, under a wide range of stellar fluxes from F-, G-, and K-dwarf main sequence stars. Aroundmore » each star we find four stable climate states defined by mutually exclusive global mean surface temperatures ( T {sub s}); snowball ( T {sub s} ≤ 235 K), waterbelt (235 K ≤ T {sub s} ≤ 250 K), temperate (275 K ≤ T {sub s} ≤ 315 K), and moist greenhouse ( T {sub s} ≥ 330 K). Each is separated by abrupt climatic transitions. Waterbelt, temperate, and cooler moist greenhouse climates can maintain open-ocean against both sea ice albedo and hydrogen escape processes respectively, and thus constitute habitable worlds. We consider the warmest possible habitable planet as having T {sub s} ∼ 355 K, at which point diffusion limited water-loss could remove an Earth ocean in ∼1 Gyr. Without long timescale regulation of non-condensable greenhouse species at Earth-like temperatures and pressures, such as CO{sub 2}, habitability can be maintained for an upper limit of ∼2.2, ∼2.4, and ∼4.7 Gyr around F-, G-, and K-dwarf stars respectively, due to main sequence brightening.« less

  20. Constraints on Climate and Habitability for Earth-like Exoplanets Determined from a General Circulation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolf, Eric T.; Shields, Aomawa L.; Kopparapu, Ravi K.; Haqq-Misra, Jacob; Toon, Owen B.

    2017-03-01

    Conventional definitions of habitability require abundant liquid surface water to exist continuously over geologic timescales. Water in each of its thermodynamic phases interacts with solar and thermal radiation and is the cause for strong climatic feedbacks. Thus, assessments of the habitable zone require models to include a complete treatment of the hydrological cycle over geologic time. Here, we use the Community Atmosphere Model from the National Center for Atmospheric Research to study the evolution of climate for an Earth-like planet at constant CO2, under a wide range of stellar fluxes from F-, G-, and K-dwarf main sequence stars. Around each star we find four stable climate states defined by mutually exclusive global mean surface temperatures (T s); snowball (T s ≤ 235 K), waterbelt (235 K ≤ T s ≤ 250 K), temperate (275 K ≤ T s ≤ 315 K), and moist greenhouse (T s ≥ 330 K). Each is separated by abrupt climatic transitions. Waterbelt, temperate, and cooler moist greenhouse climates can maintain open-ocean against both sea ice albedo and hydrogen escape processes respectively, and thus constitute habitable worlds. We consider the warmest possible habitable planet as having T s ˜ 355 K, at which point diffusion limited water-loss could remove an Earth ocean in ˜1 Gyr. Without long timescale regulation of non-condensable greenhouse species at Earth-like temperatures and pressures, such as CO2, habitability can be maintained for an upper limit of ˜2.2, ˜2.4, and ˜4.7 Gyr around F-, G-, and K-dwarf stars respectively, due to main sequence brightening.

  1. Evolution of Earth Like Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monroy-Rodríguez, M. A.; Vega, K. M.

    2017-07-01

    In order to study and explain the evolution of our own planet we have done a review of works related to the evolution of Earth-like planets. From the stage of proto-planet to the loss of its atmosphere. The planetary formation from the gas and dust of the proto-planetary disk, considering the accretion by the process of migration, implies that the material on the proto-planet is very mixed. The newborn planet is hot and compact, it begins its process of stratification by gravity separation forming a super dense nucleus, an intermediate layer of convective mantle and an upper mantle that is less dense, with material that emerges from zones at very high pressure The surface with low pressure, in this process the planet expands and cools. This process also releases gas to the surface, forming the atmosphere, with the gas gravitationally bounded. The most important thing for the life of the planet is the layer of convective mantle, which produces the magnetic field, when it stops the magnetic field disappears, as well as the rings of van allen and the solar wind evaporates the atmosphere, accelerating the evolution and cooling of the planet. In a natural cycle of cataclysms and mass extinctions, the solar system crosses the galactic disk every 30 million years or so, the increase in the meteorite fall triggers the volcanic activity and the increase in the release of CO2 into the atmosphere reaching critical levels (4000 billion tons) leads us to an extinction by overheating that last 100 000 years, the time it takes CO2 to sediment to the ocean floor. Human activity will lead us to reach critical levels of CO2 in approximately 300 years.

  2. Measurements of 100 'Critical' Minor Planets from NEAT Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deshmukh, Shishir

    2017-07-01

    Uncertainties associated with the orbits of minor planets can be reduced by analyzing archival imagery as attempted in the current investigation. Archival images from NEAT and NASA’s Skymorph database were analyzed using standard software to identify the minor planets listed in the critical list. Findings of each minor planet were submitted to Minor Planet Center (MPC) to offer better orbital solutions.

  3. Habitability of the Paleo-Earth as a Model for Earth-like Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendez, A.

    2013-05-01

    The Phanerozoic is the current eon of Earth's geological history, from 542 million years ago to today, when large and complex life started to populate the ocean and land areas. Our planet became more hospitable and life took the opportunity to evolve and spread globally, especially on land. This had an impact on surface and atmospheric bio-signatures. Future observations of exoplanets might be able to detect similar changes on nearby exoplanets. Therefore, the application of the evolution of terrestrial habitability might help to determine the potential for life on Earth-like exoplanets. Here we evaluated the habitability of Earth during the Phanerozoic as a model for comparison with future observations of Earth-like exoplanets. Vegetation was used as a global indicator of habitability because as a primary producer it provides the energy for many other simple to complex life forms in the trophic scale. Our first proxy for habitability was the Relative Vegetation Density (RVD) derived from our vegetation datasets of the Visible Paleo-Earth. The RVD is a measure similar to vegetation indices, such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), that gives a general idea of the global area-weighted fraction of vegetation cover. Our second habitability proxy was the Standard Primary Habitability (SPH) derived from mean global surface temperatures and relative humidity. The RVD is a more direct measure of the habitability of a planet but the SPH is easier to measure by remote sensors. Our analysis shows that terrestrial habitability has been greater than today for most of the Phanerozoic as demonstrated by both the RVD and SPH, with the Devonian and Cretaceous particularly more habitable. The RVD and SPH are generally correlated except around the Permian-Triassic, matching the P-Tr extinction. There has been a marked decrease in terrestrial habitability during the last 100 million years, even superseding the K-Pg extinction. Additional metrics were used to examine

  4. Exo-Milankovitch Cycles. I. Orbits and Rotation States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deitrick, Russell; Barnes, Rory; Quinn, Thomas R.; Armstrong, John; Charnay, Benjamin; Wilhelm, Caitlyn

    2018-02-01

    The obliquity of the Earth, which controls our seasons, varies by only ∼2.°5 over ∼40,000 years, and its eccentricity varies by only ∼0.05 over 100,000 years. Nonetheless, these small variations influence Earth’s ice ages. For exoplanets, however, variations can be significantly larger. Previous studies of the habitability of moonless Earth-like exoplanets have found that high obliquities, high eccentricities, and dynamical variations can extend the outer edge of the habitable zone by preventing runaway glaciation (snowball states). We expand upon these studies by exploring the orbital dynamics with a semianalytic model that allows us to map broad regions of parameter space. We find that, in general, the largest drivers of obliquity variations are secular spin–orbit resonances. We show how the obliquity varies in several test cases, including Kepler-62 f, across a wide range of orbital and spin parameters. These obliquity variations, alongside orbital variations, will have a dramatic impact on the climates of such planets.

  5. Survival of extrasolar giant planet moons in planet-planet scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    CIAN HONG, YU; Lunine, Jonathan; Nicholson, Phillip; Raymond, Sean

    2015-12-01

    Planet-planet scattering is the best candidate mechanism for explaining the eccentricity distribution of exoplanets. Here we study the survival and dynamics of exomoons under strong perturbations during giant planet scattering. During close encounters, planets and moons exchange orbital angular momentum and energy. The most common outcomes are the destruction of moons by ejection from the system, collision with the planets and the star, and scattering of moons onto perturbed but still planet-bound orbits. A small percentage of interesting moons can remain bound to ejected (free-floating) planets or be captured by a different planet. Moons' survival rate is correlated with planet observables such as mass, semi-major axis, eccentricity and inclination, as well as the close encounter distance and the number of close encounters. In addition, moons' survival rate and dynamical outcomes are predetermined by the moons' initial semi-major axes. The survival rate drops quickly as moons' distances increase, but simulations predict a good chance of survival for the Galilean moons. Moons with different dynamical outcomes occupy different regions of orbital parameter space, which may enable the study of moons' past evolution. Potential effects of planet obliquity evolution caused by close encounters on the satellites’ stability and dynamics will be reported, as well as detailed and systematic studies of individual close encounter events.

  6. The Anglo-Australian Planet Search. XXII. Two New Multi-planet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Horner, J.; Salter, G. S.

    2012-07-10

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

  8. Phenomenological constraints on accretion of non-annihilating dark matter on the PSR B1257+12 pulsar from orbital dynamics of its planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iorio, Lorenzo

    2010-11-01

    We analytically compute the effects that a pulsar's mass variation, whatever its physical origin may be, has on the standard Keplerian changes ΔτKep in the times of arrival of its pulses due to potential test particle companions, and on their orbital dynamics over long time scales. We apply our results to the planetary system of the PSR B1257+12 pulsar, located in the Galaxy at ~ 600 pc from us, to phenomenologically constrain a putative accretion of non-annihilating dark matter on the hosting neutron star. By comparing our prediction for Δτdot M/M to the root-mean-square accuracy of the timing residuals δ(Δτ) = 3.0μs we find for the mass variation rate dot M/M <= 1.3 × 10-6 yr-1. Actually, considerations related to the pulsar's lifetime, of the order of Δt ~ 0.8 Gyr, and to the currently accepted picture of the formation of its planets point toward a tighter constrain on the mass accretion rate, i.e. dot M/M <= 10-9 yr-1. Otherwise, the planets would have formed at about 300-700 au from PSR B1257+12, i.e. too far with respect to the expected extension of 1-2 au of the part of the protoplanetary disk containing the solid constituents from which they likely originated. In fact, an even smaller upper limit, dot M/M <= 10-11 yr-1, would likely be more realistic to avoid certain technical inconsistencies with the quality of the fit of the timing data, performed by keeping the standard value M = 1.4Modot fixed for the neutron star's mass. Anyway, the entire pulsar data set should be re-processed by explicitly modeling the mass variation rate and solving for it. Model-dependent theoretical predictions for the pulsar's mass accretion, in the framework of the mirror matter scenario, yield a mass increment rate of about 10-16 yr-1 for a value of the density of mirror matter ρdm as large as 10-17 g cm-3 = 5.6 × 106 GeV cm-3. Such a rate corresponds to a fractional mass variation of ΔM/M ~ 10-7 over the pulsar's lifetime. It would imply a formation of a black

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Size of Kepler Planet Candidates

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-01-07

    Kepler data has increased by 20 percent and now totals 2,740 potential planets orbiting 2,036 stars; dramatic increases are seen in the number of Earth-size and super Earth-size candidates discovered.

  11. Design and Performance of the Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Mary L.; Shaklan, Stuart; Lisman, P. Doulas; Ho, Timothy; Mouroulis, Pantazis; Basinger, Scott; Ledeboer, Bill; Kwack, Eug; Kissil, Andy; Mosier, Gary; hide

    2004-01-01

    Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph, one of two potential architectures, is described. The telescope is designed to make a visible wavelength survey of the habitable zones of at least thirty stars in search of earth-like planets. The preliminary system requirements, optical parameters, mechanical and thermal design, operations scenario and predicted performance is presented. The 6-meter aperture telescope has a monolithic primary mirror, which along with the secondary tower, are being designed to meet the stringent optical tolerances of the planet-finding mission. Performance predictions include dynamic and thermal finite element analysis of the telescope optics and structure, which are used to make predictions of the optical performance of the system.

  12. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. IV. CoRoT-Exo-4b: a transiting planet in a 9.2 day synchronous orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aigrain, S.; Collier Cameron, A.; Ollivier, M.; Pont, F.; Jorda, L.; Almenara, J. M.; Alonso, R.; Barge, P.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Deeg, H.; de La Reza, R.; Deleuil, M.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.; Fridlund, M.; Gondoin, P.; Gillon, M.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Lammer, H.; Lanza, A. F.; Léger, A.; Llebaria, A.; Magain, P.; Mazeh, T.; Moutou, C.; Paetzold, M.; Pinte, C.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Rouan, D.; Schneider, J.; Wuchter, G.; Zucker, S.

    2008-09-01

    CoRoT, the first space-based transit search, provides ultra-high-precision light curves with continuous time-sampling over periods of up to 5 months. This allows the detection of transiting planets with relatively long periods, and the simultaneous study of the host star's photometric variability. In this Letter, we report the discovery of the transiting giant planet CoRoT-Exo-4b and use the CoRoT light curve to perform a detailed analysis of the transit and determine the stellar rotation period. The CoRoT light curve was pre-processed to remove outliers and correct for orbital residuals and artefacts due to hot pixels on the detector. After removing stellar variability about each transit, the transit light curve was analysed to determine the transit parameters. A discrete autocorrelation function method was used to derive the rotation period of the star from the out-of-transit light curve. We determine the periods of the planetary orbit and star's rotation of 9.20205 ± 0.00037 and 8.87 ± 1.12 days respectively, which is consistent with this being a synchronised system. We also derive the inclination, i = 90.00_-0.085+0.000 in degrees, the ratio of the orbital distance to the stellar radius, a/Rs = 17.36-0.25+0.05, and the planet-to-star radius ratio R_p/R_s=0.1047-0.0022+0.0041. We discuss briefly the coincidence between the orbital period of the planet and the stellar rotation period and its possible implications for the system's migration and star-planet interaction history. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27th 2006, has been developed and is operated by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA, Germany, and Spain. The first CoRoT data will be available to the public in February 2009 from the CoRoT archive: http://idoc-corot.ias.u-psud.fr/ Figures 1, 4 and 5 are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  13. Exploring Disks Around Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-07-01

    masses on the properties of the disks. Szulgyi specifically examines a range of planetary temperatures between 10,000 K and 1,000 K for the 1 MJ planet. Since the planet cools as it radiates away its formation heat, the different temperatures represent an evolutionary sequence over time.Predicted CharacteristicsSzulgyis work produced a number of intriguing observations, including the following:For the 1 MJ planet, a spherical circumplanetary envelope forms at high temperatures, flattening into a disk as the planet cools. Higher-mass planets form disks even at high temperatures.The disk has a steep temperature profile from inside to outside, and the whole disk is too hot for water to remain frozen. This suggests that satellites couldnt form in the disk earlier than 1 Myr after the planet birth. The outskirts of the disk cool first as the planet cools, indicating that satellites may eventually form in these outer parts and then migrate inward.The planets open gaps in the circumstellar disk as they orbit. As a planet radiates away its formation heat, the gap it opens becomes deeper and wider (though this is a small effect). For high-mass planets (5 MJ), the gap eccentricity increases, which creates a hostile environment for satellite formation.Szulgyi discusses a number of features of these disks that we can plan to search for in the future with our increasing telescope power including signatures in direct imaging and observations of their kinematics. The results from these simulations will help us both to detect these circumplanetary disks and to understand our observations when we do. These future observations will then allow us to learn about late-stage giant-planet formation as well as the formation of their satellites.CitationJ. Szulgyi 2017 ApJ 842 103. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa7515

  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. 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. Taking the Measure of the Universe : Precision Astrometry with SIM PlanetQuest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unwin, Stephen C.; Shao, Michael; Tanner, Angelle M.; Allen, Ronald J.; Beichman, Charles A.; Boboltz, David; Catanzarite, Joseph H.; Chaboyer, Brian C.; Ciardi, David R.; Edberg, Stephen J.; hide

    2008-01-01

    Precision astrometry at microarcsecond accuracy has application to a wide range of astrophysical problems. This paper is a study of the science questions that can be addressed using an instrument with flexible scheduling that delivers parallaxes at about 4 microarcsec (microns)as) on targets as faint as V = 20, and differential accuracy of 0.6 (microns)as on bright targets. The science topics are drawn primarily from the Team Key Projects, selected in 2000, for the Space Interferometry Mission PlanetQuest (SIM PlanetQuest). We use the capabilities of this mission to illustrate the importance of the next level of astrometric precision in modern astrophysics. SIM PlanetQuest is currently in the detailed design phase, having completed in 2005 all of the enabling technologies needed for the flight instrument. It will be the first space-based long baseline Michelson interferometer designed for precision astrometry. SIM will contribute strongly to many astronomical fields including stellar and galactic astrophysics, planetary systems around nearby stars, and the study of quasar and AGN nuclei. Using differential astrometry SIM will search for planets with masses as small as an Earth orbiting in the 'habitable zone' around the nearest stars, and could discover many dozen if Earth-like planets are common. It will characterize the multiple-planet systems that are now known to exist, and it will be able to search for terrestrial planets around all of the candidate target stars in the Terrestrial Planet Finder and Darwin mission lists. It will be capable of detecting planets around young stars, thereby providing insights into how planetary systems are born and how they evolve with time. Precision astrometry allows the measurement of accurate dynamical masses for stars in binary systems. SIM will observe significant numbers of very high- and low-mass stars, providing stellar masses to 1%, the accuracy needed to challenge physical models. Using precision proper motion

  17. 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.

  18. Earth-like sand fluxes on Mars.

    PubMed

    Bridges, N T; Ayoub, F; Avouac, J-P; Leprince, S; Lucas, A; Mattson, S

    2012-05-09

    Strong and sustained winds on Mars have been considered rare, on the basis of surface meteorology measurements and global circulation models, raising the question of whether the abundant dunes and evidence for wind erosion seen on the planet are a current process. Recent studies showed sand activity, but could not determine whether entire dunes were moving--implying large sand fluxes--or whether more localized and surficial changes had occurred. Here we present measurements of the migration rate of sand ripples and dune lee fronts at the Nili Patera dune field. We show that the dunes are near steady state, with their entire volumes composed of mobile sand. The dunes have unexpectedly high sand fluxes, similar, for example, to those in Victoria Valley, Antarctica, implying that rates of landscape modification on Mars and Earth are similar.

  19. The GAPS Programme with HARPS-N at TNG. XIII. The orbital obliquity of three close-in massive planets hosted by dwarf K-type stars: WASP-43, HAT-P-20 and Qatar-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, M.; Covino, E.; Desidera, S.; Mancini, L.; Nascimbeni, V.; Zanmar Sanchez, R.; Biazzo, K.; Lanza, A. F.; Leto, G.; Southworth, J.; Bonomo, A. S.; Suárez Mascareño, A.; Boccato, C.; Cosentino, R.; Claudi, R. U.; Gratton, R.; Maggio, A.; Micela, G.; Molinari, E.; Pagano, I.; Piotto, G.; Poretti, E.; Smareglia, R.; Sozzetti, A.; Affer, L.; Anderson, D. R.; Andreuzzi, G.; Benatti, S.; Bignamini, A.; Borsa, F.; Borsato, L.; Ciceri, S.; Damasso, M.; di Fabrizio, L.; Giacobbe, P.; Granata, V.; Harutyunyan, A.; Henning, T.; Malavolta, L.; Maldonado, J.; Martinez Fiorenzano, A.; Masiero, S.; Molaro, P.; Molinaro, M.; Pedani, M.; Rainer, M.; Scandariato, G.; Turner, O. D.

    2017-05-01

    Context. The orbital obliquity of planets with respect to the rotational axis of their host stars is a relevant parameter for the characterization of the global architecture of planetary systems and a key observational constraint to discriminate between different scenarios proposed to explain the existence of close-in giant planets. Aims: In the framework of the GAPS project, we conduct an observational programme aimed at determinating the orbital obliquity of known transiting exoplanets. The targets are selected to probe the obliquity against a wide range of stellar and planetary physical parameters. Methods: We exploit high-precision radial velocity (RV) measurements, delivered by the HARPS-N spectrograph at the 3.6 m Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, to measure the Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect in RV time-series bracketing planet transits, and to refine the orbital parameters determinations with out-of-transit RV data. We also analyse new transit light curves obtained with several 1-2 m class telescopes to better constrain the physical fundamental parameters of the planets and parent stars. Results: We report here on new transit spectroscopic observations for three very massive close-in giant planets: WASP-43 b, HAT-P-20 b and Qatar-2 b (Mp = 2.00, 7.22, 2.62 MJ; a = 0.015, 0.036, 0.022 AU, respectively) orbiting dwarf K-type stars with effective temperature well below 5000 K (Teff = 4500 ± 100, 4595 ± 45, 4640 ± 65 K respectively). These are the coolest stars (except for WASP-80) for which the RM effect has been observed so far. We find λ = 3.5 ± 6.8 deg for WASP-43 b and λ = -8.0 ± 6.9 deg for HAT-P-20 b, while for Qatar-2, our faintest target, the RM effect is only marginally detected, though our best-fit value λ = 15 ± 20 deg is in agreement with a previous determination. In combination with stellar rotational periods derived photometrically, we estimate the true spin-orbit angle, finding that WASP-43 b is aligned while the orbit of HAT-P-20 b

  20. Tidal dissipation in rotating low-mass stars and implications for the orbital evolution of close-in planets. I. From the PMS to the RGB at solar metallicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallet, F.; Bolmont, E.; Mathis, S.; Charbonnel, C.; Amard, L.

    2017-08-01

    Context. Star-planet interactions must be taken into account in stellar models to understand the dynamical evolution of close-in planets. The dependence of the tidal interactions on the structural and rotational evolution of the star is of particular importance and should be correctly treated. Aims: We quantify how tidal dissipation in the convective envelope of rotating low-mass stars evolves from the pre-main sequence up to the red-giant branch depending on the initial stellar mass. We investigate the consequences of this evolution on planetary orbital evolution. Methods: We couple the tidal dissipation formalism previously described to the stellar evolution code STAREVOL and apply this coupling to rotating stars with masses between 0.3 and 1.4 M⊙. As a first step, this formalism assumes a simplified bi-layer stellar structure with corresponding averaged densities for the radiative core and the convective envelope. We use a frequency-averaged treatment of the dissipation of tidal inertial waves in the convection zone (but neglect the dissipation of tidal gravity waves in the radiation zone). In addition, we generalize a recent work by following the orbital evolution of close-in planets using the new tidal dissipation predictions for advanced phases of stellar evolution. Results: On the pre-main sequence the evolution of tidal dissipation is controlled by the evolution of the internal structure of the contracting star. On the main sequence it is strongly driven by the variation of surface rotation that is impacted by magnetized stellar winds braking. The main effect of taking into account the rotational evolution of the stars is to lower the tidal dissipation strength by about four orders of magnitude on the main sequence, compared to a normalized dissipation rate that only takes into account structural changes. Conclusions: The evolution of the dissipation strongly depends on the evolution of the internal structure and rotation of the star. From the pre

  1. Formation of terrestrial planets in eccentric and inclined giant planet systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sotiriadis, Sotiris; Libert, Anne-Sophie; Raymond, Sean N.

    2018-06-01

    Aims: Evidence of mutually inclined planetary orbits has been reported for giant planets in recent years. Here we aim to study the impact of eccentric and inclined massive giant planets on the terrestrial planet formation process, and investigate whether it can possibly lead to the formation of inclined terrestrial planets. Methods: We performed 126 simulations of the late-stage planetary accretion in eccentric and inclined giant planet systems. The physical and orbital parameters of the giant planet systems result from n-body simulations of three giant planets in the late stage of the gas disc, under the combined action of Type II migration and planet-planet scattering. Fourteen two- and three-planet configurations were selected, with diversified masses, semi-major axes (resonant configurations or not), eccentricities, and inclinations (including coplanar systems) at the dispersal of the gas disc. We then followed the gravitational interactions of these systems with an inner disc of planetesimals and embryos (nine runs per system), studying in detail the final configurations of the formed terrestrial planets. Results: In addition to the well-known secular and resonant interactions between the giant planets and the outer part of the disc, giant planets on inclined orbits also strongly excite the planetesimals and embryos in the inner part of the disc through the combined action of nodal resonance and the Lidov-Kozai mechanism. This has deep consequences on the formation of terrestrial planets. While coplanar giant systems harbour several terrestrial planets, generally as massive as the Earth and mainly on low-eccentric and low-inclined orbits, terrestrial planets formed in systems with mutually inclined giant planets are usually fewer, less massive (<0.5 M⊕), and with higher eccentricities and inclinations. This work shows that terrestrial planets can form on stable inclined orbits through the classical accretion theory, even in coplanar giant planet systems

  2. The Use of Planisphere to Locate Planets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kwok, Ping-Wai

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Reinflating Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-01-01

    Two new, large gas-giant exoplanets have been discovered orbiting close to their host stars. A recent study examining these planets and others like them may help us to better understand what happens to close-in hot Jupiters as their host stars reach the end of their main-sequence lives.OversizedGiantsUnbinned transit light curves for HAT-P-65b. [Adapted from Hartman et al. 2016]The discovery of HAT-P-65b and HAT-P-66b, two new transiting hot Jupiters, is intriguing. These planets have periods of just under 3 days and masses of roughly 0.5 and 0.8 times that of Jupiter, but their sizes are whats really interesting: they have inflated radii of 1.89 and 1.59 times that of Jupiter.These two planets, discovered using the Hungarian-made Automated Telescope Network (HATNet) in Arizona and Hawaii, mark the latest in an ever-growing sample of gas-giant exoplanets with radii larger than expected based on theoretical planetary structure models.What causes this discrepancy? Did the planets just fail to contract to the expected size when they were initially formed, or were they reinflated later in their lifetimes? If the latter, how? These are questions that scientists are only now starting to be able to address using statistics of the sample of close-in, transiting planets.Unbinned transit light curves for HAT-P-66b. [Hartman et al. 2016]Exploring Other PlanetsLed by Joel Hartman (Princeton University), the team that discovered HAT-P-65b and HAT-P-66b has examined these planets observed parameters and those of dozens of other known close-in, transiting exoplanets discovered with a variety of transiting exoplanet missions: HAT, WASP, Kepler, TrES, and KELT. Hartman and collaborators used this sample to draw conclusions about what causes some of these planets to have such large radii.The team found that there is a statistically significant correlation between the radii of close-in giant planets and the fractional ages of their host stars (i.e., the stars age divided by its full

  4. 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.

  5. TRAPPIST-1 Planet Animations

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2018-02-05

    This still from a video shows illustrations of the seven Earth-size planets of TRAPPIST-1, an exoplanet system about 40 light-years away, based on data current as of February 2018. Each planet is shown in sequence, starting with the innermost TRAPPIST-1b and ending with the outermost TRAPPIST-1h. The video presents the planets' relative sizes as well as the relative scale of the central star as seen from each planet. The art highlights possibilities for how the surfaces of these intriguing worlds might look based on their newly calculated properties. The seven planets of TRAPPIST-1 are all Earth-sized and terrestrial. TRAPPIST-1 is an ultra-cool dwarf star in the constellation Aquarius, and its planets orbit very close to it. In the background, slightly distorted versions our familiar constellations, including Orion and Taurus, are shown as they would appear from the location of TRAPPIST-1 (backdrop image courtesy California Academy of Sciences/Dan Tell). An animation is available at https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22098

  6. Long term evolution of planetary systems with a terrestrial planet and a giant planet.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian; Way, Michael J.

    2017-06-01

    We study the long term orbital evolution of a terrestrial planet under the gravitational perturbations of a giant planet. In particular, we are interested in situations where the two planets are in the same plane and are relatively close. We examine both possible configurations: the giant planet orbit being either outside or inside the orbit of the smaller planet. The perturbing potential is expanded to high orders and an analytical solution of the terrestrial planetary orbit is derived. The analytical estimates are then compared against results from the numerical integration of the full equations of motion and we find that the analytical solution works reasonably well. An interesting finding is that the new analytical estimates improve greatly the predictions for the timescales of the orbital evolution of the terrestrial planet compared to an octupole order expansion.

  7. Long Term Evolution of Planetary Systems with a Terrestrial Planet and a Giant Planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian; Way, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    We study the long term orbital evolution of a terrestrial planet under the gravitational perturbations of a giant planet. In particular, we are interested in situations where the two planets are in the same plane and are relatively close. We examine both possible configurations: the giant planet orbit being either outside or inside the orbit of the smaller planet. The perturbing potential is expanded to high orders and an analytical solution of the terrestrial planetary orbit is derived. The analytical estimates are then compared against results from the numerical integration of the full equations of motion and we find that the analytical solution works reasonably well. An interesting finding is that the new analytical estimates improve greatly the predictions for the timescales of the orbital evolution of the terrestrial planet compared to an octupole order expansion. Finally, we briefly discuss possible applications of the analytical estimates in astrophysical problems.

  8. Zodiacal Exoplanets in Time (ZEIT). III. A Short-period Planet Orbiting a Pre-main-sequence Star in the Upper Scorpius OB Association

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mann, Andrew W.; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Rizzuto, Aaron C.; Irwin, Jonathan; Feiden, Gregory A.; Gaidos, Eric; Mace, Gregory N.; Kraus, Adam L.; James, David J.; Ansdell, Megan; Charbonneau, David; Covey, Kevin R.; Ireland, Michael J.; Jaffe, Daniel T.; Johnson, Marshall C.; Kidder, Benjamin; Vanderburg, Andrew

    2016-09-01

    We confirm and characterize a close-in ({P}{{orb}} = 5.425 days), super-Neptune sized ({5.04}-0.37+0.34 {R}\\oplus ) planet transiting K2-33 (2MASS J16101473-1919095), a late-type (M3) pre-main-sequence (11 Myr old) star in the Upper Scorpius subgroup of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB association. The host star has the kinematics of a member of the Upper Scorpius OB association, and its spectrum contains lithium absorption, an unambiguous sign of youth (\\lt 20 Myr) in late-type dwarfs. We combine photometry from K2 and the ground-based MEarth project to refine the planet’s properties and constrain the host star’s density. We determine K2-33’s bolometric flux and effective temperature from moderate-resolution spectra. By utilizing isochrones that include the effects of magnetic fields, we derive a precise radius (6%-7%) and mass (16%) for the host star, and a stellar age consistent with the established value for Upper Scorpius. Follow-up high-resolution imaging and Doppler spectroscopy confirm that the transiting object is not a stellar companion or a background eclipsing binary blended with the target. The shape of the transit, the constancy of the transit depth and periodicity over 1.5 yr, and the independence with wavelength rule out stellar variability or a dust cloud or debris disk partially occulting the star as the source of the signal; we conclude that it must instead be planetary in origin. The existence of K2-33b suggests that close-in planets can form in situ or migrate within ˜10 Myr, e.g., via interactions with a disk, and that long-timescale dynamical migration such as by Lidov-Kozai or planet-planet scattering is not responsible for all short-period planets.

  9. A Combined Subaru/VLT/MMT 1-5 Micrometer Study of Planets Orbiting HR 8799: Implications For Atmospheric Properties, Masses and Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Currie, Thayne; Burrows, Adam; Itoh, Yoichi; Matsumura, Soko; Fukagawa, Misato; Apai, Daniel; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Hinz, Philip M.; Rodigas, T. J.; Kasper, Markus; hide

    2011-01-01

    We present new 1-1.25 micron (z and J band) Subaru/IRCS and 2 micron (K band) VLT/NaCo data for HR 8799 and a rereduction of the 3-5 micron MMT/Clio data first presented by Hinz et al. Our VLT/NaCo data yield a detection of a fourth planet at a projected separation of approximately 15 AU--"HR 8799e ." We also report new, albeit weak detections of HR 8799b at 1.03 micron and 3.3 micron. Empirical comparisons to field brown dwarfs show that at least HR 8799b and HR 8799c, and possibly HR 8799d, have near-to-mid-IR colors/ magnitudes significantly discrepant from the L/T dwarf sequence. Standard cloud deck atmosphere models appropriate for brown dwarfs provide only (marginally) statistically meaningful fits to HR 8799b and c for unphysically small radii. Models with thicker cloud layers not present in brown dwarfs reproduce the planets' spectral energy distributions far more accurately and without the need for resealing the planets' radii. Our preliminary modeling suggests that HR 8799b has log(g) = 4-4.5, T(sub eff) = 900 K. while HR 8799c, d, and (by inference) e have log(g) = 4-4.5, T(sub eff) = 1000-1200 K. Combining results from planet evolution models and new dynamical stability limits implies that the masses of HR 8799b, c, d, and e are 6-7 M(sub j), 7-10 M(sub j), 7-10 M(sub j), and 7-10 M(sub j). "Patchy" cloud prescriptions may provide even better fits to the data and may lower the estimated surface gravities and masses. Finally, contrary to some recent claims, forming the HR 8799 planets by core accretion is still plausible, although such systems are likely rare.

  10. The Bulk Elemental Composition of any Terrestrial Planets in the Alpha Centauri System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lineweaver, C. H.; Schonberger, B. F. G.; Robles, J. A.

    2010-04-01

    Based on the devolatilization patterns in the solar system, and on the differences in the chemical compositions of the Sun and Alpha Centauri, we make estimates of the chemical composition of any Earth-like planets in the Alpha Centauri system.

  11. Atmospheric dynamics of tidally synchronized extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Cho, James Y-K

    2008-12-13

    Tidally synchronized planets present a new opportunity for enriching our understanding of atmospheric dynamics on planets. Subject to an unusual forcing arrangement (steady irradiation on the same side of the planet throughout its orbit), the dynamics on these planets may be unlike that on any of the Solar System planets. Characterizing the flow pattern and temperature distribution on the extrasolar planets is necessary for reliable interpretation of data currently being collected, as well as for guiding future observations. In this paper, several fundamental concepts from atmospheric dynamics, likely to be central for characterization, are discussed. Theoretical issues that need to be addressed in the near future are also highlighted.

  12. The O2 A-Band in the Fluxes and Polarization of Starlight Reflected by Earth-Like Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fauchez, Thomas; Rossi, Loic; Stam, Daphne M.

    2017-06-01

    Earth-like, potentially habitable exoplanets are prime targets in the search for extraterrestrial life. Information about their atmospheres and surfaces can be derived by analyzing the light of the parent star reflected by the planet. We investigate the influence of the surface albedo A s, the optical thickness b cloud, the altitude of water clouds, and the mixing ratio of biosignature O2 on the strength of the O2 A-band (around 760 nm) in the flux and polarization spectra of starlight reflected by Earth-like exoplanets. Our computations for horizontally homogeneous planets show that small mixing ratios (η < 0.4) will yield moderately deep bands in flux and moderate-to-small band strengths in polarization, and that clouds will usually decrease the band depth in flux and the band strength in polarization. However, cloud influence will be strongly dependent on properties such as optical thickness, top altitude, particle phase, coverage fraction, and horizontal distribution. Depending on the surface albedo and cloud properties, different O2 mixing ratios η can give similar absorption-band depths in flux and band strengths in polarization, especially if the clouds have moderate-to-high optical thicknesses. Measuring both the flux and the polarization is essential to reduce the degeneracies, although it will not solve them, especially not for horizontally inhomogeneous planets. Observations at a wide range of phase angles and with a high temporal resolution could help to derive cloud properties and, once those are known, the mixing ratio of O2 or any other absorbing gas.

  13. The Scattering Outcomes of Kepler Circumbinary Planets: Planet Mass Ratio

    SciTech Connect

    Gong, Yan-Xiang; Ji, Jianghui, E-mail: yxgong@pmo.ac.cn, E-mail: jijh@pmo.ac.cn

    Recent studies reveal that the free eccentricities of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b are much larger than their forced eccentricities, implying that scattering events may take place in their formation. The observed orbital configuration of Kepler-34b cannot be well reproduced in disk-driven migration models, whereas a two-planet scattering scenario can play a significant role of shaping the planetary configuration. These studies indicate that circumbinary planets discovered by Kepler may have experienced scattering process. In this work, we extensively investigate the scattering outcomes of circumbinary planets focusing on the effects of planet mass ratio . We find that the planetary mass ratio andmore » the the initial relative locations of planets act as two important parameters that affect the eccentricity distribution of the surviving planets. As an application of our model, we discuss the observed orbital configurations of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b. We first adopt the results from the disk-driven models as the initial conditions, then simulate the scattering process that occurs in the late evolution stage of circumbinary planets. We show that the present orbital configurations of Kepler-34b and Kepler-413b can be well reproduced when considering a two unequal-mass planet ejection model. Our work further suggests that some of the currently discovered circumbinary single-planet systems may be survivors of original multiple-planet systems. The disk-driven migration and scattering events occurring in the late stage both play an irreplaceable role in sculpting the final systems.« less

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

    SciTech Connect

    Matsumura, Soko; Ida, Shigeru; Nagasawa, Makiko

    2013-04-20

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

  15. An estimate of the prevalence of biocompatible and habitable planets.

    PubMed

    Fogg, M J

    1992-01-01

    A Monte Carlo computer model of extra-solar planetary formation and evolution, which includes the planetary geochemical carbon cycle, is presented. The results of a run of one million galactic disc stars are shown where the aim was to assess the possible abundance of both biocompatible and habitable planets. (Biocompatible planets are defined as worlds where the long-term presence of surface liquid water provides environmental conditions suitable for the origin and evolution of life. Habitable planets are those worlds with more specifically Earthlike conditions). The model gives an estimate of 1 biocompatible planet per 39 stars, with the subset of habitable planets being much rarer at 1 such planet per 413 stars. The nearest biocompatible planet may thus lie approximately 14 LY distant and the nearest habitable planet approximately 31 LY away. If planets form in multiple star systems then the above planet/star ratios may be more than doubled. By applying the results to stars in the solar neighbourhood, it is possible to identify 28 stars at distances of < 22 LY with a non-zero probability of possessing a biocompatible planet.

  16. Hypothetical Rejuvenated Planets Artist Concept

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-06-25

    This artist's concept shows a hypothetical "rejuvenated" planet -- a gas giant that has reclaimed its youthful infrared glow. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found tentative evidence for one such planet around a dead star, or white dwarf, called PG 0010+280 (depicted as white dot in illustration). When planets are young, they are warm and toasty due to internal heat left over from their formation. Planets cool over time -- until they are possibly rejuvenated. The theory goes that this Jupiter-like planet, which orbits far from its star, would accumulate some of the material sloughed off by its star as the star was dying. The material would cause the planet to swell in mass. As the material fell onto the planet, it would heat up due to friction and glow with infrared light. The final result would be an old planet, billions of years in age, radiating infrared light as it did in its youth. Spitzer detected an excess infrared light around the white dwarf PG 0010+280. Astronomers aren't sure where the light is coming from, but one possibility is a rejuvenated planet. Future observations may help solve the mystery. A Jupiter-like planet is about ten times the size of a white dwarf. White dwarfs are about the size of Earth, so one white dwarf would easily fit into the Great Red Spot on Jupiter! http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19346

  17. Formation of Outer Planets: Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack

    2003-01-01

    An overview of current theories of planetary formation, with emphasis on giant planets is presented. The most detailed models are based upon observation of our own Solar System and of young stars and their environments. Terrestrial planets are believe to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. According to the prevailing core instability model, giant planets begin their growth by the accumulation of small solid bodies, as do terrestrial planets. However, unlike terrestrial planets, the growing giant cores become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk disspates. The primary questions regarding the core instability model is whether planets with small cores can accrete gaseous enveloples within the lifetimes of gaseous protoplanetary disks. The main alternative giant planet formation model is the disk instability model, in which gaseous planets form directly via gravitational instabilities within protoplanetary disks. Formation of giant planets via gas instability has never been demonstrated for realistic disk conditions. Moreover, this model has difficulty explaining the supersolar abundances of heavy elements in Jupiter and Saturn, and it does not explain the orgin of planets like Uranus and Neptune.

  18. 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.

  19. On Star-Planet Interaction: Magnetospheric Dynamics and Atmospheric Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tilley, Matthew Tilley

    With the explosion of exoplanetary discoveries, the question of planetary habitability is at the forefront, and generates many interesting and complex questions. One of those questions: Are planetary global magnetic fields necessary for the development of complex surface organics and the development of life? Does a global field protect planetary atmospheres? What detection signatures can be gleaned from a planet or moon with a global field as opposed to one without? We have a wealth of in situ magnetospheric data from Earth, as well as solar system planets and their moons from several vital satellite missions, such as the Voyager missions, the Pioneer missions, Galileo, Cassini, Messenger, MAVEN, and New Horizons. Due to the distances involved, it is not tenable to send satellites to obtain data at exoplanetary bodies, so we rely on simulations and using solar system data as analog environments to help set ground truth validation for the numerical work. In this dissertation, I use a multifluid plasma model for gas giant magnetospheres to predict the potential dynamical consequences and detection signatures for giant exoplanets in a warm orbit (˜0.2 AU). I discuss the dynamics of plasma loss from an exomoon injected torus, and how the total mass flux out of the system is altered by increased stellar wind forcing as a function of orbital semi-major axis. Detection signatures for such a planet, including transit depth modifications due to plasma densities and radio emissions, show promise for further detecting and characterizing future systems. I also improve the multifluid model by implementing a full treatment of pressure anisotropy at Saturn, with a focus on the dynamics and structure of the magnetosphere. The improvements to the physics of the model generate more accurate system when compared to Cassini data; the anisotropic simulations show stronger current confinement of the Enceladus torus, consistent and well-structure flux interchange events, and global

  20. Survival of habitable planets in unstable planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  1. Reaching for the red planet

    PubMed

    David, L

    1996-05-01

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