WorldWideScience

Sample records for jupiter-mass exoplanet transiting

  1. A short-period censor of sub-Jupiter mass exoplanets with low density

    CERN Document Server

    Szabó, Gy M

    2010-01-01

    Despite the existence of many short-period hot Jupiters, there is not one hot Neptune with an orbital period less than 2.5 days. Here we discuss a cluster analysis of the currently known 106 transiting exoplanets to investigate a possible explanation for this observation. We find two distinct clusters in the mass-density space, one with hot Jupiters with a wide range of orbital periods (0.8--114 days) and a narrow range of planet radii (1.2 +- 0.2 R_J); and another one with a mixture of super-Earths, hot Neptunes and hot Jupiters, exhibiting a surprisingly narrow period distribution (3.7 +- 0.8 days). These two clusters follow different distributions in the period-radius parameter plane. The branch of sub-Jupiter mass exoplanets is censored by the orbital period at large-radii: no planets with mass between 0.02--0.8 M_J or with radius between 0.25--1.0 R_J are known with P_orb<2.5 days. This clustering is not predicted by current theories of planet formation and evolution that we also review briefly.

  2. A short-period censor of sub-Jupiter mass exoplanets with low density

    OpenAIRE

    Szabó, Gy. M.; Kiss, L. L.

    2010-01-01

    Despite the existence of many short-period hot Jupiters, there is not one hot Neptune with an orbital period less than 2.5 days. Here we discuss a cluster analysis of the currently known 106 transiting exoplanets to investigate a possible explanation for this observation. We find two distinct clusters in the mass-density space, one with hot Jupiters with a wide range of orbital periods (0.8--114 days) and a narrow range of planet radii (1.2 +- 0.2 R_J); and another one with ...

  3. Discovery and characterization of WASP-6b, an inflated sub-Jupiter mass planet transiting a solar-type star

    CERN Document Server

    Gillon, M; Triaud, A H M J; Hellier, C; Maxted, P F L; Pollaco, D; Queloz, D; Smalley, B; West, R G; Wilson, D M; Bentley, S J; Cameron, A Collier; Enoch, B; Hebb, L; Horne, K; Irwin, J; Joshi, Y C; Lister, T A; Mayor, M; Pepe, F; Parley, N; Ségransan, D; Udry, S; Wheatley, P J

    2009-01-01

    We report the discovery of WASP-6b, an inflated sub-Jupiter mass planet transiting every 3.3610060 +0.0000022-0.0000035 days a mildly metal-poor solar-type star of magnitude V=11.9. A combined analysis of the WASP photometry, high-precision followup transit photometry and radial velocities yield a planetary mass M_p = 0.503 +0.019-0.038 M_jup and radius R_p = 1.224 +0.051-0.052 R_jup, resulting in a density rho_p = 0.27 +-0.05 rho_jup. The mass and radius for the host star are M_s = 0.88 +0.05-0.08 M_sun and R_s = 0.870 +0.025-0.036 R_sun. The non-zero orbital eccentricity e = 0.054 +0.018-0.015 that we measure suggests that the planet underwent a massive tidal heating ~1 Gyr ago that could have contributed to its inflated radius. High-precision radial velocities obtained during a transit allow us to measure a sky-projected angle between the stellar spin and orbital axis Beta = 11 +14-18 deg. In addition to similar published measurements, this result favors a dominant migration mechanism based on tidal intera...

  4. KOI-183b: a half-Jupiter mass planet transiting a very old solar-like star

    CERN Document Server

    Gandolfi, D; Deeg, H J; Lanza, A F; Fridlund, M; Moroni, P G Prada; Alonso, R; Augusteijn, T; Cabrera, J; Evans, T; Geier, S; Hatzes, A P; Holczer, T; Hoyer, S; Kangas, T; Mazeh, T; Pagano, I; Tal-Or, L; Tingley, B

    2014-01-01

    We report the spectroscopic confirmation of the Kepler object of interest KOI-183b (also known as KOI-183.01), a half-Jupiter mass planet transiting an old solar-like star every 2.7 days. Our analysis is the first to combine the full Kepler photometry (quarters 1-17) with high-precision radial velocity measurements taken with the FIES spectrograph at the Nordic Optical Telescope. We simultaneously modelled the photometric and spectroscopic data-sets using Bayesian approach coupled with Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling. We found that the Kepler pre-search data conditioned (PDC) light curve of KOI-183 exhibits quarter-to-quarter systematic variations of the transit depth, with a peak-to-peak amplitude of about 4.3 % and seasonal trends reoccurring every four quarters. We attributed these systematics to an incorrect assessment of the quarterly variation of the crowding metric. The host star KOI-183 is a G4 dwarf with $M_\\star=0.85\\pm0.04$ M$_\\rm{Sun}$, $R_\\star=0.95\\pm0.04$ R$_\\rm{Sun}$, $T_\\mathrm{eff}=5560\\pm...

  5. Discovery and characterization of WASP-6b, an inflated sub-Jupiter mass planet transiting a solar-type star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillon, M.; Anderson, D. R.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Hellier, C.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Pollaco, D.; Queloz, D.; Smalley, B.; West, R. G.; Wilson, D. M.; Bentley, S. J.; Collier Cameron, A.; Enoch, B.; Hebb, L.; Horne, K.; Irwin, J.; Joshi, Y. C.; Lister, T. A.; Mayor, M.; Pepe, F.; Parley, N.; Segransan, D.; Udry, S.; Wheatley, P. J.

    2009-07-01

    We report the discovery of WASP-6b, an inflated sub-Jupiter mass planet transiting every 3.3610060+ 0.0000022 - 0.0000035 days a mildly metal-poor solar-type star of magnitude V = 11.9. A combined analysis of the WASP photometry, high-precision followup transit photometry and radial velocities yield a planetary mass Mp = 0.503+0.019-0.038 MJ and radius Rp = 1.224+0.051-0.052 R_J, resulting in a density ?p = 0.27 ± 0.05 ?_J. The mass and radius for the host star are M_ast = 0.88+0.05-0.08 M_? and R_ast = 0.870+0.025-0.036 R_?. The non-zero orbital eccentricity e = 0.054^+0.018-0.015 that we measure suggests that the planet underwent a massive tidal heating 1 Gyr ago that could have contributed to its inflated radius. High-precision radial velocities obtained during a transit allow us to measure a sky-projected angle between the stellar spin and orbital axis ? = 11+14-18 deg. In addition to similar published measurements, this result favors a dominant migration mechanism based on tidal interactions with a protoplanetary disk. Based on data collected with the HARPS spectrograph at ESO La Silla Observatory in the programs 082.C-0040(E) and 082.C-0608. The photometric time-series and radial velocities (Tables 4, 5) used in this work are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/501/785

  6. Saturn as a Transiting Exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 ?m 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. Kepler-423b: a half-Jupiter mass planet transiting a very old solar-like star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandolfi, D.; Parviainen, H.; Deeg, H. J.; Lanza, A. F.; Fridlund, M.; Prada Moroni, P. G.; Alonso, R.; Augusteijn, T.; Cabrera, J.; Evans, T.; Geier, S.; Hatzes, A. P.; Holczer, T.; Hoyer, S.; Kangas, T.; Mazeh, T.; Pagano, I.; Tal-Or, L.; Tingley, B.

    2015-04-01

    We report the spectroscopic confirmation of the Kepler object of interest KOI-183.01 (Kepler-423b), a half-Jupiter mass planet transiting an old solar-like star every 2.7 days. Our analysis is the first to combine the full Kepler photometry (quarters 1-17) with high-precision radial velocity measurements taken with the FIES spectrograph at the Nordic Optical Telescope. We simultaneously modelled the photometric and spectroscopic data-sets using Bayesian approach coupled with Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling. We found that the Kepler pre-search data conditioned light curve of Kepler-423 exhibits quarter-to-quarter systematic variations of the transit depth, with a peak-to-peak amplitude of ~4.3% and seasonal trends reoccurring every four quarters. We attributed these systematics to an incorrect assessment of the quarterly variation of the crowding metric. The host star Kepler-423 is a G4 dwarf with M? = 0.85 ± 0.04 M?, R? = 0.95 ± 0.04 R?, Teff= 5560 ± 80 K, [M/H] = - 0.10 ± 0.05 dex, and with an age of 11 ± 2 Gyr. The planet Kepler-423b has a mass of Mp= 0.595 ± 0.081MJup and a radius of Rp= 1.192 ± 0.052RJup, yielding a planetary bulk density of ?p = 0.459 ± 0.083 g cm-3. The radius of Kepler-423b is consistent with both theoretical models for irradiated coreless giant planets and expectations based on empirical laws. The inclination of the stellar spin axis suggests that the system is aligned along the line of sight. We detected a tentative secondary eclipse of the planet at a 2? confidence level (?Fec = 14.2 ± 6.6 ppm) and found that the orbit might have asmall non-zero eccentricity of 0.019+0.028-0.014. With a Bond albedo of AB = 0.037 ± 0.019, Kepler-423b is one of the gas-giant planets with the lowest albedo known so far. Based on observations obtained with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, in time allocated by OPTICON and the Spanish Time Allocation Committee (CAT).The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement number RG226604 (OPTICON) and 267251 (AstroFIt).

  8. Comparative Habitability of Transiting Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS ) will search for planets transiting bright and nearby stars. TESS has been selected by NASA for launch in 2017 as an Astrophysics Explorer mission. The spacecraft will be placed into a highly elliptical 13.7-day orbit around the Earth. During its two-year mission, TESS will employ four wide-field optical CCD cameras to monitor at least 200,000 main-sequence dwarf stars with IC (approximately less than) 13 for temporary drops in brightness caused b...

  10. Comparative Habitability of Transiting Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Barnes, Rory; Evans, Nicole

    2015-01-01

    Exoplanet habitability is traditionally assessed by comparing a planet's semi-major 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 transiti...

  11. Young Exoplanet Transit Initiative (YETI)

    CERN Document Server

    Neuhäuser, 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, ?; Nowak, G; Tomov, T; Tachihara, K; Hu, S C -L; Hung, L W; Radeva, D P Kjurkchieva \\and V S; Mihov, B M; Slavcheva-Mihova, L; Bozhinova, I N; Budaj, J; Va?ko, M; Kundra, E; Hambálek, ?; 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; Eisenbei\\ss, 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

    2011-01-01

    We present the Young Exoplanet Transit Initiative (YETI), in which we use several 0.2 to 2.6m 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 milli-mag 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 cl...

  12. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    CERN Document Server

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

    2014-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will search for planets transiting bright and nearby stars. TESS has been selected by NASA for launch in 2017 as an Astrophysics Explorer mission. The spacecraft will be placed into a highly elliptical 13.7-day orbit around the Earth. During its two-year mission, TESS will employ four wide-field optical CCD cameras to monitor at least 200,000 main-sequence dwarf stars with I<13 for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. Each star will be observed for an interval ranging from one month to one year, depending mainly on the star's ecliptic latitude. The longest observing intervals will be for stars near the ecliptic poles, which are the optimal locations for follow-up observations with the James Webb Space Telescope. Brightness measurements of preselected target stars will be recorded every 2 min, and full frame images will be recorded every 30 min. TESS stars will be 10-100 times brighter than those surveyed by the pioneering Kepler missio...

  13. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ricker, George R.; Winn, Joshua N.

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Hot Exoplanet Atmospheres Resolved with Transit Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyttenbach, Aurélien; Ehrenreich, David

    2015-12-01

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

  15. TERMS Photometry of Known Transiting Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    The Transit Ephemeris Refinement and Monitoring Survey (TERMS) 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 towards planets not known to transit, but a small sample of our targets consist of known transiting systems. Here we present precision photometry for 6 WASP planets acquired during their transit windows. We perform a Markov Chain M...

  16. Nightside Pollution of Exoplanet Transit Depths

    CERN Document Server

    Kipping, David M

    2009-01-01

    Out of the known transiting extrasolar planets, the majority are gas giants orbiting their host star at close proximity. Both theoretical and observational studies support the hypothesis that such bodies emit significant amounts of flux, especially at mid-infrared wavelengths. For the dayside of the exoplanet, this phenomenon typically permits detectable secondary eclipses at such wavelengths, which may be used to infer atmospheric composition. In this paper, we explore the effects of emission from the nightside of the exoplanet on the primary transit lightcurve. Allowing for nightside emission, an exoplanet's transit depth is no longer exclusively a function of the ratio-of-radii. The nightside of an exoplanet is emitting flux and the contrast to the star's emission is of the order of ~10^(-3) for hot-Jupiters. Consequently, we show that the transit depth in the mid-infrared will be attenuated due to flux contribution from the nightside emission by ~10^(-4). We show how this effect can be compensated for in ...

  17. Searching for transit timing variations in transiting exoplanet systems

    OpenAIRE

    Hrudková, Marie; Skillen, Ian; Benn, Chris; Pollacco, Don; Gibson, Neale; Joshi, Yogesh; Harmanec, Petr; Tulloch, Simon

    2008-01-01

    Searching for transit timing variations in the known transiting exoplanet systems can reveal the presence of other bodies in the system. Here we report such searches for two transiting exoplanet systems, TrES-1 and WASP-2. Their new transits were observed with the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope located on La Palma, Spain. In a continuing programme, three consecutive transits were observed for TrES-1, and one for WASP-2 during September 2007. We used the Markov Chain Monte C...

  18. CoRoT pictures transiting exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Moutou, Claire

    2015-01-01

    The detection and characterization of exoplanets have made huge progresses since the first discoveries in the late nineties. In particular, the independent measurement of the mass and radius of planets, by combining the transit and radial-velociy techniques, allowed exploring their density and hence, their internal structure. With CoRoT (2007-2012), the pioneering CNES space-based mission in this investigation, about thirty new planets were characterized. CoRoT has enhanced the diversity of giant exoplanets and discovered the first telluric exoplanet. Following CoRoT, the NASA Kepler mission has extended our knowledge to small-size planets, multiple systems and planets orbiting binaries. Exploring these new worlds will continue with the NASA/TESS (2017) and ESA/PLATO (2024) missions.

  19. TERMS Photometry of Known Transiting Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

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

    2011-01-01

    The Transit Ephemeris Refinement and Monitoring Survey (TERMS) 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 towards planets not known to transit, but a small sample of our targets consist of known transiting systems. Here we present precision photometry for 6 WASP planets acquired during their transit windows. We perform a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) 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 6 systems.

  20. TERMS PHOTOMETRY OF KNOWN TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  1. Mass-loss rates for transiting exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Ehrenreich, David; Désert, Jean-Michel

    2011-01-01

    Exoplanets at small orbital distances from their host stars are submitted to intense levels of energetic radiations, X-rays and extreme ultraviolet (EUV). Depending on the masses and densities of the planets and on the atmospheric heating efficiencies, the stellar energetic inputs can lead to atmospheric mass loss. These evaporation processes are observable in the ultraviolet during planetary transits. The aim of the present work is to quantify the mass-loss rates (dm/dt), h...

  2. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite: Mission Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricker, George R.; TESS Team

    2015-01-01

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

  3. The WASP-South search for transiting exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Queloz D.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Since 2006 WASP-South has been scanning the Southern sky for transiting exoplanets. Combined with Geneva Observatory radial velocities we have so far found over 30 transiting exoplanets around relatively bright stars of magnitude 9–13. We present a status report for this ongoing survey.

  4. The WASP-South search for transiting exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Queloz D.; Pollacco D.; Maxted P. F. L.; Lister T. A.; Lendl M.; Gillon M.; Collier Cameron A.; Anderson D. R.; Hellier C.; Smalley B.; Triaud A.H.M.J.; West R. G.

    2010-01-01

    Since 2006 WASP-South has been scanning the Southern sky for transiting exoplanets. Combined with Geneva Observatory radial velocities we have so far found over 30 transiting exoplanets around relatively bright stars of magnitude 9--13. We present a status report for this ongoing survey.

  5. Characterization of Transiting Exoplanets by Way of Differential Photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  6. Transiting exoplanets: From planet statistics to their physical nature

    OpenAIRE

    Rauer H.

    2011-01-01

    The colloquium "Detection and Dynamics of Transiting Exoplanets" was held at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence and discussed the status of transiting exoplanet investigations in a 4.5 day meeting. Topics addressed ranged from planet detection, a discussion on planet composition and interior structure, atmospheres of hot-Jupiter planets, up to the e?ect of tides and the dynamical evolution of planetary systems. Here, I give a summary of the recent developments of transiting planet detections ...

  7. KELT-10b: The First Transiting Exoplanet from the KELT-South Survey -- A Hot Sub-Jupiter Transiting a V = 10.7 Early G-Star

    CERN Document Server

    Kuhn, Rudolf B; 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; 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

    2015-01-01

    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 T$_{eff}$ = $5948\\pm74$ 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$_{\\odot}$ and radius R$_{*}$ = $1.209_{-0.035}^{+0.047}$ R$_{\\odot}$. The planet has a radius R$_{P}$ = $1.399_{-0.049}^{+0.069}$ R$_{J}$ and mass M$_{P}$ = $0.679_{-0.038}^{+0.039}$ M$_{J}$. The planet has an eccentricity consistent with zero and a semi-major axis $a$ = $0.05250_{-0.00097}^{+0.00086}$ AU. The best fitting linear ephemeris is $T_{0}$ = 2457066.72045$\\pm$0.00027 BJD$_{TDB}$ and P = 4.1662739$\\pm$0.0000063 days. This planet joins a group of highly inflated transiting exoplanets with a radius much larger and a mass much less than those of Jupiter. The planet, which boasts deep transits of 1.4%, has a relatively ...

  8. Modeling and Fitting Exoplanet Transit Light Curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 Keele Astrophysics Group and the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) team.

  9. Carbon monoxide and water vapor in the atmosphere of the non-transiting exoplanet HD 179949 b

    CERN Document Server

    Brogi, M; Birkby, J L; Schwarz, H; Snellen, I A G

    2014-01-01

    (Abridged) In recent years, ground-based high-resolution spectroscopy has become a powerful tool for investigating exoplanet atmospheres. It allows the robust identification of molecular species, and it can be applied to both transiting and non-transiting planets. Radial-velocity measurements of the star HD 179949 indicate the presence of a giant planet companion in a close-in orbit. Here we present the analysis of spectra of the system at 2.3 micron, obtained at a resolution of R~100,000, during three nights of observations with CRIRES at the VLT. We targeted the system while the exoplanet was near superior conjunction, aiming to detect the planet's thermal spectrum and the radial component of its orbital velocity. We detect molecular absorption from carbon monoxide and water vapor with a combined S/N of 6.3, at a projected planet orbital velocity of K_P = (142.8 +- 3.4) km/s, which translates into a planet mass of M_P = (0.98 +- 0.04) Jupiter masses, and an orbital inclination of i = (67.7 +- 4.3) degrees, ...

  10. Five kepler target stars that show multiple transiting exoplanet candidates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steffen..[], Jason H.; Batalha, N. M.; Broucki, W J.; Buchhave, Lars C. Astrup

    2010-01-01

    We present and discuss five candidate exoplanetary systems identified with the Kepler spacecraft. These five systems show transits from multiple exoplanet candidates. Should these objects prove to be planetary in nature, then these five systems open new opportunities for the field of exoplanets and provide new insights into the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems. We discuss the methods used to identify multiple transiting objects from the Kepler photometry as well as the fals...

  11. Characterizing transiting exoplanet atmospheres with JWST

    CERN Document Server

    Greene, Thomas P; Montero, Cezar; Fortney, Jonathan J; Lustig-Yeager, Jacob; Luther, Kyle

    2015-01-01

    We explore how well James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) spectra 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 clear, cloudy, or high mean molecular weight atmospheres. Next we simulate the $\\lambda = 1 - 11$ $\\mu$m transmission and emission spectra of these systems for several JWST instrument modes for single transit and eclipse events. We then perform retrievals to determine how well temperatures and molecular mixing ratios (CH$_4$, CO, CO$_2$, H$_2$O, NH$_3$) can be constrained. We find that $\\lambda = 1 - 2.5$ $\\mu$m transmission spectra will often constrain the major molecular constituents of clear solar composition atmospheres well. Cloudy or high mean molecular weight atmospheres will often require full $1 - 11$ $\\mu$m spectra for good constraints, and emission data may be more useful in cases of sufficiently high $F_p$ and high $F_p/F_*$. Strong t...

  12. Target of Opportunity: New Transiting Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-05-01

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

  13. Transiting exoplanets: From planet statistics to their physical nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rauer H.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The colloquium "Detection and Dynamics of Transiting Exoplanets" was held at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence and discussed the status of transiting exoplanet investigations in a 4.5 day meeting. Topics addressed ranged from planet detection, a discussion on planet composition and interior structure, atmospheres of hot-Jupiter planets, up to the e?ect of tides and the dynamical evolution of planetary systems. Here, I give a summary of the recent developments of transiting planet detections and investigations discussed at this meeting.

  14. Parametrized post-Newtonian secular transit timing variations for exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ground-based and space-borne observatories used for studying exoplanet transits now and in the future will considerably increase the number of exoplanets known from transit data and the precision of the measured times of transit minima. Variations in the transit times can not only be used to infer the presence of additional planets, but might also provide opportunities to test the general theory of relativity in these systems. To build a framework for these possible tests, we extend previous studies on the observability of the general relativistic precessions of periastron in transiting exoplanets to variations in secular transit timing under parametrized post-Newtonian formalism. We find that if one can measure the difference between observed and predicted variations of general relativistic secular transit timing to 1 s yr?1 in a transiting exoplanet system with a Sun-like mass, a period of ? 1 day and a relatively small eccentricity of ? 0.1, general relativity will be tested to the level of ? 6%

  15. Transiting Exoplanet Simulations with the James Webb Space Telescope

    CERN Document Server

    Batalha, Natasha; Lunine, Jonathan; Clampin, Mark; Lindler, Don

    2015-01-01

    In this white paper, we assess the potential for JWST to characterize the atmospheres of super-Earth exoplanets, by simulating a range of transiting spectra with different masses and temperatures. Our results are based on a JWST simulator tuned to the expected performance of the workhorse spectroscopic instrument NIRSpec, and is based on the latest exoplanet transit models by Howe & Burrows (2012). This study is especially timely since the observing modes for the science instruments on JWST are finalized (Clampin 2010) and because NASA has selected the TESS mission as an upcoming Explorer. TESS is expected to identify more than 1000 transiting exoplanet candidates, including a sample of about 100 nearby (<50 pc) super- Earths (Ricker et al. 2010).

  16. Characterization of transiting exoplanets by way of differential photometry

    CERN Document Server

    Cowley, Michael

    2015-01-01

    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 its size, orbital radius and habitability. The activity has been designed for a high school or undergraduate university level and introduces fundamental concepts in astrophysics and an understanding of the basis for exoplanetary science, the transit method and digital photometry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Five Kepler target stars that show multiple transiting exoplanet candidates

    CERN Document Server

    Steffen, Jason H; Borucki, William J; Buchhave, Lars A; Caldwell, Douglas A; Cochran, William D; Endl, Michael; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Fressin, François; Ford, Eric B; Fortney, Jonathan J; Haas, Michael J; Holman, Matthew J; Isaacson, Howard; Jenkins, Jon M; Koch, David; Latham, David W; Lissauer, Jack J; Moorhead, Althea V; Morehead, Robert C; Marcy, Geoffrey; MacQueen, Phillip J; Quinn, Samuel N; Ragozzine, Darin; Rowe, Jason F; Sasselov, Dimitar D; Seager, Sara; Torres, Guillermo; Welsh, William F

    2010-01-01

    We present and discuss five candidate exoplanetary systems identified with the Kepler spacecraft. These five systems show transits from multiple exoplanet candidates. Should these objects prove to be planetary in nature, then these five systems open new opportunities for the field of exoplanets and provide new insights into the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems. We discuss the methods used to identify multiple transiting objects from the Kepler photometry as well as the false-positive rejection methods that have been applied to these data. One system shows transits from three distinct objects while the remaining four systems show transits from two objects. Three systems have planet candidates that are near mean motion commensurabilities - two near 2:1 and one just outside 5:2. We discuss the implications that multitransiting systems have on the distribution of orbital inclinations in planetary systems, and hence their dynamical histories; as well as their likely masses and chemical compos...

  19. Using color photometry to separate transiting exoplanets from false positives

    CERN Document Server

    Tingley, B

    2004-01-01

    The radial velocity technique is currently used to classify transiting objects. While capable of identifying grazing binary eclipses, this technique cannot reliably identify blends, a chance overlap of a faint background eclipsing binary with an ordinary foreground star. Blends generally have no observable radial velocity shifts, as the foreground star is brighter by several magnitudes and therefore dominates the spectrum, but their combined light can produce events that closely resemble those produced by transiting exoplanets. The radial velocity technique takes advantage of the mass difference between planets and stars to classify exoplanet candidates. However, the existence of blends renders this difference an unreliable discriminator. Another difference must therefore be utilized for this classification -- the physical size of the transiting body. Due to the dependence of limb darkening on color, planets and stars produce subtly different transit shapes. These differences can be relatively weak, little mo...

  20. PYTRANSIT: fast and easy exoplanet transit modelling in PYTHON

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parviainen, Hannu

    2015-07-01

    We present a fast and user friendly exoplanet transit light-curve modelling package PYTRANSIT, implementing optimized versions of the Giménez and Mandel & Agol transit models. The package offers an object-oriented PYTHON interface to access the two models implemented natively in FORTRAN with OpenMP parallelization. A partial OpenCL version of the quadratic Mandel-Agol model is also included for GPU-accelerated computations. The aim of PYTRANSIT is to facilitate the analysis of photometric time series of exoplanet transits consisting of hundreds of thousands of data points, and of multipassband transit light curves from spectrophotometric observations, as a part of a researcher's programming toolkit for building complex, problem-specific analyses.

  1. Detection of transiting Jovian exoplanets by Gaia photometry - expected yield

    OpenAIRE

    Dzigan, Yifat; Zucker, Shay

    2012-01-01

    Several attempts have been made in the past to assess the expected number of exoplanetary transits that the Gaia space mission will detect. In this Letter we use the updated design of Gaia and its expected performance, and apply recent empirical statistical procedures to provide a new assessment. Depending on the extent of the follow-up effort that will be devoted, we expect Gaia to detect a few hundreds to a few thousands transiting exoplanets.

  2. Discovery, Characterization, and Dynamics of Transiting Exoplanets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Eylen, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    Are we alone in the Universe? So far, the question remains unanswered, but a significant leap forward was achieved two decades ago, with the discovery of the first planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. Almost 2000 exoplanets have now been detected. They are diverse in radius, mass and orbital period, but beyond those basic parameters very little is known about them. In this context, I have worked on the discovery and characterization of new, interesting planets, on the one hand, and on the ...

  3. The GATE Initiative (GAia Transiting Exoplanets): The Way to fully Exploit Gaia's Potential to Detect Transiting Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

    The traditional assumption about low cadence photometric surveys, such as those of Gaia and its predecessor Hipparcos, was that they are not suitable for the detection of transiting exoplanets. The posterior detection of the transits of the planets HD209458b and HD189733b in the Hipparcos photometric data has challenged this view. Inspired by those detections, we have shown in a series of papers that under specific circumstances, the low-cadence photometric data of Gaia will enable the detection of such planets. The chances of detection will improve significantly with the help of carefully scheduled ground-based photometric observations, using Bayesian considerations. The GATE initiative will use this philosophy, combined with the Gaia Science Alerts resources, to maximize the number of transiting exoplanet detections of Gaia. The same approach can be used by other low-cadence surveys.

  4. A Search for Photometric Variability Towards M71 with the Near-Infrared Transiting ExoplanetS Telescope

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    We present the results of a high-cadence photometric survey of an $11'\\times11'$ 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 transiting giant exoplanets. This survey differs from previous photometric surveys of M71 in that it is more sensitive to lower amplitude ($\\Delta M\\leq0.02$ mag) and longer period ($P>2$ d) variability than previous work on this cluste...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lund, Michael B.; Pepper, Joshua; Stassun, Keivan G., E-mail: michael.b.lund@vanderbilt.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235 (United States)

    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.

  6. Refining Exoplanet Ephemerides and Transit Observing Strategies

    OpenAIRE

    Kane, Stephen R; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Von Braun, Kaspar; Laughlin, Gregory; Ciardi, David R.

    2009-01-01

    Transiting planet discoveries have yielded a plethora of information regarding the internal structure and atmospheres of extra-solar planets. These discoveries have been restricted to the low-periastron distance regime due to the bias inherent in the geometric transit probability. Monitoring known radial velocity planets at predicted transit times is a proven method of detecting transits, and presents an avenue through which to explore the mass-radius relationship of exoplan...

  7. New tools and improvements in the Exoplanet Transit Database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pejcha O.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Comprehensive collection of the available light curves, prediction possibilities and the online model ?tting procedure, that are available via Exoplanet Transit Database became very popular in the community. In this paper we summarized the changes, that we made in the ETD during last year (including the Kepler candidates into the prediction section, modeling of an unknown planet in the model-?t section and some other small improvements. All this new tools cannot be found in the main ETD paper.

  8. Transmission spectrum of Venus as a transiting exoplanet

    OpenAIRE

    Ehrenreich, David; Vidal-Madjar, Alfred; Widemann, Thomas; Gronoff, Guillaume; Tanga, Paolo; Barthélemy, Mathieu; Lilensten, Jean; Etangs, Alain Lecavelier des; Arnold, Luc

    2011-01-01

    On 5-6 June 2012, Venus will be transiting the Sun for the last time before 2117. This event is an unique opportunity to assess the feasibility of the atmospheric characterisation of Earth-size exoplanets near the habitable zone with the transmission spectroscopy technique and provide an invaluable proxy for the atmosphere of such a planet. In this letter, we provide a theoretical transmission spectrum of the atmosphere of Venus that could be tested with spectroscopic observ...

  9. Five kepler target stars that show multiple transiting exoplanet candidates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steffen..[], Jason H.; Batalha, N. M.

    2010-01-01

    We present and discuss five candidate exoplanetary systems identified with the Kepler spacecraft. These five systems show transits from multiple exoplanet candidates. Should these objects prove to be planetary in nature, then these five systems open new opportunities for the field of exoplanets and provide new insights into the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems. We discuss the methods used to identify multiple transiting objects from the Kepler photometry as well as the false-positive rejection methods that have been applied to these data. One system shows transits from three distinct objects while the remaining four systems show transits from two objects. Three systems have planet candidates that are near mean motion commensurabilities—two near 2:1 and one just outside 5:2. We discuss the implications that multi-transiting systems have on the distribution of orbital inclinations in planetary systems, and hence their dynamical histories, as well as their likely masses and chemical compositions. A Monte Carlo study indicates that, with additional data, most of these systems should exhibit detectable transit timing variations (TTVs) due to gravitational interactions, though none are apparent in these data. We also discuss new challenges that arise in TTV analyses due to the presence of more than two planets in a system.

  10. FIVE KEPLER TARGET STARS THAT SHOW MULTIPLE TRANSITING EXOPLANET CANDIDATES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We present and discuss five candidate exoplanetary systems identified with the Kepler spacecraft. These five systems show transits from multiple exoplanet candidates. Should these objects prove to be planetary in nature, then these five systems open new opportunities for the field of exoplanets and provide new insights into the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems. We discuss the methods used to identify multiple transiting objects from the Kepler photometry as well as the false-positive rejection methods that have been applied to these data. One system shows transits from three distinct objects while the remaining four systems show transits from two objects. Three systems have planet candidates that are near mean motion commensurabilities-two near 2:1 and one just outside 5:2. We discuss the implications that multi-transiting systems have on the distribution of orbital inclinations in planetary systems, and hence their dynamical histories, as well as their likely masses and chemical compositions. A Monte Carlo study indicates that, with additional data, most of these systems should exhibit detectable transit timing variations (TTVs) due to gravitational interactions, though none are apparent in these data. We also discuss new challenges that arise in TTV analyses due to the presence of more than two planets in a system.

  11. Five Kepler target stars that show multiple transiting exoplanet candidates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steffen, Jason H.; /Fermilab; Batalha, Natalie M.; /San Jose State U.; Borucki, William J.; /NASA, Ames; Buchhave, Lars A.; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys. /Bohr Inst.; Caldwell, Douglas A.; /NASA, Ames /SETI Inst., Mtn. View; Cochran, William D.; /Texas U.; Endl, Michael; /Texas U.; Fabrycky, Daniel C.; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Fressin, Francois; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.; Ford, Eric B.; /Florida U.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; /UC, Santa Cruz, Phys. Dept. /NASA, Ames

    2010-06-01

    We present and discuss five candidate exoplanetary systems identified with the Kepler spacecraft. These five systems show transits from multiple exoplanet candidates. Should these objects prove to be planetary in nature, then these five systems open new opportunities for the field of exoplanets and provide new insights into the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems. We discuss the methods used to identify multiple transiting objects from the Kepler photometry as well as the false-positive rejection methods that have been applied to these data. One system shows transits from three distinct objects while the remaining four systems show transits from two objects. Three systems have planet candidates that are near mean motion commensurabilities - two near 2:1 and one just outside 5:2. We discuss the implications that multitransiting systems have on the distribution of orbital inclinations in planetary systems, and hence their dynamical histories; as well as their likely masses and chemical compositions. A Monte Carlo study indicates that, with additional data, most of these systems should exhibit detectable transit timing variations (TTV) due to gravitational interactions - though none are apparent in these data. We also discuss new challenges that arise in TTV analyses due to the presence of more than two planets in a system.

  12. Direct Detection of Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Beuzit, Jean-Luc; Mouillet, David; Oppenheimer, Ben R.; Monnier, John D.

    2006-01-01

    Direct detection of exoplanets from the ground is now within reach of existing astronomical instruments. Indeed, a few planet candidates have already been imaged and analyzed and the capability to detect (through imaging or interferometry) young, hot, Jupiter-mass planets exists. We present here an overview of what such detection methods can be expected to do in the near and far term. These methods will provide qualitatively new information about exoplanets, including spectroscopic data that ...

  13. WASP-29b: A SATURN-SIZED TRANSITING EXOPLANET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 Jup and a radius of 0.79 ± 0.05 R 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.

  14. WASP-29b: A Saturn-sized Transiting Exoplanet

    OpenAIRE

    Hellier, Coel; Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A; Gillon, Michaël; Lendl, M.; Maxted, P. F. L; Queloz, D.; Smalley, B; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; West, R. G.; Brown, D. J. A.; Enoch, B; Lister, T. A.; Pepe, F.; Pollacco, D

    2010-01-01

    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[/SUB] and a radius of 0.79 ± 0.05 R [SUB]Jup[/SUB], 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 h...

  15. PyTransit: Fast and Easy Exoplanet Transit Modelling in Python

    CERN Document Server

    Parviainen, Hannu

    2015-01-01

    We present a fast and user friendly exoplanet transit light curve modelling package PyTransit, implementing optimised versions of the Gimen\\'ez and the Mandel & Agol transit models. The package offers an object-oriented Python interface to access the two models implemented natively in Fortran with OpenMP parallelisation. A partial OpenCL version of the quadratic Mandel-Agol model is also included for GPU-accelerated computations. The aim of PyTransit is to facilitate the analysis of photometric time series of exoplanet transits consisting of hundreds of thousands of datapoints, and of multi-passband transit light curves from spectrophotometric observations, as a part of a researcher's programming toolkit for building complex, problem-specific, analyses.

  16. Emulating JWST Exoplanet Transit Observations in a Testbed laboratory experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touli, D.; Beichman, C. A.; Vasisht, G.; Smith, R.; Krist, J. E.

    2014-12-01

    The transit technique is used for the detection and characterization of exoplanets. The combination of transit and radial velocity (RV) measurements gives information about a planet's radius and mass, respectively, leading to an estimate of the planet's density (Borucki et al. 2011) and therefore to its composition and evolutionary history. Transit spectroscopy can provide information on atmospheric composition and structure (Fortney et al. 2013). Spectroscopic observations of individual planets have revealed atomic and molecular species such as H2O, CO2 and CH4 in atmospheres of planets orbiting bright stars, e.g. Deming et al. (2013). The transit observations require extremely precise photometry. For instance, Jupiter transit results to a 1% brightness decrease of a solar type star while the Earth causes only a 0.0084% decrease (84 ppm). Spectroscopic measurements require still greater precision hour long observing sequences, we obtain time series photometry with deliberate offsets introduced to test sensitivity to pointing jitter and other effects. We can modify the star-planet brightness contrast by factors up to 10^4:1. With cross correlation techniques we calculate positional shifts which are then used to decorrelate the effects of vertical and lateral offsets due to turbulence and instrumental vibrations on the photometry. Using Principal Component Analysis (PCA), we reject correlated temporal noise to achieve a precision lower than 50 ppm (Clanton et al. 2012). In our current work, after decorrelation of vertical and lateral offsets along with PCA, we achieve a precision of sim20 ppm. To assess the photometric precision we use the Allan variance (Allan 1987). This statistical method is used to characterize noise and stability as it indicates shot noise limited performance. Testbed experiments are ongoing to provide quantitative information on the achievable spectroscopic precision using realistic exoplanet spectra with the goal to define optimized data acquisition sequences for use, for example, with the James Webb Space Telescope.

  17. Optical Observations of the Transiting Exoplanet GJ 1214b

    CERN Document Server

    Teske, Johanna K; Mueller, Matthias; Griffith, Caitlin A

    2013-01-01

    We observed nine primary transits of the super-Earth exoplanet GJ 1214b in several optical photometric bands from March to August 2012, with the goal of constraining the short-wavelength slope of the spectrum of GJ 1214b. Our observations were conducted on the Kuiper 1.55 m telescope in Arizona and the STELLA-I robotic 1.2 m telescope in Tenerife, Spain. From the derived light curves we extracted transit depths in R (0.65 {\\mu}m), V (0.55 {\\mu}m), and g' (0.475 {\\mu}m) bands. Most previous observations of this exoplanet suggest a flat spectrum varying little with wavelength from the near-infrared to the optical, corresponding to a low-scale-height, high-molecular-weight atmosphere. However, a handful of observations around Ks band (~2.15 {\\mu}m) and g-band (~0.46 {\\mu}m) are inconsistent with this scenario and suggest a variation on a hydrogen- or water-dominated atmosphere that also contains a haze layer of small particles. In particular, the g-band observations of de Mooij et al. (2012), consistent with Ray...

  18. Exploring LSST's Transiting Exoplanet Yield for the Large Magellanic Cloud

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will observe over half the sky during its ten-year mission, and will provide light curves for around one billion stars between 16th and 24th magnitude in the ugrizy bands. The combination of sky coverage and magnitude range will mean that a significant portion of the stars that LSST will observe will be in stellar populations that have rarely been observed by existing transiting planet searches. These new regimes that LSST will explore include Sun-like stars in the Galactic bulge, distant stellar clusters, the Magellanic Clouds, and nearby red dwarfs. We explore the potential yield of transiting exoplanets that LSST will be able to detect in the Large Magellanic Cloud. This presents a first opportunity to detect extragalactic planets.

  19. Practical suggestions on detecting exomoons in exoplanet transit light curves

    CERN Document Server

    Szabo, Gy M; Kiss, L L; Regaly, Zs

    2010-01-01

    The number of known transiting exoplanets is rapidly increasing, which has recently inspired significant interest as to whether they can host a detectable moon. Although there has been no such example where the presence of a satellite was proven, several methods have already been investigated for such a detection in the future. All these methods utilize post-processing of the measured light curves, and the presence of the moon is decided by the distribution of a timing parameter. Here we propose a method for the detection of the moon directly in the raw transit light curves. When the moon is in transit, it puts its own fingerprint on the intensity variation. In realistic cases, this distortion is too little to be detected in the individual light curves, and must be amplified. Averaging the folded light curve of several transits helps decrease the scatter, but it is not the best approach because it also reduces the signal. The relative position of the moon varies from transit to transit, the moon's wing will a...

  20. PyTransit: Fast and Easy Exoplanet Transit Modelling in Python

    OpenAIRE

    Parviainen, Hannu

    2015-01-01

    We present a fast and user friendly exoplanet transit light curve modelling package PyTransit, implementing optimised versions of the Gimen\\'ez and the Mandel & Agol transit models. The package offers an object-oriented Python interface to access the two models implemented natively in Fortran with OpenMP parallelisation. A partial OpenCL version of the quadratic Mandel-Agol model is also included for GPU-accelerated computations. The aim of PyTransit is to facilitate the ana...

  1. ExTrA: Exoplanets in Transit and their Atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Bonfils, X; Jocou, L; Wunsche, A; Kern, P; Delboulbé, A; Delfosse, X; Feautrier, P; Forveille, T; Gluck, L; Lafrasse, S; Magnard, Y; Maurel, D; Moulin, T; Murgas, F; Rabou, P; Rochat, S; Roux, A; Stadler, E

    2015-01-01

    The ExTrA facility, located at La Silla observatory, will consist of a near-infrared multi-object spectrograph fed by three 60-cm telescopes. ExTrA will add the spectroscopic resolution to the traditional differential photometry method. This shall enable the fine correction of color-dependent systematics that would otherwise hinder ground-based observations. With both this novel method and an infrared-enabled efficiency, ExTrA aims to find transiting telluric planets orbiting in the habitable zone of bright nearby M dwarfs. It shall have the versatility to do so by running its own independent survey and also by concurrently following-up on the space candidates unveiled by K2 and TESS. The exoplanets detected by ExTrA will be amenable to atmospheric characterisation with VLTs, JWST, and ELTs and could give our first peek into an exo-life laboratory.

  2. Toward the detection of exoplanet transits with polarimetry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiktorowicz, Sloane J. [NASA Sagan Fellow. (United States); Laughlin, Gregory P., E-mail: sloanew@ucolick.org [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)

    2014-11-01

    In contrast to photometric transits, whose peak signal occurs at mid-transit due to occultation of the brightest region of the disk, polarimetric transits provide a signal upon ingress and egress due to occultation of the polarized stellar limb. Limb polarization, the bright corollary to limb darkening, arises from the 90° scattering angle and low optical depth experienced by photons at the limb. In addition to the ratio R {sub p}/R {sub *}, the amplitude of a polarimetric transit is expected to be controlled by the strength and width of the stellar limb polarization profile, which depend on the scattering-to-total opacity ratio at the stellar limb. We present a short list of the systems providing the highest expected signal-to-noise ratio for detection of this effect, and we draw particular attention to HD 80606b. This planet is spin/orbit misaligned, has a three-hour ingress, and has a bright parent star, which make it an attractive target. We report on test observations of an HD 80606b ingress with the POLISH2 polarimeter at the Lick Observatory Shane 3 m telescope. We conclude that unmodeled telescope systematic effects prevented polarimetric detection of this event. We outline a roadmap for further refinements of exoplanet polarimetry, whose eventual success will require a further factor of ten reduction in systematic noise.

  3. Characterising the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets using narrowband spectrophotometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Paul Anthony; Sing, David; Nikolov, Nikolay; Lecavelier des Etangs, Alain; Pont, Frédéric; Fortney, Jonathan; Ballester, Gilda; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Desert, Jean-Michel; Vidal-Madjar, Alfred

    2015-08-01

    Transiting hot-Jupiters provide an excellent opportunity to detect and characterise exoplanetary atmospheres. However, to be able to perform a wide scale comparative exoplanetology we have to observe targets which are too faint for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). To do this, we use the the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) telescope together with unique tunable filters capable of precision narrowband photometry at specific wavelengths. This technique coupled with the use of the world’s largest optical telescope allows us to obtain photon-limited sub-mmag narrowband transit spectrophotometry, capable of detecting Na, K, TiO and other important atmospheric species. The detection (and non-detection) of such key species can provide information on the temperature profile of the atmosphere determine the presence and extent of condensate clouds and give us insight into the chemical processes at play. This information is vital to be able to discern different exoplanet atmospheres and will in the future allow us to categorise exoplanets into different sub-classes.In this talk I will present the ground based detection of potassium in HAT-P-1b and describe the techniques used to deal with the systematics present in the data. I will discuss, in context of HST observations, the effects resolution has on the measurements and how atmospheric signatures could be missed if the resolution is not sufficiently high. Tunable filters allow the atmosphere to be probed higher up, where the pressures are lower and where the temperatures may be higher. Such conditions could cause the dissociation of molecular hydrogen into atomic hydrogen by the EUV flux from the host star. This will have important effects on the amplitude of the detection of alkali metals. With studies such as this one, we are well on our way to performing comparative exoplanetology using statistical methods.

  4. The role of space telescopes in the characterization of transiting exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatzes, Artie P

    2014-09-18

    Characterization studies now have a dominant role in the field of exoplanets. Such studies include the measurement of an exoplanet's bulk density, its brightness temperature and the chemical composition of its atmosphere. The use of space telescopes has played a key part in the characterization of transiting exoplanets. These facilities offer astronomers data of exquisite precision and temporal sampling as well as access to wavelength regions of the electromagnetic spectrum that are inaccessible from the ground. Space missions such as the Hubble Space Telescope, Microvariability and Oscillations of Stars (MOST), Spitzer Space Telescope, Convection, Rotation and Planetary Transits (CoRoT), and Kepler have rapidly advanced our knowledge of the physical properties of exoplanets and have blazed a trail for a series of future space missions that will help us to understand the observed diversity of exoplanets. PMID:25230657

  5. How do starspots influence the transit timing variations of exoplanets? Simulations of individual and consecutive transits

    CERN Document Server

    Ioannidis, P; Schmitt, J H M M

    2015-01-01

    Transit timing variations (TTVs) of exoplanets are normally interpreted as the consequence of gravitational interaction with additional bodies in the system. However, TTVs can also be caused by deformations of the system transits by starspots, which might thus pose a serious complication in their interpretation. We therefore simulate transit light curves deformed by spot-crossing events for different properties of the stellar surface and the planet, such as starspot position, limb darkening, planetary period, and impact parameter. Mid-transit times determined from these simulations can be significantly shifted with respect to the input values; these shifts cannot be larger than ~1% of the transit duration and depend most strongly on the longitudinal position of the spot during the transit and the transit duration. Consequently, TTVs with amplitudes larger than the above limit are very unlikely to be caused by starspots. We also investigate whether TTVs from sequences of consecutive transits with spot-crossing...

  6. Transmission spectrum of Venus as a transiting exoplanet

    CERN Document Server

    Ehrenreich, David; Widemann, Thomas; Gronoff, Guillaume; Tanga, Paolo; Barthélemy, Mathieu; Lilensten, Jean; Etangs, Alain Lecavelier des; Arnold, Luc

    2011-01-01

    On 5-6 June 2012, Venus will be transiting the Sun for the last time before 2117. This event is an unique opportunity to assess the feasibility of the atmospheric characterisation of Earth-size exoplanets near the habitable zone with the transmission spectroscopy technique and provide an invaluable proxy for the atmosphere of such a planet. In this letter, we provide a theoretical transmission spectrum of the atmosphere of Venus that could be tested with spectroscopic observations during the 2012 transit. This is done using radiative transfer across Venus' atmosphere, with inputs from in-situ missions such as Venus Express and theoretical models. The transmission spectrum covers a range of 0.1-5 {\\mu}m and probes the limb between 70 and 150 km in altitude. It is dominated in UV by carbon dioxide absorption producing a broad transit signal of ~20 ppm as seen from Earth, and from 0.2 to 2.7 {\\mu}m by Mie extinction (~5 ppm at 0.8 {\\mu}m) caused by droplets of sulfuric acid composing an upper haze layer above th...

  7. A Search for Photometric Variability Towards M71 with the Near-Infrared Transiting ExoplanetS Telescope

    CERN Document Server

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

    2013-01-01

    We present the results of a high-cadence photometric survey of an $11'\\times11'$ 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 transiting giant exoplanets. This survey differs from previous photometric surveys of M71 in that it is more sensitive to lower amplitude ($\\Delta M\\leq0.02$ 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 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...

  8. Disentangling degenerate solutions from primary transit and secondary eclipse spectroscopy of exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Griffith, Caitlin A

    2013-01-01

    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 4 atmospheric scale heights at each wavelength band. Derived mixing ratios from these data are highly sensitive to errors in the radius in planet (at a reference pressure), which are approximately a few percent. For example, an uncertainty of 1% in the radius of a 1000 K and H2-based exoplanet with Jupiter's radius a...

  9. The Transit Light Curve Project. IV. Five Transits of the Exoplanet OGLE-TR-10b

    OpenAIRE

    Holman, Matthew J.; Winn, Joshua N.; Fuentes, Cesar I; Hartman, Joel D.; Stanek, K. Z.; Torres, Guillermo; Sasselov, Dimitar D; Gaudi, B. Scott; Jones, R. Lynne; Fraser, Wesley

    2005-01-01

    We present I and B photometry of five distinct transits of the exoplanet OGLE-TR-10b. By modeling the light curves, we find the planetary radius to be R_P = 1.06 +/- 0.08 R_Jup and the stellar radius to be R_S = 1.10 +/- 0.07 R_sun. The uncertainties are dominated by statistical errors in the photometry. Our estimate of the planetary radius is smaller than previous estimates that were based on lower-precision photometry, and hence the planet is not as anomalously large as wa...

  10. C/O Ratios of Stars with Transiting Hot Jupiter Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Teske, Johanna K; Smith, Verne V; Schuler, Simon C; Griffith, Caitlin A

    2014-01-01

    The relative abundances of carbon and oxygen have long been recognized as fundamental diagnostics of stellar chemical evolution. Now, the growing number of exoplanet observations enable estimation of these elements in exoplanetary atmospheres. In hot Jupiters, the C/O ratio affects the partitioning of carbon in the major observable molecules, making these elements diagnostic of temperature structure and composition. Here we present measurements of carbon and oxygen abundances in 16 stars that host transiting hot Jupiter exoplanets, and compare our C/O ratios to those measured in larger samples of host stars, as well as those estimated for the corresponding exoplanet atmospheres. With standard stellar abundance analysis we derive stellar parameters as well as [C/H] and [O/H] from multiple abundance indicators, including synthesis fitting of the [O I] 6300 {\\AA} line and NLTE corrections for the O I triplet. Our results, in agreement with recent suggestions, indicate that previously-measured exoplanet host star...

  11. On the characterization of transiting exoplanets and magnetic spots with optical interferometry

    CERN Document Server

    Ligi, R; Lagrange, A -M; Perraut, K; Chiavassa, A

    2014-01-01

    Stellar activity causes difficulties in the characterization of transiting exoplanets. Studies have been performed to quantify its impact on infrared interferometry, but not in the visible domain, which however allows reaching better angular resolution and is also the one mostly used for spectroscopic and photometric measurements. We use a textbook case to make a complete analysis of the impact of an exoplanet and a spot on interferometric observables and relate it to current instruments capabilities, taking into account realistic achievable precisions. We have built a numerical code called COMETS using analytical formulae to perform a simple comparison of exoplanets and spots' signals. We explore instrumental specificities needed to detect them, like the baseline length required, the accuracy and SNR. We also discuss the impact of exoplanets and spot's parameters on squared visibility and phase. We find that the main improvement to bring is the sensitivity of instruments. The accuracy on squared visibilities...

  12. The Transit Light Curve Project. XII. Six Transits of the Exoplanet XO-2b

    CERN Document Server

    Fernandez, Jose M; Winn, Joshua N; Torres, Guillermo; Shporer, Avi; Mazeh, Tsevi; Esquerdo, Gilbert A; Everett, Mark E

    2009-01-01

    We present photometry of six transits of the exoplanet XO-2b. By combining the light-curve analysis with theoretical isochrones to determine the stellar properties, we find the planetary radius to be 0.996 +0.031/-0.018 rjup and the planetary mass to be 0.565 +/- 0.054 mjup. These results are consistent with those reported previously, and are also consistent with theoretical models for gas giant planets. The mid-transit times are accurate to within 1 min and are consistent with a constant period. However, the period we derive differs by 2.5 sigma from the previously published period. More data are needed to tell whether the period is actually variable (as it would be in the presence of an additional body) or if the timing errors have been underestimated.

  13. Observations of Transiting Exoplanets with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beichman, Charles; Benneke, Bjoern; Knutson, Heather; Smith, Roger; Lagage, Pierre-Olivier; Dressing, Courtney; Latham, David; Lunine, Jonathan; Birkmann, Stephan; Ferruit, Pierre; Giardino, Giovanna; Kempton, Eliza; Carey, Sean; Krick, Jessica; Deroo, Pieter D.; Mandell, Avi; Ressler, Michael E.; Shporer, Avi; Swain, Mark; Vasisht, Gautam; Ricker, George; Bouwman, Jeroen; Crossfield, Ian; Greene, Tom; Howell, Steve; Christiansen, Jessie; Ciardi, David; Clampin, Mark; Greenhouse, Matt; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Goudfrooij, Paul; Hines, Dean; Keyes, Tony; Lee, Janice; McCullough, Peter; Robberto, Massimo; Stansberry, John; Valenti, Jeff; Rieke, Marcia; Rieke, George; Fortney, Jonathan; Bean, Jacob; Kreidberg, Laura; Ehrenreich, David; Deming, Drake; Albert, Loïc; Doyon, René; Sing, David

    2014-12-01

    This article summarizes a workshop held on March, 2014, on the potential of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to revolutionize our knowledge of the physical properties of exoplanets through transit observations. JWST's unique combination of high sensitivity and broad wavelength coverage will enable the accurate measurement of transits with high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N). Most importantly, JWST spectroscopy will investigate planetary atmospheres to determine atomic and molecular compositions, to probe vertical and horizontal structure, and to follow dynamical evolution, i.e., exoplanet weather. JWST will sample a diverse population of planets of varying masses and densities in a wide variety of environments characterized by a range of host star masses and metallicities, orbital semi-major axes, and eccentricities. A broad program of exoplanet science could use a substantial fraction of the overall JWST mission.

  14. C/O ratios of stars with transiting hot Jupiter exoplanets ,

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teske, Johanna K.; Cunha, Katia [Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Smith, Verne V. [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Schuler, Simon C. [University of Tampa, 401 West Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33606 (United States); Griffith, Caitlin A., E-mail: jteske@as.arizona.edu [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2014-06-10

    The relative abundances of carbon and oxygen have long been recognized as fundamental diagnostics of stellar chemical evolution. Now, the growing number of exoplanet observations enable estimation of these elements in exoplanetary atmospheres. In hot Jupiters, the C/O ratio affects the partitioning of carbon in the major observable molecules, making these elements diagnostic of temperature structure and composition. Here we present measurements of carbon and oxygen abundances in 16 stars that host transiting hot Jupiter exoplanets, and we compare our C/O ratios to those measured in larger samples of host stars, as well as those estimated for the corresponding exoplanet atmospheres. With standard stellar abundance analysis we derive stellar parameters as well as [C/H] and [O/H] from multiple abundance indicators, including synthesis fitting of the [O I] ?6300 line and non-LTE corrections for the O I triplet. Our results, in agreement with recent suggestions, indicate that previously measured exoplanet host star C/O ratios may have been overestimated. The mean transiting exoplanet host star C/O ratio from this sample is 0.54 (C/O{sub ?} = 0.54), versus previously measured C/O{sub host} {sub star} means of ?0.65-0.75. We also observe the increase in C/O with [Fe/H] expected for all stars based on Galactic chemical evolution; a linear fit to our results falls slightly below that of other exoplanet host star studies but has a similar slope. Though the C/O ratios of even the most-observed exoplanets are still uncertain, the more precise abundance analysis possible right now for their host stars can help constrain these planets' formation environments and current compositions.

  15. C/O ratios of stars with transiting hot Jupiter exoplanets ,

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The relative abundances of carbon and oxygen have long been recognized as fundamental diagnostics of stellar chemical evolution. Now, the growing number of exoplanet observations enable estimation of these elements in exoplanetary atmospheres. In hot Jupiters, the C/O ratio affects the partitioning of carbon in the major observable molecules, making these elements diagnostic of temperature structure and composition. Here we present measurements of carbon and oxygen abundances in 16 stars that host transiting hot Jupiter exoplanets, and we compare our C/O ratios to those measured in larger samples of host stars, as well as those estimated for the corresponding exoplanet atmospheres. With standard stellar abundance analysis we derive stellar parameters as well as [C/H] and [O/H] from multiple abundance indicators, including synthesis fitting of the [O I] ?6300 line and non-LTE corrections for the O I triplet. Our results, in agreement with recent suggestions, indicate that previously measured exoplanet host star C/O ratios may have been overestimated. The mean transiting exoplanet host star C/O ratio from this sample is 0.54 (C/O? = 0.54), versus previously measured C/Ohost star means of ?0.65-0.75. We also observe the increase in C/O with [Fe/H] expected for all stars based on Galactic chemical evolution; a linear fit to our results falls slightly below that of other exoplanet host star studies but has a similar slope. Though the C/O ratios of even the most-observed exoplanets are still uncertain, the more precise abundance analysis possible right now for their host stars can help constrain these planets' formation environments and current compositions.

  16. Hubble/WFC3 Spectroscopy of the Transiting Exoplanets WASP-19b and WASP-17b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandell, A.; Haynes, K.; Sinukoff, E.; Deming, D.; Wlikins, A.; Madhusudhan, N.; Agol, E.; Burrows, A.; Charbonneau, D.; Gilliland, R.; Knutson, H.; Ranjan, S.; Seager, S.; Showman, A.

    2012-01-01

    Measurements of transiting exoplanets that target extremes in parameter space offer the best chance to disentangle the structure and composition of the atmospheres of hot Jupiters. WASP-19b is one of the hottest exoplanets discovered to date, while WASP-17b has a much lower equilibrium temperature but has one of the largest atmospheric radii of known transiting planets. We discuss results from HST/WFC3 grism 1.1-1.7 micron spectroscopy of these planets during transit. We compare our integrated-light transit depths to previous IR transit photometry, and derive the 1.4-micron water absorption spectrum. We discuss implications for the atmospheric composition and structure of these hot Jupiters, and outline future observations that will further expand on these results.

  17. The "missing link": a 4-day period transiting exoplanet around OGLE-TR-111

    CERN Document Server

    Pont, F; Queloz, D; Santos, N; Melo, C; Mayor, M; Udry, S; Pont, Frederic; Bouchy, Francois; Queloz, Didier; Santos, Nuno; Melo, Claudio; Mayor, Michel; Udry, Stephane

    2004-01-01

    We report the discovery of a transiting hot Jupiter around OGLE-TR-111, from our radial velocity follow-up of OGLE transiting candidates in Carina. The planet has a mass of 0.53 +- 0.11 M_J and a radius of 1.0 +0.13-0.06 R_J. Three transiting exoplanets have already been found among OGLE candidates, all with periods near 1.5 days. The planet presented here, with P=4.0 days, is the first exoplanet detected by transits with the characteristics of a "normal" hot Jupiter, as found in abundance by radial velocity surveys The radius of OGLE-TR-111b and the scarcity of hot Jupiters detected among OGLE transit candidates tend to indicate that the case of HD209458b, with a radius of 1.4 R_J, is exceptional, with most hot Jupiters being smaller.

  18. Transit, Secondary Eclipse, and Phase Curve Modeling to Characterize Kepler Exoplanet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarnas, Jesse; Redfield, Seth

    2016-01-01

    The high sensitivity and continuous coverage of Kepler allows for analysis of optical phase curves, which provide detailed exoplanet characterization by fitting photometric features caused by thermal emission, reflected light, Doppler boosting, and ellipsoidal variations. Combined with transit and secondary eclipse analysis to reduce model degeneracy, phase curves can resolve atmospheric characteristics, dayside-nightside temperatures, and even mass using single-band photometry. We will present an integrated phase curve, transit, and secondary eclipse analysis of Kepler exoplanet candidates, building on the phase curve model constructed by Serindag & Redfield (2015). Phase curves can also be present in non-transiting systems. We will explore the feasibility of detecting and characterizing these non-transiting exoplanets. We will also investigate the possibility of analyzing exoplanet phase curves in K2 data. We gratefully acknowledge support through a grant (14-K2GO1_2-0071) associated with the K2 Guest Observer — Cycle 1 program of Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES-2014; NNH14ZDA001N).

  19. A new powerful method for probing the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Snellen, I

    2004-01-01

    Although atmospheric transmission spectroscopy of HD209458b with the Hubble Space Telescope has been very successful, attempts to detect its atmospheric absorption features using ground-based telescopes have so far been fruitless. Here we present a new method for probing the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets which may be more suitable for ground-based observations, making use of the Rossiter effect. During a transit, an exoplanet sequentially blocks off light from the approaching and receding parts of the rotating star, causing an artificial radial velocity wobble. The amplitude of this signal is directly proportional to the effective size of the transiting object, and the wavelength dependence of this effect can reveal atmospheric absorption features, in a similar way as with transmission spectroscopy. The advantage of this method over conventional atmospheric transmission spectroscopy is that it does not rely on accurate photometric comparisons of observations on and off transit, but instead depends on t...

  20. ASTEP South: An Antarctic Search for Transiting ExoPlanets around the celestial South pole

    OpenAIRE

    Crouzet, N; Guillot, T.; Agabi, A; Rivet, J-P; Bondoux, E; Challita, Z.; Fantei-Caujolle, Y; Fressin, F; Mekarnia, D.; Schmider, F-X; Valbousquet, F; Blazit, A.; Bonhomme, S.; Abe, L.; Daban, J-B

    2009-01-01

    Context: The Concordia base in Dome C, Antarctica, is an extremely promising site for photometric astronomy due to the 3-month long night during the Antarctic winter, favorable weather conditions, and low scintillation. Aims: The ASTEP project (Antarctic Search for Transiting ExoPlanets) is a pilot project to discover transiting planets and understand the limits of visible photometry from the Concordia site. Methods: ASTEP South is the first phase of the ASTEP project. The instrument is a fix...

  1. DETECTION OF TRANSITING JOVIAN EXOPLANETS BY GAIA PHOTOMETRY-EXPECTED YIELD

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dzigan, Yifat; Zucker, Shay, E-mail: yifatdzigan@gmail.com, E-mail: shayz@post.tau.ac.il [Department of Geophysical, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978 (Israel)

    2012-07-01

    Several attempts have been made in the past to assess the expected number of exoplanetary transits that the Gaia space mission will detect. In this Letter, we use the updated design of Gaia and its expected performance and apply recent empirical statistical procedures to provide a new assessment. Depending on the extent of the follow-up effort that will be devoted, we expect Gaia to detect from a few hundreds to a few thousands of transiting exoplanets.

  2. DETECTION OF TRANSITING JOVIAN EXOPLANETS BY GAIA PHOTOMETRY—EXPECTED YIELD

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Several attempts have been made in the past to assess the expected number of exoplanetary transits that the Gaia space mission will detect. In this Letter, we use the updated design of Gaia and its expected performance and apply recent empirical statistical procedures to provide a new assessment. Depending on the extent of the follow-up effort that will be devoted, we expect Gaia to detect from a few hundreds to a few thousands of transiting exoplanets.

  3. Disentangling degenerate solutions from primary transit and secondary eclipse spectroscopy of exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 telescopes as well as ground-based efforts. PMID:24664920

  4. The Transit Light Curve Project. I. Four Consecutive Transits of the Exoplanet XO-1b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holman, Matthew J.; Winn, Joshua N.; Latham, David W.; O'Donovan, Francis T.; Charbonneau, David; Bakos, Gáspár A.; Esquerdo, Gilbert A.; Hergenrother, Carl; Everett, Mark E.; Pál, András

    2006-12-01

    We present RIz photometry of four consecutive transits of the newly discovered exoplanet XO-1b. We improve on the estimates of the transit parameters, finding the planetary radius to be RP=1.184+0.028-0.018RJ, and the stellar radius to be R*=0.928+0.018-0.013 Rsolar, assuming a stellar mass of M*=(1.00+/-0.03) Msolar. The uncertainties in the planetary and stellar radii are dominated by the uncertainty in the stellar mass. These uncertainties increase by a factor of 2-3 if a more conservative uncertainty of 0.10 Msolar is assumed for the stellar mass. Our estimate of the planetary radius is smaller than that reported by McCullough and coworkers, and the resulting estimate for the mean density of XO-1b is intermediate between that of the low-density planet HD 209458b and the higher density planets TrES-1 and HD 189733b. The timings of the transits have an accuracy ranging from 0.2 to 2.5 minutes and are marginally consistent with a uniform period.

  5. The Transit Light Curve (TLC) Project. I. Four Consecutive Transits of the Exoplanet XO-1b

    CERN Document Server

    Holman, M J; Latham, D W; O'Donovan, F T; Charbonneau, D; Bakos, G A; Esquerdo, G A; Hergenrother, C; Everett, M E; Pal, A; Holman, Matthew J.; Winn, Joshua N.; Latham, David W.; Donovan, Francis T. O'; Charbonneau, David; Bakos, Gaspar A.; Esquerdo, Gilbert A.; Hergenrother, Carl; Everett, Mark E.; Pal, Andras

    2006-01-01

    We present RIz photometry of four consecutive transits of the newly discovered exoplanet XO-1b. We improve upon the estimates of the transit parameters, finding the planetary radius to be R_P = 1.184 +0.028/-0.018 R_Jupiter and the stellar radius to be R_S = 0.928 +0.018/-0.013 R_Sun, assuming a stellar mass of M_S = 1.00 +/- 0.03 M_Sun. The uncertainties in the planetary and stellar radii are dominated by the uncertainty in the stellar mass. These uncertainties increase by a factor of 2-3 if a more conservative uncertainty of 0.10 M_Sun is assumed for the stellar mass. Our estimate of the planetary radius is smaller than that reported by McCullough et al. (2006) and yields a mean density that is comparable to that of TrES-1 and HD 189733b. The timings of the transits have an accuracy ranging from 0.2 to 2.5 minutes, and are marginally consistent with a uniform period.

  6. Using near infra-red spectroscopy for characterization of transiting exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Aronson, Erik; Piskunov, Nikolai

    2015-01-01

    We propose a method for observing transiting exoplanets with near-infrared high-resolution spectrometers. We aim to create a robust data analysis method for recovering atmospheric transmission spectra from transiting exoplanets over a wide wavelength range in the near infrared. By using an inverse method approach, combined with stellar models and telluric transmission spectra, the method recovers the transiting exoplanet's atmospheric transmittance at high precision over a wide wavelength range. We describe our method and have tested it by simulating observations. This method is capable of recovering transmission spectra of high enough accuracy to identify absorption features from molecules such as O2, CH4, CO2, and H2O. This accuracy is achievable for Jupiter-size exoplanetsat S/N that can be reached for 8m class telescopes using high-resolution spectrometers (R>20 000) during a single transit, and for Earth-size planets and super-Earths transiting late K or M dwarf stars at S/N reachable during observations...

  7. Thermal phase curves of non-transiting terrestrial exoplanets 1. Characterizing atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Selsis, Franck; Forget, François

    2011-01-01

    Although transit spectroscopy is a powerful method for studying the composition, thermal properties and dynamics of exoplanet atmospheres, only a few transiting terrestrial exoplanets will be close enough to allow significant transit spectroscopy. Thermal phase curves (variations of the apparent infrared emission of the planet with its orbital phase) have been observed for hot Jupiters in both transiting and non-transiting configurations, and could be observed for hot terrestrial exoplanets. We study the wavelength and phase changes of the thermal emission of a tidally-locked terrestrial planet as atmospheric pressure increases, and address the observability of these multiband phase-curves and the ability to use them to detect atmospheric constituents. We used a 3D climate model (GCM) to simulate the CO2 atmosphere of a terrestrial planet on an 8-day orbit around a M3 dwarf and its apparent infrared emission as a function of its orbital phase. We estimated the signal to photon-noise ratio in narrow bands betw...

  8. A Hazy Situation: Using exoplanet retrieval techniques to characterize Titan's atmosphere from a Cassini transit spectrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teal, Dillon J.; Line, Michael R.; Morley, Caroline V.; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2015-01-01

    One of the main discoveries in exoplanet atmosphere characterization over the past several years is the dramatic role of clouds in shaping the transit spectra of close-in planets. High altitude clouds/hazes obscure molecular absorption features, leading to detrimental effects in studying transiting planet atmospheres. To investigate these effects with a "ground truth" solar system example, we utilize a transit spectrum obtained using NASA's Cassini spacecraft of Saturn's moon Titan. Titan, with its well-studied atmosphere and high-altitude hydrocarbon haze layer gives insight into how hazes affect exoplanetary transit spectra. To test how well current exoplanet atmosphere models can account for and extract information from hazy planets, we use the Bayesian CHIMERA transit spectrum model and a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo affiant-invariable ensemble technique to retrieve well-known atmospheric and planetary parameters for Titan. These include the CH4, C2H2, and CO abundances, haze scattering parameters, temperature, pressure, and gravity. We discuss how our findings compare to in situ and other Cassini remote sensing measurements, and the implications of our results for the accuracy of exoplanet retrievals for hazy bodies.

  9. Maps and Masses of Transiting Exoplanets: Towards New Insights into Atmospheric and Interior Properties of Planets

    CERN Document Server

    de Wit, Julien

    2015-01-01

    With over 1800 planets discovered outside of the Solar System in the past two decades, the field of exoplanetology has broadened our perspective on planetary systems. Research priorities are now moving from planet detection to planet characterization. In this context, transiting exoplanets are of special interest due to the wealth of data made available by their orbital configuration. Here, I introduce two methods to gain new insights into the atmospheric and interior properties of exoplanets. The first method aims to map an exoplanet's atmosphere based on the scanning obtained while it is occulted by its host star. I introduce the basics of eclipse mapping, its caveats, and a framework to mitigate their effects via global analyses including transits, phase curves, and radial velocity measurements. I use this method to create the first 2D map and the first cloud map of an exoplanet for the hot-Jupiters HD189733b and Kepler-7b, respectively. Ultimately temperature, composition, and circulation patterns could b...

  10. Community College Non-Science Undergraduates Observe Exoplanet Transits with 8-inch Observatory in Glendale, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleim, Brian; Esteban, Henry; Lincoln, Connor; Price, Jason; Giroux, Elizabeth; Lentowski, Noreen; Valencia, Leslie; Morris, Bryce; Smith, Blake; Leffler, Chris; Bonilla, Matt; Watt, Sara D.

    2015-01-01

    Using the 8-inch Celestron telescopes at the Glendale Community College North Observatory in Glendale, Arizona, a group of undergraduate students, most of whom are non-science majors, observed exoplanet transits during the Fall 2014 semester. These students, members of the Glendale Community College's Astronomy Students for Telescope Research and Outreach (A.S.T.R.O.) Club, selected targets observable with telescopes of this size and the conditions of the sky. With these observations and using concepts and skills learned in introductory astronomy courses for non-science majors, the co-authors recorded detections of exoplanet transits consistent with published professional results. These results demonstrate that post-secondary institutions can teach hands-on, practical astronomy experience given equipment that is readily available and affordable, regardless of the size of the student body majoring in the physical sciences.

  11. Improving Transit Predictions of Known Exoplanets with TERMS

    OpenAIRE

    Mahadevan S.; Laughlin G.; Jensen E.; Howard A; Fischer D.; Henry G.; Ciardi D.; Kane S. R.; von Braun K.; Wright J.

    2010-01-01

    Transiting planet discoveries have largely been restricted to the short-period or low-periastron distance regimes due to the bias inherent in the geometric transit probability. Through the refinement of planetary orbital parameters, and hence reducing the size of transit windows, long-period planets become feasible targets for photometric follow-up. Here we describe the TERMS project that is monitoring these host stars at predicted transit times.

  12. Improving Transit Predictions of Known Exoplanets with TERMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahadevan S.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Transiting planet discoveries have largely been restricted to the short-period or low-periastron distance regimes due to the bias inherent in the geometric transit probability. Through the re?nement of planetary orbital parameters, and hence reducing the size of transit windows, long-period planets become feasible targets for photometric follow-up. Here we describe the TERMS project that is monitoring these host stars at predicted transit times.

  13. ASTERIA: A CubeSat for Exoplanet Transit and Stellar Photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Mary; Seager, Sara

    2015-12-01

    We present ASTERIA, a 6U CubeSat demonstrator for exoplanet transit photometry. ASTERIA, currently in development at JPL and due to be launched in mid to late 2016, is a testbed for a two-stage pointing system capable of data will be used to study flares and stellar activity on a variety of stellar types. This presentation will focus on ASTERIA's science mission.

  14. Towards the Albedo of an Exoplanet: MOST Satellite Observations of Bright Transiting Exoplanetary Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Rowe, Jason F.; Matthews, Jaymie M.; Seager, Sara; Sasselov, Dimitar; Kuschnig, Rainer; Guenther, David B.; Moffat, Anthony F. J.; Rucinski, Slavek M.; Walker, Gordon A. H; Weiss, Werner W.

    2008-01-01

    The Canadian MOST satellite is a unique platform for observations of bright transiting exoplanetary systems. Providing nearly continuous photometric observations for up to 8 weeks, MOST can produce important observational data to help us learn about the properties of exosolar planets. We review our current observations of HD 209458, HD 189733 with implications towards the albedo and our progress towards detecting reflected light from an exoplanet.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Wideband Infrared Spectrometer for Characterization of Transiting Exoplanets with Space Telescopes

    OpenAIRE

    Enya, Keigo

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a conceptual design for a spectrometer designed specifically for characterizing transiting exoplanets with space-borne infrared telescopes. The design adopting cross-dispersion is intended to be simple, compact, highly stable, and has capability of simultaneous coverage over a wide wavelength region with high throughput. Typical wavelength coverage and spectral resolving power is 1-13 micron with a spectral resolving power of ~ a few hundred, respectively...

  17. OBSERVATIONS OF MASS LOSS FROM THE TRANSITING EXOPLANET HD 209458b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Using the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope, we obtained moderate-resolution, high signal/noise ultraviolet spectra of HD 209458 and its exoplanet HD 209458b during transit, both orbital quadratures, and secondary eclipse. We compare transit spectra with spectra obtained at non-transit phases to identify spectral features due to the exoplanet's expanding atmosphere. We find that the mean flux decreased by 7.8% ± 1.3% for the C II 1334.5323 A and 1335.6854 A lines and by 8.2% ± 1.4% for the Si III 1206.500 A line during transit compared to non-transit times in the velocity interval -50 to +50 km s-1. Comparison of the C II and Si III line depths and transit/non-transit line ratios shows deeper absorption features near -10 and +15 km s-1 and less certain features near -40 and +30-70 km s-1, but future observations are needed to verify this first detection of velocity structure in the expanding atmosphere of an exoplanet. Our results for the C II lines and the non-detection of Si IV 1394.76 A absorption are in agreement with Vidal-Madjar et al., but we find absorption during transit in the Si III line contrary to the earlier result. The 8% ± 1% obscuration of the star during transit is far larger than the 1.5% obscuration by the exoplanet's disk. Absorption during transit at velocities between -50 and +50 km s-1 in the C II and Si III lines requires high-velocity ion absorbers. Assuming hydrodynamic model values for the gas temperature and outflow velocity at the limb of the outflow as seen in the C II lines, we find mass-loss rates in the range (8-40)x1010 g s-1. These rates assume that the carbon abundance is solar, which is not the case for the giant planets in the solar system. Our mass-loss rate estimate is consistent with theoretical hydrodynamic models that include metals in the outflowing gas.

  18. EVIDENCE OF POSSIBLE SPIN-ORBIT MISALIGNMENT ALONG THE LINE OF SIGHT IN TRANSITING EXOPLANET SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Of the 26 transiting exoplanet systems with measurements of the Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect, eight have now been found to be significantly spin-orbit misaligned in the plane of the sky (i.e., RM misalignment angle |?| ?> 300 and inconsistent with ? = 00). Unfortunately, the RM effect does not constrain the complement misalignment angle between the orbit of the planet and the spin of its host star along the line of sight (LOS). I use a simple model of stellar rotation benchmarked with observational data to statistically identify 10 exoplanet systems from a sample of 75 for which there is likely a significant degree of spin-orbit misalignment along the LOS: HAT-P-7, HAT-P-14, HAT-P-16, HD 17156, Kepler-5, Kepler-7, TrES-4, WASP-1, WASP-12, and WASP-14. All 10 systems have host stellar masses M * in the range 1.2 M sun ?* ?sun, and the probability of this occurrence by chance is less than one in ten thousand. In addition, the planets in the candidate-misaligned systems are preferentially massive and eccentric. The coupled distribution of misalignment from the RM effect and from this analysis suggests that transiting exoplanets are more likely to be spin-orbit aligned than expected given predictions for a transiting planet population produced entirely by planet-planet scattering or Kozai cycles and tidal friction. For that reason, there are likely two populations of close-in exoplanet systems: a population of aligned systems and a population of apparently misaligned systems in which the processes that lead to misalignment or to the survival of misaligned systems operate more efficiently in systems with massive stars and planets.

  19. Investigating Close-in Exoplanets through Transit Observations

    CERN Document Server

    Jiang, Ing-Guey; Thakur, Parijat; Chien, Ping; Lin, Yi-Ling; Wu, Yu-Ting; Chen, Hong-Yu; Sun, Zhao; Ji, Jianghui

    2013-01-01

    Through the international collaborators, we recently established a network of existing and working meter-class telescopes to look for planetary transit events. As a first step, we focus on the TrES3 system, and conclude that there could be some level of transit timing variations.

  20. Transit Timing Variations as a Tool for the Bayesian Characterization of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Eric B.; Jontof-Hutter, Daniel; Dawson, Rebekah; Fabrycky, Daniel; Mills, Sean; Ragozzine, Darin; Rogers, Leslie Anne; Shabram, Megan

    2015-08-01

    NASA's Kepler mission has revolutionized time-domain photometry with its photometric precision, high duty cycle, and long observing baseline. In addition to discovering thousands of planet candidates that pass in front of their host star, Kepler's has enabled the precise measurement of transit timing variations (TTV), deviations of transit times from a Keplerian ephemeris due to gravitational interactions among planets (or more massive bodies in the same planetary system). For dozens of planets, TTVs enable the precise characterization of planet masses and orbits, including many planets for which characterization via Doppler observations is impractical.For example, TTVs have: 1) characterized of masses of planets in systems with 2-6 transiting exoplanets, 2) measured densities for low-mass, low-density mass planets that orbit stars with periods of ~50-200 days, and provided precise measurements of orbital eccentricities even in the challenging regime of eindividual planets, analysing the transit times for populations of transiting planets (including those for which no deviations from Keplerian orbits are detected) enable the characterization of the exoplanet distribution function.In both cases, attention to details of the statistical model and computational methods are essential for drawing robust conclusions. I will present selected TTV success stories, describing how these studies dealt with various statistical and computational challenges. Finally, I will describe opportunities for further improvements in the statistical analyses of transit timing variations and the potential science return.

  1. The mass of the Mars-sized exoplanet Kepler-138 b from transit timing

    CERN Document Server

    Jontof-Hutter, Daniel; Lissauer, Jack J; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B

    2015-01-01

    Extrasolar planets that pass in front of their host star (transit) cause a temporary decrease in the apparent brightness of the star once per orbit, providing a direct measure of the planet's size and orbital period. In some systems with multiple transiting planets, the times of the transits are measurably affected by the gravitational interactions between neighbouring planets. In favorable cases, the departures from Keplerian orbits implied by the observed transit times permit planetary masses to be measured, which is key to determining bulk densities. Characterizing rocky planets is particularly difficult, since they are generally smaller and less massive than gaseous planets. Thus, few exoplanets near Earth's size have had their masses measured. Here we report the sizes and masses of three planets orbiting Kepler-138, a star much fainter and cooler than the Sun. We measure the mass of the Mars-sized inner planet based on on the transit times of its neighbour and thereby provide the first density measuremen...

  2. Toward the Detection of Exoplanet Transits with Polarimetry

    CERN Document Server

    Wiktorowicz, Sloane J

    2014-01-01

    In contrast to photometric transits, whose peak signal occurs at mid-transit due to occultation of the brightest region of the disk, polarimetric transits provide a signal upon ingress and egress due to occultation of the polarized stellar limb. Limb polarization, the bright corollary to limb darkening, arises from the $90^\\circ$ scattering angle and low optical depth experienced by photons at the limb. In addition to the ratio $R_{\\rm p} / R_*$, the amplitude of a polarimetric transit is expected to be controlled by the strength and width of the stellar limb polarization profile, which depend on the scattering-to-total opacity ratio at the stellar limb. We present a short list of the systems providing the highest expected signal-to-noise ratio for detection of this effect, and we draw particular attention to HD 80606b. This planet is spin/orbit misaligned, has a three-hour ingress, and has a bright parent star, which make it an attractive target. We report on test observations of an HD 80606b ingress with th...

  3. Hubble Space Telescope search for the transit of the Earth-mass exoplanet Alpha Centauri Bb

    CERN Document Server

    Demory, Brice-Olivier; Queloz, Didier; Seager, Sara; Gilliland, Ronald; Chaplin, William J; Proffitt, Charles; Gillon, Michael; Guenther, Maximilian N; Benneke, Bjoern; Dumusque, Xavier; Lovis, Christophe; Pepe, Francesco; Segransan, Damien; Triaud, Amaury; Udry, Stephane

    2015-01-01

    Results from exoplanet surveys indicate that small planets (super-Earth size and below) are abundant in our Galaxy. However, little is known about their interiors and atmospheres. There is therefore a need to find small planets transiting bright stars, which would enable a detailed characterisation of this population of objects. We present the results of a search for the transit of the Earth-mass exoplanet Alpha Centauri Bb with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). We observed Alpha Centauri B twice in 2013 and 2014 for a total of 40 hours. We achieve a precision of 115 ppm per 6-s exposure time in a highly-saturated regime, which is found to be consistent across HST orbits. We rule out the transiting nature of Alpha Centauri Bb with the orbital parameters published in the literature at 96.6% confidence. We find in our data a single transit-like event that could be associated to another Earth-size planet in the system, on a longer period orbit. Our program demonstrates the ability of HST to obtain consistent, hi...

  4. Venus transit 2004: Illustrating the capability of exoplanet transmission spectroscopy

    OpenAIRE

    Hedelt, P.; Alonso, R.; Brown, T.; Vera, M. Collados; Rauer, H.; Schleicher, H.; Schmidt, W.; Schreier, F.; Titz, R.

    2011-01-01

    The transit of Venus in 2004 offered the rare possibility to remotely sense a well-known planetary atmosphere using ground-based observations for absorption spectroscopy. Transmission spectra of Venus' atmosphere were obtained in the near infrared using the Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT) in Tenerife. Since the instrument was designed to measure the very bright photosphere of the Sun, extracting Venus' atmosphere was challenging. CO_2 absorption lines could be identified in the...

  5. Observing transiting exoplanets: Removing systematic errors to constrain atmospheric chemistry and dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellem, Robert Thomas

    2015-03-01

    The > 1500 confirmed exoplanets span a wide range of planetary masses ( 1 MEarth -20 MJupiter), radii ( 0.3 R Earth -2 RJupiter), semi-major axes ( 0.005-100 AU), orbital periods ( 0.3-1 x 105 days), and host star spectral types. The effects of a widely-varying parameter space on a planetary atmosphere's chemistry and dynamics can be determined through transiting exoplanet observations. An exoplanet's atmospheric signal, either in absorption or emission, is on the order of 0.1% which is dwarfed by telescope-specific systematic error sources up to 60%. This thesis explores some of the major sources of error and their removal from space- and ground-based observations, specifically Spitzer /IRAC single-object photometry, IRTF/SpeX and Palomar/TripleSpec low-resolution single-slit near-infrared spectroscopy, and Kuiper/Mont4k multi-object photometry. The errors include pointing-induced uncertainties, airmass variations, seeing-induced signal loss, telescope jitter, and system variability. They are treated with detector efficiency pixel-mapping, normalization routines, a principal component analysis, binning with the geometric mean in Fourier-space, characterization by a comparison star, repeatability, and stellar monitoring to get within a few times of the photon noise limit. As a result, these observations provide strong measurements of an exoplanet's dynamical day-to-night heat transport, constrain its CH4 abundance, investigate emission mechanisms, and develop an observing strategy with smaller telescopes. The reduction methods presented here can also be applied to other existing and future platforms to identify and remove systematic errors. Until such sources of uncertainty are characterized with bright systems with large planetary signals for platforms such as the James Webb Space Telescope, for example, one cannot resolve smaller objects with more subtle spectral features, as expected of exo-Earths.

  6. The Exoplanet Orbit Database II: Updates to exoplanets.org

    OpenAIRE

    Han, Eunkyu; Wang, Sharon X.; Wright, Jason T; Feng, Y. Katherina; Zhao, Ming; Brown, Jacob I.; Hancock, Colin

    2014-01-01

    The Exoplanet Orbit Database (EOD) compiles orbital, transit, host star, and other parameters of robustly detected exoplanets reported in the peer-reviewed literature. The EOD can be navigated through the Exoplanet Data Explorer (EDE) Plotter and Table, available on the World Wide Web at exoplanets.org. The EOD contains data for 1492 confirmed exoplanets as of July 2014. The EOD descends from a table in Butler et al. (2002) and the Catalog of Nearby Exoplanets (Butler et al....

  7. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ollivier, M.; Gillon, M.; Santerne, A.; Wuchterl, G.; Havel, M.; Bruntt, H.; Bordé, P.; Pasternacki, T.; Endl, M.; Gandolfi, D.; Aigrain, S.; Almenara, J. M.; Alonso, R.; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A.; Barge, P.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bouchy, F.; Cabrera, J.; Carone, L.; Carpano, S.; Cavarroc, C.; Cochran, W. D.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Deeg, H. J.; Deleuil, M.; Diaz, R. F.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.; Ferraz-Mello, S.; Fridlund, M.; Gazzano, J.-C.; Grziwa, S.; Guenther, E.; Guillot, T.; Guterman, P.; Hatzes, A.; Hébrard, G.; Lammer, H.; Léger, A.; Lovis, C.; MacQueen, P. J.; Mayor, M.; Mazeh, T.; Moutou, C.; Ofir, A.; Pätzold, M.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Rouan, D.; Samuel, B.; Schneider, J.; Tadeu dos Santos, M.; Tal-Or, L.; Tingley, B.; Weingrill, J.

    2012-01-01

    Aims: We report the discovery of CoRoT-16b, a low density hot jupiter that orbits a faint G5V star (mV = 15.63) in 5.3523 ± 0.0002 days with slight eccentricity. A fit of the data with no a priori assumptions on the orbit leads to an eccentricity of 0.33 ± 0.1. We discuss this value and also derive the mass and radius of the planet. Methods: We analyse the photometric transit curve of CoRoT-16 given by the CoRoT satellite, and radial velocity data from the HARPS and HIRES spectrometers. A combin...

  8. Estimating transiting exoplanet masses from precise optical photometry

    CERN Document Server

    Mislis, D; Schmitt, J H M M; Hodgkin, S

    2011-01-01

    We present a theoretical analysis of the optical light curves (LCs) for short-period high-mass transiting extrasolar planet systems. Our method considers the primary transit, the secondary eclipse, and the overall phase shape of the LC between the occultations. Phase variations arise from (i) reflected and thermally emitted light by the planet, (ii) the ellipsoidal shape of the star due to the gravitational pull of the planet, and (iii) the Doppler shift of the stellar light as the star orbits the center of mass of the system. Our full model of the out-of-eclipse variations contains information about the planetary mass, orbital eccentricity, the orientation of periastron and the planet's albedo. For a range of hypothetical systems we demonstrate that the ellipsoidal variations (ii.) can be large enough to be distinguished from the remaining components and that this effect can be used to constrain the planet's mass. To detect the ellipsoidal variations, the LC requires a minimum precision of 10-4, which coinci...

  9. Defocused Observations of Selected Exoplanet Transits with T100 in TUBITAK National Observatory of Turkey (TUG)

    CERN Document Server

    Basturk, Ozgur; Ozavci, Ibrahim; Yorukoglu, Onur; Selam, Selim O

    2015-01-01

    It is crucial to determine masses and radii of extrasolar planets with high precision to have constraints on their chemical composition, internal structure and thereby their formation and evolution. In order to achieve this goal, we apply the defocus technique in the observations of selected planetary systems with the 1 m Turkish telescope T100 in TUBITAK National Observatory (TUG). With this contribution, we aim to present preliminary analyses of transit light curves of the selected exoplanets KELT-3b, HAT-P-10b/WASP-11b, HAT-P-20b, and HAT-P-22b, observed with this technique using T100.

  10. Asteroseismology of the Transiting Exoplanet Host HD 17156 with Hubble Space Telescope Fine Guidance Sensor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gilliland, Ronald L.; McCullough, Peter R.; Nelan, Edmund P.; Brown, Timothy M.; Charbonneau, David; Nutzman, Philip; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Kjeldsen, Hans

    2011-01-01

    Observations conducted with the Fine Guidance Sensor on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) providing high cadence and precision time-series photometry were obtained over 10 consecutive days in 2008 December on the host star of the transiting exoplanet HD 17156b. During this time, 1.0 × 1012 photons (corrected for detector dead time) were collected in which a noise level of 163 parts per million per 30 s sum resulted, thus providing excellent sensitivity to the detection of the analog of the solar ...

  11. The search for single exoplanet transits in the Kepler light curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foreman-Mackey, Daniel; Hogg, David W.; Schölkopf, Bernhard

    2015-08-01

    The planet discoveries made using data from the Kepler mission have revolutionized the field of exoplanet statistics. Thousands of planets have been discovered with orbital periods ranging from hours to two years. Some of the most dynamically interesting planets (Jupiter analogs, for example) only show a single transit in the four-year baseline of the Kepler mission and, as a result, they have not yet been found. Upcoming transit surveys like K2, TESS, and PLATO all have shorter contiguous observation baselines. It is therefore crucial to develop robust techniques for the discovery of single transit events. We present a search procedure designed to find single transits using a supervised classification model. To search for a transit signal in a given month-long light curve from Kepler, we train a random forest classifier on tens of thousands of simulated transit signals injected into the light curve of the same star at other times. Using a different set of simulations, we tune the model to maximize the precision of the recovered signals---minimizing the false alarm rate. With this model, we classify each section of the test light curve into two categories: transit and no transit. We demonstrate that this model is robust to systematic false positives and present an automated catalog of convincing single transit candidates.

  12. GTC OSIRIS Transiting Exoplanet Atmospheric Survey: Detection of potassium in XO-2b from spectrophotometry

    CERN Document Server

    Sing, D K; Fortney, J J; Etangs, A Lecavelier des; Ballester, G E; Cepa, J; Ehrenreich, D; Lopez-Morales, M; Pont, F; Shabram, M; Vidal-Madjar, A

    2010-01-01

    We present Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) optical transit narrow-band photometry of the hot-Jupiter exoplanet XO-2b using the OSIRIS instrument. This unique instrument has the capabilities to deliver high cadence narrow-band photometric lightcurves, allowing us to probe the atmospheric composition of hot Jupiters from the ground. The observations were taken during three transit events which cover four wavelengths at spectral resolutions near 500, necessary for observing atmospheric features, and have near-photon limited sub-mmag precisions. Precision narrow-band photometry on a large aperture telescope allows for atmospheric transmission spectral features to be observed for exoplanets around much fainter stars than those of the well studied targets HD209458b and HD189733b, providing access to the majority of known transiting planets. For XO-2b, we measure planet-to-star radius contrasts of R_pl/R_star=0.10508+/-0.00052 at 6792 Ang, 0.10640+/-0.00058 at 7582 Ang, and 0.10686+/-0.00060 at 7664.9 Ang, and 0.1036...

  13. Venus transit 2004: Illustrating the capability of exoplanet transmission spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedelt, P.; Alonso, R.; Brown, T.; Collados Vera, M.; Rauer, H.; Schleicher, H.; Schmidt, W.; Schreier, F.; Titz, R.

    2011-09-01

    The transit of Venus in 2004 offered the rare possibility to remotely sense a well-known planetary atmosphere using ground-based absorption spectroscopy. Transmission spectra of Venus' atmosphere were obtained in the near infrared using the Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT) in Tenerife. Since the instrument was designed to measure the very bright photosphere of the Sun, extracting Venus' atmosphere was challenging. We were able to identify CO2 absorption lines in the upper Venus atmosphere. Moreover, the relative abundance of the three most abundant CO2 isotopologues could be determined. The observations resolved Venus' limb, showing Doppler-shifted absorption lines that are probably caused by high-altitude winds. We demonstrate the utility of ground-based measurements in analyzing the atmospheric constituents of a terrestrial planet atmosphere using methods that might be applied in future to terrestrial extrasolar planets.

  14. Venus transit 2004: Illustrating the capability of exoplanet transmission spectroscopy

    CERN Document Server

    Hedelt, P; Brown, T; Vera, M Collados; Rauer, H; Schleicher, H; Schmidt, W; Schreier, F; Titz, R

    2011-01-01

    The transit of Venus in 2004 offered the rare possibility to remotely sense a well-known planetary atmosphere using ground-based observations for absorption spectroscopy. Transmission spectra of Venus' atmosphere were obtained in the near infrared using the Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT) in Tenerife. Since the instrument was designed to measure the very bright photosphere of the Sun, extracting Venus' atmosphere was challenging. CO_2 absorption lines could be identified in the upper Venus atmosphere. Moreover, the relative abundance of the three most abundant CO_2 isotopologues could be determined. The observations resolved Venus' limb, showing Doppler-shifted absorption lines that are probably caused by high-altitude winds. This paper illustrates the ability of ground-based measurements to examine atmospheric constituents of a terrestrial planet atmosphere which might be applied in future to terrestrial extrasolar planets.

  15. Accurate radius and mass of the transiting exoplanet OGLE-TR-132b

    CERN Document Server

    Moutou, C; Bouchy, F; Mayor, M

    2004-01-01

    The exoplanet OGLE-TR-132b belongs to the new class of very hot giant planets, together with OGLE-TR-56b and OGLE-TR-113b, detected by their transits. Recently, radial velocity measurements provided a planetary mass estimate for OGLE-TR-132b. The planet parameters, however, were poorly cons trained, because of the very shallow transit in the OGLE light curve. In this letter, based on new VLT/FORS2 photometric follow-up of OGLE-TR-132 of unprecedented quality (1.2 millimagnitude relative photometry), we confirm the planetary nature of the orbiting object, and we derive an accurate measurement of its radius and mass: 1.13 +- 0.08 R_J and 1.19 +- 0.13 M_J. The refined ephemeris of OGLE-TR-132 transits is T_0 = 2453142.5888 and P = 1.689857 days.

  16. Astrophysical false positives in exoplanet transit surveys: why do we need bright stars ?

    CERN Document Server

    Santerne, A; Almenara, J -M; Lethuillier, A; Deleuil, M; Moutou, C

    2013-01-01

    Astrophysical false positives that mimic planetary transit are one of the main limitation to exoplanet transit surveys. In this proceeding, we review the issue of the false positive in transit survey and the possible complementary observations to constrain their presence. We also review the false-positive rate of both Kepler and CoRoT missions and present the basics of the planet-validation technique. Finally, we discuss the interest of observing bright stars, as PLATO 2.0 and TESS will do, in the context of the false positives. According to simulations with the Besan\\c{c}on galactic model, we find that PLATO 2.0 is expected to have less background false positives than Kepler, and thus an even lower false-positive rate.

  17. Towards Automatic Classification of Exoplanet-Transit-Like Signals: A Case Study on Kepler Mission Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valizadegan, Hamed; Martin, Rodney; McCauliff, Sean D.; Jenkins, Jon Michael; Catanzarite, Joseph; Oza, Nikunj C.

    2015-08-01

    Building new catalogues of planetary candidates, astrophysical false alarms, and non-transiting phenomena is a challenging task that currently requires a reviewing team of astrophysicists and astronomers. These scientists need to examine more than 100 diagnostic metrics and associated graphics for each candidate exoplanet-transit-like signal to classify it into one of the three classes. Considering that the NASA Explorer Program's TESS mission and ESA's PLATO mission survey even a larger area of space, the classification of their transit-like signals is more time-consuming for human agents and a bottleneck to successfully construct the new catalogues in a timely manner. This encourages building automatic classification tools that can quickly and reliably classify the new signal data from these missions. The standard tool for building automatic classification systems is the supervised machine learning that requires a large set of highly accurate labeled examples in order to build an effective classifier. This requirement cannot be easily met for classifying transit-like signals because not only are existing labeled signals very limited, but also the current labels may not be reliable (because the labeling process is a subjective task). Our experiments with using different supervised classifiers to categorize transit-like signals verifies that the labeled signals are not rich enough to provide the classifier with enough power to generalize well beyond the observed cases (e.g. to unseen or test signals). That motivated us to utilize a new category of learning techniques, so-called semi-supervised learning, that combines the label information from the costly labeled signals, and distribution information from the cheaply available unlabeled signals in order to construct more effective classifiers. Our study on the Kepler Mission data shows that semi-supervised learning can significantly improve the result of multiple base classifiers (e.g. Support Vector Machines, AdaBoost, and Decision Tree) and is a good technique for automatic classification of exoplanet-transit-like signal.

  18. The Effects of Refraction on Transit Transmission Spectroscopy: Application to Earth-like Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Amit; Meadows, Victoria; Crisp, Dave

    2014-09-01

    We quantify the effects of refraction in transit transmission spectroscopy on spectral absorption features and on temporal variations that could be used to obtain altitude-dependent spectra for planets orbiting stars of different stellar types. We validate our model against altitude-dependent transmission spectra of the Earth from ATMOS and against lunar eclipse spectra from Pallé et al. We perform detectability studies to show the potential effects of refraction on hypothetical observations of Earth analogs with the James Webb Space Telescope NIRSPEC. Due to refraction, there will be a maximum tangent pressure level that can be probed during transit for each given planet-star system. We show that because of refraction, for an Earth-analog planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star only the top 0.3 bars of the atmosphere can be probed, leading to a decrease in the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of absorption features by 60%, while for an Earth-analog planet orbiting in the habitable zone of an M5V star it is possible to probe almost the entire atmosphere with minimal decreases in S/N. We also show that refraction can result in temporal variations in the transit transmission spectrum which may provide a way to obtain altitude-dependent spectra of exoplanet atmospheres. Additionally, the variations prior to ingress and subsequent to egress provide a way to probe pressures greater than the maximum tangent pressure that can be probed during transit. Therefore, probing the maximum range of atmospheric altitudes, and in particular the near-surface environment of an Earth-analog exoplanet, will require looking at out-of-transit refracted light in addition to the in-transit spectrum.

  19. The effects of refraction on transit transmission spectroscopy: application to Earth-like exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We quantify the effects of refraction in transit transmission spectroscopy on spectral absorption features and on temporal variations that could be used to obtain altitude-dependent spectra for planets orbiting stars of different stellar types. We validate our model against altitude-dependent transmission spectra of the Earth from ATMOS and against lunar eclipse spectra from Pallé et al. We perform detectability studies to show the potential effects of refraction on hypothetical observations of Earth analogs with the James Webb Space Telescope NIRSPEC. Due to refraction, there will be a maximum tangent pressure level that can be probed during transit for each given planet-star system. We show that because of refraction, for an Earth-analog planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star only the top 0.3 bars of the atmosphere can be probed, leading to a decrease in the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of absorption features by 60%, while for an Earth-analog planet orbiting in the habitable zone of an M5V star it is possible to probe almost the entire atmosphere with minimal decreases in S/N. We also show that refraction can result in temporal variations in the transit transmission spectrum which may provide a way to obtain altitude-dependent spectra of exoplanet atmospheres. Additionally, the variations prior to ingress and subsequent to egress provide a way to probe pressures greater than the maximum tangent pressure that can be probed during transit. Therefore, probing the maximum range of atmospheric altitudes, and in particular the near-surface environment of an Earth-analog exoplanet, will require looking at out-of-transit refracted light in addition to the in-transit spectrum.

  20. The effects of refraction on transit transmission spectroscopy: application to Earth-like exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Misra, Amit; Meadows, Victoria [Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Crisp, Dave, E-mail: amit0@astro.washington.edu [NAI Virtual Planetary Laboratory, Seattle, WA (United States)

    2014-09-01

    We quantify the effects of refraction in transit transmission spectroscopy on spectral absorption features and on temporal variations that could be used to obtain altitude-dependent spectra for planets orbiting stars of different stellar types. We validate our model against altitude-dependent transmission spectra of the Earth from ATMOS and against lunar eclipse spectra from Pallé et al. We perform detectability studies to show the potential effects of refraction on hypothetical observations of Earth analogs with the James Webb Space Telescope NIRSPEC. Due to refraction, there will be a maximum tangent pressure level that can be probed during transit for each given planet-star system. We show that because of refraction, for an Earth-analog planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star only the top 0.3 bars of the atmosphere can be probed, leading to a decrease in the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of absorption features by 60%, while for an Earth-analog planet orbiting in the habitable zone of an M5V star it is possible to probe almost the entire atmosphere with minimal decreases in S/N. We also show that refraction can result in temporal variations in the transit transmission spectrum which may provide a way to obtain altitude-dependent spectra of exoplanet atmospheres. Additionally, the variations prior to ingress and subsequent to egress provide a way to probe pressures greater than the maximum tangent pressure that can be probed during transit. Therefore, probing the maximum range of atmospheric altitudes, and in particular the near-surface environment of an Earth-analog exoplanet, will require looking at out-of-transit refracted light in addition to the in-transit spectrum.

  1. Bayesian mass and age estimates for transiting exoplanet host stars

    CERN Document Server

    Maxted, P F L; Southworth, J

    2014-01-01

    The mean density of a star transited by a planet, brown dwarf or low mass star can be accurately measured from its light curve. This measurement can be combined with other observations to estimate its mass and age by comparison with stellar models. Our aim is to calculate the posterior probability distributions for the mass and age of a star given its density, effective temperature, metallicity and luminosity. We computed a large grid of stellar models that densely sample the appropriate mass and metallicity range. The posterior probability distributions are calculated using a Markov-chain Monte-Carlo method. The method has been validated by comparison to the results of other stellar models and by applying the method to stars in eclipsing binary systems with accurately measured masses and radii. We have explored the sensitivity of our results to the assumed values of the mixing-length parameter, $\\alpha_{\\rm MLT}$, and initial helium mass fraction, Y. For a star with a mass of 0.9 solar masses and an age of 4...

  2. WASP-19b: the shortest period transiting exoplanet yet discovered

    CERN Document Server

    Hebb, Leslie; Triaud, A H M J; Lister, T A; Smalley, B; Maxted, P F L; Hellier, C; Anderson, D R; Pollacco, D; Gillon, M; Queloz, D; West, R G; Bentley, S; Enoch, B; Haswell, C A; Horne, K; Mayor, M; Pepe, F; Segransan, D; Skillen, I; Udry, S; Wheatley, P J; 10.1088/0004-637X/708/1/224

    2010-01-01

    We report on the discovery of a new extremely short period transiting extrasolar planet, WASP-19b. The planet has mass Mpl = 1.15 \\pm 0.08 MJ, radius Rpl = 1.31 \\pm 0.06 RJ, and orbital period P = 0.7888399 \\pm 0.0000008 days. Through spectroscopic analysis, we determine the host star to be a slightly super-solar metallicity ([M/H] = 0.1 \\pm 0.1 dex) G-dwarf with Teff = 5500 \\pm 100 K. In addition, we detect periodic, sinusoidal flux variations in the light curve which are used to derive a rotation period for the star of Prot = 10.5 \\pm 0.2 days. The relatively short stellar rotation period suggests that either WASP-19 is somewhat young (~ 600 Myr old) or tidal interactions between the two bodies have caused the planet to spiral inward over its lifetime resulting in the spin-up of the star. Due to the detection of the rotation period, this system has the potential to place strong constraints on the stellar tidal quality factor, Q's, if a more precise age is determined.

  3. Discovering Exoplanets with Microlensing: Transition to the Next Generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Andrew

    We propose to continue our successful program of planet discovery using the gravitaional microlensing technique. Our work will specifically focus on so-called "high- magnification events", which are exceptionally sensitive to planets, and which allow us to extract exceptionally detailed information about each planetary system. These results will be of high scientific interest in their own right, but will also play a key role in the transition to "next-generation" surveys that will discover many times more planets in "low-magnification events". We will continue to operate and build our network of approximately 30 amateur+professional astronomers (about half each) on 6 continents plus Oceania, which enables the 24 hour coverage that is crucial to extracting planetary science from microlensing events. In particular, by engaging the amateurs at a high scientific level, we will both improve the quantity and quality of amateur data and utilize their role as a "transmission belt" to the broader public. Over the past few years, high-mag events have enabled the first detection of a Jupiter- Saturn analog system, the first census of ice and gas giants beyond the snow line, the recognition that "cold Neptunes" are extremely common, and the detection of 3 very massive, super-Jupiter planets orbiting M dwarfs (which may challenge the standard "core-accretion" paradigm). Analysis of these events has also led to key theoretical insights, including the fact that planet orbital motion can be detected in microlensing events and that careful effort is required to disentangle this from "parallax effects" (due to the Earth's own orbital motion). The direct impact of our proposed work will be to increase the still small statistics of high-mag planet detections (due to the intrinsic rarity of high-mag events) and to exploit the sensitivity of these events to higher-order effects (including parallax, planet orbital motion, and multiple planets) to gain deeper knowledge of detected systems. Because microlensing sensitivity peaks at orbital radii of a few times the snow-line, it is complementary to other techniques that (like RV and transits) are most sensitive to planets that are closer in or that (like direct imaging) are sensitive to planets that are further out. But we also expect that this work will have tremendous indirect impact on the field, which is rapidly growing. In particular, high-mag events are the best means of training students and other junior people in the technically demanding skills required to model microlensing events. In fact, there are only a handful of people in the world capable of carrying out this analysis, while the number of events that will be discovered is likely to explode as new multi-site wide-angle surveys of low-mag events come on line. The disparity between planet discoveries and people to analyze them would increase even further if a satellite such as WFIRST were launched and had a significant microlensing component (the primary space recommendation of Astro2010). We note that ALL current workers in the field of planetary microlensing who obtained PhDs from US institutions in the last 15 years, were trained by our group at OSU. In addition, theoretical work on microlensing (such as the recognition of the relation of parallax and orbital motion) has largely been driven by the challenges posed by high-mag events, and we expect that this will remain so in the future. Finally, we note that, for technical reasons discussed in the proposal, high-mag events are the most robust candidates for space-based parallax measurements, which can pin down the mass and distance to the planet. This may develop into an important auxiliary application of solar-system missions that are in heliocentric orbit.

  4. The centre-to-limb variations of solar Fraunhofer lines imprinted upon lunar eclipse spectra - Implications for exoplanet transit observations

    OpenAIRE

    Yan, Fei; Fosbury, Robert A. E.; Petr-Gotzens, Monika G.; Zhao, Gang; Pallé, Enric

    2015-01-01

    The atmospheres of exoplanets are commonly studied by observing the transit of the planet passing in front of its parent star. The obscuration of part of the stellar disk during a transit will reveal aspects of its surface structure resulting from general centre-to-limb variations (CLVs). These become apparent when forming the ratio between the stellar light in and out of transit. These phenomena can be seen particularly clearly during the progress of a penumbral lunar eclip...

  5. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XXIII. CoRoT-21b: a doomed large Jupiter around a faint subgiant star

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pätzold, M.; Endl, M.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Gandolfi, D.; Jorda, L.; Grziwa, S.; Carone, L.; Pasternacki, T.; Aigrain, S.; Almenara, J. M.; Alonso, R.; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A.; Barge, P.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Cabrera, J.; Cavarroc, C.; Cochran, W. B.; Deleuil, M.; Deeg, H. J.; Díaz, R.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.; Ferraz-Mello, S.; Fridlund, M.; Gillon, M.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Hébrard, G.; Léger, A.; Llebaria, A.; Lammer, H.; MacQueen, P. J.; Mazeh, T.; Moutou, C.; Ofir, A.; Ollivier, M.; Parviainen, H.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Rouan, D.; Santerne, A.; Schneider, J.; Tingley, B.; Weingrill, J.; Wuchterl, G.

    2012-01-01

    CoRoT-21, a F8IV star of magnitude V = 16 mag, was observed by the space telescope CoRoT during the Long Run 01 (LRa01) in the first winter field (constellation Monoceros) from October 2007 to March 2008. Transits were discovered during the light curve processing. Radial velocity follow-up observations, however, were performed mainly by the 10-m Keck telescope in January 2010. The companion CoRoT-21b is a Jupiter-like planet of 2.26 ± 0.33 Jupiter masses and 1.30 ± 0.14 Jupiter radii in an circu...

  6. Classical and relativistic long-term time variations of some observables for transiting exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Iorio, Lorenzo

    2010-01-01

    We analytically work out the long-term, i.e. averaged over one orbital revolution, time variations of some direct observable quantities Y induced by classical and general relativistic dynamical perturbations of the two-body pointlike Newtonian acceleration in the case of transiting exoplanets moving along elliptic orbits. More specifically, the observables $Y$ with which we deal are the transit duration, the radial velocity and the time interval between primary and secondary eclipses. The dynamical effects considered are the centrifugal oblateness of both the star and the planet, their tidal bulges mutually raised on each other, a distant third body X, and general relativity (both Schwarzschild and Lense-Thirring). We take into account the effects due to the perturbations of all the Keplerian orbital elements involved in a consistent and uniform way. First, we explicitly compute their instantaneous time variations due to the dynamical effects considered and plug them in the general expression for the instanta...

  7. Catalog of Nearby Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Butler, R. P.; Wright, J. T.; Marcy, G.W.; Fischer, D.A.; Vogt, S. S.; Tinney, C. G.; Jones, H. R. A.; Carter, B.D.; Johnson, J. A.; McCarthy, C.; Penny, A. J.

    2006-01-01

    We present a catalog of nearby exoplanets, available at http://exoplanets.org and ApJ 646, 505 (published version available at the link above). It contains the 172 known low mass companions with orbits established through radial velocity and transit measurements around stars within 200 pc. We include 5 previously unpublished exoplanets orbiting the stars HD 11964, HD 66428, HD 99109, HD 107148, and HD 164922. We update orbits for 90 additional exoplanets including many whose...

  8. Comparison of gyrochronological and isochronal age estimates for transiting exoplanet host stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxted, P. F. L.; Serenelli, A. M.; Southworth, J.

    2015-05-01

    Context. Tidal interactions between planets and their host stars are not well understood, but may be an important factor in their formation, structure, and evolution. Previous studies suggest that these tidal interactions may be responsible for discrepancies between the ages of exoplanet host stars estimated using stellar models (isochronal age estimates) and age estimates based on the stars' rotation periods (gyrochronological age estimates). Recent improvements in our understanding of the rotational evolution of single stars and a substantial increase in the number of exoplanet host stars with accurate rotation period measurements make it worthwhile to revisit this question. Aims: Our aim is to determine whether the gyrochronological age estimates for transiting exoplanet host stars with accurate rotation period measurements are consistent with their isochronal age estimates, and whether this is indicative of tidal interaction between the planets and their host stars. Methods: We have compiled a sample of 28 transiting exoplanet host stars with measured rotation periods, including two stars (HAT-P-21 and WASP-5) for which the rotation period based on the light curve modulation is reported here for the first time. We use our recently developed Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method to determine the joint posterior distribution for the mass and age of each star in the sample. We extend our Bayesian method to include a calculation of the posterior distribution of the gyrochronological age estimate that accounts for the uncertainties in the mass and age, the strong correlation between these values, and the uncertainties in the mass-rotation-age calibration. Results: The gyrochronological age estimate (?gyro) is significantly lower than the isochronal age estimate for about half of the stars in our sample. Tidal interactions between the star and planet are a reasonable explanation for this discrepancy in some cases, but not all. The distribution of ?gyro values is evenly spread from very young ages up to a maximum value of a few Gyr, i.e. there is no obvious pile-up of stars at very low or very high values of ?gyro as might be expected if some evolutionary or selection effect were biasing the age distribution of the stars in this sample. There is no clear correlation between ?gyro and the strength of the tidal force on the star due to the innermost planet. There is clear evidence that the isochronal age estimates for some K-type stars are too high, and this may also be the case for some G-type stars. This may be the result of magnetic inhibition of convection. The densities of HAT-P-11 and WASP-84 are too high to be reproduced by any stellar models within the observed constraints on effective temperature and metallicity. These stars may have strongly enhanced helium abundances. There is currently no satisfactory explanation for the discrepancy between the young age for CoRoT-2 estimated from either gyrochronology or its high lithium abundance, and the extremely old age for its K-type stellar companion inferred from its very low X-ray flux. Conclusions: There is now strong evidence that the gyrochronological age estimates for some transiting exoplanet host stars are significantly lower than the isochronal age estimates, but it is not always clear that this is good evidence for tidal interactions between the star and the planet.

  9. Directly imaged L-T transition exoplanets in the mid-infrared {sup ,}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Hinz, Philip M.; Morzinski, Katie M.; Leisenring, Jarron M.; Close, Laird M.; Bailey, Vanessa P.; Defrere, Denis; Follette, Katherine B.; Males, Jared R.; Rodigas, Timothy J. [Steward Observatory, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Marley, Mark S. [NASA Ames Research Center, MS-245-3, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Skrutskie, Michael F. [Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, 530 McCormick Road, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States); Saumon, Didier [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Mail Stop F663, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States); Briguglio, Runa; Esposito, Simone; Puglisi, Alfio; Xompero, Marco [Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri Largo E. Fermi 5 50125 Firenze (Italy); Hill, John M. [Large Binocular Telescope Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Gas-giant planets emit a large fraction of their light in the mid-infrared (?3 ?m), where photometry and spectroscopy are critical to our understanding of the bulk properties of extrasolar planets. Of particular importance are the L- and M-band atmospheric windows (3-5 ?m), which are the longest wavelengths currently accessible to ground-based, high-contrast imagers. We present binocular LBT adaptive optics (AO) images of the HR 8799 planetary system in six narrow-band filters from 3 to 4 ?m, and a Magellan AO image of the 2M1207 planetary system in a broader 3.3 ?m band. These systems encompass the five known exoplanets with luminosities consistent with L ? T transition brown dwarfs. Our results show that the exoplanets are brighter and have shallower spectral slopes than equivalent temperature brown dwarfs in a wavelength range that contains the methane fundamental absorption feature (spanned by the narrow-band filters and encompassed by the broader 3.3 ?m filter). For 2M1207 b, we find that thick clouds and non-equilibrium chemistry caused by vertical mixing can explain the object's appearance. For the HR 8799 planets, we present new models that suggest the atmospheres must have patchy clouds, along with non-equilibrium chemistry. Together, the presence of a heterogeneous surface and vertical mixing presents a picture of dynamic planetary atmospheres in which both horizontal and vertical motions influence the chemical and condensate profiles.

  10. Directly imaged L-T transition exoplanets in the mid-infrared ,

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gas-giant planets emit a large fraction of their light in the mid-infrared (?3 ?m), where photometry and spectroscopy are critical to our understanding of the bulk properties of extrasolar planets. Of particular importance are the L- and M-band atmospheric windows (3-5 ?m), which are the longest wavelengths currently accessible to ground-based, high-contrast imagers. We present binocular LBT adaptive optics (AO) images of the HR 8799 planetary system in six narrow-band filters from 3 to 4 ?m, and a Magellan AO image of the 2M1207 planetary system in a broader 3.3 ?m band. These systems encompass the five known exoplanets with luminosities consistent with L ? T transition brown dwarfs. Our results show that the exoplanets are brighter and have shallower spectral slopes than equivalent temperature brown dwarfs in a wavelength range that contains the methane fundamental absorption feature (spanned by the narrow-band filters and encompassed by the broader 3.3 ?m filter). For 2M1207 b, we find that thick clouds and non-equilibrium chemistry caused by vertical mixing can explain the object's appearance. For the HR 8799 planets, we present new models that suggest the atmospheres must have patchy clouds, along with non-equilibrium chemistry. Together, the presence of a heterogeneous surface and vertical mixing presents a picture of dynamic planetary atmospheres in which both horizontal and vertical motions influence the chemical and condensate profiles.

  11. A comparison of gyrochronological and isochronal age estimates for transiting exoplanet host stars

    CERN Document Server

    Maxted, P F L; Southworth, J

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that tidal interactions may be responsible for discrepancies between the ages of exoplanet host stars estimated using stellar models (isochronal ages) and age estimates based on the stars' rotation periods (gyrochronological ages). We have compiled a sample of 28 transiting exoplanet host stars with measured rotation periods. We use a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method to determine the joint posterior distribution for the mass and age of each star in the sample, and extend this method to include a calculation of the posterior distribution of the gyrochronological age. The gyrochronological age ($\\tau_{\\rm gyro}$) is significantly less than the isochronal age for about half of the stars in our sample. Tidal interactions between the star and planet are a reasonable explanation for this discrepancy in some cases, but not all. The distribution of $\\tau_{\\rm gyro}$ values is evenly spread from very young ages up to a maximum value of a few Gyr. There is no clear correlation between $...

  12. Multi-band transit observations of the TrES-2b exoplanet

    CERN Document Server

    Mislis, D; Schmitt, J H M M; Cordes, O; Reif, K

    2009-01-01

    We present a new data set of transit observations of the TrES-2b exoplanet taken in spring 2009, using the 1.2m Oskar-Luhning telescope (OLT) of Hamburg Observatory and the 2.2m telescope at Calar Alto Observatory using BUSCA (Bonn University Simultaneous CAmera). Both the new OLT data, taken with the same instrumental setup as our data taken in 2008, as well as the simultaneously recorded multicolor BUSCA data confirm the low inclination values reported previously, and in fact suggest that the TrES-2b exoplanet has already passed the first inclination threshold (i_min,1 = 83.417) and is not eclipsing the full stellar surface any longer. Using the multi-band BUSCA data we demonstrate that the multicolor light curves can be consistently fitted with a given set of limb darkening coefficients without the need to adjust these coefficients, and further, we can demonstrate that wavelength dependent stellar radius changes must be small as expected from theory. Our new observations provide further evidence for a chan...

  13. TRANSMISSION SPECTRUM OF EARTH AS A TRANSITING EXOPLANET FROM THE ULTRAVIOLET TO THE NEAR-INFRARED

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Transmission spectroscopy of exoplanets is a tool to characterize rocky planets and explore their habitability. Using the Earth itself as a proxy, we model the atmospheric cross section as a function of wavelength, and show the effect of each atmospheric species, Rayleigh scattering, and refraction from 115 to 1000 nm. Clouds do not significantly affect this picture because refraction prevents the lowest 12.75 km of the atmosphere, in a transiting geometry for an Earth-Sun analog, to be sampled by a distant observer. We calculate the effective planetary radius for the primary eclipse spectrum of an Earth-like exoplanet around a Sun-like star. Below 200 nm, ultraviolet (UV) O2 absorption increases the effective planetary radius by about 180 km, versus 27 km at 760.3 nm, and 14 km in the near-infrared (NIR) due predominantly to refraction. This translates into a 2.6% change in effective planetary radius over the UV-NIR wavelength range, showing that the UV is an interesting wavelength range for future space missions

  14. WASP-21b: a hot-Saturn exoplanet transiting a thick disc star

    CERN Document Server

    Bouchy, F; Skillen, I; Cameron, A Collier; Smalley, B; Udry, S; Anderson, D R; Boisse, I; Enoch, B; Haswell, C A; Hébrard, G; Hellier, C; Joshi, Y; Kane, S R; Maxted, P F L; Mayor, M; Moutou, C; Pepe, F; Pollacco, D; Queloz, D; Ségransan, D; Simpson, E K; Smith, A M S; Stempels, H C; Street, R; Triaud, A H M J; West, R G; Wheatley, P J

    2010-01-01

    We report the discovery of WASP-21b, a new transiting exoplanet discovered by the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) Consortium and established and characterized with the FIES, SOPHIE, CORALIE and HARPS fiber-fed echelle spectrographs. A 4.3-d period, 1.1% transit depth and 3.4-h duration are derived for WASP-21b using SuperWASP-North and high precision photometric observations at the Liverpool Telescope. Simultaneous fitting to the photometric and radial velocity data with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo procedure leads to a planet in the mass regime of Saturn. With a radius of 1.07 R_Jup and mass of 0.30 M_Jup, WASP-21b has a density close to 0.24 rho_Jup corresponding to the distribution peak at low density of transiting gaseous giant planets. With a host star metallicity [Fe/H] of -0.46, WASP-21b strengthens the correlation between planetary density and host star metallicity for the five known Saturn-like transiting planets. Furthermore there are clear indications that WASP-21b is the first transiting planet...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. The mass of the Mars-sized exoplanet Kepler-138 b from transit timing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jontof-Hutter, Daniel; Rowe, Jason F; Lissauer, Jack J; Fabrycky, Daniel C; Ford, Eric B

    2015-06-18

    Extrasolar planets that pass in front of their host star (transit) cause a temporary decrease in the apparent brightness of the star, providing a direct measure of the planet's size and orbital period. In some systems with multiple transiting planets, the times of the transits are measurably affected by the gravitational interactions between neighbouring planets. In favourable cases, the departures from Keplerian orbits (that is, unaffected by gravitational effects) implied by the observed transit times permit the planetary masses to be measured, which is key to determining their bulk densities. Characterizing rocky planets is particularly difficult, because they are generally smaller and less massive than gaseous planets. Therefore, few exoplanets near the size of Earth have had their masses measured. Here we report the sizes and masses of three planets orbiting Kepler-138, a star much fainter and cooler than the Sun. We determine that the mass of the Mars-sized inner planet, Kepler-138 b, is 0.066(+0.059)(-0.037) Earth masses. Its density is 2.6(+2.4)(-1.5) grams per cubic centimetre. The middle and outer planets are both slightly larger than Earth. The middle planet's density (6.2(+5.8)(-3.4) grams per cubic centimetre) is similar to that of Earth, and the outer planet is less than half as dense at 2.1(+2.2)(-1.2) grams per cubic centimetre, implying that it contains a greater portion of low-density components such as water and hydrogen. PMID:26085271

  17. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite: Simulations of planet detections and astrophysical false positives

    CERN Document Server

    Sullivan, Peter W; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K; Charbonneau, David; Deming, Drake; Dressing, Courtney D; Latham, David W; Levine, Alan M; McCullough, Peter R; Morton, Timothy; Ricker, George R; Vanderspek, Roland; Woods, Deborah

    2015-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a NASA-sponsored Explorer mission that will perform a wide-field survey for planets that transit bright host stars. Here, we predict the properties of the transiting planets that TESS will detect along with the eclipsing binary stars that produce false-positive photometric signals. The predictions are based on Monte Carlo simulations of the nearby population of stars, occurrence rates of planets derived from Kepler, and models for the photometric performance and sky coverage of the TESS cameras. We expect that TESS will find approximately 1700 transiting planets from 200,000 pre-selected target stars. This includes 556 planets smaller than twice the size of Earth, of which 419 are hosted by M dwarf stars and 137 are hosted by FGK dwarfs. Approximately 130 of the R < 2 R_Earth planets will have host stars brighter than K = 9. Approximately 48 of the planets with R < 2 R_Earth lie within or near the habitable zone (0.2 < S/S_Earth < 2), and between...

  18. An unconsidered configuration of astrophysical false positives in exoplanet-transit surveys

    CERN Document Server

    Santerne, A; Díaz, R F; Figueira, P; Almenara, J -M; Santos, N C

    2013-01-01

    We investigate in this paper the astrophysical false-positive configuration in exoplanet-transit surveys that involves eclipsing binaries and giant planets which present only a secondary eclipse, as seen from the Earth. To test how an eclipsing binary configuration can mimic a planetary transit, we generate synthetic light curve of three examples of secondary-only eclipsing binary systems that we fit with a circular planetary model. Then, to evaluate its occurrence we model a population of binaries in double and triple system based on binary statistics and occurrence. We find that 0.061% +/- 0.017% of main-sequence binary stars are secondary-only eclipsing binaries mimicking a planetary transit candidate down to the size of the Earth. We then evaluate the occurrence that an occulting-only giant planet can mimic an Earth-like planet or even smaller planet. We find that 0.009% +/- 0.002% of stars harbor a giant planet that present only the secondary transit. Occulting-only giant planets mimic planets smaller th...

  19. Analysis of Repeatability and Reliability of Warm IRAC Observations of Transiting Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Sean J.; Krick, Jessica; Ingalls, James

    2015-12-01

    Extracting information about thermal profiles and composition of the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets is extremely challenging due to the small differential signal of the atmosphere in observations of transits, secondary eclipses, and full phase curves for exoplanets. The relevant signals are often at the level of 100 ppm or smaller and require the removal of significant instrumental systematics in the two infrared instruments currently capable of providing information at this precision, WFC3 on HST and IRAC aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope. For IRAC, the systematics are due to the interplay of residual telescope pointing variation with intra-pixel gain variations in the moderately undersampled camera. There is currently a debate in the community on the reliability of repeated IRAC observations of exoplanets particularly those in eclipse from which inferences about atmospheric temperature and pressure profiles can made. To assess the repeatability and reliability of post-cryogenic observations with IRAC, the Spitzer Science Center in conjunction with volunteers from the astronomical community has performed a systematic analysis of the removal of systematics and repeatability of warm IRAC observations. Recently, a data challenge consisting of the measurement of ten secondary eclipses of XO-3b (see Wong et al. 2014) and a complementary analysis of a synthetic version of the XO-3b data was undertaken. We report on the results of this data challenge. Five different techniques were applied to the data (BLISS mapping [Stevenson et al. (2012)], kernel regression using the science data [Wong et al. (2015)] and calibration data [Krick et al. (2015)], pixel-level decorrelation [Deming et al. (2015)], ICA [Morello et al. (2015)] and Gaussian Processes [Evans et al. (2015)]) and found consistent results in terms of eclipse depth and reliability in both the actual and synthetic data. In addition, each technique obtained the input eclipse depth in the simulated data within the stated measurement uncertainty. The reported uncertainties for each measurement approach the photon noise limit. These findings generally refute the results of Hansen et al. (2014) and suggest that inferences about atmospheric properties can be reasonably made using warm IRAC data. Application of our test methods to future observations using JWST (in particular the MIRI instrument) will be discussed.

  20. PlanetPack3: a software tool for exoplanets characterization from radial velocity and transit data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baluev, Roman V.

    2015-08-01

    We describe the forthcoming third major release of the PlanetPack software tool for exoplanets detection and characterization from Doppler and/or transit data. Among other things, this major update will bring routines for the joint fitting of radial velocities and transits, optionally taking into account various subtle effects: the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, the light arrival time delay between the radial velocity and transit curves, new experimental models of the Doppler or photometry noise, including non-stationary models with variable noise magnitude (due to e.g. the stellar activity variations).This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project No. 14-02-92615 KO_a), the UK Royal Society International Exchange grant IE140055, by the President of Russia grant for young scientists (No. MK-733.2014.2), by the programme of the Presidium of Russian Academy of Sciences P21, and by the Saint Petersburg State University research grant 6.37.341.2015.

  1. THE TRANSIT INGRESS AND THE TILTED ORBIT OF THE EXTRAORDINARILY ECCENTRIC EXOPLANET HD 80606b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We present the results of a transcontinental campaign to observe the 2009 June 5 transit of the exoplanet HD 80606b. We report the first detection of the transit ingress, revealing the transit duration to be 11.64 ± 0.25 hr and allowing more robust determinations of the system parameters. Keck spectra obtained at midtransit exhibit an anomalous blueshift, giving definitive evidence that the stellar spin axis and planetary orbital axis are misaligned. The Keck data show that the projected spin-orbit angle ? is between 32 deg. and 87 deg. with 68.3% confidence and between 14 deg. and 142 deg. with 99.73% confidence. Thus, the orbit of this planet is not only highly eccentric (e = 0.93) but is also tilted away from the equatorial plane of its parent star. A large tilt had been predicted, based on the idea that the planet's eccentric orbit was caused by the Kozai mechanism. Independently of the theory, it is worth noting that all three exoplanetary systems with known spin-orbit misalignments have massive planets on eccentric orbits, suggesting that those systems migrate through a different channel than lower mass planets on circular orbits.

  2. The Transit Ingress and the Tilted Orbit of the Extraordinarily Eccentric Exoplanet HD 80606b

    CERN Document Server

    Winn, Joshua N; Johnson, John Asher; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Gazak, J Zachary; Starkey, Donn; Ford, Eric B; Colon, Knicole D; Reyes, Francisco; Nortmann, Lisa; Dreizler, Stefan; Odewahn, Stephen; Welsh, William F; Kadakia, Shimonee; Vanderbei, Robert J; Adams, Elisabeth R; Lockhart, Matthew; Crossfield, Ian J; Valenti, Jeff A; Dantowitz, Ronald; Carter, Joshua A

    2009-01-01

    We present the results of a pan-American campaign to observe the 2009 June 5 transit of the exoplanet HD 80606b. We report the first detection of the transit ingress, revealing the transit duration to be 11.64 +/- 0.25 hr and allowing more robust determinations of the system parameters. Keck spectra obtained at midtransit exhibit an anomalous blueshift, giving definitive evidence that the stellar spin axis and planetary orbital axis are misaligned. The Keck data show that the projected spin-orbit angle is between 32-87 deg with 68.3% confidence and between 14-142 deg with 99.73% confidence. Thus the orbit of this planet is not only highly eccentric (e=0.93), but is also tilted away from the equatorial plane of its parent star. A large tilt had been predicted, based on the idea that the planet's eccentric orbit was caused by the Kozai mechanism. Independently of the theory, it is noteworthy that all 3 exoplanetary systems with known spin-orbit misalignments have massive planets on eccentric orbits, suggesting ...

  3. Asteroseismology of the Transiting Exoplanet Host HD 17156 with Hubble Space Telescope Fine Guidance Sensor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gilliland, Ronald L.; McCullough, Peter R.

    2011-01-01

    Observations conducted with the Fine Guidance Sensor on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) providing high cadence and precision time-series photometry were obtained over 10 consecutive days in 2008 December on the host star of the transiting exoplanet HD 17156b. During this time, 1.0 × 1012 photons (corrected for detector dead time) were collected in which a noise level of 163 parts per million per 30 s sum resulted, thus providing excellent sensitivity to the detection of the analog of the solar 5-minute p-mode oscillations. For HD 17156, robust detection of p modes supports the determination of the stellar mean density of lang?*rang = 0.5301 ± 0.0044 g cm-3 from a detailed fit to the observed frequencies of modes of degree l = 0, 1, and 2. This is the first star for which the direct determination of lang?*rang has been possible using both asteroseismology and detailed analysis of a transiting planet light curve. Using the density constraint from asteroseismology, and stellar evolution modeling results in M * = 1.285 ± 0.026 M sun, R * = 1.507 ± 0.012 R sun, and a stellar age of 3.2 ± 0.3 Gyr. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

  4. Expected Planet and False Positive Detection Rates for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    CERN Document Server

    Brown, Timothy M

    2008-01-01

    The proposed Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will survey the entire sky to locate the nearest and brightest transiting extrasolar planets with orbital periods up to about 36 days. Here we estimate the number and kind of astrophysical false positives that TESS will report, along with the number of extrasolar planets. These estimates are then used to size the ground-based follow-up observing efforts needed to confirm and characterize the planets. We estimate that the needed observing resources will be about 1400 telescope-nights of imaging with 0.5m to 1m-class telescopes, 300 telescope-nights with 1m to 2m-class telescopes for the classification of the host stars and for radial velocity measurements with roughly 1 km/s precision, and 380 telescope-nights with 2m to 4m-class telescopes for radial velocity studies with precision of a few m/s. Follow-up spectroscopy of the smallest planets discovered by TESS at the best possible velocity precision will be limited by the number of telescope nights ava...

  5. ASTEROSEISMOLOGY OF THE TRANSITING EXOPLANET HOST HD 17156 WITH HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE FINE GUIDANCE SENSOR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Observations conducted with the Fine Guidance Sensor on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) providing high cadence and precision time-series photometry were obtained over 10 consecutive days in 2008 December on the host star of the transiting exoplanet HD 17156b. During this time, 1.0 x 1012 photons (corrected for detector dead time) were collected in which a noise level of 163 parts per million per 30 s sum resulted, thus providing excellent sensitivity to the detection of the analog of the solar 5-minute p-mode oscillations. For HD 17156, robust detection of p modes supports the determination of the stellar mean density of (?*) = 0.5301 ± 0.0044 g cm-3 from a detailed fit to the observed frequencies of modes of degree l = 0, 1, and 2. This is the first star for which the direct determination of (?*) has been possible using both asteroseismology and detailed analysis of a transiting planet light curve. Using the density constraint from asteroseismology, and stellar evolution modeling results in M* = 1.285 ± 0.026 Msun, R* = 1.507 ± 0.012 Rsun, and a stellar age of 3.2 ± 0.3 Gyr.

  6. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite: Simulations of Planet Detections and Astrophysical False Positives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Peter W.; Winn, Joshua N.; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Charbonneau, David; Deming, Drake; Dressing, Courtney D.; Latham, David W.; Levine, Alan M.; McCullough, Peter R.; Morton, Timothy; Ricker, George R.; Vanderspek, Roland; Woods, Deborah

    2015-08-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a NASA-sponsored Explorer mission that will perform a wide-field survey for planets that transit bright host stars. Here, we predict the properties of the transiting planets that TESS will detect along with the EB stars that produce false-positive photometric signals. The predictions are based on Monte Carlo simulations of the nearby population of stars, occurrence rates of planets derived from Kepler, and models for the photometric performance and sky coverage of the TESS cameras. We expect that TESS will find approximately 1700 transiting planets from 2× {10}5 pre-selected target stars. This includes 556 planets smaller than twice the size of Earth, of which 419 are hosted by M dwarf stars and 137 are hosted by FGK dwarfs. Approximately 130 of the R\\lt 2 {R}\\oplus planets will have host stars brighter than {K}s=9. Approximately 48 of the planets with R\\lt 2 {R}\\oplus lie within or near the habitable zone (0.2\\lt S/{S}\\oplus \\lt 2); between 2 and 7 such planets have host stars brighter than {K}s=9. We also expect approximately 1100 detections of planets with radii 2-4 {R}\\oplus , and 67 planets larger than 4 {R}\\oplus . Additional planets larger than 2 {R}\\oplus can be detected around stars that are not among the pre-selected target stars, because TESS will also deliver full-frame images at a 30-minute cadence. The planet detections are accompanied by over 1000 astrophysical false positives. We discuss how TESS data and ground-based observations can be used to distinguish the false positives from genuine planets. We also discuss the prospects for follow-up observations to measure the masses and atmospheres of the TESS planets.

  7. TASTE: The Asiago Search for Transit timing variations of Exoplanets. I. Overview and improved parameters for HAT-P-3b and HAT-P-14b

    OpenAIRE

    Nascimbeni, V.; Piotto, G.; Bedin, L.R.; Damasso, M.

    2010-01-01

    A promising method for detecting earth-sized exoplanets is the timing analysis of a known transit. The technique allows a search for variations in either the transit duration or the center induced by the perturbation of a third body, e.g. a second planet or an exomoon. By applying this method, the TASTE (The Asiago Search for Transit Timing variations of Exoplanets) project will collect high-precision, short-cadence light curves for a selected sample of transits by using ima...

  8. Molecular opacities for exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:24664921

  9. ASTEP South: An Antarctic Search for Transiting ExoPlanets around the celestial South pole

    CERN Document Server

    Crouzet, Nicolas; Agabi, Karim; Rivet, Jean-Pierre; Bondoux, Erick; Challita, Zalpha; Fanteï-Caujolle, Yan; Fressin, François; Mékarnia, Djamel; Schmider, François-Xavier; Valbousquet, Franck; Blazit, Alain; Bonhomme, Serge; Abe, Lyu; Daban, Jean-Baptiste; Gouvret, Carole; Fruth, Thomas; Rauer, Heike; Erikson, Anders; Barbieri, Mauro; Aigrain, Suzanne; Pont, Frédéric

    2009-01-01

    ASTEP South is the first phase of the ASTEP project (Antarctic Search for Transiting ExoPlanets). The instrument is a fixed 10 cm refractor with a 4kx4k CCD camera in a thermalized box, pointing continuously a 3.88 degree x 3.88 degree field of view centered on the celestial South pole. ASTEP South became fully functional in June 2008 and obtained 1592 hours of data during the 2008 Antarctic winter. The data are of good quality but the analysis has to account for changes in the point spread function due to rapid ground seeing variations and instrumental effects. The pointing direction is stable within 10 arcseconds on a daily timescale and drifts by only 34 arcseconds in 50 days. A truly continuous photometry of bright stars is possible in June (the noon sky background peaks at a magnitude R=15 arcsec-2 on June 22), but becomes challenging in July (the noon sky background magnitude is R=12.5 arcsec?2 on July 20). The weather conditions are estimated from the number of stars detected in the field. For the 2008...

  10. SOPHIE velocimetry of kepler transit candidates:XI KOI-142c: first radial velocity confirmation of a non-transiting exoplanet discovered by transit timing

    CERN Document Server

    Barros, S C C; Santerne, A; Bruno, G; Deleuil, M; Almenara, J M; Bonomo, A S; Bouchy, F; Damian, C; Hebrard, G; Montagnier, G; Moutou, C; 2,

    2013-01-01

    The exoplanet KOI-142b (Kepler-88) shows transit timing variations (TTVs) with a semi-amplitude of $\\sim 12\\,$ hours, earning the nickname of king of transit variations. Only the transit of the planet b was detected in the Kepler data with an orbital period of $\\sim 10.92\\,$ days and a radius of $\\sim 0.36$ RJup. The TTVs together with the transit duration variations (TDVs) of KOI-142b were analysed by Nesvorny et al 2013 who found a unique solution for a companion perturbing planet. The authors predicted an outer non-transiting companion, KOI-142c, with a mass of $0.626\\pm 0.03$ MJup and a period of $22.3397^{+0.0021}_{-0.0018}\\,$days, and hence close to the 2:1 mean-motion resonance with the inner transiting planet. We report independent confirmation of KOI-142c using radial velocity observations with the SOPHIE spectrograph at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence. We derive an orbital period of $22.10 \\pm 0.25\\,$days and a minimum planetary mass of $0.76^{+0.32}_{0.16}\\,$ MJup, both in good agreement with th...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. SOPHIE velocimetry of Kepler transit candidates. X. KOI-142 c: first radial velocity confirmation of a non-transiting exoplanet discovered by transit timing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, S. C. C.; Díaz, R. F.; Santerne, A.; Bruno, G.; Deleuil, M.; Almenara, J.-M.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bouchy, F.; Damiani, C.; Hébrard, G.; Montagnier, G.; Moutou, C.

    2014-01-01

    The exoplanet KOI-142b (Kepler-88b) shows transit timing variations (TTVs) with a semi-amplitude of ~12 h, which earned it the nickname "king of transit variations". Only the transit of planet b was detected in the Kepler data with an orbital period of ~10.92 days and a radius of ~0.36 RJup. The TTVs together with the transit duration variations of KOI-142b were analysed recently, finding a unique solution for a companion-perturbing planet. An outer non-transiting companion was predicted, KOI-142c, with a mass of 0.626 ± 0.03 MJup and a period of 22.3397-0.0018+0.0021 days, which is close to the 2:1 mean-motion resonance with the inner transiting planet. We report an independent confirmation of KOI-142c using radial velocity observations with the SOPHIE spectrograph at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence. We derive an orbital period of 22.10 ± 0.25 days and a minimum planetary mass of 0.760.16+0.32 MJup, both in good agreement with the predictions by previous transit timing analysis. Therefore, this is the first radial velocity confirmation of a non-transiting planet discovered with TTVs, providing an independent validation of the TTVs technique. Based on observations collected with the NASA Kepler satellite and with the SOPHIE spectrograph on the 1.93-m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France.Tables 2 and 3 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  13. Defocused Observations of Selected Exoplanet Transits with T100 at the TÜB?TAK National Observatory of Turkey (TUG)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ba?türk, Ö.; Hinse, T. C.; Özavc&ainodot; , ?.; Yörüko?lu, O.; Selam, S. O.

    2015-07-01

    Determining masses and radii of extrasolar planets with high precision is key to our understanding of their chemical composition, internal structure, and thereby their formation and evolution. Toward this goal we are applying the defocusing technique for the photometric observation of selected planetary systems with the 1 m Turkish telescope T100 at the TÜB?TAK National Observatory (TUG). In this contribution we present preliminary analyses of transit light curves obtained using this technique for the exoplanets KELT-3b, HAT-P-10b/WASP-11b, HAT-P-20b, and HAT-P-22b.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 Investigator program is planned for TESS. The TESS legacy will be a catalog of the nearest and brightest main-sequence stars hosting transiting exoplanets, which should endure as the most favorable targets for detailed future investigations.TESS is targeted for launch in 2017 as a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission.

  15. Solution of newly observed transit of the exoplanet HAT-P-24b: no TTV and TDV signals

    CERN Document Server

    Kjurkchieva, Diana; Ibryamov, Sunay

    2015-01-01

    We present photometric observations of transit of the exoplanet HAT-P-24b using the Rozhen 2 m telescope. Its solution gives relative stellar radius r_{s}=0.1304 (a/R_{s}=7.669), relative planet radius r_{p}=0.01304 and orbital inclination of 90 degree. The calculated planet radius is R_{p}=1.316 R_{J} and corresponds to planet density of rho_{p}=0.37 g cm^{-3}. Our parameter values are between those of the previous two solutions. We did not find evidences of TTV and TDV signals of HAT-P-24b.

  16. The Exoplanet Orbit Database

    OpenAIRE

    Wright, Jason T; Fakhouri, Onsi; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Han, Eunkyu; Ying FENG; Johnson, John Asher; Howard, Andrew W.; Fischer, Debra A.; Valenti, Jeff A.; Anderson, Jay; Piskunov, Nikolai

    2010-01-01

    We present a database of well determined orbital parameters of exoplanets. This database comprises spectroscopic orbital elements measured for 427 planets orbiting 363 stars from radial velocity and transit measurements as reported in the literature. We have also compiled fundamental transit parameters, stellar parameters, and the method used for the planets discovery. This Exoplanet Orbit Database includes all planets with robust, well measured orbital parameters reported i...

  17. Observations of Transiting Exoplanets with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (PASP), December 2014

    CERN Document Server

    Beichman, Charles; Knutson, Heather; Smith, Roger; Dressing, Courtney; Latham, David; Deming, Drake; Lunine, Jonathan; Lagage, Pierre-Olivier; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Beichman, Charles; Sing, David; Kempton, Eliza; Ricker, George; Bean, Jacob; Kreidberg, Laura; Bouwman, Jeroen; Crossfield, Ian; Christiansen, Jessie; Ciardi, David; Fortney, Jonathan; Albert, Loïc; Doyon, René; Rieke, Marcia; Rieke, George; Clampin, Mark; Greenhouse, Matt; Goudfrooij, Paul; Hines, Dean; Keyes, Tony; Lee, Janice; McCullough, Peter; Robberto, Massimo; Stansberry, John; Valenti, Jeff; Deroo, Pieter D; Mandell, Avi; Ressler, Michael E; Shporer, Avi; Swain, Mark; Vasisht, Gautam; Carey, Sean; Krick, Jessica; Birkmann, Stephan; Ferruit, Pierre; Giardino, Giovanna; Greene, Tom; Howell, Steve

    2014-01-01

    This article summarizes a workshop held on March, 2014, on the potential of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to revolutionize our knowledge of the physical properties of exoplanets through transit observations. JWST's unique combination of high sensitivity and broad wavelength coverage will enable the accurate measurement of transits with high signal-to-noise. Most importantly, JWST spectroscopy will investigate planetary atmospheres to determine atomic and molecular compositions, to probe vertical and horizontal structure, and to follow dynamical evolution, i.e. exoplanet weather. JWST will sample a diverse population of planets of varying masses and densities in a wide variety of environments characterized by a range of host star masses and metallicities, orbital semi-major axes and eccentricities. A broad program of exoplanet science could use a substantial fraction of the overall JWST mission.

  18. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XIII. CoRoT-13b: a dense hot Jupiter in transit around a star with solar metallicity and super-solar lithium content

    OpenAIRE

    Cabrera, J.; Bruntt, H.; Ollivier, M.; Diaz, RF; Csizmadia, S.; Aigrain, S.; Alonso, R.; Almenara, J-M; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A; P. Barge; Bonomo, AS; Borde, P.; Bouchy, F; Carone, L.

    2010-01-01

    We announce the discovery of the transiting planet CoRoT-13b. Ground-based follow-up in CFHT and IAC80 confirmed CoRoT's observations. The mass of the planet was measured with the HARPS spectrograph and the properties of the host star were obtained analyzing HIRES spectra from the Keck telescope. It is a hot Jupiter-like planet with an orbital period of 4.04 days, 1.3 Jupiter masses, 0.9 Jupiter radii, and a density of 2.34 g cm[SUP]-3[/SUP]. It orbits a G0V star with T_eff = 5 945 K, M[SUB]*...

  19. The NASA Exoplanet Archive

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. NASA's Missions for Exoplanet Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unwin, Stephen

    2014-05-01

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

  1. Molecular opacities for exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Peter F. Bernath

    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...

  2. The centre-to-limb variations of solar Fraunhofer lines imprinted upon lunar eclipse spectra - Implications for exoplanet transit observations

    CERN Document Server

    Yan, Fei; Petr-Gotzens, Monika G; Zhao, Gang; Pallé, Enric

    2015-01-01

    The atmospheres of exoplanets are commonly studied by observing the transit of the planet passing in front of its parent star. The obscuration of part of the stellar disk during a transit will reveal aspects of its surface structure resulting from general centre-to-limb variations (CLVs). These become apparent when forming the ratio between the stellar light in and out of transit. These phenomena can be seen particularly clearly during the progress of a penumbral lunar eclipse, where the Earth transits the solar disk and masks different regions of the solar disk as the eclipse progresses. When inferring the properties of the planetary atmosphere, it is essential that this effect originating at the star is properly accounted for. Using the data observed from the 2014-April-15 lunar eclipse with the ESPaDOnS spectrograph mounted on the Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), we have obtained for the first time a time sequence of the penumbral spectra. These penumbral spectra enable us to study the centre-to-limb...

  3. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XXIII. CoRoT-21b: a doomed large Jupiter around a faint subgiant star

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pätzold, M.; Endl, M.

    2012-01-01

    CoRoT-21, a F8IV star of magnitude V = 16 mag, was observed by the space telescope CoRoT during the Long Run 01 (LRa01) in the first winter field (constellation Monoceros) from October 2007 to March 2008. Transits were discovered during the light curve processing. Radial velocity follow-up observations, however, were performed mainly by the 10-m Keck telescope in January 2010. The companion CoRoT-21b is a Jupiter-like planet of 2.26 ± 0.33 Jupiter masses and 1.30 ± 0.14 Jupiter radii in an circular orbit of semi-major axis 0.0417 ± 0.0011 AU and an orbital period of 2.72474 ± 0.00014 days. The planetary bulk density is (1.36 ? ± ? 0.48) × 103 kg m-3, very similar to the bulk density of Jupiter, and follows an M1/3 ? R relation like Jupiter. The F8IV star is a sub-giant star of 1.29 ± 0.09 solar masses and 1.95 ± 0.2 solar radii. The star and the planet exchange extremetidal forces that will lead to orbital decay and extreme spin-up of the stellar rotation within 800 Myr if the stellar dissipation is Q?/k2? ? 107.

  4. Dust Coagulation in the Vicinity of a Gap-Opening Jupiter-Mass Planet

    CERN Document Server

    Carballido, Augusto; Hyde, Truell W

    2015-01-01

    We analyze the coagulation of dust in and around a gap opened by a Jupiter-mass planet. To this end, we carry out a high-resolution magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulation of the gap environment, which is turbulent due to the magnetorotational instability. From the MHD simulation, we obtain values of the gas velocities, densities and turbulent stresses a) close to the gap edge, b) in one of the two gas streams that accrete onto the planet, c) inside the low-density gap, and d) outside the gap. The MHD values are then supplied to a Monte Carlo dust coagulation algorithm, which models grain sticking and compaction. We consider two dust populations for each region: one whose initial size distribution is monodisperse, with monomer radius equal to 1 $\\mu$m, and another one whose initial size distribution follows the Mathis-Rumpl-Nordsieck distribution for interstellar dust grains, with an initial range of monomer radii between 0.5 and 10 $\\mu$m. Our Monte Carlo calculations show initial growth of dust aggregates foll...

  5. Confirmation of an exoplanet using the transit color signature: Kepler-418b, a blended giant planet in a multiplanet system

    CERN Document Server

    Tingley, B; Gandolfi, D; Deeg, H J; Pallé, E; Rodriguez, P Montañés; Murgas, F; Alonso, R; Bruntt, H; Fridlund, M

    2014-01-01

    We announce confirmation of Kepler-418b, one of two proposed planets in this system. This is the first confirmation of an exoplanet based primarily on the transit color signature technique. We used the Kepler public data archive combined with multicolor photometry from the Gran Telescopio de Canarias and radial velocity follow-up using FIES at the Nordic Optical Telescope for confirmation. We report a confident detection of a transit color signature that can only be explained by a compact occulting body, entirely ruling out a contaminating eclipsing binary, a hierarchical triple, or a grazing eclipsing binary. Those findings are corroborated by our radial velocity measurements, which put an upper limit of ~1 Mjup on the mass of Kepler-418b. We also report that the host star is significantly blended, confirming the ~10% light contamination suspected from the crowding metric in the Kepler light curve measured by the Kepler team. We report detection of an unresolved light source that contributes an additional ~4...

  6. Recovering the Signal: Comparison of data analysis methods used for exoplanet transit and eclipse spectra with HST WFC3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varley, Ryan; Tsiaras, Angelos; Waldmann, Ingo Peter; Tinetti, Giovanna

    2015-08-01

    When observing exoplanet transit spectra we are typically looking for variations in the signal of 1 part in 10000. This is below the calibration level of many non-purpose built instruments like HST WFC3 meaning that data analysis techniques are required to recover the signal from the instrument noise and systematics. Errors and oversights in the analysis can lead to erroneous signals, or a failure to recover the signal altogether.This problem forms one of the central debates around transit and eclipse spectra, with several cases of different groups reporting different spectra when analysing the same data. The question that arises is "How do we know the retrieved signal is the real one?". Typically favoured methods in the field to tackle this problem include signal injection, analysing parts of the data independently and testing the residuals of the light curve fit for gaussianity.The main issues with these confirmation techniques is that they assess the end result and major systematics, and not the unknown factors introduced by the instrument and analysis itself, in particular the introduction of random noise at the level of the signal. Some spectral features could then be the result of unknown instrumental effects, or artificially imprinted from the analysis. Flat spectra present a more interesting question, to what do degree do current analysis techniques preserve the intrinsic modulations due to the science signal?.We present a new method to assess the recovery of data analysis techniques end-to-end, from the reduction of observations to the production of the spectrum and provide this tool to the community.We apply this technique to commonly used data reduction and analysis techniques for HST WFC3 over a range of cases to determine their effectiveness with different sources of noise, systematics and planets along with some new techniques to aid recovery.We use the results to help answer the questions regarding recent findings "Are flat spectra a recurring feature of exoplanets? Clouds? The instrument? Our analysis? Or the sum of these effects?".

  7. On the heat redistribution of the hot transiting exoplanet WASP-18b

    CERN Document Server

    Iro, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    The energy deposition and redistribution in hot Jupiter atmospheres is not well understood currently, but is a major factor for their evolution and survival. We present a time dependent radiative transfer model for the atmosphere of WASP-18b which is a massive (10 MJup) hot Jupiter (Teq ~ 2400 K) exoplanet orbiting an F6V star with an orbital period of only 0.94 days. Our model includes a simplified parametrisation of the day-to-night energy redistribution by a modulation of the stellar heating mimicking a solid body rotation of the atmosphere. We present the cases with either no rotation at all with respect to the synchronously rotating reference frame or a fast differential rotation. The results of the model are compared to previous observations of secondary eclipses of Nymeyer et al. (2011) with the Spitzer Space Telescope. Their observed planetary flux suggests that the efficiency of heat distribution from the day-side to the night-side of the planet is extremely inefficient. Our results are consistent wi...

  8. Secondary eclipse observations and the atmosphere of exoplanet WASP-34b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Challener, Ryan C.; Harrington, Joseph; Cubillos, Patricio; Garland, Justin; Foster, Andrew S. D.; Blecic, Jasmina; Foster, AJ; Smalley, Barry

    2015-11-01

    WASP-34b is a short-period exoplanet with a mass of 0.59 ± 0.01 Jupiter masses orbiting a G5 star with a period of 4.3177 days and an eccentricity of 0.038 ± 0.012 (Smalley, 2010). We observed WASP-34b using the 3.6 and 4.5 ?m channels of the Infrared Array Camera aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope in 2010 (Program 60003). We applied our Photometry for Orbits, Eclipses, and Transits (POET) code to present eclipse-depth measurements, estimates of infrared brightness temperatures, and a refined orbit. With our Bayesian Atmospheric Radiative Transfer (BART) code, we characterized the atmosphere's temperature and pressure profile, and molecular abundances. Spitzer is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. This work was supported by NASA Planetary Atmospheres grant NNX12AI69G and NASA Astrophysics Data Analysis Program grant NNX13AF38G. J. Blecic holds a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship.

  9. SOPHIE velocimetry of Kepler transit candidates XVII. The physical properties of giant exoplanets within 400 days of period

    CERN Document Server

    Santerne, A; Tsantaki, M; Bouchy, F; Hébrard, G; Adibekyan, V; Almenara, J -M; Amard, L; Barros, S C C; Boisse, I; Bonomo, A S; Bruno, G; Courcol, B; Deleuil, M; Demangeon, O; Díaz, R F; Guillot, T; Havel, M; Montagnier, G; Rajpurohit, A S; Rey, J; Santos, N C

    2015-01-01

    While giant extrasolar planets have been studied for more than two decades now, there are still some open questions such as their dominant formation and migration process, as well as their atmospheric evolution in different stellar environments. In this paper, we study a sample of giant transiting exoplanets detected by the Kepler telescope with orbital periods up to 400 days. We first defined a sample of 129 giant-planet candidates that we followed up with the SOPHIE spectrograph (OHP, France) in a 6-year radial velocity campaign. This allow us to unveil the nature of these candidates and to measure a false-positive rate of 54.6 +/- 6.5 % for giant-planet candidates orbiting within 400 days of period. Based on a sample of confirmed or likely planets, we then derive the occurrence rates of giant planets in different ranges of orbital periods. The overall occurrence rate of giant planets within 400 days is 4.6 +/- 0.6 %. We recover, for the first time in the Kepler data, the different populations of giant plan...

  10. The effect of conjunctions on the transit timing variations of exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nesvorný, David [Department of Space Studies, Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut Street, Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States); Vokrouhlický, David, E-mail: davidn@boulder.swri.edu, E-mail: vokrouhl@cesnet.cz [Institute of Astronomy, Charles University, V Holešovi?kách 2, CZ-18000 Prague 8 (Czech Republic)

    2014-07-20

    We develop an analytic model for transit timing variations produced by orbital conjunctions between gravitationally interacting planets. If the planetary orbits have tight orbital spacing, which is a common case among the Kepler planets, the effect of a single conjunction can be best described as: (1) a step-like change of the transit timing ephemeris with subsequent transits of the inner planet being delayed and those of the outer planet being sped up, and (2) a discrete change in sampling of the underlying oscillations from eccentricity-related interaction terms. In the limit of small orbital eccentricities, our analytic model gives explicit equations for these effects as a function of the mass and orbital separation of planets. We point out that a detection of the conjunction effect in real data is of crucial importance for the physical characterization of planetary systems from transit timing variations.

  11. The Effect of Conjunctions on the Transit Timing Variations of Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Nesvorny, David

    2014-01-01

    We develop an analytic model for transit timing variations produced by orbital conjunctions between gravitationally interacting planets. If the planetary orbits have tight orbital spacing, which is a common case among the Kepler planets, the effect of a single conjunction can be best described as: (1) a step-like change of the transit timing ephemeris with subsequent transits of the inner planet being delayed and those of the outer planet being sped up, and (2) a discrete change in sampling of the underlying oscillations from eccentricity-related interaction terms. In the limit of small orbital eccentricities, our analytic model gives explicit equations for these effects as a function of the mass and orbital separation of planets. We point out that a detection of the conjunction effect in real data is of crucial importance for the physical characterization of planetary systems from transit timing variations.

  12. WASP-37b: a 1.7 MJ exoplanet transiting a metal-poor star

    CERN Document Server

    Simpson, E K; Barros, S C C; Brown, D J A; Cameron, A Collier; Hebb, L; Pollacco, D; Smalley, B; Todd, I; Butters, O W; Hebrard, G; McCormac, J; Miller, G R M; Santerne, A; Street, R A; Skillen, I; Triaud, A H M J; Anderson, D R; Bento, J; Boisse, I; Bouchy, F; Enoch, B; Haswell, C A; Hellier, C; Holmes, S; Horne, K; Keenan, F P; Lister, T A; Maxted, P F L; Moulds, V; Moutou, C; Norton, A J; Parley, N; Pepe, F; Queloz, D; Segransan, D; Smith, A M S; Stempels, H C; Udry, S; Watson, C A; West, R G; Wheatley, P J

    2010-01-01

    We report on the discovery of WASP-37b, a transiting hot Jupiter orbiting a mv = 12.7 G2-type dwarf, with a period of 3.577471 +/- 0.00001 d, transit epoch T0 = 2455338.6189 +/- 0.0006 (HJD), and a transit duration 0.1307 +/- 0.0019 d. The planetary companion has a mass Mp = 1.696(+0.123)(-0.128) MJ and radius Rp = 1.136(+0.060){-0.051} RJ, yielding a mean density of 1.169(+0.119)(-0.152) times that of Jupiter. From a spectral analysis and comparisons with stellar models, we find the host star has M* = 0.849(+0.067)(-0.040) Msun, R* = 0.977(+0.045)(-0.042) Rsun, Teff = 5800 +/- 150 K and [Fe/H] = -0.40 +/- 0.12. WASP-37 is therefore one of the lowest metallicity stars to host a transiting planet.

  13. Limb darkening and exoplanets: testing stellar model atmospheres and indentifying biases in transit parameters

    CERN Document Server

    Espinoza, Néstor

    2015-01-01

    Limb-darkening is fundamental in determining transit lightcurve shapes, and is typically modeled by a variety of laws that parametrize the intensity profile of the star that is being transited. Confronted with a transit lightcurve, some authors fix the parameters of these laws, the so-called limb-darkening coefficients (LDCs), while others prefer to let them float in the lightcurve fitting procedure. Which of these is the best strategy, however, is still unclear, as well as how and by how much each of these can bias the retrieved transit parameters. In this work we attempt to clarify those points by first re-calculating these LDCs, comparing them to measured values from Kepler transit lightcurves using an algorithm that takes into account uncertainties in both the geometry of the transit and the parameters of the stellar host. We show there are significant departures from predicted model values, suggesting that our understanding of limb-darkening still needs to improve. Then, we show through simulations that ...

  14. The Mass-Radius-Eccentricity Distribution of Near-Resonant Transiting Exoplanet Pairs Detected by Kepler

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shabram, Megan; Jontof-Hutter, Daniel; Ford, Eric B.

    2015-12-01

    We characterize the mass-radius-eccentricity distribution of transiting planets near first-order mean motion resonances using Transit Timing Variation (TTV) observations from NASA's Kepler mission. Kepler's precise measurements of transit times (Mazeh et al. 2014; Rowe et al. 2015) constrain the planet-star mass ratio, eccentricity and pericenter directions for hundreds of planets. Strongly-interacting planetary systems allow TTVs to provide precise measurements of masses and orbital eccentricities separately (e.g., Kepler-36, Carter et al. 2012). In addition to these precisely characterized planetary systems, there are several systems harboring at least two planets near a mean motion resonance (MMR) for which TTVs provide a joint constraint on planet masses, eccentricities and pericenter directions (Hadden et al. 2015). Unfortunately, a near degeneracy between these parameters leads to a posterior probability density with highly correlated uncertainties. Nevertheless, the population encodes valuable information about the distribution of planet masses, orbital eccentricities and the planet mass-radius relationship. We characterize the distribution of masses and eccentricities for near-resonant transiting planets by combining a hierarchical Bayesian model with an analytic model for the TTV signatures of near-resonant planet pairs (Lithwick & Wu 2012). By developing a rigorous statistical framework for analyzing the TTV signatures of a population of planetary systems, we significantly improve upon previous analyses. For example, our analysis includes transit timing measurements of near-resonant transiting planet pairs regardless of whether there is a significant detection of TTVs, thereby avoiding biases due to only including TTV detections.

  15. MOST Spacebased Photometry of the Transiting Exoplanet System HD 209458: Transit Timing to Search for Additional Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Miller-Ricci, E; Sasselov, D; Matthews, J M; Günther, D B; Kuschnig, R; Moffat, A F J; Rucinski, S M; Walker, G A H; Weiss, W W

    2008-01-01

    We report on the measurement of transit times for the HD 209458 planetary system from photometry obtained with the MOST (Microvariability & Oscillations of STars) space telescope. Deviations from a constant orbital period can indicate the presence of additional planets in the system that are yet undetected, potentially with masses approaching an Earth mass. The MOST data sets of HD 209458 from 2004 and 2005 represent unprecedented time coverage with nearly continuous observations spanning 14 and 43 days and monitoring 3 transits and 12 consecutive transits, respectively. The transit times we obtain show no variations on three scales: (a) no long-term change in P since before 2004 at the 25 ms level, (b) no trend in transit timings during the 2005 run, and (c) no individual transit timing deviations above 80 sec level. Together with previously published transit times from Agol & Steffen (2007), this allows us to place limits on the presence of additional close-in planets in the system, in some cases do...

  16. What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Eylen, Vincent; Lund, Mikkel N.; Silva Aguirre, Victor; Arentoft, Torben; Kjeldsen, Hans; Albrecht, Simon; Chaplin, William J.; Isaacson, Howard; Pedersen, May G.; Jessen-Hansen, Jens; Tingley, Brandon; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Aerts, Conny; Campante, Tiago L.; Bryson, Steve T.

    2015-01-01

    We describe three useful applications of asteroseismology in the context of exoplanet science: (1) the detailed characterisation of exoplanet host stars; (2) the measurement of stellar inclinations; and (3) the determination of orbital eccentricity from transit duration making use of asteroseismic stellar densities. We do so using the example system Kepler-410 [1]. This is one of the brightest (V = 9.4) Kepler exoplanet host stars, containing a small (2.8 R?) transiting planet in a long orbit (1...

  17. The CoRoT exoplanet programme: exploring the gas-giant/terrestrial planet transition

    CERN Document Server

    Aigrain, S; Deleuil, M; Fressin, F; Moutou, C; Queloz, D; Auvergne, M; Baglin, A

    2007-01-01

    CoRoT, which was launched successfully on the 27th of December 2006, is the first space mission to have the search for planetary transits at the heart of its science programme. It is expected to be able to detect transits of planets with radii down to approximately two Earth radii and periods up to approximately a month. Thus, CoRoT will explore the hereto uncharted area of parameter space which spans the transition between the gaseous giant planets discovered in large numbers from the ground, and terrestrial planets more akin to our own. This papers briefly sketches out the main technical characteristics of the mission before summarising estimates of its detection potential and presenting the data analysis and follow-up strategy.

  18. MOST Spacebased Photometry of the Transiting Exoplanet System HD 189733: Precise Timing Measurements for Transits Across an Active Star

    CERN Document Server

    Miller-Ricci, E; Sasselov, D; Matthews, J M; Kuschnig, R; Croll, B; Günther, D B; Moffat, A F J; Rucinski, S M; Walker, G A H; Weiss, W W

    2008-01-01

    We have measured transit times for HD 189733b passing in front of its bright (V = 7.67) chromospherically active and spotted parent star. Nearly continuous broadband optical photometry of this system was obtained with the MOST (Microvariability & Oscillations of STars) space telescope during 21 days in August 2006, monitoring 10 consecutive transits. We have used these data to search for deviations from a constant orbital period which can indicate the presence of additional planets in the system that are as yet undetected by Doppler searches. There are no transit timing variations above the level of ${\\pm}45$ s, ruling out super-Earths (of masses $1 - 4 M_{\\earth}$) in the 1:2 and 2:3 inner resonances and planets of 20 $M_{\\earth}$ in the 2:1 outer resonance of the known planet. We also discuss complications in measuring transit times for a planet that transits an active star with large star spots, and how the transits can help constrain and test spot models. This has implications for the large number of ...

  19. Exoplanet atmospheres physical processes

    CERN Document Server

    Seager, Sara

    2010-01-01

    Over the past twenty years, astronomers have identified hundreds of extrasolar planets--planets orbiting stars other than the sun. Recent research in this burgeoning field has made it possible to observe and measure the atmospheres of these exoplanets. This is the first textbook to describe the basic physical processes--including radiative transfer, molecular absorption, and chemical processes--common to all planetary atmospheres, as well as the transit, eclipse, and thermal phase variation observations that are unique to exoplanets. In each chapter, Sara Seager offers a conceptual introdu

  20. Exoplanet Transit Spectroscopy Using WFC3: WASP-12 b, WASP-17 b, and WASP-19 b

    CERN Document Server

    Mandell, Avi; Sinukoff, Evan; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Burrows, Adam; Deming, Drake

    2013-01-01

    We report analysis of transit spectroscopy of the extrasolar planets WASP-12 b, WASP-17 b, and WASP-19 b using the Wide Field Camera 3 on the HST. We analyze the data for a single transit for each planet using a strategy similar in certain aspects to the techniques used by Berta et al. (2012), but we extend their methodology to allow us to correct for channel- or wavelength-dependent instrumental effects by utilizing the band-integrated time series and measurements of the drift of the spectrum on the detector over time. We achieve almost photon-limited results for individual spectral bins, but the uncertainties in the transit depth for the the band-integrated data are exacerbated by the uneven sampling of the light curve imposed by the orbital phasing of HST's observations. Our final transit spectra for all three objects are consistent with the presence of a broad absorption feature at 1.4 microns potentially due to water. However, the amplitude of the absorption is less than that expected based on previous o...

  1. The Concept of Few-Parameter Modelling of Eclipsing Binary and Exoplanet Transit Light Curves

    CERN Document Server

    Mikulášek, Zden?k; Pribulla, Theodor; Va?ko, Martin; Qian, Shen-Bang; Zhu, Li-Ying

    2015-01-01

    We present a new few-parameter phenomenological model of light curves of eclipsing binaries and stars with transiting planets that is able to fit the observed light curves with the accuracy better than 1\\% of their amplitudes. The model can be used namely for appropriate descriptions of light curve shapes, classification, mid-eclipse time determination, and fine period analyses.

  2. Exoplanet Detection Techniques

    CERN Document Server

    Fischer, Debra A; Laughlin, Greg P; Macintosh, Bruce; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Sahlmann, Johannes; Yee, Jennifer C

    2015-01-01

    We are still in the early days of exoplanet discovery. Astronomers are beginning to model the atmospheres and interiors of exoplanets and have developed a deeper understanding of processes of planet formation and evolution. However, we have yet to map out the full complexity of multi-planet architectures or to detect Earth analogues around nearby stars. Reaching these ambitious goals will require further improvements in instrumentation and new analysis tools. In this chapter, we provide an overview of five observational techniques that are currently employed in the detection of exoplanets: optical and IR Doppler measurements, transit photometry, direct imaging, microlensing, and astrometry. We provide a basic description of how each of these techniques works and discuss forefront developments that will result in new discoveries. We also highlight the observational limitations and synergies of each method and their connections to future space missions.

  3. Asteroseismology and Exoplanet Hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Observations of transits of K2 exoplanet discoveries EPIC 203371098b&c

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Michael; Gorjian, Varoujan; Beichmani, Charles; Akeson, Rachel; Ciardi, Dave; Christiansen, Jessie; Crossfield, Ian; Petigura, Erik; Krick, Jessica

    2015-08-01

    We request DDT time to observe transits of two super-Neptune planets orbiting a bright G star, EPIC 203371098. Erik Petigura has brought to our attention a particularly interesting K2 discovery that consists of two sub-Saturn-sized planets (5.9 RE and 7.8 RE) orbiting EPIC-203371098, a bright G star (K = 9.2). The orbital periods of the planets are 20.9 d and 42.4 d, respectively. The planets have sizes between that of Neptune and Saturn; sizes not represented among the Solar System planets. Due to the brightness of the host star, this system is an ideal laboratory to study this new class of planets. Over the past two months, our team has conducted radial velocity (RV) follow up of EPIC-203371098 with Keck/HIRES. Our preliminary measurements suggest these planets have low densities, ~0.6 g/cc and ~0.4 g/cc, respectively. Low planet masses translate into larger atmospheric scale heights, which sets the amplitude of the features in planet transmission spectra. The apparent commensurability of their orbits suggest that this is a resonant system where transit timing variations may be particularly large. Our Spitzer observations, compared with the previous K2 first epoch observations, can provide initial evidence for TTVs and set the stage for future campaigns from Spitzer and other telescopes which will independently determine the planetary masses; they will also pin down the ephemerides of these interesting planets - including the hard to capture orbital eccentricity - for possible JWST study.It is important to carry out these observations in the upcoming apparition of this star in the October-December time frame because multiple observations are required for accurate studies of TTVs, and to prevent secular errors in timing from building up to a point where the system is hard to recover. The size of these planets and the brightness of the star shows us that we will achieve S/N>20 per transit on each planet.We will propose to observe one transit of each planet.We expect to spend of order 15 hours observing each of the two transits and request a total of 35 hours of DDT time to provide some headroom; a more precise estimate will be submitted with the forthcoming AORs.The observation strategy and data reduction will be drawn from our approved cycle 11 program to study transiting planets around M stars identified by K2.

  5. Radial velocity follow-up of CoRoT transiting exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deleuil M.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available We report on the results from the radial-velocity follow-up program performed to establish the planetary nature and to characterize the transiting candidates discovered by the space mission CoRoT. We use the SOPHIE at OHP, HARPS at ESO and the HIRES at Keck spectrographs to collect spectra and high-precision radial velocity (RV measurements for several dozens di?erent candidates from CoRoT. We have measured the Rossiter-McLaughlin e?ect of several con?rmed planets, especially CoRoT-1b which revealed that it is another highly inclined system. Such high-precision RV data are necessary for the discovery of new transiting planets. Furthermore, several low mass planet candidates have emerged from our Keck and HARPS data.

  6. Exoplanet Transit Spectroscopy Using WFC3: WASP-12b, WASP-17b, and WASP-19b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandell, Avi M.; Haynes, Korey; Sinukoff, Evan; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Burrows, Adam; Deming, Drake

    2013-01-01

    We report an analysis of transit spectroscopy of the extrasolar planets WASP-12 b, WASP-17 b, and WASP-19 b using the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). We analyze the data for a single transit for each planet using a strategy similar, in certain aspects, to the techniques used by Berta et al., but we extend their methodology to allow us to correct for channel- or wavelength-dependent instrumental effects by utilizing the band-integrated time series and measurements of the drift of the spectrum on the detector over time. We achieve almost photon-limited results for individual spectral bins, but the uncertainties in the transit depth for the band-integrated data are exacerbated by the uneven sampling of the light curve imposed by the orbital phasing of HST's observations. Our final transit spectra for all three objects are consistent with the presence of a broad absorption feature at 1.4 microns most likely due to water. However, the amplitude of the absorption is less than that expected based on previous observations with Spitzer, possibly due to hazes absorbing in the NIR or non-solar compositions. The degeneracy of models with different compositions and temperature structures combined with the low amplitude of any features in the data preclude our ability to place unambiguous constraints on the atmospheric composition without additional observations with WFC3 to improve the signal-to-noise ratio and/or a comprehensive multi-wavelength analysis. Key words: planetary systems - techniques: photometric - techniques: spectroscopic

  7. Exoplanet transit spectroscopy using WFC3: WASP-12 b, WASP-17 b, and WASP-19 b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We report an analysis of transit spectroscopy of the extrasolar planets WASP-12 b, WASP-17 b, and WASP-19 b using the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). We analyze the data for a single transit for each planet using a strategy similar, in certain aspects, to the techniques used by Berta et al., but we extend their methodology to allow us to correct for channel- or wavelength-dependent instrumental effects by utilizing the band-integrated time series and measurements of the drift of the spectrum on the detector over time. We achieve almost photon-limited results for individual spectral bins, but the uncertainties in the transit depth for the band-integrated data are exacerbated by the uneven sampling of the light curve imposed by the orbital phasing of HST's observations. Our final transit spectra for all three objects are consistent with the presence of a broad absorption feature at 1.4 ?m most likely due to water. However, the amplitude of the absorption is less than that expected based on previous observations with Spitzer, possibly due to hazes absorbing in the NIR or non-solar compositions. The degeneracy of models with different compositions and temperature structures combined with the low amplitude of any features in the data preclude our ability to place unambiguous constraints on the atmospheric composition without additional observations with WFC3 to improve the signal-to-noise ratio and/or a comprehensive multi-wavelength analysis.

  8. Improved Modeling of the Rossiter-McLaughlin Effect for Transiting Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Hirano, Teruyuki; Suto, Yasushi; Winn, Joshua N; Taruya, Atsushi; Narita, Norio; Albrecht, Simon; Sato, Bun'ei

    2011-01-01

    We present an improved formula for the anomalous radial velocity of the star during planetary transits due to the Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect. The improvement comes from a more realistic description of the stellar absorption line profiles, taking into account stellar rotation, macroturbulence, thermal broadening, pressure broadening, and instrumental broadening. Although the formula is derived for the case in which radial velocities are measured by cross-correlation, we ...

  9. Three WASP-South transiting exoplanets: WASP-74b, WASP-83b & WASP-89b

    CERN Document Server

    Hellier, Coel; Cameron, A Collier; Delrez, L; Gillon, M; Jehin, E; Lendl, M; Maxted, P F L; Pepe, F; Pollacco, D; Queloz, D; Segransan, D; Smalley, B; Smith, A M S; Southworth, J; Triaud, A H M J; Turner, O D; Udry, S; West, R G

    2014-01-01

    We report the discovery of three new transiting hot Jupiters by WASP-South together with the TRAPPIST photometer and the Euler/CORALIE spectrograph. WASP-74b orbits a star of V = 9.7, making it one of the brighter systems accessible to Southern telescopes. It is a 0.95 M_Jup planet with a moderately bloated radius of 1.5 R_Jup in a 2-d orbit around a slightly evolved F9 star. WASP-83b is a Saturn-mass planet at 0.3 M_Jup with a radius of 1.0 R_Jup. It is in a 5-d orbit around a fainter (V = 12.9) G8 star. WASP-89b is a 6 M_Jup planet in a 3-d orbit with an eccentricity of e = 0.2. It is thus similar to massive, eccentric planets such as XO-3b and HAT-P-2b, except that those planets orbit F stars whereas WASP-89 is a K star. The V = 13.1 host star is magnetically active, showing a rotation period of 20.2 d, while star spots are visible in the transits. There are indications that the planet's orbit is aligned with the stellar spin. WASP-89 is a good target for an extensive study of transits of star spots.

  10. Three WASP-South Transiting Exoplanets: WASP-74b, WASP-83b, and WASP-89b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellier, Coel; Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A.; Delrez, L.; Gillon, M.; Jehin, E.; Lendl, M.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Pepe, F.; Pollacco, D.; Queloz, D.; Ségransan, D.; Smalley, B.; Smith, A. M. S.; Southworth, J.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Turner, O. D.; Udry, S.; West, R. G.

    2015-07-01

    We report the discovery of three new transiting hot Jupiters by WASP-South together with the TRAPPIST photometer and the Euler/CORALIE spectrograph. WASP-74b orbits a star of V = 9.7, making it one of the brighter systems accessible to southern telescopes. It is a 0.95MJup planet with a moderately bloated radius of 1.5 {R}{Jup} in a 2 day orbit around a slightly evolved F9 star. WASP-83b is a Saturn-mass planet at 0.3 {M}{Jup} with a radius of 1.0 {R}{Jup}. It is in a 5 day orbit around a fainter (V = 12.9) G8 star. WASP-89b is a 6 MJup planet in a 3 day orbit with an eccentricity of e = 0.2. It is thus similar to massive, eccentric planets such as XO-3b and HAT-P-2b, except that those planets orbit F stars whereas WASP-89 is a K star. The V = 13.1 host star is magnetically active, showing a rotation period of 20.2 days, while star spots are visible in the transits. There are indications that the planet’s orbit is aligned with the stellar spin. WASP-89 is a good target for an extensive study of transits of star spots.

  11. Line-profile tomography of exoplanet transits I: The Doppler shadow of HD 189733b

    CERN Document Server

    Cameron, A Collier; Miller, G R M; Triaud, A H M J; Queloz, D

    2009-01-01

    We present a direct method for isolating the component of the starlight blocked by a planet as it transits its host star, and apply it to spectra of the bright transiting planet HD 189733b. We model the global shape of the stellar cross-correlation function as the convolution of a limb-darkened rotation profile and a gaussian representing the Doppler core of the average photospheric line profile. The light blocked by the planet during the transit is a gaussian of the same intrinsic width, whose trajectory across the line profile yields a precise measure of the misalignment angle and an independent measure of v sin I. We show that even when v sin I is less than the width of the intrinsic line profile, the travelling Doppler "shadow" cast by the planet creates an identifiable distortion in the line profiles which is amenable to direct modelling. Direct measurement of the trajectory of the missing starlight yields self-consistent measures of the projected stellar rotation rate, the intrinsic width of the mean lo...

  12. Fluctuations and Flares in the Ultraviolet Line Emission of Cool Stars: Implications for Exoplanet Transit Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loyd, R. O. Parke; France, Kevin

    2014-03-01

    Variations in stellar flux can potentially overwhelm the photometric signal of a transiting planet. Such variability has not previously been well-characterized in the ultraviolet lines used to probe the inflated atmospheres surrounding hot Jupiters. Therefore, we surveyed 38 F-M stars for intensity variations in four narrow spectroscopic bands: two enclosing strong lines from species known to inhabit hot Jupiter atmospheres, C II ??1334, 1335 and Si III ?1206 one enclosing Si IV ??1393, 1402; and 36.5 Å of interspersed continuum. For each star/band combination, we generated 60 s cadence lightcurves from archival Hubble Space Telescope Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph time-tagged photon data. Within these lightcurves, we characterized flares and stochastic fluctuations as separate forms of variability. Flares: we used a cross-correlation approach to detect 116 flares. These events occur in the time-series an average of once per 2.5 hr, over 50% last 4 minutes or less, and most produce the strongest response in Si IV. If the flare occurred during a transit measurement integrated for 60 minutes, 90/116 would destroy the signal of an Earth, 27/116 Neptune, and 7/116 Jupiter, with the upward bias in flux ranging from 1% to 109% of quiescent levels. Fluctuations: photon noise and underlying stellar fluctuations produce scatter in the quiescent data. We model the stellar fluctuations as Gaussian white noise with standard deviation ? x . Maximum likelihood values of ? x range from 1% to 41% for 60 s measurements. These values suggest that many cool stars will only permit a transit detection to high confidence in ultraviolet resonance lines if the radius of the occulting disk is gsim1 RJ . However, for some M dwarfs this limit can be as low as several R ?.

  13. FLUCTUATIONS AND FLARES IN THE ULTRAVIOLET LINE EMISSION OF COOL STARS: IMPLICATIONS FOR EXOPLANET TRANSIT OBSERVATIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Variations in stellar flux can potentially overwhelm the photometric signal of a transiting planet. Such variability has not previously been well-characterized in the ultraviolet lines used to probe the inflated atmospheres surrounding hot Jupiters. Therefore, we surveyed 38 F-M stars for intensity variations in four narrow spectroscopic bands: two enclosing strong lines from species known to inhabit hot Jupiter atmospheres, C II ??1334, 1335 and Si III ?1206; one enclosing Si IV ??1393, 1402; and 36.5 Å of interspersed continuum. For each star/band combination, we generated 60 s cadence lightcurves from archival Hubble Space Telescope Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph time-tagged photon data. Within these lightcurves, we characterized flares and stochastic fluctuations as separate forms of variability. Flares: we used a cross-correlation approach to detect 116 flares. These events occur in the time-series an average of once per 2.5 hr, over 50% last 4 minutes or less, and most produce the strongest response in Si IV. If the flare occurred during a transit measurement integrated for 60 minutes, 90/116 would destroy the signal of an Earth, 27/116 Neptune, and 7/116 Jupiter, with the upward bias in flux ranging from 1% to 109% of quiescent levels. Fluctuations: photon noise and underlying stellar fluctuations produce scatter in the quiescent data. We model the stellar fluctuations as Gaussian white noise with standard deviation ? x. Maximum likelihood values of ? x range from 1% to 41% for 60 s measurements. These values suggest that many cool stars will only permit a transit detection to high confidence in ultraviolet resonance lines if the radius of the occulting disk is ?1 RJ . However, for some M dwarfs this limit can be as low as several R ?

  14. The Effects of Refraction on Transit Transmission Spectroscopy: Application to Earth-like Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Misra, Amit; Crisp, Dave

    2014-01-01

    We quantify the effects of refraction in transit transmission spectroscopy on spectral absorption features and on temporal variations that could be used to obtain altitude-dependent spectra for planets orbiting stars of different stellar types. We validate our model against altitude-dependent transmission spectra of the Earth from ATMOS and against lunar eclipse spectra from Palle et al. (2009). We perform detectability studies to show the potential effects of refraction on hypothetical observations of Earth analogs with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSPEC). Due to refraction, there will be a maximum tangent pressure level that can be probed during transit for each given planet-star system. We show that because of refraction, for an Earth-analog planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star only the top 0.3 bars of the atmosphere can be probed, leading to a decrease in the signal to noise ratio (SNR) of absorption features by 60%, while for an Earth-analog plan...

  15. The Transit Light Curve project. XIV. Confirmation of Anomalous Radii for the Exoplanets TrES-4b, HAT-P-3b, and WASP-12b

    OpenAIRE

    Chan, Tucker; Ingemyr, Mikael; Winn, Joshua N.; Holman, Matthew J.; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Esquerdo, Gil; Everett, Mark

    2011-01-01

    We present transit photometry of three exoplanets, TrES-4b, HAT-P-3b, and WASP-12b, allowing for refined estimates of the systems' parameters. TrES-4b and WASP-12b were confirmed to be "bloated" planets, with radii of 1.706 [plus-minus] 0.056R [subscript Jup] and 1.736 [plus-minus] 0.092R [subscript Jup], respectively. These planets are too large to be explained with standard models of gas giant planets. In contrast, HAT-P-3b has a radius of 0.827 [plus-minus] 0.055R [subscript Jup], smaller ...

  16. Improved Modeling of the Rossiter-McLaughlin Effect for Transiting Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Hirano, Teruyuki; Winn, Joshua N; Taruya, Atsushi; Narita, Norio; Albrecht, Simon; Sato, Bun'ei

    2011-01-01

    We present an improved formula for the anomalous radial velocity of the star during planetary transits due to the Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect. The improvement comes from a more realistic description of the stellar absorption line profiles, taking into account stellar rotation, macroturbulence, thermal broadening, pressure broadening, and instrumental broadening. Although the formula is derived for the case in which radial velocities are measured by cross-correlation, we show through numerical simulations that the formula accurately describes the cases where the radial velocities are measured with the iodine absorption-cell technique. The formula relies on prior knowledge of the parameters describing macroturbulence, instrumental broadening and other broadening mechanisms, but even 30% errors in those parameters do not significantly change the results in typical circumstances. We show that the new analytic formula agrees with previous ones that had been computed on a case-by-case basis via numerical simula...

  17. A new view on exoplanet transits: Transit of Venus described using three-dimensional solar atmosphere Stagger-grid simulations

    CERN Document Server

    Chiavassa, A; Faurobert, M; Ricort, G; Tanga, P; Magic, Z; Collet, R; Asplund, M

    2015-01-01

    Stellar activity and, in particular, convection-related surface structures, potentially cause fluctuations that can affect the transit light curves. Surface convection simulations can help the interpretation of ToV. We used realistic three-dimensional radiative hydrodynamical simulation of the Sun from the Stagger-grid and synthetic images computed with the radiative transfer code Optim3D to provide predictions for the transit of Venus in 2004 observed by the satellite ACRIMSAT. We computed intensity maps from RHD simulation of the Sun and produced synthetic stellar disk image. We computed the light curve and compared it to the ACRIMSAT observations and also to the light curves obtained with solar surface representations carried out using radial profiles with different limb-darkening laws. We also applied the same spherical tile imaging method to the observations of center-to-limb Sun granulation with HINODE. We managed to explain ACRIMSAT observations of 2004 ToV and showed that the granulation pattern cause...

  18. SOPHIE velocimetry of Kepler transit candidates. XII. KOI-1257 b: a highly eccentric three-month period transiting exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santerne, A.; Hébrard, G.; Deleuil, M.; Havel, M.; Correia, A. C. M.; Almenara, J.-M.; Alonso, R.; Arnold, L.; Barros, S. C. C.; Behrend, R.; Bernasconi, L.; Boisse, I.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bouchy, F.; Bruno, G.; Damiani, C.; Díaz, R. F.; Gravallon, D.; Guillot, T.; Labrevoir, O.; Montagnier, G.; Moutou, C.; Rinner, C.; Santos, N. C.; Abe, L.; Audejean, M.; Bendjoya, P.; Gillier, C.; Gregorio, J.; Martinez, P.; Michelet, J.; Montaigut, R.; Poncy, R.; Rivet, J.-P.; Rousseau, G.; Roy, R.; Suarez, O.; Vanhuysse, M.; Verilhac, D.

    2014-11-01

    In this paper we report a new transiting warm giant planet: KOI-1257 b. It was first detected in photometry as a planet-candidate by the Kepler space telescope and then validated thanks to a radial velocity follow-up with the SOPHIE spectrograph. It orbits its host star with a period of 86.647661 d ± 3 s and a high eccentricity of 0.772 ± 0.045. The planet transits the main star of a metal-rich, relatively old binary system with stars of mass of 0.99 ± 0.05 M? and 0.70 ± 0.07 M? for the primary and secondary, respectively. This binary system is constrained thanks to a self-consistent modelling of the Kepler transit light curve, the SOPHIE radial velocities, line bisector and full-width half maximum (FWHM) variations, and the spectral energy distribution. However, future observations are needed to confirm it. The PASTIS fully-Bayesian software was used to validate the nature of the planet and to determine which star of the binary system is the transit host. By accounting for the dilution from the binary both in photometry and in radial velocity, we find that the planet has a mass of 1.45 ± 0.35 M? , and a radius of 0.94 ± 0.12 R? , and thus a bulk density of 2.1 ± 1.2 g cm-3. The planet has an equilibrium temperature of 511 ± 50 K, making it one of the few known members of the warm-Jupiter population. The HARPS-N spectrograph was also used to observe a transit of KOI-1257 b, simultaneously with a joint amateur and professional photometric follow-up, with the aim of constraining the orbital obliquity of the planet. However, the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect was not clearly detected, resulting in poor constraints on the orbital obliquity of the planet. Based on observations made with SOPHIE on the 1.93 m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France, and with the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) operated on the island of La Palma by the Fundación Galileo Galilei of the INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. Part of the observations were made with the IAC80 operated on the Spanish Observatorio del Teide of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.orgFull Tables C.5-C.7 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/571/A37

  19. TraMoS project III: Improved physical parameters, timing analysis, and star-spot modelling of the WASP-4b exoplanet system from 38 transit observations

    CERN Document Server

    Hoyer, S; Rojo, P; Nascimbeni, V; Hidalgo, S; Astudillo-Defru, N; Concha, F; Contreras, Y; Servajean, E; Hinse, T C

    2013-01-01

    We report twelve new transit observations of the exoplanet WASP-4b from the Transit Monitoring in the South Project (TraMoS) project. These transits are combined with all previously published transit data for this planet to provide an improved radius measurement of Rp = 1.395 +- 0.022 Rjup and improved transit ephemerides. In a new homogeneous analysis in search for Transit Timing Variations (TTVs) we find no evidence of those with RMS amplitudes larger than 20 seconds over a 4-year time span. This lack of TTVs rules out the presence of additional planets in the system with masses larger than about 2.5 M_earth, 2.0 M_earth, and 1.0 M_earth around the 1:2, 5:3 and 2:1 orbital resonances. Our search for the variation of other parameters, such as orbital inclination and transit depth also yields negative results over the total time span of the transit observations. Finally we perform a simple study of stellar spots configurations of the system and conclude that the star rotational period is about 34 days.

  20. INDEPENDENT DISCOVERY OF THE TRANSITING EXOPLANET HAT-P-14b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We present SuperWASP observations of HAT-P-14b, a hot Jupiter discovered by Torres et al. The planet was found independently by the SuperWASP team and named WASP-27b after follow-up observations had secured the discovery, but prior to the publication by Torres et al. Our analysis of HAT-P-14/WASP-27 is in good agreement with the values found by Torres et al. and we provide additional evidence against astronomical false positives. Due to the brightness of the host star, Vmag = 10, HAT-P-14b is an attractive candidate for further characterization observations. The planet has a high impact parameter and the primary transit is close to grazing. This could readily reveal small deviations in the orbital parameters indicating the presence of a third body in the system, which may be causing the small but significant orbital eccentricity. Our results suggest that the planet may undergo a grazing secondary eclipse. However, even a non-detection would tightly constrain the system parameters.

  1. MuSCAT: a multicolor simultaneous camera for studying atmospheres of transiting exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Narita, Norio; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Onitsuka, Masahiro; Ryu, Tsuguru; Yanagisawa, Kenshi; Izumiura, Hideyuki; Tamura, Motohide; Yamamuro, Tomoyasu

    2015-01-01

    We report a development of a multi-color simultaneous camera for the 188cm telescope at Okayama Astrophysical Observatory in Japan. The instrument, named MuSCAT, has a capability of 3-color simultaneous imaging in optical wavelength where CCDs are sensitive. MuSCAT is equipped with three 1024x1024 pixel CCDs, which can be controlled independently. The three CCDs detect lights in $g'_2$ (400--550 nm), $r'_2$ (550--700 nm), and $z_{s,2}$ (820--920 nm) bands using Astrodon Photometrics Generation 2 Sloan filters. The field of view of MuSCAT is 6.1x6.1 arcmin$^2$ with the pixel scale of 0.358 arcsec per pixel. The principal purpose of MuSCAT is to perform high precision multi-color transit photometry. For the purpose, MuSCAT has a capability of self autoguiding which enables to fix positions of stellar images within ~1 pix. We demonstrate relative photometric precisions of 0.101%, 0.074%, and 0.076% in $g'_2$, $r'_2$, and $z_{s,2}$ bands, respectively, for GJ436 (magnitudes in $g'$=11.81, $r'$=10.08, and $z'$=8.6...

  2. The transiting exoplanet CoRoT-11b and its peculiar tidal evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damiani C.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available CoRoT-11b is a fairly massive hot-Jupiter (Mp = 2.33 ± 0.34 MJup in a 3 days orbit around a F6 V star with an age of 2 ± 1 Gyr. The relatively high projected rotational velocity of the star (v sin i? = 40 ± 5 km/s places CoRoT-11 among the most rapidly rotating planet hosting stars discovered so far. Assuming that the star is seen equator-on, the v sin i? and the star radius (R? = 1.37±0.03 R? translate into a stellar rotation period of 1.73±0.26 days. This peculiar planet/star con?guration o?ers an unique opportunity to study the tidal evolution of the system. Owing to the strong tidal interaction, the planet would have moved outwards, from a starting semi-major axis corresponding to an orbital period almost synchronized with the stellar rotation. We found that the present value of the tidal quality factor Q?s could be measured by a timing of the mid-epoch of the transits to be observed with an accuracy of about 0.5 ? 1 seconds over a time baseline of about 25 years.

  3. Independent discovery and refined parameters of the transiting exoplanet HAT-P-14b

    CERN Document Server

    Simpson, E K; Brown, D J A; Cameron, A Collier; Pollacco, D; Skillen, I; Stempels, H C; Boisse, I; Faedi, F; Hebrard, G; McCormac, J; Sorensen, P; Street, R A; Bento, J; Bouchy, F; Butters, O W; Enoch, B; Haswell, C A; Hebb, L; Holmes, S; Horne, K; Keenan, F P; Lister, T A; Miller, G R M; Moulds, V; Moutou, C; Norton, A J; Parley, N; Santerne, A; Todd, I; Watson, C A; West, R G; Wheatley, P J

    2010-01-01

    We present SuperWASP observations of HAT-P-14b, a hot Jupiter discovered by Torres et al. The planet was found independently by the SuperWASP team and named WASP-27b after follow-up observations had secured the discovery, but prior to the publication by Torres et al. Our analysis of HAT-P-14/WASP-27 is in good agreement with the values found by Torres et al. and we refine the parameters by combining our datasets. We also provide additional evidence against astronomical false positives. Due to the brightness of the host star, V = 10, HAT-P-14 is an attractive candidate for further characterisation observations. The planet has a high impact parameter, b = 0.907 +/- 0.004, and the primary transit is close to grazing. This could readily reveal small deviations in the orbital parameters indicating the presence of a third body in the system, which may be causing the small but significant orbital eccentricity, e = 0.095 +/- 0.011. The system geometry suggests that the planet narrowly fails to undergo a secondary ecl...

  4. IMPROVED MODELING OF THE ROSSITER-McLAUGHLIN EFFECT FOR TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We present an improved formula for the anomalous radial velocity of the star during planetary transits due to the Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect. The improvement comes from a more realistic description of the stellar absorption line profiles, taking into account stellar rotation, macroturbulence, thermal broadening, pressure broadening, and instrumental broadening. Although the formula is derived for the case in which radial velocities are measured by cross-correlation, we show through numerical simulations that the formula accurately describes the cases where the radial velocities are measured with the iodine absorption-cell technique. The formula relies on prior knowledge of the parameters describing macroturbulence, instrumental broadening, and other broadening mechanisms, but even 30% errors in those parameters do not significantly change the results in typical circumstances. We show that the new analytic formula agrees with previous ones that had been computed on a case-by-case basis via numerical simulations. Finally, as one application of the new formula, we reassess the impact of the differential rotation on the RM velocity anomaly. We show that differential rotation of a rapidly rotating star may have a significant impact on future RM observations.

  5. TRANSIT AND ECLIPSE ANALYSES OF THE EXOPLANET HD 149026b USING BLISS MAPPING

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The dayside of HD 149026b is near the edge of detectability by the Spitzer Space Telescope. We report on 11 secondary-eclipse events at 3.6, 4.5, 3 × 5.8, 4 × 8.0, and 2 × 16 ?m plus three primary-transit events at 8.0 ?m. The eclipse depths from jointly fit models at each wavelength are 0.040% ± 0.003% at 3.6 ?m, 0.034% ± 0.006% at 4.5 ?m, 0.044% ± 0.010% at 5.8 ?m, 0.052% ± 0.006% at 8.0 ?m, and 0.085% ± 0.032% at 16 ?m. Multiple observations at the longer wavelengths improved eclipse-depth signal-to-noise ratios by up to a factor of two and improved estimates of the planet-to-star radius ratio (Rp /R* = 0.0518 ± 0.0006). We also identify no significant deviations from a circular orbit and, using this model, report an improved period of 2.8758916 ± 0.0000014 days. Chemical-equilibrium models find no indication of a temperature inversion in the dayside atmosphere of HD 149026b. Our best-fit model favors large amounts of CO and CO2, moderate heat redistribution (f = 0.5), and a strongly enhanced metallicity. These analyses use BiLinearly-Interpolated Subpixel Sensitivity (BLISS) mapping, a new technique to model two position-dependent systematics (intrapixel variability and pixelation) by mapping the pixel surface at high resolution. BLISS mapping outperforms previous methods in both speed and goodness of fit. We also present an orthogonalization technique for linearly correlated parameters that accelerates the convergence of Markov chains that employ the Metropolis random walk sampler. The electronic supplement contains light-curve files.

  6. Evolution of Exoplanets and their Parent Stars

    OpenAIRE

    Guillot, Tristan; Lin, Douglas; Morel, Pierre; Havel, Mathieu; Parmentier, Vivien

    2013-01-01

    Studying exoplanets with their parent stars is crucial to understand their population, formation and history. We review some of the key questions regarding their evolution with particular emphasis on giant gaseous exoplanets orbiting close to solar-type stars. For masses above that of Saturn, transiting exoplanets have large radii indicative of the presence of a massive hydrogen-helium envelope. Theoretical models show that this envelope progressively cools and contracts wit...

  7. Stellar Diameters and Temperatures VI. High angular resolution measurements of the transiting exoplanet host stars HD 189733 and HD 209458 and implications for models of cool dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Boyajian, Tabetha; Feiden, Gregory A; Huber, Daniel; Basu, Sarbani; Demarque, Pierre; Fischer, Debra A; Schaefer, Gail; Mann, Andrew W; White, Timothy R; Maestro, Vicente; Brewer, John; Lamell, C Brooke; Spada, Federico; López-Morales, Mercedes; Ireland, Michael; Farrington, Chris; van Belle, Gerard T; Kane, Stephen R; Jones, Jeremy; Brummelaar, Theo A ten; Ciardi, David R; McAlister, Harold A; Ridgway, Stephen; Goldfinger, P J; Turner, Nils H; Sturmann, Laszlo

    2014-01-01

    We present direct radii measurements of the well-known transiting exoplanet host stars HD 189733 and HD 209458 using the CHARA Array interferometer. We find the limb-darkened angular diameters to be theta_LD = 0.3848 +/- 0.0055 and 0.2254 +/- 0.0072 milliarcsec for HD 189733 and HD 209458, respectively. HD 189733 and HD 209458 are currently the only two transiting exoplanet systems where detection of the respective planetary companion's orbital motion from high resolution spectroscopy has revealed absolute masses for both star and planet. We use our new measurements together with the orbital information from radial velocity and photometric time series data, Hipparcos distances, and newly measured bolometric fluxes to determine the stellar effective temperatures (T_eff = 4875 +/- 43, 6093 +/- 103 K), stellar linear radii (R_* = 0.805 +/- 0.016, 1.203 +/- 0.061 R_sun), mean stellar densities (rho_* = 1.62 +/- 0.11, 0.58 +/- 0.14 rho_sun), planetary radii (R_p = 1.216 +/- 0.024, 1.451 +/- 0.074 R_Jup), and mean ...

  8. THE TRANSIT LIGHT-CURVE PROJECT. XIV. CONFIRMATION OF ANOMALOUS RADII FOR THE EXOPLANETS TrES-4b, HAT-P-3b, AND WASP-12b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We present transit photometry of three exoplanets, TrES-4b, HAT-P-3b, and WASP-12b, allowing for refined estimates of the systems' parameters. TrES-4b and WASP-12b were confirmed to be 'bloated' planets, with radii of 1.706 ± 0.056RJup and 1.736 ± 0.092RJup, respectively. These planets are too large to be explained with standard models of gas giant planets. In contrast, HAT-P-3b has a radius of 0.827 ± 0.055RJup, smaller than a pure hydrogen-helium planet and indicative of a highly metal-enriched composition. Analyses of the transit timings revealed no significant departures from strict periodicity. For TrES-4, our relatively recent observations allow for improvement in the orbital ephemerides, which is useful for planning future observations.

  9. Asteroseismology of Exoplanet Host Stars

    CERN Document Server

    Huber, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    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 characterize planetary systems. In this contribution I will review the key synergies between asteroseismology and exoplanet science such as the precise determination of radii and ages of exoplanet host stars, as well as applications of asteroseismology to measure spin-orbit inclinations in multiplanet systems and orbital eccentricities of small planets. Finally I will give a brief outlook on asteroseismic studies of exoplanet hosts with current and future space-based missions such as K2 and TESS.

  10. The Qatar Exoplanet Survey

    CERN Document Server

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  11. Infrared spectroscopy of exoplanets: observational constraints

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  12. Exoplanet habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  13. The Exoplanet Orbit Database II: Updates to exoplanets.org

    CERN Document Server

    Han, Eunkyu; Wright, Jason T; Feng, Y Katherina; Zhao, Ming; Brown, Jacob I; Hancock, Colin

    2014-01-01

    The Exoplanet Orbit Database (EOD) compiles orbital, transit, host star, and other parameters of robustly detected exoplanets reported in the peer-reviewed literature. The EOD can be navigated through the Exoplanet Data Explorer (EDE) Plotter and Table, available on the World Wide Web at exoplanets.org. The EOD contains data for 1492 confirmed exoplanets as of July 2014. The EOD descends from a table in Butler et al. (2002) and the Catalog of Nearby Exoplanets (Butler et al. 2006), and the first complete documentation for the EOD and the EDE was presented in Wright et al. (2011). In this work, we describe our work since then. We have expanded the scope of the EOD to include secondary eclipse parameters, asymmetric uncertainties, and expanded the EDE to include the sample of over 3000 Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs), and other real planets without good orbital parameters (such as many of those detected by microlensing and imaging). Users can download the latest version of the entire EOD as a single comma sep...

  14. The Fabra-ROA Baker-Nunn Camera at Observatori Astron\\`omic del Montsec: a wide-field imaging facility for exoplanet transit detection

    CERN Document Server

    Fors, O; Muiños, J L; Montojo, F J; Baena, R; Merino, M; Morcillo, R; Blanco, V

    2009-01-01

    A number of Baker-Nunn Camera (BNC) were manufactured by Smithsonian Institution during the 60s as optical tracking systems for artificial satellites with optimal optical and mechanical specifications. One of them was installed at the Real Instituto y Observatorio de la Armada (ROA). We have conducted a profound refurbishment project of the telescope to be installed at Observatori Astron\\`omic del Montsec (OAdM). As a result, the BNC offers the largest combination of a huge FOV (4.4$\\deg$x4.4$\\deg$) and aperture (leading to a limiting magnitude of V$\\sim$20). These specifications, together with their remote and robotic natures, allows this instrument to face an observational program of exoplanets detection by means of transit technique with high signal-to-noise ratio in the appropiate magnitude range.

  15. The Fabra-ROA Baker-Nunn Camera at Observatori Astronòmic del Montsec: A Wide-field Imaging Facility for Exoplanet Transit Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fors, O.; Núñez, J.; Muiños, J. L.; Montojo, F. J.; Baena, R.; Merino, M.; Morcillo, R.; Blanco, V.

    2010-10-01

    A number of Baker-Nunn Camera (BNC) were manufactured by Smithsonian Institution during the 60’s as optical tracking systems for artificial satellites with optimal optical and mechanical specifications. One of them was installed at the Real Instituto y Observatorio de la Armada (ROA). We have conducted a profound refurbishment project of the telescope to be installed at Observatori Astronòmic del Montsec (OAdM) (Fors 2009). As a result, the BNC offers the largest combination of a huge FOV (4.4°×4.4°) and aperture (leading to a limiting magnitude of V˜20). These specifications, together with their remote and robotic natures, allows this instrument to face an observational program of exoplanets detection by means of transit technique with high signal-to-noise ratio in the appropiate magnitude range.

  16. Formation of Jupiter-mass planets from hydrodynamic simulations -- the role of the circumplanetary disk in the accretion process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szulagyi, Judit; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Masset, Frederic; Lega, Elena; Crida, Aurelien; Guillot, Tristan

    2015-12-01

    In the era of observing young planetary systems with growing planets, it is necessary to study planet formation with numerical simulations to provide predictions for observations and also to update planet formation models. In this talk we are going to summarize a PhD thesis on the topic of accretion of giant planets with hydrodynamic simulations.One of the main problems with the core accretion formation model is that it predicts a runaway growth phase for the giant planets at the last stages of the formation process, which would indicate a presence of an unseen population of super-giants. We performed isothermal and radiative hydrodynamic simulations in 3D on a Jupiter-mass planet in an MMSN disk to simulate the fastest part of the runaway growth for our Jupiter. This massive planet can form a circumplanetary disk around it, which can limit the accretion in this late stage of planet formation, and is the focus point of our study. We have found that the 90% of the accreted gas by the planet is coming from the vertical direction, from the top layers of the circumstellar disk falling through the planetary gap, in an inflow hitting the circumplanetary disk and directly the planet as well. We will show that this vertical influx is part of a feedback loop -- a meridional circulation -- between the circumstellar and circumplanetary disks.We have also revisited the question of circumplanetary disk formation. Planets which are massive enough to open gaps (above ~Saturn's mass) were believed to form circumplanetary disk, while planets below this mass threshold were only capable to form an envelope. We will prove that the planetary surface temperature is also playing a large role in this question. We carried out a series of simulations with various planetary surface temperatures, and found that in the hottest case even a Jupiter-mass planet, which was capable to open a planetary gap, cannot form a circumplanetary disk, only an envelope, similarly to small mass planets. We will show the quantitative differences between the envelope and disk cases which have implications on the satellite formation and for the future observations of circumplanetary disks/envelopes around giant planets as well.

  17. Exoplanet Chemistry

    OpenAIRE

    Lodders, Katharina

    2009-01-01

    The terrestrial and gas-giant planets in our solar system may represent some prototypes for planets around other stars; the exoplanets because most stars have similar overall elemental abundances as our sun. The solar system planets represent at least four chemical planet types, depending on the phases that make them: Terrestrial-like planets made of rock (metal plus silicates), Plutonian planets made of rock and ice, Neptunian giant planets of rocky, icy with low H and He c...

  18. Water in exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-13

    Exoplanets--planets orbiting around stars other than our own Sun--appear to be common. Significant research effort is now focused on the observation and characterization of exoplanet atmospheres. Species such as water vapour, methane, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide have been observed in a handful of hot, giant, gaseous planets, but cooler, smaller planets such as Gliese 1214b are now analysable with current telescopes. Water is the key chemical dictating habitability. The current observations of water in exoplanets from both space and the ground are reviewed. Controversies surrounding the interpretation of these observations are discussed. Detailed consideration of available radiative transfer models and linelists are used to analyse these differences in interpretation. Models suggest that there is a clear need for data on the pressure broadening of water transitions by H(2) at high temperatures. The reported detections of water appear to be robust, although final confirmation will have to await the better quality observational data provided by currently planned dedicated space missions. PMID:22547242

  19. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission . XIII. CoRoT-13b: a dense hot Jupiter in transit around a star with solar metallicity and super-solar lithium content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrera, J.; Bruntt, H.; Ollivier, M.; Díaz, R. F.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Aigrain, S.; Alonso, R.; Almenara, J.-M.; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A.; Barge, P.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Carone, L.; Carpano, S.; Deleuil, M.; Deeg, H. J.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.; Ferraz-Mello, S.; Fridlund, M.; Gandolfi, D.; Gazzano, J.-C.; Gillon, M.; Guenther, E. W.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Havel, M.; Hébrard, G.; Jorda, L.; Léger, A.; Llebaria, A.; Lammer, H.; Lovis, C.; Mazeh, T.; Moutou, C.; Ofir, A.; von Paris, P.; Pätzold, M.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Rouan, D.; Santerne, A.; Schneider, J.; Tingley, B.; Titz-Weider, R.; Wuchterl, G.

    2010-11-01

    We announce the discovery of the transiting planet CoRoT-13b. Ground-based follow-up in CFHT and IAC80 confirmed CoRoT's observations. The mass of the planet was measured with the HARPS spectrograph and the properties of the host star were obtained analyzing HIRES spectra from the Keck telescope. It is a hot Jupiter-like planet with an orbital period of 4.04 days, 1.3 Jupiter masses, 0.9 Jupiter radii, and a density of 2.34 g cm-3. It orbits a G0V star with T_eff = 5 945 K, M* = 1.09 M?, R_* = 1.01 R?, solar metallicity, a lithium content of + 1.45 dex, and an estimated age of between 0.12 and 3.15 Gyr. The lithium abundance of the star is consistent with its effective temperature, activity level, and age range derived from the stellar analysis. The density of the planet is extreme for its mass, implies that heavy elements are present with a mass of between about 140 and 300 {M}?. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27th 2006, has been developed and is operated by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA (RSSD and Science Programme), Germany and Spain. Part of the observations were obtained at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and the University of Hawaii. Based on observations made with HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-m European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere telescope at La Silla Observatory, Chile (ESO program 184.C-0639). Based on observations made with the IAC80 telescope operated on the island of Tenerife by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias in the Spanish Observatorio del Teide. Part of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.

  20. What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Eylen Vincent

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe three useful applications of asteroseismology in the context of exoplanet science: (1 the detailed characterisation of exoplanet host stars; (2 the measurement of stellar inclinations; and (3 the determination of orbital eccentricity from transit duration making use of asteroseismic stellar densities. We do so using the example system Kepler-410 [1]. This is one of the brightest (V = 9.4 Kepler exoplanet host stars, containing a small (2.8 R? transiting planet in a long orbit (17.8 days, and one or more additional non-transiting planets as indicated by transit timing variations. The validation of Kepler-410 (KOI-42 was complicated due to the presence of a companion star, and the planetary nature of the system was confirmed after analyzing a Spitzer transit observation as well as ground-based follow-up observations.

  1. What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Van Eylen, Vincent; Aguirre, Victor Silva; Arentoft, Torben; Kjeldsen, Hans; Albrecht, Simon; Chaplin, William J; Isaacson, Howard; Pedersen, May G; Jessen-Hansen, Jens; Tingley, Brandon; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Joergen; Aerts, Conny; Campante, Tiago L; Bryson, Steve T

    2014-01-01

    We describe three useful applications of asteroseismology in the context of exoplanet science: (1) the detailed characterisation of exoplanet host stars; (2) the measurement of stellar inclinations; and (3) the determination of orbital eccentricity from transit duration making use of asteroseismic stellar densities. We do so using the example system Kepler-410 (Van Eylen et al. 2014). This is one of the brightest (V = 9.4) Kepler exoplanet host stars, containing a small (2.8 Rearth) transiting planet in a long orbit (17.8 days), and one or more additional non-transiting planets as indicated by transit timing variations. The validation of Kepler-410 (KOI-42) was complicated due to the presence of a companion star, and the planetary nature of the system was confirmed after analyzing a Spitzer transit observation as well as ground-based follow-up observations.

  2. Eclipsing Binary Science Via the Merging of Transit and Doppler Exoplanet Survey Data - A Case Study With the MARVELS Pilot Project and SuperWASP

    CERN Document Server

    Fleming, Scott W; Hebb, Leslie; Stassun, Keivan G; Ge, Jian; Cargile, Phillip A; Ghezzi, Luan; De Lee, Nathan M; Wisniewski, John; Gary, Bruce; de Mello, Gustavo F Porto; Ferreira, Leticia; Zhao, Bo; Anderson, David R; Wan, Xiaoke; Hellier, Coel; Guo, Pengcheng; West, Richard G; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Pollacco, Don; Lee, Brian; Cameron, Andrew Collier; van Eyken, Julian C; Skillen, Ian; Crepp, Justin R; Nguyen, Duy Cuong; Kane, Stephen R; Paegert, Martin; da Costa, Luiz Nicolaci; Maia, Marcio A G; Santiago, Basilio X

    2011-01-01

    Exoplanet transit and Doppler surveys discover many binary stars during their operation that can be used to conduct a variety of ancillary science. Specifically, eclipsing binary stars can be used to study the stellar mass-radius relationship and to test predictions of theoretical stellar evolution models. By cross-referencing 24 binary stars found in the MARVELS Pilot Project with SuperWASP photometry, we find two new eclipsing binaries, TYC 0272-00458-1 and TYC 1422-01328-1, which we use as case studies to develop a general approach to eclipsing binaries in survey data. TYC 0272-00458-1 is a single-lined spectroscopic binary for which we calculate a mass of the secondary and radii for both components using reasonable constraints on the primary mass through several different techniques. For a primary mass of M_1 = 0.92 +/- 0.1 M_solar, we find M_2 = 0.610 +/- 0.036 M_solar, R_1 = 0.932 +/- 0.076 R_solar and R_2 = 0.559 +/- 0.102 R_solar, and find that both stars have masses and radii consistent with model pr...

  3. Kepler-447b: a hot-Jupiter with an extremely grazing transit

    CERN Document Server

    Lillo-Box, J; Santos, N C; Mancini, L; Figueira, P; Ciceri, S; Henning, Th

    2015-01-01

    We present the radial velocity confirmation of the extrasolar planet Kepler-447b, initially detected as a candidate by the Kepler mission. In this work, we analyze its transit signal and the radial velocity data obtained with the Calar Alto Fiber-fed Echelle spectrograph (CAFE). By simultaneously modeling both datasets, we obtain the orbital and physical properties of the system. According to our results, Kepler-447b is a Jupiter-mass planet ($M_p=1.37^{+0.48}_{-0.46} M_{\\rm Jup}$), with an estimated radius of $R_p=1.65^{+0.59}_{-0.56} R_{\\rm Jup}$ (uncertainties provided in this work are $3\\sigma$ unless specified). This translates into a sub-Jupiter density. The planet revolves every $\\sim7.8$ days around a G8V star with detected activity in the Kepler light curve. Kepler-447b transits its host with a large impact parameter ($b=1.076^{+0.112}_{-0.086}$), being one of the few planetary grazing transits confirmed so far and the first in the Kepler large crop of exoplanets. We estimate that only around 20% of ...

  4. WARM SPITZER PHOTOMETRY OF THE TRANSITING EXOPLANETS CoRoT-1 AND CoRoT-2 AT SECONDARY ECLIPSE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We measure secondary eclipses of the hot giant exoplanets CoRoT-1 at 3.6 and 4.5 ?m, and CoRoT-2 at 3.6 ?m, both using Warm Spitzer. We find that the Warm Spitzer mission is working very well for exoplanet science. For consistency of our analysis we also re-analyze archival cryogenic Spitzer data for secondary eclipses of CoRoT-2 at 4.5 and 8 ?m. We compare the total data for both planets, including optical eclipse measurements by the CoRoT mission, and ground-based eclipse measurements at 2 ?m, to existing models. Both planets exhibit stronger eclipses at 4.5 than at 3.6 ?m, which is often indicative of an atmospheric temperature inversion. The spectrum of CoRoT-1 is best reproduced by a 2460 K blackbody, due either to a high altitude layer that strongly absorbs stellar irradiance, or an isothermal region in the planetary atmosphere. The spectrum of CoRoT-2 is unusual because the 8 ?m contrast is anomalously low. Non-inverted atmospheres could potentially produce the CoRoT-2 spectrum if the planet exhibits line emission from CO at 4.5 ?m, caused by tidal-induced mass loss. However, the viability of that hypothesis is questionable because the emitting region cannot be more than about 30% larger than the planet's transit radius, based on the ingress and egress times at eclipse. An alternative possibility to account for the spectrum of CoRoT-2 is an additional opacity source that acts strongly at wavelengths less than 5 ?m, heating the upper atmosphere while allowing the deeper atmosphere seen at 8 ?m to remain cooler. We obtain a similar result as Gillon et al. for the phase of the secondary eclipse of CoRoT-2, implying an eccentric orbit with e cos(?) = -0.0030 ± 0.0004.

  5. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission XIV. CoRoT-11b: a transiting massive "hot-Jupiter" in a prograde orbit around a rapidly rotating F-type star

    CERN Document Server

    Gandolfi, D; Alonso, R; Deleuil, M; Guenther, E W; Fridlund, M; Endl, M; Eigmüller, P; Csizmadia, Sz; Havel, M; Aigrain, S; Auvergne, M; Baglin, A; Barge, P; Bonomo, A S; Bordé, P; Bouchy, F; Bruntt, H; Cabrera, J; Carpano, S; Carone, L; Cochran, W D; Deeg, H J; Dvorak, R; Eislöffel, J; Erikson, A; Ferraz-Mello, S; Gazzano, J -C; Gibson, N P; Gillon, M; Gondoin, P; Guillot, T; Hartmann, M; Hatzes, A; Jorda, L; Kabath, P; Léger, A; Llebaria, A; Lammer, H; MacQueen, P J; Mayor, M; Mazeh, T; Moutou, C; Ollivier, M; Pätzold, M; Pepe, F; Queloz, D; Rauer, H; Rouan, D; Samuel, B; Schneider, J; Stecklum, B; Tingley, B; Udry, S; Wuchterl, G; 10.1051/0004-6361/201015132

    2010-01-01

    The CoRoT exoplanet science team announces the discovery of CoRoT-11b, a fairly massive hot-Jupiter transiting a V=12.9 mag F6 dwarf star (M*=1.27 +/- 0.05 Msun, R*=1.37 +/- 0.03 Rsun, Teff=6440 +/- 120 K), with an orbital period of P=2.994329 +/- 0.000011 days and semi-major axis a=0.0436 +/- 0.005 AU. The detection of part of the radial velocity anomaly caused by the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect shows that the transit-like events detected by CoRoT are caused by a planet-sized transiting object in a prograde orbit. The relatively high projected rotational velocity of the star (vsini=40+/-5 km/s) places CoRoT-11 among the most rapidly rotating planet host stars discovered so far. With a planetary mass of mp=2.33+/-0.34 Mjup and radius rp=1.43+/-0.03 Rjup, the resulting mean density of CoRoT-11b (rho=0.99+/-0.15 g/cm^3) can be explained with a model for an inflated hydrogen-planet with a solar composition and a high level of energy dissipation in its interior.

  6. WASP-38b: A 6.87 day period exoplanet transiting a bright F-type star

    CERN Document Server

    Barros, S C C; Cameron, A Collier; Lister, T A; McCormac, J; Pollacco, D; Simpson, E K; Smalley, B; Street, R A; Todd, I; Triaud, A H M J; Boisse, I; Bouchy, F; Hebrard, G; Moutou, C; Pepe, F; Queloz, D; Santerne, A; Segransan, D; Udry, S; Bento, J; Butters, O W; Enoch, B; Haswell, C A; Hellier, C; Keenan, F P; Miller, G R M; Moulds, V; Norton, A J; Parley, N; Skillen, I; Watson, C A; West, R G; Wheatley, P J

    2010-01-01

    We report the discovery of WASP-38b, a long period transiting planet in an eccentric $6.871815$ day orbit. The transit epoch is $2455335.92050 \\pm 0.00074$ (HJD) and the transit duration is $4.663$ hours. We performed a spectral analysis of the host star HD 146389/BD+10 2980 that yielded $T_{eff} = 6150 \\pm 80 $K, \\logg$=4.3 \\pm 0.1$, \\vsini=$8.6 \\pm 0.4 $\\kms, $M_*=1.16 \\pm 0.04$\\Msun\\ and $R_* =1.36 \\pm 0.05 $\\Rsun, consistent with a dwarf of spectral type F8. The radial velocity variations and the transit light curves were fitted simultaneously to estimate the orbital and planetary parameters. The planet has a mass of $2.71 \\pm 0.07 $ \\Mjup\\ and a radius of $1.08 \\pm 0.05\\, $\\Rjup\\, giving a density, $ \\rho_p = 2.2 \\pm 0.3 \\rho_J$. The high precision of the eccentricity $e=0.032 \\pm 0.0045$ is due to the relative transit timing from the light curves and the RV shape. The planet equilibrium temperature is estimated at $1311 \\pm 45$K. WASP-38b is the longest period planet found by WASP-North and with a brigh...

  7. The APACHE survey hardware and software design: Tools for an automatic search of small-size transiting exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lattanzi M.G.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Small-size ground-based telescopes can effectively be used to look for transiting rocky planets around nearby low-mass M stars using the photometric transit method, as recently demonstrated for example by the MEarth project. Since 2008 at the Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of Aosta Valley (OAVdA, we have been preparing for the long-term photometric survey APACHE, aimed at finding transiting small-size planets around thousands of nearby early and mid-M dwarfs. APACHE (A PAthway toward the Characterization of Habitable Earths is designed to use an array of five dedicated and identical 40-cm Ritchey-Chretien telescopes and its observations started at the beginning of summer 2012. The main characteristics of the survey final set up and the preliminary results from the first weeks of observations will be discussed.

  8. Transit spectrophotometry of the exoplanet HD189733b. II. New Spitzer observations at 3.6 microns

    CERN Document Server

    Desert, J -M; Vidal-Madjar, A; Hebrard, G; Ehrenreich, D; Etangs, A Lecavelier des; Parmentier, V; Ferlet, R; Henry, G W

    2010-01-01

    We present a new primary transit observation of the hot-jupiter HD189733b, obtained at 3.6 microns with the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) onboard the Spitzer Space Telescope. Previous measurements at 3.6 microns suffered from strong systematics and conclusions could hardly be obtained with confidence on the water detection by comparison of the 3.6 and 5.8 microns observations. We use a high S/N Spitzer photometric transit light curve to improve the precision of the near infrared radius of the planet at 3.6 microns. The observation has been performed using high-cadence time series integrated in the subarray mode. We are able to derive accurate system parameters, including planet-to-star radius ratio, impact parameter, scale of the system, and central time of the transit from the fits of the transit light curve. We compare the results with transmission spectroscopic models and with results from previous observations at the same wavelength. We obtained the following system parameters: R_p/R_\\star=0.15566+0.00011-...

  9. Stellar-coronagraph observations of the phase curves of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frolov, P. N.; Anan'eva, V. I.; Ksanfomality, L. V.; Tavrov, A. V.

    2015-12-01

    Over the two decades that have passed since the discovery of the first extrasolar planet 51 Peg b, almost all of the newly discovered exoplanets have been found either by radial velocity observations or by the transit method. Here we discuss the possibilities for observation of exoplanets and their phase curves by stellar coronagraphy, which has proven effective in experiments.

  10. Transit spectrophotometry of the exoplanet HD189733b. I. Searching for water but finding haze with HST NICMOS

    CERN Document Server

    Sing, David K; Etangs, A Lecavelier des; Ballester, G E; Vidal-Madjar, A; Parmentier, V; Hébrard, G; Henry, G W

    2009-01-01

    We present Hubble Space Telescope near-infrared transit photometry of the nearby hot-Jupiter HD189733b. The observations were taken with the NICMOS instrument during five transits, with three transits executed with a narrowband filter at 1.87 microns and two performed with a narrowband filter at 1.66 microns. Our observing strategy using narrowband filters is insensitive to the usual HST intra-orbit and orbit-to-orbit measurement of systematic errors, allowing us to accurately and robustly measure the near-IR wavelength dependance of the planetary radius. Our measurements fail to reproduce the Swain et al. absorption signature of atmospheric water below 2 microns at a 5-sigma confidence level. We measure a planet-to-star radius contrast of 0.15498+/-0.00035 at 1.66 microns and a contrast of 0.15517+/-0.00019 at 1.87 microns. Both of our near-IR planetary radii values are in excellent agreement with the levels expected from Rayleigh scattering by sub-micron haze particles, observed at optical wavelengths, indi...

  11. EXOPLANET CHARACTERIZATION BY PROXY: A TRANSITING 2.15 R{sub Circled-Plus} PLANET NEAR THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE LATE K DWARF KEPLER-61

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ballard, Sarah; Charbonneau, David; Fressin, Francois; Torres, Guillermo; Irwin, Jonathan; Newton, Elisabeth [University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Desert, Jean-Michel; Crepp, Justin R.; Shporer, Avi [California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Mann, Andrew W. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai' i, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Henze, Christopher E.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steven B. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Horch, Elliott P. [Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT 06515 (United States); Everett, Mark E., E-mail: sarahba@uw.edu [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)

    2013-08-20

    We present the validation and characterization of Kepler-61b: a 2.15 R{sub Circled-Plus} planet orbiting near the inner edge of the habitable zone of a low-mass star. Our characterization of the host star Kepler-61 is based upon a comparison with a set of spectroscopically similar stars with directly measured radii and temperatures. We apply a stellar prior drawn from the weighted mean of these properties, in tandem with the Kepler photometry, to infer a planetary radius for Kepler-61b of 2.15 {+-} 0.13 R{sub Circled-Plus} and an equilibrium temperature of 273 {+-} 13 K (given its period of 59.87756 {+-} 0.00020 days and assuming a planetary albedo of 0.3). The technique of leveraging the physical properties of nearby ''proxy'' stars allows for an independent check on stellar characterization via the traditional measurements with stellar spectra and evolutionary models. In this case, such a check had implications for the putative habitability of Kepler-61b: the planet is 10% warmer and larger than inferred from K-band spectral characterization. From the Kepler photometry, we estimate a stellar rotation period of 36 days, which implies a stellar age of >1 Gyr. We summarize the evidence for the planetary nature of the Kepler-61 transit signal, which we conclude is 30,000 times more likely to be due to a planet than a blend scenario. Finally, we discuss possible compositions for Kepler-61b with a comparison to theoretical models as well as to known exoplanets with similar radii and dynamically measured masses.

  12. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Community Observer Program including the Science Enhancement Option Box (SEO Box) - 12 TB On-board Flash Memory for Serendipitous Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schingler, Robert; Villasenor, J. N.; Ricker, G. R.; Latham, D. W.; Vanderspek, R. K.; Ennico, K. A.; Lewis, B. S.; Bakos, G.; Brown, T. M.; Burgasser, A. J.; Charbonneau, D.; Clampin, M.; Deming, L. D.; Doty, J. P.; Dunham, E. W.; Elliot, J. L.; Holman, M. J.; Ida, S.; Jenkins, J. M.; Jernigan, J. G.; Kawai, N.; Laughlin, G. P.; Lissauer, J. J.; Martel, F.; Sasselov, D. D.; Seager, S.; Torres, G.; Udry, S.; Winn, J. N.; Worden, S. P.

    2010-01-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will perform an all-sky survey in a low-inclination, low-Earth orbit. TESS's 144 GB of raw data collected each orbit will be stacked, cleaned, cut, compressed and downloaded. The Community Observer Program is a Science Enhancement Option (SEO) that takes advantage of the low-radiation environment, technology advances in flash memory, and the vast amount of astronomical data collected by TESS. The Community Observer Program requires the addition of a 12 TB "SEO Box” inside the TESS Bus. The hardware can be built using low-cost Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components and fits within TESS's margins while accommodating GSFC gold rules. The SEO Box collects and stores a duplicate of the TESS camera data at a "raw” stage ( 4.3 GB/orbit, after stacking and cleaning) and makes them available for on-board processing. The sheer amount of onboard storage provided by the SEO Box allows the stacking and storing of several months of data, allowing the investigator to probe deeper in time prior to a given event. Additionally, with computation power and data in standard formats, investigators can utilize data-mining techniques to investigate serendipitous phenomenon, including pulsating stars, eclipsing binaries, supernovae or other transient phenomena. The Community Observer Program enables ad-hoc teams of citizen scientists to propose, test, refine and rank algorithms for on-board analysis to support serendipitous science. Combining "best practices” of online collaboration, with careful moderation and community management, enables this `crowd sourced’ participatory exploration with a minimal risk and impact on the core TESS Team. This system provides a powerful and independent tool opening a wide range of opportunity for science enhancement and secondary science. Support for this work has been provided by NASA, the Kavli Foundation, Google, and the Smithsonian Institution.

  13. ECLIPSING BINARY SCIENCE VIA THE MERGING OF TRANSIT AND DOPPLER EXOPLANET SURVEY DATA-A CASE STUDY WITH THE MARVELS PILOT PROJECT AND SuperWASP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Exoplanet transit and Doppler surveys discover many binary stars during their operation that can be used to conduct a variety of ancillary science. Specifically, eclipsing binary stars can be used to study the stellar mass-radius relationship and to test predictions of theoretical stellar evolution models. By cross-referencing 24 binary stars found in the MARVELS Pilot Project with SuperWASP photometry, we find two new eclipsing binaries, TYC 0272-00458-1 and TYC 1422-01328-1, which we use as case studies to develop a general approach to eclipsing binaries in survey data. TYC 0272-00458-1 is a single-lined spectroscopic binary for which we calculate a mass of the secondary and radii for both components using reasonable constraints on the primary mass through several different techniques. For a primary mass of M1 = 0.92 ± 0.1 Msun, we find M2 = 0.610 ± 0.036 Msun, R1 = 0.932 ± 0.076 Rsun, and R2 = 0.559 ± 0.102 Rsun, and find that both stars have masses and radii consistent with model predictions. TYC 1422-01328-1 is a triple-component system for which we can directly measure the masses and radii of the eclipsing pair. We find that the eclipsing pair consists of an evolved primary star (M1 = 1.163 ± 0.034 Msun, R1 = 2.063 ± 0.058 Rsun) and a G-type dwarf secondary (M2 = 0.905 ± 0.067 Msun, R2 = 0.887 ± 0.037 Rsun). We provide the framework necessary to apply this analysis to much larger data sets.

  14. Observations of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Crossfield, Ian J M

    2015-01-01

    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 & 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.

  15. Observations of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossfield, Ian J. M.

    2015-11-01

    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.

  16. Direct Imaging of a Cold Jovian Exoplanet in Orbit around the Sun-Like Star GJ 504

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 ( 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.

  17. DIRECT IMAGING OF A COLD JOVIAN EXOPLANET IN ORBIT AROUND THE SUN-LIKE STAR GJ 504

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Several exoplanets have recently been imaged at wide separations of >10 AU from their parent stars. These span a limited range of ages ( 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 504b 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 ?30 AU predicted for the core accretion mechanism. GJ 504b 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

  18. GTC OSIRIS transiting exoplanet atmospheric survey: detection of potassium in HAT-P-1b from narrowband spectrophotometry

    CERN Document Server

    Wilson, P A; Nikolov, N; Etangs, A Lecavelier des; Pont, F; Fortney, J J; Ballester, G E; López-Morales, M; Désert, J -M; Vidal-Madjar, A

    2015-01-01

    We present the detection of potassium in the atmosphere of HAT-P-1b using optical transit narrowband photometry. The results are obtained using the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) together with the OSIRIS instrument in tunable filter imaging mode. We observed four transits, two at continuum wavelengths outside the potassium feature, at 6792 {\\AA} and 8844 {\\AA}, and two probing the potassium feature in the line wing at 7582.0 {\\AA} and the line core at 7664.9 {\\AA} using a 12 {\\AA} filter width (R~650). The planet-to-star radius ratios in the continuum are found to be $R_{\\rm{pl}}/R_{\\star}$ = 0.1176 $\\pm$ 0.0013 at 6792 {\\AA} and $R_{\\rm{pl}}/R_{\\star}$ = 0.1168 $\\pm$ 0.0022 at 8844 {\\AA}, significantly lower than the two observations in the potassium line: $R_{\\rm{pl}}/R_{\\star}$ = 0.1248 $\\pm$ 0.0014 in the line wing at 7582.0 {\\AA} and $R_{\\rm{pl}}/R_{\\star}$ = 0.1268 $\\pm$ 0.0012 in the line core at 7664.9 {\\AA}. With a weighted mean of the observations outside the potassium feature $R_{\\rm{pl}}/R_...

  19. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission: XXIV. CoRoT-24: A transiting multi-planet system

    CERN Document Server

    Alonso, R; Endl, M; Almenara, J M; Guenther, E W; Deleuil, M; Hatzes, A; Aigrain, S; Auvergne, M; Baglin, A; Barge, P; Bonomo, A S; Bordé, P; Bouchy, F; Cavarroc, C; Cabrera, J; Carpano, S; Csizmadia, Sz; Cochran, W D; Deeg, H J; Díaz, R F; Dvorak, R; Erikson, A; Ferraz-Mello, S; Fridlund, M; Fruth, T; Gandolfi, D; Gillon, M; Grziwa, S; Guillot, T; Hébrard, G; Jorda, L; Léger, A; Lammer, H; Lovis, C; MacQueen, P J; Mazeh, T; Ofir, A; Ollivier, M; Pasternacki, T; Patzold, M; Queloz, D; Rauer, H; Rouan, D; Santerne, A; Schneider, J; Santos, M Tadeu dos; Tingley, B; Titz-Weider, R; Weingrill, J; Wuchterl, G

    2014-01-01

    We present the discovery of a candidate multiply-transiting system, the first one found in the CoRoT mission. Two transit-like features with periods of 5.11 and 11.76d are detected in the CoRoT light curve, around a main sequence K1V star of r=15.1. If the features are due to transiting planets around the same star, these would correspond to objects of 3.7$\\pm$0.4 and 5.0$\\pm$0.5 R_earth respectively. Several radial velocities serve to provide an upper limit of 5.7 M_earth for the 5.11~d signal, and to tentatively measure a mass of 28$^{+11}_{-11}$ M_earth for the object transiting with a 11.76~d period. These measurements imply low density objects, with a significant gaseous envelope. The detailed analysis of the photometric and spectroscopic data serve to estimate the probability that the observations are caused by transiting Neptune-sized planets as $>$26$\\times$ higher than a blend scenario involving only one transiting planet, and $>$900$\\times$ higher than a scenario involving two blends and no planets....

  20. Warm Spitzer Photometry of the Transiting Exoplanets CoRoT-1 and CoRoT-2 at Secondary Eclipse

    OpenAIRE

    Deming, Drake; Knutson, Heather; Agol, Eric; Desert, Jean-Michel; Burrows, Adam; Fortney, Jonathan J; Charbonneau, David; Cowan, Nicolas B.; Laughlin, Gregory; Langton, Jonathan; Showman, Adam P.; Lewis, Nikole K.

    2010-01-01

    We measure secondary eclipses of the hot giant exoplanets CoRoT-1 at 3.6 and 4.5 microns, and CoRoT-2 at 3.6 microns, both using Warm Spitzer. We find that the Warm Spitzer mission is working very well for exoplanet science. For consistency of our analysis we also re-analyze archival cryogenic Spitzer data for secondary eclipses of CoRoT-2 at 4.5 and 8 microns. We compare the total data for both planets, including optical eclipse measurements by the CoRoT mission, and ground...

  1. SOPHIE velocimetry of $\\textit{Kepler}$ transit candidates XII. KOI-1257 b: a highly-eccentric 3-month period transiting exoplanet

    CERN Document Server

    Santerne, A; Deleuil, M; Havel, M; Correia, A C M; Almenara, J -M; Alonso, R; Arnold, L; Barros, S C C; Behrend, R; Bernasconi, L; Boisse, I; Bonomo, A S; Bouchy, F; Bruno, G; Damiani, C; Díaz, R F; Gravallon, D; Guillot, T; Labrevoir, O; Montagnier, G; Moutou, C; Rinner, C; Santos, N C; Abe, L; Audejean, M; Bendjoya, P; Gillier, C; Gregorio, J; Martinez, P; Michelet, J; Montaigut, R; Poncy, R; Rivet, J -P; Rousseau, G; Roy, R; Suarez, O; Vanhuysse, M; Verilhac, D

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we report a new transiting warm giant planet: KOI-1257 b. It was first detected in photometry as a planet-candidate by the $\\textit{Kepler}$ space telescope and then validated thanks to a radial velocity follow-up with the SOPHIE spectrograph. It orbits its host star with a period of 86.647661 d $\\pm$ 3 s and a high eccentricity of 0.772 $\\pm$ 0.045. The planet transits the main star of a metal-rich, relatively old binary system with stars of mass of 0.99 $\\pm$ 0.05 Msun and 0.70 $ \\pm $ 0.07 Msun for the primary and secondary (respectively). This binary system is constrained thanks to a self-consistent modelling of the $\\textit{Kepler}$ transit light curve, the SOPHIE radial velocities, line bisector and full-width half maximum (FWHM) variations as well as the spectral energy distribution. However, future observations are needed to confirm it. The PASTIS fully-Bayesian software was used to validate the nature of the planet and to determine which star of the binary system is the transit host. By...

  2. KOI-200 b and KOI-889 b: Two transiting exoplanets detected and characterized with Kepler, SOPHIE, and HARPS-N

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hébrard, G.; Almenara, J.-M.; Santerne, A.; Deleuil, M.; Damiani, C.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bouchy, F.; Bruno, G.; Díaz, R. F.; Montagnier, G.; Moutou, C.

    2013-06-01

    We present the detection and characterization of the two new transiting, close-in, giant extrasolar planets KOI-200 b and KOI-889 b. They were first identified by the Kepler team as promising candidates from photometry of the Kepler satellite; we then established their planetary nature thanks to the radial velocity follow-up jointly secured with the spectrographs SOPHIE and HARPS-N. Combined analyses of the whole datasets allow the two planetary systems to be characterized. The planet KOI-200 b has mass and radius of 0.68 ± 0.09 MJup and 1.32 ± 0.14 RJup; it orbits in 7.34 days a F8V host star with mass and radius of 1.40-0.11+0.14 M? and 1.51 ± 0.14 R?. The planet KOI-889 b is a massive planet with mass and radius of 9.9 ± 0.5 MJup and 1.03 ± 0.06 RJup; it orbits in 8.88 days an active G8V star with a rotation period of 19.2 ± 0.3 days, and mass and radius of 0.88 ± 0.06 M? and 0.88 ± 0.04 R?. Both planets lie on eccentric orbits and are located just at the frontier between regimes where tides can explain circularization and where tidal effects are negligible. The two planets are among the first detected and characterized thanks to observations secured with HARPS-N, the new spectrograph recently mounted at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo. These results illustrate the benefits that could be obtained from joint studies using two spectrographs as SOPHIE and HARPS-N.

  3. Exoplanets: A New Era of Comparative Planetology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, Victoria

    2014-11-01

    We now know of over 1700 planets orbiting other stars, and several thousand additional planetary candidates. These discoveries have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of planet formation and evolution, while providing targets for the search for life beyond the Solar System. Exoplanets display a larger diversity of planetary types than those seen in our Solar System - including low-density, low-mass objects. They are also found in planetary system architectures very different from our own, even for stars similar to our Sun. Over 20 potentially habitable planets are now known, and half of the M dwarfs stars in our Galaxy may harbor a habitable planet. M dwarfs are plentiful, and they are therefore the most likely habitable planet hosts, but their planets will have radiative and gravitational interactions with their star and sibling planets that are unlike those in our Solar System. Observations to characterize the atmospheres and surfaces of exoplanets are extremely challenging, and transit transmission spectroscopy has been used to measure atmospheric composition for a handful of candidates. Frustratingly, many of the smaller exoplanets have flat, featureless spectra indicative of planet-wide haze or clouds. The James Webb Space Telescope and future ground-based telescopes will improve transit transmission characterization, and enable the first search for signs of life in terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres. Beyond JWST, planned next-generation space telescopes will directly image terrestrial exoplanets, allowing surface and atmospheric characterization that is more robust to haze. Until these observations become available, there is a lot that we can do as planetary scientists to inform required measurements and future data interpretation. Solar System planets can be used as validation targets for extrasolar planet observations and models. The rich heritage of planetary science models can also be used to explore the potential diversity of exoplanet environments and star-planet interactions. And planetary remote-sensing can inform new techniques to identify environmental characteristics and biosignatures in exoplanet spectra.

  4. Astrometric exoplanet detection with Gaia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perryman, Michael; Hartman, Joel; Bakos, Gáspár Á. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Lindegren, Lennart [Lund Observatory, Lund, Box 43, SE-22100 Sweden (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Infrared spectroscopy of exoplanets: observational constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. Structure of exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Planets around other stars, or exoplanets, are now known to be common in our galaxy. Exoplanets span a much wider range of physical conditions than the planets in our solar system, and include extremely puffy gas giants to compact rocky planets that can have densities as high as that of iron. The diversity of exoplanets allows us to place the planets of our solar system in a broader perspective, and invites further research in the nascent field of comparative exoplanetology. Here we review th...

  7. Exoplanets search and characterization with the SOPHIE spectrograph at OHP

    OpenAIRE

    Hébrard G.

    2011-01-01

    Several programs of exoplanets search and characterization have been started with SOPHIE at the 1.93-m telescope of Haute-Provence Observatory, France. SOPHIE is an environmentally stabilized echelle spectrograph dedicated to high-precision radial velocity measurements. The objectives of these programs include systematic searches for exoplanets around di?erent types of stars, characterizations of planet-host stars, studies of transiting planets through RossiterMcLaughlin e?ect, follow-u...

  8. Exoplanet: Trans-dimentional MCMC method for exoplanet discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, Brendon J.

    2015-01-01

    Exoplanet determines the posterior distribution of exoplanets by use of a trans-dimensional Markov Chain Monte Carlo method within Nested Sampling. This method finds the posterior distribution in a single run rather than requiring multiple runs with trial values.

  9. Astrometric Confirmation and Preliminary Orbital Parameters of the Young Exoplanet 51 Eridani b with the Gemini Planet Imager

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Eric Ludwig; Blunt, Sarah; De Rosa, Robert; Konopacky, Quinn; Graham, James R.; Macintosh, Bruce; Marchis, Franck; Wang, Jason; Pueyo, Laurent; Rameau, Julien; Marois, Christian

    2015-12-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey discovered the young, 2 Jupiter mass planet 51 Eri b based on observations conducted in December 2014 and January 2015. It is the lowest mass extrasolar planet ever detected by direct imaging and shows strong methane absorption, and is at a projected separation of just 13 AU from its host star. We present new astrometry from late 2015 that confirms 51 Eri b is a bound planet and not an interloping brown dwarf. Orbital motion is detected despite monitoring the system for less than a year. We have implemented a computationally efficient Monte Carlo technique for fitting a range of possible orbital motion based on astrometry covering a small fraction of the period and producing distributions of orbital parameters consistent with the measurements. We apply this technique to the astrometry of 51 Eri b and present preliminary orbital parameter distributions of this intriguing planet.

  10. Enabling Participation In Exoplanet Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 contributor by keeping someone from finishing. No paper should be considered peer reviewed if it was kept from an author-level contributing peer with the intent of keeping out an active author.

  11. The distribution of exoplanet masses

    CERN Document Server

    Jorissen, A; Udry, S

    2001-01-01

    The present study derives the distribution of secondary masses M2 for the 67 exoplanets and very low-mass brown dwarf companions of solar-type stars, known as of April 4, 2001. This distribution is related to the distribution of M2 sin i through an integral equation of Abel's type. Although a formal solution exists for this equation, it is known to be ill-behaved, and thus very sensitive to the statistical noise present in the input M2 sin i distribution. To overcome that difficulty, we present two robust, independent approaches: (i) the formal solution of the integral equation is numerically computed after performing an optimal smoothing of the input distribution, (ii) the Lucy-Richardson algorithm is used to invert the integral equation. Both approaches give consistent results. The resulting statistical distribution of exoplanet true masses reveals that there is no reason to ascribe the transition between giant planets and brown dwarfs to the threshold mass for deuterium ignition (about 13 MJ). The M2 distr...

  12. New Measurements of Polarised Light from Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

    Detections of polarised light from exoplanets are an important expansion of exoplanet studies, as they provide a complimentary and advantageous diagnostic to the other characterisation methods. However some of the earliest claimed detections of polarised light from exoplanets are disputed.The High Precision Polarimetric Instrument (HIPPI) is currently the highest sensitivity astronomical polarimeter (Bailey 2015) in the world at 4.3 ppm or better precision, and has been used to observe exoplanet systems including the disputed first detection source (Berdyugina 2008, Wiktorowicz 2009, Berdyugina 2011), HD189733b. HIPPI is designed for best sensitivity in blue light where Rayleigh scattering would produce a strong signal for hot Jupiter planets (Burrows 2008). These observations, taken at the Anglo-Australian Telescope in 2014 and 2015, are compared to models from a polarised light adaptation of the Versatile Software for the Transfer of Atmospheric Radiation (VSTAR).Our new, independent Hot Jupiter polarised light detections are discussed, including the physical sources of the detected polarised light, as well as additional contributing factors (e.g. debris, ISM anomalies). For HD 189733b we use available visible and near infrared transit and polarimetric data to create and interpret a planetary portrait using VSTAR.

  13. Spectroscopy of Exoplanet Atmospheres with the FINESSE Explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Exoplanet detection capability of the COROT space mission

    CERN Document Server

    Bordé, P J; Léger, A

    2003-01-01

    COROT will be the first high precision photometric satellite to be launched with the aim of detecting exoplanets by the transit method. In this paper, we present the simulations we have carried out in order to assess the detection capability of COROT. Using the model of stellar population synthesis of the Galaxy developed at Besancon Observatory (Robin & Creze 1986) and a simple cross-correlation technique (Borde et al. 2001), we find that COROT has the capacity to detect numerous exoplanets, not only Jupiter and Uranus-class ones, but also hot terrestrial planets, if they exist. We show that small exoplanets should be mainly gathered around 14-15th magnitude K2-M2 dwarfs and giant exoplanets around 15-16th magnitude F7-G2 dwarfs. We study the effect of crowding and the impact of a high stellar variability noise that both reduce the detection capability of the instrument.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, James

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Light from Exoplanets: Present and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Leo

    2010-01-01

    Measurements using the Spitzer Space Telescope have revealed thermal emission from planets orbiting very close to solar-type stars, primarily transiting "hot Jupiter" exoplanets. The thermal emission spectrum of these worlds has been measured by exploiting their secondary eclipse. Also, during transit of the planet, absorption signatures from atoms and molecules in the planet's atmosphere are imprinted onto the spectrum of the star. Results to date from transit and eclipse studies show that the hot Jupiters often have significant haze and cloud components in their atmospheres, and the temperature structure can often be inverted, i.e. temperature is rising with height. New and very strongly irradiated examples of hot Jupiters have been found that are being stripped of their atmospheres by tidal forces from the star. In parallel, transiting superEarth exoplanets are being discovered, and their atmospheres should also be amenable to study using transit techniques. The 2014 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope will clarify the physical nature of hot Jupiters, and will extend transit and eclipse studies to superEarths orbiting in the habitable zones of lower main sequence stars.

  17. Kepler-447b: a hot-Jupiter with an extremely grazing transit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillo-Box, J.; Barrado, D.; Santos, N. C.; Mancini, L.; Figueira, P.; Ciceri, S.; Henning, Th.

    2015-05-01

    We present the radial velocity confirmation of the extrasolar planet Kepler-447b, initially detected as a candidate by the Kepler mission. In this work, we analyzeits transit signal and the radial velocity data obtained with the Calar Alto Fiber-fed Echelle spectrograph (CAFE). By simultaneously modeling both datasets, we obtain the orbital and physical properties of the system. According to our results, Kepler-447b is a Jupiter-mass planet (Mp = 1.37+0.48-0.46 MJup), with an estimated radius of Rp = 1.65+0.59-0.56 RJup (uncertainties provided in this work are 3? unless specified). This translates into a sub-Jupiter density. The planet revolves every ~7.8 days in a slightly eccentric orbit (e = 0.123+0.037-0.036) around a G8V star with detected activity in the Kepler light curve. Kepler-447b transits its host with a large impact parameter (b = 1.076+0.112-0.086), which is one of the few planetary grazing transits confirmed so far and the first in the Kepler large crop of exoplanets. We estimate that only around 20% of the projected planet disk occults the stellar disk. The relatively large uncertainties in the planet radius are due to the large impact parameter and short duration of the transit. Planetary transits with large impact parameters (and in particular grazing transits) can be used to detect and analyze interesting configurations, such as additional perturbing bodies, stellar pulsations, rotation of a non-spherical planet, or polar spot-crossing events. All these scenarios will periodically modify the transit properties (depth, duration, and time of mid-transit), which could be detectable with sufficiently accurate photometry. Short-cadence photometric data (at the 1-min level) would help in the search for these exotic configurations in grazing planetary transits like that of Kepler-447b. This system could then be an excellent target for the forthcoming missions TESS and CHEOPS, which will provide the required photometric precision and cadence to study this type of transit. Based on observations collected at the German-Spanish Astronomical Center, Calar Alto, jointly operated by the Max- Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Heidelberg) and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC, Granada).

  18. The Exoplanet Eccentricity Distribution from Kepler Planet Candidates

    OpenAIRE

    Kane, Stephen R.; Ciardi, David R.; Dawn M. Gelino; Von Braun, Kaspar

    2012-01-01

    The eccentricity distribution of exoplanets is known from radial velocity surveys to be divergent from circular orbits beyond 0.1 AU. This is particularly the case for large planets where the radial velocity technique is most sensitive. The eccentricity of planetary orbits can have a large effect on the transit probability and subsequently the planet yield of transit surveys. The Kepler mission is the first transit survey that probes deep enough into period-space to allow th...

  19. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XI. CoRoT-8b: a hot and dense sub-Saturn around a K1 dwarf

    CERN Document Server

    Bordé, P; Deleuil, M; Cabrera, J; Jorda, L; Lovis, C; Csizmadia, S; Aigrain, S; Almenara, J M; Alonso, R; Auvergne, M; Baglin, A; Barge, P; Benz, W; Bonomo, A S; Bruntt, H; Carone, L; Carpano, S; Deeg, H; Dvorak, R; Erikson, A; Ferraz-Mello, S; Fridlund, M; Gandolfi, D; Gazzano, J -C; Gillon, M; Guenther, E; Guillot, T; Guterman, P; Hatzes, A; Havel, M; Hébrard, G; Lammer, H; Léger, A; Mayor, M; Mazeh, T; Moutou, C; Pätzold, M; Pepe, F; Ollivier, M; Queloz, D; Rauer, H; Rouan, D; Samuel, B; Santerne, A; Schneider, J; Tingley, B; Udry, S; Weingrill, J; Wuchterl, G

    2010-01-01

    We report the discovery of CoRoT-8b, a dense small Saturn-class exoplanet that orbits a K1 dwarf in 6.2 days, and we derive its orbital parameters, mass, and radius. We analyzed two complementary data sets: the photometric transit curve of CoRoT-8b as measured by CoRoT and the radial velocity curve of CoRoT-8 as measured by the HARPS spectrometer. We find that CoRoT-8b is on a circular orbit with a semi-major axis of 0.063 +/- 0.001 AU. It has a radius of 0.57 +/- 0.02 RJ, a mass of 0.22 +/- 0.03 MJ, and therefore a mean density 1.6 +/- 0.1 g/cm^3. With 67 % of the size of Saturn and 72 % of its mass, CoRoT-8b has a density comparable to that of Neptune (1.76 g/cm^3). We estimate its content in heavy elements to be 47-63 Earth masses, and the mass of its hydrogen-helium envelope to be 7-23 Earth masses. At 0.063 AU, the thermal loss of hydrogen of CoRoT-8b should be no more than about 0.1 % over an assumed integrated lifetime of 3~Ga.

  20. Discriminating Between Cloudy, Hazy and Clearsky Exoplanets Using Refraction

    CERN Document Server

    Misra, Amit

    2014-01-01

    We propose a method to distinguish between cloudy, hazy and clearsky (free of clouds and hazes) exoplanet atmospheres that could be applicable to upcoming large aperture space and ground-based telescopes such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). These facilities will be powerful tools for characterizing transiting exoplanets, but only after a considerable amount of telescope time is devoted to a single planet. A technique that could provide a relatively rapid means of identifying haze-free targets (which may be more valuable targets for characterization) could potentially increase the science return for these telescopes. Our proposed method utilizes broadband observations of refracted light in the out-of-transit spectrum. Light refracted through an exoplanet atmosphere can lead to an increase of flux prior to ingress and subsequent to egress. Because this light is transmitted at pressures greater than those for typical cloud and haze layers, the detectio...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (mp ? 1 M 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 (mp ? 0.1 M 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.

  2. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XXI. CoRoT-19b: a low density planet orbiting an old inactive F9V-star

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guenther, E. W.; Díaz, R. F.

    2012-01-01

    Context. Observations of transiting extrasolar planets are of key importance to our understanding of planets because their mass, radius, and mass density can be determined. These measurements indicate that planets of similar mass can have very different radii. For low-density planets, it is generally assumed that they are inflated owing to their proximity to the host-star. To determine the causes of this inflation, it is necessary to obtain a statistically significant sample of planets with precisely measured masses and radii. Aims. The CoRoT space mission allows us to achieve a very high photometric accuracy. By combining CoRoT data with high-precision radial velocity measurements, we derive precise planetary radii and masses. We report the discovery of CoRoT-19b, a gas-giant planet transiting an old, inactive F9V-type star with a period of four days. Methods. After excluding alternative physical configurations mimicking a planetary transit signal, we determine the radius and mass of the planet by combining CoRoT photometry with high-resolution spectroscopy obtained with the echelle spectrographs SOPHIE, HARPS, FIES, and SANDIFORD. To improve the precision of its ephemeris and the epoch, we observed additional transits with the TRAPPIST and Euler telescopes. Using HARPS spectra obtained during the transit, we then determine the projected angle between the spin of the star and the orbit of the planet. Results. We find that the host star of CoRoT-19b is an inactive F9V-type star close to the end of its main-sequence life. The host star has a mass M? = 1.21 ± 0.05 ?M? and radius R? = 1.65 ?±? 0.04?R?. The planet has a mass of MP = 1.11 ± 0.06?MJup and radius of RP = 1.29 ?± 0.03?RJup. The resulting bulk density is only ? = 0.71 ?± 0.06?g?cm-3, which is much lower than that for Jupiter. Conclusions. The exoplanet CoRoT-19b is an example of a giant planet of almost the same mass as Jupiter but a ?30% larger radius.

  3. HARPS Observes the Earth Transiting the Sun — A Method to Study Exoplanet Atmospheres Using Precision Spectroscopy on Large Ground-based Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, F.; Fosbury, R.; Petr-Gotzens, M.; Pallé, E.; Zhao, G.

    2015-09-01

    Exoplanetary transits offer the opportunity to measure the transmission of long, tangential pathlengths through their atmospheres. Since the fraction of the observed stellar light taking these paths is very small, transit photometric and spectrophotometric measurements of light curves require very high levels of measurement stability, favouring the use of intrinsically stable space telescopes. By studying the Rossiter–McLaughlin effect on the radial velocity of the transited star, pure, high-precision radial velocity measurements can be used to estimate the changes in planetary atmospheric transmission with wavelength: a promising method for future studies of small planets with very large ground-based telescopes since it removes the requirement for extreme photometric stability. This article describes a successful feasibility experiment using the HARPS instrument to measure reflected moonlight during the penumbral phases of a Lunar eclipse, effectively providing an observation of an Earth transit.

  4. Super-Earth and Sub-Neptune Exoplanets: a First Look from the MEarth Project

    OpenAIRE

    Berta, Zachory Kaczmarczyk

    2013-01-01

    Exoplanets that transit nearby M dwarfs allow us to measure the sizes, masses, and atmospheric properties of distant worlds. Between 2008 and 2013, we searched for such planets with the MEarth Project, a photometric survey of the closest and smallest main-sequence stars. This thesis uses the first planet discovered with MEarth, the warm 2.7 Earth radius exoplanet GJ1214b, to explore the possibilities that planets transiting M dwarfs provide.

  5. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XVII. The hot Jupiter CoRoT-17b: a very old planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csizmadia, Sz.; Moutou, C.; Deleuil, M.; Cabrera, J.; Fridlund, M.; Gandolfi, D.; Aigrain, S.; Alonso, R.; Almenara, J.-M.; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A.; Barge, P.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Bruntt, H.; Carone, L.; Carpano, S.; Cavarroc, C.; Cochran, W.; Deeg, H. J.; Díaz, R. F.; Dvorak, R.; Endl, M.; Erikson, A.; Ferraz-Mello, S.; Fruth, Th.; Gazzano, J.-C.; Gillon, M.; Guenther, E. W.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Havel, M.; Hébrard, G.; Jehin, E.; Jorda, L.; Léger, A.; Llebaria, A.; Lammer, H.; Lovis, C.; MacQueen, P. J.; Mazeh, T.; Ollivier, M.; Pätzold, M.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Rouan, D.; Santerne, A.; Schneider, J.; Tingley, B.; Titz-Weider, R.; Wuchterl, G.

    2011-07-01

    We report on the discovery of a hot Jupiter-type exoplanet, CoRoT-17b, detected by the CoRoT satellite. It has a mass of 2.43 ± 0.30 MJup and a radius of 1.02 ± 0.07 RJup, while its mean density is 2.82 ± 0.38 g/cm3. CoRoT-17b is in a circular orbit with a period of 3.7681 ± 0.0003 days. The host star is an old (10.7 ± 1.0 Gyr) main-sequence star, which makes it an intriguing object for planetary evolution studies. The planet's internal composition is not well constrained and can range from pure H/He to one that can contain ~380 earth masses of heavier elements. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27th 2006, has been developed and is operated by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA (RSSD and Science Programme), Germany and Spain. Part of the observations were obtained at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and the University of Hawaii. Based on observations made with HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-m European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere telescope at La Silla Observatory, Chile (ESO program 184.C-0639). Based on observations made with the IAC80 telescope operated on the island of Tenerife by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias in the Spanish Observatorio del Teide. Part of the data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.

  6. Characterization of exoplanet hosts

    OpenAIRE

    Valenti Jeff A.

    2013-01-01

    Spectroscopic analysis of exoplanet hosts and the stellar sample from which they are drawn provides abundances and other properties that quantitively constrain models of planet formation. The program Spectroscopy Made Easy (SME) determines stellar parameters by fitting observed spectra, though line lists must be selected wisely. For giant planets, it is now well established that stars with higher metallicity are more likely to have detected companions. Stellar metallicity does not seem to aff...

  7. Polarisation of Planets and Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Exoplanet Transmission Spectroscopy using KMOS

    CERN Document Server

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

    2015-01-01

    KMOS (K-Band Multi Object Spectrograph) is a novel integral field spectrograph installed in the VLT's ANTU unit. The instrument offers an ability to observe 24 2.8"$\\times$2.8" sub-fields positionable within a 7.2' patrol field, each sub-field producing a spectrum with a 14$\\times$14-pixel spatial resolution. The main science drivers for KMOS are the study of galaxies, star formation, and molecular clouds, but its ability to simultaneously measure spectra of multiple stars makes KMOS an interesting instrument for exoplanet atmosphere characterization via transmission spectroscopy. We set to test whether transmission spectroscopy is practical with KMOS, and what are the conditions required to achieve the photometric precision needed, based on observations of a partial transit of WASP-19b, and full transits of GJ 1214b and HD 209458b. Our analysis uses the simultaneously observed comparison stars to reduce the effects from instrumental and atmospheric sources, and Gaussian processes to model the residual system...

  9. Radial Velocity Eclipse Mapping of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolov, Nikolay; Sainsbury-Martinez, Felix

    2015-07-01

    Planetary rotation rates and obliquities provide information regarding the history of planet formation, but have not yet been measured for evolved extrasolar planets. Here we investigate the theoretical and observational perspective of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect during secondary eclipse (RMse) ingress and egress for transiting exoplanets. Near secondary eclipse, when the planet passes behind the parent star, the star sequentially obscures light from the approaching and receding parts of the rotating planetary surface. The temporal block of light emerging from the approaching (blueshifted) or receding (redshifted) parts of the planet causes a temporal distortion in the planet’s spectral line profiles resulting in an anomaly in the planet’s radial velocity curve. We demonstrate that the shape and the ratio of the ingress-to-egress radial velocity amplitudes depends on the planetary rotational rate, axial tilt, and impact factor (i.e., sky-projected planet spin-orbital alignment). In addition, line asymmetries originating from different layers in the atmosphere of the planet could provide information regarding zonal atmospheric winds and constraints on the hot spot shape for giant irradiated exoplanets. The effect is expected to be most-pronounced at near-infrared wavelengths, where the planet-to-star contrasts are large. We create synthetic near-infrared, high-dispersion spectroscopic data and demonstrate how the sky-projected spin axis orientation and equatorial velocity of the planet can be estimated. We conclude that the RMse effect could be a powerful method to measure exoplanet spins.

  10. Exoplanet Population Distribution from Kepler Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2015-08-01

    The underlying population of exoplanets around stars in the Kepler sample can be inferred by binning the Kepler planets in radius and period, invoking an empirical noise model, assuming a model exoplanet distribution function, randomly assigning planets to each of the Kepler target stars, asking whether each planet’s transit signal could be detected by Kepler, binning the resulting simulated detections, comparing the simulations with the observed data sample, and iterating on the model parameters until a satisfactory fit is obtained. The process is designed to simulate Kepler’s observing procedure. The key assumption is that the distribution function is continuous and the product of separable functions of period and radius. Any additional suspected biases in the sample can be handled by adjusting the noise model. The first advantage of this overall procedure is that the actual detection process is simulated as closely as possible, on a target by target basis, so the resulting estimated population should be closer to the actual population than by any other method of analysis. The second advantage is that the resulting distribution function can be extended to values of period and radius that go beyond the sample space, including, for example, application to estimating eta-sub-Earth, and also estimating the expected science yields of future direct-imaging exoplanet missions such as WFIRST-AFTA.

  11. CHEOPS: CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. New exoplanets from the SuperWASP-North survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keenan F.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available We present the current status of the WASP search for transiting exoplanets, focusing on recent planet discoveries from SuperWASP-North and the joint equatorial region (-20?Dec?+20 observed by both WASP telescopes. We report the results of monitoring of WASP planets, and discuss how these contribute to our understanding of planet properties and their diversity.

  13. New exoplanets from the SuperWASP-North survey

    OpenAIRE

    Keenan F.; Todd I.; Watson C.; Moulds V.; McCormac J.; Simpson E. K.; Pollacco D.; Barros S. C. C.; Faedi F.; Fitzsimmons A.

    2011-01-01

    We present the current status of the WASP search for transiting exoplanets, focusing on recent planet discoveries from SuperWASP-North and the joint equatorial region (-20?Dec?+20) observed by both WASP telescopes. We report the results of monitoring of WASP planets, and discuss how these contribute to our understanding of planet properties and their diversity.

  14. Precise Estimates of the Physical Parameters for the Exoplanet System HD 17156 Enabled by Hubble Space Telescope Fine Guidance Sensor Transit and Asteroseismic Observations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nutzman, Philip; Gilliland, Ronald L.

    2011-01-01

    We present observations of three distinct transits of HD 17156b obtained with the Fine Guidance Sensors on board the Hubble Space Telescope. We analyzed both the transit photometry and previously published radial velocities to find the planet-star radius ratio Rp /R sstarf = 0.07454 ± 0.00035, inclination i = 86.49+0.24 –0.20 deg, and scaled semimajor axis a/R sstarf = 23.19+0.32 –0.27. This last value translates directly to a mean stellar density determination ?sstarf = 0.522+0.021 –0.018 g cm–3. Analysis of asteroseismology observations by the companion paper of Gilliland et al. provides a consistent but significantly refined measurement of ?sstarf = 0.5308 ± 0.0040. We compare stellar isochrones to this density estimate and find M sstarf = 1.275 ± 0.018 M sun and a stellar age of 3.37+0.20 –0.47 Gyr. Using this estimate of M sstarf and incorporating the density constraint from asteroseismology, we model both the photometry and published radial velocities to estimate the planet radius Rp = 1.0870 ± 0.0066 RJ and the stellar radius R sstarf = 1.5007 ± 0.0076 R sun. The planet radius is larger than that found in previous studies and consistent with theoretical models of a solar-composition gas giant of the same mass and equilibrium temperature. For the three transits, we determine the times of mid-transit to a precision of 6.2 s, 7.6 s, and 6.9 s, and the transit times for HD 17156 do not show any significant departures from a constant period. The joint analysis of transit photometry and asteroseismology presages similar studies that will be enabled by the NASA Kepler Mission.

  15. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission . XIX. CoRoT-23b: a dense hot Jupiter on an eccentric orbit

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rouan, D.; Parviainen, H.; Moutou, C.; Deleuil, M.; Fridlund, M.; Ofir, A.; Havel, M.; Aigrain, S.; Alonso, R.; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A.; Barge, P.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Cabrera, J.; Cavarroc, C.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Deeg, H. J.; Diaz, R. F.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.; Ferraz-Mello, S.; Gandolfi, D.; Gillon, M.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Hébrard, G.; Jorda, L.; Léger, A.; Llebaria, A.; Lammer, H.; Lovis, C.; Mazeh, T.; Ollivier, M.; Pätzold, M.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Samuel, B.; Santerne, A.; Schneider, J.; Tingley, B.; Wuchterl, G.

    2012-01-01

    We report the detection of CoRoT-23b, a hot Jupiter transiting in front of its host star with a period of 3.6314 ± 0.0001 days. This planet was discovered thanks to photometric data secured with the CoRoT satellite, combined with spectroscopic radial velocity (RV) measurements. A photometric search for possible background eclipsing binaries conducted at CFHT and OGS concluded with a very low risk of false positives. The usual techniques of combining RV and transit data simultaneously were used t...

  16. Precise Estimates of the Physical Parameters for the Exoplanet System HD 17156 Enabled by Hubble Space Telescope Fine Guidance Sensor Transit and Asteroseismic Observations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nutzman, Philip; Gilliland, Ronald L.; McCullough, Peter R.; Charbonneau, David; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Kjeldsen, Hans; Nelan, Edmund P.; Brown, Timothy M.; Holman, Matthew J.

    2011-01-01

    We present observations of three distinct transits of HD 17156b obtained with the Fine Guidance Sensors on board the Hubble Space Telescope. We analyzed both the transit photometry and previously published radial velocities to find the planet-star radius ratio Rp /R sstarf = 0.07454 ± 0.00035, inclination i = 86.49+0.24 –0.20 deg, and scaled semimajor axis a/R sstarf = 23.19+0.32 –0.27. This last value translates directly to a mean stellar density determination ?sstarf = 0.522+0.021 –0.018 g cm–...

  17. Exoplanet transmission spectroscopy using KMOS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  18. Exoplanets search and characterization with the SOPHIE spectrograph at OHP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hébrard G.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Several programs of exoplanets search and characterization have been started with SOPHIE at the 1.93-m telescope of Haute-Provence Observatory, France. SOPHIE is an environmentally stabilized echelle spectrograph dedicated to high-precision radial velocity measurements. The objectives of these programs include systematic searches for exoplanets around di?erent types of stars, characterizations of planet-host stars, studies of transiting planets through RossiterMcLaughlin e?ect, follow-up observations of photometric surveys. The instrument SOPHIE and a review of its latest results are presented here.

  19. The MEarth-North and MEarth-South transit surveys: searching for habitable super-Earth exoplanets around nearby M-dwarfs

    OpenAIRE

    Irwin, Jonathan M.; Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Charbonneau, David; Dittmann, Jason; Falco, Emilio E.; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Nutzman, Philip

    2014-01-01

    Detection and characterization of potentially habitable Earth-size extrasolar planets is one of the major goals of contemporary astronomy. By applying the transit method to very low-mass M-dwarfs, it is possible to find these planets from the ground with present-day instrumentation and observational techniques. The MEarth project is one such survey with stations in both hemispheres: MEarth-North at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, Mount Hopkins, Arizona, and MEarth-Sou...

  20. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission: VII. The "hot-Jupiter"-type planet CoRoT-5b

    CERN Document Server

    Rauer, H; Csizmadia, Sz; Deleuil, M; Alonso, R; Aigrain, S; Almenara, J M; Auvergne, M; Baglin, A; Barge, P; Borde, P; Bouchy, F; Bruntt, H; Cabrera, J; Carone, L; Carpano, S; De la Reza, R; Deeg, H J; Dvorak, R; Erikson, A; Fridlund, M; Gandolfi, D; Gillon, M; Guillot, T; Günther, E; Hatzes, A; Hébrard, G; Kabath, P; Jorda, L; Lammer, H; Léger, A; Llebaria, A; Magain, P; Mazeh, T; Moutou, C; Ollivier, M; Paetzold, M; Pont, F; Rabus, M; Renner, S; Rouan, D; Shporer, A; Samuel, B; Schneider, J; Triaud, A H M J; Wuchterl, G

    2009-01-01

    Aims. The CoRoT space mission continues to photometrically monitor about 12 000 stars in its field-of-view for a series of target fields to search for transiting extrasolar planets ever since 2007. Deep transit signals can be detected quickly in the "alarm-mode" in parallel to the ongoing target field monitoring. CoRoT's first planets have been detected in this mode. Methods. The CoRoT raw lightcurves are filtered for orbital residuals, outliers, and low-frequency stellar signals. The phase folded lightcurve is used to fit the transit signal and derive the main planetary parameters. Radial velocity follow-up observations were initiated to secure the detection and to derive the planet mass. Results. We report the detection of CoRoT-5b, detected during observations of the LRa01 field, the first long-duration field in the galactic anticenter direction. CoRoT-5b is a "hot Jupiter-type" planet with a radius of 1.388(+0.046, -0.047) R_Jup, a mass of 0.467(+0.047, -0.024) M_Jup, and therefore, a mean density of 0.21...

  1. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission - XIX. CoRoT-23b: a dense hot Jupiter on an eccentric orbit

    CERN Document Server

    Rouan, D; Moutou, C; Deleuil, M; Fridlund, M; Ofir, A; Havel, M; Aigrain, S; Alonso, R; Auvergne, M; Baglin, A; Barge, P; Bonomo, A; Bordé, P; Bouchy, F; Cabrera, J; Cavarroc, C; Csizmadia, Sz; Deeg, H; Diaz, R F; Dvorak, R; Erikson, A; Ferraz-Mello, S; Gandolfi, D; Gillon, M; Guillot, T; Hatzes, A; Hébrard, G; Jorda, L; Léger, A; Llebaria, A; Lammer, H; Lovis, C; Mazeh, T; Ollivier, M; Pätzold, M; Queloz, D; Rauer, H; Samuel, B; Santerne, A; Schneider, J; Tingley, B; Wuchterl, G

    2011-01-01

    We report the detection of CoRoT-23b, a hot Jupiter transiting in front of its host star with a period of 3.6314 \\pm 0.0001 days. This planet was discovered thanks to photometric data secured with the CoRoT satellite, combined with spectroscopic radial velocity (RV) measurements. A photometric search for possible background eclipsing binaries conducted at CFHT and OGS concluded with a very low risk of false positives. The usual techniques of combining RV and transit data simultaneously were used to derive stellar and planetary parameters. The planet has a mass of Mp = 2.8 \\pm 0.3 MJup, a radius of Rpl = 1.05 \\pm 0.13 RJup, a density of \\approx 3 g cm-3. RV data also clearly reveal a non zero eccentricity of e = 0.16 \\pm 0.02. The planet orbits a mature G0 main sequence star of V =15.5 mag, with a mass M\\star = 1.14 \\pm 0.08 M\\odot, a radius R\\star = 1. 61 \\pm 0.18 R\\odot and quasi-solar abundances. The age of the system is evaluated to be 7 Gyr, not far from the transition to subgiant, in agreement with the r...

  2. A Computational Tool to Interpret the Bulk Composition of Solid Exoplanets based on Mass and Radius Measurements

    OpenAIRE

    ZENG, LI; Seager, Sara

    2008-01-01

    The prospects for finding transiting exoplanets in the range of a few to 20 Earth masses is growing rapidly with both ground-based and spaced-based efforts. We describe a publicly available computer code to compute and quantify the compositional ambiguities for differentiated solid exoplanets with a measured mass and radius, including the mass and radius uncertainties.

  3. The search for exomoons and the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Campanella, Giammarco

    2009-01-01

    Since planets were first discovered outside our own Solar System in 1992 (around a pulsar) and in 1995 (around a main sequence star), extrasolar planet studies have become one of the most dynamic research fields in astronomy. Now that more than 370 exoplanets have been discovered, focus has moved from finding planets to characterise these alien worlds. As well as detecting the atmospheres of these exoplanets, part of the characterisation process undoubtedly involves the search for extrasolar moons. A review on the current situation of exoplanet characterization is presented in Chapter 3. We focus on the characterization of transiting planets orbiting very close to their parent star since for them we can already probe their atmospheric constituents. By contrast, the second part of the Chapter is dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life, both within and beyond the Solar System. The characteristics of the Habitable Zone and the markers for the presence of life (biosignatures) are detailed. In Chapter 4 ...

  4. DETECTABILITY OF EXOPLANET PERIASTRON PASSAGE IN THE INFRARED

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. EChO's view on gas giant exoplanets atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Parmentier, Vivien; de Wit, Julien

    2014-01-01

    The last decade has seen the discovery of more than a thousand exoplanets but, more excitingly, probing their atmospheres has become possible. With current data we caught a glimpse of the diversity of exoplanet atmospheres that will be revealed in the next years. However, numerous questions concerning their chemical composition, thermal structure, and atmospheric dynamics remain to be answered. More observations of higher quality are needed. The Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory (EChO) is a space-based observatory dedicated to the characterization of exoplanets atmospheres proposed to the ESA cosmic vision program. With its large spectral coverage (4-16 {\\mu}m) and high spectral resolution (\\Delta{\\lambda}/{\\lambda}>300 below 5 {\\mu}m and \\Delta{\\lambda}/{\\lambda}>30 above 5 {\\mu}m) EChO will provide spectrally resolved transit lightcurves, secondary eclipses lightcurves, and full phase curves of numerous exoplanets with an unprecedented signal to noise ratio. In this technical note we review some of tod...

  6. Characterizing Exoplanet Atmospheres with Visible-Wavelength Phase Curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Renyu; Shporer, Avi

    2015-08-01

    Kepler has detected numerous exoplanet transits by measuring stellar light in a single visible-wavelength band. In addition to detection, the precise photometry provides phase curves of exoplanets, which can be used to study the atmospheres on these planets. However, the interpretation of these observations can be complicated by the fact that visible-wavelength phase curves can represent both thermal emission and scattering from the planets. With a newly established semi-analytical model framework, we show that a hot exoplanet’s visible-wavelength phase curve having a significant phase offset can usually be explained by two classes of solutions: one class requires a thermal hot spot shifted to one side of the substellar point, and the other class requires reflective clouds concentrated on the same side of the substellar point. We analyze the phase curves of the gaseous planets Kepler 7 b, Kepler 12 b, and Kepler 41 b, by coupling the model with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo method to yield robust constraints on the planets’ atmospheric parameters. The phase curves of these planets feature post-occultation phase offsets, best explained by reflective clouds located on the west side of the substellar point. In particular, the reflectivity of the clear part of the atmospheres should be less than 20% and that of the cloudy part should be greater than 50%. We suggest single-band photometry surveys could yield valuable information on exoplanet atmospheres and surfaces.

  7. KEPLER OBSERVATIONS OF THREE PRE-LAUNCH EXOPLANET CANDIDATES: DISCOVERY OF TWO ECLIPSING BINARIES AND A NEW EXOPLANET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 RJupiter in a 3.9 day orbit.

  8. WFIRST Exoplanet Imaging: Can Broadband Colors Efficiently Descriminate Planets from the Background?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turnbull, Margaret C.; Kotulla, Ralf C.; Gallagher, John S.; Merrelli, Aronne; L'Ecuyer, Tristan; Fu, Guangwei; Hu, Renyu

    2016-01-01

    As part of the WFIRST Preparatory Science program, we have begun exploring the broadband color combinations for WFIRST that will most efficiently (1) descriminate planets from background sources in a single image and (2) shed some light on the nature of those planets. This is a first look at the color-color space, and color-magnitude space, occupied by planets orbiting nearby K-F main sequence stars. We explore (1) Solar System analog planets, (2) a variety of Earths/Super-Earths having optically thin or partially cloudy Earth-like atmospheres over desert/forest/ocean/icey surfaces, and (3) mini-Neptunes through Jupiter-mass planets at a range of temperatures where they would potentially be detectable to WFIRST. These colors are compared to the expected Galactic and extragalactic background sources for the Galactic coordinates of high priority targets. We offer some preliminary conclusions about the expected background contamination in these fields and how well color information can be used to mitigate that threat to WFIRST's exoplanet science.

  9. Exploring Exoplanet Populations with NASA's Kepler Mission

    CERN Document Server

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-01-01

    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 three years of data, 100 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 wit...

  10. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission XXV. CoRoT-27b: a massive and dense planet on a short-period orbit

    CERN Document Server

    Parviainen, H; Deleuil, M; Moutou, C; Deeg, H J; Ferraz-Mello, S; Samuel, B; Csizmadia, Sz; Pasternacki, T; Wuchterl, G; Havel, M; Fridlund, M; Agnus, R; Tingley, B; Aigrain, S; Almenara, J M; Alonso, R; Baglin, A; Barros, S; Bordé, A S P; Bouchy, F; Cabrera, J; Díaz, R; Dvorak, R; Erikson, A; Guillot, T; Hatzes, A; Hébrard, G; Mazeh, T; Montagnier, G; Ofir, A; Ollivier, M; Pätzold, M; Rauer, H; Rouan, D; Santerne, A; Schneider, J

    2014-01-01

    We report the discovery of a massive and dense transiting planet CoRoT-27b on a 3.58 day orbit around a 4.2 Gyr-old G2~star. The planet candidate was identified from the CoRoT photometry, and was confirmed as a planet with ground-based spectroscopy. The confirmation of the planet candidate is based on radial velocity observations combined with imaging to rule out blends. The characterisation of the planet and its host star is carried out using a Bayesian approach where all the data (CoRoT photometry, radial velocities, and spectroscopic characterisation of the star) are used jointly. The Bayesian analysis includes a study whether the assumption of white normally distributed noise holds for the CoRoT photometry, and whether the use of a non-normal noise distribution offers advantages in parameter estimation and model selection. CoRoT-27b has a mass of $10.39 \\pm 0.55$ $\\mathrm{M}_{\\rm Jup}$, a radius of $1.01 \\pm 0.04$ $\\mathrm{R}_{\\rm Jup}$, a mean density of $12.6_{-1.67}^{+1.92}$ $\\mathrm{g\\,cm^{-3}}$, and ...

  11. From spectra to atmospheres: Solving the underconstrained retrieval problem for exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Barstow, JK; Aigrain, S.; Irwin, PGJ; Bowles, N; Fletcher, LN; Lee, J-M

    2013-01-01

    Spectroscopic observations of transiting exoplanets have provided the first indications of their atmospheric structure and composition. Optimal estimation retrievals have been successfully applied to solar system planets to determine the temperature, composition and aerosol properties of their atmospheres, and have recently been applied to exoplanets. We show the effectiveness of the technique when combined with simulated observations from the proposed space telescope EChO, and also discuss t...

  12. A Cloudy View of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Exoplanet Clouds in the Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Coreless Terrestrial Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Elkins-Tanton, L

    2008-01-01

    Differentiation in terrestrial planets is expected to include the formation of a metallic iron core. We predict the existence of terrestrial planets that have differentiated but have no metallic core--planets that are effectively a giant silicate mantle. We discuss two paths to forming a coreless terrestrial planet, whereby the oxidation state during planetary accretion and solidification will determine the size or existence of any metallic core. Under this hypothesis, any metallic iron in the bulk accreting material is oxidized by water, binding the iron in the form of iron oxide into the silicate minerals of the planetary mantle. The existence of such silicate planets has consequences for interpreting the compositions and interior density structures of exoplanets based on their mass and radius measurements.

  15. Geoengineering on exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Structure of exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 program of JEEEDIS will also be presented in this talk.

  18. The Applicability of Emerging Quantum Computing Capabilities to Exo-Planet Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correll, Randall; Worden, S.

    2014-01-01

    In conjunction with the Universities Space Research Association and Google, Inc. NASA Ames has acquired a quantum computing device built by DWAVE Systems with approximately 512 “qubits.” Quantum computers have the feature that their capabilities to find solutions to problems with large numbers of variables scale linearly with the number of variables rather than exponentially with that number. These devices may have significant applicability to detection of exoplanet signals in noisy data. We have therefore explored the application of quantum computing to analyse stellar transiting exoplanet data from NASA’s Kepler Mission. The analysis of the case studies was done using the DWAVE Systems’s BlackBox compiler software emulator, although one dataset was run successfully on the DWAVE Systems’s 512 qubit Vesuvius machine. The approach first extracts a list of candidate transits from the photometric lightcurve of a given Kepler target, and then applies a quantum annealing algorithm to find periodicity matches between subsets of the candidate transit list. We examined twelve case studies and were successful in reproducing the results of the Kepler science pipeline in finding validated exoplanets, and matched the results for a pair of candidate exoplanets. We conclude that the current implementation of the algorithm is not sufficiently challenging to require a quantum computer as opposed to a conventional computer. We are developing more robust algorithms better tailored to the quantum computer and do believe that our approach has the potential to extract exoplanet transits in some cases where a conventional approach would not in Kepler data. Additionally, we believe the new quantum capabilities may have even greater relevance for new exoplanet data sets such as that contemplated for NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and other astrophysics data sets.

  19. The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Exoplanet Science in the National Science Olympiad

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Evidence for a lost population of close-in exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Davis, Timothy A.; Wheatley, Peter J.

    2009-01-01

    We investigate the evaporation history of known transiting exoplanets in order to consider the origin of observed correlations between mass, surface gravity and orbital period. We show that the survival of the known planets at their current separations is consistent with a simple model of evaporation, but that many of the same planets would not have survived closer to their host stars. These putative closer-in systems represent a lost population that could account for the ob...

  3. Variability of Kepler Solar-Like Stars Harboring Small Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

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

    2015-01-01

    We examine Kepler light curve variability on habitable zone transit timescales for a large uniform sample of spectroscopically studied Kepler exoplanet host stars. The stars, taken from Everett et al. (2013) are solar-like in their properties and each harbors at least one exoplanet (or candidate) of radius $\\le$2.5\\re. The variability timescale examined is typical for habitable zone planets orbiting solar-like stars and we note that the discovery of the smallest exoplanets ($\\le$1.2\\re) with corresponding transit depths of less than $\\sim$0.18 mmag, occur for the brightest, photometrically quietest stars. Thus, these detections are quite rare in $Kepler$ observations. Some brighter and more evolved stars (subgiants), the latter which often show large radial velocity jitter, are found to be among the photometrically quietest solar-like stars in our sample and the most likely small planet transit hunting grounds. The Sun is discussed as a solar-like star proxy to provide insights into the nature and cause of ph...

  4. Direct imaging of exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2015-01-01

    Context. We present the discovery of two transiting extrasolar planets by the satellite CoRoT. Aims. We aim at a characterization of the planetary bulk parameters, which allow us to further investigate the formation and evolution of the planetary systems and the main properties of the host stars. Methods. We used the transit light curve to characterize the planetary parameters relative to the stellar parameters. The analysis of HARPS spectra established the planetary nature of the detections, providing their masses. Further photometric and spectroscopic ground-based observations provided stellar parameters (log g,Teff,v sin i) to characterize the host stars. Our model takes the geometry of the transit to constrain the stellar density into account, which when linked to stellar evolutionary models, determines the bulk parameters of the star. Because of the asymmetric shape of the light curve of one of the planets, we had to include the possibility in our model that the stellar surface was not strictly spherical...

  6. PyTransit: Transit light curve modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parviainen, Hannu

    2015-05-01

    PyTransit implements optimized versions of the Giménez and Mandel & Agol transit models for exoplanet transit light-curves. The two models are implemented natively in Fortran with OpenMP parallelization, and are accessed by an object-oriented python interface. PyTransit facilitates the analysis of photometric time series of exoplanet transits consisting of hundreds of thousands of data points, and of multipassband transit light curves from spectrophotometric observations. It offers efficient model evaluation for multicolour observations and transmission spectroscopy, built-in supersampling to account for extended exposure times, and routines to calculate the projected planet-to-star distance for circular and eccentric orbits, transit durations, and more.

  7. Radial velocity eclipse mapping of exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Nikolov, Nikolay

    2015-01-01

    Planetary rotation rates and obliquities provide information regarding the history of planet formation, but have not yet been measured for evolved extrasolar planets. Here we investigate the theoretical and observational perspective of the Rossiter-McLauglin 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 (blue-shifted) or receding (red-shifted) 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 asymmetrie...

  8. Broadband Eclipse Spectra of Exoplanets are Featureless

    CERN Document Server

    Hansen, C J; Cowan, N B

    2014-01-01

    Spectral retrieval methods leverage features in emission spectra to constrain the atmospheric composition and structure of transiting exoplanets. Most of the observed emission spectra consist of broadband photometric observations at a small number of wavelengths. We compare the Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) of blackbody fits and spectral retrieval fits for all planets with eclipse measurements in multiple thermal wavebands, typically hot Jupiters with 2-4 observations. If the published error bars are taken at face value, then eight planets are significantly better fit by a spectral model than by a blackbody. In this under-constrained regime, however, photometric uncertainties directly impact one's ability to constrain atmospheric properties. By considering the handful of planets for which eclipse measurements have been repeated and/or reanalyzed, we obtain an empirical estimate of systematic uncertainties for broadband eclipse depths obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope: sigma_sys = 5E-4. When thi...

  9. Subaru SEEDS Survey of Exoplanets and Disks

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. Exoplanet Population Estimate from Kepler Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XII. CoRoT-12b: a short-period low-density planet transiting a solar analog star

    CERN Document Server

    Gillon, M; Csizmadia, Sz; Fridlund, M; Deleuil, M; Aigrain, S; Alonso, R; Auvergne, M; Baglin, A; Barge, P; Barnes, S I; Bonomo, A S; Bordé, P; Bouchy, F; Bruntt, H; Cabrera, J; Carone, L; Carpano, S; Cochran, W D; Deeg, H J; Dvorak, R; Endl, M; Erikson, A; Ferraz-Mello, S; Gandolfi, D; Gazzano, J C; Guenther, E; Guillot, T; Havel, M; Hébrard, G; Jorda, L; Léger, A; Llebaria, A; Lammer, H; Lovis, C; Mayor, M; Mazeh, T; Montalbán, J; Moutou, C; Ofir, A; Ollivier, M; Pätzold, M; Pepe, F; Queloz, D; Rauer, H; Rouan, D; Samuel, B; Santerne, A; Schneider, J; Tingley, B; Udry, S; Weingrill, J; Wuchterl, G

    2010-01-01

    We report the discovery by the CoRoT satellite of a new transiting giant planet in a 2.83 days orbit about a V=15.5 solar analog star (M_* = 1.08 +- 0.08 M_sun, R_* = 1.1 +- 0.1 R_sun, T_eff = 5675 +- 80 K). This new planet, CoRoT-12b, has a mass of 0.92 +- 0.07 M_Jup and a radius of 1.44 +- 0.13 R_Jup. Its low density can be explained by standard models for irradiated planets.

  12. Test of multi-object exoplanet search spectral interferometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 observation correction is equivalent to be +/-50m/s every 20mins.

  13. ASTEP: Towards the detection and characterization of exoplanets from Dome C

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rauer H.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The ASTEP project (Antarctic Search for Transiting ExoPlanets, aims at testing the quality of the Dome C site in Antarctica for photometry in the visible, as well as detecting and characterizing transiting exoplanets. A dedicated telescope, ASTEP400, has been developped and installed at Concordia. The ?rst campaign took place during the winter 2010, and the telescope functionned nominally during all the winter. A ?rst analysis of the data leads to a precision of 189 and 205 ppm for WASP-19 and WASP-18 respectively, for continuous observations during 1 month. This shows that extremely high precision photometry is achievable from Dome C.

  14. CLOUD BASE SIGNATURE IN TRANSMISSION SPECTRA OF EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We present an analytical model for the transmission spectrum of a transiting exoplanet, showing that a cloud base can produce an observable inflection point in the spectrum. The wavelength and magnitude of the inflection can be used to break the degeneracy between the atmospheric pressure and the abundance of the main cloud material, however, the abundance still depends on cloud particle size. An observed inflection also provides a specific point on the atmospheric P-T profile, giving us a ''thermometer'' to directly validate or rule out postulated cloud species. We apply the model to the transit spectrum of HD 189733b

  15. Scalable Gaussian Processes and the search for exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    CERN. Geneva

    2015-01-01

    Gaussian Processes are a class of non-parametric models that are often used to model stochastic behavior in time series or spatial data. A major limitation for the application of these models to large datasets is the computational cost. The cost of a single evaluation of the model likelihood scales as the third power of the number of data points. In the search for transiting exoplanets, the datasets of interest have tens of thousands to millions of measurements with uneven sampling, rendering naive application of a Gaussian Process model impractical. To attack this problem, we have developed robust approximate methods for Gaussian Process regression that can be applied at this scale. I will describe the general problem of Gaussian Process regression and offer several applicable use cases. Finally, I will present our work on scaling this model to the exciting field of exoplanet discovery and introduce a well-tested open source implementation of these new methods.

  16. The observational effects and signatures of tidally distorted solid exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saxena, Prabal; Panka, Peter; Summers, Michael

    2015-02-01

    Our work examines the detectability of tidally distorted solid exoplanets in synchronous rotation. Previous work has shown that tidally distorted shapes of close-in gas giants can give rise to radius underestimates and subsequently density overestimates for those planets. We examine the assumption that such an effect is too minimal for rocky exoplanets and find that for smaller M Class stars there may be an observationally significant tidal distortion effect at very close-in orbits. We quantify the effect for different stellar types and planetary properties using some basic assumptions. Finally, we develop a simple analytic expression to test if there are detectable bulge signatures in the photometry of a system. We find that close in for smaller M Class stars there may be an observationally significant signature that may manifest itself in both in-transit bulge signatures and ellipsoidal variations.

  17. The Observational Effects and Signatures of Tidally Distorted Solid Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Saxena, Prabal; Summers, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Our work examines the detectability of tidally distorted solid exoplanets in synchronous rotation. Previous work has shown that tidally distorted shapes of close-in gas giants can give rise to radius underestimates and subsequently density overestimates for those planets. We examine the assumption that such an effect is too minimal for rocky exoplanets and find that for smaller M Class stars there may be an observationally significant tidal distortion effect at very close-in orbits. We quantify the effect for different stellar types and planetary properties using some basic assumptions. Finally, we develop a simple analytic expression to test if there are detectable bulge signatures in the photometry of a system. We find that close in for smaller M Class stars there may be an observationally significant signature that may manifest itself in both in-transit bulge signatures and ellipsoidal variations.

  18. The SPICA coronagraphic instrument (SCI) for the study of exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Enya, K; Haze, K; Aono, K; Nakagawa, T; Matsuhara, H; Kataza, H; Wada, T; Kawada, M; Fujiwara, K; Mita, M; Takeuchi, S; Komatsu, K; Sakai, S; Uchida, H; Mitani, S; Yamawaki, T; Miyata, T; Sako, S; Nakamura, T; Asano, K; Yamashita, T; Narita, N; Matsuo, T; Tamura, M; Nishikawa, J; Kokubo, E; Hayano, Y; Oya, S; Fukagawa, M; Shibai, H; Baba, N; Murakami, N; Itoh, Y; Honda, M; Okamoto, B; Ida, S; Takami, M; Abe, L; Guyon, O; Bierden, P; Yamamuro, T; 10.1016/j.asr.2011.03.010

    2011-01-01

    We present the SPICA Coronagraphic Instrument (SCI), which has been designed for a concentrated study of extra-solar planets (exoplanets). SPICA mission provides us with a unique opportunity to make high contrast observations because of its large telescope aperture, the simple pupil shape, and the capability for making infrared observations from space. The primary objectives for the SCI are the direct coronagraphic detection and spectroscopy of Jovian exoplanets in infrared, while the monitoring of transiting planets is another important target. The specification and an overview of the design of the instrument are shown. In the SCI, coronagraphic and non-coronagraphic modes are applicable for both an imaging and a spectroscopy. The core wavelength range and the goal contrast of the coronagraphic mode are 3.5--27$\\mu$m, and 10$^{-6}$, respectively. Two complemental designs of binary shaped pupil mask coronagraph are presented. The SCI has capability of simultaneous observations of one target using two channels...

  19. DISCRIMINATING BETWEEN CLOUDY, HAZY, AND CLEAR SKY EXOPLANETS USING REFRACTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We propose a method to distinguish between cloudy, hazy, and clear sky (free of clouds and hazes) exoplanet atmospheres that could be applicable to upcoming large aperture space- and ground-based telescopes such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). These facilities will be powerful tools for characterizing transiting exoplanets, but only after a considerable amount of telescope time is devoted to a single planet. A technique that could provide a relatively rapid means of identifying haze-free targets (which may be more valuable targets for characterization) could potentially increase the science return for these telescopes. Our proposed method utilizes broadband observations of refracted light in the out-of-transit spectrum. Light refracted through an exoplanet atmosphere can lead to an increase of flux prior to ingress and subsequent to egress. Because this light is transmitted at pressures greater than those for typical cloud and haze layers, the detection of refracted light could indicate a cloud- or haze-free atmosphere. A detection of refracted light could be accomplished in <10 hr for Jovian exoplanets with JWST and <5 hr for super-Earths/mini-Neptunes with E-ELT. We find that this technique is most effective for planets with equilibrium temperatures between 200 and 500 K, which may include potentially habitable planets. A detection of refracted light for a potentially habitable planet would strongly suggest the planet was free of a global cloud or haze layer, and therefore a promising candidate for follow-up observations

  20. DISCRIMINATING BETWEEN CLOUDY, HAZY, AND CLEAR SKY EXOPLANETS USING REFRACTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Misra, Amit K.; Meadows, Victoria S. [Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States)

    2014-11-01

    We propose a method to distinguish between cloudy, hazy, and clear sky (free of clouds and hazes) exoplanet atmospheres that could be applicable to upcoming large aperture space- and ground-based telescopes such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). These facilities will be powerful tools for characterizing transiting exoplanets, but only after a considerable amount of telescope time is devoted to a single planet. A technique that could provide a relatively rapid means of identifying haze-free targets (which may be more valuable targets for characterization) could potentially increase the science return for these telescopes. Our proposed method utilizes broadband observations of refracted light in the out-of-transit spectrum. Light refracted through an exoplanet atmosphere can lead to an increase of flux prior to ingress and subsequent to egress. Because this light is transmitted at pressures greater than those for typical cloud and haze layers, the detection of refracted light could indicate a cloud- or haze-free atmosphere. A detection of refracted light could be accomplished in <10 hr for Jovian exoplanets with JWST and <5 hr for super-Earths/mini-Neptunes with E-ELT. We find that this technique is most effective for planets with equilibrium temperatures between 200 and 500 K, which may include potentially habitable planets. A detection of refracted light for a potentially habitable planet would strongly suggest the planet was free of a global cloud or haze layer, and therefore a promising candidate for follow-up observations.

  1. Exoplanet Science with the European Extremely Large Telescope. The Case for Visible and Near-IR Spectroscopy at High Resolution

    OpenAIRE

    Udry, S.; Lovis, C.; Bouchy, F.; Cameron, A. Collier; Henning, T.; Mayor, M.; Pepe, F.; Piskunov, N.; Pollacco, D.; Queloz, D.; A. Quirrenbach; Rauer, H; Rebolo, R.; Santos, N. C.; Snellen, I.

    2014-01-01

    Exoplanet science is booming. In 20 years our knowledge has expanded considerably, from the first discovery of a Hot Jupiter, to the detection of a large population of Neptunes and super-Earths, to the first steps toward the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres. Between today and 2025, the field will evolve at an even faster pace with the advent of several space-based transit search missions, ground-based spectrographs, high-contrast imaging facilities, and the James We...

  2. VUV-absorption cross section of CO2 at high temperatures and impact on exoplanet atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Venot, Olivia; Bénilan, Yves; Gazeau, Marie-Claire; Hébrard, Eric; Larcher, Gwenaelle; Schwell, Martin; Dobrijevic, Michel; Selsis, Franck

    2015-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) absorption cross sections are an essential ingredient of photochemical atmosphere models. Exoplanet searches have unveiled a large population of short-period objects with hot atmospheres, very different from what we find in our solar system. Transiting exoplanets whose atmospheres can now be studied by transit spectroscopy receive extremely strong UV fluxes and have typical temperatures ranging from 400 to 2500 K. At these temperatures, UV photolysis cross section data are severely lacking. Our goal is to provide high-temperature absorption cross sections and their temperature dependency for important atmospheric compounds. This study is dedicated to CO2, which is observed and photodissociated in exoplanet atmospheres. We performed these measurements for the 115 - 200 nm range at 300, 410, 480, and 550 K. In the 195 - 230 nm range, we worked at seven temperatures between 465 and 800 K. We found that the absorption cross section of CO2 is very sensitive to temperature, especially above 160 nm....

  3. Transitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, David; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Includes four articles: "Career Aspirations" (Field); "Making the Transition to a New Curriculum" (Baker, Householder); "How about a 'Work to School' Transition?" (Glasberg); and "Technological Improvisation: Bringing CNC to Woodworking" (Charles, McDuffie). (SK)

  4. The Radiation Environment of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey L. Linsky

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Exoplanets are born and evolve in the radiation and particle environment created by their host star. The host star’s optical and infrared radiation heats the exoplanet’s lower atmosphere and surface, while the ultraviolet, extreme ultraviolet and X-radiation control the photochemistry and mass loss from the exoplanet’s upper atmosphere. Stellar radiation, especially at the shorter wavelengths, changes dramatically as a host star evolves leading to changes in the planet’s atmosphere and habitability. This paper reviews the present state of our knowledge concerning the time-dependent radiation emitted by stars with convective zones, that is stars with spectral types F, G, K, and M, which comprise nearly all of the host stars of detected exoplanets.

  5. HOMES - Holographic Optical Method for Exoplanet Spectroscopy Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — HOMES (Holographic Optical Method for Exoplanet Spectroscopy) is a space telescope designed for exoplanet discovery. Its double dispersion architecture employs a...

  6. On the Confidence of Molecular Detections in the Atmospheres of Exoplanets from Secondary Eclipse Spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lustig-Yaeger, Jacob A.; Line, Michael R.; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2015-01-01

    Armed with a sizable and ever-growing list of confirmed exoplanets we are beginning to face the big question of atmospheric characterization: What are these planets made of? Transit transmission and emission spectroscopy provide a means to probe the composition of exoplanet atmospheres. However, relatively few high-resolution spectra have been obtained for transiting exoplanets leaving attempts at atmospheric characterization to rely heavily on ground and space-based broadband photometric observations. More recently, early claims of molecular detections in exoplanet atmospheres using broadband photometry are called into question as featureless blackbodies can be shown to reproduce the low signal-to-noise observations. In this study, we determine with what confidence we are able to detect spectrally dominant molecules in the atmospheres of nine exoplanets observed in secondary eclipse. Using the Bayesian atmospheric retrieval suite, CHIMERA, we find that the detection of molecules from broadband ground-based and space-based photometry generally fails to breach 3? confidence. However, observations that include spectral data lead to strong molecular detections. Furthermore, we simulate Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 spectral observations from 1.1 to 1.6 microns for a handful of planets to suggest how future observations may lead to molecular detections.

  7. Multiplicity-Study of Exoplanet Host Stars

    CERN Document Server

    Mugrauer, M; Mazeh, T; Günther, E

    2005-01-01

    We carry out a systematic search campaign for wide companions of exoplanet host stars to study their multiplicity and its influence on the long-term stability and the orbital parameters of the exoplanets. We have already found 6 wide companions, raising the number of confirmed binaries among the exoplanet host stars to 20 systems. We have also searched for wide companions of Gl86, the first known exoplanet host star with a white dwarf companion. Our Sofi/NTT observations are sensitive to substellar companions with a minimum-mass of 35 Mjup and clearly rule out further stellar companions with projected separations between 40 and 670AU.

  8. Stable regions around Exoplanets: the search for Exomoons

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 planetary transits.

  9. Atmospheric Circulation of Terrestrial Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Showman, Adam P; Merlis, Timothy M; Kaspi, Yohai

    2013-01-01

    The investigation of planets around other stars began with the study of gas giants, but is now extending to the discovery and characterization of super-Earths and terrestrial planets. Motivated by this observational tide, we survey the basic dynamical principles governing the atmospheric circulation of terrestrial exoplanets, and discuss the interaction of their circulation with the hydrological cycle and global-scale climate feedbacks. Terrestrial exoplanets occupy a wide range of physical and dynamical conditions, only a small fraction of which have yet been explored in detail. Our approach is to lay out the fundamental dynamical principles governing the atmospheric circulation on terrestrial planets--broadly defined--and show how they can provide a foundation for understanding the atmospheric behavior of these worlds. We first survey basic atmospheric dynamics, including the role of geostrophy, baroclinic instabilities, and jets in the strongly rotating regime (the "extratropics") and the role of the Hadle...

  10. The Exoplanet Eccentricity Distribution from Kepler Planet Candidates

    CERN Document Server

    Kane, Stephen R; Gelino, Dawn M; von Braun, Kaspar

    2012-01-01

    The eccentricity distribution of exoplanets is known from radial velocity surveys to be divergent from circular orbits beyond 0.1 AU. This is particularly the case for large planets where the radial velocity technique is most sensitive. The eccentricity of planetary orbits can have a large effect on the transit probability and subsequently the planet yield of transit surveys. The Kepler mission is the first transit survey that probes deep enough into period-space to allow this effect to be seen via the variation in transit durations. We use the Kepler planet candidates to show that the eccentricity distribution matches that found from radial velocity surveys to a high degree of confidence. We further show that the mean eccentricity of the Kepler candidates decreases with decreasing planet size indicating that smaller planets are preferentially found in low-eccentricity orbits.

  11. Signals of exomoons in averaged light curves of exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Simon, A E; Kiss, L L; Szatmáry, K

    2011-01-01

    The increasing number of transiting exoplanets sparked a significant interest in discovering their moons. Most of the methods in the literature utilize timing analysis of the raw light curves. Here we propose a new approach for the direct detection of a moon in the transit light curves via the so called Scatter Peak. The essence of the method is the valuation of the local scatter in the folded light curves of many transits. We test the ability of this method with different simulations: Kepler "short cadence", Kepler "long cadence", ground-based millimagnitude photometry with 3-min cadence, and the expected data quality of the planned ESA mission of PLATO. The method requires ~100 transit observations, therefore applicable for moons of 10-20 day period planets, assuming 3-4-5 year long observing campaigns with space observatories. The success rate for finding a 1 R_Earth moon around a 1 R_Jupiter exoplanet turned out to be quite promising even for the simulated ground-based observations, while the detection li...

  12. Abundances in stars with exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Israelian, Garik

    2003-01-01

    Extensive spectroscopic studies of stars with and without planets have concluded that stars hosting planets are significantly more metal-rich than those without planets. More subtle trends of different chemical elements begin to appear as the number of detected extrasolar planetary systems continues to grow. I review our current knowledge concerning the observed abundance trends of various chemical elements in stars with exoplanets and their possible implications.

  13. Exploring Equilibrium Chemistry for Hot Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Reliable inference of exoplanet light curve parameters using deterministic and stochastic systematics models

    OpenAIRE

    Gibson, Neale P.

    2014-01-01

    Time-series photometry and spectroscopy of transiting exoplanets allow us to study their atmospheres. Unfortunately, the required precision to extract atmospheric information surpasses the design specifications of most general purpose instrumentation, resulting in instrumental systematics in the light curves that are typically larger than the target precision. Systematics must therefore be modelled, leaving the inference of light curve parameters conditioned on the subjectiv...

  15. JWST and Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mather, John C.

    2009-01-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope is on track for a launch in 2013. The author reviews the status and progress on the key hardware. The first primary mirror segments are already at MSFC for cryogenic tests, the mid IR instrument (MIRI) has already had successful tests of the engineering model, and the detectors are showing excellent performance. The author also describes the scientific objectives of the mission, with emphasis on the predicted capabilities for observing planets by the transit technique and through direct imaging. Recent direct observations of planets by HST and by adaptive optics from the ground have shown that, under favorable circumstances, much can be learned.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 contributions and collaborations.

  18. An integrated payload design for the Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory (EChO)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tinetti, Giovanna; Tennyson, Jonathan; Tessenyi, Marcell; Waldmann, Ingo; Swinyard, Bruce; Eccleston, Paul; Ferlet, Marc; Lim, Tanya; Adriani, Alberto; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Beaulieu, Jean-Philippe; Davila, Tomas Belenguer; Zapata, Gonzalo Ramos; Bowles, Neil; Bryson, Ian; Wright, Gillian; Coustenis, Athena; Du Foresto, Vincent Coude?; Reess, Jean-Michel; Hartogh, Paul; Lagage, Pierre-Olivier; Malaguti, Giuseppe; Morgante, Gianluca; Lo?pez-Morales, Mercedes; Ribas, Ignasi; Micela, Giuseppina; Nørgaard-Nielsen, Hans Ulrik; Ollivier, Marc; Pace, Emanuele; Pascale, Enzo; Sozzetti, Alessandro; Swain, Mark R.; Winter, Berend; Osorio, Maria-Rosa Zapatero

    2012-01-01

    The Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory (EChO) is a space mission dedicated to undertaking spectroscopy of transiting exoplanets over the widest wavelength range possible. It is based around a highly stable space platform with a 1.2 m class telescope. The mission is currently being studied by ESA in the context of a medium class mission within the Cosmic Vision programme for launch post 2020. The payload suite is required to provide simultaneous coverage from the visible to the mid-infrared a...

  19. Achieving high-precision pointing on ExoplanetSat: Initial feasibility analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Pong, Christopher Masaru; Lim, Sungyung; Smith, Matthew William; Miller, David W; Villasenor, Jesus Noel Samonte; Seager, Sara

    2010-01-01

    ExoplanetSat is a proposed three-unit CubeSat designed to detect down to Earth-sized exoplanets in an orbit out to the habitable zone of Sun-like stars via the transit method. To achieve the required photometric precision to make these measurements, the target star must remain within the same fraction of a pixel, which is equivalent to controlling the pointing of the satellite to the arcsecond level. The satellite will use a two-stage control system: coarse control will be performed by a set ...

  20. High-precision ground-based photometry of exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Mooij Ernst J.W.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available High-precision photometry of transiting exoplanet systems has contributed significantly to our understanding of the properties of their atmospheres. The best targets are the bright exoplanet systems, for which the high number of photons allow very high signal-to-noise ratios. Most of the current instruments are not optimised for these high-precision measurements, either they have a large read-out overhead to reduce the readnoise and/or their field-of-view is limited, preventing simultaneous observations of both the target and a reference star. Recently we have proposed a new wide-field imager for the Observatoir de Mont-Megantic optimised for these bright systems (PI: Jayawardhana. The instruments has a dual beam design and a field-of-view of 17' by 17'. The cameras have a read-out time of 2 seconds, significantly reducing read-out overheads. Over the past years we have obtained significant experience with how to reach the high precision required for the characterisation of exoplanet atmospheres. Based on our experience we provide the following advice: Get the best calibrations possible. In the case of bad weather, characterise the instrument (e.g. non-linearity, dome flats, bias level, this is vital for better understanding of the science data. Observe the target for as long as possible, the out-of-transit baseline is as important as the transit/eclipse itself. A short baseline can lead to improperly corrected systematic and mis-estimation of the red-noise. Keep everything (e.g. position on detector, exposure time as stable as possible. Take care that the defocus is not too strong. For a large defocus, the contribution of the total flux from the sky-background in the aperture could well exceed that of the target, resulting in very strict requirements on the precision at which the background is measured.

  1. Exoplanet Community Report on Direct Infrared Imaging of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Making FORS2 fit for exoplanet observations (again)

    CERN Document Server

    Boffin, H M J; Gonzalez, O A; Moehler, S; Sedaghati, E; Gibson, N; Ancker, M E van den; Smoker, J; Anderson, J; Hummel, C; Dobrzycka, D; Smette, A; Rupprecht, G

    2015-01-01

    For about three years, it was known that precision spectrophotometry with FORS2 suffered from systematic errors that made quantitative observations of planetary transits impossible. We identified the Longitudinal Atmospheric Dispersion Compensator (LADC) as the most likely culprit, and therefore engaged in a project to exchange the LADC prisms with the uncoated ones from FORS1. This led to a significant improvement in the depth of FORS2 zero points, a reduction in the systematic noise, and should make FORS2 again competitive for transmission spectroscopy of exoplanets.

  3. BRITE-Constellation and the chances for detecting exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: BRITE-Constellation (BRight Target Explorer) will consist of 3 pairs of nano-satellites, each pair providing data in the blue and red spectral region for stars contained in a field of view of 24 degrees. They will photometrically measure low-level oscillations and temperature variations in stars brighter than visual apparent magnitude 4 with an accuracy of 1 mmag per data point and of lower accuracy for stars down to 6th mag. The data cadence is expected to be 1 min over a data range of weeks up to 2 years. We investigated the probability of detecting transiting exoplanets. (author)

  4. Exoplanet Science with the European Extremely Large Telescope. The Case for Visible and Near-IR Spectroscopy at High Resolution

    CERN Document Server

    Udry, S; Bouchy, F; Cameron, A Collier; Henning, T; Mayor, M; Pepe, F; Piskunov, N; Pollacco, D; Queloz, D; Quirrenbach, A; Rauer, H; Rebolo, R; Santos, N C; Snellen, I; Zerbi, F

    2014-01-01

    Exoplanet science is booming. In 20 years our knowledge has expanded considerably, from the first discovery of a Hot Jupiter, to the detection of a large population of Neptunes and super-Earths, to the first steps toward the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres. Between today and 2025, the field will evolve at an even faster pace with the advent of several space-based transit search missions, ground-based spectrographs, high-contrast imaging facilities, and the James Webb Space Telescope. Especially the ESA M-class PLATO mission will be a game changer in the field. From 2024 onwards, PLATO will find transiting terrestrial planets orbiting within the habitable zones of nearby, bright stars. These objects will require the power of Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) to be characterized further. The technique of ground-based high-resolution spectroscopy is establishing itself as a crucial pathway to measure chemical composition, atmospheric structure and atmospheric circulation in transiting exoplanets. A hig...

  5. The Host Stars of Keplers Habitable Exoplanets: Superflares, Rotation and Activity

    CERN Document Server

    Armstrong, D J; Broomhall, A -M; Brown, D J A; Lund, M N; Osborn, H P; Pollacco, D L

    2015-01-01

    We embark on a detailed study of the lightcurves of Keplers most Earth-like exoplanet host stars using the full length of Kepler data. We derive rotation periods, photometric activity indices, flaring energies, mass loss rates, gyrochronological ages, X-ray luminosities and consider implications for the planetary magnetospheres and habitability. Furthermore, we present the detection of superflares in the lightcurve of Kepler-438, the exoplanet with the highest Earth Similarity Index to date. Kepler-438b orbits at a distance of 0.166AU to its host star, and hence may be susceptible to atmospheric stripping. Our sample is taken from the Habitable Exoplanet Catalogue, and consists of the stars Kepler-22, Kepler-61, Kepler-62, Kepler-174, Kepler-186, Kepler-283, Kepler-296, Kepler-298, Kepler-438, Kepler-440, Kepler-442, Kepler-443 and KOI-4427, between them hosting 15 of the most habitable transiting planets known to date from Kepler.

  6. Asteroseismic Determination of Obliquities of the Exoplanet Systems Kepler-50 and Kepler-65

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chaplin, W. J.; Sanchis-Ojeda, R.; Campante, T. L.; Handberg, R.; Stello, D.; Winn, J. N.; Basu, S.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Davies, G. R.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Buchhave, L. A.; Fischer, D. A.; Bedding, T. R.; Cochran, W. D.; Elsworth, Y.; Gilliland, R. L.; Hekker, S.; Huber, D.; Isaacson, H.; Karoff, C.; Kawaler, S. D.; Kjeldsen, H.; Latham, D. W.; Lund, M. N.; Lundkvist, M.; Marcy, G. W.; Miglio, A.; Barclay, T.; Lissauer, J. J.

    2013-01-01

    Results on the obliquity of exoplanet host stars—the angle between the stellar spin axis and the planetary orbital axis—provide important diagnostic information for theories describing planetary formation. Here we present the first application of asteroseismology to the problem of stellar obliquity determination in systems with transiting planets and Sun-like host stars. We consider two systems observed by the NASA Kepler mission which have multiple transiting small (super-Earth sized) planets: ...

  7. PlanetPack software tool for exoplanets detection: coming new features

    OpenAIRE

    Baluev, Roman V.

    2014-01-01

    We briefly overview the new features of PlanetPack2, the forthcoming update of PlanetPack, which is a software tool for exoplanets detection and characterization from Doppler radial velocity data. Among other things, this major update brings parallelized computing, new advanced models of the Doppler noise, handling of the so-called Keplerian periodogram, and routines for transits fitting and transit timing variation analysis.

  8. Asteroseismic determination of obliquities of the exoplanet systems kepler-50 and kepler-65

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chaplin, W.J.; Campante, T.L.; Davies, G.R.; Elsworth, Y.; Hekker, S.; Miglio, A.; Sanchis-Ojeda, R.; Winn, J.N.; Handberg, Rasmus; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Karoff, Christoffer; Kjeldsen, Helle Møgelmose; Lund, M.N.; Lundkvist, Mia; Stello, D.; Bedding, T.R.; Basu, S.; Fischer, D.A.; Metcalfe, T.S.; Buchhave, L.A.; Cochran, W.D.; Gilliland, R.L.; Huber, D.; Barclay, T.; Lissauer, J.J.; Isaacson, H.; Marcy, G.W.; Kawaler, S.D.; Latham, D.W.

    2013-01-01

    Results on the obliquity of exoplanet host stars - the angle between the stellar spin axis and the planetary orbital axis - provide important diagnostic information for theories describing planetary formation. Here we present the first application of asteroseismology to the problem of stellar obliquity determination in systems with transiting planets and Sun-like host stars. We consider two systems observed by the NASA Kepler mission which have multiple transiting small (super-Earth sized) plane...

  9. Age consistency between exoplanet hosts and field stars

    CERN Document Server

    Bonfanti, Andrea; Nascimbeni, Valerio

    2015-01-01

    Transiting planets around stars are discovered mostly through photometric surveys. Unlike radial velocity surveys, photometric surveys do not tend to target slow rotators, inactive and metal-rich stars. Nevertheless, we suspect that observational biases could impact also transiting-planet hosts. This paper aims at evaluating 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. 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 $v\\sin{i}$ and the evaluation of the stellar evolutionary speed in the Hertz...

  10. Transient Sulfate Aerosols as a Signature of Exoplanet Volcanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Amit; Krissansen-Totton, Joshua; Koehler, Matthew C; Sholes, Steven

    2015-06-01

    Geological activity is thought to be important for the origin of life and for maintaining planetary habitability. We show that transient sulfate aerosols could be a signature of exoplanet volcanism and therefore of a geologically active world. A detection of transient aerosols, if linked to volcanism, could thus aid in habitability evaluations of the exoplanet. On Earth, subduction-induced explosive eruptions inject SO2 directly into the stratosphere, leading to the formation of sulfate aerosols with lifetimes of months to years. We demonstrate that the rapid increase and gradual decrease in sulfate aerosol loading associated with these eruptions may be detectable in transit transmission spectra with future large-aperture telescopes, such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), for a planetary system at a distance of 10 pc, assuming an Earth-like atmosphere, bulk composition, and size. Specifically, we find that a signal-to-noise ratio of 12.1 and 7.1 could be achieved with E-ELT (assuming photon-limited noise) for an Earth analogue orbiting a Sun-like star and M5V star, respectively, even without multiple transits binned together. We propose that the detection of this transient signal would strongly suggest an exoplanet volcanic eruption, if potential false positives such as dust storms or bolide impacts can be ruled out. Furthermore, because scenarios exist in which O2 can form abiotically in the absence of volcanic activity, a detection of transient aerosols that can be linked to volcanism, along with a detection of O2, would be a more robust biosignature than O2 alone. PMID:26053611

  11. The Origin of the Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Abt, Helmut A

    2010-01-01

    We explore two ways in which objects of planetary masses can form. One is in disk systems like the solar system. The other is in dense clusters where stars and brown dwarfs form. We do not yet have the instrumental accuracy to detect multiplanet systems with masses like those in solar system; with our present technology from a distant site, only the effects of Jupiter could be detected. We show that the orbital characteristics (eccentricities and semimajor axes) of stellar, brown dwarf, and exoplanet companions of solar-type stars are all the same within our measuring accuracies and are very different than the planets in the solar system. The period ratios in multiplanet systems do not distinguish between the two models. We conclude that most of the exoplanets found to date are formed like stellar companions and not in disk systems like the solar system. This conclusion explains why metal-poor stars lack planets: because metal-poor stars lack stellar companions with short periods. The distribution of exoplane...

  12. Highlights in the study of exoplanet atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Highlights in the Study of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Burrows, Adam

    2014-01-01

    Exoplanets are now being discovered in profusion. However, to understand their character requires 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 achieved. Despite heroic efforts to garner constraining data on exoplanet atmospheres and dynamics, reliable interpretation has oftimes lagged ambition. I summarize the most productive, and at times novel, methods employed 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.

  14. A New Analysis of the Exoplanet Hosting System HD 6434

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkel, Natalie R.; Kane, Stephen R.; Pilyavsky, Genady; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; James, David J.; Naef, Dominique; Fischer, Debra A.; Udry, Stephane

    2015-12-01

    The current goal of exoplanetary science is not only focused on detecting but characterizing planetary systems in hopes of understanding how they formed, evolved, and relate to the solar system. The Transit Ephemeris Refinement and Monitoring Survey (TERMS) combines both radial velocity (RV) and photometric data in order to achieve unprecedented ground-based precision in the fundamental properties of nearby, bright, exoplanet-hosting systems. Here we discuss HD 6434 and its planet, HD 6434b, which has a Mp sin i = 0.44 MJ mass and orbits every 22.0170 days with an eccentricity of 0.146. We have combined previously published RV data with new measurements to derive a predicted transit duration of ?6 hr, or 0.25 days, and a transit probability of 4%. Additionally, we have photometrically observed the planetary system using both the 0.9 and 1.0 m telescopes at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, covering 75.4% of the predicted transit window. We reduced the data using the automated TERMS Photometry Pipeline, developed to ensure consistent and accurate results. We determine a dispositive null result for the transit of HD 6434b, excluding the full transit to a depth of 0.9% and grazing transit due to impact parameter limitations to a depth of 1.6%.

  15. The LEECH Exoplanet Imaging Survey: Characterization of the Coldest Directly Imaged Exoplanet, GJ 504 b, and Evidence for Super-Stellar Metallicity

    CERN Document Server

    Skemer, Andrew J; 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

    2015-01-01

    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. (2013) 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 microns), spanning the red end of the broad methane fundamental absorption feature (3.3 microns) as part of the LEECH exoplanet imaging survey. By comparing our new photometry and literature photometry to a grid of custom model atmospheres, we w...

  16. Keplerian Orbits and Dynamics of Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Murray, Carl D.; Correia, Alexandre C. M.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the consequences of the gravitational interaction between a star and a planet is fundamental to the study of exoplanets. The solution of the two-body problem shows that the planet moves in an elliptical path around the star and that each body moves in an ellipse about the common center of mass. The basic properties of such a system are derived from first principles and described in the context of detecting exoplanets.

  17. Atmospheric Chemistry of Venus-like Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Schaefer, Laura; Fegley Jr, Bruce

    2010-01-01

    We use thermodynamic calculations to model atmospheric chemistry on terrestrial exoplanets that are hot enough for chemical equilibira between the atmosphere and lithosphere, as on Venus. The results of our calculations place constraints on abundances of spectroscopically observable gases, the surface temperature and pressure, and the mineralogy of the surface. These results will be useful in planning future observations of the atmospheres of terrestrial-sized exoplanets by ...

  18. Mapping Directly Imaged Giant Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Kostov, Veselin B

    2012-01-01

    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. We address and discuss the following questions: a) 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, spot spectra; b) what is the optimal configuration of instrument/wavelen...

  19. Discovering the Growth Histories of Exoplanets: The Saturn Analog HD 149026b

    CERN Document Server

    Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E

    2009-01-01

    The transiting "hot Saturn" HD 149026b, which has the highest mean density of any confirmed planet in the Neptune-Jupiter mass range, has challenged theories of planet formation since its discovery in 2005. Previous investigations could not explain the origin of the planet's 67 Earth-mass solid core without invoking catastrophes such as gas giant collisions or heavy planetesimal bombardment launched by neighboring planets. Here we show that HD 149026b's large core can be successfully explained by the standard core accretion theory of planet formation. The keys to our reconstruction of HD 149026b are (1) applying a model of the solar nebula to describe the protoplanet nursery; (2) placing the planet initially on a long-period orbit at Saturn's heliocentric distance of 9.5 AU; and (3) adjusting the solid mass in the HD 149026 disk to twice that of the solar nebula in accordance with the star's heavy element enrichment. We show that the planet's migration into its current orbit at 0.042 AU is consistent with our...

  20. Benchmarking the power of amateur observatories for TTV exoplanets detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baluev, Roman V.; Sokov, Evgenii N.; Shaidulin, Vakhit Sh.; Sokova, Iraida A.; Jones, Hugh R. A.; Tuomi, Mikko; Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Benni, Paul; Colazo, Carlos A.; Schneiter, Matias E.; D'Angelo, Carolina S. Villarreal; Burdanov, Artem Yu.; Fernández-Lajús, Eduardo; Ba?türk, Özgür; Hentunen, Veli-Pekka; Shadick, Stan

    2015-07-01

    We perform an analysis of ˜80 000 photometric measurements for the following 10 stars hosting transiting planets: WASP-2, -4, -5, -52, Kelt-1, CoRoT-2, XO-2, TrES-1, HD 189733, GJ 436. Our analysis includes mainly transit light curves from the Exoplanet Transit Database, public photometry from the literature, and some proprietary photometry privately supplied by other authors. Half of these light curves were obtained by amateurs. From this photometry we derive 306 transit timing measurements, as well as improved planetary transit parameters. Additionally, for 6 of these 10 stars we present a set of radial velocity measurements obtained from the spectra stored in the HARPS, HARPS-N and SOPHIE archives using the HARPS-TERRA pipeline. Our analysis of these transit timing and radial velocity data did not reveal significant hints of additional orbiting bodies in almost all of the cases. In the WASP-4 case, we found hints of marginally significant TTV signals having amplitude 10-20 s, although their parameters are model dependent and uncertain, while radial velocities did not reveal statistically significant Doppler signals.

  1. HIDING IN THE SHADOWS: SEARCHING FOR PLANETS IN PRE-TRANSITIONAL AND TRANSITIONAL DISKS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dobinson, Jack; Leinhardt, Zoë M. [School of Physics, H. H. Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TL (United Kingdom); Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E. [Astronomy Department, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Teanby, Nick A. [School of Earth Sciences, Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1RJ (United Kingdom)

    2013-11-10

    Transitional and pre-transitional disks can be explained by a number of mechanisms. This work aims to find a single observationally detectable marker that would imply a planetary origin for the gap and, therefore, indirectly indicate the presence of a young planet. N-body simulations were conducted to investigate the effect of an embedded planet of one Jupiter mass on the production of instantaneous collisional dust derived from a background planetesimal disk. Our new model allows us to predict the dust distribution and resulting observable markers with greater accuracy than previous works. Dynamical influences from a planet on a circular orbit are shown to enhance dust production in the disk interior and exterior to the planet orbit, while removing planetesimals from the orbit itself, creating a clearly defined gap. In the case of an eccentric planet, the gap opened by the planet is not as clear as the circular case, but there is a detectable asymmetry in the dust disk.

  2. BIOSIGNATURE GASES IN H2-DOMINATED ATMOSPHERES ON ROCKY EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Super-Earth exoplanets are being discovered with increasing frequency and some will be able to retain stable H2-dominated atmospheres. We study biosignature gases on exoplanets with thin H2 atmospheres and habitable surface temperatures, using a model atmosphere with photochemistry and a biomass estimate framework for evaluating the plausibility of a range of biosignature gas candidates. We find that photochemically produced H atoms are the most abundant reactive species in H2 atmospheres. In atmospheres with high CO2 levels, atomic O is the major destructive species for some molecules. In Sun-Earth-like UV radiation environments, H (and in some cases O) will rapidly destroy nearly all biosignature gases of interest. The lower UV fluxes from UV-quiet M stars would produce a lower concentration of H (or O) for the same scenario, enabling some biosignature gases to accumulate. The favorability of low-UV radiation environments to accumulate detectable biosignature gases in an H2 atmosphere is closely analogous to the case of oxidized atmospheres, where photochemically produced OH is the major destructive species. Most potential biosignature gases, such as dimethylsulfide and CH3Cl, are therefore more favorable in low-UV, as compared with solar-like UV, environments. A few promising biosignature gas candidates, including NH3 and N2O, are favorable even in solar-like UV environments, as these gases are destroyed directly by photolysis and not by H (or O). A more subtle finding is that most gases produced by life that are fully hydrogenated forms of an element, such as CH4 and H2S, are not effective signs of life in an H2-rich atmosphere because the dominant atmospheric chemistry will generate such gases abiologically, through photochemistry or geochemistry. Suitable biosignature gases in H2-rich atmospheres for super-Earth exoplanets transiting M stars could potentially be detected in transmission spectra with the James Webb Space Telescope

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (Schwieterman et al., 2014) may provide an alternative means to determine terrestrial atmospheric pressure for both transit transmission and direct imaging observations.

  4. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space missionXIX. CoRoT-19b: A low density planet orbiting an old inactive F9V-star

    CERN Document Server

    Guenther, E W; Gazzano, J -C; Mazeh, T; Rouan, D; Gibson, N; Csizmadia, Sz; Aigrain, S; Alonso, R; Almenara, J M; Auvergne, M; Baglin, A; Barge, P; Bonomo, A S; Borde, P; Bouchy, F; Bruntt, H; Cabrera, J; Carone, L; Carpano, S; Cavarroc, C; Deeg, H J; Deleuil, M; Dreizler, S; Dvorak, R; Erikson, A; Ferraz-Mello, S; Fridlund, M; Gandolfi, D; Gillon, M; Guillot, T; Hatzes, A; Havel, M; Hebrard, G; Jehin, E; Jorda, L; Lammer, H; Leger, A; Moutou, C; Nortmann, L; Ollivier, M; Ofir, A; Pasternacki, Th; Paetzold, M; Parviainen, H; Queloz, D; Rauer, H; Samuel, B; Santerne, A; Schneider, J; Tal-Or, L; Tingley, B; Weingrill, J; Wuchterl, G

    2011-01-01

    Observations of transiting extrasolar planets are of key importance to our understanding of planets because their mass, radius, and mass density can be determined. The CoRoT space mission allows us to achieve a very high photometric accuracy. By combining CoRoT data with high-precision radial velocity measurements, we derive precise planetary radii and masses. We report the discovery of CoRoT-19b, a gas-giant planet transiting an old, inactive F9V-type star with a period of four days. After excluding alternative physical configurations mimicking a planetary transit signal, we determine the radius and mass of the planet by combining CoRoT photometry with high-resolution spectroscopy obtained with the echelle spectrographs SOPHIE, HARPS, FIES, and SANDIFORD. To improve the precision of its ephemeris and the epoch, we observed additional transits with the TRAPPIST and Euler telescopes. Using HARPS spectra obtained during the transit, we then determine the projected angle between the spin of the star and the orbi...

  5. System parameters, transit times and secondary eclipse constraints of the exoplanet systems HAT-P-4, TrES-2, TrES-3 and WASP-3 from the NASA EPOXI Mission of Opportunity

    OpenAIRE

    Christiansen, Jessie L; Ballard, Sarah; Charbonneau, David; Deming, Drake; Holman, Matthew J.; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Seager, Sara; Wellnitz, Dennis D.; Barry, Richard K.; Livengood, Timothy A.; Hewagama, Tilak; Hampton, Don L.; Carey M. Lisse; A'Hearn, Michael F.

    2010-01-01

    As part of the NASA EPOXI Mission of Opportunity, we observed seven known transiting extrasolar planet systems in order to construct time series photometry of extremely high phase coverage and precision. Here we present the results for four "hot-Jupiter systems" with near-solar stars—HAT-P-4, TrES-3, TrES-2, and WASP-3. We observe 10 transits of HAT-P-4, estimating the planet radius R[subscript p] = 1.332 ± 0.052 R [subscript Jup], the stellar radius R [subscript ?]= 1.602 ± 0.061 R [subscrip...

  6. OPTICAL PHASE CURVES OF KEPLER EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Esteves, Lisa J.; De Mooij, Ernst J. W.; Jayawardhana, Ray, E-mail: esteves@astro.utoronto.ca, E-mail: demooij@astro.utoronto.ca, E-mail: rayjay@astro.utoronto.ca [Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H4 (Canada)

    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.

  7. Optical Phase Curves of Kepler Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteves, Lisa J.; De Mooij, Ernst J. W.; Jayawardhana, Ray

    2013-07-01

    We conducted a comprehensive search for optical phase variations of all close-in (a/R sstarf 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 (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.

  8. SYSTEM PARAMETERS, TRANSIT TIMES, AND SECONDARY ECLIPSE CONSTRAINTS OF THE EXOPLANET SYSTEMS HAT-P-4, TrES-2, TrES-3, and WASP-3 FROM THE NASA EPOXI MISSION OF OPPORTUNITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As part of the NASA EPOXI Mission of Opportunity, we observed seven known transiting extrasolar planet systems in order to construct time series photometry of extremely high phase coverage and precision. Here we present the results for four 'hot-Jupiter systems' with near-solar stars-HAT-P-4, TrES-3, TrES-2, and WASP-3. We observe 10 transits of HAT-P-4, estimating the planet radius Rp = 1.332 ± 0.052 RJup, the stellar radius R* = 1.602 ± 0.061 Rsun, the inclination i = 89.67 ± 0.30 deg, and the transit duration from first to fourth contact ? = 255.6 ± 1.9 minutes. For TrES-3, we observe seven transits and find Rp = 1.320 ± 0.057 RJup, R* = 0.817 ± 0.022 Rsun, i = 81.99 ± 0.30 deg, and ? = 81.9 ± 1.1 minutes. We also note a long-term variability in the TrES-3 light curve, which may be due to star spots. We observe nine transits of TrES-2 and find Rp = 1.169 ± 0.034 RJup, R* = 0.940 ± 0.026 Rsun, i = 84.15 ± 0.16 deg, and ? = 107.3 ± 1.1 minutes. Finally, we observe eight transits of WASP-3, finding Rp = 1.385 ± 0.060 RJup, R* = 1.354 ± 0.056 Rsun, i = 84.22 ± 0.81 deg, and ? = 167.3 ± 1.3 minutes. We present refined orbital periods and times of transit for each target. We state 95% confidence upper limits on the secondary eclipse depths in our broadband visible bandpass centered on 650 nm. These limits are 0.073% for HAT-P-4, 0.062% for TrES-3, 0.16% for TrES-2, and 0.11% for WASP-3. We combine the TrES-3 secondary eclipse information with the existing published data and confirm that the atmosphere likely does not have a temperature inversion.

  9. A lucky imaging multiplicity study of exoplanet host stars II

    CERN Document Server

    Ginski, C; Seeliger, M; Buder, S; Errmann, R; Avenhaus, H; Mouillet, D; Maire, A -L; Raetz, S

    2016-01-01

    The vast majority of extrasolar planets are detected by indirect detection methods such as transit monitoring and radial velocity measurements. While these methods are very successful in detecting short-periodic planets, they are mostly blind to wide sub-stellar or even stellar companions on long orbits. In our study we present high resolution imaging observations of 63 exoplanet hosts carried out with the lucky imaging instrument AstraLux at the Calar Alto 2.2m telescope as well as with the new SPHERE high resolution adaptive optics imager at the ESO/VLT in the case of a known companion of specific interest. Our goal is to study the influence of stellar multiplicity on the planet formation process. We detected and confirmed 4 previously unknown stellar companions to the exoplanet hosts HD197037, HD217786, Kepler-21 and Kepler-68. In addition, we detected 11 new low-mass stellar companion candidates which must still be confirmed as bound companions. We also provide new astrometric and photometric data points ...

  10. The Ultraviolet Radiation Environment Around M dwarf Exoplanet Host Stars

    CERN Document Server

    France, Kevin; Linsky, Jeffrey L; Roberge, Aki; Stocke, John T; Tian, Feng; Bushinsky, Rachel; Desert, Jean-Michel; Mauas, Pablo; Vieytes, Mariela; Walkowicz, Lucianne M

    2012-01-01

    The spectral and temporal behavior of exoplanet host stars is a critical input to models of the chemistry and evolution of planetary atmospheres. At present, little observational or theoretical basis exists for understanding the ultraviolet spectra of M dwarfs, despite their critical importance to predicting and interpreting the spectra of potentially habitable planets as they are obtained in the coming decades. Using observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, we present a study of the UV radiation fields around nearby M dwarf planet hosts that covers both FUV and NUV wavelengths. The combined FUV+NUV spectra are publically available in machine-readable format. We find that all six exoplanet host stars in our sample (GJ 581, GJ 876, GJ 436, GJ 832, GJ 667C, and GJ 1214) exhibit some level of chromospheric and transition region UV emission. No "UV quiet" M dwarfs are observed. The bright stellar Ly-alpha emission lines are reconstructed, and we find that the Ly-alpha line fluxes comprise ~37-75% of the tota...

  11. Transient Sulfate Aerosols as a Signature of Exoplanet Volcanism

    CERN Document Server

    Misra, Amit; Koehler, Matthew C; Sholes, Steven

    2015-01-01

    Geological activity is thought to be important for the origin of life and for maintaining planetary habitability. We show that transient sulfate aerosols could be a signature of exoplanet volcanism, and therefore a geologically active world. A detection of transient aerosols, if linked to volcanism, could thus aid in habitability evaluations of the exoplanet. On Earth, subduction-induced explosive eruptions inject SO2 directly into the stratosphere, leading to the formation of sulfate aerosols with lifetimes of months to years. We demonstrate that the rapid increase and gradual decrease in sulfate aerosol loading associated with these eruptions may be detectable in transit transmission spectra with future large-aperture telescopes, such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and European Extremely-Large Telescope (E-ELT) for a planetary system at a distance of 10 pc, assuming an Earth-like atmosphere, bulk composition, and size. Specifically, we find that a S/N of 12.1 and 7.1 could be achieved with E-ELT (...

  12. A Temperature and Abundance Retrieval Method for Exoplanet Atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Madhusudhan, N

    2009-01-01

    We present a new method to retrieve molecular abundances and temperature profiles from exoplanet atmosphere photometry and spectroscopy. We run millions of 1D atmosphere models in order to cover the large range of allowed parameter space, and present error contours in the atmospheric properties, given the data. In order to run such a large number of models, we have developed a parametric pressure-temperature (P-T) profile coupled with line-by-line radiative transfer, hydrostatic equilibrium, and energy balance, along with prescriptions for non-equilibrium molecular composition and energy redistribution. We apply our temperature and abundance retrieval method to the atmospheres of two transiting exoplanets, HD 189733b and HD 209458b, which have the best available Spitzer and HST observations. For HD 189733b, we find efficient day-night redistribution of energy in the atmosphere, and molecular abundance constraints confirming the presence of H2O, CO, CH4, and CO2. For HD 209458b, we confirm and constrain the da...

  13. A Search for Ringed Exoplanets using Kepler Photometry

    CERN Document Server

    Heising, Matthew Z; Schlichting, Hilke E

    2015-01-01

    Models are developed to simulate lightcurves of stars dimmed by transiting exoplanets with and without rings. These models are then applied to \\textit{Kepler} photometry to search for planetary rings in a sample of 21 exoplanets, mostly hot Jupiters, chosen to offer the best observational opportunity for discovering potential rings. We also examine what kinds of rings might be expected for these planets, in terms of both size and orientation, based on arguments involving the host planet's equilibrium temperature, its likely obliquities, and the formation and stability of possible ring systems. Finding no evidence for rings, for each of the 21 studied planets it is determined on an observational basis which potential rings can be rejected out of a representative set of fiducial rings, varying in both size and orientation. For 12 of the 21 planets, we determined that Saturn-like rings could be ruled out for at least certain orientations. Additionally, the detectability of rings is studied, and it is found that ...

  14. Probe-Scale Mission Concepts for Direct Imaging and Spectroscopy of Nearby Exoplanet Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unwin, Stephen C.; Seager, Sara; Stapelfeldt, Karl R.; Warfield, Keith; Dekens, Frank G.; Blackwood, Gary; Exo-S Science; Technology Definition Team, Exo-C Science; Technology Definition Team, JPL Probe Study Design Teams

    2015-01-01

    Two mission concepts are now under study for detecting visible light from exoplanets orbiting nearby stars through high-contrast imaging and for characterizing them through spectroscopy. Exo-S uses a starshade (external occulter) that flies in front of a telescope to block out the central starlight; Exo-C uses a coronagraph with an internal occulter to accomplish the suppression of starlight. Both concepts have the objective of taking optical spectra of nearby exoplanets in reflected light, searching for previously undetected planets, and imaging structure in circumstellar debris disks.The concepts are being developed by two NASA-selected community-led Science and Technology Definition Teams (STDTs), supported by study design teams from NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program. In addition to developing concepts with an estimated cost ~1B, the Teams are identifying key enabling technologies needed for their designs. These concepts complement existing NASA missions that do exoplanet science (such as transit spectroscopy and debris disk imaging with HST and Spitzer) or are under development or active study (TESS, JWST, WFIRST-AFTA).Final Reports from the two studies will be published in early 2015. This poster serves as an introduction to a series of posters featuring the two studies. At the conclusion of the studies in early 2015, NASA will evaluate them for further technology development and possible development as flight missions. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  15. Using the Inclinations of Kepler Systems to Prioritize New Titius-Bode-Based Exoplanet Predictions

    OpenAIRE

    Bovaird, Timothy; Lineweaver, Charles H.; Jacobsen, Steffen K.

    2014-01-01

    We analyze a sample of multiple-exoplanet systems which contain at least 3 transiting planets detected by the Kepler mission ("Kepler multiples"). We use a generalized Titius-Bode relation to predict the periods of 228 additional planets in 151 of these Kepler multiples. These Titius-Bode-based predictions suggest that there are, on average, ~2 planets in the habitable zone of each star. We estimate the inclination of the invariable plane for each system and prioritize our p...

  16. Detecting industrial pollution in the atmospheres of earth-like exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Lin, Henry W.; Abad, Gonzalo Gonzalez; Loeb, Abraham

    2014-01-01

    Detecting biosignatures, such as molecular oxygen in combination with a reducing gas, in the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets has been a major focus in the search for alien life. We point out that in addition to these generic indicators, anthropogenic pollution could be used as a novel biosignature for intelligent life. To this end, we identify pollutants in the Earth's atmosphere that have significant absorption features in the spectral range covered by the James Webb S...

  17. The Transit Monitoring in the South (TraMoS project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    López-Morales Mercedes

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We present the Transit Monitoring in the South (TraMoS project. TraMoS has monitored transits of 30 exoplanets with telescopes located in Chile since 2008, whit the following goals: (1 to refine the physical and/or orbital parameters of those exoplanet system, and (2 to search for variations in the mid-times of the transits and in other parameters such as orbital inclination or transit's depth, that could indicate the presence of additional bodies in the system. We highlight here the first results of TraMoS in three selected exoplanets.

  18. Ammonia, Water Clouds and Methane Abundances of Giant Exoplanets and Opportunities for Super-Earth Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Hu, Renyu

    2014-01-01

    Future direct-imaging exoplanet missions such as WFIRST/AFTA, Exo-C, and Exo-S will measure the reflectivity of exoplanets at visible wavelengths. 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. We study the science return from direct-imaging exoplanet missions, focusing on the exoplanet atmospheric compositions. First, the study shows that a low-resolution (R=70) reflection spectrum of a giant exoplanet at 600 - 1000 nm, for a moderate signal-to-noise ratio of 20, will allow measurements of both the pressure of the uppermost cloud deck and the mixing ratio of methane, if the uppermost cloud deck is located at the pressure level of 0.6 - 1.5 bars. Further increasing the signal-to-noise ratio can improve the measurement range of the cloud deck pressure to 0.2 - 4 bars. The strong and the weak absorption...

  19. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XXI. CoRoT-19b: a low density planet orbiting an old inactive F9V-star

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guenther, E. W.; Díaz, R. F.; Gazzano, J.-C.; Mazeh, T.; Rouan, D.; Gibson, N.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Aigrain, S.; Alonso, R.; Almenara, J. M.; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A.; Barge, P.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Bruntt, H.; Cabrera, J.; Carone, L.; Carpano, S.; Cavarroc, C.; Deeg, H. J.; Deleuil, M.; Dreizler, S.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.; Ferraz-Mello, S.; Fridlund, M.; Gandolfi, D.; Gillon, M.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Havel, M.; Hébrard, G.; Jehin, E.; Jorda, L.; Lammer, H.; Léger, A.; Moutou, C.; Nortmann, L.; Ollivier, M.; Ofir, A.; Pasternacki, Th.; Pätzold, M.; Parviainen, H.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Samuel, B.; Santerne, A.; Schneider, J.; Tal-Or, L.; Tingley, B.; Weingrill, J.; Wuchterl, G.

    2012-01-01

    Context. Observations of transiting extrasolar planets are of key importance to our understanding of planets because their mass, radius, and mass density can be determined. These measurements indicate that planets of similar mass can have very different radii. For low-density planets, it is generally assumed that they are inflated owing to their proximity to the host-star. To determine the causes of this inflation, it is necessary to obtain a statistically significant sample of planets with prec...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  1. Planetesimal Compositions in Exoplanet Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Johnson, Torrence V; Lunine, Jonathan I; Madhusudhan, Nikku

    2012-01-01

    We have used recent surveys of the composition of exoplanet host stars to investigate the expected composition of condensed material in planetesimals formed beyond the snow line in the circumstellar nebulae of these systems. Of the major solid forming elements, we find that, as for the Sun, the C and O abundances (and particularly the C/O abundance ratio) have the most significant effect on the composition of icy planetesimals formed in these systems. The calculations use a self-consistent model for the condensation sequence of volatile ices from the nebula gas after refractory (silicate and metal) phases have condensed. The resultant proportions of refractory phases and ices were calculated for a range of nebular temperature structure and redox conditions. Planetesimals in systems with sub-solar C/O should be water ice-rich, with lower than solar mass fractions of refractory materials, while in super-solar C/O systems planetesimals should have significantly higher fractions of refractories, in some cases hav...

  2. Young Brown Dwarfs as Giant Exoplanets Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faherty, Jacqueline; Cruz, Kelle; Rice, Emily; Riedel, Adric

    2013-07-01

    Young brown dwarfs and directly-imaged exoplanets have enticingly similar photometric, spectroscopic, and luminosity characteristics, indicating that their cool, low gravity atmospheres should be studied in concert. We have identified, confirmed, and characterized several new young M and L type brown dwarfs (see Faherty et al. 2013) and compared them to directly-imaged planetary mass companions and exoplanets like 2MASS 1207b and HR8799b. Similarities between the peculiar shaped H band and location on near-IR color magnitude diagrams provide important clues about how to extract physical properties of planets from current brown dwarf observations. In this poster I present a sample of age-calibrated young brown dwarfs that form the basis for comparative brown-dwarf exoplanet studies

  3. Jupiter as an exoplanet: UV to NIR transmission spectrum reveals hazes, a Na layer and possibly stratospheric H2O-ice clouds

    CERN Document Server

    Montañes-Rodriguez, P; Palle, E; Lopez-Puertas, M; Garcia-Melendo, E

    2015-01-01

    Currently, the analysis of transmission spectra is the most successful technique to probe the chemical composition of exoplanet atmospheres. But the accuracy of these measurements is constrained by observational limitations and the diversity of possible atmospheric compositions. Here we show the UV-VIS-IR transmission spectrum of Jupiter, as if it were a transiting exoplanet, obtained by observing one of its satellites, Ganymede, while passing through Jupiter's shadow i.e., during a solar eclipse from Ganymede. The spectrum shows strong extinction due to the presence of clouds (aerosols) and haze in the atmosphere, and strong absorption features from CH4. More interestingly, the comparison with radiative transfer models reveals a spectral signature, which we attribute here to a Jupiter stratospheric layer of crystalline H2O ice. The atomic transitions of Na are also present. These results are relevant for the modeling and interpretation of giant transiting exoplanets. They also open a new technique to explore...

  4. Massive Satellites of Close-In Gas Giant Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Cassidy, Timothy A; Arras, Phil; Johnson, Robert E; Skrutskie, Michael F

    2009-01-01

    We study the orbits, tidal heating and mass loss from satellites around close-in gas giant exoplanets. The focus is on large satellites which are potentially observable by their transit signature. We argue that even Earth-size satellites around hot Jupiters may be immune to destruction by orbital decay; detection of such a massive satellite would strongly constrain theories of tidal dissipation in gas giants, in a manner complementary to orbital circularization. The star's gravity induces significant periodic eccentricity in the satellite's orbit. The resulting tidal heating rates, per unit mass, are far in excess of Io's and dominate radioactive heating out to planet orbital periods of months for reasonable satellite tidal $Q$. Inside planet orbital periods of about a week, tidal heating can completely melt the satellite. Lastly, we compute an upper limit to the satellite mass loss rate due to thermal evaporation from the surface, valid if the satellite's atmosphere is thin and vapor pressure is negligible. ...

  5. A New Analysis of the Exoplanet Hosting System HD 6434

    CERN Document Server

    Hinkel, Natalie R; Pilyavsky, Genady; Boyajian, Tabetha S; James, David J; Naef, Dominique; Fischer, Debra A; Udry, Stephane

    2015-01-01

    The current goal of exoplanetary science is not only focused on detecting but characterizing planetary systems in hopes of understanding how they formed, evolved, and relate to the Solar System. The Transit Ephemeris Refinement and Monitoring Survey (TERMS) combines both radial velocity (RV) and photometric data in order to achieve unprecedented ground-based precision in the fundamental properties of nearby, bright, exoplanet-hosting systems. Here we discuss HD 6434 and its planet, HD 6434b, which has a M_p*sin(i) = 0.44 M_J mass and orbits every 22.0170 days with an eccentricity of 0.146. We have combined previously published RV data with new measurements to derive a predicted transit duration of ~6 hrs, or 0.25 days, and a transit probability of 4%. Additionally, we have photometrically observed the planetary system using both the 0.9m and 1.0m telescopes at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, covering 75.4% of the predicted transit window. We reduced the data using the automated TERMS Photometry P...

  6. A Photometric Diagnostic to Aid in the Identification of Transiting Extra-Solar Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Sackett, C T

    2005-01-01

    One of the obstacles in the search for exoplanets via transits is the large number of candidates that must be followed up, few of which ultimately prove to be exoplanets. Any method that could make this process more efficient by somehow identifying the best candidates and eliminating the worst would therefore be very useful. Seager and Mallen-Ornelas (2003) demonstrated that it was possible to discern between blends and exoplanets using only the photometric characteristics of the transits. However, these techniques are critically dependent on the shape of the transit, characterization of which requires very high precision photometry of a sort that is atypical for candidates identified from transit searches. We present a method relying only on transit duration, depth, and period, which require much less precise photometry to determine accurately. The numerical tool we derive, the exoplanet diagnostic \\eta, is intended to identify the subset of candidates from a transit search that is most likely to contain exo...

  7. Asteroseismology of Exoplanet-Host Stars in the TESS Era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campante, Tiago L.; Schofield, Mathew; Chaplin, William J.; Huber, Daniel; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jørgen; Kjeldsen, Hans; Latham, David W.; Ricker, George R.; Winn, Joshua

    2015-12-01

    New insights on stellar evolution and stellar interiors physics are being made possible by asteroseismology, the study of stars by the observation of their natural, resonant oscillations. Throughout the duration of the Kepler mission, asteroseismology has also played an important role in the characterization of host stars and their planetary systems. Examples include the precise estimation of the fundamental properties of stellar hosts, the obliquity determination of planetary systems, or the orbital eccentricity determination via asterodensity profiling. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will perform a wide-field survey for planets that transit bright host stars. Its excellent photometric precision and long intervals of uninterrupted observations will enable asteroseismology of solar-type stars and their evolved counterparts. Based on existing all-sky simulations of the stellar and planetary populations, we investigate the asteroseismic yield of the mission, placing particular emphasis on the yield of exoplanet-host stars for which we expect to detect solar-like oscillations. This is done both for the cohort of target stars (observed at a 2-min cadence), which will mainly involve low-mass main-sequence hosts, as well as for the cohort of “full-frame image” stars (observed at a 30-min cadence). The latter cohort offers the exciting prospect of conducting asteroseismology on a significant number of evolved hosts. Also, the brightest solar-type hosts with asteroseismology will become some of the best characterized planetary systems known to date. Finally, we discuss the impact of the detected oscillations on the accuracy/precision of the derived properties of the host stars and their planetary systems.

  8. Technology for radial velocity search and characterisation of exoplanets in the 2020s and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ireland, Michael; Feger, Tobias; Bento, Joao; Rains, Adam

    2015-12-01

    In the past 20 years, radial velocity exoplanet instrumentation has been focussed on a small number of moderate sized (or moderate efficiency) telescopes. I will argue that there are two very different uses for radial velocity in the near future: transit follow-up and low-mass exoplanet detection around relatively nearby stars. For the first of these science goals, targets are relatively distant, and a high eficiency spectrograph on a large telescope is needed, for example the Gemini High-resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST): a stabilised spectrograph fed by an array of multi-mode fibers at the final design stage. For the second of these goals, stellar noise due to pulsations, convective cells and activity provide a lower limit to the noise floor achievable for any given temporal sampling. I will argue through simple simulations that an array of small telescopes with precise spectrographs making a very large number of measurements is a much more effective way to detect the smallest exoplanets than instrumentation on large telescopes. I will describe the first results from the Replicable High-Resoluition Exoplanet and Asteroseismology (RHEA) spectrograph designed for 0.25 to 0.5m telescopes, which has single-epoch measurement uncertainties at the 1 m/s level and a total whole cost for detecting the smallest exoplanets that is significantly lower than medium to large telescope concepts. RHEA has an eyepiece-sized fast tip/tilt and mode reformatting system that efficiently injects a small array of single-mode fibers, feeding a tests that verify the precision, and will discuss pathways to turn this into a broader community project.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

    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.

  10. A giant comet-like cloud of hydrogen escaping the warm Neptune-mass exoplanet GJ 436b.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrenreich, David; Bourrier, Vincent; Wheatley, Peter J; des Etangs, Alain Lecavelier; Hébrard, Guillaume; Udry, Stéphane; Bonfils, Xavier; Delfosse, Xavier; Désert, Jean-Michel; Sing, David K; Vidal-Madjar, Alfred

    2015-06-25

    Exoplanets orbiting close to their parent stars may lose some fraction of their atmospheres because of the extreme irradiation. Atmospheric mass loss primarily affects low-mass exoplanets, leading to the suggestion that hot rocky planets might have begun as Neptune-like, but subsequently lost all of their atmospheres; however, no confident measurements have hitherto been available. The signature of this loss could be observed in the ultraviolet spectrum, when the planet and its escaping atmosphere transit the star, giving rise to deeper and longer transit signatures than in the optical spectrum. Here we report that in the ultraviolet the Neptune-mass exoplanet GJ 436b (also known as Gliese 436b) has transit depths of 56.3 ± 3.5% (1?), far beyond the 0.69% optical transit depth. The ultraviolet transits repeatedly start about two hours before, and end more than three hours after the approximately one hour optical transit, which is substantially different from one previous claim (based on an inaccurate ephemeris). We infer from this that the planet is surrounded and trailed by a large exospheric cloud composed mainly of hydrogen atoms. We estimate a mass-loss rate in the range of about 10(8)-10(9) grams per second, which is far too small to deplete the atmosphere of a Neptune-like planet in the lifetime of the parent star, but would have been much greater in the past. PMID:26108854

  11. A giant comet-like cloud of hydrogen escaping the warm Neptune-mass exoplanet GJ 436b

    CERN Document Server

    Ehrenreich, David; Wheatley, Peter J; Etangs, Alain Lecavelier des; Hébrard, Guillaume; Udry, Stéphane; Bonfils, Xavier; Delfosse, Xavier; Désert, Jean-Michel; Sing, David K; Vidal-Madjar, Alfred

    2015-01-01

    Exoplanets orbiting close to their parent stars could lose some fraction of their atmospheres because of the extreme irradiation. Atmospheric mass loss primarily affects low-mass exoplanets, leading to suggest that hot rocky planets might have begun as Neptune-like, but subsequently lost all of their atmospheres; however, no confident measurements have hitherto been available. The signature of this loss could be observed in the ultraviolet spectrum, when the planet and its escaping atmosphere transit the star, giving rise to deeper and longer transit signatures than in the optical spectrum. Here we report that in the ultraviolet the Neptune-mass exoplanet GJ 436b (also known as Gliese 436b) has transit depths of 56.3 +/- 3.5% (1 sigma), far beyond the 0.69% optical transit depth. The ultraviolet transits repeatedly start ~2 h before, and end >3 h after the ~1 h optical transit, which is substantially different from one previous claim (based on an inaccurate ephemeris). We infer from this that the planet is su...

  12. Possible climates on terrestrial exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  13. Numerical adventures in exoplanet formation, detection and characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meschiari, Stefano

    In this thesis I investigate the use of numerical modeling techniques applied to the study of extrasolar planets. In the first part (Chapters 2-4) I discuss the algorithms and applications of the SYSTEMIC code in the detection and characterization of exoplanets through radial velocity (RV) and transit timing observations. The second part (Chapters 5-6) deals with hydrodynamic and N-body simulations applied to the study of planet formation. For each chapter, I provide a detailed review of the numerical techniques involved in the respective introductions. Chapter 2 discusses several aspects related to the dynamical fitting of RV observations. I introduce the systemic package I developed, and describe several applications of the numerical algorithms developed for the code. As a case study, I investigate the dynamical fitting of HD128311 and the characterization of the 2:1 mean motion resonance (MMR) through radial velocities and a small number of central transit times. I present an updated Keck RV dataset and show that the addition of three years of new RV coverage yields only a modest improvement in the characterization of the system. In Chapter 3, I study planet detection through transit timing variations (TTV), deviations from linear transit ephemeris that can be caused by additional planets exerting gravitational perturbations on a transiting planet. I created synthetic RV and TTV datasets for several planetary configurations, with the intent of modeling timing observations from the Kepler mission. I use the algorithms described in Chapter 2 to solve the so-called "inverse problem", the task of characterizing additional, non-transiting planets through their signatures in the RV and TTV datasets of transiting. I show that the space of the best-fitting solutions may be remarkably degenerate if the perturbing planet is not observed directly (e.g. as in the case of Kepler 19-c), and that more extensive RV coverage can be used to break the degeneracy. In Chapter 4, I present the discovery of four new exoplanet candidates characterized with Keck/HIRES RV observations. The new exoplanets discovered around the host stars HD31253, HD218566, HD177830 and HD99492 comprise masses between M sin i ? 27 M? to M sin i ? 8 MJ . Of particular interest for the scope of this thesis, HD177830 is currently the only multiple-planet system orbiting a binary with aB class of self-gravitating instabilities driven by features in the surface density of protoplanetary disks (groove modes ). The emergence of these instabilities is studied via a generalized eigenvalue code and full two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations. I find that gaps in the surface density, such as those naturally carved in response to the formation of a giant planet, can excite a global two-armed mode at comparatively lower disk masses than in absence of such gaps. Chapter 6 describes a new code, SPHIGA, used to explore the issue of forming planets in circumstellar (CS) or circumbinary (CB) orbits during the planetesimal accretion phase and its feasibility within the core accretion framework. I investigate the balance between accreting and erosive impacts for the circumbinary planet Kepler 16-b and the feasibility of planet formation in situ as opposed to migration of an embryo formed at or outside the ice line. This dissertation includes reprints of the following material: (a) Meschiari, S., & Laughlin, G. 2008, ApJ, 679, L135; (b) Meschiari, S., Wolf, A. S., Rivera, E., et al. 2009, PASP, 121, 1016; (c) Meschiari, S., & Laughlin, G. P. 2010, ApJ, 718, 543; (d) Meschiari, S., Laughlin, G., Vogt, S. S., et al. 2011, ApJ, 727, 117; (e) Meschiari, S., 2012, ApJ, in press.

  14. Automatic Classification of Kepler Planetary Transit Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCauliff, Sean D.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Catanzarite, Joseph; Burke, Christopher J.; Coughlin, Jeffrey L.; Twicken, Joseph D.; Tenenbaum, Peter; Seader, Shawn; Li, Jie; Cote, Miles

    2015-06-01

    In the first three years of operation, the Kepler mission found 3697 planet candidates (PCs) from a set of 18,406 transit-like features detected on more than 200,000 distinct stars. Vetting candidate signals manually by inspecting light curves and other diagnostic information is a labor intensive effort. Additionally, this classification methodology does not yield any information about the quality of PCs; all candidates are as credible as any other. The torrent of exoplanet discoveries will continue after Kepler, because a number of exoplanet surveys will have an even broader search area. This paper presents the application of machine-learning techniques to the classification of the exoplanet transit-like signals present in the Kepler light curve data. Transit-like detections are transformed into a uniform set of real-numbered attributes, the most important of which are described in this paper. Each of the known transit-like detections is assigned a class of PC; astrophysical false positive; or systematic, instrumental noise. We use a random forest algorithm to learn the mapping from attributes to classes on this training set. The random forest algorithm has been used previously to classify variable stars; this is the first time it has been used for exoplanet classification. We are able to achieve an overall error rate of 5.85% and an error rate for classifying exoplanets candidates of 2.81%.

  15. Microphysics of Exoplanet Clouds and Hazes

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Report on the ''Chilean Exoplanet Meeting''

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sedaghati, E.; Boffin, H.

    2015-09-01

    The contribution of the Chilean scientific community to the field of exoplanetary research has been crucial in advancing our understanding of this relatively new discipline of astronomy. In order to highlight these achievements, present current areas of research and instrumentation development, and foster further collaborations, a one-day exoplanet focus meeting was organised at ESO Vitacura. A summary of the meeting is presented.

  17. Microphysics of Exoplanet Clouds and Hazes

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Microphysics of Exoplanet Clouds and Hazes

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission : XXII. CoRoT-16b: a hot Jupiter with a hint of eccentricity around a faint solar-like star

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ollivier, M.; Gillon, M.

    2012-01-01

    Aims. We report the discovery of CoRoT-16b, a low density hot jupiter that orbits a faint G5V star (mV = 15.63) in 5.3523 ± 0.0002 days with slight eccentricity. A fit of the data with no a priori assumptions on the orbit leads to an eccentricity of 0.33 ± 0.1. We discuss this value and also derive the mass and radius of the planet. Methods. We analyse the photometric transit curve of CoRoT-16 given by the CoRoT satellite, and radial velocity data from the HARPS and HIRES spectrometers. A combined analysis using a Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm is used to get the system parameters. Results. CoRoT-16b is a 0.535 ?0.083/+0.085 MJ, 1.17 ?0.14/+0.16 RJ hot Jupiter with a density of 0.44 ?0.14/+0.21 g?cm-3. Despite its short orbital distance (0.0618 ± 0.0015 AU) and the age of the parent star (6.73 ± 2.8 Gyr), the planet orbit exhibits significantly non-zero eccentricity. This is very uncommon for this type of objects as tidal effects tend to circularise the orbit. This value is discussed taking into account the characteristics of the star and the observation accuracy.

  20. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission XXVIII. CoRoT-33b, an object in the brown dwarf desert with 2:3 commensurability with its host star

    CERN Document Server

    Csizmadia, Sz; Gandolfi, G; Deleuil, M; Bouchy, M; Fridlund, M; Szabados, L; Parviainen, H; Cabrera, J; Aigrain, S; Alonso, R; Almenara, J M; Baglin, A; Bordé, P; Bonomo, A S; Deeg, H J; D?az, R F; Erikson, A; Ferraz-Mello, S; Santos, M Tadeu dos; Guenther, E W; Guillot, T; Grziwa, S; Hébrard, G; Klagyivik, P; Ollivier, M; Pätzold, M; Rauer, H; Rouan, D; Santerne, A; Schneider, J; Mazeh, T; Wuchterl, G; Carpano, S; Ofir, A

    2015-01-01

    We report the detection of a rare transiting brown dwarf with a mass of 59 M_Jup and radius of 1.1 R_Jup around the metal-rich, [Fe/H] = +0.44, G9V star CoRoT-33. The orbit is eccentric (e = 0.07) with a period of 5.82 d. The companion, CoRoT-33b, is thus a new member in the so-called brown dwarf desert. The orbital period is within 3% to a 3:2 resonance with the rotational period of the star. CoRoT-33b may be an important test case for tidal evolution studies. The true frequency of brown dwarfs close to their host stars (P < 10 d) is estimated to be approximately 0.2% which is about six times smaller than the frequency of hot Jupiters in the same period range. We suspect that the frequency of brown dwarfs declines faster with decreasing period than that of giant planets.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Swift, Jonathan J; 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; 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

    2014-01-01

    The MINiature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array (MINERVA) is a US-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. In this article, 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, CA, and their on-sky performance...

  2. Optical transmission photometry of the highly inflated exoplanet WASP-17b

    CERN Document Server

    Bento, J; Copperwheat, C M; Fortney, J J; Dhillon, V S; Hickman, R; Littlefair, S P; Marsh, T R; Parsons, S G; Southworth, J

    2013-01-01

    We present ground-based high-precision observations of the transit of WASP-17b using the multi-band photometer ULTRACAM on ESO's NTT in the context of performing transmission spectrophotometry of this highly inflated exoplanet. Our choice of filters (SDSS u', g' and r' bands) is designed to probe for the presence of opacity sources in the upper atmosphere. We find evidence for a wavelength dependence in the planet radius in the form of enhanced absorption in the SDSS r' band, consistent with a previously detected broad sodium feature. We present a new independent measurement of the planetary radius at Rpl = 1.97 +/- 0.06 Rjup, which confirms this planet as the most inflated exoplanet known to date. Our measurements are most consistent with an atmospheric profile devoid of enhanced TiO opacity, previously predicted to be present for this planet.

  3. Mapping Directly Imaged Giant Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostov, Veselin; Apai, Dániel

    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 H2O, CH4, 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, cloud cover, cloud colors, and spectra but even cloud evolution. We also show that a longitudinal map of the planet's atmosphere can be deduced from its disk-integrated light curves.

  4. High resolution transmission spectrum of the Earth's atmosphere -- Seeing Earth as an exoplanet using a lunar eclipse

    CERN Document Server

    Yan, Fei; Petr-Gotzens, Monika G; Zhao, Gang; Wang, Wei; Wang, Liang; Liu, Yujuan; Pallé, Enric

    2014-01-01

    With the rapid developments in the exoplanet field, more and more terrestrial exoplanets are being detected. Characterising their atmospheres using transit observations will become a key datum in the quest for detecting an Earth-like exoplanet. The atmospheric transmission spectrum of our Earth will be an ideal template for comparison with future exo-Earth candidates. By observing a lunar eclipse, which offers a similar configuration to that of an exoplanet transit, we have obtained a high resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio transmission spectrum of the Earth's atmosphere. This observation was performed with the High Resolution Spectrograph at Xinglong Station, China during the total lunar eclipse in December 2011. We compare the observed transmission spectrum with our atmospheric model, and determine the characteristics of the various atmospheric species in detail. In the transmission spectrum, O2, O3, O2-O2, NO2 and H2O are detected, and their column densities are measured and compared with the satell...

  5. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission?. XXVIII. CoRoT-33b, an object in the brown dwarf desert with 2:3 commensurability with its host star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csizmadia, Sz.; Hatzes, A.; Gandolfi, D.; Deleuil, M.; Bouchy, F.; Fridlund, M.; Szabados, L.; Parviainen, H.; Cabrera, J.; Aigrain, S.; Alonso, R.; Almenara, J.-M.; Baglin, A.; Bordé, P.; Bonomo, A. S.; Deeg, H. J.; Díaz, R. F.; Erikson, A.; Ferraz-Mello, S.; Tadeu dos Santos, M.; Guenther, E. W.; Guillot, T.; Grziwa, S.; Hébrard, G.; Klagyivik, P.; Ollivier, M.; Pätzold, M.; Rauer, H.; Rouan, D.; Santerne, A.; Schneider, J.; Mazeh, T.; Wuchterl, G.; Carpano, S.; Ofir, A.

    2015-12-01

    We report the detection of a rare transiting brown dwarf with a mass of 59 MJup and radius of 1.1 RJup around the metal-rich, [Fe/H] = +0.44, G9V star CoRoT-33. The orbit is eccentric (e = 0.07) with a period of 5.82 d. The companion, CoRoT-33b, is thus a new member in the so-called brown dwarf desert. The orbital period is within 3% to a 3:2 resonance with the rotational period of the star. CoRoT-33b may be an important test case for tidal evolution studies. The true frequency of brown dwarfs close to their host stars (P< 10 d) is estimated to be approximately 0.2% which is about six times smaller than the frequency of hot Jupiters in the same period range. We suspect that the frequency of brown dwarfs declines faster with decreasing period than that of giant planets. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27th 2006, has been developed and is operated by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA (RSSD and Science Programme), Germany and Spain. Based on observations made with HARPS (High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher) spectrograph on the 3.6-m European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere telescope at La Silla Observatory, Chile (ESO program 188.C-0779).Based on observations obtained with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, in time allocated by the Spanish Time Allocation Committee (CAT).

  6. VUV-absorption cross section of CO2 at high temperatures and impact on exoplanet atmospheres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venot Olivia

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Ultraviolet (UV absorption cross sections are an essential ingredient of photochemical atmosphere models. Exoplanet searches have unveiled a large population of short-period objects with hot atmospheres, very different from what we find in our solar system. Transiting exoplanets whose atmospheres can now be studied by transit spectroscopy receive extremely strong UV fluxes and have typical temperatures ranging from 400 to 2500 K. At these temperatures, UV photolysis cross section data are severely lacking. Our goal is to provide high-temperature absorption cross sections and their temperature dependency for important atmospheric compounds. This study is dedicated to CO2, which is observed and photodissociated in exoplanet atmospheres. We performed these measurements for the 115 - 200 nm range at 300, 410, 480, and 550 K. In the 195 - 230 nm range, we worked at seven temperatures between 465 and 800 K. We found that the absorption cross section of CO2 is very sensitive to temperature, especially above 160 nm. Within the studied range of temperature, the CO2 cross section can vary by more than two orders of magnitude. This, in particular, makes the absorption of CO2 significant up to wavelengths as high as 230 nm, while it is negligible above 200 nm at 300 K. To investigate the influence of these new data on the photochemistry of exoplanets, we implemented the measured cross section into a 1D photochemical model. The model predicts that accounting for this temperature dependency of CO2 cross section can affect the computed abundances of NH3, CO2, and CO by one order of magnitude in the atmospheres of hot Jupiter and hot Neptune.

  7. Planet Hunters. VIII. Characterization of 41 Long-Period Exoplanet Candidates from Kepler Archival Data

    CERN Document Server

    Wang, Ji; Barclay, Thomas; Picard, Alyssa; Ma, Bo; Bowler, Brendan P; Schmitt, Joseph R; Boyajian, Tabetha S; Jek, Kian J; LaCourse, Daryll; Baranec, Christoph; Riddle, Reed; Law, Nicholas M; Lintott, Chris; Schawinski, Kevin; Simister, Dean Joseph; Gregoire, Boscher; Babin, Sean P; Poile, Trevor; Jacobs, Thomas Lee; Jebson, Tony; Omohundro, Mark R; Schwengeler, Hans Martin; Sejpka, Johann; Terentev, Ivan A; Gagliano, Robert; Paakkonen, Jari-Pekka; Berge, Hans Kristian Otnes; Winarski, Troy; Green, Gerald R; Schmitt, Allan R

    2015-01-01

    The census of exoplanets is incomplete for orbital distances larger than 1 AU. Here, we present 41 long-period planet candidates in 38 systems identified by Planet Hunters based on Kepler archival data (Q0-Q17). Among them, 17 exhibit only one transit, 14 have two visible transits and 10 have more than three visible transits. For planet candidates with only one visible transit, we estimate their orbital periods based on transit duration and host star properties. The majority of the planet candidates in this work (75%) have orbital periods that correspond to distances of 1-3 AU from their host stars. We conduct follow-up imaging and spectroscopic observations to validate and characterize planet host stars. In total, we obtain adaptive optics images for 33 stars to search for possible blending sources. Six stars have stellar companions within 4". We obtain high-resolution spectra for 6 stars to determine their physical properties. Stellar properties for other stars are obtained from the NASA Exoplanet Archive a...

  8. A TEMPERATURE AND ABUNDANCE RETRIEVAL METHOD FOR EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We present a new method to retrieve molecular abundances and temperature profiles from exoplanet atmosphere photometry and spectroscopy. We run millions of one-dimensional (1D) atmosphere models in order to cover the large range of allowed parameter space. In order to run such a large number of models, we have developed a parametric pressure-temperature (P-T) profile coupled with line-by-line radiative transfer, hydrostatic equilibrium, and energy balance, along with prescriptions for non-equilibrium molecular composition and energy redistribution. The major difference from traditional 1D radiative transfer models is the parametric P-T profile, which essentially means adopting energy balance only at the top of the atmosphere and not in each layer. We see the parametric P-T model as a parallel approach to the traditional exoplanet atmosphere models that rely on several free parameters to encompass unknown absorbers and energy redistribution. The parametric P-T profile captures the basic physical features of temperature structures in planetary atmospheres (including temperature inversions), and fits a wide range of published P-T profiles, including those of solar system planets. We apply our temperature and abundance retrieval method to the atmospheres of two transiting exoplanets, HD 189733b and HD 209458b, which have the best Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescope data available. For HD 189733b, we find efficient day-night redistribution of energy in the atmosphere, and molecular abundance constraints confirming the presence of H2O, CO, CH4, and CO2. For HD 209458b, we confirm and constrain the dayside thermal inversion in an average 1D temperature profile. We also report independent detections of H2O, CO, CH4, and CO2 on the dayside of HD 209458b, based on six-channel Spitzer photometry. We report constraints for HD 189733b due to individual data sets separately; a few key observations are variable in different data sets at similar wavelengths. Moreover, a noticeably strong CO2 absorption in one data set is significantly weaker in another. We must, therefore, acknowledge the strong possibility that the atmosphere is variable, both in its energy redistribution state and in the chemical abundances.

  9. A Novel Approach to Atmospheric Retrieval for Small Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lustig-Yaeger, Jacob; Meadows, Victoria; Line, Michael; Crisp, David

    2015-11-01

    Retrieval of environmental parameters from the spectra of sub-Neptune and terrestrial extrasolar planets is extremely challenging due to the observational difficulty, the inherent complexity of planetary processes, and the likely diversity of environments for these small objects. The best retrieval techniques will use observations of the star-planet system along with knowledge of planetary processes gleaned from objects in the Solar System to constrain retrieved environmental parameters.We present ongoing work of the Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL) to develop a versatile terrestrial atmosphere retrieval suite capable of capturing a wide range of terrestrial planet processes while employing robust statistics. Our novel approach is to produce fits to observed spectra that discriminate between degenerate solutions by considering limitations on planetary environments derived from known physics and chemistry. The forward model leverages the SMART 1-D line-by-line, fully multiple-scattering and widely validated radiative transfer model (Meadows & Crisp 1996) as the primary workhorse for computing transit transmission, thermal emission, and reflectance spectroscopy. Following the approach of the CHIMERA code (Line et al 2013; 2014), we employ a variety of inverse models for the problem of parameter estimation. Here we present preliminary results using optimal estimation for terrestrial and sub-Neptune planets. The model is being validated against synthetic, Solar System, and existing exoplanet observations.This model will be used to explore the capabilities of key telescope architectures, to understand information loss when planets are viewed as a point source, and to provide a data analysis framework for future sub-Neptune, super-Earth, and Earth analog exoplanet observations.

  10. Transit Spectra of a Hazy World Revealed by Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Maltagliati, Luca; Marley, Mark S.

    2015-01-01

    Hazes dramatically influence exoplanet observations by obscuring deeper atmospheric layers. This effect is especially pronounced in transit spectroscopy, which probes large pathlengths through an exoplanet atmosphere as it crosses the disk of its host star. While hazes are proposed to explain observed featureless transit spectra, it is difficult to make inferences from the observations because of the need to disentangle effects of noise, gas absorption, and haze extinction. Here, we turn to Titan, an extremely well studied world with a hazy atmosphere, to better understand how high altitude hazes can impact exoplanet transit observations. We use solar occultation observations from the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft to generate transit spectra. Our approach exploits symmetry between occultations and transits, producing transit radius spectra that inherently include the effects of haze multiple scattering, refraction, and gas absorption. The data, which span 0.88-5 microns at a resolution of 12-18 nm, show strong methane absorption features, and weaker features due to other gases, including acetylene and carbon monoxide. Unlike the usual assumption made when modeling and interpreting transit observations of potentially hazy worlds, the slope set by haze in our spectra is not flat, and creates a variation in transit height whose magnitude is comparable to those from the strongest gaseous absorption features. We use a simple model of haze extinction to explore how Titan's haze affects its transit spectrum, and demonstrate how high altitude hazes can severely limit the atmospheric depths probed by transit spectra, bounding our observations to pressures smaller than 0.1-10 mbar, depending on wavelength. Overall, these new data challenge our understanding of how hazes influence exoplanet transit observations, and provide a means of testing proposed approaches for exoplanet characterization. Additionally, our findings will help with the interpretation of future exoplanet observations, especially since the VIMS instrument overlaps in wavelength with several instruments that will launch with NASA's James Webb Space Telescope.

  11. Titan Reveals Transit Spectra of a Definitively Hazy World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Maltagliati, Luca; Marley, Mark S.; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2014-11-01

    Hazes dramatically influence exoplanet observations by obscuring deeper atmospheric layers. This effect is especially pronounced in transit spectroscopy, which probes large pathlengths through an exoplanet atmosphere as it crosses the disk of its host star. While hazes are proposed to explain observed featureless transit spectra, it is difficult to make inferences from the observations because of the need to disentangle effects of noise, gas absorption, and haze extinction. Here, we turn to Titan, an extremely well studied world with a hazy atmosphere, to better understand how high altitude hazes can impact exoplanet transit observations. We use solar occultation observations from the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft to generate transit spectra. Our approach exploits symmetry between occultations and transits, producing transit radius spectra that inherently include the effects of haze multiple scattering, refraction, and gas absorption. The data, which span 0.88-5 microns at a resolution of 12-18 nm, show strong methane absorption features, and weaker features due to other gases, including acetylene and carbon monoxide. Unlike the usual assumption made when modeling and interpreting transit observations of potentially hazy worlds, the slope set by haze in our spectra is neither flat nor has a pure Rayleigh slope, and creates a variation in transit height whose magnitude is comparable to those from the strongest gaseous absorption features. We use a simple model of haze extinction to explore how Titan's haze affects its transit spectrum, and demonstrate how high altitude hazes can severely limit the atmospheric depths probed by transit spectra, bounding our observations to pressures smaller than 0.1-10 mbar, depending on wavelength. Overall, these new data challenge our understanding of how hazes influence exoplanet transit observations, and provide a means of testing proposed approaches for exoplanet characterization. Additionally, our findings will help with the interpretation of future exoplanet observations, especially since the VIMS instrument overlaps in wavelength with several instruments that will launch with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

  12. Transit and radial velocity survey efficiency comparison for a habitable zone Earth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burke, Christopher J. [SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); McCullough, P. R., E-mail: christopher.j.burke@nasa.gov [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Transit and radial velocity searches are two techniques for identifying nearby extrasolar planets to Earth that transit bright stars. Identifying a robust sample of these exoplanets around bright stars for detailed atmospheric characterization is a major observational undertaking. In this study we describe a framework that answers the question of whether a transit or radial velocity survey is more efficient at finding transiting exoplanets given the same amount of observing time. Within the framework we show that a transit survey's window function can be approximated using the hypergeometric probability distribution. We estimate the observing time required for a transit survey to find a transiting Earth-sized exoplanet in the habitable zone (HZ) with an emphasis on late-type stars. We also estimate the radial velocity precision necessary to detect the equivalent HZ Earth-mass exoplanet that also transits when using an equal amount of observing time as the transit survey. We find that a radial velocity survey with ?{sub rv} ? 0.6 m s{sup –1} precision has comparable efficiency in terms of observing time to a transit survey with the requisite photometric precision ?{sub phot} ? 300 ppm to find a transiting Earth-sized exoplanet in the HZ of late M dwarfs. For super-Earths, a ?{sub rv} ? 2.0 m s{sup –1} precision radial velocity survey has comparable efficiency to a transit survey with ?{sub phot} ? 2300 ppm.

  13. Instrumentation for the detection and characterization of exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Pepe, Francesco; Ehrenreich, David; Meyer, Michael R

    2014-01-01

    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 about exoplanets was mainly based on philosophical and theoretical considerations. The following years have been marked, instead, by surprising discoveries made possible by high-precision instruments. More recently the availability of new techniques moved the focus from detection to the characterization of exoplanets. Next-gene...

  14. What can exoplanets tell us about our Solar System?

    OpenAIRE

    Lineweaver, Charles H.; Grether, Daniel; Hidas, Marton

    2002-01-01

    We update our analysis of recent exoplanet data that gives us a partial answer to the question: How does our Solar System compare to the other planetary systems in the Universe? Exoplanets detected between January and August 2002 strengthen the conclusion that Jupiter is a typical massive planet rather than an outlier. The trends in detected exoplanets do not rule out the hypothesis that our Solar System is typical. They support it.

  15. Exoplanet Predictions Based on the Generalised Titius-Bode Relation

    OpenAIRE

    Bovaird, Timothy; Lineweaver, Charles H.

    2013-01-01

    We evaluate the extent to which newly detected exoplanetary systems containing at least four planets adhere to a generalized Titius-Bode (TB) relation. We find that the majority of exoplanet systems in our sample adhere to the TB relation to a greater extent than the Solar System does, particularly those detected by the Kepler mission. We use a generalized TB relation to make a list of predictions for the existence of 141 additional exoplanets in 68 multiple-exoplanet system...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Instrumentation for the detection and characterization of exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:25230658

  18. An exoplanet in orbit around tau^1 Gruis

    OpenAIRE

    Jones, Hugh R. A.; Butler, R. Paul; Tinney, Chris G; Marcy, Geoff W.; Penny, Alan J.; McCarthy, Chris; Carter, Brad D.

    2002-01-01

    We report the detection of a new candidate exoplanet around the metal-rich star tau^1 Gruis. With M sin $i$ = 1.23+/-0.18 M_JUP, a period of 1326+/-300 d and an orbit with an eccentricity of 0.14+/-0.14 it adds to the growing population of long period exoplanets with near-circular orbits. This population now comprises more than 20% of known exoplanets. When the companion to tau^1 Gruis is plotted together with all exoplanets found by the Anglo-Australian Planet Search and ...

  19. Exoplanet Science with E-ELT/METIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Observing Exoplanets in the Mid-Ultraviolet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heap. Sara

    2008-01-01

    There are good reasons for pushing the spectral range of observation to shorter wavelengths than currently envisaged for terrestrial planet-finding missions utilizing with a 4-m, diffraction-limited, optical telescope: (1) The angular resolution is higher, so the image of an exoplanet is better separated from that of the much brighter star. (2) The exozodiacal background per resolution element is smaller, so exposure times are reduced for the same incident flux. (3) Most importantly, the sensitivity to the ozone biomarker is increased by several hundred-fold by access to the ozone absorption band at 250-300 nm. These benefits must be weighed against challenges arising from the faintness of exoplanets in the mid-UV. We will evaluate both the technical and cost challenges including image quality of large telescopes, advanced mirror coatings and innovative designs for enhanced optical throughput, and CCD detectors optimized for 250-400 nm.

  1. Statistical Signatures of Panspermia in Exoplanet Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 5? 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.

  2. Exoplanet atmospheres with EChO: spectral retrievals using EChOSim

    CERN Document Server

    Barstow, Joanna K; Aigrain, Suzanne; Fletcher, Leigh N; Irwin, Patrick G J; Varley, Ryan; Pascale, Enzo

    2014-01-01

    We demonstrate the effectiveness of the Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory mission concept for constraining the atmospheric properties of hot and warm gas giants and super Earths. Synthetic primary and secondary transit spectra for a range of planets are passed through EChOSim (Waldmann & Pascale 2014) to obtain the expected level of noise for different observational scenarios; these are then used as inputs for the NEMESIS atmospheric retrieval code and the retrieved atmospheric properties (temperature structure, composition and cloud properties) compared with the known input values, following the method of Barstow et al. (2013a). To correctly retrieve the temperature structure and composition of the atmosphere to within 2 {\\sigma}, we find that we require: a single transit or eclipse of a hot Jupiter orbiting a sun-like (G2) star at 35 pc to constrain the terminator and dayside atmospheres; 20 transits or eclipses of a warm Jupiter orbiting a similar star; 10 transits/eclipses of a hot Neptune orbiti...

  3. TEST - The Tautenburg Exoplanet Search Telescope

    OpenAIRE

    Eigmüller, Philipp; Eislöffel, Jochen

    2008-01-01

    The Tautenburg Exoplanet Search Telescope (TEST) is a robotic telescope system. The telescope uses a folded Schmidt Camera with a 300mm main mirror. The focal length is 940mm and it gives a 2.2 square degree field of view. Dome, mount, and CCD cameras are controlled by a software bundle made by Software Bisque. The automation of the telescope includes selection of the night observing program from a given framework, taking darks and skyflats, field identification, guiding, da...

  4. Asteroseismology of exoplanets-host stars

    OpenAIRE

    Vauclair, Sylvie

    2006-01-01

    Studying the internal structure of exoplanets-host stars compared to that of similar stars without detected planets is particularly important for the understanding of planetary formation. The observed overmetallicity of stars around which planets have been detected may be a hint in that respect. In this framework, asteroseismic studies represent an excellent tool to determine the structural differences between stars with and without detected planets. After a general discussi...

  5. THEORETICAL SPECTRA OF TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANET SURFACES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 ?m and 15-25 ?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 (Ag(K) – Ag(J)): Ag(K) – Ag(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; Ag(K) – Ag(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.

  6. Thermodynamic Limits on Magnetodynamos in Rocky Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

    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 ...

  7. Advances in exoplanet science from Kepler

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    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 the majority of known exoplanets, the smallest planets to orbit normal stars, and the worlds most likely to be similar to our home planet. Most importantly, Kepler has provided our first look at typical characteristics of planets and planetary systems for planets with sizes as small as and orbits a...

  8. Investigating Nearby Exoplanets via Interstellar Radar

    OpenAIRE

    Scheffer, Louis K.

    2013-01-01

    Interstellar radar is a potential intermediate step between passive observation of exoplanets and interstellar exploratory missions. Compared to 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 t...

  9. Young Brown Dwarfs as Giant Exoplanet Analogs

    OpenAIRE

    Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Cruz, Kelle L.; Rice, Emily L.; Riedel, Adric

    2013-01-01

    Young brown dwarfs and directly-imaged exoplanets have enticingly similar photometric and spectroscopic characteristics, indicating that their cool, low gravity atmospheres should be studied in concert. Similarities between the peculiar shaped H band, near and mid-IR photometry as well as location on color magnitude diagrams provide important clues about how to extract physical properties of planets from current brown dwarf observations. In this proceeding we discuss systems...

  10. Transit Detection in the MEarth Survey of Nearby M Dwarfs: Bridging the Clean-First, Search-Later Divide

    OpenAIRE

    Berta, Zachory K.; Irwin, Jonathan; Charbonneau, David; Burke, Christopher J.; Falco, Emilio E.

    2012-01-01

    In the effort to characterize the masses, radii, and atmospheres of potentially habitable exoplanets, there is an urgent need to find examples of such planets transiting nearby M dwarfs. The MEarth Project is an ongoing effort to do so, as a ground-based photometric survey designed to detect exoplanets as small as 2 Earth radii transiting mid-to-late M dwarfs within 33 pc of the Sun. Unfortunately, identifying transits of such planets in photometric monitoring is complicated...

  11. Electron densities and alkali atoms in exoplanet atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Lavvas, Panayotis; Yelle, Roger V

    2014-01-01

    We describe a detailed study on the properties of alkali atoms in extrasolar giant planets, and specifically focus on their role in generating the atmospheric free electron densities, as well as their impact on the transit depth observations. We focus our study on the case of HD 209458 b, and we show that photoionization produces a large electron density in the middle atmosphere that is about two orders of magnitude larger than the density anticipated from thermal ionization. Our purely photochemical calculations though result in a much larger transit depth for K than observed for this planet. This result does not change even if the roles of molecular chemistry and excited state chemistry are considered for the alkali atoms. In contrast, the model results for the case of exoplanet XO-2 b are in good agreement with the available observations. Given these results we discuss other possible scenarios, such as changes in the elemental abundances, changes in the temperature profiles, and the possible presence of cl...

  12. THE EXOPLANET CENSUS: A GENERAL METHOD APPLIED TO KEPLER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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?, and orbital period, up to 50 days. The estimated number of planets per star in this sample is ?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?. The size distribution changes appreciably between these four samples, revealing a relative deficit of ?3 R? 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.

  13. The pupil mapping exoplanet coronagraphic observer (PECO)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guyon, Olivier; Shaklan, Stuart; Levine, Marie; Cahoy, Kerri; Tenerelli, Domenick; Belikov, Ruslan; Kern, Brian

    2010-07-01

    The Pupil-mapping Exoplanet Coronagraphic Observer (PECO) mission concept is a 1.4-m space-based coronagraphic telescope optimized to image exoplanets and disks at optical wavelengths and characterize them through low resolution spectroscopy and polarimetry. Thanks to a high efficiency Phase-Induced Amplitude Apodization (PIAA) coronagraph, PECO can deliver 1e-10 contrast at 2 ?/D separation (0.15") with no loss in angular resolution or throughput due to the coronagraph. PECO acquires narrow field images simultaneously in 16 spectral bands over wavelengths from 0.4 to 0.9 ?m , utilizing all available photons for maximum wavefront sensing efficiency and optimal sensitivity for imaging and spectroscopy. PECO can detect and characterize potentially habitable planets around 20 known F, G, K type stars, and map exozodiacal clouds to a fraction of our own own zodiacal dust content. PECO's key technologies are currently under active development at several testbeds, and will enable efficient exoplanet imaging missions across a wide range of telescope sizes, from a sub-meter debris disk and giant planet imager to a ~4-m life-finding mission.

  14. Mass-radius relationships for exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Swift, Damian; Hicks, Damien; Hamel, Sebastien; Caspersen, Kyle; Schwegler, Eric; Collins, Gilbert; Ackland, Graeme

    2010-01-01

    For planets other than Earth, and in particular for exoplanets, interpretation of the composition and structure depends largely on a comparison of the mass and radius with the composition expected given their distance from the parent star. The composition implies a mass-radius relation for different layers within the planet, which is based heavily on equations of state calculated from electronic structure theory and measured experimentally on Earth. We summarize current techniques for predicting and measuring equations of state, and calculate mass-radius relations for key materials for which the equation of state is reasonably well established, and for Fe-rock combinations. The relations are compared with the observed masses and radii of planets and exoplanets, broadly supporting recent inferences about exoplanet structures. CoRoT-7b probably has a rocky mantle over an Fe-based core. The core is likely to be proportionately smaller than the Earth's. GJ 1214b lies between the mass-radius curves for H_2Oand CH_...

  15. TWO EXOPLANETS DISCOVERED AT KECK OBSERVATORY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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+ 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-1. HD 73534 is a G5 subgiant with a Jupiter-like planet of M sin i = 1.1 MJup and K = 16 m s-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-1), but rises linearly toward low eccentricity for lower amplitude systems (K > 20 m s-1).

  16. Theoretical Spectra of Terrestrial Exoplanet Surfaces

    CERN Document Server

    Hu, Renyu; Seager, Sara

    2012-01-01

    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_g (K)-A_g (J)): A_g (K)-A_g (J) > 0.2 indicates that more than half of the planet's surface has abundant mafic minerals, such as oliv...

  17. A continuum from clear to cloudy hot-Jupiter exoplanets without primordial water depletion

    CERN Document Server

    Sing, David K; Nikolov, Nikolay; Wakeford, Hannah R; Kataria, Tiffany; Evans, Thomas M; Aigrain, Suzanne; Ballester, Gilda E; Burrows, Adam S; Deming, Drake; Désert, Jean-Michel; Gibson, Neale P; Henry, Gregory W; Huitson, Catherine M; Knutson, Heather A; Etangs, Alain Lecavelier des; Pont, Frederic; Showman, Adam P; Vidal-Madjar, Alfred; Williamson, Michael H; Wilson, Paul A

    2015-01-01

    Thousands of transiting exoplanets have been discovered, but spectral analysis of their atmospheres has so far been dominated by a small number of exoplanets and data spanning relatively narrow wavelength ranges (such as 1.1 to 1.7 {\\mu}m). Recent studies show that some hot-Jupiter exoplanets have much weaker water absorption features in their near-infrared spectra than predicted. The low amplitude of water signatures could be explained by very low water abundances, which may be a sign that water was depleted in the protoplanetary disk at the planet's formation location, but it is unclear whether this level of depletion can actually occur. Alternatively, these weak signals could be the result of obscuration by clouds or hazes, as found in some optical spectra. Here we report results from a comparative study of ten hot Jupiters covering the wavelength range 0.3-5 micrometres, which allows us to resolve both the optical scattering and infrared molecular absorption spectroscopically. Our results reveal a diverse...

  18. Objev nové ELL prom?nné hv?zdy v souhv?zdí Kentaura a možnost detekce nových exoplanet pomocí dalekohledu FRAM.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pintr, Pavel; Vápenka, David; Mašek, M.

    2015-01-01

    Ro?. 60, ?. 2 (2015), s. 65-68. ISSN 0447-6441 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1206; GA ?R GA13-10365S Institutional support: RVO:61389021 Keywords : variable star * light curve * FRAM * period analysis * exoplanet transit Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics http://jmo.fzu.cz/

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 consortium is open and invites new contributions and collaborations.

  20. Buildup of Abiotic Oxygen and Ozone in Atmospheres of Temperate Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinboehl, Armin; Willacy, Karen; Friedson, Andrew James; Swain, Mark R.

    2015-12-01

    The last two decades have seen a rapid increase in the detection and characterization of exoplanets. A focus of future missions will be on the subset of transiting, terrestrial, temperate exoplanets as they are the strongest candidates to harbor life as we know it.An important bioindicator for life as we know it is the existence of significant amounts of oxygen, and its photochemical byproduct ozone, in the exoplanet’s atmosphere. However, abiotic processes also produce oxygen and ozone, and the amount of oxygen abiotically produced in an atmosphere will largely depend on other atmospheric parameters. Constraining this parameter space will be essential to avoid ‘false positive’ detections of life, that is the interpretation of oxygen or ozone as a bioindicator despite being produced abiotically.Based on 1D radiative-convective model calculations, Wordsworth and Pierrehumbert (ApJL, 2014) recently pointed out that the formation and buildup of abiotic oxygen on water-rich planets largely depends on the amount of non-condensable gases in the atmosphere. The amount of non-condensable gases determines whether an atmosphere will develop a 'cold-trap' (similar to the tropopause on Earth) that contains most of the water in the lower atmosphere and dries out the upper atmosphere. If water vapor is a major constituent of the atmosphere, this cold-trapping is inhibited, leading to a much moister upper atmosphere. Water vapor in the upper atmosphere is photolyzed due to the availability of hard UV radiation, yielding oxygen.We use a photochemical model coupled to a 1D radiative-convective climate model to self-consistently study this effect in atmospheres with N2, CO2 and H2O as the main constituents. These are typical constituents for secondary, oxidized atmospheres, and they can exist in a wide range of ratios. We calculate the amounts of abiotically produced oxygen and ozone and determine the vertical structure of temperature and constituent mixing ratios for various input parameters. We use a radiative transfer model to study the spectroscopic fingerprint of these atmospheres in transit observations with a focus on the capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope. We compare these results to spectra of Earth as it would be seen as an exoplanet.

  1. What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets: Kepler-410A b is a Small Neptune around a bright star, in an eccentric orbit consistent with low obliquity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Eylen, Vincent; Lund, Mikkel N.; Silva Aguirre, Victor; Arentoft, Torben; Kjeldsen, Hans; Albrecht, Simon; Chaplin, William J.; Isaacson, Howard; Pedersen, May G.; Jessen-Hansen, Jens; Tingley, Brandon W.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Joergen; Aerts, Conny; Campante, Tiago L.; Bryson, Stephen T.

    2014-01-01

    We confirm the Kepler planet candidate Kepler-410b (KOI-42b) as a Neptune sized exoplanet on a 17.8 day, eccentric orbit around the bright (Kp = 9.4) star Kepler-410A. This is the third brightest confirmed planet host star in the Kepler field and one of the brightest hosts of all currently known transiting exoplanets. Kepler-410 consists of a blend between the fast rotating planet host star (Kepler-410A) and a fainter star (Kepler-410B), which has complicated the confirmation of the planetary ca...

  2. What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets: Kepler-410A b is a Small Neptune around a bright star, in an eccentric orbit consistent with low obliquity

    OpenAIRE

    Van Eylen, Vincent; Lund, Mikkel N.; Aguirre, Victor Silva; Arentoft, Torben; Kjeldsen, Hans; Albrecht, Simon; Chaplin, William J.; Isaacson, Howard; Pedersen, May G.; Jessen-Hansen, Jens; Tingley, Brandon W; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Joergen; Aerts, Conny; Campante, Tiago L.; Bryson, Stephen T.

    2013-01-01

    We confirm the Kepler planet candidate Kepler-410b (KOI-42b) as a Neptune sized exoplanet on a 17.8 day, eccentric orbit around the bright (Kp = 9.4) star Kepler-410A. This is the third brightest confirmed planet host star in the Kepler field and one of the brightest hosts of all currently known transiting exoplanets. Kepler-410 consists of a blend between the fast rotating planet host star (Kepler-410A) and a fainter star (Kepler-410B), which has complicated the confirmatio...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. The Ultraviolet Radiation Environment around M Dwarf Exoplanet Host Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    France, Kevin; Froning, Cynthia S.; Linsky, Jeffrey L.; Roberge, Aki; Stocke, John T.; Tian, Feng; Bushinsky, Rachel; Desert, Jean-Michel; Mauas, Pablo; Mauas, Pablo; Walkowicz, Lucianne M.

    2013-01-01

    The spectral and temporal behavior of exoplanet host stars is a critical input to models of the chemistry and evolution of planetary atmospheres. Ultraviolet photons influence the atmospheric temperature profiles and production of potential biomarkers on Earth-like planets around these stars. At present, little observational or theoretical basis exists for understanding the ultraviolet spectra of M dwarfs, despite their critical importance to predicting and interpreting the spectra of potentially habitable planets as they are obtained in the coming decades. Using observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, we present a study of the UV radiation fields around nearby M dwarf planet hosts that covers both far-UV (FUV) and near-UV (NUV) wavelengths. The combined FUV+NUV spectra are publicly available in machine-readable format. We find that all six exoplanet host stars in our sample (GJ 581, GJ 876, GJ 436, GJ 832, GJ 667C, and GJ 1214) exhibit some level of chromospheric and transition region UV emission. No "UV-quiet" M dwarfs are observed. The bright stellar Lyman-alpha emission lines are reconstructed, and we find that the Lyman-alpha line fluxes comprise approximately 37%-75% of the total 1150-3100 A flux from most M dwarfs; approximately greater than 10(exp3) times the solar value. We develop an empirical scaling relation between Lyman-alpha and Mg II emission, to be used when interstellar H I attenuation precludes the direct observation of Lyman-alpha. The intrinsic unreddened flux ratio is F(Lyman-alpha)/F(Mg II) = 10(exp3). The F(FUV)/F(NUV) flux ratio, a driver for abiotic production of the suggested biomarkers O2 and O3, is shown to be approximately 0.5-3 for all M dwarfs in our sample, greather than 10(exp3) times the solar ratio. For the four stars with moderate signal-to-noise Cosmic Origins Spectrograph time-resolved spectra, we find UV emission line variability with amplitudes of 50%.500% on 10(exp2)-10(exp3) s timescales. This effect should be taken into account in future UV transiting planet studies, including searches for O3 on Earth-like planets. Finally, we observe relatively bright H2 fluorescent emission from four of the M dwarf exoplanetary systems (GJ 581, GJ 876, GJ 436, and GJ 832). Additional modeling work is needed to differentiate between a stellar photospheric or possible exoplanetary origin for the hot (T(H2) approximately equal to 2000-4000 K) molecular gas observed in these objects.

  5. Using the inclinations of Kepler systems to prioritize new Titius-Bode-based exoplanet predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovaird, T.; Lineweaver, C. H.; Jacobsen, S. K.

    2015-04-01

    We analyse a sample of multiple-exoplanet systems which contain at least three transiting planets detected by the Kepler mission (`Kepler multiples'). We use a generalized Titius-Bode relation to predict the periods of 228 additional planets in 151 of these Kepler multiples. These Titius-Bode-based predictions suggest that there are, on average, 2 ± 1 planets in the habitable zone of each star. We estimate the inclination of the invariable plane for each system and prioritize our planet predictions by their geometric probability to transit. We highlight a short list of 77 predicted planets in 40 systems with a high geometric probability to transit, resulting in an expected detection rate of ˜15 per cent, ˜3 times higher than the detection rate of our previous Titius-Bode-based predictions.

  6. Using the Inclinations of Kepler Systems to Prioritize New Titius-Bode-Based Exoplanet Predictions

    CERN Document Server

    Bovaird, Timothy; Jacobsen, Steffen K

    2014-01-01

    We analyze a sample of multiple-exoplanet systems which contain at least 3 transiting planets detected by the Kepler mission ("Kepler multiples"). We use a generalized Titius-Bode relation to predict the periods of 228 additional planets in 151 of these Kepler multiples. These Titius-Bode-based predictions suggest that there are, on average, ~2 planets in the habitable zone of each star. We estimate the inclination of the invariable plane for each system and prioritize our planet predictions by their geometric probability to transit. We highlight a short list of 77 predicted planets in 40 systems with a high geometric probability to transit, resulting in an expected detection rate of ~15%, ~3 times higher than the detection rate of our previous Titius-Bode-based predictions.

  7. Radial Velocity Prospects Current and Future: A White Paper Report prepared by the Study Analysis Group 8 for the Exoplanet Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG)

    CERN Document Server

    Plavchan, Peter; Gaudi, Scott; Crepp, Justin; Xavier, Dumusque; Furesz, Gabor; Vanderburg, Andrew; Blake, Cullen; Fischer, Debra; Prato, Lisa; White, Russel; Makarov, Valeri; Marcy, Geoff; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Haywood, Raphaëlle; Collier-Cameron, Andrew; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Anglada, Guillem; Muirhead, Philip

    2015-01-01

    [Abridged] The Study Analysis Group 8 of the NASA Exoplanet Analysis Group was convened to assess the current capabilities and the future potential of the precise radial velocity (PRV) method to advance the NASA goal to "search for planetary bodies and Earth-like planets in orbit around other stars.: (U.S. National Space Policy, June 28, 2010). PRVs complement other exoplanet detection methods, for example offering a direct path to obtaining the bulk density and thus the structure and composition of transiting exoplanets. Our analysis builds upon previous community input, including the ExoPlanet Community Report chapter on radial velocities in 2008, the 2010 Decadal Survey of Astronomy, the Penn State Precise Radial Velocities Workshop response to the Decadal Survey in 2010, and the NSF Portfolio Review in 2012. The radial-velocity detection of exoplanets is strongly endorsed by both the Astro 2010 Decadal Survey "New Worlds, New Horizons" and the NSF Portfolio Review, and the community has recommended robust...

  8. SOPHIE and HARPS-N spectroscopy of Kepler transit candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santerne, A.; Hébrard, G.; Moutou, C.; Bouchy, F.; Díaz, R. F.; Almenara, J.-M.; Barros, S. C. C.; Boisse, I.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bruno, G.; Damiani, C.; Deleuil, M.; Montagnier, G.; Santos, N. C.

    2014-04-01

    In this presentation, we present our results based on SOPHIE and HARPS-N follow-up observation of Kepler transiting candidates. Our large programme led us to characterise 24 planets and brown dwarfs upto-now, for which some of them will be announced during this meeting. The presentation will specially focus on new long-period giant transiting exoplanets recently characterised.

  9. The bulk composition of exo-planets

    CERN Document Server

    Gaensicke, Boris; Dufour, Patrick; Farihi, Jay; Jura, Michael; Kilic, Mukremin; Melis, Carl; Veras, Dimitri; Xu, Siyi; Zuckerman, Ben

    2015-01-01

    Priorities in exo-planet research are rapidly moving from finding planets to characterizing their physical properties. Of key importance is their chemical composition, which feeds back into our understanding of planet formation. For the foreseeable future, far-ultraviolet spectroscopy of white dwarfs accreting planetary debris remains the only way to directly and accurately measure the bulk abundances of exo-planetary bodies. The exploitation of this method is limited by the sensitivity of HST, and significant progress will require a large-aperture space telescope with a high-throughput ultraviolet spectrograph.

  10. Young Brown Dwarfs as Giant Exoplanet Analogs

    CERN Document Server

    Faherty, Jacqueline K; Rice, Emily L; Riedel, Adric

    2013-01-01

    Young brown dwarfs and directly-imaged exoplanets have enticingly similar photometric and spectroscopic characteristics, indicating that their cool, low gravity atmospheres should be studied in concert. Similarities between the peculiar shaped H band, near and mid-IR photometry as well as location on color magnitude diagrams provide important clues about how to extract physical properties of planets from current brown dwarf observations. In this proceeding we discuss systems newly assigned to 10-150 Myr nearby moving groups, highlight the diversity of this uniform age-calibrated brown dwarf sample, and reflect on their implication for understanding current and future planetary data.

  11. Identifying new opportunities for exoplanet characterisation at high spectral resolution

    CERN Document Server

    de Kok, Remco J; Brogi, Matteo; Schwarz, Henriette; Albrecht, Simon; de Mooij, Ernst J W; Snellen, Ignas A G

    2013-01-01

    [Abridged] Recently, there have been a series of detections of molecules in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets using high spectral resolution (R~100,000) observations, mostly using the CRyogenic high-resolution InfraRed Echelle Spectrograph (CRIRES) on the Very Large Telescope. These measurements are able to resolve molecular bands into individual absorption lines. Observing many lines simultaneously as their Doppler shift changes with time allows the detection of specific molecules in the atmosphere of the exoplanet. We performed simulations of high-resolution CRIRES observations of a planet's thermal emission and transit between 1-5 micron and performed a cross-correlation analysis on these results to assess how well the planet signal can be extracted. We also simulated day-side and night-side spectra at high spectral resolution for planets with and without a day-side temperature inversion, based on the cases of HD 189733b and HD 209458b. Several small wavelength regions in the L-band promise to yield cr...

  12. Effect of flares on the chemical composition of exoplanets atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venot, O.; Decin, L.

    2015-10-01

    M stars are very abundant in our Galaxy, and very likely harbour the majority of planetary systems. But a particularity of M stars is that they are the most active class of stars. Indeed, they experience stellar variability such as flares. These violent and unpredictable outbursts originate from the photosphere and are caused by magnetic processus. During such an event, the energy emitted by the star can vary by several orders of magnitude for the whole wavelength range. It results in an enhancement of the H# emission and of the continuum. Different studies on the effect of flares on exoplanets have already been conducted [1, 2]. Here we are interested in the effect of a flare on the atmospheric composition of a warm Neptune orbiting around an M star. Using the stellar flux of AD Leo recorded during a flare event [1] and the chemical model of [3], we have studied the impact on the atmosphere. We have also computed the synthetic spectra assuming that such an event occurs during a transit. We will present these results.

  13. Colors of Alien Worlds from Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Colors of Alien Worlds from Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Stochastic gravitational wave background from exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ain, Anirban; Kastha, Shilpa; Mitra, Sanjit

    2015-06-01

    Recent exoplanet surveys have predicted a very large population of planetary systems in our galaxy, more than one planet per star on the average, perhaps totaling about two hundred billion. These surveys, based on electromagnetic observations, are limited to a very small neighborhood of the solar system and the estimations rely on the observations of only a few thousand planets. On the other hand, orbital motions of planets around stars are expected to emit gravitational waves (GW), which could provide information about the planets not accessible to electromagnetic astronomy. The cumulative effect of the planets, with periods ranging from a few hours to several years, is expected to create a stochastic GW background (SGWB). We compute the characteristic GW strain of this background based on the observed distribution of planet parameters. We also show that the integrated extragalactic background is comparable to or less than the galactic background at different frequencies. Our estimate shows that the net background is significantly below the sensitivities of the proposed GW experiments in different frequency bands. However, we notice that the peak of the spectrum, at around 10-5 Hz , is not too far below the proposed space-based GW missions. A future space-based mission may be able to observe or tightly constrain this signal, which will possibly be the only way to probe the galactic population of exoplanets as a whole.

  16. The science of exoplanets and their systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  17. PynPoint Code for Exoplanet Imaging

    CERN Document Server

    Amara, Adam; Akeret, Joel

    2014-01-01

    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 beta 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 minutes on a Mac Pro, when the number of images is reduced by co-adding in sets of 5. The main computational work parallelises well as a result of a reliance on SciPy and NumPy functions. For this calculation the peak memory load is 6Gb, ...

  18. Exoplanet Searches by Future Deep Space Missions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maccone C.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The search for exoplanets could bene?t from gravitational lensing if we could get to 550 AU from the Sun and beyond. This is because the gravitational lens of the Sun would highly intensify there any weak electromagnetic wave reaching the solar system from distant planets in the Galaxy (see Maccone 2009. The gravitational lens of the Sun, however, has a drawback: the solar Corona. Electrons in the Corona make electromagnetic waves diverge and this pushes the focus out to distances higher than 550 AU. Jupiter is the second larger mass in the solar system after the Sun, but in this focal game not only the mass matters: rather, what really matters is the ratio between the radius of the body squared and the mass of the body. In this regard, Jupiter quali?es as the second best choice for a space mission, requiring the spacecraft to reach 6,077 AU. In this paper, we study the bene?t of exoplanet searches by deep space missions.

  19. Debris Disks in Kepler Exoplanet Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Lawler, S M

    2011-01-01

    The Kepler Mission recently identified systems hosting candidate extrasolar planets, many of which are super-Earths. Realizing these rocky 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 (~100-500 K), corresponding to orbital distances of 0.1-10 AU for these solar-type stars. The strongest detection, KOI 1099, demands ~500 K dust interior to the orbit of its exoplanet candidate. One star, KOI 904, may host very hot dust (~1200 K, corresponding to 0.02 AU). We find the fraction of these exoplanet-bearing stars with warm excesses (~3%) is consistent with the fraction found for solar-type field stars. It is difficult to explain the presence of dust so close to the host stars, corresponding to dust rings at radii <0.3 AU; both the collisional and Poynting-Robertson drag timescales to r...

  20. Exoplanets finding, exploring, and understanding alien worlds

    CERN Document Server

    Kitchin, Chris

    2012-01-01

    Since 1992 there has been an explosion in the discovery of planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. There are now around 600 alien planets that we know about and that number is likely to break through the 1,000 ‘barrier’ within a couple of years. The recent launch of the Kepler space telescope specifically to look for new worlds opens the prospect of hundreds, maybe thousands, of further exoplanets being found. Many of these planets orbits stars that are not too different from the Sun, but they are so close in to their stars that their surfaces could be flooded with seas of molten lead – or even molten iron. Others orbit so far from their stars that they might as well be alone in interstellar space. A planet closely similar to the Earth has yet to be detected, but that (to us) epoch-making discovery is just a matter of time. Could these alien worlds could provide alternative homes for humankind, new supplies of mineral resources and might they might already be homes to alien life? Exoplanets: Finding,...

  1. Tidal Decay and Disruption of Gaseous Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Brian; Arras, Phil; Peacock, Sarah; Penev, Kaloyan

    2015-08-01

    Many gaseous exoplanets in short-period orbits are on the verge or are actually in the process of tidal disruption. Moreover, orbital stability analysis shows tides can drive most known hot Jupiters to spiral inexorably into their host stars. Thus, the coupled processes of orbital decay and tidal disruption likely shape the observed distribution of close-in exoplanets and may even be responsible for producing the shortest-period rocky planets. However, the exact outcome for a disrupting 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, depending on the geometry of the atmospheric outflow. In some cases, strong stellar insolation can produce a deep radiative zone in a planet's atmosphere, which can also influence the disruption and therefore the orbital evolution. Understanding these coupled processes and making accurate predictions requires a model that includes both the internal and the orbital evolution of the planet. In this presentation, we will discuss our preliminary work on tidal decay and disruption of close-in gas giants using the fully-featured and robust Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA) suite, the capabilities of which were recently upgraded to model gaseous planets with inert, rocky cores.

  2. The exoplanets analogy to the Multiverse

    CERN Document Server

    Kinouchi, Osame

    2015-01-01

    The idea of a Mutiverse is controversial, although it is a natural possible solution to particle physics and cosmological fine-tuning problems (FTPs). Here I explore the analogy between the Multiverse proposal and the proposal that there exist an infinite number of stellar systems with planets in a flat Universe, the Multiplanetverse. Although the measure problem is present in this scenario, the idea of a Multiplanetverse has predictive power, even in the absence of direct evidence for exoplanets that appeared since the 90s. We argue that the fine-tuning of Earth to life (and not only the fine-tuning of life to Earth) could predict with certainty the existence of exoplanets decades or even centuries before that direct evidence. Several other predictions can be made by studying only the Earth and the Sun, without any information about stars. The analogy also shows that theories that defend that the Earth is the unique existing planet and that, at the same time, is fine-tuned to life by pure chance (or pure phy...

  3. Improved parameters for extrasolar transiting planets

    CERN Document Server

    Torres, G; Holman, M J

    2008-01-01

    We present refined values for the physical parameters of transiting exoplanets, based on a self-consistent and uniform analysis of transit light curves and the observable properties of the host stars. Previously it has been difficult to interpret the ensemble properties of transiting exoplanets, because of the widely different methodologies that have been applied in individual cases. Furthermore, previous studies often ignored an important constraint on the mean stellar density that can be derived directly from the light curve. The main contributions of this work are 1) a critical compilation and error assessment of all reported values for the effective temperature and metallicity of the host stars; 2) the application of a consistent methodology and treatment of errors in modeling the transit light curves; and 3) more accurate estimates of the stellar mass and radius based on stellar evolution models, incorporating the photometric constraint on the stellar density. We use our results to revisit some previousl...

  4. System Geometries and Transit/Eclipse Probabilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Howard A.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Transiting exoplanets provide access to data to study the mass-radius relation and internal structure of extrasolar planets. Long-period transiting planets allow insight into planetary environments similar to the Solar System where, in contrast to hot Jupiters, planets are not constantly exposed to the intense radiation of their parent stars. Observations of secondary eclipses additionally permit studies of exoplanet temperatures and large-scale exo-atmospheric properties. We show how transit and eclipse probabilities are related to planet-star system geometries, particularly for long-period, eccentric orbits. The resulting target selection and observational strategies represent the principal ingredients of our photometric survey of known radial-velocity planets with the aim of detecting transit signatures (TERMS.

  5. A search for transit timing variation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kramm U.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Photometric follow-ups of transiting exoplanets (TEPs may lead to discoveries of additional, less massive bodies in extrasolar systems. This is possible by detecting and then analysing variations in transit timing of transiting exoplanets. In 2009 we launched an international observing campaign, the aim of which is to detect and characterise signals of transit timing variation (TTV in selected TEPs. The programme is realised by collecting data from 0.6-2.2-m telescopes spread worldwide at di?erent longitudes. We present our observing strategy and summarise ?rst results for WASP-3b with evidence for a 15 Earth-mass perturber in an outer 2:1 orbital resonance.

  6. Direct Imaging of Planet Transit Events

    CERN Document Server

    van Belle, Gerard T; Boyajian, Tabetha; Schaefer, Gail

    2014-01-01

    Exoplanet transit events are attractive targets for the ultrahigh-resolution capabilities afforded by optical interferometers. The intersection of two developments in astronomy enable direct imaging of exoplanet transits: first, improvements in sensitivity and precision of interferometric instrumentation; and second, identification of ever-brighter host stars. Efforts are underway for the first direct high-precision detection of closure phase signatures with the CHARA Array and Navy Precision Optical Interferometer. When successful, these measurements will enable recovery of the transit position angle on the sky, along with characterization of other system parameters, such as stellar radius, planet radius, and other parameters of the transit event. This technique can directly determine the planet's radius independent of any outside observations, and appears able to improve substantially upon other determinations of that radius; it will be possible to extract wavelength dependence of that radius determination,...

  7. Looking for Super-Earths in the HD 189733 System: A Search for Transits in Most Space-Based Photometry

    OpenAIRE

    Croll, Bryce; Matthews, Jaymie M.; Rowe, Jason F.; Gladman, Brett; Miller-Ricci, Eliza; Sasselov, Dimitar; Walker, Gordon A. H; Kuschnig, Rainer; Lin, Douglas N. C.; Guenther, David B.; Moffat, Anthony F. J.; Rucinski, Slavek M.; Weiss, Werner W.

    2007-01-01

    We have made a comprehensive transit search for exoplanets down to ~1.5 - 2 Earth radii in the HD 189733 system, based on 21-days of nearly uninterrupted broadband optical photometry obtained with the MOST (Microvariability & Oscillations of STars) satellite in 2006. We have searched these data for realistic limb-darkened transits from exoplanets other than the known hot Jupiter, HD 189733b, with periods ranging from about 0.4 days to one week. Monte Carlo statistical tests ...

  8. Probing the Migration Histories of Exoplanets Through Measurements of Their Spin-Orbit Alignments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addison, Brett Christopher; Tinney, Chris; Wright, Duncan; Bayliss, Daniel

    2015-08-01

    The discovery of giant planets orbiting probe the processes involved in the formation and migration of exoplanets, we have measured the sky-projected spin-orbit angles (i.e., the angle, ?, between the spin angular momentum vector of a host star and the orbital angular momentum vector of its planet) of four Hot Jupiter systems using the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. Our Exoplanetary Science at UNSW group is utilizing the new CYCLOPS2 fibre feed on the Anglo-Australian Telescope to carry out high precision Doppler observations of southern hemisphere transiting systems, including spin-orbit alignment data for these systems.We have found that WASP-79b is in a significantly misaligned, nearly polar orbit. HATS-3b and two additional systems we studied are consistent with being on aligned orbits. I will discuss how these spin-orbit alignment measurements are set to become even more critical for exoplanetary science in the years ahead, as K2 and TESS discover much larger numbers of transiting systems bright enough for Rossiter-McLaughlin observations on current telescopes. I will highlight the importance for carrying out additional spin-orbit measurements of suitable systems that belong to the least explored parameter space, which includes sub-Jovian, long-period, and multi-planet systems, to help to elucidate the complex formation and evolution mechanisms of exoplanets.

  9. Two nearby sub-Earth-sized exoplanet candidates in the GJ 436 system

    CERN Document Server

    Stevenson, Kevin B; Lust, Nate B; Lewis, Nikole K; Montagnier, Guillaume; Moses, Julianne I; Visscher, Channon; Blecic, Jasmina; Hardy, Ryan A; Cubillos, Patricio; Campo, Christopher J

    2012-01-01

    We report the detection of UCF-1.01, a strong exoplanet candidate with a radius 0.66 +/- 0.04 times that of Earth (R_{\\oplus}). This sub-Earth-sized planet transits the nearby M-dwarf star GJ 436 with a period of 1.365862 +/- 8x10^{-6} days. We also report evidence of a 0.65 +/- 0.06 R_{\\oplus} exoplanet candidate (labeled UCF-1.02) orbiting the same star with an undetermined period. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, we measure the dimming of light as the planets pass in front of their parent star to assess their sizes and orbital parameters. If confirmed, UCF-1.01 and UCF-1.02 would be called GJ 436c and GJ 436d, respectively, and would be part of the first multiple-transiting-planet system outside of the Kepler field. Assuming Earth-like densities of 5.515 g/cm^3, we predict both candidates to have similar masses (~0.28 Earth-masses, M_{\\oplus}, 2.6 Mars-masses) and surface gravities of ~0.65 g (where g is the gravity on Earth). UCF-1.01's equilibrium temperature (T_{eq}, where emitted and absorbed radiati...

  10. MOLECULAR-KINETIC SIMULATIONS OF ESCAPE FROM THE EX-PLANET AND EXOPLANETS: CRITERION FOR TRANSONIC FLOW

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, Robert E.; Volkov, Alexey N.; Erwin, Justin T. [Engineering Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4745 (United States)

    2013-05-01

    The equations of gas dynamics are extensively used to describe atmospheric loss from solar system bodies and exoplanets even though the boundary conditions at infinity are not uniquely defined. Using molecular-kinetic simulations that correctly treat the transition from the continuum to the rarefied region, we confirm that the energy-limited escape approximation is valid when adiabatic expansion is the dominant cooling process. However, this does not imply that the outflow goes sonic. Rather large escape rates and concomitant adiabatic cooling can produce atmospheres with subsonic flow that are highly extended. Since this affects the heating rate of the upper atmosphere and the interaction with external fields and plasmas, we give a criterion for estimating when the outflow goes transonic in the continuum region. This is applied to early terrestrial atmospheres, exoplanet atmospheres, and the atmosphere of the ex-planet, Pluto, all of which have large escape rates.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Transits of Earth-Like Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Kaltenegger, L

    2009-01-01

    Transmission spectroscopy of Earth-like exoplanets is a potential tool for habitability screening. Transiting planets are present-day "Rosetta Stones" for understanding extrasolar planets because they offer the possibility to characterize giant planet atmospheres and should provide an access to biomarkers in the atmospheres of Earth-like exoplanets, once they are detected. Using the Earth itself as a proxy we show the potential and limits of the transiting technique to detect biomarkers on an Earth-analog exoplanet in transit. We quantify the Earths cross section as a function of wavelength, and show the effect of each atmospheric species, aerosol, and Rayleigh scattering. Clouds do not significantly affect this picture because the opacity of the lower atmosphere from aerosol and Rayleigh losses dominates over cloud losses. We calculate the optimum signal-to-noise ratio for spectral features in the primary eclipse spectrum of an Earth-like exoplanet around a Sun-like star and also M stars, for a 6.5-m telesco...

  13. What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets: Kepler-410A b is a small Neptune around a bright star, in an eccentric orbit consistent with low obliquity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We confirm the Kepler planet candidate Kepler-410A b (KOI-42b) as a Neptune-sized exoplanet on a 17.8 day, eccentric orbit around the bright (K p = 9.4) star Kepler-410A (KOI-42A). This is the third brightest confirmed planet host star in the Kepler field and one of the brightest hosts of all currently known transiting exoplanets. Kepler-410 consists of a blend between the fast rotating planet host star (Kepler-410A) and a fainter star (Kepler-410B), which has complicated the confirmation of the planetary candidate. Employing asteroseismology, using constraints from the transit light curve, adaptive optics and speckle images, and Spitzer transit observations, we demonstrate that the candidate can only be an exoplanet orbiting Kepler-410A. We determine via asteroseismology the following stellar and planetary parameters with high precision; M * = 1.214 ± 0.033 M ?, R * = 1.352 ± 0.010 R ?, age =2.76 ± 0.54 Gyr, planetary radius (2.838 ± 0.054 R ?), and orbital eccentricity (0.17?0.06+0.07). In addition, rotational splitting of the pulsation modes allows for a measurement of Kepler-410A's inclination and rotation rate. Our measurement of an inclination of 82.5?2.5+7.5 [°] indicates a low obliquity in this system. Transit timing variations indicate the presence of at least one additional (non-transiting) planet (Kepler-410A c) in the system.

  14. What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets: Kepler-410A b is a Small Neptune around a bright star, in an eccentric orbit consistent with low obliquity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Eylen, Vincent; Lund, Mikkel N.

    2014-01-01

    We confirm the Kepler planet candidate Kepler-410b (KOI-42b) as a Neptune sized exoplanet on a 17.8 day, eccentric orbit around the bright (Kp = 9.4) star Kepler-410A. This is the third brightest confirmed planet host star in the Kepler field and one of the brightest hosts of all currently known transiting exoplanets. Kepler-410 consists of a blend between the fast rotating planet host star (Kepler-410A) and a fainter star (Kepler-410B), which has complicated the confirmation of the planetary candidate. Employing asteroseismology, using constraints from the transit light curve, adaptive optics and speckle images, and Spitzer transit observations, we demonstrate that the candidate can only be an exoplanet orbiting Kepler-410A. Via asteroseismology we determine the following stellar and planetary parameters with high precision; M$_\\star = 1.214 \\pm 0.033$ M$_\\odot$, R$_\\star = 1.352 \\pm 0.010$ R$_\\odot$, Age = $2.76 \\pm 0.54$ Gyr, planetary radius ($2.838 \\pm 0.054$ R$_\\oplus$), and orbital eccentricity ($0.17^{+0.07}_{-0.06}$). In addition, rotational splitting of the pulsation modes allows for a measurement of Kepler-410A's inclination and rotation rate. Our measurement of an inclination of $82.5^{+7.5}_{-2.5}$ [$^\\circ$] indicates a low obliquity in this system. Transit timing variations indicate the presence of at least one additional (non-transiting) planet in the system.

  15. Scientific Return of Coronagraphic Exoplanet Imaging and Spectroscopy Using WFIRST

    CERN Document Server

    Burrows, Adam

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we explore and review the scientific potential for exoplanet characterization by a high-contrast optical coronagraph on WFIRST/AFTA. We suggest that the heterogeneity in albedo spectra and planet/star flux ratios as a function of orbital distance, planet mass, and composition expected for the giant exoplanets at separations from their primaries accessible to WFIRST will provide unique constraints on giant planet atmospheres, evolution, aerosol and cloud properties, and general theory. Such exoplanets are not merely extrapolations of Jupiter and Saturn, but are likely to occupy a rich continuum of varied behaviors. Each in themselves and jointly, optical spectra, photometry, and polarization measurements of a diverse population of giant exoplanets in the solar neighborhood has the potential to reveal a multitude of fundamental features of their gas-giant chemistry, atmospheres, and formation. Such a campaign will enrich our understanding of this class of planets beyond what is possible with even...

  16. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Narita, Norio; 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 ...

  17. Exoplanet predictions based on the generalized Titius-Bode relation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovaird, Timothy; Lineweaver, Charles H.

    2013-10-01

    We evaluate the extent to which newly detected exoplanetary systems containing at least four planets adhere to a generalized Titius-Bode (TB) relation. We find that the majority of exoplanet systems in our sample adhere to the TB relation to a greater extent than the Solar system does, particularly those detected by the Kepler mission. We use a generalized TB relation to make a list of predictions for the existence of 141 additional exoplanets in 68 multiple-exoplanet systems: 73 candidates from interpolation, 68 candidates from extrapolation. We predict the existence of a low-radius (R < 2.5R?) exoplanet within the habitable zone of KOI-812 and that the average number of planets in the habitable zone of a star is 1-2. The usefulness of the TB relation and its validation as a tool for predicting planets will be partially tested by upcoming Kepler data releases.

  18. Exoplanet Predictions Based on the Generalised Titius-Bode Relation

    CERN Document Server

    Bovaird, Timothy

    2013-01-01

    We evaluate the extent to which newly detected exoplanetary systems containing at least four planets adhere to a generalized Titius-Bode (TB) relation. We find that the majority of exoplanet systems in our sample adhere to the TB relation to a greater extent than the Solar System does, particularly those detected by the Kepler mission. We use a generalized TB relation to make a list of predictions for the existence of 126 additional exoplanets in 64 multiple-exoplanet systems: 62 candidates from interpolation, 64 candidates from extrapolation. We predict the existence of 2 low-radius (R < 2.3 Earth Radii) exoplanets in the habitable zone of KOI-490 and that the average number of planets in the habitable zone of a star is 1-2. The usefulness of the TB relation and its validation as a tool for predicting planets will be partially tested by upcoming Kepler data releases.

  19. Long-term resonances between two Jovian exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horedt, G. P.

    2015-11-01

    Within the plane planetary problem we present two new approaches for the determination of purely resonant eccentricity and semimajor axis variations in terms of simple, closed algebraic relationships. We consider the motion of two Jovian exoplanets in 2:1, 3:1, and 7:4 resonance. Even with initial eccentricities of 0.05, we have found two numerical examples of purely resonant motion of two Jovian exoplanets in 2:1 and 3:1 resonance, fitting throughout the theoretical relationships for over 105 revolutions of the outer exoplanet. The maximum eccentricities of the two Jovian exoplanets are resonant eccentricity variations is generally much better than within a factor of 2. The theoretical and calculated maximum eccentricity of a Plutino in 2:3 resonance with Neptune is >0.053>0.053.

  20. Automated Astrophysical False Positive Analysis of Transiting Planet Signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Timothy

    2015-08-01

    Beginning with Kepler, but continuing with K2 and TESS, transiting planet candidates are now found at a much faster rate than follow-up observations can be obtained. Thus, distinguishing true planet candidates from astrophysical false positives has become primarily a statistical exercise. I will describe a new publicly available open-source Python package for analyzing the astrophysical false positive probabilities of transiting exoplanet signals. In addition, I will present results of applying this analysis to both Kepler and K2 planet candidates, resulting in the probabilistic validation of thousands of exoplanets, as well as identifying many likely false positives.

  1. The KELT Survey for Transiting Planets around Bright Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepper, Joshua; Siverd, R. J.; Kuhn, R.; Beatty, T.; Gaudi, S.; Stassun, K.; Eastman, J.

    2012-01-01

    The KELT project is a transit survey using two robotic, wide-field, small aperture telescopes, with the primary goal of discovering transiting exoplanets of bright (8 value. In Arizona, KELT-North has been running for 5 years, and in South Africa KELT-South has been running for 1.5 years. The KELT pipeline implements a modified version of the ISIS difference imaging software package and achieves the required (value for future exoplanet surveys. The KELT project has received funding from the Vanderbilt Initiative in Data-intensive Astrophysics (VIDA), NSF PAARE grant AST-0849736, NASA Grant No. NNG04G070G, and from NSF CAREER Grant AST-1056524.

  2. Astrometry and Exoplanets: the Gaia Era, and Beyond

    OpenAIRE

    Sozzetti, A.

    2010-01-01

    The wealth of information in the Gaia catalogue of exoplanets will constitute a fundamental contribution to several hot topics of the astrophysics of planetary systems. I briefly review the potential impact of Gaia micro-arsec astrometry in several areas of exoplanet science, discuss what key follow-up observations might be required as a complement to Gaia data, and shed some light on the role of next generation astrometric facilities in the arena of planetary systems.

  3. Fundamental Parameters of Exoplanets and Their Host Stars

    OpenAIRE

    Coughlin, Jeffrey L.

    2013-01-01

    For much of human history we have wondered how our solar system formed, and whether there are any other planets like ours around other stars. Only in the last 20 years have we had direct evidence for the existence of exoplanets, with the number of known exoplanets dramatically increasing in recent years, especially with the success of the Kepler mission. Observations of these systems are becoming increasingly more precise and numerous, thus allowing for detailed studies of t...

  4. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    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 ...

  5. The effects of stellar winds and magnetic fields on exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Vidotto, A. A.

    2013-01-01

    The great majority of exoplanets discovered so far are orbiting cool, low-mass stars whose properties are relatively similar to the Sun. However, the stellar magnetism of these stars can be significantly different from the solar one, both in topology and intensity. In addition, due to the present-day technology used in exoplanetary searches, most of the currently known exoplanets are found orbiting at extremely close distances to their host stars ($< 0.1$ au). The dramatic d...

  6. The Observational Effects and Signatures of Tidally Distorted Solid Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Saxena, Prabal; Panka, Peter; Summers, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Our work examines the detectability of tidally distorted solid exoplanets in synchronous rotation. Previous work has shown that tidally distorted shapes of close-in gas giants can give rise to radius underestimates and subsequently density overestimates for those planets. We examine the assumption that such an effect is too minimal for rocky exoplanets and find that for smaller M Class stars there may be an observationally significant tidal distortion effect at very close-in...

  7. Observing Exoplanets with the James Webb Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clampin Mark

    2011-01-01

    The search for exoplanets and characterization of their properties has seen increasing success over the last few years. In excess of 500 exoplanets are known and Kepler has approx. 1000 additional candidates. Recently, progress has been made in direct imaging planets, both from the ground and in space. This presentation will discuss the history and current state of technology used for such discoveries, and highlight the new capabilities that will be enabled by the James Webb Space Telescope.

  8. Lithium depletion and the rotational history of exoplanet host stars

    OpenAIRE

    Bouvier, Jerome

    2008-01-01

    Israelian et al. (2004) reported that exoplanet host stars are lithium depleted compared to solar-type stars without detected massive planets, a result recently confirmed by Gonzalez (2008). We investigate whether enhanced lithium depletion in exoplanet host stars may result from their rotational history. We have developed rotational evolution models for slow and fast solar-type rotators from the pre-main sequence (PMS) to the age of the Sun and compare them to the distribut...

  9. Doppler methods of search and monitoring of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panchuk, V. E.; Klochkova, V. G.; Sachkov, M. E.; Yushkin, M. V.

    2015-12-01

    The main stages of the development of Doppler methods of search and study of extrasolar planetary systems (exoplanets) are described. The main instrumental and methodological effects that influence the measurement accuracy of spectral line positions in the study of exoplanets are considered. The development of the domestic spectrograph for spectroscopic monitoring with high-precision determination of radial velocities is reported. Directions for further development of high-resolution spectroscopy are discussed.

  10. The MgI line: a new probe of the atmospheres of evaporating exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Bourrier, V; Vidal-Madjar, A

    2014-01-01

    Transit observations of HD209458b in the UV revealed signatures of neutral magnesium escaping the planet's upper atmosphere. The absorption detected in the MgI line provides unprecedented information on the physical conditions at the altitude where the atmospheric blow-off takes place. Here we use a 3D model of atmospheric escape to estimate the transit absorption signatures in the MgI line of their host stars. The detectability of these signatures depends on the brightness of the star and the escape rate of neutral magnesium. We identify a sample of potentially evaporating exoplanets that covers a wide range of stellar and planetary properties, and whose extended exospheres might be detected through MgI line observations with current UV facilities, allowing further steps in comparative exoplanetology.

  11. Detecting Exoplanets using Bayesian Object Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feroz, Farhan

    2015-08-01

    Detecting objects from noisy data-sets is common practice in astrophysics. Object detection presents a particular challenge in terms of statistical inference, not only because of its multi-modal nature but also because it combines both the parameter estimation (for characterizing objects) and model selection problems (in order to quantify the detection). Bayesian inference provides a mathematically rigorous solution to this problem by calculating marginal posterior probabilities of models with different number of sources, but the use of this method in astrophysics has been hampered by the computational cost of evaluating the Bayesian evidence. Nonetheless, Bayesian model selection has the potential to improve the interpretation of existing observational data. I will discuss several Bayesian approaches to object detection problems, both in terms of their theoretical framework and also the practical details about carrying out the computation. I will also describe some recent applications of these methods in the detection of exoplanets.

  12. Doppler Imaging of Exoplanets and Brown Dwarfs

    CERN Document Server

    Crossfield, Ian J M

    2014-01-01

    Doppler Imaging produces 2D global maps of rotating objects using high-dispersion spectroscopy. When applied to brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets, this technique can constrain global atmospheric dynamics and/or magnetic effects on these objects in un- precedented detail. I present the first quantitative assessment of the prospects for Doppler Imaging of substellar objects with current facilities and with future giant ground-based telescopes. Observations will have the greatest sensitivity in K band, but the H and L bands will also be useful for these purposes. To assess the number and availability of targets, I also present a compilation of all measurements of photometric variability, rotation period (P), and projected rotational velocity (v sin i) for brown dwarfs and exoplanets. Several bright objects are already accessible to Doppler Imaging with currently available instruments. With the development of giant ground-based telescopes, Doppler Imaging will become feasible for many dozens of brown dwarfs and...

  13. Stochastic Gravitational Wave Background from Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Ain, Anirban; Mitra, Sanjit

    2015-01-01

    Recent exoplanet surveys have predicted a very large population of planetary systems in our galaxy, more than one planet per star on the average, perhaps totalling about two hundred billion. These surveys, based on electro-magnetic observations, are limited to a very small neighbourhood of the solar system and the estimations rely on the observations of only a few thousand planets. On the other hand, orbital motions of planets around stars are expected to emit gravitational waves (GW), which could provide information about the planets not accessible to electro-magnetic astronomy. The cumulative effect of the planets, with periods ranging from few hours to several years, is expected to create a stochastic GW background (SGWB). We compute the characteristic GW strain of this background based on the observed distribution of planet parameters. We also show that the integrated extragalactic background is comparable or less than the galactic background at different frequencies. Our estimate shows that the net backg...

  14. HOMES Holographic Optical Method for Exoplanet Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Detectability of Planetesimal Impacts on Giant Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Flagg, Laura; Matthews, Keith

    2015-01-01

    The detectability of planetesimal impacts on imaged exoplanets can be measured using Jupiter during the 1994 comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 events as a proxy. By integrating the whole planet flux with and without impact spots, the effect of the impacts at wavelengths from 2 - 4 microns is revealed. Jupiter's reflected light spectrum in the near-infrared is dominated by its methane opacity including a deep band at 2.3 microns. After the impact, sunlight that would have normally been absorbed by the large amount of methane in Jupiter's atmosphere was instead reflected by the cometary material from the impacts. As a result, at 2.3 microns, where the planet would normally have low reflectivity, it brightened substantially and stayed brighter for at least a month.

  16. The Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope (GEST)

    CERN Document Server

    Bennett, D P; Bond, I; Cheng, E; Cook, K; Deming, D; Garnavich, P M; Griest, K; Jewitt, D; Kaiser, N; Lauer, T R; Lunine, J; Luppino, G; Mather, J; Minniti, D; Peale, S; Rhie, S; Rhodes, J; Schneider, J; Sonneborn, G; Stevenson, R; Stubbs, C; Tenerelli, D; Woolf, N; Yock, P C M

    2002-01-01

    The Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope (GEST) will observe a 2 square degree field in the Galactic bulge to search for extra-solar planets using a gravitational lensing technique. This gravitational lensing technique is the only method employing currently available technology that can detect Earth-mass planets at high signal-to-noise, and can measure the frequency of terrestrial planets as a function of Galactic position. GEST's sensitivity extends down to the mass of Mars, and it can detect hundreds of terrestrial planets with semi-major axes ranging from 0.7 AU to infinity. GEST will be the first truly comprehensive survey of the Galaxy for planets like those in our own Solar System.

  17. Inverting Phase Functions to Map Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Cowan, Nicolas B

    2008-01-01

    We describe how to generate a longitudinal brightness map for a tidally locked exoplanet from its phase function light curve. We operate under a number of simplifying assumptions, neglecting limb darkening/brightening, star spots, detector ramps, as well as time-variability over a single planetary rotation. We develop the transformation from a planetary brightness map to a phase function light curve and simplify the expression for the case of an edge-on system. We introduce two models--composed of longitudinal slices of uniform brightness, and sinusoidally varying maps, respectively--which greatly simplify the transformation from map to light curve. We discuss numerical approaches to extracting a longitudinal map from a phase function light curve, explaining how to estimate the uncertainty in a computed map and how to choose an appropriate number of fit parameters. We demonstrate these techniques on a simulated map and discuss the uses and limitations of longitudinal maps. The sinusoidal model provides a bett...

  18. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet

    CERN Document Server

    Barclay, Thomas; Lissauer, Jack J; Huber, Daniel; Fressin, Francois; 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

    2013-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanet we have known that other planetary systems can look quite unlike our own. However, until recently we have only been able to probe the upper range of the planet size distribution. The high precision of the Kepler space telescope has allowed us to detect planets that are the size of Earth and somewhat smaller, but no previous planets have been found that are smaller than those we see in our own Solar System. Here we report the discovery of a planet significantly smaller than Mercury. This tiny planet is the innermost of three planets that orbit the Sun-like host star, which we have designated Kepler-37. Owing to its extremely small size, similar to that of Earth's Moon, and highly irradiated surface, Kepler-37b is probably a rocky planet with no atmosphere or water, similar to Mercury.

  20. EChO - Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Tinetti, G; Henning, T; Meyer, M; Micela, G; Ribas, I; Stam, D; Swain, M; Krause, O; Ollivier, M; Pace, E; Swinyard, B; Aylward, A; van Boekel, R; Coradini, A; Encrenaz, T; Snellen, I; Zapatero-Osorio, M R; Bouwman, J; Cho, J Y-K; Foresto, V Coudé du; Guillot, T; Lopez-Morales, M; Mueller-Wodarg, I; Palle, E; Selsis, F; Sozzetti, A; Ade, P A R; Achilleos, N; Adriani, A; Agnor, C B; Afonso, C; Prieto, C Allende; Bakos, G; Barber, R J; Barlow, M; Bernath, P; Bezard, B; Bordé, P; Brown, L R; Cassan, A; Cavarroc, C; Ciaravella, A; Cockell, C O U; Coustenis, A; Danielski, C; Decin, L; De Kok, R; Demangeon, O; Deroo, P; Doel, P; Drossart, P; Fletcher, L N; Focardi, M; Forget, F; Fossey, S; Fouqué, P; Frith, J; Galand, M; Gaulme, P; Hernández, J I González; Grasset, O; Grassi, D; Grenfell, J L; Griffin, M J; Griffith, C A; Grözinger, U; Guedel, M; Guio, P; Hainaut, O; Hargreaves, R; Hauschildt, P H; Heng, K; Heyrovsky, D; Hueso, R; Irwin, P; Kaltenegger, L; Kervella, P; Kipping, D; Koskinen, T T; Kovács, G; La Barbera, A; Lammer, H; Lellouch, E; Leto, G; Morales, M Lopez; Valverde, M A Lopez; Lopez-Puertas, M; Lovis, C; Maggio, A; Maillard, J P; Prado, J Maldonado; Marquette, J B; Martin-Torres, F J; Maxted, P; Miller, S; Molinari, S; Montes, D; Moro-Martin, A; Moses, J I; Mousis, O; Tuong, N Nguyen; Nelson, R; Orton, G S; Pantin, E; Pascale, E; Pezzuto, S; Pinfield, D; Poretti, E; Prinja, R; Prisinzano, L; Rees, J M; Reiners, A; Samuel, B; Sanchez-Lavega, A; Forcada, J Sanz; Sasselov, D; Savini, G; Sicardy, B; Smith, A; Stixrude, L; Strazzulla, G; Tennyson, J; Tessenyi, M; Vasisht, G; Vinatier, S; Viti, S; Waldmann, I; White, G J; Widemann, T; Wordsworth, R; Yelle, R; Yung, Y; Yurchenko, S N

    2011-01-01

    A dedicated mission to investigate exoplanetary atmospheres represents a major milestone in our quest to understand our place in the universe by placing our Solar System in context and by addressing the suitability of planets for the presence of life. EChO -the Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory- is a mission concept specifically geared for this purpose. EChO will provide simultaneous, multi-wavelength spectroscopic observations on a stable platform that will allow very long exposures. EChO will build on observations by Hubble, Spitzer and groundbased telescopes, which discovered the first molecules and atoms in exoplanetary atmospheres. EChO will simultaneously observe a broad enough spectral region -from the visible to the mid-IR- to constrain from one single spectrum the temperature structure of the atmosphere and the abundances of the major molecular species. The spectral range and resolution are tailored to separate bands belonging to up to 30 molecules to retrieve the composition and temperature str...