WorldWideScience

Sample records for jupiter-mass exoplanet transiting

  1. HAT-P-14b: A 2 Jupiter-mass exoplanet transiting a bright F star

    CERN Document Server

    Torres, G; Hartman, J; Kovacs, Geza; Noyes, R W; Latham, D W; Fischer, D A; Johnson, J A; Marcy, G W; Howard, A W; Sasselov, D D; Kipping, D; Stefanik, R P; Esquerdo, G A; Everett, M E; Lazar, J; Papp, I; Sari, P

    2010-01-01

    We report the discovery of HAT-P-14b, a fairly massive transiting extrasolar planet orbiting the moderately bright star GSC 3086-00152 (V = 9.98), with a period of P = 4.627669 +/- 0.000005 days. The transit is close to grazing (impact parameter 0.891 +0.007/-0.008) and has a duration of 0.0912 +/- 0.0017 days, with a reference epoch of mid transit of Tc = 2454875.28938 +/- 0.00047 (BJD). The orbit is slightly eccentric (e = 0.107 +/- 0.013), and the orientation is such that occultations are unlikely to occur. The host star is a slightly evolved mid-F dwarf with a mass of 1.386 +/- 0.045 M(Sun), a radius of 1.468 +/- 0.054 R(Sun) effective temperature 6600 +/- 90 K, and a slightly metal-rich composition corresponding to [Fe/H] = +0.11 +/- 0.08. The planet has a mass of 2.232 +/- 0.059 M(Jup) and a radius of 1.150 +/- 0.052 R(Jup), implying a mean density of 1.82 +/- 0.24 g/cm3. Its radius is well reproduced by theoretical models for the 1.3 Gyr age of the system if the planet has a heavy-element fraction of a...

  2. A Short-period Censor of Sub-Jupiter Mass Exoplanets with Low Density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, Gy. M.; Kiss, L. L.

    2011-02-01

    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 RJ ) 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 strikingly different distributions in the period-radius parameter plane. The branch of sub-Jupiter mass exoplanets is censored by the orbital period at the large-radius end: no planets with mass between 0.02 and 0.8 MJ or with radius between 0.25 and 1.0 RJ are known with P orb < 2.5 days. This clustering is not predicted by current theories of planet formation and evolution, which we also review briefly.

  3. A SHORT-PERIOD CENSOR OF SUB-JUPITER MASS EXOPLANETS WITH LOW DENSITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 RJ ) 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 strikingly different distributions in the period-radius parameter plane. The branch of sub-Jupiter mass exoplanets is censored by the orbital period at the large-radius end: no planets with mass between 0.02 and 0.8 MJ or with radius between 0.25 and 1.0 RJ are known with Porb < 2.5 days. This clustering is not predicted by current theories of planet formation and evolution, which we also review briefly.

  4. 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.

  5. ETD - Exoplanet Transit Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brát, L.; Poddaný, S.; Pejcha, O.; Zejda, M.

    2010-12-01

    Introduction of Exoplanet Transit Database (ETD), an internet portal, which offers all necessary informations for exoplanet transit observation. Scheduling, list of previously obtained data and on-line algorithm for photometric data processing, which determines the mid-transit time, duration and depth of a transit The Exoplanet Transit Database can be found at http://var.astro.cz/etd.

  6. Transiting Exoplanets with JWST

    CERN Document Server

    Seager, S; Valenti, J A

    2008-01-01

    The era of exoplanet characterization is upon us. For a subset of exoplanets -- the transiting planets -- physical properties can be measured, including mass, radius, and atmosphere characteristics. Indeed, measuring the atmospheres of a further subset of transiting planets, the hot Jupiters, is now routine with the Spitzer Space Telescope. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will continue Spitzer's legacy with its large mirror size and precise thermal stability. JWST is poised for the significant achievement of identifying habitable planets around bright M through G stars--rocky planets lacking extensive gas envelopes, with water vapor and signs of chemical disequilibrium in their atmospheres. Favorable transiting planet systems, are, however, anticipated to be rare and their atmosphere observations will require tens to hundreds of hours of JWST time per planet. We review what is known about the physical characteristics of transiting planets, summarize lessons learned from Spitzer high-contrast exoplanet m...

  7. DISCOVERY OF A PROBABLE 4-5 JUPITER-MASS EXOPLANET TO HD 95086 BY DIRECT IMAGING

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Direct imaging has only begun to inventory the population of gas giant planets on wide orbits around young stars in the solar neighborhood. Following this approach, we carried out a deep imaging survey in the near-infrared using VLT/NaCo to search for substellar companions. Here we report the discovery of a probable companion orbiting the young (10-17 Myr), dusty, early-type (A8) star HD 95086 at 56 AU in L' (3.8 ?m) images. This discovery is based on observations with more than a year time lapse. Our first epoch clearly revealed the source at ? 10?, while our second epoch lacks good observing conditions, yielding a ? 3? detection. Various tests were thus made to rule out possible artifacts. This recovery is consistent with the signal at the first epoch but requires cleaner confirmation. Nevertheless, our astrometric precision suggests that the companion is comoving with the star with a 3? confidence level. The planetary nature of the source is reinforced by a non-detection in the Ks-band (2.18 ?m) images according to its possible extremely red Ks-L' color. Conversely, background contamination is rejected with good confidence level. The luminosity yields a predicted mass of about 4-5 MJup (at 10-17 Myr) using ''hot-start'' evolutionary models, making HD 95086 b the exoplanet with the lowest mass ever imaged around a star

  8. DISCOVERY OF A PROBABLE 4-5 JUPITER-MASS EXOPLANET TO HD 95086 BY DIRECT IMAGING

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rameau, J.; Chauvin, G.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Delorme, P. [UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planetologie et d' Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG) UMR 5274, Grenoble F-38041 (France); Boccaletti, A. [LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, University Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6 and University Denis Diderot Paris 7, 5 place Jules Janssen, F-92195 Meudon (France); Quanz, S. P. [Institute for Astronomy, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, 8093 Zurich (Switzerland); Bonnefoy, M.; Klahr, H.; Mordasini, C. [Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Koenigsthul 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Girard, J. H.; Dumas, C. [European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19 (Chile); Desidera, S.; Bonavita, M., E-mail: julien.rameau@obs.ujf-grenoble.fr [INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell' Osservatorio 5, I-35122 Padova (Italy)

    2013-08-01

    Direct imaging has only begun to inventory the population of gas giant planets on wide orbits around young stars in the solar neighborhood. Following this approach, we carried out a deep imaging survey in the near-infrared using VLT/NaCo to search for substellar companions. Here we report the discovery of a probable companion orbiting the young (10-17 Myr), dusty, early-type (A8) star HD 95086 at 56 AU in L' (3.8 {mu}m) images. This discovery is based on observations with more than a year time lapse. Our first epoch clearly revealed the source at {approx_equal} 10{sigma}, while our second epoch lacks good observing conditions, yielding a {approx_equal} 3{sigma} detection. Various tests were thus made to rule out possible artifacts. This recovery is consistent with the signal at the first epoch but requires cleaner confirmation. Nevertheless, our astrometric precision suggests that the companion is comoving with the star with a 3{sigma} confidence level. The planetary nature of the source is reinforced by a non-detection in the Ks-band (2.18 {mu}m) images according to its possible extremely red Ks-L' color. Conversely, background contamination is rejected with good confidence level. The luminosity yields a predicted mass of about 4-5 M{sub Jup} (at 10-17 Myr) using ''hot-start'' evolutionary models, making HD 95086 b the exoplanet with the lowest mass ever imaged around a star.

  9. Three newly discovered sub-Jupiter-mass planets: WASP-69b and WASP-84b transit active K dwarfs and WASP-70Ab transits the evolved primary of a G4+K3 binary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A.; Delrez, L.; Doyle, A. P.; Faedi, F.; Fumel, A.; Gillon, M.; Gómez Maqueo Chew, Y.; Hellier, C.; Jehin, E.; Lendl, M.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Pepe, F.; Pollacco, D.; Queloz, D.; Ségransan, D.; Skillen, I.; Smalley, B.; Smith, A. M. S.; Southworth, J.; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Turner, O. D.; Udry, S.; West, R. G.

    2014-12-01

    We report the discovery of the transiting exoplanets WASP-69b, WASP-70Ab and WASP-84b, each of which orbits a bright star (V ˜ 10). WASP-69b is a bloated Saturn-mass planet (0.26 MJup, 1.06 RJup) in a 3.868-d period around an active, ˜1-Gyr, mid-K dwarf. ROSAT detected X-rays 60±27 arcsec from WASP-69. If the star is the source then the planet could be undergoing mass-loss at a rate of ˜1012 g s-1. This is one to two orders of magnitude higher than the evaporation rate estimated for HD 209458b and HD 189733b, both of which have exhibited anomalously large Lyman ? absorption during transit. WASP-70Ab is a sub-Jupiter-mass planet (0.59 MJup, 1.16 RJup) in a 3.713-d orbit around the primary of a spatially resolved, 9-10-Gyr, G4+K3 binary, with a separation of 3.3 arcsec (?800 au). WASP-84b is a sub-Jupiter-mass planet (0.69 MJup, 0.94 RJup) in an 8.523-d orbit around an active, ˜1-Gyr, early-K dwarf. Of the transiting planets discovered from the ground to date, WASP-84b has the third-longest period. For the active stars WASP-69 and WASP-84, we pre-whitened the radial velocities using a low-order harmonic series. We found that this reduced the residual scatter more than did the oft-used method of pre-whitening with a fit between residual radial velocity and bisector span. The system parameters were essentially unaffected by pre-whitening.

  10. 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...

  11. 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).

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Exoplanet Transit Database. Reduction and processing of the photometric data of exoplanet transits

    CERN Document Server

    Poddaný, Stanislav; Pejcha, Ond?ej

    2009-01-01

    We demonstrate the newly developed resource for exoplanet researchers - The Exoplanet Transit Database. This database is designed to be a web application and it is open for any exoplanet observer. It came on-line in September 2008. The ETD consists of three individual sections. One serves for predictions of the transits, the second one for processing and uploading new data from the observers. We use a simple analytical model of the transit to calculate the central time of transit, its duration and the depth of the transit. These values are then plotted into the observed - computed diagrams (O-C), that represent the last part of the application.

  16. WASP-26b: A 1-Jupiter-mass planet around an early-G-type star

    CERN Document Server

    Smalley, B; Cameron, A Collier; Gillon, M; Hellier, C; Lister, T A; Maxted, P F L; Queloz, D; Triaud, A H M J; West, R G; Bentley, S J; Enoch, B; Pepe, F; Pollacco, D L; Segransan, D; Smith, A M S; Southworth, J; Udry, S; Wheatley, P J; Wood, P L; Bento, J

    2010-01-01

    We report the discovery of WASP-26b, a moderately over-sized Jupiter-mass exoplanet transiting its 11.3-magnitude early-G-type host star (1SWASP J001824.70-151602.3; TYC 5839-876-1) every 2.7566 days. A simultaneous fit to transit photometry and radial-velocity measurements yields a planetary mass of 1.02 +/- 0.03 M_Jup and radius of 1.32 +/- 0.08 R_Jup. The host star, WASP-26, has a mass of 1.12 +/- 0.03 M_sun and a radius of 1.34 +/- 0.06 R_sun and is in a visual double with a fainter K-type star. The two stars are at least a common-proper motion pair with a common distance of around 250 +/- 15 pc and an age of 6 +/- 2 Gy.

  17. Mass-loss rates for transiting exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Ehrenreich, David; De?sert, 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...

  18. 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.

  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. Scintillation Noise in Exoplanet Transit Photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Föhring, Dóra; Wilson, Richard; Osborn, James; Dhillon, Vik

    2015-04-01

    Transit photometry is a powerful technique for studying exoplanets. Transit observations from the ground of targets of magnitude V= 10 or brighter, however, are limited by scintillation noise due to Earth's atmosphere. Through turbulence profiling using instruments such as the stereo-SCIDAR, we have shown to able to accurately model scintillation noise, which is essential in order to fully account for the error budget of the observation. Through numerical modelling we find that employing scintillation reducing techniques enables an improvement of a factor between 1.36 — 1.6 on the astrophysical parameters.

  1. TASTE: The Asiago Survey for Timing transit variations of Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

    A promising method to detect earth-sized exoplanets is the timing analysis of a known transit. The technique allows a search for variations in transit duration or center induced by the perturbation of a third body, e.g. a second planet or an exomoon. To this aim, TASTE (The Asiago Survey for Timing transit variations of Exoplanets) project will collect high-precision, short-cadence light curves for a selected sample of transits by using imaging differential photometry at the...

  2. 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.

  3. The observation of exoplanet transit events in China

    OpenAIRE

    Fang X.-S.; Collier Cameron A.; Gu S.-H.; Wang X.-B.

    2011-01-01

    We have carried out a research project on the exoplanet transit events at Yunnan Observatory. By using CCD cameras attached to 1m telescope of Yunnan Observatory and 85cm telescope of Xinglong station, NAOC, a group of exoplanet systems with transit events have been observed photometrically. By means of MCMC method, the preliminary results of the systems WASP-11 and XO-2 are derived. Finally, we give out the future plan on this research topic in China.

  4. The observation of exoplanet transit events in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fang X.-S.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available We have carried out a research project on the exoplanet transit events at Yunnan Observatory. By using CCD cameras attached to 1m telescope of Yunnan Observatory and 85cm telescope of Xinglong station, NAOC, a group of exoplanet systems with transit events have been observed photometrically. By means of MCMC method, the preliminary results of the systems WASP-11 and XO-2 are derived. Finally, we give out the future plan on this research topic in China.

  5. 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, ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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%

  8. 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).

  9. KELT-1b: A Strongly Irradiated, Highly Inflated, Short Period, 27 Jupiter-mass Companion Transiting a mid-F Star

    CERN Document Server

    Siverd, Robert J; Pepper, Joshua; Eastman, Jason D; Collins, Karen; Bieryla, Allyson; Latham, David W; Buchhave, Lars A; Jensen, Eric L N; Crepp, Justin R; Street, Rachel; Stassun, Keivan G; Gaudi, B Scott; Berlind, Perry; Calkins, Michael L; DePoy, D L; Esquerdo, Gilbert A; Fulton, Benjamin J; Furesz, Gabor; Geary, John C; Gould, Andrew; Hebb, Leslie; Kielkopf, John F; Marshall, Jennifer L; Pogge, Richard; Stanek, K Z; Stefanik, Robert P; Szentgyorgyi, Andrew H; Trueblood, Mark; Trueblood, Patricia; Stutz, Amelia M; van Saders, Jennifer L

    2012-01-01

    We present the discovery of KELT-1b, the first transiting low-mass companion from the wide-field Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope-North (KELT-North) survey. The V=10.7 primary is a mildly evolved, solar-metallicity, mid-F star. The companion is a low-mass brown dwarf or super-massive planet with mass of 27.23+/-0.50 MJ and radius of 1.110+0.037-0.024 RJ, on a very short period (P=1.21750007) circular orbit. KELT-1b receives a large amount of stellar insolation, with an equilibrium temperature assuming zero albedo and perfect redistribution of 2422 K. Upper limits on the secondary eclipse depth indicate that either the companion must have a non-zero albedo, or it must experience some energy redistribution. Comparison with standard evolutionary models for brown dwarfs suggests that the radius of KELT-1b is significantly inflated. Adaptive optics imaging reveals a candidate stellar companion to KELT-1, which is consistent with an M dwarf if bound. The projected spin-orbit alignment angle is consistent with ...

  10. TASTE: The Asiago Survey for Timing transit variations of Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Nascimbeni, V; Bedin, L R; Damasso, M

    2010-01-01

    A promising method to detect earth-sized exoplanets is the timing analysis of a known transit. The technique allows a search for variations in transit duration or center induced by the perturbation of a third body, e.g. a second planet or an exomoon. To this aim, TASTE (The Asiago Survey for Timing transit variations of Exoplanets) project will collect high-precision, short-cadence light curves for a selected sample of transits by using imaging differential photometry at the Asiago 1.82m telescope. The first light curves show that our project can already provide a competitive timing accuracy, as well as a significant improvement over the orbital parameters. We derived refined ephemerides for HAT-P-3b and HAT-P-14b with only one transit each, thanks to a timing accuracy of 11 and 25 s, respectively.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The NStED Exoplanet Transit Survey Service

    CERN Document Server

    Von Braun, K; Ali, B; Baker, R; Berriman, G B; Chiu, N-M; Ciardi, D R; Good, J; Kane, S R; Laity, A C; McElroy, D L; Monkewitz, S; Payne, A N; Ramírez, S; Schmitz, M; Stauffer, J R; Wyatt, P L; Zhang, A

    2008-01-01

    The NASA Star and Exoplanet Database (NStED) is a general purpose stellar archive with the aim of providing support for NASA's planet finding and characterization goals, stellar astrophysics, and the planning of NASA and other space missions. There are two principal components of NStED: a database of (currently) 140,000 nearby stars and exoplanet-hosting stars, and an archive dedicated to high-precision photometric surveys for transiting exoplanets. We present a summary of the latter component: the NStED Exoplanet Transit Survey Service (NStED-ETSS), along with its content, functionality, tools, and user interface. NStED-ETSS currently serves data from the TrES Survey of the Kepler Field as well as dedicated photometric surveys of four stellar clusters. NStED-ETSS aims to serve both the surveys and the broader astronomical community by archiving these data and making them available in a homogeneous format. Examples of usability of ETSS include investigation of any time-variable phenomena in data sets not stud...

  15. 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...

  16. New tools and improvements in the Exoplanet Transit Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poddaný, S.; Brát, L.; Pejcha, O.

    2011-02-01

    Comprehensive collection of the available light curves, prediction possibilities and the online model fitting 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-fit section and some other small improvements). All this new tools cannot be found in the main ETD paper.

  17. New tools and improvements in the Exoplanet Transit Database

    OpenAIRE

    Pejcha O.; Brát L.; Poddaný S.

    2011-01-01

    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 ET...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Space-based Search for Transiting Exoplanets Orbiting Bright Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsvetanov, Zlatan

    At the current stage of research transiting planets hold the key to advancing our knowledge of exoplanets as they are the only targets that allow determination of many of the key plane-tary parameters. Because the employed techniques are differential (either photometry or spec-troscopy) and the planet is significantly fainter the host star the dominant limitation is simply the number of photons. This puts a very high premium on transiting planets with bright parent stars. The ExoPlanet Task Force recognized the high value of planets transiting bright stars and identified the need to perform a wide area space-based transit survey. In this presentation I will describe a program that addresses the ExoPTF recommendation by using the output of one of the instruments on the currently operating space mission STEREO. STEREO is the third mission in NASA's Solar Terrestrial Probes program. It uses two nearly identical spacecrafts -one on an Earth-leading orbit and one on an Earth-trailing orbit -each equipped with a suit of five small telescopes to provide a stereoscopic view of the coronal mass ejections (CME) as they propagate away from the Sun. As each of these telescopes observes a portion of the heliospehre, they also image the star field in the background. For the purposes of this study we will consider only the images obtained by the HI-1 instruments. Other instruments, although showing the stellar background as well, do not have the data output suitable for a search for transiting exoplanets. This project described here has the potential of delivering a number of very high value targets for follow-up studies with a wide range of facilities, both ground-based and space-based. It will provide a complete survey of all bright stars (hot-Jupiters and other gas giants with periods up to ˜20 days and even some Neptune size planets orbiting bright and/or late type stars. On the extreme bright end, the survey is sensitive to some super-Earth size planets, but the available number of target stars is small. In my presentation I will describe the capabilities and limitations of the project, will demon-strate the utility of the HI-1 images for searching for transiting exoplanets, and will describe the existing data for several RV discovered planets.

  2. Direct Imaging of Giant Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, Motohide

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

  3. Placing Limits On The Transit Timing Variations Of Circumbinary Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. On the Possibility of Detecting Class A Stellar Engines Using Exoplanet Transit Curves

    CERN Document Server

    Forgan, Duncan H

    2013-01-01

    The Class A stellar engine (also known as a Shkadov thruster) is a spherical arc mirror, designed to use the impulse from a star's radiation pressure to generate a thrust force, perturbing the star's motion. If this mirror obstructs part of the stellar disc during the transit of an exoplanet, then this may be detected by studying the shape of the transit light curve, presenting another potential means by which the action of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) can be discerned. We model the light curves produced by exoplanets transiting a star which possesses a Shkadov thruster, and show how the parameters of the planet and the properties of the thruster can be disentangled. provided that radial velocity follow-up measurements are possible, and that other obscuring phenomena typical to exoplanet transit curves (such as the presence of starspots or intrinsic stellar noise) do not dominate. These difficulties aside, we estimate the a priori probability of detecting a Shkadov thruster during an exoplanet transit,...

  6. 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

  7. On the Possibility of Detecting Class A Stellar Engines using Exoplanet Transit Curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forgan, D. H.

    The Class A stellar engine (also known as a Shkadov thruster) is a spherical arc mirror, designed to use the impulse from a star's radiation pressure to generate a thrust force, perturbing the star's motion. If this mirror obstructs part of the stellar disc during the transit of an exoplanet, then this may be detected by studying the shape of the transit light curve, presenting another potential means by which the action of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) can be discerned. We model the light curves produced by exoplanets transiting a star which possesses a Shkadov thruster, and show how the parameters of the planet and the properties of the thruster can be disentangled provided that radial velocity follow-up measurements are possible, and that other obscuring phenomena typical to exoplanet transit curves (such as the presence of starspots or intrinsic stellar noise) do not dominate. These difficulties aside, we estimate the a priori probability of detecting a Shkadov thruster during an exoplanet transit, which even given optimistic assumptions remains stubbornly low. Despite this, many exoplanet transit surveys designed for radial velocity follow-up are on the horizon, so we argue that this remains a useful serendipitous SETI technique. At worst, this technique will place an upper limit on the number of Class A stellar engines in the Solar neighbourhood; at best, this could help identify unusual transiting exoplanet systems as candidates for further investigation with other SETI methods.

  8. 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...

  9. An Examination of Possible Gravitational Perturbations in the Transit Timing Variations of Exoplanet WASP-3b

    CERN Document Server

    Littlefield, Colin

    2011-01-01

    Maciejewski et al. (2010) claim to have detected a possible sinusoidal variation in the transit timing variations of exoplanet WASP-3b, which is currently the only known planet orbiting the star WASP-3. According to Maciejewski's analysis, this signal might be the consequence of gravitational perturbations caused by a hypothetical second exoplanet in the WASP-3 system. I report five transit timing measurements from the summer of 2010 which provide modest support for Maciejewski's proposed sinusoidal signal.

  10. AN EFFICIENT AUTOMATED VALIDATION PROCEDURE FOR EXOPLANET TRANSIT CANDIDATES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morton, Timothy D., E-mail: tdm@astro.caltech.edu [Department of Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2012-12-10

    Surveys searching for transiting exoplanets have found many more candidates than they have been able to confirm as true planets. This situation is especially acute with the Kepler survey, which has found over 2300 candidates but has to date confirmed only a small fraction of them as planets. I present here a general procedure that can quickly be applied to any planet candidate to calculate its false positive probability. This procedure takes into account the period, depth, duration, and shape of the signal; the colors of the target star; arbitrary spectroscopic or imaging follow-up observations; and informed assumptions about the populations and distributions of field stars and multiple-star properties. Applying these methods to a sample of known Kepler planets, I demonstrate that many signals can be validated with very limited follow-up observations: in most cases with only a spectrum and an adaptive optics image. Additionally, I demonstrate that this procedure can reliably identify false positive signals. Because of the computational efficiency of this analysis, it is feasible to apply it to all Kepler planet candidates in the near future, and it will streamline the follow-up efforts for Kepler and other current and future transit surveys.

  11. Analyzing the Orbits of Transiting Exoplanets Using Spitzer Secondary Eclipses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Andrew S.; Harrington, J.; Hardy, R. A.; Cubillos, P.; Hardin, M. R.

    2013-10-01

    Radial-velocity and transit-timing data can constrain the eccentricity, argument of periapsis, period, and other exoplanet orbital parameters. Including secondary-eclipse times can improve these parameters, especially eccentricity. We combined Spitzer secondary-eclipse data for HAT-P-16b and TrES-1b with existing radial-velocity and transit-timing data. For HAT-P-16b, we find that e = 0.0435 ± 0.0013, reducing the uncertainty by a factor of 4. For TrES-1b, we find that e cos ? = 0.002460 ± 0.000814, which is evidence of eccentricity not obtained by previous analyses of radial velocity data. We fit a Keplerian model to the data using Bayesian posterior sampling via a Markov-chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm to estimate the uncertainties. Spitzer is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA, which provided support for this work. This work was supported in part by NASA Planetary Atmospheres grant NNX13AF38G and NASA Astrophysics Data Analysis Program grant NNX12AI69G.

  12. 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...

  13. 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 Laboratory (PPL) is a collaboration between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to characterize and validate detectors through emulation of science images. At PPL we have developed a testbed to project simulated spectra and other images onto a HgCdTe array in order to assess precision photometry for transits, weak lensing etc. for Explorer concepts like JWST, WFIRST, EUCLID. In our controlled laboratory experiment, the goal is to demonstrate ability to extract weak transit spectra as expected for NIRCam, NIRIS and NIRSpec. Two lamps of variable intensity, along with spectral line and photometric simulation masks emulate the signals from a star-only, from a planet-only and finally, from a combination of a planet + star. Three masks have been used to simulate spectra in monochromatic light. These masks, which are fabricated at JPL, have a length of 1000 pixels and widths of 2 pixels, 10 pixels and 1 pixel to correspond respectively to the noted above JWST instruments. From many-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.

  14. 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...

  15. 1565 nm Observations of the transit of Venus, Proxy for a Transiting Exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaeggli, Sarah A.; Reardon, K. P.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Schneider, G.; Widemann, T.; Tanga, P.

    2013-07-01

    The transit of Venus in June 2012 provided a unique chance to view its atmosphere as we might see that of a transiting Cytherean exoplanet, through scattered and refracted illumination from its parent star. We performed spectroscopy and polarimetry during the transit of Venus focusing on extracting signatures of CO2 absorption of Venus from the solar spectrum. Although the predicted CO2 transmission spectrum of Venus was not particularly strong at 1565 nm, this region of the H-band often used in magnetic-field studies of the Sun's photosphere provides a particularly flat solar continuum with few atmospheric and molecular lines. Observations of Venus were taken throughout first contact and on the solar disk using the Facility InfraRed Spectropolarimeter on the Dunn Solar Telescope at the National Solar Observatory. The transit also provided a unique opportunity to investigate instrumental effects. In this poster we discuss initial results from the transit, including estimates for an exoplanet detection of this kind, preliminary comparison with atmospheric models, and the stray light properties of the instrument. This work was performed in collaboration with the Williams College Venus transit expedition, which was sponsored by Natl Geog/Comm for Research and Exploration.

  16. Microlensing Constraints on the Frequency of Jupiter Mass Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudi, B. S.; Albrow, M. D.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Caldwell, J. A. R.; DePoy, D. L.; Dominik, M.; Gould, A.; Greenhill, J.; Hill, K.; Kane, S.; Martin, R.; Menzies, J.; Naber, R. M.; Pogge, R. W.; Pollard, K. R.; Sackett, P. D.; Sahu, K. C.; Vermaak, P.; Watson, R.; Williams, A.

    1999-12-01

    Microlensing is the only technique likely, within the next 5 years, to constrain the frequency of Jupiter-analogs. The PLANET collaboration has monitored nearly 100 microlensing events of which more than 20 have sensitivity to the perturbations that would be caused by a Jovian-mass companion to the primary lens. No clear signatures of such planets have been detected. These null results indicate that Jupiter mass planets with separations of 1.5-3 AU occur in less than 1/3 of systems. A similar limit applies to planets of 3 Jupiter masses for separations of 1-4 AU. These are the best limits for extrasolar planets at these separations by any technique.

  17. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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

    2015-01-01

    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 mod...

  19. CHEOPS: a space telescope for ultra-high precision photometry of exoplanet transits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortier, Andrea; Beck, Thomas; Benz, Willy; Broeg, Christopher; Cessa, Virginie; Ehrenreich, David; Thomas, Nicolas

    2014-08-01

    The CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS) is a joint ESA-Switzerland space mission (expected to launch in 2017) dedicated to search for exoplanet transits by means of ultra-high precision photometry. CHEOPS will provide accurate radii for planets down to Earth size. Targets will mainly come from radial velocity surveys. The CHEOPS instrument is an optical space telescope of 30 cm clear aperture with a single focal plane CCD detector. The tube assembly is passively cooled and thermally controlled to support high precision, low noise photometry. The telescope feeds a re-imaging optic, which supports the straylight suppression concept to achieve the required Signal to Noise.

  20. Transit timing, depth, and duration variation in exoplanet TrES-2?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Va?ko M.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available We report on our ongoing search for timing, duration, and depth variations in the exoplanet TrES-2. In Raetz et al. (2009 we already presented ten di?erent transits obtained at the University Observatory Jena. Between November 2008 and August 2010 twelve additional transits could be observed. The timing, depth and duration of each individual event was analyzed and is presented here.

  1. 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.

  2. Exo-planet detection with the COROT space mission. I. A multi-transit detection criterion

    OpenAIRE

    Borde', Pascal; Rouan, Daniel; Leger, Alain

    2001-01-01

    We present a detection criterion for exo-planets to be used with the space mission COROT. This criterion is based on the transit method, which suggests the observation of star dimming caused by partial occulations by planetary companions. When at least three transits are observed, we show that a cross-correlation technique can yield a detection threshold, thus enabling the evaluation of the number of possible detections, assuming a model for the stellar population in the Gal...

  3. 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.

  4. THE TRANSIT LIGHT CURVE PROJECT. XII. SIX TRANSITS OF THE EXOPLANET XO-2b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 R Jup and the planetary mass to be 0.565 ± 0.054 M Jup. These results are consistent with those reported previously, and are also consistent with theoretical models for gas giant planets. The midtransit times are accurate to within 1 minute and are consistent with a constant period. However, the period we derive differs by 2.5? 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    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 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. Based on data collected at Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Some 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.

  10. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Rowe, Jason F; 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.

  12. WASP-14b: A 7.7 Mjup transiting exoplanet in an eccentric orbit

    CERN Document Server

    Joshi, Y C; Cameron, A Collier; Skillen, I; Simpson, E; Steele, I; Street, R A; Stempels, H C; Bouchy, F; Christian, D J; Gibson, N P; Hebb, L; Hébrard, G; Keenan, F P; Loeillet, B; Meaburn, J; Moutou, C; Smalley, B; Todd, I; West, R G; Anderson, D; Bentley, S; Enoch, B; Haswell, C A; Hellier, C; Horne, K; Irwin, J; Lister, T A; McDonald, I; Maxted, P; Mayor, M; Norton, A J; Parley, N; Perrier, C; Pont, F; Queloz, D; Ryans, R; Smith, A M S; Udry, S; Wheatley, P J; Wilson, D M

    2008-01-01

    We report the discovery of a 7.7 Mjup exoplanet WASP-14b, one of the most massive transiting exoplanets observed to date. The planet orbits the tenth-magnitude F5V star USNO-B1 11118-0262485 with a period of 2.243756 days and orbital eccentricity e = 0.095. A simultaneous fit of the transit light curve and radial velocity measurements yields a planetary mass of 7.7(+0.4)(-0.7) Mjup and a radius of 1.26(+0.08)(-0.06) Rjup. This leads to a mean density of about 5.1 gcm^{-3} making it one of the densest transiting exoplanets yet found at an orbital period less than 3 days. We estimate this system to be at a distance of 160+/-20 pc. Spectral analysis of the host star reveals a temperature of 6475+/-100 K, log g = 4.33 cms$^{-2}$ and v sin i = 4.9+/-1.0 km s$^{-1}$, and also a high lithium abundance, log N(Li) = 2.84+/-0.05. The stellar density, effective temperature and rotation rate suggest an age for the system of about 0.5--1.0 Gyr.

  13. A Method to Identify the Boundary Between Rocky and Gaseous Exoplanets from Tidal Theory and Transit Durations

    CERN Document Server

    Barnes, Rory

    2013-01-01

    The determination of an exoplanet as rocky is critical for the assessment of planetary habitability. Observationally, the number of small-radius, transiting planets with accompanying mass measurements is insufficient for a robust determination of the transitional mass or radius. Theoretically, models predict that rocky planets can grow large enough to become gas giants when they reach ~10 Earth-masses, but the transitional mass remains unknown. Here I show how transit data, interpreted in the context of tidal theory, can reveal the critical radius that separates rocky and gaseous exoplanets. Standard tidal models predict that rocky exoplanets' orbits are tidally circularized much more rapidly than gaseous bodies', suggesting the former will tend to be found on circular orbits at larger semi-major axes than the latter. Well-sampled transits can provide a minimum eccentricity of the orbit, allowing a measurement of this differential circularization. I show that this effect should be present in the data from the...

  14. Influence of stellar variability on the determination of the radius during a transit of an exoplanet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Désert J.-M.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Stellar variability can affect the estimate of an exoplanet radius measured during a transit. We developed a transit light curve model which includes stellar spots. It appears that, if spectro-photometric technique is used, spots and faculae have to be considered to conclude on atmospheric detection and characterization. When using a model including spots, characterization of Hot-Jupiter atmosphere around active stars is possible with this technique, provided a signal to noise ratio up to 105. For Earth-size planets a long-term parallel photometric follow up monitoring the stellar activity is required to compensate the error due to the stellar variability.

  15. 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...

  16. Hubble Space Telescope search for the transit of the Earth-mass exoplanet ? Centauri B b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demory, Brice-Olivier; Ehrenreich, David; Queloz, Didier; Seager, Sara; Gilliland, Ronald; Chaplin, William J.; Proffitt, Charles; Gillon, Michael; Günther, Maximilian N.; Benneke, Björn; Dumusque, Xavier; Lovis, Christophe; Pepe, Francesco; Ségransan, Damien; Triaud, Amaury; Udry, Stéphane

    2015-06-01

    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 characterization of this population of objects. We present the results of a search for the transit of the Earth-mass exoplanet ? Centauri B b with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). We observed ? Centauri B twice in 2013 and 2014 for a total of 40 h. 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 ? Centauri B b with the orbital parameters published in the literature at 96.6 per cent confidence. We find in our data a single transit-like event that could be associated with another Earth-sized planet in the system, on a longer period orbit. Our programme demonstrates the ability of HST to obtain consistent, high-precision photometry of saturated stars over 26 h of continuous observations.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

  18. H{alpha} ABSORPTION IN TRANSITING EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christie, Duncan; Arras, Phil; Li Zhiyun, E-mail: dac5zm@virginia.edu, E-mail: pla7y@virginia.edu, E-mail: zl4h@virginia.edu [Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400325, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4325 (United States)

    2013-08-01

    Absorption of stellar H{alpha} by the upper atmosphere of the planet HD 189733b has recently been detected by Jensen et al. Motivated by this observation, we have developed a model for atomic hydrogen in the n = 2 state and compared the resulting H{alpha} line profile to the observations. The model atmosphere is in hydrostatic balance, as well as thermal and photoionization equilibrium. Collisional and radiative transitions are included in the determination of the n = 2 state level population. We find that H{alpha} absorption is dominated by an optical depth {tau} {approx} 1 shell, composed of hydrogen in the metastable 2s state that is located below the hydrogen ionization layer. The number density of the 2s state within the shell is found to vary slowly with radius, while that of the 1s state falls rapidly. Thus while the Ly{alpha} absorption, for a certain wavelength, occurs inside a relatively well defined impact parameter, the contribution to H{alpha} absorption is roughly uniform over the entire atomic hydrogen layer. The model can approximately reproduce the observed Ly{alpha} and H{alpha} integrated transit depths for HD 189733b by using an ionization rate enhanced over that expected for the star by an order of magnitude. For HD 209458b, we are unable to explain the asymmetric H{alpha} line profile observed by Jensen et al., as the model produces a symmetric line profile with transit depth comparable to that of HD 189733b. In an appendix, we study the effect of the stellar Ly{alpha} absorption on the net cooling rate.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

    Context. 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. Aims: 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. Methods: 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, ?MLT, and initial helium mass fraction, Y. Results: For a star with a mass of 0.9 M? and an age of 4 Gyr our method recovers the mass of the star with a precision of 2% and the age to within 25% based on the density, effective temperature and metallicity predicted by a range of different stellar models. The masses of stars in eclipsing binaries are recovered to within the calculated uncertainties (typically 5%) in about 90% of cases. There is a tendency for the masses to be underestimated by about 0.1 M? for some stars with rotation periods Protmodels. The source code for our method is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/575/A36

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

    OpenAIRE

    Barros, S.C.C.; Diaz, R. F.; Santerne, A.; Bruno, G.; M. Deleuil; Almenara, J.M.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bouchy, F.; C. Damiani(Dipartimento di Fisica e Scienze della Terra dell’Università e Sezione dell’INFN di Ferrara, I-44122 Ferrara, Italy); Hebrard, G.; Montagnier, G.; Moutou, C

    2013-01-01

    The exoplanet KOI-142b (Kepler-88b) 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 $\\sim 0.36$ R$_{\\mathrm{Jup}}$. 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...

  6. The Transit Light Curve (TLC) Project. II. Two Transits of the Exoplanet OGLE-TR-111b

    CERN Document Server

    Winn, J N; Fuentes, C I; Winn, Joshua N.; Holman, Matthew J.; Fuentes, Cesar I.

    2006-01-01

    As part of our ongoing effort to measure exoplanet sizes and transit times with greater accuracy, we present I band observations of two transits of OGLE-TR-111b. The photometry has an accuracy of 0.15-0.20% and a cadence of 1-2 minutes. We derive a planetary radius of 1.067 +/- 0.054 Jupiter radii and a stellar radius of 0.831 +/- 0.031 solar radii. The uncertainties are dominated by errors in the photometry, rather than by systematic errors arising from uncertainties in the limb darkening function or the stellar mass. Both the stellar radius and the planetary radius are in agreement with theoretical expectations. The transit times are accurate to within 30 seconds, and allow us to refine the estimate of the mean orbital period: 4.0144479 +/- 0.0000041 days.

  7. Limb darkening and exoplanets: testing stellar model atmospheres and identifying biases in transit parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinoza, Néstor; Jordán, Andrés

    2015-06-01

    Limb darkening is fundamental in determining transit light-curve shapes, and is typically modelled by a variety of laws that parametrize the intensity profile of the star that is being transited. Confronted with a transit light curve, some authors fix the parameters of these laws, the so-called limb darkening coefficients (LDCs), while others prefer to let them float in the light-curve 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 recalculating these LDCs, comparing them to measured values from Kepler transit light curves 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 if one uses the quadratic limb darkening law to parametrize limb darkening, fixing and fitting the LDCs can lead to significant biases - up to ˜3 and ˜1 per cent in Rp/R*, respectively - which are important for several confirmed and candidate exoplanets. We conclude that, in this case, the best approach is to let the LDCs be free in the fitting procedure. Strategies to avoid biases in data from present and future missions involving high precision measurements of transit parameters are described.

  8. The refined physical parameters of transiting exoplanet system HAT-P-24

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The transiting exoplanet system HAT-P-24 was observed by using CCD cameras at Yunnan Observatory and Hokoon Astronomical Centre, China in 2010 and 2012. In order to enhance the signal to noise ratio of transit events, the observed data are corrected for systematic errors according to Collier Cameron et al.'s coarse de-correlation and Tamuz et al.'s SYSREM algorithms. Three new complete transit light curves are analyzed by means of the Markov chain Monte Carlo technique, and the new physical parameters of the system are derived. They are consistent with the old ones from the discovered paper except for a new larger radius Rp = 1.364 RJ of HAT-P-24b, which confirms its inflated nature. By combining the five available epochs of mid-transit derived from complete transit light curves, the orbital period of HAT-P-24b is refined to P = 3.3552479 d and no obvious transit timing variation signal can be found from these five transit events during 2010–2012

  9. Thermal phase curves of non-transiting terrestrial exoplanets 2. Characterizing airless planets

    CERN Document Server

    Maurin, A S; Hersant, F; Belu, A

    2011-01-01

    Context. The photometric signal we receive from a star hosting a planet is modulated by the variation of the planet signal with its orbital phase. Such phase variations are observed for transiting hot Jupiters with current instrumentation, and have also been measured for one transiting terrestrial planet (Kepler 10 b) and one non-transiting gas giant (Ups A b). Future telescopes (JWST and EChO) will have the capability to measure thermal phase curves of exoplanets including hot rocky planets in transiting and non-transiting configurations, and at different wavelengths. Short-period planets with a mass below 10 R_EARTH are indeed frequent and nearby targets (within 10 pc) are already known and more are to be found. Aims. To test the possibility to use multi-wavelengths infrared phase curves to constrain the radius, the albedo and the orbital inclination of a non-transiting planet with no atmosphere and on a 1:1 spin orbit resonance. Methods. We model the thermal emission of a synchronous rocky planet with no a...

  10. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Betremieux, Y. [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie, Koenigstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Kaltenegger, L., E-mail: betremieux@mpia.de, E-mail: kaltenegger@mpia.de [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden street, Cambridge MA 02138 (United States)

    2013-08-01

    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) O{sub 2} 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.

  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. 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 $...

  14. Directly Imaged L-T Transition Exoplanets in the Mid-Infrared

    CERN Document Server

    Skemer, Andrew J; Hinz, Philip M; Morzinski, Katie M; Skrutskie, Michael F; Leisenring, Jarron M; Close, Laird M; Saumon, Didier; Bailey, Vanessa P; Briguglio, Runa; Defrere, Denis; Esposito, Simone; Follette, Katherine B; Hill, John M; Males, Jared R; Puglisi, Alfio; Rodigas, Timothy J; Xompero, Marco

    2013-01-01

    Gas-giant planets emit a large fraction of their light in the mid-infrared ($\\gtrsim$3$\\mu \\rm m$), where photometry and spectroscopy are critical to our understanding of the bulk properties of extrasolar planets. Of particular importance are the L and M-band atmospheric windows (3-5$\\mu \\rm m$), which are the longest wavelengths currently accessible to ground-based, high-contrast imagers. We present binocular LBT AO images of the HR 8799 planetary system in six narrow-band filters from 3-4$\\mu \\rm m$, and a Magellan AO image of the 2M1207 planetary system in a broader 3.3$\\mu \\rm m$ band. These systems encompass the five known exoplanets with luminosities consistent with L$\\rightarrow$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. For 2M1207 b, we find that thick clouds and non-equilibrium chemistry caused by vertical mixing ...

  15. Prospects for the Characterization and Confirmation of Transiting Exoplanets via the Rossiter-McLaughlin Effect

    CERN Document Server

    Gaudi, B S; Winn, Joshua N.

    2006-01-01

    The Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect is the distortion of stellar spectral lines that occurs during eclipses or transits, due to stellar rotation. We assess the future prospects for using the RM effect to measure the alignment of planetary orbits with the spin axes of their parent stars, and to confirm exoplanetary transits. We compute the achievable accuracy for the parameters of interest, in general and for the 5 known cases of transiting exoplanets with bright host stars. We determine the requirements for detecting the effects of differential rotation. For transiting planets with small masses or long periods (as will be detected by forthcoming satellite missions), the velocity anomaly produced by the RM effect can be much larger than the orbital velocity of the star. For a terrestrial planet in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star found by the Kepler mission, it will be difficult to use the RM effect to confirm transits with current instruments, but it still may be easier than measuring the spectroscopic o...

  16. RECENT TRANSITS OF THE SUPER-EARTH EXOPLANET GJ 1214b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We report recent ground-based photometry of the transiting super-Earth exoplanet GJ 1214b at several wavelengths, including the infrared near 1.25 ?m (J band). We observed a J-band transit with the FLAMINGOS infrared imager and the 2.1 m telescope on Kitt Peak, and we observed several optical transits using a 0.5 m telescope on Kitt Peak and the 0.36 m Universidad de Monterrey Observatory telescope. Our high-precision J-band observations exploit the brightness of the M dwarf host star at this infrared wavelength as compared with the optical and are significantly less affected by stellar activity and limb darkening. We fit the J-band transit to obtain an independent determination of the planetary and stellar radii. Our radius for the planet (2.61+0.30 -0.11 R +) is in excellent agreement with the discovery value reported by Charbonneau et al. based on optical data. We demonstrate that the planetary radius is insensitive to degeneracies in the fitting process. We use all of our observations to improve the transit ephemeris, finding P = 1.5804043 ± 0.0000005 days and T 0 = 2454964.94390 ± 0.00006 BJD.

  17. Photometric and Spectral Signatures of 3D Models of Transiting Giant Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Burrows, Adam; Spiegel, David; Menou, Kristen

    2010-01-01

    Using a 3D GCM, we create dynamical model atmospheres of a representative transiting giant exoplanet, HD 209458b. We post-process these atmospheres with an opacity code to obtain transit radius spectra during the primary transit. Using a spectral atmosphere code, we integrate over the face of the planet seen by an observer at various orbital phases and calculate light curves as a function of wavelength and for different photometric bands. The products of this study are generic predictions for the phase variations of a zero-eccentricity giant planet's transit spectrum and of its light curves. We find that for these models the temporal variations in all quantities and the ingress/egress contrasts in the transit radii are small ($< 1.0$\\%). Moreover, we determine that the day/night contrasts and phase shifts of the brightness peaks relative to the ephemeris are functions of photometric band. The $J$, $H$, and $K$ bands are shifted most, while the IRAC bands are shifted least. Therefore, we verify that the mag...

  18. Colour-magnitude diagrams of transiting Exoplanets - II. A larger sample from photometric distances

    CERN Document Server

    Triaud, Amaury H M J; Smalley, Barry; Gillon, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Colour-magnitude diagrams form a traditional way of presenting luminous objects in the Universe and compare them to each others. Here, we estimate the photometric distance of 44 transiting exoplanetary systems. Parallaxes for seven systems confirm our methodology. Combining those measurements with fluxes obtained while planets were occulted by their host stars, we compose colour-magnitude diagrams in the near and mid-infrared. When possible, planets are plotted alongside very low-mass stars and field brown dwarfs, who often share similar sizes and equilibrium temperatures. They offer a natural, empirical, comparison sample. We also include directly imaged exoplanets and the expected loci of pure blackbodies. Irradiated planets do not match blackbodies; their emission spectra are not featureless. For a given luminosity, hot Jupiters' daysides show a larger variety in colour than brown dwarfs do and display an increasing diversity in colour with decreasing intrinsic luminosity. The presence of an extra absorben...

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. A method to identify the boundary between rocky and gaseous exoplanets from tidal theory and transit durations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rory

    2015-04-01

    The determination of an exoplanet as rocky is critical for the assessment of planetary habitability. Observationally, the number of small-radius, transiting planets with accompanying mass measurements is insufficient for a robust determination of the transitional mass or radius. Theoretically, models predict that rocky planets can grow large enough to become gas giants when they reach ~10 MEarth, but the transitional mass remains unknown. Here I show how transit data, interpreted in the context of tidal theory, can reveal the critical radius that separates rocky and gaseous exoplanets. Standard tidal models predict that rocky exoplanets' orbits are tidally circularized much more rapidly than gaseous bodies', suggesting the former will tend to be found on circular orbits at larger semi-major axes than the latter. Well-sampled transits can provide a minimum eccentricity of the orbit, allowing a measurement of this differential circularization. I show that this effect should be present in the data from the Kepler spacecraft, but is not apparent. Instead, it appears that there is no evidence of tidal circularization at any planetary radius, probably because the publicly-available data, particularly the impact parameters, are not accurate enough. I also review the bias in the transit duration towards values that are smaller than that of planets on circular orbits, stressing that the azimuthal velocity of the planet determines the transit duration. The ensemble of Kepler planet candidates may be able to determine the critical radius between rocky and gaseous exoplanets, tidal dissipation as a function of planetary radius, and discriminate between tidal models.

  2. PHOTOMETRIC AND SPECTRAL SIGNATURES OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL MODELS OF TRANSITING GIANT EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Using a three-dimensional general circulation model, we create dynamical model atmospheres of a representative transiting giant exoplanet, HD 209458b. We post-process these atmospheres with an opacity code to obtain transit radius spectra during the primary transit. Using a spectral atmosphere code, we integrate over the face of the planet seen by an observer at various orbital phases and calculate light curves as a function of wavelength and for different photometric bands. The products of this study are generic predictions for the phase variations of a zero-eccentricity giant planet's transit spectrum and of its light curves. We find that for these models the temporal variations in all quantities and the ingress/egress contrasts in the transit radii are small (<1.0%). Moreover, we determine that the day/night contrasts and phase shifts of the brightness peaks relative to the ephemeris are functions of photometric band. The J, H, and K bands are shifted most, while the IRAC bands are shifted least. Therefore, we verify that the magnitude of the downwind shift in the planetary 'hot spot' due to equatorial winds is strongly wavelength dependent. The phase and wavelength dependence of light curves, as well as the associated day/night contrasts, can be used to constrain the circulation regime of irradiated giant planets and to probe different pressure levels of a hot Jupiter atmosphere. We posit that though our calculations focus on models of HD 209458b, similar calculat on models of HD 209458b, similar calculations for other transiting hot Jupiters in low-eccentricity orbits should yield transit spectra and light curves of a similar character.

  3. New view on exoplanet transits. Transit of Venus described using three-dimensional solar atmosphere STAGGER-grid simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    Context. An important benchmark for current observational techniques and theoretical modeling of exoplanet atmospheres is the transit of Venus (ToV). Stellar activity and, in particular, convection-related surface structures, potentially cause fluctuations that can affect the transit light curves. Surface convection simulations can help interpreting the ToV as well as other transits outside our solar system. Aims: We used the realistic three-dimensional (3D) radiative hydrodynamical (RHD) simulation of the Sun from the Stagger-grid and synthetic images computed with the radiative transfer code Optim3D to predict the transit of Venus (ToV) in 2004 that was observed by the satellite ACRIMSAT. Methods: We computed intensity maps from the RHD simulation of the Sun and produced a synthetic stellar disk image as an observer would see, accounting for the center-to-limb variations. The contribution of the solar granulation was considered during the ToV. We computed the light curve and compared it to the ACRIMSAT observations as well as to 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 as used for RHD simulation to the observations of center-to-limb solar granulation with Hinode. Results: We explain ACRIMSAT observations of 2004 ToV and show that the granulation pattern causes fluctuations in the transit light curve. We compared different limb-darkening models to the RHD simulation and evaluated the contribution of the granulation to the ToV. We showed that the granulation pattern can partially explain the observed discrepancies between models and data. Moreover, we found that the overall agreement between real and RHD solar granulation is good, either in terms of depth or ingress/egress slopes of the transit curve. This confirms that the limb-darkening and granulation pattern simulated in 3D RHD of the Sun represent well what is imaged by Hinode. In the end, we found that the contribution of the Venusean aureole during ToV is ~10-6 times less intense than the solar photosphere, and thus, accurate measurements of this phenomena are extremely challenging. Conclusions: The prospects for planet detection and characterization with transiting methods are excellent with access to large a amount of data for stars. Being able to consistently explain the data of 2004 ToV is a new step forward for 3D RHD simulations, which are becoming essential for detecting and characterizing exoplanets. They show that granulation has to be considered as an intrinsic uncertainty (as a result of stellar variability) on precise measurements of exoplanet transits of, most likely, planets with small diameters. In this context, it is mandatory to obtain a comprehensive knowledge of the host star, including a detailed study of the stellar surface convection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchy, F.; Hebb, L.; Skillen, I.; Collier Cameron, A.; 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.

    2010-09-01

    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 RJup and mass of 0.30 MJup, WASP-21b has a density close to 0.24 ?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 belonging to the thick disc. Based on observations made with the SuperWASP-North camera hosted by the Isaac Newton Group on La Palma, the FIES spectrograph on the Nordic Optical Telescope, the CORALIE spectrograph on the 1.2-m Euler Swiss telescope on La Silla Observatory, the SOPHIE spectrograph on the 1.93-m telescope on Haute Provence Observatory and the HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-m ESO telescope at La Silla Observatory under programs 081.C-0388, 082.C-0040, 084.C-0185.Tables of photometric data are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/519/A98

  5. A new look at Spitzer primary transit observations of the exoplanet HD 189733b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blind source separation techniques are used to reanalyze two exoplanetary transit light curves of the exoplanet HD 189733b recorded with the IR camera IRAC on board the Spitzer Space Telescope at 3.6 ?m during the 'cold' era. These observations, together with observations at other IR wavelengths, are crucial to characterize the atmosphere of the planet HD 189733b. Previous analyses of the same data sets reported discrepant results, hence the necessity of the reanalyses. The method we used here is based on the Independent Component Analysis (ICA) statistical technique, which ensures a high degree of objectivity. The use of ICA to detrend single photometric observations in a self-consistent way is novel in the literature. The advantage of our reanalyses over previous work is that we do not have to make any assumptions on the structure of the unknown instrumental systematics. Such 'admission of ignorance' may result in larger error bars than reported in the literature, up to a factor 1.6. This is a worthwhile tradeoff for much higher objectivity, necessary for trustworthy claims. Our main results are (1) improved and robust values of orbital and stellar parameters, (2) new measurements of the transit depths at 3.6 ?m, (3) consistency between the parameters estimated from the two observations, (4) repeatability of the measurement within the photometric level of ?2 × 10–4 in the IR, and (5) no evidence of stellar variability at the same photometric level within one year.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Transit Observations of Venus's Atmosphere in 2012 from Terrestrial and Space Telescopes as Exoplanet Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Schneider, G.; Babcock, B. A.; Lu, M.; Penn, M. J.; Jaeggli, S. A.; Galayda, E.; Reardon, K. P.; Widemann, T.; Tanga, P.; Ehrenreich, D.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Nicholson, P. D.; Dantowitz, R.

    2013-06-01

    We extensively observed the 8 June 2012 transit of Venus from several sites on Earth; we provide this interim status report about this and about two subsequent ToVs observed from space. From Haleakala Obs., we observed the entire June transit over almost 7 h with a coronagraph of the Venus Twilight Experiment B filter) and with a RED Epic camera to compare with simultaneous data from ESA's Venus Express, to study the Cytherean mesosphere; from Kitt Peak, we have near-IR spectropolarimetry at 1.6 µm from the aureole and during the disk crossing that compare well with carbon dioxide spectral models; from Sac Peak/IBIS we have high-resolution imaging of the Cytherean aureole for 22 min, starting even before 1st contact; from Big Bear, we have high-resolution imaging of Venus's atmosphere and the black-drop effect through 2nd contact; and we had 8 other coronagraphs around the world. For the Sept 21 ToV as seen from Jupiter, we had 14 orbits of HST to use Jupiter's clouds as a reflecting surface to search for an 0.01% diminution in light and a differential drop that would result from Venus's atmosphere by observing in both IR/UV, for which we have 170 HST exposures. As of this writing, preliminary data reduction indicates that variations in Jovian clouds and the two periods of Jupiter's rotation will be too great to allow extraction of the transit signal. For the December 20 ToV as seen from Saturn, we had 22 hours of observing time with VIMS on Cassini, for which we are looking for a signal of the 10-hr transit in total solar irradiance and of Venus's atmosphere in IR as an exoplanet-transit analog. Our Maui & Sac Peak expedition was sponsored by National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration; HST data reduction by NASA: HST-GO-13067. Some of the funds for the carbon dioxide filter for Sac Peak provided by NASA through AAS's Small Research Grant Program. We thank Rob Ratkowski of Haleakala Amateur Astronomers; Rob Lucas, Aram Friedman, Eric Pilger, Stan Truitt, and Steve Bisque/Software Bisque for Haleakala support/operations; Vasyl Yurchyshyn and Joseph Gangestad '06 of The Aerospace Corp. at Big Bear Solar Obs; LMSAL and Hinode science/operations team.

  11. 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...

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2012-01-01

    We present two transits of the hot-Jupiter exoplanet XO-2b using the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC). The time series observations were performed using long-slit spectroscopy of XO-2 and a nearby reference star with the OSIRIS instrument, enabling differential specrophotometric transit lightcurves capable of measuring the exoplanet's transmission spectrum. Two optical low-resolution grisms were used to cover the optical wavelength range from 3800 to 9300{\\AA}. We find that sub-mmag level slit losses between the target and reference star prevent full optical transmission spectra from being constructed, limiting our analysis to differential absorption depths over ~1000{\\AA} regions. Wider long slits or multi-object grism spectroscopy with wide masks will likely prove effective in minimising the observed slit-loss trends. During both transits, we detect significant absorption in the planetary atmosphere of XO-2b using a 50{\\AA} bandpass centred on the Na I doublet, with absorption depths of Delta(R_pl/R_star)^2=0...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

    Aims: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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 ~30% to the target star, which would not have been detected without multicolor photometric analysis. The resulting planet-star radius ratio is 0.110 ± 0.0025, more than 25% more than the 0.087 measured by Kepler leading to a radius of 1.20 ± 0.16 RJup instead of the 0.94 RJup measured by the Kepler team. Conclusions: This is the first confirmation of an exoplanet candidate based primarily on the transit color signature, demonstrating that this technique is viable from ground for giant planets. It is particularly useful for planets with long periods such as Kepler-418b, which tend to have long transit durations. While this technique is limited to candidates with deep transits from the ground, it may be possible to confirm earth-like exoplanet candidates with a few hours of observing time with an instrument like the James Webb Space Telescope. Additionally, multicolor photometric analysis of transits can reveal unknown stellar neighbors and binary companions that do not affect the classification of the transiting object but can have a very significant effect on the perceived planetary radius. GTC g' and z' photometry and NOT-FIES spectroscopy 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/567/A14

  14. A Long-Period Jupiter-Mass Planet Orbiting the Nearby M Dwarf GJ849

    OpenAIRE

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

    2006-01-01

    We report precise Doppler measurements of GJ849 (M3.5V) that reveal the presence of a planet with a minimum mass of 0.82 Mjup in a 5.16 year orbit. At a = 2.35 AU, GJ849b is the first Doppler-detected planet discovered around an M dwarf to orbit beyond 0.21 AU, and is only the second Jupiter mass planet discovered around a star less massive than 0.5 Msun. This detection brings to 4 the number of M stars known to harbor planets. Based on the results of our survey of 1300 FGKM...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Discovery of a probable 4-5 Jupiter-mass exoplanet to HD 95086 by direct-imaging

    CERN Document Server

    Rameau, J; Lagrange, A -M; Boccaletti, A; Quanz, S P; Bonnefoy, M; Girard, J H; Delorme, P; Desidera, S; Klahr, H; Mordasini, C; Dumas, C; Bonavita, M; Meshkat, T; Bailey, V; Kenworthy, M

    2013-01-01

    Direct imaging has just started the inventory of the population of gas giant planets on wide-orbits around young stars in the solar neighborhood. Following this approach, we carried out a deep imaging survey in the near-infrared using VLT/NaCo to search for substellar companions. We report here the discovery in L' (3.8 microns) images of a probable companion orbiting at 56 AU the young (10-17 Myr), dusty, and early-type (A8) star HD 95086. This discovery is based on observations with more than a year-time-lapse. Our first epoch clearly revealed the source at 10 sigma while our second epoch lacked good observing conditions hence yielding a 3 sigma detection. Various tests were thus made to rule out possible artifacts. This recovery is consistent with the signal at the first epoch but requires cleaner confirmation. Nevertheless, our astrometric precision suggests the companion to be comoving with the star, with a 3 sigma confidence level. The planetary nature of the source is reinforced by a non-detection in Ks...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Nascimbeni, V; Bedin, L R; Damasso, M

    2010-01-01

    A promising method to detect earth-sized exoplanets is the timing analysis of a known transit. The technique allows a search for variations in transit duration or center induced by the perturbation of a third body, e.g. a second planet or an exomoon. To this aim, 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 imaging differential photometry at the Asiago 1.82m telescope. The first light curves show that our project can provide a competitive timing accuracy, as well as a significant improvement over the orbital parameters. We derived refined ephemerides for HAT-P-3b and HAT-P-14b thanks to a timing accuracy of 11 and 25 s, respectively.

  19. 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...

  20. The Transit Light Curve Project. VIII. Six Occultations of the Exoplanet TrES-3

    CERN Document Server

    Winn, Joshua N; Shporer, Avi; Fernandez, Jose; Mazeh, Tsevi; Latham, David W; Charbonneau, David; Everett, Mark E

    2008-01-01

    We present photometry of the exoplanet host star TrES-3 spanning six occultations (secondary eclipses) of its giant planet. No flux decrements were detected, leading to 99%-confidence upper limits on the planet-to-star flux ratio of 0.00024, 0.0005, and 0.00086 in the i, z, and R bands respectively. The corresponding upper limits on the planet's geometric albedo are 0.30, 0.62, and 1.07. The upper limit in the i band rules out the presence of highly reflective clouds, and is only a factor of 2-3 above the predicted level of thermal radiation from the planet.

  1. A transit timing analysis of seven RISE light curves of the exoplanet system HAT-P-3

    CERN Document Server

    Gibson, N P; Barros, S; Benn, C; Christian, D; Hrudková, M; Joshi, Y C; Keenan, F P; Simpson, E K; Skillen, I; Steele, I A; Todd, I

    2009-01-01

    We present seven light curves of the exoplanet system HAT-P-3, taken as part of a transit timing program using the RISE instrument on the Liverpool Telescope. The light curves are analysed using a Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo algorithm to update the parameters of the system. The inclination is found to be i = 86.75^{+0.22}_{-0.21} deg, the planet-star radius ratio to be R_p/R_star = 0.1098^{+0.0010}_{-0.0012}, and the stellar radius to be R_star = 0.834^{+0.018}_{-0.026} R_sun, consistent with previous results but with a significant improvement in the precision. Central transit times and uncertainties for each light curve are also determined, and a residual permutation algorithm used as an independent check on the errors. The transit times are found to be consistent with a linear ephemeris, and a new ephemeris is calculated as T_c(0) = 2454856.70118 +- 0.00018 HJD and P = 2.899738 +- 0.000007 days. Model timing residuals are fitted to the measured timing residuals to place upper mass limits for a hypothetical per...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Long-lived Chaotic Orbital Evolution of Exoplanets in Mean Motion Resonances with Mutual Inclinations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rory; Deitrick, Russell; Greenberg, Richard; Quinn, Thomas R.; Raymond, Sean N.

    2015-01-01

    Mean motion resonances, in which two orbital frequencies are close to an integer multiple of each other, are common throughout the Solar System and exoplanetary systems. We present N-body simulations of resonant planets with inclined orbits and show that orbital eccentricities and inclinations can evolve chaotically for at least 10 Gyr. A wide range of behavior is possible, ranging from fast, low amplitude variations to a complete sampling of all parameter space, i.e. eccentricities reach 0.999 and inclinations 179.9 degrees. While the orbital elements evolve chaotically, at least one resonant argument librates, the traditional metric for identifying resonant behavior. This chaotic evolution is possible in the 2:1, 3:1 and 3:2 resonances, and for a range of planetary masses from lunar- to Jupiter-mass. In some cases, orbital disruption occurs after several Gyr, implying the mechanism is not rigorously stable, just long-lived relative to the main sequence lifetimes of solar type stars. We also re-examine simulations of planet-planet scattering and find that they produce planets in inclined resonances that evolve chaotically in about 0.5% of cases. Our results suggest that 1) approximate methods for identifying unstable orbital architectures may have limited applicability, 2) some short-period exoplanets may be formed during tidal circularization when the eccentricity is large, 3) those exoplanets' orbital planes may be misaligned with the host star spin axis, 4) on average, systems with resonances may be systematically younger than those without, 5) the distribution of period ratios of adjacent planets detected via transit may be skewed, and 6) potentially habitable planets may have dramatically different climatic evolution than the Earth. We show that the known systems HD 73526, HD 45364 and HD 60532 system may be in chaotically-evolving resonances. The GAIA spacecraft is capable of discovering giant planets in these types of planetary systems.

  6. Transit timing analysis of the exoplanets TrES-1 and TrES-2

    OpenAIRE

    Rabus, M.; Deeg, H. J.; Alonso, R.; Belmonte, J. A.; Almenara, J. M.

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this work is a detailed analysis of transit light curves from TrES-1 and TrES-2, obtained over a period of three to four years, in order to search for variabilities in observed mid-transit times and to set limits for the presence of additional third bodies. Using the IAC 80cm telescope, we observed transits of TrES-1 and TrES-2 over several years. Based on these new data and previously published work, we studied the observed light curves and searched for variation...

  7. Prospects for Detection of Exoplanet Magnetic Fields Through Bow-Shock Observations During Transits

    OpenAIRE

    Vidotto, A. A.; Jardine, M.; Helling, Ch

    2010-01-01

    An asymmetry between the ingress and egress times was observed in the near-UV light curve of the transit planet WASP-12b. Such asymmetry led us to suggest that the early ingress in the UV light curve of WASP-12b, compared to the optical observations, is caused by a shock around the planet, and that shocks should be a common feature in transiting systems. Here, we classify all the transiting systems known to date according to their potential for producing shocks that could ca...

  8. First exoplanet transit observation with the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy: Confirmation of Rayleigh scattering in HD 189733 b with HIPO

    CERN Document Server

    Angerhausen, Daniel; Mandell, Avi; Dunham, Edward W; Becklin, Eric E; Collins, Peter L; Hamilton, Ryan T; Logsdon, Sarah E; McElwain, Michael W; McLean, Ian S; Pfueller, Enrico; Savage, Maureen L; Shenoy, Sachindev S; Vacca, William; VanCleve, Jeffry; Wolf, Juergen

    2015-01-01

    Here we report on the first successful exoplanet transit observation with the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). We observed a single transit of the hot Jupiter HD 189733 b, obtaining two simultaneous primary transit lightcurves in the B and z' bands as a demonstration of SOFIA's capability to perform absolute transit photometry. We present a detailed description of our data reduction, in particular the correlation of photometric systematics with various in-flight parameters unique to the airborne observing environment. The derived transit depths at B and z' wavelengths confirm a previously reported slope in the optical transmission spectrum of HD 189733 b. Our results give new insights to the current discussion about the source of this Rayleigh scattering in the upper atmosphere and the question of fixed limb darkening coefficients in fitting routines.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesvorný, David; Vokrouhlický, David

    2014-07-01

    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.

  11. Investigation of transit-selected exoplanet candidates from the MACHO survey

    CERN Document Server

    Huegelmeyer, S D; Homeier, D; Reiners, A

    2007-01-01

    Context: Planets outside our solar system transiting their host star, i. e. those with an orbital inclination near 90 degree, are of special interest to derive physical properties of extrasolar planets. With the knowledge of the host star's physical parameters, the planetary radius can be determined. Combined with spectroscopic observations the mass and therefore the density can be derived from Doppler-measurements. Depending on the brightness of the host star, additional information, e. g. about the spin-orbit alignment between the host star and planetary orbit, can be obtained. Aims: The last few years have witnessed a growing success of transit surveys. Among other surveys, the MACHO project provided nine potential transiting planets, several of them with relatively bright parent stars. The photometric signature of a transit event is, however, insufficient to confirm the planetary nature of the faint companion. The aim of this paper therefore is a determination of the spectroscopic parameters of the host s...

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Chiavassa, A; Pere, C.; 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 ACRIM...

  15. Uncovering Exoplanets using Polarimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stam, D. M.

    2012-12-01

    Since the first discovery of a planet around a solar-type star by Mayor & Queloz in 1995, more than 700 of these exoplanets have been detected. Most of these are giant, gaseous planets, but small, presumably solid, exoplanets, that are much harder to detect, have also been found. Among the latter are even some that orbit in their star's habitable zone, where temperatures could be just right to allow liquid water on a planet's surface. Liquid water is generally considered to be essential for the existence of life. Whether liquid water actually exists on a planet depends strongly on the atmosphere's thickness and characteristics, such as the surface pressure and composition. Famous examples in the Solar System are Venus and the Earth, with similar sizes, inner compositions and orbital radii, but wildly different surface conditions. The characterization of the atmospheres of giant, gaseous exoplanets, and of the atmospheres and/or surfaces of small, solid exoplanets will allow a comparison with Solar System planets and it will open up a treasure trove of knowledge about the formation and evolution of planetary atmospheres and surfaces, thanks to the vast range of orbital distances, planet sizes and ages that can be studied. Characterization will also allow studying conditions for life and ultimately the existence of life around other stars. Some information about the upper atmospheric properties has already been derived for a few close-in, hot, giant exoplanets, whose thermal flux can be derived from measurements of the combined flux of the star and the planet. This method has also provided traces of an atmosphere around a large solid planet orbiting red dwarf star GJ1214. Characterization of the atmosphere and/or surface of exoplanets in wide orbits, resembling the cool planets in our Solar System, and in particular of small, solid, Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars, is virtually impossible with transit observations. Indeed, polarimetry appears to be a strong tool both for the detection and the characterization of such cool exoplanets. Polarimetry helps their detection, because direct starlight is usually unpolarized, while starlight that has been reflected by a planet is usually polarized, especially at the phase angles favorable for observing exoplanets. Polarimetry thus improves the contrast between stars and their planets, and confirms that the detected object is indeed a planet. In my presentation, I will focus on the power of polarimetry for the characterization of exoplanets. This application is known from the derivation of the Venus cloud properties from the planet's polarized phase function by Hansen & Hovenier in 1974. Using numerically simulated flux and polarization phase functions and spectra for both gaseous and solid exoplanets, I will discuss the added value of polarimetry for exoplanet characterization as compared to flux observations, in particular for the retrieval of properties of clouds and hazes. Special attention will be given to the features in polarized phase functions that reveal the existence of liquid water clouds in the atmosphere (rainbows), even in the presence of ice clouds, or liquid water on the surface (glint) of an exoplanet. Using satellite data of the cloud and surface coverage of the Earth, calculated flux and polarization phase functions that should be observable from afar will be presented.

  16. Experimental evidence for a phase transition in magnesium oxide at exoplanet pressures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppari, F.; Smith, R. F.; Eggert, J. H.; Wang, J.; Rygg, J. R.; Lazicki, A.; Hawreliak, J. A.; Collins, G. W.; Duffy, T. S.

    2013-11-01

    Magnesium oxide is an important component of the Earth's mantle and has been extensively studied at pressures and temperatures relevant to Earth. However, much less is known about the behaviour of this oxide under conditions likely to occur in extrasolar planets with masses up to 10 times that of Earth, termed super-Earths, where pressures can exceed 1,000GPa (10 million atmospheres). Magnesium oxide is expected to change from a rocksalt crystal structure (B1) to a caesium chloride (B2) structure at pressures of about 400-600GPa (refs , ). Whereas no structural transformation was observed in static compression experiments up to 250GPa (ref. ), evidence for a solid-solid phase transition was obtained in shockwave experiments above 400GPa and 9,000K (ref. ), albeit no structural measurements were made. As a result, the properties and the structure of MgO under conditions relevant to super-Earths and large planets are unknown. Here we present dynamic X-ray diffraction measurements of ramp-compressed magnesium oxide. We show that a solid-solid phase transition, consistent with a transformation to the B2 structure, occurs near 600GPa. On further compression, this structure remains stable to 900GPa. Our results provide an experimental benchmark to the equations of state and transition pressure of magnesium oxide, and may help constrain mantle viscosity and convection in the deep mantle of extrasolar super-Earths.

  17. 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.

  18. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission Resolving the nature of transit candidates for the LRa03 and SRa03 fields

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

    CoRoT is a space telescope which aims at studying internal structure of stars and detecting extrasolar planets. We present here a list of transits detected in the light curves of stars observed by CoRoT in two fields in the anti-center direction: the LRa03 one observed during 148 days from 3 October 2009 to 1 March 2010 followed by the SRa03 one from the 5 March 2010 to the 29 March 2010 during 25 days. 5329 light curves for the LRa03 field and 4169 for the SRa03 field were analyzed by the detection team of CoRoT. Then some of the selected exoplanetary candidates have been followed up from the ground. In the LRa03 field, 19 exoplanet candidates have been found, 8 remain unsolved. No secured planet has been found yet. In the SRa03 field, there were 11 exoplanetary candidates among which 6 cases remain unsolved and 3 planets have been found: CoRoT-18b, CoRoT-19b, CoRoT-20b.

  19. 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 >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 ?

  20. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Optimizing exoplanet transit searches (Herrero+, 2012)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrero, E.; Ribas, I.; Jordi, C.; Guinan, E. F.; Scott, S. G.

    2011-11-01

    The table is a compilation of several catalogs of stars containing log(R'HK), vsin(i) and (B-V) data. The statistical analysis described in the paper was performed to obtain the probability for each star to have an axis inclination above 80°, given by the parameters epsilon and P. The number of stars contained in the statistics box, described by the uncertainties in the defined parameters, is also indicated. The resulting probabilities can be used to constrain the sample and compile a catalog for high efficiency transit searches. (1 data file).

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. STRESS - STEREO TRansiting Exoplanet and Stellar Survey - I : Introduction and Data Pipeline

    CERN Document Server

    Sangaralingam, Vinothini

    2011-01-01

    The Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory - \\emph{STEREO}, is a system of two identical spacecraft in Heliocentric Earth orbit. We use the two Heliospheric Imagers (HI), which are wide angle imagers with multi-baffle systems to do high precision stellar photometry in order to search for exoplanetary transits and understand stellar variables. The large cadence (40 min for HI-1 and 2 hrs for HI-2), high precision, wide magnitude range (\\emph{R} mag - 4 to 12) and broad sky coverage (nearly 20 percent just for HI-1A and 60 per cent of the sky in the zodiacal region for all the instruments combined) of this instrument marks this in a space left largely devoid by other current projects. In this paper, we describe the semi-automated pipeline devised for the reduction of this data, some of the interesting characteristics of the data obtained, data analysis methods used along with some early results.

  4. Near-UV and optical observations of the transiting exoplanet TrES-3b

    CERN Document Server

    Turner, Jake D; Hardegree-Ullman, Kevin K; Carleton, Timothy M; Walker-LaFollette, Amanda M; Crawford, Benjamin E; Smith, Carter-Thaxton W; McGraw, Allison M; Small, Lindsay C; Rocchetto, Marco; Cunningham, Kathryn I; Towner, Allison P M; Zellem, Robert; Robertson, Amy N; Guvenen, Blythe C; Schwarz, Kamber R; Hardegree-Ullman, Emily E; Collura, Daniel; Henz, Triana N; Lejoly, Cassandra; Richardson, Logan L; Weinand, Michael A; Taylor, Joanna M; Daugherty, Michael J; Wilson, Ashley A; Austin, Carmen L

    2012-01-01

    We observed nine primary transits of the hot Jupiter TrES-3b in several optical and near-UV photometric bands from 2009 June to 2012 April in an attempt to detect its magnetic field. Vidotto, Jardine and Helling suggest that the magnetic field of TrES-3b can be constrained if its near-UV light curve shows an early ingress compared to its optical light curve, while its egress remains unaffected. Predicted magnetic field strengths of Jupiter-like planets should range between 8 G and 30 G. Using these magnetic field values and an assumed B_star of 100 G, the Vidotto et al. method predicts a timing difference of 5-11 min. We did not detect an early ingress in our three nights of near-UV observations, despite an average cadence of 68 s and an average photometric precision of 3.7 mmag. However, we determined an upper limit of TrES-3b's magnetic field strength to range between 0.013 and 1.3 G (for a 1-100 G magnetic field strength range for the host star, TrES-3) using a timing difference of 138 s derived from the N...

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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...

  8. The Transit Light Curve Project. X. A Christmas Transit of HD 17156b

    CERN Document Server

    Winn, Joshua N; Henry, Gregory W; Torres, Guillermo; Fischer, Debra; Johnson, John Asher; Marcy, Geoffrey W; Shporer, Avi; Mazeh, Tsevi

    2008-01-01

    Photometry is presented of the Dec. 25, 2007 transit of HD 17156b, which has the longest orbital period and highest orbital eccentricity of all the known transiting exoplanets. New measurements of the stellar radial velocity are also presented. All the data are combined and integrated with stellar-evolutionary modeling to derive refined system parameters. The planet's mass and radius are found to be 3.212_{-0.082}^{+0.069} Jupiter masses and 1.023_{-0.055}^{+0.070} Jupiter radii. The corresponding stellar properties are 1.263_{-0.047}^{+0.035} solar masses and 1.446_{-0.067}^{+0.099} solar radii. The planet is smaller by 1 sigma than a theoretical solar-composition gas giant with the same mass and equilibrium temperature, a possible indication of heavy-element enrichment. The midtransit time is measured to within 1 min, and shows no deviation from a linear ephemeris (and therefore no evidence for orbital perturbations from other planets). We provide ephemerides for future transits and superior conjunctions. T...

  9. 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.

  10. The NASA Exoplanet Archive: Data and Tools for Exoplanet Research

    CERN Document Server

    Akeson, R L; Ciardi, D; Crane, M; Good, J; Harbut, M; Jackson, E; Kane, S R; Laity, A C; Leifer, S; Lynn, M; McElroy, D L; Papin, M; Plavchan, P; Ramirez, S V; Rey, R; von Braun, K; Wittman, M; Abajian, M; Ali, B; Beichman, C; Beekley, A; Berriman, G B; Berukoff, S; Bryden, G; Chan, B; Groom, S; Lau, C; Payne, A N; Regelson, M; Saucedo, M; Schmitz, M; Stauffer, J; Wyatt, P; Zhang, A

    2013-01-01

    We describe the contents and functionality of the NASA Exoplanet Archive, a database and tool set funded by NASA to support astronomers in the exoplanet community. The current content of the database includes interactive tables containing properties of all published exoplanets, Kepler planet candidates, threshold-crossing events, data validation reports and target stellar parameters, light curves from the Kepler and CoRoT missions and from several ground-based surveys, and spectra and radial velocity measurements from the literature. Tools provided to work with these data include a transit ephemeris predictor, both for single planets and for observing locations, light curve viewing and normalization utilities, and a periodogram and phased light curve service. The archive can be accessed at http://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu.

  11. Evolution of Exoplanets and their Parent Stars

    CERN Document Server

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

    2014-01-01

    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 with a rate of energy loss inversely proportional to the planetary age. The combined measurement of planetary mass, radius and a constraint on the (stellar) age enables a global determination of the amount of heavy elements present in the planet interior. The comparison with stellar metallicity shows a correlation between the two, indicating that accretion played a crucial role in the formation of planets. The dynamical evolution of exoplanets also depends on the properties of the central star. We show that the lack of massive giant planets a...

  12. Polarimetry for rocky exoplanet characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stam, Daphne; Karalidi, Theodora

    2013-04-01

    Since the first discovery of a planet around a solar-type star by Mayor & Queloz in 1995, several hundreds of exoplanets have been detected. Indeed, it appears that practically all Sun-like stars have planets. Inevitable, Earth-sized, rocky planets that orbit in their star's habitable zone, where temperatures could be just right to allow liquid water on a planet's surface, will be found. Liquid water is generally considered to be essential for the existence of life. Whether liquid water actually exists on a planet depends strongly on the atmosphere's thickness and characteristics, such as the surface pressure and composition. Famous examples in the Solar System are Venus and the Earth, with similar sizes, inner compositions and orbital radii, but wildly different surface conditions. The characterization of the atmospheres and/or surfaces of exoplanets will allow a comparison with Solar System planets and it will open up a treasure trove of knowledge about the formation and evolution of planetary atmospheres and surfaces, thanks to the vast range of orbital distances, planet sizes and ages that can be studied. Characterization will also allow studying conditions for life and ultimately the existence of life around other stars. Information about the upper atmospheres of close-in, hot, giant exoplanets, can be derived from measurements of the combined flux of the star and the planet, in particular when the planet is transiting its star. This method has also provided traces of an atmosphere around a large solid planet orbiting red dwarf star GJ1214. Detection and characterization of the atmospheres and/or surfaces of small, solid, Earth-like exoplanets in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars, is virtually impossible with transit observations. For these exiting planets, polarimetry appears to be a strong tool. Polarimetry helps the detection of exoplanets, because direct starlight is usually unpolarized, while starlight that has been reflected by a planet is usually polarized, especially at planetary phase angles around 90 degrees, that are favorable for observing exoplanets. Polarimetry thus improves the contrast between stars and their planets, and confirms that the detected object is indeed a planet. Polarimetry is also invaluable for the characterization of exoplanets. This application is known from the derivation of the Venus cloud properties from the planet's polarized phase function by Hansen & Hovenier in 1974. Using numerically simulated flux and polarization phase functions and spectra for rocky exoplanets, I will discuss the added value of polarimetry for exoplanet characterization as compared to flux observations, in particular for the retrieval of properties of clouds and hazes. Special attention will be given to the features in polarized phase functions that reveal the existence of liquid water clouds in an exoplanet's atmosphere (rainbows), even in the presence of ice clouds. Using satellite data of the cloud and surface coverage of the Earth, calculated flux and polarization phase functions that should be observable from afar will be presented.

  13. Project PANOPTES: Crowdsourcing the Search for Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stump, Chad

    2014-01-01

    Since the first exoplanets were discovered twenty years ago, nearly 1,000 have been confirmed. Over a third of these were found with the transit method, which holds the promise of more wide-scale searches. If Earth is in their orbital plane, exoplanets will partially eclipse their parent star. The transit method looks for this dimming to measure the size and orbit of the planet. Project PANOPTES is a crowdsourced search for new exoplanets using hobbyist digital cameras, keeping the cost low to make the search broadly accessible. We present information from our attempts to use a Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR camera with a Rokinon 85mm aspherical lens to detect transits, and we evaluate the feasibility of building a PANOPTES observatory in Southern Ohio.

  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. A Transit Timing Analysis of Nine Rise Light Curves of the Exoplanet System TrES-3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, N. P.; Pollacco, D.; Simpson, E. K.; Barros, S.; Joshi, Y. C.; Todd, I.; Keenan, F. P.; Skillen, I.; Benn, C.; Christian, D.; Hrudková, M.; Steele, I. A.

    2009-08-01

    We present nine newly observed transits of TrES-3, taken as part of a transit timing program using the RISE instrument on the Liverpool Telescope. A Markov-Chain Monte Carlo analysis was used to determine the planet-star radius ratio and inclination of the system, which were found to be Rp /R sstarf = 0.1664+0.0011 -0.0018 and i = 81.73+0.13 -0.04, respectively, consistent with previous results. The central transit times and uncertainties were also calculated, using a residual-permutation algorithm as an independent check on the errors. A re-analysis of eight previously published TrES-3 light curves was conducted to determine the transit times and uncertainties using consistent techniques. Whilst the transit times were not found to be in agreement with a linear ephemeris, giving ?2 = 35.07 for 15 degrees of freedom, we interpret this to be the result of systematics in the light curves rather than a real transit timing variation. This is because the light curves that show the largest deviation from a constant period either have relatively little out-of-transit coverage or have clear systematics. A new ephemeris was calculated using the transit times and was found to be Tc (0) = 2454632.62610 ± 0.00006 HJD and P = 1.3061864 ± 0.0000005 days. The transit times were then used to place upper mass limits as a function of the period ratio of a potential perturbing planet, showing that our data are sufficiently sensitive to have probed sub-Earth mass planets in both interior and exterior 2:1 resonances, assuming that the additional planet is in an initially circular orbit.

  16. A TRANSIT TIMING ANALYSIS OF NINE RISE LIGHT CURVES OF THE EXOPLANET SYSTEM TrES-3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We present nine newly observed transits of TrES-3, taken as part of a transit timing program using the RISE instrument on the Liverpool Telescope. A Markov-Chain Monte Carlo analysis was used to determine the planet-star radius ratio and inclination of the system, which were found to be Rp /R * = 0.1664+0.0011 -0.0018 and i = 81.73+0.13 -0.04, respectively, consistent with previous results. The central transit times and uncertainties were also calculated, using a residual-permutation algorithm as an independent check on the errors. A re-analysis of eight previously published TrES-3 light curves was conducted to determine the transit times and uncertainties using consistent techniques. Whilst the transit times were not found to be in agreement with a linear ephemeris, giving ?2 = 35.07 for 15 degrees of freedom, we interpret this to be the result of systematics in the light curves rather than a real transit timing variation. This is because the light curves that show the largest deviation from a constant period either have relatively little out-of-transit coverage or have clear systematics. A new ephemeris was calculated using the transit times and was found to be Tc (0) = 2454632.62610 ± 0.00006 HJD and P = 1.3061864 ± 0.0000005 days. The transit times were then used to place upper mass limits as a function of the period ratio of a potential perturbing planet, showing that our dl perturbing planet, showing that our data are sufficiently sensitive to have probed sub-Earth mass planets in both interior and exterior 2:1 resonances, assuming that the additional planet is in an initially circular orbit.

  17. A transit timing analysis of nine RISE light curves of the exoplanet system TrES-3

    OpenAIRE

    Gibson, NP; D. Pollacco; Simpson, EK; S Barros; Joshi, YC; Todd, I.; Keenan, FP; Skillen, I.; Benn, C; Christian, D; Hrudková, M; Steele, IA

    2009-01-01

    We present nine newly observed transits of TrES-3, taken as part of a transit timing program using the RISE instrument on the Liverpool Telescope. A Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo analysis was used to determine the planet-star radius ratio and inclination of the system, which were found to be Rp/Rstar=0.1664^{+0.0011}_{-0.0018} and i = 81.73^{+0.13}_{-0.04} respectively, consistent with previous results. The central transit times and uncertainties were also calculated, using a res...

  18. A transit timing analysis of nine RISE light curves of the exoplanet system TrES-3

    CERN Document Server

    Gibson, N P; Skillen, I; Simpson, E K; Barros, S; Joshi, Y C; Todd, I; Benn, C; Christian, D; Hrudková, M; Keenan, F P; Steele, I A

    2009-01-01

    We present nine newly observed transits of TrES-3, taken as part of a transit timing program using the RISE instrument on the Liverpool Telescope. A Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo analysis was used to determine the planet-star radius ratio and inclination of the system, which were found to be Rp/Rstar=0.1664^{+0.0011}_{-0.0018} and i = 81.73^{+0.13}_{-0.04} respectively, consistent with previous results. The central transit times and uncertainties were also calculated, using a residual-permutation algorithm as an independent check on the errors. A re-analysis of eight previously published TrES-3 light curves was conducted to determine the transit times and uncertainties using consistent techniques. Whilst the transit times were not found to be in agreement with a linear ephemeris, giving chi^2 = 35.07 for 15 degrees of freedom, we interpret this to be the result of systematics in the light curves rather than a real transit timing variation. This is because the light curves that show the largest deviation from a con...

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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.

  1. The Transit Light Curve Project. IX. Evidence for a Smaller Radius of the Exoplanet XO-3b

    CERN Document Server

    Winn, Joshua N; Torres, Guillermo; McCullough, Peter; Johns-Krull, Christopher M; Latham, David W; Shporer, Avi; Mazeh, Tsevi; Garcia-Melendo, Enrique; Foote, Cindy; Esquerdo, Gil; Everett, Mark

    2008-01-01

    We present photometry of 13 transits of XO-3b, a massive transiting planet on an eccentric orbit. Previous data led to two inconsistent estimates of the planetary radius. Our data strongly favor the smaller radius, with increased precision: R_p = 1.217 +/- 0.073 R_Jup. A conflict remains between the mean stellar density determined from the light curve, and the stellar surface gravity determined from the shapes of spectral lines. We argue the light curve should take precedence, and revise the system parameters accordingly. The planetary radius is about 1 sigma larger than the theoretical radius for a hydrogen-helium planet of the given mass and insolation. To help in planning future observations, we provide refined transit and occultation ephemerides.

  2. 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.

  3. Atmospheric Circulation of Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Showman, Adam P.; Cho, James Y-K.; Menou, Kristen

    2009-01-01

    We survey the basic principles of atmospheric dynamics relevant to explaining existing and future observations of exoplanets, both gas giant and terrestrial. Given the paucity of data on exoplanet atmospheres, our approach is to emphasize fundamental principles and insights gained from Solar-System studies that are likely to be generalizable to exoplanets. We begin by presenting the hierarchy of basic equations used in atmospheric dynamics, including the Navier-Stokes, primi...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. EXOPLANET CHARACTERIZATION BY PROXY: A TRANSITING 2.15 R? PLANET NEAR THE HABITABLE ZONE OF THE LATE K DWARF KEPLER-61

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We present the validation and characterization of Kepler-61b: a 2.15 R? 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? 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 dyxoplanets with similar radii and dynamically measured masses

  7. 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.

  8. The GTC exoplanet transit spectroscopy survey I: OSIRIS transmission spectroscopy of the short period planet WASP-43b

    CERN Document Server

    Murgas, F; Osorio, M R Zapatero; Nortmann, L; Hoyer, S; Cabrera-Lavers, A

    2014-01-01

    We used GTC instrument OSIRIS to obtain long-slit spectra in the optical range (520-1040 nm) of the planetary host star WASP-43 (and a reference star) during a full primary transit event and four partial transit observations. We integrated the stellar flux of both stars in different wavelength regions producing several light curves. We fitted transit models to these curves to measure the star-to-planet radius ratio, Rp/Rs, across wavelength among other physical parameters. We measure a Rp/Rs in the white light curve of 0.15988^{+0.00133}_{-0.00145}. We present a tentative detection of an excess in the planet-to-star radius ratio around the Na I doublet (588.9 nm, 589.5 nm) when compared to the nearby continuum at the 2.9-sigma level. We find no significant excess of the measured planet-to-star radius ratio around the K I doublet (766.5 nm, 769.9 nm) when compared to the nearby continuum. Combining our observations with previous published epochs, we refine the estimation of the orbital period. Using a linear e...

  9. The GTC exoplanet transit spectroscopy survey . I. OSIRIS transmission spectroscopy of the short period planet WASP-43b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murgas, F.; Pallé, E.; Zapatero Osorio, M. R.; Nortmann, L.; Hoyer, S.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.

    2014-03-01

    Aims: In this work, we use long-slit spectroscopy observations of a transit event of the close-in orbiting planet WASP-43b (Mp = 2.034 MJup, Rp = 1.036 RJup) in an effort to detect its atmosphere. Methods: We used the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) instrument OSIRIS to obtain long-slit spectra in the optical range 520-1040 nm of the planetary host star WASP-43 and of a reference star during a full primary transit event and four partial transit observations. We integrated the stellar flux of both stars in different wavelength regions producing several light curves. We fitted transit models to these curves to measure the star-to-planet radius ratio, Rp/Rs, across wavelength among other physical parameters. Results: We measure a mean planet-to-star radius ratio in the white light curve of 0.15988-0.00145+0.00133. Using broadband filters, we detect the color signature of WASP-43. We present a tentative detection in the planet-to-star radius ratio around the Na i doublet (? 588.9, 589.5 nm) when compared to the nearby continuum at the 2.9? level. We find no significant excess of the measured planet-to-star radius ratio around the K i doublet (? 766.5 nm, 769.9 nm) when compared to the nearby continuum. Combining our observations with previously published epochs, we refine the estimation of the orbital period. Using a linear ephemeris, we obtained a period of P = 0.81347385 ± 1.5 × 10-7 days. Using a quadratic ephemeris, we obtained an orbital period of 0.81347688 ± 8.6 × 10-7 days, and a change in this parameter of ? = -0.15 ± 0.06 s/year. As previous results, this hints to the orbital decay of this planet although a timing analysis over several years needs to be made to confirm this. Photometry is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/563/A41Appendix is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  10. 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_...

  11. GTC OSIRIS transiting exoplanet atmospheric survey: detection of potassium in HAT-P-1b from narrow-band spectrophotometry

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

    We present the detection of potassium in the atmosphere of HAT-P-1b using optical transit narrow-band photometry. The results are obtained using the 10.4-m Gran Telescopio Canarias together with the OSIRIS instrument in tunable filter imaging mode. We observed four transits, two at continuum wavelengths outside the potassium feature, at 6792 and 8844 Å, and two probing the potassium feature in the line wing at 7582.0 Å and the line core at 7664.9 Å using a 12 Å filter width (R ˜ 650). The planet-to-star radius ratios in the continuum are found to be Rpl/R? = 0.1176 ± 0.0013 at 6792 Å and Rpl/R? = 0.1168 ± 0.0022 at 8844 Å, significantly lower than the two observations in the potassium line: Rpl/R? = 0.1248 ± 0.0014 in the line wing at 7582.0 Å and Rpl/R? = 0.1268 ± 0.0012 in the line core at 7664.9 Å. With a weighted mean of the observations outside the potassium feature Rpl/R? = 0.1174 ± 0.0010, the potassium is detected as an increase in the radius ratio of ?Rpl/R? = 0.0073 ± 0.0017 at 7582.0 Å and ?Rpl/R? = 0.0094 ± 0.0016 at 7664.9 Å (a significance of 4.3? and 6.1?, respectively). We hypothesize that the strong detection of potassium is caused by a large scaleheight, which can be explained by a high temperature at the base of the upper atmosphere. A lower mean molecular mass caused by the dissociation of molecular hydrogen into atomic hydrogen by the extreme ultraviolet flux from the host star may also partly explain the amplitude of our detection.

  12. 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....

  13. Synthesizing Exoplanet Demographics from Radial Velocity and Microlensing Surveys, I: Methodology

    CERN Document Server

    Clanton, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Motivated by the order-of-magnitude difference in the frequency of giant planets orbiting M dwarfs inferred by microlensing and radial velocity (RV) surveys, we present a method for comparing the statistical constraints on exoplanet demographics inferred from these methods. We first derive the mapping from the observable parameters of a microlensing-detected planet to those of an analogous planet orbiting an RV-monitored star. Using this mapping, we predict the distribution of RV observables for the planet population inferred from microlensing surveys, taking care to adopt reasonable priors for, and properly marginalize over, the unknown physical parameters of microlensing-detected systems. Finally, we use simple estimates of the detection limits for a fiducial RV survey to predict the number and properties of analogs of the microlensing planet population such an RV survey should detect. We find that RV and microlensing surveys have some overlap, specifically for super-Jupiter mass planets ($m_p \\gtrsim 1~M_{...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Kuzuhara, 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; Egner, S; Feldt, M; Fujiwara, H; Goto, M; Grady, C A; Guyon, O; Hashimoto, J; Hayano, Y; Hayashi, M; Hayashi, S S; Hodapp, K W; Ishii, M; Iye, M; Knapp, G R; Matsuo, T; Mayama, S; Miyama, S; Morino, J -I; Nishikawa, J; Nishimura, T; Kotani, T; Kusakabe, N; Pyo, T -S; Serabyn, E; Suto, H; Takami, M; Takato, N; Terada, H; Tomono, D; Watanabe, M; Wisniewski, J P; Yamada, T; Takami, H; Usuda, T

    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 ...

  15. 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...

  16. Exoplanets Detection, Formation, Properties, Habitability

    CERN Document Server

    Mason, John W

    2008-01-01

    This edited, multi-author volume will be an invaluable introduction and reference to all key aspects in the field of exoplanet research. The reviews cover: Detection methods and properties of known exoplanets, Detection of extrasolar planets by gravitational microlensing. The formation and evolution of terrestrial planets in protoplanetary and debris disks. The brown dwarf-exoplanet connection. Formation, migration mechanisms and properties of hot Jupiters. Dynamics of multiple exoplanet systems. Doppler exoplanet surveys. Searching for exoplanets in the stellar graveyard. Formation and habitability of extra solar planets in multiple star systems. Exoplanet habitats and the possibilities for life. Moons of exoplanets: habitats for life. Contributing authors: •Rory Barnes •David P. Bennett •Jian Ge •Nader Haghighipour •Patrick Irwin •Hugh Jones •Victoria Meadows •Stanimir Metchev •I. Neill Reid •George Rieke •Caleb Scharf •Steinn Sigurdsson

  17. 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...

  18. Evolution of exoplanets and their parent stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillot, T.; Lin, D. N. C.; Morel, P.; Havel, M.; Parmentier, V.

    2014-11-01

    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 with a rate of energy loss inversely proportional to the planetary age. The combined measurement of planetary mass, radius and a constraint on the (stellar) age enables a global determination of the amount of heavy elements present in the planet interior. The comparison with stellar metallicity shows a correlation between the two, indicating that accretion played a crucial role in the formation of planets. The dynamical evolution of exoplanets also depends on the properties of the central star. We show that the lack of massive giant planets and brown dwarfs in close orbit around G-dwarfs and their presence around F-dwarfs are probably tied to the different properties of dissipation in the stellar interiors. Both the evolution and the composition of stars and planets are intimately linked.

  19. Exploring Exoplanet Populations with NASA's Kepler Mission

    OpenAIRE

    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 3 y of data, 100 planets of which are in the habitable zone. The catalog has a high reliability ra...

  20. Atmospheric Circulation of Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Showman, Adam P; Menou, Kristen

    2009-01-01

    We survey the basic principles of atmospheric dynamics relevant to explaining existing and future observations of exoplanets, both gas giant and terrestrial. Given the paucity of data on exoplanet atmospheres, our approach is to emphasize fundamental principles and insights gained from Solar-System studies that are likely to be generalizable to exoplanets. We begin by presenting the hierarchy of basic equations used in atmospheric dynamics, including the Navier-Stokes, primitive, shallow-water, and two-dimensional nondivergent models. We then survey key concepts in atmospheric dynamics, including the importance of planetary rotation, the concept of balance, and scaling arguments to show how turbulent interactions generally produce large-scale east-west banding on rotating planets. We next turn to issues specific to giant planets, including their expected interior and atmospheric thermal structures, the implications for their wind patterns, and mechanisms to pump their east-west jets. Hot Jupiter atmospheric d...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Deming, Drake; 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-based eclipse measurements at 2 microns, to existing models. Both planets exhibit stronger eclipses at 4.5 than at 3.6 microns, which is often indicative of an atmospheric temperature inversion. The spectrum of CoRoT-1 is best reproduced by a 2460K 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 micron contrast is anomalously low. Non-inverted atmospheres could potentially produce the CoRoT-2 spect...

  2. The Optical Design of CHARIS: An Exoplanet IFS for the Subaru Telescope

    CERN Document Server

    Peters-Limbach, Mary Anne; Kasdin, N Jeremy; Driscoll, Dave; Galvin, Michael; Foster, Allen; Carr, Michael A; LeClerc, Dave; Fagan, Rad; McElwain, Michael W; Knapp, Gillian; Brandt, Timothy; Janson, Markus; Guyon, Olivier; Jovanovic, Nemanja; Martinache, Frantz; Hayashi, Masahiko; Takato, Naruhisa

    2013-01-01

    High-contrast imaging techniques now make possible both imaging and spectroscopy of planets around nearby stars. We present the optical design for the Coronagraphic High Angular Resolution Imaging Spectrograph (CHARIS), a lenslet-based, cryogenic integral field spectrograph (IFS) for imaging exoplanets on the Subaru telescope. The IFS will provide spectral information for 138x138 spatial elements over a 2.07 arcsec x 2.07 arcsec field of view (FOV). CHARIS will operate in the near infrared (lambda = 1.15 - 2.5 microns) and will feature two spectral resolution modes of R = 18 (low-res mode) and R = 73 (high-res mode). Taking advantage of the Subaru telescope adaptive optics systems and coronagraphs (AO188 and SCExAO), CHARIS will provide sufficient contrast to obtain spectra of young self-luminous Jupiter-mass exoplanets. CHARIS will undergo CDR in October 2013 and is projected to have first light by the end of 2015. We report here on the current optical design of CHARIS and its unique innovations.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuzuhara, M. [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Tamura, M.; Kandori, R.; Hori, Y.; Suzuki, R.; Suenaga, T.; Takahashi, Y. H.; Kwon, J. [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588 (Japan); Kudo, T. [Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 650 North A' ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Janson, M.; Brandt, T. D.; Spiegel, D.; Burrows, A.; Turner, E. L.; Moro-Martin, A. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Peyton Hall, Ivy Lane, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Thalmann, C. [Astronomical Institute ' ' Anton Pannekoek' ' , University of Amsterdam, Postbus 94249, 1090 GE, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Biller, B.; Henning, T. [Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Koenigstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Carson, J. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Charleston, 58 Coming Street, Charleston, SC 29424 (United States); McElwain, M. W., E-mail: m.kuzuhara@nao.ac.jp [Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory, Code 667, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); and others

    2013-09-01

    Several exoplanets have recently been imaged at wide separations of >10 AU from their parent stars. These span a limited range of ages (<50 Myr) and atmospheric properties, with temperatures of 800-1800 K and very red colors (J - H > 0.5 mag), implying thick cloud covers. Furthermore, substantial model uncertainties exist at these young ages due to the unknown initial conditions at formation, which can lead to an order of magnitude of uncertainty in the modeled planet mass. Here, we report the direct-imaging discovery of a Jovian exoplanet around the Sun-like star GJ 504, detected as part of the SEEDS survey. The system is older than all other known directly imaged planets; as a result, its estimated mass remains in the planetary regime independent of uncertainties related to choices of initial conditions in the exoplanet modeling. Using the most common exoplanet cooling model, and given the system age of 160{sup +350}{sub -60} Myr, GJ 504b has an estimated mass of 4{sup +4.5}{sub -1.0} Jupiter masses, among the lowest of directly imaged planets. Its projected separation of 43.5 AU exceeds the typical outer boundary of {approx}30 AU predicted for the core accretion mechanism. GJ 504b is also significantly cooler (510{sup +30}{sub -20} K) and has a bluer color (J - H = -0.23 mag) than previously imaged exoplanets, suggesting a largely cloud-free atmosphere accessible to spectroscopic characterization. Thus, it has the potential of providing novel insights into the origins of giant planets as well as their atmospheric properties.

  4. WASP-54b, WASP-56b and WASP-57b: Three new sub-Jupiter mass planets from SuperWASP

    CERN Document Server

    Faedi, F; Barros, S C C; Brown, D; Cameron, A Collier; Doyle, A P; Gillon, M; Chew, Y Gomez Maqueo; Hebrard, G; Lendl, M; Liebig, C; Smalley, B; Triaud, A H M J; West, R G; Wheatley, P J; Alsubai, K A; Anderson, D R; Armstrong, D J; Bento, J; Bochinski, J; Bouchy, F; Busuttil, R; Fossati, L; Fumel, A; Haswell, C A; Hellier, C; Holmes, S; Jehin, E; Kolb, U; McCormac, J; Miller, G R M; Moutou, C; Norton, A J; Parley, N; Queloz, D; Skillen, I; Smith, A M S; Udry, S; Watson, C

    2012-01-01

    We present three newly discovered sub-Jupiter mass planets from the SuperWASP survey: WASP-54b is a heavily bloated planet of mass 0.636$^{+0.025}_{-0.024}$ \\mj and radius 1.653$^{+0.090}_{-0.083}$ \\rj. It orbits a F9 star, evolving off the main sequence, every 3.69 days. Our MCMC fit of the system yields a slightly eccentric orbit ($e=0.067^{+0.033}_{-0.025}$) for WASP-54b. We investigated further the veracity of our detection of the eccentric orbit for WASP-54b, and we find that it could be real. However, given the brightness of WASP-54 V=10.42 magnitudes, we encourage observations of a secondary eclipse to draw robust conclusions on both the orbital eccentricity and the thermal structure of the planet. WASP-56b and WASP-57b have masses of 0.571$^{+0.034}_{-0.035}$ \\mj and $0.672^{+0.049}_{-0.046}$ \\mj, respectively; and radii of $1.092^{+0.035}_{-0.033}$ \\rj for WASP-56b and $0.916^{+0.017}_{-0.014}$ \\rj for WASP-57b. They orbit main sequence stars of spectral type G6 every 4.67 and 2.84 days, respectively...

  5. Searching for H+3 in the atmosphere of the exoplanet HD 209458b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troutman, Matthew R.

    2007-05-01

    The study of planets outside of the solar system, known as exoplanets, is a very young field. Since the first discovery of an exoplanet in 1992 (and around a solar-type star in 1995), this field in astronomy has garnered much interest. The ultimate goal of discovering life elsewhere in the universe seems to be within reach, despite current technological limitations. First, the limits of current technology need to be found in order to see how limited such observations are using modern telescopes. Second, the atmospheres of exoplanets must be accurately described and modeled. To determine the detection limits, one can study the atmospheres of currently known exoplanets. These exoplanets are typically the mass of Jupiter, but are very close to their host stars, thus typically referred to as "hot" Jupiters. While these are not necessarily cradles of life, they represent advantageous testbeds of exoplanet atmospheres. Observations can constrain models and test the limits of current telescopes. One such laboratory to test both observational limits and atmospheric models is the exoplanet HD 209458b, a transiting exoplanet. In particular, the molecule [Special characters omitted.] is a diagnostic of the thermal regulation in the ionosphere of the exoplanet, and therefore is an advantageous molecule to test both atmospheric models and observational limits. Recent observations of the transiting exoplanet HD 209458b have revealed evidence of sodium in the lower atmosphere and escaping hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen from the exosphere, providing new insight to the composition and physical processes relevant to short-period exoplanets. The exoplanet HD 209458b was observed using Phoenix on Gemini South in 2005. The observations can constrain the physical conditions and photo-processing of the planet's atmosphere and characterize the gas that may currently be radiatively removed from it, as well as potentially provide insight to the interplay between the stellar and planetary magnetic fields. The observations represent significant and timely tests for both models of exoplanetary atmospheres and observational limits.

  6. Using SPICA Space Telescope to characterize Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Goicoechea, J R; Tinetti, G; Nakagawa, T; Enya, K; Tamura, M; Ferlet, M; Isaak, K G; Wyatt, M; Aylward, A D; Barlow, M; Beaulieu, J P; Boccaletti, A; Cernicharo, J; Cho, J; Claudi, R; Jones, H; Lammer, H; Léger, A; Martín-Pintado, J; Miller, S; Najarro, F; Pinfield, D; Schneider, J; Selsis, F; Stam, D M; Tennyson, J; Viti, S; White, G

    2008-01-01

    We present the 3.5m SPICA space telescope, a proposed Japanese-led JAXA-ESA mission scheduled for launch around 2017. The actively cooled ( 18 um). SPICA is one of the few space missions selected to go to the next stage of ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 selection process. In this White Paper we present the main specifications of the three instruments currently baselined for SPICA: a mid-infrared (MIR) coronagraph (~3.5 to ~27 um) with photometric and spectral capabilities (R~200), a MIR wide-field camera and high resolution spectrometer (R~30,000), and a far-infrared (FIR ~30 to ~210 um) imaging spectrometer - SAFARI - led by a European consortium. We discuss their capabilities in the context of MIR direct observations of exo-planets (EPs) and multiband photometry/high resolution spectroscopy observations of transiting exo-planets. We conclude that SPICA will be able to characterize the atmospheres of transiting exo-planets down to the super-Earth size previously detected by ground- or space-based observatorie...

  7. The NASA Exoplanet Archive: Data and Tools for Exoplanet Research

    OpenAIRE

    Akeson, R. L.; Chen, X; Ciardi, D.; Crane, M.; Good, J.; Harbut, M.; Jackson, E.; Kane, S. R.; Laity, A. C.; Leifer, S.; M. Lynn; McElroy, D. L.; Papin, M.; Plavchan, P.; Ramirez, S. V.

    2013-01-01

    We describe the contents and functionality of the NASA Exoplanet Archive, a database and tool set funded by NASA to support astronomers in the exoplanet community. The current content of the database includes interactive tables containing properties of all published exoplanets, Kepler planet candidates, threshold-crossing events, data validation reports and target stellar parameters, light curves from the Kepler and CoRoT missions and from several ground-based surveys, and s...

  8. TEST - The Tautenburg Exoplanet Search Telescope

    CERN Document Server

    Eigmüller, Philipp

    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, data taking, and archiving. For the search for transiting exoplanets and variable stars an automated psf photometry based on IRAF and a lightcurve analysis based on ESO-Midas are conducted. The images and the results are managed using a PostgreSQL database.

  9. Mass-radius relationships of rocky exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Sohl, F; Rauer, H

    2012-01-01

    Mass and radius of planets transiting their host stars are provided by radial velocity and photometric observations. Structural models of solid exoplanet interiors are then constructed by using equations of state for the radial density distribution, which are compliant with the thermodynamics of the high-pressure limit. However, to some extent those structural models suffer from inherent degeneracy or non-uniqueness problems owing to a principal lack of knowledge of the internal differentiation state and/or the possible presence of an optically thick atmosphere. We here discuss the role of corresponding measurement errors, which adversely affect determinations of a planet's mean density and bulk chemical composition. Precise measurements of planet radii will become increasingly important as key observational constraints for radial density models of individual solid low-mass exoplanets or super-Earths.

  10. 32 New Exoplanets Found

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-10-01

    oday, at an international ESO/CAUP exoplanet conference in Porto, the team who built the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, better known as HARPS, the spectrograph for ESO's 3.6-metre telescope, reports on the incredible discovery of some 32 new exoplanets, cementing HARPS's position as the world's foremost exoplanet hunter. This result also increases the number of known low-mass planets by an impressive 30%. Over the past five years HARPS has spotted more than 75 of the roughly 400 or so exoplanets now known. "HARPS is a unique, extremely high precision instrument that is ideal for discovering alien worlds," says Stéphane Udry, who made the announcement. "We have now completed our initial five-year programme, which has succeeded well beyond our expectations." The latest batch of exoplanets announced today comprises no less than 32 new discoveries. Including these new results, data from HARPS have led to the discovery of more than 75 exoplanets in 30 different planetary systems. In particular, thanks to its amazing precision, the search for small planets, those with a mass of a few times that of the Earth - known as super-Earths and Neptune-like planets - has been given a dramatic boost. HARPS has facilitated the discovery of 24 of the 28 planets known with masses below 20 Earth masses. As with the previously detected super-Earths, most of the new low-mass candidates reside in multi-planet systems, with up to five planets per system. In 1999, ESO launched a call for opportunities to build a high resolution, extremely precise spectrograph for the ESO 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla, Chile. Michel Mayor, from the Geneva Observatory, led a consortium to build HARPS, which was installed in 2003 and was soon able to measure the back-and-forward motions of stars by detecting small changes in a star's radial velocity - as small as 3.5 km/hour, a steady walking pace. Such a precision is crucial for the discovery of exoplanets and the radial velocity method, which detects small changes in the radial velocity of a star as it wobbles slightly under the gentle gravitational pull from an (unseen) exoplanet, has been most prolific method in the search for exoplanets. In return for building the instrument, the HARPS consortium was granted 100 observing nights per year during a five-year period to carry out one of the most ambitious systematic searches for exoplanets so far implemented worldwide by repeatedly measuring the radial velocities of hundreds of stars that may harbour planetary systems. The programme soon proved very successful. Using HARPS, Mayor's team discovered - among others - in 2004, the first super-Earth (around µ Ara; in 2006, the trio of Neptunes around HD 69830; in 2007, Gliese 581d, the first super Earth in the habitable zone of a small star (eso0722); and in 2009, the lightest exoplanet so far detected around a normal star, Gliese 581e (eso0915). More recently, they found a potentially lava-covered world, with density similar to that of the Earth's (eso0933). "These observations have given astronomers a great insight into the diversity of planetary systems and help us understand how they can form," says team member Nuno Santos. The HARPS consortium was very careful in their selection of targets, with several sub-programmes aimed at looking for planets around solar-like stars, low-mass dwarf stars, or stars with a lower metal content than the Sun. The number of exoplanets known around low-mass stars - so-called M dwarfs - has also dramatically increased, including a handful of super Earths and a few giant planets challenging planetary formation theory. "By targeting M dwarfs and harnessing the precision of HARPS we have been able to search for exoplanets in the mass and temperature regime of super-Earths, some even close to or inside the habitable zone around the star," says co-author Xavier Bonfils. The team found three candidate exoplanets around stars that are metal-deficient. Such stars are thought to be less favourable for the formation of planets, which fo

  11. Chemical modeling of exoplanet atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Venot, Olivia

    2014-01-01

    The past twenty years have revealed the diversity of planets that exist in the Universe. It turned out that most of exoplanets are different from the planets of our Solar System and thus, everything about them needs to be explored. Thanks to current observational technologies, we are able to determine some information about the atmospheric composition, the thermal structure and the dynamics of these exoplanets, but many questions remain still unanswered. To improve our knowledge about exoplanetary systems, more accurate observations are needed and that is why the Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory (EChO) is an essential space mission. Thanks to its large spectral coverage and high spectral resolution, EChO will provide exoplanetary spectra with an unprecedented accuracy, allowing to improve our understanding of exoplanets. In this work, we review what has been done to date concerning the chemical modeling of exoplanet atmospheres and what are the main characteristics of warm exoplanet atmospheres, which a...

  12. 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...

  13. Highly Evolved Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Renyu

    2015-01-01

    It has been found that sub-Neptune-sized planets, although not existing in our Solar System, are ubiquitous in our interstellar neighborhood. This revelation is profound because, due to their special sizes and proximity to their host stars, Neptune- and sub-Neptune-sized exoplanets may have highly-evolved atmospheres. I will discuss helium-dominated atmospheres as one of the outcomes of extensive atmospheric evolution on warm Neptune- and sub-Neptune-sized exoplanets. The spectral characteristics, and the formation conditions of the helium atmosphere, as applied to GJ 436 b, will be discussed. As the observations to obtain the spectra of these planets continue to flourish, we will have the opportunity to study unconventional atmospheric chemical processes and test atmosphere evolution theories.

  14. Atmospheric Dynamics of Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Heng, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    The characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres has come of age in the last decade, as astronomical techniques now allow for albedos, chemical abundances, temperature profiles and maps, rotation periods and even wind speeds to be measured. Atmospheric dynamics sets the background state of density, temperature and velocity that determines or influences the spectral and temporal appearance of an exoplanetary atmosphere. Hot exoplanets are most amenable to these characterization techniques; in the present review, we focus on highly-irradiated, large exoplanets (the "hot Jupiters"), as astronomical data begin to confront theoretical questions. We summarize the basic atmospheric quantities inferred from the astronomical observations. We review the state of the art by addressing a series of current questions and look towards the future by considering a separate set of exploratory questions. Attaining the next level of understanding will require a concerted effort of constructing multi-faceted, multi-wavelength dat...

  15. Exoplanets, extremophiles and habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janot Pacheco, E.; Bernardes, L.

    2012-09-01

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

  16. Characterizing Exoplanets in the Visible and Infrared: A Spectrometer Concept for the EChO Space Mission

    OpenAIRE

    Glauser, A. M.; Boekel, R.; Krause, O.; Henning, Th; Benneke, B.; Bouwman, J.; Cubillos, P. E.; Crossfield, I. J. M.; Detre, O? H.; Ebert, M.; Gro?zinger, U.; Gu?del, M.; Harrington, J.; Justtanont, K.; Klaas, U.

    2013-01-01

    Transit-spectroscopy of exoplanets is one of the key observational techniques to characterize the extrasolar planet and its atmosphere. The observational challenges of these measurements require dedicated instrumentation and only the space environment allows an undisturbed access to earth-like atmospheric features such as water or carbon-dioxide. Therefore, several exoplanet-specific space missions are currently being studied. One of them is EChO, the Exoplanet Characterizat...

  17. The CoRoT mission's exoplanet program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deeg H.J.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The CoRoT space observatory was launched at the end of 2006 and has been delivering scientific data from early 2007 until its recent interruption, on 2 Nov. 2012, leading to the discovery of over 30 transiting planets. Here we give an overview over the most relevant results from CoRoT's exoplanet detection program.

  18. 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.

  19. Planets Orbiting M Dwarf Stars: The Most Characterizable Terrestrial Exoplanets are also the Most Abundant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muirhead, Philip S.

    2013-10-01

    The study of extrasolar planets is rapidly evolving. The quest to discover ever more and ever smaller exoplanets has pushed the field in two primary directions: 1) toward a comprehensive assessment of the frequency and statistics of various types of exoplanets, used to constrain planet formation and evolution scenarios, and 2) toward characterizing the composition, atmosphere and evolution of individual exoplanets as though they were planets in our own Solar System. Exoplanets that orbit M dwarf stars have come to the forefront of both of these efforts, as M dwarfs dominate stellar populations and the atmospheres of exoplanets that transit M dwarfs can be characterized to an impressive degree with current and future telescopes. I will present a review of our current understanding of planets that orbit M dwarfs, and relay recent findings based on data from NASA's Kepler Mission that suggest 1-Earth-radius planets are extremely abundant around M dwarfs, and therefor also the galaxy and Universe as a whole.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27, 2006, has been developed and is operated by the CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA (RSSD and Science Program), Germany and Spain. Partly based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory at Paranal, Chile in program 184.C-0639, and partly based on observations conducted at McDonald Observatory.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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).

  4. The next generation transit survey prototyping phase

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormac, J.; Pollacco, P.; NGTS Consortium

    2014-12-01

    The Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) is a new wide-field transiting exoplanet survey aimed at discovering Neptune and super-Earth size exoplanets around bright (Vrobotically operated telescopes observing in the 600-900 nm band. NGTS will survey more than five times the number of stars with Vbuilds on the experience of the SuperWASP project, which, for many years, has lead the ground-based detection of transiting exoplanets.

  5. PRECISE ESTIMATES OF THE PHYSICAL PARAMETERS FOR THE EXOPLANET SYSTEM HD 17156 ENABLED BY HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE FINE GUIDANCE SENSOR TRANSIT AND ASTEROSEISMIC OBSERVATIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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* = 0.07454 ± 0.00035, inclination i = 86.49+0.24-0.20 deg, and scaled semimajor axis a/R* = 23.19+0.32-0.27. This last value translates directly to a mean stellar density determination ?* = 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 ?* = 0.5308 ± 0.0040. We compare stellar isochrones to this density estimate and find M* = 1.275 ± 0.018 Msun and a stellar age of 3.37+0.20-0.47 Gyr. Using this estimate of M* 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* = 1.5007 ± 0.0076 Rsun. 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 determinFor 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.

  6. Trawling for transits in a sea of noise: A Search for Exoplanets by Analysis of WASP Optical Lightcurves and Follow-up (SEAWOLF)

    CERN Document Server

    Gaidos, E; Lepine, S; Colon, K D; Maravelias, G; Narita, N; Chang, E; Beyer, J; Fukui, A; Armstrong, J D; Zezas, A; Fulton, B J; Mann, A W; West, R G; Faedi, F

    2013-01-01

    Studies of transiting Neptune-size planets orbiting close to nearby bright stars can inform theories of planet formation because mass and radius and therefore mean density can be accurately estimated and compared with interior models. The distribution of such planets with stellar mass and orbital period relative to their Jovian-mass counterparts can test scenarios of orbital migration, and whether "hot" (period < 10d) Neptunes evolved from "hot" Jupiters as a result of mass loss. We searched 1763 late K and early M dwarf stars for transiting Neptunes by analyzing photometry from the Wide Angle Search for Planets and obtaining high-precision ($<10^{-3}$) follow-up photometry of stars with candidate transit signals. One star in our sample (GJ 436) hosts a previously reported hot Neptune. We identified 92 candidate signals among 80 other stars and carried out 148 observations of predicted candidate transits with 1-2 m telescopes. Data on 70 WASP signals rules out transits for 39 of them; 28 other signals a...

  7. 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.

  8. The NASA/IPAC/NExScI Star and Exoplanet Database

    OpenAIRE

    Berriman, G. B.; B Ali; BAKER, R.; Von Braun, K; Chiu, N-M.; Ciardi, D. R.; Good, J.; Kane, S. R.; Kong, M.; Laity, A. C.; McElroy, D. L.; Monkewitz, S.; Payne, A.N.; Ramirez, S. (collab.); Schmitz, M

    2009-01-01

    The NASA/IPAC/NExScI Star and Exoplanet Database (NStED) is a general purpose stellar archive which supports NASA planet-finding and planet-characterization goals, stellar astrophysics, and the planning of NASA and other space missions. There are two principal components of NStED: a database of 140,000 nearby stars and exoplanet-hosting stars, and an archive dedicated to high precision photometric surveys for transiting exoplanets (NStED-ETSS). We present summaries of these ...

  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. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA's Kepler Mission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Characterization of exoplanet hosts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valenti Jeff A.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available 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 affect the formation and/or migration of detectable planets less massive than Neptune, especially when considering only the most massive planet in the system. In systems with at least one planet less than 10 times the mass of Earth, the mass of the most massive planet increases dramatically with host star metallicity. This may reflect metallicity dependent timescales for core formation, envelope accretion, and/or migration into the detection zone.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The Structure of Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Spiegel, David S; Sotin, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    The hundreds of exoplanets that have been discovered in the past two decades offer a new perspective on planetary structure. Instead of being the archetypal examples of planets, those of our Solar System are merely possible outcomes of planetary system formation and evolution, and conceivably not even terribly common outcomes (although this remains an open question). Here, we review the diverse range of interior structures that are known to, and speculated to, exist in exoplanetary systems -- from mostly degenerate objects that are more than 10 times 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 the Earth.

  17. Erratum: "the Transit Light Curve Project. VII. The Not-So Exoplanet HAT-P-1B" (2007, AJ, 134, 1707)

    OpenAIRE

    Winn, Joshua N.; Holman, Matthew J.; Bakos, Gaspar Á; Pál, András; Johnson, John Asher; Williams, Peter K. G.; Shporer, Avi; Mazeh, Tsevi; Fernandez, José; Latham, David W.; Gillon, Michaël

    2008-01-01

    Two of the midtransit times that were given in Table 3 of Winn et al. 2007 (AJ, 134, 1707-1712) are incorrect. The first entry was incorrect because a trend in the out-of-transit flux had not been removed as described in the text. The sixth entry gave an incorrect epoch, and a midtransit time that was too small by one orbital period, because of a rounding error in the computer code that generated the table. The corrected times are given below in a revised version of Table 3. With these revisi...

  18. EChO - the Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinetti, Giovanna; EChO Team

    2011-09-01

    The science of extra-solar planets is one of the most rapidly changing areas of astrophysics and since 1995 the number of planets known has increased by almost two orders of magnitude. A combination of ground-based surveys and ded-icated space missions has resulted in 540-plus planets being detected, and over 1200 that await confirmation. NASA’s Kepler mission has opened up the possibility of discovering Earth-like planets in the habitable zone around some of the 100,000 stars it is surveying during its 3 to 4-year lifetime. The new Gaia mission is expected to discover thousands of new planets around stars within 200 parsecs of the Sun. Yet among the exoplanets detected or proposed, so far there is actually little resemblance to the morphology of the Solar System. The key challenge now is moving on from discovery, important though that remains, to characterisation: what are these planets actually like, and why are they as they are? In the past ten years, we have learned how to obtain the first spectra of exoplanets using transit transmission and emission spectroscopy. With the high stability of Spitzer, Hubble, and large ground-based telescopes the spectra of bright close-in massive planets can be obtained and species like water vapour, methane, carbon monoxide and dioxide have been detected. The Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory, EChO, will be a dedicated mission to investigate the physics and chemistry of exoplanetary atmospheres. EChO has been selected by the European Space Agency to be assessed as one of four M3 mission candidates. By characterising spectroscopically more bodies in different environments we will take detailed planetology out of the Solar System and into the Galaxy as a whole.

  19. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission VIII. CoRoT-7b: the first Super-Earth with measured radius

    CERN Document Server

    Léger, A; Schneider, J; Barge, P; Fridlund, M; Samuel, B; Ollivier, M; Günther, E; Deleuil, M; Deeg, H J; Auvergne, M; Alonso, R; Aigrain, S; Alapini, A; Almenara, J M; Baglin, A; Barbieri, M; Bruntt, H; Borde, P; Bouchy, F; Cabrera, J; Catala, C; Carone, L; Carpano, S; Csizmadia, Sz; Dvorak, R; Erikson, A; Ferraz-Mello, S; Foing, B; Fressin, F; Gandolfi, D; Gillon, M; Gondoin, Ph; Grasset, O; Guillot, T; Hatzes, A; Hébrard, G; Jorda, L; Lammer, H; Llebaria, A; Loeillet, B; Mayor, M; Mazeh, T; Moutou, C; Paetzold, M; Pont, F; Queloz, D; Rauer, H; Renner, S; Samadi, R; Shporer, A; Sotin, Ch; Tingley, B; Wuchterl, G

    2009-01-01

    We report the discovery of very shallow (DF/F = 3.4 10-4), periodic dips in the light curve of an active V = 11.7 G9V star observed by the CoRoT satellite, which we interpret as due to the presence of a transiting companion. We describe the 3-colour CoRoT data and complementary ground-based observations that support the planetary nature of the companion. Methods. We use CoRoT color information, good angular resolution ground-based photometric observations in- and out- of transit, adaptive optics imaging, near-infrared spectroscopy and preliminary results from Radial Velocity measurements, to test the diluted eclipsing binary scenarios. The parameters of the host star are derived from optical spectra, which were then combined with the CoRoT light curve to derive parameters of the companion. We examine carefully all conceivable cases of false positives, and all tests performed support the planetary hypothesis. Blends with separation larger than 0.40 arcsec or triple systems are almost excluded with a 8 10-4 ris...

  20. Doppler tomography of transiting exoplanets: A prograde, low-inclined orbit for the hot Jupiter CoRoT-11b

    CERN Document Server

    Gandolfi, Davide; Endl, Michael; Lanza, Antonino F; Damiani, Cilia; Alonso, Roi; Cochran, William D; Deleuil, Magali; Fridlund, Malcolm; Hatzes, Artie P; Guenther, Eike W

    2012-01-01

    We report the detection of the Doppler shadow of the transiting hot Jupiter CoRoT-11b. Our analysis is based on line-profile tomography of time-series, Keck/HIRES high-resolution spectra acquired during the transit of the planet. We measured a sky-projected, spin-orbit angle of 0.1 +/- 2.6 degrees, which is consistent with a very low-inclined orbit with respect to the stellar rotation axis. We refined the physical parameters of the system using a Markov chain Monte Carlo simultaneous fitting of the available photometric and spectroscopic data. An analysis of the tidal evolution of the system shows how the currently measured obliquity and its uncertainty translate into an initial absolute value of less than about 10 degrees on the zero-age main sequence, for an expected average modified tidal quality factor of the star Q'* > 4 x 10^6. This is indicative of an inward migration scenario that would not have perturbed the primordial low obliquity of CoRoT-11b. Taking into account the effective temperature and mass...

  1. 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.

    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 to derive stellar and planetary parameters. The planet has a mass of Mp = 2.8 ± 0.3 MJup, a radius of Rpl= 1.05 ± 0.13RJup, a density of ? 3 g?cm-3. RV data also clearly reveal a nonzero eccentricity of e = 0.16 ± 0.02. The planet orbits a mature G0 main sequence star of V = 15.5 mag, with a mass M? = 1.14 ± 0.08 M?, a radius R ? = 1. 61 ± 0.18 R?? and quasi-solarabundances. The age of the system is evaluated to be 7 Gyr, not far from the transition to subgiant, in agreement with the rather large stellar radius.The two features of a significant eccentricity of the orbit and of a fairly high density are fairly uncommon for a hot Jupiter. The high density is, however, consistent with a model of contraction of a planet at this mass, given the age of the system. On the other hand, at such an age, circularization is expected to be completed. In fact, we show that for this planetary mass and orbital distance, any initial eccentricity should not totally vanish after 7 Gyr, as long as the tidal quality factor Qp is more than a few 105, a value that is the lower bound of the usually expected range. Even if CoRoT-23b? features a density and an eccentricity that are atypical of a hot Jupiter, it is thus not an enigmatic object.

  2. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Irwin, Jonathan M; 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-South at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Chile. We present an update on recent results of this survey, for planet occurrence rates, and interesting stellar astrophysics, for which our sample of 3000 nearby mid-to-late M-dwarfs has been very fruitful. All light curves gathered during the survey are made publicly available after one year, and we describe how to access and use these data.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 to derive stellar and planetary parameters. The planet has a mass of Mp = 2.8 ± 0.3 MJup, a radius of Rpl= 1.05 ± 0.13RJup, a density of ? 3 g cm-3. RV data also clearly reveal a nonzero eccentricity of e = 0.16 ± 0.02. The planet orbits a mature G0 main sequence star of V = 15.5 mag, with a mass M? = 1.14 ± 0.08 M?, a radius R ? = 1. 61 ± 0.18 R? and quasi-solarabundances. The age of the system is evaluated to be 7 Gyr, not far from the transition to subgiant, in agreement with the rather large stellar radius. The two features of a significant eccentricity of the orbit and of a fairly high density are fairly uncommon for a hot Jupiter. The high density is, however, consistent with a model of contraction of a planet at this mass, given the age of the system. On the other hand, at such an age, circularization is expected to be completed. In fact, we show that for this planetary mass and orbital distance, any initial eccentricity should not totally vanish after 7 Gyr, as long as the tidal quality factor Qp is more than a few 105, a value that is the lower bound of the usually expected range. Even if CoRoT-23b features a density and an eccentricity that are atypical of a hot Jupiter, it is thus not an enigmatic object. The CoRoT space mission, launched on 27 December 2006, has been developed and is operated by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA, Germany, and Spain. First CoRoT data are available to the public from the CoRoT archive: http://idoc-corot.ias.u-psud.fr. The complementary observations were obtained with MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint project of CFHT and CEA/DAPNIA, at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by NRC in Canada, INSU-CNRS in France, and the University of Hawaii; ESO Telescopes at the La Silla and Paranal Observatories under program 184.C0639; the OGS telescope operated by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Tenerife at Tenerife.

  5. 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.

  6. ExELS: an exoplanet legacy science proposal for the ESA Euclid mission. II. Hot exoplanets and sub-stellar systems

    CERN Document Server

    McDonald, I; Penny, M; Beaulieu, J -P; Batista, V; Novati, S Calchi; Cassan, A; Fouque, P; Mao, S; Marquette, J B; Rattenbury, N; Robin, A C; Tisserand, P; Osorio, M R Zapatero

    2014-01-01

    The Exoplanet Euclid Legacy Survey (ExELS) proposes to determine the frequency of cold exoplanets down to Earth mass from host separations of ~1 AU out to the free-floating regime by detecting microlensing events in Galactic Bulge. We show that ExELS can also detect large numbers of hot, transiting exoplanets in the same population. The combined microlensing+transit survey would allow the first self-consistent estimate of the relative frequencies of hot and cold sub-stellar companions, reducing biases in comparing "near-field" radial velocity and transiting exoplanets with "far-field" microlensing exoplanets. The age of the Bulge and its spread in metallicity further allows ExELS to better constrain both the variation of companion frequency with metallicity and statistically explore the strength of star-planet tides. We conservatively estimate that ExELS will detect ~4100 sub-stellar objects, with sensitivity typically reaching down to Neptune-mass planets. Of these, ~600 will be detectable in both Euclid's V...

  7. 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 ...

  8. The Exoplanet Microlensing Survey by the Proposed WFIRST Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. IV. CoRoT-Exo-4b: a transiting planet in a 9.2 day synchronous orbit

    OpenAIRE

    Aigrain, S.; Collier Cameron, A.; Ollivier, M.; Pont, F.; Jorda, L.; Almenara, J. M.; Alonso, R.; Barge, P.; Borde?, P.; Bouchy, F.; Deeg, H.; La Reza, R.; Deleuil, M.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.

    2008-01-01

    CoRoT, the first space-based transit search, provides ultra-high-precision light curves with continuous time-sampling over periods of up to 5 months. This allows the detection of transiting planets with relatively long periods, and the simultaneous study of the host star's photometric variability. In this Letter, we report the discovery of the transiting giant planet CoRoT-Exo-4b and use the CoRoT light curve to perform a detailed analysis of the transit and determine the stellar rotation per...

  10. Stellar Variability of the Exoplanet Hosting Star HD 63454

    OpenAIRE

    Kane, Stephen R.; Dragomir, Diana; Ciardi, David R.; Lee, Jae-Woo; Curto, Gaspare Lo; Lovis, Christophe; Naef, Dominique; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Pilyavsky, Genady; Udry, Stephane; Wang, Xuesong; Wright, Jason

    2011-01-01

    Of the hundreds of exoplanets discovered using the radial velocity technique, many are orbiting close to their host stars with periods less than 10 days. One of these, HD 63454, is a young active K dwarf which hosts a Jovian planet in a 2.82 day period orbit. The planet has a 14% transit probability and a predicted transit depth of 1.2%. Here we provide a re-analysis of the radial velocity data to produce an accurate transit ephemeris. We further analyse 8 nights of time ser...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macintosh, Bruce

    The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a next-generation coronagraph constructed for the Gemini Observatory. GPI will see first light this fall. It will be the most advanced planet-imaging system in operation - an order of magnitude more sensitive than any current instrument, capable of detecting and spectroscopically characterizing young Jovian planets 107 times fainter than their parent star at separations of 0.2 arcseconds. GPI was built from the beginning as a facility-class survey instrument, and the observatory will employ it that way. Our team has been selected by Gemini Observatory to carry out an 890-hour program - the GPI Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) campaign from 2014-2017. We will observe 600 stars spanning spectral types A-M. We will use published young association catalogs and a proprietary list in preparation that adds several hundred new young (statistical investigation. This Origins of Solar Systems proposal will support the execution of the GPI Exoplanet Survey campaign. We will develop tools needed to execute the survey efficiently. We will refine the existing GPI data pipeline to a final version that robustly removes residual speckle artifacts and provides accurate and calibrated recovery of exoplanet spectra. We will produce a complete archive of all reduced GPI data products (supplementing the existing Gemini archive of raw data) for use by our collaboration, and release that archive to the public on an 18-month cycle. Most importantly, we will execute the GPI observations, initially through classical telescope visits, transitioning to remote and queue modes as our techniques are refined. As the first direct-imaging planet search with statistical depth comparable to Doppler planet detection and the first to probe into the snow line, the GPI Exoplanet Survey will provide strong constraints on paradigms for planet formation, completing the picture of the giant planet distribution throughout other solar systems, and also illuminating its evolution with stellar age and mass. We will deliver a catalog of detected exoplanets— the principal legacy of this campaign—released for follow-up by the astronomical community within 18 months of observation, as well as searchable archive of fully reduced images and detection limits for all stars surveyed. For each detected planet, we will produce estimated effective temperatures, luminosities, and semi-major axes: for a subset, high-SNR fiducial spectra, orbital eccentricities, and dynamical characterization through polarimetric imaging of attendant debris disks. GPI will complete final acceptance testing this month (May 2013) and is now ready to ship to Chile for first light in September 2013. The GPI survey will provide the best-yet view of the nature of wide-orbit planetary companions, informing our knowledge of solar system formation to guide future NASA planet hunting missions, while simultaneously offering a real- world program using the techniques - from integral field spectroscopy to advanced coronagraphy - that will someday be used to directly image Earthlike planets from space.

  14. 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.

  15. Towards consistent mapping of distant worlds: secondary-eclipse scanning of the exoplanet HD 189733b

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wit, J.; Gillon, M.; Demory, B.-O.; Seager, S.

    2012-12-01

    Context. Mapping distant worlds is the next frontier for exoplanet infrared (IR) photometry studies. Ultimately, constraining spatial and temporal properties of an exoplanet atmosphere (e.g., its temperature) will provide further insight into its physics. For tidally-locked hot Jupiters that transit and are eclipsed by their host star, the first steps are now possible. Aims: Our aim is to constrain an exoplanet's (1) shape, (2) brightness distribution (BD) and (3) system parameters from its phase curve and eclipse measurements. In particular, we rely on the secondary-eclipse scanning which is obtained while an exoplanet is gradually masked by its host star. Methods: We use archived Spitzer/IRAC 8-?m data of HD 189733 (six transits, eight secondary eclipses, and a phase curve) in a global Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) procedure for mitigating systematics. We also include HD 189733's out-of-transit radial velocity (RV) measurements to assess their incidence on the inferences obtained solely from the photometry. Results: We find a 6? deviation from the expected occultation of a uniformly-bright disk. This deviation emerges mainly from a large-scale hot spot in HD 189733b's atmosphere, not from HD 189733b's shape. We indicate that the correlation of the exoplanet orbital eccentricity, e, and BD ("uniform time offset") does also depend on the stellar density, ??, and the exoplanet impact parameter, b ("e-b-??-BD correlation"). For HD 189733b, we find that relaxing the eccentricity constraint and using more complex BDs lead to lower stellar/planetary densities and a more localized and latitudinally-shifted hot spot. We, therefore, show that the light curve of an exoplanet does not constrain uniquely its brightness peak localization. Finally, we obtain an improved constraint on the upper limit of HD 189733b's orbital eccentricity, e ? 0.011 (95% confidence), when including HD 189733's RV measurements. Conclusions: Reanalysis of archived HD 189733's data constrains HD 189733b's shape and BD at 8 ?m. Our study provides new insights into the analysis of exoplanet light curves and a proper framework for future eclipse-scanning observations. In particular, observations of the same exoplanet at different wavelengths could improve the constraints on HD 189733's system parameters while ultimately yielding a large-scale time-dependent 3D map of HD 189733b's atmosphere. Finally, we discuss the perspective of extending our method to observations in the visible (e.g., Kepler data), in particular to better understand exoplanet albedos. Movies are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  16. STRESS - STEREO TRansiting Exoplanet and Stellar Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangaralingam, Vinothini; Stevens, Ian R.; Spreckley, Steve; Debosscher, Jonas

    2010-02-01

    The Heliospheric Imager (HI) instruments on board the two STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) spacecraft provides an excellent opportunity for space based stellar photometry. The HI instruments provide a wide area coverage (20° × 20° for the two HI-1 instruments and 70° × 70° for the two HI-2 instruments) and long continuous periods of observations (20 days and 70 days respectively). Using HI-1A which has a pass band of 6500Å to 7500Å and a cadence of 40 minutes, we have gathered photometric information for more than a million stars brighter than 12th magnitude for a period of two years. Here we present some early results from this study on a range of variable stars and the future prospects for the data.

  17. Follow-Up Observations of PTFO 8-8695: A 3 MYr Old T-Tauri Star Hosting a Jupiter-mass Planetary Candidate

    CERN Document Server

    Ciardi, David R; Barnes, J W; Beichman, C A; Carey, S J; Crockett, C J; Eastman, J; Johns-Krull, C M; Howell, S B; Kane, S R; Mclane, J N; Plavchan, P; Prato, L; Stauffer, J; van Belle, G T; von Braun, K

    2015-01-01

    We present Spitzer 4.5\\micron\\ light curve observations, Keck NIRSPEC radial velocity observations, and LCOGT optical light curve observations of PTFO~8-8695, which may host a Jupiter-sized planet in a very short orbital period (0.45 days). Previous work by \\citet{vaneyken12} and \\citet{barnes13} predicts that the stellar rotation axis and the planetary orbital plane should precess with a period of $300 - 600$ days. As a consequence, the observed transits should change shape and depth, disappear, and reappear with the precession. Our observations indicate the long-term presence of the transit events ($>3$ years), and that the transits indeed do change depth, disappear and reappear. The Spitzer observations and the NIRSPEC radial velocity observations (with contemporaneous LCOGT optical light curve data) are consistent with the predicted transit times and depths for the $M_\\star = 0.34\\ M_\\odot$ precession model and demonstrate the disappearance of the transits. An LCOGT optical light curve shows that the tran...

  18. Cloud Base Signature in Transmission Spectra of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Vahidinia, Sanaz; Marley, Mark; Fortney, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    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.

  19. High-temperature measurements of VUV-absorption cross sections of CO2 and their application to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Venot, Olivia; Bénilan, Yves; Gazeau, Marie-Claire; Hébrard, Eric; Larcher, Gwenaelle; Schwell, Martin; Dobrijevic, Michel; Selsis, Franck; 10.1051/0004-6361/201220945

    2013-01-01

    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. Aims. 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 also investigate the influence of these new data on the photochemistry of some exoplanets. 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 implemented the mea...

  20. 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.

  1. HOMES - Holographic Optical Method for Exoplanet Spectroscopy Project

    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...

  2. Increasing the sensitivity of Kepler to Earth-like exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Many transiting exoplanets have been discovered using photometry from the Kepler mission but the results are still very incomplete in some of the most interesting parts of parameter space: small planetary radius and long orbital period. We have developed a method for detecting transiting exoplanet signals in stellar light curves that is more sensitive to small planets on long orbits than previously published procedures. It is standard practice to start by "de-trending" the light curves—by filtering—to remove the instrumental systematics and stellar variability from the time series. Instead, we build an flexible model for these effects using a Gaussian Process. We use as inputs to the Gaussian Process not just time but also the light curves of dozens of other stars. This exploits the causal structure of the problem: permitting the noise model to capture spacecraft-induced covariability. Since we know a priori that the other stars are causally unrelated to the star of interest, any information that they share must be due to systematics. A key motivation for our work is that any filtering—no matter how robust—reduces the amplitude of the signals of interest. By marginalizing over the stellar and instrumental variability while simultaneously fitting for the transits, we maintain sensitivity to transit signals and reduce contamination. We apply our method to light curves from the Kepler mission. Using synthetic transits generated by realistic planetary systems injected into raw aperture photometry from the pipeline, we determine the detection efficiency of our method and train a supervised classification algorithm to weed out false signals. Our pipeline returns all of the ingredients needed for studies of exoplanet populations: a catalog of planet candidates, posterior samples for the physical parameters of these planets and their host stars, and an empirical measurement of the detection efficiency as a function of all of these parameters.

  3. 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....

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. VLT Detects First Superstorm on Exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    Astronomers have measured a superstorm for the first time in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, the well-studied "hot Jupiter" HD209458b. The very high-precision observations of carbon monoxide gas show that it is streaming at enormous speed from the extremely hot day side to the cooler night side of the planet. The observations also allow another exciting "first" - measuring the orbital speed of the exoplanet itself, providing a direct determination of its mass. The results appear this week in the journal Nature. "HD209458b is definitely not a place for the faint-hearted. By studying the poisonous carbon monoxide gas with great accuracy we found evidence for a super wind, blowing at a speed of 5000 to 10 000 km per hour" says Ignas Snellen, who led the team of astronomers. HD209458b is an exoplanet of about 60% the mass of Jupiter orbiting a solar-like star located 150 light-years from Earth towards the constellation of Pegasus (the Winged Horse). Circling at a distance of only one twentieth the Sun-Earth distance, the planet is heated intensely by its parent star, and has a surface temperature of about 1000 degrees Celsius on the hot side. But as the planet always has the same side to its star, one side is very hot, while the other is much cooler. "On Earth, big temperature differences inevitably lead to fierce winds, and as our new measurements reveal, the situation is no different on HD209458b," says team member Simon Albrecht. HD209458b was the first exoplanet to be found transiting: every 3.5 days the planet moves in front of its host star, blocking a small portion of the starlight during a three-hour period. During such an event a tiny fraction of the starlight filters through the planet's atmosphere, leaving an imprint. A team of astronomers from the Leiden University, the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON), and MIT in the United States, have used ESO's Very Large Telescope and its powerful CRIRES spectrograph to detect and analyse these faint fingerprints, observing the planet for about five hours, as it passed in front of its star. "CRIRES is the only instrument in the world that can deliver spectra that are sharp enough to determine the position of the carbon monoxide lines at a precision of 1 part in 100 000," says another team member Remco de Kok. "This high precision allows us to measure the velocity of the carbon monoxide gas for the first time using the Doppler effect." The astronomers achieved several other firsts. They directly measured the velocity of the exoplanet as it orbits its home star. "In general, the mass of an exoplanet is determined by measuring the wobble of the star and assuming a mass for the star, according to theory. Here, we have been able to measure the motion of the planet as well, and thus determine both the mass of the star and of the planet," says co-author Ernst de Mooij. Also for the first time, the astronomers measured how much carbon is present in the atmosphere of this planet. "It seems that H209458b is actually as carbon-rich as Jupiter and Saturn. This could indicate that it was formed in the same way," says Snellen. "In the future, astronomers may be able to use this type of observation to study the atmospheres of Earth-like planets, to determine whether life also exists elsewhere in the Universe." More information This research was presented in a paper that appears this week in the journal Nature: "The orbital motion, absolute mass, and high-altitude winds of exoplanet HD209458b", by I. Snellen et al. The team is composed of Ignas A. G. Snellen and Ernst J. W. de Mooij, (Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands), Remco J. de Kok (SRON, Utrecht, The Netherlands), and Simon Albrecht (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Fr

  7. A Research-Informed Approach to Teaching About Exoplanet Detection in STEM Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brissenden, Gina; Wallace, C. S.; Prather, E. E.; Traub, W. A.; Greene, W. M.; Biferno, A. A.

    2014-01-01

    JPL’s NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program’s (ExEP) Public Engagement Program, in collaboration with the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE), is engaged in a research and curriculum development program to bring the science of exoplanet detection into STEM classrooms. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of astronomers pursuing research related to exoplanets, along with a significant increase in interest amongst students and the general public regarding the topic of exoplanets. CAE has previously developed a curriculum unit (including Think-Pair-Share questions and a Lecture-Tutorial) to help students develop a deeper understanding of the Doppler method for detecting extrasolar planets. To date, there is a nearly nonexistent research base on students’ conceptual and reasoning difficulties related to the science of the transit and gravitational microlensing methods for detecting extrasolar planets. Appropriate for physical science classrooms from middle school to the introductory college level, the learner-centered active engagement activities we are developing are going through an iterative research and assessment process to ensure that they enable students to achieve increased conceptual understandings and reasoning skills in these areas. In this talk, we will report on our development process for two new Lecture-Tutorials that help students learn about the transit and gravitational microlensing methods for finding exoplanets.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  11. STELLAR VARIABILITY OF THE EXOPLANET HOSTING STAR HD 63454

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Of the hundreds of exoplanets discovered using the radial velocity (RV) technique, many are orbiting close to their host stars with periods less than 10 days. One of these, HD 63454, is a young active K dwarf which hosts a Jovian planet in a 2.82 day period orbit. The planet has a 14% transit probability and a predicted transit depth of 1.2%. Here we provide a re-analysis of the RV data to produce an accurate transit ephemeris. We further analyze 8 nights of time series data to search for stellar activity both intrinsic to the star and induced by possible interactions of the exoplanet with the stellar magnetospheres. We establish the photometric stability of the star at the 3 mmag level despite strong Ca II emission in the spectrum. Finally, we rule out photometric signatures of both star-planet magnetosphere interactions and planetary transit signatures. From this we are able to place constraints on both the orbital and physical properties of the planet.

  12. 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...

  13. Astronomy: A Mars-sized exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, Gregory

    2015-06-01

    Analysis of Kepler data has yielded the smallest known mass for an exoplanet orbiting a normal star. Its mass and size are similar to those of Mars, setting a benchmark for the properties of exoplanets smaller than Earth. See Letter p.321

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. Insolation patterns on eccentric exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobrovolskis, Anthony R.

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Resource Letter Exo-1: Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Perryman, Michael

    2013-01-01

    This Resource Letter gives an introduction to the main topics in exoplanet research. It is intended to serve as a guide to the field for upper-division undergraduate and graduate students, both theoretical and experimental, and for workers in other fields of physics and astronomy who wish learn about this new discipline. Topics include historical background, detection methods, host star properties, theories of planet formation and evolution, their interiors and atmospheres, their relationship to the formation and evolution of our own solar system, and issues of life and habitability.

  20. Empirical Constraints on the Oblateness of an Exoplanet

    CERN Document Server

    Carter, Joshua A

    2009-01-01

    We show that the gas giant exoplanet HD 189733b is less oblate than Saturn, based on Spitzer Space Telescope photometry of seven transits. The observable manifestations of oblatenesswould have been slight anomalies during the ingress and egress phases, as well as variations in the transit depth due to spin precession. Our nondetection of these effects gives the first empirical constraints on the shape of an exoplanet. The results are consistent with the theoretical expectation that the planetary rotation period and orbital period are synchronized, in which case the oblateness would be an order of magnitude smaller than our upper limits. Conversely, if HD 189733b is assumed to be in a synchronous, zero-obliquity state, then the data give an upper bound on the quadrupole moment of the planet (J2 < 0.068 with 95% confidence) that is too weak to constrain the interior structure of the planet. An Appendix describes a fast algorithm for computing the transit light curve of an oblate planet, which was necessary f...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Astrometric exoplanet detection with Gaia

    CERN Document Server

    Perryman, Michael; Bakos, Gáspár; Lindegren, Lennart

    2014-01-01

    We provide a revised assessment of the number of exoplanets that should be discovered by Gaia astrometry, extending previous studies to a broader range of spectral types, distances, and magnitudes. Our assessment is based on a large representative sample of host stars from the TRILEGAL Galaxy population synthesis model, recent estimates of the exoplanet frequency distributions as a function of stellar type, and detailed simulation of the Gaia observations using the updated instrument performance and scanning law. We use two approaches to estimate detectable planetary systems: one based on the S/N of the astrometric signature per field crossing, easily reproducible and allowing comparisons with previous estimates, and a new and more robust metric based on orbit fitting to the simulated satellite data. With some plausible assumptions on planet occurrences, we find that some 21,000 (+/-6000) high-mass (1-15M_J) long-period planets should be discovered out to distances of ~500pc for the nominal 5-yr mission (incl...

  4. 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.

  5. 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. Key Words: Volcanism-Habitability-Biosignatures-Extrasolar terrestrial planets-Planetary atmospheres. Astrobiology 15, 462-477. PMID:26053611

  6. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA’s Kepler Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 3 y of data, 100 planets of which are in the habitable zone. The catalog has a high reliability rate (85–90% averaged over the period/radius plane), which is improving as follow-up observations continue. Dynamical (e.g., velocimetry and transit timing) and statistical methods have confirmed and characterized hundreds of planets over a large range of sizes and compositions for both single- and multiple-star systems. Population studies suggest that planets abound in our galaxy and that small planets are particularly frequent. Here, I report on the progress Kepler has made measuring the prevalence of exoplanets orbiting within one astronomical unit of their host stars in support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s long-term goal of finding habitable environments beyond the solar system. PMID:25049406

  7. Exoplanet Characterization and the Search for Life

    OpenAIRE

    Kasting, J.; Hanot, Charles; Defrere, Denis; Surdej, Jean; Absil, Olivier; et al, ...

    2009-01-01

    Over 300 extrasolar planets (exoplanets) have been detected orbiting nearby stars. We now hope to conduct a census of all planets around nearby stars and to characterize their atmospheres and surfaces with spectroscopy. Rocky planets within their star's habitable zones have the highest priority, as these have the potential to harbor life. Our science goal is to find and characterize all nearby exoplanets; this requires that we measure the mass, orbit, and spectroscopic signa...

  8. 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.

  9. ON THE ORBIT OF EXOPLANET WASP-12b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We observed two secondary eclipses of the exoplanet WASP-12b using the Infrared Array Camera on the Spitzer Space Telescope. The close proximity of WASP-12b to its G-type star results in extreme tidal forces capable of inducing apsidal precession with a period as short as a few decades. This precession would be measurable if the orbit had a significant eccentricity, leading to an estimate of the tidal Love number and an assessment of the degree of central concentration in the planetary interior. An initial ground-based secondary-eclipse phase reported by Lopez-Morales et al. (0.510 ± 0.002) implied eccentricity at the 4.5? level. The spectroscopic orbit of Hebb et al. has eccentricity 0.049 ± 0.015, a 3? result, implying an eclipse phase of 0.509 ± 0.007. However, there is a well-documented tendency of spectroscopic data to overestimate small eccentricities. Our eclipse phases are 0.5010 ± 0.0006 (3.6 and 5.8 ?m) and 0.5006 ± 0.0007 (4.5 and 8.0 ?m). An unlikely orbital precession scenario invoking an alignment of the orbit during the Spitzer observations could have explained this apparent discrepancy, but the final eclipse phase of Lopez-Morales et al. (0.510 ±+0.007-0.006) is consistent with a circular orbit at better than 2?. An orbit fit to all the available transit, eclipse, and radial-velocity data indicates precession at <1?; a non-precessing solution fits better. We also comment on analysis and reporting for Spitzer exoplanet porting for Spitzer exoplanet data in light of recent re-analyses.

  10. Precise measurement of exoplanet atmosphere yields surprising results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-08-01

    Scientists studying the atmospheres of hot, gassy exoplanets recently found significantly less water than predicted in one exoplanet's atmosphere. Researchers at the University of Cambridge published their findings in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.

  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. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. PASTIS: Bayesian extrasolar planet validation II. Constraining exoplanet blend scenarios using spectroscopic diagnoses

    CERN Document Server

    Santerne, A; Almenara, J -M; Bouchy, F; Deleuil, M; Figueira, P; Hébrard, G; Moutou, C; Rodionov, S; Santos, N C

    2015-01-01

    The statistical validation of transiting exoplanets proved to be an efficient technique to secure the nature of small exoplanet signals which cannot be established by purely spectroscopic means. However, the spectroscopic diagnoses are providing us with useful constraints on the presence of blended stellar contaminants. In this paper, we present how a contaminating star affects the measurements of the various spectroscopic diagnoses as function of the parameters of the target and contaminating stars using the model implemented into the PASTIS planet-validation software. We find particular cases for which a blend might produce a large radial velocity signal but no bisector variation. It might also produce a bisector variation anti-correlated with the radial velocity one, as in the case of stellar spots. In those cases, the full width half maximum variation provides complementary constraints. These results can be used to constrain blend scenarios for transiting planet candidates or radial velocity planets. We r...

  15. 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.

  16. A Semi-Analytical Model of Visible-Wavelength Phase Curves of Exoplanets and Applications to Kepler-7 b and Kepler-10 b

    CERN Document Server

    Hu, Renyu; Seager, Sara; Lewis, Nikole; Showman, Adam P

    2015-01-01

    Kepler has detected numerous exoplanet transits by precise measurements of 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 dynamic processes 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. Here we present a semi-analytical model framework that can be applied to study Kepler and future visible-wavelength phase curve observations of exoplanets. The model efficiently computes reflection and thermal emission components for both rocky and gaseous planets, considering both homogeneous and inhomogeneous surfaces or atmospheres. We analyze the phase curves of the gaseous planet Kepler-7 b and the rocky planet Kepler-10 b using the model. In general, we find that a hot exoplanet's visible-wavelength phase curve having a significant phase offset c...

  17. 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...

  18. Constraining Exoplanet Mass from Transmission Spectroscopy

    CERN Document Server

    de Wit, Julien

    2014-01-01

    Determination of an exoplanet's mass is a key to understanding its basic properties, including its potential for supporting life. To date, mass constraints for exoplanets are predominantly based on radial velocity (RV) measurements, which are not suited for planets with low masses, large semi-major axes, or those orbiting faint or active stars. Here, we present a method to extract an exoplanet's mass solely from its transmission spectrum. We find good agreement between the mass retrieved for the hot Jupiter HD189733b from transmission spectroscopy with that from RV measurements. Our method will be able to retrieve the masses of Earth-sized and super-Earth planets using data from future space telescopes that were initially designed for atmospheric characterization.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. Identifying new opportunities for exoplanet characterisation at high spectral resolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Kok, R. J.; Birkby, J.

    2014-01-01

    Context. 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. Aims: We aim to identify new ways of increasing the planet signal in these kinds of high-resolution observations. First of all, we wish to determine what wavelength settings can best be used to target certain molecules. Furthermore, we want to simulate exoplanet spectra of the day-side and night-side to see whether night-side observations are feasible at high spectral resolution. Methods: We performed simulations of high-resolution CRIRES observations of a planet's thermal emission and transit between 1 and 5 ?m and performed a cross-correlation analysis on these results to assess how well the planet signal can be extracted. These simulations take into account telluric absorption, sky emission, realistic noise levels, and planet-to-star contrasts. 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. Results: Several small wavelength regions in the L-band promise to yield cross-correlation signals from the thermal emission of hot Jupiters of H2O, CH4, CO2, C2H2, and HCN that can exceed those of the current detections by up to a factor of 2-3 for the same integration time. For transit observations, the H-band is also attractive, with the H, K, and L-bands giving cross-correlation signals of similar strength. High-resolution night-side spectra of hot Jupiters can give cross-correlation signals as high as the day-side, or even higher. Conclusions: We show that there are many new possibilities for high-resolution observations of exoplanet atmospheres that have expected planet signals at least as high as those already detected. Hence, high-resolution observations at well-chosen wavelengths and at different phases can improve our knowledge about hot Jupiter atmospheres significantly, already with currently available instrumentation.

  3. TASTE. II. A new observational study of transit time variations in HAT-P-13b

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    TASTE (The Asiago Search for Transit timing variations of Exoplanets) project is collecting high-precision, short-cadence light curves for a selected sample of transiting exoplanets. It has been claimed that the hot jupiter HAT-P-13b suddenly deviated from a linear ephemeris by $\\sim 20$ min, implying that there is a perturber in the system. Using five new transits, we discuss the plausibility of this transit time variation (TTV), and show that a periodic signal should not b...

  4. Deformable Mirrors Capture Exoplanet Data, Reflect Lasers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    To image and characterize exoplanets, Goddard Space Flight Center turned to deformable mirrors (DMs). Berkeley, California-based Iris AO, Inc. worked with Goddard through the SBIR program to improve the company’s microelectromechanical DMs, which are now being evaluated and used for biological research, industrial applications, and could even be used by drug manufacturers.

  5. Exoplanet environments to harbour extremophile life

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-02-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Guenther, EW; Diaz, RF; Gazzano, J-C; Mazeh, T.; Rouan, D.; Gibson, N; Csizmadia, S.; Aigrain, S; Alonso, R.; Almenara, JM; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A; Barge, P; Bonomo, AS; Borde, P.

    2011-01-01

    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 p...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  12. 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.

  13. Dusty tails of evaporating exoplanets. I. Constraints on the dust composition

    OpenAIRE

    Van Lieshout, R.; Min, M.; Dominik, C.

    2014-01-01

    Recently, two exoplanet candidates have been discovered, KIC 12557548b and KOI-2700b, whose transit profiles show evidence for a comet-like tail of dust trailing the planet, thought to be fed by the evaporation of the planet's surface. We aim to put constraints on the composition of the dust ejected by these objects from the shape of their transit light curves. We derive a semi-analytical expression for the attenuation of dust cross-section in the tail, incorporating the sub...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Instrumentation for the detection and characterization of exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Pepe, Francesco; 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-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.

  17. Instrumentation for the detection and characterization of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepe, Francesco; Ehrenreich, David; Meyer, Michael R.

    2014-09-01

    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 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.

  18. Statistical Signatures of Panspermia in Exoplanet Surveys

    CERN Document Server

    Lin, Henry W

    2015-01-01

    A fundamental astrobiological question is whether life arose spontaneously on earth or was transported here from an extrasolar system. 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: panspermia predicts 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 $\\sim 25$ biologically active exoplanets could yield a $5\\sigma$ detection of panspermia.

  19. Asteroseismology of exoplanets-host stars

    CERN Document Server

    Vauclair, S

    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 discussion on this subject, I present the special cases of three different stars: $\\mu$ Arae which has been observed with the HARPS spectrograph in June 2004, $\\iota$ Horologii, that we have studied in detail and will be observed with HARPS in November 2006, and finally HD 52265, one of the main targets of the COROT mission, an exoplanets-host star which will be observed with the COROT satellite during five consecutive months.

  20. Equatorial superrotation on tidally locked exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Showman, Adam P

    2011-01-01

    The increasing richness of exoplanet observations has motivated a variety of three-dimensional atmospheric circulation models of these planets. Under strongly irradiated conditions, models of tidally locked, short-period planets (both hot Jupiters and terrestrial planets) tend to exhibit a circulation dominated by a fast eastward, or "superrotating," jet stream at the equator. Under appropriate conditions, this phenomenon can cause the hottest regions to be displaced eastward from the substellar point by tens of degrees longitude. Such an offset has been observed on HD 189733b, supporting the possibility of equatorial jets on short-period exoplanets. Despite its relevance, however, the dynamical mechanisms responsible for generating the equatorial superrotation in such models have not been identified. Here, we show that the equatorial jet results from the interaction of the mean flow with standing, planetary-scale Rossby and Kelvin waves induced by the day-night thermal forcing. The Rossby waves develop phase...

  1. Understanding Young Exoplanet Analogs with WISE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Emily

    We propose to tackle outstanding questions about the fundamental properties of young brown dwarfs, which are atmospheric analogs to massive gas giant exoplanets, using public archive data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) combined with our extensive dataset of optical and near-infrared observations, including spectra, proper motions, and parallaxes. Using WISE data we will construct color-color diagrams, color- magnitude diagrams, and spectral energy distributions for our sample of candidate young brown dwarfs. We will fully characterize the spectral properties of the candidates and evaluate their membership in nearby young moving groups in order to obtain independent age estimates. The practical outcomes of this project will allow the research community to use observed colors and spectra to reliably constrain the properties - including effective temperature, gravity, and dust/cloud properties - of both brown dwarfs and gas giant exoplanets. We will also search for new young brown dwarfs in the WISE archive using colors and proper motions. The expanded sample of young brown dwarfs will be used to create a self-contained feedback loop to identify and address the shortcomings of cool atmosphere models and low-mass evolutionary tracks, both of which are already being used to infer the properties of massive exoplanets. Disentangling the effects of physical parameters on the observed properties of young brown dwarfs is directly relevant to studies of exoplanets. Direct observations of exoplanets are currently very limited, and young brown dwarfs are the laboratories in which we can solve existing problems before the onslaught of new observations from instruments capable of directly imaging exoplanets, including the Gemini Planet Imager, Project 1640 at the Palomar Observatory, SPHERE on the VLT, and the James Webb Space Telescope. This project addresses the goal of the NASA Science Mission Directorate to discover how the universe works; in particular, the results of our work will improve our understanding of objects at the intersection of stars and planets and be directly applicable to understanding the atmospheres of directly-imaged exoplanets. The assembled investigators are the absolute best team to accomplish this work. They have extensive and diverse observational experience in astrometry, photometry, and spectroscopy from the optical through the mid-IR, spanning nearly the entire spectral energy distribution of young brown dwarfs and encompassing their most fundamental observational properties. They have considerable experience mining large photometric catalogs and identifying low-gravity very low mass objects. The team maintains collaborations with two groups actively modelling brown dwarf and exoplanet atmospheres and interior evolution. The proposed research organically combines several ongoing projects into a cohesive program that will efficiently incorporate WISE data to disentangle the ambiguous and interdependent physical properties of young brown dwarfs. As a result of the team's previous observational projects, we have assembled a dataset that positions us to best interpret WISE observations brown dwarfs and identify new young brown dwarfs in the WISE archive. A significant parallax program is ongoing, and all of the computing resources and many of the analysis tools are already in place, including several well-tested pipelines for data reduction and analysis and model comparisons. The team will incorporate undergraduate students in the project through an existing NSF-funded REU program.

  2. Equatorial superrotation on tidally locked exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Showman, Adam P.; Polvani, Lorenzo M.

    2011-01-01

    The increasing richness of exoplanet observations has motivated a variety of three-dimensional atmospheric circulation models of these planets. Under strongly irradiated conditions, models of tidally locked, short-period planets (both hot Jupiters and terrestrial planets) tend to exhibit a circulation dominated by a fast eastward, or "superrotating," jet stream at the equator. Under appropriate conditions, this phenomenon can cause the hottest regions to be displaced eastwar...

  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. Stochastic Gravitational Wave Background from Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Ain, Anirban; Kastha, Shilpa; 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 ...

  5. PynPoint Code for Exoplanet Imaging

    OpenAIRE

    Amara, Adam; Quanz, Sascha P.; 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 mo...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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_...

  9. Evaporating Atmospheres Around Close-in Exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, J.; Jackson, A.; Wu, Y.; Adams, F.

    2014-12-01

    The majority of currently observed exoplanets appear exceeding close to the central star (UV & X-ray photons. We will discuss that in such environments the atmospheres these planets are heated sufficiently that they can escape the planet's gravitational field in a hydrodynamic trans-sonic wind. We will show that this hydrodynamic mass-loss occurs for the majority of exoplanets at short periods, and for low-mass planets (leaving behind a bare rock core. In addition, we will present new multi-dimensional simulations of evaporation that include realistic treatment of the radiative transfer. These new simulations show that evaporation from 'hot' Jupiters is likely to be magnetically controlled, where mass-loss can only occur along open filed lines, where the interaction between the stellar and planetary magnetic field strongly controls the geometry of the evaporative flow. We will indicate how these new multi-dimensional radiation-magneto-hydrodynamic calculations can be used to study the time-dependence of the outflow and link the small but growing number of observations of exoplanet evaporation to the theoretical models. Finally, we will indicate that asymmetric evaporative flows can lead to orbital evolution of planets at close separations. Figure Caption: "Flow structure from an evaporating Hot Jupiter with a magnetic field strength of 0.3 Gauss. Top panels show density and magnetic field configuration and bottom panel shows plasma beta and velocity structure; left panels show simulation domain, right panels show a zoom in on the planet."

  10. 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.

  11. The NASA/IPAC/NExScI Star and Exoplanet Database

    CERN Document Server

    Berriman, G B; Baker, R; Von Braun, K; Chiu, N-M; Ciardi, D R; Good, J; Kane, S R; Kong, M; Laity, A C; McElroy, D L; Monkewitz, S; Payne, A N; Ramírez, S; Schmitz, M; Stauffer, J S; Wyatt, P L

    2009-01-01

    The NASA/IPAC/NExScI Star and Exoplanet Database (NStED) is a general purpose stellar archive which supports NASA planet-finding and planet-characterization goals, stellar astrophysics, and the planning of NASA and other space missions. There are two principal components of NStED: a database of 140,000 nearby stars and exoplanet-hosting stars, and an archive dedicated to high precision photometric surveys for transiting exoplanets (NStED-ETSS). We present summaries of these components. The NStED stellar database currently serves published parameters for 140,000 stars. These parameters include coordinates, multiplicity, proper motion, parallax, spectral type, multiband photometry, radial velocity, metallicity, chromospheric and coronal activity index, rotation velocity/period, infrared excess. NStED-ETSS currently serves data from the TrES survey of the Kepler field as well as dedicated photometric surveys of four stellar clusters. NStED-ETSS aims to serve both the surveys and the broader astronomical communit...

  12. High-resolution transmission spectrum of the Earth's atmosphere-seeing Earth as an exoplanet using a lunar eclipse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, F.; Fosbury, R. A. E.; Petr-Gotzens, M. G.; Zhao, G.; Wang, W.; Wang, L.; Liu, Y.; Pallé, E.

    2015-04-01

    With the rapid developments in the exoplanet field, more and more terrestrial exoplanets are being detected. Characterizing 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 (SNR) 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 satellites data. The visible Chappuis band of ozone produces the most prominent absorption feature, which suggests that ozone is a promising molecule for the future exo-Earth characterization. Due to the high resolution and high SNR of our spectrum, several novel details of the Earth atmosphere's transmission spectrum are presented. The individual O2 lines are resolved and O2 isotopes are clearly detected. Our new observations do not confirm the absorption features of Ca II or Na I which have been reported in previous lunar eclipse observations. However, features in these and some other strong Fraunhofer line positions do occur in the observed spectrum. We propose that these are due to a Raman-scattered component in the forward-scattered sunlight appearing in the lunar umbral spectrum. Water vapour absorption is found to be rather weak in our spectrum because the atmosphere we probed is relatively dry, which prompts us to discuss the detectability of water vapour in Earth-like exoplanet atmospheres.

  13. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XXII. CoRoT-16b: a hot Jupiter with a hint of eccentricity around a faint solar-like star

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2012-05-01

    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. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27, 2006, has been developed and is operated by the CNES with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brasil, ESA, Germany, and Spain.Observations made with the HARPS spectrograph at ESO La Silla Observatory (HARPS programs 083.C-0186 and 184.C-0639) and the HIRES spectrograph at the Keck Observatory (NASA-Keck programs N035Hr, N143Hr and N095Hr).

  14. ExoplanetSat: Detecting transiting exoplanets using a low-cost CubeSat platform

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, Matthew William; Seager, Sara; Pong, Christopher Masaru; Villasenor, Jesus Noel Samonte; Ricker, George R.; Miller, David W.; Knapp, Mary E.; Farmer, Grant Trapnell; Jensen-clem, Rebecca M.

    2010-01-01

    Nanosatellites, i.e. spacecraft that weigh between 1 and 10 kg, are drawing increasing interest as platforms for conducting on-orbit science. This trend is primarily driven by the ability to piggyback nanosatellites on the launch of large spacecraft and hence achieve orbit at greatly reduced cost. The CubeSat platform is a standardized nanosatellite configuration, consisting of one, two, or three 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm units (1, 2, or 3 "U"s) arranged in a row. We present a CubeSat-based conce...

  15. 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...

  16. 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%.

  17. 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 Keywords : variable star * light curve * FRAM * period analysis * exoplanet transit Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics http://jmo.fzu.cz/

  18. 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...

  19. THE ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION ENVIRONMENT AROUND M DWARF EXOPLANET HOST STARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    France, Kevin; Froning, Cynthia S.; Stocke, John T.; Bushinsky, Rachel [Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, University of Colorado, 389 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); Linsky, Jeffrey L. [JILA, University of Colorado and NIST, 440 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); Roberge, Aki [Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Tian, Feng [Center for Earth System Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Desert, Jean-Michel [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Mauas, Pablo; Vieytes, Mariela [Instituto de Astronomsica del Espacio (CONICET-UBA), C.C. 67 Sucursal 28, 1428 Buenos Aires (Argentina); Walkowicz, Lucianne M., E-mail: kevin.france@colorado.edu [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States)

    2013-02-15

    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 Ly{alpha} emission lines are reconstructed, and we find that the Ly{alpha} line fluxes comprise {approx}37%-75% of the total 1150-3100 A flux from most M dwarfs; {approx}>10{sup 3} times the solar value. We develop an empirical scaling relation between Ly{alpha} and Mg II emission, to be used when interstellar H I attenuation precludes the direct observation of Ly{alpha}. The intrinsic unreddened flux ratio is F(Ly{alpha})/F(Mg II) = 10 {+-} 3. The F(FUV)/F(NUV) flux ratio, a driver for abiotic production of the suggested biomarkers O{sub 2} and O{sub 3}, is shown to be {approx}0.5-3 for all M dwarfs in our sample, >10{sup 3} 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{sup 2}-10{sup 3} s timescales. This effect should be taken into account in future UV transiting planet studies, including searches for O{sub 3} on Earth-like planets. Finally, we observe relatively bright H{sub 2} 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(H{sub 2}) Almost-Equal-To 2000-4000 K) molecular gas observed in these objects.

  20. True Masses of Radial-Velocity Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robert A.

    2015-06-01

    We study the task of estimating the true masses of known radial-velocity (RV) exoplanets by means of direct astrometry on coronagraphic images to measure the apparent separation between exoplanet and host star. Initially, we assume perfect knowledge of the RV orbital parameters and that all errors are due to photon statistics. We construct design reference missions for four missions currently under study at NASA: EXO-S and WFIRST-S, with external star shades for starlight suppression, EXO-C and WFIRST-C, with internal coronagraphs. These DRMs reveal extreme scheduling constraints due to the combination of solar and anti-solar pointing restrictions, photometric and obscurational completeness, image blurring due to orbital motion, and the “nodal effect,” which is the independence of apparent separation and inclination when the planet crosses the plane of the sky through the host star. Next, we address the issue of nonzero uncertainties in RV orbital parameters by investigating their impact on the observations of 21 single-planet systems. Except for two—GJ 676 A b and 16 Cyg B b, which are observable only by the star-shade missions—we find that current uncertainties in orbital parameters generally prevent accurate, unbiased estimation of true planetary mass. For the coronagraphs, WFIRST-C and EXO-C, the most likely number of good estimators of true mass is currently zero. For the star shades, EXO-S and WFIRST-S, the most likely numbers of good estimators are three and four, respectively, including GJ 676 A b and 16 Cyg B b. We expect that uncertain orbital elements currently undermine all potential programs of direct imaging and spectroscopy of RV exoplanets.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Advances in exoplanet science from Kepler.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-18

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

  4. New Exoplanet Surveys in the Canadian High Arctic at 80 Degrees North

    CERN Document Server

    Law, Nicholas M; Murowinski, Richard; Carlberg, Raymond; Ngan, Wayne; Salbi, Pegah; Ahmadi, Aida; Steinbring, Eric; Halman, Mark; Graham, James

    2012-01-01

    Observations from near the Eureka station on Ellesmere Island, in the Canadian High Arctic at 80 degrees North, benefit from 24-hour darkness combined with dark skies and long cloud-free periods during the winter. Our first astronomical surveys conducted at the site are aimed at transiting exoplanets; compared to mid-latitude sites, the continuous darkness during the Arctic winter greatly improves the survey's detection efficiency for longer-period transiting planets. We detail the design, construction, and testing of the first two instruments: a robotic telescope, and a set of very wide-field imaging cameras. The 0.5m Dunlap Institute Arctic Telescope has a 0.8-square-degree field of view and is designed to search for potentially habitable exoplanets around low-mass stars. The very wide field cameras have several-hundred-square-degree fields of view pointed at Polaris, are designed to search for transiting planets around bright stars, and were tested at the site in February 2012. Finally, we present a concep...

  5. EXOPLANETS FROM THE ARCTIC: THE FIRST WIDE-FIELD SURVEY AT 80°N

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  6. Exoplanets Bouncing Between Binary Stars

    CERN Document Server

    Moeckel, Nickolas

    2012-01-01

    Exoplanetary systems are found not only among single stars, but also binaries of widely varying parameters. Binaries with separations of 100--1000 au are prevalent in the Solar neighborhood; at these separations planet formation around a binary member may largely proceed as if around a single star. During the early dynamical evolution of a planetary system, planet--planet scattering can eject planets from a star's grasp. In a binary, the motion of a planet ejected from one star has effectively entered a restricted three-body system consisting of itself and the two stars, and the equations of motion of the three body problem will apply as long as the ejected planet remains far from the remaining planets. Depending on its energy, escape from the binary as a whole may be impossible or delayed until the three-body approximation breaks down, and further close interactions with its planetary siblings boost its energy when it passes close to its parent star. Until then this planet may be able to transition from the ...

  7. Search for circum-planetary material and orbital period variations of short-period Kepler exoplanet candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garai, Z.; Zhou, G.; Budaj, J.; Stellingwerf, R. F.

    2014-12-01

    A unique short-period ({P = 0.65356(1)} d) Mercury-size Kepler exoplanet candidate KIC012557548b has been discovered recently by {Rappaport et al. (2012)}. This object is a transiting disintegrating exoplanet with a circum-planetary material-comet-like tail. Close-in exoplanets, like KIC012557548b, are subjected to the greatest planet-star interactions. This interaction may have various forms. In certain cases it may cause formation of the comet-like tail. Strong interaction with the host star, and/or presence of an additional planet may lead to variations in the orbital period of the planet. Our main aim is to search for comet-like tails similar to KIC012557548b and for long-term orbital period variations. We are curious about frequency of comet-like tail formation among short-period Kepler exoplanet candidates. We concentrate on a sample of 20 close-in candidates with a period similar to KIC012557548b from the Kepler mission. We first improved the preliminary orbital periods and obtained the transit light curves. Subsequently we searched for the signatures of a circum-planetary material in these light curves. For this purpose the final transit light curve of each planet was fitted with a theoretical light curve, and the residuals were examined for abnormalities. We then searched for possible long-term changes of the orbital periods using the method of phase dispersion minimization. In 8 cases out of 20 we found some interesting peculiarities, but none of the exoplanet candidates showed signs of a comet-like tail. It seems that the frequency of comet-like tail formation among short-period Kepler exoplanet candidates is very low. We searched for comet-like tails based on the period criterion. Based on our results we can conclude that the short-period criterion is not enough to cause comet-like tail formation. This result is in agreement with the theory of the thermal wind and planet evaporation (Perez-Becker & Chiang 2013). We also found 3 cases of candidates which showed some changes of the orbital period. Based on our results we can see that orbital period changes are not caused by comet-like tail disintegration processes, but rather by possible massive outer companions.

  8. CHEOPS: A Transit Photometry Mission for ESA's Small Mission Programme

    CERN Document Server

    Broeg, C; Ehrenreich, D; Alibert, Y; Baumjohann, W; Benz, W; Deleuil, M; Gillon, M; Ivanov, A; Liseau, R; Meyer, M; Oloffson, G; Pagano, I; Piotto, G; Pollacco, D; Queloz, D; Ragazzoni, R; Renotte, E; Steller, M; Thomas, N; 10.1051/epjconf/20134703005

    2013-01-01

    Ground based radial velocity (RV) searches continue to discover exoplanets below Neptune mass down to Earth mass. Furthermore, ground based transit searches now reach milli-mag photometric precision and can discover Neptune size planets around bright stars. These searches will find exoplanets around bright stars anywhere on the sky, their discoveries representing prime science targets for further study due to the proximity and brightness of their host stars. A mission for transit follow-up measurements of these prime targets is currently lacking. The first ESA S-class mission CHEOPS (CHaracterizing ExoPlanet Satellite) will fill this gap. It will perform ultra-high precision photometric monitoring of selected bright target stars almost anywhere on the sky with sufficient precision to detect Earth sized transits. It will be able to detect transits of RV-planets by photometric monitoring if the geometric configuration results in a transit. For Hot Neptunes discovered from the ground, CHEOPS will be able to impr...

  9. Exoplanet Atmospheres in High Definition: 3D Eclipse Mapping of HD 209458b and HD 189733b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Nikole; Cowan, Nicolas; Knutson, Heather; de Wit, Julien; Seager, Sara; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Fortney, Jonathan; Showman, Adam

    2013-10-01

    Eclipse mapping is a newly developed technique in the arsenal of observational methods aimed at the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres. This technique was first applied to HD189733b using multiple 8 micron secondary eclipse observations to create a high-resolution snapshot of the dayside of the planet. The eclipse map of HD189733b at 8 microns was able to resolve the dayside brightness distribution of the planet both in latitude and longitude giving key insights into the atmospheric circulation of HD189733b. Here we propose to use this eclipse mapping technique to produce dayside brightness maps of the benchmark exoplanets HD189733b and HD209458b at both 3.6 and 4.5 microns. By combining brightness maps at multiple wavelengths, we will create the first three-dimensional maps of an exoplanet atmosphere (latitude, longitude, and pressure). HD209458 and HD189733 are among the brightest (Ks~6) planet harboring system and represent our best opportunity to achieve a high signal-to-noise eclipse maps. Comparisons between the brightness maps of these two planets will highlight key differences in the atmospheric circulation patterns of planets with (HD209458b) and without (HD189733b) thermal inversions in their dayside atmospheres. The atmospheres of HD189733b and HD209458b have been previously probed at wavelengths from the infrared to the ultraviolet through transit, eclipse, and phase-curve observations. With the addition of the three-dimensional eclipse maps proposed here, we will answer many of the outstanding questions about the basic radiative, chemical, and advective processes at work in these key planetary atmospheres. The observations proposed here will allow us to make the first direct comparisons of the observed thermal structure of an exoplanet with the plethora of three-dimensional atmospheric circulation models developed specifically for HD189733b and HD209458b, thus both informing the models and gaining new insights into the complex circulation patterns of exoplanet atmospheres.

  10. TRANSITS OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 Earth's 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 telescope in space. We find that the signal-to-noise values for all important spectral features are on the order of unity or less per transit-except for the closest stars-making it difficult to detect such features in one single transit, and implying that coadding of many transits will be essential.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. MASSIVE SATELLITES OF CLOSE-IN GAS GIANT EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 can 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. Using this upper limit, we find that although rocky satellites around hot Jupiters with orbital periods less than a few days can be significantly evaporated in their lifetimes, detectable satellites suffer negligible mass loss at longer orbital periods.

  14. 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,...

  15. Coronagraphic phase diversity for exoplanet detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, B.; Sauvage, J.-F.; Mugnier, L. M.; N'Diaye, M.; Dohlen, K.; Ferrari, M.; Fusco, T.

    2012-09-01

    The final performance of current and future instruments dedicated to exoplanet detection and characterisation (such as SPHERE on the VLT, GPI on Gemini North or EPICS on E-ELT) is limited by intensity residuals in the scientific image plane, which originate in uncorrected optical aberrations. After correction of the atmospheric turbulence, the main contribution to these residuals are the quasi-static aberrations introduced upstream of the coronagraphic mask. In order to reach the final detectivity, these aberrations have to be estimated and compensated for. Some of these aberrations are not seen by the wave-front sensor of the AO loop but only by the scientific instruments. In order to measure and compensate for these aberrations, we have recently proposed a dedicated focal-plane sensor called COFFEE (for COronagraphic Focal-plane wave-Front Estimation for Exoplanet detection), based on an analytical model for coronagraphic imaging. In this communication, we first present a thorough characterisation of COFFEE's performance, by means of numerical simulations. We additionally present an experimental validation of COFFEE for low orders aberrations using an in-house Adaptive Optics Bench and an apodized Roddier and Roddier phase mask coronagraph.

  16. 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, ...

  17. The Frequency of Low-mass Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

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

    2009-01-01

    We report first results from the Anglo-Australian Telescope Rocky Planet Search - an intensive, high-precision Doppler planet search targeting low-mass exoplanets in contiguous 48 night observing blocks. On this run we targeted 24 bright, nearby and intrinsically stable Sun-like stars selected from the Anglo-Australian Planet Search's main sample. These observations have already detected one low-mass planet reported elsewhere (HD16417b), and here we reconfirm the detection of HD4308b. Further, we have Monte-Carlo simulated the data from this run on a star-by-star basis to produce robust detection constraints. These simulations demonstrate clear differences in the exoplanet detectability functions from star to star due to differences in sampling, data quality and intrinsic stellar stability. They reinforce the importance of star-by-star simulation when interpreting the data from Doppler planet searches. The simulations indicate that for some of our target stars we are sensitive to close-orbiting planets as sma...

  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. 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...

  20. Algol: An Early Candidate for a Transiting Exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Linda M.; Stuart, I.

    2008-09-01

    Virtually every astronomy text credits John Goodricke (1764-1786) with the discovery of the period of variability of the star Algol (? Per) and with the explanation of its variation (eclipses by an unseen stellar companion). Today, Algol is considered a prototype of an eclipsing binary star. In actuality, John Goodricke worked in collaboration with his neighbor, mentor, and distant relative, Edward Pigott. As observed by Hoskin1, the observing journals2 of the two clearly show that the eclipse explanation originated with Edward. Both originally used the term "planet” to describe the eclipsing body. However, in Goodricke's 1783 paper describing Algol, he writes: "....I should imagine it could hardly be accounted for otherwise than either by the interposition of a large body revolving round Algol, or some kind of motion of its own, whereby part of its body, covered with spots or such like matter...."3 Goodricke was later to soften his stance still further after the two discovered several other variable stars; his last published work4 mentions only starspots as an explanation for the light variation of Algol. Although the physics of the time would not have allowed Goodricke and Pigott to distinguish between a star and a planet as the unseen companion, the eighteenth-century astronomers showed great prescience in realizing that the eclipses of Algol were just that. Their mental leap, at a time when astronomers were just beginning to think seriously of discovering planets around other stars, should not go unremembered by modern planetary scientists. Footnotes 1 Hoskin, M. (1982). In Stellar Astronomy, Science History Publications Ltd., Chalfont St. Giles, England. 2 Goodricke and Pigott journals. York City Archives, York, England. 3 Goodricke, J. G. (1783). Phil. Soc. Roy. Soc. London 73, 474-482. 4 Goodricke, J. G. (1786). Phil. Soc. Roy. Soc. London 76, 48-61.

  1. 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

  2. Direct evidence for an evolving dust cloud in the exoplanet KIC 12557548 b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bochinski, J. J.; Haswell, C. A.; Dhillon, V. S.; Littlefair, S. P.; Marsh, T. R.

    2014-04-01

    We present simultaneous multi-color optical photometry of the transiting exoplanet KIC 12557548 b which reveals, for the first time, the colour dependence of the transit depth. These depths are consistent with dust extinction as observed in the ISM, but require grain sizes comparable to the largest found in the ISM: 0.25?m - 1?m. This provides direct evidence in favour of the disrupting low-mass rocky planet model for this object. Our light curves also give the the highest-quality coverage of individual transits to date. The smooth low amplitude pre-ingress and post-egress features, and the sharp V-shaped transits noted and modelled in the phase-folded Kepler data are probably artefacts of averaging many transits of variable shape. Our light curves reveal instead a step-like shoulder in the egress. The transit shape overall is not too different from that caused by a circular disc of occulting material, suggesting that the bulk of the extincting dust is not significantly elongated along the orbital path. The changing wavelength-dependent transit depth offers an unprecedented opportunity to determine the composition of the disintegrating rocky body KIC 12557548 b. We detected 3 out-of-transit u' band events consistent with stellar flares. These could be signatures of star-planet interactions.

  3. Molecular-Kinetic Simulations of Escape from the Ex-planet and Exoplanets: Criterion for Transonic Flow

    CERN Document Server

    Johnson, Robert E; Erwin, Justin T

    2013-01-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Exomol: Molecular Line Lists for Exoplanet and Other Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennyson, Jonathan

    2013-06-01

    Spectral characterization of astrophysical objects cool enough to form molecules in their atmospheres (cool stars, extrosolar planets and planetary discs) requires considerable amounts of fundamental molecular data. The existing molecular line lists (with some exceptions) are generally not sufficiently accurate and complete. The ExoMol project is actively generating comprehensive line lists for all molecules likely to be observable in exoplanet atmospheres in the foreseeable future. This is a huge undertaking which will mean providing in excess of 10^{11} spectral lines for a large variety of molecular species, see Tennyson and Yurchenko (Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 425, 21 (2012)) The physics of molecular absorptions is complex and varies between different classes of absorbers. The project is therefore be divided into following topics (a) diatomic, (b) triatomics, (c) tetratomics, (d) methane and (e) larger molecules. Special techniques are being developed to treat each case. The majority of diatomic systems to be tackled are open shell species involving a transition metal atom; the opacity is provided by the transitions between the many low lying electronic states of the system. The calculation of rotation-vibration line lists for closed-shell triatomic systems is now relatively straightforward provided enough care is taken in deriving the potential energy and dipole surfaces. An H_2S line list is nearing completion and studies on C_3 have started. Accurate rotation-vibration line lists for hot tetratomic molecules such as ammonia (complete), phosphine (nearing completion), acetylene (initial study published), hydrogen peroxide (initial study complete), SO_3 (room temperature line list complete) and formaldehyde, test what is computationally possible at present. An inital line list for hot (1000 K) methane has been completed and is being improved. Work on systems larger than this is just commencing. Data from this project can be accessed at www.exomol.com.

  6. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swinyard, Bruce; Tinetti, Giovanna

    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 and must be highly stable and effectively operate as a single instrument. In this paper we describe the integrated spectrometer payload design for EChO which will cover the 0.4 to 16 micron wavelength band. The instrumentation is subdivided into 5 channels (Visible/Near Infrared, Short Wave InfraRed, 2 x Mid Wave InfraRed; Long Wave InfraRed) with a common set of optics spectrally dividing the input beam via dichroics. We discuss the significant design issues for the payload and the detailed technical trade-offs that weare undertaking to produce a payload for EChO that can be built within the mission and programme constraints and yet which will meet the exacting scientific performance required to undertake transit spectroscopy. © 2012 SPIE.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  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. The future of spectroscopic life detection on exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Seager, Sara

    2014-01-01

    The discovery and characterization of exoplanets have the potential to offer the world one of the most impactful findings ever in the history of astronomy—the identification of life beyond Earth. Life can be inferred by the presence of atmospheric biosignature gases—gases produced by life that can accumulate to detectable levels in an exoplanet atmosphere. Detection will be made by remote sensing by sophisticated space telescopes. The conviction that biosignature gases will actually be de...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 sear...

  12. 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.

  13. Evidence Contrary to the Existing Exo-Planet Migration Concept

    OpenAIRE

    Herndon, J. Marvin

    2006-01-01

    Exo-planet migration is assumed to have occurred to explain close-to-star gas giant exo-planets within the context of the so-called standard model of solar system formation, rather than giving cause to question the validity of that particular model. I present evidence against the concept of planet migration, evidence that is historical, interdisciplinary, and model-independent. First, I demonstrate a flaw in the standard model of solar system formation that would lead to the...

  14. Optimization of the MINERVA Exoplanet Search Strategy via Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nava, Chantell; Johnson, Samson; McCrady, Nate; Minerva

    2015-01-01

    Detection of low-mass exoplanets requires high spectroscopic precision and high observational cadence. MINERVA is a dedicated observatory capable of sub meter-per-second radial velocity precision. As a dedicated observatory, MINERVA can observe with every-clear-night cadence that is essential for low-mass exoplanet detection. However, this cadence complicates the determination of an optimal observing strategy. We simulate MINERVA observations to optimize our observing strategy and maximize exoplanet detections. A dispatch scheduling algorithm provides observations of MINERVA targets every day over a three-year observing campaign. An exoplanet population with a distribution informed by Kepler statistics is assigned to the targets, and radial velocity curves induced by the planets are constructed. We apply a correlated noise model that realistically simulates stellar astrophysical noise sources. The simulated radial velocity data is fed to the MINERVA planet detection code and the expected exoplanet yield is calculated. The full simulation provides a tool to test different strategies for scheduling observations of our targets and optimizing the MINERVA exoplanet search strategy.

  15. COMPLETENESS OF IMAGING SURVEYS FOR ECCENTRIC EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, Stephen R., E-mail: skane@ipac.caltech.edu [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Caltech, MS 100-22, 770 South Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2013-03-20

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

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Investigating Nearby Exoplanets via Interstellar Radar

    CERN Document Server

    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 the parent star. Compared to interstellar travel or probes, it also offers significant advantages. The technology required to build such a radar already exists, radar can return results within a human lifetime, and a single facility can investigate thousands of planetary systems. The cost, although high, is within the reach of Earth's economy, so it is cheaper as well.

  19. Clouds and Hazes in Exoplanet Atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Marley, Mark S; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N; Kitzmann, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Clouds and hazes are commonplace in the atmospheres of solar system planets and are likely ubiquitous in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets as well. Clouds affect every aspect of a planetary atmosphere, from the transport of radiation, to atmospheric chemistry, to dynamics and they influence - if not control - aspects such as surface temperature and habitability. In this review we aim to provide an introduction to the role and properties of clouds in exoplanetary atmospheres. We consider the role clouds play in influencing the spectra of planets as well as their habitability and detectability. We briefly summarize how clouds are treated in terrestrial climate models and consider the far simpler approaches that have been taken so far to model exoplanet clouds, the evidence for which we also review. Since clouds play a major role in the atmospheres of certain classes of brown dwarfs we briefly discuss brown dwarf cloud modeling as well. We also review how the scattering and extinction efficiencies of cloud p...

  20. Thermal Tides in Short Period Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Arras, Phil

    2009-01-01

    Time-dependent insolation in a planetary atmosphere induces a mass quadrupole upon which the stellar tidal acceleration can exert a force. This "thermal tide" force can give rise to secular torques on the planet and orbit as well as radial forces causing eccentricity evolution. We apply this idea to the close-in gas giant exoplanets ("hot Jupiters"). The response of radiative atmospheres is computed in a hydrostatic model which treats the insolation as a time-dependent heat source, and solves for thermal radiation using flux-limited diffusion. Fully nonlinear numerical simulations are compared to solutions of the linearized equations, as well as analytic approximations, all of which are in good agreement. We find generically that thermal tide density perturbations {\\it lead} the semi-diurnal forcing. As a result thermal tides can generate asynchronous spin and eccentricity. Our results are as follows: (1) Departure from synchronous spin is significant for hot Jupiters, and increases with orbital period. (2) O...

  1. Climate instability on tidally locked exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Kite, Edwin S; Manga, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Feedbacks that can destabilize the climates of synchronously-rotating rocky planets may arise on planets with strong day-night surface temperature contrasts. Earth-like habitable-zone (HZ) planets maintain stable surface liquid water over geological time. This requires equilibrium between the temperature-dependent rate of greenhouse-gas consumption by weathering,and greenhouse-gas resupply by other processes. Detected small-radius exoplanets, and anticipated M-dwarf HZ rocky planets, are expected to be tidally locked. We investigate two feedbacks that can destabilize climate on tidally-locked planets. (1) If small changes in pressure alter the temperature distribution across a planet's surface such that the weathering rate increases when the pressure decreases, a positive feedback occurs involving increasing weathering rate near the substellar point, decreasing pressure, and increasing substellar surface temperature. (2) When decreases in pressure increase the surface area above the melting point (through red...

  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

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. A Semi-analytical Model of Visible-wavelength Phase Curves of Exoplanets and Applications to Kepler- 7 b and Kepler- 10 b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Renyu; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Seager, Sara; Lewis, Nikole; Showman, Adam P.

    2015-03-01

    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 dynamic processes 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. Here we present a semi-analytical model framework that can be applied to study Kepler and future visible-wavelength phase curve observations of exoplanets. The model efficiently computes reflection and thermal emission components for both rocky and gaseous planets, considering both homogeneous and inhomogeneous surfaces or atmospheres. We analyze the phase curves of the gaseous planet Kepler- 7 b and the rocky planet Kepler- 10 b using the model. In general, we find 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. Particularly for Kepler- 7 b, reflective clouds located on the west side of the substellar point can best explain its phase curve. The reflectivity of the clear part of the atmosphere should be less than 7% and that of the cloudy part should be greater than 80%, and the cloud boundary should be located at 11° ± 3° to the west of the substellar point. We suggest single-band photometry surveys could yield valuable information on exoplanet atmospheres and surfaces.

  5. PynPoint code for exoplanet imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. EXONEST: Bayesian Model Selection Applied to the Detection and Characterization of Exoplanets Via Photometric Variations

    CERN Document Server

    Placek, Ben; Angerhausen, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    EXONEST is an algorithm dedicated to detecting and characterizing the photometric signatures of exoplanets, which include reflection and thermal emission, Doppler boosting, and ellipsoidal variations. Using Bayesian Inference, we can test between competing models that describe the data as well as estimate model parameters. We demonstrate this approach by testing circular versus eccentric planetary orbital models, as well as testing for the presence or absence of four photometric effects. In addition to using Bayesian Model Selection, a unique aspect of EXONEST is the capability to distinguish between reflective and thermal contributions to the light curve. A case-study is presented using Kepler data recorded from the transiting planet KOI-13b. By considering only the non-transiting portions of the light curve, we demonstrate that it is possible to estimate the photometrically-relevant model parameters of KOI-13b. Furthermore, Bayesian model testing confirms that the orbit of KOI-13b has a detectable eccentric...

  7. 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.

  8. Direct Evidence for an Evolving Dust Cloud from the Exoplanet KIC 12557548 b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bochinski, Jakub J.; Haswell, Carole A.; Marsh, Tom R.; Dhillon, Vikram S.; Littlefair, Stuart P.

    2015-02-01

    We present simultaneous multi-color optical photometry using of the transiting exoplanet KIC 12557548 b (also known as KIC 1255 b) ULTRACAM. This reveals, for the first time, the color dependence of the transit depth. Our g’ and z’ transits are similar in shape to the average Kepler short-cadence profile and constitute the highest-quality extant coverage of individual transits. Our Night 1 transit depths are 0.85 ± 0.04% in z’ 1.00 ± 0.03% in g’ and 1.1 ± 0.3% in u’. We employ a residual-permutation method to assess the impact of correlated noise on the depth difference between the z’ and g’ bands and calculate the significance of the color dependence at 3.2? . The Night 1 depths are consistent with dust extinction as observed in the ISM, but require grain sizes comparable to the largest found in the ISM: 0.25-1 ?m. This provides direct evidence in favor of this object being a disrupting low-mass rocky planet, feeding a transiting dust cloud. On the remaining four nights of observations the object was in a rare shallow-transit phase. If the grain size in the transiting dust cloud changes as the transit depth changes, the extinction efficiency is expected to change in a wavelength- and composition-dependent way. Observing a change in the wavelength-dependent transit depth would offer an unprecedented opportunity to determine the composition of the disintegrating rocky body KIC 12557548 b. We detected four out-of-transit u’ band events consistent with stellar flares.

  9. CARBON AND OXYGEN ABUNDANCES IN THE HOT JUPITER EXOPLANET HOST STAR XO-2B AND ITS BINARY COMPANION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teske, Johanna K. [Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Schuler, Simon C. [University of Tampa, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606 (United States); Cunha, Katia [Observatorio Nacional, Rua General Jose Cristino, 77, 20921-400, Sao Cristovao, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Smith, Verne V. [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Griffith, Caitlin A., E-mail: jteske@as.arizona.edu [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2013-05-01

    With the aim of connecting the compositions of stars and planets, we present the abundances of carbon and oxygen, as well as iron and nickel, for the transiting exoplanet host star XO-2N and its wide-separation binary companion XO-2S. Stellar parameters are derived from high-resolution, high signal-to-noise spectra, and the two stars are found to be similar in their T{sub eff}, log g, iron ([Fe/H]), and nickel ([Ni/H]) abundances. Their carbon ([C/H]) and oxygen ([O/H]) abundances also overlap within errors, although XO-2N may be slightly more C-rich and O-rich than XO-2S. The C/O ratios of both stars ({approx}0.60 {+-} 0.20) may also be somewhat larger than solar (C/O {approx} 0.50). The XO-2 system has a transiting hot Jupiter orbiting one binary component but not the other, allowing us to probe the potential effects planet formation might have on the host star composition. Additionally, with multiple observations of its atmosphere the transiting exoplanet XO-2b lends itself to compositional analysis, which can be compared to the natal chemical environment established by our binary star elemental abundances. This work sets the stage for determining how similar or different exoplanet and host star compositions are, and the implications for planet formation, by discussing the C/O ratio measurements in the unique environment of a visual binary system with one star hosting a transiting hot Jupiter.

  10. Relationship between Luminosity, Irradiance and Temperature of star on the orbital parameters of exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Pavel Pintr

    2013-01-01

    For 759 exoplanets detected by radial velocities method we found that distances of exoplanets from central star comply in general Schmidt law and these distances depend on the stellar surface temperature. Every stellar spectral class has a little different distribution. The Luminosity and the Irradiance has not effect on the distribution of distances of exoplanets. We have found the new formulas for calculation of effective temperature of exoplanets for spectral classes F, G, and K. Thes...

  11. Direct evidence for an evolving dust cloud from the exoplanet KIC 12557548 b

    CERN Document Server

    Bochinski, Jakub J; Marsh, Tom R; Dhillon, Vikram S; Littlefair, Stuart P

    2015-01-01

    We present simultaneous multi-color optical photometry using ULTRACAM of the transiting exoplanet KIC 12557548 b (also known as KIC 1255 b). This reveals, for the first time, the color dependence of the transit depth. Our g and z transits are similar in shape to the average Kepler short-cadence profile, and constitute the highest-quality extant coverage of individual transits. Our Night 1 transit depths are 0.85 +/- 0.04% in z; 1.00 +/- 0.03% in g; and 1.1 +/- 0.3% in u. We employ a residual-permutation method to assess the impact of correlated noise on the depth difference between the z and g bands and calculate the significance of the color dependence at 3.2{\\sigma}. The Night 1 depths are consistent with dust extinction as observed in the ISM, but require grain sizes comparable to the largest found in the ISM: 0.25-1{\\mu}m. This provides direct evidence in favor of this object being a disrupting low-mass rocky planet, feeding a transiting dust cloud. On the remaining four nights of observations the object ...

  12. Hazy Archean Earth as an Analog for Hazy Earthlike Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arney, Giada; Meadows, Victoria; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Claire, Mark; Schwieterman, Edward

    2015-01-01

    Hazy exoplanets may be common (Bean et al. 2010, Sing et al. 2011, Kreidberg et al 2014), and in our solar system, Venus and Titan have photochemically-produced hazes. There is evidence that Earth itself had a hydrocarbon haze in the Archean (Zerkle et al. 2012, Domagal-Goldman et al. 2008) with important climatic effects (Pavlov et al. 2001, Trainer et al. 2006, Haqq-Misra et al. 2008, Wolf and Toon 2012). We use a 1D coupled photochemical-climate model and a line-by-line radiative transfer model to investigate the climactic and spectral impacts of a fractal hydrocarbon haze on Archean Earth. The haze absorbs significantly at shorter wavelengths and can strongly suppress the Rayleigh scattering tail, a broadband effect that would be remotely detectable at low spectral resolution at wavelengths less than 0.5 ?m. Hazes may have a more significant impact on transit transmission spectra. Using the transit transmission radiative transfer model developed by Misra et al. (2014) to generate hazy Archean spectra, we find that even a thin hydrocarbon haze masks the lower atmosphere from the visible into the near infrared where the haze optical depth exceeds unity. The transit transmission spectra we generate for hazy Archean Earth are steeply sloped like the Titan solar occultation spectrum observed by Robinson et al. (2014). Thick hazes can also cool the planet significantly: for example, the thick fractal haze generated around Archean Earth with 0.3% CH4, 1% CO2 and 1 ppm C2H6 cools the planet from roughly 290 K without the haze to below freezing with the haze. Finally, we investigate the impact of host star spectral type on haze formation, comparing the hazes generated around a solar-type star to those generated at an Earth analog planet around the M dwarf AD Leo. Our results indicate hazes around M dwarfs for the same initial atmospheric composition may be thinner due to decreased UV photolysis of methane and other hydrocarbons needed for haze formation. Earthlike planets around M dwarfs may therefore be more likely to remain haze-free than those around G dwarfs; therefore, they may be easier to examine spectrally.

  13. The Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey: A Saturn-Mass Planet in the Habitable Zone of the Nearby M4V Star HIP 57050

    CERN Document Server

    Haghighipour, Nader; Butler, R Paul; Rivera, Eugenio J; Laughlin, Greg; Meschiari, Stefano; Henry, Gregory W

    2010-01-01

    Precision radial velocities from Keck/HIRES reveal a Saturn-mass planet orbiting the nearby M4V star HIP 57050. The planet has a minimum mass of 0.3 Jupiter-mass, an orbital period of 41.4 days, and an orbital eccentricity of 0.31. V-band photometry reveals a clear stellar rotation signature of the host star with a period of 98 days, well separated from the period of the radial velocity variations and reinforcing a Keplerian origin for the observed velocity variations. The orbital period of this planet corresponds to an orbit in the habitable zone of HIP 57050, with an expected planetary temperature of approximately 230 K. The star has a metallicity of [Fe/H] = 0.32+/-0.06 dex, of order twice solar and among the highest metallicity stars in the immediate solar neighborhood. This newly discovered planet provides further support that the well-known planet-metallicity correlation for F, G, and K stars also extends down into the M-dwarf regime. The a priori geometric probability for transits of this planet is onl...

  14. PULSATION FREQUENCIES AND MODES OF GIANT EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Bihan, Bastien [Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France. (France); Burrows, Adam, E-mail: bastien.le-bihan@polytechnique.edu, E-mail: burrows@astro.princeton.edu [Department of Astrophysical Science, Peyton Hall Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States)

    2013-02-10

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

  15. Large Cherenkov collectors as source of light for radial velocity search of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragazzoni, R.; Piotto, G.; Pagano, I.; Piccoli, E.

    2014-03-01

    Radial velocity being used to search for search of exoplanets, or to complementary define the physical characteristics of such bodies discovered through other techniques (for instance via transit from the ground or from space). The brightest stars measurements are mainly limited by Poissonian photons statistics and the use of large aperture telescope with relatively poor optical quality can become interesting if one is able to remove most of the sky background. In fact, Cherenkov telescopes offers optical quality often of the order of several (like ten) arcminutes, such a quality is not enough for a number of difficulties, including that the sky background become dominant on such a large area. We describe some techniques that, under certain technical assumptions, does not pretend to improve the optical quality but could be very effective into removing optically most of the background, with the aim of keeping this as small at the leve of about one arcmin in diameter. At this point the spectroscopic signal for stars in the range around 8 to 10 magnitudes becomes feasible offering the opportunity to exploit apertures otherwise today unavailable to the exoplanets spectroscopic community.

  16. The WFC3 Galactic Bulge Treasury Program: Metallicity Estimates for the Stellar Population and Exoplanet Hosts

    CERN Document Server

    Brown, Thomas M; Anderson, Jay; Tumlinson, Jason; Valenti, Jeff A; Smith, Ed; Jeffery, Elizabeth J; Renzini, Alvio; Zoccali, Manuela; Ferguson, Henry C; VandenBerg, Don A; Bond, Howard E; Casertano, Stefano; Valenti, Elena; Minniti, Dante; Livio, Mario; Panagia, Nino

    2010-01-01

    We present new UV-to-IR stellar photometry of four low-extinction windows in the Galactic bulge, obtained with the Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Using our five bandpasses, we have defined reddening-free photometric indices sensitive to stellar effective temperature and metallicity. We find that the bulge populations resemble those formed via classical dissipative collapse: each field is dominated by an old (~10 Gyr) population exhibiting a wide metallicity range (-1.5 < [Fe/H] < 0.5). We detect a metallicity gradient in the bulge population, with the fraction of stars at super-solar metallicities dropping from 41% to 35% over distances from the Galactic center ranging from 0.3 to 1.2 kpc. One field includes candidate exoplanet hosts discovered in the SWEEPS HST transit survey. Our measurements for 11 of these hosts demonstrate that exoplanets in the distinct bulge environment are preferentially found around high-metallicity stars, as in the solar neighborhood, supporting the v...

  17. Exoplanet HD209458b: inflated hydrogen atmosphere but no sign of evaporation

    CERN Document Server

    Ben-Jaffel, Lotfi

    2007-01-01

    Many extrasolar planets orbit closely to their parent star. Their existence raises the fundamental problem of loss and gain in their mass. For exoplanet HD209458b, reports on an unusually extended hydrogen corona and a hot layer in the lower atmosphere seem to support the scenario of atmospheric inflation by the strong stellar irradiation. However, difficulties in reconciling evaporation models with observations call for a reassessment of the problem. Here, we use HST archive data to report a new absorption rate of $\\sim 8.9%\\pm 2.1$% by atomic hydrogen during the HD209458b transit, and show that no sign of evaporation could be detected for the exoplanet. We also report evidence of time variability in the HD209458 Ly-a flux, a variability that was not accounted for in previous studies, which corrupted their diagnostics. Mass loss rates thus far proposed in the literature in the range $5\\times 10^{10}-10^{11} {\\rm g s^{-1}}$ must induce a spectral signature in the Lyman-$\\alpha$ line profile of HD209458 that c...

  18. Direct imaging of exoplanets in the habitable zone with adaptive optics

    CERN Document Server

    Males, Jared R; Guyon, Olivier; Morzinski, Katie M; Puglisi, Alfio; Hinz, Philip; Follette, Katherine B; Monnier, John D; Tolls, Volker; Rodigas, Timothy J; Weinberger, Alycia; Boss, Alan; Kopon, Derek; Wu, Ya-lin; Esposito, Simone; Riccardi, Armando; Xompero, Marco; Briguglio, Runa; Pinna, Enrico

    2014-01-01

    One of the primary goals of exoplanet science is to find and characterize habitable planets, and direct imaging will play a key role in this effort. Though imaging a true Earth analog is likely out of reach from the ground, the coming generation of giant telescopes will find and characterize many planets in and near the habitable zones (HZs) of nearby stars. Radial velocity and transit searches indicate that such planets are common, but imaging them will require achieving extreme contrasts at very small angular separations, posing many challenges for adaptive optics (AO) system design. Giant planets in the HZ may even be within reach with the latest generation of high-contrast imagers for a handful of very nearby stars. Here we will review the definition of the HZ, and the characteristics of detectable planets there. We then review some of the ways that direct imaging in the HZ will be different from the typical exoplanet imaging survey today. Finally, we present preliminary results from our observations of t...

  19. UTILITARIAN OPACITY MODEL FOR AGGREGATE PARTICLES IN PROTOPLANETARY NEBULAE AND EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As small solid grains grow into larger ones in protoplanetary nebulae, or in the cloudy atmospheres of exoplanets, they generally form porous aggregates rather than solid spheres. A number of previous studies have used highly sophisticated schemes to calculate opacity models for irregular, porous particles with sizes much smaller than a wavelength. However, mere growth itself can affect the opacity of the medium in far more significant ways than the detailed compositional and/or structural differences between grain constituents once aggregate particle sizes exceed the relevant wavelengths. This physics is not new; our goal here is to provide a model that provides physical insight and is simple to use in the increasing number of protoplanetary nebula evolution and exoplanet atmosphere models appearing in recent years, yet quantitatively captures the main radiative properties of mixtures of particles of arbitrary size, porosity, and composition. The model is a simple combination of effective medium theory with small-particle closed-form expressions, combined with suitably chosen transitions to geometric optics behavior. Calculations of wavelength-dependent emission and Rosseland mean opacity are shown and compared with Mie theory. The model's fidelity is very good in all comparisons we have made except in cases involving pure metal particles or monochromatic opacities for solid particles with sizes comparable to the wavelength

  20. HAT-P-55b: A Hot Jupiter Transiting a Sun-like Star

    CERN Document Server

    Juncher, D; Hartman, J D; Bakos, G Á; Bieryla, A; Kovács, T; Boisse, I; Latham, D W; Kovács, G; Bhatti, W; Csubry, Z; Penev, K; de Val-Borro, M; Falco, E; Torres, G; Noyes, R W; Lázár, J; Papp, I; Sári, P

    2015-01-01

    We report the discovery of a new transiting extrasolar planet, HAT-P-55b. The planet orbits a V = 13.207 +/- 0.039 sun-like star with a mass of 1.013 +/- 0.037 solar masses, a radius of 1.011 +/- 0.036 solar radii and a metallicity of -0.03 +/- 0.08. The planet itself is a typical hot Jupiter with a period of 3.5852467 +/- 0.0000064 days, a mass of 0.582 +/- 0.056 Jupiter masses and a radius of 1.182 +/- 0.055 Jupiter radii. This discovery adds to the increasing sample of transiting planets with measured bulk densities, which is needed to put constraints on models of planetary structure and formation theories.

  1. A SEARCH FOR ADDITIONAL PLANETS IN THE NASA EPOXI OBSERVATIONS OF THE EXOPLANET SYSTEM GJ 436

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We present time series photometry of the M dwarf transiting exoplanet system GJ 436 obtained with the Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization (EPOCh) component of the NASA EPOXI mission. We conduct a search of the high-precision time series for additional planets around GJ 436, which could be revealed either directly through their photometric transits or indirectly through the variations these second planets induce on the transits of the previously known planet. In the case of GJ 436, the presence of a second planet is perhaps indicated by the residual orbital eccentricity of the known hot Neptune companion. We find no candidate transits with significance higher than our detection limit. From Monte Carlo tests of the time series, we rule out transiting planets larger than 1.5 R+ interior to GJ 436b with 95% confidence and larger than 1.25 R+ with 80% confidence. Assuming coplanarity of additional planets with the orbit of GJ 436b, we cannot expect that putative planets with orbital periods longer than about 3.4 days will transit. However, if such a planet were to transit, we would rule out planets larger than 2.0 R+ with orbital periods less than 8.5 days with 95% confidence. We also place dynamical constraints on additional bodies in the GJ 436 system, independent of radial velocity measurements. Our analysis should serve as a useful guide for similar analyses of transiting exoplanets for which radial velocity measurements ts for which radial velocity measurements are not available, such as those discovered by the Kepler mission. From the lack of observed secular perturbations, we set upper limits on the mass of a second planet as small as 10 M+ in coplanar orbits and 1 M+ in non-coplanar orbits close to GJ 436b. We present refined estimates of the system parameters for GJ 436. We find P = 2.64389579 ± 0.00000080 d, R* = 0.437 ± 0.016 Rsun, and Rp = 3.880 ± 0.147 R+. We also report a sinusoidal modulation in the GJ 436 light curve that we attribute to star spots. This signal is best fit by a period of 9.01 days, although the duration of the EPOCh observations may not have been long enough to resolve the full rotation period of the star.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. ESPRESSO: The next European exoplanet hunter

    CERN Document Server

    Pepe, F; Cristiani, S; Rebolo, R; Santos, N C; Dekker, H; Mégevand, D; Zerbi, F M; Cabral, A; Di Marcantonio, P; Abreu, M; Affolter, M; Aliverti, M; Prieto, C Allende; Amate, M; Avila, G; Baldini, V; Bristow, P; Broeg, C; Cirami, R; Coelho, J; Conconi, P; Coretti, I; Cupani, G; D'Odorico, V; De Caprio, V; Delabre, B; Dorn, R; Figueira, P; Fragoso, A; Galeotta, S; Genolet, L; Gomes, R; Hernández, J I González; Hughes, I; Iwert, O; Kerber, F; Landoni, M; Lizon, J -L; Lovis, C; Maire, C; Mannetta, M; Martins, C; Monteiro, M; Oliveira, A; Poretti, E; Rasilla, J L; Riva, M; Tschudi, S Santana; Santos, P; Sosnowska, D; Sousa, S; Spanó, P; Tenegi, F; Toso, G; Vanzella, E; Viel, M; Osorio, M R Zapatero

    2014-01-01

    The acronym ESPRESSO stems for Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observations; this instrument will be the next VLT high resolution spectrograph. The spectrograph will be installed at the Combined-Coud\\'e Laboratory of the VLT and linked to the four 8.2 m Unit Telescopes (UT) through four optical Coud\\'e trains. ESPRESSO will combine efficiency and extreme spectroscopic precision. ESPRESSO is foreseen to achieve a gain of two magnitudes with respect to its predecessor HARPS, and to improve the instrumental radial-velocity precision to reach the 10 cm/s level. It can be operated either with a single UT or with up to four UTs, enabling an additional gain in the latter mode. The incoherent combination of four telescopes and the extreme precision requirements called for many innovative design solutions while ensuring the technical heritage of the successful HARPS experience. ESPRESSO will allow to explore new frontiers in most domains of astrophysics that require precision and sen...

  6. Thermodynamic Limits on Magnetodynamos in Rocky Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Gaidos, Eric; 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 operated. Our model predicts that at a fixed planet mass, dynamo history is sensitive to core size, but not to the initial inventory of long-lived, heat-producing radionuclides. It predicts that rocky planets larger than 2.5 Earth masses will not develop inner cores because the temperature-pressure slope of the iron solidus becomes flatter than that of the core adiabat. Instead, iron "snow" will condense near or at the top of these cores, and the net transfer of latent heat upwards will suppress convection and a dynamo. More massive planet...

  7. True Masses of Radial-Velocity Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Brown, Robert A

    2015-01-01

    We explore the science power of space telescopes used to estimate the true masses of known radial-velocity exoplanets by means of astrometry on direct images. We translate a desired mass accuracy (+/10% in our example) into a minimum goal for the signal-to-noise ratio, which implies a minimum exposure time. When the planet is near a node, the mass measurement becomes difficult if not impossible, because the apparent separation becomes decoupled from the inclination angle of the orbit. The combination of this nodal effect with considerations of solar and anti-solar pointing restrictions, photometric and obscurational completeness, and image blurring due to orbital motion, severely limits the observing opportunities, often to only brief intervals in a five-year mission. We compare the science power of four missions, two with external star shades, EXO-S and WFIRST-S, and two with internal coronagraphs, EXO-C and WFIRST-C. The star shades out-perform the coronagraph in this science program by about a factor of th...

  8. Starshades for Exoplanet Imaging and Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasdin, N. J.; Vanderbei, R. J.; Shaklan, S.; Lisman, D.; Thomson, M.; Cady, E.; Macintosh, B.; Sirbu, D.; Lo, A.

    2014-01-01

    An external occulter is a satellite employing a large screen, or starshade, that flies in formation with a spaceborne telescope to provide the starlight suppression needed for detecting and characterizing exoplanets. Among the advantages of using an occulter are the broadband allowed for characterization and the removal of light before entering the observatory, greatly relaxing the requirements on the telescope and instrument. In this presentation I will explain how star shades achieve high contrast through precise design and control of their shape and how we develop an error budget to establish requirements on the manufacturing and control. Raising the technology readiness level of starshades requires a sequence of activities to verify approaches to manufacturing, deployment, test, and analysis. The SAT-TDEM program has been instrumental in raising the readiness level of the most critical technology. In particular, I will show the results of our first TDEM in 2010-2012 that verified a full scale petal could be built and measured to the needed accuracy for 10 orders of magnitude of contrast. Our second TDEM in 2012-2014 verified that a starshade could be deployed and the petals could be placed to the required position to better than 1 mm. Finally, laboratory experiments have verified the optical modeling used to predict starshade performance to better than 1e-10.

  9. Tidally Heated Terrestrial Exoplanets: Viscoelastic Response Models

    CERN Document Server

    Henning, Wade G; Sasselov, Dimitar D; 10.1088/0004-637X/707/2/1000

    2009-01-01

    Tidal friction in exoplanet systems, driven by orbits that allow for durable nonzero eccentricities at short heliocentric periods, can generate internal heating far in excess of the conditions observed in our own solar system. Secular perturbations or a notional 2:1 resonance between a Hot Earth and Hot Jupiter can be used as a baseline to consider the thermal evolution of convecting bodies subject to strong viscoelastic tidal heating. We compare results first from simple models using a fixed Quality factor and Love number, and then for three different viscoelastic rheologies: the Maxwell body, the Standard Anelastic Solid, and the Burgers body. The SAS and Burgers models are shown to alter the potential for extreme tidal heating by introducing the possibility of new equilibria and multiple response peaks. We find that tidal heating tends to exceed radionuclide heating at periods below 10-30 days, and exceed insolation only below 1-2 days. Extreme cases produce enough tidal heat to initiate global-scale parti...

  10. OPTICAL PHASE CURVES OF KEPLER EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  11. TASTE. II. A new observational study of transit time variations in HAT-P-13b

    CERN Document Server

    Nascimbeni, V; Bedin, L R; Damasso, M; Malavolta, L; Borsato, L

    2011-01-01

    TASTE (The Asiago Search for Transit timing variations of Exoplanets) project is collecting high-precision, short-cadence light curves for a selected sample of transiting exoplanets. The hot jupiter HAT-P-13b has been claimed to have suddenly deviated from a linear ephemeris by ~20 min, suggesting the presence of a perturber in the system. Using five new transits, we discuss the plausibility of this transit time variation (TTV), and show that a periodic signal should not be excluded. More follow-up observations are required to constrain the mass and the orbit of the hypotetical perturber.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Baluev, Roman V; 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

    2015-01-01

    We perform an analysis of ~80000 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 lightcurves from the Exoplanet Transit Database, public photometry from the literature, and some proprietary photometry privately supplied by other authors. Half of these lightcurves were obtained by amateurs. From this photometry we derive 306 transit timing measurements, as well as improved planetary transit parameters. Additionally, for 5 of these 10 stars we present a set of radial velocity measurements obtained from the spectra stored in the HARPS and HARPS-N archives using the HARPS-TERRA pipeline. Our analysis of these TTV and RV 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 sec, although their parameters are model-dependent and uncertain, wh...

  13. Transmission spectral properties of clouds for hot Jupiter exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Wakeford, Hannah R

    2014-01-01

    Clouds have an important role in the atmospheres of planetary bodies. It is expected that, like all the planetary bodies in our solar system, exoplanet atmospheres will also have substantial cloud coverage, and evidence is mounting for clouds in a number of hot Jupiters. In order to better characterise planetary atmospheres we need to consider the effects these clouds will have on the observed broadband transmission spectra. Here we examine the expected cloud condensate species for hot Jupiter exoplanets and the effects of various grain sizes and distributions on the resultant transmission spectra from the optical to infrared, which can be used as a broad framework when interpreting exoplanet spectra. We note that significant infrared absorption features appear in the computed transmission spectrum, the result of vibrational modes between the key species in each condensate, which can potentially be very constraining. While it may be hard to differentiate between individual condensates in the broad transmissio...

  14. PULSE: The Palomar Ultraviolet Laser for the Study of Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Baranec, Christoph; Burruss, Rick S; Bowler, Brendan P; van Dam, Marcos; Riddle, Reed; Shelton, J Christopher; Truong, Tuan; Roberts, Jennifer; Milburn, Jennifer; Tesch, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    The Palomar Ultraviolet Laser for the Study of Exoplanets (PULSE) will dramatically expand the science reach of PALM-3000, the facility high-contrast extreme adaptive optics system on the 5-meter Hale Telescope. By using an ultraviolet laser to measure the dominant high spatial and temporal order turbulence near the telescope aperture, one can increase the limiting natural guide star magnitude for exquisite correction from mV < 10 to mV < 16. Providing the highest near-infrared Strehl ratios from any large telescope laser adaptive optics system, PULSE uniquely enables spectroscopy of low-mass and more distant young exoplanet systems, essential to formulating a complete picture of exoplanet populations.

  15. Characterising exoplanets and their environment with UV transmission spectroscopy

    CERN Document Server

    Fossati, L; Ehrenreich, D; Haswell, C A; Kislyakova, K G; Lammer, H; Etangs, A Lecavelier des; Alibert, Y; Ayres, T R; Ballester, G E; Barnes, J; Bisikalo, D V; Collier, A; Cameron,; Czesla, S; Desert, J -M; France, K; Guedel, M; Guenther, E; Helling, Ch; Heng, K; Homstrom, M; Kaltenegger, L; Koskinen, T; Lanza, A F; Linsky, J L; Mordasini, C; Pagano, I; Pollacco, D; Rauer, H; Reiners, A; Salz, M; Schneider, P C; Shematovich, V I; Staab, D; Vidotto, A A; Wheatley, P J; Wood, B E; Yelle, R V

    2015-01-01

    Exoplanet science is now in its full expansion, particularly after the CoRoT and Kepler space missions that led us to the discovery of thousands of extra-solar planets. The last decade has taught us that UV observations play a major role in advancing our understanding of planets and of their host stars, but the necessary UV observations can be carried out only by HST, and this is going to be the case for many years to come. It is therefore crucial to build a treasury data archive of UV exoplanet observations formed by a dozen "golden systems" for which observations will be available from the UV to the infrared. Only in this way we will be able to fully exploit JWST observations for exoplanet science, one of the key JWST science case.

  16. Adaptive Optics Observations of Exoplanets, Brown Dwarfs, & Binary Stars

    CERN Document Server

    Hinkley, Sasha

    2011-01-01

    The current direct observations of brown dwarfs and exoplanets have been obtained using instruments not specifically designed for overcoming the large contrast ratio between the host star and any wide-separation faint companions. However, we are about to witness the birth of several new dedicated observing platforms specifically geared towards high contrast imaging of these objects. The Gemini Planet Imager, VLT-SPHERE, Subaru HiCIAO, and Project 1640 at the Palomar 5m telescope will return images of numerous exoplanets and brown dwarfs over hundreds of observing nights in the next five years. Along with diffraction-limited coronagraphs and high-order adaptive optics, these instruments also will return spectral and polarimetric information on any discovered targets, giving clues to their atmospheric compositions and characteristics. Such spectral characterization will be key to forming a detailed theory of comparative exoplanetary science which will be widely applicable to both exoplanets and brown dwarfs. Fu...

  17. The future of spectroscopic life detection on exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, Sara

    2014-09-01

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

  18. The discovery of a new ELL variable star in Centaurus and possibility of detecting new exoplanets using the FRAM telescope.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pintr, Pavel; Vápenka, David; Mašek, M.

    Vol. 9442. Bellingham : SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING , 2015 - (Kova?i?inová, J.; Vít, T.), 94420Z-94420Z ISBN 978-1-62841-557-5. ISSN 0277-786X. - (SPIE). [Optics and Measurement Conference 2014 (OaM 2014). Liberec (CZ), 07.10.2014-10.10.2014] R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1206 Institutional support: RVO:61389021 Keywords : variable star * light curve * FRAM * period analysis * exoplanet transit Subject RIV: JB - Sensors, Measurment, Regulation http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2175905

  19. Requirements and limits for life in the context of exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Mckay, Christopher P.

    2014-01-01

    Our understanding of life on exoplanets and exomoons must be based on what we know about life on Earth. Liquid water is the common ecological requirement for Earth life. Temperature on an exoplanet is the first parameter to consider both because of its influence on liquid water and because it can be directly estimated from orbital and climate models of exoplanetary systems. Life needs some water, but deserts show that even a little can be enough. Only a small amount of light from the central ...

  20. Asteroseismology of Exoplanet-Host Stars in the Kepler Era

    CERN Document Server

    Campante, Tiago L

    2015-01-01

    New insights on stellar evolution and stellar interior physics are being made possible by asteroseismology, the study of stars by the observation of their natural, resonant oscillations. Asteroseismology is making significant contributions to our understanding of solar-type stars, in great part due to the exquisite data that have been made available by NASA's Kepler space telescope. Of particular interest is the synergy between asteroseismology and exoplanetary science. Herein I will review recent contributions from asteroseismology to the determination of fundamental properties of Kepler exoplanet-host stars and stress its potential in constraining the spin-orbit alignment of exoplanet systems.

  1. TERRESTRIAL, HABITABLE-ZONE EXOPLANET FREQUENCY FROM KEPLER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Data from Kepler's first 136 days of operation are analyzed to determine the distribution of exoplanets with respect to radius, period, and host-star spectral type. The analysis is extrapolated to estimate the percentage of terrestrial, habitable-zone (HZ) exoplanets. The Kepler census is assumed to be complete for bright stars (magnitude 0.5 Earth radius and periods ?–1, with ? ? 0.71 ± 0.08; and an extrapolation to longer periods gives the frequency of terrestrial planets in the HZs of FGK stars as ?? ? (34 ± 14)%. Thus about one-third of FGK stars are predicted to have at least one terrestrial, HZ planet.ial, HZ planet.

  2. EChO. Exoplanet characterisation observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinetti, G.; Beaulieu, J. P.; 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.; Coudé de Foresto, V.; 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.; Allende Prieto, C.; Bakos, G.; Barber, R. J.; Barlow, M.; Batista, V.; Bernath, P.; Bézard, B.; Bordé, P.; Brown, L. R.; Cassan, A.; Cavarroc, C.; Ciaravella, A.; Cockell, C.; 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.; Lopez Morales, M.; Lopez Valverde, M. A.; Lopez-Puertas, M.; Lovis, C.; Maggio, A.; Maillard, J. P.; Maldonado Prado, J.; Marquette, J. B.; Martin-Torres, F. J.; Maxted, P.; Miller, S.; Molinari, S.; Montes, D.; Moro-Martin, A.; Moses, J. I.; Mousis, O.; Nguyen Tuong, N.; 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.; Sánchez-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.

    2012-10-01

    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. The use of passive cooling, few moving parts and well established technology gives a low-risk and potentially long-lived mission. EChO will build on observations by Hubble, Spitzer and ground-based telescopes, which discovered the first molecules and atoms in exoplanetary atmospheres. However, EChO's configuration and specifications are designed to study a number of systems in a consistent manner that will eliminate the ambiguities affecting prior observations. EChO will simultaneously observe a broad enough spectral region—from the visible to the mid-infrared—to constrain from one single spectrum the temperature structure of the atmosphere, the abundances of the major carbon and oxygen bearing species, the expected photochemically-produced species and magnetospheric signatures. The spectral range and resolution are tailored to separate bands belonging to up to 30 molecules and retrieve the composition and temperature structure of planetary atmospheres. The target list for EChO includes planets ranging from Jupiter-sized with equilibrium temperatures T eq up to 2,000 K, to those of a few Earth masses, with T eq u223c 300 K. The list will include planets with no Solar System analog, such as the recently discovered planets GJ1214b, whose density lies between that of terrestrial and gaseous planets, or the rocky-iron planet 55 Cnc e, with day-side temperature close to 3,000 K. As the number of detected exoplanets is growing rapidly each year, and the mass and radius of those detected steadily decreases, the target list will be constantly adjusted to include the most interesting systems. We have baselined a dispersive spectrograph design covering continuously the 0.4-16 ?m spectral range in 6 channels (1 in the visible, 5 in the InfraRed), which allows the spectral resolution to be adapted from several tens to several hundreds, depending on the target brightness. The instrument will be mounted behind a 1.5 m class telescope, passively cooled to 50 K, with the instrument structure and optics passively cooled to u223c45 K. EChO will be placed in a grand halo orbit around L2. This orbit, in combination with an optimised thermal shield design, provides a highly stable thermal environment and a high degree of visibility of the sky to observe repeatedly several tens of targets over the year. Both the baseline and alternative designs have been evaluated and no critical items with Technology Readiness Level (TRL) less than 4-5 have been identified. We have also undertaken a first-order cost and development plan analysis and find that EChO is easily compatible with the ESA M-class mission framework.

  3. Characterization of exoplanet atmospheres using high-dispersion spectroscopy with the E-ELT and beyond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Snellen Ignas

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Ground-based high-dispersion (R ? 100,000 spectroscopy provides unique information on exoplanet atmospheres, inaccessible from space - even using the JWST or other future space telescopes. Recent successes in transmission- and dayside spectroscopy using CRIRES on the Very Large Telescope prelude the enormous discovery potential of high-dispersion spectrographs on the E-ELT, such as METIS in the thermal infrared, and HIRES in the optical/near-infrared. This includes the orbital inclination and masses of hundred(s of non-transiting planets, line-by-line molecular band spectra, planet rotation and global wind patterns, longitudinal spectral variations, and possibly isotopologue ratios. Thinking beyond the E-ELT, we advocate that ultimately a systematic search for oxygen in atmospheres of nearby Earth-like planets can be conducted using large arrays of relatively low-cost flux collector telescopes equipped with high-dispersion spectrographs.

  4. Detecting Industrial Pollution in the Atmospheres of Earth-like Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

    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 Space Telescope. We focus on tetrafluoromethane (CF4) and trichlorofluoromethane (CCl3F), which are the easiest to detect chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) produced by anthropogenic activity. We estimate that ~1.2 days (~1.7 days) of total integration time will be sufficient to detect or constrain the concentration of CCl3F (CF4) to ~10 times the current terrestrial level.

  5. Atmospheric dynamics of terrestrial exoplanets over a wide range of orbital and atmospheric parameters

    CERN Document Server

    Kaspi, Yohai

    2014-01-01

    The recent discoveries of terrestrial exoplanets and super Earths extending over a broad range of orbital and physical parameters suggests that these planets will span a wide range of climatic regimes. Characterization of the atmospheres of warm super Earths has already begun and will be extended to smaller and more distant planets over the coming decade. The habitability of these worlds may be strongly affected by their three-dimensional atmospheric circulation regimes, since the global climate feedbacks that control the inner and outer edges of the habitable zone---including transitions to Snowball-like states and runaway-greenhouse feedbacks---depend on the equator-to-pole temperature differences, pattern of relative humidity, and other aspects of the dynamics. Here, using an idealized moist atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) including a hydrological cycle, we study the dynamical principles governing the atmospheric dynamics on such planets. We show how the planetary rotation rate, planetary mass,...

  6. A Test of GEMS Astrometric Precision for Exoplanet Detection and Mass Measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammons, S. Mark; Marois, Christian; Macintosh, Bruce; Konopacky, Quinn; Neichel, Benoit; Galicher, Raphael; Bendek, Eduardo; Guyon, Olivier

    2014-08-01

    Precision astrometry is so far the only mainstream exoplanet detection technique that has yet to find a new planet. The unique capabilities of GeMS and GSAOI may finally be what we have been waiting for: the combination of a large aperture and wide-field AO correction for stable high-resolution wide-field diffraction-limited imaging. As part of this program, we have observed the astrometric calibrator star TYC 7122-00041-1 to demonstrate GeMS' long-term astrometric precision of GEMS will in one year obtain the best available projected relative orbits and a < 1% trigonometric distance, enabling precision masses and luminosity measurements for both L/T transition components of WISE 1049-53.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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 subjective choice of models and model selection criteria. This paper aims to test the reliability of the most commonly used systematics models and model selection criteria. As we are primarily interested in recovering light curve parameters rather than the favoured systematics model, marginalisation over systematics models is introduced as a more robust alternative than simple model selection. This can incorporate uncertainties in the choice of systematics model into the error budget as well as the model parameters. Its use is demonstrated using a ...

  8. THERMODYNAMIC LIMITS ON MAGNETODYNAMOS IN ROCKY EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  9. Cosmological Aspects of Habitability of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  10. Závislost fotometrických parametr? hv?zd na orbitálních parametrech exoplanet.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pintr, Pavel

    2012-01-01

    Ro?. 57, 11-12 (2012), s. 317-320. ISSN 0447-6441. [OaM 2012 International Conference on Optics and Measurement. Liberec, 16.10.2012-18.10.2012] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z20430508 Keywords : Exoplanet s * regression analyse * stellar luminosity * stellar irradiance * effective temperature * orbital parameters Subject RIV: BH - Optics, Masers, Lasers

  11. Detecting Exoplanets in the Presence of Exozodiacal Dust Profiles

    CERN Document Server

    Noecker, Charley

    2010-01-01

    For exoplanet direct detection mission concepts such as Terrestrial Planet Finder or Exoplanet Probe, light from the exozodiacal dust tends to obscure any exoplanets present in the image. Data analysis methods to identify point sources against this background have been very simple, traditionally with the simplifying assumption that the exozodi is uniformly distributed, just as our local zodiacal background is uniform over several-arcsec scales. However, the typical size of an exozodi cloud is expected to be comparable to the typical exoplanet orbital radii, or at least those of greatest interest_ the "habitable zone" range from 0.7-1.5 AU. When a direct detection instrument is reduced in size for cost reasons, the point spread function (PSF) becomes broader, making it more difficult to distinguish a point source from a "blob" of exozodi light. In this case, the shot-noise limited integration time may not be enough; instead we may need an elevated signal-to-noise ratio and/or later measurements to resolve ambi...

  12. The Exoplanet Opportunity: Top-Down Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Nicolas B.

    2014-06-01

    What started as a trickle in the mid-1990s is now a torrent, with more than 1000 extrasolar planets currently known and thousands of candidates awaiting confirmation (see http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov). The study of exoplanets has already revolutionized scientific and public views of planet formation and will soon do the same for planetary atmospheres and interiors.

  13. Is There Life on Exoplanet Maja? A Demonstration for Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planinsic, Gorazd; Marshall, Rick

    2012-01-01

    Astronomy and astrophysics are very popular with pupils, but the experimental work they can do tends to be rather limited. The search for life elsewhere in the Universe ("exobiology") has received an enormous boost since the detection of a rapidly increasing number of planets ("exoplanets") orbiting other stars in our galaxy. Recently (March…

  14. Kepler Stars with Multiple Transiting Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2012-01-01

    NASA's Kepler spacecraft was launched into an Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit in March of 2009. Kepler is designed to conduct a statistical census of planetary system properties using transit photometry. Among the most exciting early results from Kepler are target stars found to have photometric signatures that suggest the presence of more than one transiting planet. Individual transiting planets provide information on the size and orbital period distributions of exoplanets. Multiple transiting planets provide additional information on the spacing and flatness distributions of planetary systems. Results to d ate and plans for future analysis will be presented.

  15. Fourier spectra from exoplanets with polar caps and ocean glint

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, P. M.; van de Bult, F. J.

    2015-07-01

    Context. The weak orbital-phase dependent reflection signal of an exoplanet contains information on the planet surface, such as the distribution of continents and oceans on terrestrial planets. This light curve is usually studied in the time domain, but because the signal from a stationary surface is (quasi)periodic, analysis of the Fourier series may provide an alternative, complementary approach. Aims: We study Fourier spectra from reflected light curves for geometrically simple configurations. Depending on its atmospheric properties, a rotating planet in the habitable zone could have circular polar ice caps. Tidally locked planets, on the other hand, may have symmetric circular oceans facing the star. These cases are interesting because the high-albedo contrast at the sharp edges of the ice-sheets and the glint from the host star in the ocean may produce recognizable light curves with orbital periodicity, which could also be interpreted in the Fourier domain. Methods: We derive a simple general expression for the Fourier coefficients of a quasiperiodic light curve in terms of the albedo map of a Lambertian planet surface. Analytic expressions for light curves and their spectra are calculated for idealized situations, and dependence of the spectral peaks on the key parameters inclination, obliquity, and cap size is studied. Results: The ice-scattering and ocean glint contributions can be separated out, because the coefficients for glint are all positive, whereas ice sheets lead to even-numbered, higher harmonics. An in-view polar cap on a planet without axial tilt only produces a single peak. The special situation of edge-on observation, which is important for planets in transit, leads to the most pronounced spectral behavior. Then the respective spectra from planets with a circumventing ocean, a circular ocean (eyeball world), polar caps, and rings, have characteristic power-law tails n-2, n-7/2, n-4, and (-1)n + 1n-2. Conclusions: Promising recently discovered planetary systems may be selected as candidates for long-term (multiyear) observation: their Fourier spectra could separate the different planets and reveal or identify a water-covered planet with polar caps. Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  16. Discs around magnetized giant exoplanets and other astrophysical objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belenkaya, E.; Alexeev, I.; Khodachenko, M.

    2012-04-01

    The accreting ionized gas surrounding a neutron star or white dwarf creates an accretion disc. The Alfven radius, where the magnetic energy density is equal to the kinetic energy density is an inner boundary of disc, where plasma leaves the accretion disc and flows to the central object. Accretion disc in a binary system will be disrupted also at the Alfven radius. The heliospheric current sheet's inner edge is also located at the heliocentric distance where the solar wind velocity equals to the Alfven velocity, i.e. at the solar Alfven radius. The same is related to discs in the magnetospheres of giant planets of the solar system - Jupiter and Saturn: their inner edges are located close to their Alfven radii. Due to the continuous expansion and ionization of the upper atmosphere of a giant exoplanet at close orbit about the host star ("Hot Jupiter") heated by the stellar XUV radiation, an exoplanetary magnetodisc is formed under the conditions of the rotating planetary magnetic dipole field. This results in certain specifics of the star-exoplanet interaction and the magnetosphere of the "Hot Jupiter". A magnetodisc was firstly introduced in the exoplanet magnetosphere in the paraboloid magnetospheric magnetic field model [Khodachenko et al., 2011]. The distance from the center of the planet to the inner edge of the disc is a key parameter of the exoplanet magnetospheric model. It determines the disc's magnetic moment, the total magnetospheric magnetic field, and as a consequence, the size of the magnetosphere of a "Hot Jupiter". Here we discuss the exoplanet's disc inner edge location at Alfven radius in the context of other astrophysical discs and emphasize that under certain conditions (in particular, in the presence of magnetic field) some of them also have locations of their inner edges at the Alfven radii independent of nature of their origin, of the disc's material, and of the motion direction in the disc, which means that in such discs the kinetic energy density exceeds the magnetic field energy density.

  17. Physical and Chemical Toeholds for Exoplanet Bioastronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehler, Tori

    2013-01-01

    If a search for exoplanet life were mounted today, the likely focus would be to detect oxygen (or ozone) in the atmosphere of a water-bearing rocky planet orbiting roughly 1AU from a G-type star. This appropriately conservative and practical default is necessary in large part because biological input on the question of where and how to look for life has progressed little beyond a purely empirical reliance on the example of terrestrial biology. However, fundamental physical and chemical considerations may impose significant yet universal constraints on biological potential. The liquid water + oxygen paradigm will be considered as an example, with a focus on the question, is liquid water a prerequisite for life? . Life requires a solvent to mediate interactions among biological molecules. A key class of these interactions is molecular recognition with high specificity, which is essential for high fidelity catalysis and (especially) information processing. For example, to correctly reproduce a string consisting of 600,000 units of information (e.g., 600 kilobases, equivalent to the genome of the smallest free living terrestrial organisms) with a 90% success rate requires specificity greater than 10(exp 7):1 for the target molecule vs. incorrect alternatives. Such specificity requires (i) that the correct molecular association is energetically stabilized by at least 40 kJ/mol relative to alternatives, and (ii) that the system is able to sample among possible states (alternative molecular associations) rapidly enough to allow the system to fall under thermodynamic control and express the energetic stabilization. We argue that electrostatic interactions are required to confer the necessary energetic stabilization vs. a large library of molecular alternatives, and that a solvent with polarity and dielectric properties comparable to water is required for the system to sample among possible states and express thermodynamic control. Electrostatic associations can be made in non-polar solvents, but the resulting complexes are too stable to be "unmade" with sufficient frequency to confer thermodynamic control on the system. Such considerations suggest that water, or a solvent with properties very like water, is necessary to support high-fidelity information processing a feature that must be common to all biology and can therefore be considered a critical prerequisite for life.

  18. Evolutionary constraints on the planetary hypothesis for transition discs

    CERN Document Server

    Clarke, C J

    2013-01-01

    We assume a scenario in which transition discs (i.e. discs around young stars that have signatures of cool dust but lack significant near infra-red emission from warm dust) are associated with the presence of planets (or brown dwarfs). These are assumed to filter the dust content of any gas flow within the planetary orbit and produce an inner `opacity hole'. In order to match the properties of transition discs with the largest (~50 A.U. scale) holes, we place such `planets' at large radii in massive discs and then follow the evolution of the tidally coupled disc-planet system, comparing the system's evolution in the plane of mm flux against hole radius with the properties of observed transition discs. We find that, on account of the high disc masses in these systems, all but the most massive `planets' (100 Jupiter masses) are conveyed to small radii by Type II migration without significant fading at millimetre wavelengths. Such behaviour would contradict the observed lack of mm bright transition discs with sm...

  19. Hubble Space Telescope High Resolution Imaging of Kepler Small and Cool Exoplanet Host Stars

    CERN Document Server

    Gilliland, Ronald L; Adams, Elisabeth R; Ciardi, David R; Kalas, Paul; Wright, Jason T

    2014-01-01

    High resolution imaging is an important tool for follow-up study of exoplanet candidates found via transit detection with the Kepler Mission. We discuss here HST imaging with the WFC3 of 23 stars that host particularly interesting Kepler planet candidates based on their small size and cool equilibrium temperature estimates. Results include detections, exclusion of background stars that could be a source of false positives for the transits, and detection of physically-associated companions in a number of cases providing dilution measures necessary for planet parameter refinement. For six KOIs, we find that there is ambiguity in which star hosts the transiting planet(s), with potentially strong implications for planetary characteristics. Our sample is evenly distributed in G, K, and M spectral types. Albeit with a small sample size, we find that physically-associated binaries are more common than expected at each spectral type, reaching a factor of 10 frequency excess at M. We document the program detection sen...

  20. Hubble space telescope high-resolution imaging of Kepler small and cool exoplanet host stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gilliland, Ronald L.; Cartier, Kimberly M. S.; Wright, Jason T. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State University, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Adams, Elisabeth R. [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell, Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Ciardi, David R. [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Kalas, Paul, E-mail: gillil@stsci.edu [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)

    2015-01-01

    High-resolution imaging is an important tool for follow-up study of exoplanet candidates found via transit detection with the Kepler mission. We discuss here Hubble Space Telescope imaging with the WFC3 of 23 stars that host particularly interesting Kepler planet candidates based on their small size and cool equilibrium temperature estimates. Results include detections, exclusion of background stars that could be a source of false positives for the transits, and detection of physically associated companions in a number of cases providing dilution measures necessary for planet parameter refinement. For six Kepler objects of interest, we find that there is ambiguity regarding which star hosts the transiting planet(s), with potentially strong implications for planetary characteristics. Our sample is evenly distributed in G, K, and M spectral types. Albeit with a small sample size, we find that physically associated binaries are more common than expected at each spectral type, reaching a factor of 10 frequency excess in M. We document the program detection sensitivities, detections, and deliverables to the Kepler follow-up program archive.

  1. Hubble space telescope high-resolution imaging of Kepler small and cool exoplanet host stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    High-resolution imaging is an important tool for follow-up study of exoplanet candidates found via transit detection with the Kepler mission. We discuss here Hubble Space Telescope imaging with the WFC3 of 23 stars that host particularly interesting Kepler planet candidates based on their small size and cool equilibrium temperature estimates. Results include detections, exclusion of background stars that could be a source of false positives for the transits, and detection of physically associated companions in a number of cases providing dilution measures necessary for planet parameter refinement. For six Kepler objects of interest, we find that there is ambiguity regarding which star hosts the transiting planet(s), with potentially strong implications for planetary characteristics. Our sample is evenly distributed in G, K, and M spectral types. Albeit with a small sample size, we find that physically associated binaries are more common than expected at each spectral type, reaching a factor of 10 frequency excess in M. We document the program detection sensitivities, detections, and deliverables to the Kepler follow-up program archive.

  2. BIOSIGNATURE GASES IN H{sub 2}-DOMINATED ATMOSPHERES ON ROCKY EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seager, S.; Bains, W.; Hu, R. [Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2013-11-10

    Super-Earth exoplanets are being discovered with increasing frequency and some will be able to retain stable H{sub 2}-dominated atmospheres. We study biosignature gases on exoplanets with thin H{sub 2} 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 H{sub 2} atmospheres. In atmospheres with high CO{sub 2} 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 H{sub 2} 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 CH{sub 3}Cl, are therefore more favorable in low-UV, as compared with solar-like UV, environments. A few promising biosignature gas candidates, including NH{sub 3} and N{sub 2}O, 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 CH{sub 4} and H{sub 2}S, are not effective signs of life in an H{sub 2}-rich atmosphere because the dominant atmospheric chemistry will generate such gases abiologically, through photochemistry or geochemistry. Suitable biosignature gases in H{sub 2}-rich atmospheres for super-Earth exoplanets transiting M stars could potentially be detected in transmission spectra with the James Webb Space Telescope.

  3. Models of Stars, Brown Dwarfs and Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Allard, France; Freytag, Bernd

    2011-01-01

    Within the next few years, GAIA and several instruments aiming at imag- ing extrasolar planets will see first light. In parallel, low mass planets are being searched around red dwarfs which offer more favourable conditions, both for radial velocity de- tection and transit studies, than solar-type stars. Authors of the model atmosphere code which has allowed the detection of water vapour in the atmosphere of Hot Jupiters re- view recent advancement in modelling the stellar to substellar transition. The revised solar oxygen abundances and cloud model allow for the first time to reproduce the pho- tometric and spectroscopic properties of this transition. Also presented are highlight results of a model atmosphere grid for stars, brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets.

  4. Broadband polarimetry of exoplanets : modelling signals of surfaces, hazes and clouds

    OpenAIRE

    Karalidi, Theodora

    2013-01-01

    It is less than 20 years since astronomers discovered the first exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star. In this short period more than 770 confirmed exoplanets have been detected. With so many exoplanets the next step is their characterization. What is their atmosphere made of? Does it contain water clouds? Is there water on the planetary surface? Could there be life on these planets? To answer all these questions good and reliable models are necessary for interpreting the signal we observe from ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Achieving high-precision pointing on ExoplanetSat: initial feasibility analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pong, Christopher M.; Lim, Sungyung; Smith, Matthew W.; Miller, David W.; Villaseñor, Jesus S.; Seager, Sara

    2010-07-01

    ExoplanetSat is a proposed three-unit CubeSat designed to detect down to Earth-sized exoplanets in an orbit out to the habitable zone of Sun-like stars via the transit method. To achieve the required photometric precision to make these measurements, the target star must remain within the same fraction of a pixel, which is equivalent to controlling the pointing of the satellite to the arcsecond level. The satellite will use a two-stage control system: coarse control will be performed by a set of reaction wheels, desaturated by magnetic torque coils, and fine control will be performed by a piezoelectric translation stage. Since no satellite of this size has previously demonstrated this high level of pointing precision, a simulation has been developed to prove the feasibility of realizing such a system. The current baseline simulation has demonstrated the ability to hold the target star to within 0.05 pixels or 1.8 arcseconds (with an 85 mm lens and 15 ?m pixels), in the presence of large reaction wheel disturbances as well as external environmental disturbances. This meets the current requirement of holding the target star to 0.14 pixels or 5.0 arcseconds. Other high-risk aspects of the design have been analyzed such as the effect of changing the guide star centroiding error, changing the CMOS sampling frequency, and reaction wheel selection on the slew performance of the satellite. While these results are promising as an initial feasibility analysis, further model improvements and hardware-in-the-loop tests are currently underway.

  7. Relationship between Luminosity, Irradiance and Temperature of star on the orbital parameters of exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Pintr

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available For 759 exoplanets detected by radial velocities method we found that distances of exoplanets from central star comply in general Schmidt law and these distances depend on the stellar surface temperature. Every stellar spectral class has a little different distribution. The Luminosity and the Irradiance has not effect on the distribution of distances of exoplanets. We have found the new formulas for calculation of effective temperature of exoplanets for spectral classes F, G, and K. These new formulas we can use for future calculation of habitable planets.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  9. Ranges of Atmospheric Mass and Composition of Super Earth Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Elkins-Tanton, L

    2008-01-01

    Terrestrial-like exoplanets may obtain atmospheres from three primary sources: Capture of nebular gases, degassing during accretion, and degassing from subsequent tectonic activity. Here we model degassing during accretion to estimate the range of atmospheric mass and composition on exoplanets ranging from 1 to 30 Earth masses. We use bulk compositions drawn from primitive and differentiated meteorite compositions. Degassing alone can create a wide range of masses of planetary atmospheres, ranging from less than a percent of the planet's total mass up to ~6 mass% of hydrogen, ~20 mass% of water, and/or ~5 mass% of carbon compounds. Hydrogen-rich atmospheres can be outgassed as a result of oxidizing metallic iron with water, and excess water and carbon can produce atmospheres through simple degassing. As a byproduct of our atmospheric outgassing models we find that modest initial water contents (10 mass% of the planet and above) create planets with deep surface liquid water oceans soon after accretion is compl...

  10. SPEED: the Segmented Pupil Experiment for Exoplanet Detection

    CERN Document Server

    Patrice, Martinez; Carole, Gouvret; Julien, Dejongue; Jean-Baptiste, Daban; Alain, Spang; Frantz, Martinache; Mathilde, Beaulieu; Pierre, Janin-Potiron; Lyu, Abe; Yan, Fantei-Caujolle; Damien, Mattei; Sebastien, Ottogali

    2014-01-01

    Searching for nearby exoplanets with direct imaging is one of the major scientific drivers for both space and ground-based programs. While the second generation of dedicated high-contrast instruments on 8-m class telescopes is about to greatly expand the sample of directly imaged planets, exploring the planetary parameter space to hitherto-unseen regions ideally down to Terrestrial planets is a major technological challenge for the forthcoming decades. This requires increasing spatial resolution and significantly improving high contrast imaging capabilities at close angular separations. Segmented telescopes offer a practical path toward dramatically enlarging telescope diameter from the ground (ELTs), or achieving optimal diameter in space. However, translating current technological advances in the domain of high-contrast imaging for monolithic apertures to the case of segmented apertures is far from trivial. SPEED (the segmented pupil experiment for exoplanet detection) is a new instrumental facility in deve...

  11. An Introduction to Exoplanets and the Kepler Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack

    2014-01-01

    A quarter century ago, the only planets known to humanity were the familiar objects that orbit our Sun. But improved observational techniques allowed astronomers to begin detecting planets around other stars in the 1990s. The first extrasolar planets (often referred to as exoplanets) to be discovered were quite exotic and unfamiliar objects. Most were giant objects that are hundreds of times as massive as the Earth and orbit so close to their star that they are hotter than pizza ovens. But as observational capabilities improved, smaller and cooler planets were found. The most capable planet-hunting tool developed to date is NASA's Kepler telescope, which was launched in 2009. Kepler has found that planets similar in size to our Earth are quite abundant within our galaxy. Results of Kepler's research will be summarized and placed into context within the new and growing discipline of exoplanet studies.

  12. Flux and polarization signals of spatially inhomogeneous gaseous exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Karalidi, T; Guirado, D

    2013-01-01

    We present numerically calculated, disk--integrated, spectropolarimetric signals of starlight that is reflected by vertically and horizontally inhomogeneous gaseous exoplanets. We include various spatial features that are present on Solar System's gaseous planets: belts and zones, cyclonic spots, and polar hazes, to test whether such features leave traces in the disk--integrated flux and polarization signals. Broadband flux and polarization signals of starlight that is reflected by gaseous exoplanets are calculated using an efficient, adding--doubling radiative transfer code, that fully includes single and multiple scattering and polarization. The planetary model atmospheres are vertically inhomogeneous and can be horizontally inhomogeneous, and contain gas molecules and/or cloud and/or aerosol particles.

  13. The Status of Spectroscopic Data for the Exoplanet Characterisation Missions

    CERN Document Server

    Tennyson, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    The status of laboratory spectroscopic data for exoplanet characterisation missions such as EChO is reviewed. For many molecules (eg H2O, CO, CO2, H3+, O2, O3) the data are already available. For the other species work is actively in progress constructing this data. Much of the is work is being undertaken by ExoMol project (www.exomol.com). This information will be used to construct and EChO-specific spectroscopic database.

  14. The Impact of Gaia and LSST on Binaries and Exoplanets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eyer, L.; Dubath, P.

    2012-01-01

    Two upcoming large scale surveys, the ESA Gaia and LSST projects, will bring a new era in astronomy. The number of binary systems that will be observed and detected by these projects is enormous, estimations range from millions for Gaia to several tens of millions for LSST. We review some tools that should be developed and also what can be gained from these missions on the subject of binaries and exoplanets from the astrometry, photometry, radial velocity and their alert systems.

  15. On the Inclination Dependence of Exoplanet Phase Signatures

    OpenAIRE

    Kane, Stephen R; Gelino, Dawn M.

    2011-01-01

    Improved photometric sensitivity from space-based telescopes have enabled the detection of phase variations for a small sample of hot Jupiters. However, exoplanets in highly eccentric orbits present unique opportunities to study the effects of drastically changing incident flux on the upper atmospheres of giant planets. Here we expand upon previous studies of phase functions for these planets at optical wavelengths by investigating the effects of orbital inclination on the f...

  16. Capabilities of WFIRST-AFTA for coronagraphic imaging of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2014-06-01

    The coronagraph on WFIRST-AFTA will be capable of detecting all known radial velocity planets within its range of angular sensitivity, and of characterizing them with photometry and spectroscopy. The coronagraph will also be capable of detecting as-yet unknown exoplanets, from gas giants down to super-Earths around nearby stars, and zodiacal dust disks down to the level of a few times the solar system zodi.

  17. SPEED: the Segmented Pupil Experiment for Exoplanet Detection

    OpenAIRE

    Patrice, Martinez; Olivier, Preis; Carole, Gouvret; Julien, Dejongue; Jean-Baptiste, Daban; Alain, Spang; Frantz, Martinache; Mathilde, Beaulieu; Pierre, Janin-Potiron; Lyu, Abe; Yan, Fantei-Caujolle; Damien, Mattei; Sebastien, Ottogali

    2014-01-01

    Searching for nearby exoplanets with direct imaging is one of the major scientific drivers for both space and ground-based programs. While the second generation of dedicated high-contrast instruments on 8-m class telescopes is about to greatly expand the sample of directly imaged planets, exploring the planetary parameter space to hitherto-unseen regions ideally down to Terrestrial planets is a major technological challenge for the forthcoming decades. This requires increasi...

  18. International Year of Astronomy Invited Review on Exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, John A.

    2009-01-01

    Just fourteen years ago the Solar System represented the only known planetary system in the Galaxy, and conceptions of planet formation were shaped by this sample of one. Since then, 320 planets have been discovered orbiting 276 individual stars. This large and growing ensemble of exoplanets has informed theories of planet formation, placed the Solar System in a broader context, and revealed many surprises along the way. In this review I provide an overview of what has been ...

  19. The CoRoT Exoplanet program: status & results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moutou C.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The CoRoT satellite is the ?rst instrument hunting for planets from space. We will review the status of the CoRoT/Exoplanet program. We will then present the CoRoT exoplanetary systems and how they widen the range of properties of the close-in population and contribute to our understanding of the properties of planets.

  20. Transmission spectral properties of clouds for hot Jupiter exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakeford, H. R.; Sing, D. K.

    2015-01-01

    Clouds play an important role in the atmospheres of planetary bodies. It is expected that, like all the planetary bodies in our solar system, exoplanet atmospheres will also have substantial cloud coverage, and evidence is mounting for clouds in a number of hot Jupiters. To better characterise planetary atmospheres, we need to consider the effects these clouds will have on the observed broadband transmission spectra. Here we examine the expected cloud condensate species for hot Jupiter exoplanets and the effects of various grain sizes and distributions on the resulting transmission spectra from the optical to infrared, which can be used as a broad framework when interpreting exoplanet spectra. We note that significant infrared absorption features appear in the computed transmission spectrum, the result of vibrational modes between the key species in each condensate, which can potentially be very constraining. While it may be hard to differentiate between individual condensates in the broad transmission spectra, it may be possible to discern different vibrational bonds, which can distinguish between cloud formation scenarios, such as condensate clouds or photochemically generated species. Vibrational mode features are shown to be prominent when the clouds are composed of small sub-micron sized particles and can be associated with an accompanying optical scattering slope. These infrared features have potential implications for future exoplanetary atmosphere studies conducted with JWST, where such vibrational modes distinguishing condensate species can be probed at longer wavelengths.

  1. The Replicable High-resolution Exoplanet and Asteroseismology (RHEA) spectrograph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bento, Joao; Ireland, Michael; Feger, Tobias; Bacigalupo, Carlos; Bedding, Timothy; Parker, Quentin

    2013-07-01

    The current limitations associated with detecting exoplanets using Radial Velocity (RV) measurements include temperature stability of spectrographs and efficient fibre scrambling in the quest for sub metre/ sec precision. However, an astrophysical fundamental limitation is also present, in the form of noise from stellar activity. This is particularly true for giant stars, where the amplitude of pulsations is comparable with RV signals from hot-Jupiters. Long-baseline RV measurements are required to measure the intrinsic pulsations of the host star and de- correlate them to look for the planetary signals. This process uses these data for asteroseismological analysis, which also provides improved precision on the stellar mass and density. This is impractical using large telescopes, but possible to do on bright stars with 0.3-1m class telescopes. This poster presents the current status of the Replicable High-Resolution Exoplanets and Asteroseismology (RHEA) spectrograph, a compact single-mode fibre-fed spectrograph being developed at Macquarie University. It will serve the basis of a series of cheap spectrographs, composed of many "off the shelf" items, to be deployed on small telescopes for exoplanet and asteroseismological studies of giant stars, providing accessible technology to address this exciting problem.

  2. Requirements and limits for life in the context of exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P

    2014-09-01

    The requirements for life on Earth, its elemental composition, and its environmental limits provide a way to assess the habitability of exoplanets. Temperature is key both because of its influence on liquid water and because it can be directly estimated from orbital and climate models of exoplanetary systems. Life can grow and reproduce at temperatures as low as -15 °C, and as high as 122 °C. Studies of life in extreme deserts show that on a dry world, even a small amount of rain, fog, snow, and even atmospheric humidity can be adequate for photosynthetic production producing a small but detectable microbial community. Life is able to use light at levels less than 10(-5) of the solar flux at Earth. UV or ionizing radiation can be tolerated by many microorganisms at very high levels and is unlikely to be life limiting on an exoplanet. Biologically available nitrogen may limit habitability. Levels of O2 over a few percent on an exoplanet would be consistent with the presence of multicellular organisms and high levels of O2 on Earth-like worlds indicate oxygenic photosynthesis. Other factors such as pH and salinity are likely to vary and not limit life over an entire planet or moon. PMID:24927538

  3. Requirements and limits for life in the context of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P.

    2014-01-01

    The requirements for life on Earth, its elemental composition, and its environmental limits provide a way to assess the habitability of exoplanets. Temperature is key both because of its influence on liquid water and because it can be directly estimated from orbital and climate models of exoplanetary systems. Life can grow and reproduce at temperatures as low as ?15 °C, and as high as 122 °C. Studies of life in extreme deserts show that on a dry world, even a small amount of rain, fog, snow, and even atmospheric humidity can be adequate for photosynthetic production producing a small but detectable microbial community. Life is able to use light at levels less than 10?5 of the solar flux at Earth. UV or ionizing radiation can be tolerated by many microorganisms at very high levels and is unlikely to be life limiting on an exoplanet. Biologically available nitrogen may limit habitability. Levels of O2 over a few percent on an exoplanet would be consistent with the presence of multicellular organisms and high levels of O2 on Earth-like worlds indicate oxygenic photosynthesis. Other factors such as pH and salinity are likely to vary and not limit life over an entire planet or moon. PMID:24927538

  4. Evidence Contrary to the Existing Exo-Planet Migration Concept

    CERN Document Server

    Herndon, J M

    2006-01-01

    Exo-planet migration is assumed to have occurred to explain close-to-star gas giant exo-planets within the context of the so-called standard model of solar system formation, rather than giving cause to question the validity of that particular model. I present evidence against the concept of planet migration, evidence that is historical, interdisciplinary, and model-independent. First, I demonstrate a flaw in the standard model of solar system formation that would lead to the contradiction of terrestrial planets having insufficiently massive cores. Then, I discuss the evidence that points to the Earth previously having been a Jupiter-like close-to-Sun gas giant and the consequences that arise there from. Observations of close-to-star gas giant exo-planets orbiting stars other than our own Sun, rather than being evidence for planet migration, I submit, are evidence for differing degrees of violence associated with the thermonuclear ignition of their particular stars. As observational resolution improves, one mi...

  5. BASE: Bayesian Astrometric and Spectroscopic Exoplanet Detection and Characterization Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze-Hartung, Tim

    2012-08-01

    BASE is a novel program for the combined or separate Bayesian analysis of astrometric and radial-velocity measurements of potential exoplanet hosts and binary stars. The tool fulfills two major tasks of exoplanet science, namely the detection of exoplanets and the characterization of their orbits. BASE was developed to provide the possibility of an integrated Bayesian analysis of stellar astrometric and Doppler-spectroscopic measurements with respect to their binary or planetary companions' signals, correctly treating the astrometric measurement uncertainties and allowing to explore the whole parameter space without the need for informative prior constraints. The tool automatically diagnoses convergence of its Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC[2]) sampler to the posterior and regularly outputs status information. For orbit characterization, BASE delivers important results such as the probability densities and correlations of model parameters and derived quantities. BASE is a highly configurable command-line tool developed in Fortran 2008 and compiled with GFortran. Options can be used to control the program's behaviour and supply information such as the stellar mass or prior information. Any option can be supplied in a configuration file and/or on the command line.

  6. On the environment surrounding close-in exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Vidotto, A A; Jardine, M; Moutou, C; Donati, J -F

    2015-01-01

    Exoplanets in extremely close-in orbits are immersed in a local interplanetary medium (i.e., the stellar wind) much denser than the local conditions encountered around the solar system planets. The environment surrounding these exoplanets also differs in terms of dynamics (slower stellar winds, but higher Keplerian velocities) and ambient magnetic fields (likely higher for host stars more active than the Sun). Here, we quantitatively investigate the nature of the interplanetary media surrounding the hot Jupiters HD46375b, HD73256b, HD102195b, HD130322b, HD179949b. We simulate the three-dimensional winds of their host stars, in which we directly incorporate their observed surface magnetic fields. With that, we derive mass-loss rates (1.9 to 8.0 $\\times 10^{-13} M_{\\odot}$/yr) and the wind properties at the position of the hot-Jupiters' orbits (temperature, velocity, magnetic field intensity and pressure). We show that these exoplanets' orbits are super-magnetosonic, indicating that bow shocks are formed surrou...

  7. Observed Properties of Exoplanets: Masses, Orbits, and Metallicities

    CERN Document Server

    Marcy, G; Fischer, D A; Vogt, S S; Wright, J T; Tinney, C G; Jones, H R A

    2005-01-01

    We review the observed properties of exoplanets found by the Doppler technique which has revealed 152 exoplanets to date. We focus on our ongoing 18-year survey of 1330 FGKM type stars at Lick, Keck, and the Anglo-Australian Telescopes carried out with a uniform Doppler precision of 3 m/s. The 104 planets detected in our survey have masses as low as 15 M_Earth orbiting between 0.03 and 5.5 AU. The mass distribution rises toward the lowest detectable masses as dN/dM is proportional to M^-1.1. Nearly all giant planets orbiting within 2 AU of all FGK stars within 30 pc have now been discovered. The distribution of semi-major axes rises from 0.3 -- 3.0 AU (in bins of Delta log a), but remains unknown for larger orbits. Extrapolation suggests that 12% of the FGK stars harbor exoplanets within 20 AU. The median orbital eccentricity is =0.25 (excluding those tidally circularized), lower than previously measured . Planets orbiting beyond 3 AU continue to exhibit non-zero eccentricity, suggesting that the circular orb...

  8. Oxygen and carbon discovered in exoplanet atmosphere `blow-off'

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-02-01

    Oxygen and carbon discovered in exoplanet atmosphere ‘blow-off’ hi-res Size hi-res: 1096 kb Credits: ESA/Alfred Vidal-Madjar (Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, France) Oxygen and carbon discovered in exoplanet atmosphere ‘blow-off’ This artist’s impression shows an extended ellipsoidal envelope - the shape of a rugby-ball - of oxygen and carbon discovered around the well-known extrasolar planet HD 209458b. An international team of astronomers led by Alfred Vidal-Madjar (Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, France) observed the first signs of oxygen and carbon in the atmosphere of a planet beyond our Solar System for the first time using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The atoms of carbon and oxygen are swept up from the lower atmosphere with the flow of escaping atmospheric atomic hydrogen - like dust in a supersonic whirlwind - in a process called atmospheric ‘blow off’. Oxygen and carbon have been detected in the atmosphere of a planet beyond our Solar System for the first time. Scientists using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have observed the famous extrasolar planet HD 209458b passing in front of its parent star, and found oxygen and carbon surrounding the planet in an extended ellipsoidal envelope - the shape of a rugby-ball. These atoms are swept up from the lower atmosphere with the flow of the escaping atmospheric atomic hydrogen, like dust in a supersonic whirlwind. The team led by Alfred Vidal-Madjar (Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, France) reports this discovery in a forthcoming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters. The planet, called HD 209458b, may sound familiar. It is already an extrasolar planet with an astounding list of firsts: the first extrasolar planet discovered transiting its sun, the first with an atmosphere, the first observed to have an evaporating hydrogen atmosphere (in 2003 by the same team of scientists) and now the first to have an atmosphere containing oxygen and carbon. Furthermore the ‘blow-off’ effect observed by the team during their October and November 2003 observations with Hubble had never been seen before. In honour of such a distinguished catalogue this extraordinary extrasolar planet has provisionally been dubbed 'Osiris'. Osiris was the Egyptian god who lost part of his body - like HD 209458b - after his brother killed and cut him into pieces to prevent his return to life. Oxygen is one of the possible indicators of life that is often looked for in experiments searching for extraterrestrial life (such as those onboard the Viking probes and the Spirit and Opportunity rovers), but according to Vidal-Madjar: “Naturally this sounds exciting - the possibility of life on Osiris - but it is not a big surprise as oxygen is also present in the giant planets of our Solar System, like Jupiter and Saturn.” What, on the other hand was surprising was to find the carbon and oxygen atoms surrounding the planet in an extended envelope. Although carbon and oxygen have been observed on Jupiter and Saturn, it is always in combined form as methane and water deep in the atmosphere. In HD 209458b the chemicals are broken down into the basic elements. But on Jupiter or Saturn, even as elements, they would still remain invisible low in the atmosphere. The fact that they are visible in the upper atmosphere of HD 209458b confirms that atmospheric ‘blow off’ is occurring. The scorched Osiris orbits ‘only’ seven million kilometres from its yellow Sun-like star and its surface is heated to about 1000 degrees Celsius. Whereas hydrogen is a very light element - the lightest in fact - oxygen and carbon are much heavier in comparison. This has enabled scientists to conclude that this phenomenon is more efficient than simple evaporation. The gas is essentially ripped away at a speed of more than 35 000 kilometres an hour. “We speculate that even heavier elements such as iron are blown off at this stage as well,” says team member Alain Lecavelier des Etangs (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, France). The whole evaporation mechanism is

  9. NASA ExoPAG Study Analysis Group 5: Flagship Exoplanet Imaging Mission Science Goals and Requirements Report

    OpenAIRE

    Greene, Tom; Noecker, Charley; Team, Exopag Sag

    2013-01-01

    The NASA Exoplanet Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG) has undertaken an effort to define mission Level 1 requirements for exoplanet direct detection missions at a range of sizes. This report outlines the science goals and requirements for the next exoplanet flagship imaging and spectroscopy mission as determined by the flagship mission Study Analysis Group (SAG) of the NASA Exoplanet Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG). We expect that these goals and requirements will be used to ev...

  10. NEAT: an astrometric space telescope to search for habitable exoplanets in the solar neighborhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crouzier, A.; Malbet, F.; Kern, P.; Feautrier, P.; Preiss, O.; Martin, G.; Henault, F.; Stadler, E.; Lafrasse, S.; Behar, E.; Saintpe, M.; Dupont, J.; Potin, S.; Lagage, P.-O.; Cara, C.; Leger, A.; Leduigou, J.-M.; Shao, M.; Goullioud, R.

    2014-03-01

    The last decade has witnessed a spectacular development of exoplanet detection techniques, which led to an exponential number of discoveries and a great diversity of known exoplanets. However, it must be noted that the quest for the holy grail of astrobiology, i.e. a nearby terrestrial exoplanet in habitable zone around a solar type star, is still ongoing and proves to be very hard. Radial velocities will have to overcome stellar noise if there are to discover habitable planets around stars more massive than M ones. For very close systems, transits are impeded by their low geometrical probability. Here we present an alternative concept: space astrometry. NEAT (Nearby Earth Astrometric Telescope) is a concept of astrometric mission proposed to ESA which goal is to make a whole sky survey of close (less then 20 pc) planetary systems. The detection limit required for the instrument is the astrometric signal of an Earth analog (at 10 pc). Differential astrometry is a very interesting tool to detect nearby habitable exoplanets. Indeed, for F, G and K main sequence stars, the astrophysical noise is smaller than the astrometric signal, contrary to the case for radial velocities. The difficulty lies in the fact that the signal of an exo-Earth around a G type star at 10 pc is a tiny 0.3 micro arc sec, which is equivalent to a coin on the moon, seen from the Earth: the main challenge is related to instrumentation. In order to reach this specification, NEAT consists of two formation flying spacecraft at a 40m distance, one carries the mirror and the other one the focal plane. Thus NEAT has a configuration with only one optical surface: an off-axis parabola. Consequently, beamwalk errors are common to the whole field of view and have a small effect on differential astrometry. Moreover a metrology system projects young fringes on the focal plane, which can characterize the pixels whenever necessary during the mission. NEAT has two main scientific objectives: combined with radial velocities and direct imaging, it will explore in a quasi systematic way the nearby planetary systems. The resulting catalog of planetary systems will be very useful to constrain planetary formation models. The second objective is to find very close Earth analogs. These will be top priority targets for a spectroscopic mission aimed at detecting biomarquers. The current activities related to NEAT revolve around 3 themes: i) a lab demonstration: an optical bench replicates the NEAT optical configuration and metrology system in order to demonstrate the feasibility of measuring centroids with a differential accuracy of 5 µpixels (corresponding to 0.3 micro arc sec on sky) ii) a definition phase study of the NEAT mission done by CNES (the "French Space Agency") iii) an end to end simulation of the NEAT data reduction pipeline: from astrometric and RVs measurements to planets All of these activities are focused on the need to answer the next ESA call for M class missions in 2014 with an improved NEAT concept.

  11. Orbital observatories for planetary science and exoplanets exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavrov, Alexander; Bisikalo, Dmitry; Ksanfomality, Leonid; Korablev, Oleg; Ananyeva, Vladislava; Kiselev, Alexander

    The Space Research Institute of Russian Academy of Science (IKI RAS) currently develops two middle class space telescopes projects aimed to observe Solar system planets by a long term spectroscopy polarimetry monitoring and aimed to extra solar planets (exoplanets) engineering and scientific goals. “Planetary monitoring” telescope has a 0.6 meter primary mirror diameter and it is planned on board of Russian Segment of ISS. It is scheduled to be launched in 2018. It includes 5 science instruments: IR: 1000..4000 nm high-resolution spectrometer R>10000; Visible Field camera with filters wheel; UV-VIS Fourier spectrometer; UV-VIS spectropolarimeter; Stellar coronagraph linked with spectrometer. The “Planetary monitoring” telescope scientific goals devoted to explore not jet well studied questions on Mars (methane, ozone, dust and clouds, isotope ratio of HDO/H2O), on Venus (UV absorber, night glow, atmosphere dynamics), icy and gaseous Solar system planets, Jovian moons, Lunar exosphere, comets, meteorites. This telescope aims also for engineering development of exoplanet study by stellar coronagraphy linked with a low resolution spectrometry. The “Plnetary monitoring” telescope will have its larger version with up to 1.5 .. 2 meter primary mirror diameter. That mission called “Zvezdnyi (engl. stellar) patrol” and is tentatively scheduled for the launch in 2022 to L2 point on a Navigator automate platform. “Zvezdnyi patrol” has the main goal to atmospheric characterization of cold exoplanets with spectral near IR instruments. Another goal is to measure more precisely the Solar system planets atmosphere components. High-contrast imaging is currently the only available technique for the study of the thermodynamical and compositional properties of exoplanets in long-period orbits, comparable to the range from Venus to Jupiter. This project is a coronagraphic space telescope dedicated to the spectropolarimetric analysis of gaseous and icy giant planets as well as super-Earths at visible and near IR wavelengths. So far, studies for high-contrast imaging instruments have mainly focused on technical feasibility because of the challenging planet/star flux ratio of 10e-8-10e-10 required at short separations (200 mas or so) to image cold exoplanets. However, the main interest of “Zvezdnyi patrol” instruments, namely the analysis of planet atmospheric/surface properties, has remained largely unexplored.

  12. ASTEROSEISMIC DETERMINATION OF OBLIQUITIES OF THE EXOPLANET SYSTEMS KEPLER-50 AND KEPLER-65

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chaplin, W. J.; Campante, T. L.; Davies, G. R.; Elsworth, Y.; Hekker, S. [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Sanchis-Ojeda, R.; Winn, J. N. [Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Handberg, R.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Karoff, C. [Stellar Astrophysics Centre (SAC), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Stello, D.; Bedding, T. R. [Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics, University of Sydney, Sydney (Australia); Basu, S.; Fischer, D. A. [Department and Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); Metcalfe, T. S. [White Dwarf Research Corporation, Boulder, CO 80301 (United States); Buchhave, L. A. [Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University, DK-2100 Copenhagen (Denmark); Cochran, W. D. [McDonald Observatory, The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Gilliland, R. L. [Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Huber, D. [NASA Ames Research Center, MS 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Isaacson, H. [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); and others

    2013-04-01

    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: the previously reported Kepler-50 and a new system, Kepler-65, whose planets we validate in this paper. Both stars show rich spectra of solar-like oscillations. From the asteroseismic analysis we find that each host has its rotation axis nearly perpendicular to the line of sight with the sines of the angles constrained at the 1{sigma} level to lie above 0.97 and 0.91, respectively. We use statistical arguments to show that coplanar orbits are favored in both systems, and that the orientations of the planetary orbits and the stellar rotation axis are correlated.

  13. A massive exoplanet candidate around KOI-13: Independent confirmation by ellipsoidal variations

    CERN Document Server

    Mislis, D

    2012-01-01

    We present an analysis of the KOI-13.01 candidate exoplanet system included in the September 2011 Kepler data release. The host star is a known and relatively bright $(m_{\\rm KP} = 9.95)$ visual binary with a separation significantly smaller (0.8 arcsec) than the size of a Kepler pixel (4 arcsec per pixel). The Kepler light curve shows both primary and secondary eclipses, as well as significant out-of-eclipse light curve variations. We confirm that the transit occurs round the brighter of the two stars. We model the relative contributions from (i) thermal emission from the companion, (ii) planetary reflected light, (iii) Doppler beaming, and (iv) ellipsoidal variations in the host-star arising from the tidal distortion of the host star by its companion. Our analysis, based on the light curve alone, enables us to constrain the mass of the KOI-13.01 companion to be $M_{\\rm C} = 8.3 \\pm 1.25M_{\\rm J}$ and thus demonstrates that the transiting companion is a planet (rather than a brown dwarf which was recently pr...

  14. A Model for Thermal Phase Variations of Circular and Eccentric Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Cowan, Nicolas B

    2010-01-01

    We present a semi-analytic model atmosphere for close-in exoplanets that captures the essential physics of phase curves: orbital and viewing geometry, advection, and re-radiation. We calibrate the model with the well-characterized transiting planet, HD 189733b, then compute light curves for seven of the most eccentric transiting planets. We present phase variations for a variety of different radiative times and wind speeds. In the limit of instant re-radiation, the light curve morphology is entirely dictated by the planet's eccentricity and argument of pericenter: the light curve maximum leads or trails the eclipse depending on whether the planet is receding from or approaching the star at superior conjunction, respectively. For a planet with non-zero radiative timescales, the phase peak occurs early for super- rotating winds, and late for sub-rotating winds. We find that for a circular orbit, the timing of the phase variation maximum with respect to superior conjunction indicates the direction of the dominan...

  15. Dusty tails of evaporating exoplanets. I. Constraints on the dust composition

    CERN Document Server

    van Lieshout, R; Dominik, C

    2014-01-01

    Recently, two exoplanet candidates have been discovered, KIC 12557548b and KOI-2700b, whose transit profiles show evidence for a comet-like tail of dust trailing the planet, thought to be fed by the evaporation of the planet's surface. We aim to put constraints on the composition of the dust ejected by these objects from the shape of their transit light curves. We derive a semi-analytical expression for the attenuation of dust cross-section in the tail, incorporating the sublimation of dust grains as well as their drift away from the planet. This expression shows that the length of the tail is highly sensitive to the sublimation properties of the dust material. We compute tail lengths for several possible dust compositions, and compare these to observational estimates of the tail lengths of KIC 12557548b and KOI-2700b, inferred from their light curves. The observed tail lengths are consistent with dust grains composed of corundum (Al2O3) or iron-rich silicate minerals (e.g., fayalite, Fe2SiO4). Pure iron and ...

  16. Dusty tails of evaporating exoplanets. I. Constraints on the dust composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lieshout, R.; Min, M.; Dominik, C.

    2014-12-01

    Context. Recently, two exoplanet candidates have been discovered, KIC 12557548b and KOI-2700b, whose transit profiles show evidence of a comet-like tail of dust trailing the planet, thought to be fed by the evaporation of the planet's surface. Aims: We aim to put constraints on the composition of the dust ejected by these objects from the shape of their transit light curves. Methods: We derive a semi-analytical expression for the attenuation of the dust cross-section in the tail, incorporating the sublimation of dust grains as well as their drift away from the planet. This expression shows that the length of the tail is highly sensitive to the sublimation properties of the dust material. We compute tail lengths for several possible dust compositions, and compare these to observational estimates of the tail lengths of KIC 12557548b and KOI-2700b, inferred from their light curves. Results: The observed tail lengths are consistent with dust grains composed of corundum (Al2O3) or iron-rich silicate minerals (e.g., fayalite, Fe2SiO4). Pure iron and carbonaceous compositions are not favoured. In addition, we estimate dust mass loss rates of 1.7 ± 0.5 M? Gyr-1 for KIC 12557548b, and > 0.007 M? Gyr-1 (1? lower limit) for KOI-2700b.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chaplin, W. J.; Sanchis-Ojeda, R.

    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: the previously reported Kepler-50 and a new system, Kepler-65, whose planets we validate in this paper. Both stars show rich spectra of solar-like oscillations. From the asteroseismic analysis we find that each host has its rotation axis nearly perpendicular to the line of sight with the sines of the angles constrained at the 1? level to lie above 0.97 and 0.91, respectively. We use statistical arguments to show that coplanar orbits are favored in both systems, and that the orientations of the planetary orbits and the stellar rotation axis are correlated.

  18. ASTEROSEISMIC DETERMINATION OF OBLIQUITIES OF THE EXOPLANET SYSTEMS KEPLER-50 AND KEPLER-65

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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: the previously reported Kepler-50 and a new system, Kepler-65, whose planets we validate in this paper. Both stars show rich spectra of solar-like oscillations. From the asteroseismic analysis we find that each host has its rotation axis nearly perpendicular to the line of sight with the sines of the angles constrained at the 1? level to lie above 0.97 and 0.91, respectively. We use statistical arguments to show that coplanar orbits are favored in both systems, and that the orientations of the planetary orbits and the stellar rotation axis are correlated.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chaplin, W.J.; Campante, T.L.

    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: the previously reported Kepler-50 and a new system, Kepler-65, whose planets we validate in this paper. Both stars show rich spectra of solar-like oscillations. From the asteroseismic analysis we find that each host has its rotation axis nearly perpendicular to the line of sight with the sines of the angles constrained at the 1s level to lie above 0.97 and 0.91, respectively. We use statistical arguments to show that coplanar orbits are favored in both systems, and that the orientations of the planetary orbits and the stellar rotation axis are correlated. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

  20. Direct detection and spectral characterization of outer exoplanets with the SPICA coronagraph instrument (SCI)

    CERN Document Server

    Matsuo, Taro; Kotani, Takayuki; Itoh, Yoichi; Tamura, Motohide; Nakagawa, Takao; Enya, Keigo

    2011-01-01

    The SPICA coronagraph instrument (SCI) provides high-contrast imaging and moderate resolution (R < 200) spectroscopy at the wavelength range from 3.5 to 27 \\mu m. Based on the planet evolutional model calculated by Burrows et al. (2003), SCI will search for gas giant planets down to one Jupiter mass around nearby young (1 Gyr) stars and two Jupiter masses around nearby old (5 Gyr) stars. SCI also allows to characterizing those planets of less than 1 Gyr by spectroscopic observations to reveal the nature of planetary formation and evolution. Focusing on the high sensitivity and high contrast at wavelengths longer than 10 \\mu m, we show that SCI also allows us to directly image icy giant planets like Uranus and Neptune as well as gas giant planets around nearby early-type stars. In this paper, we compare the capabilities of SCI and the JWST coronagraphs and also discuss a new approach to answering questions concerning the formation and evolution of planetary systems through planet detection with SCI.

  1. WASP-14b: 7.3 Mj transiting planet in an eccentric orbit

    OpenAIRE

    Joshi, Y. C.; Pollacco, D.; Cameron, A. Collier; Skillen, I.; Simpson, E.; Steele, I.; Street, R. A.; Stempels, H. C.; Christian, D. J.; Hebb, L.; Bouchy, F.; Gibson, N. P.; Hebrard, G.; Keenan, F. P.; Loeillet, B.

    2008-01-01

    We report the discovery of a 7.3 Mjup exoplanet WASP-14b, one of the most massive transiting exoplanets observed to date. The planet orbits the tenth-magnitude F5V star USNO-B1 11118-0262485 with a period of 2.243752 days and orbital eccentricity e = 0.09. A simultaneous fit of the transit light curve and radial velocity measurements yields a planetary mass of 7.3+/-0.5 Mjup and a radius of 1.28+/-0.08 Rjup. This leads to a mean density of about 4.6 g/cm^3 making it densest ...

  2. TRANSMISSION SPECTROSCOPY OF EXOPLANET XO-2b OBSERVED WITH HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE NICMOS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crouzet, N.; McCullough, P. R.; Long, D. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Burke, C., E-mail: crouzet@stsci.edu [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States)

    2012-12-10

    Spectroscopy during planetary transits is a powerful tool to probe exoplanet atmospheres. We present the near-infrared transit spectroscopy of XO-2b obtained with Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS. Uniquely for NICMOS transit spectroscopy, a companion star of similar properties to XO-2 is present in the field of view. We derive improved star and planet parameters through a photometric white-light analysis. We show a clear correlation of the spectrum noise with instrumental parameters, in particular the angle of the spectral trace on the detector. An MCMC method using a decorrelation from instrumental parameters is used to extract the planetary spectrum. Spectra derived independently from each of the three visits have an rms of 430, 510, and 1000 ppm, respectively. The same analysis is performed on the companion star after numerical injection of a transit with a depth constant at all wavelengths. The extracted spectra exhibit residuals of similar amplitude as for XO-2, which represent the level of remaining NICMOS systematics. This shows that extracting planetary spectra is at the limit of NICMOS's capability. We derive a spectrum for the planet XO-2b using the companion star as a reference. The derived spectrum can be represented by a theoretical model including atmospheric water vapor or by a flat spectrum model. We derive a 3{sigma} upper limit of 1570 ppm on the presence of water vapor absorption in the atmosphere of XO-2b. In the Appendix, we perform a similar analysis for the gas giant planet XO-1b.

  3. TRANSMISSION SPECTROSCOPY OF EXOPLANET XO-2b OBSERVED WITH HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE NICMOS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spectroscopy during planetary transits is a powerful tool to probe exoplanet atmospheres. We present the near-infrared transit spectroscopy of XO-2b obtained with Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS. Uniquely for NICMOS transit spectroscopy, a companion star of similar properties to XO-2 is present in the field of view. We derive improved star and planet parameters through a photometric white-light analysis. We show a clear correlation of the spectrum noise with instrumental parameters, in particular the angle of the spectral trace on the detector. An MCMC method using a decorrelation from instrumental parameters is used to extract the planetary spectrum. Spectra derived independently from each of the three visits have an rms of 430, 510, and 1000 ppm, respectively. The same analysis is performed on the companion star after numerical injection of a transit with a depth constant at all wavelengths. The extracted spectra exhibit residuals of similar amplitude as for XO-2, which represent the level of remaining NICMOS systematics. This shows that extracting planetary spectra is at the limit of NICMOS's capability. We derive a spectrum for the planet XO-2b using the companion star as a reference. The derived spectrum can be represented by a theoretical model including atmospheric water vapor or by a flat spectrum model. We derive a 3? upper limit of 1570 ppm on the presence of water vapor absorption in the atmosphere of XO-2b. In the Appendix, we perform a similar analysis forpendix, we perform a similar analysis for the gas giant planet XO-1b.

  4. Observing the Earth as an exoplanet with LOUPE, the Lunar Observatory for Unresolved Polarimetry of Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Karalidi, T; Snik, F; Bagnulo, S; Sparks, W B; Keller, C U

    2012-01-01

    The detections of small, rocky exoplanets have surged in recent years and will likely continue to do so. To know whether a rocky exoplanet is habitable, we have to characterise its atmosphere and surface. A promising characterisation method for rocky exoplanets is direct detection using spectropolarimetry. This method will be based on single pixel signals, because spatially resolving exoplanets is impossible with current and near-future instruments. Well-tested retrieval algorithms are essential to interpret these single pixel signals in terms of atmospheric composition, cloud and surface coverage. Observations of Earth itself provide the obvious benchmark data for testing such algorithms. The observations should provide signals that are integrated over the Earth's disk, that capture day and night variations, and all phase angles. The Moon is a unique platform from where the Earth can be observed as an exoplanet, undisturbed, all of the time. Here, we present LOUPE, the Lunar Observatory for Unresolved Polari...

  5. TWO NEARBY SUB-EARTH-SIZED EXOPLANET CANDIDATES IN THE GJ 436 SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We report the detection of UCF-1.01, a strong exoplanet candidate with a radius 0.66 ± 0.04 times that of Earth (R?). This sub-Earth-sized planet transits the nearby M-dwarf star GJ 436 with a period of 1.365862 ± 8 × 10–6 days. We also report evidence of a 0.65 ± 0.06 R? 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 today, UCF-1.01 and UCF-1.02 would be designated 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?, 2.6 Mars-masses) and surface gravities of ?0.65 g (where g is the gravity on Earth). UCF-1.01's equilibrium temperature (Teq, where emitted and absorbed radiation balance for an equivalent blackbody) is 860 K, making the planet unlikely to harbor life as on Earth. Its weak gravitational field and close proximity to its host star imply that UCF-1.01 is unlikely to have retained its original atmosphere; however, a transient atmosphere is possible if recent impacts or tidal heating were to supply volatiles to the surface. We also present additional observations of itional observations of GJ 436b during secondary eclipse. The 3.6 ?m light curve shows indications of stellar activity, making a reliable secondary eclipse measurement impossible. A second non-detection at 4.5 ?m supports our previous work in which we find a methane-deficient and carbon monoxide-rich dayside atmosphere.

  6. TWO NEARBY SUB-EARTH-SIZED EXOPLANET CANDIDATES IN THE GJ 436 SYSTEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stevenson, Kevin B.; Harrington, Joseph; Lust, Nate B.; Blecic, Jasmina; Hardy, Ryan A.; Cubillos, Patricio; Campo, Christopher J. [Planetary Sciences Group, Department of Physics, University of Central Florida Orlando, FL 32816-2385 (United States); Lewis, Nikole K. [Department of Planetary Sciences and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Montagnier, Guillaume [European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), Casilla 19001, Santiago 19 (Chile); Moses, Julianne I. [Space Science Institute, 4750 Walnut St, Suite 205, Boulder, CO 80301 (United States); Visscher, Channon, E-mail: kevin218@knights.ucf.edu [Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut St., Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States)

    2012-08-10

    We report the detection of UCF-1.01, a strong exoplanet candidate with a radius 0.66 {+-} 0.04 times that of Earth (R{sub Circled-Plus }). This sub-Earth-sized planet transits the nearby M-dwarf star GJ 436 with a period of 1.365862 {+-} 8 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -6} days. We also report evidence of a 0.65 {+-} 0.06 R{sub Circled-Plus} 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 today, UCF-1.01 and UCF-1.02 would be designated 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{sup -3}, we predict both candidates to have similar masses ({approx}0.28 Earth-masses, M{sub Circled-Plus }, 2.6 Mars-masses) and surface gravities of {approx}0.65 g (where g is the gravity on Earth). UCF-1.01's equilibrium temperature (T{sub eq}, where emitted and absorbed radiation balance for an equivalent blackbody) is 860 K, making the planet unlikely to harbor life as on Earth. Its weak gravitational field and close proximity to its host star imply that UCF-1.01 is unlikely to have retained its original atmosphere; however, a transient atmosphere is possible if recent impacts or tidal heating were to supply volatiles to the surface. We also present additional observations of GJ 436b during secondary eclipse. The 3.6 {mu}m light curve shows indications of stellar activity, making a reliable secondary eclipse measurement impossible. A second non-detection at 4.5 {mu}m supports our previous work in which we find a methane-deficient and carbon monoxide-rich dayside atmosphere.

  7. CHEOPS: A transit photometry mission for ESA's small mission programme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Queloz D.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Ground based radial velocity (RV searches continue to discover exoplanets below Neptune mass down to Earth mass. Furthermore, ground based transit searches now reach milli-mag photometric precision and can discover Neptune size planets around bright stars. These searches will find exoplanets around bright stars anywhere on the sky, their discoveries representing prime science targets for further study due to the proximity and brightness of their host stars. A mission for transit follow-up measurements of these prime targets is currently lacking. The first ESA S-class mission CHEOPS (CHaracterizing ExoPlanet Satellite will fill this gap. It will perform ultra-high precision photometric monitoring of selected bright target stars almost anywhere on the sky with sufficient precision to detect Earth sized transits. It will be able to detect transits of RV-planets by photometric monitoring if the geometric configuration results in a transit. For Hot Neptunes discovered from the ground, CHEOPS will be able to improve the transit light curve so that the radius can be determined precisely. Because of the host stars' brightness, high precision RV measurements will be possible for all targets. All planets observed in transit by CHEOPS will be validated and their masses will be known. This will provide valuable data for constraining the mass-radius relation of exoplanets, especially in the Neptune-mass regime. During the planned 3.5 year mission, about 500 targets will be observed. There will be 20% of open time available for the community to develop new science programmes.

  8. CHEOPS: A transit photometry mission for ESA's small mission programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broeg, C.; Fortier, A.; Ehrenreich, D.; Alibert, Y.; Baumjohann, W.; Benz, W.; Deleuil, M.; Gillon, M.; Ivanov, A.; Liseau, R.; Meyer, M.; Oloffson, G.; Pagano, I.; Piotto, G.; Pollacco, D.; Queloz, D.; Ragazzoni, R.; Renotte, E.; Steller, M.; Thomas, N.

    2013-04-01

    Ground based radial velocity (RV) searches continue to discover exoplanets below Neptune mass down to Earth mass. Furthermore, ground based transit searches now reach milli-mag photometric precision and can discover Neptune size planets around bright stars. These searches will find exoplanets around bright stars anywhere on the sky, their discoveries representing prime science targets for further study due to the proximity and brightness of their host stars. A mission for transit follow-up measurements of these prime targets is currently lacking. The first ESA S-class mission CHEOPS (CHaracterizing ExoPlanet Satellite) will fill this gap. It will perform ultra-high precision photometric monitoring of selected bright target stars almost anywhere on the sky with sufficient precision to detect Earth sized transits. It will be able to detect transits of RV-planets by photometric monitoring if the geometric configuration results in a transit. For Hot Neptunes discovered from the ground, CHEOPS will be able to improve the transit light curve so that the radius can be determined precisely. Because of the host stars' brightness, high precision RV measurements will be possible for all targets. All planets observed in transit by CHEOPS will be validated and their masses will be known. This will provide valuable data for constraining the mass-radius relation of exoplanets, especially in the Neptune-mass regime. During the planned 3.5 year mission, about 500 targets will be observed. There will be 20% of open time available for the community to develop new science programmes.

  9. The Spectroscopic Orbit of the Planetary Companion Transiting HD209458

    CERN Document Server

    Mazeh, T; Torres, G L; Latham, D W; Mayor, M; Beuzit, J L; Brown, T M; Buchave, L; Burnet, M; Carney, B W; Charbonneau, D; Drukier, G A; Laird, J B; Pepe, F; Perrier, C; Queloz, D; Santos, N C; Sivan, J P; Udry, S; Zucker, S W

    2000-01-01

    We report a spectroscopic orbit with period P = 3.52433 +/- 0.00027 days for the planetary companion that transits the solar-type star HD209458. For the metallicity, mass, and radius of the star we derive [Fe/H] = 0.00 +/- 0.02, M = 1.1 +/- 0.1 solar masses, and R = 1.3 +/- 0.1 solar radii. This is based on a new analysis of the iron lines in our HIRES template spectrum, and also on the absolute magnitude and color of the star, and uses isochrones from four different sets of stellar evolution models. Using these values for the stellar parameters we reanalyze the transit data and derive an orbital inclination of i = 85.2 +/- 1.4 degrees. For the planet we derive a mass of Mp = 0.69 +/- 0.05 Jupiter masses, a radius of Rp = 1.54 +/- 0.18 Jupiter radii, and a density of 0.23 +/- 0.08 grams per cubic cm.

  10. On the environment surrounding close-in exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidotto, A. A.; Fares, R.; Jardine, M.; Moutou, C.; Donati, J.-F.

    2015-06-01

    Exoplanets in extremely close-in orbits are immersed in a local interplanetary medium (i.e. the stellar wind) much denser than the local conditions encountered around the Solar system planets. The environment surrounding these exoplanets also differs in terms of dynamics (slower stellar winds, but higher Keplerian velocities) and ambient magnetic fields (likely higher for host stars more active than the Sun). Here, we quantitatively investigate the nature of the interplanetary media surrounding the hot Jupiters HD 46375b, HD 73256b, HD 102195b, HD 130322b and HD 179949b. We simulate the three-dimensional winds of their host stars, in which we directly incorporate their observed surface magnetic fields. With that, we derive mass-loss rates (1.9-8.0 × 10-13 M? yr-1) and the wind properties at the position of the hot Jupiters' orbits (temperature, velocity, magnetic field intensity and pressure). We show that these exoplanets' orbits are supermagnetosonic, indicating that bow shocks are formed surrounding these planets. Assuming planetary magnetic fields similar to Jupiter's, we estimate planetary magnetospheric sizes of 4.1-5.6 planetary radii. We also derive the exoplanetary radio emission released in the dissipation of the stellar wind energy. We find radio fluxes ranging from 0.02 to 0.13 mJy, which are challenging to be observed with present-day technology, but could be detectable with future higher sensitivity arrays (e.g. Square Kilometre Array). Radio emission from systems having closer hot Jupiters, such as from ? Boo b or HD 189733b, or from nearby planetary systems orbiting young stars, are likely to have higher radio fluxes, presenting better prospects for detecting exoplanetary radio emission.

  11. NEAT: a spatial telescope to detect nearby exoplanets using astrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crouzier, Antoine

    2015-01-01

    With the present state of exoplanet detection techniques, none of the rocky planets of the Solar System would be discovered, yet their presence is a very strong constraint on the scenarios of formation of planetary systems. Astrometry, by measuring the reflex effect of planets on their central host stars, lead us to the mass of planets and to their orbit determination. This technique is used frequently and is very successful to determine the masses and the orbits of binary stars. From space, it is possible to use differential astrometry around nearby Solar-type stars to detect exoplanets down to one Earth mass in habitable zone, where the sensitivity of the technique is optimal. Finding habitable Earths in the Solar neighborhood would be a major step forward for exoplanet detection and these planets would be prime targets for attempting to find life outside of the Solar System, by searching for bio-markers in their atmospheres. A scientific consortium has formed to promote this kind of astrometric space mission. A mission called NEAT (Nearby Earth Astrometric Telescope) has been proposed to ESA in 2010. A laboratory testbed called NEAT-demo was assembled at IPAG, its main goal is to demonstrate CCD detector calibration to the required accuracy. During my PhD, my activities were related to astrophysical aspects as well as instrumental aspects of the mission. Regarding the scientific case, I compiled a catalog of mission target stars and reference stars (needed for the differential astrometric measurements) and I estimated the scientific return of NEAT-like missions in terms of number of detected exoplanets and their parameter distributions. The second aspect of the PhD is relative to the testbed, which mimics the NEAT telescope configuration. I am going to present the testbed itself, the data analysis methods and the results. An accuracy of 3e-4 pixel was obtained for the relative positions of artificial stars and we have determined that measures of pixel positions by the metrology is currently limited by stray light.

  12. New results from the multi-object Keck Exoplanet Tracker

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. C. van Eyken

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The W. M. Keck Exoplanet Tracker is a pre- cision Doppler radial velocity instrument for extrasolar planet detection based on a new technique, dispersed fixed-delay interferome- try (DFDI, which allows for multi-object sur- veying for the first time. Installed at the 2.5- m Sloan telescope at Apache Point Observa- tory, the combination of Michelson interfer- ometer and medium resolution spectrograph (Erskine & Ge 2000; Ge 2002 allows design for simultaneous Doppler measurements of 60 targets (Ge et al. 2005.

  13. Managing the wavefront for exoplanet imaging with a space coronagraph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trauger, John T.; Moody, Dwight; Krist, John; Gordon, Brian

    2015-01-01

    We update the designs, demonstrations, and science prospects for the direct imaging and spectroscopic characterization of exoplanetary systems with the hybrid Lyot coronagraph. We compare model predictions for exoplanet science performance with the flagship AFTA/WFIRST mission and dedicated smaller-class space observatories. Together with a pair of deformable mirrors for optical wavefront control, the hybrid Lyot coronagraph creates high contrast dark fields of view extending to within angular separations of 2.5 lambda/D from the central star at visible wavelengths. Performance metrics and design trades are presented, including image contrast, spectral bandwidth, overall efficiency and throughput, and model-validating laboratory demonstrations.

  14. Uniformly Derived Orbital Parameters of Exo-planets using EXOFIT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balan, S. T.; Lever, G.; Lahav, O.

    2010-10-01

    We present the results from a new systematic study of the radial velocity data of more than 200 planets using the Keplerian orbital fitting program EXOFIT. Based on a Bayesian framework, EXOFIT uses Markov Chain Monte Carlo method to simulate the full posterior distribution of the orbital parameters of extrasolar planets. We discuss the disparity in the eccentricity values obtained by EXOFIT with the published values and the possible reasons for the lower estimates of eccentricity obtained by the EXOFIT. The full details of this work, including an online catalogue of exo-planets with the posterior distributions and the radial velocity plots will appears in Balan, Lever and Lahav (in preparation).

  15. rvfit: Radial velocity curves fitting for binary stars or exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iglesias-Marzoa, Ramón; López-Morales, Mercedes; Jesús Arévalo Morales, María

    2015-05-01

    rvfit, developed in IDL 7.0, fits non-precessing keplerian radial velocity (RV) curves for double-line and single-line binary stars or exoplanets. It fits a simple keplerian model to the observed RV and computes the seven parameters (six for a single-line system) from the model. Some parameters can be fixed beforehand if they are known, for instance, if photometric observations are available. The fit is done using an Adaptive Simulated Annealing algorithm optimized for this specific task. Simulated Annealing methods are powerful heuristic algorithms to minimize functions in multiparametric spaces.

  16. PUMPING THE ECCENTRICITY OF EXOPLANETS BY TIDAL EFFECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Planets close to their host stars are believed to undergo significant tidal interactions, leading to a progressive damping of the orbital eccentricity. Here we show that when the orbit of the planet is excited by an outer companion, tidal effects combined with gravitational interactions may give rise to a secular increasing drift on the eccentricity. As long as this secular drift counterbalances the damping effect, the eccentricity can increase to high values. This mechanism may explain why some of the moderate close-in exoplanets are observed with substantial eccentricity values.

  17. LEECH: A 100 Night Exoplanet Imaging Survey at the LBT

    CERN Document Server

    Skemer, Andrew; Bailey, Vanessa; Biller, Beth; Bonnefoy, Mickael; Brandner, Wolfgang; Buenzli, Esther; Close, Laird; Crepp, Justin; Defrere, Denis; Desidera, Silvano; Eisner, Josh; Esposito, Simone; Fortney, Jonathan; Henning, Thomas; Hinz, Phil; Hofmann, Karl-Heinz; Leisenring, Jarron; Males, Jared; Millan-Gabet, Rafael; Morzinski, Katie; Oza, Apurva; Pascucci, Ilaria; Patience, Jenny; Rieke, George; Schertl, Dieter; Schlieder, Joshua; Skrutskie, Mike; Su, Kate; Weigelt, Gerd; Woodward, Charles E; Zimmerman, Neil

    2014-01-01

    In February 2013, the LEECH (LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt) survey began its 100-night campaign from the Large Binocular Telescope atop Mount Graham in Arizona. LEECH nearly complements other high-contrast planet imaging efforts by observing stars in L' band (3.8 microns) as opposed to the shorter wavelength near-infrared bands (1-2.3 microns). This part of the spectrum offers deeper mass sensitivity for intermediate age (several hundred Myr-old) systems, since their Jovian-mass planets radiate predominantly in the mid-infrared. In this proceedings, we present the science goals for LEECH and a preliminary contrast curve from some early data.

  18. Torque on an exoplanet from an anisotropic evaporative wind

    OpenAIRE

    Teyssandier, Jean; Owen, James E.; Adams, Fred C.; Quillen, Alice C.

    2015-01-01

    Winds from short-period Earth and Neptune mass exoplanets, driven by high energy radiation from a young star, may evaporate a significant fraction of a planet's mass. If the momentum flux from the evaporative wind is not aligned with the planet/star axis, then it can exert a torque on the planet's orbit. Using steady-state one-dimensional evaporative wind models we estimate this torque using a lag angle that depends on the product of the speed of the planet's upper atmospher...

  19. Optical Phase Curves of Kepler Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Esteves, Lisa J; Jayawardhana, Ray

    2013-01-01

    We have conducted a comprehensive search for optical phase variations of all planet candidates with tight orbits in fifteen quarters of data from the Kepler space telescope. After correcting for systematics, we found eight systems that appear to 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 previously 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, day- and night-side temperatures, ellipsoidal variations and Doppler beaming. We find that KOI-64 and KOI-2133 have night-side 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 characteristics of the six other candidates are consistent with their being planets with low geometri...

  20. Water Clouds in Y Dwarfs and Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Morley, Caroline V; Fortney, Jonathan J; Lupu, Roxana; Saumon, Didier; Greene, Tom; Lodders, Katharina

    2014-01-01

    The formation of clouds affects brown dwarf and planetary atmospheres of nearly all effective temperatures. Iron and silicate condense in L dwarf atmospheres and dissipate at the L/T transition. Minor species such as sulfides and salts condense in mid-late T dwarfs. For brown dwarfs below Teff=450 K, water condenses in the upper atmosphere to form ice clouds. Currently over a dozen objects in this temperature range have been discovered, and few previous theoretical studies have addressed the effect of water clouds on brown dwarf or exoplanetary spectra. Here we present a new grid of models that include the effect of water cloud opacity. We find that they become optically thick in objects below Teff=350-375 K. Unlike refractory cloud materials, water ice particles are significantly non-gray absorbers; they predominantly scatter at optical wavelengths through J band and absorb in the infrared with prominent features, the strongest of which is at 2.8 microns. H2O, NH3, CH4, and H2 CIA are dominant opacity source...

  1. Development and Application of Tools to Characterize Transiting Astrophysical Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Béky, Bence

    2014-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanets more than 20 years ago, there has been an increasing need for photometric and spectroscopic models to characterize these systems. While imaging has been used extensively for Solar System bodies and extended objects like galaxies, the small angular extent of typical planetary systems makes it difficult or impossible to resolve them. Spatially integrated observations like measuring the total brightness or spectrum, however, can be conducted at a resonable cost. This thesis focuses on photometric models in the context of transiting systems, which exhibit a number of phenomena that can be exploited for characterization. First, we showcase the popular methods of transiting exoplanet discovery and characterization by ground based observations on the hot Jupiter HAT-P-27b. We demonstrate how transits allow us to constrain planetary mass, radius, and orbital inclination, which would not be possible based only on, for example, radial velocity measurements. Next, we perform r...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, N. P.

    2014-12-01

    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 subjective choice of systematics models and model selection criteria. This paper aims to test the reliability of the most commonly used deterministic systematics models and model selection criteria. As we are primarily interested in recovering light-curve parameters rather than the favoured systematics model, marginalization over systematics models is introduced as a more robust alternative than simple model selection. This can incorporate uncertainties in the choice of systematics model into the error budget as well as the model parameters. Its use is demonstrated using a series of simulated transit light curves. Stochastic models, specifically Gaussian processes, are also discussed in the context of marginalization over systematics models, and are found to reliably recover the transit parameters for a wide range of systematics functions. None of the tested model selection criteria - including the Bayesian information criterion - routinely recovered the correct model. This means that commonly used methods that are based on simple model selection may underestimate the uncertainties when extracting transmission and eclipse spectra from real data, and low significance claims using such techniques should be treated with caution. In general, no systematics modelling techniques are perfect; however, marginalization over many systematics models helps to mitigate poor model selection, and stochastic processes provide an even more flexible approach to modelling instrumental systematics.

  3. A Hubble Space Telescope Search for a Sub-Earth-sized Exoplanet in the GJ 436 System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Kevin B.; Bean, Jacob L.; Fabrycky, Daniel; Kreidberg, Laura

    2014-11-01

    The detection of small planets orbiting nearby stars is an important step toward the identification of Earth twins. In previous work using the Spitzer Space Telescope, we found evidence to support at least one sub-Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting the nearby mid-M dwarf star GJ 436. As a follow up, here we used the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to investigate the existence of one of these candidate planets, UCF-1.01, by searching for two transit signals as it passed in front of its host star. Interpretation of the data hinges critically on correctly modeling and removing the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument systematics from the light curves. Building on previous HST work, we demonstrate that WFC3 analyses need to explore the use of a quadratic function to fit a visit-long time-dependent systematic. This is important for establishing absolute transit and eclipse depths in the white light curves of all transiting systems. The work presented here exemplifies this point by putatively detecting the primary transit of UCF-1.01 with the use of a linear trend. However, using a quadratic trend, we achieve a better fit to the white light curves and a reduced transit depth that is inconsistent with previous Spitzer measurements. Furthermore, quadratic trends with or without a transit model component produce comparable fits to the available data. Using extant WFC3 transit light curves for GJ 436b, we further validate the quadratic model component by achieving photon-limited model fit residuals and consistent transit depths over multiple epochs. We conclude that, when we fit for a quadratic trend, our new data contradict the prediction of a sub-Earth-sized planet orbiting GJ 436 with the size, period, and ephemeris posited from the Spitzer data by a margin of 3.1?.

  4. Transit spectroscopy with GTC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osorio M.R. Zapatero

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Thanks to different ground-based surveys and space missions, nowadays we have a fairly large sample of discovered extra-solar planets to study and, without a doubt, this number will increase in the future. One of the most succesful techniques that allows us to prove the physical properties and atmospheric composition of these exoplanets is transmission spectroscopy. The level of precision that is require to measure these effects provides a technical challenge that is solved by using big telescopes and stable instruments to reach low noise levels. In this article, we will discuss the use of the 10m class telescope GTC to observed planetary transits in spectroscopic mode and some of the results that we are currently obtaining.

  5. Water clouds in Y dwarfs and exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The formation of clouds affects brown dwarf and planetary atmospheres of nearly all effective temperatures. Iron and silicate condense in L dwarf atmospheres and dissipate at the L/T transition. Minor species such as sulfides and salts condense in mid- to late T dwarfs. For brown dwarfs below T eff ? 450 K, water condenses in the upper atmosphere to form ice clouds. Currently, over a dozen objects in this temperature range have been discovered, and few previous theoretical studies have addressed the effect of water clouds on brown dwarf or exoplanetary spectra. Here we present a new grid of models that include the effect of water cloud opacity. We find that they become optically thick in objects below T eff ? 350-375 K. Unlike refractory cloud materials, water-ice particles are significantly nongray absorbers; they predominantly scatter at optical wavelengths through the J band and absorb in the infrared with prominent features, the strongest of which is at 2.8 ?m. H2O, NH3, CH4, and H2 CIA are dominant opacity sources; less abundant species may also be detectable, including the alkalis, H2S, and PH3. PH3, which has been detected in Jupiter, is expected to have a strong signature in the mid-infrared at 4.3 ?m in Y dwarfs around T eff = 450 K; if disequilibrium chemistry increases the abundance of PH3, it may be detectable over a wider effective temperature range than models predict. We show results incorporating disequilibrium nitrogen and carbon chemistry and predict signatures of low gravity in planetary mass objects. Finally, we make predictions for the observability of Y dwarfs and planets with existing and future instruments, including the James Webb Space Telescope and Gemini Planet Imager.

  6. Water clouds in Y dwarfs and exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morley, Caroline V.; Fortney, Jonathan J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Marley, Mark S.; Lupu, Roxana; Greene, Tom [NASA Ames Research Center, Naval Air Station, Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA 94035 (United States); Saumon, Didier [Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States); Lodders, Katharina, E-mail: cmorley@ucolick.org [Washington University in St Louis, 1 Brookings Drive, St Louis, MO 63130 (United States)

    2014-05-20

    The formation of clouds affects brown dwarf and planetary atmospheres of nearly all effective temperatures. Iron and silicate condense in L dwarf atmospheres and dissipate at the L/T transition. Minor species such as sulfides and salts condense in mid- to late T dwarfs. For brown dwarfs below T {sub eff} ? 450 K, water condenses in the upper atmosphere to form ice clouds. Currently, over a dozen objects in this temperature range have been discovered, and few previous theoretical studies have addressed the effect of water clouds on brown dwarf or exoplanetary spectra. Here we present a new grid of models that include the effect of water cloud opacity. We find that they become optically thick in objects below T {sub eff} ? 350-375 K. Unlike refractory cloud materials, water-ice particles are significantly nongray absorbers; they predominantly scatter at optical wavelengths through the J band and absorb in the infrared with prominent features, the strongest of which is at 2.8 ?m. H{sub 2}O, NH{sub 3}, CH{sub 4}, and H{sub 2} CIA are dominant opacity sources; less abundant species may also be detectable, including the alkalis, H{sub 2}S, and PH{sub 3}. PH{sub 3}, which has been detected in Jupiter, is expected to have a strong signature in the mid-infrared at 4.3 ?m in Y dwarfs around T {sub eff} = 450 K; if disequilibrium chemistry increases the abundance of PH{sub 3}, it may be detectable over a wider effective temperature range than models predict. We show results incorporating disequilibrium nitrogen and carbon chemistry and predict signatures of low gravity in planetary mass objects. Finally, we make predictions for the observability of Y dwarfs and planets with existing and future instruments, including the James Webb Space Telescope and Gemini Planet Imager.

  7. A Hubble Space Telescope Search for a Sub-Earth-Sized Exoplanet in the GJ 436 System

    CERN Document Server

    Stevenson, Kevin B; Fabrycky, Daniel; Kreidberg, Laura

    2014-01-01

    The detection of small planets orbiting nearby stars is an important step towards the identification of Earth twins. In previous work using the Spitzer Space Telescope, we found evidence to support at least one sub-Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting the nearby mid-M dwarf star GJ 436. As a follow up, here we used the Hubble Space Telescope to investigate the existence of one of these candidate planets, UCF-1.01, by searching for two transit signals as it passed in front of its host star. Interpretation of the data hinges critically on correctly modeling and removing the WFC3 instrument systematics from the light curves. Building on previous HST work, we demonstrate that WFC3 analyses need to explore the use of a quadratic function to fit a visit-long time-dependent systematic. This is important for establishing absolute transit and eclipse depths in the white light curves of all transiting systems. The work presented here exemplifies this point by putatively detecting the primary transit of UCF-1.01 with the use ...

  8. CoRoT-22 b: a validated 4.9 RE exoplanet in 10-day orbit

    CERN Document Server

    Moutou, C; Diaz, R F; Alonso, R; Deleuil, M; Guenther, E; Pasternacki, T; Aigrain, S; Baglin, A; Barge, P; Bonomo, A; Borde, P; Bouchy, F; Cabrera, J; Carpano, S; Cochran, W; Csizmadia, Sz; Deeg, H; Dvorak, R; Endl, M; Erikson, A; Ferraz-Mello, S; Gandolfi, D; Guillot, T; Artzes, A; Hebrard, G; Lovis, C; Lammer, H; McQueen, P; Mazeh, T; Ofir, A; Ollivier, M; Paetzold, M; Rauer, H; Rouan, D; Santerne, A; Schneider, J; Tingley, B; Wuchterl, G

    2014-01-01

    The CoRoT satellite has provided high-precision photometric light curves for more than 163,000 stars and found several hundreds of transiting systems compatible with a planetary scenario. If ground-based velocimetric observations are the best way to identify the actual planets among many possible configurations of eclipsing binary systems, recent transit surveys have shown that it is not always within reach of the radial-velocity detection limits. In this paper, we present a transiting exoplanet candidate discovered by CoRoT whose nature cannot be established from ground-based observations, and where extensive analyses are used to validate the planet scenario. They are based on observing constraints from radial-velocity spectroscopy, adaptive optics imaging and the CoRoT transit shape, as well as from priors on stellar populations, planet and multiple stellar systems frequency. We use the fully Bayesian approach developed in the PASTIS analysis software, and conclude that the planet scenario is at least 1400 ...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Lin, Henry W; Loeb, Abraham

    2014-01-01

    Detecting biomarkers, such as molecular oxygen, 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 biomarker 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 Space Telescope (JWST). We estimate that for an Earth-mass planet in the habitable zone of a white dwarf, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) can be detected at earth-like concentrations with an integration time of ~1.5 hrs and 12 hrs respectively. Detecting pollutants that are produced nearly exclusively by anthropogenic activities will be significantly more challenging. Of these pollutants, we focus on tetrafluoromethane (CF4) and trichlorofluoromethane (CCl3F), which will be the easiest to detect. We estimate that ~1.5 days (~3 days) of total integration time will be sufficie...

  10. Precise Radius Estimates for the Exoplanets WASP-1b and WASP-2b

    CERN Document Server

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

    2006-01-01

    We present precise z-band photometric time series spanning times of transit of the two exoplanets recently discovered by the SuperWASP collaboration. We find planetary radii of 1.44 +/- 0.08 R_J and 1.04 +/- 0.06 R_J for WASP-1b and WASP-2b, respectively. These error estimates include both random errors in the photometry and also the uncertainty in the stellar masses. Our results are 5 times more precise than the values derived from the discovery data alone. Our measurement of the radius of WASP-2b agrees with previously published models of hot Jupiters that include both a 20-M_Earth core of solid material and the effects of stellar insolation. In contrast, we find that the models cannot account for the large size of WASP-1b, even if the planet has no core. Thus, we add WASP-1b to the growing list of hot Jupiters that are larger than expected. This suggests that ``inflated'' hot Jupiters are more common than previously thought, and that any purported explanations involving highly unusual circumstances are dis...

  11. Primary and secondary eclipse spectroscopy with JWST: exploring the exoplanet parameter space

    CERN Document Server

    Belu, A R; Morales, J-C; Ribas, I; Cossou, C; Rauer, H

    2010-01-01

    Eclipse exoplanet spectroscopy has yielded detection of H_2O, CH_4, CO_2 and CO in the atmosphere of hot jupiters and neptunes. About 40 large terrestrial planets are announced or confirmed, two of which are transiting, and another deemed habitable. Hence the potential for eclipse spectroscopy of terrestrial planets with James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has become an active field of study. We explore the parameter space (type of stars, planet orbital periods and types, and instruments/wavelengths) in terms of the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) achievable on the detection of spectroscopic features. We use analytic formula and model data for both the astrophysical scene and the instrument, to plot S/N contour maps, while indicating how the S/N scales with the fixed parameters. We systematically compare stellar photon noise-only figures with ones including detailed instrumental and zodiacal noises. Likelihood of occurring targets is based both on model and catalog star population of the solar neighborhood. The 9.6...

  12. Exoplanet Atmospheres: From Light-Curve Analyses to Radiative-Transfer Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubillos, Patricio; Harrington, Joseph; Blecic, Jasmina; Rojo, Patricio; Stemm, Madison; Lust, Nathaniel B.; Foster, Andrew S.; Loredo, Thomas J.

    2015-01-01

    Multi-wavelength transit and secondary-eclipse light-curve observations are some of the most powerful techniques to probe the thermo-chemical properties of exoplanets. Although the small planet-to-star constrast ratios demand a meticulous data analysis, and the limited available spectral bands can further restrain constraints, a Bayesian approach can robustly reveal what constraints can we set, given the data.We review the main aspects considered during the analysis of Spitzer time-series data by our group with an aplication to WASP-8b and TrES-1. We discuss the applicability and limitations of the most commonly used correlated-noise estimators. We describe our open-source Bayesian Atmospheric Radiative Transfer (BART) code. BART calculates the planetary emission or transmission spectrum by solving a 1D line-by-line radiative-transfer equation. The generated spectra are integrated over determined bandpasses for comparison to the data. Coupled to our Multi-core Markov-chain Monte Carlo (MC3) statistical package, BART constrains the temperature profile and chemical abundances in the planet's atmosphere. We apply the BART retrieval code to the HD 209458b data set to estimate the planet's temperature profile and molecular abundances.This work was supported by NASA Planetary Atmospheres grant NNX12AI69G and NASA Astrophysics Data Analysis Program grant NNX13AF38G. JB holds a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship.

  13. The prevalence of dust on the exoplanet HD 189733b from Hubble and Spitzer observations

    CERN Document Server

    Pont, F; Gibson, N P; Aigrain, S; Henry, G; Husnoo, N

    2012-01-01

    The hot Jupiter HD189733b is the most extensively observed exoplanet. Its atmosphere has been detected and characterised in transmission and eclipse spectroscopy, and its phase curve measured at several wavelengths. This paper brings together the results of our campaign to obtain the complete transmission spectrum of the atmosphere of this planet from UV to IR with HST, using the STIS, ACS and WFC3 instruments. We provide a new transmission spectrum across the entire visible and infrared range. The radius ratio in each wavelength band was re-derived, where necessary, to ensure a consistent treatment of the bulk transit parameters and stellar limb-darkening. Special care was taken to correct for both occulted and unocculted star spots, and derive realistic uncertainties. The combined spectrum is very different from the predictions of cloud-free models; it is dominated by Rayleigh scattering over the whole visible and NIR range, the only detected features being narrow Na and K lines. We interpret this as the si...

  14. SPEED: the segmented pupil experiment for exoplanet detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, P.; Preis, Olivier; Gouvret, C.; Dejonghe, J.; Daban, J.-B.; Spang, A.; Martinache, F.; Beaulieu, M.; Janin-Potiron, P.; Abe, L.; Fantei-Caujolle, Y.; Mattei, D.; Ottogalli, S.

    2014-07-01

    Searching for nearby exoplanets with direct imaging is one of the major scientific drivers for both space and groundbased programs. While the second generation of dedicated high-contrast instruments on 8-m class telescopes is about to greatly expand the sample of directly imaged planets, exploring the planetary parameter space to hitherto-unseen regions ideally down to Terrestrial planets is a major technological challenge for the forthcoming decades. This requires increasing spatial resolution and significantly improving high contrast imaging capabilities at close angular separations. Segmented telescopes offer a practical path toward dramatically enlarging telescope diameter from the ground (ELTs), or achieving optimal diameter in space. However, translating current technological advances in the domain of highcontrast imaging for monolithic apertures to the case of segmented apertures is far from trivial. SPEED - the segmented pupil experiment for exoplanet detection - is a new instrumental facility in development at the Lagrange laboratory for enabling strategies and technologies for high-contrast instrumentation with segmented telescopes. SPEED combines wavefront control including precision segment phasing architectures, wavefront shaping using two sequential high order deformable mirrors for both phase and amplitude control, and advanced coronagraphy struggled to very close angular separations (PIAACMC). SPEED represents significant investments and technology developments towards the ELT area and future spatial missions, and will offer an ideal cocoon to pave the road of technological progress in both phasing and high-contrast domains with complex/irregular apertures. In this paper, we describe the overall design and philosophy of the SPEED bench.

  15. MAGNETIC SCALING LAWS FOR THE ATMOSPHERES OF HOT GIANT EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We present scaling laws for advection, radiation, magnetic drag, and ohmic dissipation in the atmospheres of hot giant exoplanets. In the limit of weak thermal ionization, ohmic dissipation increases with the planetary equilibrium temperature (Teq ?> 1000 K) faster than the insolation power does, eventually reaching values ?> 1% of the insolation power, which may be sufficient to inflate the radii of hot Jupiters. At higher Teq values still magnetic drag rapidly brakes the atmospheric winds, which reduces the associated ohmic dissipation power. For example, for a planetary field strength B = 10 G, the fiducial scaling laws indicate that ohmic dissipation exceeds 1% of the insolation power over the equilibrium temperature range Teq ? 1300-2000 K, with a peak contribution at Teq ? 1600 K. Evidence for magnetically dragged winds at the planetary thermal photosphere could emerge in the form of reduced longitudinal offsets for the dayside infrared hotspot. This suggests the possibility of an anticorrelation between the amount of hotspot offset and the degree of radius inflation, linking the atmospheric and interior properties of hot giant exoplanets in an observationally testable way. While providing a useful framework to explore the magnetic scenario, the scaling laws also reveal strong parameter dependencies, in particular with respect to the unknown planetary magnetic field strength.

  16. Biosignature Gases in H2-Dominated Atmospheres on Rocky Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Seager, S; Hu, R

    2013-01-01

    (Abridged) 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, by using a model atmosphere with photochemistry, and biomass estimate framework for evaluating the plausibilty 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 in an H2 atmosphere is closely analogous to the case of oxidized atmosp...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiseman, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Terrestrial, Habitable-Zone Exoplanet Frequency from Kepler

    CERN Document Server

    Traub, Wesley A

    2011-01-01

    Data from Kepler's first 136 days of operation are analyzed to determine the distribution of exoplanets with respect to radius, period, and host-star spectral type. The analysis is extrapolated to estimate the percentage of terrestrial, habitable-zone exoplanets. The Kepler census is assumed to be complete for bright stars (magnitude 0.5 Earth radius and periods <42 days. It is also assumed that the size distribution of planets is independent of orbital period, and that there are no hidden biases in the data. Six significant statistical results are found: there is a paucity of small planet detections around faint target stars, probably an instrumental effect; the frequency of mid-size planet detections is independent of whether the host star is bright or faint; there are significantly fewer planets detected with periods <3 days, compared to longer periods, almost certainly an astrophysical effect; the frequency of all planets in the population with periods <42 days is 29%, broken down as terrestrials...

  19. Radio observations of the brown dwarf- exoplanet boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Route, Matthew Philip

    Although exoplanets and brown dwarfs have been hypothesized to exist for many years, it was only in the last two decades that their existence has been directly verified. Since then, a large number of both types of substellar objects have been discovered; they have been studied, characterized, and classified. Yet knowledge of their magnetic properties remains difficult to obtain. Only radio emission provides a plausible means to study the magnetism of these cool objects. At the initiation of this research project, not a single exoplanet had been detected in the radio, and only a handful of radio emitting brown dwarfs were known. This project was launched to attempt to detect emission from brown dwarfs cooler than spectral type L3.5, the coolest brown dwarf detected prior to this project, and also to attempt to discover radio emission from nearby exoplanets. These objects are known to emit radio waves via the gyrosynchrotron and electron cyclotron maser instability mechanisms. By analyzing flaring radio emission from these objects, we would therefore gain insight into their magnetic field properties and the characteristics of the surrounding plasma environment. This dissertation presents the results from surveys of 33 brown dwarfs, 18 exoplanetary systems, and one additional M dwarf for flaring radio emission, conducted with the 305-m Arecibo radio telescope at a center frequency of 4.75 GHz using the broadband, fast-sampled Mock spectrometer. During the course of these surveys, we failed to detect flaring radio emission from any exoplanets, including the young exoplanetary system HR 8799, which theoretical work indicated may have strong magnetic fields capable of generating radio emission at gigahertz frequencies due to their relatively hot temperatures and high masses. Such a detection would provide an exciting alternative to the previous unsuccessful low radio frequency searches for the emission from exoplanets orbiting middle-aged, solar type stars. Among the brown dwarfs we examined, many were not observed to emit bursts of radio emission, with a successful detection rate of 6%. However, we have detected flaring radio emission from four ultracool dwarfs, two of which are new: the L1 dwarf J1439284+192915 and the T6.5 dwarf J10475385+2124234. Among the two known sources that we have detected, J07464256+2000321, an L dwarf binary system, and TVLM 513-46546, a periodically emitting M9 dwarf, we have conducted a lengthy observing campaign of the latter. These observations allow for an unprecedented examination of the burst morphology of the source in time and frequency domains over several years. Our investigation of this source has also resulted in the tantalizing possibility that the temporal properties of the radio bursts go through cycles over the course of months. The discovery of J1047+21 dramatically extends the temperature range over which brown dwarfs appear to be at least sporadic radio-emitters, from ˜1,900 K (L3.5) down to ˜900 K (T6.5). Follow up observations of this object indicate that while it has detectable quiescent emission, its flaring behavior appears to lack any periodic component. The detection of radio emission from J1439+19, while tentative, is potentially significant due to its relatively slow rotation, which may have implications for dynamo generation theory.

  20. Worlds Beyond: A Strategy for the Detection and Characterization of Exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lunine, J; Fischer, D; Hammel, H; Hillenbrand, L; Kasting, J; Laughlin, G; Macintosh, B; Marley, M; Melnick, G; Monet, D; Noecker, C; Peale, S; Quirrenbach, A; Seager, S; Winn, J

    2008-06-02

    This report is a comprehensive study of the search for and study of planets around other stars (exoplanets). The young but maturing field of exoplanets is perhaps one of the most compelling fields of study in science today--both because of the discoveries made to date on giant planets around other stars, and because the detection of planets just like our Earth ('Earth analogs') is at last within reach technologically. In the Report we outline the need for a vigorous research program in exoplanets to understand our place in the cosmos: whether planets like our home Earth are a common or rare outcome of cosmic evolution. The strategy we developed is intended to address the following fundamental questions, in priority order, within three distinct 5-yr long phases, over a 15 year period: (1) What are the physical characteristics of planets in the habitable zones around bright, nearby stars? (2) What is the architecture of planetary systems? (3) When, how and in what environments are planets formed? The Report recommends a two-pronged strategy for the detection and characterization of planets the size of the Earth. For stars much less massive and cooler than our Sun (M-dwarfs), existing ground-based techniques including radial velocity and transit searches, and space-based facilities both existing and under development such as Spitzer and JWST, are adequate for finding and studying planets close to the mass and size of the Earth. Conducted in parallel with the M-dwarf strategy is one for the more challenging observations of the hotter and brighter F, G, and K stars, some of which are very close in properties to our Sun, in which the frequency of Earth-sized planets is assessed with Corot and Kepler, but new space missions are required for detection and study of specific Earth-mass and Earth-sized objects. Our Task Force concludes that the development of a space-based astrometric mission, narrowly-focused to identify specific nearby stars with Earth-mass planets, followed by direct detection and study via a spaceborne coronagraph/occulter or interferometric mission, is the most robust approach to pursue. Ground and space-based microlensing programs pursued in parallel would provide complementary information on planetary system architectures on galactic scales. The program for F, G, and K stars must be preceded, at the beginning of the strategy, by broad yet detailed technical assessments to determine whether the astrometric and direct detection technologies will be ready in the time frames envisioned (the second and third 5-yr periods, respectively). Also measurement of dust around nearby candidate stars must be undertaken early to determine whether typical systems are clean enough to make direct detection feasible. Alternative strategies are discussed should problems arise in any of these areas. Finally, the Task Force lays out recommended programs in ground-based observations of larger planets, of planet-forming disks, and theoretical and laboratory studies crucial to interpreting and understanding the outcome of the planet search and characterization observations.