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Sample records for exoplanet survey satellite

  1. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  3. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite: Mission Status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, George R.; TESS Team

    2015-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor more than 200,000 bright stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances.TESS stars will typically be 30-100 times brighter than those surveyed by the Kepler satellite; thus, TESS planets will be far easier to characterize with follow-up observations. For the first time it will be possible to study the masses, sizes, densities, orbits, and atmospheres of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars. Full frame images with a cadence of 30 minutes or less will provide precise photometric information for more than 20 million stars during observation sessions of several weeks. The brighter TESS stars will potentially yield valuable asteroseismic information as a result of monitoring at a rapid cadence of 2 minute or less. An extended survey by TESS of regions surrounding the North and South Ecliptic Poles will provide prime exoplanet targets for characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future.TESS will issue data releases every 4 months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest main-sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets, which will endure as the most favorable targets for detailed future investigations.TESS has a planned launch date in 2017 as a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission.

  5. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, G. R.

    2014-03-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor more than 500,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances. TESS stars will typically be 30-100 times brighter than those surveyed by the Kepler satellite; thus, TESS planets will be far easier to characterize with follow-up observations. For the first time it will be possible to study the masses, sizes, densities, orbits, and atmospheres of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars. Full frame images with a cadence of 30 minutes or less will provide precise photometric information for several million stars during observation sessions of several weeks. The brighter TESS stars will potentially yield valuable asteroseismic information as a result of monitoring at a rapid cadence of 1 minute or less. An extended survey by TESS of the Ecliptic caps will provide prime exoplanet targets for characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future. TESS will serve as the "People's Telescope," with data releases every 4 months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest main-sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets, which will endure as the most favorable targets for detailed future investigations. TESS has been selected by NASA for launch in 2017 as an Astrophysics Explorer mission.

  6. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, George R.; Vanderspek, Roland Kraft; Latham, David W.; Winn, Joshua N.

    2014-06-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor more than 200,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances. TESS stars will typically be 30-100 times brighter than those surveyed by the Kepler satellite; thus, TESS planets will be far easier to characterize with follow-up observations. For the first time it will be possible to study the masses, sizes, densities, orbits, and atmospheres of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars. Full frame images with a cadence of 30 minutes or less will provide precise photometric information for several million stars during observation sessions of several weeks. The brighter TESS stars will potentially yield valuable asteroseismic information as a result of monitoring at a rapid cadence of 1 minute or less. An extended survey by TESS of regions surrounding the North and South Ecliptic Poles will provide prime exoplanet targets for characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future. TESS will serve as the “People’s Telescope,” with data releases every 4 months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest main-sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets, which will endure as the most favorable targets for detailed future investigations.TESS has been selected by NASA for launch in 2017 as an Astrophysics Explorer mission.

  7. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, G. R.

    2014-06-01

    (Abstract only) The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor more than 500,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances. TESS stars will typically be 30 to 100 times brighter than those surveyed by the Kepler satellite; thus,TESS planets will be far easier to characterize with follow-up observations. For the first time it will be possible to study the masses, sizes, densities, orbits, and atmospheres of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars. All of the half-million plus TESS targets will be observed at a rapid cadence (1 minute or less). Hence, the brighter TESS stars will potentially yield valuable asteroseismic information. TESS will provide prime exoplanet targets for characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future. TESS will serve as the "People's Telescope," with data releases every 4 months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest main-sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets, which will endure as the most favorable targets for detailed future investigations. TESS has been selected by NASA for launch in 2017 as an Astrophysics Explorer mission.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, George R.; TESS Science Team

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Trajectory Design for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dichmann, Donald J.; Parker, Joel J. K.; Williams, Trevor W.; Mendelsohn, Chad R.

    2014-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission, scheduled to be launched in 2017. TESS will travel in a highly eccentric orbit around Earth, with initial perigee radius near 17 Earth radii (Re) and apogee radius near 59 Re. The orbit period is near 2:1 resonance with the Moon, with apogee nearly 90 degrees out-of-phase with the Moon, in a configuration that has been shown to be operationally stable. TESS will execute phasing loops followed by a lunar flyby, with a final maneuver to achieve 2:1 resonance with the Moon. The goals of a resonant orbit with long-term stability, short eclipses and limited oscillations of perigee present significant challenges to the trajectory design. To rapidly assess launch opportunities, we adapted the Schematics Window Methodology (SWM76) launch window analysis tool to assess the TESS mission constraints. To understand the long-term dynamics of such a resonant orbit in the Earth-Moon system we employed Dynamical Systems Theory in the Circular Restricted 3-Body Problem (CR3BP). For precise trajectory analysis we use a high-fidelity model and multiple shooting in the General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT) to optimize the maneuver delta-V and meet mission constraints. Finally we describe how the techniques we have developed can be applied to missions with similar requirements. Keywords: resonant orbit, stability, lunar flyby, phasing loops, trajectory optimization

  10. Trajectory Design for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dichmann, Donald J.; Parker, Joel; Williams, Trevor; Mendelsohn, Chad

    2014-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission launching in 2017. TESS will travel in a highly eccentric orbit around Earth, with initial perigee radius near 17 Earth radii (Re) and apogee radius near 59 Re. The orbit period is near 2:1 resonance with the Moon, with apogee nearly 90 degrees out-of-phase with the Moon, in a configuration that has been shown to be operationally stable. TESS will execute phasing loops followed by a lunar flyby, with a final maneuver to achieve 2:1 resonance with the Moon. The goals of a resonant orbit with long-term stability, short eclipses and limited oscillations of perigee present significant challenges to the trajectory design. To rapidly assess launch opportunities, we adapted the SWM76 launch window tool to assess the TESS mission constraints. To understand the long-term dynamics of such a resonant orbit in the Earth-Moon system we employed Dynamical Systems Theory in the Circular Restricted 3-Body Problem (CR3BP). For precise trajectory analysis we use a high-fidelity model and multiple shooting in the General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT) to optimize the maneuver delta-V and meet mission constraints. Finally we describe how the techniques we have developed can be applied to missions with similar requirements.

  11. Scientific, Back-Illuminated CCD Development for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suntharalingam, V.; Ciampi, J.; Cooper, M. J.; Lambert, R. D.; O'Mara, D. M.; Prigozhin, I.; Young, D. J.; Warner, K.; Burke, B. E.

    2015-01-01

    We describe the development of the fully depleted, back illuminated charge coupled devices for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which includes a set of four wide angle telescopes, each having a 2x2 array of CCDs. The devices are fabricated on the newly upgraded 200-mm wafer line at Lincoln Laboratory. We discuss methods used to produce the devices and present early performance results from the 100- micron thick, 15x15-microns, 2k x 4k pixel frame transfer CCDs.

  12. Trajectory Design to Mitigate Risk on the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dichmann, Donald

    2016-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will employ a highly eccentric Earth orbit, in 2:1 lunar resonance, reached with a lunar flyby preceded by 3.5 phasing loops. The TESS mission has limited propellant and several orbit constraints. Based on analysis and simulation, we have designed the phasing loops to reduce delta-V and to mitigate risk due to maneuver execution errors. We have automated the trajectory design process and use distributed processing to generate and to optimize nominal trajectories, check constraint satisfaction, and finally model the effects of maneuver errors to identify trajectories that best meet the mission requirements.

  13. Trajectory Design Enhancements to Mitigate Risk for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dichmann, Donald; Parker, Joel; Nickel, Craig; Lutz, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will employ a highly eccentric Earth orbit, in 2:1 lunar resonance, which will be reached with a lunar flyby preceded by 3.5 phasing loops. The TESS mission has limited propellant and several constraints on the science orbit and on the phasing loops. Based on analysis and simulation, we have designed the phasing loops to reduce delta-V (DV) and to mitigate risk due to maneuver execution errors. We have automated the trajectory design process and use distributed processing to generate and optimal nominal trajectories; to check constraint satisfaction; and finally to model the effects of maneuver errors to identify trajectories that best meet the mission requirements.

  14. Monte Carlo Analysis as a Trajectory Design Driver for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nickel, Craig; Parker, Joel; Dichmann, Don; Lebois, Ryan; Lutz, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will be injected into a highly eccentric Earth orbit and fly 3.5 phasing loops followed by a lunar flyby to enter a mission orbit with lunar 2:1 resonance. Through the phasing loops and mission orbit, the trajectory is significantly affected by lunar and solar gravity. We have developed a trajectory design to achieve the mission orbit and meet mission constraints, including eclipse avoidance and a 30-year geostationary orbit avoidance requirement. A parallelized Monte Carlo simulation was performed to validate the trajectory after injecting common perturbations, including launch dispersions, orbit determination errors, and maneuver execution errors. The Monte Carlo analysis helped identify mission risks and is used in the trajectory selection process.

  15. Tolerancing, alignment and test of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) optical assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Primeau, Brian; Balonek, Gregory; MacDonald, Robert; Chrisp, Michael; Chesbrough, Christian; Andre, James; Clark, Kristin

    2016-09-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will carry four visible waveband seven-element refractive f/1.4 lenses, each with a 34 degree diagonal field of view. This paper describes the tolerancing, assembly and alignment methods developed during the build of the TESS Risk Reduction Unit optical system. Lens assembly tolerances were derived from a sensitivity analysis using an image quality metric customized for mission performance. The optomechanical design consists of a two-stage lens housing that provides access for active alignment of each lens using a Trioptics OptiCentric measurement system. Thermal stresses and alignment shifts are mitigated by mounting the optics with cast RTV silicone spacers into individually aligned bezels, and custom fixtures were developed to aid in RTV bonding with reduced alignment error. The lens assembly was tested interferometrically over the field of view at room temperature and results were used to successfully predict lens performance and compensator adjustments and detector shim thickness for the -75C operational temperature and pressure.

  16. Thermal Design of the Instrument for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, Gregory D.

    The thermal design and analysis of space systems is an important application for the field of mechanical engineering. Space systems encounter harsh environments and often have exacting temperature and performance requirements. In this thesis, the thermal design and analysis process undertaken for the Instrument of Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is detailed. The TESS program is a two year NASA Explorer mission which uses four cameras to discover exoplanets via the transit photometry method. It will be placed in a high-earth orbit with a period of 13.7 days and will be unaffected by temperature disturbances caused by environmental heating from the Earth. The cameras use their stray-light baffles to passively cool the cameras and in turn the CCDs in order to maintain operational temperatures. It is a payload which encompasses four cameras that have unique thermal requirements which the system was designed to accommodate. These requirements include large power level uncertainty, highly stable temperatures, low temperature CCDs and a compact mechanical design. The design was matured through analysis using a thermal modeling tool known as Thermal DesktopRTM which uses the finite difference method. A system level model was built with this tool using inputs such as the thermal, thermal-optical properties, the 3D CAD model and thermal contact resistances. It was then used to analyze the system against component temperature limits including NASA specified design margins. Bounding cases have been developed which envelope hot and cold operational cases as well as cold survival during eclipse. Results are presented which show that margins are positive. These design margins provide for contingency in the case of modeling inaccuracies. Later in the program the Instrument will undergo thermal vacuum testing in order to verify the model. Official validation and verification planning is underway and will be performed as the system is built up. It is slated for launch

  17. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS): Discovering New Earths and Super-Earths in the Solar Neighborhood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, George R.

    2015-12-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky. In its two-year prime survey mission, TESS will monitor more than 200,000 bright stars in the solar neighborhood for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances.TESS stars will typically be 30-100 times brighter than those surveyed by the Kepler satellite; thus, TESS planets will be far easier to characterize with follow-up observations. For the first time it will be possible to study the masses, sizes, densities, orbits, and atmospheres of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars.An additional data product from the TESS mission will be full frame images (FFI) with a cadence of 30 minutes or less. These FFI will provide precise photometric information for every object within the 2300 square degree instantaneous field of view of the TESS cameras. These objects will include more than 1 million stars and bright galaxies observed during sessions of several weeks. In total, more than 30 million objects brighter than I=16 will be precisely photometered during the two-year prime mission. In principle, the lunar-resonant TESS orbit could provide opportunities for an extended mission lasting more than a decade, with data rates in excess of 100 Mbits/s.An extended survey by TESS of regions surrounding the North and South Ecliptic Poles will provide prime exoplanet targets for characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future.TESS will issue data releases every 4 months, inviting immediate community-wide efforts to study the new planets, as well as commensal survey candidates from the FFI. A NASA Guest

  18. Astrometric exoplanet surveys in practice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahlmann, Johannes

    2016-10-01

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

  19. Thermal Design of the Instrument for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Gregory D.

    2016-01-01

    TESS observatory is a two year NASA Explorer mission which will use a set of four cameras to discover exoplanets. It will be placed in a high-earth orbit with a period of 13.7 days and will be unaffected by temperature disturbances caused by environmental heating from the Earth. The cameras use their stray-light baffles to passively cool the cameras and in turn the CCD's in order to maintain operational temperatures. The design has been well thought out and analyzed to maximize temperature stability. The analysis shows that the design keeps the cameras and their components within their temperature ranges which will help make it a successful mission. It will also meet its survival requirement of sustaining exposure to a five hour eclipse. Official validation and verification planning is underway and will be performed as the system is built up. It is slated for launch in 2017.

  20. Exoplanet Demographics with Microlensing Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaudi, B.

    2014-04-01

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

  1. Exoplanet Surveys at Universidad de Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  2. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, Eric L.; Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James R.; Barman, Travis S.; Doyon, Rene; Fabrycky, Daniel; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Kalas, Paul; Konopacky, Quinn M.; Marchis, Franck; Marley, Mark S.; Marois, Christian; Patience, Jenny; Perrin, Marshall D.; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Song, Inseok; GPIES Team

    2017-01-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) is one of the largest most sensitive direct imaging searches for exoplanets conducted to date, and having observed more than 300 stars the survey is halfway complete. We present highlights from the first half of the survey, including the discovery and characterization of the young exoplanet 51 Eri b and the brown dwarf HR 2562 B, new imaging of multiple disks, and resolving the young stellar binary V343 Nor for the first time. GPI has also provided new spectra and orbits of previous known planets and brown dwarfs and polarization measurements of a wide range of disks. Finally, we discuss the constraints placed by the first half of the GPIES campaign on the population of giant planets at orbital separations beyond that of Jupiter. Supported by NSF grants AST-0909188 and AST-1313718, AST-1411868, AST 141378, NNX11AF74G, and DGE-1232825, and by NASA grants NNX15AD95G/NEXSS and NNX11AD21G.

  3. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintosh, Bruce

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a next-generation coronagraph constructed for the Gemini Observatory. GPI will see first light this fall. It will be the most advanced planet-imaging system in operation - an order of magnitude more sensitive than any current instrument, capable of detecting and spectroscopically characterizing young Jovian planets 107 times fainter than their parent star at separations of 0.2 arcseconds. GPI was built from the beginning as a facility-class survey instrument, and the observatory will employ it that way. Our team has been selected by Gemini Observatory to carry out an 890-hour program - the GPI Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) campaign from 2014-2017. We will observe 600 stars spanning spectral types A-M. We will use published young association catalogs and a proprietary list in preparation that adds several hundred new young (<100 Myr, <75 pc) and adolescent (<300 Myr, <35 pc) stars. The range of separations studied by GPI is completely inaccessible to Doppler and transit techniques (even with Kepler or TESS)— GPI offers a new window into planet formation. We will use GPI to produce the first-ever robust census of giant planet populations in the 5-50 AU range, allowing us to: 1) illuminate the formation pathways of Jovian planets; 2) reconstruct the early dynamical evolution of systems, including migration mechanisms and the interaction with disks and belts of debris; and 3) bridge the gap between Jupiter and the brown dwarfs with the first examples of cool low- gravity planetary atmospheres. Simulations predict this survey will discover approximately 50 exoplanets, increasing the number of exoplanet images by an order of magnitude, enough for statistical investigation. This Origins of Solar Systems proposal will support the execution of the GPI Exoplanet Survey campaign. We will develop tools needed to execute the survey efficiently. We will refine the existing GPI data pipeline to a final version that robustly removes residual speckle

  4. An Exoplanet Radius and Transit Timing Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deming, Drake; Jennings, Jonald; Sada, Pedro

    2010-02-01

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

  5. An Exoplanet Radius and Transit Timing Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deming, Drake; Jennings, Jonald; Sada, Pedro

    2009-08-01

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

  6. The Zodiacal Exoplanets in Time (ZEIT) Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mann, Andrew; Gaidos, Eric; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Rizzuto, Aaron C.; Vanderburg, Andrew; Mace, Gregory N.; Kraus, Adam L.

    2017-01-01

    Planets and their host stars evolve with time, and the first few hundred million years are thought to be the most formative. However, the majority of known exoplanets orbit stars older than the timescales of interest (>1 Gyr). We have launched the Zodiacal Exoplanets in Time (ZEIT) survey with the goal of identifying and characterizing young (<1 Gyr) transiting planets. To this end, we have utilized high-precision photometry of nearby young clusters and stellar associations taken as part of the K2 mission. Thus far we have discovered transiting planets in the Hyades and Praesepe clusters (˜800 Myr), and the Upper Scorpius OB association (˜11 Myr), but interestingly none in the Pleiades (˜125 Myr). These discoveries can be used to set limits on the migration timescale, estimate atmosphere loss around young planets, and provide independent tests of pre-main sequence stellar models. Here I overview some key science results from our survey and briefly discuss our plans to identify more young planetary systems.

  7. Subaru SEEDS Survey of Exoplanets and Disks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McElwain, Michael W.

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seager, S.

    2010-12-01

    This is a unique time in human history - for the first time, we are on the technological brink of being able to answer questions that have been around for thousands of years: Are there other planets like Earth? Are they common? Do any have signs of life? The field of exoplanets is rapidly moving toward answering these questions with the discovery of hundreds of exoplanets now pushing toward lower and lower masses; the Kepler Space Telescope with its yield of small planets; plans to use the James Webb Space Telescope (launch date 2014) to study atmospheres of a subset of super Earths; and ongoing development for technology to directly image true Earth analogs. Theoretical studies in dynamics, planet formation, and physical characteristics provide the needed framework for prediction and interpretation. People working outside of exoplanets often ask if the field of exoplanets is like a dot.com bubble that will burst, deflating excitement and progress. In my opinion, exciting discoveries and theoretical advances will continue indefinitely in the years ahead, albeit at a slower pace than in the first decade. The reason is that observations uncover new kinds and new populations of exoplanets -- and these observations rely on technological development that usually takes over a decade to mature. For example, in the early 2000s all but one exoplanet was discovered by the radial velocity technique. At that time, many groups around the world were working on wide-field transit surveys. But it was not until recently, a decade into the twenty-first century, that the transit technique is responsible for almost one-quarter of known exoplanets. The planet discovery techniques astrometry (as yet to find a planet) and direct imaging have not yet matured; when they do, they will uncover planets within a new parameter space of planet mass and orbital characteristics. In addition, people are working hard to improve the precision for existing planet discovery techniques to detect lower

  9. COMPLETENESS OF IMAGING SURVEYS FOR ECCENTRIC EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, Stephen R.

    2013-03-20

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

  10. EQUILIBRIUM ROTATION OF SEMILIQUID EXOPLANETS AND SATELLITES

    SciTech Connect

    Makarov, Valeri V.

    2015-09-01

    A wide range of exoplanet and exomoon models are characterized by a finite average rigidity and a viscosity much lower than the typical values for terrestrials. Such semiliquid bodies may or may not have rigid crusts with permanent figures. Unlike planets with solid mantles and Earth-like rheology, semiliquid bodies can be captured into stable pseudosynchronous spin resonance, where the average rate of rotation is higher than the synchronous 1:1 resonance. Two basic conditions are derived for capture of planets with a triaxial figure into pseudosynchronous rotation, one related to the characteristic tidal wave number (the product of the tidal frequency by the Maxwell time), and the other to the orbital eccentricity. If a semiliquid object does not satisfy either of the two conditions, it is captured into the synchronous resonance. For nearly axially symmetric bodies, only the first condition is in place, and the other is much relaxed, so they should predominantly be pseudosynchronous. It is also pointed out that the equilibrium pseudosychronous rotation rate can not reach the widely used asymptotic value from the constant time lag model but is in reality closer to the synchronous spin.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weston, Sasha; Belikov, Rus; Bendek, Eduardo

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. M Dwarf Exoplanet Survey by the Falcon Telescope Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, Randall E.

    2016-10-01

    The Falcon Telescope Network (FTN) consists of twelve automated 20-inch telescopes located around the globe. We control it at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado from the Cadet Space Operations Center. We have installed 10 of the 12 sites and anticipate full operational capability by the beginning of 2017. The network's worldwide geographic distribution provides advantages. The primary mission of the FTN is Space Situational Awareness and studying Near Earth Objects. However, we are employing the FTN with its 11' x 11' field-of-view for a five-year, M dwarf exoplanet survey. Specifically, we are searching for Earth-radius exoplanets. We describe the FTN, design considerations going into the FTN's M dwarf exoplanet survey including automated operations, and initial results of the survey.

  14. Follow The Water: The Ultimate WFC3 Exoplanet Atmosphere Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bean, Jacob

    2013-10-01

    Recent surveys have revealed an amazing, and yet unexplained, diversity of planets orbiting other stars. Studying the atmospheres of representative exoplanets is the key next step in leveraging these detections to further transform our understanding of planet formation and planetary physics. This is because a planet's atmosphere is a fossil record of its primordial origins and controls its size and appearance.We propose an intensive and comprehensive exoplanet atmosphere Large Treasury survey using the unrivaled capabilities of the WFC3 IR instrument to measure high-precision transmission, dayside emission, and phase-resolved emission spectra over a broad wavelength range for eight planetary Rosetta Stones. These data will yield unprecedented constraints on the abundances of water, elemental abundance ratios, thermal profiles, chemistries, presence of clouds and hazes, and dynamics of exoplanet atmospheres. Just detecting the atmospheres of these planets is not enough anymore. Revealing the fundamental properties of exoplanet atmospheres to investigate their nature and origins requires high-precision spectroscopy that is sensitive to spectral features from multiple chemical species and altitudes, and such data can only be obtained with an intensive HST program. A survey is mandatory to put the individual objects in a broader context, and to get at the underlying physics that results in a diverse array of emergent properties. This Treasury program will have no proprietary period in order to accelerate the progress of the field. This program is urgently needed to prepare for the future characterization of habitable exoplanets using JWST.

  15. Statistical Signatures of Panspermia in Exoplanet Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Henry W.; Loeb, Abraham

    2015-09-01

    A fundamental astrobiological question is whether life can be transported between extrasolar systems. We propose a new strategy to answer this question based on the principle that life which arose via spreading will exhibit more clustering than life which arose spontaneously. We develop simple statistical models of panspermia to illustrate observable consequences of these excess correlations. Future searches for biosignatures in the atmospheres of exoplanets could test these predictions: a smoking gun signature of panspermia would be the detection of large regions in the Milky Way where life saturates its environment interspersed with voids where life is very uncommon. In a favorable scenario, detection of as few as ∼25 biologically active exoplanets could yield a 5σ detection of panspermia. Detectability of position-space correlations is possible unless the timescale for life to become observable once seeded is longer than the timescale for stars to redistribute in the Milky Way.

  16. The Exoplanet Microlensing Survey by the Proposed WFIRST Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barry, Richard; Kruk, Jeffrey; Anderson, Jay; Beaulieu, Jean-Philippe; Bennett, David P.; Catanzarite, Joseph; Cheng, Ed; Gaudi, Scott; Gehrels, Neil; Kane, Stephen; Lunine, Jonathan; Sumi, Takahiro; Tanner, Angelle; Traub, Wesley

    2012-01-01

    The New Worlds, New Horizons report released by the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey Board in 2010 listed the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) as the highest-priority large space mission for the . coming decade. This observatory will provide wide-field imaging and slitless spectroscopy at near infrared wavelengths. The scientific goals are to obtain a statistical census of exoplanets using gravitational microlensing. measure the expansion history of and the growth of structure in the Universe by multiple methods, and perform other astronomical surveys to be selected through a guest observer program. A Science Definition Team has been established to assist NASA in the development of a Design Reference Mission that accomplishes this diverse array of science programs with a single observatory. In this paper we present the current WFIRST payload concept and the expected capabilities for planet detection. The observatory. with science goals that are complimentary to the Kepler exoplanet transit mission, is designed to complete the statistical census of planetary systems in the Galaxy, from habitable Earth-mass planets to free floating planets, including analogs to all of the planets in our Solar System except Mercury. The exoplanet microlensing survey will observe for 500 days spanning 5 years. This long temporal baseline will enable the determination of the masses for most detected exoplanets down to 0.1 Earth masses.

  17. Scheduling the EChO survey with known exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales, J. C.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Coudé du Foresto, V.; Ollivier, M.; Castello, I. Ortega; Clédassou, R.; Jaubert, J.; Van-Troostenberghe, P.; Varley, R.; Waldmann, I. P.; Pascale, E.; Tessenyi, M.

    2015-12-01

    The Exoplanet Characterization Observatory ( EChO) is a concept of a dedicated space telescope optimized for low-resolution transit and occultation spectroscopy to study the exoplanet diversity through the composition of their atmospheres. The scope of this paper is to answer the following question: Can we schedule a nominal EChO mission, with targets known today (in mid 2013), given the science requirements, realistic performances and operational constraints? We examine this issue from the point of view of duration of the mission and the scheduling restrictions with a sample of exoplanet systems known nowadays. We choose different scheduling algorithms taking into account the science and operational constraints and we verified that it is fairly straightforward to schedule a mission scenario over the lifetime of EChO compliant with the science requirements. We identified agility as a critical constraint that reduces significantly the efficiency of the survey. We conclude that even with known targets today the EChO science objectives can be reached in the 4.5 years duration of the mission. We also show that it is possible to use gaps between exoplanet observations, to fit the required calibration observations, data downlinks and station keeping operations or even to observe more exoplanet targets to be discovered in the coming years.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  19. Faint detection of exoplanets in microlensing surveys

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Robert A.

    2014-06-20

    We propose a new approach to discovering faint microlensing signals below traditional thresholds, and for estimating the binary-lens mass ratio and the apparent separation from such signals. The events found will be helpful in accurately estimating the true distribution of planetary semimajor axes, which is an important goal of space microlensing surveys.

  20. CELESTA: A Catalog of Earth-Like Exoplanet Survey Targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandler, Colin Orion; McDonald, Iain; Kane, Stephen R.

    2016-01-01

    Locating planets in circumstellar Habitable Zones is a priority for many exoplanet surveys. Space-based and ground-based surveys alike require robust toolsets to aid in target selection and mission planning. We present the Catalog of Earth-Like Exoplanet Survey Targets (CELESTA), a database of Habitable Zones around 36,000 nearby stars. We calculated stellar parameters, including effective temperatures, masses, and radii, and we quantified the orbital distances and periods corresponding to the circumstellar Habitable Zones. We gauged the accuracy of our predictions by contrasting CELESTA's computed parameters to observational data. We ascertain a potential return on investment by computing the number of Habitable Zones probed for a given survey duration. A versatile framework for extending the functionality of CELESTA into the future enables ongoing comparisons to new observations, and recalculations when updates to Habitable Zone models, stellar temperatures, or parallax data become available. We expect to upgrade and expand CELESTA using data from the Gaia mission as the data becomes available.

  1. Exoplanet Demographics with a Space-Based Microlensing Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaudi, B. Scott

    2012-05-01

    Measurements of the frequency of exoplanets over a broad range of planet and host star properties provide fundamental empirical constraints on theories of planet formation and evolution. Because of its unique sensitivity to low-mass, long-period, and free-floating planets, microlensing is an essential complement to our arsenal of planet detection methods. I motivate microlensing surveys for exoplanets, and in particular describe how they can be used to test the currently-favored paradigm for planet formation, as well as inform our understanding of the frequency and potential habitability of low-mass planets located in the habitable zones of their host stars. I explain why a space-based mission is necessary to realize the full potential of microlensing, and outline the expected returns of such surveys. When combined with the results from complementary surveys such as Kepler, a space-based microlensing survey will yield a nearly complete picture of the demographics of planetary systems throughout the Galaxy.

  2. Exploring the diversity of exoplanet atmospheres from the ground with the ACCESS Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espinoza, Nestor; Jordan, Andres; Apai, Daniel; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Rackham, Benjamin; Lewis, Nikole K.; Fraine, Jonathan; Diaz-Pérez, Ryan; Rodler, Florian; Wells, Robert; Osip, David

    2015-12-01

    One of the most exciting possibilities enabled by transiting exoplanets is to measure their atmospheric properties through the technique of transmission spectroscopy: the variation of the transit depth as a function of wavelength due to starlight interacting with the atmosphere of the exoplanet. Motivated by the need of optical transmission spectra of exoplanets, we recently launched the Arizona-CfA-Católica Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey (ACCESS), which aims at studying the atmospheres of ~20 exoplanets ranging from super-Earths to hot-Jupiters in the entire optical atmospheric window using ground-based facilities from both northern and southern hemispheres. In this talk, I will present the survey and its first results using Magellan/IMACS data, focusing on the lessons learned and future prospects of the survey.

  3. Completing the Exoplanet Census with the WFIRST Microlensing Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, David P.; WFIRST Science Definition Team

    2011-09-01

    The WFIRST mission is the top rated large space mission from last year's decadal survey. It has three major science programs, a microlensing planet search program, a dark energy program, and a general observer program. WFIRST's microlensing planet search program will provide a statistical census of exoplanets with masses greater than one tenth of an Earth mass and orbital separations ranging from 0.5AU to infinity. This includes analogs to all the Solar System’s planets except for Mercury, as well as most types of planets predicted by planet formation theories. In combination with Kepler's census of planets in shorter period orbits, WFIRST's planet search program will provide a complete statistical census of the planets that populate our Galaxy. The current status of the WFIRST mission design will be presented.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraz-Mello, Sylvio

    2015-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-02-01

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

  8. The ACCESS Transiting Exoplanets Spectroscopy Survey and the Impact of Heterogeneous Stellar Atmospheres on Transit Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apai, Daniel; Rackham, Benjamin V.; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Espinoza, Nestor; Jordan, Andres; Osip, David; Lewis, Nikole K.; Rodler, Florian; Fraine, Jonathan; Morley, Caroline; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Bixel, Alex; ACCESS Team; Earths in Other Solar Systems Team

    2017-01-01

    We present results from the ACCESS survey, a large optical transmission spectroscopy survey of transiting planets. With over 40 transits observed using the IMACS multi-object spectrograph on Magellan, ACCESS is building up the most comprehensive spectral database for transiting exoplanets. The goals of ACCESS are to probe the composition of exoplanet atmospheres as a function planet mass and insolation and stellar properties.We will present a brief overview of the survey and highlight results on multiple targets, including hot jupiters and the sub-nepture GJ1214. I will also report on our study of how stellar heterogeneity impact the transmission spectrum of transiting exoplanets and discuss approaches to correct for this important effect to improve the diagnostic power of transit spectroscopcy.

  9. Survey: National Environmental Satellite Service

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    The national Environmental Satellite Service (NESS) receives data at periodic intervals from satellites of the Synchronous Meteorological Satellite/Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite series and from the Improved TIROS (Television Infrared Observational Satellite) Operational Satellite. Within the conterminous United States, direct readout and processed products are distributed to users over facsimile networks from a central processing and data distribution facility. In addition, the NESS Satellite Field Stations analyze, interpret, and distribute processed geostationary satellite products to regional weather service activities.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinetti, Giovanna

    2015-11-01

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

  11. Project PANOPTES: a citizen-scientist exoplanet transit survey using commercial digital cameras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gee, Wilfred T.; Guyon, Olivier; Walawender, Josh; Jovanovic, Nemanja; Boucher, Luc

    2016-08-01

    Project PANOPTES (http://www.projectpanoptes.org) is aimed at establishing a collaboration between professional astronomers, citizen scientists and schools to discover a large number of exoplanets with the transit technique. We have developed digital camera based imaging units to cover large parts of the sky and look for exoplanet transits. Each unit costs approximately $5000 USD and runs automatically every night. By using low-cost, commercial digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, we have developed a uniquely cost-efficient system for wide field astronomical imaging, offering approximately two orders of magnitude better etendue per unit of cost than professional wide-field surveys. Both science and outreach, our vision is to have thousands of these units built by schools and citizen scientists gathering data, making this project the most productive exoplanet discovery machine in the world.

  12. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey and the discovery of the young Jupiter analog 51 Eridani b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macintosh, Bruce; Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    2016-01-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey has been began in November 2014 and has surveyed more than 100 young nearby stars. I will present an updated status of the survey, including instrument performance and completeness limits. We reported our first new exoplanet discovery, the 20 Myr planet 51 Eri b, in August of 2015. J and H band spectra show that it is among the coolest and lowest-luminosity exoplanets yet imaged, with strong methane absorption and a luminosity consistent with low-entropy formation. I will give an overview of the planet's properties, and results from observations in the second half of 2015.

  13. Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey: Key Results Two Years Into The Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marchis, Franck; Rameau, Julien; Nielsen, Eric L.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Esposito, Thomas; Draper, Zachary H.; Macintosh, Bruce; Graham, James R.; GPIES

    2016-10-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) is targeting 600 young, nearby stars using the GPI instrument. We report here on recent results obtained with this instrument from our team.Rameau et al. (ApJL, 822 2, L2, 2016) presented astrometric monitoring of the young exoplanet HD 95086 b obtained with GPI between 2013 and 2016. Efficient Monte Carlo techniques place preliminary constraints on the orbital parameters of HD 95086 b. Under the assumption of a coplanar planet-disk system, the periastron of HD 95086 b is beyond 51 AU. Therefore, HD 95086 b cannot carve the entire gap inferred from the measured infrared excess in the SED of HD 95086. Additional photometric and spectroscopic measurements reported by de Rosa et al. (2016, apJ, in press) showed that the spectral energy distribution of HD 95086 b is best fit by low temperature (T~800-1300 K), low surface gravity spectra from models which simulate high photospheric dust content. Its temperature is typical to L/T transition objects, but the spectral type is poorly constrained. HD 95086 b is an important exoplanet to test our models of atmospheric properties of young extrasolar planets.Direct detections of debris disk are keys to infer the collisional past and understand the formation of planetary systems. Two debris disks were recently studied with GPI:- Draper et al. (submitted to ApJ, 2016) show the resolved circumstellar debris disk around HD 111520 at a projected range of ~30-100 AU using both total and polarized H-band intensity. Structures in the disks such as a large brightness asymmetry and symmetric polarization fraction are seen. Additional data would confirm if a large disruption event from a stellar fly-by or planetary perturbations altered the disk density- Esposito et al. (submitted to ApJ, 2016) combined Keck NIRC2 data taken at 1.2-2.3 microns and GPI 1.6 micron total intensity and polarized light detections that probes down to projected separations less than 10 AU to show that the HD

  14. A Large Hubble Space Telescope Survey of Low-Mass Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benneke, Björn; Crossfield, Ian; Knutson, Heather; Lothringer, Joshua; McCullough, Peter R.; Dragomir, Diana; Morley, Caroline; Kempton, Eliza

    2016-10-01

    The discovery of short-period planets with masses and radii between Earth and Neptune was one of the biggest surprises in the brief history of exoplanet science. From the Kepler mission, we know that these "super-Earths" or "sub-Neptunes" orbit at least 40% of stars, likely representing the most common outcome of planet formation. Despite this ubiquity, we know little about their typical compositions and formation histories. In this talk, we will shed new light on these worlds by presenting the multiple the main results from our 124-orbit HST transit spectroscopy survey to probe the chemical compositions of low-mass exoplanets. We will report on multiple molecular detections. Our unprecedented HST survey provides the first comprehensive look at this intriguing new class of planets by covering seven planets ranging from 1 Neptune mass and temperatures close to 2000K to a 1 Earth-mass planet near the habitable zone of its host star.

  15. The DOHA algorithm: a new recipe for cotrending large-scale transiting exoplanet survey light curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mislis, D.; Pyrzas, S.; Alsubai, K. A.; Tsvetanov, Z. I.; Vilchez, N. P. E.

    2017-03-01

    We present DOHA, a new algorithm for cotrending photometric light curves obtained by transiting exoplanet surveys. The algorithm employs a novel approach to the traditional 'differential photometry' technique, by selecting the most suitable comparison star for each target light curve, using a two-step correlation search. Extensive tests on real data reveal that DOHA corrects both intra-night variations and long-term systematics affecting the data. Statistical studies conducted on a sample of ∼9500 light curves from the Qatar Exoplanet Survey reveal that DOHA-corrected light curves show an rms improvement of a factor of ∼2, compared to the raw light curves. In addition, we show that the transit detection probability in our sample can increase considerably, even up to a factor of 7, after applying DOHA.

  16. Multi-wavelength Characterization of Exoplanet Host Stars with the MUSCLES Treasury Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    France, Kevin; Youngblood, Allison; Parke Loyd, R. O.; Schneider, Christian

    2017-01-01

    High-energy photons (X-ray to NUV) from exoplanet host stars regulate the atmospheric temperature profiles and photochemistry on orbiting planets, influencing the long-term stability of planetary atmospheres and the production of potential “biomarker” gases. However, relatively few observational and theoretical constraints exist on the high-energy irradiance from typical (i.e., weakly active) M and K dwarf exoplanet host stars. In this talk, I will describe results from a panchromatic survey (Chandra/XMM/Hubble/ground) of M and K dwarf exoplanet hosts. The MUSCLES Treasury Survey (Measurements of the Ultraviolet Spectral Characteristics of Low-mass Exoplanetary Systems) combines UV, X-ray, and optical observations with reconstructed Lyman-alpha and EUV (100-900 Ang) radiation to create 5 Angstrom to 5 micron stellar irradiance spectra that are available as a High-Level Science Product on STScI/MAST. I will discuss how we use multi-wavelength observations to study possible abiotic production of the suggested biomarkers O2 and O3, develop scaling relations to infer the high-energy particle fluxes from these stars based on solar UV flare/particle flux measurements, calibrate visible-wavelength proxies for the high-energy irradiance, and characterize the UV variability and flare frequency of “optically inactive” M dwarfs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  18. Exoplanets -New Results from Space and Ground-based Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Udry, Stephane

    The exploration of the outer solar system and in particular of the giant planets and their environments is an on-going process with the Cassini spacecraft currently around Saturn, the Juno mission to Jupiter preparing to depart and two large future space missions planned to launch in the 2020-2025 time frame for the Jupiter system and its satellites (Europa and Ganymede) on the one hand, and the Saturnian system and Titan on the other hand [1,2]. Titan, Saturn's largest satellite, is the only other object in our Solar system to possess an extensive nitrogen atmosphere, host to an active organic chemistry, based on the interaction of N2 with methane (CH4). Following the Voyager flyby in 1980, Titan has been intensely studied from the ground-based large telescopes (such as the Keck or the VLT) and by artificial satellites (such as the Infrared Space Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope) for the past three decades. Prior to Cassini-Huygens, Titan's atmospheric composition was thus known to us from the Voyager missions and also through the explorations by the ISO. Our perception of Titan had thus greatly been enhanced accordingly, but many questions remained as to the nature of the haze surrounding the satellite and the composition of the surface. The recent revelations by the Cassini-Huygens mission have managed to surprise us with many discoveries [3-8] and have yet to reveal more of the interesting aspects of the satellite. The Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturnian system has been an extraordinary success for the planetary community since the Saturn-Orbit-Insertion (SOI) in July 2004 and again the very successful probe descent and landing of Huygens on January 14, 2005. One of its main targets was Titan. Titan was revealed to be a complex world more like the Earth than any other: it has a dense mostly nitrogen atmosphere and active climate and meteorological cycles where the working fluid, methane, behaves under Titan conditions the way that water does on

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eccleston, P.; Tinetti, G.

    2015-10-01

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

  1. Tidal Synchronization of Close-in Satellites and Exoplanets, Host Stars and Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraz-Mello, Sylvio

    2014-05-01

    This paper deals with an application of the creep tide theory (Ferraz-Mello, Cel. Mech. Dyn. Astron. 116, 109, 2013) to the rotation of close-in satellites, Mercury, close-in exoplanets and their host stars. The solutions show different behaviors in the two extreme cases: low-viscosity close-in gaseous planets and stars (high relaxation factor) and high-viscosity rocky satellites and planets (low relaxation factor). The rotation of close-in gaseous planets follows the classical Darwinian pattern: it is tidally driven towards a synchronous solution when the orbit is circular, but to a super-synchronous solution, with frequency (1+6e^2) times the orbital mean-motion, when the orbit is elliptic. The rotation of rocky bodies, however, may be driven to several attractors whose frequencies are 1/2, 1, 3/2, 2, 5/2,… times the mean-motion. The number of attractors increases with the viscosity of the body and the orbital eccentricity. The final stationary state depends on the initial conditions and on the eccentricity of the orbits. The well-known case of Mercury, whose rotational period is 2/3 of the orbital period (3/2 attractor), is a consequence of the nonzero orbital eccentricity and of the relaxation factor of the planet (large enough to avoid the 2/1 attractor, but small enough to be trapped in the 3/2 one). Mercury's relaxation factor can thus be estimated to lie in the interval 4.6-27 nHz (which allows Q to be roughly constrained to the interval 5

  2. The International Deep Planet Survey. II. The frequency of directly imaged giant exoplanets with stellar mass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galicher, R.; Marois, C.; Macintosh, B.; Zuckerman, B.; Barman, T.; Konopacky, Q.; Song, I.; Patience, J.; Lafrenière, D.; Doyon, R.; Nielsen, E. L.

    2016-10-01

    Context. Radial velocity and transit methods are effective for the study of short orbital period exoplanets but they hardly probe objects at large separations for which direct imaging can be used. Aims: We carried out the international deep planet survey of 292 young nearby stars to search for giant exoplanets and determine their frequency. Methods: We developed a pipeline for a uniform processing of all the data that we have recorded with NIRC2/Keck II, NIRI/Gemini North, NICI/Gemini South, and NACO/VLT for 14 yr. The pipeline first applies cosmetic corrections and then reduces the speckle intensity to enhance the contrast in the images. Results: The main result of the international deep planet survey is the discovery of the HR 8799 exoplanets. We also detected 59 visual multiple systems including 16 new binary stars and 2 new triple stellar systems, as well as 2279 point-like sources. We used Monte Carlo simulations and the Bayesian theorem to determine that 1.05+2.80-0.70% of stars harbor at least one giant planet between 0.5 and 14 MJ and between 20 and 300 AU. This result is obtained assuming uniform distributions of planet masses and semi-major axes. If we consider power law distributions as measured for close-in planets instead, the derived frequency is 2.30+5.95-1.55%, recalling the strong impact of assumptions on Monte Carlo output distributions. We also find no evidence that the derived frequency depends on the mass of the hosting star, whereas it does for close-in planets. Conclusions: The international deep planet survey provides a database of confirmed background sources that may be useful for other exoplanet direct imaging surveys. It also puts new constraints on the number of stars with at least one giant planet reducing by a factor of two the frequencies derived by almost all previous works. Tables 11-15 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc

  3. The EUVE satellite survey database

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Craig, N.; Chen, T.; Hawkins, I.; Fruscione, A.

    1993-01-01

    The EUVE survey database contains fundamental science data for 9000 potential source locations (pigeonholes) in the sky. The first release of the Bright Source List is now available to the public through an interface with the NASA Astrophysical Data System. We describe the database schema design and the EUVE source categorization algorithm that compares sources to the ROSAT Wide Field Camera source list.

  4. Color Survey of the Irregular Planetary Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graykowski, Ariel; Jewitt, David

    2016-10-01

    Irregular satellites are characterized by their larger orbital distance from their planet, their high eccentricity and their high inclination, all indicating that they were captured. However, the mechanism of capture and the location of origin of the satellites remain unknown. We are conducting a photometric survey of the irregular satellites of the giant planets using the LRIS instrument on the 10-meter telescope at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii. The measured colors will be compared to other planetary bodies in search for similarities and differences that may reflect upon the origin of the satellites. For example, if irregular satellites were captured from the Kuiper Belt then some should contain the ultrared material that is common in the trans-Neptunian and Centaur populations. If the irregular satellites of Jupiter were captured from the same source population as the Jovian Trojans, then it is natural to expect that the surface properties of satellites and Trojans should be the same. We will present initial results of this work.

  5. Exoplanets from the Arctic: The First Wide-field Survey at 80°N

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Law, Nicholas M.; Carlberg, Raymond; Salbi, Pegah; Ngan, Wai-Hin Wayne; Ahmadi, Aida; Steinbring, Eric; Murowinski, Richard; Sivanandam, Suresh; Kerzendorf, Wolfgang

    2013-03-01

    Located within 10° of the North Pole, northern Ellesmere Island offers continuous darkness in the winter months. This capability can greatly enhance the detection efficiency of planetary transit surveys and other time domain astronomy programs. We deployed two wide-field cameras at 80°N, near Eureka, Nunavut, for a 152 hr observing campaign in 2012 February. The 16 megapixel camera systems were based on commercial f/1.2 lenses with 70 mm and 42 mm apertures, and they continuously imaged 504 and 1295 deg2, respectively. In total, the cameras took over 44,000 images and produced better than 1% precision light curves for approximately 10,000 stars. We describe a new high-speed astrometric and photometric data reduction pipeline designed for the systems, test several methods for the precision flat fielding of images from very-wide-angle cameras, and evaluate the cameras' image qualities. We achieved a scintillation-limited photometric precision of 1%-2% in each 10 s exposure. Binning the short exposures into 10 minute chunks provided a photometric stability of 2-3 mmag, sufficient for the detection of transiting exoplanets around the bright stars targeted by our survey. We estimate that the cameras, when operated over the full Arctic winter, will be capable of discovering several transiting exoplanets around bright (mV < 9.5) stars.

  6. EXOPLANETS FROM THE ARCTIC: THE FIRST WIDE-FIELD SURVEY AT 80 Degree-Sign N

    SciTech Connect

    Law, Nicholas M.; Sivanandam, Suresh; Carlberg, Raymond; Salbi, Pegah; Ngan, Wai-Hin Wayne; Kerzendorf, Wolfgang; Ahmadi, Aida; Steinbring, Eric; Murowinski, Richard

    2013-03-15

    Located within 10 Degree-Sign of the North Pole, northern Ellesmere Island offers continuous darkness in the winter months. This capability can greatly enhance the detection efficiency of planetary transit surveys and other time domain astronomy programs. We deployed two wide-field cameras at 80 Degree-Sign N, near Eureka, Nunavut, for a 152 hr observing campaign in 2012 February. The 16 megapixel camera systems were based on commercial f/1.2 lenses with 70 mm and 42 mm apertures, and they continuously imaged 504 and 1295 deg{sup 2}, respectively. In total, the cameras took over 44,000 images and produced better than 1% precision light curves for approximately 10,000 stars. We describe a new high-speed astrometric and photometric data reduction pipeline designed for the systems, test several methods for the precision flat fielding of images from very-wide-angle cameras, and evaluate the cameras' image qualities. We achieved a scintillation-limited photometric precision of 1%-2% in each 10 s exposure. Binning the short exposures into 10 minute chunks provided a photometric stability of 2-3 mmag, sufficient for the detection of transiting exoplanets around the bright stars targeted by our survey. We estimate that the cameras, when operated over the full Arctic winter, will be capable of discovering several transiting exoplanets around bright (m{sub V} < 9.5) stars.

  7. BASS-Ultracool : A Survey for Isolated Analogs of Methane Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gagné, Jonathan; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Malo, Lison; Filippazzo, Joseph C.; Burgasser, Adam J.; Artigau, Etienne; Lafrenière, David; Doyon, Rene; Bowsher, Emily; Nicholls, Christine P.

    2015-12-01

    I will present BASS-Ultracool, a new survey to identify isolated cold, late L and T-type members of young moving groups. These objects have masses below 10 MJup and physical properties similar to those of exoplanets identified with the direct-imaging method. The discovery of such isolated planetary-mass objects will allow us to characterize their atmospheres with unprecedented signal-to-noise and spectroscopic resolution due to the absence of a host star. They will serve as benchmarks to understand cold exoplanets such as the recently discovered 51 Eri b.I will also present how the prototype version of the BASS-Ultracool survey has already identified the first isolated T-type member of a nearby moving group SDSS J1110+0116, which is a young 10-12 MJup T5.5 member of the ~150 Myr-old AB Doradus moving group. This object is an isolated and slightly cooler version of the previously identified T3.5 AB Doradus member GU Psc b.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamura, Motohide

    2015-08-01

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

  9. A Large Hubble Space Telescope Survey of Low-Mass Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benneke, Björn; Crossfield, Ian; Knutson, Heather; Lothringer, Joshua; Dragomir, Diana; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Howard, Andrew; McCullough, Peter R.; Kempton, Eliza; Morley, Caroline

    2016-06-01

    The discovery of short-period planets with masses and radii between Earth and Neptune was one of the biggest surprises in the brief history of exoplanet science. From the Kepler mission, we now know that these “super-Earths” or "sub-Neptunes" orbit at least 40% of stars, likely representing the most common outcome of planet formation. Despite this ubiquity, we know little about their typical compositions and formation histories. Spectroscopic transit observations combined with powerful atmospheric retrieval tools can shed new light on these mysterious worlds. In this talk, we will present the main results from our 124-orbit Hubble Space Telescope survey to reveal the chemical diversity and formation histories of super-Earths. This unprecedented HST survey provides the first comprehensive look at this intriguing new class of planets ranging from 1 Neptune mass and temperatures close to 2000K to a 1 Earth mass planet near the habitable zone of its host star.

  10. Large collaboration in observational astronomy: the Gemini Planet Imager exoplanet survey case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marchis, Franck; Kalas, Paul G.; Perrin, Marshall D.; Konopacky, Quinn M.; Savransky, Dmitry; Macintosh, Bruce; Marois, Christian; Graham, James R.

    2016-08-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a next-generation high-contrast imager built for the Gemini Observatory. The GPI exoplanet survey (GPIES) consortium is made up of 102 researchers from 28 institutions in North and South America and Europe. In November 2014, we launched a search for young Jovian planets and debris disks. In this paper, we discuss how we have coordinated the work done by this large team to improve the technical and scientific productivity of the campaign, and describe lessons we have learned that could be useful for future instrumentation-based astronomical surveys. The success of GPIES lies mostly on its decentralized structure, clear definition of policies that are signed by each member, and the heavy use of modern tools for communicating, exchanging information, and processing data.

  11. Project 1640: The First Extreme AO Direct imaging Survey for Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oppenheimer, Ben

    This proposal seeks support for a new survey of nearby stars with unique instrumentation that provides unprecedented sensitivity. The instrumentation is fully functional and initial observations on the Palomar 5-m telescope have already demonstrated a factor of 100 improvement in speckle suppression relative to other coronagraphs. We are beginning a three-year survey with 99 nights of guaranteed time on the Palomar telescope. We are targeting the brightest (youngest) stars in the Northern hemisphere to find exoplanets and measure their spectra. The proposal seeks support for students, a postdoc and partial support of senior researchers, as well as travel funds to conduct the observations. This work directly meets some of NASA Origins main objectives, including a census and characterization of nearby solar systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donovan, Francis Thomas

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

  14. High contrast imaging at the LBT: the LEECH exoplanet imaging survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Hinz, Philip; Esposito, Simone; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Defrère, Denis; Bailey, Vanessa; Leisenring, Jarron; Apai, Daniel; Biller, Beth; Bonnefoy, Mickaël.; Brandner, Wolfgang; Buenzli, Esther; Close, Laird; Crepp, Justin; De Rosa, Robert J.; Desidera, Silvano; Eisner, Josh; Fortney, Jonathan; Henning, Thomas; Hofmann, Karl-Heinz; Kopytova, Taisiya; Maire, Anne-Lise; Males, Jared R.; Millan-Gabet, Rafael; Morzinski, Katie; Oza, Apurva; Patience, Jenny; Rajan, Abhijith; Rieke, George; Schertl, Dieter; Schlieder, Joshua; Su, Kate; Vaz, Amali; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Weigelt, Gerd; Woodward, Charles E.; Zimmerman, Neil

    2014-07-01

    In Spring 2013, the LEECH (LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt) survey began its ~130-night campaign from the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) atop Mt Graham, Arizona. This survey benefits from the many technological achievements of the LBT, including two 8.4-meter mirrors on a single fixed mount, dual adaptive secondary mirrors for high Strehl performance, and a cold beam combiner to dramatically reduce the telescope's overall background emissivity. LEECH neatly complements other high-contrast planet imaging efforts by observing stars at L' (3.8 μm), as opposed to the shorter wavelength near-infrared bands (1-2.4 μm) of other surveys. This portion of the spectrum offers deep mass sensitivity, especially around nearby adolescent (~0.1-1 Gyr) stars. LEECH's contrast is competitive with other extreme adaptive optics systems, while providing an alternative survey strategy. Additionally, LEECH is characterizing known exoplanetary systems with observations from 3-5μm in preparation for JWST.

  15. SERIES - Satellite Emission Range Inferred Earth Surveying

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macdoran, P. F.; Spitzmesser, D. J.; Buennagel, L. A.

    1983-01-01

    The Satellite Emission Range Inferred Earth Surveying (SERIES) concept is based on the utilization of NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) radio transmissions without any satellite modifications and in a totally passive mode. The SERIES stations are equipped with lightweight 1.5 m diameter dish antennas mounted on trailers. A series baseline measurement accuracy demonstration is considered, taking into account a 100 meter baseline estimation from approximately one hour of differential Doppler data. It is planned to conduct the next phase of experiments on a 150 m baseline. Attention is given to details regarding future baseline measurement accuracy demonstrations, aspects of ionospheric calibration in connection with subdecimeter baseline accuracy requirements of geodesy, and advantages related to the use of the differential Doppler or pseudoranging mode.

  16. The LEECH Exoplanet Imaging Survey. Further constraints on the planet architecture of the HR 8799 system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maire, A.-L.; Skemer, A. J.; Hinz, P. M.; Desidera, S.; Esposito, S.; Gratton, R.; Marzari, F.; Skrutskie, M. F.; Biller, B. A.; Defrère, D.; Bailey, V. P.; Leisenring, J. M.; Apai, D.; Bonnefoy, M.; Brandner, W.; Buenzli, E.; Claudi, R. U.; Close, L. M.; Crepp, J. R.; De Rosa, R. J.; Eisner, J. A.; Fortney, J. J.; Henning, T.; Hofmann, K.-H.; Kopytova, T. G.; Males, J. R.; Mesa, D.; Morzinski, K. M.; Oza, A.; Patience, J.; Pinna, E.; Rajan, A.; Schertl, D.; Schlieder, J. E.; Su, K. Y. L.; Vaz, A.; Ward-Duong, K.; Weigelt, G.; Woodward, C. E.

    2015-04-01

    Context. Astrometric monitoring of directly imaged exoplanets allows the study of their orbital parameters and system architectures. Because most directly imaged planets have long orbital periods (>20 AU), accurate astrometry is challenging when based on data acquired on timescales of a few years and usually with different instruments. The LMIRCam camera on the Large Binocular Telescope is being used for the LBT Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt (LEECH) survey to search for and characterize young and adolescent exoplanets in L' band (3.8 μm), including their system architectures. Aims: We first aim to provide a good astrometric calibration of LMIRCam. Then, we derive new astrometry, test the predictions of the orbital model of 8:4:2:1 mean motion resonance proposed for the system, and perform new orbital fitting of the HR 8799 bcde planets. We also present deep limits on a putative fifth planet inside the known planets. Methods: We use observations of HR 8799 and the Θ1 Ori C field obtained during the same run in October 2013. Results: We first characterize the distortion of LMIRCam. We determine a platescale and a true north orientation for the images of 10.707 ± 0.012 mas/pix and -0.430 ± 0.076°, respectively. The errors on the platescale and true north orientation translate into astrometric accuracies at a separation of 1'' of 1.1 mas and 1.3 mas, respectively. The measurements for all planets agree within 3σ with a predicted ephemeris. The orbital fitting based on the new astrometric measurements favors an architecture for the planetary system based on 8:4:2:1 mean motion resonance. The detection limits allow us to exclude a fifth planet slightly brighter or more massive than HR 8799 b at the location of the 2:1 resonance with HR 8799 e (~9.5 AU) and about twice as bright as HR 8799 cde at the location of the 3:1 resonance with HR 8799 e (~7.5 AU). The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy, and Germany. LBT

  17. Thermodynamic Equations of State for Aqueous Solutions Applied to Deep Icy Satellite and Exoplanet Oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vance, S.; Brown, J. M.; Bollengier, O.; Journaux, B.; Sotin, C.; Choukroun, M.; Barnes, R.

    2014-12-01

    Supporting life in icy world or exoplanet oceans may require global seafloor chemical reactions between water and rock. Such interactions have been regarded as limited in larger icy worlds such as Ganymede and Titan, where ocean depths approach 800 km and GPa pressures (>10katm). If the oceans are composed of pure water, such conditions are consistent with the presence of dense ice phases V and VI that cover the rocky seafloor. Exoplanets with oceans can obtain pressures sufficient to generate ices VII and VIII. We have previously demonstrated temperature gradients in such oceans on the order of 20 K or more, resulting from fluid compressibility in a deep adiabatic ocean based on our experimental work. Accounting for increases in density for highly saline oceans leads to the possibility of oceans perched under and between high pressure ices. Ammonia has the opposite effect, instead decreasing ocean density, as reported by others and confirmed by our laboratory measurements in the ammonia water system. Here we report on the completed equation of state for aqueous ammonia derived from our prior measurements and optimized global b-spline fitting methods We use recent diamond anvil cell measurements for water and ammonia to extend the equation of state to 400°C and beyond 2 GPa, temperatures and pressures applicable to icy worlds and exoplanets. Densities show much less temperature dependence but comparabe high-pressure derivatives to previously published ammonia-water properties derived for application to Titan (Croft et al. 1988). Thermal expansion is in better agreement with the more self-consistent equation of state of Tillner-Roth and Friend (1998). We also describe development of a planetary NaCl equation of state using recent measurements of phase boundaries and sound speeds. We examine implications of realistic ocean-ice thermodynamics for Titan and exoplanet interiors using the methodology recently applied to Ganymede for oceans dominated by MgSO4. High

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  19. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Catalog of Earth-Like Exoplanet Survey Targets (Chandler+, 2016)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandler, C. O.; McDonald, I.; Kane, S. R.

    2016-07-01

    We present the Catalog of Earth-Like Exoplanet Survey Targets (CELESTA), a database of habitable zones around 37000 nearby stars. The first step in creating CELESTA was assembling the input data. The Revised Hipparcos Catalog (van Leeuwen 2007, Cat. I/311) is a stellar catalog based on the original Hipparcos mission (Perryman et al. 1997, Cat. I/239) data set. Hipparcos, launched in 1989, recorded with great precision the parallax of nearby stars, ultimately leading to a database of 118218 stars. McDonald et al. 2012 (cat. J/MNRAS/427/343) calculated effective temperatures and luminosities for the Hipparcos stars. The next step was selecting appropriate stars for the construction of CELESTA. The Stellar Parameter Catalog of 103663 stars included many stars that were not suitable for our purposes, especially stars off the Main-Sequence (MS) branch, e.g., giants. Please refer to Section 3.2 in the paper for additional details about the star selection. The final CELESTA catalog contains 37354 stars (see Table2), each with a set of associated attributes, e.g., estimated mass, measured distance. The complete database can also be found online at a dedicated host (http://www.celesta.info/). (2 data files).

  20. On small satellites for oceanography: A survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerra, André G. C.; Francisco, Frederico; Villate, Jaime; Aguado Agelet, Fernando; Bertolami, Orfeu; Rajan, Kanna

    2016-10-01

    The recent explosive growth of small satellite operations driven primarily from an academic or pedagogical need, has demonstrated the viability of commercial-off-the-shelf technologies in space. They have also leveraged and shown the need for development of compatible sensors primarily aimed for Earth observation tasks including monitoring terrestrial domains, communications and engineering tests. However, one domain that these platforms have not yet made substantial inroads into, is in the ocean sciences. Remote sensing has long been within the repertoire of tools for oceanographers to study dynamic large scale physical phenomena, such as gyres and fronts, bio-geochemical process transport, primary productivity and process studies in the coastal ocean. We argue that the time has come for micro and nano-satellites (with mass smaller than 100 kg and 2-3 year development times) designed, built, tested and flown by academic departments, for coordinated observations with robotic assets in situ. We do so primarily by surveying SmallSat missions oriented towards ocean observations in the recent past, and in doing so, we update the current knowledge about what is feasible in the rapidly evolving field of platforms and sensors for this domain. We conclude by proposing a set of candidate ocean observing missions with an emphasis on radar-based observations, with a focus on Synthetic Aperture Radar.

  1. Surveying Antarctica: from dogsled to satellite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Richard S.

    1979-01-01

    Base maps of Antarctica are needed at scales of 1:250,000 to plot scientific data, yet after 20 years of a major mapping effort, only about 20 percent of the continent has been accurately mapped using aerial photographs and ground surveys. Encompassing nearly 14.3 million square kilometers (5.5 million square miles), Antarctica still presents a formidable mapping task. Except for the area around the geographic South Pole, Landsat could, in just a few years, provide the images to planimetrically map Antarctica at such scales as 1:250,000. Just 11 Landsat images would encompass the same area mapped to date at a 1:250,000 scale. Navigation satellite data from ground stations can provide the necessary horizontal and vertical ground control in many areas. Other polar orbiting satellites could be used to establish elevation profiles of the ice surfaces on Antarctica. If this presently available space technology is fully utilized, the scientific exploration of the huge Antarctic continent will be greatly accelerated, fulfilling one of the goals Commander Byrd began to work toward 50 years ago.

  2. The MUSCLES Treasury Survey: Temporally- and Spectrally-Resolved Irradiance from Low-mass Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    France, Kevin; Parke Loyd, R. O.; Youngblood, Allison; Linsky, Jeffrey; MUSCLES Treasury Survey Team

    2016-01-01

    The spectral and temporal behavior of exoplanet host stars is a critical input to models of the chemistry and evolution of planetary atmospheres. High-energy photons (X-ray to near-UV; 5 - 3200 Ang) from these stars regulate the atmospheric temperature profiles and photochemistry on orbiting planets, influencing the production of potential "biomarker" gases. It has been shown that the atmospheric signatures of potentially habitable planets around low-mass stars may be significantly different from planets orbiting Sun-like stars owing to the different UV spectral energy distribution. I will present results from a panchromatic survey (Hubble/Chandra/XMM/optical) of M and K dwarf exoplanet hosts, the MUSCLES Treasury Survey (Measurements of the Ultraviolet Spectral Characteristics of Low-mass Exoplanetary Systems). We reconstruct the Lyman-alpha and extreme-UV (100-900 Ang) radiation lost to interstellar attenuation and create 5 Angstrom to 5 micron stellar irradiance spectra; these data will be publically available as a High-Level Science Product on MAST. We find that all low-mass exoplanet host stars exhibit significant chromospheric/transition region/coronal emission -- no "UV inactive" M dwarfs are observed. The F(far-UV)/F(near-UV) flux ratio, a driver for possible abiotic production of the suggested biomarkers O2 and O3, increases by ~3 orders of magnitude as the habitable zone moves inward from 1 to 0.1 AU, while the incident far-UV (912 - 1700 Ang) and XUV (5 - 900 Ang) radiation field strengths decrease by factors of a few across this range. Far-UV flare activity is common in 'optically inactive' M dwarfs; statistics from the entire sample indicate that large UV flares (E(300 - 1700 Ang) >= 10^31 erg) occur several times per day on typical M dwarf exoplanet hosts.

  3. The NASA Exoplanet Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akeson, Rachel L.

    2015-11-01

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

  4. Survey of United States commercial satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, Lawerence D.; Miller, Jeffrey L.

    1994-09-01

    This thesis examines the domestic commercial satellite options available for telecommunication and remote sensing services. The study provides a single source, comprehensive examination of the available commercial U.S. geosynchronous telecommunications satellites as well as the remote sensing spacecraft which may be utilized for commercial purposes. A general satellite communications technology overview is provided as background material for the more detailed satellite compendium. The following telecommunications operators are included with their respective domestic communications satellites: Alascom, Alpha Lyracom Pan American, AT&T, Comsat, GE Americom, GTE Spacenet, Hughes and Intelsat. Satellite evolution, overview, key design features, and performance parameters are catalogued. Additionally, each satellite's communications payload is examined in detail. Emerging technologies in the remote sensing field are presented. The current GOES and NOAA satellite systems are surveyed with an emphasis on each satellite's capabilities and operational status.

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  7. Qatar Exoplanet Survey : Qatar-3b, Qatar-4b, and Qatar-5b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alsubai, Khalid; Mislis, Dimitris; Tsvetanov, Zlatan I.; Latham, David W.; Bieryla, Allyson; Buchhave, Lars A.; Esquerdo, Gilbert A.; Bramich, D. M.; Pyrzas, Stylianos; Vilchez, Nicolas P. E.; Mancini, Luigi; Southworth, John; Evans, Daniel F.; Henning, Thomas; Ciceri, Simona

    2017-04-01

    We report the discovery of Qatar-3b, Qatar-4b, and Qatar-5b, three new transiting planets identified by the Qatar Exoplanet Survey. The three planets belong to the hot Jupiter family, with orbital periods of {P}{{Q}3{{b}}} = 2.50792 days, {P}{{Q}4{{b}}} = 1.80539 days, and {P}{{Q}5{{b}}} = 2.87923 days. Follow-up spectroscopic observations reveal the masses of the planets to be {M}{{Q}3{{b}}} = 4.31 ± 0.47 {M}{{J}}, {M}{{Q}4{{b}}} = 6.10 ± 0.54 {M}{{J}}, and {M}{{Q}5{{b}}} = 4.32 ± 0.18 {M}{{J}}, while model fits to the transit light curves yield radii of {R}{{Q}3{{b}}} = 1.096 ± 0.14 {R}{{J}}, {R}{{Q}4{{b}}} = 1.135 ± 0.11 {R}{{J}}, and {R}{{Q}5{{b}}} = 1.107 ± 0.064 {R}{{J}}. The host stars are low-mass main sequence stars with masses and radii M Q3 = 1.145 ± 0.064 M ⊙, M Q4 = 0.896 ± 0.048 M ⊙, M Q5 = 1.128 ± 0.056 M ⊙ and R Q3 = 1.272 ± 0.14 R ⊙, R Q4 = 0.849 ± 0.063 R ⊙, and R Q5 = 1.076 ± 0.051 R ⊙ for Qatar-3, 4, and 5 respectively. The V magnitudes of the three host stars are V Q3 = 12.88, V Q4 = 13.60, and V Q5 = 12.82. All three new planets can be classified as heavy hot Jupiters (M > 4 M J).

  8. The Catalog of Earth-Like Exoplanet Survey Targets (CELESTA): A Database of Habitable Zones Around Nearby Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandler, Colin Orion; McDonald, Iain; Kane, Stephen R.

    2016-03-01

    Locating planets in circumstellar habitable zones (HZs) is a priority for many exoplanet surveys. Space-based and ground-based surveys alike require robust toolsets to aid in target selection and mission planning. We present the Catalog of Earth-Like Exoplanet Survey Targets (CELESTA), a database of HZs around 37,000 nearby stars. We calculated stellar parameters, including effective temperatures, masses, and radii, and we quantified the orbital distances and periods corresponding to the circumstellar HZs. We gauged the accuracy of our predictions by contrasting CELESTA’s computed parameters to observational data. We ascertain a potential return on investment by computing the number of HZs probed for a given survey duration. A versatile framework for extending the functionality of CELESTA into the future enables ongoing comparisons to new observations, and recalculations when updates to HZ models, stellar temperatures, or parallax data become available. We expect to upgrade and expand CELESTA using data from the Gaia mission as the data become available.

  9. Lessons learnt and results from the first survey of transiting exoplanet atmospheres using a multi-object spectrograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desert, Jean-Michel

    2015-12-01

    We present results from the first comprehensive survey program dedicated to probing transiting exoplanet atmospheres using transmission spectroscopy with a multi-object spectrograph (MOS). Our three-year survey focused on nine close-in giant planets for which the wavelength dependent transit depths in the visible were measured with Gemini/GMOS. In total, about 40 transits (200 hours) have been secured, with each exoplanet observed on average during four transits. This approach allows for a high spectrophotometric precision (200-500 ppm / 10 nm) and for a unique and reliable estimate of systematic uncertainties. We present the main results from this survey, the challenges faced by such an experiment, and the lessons learnt for future MOS observations and instrument designs. We show that the precision achieved by this survey permits us to distinguish hazy atmospheres from cloud-free scenarios. We lay out the challenges that are in front of us whilst preparing future atmospheric reconnaissance of habitable worlds with multi-object spectrographs.

  10. Using Small Telescopes, Citizen Science, and Network Surveys to find Exoplanets - An Overview of the Kelt team and the Exoplanets Found to Date

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephens, Denise C.; Kelt North Survey Team, Kelt South Survey Team

    2016-10-01

    The Kelt-North and Kelt-South transit survey is a wide angle search for hot Jupiters around some of the brightest stars in the night sky. Survey operations are based out of the Ohio State and Vanderbilt Universities, with observing facilities at Winer Observatory in Arizona and in Sutherland, South Africa. KELT stands for Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope, where "Kilodegree" refers to the large area on the sky that the telescope can observe in a single shot. These "Little Telescopes" monitor the brightness of hundreds of thousands of stars night after night, month after month, for many years. Stars that show apparent changes in brightness are put through a careful vetting process and the best transiting planet candidates are sent on for photometric follow-up by a ground based team made up of nearly 40 members in 10 countries across 4 continents. The KELT Follow-Up Network is the largest, most coordinated network of its kind, and their work has contributed to the discovery of multiple new planets: including Kelt-1b which is a 30 Jupiter-mass object at an orbital period of 1.2 days; Kelt-6b wich is a Hot Saturn on a 7.9 day orbital period; and Kelt-8b which is a highly inflated Hot Jupiter that required the development of new techniques to extract high-precision radial velocities. In this presentation I will highlight all of the Kelt Exoplanets discovered to date and how the Kelt team is using small telescopes, citizen science, and network surveys to make these discoveries possible.

  11. VLT FORS2 comparative transmission spectral survey of clear and cloudy exoplanet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolov, Nikolay; Sing, David K.; Gibson, Neale; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Evans, Tom M.; Barstow, Joanna; Kataria, Tiffany; Wilson, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Thousands of transiting exoplanets are known today but not many have been studied in transmission. While observations with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) have started to reveal a diversity of atmosphere types, drawing robust conclusions about the underlying population is hampered by the small sample size. This can be greatly aided by ground-based telescopes, equipped with multi-object spectrographs by their unprecedented access to the abundance of fainter systems that HST cannot observe. We have initiated a ground-based, multi-object transmission spectroscopy of a handful of hot gas-giants, covering the wavelength range 360-850nm, using the recently upgraded FOcal Reducer and Spectrograph (FORS2) mounted on the Very Large Telescope (VLT). These exoplanets were selected for a comparative follow-up as their transmission spectra showed evidence for alkali metal absorption, based on the results of HST observations. Here we will discuss first results from the program, demonstrating an excellent agreement between the transmission spectra measured from VLT and HST and detections of Na and K absorption and scattering by clouds/hazes in the atmospheres of several exoplanets. More details will be discussed on the narrow alkali features obtained with FORS2 at higher resolution, revealing its high potential in obtaining optical transmission spectra, which can greatly aid comparative exoplanet studies.

  12. First Results From The SDSS-III Multi-object APO Radial-velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Jian; Mahadevan, S.; Lee, B.; Wan, X.; Groot, J.; Zhao, B.; Hearty, F.; van Eyken, J.; Chang, L.; Hanna, K.; Varosi, F.; Chen, Z.; Fleming, S.; Kane, S.; Malik, M.; Guo, P.; Leger, F.; Liu, J.; Ford, E. B.; Agol, E.; Gaudi, S.; Ford, H.; Schneider, D.; Holtzman, J.; Sivarani, T.; Walszczan, A.; Niedzielski, A.; Martin, E.; Snedden, S.; Pan, K.

    2008-09-01

    We present the first light results from the Multi-object APO Radial-Velocity Exoplanet Large-area Survey (MARVELS). MARVELS is part of the on-going Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) III survey which started in July 2008 and will end in July 2014. The data are taken with a multi-object fixed delay interferometer coupled to a R=11,000 spectrograph capable of acquiring precision radial velocities (3-20 m/s depending on V magnitudes) for 60 objects simultaneously in the 3 degree field of view of the SDSS telescope. MARVELS is to monitor a total of 11,000 V=8-12 relatively bright survey stars over 800 square degrees over the 6 years. The survey stars include about 90% F8 and later type main sequence stars and subgiants, and 10% G and K giants with V=7.6-12. MARVELS will produce the largest statistically well defined sample of giant planets drawn from a large of host stars with a diverse set of masses, compositions, and ages which will be used to study exoplanet diversity and planet formation, migration & dynamical evolution. It will also possibly discover rare planet systems and identify signposts for lower-mass or more distant planets. The first two year survey data will be released to the public in 2011. A new planet in a spectroscopic binary system discovered in the MARVELS pilot program will also be reported. We would like to thank the W.M. Keck Foundation, Sloan Foundation, NSF, NASA and UF for support.

  13. Comparison of Satellite Surveying to Traditional Surveying Methods for the Resources Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborne, B. P.; Osborne, V. J.; Kruger, M. L.

    Modern ground-based survey methods involve detailed survey, which provides three-space co-ordinates for surveyed points, to a high level of accuracy. The instruments are operated by surveyors, who process the raw results to create survey location maps for the subject of the survey. Such surveys are conducted for a location or region and referenced to the earth global co- ordinate system with global positioning system (GPS) positioning. Due to this referencing the survey is only as accurate as the GPS reference system. Satellite survey remote sensing utilise satellite imagery which have been processed using commercial geographic information system software. Three-space co-ordinate maps are generated, with an accuracy determined by the datum position accuracy and optical resolution of the satellite platform.This paper presents a case study, which compares topographic surveying undertaken by traditional survey methods with satellite surveying, for the same location. The purpose of this study is to assess the viability of satellite remote sensing for surveying in the resources industry. The case study involves a topographic survey of a dune field for a prospective mining project area in Pakistan. This site has been surveyed using modern surveying techniques and the results are compared to a satellite survey performed on the same area.Analysis of the results from traditional survey and from the satellite survey involved a comparison of the derived spatial co- ordinates from each method. In addition, comparisons have been made of costs and turnaround time for both methods.The results of this application of remote sensing is of particular interest for survey in areas with remote and extreme environments, weather extremes, political unrest, poor travel links, which are commonly associated with mining projects. Such areas frequently suffer language barriers, poor onsite technical support and resources.

  14. Satellite surveying for a Loran-C nonprecision approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccall, Daryl L.

    1987-01-01

    Work has continued to site-in a Loran-C nonprecision approach at the Ohio University Gordon K. Bush Airport located in Albany, Ohio. A survey was performed using the Motorola Mini-Ranger Satellite Surveying System, which uses the Navy's TRANSIT satellites. This position was obtained using the point-position method only, that is the position was calculated from sequential Doppler measurements as the TRANSIT satellite's passed within view of the receiver's antenna. Another method, called translocation, can use differential techniques which provide better results. The accuracies obtained, however, are sufficient to site-in a Loran-C nonprecision approach.

  15. Brouwer Award Lecture: Anelastic tides of close-in satellites and exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraz-Mello, Sylvio

    2016-05-01

    This lecture reviews a new theory of the anelastic tides of celestial bodies in which the deformation of the body is the result of a Newtonian creep inversely proportional to the viscosity of the body and, along each radius, directly proportional to the distance from the actual surface of the body to the equilibrium. The first version of the theory (AAS/DDA 2012; CeMDA 2013), was restricted to homogeneous bodies. It was applied to many different bodies as the Moon, Mercury, super-Earths and hot Jupiters. An improved version (AAS/DDA 2014) included also the loss of angular momentum due to stellar winds and was applied to the study of the rotational evolution of active stars hosting massive companions. One more recent version (Folonier et al. AAS/DDA 2013; DPS 2015) allowed for the consideration of layered structures and was applied to Titan and Mercury. The resulting anelastic tides depend on the nature of the considered body. In the case of low-viscosity bodies (high relaxation factor), as gaseous planets and stars, the results are nearly the same of Darwin's theory. For instance, in these cases the dissipation grows proportionally to the tidal frequency. In the case of high-viscosity rocky satellites and planets (low relaxation factor), the results are structurally different: the dissipation varies with the tidal frequency following an inverse power law and the rotation may be driven to several attractors whose frequencies are 1/2, 1, 3/2, 2, 5/2,… times the orbital mean-motion, even when no permanent triaxiality exists.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  17. Chemical Abundances of M-dwarfs from the APOGEE Survey. I. The Exoplanet Hosting Stars Kepler-138 and Kepler-186

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souto, D.; Cunha, K.; García-Hernández, D. A.; Zamora, O.; Allende Prieto, C.; Smith, V. V.; Mahadevan, S.; Blake, C.; Johnson, J. A.; Jönsson, H.; Pinsonneault, M.; Holtzman, J.; Majewski, S. R.; Shetrone, M.; Teske, J.; Nidever, D.; Schiavon, R.; Sobeck, J.; García Pérez, A. E.; Gómez Maqueo Chew, Y.; Stassun, K.

    2017-02-01

    We report the first detailed chemical abundance analysis of the exoplanet-hosting M-dwarf stars Kepler-138 and Kepler-186 from the analysis of high-resolution (R ∼ 22,500) H-band spectra from the SDSS-IV–APOGEE survey. Chemical abundances of 13 elements—C, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, and Fe—are extracted from the APOGEE spectra of these early M-dwarfs via spectrum syntheses computed with an improved line list that takes into account H2O and FeH lines. This paper demonstrates that APOGEE spectra can be analyzed to determine detailed chemical compositions of M-dwarfs. Both exoplanet-hosting M-dwarfs display modest sub-solar metallicities: [Fe/H]Kepler-138 = ‑0.09 ± 0.09 dex and [Fe/H]Kepler-186 = ‑0.08 ± 0.10 dex. The measured metallicities resulting from this high-resolution analysis are found to be higher by ∼0.1–0.2 dex than previous estimates from lower-resolution spectra. The C/O ratios obtained for the two planet-hosting stars are near-solar, with values of 0.55 ± 0.10 for Kepler-138 and 0.52 ± 0.12 for Kepler-186. Kepler-186 exhibits a marginally enhanced [Si/Fe] ratio.

  18. The Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanets Large-survey (ARIEL) payload electronic subsystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Focardi, M.; Pace, E.; Colomé, J.; Ribas, I.; Rataj, M.; Ottensamer, R.; Farina, M.; Di Giorgio, A. M.; Wawer, P.; Pancrazzi, M.; Noce, V.; Pezzuto, S.; Morgante, G.; Artigues, B.; Sierra-Roig, C.; Gesa, L.; Eccleston, P.; Crook, M.; Micela, G.

    2016-07-01

    The ARIEL mission has been proposed to ESA by an European Consortium as the first space mission to extensively perform remote sensing on the atmospheres of a well defined set of warm and hot transiting gas giant exoplanets, whose temperature range between ~600 K and 3000 K. ARIEL will observe a large number (~500) of warm and hot transiting gas giants, Neptunes and super-Earths around a range of host star types using transit spectroscopy in the ~2-8 μm spectral range and broad-band photometry in the NIR and optical. ARIEL will target planets hotter than 600 K to take advantage of their well-mixed atmospheres, which should show minimal condensation and sequestration of high-Z materials and thus reveal their bulk and elemental composition. One of the major motivations for exoplanet characterisation is to understand the probability of occurrence of habitable worlds, i.e. suitable for surface liquid water. While ARIEL will not study habitable planets, its major contribution to this topic will results from its capability to detect the presence of atmospheres on many terrestrial planets outside the habitable zone and, in many cases, characterise them. This represents a fundamental breakthrough in understanding the physical and chemical processes of a large sample of exoplanets atmospheres as well as their bulk properties and to probe in-space technology. The ARIEL infrared spectrometer (AIRS) provides data on the atmospheric composition; these data are acquired and processed by an On-Board Data Handling (OBDH) system including the Cold Front End Electronics (CFEE) and the Instrument Control Unit (ICU). The Telescope Control Unit (TCU) is also included inside the ICU. The latter is directly connected to the Control and Data Management Unit (CDMU) on board the Service Module (SVM). The general hardware architecture and the application software of the ICU are described. The Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) electronics and the Cooler Control Electronics are also presented.

  19. VLT FORS2 comparative transmission spectral survey of clear and cloudy exoplanet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolov, Nikolay; Sing, David; Gibson, Neale; Evans, Thomas; Barstow, Joanna Katy; Kataria, Tiffany; Wilson, Paul A.

    2016-10-01

    Transmission spectroscopy is a key to unlocking the secrets of close-in exoplanet atmospheres. Observations have started to unveil a vast diversity of irradiated giant planet atmospheres with clouds and hazes playing a definitive role across the entire mass and temperature regime. We have initiated a ground-based, multi-object transmission spectroscopy of a hand full of hot Jupiters, covering the wavelength range 360-850nm using the recently upgraded FOcal Reducer and Spectrograph (FORS2) mounted on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the European Southern Observatory (ESO). These targets were selected for comparative follow-up as their transmission spectra showed evidence for alkali metal absorption, based on the results of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations. This talk will discuss the first results from the programme, demonstrating excellent agreement between the transmission spectra measured from VLT and HST and further reinforce the findings of clear, cloudy and hazy atmospheres. More details will be discussed on the narrow alkali features obtained with FORS2 at higher resolution, revealing its high potential in securing optical transmission spectra. These FORS2 observations are the first ground-based detections of clear, cloudy and hazy hot-Jupiter atmosphere with a simultaneous detections of Na, K, and H2 Rayleigh scattering. Our program demonstrates the large potential of the instrument for optical transmission spectroscopy, capable of obtaining HST-quality light curves from the ground. Compared to HST, the larger aperture of VLT will allow for fainter targets to be observed and higher spectral resolution, which can greatly aid comparative exoplanet studies. This is important for further exploring the diversity of exoplanet atmospheres and is particularly complementary to the near- and mid-IR regime, to be covered by the upcoming James-Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and is readily applicable to less massive planets down to super-Earths.

  20. A survey of satellite galaxies around NGC 4258

    SciTech Connect

    Spencer, Meghin; Loebman, Sarah; Yoachim, Peter

    2014-06-20

    We conduct a survey of satellite galaxies around the nearby spiral NGC 4258 by combining spectroscopic observations from the Apache Point Observatory 3.5 m telescope with Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectra. New spectroscopy is obtained for 15 galaxies. Of the 47 observed objects, we categorize 8 of them as probable satellites, 8 as possible satellites, and 17 as unlikely to be satellites. We do not speculate on the membership of the remaining 14 galaxies due to a lack of velocity and distance information. Radially integrating our best-fit NFW profile for NGC 4258 yields a total mass of 1.8 × 10{sup 12} M {sub ☉} within 200 kpc. We find that the angular distribution of the satellites appears to be random, and not preferentially aligned with the disk of NGC 4258. In addition, many of the probable satellite galaxies have blue u–r colors and appear to be star-forming irregulars in SDSS images; this stands in contrast to the low number of blue satellites in the Milky Way and M31 systems at comparable distances.

  1. HIGH-CADENCE, HIGH-CONTRAST IMAGING FOR EXOPLANET MAPPING: OBSERVATIONS OF THE HR 8799 PLANETS WITH VLT/SPHERE SATELLITE-SPOT-CORRECTED RELATIVE PHOTOMETRY

    SciTech Connect

    Apai, Dániel; Skemer, Andrew; Hanson, Jake R.; Kasper, Markus; Lagrange, Anne-Marie; Bonnefoy, Mickaël; Biller, Beth A.; Buenzli, Esther; Vigan, Arthur

    2016-03-20

    Time-resolved photometry is an important new probe of the physics of condensate clouds in extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs. Extreme adaptive optics systems can directly image planets, but precise brightness measurements are challenging. We present VLT/SPHERE high-contrast, time-resolved broad H-band near-infrared photometry for four exoplanets in the HR 8799 system, sampling changes from night to night over five nights with relatively short integrations. The photospheres of these four planets are often modeled by patchy clouds and may show large-amplitude rotational brightness modulations. Our observations provide high-quality images of the system. We present a detailed performance analysis of different data analysis approaches to accurately measure the relative brightnesses of the four exoplanets. We explore the information in satellite spots and demonstrate their use as a proxy for image quality. While the brightness variations of the satellite spots are strongly correlated, we also identify a second-order anti-correlation pattern between the different spots. Our study finds that KLIP reduction based on principal components analysis with satellite-spot-modulated artificial-planet-injection-based photometry leads to a significant (∼3×) gain in photometric accuracy over standard aperture-based photometry and reaches 0.1 mag per point accuracy for our data set, the signal-to-noise ratio of which is limited by small field rotation. Relative planet-to-planet photometry can be compared between nights, enabling observations spanning multiple nights to probe variability. Recent high-quality relative H-band photometry of the b–c planet pair agrees to about 1%.

  2. The Exoplanet Orbit Database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  3. The LEECH Exoplanet Imaging Survey: Orbit and Component Masses of the Intermediate-Age, Late-Type Binary NO UMa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlieder, Joshua E.; Skemer, Andrew J.; Maire, Anne-Lise; Desidera, Silvano; Hinz, Philip; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Leisenring, Jarron; Bailey, Vanessa; Defrère, Denis; Esposito, Simone; Strassmeier, Klaus G.; Weber, Michael; Biller, Beth A.; Bonnefoy, Mickaël; Buenzli, Esther; Close, Laird M.; Crepp, Justin R.; Eisner, Josh A.; Hofmann, Karl-Heinz; Henning, Thomas; Morzinski, Katie M.; Schertl, Dieter; Weigelt, Gerd; Woodward, Charles E.

    2016-02-01

    We present high-resolution Large Binocular Telescope LBTI/LMIRcam images of the spectroscopic and astrometric binary NO UMa obtained as part of the LBT Interferometer Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt exoplanet imaging survey. Our H-, Ks-, and L‧-band observations resolve the system at angular separations <0.″09. The components exhibit significant orbital motion over a span of ∼7 months. We combine our imaging data with archival images, published speckle interferometry measurements, and existing spectroscopic velocity data to solve the full orbital solution and estimate component masses. The masses of the K2.0 ± 0.5 primary and K6.5 ± 0.5 secondary are 0.83 ± 0.02 M⊙ and 0.64 ± 0.02 M⊙, respectively. We also derive a system distance of d = 25.87 ± 0.02 pc and revise the Galactic kinematics of NO UMa. Our revised Galactic kinematics confirm NO UMa as a nuclear member of the ∼500 Myr old Ursa Major moving group, and it is thus a mass and age benchmark. We compare the masses of the NO UMa binary components to those predicted by five sets of stellar evolution models at the age of the Ursa Major group. We find excellent agreement between our measured masses and model predictions with little systematic scatter between the models. NO UMa joins the short list of nearby, bright, late-type binaries having known ages and fully characterized orbits. Based on data obtained with the STELLA robotic telescope in Tenerife, an AIP facility jointly operated by AIP and IAC.

  4. THE LEECH EXOPLANET IMAGING SURVEY: ORBIT AND COMPONENT MASSES OF THE INTERMEDIATE-AGE, LATE-TYPE BINARY NO UMa

    SciTech Connect

    Schlieder, Joshua E.; Skemer, Andrew J.; Hinz, Philip; Leisenring, Jarron; Defrère, Denis; Close, Laird M.; Eisner, Josh A.; Maire, Anne-Lise; Desidera, Silvano; Skrutskie, Michael F.; Bailey, Vanessa; Esposito, Simone; Strassmeier, Klaus G.; Weber, Michael; Biller, Beth A.; Bonnefoy, Mickaël; Buenzli, Esther; Henning, Thomas; Crepp, Justin R.; Hofmann, Karl-Heinz; and others

    2016-02-10

    We present high-resolution Large Binocular Telescope LBTI/LMIRcam images of the spectroscopic and astrometric binary NO UMa obtained as part of the LBT Interferometer Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt exoplanet imaging survey. Our H-, K{sub s}-, and L′-band observations resolve the system at angular separations <0.″09. The components exhibit significant orbital motion over a span of ∼7 months. We combine our imaging data with archival images, published speckle interferometry measurements, and existing spectroscopic velocity data to solve the full orbital solution and estimate component masses. The masses of the K2.0 ± 0.5 primary and K6.5 ± 0.5 secondary are 0.83 ± 0.02 M{sub ⊙} and 0.64 ± 0.02 M{sub ⊙}, respectively. We also derive a system distance of d = 25.87 ± 0.02 pc and revise the Galactic kinematics of NO UMa. Our revised Galactic kinematics confirm NO UMa as a nuclear member of the ∼500 Myr old Ursa Major moving group, and it is thus a mass and age benchmark. We compare the masses of the NO UMa binary components to those predicted by five sets of stellar evolution models at the age of the Ursa Major group. We find excellent agreement between our measured masses and model predictions with little systematic scatter between the models. NO UMa joins the short list of nearby, bright, late-type binaries having known ages and fully characterized orbits.

  5. The Korean Microlensing Telescope Network: Expectations for a Cold Exoplanet Census through a Global Microlensing Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henderson, Calen Barnett

    The Korean Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet) consists of three 1.6m telescopes each with a 4 deg2 field of view (FoV) and is dedicated to monitoring the Galactic bulge to detect exoplanets via gravitational microlensing. KMTNet's combination of aperture size, FoV, cadence, and longitudinal coverage will provide a unique opportunity to probe exoplanet demographics in an unbiased way. My dissertation focuses on the results of simulations I have written and analyses I have performed that together provide estimates of and facilitate intuition about the number and variety of systmes KMTNet will detect and how best to maximize their scientific yield. First I present my simulations that optimize the observing strategy for, and predict the planetary yields of, KMTNet. I estimate the planet detection rates for planets with mass and separation across the ranges 0.1 ≤Mp/M⊕ ≤1000 and 0.4 ≤ a/AU ≤ 16, respectively, and also for free-floating planets. I furthermore investigate the dependence of these detection rates on the number of observatories, the photometric precision limit, and optimistic assumptions regarding seeing, throughput, and flux measurement uncertainties. Next I explore several possible avenues for constraining the flux of the lens for these predicted KMTNet detections. I examine the potential to obtain lens flux measurements by 1) imaging the lens once it is spatially resolved from the source, 2) measuring the elongation of the point spread function of the microlensing target (lens+source) when the lens and source are still unresolved, and 3) taking prompt follow-up photometry. In each case I simulate observing programs for a representative example of current ground-based adaptive optics (AO) facilities, future ground-based AO facilities, and future space telescopes. Lastly, I provide a list of microlensing events toward the Galactic bulge with high relative lens-source proper motion that are therefore good candidates for constraining the lens

  6. Satellite emission radio interferometric earth surveying series - GPS geodetic system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macdoran, P. F.

    1979-01-01

    A concept called SERIES (satellite emissions radio interferometric earth surveying) which makes use of GPS (global positioning system) radio transmissions without any satellite modifications, is described. Through the use of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) and its calibration methods, 0.5 to 3 cm three dimensional baseline accuracy can be achieved over distances of 2 to 200 km respectively, with only 2 hours of on-site data acquisition. Attention is given to such areas as: the radio flux equivalent of GPS transmissions, synthesized delay precision, transmission and frequency subsystem requirements, tropospheric and ionospheric errors. Applications covered include geodesy and seismic tectonics.

  7. A STEP: Towards a Large Photometric Survey for Exoplanets at Dome C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fressin, F.; Guillot, T.; Schmider, F.-X.; Agabi, A.; Moutou, C.; Aigrain, S.; Bouchy, F.; Boer, M.; Pont, F.; Erikson, A.; Rauer, H.; A Step Team

    We present “A STEP” (Antarctica Search for Transiting Extrasolar Planets), a project dedicated to the search for planetary transits from Antartica. The project consists of a semi-automatic ~40 cm telescope equipped with a 16-million-pixel CCD installed at Dome C. The site offers crucial assets for a ground-based exoplanet transit search: uninterrupted phase coverage, excellent weather, low air-mass variations and reduced scintillation. This system would be able to detect Pegasids transiting in front of stars as faint as magnitude sixteen and could also detect smaller planets in close-in period around brighter stars. This short term project is meant to be a photometric qualifyer for the site and the first stage of a massive detection campaign. A mid-term objective of 1000 detections for 2012 could be achieved either with many small telescopes or with a large Schmidt telescope with a large field of view. The project is relatively simple and cost-effective, and has the double purpose of qualifying the site and obtaining first-class scientific results. Our team is already familiar with transit detection with an automated telescope and cold temperature qualification.

  8. Exoplanets Galore!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-05-01

    -dwarf companions to HD 162020 and HD 202206 While about 40 giant exoplanet-candidates have so far been detected with masses in the range from 0.22 to 8.13 times that of Jupiter, only one companion object (in orbit around the star HD 114762) was known until now with a minimum mass between 10 and 15 times that of Jupiter. Such objects, referred to as "brown dwarfs" , are easier to detect than giant planets with similar periods because their greater mass induces larger velocity changes of the central star; they must therefore be very rare. This strongly points towards different formation/evolution processes for giant planets and stellar companions in the brown-dwarf domain. The brown-dwarf candidate around HD 162020 orbits this star (in constellation Scorpius - the Scorpion; visual magnitude 9.1; stellar type K2V) in 8.43 days on a moderately eccentric orbit. The inferred minimum mass of the companion is 13.7 times that of Jupiter. The second brown-dwarf candidate has a comparable minimum mass of 14.7 Jupiter masses. It orbits HD 202206 (in constellation Capricornus; visual magnitude 8.1; stellar type G6V) in 259 days and the orbit is fairly eccentric. The search for exoplanets: current status Most of the stars around which giant planets have been found so far show a significant excess of heavy elements in their atmosphere when compared to the majority of stars of the solar vicinity. This is also the case for most of the central stars of the eight new objects described here. This additional indication of an abnormal chemical composition of stars with giant gaseous planets provides a promising line for a better understanding of the mechanism(s) that ultimately lead to the formation of planetary systems. The high-precision radial-velocity survey with CORALIE in the southern hemisphere has the ambitious goal to make a complete inventory of giant exoplanets orbiting about 1600 stars in our galactic neighbourhood, all of which are relatively similar to our Sun. To date, 11 such exoplanets

  9. The MUSCLES Treasury Survey. II. Intrinsic LYα and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectra of K and M Dwarfs with Exoplanets*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Youngblood, Allison; France, Kevin; Parke Loyd, R. O.; Linsky, Jeffrey L.; Redfield, Seth; Schneider, P. Christian; Wood, Brian E.; Brown, Alexander; Froning, Cynthia; Miguel, Yamila; Rugheimer, Sarah; Walkowicz, Lucianne

    2016-06-01

    The ultraviolet (UV) spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of low-mass (K- and M-type) stars play a critical role in the heating and chemistry of exoplanet atmospheres, but are not observationally well-constrained. Direct observations of the intrinsic flux of the Lyα line (the dominant source of UV photons from low-mass stars) are challenging, as interstellar H i absorbs the entire line core for even the closest stars. To address the existing gap in empirical constraints on the UV flux of K and M dwarfs, the MUSCLES Hubble Space Telescope Treasury Survey has obtained UV observations of 11 nearby M and K dwarfs hosting exoplanets. This paper presents the Lyα and extreme-UV spectral reconstructions for the MUSCLES targets. Most targets are optically inactive, but all exhibit significant UV activity. We use a Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique to correct the observed Lyα profiles for interstellar absorption, and we employ empirical relations to compute the extreme-UV SED from the intrinsic Lyα flux in ˜100 Å bins from 100-1170 Å. The reconstructed Lyα profiles have 300 km s-1 broad cores, while >1% of the total intrinsic Lyα flux is measured in extended wings between 300 and 1200 km s-1. The Lyα surface flux positively correlates with the Mg ii surface flux and negatively correlates with the stellar rotation period. Stars with larger Lyα surface flux also tend to have larger surface flux in ions formed at higher temperatures, but these correlations remain statistically insignificant in our sample of 11 stars. We also present H i column density measurements for 10 new sightlines through the local interstellar medium. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

  10. Optical Design of the Camera for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chrisp, Michael; Clark, Kristin; Primeau, Brian; Dalpiaz, Michael; Lennon, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    The optical design of the wide field of view refractive camera, 34 degrees diagonal field, for the TESS payload is described. This fast f/1.4 cryogenic camera, operating at -75 C, has no vignetting for maximum light gathering within the size and weight constraints. Four of these cameras capture full frames of star images for photometric searches of planet crossings. The optical design evolution, from the initial Petzval design, took advantage of Forbes aspheres to develop a hybrid design form. This maximized the correction from the two aspherics resulting in a reduction of average spot size by sixty percent in the final design. An external long wavelength pass filter was replaced by an internal filter coating on a lens to save weight, and has been fabricated to meet the specifications. The stray light requirements were met by an extended lens hood baffle design, giving the necessary off-axis attenuation.

  11. The Guest Investigator Program for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinehart, Stephen; Clampin, Mark; Ricker, George R.; Seager, Sara; Winn, Joshua; Vanderspek, Roland; Latham, David W.

    2015-12-01

    In June 2015, NASA HQ approved the establishment of a Guest Investigator Program Office for TESS. Through the GI Program, members of the Astronomical Community will be able to apply for observations of new targets with TESS and for funding to support research with both 2-minute cadence postage stamp data and full-frame images (FFIs). In addition, the GI Program office will be responsible for making key software for working with TESS data available to the Community, and will provide long-term support for working with the data. Here, we introduce the GI Program to the K2 Community, describe the organization and roles of the program, and solicit feedback from the Community in how to ensure the greatest effectiveness of the program.

  12. Quantum efficiency measurement of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) CCD detectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishnamurthy, A.; Villasenor, J.; Thayer, C.; Kissel, S.; Ricker, G.; Seager, S.; Lyle, R.; Deline, A.; Morgan, E.; Sauerwein, T.; Vanderspek, R.

    2016-07-01

    Very precise on-ground characterization and calibration of TESS CCD detectors will significantly assist in the analysis of the science data from the mission. An accurate optical test bench with very high photometric stability has been developed to perform precise measurements of the absolute quantum efficiency. The setup consists of a vacuum dewar with a single MIT Lincoln Lab CCID-80 device mounted on a cold plate with the calibrated reference photodiode mounted next to the CCD. A very stable laser-driven light source is integrated with a closed-loop intensity stabilization unit to control variations of the light source down to a few parts-per-million when averaged over 60 s. Light from the stabilization unit enters a 20 inch integrating sphere. The output light from the sphere produces near-uniform illumination on the cold CCD and on the calibrated reference photodiode inside the dewar. The ratio of the CCD and photodiode signals provides the absolute quantum efficiency measurement. The design, key features, error analysis, and results from the test campaign are presented.

  13. Uncovering Exoplanets using Polarimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stam, D. M.

    2012-12-01

    appears to be a strong tool both for the detection and the characterization of such cool exoplanets. Polarimetry helps their detection, because direct starlight is usually unpolarized, while starlight that has been reflected by a planet is usually polarized, especially at the phase angles favorable for observing exoplanets. Polarimetry thus improves the contrast between stars and their planets, and confirms that the detected object is indeed a planet. In my presentation, I will focus on the power of polarimetry for the characterization of exoplanets. This application is known from the derivation of the Venus cloud properties from the planet's polarized phase function by Hansen & Hovenier in 1974. Using numerically simulated flux and polarization phase functions and spectra for both gaseous and solid exoplanets, I will discuss the added value of polarimetry for exoplanet characterization as compared to flux observations, in particular for the retrieval of properties of clouds and hazes. Special attention will be given to the features in polarized phase functions that reveal the existence of liquid water clouds in the atmosphere (rainbows), even in the presence of ice clouds, or liquid water on the surface (glint) of an exoplanet. Using satellite data of the cloud and surface coverage of the Earth, calculated flux and polarization phase functions that should be observable from afar will be presented.

  14. Satellite Emission Range Inferred Earth Survey (SERIES) project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buennagel, L. A.; Macdoran, P. F.; Neilan, R. E.; Spitzmesser, D. J.; Young, L. E.

    1984-01-01

    The Global Positioning System (GPS) was developed by the Department of Defense primarily for navigation use by the United States Armed Forces. The system will consist of a constellation of 18 operational Navigation Satellite Timing and Ranging (NAVSTAR) satellites by the late 1980's. During the last four years, the Satellite Emission Range Inferred Earth Surveying (SERIES) team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has developed a novel receiver which is the heart of the SERIES geodetic system designed to use signals broadcast from the GPS. This receiver does not require knowledge of the exact code sequence being transmitted. In addition, when two SERIES receivers are used differentially to determine a baseline, few cm accuracies can be obtained. The initial engineering test phase has been completed for the SERIES Project. Baseline lengths, ranging from 150 meters to 171 kilometers, have been measured with 0.3 cm to 7 cm accuracies. This technology, which is sponsored by the NASA Geodynamics Program, has been developed at JPL to meet the challenge for high precision, cost-effective geodesy, and to complement the mobile Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) system for Earth surveying.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-01

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

  17. The MUSCLES Treasury Survey: Intrinsic Lyα Profile Reconstructions and UV, X-ray, and Optical Correlations of Low-mass Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Youngblood, Allison; France, Kevin; Parke Loyd, R. O.

    2016-01-01

    UV stellar radiation can significantly impact planetary atmospheres through heating and photochemistry, even regulating production of potential biomarkers. Cool stars emit the majority of their UV radiation in the form of emission lines, and the incident UV radiation on close-in habitable-zone planets is significant. Lyα (1215.67 Å) dominates the 912 - 3200 Å spectrum of cool stars, but strong absorption from the interstellar medium (ISM) makes direct observations of the intrinsic Lyα emission of even nearby stars challenging. The MUSCLES Hubble Space Telescope Treasury Survey (Measurements of the Ultraviolet Spectral Characteristics of Low-mass Exoplanetary Systems) has completed observations of 7 M and 4 K stars hosting exoplanets (d < 22 pc) with simultaneous X-ray and ground-based optical spectroscopy for many of the targets. We have reconstructed the intrinsic Lyα profiles using an MCMC technique and used the results to estimate the extreme ultraviolet (100 - 911 Å) spectrum. We also present empirical relations between chromospheric UV and optical lines, e.g., Lyα, Mg II, Ca II H & K, and Hα, for use when direct UV observations of low-mass exoplanet host stars are not possible. The spectra presented here will be made publicly available through MAST to support exoplanet atmosphere modeling.

  18. NASA's Missions for Exoplanet Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unwin, Stephen

    2014-05-01

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

  19. ARIEL: Atmospheric Remote Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large Survey. A proposal for the ESA Cosmic Vision M4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pace, E.; Micela, G.; Ariel Team

    The Atmospheric Remote sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large survey (ARIEL) is a proposal in response to the call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4). This mission will be devoted to observe spectroscopically in the IR a large population (hundreds to one thousand) of known planets in our Galaxy, opening a new discovery space in the field of extrasolar planet exploration and enabling a quantum leap in the understanding of the physics and chemistry of these far away worlds. The population of planets will include warm and hot gas‑giants, Neptunes and large terrestrial planets. The main ARIEL goal is the determination of the composition, formation and history of these planetary systems In order to fulfill the scientific goals of ARIEL, we propose the development of a 1‑meter class aperture space telescope, passively cooled to 70‑80K, to observe the combined light of stars and their planets, building on the current experience of transit and combined light observations with Hubble, Spitzer, and ground-based telescopes. While JWST and EELT will initiate a detailed mid- to high-resolution IR spectroscopic observation of a few tens of planets, this mission will extend the study to a much larger (an order of magnitude difference) representative population of extrasolar planets discovered by ESA GAIA, Cheops, PLATO, NASA Kepler II, TESS and from the ground. The statistical perspective provided by this mission, will allow us to address some of the fundamental questions of the Cosmic Vision programme: What are the conditions for planet formation and the emergence of life? ls our Solar System unique, rare or very common? How does the Solar System work?

  20. First Temperate Exoplanet Sized Up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-03-01

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

  1. Prospects of application of survey satellite image for meteorology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kapochkina, A. B.; Kapochkin, B. B.; Kucherenko, N. V.

    The maximal interest is represented with the information from geostationary satellites. These satellites repeat shootings the chosen territories, allowing to study dynamics of images. Most interesting shootings in IR a range. Studying of survey image is applied to studying linear elements of clouds (LEC). It is established, that "LEC " arise only above breaks of an earth's crust. In research results of the complex analysis of the satellite data, hydrometeorological supervision, seismicity, supervision over deformations of a surface of the Earth are used. It is established that before formation "LEC " in a ground layer arise anomalies of temperature and humidity. The situation above Europe 16 May, 2001 is considered. "LEC " in Europe block carry of air weights from the west to the east. Synoptic conditions above the Great Britain July, 7-10, 2000 is considered. Moving "LEC" trace distribution of deformation waves to an earth's crust. Satellite shootings Europe before earthquake in Greece 14.08.2003 are considered. These days ground supervision were conducted and the data of the geostationary satellite were analyzed. During moving "LEC " occur failures (destruction houses & of gas mains), earthquake. The situation above Iberian peninsula 12-16.11.2001 is considered. "LEC" arose before flooding in Europe. The situation before flooding in Germany June, 6-8, 2002 and flooding on the river Kuban June, 16-23, 2002 is considered. In case of occurrence of tectonic compression of an earth's crust there are "LEC ", tracer intensive movements of air upwards and downwards above negative and positive anomalies of the form of a terrestrial surface, accordingly. Such meteorological situations are dangerous to flights of aircraft, the fast gravitational anomalies influencing into orbits of movement of satellites trace. The situation above equatorial Atlantic 26.03.2003 years is considered. At tectonic compression of continental scale overcast covers the whole continents for more

  2. Atmospheric Circulation of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  3. [Surveying a zoological facility through satellite-based geodesy].

    PubMed

    Böer, M; Thien, W; Tölke, D

    2000-06-01

    In the course of a thesis submitted for a diploma degree within the Fachhochschule Oldenburg the Serengeti Safaripark was surveyed in autumn and winter 1996/97 laying in the planning foundations for the application for licences from the controlling authorities. Taking into consideration the special way of keeping animals in the Serengeti Safaripark (game ranching, spacious walk-through-facilities) the intention was to employ the outstanding satellite based geodesy. This technology relies on special aerials receiving signals from 24 satellites which circle around the globe. These data are being gathered and examined. This examination produces the exact position of this aerial in a system of coordinates which allows depicting this point on a map. This procedure was used stationary (from a strictly defined point) as well as in the movement (in a moving car). Additionally conventional procedures were used when the satellite based geodesy came to its limits. Finally a detailed map of the Serengeti Safaripark was created which shows the position and size of stables and enclosures as well as wood and water areas and the sectors of the leisure park. Furthermore the established areas of the enclosures together with an already existing animal databank have flown into an information system with the help of which the stock of animals can be managed enclosure-orientated.

  4. Exoplanet Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seager, Sara

    2013-05-01

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

  5. Exoplanet habitability.

    PubMed

    Seager, Sara

    2013-05-03

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  8. Improved characterisation of exoplanets discovered in wide-field surveys: HAT-P-29b and HAT-P-31b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rocchetto, M.; Fossey, S.

    2013-09-01

    In recent years a large population of exoplanets has been discovered thanks to ground-based surveys such as WASP and HATnet. These are typically relatively big planets in close orbits to their parent star that produce transit light curves with depths of up to a few percent which can be well observed using relatively smal-aperture ground-based telescopes. Due to the large number of planets discovered, systematic followup of most of these targets is often lacking. Moreover, in some discovery papers the characterisation of the planet is made with partial-transit follow-up light curves or relies entirely on the wide-field survey photometry, leading to relatively large uncertainties in the derived planetary parameters. We present followup photometry for two such cases, HAT-P-29b and HAT-P-31b, obtained with a 35-cm telescope based at UCL's University of London Observatory between 2011 and 2012. We find that our light curves are able to provide more accurate and/or precise parameters than those published. Follow-up observations are also important to monitor effects such as transit timing variations (TTVs), which can provide evidence for the presence of other planets in the system, and we explore the current limits on TTV detections for the two planets discussed here. The use of small-aperture telescopes provides an efficient and cost-effective way to improve the characterisation of known exoplanets, leading to an improvement in the statistical properties of these samples; and might also lead to the discovery of new exoplanets through TTV monitoring.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  12. The SEEDS High-Contrast Imaging Survey: Exoplanet and Brown Dwarf Survey for Nearby Young Stars Dated with Gyrochronology and Activity Age Indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Tamura, Motohide; Helminiak, Kris; Mede, Kyle; Brandt, Timothy; Janson, Markus; Kandori, Ryo; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Hashimoto, Jun

    2015-12-01

    The SEEDS campaign has successfully discovered and characterized exoplanets, brown dwarfs, and circumstellar disks since it began in 2009, via the direct imaging technique. The survey has targeted nearby young stars, as well as stars associated to star-forming regions, the Pleiades open cluster, moving groups, and debris disks. We selected the nearby young stars that have been dated with age indicators based on stellar rotation periods (i.e., gyrochronology) and chromoshperic/coronal activities. Of these, nearly 40 were observed, with ages mainly between 100 and 1000 Myr and distances less than 40 pc. Our observations typically attain the contrast of ~6 x 10-6 at 1'' and better than ~1 x 10-6 beyond 2'', enabling us to detect a planetary-mass companion even around such old stars. Indeed, the SEEDS team reported the discovery that the nearby Sun-like star GJ 504 hosts a Jovian companion GJ 504b, which has a mass of 3-8.5 Jupiter masses that is inferred according to the hot-start cooling models and our estimated system age of 100-510 Myr. The remaining observations out of the selected ~40 stars have resulted in no detection of additional planets or brown dwarf companions. Meanwhile, we have newly imaged a low-mass stellar companion orbiting the G-type star HIP 10321, for which the presence of companion was previously announced via radial velocity technique. The astrometry and radial velocity measurements are simultaneously analyzed to determine the orbit, providing constraints on the dynamical mass of both objects and stellar evolution models. Here we summarize our direct imaging observations for the nearby young stars dated with gyrochrolorogy and activity age indicators. Furthermore, we report the analysis for the HIP 10321 system with the imaged low-mass companion.

  13. Exoplanets, extremophiles and habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janot Pacheco, E.; Bernardes, L.

    2012-09-01

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

  14. An Automated System for Citizen Searches for Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edberg, Stephen J.

    2016-05-01

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

  15. Exoplanets: The Hunt Continues!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-04-01

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

  16. Combining Photometry from Kepler and TESS to Improve Short-Period Exoplanet Characterization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Placek, Ben; Knuth, Kevin H.; Angerhausen, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Planets emit thermal radiation and reflect incident light that they receive from their host stars. As a planet orbits its host star the photometric variations associated with these two effects produce very similar phase curves. If observed through only a single bandpass, this leads to a degeneracy between certain planetary parameters that hinder the precise characterization of such planets. However, observing the same planet through two different bandpasses gives much more information about the planet. Here we develop a Bayesian methodology for combining photometry from both Kepler and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. In addition, we demonstrate via simulations that one can disentangle the reflected and thermally emitted light from the atmosphere of a hot-Jupiter as well as more precisely constrain both the geometric albedo and day-side temperature of the planet. This methodology can further be employed using various combinations of photometry from the James Webb Space Telescope, the Characterizing ExOplanet Satellite, or the PLATO mission.

  17. Combining Photometry from Kepler and TESS to Improve Short-period Exoplanet Characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Placek, Ben; Knuth, Kevin H.; Angerhausen, Daniel

    2016-07-01

    Planets emit thermal radiation and reflect incident light that they receive from their host stars. As a planet orbits its host star the photometric variations associated with these two effects produce very similar phase curves. If observed through only a single bandpass, this leads to a degeneracy between certain planetary parameters that hinder the precise characterization of such planets. However, observing the same planet through two different bandpasses gives much more information about the planet. Here we develop a Bayesian methodology for combining photometry from both Kepler and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. In addition, we demonstrate via simulations that one can disentangle the reflected and thermally emitted light from the atmosphere of a hot-Jupiter as well as more precisely constrain both the geometric albedo and day-side temperature of the planet. This methodology can further be employed using various combinations of photometry from the James Webb Space Telescope, the Characterizing ExOplanet Satellite, or the PLATO mission.

  18. Eccentricity of small exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Eylen, Vincent; Albrecht, Simon

    2015-12-01

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

  19. The Asteroseismic Potential of TESS: Exoplanet-host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campante, T. L.; Schofield, M.; Kuszlewicz, J. S.; Bouma, L.; Chaplin, W. J.; Huber, D.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Kjeldsen, H.; Bossini, D.; North, T. S. H.; Appourchaux, T.; Latham, D. W.; Pepper, J.; Ricker, G. R.; Stassun, K. G.; Vanderspek, R.; Winn, J. N.

    2016-10-01

    New insights on stellar evolution and stellar interior physics are being made possible by asteroseismology. Throughout the course of the Kepler mission, asteroseismology has also played an important role in the characterization of exoplanet-host stars and their planetary systems. The upcoming NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will be performing a near all-sky survey for planets that transit bright nearby stars. In addition, its excellent photometric precision, combined with its fine time sampling and long intervals of uninterrupted observations, will enable asteroseismology of solar-type and red-giant stars. Here we develop a simple test to estimate the detectability of solar-like oscillations in TESS photometry of any given star. Based on an all-sky stellar and planetary synthetic population, we go on to predict the asteroseismic yield of the TESS mission, placing emphasis on the yield of exoplanet-host stars for which we expect to detect solar-like oscillations. This is done for both the target stars (observed at a 2-minute cadence) and the full-frame-image stars (observed at a 30-minute cadence). A similar exercise is also conducted based on a compilation of known host stars. We predict that TESS will detect solar-like oscillations in a few dozen target hosts (mainly subgiant stars but also in a smaller number of F dwarfs), in up to 200 low-luminosity red-giant hosts, and in over 100 solar-type and red-giant known hosts, thereby leading to a threefold improvement in the asteroseismic yield of exoplanet-host stars when compared to Kepler's.

  20. Attitude guidance and simulation with animation of a land-survey satellite motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somova, Tatyana

    2017-01-01

    We consider problems of synthesis of the vector spline attitude guidance laws for a land-survey satellite and an in-flight support of the satellite attitude control system with the use of computer animation of its motion. We have presented the results on the efficiency of the developed algorithms.

  1. The GTC exoplanet transit spectroscopy survey. III. No asymmetries in the transit of CoRoT-29b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pallé, E.; Chen, G.; Alonso, R.; Nowak, G.; Deeg, H.; Cabrera, J.; Murgas, F.; Parviainen, H.; Nortmann, L.; Hoyer, S.; Prieto-Arranz, J.; Nespral, D.; Cabrera Lavers, A.; Iro, N.

    2016-05-01

    Context. The launch of the exoplanet space missions obtaining exquisite photometry from space has resulted in the discovery of thousands of planetary systems with very different physical properties and architectures. Among them, the exoplanet CoRoT-29b was identified in the light curves the mission obtained in summer 2011, and presented an asymmetric transit light curve, which was tentatively explained via the effects of gravity darkening. Aims: Transits of CoRoT-29b are measured with precision photometry, to characterize the reported asymmetry in their transit shape. Methods: Using the OSIRIS spectrograph at the 10-m GTC telescope, we perform spectro-photometric differential observations, which allow us to both calculate a high-accuracy photometric light curve, and a study of the color-dependence of the transit. Results: After careful data analysis, we find that the previously reported asymmetry is not present in either of two transits, observed in July 2014 and July 2015 with high photometric precisions of 300 ppm over 5 min. Due to the relative faintness of the star, we do not reach the precision necessary to perform transmission spectroscopy of its atmosphere, but we see no signs of color-dependency of the transit depth or duration. Conclusions: We conclude that the previously reported asymmetry may have been a time-dependent phenomenon, which did not occur in more recent epochs. Alternatively, instrumental effects in the discovery data may need to be reconsidered. Light curves 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/589/A62

  2. U. S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY'S NATIONAL REAL-TIME HYDROLOGIC INFORMATION SYSTEM USING GOES SATELLITE TECHNOLOGY.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shope, William G.

    1987-01-01

    The U. S. Geological Survey maintains the basic hydrologic data collection system for the United States. The Survey is upgrading the collection system with electronic communications technologies that acquire, telemeter, process, and disseminate hydrologic data in near real-time. These technologies include satellite communications via the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, Data Collection Platforms in operation at over 1400 Survey gaging stations, Direct-Readout Ground Stations at nine Survey District Offices and a network of powerful minicomputers that allows data to be processed and disseminate quickly.

  3. Discovery and Spectroscopic Follow-up of Milky Way Satellites in the Dark Energy Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ting

    2016-01-01

    A complete census of Milky Way satellite galaxies provides crucial tests of both galaxy formation models and the Lambda-Cold Dark Matter theoretical paradigm. Wide-field imaging survey data from the first two year of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) have recently been used to discover many new Milky Way satellites, nearly doubling the number of known satellites. In this talk, I will describe the new dwarf galaxy candidates found in DES. I will also discuss the latest results from spectroscopic follow-up observations on some of the candidates using the Magellan, VLT, and AAT telescopes.

  4. Satellite Emission Radio Interferometric Earth Surveying (SERIES). [astrometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macdoran, P. F.

    1980-01-01

    Existing satellite radio emissions of the global positioning system were exploited as a resource for cost effective high accuracy geodetic measurements. System applications were directed toward crustal dynamics and earthquake research.

  5. Survey of United States Commercial Satellites in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-09-01

    stationkeeping maneuvers. Heat pipes have replaced heat spreaders on the north and south faces of the body, where the communications subsystem is mounted. This...Orbit 6. AUTHOR(S) Lawrence D. Hunt and Jeffrey L. Miller 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 8. PERFORMING Naval Postgraduate School...Satellite evolution, overview, key design features, and performance parameters are catalogued. Additionally, each satellite’s communications payload

  6. Satellites

    SciTech Connect

    Burns, J.A.; Matthews, M.S.

    1986-01-01

    The present work is based on a conference: Natural Satellites, Colloquium 77 of the IAU, held at Cornell University from July 5 to 9, 1983. Attention is given to the background and origins of satellites, protosatellite swarms, the tectonics of icy satellites, the physical characteristics of satellite surfaces, and the interactions of planetary magnetospheres with icy satellite surfaces. Other topics include the surface composition of natural satellites, the cratering of planetary satellites, the moon, Io, and Europa. Consideration is also given to Ganymede and Callisto, the satellites of Saturn, small satellites, satellites of Uranus and Neptune, and the Pluto-Charon system.

  7. Characterizing Exoplanets with WFIRST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  9. Hot Exoplanet Atmospheres Resolved with Transit Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyttenbach, Aurélien; Ehrenreich, David

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clanton, Christian; Gaudi, B. Scott

    2016-03-01

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

  11. Optical Survey of the Tumble Rates of Retired GEO Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binz, C.; Davis, M.; Kelm, B.; Moore, C.

    2014-09-01

    The Naval Research Lab (NRL) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have made significant progress toward robotic rendezvous and docking between spacecraft, however the long-term attitude motion evolution of uncontrolled resident space objects has never been well-characterized. This effort set out to identify the motion exhibited in retired satellites at or near geosynchronous orbit (GEO). Through analysis of the periodic structure of observed reflected light curves, estimated tumble rates were determined for several retired satellites, typically in a super-GEO disposal orbit. The NRL's 1-meter telescope at Midway Research Center was used to track and observe the objects while the sun-satellite-observer geometry was most favorable; typically over a one- to two-hour period, repeated multiple times over the course of weeks. By processing each image with calibration exposures, the relative apparent magnitude of the brightness of the object over time was determined. Several tools, including software developed internally, were used for frequency analysis of the brightness curves. Results show that observed satellites generally exhibit a tumble rate well below the notional bounding case of one degree per second. When harmonics are found to exist in the data, modeling and simulation of the optical characteristics of the satellite can help to resolve ambiguities. This process was validated on spacecraft for which an attitude history is known, and agreement was found.

  12. PLANETESIMAL COMPOSITIONS IN EXOPLANET SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-10-01

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

  13. Results of the Caspian Sea satellite survey: internal wave climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mityagina, Marina I.; Lavrova, Olga Yu.

    2016-10-01

    Results of satellite observations of surface manifestations of internal waves in the Caspian Sea are presented. Our work produced data on a spatial and temporal variability of internal waves of non-tidal origin via their surface manifestations. By using high-resolution satellite data, we were able to get a clear picture of generation, propagation and interaction of internal wave packets and significantly broadened our insights on the physics and geography of internal waves in the World Ocean. The large amount of the data available allowed us to make some generalizations and obtain statistically significant results on a spatial and temporal variability of various internal wave surface manifestations in satellite images. We discovered numerous diverse instances of internal wave manifestations in satellite images of the Caspian Sea. We further demonstrated that this observed diversity of internal wave behavior is due to a diversity of their generation mechanisms and indicates the complexity of the dynamic environment in the region. We put together a detailed map of spatial distribution of surface manifestations of the internal waves in the Caspian Sea. We revealed a seasonal and inter-annual variability of wave activity, identified main regions of the internal wave localization for each season and revealed causes of a spatial inhomogenity of internal wave packet manifestations. Possible factors leading to the generation of non-tidal internal waves are determined on the basis of joint analysis of available satellite remote sensing data of the sea surface in microwave, visible (VIS) and infra-red (IR) ranges complemented by contact measurements.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-10-20

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

  16. A Survey for ``Normal'' Irregular Satellites around Neptune: Limits to Completeness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott S.; Jewitt, David; Kleyna, Jan

    2006-07-01

    We surveyed 1.75 deg2 of sky near Neptune to an R-band 50% detection efficiency of 25.8 mag (corresponding to radii of about 17 km for an assumed albedo of 0.04). We discovered one new outer satellite, Psamathe (S/2003 N1), about 20 km in radius with a distant retrograde orbit and moderate eccentricity. Until 2003 Neptune was only known to have two satellites that exhibited orbital signatures indicative of capture. Both of these, Triton and Nereid, are unusual when compared to the irregular satellites of other giant planets. With recent discoveries of four additional satellites by Holman et al. it is now apparent that Neptune has a distant ``normal'' irregular satellite system in which the satellites have radii and orbital properties similar to those of the satellites of other giant planets. We find that the satellite size distribution at Neptune is not well determined given the few objects known to date, being especially sensitive to the inclusion of Triton and Nereid in the sample. Finally, we note that Psamathe and S/2002 N4 have similar semimajor axes, inclinations, and eccentricities. They may be fragments of a once-larger satellite. Based largely on data collected at Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

  17. Polarimetry for rocky exoplanet characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stam, Daphne; Karalidi, Theodora

    2013-04-01

    polarized, especially at planetary phase angles around 90 degrees, that are favorable for observing exoplanets. Polarimetry thus improves the contrast between stars and their planets, and confirms that the detected object is indeed a planet. Polarimetry is also invaluable for the characterization of exoplanets. This application is known from the derivation of the Venus cloud properties from the planet's polarized phase function by Hansen & Hovenier in 1974. Using numerically simulated flux and polarization phase functions and spectra for rocky exoplanets, I will discuss the added value of polarimetry for exoplanet characterization as compared to flux observations, in particular for the retrieval of properties of clouds and hazes. Special attention will be given to the features in polarized phase functions that reveal the existence of liquid water clouds in an exoplanet's atmosphere (rainbows), even in the presence of ice clouds. Using satellite data of the cloud and surface coverage of the Earth, calculated flux and polarization phase functions that should be observable from afar will be presented.

  18. Estimating optimal sampling unit sizes for satellite surveys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hallum, C. R.; Perry, C. R., Jr.

    1984-01-01

    This paper reports on an approach for minimizing data loads associated with satellite-acquired data, while improving the efficiency of global crop area estimates using remotely sensed, satellite-based data. Results of a sampling unit size investigation are given that include closed-form models for both nonsampling and sampling error variances. These models provide estimates of the sampling unit sizes that effect minimal costs. Earlier findings from foundational sampling unit size studies conducted by Mahalanobis, Jessen, Cochran, and others are utilized in modeling the sampling error variance as a function of sampling unit size. A conservative nonsampling error variance model is proposed that is realistic in the remote sensing environment where one is faced with numerous unknown nonsampling errors. This approach permits the sampling unit size selection in the global crop inventorying environment to be put on a more quantitative basis while conservatively guarding against expected component error variances.

  19. Optical Survey of the Tumble Rates of Retired GEO Satellites

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    different features, such as solar arrays . Modeling and simulation of the full rotational state of an example spacecraft could also be leveraged to provide...geosynchronous orbit (GEO). Through analysis of the periodic structure of observed reflected light curves, estimated tumble rates were determined for several...retired satellites, typically in a super-GEO disposal orbit . The NRL’s 1-meter telescope at Mid- way Research Center was used to track and observe the

  20. Mobile Satellite Services - A Survey of Business Needs

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-01-01

    Guiana and will soon be operational 53. Coverage of the second generation’s fourth satellite is from western Europe and west Africa to South America and...rockets. The presence of a launch site in French Guiana I provides a distinctive advantage because it is very close to the equator and conduciue for... Highland Park, Mi. 48288 Navistar lntl,455 N. Cityfront Plaza Dr, Santa Claria, Ca.60611 Paccar 777 106th Ave NE. Bellview, Wa. 98004 Ford Motor Co. The

  1. The Architecture of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatzes, Artie P.

    2016-12-01

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

  2. The GTC exoplanet transit spectroscopy survey. IV. Confirmation of the flat transmission spectrum of HAT-P-32b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nortmann, L.; Pallé, E.; Murgas, F.; Dreizler, S.; Iro, N.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.

    2016-10-01

    We observed the hot Jupiter HAT-P-32b (also known as HAT-P-32Ab) to determine its optical transmission spectrum by measuring the wavelength-dependent, planet-to-star radius ratios in the region between 518-918 nm. We used the OSIRIS instrument at the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC) in long-slit spectroscopy mode, placing HAT-P-32 and a reference star in the same slit and obtaining a time series of spectra covering two transit events. Using the best quality data set, we were able to yield 20 narrowband transit light curves, with each passband spanning a 20 nm wide interval. After removal of all systematic noise signals and light curve modeling, the uncertainties for the resulting radius ratios lie between 337 and 972 ppm. The radius ratios show little variation with wavelength, suggesting a high altitude cloud layer masking any atmospheric features. Alternatively, a strong depletion in alkali metals or a much smaller than expected planetary atmospheric scale height could be responsible for the lack of atmospheric features. Our result of a flat transmission spectrum is consistent with a previous ground-based study of the optical spectrum of this planet. This agreement between independent results demonstrates that ground-based measurements of exoplanet atmospheres can give reliable and reproducible results despite the fact that the data often is heavily affected by systematic noise as long as the noise source is well understood and properly corrected. We also extract an optical spectrum of the M-dwarf companion HAT-P-32B. Using PHOENIX stellar atmosphere models we determine an effective temperature of Teff = 3187+60-71 K, which is slightly colder than previous studies relying only on broadband infrared data. The 20 narrowband and white light curves 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/594/A65

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. QUENCHING OF STAR FORMATION IN SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY GROUPS: CENTRALS, SATELLITES, AND GALACTIC CONFORMITY

    SciTech Connect

    Knobel, Christian; Lilly, Simon J.; Woo, Joanna; Kovač, Katarina

    2015-02-10

    We re-examine the fraction of low-redshift Sloan Digital Sky Survey satellites and centrals in which star formation has been quenched, using the environment quenching efficiency formalism that separates out the dependence of stellar mass. We show that the centrals of the groups containing the satellites are responding to the environment in the same way as their satellites (at least for stellar masses above 10{sup 10.3} M {sub ☉}), and that the well-known differences between satellites and the general set of centrals arise because the latter are overwhelmingly dominated by isolated galaxies. The widespread concept of ''satellite quenching'' as the cause of environmental effects in the galaxy population can therefore be generalized to ''group quenching''. We then explore the dependence of the quenching efficiency of satellites on overdensity, group-centric distance, halo mass, the stellar mass of the satellite, and the stellar mass and specific star formation rate (sSFR) of its central, trying to isolate the effect of these often interdependent variables. We emphasize the importance of the central sSFR in the quenching efficiency of the associated satellites, and develop the meaning of this ''galactic conformity'' effect in a probabilistic description of the quenching of galaxies. We show that conformity is strong, and that it varies strongly across parameter space. Several arguments then suggest that environmental quenching and mass quenching may be different manifestations of the same underlying process. The marked difference in the apparent mass dependencies of environment quenching and mass quenching which produces distinctive signatures in the mass functions of centrals and satellites will arise naturally, since, for satellites at least, the distributions of the environmental variables that we investigate in this work are essentially independent of the stellar mass of the satellite.

  5. Astrometric exoplanet detection with Gaia

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-10

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

  6. The Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSat), a Survey Telescope on a Micro-Satellite Platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurin, Denis; Hildebrand, A.; Cardinal, R.; Harvey, W.; Tafazoli, S.; Doherty, J.

    2009-01-01

    Although ground-based telescopes have made significant progress in finding near-Earth asteroids (NEA's), marked advantage exist in performing the search from space. The ability to search the ecliptic plane at closer elongations to the Sun, use parallax to discriminate NEA's from those of the Main Belt through distance determinations, and being able to observe continuously are the most significant advantages of a space platform. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) together with Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) are building a micro-satellite platform with a 15 cm telescope dedicated for near space surveillance. The NEOSSat (Near Earth Object Surveillance) spacecraft is expected to be able to detect 20 V magnitude objects with a 100 sec exposure, with a 0.86 deg FOV, on a 1024x1024 CCD, and sub-arcsecond pointing stability. For discovery of NEA's, it will search an area from 45 to 55 degrees solar elongation along the ecliptic plane and ± 40 degrees ecliptic latitude. The observation strategy will be optimized, based upon recent models of the NEA population. Ground-based telescopes will also be used to do follow-ups for orbit determination when possible. The micro-satellite bus and instrument are based on the successful CSA MOST micro-satellite, operating on orbit since 2003. NEOSSat is a shared project with DRDC who will demonstrate the capability of an inexpensive space platform to detect high earth-orbiting satellites and debris (High Earth Orbit Space Surveillance - HEOSS). NEOSSat is base lined for launch in 2010.

  7. An Ultradeep Survey for Irregular Satellites of Uranus: Limits to Completeness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott S.; Jewitt, David; Kleyna, Jan

    2005-01-01

    We present a deep optical survey of Uranus's Hill sphere for small satellites. The 8 m Subaru Telescope was used to survey about 3.5 square degrees with a 50% detection efficiency at limiting red magnitude mR=26.1. This magnitude corresponds to objects that are about 7 km in radius (assuming an albedo of 0.04). We detected (without prior knowledge of their positions) all previously known outer satellites and discovered two new irregular satellites (S/2001 U2 and S/2003 U3). The two inner satellites Titania and Oberon were also detected. One of the newly discovered bodies (S/2003 U3) is the first known irregular prograde satellite of the planet. The population, size distribution, and orbital parameters of Uranus's irregular satellites are remarkably similar to those of the irregular satellites of gas giant Jupiter. Both have shallow size distributions (power-law indices q~2 for radii larger than 7 km) with no correlation between the sizes of the satellites and their orbital parameters. However, unlike those of Jupiter, Uranus's irregular satellites do not appear to occupy tight, distinct dynamical groups in semimajor-axis versus inclination phase space. Two groupings in semimajor-axis versus eccentricity phase space appear to be statistically significant. Based largely on data collected at the Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Based in part on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership.

  8. A New Milky Way Satellite Discovered in the Subaru/Hyper Suprime-Cam Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homma, Daisuke; Chiba, Masashi; Okamoto, Sakurako; Komiyama, Yutaka; Tanaka, Masayuki; Tanaka, Mikito; Ishigaki, Miho N.; Akiyama, Masayuki; Arimoto, Nobuo; Garmilla, José A.; Lupton, Robert H.; Strauss, Michael A.; Furusawa, Hisanori; Miyazaki, Satoshi; Murayama, Hitoshi; Nishizawa, Atsushi J.; Takada, Masahiro; Usuda, Tomonori; Wang, Shiang-Yu

    2016-11-01

    We report the discovery of a new ultra-faint dwarf satellite companion of the Milky Way (MW) based on the early survey data from the Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Program. This new satellite, Virgo I, which is located in the constellation of Virgo, has been identified as a statistically significant (5.5σ) spatial overdensity of star-like objects with a well-defined main sequence and red giant branch in the color-magnitude diagram. The significance of this overdensity increases to 10.8σ when the relevant isochrone filter is adopted for the search. Based on the distribution of the stars around the likely main-sequence turnoff at r ˜ 24 mag, the distance to Virgo I is estimated as 87 kpc, and its most likely absolute magnitude calculated from a Monte Carlo analysis is M V = -0.8 ± 0.9 mag. This stellar system has an extended spatial distribution with a half-light radius of {38}-11+12 pc, which clearly distinguishes it from a globular cluster with comparable luminosity. Thus, Virgo I is one of the faintest dwarf satellites known and is located beyond the reach of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. This demonstrates the power of this survey program to identify very faint dwarf satellites. This discovery of Virgo I is based only on about 100 square degrees of data, thus a large number of faint dwarf satellites are likely to exist in the outer halo of the MW.

  9. Molecular opacities for exoplanets

    PubMed Central

    Bernath, Peter F.

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Molecular opacities for exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Bernath, Peter F

    2014-04-28

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

  11. Satellite Detection in Advanced Camera for Surveys/Wide Field Channel Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borncamp, D.; Lim, Pey Lian

    2016-01-01

    This document explains the process by which satellite trails can be found within individual chips of an Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) Wide Field Channel (WFC) image. Since satellites are transient and sporadic events, we used the Hubble Frontier Fields (HFF) dataset which is manually checked for satellite trails has been used as a truth set to verify that the method in this document does a complete job without a high false positive rate. This document also details the process of producing a mask that will update data quality information to inform users where the trail traverses the image and properly account for the affected pixels. Along with this document, the Python source code used to detect and mask satellite trails will be released to users with as a stand-alone product within the STSDAS acstools package.

  12. Spectroscopy of Kepler Candidate Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  13. The Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey: HD 32963—A New Jupiter Analog Orbiting a Sun-like Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowan, Dominick; Meschiari, Stefano; Laughlin, Gregory; Vogt, Steven S.; Butler, R. Paul; Burt, Jennifer; Wang, Songhu; Holden, Brad; Hanson, Russell; Arriagada, Pamela; Keiser, Sandy; Teske, Johanna; Diaz, Matias

    2016-02-01

    We present a set of 109 new, high-precision Keck/HIRES radial velocity (RV) observations for the solar-type star HD 32963. Our data set reveals a candidate planetary signal with a period of 6.49 ± 0.07 years and a corresponding minimum mass of 0.7 ± 0.03 Jupiter masses. Given Jupiter's crucial role in shaping the evolution of the early Solar System, we emphasize the importance of long-term RV surveys. Finally, using our complete set of Keck radial velocities and correcting for the relative detectability of synthetic planetary candidates orbiting each of the 1122 stars in our sample, we estimate the frequency of Jupiter analogs across our survey at approximately 3%.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Clanton, Christian; Gaudi, B. Scott

    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 methods 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.

  15. Surveys of the earth's resources and environment by satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nordberg, W.; Tiedemann, H.; Bohn, C.

    1975-01-01

    The potential and promise of observing the earth from the vantage point of space is discussed. The systematic surveying of processes and phenomena occurring on the surface of the earth by Landsat 1 and Nimbus 5 is considered to be useful in the following areas: assessment of water resources; mineral and petroleum exploration; land use planning; crop, forest, and rangeland inventory; assessment of flood, earthquake, and other environmental hazards; monitoring coastal processes; environmental effects of industrial effluents and of air pollution; mapping the distribution and types of ice covering the earth's polar caps and global soil moisture distributions.

  16. Exoplanet Transit Analysis of KIC 8462852

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera, Noah Isaac; Schmitt, Michael H.

    2017-01-01

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

  17. FINESSE: A Dedicated Transiting Exoplanet Spectroscopy Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bean, Jacob; FINESSE Science Team

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  19. A satellite geodetic survey of spatiotemporal deformation of Iranian volcanos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirzaei, M.

    2012-04-01

    Surface deformation in volcanic areas is usually due to movement of magma, hydrothermal activity at depth, weight of volcano, landside, etc. Iran, located at the convergence of the Eurasian and Arabian tectonic plates, is the host of five apparently inactive volcanoes, named 'Damavand', 'Taftan', 'Bazman', 'Sabalan' and 'Sahand'. Through investigation of the long term surface deformation rate at Damavand volcano, the highest point in the middle east, Shirzaei et al. (2011) demonstrated that a slow gravity-driven deformation in the form of spreading is going on at this volcano. Extending the earlier work, in this study, I explore large sets of SAR data obtained by Envisat radar satellite from 2003 through 2010 at all Iranian volcanoes. Multitemporal interferometric analysis of the SAR data sets allows retrieving sub-millimeter surface deformation at these volcanic systems. As a result, I detect a transient flank failure in the form of landslide at Damavand that is followed by elevated fumarolic activity. This suggests that landslide might have triggered volcanic unrest. Moreover, I measure significant surface deformation at Taftan and Bazman volcanos associated with different episodes of uplift and subsidence. The inverse model simulations suggest that the time-dependent inflations and deflations of extended and spherical pressurized magma chambers are responsible for the surface displacements at these volcanoes. I also detect time-dependent surface displacements at Sabalan and Sahand volcanoes, where the investigation of the type and the sources of the observed deformation is subject of ongoing research. This study is a best example that shows the absent of recent eruption can not be used as a reliable factor in volcanic hazard assessment and a continuous monitoring system is of vital importance. Reference Shirzaei, M., Walter, T.R., Nankali, H.R. and Holohan, E.P., 2011. Gravity-driven deformation of Damavand volcano, Iran, detected through InSAR time series

  20. Enabling the Kepler Exoplanet Census

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morton, Tim

    2013-01-01

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

  1. The Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey: Gliese 687 b—A Neptune-mass Planet Orbiting a Nearby Red Dwarf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burt, Jennifer; Vogt, Steven S.; Butler, R. Paul; Hanson, Russell; Meschiari, Stefano; Rivera, Eugenio J.; Henry, Gregory W.; Laughlin, Gregory

    2014-07-01

    Precision radial velocities from the Automated Planet Finder (APF) and Keck/HIRES reveal an Msin (i) = 18 ± 2 M ⊕ planet orbiting the nearby M3V star GJ 687. This planet has an orbital period P = 38.14 days and a low orbital eccentricity. Our Strömgren b and y photometry of the host star suggests a stellar rotation signature with a period of P = 60 days. The star is somewhat chromospherically active, with a spot filling factor estimated to be several percent. The rotationally induced 60 day signal, however, is well separated from the period of the radial velocity variations, instilling confidence in the interpretation of a Keplerian origin for the observed velocity variations. Although GJ 687 b produces relatively little specific interest in connection with its individual properties, a compelling case can be argued that it is worthy of remark as an eminently typical, yet at a distance of 4.52 pc, a very nearby representative of the galactic planetary census. The detection of GJ 687 b indicates that the APF telescope is well suited to the discovery of low-mass planets orbiting low-mass stars in the as yet relatively un-surveyed region of the sky near the north celestial pole.

  2. The Lick-Carnegie exoplanet survey: Gliese 687 b—A Neptune-mass planet orbiting a nearby red dwarf

    SciTech Connect

    Burt, Jennifer; Vogt, Steven S.; Hanson, Russell; Rivera, Eugenio J.; Laughlin, Gregory; Meschiari, Stefano; Henry, Gregory W.

    2014-07-10

    Precision radial velocities from the Automated Planet Finder (APF) and Keck/HIRES reveal an Msin (i) = 18 ± 2 M{sub ⊕} planet orbiting the nearby M3V star GJ 687. This planet has an orbital period P = 38.14 days and a low orbital eccentricity. Our Strömgren b and y photometry of the host star suggests a stellar rotation signature with a period of P = 60 days. The star is somewhat chromospherically active, with a spot filling factor estimated to be several percent. The rotationally induced 60 day signal, however, is well separated from the period of the radial velocity variations, instilling confidence in the interpretation of a Keplerian origin for the observed velocity variations. Although GJ 687 b produces relatively little specific interest in connection with its individual properties, a compelling case can be argued that it is worthy of remark as an eminently typical, yet at a distance of 4.52 pc, a very nearby representative of the galactic planetary census. The detection of GJ 687 b indicates that the APF telescope is well suited to the discovery of low-mass planets orbiting low-mass stars in the as yet relatively un-surveyed region of the sky near the north celestial pole.

  3. THE LICK-CARNEGIE EXOPLANET SURVEY: A URANUS-MASS FOURTH PLANET FOR GJ 876 IN AN EXTRASOLAR LAPLACE CONFIGURATION

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-08-10

    billion years (at least for the coplanar cases). This resonant configuration of three giant planets orbiting an M dwarf primary differs from the well-known Laplace configuration of the three inner Galilean satellites of Jupiter, which are executing very small librations about {psi}{sub Laplace} = 180{sup 0} and which never experience triple conjunctions. The GJ 876 system, by contrast, comes close to a triple conjunction between the outer three planets once per every orbit of the outer planet, 'e'.

  4. Hubble Exoplanet Pro/Am Collaboration (Abstract)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conti, D. M.

    2016-06-01

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

  5. THE DISTRIBUTION OF FAINT SATELLITES AROUND CENTRAL GALAXIES IN THE CANADA-FRANCE-HAWAII TELESCOPE LEGACY SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, C. Y.; Jing, Y. P.; Li, Cheng

    2012-11-20

    We investigate the radial number density profile and the abundance distribution of faint satellites around central galaxies in the low-redshift universe using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) Legacy Survey. We consider three samples of central galaxies with magnitudes of M {sub r} = -21, -22, and -23 selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey group catalog of Yang et al. The satellite distribution around these central galaxies is obtained by cross-correlating these galaxies with the photometric catalog of the CFHT Legacy Survey. The projected radial number density of the satellites obeys a power-law form with the best-fit logarithmic slope of -1.05, independent of both the central galaxy luminosity and the satellite luminosity. The projected cross-correlation function between central and satellite galaxies exhibits a non-monotonic trend with satellite luminosity. It is most pronounced for central galaxies with M {sub r} = -21, where the decreasing trend of clustering amplitude with satellite luminosity is reversed when satellites are fainter than central galaxies by more than 2 mag. A comparison with the satellite luminosity functions in the Milky Way (MW) and M31 shows that the MW/M31 system has about twice as many satellites as around a typical central galaxy of similar luminosity. The implications for theoretical models are briefly discussed.

  6. Deformation Survey of Volcanoes in Central America Using Japanese L-Band SAR Satellite ALOS-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amelug, F.; Lebowitz, J.

    2015-12-01

    The Japanese L-Band SAR satellite ALOS-1 has proven intself to be a useful tool for deformation monitoring of active volcanoes. Here we present a systematic deformation survey of volcanoes in Central America for the 2007-2011 time frame using the Small Baseline InSAR time-series approach. We present results for deforming volcanoes and non-deforming volcanoes, including simple elastic source models for the volcanoes that show surface deformation.

  7. Survey of Verification and Validation Techniques for Small Satellite Software Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jacklin, Stephen A.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the current trends and practices in small-satellite software verification and validation. This document is not intended to promote a specific software assurance method. Rather, it seeks to present an unbiased survey of software assurance methods used to verify and validate small satellite software and to make mention of the benefits and value of each approach. These methods include simulation and testing, verification and validation with model-based design, formal methods, and fault-tolerant software design with run-time monitoring. Although the literature reveals that simulation and testing has by far the longest legacy, model-based design methods are proving to be useful for software verification and validation. Some work in formal methods, though not widely used for any satellites, may offer new ways to improve small satellite software verification and validation. These methods need to be further advanced to deal with the state explosion problem and to make them more usable by small-satellite software engineers to be regularly applied to software verification. Last, it is explained how run-time monitoring, combined with fault-tolerant software design methods, provides an important means to detect and correct software errors that escape the verification process or those errors that are produced after launch through the effects of ionizing radiation.

  8. Direct imaging of exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Lagrange, Anne-Marie

    2014-04-28

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knutson, Heather; Charbonneau, D.

    2009-05-01

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

  10. The NASA Exoplanet Archive: Data Inventory Service

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. The NASA Exoplanet Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. The Hubble Exoplanet Classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. STEPS: JPL's Astrometric Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaklan, Stuart; Pravdo, Steve

    2008-01-01

    Presentation topics include: STEPS ground-based astrometry at Hale Telescope; the instrument; why astronomy and why M-dwarfs; motion of center of light about center of mass in photocentric orbit; photocentric motion vs. fractional mass; high-resolution imaging of STEPS targets; GU 802 p one possible orbit plotted with data, Keplerian frame; GJ 802 results; STEPS future; and a bibliography of STEPS papers.

  15. The NASA Exoplanet Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. TWINKLE - A Low Earth Orbit Visible and Infrared Exoplanet Spectroscopy Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tessenyi, Marcell; Savini, Giorgio; Tinetti, Giovanna; Tennyson, Jonathan; Dhesi, Mekhi; Joshua, Max

    2016-10-01

    Twinkle is a space mission designed for visible and near-IR spectroscopic observations of extrasolar planets. Twinkle's highly stable instrument will allow the photometric and spectroscopic observation of a wide range of planetary classes around different types of stars, with a focus on bright sources close to the ecliptic. The planets will be observed through transit and eclipse photometry and spectroscopy, as well as phase curves, eclipse mapping and multiple narrow-band time-series. The targets observed by Twinkle will be composed of known exoplanets mainly discovered by existing and upcoming ground surveys in our galaxy and will also feature new discoveries by space observatories (K2, GAIA, Cheops, TESS).Twinkle is a small satellite with a payload designed to perform high-quality astrophysical observations while adapting to the design of an existing Low Earth Orbit commercial satellite platform. The SSTL-300 bus, to be launched into a low-Earth sun-synchronous polar orbit by 2019, will carry a half-meter class telescope with two instruments (visible and near-IR spectrographs - between 0.4 and 4.5µm - with resolving power R~300 at the lower end of the wavelength scale) using mostly flight proven spacecraft systems designed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and a combination of high TRL instrumentation and a few lower TRL elements built by a consortium of UK institutes.The Twinkle design will enable the observation of the chemical composition and weather of at least 100 exoplanets in the Milky Way, including super-Earths (rocky planets 1-10 times the mass of Earth), Neptunes, sub-Neptunes and gas giants like Jupiter. It will also allow the follow-up photometric observations of 1000+ exoplanets in the visible and infrared, as well as observations of Solar system objects, bright stars and disks.

  17. Further evidence for historical decline of Antarctic sea ice prior to satellite survey era?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gersonde, Rainer; Esper, Oliver; Lohmann, Gerrit; Knorr, Gregor

    2013-04-01

    The decline in Arctic summer sea ice which accelerated during the present century to reach a yet unequaled minimum extent in 2012 as monitored by the satellite-based sea ice survey since the late 1970s is thought to represent one of the most striking examples of current climate change related to the anthropogenic global warming. In contrast, Antarctic sea ice extent has remained nearly unchanged during the past 40 years, according to the satellite survey. The statistical analysis of microfossil (diatom) signals indicative of sea ice occurrence retrieved from a large set of surface samples covering the Pacific, Atlantic and the eastern Indian sectors of the Southern Ocean suggests that Antarctic winter sea ice extent was more extended than the sea ice field documented by satellite surveys. The surface samples generally integrate signals deposited over 100-200 years. Most substantial offsets between the sedimentary proxy and satellite derived data on sea ice extent were encountered on latitudinal transects across the Pacific sector. Independent support for a 20th century decline of Antarctic sea ice fields by up to 25% prior to satellite survey comes from the analysis of whaling positions [1, 2], ice core proxies [3] and combinations of observations with numerical modeling [4]. Proxy records from Holocene sediment cores allow for further extension of sea ice records beyond the short instrumental record. These records indicate that the more extended Antarctic winter sea ice derived from the surface sediment record is a common feature in the present interglacial (Holocene) period, except for the earliest Holocene when the sea ice field was even smaller than present. The proxy results are suitable for validation of reanalysis and numerical model data and will allow for a better understanding of Antarctic sea ice sensitivity in response to natural and anthropogenic processes. [1] de la Mare, W. K. 2009. Clim. Change 92,461-493; [2] Cotté, C., Guinet, C. 2007. Deep

  18. Exoplanet Community Report on Direct Infrared Imaging of Exoplanets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Danchi, William C.; Lawson, Peter R.

    2009-01-01

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

  19. The gas-phase metallicity of central and satellite galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasquali, Anna; Gallazzi, Anna; van den Bosch, Frank C.

    2012-09-01

    We exploit the galaxy groups catalogue of Yang et al. and the galaxy properties measured in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Releases 4 and 7 to study how the gas-phase metallicities of star-forming galaxies depend on environment. We find that satellite and central galaxies follow a qualitatively similar stellar mass (M★)-gas-phase metallicity relation, whereby their gas-phase metallicity increases with M★. Satellites, though, have higher gas-phase metallicities than equally massive centrals, and this difference increases with decreasing stellar mass. We find a maximum offset of 0.06 dex at log(M★/h-2 M⊙) ≃ 8.25. At fixed halo mass, centrals are more metal rich than satellites by ˜0.5 dex on average. This is simply due to the fact that, by definition, centrals are the most massive galaxies in their groups, and the fact that gas-phase metallicity increases with stellar mass. More interestingly, we also find that the gas-phase metallicity of satellites increases with halo mass (Mh) at fixed stellar mass. This increment is more pronounced for less massive galaxies, and, at M★ ≃ 109 h-2 M⊙, corresponds to ˜0.15 dex across the range 11 < log (Mh/h-1 M⊙) < 14. We also show that low-mass satellite galaxies have higher gas-phase metallicities than central galaxies of the same stellar metallicity. This difference becomes negligible for more massive galaxies of roughly solar metallicity. We demonstrate that the observed differences in gas-phase metallicity between centrals and satellites at fixed M★ are not a consequence of stellar mass stripping (advocated by Pasquali et al. in order to explain similar differences but in stellar metallicity), nor to the past star formation history of these galaxies as quantified by their surface mass density or gas mass fraction. Rather, we argue that these trends probably originate from a combination of three environmental effects: (i) strangulation, which prevents satellite galaxies from accreting new, low

  20. Begomovirus-Associated Satellite DNA Diversity Captured Through Vector-Enabled Metagenomic (VEM) Surveys Using Whiteflies (Aleyrodidae)

    PubMed Central

    Rosario, Karyna; Marr, Christian; Varsani, Arvind; Kraberger, Simona; Stainton, Daisy; Moriones, Enrique; Polston, Jane E.; Breitbart, Mya

    2016-01-01

    Monopartite begomoviruses (Geminiviridae), which are whitefly-transmitted single-stranded DNA viruses known for causing devastating crop diseases, are often associated with satellite DNAs. Since begomovirus acquisition or exchange of satellite DNAs may lead to adaptation to new plant hosts and emergence of new disease complexes, it is important to investigate the diversity and distribution of these molecules. This study reports begomovirus-associated satellite DNAs identified during a vector-enabled metagenomic (VEM) survey of begomoviruses using whiteflies collected in various locations (California (USA), Guatemala, Israel, Puerto Rico, and Spain). Protein-encoding satellite DNAs, including alphasatellites and betasatellites, were identified in Israel, Puerto Rico, and Guatemala. Novel alphasatellites were detected in samples from Guatemala and Puerto Rico, resulting in the description of a phylogenetic clade (DNA-3-type alphasatellites) dominated by New World sequences. In addition, a diversity of small (~640–750 nucleotides) satellite DNAs similar to satellites associated with begomoviruses infecting Ipomoea spp. were detected in Puerto Rico and Spain. A third class of satellite molecules, named gammasatellites, is proposed to encompass the increasing number of reported small (<1 kilobase), non-coding begomovirus-associated satellite DNAs. This VEM-based survey indicates that, although recently recovered begomovirus genomes are variations of known genetic themes, satellite DNAs hold unexplored genetic diversity. PMID:26848679

  1. Begomovirus-Associated Satellite DNA Diversity Captured Through Vector-Enabled Metagenomic (VEM) Surveys Using Whiteflies (Aleyrodidae).

    PubMed

    Rosario, Karyna; Marr, Christian; Varsani, Arvind; Kraberger, Simona; Stainton, Daisy; Moriones, Enrique; Polston, Jane E; Breitbart, Mya

    2016-02-02

    Monopartite begomoviruses (Geminiviridae), which are whitefly-transmitted single-stranded DNA viruses known for causing devastating crop diseases, are often associated with satellite DNAs. Since begomovirus acquisition or exchange of satellite DNAs may lead to adaptation to new plant hosts and emergence of new disease complexes, it is important to investigate the diversity and distribution of these molecules. This study reports begomovirus-associated satellite DNAs identified during a vector-enabled metagenomic (VEM) survey of begomoviruses using whiteflies collected in various locations (California (USA), Guatemala, Israel, Puerto Rico, and Spain). Protein-encoding satellite DNAs, including alphasatellites and betasatellites, were identified in Israel, Puerto Rico, and Guatemala. Novel alphasatellites were detected in samples from Guatemala and Puerto Rico, resulting in the description of a phylogenetic clade (DNA-3-type alphasatellites) dominated by New World sequences. In addition, a diversity of small (~640-750 nucleotides) satellite DNAs similar to satellites associated with begomoviruses infecting Ipomoea spp. were detected in Puerto Rico and Spain. A third class of satellite molecules, named gammasatellites, is proposed to encompass the increasing number of reported small (<1 kilobase), non-coding begomovirus-associated satellite DNAs. This VEM-based survey indicates that, although recently recovered begomovirus genomes are variations of known genetic themes, satellite DNAs hold unexplored genetic diversity.

  2. Investigating Exoplanets Within Stellar Clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. The history of exoplanet detection.

    PubMed

    Perryman, Michael

    2012-10-01

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

  4. Users, uses, and value of Landsat satellite imagery: results from the 2012 survey of users

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Holly; Richardson, Leslie A.; Koontz, Stephen R.; Loomis, John; Koontz, Lynne

    2013-01-01

    Landsat satellites have been operating since 1972, providing a continuous global record of the Earth’s land surface. The imagery is currently available at no cost through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Social scientists at the USGS Fort Collins Science Center conducted an extensive survey in early 2012 to explore who uses Landsat imagery, how they use the imagery, and what the value of the imagery is to them. The survey was sent to all users registered with USGS who had accessed Landsat imagery in the year prior to the survey and over 11,000 current Landsat imagery users responded. The results of the survey revealed that respondents from many sectors use Landsat imagery in myriad project locations and scales, as well as application areas. The value of Landsat imagery to these users was demonstrated by the high importance of and dependence on the imagery, the numerous environmental and societal benefits observed from projects using Landsat imagery, the potential negative impacts on users’ work if Landsat imagery was no longer available, and the substantial aggregated annual economic benefit from the imagery. These results represent only the value of Landsat to users registered with USGS; further research would help to determine what the value of the imagery is to a greater segment of the population, such as downstream users of the imagery and imagery-derived products.

  5. Stellar Echo Imaging of Exoplanets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. An ultra-faint galaxy candidate discovered in early data from the Magellanic Satellites Survey

    DOE PAGES

    Drlica-Wagner, A.; Bechtol, Keith; Allam, S.; ...

    2016-11-30

    Here, we report a new ultra-faint stellar system found in Dark Energy Camera data from the first observing run of the Magellanic Satellites Survey (MagLiteS). MagLiteS J0644–5953 (Pictor II or Pic II) is a low surface brightness (more » $$\\mu ={28.5}_{-1}^{+1}\\,\\mathrm{mag}\\,\\,\\mathrm{arcsec}{}^{-2}$$ within its half-light radius) resolved overdensity of old and metal-poor stars located at a heliocentric distance of $${45}_{-4}^{+5}\\,\\mathrm{kpc}$$. The physical size ($${r}_{1/2}={46}_{-11}^{+15}\\,\\mathrm{pc}\\,$$) and low luminosity ($${M}_{V}=-{3.2}_{-0.5}^{+0.4}\\,\\mathrm{mag}\\,$$) of this satellite are consistent with the locus of spectroscopically confirmed ultra-faint galaxies. MagLiteS J0644–5953 (Pic II) is located $${11.3}_{-0.9}^{+3.1}\\,\\mathrm{kpc}\\,$$ from the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), and comparisons with simulation results in the literature suggest that this satellite was likely accreted with the LMC. The close proximity of MagLiteS J0644–5953 (Pic II) to the LMC also makes it the most likely ultra-faint galaxy candidate to still be gravitationally bound to the LMC.« less

  7. An Ultra-faint Galaxy Candidate Discovered in Early Data from the Magellanic Satellites Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drlica-Wagner, A.; Bechtol, K.; Allam, S.; Tucker, D. L.; Gruendl, R. A.; Johnson, M. D.; Walker, A. R.; James, D. J.; Nidever, D. L.; Olsen, K. A. G.; Wechsler, R. H.; Cioni, M. R. L.; Conn, B. C.; Kuehn, K.; Li, T. S.; Mao, Y.-Y.; Martin, N. F.; Neilsen, E.; Noel, N. E. D.; Pieres, A.; Simon, J. D.; Stringfellow, G. S.; van der Marel, R. P.; Yanny, B.

    2016-12-01

    We report a new ultra-faint stellar system found in Dark Energy Camera data from the first observing run of the Magellanic Satellites Survey (MagLiteS). MagLiteS J0644-5953 (Pictor II or Pic II) is a low surface brightness (μ ={28.5}-1+1 {mag} {arcsec}{}-2 within its half-light radius) resolved overdensity of old and metal-poor stars located at a heliocentric distance of {45}-4+5 {kpc}. The physical size ({r}1/2={46}-11+15 {pc} ) and low luminosity ({M}V=-{3.2}-0.5+0.4 {mag} ) of this satellite are consistent with the locus of spectroscopically confirmed ultra-faint galaxies. MagLiteS J0644-5953 (Pic II) is located {11.3}-0.9+3.1 {kpc} from the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), and comparisons with simulation results in the literature suggest that this satellite was likely accreted with the LMC. The close proximity of MagLiteS J0644-5953 (Pic II) to the LMC also makes it the most likely ultra-faint galaxy candidate to still be gravitationally bound to the LMC.

  8. An ultra-faint galaxy candidate discovered in early data from the Magellanic Satellites Survey

    SciTech Connect

    Drlica-Wagner, A.; Bechtol, Keith; Allam, S.; Tucker, D. L.; Gruendl, R. A.; Johnson, M. D.; Walker, A. R.; James, D. J.; Nidever, D. L.; Olsen, K. A. G.; Wechsler, R. H.; Cioni, M. R. L.; Conn, B. C.; Kuehn, K.; Li, T. S.; Mao, Y. -Y.; Martin, N. F.; Neilsen, E.; Noel, N. E. D.; Pieres, A.; Simon, J. D.; Stringfellow, G. S.; Marel, R. P. van der; Yanny, B.

    2016-11-30

    Here, we report a new ultra-faint stellar system found in Dark Energy Camera data from the first observing run of the Magellanic Satellites Survey (MagLiteS). MagLiteS J0644–5953 (Pictor II or Pic II) is a low surface brightness ($\\mu ={28.5}_{-1}^{+1}\\,\\mathrm{mag}\\,\\,\\mathrm{arcsec}{}^{-2}$ within its half-light radius) resolved overdensity of old and metal-poor stars located at a heliocentric distance of ${45}_{-4}^{+5}\\,\\mathrm{kpc}$. The physical size (${r}_{1/2}={46}_{-11}^{+15}\\,\\mathrm{pc}\\,$) and low luminosity (${M}_{V}=-{3.2}_{-0.5}^{+0.4}\\,\\mathrm{mag}\\,$) of this satellite are consistent with the locus of spectroscopically confirmed ultra-faint galaxies. MagLiteS J0644–5953 (Pic II) is located ${11.3}_{-0.9}^{+3.1}\\,\\mathrm{kpc}\\,$ from the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), and comparisons with simulation results in the literature suggest that this satellite was likely accreted with the LMC. The close proximity of MagLiteS J0644–5953 (Pic II) to the LMC also makes it the most likely ultra-faint galaxy candidate to still be gravitationally bound to the LMC.

  9. The Magellanic Satellites Survey: Searching for Hierarchical Structure Formation within the Local Group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bechtol, Keith; Magellanic Satellites Survey (MagLiteS)

    2017-01-01

    A generic prediction of galaxy formation in the standard cosmological model with cold dark matter is the hierarchical assembly of structure on mass scales ranging from ultra-faint galaxies to galaxy clusters. In the Local Group, dozens of galaxies have been found orbiting the Milky Way and Andromeda. The question of whether the largest Milky Way satellites, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, brought in their own entourage of satellites has been a long standing puzzle, and has garnered renewed interest following the recent discovery of more than a dozen ultra-faint galaxy candidates in the southern hemisphere. The on-going Magellanic Satellites Survey (MagLiteS) aims to complete an annulus of contiguous deep optical imaging with Blanco/DECam around the periphery of the Magellanic Clouds, enabling a systematic search for ultra-faint galaxies and other low-surface-brightness stellar substructures associated with the Magellanic system. I will report on the progress of MagLiteS and discuss science highlights from the first observing season, including a new ultra-faint galaxy candidate located ~11 kpc from the Large Magellanic Cloud.

  10. Sampling design for an integrated socioeconomic and ecological survey by using satellite remote sensing and ordination.

    PubMed

    Binford, Michael W; Lee, Tae Jeong; Townsend, Robert M

    2004-08-03

    Environmental variability is an important risk factor in rural agricultural communities. Testing models requires empirical sampling that generates data that are representative in both economic and ecological domains. Detrended correspondence analysis of satellite remote sensing data were used to design an effective low-cost sampling protocol for a field study to create an integrated socioeconomic and ecological database when no prior information on ecology of the survey area existed. We stratified the sample for the selection of tambons from various preselected provinces in Thailand based on factor analysis of spectral land-cover classes derived from satellite data. We conducted the survey for the sampled villages in the chosen tambons. The resulting data capture interesting variations in soil productivity and in the timing of good and bad years, which a purely random sample would likely have missed. Thus, this database will allow tests of hypotheses concerning the effect of credit on productivity, the sharing of idiosyncratic risks, and the economic influence of environmental variability.

  11. Foodstuff Survey Around a Major Nuclear Facility with Test of Satellite Image Application

    SciTech Connect

    Fledderman, P.D.

    1999-07-16

    'A foodstuff survey was performed around the Savannah River Site, Aiken SC. It included a census of buildings and fields within 5 km of the boundary and determination of the locations and amounts of crops grown within 80 km of SRS center. Recent information for this region was collected on the amounts of meat, poultry, milk, and eggs produced, of deer hunted, and of sports fish caught. The locations and areas devoted to growing each crop were determined in two ways: by the usual process of assuming uniform crop distribution in each county on the basis of agricultural statistics reported by state agencies, and by analysis of two LANDSAT TM images obtained in May and September. For use with environmental radionuclide transfer and radiation dose calculation codes, locations within 80 km were defined for 64 sections by 16 sectors centered on the Site and by 16-km distance intervals from 16 km to 80 km. Most locally-raised foodstuff was distributed regionally and not retained locally for consumption. For four food crops, the amounts per section based on county agricultural statistics prorated by area were compared with the amounts per section based on satellite image analysis. The median ratios of the former to the latter were 0.6 - 0.7, suggesting that the two approaches are comparable but that satellite image analysis gave consistently higher amounts. Use of satellite image analysis is recommended on the basis of these findings to obtain site-specific, as compared to area-averaged, information on crop locations in conjunction with radionuclide pathway modelling. Some improvements in technique are suggested for satellite image application to characterize additional crops.'

  12. Preliminary Results of Detailed Chemical Abundance Analysis of Milky Way Satellite Galaxy Reticulum II Discovered in the Dark Energy Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagasawa, Daniel; Marshall, Jennifer L.; Li, Ting; Dark Energy Survey Milky Way Science Group

    2016-01-01

    We present preliminary results from abundance analysis of stars in Milky Way satellite galaxies found in the Dark Energy Survey (DES). DES has discovered 16 candidate satellite galaxies of the Milky Way in its first two years of operation. Since January 2015, three candidates have subsequently been revealed to be dark matter-dominated by spectroscopic follow-up studies of their kinematics, confirming their status as satellite galaxies. Spectroscopic follow-up of the remaining 13 candidates is underway. We have analyzed high resolution VLT/GIRAFFE spectra of member stars in one of these satellite galaxies, Reticulum II. Using equivalent width measurement and spectral synthesis methods, we measure the abundances of Iron and other species in order to begin to understand the chemical content of these Milky Way satellites.

  13. Spectroscopy of Exoplanet Atmospheres with the FINESSE Explorer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Exoplanet atmosphere highlights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Muñoz, A.

    2017-03-01

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

  15. KELT-10b: the first transiting exoplanet from the KELT-South survey - a hot sub-Jupiter transiting a V = 10.7 early G-star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Rudolf B.; Rodriguez, Joseph E.; Collins, Karen A.; Lund, Michael B.; Siverd, Robert J.; Colón, Knicole D.; Pepper, Joshua; Stassun, Keivan G.; Cargile, Phillip A.; James, David J.; Penev, Kaloyan; Zhou, George; Bayliss, Daniel; Tan, T. G.; Curtis, Ivan A.; Udry, Stephane; Segransan, Damien; Mawet, Dimitri; Dhital, Saurav; Soutter, Jack; Hart, Rhodes; Carter, Brad; Gaudi, B. Scott; Myers, Gordon; Beatty, Thomas G.; Eastman, Jason D.; Reichart, Daniel E.; Haislip, Joshua B.; Kielkopf, John; Bieryla, Allyson; Latham, David W.; Jensen, Eric L. N.; Oberst, Thomas E.; Stevens, Daniel J.

    2016-07-01

    We report the discovery of KELT-10b, the first transiting exoplanet discovered using the KELT-South telescope. KELT-10b is a highly inflated sub-Jupiter mass planet transiting a relatively bright V = 10.7 star (TYC 8378-64-1), with Teff = 5948 ± 74 K, log g = 4.319_{-0.030}^{+0.020} and [Fe/H] = 0.09_{-0.10}^{+0.11}, an inferred mass M* = 1.112_{-0.061}^{+0.055} M⊙ and radius R* = 1.209_{-0.035}^{+0.047} R⊙. The planet has a radius Rp = 1.399_{-0.049}^{+0.069} RJ and mass Mp = 0.679_{-0.038}^{+0.039} MJ. The planet has an eccentricity consistent with zero and a semimajor axis a = 0.052 50_{-0.000 97}^{+0.000 86} au. The best-fitting linear ephemeris is T0 = 2457 066.720 45 ± 0.000 27 BJDTDB and P = 4.166 2739 ± 0.000 0063 d. This planet joins a group of highly inflated transiting exoplanets with a larger radius and smaller mass than that of Jupiter. The planet, which boasts deep transits of 1.4 per cent, has a relatively high equilibrium temperature of Teq = 1377_{-23}^{+28} K, assuming zero albedo and perfect heat redistribution. KELT-10b receives an estimated insolation of 0.817_{-0.054}^{+0.068} × 109 erg s-1 cm-2, which places it far above the insolation threshold above which hot Jupiters exhibit increasing amounts of radius inflation. Evolutionary analysis of the host star suggests that KELT-10b may not survive beyond the current subgiant phase, depending on the rate of in-spiral of the planet over the next few Gyr. The planet transits a relatively bright star and exhibits the third largest transit depth of all transiting exoplanets with V < 11 in the Southern hemisphere, making it a promising candidate for future atmospheric characterization studies.

  16. Direct Spectroscopy of Non-Transiting Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  17. A Forest Biomass Survey by Bitterlich Method With an Electronic Relascope for Satellite Data Validation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, R.; Ishii, R.; Takao, G.; Nakano, T.; Yasuda, T.

    2006-12-01

    For the better understanding of the carbon cycle in the global ecosystem, an investigation on the spatio- temporal variation of the carbon stock which is stored as vegetation biomass should be important. "PALSAR (Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar)", an onboard sensor of the polar orbiting satellite "ALOS (Advanced Land Observing Satellite)" launched in January 2006, provides the information which can be used for the above-ground biomass estimation. It is expected that ALOS/PALSAR provides us a great opportunity to analyze the biomass dynamics over extensive regions. To derive the biomass from the ALOS/PALSAR measurement, it is inevitable to acquire in situ biomass measurement by ground-based forest surveys. Moreover, it is required to obtain such ground-based information at as possible many sites, because the region targeted by satellite remote sensing is extensive and the forest structure in that region is various. Therefore, a quick forest survey will be required to measure the biomass at as possible many sites. For the quick measurement of the forest above-ground biomass, we propose a way that is a combination of Bitterlich angle count sampling method and sampled-tree measuring method. First, a tree which has wider trunk than the basal area factor (BAF) angle is identified by the relascope from a representative point in the target forest. Next, the tree height and the breast height diameter (DBH) of the sampled tree are measured. The biomass of the tree is estimate by the allometric equation with the tree height and DBH measurements. Through these processes, the biomass density of the sampled tree per the forest area defined by the BAF is estimated. By sampling and measuring all trees (usually around 20 trees), the biomass of the forest can be estimate. A brand-new electronic relascope (Criterion RD 1000, Laser Technology Inc.) and laser range finder (TruPulse 200, Laser Technology Inc.) are used for the tree height and DBH measurements to

  18. The implications of evaporation on close-in, low-mass exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, James

    2015-12-01

    Exoplanet surveys have shown that one of the dominant planet modes of planet formation produces close-in exoplanets. At very close-in separations the atmospheres of these exoplanets can be heated to temperatures high enough to drive a hydrodynamic wind. I will discuss recent theoretical work characterizing the various regimes of evaporation: e.g. energy-limited vs recombination limited and discuss how evaporating exoplanets evolve through these different regimes. I will show recent 3D-MHD simulations of exoplanet evaporation including realistic ionizing radiative transfer that indicate that the flow is anisotropic and exhibits time-dependent flow features close to the day/night-side transition, which could have interesting observational implications. Finally, I will discuss how planet evaporation will dominant the evolution of close-in exoplanets, and use the evaporation models to statistically infer the plausible evolution histories of the Kepler-36 system, an ideal test of the planet evaporation hypothesis.

  19. Geology and photometric variation of solar system bodies with minor atmospheres: implications for solid exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Yuka; Kimura, Jun; Dohm, James; Ohtake, Makiko

    2014-09-01

    A reasonable basis for future astronomical investigations of exoplanets lies in our best knowledge of the planets and satellites in the Solar System. Solar System bodies exhibit a wide variety of surface environments, even including potential habitable conditions beyond Earth, and it is essential to know how they can be characterized from outside the Solar System. In this study, we provide an overview of geological features of major Solar System solid bodies with minor atmospheres (i.e., the terrestrial Moon, Mercury, the Galilean moons, and Mars) that affect surface albedo at local to global scale, and we survey how they influence point-source photometry in the UV/visible/near IR (i.e., the reflection-dominant range). We simulate them based on recent mapping products and also compile observed light curves where available. We show a 5-50% peak-to-trough variation amplitude in one spin rotation associated with various geological processes including heterogeneous surface compositions due to igneous activities, interaction with surrounding energetic particles, and distribution of grained materials. Some indications of these processes are provided by the amplitude and wavelength dependence of variation in combinations of the time-averaged spectra. We also estimate the photometric precision needed to detect their spin rotation rates through periodogram analysis. Our survey illustrates realistic possibilities for inferring the detailed properties of solid exoplanets with future direct imaging observations. Key Words: Planetary environments-Planetary geology-Solar System-Extrasolar terrestrial planets.

  20. Geology and Photometric Variation of Solar System Bodies with Minor Atmospheres: Implications for Solid Exoplanets

    PubMed Central

    Kimura, Jun; Dohm, James; Ohtake, Makiko

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A reasonable basis for future astronomical investigations of exoplanets lies in our best knowledge of the planets and satellites in the Solar System. Solar System bodies exhibit a wide variety of surface environments, even including potential habitable conditions beyond Earth, and it is essential to know how they can be characterized from outside the Solar System. In this study, we provide an overview of geological features of major Solar System solid bodies with minor atmospheres (i.e., the terrestrial Moon, Mercury, the Galilean moons, and Mars) that affect surface albedo at local to global scale, and we survey how they influence point-source photometry in the UV/visible/near IR (i.e., the reflection-dominant range). We simulate them based on recent mapping products and also compile observed light curves where available. We show a 5–50% peak-to-trough variation amplitude in one spin rotation associated with various geological processes including heterogeneous surface compositions due to igneous activities, interaction with surrounding energetic particles, and distribution of grained materials. Some indications of these processes are provided by the amplitude and wavelength dependence of variation in combinations of the time-averaged spectra. We also estimate the photometric precision needed to detect their spin rotation rates through periodogram analysis. Our survey illustrates realistic possibilities for inferring the detailed properties of solid exoplanets with future direct imaging observations. Key Words: Planetary environments—Planetary geology—Solar System—Extrasolar terrestrial planets. Astrobiology 14, 753–768. PMID:25238324

  1. Determining the Atmospheric Nature of Super-Earth and Sub-Neptune Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lothringer, Joshua; Crossfield, Ian; Benneke, Bjoern; Knutson, Heather; Dragomir, Diana; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Howard, Andrew; McCullough, Peter R.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Kempton, Eliza; Morley, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Proper characterization of the atmospheric composition of super-Earth and sub-Neptune planets will constrain the models that describe the formation and evolution of exoplanetary systems, yet the transition between Earth-mass and Neptune-mass exoplanets is still not well understood. Due to degeneracies between the bulk density and composition of planets in this range, even the basic make-up of many planets is unknown. Transit spectroscopy offers a method to characterize exoplanetary atmospheres and break this compositional degeneracy. We will present preliminary analysis and data reduction techniques for an ongoing large-scale Hubble Space Telescope survey of five planets between 1 and 22 Earth-masses. Using both optical and infrared primary transit spectra from STIS and WFC3, we will measure molecular signatures in the atmospheres of these small, cool planets, as well as any high-altitude clouds and hazes that may dampen such signatures. Results from this investigation will pave the way for future observations of small planets, especially in preparation for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  3. A Satellite Survey of Cloud Cover and Water Vapor in the Southwestern USA and Northern Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrasco, E.; Avila, R.; Erasmus, A.; Djorgovski, S. G.; Walker, A. R.; Blum, R.

    2017-03-01

    Cloud cover and water vapor conditions in the southwestern USA and northern Mexico were surveyed as a preparatory work for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) in situ site testing program. Although the telescope site is already selected, the TMT site testing team decided to make public these results for its usefulness for the community. Using 58 months of meteorological satellite observations between 1993 July and 1999 September, different atmospheric parameters were quantified from data of the 10.7 μm and of 6.7 μm windows. In particular, cloud cover and water vapor conditions were identified in preferred areas. As a result of the aerial analysis, 15 sites of existing and potential telescope were selected, compared, and ranked in terms of their observing quality. The clearest sites are located along the spine of the Baja peninsula and into southern California on mountain peaks above the temperature inversion layer. A steep gradient of cloudiness was observed along the coast where coastal cloud and fog are trapped below the inversion layer. Moving from west to east over the continent, a significant increase in cloudiness was observed. The analysis shows that San Pedro Mártir, San Gorgonio Mountain and San Jacinto Peak have the largest fraction of clear sky conditions (∼74%). The site with the optimal combination of clear skies and low precipitable water vapor is Boundary Peak, Nevada. An approach based in satellite data provided a reliable method for sites comparison.

  4. Remote Sensing by Satellite for Environmental Education: A Survey and a Proposal for Teaching at Upper Secondary and University Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bosler, Ulrich

    Knowledge of the environment has grown to such an extent that information technology (IT) is essential to make sense of the available data. An example of this is remote sensing by satellite. In recent years this field has grown in importance and remote sensing is used for a range of uses including the automatic survey of wheat yields in North…

  5. Exoplanets Search Plan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  6. Surface Temperatures of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Water in exoplanets.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-13

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

  8. Exoplanet observations with GTC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pallé, Enric

    2015-12-01

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

  9. 32 New Exoplanets Found

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tamura, Motohide

    2016-01-01

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

  11. GhostNet marine debris survey in the Gulf of Alaska--satellite guidance and aircraft observations.

    PubMed

    Pichel, William G; Veenstra, Timothy S; Churnside, James H; Arabini, Elena; Friedman, Karen S; Foley, David G; Brainard, Russell E; Kiefer, Dale; Ogle, Simeon; Clemente-Colón, Pablo; Li, Xiaofeng

    2012-01-01

    Marine debris, particularly debris that is composed of lost or abandoned fishing gear, is recognized as a serious threat to marine life, vessels, and coral reefs. The goal of the GhostNet project is the detection of derelict nets at sea through the use of weather and ocean models, drifting buoys and satellite imagery to locate convergent areas where nets are likely to collect, followed by airborne surveys with trained observers and remote sensing instruments to spot individual derelict nets. These components of GhostNet were first tested together in the field during a 14-day marine debris survey of the Gulf of Alaska in July and August 2003. Model, buoy, and satellite data were used in flight planning. A manned aircraft survey with visible and IR cameras and a LIDAR instrument located debris in the targeted locations, including 102 individual pieces of debris of anthropogenic or terrestrial origin.

  12. The Nature of the Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abt, Helmut A.

    2011-07-01

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

  13. Obliquities of Exoplanet Host Stars from Precise Distances and Stellar Angular Diameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinn, Samuel N.; White, Russel J.

    2017-01-01

    The next generation of exoplanet space photometry missions proposed by both NASA and ESA promise to discover small transiting planets around the nearest and brightest main-sequence stars. The physical and rotational properties of these stars, in conjunction with Gaia-precision distances, can be used to determine the inclination of the stellar rotation axis. Given edge-on orbital paths for transiting planets, stellar inclinations can be interpreted as obliquities projected into the line of sight, which can be used to more clearly reveal the system architectures of small planets and the factors that drive their orbital evolution. To demonstrate the method, we use a sample of simulated target stars for the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. Based on predicted characteristics of these stars and likely measurement uncertainties, we show that the expected TESS discoveries will allow us to finely differentiate the true underlying obliquity distribution. Under conservative assumptions in our illustrative example -- in which the true distribution is assumed to contain systems drawn from both well-aligned and isotropic distributions (e.g., due to multiple migration channels) -- the fraction of well-aligned systems can be determined to within 0.15, thus enabling constraints on the evolutionary processes that shape system architectures. Moreover, because of the excellent astrometric precision expected from Gaia, this technique will also be applicable to the large number of planets already discovered by Kepler orbiting much more distant stars.

  14. Coral Reef Dynamics: Integrating Field Survey, and Satellite Image Data to Monitor and Model Biogeophysical Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phinn, S. R.; Roelfsema, C.; Leon, J.; Borrego, R.; Canto, R.; Joyce, K.; McGowan, H. A.; Mackellar, M. C.

    2012-12-01

    Developing a complete understanding of the contemporary biogeophysical processes shaping coral reef ecosystems requires integration across multiple disciplines. This paper outlines the results obtained across multiple disciplinary projects for developing an integrated understanding of the biogeophysical processes shaping Heron Reef, on the Great Barrier Reef Australia. Heron Reef is a lagoonal platform reef on the southern Great Reef, with a small coral cay on its western edge. Over the past 10 years the nature of research undertaken On Heron reef has moved from plot-scale field surveys and lab experiments, to process-based measurements and experiments over the entire reef, its adjacent oceanic areas and atmosphere. Resultsfrom four projects are presented to act as the foundation for a conceptual model of biogeophysical processes affecting the reef. These cover: (1) benthic composition mapping; (2) biogeophysical forcing processes; (3) dynamics of benthic composition; and (4) dynamics of geomorphic zonation. (1) Benthic composition and reef structure/bathymetry/rugosity mapping to centimetre scales have been completed on an annual basis for > 10 years using standardised methods to quantify the composition of the reef substrate and benthos. Assessment of the resulting annual data sets, shows distinctive spatial variability in macro-algal and benthic micro-algal cover within and between years, while coral cover changes are longer term, unless linked to disturbance events. These data are critical for calibrating and validating satellite image mapping and models of benthic cover composition and dynamics, and determining input areas for foot-printing of eddy-correlation measurements of coral reef energy and gas fluxes. (2) Biogeophysical processes affected by surface energy and gas exchanges and hydrodynamic forcing by gravity waves and tidal currents have only been measured within past 10 years due to developments in sensor technology. For Heron Reef, several

  15. Survey and documentation of emerging technologies for the satellite power system (SPS)

    SciTech Connect

    Glaser, P.; Chapman, P.

    1981-04-01

    The purpose of this study is to survey emerging technologies and new concepts which may offer advantages over those selected for the SPS Reference System. A brief historical overview of the genesis of the Solar Power Satellite (SPS) concept is presented leading to a discussion of the assumptions and guidelines which were originally established and which led to development of the SPS Reference System design concept. Some of these guidelines are applicable to almost any SPS design, but others could be changed, leading to new and perhaps preferable systems. Moreover, while some of the guidelines are based on solid data, some are little more than arbitrary assumptions which were adopted only to proceed with a concrete point design which then could be assessed in the DOE/NASA Concept Development and Evaluation Program. In order to stimulate new SPS concepts and to facilitate comparative assessment of emerging SPS technologies, one useful approach is to break the overall system into functional parts. The system functions which must be performed by any SPS concept and the interrelations between them are discussed and a systematic framework is presented for assessment of the wide variety of system concepts and subsystem technologies which have been proposed. About 80 alternative SPS technologies are reviewed.

  16. Foodstuff survey around a major nuclear facility with test of satellite images application

    SciTech Connect

    Twining, S.; Strydom, J.; Rosson, R.; Koffman, L.; Fledderman, P.; Kahn, B.

    2000-05-01

    A foodstuff survey was performed around the Savannah River Site, Aiken, South Carolina. It included a census of buildings and fields within 5 km of the boundary and determination of the locations and amounts of crops grown within 80 km of the Savannah River Site center. Recent information for this region was collected on the amounts of meat, poultry, milk, and eggs produced, of deer hunted, and of sports fish caught. The locations and areas devoted to growing each crop were determined by the usual process of applying county agricultural statistics reported by state agencies. This process was compared to crop analysis of two LANDSAT Thematic Mapper images. For use with environmental radionuclide transfer and radiation dose calculation codes, locations within 80 km were defined for 64 sections by 16 sectors centered on the site and by 16-km distance intervals from 16 km to 80 km. The median areas per section devoted to each of four food crops based on county agricultural statistics were about two-thirds of those based on satellite image analysis. Most locally-raised foodstuff was distributed regionally and not retained locally for consumption.

  17. The Rapid Response Radiation Survey (R3S) Mission Using the HISat Conformal Satellite Architecture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Nathanael

    2015-01-01

    The Rapid Response Radiation Survey (R3S) experiment, designed as a quick turnaround mission to make radiation measurements in LEO, will fly as a hosted payload in partnership with NovaWurks using their Hyper-integrated Satlet (HiSat) architecture. The need for the mission arises as the Nowcast of Atmospheric Ionization Radiation for Aviation Safety (NAIRAS) model moves from a research effort into an operational radiation assessment tool. The data collected by R3S, in addition to the complementary data from a NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) atmospheric balloon mission entitled Radiation Dosimetry Experiment (RaDX), will validate exposure prediction capabilities of NAIRAS. This paper discusses the development of the R3S experiment as made possible by use of the HiSat architecture. The system design and operational modes of the experiment are described, as well as the experiment interfaces to the HiSat satellite via the user defined adapter (UDA) provided by NovaWurks. This paper outlines the steps taken by the project to execute the R3S mission in the 4 months of design, build, and test. Finally, description of the engineering process is provided, including the use of facilitated rapid/concurrent engineering sessions, the associated documentation, and the review process employed.

  18. Exploring Earth as an Exoplanet (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, T. D.; Meadows, V. S.; Crisp, D.

    2013-12-01

    Earth is our only example of a habitable planet, or a planet capable of maintaining liquid water on its surface. As a result, Earth serves as the archetypal habitable world in conceptual studies of future exoplanet characterization missions, or in studies of techniques for the remote characterization of potentially habitable exoplanets. Pioneering studies of a distant Earth used spatially resolved observations from the Galileo Earth encounters. However, for the foreseeable future, direct observations of exoplanets will be spatially unresolved, depicting their targets as points of light. As a consequence, characterization techniques will be limited to using disk integrated spectroscopic observations, as well as rotational and orbital light curves. This challenge offers a unique opportunity for collaborations between the Earth sciences and the astronomical sciences, working together to retrieve information from spectra of Earth-like worlds seen at interstellar distances. There are a number of existing observations of the distant Earth that can be used to test our ability to remotely characterize the environment of a habitable exoplanet, including its surface temperature and the presence of an ocean. However, such datasets are rare, and are often limited in wavelength range, spectral resolution, temporal coverage, and viewing geometry. As a result, models of Earth's disk-integrated spectrum provide the best means for understanding the appearance of the Pale Blue Dot, and can serve as suitable replacements for data in characterization studies. One such model is the Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional, line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model. This model incorporates realistic absorption and scattering by the atmosphere and surface, including specular reflectance from the ocean, and direction-dependent scattering by clouds and aerosols. Data from Earth-observing satellites are used to specify the time- and location-dependent state of the surface

  19. ExoplanetSat: detecting transiting exoplanets using a low-cost CubeSat platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Matthew W.; Seager, Sara; Pong, Christopher M.; Villaseñor, Jesus S.; Ricker, George R.; Miller, David W.; Knapp, Mary E.; Farmer, Grant T.; Jensen-Clem, Rebecca

    2010-07-01

    Nanosatellites, i.e. spacecraft that weigh between 1 and 10 kg, are drawing increasing interest as platforms for conducting on-orbit science. This trend is primarily driven by the ability to piggyback nanosatellites on the launch of large spacecraft and hence achieve orbit at greatly reduced cost. The CubeSat platform is a standardized nanosatellite configuration, consisting of one, two, or three 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm units (1, 2, or 3 "U"s) arranged in a row. We present a CubeSat-based concept for the discovery of transiting exoplanets around the nearest and brightest Sun-like stars. The spacecraft prototype - termed ExoplanetSat - is a 3U space telescope capable of monitoring a single target star from low Earth orbit. Given the volume limitations of the CubeSat form factor, designing a capable spacecraft requires overcoming significant challenges. This work presents the initial satellite configuration along with several subsystem-specific solutions to the aforementioned constraints. An optical design based on a modified commercial off-the-shelf camera lens is given. We also describe a novel two-stage attitude control architecture that combines 3-axis reaction wheels for coarse pointing with a piezoelectric translation stage at the focal plane for fine pointing. Modeling and simulation results are used to demonstrate feasibility by quantifying ExoplanetSat pointing precision, signal-to-noise ratio, guide star magnitude, and additional design parameters which determine system performance.

  20. Exoplanets with LSST: Period Recoverability of Transiting Hot Jupiters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacklin, Savannah; Lund, Michael; Pepper, Joshua; Stassun, Keivan

    2015-01-01

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will generate light curves for an unprecedented one billion stars across the night sky. While the LSST was not conceived or designed to find exoplanets, the data can nevertheless be exploited for that purpose. Although the LSST will have a much lower observing cadence compared to dedicated exoplanet surveys, the sheer number of stars that LSST will survey could result in a very large number of transiting exoplanet detections. In particular, LSST will probe stellar populations currently undersampled in most transit surveys, including out to extragalactic distances. Since period detection is one of the necessary criteria for transit detection, here we report on a test of the efficiency of a standard boxed-least-squares (BLS) algorithm at accurately recovering the periods of exoplanets using simulated LSST data. Specifically, we test the case of a 1 solar mass star at 7000 pc from Earth, transited by an 8-, 10-, and 12- Earth radius planet at input periods ranging from 0.5 to 20 days. At short periods, BLS was highly accurate at recovering the input period, with accuracy trailing off quickly for LSST regular cadence observation but much more gradually for "deep drilling" cadence observation. For example, in the 10-Earth radius case, we find that the transits are correctly recovered at least 50% of the time for planet periods up to 2.5 days in the regular cadence mode, and 15 days in the deep-drilling mode.

  1. Integration of historical aerial and satellite photos, recent satellite images and geophysical surveys for the knowledge of the ancient Dyrrachium (Durres, Albania)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malfitana, Daniele; Shehi, Eduard; Masini, Nicola; Scardozzi, Giuseppe

    2010-05-01

    The paper presents the preliminary results of an integrated multidiscipliary research project concerning the urban area of the modern Durres (ancient Dyrrachium). Here a joint Italian and Albanian researcher are starting preliminary investigations on the place of an ancient roman villa placed in the urban centre of the modern town. In a initial phase are offering interesting results the use of a rich multitemporal remote sensing data-set, historical aerial photos of 1920s and 1930s, photos of USA spy satellites of 1960s and 1970s (Corona KH-4A and KH-4B), and very high resolution satellite imagery. The historical aerial documentation is very rich and includes aerial photogrammetrich flights of two Italian Institutions: the private company SARA - Società Anonima Rilevamenti Aerofotogrammetrici in Rome (1928) and the IGM - Istituto Geografico Militare (1936, 1937 e 1941), which flew on Durres for purposes of cartographic production and military. These photos offer an image of the city before the urban expansion after the Second World War and in recent decades, progressively documented by satellite images of the 1960s-1970s and recent years. They enable a reconstruction of the ancient topography of the urban area, even with the possibility of detailed analysis, as in the case of the the Roman villa, nowadays buried under a modern garden, but also investigated with a GPR survey, in order to rebuild its plan and contextualize the villa in relation to the urban area of the ancient Dyrrachium.

  2. Understanding Young Exoplanet Analogs with WISE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Emily

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

  3. Lightest exoplanet yet discovered

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-04-01

    Well-known exoplanet researcher Michel Mayor today announced the discovery of the lightest exoplanet found so far. The planet, "e", in the famous system Gliese 581, is only about twice the mass of our Earth. The team also refined the orbit of the planet Gliese 581 d, first discovered in 2007, placing it well within the habitable zone, where liquid water oceans could exist. These amazing discoveries are the outcome of more than four years of observations using the most successful low-mass-exoplanet hunter in the world, the HARPS spectrograph attached to the 3.6-metre ESO telescope at La Silla, Chile. ESO PR Photo 15a/09 Artist's impression of Gliese 581 e ESO PR Photo 15b/09 A planet in the habitable zone ESO PR Video 15a/09 ESOcast 6 ESO PR Video 15b/09 VNR A-roll ESO PR Video 15c/09 Zoom-in on Gliese 581 e ESO PR Video 15d/09 Artist's impression of Gliese 581 e ESO PR Video 15e/09 Artist's impression of Gliese 581 d ESO PR Video 15f/09 Artist's impression of Gliese 581 system ESO PR Video 15g/09 The radial velocity method ESO PR Video 15h/09 Statement in English ESO PR Video 15i/09 Statement in French ESO PR Video 15j/09 La Silla Observatory "The holy grail of current exoplanet research is the detection of a rocky, Earth-like planet in the ‘habitable zone' -- a region around the host star with the right conditions for water to be liquid on a planet's surface", says Michel Mayor from the Geneva Observatory, who led the European team to this stunning breakthrough. Planet Gliese 581 e orbits its host star - located only 20.5 light-years away in the constellation Libra ("the Scales") -- in just 3.15 days. "With only 1.9 Earth-masses, it is the least massive exoplanet ever detected and is, very likely, a rocky planet", says co-author Xavier Bonfils from Grenoble Observatory. Being so close to its host star, the planet is not in the habitable zone. But another planet in this system appears to be. From previous observations -- also obtained with the HARPS spectrograph

  4. Exoplanets and Multiverses (Abstract)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trimble, V.

    2016-12-01

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

  5. Light Scattering in Exoplanet Transits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2016-10-01

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

  6. Search of Exoplanets - Phase I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  7. Future of High-Dimensional Data-Driven Exoplanet Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Eric B.

    2016-03-01

    The detection and characterization of exoplanets has come a long way since the 1990’s. For example, instruments specifically designed for Doppler planet surveys feature environmental controls to minimize instrumental effects and advanced calibration systems. Combining these instruments with powerful telescopes, astronomers have detected thousands of exoplanets. The application of Bayesian algorithms has improved the quality and reliability with which astronomers characterize the mass and orbits of exoplanets. Thanks to continued improvements in instrumentation, now the detection of extrasolar low-mass planets is limited primarily by stellar activity, rather than observational uncertainties. This presents a new set of challenges which will require cross-disciplinary research to combine improved statistical algorithms with an astrophysical understanding of stellar activity and the details of astronomical instrumentation. I describe these challenges and outline the roles of parameter estimation over high-dimensional parameter spaces, marginalizing over uncertainties in stellar astrophysics and machine learning for the next generation of Doppler planet searches.

  8. The Population of Long-period Transiting Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  9. Methods of practice and guidelines for using survey-grade global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) to establish vertical datum in the United States Geological Survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rydlund, Jr., Paul H.; Densmore, Brenda K.

    2012-01-01

    Geodetic surveys have evolved through the years to the use of survey-grade (centimeter level) global positioning to perpetuate and post-process vertical datum. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) uses Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) technology to monitor natural hazards, ensure geospatial control for climate and land use change, and gather data necessary for investigative studies related to water, the environment, energy, and ecosystems. Vertical datum is fundamental to a variety of these integrated earth sciences. Essentially GNSS surveys provide a three-dimensional position x, y, and z as a function of the North American Datum of 1983 ellipsoid and the most current hybrid geoid model. A GNSS survey may be approached with post-processed positioning for static observations related to a single point or network, or involve real-time corrections to provide positioning "on-the-fly." Field equipment required to facilitate GNSS surveys range from a single receiver, with a power source for static positioning, to an additional receiver or network communicated by radio or cellular for real-time positioning. A real-time approach in its most common form may be described as a roving receiver augmented by a single-base station receiver, known as a single-base real-time (RT) survey. More efficient real-time methods involving a Real-Time Network (RTN) permit the use of only one roving receiver that is augmented to a network of fixed receivers commonly known as Continually Operating Reference Stations (CORS). A post-processed approach in its most common form involves static data collection at a single point. Data are most commonly post-processed through a universally accepted utility maintained by the National Geodetic Survey (NGS), known as the Online Position User Service (OPUS). More complex post-processed methods involve static observations among a network of additional receivers collecting static data at known benchmarks. Both classifications provide users

  10. Outline of the survey on the development of earth observation satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    An independent earth observation system with land and sea satellites to be developed by Japan is described. Visible and infrared radiometers, microwave radiometers, microwave scattermeters, synthetic aperture radar, and laser sensors are among the instrumentation discussed. Triaxial attitude control, basic technology common to sea and land observation satellites as well as land data analytical technology developed for U.S. LANDSAT data are reviewed.

  11. A Cloudy View of Exoplanets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Analyzing Kepler lightcurves of exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dulz, Shannon Diane; Reed, Mike

    2016-10-01

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

  13. Exoplanet searches with gravitational microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, Alexander

    2012-07-01

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

  14. Weird Warm Spot on Exoplanet

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  15. Exoplanet Clouds in the Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Structure of exoplanets

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Structure of exoplanets.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-02

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

  18. Visualising Astronomy: Visualising Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyatt, R.

    2012-05-01

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

  19. Geoengineering on exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lockley, Andrew

    2015-04-01

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

  20. The LBTI Hunt for Observable Signatures of Terrestrial Systems (HOSTS) Survey: a Key NASA Science Program on the Road to Exoplanet Imaging Missions (SPIE Proceedings 2)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Danchi, William C.; Bailey, V.; Defrere, D.; Haniff, C.; Hinz, P.; Kennedy, G.; Mennesson, B.; Millan-Gabet, R.; Rieke, G.; Roberge, Aki; Serabyn, E.; Skemer, A.; Stapelfeldt, K.; Weinberger, A.; Wyatt, M.

    2014-01-01

    Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) will survey nearby stars for faint exozodiacal dust (exozodi). This warm circumstellar dust, analogous to the interplanetary dust found in the vicinity of the Earth in our own system, is produced in comet breakups and asteroid collisions. Emission and or scattered light from the exozodi will be the major source of astrophysical noise for a future space telescope aimed at direct imaging and spectroscopy of terrestrial planets (exo- Earths) around nearby stars. About 20 of nearby field stars have cold dust coming from planetesimals at large distances from the stars (Eiroa et al. 2013, AA, 555, A11; Siercho et al. 2014, ApJ, 785, 33). Much less is known about exozodi; current detection limits for individual stars are at best 500 times our solar system's level (aka. 500 zodi). LBTI-HOSTS will be the first survey capable of measuring exozodi at the 10 zodi level (3). Detections of warm dust will also reveal new information about planetary system architectures and evolution. We will describe the motivation for the survey and progress on target selection, not only the actual stars likely to be observed by such a mission but also those whose observation will enable sensible extrapolations for stars that will not be observed with LBTI. We briefly describe the detection of the debris disk around Crv, which is the first scientific result from the LBTI coming from the commissioning of the instrument in December 2013, shortly after the first time the fringes were stabilized.

  1. A Census of Distant, Giant Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Timothy D.

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

  2. The LBTI hunt for observable signatures of terrestrial systems (HOSTS) survey: a key NASA science program on the road to exoplanet imaging missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danchi, W.; Bailey, V.; Bryden, G.; Defrere, D.; Haniff, C.; Hinz, P.; Kennedy, G.; Mennesson, G.; Millan-Gabet, R.; Rieke, G.; Roberge, A.; Serabyn, E.; Skemer, A.; Stapelfeldt, K.; Weinberger, A.; Wyatt, M.

    2014-07-01

    The Hunt for Observable Signatures of Terrestrial planetary Systems (HOSTS) program on the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) will survey nearby stars for faint exozodiacal dust (exozodi). This warm circumstellar dust, analogous to the interplanetary dust found in the vicinity of the Earth in our own system, is produced in comet breakups and asteroid collisions. Emission and/or scattered light from the exozodi will be the major source of astrophysical noise for a future space telescope aimed at direct imaging and spectroscopy of terrestrial planets (exo- Earths) around nearby stars. About 20% of nearby field stars have cold dust coming from planetesimals at large distances from the stars (Eiroa et al. 2013, A&A, 555, A11; Siercho et al. 2014, ApJ, 785, 33). Much less is known about exozodi; current detection limits for individual stars are at best ~ 500 times our solar system's level (aka. 500 zodi). LBTI-HOSTS will be the first survey capable of measuring exozodi at the 10 zodi level (3σ). Detections of warm dust will also reveal new information about planetary system architectures and evolution. We will describe the motivation for the survey and progress on target selection, not only the actual stars likely to be observed by such a mission but also those whose observation will enable sensible extrapolations for stars that will not be observed with LBTI. We briefly describe the detection of the debris disk around η Crv, which is the first scientific result from the LBTI coming from the commissioning of the instrument in December 2013, shortly after the first time the fringes were stabilized.

  3. Stable regions around Exoplanets: the search for Exomoons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  4. A COMPLETE SPECTROSCOPIC SURVEY OF THE MILKY WAY SATELLITE SEGUE 1: THE DARKEST GALAXY

    SciTech Connect

    Simon, Joshua D.; Geha, Marla; Minor, Quinn E.; Martinez, Gregory D.; Bullock, James S. E-mail: marla.geha@yale.edu E-mail: gmartine@uci.edu

    2011-05-20

    We present the results of a comprehensive Keck/DEIMOS spectroscopic survey of the ultra-faint Milky Way satellite galaxy Segue 1. We have obtained velocity measurements for 98.2% of the stars within 67 pc (10', or 2.3 half-light radii) of the center of Segue 1 that have colors and magnitudes consistent with membership, down to a magnitude limit of r = 21.7. Based on photometric, kinematic, and metallicity information, we identify 71 stars as probable Segue 1 members, including some as far out as 87 pc. After correcting for the influence of binary stars using repeated velocity measurements, we determine a velocity dispersion of 3.7{sup +1.4}{sub -1.1} km s{sup -1}. The mass within the half-light radius is 5.8{sup +8.2}{sub -3.1} x 10{sup 5} M{sub sun}. The stellar kinematics of Segue 1 require very high mass-to-light ratios unless the system is far from dynamical equilibrium, even if the period distribution of unresolved binary stars is skewed toward implausibly short periods. With a total luminosity less than that of a single bright red giant and a V-band mass-to-light ratio of 3400 M{sub sun}/L{sub sun}, Segue 1 is the darkest galaxy currently known. We critically re-examine recent claims that Segue 1 is a tidally disrupting star cluster and that kinematic samples are contaminated by the Sagittarius stream. The extremely low metallicities ([Fe/H] < -3) of two Segue 1 stars and the large metallicity spread among the members demonstrate conclusively that Segue 1 is a dwarf galaxy, and we find no evidence in favor of tidal effects. We also show that contamination by the Sagittarius stream has been overestimated. Segue 1 has the highest estimated dark matter density of any known galaxy and will therefore be a prime testing ground for dark matter physics and galaxy formation on small scales.

  5. Remote sensing of effects of land-use practices on water quality. [environmental surveys using Landsat satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graves, D. H.

    1975-01-01

    Research efforts are presented for the use of remote sensing in environmental surveys in Kentucky. Ground truth parameters were established that represent the vegetative cover of disturbed and undisturbed watersheds in the Cumberland Plateau of eastern Kentucky. Several water quality parameters were monitored of the watersheds utilized in the establishment of ground truth data. The capabilities of multistage-multispectral aerial photography and satellite imagery were evaluated in detecting various land use practices. The use of photographic signatures of known land use areas utilizing manually-operated spot densitometers was studied. The correlation of imagery signature data to water quality data was examined. Potential water quality predictions were developed from forested and nonforested watersheds based upon the above correlations. The cost effectiveness of predicting water quality values was evaluated using multistage and satellite imagery sampling techniques.

  6. Satellite and earth science data management activities at the U.S. geological survey's EROS data center

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carneggie, David M.; Metz, Gary G.; Draeger, William C.; Thompson, Ralph J.

    1991-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey's Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center, the national archive for Landsat data, has 20 years of experience in acquiring, archiving, processing, and distributing Landsat and earth science data. The Center is expanding its satellite and earth science data management activities to support the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth Observing System Program. The Center's current and future data management activities focus on land data and include: satellite and earth science data set acquisition, development and archiving; data set preservation, maintenance and conversion to more durable and accessible archive medium; development of an advanced Land Data Information System; development of enhanced data packaging and distribution mechanisms; and data processing, reprocessing, and product generation systems.

  7. The Exoplanet Mass-ratio Function from the MOA-II Survey: Discovery of a Break and Likely Peak at a Neptune Mass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, D.; Bennett, D. P.; Sumi, T.; Bond, I. A.; Rogers, L. A.; Abe, F.; Asakura, Y.; Bhattacharya, A.; Donachie, M.; Freeman, M.; Fukui, A.; Hirao, Y.; Itow, Y.; Koshimoto, N.; Li, M. C. A.; Ling, C. H.; Masuda, K.; Matsubara, Y.; Muraki, Y.; Nagakane, M.; Onishi, K.; Oyokawa, H.; Rattenbury, N.; Saito, To.; Sharan, A.; Shibai, H.; Sullivan, D. J.; Tristram, P. J.; Yonehara, A.; MOA Collaboration

    2016-12-01

    We report the results of the statistical analysis of planetary signals discovered in MOA-II microlensing survey alert system events from 2007 to 2012. We determine the survey sensitivity as a function of planet-star mass ratio, q, and projected planet-star separation, s, in Einstein radius units. We find that the mass-ratio function is not a single power law, but has a change in slope at q ˜ 10-4, corresponding to ˜20 M ⊕ for the median host-star mass of ˜0.6 {M}⊙ . We find significant planetary signals in 23 of the 1474 alert events that are well-characterized by the MOA-II survey data alone. Data from other groups are used only to characterize planetary signals that have been identified in the MOA data alone. The distribution of mass ratios and separations of the planets found in our sample are well fit by a broken power-law model of the form {{dN}}{pl}/{(d{log}qd{log}s)=A(q/{q}{br})}n{s}m {{dex}}-2 for q > q br and {{dN}}{pl}/{(d{log}qd{log}s)=A(q/{q}{br})}p{s}m {{dex}}-2 for q < q br, where q br is the mass ratio of the break. We also combine this analysis with the previous analyses of Gould et al. and Cassan et al., bringing the total sample to 30 planets. This combined analysis yields A={0.61}-0.16+0.21, n = -0.93 ± 0.13, m={0.49}-0.49+0.47, and p={0.6}-0.4+0.5 for q br ≡ 1.7 × 10-4. The unbroken power-law model is disfavored with a p-value of 0.0022, which corresponds to a Bayes factor of 27 favoring the broken power-law model. These results imply that cold Neptunes are likely to be the most common type of planets beyond the snow line.

  8. Weighing Rocky Exoplanets with Improved Radial Velocimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xuesong Wang, Sharon; Wright, Jason; California Planet Survey Consortium

    2016-01-01

    The synergy between Kepler and the ground-based radial velocity (RV) surveys have made numerous discoveries of small and rocky exoplanets, opening the age of Earth analogs. However, most (29/33) of the RV-detected exoplanets that are smaller than 3 Earth radii do not have their masses constrained to better than 20% - limited by the current RV precision (1-2 m/s). Our work improves the RV precision of the Keck telescope, which is responsible for most of the mass measurements for small Kepler exoplanets. We have discovered and verified, for the first time, two of the dominant terms in Keck's RV systematic error budget: modeling errors (mostly in deconvolution) and telluric contamination. These two terms contribute 1 m/s and 0.6 m/s, respectively, to the RV error budget (RMS in quadrature), and they create spurious signals at periods of one sidereal year and its harmonics with amplitudes of 0.2-1 m/s. Left untreated, these errors can mimic the signals of Earth-like or Super-Earth planets in the Habitable Zone. Removing these errors will bring better precision to ten-year worth of Keck data and better constraints on the masses and compositions of small Kepler planets. As more precise RV instruments coming online, we need advanced data analysis tools to overcome issues like these in order to detect the Earth twin (RV amplitude 8 cm/s). We are developing a new, open-source RV data analysis tool in Python, which uses Bayesian MCMC and Gaussian processes, to fully exploit the hardware improvements brought by new instruments like MINERVA and NASA's WIYN/EPDS.

  9. Exoplanet Demographics with WFIRST-AFTA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaudi, B. S.; WFIRST-AFTA Science Definition Team

    2014-01-01

    Measurements of the demographics of exoplanets over a broad range of planet and host-star properties provide fundamental empirical constraints on theories of planet formation and evolution. Because of its unique sensitivity to low-mass, long-period, and free-floating planets, microlensing is an essential complement to our arsenal of planet detection methods. I outline the expected returns of a microlensing survey with WFIRST-AFTA. When combined with the results from complementary surveys such as Kepler, WFIRST-AFTA will yield a nearly complete picture of the demographics of planetary systems throughout the Galaxy, providing fundamental tests of planet formation theories, and informing our understanding of the frequency and potential habitability of low mass planets located in the habitable zones of their host stars.

  10. The Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey: A 3.1 M ⊕ Planet in the Habitable Zone of the Nearby M3V Star Gliese 581

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, Steven S.; Butler, R. Paul; Rivera, E. J.; Haghighipour, N.; Henry, Gregory W.; Williamson, Michael H.

    2010-11-01

    We present 11 years of HIRES precision radial velocities (RVs) of the nearby M3V star Gliese 581, combining our data set of 122 precision RVs with an existing published 4.3-year set of 119 HARPS precision RVs. The velocity set now indicates six companions in Keplerian motion around this star. Differential photometry indicates a likely stellar rotation period of ~94 days and reveals no significant periodic variability at any of the Keplerian periods, supporting planetary orbital motion as the cause of all the RV variations. The combined data set strongly confirms the 5.37-day, 12.9-day, 3.15-day, and 67-day planets previously announced by Bonfils et al., Udry et al., and Mayor et al.. The observations also indicate a fifth planet in the system, GJ 581f, a minimum-mass 7.0 M ⊕ planet orbiting in a 0.758 AU orbit of period 433 days, and a sixth planet, GJ 581g, a minimum-mass 3.1 M ⊕ planet orbiting at 0.146 AU with a period of 36.6 days. The estimated equilibrium temperature of GJ 581g is 228 K, placing it squarely in the middle of the habitable zone of the star and offering a very compelling case for a potentially habitable planet around a very nearby star. That a system harboring a potentially habitable planet has been found this nearby, and this soon in the relatively early history of precision RV surveys, indicates that η⊕, the fraction of stars with potentially habitable planets, is likely to be substantial. This detection, coupled with statistics of the incompleteness of present-day precision RV surveys for volume-limited samples of stars in the immediate solar neighborhood, suggests that η⊕ could well be on the order of a few tens of percent. If the local stellar neighborhood is a representative sample of the galaxy as a whole, our Milky Way could be teeming with potentially habitable planets.

  11. THE LICK-CARNEGIE EXOPLANET SURVEY: A 3.1 M{sub +} PLANET IN THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE NEARBY M3V STAR GLIESE 581

    SciTech Connect

    Vogt, Steven S.; Rivera, E. J.; Haghighipour, N.; Henry, Gregory W.; Williamson, Michael H.

    2010-11-01

    We present 11 years of HIRES precision radial velocities (RVs) of the nearby M3V star Gliese 581, combining our data set of 122 precision RVs with an existing published 4.3-year set of 119 HARPS precision RVs. The velocity set now indicates six companions in Keplerian motion around this star. Differential photometry indicates a likely stellar rotation period of {approx}94 days and reveals no significant periodic variability at any of the Keplerian periods, supporting planetary orbital motion as the cause of all the RV variations. The combined data set strongly confirms the 5.37-day, 12.9-day, 3.15-day, and 67-day planets previously announced by Bonfils et al., Udry et al., and Mayor et al.. The observations also indicate a fifth planet in the system, GJ 581f, a minimum-mass 7.0 M{sub +} planet orbiting in a 0.758 AU orbit of period 433 days, and a sixth planet, GJ 581g, a minimum-mass 3.1 M{sub +} planet orbiting at 0.146 AU with a period of 36.6 days. The estimated equilibrium temperature of GJ 581g is 228 K, placing it squarely in the middle of the habitable zone of the star and offering a very compelling case for a potentially habitable planet around a very nearby star. That a system harboring a potentially habitable planet has been found this nearby, and this soon in the relatively early history of precision RV surveys, indicates that {eta}{sub +}, the fraction of stars with potentially habitable planets, is likely to be substantial. This detection, coupled with statistics of the incompleteness of present-day precision RV surveys for volume-limited samples of stars in the immediate solar neighborhood, suggests that {eta}{sub +} could well be on the order of a few tens of percent. If the local stellar neighborhood is a representative sample of the galaxy as a whole, our Milky Way could be teeming with potentially habitable planets.

  12. Exoplanet Caught on the Move

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-06-01

    For the first time, astronomers have been able to directly follow the motion of an exoplanet as it moves from one side of its host star to the other. The planet has the smallest orbit so far of all directly imaged exoplanets, lying almost as close to its parent star as Saturn is to the Sun. Scientists believe that it may have formed in a similar way to the giant planets in the Solar System. Because the star is so young, this discovery proves that gas giant planets can form within discs in only a few million years, a short time in cosmic terms. Only 12 million years old, or less than three-thousandths of the age of the Sun, Beta Pictoris is 75% more massive than our parent star. It is located about 60 light-years away towards the constellation of Pictor (the Painter) and is one of the best-known examples of a star surrounded by a dusty debris disc [1]. Earlier observations showed a warp of the disc, a secondary inclined disc and comets falling onto the star. "Those were indirect, but tell-tale signs that strongly suggested the presence of a massive planet, and our new observations now definitively prove this," says team leader Anne-Marie Lagrange. "Because the star is so young, our results prove that giant planets can form in discs in time-spans as short as a few million years." Recent observations have shown that discs around young stars disperse within a few million years, and that giant planet formation must occur faster than previously thought. Beta Pictoris is now clear proof that this is indeed possible. The team used the NAOS-CONICA instrument (or NACO [2]), mounted on one of the 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes of ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), to study the immediate surroundings of Beta Pictoris in 2003, 2008 and 2009. In 2003 a faint source inside the disc was seen (eso0842), but it was not possible to exclude the remote possibility that it was a background star. In new images taken in 2008 and spring 2009 the source had disappeared! The most recent

  13. Analogue Simulation and Orbital Solving Algorithm of Astrometric Exoplanet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, P. H.; Ji, J. H.

    2016-09-01

    Astrometry is an effective method to detect exoplanets. It has many advantages that other detection methods do not bear, such as providing three dimensional planetary orbit and determining the planetary mass. Astrometry will enrich the sample of exoplanets. As the high-precision astrometric satellite Gaia (Global Astrometry interferometer for Astrophysics) was launched in 2013, there will be abundant long-period Jupiter-size planets to be discovered by Gaia. In this paper, we specify the α Centauri A, HD 62509, and GJ 876 systems, and generate the synthetic astrometric data with the single astrometric precision of Gaia. Then we use the Lomb-Scargle periodogram to analyse the signature of planets and the Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm to fit the orbit of planets. The simulation results are well coincide with the initial solutions.

  14. Characterization of Kepler Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Steve B.; Everett, M.; Ciardi, D. R.; Silva, D.; Szkody, P.

    2014-01-01

    Using a sample of 220 Exoplanet host stars in the Kepler field for which spectroscopic properties have been determined, we examine their spatial, physical, and time variable properties. Covering effective temperatures from 4670K to 6400K (K4 to F4) and masses from 0.7 to 1.4 M-sun, this sample represents host stars covering the entire Kepler field of view. The majority of the host stars contain one or more Earth-sized exoplanet and range in log g from 4.0 to 4.7 and [Fe/H] from -02.4 to +0.3. Using Yale-Yonsei isochrone fits and photometric information form the Howell-Everett UBV survey of the Kepler field, we examine a complete set of parameters for these stars including their likely residence in the thin or thick disk of the Galaxy. the variability of this sample, in terms of time sale and amplitude, is examined as well.

  15. A Cubesat Payload for Exoplanet Detection

    PubMed Central

    Iuzzolino, Marcella; Accardo, Domenico; Rufino, Giancarlo; Oliva, Ernesto; Tozzi, Andrea; Schipani, Pietro

    2017-01-01

    The search for undiscovered planets outside the solar system is a scientific topic that is rapidly spreading into the astrophysical and engineering communities. In this framework, the design of an innovative payload to detect exoplanets from a nano-sized space platform, like a 3U cubesat, is presented. The selected detection method is photometric transit, and the payload aims to detect flux decrements down to ~0.01% with a precision of 12 ppm. The payload design is also aimed at false positive recognition. The solution consists of a four-facets pyramid on the top of the payload, to allow for measurement redundancy and low-resolution spectral dispersion of the star images. The innovative concept is the use of a small and cheap platform for a relevant astronomical mission. The faintest observable target star has V-magnitude equal to 3.38. Despite missions aimed at ultra-precise photometry from microsatellites (e.g., MOST, BRITE), the transit of exoplanets orbiting very bright stars has not yet been surveyed photometrically from space, since any observation from a small/medium sized (30 cm optical aperture) telescope would saturate the detector. This cubesat mission can provide these missing measurements. This work is set up as a demonstrative project to verify the feasibility of the payload concept. PMID:28257111

  16. A Cubesat Payload for Exoplanet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iuzzolino, M.; Accardo, D.; Rufino, G.; Oliva, E.; Tozzi, A.; Schipani, P.

    2017-03-01

    The search for undiscovered planets outside the solar system is a scientific topic that is rapidly spreading into the astrophysical and engineering communities. In this framework, the design of an innovative payload to detect exoplanets from a nano-sized space platform, like a 3U cubesat, is presented. The selected detection method is photometric transit, and the payload aims to detect flux decrements down to 0.01% with a precision of 12 ppm. The payload design is also aimed at false positive recognition. The solution consists of a four-facets pyramid on the top of the payload, to allow for measurement redundancy and low-resolution spectral dispersion of the star images. The innovative concept is the use of a small and cheap platform for a relevant astronomical mission. The faintest observable target star has V-magnitude equal to 3.38. Despite missions aimed at ultra-precise photometry from microsatellites (e.g., MOST, BRITE), the transit of exoplanets orbiting very bright stars has not yet been surveyed photometrically from space, since any observation from a small/medium sized (30 cm optical aperture) telescope would saturate the detector. This cubesat mission can provide these missing measurements. This work is set up as a demonstrative project to verify the feasibility of the payload concept.

  17. A Cubesat Payload for Exoplanet Detection.

    PubMed

    Iuzzolino, Marcella; Accardo, Domenico; Rufino, Giancarlo; Oliva, Ernesto; Tozzi, Andrea; Schipani, Pietro

    2017-03-02

    The search for undiscovered planets outside the solar system is a scientific topic that is rapidly spreading into the astrophysical and engineering communities. In this framework, the design of an innovative payload to detect exoplanets from a nano-sized space platform, like a 3U cubesat, is presented. The selected detection method is photometric transit, and the payload aims to detect flux decrements down to ~0.01% with a precision of 12 ppm. The payload design is also aimed at false positive recognition. The solution consists of a four-facets pyramid on the top of the payload, to allow for measurement redundancy and low-resolution spectral dispersion of the star images. The innovative concept is the use of a small and cheap platform for a relevant astronomical mission. The faintest observable target star has V-magnitude equal to 3.38. Despite missions aimed at ultra-precise photometry from microsatellites (e.g., MOST, BRITE), the transit of exoplanets orbiting very bright stars has not yet been surveyed photometrically from space, since any observation from a small/medium sized (30 cm optical aperture) telescope would saturate the detector. This cubesat mission can provide these missing measurements. This work is set up as a demonstrative project to verify the feasibility of the payload concept.

  18. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Exoplanet Orbit Database (Wright+, 2011)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

    We present a database of well determined orbital parameters of exoplanets, and their host stars' properties. This database comprises spectroscopic orbital elements measured for 427 planets orbiting 363 stars from radial velocity and transit measurements as reported in the literature. We have also compiled fundamental transit parameters, stellar parameters, and the method used for the planets discovery. This Exoplanet Orbit Database includes all planets with robust, well measured orbital parameters reported in peer-reviewed articles. The Database is available in a searcheable, filterable, and sortable form on the Web at http://exoplanets.org through the Exoplanets Data Explorer Table, and the data can be plotted and explored through the Exoplanet Data Explorer Plotter. We use the Data Explorer to generate publication-ready plots giving three examples of the signatures of exoplanet migration and dynamical evolution: We illustrate the character of the apparent correlation between mass and period in exoplanet orbits, the different selection biases between radial velocity and transit surveys, and that the multiplanet systems show a distinct semi-major axis distribution from apparently singleton systems. (2 data files).

  19. In-harbor and at-sea electromagnetic compatibility survey for maritime satellite L-band shipboard terminal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    Geostationary maritime satellites, one over the Pacific and one over the Atlantic Ocean, are planned to make available high-speed communications and navigation (position determination) services to ships at sea. A shipboard satellite terminal, operating within the authorized maritime L-band, 1636.5 to 1645.0 MHz, will allow ships to pass voice, teletype, facsimile, and data messages to shore communication facilities with a high degree of reliability. The shore-to-ship link will also operate in the maritime L-band from 1535.0 to 1543.5 MHz. A significant number or maritime/commercial ships are expected to be equipped with an L-band satellite terminal by the year 1980, and so consequently, there is an interest in determining electromagnetic compatibility between the proposed L-band shipboard terminal and existing, on-board, shipboard communications/electronics and electrical systems, as well as determining the influence of shore-based interference sources. The shipboard electromagnetic interference survey described was conducted on-board the United States Line's American Leader class (15,690 tons) commercial container ship, the "American Alliance" from June 16 to 20, 1974. Details of the test plan and measurements are given.

  20. Report of survey research of ways of using second generation practical broadcasting satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    The state of development of satellite broadcasting in Japan, was determined was determined and recommendations were made regarding what organizations would use it and what kind of results could be forthcoming. The primary use at this stage is for television broadcasting, and the secondary use is for testing new broadcasting methods and for use by Japan's new Broadcasting University.

  1. High Precision Photometry of Bright Transiting Exoplanet Hosts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Maurice; Eastman, Jason; Johnson, John A.

    2016-01-01

    Within the past two decades, the successful search for exoplanets and the characterization of their physical properties have shown the immense progress that has been made towards finding planets with characteristics similar to Earth. For most exoplanets with a radius about the size of Earth, evaluating their physical properties, such as the mass, radius and equilibrium temperature, cannot be determined with satisfactory precision. The MINiature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array (MINERVA) was recently built to obtain spectroscopic and photometric measurements to find, confirm, and characterize Earth-like exoplanets. MINERVA's spectroscopic survey targets the brightest, nearby stars which are well-suited to the array's capabilities, while its primary photometric goal is to search for transits around these bright targets. Typically, it is difficult to find satisfactory comparison stars within a telescope's field of view when the primary target is very bright. This issue is resolved by using one of MINERVA's telescopes to observe the primary bright star while the other telescopes observe a distinct field of view that contains satisfactory bright comparison stars. We describe the code used to identify nearby comparison stars, schedule the four telescopes, produce differential photometry from multiple telescopes, and show the first results from this effort.This work has been funded by the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, the ERAU Honors Program, the ERAU Undergraduate Research Spark Fund, and the Banneker Institute at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

  2. The science of EChO - Exoplanet Characterisation Obseravtory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinetti, G.; Drossart, P.; Hartogh, P.; Isaak, K.; Linder, M.; Lovis, C.; Micela, G.; Puig, L.; Ollivier, M.; Ribas, I.; Snellen, I.; Swinyard, B.

    2013-09-01

    It is now accepted that exoplanets are ubiquitous in our Galaxy. The planetary parameters mass, radius and temperature alone do not explain the diversity revealed by current observations. The chemical composition of these planets is needed to trace back their formation history and evolution, as was the case for the Solar System. Pioneering results were obtained through transit spectroscopy with Hubble, Spitzer and groundbased facilities, enabling the detection of a few, most abundant ionic, atomic and molecular species and to constrain the planet's thermal structure. With the arrival of EChO in the coming decade, planetary science will expand beyond the narrow boundaries of our Solar System to encompass our whole Galaxy. EChO will address the following fundamental questions: - Why are exoplanets as they are? - What are the causes for the observed diversity? - Can their formation history be traced back from their current composition and evolution? Spectroscopic observations from the visible to Mid-IR of a large, select sample of exoplanets, will allow us to use the chemical composition as a powerful diagnostic of the history, formation mechanisms and evolution of gaseous and rocky exoplanets. Our strategy is to balance statistical information, obtainable through a chemical survey of a large and diverse sample of objects - as it is traditionally done for stars - with deep, repeated observations of a more restricted, select sample of planets - a strategy that will enable the kind of science that was accomplished for Solar System planets.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Network global navigation satellite system survey to harmonize water-surface elevation data for the Rainy River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ziegeweid, Jeffrey R.; Silliker, R. Jason; Densmore, Brenda K.; Krahulik, Justin

    2016-08-15

    Continuously recording water-level streamgages in Rainy Lake and Namakan Reservoir are used to regulate water levels according to rule curves established in 2000 by the International Joint Commission; however, water levels at streamgages were referenced to a variety of vertical datums, confounding efforts to model the flow of water through the system, regulate water levels during periods of high inflow, and evaluate the effectiveness of the rule curves. In October 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey, Natural Resources Canada, International Joint Commission, and National Park Service began a joint field study with the goal of obtaining precise elevations referenced to a uniform vertical datum for all reference marks used to set water levels at streamgages throughout Rainy Lake and Namakan Reservoir. This report was prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with Natural Resources Canada, International Joint Commission, and National Park Service.Three field crews deployed Global Navigation Satellite System receivers statically over 16 reference marks colocated with active and discontinued water-level streamgages throughout Rainy River, Rainy Lake, Namakan Reservoir, and select tributaries of Rainy Lake and Namakan Reservoir. A Global Navigation Satellite System receiver also was deployed statically over a National Geodetic Survey cooperative base network control station for use as a quality-control reference mark. Satellite data were collected simultaneously during a 5-day period and processed independently by the U.S. Geological Survey and Natural Resources Canada to obtain accurate positioning and elevations for the 17 surveyed reference marks. Processed satellite data were used to convert published water levels to elevations above sea level referenced to the Canadian Geodetic Vertical Datum of 2013 in order to compare water-surface elevations referenced to a uniform vertical datum throughout the study area. In this report, an “offset” refers to the

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-11-15

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

  6. TERMS PHOTOMETRY OF KNOWN TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-10-15

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

  7. Direct Exoplanet Detection with Binary Differential Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodigas, Timothy J.; Weinberger, Alycia; Mamajek, Eric E.; Males, Jared R.; Close, Laird M.; Morzinski, Katie; Hinz, Philip M.; Kaib, Nathan

    2015-10-01

    Binaries are typically excluded from direct imaging exoplanet surveys. However, the recent findings of Kepler and radial velocity programs show that planets can and do form in binary systems. Here, we suggest that visual binaries offer unique advantages for direct imaging. We show that Binary Differential Imaging (BDI), whereby two stars are imaged simultaneously at the same wavelength within the isoplanatic patch at a high Strehl ratio, offers improved point spread function (PSF) subtraction that can result in increased sensitivity to planets close to each star. We demonstrate this by observing a young visual binary separated by 4″ with MagAO/Clio-2 at 3.9 μm, where the Strehl ratio is high, the isoplanatic patch is large, and giant planets are bright. Comparing BDI to angular differential imaging (ADI), we find that BDI’s 5σ contrast is ˜0.5 mag better than ADI’s within ˜1″ for the particular binary we observed. Because planets typically reside close to their host stars, BDI is a promising technique for discovering exoplanets in stellar systems that are often ignored. BDI is also 2-4× more efficient than ADI and classical reference PSF subtraction, since planets can be detected around both the target and PSF reference simultaneously. We are currently exploiting this technique in a new MagAO survey for giant planets in 140 young nearby visual binaries. BDI on a space-based telescope would not be limited by isoplanatism effects and would therefore be an even more powerful tool for imaging and discovering planets. This paper includes data obtained at the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

  8. DEBRIS DISKS IN KEPLER EXOPLANET SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Lawler, S. M.; Gladman, B.

    2012-06-10

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

  9. Integration of real time kinematic satellite navigation with ground-penetrating radar surveys

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Precision agriculture, environmental mapping, and construction benefit from subsurface imaging by revealing the spatial variability of underground features. Features surveyed of agricultural interest are bedrock depth, soil horizon thicknesses, and buried–object features such as drainage pipe. For t...

  10. Test of multi-object exoplanet search spectral interferometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Kai; Wang, Liang; Jiang, Haijiao; Zhu, Yongtian; Hou, Yonghui; Dai, Songxin; Tang, Jin; Tang, Zhen; Zeng, Yizhong; Chen, Yi; Wang, Lei; Hu, Zhongwen

    2014-07-01

    Exoplanet detection, a highlight in the current astronomy, will be part of puzzle in astronomical and astrophysical future, which contains dark energy, dark matter, early universe, black hole, galactic evolution and so on. At present, most of the detected Exoplanets are confirmed through methods of radial velocity and transit. Guo shoujing Telescope well known as LAMOST is an advanced multi-object spectral survey telescope equipped with 4000 fibers and 16 low resolution fiber spectrographs. To explore its potential in different astronomical activities, a new radial velocity method named Externally Dispersed Interferometry (EDI) is applied to serve Exoplanet detection through combining a fixed-delay interferometer with the existing spectrograph in medium spectral resolution mode (R=5,000-10,000). This new technology has an impressive feature to enhance radial velocity measuring accuracy of the existing spectrograph through installing a fixed-delay interferometer in front of spectrograph. This way produces an interference spectrum with higher sensitivity to Doppler Effect by interference phase and fixed delay. This relative system named Multi-object Exoplanet Search Spectral Interferometer (MESSI) is composed of a few parts, including a pair of multi-fiber coupling sockets, a remote control iodine subsystem, a multi-object fixed delay interferometer and the existing spectrograph. It covers from 500 to 550 nm and simultaneously observes up to 21 stars. Even if it's an experimental instrument at present, it's still well demonstrated in paper that how MESSI does explore an effective way to build its own system under the existing condition of LAMOST and get its expected performance for multi-object Exoplanet detection, especially instrument stability and its special data reduction. As a result of test at lab, inside temperature of its instrumental chamber is stable in a range of +/-0.5degree Celsius within 12 hours, and the direct instrumental stability without further

  11. A Search for Radio Emission from Nearby Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maps, Amethyst D.; Bastian, Timothy S.; Beasley, Anthony J.

    2017-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first extrasolar planet orbiting a main sequence star more than 20 years ago, the study of exoplanets has become a burgeoning field with more than 3300 confirmed extrasolar planets now known. A variety of techniques has been used to discover exoplanets orbiting main sequence stars and to deduce their properties: timing, radial velocities, direct imaging, microlensing, and transits in the optical/IR bands. Absent from this list so far is the detection of exoplanets at radio wavelengths, but not for lack of trying. Searches for radio emission from exoplanets predate their discovery (Winglee et al. 1986) and have continued sporadically to this day. The majority of searches for radio emission from exoplanets has searched for coherent radio emission. It is indeed the case that in our own solar system, all magnetized planets are powerful radio emitters, the likely emission mechanism being the cyclotron maser instability. The outstanding example is Jupiter, which emits 1010-1011 W at decameter wavelengths (frequencies <40 MHz). If there are Jupiter-like planets in other solar systems, many must surely emit CMI radiation. The emitted radiation could be orders of magnitude more intense than Jupiter’s if the interaction between the magnetized planet and the wind from the primary star is stronger than the Sun/Jupiter interaction - due, for example, to a more powerful wind and/or the planet being closer to the star.We have initiated a new search for radio emission from exoplanets, focusing on all known exoplanetary systems within 20 pc - more than 50 systems containing nearly 100 planets using the Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA) in three frequency bands: 1-2 GHz, 2-4 GHz, and 4-8 GHz with a target sensitivity of ~10 microJy. We have completed the 2-4 GHz survey and report our preliminary results, which include the detection of two systems. We discuss whether the emission is from a planet or from the star and the implications of our conclusions for

  12. Mapping the Distributions of Exoplanet Populations with NICI and GPI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, Eric L.; Liu, Michael C.; Wahhaj, Zahed; Biller, Beth A.; Hayward, Thomas L.; Close, Laird M.; Close; Macintosh, Bruce; Savransky, Dmitry; Wang, Jason J.; Graham, James R.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Rajan, Abhijith; Rajan

    2016-01-01

    While more and more long-period giant planets are discovered by direct imaging, the distribution of planets at these separations (>~5 AU) has remained largely uncertain, especially compared to planets in the inner regions of solar systems probed by RV and transit techniques. The low frequency, the detection challenges, and heterogeneous samples make determining the mass and orbit distributions of directly imaged planets at the end of a survey difficult. By utilizing Monte Carlo methods that incorporate the age, distance, and spectral type of each target, we can use all stars in the survey, not just those with detected planets, to learn about the underlying population. We have produced upper limits and direct measurements of the frequency of these planets with the most recent generation of direct imaging surveys. The Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign observed 220 young, nearby stars at a median H-band contrast of 14.5 magnitudes at 1'', representing the largest, deepest search for exoplanets by the completion of the survey. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey is in the process of surveying 600 stars, pushing these contrasts to a few tenths of an arcsecond from the star. With the advent of large surveys (many hundreds of stars) using advanced planet-imagers we gain the ability to move beyond measuring the frequency of wide-separation giant planets and to simultaneously determine the distribution as a function of planet mass, semi-major axis, and stellar mass, and so directly test models of planet formation and evolution.

  13. Advances in Telescope and Detector Technologies - Impacts on the Study and Understanding of Binary Star and Exoplanet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guinan, Edward F.; Engle, Scott; Devinney, Edward J.

    2012-04-01

    )), and space missions, such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the possible NASA Explorer Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS - recently approved for further study) and Gaia (due for launch during 2013) will all be discussed. Also highlighted are advances in interferometers (both on the ground and from space) and imaging now possible at sub-millimeter wavelengths from the Extremely Long Array (ELVA) and Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). High precision Doppler spectroscopy, for example with HARPS, HIRES and more recently the Carnegie Planet Finder Spectrograph, are currently returning RVs typically better than ~2-m/s for some brighter exoplanet systems. But soon it should be possible to measure Doppler shifts as small as ~10-cm/s - sufficiently sensitive for detecting Earth-size planets. Also briefly discussed is the impact these instruments will have on the study of eclipsing binaries, along with future possibilities of utilizing methods from the emerging field of Astroinformatics, including: the Virtual Observatory (VO) and the possibilities of analyzing these huge datasets using Neural Network (NN) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.

  14. Using Satellite Remote Sensing and Household Survey Data to Assess Human Health and Nutrition Response to Environmental Change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Molly E.; Grace, Kathryn; Shively, Gerald; Johnson, Kiersten B.; Carroll, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Climate change and degradation of ecosystem services functioning may threaten the ability of current agricultural systems to keep up with demand for adequate and inexpensive food and for clean water, waste disposal and other broader ecosystem services. Human health is likely to be affected by changes occurring across multiple geographic and time scales. Impacts range from increasing transmissibility and the range of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever, to undermining nutrition through deleterious impacts on food production and concomitant increases in food prices. This paper uses case studies to describe methods that make use of satellite remote sensing and Demographic and Health Survey data to better understand individual-level human health and nutrition outcomes. By bringing these diverse datasets together, the connection between environmental change and human health outcomes can be described through new research and analysis.

  15. Basic research and data analysis for the National Geodetic Satellite program and for the Earth Surveys program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    Current research is reported on precise and accurate descriptions of the earth's surface and gravitational field and on time variations of geophysical parameters. A new computer program was written in connection with the adjustment of the BC-4 worldwide geometric satellite triangulation net. The possibility that an increment to accuracy could be transferred from a super-control net to the basic geodetic (first-order triangulation) was investigated. Coordinates of the NA9 solution were computed and were transformed to the NAD datum, based on GEOS 1 observations. Normal equations from observational data of several different systems and constraint equations were added and a single solution was obtained for the combined systems. Transformation parameters with constraints were determined, and the impact of computers on surveying and mapping is discussed.

  16. Climates of Oblique Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrovolskis, A. R.

    2008-12-01

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

  17. LEECH: LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skemer, Andrew

    We propose to perform a direct exoplanet imaging survey around nearby (<25 pc), intermediate-aged (0.1-1.0 Gyr) stars using the LBT adaptive optics system (LBTAO) and the mid-infrared imager, LBTI. LBTAO is the first of the next generation extreme AO systems to come online and the only one that will operate in the mid-infrared (>3μm), where old/cool planets are brightest, and adaptive optics performance is superb (>95% Strehl ratio for LBTAO). The proposed survey will leverage 60 nights already-allocated to the NASA LBTI exozodiacal dust survey, which will target nearby stars with nulling interferometry to search for faint, warm debris disks. LBTI has a 3-5μm imager/spectrograph (LMIRCam) and an 8-13μm imager/spectrograph/nuller (NOMIC), which can be operated simultaneously using a beamsplitter, meaning that LMIRCam can search for gas-giant planets while NOMIC measures exozodiacal emission. Executing these two surveys simultaneously will greatly increase the scientific productivity of 60 already-allocated NASA nights by 1) creating exoplanet discovery opportunities and 2) providing a synergetic data set for studying debris disks (exozodis) as signposts of giant planets. The exozodi survey sample is older than the samples of other planned direct imaging surveys, which look at younger stars (<100 Myr) due to the fact that planets become fainter as they age. LBTI is still sensitive to planets around older stars because it operates at L (3.8 μm) where evolutionary models predict planets fade more slowly than at the wavelengths used by most direct-imaging surveys, (H; 1.65 μm). The ability to detect planets around nearby (<25 pc) intermediante-aged (0.1-1.0 Gyr) stars presents several scientific opportunities: 1) A variety of evolutionary models (hot-start, core-accretion/cold-start, warm-start) predict different cooling curves for extrasolar planets, based on different initial conditions. By imaging a population of old planets, we will determine how the planet

  18. Origins Space Telescope: Planet-forming disks and exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pontoppidan, Klaus; Origins Space Telescope Study Team

    2017-01-01

    The Origins Space Telescope (OST) is the mission concept for the Far-Infrared Surveyor, a study in development by NASA in preparation for the 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Origins is planned to be a large aperture, actively-cooled telescope covering a wide span of the mid- to far-infrared spectrum. Its imagers and spectrographs will enable a variety of surveys of the sky that will discover and characterize the most distant galaxies, Milky-Way, exoplanets, and the outer reaches of our Solar system. Origins will enable flagship-quality general observing programs led by the astronomical community in the 2030s. The Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) would like to hear your science needs and ideas for this mission. The team can be contacted at firsurveyor_info@lists.ipac.caltech.edu. This presentation will provide a summary of the science case related to planet formation and exoplanets. Leveraging orders of magnitude of improvements in sensitivity, the Origins Telescope will reveal the path of water from the interstellar medium to the inner regions of planet-forming disks, and determine the total masses of disks around stars across the stellar mass range out to distances of 500 pc. It will measure the temperatures and search for basic chemical ingredients for life on rocky planets. Beyond this, the Origins Telescope will open a vast discovery space in the general areas of star formation, protoplanetary and debris disks, and cool exoplanets in habitable zones.

  19. U.S. Geological Survey Aids Federal Agencies in ObtainingCommercial Satellite and Aerial Imagery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2005-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is a leading U.S. Federal civil agency in the implementation of the civil aspects of the Commercial Remote Sensing Space Policy (CRSSP). The USGS is responsible for collecting inter-agency near-term requirements, establishing an operational infrastructure, and supporting the policy and other Federal agencies.

  20. Glowing Hot Transiting Exoplanet Discovered

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-04-01

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

  1. Survey and documentation of emerging technologies for the Satellite Power System (SPS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glaser, P.; Chapman, P.

    1981-01-01

    The genesis of the solar power satellite (SPS) concept is reviewed historically and the original assumptions and guidelines which led to development of the SPS reference system design concept are discussed. Some guidelines are applicable to almost any SPS design, but others can be changed, leading to new and perhaps preferable systems. In order to stimulate new SPS concepts and to facilitate comparative assessment of emerging SPS technologies, one useful approach is to break the overall system into functional parts. The system functions which must be performed by any SPS concept and the interrelations between them are discussed and a systematic framework is presented for assessing the wide variety of system concepts and subsystem technologies which have been proposed. About 80 alternative SPS technologies are reviewed.

  2. A MEGACAM SURVEY OF OUTER HALO SATELLITES. II. BLUE STRAGGLERS IN THE LOWEST STELLAR DENSITY SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Santana, Felipe A.; Munoz, Ricardo R.; Geha, Marla; Cote, Patrick; Stetson, Peter; Simon, Joshua D.; Djorgovski, S. G. E-mail: rmunoz@das.uchile.cl

    2013-09-10

    We present a homogeneous study of blue straggler stars across 10 outer halo globular clusters, 3 classical dwarf spheroidal galaxies, and 9 ultra-faint galaxies based on deep and wide-field photometric data taken with MegaCam on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. We find blue straggler stars to be ubiquitous among these Milky Way satellites. Based on these data, we can test the importance of primordial binaries or multiple systems on blue straggler star formation in low-density environments. For the outer halo globular clusters, we find an anti-correlation between the specific frequency of blue stragglers and absolute magnitude, similar to that previously observed for inner halo clusters. When plotted against density and encounter rate, the frequency of blue stragglers is well fit by a single trend with a smooth transition between dwarf galaxies and globular clusters; this result points to a common origin for these satellites' blue stragglers. The fraction of blue stragglers stays constant and high in the low encounter rate regime spanned by our dwarf galaxies, and decreases with density and encounter rate in the range spanned by our globular clusters. We find that young stars can mimic blue stragglers in dwarf galaxies only if their ages are 2.5 {+-} 0.5 Gyr and they represent {approx}1%-7% of the total number of stars, which we deem highly unlikely. These results point to mass-transfer or mergers of primordial binaries or multiple systems as the dominant blue straggler formation mechanism in low-density systems.

  3. Diagnosing clouds and hazes in exoplanet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraine, Jonathan David

    on the temperature profile at 3.6 and 4.5mu m. I am one of the founding members of the ACCESS collaboration (Arizona-CfA-Catolica Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey), a ground based observational campaign to spectroscopically survey a catalogue of exoplanetary atmospheres using major optical telescopes. I observed several of our targets from the 6.5m Magellan-Baade telescope. The results of my first observation provided low signal-to-noise constraints on the cloud properties of the hot Jupiter WASP-4b, as well as the UV radiation environment produced by its host star, WASP-4. The combination of these observational constraints provided greater insight into the end-products of the planet formation process, and developed the knowledge base of our community for both cloudy and clear worlds.

  4. Updates to the Exoplanet Orbit Database and Transit&Secondary Eclipse Ephemerides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Eunkyu; Feng, Y.; Wright, J.; Zhao, M.; Wang, X.; Fakhouri, O.; Kane, S. R.; Dragomir, D.

    2013-01-01

    We report a series of updates and enhancements on the Exoplanet Orbit Database (EOD), which contains peer reviewed orbital and transit parameters of exoplanets and stellar parameters of their host stars. Since December 2010, the EOD expanded from 427 planets to 640 planets, as of September 2012. The EOD can be explored through the Exoplanet Data Explorer Plotter and Table, available at http://exoplanets.org. We have written a program called boottran which uses radial velocity data to calculate transit times and secondary eclipse times with robust bootstrapped uncertainties, which we have made publicly available at exoplanets.org. boottran calculates robust predicted transit dates with uncertainties for the next 10 years for long period planets not known to transit. We use data taken from published peer reviewed papers and new data from the California Planet Survey for our ephmerides and for radial velocity plots on exoplanets.org. TERMS uses these ephemerides to plan photometric observations of the stars. To improve the EOD, we have added fields for surface gravity, transit duration (T14), impact parameter (b) and their uncertainties. We also have added transit parameters including secondary eclipse depth at multiple bands and Rossiter-McLaughlin spin orbit misalignment measurements.

  5. Balloon exoplanet nulling interferometer (BENI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  6. Analysis of Exoplanet Light Curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  7. In the Search of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crespo, Luis Cuesta

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

  8. Using Satellite Remote Sensing to Assist the National Weather Service (NWS) in Storm Damage Surveys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schultz, Lori A.; Molthan, Andrew; McGrath, Kevin; Bell, Jordan; Cole, Tony; Burks, Jason

    2016-01-01

    In the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) is charged with performing damage assessments when storm or tornado damage is suspected after a severe weather event. This has led to the development of the Damage Assessment Toolkit (DAT), an application for smartphones, tablets and web browsers that allows for the collection, geolocation, and aggregation of various damage indicators collected during storm surveys.

  9. Looking inside exoplanets. Exoplanetary Atmospheres.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-09-01

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

  11. VLT Detects First Superstorm on Exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-06-01

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

  12. Concepts of integrated satellite surveys. [thematic mapping of land use in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Morocco

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howard, J. A.

    1974-01-01

    The United Nations initially contracted with NASA to carry out investigations in three countries; but now as the result of rapidly increasing interest, ERTS imagery has been/is being used in 7 additional projects related to agriculture, forestry, land-use, soils, landforms and hydrology. Initially the ERTS frames were simply used to provide a synoptic view of a large area of a developing country as a basis to regional surveys. From this, interest has extended to using reconstituted false color imagery and latterly, in co-operation with Purdue University, the use of computer generated false color mosaics and computer generated large scale maps. As many developing countries are inadequately mapped and frequently rely on outdated maps, the ERTS imagery is considered to provide a very wide spectrum of valuable data. Thematic maps can be readily prepared at a scale of 1:250,000 using standard NASA imagery. These provide coverage of areas not previously mapped and provide supplementary information and enable existing maps to be up-dated. There is also increasing evidence that ERTS imagery is useful for temporal studies and for providing a new dimension in integrated surveys.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

    The Exoplanet Science and Technology Definition Team's Internal Coronagraph mission design, called 'Exo-C', utilizes several technologies that have advanced over the past decade with support from the Exoplanet Exploration Program. Following the flow of photons through the telescope, the science measurement is enabled by (i) a precision pointing system to keep the target exoplanet system precisely positioned on the detector during the integration time, (ii) high-performance coronagraphs to block the parent star's light so that the planet's reflected light can be detected, (iii) a wavefront control system to compensate for any wavefront errors such as those due to thermal or mechanical deformations in the optical path, especially errors with high spatial frequencies that could cause contrast-reducing speckles, and (iv) an integral field spectrograph (IFS) that provides moderate resolution spectra of the target exoplanets, permitting their characterization and comparison with models and other data sets. Technologies such as the wavefront control system and coronagraphs will also benefit from other funded efforts in progress, such as the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets (WFIRST-AFTA) program. Similarly, the Exo-C IFS will benefit from the Prototype Imaging Spectrograph for Coronagraphic Exoplanet Studies (PISCES) demonstration. We present specific examples for each of these technologies showing that the state of the art has advanced to levels that will meet the overall scientific, cost, and schedule requirements of the Exo-C mission. These capabilities have matured with testbed and/or ground-telescope demonstrations and have reached a technological readiness level (TRL) that supports their inclusion in the baseline design for potential flight at the end of this decade. While additional work remains to build and test flight-like components (that concurrently meet science as well as size, weight, power, and environmental

  14. Methods for Determining the Uncertainty of Population Estimates Derived from Satellite Imagery and Limited Survey Data: A Case Study of Bo City, Sierra Leone

    PubMed Central

    Hillson, Roger; Alejandre, Joel D.; Jacobsen, Kathryn H.; Ansumana, Rashid; Bockarie, Alfred S.; Bangura, Umaru; Lamin, Joseph M.; Malanoski, Anthony P.; Stenger, David A.

    2014-01-01

    This study demonstrates the use of bootstrap methods to estimate the total population of urban and periurban areas using satellite imagery and limited survey data. We conducted complete household surveys in 20 neighborhoods in the city of Bo, Sierra Leone, which collectively were home to 25,954 persons living in 1,979 residential structures. For five of those twenty sections, we quantized the rooftop areas of structures extracted from satellite images. We used bootstrap statistical methods to estimate the total population of the pooled sections, including the associated uncertainty intervals, as a function of sample size. Evaluations based either on rooftop area per person or on the mean number of occupants per residence both converged on the true population size. We demonstrate with this simulation that demographic surveys of a relatively small proportion of residences can provide a foundation for accurately estimating the total population in conjunction with aerial photographs. PMID:25398101

  15. The Rapid Response Radiation Survey (R3S) Mission Using the HiSat Conformal Satellite Architecture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Nathanael A.; Norman, Ryan B.; Soto, Hector L.; Stewart, Victor A.; Jones, Mark L.; Kowalski, Matthew C.; Ben Shabat, Adam; Gough, Kerry M.; Stavely, Rebecca L.; Shim, Alex C.; Jaeger, Gene T. K.

    2015-01-01

    The Rapid Response Radiation Survey (R3S) experiment, designed as a quick turnaround mission to make radiation measurements in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), will fly as a hosted payload in partnership with NovaWurks using their Hyper-integrated Satlet (HISat) architecture. The need for the mission arises as the Nowcast of Atmospheric Ionization Radiation for Aviation Safety (NAIRAS) model moves from a research effort into an operational radiation assessment tool. Currently, airline professionals are the second largest demographic of radiation workers and to date their radiation exposure is undocumented in the USA. The NAIRAS model seeks to fill this information gap. The data collected by R3S, in addition to the complementary data from a NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) atmospheric balloon mission entitled Radiation Dosimetry Experiment (RaD-X), will validate exposure prediction capabilities of NAIRAS. The R3S mission collects total dose and radiation spectrum measurements using a Teledyne µDosimeter and a Liulin-6SA2 LED spectrometer. These two radiation sensors provide a cross correlated radiometric measurement in combination with the Honeywell HMR2300 Smart Digital Magnetometer. The magnetometer assesses the Earth's magnetic field in the LEO environment and allows radiation dose to be mapped as a function of the Earth's magnetic shielding. R3S is also unique in that the radiation sensors will be exposed on the outer surface of the spacecraft, possibly making this the first measurements of the LEO radiation environment with bare sensors. Viability of R3S as an extremely fast turnaround mission is due, in part, to the nature of the robust, well-defined interfaces of the conformal satellite HiSat Architecture. The HiSat architecture, which was developed with the support of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA's) Phoenix Program, enabled the R3S system to advance from the first concept to delivery of preliminary design review (PDR) level documents in

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

    PubMed Central

    TAMURA, Motohide

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Progress on multi-object exoplanet search spectral interferometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Kai; Zhu, Yongtian; Wang, Lei; Yue, Zhongyu; Chen, Yi; Tang, Jin; Hu, Zhongwen

    2012-09-01

    It's a very important point that fully open up power of Gou Shoujing telescope (LAMOST) in exoplanet detection field by developing a multi-exoplanet survey system. But it's an indisputable truth in the present astronomy that a traditional type of multi-object high resolution spectrograph is almost impossible to be developed. External Dispersed Interferometry is an effective way to improve the radial velocity measuring accuracy of medium resolution spectrograph. With the using of this technique, Multi-object Exoplanet Search Spectral Interferometer (MESSI) is an exploratory system with medium measuring accuracy based on LAMOST low resolution spectrograph works in medium-resolution mode (R=5,000 - 10,000). And it's believed that will bring some feasible way in the future development of multi-object medium/high resolution spectrograph. After prototype experiment in 2010, a complete configuration is under the development, including a multi-object fixed-delay Michelson interferometer, an iodine cell with multi-fiber optical coupling system and a multi-terminal switching system in an efficient fiber physical coupling way. By some effective improvement, the interferometer has smaller cross section and more stable interference component. Moreover, based on physical and optical fiber coupling technique, it's possible for the iodine cell and the switching system to simultaneously and identically coupling 25 pairs of fibers. In paper, all of the progress is given in detail.

  18. Utilization of Satellite Dish Technology and its Application in Taping PeachStar Programming: A Survey of Library Media Specialists.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Razza, Betsy L.

    Through lottery funding, all public schools in Georgia received satellite dish equipment. This study is an assessment of the use of the satellite dish equipment by library media specialists in the DeKalb County School System for taping PeachStar (the satellite channel of Georgia Public Broadcasting) programming. The purpose was four-fold: (1) to…

  19. Systematic Exoplanet Searches During Predicted Mesolensing Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthews, James; Di Stefano, R.

    2012-01-01

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

  20. The First Atmospheric Characterization of a Habitable-Zone Exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, Kevin; Bean, Jacob; Charbonneau, David; Desert, Jean-Michel; Fortney, Jonathan; Irwin, Jonathan; Kreidberg, Laura; Line, Michael; Montet, Ben; Morley, Caroline

    2015-10-01

    Exoplanet surveys have recently revealed nearby planets orbiting within stellar habitable zones. This highly-anticipated breakthrough brings us one step closer in our quest to identify cosmic biosignatures, the indicators of extrasolar life. To achieve our goal, we must first study the atmospheres of these temperate worlds to measure their compositions and determine the prevalence of obscuring clouds. Using observations from the K2 mission, Co-I Montet recently announced the discovery of a 2.2 Earth-radii planet within the habitable zone of its relatively bright, nearby M dwarf parent star, K2-18. This temperate world is currently the best habitable-zone target for atmospheric characterization. Congruent with currently planned HST observations, we propose a Spitzer program to measure the transmission spectrum of the first habitable-zone exoplanet. Both telescopes are essential to revealing K2-18b's chemical composition. In a cloud-free, hydrogen-dominated atmosphere, the precision achieved by these measurements will be sufficient to detect methane, ammonia, and water vapor, which are the dominant C, N, and O bearing species at these temperatures. In turn, elemental abundance constraints from a primordial atmosphere can tell us about the composition of a protoplanetary disk in which Earth-like planets could have formed. Conversely, if the atmosphere contains thick clouds then the multi-wavelength observations from K2, HST, and Spitzer will constrain the clouds' properties. Because temperature plays a key role in the formation of clouds, their detection within the atmosphere of this habitable-zone exoplanet would be an important signpost that serves as a guide to future investigations of smaller, rocky exoplanets. As K2 continues discovering more habitable-zone planets, it is imperative that we perform spectral reconnaissance with Spitzer to determine their physical characteristics and begin understanding the prevalence of potentially-obscuring clouds prior to the

  1. Gaia, PLATO and WEAVE: A Powerful combination for Exoplanet Characterisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walton, Nicholas

    2015-12-01

    This presentation will describe the powerful linkages between the Gaia and PLATO missions and the potential impact of the WHT’s WEAVE multi-object spectrograph in the study of exoplanet populations.ESA’s Gaia mission commenced its nominal operations phase in July 2014. Its first data release is expected summer 2016. Over the course of its (at least) five year mission, it will discover, via their astrometric signatures, upwards of 20,000 massive Jupiter sized long period planets at distances out to several hundred parsecs around all star types. In addition Gaia will discover a significant number of short period hot Jupiters around M stars. This presentation will discuss the form and content of the first Gaia Data Release. The ESA PLATO mission, planned to launch in 2024, will photometrically observe a million host stars, and will detect, via the transit technique, planets down to Earth masses. PLATO will observe two fields of over 2,000 square degrees for 2 to 3 years each. At least one of these will be in the northern hemisphere. where WEAVE (a new multi object high resolution spectrograph currently under construction for the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope) will have the potential to provide detailed chemical characterisation of the host stars of the Gaia and PLATO exoplanet systems. This will enable insights into, for instance, metallicity of the host star correlations against both massive exoplanets (perhaps confirming current relationships), and lower mass exoplanets.We note how the rapid exploitation of such a potential WEAVE survey could be achieved, utilising the WEAVE processing systems being developed at the IoA, Cambridge, coupled with efficient interfaces to the Cambridge Gaia and PLATO data processing centres.

  2. Satellite images as primers to target priority areas for field surveys of indicators of ecological sustainability in tropical forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aguilar-Amuchastegui, Naikoa

    Sustainable management of tropical forests has been identified as one of the main objectives for global conservation of carbon stocks. In order to achieve this, managers need tools to establish whether or not their management practices are sustainable. Several tool development initiatives have undertaken the creation of sets of criteria and indicators to aid managers to target, if not achieve, sustainability. The question of how to assess these indicators remains to be answered from an operational viewpoint, where logistical constraints become critical and priorization becomes necessary. The present dissertation sought to determine whether satellite imagery can be used, in conjunction with standard forest management data, to identify priority areas for field surveys of indicators of ecological sustainability of managed tropical forests. It presents a novel approach to the assessment of CIFOR indicator I.2.1.2: "The change in diversity of habitats as a result of human interventions is maintained within critical limits as defined by natural variation and/or regional conservation objectives" by means of semivariography of remote sensing data. It shows the Wide Dynamic Range Vegetation Index (WDRVI) is a good alternative for the detection and quantification of tropical forests structural heterogeneity and its dynamic change. The differences observed between forest management units and natural areas forest structural heterogeneity were used to identify priority areas for field survey of ecological sustainability indicators and evaluate how these priorities were reflected in dung beetles community structure and composition. The link between forest structural heterogeneity dynamic change, forest logging intensity and dung beetle community structure and composition is established. A logging intensity threshold of 4 trees per hectare is identified as the limit between significant or not significant differences in forest structure dynamic changes and dung beetles community

  3. Insolation patterns on eccentric exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrovolskis, Anthony R.

    2015-04-01

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

  4. Comparative Habitability of Transiting Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Direct Imaging of Giant Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamura, Motohide

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

  7. Enabling Participation In Exoplanet Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Stuart F.

    2015-08-01

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

  8. Thermal Infrared Imaging of Exoplanets

    SciTech Connect

    Apai, Daniel

    2009-08-05

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

  9. Watching the Sun to Improve Exoplanet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Detecting non-transiting exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  11. Searching for new diagnostics of exoplanet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Transiting Exoplanet Observations at Grinnell College

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Distribution and Demographics of Marine Mammals in SOCAL through Photo-Identification, Genetics, and Satellite Telemetry: A Summary of Surveys Conducted 15 June 2010 - 24 June 2011

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-08-01

    MARINE MAMMALS IN SOCAL THROUGH PHOTO- IDENTIFICATION, GENETICS, AND SATELLITE TELEMETRY: A SUMMARY OF SURVEYS CONDUCTED 15 JUNE 2010 – 24 JUNE...June 2011 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Distribution and Demographics of Marine Mammals in SOCAL through Photo-Identification...SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: Unclassified 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT 18. NUMBER OF PAGES 19a. NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON Tarry Rago

  14. Exoplanet exploration for brown dwarfs with infrared astrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamaguchi, Masaki

    The astrometry is one of the oldest method for the exoplanet exploration. However, only one exoplanet has been found with the method. This is because the planet mass is sufficiently smaller than the mass of the central star, so that it is hard to observe the fluctuation of the central star by the planet. Therefore, we investigate the orbital period and mass of planets which we can discover by the future astrometric satellites for brown dwarfs, with the mass less than a tenth of the solar mass. So far five planetary systems of brown dwarfs have been found, whose mass ratios are larger than a tenth. For example, for the system whose distance, orbital period and mass ratio are 10 pc, 1 year and a tenth, respectively, the apparent semi-major axis reaches 3 milli-arcsecond, which can be well detected with the future astrometric satellites such as Small-JASMINE and Gaia. With these satellite, we can discover even super-Earth for the above system. We further investigate where in the period-mass plane we can explore the planet for individual brown dwarf with Small-JASMINE and Gaia. As a result, we find that we can explore a wide region where period and mass are within 5 years and larger than 3 earth mass. In addition, we can explore the region around 0.1 day and 10 Jovian mass, where planets have never found for any central star, and where we can explore only with Small-JASMINE for most target brown dwarfs.

  15. Highlights in the study of exoplanet atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Burrows, Adam S

    2014-09-18

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

  16. Highlights in the study of exoplanet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burrows, Adam S.

    2014-09-01

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

  17. Doppler Imaging of Exoplanets and Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crossfield, I.; Biller, B.; Schlieder, J.; Deacon, N.; Bonnefoy, M.; Homeier, D.; Allard, F.; Buenzli, E.; Henning, T.; Brandner, W.; Goldman, Bertr; Kopytova, T.

    2014-03-01

    Doppler Imaging produces 2D global maps. When applied to cool planets or more massive brown dwarfs, it can map atmospheric features and track global weather patterns. The first substellar map, of the 2pc-distant brown dwarf Luhman 16B (Crossfeld et al. 2014), revealed patchy regions of thin & thick clouds. Here, I investigate the feasibility of future Doppler Imaging of additional objects. Searching the literature, I find that all 3 of P, v sin i, and variability are published for 22 brown dwarfs. At least one datum exists for 333 targets. The sample is very incomplete below ~L5; we need more surveys to find the best targets for Doppler Imaging! I estimate limiting magnitudes for Doppler Imaging with various hi-resolution near-infrared spectrographs. Only a handful of objects - at the M/L and L/T transitions - can be mapped with current tools. Large telescopes such as TMT and GMT will allow Doppler Imaging of many dozens of brown dwarfs and the brightest exoplanets. More targets beyond type L5 likely remain to be found. Future observations will let us probe the global atmospheric dynamics of many diverse objects.

  18. The maturing of high contrast imaging and starlight suppression techniques for future NASA exoplanet characterization missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coulter, Daniel R.; Gallagher, David B.; Siegler, Nicholas; Shaklan, Stuart; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Traub, Wesley A.

    2016-07-01

    Over 3000 exoplanets and hundreds of exoplanetary systems have been detected to date and we are now rapidly moving toward an era where the focus is shifting from detection to direct imaging and spectroscopic characterization of these new worlds and their atmospheres. NASA is currently studying several exoplanet characterization mission concepts for the 2020 Decadal Survey ranging from probe class to flagships. Detailed and comprehensive exoplanet characterization, particularly of exo-Earths, leading to assessment of habitability, or indeed detection of life, will require significant advances beyond the current state-of-the-art in high contrast imaging and starlight suppression techniques which utilize specially shaped precision optical elements to block the light from the parent star while controlling scattering and diffraction thus revealing and enabling spectroscopic study of the orbiting exoplanets in reflected light. In this paper we describe the two primary high contrast starlight suppression techniques currently being pursued by NASA: 1) coronagraphs (including several design variations) and 2) free-flying starshades. These techniques are rapidly moving from the technology development phase to the design and engineering phase and we discuss the prospects and projected performance for future exoplanet characterization missions utilizing these techniques coupled with large aperture telescopes in space.

  19. The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute Archives: KOA and NStED

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berriman, G. B.; Ciardi, D.; Abajian, M.; Barlow, T.; Bryden, G.; von Braun, K.; Good, J.; Kane, S.; Kong, M.; Laity, A.; Lynn, M.; Elroy, D. M.; Plavchan, P.; Ramirez, S.; Schmitz, M.; Stauffer, J.; Wyatt, P.; Zhang, A.; Goodrich, R.; Mader, J.; Tran, H.; Tsubota, M.; Beekley, A.; Berukoff, S.; Chan, B.; Lau, C.; Regelson, M.; Saucedo, M.; Swain, M.

    2010-12-01

    The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) maintains a series of archival services in support of NASA’s planet finding and characterization goals. Two of the larger archival services at NExScI are the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA) and the NASA Star and Exoplanet Database (NStED). KOA, a collaboration between the W. M. Keck Observatory and NExScI, serves raw data from the High Resolution Echelle Spectrograph (HIRES) and extracted spectral browse products. As of June 2009, KOA hosts over 28 million files (4.7 TB) from over 2,000 nights. In Spring 2010, it will begin to serve data from the Near-Infrared Echelle Spectrograph (NIRSPEC). NStED is a general purpose archive with the aim of providing support for NASA’s planet finding and characterization goals, and stellar astrophysics. There are two principal components of NStED: a database of (currently) all known exoplanets, and images; and an archive dedicated to high precision photometric surveys for transiting exoplanets. NStED is the US portal to the CNES mission CoRoT, the first space mission dedicated to the discovery and characterization of exoplanets. These archives share a common software and hardware architecture with the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive (IRSA). The software architecture consists of standalone utilities that perform generic query and retrieval functions. They are called through program interfaces and plugged together to form applications through a simple executive library.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  1. Validation of FLAMINGOS-2 for Exoplanet Research: The WASP-18b Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, Kevin; Desert, Jean-Michel; Bean, Jacob; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Fortney, Jonathan; Bergmann, Marcel

    2013-08-01

    Recent surveys have revealed an amazing, yet unexplained, diversity of planets orbiting other stars. Studying the atmospheres of representative exoplanets is the next step in leveraging these detections to further transform our understanding of planet formation and planetary physics. However, revealing the fundamental properties of exoplanet atmospheres to investigate their nature and origins requires high-precision spectroscopy that is sensitive to spectral features from multiple chemical species. Such data can only be obtained with broad-wavelength studies using large telescopes. We propose to use the FLAMINGOS-2 instrument to perform long-slit, spectroscopy observations of the higly-irradiated exoplanet WASP-18b during secondary eclipse to constrain its dayside atmospheric composition, chemistry, and thermal profile. These observations will be sensitive to molecules such as H2O and CH4 and they will definitively constrain the presence of a thermal inversion. This study is the first step in a planned survey of transiting exoplanets using FLAMINGOS-2. A survey is the next logical step to put analyses of individual objects into a broader context and to get at the underlying physics that results in a diverse array of emergent properties.

  2. Forest Cover Associated with Improved Child Health and Nutrition: Evidence from the Malawi Demographic and Health Survey and Satellite Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Kiersten B.; Jacob, Anila; Brown, Molly Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    Healthy forests provide human communities with a host of important ecosystem services, including the provision of food, clean water, fuel, and natural medicines. Yet globally, about 13 million hectares of forests are lost every year, with the biggest losses in Africa and South America. As biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation due to deforestation continue at unprecedented rates, with concomitant loss of ecosystem services, impacts on human health remain poorly understood. Here, we use data from the 2010 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey, linked with satellite remote sensing data on forest cover, to explore and better understand this relationship. Our analysis finds that forest cover is associated with improved health and nutrition outcomes among children in Malawi. Children living in areas with net forest cover loss between 2000 and 2010 were 19% less likely to have a diverse diet and 29% less likely to consume vitamin A-rich foods than children living in areas with no net change in forest cover. Conversely, children living in communities with higher percentages of forest cover were more likely to consume vitamin A-rich foods and less likely to experience diarrhea. Net gain in forest cover over the 10-year period was associated with a 34% decrease in the odds of children experiencing diarrhea (P5.002). Given that our analysis relied on observational data and that there were potential unknown factors for which we could not account, these preliminary findings demonstrate only associations, not causal relationships, between forest cover and child health and nutrition outcomes. However, the findings raise concerns about the potential short- and long-term impacts of ongoing deforestation and ecosystem degradation on community health in Malawi, and they suggest that preventing forest loss and maintaining the ecosystems services of forests are important factors in improving human health and nutrition outcomes.

  3. Forest cover associated with improved child health and nutrition: evidence from the Malawi Demographic and Health Survey and satellite data

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Kiersten B; Jacob, Anila; Brown, Molly E

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT Healthy forests provide human communities with a host of important ecosystem services, including the provision of food, clean water, fuel, and natural medicines. Yet globally, about 13 million hectares of forests are lost every year, with the biggest losses in Africa and South America. As biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation due to deforestation continue at unprecedented rates, with concomitant loss of ecosystem services, impacts on human health remain poorly understood. Here, we use data from the 2010 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey, linked with satellite remote sensing data on forest cover, to explore and better understand this relationship. Our analysis finds that forest cover is associated with improved health and nutrition outcomes among children in Malawi. Children living in areas with net forest cover loss between 2000 and 2010 were 19% less likely to have a diverse diet and 29% less likely to consume vitamin A-rich foods than children living in areas with no net change in forest cover. Conversely, children living in communities with higher percentages of forest cover were more likely to consume vitamin A-rich foods and less likely to experience diarrhea. Net gain in forest cover over the 10-year period was associated with a 34% decrease in the odds of children experiencing diarrhea (P = .002). Given that our analysis relied on observational data and that there were potential unknown factors for which we could not account, these preliminary findings demonstrate only associations, not causal relationships, between forest cover and child health and nutrition outcomes. However, the findings raise concerns about the potential short- and long-term impacts of ongoing deforestation and ecosystem degradation on community health in Malawi, and they suggest that preventing forest loss and maintaining the ecosystem services of forests are important factors in improving human health and nutrition outcomes. PMID:25276536

  4. Lightning and Life on Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  5. ALBEDO PROPERTIES OF MAIN BELT ASTEROIDS BASED ON THE ALL-SKY SURVEY OF THE INFRARED ASTRONOMICAL SATELLITE AKARI

    SciTech Connect

    Usui, Fumihiko; Hasegawa, Sunao; Matsuhara, Hideo; Kasuga, Toshihiro; Ishiguro, Masateru; Kuroda, Daisuke; Mueller, Thomas G.; Ootsubo, Takafumi

    2013-01-01

    We present an analysis of the albedo properties of main belt asteroids (MBAs) detected by the All-Sky Survey of the infrared astronomical satellite AKARI. The characteristics of 5120 asteroids detected by the survey, including their sizes and albedos, were cataloged in the Asteroid Catalog Using AKARI (AcuA). Size and albedo measurements were based on the standard thermal model, using inputs of infrared fluxes and absolute magnitudes measured at optical wavelengths. MBAs, which account for 4722 of the 5120 AcuA asteroids, have semimajor axes of 2.06-3.27 AU, except for the near-Earth asteroids. AcuA provides a complete data set of all MBAs brighter than the absolute magnitude of H < 10.3, which corresponds to the diameter of d > 20 km. We confirmed that the albedo distribution of the MBAs is strongly bimodal as was already known from the past observations, and that the bimodal distribution occurs not only in the total population, but also within inner, middle, and outer regions of the main belt. The bimodal distribution in each group consists of low-albedo components in C-type asteroids and high-albedo components in S-type asteroids. We found that the small asteroids have much more variety in albedo than the large asteroids. In spite of the albedo transition process like space weathering, the heliocentric distribution of the mean albedo of asteroids in each taxonomic type is nearly flat. The mean albedo of the total, on the other hand, gradually decreases with an increase in semimajor axis. This can be explained by the compositional ratio of taxonomic types; that is, the proportion of dark asteroids such as C- and D-types increases, while that of bright asteroids such as S-type decreases, with increasing heliocentric distance. The heliocentric distributions of X-subclasses: E-, M-, and P-types, which can be divided based on albedo values, are also examined. P-types, which are the major component in X-types, are distributed throughout the main belt regions, and the

  6. Walking on Exoplanets: Is Star Wars Right?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballesteros, Fernando J.; Luque, B.

    2016-05-01

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

  7. Possible radio-emission signatures of exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  8. Spectra as windows into exoplanet atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Burrows, Adam S

    2014-09-02

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

  9. Exoplanet Forecast: Hot and Wet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

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

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

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

  10. Balloon Exoplanet Nulling Interferometer (BENI)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. The SpeX Prism Library for Ultracool Dwarfs: A Resource for Stellar, Exoplanet and Galactic Science and Student-Led Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgasser, Adam

    The NASA Infrared Telescope Facility's (IRTF) SpeX spectrograph has been an essential tool in the discovery and characterization of ultracool dwarf (UCD) stars, brown dwarfs and exoplanets. Over ten years of SpeX data have been collected on these sources, and a repository of low-resolution (R 100) SpeX prism spectra has been maintained by the PI at the SpeX Prism Spectral Libraries website since 2008. As the largest existing collection of NIR UCD spectra, this repository has facilitated a broad range of investigations in UCD, exoplanet, Galactic and extragalactic science, contributing to over 100 publications in the past 6 years. However, this repository remains highly incomplete, has not been uniformly calibrated, lacks sufficient contextual data for observations and sources, and most importantly provides no data visualization or analysis tools for the user. To fully realize the scientific potential of these data for community research, we propose a two-year program to (1) calibrate and expand existing repository and archival data, and make it virtual-observatory compliant; (2) serve the data through a searchable web archive with basic visualization tools; and (3) develop and distribute an open-source, Python-based analysis toolkit for users to analyze the data. These resources will be generated through an innovative, student-centered research model, with undergraduate and graduate students building and validating the analysis tools through carefully designed coding challenges and research validation activities. The resulting data archive, the SpeX Prism Library, will be a legacy resource for IRTF and SpeX, and will facilitate numerous investigations using current and future NASA capabilities. These include deep/wide surveys of UCDs to measure Galactic structure and chemical evolution, and probe UCD populations in satellite galaxies (e.g., JWST, WFIRST); characterization of directly imaged exoplanet spectra (e.g., FINESSE), and development of low

  12. Gaia and WEAVE/WxES: Supporting the PLATO Exoplanet Hunter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walton, N. A.

    2016-10-01

    This paper briefly describes the powerful linkages between the Gaia and PLATO missions and the potential for WEAVE in the study of exoplanet populations, for instance through the proposed WxES survey. Gaia successfully launched in December 2013, and over the course of its nominal five year mission will discover, via their astrometric signatures, upwards of 20 000 massive Jupiter sized long period planets at distances out to several hundred parsecs around all star types. In addition Gaia will discover up to a thousand short period hot Jupiters around M stars. PLATO, to launch in 2024, will through precision photometry, observe in detail some million host stars, and will detect, via the transit technique, planets down to Earth masses. PLATO will observe two fields of over 2 000 square degrees for 2-3 years each. At least one of these will be in the northern hemisphere. WEAVE has the potential to provide detailed chemical characterization of the host stars of the Gaia and PLATO exoplanet systems. This will enable insights into, for instance, metallicity of the host star correlations against both massive exoplanets (perhaps confirming current relationships), and lower mass exoplanets. We note how the rapid exploitation of such a potential WEAVE survey could be achieved, utilizing the WEAVE processing systems being developed at the IoA, Cambridge, coupled with efficient interfaces to both Gaia and PLATO data products, that are also being generated at the IoA.

  13. GALAXY CLUSTERING AND PROJECTED DENSITY PROFILES AS TRACED BY SATELLITES IN PHOTOMETRIC SURVEYS: METHODOLOGY AND LUMINOSITY DEPENDENCE

    SciTech Connect

    Wang Wenting; Jing, Y. P.; Li Cheng; Okumura, Teppei; Han Jiaxin

    2011-06-20

    We develop a new method which measures the projected density distribution w{sub p} (r{sub p} )n of photometric galaxies surrounding a set of spectroscopically identified galaxies and simultaneously the projected cross-correlation function w{sub p} (r{sub p} ) between the two populations. In this method, we are able to divide the photometric galaxies into subsamples in luminosity intervals even when redshift information is unavailable, enabling us to measure w{sub p} (r{sub p} )n and w{sub p} (r{sub p} ) as a function of not only the luminosity of the spectroscopic galaxy, but also that of the photometric galaxy. Extensive tests show that our method can measure w{sub p} (r{sub p} ) in a statistically unbiased way. The accuracy of the measurement depends on the validity of the assumption inherent to the method that the foreground/background galaxies are randomly distributed and are thus uncorrelated with those galaxies of interest. Therefore, our method can be applied to the cases where foreground/background galaxies are distributed in large volumes, which is usually valid in real observations. We have applied our method to data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) including a sample of 10{sup 5} luminous red galaxies at z {approx} 0.4 and a sample of about half a million galaxies at z {approx} 0.1, both of which are cross-correlated with a deep photometric sample drawn from the SDSS. On large scales, the relative bias factor of galaxies measured from w{sub p} (r{sub p} ) at z {approx} 0.4 depends on luminosity in a manner similar to what is found for those at z {approx} 0.1, which are usually probed by autocorrelations of spectroscopic samples in previous studies. On scales smaller than a few Mpc and at both z {approx} 0.4 and z {approx} 0.1, the photometric galaxies of different luminosities exhibit similar density profiles around spectroscopic galaxies at fixed luminosity and redshift. This provides clear observational support for the assumption commonly

  14. Galaxy Clustering and Projected Density Profiles as Traced by Satellites in Photometric Surveys: Methodology and Luminosity Dependence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wenting; Jing, Y. P.; Li, Cheng; Okumura, Teppei; Han, Jiaxin

    2011-06-01

    We develop a new method which measures the projected density distribution wp (rp )n of photometric galaxies surrounding a set of spectroscopically identified galaxies and simultaneously the projected cross-correlation function wp (rp ) between the two populations. In this method, we are able to divide the photometric galaxies into subsamples in luminosity intervals even when redshift information is unavailable, enabling us to measure wp (rp )n and wp (rp ) as a function of not only the luminosity of the spectroscopic galaxy, but also that of the photometric galaxy. Extensive tests show that our method can measure wp (rp ) in a statistically unbiased way. The accuracy of the measurement depends on the validity of the assumption inherent to the method that the foreground/background galaxies are randomly distributed and are thus uncorrelated with those galaxies of interest. Therefore, our method can be applied to the cases where foreground/background galaxies are distributed in large volumes, which is usually valid in real observations. We have applied our method to data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) including a sample of 105 luminous red galaxies at z ~ 0.4 and a sample of about half a million galaxies at z ~ 0.1, both of which are cross-correlated with a deep photometric sample drawn from the SDSS. On large scales, the relative bias factor of galaxies measured from wp (rp ) at z ~ 0.4 depends on luminosity in a manner similar to what is found for those at z ~ 0.1, which are usually probed by autocorrelations of spectroscopic samples in previous studies. On scales smaller than a few Mpc and at both z ~ 0.4 and z ~ 0.1, the photometric galaxies of different luminosities exhibit similar density profiles around spectroscopic galaxies at fixed luminosity and redshift. This provides clear observational support for the assumption commonly adopted in halo occupation distribution models that satellite galaxies of different luminosities are distributed in a similar

  15. Exoplanets in the Habitable Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  16. Orbital Architectures of Dynamically Complex Exoplanet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, Benjamin E.

    2015-01-01

    The most powerful constraints on planet formation will come from characterizing the dynamical state of complex multi-planet systems. Unfortunately, with that complexity comes a number of factors that make analyzing these systems a computationally challenging endeavor: the sheer number of model parameters, a wonky shaped posterior distribution, and hundreds to thousands of time series measurements. We develop a differential evolution Markov chain Monte Carlo (RUN DMC) to tackle these difficult aspects of data analysis. We apply RUN DMC to two classic multi-planet systems from radial velocity surveys, 55 Cancri and GJ 876. For 55 Cancri, we find the inner-most planet "e" must be coplanar to within 40 degrees of the outer planets, otherwise Kozai-like perturbations will cause the planet's orbit to cross the stellar surface. We find the orbits of planets "b" and "c" are apsidally aligned and librating with low to median amplitude (50±610 degrees), but they are not orbiting in a mean-motion resonance. For GJ 876, we can meaningfully constrain the three-dimensional orbital architecture of all the planets based on the radial velocity data alone. By demanding orbital stability, we find the resonant planets have low mutual inclinations (Φ) so they must be roughly coplanar (Φcb = 1.41±0.620.57 degrees and Φbe = 3.87±1.991.86 degrees). The three-dimensional Laplace argument librates with an amplitude of 50.5±7.910.0 degrees, indicating significant past disk migration and ensuring long-term stability. These empirically derived models will provide new challenges for planet formation models and motivate the need for more sophisticated algorithms to analyze exoplanet data.

  17. Target of Opportunity: New Transiting Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrington, Joseph; Bakos, Gaspar; Deming, Drake; Fischer, Debra; Seager, Sara; Wheatley, Peter

    2007-05-01

    We propose a Target of Opportunity (ToO) program to observe eclipses of new extrasolar planets. The measured band fluxes constrain models of composition, chemistry, and atmospheric dynamics. They also provide the basic information needed for follow-on work. Since the spacecraft is nearing the end of its limited lifetime, rapid characterization is crucial. Well below Spitzer's nominal sensitivity, these measurements are challenging, and optimized observing and analysis techniques that are not obvious are required to bring in the best signal. Many Discretionary Time proposals have been approved on this topic. Our goals, achieved with our Cycle-3 ToO program and continued here, are to ensure that each bandpass is observed for every planet with good predicted S/N, to obtain the best possible observations, to make these high-impact data public for everyone to use in planning followups, and to make the process of observing exoplanets smooth for observers and Spitzer by allocating a predictable number of events for the community through the TAC process. Based on actual discovery statistics and the known quantities of survey data in hand, we confidently predict about 22 new transiting-planet announcements in the coming year. Of these, one may be bright enough to measure in six bandpasses, and several may be marginal for Spitzer. We thus request 120 hours to cover about 18 6:40-hour eclipse events in low-impact ToOs. We provide quantitative criteria for activating ToOs. Our archival product will be calibrated lightcurves, to be submitted as electronic attachments with journal articles. Transiting extrasolar planets are among the least anticipated and most productive targets for Spitzer. They are also among the most publicly stimulating. These direct measurements provide the only emission fluxes possible with current telescopes for extrasolar planets, and stand as a Spitzer legacy for posterity. The next opportunity to observe them is with JWST.

  18. Exoplanets mass measurement using gravitational microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranc, Clement; Cassan, Arnaud

    2015-07-01

    Thousands of extrasolar planets have been discovered so far, and after the pioneer era, when the discovery of a single planet was a notable event, the interest is moving to the more complex work of planet and planetary system taxonomy, trying to put some order and eventually understand why they are so different from each others. The characterization of planets is tied to the knowledge of their host stars. Nearly all planets known so far however belong to isolated field stars, and their mass and radius are affected by large errors that transfer directly onto the precision of the planet parameters. On the contrary, distances, ages, mass and overall characteristics of stars in Open Clusters are much better measured than for field stars. OC stars are chemically homogeneous, so we can effectively investigate the effect of the presence of a planetary systems on the host star chemistry, e.g. if the observed trend of chemical elements with respect to their condensation temperature is effectively related to the presence planets. Curiously, at the present time, only less than ten planets have been confirmed or validated around Main Sequence stars in OCs. In this proposed talk I will give a short historical review on previous searches for exoplanets in OCs, then I will introduce our on-going survey aimed at detecting Neptune-mass planets around close, intermediate-age OC stars with HARPS (8 night/year) and HARPS-N (5 nights/semester, within the GAPS program). I will discuss our observational strategy and how we are dealing with activity, the main limiting factor in this kind of research, and the impact of the forth-coming K2 observations on our search. I will finally present our latest discoveries, including the first planetary multiple system around a OC star.

  19. Polarisation of Planets and Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  20. Frontiers of Exoplanet Atmosphere Characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreidberg, Laura

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    April Thompson, Maggie; Spergel, David N.

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Determination of the Contamination Rate and the Associated Error for Targets Observed by CoRoT in the Exoplanet Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardes, B.; Chabaud, P.-Y.; Guterman, P.

    2012-09-01

    In the CoRoT exoplanet field of view, photometric measurements are obtained by aperture integration using a generic collection of masks. The total flux held within the photometric mask may be split in two parts, the target flux itself and the flux due to the nearest neighbours considered as contaminants. So far ExoDat (http://cesam.oamp.fr/exodat) gives a rough estimate of the contamination rate for all potential exoplanet targets (level-0) based on generic PSF shapes built before CoRoT launch. Here, we present the updated estimate of the contamination rate (level-1) with its associated error. This estimate is done for each target observed by CoRoT in the exoplanet channel using a new catalog of PSF built from the first available flight images and taking into account the line of sight of the satellite (i.e. the satellite orientation).

  3. Exoplanets, Exo-Solar Life, and Human Significance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiseman, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

    With the recent detection of over 500 extrasolar planets, the existence of "other worlds", perhaps even other Earths, is no longer in the realm of science fiction. The study of exoplanets rapidly moved from an activity on the fringe of astronomy to one of the highest priorities of the world's astronomical programs. Actual images of extrasolar planets were revealed over the past two years for the first time. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is already characterizing the atmospheres of Jupiter-like planets, in other systems. And the recent launch of the NASA Kepler space telescope is enabling the first statistical assessment of how common solar systems like our own really are. As we begin to characterize these "other worlds" and assess their habitability, the question of the significance and uniqueness of life on Earth will impact our society as never before. I will provide a comprehensive overview of the techniques and status of exoplanet detection, followed by reflections as to the societal impact of finding out that Earths are common, or rare. Will finding other potentially habitable planets create another "Copernican Revolution"? Will perceptions of the significance of life on Earth change when we find other Earth-like planets? I will discuss the plans of the scientific community for future telescopes that will be abe to survey our solar neighborhood for Earth-like planets, study their atmospheres, and search for biological signs of life.

  4. Constraining exoplanet mass from transmission spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    de Wit, Julien; Seager, Sara

    2013-12-20

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

  5. Study of TrES-3 Exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  6. Exoplanet Characterization With Spitzer Eclipses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrington, Joseph

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

  7. Key Challenges for Exoplanet Biosignature Gas Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seager, S.

    2014-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-04-20

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

  10. Possible climates on terrestrial exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Forget, F; Leconte, J

    2014-04-28

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

  11. Exoplanet transmission spectroscopy using KMOS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  12. Tree survey and allometric models for tiger bush in northern Senegal and comparison with tree parameters derived from high resolution satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasmussen, Mads Olander; Göttsche, Frank-M.; Diop, Doudou; Mbow, Cheikh; Olesen, Folke-S.; Fensholt, Rasmus; Sandholt, Inge

    2011-08-01

    A tree survey and an analysis of high resolution satellite data were performed to characterise the woody vegetation within a 10 × 10 km 2 area around a site located close to the town of Dahra in the semi-arid northern part of Senegal. The surveyed parameters were tree species, height, tree crown radius, and diameter at breast height (DBH), for which allometric models were determined. An object-based classification method was used to determine tree crown cover (TCC) from Quickbird data. The average TCC from the tree survey and the respective TCC from remote sensing were both about 3.0%. For areas beyond the surveyed areas TCC varied between 3.0% and 4.5%. Furthermore, an empirical correction factor for tree clumping was obtained, which considerably improved the estimated number of trees and the estimated average tree crown area and radius. An allometric model linking TCC to tree stem crosssectional area (CSA) was developed, which allows to estimate tree biomass from remote sensing. The allometric models for the three main tree species found performed well and had r2-values of about 0.7-0.8.

  13. Radio observations of the brown dwarf- exoplanet boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Route, Matthew Philip

    Although exoplanets and brown dwarfs have been hypothesized to exist for many years, it was only in the last two decades that their existence has been directly verified. Since then, a large number of both types of substellar objects have been discovered; they have been studied, characterized, and classified. Yet knowledge of their magnetic properties remains difficult to obtain. Only radio emission provides a plausible means to study the magnetism of these cool objects. At the initiation of this research project, not a single exoplanet had been detected in the radio, and only a handful of radio emitting brown dwarfs were known. This project was launched to attempt to detect emission from brown dwarfs cooler than spectral type L3.5, the coolest brown dwarf detected prior to this project, and also to attempt to discover radio emission from nearby exoplanets. These objects are known to emit radio waves via the gyrosynchrotron and electron cyclotron maser instability mechanisms. By analyzing flaring radio emission from these objects, we would therefore gain insight into their magnetic field properties and the characteristics of the surrounding plasma environment. This dissertation presents the results from surveys of 33 brown dwarfs, 18 exoplanetary systems, and one additional M dwarf for flaring radio emission, conducted with the 305-m Arecibo radio telescope at a center frequency of 4.75 GHz using the broadband, fast-sampled Mock spectrometer. During the course of these surveys, we failed to detect flaring radio emission from any exoplanets, including the young exoplanetary system HR 8799, which theoretical work indicated may have strong magnetic fields capable of generating radio emission at gigahertz frequencies due to their relatively hot temperatures and high masses. Such a detection would provide an exciting alternative to the previous unsuccessful low radio frequency searches for the emission from exoplanets orbiting middle-aged, solar type stars. Among the

  14. The PANOPTES project: discovering exoplanets with low-cost digital cameras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guyon, Olivier; Walawender, Josh; Jovanovic, Nemanja; Butterfield, Mike; Gee, Wilfred T.; Mery, Rawad

    2014-07-01

    The Panoptic Astronomical Networked OPtical observatory for Transiting Exoplanets Survey (PANOPTES, www.projectpanoptes.org) project is aimed at identifying transiting exoplanets using a wide network of low-cost imaging units. Each unit consists of two commercial digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras equipped with 85mm F1.4 lenses, mounted on a small equatorial mount. At a few $1000s per unit, the system offers a uniquely advantageous survey eficiency for the cost, and can easily be assembled by amateur astronomers or students. Three generations of prototype units have so far been tested, and the baseline unit design, which optimizes robustness, simplicity and cost, is now ready to be duplicated. We describe the hardware and software for the PANOPTES project, focusing on key challenging aspects of the project. We show that obtaining high precision photometric measurements with commercial DSLR color cameras is possible, using a PSF-matching algorithm we developed for this project. On-sky tests show that percent-level photometric precision is achieved in 1 min with a single camera. We also discuss hardware choices aimed at optimizing system robustness while maintaining adequate cost. PANOPTES is both an outreach project and a scientifically compelling survey for transiting exoplanets. In its current phase, experienced PANOPTES members are deploying a limited number of units, acquiring the experience necessary to run the network. A much wider community will then be able to participate to the project, with schools and citizen scientists integrating their units in the network.

  15. Microphysics of Exoplanet Clouds and Hazes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Microphysics of Exoplanet Clouds and Hazes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  17. Microphysics of Exoplanet Clouds and Hazes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Spectra as windows into exoplanet atmospheres

    PubMed Central

    Burrows, Adam S.

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Deformable Mirrors Capture Exoplanet Data, Reflect Lasers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2014-01-01

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

  20. WASP-29b: A SATURN-SIZED TRANSITING EXOPLANET

    SciTech Connect

    Hellier, Coel; Anderson, D. R.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Smalley, B.; Collier Cameron, A.; Brown, D. J. A.; Enoch, B.; Gillon, M.; Lendl, M.; Queloz, D.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Pepe, F.; Segransan, D.; Udry, S.; West, R. G.; Lister, T. A.; Pollacco, D.

    2010-11-01

    We report the discovery of a Saturn-sized planet transiting a V = 11.3, K4 dwarf star every 3.9 days. WASP-29b has a mass of 0.24 {+-} 0.02 M {sub Jup} and a radius of 0.79 {+-} 0.05 R {sub Jup}, making it the smallest planet so far discovered by the WASP survey, and the exoplanet most similar in mass and radius to Saturn. The host star WASP-29 has an above-solar metallicity and fits a possible correlation for Saturn-mass planets such that planets with higher-metallicity host stars have higher core masses and thus smaller radii.

  1. Dynamical measurements of the interior structure of exoplanets

    SciTech Connect

    Becker, Juliette C.; Batygin, Konstantin

    2013-12-01

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

  2. The Lyot project: toward exoplanet imaging and spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oppenheimer, Ben R.; Digby, Andrew P.; Newburgh, Laura; Brenner, Douglas; Shara, Michael; Mey, Jacob; Mandeville, Charles; Makidon, Russell B.; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Soummer, Remi; Graham, James R.; Kalas, Paul; Perrin, Marshall D.; Roberts, Lewis C., Jr.; Kuhn, Jeffrey R.; Whitman, Kathryn; Lloyd, James P.

    2004-10-01

    Among the adaptive optics systems available to astronomers, the US Air Force Advanced Electro-Optical System (AEOS) is unique because it delivers very high order wave front correction. The Lyot Project includes the construction and installation of the world"s first diffraction-limited, optimized coronagraph that exploits the full astronomical potential of AEOS and represents a critical step toward the long-term goal of directly imaging and studying extrasolar planets (a.k.a. "exoplanets"). We provide an update on the Project, whose coronagraph saw first light in March 2004. The coronagraph is operating at least as well as predicted by simulations, and a survey of nearby stars has begun.

  3. MAPPING DIRECTLY IMAGED GIANT EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Kostov, Veselin; Apai, Daniel

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Solar system neighbors as proxies for exoplanets; Peering through the atmospheres of Titan and Saturn with Cassini

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teal, Dillon J.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Line, Michael R.

    2016-10-01

    A transiting exoplanet is a planet that orbits another star, and periodically passes directly in front of its parent star, blocking out a small fraction of the stellar light. We can study the atmospheres of these planets by looking at the tiny fraction of the star's light that passes through the planet's thin outer atmosphere, called a transmission spectrum. This is one of the few ways to probe an exoplanet's atmosphere with current technology. This field will rapidly expand with the launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey System (TESS) in 2017, to find more planets, and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in 2018, to characterize exoplanet atmospheres. The need to validate the models we use to calculate exoplanet atmosphere properties in the regime of high signal-to-noise data has become increasingly important. Thankfully, with the help of NASA's Cassini orbiter we can test our transmission spectra models against transmission spectra of real planetary bodies for which we have "ground truth" measurements. Using the CHIMERA Transmission spectra model of Line et al. (2013a) and the Python multinesting framework pyMultinest, from the Saturn and Titan transmission spectra we retrieve the abundances of the important molecules CH4, CO, CO2, NH3, and C2H2 along with atmospheric temperature, a reference or "surface" pressure, and the cloud pressure. Here we discuss the current status of this work, and potential problems facing our models, including a C-H stretching feature between 3-4 microns and haze scattering.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  6. How to Image Exoplanets at Solar System Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodigas, Timothy; Weinberger, Alycia J.; Mamajek, Eric E.; Males, Jared; Miller Close, Laird; Morzinski, Kathleen M.; Hinz, Phil; Kaib, Nathan A.

    2016-01-01

    Binaries are typically excluded from direct imaging exoplanet surveys. However, the recent findings of Kepler and radial velocity programs show that planets can and do form in binary systems. Here, we suggest that visual binaries offer unique advantages for direct imaging. We show that Binary Differential Imaging (BDI), whereby two stars are imaged simultaneously at the same wavelength within the isoplanatic patch at high Strehl ratio, offers improved point spread function (PSF) subtraction that can result in increased sensitivity to planets close to each star. We demonstrate this by observing a young visual binary separated by ~ 4 arcseconds with MagAO/Clio-2 at 3.9 μm, where the Strehl ratio is high, the isoplanatic patch is large, and giant planets are bright. Comparing BDI to angular differential imaging (ADI), we find that BDI's 5-sigma contrast is ~ 0.5 mags better than ADI's within ~ 1 arcsecond for the particular binary we observed. Because planets typically reside close to their host stars, BDI is a promising technique for discovering exoplanets in stellar systems that are often ignored. BDI is also 2-4x more efficient than ADI and classical reference PSF subtraction, since planets can be detected around both the target and PSF reference simultaneously. We are currently exploiting this technique in a new MagAO survey for giant planets in 140 young nearby visual binaries. BDI on a space-based telescope would not be limited by isoplanatism effects and would therefore be an even more powerful tool for imaging and discovering planets.

  7. Exploring the Diversity of Exoplanet Atmospheres Using Ground-Based Transit Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bean, Jacob

    This is a proposal to fund an observational study of the atmospheres of exoplanets in order to improve our understanding of the nature and origins of these mysterious worlds. The observations will be performed using our new approach for ground-based transit spectroscopy measurements that yields space-telescope quality data. We will also carry out supporting theoretical calculations with new abundance retrieval codes to interpret the measurements. Our project includes a survey of giant exoplanets, and intensive study of especially compelling exoplanets. For the survey, optical and near-infrared transmission spectra, and near-infrared emission spectra will be measured for giant exoplanets with a wide range of estimated temperatures, heavy element abundance, and mass. This comprehensive characterization of a large sample of these planets is now crucial to investigate such issues for their atmospheres as the carbon-to-oxygen ratios and overall metallicities, cause of thermal inversions, and prevalence and nature of high-altitude hazes. The intensive study of compelling individual planets will focus on low-mass (M < 10 M_earth) planets that are feasible targets like the super-Earth GJ1214b, and individual giant planets that display unexpected phenomena like the possibly carbon-rich hot-Jupiter Wasp-12b. The issue that will be addressed for the low-mass planets are the basic compositions of their atmospheres as a boundary condition to constrain models used to infer their bulk compositions. The basic atmospheric compositions of these planets will be determined using transmission spectroscopy, and leveraging its particular sensitivity to the atmospheric scale height. Observations for the project will be carried out with Magellan, Keck, Gemini, and VLT. The team has institutional access to Magellan and Keck, and a demonstrated record of obtaining time on Gemini and VLT for these observations through public channels. This proposal is highly relevant for current and future

  8. The First Exoplanet Smaller than the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballard, Sarah

    2009-12-01

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

  9. The Next Generation Transit Survey Becomes Operational at Paranal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, R. G.; Pollacco, D.; Wheatley, P.; Goad, M.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Watson, C.; Udry, S.; Bannister, N.; Bayliss, D.; Bouchy, F.; Burleigh, M.; Cabrera, J.; Chaushev, A.; Chazelas, B.; Crausaz, M.; Csizmadia, S.; Eigmüller, P.; Erikson, A.; Genolet, L.; Gillen, E.; Grange, A.; Günther, M.; Hodgkin, S.; Kirk, J.; Lambert, G.; Louden, T.; McCormac, J.; Metrailler, L.; Neveu, M.; Smith, A.; Thompson, A.; Raddi, R.; Walker, S. R.; Jenkins, J.; Jordán, A.

    2016-09-01

    A new facility dedicated to the discovery of exoplanets has commenced science operations at Paranal. The Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) will deliver photometry at a precision unprecedented for a ground-based wide-field survey, enabling the discovery of dozens of transiting exoplanets of the size of Neptune or smaller around bright stars. NGTS is briefly described and the survey prospects are outlined.

  10. Ultraviolet and X-ray irradiance and flares from low-mass exoplanet host stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    France, Kevin; Loyd, R. O. Parke; Brown, Alex

    The spectral and temporal behavior of exoplanet host stars is a critical input to models of the chemistry and evolution of planetary atmospheres. High-energy photons (X-ray to NUV) from these stars regulate the atmospheric temperature profiles and photochemistry on orbiting planets, influencing the production of potential ``biomarker'' gases. We report first results from the MUSCLES Treasury Survey, a study of time-resolved UV and X-ray spectroscopy of nearby M and K dwarf exoplanet host stars. This program uses contemporaneous Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra (or XMM) observations to characterize the time variability of the energetic radiation field incident on the habitable zones planetary systems at d <~ 20 pc. We find that all exoplanet host stars observed to date exhibit significant levels of chromospheric and transition region UV emission. M dwarf exoplanet host stars display 30-7000% UV emission line amplitude variations on timescales of minutes-to-hours. The relative flare/quiescent UV flux amplitudes on weakly active planet-hosting M dwarfs are comparable to active flare stars (e.g., AD Leo), despite their weak optical activity indices (e.g., Ca II H and K equivalent widths). We also detect similar UV flare behavior on a subset of our K dwarf exoplanet host stars. We conclude that strong flares and stochastic variability are common, even on ``optically inactive'' M dwarfs hosting planetary systems. These results argue that the traditional assumption of weak UV fields and low flare rates on older low-mass stars needs to be revised.

  11. Ultraviolet and X-ray Activity and Flaring on Low-Mass Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    France, Kevin; Parke Loyd, R. O.; Brown, Alexander

    2015-08-01

    The spectral and temporal behavior of exoplanet host stars is a critical input to models of the chemistry and evolution of planetary atmospheres. High-energy photons (X-ray to NUV) from these stars regulate the atmospheric temperature profiles and photochemistry on orbiting planets, influencing the production of potential “biomarker” gases. We present results from the MUSCLES Treasury Survey, an ongoing study of time-resolved UV and X-ray spectroscopy of nearby M and K dwarf exoplanet host stars. This program uses contemporaneous Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra (or XMM) observations to characterize the time variability of the energetic radiation field incident on the habitable zones planetary systems at d < 15 pc. We find that all exoplanet host stars observed to date exhibit significant levels of chromospheric and transition region UV emission. M dwarf exoplanet host stars display 30 - 2000% UV emission line amplitude variations on timescales of minutes-to-hours. The relative flare/quiescent UV flux amplitudes on old (age > 1 Gyr) planet-hosting M dwarfs are comparable to active flare stars (e.g., AD Leo), despite their lack of flare activity at visible wavelengths. We also detect similar UV flare behavior on a subset of our K dwarf exoplanet host stars. We conclude that strong flares and stochastic variability are common, even on “optically inactive” M dwarfs hosting planetary systems. These results argue that the traditional assumption of weak UV fields and low flare rates on older low-mass stars needs to be revised.

  12. A Super-solar Metallicity for Stars with Hot Rocky Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulders, Gijs D.; Pascucci, Ilaria; Apai, Dániel; Frasca, Antonio; Molenda-Żakowicz, Joanna

    2016-12-01

    Host star metallicity provides a measure of the conditions in protoplanetary disks at the time of planet formation. Using a sample of over 20,000 Kepler stars with spectroscopic metallicities from the LAMOST survey, we explore how the exoplanet population depends on host star metallicity as a function of orbital period and planet size. We find that exoplanets with orbital periods less than 10 days are preferentially found around metal-rich stars ([Fe/H] ≃ 0.15 ± 0.05 dex). The occurrence rates of these hot exoplanets increases to ∼30% for super-solar metallicity stars from ∼10% for stars with a sub-solar metallicity. Cooler exoplanets, which reside at longer orbital periods and constitute the bulk of the exoplanet population with an occurrence rate of ≳90%, have host star metallicities consistent with solar. At short orbital periods, P\\lt 10 days, the difference in host star metallicity is largest for hot rocky planets (\\lt 1.7 {R}\\oplus ), where the metallicity difference is [Fe/H] ≃ 0.25 ± 0.07 dex. The excess of hot rocky planets around metal-rich stars implies they either share a formation mechanism with hot Jupiters, or trace a planet trap at the protoplanetary disk inner edge, which is metallicity dependent. We do not find statistically significant evidence for a previously identified trend that small planets toward the habitable zone are preferentially found around low-metallicity stars. Refuting or confirming this trend requires a larger sample of spectroscopic metallicities.

  13. Disentangling degenerate solutions from primary transit and secondary eclipse spectroscopy of exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Caitlin A

    2014-04-28

    Infrared transmission and emission spectroscopy of exoplanets, recorded from primary transit and secondary eclipse measurements, indicate the presence of the most abundant carbon and oxygen molecular species (H2O, CH4, CO and CO2) in a few exoplanets. However, efforts to constrain the molecular abundances to within several orders of magnitude are thwarted by the broad range of degenerate solutions that fit the data. Here, we explore, with radiative transfer models and analytical approximations, the nature of the degenerate solution sets resulting from the sparse measurements of 'hot Jupiter' exoplanets. As demonstrated with simple analytical expressions, primary transit measurements probe roughly four atmospheric scale heights at each wavelength band. Derived mixing ratios from these data are highly sensitive to errors in the radius of the planet at a reference pressure. For example, an uncertainty of 1% in the radius of a 1000 K and H2-based exoplanet with Jupiter's radius and mass causes an uncertainty of a factor of approximately 100-10,000 in the derived gas mixing ratios. The degree of sensitivity depends on how the line strength increases with the optical depth (i.e. the curve of growth) and the atmospheric scale height. Temperature degeneracies in the solutions of the primary transit data, which manifest their effects through the scale height and absorption coefficients, are smaller. We argue that these challenges can be partially surmounted by a combination of selected wavelength sampling of optical and infrared measurements and, when possible, the joint analysis of transit and secondary eclipse data of exoplanets. However, additional work is needed to constrain other effects, such as those owing to planetary clouds and star spots. Given the current range of open questions in the field, both observations and theory, there is a need for detailed measurements with space-based large mirror platforms (e.g. James web space telescope) and smaller broad survey

  14. Chemical exchange in the interior of water-rich exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tobie, G.; Choblet, G.; Grasset, O.

    2015-10-01

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanet in 1995 [1], the number of detected exoplanets has grown nearly exponentially [2]. We have learnt from the existing dataset that our Solar System is rather unusual. Exoplanet surveys revealed notably that exoplanets intermediate between Earth and Neptune are surprisingly common, while notably absent in the Solar System [3]. Model mass-radius relationships indicate a great diversity of interior composition and atmospheric extent for the Super-Earth/Mini- Neptune-planet class [e.g. 4]. The observed continuum between Earth-sized and Neptune-sized planets challenges our understanding of planet formation and evolution, which has been biased for many years by our vision of the Solar System. Planetary worlds are probably much more diverse than originally thought, with a wide range of water and other volatile content. In the Solar System, there is a strong dichotomy between the inner system with dry planetary objects having a very small volatile fraction (<0.1 %), and the outer solar system where water ice constitutes a large fraction of solid phase (> 20%). The volatile contents among other systems likely vary more gradually, and a large fraction of exoplanets with sizes intermediate between Earth and Neptune may have a water content exceeding several percents. The existence of massive water envelops around these planets may significantly affect the internal evolution and chemical exchanges between the deep interior and the atmosphere [e.g. 5]. Due to the very high-pressure expected inside these water-rich planets, especially for the the most massive ones, most of the water will be in the form of a high-pressure ice phase (ice VII) [6,7], the presence of liquid water being limited only to the first kilometres. The thermal structure and dynamics of these thick icy mantles are expected to control the heat and chemical transport from the silicate-rich interior to the surface [8,9], in a way analogous to the internal processes

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. The high resolution topographic evolution of an active retrogressive thaw slump compiled from a decade of photography, ground surveys, laser scans and satellite imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crosby, B. T.; Barnhart, T. B.; Rowland, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    Remote sensing imagery has enables the temporal reconstruction of thermal erosion features including lakes, shorelines and hillslope failures in remote Arctic locations, yet these planar data limit analysis to lines and areas. This study explores the application of varying techniques to reconstruct the three dimensional evolution of a single thermal erosion feature using a mixture of opportunistic oblique photos, ground surveys and satellite imagery. At the Selawik River retrogressive thaw slump in northwest Alaska, a bush plane collected oblique aerial photos when the feature was first discovered in 2004 and in subsequent years. These images were recently processed via Structure from Motion to generate georeferenced point clouds for the years prior to the initiation of our research. High resolution ground surveys in 2007, 2009 and 2010 were completed using robotic total station. Terrestrial laser scans (TLS) were collected in the summers of 2011 and 2012. Analysis of stereo satellite imagery from 2012 and 2015 enable continued monitoring of the feature after ground campaigns ended. As accurate coregistraion between point clouds is vital to topographic change detection, all prior and subsequent datasets were georeferenced to stable features observed in the 2012 TLS scan. Though this coregistration introduces uncertainty into each image, the magnitudes of uncertainty are significantly smaller than the topographic changes detected. Upslope retreat of the slump headwall generally decreases over time as the slump floor progresses from a highly dissected gully topography to a low relief, earthflow dominated depositional plane. The decreasing slope of the slump floor diminishes transport capacity, resulting in the progressive burial of the slump headwall, thus decreasing headwall retreat rates. This self-regulation of slump size based on feature relief and transport capacity suggests a capacity to predict the maximum size a given feature can expand to before

  17. a Goes-W Satellite Thermal Infrared Survey (2006-2014) Over South Western us Earthquake Prone Area: Preliminary Results on 24 August 2014 Napa Earthquake (M=6)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tramutoli, V.; Genzano, N.; Coviello, I.; Filizzola, C.; Lisi, M.; Paciello, R.; Pergola, N.; Satriano, V.

    2014-12-01

    The RST (Robust Satellite Technique) methodology has been widely applied to tens of earthquakes occurred in different continents (Europe, Asia, America and Africa), in various geo-tectonic settings (compressive, extensional and transcurrent) and with a wide range of magnitudes (from 4.0 to 7.9) trying to identify anomalous fluctuations of the Earth's emitted TIR (Thermal InfraRed) radiation in possible relation with earthquake occurrence discriminating them from those variations due to other causes. An extended study is presented in the AGU2014 NH008 session by Tramutoli et al. which is devoted to verify to which extent Significant (space-time persistent, non-spurious) Sequences of TIR Anomalies (SSTAs) appear within prefixed space-time windows around earthquakes of magnitude M>4 occurred on 6 years (2006-2011) over South Western US seismic area. Results of such a study (with a rate of false positive of 35%) give an idea on the possible relevance of RST based TIR surveys in the framework of an operational, multi-parametric system for time-Dependent Assessment of Seismic Hazard (t-DASH). In this paper all the data available from the new GOES-W satellite (in orbit in between 2010 and 2014) have been analysed by the same way in the case of the earthquake occurred on 24 August 2014 (M=6) over Napa valley (California). The results presented in this paper, even if still preliminary, seem to confirm the significance of RST based TIR survey in a t-DASH perspective. It should however mentioned, that such an approach (even if not devoted to be used for short-term Earthquake Forecast outside a multiparametric t-DASH system), when compared with whatever traditional OEF (Operational Earthquake Forecast) method (like the one abandoned ten years ago in US but recently re-proposed for Italy) seems already to gives forecast reliabilities of orders of magnitude greater.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seager, Sara

    2008-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  20. LkCa 15: A YOUNG EXOPLANET CAUGHT AT FORMATION?

    SciTech Connect

    Kraus, Adam L.; Ireland, Michael J.

    2012-01-20

    Young and directly imaged exoplanets offer critical tests of planet-formation models that are not matched by radial velocity surveys of mature stars. These targets have been extremely elusive to date, with no exoplanets younger than 10-20 Myr and only a handful of direct-imaged exoplanets at all ages. We report the direct-imaging discovery of a likely (proto)planet around the young ({approx}2 Myr) solar analog LkCa 15, located inside a known gap in the protoplanetary disk (a 'transitional disk'). Our observations use non-redundant aperture masking interferometry at three epochs to reveal a faint and relatively blue point source (M{sub K{sup '}}=9.1{+-}0.2, K' - L' = 0.98 {+-} 0.22), flanked by approximately co-orbital emission that is red and resolved into at least two sources (M{sub L{sup '}}=7.5{+-}0.2, K' - L' = 2.7 {+-} 0.3; M{sub L{sup '}}=7.4{+-}0.2, K' - L' = 1.94 {+-} 0.16). We propose that the most likely geometry consists of a newly formed (proto)planet that is surrounded by dusty material. The nominal estimated mass is {approx}6 M{sub Jup} according to the 1 Myr hot-start models. However, we argue based on its luminosity, color, and the presence of circumplanetary material that the planet has likely been caught at its epoch of assembly, and hence this mass is an upper limit due to its extreme youth and flux contributed by accretion. The projected separations (71.9 {+-} 1.6 mas, 100.7 {+-} 1.9 mas, and 88.2 {+-} 1.8 mas) and deprojected orbital radii (16, 21, and 19 AU) correspond to the center of the disk gap, but are too close to the primary star for a circular orbit to account for the observed inner edge of the outer disk, so an alternative explanation (i.e., additional planets or an eccentric orbit) is likely required. This discovery is the first direct evidence that at least some transitional disks do indeed host newly formed (or forming) exoplanetary systems, and the observed properties provide crucial insight into the gas giant formation process.

  1. Quality Control of The Miniature Exoplanet Radio Velocity Array(MINERVA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera García, Kevin O.; Eastman, Jason D.

    2017-01-01

    The MINiature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array, also known as MINERVA , is a network of four robotic 0.7 meter telescopes that is conducting a Radial Velocity survey of the nearest, brightest stars in search of small and rocky exoplanets. The robotic telescope array is located in Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Arizona. MINERVA began science operations in 2015 and we are constantly improving its observing efficiency. We will describe performance statistics that we have developed in Python to proactively identify problems before they impede observations. We have written code to monitor the pointing error for each telescope to ensure it will always be able to acquire a target in the 3 arcminute field of view of its acquisition camera, but there are still some issues that need to be identified. The end goal for this research is to automatically address any common malfunction that may cause the observation to fail and ultimately improve our observing efficiency.

  2. The Joint Milli-Arcsecond Pathfinder Survey (JMAPS): Introduction and Science Possibilities

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    USA 2 NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA ABSTRACT. JMAPS is a small, space-based, all-sky visible wavelength astrometric and...14th magnitude range, which when combined with stellar spectroscopy and relative radii determined from exoplanet transit surveys, etllows a...determination of stellar radii and exoplanet densities. In addition, the 20-year baseline between the groundbreaking Hipparcos mission and the J-MAPS mission

  3. AN EFFICIENT AUTOMATED VALIDATION PROCEDURE FOR EXOPLANET TRANSIT CANDIDATES

    SciTech Connect

    Morton, Timothy D.

    2012-12-10

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

  4. An Exoplanet Spinning Up Its Star

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-11-01

    We know that the large masses of stars govern the orbits of the planets that circle them but a large, close-in planet can also influence the rotation of its host star. A recently discovered, unusual hot Jupiter may be causing its star to spin faster than it should.Exotic PlanetsHot Jupiters are gas giants of roughly Jupiters size that orbit close in to their host stars. Though these planets are easy to detect their large sizes and frequent transits mean surveys have a good chance of catching them we havent found many of them, suggesting that planetary systems containing hot Jupiters are fairly unusual.The period-folded light curve of HATS-18, revealing the transit of the hot Jupiter HATS-18b. The period is P=0.8378 days. [Penev et al. 2016]Studying this exotic population of planets, however, can help us to better understand how gas giants form and evolve in planetary systems. New observations of hot Jupiters may also reveal how stars and close-in planets interact through radiation, gravity, and magnetic fields.The recent discovery of a transiting hot Jupiter a little over 2000 light-years away therefore presents an exciting opportunity!A Speeding GiantThe discovery of HATS-18b, a planet of roughly 2 times Jupiters mass and 1.3 times its radius, was announced in a study led by Kaloyan Penev (Princeton University). The planet was discovered using the HATSouth transit survey network, which includes instruments in Chile, Namibia, and Australia, and follow-up photometry and spectroscopy was conducted at a variety of ground-based observatories.HATS-18bs properties are particularly unusual: this hot Jupiter is zipping around its host star which is very similar to the Sun at the incredible pace of one orbit every 0.84 days. HATS-18bs orbit is more than 20 times closer to its host star than Mercurys is to the Sun, bringing it so close it nearly grazes the stars surface!Size of the planetary orbit relative to the stellar radius as a function of the stellar rotation period

  5. Exoplanet Observations in SOFIA's Cycle 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angerhausen, Daniel

    2013-06-01

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

  6. Infrared spectroscopy of exoplanets: observational constraints.

    PubMed

    Encrenaz, Thérèse

    2014-04-28

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

  7. Observing Exoplanets in the Mid-Ultraviolet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heap. Sara

    2008-01-01

    There are good reasons for pushing the spectral range of observation to shorter wavelengths than currently envisaged for terrestrial planet-finding missions utilizing with a 4-m, diffraction-limited, optical telescope: (1) The angular resolution is higher, so the image of an exoplanet is better separated from that of the much brighter star. (2) The exozodiacal background per resolution element is smaller, so exposure times are reduced for the same incident flux. (3) Most importantly, the sensitivity to the ozone biomarker is increased by several hundred-fold by access to the ozone absorption band at 250-300 nm. These benefits must be weighed against challenges arising from the faintness of exoplanets in the mid-UV. We will evaluate both the technical and cost challenges including image quality of large telescopes, advanced mirror coatings and innovative designs for enhanced optical throughput, and CCD detectors optimized for 250-400 nm.

  8. Ground-based observations of exoplanet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Mooij, Ernst Johan Walter

    2011-11-01

    This thesis focuses on the properties of exoplanet atmospheres. The results for ground-based near-infrared secondary eclipse observations of three different exoplanets, TrES-3b, HAT-P-1b and WASP-33b, are presented which have been obtained with ground-based telescopes as part of the GROUSE project. In addition to secondary eclipse observations, the broadband transmission spectrum of the super-Earth GJ1214b is also presented. The transmission spectrum for this low-density planet indicates that it probably has a low-metallicity, hydrogen dominated atmosphere. Finally the results for an ensemble study of the thermal emission properties of hot Jupiters is presented, including the average spectrum for these planets separated based on the level of incident radiation and the activity of their host-stars.

  9. Infrared spectroscopy of exoplanets: observational constraints

    PubMed Central

    Encrenaz, Thérèse

    2014-01-01

    The exploration of transiting extrasolar planets is an exploding research area in astronomy. With more than 400 transiting exoplanets identified so far, these discoveries have made possible the development of a new research field, the spectroscopic characterization of exoplanets' atmospheres, using both primary and secondary transits. However, these observations have been so far limited to a small number of targets. In this paper, we first review the advantages and limitations of both primary and secondary transit methods. Then, we analyse what kind of infrared spectra can be expected for different types of planets and discuss how to optimize the spectral range and the resolving power of the observations. Finally, we propose a list of favourable targets for present and future ground-based observations. PMID:24664918

  10. Deciphering spectral fingerprints of habitable exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Kaltenegger, Lisa; Selsis, Frank; Fridlund, Malcolm; Lammer, Helmut; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Léger, Alain; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    We discuss how to read a planet's spectrum to assess its habitability and search for the signatures of a biosphere. After a decade rich in giant exoplanet detections, observation techniques have advanced to a level where we now have the capability to find planets of less than 10 Earth masses (M(Earth)) (so-called "super Earths"), which may be habitable. How can we characterize those planets and assess whether they are habitable? This new field of exoplanet search has shown an extraordinary capacity to combine research in astrophysics, chemistry, biology, and geophysics into a new and exciting interdisciplinary approach to understanding our place in the Universe. The results of a first-generation mission will most likely generate an amazing scope of diverse planets that will set planet formation, evolution, and our planet into an overall context.

  11. Dispatch Scheduling to Maximize Exoplanet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Samson; McCrady, Nate; MINERVA

    2016-01-01

    MINERVA is a dedicated exoplanet detection telescope array using radial velocity measurements of nearby stars to detect planets. MINERVA will be a completely robotic facility, with a goal of maximizing the number of exoplanets detected. MINERVA requires a unique application of queue scheduling due to its automated nature and the requirement of high cadence observations. A dispatch scheduling algorithm is employed to create a dynamic and flexible selector of targets to observe, in which stars are chosen by assigning values through a weighting function. I designed and have begun testing a simulation which implements the functions of a dispatch scheduler and records observations based on target selections through the same principles that will be used at the commissioned site. These results will be used in a larger simulation that incorporates weather, planet occurrence statistics, and stellar noise to test the planet detection capabilities of MINERVA. This will be used to heuristically determine an optimal observing strategy for the MINERVA project.

  12. ASTRO 850: Teaching Teachers about Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barringer, Daniel; Palma, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    The Earth and Space Science Partnership (ESSP) is a collaboration among Penn State scientists, science educators and seven school districts across Pennsylvania. Penn State also offers through its fully online World Campus the opportunity for In-Service science teachers to earn an M.Ed. degree in Earth Science, and we currently offer a required online astronomy course for that program. We have previously presented descriptions of how have incorporated research-based pedagogical practices into ESSP-sponsored workshops for in-service teachers (Palma et al. 2013), a pilot section of introductory astronomy for non-science majors (Palma et al. 2014), and into the design of an online elective course on exoplanets for the M.Ed. in Earth Science (Barringer and Palma, 2016). Here, we present the finished version of that exoplanet course, ASTRO 850. We gratefully acknowledge support from the NSF MSP program award DUE#0962792.

  13. Instrumentation for the detection and characterization of exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Pepe, Francesco; Ehrenreich, David; Meyer, Michael R

    2014-09-18

    In no other field of astrophysics has the impact of new instrumentation been as substantial as in the domain of exoplanets. Before 1995 our knowledge of exoplanets was mainly based on philosophical and theoretical considerations. The years that followed have been marked, instead, by surprising discoveries made possible by high-precision instruments. Over the past decade, the availability of new techniques has moved the focus of research from the detection to the characterization of exoplanets. Next-generation facilities will produce even more complementary data that will lead to a comprehensive view of exoplanet characteristics and, by comparison with theoretical models, to a better understanding of planet formation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen-Clem, Rebecca M.

    2017-01-01

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

  15. The Formation of Close-in Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, Jacob B.

    2017-01-01

    Approximately half of Sun-like stars harbor exoplanets packed within a radius of 0.3 AU (85 day orbital period), but the formation of these planets and why they form in only ~50% of known systems are still not well understood. In order to gain physical insight into the origin of these close-in exoplanets, I describe a one-dimensional steady state model incorporating Shakura & Sunyaev alpha values extracted from recent numerical simulations of protoplanetary disk accretion processes. Due to the dominance of the Hall effect at small radii in these disks, the magnitude of alpha, and thus the steady-state gas surface density, depends on the orientation of large scale magnetic fields with respect to the disk’s rotation axis. Solving for the metallicity as a function of radius, I find that for fields anti-aligned with the rotation axis, the inner regions of the model disk often falls within a region of parameter space not suitable for planetesimal formation, whereas in the aligned case, the inner disk regions are likely to produce planetesimals through some combination of streaming instability and gravitational collapse, though the degree to which this is true depends on the assumed parameters of our model. More robustly, the aligned field case always produces higher concentrations of solids at small radii compared to the anti-aligned case. In the in situ formation model, this bimodal distribution in solid enhancement leads directly to the observed dichotomy in close-in exoplanets, and thus, magnetic field geometry may very well be the key to explaining the bimodal distribution of exoplanet configurations.

  16. Evaporating Atmospheres Around Close-in Exoplanets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, J.; Jackson, A.; Wu, Y.; Adams, F.

    2014-12-01

    The majority of currently observed exoplanets appear exceeding close to the central star (<0.1 AU) and as such are subject to intense high energy radiation from UV & X-ray photons. We will discuss that in such environments the atmospheres these planets are heated sufficiently that they can escape the planet's gravitational field in a hydrodynamic trans-sonic wind. We will show that this hydrodynamic mass-loss occurs for the majority of exoplanets at short periods, and for low-mass planets (<50 Mearth) is vigorous enough to significantly alter the planet's evolution. In some cases we will argue that an originally gas rich exoplanet can be completely evaporated leaving behind a bare rock core. In addition, we will present new multi-dimensional simulations of evaporation that include realistic treatment of the radiative transfer. These new simulations show that evaporation from 'hot' Jupiters is likely to be magnetically controlled, where mass-loss can only occur along open filed lines, where the interaction between the stellar and planetary magnetic field strongly controls the geometry of the evaporative flow. We will indicate how these new multi-dimensional radiation-magneto-hydrodynamic calculations can be used to study the time-dependence of the outflow and link the small but growing number of observations of exoplanet evaporation to the theoretical models. Finally, we will indicate that asymmetric evaporative flows can lead to orbital evolution of planets at close separations. Figure Caption: "Flow structure from an evaporating Hot Jupiter with a magnetic field strength of 0.3 Gauss. Top panels show density and magnetic field configuration and bottom panel shows plasma beta and velocity structure; left panels show simulation domain, right panels show a zoom in on the planet."

  17. Calibration of surface temperature on rocky exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashyap Jagadeesh, Madhu

    2016-07-01

    Study of exoplanets and the search for life elsewhere has been a very fascinating area in recent years. Presently, lots of efforts have been channelled in this direction in the form of space exploration and the ultimate search for the habitable planet. One of the parametric methods to analyse the data available from the missions such as Kepler, CoRoT, etc, is the Earth Similarity Index (ESI), defined as a number between zero (no similarity) and one (identical to Earth), introduced to assess the Earth likeness of exoplanets. A multi-parameter ESI scale depends on the radius, density, escape velocity and surface temperature of exoplanets. Our objective is to establish how exactly the individual parameters, entering the interior ESI and surface ESI, are contributing to the global ESI, using the graphical analysis. Presently, the surface temperature estimates are following a correction factor of 30 K, based on the Earth's green-house effect. The main objective of this work in calculations of the global ESI using the HabCat data is to introduce a new method to better estimate the surface temperature of exoplanets, from theoretical formula with fixed albedo factor and emissivity (Earth values). From the graphical analysis of the known data for the Solar System objects, we established the calibration relation between surface and equilibrium temperatures for the Solar System objects. Using extrapolation we found that the power function is the closest description of the trend to attain surface temperature. From this we conclude that the correction term becomes very effective way to calculate the accurate value of the surface temperature, for further analysis with our graphical methodology.

  18. THEORETICAL SPECTRA OF TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANET SURFACES

    SciTech Connect

    Hu Renyu; Seager, Sara; Ehlmann, Bethany L.

    2012-06-10

    We investigate spectra of airless rocky exoplanets with a theoretical framework that self-consistently treats reflection and thermal emission. We find that a silicate surface on an exoplanet is spectroscopically detectable via prominent Si-O features in the thermal emission bands of 7-13 {mu}m and 15-25 {mu}m. The variation of brightness temperature due to the silicate features can be up to 20 K for an airless Earth analog, and the silicate features are wide enough to be distinguished from atmospheric features with relatively high resolution spectra. The surface characterization thus provides a method to unambiguously identify a rocky exoplanet. Furthermore, identification of specific rocky surface types is possible with the planet's reflectance spectrum in near-infrared broad bands. A key parameter to observe is the difference between K-band and J-band geometric albedos (A{sub g}(K) - A{sub g}(J)): A{sub g}(K) - A{sub g}(J) > 0.2 indicates that more than half of the planet's surface has abundant mafic minerals, such as olivine and pyroxene, in other words primary crust from a magma ocean or high-temperature lavas; A{sub g}(K) - A{sub g}(J) < -0.09 indicates that more than half of the planet's surface is covered or partially covered by water ice or hydrated silicates, implying extant or past water on its surface. Also, surface water ice can be specifically distinguished by an H-band geometric albedo lower than the J-band geometric albedo. The surface features can be distinguished from possible atmospheric features with molecule identification of atmospheric species by transmission spectroscopy. We therefore propose that mid-infrared spectroscopy of exoplanets may detect rocky surfaces, and near-infrared spectrophotometry may identify ultramafic surfaces, hydrated surfaces, and water ice.

  19. Advances in exoplanet science from Kepler.

    PubMed

    Lissauer, Jack J; Dawson, Rebekah I; Tremaine, Scott

    2014-09-18

    Numerous telescopes and techniques have been used to find and study extrasolar planets, but none has been more successful than NASA's Kepler space telescope. Kepler has discovered most of the known exoplanets, the smallest planets to orbit normal stars and the planets most likely to be similar to Earth. Most importantly, Kepler has provided us with our first look at the typical characteristics of planets and planetary systems for planets with sizes as small as, and orbits as large as, those of Earth.

  20. The far future of exoplanet direct characterization.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Jean; Léger, Alain; Fridlund, Malcolm; White, Glenn J; Eiroa, Carlos; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Lammer, Helmut; Liseau, René; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Selsis, Franck; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Lunine, Jonathan; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna

    2010-01-01

    We describe future steps in the direct characterization of habitable exoplanets subsequent to medium and large mission projects currently underway and investigate the benefits of spectroscopic and direct imaging approaches. We show that, after third- and fourth-generation missions have been conducted over the course of the next 100 years, a significant amount of time will lapse before we will have the capability to observe directly the morphology of extrasolar organisms.

  1. Bathymetric survey of water reservoirs in north-eastern Brazil based on TanDEM-X satellite data.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shuping; Foerster, Saskia; Medeiros, Pedro; de Araújo, José Carlos; Motagh, Mahdi; Waske, Bjoern

    2016-11-15

    Water scarcity in the dry season is a vital problem in dryland regions such as northeastern Brazil. Water supplies in these areas often come from numerous reservoirs of various sizes. However, inventory data for these reservoirs is often limited due to the expense and time required for their acquisition via field surveys, particularly in remote areas. Remote sensing techniques provide a valuable alternative to conventional reservoir bathymetric surveys for water resource management. In this study single pass TanDEM-X data acquired in bistatic mode were used to generate digital elevation models (DEMs) in the Madalena catchment, northeastern Brazil. Validation with differential global positioning system (DGPS) data from field measurements indicated an absolute elevation accuracy of approximately 1m for the TanDEM-X derived DEMs (TDX DEMs). The DEMs derived from TanDEM-X data acquired at low water levels show significant advantages over bathymetric maps derived from field survey, particularly with regard to coverage, evenly distributed measurements and replication of reservoir shape. Furthermore, by mapping the dry reservoir bottoms with TanDEM-X data, TDX DEMs are free of emergent and submerged macrophytes, independent of water depth (e.g. >10m), water quality and even weather conditions. Thus, the method is superior to other existing bathymetric mapping approaches, particularly for inland water bodies. The proposed approach relies on (nearly) dry reservoir conditions at times of image acquisition and is thus restricted to areas that show considerable water levels variations. However, comparisons between TDX DEM and the bathymetric map derived from field surveys show that the amount of water retained during the dry phase has only marginal impact on the total water volume derivation from TDX DEM. Overall, DEMs generated from bistatic TanDEM-X data acquired in low water periods constitute a useful and efficient data source for deriving reservoir bathymetry and show

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcy, Geoffrey W.

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Radial Velocity Eclipse Mapping of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolov, Nikolay; Sainsbury-Martinez, Felix

    2015-07-01

    Planetary rotation rates and obliquities provide information regarding the history of planet formation, but have not yet been measured for evolved extrasolar planets. Here we investigate the theoretical and observational perspective of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect during secondary eclipse (RMse) ingress and egress for transiting exoplanets. Near secondary eclipse, when the planet passes behind the parent star, the star sequentially obscures light from the approaching and receding parts of the rotating planetary surface. The temporal block of light emerging from the approaching (blueshifted) or receding (redshifted) parts of the planet causes a temporal distortion in the planet’s spectral line profiles resulting in an anomaly in the planet’s radial velocity curve. We demonstrate that the shape and the ratio of the ingress-to-egress radial velocity amplitudes depends on the planetary rotational rate, axial tilt, and impact factor (i.e., sky-projected planet spin-orbital alignment). In addition, line asymmetries originating from different layers in the atmosphere of the planet could provide information regarding zonal atmospheric winds and constraints on the hot spot shape for giant irradiated exoplanets. The effect is expected to be most-pronounced at near-infrared wavelengths, where the planet-to-star contrasts are large. We create synthetic near-infrared, high-dispersion spectroscopic data and demonstrate how the sky-projected spin axis orientation and equatorial velocity of the planet can be estimated. We conclude that the RMse effect could be a powerful method to measure exoplanet spins.

  4. Optical & Infrared Spectroscopy of Transiting Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffith, C. A.; Tinetti, G.

    2010-10-01

    Two types of spectra can be measured from transiting extrasolar planets. The primary eclipse provides a transmission spectra of the exoplanet's limb as the planet passes in front of the star. These data probe the gas and particle composition of the atmosphere, as well as the atmospheric scale height. The secondary eclipse measures the emission of mainly the planet's dayside atmosphere from the planet plus star's emission minus the emission of star alone, when it eclipses the planet. These data probe the temperature and composition structure of the exoplanet. Only in the past 3 years, have infrared transmission and emission spectroscopy revealed the presence of the primary carbon and oxygen species (CH4, CO2, CO, and H2O). Efforts to constrain the abundances of these molecules are hindered by degenerate effects of the temperature and composition in the emission spectra. Transmission spectra, while less sensitive to the atmospheric temperatures, are difficult to interpret because the composition derived depends delicately on the assumed radius at a specified pressure level. This talk will discuss the correlations in the degenerate solutions that result from the radiative transfer analyses of both emission and transmission spectroscopy. The physical implications of these correlations are assessed in order to determine the temperature and composition structure of extrasolar planets, and their significance with respect to the exoplanet's chemistry and dynamics.

  5. TWO EXOPLANETS DISCOVERED AT KECK OBSERVATORY

    SciTech Connect

    Valenti, Jeff A.; Fischer, Debra; Giguere, Matt; Isaacson, Howard; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Howard, Andrew W.; Johnson, John A.; Henry, Gregory W.; Wright, Jason T.

    2009-09-10

    We present two exoplanets detected at Keck Observatory. HD 179079 is a G5 subgiant that hosts a hot Neptune planet with M sin i = 27.5 M{sub +} in a 14.48 days, low-eccentricity orbit. The stellar reflex velocity induced by this planet has a semiamplitude of K = 6.6 m s{sup -1}. HD 73534 is a G5 subgiant with a Jupiter-like planet of M sin i = 1.1 M{sub Jup} and K = 16 m s{sup -1} in a nearly circular 4.85 yr orbit. Both stars are chromospherically inactive and metal-rich. We discuss a known, classical bias in measuring eccentricities for orbits with velocity semiamplitudes, K, comparable to the radial velocity uncertainties. For exoplanets with periods longer than 10 days, the observed exoplanet eccentricity distribution is nearly flat for large amplitude systems (K > 80 m s{sup -1}), but rises linearly toward low eccentricity for lower amplitude systems (K > 20 m s{sup -1})

  6. RADIAL VELOCITY ECLIPSE MAPPING OF EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Nikolov, Nikolay; Sainsbury-Martinez, Felix

    2015-07-20

    Planetary rotation rates and obliquities provide information regarding the history of planet formation, but have not yet been measured for evolved extrasolar planets. Here we investigate the theoretical and observational perspective of the Rossiter–McLaughlin effect during secondary eclipse (RMse) ingress and egress for transiting exoplanets. Near secondary eclipse, when the planet passes behind the parent star, the star sequentially obscures light from the approaching and receding parts of the rotating planetary surface. The temporal block of light emerging from the approaching (blueshifted) or receding (redshifted) parts of the planet causes a temporal distortion in the planet’s spectral line profiles resulting in an anomaly in the planet’s radial velocity curve. We demonstrate that the shape and the ratio of the ingress-to-egress radial velocity amplitudes depends on the planetary rotational rate, axial tilt, and impact factor (i.e., sky-projected planet spin–orbital alignment). In addition, line asymmetries originating from different layers in the atmosphere of the planet could provide information regarding zonal atmospheric winds and constraints on the hot spot shape for giant irradiated exoplanets. The effect is expected to be most-pronounced at near-infrared wavelengths, where the planet-to-star contrasts are large. We create synthetic near-infrared, high-dispersion spectroscopic data and demonstrate how the sky-projected spin axis orientation and equatorial velocity of the planet can be estimated. We conclude that the RMse effect could be a powerful method to measure exoplanet spins.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colon, Knicole; Ford, E. B.

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Concept of a small satellite for sub-MeV and MeV all sky survey: the CAST mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakazawa, Kazuhiro; Takahashi, Tadayuki; Ichinohe, Yuto; Takeda, Shin'ichiro; Tajima, Hiroyasu; Kamae, Tuneyoshi; Kokubun, Motohide; Takashima, Takeshi; Tashiro, Makoto; Tamagawa, Toru; Terada, Yukikatsu; Nomachi, Masaharu; Fukazawa, Yasushi; Makishima, Kazuo; Mizuno, Tsunefumi; Mitani, Takefumi; Yoshimitsu, Tetsuo; Watanabe, Shin

    2012-09-01

    MeV and sub-MeV energy band from ~200 keV to ~2 MeV contains rich information of high-energy phenomena in the universe. The CAST (Compton Telescope for Astro and Solar Terrestrial) mission is planned to be launched at the end of 2010s, and aims at providing all-sky map in this energy-band for the first time. It is made of a semiconductor Compton telescope utilizing Si as a scatterer and CdTe as an absorber. CAST provides allsky sub-MeV polarization map for the first time, as well. The Compton telescope technology is based on the design used in the Soft Gamma-ray Detector (SGD) onboard ASTRO-H, characterized by its tightly stacked semiconductor layers to obtain high Compton reconstruction efficiency. The CAST mission is currently planned as a candidate for the small scientific satellite series in ISAS/JAXA, weighting about 500 kg in total. Scalable detector design enables us to consider other options as well. Scientific outcome of CAST is wide. It will provide new information from high-energy sources, such as AGN and/or its jets, supernova remnants, magnetors, blackhole and neutron-star binaries and others. Polarization map will tell us about activities of jets and reflections in these sources, as well. In addition, CAST will simultaneously observe the Sun, and depending on its attitude, the Earth.

  9. Satellite Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Technology Teacher, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Presents a discussion of communication satellites: explains the principles of satellite communication, describes examples of how governments and industries are currently applying communication satellites, analyzes issues confronting satellite communication, links mathematics and science to the study of satellite communication, and applies…

  10. A spectral line survey of Orion KL in the bands 486-492 and 541-577 GHz with the Odin satellite. I. The observational data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olofsson, A. O. H.; Persson, C. M.; Koning, N.; Bergman, P.; Bernath, P. F.; Black, J. H.; Frisk, U.; Geppert, W.; Hasegawa, T. I.; Hjalmarson, Å.; Kwok, S.; Larsson, B.; Lecacheux, A.; Nummelin, A.; Olberg, M.; Sandqvist, Aa.; Wirström, E. S.

    2007-12-01

    Aims:Spectral line surveys are useful since they allow identification of new molecules and new lines in uniformly calibrated data sets. The subsequent multi-transition analysis will provide improved knowledge of molecular abundances, cloud temperatures and densities, and may also reveal previously unsuspected blends of molecular lines, which otherwise may lead to erroneous conclusions. Nonetheless, large portions of the sub-millimetre spectral regime remain unexplored due to severe absorptions by H{2}O and O{2} in the terrestrial atmosphere. The purpose of the measurements presented here is to cover wavelength regions at and around 0.55 mm - regions largely unobservable from the ground. Methods: Using the Odin astronomy/aeronomy satellite, we performed the first spectral survey of the Orion KL molecular cloud core in the bands 486-492 and 541-576 GHz with rather uniform sensitivity (22-25 mK baseline noise). Odin's 1.1 m size telescope, equipped with four cryo-cooled tuneable mixers connected to broad band spectrometers, was used in a satellite position-switching mode. Two mixers simultaneously observed different 1.1 GHz bands using frequency steps of 0.5 GHz (25 h each). An on-source integration time of 20 h was achieved for most bands. The entire campaign consumed 1100 orbits, each containing one hour of serviceable astro-observation. Results: We identified 280 spectral lines from 38 known interstellar molecules (including isotopologues) having intensities in the range 80 to 0.05 K. An additional 64 weak lines remain unidentified. Apart from the ground state rotational 1{1,0}-1{0,1} transitions of ortho-H{2}O, H{2}18O and H{2}17O, the high energy 6{2,4}-7{1,7} line of para-H{2}O (Eu=867 K) and the HDO(2{0,2}-1{1,1}) line have been observed, as well as the 1{0}-0{1} lines from NH{3} and its rare isotopologue 15NH{3}. We suggest assignments for some unidentified features, notably the new interstellar molecules ND and SH-. Severe blends have been detected in the

  11. The Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey XVI: The Angular Momentum of Dwarf Early-type Galaxies from Globular Cluster Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toloba, Elisa; Li, Biao; Guhathakurta, Puragra; Peng, Eric W.; Ferrarese, Laura; Côté, Patrick; Emsellem, Eric; Gwyn, Stephen; Zhang, Hongxin; Boselli, Alessandro; Cuillandre, Jean-Charles; Jordan, Andres; Liu, Chengze

    2016-05-01

    We analyze the kinematics of six Virgo cluster dwarf early-type galaxies (dEs) from their globular cluster (GC) systems. We present new Keck/DEIMOS spectroscopy for three of them and re-analyze the data found in the literature for the remaining three. We use two independent methods to estimate the rotation amplitude (V rot) and velocity dispersion (σ GC) of the GC systems and evaluate their statistical significance by simulating non-rotating GC systems with the same number of GC satellites and velocity uncertainties. Our measured kinematics agree with the published values for the three galaxies from the literature and, in all cases, some rotation is measured. However, our simulations show that the null hypothesis of being non-rotating GC systems cannot be ruled out. In the case of VCC 1861, the measured V rot and the simulations indicate that it is not rotating. In the case of VCC 1528, the null hypothesis can be marginally ruled out, and thus it might be rotating although further confirmation is needed. In our analysis, we find that, in general, the measured V rot tends to be overestimated and the measured σ GC tends to be underestimated by amounts that depend on the intrinsic V rot/σ GC, the number of observed GCs (N GC), and the velocity uncertainties. The bias is negligible when N GC ≳ 20. In those cases where a large N GC is not available, it is imperative to obtain data with small velocity uncertainties. For instance, errors of ≤2 km s-1 lead to V rot < 10 km s-1 for a system that is intrinsically not rotating.

  12. Satellite orbit determination and gravity field recovery from satellite-to-satellite tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wakker, K. F.; Ambrosius, B. A. C.; Leenman, H.

    1989-07-01

    Studies on satellite-to-satellite tracking (SST) with POPSAT (a geodetic satellite concept) and a ERS-class (Earth observation) satellite, a Satellite-to-Satellite Tracking (SST) gravity mission, and precise gravity field determination methods and mission requirements are reported. The first two studies primarily address the application of SST between the high altitude POPSAT and an ERS-class or GRM (Geopotential Research Mission) satellite to the orbit determination of the latter two satellites. Activities focussed on the determination of the tracking coverage of the lower altitude satellite by ground based tracking systems and by POPSAT, orbit determination error analysis and the determination of the surface forces acting on GRM. The third study surveys principles of SST, uncertainties of existing drag models, effects of direct luni-solar attraction and tides on orbit and the gravity gradient observable. Detailed ARISTOTELES (which replaced POPSAT) orbit determination error analyses were performed for various ground based tracking networks.

  13. Network global navigation satellite system surveys to harmonize American and Canadian datum for the Lake Champlain Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flynn, Robert H.; Rydlund, Jr., Paul H.; Martin, Daniel J.

    2016-03-08

    Lake-gage water-surface elevations determined during the 3 days of surveys were converted to water-surface elevations referenced to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 by using calculated offsets and historical water-surface elevations. In this report, an “offset” refers to the adjustment that needs to be applied to published data from a particular gage to produce elevation data referenced to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988. Offsets presented in this report can be used in the evaluation of water-surface elevations in a common datum for Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River. In addition, the water-level data referenced to the common datum (as determined from the offsets) may be used to calibrate flow models and support future modeling studies developed for Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River.

  14. THE EXOPLANET CENSUS: A GENERAL METHOD APPLIED TO KEPLER

    SciTech Connect

    Youdin, Andrew N.

    2011-11-20

    We develop a general method to fit the underlying planetary distribution function (PLDF) to exoplanet survey data. This maximum likelihood method accommodates more than one planet per star and any number of planet or target star properties. We apply the method to announced Kepler planet candidates that transit solar-type stars. The Kepler team's estimates of the detection efficiency are used and are shown to agree with theoretical predictions for an ideal transit survey. The PLDF is fit to a joint power law in planet radius, down to 0.5 R{sub Circled-Plus }, and orbital period, up to 50 days. The estimated number of planets per star in this sample is {approx}0.7-1.4, where the range covers systematic uncertainties in the detection efficiency. To analyze trends in the PLDF we consider four planet samples, divided between shorter and longer periods at 7 days and between large and small radii at 3 R{sub Circled-Plus }. The size distribution changes appreciably between these four samples, revealing a relative deficit of {approx}3 R{sub Circled-Plus} planets at the shortest periods. This deficit is suggestive of preferential evaporation and sublimation of Neptune- and Saturn-like planets. If the trend and explanation hold, it would be spectacular observational support of the core accretion and migration hypotheses, and would allow refinement of these theories.

  15. 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.

  16. Characterization of Transiting Exoplanets by Way of Differential Photometry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowley, Michael; Hughes, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a simple activity for plotting and characterizing the light curve from an exoplanet transit event by way of differential photometry analysis. Using free digital imaging software, participants analyse a series of telescope images with the goal of calculating various exoplanet parameters, including size, orbital radius and…

  17. Achieving high-precision pointing on ExoplanetSat: initial feasibility analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pong, Christopher M.; Lim, Sungyung; Smith, Matthew W.; Miller, David W.; Villaseñor, Jesus S.; Seager, Sara

    2010-07-01

    ExoplanetSat is a proposed three-unit CubeSat designed to detect down to Earth-sized exoplanets in an orbit out to the habitable zone of Sun-like stars via the transit method. To achieve the required photometric precision to make these measurements, the target star must remain within the same fraction of a pixel, which is equivalent to controlling the pointing of the satellite to the arcsecond level. The satellite will use a two-stage control system: coarse control will be performed by a set of reaction wheels, desaturated by magnetic torque coils, and fine control will be performed by a piezoelectric translation stage. Since no satellite of this size has previously demonstrated this high level of pointing precision, a simulation has been developed to prove the feasibility of realizing such a system. The current baseline simulation has demonstrated the ability to hold the target star to within 0.05 pixels or 1.8 arcseconds (with an 85 mm lens and 15 μm pixels), in the presence of large reaction wheel disturbances as well as external environmental disturbances. This meets the current requirement of holding the target star to 0.14 pixels or 5.0 arcseconds. Other high-risk aspects of the design have been analyzed such as the effect of changing the guide star centroiding error, changing the CMOS sampling frequency, and reaction wheel selection on the slew performance of the satellite. While these results are promising as an initial feasibility analysis, further model improvements and hardware-in-the-loop tests are currently underway.

  18. The ultraviolet radiation environment in the habitable zones around low-mass exoplanet host stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    France, Kevin; Linsky, Jeffrey L.; Parke Loyd, R. O.

    2014-11-01

    The EUV (200-911 Å), FUV (912-1750 Å), and NUV (1750-3200 Å) spectral energy distribution of exoplanet host stars has a profound influence on the atmospheres of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone. The stellar EUV radiation drives atmospheric heating, while the FUV (in particular, Ly α) and NUV radiation fields regulate the atmospheric chemistry: the dissociation of H2O and CO2, the production of O2 and O3, and may determine the ultimate habitability of these worlds. Despite the importance of this information for atmospheric modeling of exoplanetary systems, the EUV/FUV/NUV radiation fields of cool (K and M dwarf) exoplanet host stars are almost completely unconstrained by observation or theory. We present observational results from a Hubble Space Telescope survey of M dwarf exoplanet host stars, highlighting the importance of realistic UV radiation fields for the formation of potential biomarker molecules, O2 and O3. We conclude by describing preliminary results on the characterization of the UV time variability of these sources.

  19. Spitzer’s Past and Future Exoplanet Legacy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seager, Sara

    2014-01-01

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

  20. TRUE MASSES OF RADIAL-VELOCITY EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Robert A.

    2015-06-01

    We study the task of estimating the true masses of known radial-velocity (RV) exoplanets by means of direct astrometry on coronagraphic images to measure the apparent separation between exoplanet and host star. Initially, we assume perfect knowledge of the RV orbital parameters and that all errors are due to photon statistics. We construct design reference missions for four missions currently under study at NASA: EXO-S and WFIRST-S, with external star shades for starlight suppression, EXO-C and WFIRST-C, with internal coronagraphs. These DRMs reveal extreme scheduling constraints due to the combination of solar and anti-solar pointing restrictions, photometric and obscurational completeness, image blurring due to orbital motion, and the “nodal effect,” which is the independence of apparent separation and inclination when the planet crosses the plane of the sky through the host star. Next, we address the issue of nonzero uncertainties in RV orbital parameters by investigating their impact on the observations of 21 single-planet systems. Except for two—GJ 676 A b and 16 Cyg B b, which are observable only by the star-shade missions—we find that current uncertainties in orbital parameters generally prevent accurate, unbiased estimation of true planetary mass. For the coronagraphs, WFIRST-C and EXO-C, the most likely number of good estimators of true mass is currently zero. For the star shades, EXO-S and WFIRST-S, the most likely numbers of good estimators are three and four, respectively, including GJ 676 A b and 16 Cyg B b. We expect that uncertain orbital elements currently undermine all potential programs of direct imaging and spectroscopy of RV exoplanets.

  1. True Masses of Radial-Velocity Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Robert A.

    2015-06-01

    We study the task of estimating the true masses of known radial-velocity (RV) exoplanets by means of direct astrometry on coronagraphic images to measure the apparent separation between exoplanet and host star. Initially, we assume perfect knowledge of the RV orbital parameters and that all errors are due to photon statistics. We construct design reference missions for four missions currently under study at NASA: EXO-S and WFIRST-S, with external star shades for starlight suppression, EXO-C and WFIRST-C, with internal coronagraphs. These DRMs reveal extreme scheduling constraints due to the combination of solar and anti-solar pointing restrictions, photometric and obscurational completeness, image blurring due to orbital motion, and the “nodal effect,” which is the independence of apparent separation and inclination when the planet crosses the plane of the sky through the host star. Next, we address the issue of nonzero uncertainties in RV orbital parameters by investigating their impact on the observations of 21 single-planet systems. Except for two—GJ 676 A b and 16 Cyg B b, which are observable only by the star-shade missions—we find that current uncertainties in orbital parameters generally prevent accurate, unbiased estimation of true planetary mass. For the coronagraphs, WFIRST-C and EXO-C, the most likely number of good estimators of true mass is currently zero. For the star shades, EXO-S and WFIRST-S, the most likely numbers of good estimators are three and four, respectively, including GJ 676 A b and 16 Cyg B b. We expect that uncertain orbital elements currently undermine all potential programs of direct imaging and spectroscopy of RV exoplanets.

  2. Light Scattering from Exoplanet Oceans and Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zugger, Michael; Kasting, J. F.; Williams, D. M.; Kane, T. J.; Philbrick, C. R.

    2011-01-01

    Orbital variation in reflected starlight from exoplanets could eventually be used to detect surface oceans. Exoplanets with rough surfaces, or dominated by atmospheric Rayleigh scattering, should reach peak brightness in full phase, orbital longitude = 180deg, whereas ocean planets with transparent atmospheres should reach peak brightness in crescent phase near OL = 30deg. Application of Fresnel theory to a planet with no atmosphere covered by a calm ocean predicts a peak polarization fraction of 1 at OL = 74deg; however, our model shows that clouds, wind-driven waves, aerosols, absorption, and Rayleigh scattering in the atmosphere and within the water column, dilute the polarization fraction and shift the peak to other OLs. Observing at longer wavelengths reduces the obfuscation of the water polarization signature by Rayleigh scattering but does not mitigate the other effects. Planets with thick Rayleigh scattering atmospheres reach peak polarization near OL = 90deg, but clouds and Lambertian surface scattering dilute and shift this peak to smaller OL. A shifted Rayleigh peak might be mistaken for a water signature unless data from multiple wavelength bands are available. Our calculations suggest that polarization alone may not positively identify the presence of an ocean under an Earth-like atmosphere; however polarization adds another dimension which can be used, in combination with unpolarized orbital light curves and contrast ratios, to detect extrasolar oceans, atmospheric water aerosols, and water clouds. Additionally, the presence and direction of the polarization vector could be used to determine planet association with the star, and constrain orbit inclination. This research was funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the University of Washington Virtual Planetary Laboratory, and the Penn State Astrobiology Institute. Authors M. Zugger, J. Kasting, and D. Williams are members of the Penn State Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds.

  3. Collaboration and Competition in Exoplanet Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beichman, Charles

    2009-01-01

    Collaboration and competition are strong driving forces in the modern search for exoplanets, appears between individuals, agencies and nations as well as between observing techniques and theoretical interpretation. I will argue that these forces, taken in balance, are beneficial to the field and are partly responsible for the rapid progress in the search for planets and ultimately the search for life beyond the solar system. Specific examples will include indirect detection of Earth analogs from ground and space and the direct detection of gas giant and terrestrial planets.

  4. Transit of Exoplanet WASP 24-b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Robert; Turner, J.; Hardegree-Ullman, K.; Raphael, B.; Smith, C.; Towner, A. P.; Walker-LaFollette, A.; Wallace, S.; Berkson, E.; Greenwood, N.

    2013-01-01

    We observed two primary transits of exoplanet WASP-24b with the Steward Observatory 1.55 meter Kuiper Telescope in the R photometric band. With our results, we have been able to produce a more complete light curve and refine previously published values for the planet’s mass, radius, density, surface gravity, Safronov number, equilibrium temperature, orbital distance, orbital inclination. One of the goals of this project is to give undergraduates opportunity to learn astronomical observing techniques, get practical experience using a research-class telescope, and perform data reduction using IRAF and Transit Analysis Package (TAP).

  5. Multi-Year Pathogen Survey of Biofuel Switchgrass Breeding Plots Reveals High Prevalence of Infections by Panicum mosaic virus and Its Satellite Virus.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Catherine L; Pyle, Jesse D; Jochum, Charlene C; Vogel, Kenneth P; Yuen, Gary Y; Scholthof, Karen-Beth G

    2015-08-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) cultivars are currently under development as lignocellulosic feedstock. Here we present a survey of three established switchgrass experimental nurseries in Nebraska in which we identified Panicum mosaic virus (PMV) as the most prevalent virus. In 2012, 72% of 139 symptomatic plants tested positive for PMV. Of the PMV-positive samples, 19% were coinfected with its satellite virus (SPMV). Less than 14% of all sampled plants in 2012 were positive for four additional viruses known to infect switchgrass. In 2013, randomized sampling of switchgrass individuals from the same 2012 breeding plots revealed that infection by PMV or PMV+SPMV was both more prevalent and associated with more severe symptoms in the cultivar Summer, and experimental lines with Summer parentage, than populations derived from the cultivar Kanlow. A 3-year analysis, from 2012 to 2014, showed that previously uninfected switchgrass plants acquire PMV or PMV+SPMV between harvest cycles. In contrast, some plants apparently did not maintain PMV infections at detectable levels from year-to-year. These findings suggest that PMV and SPMV should be considered important pathogens of switchgrass and serious potential threats to biofuel crop production efficiency.

  6. The science of exoplanets and their systems.

    PubMed

    Lammer, Helmut; Blanc, Michel; Benz, Willy; Fridlund, Malcolm; Foresto, Vincent Coudé du; Güdel, Manuel; Rauer, Heike; Udry, Stephane; Bonnet, Roger-Maurice; Falanga, Maurizio; Charbonneau, David; Helled, Ravit; Kley, Willy; Linsky, Jeffrey; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T; Alibert, Yann; Chassefière, Eric; Encrenaz, Therese; Hatzes, Artie P; Lin, Douglas; Liseau, Rene; Lorenzen, Winfried; Raymond, Sean N

    2013-09-01

    A scientific forum on "The Future Science of Exoplanets and Their Systems," sponsored by Europlanet and the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) and co-organized by the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) of the University of Bern, was held during December 5 and 6, 2012, in Bern, Switzerland. It gathered 24 well-known specialists in exoplanetary, Solar System, and stellar science to discuss the future of the fast-expanding field of exoplanetary research, which now has nearly 1000 objects to analyze and compare and will develop even more quickly over the coming years. The forum discussions included a review of current observational knowledge, efforts for exoplanetary atmosphere characterization and their formation, water formation, atmospheric evolution, habitability aspects, and our understanding of how exoplanets interact with their stellar and galactic environment throughout their history. Several important and timely research areas of focus for further research efforts in the field were identified by the forum participants. These scientific topics are related to the origin and formation of water and its delivery to planetary bodies and the role of the disk in relation to planet formation, including constraints from observations as well as star-planet interaction processes and their consequences for atmosphere-magnetosphere environments, evolution, and habitability. The relevance of these research areas is outlined in this report, and possible themes for future ISSI workshops are identified that may be proposed by the international research community over the coming 2-3 years.

  7. Key Exoplanets in the Era of JWST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batalha, Natasha; Mandell, Avi; Lewis, Nikole K.; Pontoppidan, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    In 2018, exoplanet science will enter a new era with the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). With JWST's observing power, several studies have sought to characterize how the instruments will perform and what atmospheric spectral features could theoretically be detected using transmission spectroscopy. With just two years left until launch, it is imperative that the exoplanet community begins to digest and integrate these studies into their observing plans and strategies. In order to encourage this and to allow all members of the community access to JWST simulations, we present here an open source tool for creating observation simulations of all observatory-supported time-series spectroscopy modes. We describe our tool, PandExo and use it to calculate the expected signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for every confirmed planetary system with J<12. Assuming chemical equilibrium, we then determine how many observation hours are needed to attain a SNR of 5 on key molecular absorption bands of H2O, CH4, and CO. We end by determining the number of planets (hot Jupiters, warm Neptunes, super-Earths, etc.) that are currently attainable with JWST.

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

    PubMed

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-02

    The Kepler Mission is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems. Its legacy will be a catalog of discoveries sufficient for computing planet occurrence rates as a function of size, orbital period, star type, and insolation flux. The mission has made significant progress toward achieving that goal. Over 3,500 transiting exoplanets have been identified from the analysis of the first 3 y of data, 100 planets of which are in the habitable zone. The catalog has a high reliability rate (85-90% averaged over the period/radius plane), which is improving as follow-up observations continue. Dynamical (e.g., velocimetry and transit timing) and statistical methods have confirmed and characterized hundreds of planets over a large range of sizes and compositions for both single- and multiple-star systems. Population studies suggest that planets abound in our galaxy and that small planets are particularly frequent. Here, I report on the progress Kepler has made measuring the prevalence of exoplanets orbiting within one astronomical unit of their host stars in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's long-term goal of finding habitable environments beyond the solar system.

  9. Coronagraphic phase diversity for exoplanet detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, B.; Sauvage, J.-F.; Mugnier, L. M.; N'Diaye, M.; Dohlen, K.; Ferrari, M.; Fusco, T.

    2012-09-01

    The final performance of current and future instruments dedicated to exoplanet detection and characterisation (such as SPHERE on the VLT, GPI on Gemini North or EPICS on E-ELT) is limited by intensity residuals in the scientific image plane, which originate in uncorrected optical aberrations. After correction of the atmospheric turbulence, the main contribution to these residuals are the quasi-static aberrations introduced upstream of the coronagraphic mask. In order to reach the final detectivity, these aberrations have to be estimated and compensated for. Some of these aberrations are not seen by the wave-front sensor of the AO loop but only by the scientific instruments. In order to measure and compensate for these aberrations, we have recently proposed a dedicated focal-plane sensor called COFFEE (for COronagraphic Focal-plane wave-Front Estimation for Exoplanet detection), based on an analytical model for coronagraphic imaging. In this communication, we first present a thorough characterisation of COFFEE's performance, by means of numerical simulations. We additionally present an experimental validation of COFFEE for low orders aberrations using an in-house Adaptive Optics Bench and an apodized Roddier and Roddier phase mask coronagraph.

  10. Rotation periods of exoplanet host stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, E. K.; Baliunas, S. L.; Henry, G. W.; Watson, C. A.

    2010-11-01

    The stellar rotation periods of 10 exoplanet host stars have been determined using newly analysed CaII H&K flux records from the Mount Wilson Observatory and Strömgren b, y photometric measurements from Tennessee State University's automatic photometric telescopes at the Fairborn Observatory. Five of the rotation periods have not previously been reported, with that of HD 130322 very strongly detected at Prot = 26.1 +/- 3.5 d. The rotation periods of five other stars have been updated using new data. We use the rotation periods to derive the line-of-sight inclinations of the stellar rotation axes, which may be used to probe theories of planet formation and evolution when combined with the planetary orbital inclination found from other methods. Finally, we estimate the masses of 14 exoplanets under the assumption that the stellar rotation axis is aligned with the orbital axis. We calculate the mass of HD 92788 b (28 MJ) to be within the low-mass brown dwarf regime and suggest that this object warrants further investigation to confirm its true nature.

  11. Light from Exoplanets: Present and Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deming, Leo

    2010-01-01

    Measurements using the Spitzer Space Telescope have revealed thermal emission from planets orbiting very close to solar-type stars, primarily transiting "hot Jupiter" exoplanets. The thermal emission spectrum of these worlds has been measured by exploiting their secondary eclipse. Also, during transit of the planet, absorption signatures from atoms and molecules in the planet's atmosphere are imprinted onto the spectrum of the star. Results to date from transit and eclipse studies show that the hot Jupiters often have significant haze and cloud components in their atmospheres, and the temperature structure can often be inverted, i.e. temperature is rising with height. New and very strongly irradiated examples of hot Jupiters have been found that are being stripped of their atmospheres by tidal forces from the star. In parallel, transiting superEarth exoplanets are being discovered, and their atmospheres should also be amenable to study using transit techniques. The 2014 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope will clarify the physical nature of hot Jupiters, and will extend transit and eclipse studies to superEarths orbiting in the habitable zones of lower main sequence stars.

  12. Exoplanet Curriculum at the International Space University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  13. Exoplanet Science in the National Science Olympiad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komacek, Thaddeus D.; Young, Donna

    2015-11-01

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

  14. Amateur and Professional Astronomer Collaboration Exoplanet Research Programs and Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bissinger, R.

    2007-05-01

    In 1995 the breakthrough announcement was made that a planet had been discovered orbiting a star in the constellation Pegasus. Prior to that time, for decades astronomers had searched in vain to confirm that planets existed around any other star besides our own Sun. Yet it was a mere five years after the first exoplanet discovery that the first amateur astronomers observed a transit of an exoplanet using a 16-inch (40 cm) telescope in Finland. The realization that amateur astronomers could in fact detect exoplanets lead to the formation of transitsearch. org, the first amateur/ professional collaboration to discover exoplanets. In the ensuing years numerous other such collaborations have been formed and dozens of amateur astronomers around the world now regularly observe stars identified by professional astronomers as possibly harboring exoplanets. This paper summarizes the more notable amateur and professional collaborations now ongoing to discover and characterize exoplanets. Tools and techniques used by amateur astronomers in such research are reviewed with an eye towards how amateur astronomers may soon help discover the first earth-sized exoplanet capable of supporting life as we know it.

  15. Novel instrument concepts for characterizing directly imaged exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, Christoph U.

    2016-08-01

    Current high-contrast exoplanet imagers are optimized to find new exoplanets; they minimize diffracted starlight in a large area around a star. I present four novel instrumental approaches that are optimized to characterize these discoveries by minimizing starlight in a small area around the known location of an exoplanet: 1) coronagraphs that remove virtually all starlight over an octave in wavelength while transmitting more than 90% of the exoplanet signal; 2) holographic wavefront sensors that measure aberrations in the science focal plane; 3) ultra-fast adaptive optics systems that minimize these aberrations; and 4) direct minimization of the remaining starlight. By integrating these technologies with a high spectral- resolution, integral-field spectrograph that can resolve the Doppler shift and the polarization difference between the starlight and the reflected light from the exoplanet, it will be possible to determine the atmospheric composition, temperature and velocity structures of exoplanets and their spin rotation rate and orbital velocity. This will ultimately allow the upcoming extremely large telescopes to characterize rocky exoplanets in the habitable zone to look for signatures of life.

  16. A Warm Spitzer Survey of Circulation Patterns in Exoplanet Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knutson, H.

    2011-12-01

    The atmospheres of close-in extrasolar planets experience strong, asymmetrically distributed radiative forcing that can potentially lead to dramatic variations in both temperature and composition between the day- and night-side hemispheres. However, secondary eclipse observations only tell us about the properties of the dayside atmosphere, while transmission spectroscopy probes the region around the day-night terminator. By measuring changes in the infrared emission spectra of these planets as a function of orbital phase, we can resolve thermal and compositional gradients in these atmospheres, allowing us to obtain a complete picture of their local properties. The most extensively studied planet to date, HD 189733b, appears to have a relatively modest day-night temperature gradient as seen in the 8 and 24 micron Spitzer bands, suggesting that compositional gradients in its atmosphere are likely to be minimal. We present new, full-orbit phase curves at 3.6 and 4.5 um obtained with warm Spitzer, which we use to construct improved multi-color maps and to constrain variations in the pressure-temperature profile and atmospheric composition as a function of longitude. We also present preliminary results for complementary full-orbit observations of HAT-P-7b in the same bands, and discuss an emerging pattern in which the most highly irradiated (>2000 K) planets appear to undergo a shift towards large day-night temperature gradients, perhaps due to Lorentz braking or other MHD processes.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-02-01

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

  18. Colors of Alien Worlds from Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Renyu

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Colors of Alien Worlds from Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Renyu

    2015-08-01

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

  20. SysML model of exoplanet archive functionality and activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, Solange

    2016-08-01

    The NASA Exoplanet Archive is an online service that serves data and information on exoplanets and their host stars to help astronomical research related to search for and characterization of extra-solar planetary systems. In order to provide the most up to date data sets to the users, the exoplanet archive performs weekly updates that include additions into the database and updates to the services as needed. These weekly updates are complex due to interfaces within the archive. I will be presenting a SysML model that helps us perform these update activities in a weekly basis.

  1. Moderate Resolution Spectroscopy of Directly Imaged Exoplanets: Formation, Chemistry, and Clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konopacky, Quinn

    More than twenty years after the discovery of the first planet orbiting a star other than the Sun, it is now clear that extrasolar planets are ubiquitous. With each new discovery, new questions are raised about planet formation and evolution that challenge commonly held assumptions. Few currently known exoplanets reside at separations beyond the ice line, forcing extrapolation when developing a theory to explain planet formation on all scales. In the next several years, the number of known exoplanets at wide separations will increase dramatically as a new era in exoplanet discovery commences - the era of direct imaging. By using techniques to achieve high angular resolution on large (8-10 meter) ground based telescopes, it is now possible to resolve and study the light coming from widely separated gas giant planets at unprecedented levels of detail. Our group has pioneered observational and theoretical techniques that have provided spectra of directly imaged planets at resolutions and SNR that are rarely obtained for exoplanets. By using adaptive optics fed integral field spectrographs, we have extracted spectra at R 4000 in the near infrared, resolving individual molecular features from species such as water, carbon monoxide, and methane. These species have been used for detailed measurements of the ratio of carbon and oxygen in these planetary spectra. We propose to advance beyond these initial measurements and pursue a systematic program of near-infrared spectroscopy covering a suite of directly imaged exoplanets at similarly high spectral resolutions. Multiple surveys with newly commissioned instruments for direct imaging are now underway with the goal of substantially increasing the number of known directly imaged giant planets. The photometric and/or very low resolution spectroscopic data provided by these surveys are useful for rough planet characterization. Advancing our understanding of these planets, however, is best achieved through higher spectral

  2. Visible spectroscopy of terrestrial exoplanets with SEE-COAST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maire, A.-L.; Galicher, R.; Boccaletti, A.; Schneider, J.; Baudoz, P.

    2010-12-01

    While more than 450 exoplanets have been discovered, mid-infrared photometry and near-infrared (NIR) low-resolution spectroscopy were obtained for a few transiting gazeous planets. Nevertheless, the transit method is limited to close-in planets (≲0.1 AU). To study the chemical composition and structure of the atmosphere of wide-separated planets (≳1 AU), direct imaging is requested. To date, 12 planet candidates were detected by this method. In a near future (2011-2014), ground-based instruments (SPHERE, GPI, HiCIAO) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will survey a large sample of gazeous planets around young and M-dwarf stars in the solar neighborhood. To characterize terrestrial planets, extremely good and stable conditions as in space are required. Our team propose the SEE-COAST mission, a 1.5-m space telescope, that aims at visible spectro-polarimetry of mature giant and massive terrestrial planets. Here we briefly recall the principle of this mission and its objectives. We detailed the image analysis used to retrieve the planet spectra and we present the performance of SEE-COAST obtained by numerical simulations.

  3. The Influence of Eccentricity Cycles on Exoplanet Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-14

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

  5. DIRECT IMAGING OF A COLD JOVIAN EXOPLANET IN ORBIT AROUND THE SUN-LIKE STAR GJ 504

    SciTech Connect

    Kuzuhara, M.; Tamura, M.; Kandori, R.; Hori, Y.; Suzuki, R.; Suenaga, T.; Takahashi, Y. H.; Kwon, J.; Kudo, T.; Janson, M.; Brandt, T. D.; Spiegel, D.; Burrows, A.; Turner, E. L.; Moro-Martin, A.; Thalmann, C.; Biller, B.; Henning, T.; Carson, J.; McElwain, M. W.; and others

    2013-09-01

    Several exoplanets have recently been imaged at wide separations of >10 AU from their parent stars. These span a limited range of ages (<50 Myr) and atmospheric properties, with temperatures of 800-1800 K and very red colors (J - H > 0.5 mag), implying thick cloud covers. Furthermore, substantial model uncertainties exist at these young ages due to the unknown initial conditions at formation, which can lead to an order of magnitude of uncertainty in the modeled planet mass. Here, we report the direct-imaging discovery of a Jovian exoplanet around the Sun-like star GJ 504, detected as part of the SEEDS survey. The system is older than all other known directly imaged planets; as a result, its estimated mass remains in the planetary regime independent of uncertainties related to choices of initial conditions in the exoplanet modeling. Using the most common exoplanet cooling model, and given the system age of 160{sup +350}{sub -60} Myr, GJ 504b has an estimated mass of 4{sup +4.5}{sub -1.0} Jupiter masses, among the lowest of directly imaged planets. Its projected separation of 43.5 AU exceeds the typical outer boundary of {approx}30 AU predicted for the core accretion mechanism. GJ 504b is also significantly cooler (510{sup +30}{sub -20} K) and has a bluer color (J - H = -0.23 mag) than previously imaged exoplanets, suggesting a largely cloud-free atmosphere accessible to spectroscopic characterization. Thus, it has the potential of providing novel insights into the origins of giant planets as well as their atmospheric properties.

  6. Direct Imaging of a Cold Jovian Exoplanet in Orbit around the Sun-Like Star GJ 504

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuzuhara, M.; Tamura, M.; Kudo, T.; Janson, M; Kandori, R.; Brandt, T. D.; Thalmann, C.; Spiegel, D.; Biller, B.; Carson, J.; Hori, Y.; Suzuki, R.; Burrows, A.; Henning, T.; Turner, E. L.; McElwain, M. W.; Moro-Martin, A.; Suenaga, T.; Takahashi, Y. H.; Kwon, J.; Lucas, P.; Abe, L.; Brandner, W.; Grady, C. A.; Serabyn, E.

    2013-01-01

    Several exoplanets have recently been imaged at wide separations of >10 AU from their parent stars. These span a limited range of ages (<50 Myr) and atmospheric properties, with temperatures of 800-1800 K and very red colors (J -H > 0.5 mag), implying thick cloud covers. Furthermore, substantial model uncertainties exist at these young ages due to the unknown initial conditions at formation, which can lead to an order of magnitude of uncertainty in the modeled planet mass. Here, we report the direct imaging discovery of a Jovian exoplanet around the Sun-like star GJ 504, detected as part of the SEEDS survey. The system is older than all other known directly-imaged planets; as a result, its estimated mass remains in the planetary regime independent of uncertainties related to choices of initial conditions in the exoplanet modeling. Using the most common exoplanet cooling model, and given the system age of 160(+350/-60) Myr, GJ 504 b has an estimated mass of 4(+4.5/-1.0) Jupiter masses, among the lowest of directly imaged planets. Its projected separation of 43.5 AU exceeds the typical outer boundary of approx.. 30 AU predicted for the core accretion mechanism. GJ 504 b is also significantly cooler (510(+30/-20) K)) and has a bluer color (J - H = -0.23 mag) than previously imaged exoplanets, suggesting a largely cloud-free atmosphere accessible to spectroscopic characterization. Thus, it has the potential of providing novel insights into the origins of giant planets, as well as their atmospheric properties.

  7. Irregular Satellites of the Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    2005-01-01

    This proposal is directed towards the observational exploration of the irregular satellite systems of the planets. Primarily we use large-format CCD cameras on the world's largest telescopes, on Mauna Kea, to discover new irregular satellites and then to monitor their positions in order to ascertain their orbital characteristics. Separate observations are taken to determine the physical properties of the irregular satellites. The big picture science objective is to determine how these satellites were captures, and to use the properties of the satellites and their orbits to place constraints on early solar system (including formation) processes. Work in the first year has focussed on a major investigation of the Saturn irregular satellite system. We secured observing time on the Subaru and Gemini 8-m diameter telescopes in December 2004, January, February and March 2005 for the conduct of a deep, wide-area survey. This has resulted in the detection and orbit determination for 12 new satellites to be announced in the next week or two. Additional satellites were lost, temporarily, due to unusually poor weather conditions on Mauna Kea. These objects will be recovered and their orbits published next year. A separate survey of the Uranus irregular satellites was published (Sheppard, Jewitt and Kleyna 2005). Away from the telescope, we have discovered the amazing result that the four giant planets possess similar numbers of irregular satellites. This flies in the face of the standard gas-drag model for satellite capture, since only two of the giant planets are gas giants and the others (Uranus and Neptune) formed by a different process and in the absence of much gas. The constancy of the satellite number (each giant holds approximately 100 irregular satellites measured down to the kilometer scale) is either a coincidence, with different capture mechanisms at different planets giving by chance the same total numbers of irregular satellites, or indicates that the satellites

  8. Extreme physical phenomena associated with close-in solid exoplanets: Models and consequences

    NASA As