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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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Finding the Nearest Extrasolar Planets with the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Peter; Winn, Joshua N.; Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David; Morton, Tim; Levine, Alan M.; Vanderspek, Roland Kraft; Ricker, George R.

    2014-06-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is under development for NASA's Explorers Program with a planned launch in 2017. Over a two-year mission, TESS will conduct an all-sky survey to find transiting planets around dwarf stars in the solar neighborhood using four wide-angle optical cameras. TESS will spend between 27 and 350 days covering each of several hundred thousand target stars. In order to predict its yield, we have developed a detailed simulation of the TESS mission. We model the selection of target stars and adopt a planet population from the Kepler results. Next, we calculate the photometric signal-to-noise ratio TESS will achieve, accounting for photon shot noise, instrumental artifacts, and the background from zodiacal light and unresolved stars. We will present the yields of detected planets from the latest simulations, which currently show that TESS should discover over 200 super-Earths and over 400 sub-Neptunes with host stars brighter than I=12. We will also estimate the false-positive rate from blended binary stars. These results will allow the community to prepare for follow-up observations using photometric and radial-velocity techniques.

  7. 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

  8. The Qatar Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. CHEOPS: CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isaak, K. G.

    2015-10-01

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

  11. Exoplanets in the M2K Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahlmann, Johannes

    2015-08-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The Case for Exoplanet Surveys at Radio Wavelengths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Peter K. G.; Berger, Edo

    2015-12-01

    Motivated by the bright and phenomenologically-rich auroral radio bursts observed in the Solar System, astronomers have been attempting to detect exoplanets at radio wavelengths since before the discovery of 51 Peg b. While the first efforts were admittedly optimistic, long-wavelength radio arrays are finally achieving sensitivities comparable to the expected signal, and the pace of investment has been quickening as groups compete to make the first conclusive detection of radio emission from an exoplanet. I describe current survey efforts and their potential payoff: radio observations can yield measurements of otherwise inaccessible quantities such as rotation periods and magnetic moments, the latter being particularly relevant to habitability and star/planet interactions. I argue that the under-construction Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array, HERA, will be a particularly powerful instrument in these studies.

  7. The Case for Exoplanet Surveys at Radio Wavelengths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Peter K. G.; Berger, Edo

    2016-01-01

    Motivated by the bright and phenomenologically-rich auroral radio bursts observed in the Solar System, astronomers have been attempting to detect exoplanets at radio wavelengths since before the discovery of 51 Peg b. While the first efforts were admittedly optimistic, long-wavelength radio arrays are finally achieving sensitivities comparable to the expected signal, and the pace of investment has been quickening as groups compete to make the first conclusive detection of radio emission from an exoplanet. I describe current survey efforts and their potential payoff: radio observations can yield measurements of otherwise inaccessible quantities such as rotation periods and magnetic moments, the latter being particularly relevant to habitability and star/planet interactions. I argue that the under-construction Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array, HERA, will be a particularly powerful instrument in these studies.

  8. ACCESS: The Arizona-CfA-Catolica Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Apai, Daniel; Jordan, Andres; Espinoza, Nestor; Rackham, Benjamin; Fraine, Jonathan D.; Rodler, Florian; Lewis, Nikole; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Osip, David J.

    2014-06-01

    The Arizona-CfA-Catolica Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey (ACCESS) is an international, multi-institutional consortium with members from the Harvard-Smithsonian CfA, the University of Arizona, Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Chile, MIT and UC Santa Cruz and the Carnegie Institution. ACCESS' goal is to observe about two dozen planets covering a wide range of mass, radius, atmospheric temperatures and energy irradiation levels, with two main scientific goals: 1) to obtain, for the first time, a uniform sample of visible transmission spectra of exoplanets, allowing the study of their atmospheric characteristics as a statistically significant sample, and 2) to mature the technique of ground-based observations of exoplanetary atmospheres for future observations of small planets. Here we describe ACCESS and its first science results.

  9. 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.

  10. Design Considerations: Falcon M Dwarf Habitable Exoplanet Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polsgrove, Daniel; Novotny, Steven; Della-Rose, Devin J.; Chun, Francis; Tippets, Roger; O'Shea, Patrick; Miller, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    The Falcon Telescope Network (FTN) is an assemblage of twelve automated 20-inch telescopes positioned around the globe, controlled from the Cadet Space Operations Center (CSOC) at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Five of the 12 sites are currently installed, with full operational capability expected by the end of 2016. Though optimized for studying near-earth objects to accomplish its primary mission of Space Situational Awareness (SSA), the Falcon telescopes are in many ways similar to those used by ongoing and planned exoplanet transit surveys targeting individual M dwarf stars (e.g., MEarth, APACHE, SPECULOOS). The network's worldwide geographic distribution provides additional potential advantages. We have performed analytical and empirical studies exploring the viability of employing the FTN for a future survey of nearby late-type M dwarfs tailored to detect transits of 1-2REarth exoplanets in habitable-zone orbits . We present empirical results on photometric precision derived from data collected with multiple Falcon telescopes on a set of nearby (< 25 pc) M dwarfs using infrared filters and a range of exposure times, as well as sample light curves created from images gathered during known transits of varying transit depths. An investigation of survey design parameters is also described, including an analysis of site-specific weather data, anticipated telescope time allocation and the percentage of nearby M dwarfs with sufficient check stars within the Falcons' 11' x 11' field-of-view required to perform effective differential photometry. The results of this ongoing effort will inform the likelihood of discovering one (or more) habitable-zone exoplanets given current occurrence rate estimates over a nominal five-year campaign, and will dictate specific survey design features in preparation for initiating project execution when the FTN begins full-scale automated operations.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. ARIEL – Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Clanton, Christian; Gaudi, B. Scott

    2014-08-20

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

  20. 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.

  1. Teaching practical leadership in MIT satellite development class: CASTOR and Exoplanet projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babuscia, Alessandra; Craig, Jennifer L.; Connor, Jane A.

    2012-08-01

    For more than a decade, the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department at MIT has offered undergraduate students the opportunity of conceiving, developing, implementing and operating new spacecraft's missions. During a three term class, junior and senior students experience all the challenges of a true engineering team project: design, analysis, testing, technical documentation development, team management, and leadership. Leadership instruction is an important part of the curricula; through the development of leadership skills, students learn to manage themselves and each other in a more effective way, increasing the overall productivity of the team. Also, a strong leadership education is a key factor in improving the abilities of future engineers to be effective team members and leaders in the companies and agencies in which they will work. However, too often leadership instruction is presented in an abstract way, which does not provide students with suggestions for immediate applicability. As a consequence, students underestimate the potential that leadership education can have on the development of their projects. To counteract that effect, a new approach for teaching "practical" leadership has been developed. This approach is composed of a set of activities developed to improve students' leadership skills in the context of a project. Specifically, this approach has been implemented in the MIT satellite development class. In that class, students experienced the challenges of building two satellites: CASTOR and Exoplanet. These two missions are real space projects which will be launched in the next two years, and which involve cooperation with different entities (MIT, NASA, and Draper). Hence, the MIT faculty was interested in developing leadership activities to improve the productivity of the teams in a short time. In fact, one of the key aspects of the approach proposed is that it can be quickly implemented in a single semester, requiring no more than 4 h of

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Adaptive Optics Imaging of Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Use of satellite data in agricultural surveys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, F. G.; Houston, A. G.

    1984-01-01

    The state-of-the-art of crop surveying by satellite is reviewed with an emphasis on the signature extension problem. Registration and preprocessing procedures are discussed with refereence to: normalization of the radiometric values of each scene for scene-to-scene differences; registration techniques, implemented at the NASA Johnson Space Center, capable of 0.5 pixel root-mean-square error; and current research in this direction. Data transformation and modeling techniques applied to the Landsat MSS images and a solution for the field-to-field variations of the greenness and brightness temporal trajectories are included. Finally, a review of the mixture decomposition method of labeling and estimating the areal proportions is given.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. A Survey of Geosynchronous Satellite Glints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vrba, F.; Hutter, D.; Shankland, P.; Armstrong, J.; Schmitt, H.; Hindsley, R.; Divittorio, M.; Benson, J.

    Artificial satellites have characteristic diffuse reflected-light signatures as they are illuminated at varying phase angles by the Sun and are viewed at differing orientations by an observer. At times of favorable alignment between the satellite, observer and Sun, specular reflection off of relatively flat surfaces, such as solar panels, can cause brief increases in reflected light of several hundred times that of the nominal diffuse signature. Such events are commonly referred to as "glints". In the case of geosynchronous satellites, favorable glint alignments are due to changes in the Sun-Vehicle-Observer angle which are primarily due to the apparent motion of the Sun as the observer-satellite vector remains nearly stationary. These occur near in time to the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. While the most favorable geosynchronous satellite glint alignments are precluded by the fact that the satellites are at that time most likely to be in Earth shadow, observations of several glints have been reported in the literature. While such studies note the peak brightnesses, durations, and phase angles of individual glints, to our knowledge, no extended study of geosynchronous glint characteristics exists. Beginning with the autumnal equinox glint season of 2007 we have built on our earlier studies using the U.S. Naval Observatory, Flagstaff Station 40-inch Ritchey telescope to provide near-real-time astrometric and photometric information for use by the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI) team in its efforts to obtain interferometric fringes of geosynchronous satellites during a glint episode. The combined observations culminated in successful fringe measurements of DirecTV-9S during the vernal equinox 2008 and 2009 seasons (see Armstrong, et al. 2009, this conference). For our 40-inch telescope observations we used an LN2-cooled 2048x2048 CCD with standard R-band and H-alpha photometric filters, covering an area of the sky of approximately 22x22 arcmin with each

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. High-cadence, High-contrast Imaging for Exoplanet Mapping: Observations of the HR 8799 Planets with VLT/SPHERE Satellite-spot-corrected Relative Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    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%.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Transiting Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haswell, Carole A.

    2010-07-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Optical design of the camera for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

    The optical design of the wide field of view refractive camera with a 34 degree 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, takes advantage of Forbes aspheres to develop a hybrid design form. This maximizes 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 has been replaced by an internal filter coating on a lens to save weight, and has been fabricated to meet the specifications. The stray light requirements are met by an extended lens hood baffle design, giving the necessary off-axis attenuation.

  1. First Temperate Exoplanet Sized Up

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-03-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    We present results from the first three years of observations of moving group (MG) targets in the Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru (SEEDS) high-contrast imaging survey of exoplanets and disks using the Subaru telescope. We achieve typical contrasts of ~105 at 1'' and ~106 beyond 2'' around 63 proposed members of nearby kinematic MGs. We review each of the kinematic associations to which our targets belong, concluding that five, β Pictoris (~20 Myr), AB Doradus (~100 Myr), Columba (~30 Myr), Tucana-Horogium (~30 Myr), and TW Hydrae (~10 Myr), are sufficiently well-defined to constrain the ages of individual targets. Somewhat less than half of our targets are high-probability members of one of these MGs. For all of our targets, we combine proposed MG membership with other age indicators where available, including Ca II HK emission, X-ray activity, and rotation period, to produce a posterior probability distribution of age. SEEDS observations discovered a substellar companion to one of our targets, κ And, a late B star. We do not detect any other substellar companions, but do find seven new close binary systems, of which one still needs to be confirmed. A detailed analysis of the statistics of this sample, and of the companion mass constraints given our age probability distributions and exoplanet cooling models, will be presented in a forthcoming paper.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. Exoplanet habitability.

    PubMed

    Seager, Sara

    2013-05-01

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

  8. Exoplanet habitability.

    PubMed

    Seager, Sara

    2013-05-01

    The search for exoplanets includes the promise to eventually find and identify habitable worlds. The thousands of known exoplanets and planet candidates are extremely diverse in terms of their masses or sizes, orbits, and host star type. The diversity extends to new kinds of planets, which are very common yet have no solar system counterparts. Even with the requirement that a planet's surface temperature must be compatible with liquid water (because all life on Earth requires liquid water), a new emerging view is that planets very different from Earth may have the right conditions for life. The broadened possibilities will increase the future chances of discovering an inhabited world. PMID:23641111

  9. 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

  10. EMI survey for maritime satellite, L-band, shipboard terminal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, R. E.; Hill, J. S.; Brandel, D. L.

    1974-01-01

    The United States Lines 15,690-ton commercial-container ship, American Alliance, was selected as lead ship for an onboard EMI survey prior to installation of L-Band shipboard terminals for operation with two, geostationary, maritime satellites. In general, the EMI survey revealed tolerable interference levels onboard ship: radiometer measurements indicate antenna-noise temperatures less than 70 K, at elevation angles of 5 deg and greater, at 1559 MHz, at the output terminals of the 1.2-m-diameter, parabolic-dish antenna for the L-Band shipboard terminal. Other EMI measurements include field intensity from 3 cm- and 10 cm-wavelength pulse radars, and conducted-emission tests of primary power lines to both onboard radars.

  11. [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.

  12. Magsat - A new satellite to survey the earth's magnetic field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mobley, F. F.; Eckard, L. D.; Fountain, G. H.; Ousley, G. W.

    1980-01-01

    The Magsat satellite was launched on Oct. 30, 1979 into a sun-synchronous dawn-dusk orbit, of 97 deg inclination, 350 km perigee, and 550 km apogee. It contains a precision vector magnetometer and a cesium-vapor scalar magnetometer at the end of a 6-m long graphite epoxy scissors boom. The magnetometers are accurate to 2 nanotesla. A pair of star cameras are used to define the body orientation to 10 arc sec rms. An 'attitude transfer system' measures the orientation of the magnetometer sensors relative to the star cameras to approximately 5 arc sec rms. The satellite position is determined to 70 meters rms by Doppler tracking. The overall objective is to determine each component of the earth's vector magnetic field to an accuracy of 6 nanotesla rms. The Magsat satellite gathers a complete picture of the earth's magnetic field every 12 hours. The vector components are sampled 16 times per second with a resolution of 0.5 nanotesla. The data will be used by the U.S. Geological Survey to prepare 1980 world magnetic field charts and to detect large-scale magnetic anomalies in the earth's crust for use in planning resource exploration strategy.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The alignment of SDSS satellites with the VPOS: effects of the survey footprint shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pawlowski, Marcel S.

    2016-02-01

    It is sometimes argued that the uneven sky coverage of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) biases the distribution of satellite galaxies discovered by it to align with the polar plane defined by the 11 brighter, classical Milky Way (MW) satellites. This might prevent the SDSS satellites from adding significance to the MW's vast polar structure (VPOS). We investigate whether this argument is valid by comparing the observed situation with model satellite distributions confined to the exact SDSS footprint area. We find that the SDSS satellites indeed add to the significance of the VPOS and that the survey footprint rather biases away from a close alignment between the plane fitted to the SDSS satellites and the plane fitted to the 11 classical satellites. Finding the observed satellite phase-space alignments of both the classical and SDSS satellites is an ˜5σ event with respect to an isotropic distribution. This constitutes a robust discovery of the VPOS and makes it more significant than the Great Plane of Andromeda (GPoA). Motivated by the GPoA, which consists of only about half of M31's satellites, we also estimate which fraction of the MW satellites is consistent with being part of an isotropic distribution. Depending on the underlying satellite plane width, only 2 to 6 out of the 27 considered MW satellites are expected to be drawn from isotropy, and an isotropic component of ≳50 per cent of the MW satellite population is excluded at 95 per cent confidence.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molaverdikhani, Karan

    2009-10-01

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

  20. Exoplanet plenitude

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín, E. L.

    2012-11-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Exoplanets Galore!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-05-01

    Eight New Very Low-Mass Companions to Solar-Type Stars Discovered at La Silla The intensive and exciting hunt for planets around other stars ("exoplanets") is continuing with great success in both hemispheres. Today, a team of astronomers of the Geneva Observatory [1] are announcing the discovery of no less than eight new, very-low mass companions to solar-type stars. The masses of these objects range from less than that of planet Saturn to about 15 times that of Jupiter. The new results were obtained by means of high-precision radial-velocity measurements with the CORALIE spectrometer at the Swiss 1.2-m Leonhard Euler telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory. An earlier account of this research programme is available as ESO Press Release 18/98. Recent views of this telescope and its dome are available below as PR Photos 13a-c/00. This observational method is based on the detection of changes in the velocity of the central star , due to the changing direction of the gravitational pull from an (unseen) exoplanet as it orbits the star. The evaluation of the measured velocity variations allows to deduce the planet's orbit , in particular the period and the distance from the star, as well as a minimum mass [2]. The characteristics of the new objects are quite diverse. While six of them are most likely bona-fide exoplanets , two are apparently very low-mass brown-dwarfs (objects of sub-stellar mass without a nuclear energy source in their interior). From the first discovery of an exoplanet around the star 51 Pegasi in 1995 (by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the present team), the exoplanet count is now already above 40. "The present discoveries complete and enlarge our still preliminary knowledge of extra-solar planetary systems, as well as the transition between planets and `brown dwarfs'" , say Mayor and Queloz, on behalf of the Swiss team. An overview of the new objects ESO PR Photo 12/00 ESO PR Photo 12/00 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 242 pix - 76k] [Normal - JPEG

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. GTC OSIRIS transiting exoplanet atmospheric survey: detection of sodium in XO-2b from differential long-slit spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sing, D. K.; Huitson, C. M.; Lopez-Morales, M.; Pont, F.; Désert, J.-M.; Ehrenreich, D.; Wilson, P. A.; Ballester, G. E.; Fortney, J. J.; Lecavelier des Etangs, A.; Vidal-Madjar, A.

    2012-10-01

    We present two transits of the hot-Jupiter exoplanet XO-2b using the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC). The time series observations were performed using long-slit spectroscopy of XO-2 and a nearby reference star with the Optical System for Imaging and low Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy (OSIRIS) instrument, enabling differential spectrophotometric transit light curves capable of measuring the exoplanet's transmission spectrum. Two optical low-resolution grisms were used to cover the optical wavelength range from 3800 to 9300 Å. We find that sub-mmag-level slit losses between the target and reference star prevent full optical transmission spectra from being constructed, limiting our analysis to differential absorption depths over ˜1000 Å regions. Wider long slits or multi-object grism spectroscopy with wide masks will likely prove effective in minimizing the observed slit-loss trends. During both transits, we detect significant absorption in the planetary atmosphere of XO-2b using a 50-Å bandpass centred on the Na I doublet, with absorption depths of Δ(Rpl/R★)2 = 0.049 ± 0.017 per cent using the R500R grism and 0.047 ± 0.011 per cent using the R500B grism (combined 5.2σ significance from both transits). The sodium feature is unresolved in our low-resolution spectra, with detailed modelling also likely ruling out significant line-wing absorption over an ˜800 Å region surrounding the doublet. Combined with narrow-band photometric measurements, XO-2b is the first hot Jupiter with evidence for both sodium and potassium present in the planet's atmosphere. Based on observations made with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), installed in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, in the island of La Palma, and part of the large European Southern Observatory (ESO) programme 182.C-2018.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. A Survey of the Utility of Satellite Magnetometer Data for Application to Solid-earth Geophysical and Geological Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    A survey of potential users of low altitude satellite magnetic measurements for solid-earth and geological studies was conducted. The principal objectives of this survey were to: document the utility and application of the data and resultant products obtained from such a satellite mission, and establish a users committee for the proposed low altitude vector magnetometer satellite.

  14. 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.

  15. Exoplanet environments to harbour extremophile life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-02-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. CONSTRAINTS ON OH MEGAMASER EXCITATION FROM A SURVEY OF OH SATELLITE LINES

    SciTech Connect

    McBride, James; Heiles, Carl; Elitzur, Moshe

    2013-09-01

    We report the results of a full-Stokes survey of all four 18 cm OH lines in 77 OH megamasers (OHMs) using the Arecibo Observatory. This is the first survey of OHMs that included observations of the OH satellite lines; only four of the 77 OHMs have existing satellite line observations in the literature. Satellite line emission is detected in five sources, three of which are redetections of previously published sources. The two sources with new detections of satellite line emission are IRAS F10173+0829, which was detected at 1720 MHz, and IRAS F15107+0724, for which both the 1612 MHz and 1720 MHz lines were detected. In IRAS F15107+0724, the satellite lines are partially conjugate, as 1720 MHz absorption and 1612 MHz emission have the same structure at some velocities within the source, along with additional broader 1612 MHz emission. This is the first observed example of conjugate satellite lines in an OHM. In the remaining sources, no satellite line emission is observed. The detections and upper limits are generally consistent with models of OHM emission in which all of the 18 cm OH lines have the same excitation temperature. There is no evidence for a significant population of strong satellite line emitters among OHMs.

  19. The Architecture of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatzes, Artie P.

    2016-05-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Astrometric Exoplanet Detection with Gaia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Astrometric exoplanet detection with Gaia

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-10

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

  3. The 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. Assessing Usefulness of High-Resolution Satellite Imagery (HRSI) for Re-Survey of Cadastral Maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, S. S.; Sharma, J. R.; Rajashekar, S. S.; Rao, D. S. P.; Arepalli, A.; Arora, V.; Kuldeep; Singh, R. P.; Kanaparthi, M.

    2014-11-01

    The Government of India has initiated "National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP)" with emphasis to modernize management of land records, minimize scope of land/property disputes, enhance transparency in the land records maintenance system, and facilitate moving eventually towards guaranteed conclusive titles to immovable properties in the country. One of the major components of the programme is survey/re-survey and updating of all survey and settlement records including creation of original cadastral records wherever necessary. The use of ETS/GPS, Aerial or High Resolution Satellite Images (HRSI) and hybrid method of images are suggested for re-survey in the guidelines. The emerging new satellite technologies enabling earth observation at a spatial resolution of 1.0m or 0.5m or even 0.41m have brought revolutionary changes in the field of cadastral survey. The highresolution satellite imagery (HRSI) is showing its usefulness for cadastral surveys in terms of clear identification of parcel boundaries and other cultural features due to which traditional cadastre and land registration systems have been undergoing major changes worldwide. In the present research study, cadastral maps are derived from ETS/GPS, HRSI of 1.0m and 0.5m and used for comparison. The differences in areas, perimeter and position of parcels derived from HRSI are compared vis-a-vis ETS/GPS boundaries. An assessment has been made on the usefulness of HRSI for re-survey of cadastral maps vis-a-vis conventional ground survey.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Spectroscopically Unlocking Exoplanet Characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, Nikole

    2016-05-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Satellite Detection in AdvancedCamera 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.

  13. Users and uses of Landsat 8 satellite imagery—2014 survey results

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Holly M.

    2016-04-18

    Users were asked how often they needed Landsat imagery to meet various requirements for their primary application. The survey question specifically asked how often users needed usable imagery, which differs from how often they would like the Landsat satellites to acquire an image. Users were asked to identify their needed frequency

  14. A multifaceted approach to understanding dynamic urban processes: satellites, surveys, and censuses.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, B.; Balk, D.; Montgomery, M.; Liu, Z.

    2014-12-01

    Urbanization will arguably be the most significant demographic trend of the 21st century, particularly in fast-growing regions of the developing world. Characterizing urbanization in a spatial context, however, is a difficult task given only the moderate resolution data provided by traditional sources of demographic data (i.e., censuses and surveys). Using a sample of five world "mega-cities" we demonstrate how new satellite data products and new analysis of existing satellite data, when combined with new applications of census and survey microdata, can reveal more about cities and urbanization in combination than either data type can by itself. In addition to the partially modelled Global Urban-Rural Mapping Project (GRUMP) urban extents we consider four sources of remotely sensed data that can be used to estimate urban extents; the NOAA Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS) intercallibrated nighttime lights time series data, the newer NOAA Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) nighttime lights data, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) radar satellite data, and Dense Sampling Method (DSM) analysis of the NASA scatterometer data. Demographic data come from national censuses and/or georeferenced survey data from the Demographic & Health Survey (DHS) program. We overlay demographic and remotely sensed data (e.g., Figs 1, 2) to address two questions; (1) how well do satellite derived measures of urban intensity correlate with demographic measures, and (2) how well are temporal changes in the data correlated. Using spatial regression techniques, we then estimate statistical relationships (controlling for influences such as elevation, coastal proximity, and economic development) between the remotely sensed and demographic data and test the ability of each to predict the other. Satellite derived imagery help us to better understand the evolution of the built environment and urban form, while the underlying demographic

  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. 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.

  17. 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'.

  18. Hubble Exoplanet Pro/Am Collaboration (Abstract)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conti, D. M.

    2016-06-01

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

  19. PROPERTIES OF SATELLITE GALAXIES IN THE SDSS PHOTOMETRIC SURVEY: LUMINOSITIES, COLORS, AND PROJECTED NUMBER DENSITY PROFILES

    SciTech Connect

    Lares, M.; Lambas, D. G.; Dominguez, M. J.

    2011-07-15

    We analyze photometric data in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 (SDSS-DR7) to infer statistical properties of faint satellites associated with isolated bright galaxies (M{sub r} < -20.5) in the redshift range 0.03 < z < 0.1. The mean projected radial number density profile shows an excess of companions in the photometric sample around the primaries, with approximately a power-law shape that extends up to {approx_equal} 700 kpc. Given this overdensity signal, a suitable background subtraction method is used to study the statistical properties of the population of bound satellites, down to magnitude M{sub r} = -14.5, in the projected radial distance range 100 < r{sub p} /kpc < 3(R{sub vir}). The maximum projected distance corresponds to the range 470-660 kpc for the different samples. We have also considered a color cut consistent with the observed colors of spectroscopic satellites in nearby galaxies so that distant redshifted galaxies do not dominate the statistics. We have tested the implementation of this background subtraction procedure using a mock catalog derived from the Millennium simulation semianalytic galaxy catalog based on a {Lambda} cold dark matter model. We find that the method is effective in reproducing the true projected radial satellite number density profile and luminosity distributions, providing confidence in the results derived from SDSS data. We find that the spatial extent of satellite systems is larger for bright, red primaries. Also, we find a larger spatial distribution of blue satellites. For the different samples analyzed, we derive the average number of satellites and their luminosity distributions down to M{sub r} = -14.5. The mean number of satellites depends very strongly on host luminosity. Bright primaries (M{sub r} < -21.5) host on average {approx}6 satellites with M{sub r} < -14.5. This number is reduced for primaries with lower luminosities (-21.5 < M{sub r} < -20.5) which have less than one satellite per host. We

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Direct imaging of exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Lagrange, Anne-Marie

    2014-04-28

    Most of the exoplanets known today have been discovered by indirect techniques, based on the study of the host star radial velocity or photometric temporal variations. These detections allowed the study of the planet populations in the first 5-8 AU from the central stars and have provided precious information on the way planets form and evolve at such separations. Direct imaging on 8-10 m class telescopes allows the detection of giant planets at larger separations (currently typically more than 5-10 AU) complementing the indirect techniques. So far, only a few planets have been imaged around young stars, but each of them provides an opportunity for unique dedicated studies of their orbital, physical and atmospheric properties and sometimes also on the interaction with the 'second-generation', debris discs. These few detections already challenge formation theories. In this paper, I present the results of direct imaging surveys obtained so far, and what they already tell us about giant planet (GP) formation and evolution. Individual and emblematic cases are detailed; they illustrate what future instruments will routinely deliver for a much larger number of stars. I also point out the limitations of this approach, as well as the needs for further work in terms of planet formation modelling. I finally present the progress expected in direct imaging in the near future, thanks in particular to forthcoming planet imagers on 8-10 m class telescopes. PMID:24664924

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. The history of exoplanet detection.

    PubMed

    Perryman, Michael

    2012-10-01

    I summarize the early developments of the more quantitative aspects of exoplanet detection. After a brief overview of the observational methods currently applied to exoplanet searches and a summary of the first true exoplanet detections resulting from these various techniques, the more relevant historical background is organized according to the observational techniques that are currently most relevant. PMID:23013272

  13. Asteroseismology and Exoplanet Hosts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, Daniel

    2015-08-01

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

  14. The Phase Curve Survey of the Irregular Saturnian Satellites: A Possible Method of Physical Classification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, James M.; Grav, Tommy; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Hicks, Michael D.

    2006-01-01

    During its 2005 January opposition, the saturnian system could be viewed at an unusually low phase angle. We surveyed a subset of Saturn's irregular satellites to obtain their true opposition magnitudes, or nearly so, down to phase angle values of 0.01 deg. Combining our data taken at the Palomar 200-inch and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory's 4-m Blanco telescope with those in the literature, we present the first phase curves for nearly half the irregular satellites originally reported by Gladman et al. [2001. Nature 412, 163-166], including Paaliaq (SXX), Siarnaq (SXXIX), Tarvos (SXXI), Ijiraq (SXXII), Albiorix (SXVI), and additionally Phoebe's narrowest angle brightness measured to date. We find centaur-like steepness in the phase curves or opposition surges in most cases with the notable exception of three, Albiorix and Tarvos, which are suspected to be of similar origin based on dynamical arguments, and Siarnaq.During its 2005 January opposition, the saturnian system could be viewed at an unusually low phase angle. We surveyed a subset of Saturn's irregular satellites to obtain their true opposition magnitudes, or nearly so, down to phase angle values of 0.01 deg. Combining our data taken at the Palomar 200-inch and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory's 4-m Blanco telescope with those in the literature, we present the first phase curves for nearly half the irregular satellites originally reported by Gladman et al. [2001. Nature 412, 163-166], including Paaliaq (SXX), Siarnaq (SXXIX), Tarvos (SXXI), Ijiraq (SXXII), Albiorix (SXVI), and additionally Phoebe's narrowest angle brightness measured to date. We find centaur-like steepness in the phase curves or opposition surges in most cases with the notable exception of three, Albiorix and Tarvos, which are suspected to be of similar origin based on dynamical arguments, and Siarnaq.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. A New Faint Milky Way Satellite Discovered in the Pan-STARRS1 3π Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laevens, Benjamin P. M.; Martin, Nicolas F.; Ibata, Rodrigo A.; Rix, Hans-Walter; Bernard, Edouard J.; Bell, Eric F.; Sesar, Branimir; Ferguson, Annette M. N.; Schlafly, Edward F.; Slater, Colin T.; Burgett, William S.; Chambers, Kenneth C.; Flewelling, Heather; Hodapp, Klaus A.; Kaiser, Nicholas; Kudritzki, Rolf-Peter; Lupton, Robert H.; Magnier, Eugene A.; Metcalfe, Nigel; Morgan, Jeffrey S.; Price, Paul A.; Tonry, John L.; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Waters, Christopher

    2015-04-01

    We present the discovery of a faint Milky Way satellite, Laevens 2/Triangulum II, found in the Panoramic Survey Telescope And Rapid Response System 3π imaging data and confirmed with follow-up wide-field photometry from the Large Binocular Cameras. The stellar system, with an absolute magnitude of MV = -1.8 ± 0.5, a heliocentric distance of 30-2+2 kpc, and a half-mass-radius of 34-8+9 pc, shows remarkable similarity to faint, nearby, small satellites such as Willman 1, Segue 1, Segue 2, and Boötes II. The discovery of Laevens 2/Triangulum II further populates the region of parameter space for which the boundary between dwarf galaxies and globular clusters becomes tenuous. Follow-up spectroscopy will ultimately determine the nature of this new satellite, whose spatial location hints at a possible connection with the complex Triangulum-Andromeda stellar structures. 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; Instituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max-Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; The Ohio State University, and The Research Corporation, on behalf of The University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota, and University of Virginia.

  20. BRIGHTEST SATELLITE GALAXY ALIGNMENT OF SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY GALAXY GROUPS

    SciTech Connect

    Li Zhigang; Wang Yougang; Chen Xuelei; Yang Xiaohu; Xie Lizhi; Wang Xin E-mail: wangygcluster@gmail.com E-mail: lzxie@bao.ac.cn E-mail: wangxin@pha.jhu.edu

    2013-05-01

    We study the alignment signal between the distribution of the brightest satellite galaxies (BSGs) and the major axes of their host groups using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey group catalog constructed by Yang et al. After correcting for the effect of group ellipticity, a statistically significant ({approx}5{sigma}) major-axis alignment is detected and the alignment angle is found to be 43. Degree-Sign 0 {+-} 0. Degree-Sign 4. More massive and richer groups show a stronger BSG alignment. The BSG alignment around blue brightest central galaxies (BCGs) is slightly stronger than that around red BCGs. Red BSGs have a much stronger major-axis alignment than blue BSGs. Unlike BSGs, other satellites do not show very significant alignment with their group's major axis. We further explore BSG alignment using the semi-analytic model (SAM) constructed by Guo et al. In general, we found good agreement of the model with observations: BSGs in the SAM show a strong major-axis alignment that depends on group mass and richness in the same way as in observations and none of the other satellites exhibit prominent alignment. However, a discrepancy also exists in that the SAM shows a BSG color dependence opposite of that in observations, which is most probably induced by a missing large-scale environment ingredient in the SAM. The combination of two popular scenarios can explain the BSG alignment we detected. First, satellites merged into the group along the surrounding filaments, which are strongly aligned with the major axis of the group. Second, BSGs entered their host group more recently than other satellites, so they have preserved more information about their assembling history and major-axis alignment. In the SAM, we found positive evidence for the second scenario in the fact that BSGs merged into groups statistically more recently than other satellites. We also found that most of the BSGs (80%) were BCGs before they merged into groups and earlier merging BSGs tend to be closer to

  1. Surveys of elliptical crater populations on the saturnian satellites, Mercury, and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrick, Robert R.; Schenk, Paul M.; Robbins, Stuart J.

    2012-08-01

    Near-horizontal planetary impacts result in elliptical craters. The percentage of elliptical craters on a planet can be used to infer the impact angle at which craters become elliptical. Previous surveys of the Moon, Mars, and Venus indicated that planetary craters become elliptical at more vertical angles than experimental impacts into a strengthless medium, and this was attributed to a higher ratio of crater diameter to projectile diameter. Here we determined the percentage of elliptical craters on the mid-sized saturnian satellites and Mercury, bodies that represent Solar-System extremes of impactor velocity, target density, and target strength. On the saturnian satellites, 7.6% of the craters have ellipticities e (ratio of major to minor axis) greater than 1.2, but only 0.4% have e > 1.5, and no craters have e > 1.75. On Mercury, 3% of the craters have e > 1.2 and 0.5% have e > 1.5. The mercurian percentages are slightly lower than the other terrestrial planets, attributable to a higher crater diameter to projectile diameter caused by the higher impact velocities at Mercury. We attribute the high percentage of moderately elliptical craters on the saturnian satellites to the rugged target terrain on those bodies. We interpret enhanced crater collapse on the icy surfaces of the saturnian satellites as preventing craters with extremely high ellipticities like the lunar crater Schiller. Finally, a reexamination of the martian crater population shows its elliptical crater population to be consistent with the other planets, and we see little evidence for a large population of craters formed by inward-spiraling moonlets.

  2. 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.'

  3. THE SPLASH SURVEY: SPECTROSCOPY OF 15 M31 DWARF SPHEROIDAL SATELLITE GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Tollerud, Erik J.; Bullock, James S.; Yniguez, Basilio; Cooper, Michael C. E-mail: bullock@uci.edu E-mail: m.cooper@uci.edu; and others

    2012-06-10

    We present a resolved star spectroscopic survey of 15 dwarf spheroidal (dSph) satellites of the Andromeda galaxy (M31). We filter foreground contamination from Milky Way (MW) stars, noting that MW substructure is evident in this contaminant sample. We also filter M31 halo field giant stars and identify the remainder as probable dSph members. We then use these members to determine the kinematical properties of the dSphs. For the first time, we confirm that And XVIII, XXI, and XXII show kinematics consistent with bound, dark-matter-dominated galaxies. From the velocity dispersions for the full sample of dSphs we determine masses, which we combine with the size and luminosity of the galaxies to produce mass-size-luminosity scaling relations. With these scalings we determine that the M31 dSphs are fully consistent with the MW dSphs, suggesting that the well-studied MW satellite population provides a fair sample for broader conclusions. We also estimate dark matter halo masses of the satellites and find that there is no sign that the luminosity of these galaxies depends on their dark halo mass, a result consistent with what is seen for MW dwarfs. Two of the M31 dSphs (And XV, XVI) have estimated maximum circular velocities smaller than 12 km s{sup -1} (to 1{sigma}), which likely places them within the lowest-mass dark matter halos known to host stars (along with Booetes I of the MW). Finally, we use the systemic velocities of the M31 satellites to estimate the mass of the M31 halo, obtaining a virial mass consistent with previous results.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. GPS Survey of the salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, for Satellite Altimeter Calibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borsa, A. A.; Fricker, H. A.; Bills, B. G.; Carabajal, C. C.; Quinn, K.; Minster, J. B.; Schutz, B.

    2002-12-01

    The salar de Uyuni, a 100km x 100km salt flat in the Andean Altiplano of southern Bolivia, is the largest dry lake on Earth. The size, high albedo and remarkable flatness of the salar make it an ideal reference surface for satellite-based altimeters - in particular, the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) to be flown on the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) - especially with regard to range measurements and waveform analysis of return signals. A simple reference surface such as the salar can be mapped by ground-based surveying, although the sheer size of the area requires adaptations to standard survey techniques. We describe a survey of the salar de Uyuni carried out with car-mounted kinematic GPS over a seven-day period in September 2002. We divided the salar surface into a number of survey grids that were driven in multiple directions to yield redundant measurements and corresponding error statistics at grid crossover points. Adjacent grids were overlapped so we could also determine errors between grids and over multi-day time periods. In addition, we set up five fixed GPS sites on the salar to serve as local survey control in post-processing. These fixed sites will be used to map ionospheric effects and interpolate them to the roving GPS receivers. If successful, this will allow reprocessing of GPS solutions using L1 data only, with a corresponding reduction in noise compared to solutions using the standard ionosphere-free LC combination. We present our surveyed topography of the eastern half of the salar de Uyuni, comparing it to previously-published elevation measurements and to the best geoid model available for the region. We show the close relationship between the topography of the salar and the shape of the geoid, a result we had expected since the salar is flooded each austral summer to an almost uniform depth. We also demonstrate knowledge of the surface height of the salar to within the measurement error specified for the GLAS

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:25238324

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Infrared Spectroscopic Imaging Survey (emph{IRSIS}) payload for an Indian satellite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, S. K.

    The Infrared Spectroscopic Imaging Survey (IRSIS) experiment, targeted for the Small Satellite Mission of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), will carry out spectroscopic measurements in the wavelength range 1.7 to 6.4 μm seamlessly for the first time, covering a large fraction (˜ 50%) of the sky (including the Galactic Plane), with a reasonable sensitivity (completeness at 2.2 μm, K = 14 mag.). The planned Spectral Resolution is ˜ 100. Primary science goals include : (i) Discovery & classification of Brown Dwarfs, M-L-T Dwarfs (faint end of Initial Mass Function); (ii) Large scale mapping in emission features; e.g. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) at 3.3 μm, 6.2 μm, etc. (Galactic Plane survey); (iii) Minor bodies of Solar System : Asteroids, Comets, Inter- Planetary Dust; Origin, evolution & types of Organics; History of Solar System; and (iv) Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB), Red-Super-Giant (RSG), Carbon-rich stars; (Galactic Bulge survey). In addition, it will support studies of time critical phenomena like novae, comets etc, under Targets of Opportunity (ToO) observations. The IRSIS database is expected to provide better understanding of energetics and composition of the ISM, infrared characterisation of stars, and various types of Solar system bodies.

  13. 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

  14. Dynamical Constraints on Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Field survey report and satellite image interpretation of the 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mas, E.; Bricker, J.; Kure, S.; Adriano, B.; Yi, C.; Suppasri, A.; Koshimura, S.

    2015-04-01

    Three weeks after the deadly Bohol earthquake of Mw 7.2, which claimed at least 222 victims, another disaster struck the Philippines. This time, Super Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, devastated the Eastern Visayas islands on 8 November 2013. Its classification as a super typhoon was based on its maximum sustained 1 min surface wind speed of 315 km h-1, which is equivalent to a strong Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. This was one of the deadliest typhoon events in the Philippines' history, after the 1897 and 1912 tropical cyclones. At least 6268 individuals have been reported dead and 1061 people are missing. In addition, a wide area of destruction was observed in the Eastern Visayas, on Samar and Leyte islands. The International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, has deployed several teams for damage recognition, relief support and collaboration with regard to this disaster event. One of the teams, the hazard and damage evaluation team, visited the affected areas in the Eastern Visayas in mid-January 2014. In this paper, we summarize the rapid damage assessment from satellite imagery conducted days after the event and report on the inundation measurements and the damage surveyed in the field. Damage interpretation results by satellite images were qualitatively confirmed for the Tacloban city area on Leyte Island, the most populated city in the Eastern Visayas. During the survey, significant damage was observed from wind and storm surges on poorly designed housing on the east coast of Leyte Island. Damage, mainly from surface waves and winds, was observed on the east coast of Samar Island.

  18. Renewed uplift at the Yellowstone caldera measured by leveling surveys and satellite radar interferometry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dzurisin, D.; Wicks, C.; Thatcher, W.

    1999-01-01

    A first-order leveling survey across the northeast part of the Yellowstone caldera in September 1998 showed that the central caldera floor near Le Hardy Rapids rose 24 ?? 5 mm relative to the caldera rim at Lake Butte since the previous survey in September 1995. Annual surveys along the same traverse from 1985 to 1995 tracked progressive subsidence near Le Hardy Rapids at an average rate of -19 ?? 1 mm/year. Earlier, less frequent surveys measured net uplift in the same area during 1923-1976 (14 ?? 1 mm/year) and 1976-1984 (22 ?? 1 mm/year). The resumption of uplift following a decade of subsidence was first detected by satellite synthetic aperture radar interferometry, which revealed approximately 15 mm of uplift in the vicinity of Le Hardy Rapids from July 1995 to June 1997. Radar interferograms show that the center of subsidence shifted from the Sour Creek resurgent dome in the northeast part of the caldera during August 1992 to June 1993 to the Mallard Lake resurgent dome in the southwest part during June 1993 to August 1995. Uplift began at the Sour Creek dome during August 1995 to September 1996 and spread to the Mallard Lake dome by June 1997. The rapidity of these changes and the spatial pattern of surface deformation suggest that ground movements are caused at least in part by accumulation and migration of fluids in two sill-like bodies at 5-10 km depth, near the interface between Yellowstone's magmatic and deep hydrothermal systems.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. A satellite geodetic survey of large-scale deformation of volcanic centres in the central Andes.

    PubMed

    Pritchard, Matthew E; Simons, Mark

    2002-07-11

    Surface deformation in volcanic areas usually indicates movement of magma or hydrothermal fluids at depth. Stratovolcanoes tend to exhibit a complex relationship between deformation and eruptive behaviour. The characteristically long time spans between such eruptions requires a long time series of observations to determine whether deformation without an eruption is common at a given edifice. Such studies, however, are logistically difficult to carry out in most volcanic arcs, as these tend to be remote regions with large numbers of volcanoes (hundreds to even thousands). Here we present a satellite-based interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) survey of the remote central Andes volcanic arc, a region formed by subduction of the Nazca oceanic plate beneath continental South America. Spanning the years 1992 to 2000, our survey reveals the background level of activity of about 900 volcanoes, 50 of which have been classified as potentially active. We find four centres of broad (tens of kilometres wide), roughly axisymmetric surface deformation. None of these centres are at volcanoes currently classified as potentially active, although two lie within about 10 km of volcanoes with known activity. Source depths inferred from the patterns of deformation lie between 5 and 17 km. In contrast to the four new sources found, we do not observe any deformation associated with recent eruptions of Lascar, Chile. PMID:12110886

  2. Improvements of Visual Based Shoreline Accuracy From Satellite Imagery and Simultaneous Differential GPS Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacKenzie, R. A.; Jaeger, J. M.; Adams, P. N.; Plant, N. G.; Schaub, R.; Kline, S. W.; Lovering, J. L.

    2011-12-01

    Various tools with different sampling density, intervals and uncertainties are now used in decadal -scale coastal change studies. Lidar has rapidly become the preferred tool for coastal studies with its high data density and moderate accuracy (15 - 30 cm), but the typical sampling interval between surveys is ~5 years. GPS measurements have higher accuracy (10 cm) and can be conducted more frequently than Lidar, but data density is lower and surveyed coastline length is minimized. Imagery is used because of its historical significance, but it is the least accurate. High degrees of uncertainty in shoreline position from remotely sensed imagery results from difficulty in choosing an appropriate visual shoreline proxy. This is due, in part to different visual based shoreline (VBS) proxies (e.g. vegetation line, debris line, high water mark, wet/dry line, low water mark) not being visible on all beaches at all times. Geomorphic clues from remotely sensed imagery combined with knowledge of coastal morphology and DBS surveys can minimize uncertainties in using VBS proxies. We established a relationship between VBS and DBS by conducting 32 kinematic differential GPS surveys over a two-year period at Cape Canaveral, FL. Two Geoeye I (0.5 m res.) satellite images were collected 3 days post DBS survey on June 9, 2009 and during a DBS survey on July 28, 2010. June and July beach states were selected for image collection because they have the lowest average monthly significant wave height (HS) and least variability in HS, providing the highest likelihood of stable beach morphology. The 10-km study area exhibits various beach morphologic states and stability histories. During the July survey the visual high water wet/dry line traced with GPS, did not correspond to the wet/dry line on the GeoEye image. Further analysis shows that a wet-dry line related to grain size, composition and ground water seepage face, visible in all images, provides the best VBS proxy. Direct comparison

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Saturn as a Transiting Exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  7. Characterizing Transiting Exoplanet Atmospheres with Gemini/GMOS: First Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huitson, Catherine; Desert, Jean-Michel; Bean, Jacob; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Stevenson, Kevin B.; Bergmann, Marcel

    2015-01-01

    We present the first results from a 4-year ground-based survey of nine transiting exoplanet atmospheres. The program uses the Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on both Gemini north and south to repetitively measure transit lightcurves of individual exoplanets at high spectrophotometric precision. I will present the first results from this program. We attain photometric precisions per spectral bin of 200-600 ppm. Such precision enables us to construct transmission spectra of hot Jupiters. These transmission spectra reveal the dominant upper-atmosphere absorbers in the optical bandpass. Our overarching goal is to understand the prevalence and formation of high altitude clouds and hazes, and other important atmospheric constituents.

  8. 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

  9. Field survey report and satellite image interpretation of the 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mas, E.; Bricker, J.; Kure, S.; Adriano, B.; Yi, C.; Suppasri, A.; Koshimura, S.

    2014-05-01

    Three weeks after the deadly Bohol earthquake of magnitude Mw 7.2, which claimed at least 222 victims; another disaster struck the Philippines. This time, Super Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, devastated the Eastern Visayas islands on 8 November 2013. Its classification as a Super Typhoon was based on its maximum sustained 1 min surface wind speed of 315 km h-1, which is equivalent to a strong Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. This was one of the deadliest typhoon events in the Philippines' history, after the 1897 and 1912 tropical cyclones. At least 6268 individuals have been reported dead and 1061 people are missing. In addition, a wide area of destruction was observed in the Eastern Visayas, on Samar and Leyte Islands. The International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan has deployed several teams for damage recognition, relief support and collaboration with regard to this disaster event. One of the teams, the hazard and damage evaluation team, visited the affected areas in the Eastern Visayas in mid-January 2014. In this paper, we summarize the rapid damage assessment conducted days after the event and report on the inundation measurements and the damage surveyed in the field. Damage interpretation results by satellite images were qualitatively confirmed for the Tacloban city area on Leyte Island, the most populated city in the Eastern Visayas. During the survey, significant damage was observed from wind and storm surges on poorly designed housing on the east coast of Leyte Island. Damage, mainly from surface waves and winds was observed on the east coast of Samar Island.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oshagh, Mahmoudreza

    2015-07-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. ECHO - the Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tessenyi, Marcell

    2010-10-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Exoplanet Magnetic Fields and Their Detectability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Observations of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crossfield, Ian J. M.

    2015-10-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Structure of exoplanets.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  5. Structure of exoplanets.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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?

  8. A search for photometric variability towards M71 with the Near-Infrared Transiting ExoplanetS Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCormac, J.; Skillen, I.; Pollacco, D.; Faedi, F.; Ramsay, G.; Dhillon, V. S.; Todd, I.; Gonzalez, A.

    2014-03-01

    We present the results of a high-cadence photometric survey of an 11 arcmin × 11 arcmin field centred on the globular cluster M71, with the Near-Infrared Transiting ExoplanetS Telescope. The aim of our survey is to search for stellar variability and giant transiting exoplanets. This survey differs from previous photometric surveys of M71 in that it is more sensitive to lower amplitude (ΔM ≤ 0.02 mag) and longer period (P > 2 d) variability than previous work on this cluster. We have discovered 17 new variable stars towards M71 and confirm the nature of 13 previously known objects, for which the orbital periods of 7 are refined or newly determined. Given the photometric precision of our high-cadence survey on the horizontal branch of M71, we confirm that the cluster is devoid of RR Lyrae variable stars within the area surveyed. We present new B- and V-band photometry of the stars in our sample from which we estimate spectral types of the variable objects. We also search our survey data for transiting hot Jupiters and present simulations of the expected number of detections. Approximately 1000 stars were observed on the main sequence of M71 with sufficient photometric accuracy to detect a transiting hot Jupiter; however, none were found.

  9. 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

  10. Detecting Exomoons around Self-luminous Giant Exoplanets through Polarization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sengupta, Sujan; Marley, Mark S.

    2016-06-01

    Many of the directly imaged self-luminous gas-giant exoplanets have been found to have cloudy atmospheres. Scattering of the emergent thermal radiation from these planets by the dust grains in their atmospheres should locally give rise to significant linear polarization of the emitted radiation. However, the observable disk-averaged polarization should be zero if the planet is spherically symmetric. Rotation-induced oblateness may yield a net non-zero disk-averaged polarization if the planets have sufficiently high spin rotation velocity. On the other hand, when a large natural satellite or exomoon transits a planet with a cloudy atmosphere along the line of sight, the asymmetry induced during the transit should give rise to a net non-zero, time-resolved linear polarization signal. The peak amplitude of such time-dependent polarization may be detectable even for slowly rotating exoplanets. Therefore, we suggest that large exomoons around directly imaged self-luminous exoplanets may be detectable through time-resolved imaging polarimetry. Adopting detailed atmospheric models for several values of effective temperature and surface gravity that are appropriate for self-luminous exoplanets, we present the polarization profiles of these objects in the infrared during the transit phase and estimate the peak amplitude of polarization that occurs during the inner contacts of the transit ingress/egress phase. The peak polarization is predicted to range between 0.1% and 0.3% in the infrared.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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, 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

  16. 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.

  17. Undercover Stars Among Exoplanet Candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-03-01

    Very Large Telescope Finds Planet-Sized Transiting Star Summary An international team of astronomers have accurately determined the radius and mass of the smallest core-burning star known until now. The observations were performed in March 2004 with the FLAMES multi-fibre spectrograph on the 8.2-m VLT Kueyen telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory (Chile). They are part of a large programme aimed at measuring accurate radial velocities for sixty stars for which a temporary brightness "dip" has been detected during the OGLE survey. The astronomers find that the dip seen in the light curve of the star known as OGLE-TR-122 is caused by a very small stellar companion, eclipsing this solar-like star once every 7.3 days. This companion is 96 times heavier than planet Jupiter but only 16% larger. It is the first time that direct observations demonstrate that stars less massive than 1/10th of the solar mass are of nearly the same size as giant planets. This fact will obviously have to be taken into account during the current search for transiting exoplanets. In addition, the observations with the Very Large Telescope have led to the discovery of seven new eclipsing binaries, that harbour stars with masses below one-third the mass of the Sun, a real bonanza for the astronomers. PR Photo 06a/05: Brightness "Dip" and Velocity Variations of OGLE-TR-122. PR Photo 06b/05: Properties of Low-Mass Stars and Planets. PR Photo 06c/05: Comparison Between OGLE-TR-122b, Jupiter and the Sun. The OGLE Survey When a planet happens to pass in front of its parent star (as seen from the Earth), it blocks a small fraction of the star's light from our view [1]. These "planetary transits" are of great interest as they allow astronomers to measure in a unique way the mass and the radius of exoplanets. Several surveys are therefore underway which attempt to find these faint signatures of other worlds. One of these programmes is the OGLE survey which was originally devised to detect microlensing

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Asteroseismology of Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. A geographical sampling method for surveys of mosquito larvae in an urban area using high-resolution satellite imagery

    PubMed Central

    Troyo, Adriana; Fuller, Douglas O.; Calderón-Arguedas, Olger; Beier, John C.

    2008-01-01

    Entomological surveys in urban areas are often biased by selecting houses or locations with known high vector densities. A sampling strategy was developed for Puntarenas, Costa Rica, using high-resolution satellite imagery. Grids from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer and a QuickBird classified land cover map were used to determine the optimal final grid area for surveys. A random sample (10% of cells) was selected, and sample suitability was assessed by comparing the mean percentage of tree cover between sample and total cells. Sample cells were used obtain entomological data from 581 locations: 26.3% of all locations positive for mosquito larvae were not households, they contained 29.5% of mosquito-positive habitats and 16% of Aedes aegypti pupae collected. Entomological indices for Ae. aegypti (pupae per person, Breteau index, container index, location index) were slightly lower when only household data were analyzed. High-resolution satellite imagery and geographical information systems appear useful for evaluating urban sites and randomly selecting locations for accurate entomological surveys. PMID:18697301

  5. Survey of low-mass satellites of the neighboring galaxies M31 and M81

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaisin, S. S.; Karachentsev, I. D.

    2013-09-01

    Images have been obtained at the 6-m telescope at the Special Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the Hα line and in the continuum for 20 dwarf spheroidal satellites of M31: And XI-And XXX, plus the distant Globular cluster Bol 520. Their star formation rates (SFR) are estimated using the Hα flux and the ultraviolet FUV flux measured with the GALEX space telescope. Most of the dSph satellites of M31 have extremely low star formation rates with a characteristic upper limit of SFR ~ 5 × 10-7. We have made similar estimates of SFR from the Hα and FUV fluxes for 13 galaxies with low surface brightness recently discovered in the neighborhood of M81. Eleven of them are physical satellites of M81 with typical SFR < 1 × 10-5. The median stellar masses of these satellites of M31 and M81 are 0.9 and 1.9 million solar masses, respectively. Our Hα observations place a 2-3 times stricter limit on the value of SFR than the data from the GALEX satellite, with a substantially higher (3-5 times) angular resolution.

  6. Exoplanets around pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitiashvili, I.; Gusev, A.

    2003-04-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Two Extremely Hot Exoplanets Caught in Transit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-05-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Photochemistry of Terrestrial Exoplanet Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Renyu; Seager, S.

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Global surveys of reservoirs and lakes from satellites and regional application to the Syrdarya river basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crétaux, Jean-François; Biancamaria, Sylvain; Arsen, Adalbert; Bergé-Nguyen, Muriel; Becker, Mélanie

    2015-01-01

    Large reservoirs along rivers regulate downstream flows to generate hydropower but may also store water for irrigation and urban sectors. Reservoir management therefore becomes critical, particularly for transboundary basins, where coordination between riparian countries is needed. Reservoir management is even more important in semiarid regions where downstream water users may be totally reliant on upstream reservoir releases. If the water resources are shared between upstream and downstream countries, potentially opposite interests arise as is the case in the Syrdarya river in Central Asia. In this case study, remote sensing data (radar altimetry and optical imagery) are used to highlight the potential of satellite data to monitor water resources: water height, areal extent and storage variations. New results from 20 years of monitoring using satellites over the Syrdarya basin are presented. The accuracy of satellite data is 0.6 km3 using a combination of MODIS data and satellite altimetry, and only 0.2 km3 with Landsat images representing 2-4% of average annual reservoir volume variations in the reservoirs in the Syrdarya basin. With future missions such as Sentinel-3A (S3A), Sentinel-3B (S3B) and surface water and ocean topography (SWOT), significant improvement is expected. The SWOT mission’s main payload (a radar interferometer in Ka band) will furthermore provide 2D maps of water height, reservoirs, lakes, rivers and floodplains, with a temporal resolution of 21 days. At the global scale, the SWOT mission will cover reservoirs with areal extents greater than 250 × 250 m with 20 cm accuracy.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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. Extreme Space Weather on Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. Study of the crust and mantle using magnetic surveys by Magsat and other satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Langel, Robert A.

    1990-01-01

    This article summarizes some of the methodology and results for studies of the earth's mantle and crust. Mantle conductivity studies can be made either by studying signals impressed on the earth from outside, e.g., the ionosphere or magnetosphere, or by studing signals originating in the core and transmitted through the mantle. Crustal field studies begin with a careful selection of the data and subsequent removal of core and external fields by some sort of filtering. Average maps from different local times sometimes differ, presumably due to the remaining presence of fields of external origin. Several techniques for further filtering are discussed. Where large-area aeromagnetic maps are available, crustal maps derived from satellite data can be compared with upward continued data. In general, the comparisons show agreement, with some differences, particularly in and near the auroral belts. The satellite data are further reduced by various methods of inverse and forward modeling, sometimes including reduction to the pole. These techniques are generally unstable at the equator. Common methods of stabilizing the inversions include principle components analysis and ridge regression. Because of the presence of the core field, the entire crustal contribution from the field is not known. Also, there is a basic nonuniqueness to the inverse solutions. Nevertheless, magnetizations that are interpretable can be derived.

  9. Using satellite remote sensing and household survey data to assess human health and nutrition response to environmental change.

    PubMed

    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 vectorborne 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. PMID:25132700

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Tidal evolution of close-in exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correia, A. C. M.; Boué, G.; Laskar, J.; Rodriguez, A.

    2014-04-01

    The continuous action of tides modify the rotation of close-in planets together with its orbit until an equilibrium situation is reached. It is often believed that synchronous motion is the most probable outcome of the tidal evolution process, since synchronous rotation is observed for the majority of the satellites in the solar system. However, in the 19th century, Schiaparelli also assumed synchronous motion for the rotations of Mercury and Venus, and was later proven wrong. Rather, for planets in eccentric orbits, synchronous rotation is very unlikely. Based on the well-studied cases in the solar system, we can make some predictions for close-in planets. Here we describe in detail the main tidal effects that modify the secular evolution of the spin and the orbit of a planet. We then apply our knowledge acquired from solar system situations to exoplanet cases. In particular, we will focus on two classes of planets, hot Jupiters (fluid) and super-Earths (rocky with atmosphere).

  18. 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

  19. Combining satellite remote sensing and surveys to understand persistent yield variation--- a case study in North China Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Y.; Lobell, D. B.; Chen, X.

    2015-12-01

    A large gap between maize yields on average farmers' fields and the highest yields achieved by either experiment or farmers is typical throughout the developing world, including in the North China Plain (NCP). This maize yield gap as identified by previous studies indicates large opportunities for raising yield by improving agronomy. Quzhou county is typical of the winter-wheat summer-maize system in NCP where the average plot size is as small as 0.25 hectares. To analyze this cropping system amidst the challenge of substantial heterogeneity, we identified fields that were either persistently higher or lower yielding according to the remote sensing yield estimates, and then conducted detailed field surveys. We found irrigation facility to be a major constraint to yield both in terms of irrigation water quality and farmers' access to wells. In total, improving the access to unsalty water would be associated with a 0.32t/ha (4.2%) increase in multi-year average yield. In addition, farmers' method of choosing cultivar, which likely relates to their overall knowledge level, significantly explained yield variation. In particular, those choosing cultivars according to technician advice, personal experiences and high yielding neighbors' advice had on average higher yield than farmers that either followed seed sellers' advice or collectively purchased seeds. Overall, the study presents a generalizable methodology of assessing yield gap as well as its persistent factors using a combination of satellite and survey data.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Tamura, Motohide

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Time Domain Challenges for Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dawson, Rebekah Ilene

    2016-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

    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.

  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

    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. 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

  16. Discussion on application of WorldView 2 satellite data in West Kunlun metallogenic belt remote sensing geological survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiao-peng; Yang, Zhi-qiang; Kang, Gao-feng; Wang, Jun-feng; Jin, Mou-shun

    2014-05-01

    Studding on the remote sensing geological survey in Tashkurgan area of west Kunlun Metallogenic belt using the latest Worldview 2 high resolution satellite image, using Optimum index factor (OIF) select the band combination suitable for this area to do strata and Lithology interpretation is B8, B4 and B3, and test different image enhancement method for mineralization alteration information such as band ratio, principal component analysis (PCA). Carried out lithology, geological structure and mineralization belt and ore body interpretation on the basis of remote sensing data after processing. The results show that the ratio band combination can identify multiple sets of diorite, marble, schist and the lithological boundaries between them clearly; the principal component transform method can enhance the boundary between black biotite-quartz schist and white granite, meanwhile it can clearly reflect the schist by a different hue and brightness level due to contained different mineral such as quartz, mica, feldspar and others, iron mineralized belt is also exposed very well. Spectrum measurement has been done for the rock and mineral in test area. Lithology inversion and mineralization anomaly information extraction test have been carried out afterwards. The test result proved that the single mineral composition rock such as marble is suitable for spectral inversion. The principal component transform of bands B1, B4, B8, and B6 is used to extract iron alteration from worldView2 data, the result shows that PC3 is the main component containing iron alteration abnormal information. Compared with the abnormalities extracted from worldview2 and low resolution satellite image such as ETM , Aster, we found that they can only distinguish wide range distributed mineralizing alteration information, their identification accuracy is not as good as Worldview2. WorldView2 data contained more abundant information and has higher resolution, it not only able to identify a wide range of

  17. 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…

  18. Discovery of A Break in the Exoplanet Mass-Ratio Function beyond the Snow Line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, Daisuke; Bennett, David

    2015-12-01

    We present the discovery of a break in the exoplanet mass ratio function beyond the snow line from the statistical analysis of microlensing survey data. We find a break and possible peak of the mass ratio function at q ~ 1.e-4. This corresponds to a Neptune mass for a typical 0.5 solar mass host star. Six years of MOA survey data are used to measure the planet frequency as a function of the planet/star mass ratio and separation. The MOA sample includes 1472 well characterized microlensing events, including 22 planetary events and 1 probable planetary event. We calculate the detection efficiency for each event and employ a Bayesian analysis to deal with ambiguities. The measured planet frequency with the MOA data is somewhat lower, but consistent with, previous microlensing results. The break of the mass ratio function is also confirmed with the full microlensing sample using 30 planets. This study implies that Neptunes and failed Jupiter cores are the most common type of planets beyond the snow line. The method we have developed to determine the exoplanet frequency from microlensing survey data can be applied to future exoplanet microlensing surveys, like WFIRST, Euclid, and KMTNet that are expected to dominate the exoplanet microlensing field in the coming decades.

  19. 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.

  20. Detecting Exoplanets with the George Mason University Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renaud, J.

    2014-04-01

    The George Mason Exoplanet Team has become an official follow up team for the KELT Survey. Research areas for the team include: Transit Timing Variations, High-altitude spectroscopy, and characterization of extrasolar planets. Detections were performed using the STX 16803 and filter wheel STX-FW7 at the George Mason 0.8m Telescope. We will present observed transit characteristics of Kelt-1b, HD189733b, WASP-33b, as well as others - discussing the transit depths, timing variations, and data reduction methods.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Highlights in the study of exoplanet atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Burrows, Adam S

    2014-09-18

    Exoplanets are now being discovered in profusion. To understand their character, however, we require spectral models and data. These elements of remote sensing can yield temperatures, compositions and even weather patterns, but only if significant improvements in both the parameter retrieval process and measurements are made. Despite heroic efforts to garner constraining data on exoplanet atmospheres and dynamics, reliable interpretation has frequently lagged behind ambition. I summarize the most productive, and at times novel, methods used to probe exoplanet atmospheres; highlight some of the most interesting results obtained; and suggest various broad theoretical topics in which further work could pay significant dividends. PMID:25230656

  5. Seasonal thermal fronts on the northern South China Sea shelf: Satellite measurements and three repeated field surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jing, Zhiyou; Qi, Yiquan; Fox-Kemper, Baylor; Du, Yan; Lian, Shumin

    2016-03-01

    Seasonal thermal fronts associated with wind-driven coastal downwelling/upwelling in the northern South China Sea are investigated using satellite measurements and three repeated fine-resolution mapping surveys in winter, spring, and summer. The results show that vigorous thermal fronts develop over the broad shelf with variable widths and intensities in different seasons, which tend to be approximately aligned with the 20-100 m isobaths. Driven by the prevailing winter/summer monsoon, the band-shaped fronts were observed with a magnitude exceeding 0.1°C/km in the subsurface, and accompanied by energetic coastal downwelling/upwelling due to shoreward/offshore Ekman transport. The downward/upward tilting of seasonal thermoclines across the shelf exceeds 20 m, significantly contributing to the development of thermal fronts over the shelf. In addition, the diagnostic analysis of Potential Vorticity (PV) suggests that the summer frontal activities induced by the coastal upwelling are more stable to convection and symmetric instabilities in comparison to the winter fronts associated with downwelling-favorable monsoon forcing. This is primarily due to their essential differences in the upper ocean stratification and horizontal buoyancy gradients arising from wind forcing. At the same time, the coastal currents are substantially regulated by the seasonal winds. An expected lag correlation between the velocity from mooring measurements and alongshore wind stress is detected near the frontal region. These results indicate that seasonal wind forcing plays an important role in the frontal activities and coastal water transport over the shelf.

  6. Earth as an Exoplanet: Lessons in Recognizing Planetary Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meadows, Victoria; Robinson, Tyler; Misra, Amit; Ennico, Kimberly; Sparks, William B.; Claire, Mark; Crisp, David; Schwieterman, Edward; Bussey, D. Ben J.; Breiner, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Earth will always be our best-studied example of a habitable world. While extrasolar planets are unlikely to look exactly like Earth, they may share key characteristics, such as oceans, clouds and surface inhomogeneity. Earth's globally-averaged characteristics can therefore help us to recognize planetary habitability in data-limited exoplanet observations. One of the most straightforward ways to detect habitability will be via detection of 'glint', specular reflectance from an ocean (Robinson et al., 2010). Other methods include undertaking a census of atmospheric greenhouse gases, or attempting to measure planetary surface temperature and pressure, to determine if liquid water would be feasible on the planetary surface. Here we present recent research on detecting planetary habitability, led by the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team. This work includes a collaboration with the NASA Lunar Science Institute on the detection of ocean glint and ozone absorption using Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Earth observations (Robinson et al., 2014). This data/model comparison provides the first observational test of a technique that could be used to determine exoplanet habitability from disk-integrated observations at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. We find that the VPL spectral Earth model is in excellent agreement with the LCROSS Earth data, and can be used to reliably predict Earth's appearance at a range of phases relevant to exoplanet observations. Determining atmospheric surface pressure and temperature directly for a potentially habitable planet will be challenging due to the lack of spatial-resolution, presence of clouds, and difficulty in spectrally detecting many bulk constituents of terrestrial atmospheres. Additionally, Rayleigh scattering can be masked by absorbing gases and absorption from the underlying surface. However, new techniques using molecular dimers of oxygen (Misra et al., 2014) and nitrogen

  7. Habitability: From solar system planets to Earth-like exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lammer, H.

    2007-08-01

    For understanding the principles that generated Earth's long-time habitable environment compared with other terrestrial Solar System planets like Venus and Mars and terrestrial exoplanets inside the habitable zones of late-type stars, one has to understand the evolutionary influence of the solar/stellar radiation and particle environment to the atmosphere and surface. Because the spectral type of the star plays a major role in the photochemistry and evolution of planetary atmospheres and their water inventories must be understood within the context of the evolving stellar energy and particle fluxes. An only stable and dense enough atmosphere, which allows water to be liquid over geological time periods and protects the planetary surface from hostile radiation, will allow the evolution of surface life and Earth-like biospheres. Such long-time habitable environments are ideal cases of course, but life may have also originated in other habitats in the young Solar System. Such habitats could have been the environments of early Venus and Mars, subsurface (during formation maybe surface) oceans of icy satellites like in Europa, Titan, Encleadus, in hydrocarbon lakes of Titan, etc. Therefore, studies related to habitability and comparative planetology in the Solar System are essential for precursor studies dedicated to the investigation of habitability of terrestrial exoplanets.With comparative planetology one means the investigation on how different planetary systems and their individual planets - and particularly Earth-like ones - are formed, how they evolve in their radiation and particle interaction with their host stars under different circumstances, how often they give rise to conditions that could in principle be benevolent enough for the origin of life to occur, and even whether life as we know it could have arisen on any world in Earth's neighborhood. The presentation will point out the synergy of these studies and latest theoretical models currently applied for

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Sagittarius II, Draco II and Laevens 3: Three New Milky Way Satellites Discovered in the Pan-STARRS 1 3 Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laevens, Benjamin P. M.; Martin, Nicolas F.; Bernard, Edouard J.; Schlafly, Edward F.; Sesar, Branimir; Rix, Hans-Walter; Bell, Eric F.; Ferguson, Annette M. N.; Slater, Colin T.; Sweeney, William E.; Wyse, Rosemary F. G.; Huxor, Avon P.; Burgett, William S.; Chambers, Kenneth C.; Draper, Peter W.; Hodapp, Klaus A.; Kaiser, Nicholas; Magnier, Eugene A.; Metcalfe, Nigel; Tonry, John L.; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Waters, Christopher

    2015-11-01

    We present the discovery of three new Milky Way satellites from our search for compact stellar overdensities in the photometric catalog of the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System 1 (Pan-STARRS 1, or PS1) 3π survey. The first satellite, Laevens 3, is located at a heliocentric distance of d = 67 ± 3 kpc. With a total magnitude of MV = ‑4.4 ± 0.3 and a half-light radius of rh = 7 ± 2 pc, its properties resemble those of outer halo globular clusters. The second system, Draco II/Laevens 4, is a closer and fainter satellite (d ∼ 20 kpc, MV = ‑2.9 ± 0.8), whose uncertain size ({r}h={19}-6+8 {pc}) renders its classification difficult without kinematic information; it could either be a faint and extended globular cluster or a faint and compact dwarf galaxy. The third satellite, Sagittarius II/Laevens 5 (Sgr II), has an ambiguous nature, as it is either the most compact dwarf galaxy or the most extended globular cluster in its luminosity range ({r}h={37}-8+9 {pc} and MV = ‑5.2 ± 0.4). At a heliocentric distance of 67 ± 5 kpc, this satellite lies intriguingly close to the expected location of the trailing arm of the Sagittarius stellar stream behind the Sagittarius dwarf spheroidal galaxy (Sgr dSph). If confirmed through spectroscopic follow up, this connection would locate this part of the trailing arm of the Sagittarius stellar stream that has so far gone undetected. It would further suggest that Sgr II was brought into the Milky Way halo as a satellite of the Sgr dSph.

  12. Sagittarius II, Draco II and Laevens 3: Three New Milky Way Satellites Discovered in the Pan-STARRS 1 3π Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laevens, Benjamin P. M.; Martin, Nicolas F.; Bernard, Edouard J.; Schlafly, Edward F.; Sesar, Branimir; Rix, Hans-Walter; Bell, Eric F.; Ferguson, Annette M. N.; Slater, Colin T.; Sweeney, William E.; Wyse, Rosemary F. G.; Huxor, Avon P.; Burgett, William S.; Chambers, Kenneth C.; Draper, Peter W.; Hodapp, Klaus A.; Kaiser, Nicholas; Magnier, Eugene A.; Metcalfe, Nigel; Tonry, John L.; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Waters, Christopher

    2015-11-01

    We present the discovery of three new Milky Way satellites from our search for compact stellar overdensities in the photometric catalog of the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System 1 (Pan-STARRS 1, or PS1) 3π survey. The first satellite, Laevens 3, is located at a heliocentric distance of d = 67 ± 3 kpc. With a total magnitude of MV = -4.4 ± 0.3 and a half-light radius of rh = 7 ± 2 pc, its properties resemble those of outer halo globular clusters. The second system, Draco II/Laevens 4, is a closer and fainter satellite (d ˜ 20 kpc, MV = -2.9 ± 0.8), whose uncertain size ({r}h={19}-6+8 {pc}) renders its classification difficult without kinematic information; it could either be a faint and extended globular cluster or a faint and compact dwarf galaxy. The third satellite, Sagittarius II/Laevens 5 (Sgr II), has an ambiguous nature, as it is either the most compact dwarf galaxy or the most extended globular cluster in its luminosity range ({r}h={37}-8+9 {pc} and MV = -5.2 ± 0.4). At a heliocentric distance of 67 ± 5 kpc, this satellite lies intriguingly close to the expected location of the trailing arm of the Sagittarius stellar stream behind the Sagittarius dwarf spheroidal galaxy (Sgr dSph). If confirmed through spectroscopic follow up, this connection would locate this part of the trailing arm of the Sagittarius stellar stream that has so far gone undetected. It would further suggest that Sgr II was brought into the Milky Way halo as a satellite of the Sgr dSph.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Spectra as windows into exoplanet atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Burrows, Adam S

    2014-09-01

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

  16. Spectra as windows into exoplanet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burrows, Adam S.

    2014-09-01

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

  17. Spectra as windows into exoplanet atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Burrows, Adam S

    2014-09-01

    Understanding a planet's atmosphere is a necessary condition for understanding not only the planet itself, but also its formation, structure, evolution, and habitability. This requirement puts a premium on obtaining spectra and developing credible interpretative tools with which to retrieve vital planetary information. However, for exoplanets, these twin goals are far from being realized. In this paper, I provide a personal perspective on exoplanet theory and remote sensing via photometry and low-resolution spectroscopy. Although not a review in any sense, this paper highlights the limitations in our knowledge of compositions, thermal profiles, and the effects of stellar irradiation, focusing on, but not restricted to, transiting giant planets. I suggest that the true function of the recent past of exoplanet atmospheric research has been not to constrain planet properties for all time, but to train a new generation of scientists who, by rapid trial and error, are fast establishing a solid future foundation for a robust science of exoplanets. PMID:24613929

  18. Exoplanets and their Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, J.

    2016-06-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. SMALL-SCALE STRUCTURE IN THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY AND {Lambda}CDM: ISOLATED {approx}L{sub *} GALAXIES WITH BRIGHT SATELLITES

    SciTech Connect

    Tollerud, Erik J.; Boylan-Kolchin, Michael; Barton, Elizabeth J.; Bullock, James S.; Trinh, Christopher Q. E-mail: ebarton@uci.edu E-mail: bullock@uci.edu

    2011-09-01

    We use a volume-limited spectroscopic sample of isolated galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to investigate the frequency and radial distribution of luminous (M{sub r} {approx}< -18.3) satellites like the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) around {approx}L{sub *} Milky Way (MW) analogs and compare our results object-by-object to {Lambda}CDM predictions based on abundance matching in simulations. We show that 12% of MW-like galaxies host an LMC-like satellite within 75 kpc (projected), and 42% within 250 kpc (projected). This implies {approx}10% have a satellite within the distance of the LMC, and {approx}40% of L{sub *} galaxies host a bright satellite within the virialized extent of their dark matter halos. Remarkably, the simulation reproduces the observed frequency, radial dependence, velocity distribution, and luminosity function of observed secondaries exceptionally well, suggesting that {Lambda}CDM provides an accurate reproduction of the observed universe to galaxies as faint as L {approx} 10{sup 9} L{sub sun} on {approx}50 kpc scales. When stacked, the observed projected pairwise velocity dispersion of these satellites is {sigma} {approx_equal} 160 km s{sup -1}, in agreement with abundance-matching expectations for their host halo masses. Finally, bright satellites around L{sub *} primaries are significantly redder than typical galaxies in their luminosity range, indicating that environmental quenching is operating within galaxy-size dark matter halos that typically contain only a single bright satellite. This redness trend is in stark contrast to the MW's LMC, which is unusually blue even for a field galaxy. We suggest that the LMC's discrepant color might be further evidence that it is undergoing a triggered star formation event upon first infall.

  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

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

    2013-08-01

    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 (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. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apai, Daniel

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clampin, Mark

    2015-07-01

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

  7. Observed Exoplanets and Intelligent Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, G. H. A.

    2006-05-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Next Generation Virgo Survey Photometry and Keck/DEIMOS Spectroscopy of Globular Cluster Satellites of Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guhathakurta, Puragra; Toloba, Elisa; Peng, Eric W.; Li, Biao; Gwyn, Stephen; Ferrarese, Laura; Cote, Patrick; Chu, Jason; Sparkman, Lea; Chen, Stephanie; Yagati, Samyukta; Muller, Meredith; Next Generation Virgo Survey Collaboration

    2015-01-01

    We present results from an ongoing study of globular cluster (GC) satellites of low-luminosity dwarf elliptical (dE) galaxies in the Virgo cluster. Our 21 dE targets and candidate GC satellites around them in the apparent magnitude range g ~ 20-24 were selected from the Next Generation Virgo Survey (NGVS) and followed up with medium-resolution Keck/DEIMOS spectroscopy (resolving power: R ~ 2000; wavelength coverage: 4800-9500 Angstrom). In addition, the remaining space available on the nine DEIMOS multi-slit masks were populated with "filler" targets in the form of distant Milky Way halo star candidates in a comparable apparent magnitude range. A combination of radial velocity information (measured from the Keck/DEIMOS spectra), color-color information (from four-band NGVS photometry), and sky position information was used to sort the sample into the following categories: (1) GC satellites of dEs, (2) other non-satellite GCs in the Virgo cluster (we dub them "orphan" GCs), (3) foreground Milky Way stars that are members of the Sagittarius stream, the Virgo overdensity, or the field halo population, and (4) distant background galaxies. We stack the GC satellite population across all 21 host dEs and carry out dynamical modeling of the stacked sample in order to constrain the average mass of dark matter halos that these dEs are embedded in. We study rotation in the system of GC satellites of dEs in the handful of more populated systems in our sample - i.e., those that contain 10 or more GC satellites per dE. A companion AAS poster presented at this meeting (Chu, J. et al. 2015) presents chemical composition and age constraints for these GC satellites relative to the nuclei of the host dEs based on absorption line strengths in co-added spectra. The orphan GCs are likely to be intergalactic GCs within the Virgo cluster (or, equivalently, GCs in the remote outer envelope of the cluster's central galaxy, the giant elliptical M87).This project is funded in part by the

  11. Modeling transiting exoplanet and spots For interferometric study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  12. Volcanic SO2 fluxes derived from satellite data: a survey using OMI, GOME-2, IASI and MODIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theys, N.; Campion, R.; Clarisse, L.; Brenot, H.; van Gent, J.; Dils, B.; Corradini, S.; Merucci, L.; Coheur, P.-F.; Van Roozendael, M.; Hurtmans, D.; Clerbaux, C.; Tait, S.; Ferrucci, F.

    2013-06-01

    Sulphur dioxide (SO2) fluxes of active degassing volcanoes are routinely measured with ground-based equipment to characterize and monitor volcanic activity. SO2 of unmonitored volcanoes or from explosive volcanic eruptions, can be measured with satellites. However, remote-sensing methods based on absorption spectroscopy generally provide integrated amounts of already dispersed plumes of SO2 and satellite derived flux estimates are rarely reported. Here we review a number of different techniques to derive volcanic SO2 fluxes using satellite measurements of plumes of SO2 and investigate the temporal evolution of the total emissions of SO2 for three very different volcanic events in 2011: Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (Chile), Nyamulagira (DR Congo) and Nabro (Eritrea). High spectral resolution satellite instruments operating both in the ultraviolet-visible (OMI/Aura and GOME-2/MetOp-A) and thermal infrared (IASI/MetOp-A) spectral ranges, and multispectral satellite instruments operating in the thermal infrared (MODIS/Terra-Aqua) are used. We show that satellite data can provide fluxes with a sampling of a day or less (few hours in the best case). Generally the flux results from the different methods are consistent, and we discuss the advantages and weaknesses of each technique. Although the primary objective of this study is the calculation of SO2 fluxes, it also enables us to assess the consistency of the SO2 products from the different sensors used.

  13. Volcanic SO2 fluxes derived from satellite data: a survey using OMI, GOME-2, IASI and MODIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theys, N.; Campion, R.; Clarisse, L.; Brenot, H.; van Gent, J.; Dils, B.; Corradini, S.; Merucci, L.; Coheur, P.-F.; Van Roozendael, M.; Hurtmans, D.; Clerbaux, C.; Tait, S.; Ferrucci, F.

    2012-12-01

    Sulphur dioxide (SO2) fluxes of active degassing volcanoes are routinely measured with ground-based equipment to characterize and monitor volcanic activity. SO2 of unmonitored volcanoes or from explosive volcanic eruptions, can be measured with satellites. However, remote-sensing methods based on absorption spectroscopy generally provide integrated amounts of already dispersed plumes of SO2 and satellite derived flux estimates are rarely reported. Here we review a number of different techniques to derive volcanic SO2 fluxes using satellite measurements of dispersed and large-scale plumes of SO2 and investigate the temporal evolution of the total emissions of SO2 for three very different volcanic events in 2011: Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (Chile), Nyamulagira (DR Congo) and Nabro (Eritrea). High spectral resolution satellite instruments operating both in the UV-visible (OMI/Aura and GOME-2/MetOp-A) and thermal infrared (IASI/MetOp-A) spectral ranges, and multispectral satellite instruments operating in the thermal infrared (MODIS/Terra-Aqua) are used. We show that satellite data can provide fluxes with a sampling of a day or less (few hours in the best case). Generally the flux results from the different methods are consistent, and we discuss the advantages and weaknesses of each technique. Although the primary objective of this study is the calculation of SO2 fluxes, it also enables to assess the consistency of the SO2 products from the different sensors used.

  14. 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.

  15. Constraining exoplanet mass from transmission spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    de Wit, Julien; Seager, Sara

    2013-12-20

    Determination of an exoplanet's mass is a key to understanding its basic properties, including its potential for supporting life. To date, mass constraints for exoplanets are predominantly based on radial velocity (RV) measurements, which are not suited for planets with low masses, large semimajor axes, or those orbiting faint or active stars. Here, we present a method to extract an exoplanet's mass solely from its transmission spectrum. We find good agreement between the mass retrieved for the hot Jupiter HD 189733b from transmission spectroscopy with that from RV measurements. Our method will be able to retrieve the masses of Earth-sized and super-Earth planets using data from future space telescopes that were initially designed for atmospheric characterization. PMID:24357312

  16. Test Particle Stability in Exoplanet Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frewen, Shane; Hansen, B. M.

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. SPICA: Mid-IR exoplanet spectroscopy in Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Possible climates on terrestrial exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Forget, F; Leconte, J

    2014-04-28

    What kind of environment may exist on terrestrial planets around other stars? In spite of the lack of direct observations, it may not be premature to speculate on exoplanetary climates, for instance, to optimize future telescopic observations or to assess the probability of habitable worlds. To begin with, climate primarily depends on (i) the atmospheric composition and the volatile inventory; (ii) the incident stellar flux; and (iii) the tidal evolution of the planetary spin, which can notably lock a planet with a permanent night side. The atmospheric composition and mass depends on complex processes, which are difficult to model: origins of volatiles, atmospheric escape, geochemistry, photochemistry, etc. We discuss physical constraints, which can help us to speculate on the possible type of atmosphere, depending on the planet size, its final distance for its star and the star type. Assuming that the atmosphere is known, the possible climates can be explored using global climate models analogous to the ones developed to simulate the Earth as well as the other telluric atmospheres in the solar system. Our experience with Mars, Titan and Venus suggests that realistic climate simulators can be developed by combining components, such as a 'dynamical core', a radiative transfer solver, a parametrization of subgrid-scale turbulence and convection, a thermal ground model and a volatile phase change code. On this basis, we can aspire to build reliable climate predictors for exoplanets. However, whatever the accuracy of the models, predicting the actual climate regime on a specific planet will remain challenging because climate systems are affected by strong positive feedbacks. They can drive planets with very similar forcing and volatile inventory to completely different states. For instance, the coupling among temperature, volatile phase changes and radiative properties results in instabilities, such as runaway glaciations and runaway greenhouse effect. PMID:24664919

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugrauer, M.; Ginski, C.

    2015-07-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Detection Limit for the Globally Distributed Falcon Telescope Network and Viability for Exoplanet Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novotny, Steven; Polsgrove, Daniel; Chun, Francis; Tippets, Roger; Della-Rose, Devin J.; carlson, randall

    2016-01-01

    The Falcon Telescope Network (FTN) is a globally distributed system of twelve 20-inch robotic telescopes that will be centrally controlled from the Cadet Space Operations Center (CSOC) at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. In an effort to explore the viability of using the FTN for an exoplanet survey, each site will be characterized to demonstrate the ability to detect and collect accurate photometry on a variety of targets, specifically on nearby (< 25 pc) late-type M Dwarf stars. Values for the limiting magnitude of the optical system using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey i' and z' filters were estimated through a radiative transport approach and validated through a parallel observing campaign. The results of this campaign are presented and will be used as constraints on future projects in exoplanet research, studies in Space Situational Awareness (SSA), and detection and tracking of near-earth objects.

  4. Thermal Infrared Satellite survey at the time of M9 Tohoku earthquake/tsunami (Japan, March 11, 2011)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genzano, N.; Tramutoli, V.; Lisi, M.; Filizzola, C.; Paciello, R.; Corrado, R.; Mazzeo, G.; Pergola, N.

    2011-12-01

    A Robust Satellite data analysis Technique (RST) has been proposed to investigate possible relations between earthquake occurrence and space-time fluctuations of Earth's emitted TIR radiation observed from satellite. The RST analysis is based on a statistically definition of "TIR anomalies" allowing their identification even in very different natural (e.g. related to atmosphere and/or surface) and observational (e.g. related to time/season, but also to solar and satellite zenithal angles) conditions. The correlation analysis (in the space-time domain) with earthquake occurrence is always carried out by using a validation/confutation approach, in order to verify the presence/absence of anomalous space-time TIR transients in the presence/absence of significant seismic activity. The RST approach was already tested in the case of 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). In this paper results achieved by applying RST analysis to several years of TIR satellite records collected from the geostationary satellite MTSAT over Japan area, will be presented for the case of Tohoku earthquake (M9, March 11, 2011). For the first time it was possible to detect, also over the sea, significant TIR anomalies, in some space-time relation with the occurrence of an earthquake having its epicenter offshore. Consequences of such results on physical models until now proposed to explain possible correlation among TIR anomalies and earthquake's preparatory phases will be also discussed.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biller, Beth

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Generation of an optimal target list for the exoplanet characterisation observatory (EChO)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varley, R.; Waldmann, I.; Pascale, E.; Tessenyi, M.; Hollis, M.; Morales, J. C.; Tinetti, G.; Swinyard, B.; Deroo, P.; Ollivier, M.; Micela, G.

    2015-12-01

    The Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory (EChO) has been studied as a space mission concept by the European Space Agency in the context of the M3 selection process. Through direct measurement of the atmospheric chemical composition of hundreds of exoplanets, EChO would address fundamental questions such as: What are exoplanets made of? How do planets form and evolve? What is the origin of exoplanet diversity? More specifically, EChO is a dedicated survey mission for transit and eclipse spectroscopy capable of observing a large, diverse and well-defined planetary sample within its four to six year mission lifetime. In this paper we use the end-to-end instrument simulator EChOSim to model the currently discovered targets, to gauge which targets are observable and assess the EChO performances obtainable for each observing tier and time. We show that EChO would be capable of observing over 170 relativity diverse planets if it were launched today, and the wealth of optimal targets for EChO expected to be discovered in the next 10 years by space and ground-based facilities is simply overwhelming. In addition, we build on previous molecular detectability studies to show what molecules and abundances will be detectable by EChO for a selection of real targets with various molecular compositions and abundances. EChO's unique contribution to exoplanetary science will be in identifying the main constituents of hundreds of exoplanets in various mass/temperature regimes, meaning that we will be looking no longer at individual cases but at populations. Such a universal view is critical if we truly want to understand the processes of planet formation and evolution in various environments. In this paper we present a selection of key results. The full results are available in Online Resource 1.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. The Young Exoplanet Transit Initiative (YETI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Geosat survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    The Geosat Committee, a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to improving satellite remote sensing for geological applications, is surveying the international geological community to determine the most important areas of the world for the exploration of nonrenewable resources. The results of this survey, whose sources will be kept confidential, will be given as recommendations for early satellite-scene selection to the the U.S. government (via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and to other countries with satellites or ground receiving stations.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Infrared spectroscopy of exoplanets: observational constraints.

    PubMed

    Encrenaz, Thérèse

    2014-04-28

    The exploration of transiting extrasolar planets is an exploding research area in astronomy. With more than 400 transiting exoplanets identified so far, these discoveries have made possible the development of a new research field, the spectroscopic characterization of exoplanets' atmospheres, using both primary and secondary transits. However, these observations have been so far limited to a small number of targets. In this paper, we first review the advantages and limitations of both primary and secondary transit methods. Then, we analyse what kind of infrared spectra can be expected for different types of planets and discuss how to optimize the spectral range and the resolving power of the observations. Finally, we propose a list of favourable targets for present and future ground-based observations.

  9. Infrared spectroscopy of exoplanets: observational constraints.

    PubMed

    Encrenaz, Thérèse

    2014-04-28

    The exploration of transiting extrasolar planets is an exploding research area in astronomy. With more than 400 transiting exoplanets identified so far, these discoveries have made possible the development of a new research field, the spectroscopic characterization of exoplanets' atmospheres, using both primary and secondary transits. However, these observations have been so far limited to a small number of targets. In this paper, we first review the advantages and limitations of both primary and secondary transit methods. Then, we analyse what kind of infrared spectra can be expected for different types of planets and discuss how to optimize the spectral range and the resolving power of the observations. Finally, we propose a list of favourable targets for present and future ground-based observations. PMID:24664918

  10. Exoplanet Science with E-ELT/METIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quanz, S. P.

    2015-10-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The far future of exoplanet direct characterization.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Jean; Léger, Alain; Fridlund, Malcolm; White, Glenn J; Eiroa, Carlos; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Lammer, Helmut; Liseau, René; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Selsis, Franck; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Lunine, Jonathan; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna

    2010-01-01

    We describe future steps in the direct characterization of habitable exoplanets subsequent to medium and large mission projects currently underway and investigate the benefits of spectroscopic and direct imaging approaches. We show that, after third- and fourth-generation missions have been conducted over the course of the next 100 years, a significant amount of time will lapse before we will have the capability to observe directly the morphology of extrasolar organisms. PMID:20307188

  17. 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.

  18. Detection and characterization of exoplanets: from gaseous giants to super-Earths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Udry, S.

    2010-10-01

    The past 15 years of radial-velocity exoplanet detections have provided a wealth of observational results helping to constrain planet formation models. In particular important progress has been made with the detection of a large population of Neptune-mass and super-Earth planets. In parallel, transit-search surveys on the ground and in space are becoming more and more productive, giving access to planetary physical parameters previously unavailable, as the planet radius and mean density, key information to assess the planet internal structure. In this presentation I will review the latest findings from radial-velocity and transit surveys in the light of the prediction of planet formation scenarios.

  19. 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})

  20. THE FREQUENCY OF LOW-MASS EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-08-20

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

  1. 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.

  2. Archaeology and direct imaging of exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, John B.

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

  3. 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.

  4. LACERTA I AND CASSIOPEIA III. TWO LUMINOUS AND DISTANT ANDROMEDA SATELLITE DWARF GALAXIES FOUND IN THE 3{pi} PAN-STARRS1 SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, Nicolas F.; Laevens, Benjamin P. M.; Slater, Colin T.; Bell, Eric F.; Schlafly, Edward F.; Morganson, Eric; Rix, Hans-Walter; Bernard, Edouard J.; Ferguson, Annette M. N.; Finkbeiner, Douglas P.; Burgett, William S.; Chambers, Kenneth C.; Hodapp, Klaus W.; Kaiser, Nicholas; Kudritzki, Rolf-Peter; Magnier, Eugene A.; Morgan, Jeffrey S.; Tonry, John L.; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Price, Paul A.

    2013-07-20

    We report the discovery of two new dwarf galaxies, Lacerta I/Andromeda XXXI (Lac I/And XXXI) and Cassiopeia III/Andromeda XXXII (Cas III/And XXXII), in stacked Pan-STARRS1 r{sub P1}- and i{sub P1}-band imaging data. Both are luminous systems (M{sub V} {approx} -12) located at projected distances of 20. Degree-Sign 3 and 10. Degree-Sign 5 from M31. Lac I and Cas III are likely satellites of the Andromeda galaxy with heliocentric distances of 756{sup +44}{sub -28} kpc and 772{sup +61}{sub -56} kpc, respectively, and corresponding M31-centric distances of 275 {+-} 7 kpc and 144{sup +6}{sub -4} kpc. The brightest of recent Local Group member discoveries, these two new dwarf galaxies owe their late discovery to their large sizes (r{sub h} = 4.2{sup +0.4}{sub -0.5} arcmin or 912{sup +124}{sub -93} pc for Lac I; r{sub h} = 6.5{sup +1.2}{sub -1.0} arcmin or 1456 {+-} 267 pc for Cas III) and consequently low surface brightness ({mu}{sub 0} {approx} 26.0 mag arcsec{sup -2}), as well as to the lack of a systematic survey of regions at large radii from M31, close to the Galactic plane. This latter limitation is now alleviated by the 3{pi} Pan-STARRS1 survey, which could lead to the discovery of other distant Andromeda satellite dwarf galaxies.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. A global survey of intense surface plankton blooms and floating vegetation using the European MERIS satellite sensor (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gower, J. F.; King, S.

    2009-12-01

    The MERIS imager, launched in June 2002 on the European Envisat satellite, has spectral bands which give a new capability for detection of plankton blooms and aquatic vegetation. This should have significant value in detecting these forms of natural hazard. MERIS has now been in orbit long enough to provide significant information on global distributions and trends. We use MERIS data to compute MCI (Maximum Chlorophyll Index), which measures the radiance peak at 709 nm in water-leaving radiance, indicating the presence of a high surface concentration of chlorophyll a against a scattering background. The index is high in “red tide” conditions (intense, visible, surface, plankton blooms) and also when the blooms give rise to buoyant slicks, or when aquatic vegetation is present, leading to a “red edge” step increase in radiance. A bloom search based on MCI has resulted in detection of a variety of events in oceans, coastal waters and lakes round the world, including blooms among Antarctic ice and extensive areas of pelagic vegetation (Sargassum spp.), previously unreported in the scientific literature. This paper gives a summary of the results, showing examples.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Young Exo-Planet Transit Initiative (YETI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  20. 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).

  1. A Desktop Transiting Exoplanet Shimer, Aurnou

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimer, P.; Aurnou, J. M.

    2013-12-01

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

  2. Exoplanet Observation from the Vattican Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, Kyle; Zellem, Rob; Griffith, Caitlin

    2014-11-01

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

  3. Searches for Exoplanets with Gravitational Microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, Alexander

    2016-07-01

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

  4. Advances in exoplanet science from Kepler.

    PubMed

    Lissauer, Jack J; Dawson, Rebekah I; Tremaine, Scott

    2014-09-18

    Numerous telescopes and techniques have been used to find and study extrasolar planets, but none has been more successful than NASA's Kepler space telescope. Kepler has discovered most of the known exoplanets, the smallest planets to orbit normal stars and the planets most likely to be similar to Earth. Most importantly, Kepler has provided us with our first look at the typical characteristics of planets and planetary systems for planets with sizes as small as, and orbits as large as, those of Earth. PMID:25230655

  5. 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.

  6. Network global navigation satellite system surveys to harmonize American and Canadian datum for the Lake Champlain Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flynn, Robert H.; Rydlund, 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.

  7. Network global navigation satellite system surveys to harmonize American and Canadian datum for the Lake Champlain Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flynn, Robert H.; Rydlund, 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 deve

  8. Meteorological satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1981-10-01

    Meteor-2 (second generation meteorological satellite) and an experimental satellite on which instruments are being tested and modified for the requirements of hydrometeorology and a determination of natural resources are presently operational in the U.S.S.R. Television devices with a 1-10 km terrain image resolution operating in the visible and infrared region are used to determine the space system, velocity and direction of cloud movements and provide information about the snow and ice cover, cyclones, storms, vortices in the atmosphere, and velocity and direction of wind. Images with a 50-1000 m resolution make possible geological and hydrological surveys, an evaluation of the state of vegetation and crops, detection of forest fires, determination of pollution of the atmosphere and sea and determination of optimal fishing regions in the ocean. Measurement of the intensity of atmospheric radiation in narrow infrared regions and very high frequencies allows remote evaluation of the temperature and humidity distribution in the vertical cross section of the Earth's atmosphere.

  9. 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.

  10. The science of exoplanets and their systems.

    PubMed

    Lammer, Helmut; Blanc, Michel; Benz, Willy; Fridlund, Malcolm; Foresto, Vincent Coudé du; Güdel, Manuel; Rauer, Heike; Udry, Stephane; Bonnet, Roger-Maurice; Falanga, Maurizio; Charbonneau, David; Helled, Ravit; Kley, Willy; Linsky, Jeffrey; Elkins-Tanton, Linda T; Alibert, Yann; Chassefière, Eric; Encrenaz, Therese; Hatzes, Artie P; Lin, Douglas; Liseau, Rene; Lorenzen, Winfried; Raymond, Sean N

    2013-09-01

    A scientific forum on "The Future Science of Exoplanets and Their Systems," sponsored by Europlanet and the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) and co-organized by the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) of the University of Bern, was held during December 5 and 6, 2012, in Bern, Switzerland. It gathered 24 well-known specialists in exoplanetary, Solar System, and stellar science to discuss the future of the fast-expanding field of exoplanetary research, which now has nearly 1000 objects to analyze and compare and will develop even more quickly over the coming years. The forum discussions included a review of current observational knowledge, efforts for exoplanetary atmosphere characterization and their formation, water formation, atmospheric evolution, habitability aspects, and our understanding of how exoplanets interact with their stellar and galactic environment throughout their history. Several important and timely research areas of focus for further research efforts in the field were identified by the forum participants. These scientific topics are related to the origin and formation of water and its delivery to planetary bodies and the role of the disk in relation to planet formation, including constraints from observations as well as star-planet interaction processes and their consequences for atmosphere-magnetosphere environments, evolution, and habitability. The relevance of these research areas is outlined in this report, and possible themes for future ISSI workshops are identified that may be proposed by the international research community over the coming 2-3 years. PMID:24015759

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

    PubMed

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-01

    The Kepler Mission is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems. Its legacy will be a catalog of discoveries sufficient for computing planet occurrence rates as a function of size, orbital period, star type, and insolation flux. The mission has made significant progress toward achieving that goal. Over 3,500 transiting exoplanets have been identified from the analysis of the first 3 y of data, 100 planets of which are in the habitable zone. The catalog has a high reliability rate (85-90% averaged over the period/radius plane), which is improving as follow-up observations continue. Dynamical (e.g., velocimetry and transit timing) and statistical methods have confirmed and characterized hundreds of planets over a large range of sizes and compositions for both single- and multiple-star systems. Population studies suggest that planets abound in our galaxy and that small planets are particularly frequent. Here, I report on the progress Kepler has made measuring the prevalence of exoplanets orbiting within one astronomical unit of their host stars in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's long-term goal of finding habitable environments beyond the solar system.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-01

    The Kepler Mission is exploring the diversity of planets and planetary systems. Its legacy will be a catalog of discoveries sufficient for computing planet occurrence rates as a function of size, orbital period, star type, and insolation flux. The mission has made significant progress toward achieving that goal. Over 3,500 transiting exoplanets have been identified from the analysis of the first 3 y of data, 100 planets of which are in the habitable zone. The catalog has a high reliability rate (85-90% averaged over the period/radius plane), which is improving as follow-up observations continue. Dynamical (e.g., velocimetry and transit timing) and statistical methods have confirmed and characterized hundreds of planets over a large range of sizes and compositions for both single- and multiple-star systems. Population studies suggest that planets abound in our galaxy and that small planets are particularly frequent. Here, I report on the progress Kepler has made measuring the prevalence of exoplanets orbiting within one astronomical unit of their host stars in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's long-term goal of finding habitable environments beyond the solar system. PMID:25049406

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey (NGVS). XIII. The Luminosity and Mass Function of Galaxies in the Core of the Virgo Cluster and the Contribution from Disrupted Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrarese, Laura; Côté, Patrick; Sánchez-Janssen, Rúben; Roediger, Joel; McConnachie, Alan W.; Durrell, Patrick R.; MacArthur, Lauren A.; Blakeslee, John P.; Duc, Pierre-Alain; Boissier, S.; Boselli, Alessandro; Courteau, Stéphane; Cuillandre, Jean-Charles; Emsellem, Eric; Gwyn, S. D. J.; Guhathakurta, Puragra; Jordán, Andrés; Lançon, Ariane; Liu, Chengze; Mei, Simona; Mihos, J. Christopher; Navarro, Julio F.; Peng, Eric W.; Puzia, Thomas H.; Taylor, James E.; Toloba, Elisa; Zhang, Hongxin

    2016-06-01

    We present measurements of the galaxy luminosity and stellar mass function in a 3.71 deg2 (0.3 Mpc2) area in the core of the Virgo Cluster, based on {u}\\ast griz data from the Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey (NGVS). The galaxy sample—which consists of 352 objects brighter than M g = ‑9.13 mag, the 50% completeness limit of the survey—reaches 2.2 mag deeper than the widely used Virgo Cluster Catalog and at least 1.2 mag deeper than any sample previously used to measure the luminosity function in Virgo. Using a Bayesian analysis, we find a best-fit faint-end slope of α = ‑1.33 ± 0.02 for the g-band luminosity function; consistent results are found for the stellar mass function and the luminosity function in the other four NGVS bandpasses. We discuss the implications for the faint-end slope of adding 92 ultracompact dwarfs (UCDs)—previously compiled by the NGVS in this region—to the galaxy sample, assuming that UCDs are the stripped remnants of nucleated dwarf galaxies. Under this assumption, the slope of the luminosity function (down to the UCD faint magnitude limit, M g = ‑9.6 mag) increases dramatically, up to α = ‑1.60 ± 0.06 when correcting for the expected number of disrupted non-nucleated galaxies. We also calculate the total number of UCDs and globular clusters that may have been deposited in the core of Virgo owing to the disruption of satellites, both nucleated and non-nucleated. We estimate that ˜150 objects with M g ≲ ‑9.6 mag and that are currently classified as globular clusters might, in fact, be the nuclei of disrupted galaxies. We further estimate that as many as 40% of the (mostly blue) globular clusters in the Virgo core might once have belonged to such satellites; these same disrupted satellites might have contributed ˜40% of the total luminosity in galaxies observed in the core region today. Finally, we use an updated Local Group galaxy catalog to provide a new measurement of the luminosity function of Local Group

  18. The Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey (NGVS). XIII. The Luminosity and Mass Function of Galaxies in the Core of the Virgo Cluster and the Contribution from Disrupted Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrarese, Laura; Côté, Patrick; Sánchez-Janssen, Rúben; Roediger, Joel; McConnachie, Alan W.; Durrell, Patrick R.; MacArthur, Lauren A.; Blakeslee, John P.; Duc, Pierre-Alain; Boissier, S.; Boselli, Alessandro; Courteau, Stéphane; Cuillandre, Jean-Charles; Emsellem, Eric; Gwyn, S. D. J.; Guhathakurta, Puragra; Jordán, Andrés; Lançon, Ariane; Liu, Chengze; Mei, Simona; Mihos, J. Christopher; Navarro, Julio F.; Peng, Eric W.; Puzia, Thomas H.; Taylor, James E.; Toloba, Elisa; Zhang, Hongxin

    2016-06-01

    We present measurements of the galaxy luminosity and stellar mass function in a 3.71 deg2 (0.3 Mpc2) area in the core of the Virgo Cluster, based on {u}\\ast griz data from the Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey (NGVS). The galaxy sample—which consists of 352 objects brighter than M g = -9.13 mag, the 50% completeness limit of the survey—reaches 2.2 mag deeper than the widely used Virgo Cluster Catalog and at least 1.2 mag deeper than any sample previously used to measure the luminosity function in Virgo. Using a Bayesian analysis, we find a best-fit faint-end slope of α = -1.33 ± 0.02 for the g-band luminosity function; consistent results are found for the stellar mass function and the luminosity function in the other four NGVS bandpasses. We discuss the implications for the faint-end slope of adding 92 ultracompact dwarfs (UCDs)—previously compiled by the NGVS in this region—to the galaxy sample, assuming that UCDs are the stripped remnants of nucleated dwarf galaxies. Under this assumption, the slope of the luminosity function (down to the UCD faint magnitude limit, M g = -9.6 mag) increases dramatically, up to α = -1.60 ± 0.06 when correcting for the expected number of disrupted non-nucleated galaxies. We also calculate the total number of UCDs and globular clusters that may have been deposited in the core of Virgo owing to the disruption of satellites, both nucleated and non-nucleated. We estimate that ˜150 objects with M g ≲ -9.6 mag and that are currently classified as globular clusters might, in fact, be the nuclei of disrupted galaxies. We further estimate that as many as 40% of the (mostly blue) globular clusters in the Virgo core might once have belonged to such satellites; these same disrupted satellites might have contributed ˜40% of the total luminosity in galaxies observed in the core region today. Finally, we use an updated Local Group galaxy catalog to provide a new measurement of the luminosity function of Local Group satellites

  19. A spectral line survey of Orion KL in the bands 486-492 and 541-577 GHz with the Odin satellite. II. Data analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Persson, C. M.; Olofsson, A. O. H.; Koning, N.; Bergman, P.; Bernath, P.; 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:We investigate the physical and chemical conditions in a typical star forming region, including an unbiased search for new molecules in a spectral region previously unobserved. Methods: Due to its proximity, the Orion KL region offers a unique laboratory of molecular astrophysics in a chemically rich, massive star forming region. Several ground-based spectral line surveys have been made, but due to the absorption by water and oxygen, the terrestrial atmosphere is completely opaque at frequencies around 487 and 557 GHz. To cover these frequencies we used the Odin satellite to perform a spectral line survey in the frequency ranges 486-492 GHz and 541-577 GHz, filling the gaps between previous spectral scans. Odin's high main beam efficiency, ηmb = 0.9, and observations performed outside the atmosphere make our intensity scale very well determined. Results: We observed 280 spectral lines from 38 molecules including isotopologues, and, in addition, 64 unidentified lines. A few U-lines have interesting frequency coincidences such as ND and the anion SH^-. The beam-averaged emission is dominated by CO, H2O, SO2, SO, 13CO and CH3OH. Species with the largest number of lines are CH3OH, (CH3)_2O, SO2, 13CH3OH, CH3CN and NO. Six water lines are detected including the ground state rotational transition 1{1,0}-1{0,1} of o-H2O, its isotopologues o-H218O and o-H217O, the Hot Core tracing p-H2O transition 6{2,4}-7{1,7}, and the 2{0, 2}-1{1,1} transition of HDO. Other lines of special interest are the 1{0}-0{ 0} transition of NH3 and its isotopologue 15NH3. Isotopologue abundance ratios of D/H, 12C/13C, 32S/34S, 34S/33S, and 18O/17O are estimated. The temperatures, column densities and abundances in the various subregions are estimated, and we find very high gas-phase abundances of H2O, NH3, SO2, SO, NO, and CH3OH. A comparison with the ice inventory of ISO sheds new light on the origin of the abundant gas-phase molecules. Odin is a Swedish-led satellite project funded

  20. Detecting the Signature of Eccentric Exoplanets During Periastron Passage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  1. Blind source separation approaches for exoplanet signal extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savransky, Dmitry

    2015-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. The Eccentric Exoplanets: A Survey of Atmospheric Heating and Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knutson, Heather; Cowan, Nicolas; Lewis, Nikole; Agol, Eric; Showman, Adam; Deming, Drake; Burrows, Adam; Fortney, Jonathan; Laughlin, Greg; Langton, Jonathan; Rastegar, Sara

    2012-09-01

    Observations of short-period gas giant planets on eccentric orbits provide a unique test of atmospheric circulation theories. Eccentric planets are qualitatively different for two reasons: 1) they cannot be synchronously rotating, so they experience diurnal forcing, and 2) the incident stellar flux changes throughout an orbit, constituting a time-variable atmospheric forcing. These differences cause large variations in planetary temperature and wind speeds as a function of time. We propose to compare thermal phase variations and instantaneous eclipse maps for two benchmark eccentric transiting planets, XO-3b and HAT-P-2b. The mirrored viewing geometry of these two systems and the close similarities in their stellar and planetary properties makes them ideal cases for comparison, as we can observe the same heating and cooling processes from opposite hemispheres. By measuring the heating responses of the two planets during periastron passage, we can determine the radiative time scales of their atmospheres independent of other parameters. The flux that we measure at a given orbital phase will be a function of both the viewing geometry and the heating history of the planet; we break this degeneracy by mapping the instantaneous dayside brightness distribution using the shape of the secondary eclipse ingress and egress. The existence of a large set of secondary eclipse measurements in the same band will also allow us to place strict limits on orbit-to-orbit variability in the planet's dayside emission. Together these data will provide a uniquely detailed picture of the atmospheres of two complementary worlds, and motivate the development of increasingly sophisticated atmospheric circulation models that can be applied to a wide range of planets.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-14

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Exoplanet Habitability: Effects of Planetesimal Carbon Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  11. Dynamos in Terrestrial Exoplanets as Magnetic Shields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Driscoll, Peter; Olson, Peter

    2010-05-01

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

  12. Mass-Radius Relationships for Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Science enabled by ATHENA: Solar system targets and exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Branduardi-Raymont, Graziella

    2016-07-01

    ATHENA studies of the solar system will offer some of the deepest insights in the complex workings of planetary magnetospheres and exospheres; ATHENA will answer many of the questions that have only started to be tackled by Chandra and XMM-Newton and will add in a major way to our understanding of the interactions of space plasmas with magnetised and un-magnetised bodies in the solar system. The non-dispersive character of X-IFU spectroscopy will enable Jupiter's auroral and disk X-ray emissions, and that from the Io Plasma Torus, to be mapped spatially and spectrally at high resolution; it will also enable surface composition analysis through fluorescence spectra of the Galilean satellites. ATHENA will establish how planetary exospheres, such as that of Mars, and comets respond to the interaction with the solar wind, in a detailed and global way that other observatories or in situ measurements cannot provide. With its remarkably improved sensitivity over current X-ray telescopes, ATHENA will push the search for auroral X-ray emission on Saturn to much fainter limits, and set very sensitive constraints on Uranus X-ray emission. ATHENA will explore the magnetic interplay between stars and planets in X-rays by searching for X-ray spectral variability over the planet's orbital phases and for systems of different orbital eccentricity, and will investigate ingress/eclipse/egress effects for transiting hot-Jupiter exoplanets; again instrumental to this will be the vastly improved signal-to-noise ratio provided by ATHENA over that achievable by XMM-Newton or Chandra.

  14. Predicting the Extreme-UV and Lyman-α Fluxes Received by Exoplanets from their Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linsky, Jeffrey L.; France, Kevin; Ayres, Thomas R.

    2015-01-01

    Extreme-UV (EUV) radiation from the chromospheres, transition regions, and coronae of host stars (spectral types F, G, K, and M) ionize and heat the outer atmospheres of exoplanets leading to mass loss that is observed during transits and can change the exoplanet's atmosphere. Lyman-α emission from host stars controls the photochemistry in the upper layers of planetary atmospheres by photodissociating important molecules including H_2O, CO_2, CH_4, thereby increasing the oxygen and ozone mixing ratios important for habitability. Both the EUV and strong Lyman-α radiation are largely absorbed by the interstellar medium and must be reconstructed or estimated to understand the radiation environment of exoplanets. In two recent papers, tet{Linsky2013} and tet{Linsky2014}, we have presented robust methods for predicting the intrinsic Lyman-α and EUV fluxes from main sequence cool stars. Solar models and satellite observations (HST, FUSE, and EUVE) provide tests for the feasibility of these methods.

  15. ellc: A fast, flexible light curve model for detached eclipsing binary stars and transiting exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maxted, P. F. L.

    2016-06-01

    Context. Very high quality light curves are now available for thousands of detached eclipsing binary stars and transiting exoplanet systems as a result of surveys for transiting exoplanets and other large-scale photometric surveys. Aims: I have developed a binary star model (ellc) that can be used to analyse the light curves of detached eclipsing binary stars and transiting exoplanet systems that is fast and accurate, and that can include the effects of star spots, Doppler boosting and light-travel time within binaries with eccentric orbits. Methods: The model represents the stars as triaxial ellipsoids. The apparent flux from the binary is calculated using Gauss-Legendre integration over the ellipses that are the projection of these ellipsoids on the sky. The model can also be used to calculate the flux-weighted radial velocity of the stars during an eclipse (Rossiter-McLaghlin effect). The main features of the model have been tested by comparison to observed data and other light curve models. Results: The model is found to be accurate enough to analyse the very high quality photometry that is now available from space-spaced instruments, flexible enough to model a wide range of eclipsing binary stars and extrasolar planetary systems, and fast enough to enable the use of modern Monte Carlo methods for data analysis and model testing. The software package is 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/591/A111

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Successful Starshade Petal Deployment Tolerance Verification in Support of NASA's Technology Development for Exoplanet Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Webb, D.; Kasdin, N. J.; Lisman, D.; Shaklan, S.; Thomson, M.; Cady, E.; Marks, G. W.; Lo, A.

    2014-01-01

    A Starshade is a sunflower-shaped satellite with a large inner disk structure surrounded by petals that flies in formation with a space-borne telescope, creating a deep shadow around the telescope over a broad spectral band to permit nearby exoplanets to be viewed. Removing extraneous starlight before it enters the observatory optics greatly loosens the tolerances on the telescope and instrument that comprise the optical system, but the nature of the Starshade dictates a large deployable structure capable of deploying to a very precise shape. These shape requirements break down into key mechanical requirements, which include the rigid-body position and orientation of each of the petals that ring the periphery of the Starshade. To verify our capability to meet these requirements, we modified an existing flight-like Astromesh reflector, provided by Northrup Grumman, as the base ring to which the petals attach. The integrated system, including 4 of the 30 flight-like subscale petals, truss, connecting spokes and central hub, was deployed tens of times in a flight-like manner using a gravity compensation system. After each deployment, discrete points in prescribed locations covering the petals and truss were measured using a highly-accurate laser tracker system. These measurements were then compared against the mechanical requirements, and the as-measured data shows deployment accuracy well within our milestone requirements and resulting in a contrast ratio consistent with exoplanet detection and characterization.

  18. Successful Starshade petal deployment tolerance verification in support of NASA's technology development for exoplanet missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, D.; Kasdin, N. J.; Lisman, D.; Shaklan, S.; Thomson, M.; Cady, E.; Marks, G. W.; Lo, A.

    2014-07-01

    A Starshade is a sunflower-shaped satellite with a large inner disk structure surrounded by petals. A Starshade flies in formation with a space-borne telescope, creating a deep shadow around the telescope over a broad spectral band to permit nearby exoplanets to be viewed. Removing extraneous starlight before it enters the observatory optics greatly loosens the tolerances on the telescope and instrument that comprise the optical system, but the nature of the Starshade dictates a large deployable structure capable of deploying to a very precise shape. These shape requirements break down into key mechanical requirements which include the rigid-body position and orientation of each of the petals that ring the periphery of the Starshade. To verify our capability to meet these requirements, we modified an existing flight-like Astromesh reflector, provided by Northrup Grumman, as the base ring to which the petals attach. The integrated system, including 4 of the 30 flight-like subscale petals, truss, connecting spokes and central hub, was deployed tens of times in a flight-like manner using a gravity compensation system. After each deployment, discrete points in prescribed locations covering the petals and truss were measured using a highly-accurate laser tracker system. These measurements were then compared against the mechanical requirements, and the as-measured data shows deployment accuracy well within our milestone requirements and resulting in a contrast ratio consistent with exoplanet detection and characterization.

  19. French Pro/Am collaborations in exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  20. HOMES Holographic Optical Method for Exoplanet Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ditto, Thomas D.; McGrew, Stephen P.

    2013-09-01

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

  1. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-28

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

  2. Investigating nearby exoplanets via interstellar radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheffer, Louis K.

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Exoplanet Population Estimate from Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2015-11-01

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

  4. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-28

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

  5. Variable Star and Exoplanet Section of the Czech Astronomical Society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brát, L.; Zejda, M.

    2010-12-01

    We present activities of Czech variable star observers organized in the Variable Star and Exoplanet Section of the Czech Astronomical Society. We work in four observing projects: B.R.N.O. - eclipsing binaries, MEDUZA - intrinsic variable stars, TRESCA - transiting exoplanets and candidates, HERO - objects of high energy astrophysics. Detailed information together with O-C gate (database of eclipsing binaries minima timings) and OEJV (Open European Journal on Variable stars) are available on our internet portal http://var.astro.cz.

  6. The search for exoplanets in the ESA Science Programme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-10-01

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

  7. Tidal Decay and Disruption of Gaseous Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  8. EQUATORIAL SUPERROTATION ON TIDALLY LOCKED EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Showman, Adam P.; Polvani, Lorenzo M.

    2011-09-01

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

  9. PynPoint code for exoplanet imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amara, A.; Quanz, S. P.; Akeret, J.

    2015-04-01

    We announce the public release of PynPoint, a Python package that we have developed for analysing exoplanet data taken with the angular differential imaging observing technique. In particular, PynPoint is designed to model the point spread function of the central star and to subtract its flux contribution to reveal nearby faint companion planets. The current version of the package does this correction by using a principal component analysis method to build a basis set for modelling the point spread function of the observations. We demonstrate the performance of the package by reanalysing publicly available data on the exoplanet β Pictoris b, which consists of close to 24,000 individual image frames. We show that PynPoint is able to analyse this typical data in roughly 1.5 min on a Mac Pro, when the number of images is reduced by co-adding in sets of 5. The main computational work, the calculation of the Singular-Value-Decomposition, parallelises well as a result of a reliance on the SciPy and NumPy packages. For this calculation the peak memory load is 6 GB, which can be run comfortably on most workstations. A simpler calculation, by co-adding over 50, takes 3 s with a peak memory usage of 600 MB. This can be performed easily on a laptop. In developing the package we have modularised the code so that we will be able to extend functionality in future releases, through the inclusion of more modules, without it affecting the users application programming interface. We distribute the PynPoint package under GPLv3 licence through the central PyPI server, and the documentation is available online (http://pynpoint.ethz.ch).

  10. The Circumstellar Environments of Exoplanet Host Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Christine

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

  11. Pseudo-thermal bar in poorly salted autumnal waters of the Gulf of Finland from satellite-airborne SAR/ASAR/ALSAR survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melentyev, Vladimir; Bobylev, Leonid; Tsepelev, Valery; Melentyev, Konstantin; Bednov, Petr

    2010-05-01

    The thermal bar (TB) was disclosed at the end of XIX century by F.A. Forel - world-famed founder of limnology, who studied different processes in Lake Leman from point of view ecology and hydrobiology. Forel supposed that TB arises in temperate large lakes for short period in spring in presence windless calm weather. Well-directed investigations of TB were recommenced in the beginning 1950-s at the Institute of Lake Research Russian Academy of Sciences by Dr A.I. Tikhomirov who had described also specific features of this phenomenon in fall. At the end of 1960-s we began examination thermal and ice regime of fresh and saltish inland water bodies with using remote sensing including multi-spectral airborne-satellite SLR/SAR/ASAR/ALSAR survey. And as result the possibility revealing TB parameters in fall season by low-frequency radar (ALSAR) installed onboard research aircraft was fixed documentally in the Lake Ladoga [Melentyev et. al., 2002]. According to [Tikhomirov, 1959] TB represents convergence zone around temperature of maximum density of fresh water + 4 °C (3, 98 °C, really). This narrow vertical "curtain" appears in littoral in spring owing to heating coastal waters, in fall - due to its cooling. TB divides large lakes and artificial reservoirs on two unequal thermic zones - heat-active (HAZ) and heat-inert (HIZ) that has different stratification of water temperature. Possible existence of TB in poorly salted sea waters was predicted by outstanding Russian oceanographer professor N. Zubov. Obviously firstly it was disclosed but without explanation the physics by [Bychkova, 1987]. Our own sub-satellite studies onboard nuclear icebreaker "Jamal" in western Arctic in fall 1996 allows reveal the TB on saltish waters in north-eastern "corner" of the Yenisei Gulf in mixing zone of marine and river waters. Long-lived converged zone that we call as pseudo-thermal bar (PTB) was marked by stationary banding narrow continuous rough strip that could be destroyed by

  12. Characterization and detection of Anopheles vestitipennis and Anopheles punctimacula (Diptera: Culicidae) larval habitats in Belize with field survey and SPOT satellite imagery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rejmankova, E.; Pope, K. O.; Roberts, D. R.; Lege, M. G.; Andre, R.; Greico, J.; Alonzo, Y.

    1998-01-01

    Surveys of larval habitats of Anopheles vestitipennis and Anopheles punctimacula were conducted in Belize, Central America. Habitat analysis and classification resulted in delineation of eight habitat types defined by dominant life forms and hydrology. Percent cover of tall dense macrophytes, shrubs, open water, and pH were significantly different between sites with and without An. vestitipennis. For An. punctimacula, percent cover of tall dense macrophytes, trees, detritus, open water, and water depth were significantly different between larvae positive and negative sites. The discriminant function for An. vestitipennis correctly predicted the presence of larvae in 65% of sites and correctly predicted the absence of larvae in 88% of sites. The discriminant function for An. punctimacula correctly predicted 81% of sites for the presence of larvae and 45% for the absence of larvae. Canonical discriminant analysis of the three groups of habitats (An. vestitipennis positive; An. punctimacula positive; all negative) confirmed that while larval habitats of An. punctimacula are clustered in the tree dominated area, larval habitats of An. vestitipennis were found in both tree dominated and tall dense macrophyte dominated environments. The forest larval habitats of An. vestitipennis and An. punctimacula seem to be randomly distributed among different forest types. Both species tend to occur in denser forests with more detritus, shallower water, and slightly higher pH. Classification of dry season (February) SPOT multispectral satellite imagery produced 10 land cover types with the swamp forest and tall dense marsh classes being of particular interest. The accuracy assessment showed that commission errors for the tall, dense marsh and swamp forest appeared to be minor; but omission errors were significant, especially for the swamp forest (perhaps because no swamp forests are flooded in February). This means that where the classification indicates there are An. vestitipennis

  13. The Use of Satellite Delivery Systems in Education in Canada: The Costing of Two Networks and a Preliminary Needs Survey. Volume 1: The Costing of Two Networks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daniel, John S.; And Others

    This study examines the methodologies and costs of establishing educational delivery systems using satellites currently in orbit or planned. It identifies two operational system scenarios and their predicted costs. One system, the Canadian Universities Satellite System (CUSS), is hypothesized to provide the means of transmitting audio and video…

  14. Miniature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array (MINERVA) I. Design, Commissioning, and First Science Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    The Miniature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array (MINERVA) is a U.S.-based observational facility dedicated to the discovery and characterization of exoplanets around a nearby sample of bright stars. MINERVA employs a robotic array of four 0.7-m telescopes outfitted for both high-resolution spectroscopy and photometry, and is designed for completely autonomous operation. The primary science program is a dedicated radial velocity survey and the secondary science objective is to obtain high-precision transit light curves. The modular design of the facility and the flexibility of our hardware allows for both science programs to be pursued simultaneously, while the robotic control software provides a robust and efficient means to carry out nightly observations. We describe the design of MINERVA, including major hardware components, software, and science goals. The telescopes and photometry cameras are characterized at our test facility on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, California, and their on-sky performance is validated. The design and simulated performance of the spectrograph is briefly discussed as we await its completion. New observations from our test facility demonstrate sub-mmag photometric precision of one of our radial velocity survey targets, and we present new transit observations and fits of WASP-52b-a known hot-Jupiter with an inflated radius and misaligned orbit. The process of relocating the MINERVA hardware to its final destination at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in southern Arizona has begun, and science operations are expected to commence in 2015.

  15. Exoplanet Research at a Southwestern Urban High School: Lessons Learned from the Tucson High Astronomy Club Research Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, Zachary T.; Pompea, Stephen M.; Tucson High Astronomy Research Club

    2015-01-01

    We present the results of introducing talented youth to research astronomy projects related to the study of exoplanets. We present the results of students' development of their identities as scientist, their interest in the STEM field as a career, and their knowledge retention through individual surveys. The design of the student interaction was to have weekly after-school club meetings where basic material would be taught to aid the students addressing the research problems themselves by planning observations, observing, and ultimately reducing the data of observations of their selected exoplanets. The after-school club was composed of 12 students of varying backgrounds attending the urban TucsonMagnet High School. The program is ongoing and began September 2013.

  16. VLT Captures First Direct Spectrum of an Exoplanet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-01-01

    By studying a triple planetary system that resembles a scaled-up version of our own Sun's family of planets, astronomers have been able to obtain the first direct spectrum - the "chemical fingerprint" [1] - of a planet orbiting a distant star [2], thus bringing new insights into the planet's formation and composition. The result represents a milestone in the search for life elsewhere in the Universe. "The spectrum of a planet is like a fingerprint. It provides key information about the chemical elements in the planet's atmosphere," says Markus Janson, lead author of a paper reporting the new findings. "With this information, we can better understand how the planet formed and, in the future, we might even be able to find tell-tale signs of the presence of life." The researchers obtained the spectrum of a giant exoplanet that orbits the bright, very young star HR 8799. The system is at about 130 light-years from Earth. The star has 1.5 times the mass of the Sun, and hosts a planetary system that resembles a scaled-up model of our own Solar System. Three giant companion planets were detected in 2008 by another team of researchers, with masses between 7 and 10 times that of Jupiter. They are between 20 and 70 times as far from their host star as the Earth is from the Sun; the system also features two belts of smaller objects, similar to our Solar System's asteroid and Kuiper belts. "Our target was the middle planet of the three, which is roughly ten times more massive than Jupiter and has a temperature of about 800 degrees Celsius," says team member Carolina Bergfors. "After more than five hours of exposure time, we were able to tease out the planet's spectrum from the host star's much brighter light." This is the first time the spectrum of an exoplanet orbiting a normal, almost Sun-like star has been obtained directly. Previously, the only spectra to be obtained required a space telescope to watch an exoplanet pass directly behind its host star in an "exoplanetary

  17. Solar wind monitor satellite

    SciTech Connect

    Kappenman, J.G. ); Albertson, V.D. ); Damsk, B.L. ); Dale, S.J. )

    1990-05-01

    This authors discuss the effects of geomagnetic disturbances on power systems. They also discuss the effects of geomagnetic storms on spacecraft electronics, pipelines, and geophysical surveys for oil and minerals. The current satellite system technology used in geomagnetic disturbance forecasts is described and assessed.

  18. VizieR Online Data Catalog: International Deep Planet Survey results (Galicher+, 2016)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

    Ages, spectral types and distances of 286 nearby stars. Contrast detection limits of the imaging survey. Multiple stellar systems. Detected exoplanets, sub-stellar candidates and background objects. (5 data files).

  19. Signal processing and calibration of low-cost strap-down inertial navigation system for land-survey mini-satellite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somov, Yevgeny; Butyrin, Sergey; Hajiyev, Chingiz

    2014-12-01

    Magnetometers are widely used for attitude determination of low Earth orbit (LEO) information satellites. In order to estimate the satellite attitude accurately, bias of magnetometer must be estimated. In this study a linear Kalman filter based algorithm for the estimation of magnetometer biases is proposed. Proposed algorithms are simulated through attitude dynamics of a small satellite. We shortly present also discrete algorithms for in-flight calibration and alignment of a low cost strap-down inertial navigation system with correction by signals from the Sun and magnetic sensors.

  20. PULSATION FREQUENCIES AND MODES OF GIANT EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-02-10

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

  1. DiskDetective.org: Finding Homes for Exoplanets Through Citizen Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuchner, Marc J.

    2016-01-01

    The Disk Detective project is scouring the data archive from the WISE all-sky survey to find new debris disks and protoplanetary disks-the dusty dens where exoplanets form and dwell. Volunteers on this citizen science website have already performed 1.6 million classifications, searching a catalog 8x the size of any published WISE survey. We follow up candidates using ground based telescopes in California, Arizona, Chile, Hawaii, and Argentina. We ultimately expect to increase the pool of known debris disks by approx. 400 and triple the solid angle in clusters of young stars examined with WISE, providing a unique new catalog of isolated disk stars, key planet-search targets, and candidate advanced extraterrestrial civilizations. Come to this talk to hear the news about our latest dusty discoveries and the trials and the ecstasy of launching a new citizen science project. Please bring your laptop or smartphone if you like!

  2. Satellite RNAs and Satellite Viruses.

    PubMed

    Palukaitis, Peter

    2016-03-01

    Satellite RNAs and satellite viruses are extraviral components that can affect either the pathogenicity, the accumulation, or both of their associated viruses while themselves being dependent on the associated viruses as helper viruses for their infection. Most of these satellite RNAs are noncoding RNAs, and in many cases, have been shown to alter the interaction of their helper viruses with their hosts. In only a few cases have the functions of these satellite RNAs in such interactions been studied in detail. In particular, work on the satellite RNAs of Cucumber mosaic virus and Turnip crinkle virus have provided novel insights into RNAs functioning as noncoding RNAs. These effects are described and potential roles for satellite RNAs in the processes involved in symptom intensification or attenuation are discussed. In most cases, models describing these roles involve some aspect of RNA silencing or its suppression, either directly or indirectly involving the particular satellite RNA.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  4. Age consistency between exoplanet hosts and field stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonfanti, A.; Ortolani, S.; Nascimbeni, V.

    2016-01-01

    Context. Transiting planets around stars are discovered mostly through photometric surveys. Unlike radial velocity surveys, photometric surveys do not tend to target slow rotators, inactive or metal-rich stars. Nevertheless, we suspect that observational biases could also impact transiting-planet hosts. Aims: This paper aims to evaluate how selection effects reflect on the evolutionary stage of both a limited sample of transiting-planet host stars (TPH) and a wider sample of planet-hosting stars detected through radial velocity analysis. Then, thanks to uniform derivation of stellar ages, a homogeneous comparison between exoplanet hosts and field star age distributions is developed. Methods: Stellar parameters have been computed through our custom-developed isochrone placement algorithm, according to Padova evolutionary models. The notable aspects of our algorithm include the treatment of element diffusion, activity checks in terms of log{R'HK} and vsini, and the evaluation of the stellar evolutionary speed in the Hertzsprung-Russel diagram in order to better constrain age. Working with TPH, the observational stellar mean density ρ⋆ allows us to compute stellar luminosity even if the distance is not available, by combining ρ⋆ with the spectroscopic log g. Results: The median value of the TPH ages is 5 Gyr. Even if this sample is not very large, however the result is very similar to what we found for the sample of spectroscopic hosts, whose modal and median values are [3, 3.5) Gyr and 4.8 Gyr, respectively. Thus, these stellar samples suffer almost the same selection effects. An analysis of MS stars of the solar neighbourhood belonging to the same spectral types bring to an age distribution similar to the previous ones and centered around solar age value. Therefore, the age of our Sun is consistent with the age distribution of solar neighbourhood stars with spectral types from late F to early K, regardless of whether they harbour planets or not. We considered

  5. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets

    PubMed Central

    Narita, Norio; Enomoto, Takafumi; Masaoka, Shigeyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko

    2015-01-01

    The search for habitable exoplanets in the Universe is actively ongoing in the field of astronomy. The biggest future milestone is to determine whether life exists on such habitable exoplanets. In that context, oxygen in the atmosphere has been considered strong evidence for the presence of photosynthetic organisms. In this paper, we show that a previously unconsidered photochemical mechanism by titanium (IV) oxide (titania) can produce abiotic oxygen from liquid water under near ultraviolet (NUV) lights on the surface of exoplanets. Titania works as a photocatalyst to dissociate liquid water in this process. This mechanism offers a different source of a possibility of abiotic oxygen in atmospheres of exoplanets from previously considered photodissociation of water vapor in upper atmospheres by extreme ultraviolet (XUV) light. Our order-of-magnitude estimation shows that possible amounts of oxygen produced by this abiotic mechanism can be comparable with or even more than that in the atmosphere of the current Earth, depending on the amount of active surface area for this mechanism. We conclude that titania may act as a potential source of false signs of life on habitable exoplanets. PMID:26354078

  6. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narita, Norio; Enomoto, Takafumi; Masaoka, Shigeyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko

    2015-12-01

    The search for habitable exoplanets in the Universe is actively ongoing in the field of astronomy. The biggest future milestone is to determine whether life exists on such habitable exoplanets. In that context, oxygen in the atmosphere has been considered strong evidence for the presence of photosynthetic organisms. In this paper, we show that a previously unconsidered photochemical mechanism by titanium (IV) oxide (titania) can produce abiotic oxygen from liquid water under near ultraviolet (NUV) lights on the surface of exoplanets. Titania works as a photocatalyst to dissociate liquid water in this process. This mechanism offers a different source of a possibility of abiotic oxygen in atmospheres of exoplanets from previously considered photodissociation of water vapor in upper atmospheres by extreme ultraviolet (XUV) light. Our order-of-magnitude estimation shows that possible amounts of oxygen produced by this abiotic mechanism can be comparable with or even more than that in the atmosphere of the current Earth, depending on the amount of active surface area for this mechanism. We conclude that titania may act as a potential source of false signs of life on habitable exoplanets.Reference:Narita N. et al.,Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 13977 (2015)http://www.nature.com/articles/srep13977

  7. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narita, Norio; Enomoto, Takafumi; Masaoka, Shigeyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko

    2015-09-01

    The search for habitable exoplanets in the Universe is actively ongoing in the field of astronomy. The biggest future milestone is to determine whether life exists on such habitable exoplanets. In that context, oxygen in the atmosphere has been considered strong evidence for the presence of photosynthetic organisms. In this paper, we show that a previously unconsidered photochemical mechanism by titanium (IV) oxide (titania) can produce abiotic oxygen from liquid water under near ultraviolet (NUV) lights on the surface of exoplanets. Titania works as a photocatalyst to dissociate liquid water in this process. This mechanism offers a different source of a possibility of abiotic oxygen in atmospheres of exoplanets from previously considered photodissociation of water vapor in upper atmospheres by extreme ultraviolet (XUV) light. Our order-of-magnitude estimation shows that possible amounts of oxygen produced by this abiotic mechanism can be comparable with or even more than that in the atmosphere of the current Earth, depending on the amount of active surface area for this mechanism. We conclude that titania may act as a potential source of false signs of life on habitable exoplanets.

  8. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Narita, Norio; Enomoto, Takafumi; Masaoka, Shigeyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko

    2015-09-10

    The search for habitable exoplanets in the Universe is actively ongoing in the field of astronomy. The biggest future milestone is to determine whether life exists on such habitable exoplanets. In that context, oxygen in the atmosphere has been considered strong evidence for the presence of photosynthetic organisms. In this paper, we show that a previously unconsidered photochemical mechanism by titanium (IV) oxide (titania) can produce abiotic oxygen from liquid water under near ultraviolet (NUV) lights on the surface of exoplanets. Titania works as a photocatalyst to dissociate liquid water in this process. This mechanism offers a different source of a possibility of abiotic oxygen in atmospheres of exoplanets from previously considered photodissociation of water vapor in upper atmospheres by extreme ultraviolet (XUV) light. Our order-of-magnitude estimation shows that possible amounts of oxygen produced by this abiotic mechanism can be comparable with or even more than that in the atmosphere of the current Earth, depending on the amount of active surface area for this mechanism. We conclude that titania may act as a potential source of false signs of life on habitable exoplanets.

  9. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - Speckle Imaging for Exoplanet Characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Steve B.; Scott, Nic; Horch, Elliott

    2016-06-01

    The NASA K2 mission is finding many high-value exoplanets and world-wide follow-up is ensuing. The NASA TESS mission will soon be launched, requiring additional ground-based observations as well. As a part of the NASA-NSFNN-EXPLORE program to enable exoplanet research, our group is building two new speckle interferometry cameras for the Kitt Peak WIYN 3.5-m telescope and the Gemini-N 8-m telescope. Modeled after the successful DSSI visitor instrument that has been used at these telescopes for many years, speckle observations provide the highest resolution images available today from any ground- or space-based single telescope. They are the premier method through which small, rocky exoplanets can be validated. Available for public use in early 2017, WIYNSPKL and GEMSPKL will obtain simultaneous images in two filters with fast EMCCD readout, "speckle" and “wide-field” imaging modes, and user support for proposal writing, observing, and data reduction. We describe the new cameras, their design, and their benefits for exoplanet follow-up, characterization, and validation. Funding for this project comes from the NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program and NASA HQ.

  10. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Narita, Norio; Enomoto, Takafumi; Masaoka, Shigeyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko

    2015-01-01

    The search for habitable exoplanets in the Universe is actively ongoing in the field of astronomy. The biggest future milestone is to determine whether life exists on such habitable exoplanets. In that context, oxygen in the atmosphere has been considered strong evidence for the presence of photosynthetic organisms. In this paper, we show that a previously unconsidered photochemical mechanism by titanium (IV) oxide (titania) can produce abiotic oxygen from liquid water under near ultraviolet (NUV) lights on the surface of exoplanets. Titania works as a photocatalyst to dissociate liquid water in this process. This mechanism offers a different source of a possibility of abiotic oxygen in atmospheres of exoplanets from previously considered photodissociation of water vapor in upper atmospheres by extreme ultraviolet (XUV) light. Our order-of-magnitude estimation shows that possible amounts of oxygen produced by this abiotic mechanism can be comparable with or even more than that in the atmosphere of the current Earth, depending on the amount of active surface area for this mechanism. We conclude that titania may act as a potential source of false signs of life on habitable exoplanets. PMID:26354078

  11. TIDALLY HEATED TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANETS: VISCOELASTIC RESPONSE MODELS

    SciTech Connect

    Henning, Wade G.; O'Connell, Richard J.; Sasselov, Dimitar D.

    2009-12-20

    Tidal friction in exoplanet systems, driven by orbits that allow for durable nonzero eccentricities at short heliocentric periods, can generate internal heating far in excess of the conditions observed in our own solar system. Secular perturbations or a notional 2:1 resonance between a hot Earth and hot Jupiter can be used as a baseline to consider the thermal evolution of convecting bodies subject to strong viscoelastic tidal heating. We compare results first from simple models using a fixed Quality factor and Love number, and then for three different viscoelastic rheologies: the Maxwell body, the Standard Anelastic Solid (SAS), and the Burgers body. The SAS and Burgers models are shown to alter the potential for extreme tidal heating by introducing the possibility of new equilibria and multiple response peaks. We find that tidal heating tends to exceed radionuclide heating at periods below 10-30 days, and exceed insolation only below 1-2 days. Extreme cases produce enough tidal heat to initiate global-scale partial melting, and an analysis of tidal limiting mechanisms such as advective cooling for earthlike planets is discussed. To explore long-term behaviors, we map equilibria points between convective heat loss and tidal heat input as functions of eccentricity. For the periods and magnitudes discussed, we show that tidal heating, if significant, is generally detrimental to the width of habitable zones.

  12. Exploring biases in exoplanet spectroscopy retrievals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Ying; Fortney, Jonathan; Line, Michael R.; Morley, Caroline

    2015-12-01

    Spectra from the atmospheres of transiting planets and imaged planets are now being routinely achieved. The interpretation of these spectra gives us a window into the physics and chemistry of these atmospheres, as well as a better understanding of planet formation. Over the past several years retrievals of exoplanet spectra have been used to obtain chemical abundances and thermal structures, along with assessments of uncertainties on these quantities. However, any potential biases inherent in these methods have yet to be fully explored. The atmospheres we observe are inherently three-dimensional (3D) structures that feature gradients in temperatures and chemical abundances, as well as hot spots, cold spots, storms, and cloud patchiness. How well does the assumption of retrieving 1D hemispheric average conditions represent the true state of a 3D atmosphere? Can we be led astray? Answering these questions are important today, and will only become more important as data quality improves. Using a descendent of the CHIMERA retrieval code, here I present the results of how retrievals perform on more complex scenarios. We start with the emitted spectrum from the average of two pressure-temperature profiles, one warmer, one colder, and move on to more sophisticated, but still realistic, scenarios. Our work makes use of a new code we have developed to construct spectra from arbitrary 3D model atmospheres.

  13. Probing exoplanet clouds with optical phase curves.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Antonio García; Isaak, Kate G

    2015-11-01

    Kepler-7b is to date the only exoplanet for which clouds have been inferred from the optical phase curve--from visible-wavelength whole-disk brightness measurements as a function of orbital phase. Added to this, the fact that the phase curve appears dominated by reflected starlight makes this close-in giant planet a unique study case. Here we investigate the information on coverage and optical properties of the planet clouds contained in the measured phase curve. We generate cloud maps of Kepler-7b and use a multiple-scattering approach to create synthetic phase curves, thus connecting postulated clouds with measurements. We show that optical phase curves can help constrain the composition and size of the cloud particles. Indeed, model fitting for Kepler-7b requires poorly absorbing particles that scatter with low-to-moderate anisotropic efficiency, conclusions consistent with condensates of silicates, perovskite, and silica of submicron radii. We also show that we are limited in our ability to pin down the extent and location of the clouds. These considerations are relevant to the interpretation of optical phase curves with general circulation models. Finally, we estimate that the spherical albedo of Kepler-7b over the Kepler passband is in the range 0.4-0.5.

  14. Exoplanet Detection With RoboNet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgdorf, M. J.; RoboNet Microlens Planet Search Team

    2005-08-01

    RoboNet-1.0 is a prototype global network of three large (2m) robotic telescopes, placed in La Palma (Canary Islands), Maui (Hawaii), and Siding Spring (Australia). The detection of cool extra-solar planets by optimised robotic monitoring of Galactic microlens events is one of the two core elements of its scientific programme - observations of Gamma Ray Bursts is the other. Two dozen microlensing events have been observed in regular intervals already. The light curve of one particular event, OGLE 2005-BLG-71, that was measured by several groups including RoboNet, turned out to have an anomaly caused by an extrasolar planet. This was only the second detection of such an object with the microlensing technique. Current development work uses e-science to create a fully automated chain from event monitoring over the detection of anomalies to the triggering of follow-up observations. In order to fully exploit the potential of such a network for detecting exoplanets it will be necessary to complement the existing RoboNet with additional telescopes in the Southern hemisphere. Funding for RoboNet-1.0 was approved in April 2004 by PPARC's Science Committee and the project commenced in earnest in August 2004.

  15. The Theory of Exoplanet Atmospheres and Spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burrows, Adam S.

    2008-09-01

    Approximately 300 exoplanets, mostly giant planets (EGPs) in the Jovian mass range, have been detected orbiting stars in the solar neighborhood. More than 15% of them are transiting their primaries and these have collectively yielded a wealth of structural and physical information which theorists are scrambling to interpret. In this talk. I will present the current theory of the their atmospheres, compositions, and spectra. Due to stellar irradiation effects and heat redistribution by super-rotational jet streams, we must eventually construct with some fidelity 3D general circulation models (GCMs), with multi-D radiative transfer. However, simpler planar models with average irradiation boundary conditions and crude day-night heat transport algorithms do a reasonable 1st-order job of reproducing what is observed directly by the Spitzer infrared space telescope. In particular, thermal inversions and stratospheres are inferred for many close-in EGPs. I will discuss the confrontation of theory with data and summarize what has been learned to date.

  16. Probing exoplanet clouds with optical phase curves

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Antonio García; Isaak, Kate G.

    2015-01-01

    Kepler-7b is to date the only exoplanet for which clouds have been inferred from the optical phase curve—from visible-wavelength whole-disk brightness measurements as a function of orbital phase. Added to this, the fact that the phase curve appears dominated by reflected starlight makes this close-in giant planet a unique study case. Here we investigate the information on coverage and optical properties of the planet clouds contained in the measured phase curve. We generate cloud maps of Kepler-7b and use a multiple-scattering approach to create synthetic phase curves, thus connecting postulated clouds with measurements. We show that optical phase curves can help constrain the composition and size of the cloud particles. Indeed, model fitting for Kepler-7b requires poorly absorbing particles that scatter with low-to-moderate anisotropic efficiency, conclusions consistent with condensates of silicates, perovskite, and silica of submicron radii. We also show that we are limited in our ability to pin down the extent and location of the clouds. These considerations are relevant to the interpretation of optical phase curves with general circulation models. Finally, we estimate that the spherical albedo of Kepler-7b over the Kepler passband is in the range 0.4–0.5. PMID:26489652

  17. Probing exoplanet clouds with optical phase curves.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Antonio García; Isaak, Kate G

    2015-11-01

    Kepler-7b is to date the only exoplanet for which clouds have been inferred from the optical phase curve--from visible-wavelength whole-disk brightness measurements as a function of orbital phase. Added to this, the fact that the phase curve appears dominated by reflected starlight makes this close-in giant planet a unique study case. Here we investigate the information on coverage and optical properties of the planet clouds contained in the measured phase curve. We generate cloud maps of Kepler-7b and use a multiple-scattering approach to create synthetic phase curves, thus connecting postulated clouds with measurements. We show that optical phase curves can help constrain the composition and size of the cloud particles. Indeed, model fitting for Kepler-7b requires poorly absorbing particles that scatter with low-to-moderate anisotropic efficiency, conclusions consistent with condensates of silicates, perovskite, and silica of submicron radii. We also show that we are limited in our ability to pin down the extent and location of the clouds. These considerations are relevant to the interpretation of optical phase curves with general circulation models. Finally, we estimate that the spherical albedo of Kepler-7b over the Kepler passband is in the range 0.4-0.5. PMID:26489652

  18. Exploring Equilibrium Chemistry for Hot Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blumenthal, Sarah; Harrington, Joseph; Mandell, Avi; Hébrard, Eric; Venot, Olivia; Cubillos, Patricio; Challener, Ryan

    2015-11-01

    It has been established that equilibrium chemistry is usually achieved deep in the atmosphere of hot Jovians where timescales are short (Line and Young 2013). Thus, equilibrium chemistry has been used as a starting point (setting initial conditions) for evaluating disequilibrium processes. We explore parameters of setting these initial conditions including departures from solar metallicity, the number of species allowed in a system, the types of species allowed in a system, and different thermodynamic libraries in an attempt to create a standard for evaluating equilibrium chemistry. NASA's open source code Chemical Equilibrium and Applications (CEA) is used to calculate model planet abundances by varying the metallicity, in the pressure regime of 0.1 to 1 bar. These results are compared to a variety of exoplanets (Teq between 600 and 2100K) qualitatively by color maps of the dayside with different temperature redistributions. Additionally, CEA (with an updated thermodynamic library) is validated with the thermochemical model presented in Venot et al. (2012) for HD 209458b and HD 189733b. This same analysis has then been extended to the cooler planet HD 97658b. Spectra are generated from both models’ abundances using the open source code transit (https://github.com/exosports/transit) using the opacities of 15 molecules. We make the updated CEA thermodyanamic library and supporting Python scripts to do the CEA analyses available open source. This work was supported by NASA Planetary Atmospheres grant NNX12AI69G.

  19. MKIDs for Direct Imaging of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazin, Benjamin A.; Meeker, Seth; Strader, Matthew; Szypryt, Paul; Walter, Alex; Bockstiegel, Clint; Collura, Giulia; Mawet, Dimitri; Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Guyon, Olivier; Jovanovic, Nemanja; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Serabyn, Eugene

    2015-12-01

    Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKIDs) are single photon counting, energy resolving detectors applicable from the optical through near-IR. MKIDs are especially interesting for exoplanet direct imaging due to their read noise free, high speed, energy resolved near-IR photon counting in reasonably large formats. The first MKID instrument, ARCONS, has been taking data on the Palomar 200” for several years. There are currently two UVOIR MKID instruments fully funded and under construction for direct imaging of planets, DARKNESS for the Palomar coronagraphs and MEC for Subaru’s SCExAO. Operating an MKID camera behind these coronagraphs will allow an effective 2 kHz frame rate with minimal latency, allowing fast real-time nulling of atmospheric speckles. Simulations show this could improve contrast ratios by up to a factor of 100. In this this talk I will discuss the current state of these cameras as well as their expected scientific yield. In particular, MEC with SCExAO on Subaru may be capable of detecting Jupiter analogs in reflected light within the next 2 years.

  20. Results of the 2015 Spitzer Exoplanet Data Challenge: Repeatability and Accuracy of Exoplanet Eclipse Depths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingalls, James G.; Krick, Jessica E.; Carey, Sean J.; Stauffer, John R.; Grillmair, Carl J.; Lowrance, Patrick

    2016-06-01

    We examine the repeatability, reliability, and accuracy of differential exoplanet eclipse depth measurements made using the InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC) on the Spitzer Space Telescope during the post-cryogenic mission. At infrared wavelengths secondary eclipses and phase curves are powerful tools for studying a planet’s atmosphere. Extracting information about atmospheres, however, is extremely challenging due to the small differential signals, which are often at the level of 100 parts per million (ppm) or smaller, and require the removal of significant instrumental systematics. For the IRAC 3.6 and 4.5μm InSb detectors that remain active on post-cryogenic Spitzer, the interplay of residual telescope pointing fluctuations with intrapixel gain variations in the moderately under sampled camera is the largest source of time-correlated noise. Over the past decade, a suite of techniques for removing this noise from IRAC data has been developed independently by various investigators. In summer 2015, the Spitzer Science Center hosted a Data Challenge in which seven exoplanet expert teams, each using a different noise-removal method, were invited to analyze 10 eclipse measurements of the hot Jupiter XO-3 b, as well as a complementary set of 10 simulated measurements. In this contribution we review the results of the Challenge. We describe statistical tools to assess the repeatability, reliability, and validity of data reduction techniques, and to compare and (perhaps) choose between techniques.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foreman-Mackey, Daniel

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

  2. Declassified intelligence satellite photographs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    1998-01-01

    Recently declassified photographs from spy satellites are an important addition to the record of the Earth?s land surface held by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). More than 800,000 high-resolution photos taken between 1959 through 1972 were made available by Executive Order of the President. The collection is held at the USGS EROS Data Center, near Sioux Falls, S. Dak., and are offered for public sale. For some purposes in earth science studies, these photos extend the record of changes in the land surface another decade back in time from the advent of the Landsat earth-observing satellite program.

  3. A geopause satellite system concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siry, J. W.

    1971-01-01

    A typical Geopause satellite orbit has a 14 hour period, a mean height of about 4.6 earth radii, and is nearly circular, polar, and normal to the ecliptic. At this height only a relatively few gravity terms have uncertainties corresponding to orbital perturbations above the decimeter level. The orbit is at the geopotential boundary, the geopause. The few remaining environmental quantities which may be significant can be determined by means of orbit analysis and accelerometers. The Geopause satellite system also provides the tracking geometry and coverage needed for determining the orbit, the tracking system biases and the station locations. Five or more fundamental stations well distributed in longitude can view Geopause over the North Pole. Geopause also provides the basic capability for satellite-to-satellite tracking of drag-free satellites for mapping the gravity field and altimeter satellites for surveying the sea surface topography.

  4. Detectability of Exoplanet Periastron Passage in the Infrared

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kane, Stephen R.; Gelino, Dawn M.

    2011-11-01

    Characterization of exoplanets has matured in recent years, particularly through studies of exoplanetary atmospheres of transiting planets at infrared wavelengths. The primary source for such observations has been the Spitzer Space Telescope but these studies are anticipated to continue with the James Webb Space Telescope. A relatively unexplored region of exoplanet parameter space is the thermal detection of long-period eccentric planets during periastron passage. Here we describe the thermal properties and albedos of long-period giant planets along with the eccentricities of those orbits which allow them to remain within the habitable zone. We further apply these results to the known exoplanets by calculating temperatures and flux ratios for the IRAC passbands occupied by warm Spitzer, considering both low and high thermal redistribution efficiencies from the perspective of an observer. We conclude with recommendations on which targets are best suited for follow-up observations.

  5. The future of spectroscopic life detection on exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Seager, Sara

    2014-09-01

    The discovery and characterization of exoplanets have the potential to offer the world one of the most impactful findings ever in the history of astronomy--the identification of life beyond Earth. Life can be inferred by the presence of atmospheric biosignature gases--gases produced by life that can accumulate to detectable levels in an exoplanet atmosphere. Detection will be made by remote sensing by sophisticated space telescopes. The conviction that biosignature gases will actually be detected in the future is moderated by lessons learned from the dozens of exoplanet atmospheres studied in last decade, namely the difficulty in robustly identifying molecules, the possible interference of clouds, and the permanent limitations from a spectrum of spatially unresolved and globally mixed gases without direct surface observations. The vision for the path to assess the presence of life beyond Earth is being established.

  6. Past, present, and future of exoplanet research at UV wavelengths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fossati, Luca

    2016-07-01

    The study of extra-solar planets (exoplanets) is arguably the most exciting and fastest-growing field in Astrophysics. We are only now beginning to see and understand the large variety of exoplanets, starting to classify them on the basis of their properties. Observations of transiting close-in planets at ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths revealed that such planets are subject to powerful mass-loss that shapes planetary structure, composition, and evolution. Thanks mostly to the Hubble Space Telescope, the past decade has seen great advances in the study of planet evaporation, but there are still many open questions and the the observations obtained so far were not able to provide enough constraints to the many models that have been developed in the meantime. I will review the past observations and advances in exoplanet science obtained on the basis of UV observations and discuss the prospects of further discoveries on the basis of the currently available and planned UV space telescopes.

  7. The future of spectroscopic life detection on exoplanets

    PubMed Central

    Seager, Sara

    2014-01-01

    The discovery and characterization of exoplanets have the potential to offer the world one of the most impactful findings ever in the history of astronomy—the identification of life beyond Earth. Life can be inferred by the presence of atmospheric biosignature gases—gases produced by life that can accumulate to detectable levels in an exoplanet atmosphere. Detection will be made by remote sensing by sophisticated space telescopes. The conviction that biosignature gases will actually be detected in the future is moderated by lessons learned from the dozens of exoplanet atmospheres studied in last decade, namely the difficulty in robustly identifying molecules, the possible interference of clouds, and the permanent limitations from a spectrum of spatially unresolved and globally mixed gases without direct surface observations. The vision for the path to assess the presence of life beyond Earth is being established. PMID:25092345

  8. The future of spectroscopic life detection on exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Seager, Sara

    2014-09-01

    The discovery and characterization of exoplanets have the potential to offer the world one of the most impactful findings ever in the history of astronomy--the identification of life beyond Earth. Life can be inferred by the presence of atmospheric biosignature gases--gases produced by life that can accumulate to detectable levels in an exoplanet atmosphere. Detection will be made by remote sensing by sophisticated space telescopes. The conviction that biosignature gases will actually be detected in the future is moderated by lessons learned from the dozens of exoplanet atmospheres studied in last decade, namely the difficulty in robustly identifying molecules, the possible interference of clouds, and the permanent limitations from a spectrum of spatially unresolved and globally mixed gases without direct surface observations. The vision for the path to assess the presence of life beyond Earth is being established. PMID:25092345

  9. DETECTABILITY OF EXOPLANET PERIASTRON PASSAGE IN THE INFRARED

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, Stephen R.; Gelino, Dawn M.

    2011-11-01

    Characterization of exoplanets has matured in recent years, particularly through studies of exoplanetary atmospheres of transiting planets at infrared wavelengths. The primary source for such observations has been the Spitzer Space Telescope but these studies are anticipated to continue with the James Webb Space Telescope. A relatively unexplored region of exoplanet parameter space is the thermal detection of long-period eccentric planets during periastron passage. Here we describe the thermal properties and albedos of long-period giant planets along with the eccentricities of those orbits which allow them to remain within the habitable zone. We further apply these results to the known exoplanets by calculating temperatures and flux ratios for the IRAC passbands occupied by warm Spitzer, considering both low and high thermal redistribution efficiencies from the perspective of an observer. We conclude with recommendations on which targets are best suited for follow-up observations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-21

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

  11. Synergies between spectroscopic and asteroseismic surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Jianning; De Cat, Peter; Ren, An-Bing; Yang, Xiao-Hu; Catanzaro, Giovanni; Corbally, Christopher J.; Frasca, Antonio; Gray, Richard O.; Cecylia Molenda-Zakowicz, Joanna; Shi, Jian-Rong; Ali, Luo; Zhang, Haotong

    2015-08-01

    The NASA Kepler satellite has provided unprecedented high duty-cycle, high-precision light curves for a large number of stars by continuously monitoring a field of view in Cygnus-Lyra region, leading to great progress in both discovering exoplanets and characterizing planet-hosting stars by means of asteroseismic methods. The asteroseismic survey allows the investigation of stars covering the whole H-R diagram. However, the low precision of effective temperatures and surface gravities in the KIC10 catalogue and the lack of information on chemical composition, metallicity and rotation rate prevent asteroseismic modeling, requiring spectroscopic observations for thousands of asteroseismic targets in the Kepler field in a homogeneous way.In 2010, we initiated the LAMOST-Kepler project which aimed at collecting low-resolution spectra for as many objects from the KIC10 catalogue as possible, with the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST), a 4-m telescope equipped with 4,000 optical fibers. The first round of observations has been completed in fall 2014, covering all the 14 sub-fields at least once, resulting in more than 100,000 low-resolution spectra. The stellar atmospheric parameters are then derived and the results have been confirmed to be consistent with those reported in the literature based on high-resolution spectroscopy.

  12. Technology Needs for the Direct Imaging of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegler, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    This talk will describe the technology needs for space telescopes to directly image Earth-size planets in the Habitable Zone of Sun-like stars. Direct imaging of faint, potentially terrestrial exoplanets begins with starlight suppression - the ability to block out the light from the target star and capture the reflected light from its nearby, faint exoplanet. I will provide an update for the technology needs in the fields of space coronagraphy (internal occulters) and starshades (external occulters) along with other key needs such as segmented primary mirrors, deformable mirrors, ultra-low-noise detectors, and large structure deployments.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dou, Jiangpei; Ren, Deqing; Zhu, Yongtian

    2015-08-01

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

  14. News of Brazilian space activities. [use of satellite data in meteorology and Earth resources programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    Remote sensing and meteorological observations of satellites are covered. Development of an oceanographic atlas, prediction of droughts, and results of geological surveys using satellite data are discussed.

  15. Ultraviolet Spectra of Subluminous Objects Found in the Kiso Schmidt Survey and Systematic Reanalysis of the Archived Ultraviolet Spectra of White Dwarfs Observed with the IUE Satellite Under the Astrophysics Data Program (ADP)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wegner, Gary A.

    1988-01-01

    Recent research under NASA grant NAG5-971 consisted of the performance of two projects in conjunction with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellites. These are: (1) to look at the ultraviolet spectra of subluminous stars identified from visual wavelength spectroscopy that had been originally discovered from the Kiso Schmidt survey for ultraviolet excess stars and (2) to carry out a systematic reanalysis of the archived IUE spectra of white dwarfs. This report presents information on the progress of the re-reduction of over 600 IUE white dwarf spectra and their subsequent analysis employing model atmospheres and the observation of the Kiso ultraviolet excess stars.

  16. Preferred Hosts for Short-Period Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-12-01

    In an effort to learn more about how planets form around their host stars, a team of scientists has analyzed the population of Kepler-discovered exoplanet candidates, looking for trends in where theyre found.Planetary OccurrenceSince its launch in 2009, Kepler has found thousands of candidate exoplanets around a variety of star types. Especially intriguing is the large population of super-Earths and mini-Neptunes planets with masses between that of Earth and Neptune that have short orbital periods. How did they come to exist so close to their host star? Did they form in situ, or migrate inwards, or some combination of both processes?To constrain these formation mechanisms, a team of scientists led by Gijs Mulders (University of Arizona and NASAs NExSS coalition) analyzed the population of Kepler planet candidates that have orbital periods between 2 and 50 days.Mulders and collaborators used statistical reconstructions to find the average number of planets, within this orbital range, around each star in the Kepler field. They then determined how this planet occurrence rate changed for different spectral types and therefore the masses of the host stars: do low-mass M-dwarf stars host more or fewer planets than higher-mass, main-sequence F, G, or K stars?Challenging ModelsAuthors estimates for the occurrence rate for short-period planets of different radii around M-dwarfs (purple) and around F, G, and K-type stars (blue). [Mulders et al. 2015]The team found that M dwarfs, compared to F, G, or K stars, host about half as many large planets with orbital periods of P 50 days. But, surprisingly, they host significantly more small planets, racking up an average of 3.5 times the number of planets in the size range of 12.8 Earth-radii.Could it be that M dwarfs have a lower total mass of planets, but that mass is distributed into more, smaller planets? Apparently not: the authors show that the mass of heavy elements trapped in short-orbital-period planets is higher for M

  17. Choosing a survey sample when data on the population are limited: a method using Global Positioning Systems and aerial and satellite photographs

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Various methods have been proposed for sampling when data on the population are limited. However, these methods are often biased. We propose a new method to draw a population sample using Global Positioning Systems and aerial or satellite photographs. Results We randomly sampled Global Positioning System locations in designated areas. A circle was drawn around each location with radius representing 20 m. Buildings in the circle were identified from satellite photographs; one was randomly chosen. Interviewers selected one household from the building, and interviews were conducted with eligible household members. Conclusions Participants had known selection probabilities, allowing proper estimation of parameters of interest and their variances. The approach was made possible by recent technological developments and access to satellite photographs. PMID:22967277

  18. Characterizing Transiting Exoplanet Atmospheres with JWST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greene, Thomas P.; Line, Michael R.; Montero, Cezar; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Lustig-Yaeger, Jacob; Luther, Kyle

    2016-01-01

    We explore how well spectra from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will likely constrain bulk atmospheric properties of transiting exoplanets. We start by modeling the atmospheres of archetypal hot Jupiter, warm Neptune, warm sub-Neptune, and cool super-Earth planets with atmospheres that are clear, cloudy, or of high mean molecular weight (HMMW). Next we simulate the λ = 1-11 μm transmission and emission spectra of these systems for several JWST instrument modes for single-transit or single-eclipse events. We then perform retrievals to determine how well temperatures and molecular mixing ratios (CH4, CO, CO2, H2O, NH3) can be constrained. We find that λ = 1-2.5 μm transmission spectra will often constrain the major molecular constituents of clear solar-composition atmospheres well. Cloudy or HMMW atmospheres will often require full 1-11 μm spectra for good constraints, and emission data may be more useful in cases of sufficiently high Fp and high Fp/F*. Strong temperature inversions in the solar-composition hot-Jupiter atmosphere should be detectable with 1-2.5+ μm emission spectra, and 1-5+ μm emission spectra will constrain the temperature-pressure profiles of warm planets. Transmission spectra over 1-5+ μm will constrain [Fe/H] values to better than 0.5 dex for the clear atmospheres of the hot and warm planets studied. Carbon-to-oxygen ratios can be constrained to better than a factor of 2 in some systems. We expect that these results will provide useful predictions of the scientific value of single-event JWST spectra until its on-orbit performance is known.

  19. Thermodynamic Limits on Magnetodynamos in Rocky Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaidos, Eric; Conrad, Clinton P.; Manga, Michael; Hernlund, John

    2010-08-01

    To ascertain whether magnetic dynamos operate in rocky exoplanets more massive or hotter than the Earth, we developed a parametric model of a differentiated rocky planet and its thermal evolution. Our model reproduces the established properties of Earth's interior and magnetic field at the present time. When applied to Venus, assuming that planet lacks plate tectonics and has a dehydrated mantle with an elevated viscosity, the model shows that the dynamo shuts down or never operated. Our model predicts that at a fixed planet mass, dynamo history is sensitive to core size, but not to the initial inventory of long-lived, heat-producing radionuclides. It predicts that rocky planets larger than 2.5 Earth masses will not develop inner cores because the temperature-pressure slope of the iron solidus becomes flatter than that of the core adiabat. Instead, iron "snow" will condense near or at the top of these cores, and the net transfer of latent heat upward will suppress convection and a dynamo. More massive planets can have anemic dynamos due to core cooling, but only if they have mobile lids (plate tectonics). The lifetime of these dynamos is shorter with increasing planet mass but longer with higher surface temperature. Massive Venus-like planets with stagnant lids and more viscous mantles will lack dynamos altogether. We identify two alternative sources of magnetic fields on rocky planets: eddy currents induced in the hot or molten upper layers of planets on very short-period orbits, and dynamos in the ionic conducting layers of "ocean" planets with ~10% mass in an upper mantle of water (ice).

  20. Cosmological Aspects of Habitability of Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shchekinov, Yu. A.; Safonova, M.; Murphy, J.

    2014-10-01

    Habitable zone (HZ) defines the region around a start within which planets may support liquid water at their surfaces, which is supposed to be the necessary factor for origination and development of life on the planet. Currently we know about 30 planets inside HZ. The most interesting question is that of possibility of existence of complex life on the planets. As several space-based project aimed at searching of traces of life at exoplanets are presently being worked out, the problem of elaboration of criteria for selection out of the list of planets inside HZ those which most probably host life acquires supreme importance. It is usually implicitly assumed that planets inside HZ may host life, not taking into consideration such an important factor as the planet age. On the other hand the crucial importance of the factor meets the eye immediately. In fact, if we consider a life similar to that on the Earth, it is obvious, that planets younger than 1 Gyr can hardly bear even primitive life-forms because life needs time to originate and develop. Moreover, as a part of biochemical and metabolic processes are endothermic, and, therefore, threshold, the process of life origination may prove extremely sensitive even to tiny HZ parameter variations. Still a most of the discovered planets are known to orbit young stars (stellar population I), no older than several mullions of years. So a considerable number of planets sure HZ inhabitants may prove too young to be really inhabitable. On the other hand, 12-13 Gyr old planetary systems (population II) may happen to be more probable bearers of life. In spite of the fact that such systems are, in the average more distant from us that the population I stars, estimations of possibility of direct detection of traces of metabolism on those systems are quite optimistic, if we bear in mind planetary systems of old law-mass K-stars.

  1. Tidal Heating in Multilayered Terrestrial Exoplanets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henning, Wade G.; Hurford, Terry

    2014-01-01

    The internal pattern and overall magnitude of tidal heating for spin-synchronous terrestrial exoplanets from 1 to 2.5 R(sub E) is investigated using a propagator matrix method for a variety of layer structures. Particular attention is paid to ice-silicate hybrid super-Earths, where a significant ice mantle is modeled to rest atop an iron-silicate core, and may or may not contain a liquid water ocean. We find multilayer modeling often increases tidal dissipation relative to a homogeneous model, across multiple orbital periods, due to the ability to include smaller volume low viscosity regions, and the added flexure allowed by liquid layers. Gradations in parameters with depth are explored, such as allowed by the Preliminary Earth Reference Model. For ice-silicate hybrid worlds, dramatically greater dissipation is possible beyond the case of a silicate mantle only, allowing non-negligible tidal activity to extend to greater orbital periods than previously predicted. Surface patterns of tidal heating are found to potentially be useful for distinguishing internal structure. The influence of ice mantle depth and water ocean size and position are shown for a range of forcing frequencies. Rates of orbital circularization are found to be 10-100 times faster than standard predictions for Earth-analog planets when interiors are moderately warmer than the modern Earth, as well as for a diverse range of ice-silicate hybrid super-Earths. Circularization rates are shown to be significantly longer for planets with layers equivalent to an ocean-free modern Earth, as well as for planets with high fractions of either ice or silicate melting.

  2. OPTICAL PHASE CURVES OF KEPLER EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Esteves, Lisa J.; De Mooij, Ernst J. W.; Jayawardhana, Ray E-mail: demooij@astro.utoronto.ca

    2013-07-20

    We conducted a comprehensive search for optical phase variations of all close-in (a/R{sub *} < 10) planet candidates in 15 quarters of Kepler space telescope data. After correcting for systematics, we found eight systems that show secondary eclipses as well as phase variations. Of these, five (Kepler-5, Kepler-6, Kepler-8, KOI-64, and KOI-2133) are new and three (TrES-2, HAT-P-7, and KOI-13) have published phase curves, albeit with many fewer observations. We model the full phase curve of each planet candidate, including the primary and secondary transits, and derive their albedos, dayside and nightside temperatures, ellipsoidal variations, and Doppler beaming. We find that KOI-64 and KOI-2133 have nightside temperatures well above their equilibrium values (while KOI-2133 also has an albedo, >1), so we conclude that they are likely to be self-luminous objects rather than planets. The other six candidates have characteristics consistent with their being planets with low geometric albedos (<0.3). For TrES-2 and KOI-13, the Kepler bandpass appears to probe atmospheric layers hotter than the planet's equilibrium temperature. For KOI-13, we detect a never-before-seen third cosine harmonic with an amplitude of 6.7 {+-} 0.3 ppm and a phase shift of -1.1 {+-} 0.1 rad in the phase curve residual, possibly due to its spin-orbit misalignment. We report derived planetary parameters for all six planets, including masses from ellipsoidal variations and Doppler beaming, and compare our results to published values when available. Our results nearly double the number of Kepler exoplanets with measured phase curve variations, thus providing valuable constraints on the properties of hot Jupiters.

  3. THERMODYNAMIC LIMITS ON MAGNETODYNAMOS IN ROCKY EXOPLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Gaidos, Eric; Conrad, Clinton P.; Manga, Michael; Hernlund, John

    2010-08-01

    To ascertain whether magnetic dynamos operate in rocky exoplanets more massive or hotter than the Earth, we developed a parametric model of a differentiated rocky planet and its thermal evolution. Our model reproduces the established properties of Earth's interior and magnetic field at the present time. When applied to Venus, assuming that planet lacks plate tectonics and has a dehydrated mantle with an elevated viscosity, the model shows that the dynamo shuts down or never operated. Our model predicts that at a fixed planet mass, dynamo history is sensitive to core size, but not to the initial inventory of long-lived, heat-producing radionuclides. It predicts that rocky planets larger than 2.5 Earth masses will not develop inner cores because the temperature-pressure slope of the iron solidus becomes flatter than that of the core adiabat. Instead, iron 'snow' will condense near or at the top of these cores, and the net transfer of latent heat upward will suppress convection and a dynamo. More massive planets can have anemic dynamos due to core cooling, but only if they have mobile lids (plate tectonics). The lifetime of these dynamos is shorter with increasing planet mass but longer with higher surface temperature. Massive Venus-like planets with stagnant lids and more viscous mantles will lack dynamos altogether. We identify two alternative sources of magnetic fields on rocky planets: eddy currents induced in the hot or molten upper layers of planets on very short-period orbits, and dynamos in the ionic conducting layers of 'ocean' planets with {approx}10% mass in an upper mantle of water (ice).

  4. A conceptual design for an exoplanet imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyland, David C.; Winkeller, Jon; Mosher, Robert; Momin, Anif; Iglesias, Gerardo; Donnellan, Quentin; Stanley, Jerry; Myers, Storm; Whittington, William G.; Asazuma, Taro; Slagle, Kami; Newton, Lindsay; Bourgeois, Scott; Tejeda, Donny; Young, Brian; Shaver, Nick; Cooper, Jacob; Underwood, Dennis; Perkins, James; Morea, Nathan; Goodnight, Ryan; Colunga, Aaron; Peltier, Scott; Singleton, Zane; Brashear, John; McPherson, Ronald; Guillory, Winston; Patel, Sunil; Stovall, Rachel; Meyer, Ryall; Eberle, Patrick; Morrison, Cole; Mong, Chun Yu

    2007-09-01

    This paper reports the results of a design study for an exoplanet imaging system. The design team consisted of the students in the "Electromagnetic Sensing for Space-Bourne Imaging" class taught by the principal author in the Spring, 2005 semester. The design challenge was to devise a space system capable of forming 10X10 pixel images of terrestrial-class planets out to 10 parsecs, observing in the 9.0 to 17.0 microns range. It was presumed that this system would operate after the Terrestrial Planet Finder had been deployed and had identified a number of planetary systems for more detailed imaging. The design team evaluated a large number of tradeoffs, starting with the use of a single monolithic telescope, versus a truss-mounted sparse aperture, versus a formation of free-flying telescopes. Having selected the free-flyer option, the team studied a variety of sensing technologies, including amplitude interferometry, intensity correlation imaging (ICI, based on the Brown-Twiss effect and phase retrieval), heterodyne interferometry and direct electric field reconstruction. Intensity correlation imaging was found to have several advantages. It does not require combiner spacecraft, nor nanometer-level control of the relative positions, nor diffraction-limited optics. Orbit design, telescope design, spacecraft structural design, thermal management and communications architecture trades were also addressed. A six spacecraft design involving non-repeating baselines was selected. By varying the overall scale of the baselines it was found possible to unambiguously characterize an entire multi-planet system, to image the parent star and, for the largest base scales, to determine 10X10 pixel images of individual planets.

  5. Modeling and Fitting Exoplanet Transit Light Curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millholland, Sarah; Ruch, G. T.

    2013-01-01

    We present a numerical model along with an original fitting routine for the analysis of transiting extra-solar planet light curves. Our light curve model is unique in several ways from other available transit models, such as the analytic eclipse formulae of Mandel & Agol (2002) and Giménez (2006), the modified Eclipsing Binary Orbit Program (EBOP) model implemented in Southworth’s JKTEBOP code (Popper & Etzel 1981; Southworth et al. 2004), or the transit model developed as a part of the EXOFAST fitting suite (Eastman et al. in prep.). Our model employs Keplerian orbital dynamics about the system’s center of mass to properly account for stellar wobble and orbital eccentricity, uses a unique analytic solution derived from Kepler’s Second Law to calculate the projected distance between the centers of the star and planet, and calculates the effect of limb darkening using a simple technique that is different from the commonly used eclipse formulae. We have also devised a unique Monte Carlo style optimization routine for fitting the light curve model to observed transits. We demonstrate that, while the effect of stellar wobble on transit light curves is generally small, it becomes significant as the planet to stellar mass ratio increases and the semi-major axes of the orbits decrease. We also illustrate the appreciable effects of orbital ellipticity on the light curve and the necessity of accounting for its impacts for accurate modeling. We show that our simple limb darkening calculations are as accurate as the analytic equations of Mandel & Agol (2002). Although our Monte Carlo fitting algorithm is not as mathematically rigorous as the Markov Chain Monte Carlo based algorithms most often used to determine exoplanetary system parameters, we show that it is straightforward and returns reliable results. Finally, we show that analyses performed with our model and optimization routine compare favorably with exoplanet characterizations published by groups such as the

  6. Tidal heating in multilayered terrestrial exoplanets

    SciTech Connect

    Henning, Wade G.; Hurford, Terry

    2014-07-01

    The internal pattern and overall magnitude of tidal heating for spin-synchronous terrestrial exoplanets from 1 to 2.5 R{sub E} is investigated using a propagator matrix method for a variety of layer structures. Particular attention is paid to ice-silicate hybrid super-Earths, where a significant ice mantle is modeled to rest atop an iron-silicate core, and may or may not contain a liquid water ocean. We find multilayer modeling often increases tidal dissipation relative to a homogeneous model, across multiple orbital periods, due to the ability to include smaller volume low viscosity regions, and the added flexure allowed by liquid layers. Gradations in parameters with depth are explored, such as allowed by the Preliminary Earth Reference Model. For ice-silicate hybrid worlds, dramatically greater dissipation is possible beyond the case of a silicate mantle only, allowing non-negligible tidal activity to extend to greater orbital periods than previously predicted. Surface patterns of tidal heating are found to potentially be useful for distinguishing internal structure. The influence of ice mantle depth and water ocean size and position are shown for a range of forcing frequencies. Rates of orbital circularization are found to be 10-100 times faster than standard predictions for Earth-analog planets when interiors are moderately warmer than the modern Earth, as well as for a diverse range of ice-silicate hybrid super-Earths. Circularization rates are shown to be significantly longer for planets with layers equivalent to an ocean-free modern Earth, as well as for planets with high fractions of either ice or silicate melting.

  7. Meteorological satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allison, L. J. (Editor); Schnapf, A.; Diesen, B. C., III; Martin, P. S.; Schwalb, A.; Bandeen, W. R.

    1980-01-01

    An overview is presented of the meteorological satellite programs that have been evolving from 1958 to the present, and plans for the future meteorological and environmental satellite systems that are scheduled to be placed into service in the early 1980's are reviewed. The development of the TIROS family of weather satellites, including TIROS, ESSA, ITOS/NOAA, and the present TIROS-N (the third generation operational system) is summarized. The contribution of the Nimbus and ATS technology satellites to the development of the operational-orbiting and geostationary satellites is discussed. Included are descriptions of both the TIROS-N and the DMSP payloads currently under development to assure a continued and orderly growth of these systems into the 1980's.

  8. Are rotating planes of satellite galaxies ubiquitous?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, John I.; Cooper, Michael C.; Bullock, James S.; Boylan-Kolchin, Michael

    2015-11-01

    We compare the dynamics of satellite galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to simple models in order to test the hypothesis that a large fraction of satellites corotate in coherent planes. We confirm the previously reported excess of corotating satellite pairs located near diametric opposition with respect to their host, but show that this signal is unlikely to be due to rotating discs (or planes) of satellites. In particular, no overabundance of corotating satellites pairs is observed within ˜20°-50° of direct opposition, as would be expected for planar distributions inclined relative to the line of sight. Instead, the excess corotation for satellite pairs within ˜10° of opposition is consistent with random noise associated with undersampling of an underlying isotropic velocity distribution. Based upon the observed dynamics of the luminous satellite population, we conclude that at most 10 per cent of isolated hosts harbour corotating satellite planes (as traced by bright satellites).

  9. ESA's satellite communications programme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartholome, P.

    1985-02-01

    The developmental history, current status, and future plans of the ESA satellite-communications programs are discussed in a general survey and illustrated with network diagrams and maps. Consideration is given to the parallel development of national and European direct-broadcast systems and telecommunications networks, the position of the European space and electronics industries in the growing world market, the impact of technological improvements (both in satellite systems and in ground-based networks), and the technological and commercial advantages of integrated space-terrestrial networks. The needs for a European definition of the precise national and international roles of satellite communications, for maximum speed in implementing suc