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Sample records for corot exoplanet host

  1. 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 first 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.

  2. Classification of COROT Exoplanet Light Curves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Debosscher, J.; Aerts, C.C.; Vandenbussche, B.

    2006-01-01

    We present methodology to achieve the automated variability classification of stars based on photometric time series. Our work is done in the framework of the COROT space mission to be launched in 2006, but will also be applicable to data of the future Gaia satellite. We developed routines that are

  3. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ollivier, M.; Gillon, M.; Santerne, A.

    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......RoT-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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  5. CoRoT-2b: a Tidally Inflated, Young Exoplanet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillot, Tristan; Havel, M.

    2009-09-01

    CoRoT-2b is among the most anomalously large transiting exoplanet known. Due to its large mass (3.3 Mjup), its large radius ( 1.5 Rjup) cannot be explained by standard evolution models. Recipes that work for other anomalously large exoplanets (e.g. HD209458b), such as invoking kinetic energy transport in the planetary interior or increased opacities, clearly fail for CoRoT-2b. Interestingly, the planet's parent star is an active star with a large fraction (7 to 20%) of spots and a rapid rotation (4.5 days). We first model the star's evolution to accurately constrain the planetary parameters. We find that the stellar activity has little influence on the star's evolution and inferred parameters. However, stellar evolution models point towards two kind of solutions for the star-planet system: (i) a very young system (20-40 Ma) with a star still undergoing pre-main sequence contraction, and a planet which could have a radius as low as 1.4 Rjup, or (ii) a young main-sequence star (40 to 500 Ma) with a planet that is slightly more inflated ( 1.5 Rjup). In either case, planetary evolution models require a significant added internal energy to explain the inferred planet size: from a minimum of 3x1028 erg/s in case (i), to up to 1.5x1029 erg/s in case (ii). We find that evolution models consistently including planet/star tides are able to reproduce the inferred radius but only for a short period of time ( 10 Ma). This points towards a young age for the star/planet system and dissipation by tides due to either circularization or synchronization of the planet. Additional observations of the star (infrared excess due to disk?) and of the planet (precise Rossiter effect, IR secondary eclispe) would be highly valuable to understand the early evolution of star-exoplanet systems.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rouan, D.; Parviainen, H.; Moutou, C.

    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...... 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...... 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Léger, A.; Rouan, D.; Schneider, J.; Barge, P.; Fridlund, M.; Samuel, B.; Ollivier, M.; Guenther, E.; Deleuil, M.; Deeg, H. J.; Auvergne, M.; Alonso, R.; Aigrain, S.; Alapini, A.; Almenara, J. M.; Baglin, A.; Barbieri, M.; Bruntt, H.; Bordé, 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.; Pätzold, M.; Pont, F.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Renner, S.; Samadi, R.; Shporer, A.; Sotin, Ch.; Tingley, B.; Wuchterl, G.; Adda, M.; Agogu, P.; Appourchaux, T.; Ballans, H.; Baron, P.; Beaufort, T.; Bellenger, R.; Berlin, R.; Bernardi, P.; Blouin, D.; Baudin, F.; Bodin, P.; Boisnard, L.; Boit, L.; Bonneau, F.; Borzeix, S.; Briet, R.; Buey, J.-T.; Butler, B.; Cailleau, D.; Cautain, R.; Chabaud, P.-Y.; Chaintreuil, S.; Chiavassa, F.; Costes, V.; Cuna Parrho, V.; de Oliveira Fialho, F.; Decaudin, M.; Defise, J.-M.; Djalal, S.; Epstein, G.; Exil, G.-E.; Fauré, C.; Fenouillet, T.; Gaboriaud, A.; Gallic, A.; Gamet, P.; Gavalda, P.; Grolleau, E.; Gruneisen, R.; Gueguen, L.; Guis, V.; Guivarc'h, V.; Guterman, P.; Hallouard, D.; Hasiba, J.; Heuripeau, F.; Huntzinger, G.; Hustaix, H.; Imad, C.; Imbert, C.; Johlander, B.; Jouret, M.; Journoud, P.; Karioty, F.; Kerjean, L.; Lafaille, V.; Lafond, L.; Lam-Trong, T.; Landiech, P.; Lapeyrere, V.; Larqué, T.; Laudet, P.; Lautier, N.; Lecann, H.; Lefevre, L.; Leruyet, B.; Levacher, P.; Magnan, A.; Mazy, E.; Mertens, F.; Mesnager, J.-M.; Meunier, J.-C.; Michel, J.-P.; Monjoin, W.; Naudet, D.; Nguyen-Kim, K.; Orcesi, J.-L.; Ottacher, H.; Perez, R.; Peter, G.; Plasson, P.; Plesseria, J.-Y.; Pontet, B.; Pradines, A.; Quentin, C.; Reynaud, J.-L.; Rolland, G.; Rollenhagen, F.; Romagnan, R.; Russ, N.; Schmidt, R.; Schwartz, N.; Sebbag, I.; Sedes, G.; Smit, H.; Steller, M. B.; Sunter, W.; Surace, C.; Tello, M.; Tiphène, D.; Toulouse, P.; Ulmer, B.; Vandermarcq, O.; Vergnault, E.; Vuillemin, A.; Zanatta, P.

    2009-10-01

    Aims: We report the discovery of very shallow (Δ F/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 caused by 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 used CoRoT colours 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 were derived from optical spectra, which were then combined with the CoRoT light curve to derive parameters of the companion. Results: We examined all conceivable cases of false positives carefully, and all the tests support the planetary hypothesis. Blends with separation >0.40´´or triple systems are almost excluded with a 8 × 10-4 risk left. We conclude that, inasmuch we have been exhaustive, we have discovered a planetary companion, named CoRoT-7b, for which we derive a period of 0.853 59 ± 3 × 10-5 day and a radius of Rp = 1.68 ± 0.09 R_Earth. Analysis of preliminary radial velocity data yields an upper limit of 21 M_Earth for the companion mass, supporting the finding. Conclusions: CoRoT-7b is very likely the first Super-Earth with a measured radius. This object illustrates what will probably become a common situation with missions such as Kepler, namely the need to establish the planetary origin of transits in the absence of a firm radial velocity detection and mass measurement. The composition of CoRoT-7b remains loosely constrained without a precise mass. A very high surface temperature on its irradiated face, ≈1800-2600 K at the substellar point, and a very low one, ≈50 K, on its dark face assuming no atmosphere, have been derived. The CoRoT space mission, launched on 27

  8. Radial velocity follow-up of CoRoT transiting exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deleuil M.

    2011-02-01

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

  9. Preferred Hosts for Short-Period Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Characteristics of solar-like oscillations in red giants observed in the CoRoT exoplanet field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hekker, S.; Kallinger, T.; Baudin, F.; De Ridder, J.; Barban, C.; Carrier, F.; Hatzes, A. P.; Weiss, W. W.; Baglin, A.

    2009-10-01

    Context: Observations during the first long run (~150 days) in the exo-planet field of CoRoT increase the number of G-K giant stars for which solar-like oscillations are observed by a factor of 100. This opens the possibility to study the characteristics of their oscillations in a statistical sense. Aims: We aim to understand the statistical distribution of the frequencies of maximum oscillation power (ν_max) in red giants and to search for a possible correlation between ν_max and the large separation (Δ ν). Methods: Red giants with detectable solar-like oscillations are identified using both semi-automatic and manual procedures. For these stars, we determine ν_max as the centre of a Gaussian fit to the oscillation power excess. For the determination of Δ ν, we use the autocorrelation of the Fourier spectra, the comb response function and the power spectrum of the power spectrum. Results: The resulting ν_max distribution shows a pronounced peak between 20-40 μHz. For about half of the stars we obtain Δ ν with at least two methods. The correlation between ν_max and Δ ν follows the same scaling relation as inferred for solar-like stars. Conclusions: The shape of the ν_max distribution can partly be explained by granulation at low frequencies and by white noise at high frequencies, but the population density of the observed stars turns out to be also an important factor. From the fact that the correlation between Δ ν and ν_max for red giants follows the same scaling relation as obtained for sun-like stars, we conclude that the sound travel time over the pressure scale height of the atmosphere scales with the sound travel time through the whole star irrespective of evolution. The fraction of stars for which we determine Δ ν does not correlate with ν_max in the investigated frequency range, which confirms theoretical predictions. The CoRoT space mission which was developed and is operated by the French space agency CNES, with participation of ESA

  11. Stellar Companions of Exoplanet Host Stars in K2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matson, Rachel; Howell, Steve; Horch, Elliott; Everett, Mark

    2018-01-01

    Stellar multiplicity has significant implications for the detection and characterization of exoplanets. A stellar companion can mimic the signal of a transiting planet or distort the true planetary radii, leading to improper density estimates and over-predicting the occurrence rates of Earth-sized planets. Determining the fraction of exoplanet host stars that are also binaries allows us to better determine planetary characteristics as well as establish the relationship between binarity and planet formation. Using high-resolution speckle imaging to obtain diffraction limited images of K2 planet candidate host stars we detect stellar companions within one arcsec and up to six magnitudes fainter than the host star. By comparing our observed companion fraction to TRILEGAL star count simulations, and using the known detection limits of speckle imaging, we find the binary fraction of K2 planet host stars to be similar to that of Kepler host stars and solar-type field stars. Accounting for stellar companions in exoplanet studies is therefore essential for deriving true stellar and planetary properties as well as maximizing the returns for TESS and future exoplanet missions.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pätzold, M.; Endl, M.; Csizmadia, Sz.

    2012-01-01

    -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...

  13. KEPLER EXOPLANET CANDIDATE HOST STARS ARE PREFERENTIALLY METAL RICH

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schlaufman, Kevin C.; Laughlin, Gregory

    2011-01-01

    We find that Kepler exoplanet candidate (EC) host stars are preferentially metal rich, including the low-mass stellar hosts of small-radius ECs. The last observation confirms a tentative hint that there is a correlation between the metallicity of low-mass stars and the presence of low-mass and small-radius exoplanets. In particular, we compare the J-H-g-r color-color distribution of Kepler EC host stars with a control sample of dwarf stars selected from the ∼150, 000 stars observed during Q1 and Q2 of the Kepler mission but with no detected planets. We find that at J - H = 0.30 characteristic of solar-type stars, the average g-r color of stars that host giant ECs is 4σ redder than the average color of the stars in the control sample. At the same J - H color, the average g-r color of solar-type stars that host small-radius ECs is indistinguishable from the average color of the stars in the control sample. In addition, we find that at J - H = 0.62 indicative of late K dwarfs, the average g-r color of stars that host small-radius ECs is 4σ redder than the average color of the stars in the control sample. These offsets are unlikely to be caused by differential reddening, age differences between the two populations, or the presence of giant stars in the control sample. Stellar models suggest that the first color offset is due to a 0.2 dex enhancement in [Fe/H] of the giant EC host population at M * ∼ 1 M sun , while Sloan photometry of M 67 and NGC 6791 suggests that the second color offset is due to a similar [Fe/H] enhancement of the small-radius EC host population at M * ∼ 0.7 M sun . These correlations are a natural consequence of the core-accretion model of planet formation.

  14. The Ultraviolet Radiation Environment around M Dwarf Exoplanet Host Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    France, Kevin; Froning, Cynthia S.; Linsky, Jeffrey L.; Roberge, Aki; Stocke, John T.; Tian, Feng; Bushinsky, Rachel; Desert, Jean-Michel; Mauas, Pablo; Mauas, Pablo; hide

    2013-01-01

    The spectral and temporal behavior of exoplanet host stars is a critical input to models of the chemistry and evolution of planetary atmospheres. Ultraviolet photons influence the atmospheric temperature profiles and production of potential biomarkers on Earth-like planets around these stars. At present, little observational or theoretical basis exists for understanding the ultraviolet spectra of M dwarfs, despite their critical importance to predicting and interpreting the spectra of potentially habitable planets as they are obtained in the coming decades. Using observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, we present a study of the UV radiation fields around nearby M dwarf planet hosts that covers both far-UV (FUV) and near-UV (NUV) wavelengths. The combined FUV+NUV spectra are publicly available in machine-readable format. We find that all six exoplanet host stars in our sample (GJ 581, GJ 876, GJ 436, GJ 832, GJ 667C, and GJ 1214) exhibit some level of chromospheric and transition region UV emission. No "UV-quiet" M dwarfs are observed. The bright stellar Lyman-alpha emission lines are reconstructed, and we find that the Lyman-alpha line fluxes comprise approximately 37%-75% of the total 1150-3100 A flux from most M dwarfs; approximately greater than 10(exp3) times the solar value. We develop an empirical scaling relation between Lyman-alpha and Mg II emission, to be used when interstellar H I attenuation precludes the direct observation of Lyman-alpha. The intrinsic unreddened flux ratio is F(Lyman-alpha)/F(Mg II) = 10(exp3). The F(FUV)/F(NUV) flux ratio, a driver for abiotic production of the suggested biomarkers O2 and O3, is shown to be approximately 0.5-3 for all M dwarfs in our sample, greather than 10(exp3) times the solar ratio. For the four stars with moderate signal-to-noise Cosmic Origins Spectrograph time-resolved spectra, we find UV emission line variability with amplitudes of 50%.500% on 10(exp2)-10(exp3) s timescales. This effect should be taken

  15. 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

  16. KNOW THE STAR, KNOW THE PLANET. II. SPECKLE INTERFEROMETRY OF EXOPLANET HOST STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mason, Brian D.; Hartkopf, William I.; Raghavan, Deepak; Subasavage, John P.; Roberts, Lewis C.; Turner, Nils H.; Ten Brummelaar, Theo A.

    2011-01-01

    A study of the host stars to exoplanets is important for understanding their environment. To that end, we report new speckle observations of a sample of exoplanet host primaries. The bright exoplanet host HD 8673 (= HIP 6702) is revealed to have a companion, although at this time we cannot definitively establish the companion as physical or optical. The observing lists for planet searches and for these observations have for the most part been pre-screened for known duplicity, so the detected binary fraction is lower than what would otherwise be expected. Therefore, a large number of double stars were observed contemporaneously for verification and quality control purposes, to ensure that the lack of detection of companions for exoplanet hosts was valid. In these additional observations, 10 pairs are resolved for the first time and 60 pairs are confirmed. These observations were obtained with the USNO speckle camera on the NOAO 4 m telescopes at both KPNO and CTIO from 2001 to 2010.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  18. MAGNETIC ACTIVITY CYCLES IN THE EXOPLANET HOST STAR ε ERIDANI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Metcalfe, T. S.; Mathur, S.; Buccino, A. P.; Mauas, P. J. D.; Petrucci, R.; Brown, B. P.; Soderblom, D. R.; Henry, T. J.; Hall, J. C.; Basu, S.

    2013-01-01

    The active K2 dwarf ε Eri has been extensively characterized both as a young solar analog and more recently as an exoplanet host star. As one of the nearest and brightest stars in the sky, it provides an unparalleled opportunity to constrain stellar dynamo theory beyond the Sun. We confirm and document the 3-year magnetic activity cycle in ε Eri originally reported by Hatzes and coworkers, and we examine the archival data from previous observations spanning 45 years. The data show coexisting 3-year and 13-year periods leading into a broad activity minimum that resembles a Maunder minimum-like state, followed by the resurgence of a coherent 3-year cycle. The nearly continuous activity record suggests the simultaneous operation of two stellar dynamos with cycle periods of 2.95 ± 0.03 years and 12.7 ± 0.3 years, which, by analogy with the solar case, suggests a revised identification of the dynamo mechanisms that are responsible for the so-called 'active' and 'inactive' sequences as proposed by Böhm-Vitense. Finally, based on the observed properties of ε Eri, we argue that the rotational history of the Sun is what makes it an outlier in the context of magnetic cycles observed in other stars (as also suggested by its Li depletion), and that a Jovian-mass companion cannot be the universal explanation for the solar peculiarities.

  19. MAGNETIC ACTIVITY CYCLES IN THE EXOPLANET HOST STAR {epsilon} ERIDANI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Metcalfe, T. S.; Mathur, S. [Space Science Institute, 4750 Walnut Street, Suite 205, Boulder, CO 80301 (United States); Buccino, A. P.; Mauas, P. J. D.; Petrucci, R. [Instituto de Astronomia y Fisica del Espacio (CONICET), C.C. 67 Sucursal 28, C1428EHA-Buenos Aires (Argentina); Brown, B. P. [Department of Astronomy and Center for Magnetic Self-Organization, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706-1582 (United States); Soderblom, D. R. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Henry, T. J. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302 (United States); Hall, J. C. [Lowell Observatory, 1400 West Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Basu, S. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, P.O. Box 208101, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States)

    2013-02-01

    The active K2 dwarf {epsilon} Eri has been extensively characterized both as a young solar analog and more recently as an exoplanet host star. As one of the nearest and brightest stars in the sky, it provides an unparalleled opportunity to constrain stellar dynamo theory beyond the Sun. We confirm and document the 3-year magnetic activity cycle in {epsilon} Eri originally reported by Hatzes and coworkers, and we examine the archival data from previous observations spanning 45 years. The data show coexisting 3-year and 13-year periods leading into a broad activity minimum that resembles a Maunder minimum-like state, followed by the resurgence of a coherent 3-year cycle. The nearly continuous activity record suggests the simultaneous operation of two stellar dynamos with cycle periods of 2.95 {+-} 0.03 years and 12.7 {+-} 0.3 years, which, by analogy with the solar case, suggests a revised identification of the dynamo mechanisms that are responsible for the so-called 'active' and 'inactive' sequences as proposed by Boehm-Vitense. Finally, based on the observed properties of {epsilon} Eri, we argue that the rotational history of the Sun is what makes it an outlier in the context of magnetic cycles observed in other stars (as also suggested by its Li depletion), and that a Jovian-mass companion cannot be the universal explanation for the solar peculiarities.

  20. Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, S.

    2010-12-01

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

  1. The emergent 1.1-1.7 μm spectrum of the exoplanet COROT-2B as measured using the Hubble space telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilkins, Ashlee N.; Deming, Drake; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Burrows, Adam; Knutson, Heather; McCullough, Peter; Ranjan, Sukrit

    2014-01-01

    We have used Hubble/WFC3 and the G141 grism to measure the secondary eclipse of the transiting, very hot Jupiter CoRoT-2b in the 1.1-1.7 μm spectral region. We find an eclipse depth averaged over this band equal to 395 −45 +69 parts per million, equivalent to a blackbody temperature of 1788 ± 18 K. We study and characterize several WFC3 instrumental effects, especially the 'hook' phenomenon described by Deming et al. We use data from several transiting exoplanet systems to find a quantitative relation between the amplitude of the hook and the exposure level of a given pixel. Although the uncertainties in this relation are too large to allow us to develop an empirical correction for our data, our study provides a useful guide for optimizing exposure levels in future WFC3 observations. We derive the planet's spectrum using a differential method. The planet-to-star contrast increases to longer wavelength within the WFC3 bandpass, but without water absorption or emission to a 3σ limit of 85 ppm. The slope of the WFC3 spectrum is significantly less than the slope of the best-fit blackbody. We compare all existing eclipse data for this planet to a blackbody spectrum, and to spectra from both solar abundance and carbon-rich (C/O = 1) models. A blackbody spectrum is an acceptable fit to the full data set. Extra continuous opacity due to clouds or haze, and flattened temperature profiles, are strong candidates to produce quasi-blackbody spectra, and to account for the amplitude of the optical eclipses. Our results show ambiguous evidence for a temperature inversion in this planet.

  2. The emergent 1.1-1.7 μm spectrum of the exoplanet COROT-2B as measured using the Hubble space telescope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilkins, Ashlee N.; Deming, Drake [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Madhusudhan, Nikku [Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Burrows, Adam [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544-1001 (United States); Knutson, Heather [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); McCullough, Peter [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Ranjan, Sukrit, E-mail: awilkins@astro.umd.edu [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2014-03-10

    We have used Hubble/WFC3 and the G141 grism to measure the secondary eclipse of the transiting, very hot Jupiter CoRoT-2b in the 1.1-1.7 μm spectral region. We find an eclipse depth averaged over this band equal to 395{sub −45}{sup +69} parts per million, equivalent to a blackbody temperature of 1788 ± 18 K. We study and characterize several WFC3 instrumental effects, especially the 'hook' phenomenon described by Deming et al. We use data from several transiting exoplanet systems to find a quantitative relation between the amplitude of the hook and the exposure level of a given pixel. Although the uncertainties in this relation are too large to allow us to develop an empirical correction for our data, our study provides a useful guide for optimizing exposure levels in future WFC3 observations. We derive the planet's spectrum using a differential method. The planet-to-star contrast increases to longer wavelength within the WFC3 bandpass, but without water absorption or emission to a 3σ limit of 85 ppm. The slope of the WFC3 spectrum is significantly less than the slope of the best-fit blackbody. We compare all existing eclipse data for this planet to a blackbody spectrum, and to spectra from both solar abundance and carbon-rich (C/O = 1) models. A blackbody spectrum is an acceptable fit to the full data set. Extra continuous opacity due to clouds or haze, and flattened temperature profiles, are strong candidates to produce quasi-blackbody spectra, and to account for the amplitude of the optical eclipses. Our results show ambiguous evidence for a temperature inversion in this planet.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Chromospheric and Transition Region Emission Properties of G, K, and M dwarf Exoplanet Host Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    France, Kevin; Arulanantham, Nicole; Fossati, Luca; Lanza, A. F.; Linsky, Jeffrey L.; Redfield, Seth; Loyd, Robert; Schneider, Christian

    2018-01-01

    Exoplanet magnetic fields have proven notoriously hard to detect, despite theoretical predictions of substantial magnetic field strengths on close-in extrasolar giant planets. It has been suggested that stellar and planetary magnetic field interactions can manifest as enhanced stellar activity relative to nominal age-rotation-activity relationships for main sequence stars or enhanced activity on stars hosting short-period massive planets. In a recent study of M and K dwarf exoplanet host stars, we demonstrated a significant correlation between the relative luminosity in high-temperature stellar emission lines (L(ion)/L_Bol) and the “star-planet interaction strength”, M_plan/a_plan. Here, we expand on that work with a survey of G, K, and M dwarf exoplanet host stars obtained in two recent far-ultraviolet spectroscopic programs with the Hubble Space Telescope. We have measured the relative luminosities of stellar lines C II, Si III, Si IV, and N V (formation temperatures from 30,000 – 150,000 K) in a sample of ~60 exoplanet host stars and an additional ~40 dwarf stars without known planets. We present results on star-planet interaction signals as a function of spectral type and line formation temperature, as well as a statistical comparison of stars with and without planets.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campante, Tiago L.; Schofield, Mathew; Chaplin, William J.

    2015-01-01

    -mass main-sequence hosts, as well as for the cohort of “full-frame image” stars (observed at a 30-min cadence). The latter cohort offers the exciting prospect of conducting asteroseismology on a significant number of evolved hosts. Also, the brightest solar-type hosts with asteroseismology will become some...

  6. FUNDAMENTAL PARAMETERS OF THE EXOPLANET HOST K GIANT STAR {iota} DRACONIS FROM THE CHARA ARRAY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baines, Ellyn K. [Remote Sensing Division, Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20375 (United States); McAlister, Harold A.; Ten Brummelaar, Theo A.; Turner, Nils H.; Sturmann, Judit; Sturmann, Laszlo; Goldfinger, P. J.; Farrington, Christopher D. [Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 3969, Atlanta, GA 30302-3969 (United States); Ridgway, Stephen T., E-mail: ellyn.baines@nrl.navy.mil [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, AZ 85726-6732 (United States)

    2011-12-20

    We measured the angular diameter of the exoplanet host star {iota} Dra with Georgia State University's Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy Array interferometer and, using the star's parallax and photometry from the literature, calculated its physical radius and effective temperature. We then combined our results with stellar oscillation frequencies from Zechmeister et al. and orbital elements from Kane et al. to determine the masses for the star and exoplanet. Our value for the central star's mass is 1.82 {+-} 0.23 M{sub Sun }, which means the exoplanet's minimum mass is 12.6 {+-} 1.1 M{sub Jupiter}. Using our new effective temperature, we recalculated the habitable zone for the system, though it is well outside the star-planet separation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aigrain, S.; Collier Cameron, A.; Ollivier, M.; Pont, F.; Jorda, L.; Almenara, J. M.; Alonso, R.; Barge, P.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Deeg, H.; de La Reza, R.; Deleuil, M.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.; Fridlund, M.; Gondoin, P.; Gillon, M.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Lammer, H.; Lanza, A. F.; Léger, A.; Llebaria, A.; Magain, P.; Mazeh, T.; Moutou, C.; Paetzold, M.; Pinte, C.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Rouan, D.; Schneider, J.; Wuchter, G.; Zucker, S.

    2008-09-01

    CoRoT, the first space-based transit search, provides ultra-high-precision light curves with continuous time-sampling over periods of up to 5 months. This allows the detection of transiting planets with relatively long periods, and the simultaneous study of the host star's photometric variability. In this Letter, we report the discovery of the transiting giant planet CoRoT-Exo-4b and use the CoRoT light curve to perform a detailed analysis of the transit and determine the stellar rotation period. The CoRoT light curve was pre-processed to remove outliers and correct for orbital residuals and artefacts due to hot pixels on the detector. After removing stellar variability about each transit, the transit light curve was analysed to determine the transit parameters. A discrete autocorrelation function method was used to derive the rotation period of the star from the out-of-transit light curve. We determine the periods of the planetary orbit and star's rotation of 9.20205 ± 0.00037 and 8.87 ± 1.12 days respectively, which is consistent with this being a synchronised system. We also derive the inclination, i = 90.00_-0.085+0.000 in degrees, the ratio of the orbital distance to the stellar radius, a/Rs = 17.36-0.25+0.05, and the planet-to-star radius ratio R_p/R_s=0.1047-0.0022+0.0041. We discuss briefly the coincidence between the orbital period of the planet and the stellar rotation period and its possible implications for the system's migration and star-planet interaction history. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27th 2006, has been developed and is operated by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA, Germany, and Spain. The first CoRoT data will be available to the public in February 2009 from the CoRoT archive: http://idoc-corot.ias.u-psud.fr/ Figures 1, 4 and 5 are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  8. Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission . VI. CoRoT-Exo-3b: the first secure inhabitant of the brown-dwarf desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deleuil, M.; Deeg, H. J.; Alonso, R.; Bouchy, F.; Rouan, D.; Auvergne, M.; Baglin, A.; Aigrain, S.; Almenara, J. M.; Barbieri, M.; Barge, P.; Bruntt, H.; Bordé, P.; Collier Cameron, A.; Csizmadia, Sz.; de La Reza, R.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.; Fridlund, M.; Gandolfi, D.; Gillon, M.; Guenther, E.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Hébrard, G.; Jorda, L.; Lammer, H.; Léger, A.; Llebaria, A.; Loeillet, B.; Mayor, M.; Mazeh, T.; Moutou, C.; Ollivier, M.; Pätzold, M.; Pont, F.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Schneider, J.; Shporer, A.; Wuchterl, G.; Zucker, S.

    2008-12-01

    Context: The CoRoT space mission routinely provides high-precision photometric measurements of thousands of stars that have been continuously observed for months. Aims: The discovery and characterization of the first very massive transiting planetary companion with a short orbital period is reported. Methods: A series of 34 transits was detected in the CoRoT light curve of an F3V star, observed from May to October 2007 for 152 days. The radius was accurately determined and the mass derived for this new transiting, thanks to the combined analysis of the light curve and complementary ground-based observations: high-precision radial-velocity measurements, on-off photometry, and high signal-to-noise spectroscopic observations. Results: CoRoT-Exo-3b has a radius of 1.01 ± 0.07 R_Jup and transits around its F3-type primary every 4.26 days in a synchronous orbit. Its mass of 21.66 ± 1.0 M_Jup, density of 26.4 ± 5.6 g cm-3, and surface gravity of logg = 4.72 clearly distinguish it from the regular close-in planet population, making it the most intriguing transiting substellar object discovered so far. Conclusions: With the current data, the nature of CoRoT-Exo-3b is ambiguous, as it could either be a low-mass brown-dwarf or a member of a new class of “superplanets”. Its discovery may help constrain the evolution of close-in planets and brown-dwarfs better. Finally, CoRoT-Exo-3b confirms the trend that massive transiting giant planets (M ≥ 4 M_Jup) are found preferentially around more massive stars than the Sun. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27th 2006, has been developed and is operating by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brasil, ESA, Germany and Spain. The first CoRoT data will be available to the public in February 2009 from the CoRoT archive: http://idoc-corot.ias.u-psud.fr/ Table of the COROT photometry is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb

  9. The Roles of Tidal Evolution and Evaporative Mass Loss in the Origin of CoRoT-7 b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Brian; Miller, Neil; Barnes, Rory; Raymond, Sean N.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Greenberg, Richard

    2010-01-01

    CoRoT-7 b is the first confirmed rocky exoplanet, but, with an orbital semimajor axis of 0.0172 au, its origins may be unlike any rocky planet in our Solar System. In this study, we consider the roles of tidal evolution and evaporative mass loss in CoRoT-7 b's history, which together have modified the planet's mass and orbit. If CoRoT-7 b has always been a rocky body, evaporation may have driven off almost half its original mass, but the mass loss may depend sensitively on the extent of tidal decay of its orbit. As tides caused CoRoT-7 b's orbit to decay, they brought the planet closer to its host star, thereby enhancing the mass loss rate. Such a large mass loss also suggests the possibility that CoRoT-7 b began as a gas giant planet and had its original atmosphere completely evaporated. In this case, we find that CoRoT-7 b's original mass probably did not exceed 200 Earth masses (about two-third of a Jupiter mass). Tides raised on the host star by the planet may have significantly reduced the orbital semimajor axis, perhaps causing the planet to migrate through mean-motion resonances with the other planet in the system, CoRoT-7 c. The coupling between tidal evolution and mass loss may be important not only for CoRoT-7 b but also for other close-in exoplanets, and future studies of mass loss and orbital evolution may provide insight into the origin and fate of close-in planets, both rocky and gaseous.

  10. Most sub-arcsecond companions of Kepler exoplanet candidate host stars are gravitationally bound

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horch, Elliott P.; Howell, Steve B.; Everett, Mark E.; Ciardi, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Using the known detection limits for high-resolution imaging observations and the statistical properties of true binary and line-of-sight companions, we estimate the binary fraction of Kepler exoplanet host stars. Our speckle imaging programs at the WIYN 3.5 m and Gemini North 8.1 m telescopes have observed over 600 Kepler objects of interest and detected 49 stellar companions within ∼1 arcsec. Assuming binary stars follow a log-normal period distribution for an effective temperature range of 3000-10,000 K, then the model predicts that the vast majority of detected sub-arcsecond companions are long period (P > 50 yr), gravitationally bound companions. In comparing the model predictions to the number of real detections in both observational programs, we conclude that the overall binary fraction of host stars is similar to the 40%-50% rate observed for field stars.

  11. The Space Stellar Photometry Mission COROT: Asteroseismology ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    tribpo

    detect giant extra solar planets (detectable by spectroscopy from the ground) and determine their albedo. As COROT is devoted to stellar photometry, aiming at both a high precision and a long observation time, the search for exoplanets by the transit method can easily be integrated in the payload and in the mission profile.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-01

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

  13. First Temperate Exoplanet Sized Up

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

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

  14. The exoplanet-host star {mu} Arae: a new seismic analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soriano, M; Vauclair, S [Laboratoire d' Astrophysique Toulouse-Tarbes - OMP, 14 avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse (France)], E-mail: sylvie.vauclair@ast.obs-mip.fr

    2008-10-15

    We present here the detailled modelling of the exoplanet-host star {mu} Arae, which is known to harbour a four-planets system. This star presents a metallicity excess compared to stars without detected planets. Asteroseismology can help determining precisely its internal structure, {mu} Arae was observed with the HARPS spectrograph at La Silla Observatory in June 2004, and 43 p-modes were identified. Using the external parameters provided by spectroscopy and the seismic constraints, we computed new stellar models, in a wider range and more precisely than [1], with various assumptions (overmetallic or accretion scenario, overshooting or not, Y enriched with metals or Y fixed to its solar value). We tried to find which ones give the best fit to the observations.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gilliland, Ronald L.; McCullough, Peter R.; Nelan, Edmund P.

    2011-01-01

    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......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...... Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555....

  16. A modified CoRoT detrend algorithm and the discovery of a new planetary companion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boufleur, Rodrigo C.; Emilio, Marcelo; Janot-Pacheco, Eduardo; Andrade, Laerte; Ferraz-Mello, Sylvio; do Nascimento, José-Dias, Jr.; de La Reza, Ramiro

    2018-01-01

    We present MCDA, a modification of the COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits (CoRoT) detrend algorithm (CDA) suitable to detrend chromatic light curves. By means of robust statistics and better handling of short-term variability, the implementation decreases the systematic light-curve variations and improves the detection of exoplanets when compared with the original algorithm. All CoRoT chromatic light curves (a total of 65 655) were analysed with our algorithm. Dozens of new transit candidates and all previously known CoRoT exoplanets were rediscovered in those light curves using a box-fitting algorithm. For three of the new cases, spectroscopic measurements of the candidates' host stars were retrieved from the ESO Science Archive Facility and used to calculate stellar parameters and, in the best cases, radial velocities. In addition to our improved detrend technique, we announce the discovery of a planet that orbits a 0.79_{-0.09}^{+0.08} R⊙ star with a period of 6.718 37 ± 0.000 01 d and has 0.57_{-0.05}^{+0.06} RJ and 0.15 ± 0.10 MJ. We also present the analysis of two cases in which parameters found suggest the existence of possible planetary companions.

  17. Modeling Multi-wavelength Stellar Astrometry. III. Determination of the Absolute Masses of Exoplanets and Their Host Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coughlin, J. L.; López-Morales, Mercedes

    2012-05-01

    Astrometric measurements of stellar systems are becoming significantly more precise and common, with many ground- and space-based instruments and missions approaching 1 μas precision. We examine the multi-wavelength astrometric orbits of exoplanetary systems via both analytical formulae and numerical modeling. Exoplanets have a combination of reflected and thermally emitted light that causes the photocenter of the system to shift increasingly farther away from the host star with increasing wavelength. We find that, if observed at long enough wavelengths, the planet can dominate the astrometric motion of the system, and thus it is possible to directly measure the orbits of both the planet and star, and thus directly determine the physical masses of the star and planet, using multi-wavelength astrometry. In general, this technique works best for, though is certainly not limited to, systems that have large, high-mass stars and large, low-mass planets, which is a unique parameter space not covered by other exoplanet characterization techniques. Exoplanets that happen to transit their host star present unique cases where the physical radii of the planet and star can be directly determined via astrometry alone. Planetary albedos and day-night contrast ratios may also be probed via this technique due to the unique signature they impart on the observed astrometric orbits. We develop a tool to examine the prospects for near-term detection of this effect, and give examples of some exoplanets that appear to be good targets for detection in the K to N infrared observing bands, if the required precision can be achieved.

  18. MODELING MULTI-WAVELENGTH STELLAR ASTROMETRY. III. DETERMINATION OF THE ABSOLUTE MASSES OF EXOPLANETS AND THEIR HOST STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coughlin, J. L.; López-Morales, Mercedes

    2012-01-01

    Astrometric measurements of stellar systems are becoming significantly more precise and common, with many ground- and space-based instruments and missions approaching 1 μas precision. We examine the multi-wavelength astrometric orbits of exoplanetary systems via both analytical formulae and numerical modeling. Exoplanets have a combination of reflected and thermally emitted light that causes the photocenter of the system to shift increasingly farther away from the host star with increasing wavelength. We find that, if observed at long enough wavelengths, the planet can dominate the astrometric motion of the system, and thus it is possible to directly measure the orbits of both the planet and star, and thus directly determine the physical masses of the star and planet, using multi-wavelength astrometry. In general, this technique works best for, though is certainly not limited to, systems that have large, high-mass stars and large, low-mass planets, which is a unique parameter space not covered by other exoplanet characterization techniques. Exoplanets that happen to transit their host star present unique cases where the physical radii of the planet and star can be directly determined via astrometry alone. Planetary albedos and day-night contrast ratios may also be probed via this technique due to the unique signature they impart on the observed astrometric orbits. We develop a tool to examine the prospects for near-term detection of this effect, and give examples of some exoplanets that appear to be good targets for detection in the K to N infrared observing bands, if the required precision can be achieved.

  19. Direct imaging of an ultracool substellar companion to the exoplanet host star HD 4113 A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheetham, A.; Ségransan, D.; Peretti, S.; Delisle, J.-B.; Hagelberg, J.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Forveille, T.; Marmier, M.; Udry, S.; Wildi, F.

    2018-06-01

    Using high-contrast imaging with the SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), we report the first images of a cold brown dwarf companion to the exoplanet host star HD 4113A. The brown dwarf HD 4113C is part of a complex dynamical system consisting of a giant planet, a stellar host, and a known wide M-dwarf companion. Its separation of 535 ± 3 mas and H-band contrast of 13.35 ± 0.10 mag correspond to a projected separation of 22 AU and an isochronal mass estimate of 36 ± 5 MJ based on COND models. The companion shows strong methane absorption, and through fitting an atmosphere model, we estimate a surface gravity of logg = 5 and an effective temperature of 500-600 K. A comparison of its spectrum with observed T dwarfs indicates a late-T spectral type, with a T9 object providing the best match. By combining the observed astrometry from the imaging data with 27 years of radial velocities, we use orbital fitting to constrain its orbital and physical parameters, as well as update those of the planet HD 4113A b, discovered by previous radial velocity measurements. The data suggest a dynamical mass of 66-4+5 MJ and moderate eccentricity of 0.44-0.07+0.08 for the brown dwarf. This mass estimate appears to contradict the isochronal estimate and that of objects with similar temperatures, which may be caused by the newly detected object being an unresolved binary brown dwarf system or the presence of an additional object in the system. Through dynamical simulations, we show that the planet may undergo strong Lidov-Kozai cycles, raising the possibility that it formed on a quasi-circular orbit and gained its currently observed high eccentricity (e 0.9) through interactions with the brown dwarf. Follow-up observations combining radial velocities, direct imaging, and Gaia astrometry will be crucial to precisely constrain the dynamical mass of the brown dwarf and allow for an in-depth comparison with evolutionary and atmosphere models. Based on observations

  20. A new interferometric study of four exoplanet host stars: θ Cygni, 14 Andromedae, υ Andromedae and 42 Draconis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligi, R.; Mourard, D.; Lagrange, A. M.; Perraut, K.; Boyajian, T.; Bério, Ph.; Nardetto, N.; Tallon-Bosc, I.; McAlister, H.; ten Brummelaar, T.; Ridgway, S.; Sturmann, J.; Sturmann, L.; Turner, N.; Farrington, C.; Goldfinger, P. J.

    2012-09-01

    Context. Since the discovery of the first exoplanet in 1995 around a solar-type star, the interest in exoplanetary systems has kept increasing. Studying exoplanet host stars is of the utmost importance to establish the link between the presence of exoplanets around various types of stars and to understand the respective evolution of stars and exoplanets. Aims: Using the limb-darkened diameter (LDD) obtained from interferometric data, we determine the fundamental parameters of four exoplanet host stars. We are particularly interested in the F4 main-sequence star, θ Cyg, for which Kepler has recently revealed solar-like oscillations that are unexpected for this type of star. Furthermore, recent photometric and spectroscopic measurements with SOPHIE and ELODIE (OHP) show evidence of a quasi-periodic radial velocity of ~150 days. Models of this periodic change in radial velocity predict either a complex planetary system orbiting the star, or a new and unidentified stellar pulsation mode. Methods: We performed interferometric observations of θ Cyg, 14 Andromedae, υ Andromedae and 42 Draconis for two years with VEGA/CHARA (Mount Wilson, California) in several three-telescope configurations. We measured accurate limb darkened diameters and derived their radius, mass and temperature using empirical laws. Results: We obtain new accurate fundamental parameters for stars 14 And, υ And and 42 Dra. We also obtained limb darkened diameters with a minimum precision of ~1.3%, leading to minimum planet masses of Msini = 5.33 ± 0.57, 0.62 ± 0.09 and 3.79 ± 0.29 MJup for 14 And b, υ And b and 42 Dra b, respectively. The interferometric measurements of θ Cyg show a significant diameter variability that remains unexplained up to now. We propose that the presence of these discrepancies in the interferometric data is caused either by an intrinsic variation of the star or an unknown close companion orbiting around it. Based on interferometric observations with the VEGA

  1. Chemical Abundances of M-Dwarfs from the Apogee Survey. I. The Exoplanet Hosting Stars Kepler-138 and Kepler-186

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Souto, D.; Cunha, K. [Observatório Nacional, Rua General José Cristino, 77, 20921-400 São Cristóvão, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); García-Hernández, D. A.; Zamora, O.; Prieto, C. Allende; Jönsson, H.; Pérez, A. E. García [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), Vía Lactea S/N, E-38205, La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain); Smith, V. V. [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Mahadevan, S. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University (United States); Blake, C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, 209 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Johnson, J. A.; Pinsonneault, M. [Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Holtzman, J. [New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003 (United States); Majewski, S. R.; Sobeck, J. [Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4325 (United States); Shetrone, M. [University of Texas at Austin, McDonald Observatory (United States); Teske, J. [Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC 20015 (United States); Nidever, D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104 (United States); Schiavon, R. [Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, 146 Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, L3 5RF (United Kingdom); and others

    2017-02-01

    We report the first detailed chemical abundance analysis of the exoplanet-hosting M-dwarf stars Kepler-138 and Kepler-186 from the analysis of high-resolution ( R ∼ 22,500) H -band spectra from the SDSS-IV–APOGEE survey. Chemical abundances of 13 elements—C, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, and Fe—are extracted from the APOGEE spectra of these early M-dwarfs via spectrum syntheses computed with an improved line list that takes into account H{sub 2}O and FeH lines. This paper demonstrates that APOGEE spectra can be analyzed to determine detailed chemical compositions of M-dwarfs. Both exoplanet-hosting M-dwarfs display modest sub-solar metallicities: [Fe/H]{sub Kepler-138} = −0.09 ± 0.09 dex and [Fe/H]{sub Kepler-186} = −0.08 ± 0.10 dex. The measured metallicities resulting from this high-resolution analysis are found to be higher by ∼0.1–0.2 dex than previous estimates from lower-resolution spectra. The C/O ratios obtained for the two planet-hosting stars are near-solar, with values of 0.55±0.10 for Kepler-138 and 0.52±0.12 for Kepler-186. Kepler-186 exhibits a marginally enhanced [Si/Fe] ratio.

  2. Exoplanet habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seager, Sara

    2013-05-03

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

  3. Europe looks forward to COROT launch

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-12-01

    While CNES is completing preparations for the launch from Baikonur/Kazakhstan, ESA and a large number of European scientists involved in the mission are eagerly awaiting this event and the first scientific results to come through. What is COROT? COROT stands for ‘Convection Rotation and planetary Transits’. The name describes the mission’s scientific goals. ‘Convection and rotation’ refer to the satellite’s capability to probe stellar interiors, studying the acoustic waves that ripple across the surface of stars, a technique called asteroseismology. ‘Transit’ refers to the technique whereby the presence of a planet orbiting a star can be inferred from the dimming starlight caused when the planet passes in front of it. To achieve its twin scientific objectives, COROT will monitor some 120,000 stars with its 30-centimetre telescope. COROT will lead a bold new search for planets around other stars. In the decade since the first discovery in 1995 of an exoplanet (51 Pegasi b), more than 200 other such planets outside our solar system have been detected using ground-based observatories. The COROT space telescope promises to find many more during its two-and-a-half-year mission, expanding the frontiers of our knowledge towards ever-smaller planets. Many of the planets COROT will detect are expected to be 'hot Jupiters', gaseous worlds. An unknown percentage of those detected are expected to be rocky planets, maybe just a few times larger than the Earth (or smaller, even). If COROT finds such planets, they will constitute a new class of planet altogether. While it is looking at a star, COROT will also be able to detect 'starquakes', acoustic waves generated deep inside a star that send ripples across its surface, altering its brightness. The exact nature of the ripples allows astronomers to calculate the star's precise mass, age and chemical composition. COROT’s European dimension The COROT mission was first proposed by CNES back in 1996. A call for

  4. Astrophysical Parameters and Habitable Zone of the Exoplanet Hosting Star GJ 581

    OpenAIRE

    von Braun, Kaspar; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Kane, Stephen R.; van Belle, Gerard T.; Ciardi, David R.; Lόpez-Morales, Mercedes; McAlister, Harold A.; Henry, Todd J.; Jao, Wei-Chun; Riedel, Adric R.; Subasavage, John P.; Schaefer, Gail; ten Brummelaar, Theo A.; Ridgway, Stephen; Sturmann, Laszlo

    2011-01-01

    GJ 581 is an M dwarf host of a multiplanet system. We use long-baseline interferometric measurements from the CHARA Array, coupled with trigonometric parallax information, to directly determine its physical radius to be $0.299 \\pm 0.010 R_{\\odot}$. Literature photometry data are used to perform spectral energy distribution fitting in order to determine GJ 581's effective surface temperature $T_{\\rm EFF}=3498 \\pm 56$ K and its luminosity $L=0.01205 \\pm 0.00024 L_{\\odot}$. From these measuremen...

  5. Modeling of exoplanets interiors in the framework of future space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brugger, B.; Mousis, O.; Deleuil, M.

    2017-12-01

    Probing the interior of exoplanets with known masses and radii is possible via the use of models of internal structure. Here we present a model able to handle various planetary compositions, from terrestrial bodies to ocean worlds or carbon-rich planets, and its application to the case of CoRoT-7b. Using the elemental abundances of an exoplanet’s host star, we significantly reduce the degeneracy limiting such models. This further constrains the type and state of material present at the surface, and helps estimating the composition of a secondary atmosphere that could form in these conditions through potential outgassing. Upcoming space missions dedicated to exoplanet characterization, such as PLATO, will provide accurate fundamental parameters of Earth-like planets orbiting in the habitable zone, for which our model is well adapted.

  6. Empirical Tidal Dissipation in Exoplanet Hosts From Tidal Spin-up

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penev, Kaloyan; Bouma, L. G.; Winn, Joshua N.; Hartman, Joel D.

    2018-04-01

    Stars with hot Jupiters (HJs) tend to rotate faster than other stars of the same age and mass. This trend has been attributed to tidal interactions between the star and planet. A constraint on the dissipation parameter {Q}\\star {\\prime } follows from the assumption that tides have managed to spin up the star to the observed rate within the age of the system. This technique was applied previously to HATS-18 and WASP-19. Here, we analyze the sample of all 188 known HJs with an orbital period tidal dissipation parameter ({Q}\\star {\\prime }) increases sharply with forcing frequency, from 105 at 0.5 day‑1 to 107 at 2 day‑1. This helps to resolve a number of apparent discrepancies between studies of tidal dissipation in binary stars, HJs, and warm Jupiters. It may also allow for a HJ to damp the obliquity of its host star prior to being destroyed by tidal decay.

  7. ASTROPHYSICAL PARAMETERS AND HABITABLE ZONE OF THE EXOPLANET HOSTING STAR GJ 581

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Von Braun, Kaspar; Kane, Stephen R.; Ciardi, David R.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; McAlister, Harold A.; Henry, Todd J.; Jao, Wei-Chun; Riedel, Adric R.; Van Belle, Gerard T.; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Subasavage, John P.; Schaefer, Gail; Ten Brummelaar, Theo A.; Sturmann, Laszlo; Sturmann, Judit; Mazingue, Jude; Turner, Nils H.; Farrington, Chris; Goldfinger, P. J.; Ridgway, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    GJ 581 is an M dwarf host of a multiplanet system. We use long-baseline interferometric measurements from the CHARA Array, coupled with trigonometric parallax information, to directly determine its physical radius to be 0.299 ± 0.010 R sun . Literature photometry data are used to perform spectral energy distribution fitting in order to determine GJ 581's effective surface temperature T EFF = 3498 ± 56 K and its luminosity L = 0.01205 ± 0.00024 L sun . From these measurements, we recompute the location and extent of the system's habitable zone and conclude that two of the planets orbiting GJ 581, planets d and g, spend all or part of their orbit within or just on the edge of the habitable zone.

  8. DIRECTLY DETERMINED LINEAR RADII AND EFFECTIVE TEMPERATURES OF EXOPLANET HOST STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Belle, Gerard T.; Von Braun, Kaspar

    2009-01-01

    We present interferometric angular sizes for 12 stars with known planetary companions, for comparison with 28 additional main-sequence stars not known to host planets. For all objects we estimate bolometric fluxes and reddenings through spectral-energy distribution (SED) fits, and in conjunction with the angular sizes, measurements of effective temperature. The angular sizes of these stars are sufficiently small that the fundamental resolution limits of our primary instrument, the Palomar Testbed Interferometer, are investigated at the sub-milliarcsecond level and empirically established based upon known performance limits. We demonstrate that the effective temperature scale as a function of dereddened (V - K) 0 color is statistically identical for stars with and without planets. A useful byproduct of this investigation is a direct calibration of the T EFF scale for solarlike stars, as a function of both spectral type and (V - K) 0 color. Additionally, in an Appendix we provide SED fits for the 166 stars with known planets which have sufficient photometry available in the literature for such fits; this derived 'XO-Rad' database includes homogeneous estimates of bolometric flux, reddening, and angular size.

  9. CoRoT and Kepler results: Solar-like oscillators

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hekker, S.

    2013-01-01

    The space-borne observatories CoRoT (Convection Rotation and planetary Transits) and Kepler have provided photometric time series data of unprecedented precision for large numbers of stars. These data have revolutionized the fields of transiting exoplanets and asteroseismology. In this review some

  10. KNOW THE STAR, KNOW THE PLANET. V. CHARACTERIZATION OF THE STELLAR COMPANION TO THE EXOPLANET HOST STAR HD 177830

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roberts, Lewis C. Jr.; Beichman, Charles; Burruss, Rick; Cady, Eric; Lockhart, Thomas G. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena CA 91109 (United States); Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Brenner, Douglas; Luszcz-Cook, Statia; Nilsson, Ricky [American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024 (United States); Crepp, Justin R. [Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, 225 Nieuwland Science Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556 (United States); Baranec, Christoph [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hilo, HI 96720-2700 (United States); Dekany, Richard; Hillenbrand, Lynne [Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Hinkley, Sasha [School of Physics, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QL (United Kingdom); King, David; Parry, Ian R. [Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road., Cambridge, CB3 OHA (United Kingdom); Pueyo, Laurent [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Soummer, Rémi [Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, AlbaNova University Center, Roslagstullsbacken 21, SE-10691 Stockholm (Sweden); Rice, Emily L., E-mail: lewis.c.roberts@jpl.nasa.gov [Department of Engineering Science and Physics, College of Staten Island, City University of New York, Staten Island, NY 10314 (United States); and others

    2015-10-15

    HD 177830 is an evolved K0IV star with two known exoplanets. In addition to the planetary companions it has a late-type stellar companion discovered with adaptive optics imagery. We observed the binary star system with the PHARO near-IR camera and the Project 1640 coronagraph. Using the Project 1640 coronagraph and integral field spectrograph we extracted a spectrum of the stellar companion. This allowed us to determine that the spectral type of the stellar companion is a M4 ± 1 V. We used both instruments to measure the astrometry of the binary system. Combining these data with published data, we determined that the binary star has a likely period of approximately 800 years with a semimajor axis of 100–200 AU. This implies that the stellar companion has had little or no impact on the dynamics of the exoplanets. The astrometry of the system should continue to be monitored, but due to the slow nature of the system, observations can be made once every 5–10 years.

  11. Ground Based Support for Exoplanet Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukka, H.; Hentunen, V.-P.; Salmi, T.; Aartolahti, H.; Juutilainen, J.; Vilokki, H.; Nissinen, M.

    2011-10-01

    Taurus Hill Observatory (THO), observatory code A95, is an amateur observatory located in Varkaus, Finland. The observatory is maintained by the local astronomical association Warkauden Kassiopeia. THO research team has observed and measured various stellar objects and phenomena. Observatory has mainly focused to asteroid [1] and exoplanet light curve measurements, observing the gamma rays burst, supernova discoveries and monitoring [2] and long term monitoring projects [3]. In the early 2011 Europlanet NA1 and NA2 organized "Coordinated Observations of Exoplanets from Ground and Space"-workshop in Graz, Austria. The workshop gathered together proam astronomers who have the equipment to measure the light curves of the exoplanets. Also there were professional scientists working in the exoplanet field who attended to the workshop. The result of the workshop was to organize coordinated observation campaign for follow-up observations of exoplanets (e.g. CoRoT planets). Also coordinated observation campaign to observe stellar CME outbreaks was planned. THO has a lot of experience in field of exoplanet light curve measurements and therefore this campaign is very supported by the research team of the observatory. In next coming observing seasons THO will concentrate its efforts for this kind of campaigns.

  12. VizieR Online Data Catalog: CoRoT observation log (N2-4.4) (CoRoT, 2009-2016)

    Science.gov (United States)

    COROT Team

    2014-03-01

    CoRoT is a space astronomy mission devoted to the study of the variability with time of stars brightness, with an extremely high accuracy (100 times better than from the ground), on very long durations (up to 150 days) and a very high duty cycle (more than 90%). The mission was led by CNES in association with four french laboratories, and 7 participating countries and agencies (Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and the ESA Science Programme). The satellite is composed of a PROTEUS platform (the 3rd in the serie), and a unique instrument: a stellar photometer. It has been launched on December 27th 2006 by a Soyuz Rocket, from Baikonour. The mission has lasted almost 6 years (the nominal 3 years duration and a 3 years extension) and has observed more than 160 000 stars. It stopped to send data suddenly on November 2nd 2012. CoRoT is performing Ultra High Precision Photomery of Stars to detect and characterise the variability of their luminosity with two main directions: - variability of the object itself: oscillations, rotation, magnetic activity - variability due to external causes as bodies in orbit around the star: planets and stars The original scientific objectives were focussed on the study of stellar pulsations (asteroseismology) to probe the internal structure of stars, and the detection of small exoplanets through their "transit in front of their host star, and the measurement of their size. This lead to introduce two modes of observations, working simultaneously: - The bright star mode dedicated to very precise seismology of a small sample of bright and closeby stars (data presented in file momentarily named "astero.dat", but should change in the near future to to "bright star.dat") - The faint star mode, observing a very large number of stars at the same time, to detect transits, which are rare events, as they imply the alignment of the star, the planet and the observer (data presented in momentarily named "exo.dat" but should change in the near

  13. Carbon and oxygen abundances in cool metal-rich exoplanet hosts: A case study of the C/O ratio of 55 Cancri

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

    The super-Earth exoplanet 55 Cnc e, the smallest member of a five-planet system, has recently been observed to transit its host star. The radius estimates from transit observations, coupled with spectroscopic determinations of mass, provide constraints on its interior composition. The composition of exoplanetary interiors and atmospheres are particularly sensitive to elemental C/O ratio, which to first order can be estimated from the host stars. Results from a recent spectroscopic study analyzing the 6300 Å [O I] line and two C I lines suggest that 55 Cnc has a carbon-rich composition (C/O = 1.12 ± 0.09). However, oxygen abundances derived using the 6300 Å [O I] line are highly sensitive to a Ni I blend, particularly in metal-rich stars such as 55 Cnc ([Fe/H] =0.34 ± 0.18). Here, we further investigate 55 Cnc's composition by deriving the carbon and oxygen abundances from these and additional C and O absorption features. We find that the measured C/O ratio depends on the oxygen lines used. The C/O ratio that we derive based on the 6300 Å [O I] line alone is consistent with the previous value. Yet, our investigation of additional abundance indicators results in a mean C/O ratio of 0.78 ± 0.08. The lower C/O ratio of 55 Cnc determined here may place this system at the sensitive boundary between protoplanetary disk compositions giving rise to planets with high (>0.8) versus low (<0.8) C/O ratios. This study illustrates the caution that must applied when determining planet host star C/O ratios, particularly in cool, metal-rich stars.

  14. The composition of corotating energetic particle streams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McGuire, R.E.; von Rosenvinge, T.T.; McDonald, F.B.

    1978-01-01

    The relative abundances of 1.5--23 MeV per nucleon ions in corotating nucleon streams are compared with ion abundances in particle events associated with solar flares and with solar and solar wind abundances. He/O and C/O ratios are found to be a factor of the order 2--3 greater in corotating streams than in flare-associated events. The distribution of H/He ratios in corotating streams is found to be much narrower and of lower average value than in flare-associated events. H/He in corotating energetic particle streams compares favorably in both lack of variability and numerical value with H/He in high-speed solar wind plasma streams. The lack of variability suggests that the source population for the corotating energetic particles is the solar wind, a suggestion consistent with acceleration of the corotating particles in interplanetary space

  15. The Case of the Tail Wagging the Dog: HD 189733 - Evidence of Hot Jupiter Exoplanets Spinning-up Their Host Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinan, E. F.

    2013-06-01

    (Abstract only) HD 189733A is an eighth mag K1.5V star that has attracted much attention because it hosts a short period, transiting, hot-Jupiter planet. This planet, HD 189733b, has one of the shortest known orbital periods (P = 2.22 days) and is only 0.031 AU from its host star. Because the system undergoes eclipses and is bright, HD 189733 has been extensively studied. The planet's atmosphere has been found to contain water vapor, methane, CO2, and sodium and possible haze. Spitzer IR observations indicate planet temperature, varying ~970 K to ~1,200 K over its surface (Tinetti (2007). Based on measurements of the K-star's P(rot) from starspot modulations of ~11.95 d, strong coronal X-ray emission and chromospheric Ca II-HK emission indicate a young age of ~0.7 Gyr. But this apparent young age is discrepant with a much older age (> 4 Gyr) inferred from the star's very low Lithium abundance. However, the age of the HD 189733 system can be independently determined by the presence of a faint dM4 companion (HD 189733B) some 12" away. Our Age-Activity relations for this star (no detectable coronal X-ray emission and no H-alpha emission) indicate an age > 4 Gyr (and < 8 Gyr from kinematics and metallicity). This age should apply to its K star companion and its planet. The fast rotation and resultant high activity levels of the K star can best be explained from the increase in its (rotation) angular momentum (AM) from the orbital AM of the planet. This AM transfer occurs from tidal and magnetic interactions of the K star with its planet. Determining the possible decrease in the planet's orbital period is possible from studying the planet eclipse times (which can be done by AAVSO members with CCD photometry). We also discuss the properties of other related short-period exoplanet systems found by the Kepler Mission that show similar behavior - in that close-in hot Jupiter size planets appear to be physically interacting with their host stars. This work is supported by

  16. Ultra-cool dwarfs viewed equator-on: surveying the best host stars for biosignature detection in transiting exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles-Paez, Paulo; Metchev, Stanimir; Burgasser, Adam; Apai, Daniel; Palle, Enric; Zapatero Osorio, Maria Rosa; Artigau, Etienne; Mace, Greg; Tannock, Megan; Triaud, Amaury

    2018-05-01

    There are about 150 known planets around M dwarfs, but only one system around an ultra-cool (>M7) dwarf: Trappist-1. Ultra-cool dwarfs are arguably the most promising hosts for atmospheric and biosignature detection in transiting planets because of the enhanced feature contrast in transit and eclipse spectroscopy. We propose a Spitzer survey to continuously monitor 15 of the brightest ultra-cool dwarfs over 3 days. To maximize the probability of detecting transiting planets, we have selected only targets seen close to equator-on. Spin-orbit alignment expectations dictate that the planetary systems around these ultra-cool dwarfs should also be oriented nearly edge-on. Any planet detections from this survey will immediately become top priority targets for JWST transit spectroscopy. No other telescope, present or within the foreseeable future, will be able to conduct a similarly sensitive and dedicated survey for characterizeable Earth analogs.

  17. Corot's 'gout' and a 'gipsy' girl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panush, R B; Caldwell, J R; Panush, R S

    1990-09-05

    Representations of rheumatic disease in art provide insight into artistic expression, help us understand the evolution and perhaps the etiology of rheumatic diseases, and remind us of great contributions by artists in adverse circumstances. We noted hand deformities characteristic of inflammatory arthritis in Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot's Gipsy Girl With Mandolin (1870 to 1875), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Corot suffered with what probably was gout beginning in 1866. We are unaware that arthritis has been observed in Corot's subjects or that Corot's depiction of arthritis has been appreciated from the perspective of his own rheumatic disease. Examination of other Corot portraits identifies some with blurred hand details consistent with the artist's style and the remainder with normal hands. These observations suggest that the artist portrayed specific anatomic abnormalities in the "Gipsy Girl's" hand, indicating familiarity with inflammatory arthritis. It is speculative whether this was Corot's own or the model's arthritis; we favor the interpretation that Corot's gout was reflected in this particular work. We thus add a new perspective to Corot's Gipsy Girl With Mandolin-a subject with arthritis, a painter knowledgeable about arthritis, and a painting that therefore might be understood at least in part from an appreciation of the artist's specific illness.

  18. Corot 310266512: A Light Curve With Primary, Secondary And Tertiary Eclipses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernández Fernández Javier

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We present the photometric study of an interesting target in the CoRoT exoplanet database: CoRoT 310266512. Its light curve shows primary, secondary and tertiary eclipses that suggests the presence of at least three celestial bodies. The primary and secondary eclipses have the same orbital period, 7.42 days, and the tertiary eclipse has an orbital period of 3.27 days. Two of the tertiary eclipses fall within a primary eclipse and a secondary eclipse. The properties of the light curve indicate the presence of two physically separated systems. The primary and secondary eclipses corresponds to a binary system (System I. The tertiary eclipses correspond to a star-planet system or a star-dwarf system (System II. Some parameters of these two systems are obtained from JKTEBOP [1] program.

  19. Limb darkening laws for two exoplanet host stars derived from 3D stellar model atmospheres. Comparison with 1D models and HST light curve observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayek, W.; Sing, D.; Pont, F.; Asplund, M.

    2012-03-01

    We compare limb darkening laws derived from 3D hydrodynamical model atmospheres and 1D hydrostatic MARCS models for the host stars of two well-studied transiting exoplanet systems, the late-type dwarfs HD 209458 and HD 189733. The surface brightness distribution of the stellar disks is calculated for a wide spectral range using 3D LTE spectrum formation and opacity sampling⋆. We test our theoretical predictions using least-squares fits of model light curves to wavelength-integrated primary eclipses that were observed with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The limb darkening law derived from the 3D model of HD 209458 in the spectral region between 2900 Å and 5700 Å produces significantly better fits to the HST data, removing systematic residuals that were previously observed for model light curves based on 1D limb darkening predictions. This difference arises mainly from the shallower mean temperature structure of the 3D model, which is a consequence of the explicit simulation of stellar surface granulation where 1D models need to rely on simplified recipes. In the case of HD 189733, the model atmospheres produce practically equivalent limb darkening curves between 2900 Å and 5700 Å, partly due to obstruction by spectral lines, and the data are not sufficient to distinguish between the light curves. We also analyze HST observations between 5350 Å and 10 500 Å for this star; the 3D model leads to a better fit compared to 1D limb darkening predictions. The significant improvement of fit quality for the HD 209458 system demonstrates the higher degree of realism of 3D hydrodynamical models and the importance of surface granulation for the formation of the atmospheric radiation field of late-type stars. This result agrees well with recent investigations of limb darkening in the solar continuum and other observational tests of the 3D models. The case of HD 189733 is no contradiction as the model light curves are less sensitive to the temperature stratification of

  20. Exoplanets Galore!

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-05-01

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

  1. Exoplanet Peer-Learning Exercises for Introductory Astronomy Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wisniewski, John P.; Larson, A.

    2010-01-01

    While exoplanet research has witnessed explosive growth over the past decade with over 350 exoplanets identified to date (http://exoplanet.eu), few education and public outreach tools capable of bringing the techniques and results of exoplanet science into the classroom have been developed. To help reduce this shortcoming, we have been developing and implementing a series of exoplanet-related active-learning exercises to be used in non-astronomy major introductory settings, including think-pair-share questions and peer-learning activities. We discuss some of these activities which we have field tested in undergraduate classes at the University of Washington. We also discuss our efforts to engage students in these classes in obtaining and analyzing astronomical observations of exoplanet host stars to identify and characterize exoplanet transit events. JPW acknowledges support from NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship AST 08-02230.

  2. Astrossismologia e o satélite COROT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, L. B. P.; Janot Pacheco, E.

    2003-08-01

    Este trabalho centra-se em atividades na fase de pré-lançamento do satélite COROT, da agência espacial francesa (CNES), a ser lançado em 2005. O satélite será dedicado à sismologia estelar e à procura de exoplanetas. Nosso programa de trabalho centra-se em dois pontos principais: (1) efetuar uma procura detalhada nos campos COROT de alvos astrofísicos de especial interesse; (2) participar das análises espectroscópicas prévias de alvos selecionados para determinação de parâmetros físicos das estrelas com a maior precisão possível. Na presente etapa, priorizou-se o primeiro ponto do projeto. Foi feito um levantamento geral dos objetos astrofísicos encontrados nos dois campos de observação, centrados em 06H50M e 18H50M, com raios de 10 minutos. Concluiu-se que as estrelas B-Be deverão ser observadas no campo sismológico, enquanto que as anãs brancas deverão sê-lo no campo exoplanetário. Objetos a serem observados foram escolhidos de forma a estarem próximos de alvos principais dos programas centrais do satélite. Paralelamente, estudos e pesquisas bibliográficas foram feitos para compreender os assuntos de interesse principal, ou seja, as pulsações não-radiais de estrelas Ob-Be

  3. Stellar magnetic activity and exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidotto A.A.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available It has been proposed that magnetic activity could be enhanced due to interactions between close-in massive planets and their host stars. In this article, I present a brief overview of the connection between stellar magnetic activity and exoplanets. Stellar activity can be probed in chromospheric lines, coronal emission, surface spot coverage, etc. Since these are manifestations of stellar magnetism, these measurements are often used as proxies for the magnetic field of stars. Here, instead of focusing on the magnetic proxies, I overview some recent results of magnetic field measurements using spectropolarimetric observations. Firstly, I discuss the general trends found between large-scale magnetism, stellar rotation, and coronal emission and show that magnetism seems to be correlated to the internal structure of the star. Secondly, I overview some works that show evidence that exoplanets could (or not act as to enhance the activity of their host stars.

  4. Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Thermal Structure and Mantle Dynamics of Rocky Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, F. W.; Tosi, N.; Hussmann, H.; Sohl, F.

    2011-12-01

    The confirmed detections of CoRoT-7b and Kepler-10b reveal that rocky exoplanets exist. Moreover, recent theoretical studies suggest that small planets beyond the Solar System are indeed common and many of them will be discovered by increasingly precise observational surveys in the years ahead. The knowledge about the interior structure and thermal state of exoplanet interiors provides crucial theoretical input not only for classification and characterization of individual planetary bodies, but also to better understand the origin and evolution of the Solar System and the Earth in general. These developments and considerations have motivated us to address several questions concerning thermal structure and interior dynamics of terrestrial exoplanets. In the present study, depth-dependent structural models of solid exoplanet interiors have been constructed in conjunction with a mixing length approach to calculate self-consistently the radial distribution of temperature and heat flux. Furthermore, 2-D convection simulations using the compressible anelastic approximation have been carried through to examine the effect of thermodynamic quantities (e.g., thermal expansivity) on mantle convection pattern within rocky planets more massive than the Earth. In comparison to parameterized convection models, our calculated results predict generally hotter planetary interiors, which are mainly attributed to a viscosity-regulating feedback mechanism involving temperature and pressure. We find that density and thermal conductivity increase with depth by a factor of two to three, however, thermal expansivity decreases by more than an order of magnitude across the mantle for planets as massive as CoRoT-7b or Kepler-10b. The specific heat capacity is observed to stay almost constant over an extended region of the lower mantle. The planform of mantle convection is strongly modified in the presence of depth-dependent thermodynamic quantities with hot upwellings (plumes) rising across

  6. What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Eylen Vincent

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Characterizing Exoplanet Habitability with Emission Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler

    2018-01-01

    Results from NASA’s Kepler mission and other recent exoplanet surveys have demonstrated that potentially habitable exoplanets are relatively common, especially in the case of low-mass stellar hosts. The next key question that must be addressed for such planets is whether or not these worlds are actually habitable, implying they could sustain surface liquid water. Only through investigations of the potential habitability of exoplanets and through searches for biosignatures from these planets will we be able to understand if the emergence of life is a common phenomenon in our galaxy. Emission spectroscopy for transiting exoplanets (sometimes called secondary eclipse spectroscopy) is a powerful technique that future missions will use to study the atmospheres and surfaces of worlds orbiting in the habitable zones of nearby, low-mass stars. Emission observations that span the mid-infrared wavelength range for potentially habitable exoplanets provide opportunities to detect key habitability and life signatures, and also allow observers to probe atmospheric and surface temperatures. This presentation will outline the case for using emission spectroscopy to understand if an exoplanet can sustain surface liquid water, which is believed to be a critical precursor to the origin of life.

  8. Helium discovered in the tail of an exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2018-05-01

    As the exoplanet WASP-107b orbits its host star, its atmosphere escapes to form a comet-like tail. Helium atoms detected in the escaping gases give astronomers a powerful tool for investigating exoplanetary atmospheres.

  9. Secondary eclipses in the CoRoT light curves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belmonte Juan Antonio

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We identify and characterize secondary eclipses in the original light curves of published CoRoT planets using uniform detection and evaluation criteria. Our analysis is based on a Bayesian statistics: the eclipse search is carried out using Bayesian model selection, and the characterization of the plausible eclipse candidates using Bayesian parameter estimation. We discover statistically significant eclipse events for two planets, CoRoT-6b and CoRoT-11b, and for one brown dwarf, CoRoT-15b. We also find marginally significant eclipse events passing our plausibility criteria for CoRoT-3b, 13b, 18b, and 21b, and confirm the previously published CoRoT-1b and CoRoT-2b eclipses.

  10. 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.

  11. Natural and artificial spectral edges in exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingam, Manasvi; Loeb, Abraham

    2017-09-01

    Technological civilizations may rely upon large-scale photovoltaic arrays to harness energy from their host star. Photovoltaic materials, such as silicon, possess distinctive spectral features, including an 'artificial edge' that is characteristically shifted in wavelength shortwards of the 'red edge' of vegetation. Future observations of reflected light from exoplanets would be able to detect both natural and artificial edges photometrically, if a significant fraction of the planet's surface is covered by vegetation or photovoltaic arrays, respectively. The stellar energy thus tapped can be utilized for terraforming activities by transferring heat and light from the day side to the night side on tidally locked exoplanets, thereby producing detectable artefacts.

  12. Binary catalogue of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Richard; Bazso, Akos; Zechner, Renate; Funk, Barbara

    2016-02-01

    Since 1995 there is a database which list most of the known exoplanets (The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia at http://exoplanet.eu/). With the growing number of detected exoplanets in binary and multiple star systems it became more important to mark and to separate them into a new database, which is not available in the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia. Therefore we established an online database (which can be found at: http://www.univie.ac.at/adg/schwarz/multiple.html) for all known exoplanets in binary star systems and in addition for multiple star systems, which will be updated regularly and linked to the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia. The binary catalogue of exoplanets is available online as data file and can be used for statistical purposes. Our database is divided into two parts: the data of the stars and the planets, given in a separate list. We describe also the different parameters of the exoplanetary systems and present some applications.

  13. 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

  14. Qatar Exoplanet Survey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alsubai, Khalid; Mislis, Dimitris; Tsvetanov, Zlatan I.

    2017-01-01

    We report the discovery of Qatar-3b, Qatar-4b, and Qatar-5b, three new transiting planets identified by the Qatar Exoplanet Survey. The three planets belong to the hot Jupiter family, with orbital periods of PQ3b=2.50792 days, PQ4b=1.80539 days, and PQ5b=2.87923 days. Follow-up spectroscopic......3= 1.145±0.064 Ṁ, MQ4=0.896±0.048Ṁ, MQ5=1.128±0.056 Ṁ and RQ3=1.272±0.14 RṀ, RQ4=0.849±0.063 R , and RQ5=1.076±0.051 Ṙ for Qatar-3, 4, and 5 respectively. The V magnitudes of the three host stars are VQ3=12.88, VQ4=13.60, and VQ5=12.82. All three new planets can be classified as heavy hot Jupiters...

  15. Exoplanet Biosignatures: Future Directions

    OpenAIRE

    Walker, Sara I.; Bains, William; Cronin, Leroy; DasSarma, Shiladitya; Danielache, Sebastian; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Kacar, Betul; Kiang, Nancy Y.; Lenardic, Adrian; Reinhard, Christopher T.; Moore, William; Schwieterman, Edward W.; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Smith, Harrison B.

    2017-01-01

    Exoplanet science promises a continued rapid accumulation of new observations in the near future, energizing a drive to understand and interpret the forthcoming wealth of data to identify signs of life beyond our Solar System. The large statistics of exoplanet samples, combined with the ambiguity of our understanding of universal properties of life and its signatures, necessitate a quantitative framework for biosignature assessment Here, we introduce a Bayesian framework for guiding future di...

  16. COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnes, Rory; Meadows, Victoria S.; Evans, Nicole, E-mail: rory@astro.washington.edu [Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Box 951580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States)

    2015-12-01

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

  17. COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. The expected interior and surface environment of CoRoT-7b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziethe, R.; Wurz, P.; Lammer, H.

    2010-12-01

    The discovery of extrasolar planets - planets that orbit stars other than our sun - has always been fascinating. Meanwhile more than 400 so--called exoplanets have been detected. However, most of the detected exoplanets so far are relatively large (beyond 10 Earth masses) and can be regarded as gaseous planets, but scientists have always seeked after smaller and rocky planets, which could be compared to Earth or other earth--like bodies. Recently, the COROT mission discovered an object, Corot-7b, with a radius of only 1.68 REarth corresponding to a mass of 4.8 +/- 0.8 MEarth. This first low-mass exoplanet -- a so-called Super-Earth -- can be considered to be solid. Corot-7b orbits its primary at a very close distance and is therefore tidally locked in an 1:1 spin-orbit resonance. This implies a very inhomogeneous energy input from the star into the planet. Since the dayside is constantly exposed to the star, there is a strong temperature gradient towards the nightside. The surface temperature on the illuminated side is estimated with 2700K, while the shadowed side is thought to be at 110K. The high temperatures on the dayside will cause the evaporation of volatiles, which gives rise to the formation of an atmosphere. We introduce a three dimensional thermal convection model by solving the pertaining dimensionless hydrodynamical equations, computing the temperature field and especially investigate the formation of partially molten regions due to the inhomogeneous energy input onto the surface. The temperature of the surface and subsurface regions is enormously important for the composition of the atmosphere fed from volatiles, which escaped from the planet. The atmosphere is the only part of this exoplanet, which can be observed with remote sensing methods. Henceforth, understanding the conditions for the formation of an atmosphere (i.e., surface temperature map) is an important step forward in understanding extrasolar planets. We found that the highest temperatures

  20. Planetary transit candidates in Corot-IRa01 field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpano, S.; Cabrera, J.; Alonso, R.; Barge, P.; Aigrain, S.; Almenara, J.-M.; Bordé, P.; Bouchy, F.; Carone, L.; Deeg, H. J.; de La Reza, R.; Deleuil, M.; Dvorak, R.; Erikson, A.; Fressin, F.; Fridlund, M.; Gondoin, P.; Guillot, T.; Hatzes, A.; Jorda, L.; Lammer, H.; Léger, A.; Llebaria, A.; Magain, P.; Moutou, C.; Ofir, A.; Ollivier, M.; Janot-Pacheco, E.; Pätzold, M.; Pont, F.; Queloz, D.; Rauer, H.; Régulo, C.; Renner, S.; Rouan, D.; Samuel, B.; Schneider, J.; Wuchterl, G.

    2009-10-01

    Context: CoRoT is a pioneering space mission devoted to the analysis of stellar variability and the photometric detection of extrasolar planets. Aims: We present the list of planetary transit candidates detected in the first field observed by CoRoT, IRa01, the initial run toward the Galactic anticenter, which lasted for 60 days. Methods: We analysed 3898 sources in the coloured bands and 5974 in the monochromatic band. Instrumental noise and stellar variability were taken into account using detrending tools before applying various transit search algorithms. Results: Fifty sources were classified as planetary transit candidates and the most reliable 40 detections were declared targets for follow-up ground-based observations. Two of these targets have so far been confirmed as planets, CoRoT-1b and CoRoT-4b, for which a complete characterization and specific studies were performed. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27th 2006, has been developed and is operated by CNES, with contributions from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA, Germany, and Spain. Four French laboratories associated with the CNRS (LESIA, LAM, IAS ,OMP) collaborate with CNES on the satellite development. First CoRoT data are available to the public from the CoRoT archive: http://idoc-corot.ias.u-psud.fr.

  1. EXO-DAT: AN INFORMATION SYSTEM IN SUPPORT OF THE CoRoT/EXOPLANET SCIENCE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deleuil, M.; Meunier, J. C.; Moutou, C.; Surace, C.; Barbieri, M.; Agneray, F.; Granet, Y.; Guterman, P.; Deeg, H. J.; Almenara, J. M.; Debosscher, J.; Hodgkin, S.

    2009-01-01

    Exo-Dat is a database and an information system created primarily in support of the exoplanet program of the COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits (CoRoT) mission. In the directions of CoRoT pointings, it provides a united interface to several sets of data: stellar published catalogs, photometric and spectroscopic data obtained during the mission preparation, results from the mission and from follow-up observations, and several mission-specific technical parameters. The new photometric data constitute the subcatalog Exo-Cat, and give consistent 4-color photometry of 14.0 million stars with a completeness to 19th magnitude in the r-filter. It covers several zones in the galactic plane around CoRoT pointings, with a total area of 209 deg 2 . This Exo-Dat information system provides essential technical support to the ongoing CoRoT light-curve analyses and ground-based follow-up by supplying additional complementary information such as the prior knowledge of the star's fundamental parameters or its contamination level inside the large CoRoT photometric mask. The database is fully interfaced with VO tools and thus benefits from existing visualization and analysis tools like TOPCAT or ALADIN. It is accessible to the CoRoT community through the Web, and will be gradually opened to the public. It is the ideal tool to prepare the foreseen statistical studies of the properties of the exoplanetary systems. As a VO-compliant system, such analyses could thus benefit from the most up-to-date classifier tools.

  2. Direct Detection of Polarized, Scattered Light from Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, Gregory

    We propose to radically advance the state of exoplanet characterization, which lags dramatically behind exoplanet discovery. We propose to directly detect scattered light from the atmospheres of close-in, highly eccentric, and extended/non-spherical exoplanets and thereby determine the following: orbital inclination (and therefore masses free of the M sin i mass ambiguity), geometric albedo, presence or lack of hazes and cloud layers, and scattering particle size and composition. Such measurements are crucial to the understanding of exoplanet atmospheres, because observations with NASA s Hubble, Spitzer, and Kepler space telescopes present the following questions: 1) Do exoplanets have highly reflective haze layers? 2) How does the upper atmospheric composition differ between exoplanets with and without thermal inversions? 3) What are the optical manifestations of the extreme heating of highly eccentric exoplanets? 4) Are the atmospheres of certain exoplanets truly escaping their Roche lobes? Using the POLISH2 polarimeter developed by the Postdoctoral Associate (Wiktorowicz) for the Lick 3-m telescope, we propose to monitor the linear polarization state of exoplanet host stars at the part per million level. POLISH2 consistently delivers nearly photon shot noise limited measurements with this precision. In addition, the simultaneous full-Stokes measurements of POLISH2 and the equatorial mount of the Lick 3-m telescope ensure that systematic effects are mitigated to the part per million level. Indeed, we find the accuracy of the POLISH2 polarimeter to be 0.1 parts per million. This instrument and telescope represent the highest precision polarimeter in the world for exoplanet research. We present potential detection of polarized, scattered light from the HD 189733b, Tau Boo b, and WASP-12b exoplanets. We propose to observe hot Jupiters on circular orbits, highly eccentric exoplanets, exoplanets with extended or non-spherical scattering surfaces, and 55 Cnc e, the

  3. Exoplanets: The Hunt Continues!

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-04-01

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

  4. The exoplanet handbook

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Perryman, M. A. C

    2011-01-01

    .... It treats the many different techniques now available for exoplanet detection and characterisation, the broad range of underlying physics, the overlap with related topics in solar system and Earth sciences, and the concepts underpinning future developments. It emphasises the interconnection between the various topics, and provides extensive refe...

  5. TIME-DEPENDENT COROTATION RESONANCE IN BARRED GALAXIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Yu-Ting; Taam, Ronald E. [Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China); Pfenniger, Daniel, E-mail: ytwu@asiaa.sinica.edu.tw, E-mail: daniel.pfenniger@unige.ch, E-mail: taam@asiaa.sinica.edu.tw [Geneva Observatory, University of Geneva, CH-1290 Sauverny (Switzerland)

    2016-10-20

    The effective potential neighboring the corotation resonance region in barred galaxies is shown to be strongly time-dependent in any rotating frame, due to the competition of nearby perturbations of similar strengths with differing rotation speeds. Contrary to the generally adopted assumption that in the bar rotating frame the corotation region should possess four stationary equilibrium points (Lagrange points), with high quality N -body simulations, we localize the instantaneous equilibrium points (EPs) and find that they circulate or oscillate broadly in azimuth with respect to the pattern speeds of the inner or outer perturbations. This implies that at the particle level the Jacobi integral is not well conserved around the corotation radius. That is, angular momentum exchanges decouple from energy exchanges, enhancing the chaotic diffusion of stars through the corotation region.

  6. Corotating Magnetic Reconnection Site in Saturn’s Magnetosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yao, Z. H.; Coates, A. J.; Ray, L. C.; Rae, I. J.; Jones, G. H.; Owen, C. J.; Dunn, W. R.; Lewis, G. R. [UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Dorking RH5 6NT (United Kingdom); Grodent, D.; Radioti, A.; Gérard, J.-C. [Laboratoire de Physique Atmosphérique et Planétaire, STAR institute, Université de Liège, B-4000 Liège (Belgium); Dougherty, M. K. [Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Space and Atmospheric Physics Group, Department of Physics, London SW7 2BW (United Kingdom); Guo, R. L. [Key Laboratory of Earth and Planetary Physics, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China); Pu, Z. Y. [School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University, Beijing (China); Waite, J. H., E-mail: z.yao@ucl.ac.uk [Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX (United States)

    2017-09-10

    Using measurements from the Cassini spacecraft in Saturn’s magnetosphere, we propose a 3D physical picture of a corotating reconnection site, which can only be driven by an internally generated source. Our results demonstrate that the corotating magnetic reconnection can drive an expansion of the current sheet in Saturn’s magnetosphere and, consequently, can produce Fermi acceleration of electrons. This reconnection site lasted for longer than one of Saturn’s rotation period. The long-lasting and corotating natures of the magnetic reconnection site at Saturn suggest fundamentally different roles of magnetic reconnection in driving magnetospheric dynamics (e.g., the auroral precipitation) from the Earth. Our corotating reconnection picture could also potentially shed light on the fast rotating magnetized plasma environments in the solar system and beyond.

  7. Lightning and Life on Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  8. Integrated Exoplanet Modeling with the GSFC Exoplanet Modeling & Analysis Center (EMAC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandell, Avi M.; Hostetter, Carl; Pulkkinen, Antti; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn David

    2018-01-01

    Our ability to characterize the atmospheres of extrasolar planets will be revolutionized by JWST, WFIRST and future ground- and space-based telescopes. In preparation, the exoplanet community must develop an integrated suite of tools with which we can comprehensively predict and analyze observations of exoplanets, in order to characterize the planetary environments and ultimately search them for signs of habitability and life.The GSFC Exoplanet Modeling and Analysis Center (EMAC) will be a web-accessible high-performance computing platform with science support for modelers and software developers to host and integrate their scientific software tools, with the goal of leveraging the scientific contributions from the entire exoplanet community to improve our interpretations of future exoplanet discoveries. Our suite of models will include stellar models, models for star-planet interactions, atmospheric models, planet system science models, telescope models, instrument models, and finally models for retrieving signals from observational data. By integrating this suite of models, the community will be able to self-consistently calculate the emergent spectra from the planet whether from emission, scattering, or in transmission, and use these simulations to model the performance of current and new telescopes and their instrumentation.The EMAC infrastructure will not only provide a repository for planetary and exoplanetary community models, modeling tools and intermodal comparisons, but it will include a "run-on-demand" portal with each software tool hosted on a separate virtual machine. The EMAC system will eventually include a means of running or “checking in” new model simulations that are in accordance with the community-derived standards. Additionally, the results of intermodal comparisons will be used to produce open source publications that quantify the model comparisons and provide an overview of community consensus on model uncertainties on the climates of

  9. Characterizing exoplanets atmospheres with space photometry at optical wavelengths

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parmentier Vivien

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Space photometry such as performed by Kepler and CoRoT provides exoplanets radius and phase curves with an exquisite precision. The phase curve constrains the longitudinal variation of the albedo and shed light on the horizontal distribution of clouds. The planet radius constraints thermal evolution of the planet, potentially unveiling its atmospheric composition. We present how the atmospheric circulation can affect the cloud distribution of three different planets, HD209458b, Kepler-7b and HD189733b based on three-dimensional models and analytical calculations. Then we use an analytical atmospheric model coupled to a state-of-the-art interior evolution code to study the role of TiO in shaping the thermal evolution and final radius of the planet.

  10. Tidal locking of habitable exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Rory

    2017-12-01

    Potentially habitable planets can orbit close enough to their host star that the differential gravity across their diameters can produce an elongated shape. Frictional forces inside the planet prevent the bulges from aligning perfectly with the host star and result in torques that alter the planet's rotational angular momentum. Eventually the tidal torques fix the rotation rate at a specific frequency, a process called tidal locking. Tidally locked planets on circular orbits will rotate synchronously, but those on eccentric orbits will either librate or rotate super-synchronously. Although these features of tidal theory are well known, a systematic survey of the rotational evolution of potentially habitable exoplanets using classic equilibrium tide theories has not been undertaken. I calculate how habitable planets evolve under two commonly used models and find, for example, that one model predicts that the Earth's rotation rate would have synchronized after 4.5 Gyr if its initial rotation period was 3 days, it had no satellites, and it always maintained the modern Earth's tidal properties. Lower mass stellar hosts will induce stronger tidal effects on potentially habitable planets, and tidal locking is possible for most planets in the habitable zones of GKM dwarf stars. For fast-rotating planets, both models predict eccentricity growth and that circularization can only occur once the rotational frequency is similar to the orbital frequency. The orbits of potentially habitable planets of very late M dwarfs ([InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.]) are very likely to be circularized within 1 Gyr, and hence, those planets will be synchronous rotators. Proxima b is almost assuredly tidally locked, but its orbit may not have circularized yet, so the planet could be rotating super-synchronously today. The evolution of the isolated and potentially habitable Kepler planet candidates is computed and about half could be tidally locked. Finally, projected TESS planets

  11. Exoplanet atmospheres physical processes

    CERN Document Server

    Seager, Sara

    2010-01-01

    Over the past twenty years, astronomers have identified hundreds of extrasolar planets--planets orbiting stars other than the sun. Recent research in this burgeoning field has made it possible to observe and measure the atmospheres of these exoplanets. This is the first textbook to describe the basic physical processes--including radiative transfer, molecular absorption, and chemical processes--common to all planetary atmospheres, as well as the transit, eclipse, and thermal phase variation observations that are unique to exoplanets. In each chapter, Sara Seager offers a conceptual introduction, examples that combine the relevant physics equations with real data, and exercises. Topics range from foundational knowledge, such as the origin of atmospheric composition and planetary spectra, to more advanced concepts, such as solutions to the radiative transfer equation, polarization, and molecular and condensate opacities. Since planets vary widely in their atmospheric properties, Seager emphasizes the major p...

  12. Exoplanet Biosignatures: Observational Prospects

    OpenAIRE

    Fujii, Yuka; Angerhausen, Daniel; Deitrick, Russell; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Grenfell, John Lee; Hori, Yasunori; Kane, Stephen R.; Palle, Enric; Rauer, Heike; Siegler, Nicholas; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Stevenson, Kevin B.

    2017-01-01

    Exoplanet hunting efforts have revealed the prevalence of exotic worlds with diverse properties, including temperate Earth-sized bodies, fueling our endeavor to search for life beyond the Solar System. Accumulating experiences in astrophysical, chemical, and climatological characterization of uninhabitable planets are paving the way to characterization of astrobiologically motivated targets. In this paper, we explore our roadmap toward the comprehensive assessment of temperate terrestrial pla...

  13. Detection of a westward hotspot offset in the atmosphere of hot gas giant CoRoT-2b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, Lisa; Cowan, Nicolas B.; Schwartz, Joel C.; Rauscher, Emily; Zhang, Michael; Knutson, Heather A.; Line, Michael; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian; Deming, Drake; Sundararajan, Sudarsan; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Zhao, Ming

    2018-03-01

    Short-period planets exhibit day-night temperature contrasts of hundreds to thousands of kelvin. They also exhibit eastward hotspot offsets whereby the hottest region on the planet is east of the substellar point1; this has been widely interpreted as advection of heat due to eastward winds2. We present thermal phase observations of the hot Jupiter CoRoT-2b obtained with the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) on the Spitzer Space Telescope. These measurements show the most robust detection to date of a westward hotspot offset of 23 ± 4°, in contrast with the nine other planets with equivalent measurements3-10. The peculiar infrared flux map of CoRoT-2b may result from westward winds due to non-synchronous rotation11 or magnetic effects12,13, or partial cloud coverage, that obscure the emergent flux from the planet's eastern hemisphere14-17. Non-synchronous rotation and magnetic effects may also explain the planet's anomalously large radius12,18. On the other hand, partial cloud coverage could explain the featureless dayside emission spectrum of the planet19,20. If CoRoT-2b is not tidally locked, then it means that our understanding of star-planet tidal interaction is incomplete. If the westward offset is due to magnetic effects, our result represents an opportunity to study an exoplanet's magnetic field. If it has eastern clouds, then it means that a greater understanding of large-scale circulation on tidally locked planets is required.

  14. 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

  15. THE FREQUENCY OF LOW-MASS EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

    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 (HD 16417b), and here we reconfirm the detection of HD 4308b. Further, we have Monte Carlo simulated data from this run on a star-by-star basis to produce robust detection constraints. These simulations demonstrate clear differences in the exoplanet detectability functions from star to star due to differences in sampling, data quality and intrinsic stellar stability. They reinforce the importance of star-by-star simulation when interpreting the data from Doppler planet searches. These simulations indicate that for some of our target stars we are sensitive to close-orbiting planets as small as a few Earth masses. The two low-mass planets present in our 24-star sample indicate that the exoplanet minimum mass function at low masses is likely to be a flat α ∼ -1 (for dN/dM ∝ M α ) and that between 15% ± 10% (at α = -0.3) and 48% ± 34% (at α = -1.3) of stars host planets with orbital periods of less than 16 days and minimum masses greater than 3 M + .

  16. TWO EXOPLANETS DISCOVERED AT KECK OBSERVATORY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valenti, Jeff A.; Fischer, Debra; Giguere, Matt; Isaacson, Howard; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Howard, Andrew W.; Johnson, John A.; Henry, Gregory W.; Wright, Jason T.

    2009-01-01

    We present two exoplanets detected at Keck Observatory. HD 179079 is a G5 subgiant that hosts a hot Neptune planet with M sin i = 27.5 M + in a 14.48 days, low-eccentricity orbit. The stellar reflex velocity induced by this planet has a semiamplitude of K = 6.6 m s -1 . HD 73534 is a G5 subgiant with a Jupiter-like planet of M sin i = 1.1 M Jup and K = 16 m s -1 in a nearly circular 4.85 yr orbit. Both stars are chromospherically inactive and metal-rich. We discuss a known, classical bias in measuring eccentricities for orbits with velocity semiamplitudes, K, comparable to the radial velocity uncertainties. For exoplanets with periods longer than 10 days, the observed exoplanet eccentricity distribution is nearly flat for large amplitude systems (K > 80 m s -1 ), but rises linearly toward low eccentricity for lower amplitude systems (K > 20 m s -1 ).

  17. A New Spin to Exoplanet Habitability Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgoulis, M. K.; Patsourakos, S.

    2017-12-01

    We describe a physically- and statistically-based method to infer the near-Sun magnetic field of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and then extrapolate it to the inner heliosphere and beyond. Besides a ballpark agreement with in-situ observations of interplanetary CMEs (ICMEs) at L1, we use our estimates to show that Earth does not seem to be at risk of an extinction-level atmospheric erosion or stripping by the magnetic pressure of extreme solar eruptions, even way above a Carrington-type event. This does not seem to be the case with exoplanets, however, at least those orbiting in the classically defined habitability zones of magnetically active dwarf stars at orbital radii of a small fraction of 1 AU. We show that the combination of stellar ICMEs and the tidally locking zone of mother stars, that quite likely does not allow these exoplanets to attain Earth-like magnetic fields to shield themselves, probably render the existence of a proper atmosphere in them untenable. We propose, therefore, a critical revision of habitability criteria in these cases that would limit the number of target exoplanets considered as potential biosphere hosts.

  18. The Frequency of Low-Mass Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

    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 (HD 16417b), and here we reconfirm the detection of HD 4308b. Further, we have Monte Carlo simulated data from this run on a star-by-star basis to produce robust detection constraints. These simulations demonstrate clear differences in the exoplanet detectability functions from star to star due to differences in sampling, data quality and intrinsic stellar stability. They reinforce the importance of star-by-star simulation when interpreting the data from Doppler planet searches. These simulations indicate that for some of our target stars we are sensitive to close-orbiting planets as small as a few Earth masses. The two low-mass planets present in our 24-star sample indicate that the exoplanet minimum mass function at low masses is likely to be a flat α ~ -1 (for dN/dM vprop M α) and that between 15% ± 10% (at α = -0.3) and 48% ± 34% (at α = -1.3) of stars host planets with orbital periods of less than 16 days and minimum masses greater than 3 M ⊕.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hébrard G.

    2011-02-01

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

  20. Stargate: An Open Stellar Catalog for NASA Exoplanet Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanner, Angelle

    NASA is invested in a number of space- and ground-based efforts to find extrasolar planets around nearby stars with the ultimate goal of discovering an Earth 2.0 viable for searching for bio-signatures in its atmosphere. With both sky-time and funding resources extremely precious it is crucial that the exoplanet community has the most efficient and functional tools for choosing which stars to observe and then deriving the physical properties of newly discovered planets via the properties of their host stars. Historically, astronomers have utilized a piecemeal set of archives such as SIMBAD, the Washington Double Star Catalog, various exoplanet encyclopedias and electronic tables from the literature to cobble together stellar and planetary parameters in the absence of corresponding images and spectra. The mothballed NStED archive was in the process of collecting such data on nearby stars but its course may have changed if it comes back to NASA mission specific targets and NOT a volume limited sample of nearby stars. This means there is void. A void in the available set of tools many exoplanet astronomers would appreciate to create comprehensive lists of the stellar parameters of stars in our local neighborhood. Also, we need better resources for downloading adaptive optics images and published spectra to help confirm new discoveries and find ideal target stars. With so much data being produced by the stellar and exoplanet community we have decided to propose for the creation of an open access archive in the spirit of the open exoplanet catalog and the Kepler Community Follow-up Program. While we will highly regulate and constantly validate the data being placed into our archive the open nature of its design is intended to allow the database to be updated quickly and have a level of versatility which is necessary in today's fast moving, big data exoplanet community. Here, we propose to develop the Stargate Open stellar catalog for NASA exoplanet exploration.

  1. Corotation torques in the solar nebula - the cutoff function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ward, W.R.

    1989-01-01

    The behavior of high-order corotation resonances in a disk of finite thickness is examined. The torque exerted at an mth-order resonance is determined by employing a vertically averaged disturbing function, and the ratio of this torque to that exerted on a cold, two-dimensional disk is identified as the so-called torque cutoff function. This function is then used to calculate contributions from the corotation torques to eccentricity variations of a perturber's orbit assumed orbiting in the disk. 11 references

  2. The Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Program for JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Stevenson, Kevin B.; Bean, Jacob; Sing, David K.; Crossfield, Ian; Knutson, Heather; Line, Michael R.; Kreidberg, Laura; Desert, Jean-Michel; Wakeford, Hannah; Crouzet, Nicolas; Moses, Julianne I.; Benneke, Björn; Kempton, Eliza; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Parmentier, Vivien; Gibson, Neale; Schlawin, Everett; Fraine, Jonathan; Kendrew, Sarah; Transiting Exoplanet Community ERS Team

    2018-06-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope offers astronomers the opportunity to observe the composition, structure, and dynamics of transiting exoplanet atmospheres with unprecedented detail. However, such observations require very precise time-series spectroscopic monitoring of bright stars and present unique technical challenges. The Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Program for JWST aims to help the community understand and overcome these technical challenges as early in the mission as possible, and to enable exciting scientific discoveries through the creation of public exoplanet atmosphere datasets. With observations of three hot Jupiters spanning a range of host star brightnesses, this program will exercise time-series modes with all four JWST instruments and cover a full suite of transiting planet characterization geometries (transits, eclipses, and phase curves). We designed the observational strategy through an open and transparent community effort, with contributions from an international collaboration of over 100 experts in exoplanet observations, theory, and instrumentation. Community engagement with the project will be centered around open Data Challenge activities using both simulated and real ERS data, for exoplanet scientists to cross-validate and improve their analysis tools and theoretical models. Recognizing that the scientific utility of JWST will be determined not only by its hardware and software but also by the community of people who use it, we take an intentional approach toward crafting an inclusive collaboration and encourage new participants to join our efforts.

  3. Exoplanets and Multiverses (Abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimble, V.

    2016-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Decrease of the atmospheric co-rotation with height

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Membrado, M; Pacheco, A F

    2010-01-01

    Considering our atmosphere as a steady viscous gaseous envelope that co-rotates with the Earth, we obtain a solution for the form in which this induced rotational effect decreases as a function of the distances to the centre of the Earth and to the rotation axis.

  6. GAUDI: A Preparatory Archive for the COROT Mission

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Solano, E.; Aerts, C.C.

    2005-01-01

    The GAUDI database (Ground-based Asteroseismology Uniform Database Interface) is a preparatory archive for the COROT (Convection, Rotation, and Planetary Transits) mission developed at the Laboratorio de Astrofísica Espacial y Física Fundamental (Laboratory for Space Astrophysics and Theoretical

  7. The COROT ground-based archive and access system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solano, E.; González-Riestra, R.; Catala, C.; Baglin, A.

    2002-01-01

    A prototype of the COROT ground-based archive and access system is presented here. The system has been developed at LAEFF and it is based on the experience gained at Laboratorio de Astrofisica Espacial y Fisica Fundamental (LAEFF) with the INES (IUE Newly Extracted System) Archive.

  8. Simulating the Exoplanet Yield from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barclay, Thomas; Pepper, Joshua; Schlieder, Joshua; Quintana, Elisa

    2018-01-01

    In 2018 NASA will launch the MIT-led Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) which has a goal of detecting terrestrial-mass planets orbiting stars bright enough for mass determination via ground-based radial velocity observations. We inferred how many exoplanets the TESS mission will detect, the physical properties of these detected planets, and the properties of the stars that those planets orbit, subject to certain assumptions about the mission performance. To make these predictions we use samples of stars that are drawn from the TESS Input Catalog Candidate Target List. We place zero or more planets in orbit around these stars with physical properties following known exoplanet occurrence rates, and use the TESS noise model to predict the derived properties of the detected exoplanets. We find that it is feasible to detect around 1000 exoplanets, including 250 smaller than 2 earth-radii using the TESS 2-min cadence data. We examined alternative noise models and detection models and find in our pessimistic model that TESS will detect just 500 exoplanets. When potential detections in the full-frame image data are included, the number of detected planets could increase by a factor of 4. Perhaps most excitingly, TESS will find over 2 dozen planets orbiting in the habitable zone of bright, nearby cool stars. These planets will make ideal candidates for atmospheric characerization by JWST.

  9. Detection of small-size planetary candidates with CoRoT data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moutou C.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available With the discovery of CoRoT-7b, the first transiting super-Earth, the CoRoT space mission has shown the capability to detect short-period rocky planets around solar-like stars. By performing a blind test with real CoRoT light curves, we want to establish the detection threshold of small-size planets in CoRoT data. We investigate the main obstacles to the detection of transiting super-Earths in CoRoT data, notably the presence of short-time scale variability and hot pixels.

  10. Exoplanet Caught on the Move

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Exoplanet Biosignatures: Observational Prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel; Deitrick, Russell; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Grenfell, John Lee; Hori, Yasunori; Kane, Stephen R.; Pallé, Enric; Rauer, Heike; Siegler, Nicholas; Stapelfeldt, Karl; Stevenson, Kevin B.

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Exoplanet hunting efforts have revealed the prevalence of exotic worlds with diverse properties, including Earth-sized bodies, which has fueled our endeavor to search for life beyond the Solar System. Accumulating experiences in astrophysical, chemical, and climatological characterization of uninhabitable planets are paving the way to characterization of potentially habitable planets. In this paper, we review our possibilities and limitations in characterizing temperate terrestrial planets with future observational capabilities through the 2030s and beyond, as a basis of a broad range of discussions on how to advance “astrobiology” with exoplanets. We discuss the observability of not only the proposed biosignature candidates themselves but also of more general planetary properties that provide circumstantial evidence, since the evaluation of any biosignature candidate relies on its context. Characterization of temperate Earth-sized planets in the coming years will focus on those around nearby late-type stars. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and later 30-meter-class ground-based telescopes will empower their chemical investigations. Spectroscopic studies of potentially habitable planets around solar-type stars will likely require a designated spacecraft mission for direct imaging, leveraging technologies that are already being developed and tested as part of the Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission. Successful initial characterization of a few nearby targets will be an important touchstone toward a more detailed scrutiny and a larger survey that are envisioned beyond 2030. The broad outlook this paper presents may help develop new observational techniques to detect relevant features as well as frameworks to diagnose planets based on the observables. Key Words: Exoplanets—Biosignatures—Characterization—Planetary atmospheres—Planetary surfaces. Astrobiology 18, 739–778. PMID:29938537

  13. A Cloudy View of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Illusion and reality in the atmospheres of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, L. Drake; Seager, Sara

    2017-01-01

    The atmospheres of exoplanets reveal all their properties beyond mass, radius, and orbit. Based on bulk densities, we know that exoplanets larger than 1.5 Earth radii must have gaseous envelopes and, hence, atmospheres. We discuss contemporary techniques for characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres. The measurements are difficult, because—even in current favorable cases—the signals can be as small as 0.001% of the host star's flux. Consequently, some early results have been illusory and not confirmed by subsequent investigations. Prominent illusions to date include polarized scattered light, temperature inversions, and the existence of carbon planets. The field moves from the first tentative and often incorrect conclusions, converging to the reality of exoplanetary atmospheres. That reality is revealed using transits for close-in exoplanets and direct imaging for young or massive exoplanets in distant orbits. Several atomic and molecular constituents have now been robustly detected in exoplanets as small as Neptune. In our current observations, the effects of clouds and haze appear ubiquitous. Topics at the current frontier include the measurement of heavy element abundances in giant planets, detection of carbon-based molecules, measurement of atmospheric temperature profiles, definition of heat circulation efficiencies for tidally locked planets, and the push to detect and characterize the atmospheres of super-Earths. Future observatories for this quest include the James Webb Space Telescope and the new generation of extremely large telescopes on the ground. On a more distant horizon, NASA's study concepts for the Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) and the Large UV/Optical/Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR) missions could extend the study of exoplanetary atmospheres to true twins of Earth.

  15. Servo Driven Corotation: Development of AN Inertial Clock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Wah-Kwan Stephen

    An inertial clock to test non-metricity of gravity is proposed here. A first, room-temperature, servo corotation -protected, double magnetically suspended precision rotor system is developed for this purpose. The specific goal was to exhibit the properties of such a clock in its entirety at whatever level of precision was achievable. A monolithic system has been completed for these preliminary studies. It includes particular development of individual experimental sub-systems (a hybrid double magnetic suspension; a diffusion pumping system; a microcomputer -controlled eddy-current drive system; and the angular period measuring schemes for the doubly suspended rotors). Double magnetic suspension had been investigated by Beams for other purposes. The upper transducer is optical but parametrized and the lower transducer employs the frequency modulation characteristic of a LC tank circuit. The doubly suspended rotors corotate so that the upper rotor is servoed to rotate at the same angular velocity as that of the lower rotor. This creates a "drag free" environment for the lower rotor and effectively eliminates the gas drag on the lower rotor. Consequently, the decay time constant of the lower rotor increases. With other means of protection, the lower rotor will then, with perfect system operation, suffer no drag and therefore become the inertial time keeper. A commercial microcomputer is introduced to execute the servo-corotation. The tests thus far are, with one exception, run at atmospheric pressure. An idealized analysis for open and closed loop corotation is shown. Such analysis includes only the viscous drag acting on the corotating rotors. The analysis suggests that angular position control be added to the present feedback drive which is of derivative nature only. Open and closed corotation runs show that a strong torsional coupling besides that of the gas drag exists between the rotors. When misalignment of the support pole pieces is deliberately made significant

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Latham, David W.; Johansen, Anders

    2012-01-01

    of the host stars of 226 small exoplanet candidates discovered by NASAs Kepler mission, including objects that are comparable in size to the terrestrial planets in the Solar System. We find that planets with radii less than four Earth radii form around host stars with a wide range of metallicities (but...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M

    2014-09-02

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

  18. A corotation electric field model of the Earth derived from Swarm satellite magnetic field measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maus, Stefan

    2017-08-01

    Rotation of the Earth in its own geomagnetic field sets up a primary corotation electric field, compensated by a secondary electric field of induced electrical charges. For the geomagnetic field measured by the Swarm constellation of satellites, a derivation of the global corotation electric field inside and outside of the corotation region is provided here, in both inertial and corotating reference frames. The Earth is assumed an electrical conductor, the lower atmosphere an insulator, followed by the corotating ionospheric E region again as a conductor. Outside of the Earth's core, the induced charge is immediately accessible from the spherical harmonic Gauss coefficients of the geomagnetic field. The charge density is positive at high northern and southern latitudes, negative at midlatitudes, and increases strongly toward the Earth's center. Small vertical electric fields of about 0.3 mV/m in the insulating atmospheric gap are caused by the corotation charges located in the ionosphere above and the Earth below. The corotation charges also flow outward into the region of closed magnetic field lines, forcing the plasmasphere to corotate. The electric field of the corotation charges further extends outside of the corotating regions, contributing radial outward electric fields of about 10 mV/m in the northern and southern polar caps. Depending on how the magnetosphere responds to these fields, the Earth may carry a net electric charge.

  19. Corotating pressure waves without streams in the solar wind

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burlaga, L.F.

    1983-01-01

    Voyager 1 and 2 magnetic field and plasma data are presented which demonstrate the existence of large scale, corotating, non-linear pressure waves between 2 AU and 4 AU that are not accompanied by fast streams. The pressure waves are presumed to be generated by corotating streams near the Sun. For two of the three pressure waves that are discussed, the absence of a stream is probably a real, physical effect, viz., a consequence of deceleration of the stream by the associated compression wave. For the third pressure wave, the apparent absence of a stream may be a geometrical effect it is likely that the stream was at latitudes just above those of the spacecraft, while the associated shocks and compression wave extended over a broader range of latitudes so that they could be observed by the spacecraft. It is suggested that the development of large-scale non-linear pressure waves at the expense of the kinetic energy of streams produces a qualitative change in the solar wind in the outer heliosphere. Within a few AU the quasi-stationary solar wind structure is determined by corotating streams whose structure is determined by the boundary conditions near the Sun

  20. Exoplanet's Figure and Its Interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mian, Zhang; Cheng-li, Huang

    2018-01-01

    Along with the development of the observing technology, the observation and study on the exoplanets' oblateness and apsidal precession have achieved significant progress. The oblateness of an exoplanet is determined by its interior density profile and rotation period. Between its Love number k2 and core size exists obviously a negative correlation. So oblateness and k2 can well constrain its interior structure. Starting from the Lane-Emden equation, the planet models based on different polytropic indices are built. Then the flattening factors are obtained by solving the Wavre's integro-differential equation. The result shows that the smaller the polytropic index, the faster the rotation, and the larger the oblateness. We have selected 469 exoplanets, which have simultaneously the observed or estimated values of radius, mass, and orbit period from the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Exoplanet Archive, and calculated their flattening factors under the two assumptions: tidal locking and fixed rotation period of 10.55 hours. The result shows that the flattening factors are too small to be detected under the tidal locking assumption, and that 28% of exoplanets have the flattening factors larger than 0.1 under the fixed rotation period of 10.55 hours. The Love numbers under the different polytropic models are solved by the Zharkov's approach, and the relation between k2 and core size is discussed.

  1. Magnetic fields in Earth-like exoplanets and implications for habitability around M-dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Morales, Mercedes; Gómez-Pérez, Natalia; Ruedas, Thomas

    2011-12-01

    We present estimations of dipolar magnetic moments for terrestrial exoplanets using the Olson & Christiansen (EPS Lett 250:561-571, 2006) scaling law and assuming their interior structure is similar to Earth. We find that the dipolar moment of fast rotating planets (where the Coriolis force dominates convection in the core), may amount up to ~80 times the magnetic moment of Earth, M ⊕, for at least part of the planets' lifetime. For slow rotating planets (where the force of inertia dominates), the dipolar magnetic moment only reaches up to ~1.5 M [symbol in text]. Applying our calculations to confirmed rocky exoplanets, we find that CoRoT-7b, Kepler-10b and 55 Cnc e can sustain dynamos up to ~18, 15 and 13 M [symbol in text], respectively. Our results also indicate that the magnetic moment of rocky exoplanets not only depends on rotation rate, but also on their formation history, thermal state, age, composition, and the geometry of the field. These results apply to all rocky planets, but have important implications for the particular case of planets in the Habitable Zone of M-dwarfs.

  2. [1012.5676] The Exoplanet Orbit Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    : The Exoplanet Orbit Database Authors: Jason T Wright, Onsi Fakhouri, Geoffrey W. Marcy, Eunkyu Han present a database of well determined orbital parameters of exoplanets. This database comprises parameters, and the method used for the planets discovery. This Exoplanet Orbit Database includes all planets

  3. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-28

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

  4. A 0.8-2.4 μm Transmission spectrum of the hot Jupiter CoRoT-1b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schlawin, E.; Herter, T. [Astronomy Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Zhao, M. [Department of Astronomy, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Teske, J. K. [Astronomy Department, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2014-03-01

    Hot Jupiters with brightness temperatures ≳2000 K can have TiO and VO molecules as gaseous species in their atmospheres. The TiO and VO molecules can potentially induce temperature inversions in hot Jupiter atmospheres and also have an observable signature of large optical to infrared transit depth ratios. Previous transmission spectra of very hot Jupiters have shown a lack of TiO and VO, but only in planets that also appear to lack temperature inversions. We measure the transmission spectrum of CoRoT-1b, a hot Jupiter that was predicted to have a temperature inversion potentially due to significant TiO and VO in its atmosphere. We employ the multi-object spectroscopy method using the SpeX and MORIS instruments on the Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and the Gaussian process method to model red noise. By using a simultaneous reference star on the slit for calibration and a wide slit to minimize slit losses, we achieve transit depth precision of 0.03%-0.09%, comparable to the atmospheric scale height but detect no statistically significant molecular features. We combine our IRTF data with optical CoRoT transmission measurements to search for differences in the optical and near-infrared absorption that would arise from TiO/VO. Our IRTF spectrum and the CoRoT photometry disfavor a TiO/VO-rich spectrum for CoRoT-1b, suggesting that the atmosphere has another absorber that could create a temperature inversion or that the blackbody-like emission from the planet is due to a spectroscopically flat cloud, dust, or haze layer that smoothes out molecular features in both CoRoT-1b's emission and transmission spectra. This system represents the faintest planet hosting star (K = 12.2) with a measured planetary transmission spectrum.

  5. IMPROVED VARIABLE STAR SEARCH IN LARGE PHOTOMETRIC DATA SETS: NEW VARIABLES IN CoRoT FIELD LRa02 DETECTED BY BEST II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fruth, T.; Cabrera, J.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Eigmüller, P.; Erikson, A.; Kirste, S.; Pasternacki, T.; Rauer, H.; Titz-Weider, R.; Kabath, P.; Chini, R.; Lemke, R.; Murphy, M.

    2012-01-01

    The CoRoT field LRa02 has been observed with the Berlin Exoplanet Search Telescope II (BEST II) during the southern summer 2007/2008. A first analysis of stellar variability led to the publication of 345 newly discovered variable stars. Now, a deeper analysis of this data set was used to optimize the variability search procedure. Several methods and parameters have been tested in order to improve the selection process compared to the widely used J index for variability ranking. This paper describes an empirical approach to treat systematic trends in photometric data based upon the analysis of variance statistics that can significantly decrease the rate of false detections. Finally, the process of reanalysis and method improvement has virtually doubled the number of variable stars compared to the first analysis by Kabath et al. A supplementary catalog of 272 previously unknown periodic variables plus 52 stars with suspected variability is presented. Improved ephemerides are given for 19 known variables in the field. In addition, the BEST II results are compared with CoRoT data and its automatic variability classification.

  6. Photometric Exoplanet Characterization and Multimedia Astronomy Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartier, Kimberly M. S.

    The transit method of detecting exoplanets has dominated the search for distant worlds since the success of the Kepler space telescope and will continue to lead the field after the launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite in 2018. But detections are just the beginning. Transit light curves can only reveal a limited amount of information about a planet, and that information is almost entirely dependent on the properties of the host star or stars. This dissertation discusses follow-up techniques to more precisely characterize transiting planets using photometric observations. A high-resolution follow-up imaging program using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) searched for previously unknown stars nearby the hosts of small and cool Kepler exoplanets and observed a higher-than-expected occurrence rate of stellar multiplicity. The rate of previously unknown stellar multiples has strong implications for the size and habitability of the orbiting planets. Three systems with newly discovered stellar multiplicity, Kepler-296 (2 stars, 5 planets), KOI-2626 (3 stars, 1 planet), and KOI-3049 (2 stars, 1 planet), were characterized in more detail. In the cases of Kepler-296 and KOI-2626, some of the planets lost their previous habitable zone status because of host star ambiguity. Next, the ultra-short period, ultra-hot Jupiter WASP-103b was used as a casestudy to test for the presence of a stratospheric temperature inversion through dayside emission spectroscopy using HST. WASP-103b's near-infrared emission spectrum is consistent with an isothermal or thermally-inverted atmosphere and shows no significant broadband water absorption feature. Detection of an anomalously strong "super- Rayleigh" slope in its optical transmission spectrum prompted follow-up transmission spectroscopy of WASP-103b's atmosphere using the MINiature Radial Velocity Array (MINERVA), which tentatively verified the unexplained "super-Rayleigh" spectral slope. The final follow-up technique for

  7. The Effect of Starspots on Detectability of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Ryan; Berta-Thompson, Zachory

    2018-01-01

    Transmission spectroscopy is an effective tool for detecting and characterizing the atmospheres of transiting extrasolar planets. However, the presence of cool spots on a planet’s host star can be a source of uncertainty that is difficult to account for. Cool starspots introduce wavelength-dependent features and noise into the transmission spectrum of an orbiting exoplanet. For sufficiently cool stars, especially M dwarfs, this could cause false detections of water and other species in the planet’s atmosphere. To understand the extent of this problem, we use a combination of PHOENIX model spectra and the starspot simulation code MACULA to simulate the effects of starspots on observed transmission spectra for a wide variety of stars and spot configurations. By comparing the simulated DoTV (Depth of Transit Variation) due to starspots with models of the expected DoTV from exoplanet atmospheres with a given composition, we can estimate the level of effect the starspots have on the detectability of various atmospheres. For example, our results indicate for TRAPPIST-1’s planets that while the large amplitude absorption features from a H/He-rich atmosphere should be easily detectable, a pure water atmosphere would be much harder to distinguish from starspot noise. Consequently, proper characterization of exoplanet atmospheres, especially around cool, active host stars, requires a proper understanding of the star’s spot properties and suitable methods for reducing or removing spot-induced brightness fluctuations as a source of noise.

  8. TERRESTRIAL, HABITABLE-ZONE EXOPLANET FREQUENCY FROM KEPLER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2012-01-01

    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 (HZ) exoplanets. The Kepler census is assumed to be complete for bright stars (magnitude 0.5 Earth radius and periods β–1 , with β ≅ 0.71 ± 0.08; and an extrapolation to longer periods gives the frequency of terrestrial planets in the HZs of FGK stars as η ⊕ ≅ (34 ± 14)%. Thus about one-third of FGK stars are predicted to have at least one terrestrial, HZ planet.

  9. Characterizing Rosetta Stone Exoplanets with JWST Transit Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Nikole K.; Clampin, Mark; Seager, Sara; Valenti, Jeff A.; Mountain, Matt; JWST Telescope Scientist GTO Team

    2017-06-01

    JWST will for the first time provide for spectroscopic (R > 100) observation of systems hosting transiting exoplanets over the critical wavelength range from 0.6 to 28.5 microns. Our team will take advantage of JWST's spectral coverage and resolution to characterize a small number of exoplanets in exquisite detail. We plan to focus our efforts on single representative members of the hot-Jupiter, warm-Neptune, and temperate-Earth populations in both transmission and emission over the full wavelength range of JWST. Our JWST observations will hopefully become 'Rosetta Stones' that will serve as benchmarks for further observations of planets within each representative population and a lasting legacy of the JWST mission. Here we will describe our observational plan and how we turned our science goals into an implemented Cycle 1 JWST program.

  10. Three body dynamics and its applications to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Musielak, Zdzislaw

    2017-01-01

    This brief book provides an overview of the gravitational orbital evolution of few-body systems, in particular those consisting of three bodies. The authors present the historical context that begins with the origin of the problem as defined by Newton, which was followed up by Euler, Lagrange, Laplace, and many others. Additionally, they consider the modern works from the 20th and 21st centuries that describe the development of powerful analytical methods by Poincare and others. The development of numerical tools, including modern symplectic methods, are presented as they pertain to the identification of short-term chaos and long term integrations of the orbits of many astronomical architectures such as stellar triples, planets in binaries, and single stars that host multiple exoplanets. The book includes some of the latest discoveries from the Kepler and now K2 missions, as well as applications to exoplanets discovered via the radial velocity method. Specifically, the authors give a unique perspective in rel...

  11. Physical constraints on the likelihood of life on exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingam, Manasvi; Loeb, Abraham

    2018-04-01

    One of the most fundamental questions in exoplanetology is to determine whether a given planet is habitable. We estimate the relative likelihood of a planet's propensity towards habitability by considering key physical characteristics such as the role of temperature on ecological and evolutionary processes, and atmospheric losses via hydrodynamic escape and stellar wind erosion. From our analysis, we demonstrate that Earth-sized exoplanets in the habitable zone around M-dwarfs seemingly display much lower prospects of being habitable relative to Earth, owing to the higher incident ultraviolet fluxes and closer distances to the host star. We illustrate our results by specifically computing the likelihood (of supporting life) for the recently discovered exoplanets, Proxima b and TRAPPIST-1e, which we find to be several orders of magnitude smaller than that of Earth.

  12. The Berlin Exoplanet Search Telescope Ii Catalog Of Variable Stars. Ii. Characterization Of The Corot Src02 Field

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Klagyivik, P.; Csizmadia, S.; Pasternacki, T.; Cabrera, J.; Chini, R.; Eigmueller, P.; Erikson, A.; Fruth, T.; Kabáth, Petr; Lemke, R.; Murphy, M.; Rauer, H.; Titz-Weider, R.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 151, May (2016), 110/1-110/9 ISSN 0004-6256 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : eclipsing binaries * variables stars * photometric techniques Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 2.609, year: 2016

  13. Exoplanet Observing: From Art to Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conti, Dennis M.; Gleeson, Jack

    2017-06-01

    This paper will review the now well-established best practices for conducting high precision exoplanet observing with small telescopes. The paper will also review the AAVSO's activities in promoting these best practices among the amateur astronomer community through training material and online courses, as well as through the establishment of an AAVSO Exoplanet Database. This latter development will be an essential element in supporting followup exoplanet observations for upcoming space telescope missions such as TESS and JWST.

  14. Exoplanet Observing: from Art to Science (Abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conti, D. M.; Gleeson, J.

    2017-12-01

    (Abstract only) This paper will review the now well-established best practices for conducting high precision exoplanet observing with small telescopes. The paper will also review the AAVSO's activities in promoting these best practices among the amateur astronomer community through training material and online courses, as well as through the establishment of an AAVSO Exoplanet Database. This latter development will be an essential element in supporting followup exoplanet observations for upcoming space telescope missions such as TESS and JWST.

  15. 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

  16. HOMES - Holographic Optical Method for Exoplanet Spectroscopy

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — HOMES (Holographic Optical Method for Exoplanet Spectroscopy) is a space telescope that employs a double dispersion architecture, using a holographic optical element...

  17. Analytic Reflected Lightcurves for Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haggard, Hal M.; Cowan, Nicolas B.

    2018-04-01

    The disk-integrated reflected brightness of an exoplanet changes as a function of time due to orbital and rotational motion coupled with an inhomogeneous albedo map. We have previously derived analytic reflected lightcurves for spherical harmonic albedo maps in the special case of a synchronously-rotating planet on an edge-on orbit (Cowan, Fuentes & Haggard 2013). In this letter, we present analytic reflected lightcurves for the general case of a planet on an inclined orbit, with arbitrary spin period and non-zero obliquity. We do so for two different albedo basis maps: bright points (δ-maps), and spherical harmonics (Y_l^m-maps). In particular, we use Wigner D-matrices to express an harmonic lightcurve for an arbitrary viewing geometry as a non-linear combination of harmonic lightcurves for the simpler edge-on, synchronously rotating geometry. These solutions will enable future exploration of the degeneracies and information content of reflected lightcurves, as well as fast calculation of lightcurves for mapping exoplanets based on time-resolved photometry. To these ends we make available Exoplanet Analytic Reflected Lightcurves (EARL), a simple open-source code that allows rapid computation of reflected lightcurves.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    Results on the obliquity of exoplanet host stars?the angle between the stellar spin axis and the planetary orbital axis?provide important diagnostic information for theories describing planetary formation. Here we present the first application of asteroseismology to the problem of stellar obliquity

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chaplin, W. J.; Sanchis-Ojeda, R.; Campante, T. L.

    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 obl...

  20. KMTNet: A Cold Exoplanet Census Through a Global Microlensing Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Calen B.; Gaudi, B. Scott; Han, Cheongho; Nataf, David; Skowron, Jan; Penny, Matthew; Gould, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    The unique sensitivity of gravitational microlensing to low-mass planets near and beyond the snow line makes it an indispensable tool for understanding the distribution and formation mechanisms of exoplanets. The Korean Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet) consists of three 1.6m telescopes each with a 4 deg2 field of view and will be dedicated to monitoring the Galactic Bulge in order to detect exoplanets via gravitational microlensing. With its relatively large aperture, large field of view, high (~10-minute) cadence, and near-complete longitudinal coverage of the Galactic Bulge for 8 months a year, KMTNet is expected to increase the the annual detection rate of exoplanets via microlensing by a factor of ~5 over current surveys, pushing down to the mass of Earth for bound and unbound planets. I will summarize the predicted yields of KMTNet's survey based on detailed simulations, highlighting its sensitivity to low-mass planets and its expected haul of free-floating planets. I will also describe the prospects for characterization of the exoplanetary systems KMTNet will detect, focusing on the variety of techniques current and future high-resolution facilities such as VLT, GMT, and JWST can use to measure the flux from the host stars and ultimately derive planet masses.

  1. GAUDI: A Preparatory Archive for the COROT Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solano, E.; Catala, C.; Garrido, R.; Poretti, E.; Janot-Pacheco, E.; Gutiérrez, R.; González, R.; Mantegazza, L.; Neiner, C.; Fremat, Y.; Charpinet, S.; Weiss, W.; Amado, P. J.; Rainer, M.; Tsymbal, V.; Lyashko, D.; Ballereau, D.; Bouret, J. C.; Hua, T.; Katz, D.; Lignières, F.; Lüftinger, T.; Mittermayer, P.; Nesvacil, N.; Soubiran, C.; van't Veer-Menneret, C.; Goupil, M. J.; Costa, V.; Rolland, A.; Antonello, E.; Bossi, M.; Buzzoni, A.; Rodrigo, C.; Aerts, C.; Butler, C. J.; Guenther, E.; Hatzes, A.

    2005-01-01

    The GAUDI database (Ground-based Asteroseismology Uniform Database Interface) is a preparatory archive for the COROT (Convection, Rotation, and Planetary Transits) mission developed at the Laboratorio de Astrofísica Espacial y Física Fundamental (Laboratory for Space Astrophysics and Theoretical Physics, Spain). Its intention is to make the ground-based observations obtained in preparation of the asteroseismology program available in a simple and efficient way. It contains spectroscopic and photometric data together with inferred physical parameters for more than 1500 objects gathered since 1998 January 1998 in 6 years of observational campaigns. In this paper, the main functions and characteristics of the system are described. Based on observations collected at La Silla (ESO proposals 67.D-0169, 69.D-0166, and 70.D-0110), Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (proposal 6-20-068), Observatoire de Haute-Provence, the South African Astronomical Observatory, Tautenburg Observatory, and Sierra Nevada Observatory.

  2. The Effect of Stellar Contamination on Transmission Spectra of Low-mass Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rackham, Benjamin V.; Apai, Daniel; Giampapa, Mark S.

    2017-10-01

    Transmission spectroscopy offers the exciting possibility of studying terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres in the near-term future. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), scheduled for launch next year, is expected to discover thousands of transiting exoplanets around bright host stars, including an estimated twenty habitable zone super-Earths. The brightness of the TESS host stars, combined with refined observational strategies and near-future facilities, will enable searches for atmospheric signatures from smaller and cooler exoplanets. These observations, however, will be increasingly subject to noise introduced by heterogeneities in the host star photospheres, such as star spots and faculae. In short, the transmission spectroscopy method relies on the assumption that the spectrum of the transit chord does not differ from that of the integrated stellar disk or, if it does, the contribution of photospheric heterogeneities to the transmission spectrum can be constrained by variability monitoring. However, any axisymmetric populations of spots and faculae will strongly affect transmission spectra, and their presence cannot be deduced from monitoring efforts. A clear need exists for a more robust understanding of stellar contamination on transmission spectra. Here we summarize our work on the impact of heterogeneous stellar photospheres on transmission spectra and detail implications for atmospheric characterization efforts. By modeling spot and faculae distributions in stellar photospheres, we find that spot-covering fractions extrapolated from observed variability amplitudes are significantly underestimated. Likewise, corrections based on variability monitoring likely fall short of the actual stellar spectral contamination. We provide examples of contamination spectra for typical levels of stellar activity across a range of spectral types. For M dwarfs, molecular absorption features in spots and faculae can imprint apparent features in transmission spectra

  3. A Theory of Exoplanet Transits with Light Scattering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robinson, Tyler D., E-mail: tydrobin@ucsc.edu [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)

    2017-02-20

    Exoplanet transit spectroscopy enables the characterization of distant worlds, and will yield key results for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope . However, transit spectra models are often simplified, omitting potentially important processes like refraction and multiple scattering. While the former process has seen recent development, the effects of light multiple scattering on exoplanet transit spectra have received little attention. Here, we develop a detailed theory of exoplanet transit spectroscopy that extends to the full refracting and multiple scattering case. We explore the importance of scattering for planet-wide cloud layers, where the relevant parameters are the slant scattering optical depth, the scattering asymmetry parameter, and the angular size of the host star. The latter determines the size of the “target” for a photon that is back-mapped from an observer. We provide results that straightforwardly indicate the potential importance of multiple scattering for transit spectra. When the orbital distance is smaller than 10–20 times the stellar radius, multiple scattering effects for aerosols with asymmetry parameters larger than 0.8–0.9 can become significant. We provide examples of the impacts of cloud/haze multiple scattering on transit spectra of a hot Jupiter-like exoplanet. For cases with a forward and conservatively scattering cloud/haze, differences due to multiple scattering effects can exceed 200 ppm, but shrink to zero at wavelength ranges corresponding to strong gas absorption or when the slant optical depth of the cloud exceeds several tens. We conclude with a discussion of types of aerosols for which multiple scattering in transit spectra may be important.

  4. Glowing Hot Transiting Exoplanet Discovered

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-04-01

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

  5. Exploration of the brown dwarf regime around solar-like stars by CoRoT

    OpenAIRE

    Csizmadia, Szilárd

    2016-01-01

    Aims. A summary of the CoRoT brown dwarf investigations are presented. Methods. Transiting brown dwarfs around solar like stars were studied by using the photometric time-series of CoRoT, and ground based radial velocity measurements. Results. CoRoT detected three transiting brown dwarfs around F and G dwarf stars. The occurence rate of brown dwarfs was found to be 0.20 +/- 0.15% around solar-like stars which is compatible with the value obtained by Kepler-data.

  6. Planetary transit candidates in CoRoT LRa01 field

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carone, L.; Gandolfi, D.; Cabrera, J.

    2012-01-01

    We present the list of planetary transit candidates from the CoRoT LRa01 star field in the Monoceros constellation toward the Galactic anti-center direction. The CoRoT observations of LRa01 lasted from 24 October 2007 to 3 March 2008. We acquired and analyzed 7470 chromatic and 3938 monochromatic...... lightcurves. Instrumental noise and stellar variability were treated with several filtering tools by different teams from the CoRoT community. Different transit search algorithms were applied to the lightcurves. (2 data files)....

  7. Ground-based observations of exoplanet atmospheres

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mooij, Ernst Johan Walter de

    2011-01-01

    This thesis focuses on the properties of exoplanet atmospheres. The results for ground-based near-infrared secondary eclipse observations of three different exoplanets, TrES-3b, HAT-P-1b and WASP-33b, are presented which have been obtained with ground-based telescopes as part of the GROUSE project.

  8. Tidally Heated Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Wade Garrett

    This work models the surface and internal temperatures for hypothetical terrestrial planets in situations involving extreme tidal heating. The feasibility of such planets is evaluated in terms of the orbital perturbations that may give rise to them, their required proximity to a hoststar, and the potential for the input tidal heating to cause significant partial melting of the mantle. Trapping terrestrial planets into 2:1 resonances with migrating Hot Jupiters is considered as a reasonable way for Earth-like worlds to both maintain high eccentricities and to move to short enough orbital periods (1-20 days) for extreme tidal heating to occur. Secular resonance and secular orbital perturbations may support moderate tidal heating at a low equilibrium eccentricity. At orbital periods below 10-30 days, with eccentricities from 0.01 to 0.1, tidal heat may greatly exceed radiogenic heat production. It is unlikely to exceed insolation, except when orbiting very low luminosity hosts, and thus will have limited surface temperature expression. Observations of such bodies many not be able to detect tidal surface enhancements given a few percent uncertainty in albedo, except on the nightside of spin synchronous airless objects. Otherwise detection may occur via spectral detection of hotspots or high volcanic gas concentrations including sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. The most extreme cases may be able to produce magma oceans, or magma slush mantles with up to 40-60% melt fractions. Tides may alter the habitable zones for smaller red dwarf stars, but are generally detrimental. Multiple viscoelastic models, including the Maxwell, Voigt-Kelvin, Standard Anelastic Solid, and Burgers rheologies are explored and applied to objects such as Io and the super-Earth planet GJ 876d. The complex valued Love number for the Burgers rheology is derived and found to be a useful improvement when modeling the low temperature behavior of tidal bodies, particularly during low eccentricity

  9. Thermal Infrared Imaging of Exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Apai, Daniel

    2009-01-01

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

  10. False Positives in Exoplanet Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leuquire, Jacob; Kasper, David; Jang-Condell, Hannah; Kar, Aman; Sorber, Rebecca; Suhaimi, Afiq; KELT (Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope)

    2018-06-01

    Our team at the University of Wyoming uses a 0.6 m telescope at RBO (Red Buttes Observatory) to help confirm results on potential exoplanet candidates from low resolution, wide field surveys shared by the KELT (Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope) team. False positives are common in this work. We carry out transit photometry, and this method comes with special types of false positives. The most common false positive seen at the confirmation level is an EB (eclipsing binary). Low resolution images are great in detecting multiple sources for photometric dips in light curves, but they lack the precision to decipher single targets at an accurate level. For example, target star KC18C030621 needed RBO’s photometric precision to determine there was a nearby EB causing exoplanet type light curves. Identifying false positives with our telescope is important work because it helps eliminate the waste of time taken by more expensive telescopes trying to rule out negative candidate stars. It also furthers the identification of other types of photometric events, like eclipsing binaries, so they can be studied on their own.

  11. Beyond Kepler: Direct Imaging of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belikov, Ruslan

    2018-01-01

    The exoplanets field has been revolutionizing astronomy over the past 20+ years and shows no signs of stopping. The next big wave of exoplanet science may come from direct imaging of exoplanets. Several (non-habitable) exoplanets have already been imaged from the ground and NASA is planning an instrument for its 2020s flagship mission (WFIRST) to directly image large exoplanets. One of the key goals of the field is the detection and characterization of "Earth 2.0", i.e. a rocky planet with an atmosphere capable of supporting life. This appears possible with several potential instruments in the late 2020s such as WFIRST with a starshade, Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) from the ground, or one of NASA possible flagship missions in the 2030s (HabEx or LUVOIR). Also, if an Earth-like planet exists around Alpha Centauri (A or B), it may be possible to directly image it in the next approx. 5 years with a small space mission such as the Alpha Centauri Exoplanet Satellite (ACESat). I will describe the current challenges and opportunities in this exciting field, as well as the work we are doing at the Exoplanet Technologies group to enable this exciting science.

  12. Orbital Dynamics and Habitability of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deitrick, Russell J.

    With the discoveries of thousands of extra-solar planets, a handful of which are terrestrial in size and located within the "habitable zone" of their host stars, the discovery of another instance of life in the universe seems increasingly within our grasp. Yet, a number of difficulties remain--with current and developing technologies, the full characterization of a terrestrial atmosphere and, hence, the detection of biosignatures will be extraordinarily difficult and expensive. Furthermore, observations will be ambiguous, as recent developments have shown that there is no "smoking gun" for the presence of life. Ultimately, the interpretation of observations will depend heavily upon our understanding of life's fundamental properties and the physical context of a planet's observed properties. This thesis is devoted to a development of the latter quantity, physical context, focusing on a topic oft-neglected in theoretical works of habitability: orbital dynamics. I show a number of ways in which orbital dynamics can affect the habitability of exoplanets. This work highlights the crucial role of stability, mutual inclinations, and resonances, demonstrating how these properties influence atmospheric states. Studies of exoplanetary systems tend to assume that the planets are coplanar, however, the large mutual inclination of the planets orbiting upsilon Andromedae suggests that coplanarity is not always a valid assumption. In my study of this system, I show that the large inclination between planets c and d and their large eccentricities lead to dramatic orbital variations. Though there is almost certainly no habitable planet orbiting upsilon And, the existence of this system demonstrates that we should expect other such dynamically "hot" planetary systems, some of which may contain potentially habitable planets. Minute variations in a planet's orbit can lead to changes in the global temperature, and indeed, these variations seem to be intimately connected to Earth

  13. Atmospheric Retrievals from Exoplanet Observations and Simulations with BART

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Joseph

    the planet has uniform composition and the same temperature profile everywhere. We do not know this assumption's impact. While Spitzer and HST have few exoplanet observing modes, JWST will have over 20. Given the signal challenges and the complexity of retrieval, modeling the observations and data analysis is the best way to optimize an observing plan. Our project solves all of these problems. Using only open-source codes, with tools available to the community for their immediate application in JWST and HST proposals and analyses, we will produce a faithful simulator of 2D spectral and photometric frames from each JWST exoplanet mode (WFC3 spatial scan mode works already), including jitter and intrapixel effects. We will extract and calibrate data, analyzing them with BART. Given planetary input spectra for terrestrial, super-Earth, Neptune, and Jupiterclass planets, and a variety of stellar spectra, we will determine the best combination of observations to recover each atmosphere, and the limits where low SNR or spectral coverage produce deceptive results. To facilitate these analyses, we will adapt an existing cloud model to BART, add condensate code now being written to its thermochemical model, include scattering, add a 3D atmosphere module (for dayside occultation mapping and the 1D vs. 3D question), and improve performance and documentation, among other improvements. We will host a web site and community discussions online and at conferences about retrieval issues. We will develop validation tests for radiative-transfer and BART-style retrieval codes, and provide examples to validate others' codes. We will engage the retrieval community in data challenges. We will provide web-enabled tools to specify planets easily for modeling. We will make all of these tools, tests, and comparisons available online so everyone can use them to maximize NASA's investment in high-end observing capabilities to characterize exoplanets.

  14. Characterizing Gaint Exoplanets through Multiwavelength Transit Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasper, David; Cole, Jackson L.; Gardner, Cristilyn N.; Garver, Bethany R.; Jarka, Kyla L.; Kar, Aman; McGough, Aylin M.; PeQueen, David J.; Rivera, Daniel Ivan; Jang-Condell, Hannah; Kobulnicky, Henry A.; Dale, Daniel A.

    2018-01-01

    Observing the characteristics of giant exoplanets is possible with ground-based telescopes and modern observational methods. We are performing characterizations of multiple giant exoplanets based on 85 allotted nights of transit observations with the 2.3 m Wyoming Infrared Observatory using Sloan filters. In particular, constraints can be made on the atmospheres of our targets from the wavelength (in)dependence in the depth of the transit observations. We present early multiwavelength photometric results on the exoplanet HD 189733 b with comparison to literature sources to exemplify the methodology employed. In total, 15 exoplanets were observed across multiple wavelengths. The majority of the observing allotted to the project was completed as part of the 2017 Summer REU at the University of Wyoming. This work will significantly contribute to the growing number of observed atmospheres and influence interpretation of future WFIRST, JWST, and TESS targets. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under REU grant AST 1560461.

  15. Walking on Exoplanets: Is Star Wars Right?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballesteros, Fernando J.; Luque, B.

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkley, Sasha

    2012-04-01

    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. Further, the prevalence of aperture masking interferometry in the field of high contrast imaging is also allowing observers to sense massive, young planets at solar system scales (~3-30 AU)- separations out of reach to conventional direct imaging techniques. Such observations can provide snapshots at the earliest phases of planet formation-information essential for constraining formation mechanisms as well as evolutionary models of planetary mass companions. As a demonstration of the power of this technique, I briefly review recent aperture masking observations of the HR 8799 system. Moreover, all of the aforementioned techniques are already extremely adept at detecting low-mass stellar companions to their target stars, and I present some recent highlights.

  17. The nature of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Simon L.; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Gillon, Michaël; Dorn, Caroline; Agol, Eric; Burdanov, Artem; Delrez, Laetitia; Sestovic, Marko; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.; Turbet, Martin; Bolmont, Émeline; Caldas, Anthony; Wit, Julien de; Jehin, Emmanuël; Leconte, Jérémy; Raymond, Sean N.; Grootel, Valérie Van; Burgasser, Adam J.; Carey, Sean; Fabrycky, Daniel; Heng, Kevin; Hernandez, David M.; Ingalls, James G.; Lederer, Susan; Selsis, Franck; Queloz, Didier

    2018-06-01

    Context. The TRAPPIST-1 system hosts seven Earth-sized, temperate exoplanets orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star. As such, it represents a remarkable setting to study the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets that formed in the same protoplanetary disk. While the sizes of the TRAPPIST-1 planets are all known to better than 5% precision, their densities have significant uncertainties (between 28% and 95%) because of poor constraints on the planet's masses. Aims: The goal of this paper is to improve our knowledge of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary masses and densities using transit-timing variations (TTVs). The complexity of the TTV inversion problem is known to be particularly acute in multi-planetary systems (convergence issues, degeneracies and size of the parameter space), especially for resonant chain systems such as TRAPPIST-1. Methods: To overcome these challenges, we have used a novel method that employs a genetic algorithm coupled to a full N-body integrator that we applied to a set of 284 individual transit timings. This approach enables us to efficiently explore the parameter space and to derive reliable masses and densities from TTVs for all seven planets. Results: Our new masses result in a five- to eight-fold improvement on the planetary density uncertainties, with precisions ranging from 5% to 12%. These updated values provide new insights into the bulk structure of the TRAPPIST-1 planets. We find that TRAPPIST-1 c and e likely have largely rocky interiors, while planets b, d, f, g, and h require envelopes of volatiles in the form of thick atmospheres, oceans, or ice, in most cases with water mass fractions less than 5%.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. An ultrahot gas-giant exoplanet with a stratosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Thomas M; Sing, David K; Kataria, Tiffany; Goyal, Jayesh; Nikolov, Nikolay; Wakeford, Hannah R; Deming, Drake; Marley, Mark S; Amundsen, David S; Ballester, Gilda E; Barstow, Joanna K; Ben-Jaffel, Lotfi; Bourrier, Vincent; Buchhave, Lars A; Cohen, Ofer; Ehrenreich, David; García Muñoz, Antonio; Henry, Gregory W; Knutson, Heather; Lavvas, Panayotis; Etangs, Alain Lecavelier des; Lewis, Nikole K; López-Morales, Mercedes; Mandell, Avi M; Sanz-Forcada, Jorge; Tremblin, Pascal; Lupu, Roxana

    2017-08-02

    Infrared radiation emitted from a planet contains information about the chemical composition and vertical temperature profile of its atmosphere. If upper layers are cooler than lower layers, molecular gases will produce absorption features in the planetary thermal spectrum. Conversely, if there is a stratosphere-where temperature increases with altitude-these molecular features will be observed in emission. It has been suggested that stratospheres could form in highly irradiated exoplanets, but the extent to which this occurs is unresolved both theoretically and observationally. A previous claim for the presence of a stratosphere remains open to question, owing to the challenges posed by the highly variable host star and the low spectral resolution of the measurements. Here we report a near-infrared thermal spectrum for the ultrahot gas giant WASP-121b, which has an equilibrium temperature of approximately 2,500 kelvin. Water is resolved in emission, providing a detection of an exoplanet stratosphere at 5σ confidence. These observations imply that a substantial fraction of incident stellar radiation is retained at high altitudes in the atmosphere, possibly by absorbing chemical species such as gaseous vanadium oxide and titanium oxide.

  20. 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

  1. A search for radio emission from exoplanets around evolved stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Gorman, E.; Coughlan, C. P.; Vlemmings, W.; Varenius, E.; Sirothia, S.; Ray, T. P.; Olofsson, H.

    2018-04-01

    The majority of searches for radio emission from exoplanets have to date focused on short period planets, i.e., the so-called hot Jupiter type planets. However, these planets are likely to be tidally locked to their host stars and may not generate sufficiently strong magnetic fields to emit electron cyclotron maser emission at the low frequencies used in observations (typically ≥150 MHz). In comparison, the large mass-loss rates of evolved stars could enable exoplanets at larger orbital distances to emit detectable radio emission. Here, we first show that the large ionized mass-loss rates of certain evolved stars relative to the solar value could make them detectable with the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) at 150 MHz (λ = 2 m), provided they have surface magnetic field strengths >50 G. We then report radio observations of three long period (>1 au) planets that orbit the evolved stars β Gem, ι Dra, and β UMi using LOFAR at 150 MHz. We do not detect radio emission from any system but place tight 3σ upper limits of 0.98, 0.87, and 0.57 mJy on the flux density at 150 MHz for β Gem, ι Dra, and β UMi, respectively. Despite our non-detections these stringent upper limits highlight the potential of LOFAR as a tool to search for exoplanetary radio emission at meter wavelengths.

  2. Connecting HL Tau to the observed exoplanet sample

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simbulan, Christopher; Tamayo, Daniel; Petrovich, Cristobal; Rein, Hanno; Murray, Norman

    2017-08-01

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submilimeter Array (ALMA) recently revealed a set of nearly concentric gaps in the protoplanetary disc surrounding the young star HL Tauri (HL Tau). If these are carved by forming gas giants, this provides the first set of orbital initial conditions for planets as they emerge from their birth discs. Using N-body integrations, we have followed the evolution of the system for 5 Gyr to explore the possible outcomes. We find that HL Tau initial conditions scaled down to the size of typically observed exoplanet orbits naturally produce several populations in the observed exoplanet sample. First, for a plausible range of planetary masses, we can match the observed eccentricity distribution of dynamically excited radial velocity giant planets with eccentricities >0.2. Secondly, we roughly obtain the observed rate of hot Jupiters around FGK stars. Finally, we obtain a large efficiency of planetary ejections of ≈2 per HL Tau-like system, but the small fraction of stars observed to host giant planets makes it hard to match the rate of free-floating planets inferred from microlensing observations. In view of upcoming Gaia results, we also provide predictions for the expected mutual inclination distribution, which is significantly broader than the absolute inclination distributions typically considered by previous studies.

  3. A Test of the Fundamental Physics Underlying Exoplanet Climate Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beatty, Thomas; Keating, Dylan; Cowan, Nick; Gaudi, Scott; Kataria, Tiffany; Fortney, Jonathan; Stassun, Keivan; Collins, Karen; Deming, Drake; Bell, Taylor; Dang, Lisa; Rogers, Tamara; Colon, Knicole

    2018-05-01

    A fundamental issue in how we understand exoplanet atmospheres is the assumed physical behavior underlying 3D global circulation models (GCMs). Modeling an entire 3D atmosphere is a Herculean task, and so in exoplanet GCMs we generally assume that there are no clouds, no magnetic effects, and chemical equilibrium (e.g., Kataria et al 2016). These simplifying assumptions are computationally necessary, but at the same time their exclusion allows for a large theoretical lee-way when comparing to data. Thus, though significant discrepancies exist between almost all a priori GCM predictions and their corresponding observations, these are assumed to be due to the lack of clouds, or atmospheric drag, or chemical disequilibrium, in the models (e.g., Wong et al. 2016, Stevenson et al. 2017, Lewis et al. 2017, Zhang et al. 2018). Since these effects compete with one another and have large uncertainties, this makes tests of the fundamental physics in GCMs extremely difficult. To rectify this, we propose to use 88.4 hours of Spitzer time to observe 3.6um and 4.5um phase curves of the transiting giant planet KELT-9b. KELT-9b has an observed dayside temperature of 4600K (Gaudi et al. 2017), which means that there will very likely be no clouds on the day- or nightside, and is hot enough that the atmosphere should be close to local chemical equilibrium. Additionally, we plan to leverage KELT-9b's high temperature to make the first measurement of global wind speed on an exoplanet (Bell & Cowan 2018), giving a constraint on atmospheric drag and magnetic effects. Combined, this means KELT-9b is close to a real-world GCM, without most of the effects present on lower temperature planets. Additionally, since KELT-9b orbits an extremely bright host star these will be the highest signal-to-noise ratio phase curves taken with Spitzer by more than a factor of two. This gives us a unique opportunity to make the first precise and direct investigation into the fundamental physics that are the

  4. CoRoT 101186644 : A transiting low-mass dense M-dwarf on an eccentric 20.7-day period orbit around a late F-star. Discovered in the CoRoT lightcurves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tal-Or, L.; Mazeh, T.; Alonso, R.; Bouchy, F.; Cabrera, J.; Deeg, H.; Deleuil, M.; Faigler, S.; Fridlund, M.; Hébrard, G.; Moutou, C.; Santerne, A.; Tingley, B.

    2013-01-01

    We present the study of the CoRoT transiting planet candidate 101186644, also named LRc01_E1_4780. Analysis of the CoRoT lightcurve and the HARPS spectroscopic follow-up observations of this faint (m$_V$ = 16) candidate revealed an eclipsing binary composed of a late F-type primary (T$_{eff}$ = 6090

  5. An information preserving method for producing full coverage CoRoT light curves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascual-Granado J.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Invalid flux measurements, caused mainly by the South Atlantic Anomaly crossing of the CoRoT satellite, introduce aliases in the periodogram and wrong amplitudes. It has been demonstrated that replacing such invalid data with a linear interpolation is not harmless. On the other side, using power spectrum estimators for unevenly sampled time series is not only less computationally efficient but it leads to difficulties in the interpretation of the results. Therefore, even when the gaps are rather small and the duty cycle is high enough the use of gap-filling methods is a gain in frequency analysis. However, the method must preserve the information contained in the time series. In this work we give a short description of an information preserving method (MIARMA and show some results when applying it to CoRoT seismo light curves. The method is implemented as the second step of a pipeline for CoRoT data analysis.

  6. Existence of a component corotating with the earth in high-latitude disturbance magnetic fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, A.; Kim, J. S.; Sugiura, M.

    1982-01-01

    A study of the data from the high-latitude North American IMS network of magnetic stations suggests that there is a component in substorm perturbations that corotates with the earth. It is as yet not certain whether the existence of this component stems from the corotation of a part of the magnetospheric plasma involved in the substorm mechanism or if it is a 'phase change' resulting from the control of the substorm manifestations by the earth's main magnetic field which is not axially symmetric. There are other geophysical phenomena showing a persistence of longitudinal variations corotating with the earth. These phenomena are of significance for a better understanding of ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling.

  7. Earth as an Exoplanet: Spectral Monitoring of an Inhabited Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, D. A.; Marchis, F.; Batalha, N. M.; Cabrol, N. A.; Smith, J. C.

    2018-02-01

    We propose a spectrometer for the Deep Space Gateway to monitor Earth as an exoplanet. We will measure the variability with illumination phase, rotation, clouds, and season. Results will inform future searches for biomarkers on distant exoplanets.

  8. Amateur observations of exoplanets in Finland: History and recent activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mäkelä, V.; Haukka, H.; Oksanen, A.; Kehusmaa, P.; Hentunen, V.-P.

    2017-09-01

    Exoplanet have been observed by Finnish amateur astronomers already 17 years. Recently there are two active observers, but the interest to photometric observations on exoplanet transits is increasing in Finland.

  9. FINESSE & CASE: Two Proposed Transiting Exoplanet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellem, Robert Thomas; FINESSE and CASE Science Team

    2018-01-01

    The FINESSE mission concept and the proposed CASE Mission of Opportunity, both recently selected by NASA’s Explorer program to proceed to Step 2, would conduct the first characterizations of exoplanet atmospheres for a statistically significant population. FINESSE would determine whether our Solar System is typical or exceptional, the key characteristics of the planet formation mechanism, and what establishes global planetary climate by spectroscopically surveying 500 exoplanets, ranging from terrestrials with extended atmospheres to sub-Neptunes to gas giants. FINESSE’s broad, instantaneous spectral coverage from 0.5-5 microns and capability to survey hundreds of exoplanets would enable follow-up exploration of TESS discoveries and provide a broader context for interpreting detailed JWST observations. Similarly, CASE, a NASA Mission of Opportunity contribution to ESA’s dedicated transiting exoplanet spectroscopy mission ARIEL, would observe 1000 warm transiting gas giants, Neptunes, and super-Earths, using visible to near-IR photometry and spectroscopy. CASE would quantify the occurrence rate of atmospheric aerosols (clouds and hazes) and measure the geometric albedos of the targets in the ARIEL survey. Thus, with the selection of either of these two missions, NASA would ensure access to critical data for the U.S. exoplanet science community.

  10. Response of Earth and Venus ionospheres to corotating solar wind stream of 3 July 1979

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, H.A. Jr.

    1985-01-01

    Corotating solar wind streams emanating from stable coronal structures provide an unique opportunity to compare the response of planetary ionospheres to the energy conveyed in the streams. For recurrent solar conditions the 'signal' propagating outward along spiral paths in interplanetary space can at times exhibit rather similar content at quite different downstream locations in the ecliptic plane. Using solar wind measurements from plasma detectors on ISEE-3, Pioneer Venus Orbiter (PVO) and Helios-A, as well as in-situ ion composition measurements from Bennett Ion Mass Spectrometers on the Atmosphere Explorer-E and PVO spacecraft, corotating stream interactions are examined at Earth and Venus. (Auth.)

  11. Multiple star systems observed with CoRoT and Kepler

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Southworth John

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The CoRoT and Kepler satellites were the first space platforms designed to perform high-precision photometry for a large number of stars. Multiple systems display a wide variety of photometric variability, making them natural benefactors of these missions. I review the work arising from CoRoT and Kepler observations of multiple systems, with particular emphasis on eclipsing binaries containing giant stars, pulsators, triple eclipses and/or low-mass stars. Many more results remain untapped in the data archives of these missions, and the future holds the promise of K2, TESS and PLATO.

  12. WASP-121b: An ultrahot gas-giant exoplanet with a stratosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kataria, Tiffany; Evans, Thomas M.; Sing, David; Goyal, Jayesh; Nikolov, Nikolay; Wakeford, Hannah R.; Deming, Drake; Marley, Mark S.; PanCET Team

    2018-01-01

    Stratospheres are ubiquitous in the atmospheres of solar system planets, and provide crucial information about an atmosphere’s chemical composition, vertical temperature structure, and energy budget. While it has been suggested that stratospheres could form in highly irradiated exoplanets, the extent to which this occurs has so far been unresolved both theoretically and observationally. Here we present secondary eclipse observations of the ultra-hot (Teq ~ 2500 K) gas giant exoplanet WASP-121b made using HST/WFC3 in spectroscopic mode across the 1.12-1.64 micron wavelength range. The spectrum is inconsistent with an isothermal atmosphere and has spectrally-resolved water features in emission, providing a detection of an exoplanet stratosphere at 5-sigma confidence. WASP-121b is one of the standout exoplanets available for atmospheric characterization, both in transmission and emission, due to its large radius (1.8 Rjup), high temperature, and bright host star (H=9.4mag). As such, we will also discuss follow-up observations of WASP-121b with HST and JWST to probe the longitudinal extent of its stratosphere, and the molecular absorbers that may produce it.

  13. Dynamical measurements of the interior structure of exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Becker, Juliette C.; Batygin, Konstantin

    2013-01-01

    Giant gaseous planets often reside on orbits in sufficient proximity to their host stars for the planetary quadrupole gravitational field to become non-negligible. In presence of an additional planetary companion, a precise characterization of the system's orbital state can yield meaningful constraints on the transiting planet's interior structure. However, such methods can require a very specific type of system. This paper explores the dynamic range of applicability of these methods and shows that interior structure calculations are possible for a wide array of orbital architectures. The HAT-P-13 system is used as a case study, and the implications of perturbations arising from a third distant companion on the feasibility of an interior calculation are discussed. We find that the method discussed here is likely to be useful in studying other planetary systems, allowing the possibility of an expanded survey of the interiors of exoplanets.

  14. Prospects for Detecting Thermal Emission from Terrestrial Exoplanets with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura

    2018-01-01

    A plethora of nearby, terrestrial exoplanets has been discovered recently by ground-based surveys. Excitingly, some of these are in the habitable zones of their host stars, and may be hospitable for life. However, all the planets orbit small, cool stars and have considerably different irradiation environments from the Earth, making them vulnerable to atmospheric escape, erosion and collapse. Atmosphere characterization is therefore critical to assessing the planets' habitability. I will discuss possible JWST thermal emission measurements to determine the atmospheric properties of nearby terrestrial planets. I will focus on prospects for detecting physically motivated atmospheres for planets orbiting LHS 1140, GJ 1132, and TRAPPIST-1. I will also discuss the potential for using phase curve observations to determine whether an atmosphere has survived on the non-transiting planet Proxima b.

  15. Exoplanet Characterization With Spitzer Eclipses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Joseph

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

  16. The detectability of radio emission from exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, C. R.; Murphy, Tara; Lenc, E.; Kaplan, D. L.

    2018-05-01

    Like the magnetised planets in our Solar System, magnetised exoplanets should emit strongly at radio wavelengths. Radio emission directly traces the planetary magnetic fields and radio detections can place constraints on the physical parameters of these features. Large comparative studies of predicted radio emission characteristics for the known population of exoplanets help to identify what physical parameters could be key for producing bright, observable radio emission. Since the last comparative study, many thousands of exoplanets have been discovered. We report new estimates for the radio flux densities and maximum emission frequencies for the current population of known exoplanets orbiting pre-main sequence and main-sequence stars with spectral types F-M. The set of exoplanets predicted to produce observable radio emission are Hot Jupiters orbiting young stars. The youth of these system predicts strong stellar magnetic fields and/or dense winds, which are key for producing bright, observable radio emission. We use a new all-sky circular polarisation Murchison Widefield Array survey to place sensitive limits on 200 MHz emission from exoplanets, with 3σ values ranging from 4.0 - 45.0 mJy. Using a targeted Giant Metre Wave Radio Telescope observing campaign, we also report a 3σ upper limit of 4.5 mJy on the radio emission from V830 Tau b, the first Hot Jupiter to be discovered orbiting a pre-main sequence star. Our limit is the first to be reported for the low-frequency radio emission from this source.

  17. Possible climates on terrestrial exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forget, F; Leconte, J

    2014-04-28

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

  18. Discovery of a Transiting Adolescent Sub-Neptune Exoplanet in the Cas-Tau Association With K2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamajek, Eric; David, Trevor; Bieryla, Allyson; Bristow, Makennah; Ciardi, David; Cody, Ann Marie; Crossfield, Ian; Fulton, Benjamin; Jasmine Gonzales, Erica; Hillenbrand, Lynne; Hirsch, Lea; Howard, Andrew; Isaacson, Howard; Latham, David W.; Petigura, Erik; Rebull, Luisa; Schlieder, Joshua; Stauffer, John; Vanderburg, Andrew; Vasisht, Gautam

    2018-01-01

    The role of stellar age in the measured properties and occurrence rates of exoplanets is not well understood. This is in part due to a paucity of young planets and the uncertainties in age-dating for most exoplanet host stars. Exoplanets belonging to coeval stellar populations, young or old, are particularly useful as benchmarks for studies aiming to constrain the evolutionary timescales relevant for planets. Such timescales may concern orbital migration, gravitational contraction, or photo-evaporation, among other mechanisms. Here we report the serendipitous discovery of a transiting sub-Neptune from K2 photometry of a K-type star that is a new candidate member of the nearby young Cas-Tau association. The size of the planet (3.0 +/- 0.5 Earth radii) and its age (~50-90 Myr) make it an intriguing test case for photo-evaporation models, which predict enhanced atmospheric mass loss during early evolutionary stages.

  19. The modeling of continuous mixers. Part I: The corotating twin-screw extruder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijer, H.E.H.; Elemans, P.H.M.

    1988-01-01

    In many operations in polymer processing, such as polymer blending, devolatilization, or incorporation of fillers in a polymeric matrix, continuous mixers are used; e.g., corotating twin-screw extruders (ZSK), Buss Cokneaders and Farrel Continuous Mixers. Theoretical analysis of these machines tends

  20. Preparing the COROT Space Mission: New Variable Stars in the Galactic Anticenter Direction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poretti, E.; Alonso, R.; Amado, P.J.; Belmonte, J.A.; Garrido, R.; Martín-Ruiz, S.; Uytterhoeven, K.; Catala, C.; Lebreton, Y.; Michel, E.; Suárez, J.C.; Aerts, C.C.; Creevey, O.; Goupil, M.J.; Mantegazza, L.; Mathias, P.; Rainer, M.; Weiss, W.W.

    2005-01-01

    The activities related to the preparation of the asteroseismic, photometric space mission COROT are described. Photoelectric observations, wide-field CCD photometry, uvbybeta calibrations, and further time series have been obtained at different observatories and telescopes. They have been planned to

  1. Excitation of density waves at the Lindblad and corotation resonances by an external potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldreich, P.; Tremaine, S.

    1979-01-01

    We calculate the linear response of a differentially rotating two-dimensional gas disk to a rigidly rotating external potential. The main assumptions are that the sound speed is much smaller than the orbital velocity and that the external potential varies on the scale of the disk radius. We investigate disks both with and without self-gravity.The external potential exerts torques on the disk only at the Lindblad and corotation resonances. The torque is positive at the outer Lindblad resonance and negative at the inner Lindblad resonance; at corotation the torque has the sign of the radial gradient of vorticity per unit surface density. The torques are of the same order of magnitude at both types of resonance and are independent of the sound speed in the disk.The external potential also excites density waves in the vicinity of the Lindblad and corotation resonances. The long trailing wave is excited at a Lindblad resonance. It transports away from the resonance all of the angular momentum which is deposited there by the external torque. Short trailing waves are excited at the corotation resonance. The amplitudes of the excited waves are the same on both sides of the resonance and are small unless the disk is almost gravitationally unstable. No net angular momentum is transported away from the corotation region by the waves. Thus the angular momentum deposited there by the external torque accumulates in the gas.We briefly discuss the behavior of particle disks and prove that the external torques on particle disks are identical to those on gas disks

  2. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barclay, T.; et al., [Unknown; Hekker, S.

    2013-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanets1, 2, it has been known that other planetary systems can look quite unlike our own3. Until fairly recently, we have been able to probe only the upper range of the planet size distribution4, 5, and, since last year, to detect planets that are the size of

  3. Searching for exoplanets using artificial intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Kyle A.; Palafox, Leon; Griffith, Caitlin A.

    2018-02-01

    In the last decade, over a million stars were monitored to detect transiting planets. Manual interpretation of potential exoplanet candidates is labor intensive and subject to human error, the results of which are difficult to quantify. Here we present a new method of detecting exoplanet candidates in large planetary search projects which, unlike current methods uses a neural network. Neural networks, also called "deep learning" or "deep nets" are designed to give a computer perception into a specific problem by training it to recognize patterns. Unlike past transit detection algorithms deep nets learn to recognize planet features instead of relying on hand-coded metrics that humans perceive as the most representative. Our convolutional neural network is capable of detecting Earth-like exoplanets in noisy time-series data with a greater accuracy than a least-squares method. Deep nets are highly generalizable allowing data to be evaluated from different time series after interpolation without compromising performance. As validated by our deep net analysis of Kepler light curves, we detect periodic transits consistent with the true period without any model fitting. Our study indicates that machine learning will facilitate the characterization of exoplanets in future analysis of large astronomy data sets.

  4. Constraining Exoplanet Habitability with HabEx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler

    2018-01-01

    The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging mission, or HabEx, is one of four flagship mission concepts currently under study for the upcoming 2020 Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics. The broad goal of HabEx will be to image and study small, rocky planets in the Habitable Zones of nearby stars. Additionally, HabEx will pursue a range of other astrophysical investigations, including the characterization of non-habitable exoplanets and detailed observations of stars and galaxies. Critical to the capability of HabEx to understand Habitable Zone exoplanets will be its ability to search for signs of surface liquid water (i.e., habitability) and an active biosphere. Photometry and moderate resolution spectroscopy, spanning the ultraviolet through near-infrared spectral ranges, will enable constraints on key habitability-related atmospheric species and properties (e.g., surface pressure). In this poster, we will discuss approaches to detecting signs of habitability in reflected-light observations of rocky exoplanets. We will also present initial results for modeling experiments aimed at demonstrating the capabilities of HabEx to study and understand Earth-like worlds around other stars.

  5. Protoplanetary disks and exoplanets in scattered light

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stolker, T.

    2017-01-01

    High-contrast imaging facilitates the direct detection of protoplanetary disks in scattered light and self-luminous exoplanets on long-period orbits. The combined power of extreme adaptive optics and differential imaging techniques delivers high spatial resolution images of disk morphologies down to

  6. Assessing Ozone Detectability on Weakly Oxygenated Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwieterman, Edward; Olson, Stephanie; Reinhard, Christopher; Ridgwell, Andy; Kane, Stephen R.; Meadows, Victoria; Lyons, Timothy

    2018-06-01

    Space-based telescope mission concepts currently under development by NASA would be capable of directly imaging exoplanets within the habitable zones of their host stars. The spectroscopic data from such missions could provide an opportunity to detect biosignatures. The strongest remotely detectable signature of life on our planet today is the photosynthetically produced oxygen (O2) in our atmosphere. However, recent studies of Earth’s geochemical proxy record suggest that for all but the last ~500 million years, atmospheric O2 would have been undetectable to a remote observer, a potential false negative for life. During an extended period in Earth’s middle history (2.0 – 0.7 billion years ago, Ga), O2 was likely present but in low concentrations, with pO2 estimates of ~ 0.1 – 1% of present-day levels. Recent biogeochemical modeling results have suggested methane (CH4) was likewise undetectably low during this period. Although O2 has a weak spectral impact in reflected light at abundances consistent with Earth’s middle history, O3 in photochemical equilibrium with that O2 would produce notable spectral features in the UV Hartley-Huggins band (~0.25 µm), with a weaker impact in the mid-IR band near 9.7 µm. Thus, taking Earth history as an informative example, there likely exists a category of exoplanets for which conventional biosignatures can only be identified in the UV. We use simulated observations to emphasize the importance of UV capabilities in the design of future space-based direct imaging telescopes such as HabEx or LUVOIR to detect O3 on planets with weakly oxygenated states. We also show that under low-O2 conditions, seasonal variations in O2 production and consumption by the biosphere could manifest as time-variable O3. Such seasonality in the Hartley-Huggins band provides both an opportunity and a challenge for remote life-detection studies because this biosignature may only be detectable intermittently over a planet’s orbital period

  7. LkCa 15: A YOUNG EXOPLANET CAUGHT AT FORMATION?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kraus, Adam L.; Ireland, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Young and directly imaged exoplanets offer critical tests of planet-formation models that are not matched by radial velocity surveys of mature stars. These targets have been extremely elusive to date, with no exoplanets younger than 10-20 Myr and only a handful of direct-imaged exoplanets at all ages. We report the direct-imaging discovery of a likely (proto)planet around the young (∼2 Myr) solar analog LkCa 15, located inside a known gap in the protoplanetary disk (a 'transitional disk'). Our observations use non-redundant aperture masking interferometry at three epochs to reveal a faint and relatively blue point source (M K ' =9.1±0.2, K' – L' = 0.98 ± 0.22), flanked by approximately co-orbital emission that is red and resolved into at least two sources (M L ' =7.5±0.2, K' – L' = 2.7 ± 0.3; M L ' =7.4±0.2, K' – L' = 1.94 ± 0.16). We propose that the most likely geometry consists of a newly formed (proto)planet that is surrounded by dusty material. The nominal estimated mass is ∼6 M Jup according to the 1 Myr hot-start models. However, we argue based on its luminosity, color, and the presence of circumplanetary material that the planet has likely been caught at its epoch of assembly, and hence this mass is an upper limit due to its extreme youth and flux contributed by accretion. The projected separations (71.9 ± 1.6 mas, 100.7 ± 1.9 mas, and 88.2 ± 1.8 mas) and deprojected orbital radii (16, 21, and 19 AU) correspond to the center of the disk gap, but are too close to the primary star for a circular orbit to account for the observed inner edge of the outer disk, so an alternative explanation (i.e., additional planets or an eccentric orbit) is likely required. This discovery is the first direct evidence that at least some transitional disks do indeed host newly formed (or forming) exoplanetary systems, and the observed properties provide crucial insight into the gas giant formation process.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guenther, E. W.; Díaz, R. F.; Gazzano, J.-C.

    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 gener...

  9. Limits to the presence of transiting circumbinary planets in CoRoT Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klagyivik, P.; Deeg, H. J.; Cabrera, J.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Almenara, J. M.

    2017-06-01

    Aims: During its flight phase, from 2007-2012, the CoRoT mission delivered light curves for over 2000 eclipsing binaries. Data from the Kepler mission have proven the existence of several transiting circumbinary planets. While light curves from CoRoT typically have lower precision and shorter coverage, the number of CoRoT targets is similar to that of Kepler and some of the known circumbinary planets could potentially be detected in CoRoT data as well. The aim of this work was to reanalyse the entire CoRoT Data set to search for the presence of circumbinary planets and to derive limits on the abundances of such planets. Methods: We developed a code that removes the signatures of eclipsing binaries from the light curves, and searches for quasi-periodic, transit-like features in the light curves after removal of binary eclipses and instrumental features. The code requires little information on sample systems and can also be used for other space missions, such as Kepler, K2, TESS, and PLATO. The code is broad in the requirements leading to detections, but was tuned to deliver an amount of detections that are manageable in a subsequent, mainly visual, assessment of their origin. Results: We identified three planet candidates in the CoRoT sample whose transits would have arisen from a single pass across the central binary; however, no candidates with transit events from multiple planetary orbits remained. We calculated the upper limits for the number of Jupiter, Saturn-, and Neptune-sized planets in co-planar orbits for different orbital period ranges. We found that there are much fewer giant planets in short periodic orbits around close binary systems than around single stars. Full Table 1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/602/A117

  10. ASTRO 850: Teaching Teachers about Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barringer, Daniel; Palma, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    The Earth and Space Science Partnership (ESSP) is a collaboration among Penn State scientists, science educators and seven school districts across Pennsylvania. Penn State also offers through its fully online World Campus the opportunity for In-Service science teachers to earn an M.Ed. degree in Earth Science, and we currently offer a required online astronomy course for that program. We have previously presented descriptions of how have incorporated research-based pedagogical practices into ESSP-sponsored workshops for in-service teachers (Palma et al. 2013), a pilot section of introductory astronomy for non-science majors (Palma et al. 2014), and into the design of an online elective course on exoplanets for the M.Ed. in Earth Science (Barringer and Palma, 2016). Here, we present the finished version of that exoplanet course, ASTRO 850. We gratefully acknowledge support from the NSF MSP program award DUE#0962792.

  11. WFIRST: Exoplanet Data Challenge. Atmospheric retrieval results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrandt, Sergi; Turnbull, Margaret; Exoplanet Data Challenge Team

    2018-01-01

    We present the results of the Exoplanet Data Challenge for its first 2016/17 cycle and the current cycle 2. Some input spectra for extra-solar systems are processed through the WFIRST IFS instrument model, producing simulated data representative of the flight data. Atmospheric properties are then recovered using complex atmospheric models and multidimensional optimization. The results inform about WFIRST CGI ability to characterize exo-planetray atmospheres.

  12. Exoplanet Transits of Stellar Active Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giampapa, Mark S.; Andretta, Vincenzo; Covino, Elvira; Reiners, Ansgar; Esposito, Massimiliano

    2018-01-01

    We report preliminary results of a program to obtain high spectral- and temporal-resolution observations of the neutral helium triplet line at 1083.0 nm in transiting exoplanet systems. The principal objective of our program is to gain insight on the properties of active regions, analogous to solar plages, on late-type dwarfs by essentially using exoplanet transits as high spatial resolution probes of the stellar surface within the transit chord. The 1083 nm helium line is a particularly appropriate diagnostic of magnetized areas since it is weak in the quiet photosphere of solar-type stars but appears strongly in absorption in active regions. Therefore, during an exoplanet transit over the stellar surface, variations in its absorption equivalent width can arise that are functions of the intrinsic strength of the feature in the active region and the known relative size of the exoplanet. We utilized the Galileo Telescope and the GIANO-B near-IR echelle spectrograph to obtain 1083 nm spectra during transits in bright, well-known systems that include HD 189733, HD 209458, and HD 147506 (HAT-P-2). We also obtained simultaneous auxiliary data on the same telescope with the HARPS-N UV-Visible echelle spectrograph. We will present preliminary results from our analysis of the observed variability of the strength of the He I 1083 nm line during transits.Acknowledgements: Based on observations made with the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) operated on the island of La Palma by the Fundación Galileo Galilei of the INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. The NSO is operated by AURA under a cooperative agreement with the NSF.

  13. Atmospheric Seasonality as an Exoplanet Biosignature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Stephanie L.; Schwieterman, Edward W.; Reinhard, Christopher T.; Ridgwell, Andy; Kane, Stephen R.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Lyons, Timothy W.

    2018-05-01

    Current investigations of exoplanet biosignatures have focused on static evidence of life, such as the presence of biogenic gases like O2 or CH4. However, the expected diversity of terrestrial planet atmospheres and the likelihood of both “false positives” and “false negatives” for conventional biosignatures motivate exploration of additional life detection strategies, including time-varying signals. Seasonal variation in atmospheric composition is a biologically modulated phenomenon on Earth that may occur elsewhere because it arises naturally from the interplay between the biosphere and time-variable insolation. The search for seasonality as a biosignature would avoid many assumptions about specific metabolisms and provide an opportunity to directly quantify biological fluxes—allowing us to characterize, rather than simply recognize, biospheres on exoplanets. Despite this potential, there have been no comprehensive studies of seasonality as an exoplanet biosignature. Here, we provide a foundation for further studies by reviewing both biological and abiological controls on the magnitude and detectability of seasonality of atmospheric CO2, CH4, O2, and O3 on Earth. We also consider an example of an inhabited world for which atmospheric seasonality may be the most notable expression of its biosphere. We show that life on a low O2 planet like the weakly oxygenated mid-Proterozoic Earth could be fingerprinted by seasonal variation in O3 as revealed in its UV Hartley–Huggins bands. This example highlights the need for UV capabilities in future direct-imaging telescope missions (e.g., LUVOIR/HabEx) and illustrates the diagnostic importance of studying temporal biosignatures for exoplanet life detection/characterization.

  14. THE CoRoT DISCOVERY OF A UNIQUE TRIPLE-MODE CEPHEID IN THE GALAXY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poretti, E. [INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Via E. Bianchi 46, I-23807 Merate (Italy); Baglin, A. [LESIA, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Université Denis Diderot, Observatoire de Paris, F-92195 Meudon Cedex (France); Weiss, W. W., E-mail: ennio.poretti@brera.inaf.it [Institute of Astronomy, University of Vienna, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, A-1180 Vienna (Austria)

    2014-11-10

    The exploitation of the CoRoT treasure of stars observed in the exoplanetary field allowed the detection of a unusual triple-mode Cepheid in the Milky Way, CoRoT 0223989566. The two modes with the largest amplitudes and a period ratio of 0.80 are identified with the first (P {sub 1} = 1.29 days) and second (P {sub 2} = 1.03 days) radial overtones. The third period, which has the smallest amplitude but is able to produce combination terms with the other two, is the longest one (P {sub 3} = 1.89 days). The ratio of 0.68 between the first-overtone period and the third period is the unusual feature. Its identification with the fundamental radial or a nonradial mode is discussed with respect to similar cases in the Magellanic Clouds. In both cases, the period triplet and the respective ratios make the star unique in our Galaxy. The distance derived from the period-luminosity relation and the galactic coordinates put CoRoT 0223989566 in the metal-rich environment of the ''outer arm'' of the Milky Way.

  15. Archaeology and direct imaging of exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, John B.

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

  16. Exoplanet Population Distribution from Kepler Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2015-08-01

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

  17. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Model-independent Exoplanet Transit Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronson, Erik; Piskunov, Nikolai

    2018-05-01

    We propose a new data analysis method for obtaining transmission spectra of exoplanet atmospheres and brightness variation across the stellar disk from transit observations. The new method is capable of recovering exoplanet atmosphere absorption spectra and stellar specific intensities without relying on theoretical models of stars and planets. We simultaneously fit both stellar specific intensity and planetary radius directly to transit light curves. This allows stellar models to be removed from the data analysis. Furthermore, we use a data quality weighted filtering technique to achieve an optimal trade-off between spectral resolution and reconstruction fidelity homogenizing the signal-to-noise ratio across the wavelength range. Such an approach is more efficient than conventional data binning onto a low-resolution wavelength grid. We demonstrate that our analysis is capable of reproducing results achieved by using an explicit quadratic limb-darkening equation and that the filtering technique helps eliminate spurious spectral features in regions with strong telluric absorption. The method is applied to the VLT FORS2 observations of the exoplanets GJ 1214 b and WASP-49 b, and our results are in agreement with previous studies. Comparisons between obtained stellar specific intensity and numerical models indicates that the method is capable of accurately reconstructing the specific intensity. The proposed method enables more robust characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres by separating derivation of planetary transmission and stellar specific intensity spectra (that is model-independent) from chemical and physical interpretation.

  19. Standardizing Exoplanet Analysis with the Exoplanet Characterization Tool Kit (ExoCTK)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, Julia; Stevenson, Kevin B.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Fraine, Jonathan D.; Pueyo, Laurent; Bruno, Giovanni; Filippazzo, Joe; Hill, Matthew; Batalha, Natasha; Wakeford, Hannah; Bushra, Rafia

    2018-06-01

    Exoplanet characterization depends critically on analysis tools, models, and spectral libraries that are constantly under development and have no single source nor sense of unified style or methods. The complexity of spectroscopic analysis and initial time commitment required to become competitive is prohibitive to new researchers entering the field, as well as a remaining obstacle for established groups hoping to contribute in a comparable manner to their peers. As a solution, we are developing an open-source, modular data analysis package in Python and a publicly facing web interface including tools that address atmospheric characterization, transit observation planning with JWST, JWST corongraphy simulations, limb darkening, forward modeling, and data reduction, as well as libraries of stellar, planet, and opacity models. The foundation of these software tools and libraries exist within pockets of the exoplanet community, but our project will gather these seedling tools and grow a robust, uniform, and well-maintained exoplanet characterization toolkit.

  20. Worlds Beyond: Follow-up Observations and Confirmation of K2 Exoplanet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, Rachel; Lowenthal, James; Lowenthal, James D.; Cooper, Olivia; Helou, Elana; Papineau, Emily; Peck, Annie; Stephens, Loren; Walker, Kerry

    2018-06-01

    We present the results of an 8-month follow-up transit photometry campaign focused on exoplanet candidates produced by the K2 mission. Observations were conducted at the McConnell Rooftop Observatory at Smith College in Northampton, MA, with a 16” telescope and CCD. Targets were observed through a 400-700 nm broadband filter at a 1 minute cadence. We attempted to observe the complete duration of the transit plus a minimum one-hour baseline before and after the transit event whenever possible. Our observations typically reach an RMS of 2 millimags for an 11th-magnitude star. Candidates were selected based on a number of factors, including a transit depth of around 10 millimags, a host star magnitude between 10-13, a duration that is observable over the span of a night, and a period shorter than 30 days. There are currently around 700 unconfirmed exoplanets from K2, and these criteria shortened that list to around 20 ideal candidates, many of which were flagged as possible false positives. Our results showcase the capability of small observatories to conduct precise follow-up observations of exoplanet transits.

  1. Searching for Exoplanet Effects on the X-ray Spectrum of τ Boo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Brian; Laming, J. Martin

    2018-01-01

    We study the X-ray spectrum of the exoplanet host star τ Boo A (F7 V), in order to explore the possibility that its very close-in, massive exoplanet (Porb=3.31 days, m sin i=3.9 MJ) may be affecting the coronal emissions of this star. The star was observed recently by Chandra/LETGS for 92 ksec in three pieces between 2017 February 27 and 2017 March 5; and was previously observed by XMM for 65 ksec in 2003 June 24. The new Chandra observations allow us to resolve τ Boo A from its stellar companion, τ Boo B (M2 V), for the first time. The companion accounts for 21% of the system's total X-ray emission at the time of the Chandra observation. Nevertheless, our measurements of τ Boo A emission measures and coronal abundances from Chandra are reasonably consistent with previous measurements from XMM by Maggio et al. (2011, A&A, 527, A144), in which τ Boo A and B are not resolved. Covering planetary orbital phases 0.21-0.31, 0.44-0.49, and 0.69-0.86, the Chandra data show that τ Boo A's coronal X-ray spectrum does not vary significantly with planetary orbital phase. However, our analysis suggests that coronal abundances for τ Boo A are somewhat anomalous, with a significantly weaker "FIP effect" compared to similar stars without close-in exoplanets, particularly π3 Ori (F6 V).

  2. Atmospheric Circulation, Chemistry, and Infrared Spectra of Titan-like Exoplanets around Different Stellar Types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lora, Juan M.; Kataria, Tiffany; Gao, Peter

    2018-01-01

    With the discovery of ever smaller and colder exoplanets, terrestrial worlds with hazy atmospheres must be increasingly considered. Our solar system’s Titan is a prototypical hazy planet, whose atmosphere may be representative of a large number of planets in our Galaxy. As a step toward characterizing such worlds, we present simulations of exoplanets that resemble Titan but orbit three different stellar hosts: G, K, and M dwarf stars. We use general circulation and photochemistry models to explore the circulation and chemistry of these Titan-like planets under varying stellar spectra, in all cases assuming a Titan-like insolation. Due to the strong absorption of visible light by atmospheric haze, the redder radiation accompanying later stellar types produces more isothermal stratospheres, stronger meridional temperature gradients at mbar pressures, and deeper and stronger zonal winds. In all cases, the planets’ atmospheres are strongly superrotating, but meridional circulation cells are weaker aloft under redder starlight. The photochemistry of hydrocarbon and nitrile species varies with stellar spectra, with variations in the FUV/NUV flux ratio playing an important role. Our results tentatively suggest that column haze production rates could be similar under all three hosts, implying that planets around many different stars could have similar characteristics to Titan’s atmosphere. Lastly, we present theoretical emission spectra. Overall, our study indicates that, despite important and subtle differences, the circulation and chemistry of Titan-like exoplanets are relatively insensitive to differences in the host star. These findings may be further probed with future space-based facilities, like WFIRST, LUVOIR, HabEx, and OST.

  3. HabEx: Finding and characterizing Habitable Exoplanets with a potential future flagship astrophysics mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Gaudi, B. S.; Seager, S.; Mennesson, B.; Warfield, K.; Cahoy, K.; Feinberg, L. D.; Guyon, O.; Kasdin, N. J.; Mawet, D.; Robinson, T. D.; Rogers, L.; Scowen, P. A.; Somerville, R. S.; Stapelfeldt, K. R.; Stern, D.; Turnbull, M. C.; Marois, C.; Mouillet, D.; Prusti, T.; Quirrenbach, A.; Tamura, M.; Still, M.; Hudgins, D.

    2016-12-01

    HabEx - the Habitable Exoplanet Imager - is one of four flagship missions that NASA is studying in advance of the next Astrophysics Decadal Survey. The primary goal of HabEx will be to directly image and characterize rocky planets in the habitable zones of other stars. Specifically, HabEx aims to search for signs of liquid water oceans and biological activity on such worlds. Additionally, HabEx will also be able to pursue a range of other astrophysics investigations, including the study of non-habitable exoplanets, the study of Solar System objects, and observations of galaxies. The technical drivers for HabEx will be determined by the significant challenges associated with the direct imaging and characterization of potentially habitable exoplanets. This requires a large enough collecting area to collect light from these very dim targets, and the ability to block light from the dramatically brighter host star the planet orbits. There are multiple approaches to these challenges, and the goal of the HabEx study is to demonstrate that at least one can be executed with technologies that can be matured in time for a lunch in the 2030s. In this presentation, we will discuss the top-level exoplanet science goals of HabEx, and how those goals led to basic and preliminary architectural properties such as aperture size, starlight suppression technique, wavelength range, etc. We will then discuss how these architectural properties could allow for the astronomical study of other targets in and beyond the Solar System.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Winn, Joshua N.; Holman, Matthew J.; 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steffen..[], Jason H.; Batalha, N. M.; Broucki, W J.

    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 a...

  7. The WASP-South search for transiting exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Queloz D.

    2011-02-01

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

  8. 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 (pc) and adolescent (pc) stars. The range of separations studied by GPI is completely inaccessible to Doppler and transit techniques (even with Kepler or TESS)— GPI offers a new window into planet formation. We will use GPI to produce the first-ever robust census of giant planet populations in the 5-50 AU range, allowing us to: 1) illuminate the formation pathways of Jovian planets; 2) reconstruct the early dynamical evolution of systems, including migration mechanisms and the interaction with disks and belts of debris; and 3) bridge the gap between Jupiter and the brown dwarfs with the first examples of cool low- gravity planetary atmospheres. Simulations predict this survey will discover approximately 50 exoplanets, increasing the number of exoplanet images by an order of magnitude, enough for statistical investigation. This Origins of Solar Systems proposal will support the execution of the GPI Exoplanet Survey campaign. We will develop tools needed to execute the survey efficiently. We will refine the existing GPI data pipeline to a final version that robustly removes residual speckle artifacts and provides

  9. The Exoplanet Characterization ToolKit (ExoCTK)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Kevin; Fowler, Julia; Lewis, Nikole K.; Fraine, Jonathan; Pueyo, Laurent; Valenti, Jeff; Bruno, Giovanni; Filippazzo, Joseph; Hill, Matthew; Batalha, Natasha E.; Bushra, Rafia

    2018-01-01

    The success of exoplanet characterization depends critically on a patchwork of analysis tools and spectroscopic libraries that currently require extensive development and lack a centralized support system. Due to the complexity of spectroscopic analyses and initial time commitment required to become productive, there are currently a limited number of teams that are actively advancing the field. New teams with significant expertise, but without the proper tools, face prohibitively steep hills to climb before they can contribute. As a solution, we are developing an open-source, modular data analysis package in Python and a publicly facing web interface focused primarily on atmospheric characterization of exoplanets and exoplanet transit observation planning with JWST. The foundation of these software tools and libraries exist within pockets of the exoplanet community. Our project will gather these seedling tools and grow a robust, uniform, and well maintained exoplanet characterization toolkit.

  10. Searching for Exoplanets using Artificial Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Kyle Alexander; Palafox, Leon; Griffith, Caitlin Ann

    2017-10-01

    In the last decade, over a million stars were monitored to detect transiting planets. The large volume of data obtained from current and future missions (e.g. Kepler, K2, TESS and LSST) requires automated methods to detect the signature of a planet. Manual interpretation of potential exoplanet candidates is labor intensive and subject to human error, the results of which are difficult to quantify. Here we present a new method of detecting exoplanet candidates in large planetary search projects which, unlike current methods uses a neural network. Neural networks, also called ``deep learning'' or ``deep nets'', are a state of the art machine learning technique designed to give a computer perception into a specific problem by training it to recognize patterns. Unlike past transit detection algorithms, the deep net learns to characterize the data instead of relying on hand-coded metrics that humans perceive as the most representative. Exoplanet transits have different shapes, as a result of, e.g. the planet's and stellar atmosphere and transit geometry. Thus, a simple template does not suffice to capture the subtle details, especially if the signal is below the noise or strong systematics are present. Current false-positive rates from the Kepler data are estimated around 12.3% for Earth-like planets and there has been no study of the false negative rates. It is therefore important to ask how the properties of current algorithms exactly affect the results of the Kepler mission and, future missions such as TESS, which flies next year. These uncertainties affect the fundamental research derived from missions, such as the discovery of habitable planets, estimates of their occurrence rates and our understanding about the nature and evolution of planetary systems.

  11. Examining the Potential of LSST to Contribute to Exoplanet Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), currently under construction in Chile with scheduled first light in 2019, will be one of the major sources of data in the next decade and is one of the top priorities expressed in the last Decadal Survey. As LSST is intended to cover a range of science questions, and so the LSST community is still working on optimizing the observing strategy of the survey. With a survey area that will cover half the sky in 6 bands providing photometric data on billions of stars from 16th to 24th magnitude, LSST has the ability to be leveraged to help contribute to exoplanet science. In particular, LSST has the potential to detect exoplanets around stellar populations that are not normally usually included in transiting exoplanet searches. This includes searching for exoplanets around red and white dwarfs and stars in the galactic plane and bulge, stellar clusters, and potentially even the Magellanic Clouds. In probing these varied stellar populations, relative exoplanet frequency can be examined, and in turn, LSST may be able to provide fresh insight into how stellar environment can play a role in planetary formation rates.Our initial work on this project has been to demonstrate that even with the limitations of the LSST cadence, exoplanets would be recoverable and detectable in the LSST photometry, and to show that exoplanets indeed worth including in discussions of variable sources that LSST can contribute to. We have continued to expand this work to examine exoplanets around stars in belonging to various stellar populations, both to show the types of systems that LSST is capable of discovering, and to determine the potential exoplanet yields using standard algorithms that have already been implemented in transiting exoplanet searches, as well as how changes to LSST's observing schedule may impact both of these results.

  12. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet

    OpenAIRE

    Barclay, Thomas; Ciardi, David; Howard, Andrew W.

    2013-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanets, it has been known that other planetary systems can look quite unlike our own. Until fairly recently, we have been able to probe only the upper range of the planet size distribution, and, since last year, to detect planets that are the size of Earth or somewhat smaller. Hitherto, no planets have been found that are smaller than those we see in the Solar System. Here we report a planet significantly smaller than Mercury. This tiny planet is the inner...

  13. MODELS OF NEPTUNE-MASS EXOPLANETS: EMERGENT FLUXES AND ALBEDOS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spiegel, David S.; Burrows, Adam; Ibgui, Laurent; Hubeny, Ivan; Milsom, John A.

    2010-01-01

    There are now many known exoplanets with Msin i within a factor of 2 of Neptune's, including the transiting planets GJ 436b and HAT-P-11b. Planets in this mass range are different from their more massive cousins in several ways that are relevant to their radiative properties and thermal structures. By analogy with Neptune and Uranus, they are likely to have metal abundances that are an order of magnitude or more greater than those of larger, more massive planets. This increases their opacity, decreases Rayleigh scattering, and changes their equation of state. Furthermore, their smaller radii mean that fluxes from these planets are roughly an order of magnitude lower than those of otherwise identical gas giant planets. Here, we compute a range of plausible radiative equilibrium models of GJ 436b and HAT-P-11b. In addition, we explore the dependence of generic Neptune-mass planets on a range of physical properties, including their distance from their host stars, their metallicity, the spectral type of their stars, the redistribution of heat in their atmospheres, and the possible presence of additional optical opacity in their upper atmospheres.

  14. Atmospheres of partially differentiated super-Earth exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Laura; Sasselov, Dimitar

    2015-11-01

    Terrestrial exoplanets have been discovered in a range of sizes, densities and orbital locations that defy our expectations based upon the Solar System. Planets discovered to date with radii less than ~1.5-1.6 Earth radii all seem to fall on an iso-density curve with the Earth [1]. However, mass and radius determinations, which depend on the known properties of the host star, are not accurate enough to distinguish between a fully differentiated three-layer planet (core, mantle, ocean/atmosphere) and an incompletely differentiated planet [2]. Full differentiation of a planet will depend upon the conditions at the time of accretion, including the abundance of short-lived radioisotopes, which will vary from system to system, as well as the number of giant impacts the planet experiences. Furthermore, separation of metal and silicates at the much larger pressures found inside super-Earths will depend on how the chemistry of these materials change at high pressures. There are therefore hints emerging that not all super-Earths will be fully differentiated. Incomplete differentiation will result in a more reduced mantle oxidation state and may have implications for the composition of an outgassed atmosphere. Here we will present the first results from a chemical equilibrium model of the composition of such an outgassed atmosphere and discuss the possibility of distinguishing between fully and incompletely differentiated planets through atmospheric observations.[1] Rogers, L. 2015. ApJ, 801, 41. [2] Zeng, L. & Sasselov, D. 2013. PASP, 125, 227.

  15. Searching for Strange Quark Matter Objects in Exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huang, Y. F.; Yu, Y. B., E-mail: hyf@nju.edu.cn [Department of Astronomy, School of Astronomy and Space Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023 (China)

    2017-10-20

    The true ground state of hadronic matter may be strange quark matter (SQM). Consequently, observed pulsars may actually be strange quark stars, but not neutron stars. However, proving or disproving the SQM hypothesis still remains a difficult problem to solve due to the similarity between the macroscopical characteristics of strange quark stars and neutron stars. Here, we propose a hopeful method to probe the existence of SQM. In the framework of the SQM hypothesis, strange quark dwarfs and even strange quark planets can also stably exist. Noting that SQM planets will not be tidally disrupted even when they get very close to their host stars due to their extreme compactness, we argue that we could identify SQM planets by searching for very close-in planets among extrasolar planetary systems. Especially, we should keep our eyes on possible pulsar planets with orbital radius less than ∼5.6 × 10{sup 10} cm and period less than ∼6100 s. A thorough search in the currently detected ∼2950 exoplanets around normal main-sequence stars has failed to identify any stable close-in objects that meet the SQM criteria, i.e., lying in the tidal disruption region for normal matter planets. However, the pulsar planet PSR J1719-1438B, with an orbital radius of ∼6 × 10{sup 10} cm and orbital period of 7837 s, is, encouragingly, found to be a good candidate.

  16. HIDING IN THE SHADOWS. II. COLLISIONAL DUST AS EXOPLANET MARKERS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobinson, Jack; Leinhardt, Zoë M.; Lines, Stefan; Carter, Philip J.; Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E.; Teanby, Nick A.

    2016-01-01

    Observations of the youngest planets (∼1–10 Myr for a transitional disk) will increase the accuracy of our planet formation models. Unfortunately, observations of such planets are challenging and time-consuming to undertake, even in ideal circumstances. Therefore, we propose the determination of a set of markers that can preselect promising exoplanet-hosting candidate disks. To this end, N-body simulations were conducted to investigate the effect of an embedded Jupiter-mass planet on the dynamics of the surrounding planetesimal disk and the resulting creation of second-generation collisional dust. We use a new collision model that allows fragmentation and erosion of planetesimals, and dust-sized fragments are simulated in a post-process step including non-gravitational forces due to stellar radiation and a gaseous protoplanetary disk. Synthetic images from our numerical simulations show a bright double ring at 850 μm for a low-eccentricity planet, whereas a high-eccentricity planet would produce a characteristic inner ring with asymmetries in the disk. In the presence of first-generation primordial dust these markers would be difficult to detect far from the orbit of the embedded planet, but would be detectable inside a gap of planetary origin in a transitional disk

  17. WFIRST Microlensing Exoplanet Characterization with HST Follow up

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Aparna; David Bennett, Jay Anderson, J.P. Beaulieu.

    2018-01-01

    More than 50 planets are discovered with the different ground based telescopes available for microlensing. But the analysis of ground based data fails to provide a complete solution. To fulfill that gap, space based telescopes, like Hubble space telescope and Spitzer are used. My research work focuses on extracting the planet mass, host star mass, their separation and their distance in physical units from HST Follow-up observations. I will present the challenges faced in developing this method.This is the primary method to be used for NASA's top priority project (according to 2010 decadal survey) Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope (WFIRST) Exoplanet microlensing space observatory, to be launched in 2025. The unique ability of microlensing is that with WFIRST it can detect sub-earth- mass planets beyond the reach of Kepler at separation 1 AU to infinity. This will provide us the necessary statistics to study the formation and evolution of planetary systems. This will also provide us with necessary initial conditions to model the formation of planets and the habitable zones around M dwarf stars.

  18. The Search for Exoplanets using Ultra-long Wavelength Radio Astronomy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bentum, Marinus Jan

    2017-01-01

    Recent studies on extra solar planets (exoplanets) provide us with a new glimpse into the Milky Way's composition. Exoplanets appear to be very typical around Sunlike stars. Most of these exoplanets are observed via indirect measurements. If a direct radio observation of the exoplanet's signal was

  19. Development of corotational formulated FEM for application to 30m class large deployable reflector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ozawa, Satoru; Fujiwara, Yuuichi; Tsujihata, Akio

    2010-01-01

    JAXA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, is now developing a corotational formulated finite element analysis method and its software 'Origami/ETS' for the development of 30m class large deployable reflectors. For the reason that the deployable reflector is composed of beams, cables and mesh, this analysis method is generalized for finite elements with multiple nodes, which are commonly used in linear finite element analyses. The large displacement and rotation are taken into account by the corotational formulation. The tangent stiffness matrix for finite elements with multiple nodes is obtained as follows; the geometric stiffness matrix of two node elements is derived by taking variation of the element's corotational matrix from the virtual work of finite elements with large displacement; similarly the geometric stiffness matrix for three node elements is derived; as the extension of two and three node element theories, the geometric stiffness matrix for multiple node elements is derived; with the geometric stiffness matrix for multiple node elements, the tangent stiffness matrix is obtained. The analysis method is applied for the deployment analysis and static structural analysis of the 30m class large deployable reflector. In the deployment analysis, it is confirmed that this method stably analyzes the deployment motion from the deployment configuration to the stowed configuration of the reflector. In the static analysis, it is confirmed that the mesh structure is analyzed successfully. The 30m class large deployable reflector is now still being developed and is about to undergo several tests with its prototypes. This analysis method will be used in the tests and verifications of the reflector.

  20. Recurrent variations of anomalous oxygen in association with a corotating interaction region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. K. Reuss

    Full Text Available The fluxes of anomalous oxygen (E ranging from 3.5-6.8 MeV/amu, as measured by the EPAC instrument on ULYSSES, show a recurrent variation with the solar rotation period, which is anticorrelated with the fluxes of particles accelerated at the shocks of a corotating interaction region (CIR, and correlated with the fluxes of galactic cosmic rays known to be modulated by the CIR. The amplitude of this variation is much higher than expected for galactic cosmic rays of the same rigidity.

  1. Investigation of Flow Behavior around Corotating Blades in a Double-Spindle Lawn Mower Deck

    OpenAIRE

    Chon W.; Amano R. S.

    2005-01-01

    When the airflow patterns inside a lawn mower deck are understood, the deck can be redesigned to be efficient and have an increased cutting ability. To learn more, a combination of computational and experimental studies was performed to investigate the effects of blade and housing designs on a flow pattern inside a 1.1m wide corotating double-spindle lawn mower deck with side discharge. For the experimental portion of the study, air velocities inside the deck were measured using a laser Do...

  2. Modeling heat efficiency, flow and scale-up in the corotating disc scraped surface heat exchanger

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friis, Alan; Szabo, Peter; Karlson, Torben

    2002-01-01

    A comparison of two different scale corotating disc scraped surface heat exchangers (CDHE) was performed experimentally. The findings were compared to predictions from a finite element model. We find that the model predicts well the flow pattern of the two CDHE's investigated. The heat transfer...... performance predicted by the model agrees well with experimental observations for the laboratory scale CDHE whereas the overall heat transfer in the scaled-up version was not in equally good agreement. The lack of the model to predict the heat transfer performance in scale-up leads us to identify the key...

  3. Affirmation of triggered Jovian radio emissions and their attribution to corotating radio lasers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvert, W.

    1985-01-01

    It is argued that the original statistical evidence for the existence of triggered radio emissions and corotating radio lasers on Jupiter remains valid notwithstanding the critique of Desch and Kaiser (1985). The Voyager radio spectrograms used to identify the triggered emissions are analyzed and the results are discussed. It is shown that the critique by Desch and Kaiser is unjustified because it is not based on the original event criteria, i.e., the correlation between the occurrence of Jovian auroral kilometric radiation and fast-drift type III solar bursts in the same frequency.

  4. Phase-Averaged Method Applied to Periodic Flow Between Shrouded Corotating Disks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shen-Chun Wu

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the coherent flow fields between corotating disks in a cylindrical enclosure. By using two laser velocimeters and a phase-averaged technique, the vortical structures of the flow could be reconstructed and their dynamic behavior was observed. The experimental results reveal clearly that the flow field between the disks is composed of three distinct regions: an inner region near the hub, an outer region, and a shroud boundary layer region. The outer region is distinguished by the presence of large vortical structures. The number of vortical structures corresponds to the normalized frequency of the flow.

  5. The Development of New Atmospheric Models for K and M DwarfStars with Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linsky, Jeffrey L.

    2018-01-01

    The ultraviolet and X-ray emissions of host stars play critical roles in the survival and chemical composition of the atmospheres of their exoplanets. The need to measure and understand this radiative output, in particular for K and M dwarfs, is the main rationale for computing a new generation of stellar models that includes magnetically heated chromospheres and coronae in addition to their photospheres. We describe our method for computing semi-empirical models that includes solutions of the statistical equilibrium equations for 52 atoms and ions and of the non-LTE radiative transfer equations for all important spectral lines. The code is an offspring of the Solar Radiation Physical Modelling system (SRPM) developed by Fontenla et al. (2007--2015) to compute one-dimensional models in hydrostatic equilibrium to fit high-resolution stellar X-ray to IR spectra. Also included are 20 diatomic molecules and their more than 2 million spectral lines. Our-proof-of-concept model is for the M1.5 V star GJ 832 (Fontenla et al. ApJ 830, 154 (2016)). We will fit the line fluxes and profiles of X-ray lines and continua observed by Chandra and XMM-Newton, UV lines observed by the COS and STIS instruments on HST (N V, C IV, Si IV, Si III, Mg II, C II, and O I), optical lines (including H$\\alpha$, Ca II, Na I), and continua. These models will allow us to compute extreme-UV spectra, which are unobservable but required to predict the hydrodynamic mass-loss rate from exoplanet atmospheres, and to predict panchromatic spectra of new exoplanet host stars discovered after the end of the HST mission.This work is supported by grant HST-GO-15038 from the Space Telescope Science Institute to the Univ. of Colorado

  6. TYCHO: Simulating Exoplanets Within Stellar Clusters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaser, Joseph Paul; Thornton, Jonathan; Geller, Aaron M.; McMillan, Stephen

    2018-01-01

    Recent surveys exploring nearby open clusters have yielded noticeable differences in the planetary population from that seen in the Field. This is surprising, as the two should be indistinguishable given currently accepted theories on how a majority of stars form within the Galaxy. Currently, the existence of this apparent deficit is not fully understood. While detection bias in previous observational surveys certainly contributes to this issue, the dynamical effects of star-star scattering must also be taken into account. However, this effect can only be investigated via computational simulations and current solutions of the multi-scale N-body problem are limited and drastically simplified.To remedy this, we aim to create a physically complete computational solution to explore the role of stellar close encounters and interplanetary interactions in producing the observed exoplanet populations for both open cluster stars and Field stars. To achieve this, TYCHO employs a variety of different computational techniques, including: multiple n-body integration methods; close-encounter handling; Monte Carlo scattering experiments; and a variety of observationally-backed initial condition generators. Herein, we discuss the current state of the code's implantation within the AMUSE framework and its applications towards present exoplanet surveys.

  7. LIGHT SCATTERING FROM EXOPLANET OCEANS AND ATMOSPHERES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zugger, M. E.; Kane, T. J.; Kasting, J. F.; Williams, D. M.; Philbrick, C. R.

    2010-01-01

    Orbital variation in reflected starlight from exoplanets could eventually be used to detect surface oceans. Exoplanets with rough surfaces, or dominated by atmospheric Rayleigh scattering, should reach peak brightness in full phase, orbital longitude (OL) = 180 0 , whereas ocean planets with transparent atmospheres should reach peak brightness in crescent phase near OL = 30 0 . Application of Fresnel theory to a planet with no atmosphere covered by a calm ocean predicts a peak polarization fraction of 1 at OL = 74 0 ; however, our model shows that clouds, wind-driven waves, aerosols, absorption, and Rayleigh scattering in the atmosphere and within the water column dilute the polarization fraction and shift the peak to other OLs. Observing at longer wavelengths reduces the obfuscation of the water polarization signature by Rayleigh scattering but does not mitigate the other effects. Planets with thick Rayleigh scattering atmospheres reach peak polarization near OL = 90 0 , but clouds and Lambertian surface scattering dilute and shift this peak to smaller OL. A shifted Rayleigh peak might be mistaken for a water signature unless data from multiple wavelength bands are available. Our calculations suggest that polarization alone may not positively identify the presence of an ocean under an Earth-like atmosphere; however, polarization adds another dimension which can be used, in combination with unpolarized orbital light curves and contrast ratios, to detect extrasolar oceans, atmospheric water aerosols, and water clouds. Additionally, the presence and direction of the polarization vector could be used to determine planet association with the star, and constrain orbit inclination.

  8. Light from Exoplanets: Present and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Leo

    2010-01-01

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

  9. 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 benefit 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 qualifies as the second best choice for a space mission, requiring the spacecraft to reach 6,077 AU. In this paper, we study the benefit of exoplanet searches by deep space missions.

  10. ESPRESSO: The next European exoplanet hunter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepe, F.; Molaro, P.; 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.; Allende Prieto, C.; 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.; González Hernández, J. I.; 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.; Santana Tschudi, S.; Santos, P.; Sosnowska, D.; Sousa, S.; Spanó, P.; Tenegi, F.; Toso, G.; Vanzella, E.; Viel, M.; Zapatero Osorio, M. R.

    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-Coudé Laboratory of the VLT and linked to the four 8.2 m Unit Telescopes (UT) through four optical Coudé 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-1 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 sensitivity. The main scientific drivers are the search and characterization of rocky exoplanets in the habitable zone of quiet, nearby G to M-dwarfs and the analysis of the variability of fundamental physical constants. The project passed the final design review in May 2013 and entered the manufacturing phase. ESPRESSO will be installed at the Paranal Observatory in 2016 and its operation is planned to start by the end of the same year.

  11. A Cubesat Payload for Exoplanet Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcella Iuzzolino

    2017-03-01

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

  12. Zodiacal Exoplanets in Time (ZEIT). V. A Uniform Search for Transiting Planets in Young Clusters Observed by K2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzuto, Aaron C.; Mann, Andrew W.; Vanderburg, Andrew; Kraus, Adam L.; Covey, Kevin R.

    2017-12-01

    Detection of transiting exoplanets around young stars is more difficult than for older systems owing to increased stellar variability. Nine young open cluster planets have been found in the K2 data, but no single analysis pipeline identified all planets. We have developed a transit search pipeline for young stars that uses a transit-shaped notch and quadratic continuum in a 12 or 24 hr window to fit both the stellar variability and the presence of a transit. In addition, for the most rapid rotators ({P}{rot}Pleiades, Hyades, Praesepe) and conduct a uniform search of the members. We identify all known transiting exoplanets in the clusters, 17 eclipsing binaries, one transiting planet candidate orbiting a potential Pleiades member, and three orbiting unlikely members of the young clusters. Limited injection recovery testing on the known planet hosts indicates that for the older Praesepe systems we are sensitive to additional exoplanets as small as 1-2 R ⊕, and for the larger Upper Scorpius planet host (K2-33) our pipeline is sensitive to ˜4 R ⊕ transiting planets. The lack of detected multiple systems in the young clusters is consistent with the expected frequency from the original Kepler sample, within our detection limits. With a robust pipeline that detects all known planets in the young clusters, occurrence rate testing at young ages is now possible.

  13. Colors of Alien Worlds from Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Renyu

    2016-01-01

    Future direct-imaging exoplanet missions such as WFIRST will measure the reflectivity of exoplanets at visible wavelengths. Most of the exoplanets to be observed will be located further away from their parent stars than is Earth from the Sun. These "cold" exoplanets have atmospheric environments conducive for the formation of water and/or ammonia clouds, like Jupiter in the Solar System. I find the mixing ratio of methane and the pressure level of the uppermost cloud deck on these planets can be uniquely determined from their reflection spectra, with moderate spectral resolution, if the cloud deck is between 0.6 and 1.5 bars. The existence of this unique solution is useful for exoplanet direct imaging missions for several reasons. First, the weak bands and strong bands of methane enable the measurement of the methane mixing ratio and the cloud pressure, although an overlying haze layer can bias the estimate of the latter. Second, the cloud pressure, once derived, yields an important constraint on the internal heat flux from the planet, and thus indicating its thermal evolution. Third, water worlds having H2O-dominated atmospheres are likely to have water clouds located higher than the 10-3 bar pressure level, and muted spectral absorption features. These planets would occupy a confined phase space in the color-color diagrams, likely distinguishable from H2-rich giant exoplanets by broadband observations. Therefore, direct-imaging exoplanet missions may offer the capability to broadly distinguish H2-rich giant exoplanets versus H2O-rich super-Earth exoplanets, and to detect ammonia and/or water clouds and methane gas in their atmospheres.

  14. Models of red giants in the CoRoT asteroseismology fields combining asteroseismic and spectroscopic constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadège, Lagarde

    The availability of asteroseismic constraints for a large sample of red-giant stars from the CoRoT and Kepler missions paves the way for various statistical studies of the seismic properties of stellar populations. We use a detailed spectroscopic study of 19 CoRoT red-giant stars (Morel et al. 2014) to compare theoretical stellar evolution models to observations of the open cluster NGC 6633 and field stars. This study is already published in Lagarde et al. (2015)

  15. A NURBS-based finite element model applied to geometrically nonlinear elastodynamics using a corotational approach

    KAUST Repository

    Espath, L. F R; Braun, Alexandre Luis; Awruch, Armando Miguel; Dalcin, Lisandro

    2015-01-01

    A numerical model to deal with nonlinear elastodynamics involving large rotations within the framework of the finite element based on NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline) basis is presented. A comprehensive kinematical description using a corotational approach and an orthogonal tensor given by the exact polar decomposition is adopted. The state equation is written in terms of corotational variables according to the hypoelastic theory, relating the Jaumann derivative of the Cauchy stress to the Eulerian strain rate.The generalized-α method (Gα) method and Generalized Energy-Momentum Method with an additional parameter (GEMM+ξ) are employed in order to obtain a stable and controllable dissipative time-stepping scheme with algorithmic conservative properties for nonlinear dynamic analyses.The main contribution is to show that the energy-momentum conservation properties and numerical stability may be improved once a NURBS-based FEM in the spatial discretization is used. Also it is shown that high continuity can postpone the numerical instability when GEMM+ξ with consistent mass is employed; likewise, increasing the continuity class yields a decrease in the numerical dissipation. A parametric study is carried out in order to show the stability and energy budget in terms of several properties such as continuity class, spectral radius and lumped as well as consistent mass matrices.

  16. A NURBS-based finite element model applied to geometrically nonlinear elastodynamics using a corotational approach

    KAUST Repository

    Espath, L. F R

    2015-02-03

    A numerical model to deal with nonlinear elastodynamics involving large rotations within the framework of the finite element based on NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline) basis is presented. A comprehensive kinematical description using a corotational approach and an orthogonal tensor given by the exact polar decomposition is adopted. The state equation is written in terms of corotational variables according to the hypoelastic theory, relating the Jaumann derivative of the Cauchy stress to the Eulerian strain rate.The generalized-α method (Gα) method and Generalized Energy-Momentum Method with an additional parameter (GEMM+ξ) are employed in order to obtain a stable and controllable dissipative time-stepping scheme with algorithmic conservative properties for nonlinear dynamic analyses.The main contribution is to show that the energy-momentum conservation properties and numerical stability may be improved once a NURBS-based FEM in the spatial discretization is used. Also it is shown that high continuity can postpone the numerical instability when GEMM+ξ with consistent mass is employed; likewise, increasing the continuity class yields a decrease in the numerical dissipation. A parametric study is carried out in order to show the stability and energy budget in terms of several properties such as continuity class, spectral radius and lumped as well as consistent mass matrices.

  17. What CoRoT tells us about δ Scuti stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel Eric

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Inspired by the so appealing example of red giants, where going from a handful of stars to thousands revealed the structure of the eigenspectrum, we inspected a large homogeneous set of around 1860 δ Scuti stars observed with CoRoT. This unique data set reveals a common regular pattern which appears to be in agreement with island modes featured by theoretical non-perturbative treatments of fast rotation. The comparison of these data with models and linear stability calculations suggests that spectra can be fruitfully characterized to first order by a few parameters which might play the role of seismic indices for δ Scuti stars, as Δv and vmax do for red giants. The existence of this pattern offers an observational support for guiding further theoretical works on fast rotation. It also provides a framework for further investigation of the observational material collected by CoRoT ([1] and Kepler ([2]. Finally, it sketches out the perspective of using δ Scuti stars pulsations for ensemble asteroseismology

  18. Semi-empirical seismic relations of A-F stars from COROT and Kepler legacy data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moya, A.; Suárez, J. C.; García Hernández, A.; Mendoza, M. A.

    2017-10-01

    Asteroseismology is witnessing a revolution, thanks to high-precise asteroseismic space data (MOST, COROT, Kepler, BRITE) and their large ground-based follow-up programs. Those instruments have provided an unprecedented large amount of information, which allows us to scrutinize its statistical properties in the quest for hidden relations among pulsational and/or physical observables. This approach might be particularly useful for stars whose pulsation content is difficult to interpret. This is the case of intermediate-mass classical pulsating stars (I.e. γ Dor, δ Scuti, hybrids) for which current theories do not properly predict the observed oscillation spectra. Here, we establish a first step in finding such hidden relations from data mining techniques for these stars. We searched for those hidden relations in a sample of δ Scuti and hybrid stars observed by COROT and Kepler (74 and 153, respectively). No significant correlations between pairs of observables were found. However, two statistically significant correlations emerged from multivariable correlations in the observed seismic data, which describe the total number of observed frequencies and the largest one, respectively. Moreover, three different sets of stars were found to cluster according to their frequency density distribution. Such sets are in apparent agreement with the asteroseismic properties commonly accepted for A-F pulsating stars.

  19. IMPLICATIONS OF THE COROTATION THEOREM ON THE MRI IN AXIAL SYMMETRY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Montani, G. [ENEA, FSN-FUSPHY-TSM, R.C. Frascati, Via E. Fermi 45, I-00044 Frascati (Italy); Cianfrani, F. [Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Wrocław, Pl. Maksa Borna 9, Pl–50-204 Wrocław (Poland); Pugliese, D., E-mail: giovanni.montani@frascati.enea.it [Institute of Physics and Research Centre of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, Faculty of Philosophy Science, Silesian University in Opava, Bezručovo náměstí 13, CZ-74601 Opava (Czech Republic)

    2016-08-10

    We analyze the linear stability of an axially symmetric ideal plasma disk, embedded in a magnetic field and endowed with a differential rotation. This study is performed by adopting the magnetic flux function as the fundamental dynamical variable, in order to outline the role played by the corotation theorem on the linear mode structure. Using some specific assumptions (e.g., plasma incompressibility and propagation of the perturbations along the background magnetic field), we select the Alfvénic nature of the magnetorotational instability, and, in the geometric optics limit, we determine the dispersion relation describing the linear spectrum. We show how the implementation of the corotation theorem (valid for the background configuration) on the linear dynamics produces the cancellation of the vertical derivative of the disk angular velocity (we check such a feature also in the standard vector formalism to facilitate comparison with previous literature, in both the axisymmetric and three-dimensional cases). As a result, we clarify that the unstable modes have, for a stratified disk, the same morphology, proper of a thin-disk profile, and the z -dependence has a simple parametric role.

  20. Investigating nearby exoplanets via interstellar radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheffer, Louis K.

    2014-01-01

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

  1. EQUATORIAL SUPERROTATION ON TIDALLY LOCKED EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Showman, Adam P.; Polvani, Lorenzo M.

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Records of Migration in the Exoplanet Configurations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michtchenko, Tatiana A.; Rodriguez Colucci, A.; Tadeu Dos Santos, M.

    2013-05-01

    Abstract (2,250 Maximum Characters): When compared to our Solar System, many exoplanet systems exhibit quite unusual planet configurations; some of these are hot Jupiters, which orbit their central stars with periods of a few days, others are resonant systems composed of two or more planets with commensurable orbital periods. It has been suggested that these configurations can be the result of a migration processes originated by tidal interactions of the planets with disks and central stars. The process known as planet migration occurs due to dissipative forces which affect the planetary semi-major axes and cause the planets to move towards to, or away from, the central star. In this talk, we present possible signatures of planet migration in the distribution of the hot Jupiters and resonant exoplanet pairs. For this task, we develop a semi-analytical model to describe the evolution of the migrating planetary pair, based on the fundamental concepts of conservative and dissipative dynamics of the three-body problem. Our approach is based on an analysis of the energy and the orbital angular momentum exchange between the two-planet system and an external medium; thus no specific kind of dissipative forces needs to be invoked. We show that, under assumption that dissipation is weak and slow, the evolutionary routes of the migrating planets are traced by the stationary solutions of the conservative problem (Birkhoff, Dynamical systems, 1966). The ultimate convergence and the evolution of the system along one of these modes of motion are determined uniquely by the condition that the dissipation rate is sufficiently smaller than the roper frequencies of the system. We show that it is possible to reassemble the starting configurations and migration history of the systems on the basis of their final states, and consequently to constrain the parameters of the physical processes involved.

  3. Optimal Electric Field Estimation for Exoplanet Imaging Observatories in Space

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The discovery and characterization of Earth-like planets around other stars is a high priority in modern astronomy. While over 900 confirmed exoplanets have been...

  4. 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

  5. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets

    OpenAIRE

    Norio Narita; Takafumi Enomoto; Shigeyuki Masaoka; Nobuhiko Kusakabe

    2015-01-01

    The search for habitable exoplanets in the Universe is actively ongoing in the field of astronomy. The biggest future milestone is to determine whether life exists on such habitable exoplanets. In that context, oxygen in the atmosphere has been considered strong evidence for the presence of photosynthetic organisms. In this paper, we show that a previously unconsidered photochemical mechanism by titanium (IV) oxide (titania) can produce abiotic oxygen from liquid water under near ultraviolet ...

  6. Spectroscopy of Exoplanet Atmospheres with the FINESSE Explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Are "Habitable" Exoplanets Really Habitable? -A perspective from atmospheric loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, C.; Huang, Z.; Jin, M.; Lingam, M.; Ma, Y. J.; Toth, G.; van der Holst, B.; Airapetian, V.; Cohen, O.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2017-12-01

    In the last two decades, the field of exoplanets has witnessed a tremendous creative surge. Research in exoplanets now encompasses a wide range of fields ranging from astrophysics to heliophysics and atmospheric science. One of the primary objectives of studying exoplanets is to determine the criteria for habitability, and whether certain exoplanets meet these requirements. The classical definition of the Habitable Zone (HZ) is the region around a star where liquid water can exist on the planetary surface given sufficient atmospheric pressure. However, this definition largely ignores the impact of the stellar wind and stellar magnetic activity on the erosion of an exoplanet's atmosphere. Amongst the many factors that determine habitability, understanding the mechanisms of atmospheric loss is of paramount importance. We will discuss the impact of exoplanetary space weather on climate and habitability, which offers fresh insights concerning the habitability of exoplanets, especially those orbiting M-dwarfs, such as Proxima b and the TRAPPIST-1 system. For each case, we will demonstrate the importance of the exoplanetary space weather on atmospheric ion loss and habitability.

  8. Fundamental properties of stars using asteroseismology from Kepler and CoRoT and interferometry from the CHARA Array

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huber, D.; Ireland, M.J.; Bedding, T.R.

    2012-01-01

    We present results of a long-baseline interferometry campaign using the PAVO beam combiner at the CHARA Array to measure the angular sizes of five main-sequence stars, one subgiant and four red giant stars for which solar-like oscillations have been detected by either Kepler or CoRoT. By combinin...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  10. Detecting Exoplanets with the New Worlds Observer: The Problem of Exozodiacal Dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberge, A.; Noecker, M. C.; Glassman, T. M.; Oakley, P.; Turnbull, M. C.

    2009-01-01

    Dust coming from asteroids and comets will strongly affect direct imaging and characterization of terrestrial planets in the Habitable Zones of nearby stars. Such dust in the Solar System is called the zodiacal dust (or 'zodi' for short). Higher levels of similar dust are seen around many nearby stars, confined in disks called debris disks. Future high-contrast images of an Earth-like exoplanet will very likely be background-limited by light scattered of both the local Solar System zodi and the circumstellar dust in the extrasolar system (the exozodiacal dust). Clumps in the exozodiacal dust, which are expected in planet-hosting systems, may also be a source of confusion. Here we discuss the problems associated with imaging an Earth-like planet in the presence of unknown levels of exozodiacal dust. Basic formulae for the exoplanet imaging exposure time as function of star, exoplanet, zodi, exozodi, and telescope parameters will be presented. To examine the behavior of these formulae, we apply them to the New Worlds Observer (NWO) mission. NWO is a proposed 4-meter UV/optical/near-IR telescope, with a free flying starshade to suppress the light from a nearby star and achieve the high contrast needed for detection and characterization of a terrestrial planet in the star's Habitable Zone. We find that NWO can accomplish its science goals even if exozodiacal dust levels are typically much higher than the Solar System zodi level. Finally, we highlight a few additional problems relating to exozodiacal dust that have yet to be solved.

  11. Effects of Extreme Obliquity Variations on the Habitability of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, J. C.; Barnes, R.; Domagal-Goldman, S.; Breiner, J.; Quinn, T. R.; Meadows, V. S.

    2014-01-01

    We explore the impact of obliquity variations on planetary habitability in hypothetical systems with high mutual inclination. We show that large-amplitude, high-frequency obliquity oscillations on Earth-like exoplanets can suppress the ice-albedo feedback, increasing the outer edge of the habitable zone. We restricted our exploration to hypothetical systems consisting of a solar-mass star, an Earth-mass planet at 1 AU, and 1 or 2 larger planets. We verified that these systems are stable for 108 years with N-body simulations and calculated the obliquity variations induced by the orbital evolution of the Earth-mass planet and a torque from the host star. We ran a simplified energy balance model on the terrestrial planet to assess surface temperature and ice coverage on the planet's surface, and we calculated differences in the outer edge of the habitable zone for planets with rapid obliquity variations. For each hypothetical system, we calculated the outer edge of habitability for two conditions: (1) the full evolution of the planetary spin and orbit and (2) the eccentricity and obliquity fixed at their average values. We recovered previous results that higher values of fixed obliquity and eccentricity expand the habitable zone, but we also found that obliquity oscillations further expand habitable orbits in all cases. Terrestrial planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone may be more likely to support life in systems that induce rapid obliquity oscillations as opposed to fixed-spin planets. Such planets may be the easiest to directly characterize with space-borne telescopes.

  12. The potential feasibility of chlorinic photosynthesis on exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Johnson R

    2010-11-01

    The modern search for life-bearing exoplanets emphasizes the potential detection of O(2) and O(3) absorption spectra in exoplanetary atmospheres as ideal signatures of biology. However, oxygenic photosynthesis may not arise ubiquitously in exoplanetary biospheres. Alternative evolutionary paths may yield planetary atmospheres tinted with the waste products of other dominant metabolisms, including potentially exotic biochemistries. This paper defines chlorinic photosynthesis (CPS) as biologically mediated photolytic oxidation of aqueous Cl(-) to form halocarbon or dihalogen products, coupled with CO(2) assimilation. This hypothetical metabolism appears to be feasible energetically, physically, and geochemically, and could potentially develop under conditions that approximate the terrestrial Archean. It is hypothesized that an exoplanetary biosphere in which chlorinic photosynthesis dominates primary production would tend to evolve a strongly oxidizing, halogen-enriched atmosphere over geologic time. It is recommended that astronomical observations of exoplanetary outgoing thermal emission spectra consider signs of halogenated chemical species as likely indicators of the presence of a chlorinic biosphere. Planets that favor the evolution of CPS would probably receive equivalent or greater surface UV flux than is produced by the Sun, which would promote stronger abiotic UV photolysis of aqueous halides than occurred during Earth's Archean era and impose stronger evolutionary selection pressures on endemic life to accommodate and utilize halogenated compounds. Ocean-bearing planets of stars with metallicities equivalent to, or greater than, the Sun should especially favor the evolution of chlorinic biospheres because of the higher relative seawater abundances of Cl, Br, and I such planets would tend to host. Directed searches for chlorinic biospheres should probably focus on G0-G2, F, and A spectral class stars that have bulk metallicities of +0.0 Dex or greater.

  13. DETERMINING REFLECTANCE SPECTRA OF SURFACES AND CLOUDS ON EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cowan, Nicolas B.; Strait, Talia E., E-mail: n-cowan@northwestern.edu [Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), Northwestern University, 2131 Tech Dr., IL 60208 (United States)

    2013-03-01

    Planned missions will spatially resolve temperate terrestrial planets from their host star. Although reflected light from such a planet encodes information about its surface, it has not been shown how to establish surface characteristics of a planet without assuming known surfaces to begin with. We present a reanalysis of disk-integrated, time-resolved, multiband photometry of Earth obtained by the Deep Impact spacecraft as part of the EPOXI Mission of Opportunity. We extract reflectance spectra of clouds, ocean, and land without a priori knowledge of the numbers or colors of these surfaces. We show that the inverse problem of extracting surface spectra from such data is a novel and extreme instance of spectral unmixing, a well-studied problem in remote sensing. Principal component analysis is used to determine an appropriate number of model surfaces with which to interpret the data. Shrink-wrapping a simplex to the color excursions of the planet yields a conservative estimate of the planet's endmember spectra. The resulting surface maps are unphysical, however, requiring negative or larger-than-unity surface coverage at certain locations. Our ''rotational unmixing'' supersedes the endmember analysis by simultaneously solving for the surface spectra and their geographical distributions on the planet, under the assumption of diffuse reflection and known viewing geometry. We use a Markov Chain Monte Carlo to determine best-fit parameters and their uncertainties. The resulting albedo spectra are similar to clouds, ocean, and land seen through a Rayleigh-scattering atmosphere. This study suggests that future direct-imaging efforts could identify and map unknown surfaces and clouds on exoplanets.

  14. Effects of extreme obliquity variations on the habitability of exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, J C; Barnes, R; Domagal-Goldman, S; Breiner, J; Quinn, T R; Meadows, V S

    2014-04-01

    We explore the impact of obliquity variations on planetary habitability in hypothetical systems with high mutual inclination. We show that large-amplitude, high-frequency obliquity oscillations on Earth-like exoplanets can suppress the ice-albedo feedback, increasing the outer edge of the habitable zone. We restricted our exploration to hypothetical systems consisting of a solar-mass star, an Earth-mass planet at 1 AU, and 1 or 2 larger planets. We verified that these systems are stable for 10(8) years with N-body simulations and calculated the obliquity variations induced by the orbital evolution of the Earth-mass planet and a torque from the host star. We ran a simplified energy balance model on the terrestrial planet to assess surface temperature and ice coverage on the planet's surface, and we calculated differences in the outer edge of the habitable zone for planets with rapid obliquity variations. For each hypothetical system, we calculated the outer edge of habitability for two conditions: (1) the full evolution of the planetary spin and orbit and (2) the eccentricity and obliquity fixed at their average values. We recovered previous results that higher values of fixed obliquity and eccentricity expand the habitable zone, but we also found that obliquity oscillations further expand habitable orbits in all cases. Terrestrial planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone may be more likely to support life in systems that induce rapid obliquity oscillations as opposed to fixed-spin planets. Such planets may be the easiest to directly characterize with space-borne telescopes.

  15. Investigation of Flow Behavior around Corotating Blades in a Double-Spindle Lawn Mower Deck

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chon W.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available When the airflow patterns inside a lawn mower deck are understood, the deck can be redesigned to be efficient and have an increased cutting ability. To learn more, a combination of computational and experimental studies was performed to investigate the effects of blade and housing designs on a flow pattern inside a 1.1m wide corotating double-spindle lawn mower deck with side discharge. For the experimental portion of the study, air velocities inside the deck were measured using a laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV system. A high-speed video camera was used to observe the flow pattern. Furthermore, noise levels were measured using a sound level meter. For the computational fluid dynamics (CFD work, several arbitrary radial sections of a two-dimensional blade were selected to study flow computations. A three-dimensional, full deck model was also developed for realistic flow analysis. The computational results were then compared with the experimental results.

  16. Dynamic modeling of geometrically nonlinear electrostatically actuated microbeams (Corotational Finite Element formulation and analysis)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borhan, H; Ahmadian, M T [Sharif University of Technology, Center of Excellence for Design, Robotics and Automation, School of Mechanical Engineering, PO Box 11365-9567, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2006-04-01

    In this paper, a complete nonlinear finite element model for coupled-domain MEMS devices with electrostatic actuation and squeeze film effect is developed. For this purpose, a corotational finite element formulation for the dynamic analysis of planer Euler beams is employed. In this method, the internal nodal forces due to deformation and intrinsic residual stresses, the inertial nodal forces, and the damping effect of squeezed air film are systematically derived by consistent linearization of the fully geometrically nonlinear beam theory using d'Alamber and virtual work principles. An incremental-iterative method based on the Newmark direct integration procedure and the Newton-Raphson algorithm is used to solve the nonlinear dynamic equilibrium equations. Numerical examples are presented and compared with experimental findings which indicate properly good agreement.

  17. Muon and neutron observations in connection with the corotating interaction regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, M. R.; Dal Lago, A.; Echer, E.; de Lucas, A.; Gonzalez, W. D.; Schuch, N. J.; Munakata, K.; Vieira, L. E. A.; Guarnieri, F. L.

    Ground cosmic ray observations are used for studying several kinds of interplanetary structures. The cosmic ray data has different responses to each kind of interplanetary structure. This article has as objective to study cosmic ray muon and neutron signatures due to the passage of corotating interaction region (CIR) in the interplanetary medium, and identify the signatures in the cosmic ray data due to these events. The cosmic ray muon data used in this work are recorded by the multidirectional muon detector installed at INPE’s Observatório Espacial do Sul OES/CRSPE/INPE-MCT, in São Martinho da Serra, RS (Brazil) and the neutron data was recorded by the neutron monitor installed in Newark (USA). The CIR events were selected in the period from 2001 to 2004. CIRs clearly affect cosmic ray density in the interplanetary medium in the Earth’s vicinity, where the magnetic field plays an important role.

  18. PLANET HUNTERS. VIII. CHARACTERIZATION OF 41 LONG-PERIOD EXOPLANET CANDIDATES FROM KEPLER ARCHIVAL DATA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Picard, Alyssa; Schmitt, Joseph R.; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Barclay, Thomas; Ma, Bo; Bowler, Brendan P.; Riddle, Reed; Jek, Kian J.; LaCourse, Daryll; Simister, Dean Joseph; Grégoire, Boscher; Babin, Sean P.; Poile, Trevor; Jacobs, Thomas Lee; Baranec, Christoph; Law, Nicholas M.; Lintott, Chris; Schawinski, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    The census of exoplanets is incomplete for orbital distances larger than 1 AU. Here, we present 41 long-period planet candidates in 38 systems identified by Planet Hunters based on Kepler archival data (Q0–Q17). Among them, 17 exhibit only one transit, 14 have two visible transits, and 10 have more than three visible transits. For planet candidates with only one visible transit, we estimate their orbital periods based on transit duration and host star properties. The majority of the planet candidates in this work (75%) have orbital periods that correspond to distances of 1–3 AU from their host stars. We conduct follow-up imaging and spectroscopic observations to validate and characterize planet host stars. In total, we obtain adaptive optics images for 33 stars to search for possible blending sources. Six stars have stellar companions within 4″. We obtain high-resolution spectra for 6 stars to determine their physical properties. Stellar properties for other stars are obtained from the NASA Exoplanet Archive and the Kepler Stellar Catalog by Huber et al. We validate 7 planet candidates that have planet confidence over 0.997 (3σ level). These validated planets include 3 single-transit planets (KIC-3558849b, KIC-5951458b, and KIC-8540376c), 3 planets with double transits (KIC-8540376b, KIC-9663113b, and KIC-10525077b), and 1 planet with four transits (KIC-5437945b). This work provides assessment regarding the existence of planets at wide separations and the associated false positive rate for transiting observation (17%–33%). More than half of the long-period planets with at least three transits in this paper exhibit transit timing variations up to 41 hr, which suggest additional components that dynamically interact with the transiting planet candidates. The nature of these components can be determined by follow-up radial velocity and transit observations

  19. PLANET HUNTERS. VIII. CHARACTERIZATION OF 41 LONG-PERIOD EXOPLANET CANDIDATES FROM KEPLER ARCHIVAL DATA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Ji; Fischer, Debra A.; Picard, Alyssa; Schmitt, Joseph R.; Boyajian, Tabetha S. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Barclay, Thomas [NASA Ames Research Center, M/S 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Ma, Bo [Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, 211 Bryant Space Science Center, Gainesville, FL 32611-2055 (United States); Bowler, Brendan P.; Riddle, Reed [California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States); Jek, Kian J.; LaCourse, Daryll; Simister, Dean Joseph; Grégoire, Boscher; Babin, Sean P.; Poile, Trevor; Jacobs, Thomas Lee; Baranec, Christoph [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hilo, HI 96720-2700 (United States); Law, Nicholas M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3255 (United States); Lintott, Chris [Oxford Astrophysics, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Schawinski, Kevin [Institute for Astronomy, Department of Physics, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, CH-8093 Zurich (Switzerland); and others

    2015-12-20

    The census of exoplanets is incomplete for orbital distances larger than 1 AU. Here, we present 41 long-period planet candidates in 38 systems identified by Planet Hunters based on Kepler archival data (Q0–Q17). Among them, 17 exhibit only one transit, 14 have two visible transits, and 10 have more than three visible transits. For planet candidates with only one visible transit, we estimate their orbital periods based on transit duration and host star properties. The majority of the planet candidates in this work (75%) have orbital periods that correspond to distances of 1–3 AU from their host stars. We conduct follow-up imaging and spectroscopic observations to validate and characterize planet host stars. In total, we obtain adaptive optics images for 33 stars to search for possible blending sources. Six stars have stellar companions within 4″. We obtain high-resolution spectra for 6 stars to determine their physical properties. Stellar properties for other stars are obtained from the NASA Exoplanet Archive and the Kepler Stellar Catalog by Huber et al. We validate 7 planet candidates that have planet confidence over 0.997 (3σ level). These validated planets include 3 single-transit planets (KIC-3558849b, KIC-5951458b, and KIC-8540376c), 3 planets with double transits (KIC-8540376b, KIC-9663113b, and KIC-10525077b), and 1 planet with four transits (KIC-5437945b). This work provides assessment regarding the existence of planets at wide separations and the associated false positive rate for transiting observation (17%–33%). More than half of the long-period planets with at least three transits in this paper exhibit transit timing variations up to 41 hr, which suggest additional components that dynamically interact with the transiting planet candidates. The nature of these components can be determined by follow-up radial velocity and transit observations.

  20. Mass-loss evolution of close-in exoplanets: Evaporation of hot Jupiters and the effect on population

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurokawa, H.; Nakamoto, T.

    2014-01-01

    During their evolution, short-period exoplanets may lose envelope mass through atmospheric escape owing to intense X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) radiation from their host stars. Roche-lobe overflow induced by orbital evolution or intense atmospheric escape can also contribute to mass loss. To study the effects of mass loss on inner planet populations, we calculate the evolution of hot Jupiters considering mass loss of their envelopes and thermal contraction. Mass loss is assumed to occur through XUV-driven atmospheric escape and the following Roche-lobe overflow. The runaway effect of mass loss results in a dichotomy of populations: hot Jupiters that retain their envelopes and super Earths whose envelopes are completely lost. Evolution primarily depends on the core masses of planets and only slightly on migration history. In hot Jupiters with small cores (≅ 10 Earth masses), runaway atmospheric escape followed by Roche-lobe overflow may create sub-Jupiter deserts, as observed in both mass and radius distributions of planetary populations. Comparing our results with formation scenarios and observed exoplanets populations, we propose that populations of closely orbiting exoplanets are formed by capturing planets at/inside the inner edges of protoplanetary disks and subsequent evaporation of sub-Jupiters.

  1. Mass-loss evolution of close-in exoplanets: Evaporation of hot Jupiters and the effect on population

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kurokawa, H. [Department of Physics, Nagoya Univsersity, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8602 (Japan); Nakamoto, T., E-mail: kurokawa@nagoya-u.jp [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8551 (Japan)

    2014-03-01

    During their evolution, short-period exoplanets may lose envelope mass through atmospheric escape owing to intense X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (XUV) radiation from their host stars. Roche-lobe overflow induced by orbital evolution or intense atmospheric escape can also contribute to mass loss. To study the effects of mass loss on inner planet populations, we calculate the evolution of hot Jupiters considering mass loss of their envelopes and thermal contraction. Mass loss is assumed to occur through XUV-driven atmospheric escape and the following Roche-lobe overflow. The runaway effect of mass loss results in a dichotomy of populations: hot Jupiters that retain their envelopes and super Earths whose envelopes are completely lost. Evolution primarily depends on the core masses of planets and only slightly on migration history. In hot Jupiters with small cores (≅ 10 Earth masses), runaway atmospheric escape followed by Roche-lobe overflow may create sub-Jupiter deserts, as observed in both mass and radius distributions of planetary populations. Comparing our results with formation scenarios and observed exoplanets populations, we propose that populations of closely orbiting exoplanets are formed by capturing planets at/inside the inner edges of protoplanetary disks and subsequent evaporation of sub-Jupiters.

  2. Qatar Exoplanet Survey: Qatar-6b—A Grazing Transiting Hot Jupiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsubai, Khalid; Tsvetanov, Zlatan I.; Latham, David W.; Bieryla, Allyson; Esquerdo, Gilbert A.; Mislis, Dimitris; Pyrzas, Stylianos; Foxell, Emma; McCormac, James; Baranec, Christoph; Vilchez, Nicolas P. E.; West, Richard; Esamdin, Ali; Dang, Zhenwei; Dalee, Hani M.; Al-Rajihi, Amani A.; Al-Harbi, Abeer Kh.

    2018-02-01

    We report the discovery of Qatar-6b, a new transiting planet identified by the Qatar Exoplanet Survey (QES). The planet orbits a relatively bright (V = 11.44), early-K main-sequence star at an orbital period of P ∼ 3.506 days. An SED fit to available multi-band photometry, ranging from the near-UV to the mid-IR, yields a distance of d = 101 ± 6 pc to the system. From a global fit to follow-up photometric and spectroscopic observations, we calculate the mass and radius of the planet to be M P = 0.67 ± 0.07 M J and R P = 1.06 ± 0.07 R J, respectively. We use multi-color photometric light curves to show that the transit is grazing, making Qatar-6b one of the few exoplanets known in a grazing transit configuration. It adds to the short list of targets that offer the best opportunity to look for additional bodies in the host planetary system through variations in the transit impact factor and duration.

  3. Community Targets for JWST's Early Release Science Program: Evaluation of Transiting Exoplanet WASP-63b.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilpatrick, Brian; Cubillos, Patricio; Bruno, Giovanni; Lewis, Nikole K.; Stevenson, Kevin B.; Wakeford, Hannah; Blecic, Jasmina; Burrows, Adam Seth; Deming, Drake; Heng, Kevin; Line, Michael R.; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Morley, Caroline; Waldmann, Ingo P.; Transiting Exoplanet Early Release Science Community

    2017-06-01

    We present observations of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) ``A Preparatory Program to Identify the Single Best Transiting Exoplanet for JWST Early Release Science" for WASP-63b, one of the community targets proposed for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Early Release Science (ERS) program. A large collaboration of transiting exoplanet scientists identified a set of ``community targets" which meet a certain set of criteria for ecliptic latitude, period, host star brightness, well constrained orbital parameters, and strength of spectroscopic features. WASP-63b was one of the targets identified as a potential candidate for the ERS program. It is presented as an inflated planet with a large signal. It will be accessible to JWST approximately six months after the planned start of Cycle 1/ERS in April 2019 making it an ideal candidate should there be any delays in the JWST timetable. Here, we observe WASP-63b to evaluate its suitability as the best target to test the capabilities of JWST. Ideally, a clear atmosphere will be best suited for bench marking the instruments ability to detect spectroscopic features. We can use the strength of the water absorption feature at 1.4 μm as a way to determine the presence of obscuring clouds/hazes. The results of atmospheric retrieval are presented along with a discussion on the suitability of WASP-63b as the best target to be observed during the ERS Program.

  4. Exoplanet Classification and Yield Estimates for Direct Imaging Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Hébrard, Eric; Belikov, Rus; Batalha, Natalie M.; Mulders, Gijs D.; Stark, Chris; Teal, Dillon; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Mandell, Avi

    2018-04-01

    Future NASA concept missions that are currently under study, like the Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) and the Large Ultra-violet Optical Infra Red Surveyor, could discover a large diversity of exoplanets. We propose here a classification scheme that distinguishes exoplanets into different categories based on their size and incident stellar flux, for the purpose of providing the expected number of exoplanets observed (yield) with direct imaging missions. The boundaries of this classification can be computed using the known chemical behavior of gases and condensates at different pressures and temperatures in a planetary atmosphere. In this study, we initially focus on condensation curves for sphalerite ZnS, {{{H}}}2{{O}}, {CO}}2, and {CH}}4. The order in which these species condense in a planetary atmosphere define the boundaries between different classes of planets. Broadly, the planets are divided into rocky planets (0.5–1.0 R ⊕), super-Earths (1.0–1.75 R ⊕), sub-Neptunes (1.75–3.5 R ⊕), sub-Jovians (3.5–6.0 R ⊕), and Jovians (6–14.3 R ⊕) based on their planet sizes, and “hot,” “warm,” and “cold” based on the incident stellar flux. We then calculate planet occurrence rates within these boundaries for different kinds of exoplanets, η planet, using the community coordinated results of NASA’s Exoplanet Program Analysis Group’s Science Analysis Group-13 (SAG-13). These occurrence rate estimates are in turn used to estimate the expected exoplanet yields for direct imaging missions of different telescope diameters.

  5. INFLUENCE OF STELLAR FLARES ON THE CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF EXOPLANETS AND SPECTRA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venot, Olivia; Decin, Leen [Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, B-3001 Leuven (Belgium); Rocchetto, Marco [University College London, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT (United Kingdom); Carl, Shaun; Hashim, Aysha Roshni, E-mail: olivia.venot@kuleuven.be [Department of Quantum Chemistry and Physical Chemistry, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200F, B-3001 Leuven (Belgium)

    2016-10-20

    More than three thousand exoplanets have been detected so far, and more and more spectroscopic observations of exoplanets are performed. Future instruments ( James Webb Space Telescope ( JWST ), E-ELT, PLATO, Ariel, etc.,) are eagerly awaited, as they will be able to provide spectroscopic data with greater accuracy and sensitivity than what is currently available. This will allow more accurate conclusions to be drawn regarding the chemistry and dynamics of exoplanetary atmospheres, provided that the observational data are carefully processed. One important aspect to consider is temporal stellar atmospheric disturbances that can influence the planetary composition, and hence spectra, and potentially can lead to incorrect assumptions about the steady-state atmospheric composition of the planet. In this paper, we focus on perturbations coming from the host star in the form of flare events that significantly increase photon flux impingement on the exoplanets atmosphere. In some cases, particularly for M stars, this sudden increase may last for several hours. We aim to discover to what extent a stellar flare is able to modify the chemical composition of the planetary atmosphere and, therefore, influence the resulting spectra. We use a one-dimensional thermo-photochemical model to study the neutral atmospheric composition of two hypothetical planets located around the star AD Leo. We place the two planets at different distances from the star, which results in effective atmospheric temperatures of 412 and 1303 K. AD Leo is an active star that has already been observed during a flare. Therefore, we use the spectroscopic data from this flare event to simulate the evolution of the chemical composition of the atmospheres of the two hypothetical planets. We compute synthetic spectra to evaluate the implications for observations. The increase in the incoming photon flux affects the chemical abundances of some important species (such as H and NH{sub 3}), down to altitudes

  6. Habitable Exoplanet Imager Optical Telescope Concept Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, H Philip

    2017-01-01

    The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) is one of four missions under study for the 2020 Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Its goal is to directly image and spectroscopically characterize planetary systems in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. Additionally, HabEx will perform a broad range of general astrophysics science enabled by 100 to 2500 nm spectral range and 3 x 3 arc-minute FOV. Critical to achieving the HabEx science goals is a large, ultra-stable UV/Optical/Near-IR (UVOIR) telescope. The baseline HabEx telescope is a 4-meter off-axis unobscured three-mirror-anastigmatic, diffraction limited at 400 nm with wavefront stability on the order of a few 10s of picometers. This paper summarizes the opto-mechanical design of the HabEx baseline optical telescope assembly, including a discussion of how science requirements drive the telescope's specifications, and presents analysis that the baseline telescope structure meets its specified tolerances.

  7. TIDALLY HEATED TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANETS: VISCOELASTIC RESPONSE MODELS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    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 (SAS), and the Burgers body. The SAS and Burgers models are shown to alter the potential for extreme tidal heating by introducing the possibility of new equilibria and multiple response peaks. We find that tidal heating tends to exceed radionuclide heating at periods below 10-30 days, and exceed insolation only below 1-2 days. Extreme cases produce enough tidal heat to initiate global-scale partial melting, and an analysis of tidal limiting mechanisms such as advective cooling for earthlike planets is discussed. To explore long-term behaviors, we map equilibria points between convective heat loss and tidal heat input as functions of eccentricity. For the periods and magnitudes discussed, we show that tidal heating, if significant, is generally detrimental to the width of habitable zones.

  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. Habitable exoplanet imager optical telescope concept design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, H. Philip

    2017-09-01

    The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) is one of four missions under study for the 2020 Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Its goal is to directly image and spectroscopically characterize planetary systems in the habitable zone of Sunlike stars. Additionally, HabEx will perform a broad range of general astrophysics science enabled by 100 to 2500 nm spectral range and 3 x 3 arc-minute FOV. Critical to achieving the HabEx science goals is a large, ultra-stable UV/Optical/Near-IR (UVOIR) telescope. The baseline HabEx telescope is a 4-meter off-axis unobscured three-mirroranastigmatic, diffraction limited at 400 nm with wavefront stability on the order of a few 10s of picometers. This paper summarizes the opto-mechanical design of the HabEx baseline optical telescope assembly, including a discussion of how science requirements drive the telescope's specifications, and presents analysis that the baseline telescope structure meets its specified tolerances.

  10. THE INFLUENCE OF THE EXTREME ULTRAVIOLET SPECTRAL ENERGY DISTRIBUTION ON THE STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION OF THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE OF EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, J. H. [Yunnan Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 110, Kunming 650011 (China); Ben-Jaffel, Lotfi, E-mail: guojh@ynao.ac.cn, E-mail: bjaffel@iap.fr [Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 6 et CNRS, UMR 7095, Institut Astrophysique de Paris, F-75014 Paris (France)

    2016-02-20

    By varying the profiles of stellar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) spectral energy distributions (SEDs), we tested the influences of stellar EUV SEDs on the physical and chemical properties of an escaping atmosphere. We apply our model to study four exoplanets: HD 189733b, HD 209458b, GJ 436b, and Kepler-11b. We find that the total mass loss rates of an exoplanet, which are determined mainly by the integrated fluxes, are moderately affected by the profiles of the EUV SED, but the composition and species distributions in the atmosphere can be dramatically modified by the different profiles of the EUV SED. For exoplanets with a high hydrodynamic escape parameter (λ), the amount of atomic hydrogen produced by photoionization at different altitudes can vary by one to two orders of magnitude with the variation of stellar EUV SEDs. The effect of photoionization of H is prominent when the EUV SED is dominated by the low-energy spectral region (400–900 Å), which pushes the transition of H/H{sup +} to low altitudes. In contrast, the transition of H/H{sup +} moves to higher altitudes when most photons are concentrated in the high-energy spectral region (50–400 Å). For exoplanets with a low λ, the lower temperatures of the atmosphere make many chemical reactions so important that photoionization alone can no longer determine the composition of the escaping atmosphere. For HD 189733b, it is possible to explain the time variability of Lyα between 2010 and 2011 by a change in the EUV SED of the host K-type star, yet invoking only thermal H i in the atmosphere.

  11. High Contrast Imaging of Exoplanets and Exoplanetary Systems with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkley, Sasha; Skemer, Andrew; Biller, Beth; Baraffe, I.; Bonnefoy, M.; Bowler, B.; Carter, A.; Chen, C.; Choquet, E.; Currie, T.; Danielski, C.; Fortney, J.; Grady, C.; Greenbaum, A.; Hines, D.; Janson, M.; Kalas, P.; Kennedy, G.; Kraus, A.; Lagrange, A.; Liu, M.; Marley, M.; Marois, C.; Matthews, B.; Mawet, D.; Metchev, S.; Meyer, M.; Millar-Blanchaer, M.; Perrin, M.; Pueyo, L.; Quanz, S.; Rameau, J.; Rodigas, T.; Sallum, S.; Sargent, B.; Schlieder, J.; Schneider, G.; Stapelfeldt, K.; Tremblin, P.; Vigan, A.; Ygouf, M.

    2017-11-01

    JWST will transform our ability to characterize directly imaged planets and circumstellar debris disks, including the first spectroscopic characterization of directly imaged exoplanets at wavelengths beyond 5 microns, providing a powerful diagnostic of cloud particle properties, atmospheric structure, and composition. To lay the groundwork for these science goals, we propose a 39-hour ERS program to rapidly establish optimal strategies for JWST high contrast imaging. We will acquire: a) coronagraphic imaging of a newly discovered exoplanet companion, and a well-studied circumstellar debris disk with NIRCam & MIRI; b) spectroscopy of a wide separation planetary mass companion with NIRSPEC & MIRI; and c) deep aperture masking interferometry with NIRISS. Our primary goals are to: 1) generate representative datasets in modes to be commonly used by the exoplanet and disk imaging communities; 2) deliver science enabling products to empower a broad user base to develop successful future investigations; and 3) carry out breakthrough science by characterizing exoplanets for the first time over their full spectral range from 2-28 microns, and debris disk spectrophotometry out to 15 microns sampling the 3 micron water ice feature. Our team represents the majority of the community dedicated to exoplanet and disk imaging and has decades of experience with high contrast imaging algorithms and pipelines. We have developed a collaboration management plan and several organized working groups to ensure we can rapidly and effectively deliver high quality Science Enabling Products to the community.

  12. The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mennesson, B.

    2017-12-01

    The Habitable-Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) is a candidate flagship mission being studied by NASA and the astrophysics community in preparation for the 2020 Decadal Survey. The HabEx mission concept is a large ( 4 to 6.5m) diffraction-limited optical space telescope, providing unprecedented resolution and contrast in the optical, with likely extensions into the near UV and near infrared domains. One of the primary goals of HabEx is to answer fundamental questions in exoplanet science, searching for and characterizing potentially habitable worlds, providing the first complete "family portraits" of planets around our nearest Sun-like neighbors and placing the solar system in the context of a diverse set of exoplanets. We report here on our team's early efforts in defining a scientifically compelling HabEx mission that is technologically executable, and timely for the next decade. In particular, we present preliminary architectures trade study results, quantifying technical requirements and predicting scientific outcome for a small number of design reference missions. We describe here our currently favorite "hybrid" architecture and its expected capabilities in terms of low resolution (R= 70 to 140) reflected light spectroscopic measurements and orbit determination. Results are shown for different types of exoplanets, including potentially habitable exoplanets located within the snow line of nearby main sequence stars. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-10

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  15. The Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment (CUTE): Observing Mass Loss on Short-Period Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egan, Arika; Fleming, Brian; France, Kevin

    2018-06-01

    The Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment (CUTE) is an NUV spectrograph packaged into a 6U CubeSat, designed to characterize the interaction between exoplanetary atmospheres and their host stars. CUTE will conduct a transit spectroscopy survey, gathering data over multiple transits on more than 12 short-period exoplanets with a range of masses and radii. The instrument will characterize the spectral properties of the transit light curves to atomic and molecular absorption features predicted to exist in the upper atmospheres of these planets, including Mg I, Mg II, Fe II, and OH. The shape and evolution of these spectral light curves will be used to quantify mass loss rates, the stellar drives of that mass loss, and the possible existence of exoplanetary magnetic fiends. This poster presents the science motivation for CUTE, planned observation and data analysis methods, and expected results.

  16. M Dwarf Exoplanet Survey by the Falcon Telescope Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Randall E.

    2016-10-01

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

  17. Predicted Exoplanet Yields for the HabEx Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Christopher; Mennesson, Bertrand; HabEx STDT

    2018-01-01

    The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) is a concept for a flagship mission to directly image and characterize extrasolar planets around nearby stars and to enable a broad range of general astrophysics. The HabEx Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) is currently studying two architectures for HabEx. Here we summarize the exoplanet science yield of Architecture A, a 4 m monolithic off-axis telescope that uses a vortex coronagraph and a 72m external starshade occulter. We summarize the instruments' capabilities, present science goals and observation strategies, and discuss astrophysical assumptions. Using a yield optimization code, we predict the yield of potentially Earth-like extrasolar planets that could be detected, characterized, and searched for signs of habitability and/or life by HabEx. We demonstrate that HabEx could also detect and characterize a wide variety of exoplanets while searching for potentially Earth-like planets.

  18. Tidal heating in multilayered terrestrial exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Henning, Wade G.; Hurford, Terry, E-mail: wade.g.henning@nasa.gov [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)

    2014-07-01

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

  19. Tidal Heating in Multilayered Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Wade G.; Hurford, Terry

    2014-01-01

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

  20. THERMODYNAMIC LIMITS ON MAGNETODYNAMOS IN ROCKY EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Tidal heating in multilayered terrestrial exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Henning, Wade G.; Hurford, Terry

    2014-01-01

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

  2. CHARACTERIZING TRANSITING EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES WITH JWST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greene, Thomas P. [NASA Ames Research Center, Space Science and Astrobiology Division, M.S. 245-6, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Line, Michael R.; Montero, Cezar; Fortney, Jonathan J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Lustig-Yaeger, Jacob [Department of Astronomy, Box 351580, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Luther, Kyle, E-mail: tom.greene@nasa.gov [Department of Physics, University of California, 366 LeConte Hall MC 7300, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)

    2016-01-20

    We explore how well spectra from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will likely constrain bulk atmospheric properties of transiting exoplanets. We start by modeling the atmospheres of archetypal hot Jupiter, warm Neptune, warm sub-Neptune, and cool super-Earth planets with atmospheres that are clear, cloudy, or of high mean molecular weight (HMMW). Next we simulate the λ = 1–11 μm transmission and emission spectra of these systems for several JWST instrument modes for single-transit or single-eclipse events. We then perform retrievals to determine how well temperatures and molecular mixing ratios (CH{sub 4}, CO, CO{sub 2}, H{sub 2}O, NH{sub 3}) can be constrained. We find that λ = 1–2.5 μm transmission spectra will often constrain the major molecular constituents of clear solar-composition atmospheres well. Cloudy or HMMW atmospheres will often require full 1–11 μm spectra for good constraints, and emission data may be more useful in cases of sufficiently high F{sub p} and high F{sub p}/F{sub *}. Strong temperature inversions in the solar-composition hot-Jupiter atmosphere should be detectable with 1–2.5+ μm emission spectra, and 1–5+ μm emission spectra will constrain the temperature–pressure profiles of warm planets. Transmission spectra over 1–5+ μm will constrain [Fe/H] values to better than 0.5 dex for the clear atmospheres of the hot and warm planets studied. Carbon-to-oxygen ratios can be constrained to better than a factor of 2 in some systems. We expect that these results will provide useful predictions of the scientific value of single-event JWST spectra until its on-orbit performance is known.

  3. 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 effect 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.

  4. Open-source Software for Exoplanet Atmospheric Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubillos, Patricio; Blecic, Jasmina; Harrington, Joseph

    2018-01-01

    I will present a suite of self-standing open-source tools to model and retrieve exoplanet spectra implemented for Python. These include: (1) a Bayesian-statistical package to run Levenberg-Marquardt optimization and Markov-chain Monte Carlo posterior sampling, (2) a package to compress line-transition data from HITRAN or Exomol without loss of information, (3) a package to compute partition functions for HITRAN molecules, (4) a package to compute collision-induced absorption, and (5) a package to produce radiative-transfer spectra of transit and eclipse exoplanet observations and atmospheric retrievals.

  5. Conducting Research from Small University Observatories: Investigating Exoplanet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreland, Kimberly D.

    2018-01-01

    Kepler has to date discovered 4,496 exoplanet candidates, but only half are confirmed, and only a handful are thought to be Earth sized and in the habitable zone. Planet verification often involves extensive follow-up observations, which are both time and resource intensive. The data set collected by Kepler is massive and will be studied for decades. University/small observatories, such as the one at Texas State University, are in a good position to assist with the exoplanet candidate verification process. By preforming extended monitoring campaigns, which are otherwise cost ineffective for larger observatories, students gain valuable research experience and contribute valuable data and results to the scientific community.

  6. Habitable Exoplanet Imager Optical-Mechanical Design and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaskins, Jonathan; Stahl, H. Philip

    2017-01-01

    The Habitable Exoplanet Imager (HabEx) is a space telescope currently in development whose mission includes finding and spectroscopically characterizing exoplanets. Effective high-contrast imaging requires tight stability requirements of the mirrors to prevent issues such as line of sight and wavefront errors. PATRAN and NASTRAN were used to model updates in the design of the HabEx telescope and find how those updates affected stability. Most of the structural modifications increased first mode frequencies and improved line of sight errors. These studies will be used to help define the baseline HabEx telescope design.

  7. Ks-BAND DETECTION OF THERMAL EMISSION AND COLOR CONSTRAINTS TO CoRoT-1b: A LOW-ALBEDO PLANET WITH INEFFICIENT ATMOSPHERIC ENERGY REDISTRIBUTION AND A TEMPERATURE INVERSION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rogers, Justin C.; Apai, Daniel; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Sing, David K.; Burrows, Adam

    2009-01-01

    We report the detection in Ks-band of the secondary eclipse of the hot Jupiter CoRoT-1b from time series photometry with the ARC 3.5 m telescope at Apache Point Observatory. The eclipse shows a depth of 0.336 ± 0.042% and is centered at phase 0.5022 +0.0023 -0.0027 , consistent with a zero eccentricity orbit (e cos ω = 0.0035 +0.0036 -0.0042 ). We perform the first optical to near-infrared multi-band photometric analysis of an exoplanet's atmosphere and constrain the reflected and thermal emissions by combining our result with the recent 0.6, 0.71, and 2.09 μm secondary eclipse detections by Snellen et al., Gillon et al., and Alonso et al. Comparing the multi-wavelength detections to state-of-the-art radiative-convective chemical-equilibrium atmosphere models, we find the near-infrared fluxes difficult to reproduce. The closest blackbody-based and physical models provide the following atmosphere parameters: a temperature T = 2460 +80 -160 K; a very low Bond albedo A B = 0.000 +0.081 -0.000 ; and an energy redistribution parameter P n = 0.1, indicating a small but nonzero amount of heat transfer from the day to nightside. The best physical model suggests a thermal inversion layer with an extra optical absorber of opacity κ e = 0.05 cm 2 g -1 , placed near the 0.1 bar atmospheric pressure level. This inversion layer is located 10 times deeper in the atmosphere than the absorbers used in models to fit mid-infrared Spitzer detections of other irradiated hot Jupiters.

  8. The changing phases of extrasolar planet CoRoT-1b.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snellen, Ignas A G; de Mooij, Ernst J W; Albrecht, Simon

    2009-05-28

    Hot Jupiters are a class of extrasolar planet that orbit their parent stars at very short distances. They are expected to be tidally locked, which can lead to a large temperature difference between their daysides and nightsides. Infrared observations of eclipsing systems have yielded dayside temperatures for a number of transiting planets. The day-night contrast of the transiting extrasolar planet HD 189733b was 'mapped' using infrared observations. It is expected that the contrast between the daysides and nightsides of hot Jupiters is much higher at visual wavelengths, shorter than that of the peak emission, and could be further enhanced by reflected stellar light. Here we report the analysis of optical photometric data obtained over 36 planetary orbits of the transiting hot Jupiter CoRoT-1b. The data are consistent with the nightside hemisphere of the planet being entirely black, with the dayside flux dominating the optical phase curve. This means that at optical wavelengths the planet's phase variation is just as we see it for the interior planets in the Solar System. The data allow for only a small fraction of reflected light, corresponding to a geometric albedo of <0.20.

  9. Circular orbits of corotating binary black holes: Comparison between analytical and numerical results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Damour, Thibault; Gourgoulhon, Eric; Grandclement, Philippe

    2002-01-01

    We compare recent numerical results, obtained within a 'helical Killing vector' approach, on circular orbits of corotating binary black holes to the analytical predictions made by the effective one-body (EOB) method (which has been recently extended to the case of spinning bodies). On the scale of the differences between the results obtained by different numerical methods, we find good agreement between numerical data and analytical predictions for several invariant functions describing the dynamical properties of circular orbits. This agreement is robust against the post-Newtonian accuracy used for the analytical estimates, as well as under choices of the resummation method for the EOB 'effective potential', and gets better as one uses a higher post-Newtonian accuracy. These findings open the way to a significant 'merging' of analytical and numerical methods, i.e. to matching an EOB-based analytical description of the (early and late) inspiral, up to the beginning of the plunge, to a numerical description of the plunge and merger. We illustrate also the 'flexibility' of the EOB approach, i.e. the possibility of determining some 'best fit' values for the analytical parameters by comparison with numerical data

  10. Multibody dynamic analysis using a rotation-free shell element with corotational frame

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jiabei; Liu, Zhuyong; Hong, Jiazhen

    2018-03-01

    Rotation-free shell formulation is a simple and effective method to model a shell with large deformation. Moreover, it can be compatible with the existing theories of finite element method. However, a rotation-free shell is seldom employed in multibody systems. Using a derivative of rigid body motion, an efficient nonlinear shell model is proposed based on the rotation-free shell element and corotational frame. The bending and membrane strains of the shell have been simplified by isolating deformational displacements from the detailed description of rigid body motion. The consistent stiffness matrix can be obtained easily in this form of shell model. To model the multibody system consisting of the presented shells, joint kinematic constraints including translational and rotational constraints are deduced in the context of geometric nonlinear rotation-free element. A simple node-to-surface contact discretization and penalty method are adopted for contacts between shells. A series of analyses for multibody system dynamics are presented to validate the proposed formulation. Furthermore, the deployment of a large scaled solar array is presented to verify the comprehensive performance of the nonlinear shell model.

  11. Adaptive, Small-Rotation-Based, Corotational Technique for Analysis of 2D Nonlinear Elastic Frames

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaroon Rungamornrat

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an efficient and accurate numerical technique for analysis of two-dimensional frames accounted for both geometric nonlinearity and nonlinear elastic material behavior. An adaptive remeshing scheme is utilized to optimally discretize a structure into a set of elements where the total displacement can be decomposed into the rigid body movement and one possessing small rotations. This, therefore, allows the force-deformation relationship for the latter part to be established based on small-rotation-based kinematics. Nonlinear elastic material model is integrated into such relation via the prescribed nonlinear moment-curvature relationship. The global force-displacement relation for each element can be derived subsequently using corotational formulations. A final system of nonlinear algebraic equations along with its associated gradient matrix for the whole structure is obtained by a standard assembly procedure and then solved numerically by Newton-Raphson algorithm. A selected set of results is then reported to demonstrate and discuss the computational performance including the accuracy and convergence of the proposed technique.

  12. Large-deflection statics analysis of active cardiac catheters through co-rotational modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng Qi; Chen Qiu; Mehndiratta, Aadarsh; I-Ming Chen; Haoyong Yu

    2016-08-01

    This paper presents a co-rotational concept for large-deflection formulation of cardiac catheters. Using this approach, the catheter is first discretized with a number of equal length beam elements and nodes, and the rigid body motions of an individual beam element are separated from its deformations. Therefore, it is adequate for modelling arbitrarily large deflections of a catheter with linear elastic analysis at the local element level. A novel design of active cardiac catheter of 9 Fr in diameter at the beginning of the paper is proposed, which is based on the contra-rotating double helix patterns and is improved from the previous prototypes. The modelling section is followed by MATLAB simulations of various deflections when the catheter is exerted different types of loads. This proves the feasibility of the presented modelling approach. To the best knowledge of the authors, it is the first to utilize this methodology for large-deflection static analysis of the catheter, which will enable more accurate control of robot-assisted cardiac catheterization procedures. Future work would include further experimental validations.

  13. GALACTIC COSMIC-RAY INTENSITY MODULATION BY COROTATING INTERACTION REGION STREAM INTERFACES AT 1 au

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, X. [State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190 (China); Florinski, V. [Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research, University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL 35899 (United States)

    2016-07-20

    We present a new model that couples galactic cosmic-ray (GCR) propagation with magnetic turbulence transport and the MHD background evolution in the heliosphere. The model is applied to the problem of the formation of corotating interaction regions (CIRs) during the last solar minimum from the period between 2007 and 2009. The numerical model simultaneously calculates the large-scale supersonic solar wind properties and its small-scale turbulent content from 0.3 au to the termination shock. Cosmic rays are then transported through the background, and thus computed, with diffusion coefficients derived from the solar wind turbulent properties, using a stochastic Parker approach. Our results demonstrate that GCR variations depend on the ratio of diffusion coefficients in the fast and slow solar winds. Stream interfaces inside the CIRs always lead to depressions of the GCR intensity. On the other hand, heliospheric current sheet (HCS) crossings do not appreciably affect GCR intensities in the model, which is consistent with the two observations under quiet solar wind conditions. Therefore, variations in diffusion coefficients associated with CIR stream interfaces are more important for GCR propagation than the drift effects of the HCS during a negative solar minimum.

  14. GALACTIC COSMIC-RAY INTENSITY MODULATION BY COROTATING INTERACTION REGION STREAM INTERFACES AT 1 au

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo, X.; Florinski, V.

    2016-01-01

    We present a new model that couples galactic cosmic-ray (GCR) propagation with magnetic turbulence transport and the MHD background evolution in the heliosphere. The model is applied to the problem of the formation of corotating interaction regions (CIRs) during the last solar minimum from the period between 2007 and 2009. The numerical model simultaneously calculates the large-scale supersonic solar wind properties and its small-scale turbulent content from 0.3 au to the termination shock. Cosmic rays are then transported through the background, and thus computed, with diffusion coefficients derived from the solar wind turbulent properties, using a stochastic Parker approach. Our results demonstrate that GCR variations depend on the ratio of diffusion coefficients in the fast and slow solar winds. Stream interfaces inside the CIRs always lead to depressions of the GCR intensity. On the other hand, heliospheric current sheet (HCS) crossings do not appreciably affect GCR intensities in the model, which is consistent with the two observations under quiet solar wind conditions. Therefore, variations in diffusion coefficients associated with CIR stream interfaces are more important for GCR propagation than the drift effects of the HCS during a negative solar minimum.

  15. Three-dimensional model of corotating streams in the solar wind 3. Magnetohydrodynamic streams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pizzo, V.J.

    1982-01-01

    The focus of this paper is two-fold: (1) to examine how the presence of the spiral magnetic field affects the evolution of interplanetary corotating solar wind streams, and (2) to ascertain the nature of secondary large-scale phenomena likely to be associated with streams having a pronounced three-dimensional (3-D) structure. The dynamics are presumed to be governed by the nonlinear polytropic, single-fluid, 3-D MHD equations. Solutions are obtained with an explicit, Eulerian, finite differences technique that makes use of a simple form of artificial diffusion for handling shocks. For smooth axisymmetric flows, the picture of magnetically induced meridional motions previously established by linear models requires only minor correction. In the case of broad 3-D streams input near the sun, inclusion of the magnetic field is found to retard the kinematic steepening at the stream front substantially but to produce little deviation from planar flow. For the more realistic case of initially sharply bounded streams, however, it becomes essential to account for magnetic effects in the formulation. Whether a full 3-D treatment is required depends upon the latitudinal geometry of the stream

  16. Detecting planets in Kepler lightcurves using methods developed for CoRoT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grziwa, S.; Korth, J.; Pätzold, M.

    2011-10-01

    Launched in March 2009, Kepler is the second space telescope dedicated to the search for extrasolar planets. NASA released 150.000 lightcurves to the public in 2010 and announced that Kepler has found 1.235 candidates. The Rhenish Institute for Environmental Research (RIU-PF) is one of the detection groups from the CoRoT space mission. RIU-PF developed the software package EXOTRANS for the detection of transits in stellar lightcurves. EXOTRANS is designed for the fast automated processing of huge amounts of data and was easily adapted to the analysis of Kepler lightcurves. The use of different techniques and philosophies helps to find more candidates and to rule out others. We present the analysis of the Kepler lightcurves with EXOTRANS. Results of our filter (trend, harmonic) and detection (dcBLS) techniques are compared with the techniques used by Kepler (PDC, TPS). The different approaches to rule out false positives are discussed and additional candidates found by EXOTRANS are presented.

  17. Cosmic-Ray Transport in Heliospheric Magnetic Structures. II. Modeling Particle Transport through Corotating Interaction Regions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kopp, Andreas [Université Libre de Bruxelles, Service de Physique Statistique et des Plasmas, CP 231, B-1050 Brussels (Belgium); Wiengarten, Tobias; Fichtner, Horst [Institut für Theoretische Physik IV, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, D-44780 Bochum (Germany); Effenberger, Frederic [Department of Physics and KIPAC, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); Kühl, Patrick; Heber, Bernd [Institut für Experimentelle und Angewandte Physik, Christian-Albrecht-Universität zu Kiel, D-24098 Kiel (Germany); Raath, Jan-Louis; Potgieter, Marius S. [Centre for Space Research, North-West University, 2520 Potchefstroom (South Africa)

    2017-03-01

    The transport of cosmic rays (CRs) in the heliosphere is determined by the properties of the solar wind plasma. The heliospheric plasma environment has been probed by spacecraft for decades and provides a unique opportunity for testing transport theories. Of particular interest for the three-dimensional (3D) heliospheric CR transport are structures such as corotating interaction regions (CIRs), which, due to the enhancement of the magnetic field strength and magnetic fluctuations within and due to the associated shocks as well as stream interfaces, do influence the CR diffusion and drift. In a three-fold series of papers, we investigate these effects by modeling inner-heliospheric solar wind conditions with the numerical magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) framework Cronos (Wiengarten et al., referred as Paper I), and the results serve as input to a transport code employing a stochastic differential equation approach (this paper). While, in Paper I, we presented results from 3D simulations with Cronos, the MHD output is now taken as an input to the CR transport modeling. We discuss the diffusion and drift behavior of Galactic cosmic rays using the example of different theories, and study the effects of CIRs on these transport processes. In particular, we point out the wide range of possible particle fluxes at a given point in space resulting from these different theories. The restriction of this variety by fitting the numerical results to spacecraft data will be the subject of the third paper of this series.

  18. 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 μm. Hazes may have a more significant impact on transit transmission spectra. Using the transit transmission radiative transfer model developed by Misra et al. (2014) to generate hazy Archean spectra, we find that even a thin hydrocarbon haze masks the lower atmosphere from the visible into the near infrared where the haze optical depth exceeds unity. The transit transmission spectra we generate for hazy Archean Earth are steeply sloped like the Titan solar occultation spectrum observed by Robinson et al. (2014). Thick hazes can also cool the planet significantly: for example, the thick fractal haze generated around Archean Earth with 0.3% CH4, 1% CO2 and 1 ppm C2H6 cools the planet from roughly 290 K without the haze to below freezing with the haze. Finally, we investigate the impact of host star spectral type on haze formation, comparing the hazes generated around a solar-type star to those generated at an Earth analog planet around the M dwarf AD Leo. Our results indicate hazes around M dwarfs for the same initial atmospheric composition may be thinner due to decreased UV photolysis of methane and other hydrocarbons needed for haze formation. Earthlike

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaplin, W. J.; Campante, T. L.; Davies, G. R.; Elsworth, Y.; Hekker, S.; Sanchis-Ojeda, R.; Winn, J. N.; Handberg, R.; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Karoff, C.; Stello, D.; Bedding, T. R.; Basu, S.; Fischer, D. A.; Metcalfe, T. S.; Buchhave, L. A.; Cochran, W. D.; Gilliland, R. L.; Huber, D.; Isaacson, H.

    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 1σ 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.

  20. Discovery, Characterization, and Dynamics of Transiting Exoplanets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Eylen, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    of the planet Kepler-410A~b, a Neptune-sized planet in a 17 day orbit. Kepler-410 is composed of two stars, one of which hosts a transiting planet, and an additional non-transiting planet. The latter was discovered due to its gravitational influence on Kepler-410A~b, which causes a variation in the timing...

  1. 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

  2. CLIMATE INSTABILITY ON TIDALLY LOCKED EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kite, Edwin S.; Manga, Michael; Gaidos, Eric

    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 planets maintain stable surface liquid water over geologic 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 habitable-zone rocky planets, are expected to be in synchronous rotation (tidally locked). In this paper, we investigate two hypothetical feedbacks that can destabilize climate on planets in synchronous rotation. (1) If small changes in pressure alter the temperature distribution across a planet's surface such that the weathering rate goes up when the pressure goes down, a runaway positive feedback occurs involving increasing weathering rate near the substellar point, decreasing pressure, and increasing substellar surface temperature. We call this feedback enhanced substellar weathering instability (ESWI). (2) When decreases in pressure increase the fraction of surface area above the melting point (through reduced advective cooling of the substellar point), and the corresponding increase in volume of liquid causes net dissolution of the atmosphere, a further decrease in pressure will occur. This substellar dissolution feedback can also cause a runaway climate shift. We use an idealized energy balance model to map out the conditions under which these instabilities may occur. In this simplified model, the weathering runaway can shrink the habitable zone and cause geologically rapid 10 3 -fold atmospheric pressure shifts within the habitable zone. Mars may have undergone a weathering runaway in the past. Substellar dissolution is usually a negative feedback or weak positive feedback on changes in atmospheric pressure. It can only cause runaway changes for small, deep oceans and highly soluble atmospheric gases. Both

  3. CLIMATE INSTABILITY ON TIDALLY LOCKED EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kite, Edwin S.; Manga, Michael [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California at Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Gaidos, Eric, E-mail: edwin.kite@gmail.com [Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2011-12-10

    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 planets maintain stable surface liquid water over geologic 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 habitable-zone rocky planets, are expected to be in synchronous rotation (tidally locked). In this paper, we investigate two hypothetical feedbacks that can destabilize climate on planets in synchronous rotation. (1) If small changes in pressure alter the temperature distribution across a planet's surface such that the weathering rate goes up when the pressure goes down, a runaway positive feedback occurs involving increasing weathering rate near the substellar point, decreasing pressure, and increasing substellar surface temperature. We call this feedback enhanced substellar weathering instability (ESWI). (2) When decreases in pressure increase the fraction of surface area above the melting point (through reduced advective cooling of the substellar point), and the corresponding increase in volume of liquid causes net dissolution of the atmosphere, a further decrease in pressure will occur. This substellar dissolution feedback can also cause a runaway climate shift. We use an idealized energy balance model to map out the conditions under which these instabilities may occur. In this simplified model, the weathering runaway can shrink the habitable zone and cause geologically rapid 10{sup 3}-fold atmospheric pressure shifts within the habitable zone. Mars may have undergone a weathering runaway in the past. Substellar dissolution is usually a negative feedback or weak positive feedback on changes in atmospheric pressure. It can only cause runaway changes for small, deep oceans and highly soluble atmospheric

  4. Testing and modelling of a novel oil-free co-rotating scroll machine with water injection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mendoza, Luis Carlos; Lemofouet, Sylvain; Schiffmann, Jürg

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • Performance of novel oil-free co-rotating scroll expander presented. • Water injection allows reaching quasi-isothermal expansion process. • Comparison between experimental data, semi-empirical and deterministic models. • Flank leakage, water injection and rotor speed effects have been analyzed experimentally. • Design guidelines for co-rotating scroll improvement proposed. - Abstract: Efficient compressed air energy storage requires reversible isothermal compression and expansion devices. The isothermal compression and expansion processes can either be approached by several stages with intercooling or by the more convenient injection of a liquid, often water. While volumetric machines are readily available for dry processes the compression and expansion of a gas with the presence of liquid is still problematic. The concept of a co-rotating scroll has been identified as a promising technology to cope with the presence of liquid. The current paper discusses the first experimental results of an oil-free co-rotating scroll prototype tested in expansion mode on a wide range of rotational speeds, varying water injection flow rates and with different nominal flank clearances. A maximal overall isothermal efficiency of 34% and a maximum output power of 1.74 kW_e_l were measured with this first prototype, providing the proof of the technical feasibility of the oil-free co-rotating scroll expander concept. The experimental data indicate a positive effect of water injection suggesting good heat transfer behaviour between the water and the air in the individual chambers, which is a result of the relatively long residence time compared to other volumetric concepts. The experimental sensitivity analysis yields a strong dependency of the machine performance on both the nominal flank clearance and on the injected water rate. The analysis through a semi-empirical model suggests the inversion of a classical trend, i.e. the increase in total leakage area with

  5. Flux and polarisation spectra of water clouds on exoplanets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karalidi, T.; Stam, D.M.; Hovenier, J.W.

    2011-01-01

    Context. A crucial factor for a planet’s habitability is its climate. Clouds play an important role in planetary climates. Detecting and characterising clouds on an exoplanet is therefore crucial when addressing this planet’s habitability. Aims. We present calculated flux and polarisation spectra of

  6. Flux and polarization signals of spatially inhomogeneous gaseous exoplanets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karalidi, T.; Stam, D.M.; Guirado, D.

    2013-01-01

    Aims. 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

  7. New exoplanets from the SuperWASP-North survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keenan F.

    2011-02-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. Exoplanet Yield Estimation for Decadal Study Concepts using EXOSIMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Rhonda; Lowrance, Patrick; Savransky, Dmitry; Garrett, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    The anticipated upcoming large mission study concepts for the direct imaging of exo-earths present an exciting opportunity for exoplanet discovery and characterization. While these telescope concepts would also be capable of conducting a broad range of astrophysical investigations, the most difficult technology challenges are driven by the requirements for imaging exo-earths. The exoplanet science yield for these mission concepts will drive design trades and mission concept comparisons.To assist in these trade studies, the Exoplanet Exploration Program Office (ExEP) is developing a yield estimation tool that emphasizes transparency and consistent comparison of various design concepts. The tool will provide a parametric estimate of science yield of various mission concepts using contrast curves from physics-based model codes and Monte Carlo simulations of design reference missions using realistic constraints, such as solar avoidance angles, the observatory orbit, propulsion limitations of star shades, the accessibility of candidate targets, local and background zodiacal light levels, and background confusion by stars and galaxies. The python tool utilizes Dmitry Savransky's EXOSIMS (Exoplanet Open-Source Imaging Mission Simulator) design reference mission simulator that is being developed for the WFIRST Preliminary Science program. ExEP is extending and validating the tool for future mission concepts under consideration for the upcoming 2020 decadal review. We present a validation plan and preliminary yield results for a point design.

  10. Exoplanet Biosignatures: A Review of Remotely Detectable Signs of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwieterman, Edward W; Kiang, Nancy Y; Parenteau, Mary N; Harman, Chester E; DasSarma, Shiladitya; Fisher, Theresa M; Arney, Giada N; Hartnett, Hilairy E; Reinhard, Christopher T; Olson, Stephanie L; Meadows, Victoria S; Cockell, Charles S; Walker, Sara I; Grenfell, John Lee; Hegde, Siddharth; Rugheimer, Sarah; Hu, Renyu; Lyons, Timothy W

    2018-05-04

    In the coming years and decades, advanced space- and ground-based observatories will allow an unprecedented opportunity to probe the atmospheres and surfaces of potentially habitable exoplanets for signatures of life. Life on Earth, through its gaseous products and reflectance and scattering properties, has left its fingerprint on the spectrum of our planet. Aided by the universality of the laws of physics and chemistry, we turn to Earth's biosphere, both in the present and through geologic time, for analog signatures that will aid in the search for life elsewhere. Considering the insights gained from modern and ancient Earth, and the broader array of hypothetical exoplanet possibilities, we have compiled a comprehensive overview of our current understanding of potential exoplanet biosignatures, including gaseous, surface, and temporal biosignatures. We additionally survey biogenic spectral features that are well known in the specialist literature but have not yet been robustly vetted in the context of exoplanet biosignatures. We briefly review advances in assessing biosignature plausibility, including novel methods for determining chemical disequilibrium from remotely obtainable data and assessment tools for determining the minimum biomass required to maintain short-lived biogenic gases as atmospheric signatures. We focus particularly on advances made since the seminal review by Des Marais et al. The purpose of this work is not to propose new biosignature strategies, a goal left to companion articles in this series, but to review the current literature, draw meaningful connections between seemingly disparate areas, and clear the way for a path forward. Key Words: Exoplanets-Biosignatures-Habitability markers-Photosynthesis-Planetary surfaces-Atmospheres-Spectroscopy-Cryptic biospheres-False positives. Astrobiology 18, xxx-xxx.

  11. Source Population and Acceleration Location of Suprathermal Heavy Ions in Corotating Interaction Regions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Filwett, R. J.; Desai, M. I. [University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX (United States); Dayeh, M. A.; Broiles, T. W. [Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX (United States)

    2017-03-20

    We have analyzed the ∼20–320 keV nucleon{sup −1} suprathermal (ST) heavy ion abundances in 41 corotating interaction regions (CIRs) observed by the Wind spacecraft from 1995 January to 2008 December. Our results are: (1) the CIR Fe/CNO and NeS/CNO ratios vary with the sunspot number, with values being closer to average solar energetic particle event values during solar maxima and lower than nominal solar wind values during solar minima. The physical mechanism responsible for the depleted abundances during solar minimum remains an open question. (2) The Fe/CNO increases with energy in the 6 events that occurred during solar maximum, while no such trends are observed for the 35 events during solar minimum. (3) The Fe/CNO shows no correlation with the average solar wind speed. (4) The Fe/CNO is well correlated with the corresponding upstream ∼20–320 keV nucleon{sup −1} Fe/CNO and not with the solar wind Fe/O measured by ACE in 31 events. Using the correlations between the upstream ∼20–40 keV nucleon{sup −1} Fe/CNO and the ∼20–320 keV nucleon{sup −1} Fe/CNO in CIRs, we estimate that, on average, the ST particles traveled ∼2 au along the nominal Parker spiral field line, which corresponds to upper limits for the radial distance of the source or acceleration location of ∼1 au beyond Earth orbit. Our results are consistent with those obtained from recent surveys, and confirm that CIR ST heavy ions are accelerated more locally, and are at odds with the traditional viewpoint that CIR ions seen at 1 au are bulk solar wind ions accelerated between 3 and 5 au.

  12. Energetic electron precipitation in weak to moderate corotating interaction region-driven storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ødegaard, Linn-Kristine Glesnes; Tyssøy, Hilde Nesse; Søraas, Finn; Stadsnes, Johan; Sandanger, Marit Irene

    2017-03-01

    High-energy electron precipitation from the radiation belts can penetrate deep into the mesosphere and increase the production rate of NOx and HOx, which in turn will reduce ozone in catalytic processes. The mechanisms for acceleration and loss of electrons in the radiation belts are not fully understood, and most of the measurements of the precipitating flux into the atmosphere have been insufficient for estimating the loss cone flux. In the present study the electron flux measured by the NOAA POES Medium Energy Proton and Electron Detectors 0° and 90° detectors is combined together with theory of pitch angle diffusion by wave-particle interaction to quantify the electron flux lost below 120 km altitude. Using this method, 41 weak and moderate geomagnetic storms caused by corotating interaction regions during 2006-2010 are studied. The dependence of the energetic electron precipitation fluxes upon solar wind parameters and geomagnetic indices is investigated. Nine storms give increased precipitation of >˜750 keV electrons. Nineteen storms increase the precipitation of >˜300 keV electrons, but not the >˜750 keV population. Thirteen storms either do not change or deplete the fluxes at those energies. Storms that have an increase in the flux of electrons with energy >˜300 keV are characterized by an elevated solar wind velocity for a longer period compared to the storms that do not. Storms with increased precipitation of >˜750 keV flux are distinguished by higher-energy input from the solar wind quantified by the ɛ parameter and corresponding higher geomagnetic activity.

  13. DO COROTATING INTERACTION REGION ASSOCIATED SHOCKS SURVIVE WHEN THEY PROPAGATE INTO THE HELIOSHEATH?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Provornikova, E.; Opher, M.; Izmodenov, V.; Toth, G.

    2012-01-01

    During the solar minimum at the distance of 42-52 AU from the Sun, Voyager 2 observed recurrent sharp, shock-like increases in the solar wind speed that look very much like forward shocks (Lazarus et al.). The shocks were produced by corotating interaction regions (CIRs) that originated near the Sun. After the termination shock (TS) crossing in 2007, Voyager 2 entered the heliosheath and has been observing the plasma emanated during the recent solar minima. Measurements show high variable flow, but there were no shocks detected in the heliosheath. When CIR-driven shocks propagate to the outer heliosphere, their structure changes due to collision and merging processes of CIRs. In this Letter, we explore an effect of the merging of CIRs on the structure of CIR-associated shocks. We use a three-dimensional MHD model to study the outward propagation of the shocks with characteristics similar to those observed by Voyager 2 at ∼45 AU (Lazarus et al. 1999). We show that due to merging of CIRs (1) reverse shocks disappear, (2) forward shocks become weaker due to interaction with rarefaction regions from preceding CIRs, and (3) forward shocks significantly weaken in the heliosheath. Merged CIRs produce compression regions in the heliosheath with small fluctuations of plasma parameters. Amplitudes of the fluctuations diminish as they propagate deeper in the sheath. We conclude that interaction of shocks and rarefaction regions could be one of the explanations, why shocks produced by CIRs are not observed in the heliosheath by Voyager 2 while they were frequently observed upstream the TS.

  14. Atmospheric parameters and chemical properties of red giants in the CoRoT asteroseismology fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morel, T.; Miglio, A.; Lagarde, N.; Montalbán, J.; Rainer, M.; Poretti, E.; Eggenberger, P.; Hekker, S.; Kallinger, T.; Mosser, B.; Valentini, M.; Carrier, F.; Hareter, M.; Mantegazza, L.

    2014-04-01

    A precise characterisation of the red giants in the seismology fields of the CoRoT satellite is a prerequisite for further in-depth seismic modelling. High-resolution FEROS and HARPS spectra were obtained as part of the ground-based follow-up campaigns for 19 targets holding great asteroseismic potential. These data are used to accurately estimate their fundamental parameters and the abundances of 16 chemical species in a self-consistent manner. Some powerful probes of mixing are investigated (the Li and CNO abundances, as well as the carbon isotopic ratio in a few cases). The information provided by the spectroscopic and seismic data is combined to provide more accurate physical parameters and abundances. The stars in our sample follow the general abundance trends as a function of the metallicity observed in stars of the Galactic disk. After an allowance is made for the chemical evolution of the interstellar medium, the observational signature of internal mixing phenomena is revealed through the detection at the stellar surface of the products of the CN cycle. A contamination by NeNa-cycled material in the most massive stars is also discussed. With the asteroseismic constraints, these data will pave the way for a detailed theoretical investigation of the physical processes responsible for the transport of chemical elements in evolved, low- and intermediate-mass stars. Based on observations collected at La Silla Observatory, ESO (Chile) with the FEROS and HARPS spectrograph at the 2.2 and 3.6-m telescopes under programs LP178.D-0361, LP182.D-0356, and LP185.D-0056.Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.orgTables A.2 to A.6 are 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/564/A119

  15. Solar Wind 0.1-1 keV Electrons in the Corotating Interaction Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, L.; Tao, J.; Li, G.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R. F.; Jian, L. K.; He, J.; Tu, C.; Tian, H.; Bale, S. D.

    2017-12-01

    Here we present a statistical study of the 0.1-1 keV suprathermal electrons in the undisturbed and compressed slow/fast solar wind, for the 71 corotating interaction regions (CIRs) with good measurements from the WIND 3DP and MFI instruments from 1995 to 1997. For each of these CIRs, we separate the strahl and halo electrons based on their different behaviors in pitch angle distributions in the undisturbed and compressed solar wind. We fit both the strahl and halo energy spectra to a kappa function with an index κ index and effective temperature Teff, and calculate the pitch-angle width at half-maximum (PAHM) of the strahl population. We also integrate the electron measurements between 0.1 and 1.0 keV to obtain the number density n and average energy Eavg for the strahl and halo populations. We find that for both the strahl and halo populations within and around these CIRs, the fitted κ index strongly correlates with Teff, similar to the quiet-time solar wind (Tao et al., ApJ, 2016). The number density of both the strahl and halo shows a strong positive correlation with the electron core temperature. The strahl number density ns is correlated with the magnitude of interplanetary magnetic field, and the strahl PAHM width is anti-correlated with the solar wind speed. These results suggest that the origin of strahl electrons from the solar corona is likely related to the electron core temperature and magnetic field strength, while the production of halo electrons in the interplanetary medium could depend on the solar wind velocity.

  16. Solar wind interaction with comet 67P: Impacts of corotating interaction regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edberg, N. J. T.; Eriksson, A. I.; Odelstad, E.; Vigren, E.; Andrews, D. J.; Johansson, F.; Burch, J. L.; Carr, C. M.; Cupido, E.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Goldstein, R.; Halekas, J. S.; Henri, P.; Koenders, C.; Mandt, K.; Mokashi, P.; Nemeth, Z.; Nilsson, H.; Ramstad, R.; Richter, I.; Wieser, G. Stenberg

    2016-02-01

    We present observations from the Rosetta Plasma Consortium of the effects of stormy solar wind on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Four corotating interaction regions (CIRs), where the first event has possibly merged with a coronal mass ejection, are traced from Earth via Mars (using Mars Express and Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission) to comet 67P from October to December 2014. When the comet is 3.1-2.7 AU from the Sun and the neutral outgassing rate ˜1025-1026 s-1, the CIRs significantly influence the cometary plasma environment at altitudes down to 10-30 km. The ionospheric low-energy (˜5 eV) plasma density increases significantly in all events, by a factor of >2 in events 1 and 2 but less in events 3 and 4. The spacecraft potential drops below -20 V upon impact when the flux of electrons increases. The increased density is likely caused by compression of the plasma environment, increased particle impact ionization, and possibly charge exchange processes and acceleration of mass-loaded plasma back to the comet ionosphere. During all events, the fluxes of suprathermal (˜10-100 eV) electrons increase significantly, suggesting that the heating mechanism of these electrons is coupled to the solar wind energy input. At impact the magnetic field strength in the coma increases by a factor of 2-5 as more interplanetary magnetic field piles up around the comet. During two CIR impact events, we observe possible plasma boundaries forming, or moving past Rosetta, as the strong solar wind compresses the cometary plasma environment. We also discuss the possibility of seeing some signatures of the ionospheric response to tail disconnection events.

  17. Particle acceleration at corotating interaction regions in the three-dimensional heliosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Desai, M.I.; Marsden, R.G.; Sanderson, T.R.; Balogh, A.; Forsyth, R.J.; Gosling, J.T.

    1998-01-01

    We have investigated the relationship between the energetic (∼1MeV) proton intensity (J) and the magnetic compression ratio (C) measured at the trailing edges of corotating interaction regions observed at Ulysses. In general, our results show that the proton intensity was well correlated with the compression ratio, provided that the seed intensity remained constant, consistent with predictions of the Fermi model. Specifically, our results indicate that particles were accelerated to above ∼1MeV in energy at or near the trailing edges of the compression regions observed in the midlatitude southern heliosphere, irrespective of whether the bounding reverse shocks were present or not. On the basis of this, we conclude that shock acceleration is probably not the only mechanism by which particles are accelerated to above ∼1MeV in energy at compression or interaction regions (CIRs). On the basis of magnetic field measurements obtained near the trailing edges of several midlatitude CIRs, we propose that particles could have been accelerated via the Fermi mechanism by being scattered back and forth across the trailing edges of the compression regions by large-amplitude Alfvacute en waves. Our results also show that the proton intensity was well correlated with the compression ratio during low solar activity periods but was essentially independent of C during periods of high solar activity. We suggest that the correlation between J and C was not observed during solar active periods because of significant variations in the seed intensity that result from sporadic contributions from transient solar events. In contrast, the correlation was observable during quiescent periods probably because contributions from transients had decreased dramatically, which allowed the CIRs to accelerate particles out of a seed population whose intensity remained relatively unperturbed. copyright 1998 American Geophysical Union

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cessa, V.; Beck, T.; Benz, W.; Broeg, C.; Ehrenreich, D.; Fortier, A.; Peter, G.; Magrin, D.; Pagano, I.; Plesseria, J.-Y.; Steller, M.; Szoke, J.; Thomas, N.; Ragazzoni, R.; Wildi, F.

    2017-11-01

    The CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS) is a joint ESA-Switzerland space mission dedicated to search for exoplanet transits by means of ultra-high precision photometry whose launch readiness is expected end 2017. The CHEOPS instrument will be the first space telescope dedicated to search for transits on bright stars already known to host planets. By being able to point at nearly any location on the sky, it will provide the unique capability of determining accurate radii for a subset of those planets for which the mass has already been estimated from ground-based spectroscopic surveys. CHEOPS will also provide precision radii for new planets discovered by the next generation ground-based transits surveys (Neptune-size and smaller). The main science goals of the CHEOPS mission will be to study the structure of exoplanets with radii typically ranging from 1 to 6 Earth radii orbiting bright stars. With an accurate knowledge of masses and radii for an unprecedented sample of planets, CHEOPS will set new constraints on the structure and hence on the formation and evolution of planets in this mass range. To reach its goals CHEOPS will measure photometric signals with a precision of 20 ppm in 6 hours of integration time for a 9th magnitude star. This corresponds to a signal to noise of 5 for a transit of an Earth-sized planet orbiting a solar-sized star (0.9 solar radii). This precision will be achieved by using a single frame-transfer backside illuminated CCD detector cool down at 233K and stabilized within {10 mK . The CHEOPS optical design is based on a Ritchey-Chretien style telescope with 300 mm effective aperture diameter, which provides a defocussed image of the target star while minimizing straylight using a dedicated field stop and baffle system. As CHEOPS will be in a LEO orbit, straylight suppression is a key point to allow the observation of faint stars. The telescope will be the only payload on a spacecraft platform providing pointing stability of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    As gas giant planets and brown dwarfs radiate away the residual heat from their formation, they cool through a spectral type transition from L to T, which encompasses the dissipation of cloud opacity and the appearance of strong methane absorption. While there are hundreds of known T-type brown dwarfs, the first generation of directly imaged exoplanets were all L type. Recently, Kuzuhara et al. announced the discovery of GJ 504 b, the first T dwarf exoplanet. GJ 504 b provides a unique opportunity to study the atmosphere of a new type of exoplanet with a ˜500 K temperature that bridges the gap between the first directly imaged planets (˜1000 K) and our own solar system's Jupiter (˜130 K). We observed GJ 504 b in three narrow L-band filters (3.71, 3.88, and 4.00 μm), spanning the red end of the broad methane fundamental absorption feature (3.3 μm) as part of the LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt (LEECH) exoplanet imaging survey. By comparing our new photometry and literature photometry with a grid of custom model atmospheres, we were able to fit GJ 504 b's unusual spectral energy distribution for the first time. We find that GJ 504 b is well fit by models with the following parameters: Teff = 544 ± 10 K, g Germany. LBT Corporation partners are the University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system; Istituto Nazionale di Astrophisica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max-Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; The Ohio State University, and the Research Corporation, on behalf of the University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota, and University of Virginia.

  20. LOWLID FORMATION AND PLATE TECTONICS ON EXOPLANETS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamenkovic, V.; Noack, L.; Breuer, D.

    2009-12-01

    The last years of astronomical observation have opened the doors to a universe filled with extrasolar planets. Detection techniques still only offer the possibility to detect mainly Super-Earths above five Earth masses. But detection techniques do steadily improve and are offering the possibility to detect even smaller planets. The observations show that planets seem to exist in many possible sizes just as the planets and moons of our own solar system do. It is only a natural question to ask if planetary mass has an influence on some key habitability factors such as on plate tectonics, allowing us to test which exoplanets might be more likely habitable than others, and allowing us to understand if plate tectonics on Earth is a stable or a critical, instable process that could easily be perturbed. Here we present results derived from 1D parameterized thermal evolution and 2D/3D computer models, showing how planetary mass influences the propensity of plate tectonics for planets with masses ranging from 0.1 to 10 Earth masses. Lately [2, 3] studied the effect of planetary mass on the ability to break plates and hence initiate plate tectonics - but both derived results contradictory to the other. We think that one of the reasons why both studies [2, 3] are not acceptable in their current form is partly due to an oversimplification. Both treated viscosity only temperature-dependent but neglected the effect pressure has on enlarging the viscosity in the deep mantle. More massive planets have therefore a stronger pressure-viscosity-coupling making convection at high pressures sluggish or even impossible. For planets larger than two Earth masses we observe that a conductive lid (termed low-lid) forms above the core-mantle boundary and thus reduces the effective convective part of the mantle when including a pressure-dependent term into the viscosity laws as shown in [1]. Moreover [2, 3] use time independent steady state models neglecting the fact that plate tectonics is a

  1. Habitability constraints on water-rich exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noack, Lena; Höning, Dennis; Rivoldini, Attilio; Heistracher, Clemens; Zimov, Nastasia; Journaux, Baptiste; Lammer, Helmut; Van Hoolst, Tim; Hendrik Bredehöft, Jan

    2016-04-01

    This research addresses the characterization, modelling, thermal evolution and possible habitability of water-rich exoplanets. Water is necessary for the origin and survival of life as we know it. In the search for habitable worlds, water-rich planets therefore seem obvious candidates. The water layer on such planets could be hundreds of kilometers deep. Depending on the temperature profile and the pressure gradient, it is likely that at great depths a significant part of the water layer is solid high pressure ice. Whether the solid ice layer extends to the bottom of the water layer, or if a shallow lower ocean forms above the silicate mantle, depends amongst others on the thermal state of the planet. We therefore model the thermal evolution of water-rich planets with a 1D parameterized model. Depth-dependent profiles for thermodynamic properties as well as pressure and gravity are obtained by solving the Poisson equation for the gravity and the hydrostatic pressure equation for pre-defined mass and composition (in terms of iron, silicates and water) [1]. For density, equations of state are applied. For the simulation of the thermal evolution of water-rich planets, several parameters (as initial temperatures or layer thicknesses) are unknown. We therefore employ a quantitatve study with more than 20'000 simulations, where we investigated which parameters have the largest influence on the appearance of a lower ocean, i.e. the possible melting of high-pressure ice by heat flowing out of the silicate mantle [2]. We find that the surface temperature has the largest influence on the thickness of water layers, for which a lower ocean can still form between the high-pressure ice layer and the silicate mantle. For higher surface temperatures, not only entirely liquid oceans are possible for deeper water shells, also a liquid ocean can form under high-pressure ice layers of hundreds of kilometer thickness (for a 1 Earth-mass planet). Deeper down, the lower ocean can still

  2. Three regimes of extrasolar planet radius inferred from host star metallicities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Bizzarro, Martin; Latham, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Approximately half of the extrasolar planets (exoplanets) with radii less than four Earth radii are in orbits with short periods. Despite their sheer abundance, the compositions of such planets are largely unknown. The available evidence suggests that they range in composition from small, high......-density rocky planets to low-density planets consisting of rocky cores surrounded by thick hydrogen and helium gas envelopes. Here we report the metallicities (that is, the abundances of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium) of more than 400 stars hosting 600 exoplanet candidates, and find...... that the exoplanets can be categorized into three populations defined by statistically distinct (~4.5σ) metallicity regions. We interpret these regions as reflecting the formation regimes of terrestrial-like planets (radii less than 1.7 Earth radii), gas dwarf planets with rocky cores and hydrogen-helium envelopes...

  3. Exoplanet population inference and the abundance of Earth analogs from noisy, incomplete catalogs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foreman-Mackey, Daniel; Hogg, David W.; Morton, Timothy D.

    2014-01-01

    No true extrasolar Earth analog is known. Hundreds of planets have been found around Sun-like stars that are either Earth-sized but on shorter periods, or else on year-long orbits but somewhat larger. Under strong assumptions, exoplanet catalogs have been used to make an extrapolated estimate of the rate at which Sun-like stars host Earth analogs. These studies are complicated by the fact that every catalog is censored by non-trivial selection effects and detection efficiencies, and every property (period, radius, etc.) is measured noisily. Here we present a general hierarchical probabilistic framework for making justified inferences about the population of exoplanets, taking into account survey completeness and, for the first time, observational uncertainties. We are able to make fewer assumptions about the distribution than previous studies; we only require that the occurrence rate density be a smooth function of period and radius (employing a Gaussian process). By applying our method to synthetic catalogs, we demonstrate that it produces more accurate estimates of the whole population than standard procedures based on weighting by inverse detection efficiency. We apply the method to an existing catalog of small planet candidates around G dwarf stars. We confirm a previous result that the radius distribution changes slope near Earth's radius. We find that the rate density of Earth analogs is about 0.02 (per star per natural logarithmic bin in period and radius) with large uncertainty. This number is much smaller than previous estimates made with the same data but stronger assumptions.

  4. The Thermal Phase Curve Offset on Tidally and Nontidally Locked Exoplanets: A Shallow Water Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Penn, James; Vallis, Geoffrey K, E-mail: jp492@exeter.ac.uk, E-mail: g.vallis@exeter.ac.uk [University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon (United Kingdom)

    2017-06-20

    Using a shallow water model with time-dependent forcing, we show that the peak of an exoplanet thermal phase curve is, in general, offset from the secondary eclipse when the planet is rotating. That is, the planetary hot spot is offset from the point of maximal heating (the substellar point) and may lead or lag the forcing; the extent and sign of the offset are functions of both the rotation rate and orbital period of the planet. We also find that the system reaches a steady state in the reference frame of the moving forcing. The model is an extension of the well-studied Matsuno–Gill model into a full spherical geometry and with a planetary-scale translating forcing representing the insolation received on an exoplanet from a host star. The speed of the gravity waves in the model is shown to be a key metric in evaluating the phase curve offset. If the velocity of the substellar point (relative to the planet’s surface) exceeds that of the gravity waves, then the hot spot will lag the substellar point, as might be expected by consideration of forced gravity wave dynamics. However, when the substellar point is moving slower than the internal wave speed of the system, the hottest point may lead the passage of the forcing. We provide an interpretation of this result by consideration of the Rossby and Kelvin wave dynamics, as well as, in the very slowly rotating case, a one-dimensional model that yields an analytic solution. Finally, we consider the inverse problem of constraining planetary rotation rate from an observed phase curve.

  5. PROBABILITY OF CME IMPACT ON EXOPLANETS ORBITING M DWARFS AND SOLAR-LIKE STARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kay, C. [Solar Physics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Opher, M.; Kornbleuth, M., E-mail: ckay@bu.edu [Astronomy Department, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215 (United States)

    2016-08-01

    Solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) produce adverse space weather effects at Earth. Planets in the close habitable zone of magnetically active M dwarfs may experience more extreme space weather than at Earth, including frequent CME impacts leading to atmospheric erosion and leaving the surface exposed to extreme flare activity. Similar erosion may occur for hot Jupiters with close orbits around solar-like stars. We have developed a model, Forecasting a CME's Altered Trajectory (ForeCAT), which predicts a CME's deflection. We adapt ForeCAT to simulate CME deflections for the mid-type M dwarf V374 Peg and hot Jupiters with solar-type hosts. V374 Peg's strong magnetic fields can trap CMEs at the M dwarfs's Astrospheric Current Sheet, that is, the location of the minimum in the background magnetic field. Solar-type CMEs behave similarly, but have much smaller deflections and do not become trapped at the Astrospheric Current Sheet. The probability of planetary impact decreases with increasing inclination of the planetary orbit with respect to the Astrospheric Current Sheet: 0.5–5 CME impacts per day for M dwarf exoplanets, 0.05–0.5 CME impacts per day for solar-type hot Jupiters. We determine the minimum planetary magnetic field necessary to shield a planet's atmosphere from CME impacts. M dwarf exoplanets require values between tens and hundreds of Gauss. Hot Jupiters around a solar-type star, however, require a more reasonable <30 G. These values exceed the magnitude required to shield a planet from the stellar wind, suggesting that CMEs may be the key driver of atmospheric losses.

  6. PROBABILITY OF CME IMPACT ON EXOPLANETS ORBITING M DWARFS AND SOLAR-LIKE STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kay, C.; Opher, M.; Kornbleuth, M.

    2016-01-01

    Solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) produce adverse space weather effects at Earth. Planets in the close habitable zone of magnetically active M dwarfs may experience more extreme space weather than at Earth, including frequent CME impacts leading to atmospheric erosion and leaving the surface exposed to extreme flare activity. Similar erosion may occur for hot Jupiters with close orbits around solar-like stars. We have developed a model, Forecasting a CME's Altered Trajectory (ForeCAT), which predicts a CME's deflection. We adapt ForeCAT to simulate CME deflections for the mid-type M dwarf V374 Peg and hot Jupiters with solar-type hosts. V374 Peg's strong magnetic fields can trap CMEs at the M dwarfs's Astrospheric Current Sheet, that is, the location of the minimum in the background magnetic field. Solar-type CMEs behave similarly, but have much smaller deflections and do not become trapped at the Astrospheric Current Sheet. The probability of planetary impact decreases with increasing inclination of the planetary orbit with respect to the Astrospheric Current Sheet: 0.5–5 CME impacts per day for M dwarf exoplanets, 0.05–0.5 CME impacts per day for solar-type hot Jupiters. We determine the minimum planetary magnetic field necessary to shield a planet's atmosphere from CME impacts. M dwarf exoplanets require values between tens and hundreds of Gauss. Hot Jupiters around a solar-type star, however, require a more reasonable <30 G. These values exceed the magnitude required to shield a planet from the stellar wind, suggesting that CMEs may be the key driver of atmospheric losses.

  7. LONG-LIVED CHAOTIC ORBITAL EVOLUTION OF EXOPLANETS IN MEAN MOTION RESONANCES WITH MUTUAL INCLINATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnes, Rory; Deitrick, Russell; Quinn, Thomas R. [Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Box 951580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Greenberg, Richard [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 E. University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 86716 (United States); Raymond, Sean N., E-mail: rory@astro.washington.edu [NASA Astrobiology Institute-Virtual Planetary Laboratory Lead Team (United States)

    2015-03-10

    We present N-body simulations of resonant planets with inclined orbits that show chaotically evolving eccentricities and inclinations that can persist for at least 10 Gyr. A wide range of behavior is possible, from fast, low amplitude variations to systems in which eccentricities reach 0.9999 and inclinations 179.°9. While the orbital elements evolve chaotically, at least one resonant argument always librates. We show that the HD 73526, HD 45364, and HD 60532 systems may be in chaotically evolving resonances. Chaotic evolution is apparent in the 2:1, 3:1, and 3:2 resonances, and for planetary masses from lunar- to Jupiter-mass. In some cases, orbital disruption occurs after several gigayears, implying the mechanism is not rigorously stable, just long-lived relative to the main sequence lifetimes of solar-type stars. Planet-planet scattering appears to yield planets in inclined resonances that evolve chaotically in about 0.5% of cases. These results suggest that (1) approximate methods for identifying unstable orbital architectures may have limited applicability, (2) the observed close-in exoplanets may be produced during epochs of high eccentricit induced by inclined resonances, (3) those exoplanets' orbital planes may be misaligned with the host star's spin axis, (4) 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 due to inclined resonances, and (6) potentially habitable planets may have dramatically different climatic evolution than Earth. The Gaia spacecraft is capable of discovering giant planets in these types of orbits.

  8. LONG-LIVED CHAOTIC ORBITAL EVOLUTION OF EXOPLANETS IN MEAN MOTION RESONANCES WITH MUTUAL INCLINATIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

    We present N-body simulations of resonant planets with inclined orbits that show chaotically evolving eccentricities and inclinations that can persist for at least 10 Gyr. A wide range of behavior is possible, from fast, low amplitude variations to systems in which eccentricities reach 0.9999 and inclinations 179.°9. While the orbital elements evolve chaotically, at least one resonant argument always librates. We show that the HD 73526, HD 45364, and HD 60532 systems may be in chaotically evolving resonances. Chaotic evolution is apparent in the 2:1, 3:1, and 3:2 resonances, and for planetary masses from lunar- to Jupiter-mass. In some cases, orbital disruption occurs after several gigayears, implying the mechanism is not rigorously stable, just long-lived relative to the main sequence lifetimes of solar-type stars. Planet-planet scattering appears to yield planets in inclined resonances that evolve chaotically in about 0.5% of cases. These results suggest that (1) approximate methods for identifying unstable orbital architectures may have limited applicability, (2) the observed close-in exoplanets may be produced during epochs of high eccentricit induced by inclined resonances, (3) those exoplanets' orbital planes may be misaligned with the host star's spin axis, (4) 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 due to inclined resonances, and (6) potentially habitable planets may have dramatically different climatic evolution than Earth. The Gaia spacecraft is capable of discovering giant planets in these types of orbits

  9. Corotation-driven magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling currents in Saturn’s magnetosphere and their relation to the auroras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. W. H. Cowley

    2003-08-01

    Full Text Available We calculate the latitude profile of the equatorward-directed ionospheric Pedersen currents that are driven in Saturn’s ionosphere by partial corotation of the magnetospheric plasma. The calculation incorporates the flattened figure of the planet, a model of Saturn’s magnetic field derived from spacecraft flyby data, and angular velocity models derived from Voyager plasma data. We also employ an effective height-integrated ionospheric Pedersen conductivity of 1 mho, suggested by a related analysis of Voyager magnetic field data. The Voyager plasma data suggest that on the largest spatial scales, the plasma angular velocity declines from near-rigid corotation with the planet in the inner magnetosphere, to values of about half of rigid corotation at the outer boundary of the region considered. The latter extends to ~ 15–20 Saturn radii (RS in the equatorial plane, mapping along magnetic field lines to ~ 15° co-latitude in the ionosphere. We find in this case that the ionospheric Pedersen current peaks near the poleward (outer boundary of this region, and falls toward zero over ~ 5°–10° equator-ward of the boundary as the plasma approaches rigid corotation. The peak current near the poleward boundary, integrated in azimuth, is ~ 6 MA. The field-aligned current required for continuity is directed out of the ionosphere into the magnetosphere essentially throughout the region, with the current density peaking at ~ 10 nA m-2 at ~ 20° co-latitude. We estimate that such current densities are well below the limit requiring field-aligned acceleration of magnetospheric electrons in Saturn’s environment ( ~ 70 nAm-2, so that no significant auroral features associated with this ring of upward current is anticipated. The observed ultraviolet auroras at Saturn are also found to occur significantly closer to the pole (at ~ 10°–15° co-latitude, and show considerable temporal and local time variability, contrary to expectations for corotation

  10. 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

  11. Observações no âmbito dos "additional programs" do satélite COROT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janot Pacheco, E.

    2003-08-01

    O satélite Fraco-europeu COROT fará fotometria de altissima precisão (pretende-se atingir uma parte em um milhão), grande campo (3x3 graus) e por longos períodos, de duas regiões pré-determinadas do céu, com 10 graus de raio. Suas finalidades básicas serão estudos em sismologia estelar e a procura de exoplanetas. A comunidade astronômica brasileira participará dessa missão espacial, com direitos iguais aos dos parceiros europeus. Isso se deve a que o satélite utilizará a estação de recepção de dados de Natal (INPE), 5 a 6 brasileiros participarão das equipes de software e cientistas do país atuarão na fase de pré-lançamento. Apresentamos nesta comunicação sugestões para a preparação de propostas de observações com COROT, no âmbito dos Programas Adicionais, que contemplam outros projetos que não de sismologia ou exoplanetas. As últimas definições técnicas e decisões tomadas na 4th Corot Week de junho último serão igualmente apresentadas, em particular quanto às regiões de observação escolhidas e quanto aos procedimentos a seguir para se propor observações.

  12. Density is not Destiny: Characterizing Terrestrial Exoplanet Geology from Stellar Compositional Abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unterborn, Cayman T.

    2018-01-01

    A planet’s mass-radius relationship alone is not a good indicator for its potential to be "Earth-like." While useful in coarse characterizations for distinguishing whether an exoplanet is water/atmosphere- or rock/iron-dominated, there is considerable degeneracy in using the mass-radius relation to determine the mineralogy and structure of a purely terrestrial planet like the Earth. The chemical link between host-stars and rocky planets and the utility of this connection in breaking the degeneracy in the mass-radius relationship is well documented. Given the breadth of observed stellar compositions, modeling the complex effects of these compositional variations on a terrestrial planet’s mineralogy, structure and temperature profile, and the potential pitfalls therein, falls within the purview of the geosciences.I will demonstrate here, the utility in adopting the composition of a terrestrial planet’s host star for contextualizing individual systems (e.g. TRAPPIST-1), as well as for the more general case of quantifying the geophysical consequences of stellar compositional diversity. This includes the potential for a host-star to produce planets able to undergo mantle convection, surface-to-interior degassing and long-term plate tectonics. As we search for truly “Earth-like” planets, we must move away from the simple density-driven definition of “Earth-like” and towards a more holistic view that includes both geochemistry and geophysics. Combining geophysical models and those of planetary formation with host-star abundance data, then, is of paramount importance. This will aid not only in our understanding of the mass-radius relationship but also provide foundational results necessary interpreting future atmospheric observations through the lens of surface-interior interactions (e.g. volcanism) and planetary evolution as a whole.

  13. Optimal Strategies for Probing Terrestrial Exoplanet Atmospheres with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natasha E.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Line, Michael

    2018-01-01

    It is imperative that the exoplanet community determines the feasibility and the resources needed to yield high fidelity atmospheric compositions from terrestrial exoplanets. In particular, LHS 1140b and the TRAPPIST-1 system, already slated for observations by JWST’s Guaranteed Time Observers, will be the first two terrestrial planets observed by JWST. I will discuss optimal observing strategies for observing these two systems, focusing on the NIRSpec Prism (1-5μm) and the combination of NIRISS SOSS (1-2.7μm) and NIRSpec G395H (3-5μm). I will also introduce currently unsupported JWST readmodes that have the potential to greatly increase the precision on our atmospheric spectra. Lastly, I will use information content theory to compute the expected confidence interval on the retrieved abundances of key molecular species and temperature profiles as a function of JWST observing cycles.

  14. Scalable Gaussian Processes and the search for exoplanets

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2015-01-01

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

  15. WR 110: A SINGLE WOLF-RAYET STAR WITH COROTATING INTERACTION REGIONS IN ITS WIND?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chene, A.-N.; Moffat, A. F. J.; Fahed, R.; St-louis, N.; Muntean, V.; Chevrotiere, A. De La; Cameron, C.; Matthews, J. M.; Gamen, R. C.; Lefevre, L.; Rowe, J. F.; Guenther, D. B.; Kuschnig, R.; Weiss, W. W.; Rucinski, S. M.; Sasselov, D.

    2011-01-01

    A 30 day contiguous photometric run with the Microvariability and Oscillations of STars (MOST) satellite on the WN5-6b star WR 110 (HD 165688) reveals a fundamental periodicity of P = 4.08 ± 0.55 days along with a number of harmonics at periods P/n, with n ∼ 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and a few other possible stray periodicities and/or stochastic variability on timescales longer than about a day. Spectroscopic radial velocity studies fail to reveal any plausible companion with a period in this range. Therefore, we conjecture that the observed light-curve cusps of amplitude ∼0.01 mag that recur at a 4.08 day timescale may arise in the inner parts, or at the base, of a corotating interaction region (CIR) seen in emission as it rotates around with the star at constant angular velocity. The hard X-ray component seen in WR 110 could then be a result of a high velocity component of the CIR shock interacting with the ambient wind at several stellar radii. Given that most hot, luminous stars showing CIRs have two CIR arms, it is possible that either the fundamental period is 8.2 days or, more likely in the case of WR 110, there is indeed a second weaker CIR arm for P = 4.08 days, that occurs ∼two-thirds of a rotation period after the main CIR. If this interpretation is correct, WR 110 therefore joins the ranks with three other single WR stars, all WN, with confirmed CIR rotation periods (WR 1, WR 6, and WR 134), albeit with WR 110 having by far the lowest amplitude photometric modulation. This illustrates the power of being able to secure intense, continuous high-precision photometry from space-based platforms such as MOST. It also opens the door to revealing low-amplitude photometric variations in other WN stars, where previous attempts have failed. If all WN stars have CIRs at some level, this could be important for revealing sources of magnetism or pulsation in addition to rotation periods.

  16. VARIATIONS OF THE MUON FLUX AT SEA LEVEL ASSOCIATED WITH INTERPLANETARY ICMEs AND COROTATING INTERACTION REGIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Augusto, C. R. A.; Kopenkin, V.; Navia, C. E.; Tsui, K. H.; Shigueoka, H. [Instituto de Fisica, Universidade Federal Fluminense, 24210-346, Niteroi, RJ (Brazil); Fauth, A. C.; Kemp, E.; Manganote, E. J. T. [Instituto de Fisica Gleb Wathagin, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP (Brazil); Leigui de Oliveira, M. A. [Centro de Ciencias Naturais e Humanas da Universidade Federal do ABC, Santo Andre, SP (Brazil); Miranda, P.; Ticona, R.; Velarde, A. [Instituto de Investigaciones Fisicas, UMSA, La Paz Bolivia (United States)

    2012-11-10

    We present the results of an ongoing survey on the association between the muon flux variation at ground level (3 m above sea level) registered by the Tupi telescopes (Niteri-Brazil, 22.{sup 0}9S, 43.{sup 0}2W, 3 m) and the Earth-directed transient disturbances in the interplanetary medium propagating from the Sun (such as coronal mass ejections (CME), and corotating interaction regions (CIRs)). Their location inside the South Atlantic Anomaly region enables the muon telescopes to achieve a low rigidity of response to primary and secondary charged particles. The present study is primarily based on experimental events obtained by the Tupi telescopes in the period from 2010 August to 2011 December. This time period corresponds to the rising phase of solar cycle 24. The Tupi events are studied in correlation with data obtained by space-borne detectors (SOHO, ACE, GOES). Identification of interplanetary structures and associated solar activity was based on the nomenclature and definitions given by the satellite observations, including an incomplete list of possible interplanetary shocks observed by the CELIAS/MTOF Proton Monitor on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft. Among 29 experimental events reported in the present analysis, there are 15 possibly associated with the CMEs and sheaths, and 3 events with the CIRs (forward or reverse shocks); the origin of the remaining 11 events has not been determined by the satellite detectors. We compare the observed time (delayed or anticipated) of the muon excess (positive or negative) signal on Earth (the Tupi telescopes) with the trigger time of the interplanetary disturbances registered by the satellites located at Lagrange point L1 (SOHO and ACE). The temporal correlation of the observed ground-based events with solar transient events detected by spacecraft suggests a real physical connection between them. We found that the majority of observed events detected by the Tupi experiment were delayed in

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Misra, Amit K.; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Galactic cosmic ray-induced radiation dose on terrestrial exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atri, Dimitra; Hariharan, B; Grießmeier, Jean-Mathias

    2013-10-01

    This past decade has seen tremendous advancements in the study of extrasolar planets. Observations are now made with increasing sophistication from both ground- and space-based instruments, and exoplanets are characterized with increasing precision. There is a class of particularly interesting exoplanets that reside in the habitable zone, which is defined as the area around a star where the planet is capable of supporting liquid water on its surface. Planetary systems around M dwarfs are considered to be prime candidates to search for life beyond the Solar System. Such planets are likely to be tidally locked and have close-in habitable zones. Theoretical calculations also suggest that close-in exoplanets are more likely to have weaker planetary magnetic fields, especially in the case of super-Earths. Such exoplanets are subjected to a high flux of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) due to their weak magnetic moments. GCRs are energetic particles of astrophysical origin that strike the planetary atmosphere and produce secondary particles, including muons, which are highly penetrating. Some of these particles reach the planetary surface and contribute to the radiation dose. Along with the magnetic field, another factor governing the radiation dose is the depth of the planetary atmosphere. The higher the depth of the planetary atmosphere, the lower the flux of secondary particles will be on the surface. If the secondary particles are energetic enough, and their flux is sufficiently high, the radiation from muons can also impact the subsurface regions, such as in the case of Mars. If the radiation dose is too high, the chances of sustaining a long-term biosphere on the planet are very low. We have examined the dependence of the GCR-induced radiation dose on the strength of the planetary magnetic field and its atmospheric depth, and found that the latter is the decisive factor for the protection of a planetary biosphere.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  20. Emergent Exoplanet Flux: Review of the Spitzer Results

    OpenAIRE

    Deming, Drake

    2008-01-01

    Observations using the Spitzer Space Telescope provided the first detections of photons from extrasolar planets. Spitzer observations are allowing us to infer the temperature structure, composition, and dynamics of exoplanet atmospheres. The Spitzer studies extend from many hot Jupiters, to the hot Neptune orbiting GJ436. Here I review the current status of Spitzer secondary eclipse observations, and summarize the results from the viewpoint of what is robust, what needs more work, and what th...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  2. Exoplanet Biosignatures: A Review of Remotely Detectable Signs of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiang, Nancy Y.; Parenteau, Mary N.; Harman, Chester E.; DasSarma, Shiladitya; Fisher, Theresa M.; Arney, Giada N.; Hartnett, Hilairy E.; Reinhard, Christopher T.; Olson, Stephanie L.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Cockell, Charles S.; Walker, Sara I.; Grenfell, John Lee; Hegde, Siddharth; Rugheimer, Sarah; Hu, Renyu; Lyons, Timothy W.

    2018-01-01

    Abstract In the coming years and decades, advanced space- and ground-based observatories will allow an unprecedented opportunity to probe the atmospheres and surfaces of potentially habitable exoplanets for signatures of life. Life on Earth, through its gaseous products and reflectance and scattering properties, has left its fingerprint on the spectrum of our planet. Aided by the universality of the laws of physics and chemistry, we turn to Earth's biosphere, both in the present and through geologic time, for analog signatures that will aid in the search for life elsewhere. Considering the insights gained from modern and ancient Earth, and the broader array of hypothetical exoplanet possibilities, we have compiled a comprehensive overview of our current understanding of potential exoplanet biosignatures, including gaseous, surface, and temporal biosignatures. We additionally survey biogenic spectral features that are well known in the specialist literature but have not yet been robustly vetted in the context of exoplanet biosignatures. We briefly review advances in assessing biosignature plausibility, including novel methods for determining chemical disequilibrium from remotely obtainable data and assessment tools for determining the minimum biomass required to maintain short-lived biogenic gases as atmospheric signatures. We focus particularly on advances made since the seminal review by Des Marais et al. The purpose of this work is not to propose new biosignature strategies, a goal left to companion articles in this series, but to review the current literature, draw meaningful connections between seemingly disparate areas, and clear the way for a path forward. Key Words: Exoplanets—Biosignatures—Habitability markers—Photosynthesis—Planetary surfaces—Atmospheres—Spectroscopy—Cryptic biospheres—False positives. Astrobiology 18, 663–708. PMID:29727196

  3. 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.

  4. An Analytic Model Approach to the Frequency of Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traub, Wesley A.

    2016-10-01

    The underlying population of exoplanets around stars in the Kepler sample can be inferred by a simulation that includes binning the Kepler planets in radius and period, invoking an empirical noise model, assuming a model exoplanet distribution function, randomly assigning planets to each of the Kepler target stars, asking whether each planet's transit signal could be detected by Kepler, binning the resulting simulated detections, comparing the simulations with the observed data sample, and iterating on the model parameters until a satisfactory fit is obtained. The process is designed to simulate the Kepler observing procedure. The key assumption is that the distribution function is the product of separable functions of period and radius. Any additional suspected biases in the sample can be handled by adjusting the noise model or selective editing of the range of input planets. An advantage of this overall procedure is that it is a forward calculation designed to simulate the observed data, subject to a presumed underlying population distribution, minimizing the effect of bin-to-bin fluctuations. Another advantage is that the resulting distribution function can be extended to values of period and radius that go beyond the sample space, including, for example, application to estimating eta-sub-Earth, and also estimating the expected science yields of future direct-imaging exoplanet missions such as WFIRST-AFTA.

  5. Catalogue of Exoplanets in Multiple-Star-Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Richard; Funk, Barbara; Bazsó, Ákos; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke

    2017-07-01

    Cataloguing the data of exoplanetary systems becomes more and more important, due to the fact that they conclude the observations and support the theoretical studies. Since 1995 there is a database which list most of the known exoplanets (The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia is available at http://exoplanet.eu/ and described at Schneider et al. 2011). With the growing number of detected exoplanets in binary and multiple star systems it became more important to mark and to separate them into a new database. Therefore we started to compile a catalogue for binary and multiple star systems. Since 2013 the catalogue can be found at http://www.univie.ac.at/adg/schwarz/multiple.html (description can be found at Schwarz et al. 2016) which will be updated regularly and is linked to the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia. The data of the binary catalogue can be downloaded as a file (.csv) and used for statistical purposes. Our database is divided into two parts: the data of the stars and the planets, given in a separate list. Every columns of the list can be sorted in two directions: ascending, meaning from the lowest value to the highest, or descending. In addition an introduction and help is also given in the menu bar of the catalogue including an example list.

  6. 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.

  7. Analysis of the exoplanet containing system Kepler-13

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budding, E.; Püsküllü, Ç.; Rhodes, M. D.

    2018-03-01

    We have applied the close binary system analysis program WinFitter, with its physically detailed fitting function, to an intensive study of the complex multiple system Kepler-13 using photometry data from all 13 short cadence quarters downloaded from the NASA Exoplanet Archive (NEA) (http://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu). The data-point error of our normalized, phase-sequenced and binned (380 points per bin: 0.00025 phase interval) flux values, at 14 ppm, allows the model's specification for the mean reference flux level of the system to a precision better than 1 ppm. Our photometrically derived values for the mass and radius of KOI13.01 are 6.8±0.6 MJ and 1.44±0.04 RJ. The star has a radius of 1.67±0.05 R_{⊙}. Our modelling sets the mean of the orbital inclination i at 94.35±0.14°, with the star's mean precession angle φp—49.1±5.0° and obliquity θo 67.9 ± 3.0°, though there are known ambiguities about the sense in which such angles are measured. Our findings did not confirm secular variation in the transit modelling parameters greater than their full correlated errors, as argued by previous authors, when each quarter's data was best-fitted with a determinable parameter set without prejudice. However, if we accept that most of the parameters remain the same for each transit, then we could confirm a small but steady diminution in the cosine of the orbital inclination over the 17 quarter timespan. This is accompanied by a slight increase of the star's precession angle (less negative), but with no significant change in the obliquity of its spin axis. There are suggestions of a history of strong dynamical interaction with a highly distorted planet rotating in a 3:2 resonance with its revolution, together with a tidal lag of ˜30 deg. The mean precessional period is derived to be about 1000 y, but at the present time the motion of the star's rotation axis appears to be supporting the gravitational torque, rather than providing the balance against it

  8. The analysis of influence of field of co-rotation on motion of submicronic particles in the Earth's plasmasphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakovlev, A. B.

    2018-05-01

    The analysis of the motion of micro-particles with radii of several dozens of nanometers in the Earth's plasmasphere has confirmed that the earlier proved statement about conservation of the form for an orbit of a particle with constant electric charge which moves in superposition of the central gravitational field and the field of a magnetic dipole is true also for the case of a quasi-equilibrium electric charge. For a wide range of altitudes and the sizes of micro-particles other forces that act on the charged grain make considerably smaller impact on its motion. On the basis of numerical simulation it has been shown that for motion in an equatorial plane the field of co-rotation leads to very small monotonous growth of the semimajor axis and an orbit eccentricity, and for not-equatorial orbits there are fluctuations of the semimajor axis, an eccentricity and an inclination of an orbit with the period that considerably exceeds the period of orbital motion. In this paper, on the basis of the analysis of the canonical equations of the motion of a micro-particle in superposition of the central gravitational field and the field of co-rotation the explanation of the time dependences obtained numerically for the basic characteristics of an orbit of a micro-particle is proposed.

  9. Recurring sets of recurring starspot occultations on exoplanet host Qatar-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Močnik, T.; Southworth, J.; Hellier, C.

    2017-10-01

    We announce the detection of recurring sets of recurring starspot occultation events in the short-cadence K2 light curve of Qatar-2, a K dwarf star transited every 1.34 d by a hot Jupiter. In total, we detect 34 individual starspot occultation events, caused by five different starspots, occulted in up to five consecutive transits or after a full stellar rotation. The longest recurring set of recurring starspot occultations spans over three stellar rotations, setting a lower limit for the longest starspot lifetime of 58 d. Starspot analysis provided a robust stellar rotational period measurement of 18.0 ± 0.2 d and indicates that the system is aligned, having a sky-projected obliquity of 0° ± 8°. A pronounced rotational modulation in the light curve has a period of 18.2 ± 1.6 d, in agreement with the rotational period derived from the starspot occultations. We tentatively detect an ellipsoidal modulation in the phase curve, with a semi-amplitude of 18 ppm, but cannot exclude the possibility that this is the result of red noise or imperfect removal of the rotational modulation. We detect no transit-timing and transit-duration variations with upper limits of 15 s and 1 min, respectively. We also reject any additional transiting planets with transit depths above 280 ppm in the orbital period region 0.5-30 d.

  10. SPECKLE IMAGING EXCLUDES LOW-MASS COMPANIONS ORBITING THE EXOPLANET HOST STAR TRAPPIST-1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Howell, Steve B.; Scott, Nicholas J. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Everett, Mark E. [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Horch, Elliott P. [Department of Physics, Southern Connecticut State University, 501 Crescent Street, New Haven, CT, 06515 (United States); Winters, Jennifer G. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, 02138 (United States); Hirsch, Lea [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, 510 Campbell Hall, Berkeley, CA, 94720 (United States); Nusdeo, Dan [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 5060, Atlanta, GA 30302 (United States)

    2016-09-20

    We have obtained the highest-resolution images available of TRAPPIST-1 using the Gemini-South telescope and our speckle imaging camera. Observing at 692 and 883 nm, we reached the diffraction limit of the telescope providing a best resolution of 27 mas or, at the distance of TRAPPIST-1, a spatial resolution of 0.32 au. Our imaging of the star extends from 0.32 to 14.5 au. We show that to a high confidence level, we can exclude all possible stellar and brown dwarf companions, indicating that TRAPPIST-1 is a single star.

  11. SPECKLE IMAGING EXCLUDES LOW-MASS COMPANIONS ORBITING THE EXOPLANET HOST STAR TRAPPIST-1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howell, Steve B.; Scott, Nicholas J.; Everett, Mark E.; Horch, Elliott P.; Winters, Jennifer G.; Hirsch, Lea; Nusdeo, Dan

    2016-01-01

    We have obtained the highest-resolution images available of TRAPPIST-1 using the Gemini-South telescope and our speckle imaging camera. Observing at 692 and 883 nm, we reached the diffraction limit of the telescope providing a best resolution of 27 mas or, at the distance of TRAPPIST-1, a spatial resolution of 0.32 au. Our imaging of the star extends from 0.32 to 14.5 au. We show that to a high confidence level, we can exclude all possible stellar and brown dwarf companions, indicating that TRAPPIST-1 is a single star.

  12. Hot super-Earths stripped by their host stars

    OpenAIRE

    Lundkvist, M. S.; Kjeldsen, H.; Albrecht, S.; Davies, G. R.; Basu, S.; Huber, D.; Justesen, A. B.; Karoff, C.; Aguirre, V. Silva; Van Eylen, V.; Vang, C.; Arentoft, T.; Barclay, T.; Bedding, T. R.; Campante, T. L.

    2016-01-01

    Simulations predict that hot super-Earth sized exoplanets can have their envelopes stripped by photoevaporation, which would present itself as a lack of these exoplanets. However, this absence in the exoplanet population has escaped a firm detection. Here we demonstrate, using asteroseismology on a sample of exoplanets and exoplanet candidates observed during the Kepler mission that, while there is an abundance of super-Earth sized exoplanets with low incident fluxes, none are found with high...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Leisenring, Jarron; Bailey, Vanessa; Hinz, Philip; Defrére, Denis; Apai, Dániel; Close, Laird; Eisner, Josh [Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Ave. Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Morley, Caroline V.; Fortney, Jonathan [University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High St. Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Zimmerman, Neil T.; Buenzli, Esther; Bonnefoy, Mickael; Biller, Beth; Brandner, Wolfgang [Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Skrutskie, Michael F. [University of Virginia, 530 McCormick Rd., Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States); Esposito, Simone [Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica-Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, Largo Enrico Fermi 5, 50125, Florence (Italy); Crepp, Justin R. [Notre Dame University, 225 Nieuwland Science Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556 (United States); De Rosa, Robert J. [Arizona State University, 781 South Terrace Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281 (United States); Desidera, Silvano [Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica-Padova Astronomical Observatory, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova (Italy); and others

    2016-02-01

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

  14. Atypical energetic particle events observed prior energetic particle enhancements associated with corotating interaction regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khabarova, Olga; Malandraki, Olga; Zank, Gary; Jackson, Bernard; Bisi, Mario; Desai, Mihir; Li, Gang; le Roux, Jakobus; Yu, Hsiu-Shan

    2017-04-01

    Recent studies of mechanisms of particle acceleration in the heliosphere have revealed the importance of the comprehensive analysis of stream-stream interactions as well as the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) - stream interactions that often occur in the solar wind, producing huge magnetic cavities bounded by strong current sheets. Such cavities are usually filled with small-scale magnetic islands that trap and re-accelerate energetic particles (Zank et al. ApJ, 2014, 2015; le Roux et al. ApJ, 2015, 2016; Khabarova et al. ApJ, 2015, 2016). Crossings of these regions are associated with unusual variations in the energetic particle flux up to several MeV/nuc near the Earth's orbit. These energetic particle flux enhancements called "atypical energetic particle events" (AEPEs) are not associated with standard mechanisms of particle acceleration. The analysis of multi-spacecraft measurements of energetic particle flux, plasma and the interplanetary magnetic field shows that AEPEs have a local origin as they are observed by different spacecraft with a time delay corresponding to the solar wind propagation from one spacecraft to another, which is a signature of local particle acceleration in the region embedded in expanding and rotating background solar wind. AEPEs are often observed before the arrival of corotating interaction regions (CIRs) or stream interaction regions (SIRs) to the Earth's orbit. When fast solar wind streams catch up with slow solar wind, SIRs of compressed heated plasma or more regular CIRs are created at the leading edge of the high-speed stream. Since coronal holes are often long-lived structures, the same CIR re-appears often for several consecutive solar rotations. At low heliographic latitudes, such CIRs are typically bounded by forward and reverse waves on their leading and trailing edges, respectively, that steepen into shocks at heliocentric distances beyond 1 AU. Energetic ion increases have been frequently observed in association with CIR

  15. Exoplanet Science in the Classroom: Learning Activities for an Introductory Physics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Della-Rose, Devin; Carlson, Randall; de La Harpe, Kimberly; Novotny, Steven; Polsgrove, Daniel

    2018-01-01

    Discovery of planets outside our solar system, known as extra-solar planets or exoplanets for short, has been at the forefront of astronomical research for over 25 years. Reports of new discoveries have almost become routine; however, the excitement surrounding them has not. Amazingly, as groundbreaking as exoplanet science is, the basic physics…

  16. A Search for Exoplanets in Short-Period Binary Star Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald Kaitchuck

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports the progress of a search for exoplanets with S-type orbits in short-period binary star systems. The selected targets have stellar orbital periods of just a few days. These systems are eclipsing binaries so that exoplanet transits, if planets exist, will be highly likely. We report the results for seven binary star systems.

  17. The Comparison of Water Absorption Analysis between Counterrotating and Corotating Twin-Screw Extruders with Different Antioxidants Content in Wood Plastic Composites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohd Hafizuddin Ab Ghani

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Water absorption is a major concern for natural fibers as reinforcement in wood plastic composites (WPCs. This paper presents a study on the comparison analysis of water absorption between two types of twin-screw extruders, namely, counterrotating and corotating with presence of variable antioxidants content. Composites of mixed fibres between rice husk and saw dust with recycled high-density polyethylene (rHDPE were prepared with two different extruder machines, namely, counterrotating and corotating twin screw, respectively. The contents of matrix (30 wt% and fibres (62 wt% were mixed with additives (8 wt% and compounded using compounder before extruded using both of the machines. Samples were immersed in distilled water according to ASTM D 570-98. From the study, results indicated a significant difference among samples extruded by counterrotating and corotating twin-screw extruders. The counterrotating twin-screw extruder gives the smallest value of water absorption compared to corotating twin-screw extruder. This indicates that the types of screw play an important role in water uptake by improving the adhesion between natural fillers and the polymer matrix.

  18. CHEMICAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE C/O RATIO ON HOT JUPITERS: EXAMPLES FROM WASP-12b, CoRoT-2b, XO-1b, AND HD 189733b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moses, J. I. [Space Science Institute, 4750 Walnut Street, Suite 205, Boulder, CO 80301 (United States); Madhusudhan, N. [Department of Physics and Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8101 (United States); Visscher, C. [Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States); Freedman, R. S., E-mail: jmoses@spacescience.org [SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States)

    2013-01-20

    Motivated by recent spectroscopic evidence for carbon-rich atmospheres on some transiting exoplanets, we investigate the influence of the C/O ratio on the chemistry, composition, and spectra of extrasolar giant planets both from a thermochemical equilibrium perspective and from consideration of disequilibrium processes like photochemistry and transport-induced quenching. We find that although CO is predicted to be a major atmospheric constituent on hot Jupiters for all C/O ratios, other oxygen-bearing molecules like H{sub 2}O and CO{sub 2} are much more abundant when C/O < 1, whereas CH{sub 4}, HCN, and C{sub 2}H{sub 2} gain significantly in abundance when C/O > 1. Other notable species like N{sub 2} and NH{sub 3} that do not contain carbon or oxygen are relatively unaffected by the C/O ratio. Disequilibrium processes tend to enhance the abundance of CH{sub 4}, NH{sub 3}, HCN, and C{sub 2}H{sub 2} over a wide range of C/O ratios. We compare the results of our models with secondary-eclipse photometric data from the Spitzer Space Telescope and conclude that (1) disequilibrium models with C/O {approx} 1 are consistent with spectra of WASP-12b, XO-1b, and CoRoT-2b, confirming the possible carbon-rich nature of these planets; (2) spectra from HD 189733b are consistent with C/O {approx}< 1, but as the assumed metallicity is increased above solar, the required C/O ratio must increase toward 1 to prevent too much H{sub 2}O absorption; (3) species like HCN can have a significant influence on spectral behavior in the 3.6 and 8.0 {mu}m Spitzer channels, potentially providing even more opacity than CH{sub 4} when C/O > 1; and (4) the very high CO{sub 2} abundance inferred for HD 189733b from near-infrared observations cannot be explained through equilibrium or disequilibrium chemistry in a hydrogen-dominated atmosphere. We discuss possible formation mechanisms for carbon-rich hot Jupiters, including scenarios in which the accretion of CO-rich, H{sub 2}O-poor gas dominates the

  19. Exoplanet Science in the Classroom: Learning Activities for an Introductory Physics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Della-Rose, Devin; Carlson, Randall; de La Harpe, Kimberly; Novotny, Steven; Polsgrove, Daniel

    2018-03-01

    Discovery of planets outside our solar system, known as extra-solar planets or exoplanets for short, has been at the forefront of astronomical research for over 25 years. Reports of new discoveries have almost become routine; however, the excitement surrounding them has not. Amazingly, as groundbreaking as exoplanet science is, the basic physics is quite accessible to first-year physics students, as discussed in previous TPT articles. To further illustrate this point, we developed an iOS application that generates synthetic exoplanet data to provide students and teachers with interactive learning activities. Using introductory physics concepts, we demonstrate how to estimate exoplanet mass, radius, and density from the app output. These calculations form the basis for a diverse range of classroom activities. We conclude with a summary of exoplanet science resources for teachers.

  20. Extrasolar planets and their host stars

    CERN Document Server

    von Braun, Kaspar

    2017-01-01

    This book explores the relations between physical parameters of extrasolar planets and their respective parent stars. Planetary parameters are often directly dependent upon their stellar counterparts. In addition, the star is almost always the only visible component of the system and contains most of the system mass. Consequently, the parent star heavily influences every aspect of planetary physics and astrophysics. Drs. Kaspar von Braun and Tabetha Boyajian use direct methods to characterize exoplanet host starts that minimize the number of assumptions needed to be made in the process. The book provides a background on interferometric techniques for stellar diameter measurements, illustrates the authors' approach on using additional data to fully characterize the stars, provides a comprehensive update on the current state of the field, and examines in detail a number of historically significant and well-studied exoplanetary systems.

  1. Design Considerations: Falcon M Dwarf Habitable Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. The 'Wow' Signal, Drake Equation and Exoplanet Considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, E.

    It has been 38 years since the most likely artificial transmission ever recorded from a possible extraterrestrial source was received [1, 2]. Using greatly improved technology, subsequent efforts by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have continued, yet silence from space prevails [3]. This article examines whether the transmission was an artificial signal, and if so why it matters, to include the possibility that the modest technology used by the "Big Ear" receiver could have been accommodated by the source. The transmission and the ensuing long silence may be intended. This paper reconsiders the Drake equation, an estimate for the number of civilizations in our galaxy that may possess technology for interstellar signaling [4, 5], and shows that statement of the current alleged best estimate of two civilizations is not supported [6]. An alternate and original method suggests ~100 civilizations. It importantly relies on experience and detectable events, including recent astronomical evidence about exoplanets as cataloged by the European Exoplanet program and by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Exoplanet Science Institute [7, 8]. In addition it addresses major geological and astronomical occurrences that profoundly affected development of life on Earth and might apply similarly for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ETI). The alternate approach is not intended to compute ETI precisely but to examine the possibility that, though vastly spread, it likely exists. The discussion anticipates difficulties in communication with an alien civilization, hardly an exercise in science fiction, and explores how international groups can participate in future specific response. One response might be to monitor the electromagnetic radiation spectral line of an element to be determined by consensus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. #AltPlanets: Exploring the Exoplanet Catalogue with Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laneuville, M.; Tasker, E. J.; Guttenberg, N.

    2017-12-01

    The launch of Kepler in 2009 brought the number of known exoplanets into the thousands, in a growth explosion that shows no sign of abating. While the data available for individual planets is presently typically restricted to orbital and bulk properties, the quantity of data points allows the potential for meaningful statistical analysis. It is not clear how planet mass, radius, orbital path, stellar properties and neighbouring planets influence one another, therefore it seems inevitable that patterns will be missed simply due to the difficulty of including so many dimensions. Even simple trends may be overlooked if they fall outside our expectation of planet formation; a strong risk in a field where new discoveries have destroyed theories from the first observations of hot Jupiters. A possible way forward is to take advantage of the capabilities of neural network autoencoders. The idea of such algorithms is to learn a representation (encoding) of the data in a lower dimension space, without a priori knowledge about links between the elements. This encoding space can then be used to discover the strongest correlations in the original dataset.The key point is that trends identified by a neural network are independent of any previous analysis and pre-conceived ideas about physical processes. Results can reveal new relationships between planet properties and verify existing trends. We applied this concept to study data from the NASA Exoplanet Archive and while we have begun to explore the potential use of neural networks for exoplanet data, there are many possible extensions. For example, the network can produce a large number of 'alternative planets' whose statistics should match the current distribution. This larger dataset could highlight gaps in the parameter space or indicate observations are missing particular regimes. This could guide instrument proposals towards objects liable to yield the most information.

  5. 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.

  6. Stellar magnetometry and Zeeman-Doppler imaging in exo-planets research using the radial velocity method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hebrard, Elodie

    2015-01-01

    Forthcoming instruments dedicated to exo-planets detection through the radial velocity method are numerous, and increasingly more accurate. However this method is indirect: orbiting planets are detected and characterised from variations on the spectrum of the host star. We are therefore sensitive to all activity phenomena impacting the spectrum and producing a radial velocity signal (pulsation, granulation, spots, magnetic cycle...). The detection of rocky Earth-like planets around main-sequence stars, and of hot Jupiters into young systems, are currently limited by the intrinsic magnetic activity of the host stars. The radial velocity fluctuations caused by activity (activity jitter) can easily mimic and hide signals from such planets, whose amplitude is of a few m/s and hundreds of m/s, respectively. As a result, the detection threshold of exo-planets is largely set by the stellar activity level. Currently, efforts are invested to overcome this intrinsic limitation. During my PhD, I studied how to take advantage of imaging tomographic techniques (Zeeman-Doppler imaging, ZDI) to characterize stellar activity and magnetic field topologies, ultimately allowing us to filter out the activity jitter. My work is based on spectro-polarimetric observations of a sample of weakly-active M-dwarfs, and young active T Tauri stars. Using a modified version of ZDI, we are able to reconstruct the distribution of active regions, and then model the induced stellar signal allowing us to clean RV curves from the activity jitter. First tests demonstrate that this technique can be efficient enough to recover the planet signal, especially for the more active ones. (author)

  7. New tools and improvements in the Exoplanet Transit Database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pejcha O.

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Comprehensive collection of the available light curves, prediction possibilities and the online model 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.

  8. Post-processing of high-contrast observations of exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gladysz S.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Post-processing of images delivered by the eXtreme Adaptive Optics (XAO instrumentation is a crucial step which can increase achievable contrast even by two orders of magnitude. In this communication I present a new class of algorithms for detection of extrasolar planets from a sequence of adaptive-optics-corrected images. In general, the methods discriminate between real sources and stellar PSF features based on statistics of recorded intensity. The methods are particularly useful in dealing with static speckles which are the greatest obstacle in detecting exoplanets.

  9. Long-Period Exoplanets from Photometric Transit Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborn, Hugh

    2017-10-01

    Photometric transit surveys on the ground & in space have detected thousands of transiting exoplanets, typically by analytically combining the signals from multiple transits. This technique of exoplanet detection was exploited in K2 to detect nearly 200 candidate planets, and extensive follow-up was able to confirm the planet K2-110b as a 2.6±0.1R⊕, 16.7±3.2M⊙ planet on a 14d orbit around a K-dwarf. The ability to push beyond the time limit set by transit surveys to detect long-period transiting objects from a single eclipse was also studied. This was performed by developing a search technique to search for planets around bright stars in WASP and NGTS photometry, finding NGTS to be marginally better than WASP at detecting such planets with 4.14±0.16 per year compared to 1.43±0.15, and detecting many planet candidates for which follow-up is on-going. This search was then adapted to search for deep, long-duration eclipses in all WASP targets. The results of this survey are described in this thesis, as well as detailed results for the candidate PDS-110, a young T-Tauri star which exhibited ∼20d-long, 30%-deep eclipses in 2008 and 2011. Space-based photometers such as Kepler have the precision to identify small exoplanets and eclipsing binary candidates from only a single eclipse. K2, with its 75d campaign duration and high-precision photometry, is not only ideally suited to detect significant numbers of single-eclipsing objects, but also to characterise them from a single event. The Bayesian transit-fitting tool ("Namaste: An MCMC Analysis of Single Transit Exoplanets") was developed to extract planetary and orbital information from single transits, and was applied to 71 candidate events detected in K2 photometry. The techniques developed in this thesis are highly applicable to future transit surveys such as TESS & PLATO, which will be able to discover & characterise large numbers of long period planets in this way

  10. On acceleration of <1 MeV/n He ions in the corotating compression regions near 1 AU: STEREO observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Bučík

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Observations of multi-MeV corotating interaction region (CIR ions are in general consistent with models of CIR shock acceleration and transport. The presence of suprathermal particles near 1 AU in unshocked compression regions is not adequately explained. Nonetheless, more recent works demonstrate that unshocked compression regions associated with CIRs near 1 AU could energize particles. In the energy range from ~0.1 to ~1 MeV/n we investigate CIR events observed in 2007–2008 by the STEREO A and B spacecraft. We treat the predictions of compression acceleration by comparing the observed ion intensities with the model parameters. These observations show that the ion intensity in CIR events with in-situ reverse shock is well organized by the parameters which characterize the compression region itself, like compression width, solar wind speed gradients and the total pressure. In turn, for CIR events with the absence of the shocks the model predictions are not fulfilled.

  11. Diagnostics of corotating interaction regions with the kinetic properties of iron ions as determined with STEREO/PLASTIC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Bochsler

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available STEREO/PLASTIC determines three-dimensional distributions of solar wind iron ions with unprecedented time resolution. Typically 300 to 1000 counts are registered within each 5 min time interval. For the present study we use the information contained in these distributions to characterize CIRs (Corotating Interaction Regions in two test cases. We perform a consistency test for both the derived physical parameters and for the analytical model of CIRs of Lee (2000. At 1 AU we find that apart from compositional changes the most indicative parameter for marking the time when a CIR passes a spacecraft is the angular deflection of the flow vector of particles. Changes in particle densities and the changes in magnitudes of speeds are apparently less reliable indicators of stream interfaces.

  12. Some inconvenient truths about biosignatures involving two chemical species on Earth-like exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rein, Hanno; Fujii, Yuka; Spiegel, David S

    2014-05-13

    The detection of strong thermochemical disequilibrium in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet is thought to be a potential biosignature. In this article we present a previously unidentified kind of false positive that can mimic a disequilibrium or any other biosignature that involves two chemical species. We consider a scenario where the exoplanet hosts a moon that has its own atmosphere and neither of the atmospheres is in chemical disequilibrium. Our results show that the integrated spectrum of the planet and the moon closely resembles that of a single object in strong chemical disequilibrium. We derive a firm limit on the maximum spectral resolution that can be obtained for both directly imaged and transiting planets. The spectral resolution of even idealized space-based spectrographs that might be achievable in the next several decades is in general insufficient to break the degeneracy. Both chemical species can only be definitively confirmed in the same object if absorption features of both chemicals can be unambiguously identified and their combined depth exceeds 100%.

  13. An Earth-sized exoplanet with a Mercury-like composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santerne, A.; Brugger, B.; Armstrong, D. J.; Adibekyan, V.; Lillo-Box, J.; Gosselin, H.; Aguichine, A.; Almenara, J.-M.; Barrado, D.; Barros, S. C. C.; Bayliss, D.; Boisse, I.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bouchy, F.; Brown, D. J. A.; Deleuil, M.; Delgado Mena, E.; Demangeon, O.; Díaz, R. F.; Doyle, A.; Dumusque, X.; Faedi, F.; Faria, J. P.; Figueira, P.; Foxell, E.; Giles, H.; Hébrard, G.; Hojjatpanah, S.; Hobson, M.; Jackman, J.; King, G.; Kirk, J.; Lam, K. W. F.; Ligi, R.; Lovis, C.; Louden, T.; McCormac, J.; Mousis, O.; Neal, J. J.; Osborn, H. P.; Pepe, F.; Pollacco, D.; Santos, N. C.; Sousa, S. G.; Udry, S.; Vigan, A.

    2018-05-01

    Earth, Venus, Mars and some extrasolar terrestrial planets1 have a mass and radius that is consistent with a mass fraction of about 30% metallic core and 70% silicate mantle2. At the inner frontier of the Solar System, Mercury has a completely different composition, with a mass fraction of about 70% metallic core and 30% silicate mantle3. Several formation or evolution scenarios are proposed to explain this metal-rich composition, such as a giant impact4, mantle evaporation5 or the depletion of silicate at the inner edge of the protoplanetary disk6. These scenarios are still strongly debated. Here, we report the discovery of a multiple transiting planetary system (K2-229) in which the inner planet has a radius of 1.165 ± 0.066 Earth radii and a mass of 2.59 ± 0.43 Earth masses. This Earth-sized planet thus has a core-mass fraction that is compatible with that of Mercury, although it was expected to be similar to that of Earth based on host-star chemistry7. This larger Mercury analogue either formed with a very peculiar composition or has evolved, for example, by losing part of its mantle. Further characterization of Mercury-like exoplanets such as K2-229 b will help to put the detailed in situ observations of Mercury (with MESSENGER and BepiColombo8) into the global context of the formation and evolution of solar and extrasolar terrestrial planets.

  14. Enabling Future Large Searches for Exoplanet Auroral Emission with the EPIC Correlator Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thyagarajan, Nithyanandan; Beardsley, Adam P.; Bowman, Judd D.; Morales, Miguel F.

    2017-05-01

    Extrasolar planets are expected to emit strong ``auroral'' emission at radio frequencies generated by the interaction of the host star's stellar winds with the planet's magnetosphere through electron-cyclotron maser emission. This transient emission lasts a few seconds to days and is almost fully circularly polarized. Detecting this emission in exoplanets is a critical probe of their magnetospheres and thus their interior compositions and habitability. The intensity and detectability of the emission depends on the suitability of many factors to the observing parameters such as the strength of the stellar wind power, the planetary magnetosphere cross-section, the highly beamed and coherent nature of electron-cyclotron emission, and narrow ranges of the planet's orbital phase. Large areas of sky must be surveyed continuously to high sensitivity to detect auroral emission. Next-generation radio telescopes with wide fields of view, large collecting areas and high efficiency are needed for these searches. This poses challenges to traditional correlator architectures whose computational cost scales as the square of the number of antennas. I will present a novel radio aperture synthesis imaging architecture - E-field Parallel Imaging Correlator (EPIC) - whose all-sky and full Stokes imaging capabilities will not only address the aforementioned factors preventing detection but also solve the computational challenges posed by large arrays. Compared to traditional imaging, EPIC is inherently fast and thus presents the unique advantage of probing transient timescales ranging orders of magnitude from tens of microseconds to days at no additional cost.

  15. Extending and Characterizing an Exoplanet System in a Pristine Chain of Resonances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Jessie; Gorjian, Varoujan; Hardegree-Ullman, Kevin; Livingston, John; Dressing, Courtney; Barclay, Thomas; Lintott, Chris; Ciardi, David; Barentson, Geert; Kristiansen, Martti; Crossfield, Ian; Benneke, Bjorn; Howard, Andrew

    2018-01-01

    The K2-138 (EPIC 245950175; 2MASS J23154776-1050590) exoplanet system was recently identified in the K2 mission campaign 12 data (Christiansen et al. 2018). The moderately bright (K=10.3) K1V star hosts at least five sub-Neptune planets (1.6-3.3 Re) in a compact configuration, all with periods shorter than 13 days. The five confirmed planets in the system form an unbroken chain of near first-order mean motion resonances, with each successive pair of planets having close to a 3:2 commensurability; this is the longest such chain as yet discovered. The K2 data contain two additional transits which, if confirmed as due to a sixth planet, could extend the chain even further. Due to the proximity of the K2-138 planets to mean motion resonances, it is an ideal target to search for transit timing variations (TTVs). In order to further both of these time-critical and important science cases, we propose for DDT time to capture a third transit of the candidate sixth planet, and also observe a chance nearby cluster of three transits of planets b, c, and d. (12hr for the 6th planet was approved.)

  16. An Earth-sized exoplanet with a Mercury-like composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santerne, A.; Brugger, B.; Armstrong, D. J.; Adibekyan, V.; Lillo-Box, J.; Gosselin, H.; Aguichine, A.; Almenara, J.-M.; Barrado, D.; Barros, S. C. C.; Bayliss, D.; Boisse, I.; Bonomo, A. S.; Bouchy, F.; Brown, D. J. A.; Deleuil, M.; Delgado Mena, E.; Demangeon, O.; Díaz, R. F.; Doyle, A.; Dumusque, X.; Faedi, F.; Faria, J. P.; Figueira, P.; Foxell, E.; Giles, H.; Hébrard, G.; Hojjatpanah, S.; Hobson, M.; Jackman, J.; King, G.; Kirk, J.; Lam, K. W. F.; Ligi, R.; Lovis, C.; Louden, T.; McCormac, J.; Mousis, O.; Neal, J. J.; Osborn, H. P.; Pepe, F.; Pollacco, D.; Santos, N. C.; Sousa, S. G.; Udry, S.; Vigan, A.

    2018-03-01

    Earth, Venus, Mars and some extrasolar terrestrial planets1 have a mass and radius that is consistent with a mass fraction of about 30% metallic core and 70% silicate mantle2. At the inner frontier of the Solar System, Mercury has a completely different composition, with a mass fraction of about 70% metallic core and 30% silicate mantle3. Several formation or evolution scenarios are proposed to explain this metal-rich composition, such as a giant impact4, mantle evaporation5 or the depletion of silicate at the inner edge of the protoplanetary disk6. These scenarios are still strongly debated. Here, we report the discovery of a multiple transiting planetary system (K2-229) in which the inner planet has a radius of 1.165 ± 0.066 Earth radii and a mass of 2.59 ± 0.43 Earth masses. This Earth-sized planet thus has a core-mass fraction that is compatible with that of Mercury, although it was expected to be similar to that of Earth based on host-star chemistry7. This larger Mercury analogue either formed with a very peculiar composition or has evolved, for example, by losing part of its mantle. Further characterization of Mercury-like exoplanets such as K2-229 b will help to put the detailed in situ observations of Mercury (with MESSENGER and BepiColombo8) into the global context of the formation and evolution of solar and extrasolar terrestrial planets.

  17. Innovative isothermal oil-free co-rotating scroll compressor–expander for energy storage with first expander tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iglesias, A.; Favrat, D.

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Doing a new concept of small scale compressed air energy storage. • Presenting a new working process of scroll machinery. • Updating a thermodynamic model of scroll compressor that take into account water injection. • Updating a mathematical model of volumetric loses that take into account sealing effect of liquid water. • Encouraging results to investigate more deeply this new concept. - Abstract: The development of an efficient isothermal turbine and compressor is essential for the realization of a small-scale compressed air energy storage (CAES). This article presents the theoretical development of an oil-free co-rotating scroll air compressor and turbine working with water injection to make the operations of expansion and compression as isothermal as possible. First experimental results in expander mode are shown. The theoretical performance is predicted with the help of a mathematical model using the equations of energy and mass conservation and the equation of state. This model takes into account the effects of water injection and volumetric losses. The experimental prototype is an oil-free scroll air compressor with the distinctive feature of having two mobile involutes working in synchronized co-rotation one relative to another. The prime-mover is an electric motor driving the two scrolls with two synchronizing belts. Water injection in the housing intends to provide a quasi-isothermal compression. The same device is used as an isothermal expander by supplying high-pressure air with water when it rotates backwards in expander mode, the electric motor acting then as a generator. Expected improvements to a standard scroll compressor and expander are a better volumetric efficiency and a greater power density due to a higher rotational speed of the scrolls, thanks to their symmetrical masses. The isothermal processes increase also the overall performance

  18. Identifying Likely Disk-hosting M dwarfs with Disk Detective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverberg, Steven; Wisniewski, John; Kuchner, Marc J.; Disk Detective Collaboration

    2018-01-01

    M dwarfs are critical targets for exoplanet searches. Debris disks often provide key information as to the formation and evolution of planetary systems around higher-mass stars, alongside the planet themselves. However, less than 300 M dwarf debris disks are known, despite M dwarfs making up 70% of the local neighborhood. The Disk Detective citizen science project has identified over 6000 new potential disk host stars from the AllWISE catalog over the past three years. Here, we present preliminary results of our search for new disk-hosting M dwarfs in the survey. Based on near-infrared color cuts and fitting stellar models to photometry, we have identified over 500 potential new M dwarf disk hosts, nearly doubling the known number of such systems. In this talk, we present our methodology, and outline our ongoing work to confirm systems as M dwarf disks.

  19. The Hottest Hot Jupiters May Host Atmospheric Dynamos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rogers, T. M. [Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne (United Kingdom); McElwaine, J. N. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2017-06-01

    Hot Jupiters have proven themselves to be a rich class of exoplanets that test our theories of planetary evolution and atmospheric dynamics under extreme conditions. Here, we present three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations and analytic results that demonstrate that a dynamo can be maintained in the thin, stably stratified atmosphere of a hot Jupiter, independent of the presumed deep-seated dynamo. This dynamo is maintained by conductivity variations arising from strong asymmetric heating from the planets’ host star. The presence of a dynamo significantly increases the surface magnetic field strength and alters the overall planetary magnetic field geometry, possibly affecting star–planet magnetic interactions.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stevenson, Kevin B.; Harrington, Joseph; Lust, Nate B.; Blecic, Jasmina; Hardy, Ryan A.; Cubillos, Patricio; Campo, Christopher J.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Montagnier, Guillaume; Moses, Julianne I.; Visscher, Channon

    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 ⊕ ). 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 (T 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 μm light curve shows indications of stellar activity, making a reliable secondary eclipse measurement impossible. A second non-detection at 4.5 μm supports our previous work in which we find a methane-deficient and carbon monoxide-rich dayside atmosphere.

  1. Two nearby Sub-Earth-sized Exoplanet Candidates in the GJ 436 System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Kevin B.; Harrington, Joseph; Lust, Nate B.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Montagnier, Guillaume; Moses, Julianne I.; Visscher, Channon; Blecic, Jasmina; Hardy, Ryan A.; Cubillos, Patricio; Campo, Christopher J.

    2012-08-01

    We report the detection of UCF-1.01, a strong exoplanet candidate with a radius 0.66 ± 0.04 times that of Earth (R ⊕). 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 (T 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 μm light curve shows indications of stellar activity, making a reliable secondary eclipse measurement impossible. A second non-detection at 4.5 μm supports our previous work in which we find a methane-deficient and carbon monoxide-rich dayside atmosphere.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  4. SETI OBSERVATIONS OF EXOPLANETS WITH THE ALLEN TELESCOPE ARRAY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harp, G. R.; Richards, Jon; Tarter, Jill C.; Dreher, John; Jordan, Jane; Shostak, Seth; Smolek, Ken; Kilsdonk, Tom; Wilcox, Bethany R.; Wimberly, M. K. R.; Ross, John; Barott, W. C.; Ackermann, R. F.; Blair, Samantha [SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States)

    2016-12-01

    We report radio SETI observations on a large number of known exoplanets and other nearby star systems using the Allen Telescope Array (ATA). Observations were made over about 19000 hr from 2009 May to 2015 December. This search focused on narrowband radio signals from a set totaling 9293 stars, including 2015 exoplanet stars and Kepler objects of interest and an additional 65 whose planets may be close to their habitable zones. The ATA observations were made using multiple synthesized beams and an anticoincidence filter to help identify terrestrial radio interference. Stars were observed over frequencies from 1 to 9 GHz in multiple bands that avoid strong terrestrial communication frequencies. Data were processed in near-real time for narrowband (0.7–100 Hz) continuous and pulsed signals with transmitter/receiver relative accelerations from −0.3 to 0.3 m s{sup −2}. A total of 1.9 × 10{sup 8} unique signals requiring immediate follow-up were detected in observations covering more than 8 × 10{sup 6} star-MHz. We detected no persistent signals from extraterrestrial technology exceeding our frequency-dependent sensitivity threshold of 180–310 × 10{sup −26} W m{sup −2}.

  5. Technology demonstration of starshade manufacturing for NASA's Exoplanet mission program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasdin, N. J.; Lisman, D.; Shaklan, S.; Thomson, M.; Cady, E.; Martin, S.; Marchen, L.; Vanderbei, R. J.; Macintosh, B.; Rudd, R. E.; Savransky, D.; Mikula, J.; Lynch, D.

    2012-09-01

    It is likely that the coming decade will see the development of a large visible light telescope with enabling technology for imaging exosolar Earthlike planets in the habitable zone of nearby stars. One such technology utilizes an external occulter, a satellite flying far from the telescope and employing a large screen, or starshade, to suppress the incoming starlight suffciently for detecting and characterizing exoplanets. This trades the added complexity of building the precisely shaped starshade and flying it in formation against simplifications in the telescope since extremely precise wavefront control is no longer necessary. In this paper we present the results of our project to design, manufacture, and measure a prototype occulter petal as part of NASA's first Technology Development for Exoplanet Missions program. We describe the mechanical design of the starshade and petal, the precision manufacturing tolerances, and the metrology approach. We demonstrate that the prototype petal meets the requirements and is consistent with a full-size occulter achieving better than 10-10 contrast.

  6. Visible nulling coronagraphy testbed development for exoplanet detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Richard G.; Clampin, Mark; Woodruff, Robert A.; Vasudevan, Gopal; Thompson, Patrick; Chen, Andrew; Petrone, Peter; Booth, Andrew; Madison, Timothy; Bolcar, Matthew; Noecker, M. Charley; Kendrick, Stephen; Melnick, Gary; Tolls, Volker

    2010-07-01

    Three of the recently completed NASA Astrophysics Strategic Mission Concept (ASMC) studies addressed the feasibility of using a Visible Nulling Coronagraph (VNC) as the prime instrument for exoplanet science. The VNC approach is one of the few approaches that works with filled, segmented and sparse or diluted aperture telescope systems and thus spans the space of potential ASMC exoplanet missions. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has a well-established effort to develop VNC technologies and has developed an incremental sequence of VNC testbeds to advance the this approach and the technologies associated with it. Herein we report on the continued development of the vacuum Visible Nulling Coronagraph testbed (VNT). The VNT is an ultra-stable vibration isolated testbed that operates under high bandwidth closed-loop control within a vacuum chamber. It will be used to achieve an incremental sequence of three visible light nulling milestones of sequentially higher contrasts of 108, 109 and 1010 at an inner working angle of 2*λ/D and ultimately culminate in spectrally broadband (>20%) high contrast imaging. Each of the milestones, one per year, is traceable to one or more of the ASMC studies. The VNT uses a modified Mach-Zehnder nulling interferometer, modified with a modified "W" configuration to accommodate a hex-packed MEMS based deformable mirror, a coherent fiber bundle and achromatic phase shifters. Discussed will be the optical configuration laboratory results, critical technologies and the null sensing and control approach.

  7. The automated data processing architecture for the GPI Exoplanet Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jason J.; Perrin, Marshall D.; Savransky, Dmitry; Arriaga, Pauline; Chilcote, Jeffrey K.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A.; Marois, Christian; Rameau, Julien; Wolff, Schuyler G.; Shapiro, Jacob; Ruffio, Jean-Baptiste; Graham, James R.; Macintosh, Bruce

    2017-09-01

    The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (GPIES) is a multi-year direct imaging survey of 600 stars to discover and characterize young Jovian exoplanets and their environments. We have developed an automated data architecture to process and index all data related to the survey uniformly. An automated and flexible data processing framework, which we term the GPIES Data Cruncher, combines multiple data reduction pipelines together to intelligently process all spectroscopic, polarimetric, and calibration data taken with GPIES. With no human intervention, fully reduced and calibrated data products are available less than an hour after the data are taken to expedite follow-up on potential objects of interest. The Data Cruncher can run on a supercomputer to reprocess all GPIES data in a single day as improvements are made to our data reduction pipelines. A backend MySQL database indexes all files, which are synced to the cloud, and a front-end web server allows for easy browsing of all files associated with GPIES. To help observers, quicklook displays show reduced data as they are processed in real-time, and chatbots on Slack post observing information as well as reduced data products. Together, the GPIES automated data processing architecture reduces our workload, provides real-time data reduction, optimizes our observing strategy, and maintains a homogeneously reduced dataset to study planet occurrence and instrument performance.

  8. Interactions between exoplanets and the winds of young stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidotto A. A.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The topology of the magnetic field of young stars is important not only for the investigation of magnetospheric accretion, but also responsible in shaping the large-scale structure of stellar winds, which are crucial for regulating the rotation evolution of stars. Because winds of young stars are believed to have enhanced mass-loss rates compared to those of cool, main-sequence stars, the interaction of winds with newborn exoplanets might affect the early evolution of planetary systems. This interaction can also give rise to observational signatures which could be used as a way to detect young planets, while simultaneously probing for the presence of their still elusive magnetic fields. Here, we investigate the interaction between winds of young stars and hypothetical planets. For that, we model the stellar winds by means of 3D numerical magnetohydrodynamic simulations. Although these models adopt simplified topologies of the stellar magnetic field (dipolar fields that are misaligned with the rotation axis of the star, we show that asymmetric field topologies can lead to an enhancement of the stellar wind power, resulting not only in an enhancement of angular momentum losses, but also intensifying and rotationally modulating the wind interactions with exoplanets.

  9. 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.

  10. Space missions to the exoplanets: Will they ever be possible

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genta, Giancarlo

    There is no doubt that the discovery of exoplanets has made interstellar space mission much more interesting than they were in the past. The possible discovery of a terrestrial type plane at a reasonable distance will give a strong impulse in this direction. However, there are doubts that such long range space mission will ever become feasible at all and, in case they will be, it is impossible to forecast a timeframe for them. At present, precursor interstellar missions are planned, but they fall way short from yielding interesting information about exoplanets, except perhaps in the case of missions to the focal line of the Sun’s gravitational lens, whose usefulness in this context is still to be demonstrated. They are anyway an essential step in the roadmap toward interstellar missions. Often the difficulties linked with interstellar missions are considered as related with the huge quantity of energy required for reaching the target star system within a reasonable timeframe. While this may well be a showstopper, it is not the only problem to be solved to make them possible. Two other issues are those linked with the probe’s autonomy and the telecommunications required to transmit large quantities of information at those distances. Missions to the exoplanets may be subdivided in the following categories: 1) robotic missions to the destination system, including flybys; 2) robotic missions including landing on an exoplanet; 3) robotic sample return missions; 4) human missions. The main problem to be solved for missions of type 1 is linked with propulsion and with energy availability, while autonomy (artificial intelligence) and telecommunication problems are more or less manageable with predictable technologies. Missions of type 2 are more demanding for what propulsion is concerned, but above all require a much larger artificial intelligence and also will generate a large amount of data, whose transmission back to Earth may become a problem. The suggestion of

  11. New National Telescope at La Silla - TRAPPIST to Scout the Sky and Uncover Exoplanets and Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    A new robotic telescope has had first light at ESO's La Silla Observatory, in Chile. TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is devoted to the study of planetary systems through two approaches: the detection and characterisation of planets located outside the Solar System (exoplanets) and the study of comets orbiting around the Sun. The 60-cm telescope is operated from a control room in Liège, Belgium, 12 000 km away. "The two themes of the TRAPPIST project are important parts of an emerging interdisciplinary field of research - astrobiology - that aims at studying the origin and distribution of life in the Universe," explains Michaël Gillon, who is in charge of the exoplanet studies. "Terrestrial planets similar to our Earth are obvious targets for the search for life outside the Solar System, while comets are suspected to have played an important role in the appearance and development of life on our planet," adds his colleague Emmanuël Jehin, who leads the cometary part of the project. TRAPPIST will detect and characterise exoplanets by making high precision measurements of "brightness dips" that might possibly be caused by exoplanet transits. During such a transit, the observed brightness of the star decreases slightly because the planet blocks a part of the starlight. The larger the planet, the more of the light is blocked and the more the brightness of the star will decrease [1]. "ESO's La Silla Observatory on the outskirts of the Atacama Desert is certainly one of the best astronomical sites in the world," says Gillon. "And because it is already home to two superb exoplanet hunters, we couldn't have found a better place to install our robotic telescope." The astronomers behind the TRAPPIST initiative will work very closely with the teams using HARPS on the 3.6-metre telescope and CORALIE attached to the Swiss 1.2-metre Leonhard Euler Telescope, both at La Silla. TRAPPIST is a collaboration between the University of Liège and the

  12. Technology Maturity for the Habitable-zone Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Rhonda; Warfield, Keith R.; Stahl, H. Philip; Mennesson, Bertrand; Nikzad, Shouleh; nissen, joel; Balasubramanian, Kunjithapatham; Krist, John; Mawet, Dimitri; Stapelfeldt, Karl; warwick, Steve

    2018-01-01

    HabEx Architecture A is a 4m unobscured telescope optimized for direct imaging and spectroscopy of potentially habitable exoplanets, and also enables a wide range of general astrophysics science. The exoplanet detection and characterization drives the enabling core technologies. A hybrid starlight suppression approach of a starshade and coronagraph diversifies technology maturation risk. In this poster we assess these exoplanet-driven technologies, including elements of coronagraphs, starshades, mirrors, jitter mitigation, wavefront control, and detectors. By utilizing high technology readiness solutions where feasible, and identifying required technology development that can begin early, HabEx will be well positioned for assessment by the community in 2020 Astrophysics Decadal Survey.

  13. A TEMPERATURE AND ABUNDANCE RETRIEVAL METHOD FOR EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madhusudhan, N.; Seager, S.

    2009-01-01

    We present a new method to retrieve molecular abundances and temperature profiles from exoplanet atmosphere photometry and spectroscopy. We run millions of one-dimensional (1D) atmosphere models in order to cover the large range of allowed parameter space. In order to run such a large number of models, we have developed a parametric pressure-temperature (P-T) profile coupled with line-by-line radiative transfer, hydrostatic equilibrium, and energy balance, along with prescriptions for non-equilibrium molecular composition and energy redistribution. The major difference from traditional 1D radiative transfer models is the parametric P-T profile, which essentially means adopting energy balance only at the top of the atmosphere and not in each layer. We see the parametric P-T model as a parallel approach to the traditional exoplanet atmosphere models that rely on several free parameters to encompass unknown absorbers and energy redistribution. The parametric P-T profile captures the basic physical features of temperature structures in planetary atmospheres (including temperature inversions), and fits a wide range of published P-T profiles, including those of solar system planets. We apply our temperature and abundance retrieval method to the atmospheres of two transiting exoplanets, HD 189733b and HD 209458b, which have the best Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescope data available. For HD 189733b, we find efficient day-night redistribution of energy in the atmosphere, and molecular abundance constraints confirming the presence of H 2 O, CO, CH 4 , and CO 2 . For HD 209458b, we confirm and constrain the dayside thermal inversion in an average 1D temperature profile. We also report independent detections of H 2 O, CO, CH 4 , and CO 2 on the dayside of HD 209458b, based on six-channel Spitzer photometry. We report constraints for HD 189733b due to individual data sets separately; a few key observations are variable in different data sets at similar wavelengths. Moreover, a

  14. Variations of the Electron Fluxes in the Terrestrial Radiation Belts Due To the Impact of Corotating Interaction Regions and Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benacquista, R.; Boscher, D.; Rochel, S.; Maget, V.

    2018-02-01

    In this paper, we study the variations of the radiation belts electron fluxes induced by the interaction of two types of solar wind structures with the Earth magnetosphere: the corotating interaction regions and the interplanetary coronal mass ejections. We use a statistical method based on the comparison of the preevent and postevent fluxes. Applied to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-Polar Operational Environmental Satellites data, this gives us the opportunity to extend previous studies focused on relativistic electrons at geosynchronous orbit. We enlighten how corotating interaction regions and Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections can impact differently the electron belts depending on the energy and the L shell. In addition, we provide a new insight concerning these variations by considering their amplitude. Finally, we show strong relations between the intensity of the magnetic storms related to the events and the variation of the flux. These relations concern both the capacity of the events to increase the flux and the deepness of these increases.

  15. Gaia and exoplanets: a revolution in the making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sozzetti, Alessandro

    2017-09-01

    The Gaia global astrometry mission is now entering its fourth year of routine science operations. With the publication of the first data release in September 2016, it has begun to fulfil its promise for revolutionary science in countless aspects of Galactic astronomy and astrophysics. I briefly review the Gaia mission status of operations and the scenario for the upcoming intermediate data releases, focusing on important lessons learned. Then, I illustrate the Gaia exoplanet science case, and discuss how the field will be revolutionized by the power of microarcsecond (μas) astrometry that is about to be unleashed. I conclude by touching upon some of the synergy elements that will call for combination of Gaia data with other indirect and direct detection and characterization techniques, for much improved understanding of exoplanetary systems.

  16. YSOVAR II: Mapping YSO Inner Disk Structure in NGC 2264 with Simultaneous Spitzer and CoRoT Time Series Photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stauffer, John; Morales-Calderon, Maria; Rebull, Luisa; Affer, Laura; Alencar, Sylvia; Allen, Lori; Barrado, David; Bouvier, Jerome; Calvet, Nuria; Carey, Sean; Carpenter, John; Ciardi, David; Covey, Kevin; D'Alessio, Paola; Espaillat, Catherine; Favata, Fabio; Flaccomio, Ettore; Forbrich, Jan; Furesz, Gabor; Hartman, Lee; Herbst, William; Hillenbrand, Lynne; Holtzman, Jon; Hora, Joe; Marchis, Franck; McCaughrean, Mark; Micela, Giusi; Mundt, Reinhard; Plavchan, Peter; Turner, Neal; Skrutzkie, Mike; Smith, Howard; Song, Inseok; Szentgyorgi, Andy; Terebey, Susan; Vrba, Fred; Wasserman, Lawrence; Watson, Alan; Whitney, Barbara; Winston, Elaine; Wood, Kenny

    2011-05-01

    We propose a simultaneous, continuous 30 day observation of the star forming region NGC2264 with Spitzer and CoRoT. NGC2264 is the only nearby, rich star-forming region which can be observed with CoRoT; it is by definition then the only nearby, rich star-forming region where a simultaneous Spitzer/CoRoT campaign is possible. Fortunately, the visibility windows for the two spacecraft overlap, allowing this program to be done in the Nov. 25, 2011 to Jan. 4, 2012 time period. For 10 days, we propose to map the majority of the cluster (a 35'x35' region) to a depth of 48 seconds per point, with each epoch taking 1.7 hours, allowing of order 12 epochs per day. For the other 20 days, we propose to obtaining staring-mode data for two positions in the cluster having a high density of cluster members. We also plan to propose for a variety of other ground and space-based data, most of which would also be simultaneous with the Spitzer and CoRoT observing. These data will allow us to address many astrophysical questions related to the structure and evolution of the disks of young stars and the interaction of those disks with the forming star. The data may also help inform models of planet formation since planets form and migrate through the pre-main sequence disks during the 0.5-5 Myr age range of stars in NGC2264. The data we collect will also provide an archive of the variability properties of young stars that is unmatched in its accuracy, sensitivity, cadence and duration and which therefore could inspire investigation of phenomena which we cannot now imagine. The CoRoT observations have been approved, contingent on approval of a simultaneous Spitzer observing program (this proposal).

  17. POLARIMETRIC DETECTION OF EXOPLANETS TRANSITING T AND L BROWN DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sengupta, Sujan, E-mail: sujan@iiap.res.in [Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Koramangala 2nd Block, Bangalore 560 034 (India)

    2016-10-01

    While scattering of light by atoms and molecules yields large amounts of polarization at the B-band of both T and L dwarfs, scattering by dust grains in the cloudy atmosphere of L dwarfs gives rise to significant polarization at the far-optical and infrared wavelengths where these objects are much brighter. However, the observable disk-averaged polarization should be zero if the clouds are uniformly distributed and the object is spherically symmetric. Therefore, in order to explain the observed large polarization of several L dwarfs, rotation-induced oblateness or horizontally inhomogeneous cloud distribution in the atmosphere is invoked. On the other hand, when an extra-solar planet of Earth-size or larger transits the brown dwarf along the line of sight, the asymmetry induced during the transit gives rise to a net non-zero, time-dependent polarization. Employing atmospheric models for a range of effective temperature and surface gravity appropriate for T and L dwarfs, I derive the time-dependent polarization profiles of these objects during the transit phase and estimate the peak amplitude of polarization that occurs during the inner contact points of the transit ingress/egress phase. It is found that peak polarization in the range of 0.2%–1.0% at I and J band may arise of cloudy L dwarfs occulted by Earth-size or larger exoplanets. Such an amount of polarization is higher than what can be produced by rotation-induced oblateness of even rapidly rotating L dwarfs. Hence, I suggest that time-resolved imaging polarization could be a potential technique for detecting transiting exoplanets around L dwarfs.

  18. POLARIMETRIC DETECTION OF EXOPLANETS TRANSITING T AND L BROWN DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sengupta, Sujan

    2016-01-01

    While scattering of light by atoms and molecules yields large amounts of polarization at the B-band of both T and L dwarfs, scattering by dust grains in the cloudy atmosphere of L dwarfs gives rise to significant polarization at the far-optical and infrared wavelengths where these objects are much brighter. However, the observable disk-averaged polarization should be zero if the clouds are uniformly distributed and the object is spherically symmetric. Therefore, in order to explain the observed large polarization of several L dwarfs, rotation-induced oblateness or horizontally inhomogeneous cloud distribution in the atmosphere is invoked. On the other hand, when an extra-solar planet of Earth-size or larger transits the brown dwarf along the line of sight, the asymmetry induced during the transit gives rise to a net non-zero, time-dependent polarization. Employing atmospheric models for a range of effective temperature and surface gravity appropriate for T and L dwarfs, I derive the time-dependent polarization profiles of these objects during the transit phase and estimate the peak amplitude of polarization that occurs during the inner contact points of the transit ingress/egress phase. It is found that peak polarization in the range of 0.2%–1.0% at I and J band may arise of cloudy L dwarfs occulted by Earth-size or larger exoplanets. Such an amount of polarization is higher than what can be produced by rotation-induced oblateness of even rapidly rotating L dwarfs. Hence, I suggest that time-resolved imaging polarization could be a potential technique for detecting transiting exoplanets around L dwarfs.

  19. Exoplanet orbital eccentricity: multiplicity relation and the Solar System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limbach, Mary Anne; Turner, Edwin L

    2015-01-06

    The known population of exoplanets exhibits a much wider range of orbital eccentricities than Solar System planets and has a much higher average eccentricity. These facts have been widely interpreted to indicate that the Solar System is an atypical member of the overall population of planetary systems. We report here on a strong anticorrelation of orbital eccentricity with multiplicity (number of planets in the system) among cataloged radial velocity (RV) systems. The mean, median, and rough distribution of eccentricities of Solar System planets fits an extrapolation of this anticorrelation to the eight-planet case rather precisely despite the fact that no more than two Solar System planets would be detectable with RV data comparable to that in the exoplanet sample. Moreover, even if regarded as a single or double planetary system, the Solar System lies in a reasonably heavily populated region of eccentricity-multiplicity space. Thus, the Solar System is not anomalous among known exoplanetary systems with respect to eccentricities when its multiplicity is taken into account. Specifically, as the multiplicity of a system increases, the eccentricity decreases roughly as a power law of index -1.20. A simple and plausible but ad hoc and model-dependent interpretation of this relationship implies that ∼ 80% of the one-planet and 25% of the two-planet systems in our sample have additional, as yet undiscovered, members but that systems of higher observed multiplicity are largely complete (i.e., relatively rarely contain additional undiscovered planets). If low eccentricities indeed favor high multiplicities, habitability may be more common in systems with a larger number of planets.

  20. ON THE ORBIT OF EXOPLANET WASP-12b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campo, Christopher J.; Harrington, Joseph; Hardy, Ryan A.; Stevenson, Kevin B.; Nymeyer, Sarah; Lust, Nate B.; Blecic, Jasmina; Britt, Christopher B. T.; Bowman, William C.; Ragozzine, Darin; Anderson, David R.; Hellier, Coel; Maxted, Pierre F. L.; Collier-Cameron, Andrew; Wheatley, Peter J.; Loredo, Thomas J.; Deming, Drake; Hebb, Leslie; Pollaco, Don; West, Richard G.

    2011-01-01

    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 4.5σ level. The spectroscopic orbit of Hebb et al. has eccentricity 0.049 ± 0.015, a 3σ 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 μm) and 0.5006 ± 0.0007 (4.5 and 8.0 μm). 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 2σ. An orbit fit to all the available transit, eclipse, and radial-velocity data indicates precession at <1σ; a non-precessing solution fits better. We also comment on analysis and reporting for Spitzer exoplanet data in light of recent re-analyses.

  1. Supervised detection of exoplanets in high-contrast imaging sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez Gonzalez, C. A.; Absil, O.; Van Droogenbroeck, M.

    2018-06-01

    Context. Post-processing algorithms play a key role in pushing the detection limits of high-contrast imaging (HCI) instruments. State-of-the-art image processing approaches for HCI enable the production of science-ready images relying on unsupervised learning techniques, such as low-rank approximations, for generating a model point spread function (PSF) and subtracting the residual starlight and speckle noise. Aims: In order to maximize the detection rate of HCI instruments and survey campaigns, advanced algorithms with higher sensitivities to faint companions are needed, especially for the speckle-dominated innermost region of the images. Methods: We propose a reformulation of the exoplanet detection task (for ADI sequences) that builds on well-established machine learning techniques to take HCI post-processing from an unsupervised to a supervised learning context. In this new framework, we present algorithmic solutions using two different discriminative models: SODIRF (random forests) and SODINN (neural networks). We test these algorithms on real ADI datasets from VLT/NACO and VLT/SPHERE HCI instruments. We then assess their performances by injecting fake companions and using receiver operating characteristic analysis. This is done in comparison with state-of-the-art ADI algorithms, such as ADI principal component analysis (ADI-PCA). Results: This study shows the improved sensitivity versus specificity trade-off of the proposed supervised detection approach. At the diffraction limit, SODINN improves the true positive rate by a factor ranging from 2 to 10 (depending on the dataset and angular separation) with respect to ADI-PCA when working at the same false-positive level. Conclusions: The proposed supervised detection framework outperforms state-of-the-art techniques in the task of discriminating planet signal from speckles. In addition, it offers the possibility of re-processing existing HCI databases to maximize their scientific return and potentially improve

  2. Developing Tighter Constraints on Exoplanet Biosignatures by Modeling Atmospheric Haze

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felton, Ryan; Neveu, Marc; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn David; Desch, Steven; Arney, Giada

    2018-01-01

    As we increase our capacity to resolve the atmospheric composition of exoplanets, we must continue to refine our ability to distinguish true biosignatures from false positives in order to ultimately distinguish a life-bearing from a lifeless planet. Of the possible true and false biosignatures, methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are of interest, because on Earth geological and biological processes can produce them on large scales. To identify a biotic, Earth-like exoplanet, we must understand how these biosignatures shape their atmospheres. High atmospheric abundances of CH4 produce photochemical organic haze, which dramatically alters the photochemistry, climate, and spectrum of a planet. Arney et al. (2017) have suggested that haze-bearing atmospheres rich in CO2 may be a type of biosignature because the CH4 flux required to produce the haze is similar to the amount of biogenic CH4 on modern Earth. Atmospheric CH4 and CO2 both affect haze-formation photochemistry, and the potential for hazes to form in Earth-like atmospheres at abiotic concentrations of these gases has not been well studied. We will explore a wide range of parameter space of abiotic concentration levels of these gases to determine what spectral signatures are possible from abiotic environments and look for measurable differences between abiotic and biotic atmospheres. We use a 1D photochemical model with an upgraded haze production mechanism to compare Archean and modern Earth atmospheres to abiotic versions while varying atmospheric CH4 and CO2 levels and atmospheric pressure. We will vary CO2 from a trace gas to an amount such that it dominates atmospheric chemistry. For CH4, there is uncertainty regarding the amount of abiotic CH4 that comes from serpentinizing systems. To address this uncertainty, we will model three cases: 1) assume all CH4 comes from photochemistry; 2) use estimates of modern-day serpentinizing fluxes, assuming they are purely abiotic; and 3) assume serpentinizing

  3. Revealing Fact or Fiction in Spitzer Exoplanet Phase Curve Trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, Jacob; Parmentier, Vivien; Mansfield, Megan; Cowan, Nicolas; Kempton, Eliza; Desert, Jean-Michel; Swain, Mark; Dang, Lisa; Bell, Taylor; Keating, Dylan; Zellem, Robert; Fortney, Jonathan; Line, Michael; Kreidberg, Laura; Stevenson, Kevin

    2018-05-01

    The constraints on energy transport in exoplanet atmospheres from phase curve observations is sure to be one of Spitzer's enduring legacies. However, with phase curves for 17 planets now observed we find that the previously observed trends are not coming into sharper focus. Instead, these trends in hot spot offset and day-night flux contrast vs. the fundamental planetary parameters expected to control the energy transport (e.g., irradiation and rotational period) are becoming more uncertain due to the recent discovery of outliers. At the same time, there is a growing understanding that a number of factors like magnetic fields, aerosols, and molecular chemistry could be confounding the search for these correlations. We propose a final phase curve program to advance our understanding of energy transport in transiting exoplanet atmospheres and to cement Spitzer's legacy on this topic. This program tackles the outstanding questions in this area with a comprehensive, two-pronged approach: (1) a survey of an additional 10 high signal-to-noise planets that span a broad parameter space and (2) a search for magnetic field-induced variability in the planet HAT-P-7b. The expanded survey will bring additional statistical power to the search for trends and will enable us to determine if the recently-detected outliers are indeed oddities or are instead actually representative of the intrinsic sample diversity. The variability search will test the hypothesis that the atmospheric dynamics of the partially ionized atmospheres of close-in planets are influenced by magnetic fields, which could explain the observed scatter around the existing trends. All observations will be performed at 4.5 microns, which is the consensus best channel for these measurements. The dataset from this program will provide vital context for JWST observations and will not be superseded until ARIEL flies more than a decade from now.

  4. External occulter edge scattering control using metamaterials for exoplanet detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendek, Eduardo A.; Sirbu, Dan; Liu, Zhaowei; Martin, Stefan; Lu, Dylan

    2015-09-01

    Direct imaging of earth-like exoplanets in the Habitable Zone of sun-like stars requires image contrast of ~10^10 at angular separations of around a hundred milliarcseconds. One approach for achieving this performance is to fly a starshade at a long distance in front of the telescope, shading the telescope from the direct starlight, but allowing planets around the star to be seen. The starshade is positioned so that sunlight falls on the surface away from the telescope, so the sun does not directly illuminate it. However, sunlight scattered from the starshade edge can enter the telescope, raising the background light level and potentially preventing the starshade from delivering the required contrast. As a result, starshade edge design has been identified as one of the highest priority technology gaps for external occulter missions in the NASAs Exoplanet Exploration Program Technology Plan 2013. To reduce the sunlight edge scatter to an acceptable level, the edge Radius Of Curvature (ROC) should be 1μm or less (commercial razor blades have ROC of a few hundred nanometer). This poses a challenging manufacturing requirement and may make the occulter difficult to handle. In this paper we propose an alternative approach to controlling the edge scattering by applying a flexible metamaterial to the occulter edge. Metamaterials are artificially structured materials, which have been designed to display properties not found in natural materials. Metamaterials can be designed to direct the scatter at planned incident angles away from the space telescope, thereby directly decreasing the contaminating background light. Reduction of the background light translates into shorter integration time to characterize a target planet and therefore improves the efficiency of the observations. As an additional benefit, metamaterials also have potential to produce increased tolerance to edge defects.

  5. Latest Results from the Multi-Object Keck Exoplanet Tracker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Eyken, Julian C.; Ge, J.; Wan, X.; Zhao, B.; Hariharan, A.; Mahadevan, S.; DeWitt, C.; Guo, P.; Cohen, R.; Fleming, S. W.; Crepp, J.; Warner, C.; Kane, S.; Leger, F.; Pan, K.

    2006-12-01

    The W. M. Keck Exoplanet Tracker is a precision Doppler radial velocity instrument based on dispersed fixed-delay interferometry (DFDI) which takes advantage of the new technique to allow multi-object RV surveying. Installed at the 2.5m Sloan telescope at Apache Point Observatory, the combination of Michelson interferometer and medium resolution spectrograph allows design for simultaneous Doppler measurements of up to 60 targets, while maintaining high instrument throughput. Using a single-object prototype of the instrument at the Kitt Peak National Observatory 2.1m telescope, we previously discovered a 0.49MJup planet, HD 102195b (ET-1), orbiting with a 4.11d period, and other interesting targets are being followed up. From recent trial observations, the Keck Exoplanet Tracker now yields 59 usable simultaneous fringing stellar spectra, of a quality sufficient to attempt to detect short period hot-Jupiter type planets. Recent engineering improvements reduced errors by a factor of 2, and typical photon limits for stellar data are now at the 30m/s level for magnitude V 10.5 (depending on spectral type and v sin i), with a best value of 6.9m/s at V=7.6. Preliminary RMS precisions from solar data (daytime sky) are around 10m/s over a few days, with some spectra reaching close to their photon limit of 6-7m/s on the short term ( 1 hour). A number of targets showing interesting RV variability are currently being followed up independently. Additional engineering work is planned which should make for further significant gains in Doppler precision. Here we present the latest results and updates from the most recent engineering and observing runs with the Keck ET.

  6. THE MUSCLES TREASURY SURVEY. II. INTRINSIC LY α AND EXTREME ULTRAVIOLET SPECTRA OF K AND M DWARFS WITH EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Youngblood, Allison; France, Kevin; Loyd, R. O. Parke [Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, 600 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); Linsky, Jeffrey L. [JILA, University of Colorado and NIST, 440 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); Redfield, Seth [Astronomy Department and Van Vleck Observatory, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459-0123 (United States); Schneider, P. Christian [European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESA/ESTEC), Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk (Netherlands); Wood, Brian E. [Naval Research Laboratory, Space Science Division, Washington, DC 20375 (United States); Brown, Alexander [Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, University of Colorado, 389 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); Froning, Cynthia [Dept. of Astronomy C1400, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 (United States); Miguel, Yamila [Laboratoire Lagrange, Universite de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur, CNRS, Blvd de l’Observatoire, CS 34229, F-06304 Nice cedex 4 (France); Rugheimer, Sarah [Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Irvine Building, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews KY16 9AL (United Kingdom); Walkowicz, Lucianne, E-mail: allison.youngblood@colorado.edu [The Adler Planetarium, 1300 S Lakeshore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605 (United States)

    2016-06-20

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

  7. CLIMATE PATTERNS OF HABITABLE EXOPLANETS IN ECCENTRIC ORBITS AROUND M DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Yuwei; Hu, Yongyun [Laboratory for Climate and Ocean-Atmosphere Sciences, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 China (China); Tian, Feng, E-mail: yyhu@pku.edu.cn [Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China)

    2014-08-10

    Previous studies show that synchronous rotating habitable exoplanets around M dwarfs should have an ''eyeball'' climate pattern—a limited region of open water on the day side and ice on the rest of the planet. However, exoplanets with nonzero eccentricities could have spin-orbit resonance states different from the synchronous rotation state. Here, we show that a striped-ball climate pattern, with a global belt of open water at low and middle latitudes and ice over both polar regions, should be common on habitable exoplanets in eccentric orbits around M dwarfs. We further show that these different climate patterns can be observed by future exoplanet detection missions.

  8. WFIRST: The Exoplanet Microlensing Survey Tells Us Where We Can Find the Cool Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, David; Gaudi, B. Scott; WFIRST Microlensing Science Investigation Team

    2018-01-01

    The WFIRST Exoplanet microlensing survey will complete a demographic survey of all types of planets ranging from ~0.5 AU to planets that have become unbound from the stellar systems of their birth. WFIRST's sensitivity extends down below the mass of Mars (or 0.1 Earth masses,and it is sensitive to analogs of all the planets in the Solar System, except for Mercury. When combined with Kepler's statistical census of hot and warm planets in short period orbits, WFIRST's exoplanet microlensing survey will give us a complete picture the mass and separation distribution of all types of planets. The current plans for this survey are presented, and recent developments relating to the WFIRST exoplanet microlensing survey will be presented, including recent ground-based microlensing results that challenge current theories of planet formation. Opportunities for community involvement in the WFIRST exoplanet microlensing survey will be mentioned.

  9. The Habitable Zone Gallery 2.0: The Online Exoplanet System Visualization Suite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandler, C. O.; Kane, S. R.; Gelino, D. M.

    2017-11-01

    The Habitable Zone Gallery 2.0 provides new and improved visualization and data analysis tools to the exoplanet habitability community and beyond. Modules include interactive habitable zone plotting and downloadable 3D animations.

  10. Leveraging Ensemble Dynamical Properties to Prioritize Exoplanet Follow-Up Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballard, Sarah

    2017-01-01

    The number of transiting exoplanets now exceeds several thousand, enabling ensemble studies of the dynamical properties of exoplanetary systems. We require a mixture model of dynamical conditions (whether frozen in from formation or sculpted by planet-planet interactions) to recover Kepler's yield of transiting planets. Around M dwarfs, which will be predominate sites of exoplanet follow-up atmospheric study in the next decade, even a modest orbital eccentricity can sterilize a planet. I will describe efforts to link cheap observables, such as number of transiting planets and presence of transit timing variations, to eccentricity and mutual inclination in exoplanet systems. The addition of a second transiting planet, for example, halves the expected orbital eccentricity. For the vast majority of TESS targets, the light curve alone will furnish the sum total of data about the exoplanet. Extracting information about orbital properties from these light curves will help prioritize precious follow-up resources.

  11. The Light Source Problem: The Effect of Heterogeneous Stellar Photospheres on Searches for Transiting Exoplanet Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rackham, B. V.; Apai, D.; Giampapa, M. S.

    2017-11-01

    TESS will soon enable the study of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres. However, spots and faculae in stellar photospheres can complicate these measurements by mimicking or masking atmospheric features. We detail our work to constrain this effect.

  12. Chasing Small Exoplanets with Ground-Based Near-Infrared Transit Photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colon, K. D.; Barentsen, G.; Vinicius, Z.; Vanderburg, A.; Coughlin, J.; Thompson, S.; Mullally, F.; Barclay, T.; Quintana, E.

    2017-11-01

    I will present results from a ground-based survey to measure the infrared radius and other properties of small K2 exoplanets and candidates. The survey is preparation for upcoming discoveries from TESS and characterization with JWST.

  13. Inertia-gravity wave radiation from the merging of two co-rotating vortices in the f-plane shallow water system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sugimoto, Norihiko

    2015-01-01

    Inertia-gravity wave radiation from the merging of two co-rotating vortices is investigated numerically in a rotating shallow water system in order to focus on cyclone–anticyclone asymmetry at different values of the Rossby number (Ro). A numerical study is conducted on a model using a spectral method in an unbounded domain to estimate the gravity wave flux with high accuracy. Continuous gravity wave radiation is observed in three stages of vortical flows: co-rotating of the vortices, merging of the vortices, and unsteady motion of the merged vortex. A cyclone–anticyclone asymmetry appears at all stages at smaller Ro (≤20). Gravity waves from anticyclones are always larger than those from cyclones and have a local maximum at smaller Ro (∼2) compared with that for an idealized case of a co-rotating vortex pair with a constant rotation rate. The source originating in the Coriolis acceleration has a key role in cyclone–anticyclone asymmetry in gravity waves. An additional important factor is that at later stages, the merged axisymmetric anticyclone rotates faster than the elliptical cyclone due to the effect of the Rossby deformation radius, since a rotation rate higher than the inertial cutoff frequency is required to radiate gravity waves

  14. Inertia-gravity wave radiation from the merging of two co-rotating vortices in the f-plane shallow water system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sugimoto, Norihiko, E-mail: nori@phys-h.keio.ac.jp [Department of Physics, Research and Education Center for Natural Sciences, Keio University, 4-1-1 Hiyoshi, Kouhoku-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 223-8521 (Japan)

    2015-12-15

    Inertia-gravity wave radiation from the merging of two co-rotating vortices is investigated numerically in a rotating shallow water system in order to focus on cyclone–anticyclone asymmetry at different values of the Rossby number (Ro). A numerical study is conducted on a model using a spectral method in an unbounded domain to estimate the gravity wave flux with high accuracy. Continuous gravity wave radiation is observed in three stages of vortical flows: co-rotating of the vortices, merging of the vortices, and unsteady motion of the merged vortex. A cyclone–anticyclone asymmetry appears at all stages at smaller Ro (≤20). Gravity waves from anticyclones are always larger than those from cyclones and have a local maximum at smaller Ro (∼2) compared with that for an idealized case of a co-rotating vortex pair with a constant rotation rate. The source originating in the Coriolis acceleration has a key role in cyclone–anticyclone asymmetry in gravity waves. An additional important factor is that at later stages, the merged axisymmetric anticyclone rotates faster than the elliptical cyclone due to the effect of the Rossby deformation radius, since a rotation rate higher than the inertial cutoff frequency is required to radiate gravity waves.

  15. The effect of ISM absorption on stellar activity measurements and its relevance for exoplanet studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossati, L.; Marcelja, S. E.; Staab, D.; Cubillos, P. E.; France, K.; Haswell, C. A.; Ingrassia, S.; Jenkins, J. S.; Koskinen, T.; Lanza, A. F.; Redfield, S.; Youngblood, A.; Pelzmann, G.

    2017-05-01

    Past ultraviolet and optical observations of stars hosting close-in Jupiter-mass planets have shown that some of these stars present an anomalously low chromospheric activity, significantly below the basal level. For the hot Jupiter planet host WASP-13, observations have shown that the apparent lack of activity is possibly caused by absorption from the intervening interstellar medium (ISM). Inspired by this result, we study the effect of ISM absorption on activity measurements (S and log R 'HK indices) for main-sequence late-type stars. To this end, we employ synthetic stellar photospheric spectra combined with varying amounts of chromospheric emission and ISM absorption. We present the effect of ISM absorption on activity measurements by varying several instrumental (spectral resolution), stellar (projected rotational velocity, effective temperature, and chromospheric emission flux), and ISM parameters (relative velocity between stellar and ISM Ca II lines, broadening b-parameter, and Ca II column density). We find that for relative velocities between the stellar and ISM lines smaller than 30-40 km s-1 and for ISM Ca II column densities log NCaII ⪆ 12, the ISM absorption has a significant influence on activity measurements. Direct measurements and three dimensional maps of the Galactic ISM absorption indicate that an ISM Ca II column density of log NCaII = 12 is typically reached by a distance of about 100 pc along most sight lines. In particular, for a Sun-like star lying at a distance greater than 100 pc, we expect a depression (bias) in the log R'HK value larger than 0.05-0.1 dex, about the same size as the typical measurement and calibration uncertainties on this parameter. This work shows that the bias introduced by ISM absorption must always be considered when measuring activity for stars lying beyond 100 pc. We also consider the effect of multiple ISM absorption components. We discuss the relevance of this result for exoplanet studies and revise the

  16. Life Beyond the Solar System: Observation and Modeling of Exoplanet Environments

    OpenAIRE

    Del Genio, Anthony; Airapetian, Vladimir; Apai, Daniel; Batalha, Natalie; Brain, Dave; Danchi, William; Gelino, Dawn; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Henning, Wade; Rushby, Andrew

    2018-01-01

    The search for life on planets outside our solar system has largely been the province of the astrophysics community until recently. A major development since the NASA Astrobiology Strategy 2015 document (AS15) has been the integration of other NASA science disciplines (planetary science, heliophysics, Earth science) with ongoing exoplanet research in astrophysics. The NASA Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) provides a forum for scientists to collaborate across disciplines to accelerat...

  17. New Developments At The Science Archives Of The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berriman, G. Bruce

    2018-06-01

    The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) at Caltech/IPAC is the science center for NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program and as such, NExScI operates three scientific archives: the NASA Exoplanet Archive (NEA) and Exoplanet Follow-up Observation Program Website (ExoFOP), and the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA).The NASA Exoplanet Archive supports research and mission planning by the exoplanet community by operating a service that provides confirmed and candidate planets, numerous project and contributed data sets and integrated analysis tools. The ExoFOP provides an environment for exoplanet observers to share and exchange data, observing notes, and information regarding the Kepler, K2, and TESS candidates. KOA serves all raw science and calibration observations acquired by all active and decommissioned instruments at the W. M. Keck Observatory, as well as reduced data sets contributed by Keck observers.In the coming years, the NExScI archives will support a series of major endeavours allowing flexible, interactive analysis of the data available at the archives. These endeavours exploit a common infrastructure based upon modern interfaces such as JuypterLab and Python. The first service will enable reduction and analysis of precision radial velocity data from the HIRES Keck instrument. The Exoplanet Archive is developing a JuypterLab environment based on the HIRES PRV interactive environment. Additionally, KOA is supporting an Observatory initiative to develop modern, Python based pipelines, and as part of this work, it has delivered a NIRSPEC reduction pipeline. The ensemble of pipelines will be accessible through the same environments.

  18. Observing the ExoEarth: Simulating the Retrieval of Exoplanet Parameters Using DSCOVR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, S.; Cowan, N. B.; Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Herman, J. R.; Robinson, T.; Stine, A.

    2017-12-01

    The field of exoplanets has rapidly expanded from detection to include exoplanet characterization. This has been enabled by developments such as the detection of terrestrial-sized planets and the use of transit spectroscopy to study exoplanet atmospheres. Studies of rocky planets are leading towards the direct imaging of exoplanets and the development of techniques to extract their intrinsic properties. The importance of properties such as rotation, albedo, and obliquity are significant since they inform planet formation theories and are key input parameters for Global Circulation Models used to determine surface conditions, including habitability. Thus, a complete characterization of exoplanets for understanding habitable climates requires the ability to measure these key planetary parameters. The retrieval of planetary rotation rates, albedos, and obliquities from highly undersampled imaging data can be honed using satellites designed to study the Earth's atmosphere. In this talk I will describe how the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) provides a unique opportunity to test such retrieval methods using data for the sunlit hemisphere of the Earth. Our methods use the high-resolution DSCOVR-EPIC images to simulate the Earth as an exoplanet, by deconvolving the images to match a variety of expected exoplanet mission requirements, and by comparing EPIC data with the cavity radiometer data from DSCOVR-NISTAR that views the Earth as a single pixel. Through this methodology, we are creating a grid of retrieval states as a function of image resolution, observing cadence, passband, etc. Our modeling of the DSCOVR data will provide an effective baseline from which to develop tools that can be applied to a variety of exoplanet imaging data.

  19. NExSS/NAI Joint ExoPAG SAG 16 Report on Remote Biosignatures for Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiang, Nancy Y.; Parenteau, Mary Nicole; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn

    2017-01-01

    Future exoplanet observations will soon focus on the search for life beyond the Solar System. Exoplanet biosignatures to be sought are those with global, potentially detectable, impacts on a planet. Biosignatures occur in an environmental context in which geological, atmospheric, and stellar processes and interactions may work to enhance, suppress or mimic these biosignatures. Thus biosignature scienceis inherently interdisciplinary. Its advance is necessary to inform the design of the next flagship missions that will obtain spectra of habitable extrasolar planets. The NExSS NAI Joint Exoplanet Biosignatures Workshop Without Walls brought together the astrobiology, exoplanet, and mission concept communities to review, discuss, debate, and advance the science of remote detection of planetary biosignatures. The multi-meeting workshop began in June 2016, and was a process that engaged a broad range of experts across the interdisciplinary reaches of NASA's Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) program, the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), NASAs Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP), and international partners, such as the European Astrobiology Network Association (EANA) and Japans Earth Life Science Institute (ELSI). These groups spanned expertise in astronomy, planetary science, Earth sciences, heliophysics, biology, instrument mission development, and engineering.

  20. FUNDAMENTAL PROPERTIES OF STARS USING ASTEROSEISMOLOGY FROM KEPLER AND CoRoT AND INTERFEROMETRY FROM THE CHARA ARRAY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huber, D.; Ireland, M. J.; Bedding, T. R.; Maestro, V.; White, T. R. [Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA), School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia); Brandao, I. M.; Sousa, S. G.; Cunha, M. S. [Centro de Astrofo Latin-Small-Letter-Dotless-I sica and Faculdade de Ciencias, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, P-4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Piau, L. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823-2320 (United States); Bruntt, H.; Aguirre, V. Silva; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J. [Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Casagrande, L. [Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mount Stromlo Observatory, The Australian National University, ACT 2611 (Australia); Molenda-Zakowicz, J. [Astronomical Institute of the University of Wroclaw, ul. Kopernika 11, 51-622 Wroclaw (Poland); Barclay, T. [Bay Area Environmental Research Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Burke, C. J. [SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Chaplin, W. J. [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); De Ridder, J. [Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, K. U. Leuven, B-3001 Leuven (Belgium); Farrington, C. D. [Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 3969, Atlanta, GA 30302 (United States); Frasca, A., E-mail: daniel.huber@nasa.gov [INAF Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, I-95123 Catania (Italy); and others

    2012-11-20

    We present results of a long-baseline interferometry campaign using the PAVO beam combiner at the CHARA Array to measure the angular sizes of five main-sequence stars, one subgiant and four red giant stars for which solar-like oscillations have been detected by either Kepler or CoRoT. By combining interferometric angular diameters, Hipparcos parallaxes, asteroseismic densities, bolometric fluxes, and high-resolution spectroscopy, we derive a full set of near-model-independent fundamental properties for the sample. We first use these properties to test asteroseismic scaling relations for the frequency of maximum power ({nu}{sub max}) and the large frequency separation ({Delta}{nu}). We find excellent agreement within the observational uncertainties, and empirically show that simple estimates of asteroseismic radii for main-sequence stars are accurate to {approx}< 4%. We furthermore find good agreement of our measured effective temperatures with spectroscopic and photometric estimates with mean deviations for stars between T {sub eff} = 4600-6200 K of -22 {+-} 32 K (with a scatter of 97 K) and -58 {+-} 31 K (with a scatter of 93 K), respectively. Finally, we present a first comparison with evolutionary models, and find differences between observed and theoretical properties for the metal-rich main-sequence star HD 173701. We conclude that the constraints presented in this study will have strong potential for testing stellar model physics, in particular when combined with detailed modeling of individual oscillation frequencies.

  1. Compression of Jupiter's magnetosphere by the solar wind: Reexamination via MHD simulation of evolving corotating interaction regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, Z.K.; Dryer, M.; Fillius, R.W.; Smith, E.J.; Wolfe, J.H.

    1981-01-01

    We examine the major changes in the solar wind before, during, and after the Pioneer 10 and 11 encounters with the Jovian magnetosphere during 1973 and 1974, respectively. In an earlier study, Smith et al. (1978) concluded that the Jovian magnetosphere was subjected to large-scale compression during at least three or four intervals during which it appeared that the spacecraft had reentered the solar wind or magnetosheath near 50 R/sub J/ after having first entered the magnetosphere near 100 R/sub J/. They based this suggestion on the observations of the sister spacecraft, which indicated--on the basis of a kinematic translation of corotating interaction regions (CIR's)--that these structures would be expected to arrive at Jupiter at the appropriate beginning of these three intervals. Our reexamination of this suggestion involved the numerical simulation of the multiple CIR evolutions from one spacecraft to the sister spacecraft. This approach, considered to be a major improvement, confirms the suggestion by Smith et al. (1978) that Jupiter's magnetosphere was compressed by interplanetary CIR's during three or four of these events. Our MHD simulation also suggests that Jupiter's magnetosphere reacts to solar wind rarefactions in the opposite way--by expanding. A previously unexplained pair of magnetopause crossings on the Pioneer 11 outbound pass may simply be due to a delayed reexpansion of Jupiter's magnetosphere from a compression that occurred during the inbound pass

  2. Dynamic Young Stars and their Disks: A Temporal View of NGC 2264 with Spitzer and CoRoT*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cody Ann Marie

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Variability is a signature feature of young stars. Among the well known light curve phenomena are periodic variations attributed to surface spots and irregular changes associated with accretion or circumstellar disk material. While decades of photometric monitoring have provided a framework for classifying young star variability, we still know surprisingly little about its underlying mechanisms and connections to the surrounding disks. In the past few years, dedicated photometric monitoring campaigns from the ground and space have revolutionized our view of young stars in the time domain. We present a selection of optical and infrared time series from several recent campaigns, highlighting the Coordinated Synoptic Investigation of NGC 2264 (“CSI 2264”– a joint30-day effort with the Spitzer, CoRoT, and MOST telescopes. The extraordinary photometric precision, high cadence, and long time baseline of these observations is now enabling correlation of variability properties at very different wavelengths, corresponding to locations from the stellar surface to the inner 0.1 AU of the disk. We present some results of the CSI 2264 program, including new classes of optical/infrared behavior. Further efforts to tie observed variability features to physical models will provide insights into the inner disk environment at a time when planet formation may be underway.

  3. How Does the Shape of the Stellar Spectrum Affect the Raman Scattering Features in the Albedo of Exoplanets?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oklopčić, Antonija [California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, MC 249-17, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Hirata, Christopher M. [Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, Ohio State University, 191 West Woodruff Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Heng, Kevin, E-mail: oklopcic@astro.caltech.edu [Center for Space and Habitability, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012, Bern (Switzerland)

    2017-09-10

    The diagnostic potential of the spectral signatures of Raman scattering, imprinted in planetary albedo spectra at short optical wavelengths, has been demonstrated in research on planets in the solar system, and has recently been proposed as a probe of exoplanet atmospheres, complementary to albedo studies at longer wavelengths. Spectral features caused by Raman scattering offer insight into the properties of planetary atmospheres, such as the atmospheric depth, composition, and temperature, as well as the possibility of detecting and spectroscopically identifying spectrally inactive species, such as H{sub 2} and N{sub 2}, in the visible wavelength range. Raman albedo features, however, depend on both the properties of the atmosphere and the shape of the incident stellar spectrum. Identical planetary atmospheres can produce very different albedo spectra depending on the spectral properties of the host star. Here we present a set of geometric albedo spectra calculated for atmospheres with H{sub 2}/He, N{sub 2}, and CO{sub 2} composition, irradiated by different stellar types ranging from late A to late K stars. Prominent albedo features caused by Raman scattering appear at different wavelengths for different types of host stars. We investigate how absorption due to the alkali elements sodium and potassium may affect the intensity of Raman features, and we discuss the preferred strategies for detecting Raman features in future observations.

  4. Refraction in exoplanet atmospheres. Photometric signatures, implications for transmission spectroscopy, and search in Kepler data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alp, D.; Demory, B.-O.

    2018-01-01

    Context. Refraction deflects photons that pass through atmospheres, which affects transit light curves. Refraction thus provides an avenue to probe physical properties of exoplanet atmospheres and to constrain the presence of clouds and hazes. In addition, an effective surface can be imposed by refraction, thereby limiting the pressure levels probed by transmission spectroscopy. Aims: The main objective of the paper is to model the effects of refraction on photometric light curves for realistic planets and to explore the dependencies on atmospheric physical parameters. We also explore under which circumstances transmission spectra are significantly affected by refraction. Finally, we search for refraction signatures in photometric residuals in Kepler data. Methods: We use the model of Hui & Seager (2002, ApJ, 572, 540) to compute deflection angles and refraction transit light curves, allowing us to explore the parameter space of atmospheric properties. The observational search is performed by stacking large samples of transit light curves from Kepler. Results: We find that out-of-transit refraction shoulders are the most easily observable features, which can reach peak amplitudes of 10 parts per million (ppm) for planets around Sun-like stars. More typical amplitudes are a few ppm or less for Jovians and at the sub-ppm level for super-Earths. In-transit, ingress, and egress refraction features are challenging to detect because of the short timescales and degeneracies with other transit model parameters. Interestingly, the signal-to-noise ratio of any refraction residuals for planets orbiting Sun-like hosts are expected to be similar for planets orbiting red dwarfs and ultra-cool stars. We also find that the maximum depth probed by transmission spectroscopy is not limited by refraction for weakly lensing planets, but that the incidence of refraction can vary significantly for strongly lensing planets. We find no signs of refraction features in the stacked Kepler

  5. HAT-P-11: Discovery of a Second Planet and a Clue to Understanding Exoplanet Obliquities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yee, Samuel W.; Petigura, Erik A.; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Knutson, Heather A.; Batygin, Konstantin; Bakos, Gáspár Á.; Hartman, Joel D.; Hirsch, Lea A.; Howard, Andrew W.; Isaacson, Howard; Kosiarek, Molly R.; Sinukoff, Evan; Weiss, Lauren M.

    2018-06-01

    HAT-P-11 is a mid-K dwarf that hosts one of the first Neptune-sized planets found outside the solar system. The orbit of HAT-P-11b is misaligned with the star’s spin—one of the few known cases of a misaligned planet orbiting a star less massive than the Sun. We find an additional planet in the system based on a decade of precision radial velocity (RV) measurements from Keck/High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer. HAT-P-11c is similar to Jupiter in its mass ({M}P\\sin i=1.6+/- 0.1 M J ) and orbital period (P={9.3}-0.5+1.0 year), but has a much more eccentric orbit (e = 0.60 ± 0.03). In our joint modeling of RV and stellar activity, we found an activity-induced RV signal of ∼7 {{m}} {{{s}}}-1, consistent with other active K dwarfs, but significantly smaller than the 31 {{m}} {{{s}}}-1 reflex motion due to HAT-P-11c. We investigated the dynamical coupling between HAT-P-11b and c as a possible explanation for HAT-P-11b’s misaligned orbit, finding that planet–planet Kozai interactions cannot tilt planet b’s orbit due to general relativistic precession; however, nodal precession operating on million year timescales is a viable mechanism to explain HAT-P-11b’s high obliquity. This leaves open the question of why HAT-P-11c may have such a tilted orbit. At a distance of 38 pc, the HAT-P-11 system offers rich opportunities for further exoplanet characterization through astrometry and direct imaging.

  6. REFLECTED LIGHT CURVES, SPHERICAL AND BOND ALBEDOS OF JUPITER- AND SATURN-LIKE EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dyudina, Ulyana; Kopparla, Pushkar; Ingersoll, Andrew P.; Yung, Yuk L. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, 150-21 California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Zhang, Xi [University of California Santa Cruz 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Li, Liming [Department of Physics, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204 (United States); Dones, Luke [Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut Street, Suite 300, Boulder CO 80302 (United States); Verbiscer, Anne, E-mail: ulyana@gps.caltech.edu [Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4325 (United States)

    2016-05-10

    Reflected light curves observed for exoplanets indicate that a few of them host bright clouds. We estimate how the light curve and total stellar heating of a planet depends on forward and backward scattering in the clouds based on Pioneer and Cassini spacecraft images of Jupiter and Saturn. We fit analytical functions to the local reflected brightnesses of Jupiter and Saturn depending on the planet’s phase. These observations cover broadbands at 0.59–0.72 and 0.39–0.5 μ m, and narrowbands at 0.938 (atmospheric window), 0.889 (CH4 absorption band), and 0.24–0.28 μ m. We simulate the images of the planets with a ray-tracing model, and disk-integrate them to produce the full-orbit light curves. For Jupiter, we also fit the modeled light curves to the observed full-disk brightness. We derive spherical albedos for Jupiter and Saturn, and for planets with Lambertian and Rayleigh-scattering atmospheres. Jupiter-like atmospheres can produce light curves that are a factor of two fainter at half-phase than the Lambertian planet, given the same geometric albedo at transit. The spherical albedo is typically lower than for a Lambertian planet by up to a factor of ∼1.5. The Lambertian assumption will underestimate the absorption of the stellar light and the equilibrium temperature of the planetary atmosphere. We also compare our light curves with the light curves of solid bodies: the moons Enceladus and Callisto. Their strong backscattering peak within a few degrees of opposition (secondary eclipse) can lead to an even stronger underestimate of the stellar heating.

  7. Information Content Analysis for Selection of Optimal JWST  Observing Modes for Transiting Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Batalha, Natasha E. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802 (United States); Line, M. R., E-mail: neb149@psu.edu [School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ 85282 (United States)

    2017-04-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope ( JWST ) is nearing its launch date of 2018, and is expected to revolutionize our knowledge of exoplanet atmospheres. In order to specifically identify which observing modes will be most useful for characterizing a diverse range of exoplanetary atmospheres, we use an information content (IC) based approach commonly used in the studies of solar system atmospheres. We develop a system based upon these IC methods to trace the instrumental and atmospheric model phase space in order to identify which observing modes are best suited for particular classes of planets, focusing on transmission spectra. Specifically, the atmospheric parameter space we cover is T  = 600–1800 K, C/O = 0.55–1, [M/H] = 1–100 × Solar for an R  = 1.39 R{sub J}, M  = 0.59 M{sub J} planet orbiting a WASP-62-like star. We also explore the influence of a simplified opaque gray cloud on the IC. We find that obtaining broader wavelength coverage over multiple modes is preferred over higher precision in a single mode given the same amount of observing time. Regardless of the planet temperature and composition, the best modes for constraining terminator temperatures, C/O ratios, and metallicity are NIRISS SOSS+NIRSpec G395. If the target’s host star is dim enough such that the NIRSpec prism is applicable, then it can be used instead of NIRISS SOSS+NIRSpec G395. Lastly, observations that use more than two modes should be carefully analyzed because sometimes the addition of a third mode results in no gain of information. In these cases, higher precision in the original two modes is favorable.

  8. Three regimes of extrasolar planet radius inferred from host star metallicities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchhave, Lars A; Bizzarro, Martin; Latham, David W; Sasselov, Dimitar; Cochran, William D; Endl, Michael; Isaacson, Howard; Juncher, Diana; Marcy, Geoffrey W

    2014-05-29

    Approximately half of the extrasolar planets (exoplanets) with radii less than four Earth radii are in orbits with short periods. Despite their sheer abundance, the compositions of such planets are largely unknown. The available evidence suggests that they range in composition from small, high-density rocky planets to low-density planets consisting of rocky cores surrounded by thick hydrogen and helium gas envelopes. Here we report the metallicities (that is, the abundances of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium) of more than 400 stars hosting 600 exoplanet candidates, and find that the exoplanets can be categorized into three populations defined by statistically distinct (∼4.5σ) metallicity regions. We interpret these regions as reflecting the formation regimes of terrestrial-like planets (radii less than 1.7 Earth radii), gas dwarf planets with rocky cores and hydrogen-helium envelopes (radii between 1.7 and 3.9 Earth radii) and ice or gas giant planets (radii greater than 3.9 Earth radii). These transitions correspond well with those inferred from dynamical mass estimates, implying that host star metallicity, which is a proxy for the initial solids inventory of the protoplanetary disk, is a key ingredient regulating the structure of planetary systems.

  9. Is plate tectonics needed to evolve technological species on exoplanets?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J. Stern

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available As we continue searching for exoplanets, we wonder if life and technological species capable of communicating with us exists on any of them. As geoscientists, we can also wonder how important is the presence or absence of plate tectonics for the evolution of technological species. This essay considers this question, focusing on tectonically active rocky (silicate planets, like Earth, Venus, and Mars. The development of technological species on Earth provides key insights for understanding evolution on exoplanets, including the likely role that plate tectonics may play. An Earth-sized silicate planet is likely to experience several tectonic styles over its lifetime, as it cools and its lithosphere thickens, strengthens, and becomes denser. These include magma ocean, various styles of stagnant lid, and perhaps plate tectonics. Abundant liquid water favors both life and plate tectonics. Ocean is required for early evolution of diverse single-celled organisms, then colonies of cells which specialized further to form guts, appendages, and sensory organisms up to the complexity of fish (central nervous system, appendages, eyes. Large expanses of dry land also begin in the ocean, today produced above subduction zones in juvenile arcs and by their coalescence to form continents, although it is not clear that plate tectonics was required to create continental crust on Earth. Dry land of continents is required for further evolution of technological species, where modification of appendages for grasping and manipulating, and improvement of eyes and central nervous system could be perfected. These bioassets allowed intelligent creatures to examine the night sky and wonder, the beginning of abstract thinking, including religion and science. Technology arises from the exigencies of daily living such as tool-making, agriculture, clothing, and weapons, but the pace of innovation accelerates once it is allied with science. Finally, the importance of plate

  10. Laboratory Simulations on Haze Formation in Cool Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Chao; Horst, Sarah; Lewis, Nikole; Yu, Xinting; McGuiggan, Patricia; Moses, Julianne I.

    2017-10-01

    The Kepler mission has shown that the most abundant types of planets are super-Earths and mini-Neptunes among ~3500 confirmed exoplanets, and these types of exoplanets are expected to exhibit a wide variety of atmospheric compositions. Recent transit spectra have demonstrated that clouds and/or hazes could play a significant role in these planetary atmospheres (Deming et al. 2013, Knutson et al. 2014, Kreidberg et al. 2014, Pont, et al. 2013). However, very little laboratory work has been done to understand the formation of haze over a broad range of atmospheric compositions. Here we conducted a series of laboratory simulations to investigate haze formation in a range of planetary atmospheres using our newly built Planetary HAZE Research (PHAZER) chamber (He et al. 2017). We ran experimental simulations for nine different atmospheres: three temperatures (300 K, 400 K, and 600 K) and three metallicities (100, 1000, and 10000 times solar metallicity) using AC glow discharge as an energy source to irradiate gas mixtures. We found that haze particles are formed in all nine experiments, but the haze production rates are dramatically different for different cases. We investigated the particle sizes of the haze particles deposited on quartz discs using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The AFM images show that the particle size varies from 30 nm to 200 nm. The haze particles are more uniform for 100x solar metallicity experiments (30 nm to 40 nm) while the particles sizes for 1000x and 10000x solar metallicity experiments have wider distributions (30 nm to 200 nm). The particle size affects the scattering of light, and thus the temperature structure of planetary atmospheres. The haze production rates and particle size distributions obtained here can serve as critical inputs to atmospheric physical and chemical tools to understand the exoplanetary atmospheres and help guide future TESS and JWST observations of super-Earths and mini-Neptunes.Ref:Deming, D., et al. 2013, Ap

  11. Prospective Out-of-ecliptic White-light Imaging of Interplanetary Corotating Interaction Regions at Solar Maximum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xiong, Ming; Yang, Liping; Liu, Ying D.; Keiji, Hayashi; Li, Huichao [State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China); Davies, Jackie A.; Harrison, Richard A. [RAL Space, STFC-Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Campus, Didcot (United Kingdom); Li, Bo; Xia, Lidong, E-mail: mxiong@spacweather.ac.cn [Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Optical Astronomy and Solar-Terrestrial Environment, Institute of Space Sciences, Shandong University, Weihai (China)

    2017-07-20

    Interplanetary corotating interaction regions (CIRs) can be remotely imaged in white light (WL), as demonstrated by the Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI) on board the Coriolis spacecraft and Heliospheric Imagers (HIs) on board the twin Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory ( STEREO ) spacecraft. The interplanetary WL intensity, due to Thomson scattering of incident sunlight by free electrons, is jointly determined by the 3D distribution of electron number density and line-of-sight (LOS) weighting factors of the Thomson-scattering geometry. The 2D radiance patterns of CIRs in WL sky maps look very different from different 3D viewpoints. Because of the in-ecliptic locations of both the STEREO and Coriolis spacecraft, the longitudinal dimension of interplanetary CIRs has, up to now, always been integrated in WL imagery. To synthesize the WL radiance patterns of CIRs from an out-of-ecliptic (OOE) vantage point, we perform forward magnetohydrodynamic modeling of the 3D inner heliosphere during Carrington Rotation CR1967 at solar maximum. The mixing effects associated with viewing 3D CIRs are significantly minimized from an OOE viewpoint. Our forward modeling results demonstrate that OOE WL imaging from a latitude greater than 60° can (1) enable the garden-hose spiral morphology of CIRs to be readily resolved, (2) enable multiple coexisting CIRs to be differentiated, and (3) enable the continuous tracing of any interplanetary CIR back toward its coronal source. In particular, an OOE view in WL can reveal where nascent CIRs are formed in the extended corona and how these CIRs develop in interplanetary space. Therefore, a panoramic view from a suite of wide-field WL imagers in a solar polar orbit would be invaluable in unambiguously resolving the large-scale longitudinal structure of CIRs in the 3D inner heliosphere.

  12. Toward the detection of exoplanet transits with polarimetry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  13. INFERENCE OF INHOMOGENEOUS CLOUDS IN AN EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demory, Brice-Olivier; De Wit, Julien; Lewis, Nikole; Zsom, Andras; Seager, Sara [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Knutson, Heather; Desert, Jean-Michel [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Heng, Kevin [Center for Space and Habitability, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012, Bern (Switzerland); Madhusudhan, Nikku [Department of Physics and Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520 (United States); Gillon, Michael [Institut d' Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Allée du 6 Août, 17, Bat. B5C, B-4000 Liège 1 (Belgium); Barclay, Thomas [NASA Ames Research Center, M/S 244-30, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Parmentier, Vivien [Laboratoire J.-L. Lagrange, UMR 7293, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Côte d' Azur B.P. 4229, F-06304 Nice Cedex 4 (France); Cowan, Nicolas B., E-mail: demory@mit.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, F165, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States)

    2013-10-20

    We present new visible and infrared observations of the hot Jupiter Kepler-7b to determine its atmospheric properties. Our analysis allows us to (1) refine Kepler-7b's relatively large geometric albedo of Ag = 0.35 ± 0.02, (2) place upper limits on Kepler-7b thermal emission that remains undetected in both Spitzer bandpasses and (3) report a westward shift in the Kepler optical phase curve. We argue that Kepler-7b's visible flux cannot be due to thermal emission or Rayleigh scattering from H{sub 2} molecules. We therefore conclude that high altitude, optically reflective clouds located west from the substellar point are present in its atmosphere. We find that a silicate-based cloud composition is a possible candidate. Kepler-7b exhibits several properties that may make it particularly amenable to cloud formation in its upper atmosphere. These include a hot deep atmosphere that avoids a cloud cold trap, very low surface gravity to suppress cloud sedimentation, and a planetary equilibrium temperature in a range that allows for silicate clouds to potentially form in the visible atmosphere probed by Kepler. Our analysis does not only present evidence of optically thick clouds on Kepler-7b but also yields the first map of clouds in an exoplanet atmosphere.

  14. Finding Exoplanets Using Point Spread Function Photometry on Kepler Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaro, Rachael Christina; Scolnic, Daniel; Montet, Ben

    2018-01-01

    The Kepler Mission has been able to identify over 5,000 exoplanet candidates using mostly aperture photometry. Despite the impressive number of discoveries, a large portion of Kepler’s data set is neglected due to limitations using aperture photometry on faint sources in crowded fields. We present an alternate method that overcomes those restrictions — Point Spread Function (PSF) photometry. This powerful tool, which is already used in supernova astronomy, was used for the first time on Kepler Full Frame Images, rather than just looking at the standard light curves. We present light curves for stars in our data set and demonstrate that PSF photometry can at least get down to the same photometric precision as aperture photometry. As a check for the robustness of this method, we change small variables (stamp size, interpolation amount, and noise correction) and show that the PSF light curves maintain the same repeatability across all combinations for one of our models. We also present our progress in the next steps of this project, including the creation of a PSF model from the data itself and applying the model across the entire data set at once.

  15. Challenges to Constraining Exoplanet Masses via Transmission Spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Batalha, Natasha E. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802 (United States); Kempton, Eliza M.-R. [Department of Physics, Grinnell College, 1116 8th Avenue, Grinnell, IA 50112 (United States); Mbarek, Rostom, E-mail: neb149@psu.edu [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2017-02-10

    MassSpec , a method for determining the mass of a transiting exoplanet from its transmission spectrum alone, was proposed by de Wit and Seager. The premise of this method relies on the planet’s surface gravity being extracted from the transmission spectrum via its effect on the atmospheric scale height, which in turn determines the strength of absorption features. Here, we further explore the applicability of MassSpec to low-mass exoplanets—specifically those in the super-Earth size range for which radial velocity determinations of the planetary mass can be extremely challenging and resource intensive. Determining the masses of these planets is of the utmost importance because their nature is otherwise highly unconstrained. Without knowledge of the mass, these planets could be rocky, icy, or gas-dominated. To investigate the effects of planetary mass on transmission spectra, we present simulated observations of super-Earths with atmospheres made up of mixtures of H{sub 2}O and H{sub 2}, both with and without clouds. We model their transmission spectra and run simulations of each planet as it would be observed with James Webb Space Telescope using the NIRISS, NIRSpec, and MIRI instruments. We find that significant degeneracies exist between transmission spectra of planets with different masses and compositions, making it impossible to unambiguously determine the planet’s mass in many cases.

  16. Linear-constraint wavefront control for exoplanet coronagraphic imaging systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, He; Eldorado Riggs, A. J.; Kasdin, N. Jeremy; Vanderbei, Robert J.; Groff, Tyler Dean

    2017-01-01

    A coronagraph is a leading technology for achieving high-contrast imaging of exoplanets in a space telescope. It uses a system of several masks to modify the diffraction and achieve extremely high contrast in the image plane around target stars. However, coronagraphic imaging systems are very sensitive to optical aberrations, so wavefront correction using deformable mirrors (DMs) is necessary to avoid contrast degradation in the image plane. Electric field conjugation (EFC) and Stroke minimization (SM) are two primary high-contrast wavefront controllers explored in the past decade. EFC minimizes the average contrast in the search areas while regularizing the strength of the control inputs. Stroke minimization calculates the minimum DM commands under the constraint that a target average contrast is achieved. Recently in the High Contrast Imaging Lab at Princeton University (HCIL), a new linear-constraint wavefront controller based on stroke minimization was developed and demonstrated using numerical simulation. Instead of only constraining the average contrast over the entire search area, the new controller constrains the electric field of each single pixel using linear programming, which could led to significant increases in speed of the wavefront correction and also create more uniform dark holes. As a follow-up of this work, another linear-constraint controller modified from EFC is demonstrated theoretically and numerically and the lab verification of the linear-constraint controllers is reported. Based on the simulation and lab results, the pros and cons of linear-constraint controllers are carefully compared with EFC and stroke minimization.

  17. DISCERNING EXOPLANET MIGRATION MODELS USING SPIN-ORBIT MEASUREMENTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morton, Timothy D.; Johnson, John Asher

    2011-01-01

    We investigate the current sample of exoplanet spin-orbit measurements to determine whether a dominant planet migration channel can be identified, and at what confidence. We use the predictions of Kozai migration plus tidal friction and planet-planet scattering as our misalignment models, and we allow for a fraction of intrinsically aligned systems, explainable by disk migration. Bayesian model comparison demonstrates that the current sample of 32 spin-orbit measurements strongly favors a two-mode migration scenario combining planet-planet scattering and disk migration over a single-mode Kozai migration scenario. Our analysis indicates that between 34% and 76% of close-in planets (95% confidence) migrated via planet-planet scattering. Separately analyzing the subsample of 12 stars with T eff >6250 K-which Winn et al. predict to be the only type of stars to maintain their primordial misalignments-we find that the data favor a single-mode scattering model over Kozai with 85% confidence. We also assess the number of additional hot star spin-orbit measurements that will likely be necessary to provide a more confident model selection, finding that an additional 20-30 measurement has a >50% chance of resulting in a 95% confident model selection, if the current model selection is correct. While we test only the predictions of particular Kozai and scattering migration models in this work, our methods may be used to test the predictions of any other spin-orbit misaligning mechanism.

  18. Achromatic Focal Plane Mask for Exoplanet Imaging Coronagraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Kevin Edward; Belikov, Ruslan; Guyon, Olivier; Balasubramanian, Kunjithapatham; Wilson, Dan

    2013-01-01

    Recent advances in coronagraph technologies for exoplanet imaging have achieved contrasts close to 1e10 at 4 lambda/D and 1e-9 at 2 lambda/D in monochromatic light. A remaining technological challenge is to achieve high contrast in broadband light; a challenge that is largely limited by chromaticity of the focal plane mask. The size of a star image scales linearly with wavelength. Focal plane masks are typically the same size at all wavelengths, and must be sized for the longest wavelength in the observational band to avoid starlight leakage. However, this oversized mask blocks useful discovery space from the shorter wavelengths. We present here the design, development, and testing of an achromatic focal plane mask based on the concept of optical filtering by a diffractive optical element (DOE). The mask consists of an array of DOE cells, the combination of which functions as a wavelength filter with any desired amplitude and phase transmission. The effective size of the mask scales nearly linearly with wavelength, and allows significant improvement in the inner working angle of the coronagraph at shorter wavelengths. The design is applicable to almost any coronagraph configuration, and enables operation in a wider band of wavelengths than would otherwise be possible. We include initial results from a laboratory demonstration of the mask with the Phase Induced Amplitude Apodization coronagraph.

  19. Design, fabrication, and testing of stellar coronagraphs for exoplanet imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Justin M.; Brewer, John; Hamilton, Ryan; Ward, Karen; Milster, Tom D.; Guyon, Olivier

    2017-09-01

    Complex-mask coronagraphs destructively interfere unwanted starlight with itself to enable direct imaging of exoplanets. This is accomplished using a focal plane mask (FPM); a FPM can be a simple occulter mask, or in the case of a complex-mask, is a multi-zoned device designed to phase-shift starlight over multiple wavelengths to create a deep achromatic null in the stellar point spread function. Creating these masks requires microfabrication techniques, yet many such methods remain largely unexplored in this context. We explore methods of fabrication of complex FPMs for a Phased-Induced Amplitude Apodization Complex-Mask Coronagraph (PIAACMC). Previous FPM fabrication efforts for PIAACMC have concentrated on mask manufacturability while modeling science yield, as well as assessing broadband wavelength operation. Moreover current fabrication efforts are concentrated on assessing coronagraph performance given a single approach. We present FPMs fabricated using several process paths, including deep reactive ion etching and focused ion beam etching using a silicon substrate. The characteristic size of the mask features is 5μm with depths ranging over 1μm. The masks are characterized for manufacturing quality using an optical interferometer and a scanning electron microscope. Initial testing is performed at the Subaru Extreme Adaptive Optics testbed, providing a baseline for future experiments to determine and improve coronagraph performance within fabrication tolerances.

  20. MASSIVE SATELLITES OF CLOSE-IN GAS GIANT EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

    We study the orbits, tidal heating and mass loss from satellites around close-in gas giant exoplanets. The focus is on large satellites which are potentially observable by their transit signature. We argue that even Earth-size satellites around hot Jupiters 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.

  1. Characterizing Exoplanet Atmospheres : A Complete Line List for Phosphine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousa-Silva, C.; Yurchenko, S. N.; Tennyson, J.

    2013-09-01

    The ability to characterise the atmospheres of cool stars, brown dwarfs and exoplanets requires fundamental data for all species contributing significantly to their opacity. However, with notable exceptions such as water and ammonia, existing molecular line lists are not sufficiently accurate or complete to allow for a full spectroscopic analysis of these bodies. ExoMol (www.exomol.com [1]) is a project that aims to rectify this by generating comprehensive line lists for all molecules likely to be detected in the atmospheres of cool astrophysical objects in the foreseeable future. The spectral data is generated by employing ab initio quantum mechanical methods, performing empirical refinement based on experimental spectroscopic data and harnessing high performance computing. Here we present our work on phosphine, (PH3), an equilateral pyramidal molecule (the phosphorus analogue to ammonia). Phosphine is known to be important for the atmospheres of giant-planets, cool stars and many other astronomical bodies. Rotational transition features of phosphine have been found in the far- infrared spectra of Saturn and Jupiter [2, 3], where it is a marker for vertical convection zones. A computed room temperature line list of phosphine is presented here [4], illustrated in the accompanying figure 1. This line list is a precursor to a high temperature equivalent to be produced in the near future, necessary for the analysis of cool stars and brown dwarfs. All the transitions' energy levels and Einstein A-coefficients were computed using the program TROVE [5].

  2. Challenges to Constraining Exoplanet Masses via Transmission Spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Batalha, Natasha E.; Kempton, Eliza M.-R.; Mbarek, Rostom

    2017-01-01

    MassSpec , a method for determining the mass of a transiting exoplanet from its transmission spectrum alone, was proposed by de Wit and Seager. The premise of this method relies on the planet’s surface gravity being extracted from the transmission spectrum via its effect on the atmospheric scale height, which in turn determines the strength of absorption features. Here, we further explore the applicability of MassSpec to low-mass exoplanets—specifically those in the super-Earth size range for which radial velocity determinations of the planetary mass can be extremely challenging and resource intensive. Determining the masses of these planets is of the utmost importance because their nature is otherwise highly unconstrained. Without knowledge of the mass, these planets could be rocky, icy, or gas-dominated. To investigate the effects of planetary mass on transmission spectra, we present simulated observations of super-Earths with atmospheres made up of mixtures of H 2 O and H 2 , both with and without clouds. We model their transmission spectra and run simulations of each planet as it would be observed with James Webb Space Telescope using the NIRISS, NIRSpec, and MIRI instruments. We find that significant degeneracies exist between transmission spectra of planets with different masses and compositions, making it impossible to unambiguously determine the planet’s mass in many cases.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Preparing for TESS: Precision Ground-based Light-curves of Newly Discovered Transiting Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yiting; Stefansson, Gudmundur; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Monson, Andy; Hebb, Leslie; Wisniewski, John; Huehnerhoff, Joseph

    2018-01-01

    NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), to be launched in early 2018, is expected to catalog a myriad of transiting exoplanet candidates ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, orbiting a diverse range of stellar types in the solar neighborhood. In particular, TESS will find small planets orbiting the closest and brightest stars, and will enable detailed atmospheric characterizations of planets with current and future telescopes. In the TESS era, ground-based follow-up resources will play a critical role in validating and confirming the planetary nature of the candidates TESS will discover. Along with confirming the planetary nature of exoplanet transits, high precision ground-based transit observations allow us to put further constraints on exoplanet orbital parameters and transit timing variations. In this talk, we present new observations of transiting exoplanets recently discovered by the K2 mission, using the optical diffuser on the 3.5m ARC Telescope at Apache Point Observatory. These include observations of the mini-Neptunes K2-28b and K2-104b orbiting early-to-mid M-dwarfs. In addition, other recent transit observations performed using the robotic 30cm telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile will be presented.

  5. Modeling the Cloudy Atmospheres of Cool Stars, Brown Dwarfs and Hot Exoplanets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Juncher, Diana

    M-dwarfs are very attractive targets when searching for new exoplanets. Unfortunately, they are also very difficult to model since their temperatures are low enough for dust clouds to form in their atmospheres. Because the properties of an exoplanet cannot be determined without knowing the proper......M-dwarfs are very attractive targets when searching for new exoplanets. Unfortunately, they are also very difficult to model since their temperatures are low enough for dust clouds to form in their atmospheres. Because the properties of an exoplanet cannot be determined without knowing......-consistent cloudy atmosphere models that can be used to properly determine the stellar parameters of cool stars. With this enhanced model atmosphere code I have created a grid of cool, dusty atmosphere models ranging in effective temperatures from Teff = 2000 − 3000 K. I have studied the formation and structure...... of their clouds and found that their synthetic spectra fit the observed spectra of mid to late type M-dwarfs and early type L-dwarfs well. With additional development into even cooler regimes, they could be used to characterize the atmospheres of exoplanets and aid us in our search for the kind of chemical...

  6. A New Window into Escaping Exoplanet Atmospheres: 10830 Å Line of Helium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oklopčić, Antonija; Hirata, Christopher M.

    2018-03-01

    Observational evidence for escaping exoplanet atmospheres has been obtained for a few exoplanets to date. It comes from strong transit signals detected in the ultraviolet, most notably in the wings of the hydrogen Lyα (Lyα) line. However, the core of the Lyα line is often heavily affected by interstellar absorption and geocoronal emission, limiting the information about the atmosphere that can be extracted from that part of the spectrum. Transit observations in atomic lines that are (a) sensitive enough to trace the rarefied gas in the planetary wind and (b) do not suffer from significant extinction by the interstellar medium could enable more detailed observations, and thus provide better constraints on theoretical models of escaping atmospheres. The absorption line of a metastable state of helium at 10830 Å could satisfy both of these conditions for some exoplanets. We develop a simple 1D model of escaping planetary atmospheres containing hydrogen and helium. We use it to calculate the density profile of helium in the 23S metastable excited state and the expected in-transit absorption at 10830 Å for two exoplanets known to have escaping atmospheres. Our results indicate that exoplanets similar to GJ 436b and HD 209458b should exhibit enhanced transit depths at 10830 Å, with ∼8% and ∼2% excess absorption in the line core, respectively.

  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. Sub-corotating region of Saturn's magnetosphere: Cassini observations of the azimuthal field and implications for the ionospheric Pederesen Current (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, E. J.; Dougherty, M. K.; Zhou, X.

    2010-12-01

    A consensus model of Saturn’s magnetosphere that has broad acceptance consists of four regions in which the plasma and field are corotating, sub-corotating or undergoing Vasyliunas or Dungey convection. In this model, the sub-corotating magnetosphere contains a large scale circuital current system comprised of radial, field-aligned and ionospheric currents. A quantitative rendering of this system developed by S. Cowley and E. Bunch relates the azimuthal field component, B phi, that causes the field to spiral to the ionospheric Pedersen current , Ip. Cassini measurements of B phi over the four year interval between 2005 and 2008 that are widely distributed in radial distance, latitude and local time have been used to compute Ip from a Bunce-Cowley formula. A striking north-south asymmetry of the global magnetosphere has been found. In the southern hemisphere, the magnitude and variation of Ip with invariant colatitude, θ, agree qualitatively with the model but Ip (θ) is shifted poleward by about 10°. In the northern hemisphere, however, the data fail to reproduce the profile of Ip (θ) predicted by the model but are dominated by two high latitude currents having the wrong polarities. Possible causes of this asymmetry are seasonal variations (summer in the southern hemisphere) and/or asymmetric plasma outflow from the inner magnetosphere such as the plumes extending southward from Enceladus. Another finding is a significant local time dependence of Ip(θ) rather than the axisymmetry assumed in the model. There is a close correspondence with the model in the noon sector. The currents in the midnight and dawn sectors are significantly larger than in the noon sector and the current in the dusk sector is dramatically weaker.

  9. Effect of line-of-sight inclinations on the observation of solar activity cycle: Lessons for CoRoT and Kepler

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vazquez Ramio, H; Regulo, C; Mathur, S; GarcIa, R A

    2011-01-01

    CoRoT and Kepler missions are collecting data of solar-like oscillating stars of unprecedented quality. Moreover, thanks to the length of the time series, we are able to study their seismic variability. In this work we use numerical simulations based on the last 3 solar cycles to analyze the light curves as a function of the line-of-sight inclination angle. These preliminary results showed that the direct observation of the light curve can induce some bias in the position of the maximum of the cycle.

  10. Surface Variability of Short-wavelength Radiation and Temperature on Exoplanets around M Dwarfs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Xin; Tian, Feng [Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Wang, Yuwei [Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0B9 (Canada); Dudhia, Jimy; Chen, Ming, E-mail: tianfengco@tsinghua.edu.cn [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)

    2017-03-10

    It is a common practice to use 3D General Circulation Models (GCM) with spatial resolution of a few hundred kilometers to simulate the climate of Earth-like exoplanets. The enhanced albedo effect of clouds is especially important for exoplanets in the habitable zones around M dwarfs that likely have fixed substellar regions and substantial cloud coverage. Here, we carry out mesoscale model simulations with 3 km spatial resolution driven by the initial and boundary conditions in a 3D GCM and find that it could significantly underestimate the spatial variability of both the incident short-wavelength radiation and the temperature at planet surface. Our findings suggest that mesoscale models with cloud-resolving capability be considered for future studies of exoplanet climate.

  11. An introduction to planets ours and others : from Earth to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Encrenaz, Thérèse

    2014-01-01

    What is a planet? The answer seems obvious, but nonetheless the definition of a planet has continuously evolved over the centuries, and their number has changed following successive discoveries. The decision endorsed by the International Astronomical Union to remove Pluto from the list of planets in 2006 well illustrates the difficulty associated with their definition. The recent discovery of hundreds of exoplanets around nearby stars of our Galaxy opens a new and spectacular dimension to astrophysics. We presently know very little about the physical nature of exoplanets. In contrast, our knowledge of Solar System planets has made huge progress over the past decades, thanks, especially, to space planetary exploration. The purpose of this book is first to characterize what planets are, in their global properties and in their diversity. Then, this knowledge is used to try to imagine the physical nature of exoplanets, starting from the few parameters we know about them. Throughout this book, as we explore the su...

  12. Statistical and dynamical remastering of classic exoplanet systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Benjamin Earl

    The most powerful constraints on planet formation will come from characterizing the dynamical state of complex multi-planet systems. Unfortunately, with that complexity comes a number of factors that make analyzing these systems a computationally challenging endeavor: the sheer number of model parameters, a wonky shaped posterior distribution, and hundreds to thousands of time series measurements. In this dissertation, I will review our efforts to improve the statistical analyses of radial velocity (RV) data and their applications to some renown, dynamically complex exoplanet system. In the first project (Chapters 2 and 4), we develop a differential evolution Markov chain Monte Carlo (RUN DMC) algorithm to tackle the aforementioned difficult aspects of data analysis. We test the robustness of the algorithm in regards to the number of modeled planets (model dimensionality) and increasing dynamical strength. We apply RUN DMC to a couple classic multi-planet systems and one highly debated system from radial velocity surveys. In the second project (Chapter 5), we analyze RV data of 55 Cancri, a wide binary system known to harbor five planetary orbiting the primary. We find the inner-most planet "e" must be coplanar to within 40 degrees of the outer planets, otherwise Kozai-like perturbations will cause the planet to enter the stellar photosphere through its periastron passage. We find the orbits of planets "b" and "c" are apsidally aligned and librating with low to median amplitude (50+/-6 10 degrees), but they are not orbiting in a mean-motion resonance. In the third project (Chapters 3, 4, 6), we analyze RV data of Gliese 876, a four planet system with three participating in a multi-body resonance, i.e. a Laplace resonance. From a combined observational and statistical analysis computing Bayes factors, we find a four-planet model is favored over one with three-planets. Conditioned on this preferred model, we meaningfully constrain the three-dimensional orbital

  13. Transit Recovery of Kepler-167e: Providing JWST with an Unprecedented Jupiter-analog Exoplanet Target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalba, Paul; Muirhead, Philip; Tamburo, Patrick

    2018-05-01

    The Kepler Mission has uncovered a handful of long-period transiting exoplanets that orbit in the cold outer reaches of their systems, despite their low transit probabilities. Recent work suggests that cold gas giant exoplanet atmospheres are amenable to transmission spectroscopy (the analysis of the transit depth versus wavelength) enabling novel tests of planetary formation and evolution theories. Of particular scientific interest is Kepler-167e, a low-eccentricity Jupiter-analog exoplanet with a 1,071-day orbital period residing well beyond the snow-line. Transmission spectroscopy of Kepler-167e from JWST can reveal the composition of this planet's atmosphere, constrain its heavy-element abundance, and identify atmospheric photochemical processes. JWST characterization also enables unprecedented direct comparison with Jupiter and Saturn, which show a striking diversity in physical properties that is best investigated through comparative exoplanetology. Since Kepler only observed two transits of Kepler-167e, it is not known if this exoplanet exhibits transit timing variations (TTVs). About half of Kepler's long-period exoplanets have TTVs of up to 40 hours. Such a large uncertainty jeopardizes attempts to characterize the atmosphere of this unique Jovian exoplanet with JWST. To mitigate this risk, the upcoming third transit of Kepler-167e must be observed to test for TTVs. We propose a simple 10-hour, single-channel observation to capture ingress or egress of the next transit of Kepler-167e in December 2018. In the absence of TTVs, our observation will reduce the ephemeris uncertainty from an unknown value to approximately 3 minutes, thereby removing the risk in future transit observations with JWST. The excellent photometric precision of Spitzer is sufficient to identify the transit of Kepler-167e. Given the timing and nature of this program, Spitzer is the only observatory--on the ground or in space--that can make this pivotal observation.

  14. Exploring the Diversity of Exoplanet Atmospheres Using Ground-Based Transit Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, Jacob

    This is a proposal to fund an observational study of the atmospheres of exoplanets in order to improve our understanding of the nature and origins of these mysterious worlds. The observations will be performed using our new approach for ground-based transit spectroscopy measurements that yields space-telescope quality data. We will also carry out supporting theoretical calculations with new abundance retrieval codes to interpret the measurements. Our project includes a survey of giant exoplanets, and intensive study of especially compelling exoplanets. For the survey, optical and near-infrared transmission spectra, and near-infrared emission spectra will be measured for giant exoplanets with a wide range of estimated temperatures, heavy element abundance, and mass. This comprehensive characterization of a large sample of these planets is now crucial to investigate such issues for their atmospheres as the carbon-to-oxygen ratios and overall metallicities, cause of thermal inversions, and prevalence and nature of high-altitude hazes. The intensive study of compelling individual planets will focus on low-mass (M spectroscopy, and leveraging its particular sensitivity to the atmospheric scale height. Observations for the project will be carried out with Magellan, Keck, Gemini, and VLT. The team has institutional access to Magellan and Keck, and a demonstrated record of obtaining time on Gemini and VLT for these observations through public channels. This proposal is highly relevant for current and future NASA projects. We are seeking to understand the diversity of exoplanets revealed by planet searches like Kepler and the Eta-Earth survey. Our observations will complement, extend, and provide context for similar observations with HST and Spitzer. We will investigate the fundamental nature of the closest kin to Earth-size exoplanets, and this is an important foundation that must be laid down before studying habitable planets with JWST and a future TPF-like mission.

  15. UNDERSTANDING TRENDS ASSOCIATED WITH CLOUDS IN IRRADIATED EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heng, Kevin [University of Bern, Center for Space and Habitability, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland); Demory, Brice-Olivier, E-mail: kevin.heng@csh.unibe.ch, E-mail: demory@mit.edu [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2013-11-10

    Unlike previously explored relationships between the properties of hot Jovian atmospheres, the geometric albedo and the incident stellar flux do not exhibit a clear correlation, as revealed by our re-analysis of Q0-Q14 Kepler data. If the albedo is primarily associated with the presence of clouds in these irradiated atmospheres, a holistic modeling approach needs to relate the following properties: the strength of stellar irradiation (and hence the strength and depth of atmospheric circulation), the geometric albedo (which controls both the fraction of starlight absorbed and the pressure level at which it is predominantly absorbed), and the properties of the embedded cloud particles (which determine the albedo). The anticipated diversity in cloud properties renders any correlation between the geometric albedo and the stellar flux weak and characterized by considerable scatter. In the limit of vertically uniform populations of scatterers and absorbers, we use an analytical model and scaling relations to relate the temperature-pressure profile of an irradiated atmosphere and the photon deposition layer and to estimate whether a cloud particle will be lofted by atmospheric circulation. We derive an analytical formula for computing the albedo spectrum in terms of the cloud properties, which we compare to the measured albedo spectrum of HD 189733b by Evans et al. Furthermore, we show that whether an optical phase curve is flat or sinusoidal depends on whether the particles are small or large as defined by the Knudsen number. This may be an explanation for why Kepler-7b exhibits evidence for the longitudinal variation in abundance of condensates, while Kepler-12b shows no evidence for the presence of condensates despite the incident stellar flux being similar for both exoplanets. We include an 'observer's cookbook' for deciphering various scenarios associated with the optical phase curve, the peak offset of the infrared phase curve, and the geometric

  16. STABILITY OF CO2 ATMOSPHERES ON DESICCATED M DWARF EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao, Peter; Hu, Renyu; Li, Cheng; Yung, Yuk L.; Robinson, Tyler D.

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the chemical stability of CO 2 -dominated atmospheres of desiccated M dwarf terrestrial exoplanets using a one-dimensional photochemical model. Around Sun-like stars, CO 2 photolysis by Far-UV (FUV) radiation is balanced by recombination reactions that depend on water abundance. Planets orbiting M dwarf stars experience more FUV radiation, and could be depleted in water due to M dwarfs’ prolonged, high-luminosity pre-main sequences. We show that, for water-depleted M dwarf terrestrial planets, a catalytic cycle relying on H 2 O 2 photolysis can maintain a CO 2 atmosphere. However, this cycle breaks down for atmospheric hydrogen mixing ratios <1 ppm, resulting in ∼40% of the atmospheric CO 2 being converted to CO and O 2 on a timescale of 1 Myr. The increased O 2 abundance leads to high O 3 concentrations, the photolysis of which forms another CO 2 -regenerating catalytic cycle. For atmospheres with <0.1 ppm hydrogen, CO 2 is produced directly from the recombination of CO and O. These catalytic cycles place an upper limit of ∼50% on the amount of CO 2 that can be destroyed via photolysis, which is enough to generate Earth-like abundances of (abiotic) O 2 and O 3 . The conditions that lead to such high oxygen levels could be widespread on planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs. Discrimination between biological and abiotic O 2 and O 3 in this case can perhaps be accomplished by noting the lack of water features in the reflectance and emission spectra of these planets, which necessitates observations at wavelengths longer than 0.95 μm

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  18. UNDERSTANDING TRENDS ASSOCIATED WITH CLOUDS IN IRRADIATED EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heng, Kevin; Demory, Brice-Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Unlike previously explored relationships between the properties of hot Jovian atmospheres, the geometric albedo and the incident stellar flux do not exhibit a clear correlation, as revealed by our re-analysis of Q0-Q14 Kepler data. If the albedo is primarily associated with the presence of clouds in these irradiated atmospheres, a holistic modeling approach needs to relate the following properties: the strength of stellar irradiation (and hence the strength and depth of atmospheric circulation), the geometric albedo (which controls both the fraction of starlight absorbed and the pressure level at which it is predominantly absorbed), and the properties of the embedded cloud particles (which determine the albedo). The anticipated diversity in cloud properties renders any correlation between the geometric albedo and the stellar flux weak and characterized by considerable scatter. In the limit of vertically uniform populations of scatterers and absorbers, we use an analytical model and scaling relations to relate the temperature-pressure profile of an irradiated atmosphere and the photon deposition layer and to estimate whether a cloud particle will be lofted by atmospheric circulation. We derive an analytical formula for computing the albedo spectrum in terms of the cloud properties, which we compare to the measured albedo spectrum of HD 189733b by Evans et al. Furthermore, we show that whether an optical phase curve is flat or sinusoidal depends on whether the particles are small or large as defined by the Knudsen number. This may be an explanation for why Kepler-7b exhibits evidence for the longitudinal variation in abundance of condensates, while Kepler-12b shows no evidence for the presence of condensates despite the incident stellar flux being similar for both exoplanets. We include an 'observer's cookbook' for deciphering various scenarios associated with the optical phase curve, the peak offset of the infrared phase curve, and the geometric albedo

  19. Cassini ISS Observations of Jupiter: An Exoplanet Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Robert A.; Knowles, Benjamin

    2017-10-01

    Understanding the optical and physical properties of planets in our solar system can guide our approach to the interpretation of observations of exoplanets. Although some work has already been done along these lines, there remain low-hanging fruit. During the Cassini Jupiter encounter, the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) obtained an extensive set of images over a large range of phase angles (near-zero to 140 degrees) and in filters from near-UV to near-IR, including three methane bands and nearby continuum. The ISS also obtained images using polarizers. Much later in the mission we also obtained distant images while in orbit around Saturn. Some of these data have already been studied to reveal phase behavior (Dyudina et al., Astrophys. J.822, DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/822/2/76; Mayorga et al., 2016, Astron. J. 152, DOI: 10.3847/0004-6256/152/6/209). Here we examine rotational modulation to determine wavelength and phase angle dependence, and how these may depend on cloud and haze vertical structure and optical properties. The existence of an optically thin forward-scattering and longitudinally-homogeneous haze overlying photometrically-variable cloud fields tends to suppress rotational modulation as phase angle increases, although in the strong 890-nm methane band cloud vertical structure is important. Cloud particles (non-spherical ammonia ice, mostly) have very small polarization signatures at intermediate phase angles and rotational modulation is not apparent above the noise level of our instrument. Part of this work was performed by the Jet Propulsion Lab, Cal. Inst. Of Technology.

  20. A HARDCORE model for constraining an exoplanet's core size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suissa, Gabrielle; Chen, Jingjing; Kipping, David

    2018-05-01

    The interior structure of an exoplanet is hidden from direct view yet likely plays a crucial role in influencing the habitability of the Earth analogues. Inferences of the interior structure are impeded by a fundamental degeneracy that exists between any model comprising more than two layers and observations constraining just two bulk parameters: mass and radius. In this work, we show that although the inverse problem is indeed degenerate, there exists two boundary conditions that enables one to infer the minimum and maximum core radius fraction, CRFmin and CRFmax. These hold true even for planets with light volatile envelopes, but require the planet to be fully differentiated and that layers denser than iron are forbidden. With both bounds in hand, a marginal CRF can also be inferred by sampling in-between. After validating on the Earth, we apply our method to Kepler-36b and measure CRFmin = (0.50 ± 0.07), CRFmax = (0.78 ± 0.02), and CRFmarg = (0.64 ± 0.11), broadly consistent with the Earth's true CRF value of 0.55. We apply our method to a suite of hypothetical measurements of synthetic planets to serve as a sensitivity analysis. We find that CRFmin and CRFmax have recovered uncertainties proportional to the relative error on the planetary density, but CRFmarg saturates to between 0.03 and 0.16 once (Δρ/ρ) drops below 1-2 per cent. This implies that mass and radius alone cannot provide any better constraints on internal composition once bulk density constraints hit around a per cent, providing a clear target for observers.

  1. Laboratory Studies of Planetary Hazes: composition of cool exoplanet atmospheric aerosols with very high resolution mass spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Sarah E.; Horst, Sarah; He, Chao; Flandinet, Laurene; Moses, Julianne I.; Orthous-Daunay, Francois-Regis; Vuitton, Veronique; Wolters, Cedric; Lewis, Nikole

    2017-10-01

    We present first results of the composition of laboratory-produced exoplanet haze analogues. With the Planetary HAZE Research (PHAZER) Laboratory, we simulated nine exoplanet atmospheres of varying initial gas phase compositions representing increasing metallicities (100x, 1000x, and 10000x solar) and exposed them to three different temperature regimes (600, 400, and 300 K) with two different “instellation” sources (a plasma source and a UV lamp). The PHAZER exoplanet experiments simulate a temperature and atmospheric composition phase space relevant to the expected planetary yield of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission as well as recently discovered potentially habitable zone exoplanets in the TRAPPIST-1, LHS-1140, and Proxima Centauri systems. Upon exposure to the energy sources, all of these experiments produced aerosol particles, which were collected in a dry nitrogen glove box and then analyzed with an LTQ Orbitrap XL™ Hybrid Ion Trap-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer utilizing m/z ranging from 50 to 1000. The collected aerosol samples were found to contain complex organics. Constraining the composition of these aerosols allows us to better understand the photochemical and dynamical processes ongoing in exoplanet atmospheres. Moreover, these data can inform our telescope observations of exoplanets, which is of critical importance as we enter a new era of exoplanet atmosphere observation science with the upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. The molecular makeup of these haze particles provides key information for understanding exoplanet atmospheric spectra, and constraining the structure and behavior of clouds, hazes, and other aerosols is at the forefront of exoplanet atmosphere science.

  2. Evo-SETI SCALE to measure Life on Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maccone, Claudio

    2016-04-01

    that the GBM exponential may be regarded as the geometric locus of all the peaks of a one-parameter (i.e. the peak time p) family of b-lognormals. Since b-lognormals are pdf-s, the area under each of them always equals 1 (normalization condition) and so, going from left to right on the time axis, the b-lognormals become more and more ;peaky;, and so they last less and less in time. This is precisely what happened in human history: civilizations that lasted millennia (like Ancient Greece and Rome) lasted just centuries (like the Italian Renaissance and Portuguese, Spanish, French, British and USA Empires) but they were more and more advanced in the ;level of civilization;. This ;level of civilization; is what physicists call ENTROPY. Also, in refs. Maccone [3] and [4], this author proved that, for all GBMs, the (Shannon) Entropy of the b-lognormals in his Peak-Locus Theorem grows LINEARLY in time. The Molecular Clock, well known to geneticists since 50 years, shows that the DNA base-substitutions occur LINEARLY in time since they are neutral with respect to Darwinian selection. In simple words: DNA evolved by obeying the laws of quantum physics only (microscopic laws) and not by obeying assumed ;Darwinian selection laws; (macroscopic laws). This is Kimura's neutral theory of molecular evolution. The conclusion is that the Molecular Clock and the b-lognormal Entropy are the same thing. At last, we reach the new, original result justifying the publication of this paper. On exoplanets, molecular evolution is proceeding at about the same rate as it did proceed on Earth: rather independently of the physical conditions of the exoplanet, if the DNA had the possibility to evolve in water initially. Thus, Evo-Entropy, i.e. the (Shannon) Entropy of the generic b-lognormal of the Peak-Locus Theorem, provides the Evo-SETI SCALE to measure the evolution of life on exoplanets.

  3. Solar-wind turbulence and shear: a superposed-epoch analysis of corotating interaction regions at 1 AU

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borovsky, Joseph E [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Denton, Michael H [LANCASTER UNIV.

    2009-01-01

    A superposed-epoch analysis of ACE and OMNI2 measurements is performed on 27 corotating interaction regions (CIRs) in 2003-2008, with the zero epoch taken to be the stream interface as determined by the maximum of the plasma vorticity. The structure of CIRs is investigated. When the flow measurements are rotated into the local-Parker-spiral coordinate system the shear is seen to be abrupt and intense, with vorticities on the order of 10{sup -5}-10{sup -4} sec{sup -1}. Converging flows perpendicular to the stream interface are seen in the local-Parker-spiral coordinate system and about half of the CIRs show a layer of divergent rebound flow away from the stream interface. Arguments indicate that any spreading of turbulence away from the region where it is produced is limited to about 10{sup 6} km, which is very small compared with the thickness of a CrR. Analysis of the turbulence across the CrRs is performed. When possible, the effects of discontinuities are removed from the data. Fluctuation amplitudes, the Alfvenicity, and the level of Alfvenic correlations all vary smoothly across the CrR. The Alfven ratio exhibits a decrease at the shear zone of the stream interface. Fourier analysis of 4.5-hr subintervals of ACE data is performed and the results are superposed averaged as an ensemble of realizations. The spectral slopes of the velocity, magnetic-field, and total-energy fluctuations vary smoothly across the CIR. The total-energy spectral slope is {approx} 3/2 in the slow and fast wind and in the CrRs. Analysis of the Elsasser inward-outward fluctuations shows a smooth transition across the CrR from an inward-outward balance in the slow wind to an outward dominance in the fast wind. A number of signatures of turbulence driving at the shear zone are sought (entropy change, turbulence amplitude, Alfvenicity, Alfven ratio, spectral slopes, in-out nature): none show evidence of driving of turbulence by shear.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swinyard, Bruce; Tinetti, Giovanna; Tennyson, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    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 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...

  5. 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 first campaign took place during the winter 2010, and the telescope functionned nominally during all the winter. A first 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.

  6. Automation of processing and photometric data analysis for transiting exoplanets observed with ESO NIR instrument HAWK-I

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blažek, M.; Kabáth, P.; Klocová, T.; Skarka, M.

    2018-04-01

    Nowadays, when amount of data still increases, it is necessary to automatise their processing. State-of-the-art instruments are capable to produce even tens of thousands of images during a single night. One of them is HAWK-I that is a part of Very Large Telescope of European Southern Observatory. This instrument works in near-infrared band. In my Master thesis, I dealt with developing a pipeline to process data obtained by the instrument. It is written in Python programming language using commands of IRAF astronomical software and it is developed directly for "Fast Photometry Mode" of HAWK-I. In this mode, a large number of data has been obtained during secondary eclipses of exoplanets by their host star. The pipeline was tested by a data set from sorting of the images to making a light curve. The data of WASP-18 system contained almost 40 000 images observed by using a filter centered at 2.09 μm wavelength and there is a plan to process other data sets. A goal of processing of WASP-18 and the other data sets is consecutive analysis of exoplanetary atmospheres of the observed systems.

  7. Close-up of primary and secondary asteroseismic CoRoT targets and the ground-based follow-up observations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uytterhoeven, K; Poretti, E; Rainer, M; Mantegazza, L [INAF-Brera Astronomical Observatory, Via E. Bianchi 46, 23807 Merate (Italy); Zima, W; Aerts, C; Morel, T; Lefever, K [Institute of Astronomy, KULeuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, 3001 Leuven (Belgium); Miglio, A [Institut d' Astrophysique et de Geophysique de l' Universite de Liege, Allee du 6 Aout 17, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Amado, P J; MartIn-Ruiz, S [Instituto de AstrofIsica de AndalucIa (CSIC), Apartado 3004, 18080 Granada (Spain); Mathias, P; Valtier, J C [Observatoire de la Cote d' Azur, GEMINI, CNRS, Universite Nice Sophia-Antipolis, BP 4229, 06304 Nice Cedex 4 (France); Paparo, M; Benkoe, J M [Konkoly Observatory, PO Box 67, 1525 Budapest (Hungary)], E-mail: katrien.uytterhoeven@brera.inaf.it

    2008-10-15

    To optimise the science results of the asteroseismic part of the CoRoT satellite mission a complementary simultaneous ground-based observational campaign is organised for selected CoRoT targets. The observations include both high-resolution spectroscopic and multicolour photometric data. We present the preliminary results of the analysis of the ground-based observations of three targets. A line-profile analysis of 216 high-resolution FEROS spectra of the {delta} Sct star HD 50844 reveals more than ten pulsation frequencies in the frequency range 5-18 d{sup -1}, including possibly one radial fundamental mode (6.92 d{sup -1}). Based on more than 600 multi-colour photometric datapoints of the {beta} Cep star HD 180642, spanning about three years and obtained with different telescopes and different instruments, we confirm the presence of a dominant radial mode {nu}{sub 1} = 5.48695 d{sup -1}, and detect also its first two harmonics. We find evidence for a second mode {nu}{sub 2} = 0.3017 d{sup -1}, possibly a g-mode, and indications for two more frequencies in the 7-8 d{sup -1} domain. From Stromgren photometry we find evidence for the hybrid 5 Sct/{gamma} Dor character of the F0 star HD 44195, as frequencies near 3 d{sup -1} and 21 d{sup -1} are detected simultaneously in the different filters.

  8. Models of red giants in the CoRoT asteroseismology fields combining asteroseismic and spectroscopic constraints - The open cluster NGC 6633 and field stars-

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagarde, Nadège; Miglio, Andrea; Eggenberger, Patrick; Morel, Thierry; Montalbàn, Josefina; Mosser, Benoit

    2015-08-01

    The availability of asteroseismic constraints for a large sample of red giant stars from the CoRoT and Kepler missions paves the way for various statistical studies of the seismic properties of stellar populations.We use the first detailed spectroscopic study of CoRoT red-giant stars (Morel et al 2014) to compare theoretical stellar evolution models to observations of the open cluster NGC 6633 and field stars.In order to explore the effects of rotation-induced mixing and thermohaline instability, we compare surface abundances of carbon isotopic ratio and lithium with stellar evolution predictions. These chemicals are sensitive to extra-mixing on the red-giant branch.We estimate mass, radius, and distance for each star using the seismic constraints. We note that the Hipparcos and seismic distances are different. However, the uncertainties are such that this may not be significant. Although the seismic distances for the cluster members are self consistent they are somewhat larger than the Hipparcos distance. This is an issue that should be considered elsewhere. Models including thermohaline instability and rotation-induced mixing, together with the seismically determined masses can explain the chemical properties of red-giants targets. Tighter constraints on the physics of the models would be possible if there were detailed knowledge of the core rotation rate and the asymptotic period spacing.

  9. Azimuthal magnetic fields in Saturn’s magnetosphere: effects associated with plasma sub-corotation and the magnetopause-tail current system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. J. Bunce

    Full Text Available We calculate the azimuthal magnetic fields expected to be present in Saturn’s magnetosphere associated with two physical effects, and compare them with the fields observed during the flybys of the two Voyager spacecraft. The first effect is associated with the magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling currents which result from the sub-corotation of the magnetospheric plasma. This is calculated from empirical models of the plasma flow and magnetic field based on Voyager data, with the effective Pedersen conductivity of Saturn’s ionosphere being treated as an essentially free parameter. This mechanism results in a ‘lagging’ field configuration at all local times. The second effect is due to the day-night asymmetric confinement of the magnetosphere by the solar wind (i.e. the magnetopause and tail current system, which we have estimated empirically by scaling a model of the Earth’s magnetosphere to Saturn. This effect produces ‘leading’ fields in the dusk magnetosphere, and ‘lagging’ fields at dawn. Our results show that the azimuthal fields observed in the inner regions can be reasonably well accounted for by plasma sub-corotation, given a value of the effective ionospheric Pedersen conductivity of ~ 1–2 mho. This statement applies to field lines mapping to the equator within ~ 8 RS (1 RS is taken to be 60 330 km of the planet on the dayside inbound passes, where the plasma distribution is dominated by a thin equatorial heavy-ion plasma sheet, and to field lines mapping to the equator within ~ 15 RS on the dawn side outbound passes. The contributions of the magnetopause-tail currents are estimated to be much smaller than the observed fields in these regions. If, however, we assume that the azimuthal fields observed in these regions are not due to sub-corotation but to some other process, then the above effective conductivities define an upper limit, such that values above ~ 2 mho can definitely be

  10. DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION AND SPIN–ORBIT RESONANCES OF POTENTIALLY HABITABLE EXOPLANETS: THE CASE OF GJ 581d

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makarov, Valeri V.; Berghea, Ciprian; Efroimsky, Michael

    2012-01-01

    GJ 581d is a potentially habitable super-Earth in the multiple system of exoplanets orbiting a nearby M dwarf. We investigate this planet's long-term dynamics with an emphasis on its probable final rotation states acquired via tidal interaction with the host. The published radial velocities for the star are re-analyzed with a benchmark planet detection algorithm to confirm that there is no evidence for the recently proposed two additional planets (f and g). Limiting the scope to the four originally detected planets, we assess the dynamical stability of the system and find bounded chaos in the orbital motion. For the planet d, the characteristic Lyapunov time is 38 yr. Long-term numerical integration reveals that the system of four planets is stable, with the eccentricity of the planet d changing quasi-periodically in a tight range around 0.27, and with its semimajor axis varying only a little. The spin-orbit interaction of GJ 581d with its host star is dominated by the tides exerted by the star on the planet. We model this interaction, assuming a terrestrial composition of the mantle. Besides the triaxiality-caused torque and the secular part of the tidal torque, which are conventionally included in the equation of motion, we also include the tidal torques' oscillating components. It turns out that, depending on the mantle temperature, the planet gets trapped into the 2:1 or an even higher spin-orbit resonance. It is very improbable that the planet could have reached the 1:1 resonance. This improves the possibility of the planet being suitable for sustained life.

  11. Computing Models of M-type Host Stars and their Panchromatic Spectral Output

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linsky, Jeffrey; Tilipman, Dennis; France, Kevin

    2018-06-01

    We have begun a program of computing state-of-the-art model atmospheres from the photospheres to the coronae of M stars that are the host stars of known exoplanets. For each model we are computing the emergent radiation at all wavelengths that are critical for assessingphotochemistry and mass-loss from exoplanet atmospheres. In particular, we are computing the stellar extreme ultraviolet radiation that drives hydrodynamic mass loss from exoplanet atmospheres and is essential for determing whether an exoplanet is habitable. The model atmospheres are computed with the SSRPM radiative transfer/statistical equilibrium code developed by Dr. Juan Fontenla. The code solves for the non-LTE statistical equilibrium populations of 18,538 levels of 52 atomic and ion species and computes the radiation from all species (435,986 spectral lines) and about 20,000,000 spectral lines of 20 diatomic species.The first model computed in this program was for the modestly active M1.5 V star GJ 832 by Fontenla et al. (ApJ 830, 152 (2016)). We will report on a preliminary model for the more active M5 V star GJ 876 and compare this model and its emergent spectrum with GJ 832. In the future, we will compute and intercompare semi-empirical models and spectra for all of the stars observed with the HST MUSCLES Treasury Survey, the Mega-MUSCLES Treasury Survey, and additional stars including Proxima Cen and Trappist-1.This multiyear theory program is supported by a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute.

  12. Exoplanet modelling with the Met Office Unified Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutle, Ian; Lines, Stefan; Mayne, Nathan; Lee, Graham; Helling, Christiane; Drummond, Ben; Manners, James; Goyal, Jayesh; Lambert, Hugo; Acreman, David; Earnshaw, Paul; Amundsen, David; Baraffe, Isabelle

    2017-04-01

    This talk will present an overview of work being done to adapt the Unified Model, one of the most sophisticated weather and climate models of this planet, into a flexible planet simulator for use in the study of any exoplanet. We will focus on two current projects: Clouds in hot Jupiter atmospheres - recent HST observations have revealed a continuum in atmospheric composition from cloudy to clear skies. The presence of clouds is inferred from a grey opacity in the near-IR that mutes key absorption features in the transmission spectra. Unlike the L-T Brown Dwarf sequence, this transition does not correlate well with equilibrium temperature, suggesting that a cloud formation scheme more comprehensive than simply considering the condensation temperature needed for homogenous cloud growth, is required. In our work, we conduct 3D simulations of cloud nucleation, growth, advection, evaporation and gravitational settling in the atmospheres of HD209458b and HD189733 using the kinetic and mixed-grain cloud formation code DIHRT, coupled to the Unified Model. We explore cloud composition, vertical structure and particle sizes, as well as highlighting the importance of the strong atmospheric dynamics seen in tidally locked hot Jupiters on the evolution and distribution of the cloud. Climate of Proxima B - we present results of simulations of the climate of the newly discovered planet Proxima Centauri B, examining the responses of both an `Earth-like' atmosphere and simplified nitrogen and trace carbon dioxide atmosphere to the radiation likely received. Overall, our results are in agreement with previous studies in suggesting Proxima Centauri B may well have surface temperatures conducive to the presence of liquid water. Moreover, we have expanded the parameter regime over which the planet may support liquid water to higher values of eccentricity and lower incident fluxes, guided by observational constraints. This increased parameter space arises because of the low sensitivity

  13. Role of ocean heat transport in climates of tidally locked exoplanets around M dwarf stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yongyun; Yang, Jun

    2014-01-14

    The distinctive feature of tidally locked exoplanets is the very uneven heating by stellar radiation between the dayside and nightside. Previous work has focused on the role of atmospheric heat transport in preventing atmospheric collapse on the nightside for terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zone around M dwarfs. In the present paper, we carry out simulations with a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model to investigate the role of ocean heat transport in climate states of tidally locked habitable exoplanets around M dwarfs. Our simulation results demonstrate that ocean heat transport substantially extends the area of open water along the equator, showing a lobster-like spatial pattern of open water, instead of an "eyeball." For sufficiently high-level greenhouse gases or strong stellar radiation, ocean heat transport can even lead to complete deglaciation of the nightside. Our simulations also sugg