Sample records for exoplanet hd 189733b

  1. Towards consistent mapping of distant worlds: secondary-eclipse scanning of the exoplanet HD 189733b (United States)

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


    Context. Mapping distant worlds is the next frontier for exoplanet infrared (IR) photometry studies. Ultimately, constraining spatial and temporal properties of an exoplanet atmosphere (e.g., its temperature) will provide further insight into its physics. For tidally-locked hot Jupiters that transit and are eclipsed by their host star, the first steps are now possible. Aims: Our aim is to constrain an exoplanet's (1) shape, (2) brightness distribution (BD) and (3) system parameters from its phase curve and eclipse measurements. In particular, we rely on the secondary-eclipse scanning which is obtained while an exoplanet is gradually masked by its host star. Methods: We use archived Spitzer/IRAC 8-μm data of HD 189733 (six transits, eight secondary eclipses, and a phase curve) in a global Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) procedure for mitigating systematics. We also include HD 189733's out-of-transit radial velocity (RV) measurements to assess their incidence on the inferences obtained solely from the photometry. Results: We find a 6σ deviation from the expected occultation of a uniformly-bright disk. This deviation emerges mainly from a large-scale hot spot in HD 189733b's atmosphere, not from HD 189733b's shape. We indicate that the correlation of the exoplanet orbital eccentricity, e, and BD ("uniform time offset") does also depend on the stellar density, ρ⋆, and the exoplanet impact parameter, b ("e-b-ρ⋆-BD correlation"). For HD 189733b, we find that relaxing the eccentricity constraint and using more complex BDs lead to lower stellar/planetary densities and a more localized and latitudinally-shifted hot spot. We, therefore, show that the light curve of an exoplanet does not constrain uniquely its brightness peak localization. Finally, we obtain an improved constraint on the upper limit of HD 189733b's orbital eccentricity, e ≤ 0.011 (95% confidence), when including HD 189733's RV measurements. Conclusions: Reanalysis of archived HD 189733's data

  2. The Death Spiral of the Hot Jupiter Exoplanet HD 189733b (United States)

    Dowling Jones, Liam; Marchioni, Lucas; Guinan, Edward; Engle, Scott


    HD 189733 is a quintessential example of hot Jupiter-type exoplanet systems in which a gas giant planet with a mass similar to Jupiter is orbiting extremely close to its host star. HD 189733 is the nearest and brightest hot Jupiter system discovered so far and undergoes transit eclipses. Because of this, HD 189733 is well studied across the electromagnetic spectrum. It consists of a 7.7 mag K1.5 V host star and a Jupiter-size planet orbiting with a period of P =2.22 days, only located only 0.030 AU from its host star.About ten years ago HD 189733 system was discovered to be accompanied by gravitationally-bound red dwarf M4 V star companion (HD 189733 B). It was found previously by Guinan et al. (2017) that the age measurement (~0.7 Gyr) of the K-type star indicated by its 11.95 day rotation period and corresponding moderately high levels of coronal X-ray and chromospheric emissions do not agree with the much older age of ~6 - 9 Gyr indicated from the low X-ray activity of the dM companion star. This age discrepancy is can be resolved by assuming an increase in angular momentum or “spin-up” of the HD 189733A by its hosted planet. It is probable is that this extra angular momentum was acquired from the orbiting exoplanet from the tidal and magnetic interactions of the planet and host star.Photometric observations of the planetary transit eclipses of HD 189733b have been carried out for over 11 years. Using new transit timings that we have obtained with the 1.3-m Robotically Controlled Telescope (RCT) when combined with numerous timings available in the literature, we have discovered a very small decrease in the orbital period of the HD 189733b. The change in period is dP/dt = 0.87 sec/100 yrs. This finding support the transfer of orbital angular momentum of the planet to the host star - thus spinning-up the host star and shrinking the orbit of the planet. At this rate of period decrease, the planet will be tidally disrupted in less than 40 million years. However

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

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    Morello, G.; Waldmann, I. P.; Tinetti, G.; Howarth, I. D. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, WC1E6BT (United Kingdom); Peres, G. [Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Palermo, via Archirafi I-90123, Italy. (Italy); Micela, G., E-mail: [Dipartimento di Fisica e Chimica (previously Dipartimento di Fisica), Specola Universitaria, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1 I-90123 (Italy)


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

  4. A ground-based near-infrared emission spectrum of the exoplanet HD 189733b. (United States)

    Swain, Mark R; Deroo, Pieter; Griffith, Caitlin A; Tinetti, Giovanna; Thatte, Azam; Vasisht, Gautam; Chen, Pin; Bouwman, Jeroen; Crossfield, Ian J; Angerhausen, Daniel; Afonso, Cristina; Henning, Thomas


    Detection of molecules using infrared spectroscopy probes the conditions and compositions of exoplanet atmospheres. Water (H(2)O), methane (CH(4)), carbon dioxide (CO(2)), and carbon monoxide (CO) have been detected in two hot Jupiters. These previous results relied on space-based telescopes that do not provide spectroscopic capability in the 2.4-5.2 microm spectral region. Here we report ground-based observations of the dayside emission spectrum for HD 189733b between 2.0-2.4 microm and 3.1-4.1 microm, where we find a bright emission feature. Where overlap with space-based instruments exists, our results are in excellent agreement with previous measurements. A feature at approximately 3.25 microm is unexpected and difficult to explain with models that assume local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) conditions at the 1 bar to 1 x 10(-6) bar pressures typically sampled by infrared measurements. The most likely explanation for this feature is that it arises from non-LTE emission from CH(4), similar to what is seen in the atmospheres of planets in our own Solar System. These results suggest that non-LTE effects may need to be considered when interpreting measurements of strongly irradiated exoplanets.

  5. Dynamic mineral clouds on HD 189733b. II. Monte Carlo radiative transfer for 3D cloudy exoplanet atmospheres: combining scattering and emission spectra (United States)

    Lee, G. K. H.; Wood, K.; Dobbs-Dixon, I.; Rice, A.; Helling, Ch.


    Context. As the 3D spatial properties of exoplanet atmospheres are being observed in increasing detail by current and new generations of telescopes, the modelling of the 3D scattering effects of cloud forming atmospheres with inhomogeneous opacity structures becomes increasingly important to interpret observational data. Aims: We model the scattering and emission properties of a simulated cloud forming, inhomogeneous opacity, hot Jupiter atmosphere of HD 189733b. We compare our results to available Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and Spitzer data and quantify the effects of 3D multiple scattering on observable properties of the atmosphere. We discuss potential observational properties of HD 189733b for the upcoming Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS) missions. Methods: We developed a Monte Carlo radiative transfer code and applied it to post-process output of our 3D radiative-hydrodynamic, cloud formation simulation of HD 189733b. We employed three variance reduction techniques, I.e. next event estimation, survival biasing, and composite emission biasing, to improve signal to noise of the output. For cloud particle scattering events, we constructed a log-normal area distribution from the 3D cloud formation radiative-hydrodynamic results, which is stochastically sampled in order to model the Rayleigh and Mie scattering behaviour of a mixture of grain sizes. Results: Stellar photon packets incident on the eastern dayside hemisphere show predominantly Rayleigh, single-scattering behaviour, while multiple scattering occurs on the western hemisphere. Combined scattered and thermal emitted light predictions are consistent with published HST and Spitzer secondary transit observations. Our model predictions are also consistent with geometric albedo constraints from optical wavelength ground-based polarimetry and HST B band measurements. We predict an apparent geometric albedo for HD 189733b of 0.205 and 0.229, in the

  6. Computation of the Transmitted and Polarized Scattered Fluxes by the Exoplanet HD 189733b in X-Rays

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Marin, Frederic; Grosso, N.


    Roč. 835, č. 2 (2017), 283/1-283/13 ISSN 0004-637X EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 312789 - STRONGGRAVITY Grant - others:COST Action(XE) MP1104 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : planetary systems * radiative transfer * stars individual HD 189733 Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 5.533, year: 2016


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    Kopparla, Pushkar; Yung, Yuk L. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States); Natraj, Vijay; Swain, Mark R. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA-JPL), Pasadena, CA (United States); Zhang, Xi [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Wiktorowicz, Sloane J., E-mail: [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA (United States)


    We present a multiple scattering vector radiative transfer model that produces disk integrated, full phase polarized light curves for reflected light from an exoplanetary atmosphere. We validate our model against results from published analytical and computational models and discuss a small number of cases relevant to the existing and possible near-future observations of the exoplanet HD 189733b. HD 189733b is arguably the most well observed exoplanet to date and the only exoplanet to be observed in polarized light, yet it is debated if the planet’s atmosphere is cloudy or clear. We model reflected light from clear atmospheres with Rayleigh scattering, and cloudy or hazy atmospheres with Mie and fractal aggregate particles. We show that clear and cloudy atmospheres have large differences in polarized light as compared to simple flux measurements, though existing observations are insufficient to make this distinction. Futhermore, we show that atmospheres that are spatially inhomogeneous, such as being partially covered by clouds or hazes, exhibit larger contrasts in polarized light when compared to clear atmospheres. This effect can potentially be used to identify patchy clouds in exoplanets. Given a set of full phase polarimetric measurements, this model can constrain the geometric albedo, properties of scattering particles in the atmosphere, and the longitude of the ascending node of the orbit. The model is used to interpret new polarimetric observations of HD 189733b in a companion paper.

  8. Water vapor in the spectrum of the extrasolar planet HD 189733b. II. The eclipse

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    Crouzet, Nicolas [Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H4 (Canada); McCullough, Peter R. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Deming, Drake [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Madhusudhan, Nikku, E-mail: [Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom)


    Spectroscopic observations of exoplanets are crucial to infer the composition and properties of their atmospheres. HD 189733b is one of the most extensively studied exoplanets and is a cornerstone for hot Jupiter models. In this paper, we report the dayside emission spectrum of HD 189733b in the wavelength range 1.1-1.7 μm obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in spatial scan mode. The quality of the data is such that even a straightforward analysis yields a high-precision Poisson noise-limited spectrum: the median 1σ uncertainty is 57 ppm per 0.02 μm bin. We also build a white-light curve correcting for systematic effects and derive an absolute eclipse depth of 96 ± 39 ppm. The resulting spectrum shows marginal evidence for water vapor absorption, but can also be well explained by a blackbody spectrum. However, the combination of these WFC3 data with previous Spitzer photometric observations is best explained by a dayside atmosphere of HD 189733b with no thermal inversion and a nearly solar or subsolar H{sub 2}O abundance in a cloud-free atmosphere. Alternatively, this apparent subsolar abundance may be the result of clouds or hazes that future studies need to investigate.

  9. NUV Transit Spectroscopy of HD189733b: Measuring the Mass-loss and Ionization State of a Prototypical Escaping Atmosphere (United States)

    Fossati, Luca


    The benchmark hot Jupiters HD209458b and HD189733b have provided the foundations of comparative planetology for giant exoplanets, making them of paramount importance for atmospheric studies of short-period planets. HD189733b is the closest transiting hot Jupiter to Earth and transit observations have been obtained and studied across the electromagnetic spectrum, with the surprising exception of the near-ultraviolet: a unique window for atmospheric mass-loss studies owing to the strong resonance lines and large photospheric flux in this band. In order to make a quantitative assessment of the metallicity, ionization state, and outflow rate of this important system, and to complete the panchromatic archive of transit spectroscopy of this archetypal object, we request 15 HST orbits to obtain three STIS near-ultraviolet transit light curves of HD189733b. These observations will allow us to study the physical properties of the planet's upper atmosphere, constrain the composition of the haze layer characterising the optical transmission spectrum, and provide a reference spectrum for NASA's recently funded Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment (CUTE) exoplanet mission, which will carry out a 1-year science mission to observe multiple near-ultraviolet transits of the brightest and most nearby short-period transiting planets to study the physics of atmospheric escape.

  10. Search for water vapor in the high-resolution transmission spectrum of HD 189733b in the visible (United States)

    Allart, R.; Lovis, C.; Pino, L.; Wyttenbach, A.; Ehrenreich, D.; Pepe, F.


    Context. Ground-based telescopes equipped with state-of-the-art spectrographs are able to obtain high-resolution transmission and emission spectra of exoplanets that probe the structure and composition of their atmospheres. Various atomic and molecular species, such as Na, CO, H2O have been already detected in a number of hot Jupiters. Molecular species have been observed only in the near-infrared while atomic species have been observed in the visible. In particular, the detection and abundance determination of water vapor bring important constraints to the planet formation process. Aims: We aim to search for water vapor in the atmosphere of the exoplanet HD 189733b using a high-resolution transmission spectrum in the visible obtained with HARPS. Methods: We used the atmospheric transmission code Molecfit to correct for telluric absorption features. Then we computed the high-resolution transmission spectrum of the planet using three transit datasets. We finally searched for water vapor absorption in the water band around 6500 Å using a cross-correlation technique that combines the signal of 600-900 individual lines. Results: Telluric features are corrected to the noise level. We place a 5-σ upper limit of 100 ppm on the strength of the 6500 Å water vapor band. The 1-σ precision of 20 ppm on the transmission spectrum demonstrates that space-like sensitivity can be achieved from the ground, even for a molecule that is a strong telluric absorber. Conclusions: This approach opens new possibilites for the detection of various atomic and molecular species with future instruments such as ESPRESSO at the VLT. Extrapolating from our results, we show that only one transit with ESPRESSO would be sufficient to detect water vapor on HD 189733b-like hot Jupiter with a cloud-free atmosphere. Upcoming near-IR spectrographs will be even more efficient and sensitive to a wider range of molecular species. Moreover, the detection of the same molecular species in different bands (e

  11. Water vapor in the spectrum of the extrasolar planet HD 189733b. I. The transit

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    McCullough, P. R.; Crouzet, N. [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Deming, D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Madhusudhan, N., E-mail: [Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States)


    We report near-infrared spectroscopy of the gas giant planet HD 189733b in transit. We used the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 (HST WFC3) with its G141 grism covering 1.1 μm to 1.7 μm and spatially scanned the image across the detector at 2'' s{sup –1}. When smoothed to 75 nm bins, the local maxima of the transit depths in the 1.15 μm and 1.4 μm water vapor features are, respectively, 83 ± 53 ppm and 200 ± 47 ppm greater than the local minimum at 1.3 μm. We compare the WFC3 spectrum with the composite transit spectrum of HD 189733b assembled by Pont et al., extending from 0.3 μm to 24 μm. Although the water vapor features in the WFC3 spectrum are compatible with the model of non-absorbing, Rayleigh-scattering dust in the planetary atmosphere, we also re-interpret the available data with a clear planetary atmosphere. In the latter interpretation, the slope of increasing transit depth with shorter wavelengths from the near infrared, through the visible, and into the ultraviolet is caused by unocculted star spots, with a smaller contribution of Rayleigh scattering by molecular hydrogen in the planet's atmosphere. At relevant pressures along the terminator, our model planetary atmosphere's temperature is ∼700 K, which is below the condensation temperatures of sodium- and potassium-bearing molecules, causing the broad wings of the spectral lines of Na I and K I at 0.589 μm and 0.769 μm to be weak.


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    Poppenhaeger, K.; Wolk, S. J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Schmitt, J. H. M. M., E-mail: [Hamburger Sternwarte, Gojenbergsweg 112, D-21029 Hamburg (Germany)


    We present new X-ray observations obtained with Chandra ACIS-S of the HD 189733 system, consisting of a K-type star orbited by a transiting Hot Jupiter and an M-type stellar companion. We report a detection of the planetary transit in soft X-rays with a significantly deeper transit depth than observed in the optical. The X-ray data favor a transit depth of 6%-8%, versus a broadband optical transit depth of 2.41%. While we are able to exclude several possible stellar origins for this deep transit, additional observations will be necessary to fully exclude the possibility that coronal inhomogeneities influence the result. From the available data, we interpret the deep X-ray transit to be caused by a thin outer planetary atmosphere which is transparent at optical wavelengths, but dense enough to be opaque to X-rays. The X-ray radius appears to be larger than the radius observed at far-UV wavelengths, most likely due to high temperatures in the outer atmosphere at which hydrogen is mostly ionized. We furthermore detect the stellar companion HD 189733B in X-rays for the first time with an X-ray luminosity of log L{sub X} = 26.67 erg s{sup -1}. We show that the magnetic activity level of the companion is at odds with the activity level observed for the planet-hosting primary. The discrepancy may be caused by tidal interaction between the Hot Jupiter and its host star.

  13. Constraining the atmospheric composition of the day-night terminators of HD 189733b: Atmospheric retrieval with aerosols

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    Lee, Jae-Min [Institute for Computational Science, University of Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zürich (Switzerland); Irwin, Patrick G. J.; Fletcher, Leigh N.; Barstow, Joanna K. [Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Planetary Physics, University of Oxford, OX1 3PU Oxford (United Kingdom); Heng, Kevin, E-mail: [Center for Space and Habitability, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland)


    A number of observations have shown that Rayleigh scattering by aerosols dominates the transmission spectrum of HD 189733b at wavelengths shortward of 1 μm. In this study, we retrieve a range of aerosol distributions consistent with transmission spectroscopy between 0.3-24 μm that were recently re-analyzed by Pont et al. To constrain the particle size and the optical depth of the aerosol layer, we investigate the degeneracies between aerosol composition, temperature, planetary radius, and molecular abundances that prevent unique solutions for transit spectroscopy. Assuming that the aerosol is composed of MgSiO{sub 3}, we suggest that a vertically uniform aerosol layer over all pressures with a monodisperse particle size smaller than about 0.1 μm and an optical depth in the range 0.002-0.02 at 1 μm provides statistically meaningful solutions for the day/night terminator regions of HD 189733b. Generally, we find that a uniform aerosol layer provide adequate fits to the data if the optical depth is less than 0.1 and the particle size is smaller than 0.1 μm, irrespective of the atmospheric temperature, planetary radius, aerosol composition, and gaseous molecules. Strong constraints on the aerosol properties are provided by spectra at wavelengths shortward of 1 μm as well as longward of 8 μm, if the aerosol material has absorption features in this region. We show that these are the optimal wavelengths for quantifying the effects of aerosols, which may guide the design of future space observations. The present investigation indicates that the current data offer sufficient information to constrain some of the aerosol properties of HD189733b, but the chemistry in the terminator regions remains uncertain.

  14. Atmospheric Circulation of Hot Jupiters: Three-dimensional Circulation Models of HD 209458b and HD 189733b with Simplified Forcing (United States)

    Showman, Adam P.; Cooper, Curtis S.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Marley, Mark S.


    We present global, three-dimensional numerical simulations of the atmospheric circulation on HD 209458b and HD 189733b and calculate the infrared spectra and light curves predicted by these simulations, which we compare with available observations. Radiative heating/cooling is parameterized with a simplified Newtonian relaxation scheme. Our simulations develop day-night temperature contrasts that vary strongly with pressure. At low pressure (poles. At deeper levels, the flow develops an eastward equatorial jet with speeds of 3-4 km s-1, with weaker westward flows at high latitudes. This basic flow pattern is robust to variations in model resolution, gravity, radiative time constant, and initial temperature structure. Nightside spectra show deep absorption bands of H2O, CO, and/or CH4, whereas on the dayside these absorption bands flatten out or even flip into emission. This results from the strong effect of dynamics on the vertical temperature-pressure structure; the temperature decreases strongly with altitude on the nightside but becomes almost isothermal on the dayside. In Spitzer bandpasses, our predicted planet-to-star flux ratios vary by a factor of ~2-10 with orbital phase, depending on the wavelength and chemistry. For HD 189733b, where a detailed 8 μm light curve has been obtained, we correctly produce the observed phase offset of the flux maximum, but we do not explain the flux minimum and we overpredict the total flux variation. This discrepancy likely results from the simplifications inherent in the Newtonian relaxation scheme and provides motivation for incorporating realistic radiative transfer in future studies.

  15. The climate of HD 189733b from fourteen transits and eclipses measured by Spitzer

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    Agol, E.; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept. /Santa Barbara, KITP /UC, Santa Barbara; Cowan, Nicolas B.; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Knutson, Heather A.; /UC, Berkeley, Astron. Dept.; Deming, Drake; /NASA, Goddard; Steffen, Jason H.; /Fermilab; Henry, Gregory W.; /Tennessee State U.; Charbonneau, David; /Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. Astrophys.


    We present observations of six transits and six eclipses of the transiting planet system HD 189733 taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope IRAC camera at 8 microns, as well as a re-analysis of previously published data. We use several novel techniques in our data analysis, the most important of which is a new correction for the detector 'ramp' variation with a double-exponential function which performs better and is a better physical model for this detector variation. Our main scientific findings are: (1) an upper limit on the variability of the day-side planet flux of 2.7% (68% confidence); (2) the most precise set of transit times measured for a transiting planet, with an average accuracy of 3 seconds; (3) a lack of transit-timing variations, excluding the presence of second planets in this system above 20% of the mass of Mars in low-order mean-motion resonance at 95% confidence; (4) a confirmation of the planet's phase variation, finding the night side is 64% as bright as the day side, as well as an upper limit on the night-side variability of 17% (68% confidence); (5) a better correction for stellar variability at 8 micron causing the phase function to peak 3.5 hours before secondary eclipse, confirming that the advection and radiation timescales are comparable at the 8 micron photosphere; (6) variation in the depth of transit, which possibly implies variations in the surface brightness of the portion of the star occulted by the planet, posing a fundamental limit on non-simultaneous multi-wavelength transit absorption measurements of planet atmospheres; (7) a measurement of the infrared limb-darkening of the star, which is in good agreement with stellar atmosphere models; (8) an offset in the times of secondary eclipse of 69 seconds, which is mostly accounted for by a 31 second light travel time delay and 33 second delay due to the shift of ingress and egress by the planet hot spot; this confirms that the phase variation is due to an offset hot

  16. Exploring atmospheres of hot mini-Neptune and extrasolar giant planets orbiting different stars with application to HD 97658b, WASP-12b, CoRoT-2b, XO-1b, and HD 189733b

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    Miguel, Y.; Kaltenegger, L., E-mail: [Max Planck Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, D-69117, Heidelberg (Germany)


    We calculated an atmospheric grid for hot mini-Neptune and giant exoplanets that links astrophysical observable parameters—orbital distance and stellar type—with the chemical atmospheric species expected. The grid can be applied to current and future observations to characterize exoplanet atmospheres and serves as a reference to interpret atmospheric retrieval analysis results. To build the grid, we developed a one-dimensional code for calculating the atmospheric thermal structure and linked it to a photochemical model that includes disequilibrium chemistry (molecular diffusion, vertical mixing, and photochemistry). We compare the thermal profiles and atmospheric composition of planets at different semimajor axes (0.01 AU ≤ a ≤ 0.1 AU) orbiting F, G, K, and M stars. Temperature and UV flux affect chemical species in the atmosphere. We explore which effects are due to temperature and which are due to stellar characteristics, showing the species most affected in each case. CH{sub 4} and H{sub 2}O are the most sensitive to UV flux, H displaces H{sub 2} as the most abundant gas in the upper atmosphere for planets receiving a high UV flux. CH{sub 4} is more abundant for cooler planets. We explore vertical mixing, to inform degeneracies on our models and in the resulting spectral observables. For lower pressures, observable species like H{sub 2}O or CO{sub 2} can indicate the efficiency of vertical mixing, with larger mixing ratios for a stronger mixing. By establishing the grid, testing the sensitivity of the results, and comparing our model to published results, our paper provides a tool to estimate what observations could yield. We apply our model to WASP-12b, CoRoT-2b, XO-1b, HD189733b, and HD97658b.

  17. Using the chromatic Rossiter-McLaughlin effect to probe the broadband signature in the optical transmission spectrum of HD 189733b (United States)

    Di Gloria, E.; Snellen, I. A. G.; Albrecht, S.


    Context. Transmission spectroscopy is a powerful technique for probing exoplanetary atmospheres. A successful ground-based observational method uses a differential technique that uses high-dispersion spectroscopy, but it only preserves narrow features in transmission spectra. Broadband features, such as the remarkable Rayleigh-scattering slope from possible hazes in the atmosphere of HD 189733b as observed by the Hubble Space Telescope, cannot be probed in this way. Aims: Here we use the chromatic Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect to measure the Rayleigh-scattering slope in the transmission spectrum of HD 189733b with the aim to show that it can be effectively used to measure broadband transmission features. The amplitude of the RM effects depends on the effective size of the planet, and in the case of an atmospheric contribution therefore depends on the observed wavelength. Methods: We analysed archival HARPS data of three transits of HD 189733b, covering a wavelength range of 400 to 700 nm. The radial velocity (RV) time-series were determined for white light and for six wavelength bins each 50 nm wide, using the cross-correlation profiles as provided by the HARPS data reduction pipeline. The RM effect was first fitted to the white-light RV time series using the publicly available code AROME. The residuals to this best fit were subsequently subtracted from the RV time series of each wavelength bin, after which they were also fitted using the same code, leaving only the effective planet radius to vary. Results: We measured the slope in the transmission spectrum of HD 189733b at a 2.5σ significance. Assuming it is due to Rayleigh scattering and not caused by stellar activity, it would correspond to an atmospheric temperature, as set by the scale height, of T = 2300 ± 900 K, well in line with previously obtained results. Conclusions: Ground-based high-dispersion spectral observations can be used to probe broad-band features in the transmission spectra of extrasolar


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    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: [SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States)


    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. The ground-based H, K, and L-band absolute emission spectra of HD 209458b


    Zellem, Robert T.; Griffith, Caitlin A.; Deroo, Pieter; Swain, Mark R.; Waldmann, Ingo P.


    Here we explore the capabilities of NASA's 3.0 meter Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and SpeX spectrometer and the 5.08 meter Hale telescope with the TripleSpec spectrometer with near-infrared H, K, and L-band measurements of HD 209458b's secondary eclipse. Our IRTF/SpeX data are the first absolute L-band spectroscopic emission measurements of any exoplanet other than the hot Jupiter HD 189733b. Previous measurements of HD 189733b's L-band indicate bright emission hypothesized to result fr...

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


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


    The current goal of exoplanetary science is not only focused on detecting but characterizing planetary systems in hopes of understanding how they formed, evolved, and relate to the Solar System. The Transit Ephemeris Refinement and Monitoring Survey (TERMS) combines both radial velocity (RV) and photometric data in order to achieve unprecedented ground-based precision in the fundamental properties of nearby, bright, exoplanet-hosting systems. Here we discuss HD 6434 and its planet, HD 6434b, ...


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deming, Drake; Wilkins, Ashlee [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); McCullough, Peter; Crouzet, Nicolas [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Burrows, Adam [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544-1001 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Agol, Eric; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian [NASA Astrobiology Institute' s Virtual Planetary Laboratory (United States); Madhusudhan, Nikku [Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Desert, Jean-Michel; Knutson, Heather A.; Line, Michael [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Gilliland, Ronald L. [Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Haynes, Korey [Department of Physics and Astronomy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030 (United States); Magic, Zazralt [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astrophysik, D-85741 Garching (Germany); Mandell, Avi M.; Clampin, Mark [NASA' s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Ranjan, Sukrit; Charbonneau, David [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Seager, Sara, E-mail: [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); and others


    Exoplanetary transmission spectroscopy in the near-infrared using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) NICMOS is currently ambiguous because different observational groups claim different results from the same data, depending on their analysis methodologies. Spatial scanning with HST/WFC3 provides an opportunity to resolve this ambiguity. We here report WFC3 spectroscopy of the giant planets HD 209458b and XO-1b in transit, using spatial scanning mode for maximum photon-collecting efficiency. We introduce an analysis technique that derives the exoplanetary transmission spectrum without the necessity of explicitly decorrelating instrumental effects, and achieves nearly photon-limited precision even at the high flux levels collected in spatial scan mode. Our errors are within 6% (XO-1) and 26% (HD 209458b) of the photon-limit at a resolving power of {lambda}/{delta}{lambda} {approx} 70, and are better than 0.01% per spectral channel. Both planets exhibit water absorption of approximately 200 ppm at the water peak near 1.38 {mu}m. Our result for XO-1b contradicts the much larger absorption derived from NICMOS spectroscopy. The weak water absorption we measure for HD 209458b is reminiscent of the weakness of sodium absorption in the first transmission spectroscopy of an exoplanet atmosphere by Charbonneau et al. Model atmospheres having uniformly distributed extra opacity of 0.012 cm{sup 2} g{sup -1} account approximately for both our water measurement and the sodium absorption. Our results for HD 209458b support the picture advocated by Pont et al. in which weak molecular absorptions are superposed on a transmission spectrum that is dominated by continuous opacity due to haze and/or dust. However, the extra opacity needed for HD 209458b is grayer than for HD 189733b, with a weaker Rayleigh component.

  2. Stellar Variability of the Exoplanet Hosting Star HD 63454


    {Kane} S.~R.; {Dragomir} D.; {Ciardi} D.~R.; {Lee} J.-W.; {Lo Curto} G.; {Lovis} C.; {Naef} D.; {Mahadevan} S.; {Pilyavsky} G.; {Udry} S.; {Wang} X.; {Wright} J.


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

  3. The ground-based H-, K-, and L-band absolute emission spectra of HD 209458b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zellem, Robert T.; Griffith, Caitlin A. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Deroo, Pieter; Swain, Mark R. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Waldmann, Ingo P., E-mail: [University College London, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT (United Kingdom)


    Here we explore the capabilities of NASA's 3.0 m Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and SpeX spectrometer and the 5.08 m Hale telescope with the TripleSpec spectrometer with near-infrared H-, K-, and L-band measurements of HD 209458b's secondary eclipse. Our IRTF/SpeX data are the first absolute L-band spectroscopic emission measurements of any exoplanet other than the hot Jupiter HD 189733b. Previous measurements of HD 189733b's L band indicate bright emission hypothesized to result from non-LTE CH{sub 4} ν{sub 3} fluorescence. We do not detect a similar bright 3.3 μm feature to ∼3σ, suggesting that fluorescence does not need to be invoked to explain HD 209458b's L-band measurements. The validity of our observation and reduction techniques, which decrease the flux variance by up to 2.8 orders of magnitude, is reinforced by 1σ agreement with existent Hubble/NICMOS and Spitzer/IRAC1 observations that overlap the H, K, and L bands, suggesting that both IRTF/SpeX and Palomar/TripleSpec can measure an exoplanet's emission with high precision.

  4. Characterizing exoplanets atmospheres with space photometry at optical wavelengths

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parmentier Vivien


    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.


    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:, E-mail: [Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 6 et CNRS, UMR 7095, Institut Astrophysique de Paris, F-75014 Paris (France)


    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.

  6. A Model of the Hα and Na Transmission Spectrum of HD 189733b (United States)

    Huang, Chenliang; Arras, Phil; Christie, Duncan; Li, Zhi-Yun


    The hot gas in the upper thermosphere of hot Jupiter sets the boundary condition for understanding the rate of gas escape. Among current detections, Hα and Na transmission spectrum may play an important role in understanding the conditions in the planet's thermosphere. I present a detailed atmosphere model and comparison of Hα and Na model transmission spectra to the data, with the goal of constraining the temperature, particle densities and radiation field in the region where the absorption line is formed.A hydrostatic atmosphere is constructed over the pressure range 10-4 - 10 μbar. Ionization equilibrium and balance of heating and cooling processes are enforced at each level of the atmosphere. The Lyα radiation intensity is computed using a Monte-Carlo code which includes resonant scattering, as well as photon destruction. Both the incident stellar Lyα and internal sources due to recombination cascade and collisional excitation are included. The atomic hydrogen level population is computed including both collisional and radiative transition rates.The model transmission spectra are in broad agreement with the data. Excitation of the H(n=2) population is mainly by Lyα radiative excitation due to the large Lyα intensity. The density of H(n=2) is nearly flat over two decades in pressure, and is optically thick to Hα. Additional models computed for a range of stellar Lyman continuum (LyC) flux suggest that the variability in transit depth may be due to the variability in the stellar LyC. Since metal lines provide the dominant cooling of this part of the atmosphere, the atmosphere structure is sensitive to the density of species such as Mg and Na which may themselves be constrained by observations. Since the Hα and Na D lines have comparable absorption depths, we argue that the center of the Na D lines are also formed in the atomic layer where the Hα line is formed.

  7. Search for Exoplanets around Northern Circumpolar Stars. II. The Detection of Radial Velocity Variations in M Giant Stars HD 36384, HD 52030, and HD 208742

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Byeong-Cheol; Jeong, Gwanghui; Han, Inwoo; Lee, Sang-Min; Kim, Kang-Min [Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute 776, Daedeokdae-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-348 (Korea, Republic of); Park, Myeong-Gu; Oh, Hyeong-Il [Department of Astronomy and Atmospheric Sciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701 (Korea, Republic of); Mkrtichian, David E. [National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, Chiang Mai 50200 (Thailand); Hatzes, Artie P. [Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg (TLS), Sternwarte 5, D-07778 Tautenburg (Germany); Gu, Shenghong; Bai, Jinming, E-mail: [Yunnan Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650011 (China)


    We present the detection of long-period RV variations in HD 36384, HD 52030, and HD 208742 by using the high-resolution, fiber-fed Bohyunsan Observatory Echelle Spectrograph (BOES) for the precise radial velocity (RV) survey of about 200 northern circumpolar stars. Analyses of RV data, chromospheric activity indicators, and bisector variations spanning about five years suggest that the RV variations are compatible with planet or brown dwarf companions in Keplerian motion. However, HD 36384 shows photometric variations with a period very close to that of RV variations as well as amplitude variations in the weighted wavelet Z-transform (WWZ) analysis, which argues that the RV variations in HD 36384 are from the stellar pulsations. Assuming that the companion hypothesis is correct, HD 52030 hosts a companion with minimum mass 13.3 M {sub Jup} orbiting in 484 days at a distance of 1.2 au. HD 208742 hosts a companion of 14.0 M {sub Jup} at 1.5 au with a period of 602 days. All stars are located at the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stage on the H–R diagram after undergoing the helium flash and leaving the giant clump.With stellar radii of 53.0 R {sub ⊙} and 57.2 R {sub ⊙} for HD 52030 and HD 208742, respectively, these stars may be the largest yet, in terms of stellar radius, found to host substellar companions. However, given possible RV amplitude variations and the fact that these are highly evolved stars, the planet hypothesis is not yet certain.

  8. Exoplanets (United States)

    Seager, S.


    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 bubble that will burst, deflating excitement and progress. In my opinion, exciting discoveries and theoretical advances will continue indefinitely in the years ahead, albeit at a slower pace than in the first decade. The reason is that observations uncover new kinds and new populations of exoplanets -- and these observations rely on technological development that usually takes over a decade to mature. For example, in the early 2000s all but one exoplanet was discovered by the radial velocity technique. At that time, many groups around the world were working on wide-field transit surveys. But it was not until recently, a decade into the twenty-first century, that the transit technique is responsible for almost one-quarter of known exoplanets. The planet discovery techniques astrometry (as yet to find a planet) and direct imaging have not yet matured; when they do, they will uncover planets within a new parameter space of planet mass and orbital characteristics. In addition, people are working hard to improve the precision for existing planet discovery techniques to detect lower

  9. Know the Star, Know the Planet. V. Characterization of the Stellar Companion to the Exoplanet Host Star HD 177830 (United States)

    Roberts, Lewis C., Jr.; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Crepp, Justin R.; Baranec, Christoph; Beichman, Charles; Brenner, Douglas; Burruss, Rick; Cady, Eric; Luszcz-Cook, Statia; Dekany, Richard; Hillenbrand, Lynne; Hinkley, Sasha; King, David; Lockhart, Thomas G.; Nilsson, Ricky; Parry, Ian R.; Pueyo, Laurent; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Soummer, Rémi; Rice, Emily L.; Veicht, Aaron; Vasisht, Gautam; Zhai, Chengxing; Zimmerman, Neil T.


    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.


    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: [Department of Engineering Science and Physics, College of Staten Island, City University of New York, Staten Island, NY 10314 (United States); and others


    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. 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.


    (corrected for detector dead time) were collected in which a noise level of 163 parts per million per 30 s sum resulted, thus providing excellent sensitivity to the detection of the analog of the solar 5-minute p-mode oscillations. For HD 17156, robust detection of p modes supports the determination...

  12. Hot Exoplanet Atmospheres Resolved with Transit Spectroscopy (HEARTS). I. Detection of hot neutral sodium at high altitudes on WASP-49b (United States)

    Wyttenbach, A.; Lovis, C.; Ehrenreich, D.; Bourrier, V.; Pino, L.; Allart, R.; Astudillo-Defru, N.; Cegla, H. M.; Heng, K.; Lavie, B.; Melo, C.; Murgas, F.; Santerne, A.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S.; Pepe, F.


    High-resolution optical spectroscopy during the transit of HD 189733b, a prototypical hot Jupiter, allowed the resolution of the Na I D sodium lines in the planet, giving access to the extreme conditions of the planet upper atmosphere. We have undertaken HEARTS, a spectroscopic survey of exoplanet upper atmospheres, to perform a comparative study of hot gas giants and determine how stellar irradiation affect them. Here, we report on the first HEARTS observations of the hot Saturn-mass planet WASP-49b. We observed the planet with the HARPS high-resolution spectrograph at ESO 3.6 m telescope. We collected 126 spectra of WASP-49, covering three transits of WASP-49b. We analyzed and modeled the planet transit spectrum, while paying particular attention to the treatment of potentially spurious signals of stellar origin. We spectrally resolve the Na I D lines in the planet atmosphere and show that these signatures are unlikely to arise from stellar contamination. The large contrasts of 2.0 ± 0.5% (D2) and 1.8 ± 0.7% (D1) require the presence of hot neutral sodium ( K) at high altitudes ( 1.5 planet radius or 45 000 km). From estimating the cloudiness index of WASP-49b, we determine its atmosphere to be cloud free at the altitudes probed by the sodium lines. WASP-49b is close to the border of the evaporation desert and exhibits an enhanced thermospheric signature with respect to a farther-away planet such as HD 189733b. Based on observations made at ESO 3.6 m telescope at the La Silla Observatory under ESO program 096.C-0331.

  13. Exoplanetary atmospheric sodium revealed by orbital motion Narrow-band transmission spectroscopy of HD 189733b with UVES

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Khalafinejad, S.; von Essen, C.; Hoeijmakers, H. J.; Zhou, G.; Klocová, Tereza; Schmitt, J.H.M.M.; Dreizler, S.; Lopez-Morales, M.; Husser, T.-O.; Schmidt, T.O.B.; Collet, R.


    Roč. 598, February (2017), A131/1-A131/12 E-ISSN 1432-0746 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : hubble-space-telescope * high-resolution * extrasolar planet Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 5.014, year: 2016

  14. Near-infrared Transmission and Emission Spectra of HD 209458b: Demonstrating Palomar/TripleSpec’s Capability for Exoplanet Spectroscopy (United States)

    Zellem, Robert; Griffith, C. A.; Deroo, P.; Swain, M. R.; Waldmann, I.; Zhao, M.


    We present primary and secondary eclipse infrared H- and K-band emission spectra of the exoplanet HD 209458b observed with Palomar/TripleSpec. We have used a principal component analysis and bin wavelength channels in Fourier space to decrease the flux variance by ˜3 orders of magnitude resulting in a final mean variance of ˜300 ppm. Most of the secondary eclipse data points are consistent with a null detection, which renders them unusable for further constraining HD 209458b’s atmospheric chemical abundances and temperature profile. However in a few wavelength bands where Earth's atmosphere is particularly clear, we detect the exoplanet above the error levels. Here we derive an exoplanet's flux that is consistent with the Hubble/NICMOS secondary eclipse spectrum, within our achieved precision. Despite challenging data due to poor observing conditions that included clouds and autoguider failure, our data suggest that Palomar/TripleSpec has the capability to make significant spectroscopic measurements of eclipsing hot Jupiters.


    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:, E-mail: [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)


    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. Ultraviolet anomalies of the WASP-12 and HD 189733 systems: Trojan satellites as a plasma source (United States)

    Kislyakova, Kristina; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Funk, Barbara; Lammer, Helmut; Fossati, Luca; Eggl, Siegfried; Schawarz, Richard; Boudyada, Mohammed; Erkaev, Nikolai


    We suggest an additional possible plasma source in the WASP-12 and HD189733b systems to explain part of the phenomena observed in ultraviolet (UV) light curves during planetary transits. In the proposed scenario, material originates from the molten surface of Trojan satellites on orbits near the Lagrange points L4 and L5. We show that the temperature at the orbital location of WASP-12b is high enough to melt the surface of rocky Trojans and to form shallow lava oceans on them. At the orbital distance of WASP-12b, this leads to the release of elements such as Mg and Ca, which are expected to surround the system. The predicted Mg and Ca outgassing rates from two Io-sized WASP-12b Trojans are ≈ 2.2 × 1027 s-1 and ≈ 2.2 × 1026 s-1, respectively. Trojan outgassing can lead to the observed lack of emission in MgII h&k and CaII H&K line cores of WASP-12. For HD 189733b, the mechanism is only marginally possible due to the lower temperature. The early ingress of HD 189733b observed in the far-UV (FUV) CII doublet couldn't be explained by this mechanism due to absence of carbon within elements outgassed by molten lava. We investigate the long-term stability region of WASP-12b and HD 189733b in case of planar and inclined motion of these satellites and show that unlike the classical exomoons orbiting the planet, Io-sized Trojans can be stable for the whole systems life time.

  17. The CARMENES search for exoplanets around M dwarfs. HD147379 b: A nearby Neptune in the temperate zone of an early-M dwarf (United States)

    Reiners, A.; Ribas, I.; Zechmeister, M.; Caballero, J. A.; Trifonov, T.; Dreizler, S.; Morales, J. C.; Tal-Or, L.; Lafarga, M.; Quirrenbach, A.; Amado, P. J.; Kaminski, A.; Jeffers, S. V.; Aceituno, J.; Béjar, V. J. S.; Guàrdia, J.; Guenther, E. W.; Hagen, H.-J.; Montes, D.; Passegger, V. M.; Seifert, W.; Schweitzer, A.; Cortés-Contreras, M.; Abril, M.; Alonso-Floriano, F. J.; Eiff, M. Ammler-von; Antona, R.; Anglada-Escudé, G.; Anwand-Heerwart, H.; Arroyo-Torres, B.; Azzaro, M.; Baroch, D.; Barrado, D.; Bauer, F. F.; Becerril, S.; Benítez, D.; Berdiñas, Z. M.; Bergond, G.; Blümcke, M.; Brinkmöller, M.; del Burgo, C.; Cano, J.; Cárdenas Vázquez, M. C.; Casal, E.; Cifuentes, C.; Claret, A.; Colomé, J.; Czesla, S.; Díez-Alonso, E.; Feiz, C.; Fernández, M.; Ferro, I. M.; Fuhrmeister, B.; Galadí-Enríquez, D.; Garcia-Piquer, A.; García Vargas, M. L.; Gesa, L.; Gómez Galera, V.; González Hernández, J. I.; González-Peinado, R.; Grözinger, U.; Grohnert, S.; Guijarro, A.; de Guindos, E.; Gutiérrez-Soto, J.; Hatzes, A. P.; Hauschildt, P. H.; Hedrosa, R. P.; Helmling, J.; Henning, Th.; Hermelo, I.; Hernández Arabí, R.; Hernández Castaño, L.; Hernández Hernando, F.; Herrero, E.; Huber, A.; Huke, P.; Johnson, E. N.; de Juan, E.; Kim, M.; Klein, R.; Klüter, J.; Klutsch, A.; Kürster, M.; Labarga, F.; Lamert, A.; Lampón, M.; Lara, L. M.; Laun, W.; Lemke, U.; Lenzen, R.; Launhardt, R.; López del Fresno, M.; López-González, M. J.; López-Puertas, M.; López Salas, J. F.; López-Santiago, J.; Luque, R.; Magán Madinabeitia, H.; Mall, U.; Mancini, L.; Mandel, H.; Marfil, E.; Marín Molina, J. A.; Maroto Fernández, D.; Martín, E. L.; Martín-Ruiz, S.; Marvin, C. J.; Mathar, R. J.; Mirabet, E.; Moreno-Raya, M. E.; Moya, A.; Mundt, R.; Nagel, E.; Naranjo, V.; Nortmann, L.; Nowak, G.; Ofir, A.; Oreiro, R.; Pallé, E.; Panduro, J.; Pascual, J.; Pavlov, A.; Pedraz, S.; Pérez-Calpena, A.; Pérez Medialdea, D.; Perger, M.; Perryman, M. A. C.; Pluto, M.; Rabaza, O.; Ramón, A.; Rebolo, R.; Redondo, P.; Reffert, S.; Reinhart, S.; Rhode, P.; Rix, H.-W.; Rodler, F.; Rodríguez, E.; Rodríguez-López, C.; Rodríguez Trinidad, A.; Rohloff, R.-R.; Rosich, A.; Sadegi, S.; Sánchez-Blanco, E.; Sánchez Carrasco, M. A.; Sánchez-López, A.; Sanz-Forcada, J.; Sarkis, P.; Sarmiento, L. F.; Schäfer, S.; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.; Schiller, J.; Schöfer, P.; Solano, E.; Stahl, O.; Strachan, J. B. P.; Stürmer, J.; Suárez, J. C.; Tabernero, H. M.; Tala, M.; Tulloch, S. M.; Ulbrich, R.-G.; Veredas, G.; Vico Linares, J. I.; Vilardell, F.; Wagner, K.; Winkler, J.; Wolthoff, V.; Xu, W.; Yan, F.; Zapatero Osorio, M. R.


    We report on the first star discovered to host a planet detected by radial velocity (RV) observations obtained within the CARMENES survey for exoplanets around M dwarfs. HD 147379 (V = 8.9 mag, M = 0.58 ± 0.08 M⊙), a bright M0.0 V star at a distance of 10.7 pc, is found to undergo periodic RV variations with a semi-amplitude of K = 5.1 ± 0.4 m s-1 and a period of P = 86.54 ± 0.06 d. The RV signal is found in our CARMENES data, which were taken between 2016 and 2017, and is supported by HIRES/Keck observations that were obtained since 2000. The RV variations are interpreted as resulting from a planet of minimum mass mP sin i = 25 ± 2 M⊕, 1.5 times the mass of Neptune, with an orbital semi-major axis a = 0.32 au and low eccentricity (e ( or via

  18. Exoplanets Galore! (United States)


    : 800 x 483 pix - 184k] Caption : A representation of the sizes and shapes of the orbits of the eight new planetary and brown-dwarf candidates. The colours indicate the deduced minimum masses: about one Saturn mass or less (red); between 1 and 3 Jupiter masses (green); above 10 Jupiter masses (blue). The dashed line indicates the size of the Earth's orbit (radius 150 million km). The sizes and shapes of the orbits of the eight new planets and brown-dwarf candidates are illustrated in Photo 12/00 . More details about the individual objects are given below. A sub-saturnian planet in orbit around HD 168746 HD 168746 is a quiescent solar-like star of type G5 in the constellation Scutum (The Shield). It is slightly less massive than the Sun (0.92 solar mass) and is located at a distance of about 140 light-years. The visual magnitude is 7.9, i.e. about six times too faint to be seen with the unaided eye. The Swiss team found a new planet that orbits this star every 6.4 days, a fairly short period. The orbit is circular and the deduced minimum mass of the planet is only 80% of the mass of planet Saturn. This is only the third exoplanet detected so far with a possible sub-saturnian mass. Two planets slightly more massive than Saturn around HD 83443 and HD 108147 The planetary candidates detected around HD 83443 (visual magnitude 8.2; in the constellation Vela - the Sail) and HD 108147 (7.0 mag; Crux - the Cross) also have very low minimum masses, 0.35 and 0.34 times the mass of planet Jupiter, or 1.17 and 1.15 times that of Saturn, respectively. The companion of HD 83443 is particularly remarkable, not only by virtue of its low mass - it is also the exoplanet so far detected with the shortest period (2.986 days) and the smallest distance to the central star, only 5.7 million km (0.038 AU), i.e., 26 times smaller than the Sun-Earth distance. HD 83443 is of type K0V, it is at a distance of 141 light-years and is somewhat less massive than our Sun (0.8 solar mass). Most

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nutzman, Philip; Gilliland, Ronald L.; McCullough, Peter R.


    We present observations of three distinct transits of HD 17156b obtained with the Fine Guidance Sensors on board the Hubble Space Telescope. We analyzed both the transit photometry and previously published radial velocities to find the planet-star radius ratio Rp /R sstarf = 0.07454 ± 0...

  20. Exoplanets: The Hunt Continues! (United States)


    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

  1. Exoplanet habitability. (United States)

    Seager, Sara


    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.

  2. High Energy Exoplanet Transits (United States)

    Llama, Joe; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.


    X-ray and ultraviolet transits of exoplanets allow us to probe the atmospheres of these worlds. High energy transits have been shown to be deeper but also more variable than in the optical. By simulating exoplanet transits using high-energy observations of the Sun, we can test the limits of our ability to accurately measure the properties of these planets in the presence of stellar activity. We use both disk-resolved images of the Solar disk spanning soft X-rays, the ultraviolet, and the optical and also disk-integrated Sun-as-a-star observations of the Lyα irradiance to simulate transits over a wide wavelength range. We find that for stars with activity levels similar to the Sun, the planet-to-star radius ratio can be overestimated by up to 50% if the planet occults an active region at high energies. We also compare our simulations to high energy transits of WASP-12b, HD 189733, 55 Cnc b, and GJ 436b.

  3. 32 New Exoplanets Found (United States)


    , which detects small changes in the radial velocity of a star as it wobbles slightly under the gentle gravitational pull from an (unseen) exoplanet, has been most prolific method in the search for exoplanets. In return for building the instrument, the HARPS consortium was granted 100 observing nights per year during a five-year period to carry out one of the most ambitious systematic searches for exoplanets so far implemented worldwide by repeatedly measuring the radial velocities of hundreds of stars that may harbour planetary systems. The programme soon proved very successful. Using HARPS, Mayor's team discovered - among others - in 2004, the first super-Earth (around µ Ara; in 2006, the trio of Neptunes around HD 69830; in 2007, Gliese 581d, the first super Earth in the habitable zone of a small star (eso0722); and in 2009, the lightest exoplanet so far detected around a normal star, Gliese 581e (eso0915). More recently, they found a potentially lava-covered world, with density similar to that of the Earth's (eso0933). "These observations have given astronomers a great insight into the diversity of planetary systems and help us understand how they can form," says team member Nuno Santos. The HARPS consortium was very careful in their selection of targets, with several sub-programmes aimed at looking for planets around solar-like stars, low-mass dwarf stars, or stars with a lower metal content than the Sun. The number of exoplanets known around low-mass stars - so-called M dwarfs - has also dramatically increased, including a handful of super Earths and a few giant planets challenging planetary formation theory. "By targeting M dwarfs and harnessing the precision of HARPS we have been able to search for exoplanets in the mass and temperature regime of super-Earths, some even close to or inside the habitable zone around the star," says co-author Xavier Bonfils. The team found three candidate exoplanets around stars that are metal-deficient. Such stars are thought to be

  4. Exoplanet Update (United States)

    Johnson, John


    In the years since 1995, our knowledge of planetary systems has grown from a sample of one to a diverse collection of more than 500 planets around other stars. Discoveries to date have revealed a surprising diversity of planetary systems, including "hot Jupiters" in 1-day orbits, planets in retrograde orbits, and "super Earths" with masses intermediate to those of the Earth and Neptune. I will present an overview of the motivation behind the study of exoplanets, how astronomers hunt for planets around other stars, and what we have learned about planet formation in general, and the origins of our Solar System in general.

  5. Exoplanet Transits of Stellar Active Regions (United States)

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


    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.

  6. What is HD - Huntington's Disease? (United States)

    ... Connect with us! What is HD? What Is Huntington’s Disease? Stages of hd The Scope of hd ... END TO HD? WHERE TO FIND HELP PUBLICATIONS Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal genetic disorder that ...

  7. Stages of Huntington's Disease (HD) (United States)

    ... Connect with us! What is HD? What Is Huntington’s Disease? Stages of hd The Scope of hd ... END TO HD? WHERE TO FIND HELP PUBLICATIONS Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal genetic disorder that ...

  8. Atmospheric Circulation of Exoplanets


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


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

  9. Molecular opacities for exoplanets. (United States)

    Bernath, Peter F


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


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heng, Kevin; Lavie, Baptiste [University of Bern, Physics Institute, Center for Space and Habitability, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland); Wyttenbach, Aurélien; Ehrenreich, David; Lovis, Christophe [Observatoire de l’Université de Genève, 51 chemin des Maillettes, CH-1290 Sauverny (Switzerland); Sing, David K., E-mail: [Astrophysics Group, School of Physics, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QL (United Kingdom)


    We present a theory for interpreting the sodium lines detected in transmission spectra of exoplanetary atmospheres. Previous analyses employed the isothermal approximation and dealt only with the transit radius. By recognizing the absorption depth and the transit radius as being independent observables, we develop a theory for jointly interpreting both quantities, which allows us to infer the temperatures and number densities associated with the sodium lines. We are able to treat a non-isothermal situation with a constant temperature gradient. Our novel diagnostics take the form of simple-to-use algebraic formulae and require measurements of the transit radii (and their corresponding absorption depths) at line center and in the line wing for both sodium lines. We apply our diagnostics to the HARPS data of HD 189733b, confirm the upper atmospheric heating reported by Huitson et al., derive a temperature gradient of 0.4376 ± 0.0154 K km{sup −1}, and find densities ∼1–10{sup 4} cm{sup −3}.

  11. A Toolbox for Exoplanet Exploration (United States)

    Jensen-Clem, Rebecca Marie


    the zero age main sequence. In order to conduct a large-scale multiplicity survey to investigate the relationship between stellar rotation and binary system properties (e.g. their separations and mass ratios), I contributed to the commissioning of Robo-AO, a robotic laser guide star adaptive optics system, at the Kitt Peak 2.1-m. After the instrument's installation, I wrote a data pipeline to optimize the system's sensitivity to close stellar companions via reference star differential imaging. I then characterized Robo-AO's performance during its first year of operations. Finally, I used Robo-AO to search for binaries among the 759 stars in the Pleiades with rotational periods measured using the photometric data of the re-purposed Kepler telescope, K2. Detecting signs of life on other worlds will require detailed characterization of rocky exoplanet atmospheres. Polarimetry has long been proposed as a means of probing these atmospheres, but current instruments lack the sensitivity to detect the starlight reflected and polarized by such small, close-in planets. However, the latest generation of high contrast imaging instruments (e.g. GPI and SPHERE) may be able to detect the polarization of thermal emission by young gas giants due to scattering by aerosols in their atmospheres. Observational constraints on the details of clouds physics imposed by polarized emission will improve our understanding of the planets' compositions, and hence their formation histories. For the case of the brown dwarf HD19467 B orbiting a nearby Sun-like star, I demonstrated that the Gemini Planet Imager can detect linear polarizations on the order predicted for these cloudy exoplanets. My current pilot programs can produce the first detections of polarized exoplanet emission, while also building expertise for reflected starlight polarimetry with future observatories.

  12. Exoplanets Detection, Formation, Properties, Habitability

    CERN Document Server

    Mason, John W


    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

  13. The Exoplanet Cloud Atlas (United States)

    Gao, Peter; Marley, Mark S.; Morley, Caroline; Fortney, Jonathan J.


    Clouds have been readily inferred from observations of exoplanet atmospheres, and there exists great variability in cloudiness between planets, such that no clear trend in exoplanet cloudiness has so far been discerned. Equilibrium condensation calculations suggest a myriad of species - salts, sulfides, silicates, and metals - could condense in exoplanet atmospheres, but how they behave as clouds is uncertain. The behavior of clouds - their formation, evolution, and equilibrium size distribution - is controlled by cloud microphysics, which includes processes such as nucleation, condensation, and evaporation. In this work, we explore the cloudy exoplanet phase space by using a cloud microphysics model to simulate a suite of cloud species ranging from cooler condensates such as KCl/ZnS, to hotter condensates like perovskite and corundum. We investigate how the cloudiness and cloud particle sizes of exoplanets change due to variations in temperature, metallicity, gravity, and cloud formation mechanisms, and how these changes may be reflected in current and future observations. In particular, we will evaluate where in phase space could cloud spectral features be observable using JWST MIRI at long wavelengths, which will be dependent on the cloud particle size distribution and cloud species.

  14. Pro Tools HD

    CERN Document Server

    Camou, Edouard


    An easy-to-follow guide for using Pro Tools HD 11 effectively.This book is ideal for anyone who already uses ProTools and wants to learn more, or is new to Pro Tools HD and wants to use it effectively in their own audio workstations.

  15. Non-detection of Previously Reported Transits of HD 97658b with MOST Photometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dragomir, Diana; Matthews, Jaymie M.; Howard, Andrew W.


    The radial velocity-discovered exoplanet HD 97658b was recently announced to transit, with a derived planetary radius of 2.93 ± 0.28 R ⊕. As a transiting super-Earth orbiting a bright star, this planet would make an attractive candidate for additional observations, including studies of its atmosp...

  16. Hot, Dry and Cloudy (United States)


    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for movie of Hot, Dry and Cloudy This artist's concept shows a cloudy Jupiter-like planet that orbits very close to its fiery hot star. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was recently used to capture spectra, or molecular fingerprints, of two 'hot Jupiter' worlds like the one depicted here. This is the first time a spectrum has ever been obtained for an exoplanet, or a planet beyond our solar system. The ground-breaking observations were made with Spitzer's spectrograph, which pries apart infrared light into its basic wavelengths, revealing the 'fingerprints' of molecules imprinted inside. Spitzer studied two planets, HD 209458b and HD 189733b, both of which were found, surprisingly, to have no water in the tops of their atmospheres. The results suggest that the hot planets are socked in with dry, high clouds, which are obscuring water that lies underneath. In addition, HD209458b showed hints of silicates, suggesting that the high clouds on that planet contain very fine sand-like particles. Capturing the spectra from the two hot-Jupiter planets was no easy feat. The planets cannot be distinguished from their stars and instead appear to telescopes as single blurs of light. One way to get around this is through what is known as the secondary eclipse technique. In this method, changes in the total light from a so-called transiting planet system are measured as a planet is eclipsed by its star, vanishing from our Earthly point of view. The dip in observed light can then be attributed to the planet alone. This technique, first used by Spitzer in 2005 to directly detect the light from an exoplanet, currently only works at infrared wavelengths, where the differences in brightness between the planet and star are less, and the planet's light is easier to pick out. For example, if the experiment had been done in visible light, the total light from the system would appear to be unchanged, even as the planet

  17. VLT Detects First Superstorm on Exoplanet (United States)


    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

  18. The exoplanet handbook

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Perryman, M. A. C


    .... 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...

  19. 'Signs of disequilibrium chemistry in extrasolar hot-Jupiter type planets?' (United States)

    Rocha, Graca; Swain, Mark; Line, Michael; West, Robert


    In the recent years Infrared spectroscopy of hot exoplanets has been revealing their atmospheric composition. For example the spectra of the planet HD189733b exhibits signatures of CH4, CO2, CO and H2O molecules (Swain et al 2008, 2009, etc.). The original 2008 detection of CH4 was a surprise because it is not thermochemically favored at the relatively high temperature (~1300 K) of the atmosphere of HD 189733b. More recent analysis of HD 189733b measurements (Swain, Line, Deroo 2014) implied a CH4 enhancement of ~1000x greater than has been assumed. Significantly more data has recently become available from WFC3 observations (Mccullah et al. 2014, Crozet at al. 2015) of this planet. In the meantime theoretical models by Moses et al. 2011 showed that large enhancement of quenched methane is possible due to transport if vertical eddy diffusion is significant.In this talk we will present results from a new study of CH4 enhancement in the atmosphere of HD189733b. We analysise the transit spectra of this planet obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, combining the shorter wavelength 1.1-1.6 μm data from WFC3 measurements with the 1.5-2.4 μm data from NICMOS measurements. We also introduce a new methodology, implemented within a Bayesian framework, where hypothesis testing is conducted via evidence based model selection. Our analysis indicates, for the first time, that the observed excess of Methane in HD189733b’s atmosphere requires disequilibrium chemistry. However the Evidence has a modest discriminatory power amongst a subset of models. Furthermore our constraints confirm Swain et al. 2014 results with an excess of Methane with a mixing ratio of 10 2.26 ppm with EvidencelogZ=-58.602 +/- 0.109.

  20. Atmospheric Circulation of Exoplanets (United States)

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


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

  1. Exoplanets, extremophiles and habitability (United States)

    Janot Pacheco, E.; Bernardes, L.


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

  2. CHEOPS: towards exoplanet characterisation (United States)

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


    The CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS) is a joint ESA-Switzerland space mission dedicated to search for exoplanet transits by means of ultrahigh precision photometry. It is expected to be launch ready at the end of 2017. CHEOPS will be the first space telescope dedicated to search for transits on bright stars already known to host planets. It will have access to more than 70% of the sky, allowing almost any interesting target to be observed. This will provide the unique capability of determining accurate radii for planets for which the mass has already been estimated from ground-based spectroscopic surveys and for new planets discovered by the next generation ground-based transits surveys (Neptunesize and smaller).

  3. Qatar Exoplanet Survey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    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 obse...... (M > 4 MJ)....

  4. Water in exoplanets. (United States)

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


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

  5. The Danish HD Registry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gilling, M.; Budtz-Jorgensen, E.; Boonen, S. E.


    The Danish Huntington's Disease Registry (DHR) is a nationwide family registry comprising 14 245 individuals from 445 Huntington's disease (HD) families of which the largest family includes 845 individuals in 8 generations. 1136 DNA and/or blood samples and 18 fibroblast cultures are stored...

  6. Exoplanets and Multiverses (Abstract) (United States)

    Trimble, V.


    (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.

  7. Lightest exoplanet yet discovered (United States)


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

  8. Biosignatures of Exoplanets (United States)

    Kiang, Nancy Y.


    There was a time during Western civilization when musing about worlds other than Earth could be life-threatening. In 1600 Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake as a heretic for claiming, amongst other things, that the fixed stars were in fact suns with planets moving around them, and furthermore, that lifeforms similar to those on Earth might exist on these planets. Although these ideas were not the result of scientific observation but rather of philosophical reflexions, Giordano Bruno is today recognized as the father of the idea of exoplanets. The study of planets revolving around distant stars has become one of the most thrilling disciplines in astronomy. As it did 400 years ago, this subject touches on the most profound questions of mankind, including the uniqueness of the planet Earth and even our own uniqueness as an intelligent species. As always in astronomy distance is an issue. While it requires a lot of patience to reach the planets within our own solar system, direct visits to exoplanets will not be feasible in the foreseeable future. Is there an alternative approach to find a second Earth?

  9. A Comparison of Simulated JWST Observations Derived from Equilibrium and Non-equilibrium Chemistry Models of Giant Exoplanets (United States)

    Blumenthal, Sarah D.; Mandell, Avi M.; Hébrard, Eric; Batalha, Natasha E.; Cubillos, Patricio E.; Rugheimer, Sarah; Wakeford, Hannah R.


    We aim to see if the difference between equilibrium and disequilibrium chemistry is observable in the atmospheres of transiting planets by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We perform a case study comparing the dayside emission spectra of three planets like HD 189733b, WASP-80b, and GJ 436b, in and out of chemical equilibrium at two metallicities each. These three planets were chosen because they span a large range of planetary masses and equilibrium temperatures, from hot and Jupiter-sized to warm and Neptune-sized. We link the one-dimensional disequilibrium chemistry model from Venot et al. (2012), in which thermochemical kinetics, vertical transport, and photochemistry are taken into account, to the one-dimensional, pseudo line-by-line radiative transfer model, Pyrat bay, developed especially for hot Jupiters, and then simulate JWST spectra using PandExo for comparing the effects of temperature, metallicity, and radius. We find the most significant differences from 4 to 5 μm due to disequilibrium from CO and CO2 abundances, and also H2O for select cases. Our case study shows a certain “sweet spot” of planetary mass, temperature, and metallicity where the difference between equilibrium and disequilibrium is observable. For a planet similar to WASP-80b, JWST’s NIRSpec G395M can detect differences due to disequilibrium chemistry with one eclipse event. For a planet similar to GJ 436b, the observability of differences due to disequilibrium chemistry is possible at low metallicity given five eclipse events, but not possible at the higher metallicity.

  10. The 4.5 μm Full-orbit Phase Curve of the Hot Jupiter HD 209458b


    Zellem, Robert T.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Knutson, Heather A.; Griffith, Caitlin A.; Showman, Adam P.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Cowan, Nicolas B.; Agol, Eric; Burrows, Adam; Charbonneau, David; Deming, Drake; Laughlin, Gregory; Langton, Jonathan


    The hot Jupiter HD 209458b is particularly amenable to detailed study as it is among the brightest transiting exoplanet systems currently known (V-mag = 7.65; K-mag = 6.308) and has a large planet-to-star contrast ratio. HD 209458b is predicted to be in synchronous rotation about its host star with a hot spot that is shifted eastward of the substellar point by superrotating equatorial winds. Here we present the first full-orbit observations of HD 209458b, in which its 4.5 μm emission was reco...

  11. The effects of disequilibrium carbon chemistry in general circulation models of hot Jupiters (United States)

    Steinrueck, Maria Elisabeth; Parmentier, Vivien; Showman, Adam P.


    Abundances of methane (CH4) and carbon monoxide (CO) are expected to be in disequilibrium in the photospheres of hot Jupiter exoplanets due to transport-induced quenching. It has been proposed that including this effect in general circulation models (GCMs) could resolve the mismatch between models and the observed 4.5 micron phase curves of hot Jupiters HD 189733b and HD 209458b.We modified the SPARC/MITgcm to mimic quenched carbon chemistry by assuming a constant ratio of CH4 to CO to calculate the opacities. Water abundances are modified accordingly so that the number of oxygen atoms is conserved. We ran global circulation models of HD 189733b assuming different values of the CH4/CO ratio. The change in temperature structure due to the quenched abundances is significant enough to affect the emission spectra. Thus, the radiative effect of the quenched abundances should be included in global circulation modelsWe show that including disequilibrium effects does not lower the 4.5 micron night side fluxes. If CO is the dominant species, as predicted by kinetics models, the increased CO opacity is offset by a lower water opacity. In this case, the 4.5 micron band turns out to be a bad diagnostic for disequilibrium carbon chemistry. As a consequence, disequilibrium carbon chemistry does not provide a good explanation for the small nightside flux observed at 4.5 microns in HD 189733b. The 3.6 Spitzer band should be a better indicator of disequilibrium chemistry. We find that the presence of quenched abundances always reduces the phase curve amplitude at 3.6 microns compared to the chemical equilibrium case, such that they are inconsistent with existing observations of HD 189733b. Therefore, other processes such as the presence of drag or night side clouds must be responsible for the shape of currently observed HD 189733b phase curves.We find that observations between 7 and 10 microns are a better diagnostic of disequilibrium carbon chemistry in the CO dominated regime

  12. The Architecture of Exoplanets (United States)

    Hatzes, Artie P.


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

  13. Characterization of exoplanet hosts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valenti Jeff A.


    Full Text Available Spectroscopic analysis of exoplanet hosts and the stellar sample from which they are drawn provides abundances and other properties that quantitively constrain models of planet formation. The program Spectroscopy Made Easy (SME determines stellar parameters by fitting observed spectra, though line lists must be selected wisely. For giant planets, it is now well established that stars with higher metallicity are more likely to have detected companions. Stellar metallicity does not seem to affect the formation and/or migration of detectable planets less massive than Neptune, especially when considering only the most massive planet in the system. In systems with at least one planet less than 10 times the mass of Earth, the mass of the most massive planet increases dramatically with host star metallicity. This may reflect metallicity dependent timescales for core formation, envelope accretion, and/or migration into the detection zone.

  14. SPI-ing Exoplanets (United States)

    Maggio, A.


    Star-Planet Interaction (SPI) is a broad phenomenological term which encompasses a variety of physical effects relevant for the evolution of extra-solar planetary systems, in particular those hosting giant gas planets in close orbits around their parent star. While theoretical expectations of SPI are abundant, observational signatures are still elusive with current instrumentation and adopted observing strategies. In particular, recent X-ray observations provided intriguing indications of different SPI-driven effects, including enhanced coronal emission and flaring activity related to the phase of the planetary orbit, but for a few specific planet hosting stars, while results based on statistical studies are controversial. I will review the state of the art on the matter, and possible future developments with Athena and SKA that will help us for a better characterization of exoplanets and their abitability conditions.

  15. Structure of exoplanets. (United States)

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


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

  16. A Cloudy View of Exoplanets (United States)

    Deming, Drake


    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.

  17. Undercover Stars Among Exoplanet Candidates (United States)


    is only 16% larger than this giant planet! A Dense Star "Imagine that you add 95 times its own mass to Jupiter and nevertheless end up with a star that is only slightly larger", suggests Claudio Melo from ESO and member of the team of astronomers who made the study. "The object just shrinks to make room for the additional matter, becoming more and more dense." The density of such a star is more than 50 times the density of the Sun. "This result shows the existence of stars that look strikingly like planets, even from close by", emphasizes Frederic Pont of the Geneva Observatory (Switzerland). "Isn't it strange to imagine that even if we were to receive images from a future space probe approaching such an object at close range, it wouldn't be easy to discern whether it is a star or a planet?" As all stars, OGLE-TR-122b produces indeed energy in its interior by means of nuclear reactions. However, because of its low mass, this internal energy production is very small, especially compared to the energy produced by its solar-like companion star. Not less striking is the fact that exoplanets which are orbiting very close to their host star, the so-called "hot Jupiters", have radii which may be larger than the newly found star. The radius of exoplanet HD209458b, for example, is about 30% larger than that of Jupiter. It is thus substantially larger than OGLE-TR-122b! Masqueraders ESO PR Photo 06c/05 ESO PR Photo 06c/05 Comparison Between OGLE-TR-122b, Jupiter and the Sun [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 598 pix - 30k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 1196 pix - 350k] [HiRes - JPEG: 5000 x 3344 pix - 2.2M] Caption: ESO PR Photo 06c/05 is a comparison between the newly found low-mass star OGLE-TR-122b and the Sun and Jupiter. OGLE-TR-122b, while still 96 times as massive as Jupiter, is only 16% larger than this giant planet. It weighs 1/11th the mass of the Sun and has 1/8th of its diameter. (credits: Sun image: SOHO/ESA; Jupiter: Cassini/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/ESA) This discovery also

  18. HD 285507b

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quinn, Samuel N.; White, Russel J.; Latham, David W.


    We report the discovery of the first hot Jupiter in the Hyades open cluster. HD 285507b orbits a V = 10.47 K4.5V dwarf (M * = 0.734 M ☉; R * = 0.656 R ☉) in a slightly eccentric () orbit with a period of days. The induced stellar radial velocity corresponds to a minimum companion mass of M Psin i...... timescale for HD 285507b to be larger than the age of the Hyades, which may indicate that this planet's non-zero eccentricity is the result of migration via interactions with a third body. We also demonstrate a significant difference between the eccentricity distributions of hot Jupiters that have had time...... to tidally circularize and those that have not, which we interpret as evidence against Type II migration in the final stages of hot Jupiter formation. Finally, the dependence of the circularization timescale on the planetary tidal quality factor, Q P, allows us to constrain the average value for hot Jupiters to be ....

  19. Habitable zone lifetimes of exoplanets around main sequence stars. (United States)

    Rushby, Andrew J; Claire, Mark W; Osborn, Hugh; Watson, Andrew J


    The potential habitability of newly discovered exoplanets is initially assessed by determining whether their orbits fall within the circumstellar habitable zone of their star. However, the habitable zone (HZ) is not static in time or space, and its boundaries migrate outward at a rate proportional to the increase in luminosity of a star undergoing stellar evolution, possibly including or excluding planets over the course of the star's main sequence lifetime. We describe the time that a planet spends within the HZ as its "habitable zone lifetime." The HZ lifetime of a planet has strong astrobiological implications and is especially important when considering the evolution of complex life, which is likely to require a longer residence time within the HZ. Here, we present results from a simple model built to investigate the evolution of the "classic" HZ over time, while also providing estimates for the evolution of stellar luminosity over time in order to develop a "hybrid" HZ model. These models return estimates for the HZ lifetimes of Earth and 7 confirmed HZ exoplanets and 27 unconfirmed Kepler candidates. The HZ lifetime for Earth ranges between 6.29 and 7.79×10⁹ years (Gyr). The 7 exoplanets fall in a range between ∼1 and 54.72 Gyr, while the 27 Kepler candidate planets' HZ lifetimes range between 0.43 and 18.8 Gyr. Our results show that exoplanet HD 85512b is no longer within the HZ, assuming it has an Earth analog atmosphere. The HZ lifetime should be considered in future models of planetary habitability as setting an upper limit on the lifetime of any potential exoplanetary biosphere, and also for identifying planets of high astrobiological potential for continued observational or modeling campaigns.

  20. The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program (United States)

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


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

  1. Direct imaging of exoplanets. (United States)

    Lagrange, Anne-Marie


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

  2. Case Studies of Exocomets in the System of HD 10180 (United States)

    Loibnegger, Birgit; Dvorak, Rudolf; Cuntz, Manfred


    The aim of our study is to investigate the dynamics of possible comets in the HD 10180 system. This investigation is motivated by the discovery of exocomets in various systems, especially β Pictoris, as well as in at least 10 other systems. Detailed theoretical studies about the formation and evolution of star-planet systems indicate that exocomets should be quite common. Further observational results are expected in the foreseeable future, in part, due to the availability of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Nonetheless, the solar system represents the best studied example for comets, thus serving as a prime motivation for investigating comets in HD 10180 as well. HD 10180 is strikingly similar to the Sun. This system contains six confirmed planets and (at least) two additional planets subject to final verification. In our studies, we consider comets of different inclinations and eccentricities and find an array of different outcomes such as encounters with planets, captures, and escapes. Comets with relatively large eccentricities are able to enter the inner region of the system facing early planetary encounters. Stable comets experience long-term evolution of orbital elements, as expected. We also tried to distinguish cometary families akin to our solar system, but no clear distinction between possible families was found. Generally, theoretical and observational studies of exoplanets have a large range of ramifications, involving the origin, structure, and evolution of systems as well as the proliferation of water and prebiotic compounds to terrestrial planets, which will increase their chances of being habitable.

  3. A Consistent Retrieval Analysis of 10 Hot Jupiters Observed in Transmission (United States)

    Barstow, J. K.; Aigrain, S.; Irwin, P. G. J.; Sing, D. K.


    We present a consistent optimal estimation retrieval analysis of 10 hot Jupiter exoplanets, each with transmission spectral data spanning the visible to near-infrared wavelength range. Using the NEMESIS radiative transfer and retrieval tool, we calculate a range of possible atmospheric states for WASP-6b, WASP-12b, WASP-17b, WASP-19b, WASP-31b, WASP-39b, HD 189733b, HD 209458b, HAT-P-1b, and HAT-P-12b. We find that the spectra of all 10 planets are consistent with the presence of some atmospheric aerosol; WASP-6b, WASP-12b, WASP-17b, WASP-19b, HD 189733b, and HAT-P-12b are all fit best by Rayleigh scattering aerosols, whereas WASP-31b, WASP-39b and HD 209458b are better represented by a gray cloud model. HAT-P-1b has solutions that fall into both categories. WASP-6b, HAT-P-12b, HD 189733b, and WASP-12b must have aerosol extending to low atmospheric pressures (below 0.1 mbar). In general, planets with equilibrium temperatures between 1300 and 1700 K are best represented by deeper, gray cloud layers, whereas cooler or hotter planets are better fit using high Rayleigh scattering aerosol. We find little evidence for the presence of molecular absorbers other than H2O. Retrieval methods can provide a consistent picture across a range of hot Jupiter atmospheres with existing data, and will be a powerful tool for the interpretation of James Webb Space Telescope observations.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barstow, J. K. [Physics and Astronomy, University College London, London (United Kingdom); Aigrain, S.; Irwin, P. G. J. [Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford (United Kingdom); Sing, D. K., E-mail: [School of Physics, University of Exeter, Exeter (United Kingdom)


    We present a consistent optimal estimation retrieval analysis of 10 hot Jupiter exoplanets, each with transmission spectral data spanning the visible to near-infrared wavelength range. Using the NEMESIS radiative transfer and retrieval tool, we calculate a range of possible atmospheric states for WASP-6b, WASP-12b, WASP-17b, WASP-19b, WASP-31b, WASP-39b, HD 189733b, HD 209458b, HAT-P-1b, and HAT-P-12b. We find that the spectra of all 10 planets are consistent with the presence of some atmospheric aerosol; WASP-6b, WASP-12b, WASP-17b, WASP-19b, HD 189733b, and HAT-P-12b are all fit best by Rayleigh scattering aerosols, whereas WASP-31b, WASP-39b and HD 209458b are better represented by a gray cloud model. HAT-P-1b has solutions that fall into both categories. WASP-6b, HAT-P-12b, HD 189733b, and WASP-12b must have aerosol extending to low atmospheric pressures (below 0.1 mbar). In general, planets with equilibrium temperatures between 1300 and 1700 K are best represented by deeper, gray cloud layers, whereas cooler or hotter planets are better fit using high Rayleigh scattering aerosol. We find little evidence for the presence of molecular absorbers other than H{sub 2}O. Retrieval methods can provide a consistent picture across a range of hot Jupiter atmospheres with existing data, and will be a powerful tool for the interpretation of James Webb Space Telescope observations.

  5. Chemical analysis of three barium stars: HD 51959, HD 88035, HD 121447 (United States)

    Karinkuzhi, Drisya; Goswami, Aruna; Sridhar, Navin; Masseron, Thomas; Purandardas, Meenakshi


    We present elemental abundance results from high resolution spectral analysis of three nitrogen-enhanced barium stars. The analysis is based on spectra obtained with the FEROS attached to 1.52m telescope at ESO, Chile. The spectral resolution is R˜48000 and the spectral coverage spans from 3500-9000Å . For the objects HD51959 and HD88035, we present the first time abundance analyses results. Although a few studies are available in literature on the object HD121447, the results are significantly different from each other. We have therefore carried out a detailed chemical composition study for this object based on a high resolution spectrum with high S/N ratio, for a better understanding of the origin of the abundance patterns observed in this star. Stellar atmospheric parameters, the effective temperature, surface gravity, microturbulence and metallicity of the stars are determined from the LTE analysis using model atmospheres. The metallicity of HD51959 and HD88035 are found to be near-solar; they exhibit enhanced abundances of neutron-capture elements. HD121447 is found to be moderately metal-poor with [Fe/H]=-0.65. While carbon is near-solar in the other two objects, HD121447 shows carbon enhancement at a level, [C/Fe]=0.82. Neutron-capture elements are highly enhanced with [X/Fe]>2 (X: Ba, La, Pr, Nd, Sm) in this object. The α- and iron-peak elements show abundances very similar to field giants with the same metallicity. From kinematic analysis all the three objects are found to be members of thin disk population with a high probability of 0.99, 0.99 and 0.92 for HD51959, HD88035 and HD121447 respectively.

  6. Transiting Exoplanets: Discovery from the Ground, Characterization from Space (United States)

    Nutzman, Philip Andrew

    This work considers the prospects for detecting Earth-like, habitable planets from the ground by targeting nearby M dwarf stars. I perform design studies for ground-based transit surveys seeking habitable, Earth-like planets. By studying a list of proper-motion selected M dwarfs, I determine observational requirements on a star-by-star basis. A survey using 10 40 cm telescopes to target 2000 late, northern M dwarfs could yield 27 x etaM,⊕ habitable, sub-Neptune sized planets in less than three years of observations, where etaM,⊕ is the occurrence rate of super-Earths in the habitable zones of late M dwarfs. By extending to the Southern hemisphere, and incorporating a special narrow filter to avoid telluric water vapor bands, a survey using 10 40 cm telescopes in the North and 10 40 cm telescopes in the South could find 30 x eta M,⊕ habitable planets smaller than 1.5 R ⊕, in 5 years of operations. I present space-based observations of the exoplanet systems HD 149026 and HD 17156, with which I vastly improve upon previously existing estimates of stellar and planetary properties. I present Spitzer 8 mum transit observations obtained for the exoplanet HD 149026b. By observing at this wavelength, one can reduce the effects of limb darkening and thereby simplify the modeling of shallow transit events. I find Rp = 0.755 +/- 0.040RJ. I also present the first joint analysis of transit and asteroseismology observations. Using observations obtained with the Fine Guidance Sensors (FGS) on board the Hubble Space Telescope, I analyze 3 transits of the HD 17156 system. By incorporating a stellar mean density constraint obtained from asteroseismology observations, I improve the determination of planetary properties by an order of magnitude versus previous studies. I find a planetary radius of Rp = 1.0870 +/- 0.0066RJ, which is modestly consistent with theoretical models of solar-composition gas giants.

  7. Newly Discovered Planets Orbiting HD 5319, HD 11506, HD 75784 and HD 10442 from the N2K Consortium (United States)

    Giguere, Matthew J.; Fischer, Debra A.; Payne, Matthew J.; Brewer, John M.; Johnson, John Asher; Howard, Andrew W.; Isaacson, Howard T.


    Initially designed to discover short-period planets, the N2K campaign has since evolved to discover new worlds at large separations from their host stars. Detecting such worlds will help determine the giant planet occurrence at semi-major axes beyond the ice line, where gas giants are thought to mostly form. Here we report four newly discovered gas giant planets (with minimum masses ranging from 0.4 to 2.1 M Jup) orbiting stars monitored as part of the Next 2000 target stars (N2K) Doppler Survey program. Two of these planets orbit stars already known to host planets: HD 5319 and HD 11506. The remaining discoveries reside in previously unknown planetary systems: HD 10442 and HD 75784. The refined orbital period of the inner planet orbiting HD 5319 is 641 days. The newly discovered outer planet orbits in 886 days. The large masses combined with the proximity to a 4:3 mean motion resonance make this system a challenge to explain with current formation and migration theories. HD 11506 has one confirmed planet, and here we confirm a second. The outer planet has an orbital period of 1627.5 days, and the newly discovered inner planet orbits in 223.6 days. A planet has also been discovered orbiting HD 75784 with an orbital period of 341.7 days. There is evidence for a longer period signal; however, several more years of observations are needed to put tight constraints on the Keplerian parameters for the outer planet. Lastly, an additional planet has been detected orbiting HD 10442 with a period of 1043 days. Based on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology. Keck time has been granted by NOAO and NASA.

  8. Characterization of the Mysteriously Cool Brown Dwarf HD 4113 (United States)

    Ednie, Michaela; Follette, Katherine; Ward-Duong, Kimberly


    Characterizing the physical properties of brown dwarfs is necessary to expand and improve our understanding of low mass companions, including exoplanets. Systems with both close radial velocity companions and distant directly imaged companions are particularly powerful in understanding planet formation mechanisms. Early in 2017, members of the SPHERE team discovered a companion brown dwarf in the HD 4113 system, which also contains a known RV planet. Atmospheric model fits to the Y and J-band spectra and H2/H3 photometry of the brown dwarf suggested it is unusually cool. We obtained new Magellan data in the Z and K’ bands in mid-2017. This data will help us to complete a more detailed atmospheric and astrometric characterization of this unusually cool companion. Broader wavelength coverage will help in accurate spectral typing and estimations of luminosity, temperature, surface gravity, radius, and composition. Additionally, a second astrometric epoch will help constrain the architecture of the system.

  9. An Application of Kopal's Method for the Analysis of Transit Light Curves of Exoplanets Using Powerful Modern Algorithms (United States)

    Makris, D.; Niarchos, P.; Gazeas, K.


    We present results from the application of Kopal's method for eclipsing binaries to the analysis of the transit light curve of exoplanet HD 209458, using very accurate photometric observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope. The fitting of the model parameters to the data was achieved by use of the Simulated Annealing algorithm. Furthermore, we utilized a transformation of the limb darkening coefficients that negates the need to specify limits for their values (uninformative sampling), yet still yield physically plausible results.

  10. The Search for Ringed Exoplanets (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    Are planetary rings as common in our galaxy as they are in our solar system? A new study demonstrates how we might search for ringed exoplanets and then possibly finds one!Saturns Elsewhere?Artists illustration of the super ring system around exoplanet J1407b. This is the only exoplanet weve found with rings, but its not at all like Saturn. [Ron Miller]Our solar system is filled with moons and planetary rings, so it stands to reason that exoplanetary systems should exhibit the same features. But though weve been in the planet-hunting game for decades, weve only found one exoplanet thats surrounded by a ring system. Whats more, that system J1407b has enormous rings that are vastly different from the modest, Saturn-like rings that we might expect to be more commonplace.Have we not discovered ringed exoplanets just because theyre hard to identify? Or is it because theyre not out there? A team of scientists led by Masataka Aizawa (University of Tokyo) has set out to answer this question by conducting a systematic search for rings around long-period planet candidates.The transit light curve of KIC 10403228, shown with three models: the best-fitting planet-only model (blue) and the two best-fitting planet+ring models (green and red). [Aizawa et al. 2017]The Hunt BeginsWhy long-period planets? Rings are expected to be unstable as the planet gets closer to the central star. Whats more, the planet needs to be far enough away from the stars warmth for the icy rings to exist. The authors therefore select from the collection of candidate transiting planets 89 long-period candidates that might be able to host rings.Aizawa and collaborators then fit single-planet models (with no rings) to the light curves of these planets and search for anomalies curves that arent fit well by these standard models. Particularly suspicious characteristics include a long ingress/egress as the planet moves across the face of the star, and asymmetry of the transit shape.After applying a series of

  11. Stellar magnetic activity and exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidotto A.A.


    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.

  12. Stellar magnetic activity and exoplanets (United States)

    Vidotto, A. A.


    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.

  13. HOMES - Holographic Optical Method for Exoplanet Spectroscopy Project (United States)

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

  14. 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: [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)


    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.

  15. VizieR Online Data Catalog: HD17674, HD29021, and HD42012 radial velocities (Rey+, 2017) (United States)

    Rey, J.; Hebrard, G.; Bouchy, F.; Bourrier, V.; Boisse, I.; Santos, N. C.; Arnold, L.; Astudillo-Defru, N.; Bonfils, X.; Borgniet, S.; Courcol, B.; Deleuil, M.; Delfosse, X.; Demangeon, O.; Diaz, R. F.; Ehrenreich, D.; Forveille, T.; Marmier, M.; Moutou, C.; Pepe, F.; Santerne, A.; Sahlmann, J.; Segransan, D.; Udry, S.; Wilson, P. A.


    HD17674, HD29021 and HD42012 were observed with the ELODIE and SOPHIE spectrographs mounted on the 193cm telescope of Haute Provence Observatory, in the south of France. Data include the epoch of observation, radial velocities, uncertainties on the radial velocities and the corresponding spectrograph used for the observations. Data were acquired in 101, 66 and 32 epochs spread over 18, 4 and 8 years for HD17674, HD29021 and HD42012 respectively. Tables 5, 6, and 7 list all RVs in the barycentric reference frame of the Solar System. (3 data files).

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


    Hu, Renyu


    Future direct-imaging exoplanet missions such as WFIRST/AFTA, Exo-C, and Exo-S will measure the reflectivity of exoplanets at visible wavelengths. The exoplanets to be observed will be located further away from their parent stars than is Earth from the Sun. These "cold" exoplanets have atmospheric environments conducive for the formation of water and/or ammonia clouds, like Jupiter in the Solar System. We study the science return from direct-imaging exoplanet missions, focusing on the exoplan...

  17. Exoplanet Community Report on Direct Infrared Imaging of Exoplanets (United States)

    Danchi, William C.; Lawson, Peter R.


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

  18. First Temperate Exoplanet Sized Up (United States)


    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

  19. Detection of planet candidates around K giants. HD 40956, HD 111591, and HD 113996 (United States)

    Jeong, G.; Lee, B.-C.; Han, I.; Omiya, M.; Izumiura, H.; Sato, B.; Harakawa, H.; Kambe, E.; Mkrtichian, D.


    Aims: The purpose of this paper is to detect and investigate the nature of long-term radial velocity (RV) variations of K-type giants and to confirm planetary companions around the stars. Methods: We have conducted two planet search programs by precise RV measurement using the 1.8 m telescope at Bohyunsan Optical Astronomy Observatory (BOAO) and the 1.88 m telescope at Okayama Astrophysical Observatory (OAO). The BOAO program searches for planets around 55 early K giants. The OAO program is looking for 190 G-K type giants. Results: In this paper, we report the detection of long-period RV variations of three K giant stars, HD 40956, HD 111591, and HD 113996. We investigated the cause of the observed RV variations and conclude the substellar companions are most likely the cause of the RV variations. The orbital analyses yield P = 578.6 ± 3.3 d, m sin i = 2.7 ± 0.6 MJ, a = 1.4 ± 0.1 AU for HD 40956; P = 1056.4 ± 14.3 d, m sin i = 4.4 ± 0.4 MJ, a = 2.5 ± 0.1 AU for HD 111591; P = 610.2 ± 3.8 d, m sin i = 6.3 ± 1.0 MJ, a = 1.6 ± 0.1 AU for HD 113996. Based on observations made with the BOES at BOAO in Korea and HIDES at OAO in Japan.Tables 3-5 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via

  20. Ground-based observations of exoplanet atmospheres

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mooij, Ernst Johan Walter de


    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.

  1. Walking on Exoplanets: Is Star Wars Right? (United States)

    Ballesteros, Fernando J; Luque, B


    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. Exoplanets-Gravity-Planetary habitability and biosignatures. Astrobiology 16, 325-327.

  2. Direct Imaging of Giant Exoplanets (United States)

    Tamura, Motohide

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


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


    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.

  4. Enabling Participation In Exoplanet Science (United States)

    Taylor, Stuart F.


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

  5. The Quiet HMXB Candidates HD 14633 and HD 15137 (United States)

    McSwain, M. Virginia; Roberts, M. S. E.; Boyajian, T. S.; De Becker, M.; Marsh, A. N.


    The runaway O-type binaries HD 14633 and HD 15137 were likely ejected from the cluster of their birth by supernovae explosions in close binaries. Neither star is a known X-ray source, but they likely contain neutron stars and may be weak stellar wind accretion systems. Hence the two binaries have been classified as "quiet HMXBs". Here we present new optical spectra of these spectroscopic binaries and reassess their orbits. We also present preliminary results from recent XMM-Newton observations, intended to detect the hard power-law spectrum from accreting or quiescent neutron star companions and reveal the evolutionary history of these intriguing runaways. This work is based on observations obtained with XMM-Newton, an ESA science mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States and NASA. We gratefully acknowledge support from NASA and Lehigh University.

  6. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Radial velocities of HD 6434 (Hinkel+, 2015) (United States)

    Hinkel, N. R.; Kane, S. R.; Pilyavsky, G.; Boyajian, T. S.; James, D. J.; Naef, D.; Fischer, D. A.; Udry, S.


    Previous radial velocity observations of HD6434 (Mayor et al. 2004, cat. J/A+A/415/391) were undertaken with the CORALIE spectrometer mounted on the 1.2m Euler Swiss telescope at La Silla. Those observations were conducted as part of the CORALIE exoplanet search program (Udry et al. 2000, cat. J/A+A/356/590). We continued to monitor HD6434 using CORALIE to improve the Keplerian orbital solution and provide an accurate transit ephemeris. The complete data set of 137 measurements is shown in Table2 including previously acquired measurements and 59 new measurements. These new measurements extend the overall time baseline for the radial velocity observations by a factor of ~3.6, for a total baseline of ~15 years. (1 data file).

  7. Stellar Echo Imaging of Exoplanets (United States)

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


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

  8. No hydrogen exosphere detected around the super-Earth HD 97658 b (United States)

    Bourrier, V.; Ehrenreich, D.; King, G.; Lecavelier des Etangs, A.; Wheatley, P. J.; Vidal-Madjar, A.; Pepe, F.; Udry, S.


    The exoplanet HD 97658 b provides a rare opportunity to probe the atmospheric composition and evolution of moderately irradiated super-Earths. It transits a bright K star at a moderate orbital distance of 0.08 au. Its low density is compatible with a massive steam envelope that could photodissociate at high altitudes and become observable as escaping neutral hydrogen. Our analysis of three transits with HST/STIS at Lyman-α reveals no such signature, suggesting that the thermosphere of HD 97658 b is not hydrodynamically expanding and is subjected to a low escape of neutral hydrogen (<108 g s-1 at 3σ). Using HST/STIS Lyman-α observations and Chandra/ACIS-S and XMM-Newton/EPIC X-ray observations at different epochs, we find that HD 97658 is in fact a weak and soft X-ray source with signs of chromospheric variability in the Lyman-α line core. We determine an average reference for the intrinsic Lyman-α line and X-EUV (XUV) spectrum of the star, and show that HD 97658 b is in mild conditions of irradiation compared to other known evaporating exoplanets with an XUV irradiation about three times lower than the evaporating warm Neptune GJ436 b. This could be the reason why the thermosphere of HD 97658 b is not expanding: the low XUV irradiation prevents an efficient photodissociation of any putative steam envelope. Alternatively, it could be linked to a low hydrogen content or inefficient conversion of the stellar energy input. The HD 97658 system provides clues for understanding the stability of low-mass planet atmospheres in terms of composition, planetary density, and irradiation. Our study of HD 97658 b can be seen as a control experiment of our methodology, confirming that it does not bias detections of atmospheric escape and underlining its strength and reliability. Our results show that stellar activity can be efficiently discriminated from absorption signatures by a transiting exospheric cloud. They also highlight the potential of observing the upper atmosphere

  9. Searching for new diagnostics of exoplanet atmospheres (United States)

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


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

  10. Transit confirmation and improved stellar and planet parameters for the super-Earth HD 97658 b and its host star

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Grootel, V.; Gillon, M.; Scuflaire, R. [Institut d' Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, 17 Allée du 6 Août, B-4000 Liège (Belgium); Valencia, D. [Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON, M1C 1A4 (Canada); Madhusudhan, N.; Demory, B.-O.; Queloz, D. [Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom); Dragomir, D. [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, 6740 Cortona Dr. Suite 102, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); Howe, A. R.; Burrows, A. S. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Deming, D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421 (United States); Ehrenreich, D.; Lovis, C.; Mayor, M.; Pepe, F.; Segransan, D.; Udry, S. [Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 Chemin des Maillettes, CH-1290 Sauverny (Switzerland); Seager, S., E-mail: [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)


    Super-Earths transiting nearby bright stars are key objects that simultaneously allow for accurate measurements of both their mass and radius, providing essential constraints on their internal composition. We present here the confirmation, based on Spitzer transit observations, that the super-Earth HD 97658 b transits its host star. HD 97658 is a low-mass (M {sub *} = 0.77 ± 0.05 M {sub ☉}) K1 dwarf, as determined from the Hipparcos parallax and stellar evolution modeling. To constrain the planet parameters, we carry out Bayesian global analyses of Keck-High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (Keck-HIRES) radial velocities and Microvariability and Oscillations of STars (MOST) and Spitzer photometry. HD 97658 b is a massive (M{sub P}=7.55{sub −0.79}{sup +0.83} M{sub ⊕}) and large (R{sub P}=2.247{sub −0.095}{sup +0.098}R{sub ⊕} at 4.5 μm) super-Earth. We investigate the possible internal compositions for HD 97658 b. Our results indicate a large rocky component, of at least 60% by mass, and very little H-He components, at most 2% by mass. We also discuss how future asteroseismic observations can improve the knowledge of the HD 97658 system, in particular by constraining its age. Orbiting a bright host star, HD 97658 b will be a key target for upcoming space missions such as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), the Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite (CHEOPS), the Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO), and the James Webb Space Telescope to characterize thoroughly its structure and atmosphere.

  11. Testing connections between exo-atmospheres and their host stars. GEMINI-N/GMOS ground-based transmission spectrum of Qatar-1b (United States)

    von Essen, C.; Cellone, S.; Mallonn, M.; Albrecht, S.; Miculán, R.; Müller, H. M.


    Till date, only a handful exo-atmospheres have been well characterized, mostly by means of the transit method. Some classic examples are HD 209458b, HD 189733b, GJ-436b, and GJ-1214b. Data show exoplanet atmospheres to be diverse. However, this is based on a small number of cases. Here we focus our study on the exo-atmosphere of Qatar-1b, an exoplanet that looks much like HD 189733b regarding its host star's activity level, their surface gravity, scale height, equilibrium temperature and transit parameters. Thus, our motivation relied on carrying out a comparative study of their atmospheres, and assess if these are regulated by their environment. In this work we present one primary transit of Qatar-1b obtained during September, 2014, using the 8.1 m GEMINI North telescope. The observations were performed using the GMOS-N instrument in multi-object spectroscopic mode. We collected fluxes of Qatar-1 and six more reference stars, covering the wavelength range between 460 and 746 nm. The achieved photometric precision of 0.18 parts-per-thousand in the white light curve, at a cadence of 165 s, makes this one of the most precise datasets obtained from the ground. We created 12 chromatic transit light curves that we computed by integrating fluxes in wavelength bins of different sizes, ranging between 3.5 and 20 nm. Although the data are of excellent quality, the wavelength coverage and the precision of the transmission spectrum are not sufficient to neither rule out or to favor classic atmospheric models. Nonetheless, simple statistical analysis favors the clear atmosphere scenario. A larger wavelength coverage or space-based data is required to characterize the constituents of Qatar-1b's atmosphere and to compare it to the well known HD 189733b. On top of the similarities of the orbital and physical parameters of both exoplanets, from a long Hα photometric follow-up of Qatar-1, presented in this work, we find Qatar-1 to be as active as HD 189733. The white light curve

  12. Lightning and Life on Exoplanets (United States)

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


    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

  13. Isotope Geochemistry for Comparative Planetology of Exoplanets (United States)

    Mandt, K. E.; Atreya, S.; Luspay-Kuti, A.; Mousis, O.; Simon, A.; Hofstadter, M. D.


    Isotope geochemistry has played a critical role in understanding processes at work in and the history of solar system bodies. Application of these techniques to exoplanets would be revolutionary and would allow comparative planetology with the formation and evolution of exoplanet systems. The roadmap for comparative planetology of the origins and workings of exoplanets involves isotopic geochemistry efforts in three areas: (1) technology development to expand observations of the isotopic composition of solar system bodies and expand observations to isotopic composition of exoplanet atmospheres; (2) theoretical modeling of how isotopes fractionate and the role they play in evolution of exoplanetary systems, atmospheres, surfaces and interiors; and (3) laboratory studies to constrain isotopic fractionation due to processes at work throughout the solar system.

  14. Astrology in the Era of Exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Lund, Michael B


    The last two decades have seen the number of known exoplanets increase from a small handful to nearly 2000 known exoplanets, thousands more planet candidates, and several upcoming missions that are expected to further increase the population of known exoplanets. Beyond the strictly scientific questions that this has led to regarding planet formation and frequency, this has also led to broader questions such as the philosophical implications of life elsewhere in the universe and the future of human civilization and space exploration. One additional realm that hasn't been adequately considered, however, is that this large increase in exoplanets would also impact claims regarding astrology. In this paper we look at the distribution of planets across the sky and along the Ecliptic, as well as the current and future implications of this planet distribution.

  15. Walking on Exoplanets: Is Star Wars Right? (United States)

    Ballesteros, Fernando J.; Luque, B.


    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. Spectra as windows into exoplanet atmospheres. (United States)

    Burrows, Adam S


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

  17. A Framework to Combine Low- and High-resolution Spectroscopy for the Atmospheres of Transiting Exoplanets (United States)

    Brogi, M.; Line, M.; Bean, J.; Désert, J.-M.; Schwarz, H.


    Current observations of the atmospheres of close-in exoplanets are predominantly obtained with two techniques: low-resolution spectroscopy with space telescopes and high-resolution spectroscopy from the ground. Although the observables delivered by the two methods are in principle highly complementary, no attempt has ever been made to combine them, perhaps due to the different modeling approaches that are typically used in their interpretation. Here, we present the first combined analysis of previously published dayside spectra of the exoplanet HD 209458 b obtained at low resolution with HST/Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Spitzer/IRAC and at high resolution with VLT/CRIRES. By utilizing a novel retrieval algorithm capable of computing the joint probability distribution of low- and high-resolution spectra, we obtain tight constraints on the chemical composition of the planet’s atmosphere. In contrast to the WFC3 data, we do not confidently detect H2O at high spectral resolution. The retrieved water abundance from the combined analysis deviates by 1.9σ from the expectations for a solar-composition atmosphere in chemical equilibrium. Measured relative molecular abundances of CO and H2O strongly favor an oxygen-rich atmosphere (C/O exoplanet surveys between the flagship ground- and space-based facilities, which ultimately will be crucial for characterizing potentially habitable planets.

  18. HD 106315 and GJ 9827: Understanding the Formation and Evolution of Small Planets (United States)

    Rodriguez, Joseph; Vanderburg, Andrew; Eastman, Jason; Zhou, George


    The success of ground-based transit and RV surveys, and the Kepler/K2 mission, has shifted the exoplanet field from pure discovery to a combination of discovery, demographic analysis, and atmospheres, with the goal of understanding how planets form and evolve. The discovery of super Earth and sub-Neptune sized planets, planets with no analogue in our own solar system, span a known transition from dense rock composition to thick gaseous atmospheres. Recently, we have discovered two exoplanet systems using data from the K2 mission which provide a great opportunity to understand how small planets form and evolve. HD 106315 hosts a sub-Neptune size planet on a 9.5 day period and a Neptune on a 21 day period. The host star’s brightness and higher than typical rotation period make HD 106315c one of the best small planets known to measure its spin-orbit alignment. This measurement may provide insight into its formation history as misaligned planets suggest a dynamical migration history. GJ 9827 hosts three super Earth planets that span the known rock to gas transition. From studying the atmospheres of these planets, we may better understand the mechanisms involved in creating the observed dichotomy at 1.6 Earth radii. I will discuss our recent results on these two systems and their importance to understanding the formation and evolution of small planets.

  19. Lightning on exoplanets and brown dwarfs


    Hodosán, Gabriella


    Lightning is an important electrical phenomenon, known to exist in several Solar System planets. Amongst others, it carries information on convection and cloud formation, and may be important for pre-biotic chemistry. Exoplanets and brown dwarfs have been shown to host environments appropriate for the initiation of lightning discharges. In this PhD project, I aim to determine if lightning on exoplanets and brown dwarfs can be more energetic than it is known from Solar System planets, what are...

  20. Habitable Exoplanet Imager Optical Telescope Concept Design (United States)

    Stahl, H. Philip


    Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) is a concept for a mission to directly image and characterize planetary systems around Sun-like stars. In addition to the search for life on Earth-like exoplanets, HabEx will enable a broad range of general astrophysics science enabled by 100 to 2500 nm spectral range and 3 x 3 arc-minute FOV. HabEx is one of four mission concepts currently being studied for the 2020 Astrophysics Decadal Survey.

  1. Detection of sodium in the atmosphere of WASP-69b (United States)

    Casasayas-Barris, N.; Palle, E.; Nowak, G.; Yan, F.; Nortmann, L.; Murgas, F.


    Context. Transit spectroscopy is one of the most commonly used methods to characterize exoplanets' atmospheres. From the ground, these observations are very challenging due to the terrestrial atmosphere and its intrinsic variations, but high-spectral-resolution observations overcome this difficulty by resolving the spectral lines and taking advantage of the different Doppler velocities of the Earth, the host star, and the exoplanet. Aims: We analyze the transmission spectrum around the Na I doublet at 589 nm of the extrasolar planet WASP-69b, a hot Jupiter orbiting a K-type star with a period of 3.868 days, and compare the analysis to that of the well-known hot Jupiter HD 189733b. We also present the analysis of the Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect for WASP-69b. Methods: We observed two transits of WASP-69b with the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS-North) spectrograph (R = 115 000) at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG). We perform a telluric contamination subtraction based on the comparison between the observed spectra and a telluric water model. Then, the common steps of the differential spectroscopy are followed to extract the transmission spectrum. The method is tested with archival transit data of the extensively studied exoplanet HD 189733b, obtained with the HARPS-South spectrograph at ESO 3.6 m telescope, and then applied to WASP-69b data. Results: For HD 189733b, we spectrally resolve the Na I doublet and measure line contrasts of 0.72 ± 0.05% (D2) and 0.51 ± 0.05% (D1), and full width half maximum (FWHM) values of 0.64 ± 0.04 Å (D2) and 0.60 ± 0.06 Å (D1), in agreement with previously published results. For WASP-69b only the contrast of the D2 line can be measured (5.8 ± 0.3%). This corresponds to a detection at the 5σ-level of excess absorption of 0.5 ± 0.1% in a passband of 1.5 Å. A net blueshift of 0.04 Å is measured for HD 189733b and no shift is obtained for WASP-69b. By measuring the RM effect, we get an angular

  2. No planet for HD 166435


    Queloz, D.; Henry, G. W.; Sivan, J. P.; Baliunas, S. L.; Beuzit, J. L.; Mayor, R. A. Donahue M.; Naef, D.; Perrier, C.; Udry, S.


    The G0V star HD166435 has been observed by the fiber-fed spectrograph ELODIE as one of the targets in the large extra-solar planet survey that we are conducting at the Observatory of Haute-Provence. We detected coherent, low-amplitude, radial-velocity variations with a period of 3.7987days, suggesting a possible close-in planetary companion. Subsequently, we initiated a series of high-precision photometric observations to search for possible planetary transits and an additional series of CaII...

  3. Accurate effective temperatures of the metal-poor benchmark stars HD 140283, HD 122563 and HD 103095 from CHARA interferometry (United States)

    Karovicova, I.; White, T. R.; Nordlander, T.; Lind, K.; Casagrande, L.; Ireland, M. J.; Huber, D.; Creevey, O.; Mourard, D.; Schaefer, G. H.; Gilmore, G.; Chiavassa, A.; Wittkowski, M.; Jofré, P.; Heiter, U.; Thévenin, F.; Asplund, M.


    Large stellar surveys of the Milky Way require validation with reference to a set of "benchmark" stars whose fundamental properties are well-determined. For metal-poor benchmark stars, disagreement between spectroscopic and interferometric effective temperatures has called the reliability of the temperature scale into question. We present new interferometric measurements of three metal-poor benchmark stars, HD 140283, HD 122563, and HD 103095, from which we determine their effective temperatures. The angular sizes of all the stars were determined from observations with the PAVO beam combiner at visible wavelengths at the CHARA array, with additional observations of HD 103095 made with the VEGA instrument, also at the CHARA array. Together with photometrically derived bolometric fluxes, the angular diameters give a direct measurement of the effective temperature. For HD 140283 we find θLD=0.324±0.005 mas, Teff=5787±48 K; for HD 122563, θLD=0.926±0.011 mas, Teff=4636±37 K; and for HD 103095 θLD=0.595±0.007 mas, Teff=5140±49 K. Our temperatures for HD 140283 and HD 103095 are hotter than the previous interferometric measurements by 253 K and 322 K, respectively. We find good agreement between our temperatures and recent spectroscopic and photometric estimates. We conclude some previous interferometric measurements have been affected by systematic uncertainties larger than their quoted errors.

  4. The 4.5 μm full-orbit phase curve of the hot Jupiter HD 209458b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zellem, Robert T.; Griffith, Caitlin A.; Showman, Adam P. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Lewis, Nikole K. [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Knutson, Heather A. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, MC 170-25 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan J.; Laughlin, Gregory [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Cowan, Nicolas B. [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern University, Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Agol, Eric [Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Physics-Astronomy Building, 3910 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Burrows, Adam [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, 4 Ivy Lane, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Charbonneau, David [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street MS-16, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Deming, Drake [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Langton, Jonathan, E-mail: [Physics Department, Principia College, 1 Maybeck Place, Elsah, IL 62028 (United States)


    The hot Jupiter HD 209458b is particularly amenable to detailed study as it is among the brightest transiting exoplanet systems currently known (V-mag = 7.65; K-mag = 6.308) and has a large planet-to-star contrast ratio. HD 209458b is predicted to be in synchronous rotation about its host star with a hot spot that is shifted eastward of the substellar point by superrotating equatorial winds. Here we present the first full-orbit observations of HD 209458b, in which its 4.5 μm emission was recorded with Spitzer/IRAC. Our study revises the previous 4.5 μm measurement of HD 209458b's secondary eclipse emission downward by ∼35% to 0.1391%{sub −0.0069%}{sup +0.0072%}, changing our interpretation of the properties of its dayside atmosphere. We find that the hot spot on the planet's dayside is shifted eastward of the substellar point by 40.°9 ± 6.°0, in agreement with circulation models predicting equatorial superrotation. HD 209458b's dayside (T{sub bright} = 1499 ± 15 K) and nightside (T{sub bright} = 972 ± 44 K) emission indicate a day-to-night brightness temperature contrast smaller than that observed for more highly irradiated exoplanets, suggesting that the day-to-night temperature contrast may be partially a function of the incident stellar radiation. The observed phase curve shape deviates modestly from global circulation model predictions potentially due to disequilibrium chemistry or deficiencies in the current hot CH{sub 4} line lists used in these models. Observations of the phase curve at additional wavelengths are needed in order to determine the possible presence and spatial extent of a dayside temperature inversion, as well as to improve our overall understanding of this planet's atmospheric circulation.

  5. Tidal locking of habitable exoplanets (United States)

    Barnes, Rory


    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

  6. Tidal locking of habitable exoplanets (United States)

    Barnes, Rory


    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

  7. Point Source Polarimetry with the Gemini Planet Imager: Sensitivity Characterization with T5.5 Dwarf Companion HD 19467 B (United States)

    Jensen-Clem, Rebecca; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Mawet, Dimitri; Graham, James R.; Wallace, J. Kent; Macintosh, Bruce; Hinkley, Sasha; Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.; Perrin, Marshall D.; Marley, Mark S.; hide


    Detecting polarized light from self-luminous exoplanets has the potential to provide key information about rotation, surface gravity, cloud grain size, and cloud coverage. While field brown dwarfs with detected polarized emission are common, no exoplanet or substellar companion has yet been detected in polarized light. With the advent of high contrast imaging spectro-polarimeters such as GPI and SPHERE, such a detection may now be possible with careful treatment of instrumental polarization. In this paper, we present 28 minutes of H-band GPI polarimetric observations of the benchmark T5.5 companion HD 19467 B. We detect no polarization signal from the target, and place an upper limit on the degree of linear polarization of pCL99:73% less than 1:7%. We discuss our results in the context of T dwarf cloud models and photometric variability.

  8. Amateur observations of exoplanets in Finland: History and recent activities (United States)

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


    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. Exoplanet Caught on the Move (United States)


    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

  10. FINESSE & CASE: Two Proposed Transiting Exoplanet Missions (United States)

    Zellem, Robert Thomas; FINESSE and CASE Science Team


    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.

  11. Advances in Exoplanet Observing by Amateur Astronomers (Abstract) (United States)

    Conti, D. M.


    (Abstract only) This past year has seen a marked increase in amateur astronomer participation in exoplanet research. This has ranged from amateur astronomers helping professional astronomers confirm candidate exoplanets, to helping refine the ephemeris of known exoplanets. In addition, amateur astronomers have been involved in characterizing such exotic objects as disintegrating planetesimals. However, the involvement in such pro/am collaborations has also required that amateur astronomers follow a more disciplined approach to exoplanet observing.

  12. What asteroseismology can do for exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Eylen Vincent


    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.

  13. Possible climates on terrestrial exoplanets. (United States)

    Forget, F; Leconte, J


    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.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, Torrence V. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Mousis, Olivier [Observatoire THETA, Institut UTINAM, UMR 6213 CNRS, Universite de Franche-Comte, BP 1615, F-25010 Besancon Cedex (France); Lunine, Jonathan I. [Center for Radiophysics and Space Research, Space Sciences Building, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Madhusudhan, Nikku, E-mail: [Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Department of Physics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States)


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

  15. Natural and artificial spectral edges in exoplanets (United States)

    Lingam, Manasvi; Loeb, Abraham


    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.

  16. Constraining Exoplanet Habitability with HabEx (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler


    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.

  17. A New Model for Exoplanet Transmission Spectroscopy (United States)

    Rustamkulov, Zafar; Robinson, Tyler; Morley, Caroline; Fortney, Jonathan


    The recent boom in exoplanet characterization has prompted the need for robust theoretical models to measure the properties of their atmospheres. High resolution infrared spectroscopic instruments such as CRIRES and ESPRESSO on the VLT, and the future MIRI and NIRSpec instruments aboard JWST, present astronomers the opportunity to study exoplanets in great detail. The structural and compositional properties of exoplanet atmospheres are imprinted in their spectra, allowing for constraints on their formation and evolution. In this study we build a novel radiative transfer model to create theoretical transmission spectra of exoplanet atmospheres. The model expands on a previously validated opacity code and an analytic geometric path length distribution prescription to produce high resolution spectra spanning the near and mid-infrared range. The model’s flexibility allows for rapid iterations through many atmospheric and planetary parameters given initial pressure-temperature and abundance profiles and simple cloud profiles. The model outputs show good agreement with other models for terrestrial and Jovian planets alike. The code has already been used to model the spectra of the TRAPPIST-1 system and to help make a precise determination of the sodium abundance in a hot Saturn planet.

  18. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


    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

  19. Protoplanetary disks and exoplanets in scattered light

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stolker, T.


    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

  20. Professional / Amateur collaborations in exoplanet science (United States)

    Santerne, A.


    In this presentation, I will present the niches in exoplanet science where amateur astronomers can substantially contribute. These niches require either highprecision photometry or spectroscopy that are now within reach of amateur facilities. I will also discuss the perspective for future professional / amateur collaborations in the context of the upcoming TESS and PLATO space missions.

  1. Searching for exoplanets using artificial intelligence (United States)

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


    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.

  2. Discovery, Characterization, and Dynamics of Transiting Exoplanets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Eylen, Vincent


    results of this study, constraining the masses and bulk compositions of three planets. The second part of this thesis focuses on dynamics of exoplanets. All the solar system planets orbit in nearly the same plane, and that plane is also aligned with the equatorial plane of the Sun. That is not true...

  3. Exoplanet modelling with the Met Office Unified Model (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


    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

  4. Bayesian analysis on gravitational waves and exoplanets (United States)

    Deng, Xihao

    constraints on the function space that may be reasonably thought to characterize the range of gravitational wave signals. For example, focus attention on the detection of a gravitational wave burst, by which we mean a signal that begins and ends over the course of an observational epoch. The burst may result from a source that we know how to model - e.g., a near-unity mass ratio black hole binary system - or it may be the result of a process, which we have not imagined and, so, have no model for. Similarly, a gravitational wave background resulting from a superposition of a number of weak sources may be difficult to characterize if the number of weak sources is sufficiently large that none can be individually resolved, but not so large that their superposition leads to a reasonably Gaussian distribution. The fourth part develops Bayesian analysis methods that can be used to detect gravitational waves generated from circular-orbit supermassive black hole binaries with a pulsar timing array. PTA response to such gravitational waves can be modeled as the difference between two sinusoidal terms --- the one with a coherent phase among different pulsars called "Earth term" and the other one with incoherent phases among different pulsars called "pulsar term". For gravitational waves from slowly evolving binaries, the two terms in the PTA response model have the same frequency. Previous methods aimed at detecting gravitational waves from circular-orbit binaries ignored pulsar terms in data analysis since those terms were considered to be negligible when averaging over all the pulsars. However, it is found that we can incorporate the contributions of pulsar terms into data analysis in the case of slowly evolving binaries by treating the incoherent phases in pulsar terms as unknown parameters to be marginalized. The final part of this thesis applies Bayesian analysis to search for the evidence of a planetary system around the K0 giant star HD 102103 detected by the Penn State

  5. The Radiation Environment of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey L. Linsky


    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.

  6. Statistical Signatures of Panspermia in Exoplanet Surveys (United States)

    Lin, Henry W.; Loeb, Abraham


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

  7. Exoplanet Observations in SOFIA's Cycle 1 (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel


    The NASA/DLR Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a 2.5-meter infrared telescope on board a Boeing 747-SP, will conduct 0.3 - 1,600 micron photometric, spectroscopic, and imaging observations from altitudes as high as 45,000 ft. The airborne-based platform has unique advantages in comparison to ground- and space-based observatories in the field of characterization of the physical properties of exoplanets: parallel optical and near-infrared photometric and spectrophotometric follow-up observations during planetary transits and eclipses will be feasible with SOFIA's instrumentation, in particular the HIPO-FLITECAM optical/NIR instruments and possible future dedicated instrumentation. Here we present spectrophotometric exoplanet observations that were or will be conducted in SOFIA's cycle 1.

  8. Deciphering spectral fingerprints of habitable exoplanets. (United States)

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


    We discuss how to read a planet's spectrum to assess its habitability and search for the signatures of a biosphere. After a decade rich in giant exoplanet detections, observation techniques have advanced to a level where we now have the capability to find planets of less than 10 Earth masses (M(Earth)) (so-called "super Earths"), which may be habitable. How can we characterize those planets and assess whether they are habitable? This new field of exoplanet search has shown an extraordinary capacity to combine research in astrophysics, chemistry, biology, and geophysics into a new and exciting interdisciplinary approach to understanding our place in the Universe. The results of a first-generation mission will most likely generate an amazing scope of diverse planets that will set planet formation, evolution, and our planet into an overall context.

  9. Infrared spectroscopy of exoplanets: observational constraints. (United States)

    Encrenaz, Thérèse


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

  10. Observing Exoplanets in the Mid-Ultraviolet (United States)

    Heap. Sara


    There are good reasons for pushing the spectral range of observation to shorter wavelengths than currently envisaged for terrestrial planet-finding missions utilizing with a 4-m, diffraction-limited, optical telescope: (1) The angular resolution is higher, so the image of an exoplanet is better separated from that of the much brighter star. (2) The exozodiacal background per resolution element is smaller, so exposure times are reduced for the same incident flux. (3) Most importantly, the sensitivity to the ozone biomarker is increased by several hundred-fold by access to the ozone absorption band at 250-300 nm. These benefits must be weighed against challenges arising from the faintness of exoplanets in the mid-UV. We will evaluate both the technical and cost challenges including image quality of large telescopes, advanced mirror coatings and innovative designs for enhanced optical throughput, and CCD detectors optimized for 250-400 nm.

  11. ASTRO 850: Teaching Teachers about Exoplanets (United States)

    Barringer, Daniel; Palma, Christopher


    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.

  12. Understanding Young Exoplanet Analogs with WISE (United States)

    Rice, Emily

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

  13. Tidally driven evolution of differentiated terrestrial exoplanets (United States)

    Walterova, M.; Behounkova, M.


    We present a numerical model of tidally driven orbital evolution based on the solution of continuum mechanics equations for a differentiated spherical body, whose mantle is governed by either the Maxwell or the Andrade viscoelastic rheology. The model enables generally heterogeneous structure of the mantle, making thus possible the analysis of coupling between the internal and the orbital evolution of terrestrial exoplanets or icy moons.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hu Renyu; Seager, Sara [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Ehlmann, Bethany L., E-mail: [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)


    We investigate spectra of airless rocky exoplanets with a theoretical framework that self-consistently treats reflection and thermal emission. We find that a silicate surface on an exoplanet is spectroscopically detectable via prominent Si-O features in the thermal emission bands of 7-13 {mu}m and 15-25 {mu}m. The variation of brightness temperature due to the silicate features can be up to 20 K for an airless Earth analog, and the silicate features are wide enough to be distinguished from atmospheric features with relatively high resolution spectra. The surface characterization thus provides a method to unambiguously identify a rocky exoplanet. Furthermore, identification of specific rocky surface types is possible with the planet's reflectance spectrum in near-infrared broad bands. A key parameter to observe is the difference between K-band and J-band geometric albedos (A{sub g}(K) - A{sub g}(J)): A{sub g}(K) - A{sub g}(J) > 0.2 indicates that more than half of the planet's surface has abundant mafic minerals, such as olivine and pyroxene, in other words primary crust from a magma ocean or high-temperature lavas; A{sub g}(K) - A{sub g}(J) < -0.09 indicates that more than half of the planet's surface is covered or partially covered by water ice or hydrated silicates, implying extant or past water on its surface. Also, surface water ice can be specifically distinguished by an H-band geometric albedo lower than the J-band geometric albedo. The surface features can be distinguished from possible atmospheric features with molecule identification of atmospheric species by transmission spectroscopy. We therefore propose that mid-infrared spectroscopy of exoplanets may detect rocky surfaces, and near-infrared spectrophotometry may identify ultramafic surfaces, hydrated surfaces, and water ice.

  15. Using Exoplanets to Engage Students in Physics (United States)

    Charbonneau, David


    A hundred planets transiting bright stars are now known, ensuring that at any particular site at least one transit is visible on any given night. Most of these worlds were discovered with 4-inch telescopes, and so the modest telescopes that nest atop the physics buildings of many college campuses are more than adequate to pursue the transit events. Fueled by results from the NASA Kepler Mission and the promise of Earth-like worlds, exoplanets offer an enormous opportunity to engage first-year college students in physics. The simple geometric nature of these systems permits the direct application of introductory mechanics to deduce the basic properties of some planets orbiting other stars. Moreover, by gathering and analyzing their own data, students can understand the fundamentals of experimental science and data analysis. I will discuss the opportunities to engage students in physics through transiting exoplanets, with specific examples drawn from a first-year undergraduate course at Harvard University. I will also review the practical aspects, including software and hardware, of establishing an exoplanet observing lab appropriate for college students.

  16. CHEOPS: CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite (United States)

    Isaak, Kate


    CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) is the first exoplanet mission dedicated to the search for transits of exoplanets by means of ultrahigh precision photometry of bright stars already known to host planets, with launch readiness foreseen by the end of 2018. It is also the first S-class mission in ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025. The mission is a partnership between Switzerland and ESA's science programme, with important contributions from 10 other member states. It will provide the unique capability of determining accurate radii for a subset of those planets in the super- Earth to Neptune mass range, for which the mass has already been estimated from ground- based spectroscopic surveys. It will also provide precision radii for new planets discovered by the next generation of ground-based transits surveys (Neptune-size and smaller). The high photometric precision of CHEOPS will be achieved using a photometer covering the 0.35 - 1.1um waveband, designed around a single frame-transfer CCD which is mounted in the focal plane of a 30 cm equivalent aperture diameter, f/5 on-axis Ritchey-Chretien telescope. 20% of the observing time in the 3.5 year nominal mission will be available to Guest Observers from the Community. Proposals will be requested through open calls from ESA that are foreseen to be every year, with the first 6 months before launch. In this poster I will give a scientific and technical overview of the CHEOPS mission.

  17. CHEOPS: CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (United States)

    Isaak, K. G.


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


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nikolov, Nikolay; Sainsbury-Martinez, Felix, E-mail: [Astrophysics Group, School of Physics, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QL (United Kingdom)


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

  19. HD 97658 and its super-Earth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Grootel V.


    Full Text Available Super-Earths transiting nearby bright stars are key objects that simultaneously allow for accurate measurements of both their mass and radius, providing essential constraints on their internal composition. We present the confirmation, based on Spitzer observations, that the super-Earth HD 97658 b transits its host star. HD 97658 is a low-mass (M* = 0.77 ± 0.05 M⊙ K1 dwarf, as determined from the Hipparcos parallax and stellar evolution modeling. To constrain the planet parameters, we carry out Bayesian global analyses of Keck-HIRES radial velocities, and MOST and Spitzer photometry. HD 97658 b is a massive (MP = 7.55−0.79+0.83 M⊕ and large (RP = 2.247−0.095+0.098 R⊕ at 4.5 μm super-Earth. We investigate the possible internal compositions for HD 97658 b. Our results indicate a large rocky component, by at least 60% by mass, and very little H-He components, at most 2% by mass. We also discuss how future asteroseismic observations can improve the knowledge of the HD 97658 system, in particular by constraining its age.

  20. Instrumentation for the detection and characterization of exoplanets. (United States)

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


    In no other field of astrophysics has the impact of new instrumentation been as substantial as in the domain of exoplanets. Before 1995 our knowledge of exoplanets was mainly based on philosophical and theoretical considerations. The years that followed have been marked, instead, by surprising discoveries made possible by high-precision instruments. Over the past decade, the availability of new techniques has moved the focus of research from the detection to the characterization of exoplanets. Next-generation facilities will produce even more complementary data that will lead to a comprehensive view of exoplanet characteristics and, by comparison with theoretical models, to a better understanding of planet formation.

  1. The Quiet HMXB Candidate HD 15137 (United States)

    McSwain, M. Virginia


    HD 15137 is an intriguing runaway O-type binary that offers a rare opportunity to explore the mechanism by which it was ejected from the open cluster of its birth. All of the evidence from optical spectra points to a compact companion in this system - except for the lack of hard X-ray emission detected from the system. HD 15137 is therefore a "quiet" HMXB candidate, too widely separated for the neutron star to accrete a significant mass of stellar winds and be detected as an X-ray binary. Therefore we propose observations with XMM-Newton, to occur at the time of periastron, that will detect the hard power law spectrum from a weakly accreting neutron star and reveal the evolutionary history of HD 15137.

  2. MOVES - I. The evolving magnetic field of the planet-hosting star HD189733 (United States)

    Fares, R.; Bourrier, V.; Vidotto, A. A.; Moutou, C.; Jardine, M. M.; Zarka, P.; Helling, Ch.; Lecavelier des Etangs, A.; Llama, J.; Louden, T.; Wheatley, P. J.; Ehrenreich, D.


    HD189733 is an active K dwarf that is, with its transiting hot Jupiter, among the most studied exoplanetary systems. In this first paper of the Multiwavelength Observations of an eVaporating Exoplanet and its Star (MOVES) programme, we present a 2-yr monitoring of the large-scale magnetic field of HD189733. The magnetic maps are reconstructed for five epochs of observations, namely 2013 June-July, 2013 August, 2013 September, 2014 September and 2015 July, using Zeeman-Doppler imaging. We show that the field evolves along the five epochs, with mean values of the total magnetic field of 36, 41, 42, 32 and 37 G, respectively. All epochs show a toroidally dominated field. Using previously published data of Moutou et al. and Fares et al., we are able to study the evolution of the magnetic field over 9 yr, one of the longest monitoring campaigns for a given star. While the field evolved during the observed epochs, no polarity switch of the poles was observed. We calculate the stellar magnetic field value at the position of the planet using the potential field source surface extrapolation technique. We show that the planetary magnetic environment is not homogeneous over the orbit, and that it varies between observing epochs, due to the evolution of the stellar magnetic field. This result underlines the importance of contemporaneous multiwavelength observations to characterize exoplanetary systems. Our reconstructed maps are a crucial input for the interpretation and modelling of our MOVES multiwavelength observations.

  3. Coordinated X-Ray and Optical Observations of Star-Planet Interaction in HD 17156 (United States)

    Maggio, A.; Pillitteri, I.; Scandariato, G.; Lanza, A. F.; Sciortino, S.; Borsa, F.; Bonomo, A. S.; Claudi, R.; Covino, E.; Desidera, S.; Gratton, R.; Micela, G.; Pagano, I.; Piotto, G.; Sozzetti, A.; Cosentino, R.; Maldonado, J.


    The large number of close-in Jupiter-size exoplanets prompts the question whether star-planet interaction (SPI) effects can be detected. We focused our attention on the system HD 17156, having a Jupiter-mass planet in a very eccentric orbit. Here we present results of the XMM-Newton observations and of a five month coordinated optical campaign with the HARPS-N spectrograph.10 We observed HD 17156 with XMM-Newton when the planet was approaching the apoastron and then at the following periastron passage, quasi-simultaneously with HARPS-N. We obtained a clear (≈ 5.5σ ) X-ray detection only at the periastron visit, accompanied by a significant increase of the {R}{HK}\\prime chromospheric index. We discuss two possible scenarios for the activity enhancement: magnetic reconnection and flaring or accretion onto the star of material tidally stripped from the planet. In any case, this is possibly the first evidence of a magnetic SPI effect caught in action.

  4. The Shadow Knows: Using Shadows to Investigate the Structure of the Pretransitional Disk of HD 100453

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Long, Zachary C.; Fernandes, Rachel B.; Sitko, Michael [Department of Physics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221 (United States); Wagner, Kevin [Department of Astronomy/Steward Observatory, The University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Muto, Takayuki [Division of Liberal Arts, Kogakuin University, 1-24-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 163-8677 (Japan); Hashimoto, Jun; Oh, Daehyon; Tamura, Motohide; Yang, Yi [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1, Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo, 181-8588 (Japan); Follette, Katherine [Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); Grady, Carol A. [Eureka Scientific, 2452 Delmer Street, Suite 100, Oakland CA 96402 (United States); Fukagawa, Misato [Division of Particle and Astrophysical Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Nagoya (Japan); Hasegawa, Yasuhiro [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Kluska, Jacques; Kraus, Stefan [University of Exeter Astrophysics Group, School of Physics, Stocker Road, Exeter, Devon EX4 4QL (United Kingdom); Mayama, Satoshi [Department of Astronomical Science, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Shonan Village, Hayama, Kanagawa 240-0193 (Japan); McElwain, Michael W. [Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory, Code 667, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Uyama, Taichi [Department of Astronomy and RESCUE, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033 (Japan); Wisniewski, John P. [Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73071 (United States)


    We present Gemini Planet Imager polarized intensity imagery of HD 100453 in Y , J , and K 1 bands that reveals an inner gap (9–18 au), an outer disk (18–39 au) with two prominent spiral arms, and two azimuthally localized dark features that are also present in Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE) total intensity images. Spectral energy distribution fitting further suggests that the radial gap extends to 1 au. The narrow, wedge-like shape of the dark features appears similar to predictions of shadows cast by an inner disk that is misaligned with respect to the outer disk. Using the Monte Carlo radiative transfer code HOCHUNCK3D, we construct a model of the disk that allows us to determine its physical properties in more detail. From the angular separation of the features, we measure the difference in inclination between the disks (45°) and their major axes, PA = 140° east of north for the outer disk, and 100° for the inner disk. We find an outer-disk inclination of 25° ± 10° from face-on, in broad agreement with the Wagner et al. measurement of 34°. SPHERE data in J and H bands indicate a reddish disk, which indicates that HD 100453 is evolving into a young debris disk.


    KAUST Repository

    Piskorz, Danielle


    We target the thermal emission spectrum of the non-transiting gas giant HD 88133 b with high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy, by treating the planet and its host star as a spectroscopic binary. For sufficiently deep summed flux observations of the star and planet across multiple epochs, it is possible to resolve the signal of the hot gas giant\\'s atmosphere compared to the brighter stellar spectrum, at a level consistent with the aggregate shot noise of the full data set. To do this, we first perform a principal component analysis to remove the contribution of the Earth\\'s atmosphere to the observed spectra. Then, we use a cross-correlation analysis to tease out the spectra of the host star and HD 88133 b to determine its orbit and identify key sources of atmospheric opacity. In total, six epochs of Keck NIRSPEC L-band observations and three epochs of Keck NIRSPEC K-band observations of the HD 88133 system were obtained. Based on an analysis of the maximum likelihood curves calculated from the multi-epoch cross-correlation of the full data set with two atmospheric models, we report the direct detection of the emission spectrum of the non-transiting exoplanet HD 88133 b and measure a radial projection of the Keplerian orbital velocity of 40 +/- 15 km s(-1), a true mass of 1.02(-0.28)(+0.61) M-J, a nearly face-on orbital inclination of 15(-5)(+60), and an atmosphere opacity structure at high dispersion dominated by water vapor. This, combined with 11 years of radial velocity measurements of the system, provides the most up-to-date ephemeris for HD 88133.

  6. Geometric Phase Effects in the Ultracold D + HD $\\to$ D + HD and D + HD $\\leftrightarrow$ H + D$_2$ Reactions

    CERN Document Server

    Kendrick, Brian K; Balakrishnan, N


    The results of accurate quantum reactive scattering calculations for the D + HD($v=4$, $j=0$) $\\to$ D + HD($v'$, $j'$), D + HD($v=4$, $j=0$) $\\to$ H + D$_2$($v'$, $j'$) and H + D$_2$($v=4$, $j=0$) $\\to$ D + HD($v'$,$j'$) reactions are presented for collision energies between $1\\,\\mu{\\rm K}$ and $100\\,{\\rm K}$. The ${\\it ab\\ initio}$ BKMP2 PES for the ground electronic state of H$_3$ is used and all values of total angular momentum between $J=0-4$ are included. The general vector potential approach is used to include the geometric phase. The rotationally resolved, vibrationally resolved, and total reaction rate coefficients are reported as a function of collision energy. Rotationally resolved differential cross sections are also reported as a function of collision energy and scattering angle. Large geometric phase effects appear in the ultracold reaction rate coefficients which result in a significant enhancement or suppression of the rate coefficient (up to $3$ orders of magnitude) relative to calculations wh...

  7. Ground-based photometry of the 21-day Neptune HD 106315c (United States)

    Lendl, M.; Ehrenreich, D.; Turner, O. D.; Bayliss, D.; Blanco-Cuaresma, S.; Giles, H.; Bouchy, F.; Marmier, M.; Udry, S.


    Space-based transit surveys such as K2 and the Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite (TESS) allow the detection of small transiting planets with orbital periods greater than 10 days. Few of these warm Neptunes are currently known around stars bright enough to allow for detailed follow-up observations dedicated to their atmospheric characterization. The 21-day period and 3.95 R⊕ planet HD 106315c has been discovered by K2 based on the observation of two of its transits. We observed HD 106315 using the 1.2 m Euler telescope equipped with the EulerCam camera on two occasions to confirm the transit using broadband photometry and refine the planetary period. Based on two observed transits of HD 106315c, we detect its 1 mmag transit and obtain a precise measurement of the planetary ephemerides, which are critical for planning further follow-up observations. We used the attained precision together with the predicted yield from the TESS mission to evaluate the potential for ground-based confirmation of Neptune-sized planets found by TESS. We find that one-meter class telescopes on the ground equipped with precise photometers could substantially contribute to the follow-up of 162 TESS candidates orbiting stars with magnitudes of V ≤ 14. Of these candidates, 74 planets orbit stars with V ≤ 12 and 12 planets orbit V ≤ 10, which makes them high-priority objects for atmospheric characterization with high-end instrumentation. The photometric time series data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via

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


    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.

  9. Earth-Like Exoplanets: The Science of NASA's Navigator Program (United States)

    Lawson, Peter R. (Editor); Traub, Wesley A. (Editor)


    This book outlines the exoplanet science content of NASA's Navigator Program, and it identifies the exoplanet research priorities. The goal of Navigator Program missions is to detect and characterize Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of nearby stars and to search for signs of life on those planets.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    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...

  11. Characterization of Transiting Exoplanets by Way of Differential Photometry (United States)

    Cowley, Michael; Hughes, Stephen


    This paper describes a simple activity for plotting and characterizing the light curve from an exoplanet transit event by way of differential photometry analysis. Using free digital imaging software, participants analyse a series of telescope images with the goal of calculating various exoplanet parameters, including size, orbital radius and…

  12. The WASP-South search for transiting exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Queloz D.


    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.

  13. Hansen's disease (HD): unusual presentations | Onyekonwu ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Hansen's disease (HD): unusual presentations. CL Onyekonwu, YM Olumide, D Altraide, NC Ahamefule, O Ayanlowo, NE Essen, TT Mohammed. Abstract. Although leprosy has well defined clinical presentations which make early diagnosis possible, and curable treatment instituted promptly, new cases continue to emerge ...

  14. The complex circumstellar environment of HD142527

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhoeff, A. P.; Min, M.; Pantin, E.; Waters, L. B. F. M.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Honda, M.; Fujiwara, H.; Bouwman, J.; van Boekel, R.; Dougherty, S. M.; de Koter, A.; Dominik, C.; Mulders, G. D.

    Context. The recent findings of gas giant planets around young A-type stars suggest that disks surrounding Herbig Ae/Be stars will develop planetary systems. An interesting case is HD142527, for which previous observations revealed a complex circumstellar environment and an unusually high ratio of

  15. The Exoplanet Characterization ToolKit (ExoCTK) (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


    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.

  16. Integrated Exoplanet Modeling with the GSFC Exoplanet Modeling & Analysis Center (EMAC) (United States)

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


    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

  17. Searching for Exoplanets using Artificial Intelligence (United States)

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


    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.

  18. Lightning chemistry on Earth-like exoplanets (United States)

    Ardaseva, Aleksandra; Rimmer, Paul B.; Waldmann, Ingo; Rocchetto, Marco; Yurchenko, Sergey N.; Helling, Christiane; Tennyson, Jonathan


    We present a model for lightning shock-induced chemistry that can be applied to atmospheres of arbitrary H/C/N/O chemistry, hence for extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs. The model couples hydrodynamics and the STAND2015 kinetic gas-phase chemistry. For an exoplanet analogue to the contemporary Earth, our model predicts NO and NO2 yields in agreement with observation. We predict height-dependent mixing ratios during a storm soon after a lightning shock of NO ≈10-3 at 40 km and NO2 ≈10-4 below 40 km, with O3 reduced to trace quantities (≪10-10). For an Earth-like exoplanet with a CO2/N2 dominated atmosphere and with an extremely intense lightning storm over its entire surface, we predict significant changes in the amount of NO, NO2, O3, H2O, H2 and predict a significant abundance of C2N. We find that, for the Early Earth, O2 is formed in large quantities by lightning but is rapidly processed by the photochemistry, consistent with previous work on lightning. The chemical effect of persistent global lightning storms are predicted to be significant, primarily due to NO2, with the largest spectral features present at ˜3.4 and ˜6.2 μm. The features within the transmission spectrum are on the order of 1 ppm and therefore are not likely detectable with the James Webb Space Telescope. Depending on its spectral properties, C2N could be a key tracer for lightning on Earth-like exoplanets with a N2/CO2 bulk atmosphere, unless destroyed by yet unknown chemical reactions.

  19. Density Estimation for Projected Exoplanet Quantities (United States)

    Brown, Robert A.


    Exoplanet searches using radial velocity (RV) and microlensing (ML) produce samples of "projected" mass and orbital radius, respectively. We present a new method for estimating the probability density distribution (density) of the unprojected quantity from such samples. For a sample of n data values, the method involves solving n simultaneous linear equations to determine the weights of delta functions for the raw, unsmoothed density of the unprojected quantity that cause the associated cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the projected quantity to exactly reproduce the empirical CDF of the sample at the locations of the n data values. We smooth the raw density using nonparametric kernel density estimation with a normal kernel of bandwidth σ. We calibrate the dependence of σ on n by Monte Carlo experiments performed on samples drawn from a theoretical density, in which the integrated square error is minimized. We scale this calibration to the ranges of real RV samples using the Normal Reference Rule. The resolution and amplitude accuracy of the estimated density improve with n. For typical RV and ML samples, we expect the fractional noise at the PDF peak to be approximately 80 n -log 2. For illustrations, we apply the new method to 67 RV values given a similar treatment by Jorissen et al. in 2001, and to the 308 RV values listed at on 2010 October 20. In addition to analyzing observational results, our methods can be used to develop measurement requirements—particularly on the minimum sample size n—for future programs, such as the microlensing survey of Earth-like exoplanets recommended by the Astro 2010 committee.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Robert A., E-mail: [Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)


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

  1. Precise Ages for the Benchmark Brown Dwarfs HD 19467 B and HD 4747 B (United States)

    Wood, Charlotte; Boyajian, Tabetha; Crepp, Justin; von Braun, Kaspar; Brewer, John; Schaefer, Gail; Adams, Arthur; White, Tim


    Large uncertainty in the age of brown dwarfs, stemming from a mass-age degeneracy, makes it difficult to constrain substellar evolutionary models. To break the degeneracy, we need ''benchmark" brown dwarfs (found in binary systems) whose ages can be determined independent of their masses. HD~19467~B and HD~4747~B are two benchmark brown dwarfs detected through the TRENDS (TaRgeting bENchmark objects with Doppler Spectroscopy) high-contrast imaging program for which we have dynamical mass measurements. To constrain their ages independently through isochronal analysis, we measured the radii of the host stars with interferometry using the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA) Array. Assuming the brown dwarfs have the same ages as their host stars, we use these results to distinguish between several substellar evolutionary models. In this poster, we present new age estimates for HD~19467 and HD~4747 that are more accurate and precise and show our preliminary comparisons to cooling models.

  2. Terrestrial exoplanets: diversity, habitability and characterization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Selsis, Franck [CRAL: Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon (CNRS), Universite de Lyon, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, 46 allee d' Italie, F-69007 Lyon (France); Kaltenegger, Lisa [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Paillet, Jimmy [ESTEC SCI-SA, Keplerlaan 1, PO Box 299, 2200AG Noordwijk (Netherlands)], E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail:


    After a decade rich in giant exoplanet detections, observation techniques have now reached the sensitivity to gain information on the physical structure and chemical content of some of the detected planets and also to find planets of less than 10 M{sub +}. The detection and characterization of Earth-like planets is approaching rapidly and dedicated space observatories are already in operation (CoRoT) or in the development phase (Kepler, Darwin and TPF-I/C). In this paper, we explore the domain of terrestrial planets, emphasizing habitable worlds. We discuss the possibility of performing a spectral characterization of their properties using the next generation of astronomical instruments.

  3. A Multi-object Exoplanet Detecting Technique (United States)

    Zhang, K.


    Exoplanet exploration is not only a meaningful astronomical action, but also has a close relation with the extra-terrestrial life. High resolution echelle spectrograph is the key instrument for measuring stellar radial velocity (RV). But with higher precision, better environmental stability and higher cost are required. An improved technique of RV means invented by David J. Erskine in 1997, External Dispersed Interferometry (EDI), can increase the RV measuring precision by combining the moderate resolution spectrograph with a fixed-delay Michelson interferometer. LAMOST with large aperture and large field of view is equipped with 16 multi-object low resolution fiber spectrographs. And these spectrographs are capable to work in medium resolution mode (R=5{K}˜10{K}). LAMOST will be one of the most powerful exoplanet detecting systems over the world by introducing EDI technique. The EDI technique is a new technique for developing astronomical instrumentation in China. The operating theory of EDI was generally verified by a feasibility experiment done in 2009. And then a multi-object exoplanet survey system based on LAMOST spectrograph was proposed. According to this project, three important tasks have been done as follows: Firstly, a simulation of EDI operating theory contains the stellar spectrum model, interferometer transmission model, spectrograph mediation model and RV solution model. In order to meet the practical situation, two detecting modes, temporal and spatial phase-stepping methods, are separately simulated. The interference spectrum is analyzed with Fourier transform algorithm and a higher resolution conventional spectrum is resolved. Secondly, an EDI prototype is composed of a multi-object interferometer prototype and the LAMOST spectrograph. Some ideas are used in the design to reduce the effect of central obscuration, for example, modular structure and external/internal adjusting frames. Another feasibility experiment was done at Xinglong Station in

  4. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet


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


    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...

  5. Examining the Potential of LSST to Contribute to Exoplanet Discovery (United States)

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


    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.

  6. Photometric Observations of Two Cool Stars: HD 17025 and HD 38392 (United States)

    Stȩpień, K.


    UBV(RI)c observations of a G6/G8IV star HD17025 suggest a variation period of about 9 days. The light curve has a marginal amplitude of about 0.015 of a magnitude but is poorly defined and needs an independent confirmation. No prominent chromospheric emission is visible in a spectrum of this star. The other observed star, a K2 dwarf HD38392, did not show measurable light variations over a two weeks period of observations.

  7. Project VeSElkA: abundance analysis of chemical species in HD 41076 and HD 148330 (United States)

    Khalack, V.; Gallant, G.; Thibeault, C.


    A new semi-automatic approach is employed to carry out the abundance analysis of high-resolution spectra of HD 41076 and HD 148330 obtained recently with the spectropolarimetre Echelle SpectroPolarimetric Device for Observations of Stars at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. This approach allows to prepare in a semi-automatic mode the input data for the modified zeeman2 code and to analyse several hundreds of line profiles in sequence during a single run. It also provides more information on abundance distribution for each chemical element at the deeper atmospheric layers. Our analysis of the Balmer profiles observed in the spectra of HD 41076 and HD 148330 has resulted in the estimates of their effective temperature, gravity, metallicity and radial velocity. The respective models of stellar atmosphere have been calculated with the code phoenix and used to carry out abundance analysis employing the modified zeeman2 code. The analysis shows a deficit of the C, N, F, Mg, Ca, Ti, V, Cu, Y, Mo, Sm and Gd, and overabundance of Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Sr, Zr, Ba, Ce, Nd and Dy in the stellar atmosphere of HD 41076. In the atmosphere of HD 148330, the C, N and Mo appear to be underabundant, while the Ne, Na, Al, Si, P, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Zn, Sr, Y, Zr, Ba, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd and Dy are overabundant. We also have found signatures of vertical abundance stratification of Fe, Ti, Cr and Mn in HD 41076, and of Fe, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Y, Zr, Ce, Nd, Sm and Gd in HD 148330.

  8. Two Suns in the Sky: Stellar Multiplicity in Exoplanet Systems (United States)


    the Washington Double Star Catalog, in the Catalogs of Nearby Stars Series by Gliese and Jahrei , in Hipparcos results, and in Duquennoy & Mayor s... Double Star Catalog are not gravitationally bound companions. At least three (HD 178911, 16 Cyg B, and HD 219449), and possibly five (including HD

  9. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA's Kepler Mission. (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M


    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.

  10. A Cubesat Payload for Exoplanet Detection (United States)

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


    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.

  11. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (Abstract) (United States)

    Oelkers, R. J.


    (Abstract only) The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will be conducting a nearly all-sky, photometric survey over the course of two years, with a core mission goal to discover small transiting exoplanets orbiting nearby, bright stars. The satellite will obtain 30-minute cadence observations for more than 1 billion objects in the 26 TESS fields of view and 2-minute cadence observations of 200,000 to 400,000 selected stars. The TESS mission is expected to detect 1,500 transiting planet candidates, including 500 Earth-sized objects, over the course of its two-year mission. The choice of which stars to observe at the 2-minute cadence is driven by the need to detect small, transiting planets, leading to the selection of primarily bright, cool dwarfs. These stars will be 10 to 100 times brighter than the stars observed by Kepler, providing a unique opportunity for an amateur-professional collaboration to heavily contribute to candidate follow-up. I describe the TESS science mission, its current status and the mission's photometric and spectroscopic follow-up needs.

  12. Exoplanet Science in the National Science Olympiad (United States)

    Komacek, Thaddeus D.; Young, Donna


    The National Science Olympiad is one of the United States' largest science competitions, reaching over 6,000 schools in 48 states. The Olympiad includes a wide variety of events, stretching a full range of potential future STEM careers, from biological sciences to engineering to earth and space sciences. The Astronomy event has been a mainstay at the high school level for well over a decade, and nominally focuses on aspects of stellar evolution. For the 2014-2015 competition season, the event focus was aligned to include exoplanet discovery and characterization along with star formation. Teams studied both the qualitative features of exoplanets and exoplanetary systems and the quantitative aspects behind their discovery and characterization, including basic calculations with the transit and radial velocity methods. Students were also expected to have a qualitative understanding of stellar evolution and understand the differences between classes of young stars including T Tauri and FU Orionis variables, and Herbig Ae/Be stars. Based on the successes of this event topic, we are continuing this event into the 2015-2016 academic year. The key modification is the selection of new exoplanetary systems for students to research. We welcome feedback from the community on how to improve the event and the related educational resources that are created for Science Olympiad students and coaches. We also encourage any interested community members to contact your regional or state Science Olympiad tournament directors and volunteer to organize competitions and supervise events locally.

  13. A Cubesat Payload for Exoplanet Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcella Iuzzolino


    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.

  14. Light from Exoplanets: Present and Future (United States)

    Deming, Leo


    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.

  15. A Cubesat Payload for Exoplanet Detection. (United States)

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


    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.

  16. The science of exoplanets and their systems. (United States)

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


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

  17. Exoplanets finding, exploring, and understanding alien worlds

    CERN Document Server

    Kitchin, Chris


    Since 1992 there has been an explosion in the discovery of planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. There are now around 600 alien planets that we know about and that number is likely to break through the 1,000 ‘barrier’ within a couple of years. The recent launch of the Kepler space telescope specifically to look for new worlds opens the prospect of hundreds, maybe thousands, of further exoplanets being found. Many of these planets orbits stars that are not too different from the Sun, but they are so close in to their stars that their surfaces could be flooded with seas of molten lead – or even molten iron. Others orbit so far from their stars that they might as well be alone in interstellar space. A planet closely similar to the Earth has yet to be detected, but that (to us) epoch-making discovery is just a matter of time. Could these alien worlds could provide alternative homes for humankind, new supplies of mineral resources and might they might already be homes to alien life? Exoplanets: Finding,...

  18. Exoplanet Searches by Future Deep Space Missions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maccone C.


    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.

  19. The Discovery of HD 37605c and a Dispositive Null Detection of Transits of HD 37605b

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xuesong Wang, Sharon; Wright, Jason T.; Cochran, William


    We report the radial-velocity discovery of a second planetary mass companion to the K0 V star HD 37605, which was already known to host an eccentric, P~55 days Jovian planet, HD 37605b. This second planet, HD 37605c, has a period of ~7.5 years with a low eccentricity and an Msini of ~3.4 MJup. Ou...

  20. Supporting autonomous vehicles by creating HD maps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arpad Barsi


    Full Text Available Maps are constantly developing, also, the newly defined High Definition (HD maps increase the map content remarkably. They are based on three-dimensional survey, like laser scanning, and then stored in a fully new structured way to be able to support modern-day vehicles. Beyond the traditional lane based map content, they contain information about the roads’ neighbourhood. The goal of these maps is twofold. Primarily, they store the connections where the vehicles can travel with the description of the road-environment. Secondly, they efficiently support the exact vehicle positioning. The paper demonstrates the first results of a pilot study in the creation of HD map of an urban and a rural environment. The applied data collection technology was the terrestrial laser scanning, where the obtained point cloud was evaluated. The data storage has been solved by an in-house developed information storage model with the ability to help in vehicle control processes.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to show that a more exact diagnosis and dietary intervention in AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Di­sor­der is possible and probable. The clinical symptom based diagnosis we suggest may be supplemented with physiological tests. A ge­netic and environmental inter-action is clearly involved and explainable using phenyl­ke­tonuria as a model.Method: Examining peer reviewed published papers on gut to blood, blood to brain inter­action and effect of interventions in AD/HD and our own studies in the field. The various treatment options are discussed.Results: It can be shown that a gut to brain activity is possible and probable, and dietary intervention is useful and probably safer than drugs. Preliminary data on a small five year follow up of dietary intervention is shown.

  2. Colors of Alien Worlds from Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions (United States)

    Hu, Renyu


    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.

  3. Nanodiamonds around HD 97048 and Elias 1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Kerckhoven, C; Tielens, AGGM; Waelkens, C

    We present an analysis of ISO-SWS observations of the Herbig Ae/Be stars HD 97048 and Elias 1. Besides the well-known family of IR emission bands at 3.3, 6.2, "7.7", 8.6 and 11.2 mum these objects show strong, peculiar emission features at 3.43 and 3.53 mum. The latter two features show pronounced

  4. Asteroseismic modelling of the Binary HD 176465

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nsamba B.


    Full Text Available The detection and analysis of oscillations in binary star systems is critical in understanding stellar structure and evolution. This is partly because such systems have the same initial chemical composition and age. Solar-like oscillations have been detected by Kepler in both components of the asteroseismic binary HD 176465. We present an independent modelling of each star in this binary system. Stellar models generated using MESA (Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics were fitted to both the observed individual frequencies and complementary spectroscopic parameters. The individual theoretical oscillation frequencies for the corresponding stellar models were obtained using GYRE as the pulsation code. A Bayesian approach was applied to find the probability distribution functions of the stellar parameters using AIMS (Asteroseismic Inference on a Massive Scale as the optimisation code. The ages of HD 176465 A and HD 176465 B were found to be 2.81 ± 0.48 Gyr and 2.52 ± 0.80 Gyr, respectively. These results are in agreement when compared to previous studies carried out using other asteroseismic modelling techniques and gyrochronology.

  5. Combinations of Hd2 and Hd4 genes determine rice adaptability to Heilongjiang Province, northern limit of China. (United States)

    Li, Xiufeng; Liu, Huazhao; Wang, Maoqing; Liu, Hualong; Tian, Xiaojie; Zhou, Wenjia; Lü, Tianxiao; Wang, Zhenyu; Chu, Chengcai; Fang, Jun; Bu, Qingyun


    Heading date is a key trait in rice domestication and adaption, and a number of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) have been identified. The rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivars in the Heilongjiang Province, the northernmost region of China, have to flower extremely early to fulfill their life cycle. However, the critical genes or different gene combinations controlling early flowering in this region have not been determined. QTL and candidate gene analysis revealed that Hd2/Ghd7.1/OsPRR37 plays a major role in controlling rice distribution in Heilongjiang. Further association analysis with a collection of rice cultivars demonstrated that another three major QTL genes (Hd4/Ghd7, Hd5/DTH8/Ghd8, and Hd1) also participate in regulating heading date under natural long day (LD) conditions. Hd2/Ghd7.1/OsPRR37 and Hd4/Ghd7 are two major QTLs and function additively. With the northward rice cultivation, the Hd2/Ghd7.1/OsPRR37 and Hd4/Ghd7 haplotypes became non-functional alleles. Hd1 might be non-functional in most Heilongjiang rice varieties, implying that recessive hd1 were selected during local rice breeding. Non-functional Hd5/DTH8/Ghd8 is very rare, but constitutes a potential target for breeding extremely early flowering cultivars. Our results indicated that diverse genetic combinations of Hd1, Hd2, Hd4, and Hd5 determined the different distribution of rice varieties in this northernmost province of China. © 2014 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swift, D. C.; Eggert, J. H.; Hicks, D. G.; Hamel, S.; Caspersen, K.; Schwegler, E.; Collins, G. W. [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 7000 East Avenue, Livermore, California, CA 94550 (United States); Nettelmann, N. [Institut fuer Physik, Universitaet Rostock, D-18051 Rostock (Germany); Ackland, G. J. [Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions, School of Physics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JZ (United Kingdom)


    For planets other than Earth, particularly exoplanets, interpretation of the composition and structure depends largely on comparing the mass and radius with the composition expected given their distance from the parent star. The composition implies a mass-radius relation which relies heavily on equations of state calculated from electronic structure theory and measured experimentally on Earth. We lay out a method for deriving and testing equations of state, and deduce mass-radius and mass-pressure relations for key, relevant materials whose equation of state (EOS) is reasonably well established, and for differentiated Fe/rock. We find that variations in the EOS, such as may arise when extrapolating from low-pressure data, can have significant effects on predicted mass-radius relations and on planetary pressure profiles. The relations are compared with the observed masses and radii of planets and exoplanets, broadly supporting recent inferences about exoplanet structures. Kepler-10b is apparently 'Earth-like', likely with a proportionately larger core than Earth's, nominally 2/3 of the mass of the planet. CoRoT-7b is consistent with a rocky mantle over an Fe-based core which is likely to be proportionately smaller than Earth's. GJ 1214b lies between the mass-radius curves for H{sub 2}O and CH{sub 4}, suggesting an 'icy' composition with a relatively large core or a relatively large proportion of H{sub 2}O. CoRoT-2b is less dense than the hydrogen relation, which could be explained by an anomalously high degree of heating or by higher than assumed atmospheric opacity. HAT-P-2b is slightly denser than the mass-radius relation for hydrogen, suggesting the presence of a significant amount of matter of higher atomic number. CoRoT-3b lies close to the hydrogen relation. The pressure at the center of Kepler-10b is 1.5{sup +1.2}{sub -1.0} TPa. The central pressure in CoRoT-7b is probably close to 0.8 TPa, though may be up to 2 TPa. These

  7. Geometric phase effects in ultracold collisions of H/D with rotationally excited HD (United States)

    Kendrick, Brian K.; Croft, James F. E.; Hazra, Jisha; Balakrishnan, N.


    Quantum reactive scattering calculations for the H/D + HD(v = 4 , j = 1 , 2) -> H/D + HD(v', j') and H + H2(v = 4 , j = 1 , 2) -> H + H2(v', j') exchange reactions are presented for the ground electronic state of H3. A numerically exact three-dimensional time-independent scattering method based on hyperspherical coordinates is used to compute rotationally resolved reaction cross sections and non-thermal rate coefficients for collision energies between 1 μK and 100 K . The geometric (Berry) phase associated with the D3h conical intersection in H3 is included using a U(1) vector (gauge) potential approach. It is shown that the geometric phase leads to a significant (up to three orders of magnitude) enhancement or suppression of the ultracold reaction rate coefficients depending upon whether the interference between the reaction pathways encircling the conical intersection is constructive or destructive. The nature of the interference is governed by a newly discovered mechanism which leads to an effective quantization of the ultracold scattering phase shifts. Interesting behavior due to rotational excitation of the HD and H2 is observed which might be exploited by experimentalists to control the reaction outcome. This work was supported in part by NSF Grant PHY-1505557 (N.B.) and ARO MURI Grant No. W911NF-12-1-0476 (N.B.), and DOE LDRD Grant No. 20170221ER (B.K.).

  8. Advection of Potential Temperature in the Atmosphere of Irradiated Exoplanets: A Robust Mechanism to Explain Radius Inflation (United States)

    Tremblin, P.; Chabrier, G.; Mayne, N. J.; Amundsen, D. S.; Baraffe, I.; Debras, F.; Drummond, B.; Manners, J.; Fromang, S.


    The anomalously large radii of strongly irradiated exoplanets have remained a major puzzle in astronomy. Based on a two-dimensional steady-state atmospheric circulation model, the validity of which is assessed by comparison to three-dimensional calculations, we reveal a new mechanism, namely the advection of the potential temperature due to mass and longitudinal momentum conservation, a process occurring in the Earth's atmosphere or oceans. In the deep atmosphere, the vanishing heating flux forces the atmospheric structure to converge to a hotter adiabat than the one obtained with 1D calculations, implying a larger radius for the planet. Not only do the calculations reproduce the observed radius of HD 209458b, but also reproduce the observed correlation between radius inflation and irradiation for transiting planets. Vertical advection of potential temperature induced by non-uniform atmospheric heating thus provides a robust mechanism to explain the inflated radii of irradiated hot Jupiters.

  9. Novel Optical SETI Observations of Three Exoplanets (United States)

    Welsh, Barry; Vallerga, John; Kotze, Marissa; Wheatley, Jonathan


    We report on observations of three nearby stars (Trappist-1, GJ 422 and Wolf 1061) that possess exoplanets located in their respective habitable zones to search for optical signals generated by an advanced alien civilization. Using the photon data collected with the Berkeley Visible Image Tube attached to the 10m Southern African Large Telescope, we searched for very high amplitude events in the pulse height distributions that statistically could only be produced by non-astrophysical means such as an optical laser used for communications purposes.Assuming that a purported ET civilization has access to an orbiting 10m mirror and an optical laser to send signals over the three sight-lines to Earth, we derive upper limits to the output power of their l lasers which might be used for inter-stellar communication.

  10. Detecting Exoplanets using Bayesian Object Detection (United States)

    Feroz, Farhan


    Detecting objects from noisy data-sets is common practice in astrophysics. Object detection presents a particular challenge in terms of statistical inference, not only because of its multi-modal nature but also because it combines both the parameter estimation (for characterizing objects) and model selection problems (in order to quantify the detection). Bayesian inference provides a mathematically rigorous solution to this problem by calculating marginal posterior probabilities of models with different number of sources, but the use of this method in astrophysics has been hampered by the computational cost of evaluating the Bayesian evidence. Nonetheless, Bayesian model selection has the potential to improve the interpretation of existing observational data. I will discuss several Bayesian approaches to object detection problems, both in terms of their theoretical framework and also the practical details about carrying out the computation. I will also describe some recent applications of these methods in the detection of exoplanets.

  11. Investigating nearby exoplanets via interstellar radar (United States)

    Scheffer, Louis K.


    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.

  12. Subaru SEEDS Survey of Exoplanets and Disks (United States)

    McElwain, Michael W.


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

  13. The Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope (GEST) (United States)

    Bennett, David P.; Bally, John; Bond, I.; Cheng, Ed; Cook, Kem; Deming, Drake; Garnavich, P.; Griest, Kim; Jewitt, David; Kaiser, Nick; Lauer, Tod R.; Lunine, Jonathan; Luppino, Gerard; Mather, John C.; Minniti, Dante; Peale, Stanton J.; Rhie, Sun H.; Rhodes, Jason; Schneider, Jean; Sonneborn, George; Stevenson, Robert; Stubbs, Christopher; Tenerelli, Domenick; Woolf, Neville; Yock, Phillip


    The Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope (GEST) will observe a 2 square degree field in the Galactic bulge to search for extra-solar planets using a gravitational lensing technique. This gravitational lensing technique is the only method employing currently available technology that can detect Earth-mass planets at high signal-to-noise, and can measure the abundance of terrestrial planets as a function of Galactic position. GEST's sensitivity extends down to the mass of Mars, and it can detect hundreds of terrestrial planets with semi-major axes ranging from 0.7 AU to infinity. GEST will be the first truly comprehensive survey of the Galaxy for planets like those in our own Solar System.

  14. A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet. (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


    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.

  15. Characterization of depression in prodromal Huntington disease in the neurobiological predictors of HD (PREDICT-HD) study. (United States)

    Epping, Eric A; Mills, James A; Beglinger, Leigh J; Fiedorowicz, Jess G; Craufurd, David; Smith, Megan M; Groves, Mark; Bijanki, Kelly R; Downing, Nancy; Williams, Janet K; Long, Jeffrey D; Paulsen, Jane S


    Depression causes significant morbidity and mortality, and this also occurs in Huntington Disease (HD), an inherited neurodegenerative illness with motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms. The presentation of depression in this population remains poorly understood, particularly in the prodromal period before development of significant motor symptoms. In this study, we assessed depressive symptoms in a sample of 803 individuals with the HD mutation in the prodromal stage and 223 mutation-negative participants at the time of entry in the Neurobiological Predictors of HD (PREDICT-HD) study. Clinical and biological HD variables potentially related to severity of depression were analyzed. A factor analysis was conducted to characterize the symptom domains of depression in a subset (n=168) with clinically significant depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms were found to be more prevalent in HD mutation carriers but did not increase with proximity to HD diagnosis and were not associated with length of the HD mutation. Increased depressive symptoms were significantly associated with female gender, self-report of past history of depression, and a slight decrease in functioning, but not with time since genetic testing. The factor analysis identified symptom domains similar to prior studies in other populations. These results show that individuals with the HD mutation are at increased risk to develop depressive symptoms at any time during the HD prodrome. The clinical presentation appears to be similar to other populations. Severity and progression are not related to the HD mutation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Elemental abundance studies of CP stars. II. The silicon stars HD 133029 and HD 192913

    CERN Document Server

    López-García, Z


    For pt.1 see ibid., vol.107, no.2, p.353-63 (1994). Fine analyses of the silicon stars HD 133029 and HD 192913 are presented using ATLAS9 model atmospheres whose predictions fit the optical region spectrophotometry and H gamma profiles and have the same bulk metallicity as the deduced abundances. Both are very He poor stars. The light elements are mostly solar except for silicon, and all the heavier elements, except nickel in HD 133029 which is solar, are greatly overabundant. The iron peak elements are typically 10 times overabundant. SrYZr are of order of 100 times solar. The rare earths are 1000 or more times overabundant. Table 4 is is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via (50 refs).

  17. PynPoint code for exoplanet imaging (United States)

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


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

  18. Kepler's Rocky Exoplanets: Born Rocky or Stripped Sub-Neptunes? (United States)

    Lopez, E. D.


    I will review the current evidence for the role of photo-evaporation in shaping the known exoplanet population and the impact this may have on our current estimates of eta-Earth. I will then discuss observational paths forward.

  19. A giant planet around HD95086 ? (United States)

    Rameau, Julien; Chauvin, Gaël; Lagrange, Anne-Marie; Meshkat, Tiffany; Boccaletti, Anthony; Quanz, Sascha P.; Bonnefoy, Mickaël; Bailey, Vanessa; Kenworthy, Matthew; Currie, Thayne; Girard, Julien H.; Delorme, Philippe; Desidera, Silvano; Dumas, Christophe; Mordasini, Christoph; Klahr, Hubert; Bonavita, Mariangela


    Understanding planetary systems formation and evolution has become one of the challenges in as- tronomy, since the discovery of the first exoplanet around the solar-type star 51 Peg in the 90's. While more than 800 planets (mostly giants) closer than a few AU have been identified with radial velocity and transit techniques, very few have been imaged and definitely confirmed around stars, at separations below a hundred of astronomical units. Direct imaging detection of exoplanet is indeed a major frontier in planetary astrophysics. It surveys a region of semi-major axes (> 5 AU) that is almost inaccessible to other methods. Moreover, the planets imaged so far orbit young stars; indeed the young planets are still hot and the planet-star contrasts are compatible with the detection limits currently achievable, in contrast with similar planets in older systems. Noticeably, the stars are of early-types, and surrounded by debris disks, i.e. disks populated at least by small grains with lifetimes so short that they must be permanently produced, probably by destruction (evaporation, collisions) of larger solid bodies. Consequently, every single discovery has a tremendous impact on the understanding of the formation, the dynamical evolution, and the physics of giant planets. In this context, I will present our recent discovery of one faint companion to a nearby, dusty, and young A-type star (at 56 AU projected separation). Background contaminants are rejected with high confidence level based on both astrometry and photometry with three dataset at more than a year-time-laps and two different wavelength regimes. From the system age (10 to 17 Myr) and from model-dependent luminosity estimates, we derive mass of 4 to 5 Jupiter mass. This planet is therefore the one with the lowest mass ever imaged around a star. Given its orbital and physical properties, I will discuss the implication on its atmosphere with respect to other imaged companions but also on its formation.

  20. Hunt for geometric phase effects in H + HDHD(v', j') + H. (United States)

    Jankunas, Justin; Sneha, Mahima; Zare, Richard N; Bouakline, Foudhil; Althorpe, Stuart C


    An attempt has been made to measure the theoretically predicted manifestation of a geometric phase in the differential cross section for the H + HDHD(v' = 2, j' = 5) + H reaction at a center-of-mass collision energy of 1.44 eV (33.2 kcal∕mol). Minute oscillatory differences between calculated differential cross sections that take into account and ignore the effect of geometric phase have proven to be beyond our experimental resolution in spite of the collection of more than 44,000 ions.

  1. Observing Exoplanets with the James Webb Space Telescope (United States)

    Clampin Mark


    The search for exoplanets and characterization of their properties has seen increasing success over the last few years. In excess of 500 exoplanets are known and Kepler has approx. 1000 additional candidates. Recently, progress has been made in direct imaging planets, both from the ground and in space. This presentation will discuss the history and current state of technology used for such discoveries, and highlight the new capabilities that will be enabled by the James Webb Space Telescope.

  2. Forecasting the Impact of Stellar Activity on Transiting Exoplanet Spectra


    Zellem, Robert T.; Swain, Mark R.; Roudier, Gael; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Creech-Eakman, Michelle J.; Ciardi, David R.; Line, Michael R.; Iyer, Aishwarya R.; Bryden, Geoffrey; Llama, Joe; Fahy, Kristen A.


    Exoplanet host star activity, in the form of unocculted starspots or faculae, alters the observed transmission and emission spectra of the exoplanet. This effect can be exacerbated when combining data from different epochs if the stellar photosphere varies between observations due to activity. Here, we present a method to characterize and correct for relative changes due to stellar activity by exploiting multi-epoch (⩾2 visits/transits) observations to place them in a consistent reference fra...

  3. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets


    Norio Narita; Takafumi Enomoto; Shigeyuki Masaoka; Nobuhiko Kusakabe


    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 ...

  4. Detected Timing for Exoplanet TrES-5b. Possible Existence of Exoplanet TrES-5c (United States)

    Sokov, E. N.; Sokova, I. A.; Dyachenko, V. V.; Rastegaev, D. A.; Rusov, S. A.


    In this paper, we present timing variations detected for the TrES-5b exoplanet. To obtain necessary photometric data for this exoplanet, we have organized an international campaign for exoplanet searching based on the Transit Timing Variation (TTV) method. We managed to collect N light curves for TrEs-5b. On the basis of the obtained data, we detected timing variations with the period P ≍ 100 days. We carried out the N-body modelling by means of the three-body problem. We detected a perturbation of TrES-5b which can be caused by a second exoplanet in the TrES-5 system. We calculated possible masses and resonances of the objects: M ˜ 0.24 Mjup on the 1:2 Resonance and M ˜ 3.15 Mjup on the 1:3 Resonance.

  5. HD 76582's Circumstellar Debris Disk (United States)

    Marshall, J. P.


    The debris disk host star HD 76582 was observed at 450 μm and 850 μm as part of the JCMT/SCUBA-2 debris disk legacy survey `Sub-millimetre Observations of Nearby Stars' (SONS). The sub-millimetre data are inconsistent with a disk undergoing a steady-state collisional cascade. Combining the sub-millimetre (sub-mm) measurements with mid- and far-infrared measurements from Spitzer and Herschel, we simultaneously model the disk's thermal emission and radial extent in a self-consistent manner.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wisniewski, J. P.; Lomax, J. R. [Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Oklahoma, 440 W. Brooks Street, Norman, OK 73019 (United States); Chojnowski, S. D. [Department of Astronomy, New Mexico State University, 1780 E University Avenue, Las Cruces, NM 88003 (United States); Davenport, J. R. A. [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Bartz, J.; Pepper, J. [Lehigh University, Department of Physics, 413 Deming Lewis Lab, 16 Memorial Drive, East Bethlehem, PA 18015 (United States); Whelan, D. G. [Department of Physics, Austin College, 900 N. Grand Avenue, Sherman, TX 75090 (United States); Eikenberry, S. S. [Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, 211 Bryant Space Science Center, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); Majewski, S. R.; Skrutskie, M. [Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400325, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4325 (United States); Richardson, N. D., E-mail: [Département de Physique and Centre de Recherche en Astrophysique du Québec (CRAQ), Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7 (Canada)


    The SDSS III APOGEE survey recently identified two new σ Ori E type candidates, HD 345439 and HD 23478, which are a rare subset of rapidly rotating massive stars whose large (kGauss) magnetic fields confine circumstellar material around these systems. Our analysis of multi-epoch photometric observations of HD 345439 from the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope, Wide Angle Search for Planets, and ASAS surveys reveals the presence of a ∼0.7701 day period in each data set, suggesting the system is among the faster known σ Ori E analogs. We also see clear evidence that the strength of Hα, H i Brackett series lines, and He i lines also vary on a ∼0.7701 day period from our analysis of multi-epoch, multi-wavelength spectroscopic monitoring of the system from the APO 3.5 m telescope. We trace the evolution of select emission line profiles in the system, and observe coherent line profile variability in both optical and infrared H i lines, as expected for rigidly rotating magnetosphere stars. We also analyze the evolution of the H i Br-11 line strength and line profile in multi-epoch observations of HD 23478 from the SDSS-III APOGEE instrument. The observed periodic behavior is consistent with that recently reported by Sikora and collaborators in optical spectra.

  7. Stargate: An Open Stellar Catalog for NASA Exoplanet Exploration (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.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kislyakova, K. G.; Lammer, H. [Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz (Austria); Fossati, L. [Argelander-Institut für Astronomie der Universität Bonn, Bonn (Germany); Johnstone, C. P. [Department of Astrophysics, University of Vienna, Vienna (Austria); Holmström, M. [Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna (Sweden); Zaitsev, V. V., E-mail: [Institute of Applied Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Nizhny Novgorod (Russian Federation)


    In this Letter, we estimate the X-ray emission from close-in exoplanets. We show that the Solar/Stellar Wind Charge Exchange Mechanism (SWCX), which produces soft X-ray emission, is very effective for hot Jupiters. In this mechanism, X-ray photons are emitted as a result of the charge exchange between heavy ions in the solar wind and the atmospheric neutral particles. In the solar system, comets produce X-rays mostly through the SWCX mechanism, but it has also been shown to operate in the heliosphere, in the terrestrial magnetosheath, and on Mars, Venus, and the Moon. Since the number of emitted photons is proportional to the solar wind mass flux, this mechanism is not very effective for the solar system giants. Here we present a simple estimate of the X-ray emission intensity that can be produced by close-in extrasolar giant planets due to charge exchange with the heavy ions of the stellar wind. Using the example of HD 209458b, we show that this mechanism alone can be responsible for an X-ray emission of ≈10{sup 22} erg s{sup –1}, which is 10{sup 6} times stronger than the emission from the Jovian aurora. We discuss also the possibility of observing the predicted soft X-ray flux of hot Jupiters and show that despite high emission intensities they are unobservable with current facilities.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hung, Li-Wei; Arriaga, Pauline; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Esposito, Thomas M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Duchêne, Gaspard; Kalas, Paul G.; De Rosa, Robert J.; Graham, James R. [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley CA 94720-3411 (United States); Maire, Jérôme; Chilcote, Jeffrey K. [Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada); Marois, Christian [National Research Council of Canada Herzberg, 5071 West Saanich Road, Victoria, BC V9E 2E7 (Canada); Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto ON M5S 3H4 (Canada); Bruzzone, Sebastian [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Centre for Planetary and Space Exploration, University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6A 3K7 (Canada); Rajan, Abhijith [School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 871404, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States); Pueyo, Laurent; Wolff, Schuyler G.; Chen, Christine H. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Konopacky, Quinn [Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States); Ammons, S. Mark [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 7000 East Avenue, Livermore, CA 94040 (United States); Draper, Zachary H. [University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2 (Canada); and others


    We present the first scattered-light image of the debris disk around HD 131835 in the H band using the Gemini Planet Imager. HD 131835 is a ∼15 Myr old A2IV star at a distance of ∼120 pc in the Sco-Cen OB association. We detect the disk only in polarized light and place an upper limit on the peak total intensity. No point sources resembling exoplanets were identified. Compared to its mid-infrared thermal emission,  in scattered light the disk shows similar orientation but different morphology. The scattered-light disk extends from ∼75 to ∼210 AU in the disk plane with roughly flat surface density. Our Monte Carlo radiative transfer model can describe the observations with a model disk composed of a mixture of silicates and amorphous carbon. In addition to the obvious brightness asymmetry due to stronger forward scattering, we discover a weak brightness asymmetry along the major axis, with the northeast side being 1.3 times brighter than the southwest side at a 3σ level.

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


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

  11. Accurate parameters for HD 209458 and its planet from HST spectrophotometry (United States)

    del Burgo, C.; Allende Prieto, C.


    We present updated parameters for the star HD 209458 and its transiting giant planet. The stellar angular diameter θ = 0.2254 ± 0.0017 mas is obtained from the average ratio between the absolute flux observed with the Hubble Space Telescope and that of the best-fitting Kurucz model atmosphere. This angular diameter represents an improvement in precision of more than four times compared to available interferometric determinations. The stellar radius R⋆ = 1.20 ± 0.05 R⊙ is ascertained by combining the angular diameter with the Hipparcos trigonometric parallax, which is the main contributor to its uncertainty, and therefore the radius accuracy should be significantly improved with Gaia's measurements. The radius of the exoplanet Rp = 1.41 ± 0.06 RJ is derived from the corresponding transit depth in the light curve and our stellar radius. From the model fitting, we accurately determine the effective temperature, Teff = 6071 ± 20 K, which is in perfect agreement with the value of 6070 ± 24 K calculated from the angular diameter and the integrated spectral energy distribution. We also find precise values from recent Padova isochrones, such as R⋆ = 1.20 ± 0.06 R⊙ and Teff = 6099 ± 41 K. We arrive at a consistent picture from these methods and compare the results with those from the literature.

  12. Patterns in exoplanet count and eccentricity distributions (United States)

    Taylor, Stuart F.


    The distribution of exoplanets of contains an unexpected level of features, starting with an unexpected gap the splits the main pileup of much of the planet population. In the population of planets of metal-rich sunlike single stars (SLSS objects), which comprises 40% of planets found by the radial velocity method, when counting logarithmic periods the main pileup of planets with periods longer than 100 days is split into two peaks separated by a significant gap. There is a wide region which has so few planets that none are found in the current data set. We show that this gap is extremely unlikely to occur by random. Because this gap is well-filled among planets of low surface gravity and low metallicity stars with 31 objects, it is unlikely that the bimodal nature of the metal rich SLSS population is due to observational effects. Comparisons of eccentricity of the metal-rich and metal-poor SLSS populations depend strongly on the two-peak-gap structure of counts of the metal-rich SLSS (rSLSS) population. Consideration of these features is essential to properly study the correlations of eccentricity with other planet-system parameters given how the eccentricity of rSLSS objects is highest in the two peaks of the rSLSS population.

  13. Habitable Exoplanet Imager Optical Telescope Concept Design (United States)

    Stahl, H Philip


    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.

  14. The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey (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 (adolescent (view of the nature of wide-orbit planetary companions, informing our knowledge of solar system formation to guide future NASA planet hunting missions, while simultaneously offering a real- world program using the techniques - from integral field spectroscopy to advanced coronagraphy - that will someday be used to directly image Earthlike planets from space.

  15. Probing exoplanet clouds with optical phase curves. (United States)

    Muñoz, Antonio García; Isaak, Kate G


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

  16. Obliquity and Eccentricity Constraints for Terrestrial Exoplanets (United States)

    Kane, Stephen R.; Torres, Stephanie M.


    Exoplanet discoveries over recent years have shown that terrestrial planets are exceptionally common. Many of these planets are in compact systems that result in complex orbital dynamics. A key step toward determining the surface conditions of these planets is understanding the latitudinally dependent flux incident at the top of the atmosphere as a function of orbital phase. The two main properties of a planet that influence the time-dependent nature of the flux are the obliquity and orbital eccentricity of the planet. We derive the criterion for which the flux variation due to obliquity is equivalent to the flux variation due to orbital eccentricity. This equivalence is computed for both the maximum and average flux scenarios, the latter of which includes the effects of the diurnal cycle. We apply these calculations to four known multi-planet systems (GJ 163, K2-3, Kepler-186, and Proxima Centauri), where we constrain the eccentricity of terrestrial planets using orbital dynamics considerations and model the effect of obliquity on incident flux. We discuss the implications of these simulations on climate models for terrestrial planets and outline detectable signatures of planetary obliquity.

  17. Bow Shock Leads the Way for a Speeding Hot Jupiter (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    As hot Jupiters whip around their host stars, their speeds can exceed the speed of sound in the surrounding material, theoretically causing a shock to form ahead of them. Now, a study has reported the detection of such a shock ahead of transiting exoplanet HD 189733b, providing a potential indicator of the remarkably strong magnetic field of the planet.Rushing PlanetsDue to their proximity to their hosts, hot Jupiters move very quickly through the stellar wind and corona surrounding the star. When this motion is supersonic, the material ahead of the planet can be compressed by a bow shock and for a transiting hot Jupiter, this shock will cross the face of the host star in advance of the planets transit.In a recent study, a team of researchers by Wilson Cauley of Wesleyan University report evidence of just such a pre-transit. The teams target is exoplanet HD 189733b, one of the closest hot Jupiters to our solar system. When the authors examined high-resolution transmission spectra of this system, they found that prior to the optical transit of the planet, there was a large dip in the transmission of the first three hydrogen Balmer lines. This could well be the absorption of an optically-thick bow shock as it moves past the face of the star.Tremendous MagnetismOperating under this assumption, the authors create a model of the absorption expected from a hot Jupiter transiting with a bow shock ahead of it. Using this model, they show that a shock leading the planet at a distance of 12.75 times the planets radius reproduces the key features of the transmission spectrum.This stand-off distance is surprisingly large. Assuming that the location of the bow shock is set by the point where the planets magnetospheric pressure balances the pressure of the stellar wind or corona that it passes through, the planetary magnetic field would have to be at least 28 Gauss. This is seven times the strength of Jupiters magnetic field!Understanding the magnetic fields of exoplanets is

  18. Effects of Hd2 in the presence of the photoperiod-insensitive functional allele of Hd1 in rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen-Hua Zhang


    Full Text Available The role of photoperiod sensitivity (PS of flowering genes have become well recognized in rice, whereas little attention has been drawn to the non-PS component of these genes, especially to their influence on gene-by-gene interactions. Rice populations in which the photoperiod-sensitive allele at Hd1 has become insensitive to photoperiod but continued to affect heading date (HD were used in this study to fine-map a quantitative trait locus (QTL for HD and analyze its genetic relationship to Hd1. The QTL was delimitated to a 96.3-kb region on the distal end of the long arm of chromosome 7. Sequence comparison revealed that this QTL is identical to Hd2. In the near-isogenic line (NIL populations analyzed, Hd1 and Hd2 were shown to be photoperiod insensitive and have pleiotropic effects for HD, plant height and yield traits. The two genes were found to largely act additively in regulating HD and yield traits. The results indicate that non-PS components of flowering genes involved in photoperiod response play an important role in controlling flowering time and grain yield in rice, which should allow breeders to better manipulate pleiotropic genes for balancing adaptability and high-yielding accumulation.

  19. An extreme planetary system around HD 219828. One long-period super Jupiter to a hot-Neptune host star (United States)

    Santos, N. C.; Santerne, A.; Faria, J. P.; Rey, J.; Correia, A. C. M.; Laskar, J.; Udry, S.; Adibekyan, V.; Bouchy, F.; Delgado-Mena, E.; Melo, C.; Dumusque, X.; Hébrard, G.; Lovis, C.; Mayor, M.; Montalto, M.; Mortier, A.; Pepe, F.; Figueira, P.; Sahlmann, J.; Ségransan, D.; Sousa, S. G.


    Context. With about 2000 extrasolar planets confirmed, the results show that planetary systems have a whole range of unexpected properties. This wide diversity provides fundamental clues to the processes of planet formation and evolution. Aims: We present a full investigation of the HD 219828 system, a bright metal-rich star for which a hot Neptune has previously been detected. Methods: We used a set of HARPS, SOPHIE, and ELODIE radial velocities to search for the existence of orbiting companions to HD 219828. The spectra were used to characterise the star and its chemical abundances, as well as to check for spurious, activity induced signals. A dynamical analysis is also performed to study the stability of the system and to constrain the orbital parameters and planet masses. Results: We announce the discovery of a long period (P = 13.1 yr) massive (m sini = 15.1 MJup) companion (HD 219828 c) in a very eccentric orbit (e = 0.81). The same data confirms the existence of a hot Neptune, HD 219828 b, with a minimum mass of 21 M⊕ and a period of 3.83 days. The dynamical analysis shows that the system is stable, and that the equilibrium eccentricity of planet b is close to zero. Conclusions: The HD 219828 system is extreme and unique in several aspects. First, ammong all known exoplanet systems it presents an unusually high mass ratio. We also show that systems like HD 219828, with a hot Neptune and a long-period massive companion are more frequent than similar systems with a hot Jupiter instead. This suggests that the formation of hot Neptunes follows a different path than the formation of their hot jovian counterparts. The high mass, long period, and eccentricity of HD 219828 c also make it a good target for Gaia astrometry as well as a potential target for atmospheric characterisation, using direct imaging or high-resolution spectroscopy. Astrometric observations will allow us to derive its real mass and orbital configuration. If a transit of HD 219828 b is detected

  20. Hubble Space Telescope Observations of the HD 202628 Debris Disk (United States)

    Krist, John E.; Stapelfeldt, Karl R.; Bryden, Geoffrey; Plavchan, Peter


    A ring-shaped debris disk around the G2V star HD 202628 (d = 24.4 pc) was imaged in scattered light at visible wavelengths using the coronagraphic mode of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope. The ring is inclined by approx.64deg from face-on, based on the apparent major/minor axis ratio, with the major axis aligned along PA = 130deg. It has inner and outer radii (> 50% maximum surface brightness) of 139 AU and 193 AU in the northwest ansae and 161 AU and 223 AU in the southeast ((Delta)r/r approx. = 0.4). The maximum visible radial extent is approx. 254 AU. With a mean surface brightnesses of V approx. = 24 mag arcsec.(sup -2), this is the faintest debris disk observed to date in reflected light. The center of the ring appears offset from the star by approx.28 AU (deprojected). An ellipse fit to the inner edge has an eccentricity of 0.18 and a = 158 AU. This offset, along with the relatively sharp inner edge of the ring, suggests the influence of a planetary-mass companion. There is a strong similarity with the debris ring around Fomalhaut, though HD 202628 is a more mature star with an estimated age of about 2 Gyr. We also provide surface brightness limits for nine other stars in our study with strong Spitzer excesses around which no debris disks were detected in scattered light (HD 377, HD 7590, HD 38858, HD 45184, HD 73350, HD 135599, HD 145229, HD 187897, and HD 201219).

  1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - Speckle Imaging for Exoplanet Characterization (United States)

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


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

  2. High Contrast Imaging of Exoplanets and Exoplanetary Systems with JWST (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.


    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.

  3. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets. (United States)

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


    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.

  4. [Did Henrik Wergeland have AD/HD?]. (United States)

    Aanonsen, Nils Olav


    Henrik Wergeland (1808 - 45) is one of Norwegian cultural history's most notable figures. He is honoured as a national symbol during this year's 200-year jubilee for his birth. Biographies and numerous academic publications have been written about him for more than 100 years. His life was short and diverse; on one hand he continuously worked to give people general education, he was an author and a poet and on the other hand he was always in a dispute with someone and involved in endless court cases and scandals. After his death it was said that Wergeland was one who . As I see it, his life is so full of events that indicate hyperactivity and impulsivity that I think it is legitimate to ask whether he would have received the diagnosis AD/HD (attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder) today.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karalidi, Theodora


    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

  6. New ALMA Images of the HD 32297 and HD 61005 Debris Disks (United States)

    MacGregor, Meredith Ann; Weinberger, Alycia; Wilner, David; Hughes, A. Meredith; debes, John Henry; Redfield, Seth; Donaldson, Jessica; Nesvold, Erika; Schneider, Glenn; Currie, Thayne; Roberge, Aki; Rodriguez, David


    HD 61005 (G-type star, “The Moth") and HD 32297 (A-type star) host two of the most iconic debris disks. Scattered light images show that both disks are nearly edge-on with dramatic swept-back wings of dust. Previous studies have proposed a range of mechanisms to explain this distinctive morphology including interactions with the interstellar medium, secular perturbations of grains by low-density, neutral interstellar gas, and gravitational interactions with an inclined, eccentric companion. We present new observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) at 1.3 mm that provide the highest resolution images at millimeter wavelengths to date of both systems. Observations at millimeter wavelengths are especially critical to our understanding of the physical mechanisms shaping the structure of these disks, since the large grains that dominate emission at these wavelengths are less affected by stellar radiation and winds and more reliably trace the underlying planetesimal distribution. We fit models directly to the observed visibilities within a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) framework to characterize the continuum emission and place constraints on the structure of these unique debris disks. Our new ALMA images reveal that despite differences in spectral type, both systems are best described by a two-component structure with (1) a parent body belt, and (2) an outer halo aligned with the scattered light disk. Such halos have typically been assumed to be composed of small grains visible in scattered light, so these images are some of the first observational evidence that larger grains may also populate extended halos. In addition, we detect significant 12CO gas emission from HD 32297, and determine a robust upper limit for HD 61005.

  7. The Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Program for JWST (United States)

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


    A community working group was formed in October 2016 to consider early release science with the James Webb Space Telescope that broadly benefits the transiting exoplanet community. Over 100 exoplanet scientists worked collaboratively to identify targets that are observable at the initiation of science operations, yield high SNR with a single event, have substantial scientific merit, and have known spectroscopic features identified by prior observations. The working group developed a program that yields representative datasets for primary transit, secondary eclipse, and phase curve observations using the most promising instrument modes for high-precision spectroscopic timeseries (NIRISS-SOSS, NIRCam, NIRSPec, and MIRI-LRS). The centerpiece of the program is an open data challenge that promotes community engagement and leads to a deeper understanding of the JWST instruments as early as possible in the mission. The program is managed under the premise of open science in order to maximize the value of the early release science observations for the transiting exoplanet community.

  8. WFIRST: Exoplanet Target Selection and Scheduling with Greedy Optimization (United States)

    Keithly, Dean; Garrett, Daniel; Delacroix, Christian; Savransky, Dmitry


    We present target selection and scheduling algorithms for missions with direct imaging of exoplanets, and the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) in particular, which will be equipped with a coronagraphic instrument (CGI). Optimal scheduling of CGI targets can maximize the expected value of directly imaged exoplanets (completeness). Using target completeness as a reward metric and integration time plus overhead time as a cost metric, we can maximize the sum completeness for a mission with a fixed duration. We optimize over these metrics to create a list of target stars using a greedy optimization algorithm based off altruistic yield optimization (AYO) under ideal conditions. We simulate full missions using EXOSIMS by observing targets in this list for their predetermined integration times. In this poster, we report the theoretical maximum sum completeness, mean number of detected exoplanets from Monte Carlo simulations, and the ideal expected value of the simulated missions.

  9. The future of spectroscopic life detection on exoplanets. (United States)

    Seager, Sara


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

  10. Characterizing Exoplanet Atmospheres with the James Webb Space Telescope (United States)

    Greene, Tom


    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will have numerous modes for acquiring photometry and spectra of stars, planets, galaxies, and other astronomical objects over wavelengths of 0.6 - 28 microns. Several of these modes are well-suited for observing atomic and molecular features in the atmospheres of transiting or spatially resolved exoplanets. I will present basic information on JWST capabilities, highlight modes that are well-suited for observing exoplanets, and give examples of what may be learned from JWST observations. This will include simulated spectra and expected retrieved chemical abundance, composition, equilibrium, and thermal information and uncertainties. JWST Cycle 1 general observer proposals are expected to be due in March 2018 with launch in October 2018, and the greater scientific community is encouraged to propose investigations to study exoplanet atmospheres and other topics.

  11. Exclusion of Stellar Companions to Exoplanet Host Stars (United States)

    Wittrock, Justin M.; Kane, Stephen R.; Horch, Elliott P.; Howell, Steve B.; Ciardi, David R.; Everett, Mark E.


    Given the frequency of stellar multiplicity in the solar neighborhood, it is important to study the impacts this can have on exoplanet properties and orbital dynamics. There have been numerous imaging survey projects established to detect possible low-mass stellar companions to exoplanet host stars. Here, we provide the results from a systematic speckle imaging survey of known exoplanet host stars. In total, 71 stars were observed at 692 and 880 nm bands using the Differential Speckle Survey Instrument at the Gemini-north Observatory. Our results show that all but two of the stars included in this sample have no evidence of stellar companions with luminosities down to the detection and projected separation limits of our instrumentation. The mass-luminosity relationship is used to estimate the maximum mass a stellar companion can have without being detected. These results are used to discuss the potential for further radial velocity follow-up and interpretation of companion signals.

  12. Predicted Exoplanet Yields for the HabEx Mission Concept (United States)

    Stark, Christopher; Mennesson, Bertrand; HabEx STDT


    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.

  13. Orbital Architectures of Dynamically Complex Exoplanet Systems (United States)

    Nelson, Benjamin E.


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

  14. Exoplanet Community Report on Direct Optical Imaging (United States)

    Soummer, Remi; Levine, M.; Exoplanet Forum Direct Optical Imaging Group


    Direct Optical Imaging is necessary to characterize exoplanets spectroscopically in most cases (non-transiting planets), and to address the habitability of terrestrial planets around sun like stars. The chapter studies the science objectives, observatory architectures, and needed technology developments as a function of mission scale. Possible architectures can be based on internal coronagraphs or external occulters. The Optical Imaging chapter details the association between Astrometry or RV and imaging in space, expanding on the ExoPTF recommendations for flagship and probe-scale missions. Indirect methods (astrometry or radial velocities) are necessary to obtain a direct measurement of the masses, orbital parameters, and planet "addresses". Careful Design Reference Mission (DRM) development over the next several years will articulate the tradeoffs in cost and performance between imaging missions with and without astrometric precursors. In the short term a probe-scale direct imaging mission can be combined with existing and future Radial Velocities and ground-based Astrometry for the characterization of mature giant planets, Neptunes, and super Earths. A probe scale will also detect and characterize exozodiacal disks, a problem ExoPTF identified as critical for future terrestrial planet imaging missions. This strategy is independent from a space astrometric mission both in terms of scientific goals and timing sequence. The chapter also identifies the critical technologies for the various imaging architectures, for which the maturity is linked to flight requirements ranging from probe-scale to flagship. The chapter provides a brief overview of each technology and its state-of the-art.

  15. Tidal Heating in Multilayered Terrestrial Exoplanets (United States)

    Henning, Wade G.; Hurford, Terry


    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.

  16. Tidal heating in multilayered terrestrial exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


    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.


    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: [Department of Physics, University of California, 366 LeConte Hall MC 7300, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)


    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.

  18. Illusion and reality in the atmospheres of exoplanets (United States)

    Deming, L. Drake; Seager, Sara


    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hébrard G.


    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. Transiting exoplanets: From planet statistics to their physical nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rauer H.


    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.

  1. Open-source Software for Exoplanet Atmospheric Modeling (United States)

    Cubillos, Patricio; Blecic, Jasmina; Harrington, Joseph


    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.

  2. The Galactic Plane Exoplanet Survey (GPX) - an Amateur Designed Transiting Exoplanet Wide-Field Search (Abstract) (United States)

    Benni, P.


    (Abstract only) GPX is designed to search high density star fields where other surveys, such as WASP, HATNet, XO, and KELT would find challenging due to blending of transit like events. Using readily available amateur equipment, a survey telescope (Celestron RASA, 279 mm f/2.2, based in Acton, Massachusetts) was configured first with a SBIG ST-8300M camera then later upgraded to an FLI ML16200 camera and tested under different sampling scenarios with multiple image fields to obtain a 9- to 11-minute cadence per field. The resultant image resolution of GPX is about 2 arcsec/pixel compared to 13.7±23 arcsec/pixel of the aforementioned surveys and the future TESS space telescope exoplanet survey.

  3. Extrasolar Planets and their Hosts: why exoplanet science needs X-ray observations (United States)

    Poppenhaeger, K.


    The characterization and detection of exoplanet systems has become one of the most active fields in astronomy. A wide spectrum of observational tools is used for this, from high-precision photometry over optical and near-infrared spectra to microlensing experiments. Observations at short wavelengths are a powerful addition to the exoplaneteer's toolbox. I will discuss how short-wavelength data can enhance our understanding of exoplanets and their host stars; I will cover topics ranging from exoplanet atmospheres to coronal activity of exoplanet hosting stars.

  4. Is This Speck of Light an Exoplanet? (United States)


    VLT Images and Spectra of Intriguing Object near Young Brown Dwarf [1] Summary Is this newly discovered feeble point of light the long-sought bona-fide image of an exoplanet? A research paper by an international team of astronomers [2] provides sound arguments in favour, but the definitive answer is now awaiting further observations. On several occasions during the past years, astronomical images revealed faint objects, seen near much brighter stars. Some of these have been thought to be those of orbiting exoplanets, but after further study, none of them could stand up to the real test. Some turned out to be faint stellar companions, others were entirely unrelated background stars. This one may well be different. In April of this year, the team of European and American astronomers detected a faint and very red point of light very near (at 0.8 arcsec angular distance) a brown-dwarf object, designated 2MASSWJ1207334-393254. Also known as "2M1207", this is a "failed star", i.e. a body too small for major nuclear fusion processes to have ignited in its interior and now producing energy by contraction. It is a member of the TW Hydrae stellar association located at a distance of about 230 light-years. The discovery was made with the adaptive-optics supported NACO facility [3] at the 8.2-m VLT Yepun telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory (Chile). The feeble object is more than 100 times fainter than 2M1207 and its near-infrared spectrum was obtained with great efforts in June 2004 by NACO, at the technical limit of the powerful facility. This spectrum shows the signatures of water molecules and confirms that the object must be comparatively small and light. None of the available observations contradict that it may be an exoplanet in orbit around 2M1207. Taking into account the infrared colours and the spectral data, evolutionary model calculations point to a 5 jupiter-mass planet in orbit around 2M1207. Still, they do not yet allow a clear-cut decision about the real

  5. How expanded ionospheres of Hot Jupiters can prevent escape of radio emission generated by the cyclotron maser instability (United States)

    Weber, C.; Lammer, H.; Shaikhislamov, I. F.; Chadney, J. M.; Khodachenko, M. L.; Grießmeier, J.-M.; Rucker, H. O.; Vocks, C.; Macher, W.; Odert, P.; Kislyakova, K. G.


    We present a study of plasma conditions in the atmospheres of the Hot Jupiters HD 209458b and HD 189733b and for an HD 209458b like planet at orbit locations between 0.2 and 1 au around a Sun-like star. We discuss how these conditions influence the radio emission we expect from their magnetospheres. We find that the environmental conditions are such that the cyclotron maser instability (CMI), the process responsible for the generation of radio waves at magnetic planets in the Solar system, most likely will not operate at Hot Jupiters. Hydrodynamically expanding atmospheres possess extended ionospheres whose plasma densities within the magnetosphere are so large that the plasma frequency is much higher than the cyclotron frequency, which contradicts the condition for the production of radio emission and prevents the escape of radio waves from close-in exoplanets at distances changes between 0.2 and 0.5 au from the hydrodynamic to a hydrostatic regime, and this results in conditions similar to Solar system planets with a region of depleted plasma between the exobase and the magnetopause, where the plasma frequency can be lower than the cyclotron frequency. In such an environment, a beam of highly energetic electrons accelerated along the field lines towards the planet can produce radio emission. However, even if the CMI could operate, the extended ionospheres of Hot Jupiters are too dense to allow the radio emission to escape from the planets.


    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: [Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)


    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

  7. Physical and Chemical Toeholds for Exoplanet Bioastronomy (United States)

    Hoehler, Tori


    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

  8. The Young Exoplanet Transit Initiative (YETI) (United States)

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


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

  9. HD-videoprosessin ja tuotantolaitteiston suunnittelu Brelliace-pienyritykselle


    Puustinen, Aki


    Tämän opinnäytetyön tavoitteena oli suunnitella HD-videoprosessi ja HD-videotuotannon-laitteisto kehitteillä olevalle pienyritykselle Brelliace. Suunnittelussa lähtökohtana olivat yrityksen antamat kriteerit 1) tehokas ja selkeä prosessi 2) Full HD -tuotantoon soveltuva laitteisto ja ohjelmisto. Työssä käytettiin konstruktiivisen tutkimuksen menetelmiä: kyselyä, empiiristä testausta, analyysia ja selvityksiä. Kysyttiin, mitkä kriteerit ovat tärkeitä ammattimaisessa ja kustannustehokkaassa vid...

  10. Corrigendum: Softec HD hydrophilic acrylic intraocular lens: biocompatibility and precision

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Espandar L


    Full Text Available Espandar L, Sikder S, Moshirfar M. Softec HD hydrophilic acrylic intraocular lens: biocompatibility and precision. Clin Ophthalmol. 2011;5:65–70.There was an error in the reported optic size of Lenstec’s Softec HD intraocular lens, which was reported to be 5.5 mm in Espandar et al’s work, but is 5.75 mm.Please see the specifications on Lenstec’s Web site for further details (see the original article

  11. Detecting Exomoons Around Self-Luminous Giant Exoplanets Through Polarization (United States)

    Sengupta, Sujan; Marley, Mark Scott


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

  12. Is There Life on Exoplanet Maja? A Demonstration for Schools (United States)

    Planinsic, Gorazd; Marshall, Rick


    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…

  13. New exoplanets from the SuperWASP-North survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keenan F.


    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.

  14. Flux and polarisation spectra of water clouds on exoplanets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


    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

  15. Benford's Distribution in Extrasolar World: Do the Exoplanets Follow ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy; Volume 38; Issue 1. Benford's Distribution in ... Research Article Volume 38 Issue 1 March 2017 Article ID 7 ... The quantitative investigations have revealed the presence of Benford's distribution in various physical properties of these exoplanets. Further, some specific ...

  16. HST/WFC3 Observations of Giant Hot Exoplanets (United States)

    Deming, D.; Agol, E.; Burrows, A.; Charbonneau, D.; Clampin, M.; Desert, J.-M.; Gilliland, R.; Knutson, H.; Madhusudhan, N.; Mandell, A.; hide


    Low resolution thermal emission spectra of several dozen extrasolar planets have been measured using Spitzer, and HST observations of a few key exoplanets have reported molecular abundances via transmission spectroscopy. However, current models for the atmospheric structure of these worlds exhibit degeneracies wherein different combinations of temperature and molecular abundance profiles can fit the same Spitzer data. The advent of the IR capability on HST/WFC3 allows us to address this problem. We are currently obtaining transmission spectroscopy of the 1.4-micron water band in a sample of 13 planets, using the G141 grism on WFC3. This is the largest pure-exoplanet program ever executed on HST (115 orbits). Among the abundant molecules, only water absorbs significantly at 1.4-microns, and our measurement of water abundance will enable us to break the degeneracies in the Spitzer results with minimal model assumptions. We are also using the G141 grism to observe secondary eclipses for 7 very hot giant exoplanets at 1.S-microns, including several bright systems in the Kepler and CoRoT fields. The strong temperature sensitivity of the thermal continuum at 1.S-microns provides high leverage on atmospheric temperature for these worlds, again helping to break degeneracies in interpreting the Spitzer data. We here describe preliminary results for several exoplanets observed in this program.

  17. Exoplanet Yield Estimation for Decadal Study Concepts using EXOSIMS (United States)

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


    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.

  18. Asymmetric H-D exchange reactions of fluorinated aromatic ketones

    KAUST Repository

    Zhao, Yujun


    Chiral bicyclic guanidine catalyzes the asymmetric H-D exchange reactions. Up to 30% ee was achieved. DFT calculations were employed to elucidate and explain the origin of the reaction\\'s stereoselectivity. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  19. HD 209458b in new light: evidence of nitrogen chemistry, patchy clouds and sub-solar water (United States)

    MacDonald, Ryan J.; Madhusudhan, Nikku


    Interpretations of exoplanetary transmission spectra have been undermined by apparent obscuration due to clouds/hazes. Debate rages on whether weak H2O features seen in exoplanet spectra are due to clouds or inherently depleted oxygen. Assertions of solar H2O abundances have relied on making a priori model assumptions, for example, chemical/radiative equilibrium. In this work, we attempt to address this problem with a new retrieval paradigm for transmission spectra. We introduce poseidon, a two-dimensional atmospheric retrieval algorithm including generalized inhomogeneous clouds. We demonstrate that this prescription allows one to break vital degeneracies between clouds and prominent molecular abundances. We apply poseidon to the best transmission spectrum presently available, for the hot Jupiter HD 209458b, uncovering new insights into its atmosphere at the day-night terminator. We extensively explore the parameter space with an unprecedented 108 models, spanning the continuum from fully cloudy to cloud-free atmospheres, in a fully Bayesian retrieval framework. We report the first detection of nitrogen chemistry (NH3 and/or HCN) in an exoplanet atmosphere at 3.7-7.7σ confidence, non-uniform cloud coverage at 4.5-5.4σ, high-altitude hazes at >3σ and sub-solar H2O at ≳3-5σ, depending on the assumed cloud distribution. We detect NH3 at 3.3σ, and 4.9σ for fully cloudy and cloud-free scenarios, respectively. For the model with the highest Bayesian evidence, we constrain H2O at 5-15 ppm (0.01-0.03) × solar and NH3 at 0.01-2.7 ppm, strongly suggesting disequilibrium chemistry and cautioning against equilibrium assumptions. Our results herald a new promise for retrieving cloudy atmospheres using high-precision Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope spectra.

  20. X-Raying the Coronae of HD 155555 (United States)

    Lalitha, S.; Singh, K.P.; Drake, S. A.; Kashyap, V.


    We present an analysis of the high-resolution Chandra observation of the multiple system, HD 155555 (an RS CVn type binary system, HD 155555 AB, and its spatially resolved low-mass companion HD 155555 C). This is an intriguing system which shows properties of both an active pre-main sequence star and a synchronised (main sequence) binary. We obtain the emission measure distribution, temperature structures, plasma densities, and abundances of this system and compare them with the coronal properties of other young/active stars. HD 155555 AB and HD 155555 C produce copious X-ray emission with log L(sub x) of 30.54 and 29.30, respectively, in the 0.3-6.0 kiloelectronvolt energy band. The light curves of individual stars show variability on timescales of few minutes to hours. We analyse the dispersed spectra and reconstruct the emission measure distribution using spectral line analysis. The resulting elemental abundances exhibit inverse first ionisation potential effect in both cases. An analysis of He-like triplets yields a range of coronal electron densities 1010 - 1013 per cubic centimeter. Since HD 155555 AB is classified both as an RS CVn and a PMS star, we compare our results with those of other slightly older active main-sequence stars and T Tauri stars, which indicates that the coronal properties of HD 155555 AB closely resemble that of an older RS CVn binary rather than a younger PMS star. Our results also suggests that the properties of HD 155555 C is very similar to those of other active M dwarfs.

  1. Production and delivery in Ultra HD and 4K


    Utray Delgado, Francisco; Hooper, Gerald


    Questions and answers session of the workshop “Production and delivery in Ultra HD and 4K”, Drexel University, Cinema and Television Department, July, 26th 2016. The workshop objective is to address the new content production and distribution standards in ultra-high definition (Ultra HD) and the technological bases that support them. The new standard is already being used at its full potential, although international organizations for standardization are still working on its development...

  2. Bidirectional uncompressed HD video distribution over fiber employing VCSELs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Estaran Tolosa, Jose Manuel; Vegas Olmos, Juan José; Rodes, G. A.


    We report on a bidirectional system in which VCSELs are simultaneously modulated with two uncompressed HD video signals. The results show a large power budget and a negligible penalty over 10 km long transmission links.......We report on a bidirectional system in which VCSELs are simultaneously modulated with two uncompressed HD video signals. The results show a large power budget and a negligible penalty over 10 km long transmission links....


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


    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

  4. Time-resolved UVES observations of a stellar flare on the planet host HD 189733 during primary transit (United States)

    Klocová, T.; Czesla, S.; Khalafinejad, S.; Wolter, U.; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.


    Context. HD 189733 is an exoplanetary system consisting of a transiting hot Jupiter and an active K2V-type main sequence star. Rich manifestations of a stellar activity, like photometric spots or chromospheric flares were repeatedly observed in this system in optical, UV and X-rays. Aims: We aim to use VLT/UVES high resolution (R = 60 000) echelle spectra to study a stellar flare. Methods: We have performed simultaneous analyses of the temporal evolution in several chromospheric stellar lines, namely, the Ca ii H & K lines (3933, 3968 Å), H α (6563 Å), H β (4861 Å), H γ (4341 Å), H δ (4102 Å), H ɛ (3970 Å), the Ca ii infrared triplet lines (8498, 8542 and 8662 Å), and He i D3 (5875.6 Å). Observations were carried out with a time resolution of approximately 1 min for a duration of four hours, including a complete planetary transit. Results: We determine the energy released during the flare in all studied chromospheric lines combined to be about 8.7 × 1031 erg, which puts this event at the upper end of flare energies observed on the Sun. Our analysis does not reveal any significant delay of the flare peak observed in the Balmer and Ca ii H & K lines, although we find a clear difference in the temporal evolution of these lines. The He i D3 shows additional absorption possibly related to the flare event. Based on the flux released in Ca ii H & K lines during the flare, we estimate the soft X-ray flux emission to be 7 × 1030 erg. Conclusions: The observed flare can be ranked as a moderate flare on a K-type star and confirms a rather high activity level of HD 189733 host star. The cores of the studied chromospheric lines demonstrate the same behavior and let us study the flare evolution. We demonstrate that the activity of an exoplanet host star can play an important role in the detection of exoplanet atmospheres, since these are frequently discovered as an additional absorption in the line cores. A possible star-planet interaction responsible for a flare

  5. On the evolutionary status of the active chromosphere stars AB Doradus (HD 36705) and PZ Telescopium (HD 174429)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Innis, J.L.; Thompson, K.; Coates, D.W.


    The space velocities U, V, W, for the rapidly rotating late-type stars AB Dor (HD 36705) and PZ Tel (HD 174429) are shown to be identical within the observational uncertainties with those of the Pleiades moving group (Local Association). It is suggested that these two stars are members of this group, and hence stars in the final stages of their approach to the main sequence.

  6. A likely exoplanet orbiting the oscillating K-giant α Arietis (United States)

    Lee, B.-C.; Mkrtichian, D. E.; Han, I.; Kim, K.-M.; Park, M.-G.


    Aims: To search for extrasolar planets around intermediate-mass stars, we are conducting a precise RV survey around K-giants. Methods: We present high-accuracy RV measurements of α Ari made from November 2003 to February 2010. This star belongs to our sample of 55 K-giants studied for extrasolar planet and pulsation searches using the fiber-fed Bohyunsan Observatory Echelle Spectrograph (BOES) attached to the 1.8-m telescope at Bohyunsan Optical Astronomy Observatory (BOAO) in Korea. Results: We find a planetary companion with long-period and low-amplitude radial velocity (RV) variations in oscillating K2 III star α Ari (HD 12929). We do not find the correlation between RV variations and chromospheric activity indicators (Ca II H & K region, Hα line). The bisector analysis also shows that the bisector velocity span (BVS) does not show any obvious correlation with RV variation but has periodic component that may be attributed to the rotation of the star. If the RV variation is indeed caused by a planetary companion, an orbital solution with a period of P = 381 days, a semi-amplitude of K = 41 m s-1, and an eccentricity of e = 0.25 fits the data best. Assuming a possible stellar mass of M ⋆ = 1.5 M⊙, we estimate the minimum mass for the planetary companion of m2 sin i = 1.8 MJup with an orbital semi-major axis of 1.2 AU. Conclusions: Our finding of a likely exoplanet in α Ari supports searching for extrasolar planets around giant stars with multiperiodic oscillations. RV data are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via

  7. Bayesian Atmospheric Radiative Transfer (BART): Model, Statistics Driver, and Application to HD 209458b (United States)

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


    Multi-wavelength secondary-eclipse and transit depths probe the thermo-chemical properties of exoplanets. In recent years, several research groups have developed retrieval codes to analyze the existing data and study the prospects of future facilities. However, the scientific community has limited access to these packages. Here we premiere the open-source Bayesian Atmospheric Radiative Transfer (BART) code. We discuss the key aspects of the radiative-transfer algorithm and the statistical package. The radiation code includes line databases for all HITRAN molecules, high-temperature H2O, TiO, and VO, and includes a preprocessor for adding additional line databases without recompiling the radiation code. Collision-induced absorption lines are available for H2-H2 and H2-He. The parameterized thermal and molecular abundance profiles can be modified arbitrarily without recompilation. The generated spectra are integrated over arbitrary bandpasses for comparison to data. BART's statistical package, Multi-core Markov-chain Monte Carlo (MC3), is a general-purpose MCMC module. MC3 implements the Differental-evolution Markov-chain Monte Carlo algorithm (ter Braak 2006, 2009). MC3 converges 20-400 times faster than the usual Metropolis-Hastings MCMC algorithm, and in addition uses the Message Passing Interface (MPI) to parallelize the MCMC chains. We apply the BART retrieval code to the HD 209458b data set to estimate the planet's temperature profile and molecular abundances. This work was supported by NASA Planetary Atmospheres grant NNX12AI69G and NASA Astrophysics Data Analysis Program grant NNX13AF38G. JB holds a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship.

  8. Simulations of transit spectra of Hot Jupiters in the wavelength range of the CARMENES infrared channel (0.96-1.7μm) (United States)

    Sanchez-Lopez, A.; Lopez-Puertas, M.; Funke, B.; Amado, P. J.; Lara, L. M.; Salz, M.


    Transmission spectroscopy in the primary transit of an exoplanet has proven to be very useful for obtaining information of exoplanet atmospheres from both ground-based facilities and space telescopes. The Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exoearths with Near-infrared and optical Echelle Spectrographs (CARMENES) instrument has started being operative in early 2016 and here, we explore its capabilities for extracting information about Hot Jupiter atmospheres taking advantage of its ultra-stability, wide spectral interval (0.52 - 1.7 μm), and high spectral resolution (R = 82000). We present some preliminary results of our simulations of the primary transit transmission spectra of HD 189733b in the 1 - 1.7 μm m spectral range where several molecules, such as water vapour, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and methane, have strong ro-vibrational bands. Sensitivity studies are presented for the range of expected concentrations of these species, as well as for the expected range of temperature profiles. Our simulations have been performed using the line-by-line Karlsruhe Optimized and Precise Radiative Transfer Algorithm (KOPRA) adapted for exo-atmospheres.

  9. The DTH8-Hd1 Module Mediates Day-Length-Dependent Regulation of Rice Flowering. (United States)

    Du, Anping; Tian, Wei; Wei, Menghao; Yan, Wei; He, Hang; Zhou, Da; Huang, Xi; Li, Shigui; Ouyang, Xinhao


    Photoperiodic flowering is one of the most important pathways to govern flowering in rice (Oryza sativa), in which Heading date 1 (Hd1), an ortholog of the Arabidopsis CONSTANS gene, encodes a pivotal regulator. Hd1 promotes flowering under short-day conditions (SD) but represses flowering under long-day conditions (LD) by regulating the expression of Heading date 3a (Hd3a), the FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) ortholog in rice. However, the molecular mechanism of how Hd1 changes its regulatory activity in response to day length remains largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that the repression of flowering in LD by Hd1 is dependent on the transcription factor DAYS TO HEADING 8 (DTH8). Loss of DTH8 function results in the activation of Hd3a by Hd1, leading to early flowering. We found that Hd1 directly interacts with DTH8 and that the formation of the DTH8-Hd1 complex is necessary for the transcriptional repression of Hd3a by Hd1 in LD, implicating that the switch of Hd1 function is mediated by DTH8 in LD rather than in SD. Furthermore, we revealed that DTH8 associates with the Hd3a promoter to modulate the level of H3K27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) at the Hd3a locus. In the presence of the DTH8-Hd1 complex, the H3K27me3 level was increased at Hd3a, whereas loss of DTH8 function resulted in decreased H3K27me3 level at Hd3a. Taken together, our findings indicate that, in response to day length, DTH8 plays a critical role in mediating the transcriptional regulation of Hd3a by Hd1 through the DTH8-Hd1 module to shape epigenetic modifications in photoperiodic flowering. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Integral Field Spectroscopy of the Low-mass Companion HD 984 B with the Gemini Planet Imager (United States)

    Johnson-Groh, Mara; Marois, Christian; De Rosa, Robert J.; Nielsen, Eric L.; Rameau, Julien; Blunt, Sarah; Vargas, Jeffrey; Ammons, S. Mark; Bailey, Vanessa P.; Barman, Travis S.; Bulger, Joanna; Chilcote, Jeffrey K.; Cotten, Tara; Doyon, René; Duchêne, Gaspard; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Follette, Kate B.; Goodsell, Stephen; Graham, James R.; Greenbaum, Alexandra Z.; Hibon, Pascale; Hung, Li-Wei; Ingraham, Patrick; Kalas, Paul; Konopacky, Quinn M.; Larkin, James E.; Macintosh, Bruce; Maire, Jérôme; Marchis, Franck; Marley, Mark S.; Metchev, Stanimir; Millar-Blanchaer, Maxwell A.; Oppenheimer, Rebecca; Palmer, David W.; Patience, Jenny; Perrin, Marshall; Poyneer, Lisa A.; Pueyo, Laurent; Rajan, Abhijith; Rantakyrö, Fredrik T.; Savransky, Dmitry; Schneider, Adam C.; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Song, Inseok; Soummer, Remi; Thomas, Sandrine; Vega, David; Wallace, J. Kent; Wang, Jason J.; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.; Wolff, Schuyler G.


    We present new observations of the low-mass companion to HD 984 taken with the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) as a part of the GPI Exoplanet Survey campaign. Images of HD 984 B were obtained in the J (1.12-1.3 μm) and H (1.50-1.80 μm) bands. Combined with archival epochs from 2012 and 2014, we fit the first orbit to the companion to find an 18 au (70-year) orbit with a 68% confidence interval between 14 and 28 au, an eccentricity of 0.18 with a 68% confidence interval between 0.05 and 0.47, and an inclination of 119° with a 68% confidence interval between 114° and 125°. To address the considerable spectral covariance in both spectra, we present a method of splitting the spectra into low and high frequencies to analyze the spectral structure at different spatial frequencies with the proper spectral noise correlation. Using the split spectra, we compare them to known spectral types using field brown dwarf and low-mass star spectra and find a best-fit match of a field gravity M6.5 ± 1.5 spectral type with a corresponding temperature of {2730}-180+120 K. Photometry of the companion yields a luminosity of {log}({L}{bol}/{L}⊙ )=-2.88+/- 0.07 dex with DUSTY models. Mass estimates, again from DUSTY models, find an age-dependent mass of 34 ± 1 to 95 ± 4 M Jup. These results are consistent with previous measurements of the object.

  11. Scalable Gaussian Processes and the search for exoplanets

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva


    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.

  12. First Results from the Wesleyan Transiting Exoplanet Program (United States)

    Johnson, Marshall C.; Leiner, E. M.; Redfield, S.


    We present results from the first six months of observations of the Wesleyan Transiting Exoplanet Program (WesTEP). A selection of exoplanet transits has been observed using the 24” Perkin Telescope at Wesleyan University's Van Vleck Observatory. The use of defocusing and manual guiding (as no autoguiding is available) has been explored to improve the quality of the data. These techniques allow the achievement of a photometric RMS as low as 1 mmag. The dataset now includes more than two dozen transits, which we use to search for evidence of transit timing variations and refine the ephemerides of recently discovered planets. This research was funded by the NASA CT Space Grant Consortium.

  13. Optimal Strategies for Probing Terrestrial Exoplanet Atmospheres with JWST (United States)

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


    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. An Introduction to Exoplanets and the Kepler Mission (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack


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

  15. Crossing the Boundaries in Planetary Atmospheres - From Earth to Exoplanets (United States)

    Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Genio, Anthony Del


    The past decade has been an especially exciting time to study atmospheres, with a renaissance in fundamental studies of Earths general circulation and hydrological cycle, stimulated by questions about past climates and the urgency of projecting the future impacts of humankinds activities. Long-term spacecraft and Earth-based observation of solar system planets have now reinvigorated the study of comparative planetary climatology. The explosion in discoveries of planets outside our solar system has made atmospheric science integral to understanding the diversity of our solar system and the potential habitability of planets outside it. Thus, the AGU Chapman Conference Crossing the Boundaries in Planetary Atmospheres From Earth to Exoplanets, held in Annapolis, MD from June 24-27, 2013 gathered Earth, solar system, and exoplanet scientists to share experiences, insights, and challenges from their individual disciplines, and discuss areas in which thinking broadly might enhance our fundamental understanding of how atmospheres work.

  16. Three body dynamics and its applications to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Musielak, Zdzislaw


    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...

  17. Using online telescopes to explore exoplanets from the physics classroom (United States)

    Gould, Roy R.; Sunbury, Susan; Krumhansl, Ruth


    The search for habitable planets offers excellent opportunities to advance students' understanding of core ideas in physics, including gravity and the laws of motion, the interaction of light and matter, and especially the nature of scientific inquiry. Thanks to the development of online telescopes, students can detect more than a dozen of the known exoplanets from the classroom, using data they gather, assess, and interpret for themselves. We present a suite of activities in which students apply basic physics concepts to their investigations of exoplanets. The activities were developed and successfully tested with physics and earth science teachers in secondary schools in 14 states. Included are additional challenges and assessments suitable for introductory college physics courses.

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


    Karalidi, Theodora


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

  19. A continuum from clear to cloudy hot-Jupiter exoplanets without primordial water depletion


    Sing, DK; Fortney, JJ; Nikolov, N.; Wakeford, HR; Kataria, T.; Evans, TM; Aigrain, S; Ballester, GE; Burrows, AS; Deming, D.; Désert, JM; Gibson, NP; Henry, GW; Huitson, CM; Knutson, HA


    © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Thousands of transiting exoplanets have been discovered, but spectral analysis of their atmospheres has so far been dominated by a small number of exoplanets and data spanning relatively narrow wavelength ranges (such as 1.1-1.7 micrometres). Recent studies show that some hot-Jupiter exoplanets have much weaker water absorption features in their near-infrared spectra than predicted. The low amplitude of water signatures could be explai...

  20. ExoPriors: Accounting for observational bias of transiting exoplanets (United States)

    Kipping, David M.; Sandford, Emily


    ExoPriors calculates a log-likelihood penalty for an input set of transit parameters to account for observational bias (geometric and signal-to-noise ratio detection bias) of transiting exoplanets. Written in Python, the code calculates this log-likelihood penalty in one of seven user-specified cases specified with Boolean input parameters for geometric and/or SNR bias, grazing or non-grazing events, and occultation events.

  1. The CoRoT Exoplanet program: status & results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moutou C.


    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. ARIEL: Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (United States)

    Tinetti, Giovanna


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

  3. A roadmap towards habitable exoplanets by the Blue Dots Initiative (United States)

    Coudé du Foresto, V.


    This paper is an abridged version of the report produced by the Blue Dots initiative, whose activities include the elaboration of a roadmap towards the spectroscopic characterization of habitable exoplanets. The full version of the Blue Dots report can be downloaded at While the roadmap will need to be updated regularly, it is expected that the methodology developed within Blue Dots will provide a durable framework for the elaboration of future revisions.

  4. Galactic cosmic ray-induced radiation dose on terrestrial exoplanets. (United States)

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


    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.

  5. Cummins MD & HD Accessory Hybridization CRADA -Annual Report FY15

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deter, Dean D. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)


    There are many areas of MD and HD vehicles that can be improved by new technologies and optimized control strategies. Component optimization and idle reduction need to be addressed, this is best done by a two part approach that includes selecting the best component technology, and/or architecture, and optimized controls that are vehicle focused. While this is a common focus in the light duty industry it has been gaining momentum in the MD and HD market as the market gets more competitive and the regulations become more stringent. When looking into systems optimization and idle reduction technologies, affected vehicle systems must first be considered, and if possible included in the new architecture to get the most benefit out of these new capabilities. Typically, when looking into idle reduction or component optimization for MD/HD, the vehicle s accessories become a prime candidate for electrification or hybridization. While this has already been studied on light duty vehicles (especially on hybrids and electric vehicles) it has not made any head way or market penetration in most MD and HD applications. If hybrids and electric MD and HD vehicles begin to break into the market this would be a necessary step into the ability to make those vehicles successful by allowing for independent, optimized operation separate from the engine.

  6. The Physical Properties of HD 3651B: An Extrasolar Nemesis? (United States)

    Burgasser, Adam J.


    I present detailed analysis of the near-infrared spectrum of HD 3651B, a faint, comoving wide companion to the nearby planet-hosting star HD 3651. These data confirm the companion as a brown dwarf with spectral type T8, consistent with the analysis of Luhman et al. Application of the semi-empirical technique of Burgasser, Burrows, & Kirkpatrick indicates that HD 3651B has Teff=790+/-30 K and logg=5.0+/-0.3 for a metallicity of [M/H]=0.12+/-0.04, consistent with a mass M=0.033+/-0.013 Msolar and an age of 0.7-4.7 Gyr. The surface gravity, mass, and age estimates of this source are all highly sensitive to the assumed metallicity; however, a supersolar metallicity is deduced by direct comparison of spectral models to the observed absolute fluxes. The age of HD 3651B is somewhat better constrained than that of the primary, with estimates for the latter ranging over ~2 Gyr to >12 Gyr. As a widely orbiting massive object to a known planetary system that could potentially harbor terrestrial planets in its habitable zone, HD 3651B may play the role of Nemesis in this system.

  7. Catalogue of Exoplanets in Multiple-Star-Systems (United States)

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


    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 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 (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.

  8. The Transiting Exoplanet Community Early Release Science Program (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie; Bean, Jacob; Stevenson, Kevin; Alam, M.; Batalha, N.; Benneke, B.; Berta-Thompson, Z.; Blecic, J.; Bruno, G.; Carter, A.; Chapman, J.; Crossfield, I.; Crouzet, N.; Decin, L.; Demory, B.; Desert, J.; Dragomir, D.; Evans, T.; Fortney, J.; Fraine, J.; Gao, P.; Garcia Munoz, A.; Gibson, N.; Goyal, J.; Harrington, J.; Heng, K.; Hu, R.; Kempton, E.; Kendrew, S.; Kilpatrick, B.; Knutson, H.; Kreidberg, L.; Krick, J.; Lagage, P.; Lendl, M.; Line, M.; Lopez-Morales, M.; Louden, T.; Madhusudhan, N.; Mandell, A.; Mansfield, M.; May, E.; Morello, G.; Morley, C.; Moses, J.; Nikolov, N.; Parmentier, V.; Redfield, S.; Roberts, J.; Schlawin, E.; Showman, A.; Sing, D.; Spake, J.; Swain, M.; Todorov, K.; Tsiaras, A.; Venot, O.; Waalkes, W.; Wakeford, H.; Wheatley, P.; Zellem, R.


    JWST presents the opportunity to transform our understanding of planets and the origins of life by revealing the atmospheric compositions, structures, and dynamics of transiting exoplanets in unprecedented detail. However, the high-precision, time-series observations required for such investigations have unique technical challenges, and our prior experience with HST, Spitzer, and Kepler indicates that there will be a steep learning curve when JWST becomes operational. We propose an ERS program to accelerate the acquisition and diffusion of technical expertise for transiting exoplanet observations with JWST. This program will also provide a compelling set of representative datasets, which will enable immediate scientific breakthroughs. We will exercise the time-series modes of all four instruments that have been identified as the consensus highest priority by the community, observe the full suite of transiting planet characterization geometries (transits, eclipses, and phase curves), and target planets with host stars that span an illustrative range of brightnesses. The proposed observations were defined through an inclusive and transparent process that had participation from JWST instrument experts and international leaders in transiting exoplanet studies. The targets have been vetted with previous measurements, will be observable early in the mission, and have exceptional scientific merit. We will engage the community with a two-phase Data Challenge that culminates with the delivery of planetary spectra, time series instrument performance reports, and open-source data analysis toolkits.

  9. Requirements and limits for life in the context of exoplanets. (United States)

    McKay, Christopher P


    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Pintr


    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.

  11. The HD+ dissociative recombination rate coefficient at low temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolf A.


    Full Text Available The effect of the rotational temperature of the ions is considered for low-energy dissociative recombination (DR of HD+. Merged beams measurements with HD+ ions of a rotational temperature near 300 K are compared to multichannel quantum defect theory calculations. The thermal DR rate coefficient for a Maxwellian electron velocity distribution is derived from the merged-beams data and compared to theoretical results for a range of rotational temperatures. Good agreement is found for the theory with 300 K rotational temperature. For a low-temperature plasma environment where also the rotational temperature assumes 10 K, theory predicts a considerably higher thermal DR rate coefficient. The origin of this is traced to predicted resonant structures of the collision-energy dependent DR cross section at few-meV collision energies for the particular case of HD+ ions in the rotational ground state.

  12. Cryogenic Characterization of FBK RGB-HD SiPMs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aalseth, C.E.; et al.


    We report on the cryogenic characterization of Red Green Blue - High Density (RGB-HD) SiPMs developed at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) as part of the DarkSide program of dark matter searches with liquid argon time projection chambers. A dedicated setup was used to measure the primary dark noise, the correlated noise, and the gain of the SiPMs at varying temperatures. A custom-made data acquisition system and analysis software were used to precisely characterize these parameters. We demonstrate that FBK RGB-HD SiPMs with low quenching resistance (RGB-HD-LR$_q$) can be operated from 40 K to 300 K with gains in the range $10^5$ to $10^6$ and noise rates on the order of a few Hz/mm$^2$.

  13. Cryogenic Characterization of FBK RGB-HD SiPMs (United States)

    Aalseth, C. E.; Acerbi, F.; Agnes, P.; Albuquerque, I. F. M.; Alexander, T.; Alici, A.; Alton, A. K.; Ampudia, P.; Antonioli, P.; Arcelli, S.; Ardito, R.; Arnquist, I. J.; Asner, D. M.; Back, H. O.; Batignani, G.; Bertoldo, E.; Bettarini, S.; Bisogni, M. G.; Bocci, V.; Bondar, A.; Bonfini, G.; Bonivento, W.; Bossa, M.; Bottino, B.; Bunker, R.; Bussino, S.; Buzulutskov, A.; Cadeddu, M.; Cadoni, M.; Caminata, A.; Canci, N.; Candela, A.; Cantini, C.; Caravati, M.; Cariello, M.; Carlini, M.; Carpinelli, M.; Castellani, A.; Catalanotti, S.; Cataudella, V.; Cavalcante, P.; Cereseto, R.; Chen, Y.; Chepurnov, A.; Chiavassa, A.; Cicalò, C.; Cifarelli, L.; Citterio, M.; Cocco, A. G.; Colocci, M.; Corgiolu, S.; Covone, G.; Crivelli, P.; D'Antone, I.; D'Incecco, M.; Da Rocha Rolo, M. D.; Daniel, M.; Davini, S.; De Candia, A.; De Cecco, S.; De Deo, M.; De Filippis, G.; De Guido, G.; De Rosa, G.; Dellacasa, G.; Demontis, P.; Derbin, A. V.; Devoto, A.; Di Eusanio, F.; Di Pietro, G.; Dionisi, C.; Dolgov, A.; Dormia, I.; Dussoni, S.; Empl, A.; Ferri, A.; Filip, C.; Fiorillo, G.; Fomenko, K.; Franco, D.; Froudakis, G. E.; Gabriele, F.; Gabrieli, A.; Galbiati, C.; Garcia Abia, P.; Gendotti, A.; Ghisi, A.; Giagu, S.; Gibertoni, G.; Giganti, C.; Giorgi, M.; Giovanetti, G. K.; Gligan, M. L.; Gola, A.; Gorchakov, O.; Goretti, A. M.; Granato, F.; Grassi, M.; Grate, J. W.; Grigoriev, G. Y.; Gromov, M.; Guan, M.; Guerra, M. B. B.; Guerzoni, M.; Gulino, M.; Haaland, R. K.; Harrop, B.; Hoppe, E. W.; Horikawa, S.; Hosseini, B.; Hughes, D.; Humble, P.; Hungerford, E. V.; Ianni, An.; Jimenez Cabre, S.; Johnson, T. N.; Keeter, K.; Kendziora, C. L.; Kim, S.; Koh, G.; Korablev, D.; Korga, G.; Kubankin, A.; Kugathasan, R.; Kuss, M.; Li, X.; Lissia, M.; Lodi, G. U.; Loer, B.; Longo, G.; Lussana, R.; Luzzi, L.; Ma, Y.; Machado, A. A.; Machulin, I. N.; Mais, L.; Mandarano, A.; Mapelli, L.; Marcante, M.; Margotti, A.; Mari, S. M.; Mariani, M.; Maricic, J.; Marinelli, M.; Marras, D.; Martoff, C. J.; Mascia, M.; Messina, A.; Meyers, P. D.; Milincic, R.; Moggi, A.; Moioli, S.; Monasterio, S.; Monroe, J.; Monte, A.; Morrocchi, M.; Mu, W.; Muratova, V. N.; Murphy, S.; Musico, P.; Nania, R.; Napolitano, J.; Navrer Agasson, A.; Nikulin, I.; Nosov, V.; Nozdrina, A. O.; Nurakhov, N. N.; Oleinik, A.; Oleynikov, V.; Orsini, M.; Ortica, F.; Pagani, L.; Pallavicini, M.; Palmas, S.; Pandola, L.; Pantic, E.; Paoloni, E.; Paternoster, G.; Pavletcov, V.; Pazzona, F.; Pelczar, K.; Pellegrini, L. A.; Pelliccia, N.; Perotti, F.; Perruzza, R.; Piemonte, C.; Pilo, F.; Pocar, A.; Portaluppi, D.; Poudel, S. S.; Pugachev, D. A.; Qian, H.; Radics, B.; Raffaelli, F.; Ragusa, F.; Randle, K.; Razeti, M.; Razeto, A.; Regazzoni, V.; Regenfus, C.; Reinhold, B.; Renshaw, A. L.; Rescigno, M.; Riffard, Q.; Rivetti, A.; Romani, A.; Romero, L.; Rossi, B.; Rossi, N.; Rubbia, A.; Sablone, D.; Salatino, P.; Samoylov, O.; Sands, W.; Sant, M.; Santorelli, R.; Savarese, C.; Scapparone, E.; Schlitzer, B.; Scioli, G.; Sechi, E.; Segreto, E.; Seifert, A.; Semenov, D. A.; Serci, S.; Shchagin, A.; Shekhtman, L.; Shemyakina, E.; Sheshukov, A.; Simeone, M.; Singh, P. N.; Skorokhvatov, M. D.; Smirnov, O.; Sobrero, G.; Sokolov, A.; Sotnikov, A.; Stanford, C.; Suffritti, G. B.; Suvorov, Y.; Tartaglia, R.; Testera, G.; Tonazzo, A.; Tosi, A.; Trinchese, P.; Unzhakov, E. V.; Vacca, A.; Verducci, M.; Viant, T.; Villa, F.; Vishneva, A.; Vogelaar, B.; Wada, M.; Wahl, J.; Walker, S.; Wang, H.; Wang, Y.; Watson, A. W.; Westerdale, S.; Wilhelmi, J.; Williams, R.; Wojcik, M. M.; Wu, S.; Xiang, X.; Xiao, X.; Yang, C.; Ye, Z.; Zappa, F.; Zappalà, G.; Zhu, C.; Zichichi, A.; Zuzel, G.


    We report on the cryogenic characterization of Red Green Blue - High Density (RGB-HD) SiPMs developed at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) as part of the DarkSide program of dark matter searches with liquid argon time projection chambers. A cryogenic setup was used to operate the SiPMs at varying temperatures and a custom data acquisition system and analysis software were used to precisely characterize the primary dark noise, the correlated noise, and the gain of the devices. We demonstrate that FBK RGB-HD SiPMs with low quenching resistance (RGB-HD-LRq) can be operated from 40 K to 300 K with gains in the range 105 to 106 and noise rates at a level of around 1 Hz/mm2.

  14. Quality of Life in Prodromal HD: Qualitative Analyses of Discourse from Participants and Companions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca E. Ready


    Full Text Available Persons who are at risk for Huntington's Disease (HD can be tested for the HD gene expansion before symptom onset. People with the gene expansion, but no clinical diagnosis, are in the prodromal phase of HD. This study explored quality of life (QOL in prodromal HD. Interviews about QOL, conducted with 9 prodromal HD participants and 6 companions, were transcribed. Discourse was coded for emotional valence, content (e.g., coping, spirituality, interpersonal relationships, HD in others, and employment, and time frame (e.g., current, past, and future. Respondents were more positive than negative about the present, which was their major focus. The most common statements were about positive attitudes. Positive statements were made about spirituality, and negative statements were made about HD in other people. Relationships, employment, and coping with HD reflected both positivity and negativity. Participants and companions spoke of the future with different concerns. Applicability of findings to the clinical management of HD are discussed.

  15. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Solar-type stars from SDSS-III MARVELS. VI. HD 87646 (Ma+, 2016) (United States)

    Ma, B.; Ge, J.; Wolszczan, A.; Muterspaugh, M. W.; Lee, B.; Henry, G. W.; Schneider, D. P.; Martin, E. L.; Niedzielski, A.; Xie, J.; Fleming, S. W.; Thomas, N.; Williamson, M.; Zhu, Z.; Agol, E.; Bizyaev, D.; da Costa, L. N.; Jiang, P.; Fiorenzano, A. F. M.; Hernandez, J. I. G.; Guo, P.; Grieves, N.; Li, R.; Liu, J.; Mahadevan, S.; Mazeh, T.; Nguyen, D. C.; Paegert, M.; Sithajan, S.; Stassun, K.; Thirupathi, S.; van Eyken, J. C.; Wan, X.; Wang, J.; Wisniewski, J. P.; Zhao, B.; Zucker, S.


    We have obtained a total of 16 observations of HD87646 using the W.M. Keck Exoplanet Tracker (KeckET) from 2006 December to 2007 June. The radial velocities obtained are listed in Table1. The KeckET instrument was constructed in 2005 August-2006 February with support from the Keck Foundation. It was coupled with a wide field Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope (SDSS) and used for the pilot Multi-Object APO RV Exoplanet Large-Area Survey (MARVELS). This is the sixth paper in this series, examining the low-mass companions around solar-type stars from the SDSS-III MARVELS survey (Wisniewski et al. 2012, Cat. J/AJ/143/107; Fleming et al. 2012AJ....144...72F; Ma et al. 2013AJ....145...20M; Jiang et al. 2013AJ....146...65J; De Lee et al. 2013AJ....145..155D). The KeckET instrument consists of eight subsystems-a multi-object fiber feed, an iodine cell, a fixed-delay interferometer system, a slit, a collimator, a grating, a camera, and a 4k*4k CCD detector. In addition, it contains four auxiliary subsystems: the interferometer control, an instrument calibration system, a photon flux monitoring system, and a thermal probe and control system. The instrument is fed with 60 fibers with 200μm core diameters, which are coupled to 180μm core diameter short fibers from the SDSS telescope, corresponding to 3arcsec on the sky at f/5. The resolving power for the spectrograph is R=5100, and the wavelength coverage is ~900Å, centered at 5400Å. KeckET has one spectrograph and one 4k*4k CCD camera that captures one of the two interferometer outputs, and has a 5.5% detection efficiency from the telescope to the detector without the iodine cell under the typical APO seeing conditions (~1.5arcsec seeing). The CCD camera records fringing spectra from 59 objects in a single exposure. Subsequent observations were performed using the Exoplanet Tracker (ET) instrument at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO). Initial follow-up was performed in 2007 November. Additional data points were

  16. Gas modelling in the disc of HD 163296


    Tilling, I.; Woitke, Peter; Meeus, Gwendolyn; Mora, Alcione; Montesinos, Benjamín M.; Rivière-Marichalar, Pablo; Eiroa, Carlos; Thi, Wing Fai; Isella, Andrea; Roberge, Aki; Kamp, Inga; Pinte, Christophe; Sandell, Göran H L; Vacca, William D.; Ménard, François C.


    Astronomy and Astrophysics 538 (2012): A20 reproduced with permission from Astronomy & Astrophysics We present detailed model fits to observations of the disc around the Herbig Ae star HD 163296. This well-studied object has an age of ∼4Myr, with evidence of a circumstellar disc extending out to ∼540AU. We use the radiation thermo-chemical disc code ProDiMo to model the gas and dust in the circumstellar disc of HD 163296, and attempt to determine the disc properties by fitting to observati...

  17. Electrochemical H/D isotope effects in PEM fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaninski, Milica P. Marceta; Nikolic, Vladimir M.; Maksic, Aleksandar D.; Tasic, Gvozden S. [Department of Physical Chemistry, Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences, P.O. Box 522, 11001 Belgrade (RS); Miljanic, Scepan S. [University of Belgrade, Faculty of Physical Chemistry, P.O. Box 276, 11001 Belgrade (RS)


    An electrochemical H/D separation system consisting of electrolyzer and PEM fuel cell has been proposed. Isotope separation could be important as a part of the energy saving process in an energy-hydrogen-energy cycle. Any transfer of energy into hydrogen or vice versa induces change of the H/D isotope ratio, which can be considered, as a method to produce heavy water as by-product. In this way, the separation efficiency can contribute to the overall efficiency of the cycle. (author)

  18. On the origin of the hypervelocity runaway star HD271791


    Gvaramadze, V.V.


    We discuss the origin of the runaway early B-type star HD271791 and show that its extremely high velocity (\\simeq 530-920 km/s) cannot be explained within the framework of the binary-supernova ejection scenario. Instead, we suggest that HD271791 attained its peculiar velocity in the course of a strong dynamical encounter between two hard massive binaries or via an exchange encounter between a hard massive binary and a very massive star, formed through runaway mergers of ordinary massive stars...

  19. Vulnerability Analysis of HD Photo Image Viewer Applications (United States)


    setting the trailing null to non-null (maybe for IFD entries using “ASCII” as the data type). This could be employed with Adobe Photoshop metadata tags...Photo file with the first IFD advertising an offset to a second IFD, but only one IFD exists in the file. This case reveals how the image viewer...ability to handle a HD Photo file which advertises that it the HD Photo image is laid out in Frequency mode, even though the image itself was created


    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


    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.

  1. Behavior of Abundances in Chemically Peculiar Dwarf and Subgiant A-Type Stars: HD 23193 and HD 170920 (United States)

    Kılıçoğlu, Tolgahan; Çalışkan, Şeyma; Ünal, Kübraözge


    To understand the origin of the abundance peculiarities of non-magnetic A-type stars, we present the first detailed chemical abundance analysis of a metallic line star HD 23193 (A2m) and an A-type subgiant HD 170920 (A5), which could have been a HgMn star on the main sequence. Our analysis is based on medium (R ∼ 14,000) and high (R ∼ 40,000) resolution spectroscopic data of the stars. The abundances of 18 elements are derived: C, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, S, Ca, Sc, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Zn, Sr, Y, and Ba. The masses of HD 23193 and HD 170920 are estimated from evolutionary tracks as 2.3 ± 0.1 M ⊙ and 2.9 ± 0.1 M ⊙. The ages are found to be 635 ± 33 Myr for HD 23193 and 480 ± 50 Myr for HD 170920 using isochrones. The abundance pattern of HD 23193 shows deviations from solar values in the iron-peak elements and indicates remarkable overabundances of Sr (1.16), Y (1.03), and Ba (1.24) with respect to the solar abundances. We compare the derived abundances of this moderately rotating (v\\sin i =37.5 km s‑1) Am star to the theoretical chemical evolution models including rotational mixing. The theoretically predicted abundances resemble our derived abundance pattern, except for a few elements (Si and Cr). For HD 170920, we find nearly solar abundances, except for C (‑0.43), S (0.16), Ti (0.15), Ni (0.16), Zn (0.41), Y (0.57), and Ba (0.97). Its low rotational velocity (v\\sin i=14.5 km s‑1), reduced carbon abundance, and enhanced heavy element abundances suggest that the star is most likely an evolved HgMn star. Based on observations made at the TÜBITAK National Observatory (Program ID 14BRTT150–671), and the Ankara University Observatory, Turkey.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swinyard, Bruce; Tinetti, Giovanna; Tennyson, Jonathan


    The Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory (EChO) is a space mission dedicated to undertaking spectroscopy of transiting exoplanets over the widest wavelength range possible. It is based around a highly stable space platform with a 1.2 m class telescope. The mission is currently being studied by ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald Kaitchuck


    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.

  4. Gas modelling in the disc of HD 163296

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tilling, I.; Woitke, P.; Meeus, G.; Mora, A.; Montesinos, B.; Riviere-Marichalar, P.; Eiroa, C.; Thi, W. -F.; Isella, A.; Roberge, A.; Martin-Zaidi, C.; Kamp, I.; Pinte, C.; Sandell, G.; Vacca, W. D.; Menard, F.; Mendigutia, I.; Duchene, G.; Dent, W. R. F.; Aresu, G.; Meijerink, R.; Spaans, M.

    We present detailed model fits to observations of the disc around the Herbig Ae star HD 163296. This well-studied object has an age of similar to 4Myr, with evidence of a circumstellar disc extending out to similar to 540AU. We use the radiation thermo-chemical disc code ProDiMo to model the gas and

  5. Gas in the protoplanetary disc of HD 169142 : Herschel's view

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meeus, G.; Pinte, C.; Woitke, P.; Montesinos, B.; Mendigutia, I.; Riviere-Marichalar, P.; Eiroa, C.; Mathews, G. S.; Vandenbussche, B.; Howard, C. D.; Roberge, A.; Sandell, G.; Duchene, G.; Menard, F.; Grady, C. A.; Dent, W. R. F.; Kamp, I.; Augereau, J. C.; Thi, W. F.; Tilling, I.; Alacid, J. M.; Andrews, S.; Ardila, D. R.; Aresu, G.; Barrado, D.; Brittain, S.; Ciardi, D. R.; Danchi, W.; Fedele, D.; de Gregorio-Monsalvo, I.; Heras, A.; Huelamo, N.; Krivov, A.; Lebreton, J.; Liseau, R.; Martin-Zaidi, C.; Mora, A.; Morales-Calderon, M.; Nomura, H.; Pantin, E.; Pascucci, I.; Phillips, N.; Podio, L.; Poelman, D. R.; Ramsay, S.; Riaz, B.; Rice, K.; Solano, E.; White, G. J.; Williams, J. P.; Wright, G.; Walker, H.

    In an effort to simultaneously study the gas and dust components of the disc surrounding the young Herbig Ae star HD 169142, we present far-IR observations obtained with the PACS instrument onboard the Herschel Space Observatory. This work is part of the open time key program GASPS, which is aimed

  6. An 80 au cavity in the disk around HD 34282 (United States)

    van der Plas, G.; Ménard, F.; Canovas, H.; Avenhaus, H.; Casassus, S.; Pinte, C.; Caceres, C.; Cieza, L.


    Context. Large cavities in disks are important testing grounds for the mechanisms proposed to drive disk evolution and dispersion, such as dynamical clearing by planets and photoevaporation. Aims: We aim to resolve the large cavity in the disk around HD 34282, whose presence has been predicted by previous studies modeling the spectral energy distribution of the disk. Methods: Using ALMA band 7 observations we studied HD 34282 with a spatial resolution of 0.10″ × 0.17'' at 345 GHz. Results: We resolve the disk around HD 34282 into a ring between 0.24'' and 1.15'' (78 and 374 au adopting a distance of 325 pc). The emission in this ring shows azimuthal asymmetry centered at a radial distance of 0.46'' and a position angle of 135° and an azimuthal FWHM of 51°. We detect CO emission both inside the disk cavity and as far out as 2.7 times the radial extent of the dust emission. Conclusions: Both the large disk cavity and the azimuthal structure in the disk around HD 34282 can be explained by the presence of a 50 Mjup brown dwarf companion at a separation of ≈0.1''.

  7. Spectroscopic Variability of Supergiant Star HD14134, B3Ia

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Y. M. Maharramov


    Jun 19, 2017 ... Abstract. Profile variations in the Hα and Hβ lines in the spectra of the star HD14134 are investigated using observations carried out in 2013–2014 and 2016 with the 2-m telescope at the Shamakhy Astrophysical Obser- vatory. The absorption and emission components of the Hα line are found to disappear ...

  8. H/D isotope effects in high temperature proton conductors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonanos, Nikolaos; Huijser, A.; Poulsen, Finn Willy


    -H/O-D vibration frequencies, the mobility of H+/D+ carriers, the kinetics of the electrochemical oxidation of H2/D2, the solubilities of H2O/D2O and, finally, the spontaneous electromotive force that appears across H2/D2 cells with proton conducting electrolytes. Comparable work on tritium-exchanged materials...

  9. The role of space telescopes in the characterization of transiting exoplanets. (United States)

    Hatzes, Artie P


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

  10. SEEDS - Strategic explorations of exoplanets and disks with the Subaru Telescope. (United States)

    Tamura, Motohide


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

  11. Coronagraphic Imaging of Exoplanets from a High Altitude Balloon Platform (United States)

    Unwin, S.


    Direct imaging of exoplanets orbiting nearby stars is a major observational challenge, demanding high angular resolution and extremely high dynamic range close to the parent star. Such a system could image and characterize the atmospheres of exoplanets, and also observe exozodiacal dust within the exoplanetary system. The ultimate experiment requires a space-based platform, but demonstrating much of the needed technology as well as performing valuable measurements of circumstellar debris disks, can be done from a high-altitude balloon platform. In this paper, we show how progress in key technologies leads to a balloon experiment as a logical future step toward a space mission. The HCIT testbed has shown ultra-high contrast using small optics in a vacuum testbed. A recent ground-based experiment has demonstrated the ability to control three active optics in series - a lightweight controllable primary mirror, and two deformable mirrors - to achieve close to the best wavefront correction possible with large optics in an in-air testbed. We briefly describe the Wallops Arcsecond Pointer (WASP), which as had a very successful first flight, showing the capability of a balloon platform to stably point to the accuracy required for a coronagraph payload experiment. A balloon-borne coronagraph mission would incorporate all of these advances in an instrument that verifies each one in a space-like environment, and enabling forefront science. Such an experiment would be a step toward mitigating the technical risks of a major space-based exoplanet coronagraph. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Copyright 2012. California Institute of Technology. Government sponsorship acknowledged.

  12. High-precision ground-based photometry of exoplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Mooij Ernst J.W.


    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.

  13. The 'Wow' Signal, Drake Equation and Exoplanet Considerations (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.

  14. Orbiting a binary. SPHERE characterisation of the HD 284149 system (United States)

    Bonavita, M.; D'Orazi, V.; Mesa, D.; Fontanive, C.; Desidera, S.; Messina, S.; Daemgen, S.; Gratton, R.; Vigan, A.; Bonnefoy, M.; Zurlo, A.; Antichi, J.; Avenhaus, H.; Baruffolo, A.; Baudino, J. L.; Beuzit, J. L.; Boccaletti, A.; Bruno, P.; Buey, T.; Carbillet, M.; Cascone, E.; Chauvin, G.; Claudi, R. U.; De Caprio, V.; Fantinel, D.; Farisato, G.; Feldt, M.; Galicher, R.; Giro, E.; Gry, C.; Hagelberg, J.; Incorvaia, S.; Janson, M.; Jaquet, M.; Lagrange, A. M.; Langlois, M.; Lannier, J.; Le Coroller, H.; Lessio, L.; Ligi, R.; Maire, A. L.; Meyer, M.; Menard, F.; Perrot, C.; Peretti, S.; Petit, C.; Ramos, J.; Roux, A.; Salasnich, B.; Salter, G.; Samland, M.; Scuderi, S.; Schlieder, J.; Surez, M.; Turatto, M.; Weber, L.


    Aims: In this paper we present the results of the SPHERE observation of the HD 284149 system, aimed at a more detailed characterisation of both the primary and its brown dwarf companion. Methods: We observed HD 284149 in the near-infrared with SPHERE, using the imaging mode (IRDIS+IFS) and the long-slit spectroscopy mode (IRDIS-LSS). The data were reduced using the dedicated SPHERE pipeline, and algorithms such as PCA and TLOCI were applied to reduce the speckle pattern. Results: The IFS images revealed a previously unknown low-mass ( 0.16 M⊙) stellar companion (HD 294149 B) at 0.1'', compatible with previously observed radial velocity differences, as well as proper motion differences between Gaia and Tycho-2 measurements. The known brown dwarf companion (HD 284149 b) is clearly visible in the IRDIS images. This allowed us to refine both its photometry and astrometry. The analysis of the medium resolution IRDIS long slit spectra also allowed a refinement of temperature and spectral type estimates. A full reassessment of the age and distance of the system was also performed, leading to more precise values of both mass and semi-major axis. Conclusions: As a result of this study, HD 284149 ABb therefore becomes the latest addition to the (short) list of brown dwarfs on wide circumbinary orbits, providing new evidence to support recent claims that object in such configuration occur with a similar frequency to wide companions to single stars. The reduced spectrum is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via

  15. RISE: a fast-readout imager for exoplanet transit timing


    Steele, IA; Bates, SD; Gibson, N.; Keenan, F.; Meaburn, J.; Mottram, CJ; Pollacco, D.; Todd, I.


    By the precise timing of the low amplitude (0.005 - 0.02 magnitude) transits of exoplanets around their parent star it should be possible to infer the presence of other planetary bodies in the system down to Earth-like masses. We describe the design and construction of RISE, a fast-readout frame transfer camera for the Liverpool Telescope designed to carry out this experiment. The results of our commissioning tests are described as well as the data reduction procedure necessary. We present li...

  16. New Data from the Wesleyan Transiting Exoplanet Program (United States)

    Schaeffer, Jakob; Johnson, M. C.; Redfield, S.


    We present new data from the Wesleyan Transiting Exoplanet Program (WesTEP). Using the 24” Perkin Telescope at Wesleyan University's Van Vleck Observatory we have observed several new transits allowing for the further refinement of possible transit timing variations (TTVs). The current implementation of an autoguider will hopefully allow us to reach a photometric RMS below our previous benchmark of 1 mmag. In addition we have an expanded target set from previous years, with data on more than thirty-five different transits. A few targets show suggestive signs of TTVs.

  17. Characterising exoplanets and their environment with UV transmission spectroscopy


    Fossati, L.; Bourrier, V.; Ehrenreich, D.; Haswell, C. A.; Kislyakova, K. G.; Lammer, H; Lecavelier des Etangs, A.; Alibert, Y.; Ayres, T. R.; Ballester, G. E.; Barnes, J.; Bisikalo, D. V.; Cameron, A. Collier; Czesla, S.; Desert, J. -M.


    Exoplanet science is now in its full expansion, particularly after the CoRoT and Kepler space missions that led us to the discovery of thousands of extra-solar planets. The last decade has taught us that UV observations play a major role in advancing our understanding of planets and of their host stars, but the necessary UV observations can be carried out only by HST, and this is going to be the case for many years to come. It is therefore crucial to build a treasury data archive of UV exopla...

  18. New tools and improvements in the Exoplanet Transit Database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pejcha O.


    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.

  19. Hunting for Exoplanets at Florida Gulf Coast University (United States)

    Buzasi, Derek L.; Lezcano, Andy; Fine, Stephanie; Humes, Cassandra; King, Alex; Patel, Keval; Rivers, Dakota; Sinclair, Kelsey; Stacey, Enzo; Vural, Leyla; Zimmer, Jenna


    Honors Program participants at Florida Gulf Coast University must complete two of four required "Honors Experiences". One student option is a research experience, and we have developed a "Planet Hunters" course to provide an astronomical research track. In the course, students spend the first semester learning astronomical background and exoplanet detection techniques, while the second semester is devoted to planet searches in Kepler and K2 data, using student-oriented software tools developed specifically for the task. In this poster, we present the tools, data sets, and results obtained by students participating in the first year of the course, along with lessons learned for future implementation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gladysz S.


    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.

  1. Rocky core solubility in Jupiter and giant exoplanets. (United States)

    Wilson, Hugh F; Militzer, Burkhard


    Gas giants are believed to form by the accretion of hydrogen-helium gas around an initial protocore of rock and ice. The question of whether the rocky parts of the core dissolve into the fluid H-He layers following formation has significant implications for planetary structure and evolution. Here we use ab initio calculations to study rock solubility in fluid hydrogen, choosing MgO as a representative example of planetary rocky materials, and find MgO to be highly soluble in H for temperatures in excess of approximately 10,000 K, implying the potential for significant redistribution of rocky core material in Jupiter and larger exoplanets.

  2. EXOFASTv2: Generalized publication-quality exoplanet modeling code (United States)

    Eastman, Jason


    EXOFASTv2 improves upon EXOFAST (ascl:1207.001) for exoplanet modeling. It uses a differential evolution Markov Chain Monte Carlo code to fit an arbitrary number of transits (each with their own error scaling, normalization, TTV, and/or detrending parameters), an arbitrary number of RV sources (each with their own zero point and jitter), and an arbitrary number of planets, changing nothing but command line arguments and configuration files. The global model includes integrated isochrone and SED models to constrain the stellar properties and can accept priors on any fitted or derived quantities (e.g., parallax from Gaia). It is easily extensible to add additional effects or parameters.

  3. Abnormal synchrony of resting state networks in premanifest and symptomatic Huntington disease: the IMAGE-HD study

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Poudel, Govinda R; Egan, Gary F; Churchyard, Andrew; Chua, Phyllis; Stout, Julie C; Georgiou-Karistianis, Nellie


    ...) and in premanifest gene carriers (pre-HD). This study aimed to characterize synchrony in resting state cerebral networks in both pre-HD and symp-HD populations and to determine its association with disease burden and neurocognitive functions...

  4. HELIOS: A new open-source radiative transfer code (United States)

    Malik, Matej; Grosheintz, Luc; Lukas Grimm, Simon; Mendonça, João; Kitzmann, Daniel; Heng, Kevin


    I present the new open-source code HELIOS, developed to accurately describe radiative transfer in a wide variety of irradiated atmospheres. We employ a one-dimensional multi-wavelength two-stream approach with scattering. Written in Cuda C++, HELIOS uses the GPU’s potential of massive parallelization and is able to compute the TP-profile of an atmosphere in radiative equilibrium and the subsequent emission spectrum in a few minutes on a single computer (for 60 layers and 1000 wavelength bins).The required molecular opacities are obtained with the recently published code HELIOS-K [1], which calculates the line shapes from an input line list and resamples the numerous line-by-line data into a manageable k-distribution format. Based on simple equilibrium chemistry theory [2] we combine the k-distribution functions of the molecules H2O, CO2, CO & CH4 to generate a k-table, which we then employ in HELIOS.I present our results of the following: (i) Various numerical tests, e.g. isothermal vs. non-isothermal treatment of layers. (ii) Comparison of iteratively determined TP-profiles with their analytical parametric prescriptions [3] and of the corresponding spectra. (iii) Benchmarks of TP-profiles & spectra for various elemental abundances. (iv) Benchmarks of averaged TP-profiles & spectra for the exoplanets GJ1214b, HD189733b & HD209458b. (v) Comparison with secondary eclipse data for HD189733b, XO-1b & Corot-2b.HELIOS is being developed, together with the dynamical core THOR and the chemistry solver VULCAN, in the group of Kevin Heng at the University of Bern as part of the Exoclimes Simulation Platform (ESP) [4], which is an open-source project aimed to provide community tools to model exoplanetary atmospheres.-----------------------------[1] Grimm & Heng 2015, ArXiv, 1503.03806[2] Heng, Lyons & Tsai, Arxiv, 1506.05501Heng & Lyons, ArXiv, 1507.01944[3] e.g. Heng, Mendonca & Lee, 2014, ApJS, 215, 4H[4]

  5. HD 96446: a puzzle for current models of magnetospheres? (United States)

    Neiner, C.; Landstreet, J. D.; Alecian, E.; Owocki, S.; Kochukhov, O.; Bohlender, D.; MiMeS Collaboration


    Context. Oblique magnetic dipole fields have been detected in Bp stars for several decades, and more recently also in normal massive stars. In the past decade, it has been established that stellar magnetospheres form through the channelling and confinement of an outflowing stellar wind by the stellar magnetic field. This explains specific properties of magnetic massive stars, such as their rotationally modulated photometric light curve, Hα emission, UV spectra, and X-ray emission. Aims: In the framework of the MiMeS (Magnetism in Massive Stars) project, four HARPSpol observations of the magnetic Bp star HD 96446 have been obtained. HD 96446 is very similar to σ Ori E, the prototype of centrifugally supported rigidly rotating magnetospheres (CM) and is therefore a perfect target to study the validity of this model. Methods: We first updated the basic parameters of HD 96446 and studied its spectral variability. We then analysed the HARPSpol spectropolarimetric observations using the LSD (Least-Squares Deconvolution) technique to derive the longitudinal magnetic field and Zeeman signatures in various types of lines. With LTE spectrum modelling, we derived constraints on the field modulus, the rotational velocity, and the inclination angle, and measured non-solar abundances of several elements which we checked with NLTE modelling. Finally, we calculated the magnetic confinement and Alfvén and Kepler radii from the stellar magnetic field and rotation properties, and we examined the various types of magnetospheres that may be present around HD 96446. Results: We find radial velocity variations with a period around 2.23 h, that we attribute to β Cep-type p-mode pulsations. We detect clear direct magnetic Stokes V signatures with slightly varying values of the longitudinal magnetic field, typical of an oblique dipole rotator, and show that these signatures are not much perturbed by the radial velocity variations. The magnetic confinement parameter and Alfvén radius in

  6. Mapping the Pressure-radius Relationship of Exoplanets (United States)

    Cubillos, Patricio; Fossati, Luca; Kubyshkina, Darya


    The radius of a planet is one of the most physically meaningful and readily accessible parameters of extra-solar planets. This parameter is extensively used in the literature to compare planets or study trends in the know population of exoplanets. However, in an atmosphere, the concept of a planet radius is inherently fuzzy. The atmospheric pressures probed by trasmission (transit) or emission (eclipse) spectra are not directly constrained by the observations, they vary as a function of the atmospheric properties and observing wavelengths, and further correlate with the atmospheric properties producing degenerate solutions.Here, we characterize the properties of exoplanet radii using a radiative-transfer model to compute clear- atmosphere transmission and emission spectra of gas-dominated planets. We explore a wide range of planetary temperatures, masses, and radii, sampling from 300 to 3000 K and Jupiter- to Earth-like values. We will discuss how transit and photospheric radii vary over the parameter space, and map the global trends in the atmospheric pressures associated with these radii. We will also highlight the biases introduced by the choice of an observing band, or the assumption of a clear/cloudy atmosphere, and the relevance that these biases take as better instrumentation improves the precision of photometric observations.

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


    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. Exploring the Effects of Stellar Multiplicity on Exoplanet Occurrence Rates (United States)

    Barclay, Thomas; Shabram, Megan


    Determining the frequency of habitable worlds is a key goal of the Kepler mission. During Kepler's four year investigation it detected thousands of transiting exoplanets with sizes varying from smaller than Mercury to larger than Jupiter. Finding planets was just the first step to determining frequency, and for the past few years the mission team has been modeling the reliability and completeness of the Kepler planet sample. One effect that has not typically been built into occurrence rate statistics is that of stellar multiplicity. If a planet orbits the primary star in a binary or triple star system then the transit depth will be somewhat diluted resulting in a modest underestimation in the planet size. However, if a detected planet orbits a fainter star then the error in measured planet radius can be very significant. We have taken a hypothetical star and planet population and passed that through a Kepler detection model. From this we have derived completeness corrections for a realistic case of a Universe with binary stars and compared that with a model Universe where all stars are single. We report on the impact that binaries have on exoplanet population statistics.

  9. Exploring exoplanet populations with NASA’s Kepler Mission (United States)

    Batalha, Natalie M.


    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

  10. Multi-mission modeling for space-based exoplanet imagers (United States)

    Savransky, Dmitry; Delacroix, Christian; Garrett, Daniel


    In addition to the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope Coronagraphic Imager (WFIRST CGI), which is currently scheduled for launch in the mid 2020s, there is an extensive, ongoing design effort for next-generation, space-based, exoplanet imaging instrumentation. This work involves mission concepts such as the Large UV/ Optical/Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR), the Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Misson (HabEx), and a starshade rendezvous mission for WFIRST, among others. While each of these efforts includes detailed mission analysis targeted at the specifics of each design, there is also interest in being able to analyze all such concepts in a unified way (to the extent that this is possible) and to draw specific comparisons between projected concept capabilities. Here, we discuss and compare two fundamental approaches to mission analysis, full mission simulation and depth of search analysis, in the specific context of simulating and comparing multiple different mission concepts. We present strategies for mission analysis at varying stages of concept definition, using WFIRST as a motivating example, and discuss useful metrics for cross-mission comparison, as well as strategies for evaluating these metrics.

  11. Feasibility of exoplanet coronagraphy with the Hubble Space Telescope (United States)

    Lyon, Richard G.; Woodruff, Robert A.; Brown, Robert; Noecker, M. Charley; Cheng, Edward


    Herein we report on a preliminary study to assess the use of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) for the direct detection and spectroscopic characterization of exoplanets and debris disks - an application for which HST was not originally designed. Coronagraphic advances may enable the design of a science instrument that could achieve limiting contrasts ~109 beyond 275 milli-arcseconds (4 λ/D at 800 nm) inner working angle, thereby enabling detection and characterization of several known jovian planets and imaging of debris disks. Advantages of using HST are that it already exists in orbit, it's primary mirror is thermally stable and it is the most characterized space telescope yet flown. However there is drift of the HST telescope, likely due to thermal effects crossing the terminator. The drift, however, is well characterized and consists of a larger deterministic components and a smaller stochastic component. It is the effect of this drift versus the sensing and control bandwidth of the instrument that would likely limit HST coronagraphic performance. Herein we discuss the science case, quantify the limiting factors and assess the feasibility of using HST for exoplanet discovery using a hypothetical new instrument.

  12. Interactions between exoplanets and the winds of young stars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidotto A. A.


    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.

  13. Exoplanets, Exo-Solar Life, and Human Significance (United States)

    Wiseman, Jennifer


    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.

  14. 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


    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.

  15. Rotation Periods and Cloud Dynamics of Directly Imaged Exoplanets (United States)

    Bowler, Brendan


    Precision photometric monitoring of brown dwarfs has shown that variability spanning a broad range of amplitudes (0.1-30%) is extremely common in the infrared. These periodic changes are likely caused by rotationally-modulated features produced by heterogeneous coverage of condensate clouds. Time series spectroscopy is an especially informative tool; by simultaneously probing a range of wavelengths, pressure levels, and evolving phases, this method has opened a new window into the atmospheric structure and dynamics of ultracool atmospheres. Recent observations of young brown dwarfs and planetary-mass objects indicate that high-amplitude ( 10%) variability may be even more common at low surface gravities. We propose to obtain the first-ever rotational phase maps for three directly imaged exoplanets with time series WFC3/IR spectroscopy to measure the rotation, cloud structure, and atmospheric dynamics of young (2-300 Myr) giant planets. In addition, by combining projected rotational velocities from high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy of these planets, these spectroscopic light curves will also be used to determine the first obliquity angle of an imaged exoplanet.


    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)


    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}.

  17. Analyzing Exoplanet Phase Curve Information Content: Toward Optimized Observing Strategies (United States)

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


    Secondary eclipses and phase curves reveal information about the reflectivity and heat distribution in exoplanet atmospheres. The phase curve is composed of a combination of reflected and thermally emitted light from the planet, and for circular orbits the phase curve peaks during the secondary eclipse or at an orbital phase of 0.5. Physical mechanisms have been discovered that shift the phase curve maximum of tidally locked close-in planets to the right, or left, of the secondary eclipse. These mechanisms include cloud formations and atmospheric superrotation, both of which serve to shift the thermally bright hot-spot or highly reflective bright spot of the atmosphere away from the sub-stellar point. Here, we present a methodology for optimizing observing strategies for both secondary eclipses and phase curves with the goal of maximizing the information gained about the planetary atmosphere while minimizing the (assumed) continuous observation time. We show that we can increase the duty cycle of observations aimed at the measurements of phase curve characteristics (amplitude, phase offset) by up to 50% for future platforms such as CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite (CHEOPS) and JWST. We apply this methodology to the test cases of the Spitzer phase curve of 55-Cancri-e, which displays an eastward shift in its phase curve maximum as well as model-generated observations of an ultra-short period planet observed with CHEOPS.

  18. Exoplanets from CoRoT to PLATO (United States)

    Fridlund, M.


    ABSTRACT The first mission designed specifically for exo-planetary discovery - CoRoT - has been launched more than one year ago and the first results are being published. The mission - planned and executed by the French space agency CNES, with participation of the European Space Agency, ESA, as well as national contributions from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany and Spain has dual objectives. It is searching for exoplanets, significantly smaller than so far discovered, and it is doing unprecedented precision asteroseismological measurements. In this paper we give a status report on the results of CoRoT, as well as putting the results into the context of other space (e.g. MOST & Spitzer), as well as ground based (radial velocity, microlensing, transit work) results. Partly as a consequence of the success of CoRoT, and thus the building of a European exoplanetary community, research into exo-planets is now an integral part of the European Space Agency's Cosmic Vision Plan. One of the first three candidates for a mission is PLATO - a project that for the first time integrates asteroseismology and exoplanetary transits by observing the same objects. Planned for a flight in 2017 (and a 6 year mission life time) it is currently being studied industrially in Europe. This paper give some basic information about this mission.

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


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

  1. Proton–electron mass ratio from HD+ revisited (United States)

    Patra, Sayan; Karr, J.-Ph; Hilico, L.; Germann, M.; Korobov, V. I.; Koelemeij, J. C. J.


    We present a new derivation of the proton–electron mass ratio from the hydrogen molecular ion, HD+. The derivation entails the adjustment of the mass ratio in highly precise theory so as to reproduce accurately measured ro-vibrational frequencies. This work is motivated by recent improvements of the theory, as well as the more accurate value of the electron mass in the recently published CODATA-14 set of fundamental constants, which justifies using it as input data in the adjustment, rather than the proton mass value as done in previous works. This leads to significantly different sensitivity coefficients and, consequently, a different value and larger uncertainty margin of the proton–electron mass ratio as obtained from HD+.

  2. HD 46487 is Now a Classical Be Star (United States)

    Whelan, D. G.; Baker, R. D.


    We present the first observations of hydrogen line emission detected around the B-type star HD 46487, a well-studied star in the CoRoT field of view. The emission is only evident in the H-alpha line, for which the observed violet-red peak separation (Delta v_{p}) is typical of a Be star with a circumstellar disk. The absence of dust emission from the infrared spectral energy distribution excludes the possibility of a very young star. The star's magnitude (V=5.079) and regular use in the literature for a variety of studies suggests that the line emission had a high probability of being found previously, had it been evident; since such was not the case, we believe that the Be phenomenon for HD 46487 has only very recently "turned on." We therefore recommend that this star be spectroscopically and photometrically monitored to track continued changes to its circumstellar morphology.

  3. HD-CNV: hotspot detector for copy number variants. (United States)

    Butler, Jenna L; Osborne Locke, Marjorie Elizabeth; Hill, Kathleen A; Daley, Mark


    Copy number variants (CNVs) are a major source of genetic variation. Comparing CNVs between samples is important in elucidating their potential effects in a wide variety of biological contexts. HD-CNV (hotspot detector for copy number variants) is a tool for downstream analysis of previously identified CNV regions from multiple samples, and it detects recurrent regions by finding cliques in an interval graph generated from the input. It creates a unique graphical representation of the data, as well as summary spreadsheets and UCSC (University of California, Santa Cruz) Genome Browser track files. The interval graph, when viewed with other software or by automated graph analysis, is useful in identifying genomic regions of interest for further study. HD-CNV is an open source Java code and is freely available, with tutorials and sample data from

  4. HD 38452 - J. R. Hind's star that changed colour (United States)

    Warner, Brian; Sneden, Christopher


    In 1851, John Russell Hind announced that a star previously observed by him to be very red had become bluish white in color. It is shown that this star, HD 38451, is a ninth magnitude shell star which presumably was ejecting a shell when Hind first observed it. From high dispersion coude spectra, low dispersion IUE spectra, and ground-based photometry, HD 38451 is found to be a normal A21V shell star. Its current values of E(B-V) of about 0.14 is probably caused by interstellar rather than circumstellar reddening. There remains a problem to reconcile the large amount of reddening present when Hind first observed the star with its evidently small diminution in visual brightness at that time.

  5. Constraints on Exoplanet System Architectures from Debris Disks (United States)

    Jang-Condell, Hannah; Chen, Christine H.; Mittal, Tushar; Nesvold, Erika; Kuchner, Marc J.; Manoj, P.; Watson, Dan; Lisse, Carey M.


    Debris disks are dusty disks around main sequence stars. Terrestrial planets may be forming in young debris disks with ages structure of debris disks could be an indicator of where planets have formed. We present an analysis of several members of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB Association (Sco Cen) that host both debris disks and planets, including HD 95086, HD 106906, and HD 133803. These objects are about 15-17 Myr old. The thermal emission from the debris disks constrains the locations of the dust. The dust is typically interior to the directly imaged planets in the systems. If additional planets reside in these systems, their locations are constrained by the positions of the dust belts. Many debris disk systems in Sco Cen appear to be two-belt systems. The gap between the belts in each system is a likely location for additional planets. The detection of planets in debris disk systems provide clues about the planet formation process, giving insights into where, when and how planets form.

  6. β + 2 β HD + ε (1) β β

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    Commonly used total tree bole volume (Vt ) models (see, for example, Avery and Burkhart (2002);. Clutter et al. (1983) ) are (1) by Spurr. (1952) and (2) by Schumacher and Hall. (1933):. Vt = 1 β + 2 β HD. 2. + ε (1). Vt = 1 β. 3. 2 β ...... varies by stand origin. Southern Journal of. Applied Forestry, 11, 185-189. Avery, T. E. and ...

  7. UBV photometry of the Ap variable UZ Psc = HD 10783 (United States)

    Hardie, Robert H.; Reichmann, Edwin J.; Burke, Edward W., Jr.; Hall, Douglas S.


    The photometric variability of the Ap star HD 10783 = UZ Psc is discussed. New UBV photometry, obtained between late 1965 and early 1969, is presented and it is combined with existing published photometry to derive an improved ephemeris for times of maximum brightness: 2439758.00 + 4d.1328 n. It is concluded that the results are not very sensitive to the small shifts applied to the blue photometry.

  8. El medio interestelar alrededor de estrellas Of: HD 108 (United States)

    Cappa, C.; Testori, J. C.

    Hemos analizado la distribución del hidrógeno neutro interestelar en la vecindad de la estrella Of HD 108 en base a perfiles de la línea de 21 cm. Estos datos nos han permitido encontrar una probable burbuja interestelar asociada a la estrella. Comparamos estos resultados con la emisión en otros rangos espectrales y estimamos los principales parámetros físicos de la estructura.

  9. Searching for stable orbits in the HD 10180 planetary system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laskar J.


    Full Text Available A planetary system with at least seven planets has been found around the star HD 10180. However, the traditional Keplerian and n-body fits to the data provide an orbital solution that becomes unstable very quickly, which may quest the reliability of the observations. Here we show that stable orbital configurations can be obtained if general relativity and long-term dissipation raised by tides on the innermost planet are taken into account.

  10. Deuterium hyperfine structure in interstellar C3HD (United States)

    Bell, M. B.; Watson, J. K.; Feldman, P. A.; Matthews, H. E.; Madden, S. C.; Irvine, W. M.


    The deuterium nuclear quadrupole hyperfine structure of the transition 1(10)-1(01) of the ring molecule cyclopropenylidene-d1 (C3HD) has been observed in emission from interstellar molecular clouds. The narrowest linewidths (approximately 7 kHz) so far observed are in the cloud L1498. The derived D coupling constants Xzz = 186.9(1.4) kHz, eta=0.063(18) agree well with correlations based on other molecules.

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


    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.

  12. Very Low-mass Stellar and Substellar Companions to Solar-like Stars from MARVELS. VI. A Giant Planet and a Brown Dwarf Candidate in a Close Binary System HD 87646 (United States)

    Ma, Bo; Ge, Jian; Wolszczan, Alex; Muterspaugh, Matthew W.; Lee, Brian; Henry, Gregory W.; Schneider, Donald P.; Martín, Eduardo L.; Niedzielski, Andrzej; Xie, Jiwei; Fleming, Scott W.; Thomas, Neil; Williamson, Michael; Zhu, Zhaohuan; Agol, Eric; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Nicolaci da Costa, Luiz; Jiang, Peng; Martinez Fiorenzano, A. F.; González Hernández, Jonay I.; Guo, Pengcheng; Grieves, Nolan; Li, Rui; Liu, Jane; Mahadevan, Suvrath; Mazeh, Tsevi; Nguyen, Duy Cuong; Paegert, Martin; Sithajan, Sirinrat; Stassun, Keivan; Thirupathi, Sivarani; van Eyken, Julian C.; Wan, Xiaoke; Wang, Ji; Wisniewski, John P.; Zhao, Bo; Zucker, Shay


    We report the detections of a giant planet (MARVELS-7b) and a brown dwarf (BD) candidate (MARVELS-7c) around the primary star in the close binary system, HD 87646. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first close binary system with more than one substellar circumprimary companion that has been discovered. The detection of this giant planet was accomplished using the first multi-object Doppler instrument (KeckET) at the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) telescope. Subsequent radial velocity observations using the Exoplanet Tracker at the Kitt Peak National Observatory, the High Resolution Spectrograph at the Hobby Eberley telescope, the “Classic” spectrograph at the Automatic Spectroscopic Telescope at the Fairborn Observatory, and MARVELS from SDSS-III confirmed this giant planet discovery and revealed the existence of a long-period BD in this binary. HD 87646 is a close binary with a separation of ˜22 au between the two stars, estimated using the Hipparcos catalog and our newly acquired AO image from PALAO on the 200 inch Hale Telescope at Palomar. The primary star in the binary, HD 87646A, has {T}{eff} = 5770 ± 80 K, log g = 4.1 ± 0.1, and [Fe/H] = -0.17 ± 0.08. The derived minimum masses of the two substellar companions of HD 87646A are 12.4 ± 0.7 {M}{Jup} and 57.0 ± 3.7 {M}{Jup}. The periods are 13.481 ± 0.001 days and 674 ± 4 days and the measured eccentricities are 0.05 ± 0.02 and 0.50 ± 0.02 respectively. Our dynamical simulations show that the system is stable if the binary orbit has a large semimajor axis and a low eccentricity, which can be verified with future astrometry observations.

  13. Quality control of involved field radiotherapy in the HD 13 and HD 14 trials. Report of the radiotherapy panel of the German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kriz, J.; Haverkamp, U.; Eich, H.T. [University of Muenster, Department of Radiation Oncology, Muenster (Germany); Baues, C. [University of Cologne, Department of Radiation Oncology, Cologne (Germany); Engenhart-Cabillic, R. [University of Marburg, Department of Radiation Oncology, Marburg (Germany); Herfarth, K. [University of Heidelberg, Department of Radiation Oncology, Heidelberg (Germany); Lukas, P. [University of Innsbruck, Department of Radiation Oncology, Innsbruck (Austria); Pluetschow, A.; Fuchs, M.; Engert, A. [University of Cologne, Department of Internal Medicine, Cologne (Germany); Schmidberger, H. [University of Mainz, Department of Radiation Oncology, Mainz (Germany); Staar, S. [Bremen Mitte, Department of Radiation Oncology, Bremen (Germany)


    As part of the foundation of the German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG) in 1978, a central radiotherapy (RT) reference centre was established to evaluate and to improve the quality of treatment. During the study generations, the quality assurance programs (QAP) were continued and adapted to the demands of each study. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the results of the fifth study generation and to compare them to the previous findings. With the start of the fourth GHSG study generation (HD10-12), a central prospective review of all diagnostic images was established to create an individual treatment plan for each early stage study patient. The quality of involved field RT was retrospectively evaluated by an expert panel of radiation oncologists. In the fifth study generation (HD13-15), the retrospective review of radiotherapy performed was refined and the results were compared with the findings of the fourth generation. The expert panel analyzed the RT planning and application of 1037 (28 %) patients (HD13 n = 465, HD14 n = 572). Simulation films were available in 85 % of cases and verification films in 87 %. RT was assessed as major violation in 46 % (HD13 = 38 %, HD14 = 52 %), minor violation in 9 % (HD13 = 9 %, HD14 = 9 %) and according to the protocol in 45 % (HD13 = 52 %, HD14 = 38 %). The value for QAP of RT within the GHSG trials is well known. Still there were several protocol violations. In the future, the QAP program has to be adapted to the requirements of ''modern RT'' in malignant lymphoma. (orig.) [German] Seit Gruendung der German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG) im Jahr 1978 wurde ein zentrales Qualitaetssicherungsprogramm (QAP) der Radiotherapie (RT) etabliert, um die Qualitaet der RT sicherzustellen. Waehrend der fortlaufenden Studiengenerationen wurde dieses QAP kontinuierlich weiterentwickelt. In dieser Auswertung werden die Ergebnisse der fuenften Studiengeneration (HD13-15) praesentiert und mit frueheren Ergebnissen

  14. RISE: a fast-readout imager for exoplanet transit timing (United States)

    Steele, I. A.; Bates, S. D.; Gibson, N.; Keenan, F.; Meaburn, J.; Mottram, C. J.; Pollacco, D.; Todd, I.


    By the precise timing of the low amplitude (0.005 - 0.02 magnitude) transits of exoplanets around their parent star it should be possible to infer the presence of other planetary bodies in the system down to Earth-like masses. We describe the design and construction of RISE, a fast-readout frame transfer camera for the Liverpool Telescope designed to carry out this experiment. The results of our commissioning tests are described as well as the data reduction procedure necessary. We present light curves of two objects, showing that the desired timing and photometric accuracy can be obtained providing that autoguiding is used to keep the target on the same detector pixel for the entire (typically 4 hour) observing run.

  15. SHINE, The SpHere INfrared survey for Exoplanets (United States)

    Chauvin, G.; Desidera, S.; Lagrange, A.-M.; Vigan, A.; Feldt, M.; Gratton, R.; Langlois, M.; Cheetham, A.; Bonnefoy, M.; Meyer, M.


    The SHINE survey for SPHERE High-contrast ImagiNg survey for Exoplanets, is a large near-infrared survey of 400-600 young, nearby stars and represents a significant component of the SPHERE consortium Guaranteed Time Observations consisting in 200 observing nights. The scientific goals are: i) to characterize known planetary systems (architecture, orbit, stability, luminosity, atmosphere); ii) to search for new planetary systems using SPHERE's unprecedented performance; and finally iii) to determine the occurrence and orbital and mass function properties of the wide-orbit, giant planet population as a function of the stellar host mass and age. Combined, the results will increase our understanding of planetary atmospheric physics and the processes of planetary formation and evolution.

  16. Two Years of Hunting Exoplanets at Florida Gulf Coast University (United States)

    Buzasi, Derek L.; Carboneau, Lindsey; Childs, Stephen; Colon, Tristan; Dumouchel, Emily; Glenn, William; Humphrey, Morgan; Hunter, Alana; Klunk, Derek; Myers, Riley; Nadreau, Jacob; Nance, Rebecca; Reynolds, Zachary; Romas, Olivia; Smith, Alexandra; Stansfield, Alexis; Sumler, Kendyll; Vignet-Williams, Gabrielle


    Honors Program participants at Florida Gulf Coast University must complete two of four required "Honors Experiences". One student option is a research experience, and we have developed a "Planet Hunters" course to provide an astronomical research track. In the course, students spend the first semester learning astronomical background and exoplanet detection techniques, while the second semester is devoted to planet searches in Kepler and K2 data, using student-oriented software tools developed specifically for the task. During the first year, students detected both a brown dwarf candidate and a hot Jupiter candidate. In this poster, we review the tools, data sets, and results obtained by students participating in the second year of the course, along with lessons learned for future implementation, including possible extension to TESS data.

  17. Affinities and intrinsic activities of dopamine receptor agonists for the hD(21) and hD(4.4) receptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lahti, RA; Mutin, A; Cochrane, EV; Tepper, PG; Dijkstra, D; Wikstrom, H; Tamminga, CA


    The affinity and intrinsic activity of dopamine receptor agonists were determined at the human dopamine hD(21) and hD(4.4) receptors. (-)-3-Hydroxy-N-n-propylpiperidine ((-)3-PPP) had an intrinsic activity of 46% and 83%, whereas (+)-N-propylnorapomorphine ((+)-NPA) had intrinsic activities of 61%

  18. ESPRESSO: the ultimate rocky exoplanets hunter for the VLT (United States)

    Mégevand, Denis; Zerbi, Filippo M.; Cabral, Alexandre; Di Marcantonio, Paolo; Amate, Manuel; Pepe, Francesco; Cristiani, Stefano; Rebolo, Rafael; Santos, Nuno C.; Dekker, Hans; Abreu, Manuel; Affolter, Michael; Avila, Gerardo; Baldini, Veronica; Bristow, Paul; Broeg, Christopher; Carvas, Pedro; Cirami, Roberto; Coelho, João.; Comari, Maurizio; Conconi, Paolo; Coretti, Igor; Cupani, Guido; D'Odorico, Valentina; De Caprio, Vincenzo; Delabre, Bernard; Figueira, Pedro; Fleury, Michel; Fragoso, Ana; Genolet, Ludovic; Gomes, Ricardo; Gonzalez Hernandez, Jonay; Hughes, Ian; Iwert, Olaf; Kerber, Florian; Landoni, Marco; Lima, Jorge; Lizon, Jean-Louis; Lovis, Christophe; Maire, Charles; Mannetta, Marco; Martins, Carlos; Moitinho, André; Molaro, Paolo; Monteiro, Manuel; Rasilla, José Luis; Riva, Marco; Santana Tschudi, Samuel; Santin, Paolo; Sosnowska, Danuta; Sousa, Sergio; Spanò, Paolo; Tenegi, Fabio; Toso, Giorgio; Vanzella, Eros; Viel, Matteo; Zapatero Osorio, Maria Rosa


    ESPRESSO, the VLT rocky exoplanets hunter, will combine the efficiency of modern echelle spectrograph with extreme radial-velocity precision. It will be installed at Paranal on ESO's VLT in order to achieve a gain of two magnitudes with respect to its predecessor HARPS, and the instrumental radial-velocity precision will be improved to reach 10 cm/s level. We have constituted a Consortium of astronomical research institutes to fund, design and build ESPRESSO on behalf of and in collaboration with ESO, the European Southern Observatory. The project has passed the preliminary design review in November 2011. The spectrograph will be installed at the so-called "Combined Coudé Laboratory" of the VLT, it will be linked to the four 8.2 meters Unit Telescopes (UT) through four optical "Coudé trains" and will be operated either with a single telescope or with up to four UTs. In exchange of the major financial and human effort the building Consortium will be awarded with guaranteed observing time (GTO), which will be invested in a common scientific program. Thanks to its characteristics and the ability of combining incoherently the light of 4 large telescopes, ESPRESSO will offer new possibilities in many fields of astronomy. Our main scientific objectives are, however, the search and characterization of rocky exoplanets in the habitable zone of quiet, near-by G to M-dwarfs, and the analysis of the variability of fundamental physical constants. In this paper, we present the ambitious scientific objectives, the capabilities of ESPRESSO, the technical solutions for the system and its subsystems, enlightening the main differences between ESPRESSO and its predecessors. The project aspects of this facility are also described, from the consortium and partnership structure to the planning phases and milestones.

  19. In the Crosshair: Astrometric Exoplanet Detection with WFIRST's Diffraction Spikes (United States)

    Melchior, Peter; Spergel, David; Lanz, Arianna


    WFIRST will conduct a coronagraphic program that characterizes the atmospheres of planets around bright nearby stars. When observed with the WFIRST Wide Field Camera, these stars will saturate the detector and produce very strong diffraction spikes. In this paper, we forecast the astrometric precision that WFIRST can achieve by centering on the diffraction spikes of highly saturated stars. This measurement principle is strongly facilitated by the WFIRST H4RG detectors, which confine excess charges within the potential well of saturated pixels. By adopting a simplified analytical model of the diffraction spike caused by a single support strut obscuring the telescope aperture, integrated over the WFIRST pixel size, we predict the performance of this approach with the Fisher-matrix formalism. We discuss the validity of the model and find that 10 μ {as} astrometric precision is achievable with a single 100 s exposure of an {R}{AB}=6 or a {J}{AB}=5 star. We discuss observational limitations from the optical distortion correction and pixel-level artifacts, which need to be calibrated at the level of 10{--}20 μ {as} so as to not dominate the error budget. To suppress those systematics, we suggest a series of short exposures, dithered by at least several hundred pixels, to reach an effective per-visit astrometric precision better than 10 μ {as}. If this can be achieved, a dedicated WFIRST GO program will be able to detect Earth-mass exoplanets with orbital periods of ≳ 1 {year} around stars within a few pc as well as Neptune-like planets with shorter periods or around more massive or distant stars. Such a program will also enable mass measurements of many anticipated direct-imaging exoplanet targets of the WFIRST coronagraph and a “starshade” occulter.

  20. Using Adaptive Optics Follow-up to Characterize Microlensing Exoplanets (United States)

    Henderson, Calen; Beichman, Charles; Shvartzvald, Yossi


    The mass and distance of a microlens are degenerate, thus requiring at least two relations to yield a unique solution. Measuring the finite-source effect from the light curve helps provide one mass-distance relation for the lens system. Currently, the primary avenue for establishing a second relation and thus uniquely solving for the mass and distance of the lens is by measuring the microlens parallax. One specific implementation is the satellite parallax technique, which involves taking observations simultaneously from two locations separated by a significant fraction of an AU, and which has been employed by Spitzer and K2's Campaign 9, transforming this methodology from a cottage industry to a booming economy. However, the majority of microlensing exoplanets to be discovered in the coming decades, up to and including the detections predicted for WFIRST, will not have a measurement of the satellite parallax, requiring another avenue for converting microlensing observables into physical parameters. Enter the lens flux characterization technique, through which a microlensing target is observed with a high-resolution facility, facilitating a constraint on the flux from the lens system. This yields a third mass-distance relation for the lens and can be combined with that from the detection of finite-source effects and/or the microlens parallax to determine the mass of the lens system as well as its distance from Earth. I will highlight recent programs using NIRC2 on Keck that are designed to make lens flux measurements for a myriad of exoplanetary lenses, including: (A) systems with high blend flux, which adaptive optics is perfectly suited to resolve; (B) systems with high relative lens-source proper motion; (C) free-floating planet candidates; and (D) bound exoplanets.

  1. Exoplanet orbital eccentricity: multiplicity relation and the Solar System. (United States)

    Limbach, Mary Anne; Turner, Edwin L


    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.

  2. Exoplanet orbital eccentricity: Multiplicity relation and the Solar System (United States)

    Limbach, Mary Anne; Turner, Edwin L.


    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. PMID:25512527

  3. Developing Tighter Constraints on Exoplanet Biosignatures by Modeling Atmospheric Haze (United States)

    Felton, Ryan; Neveu, Marc; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn David; Desch, Steven; Arney, Giada


    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

  4. An exoplanet with a stratosphere: seeking the unknown absorber (United States)

    Evans, Tom


    The extent to which significant stratospheres form in highly-irradiated gas giant exoplanets is still a major unresolved question in the field. Using WFC3 G141, we have recently measured a thermal emission spectrum for WASP-121b (T 2700K). The 1.4 micron water band is spectrally-resolved in emission, providing a clear detection of a thermal inversion in the atmosphere. From this measurement, we conclude that the most likely cause of the inversion is absorption of impinging stellar radiation by a high-altitude optical absorber, as other heating mechanisms are almost certainly insufficient. Intriguingly, the G141 spectrum also shows a flux excess at 1.22 micron, which can be well-explained by vanadium oxide emission. Indeed, absorption by vanadium oxide and titanium oxide has been proposed as a possible means by which to generate stratospheres in the hottest exoplanets. However, we are currently unable to draw a confident conclusion on the presence of vanadium oxide in the atmosphere of WASP-121b with the available data. We propose here to rectify this situation, by extending the wavelength coverage of the measured thermal spectrum across the 0.9-1.1 micron wavelength range using WFC3 G102. This will allow us to target the prominent vanadium oxide and titanium oxide bands at these wavelengths, where the flux from the planet is still high. If observed, a long-theorized link would be established between these important chemical species and thermal inversions in highly-irradiated atmospheres.

  5. Exploring Habitable Worlds: Science Questions for Future Direct Imaging Exoplanet Missions (United States)

    Apai, D.


    We report on the SAG15 team's comprehensive effort to compile community input on key science questions for future exoplanet imaging missions, many of which are essential to recognizing habitable planets and for correcting interpreting biosignatures.

  6. Characterizing Giant Exoplanets through Multiwavelength Transit Observations: HAT-P-5 b (United States)

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


    During the summer of 2017, we observed hot Jupiter-type exoplanet transit events using the Wyoming Infrared Observatory’s 2.3 meter telescope. We observed 14 unique exoplanets during transit events; one such target was HAT-P-5 b. In total, we collected 53 usable science images in the Sloan filter set, particularly with the g’, r’, z’, and i’ band wavelength filters. This exoplanet transited approximately 40 minutes earlier than the currently published literature suggests. After reducing the data and running a Markov chain Monte Carlo analysis, we present results describing the planetary radius, semi-major axis, orbital period, and inclination of HAT-P-5 b. Characteristics of Rayleigh scattering are present in the atmosphere of this exoplanet. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under REU grant AST 1560461.


    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: [Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China)


    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. Looking for the rainbow on exoplanets covered by liquid and icy water clouds


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


    Aims. Looking for the primary rainbow in starlight that is reflected by exoplanets appears to be a promising method to search for liquid water clouds in exoplanetary atmospheres. Ice water clouds, that consist of water crystals instead of water droplets, could potentially mask the rainbow feature in the planetary signal by covering liquid water clouds. Here, we investigate the strength of the rainbow feature for exoplanets that have liquid and icy water clouds in their atmosphere, and calcula...

  9. The Very Low Albedo of WASP-12b from Spectral Eclipse Observations with Hubble (United States)

    Bell, Taylor J.; Nikolov, Nikolay; Cowan, Nicolas B.; Barstow, Joanna K.; Barman, Travis S.; Crossfield, Ian J. M.; Gibson, Neale P.; Evans, Thomas M.; Sing, David K.; Knutson, Heather A.; Kataria, Tiffany; Lothringer, Joshua D.; Benneke, Björn; Schwartz, Joel C.


    We present an optical eclipse observation of the hot Jupiter WASP-12b using the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope. These spectra allow us to place an upper limit of {A}gwhite light geometric albedo across 290-570 nm. Using six wavelength bins across the same wavelength range also produces stringent limits on the geometric albedo for all bins. However, our uncertainties in eclipse depth are ˜40% greater than the Poisson limit and may be limited by the intrinsic variability of the Sun-like host star—the solar luminosity is known to vary at the 10-4 level on a timescale of minutes. We use our eclipse depth limits to test two previously suggested atmospheric models for this planet: Mie scattering from an aluminum-oxide haze or cloud-free Rayleigh scattering. Our stringent nondetection rules out both models and is consistent with thermal emission plus weak Rayleigh scattering from atomic hydrogen and helium. Our results are in stark contrast with those for the much cooler HD 189733b, the only other hot Jupiter with spectrally resolved reflected light observations; those data showed an increase in albedo with decreasing wavelength. The fact that the first two exoplanets with optical albedo spectra exhibit significant differences demonstrates the importance of spectrally resolved reflected light observations and highlights the great diversity among hot Jupiters.

  10. Endothelial damage is aggravated in acute GvHD and could predict its development. (United States)

    Mir, E; Palomo, M; Rovira, M; Pereira, A; Escolar, G; Penack, O; Holler, E; Carreras, E; Diaz-Ricart, M


    The aim of the present study was to explore whether there is enhanced endothelial dysfunction in patients developing acute GvHD (aGvHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) and to identify biomarkers with predictive and/or diagnostic value. In in vitro experiments, endothelial cells (ECs) were exposed to serum from patients with (aGvHD, n=31) and without (NoGvHD, n=13) aGvHD, to evaluate changes in surface adhesion receptors, the reactivity of the extracellular matrix by measuring the presence of Von Willebrand factor (VWF) and platelet adhesion, and the activation of intracellular signaling proteins. Plasma levels of VWF, ADAMTS-13, TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 were also measured. In vitro results showed a more marked proinflammatory and prothrombotic phenotype in ECs in association with aGvHD. Regarding circulating biomarkers, levels of VWF and TNFR1 above an optimal cutoff score, taken independently or combined, at day 7 after allo-HCT, would be able to positively predict that around 90% of patients will develop aGvHD. Our results demonstrate that endothelial damage is aggravated in those allo-HCT recipients developing aGvHD, and that VWF and TNFR1 are promising predictive aGvHD biomarkers. These findings could contribute to improve the understanding of the pathophysiology of aGvHD.

  11. NExSS/NAI Joint ExoPAG SAG 16 Report on Remote Biosignatures for Exoplanets (United States)

    Kiang, Nancy Y.; Parenteau, Mary Nicole; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn


    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.

  12. Secondary Atmospheres on HD 219134 b and c (United States)

    Dorn, Caroline; Heng, Kevin


    We analyze the interiors of HD 219134 b and c, which are among the coolest super-Earths detected thus far. Without using spectroscopic measurements, we aim at constraining if the possible atmospheres are hydrogen-rich or hydrogen-poor. In the first step, we employ a full probabilistic Bayesian inference analysis to rigorously quantify the degeneracy of interior parameters given the data of mass, radius, refractory element abundances, semimajor axes, and stellar irradiation. We obtain constraints on structure and composition for core, mantle, ice layer, and atmosphere. In the second step, we aim to draw conclusions on the nature of possible atmospheres by considering atmospheric escape. Specifically, we compare the actual possible atmospheres to a threshold thickness above which a primordial (H2-dominated) atmosphere can be retained against evaporation over the planet’s lifetime. The best-constrained parameters are the individual layer thicknesses. The maximum radius fraction of possible atmospheres are 0.18 and 0.13 R (radius), for planets b and c, respectively. These values are significantly smaller than the threshold thicknesses of primordial atmospheres: 0.28 and 0.19 R, respectively. Thus, the possible atmospheres of planets b and c are unlikely to be H2-dominated. However, whether possible volatile layers are made of gas or liquid/solid water cannot be uniquely determined. Our main conclusions are (1) the possible atmospheres for planets b and c are enriched and thus possibly secondary in nature, and (2) both planets may contain a gas layer, whereas the layer of HD 219134 b must be larger. HD 219134 c can be rocky.

  13. Observation of Heavy Rydberg States in H_2 and HD (United States)

    Beyer, Maximilian; Merkt, Frederic


    The binding energies of the hydrogen atom are given by the Rydberg formula E_n = - {{R}_∞μ/m_e}/{(n-δ)^2}, where the quantum defect δ vanishes in the case of a pure Coulomb potential. Heavy Rydberg systems can be realized when the electron is replaced by an anion, which leads in the case of H^+H^- to an almost 1000 times larger Rydberg constant and to an infinite number of vibrational states. In the diabatic molecular basis, these ion-pair states are described by long-range Coulomb potentials with ^1Σ_g^+ and ^1Σ_u^+ symmetry. In this basis, the level energies are described by an almost energy-independent, nonzero quantum defect, reflecting the finite size of H^-. Strong interactions at small internuclear distances lead to strong variation of δ with n. Gerade [2] and ungerade [3] ion-pair states have been observed in H_2 with principal quantum numbers up to n=240. The quantum defects in this range were found to vary with energy, indicating the inadequacy of a pure diabatic picture. Spectra of ungerade heavy Rydberg states of H_2 with n=160-520 showing that the quantum defect only becomes energy independent for n>350 will be presented, supporting the description using a diabatic basis. I will also present first observations of ion-pair states in HD, showing two series of heavy Rydberg states, H^+D^- and H^-D^+, which have different series limits. The experimental results will be discussed and compared with calculations using both an adiabatic and a diabatic basis. [1] S. Pan, and F. H. Mies, J. Chem. Phys. 89, 3096 (1988). [2] M. O. Vieitez, T. I. Ivanov, E. Reinhold, C. A. de Lange, and W. Ubachs, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 163001 (2008). [3] R. C. Ekey, and E. F. McCormack, Phys. Rev. A 84, 020501(R) (2011).

  14. Chosen sources of signal interference in HD-TVI technology (United States)

    Królikowski, Marcin; Płaza, Mirosław; Szcześniak, Zbigniew


    The article presents characteristics of popular systems of CCTV and includes a description of basic groups of devices appearing in these systems. The research part contains analysis of interferences that may appear in HD-TVI technology which is one of the most modern technologies introduced in CCTV systems. There were examined video signal interferences caused by: impact of power supply, influence of the parameters of the transmission path and impact of external devices. There are discussed relevant methods of eliminating the examined irregularities.

  15. K2 spots rotation in the helium star HD144941 (United States)

    Jeffery, C. Simon; Ramsay, Gavin


    HD144941 is an evolved early-type metal-poor low-mass star with a hydrogen-poor surface. It is frequently associated with other intermediate helium-rich subdwarfs and extreme helium stars. Previous photometric studies have failed to detect any variability. New observations with the K2 mission show complex but periodic variations with a full amplitude of 4 parts per thousand. It is proposed that these are due to an inhomogeneous surface brightness distribution (spots) superimposed on a rotation period of 13.9 ± 0.2 d. The cause of the surface inhomogeneity is not identified, although an oblique dipolar magnetic field origin is plausible.

  16. Fate and Transport of Chemical Warfare Agents VX and HD ... (United States)

    Report The intent of this investigation was to study the fate and transport of CWA applied to painted/sealed materials including the potential partitioning of CWA into permeable paints/sealants and subsequently into underlying porous materials. Based on the results obtained from this investigation, VX and sulfur mustard (HD) have the ability to permeate into paints and sealants, including in some cases the underlying porous materials. It is likely that other permeable materials besides paints and sealants may also show similar behavior.

  17. "Osiris"(HD209458b), an Evaporating Planet (United States)

    Vidal-Madjar, A.; Lecavelier des Etangs, A.


    Three transits of the planet orbiting the solar type star HD 209458 were observed in the far UV at the wavelength of the HI Lyα line. The planet size at this wavelength is equal to 4.3 RJup, i.e. larger than the planet Roche radius (3.6 RJup). Absorbing hydrogen atoms were found to be blueshifted by up to --130 km.s-1, exceeding the planet escape velocity. This implies that hydrogen atoms are escaping this ``hot Jupiter'' planet. An escape flux of ⪆1010 g.s-1 is needed to explain the observations. Taking into account the tidal forces and the temperature rise expected in the upper atmosphere, theoretical evaluations are in good agreement with the observed rate. Lifetime of planets closer to their star could be shorter than stellar lifetimes suggesting that this evaporating phenomenon may explain the lack of planets with very short orbital distance. This evaporating planet could be represented by the Egyptian god ``Osiris'' cut into pieces and having lost one of them. This would give us a much easier way to name that planet and replace the unpleasant ``HD209458b'' name used so far.

  18. Game-based combined cognitive and neurofeedback training using Focus Pocus reduces symptom severity in children with diagnosed AD/HD and subclinical AD/HD. (United States)

    Johnstone, Stuart J; Roodenrys, Steven J; Johnson, Kirsten; Bonfield, Rebecca; Bennett, Susan J


    Previous studies report reductions in symptom severity after combined working memory (WM) and inhibitory control (IC) training in children with AD/HD. Based on theoretical accounts of the role of arousal/attention modulation problems in AD/HD, the current study examined the efficacy of combined WM, IC, and neurofeedback training in children with AD/HD and subclinical AD/HD. Using a randomized waitlist control design, 85 children were randomly allocated to a training or waitlist condition and completed pre- and post-training assessments of overt behavior, trained and untrained cognitive task performance, and resting and task-related EEG activity. The training group completed twenty-five sessions of training using Focus Pocus software at home over a 7 to 8-week period. Trainees improved at the trained tasks, while enjoyment and engagement declined across sessions. After training, AD/HD symptom severity was reduced in the AD/HD and subclinical groups according to parents, and in the former group only according to blinded teachers and significant-others. There were minor improvements in two of six near-transfer tasks, and evidence of far-transfer of training effects in four of five far-transfer tasks. Frontal region changes indicated normalization of atypical EEG features with reduced delta and increased alpha activity. It is concluded that technology developments provide an interesting a vehicle for delivering interventions and that, while further research is needed, combined WM, IC, and neurofeedback training can reduce AD/HD symptom severity in children with AD/HD and may also be beneficial to children with subclinical AD/HD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. VLT Captures First Direct Spectrum of an Exoplanet (United States)


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

  20. Listeria monocytogenes infection of HD11, chicken macrophage-like cells. (United States)

    Jarvis, N A; Donaldson, J R; O'Bryan, C A; Ricke, S C; Crandall, P G


    Listeria monocytogenes can be carried by and infect poultry, although the clinical disease in birds is rare. Escape from macrophage phagocytosis is a key step in pathogenesis for L. monocytogenes. Therefore, we investigated the infection of the chicken macrophage-like cell line HD11 with 2 strains of L. monocytogenes EGD-e and Scott A. After infection, L. monocytogenes was quantified by spread plating and HD11 was quantified with trypan blue exclusion stain before enumeration. The standard macrophage killing protocols require washing the cell monolayers 3 times with PBS, which was found to negatively influence HD11 monolayers. Maximum bacterial densities within macrophages were not different between the 2 Listeria strains. HD11 required more than 11 h to effectively reduce intracellular L. monocytogenes Scott A, and Scott A was more susceptible to HD11 killing than EGD-e. It appears that Listeria infection initially causes attenuation of HD11 growth, and infected HD11 cells do not begin to lyse until at least 11 h post infection. These results suggest that there are subtle strain to strain differences in response to HD11 macrophage phagocytosis. The long lead-time required for HD11 to kill L. monocytogenes cells means that there is sufficient time available for chicken macrophages to circulate in the blood and transfer the intracellular Listeria to multiple tissues. © 2016 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  1. Laboratory Simulations on Haze Formation in Cool Exoplanet Atmospheres (United States)

    He, Chao; Horst, Sarah; Lewis, Nikole; Yu, Xinting; McGuiggan, Patricia; Moses, Julianne I.


    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

  2. Is plate tectonics needed to evolve technological species on exoplanets?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J. Stern


    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

  3. The Ultraviolet Radiation Environment around M Dwarf Exoplanet Host Stars (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


    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

  4. Advances in Focal Plane Wavefront Estimation for Directly Imaging Exoplanets (United States)

    Eldorado Riggs, A. J.; Kasdin, N. Jeremy; Groff, Tyler Dean


    To image cold exoplanets directly in visible light, an instrument on a telescope needs to suppress starlight by about 9 orders of magnitude at small separations from the star. A coronagraph changes the point spread function to create regions of high contrast where exoplanets or disks can be seen. Aberrations on the optics degrade the contrast by several orders of magnitude, so all high-contrast imaging systems incorporate one or more deformable mirrors (DMs) to recover regions of high contrast. With a coronagraphic instrument planned for the WFIRST-AFTA space telescope, there is a pressing need for faster, more robust estimation and control schemes for the DMs. Non-common path aberrations limit conventional phase conjugation schemes to medium star-to-planet contrast ratios of about 1e-6. High-contrast imaging requires estimation and control of both phase and amplitude in the same beam path as the science camera. Field estimation is a challenge since only intensity is measured; the most common approach, including that planned for WFIRST-AFTA, is to use DMs to create diversity, via pairs of small probe shapes, thereby allowing disambiguation of the electric field. Most implementations of DM Diversity require at least five images per electric field estimate and require narrowband measurements. This paper describes our new estimation algorithms that improve the speed (by using fewer images) and bandwidth of focal plane wavefront estimation. For narrowband estimation, we are testing nonlinear, recursive algorithms such as an iterative extended Kalman filter (IEKF) to use three images each iteration and build better, more robust estimates. We are also exploring the use of broadband estimation without the need for narrowband sub-filters and measurements. Here we present simulations of these algorithms with realistic noise and small signals to show how they might perform for WFIRST-AFTA. Once validated in simulations, we will test these algorithms experimentally in

  5. A time-dependent quantum dynamical study of the C+(2P) + H2(D2,HD) → CH+(CD+) + H(D) reaction (United States)

    Guo, Jin; Zhang, Ai Jie; Zhou, Yong; Liu, Jian Yong; Jia, Jian Feng; Wu, Hai Shun


    We present time-dependent quantum wave packet calculations for the C+(2P) + H2(D2,HD) → CH+(CD+) + H(D) reactions on the ground 12A‧ potential energy surface developed by Li et al. (2015). The reaction probabilities, the integral cross sections and the thermal rate constants were obtained. The calculated thresholds of title reactions agree well with the thermochemical endothermicities. Moreover, the calculated thermal rate constant of C+ + H2 reaction agrees well with experimental data, however, smaller than the experimental data for the C+ + HD and C+ + D2 reactions.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gettel, S.; Wolszczan, A. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, 525 Davey Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Niedzielski, A.; Nowak, G.; Adamow, M.; Zielinski, P.; Maciejewski, G., E-mail:, E-mail:, E-mail: [Torun Center for Astronomy, Nicolaus Copernicus University, ul. Gagarina 11, 87-100 Torun (Poland)


    We present the discovery of substellar-mass companions to three giant stars by the ongoing Penn State-Torun Planet Search conducted with the 9.2 m Hobby-Eberly Telescope. The most massive of the three stars, K2-giant HD 240237, has a 5.3 M{sub J} minimum mass companion orbiting the star at a 746 day period. The K0-giant BD +48 738 is orbited by a {>=}0.91 M{sub J} planet which has a period of 393 days and shows a nonlinear, long-term radial velocity (RV) trend that indicates a presence of another, more distant companion, which may have a substellar mass or be a low-mass star. The K2-giant HD 96127 has a {>=}4.0 M{sub J} mass companion in a 647 day orbit around the star. The two K2-giants exhibit a significant RV noise that complicates the detection of low-amplitude, periodic variations in the data. If the noise component of the observed RV variations is due to solar-type oscillations, we show, using all the published data for the substellar companions to giants, that its amplitude is anti-correlated with stellar metallicity.

  7. Unpacking Exoplanet Detection Using Pedagogical Discipline Representations (PDRs) (United States)

    Prather, Edward E.; Chambers, Timothy G.; Wallace, Colin Scott; Brissenden, Gina


    Successful educators know the importance of using multiple representations to teach the content of their disciplines. We have all seen the moments of epiphany that can be inspired when engaging with just the right representation of a difficult concept. The formal study of the cognitive impact of different representations on learners is now an active area of education research. The affordances of a particular representation are defined as the elements of disciplinary knowledge that students are able to access and reason about using that representation. Instructors with expert pedagogical content knowledge teach each topic using representations with complementary affordances, maximizing their students’ opportunity to develop fluency with all aspects of the topic. The work presented here examines how we have applied the theory of affordances to the development of pedagogical discipline representation (PDR) in an effort to provide access to, and help non-science-majors engage in expert-like reasoning about, general relativity as applied to detection of exoplanets. We define a pedagogical discipline representation (PDR) as a representation that has been uniquely tailored for the purpose of teaching a specific topic within a discipline. PDRs can be simplified versions of expert representations or can be highly contextualized with features that purposefully help unpack specific reasoning or concepts, and engage learners’ pre-existing mental models while promoting and enabling critical discourse. Examples of PDRs used for instruction and assessment will be provided along with preliminary results documenting the effectiveness of their use in the classroom.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dobinson, Jack; Leinhardt, Zoë M.; Lines, Stefan; Carter, Philip J. [University of Bristol, School of Physics, H. H. Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TL (United Kingdom); Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E. [University of Delaware, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 217 Sharp Lab, Newark, DE 19716 (United States); Teanby, Nick A. [University of Bristol, School of Earth Sciences, H. H. Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TL (United Kingdom)


    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.

  9. Polarimetry of Cool Atmospheres: From the Sun to Exoplanets (United States)

    Berdyugina, S. V.


    This is a review of a decades-long effort to develop novel tools for exploring magnetism in cold astrophysical media and to establish a new field of molecular spectropolarimetry since Berdyugina et al. (2000). It is most directly applicable to the Sun, cool stars, substellar objects, planets and other minor bodies as well as interstellar and circumstellar matter. It is close to being a mature field with developed theoretical tools poised to uncover new insights into the magnetic structures in cooler environments. Here I attempt a broad description of the literature and present some recent exciting results. In particular, following my programmatic review at SPW3, I discuss advances in molecular magnetic diagnostics which are based on the modeling of about a dozen diatomic molecules with various electronic transitions and states, including the most challenging - FeH. The applications stretch from sunspots to starspots, small-scale and turbulent solar magnetic fields, red and white dwarfs, and spin-offs such as polarimetry of protoplanetary disks and exoplanets.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    New insights on stellar evolution and stellar interiors physics are being made possible by asteroseismology, the study of stars by the observation of their natural, resonant oscillations. Throughout the duration of the Kepler mission, asteroseismology has also played an important role in the char......New insights on stellar evolution and stellar interiors physics are being made possible by asteroseismology, the study of stars by the observation of their natural, resonant oscillations. Throughout the duration of the Kepler mission, asteroseismology has also played an important role...... in the characterization of host stars and their planetary systems. Examples include the precise estimation of the fundamental properties of stellar hosts, the obliquity determination of planetary systems, or the orbital eccentricity determination via asterodensity profiling. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite...... (TESS) will perform a wide-field survey for planets that transit bright host stars. Its excellent photometric precision and long intervals of uninterrupted observations will enable asteroseismology of solar-type stars and their evolved counterparts. Based on existing all-sky simulations of the stellar...

  11. Finding Exoplanets Using Point Spread Function Photometry on Kepler Data (United States)

    Amaro, Rachael Christina; Scolnic, Daniel; Montet, Ben


    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.

  12. Exploring Exoplanets Out to the Snowline with LCOGT (United States)

    Street, Rachel


    Microlensing is the most efficient technique for the discovery of cool exoplanets between ~2-10 AU from their host stars, and unique in its capacity to detect and characterize objects down to even lunar masses from ground based observations. The field of microlensing is now reaching maturity, with wider field surveys identifying ~2000 events and ~10 planetary systems per year. Continuous, high precision and high cadence photometry is required over many days spanning the peak of an event to ensure the detection of the subtle anomalies caused by terrestrial companions to the lensing star. Until now this has been achieved with a diverse collection of telescope apertures, worldwide. Here we report on the first season of microlensing observations with a new observing facility ideal for this science: the LCOGT 1m network. During 2012-2013, LCOGT deployed 11 x 1m telescopes to 5 sites around the world in both hemispheres, with the majority of the telescopes going to sites in Chile, South Africa and Australia. These homogenous facilities have now completed their first commissioning season of microlensing observations, demonstrating their capability to find and characterize cool terrestrial planets.

  13. Space Telescope Sensitivity and Controls for Exoplanet Imaging (United States)

    Lyon, Richard G.; Clampin, Mark


    Herein we address design considerations and outline requirements for space telescopes with capabilities for high contrast imaging of exoplanets. The approach taken is to identify the span of potentially detectable Earth-sized terrestrial planets in the habitable zone of the nearest stars within 30 parsecs and estimate their inner working angles, flux ratios, SNR, sensitivities, wavefront error requirements and sensing and control times parametrically versus aperture size. We consider 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16-meter diameter telescope apertures. The achievable science, range of telescope architectures, and the coronagraphic approach are all active areas of research and are all subject to change in a rapidly evolving field. Thus, presented is a snapshot of our current understanding with the goal of limiting the choices to those that appear currently technically feasible. We describe the top-level metrics of inner working angle, contrast and photometric throughput and explore how they are related to the range of target stars. A critical point is that for each telescope architecture and coronagraphic choice the telescope stability requirements have differing impacts on the design for open versus closed-loop sensing and control.

  14. Challenges to Constraining Exoplanet Masses via Transmission Spectroscopy (United States)

    Batalha, Natasha E.; Kempton, Eliza M.-R.; Mbarek, Rostom


    MassSpec, a method for determining the mass of a transiting exoplanet from its transmission spectrum alone, was proposed by de Wit & 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 H2O and H2, 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.

  15. Observational Constraints on the Chemistry and Dynamics of Exoplanet Atmospheres (United States)

    Charbonneau, David


    The observational study of the atmospheres of exoplanets is now well underway, despite the fact that astronomers have not yet imaged these bodies directly. These advances are enabled by the discovery of planetary systems that are viewed nearly edge-on to our line-of-sight, such that the star and planet undergo periodic mutual eclipses. When the planet transits in front of the star, starlight passing through the outer scale heights of the atmosphere is attenuated in a wavelength-dependent fashion that encodes information about the atoms, molecules, and condensates that are present. Observations spanning times of secondary eclipse, when the planet passes out of view behind the star, permit the direct study of the planetary thermal emission and estimates of the dayside temperatures. Furthermore, by inverting the time-dependent changes in brightness as features on the planet rotate in and out of view, we have constructed longitudinally-resolved temperature maps. I will review these various rich datasets, which challenge our understanding of the atmospheres of Jovian planets under strong irradiation.

  16. Analytic Scattering and Refraction Models for Exoplanet Transit Spectra (United States)

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Hubbard, William B.


    Observations of exoplanet transit spectra are essential to understanding the physics and chemistry of distant worlds. The effects of opacity sources and many physical processes combine to set the shape of a transit spectrum. Two such key processes—refraction and cloud and/or haze forward-scattering—have seen substantial recent study. However, models of these processes are typically complex, which prevents their incorporation into observational analyses and standard transit spectrum tools. In this work, we develop analytic expressions that allow for the efficient parameterization of forward-scattering and refraction effects in transit spectra. We derive an effective slant optical depth that includes a correction for forward-scattered light, and present an analytic form of this correction. We validate our correction against a full-physics transit spectrum model that includes scattering, and we explore the extent to which the omission of forward-scattering effects may bias models. Also, we verify a common analytic expression for the location of a refractive boundary, which we express in terms of the maximum pressure probed in a transit spectrum. This expression is designed to be easily incorporated into existing tools, and we discuss how the detection of a refractive boundary could help indicate the background atmospheric composition by constraining the bulk refractivity of the atmosphere. Finally, we show that opacity from Rayleigh scattering and collision-induced absorption will outweigh the effects of refraction for Jupiter-like atmospheres whose equilibrium temperatures are above 400-500 K.

  17. WFIRST Microlensing Exoplanet Characterization with HST Follow up (United States)

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


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

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


    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.

  19. Trajectory Design for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (United States)

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


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

  20. A modern study of HD 166734: a massive supergiant system (United States)

    Mahy, L.; Damerdji, Y.; Gosset, E.; Nitschelm, C.; Eenens, P.; Sana, H.; Klotz, A.


    Aims: HD 166734 is an eccentric eclipsing binary system composed of two supergiant O-type stars, orbiting with a 34.5-day period. In this rare configuration for such stars, the two objects mainly evolve independently, following single-star evolution so far. This system provides a chance to study the individual parameters of two supergiant massive stars and to derive their real masses. Methods: An intensive monitoring was dedicated to HD 166734. We analyzed mid- and high-resolution optical spectra to constrain the orbital parameters of this system. We also studied its light curve for the first time, obtained in the VRI filters. Finally, we disentangled the spectra of the two stars and modeled them with the CMFGEN atmosphere code in order to determine the individual physical parameters. Results: HD 166734 is a O7.5If+O9I(f) binary. We confirm its orbital period but we revise the other orbital parameters. In comparison to what we found in the literature, the system is more eccentric and, now, the hottest and the most luminous component is also the most massive one. The light curve exhibits only one eclipse and its analysis indicates an inclination of 63.0° ± 2.7°. The photometric analysis provides us with a good estimation of the luminosities of the stars, and therefore their exact positions in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. The evolutionary and the spectroscopic masses show good agreement with the dynamical masses of 39.5 M⊙ for the primary and 33.5 M⊙ for the secondary, within the uncertainties. The two components are both enriched in helium and in nitrogen and depleted in carbon. In addition, the primary also shows a depletion in oxygen. Their surface abundances are however not different from those derived from single supergiant stars, yielding, for both components, an evolution similar to that of single stars. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory (La Silla, Chile) with FEROS and TAROT and on data collected at the San Pedro

  1. A giant planet around the massive giant star HD 13189 (United States)

    Hatzes, A. P.; Guenther, E. W.; Endl, M.; Cochran, W. D.; Döllinger, M. P.; Bedalov, A.


    Most extrasolar planet discoveries using radial velocity measurements have been for solar-like G-stars. In order to understand better the role stellar mass for the formation of planets we must learn more about the frequency of planetary companions around both high- and low-mass stars. Radial velocity searches for planets around high mass main-sequence stars are difficult due to the paucity of lines and often rapid rotation of these early-type stars. On the other hand, evolved stars that have moved off the main sequence offer us the possibility of searching for planets around higher mass stars by means of precise radial velocity measurements. Here we present radial velocity measurements for the star HD 13189 using measurements taken at the Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, the Harlan J. Smith Telescope at McDonald Observatory, and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. We classify the spectral type of this star as K2 with luminosity class II. The radial velocity measurements show long-period variations with a period of 472 days and an amplitude of 173 m s-1. The Ca II S-index is consistent with an inactive star and this shows no variations with the radial velocity period. We also investigated possible changes in the line shapes by measuring spectral line bisectors. These show no variations with the radial velocity period. We interpret the 472-day period as being caused by a sub-stellar companion. Based on the estimated absolute magnitude and a comparison to evolutionary tracks we estimate the mass of the progenitor star between 2 and 7 M_⊙ which results in a projected mass of the companion of m sin i = 8 20 M_J. HD 13189 may be the most massive star known to possess an extrasolar planet. This suggests that the formation of giant planets can also occur around early-type stars. HD 13189 also shows significant short term radial velocity variability on time scales of days that is most likely due to stellar oscillations. This behavior is typical for K giant stars.

  2. Comorbid Externalising Behaviour in AD/HD: Evidence for a Distinct Pathological Entity in Adolescence (United States)

    Perera, Sharnel; Crewther, David; Croft, Rodney; Keage, Hannah; Hermens, Daniel; Clark, C. Richard


    While the profiling of subtypes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) have been the subject of considerable scrutiny, both psychometrically and psychophysiologically, little attention has been paid to the effect of diagnoses comorbid with AD/HD on such profiles. This is despite the greater than 80% prevalence of comorbidity under the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic definitions. Here we investigate the event related potential (ERP) and psychometric profiles of Controls, AD/HD, and comorbid AD/HD (particularly AD/HD+ODD/CD) groups on six neurocognitive tasks thought to probe the constructs of selective and sustained attention, response inhibition and executive function. Data from 29 parameters extracted from a child group (age range 6 to 12; 52 Controls and 64 AD/HD) and from an adolescent group (age range 13 to 17; 79 Controls and 88 AD/HD) were reduced via a Principal Components Analysis, the 6 significant eigenvectors then used as determinants of cluster membership via a Two-Step Cluster Analysis. Two clusters were found in the analysis of the adolescent age group - a cluster dominated by Control and AD/HD participants without comorbidity, while the second cluster was dominated by AD/HD participants with externalising comorbidity (largely oppositional defiant/conduct disorder ODD/CD). A similar segregation within the child age group was not found. Further analysis of these objectively determined clusters in terms of their clinical diagnoses indicates a significant effect of ODD/CD comorbidity on a concurrent AD/HD diagnosis. We conclude that comorbid externalising behaviour in AD/HD constitutes a distinct pathological entity in adolescence. PMID:22984398

  3. A Research-Informed Approach to Teaching About Exoplanet Detection in STEM Classrooms (United States)

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


    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.

  4. Atmospheric Beacons of Life from Exoplanets Around G and K Stars. (United States)

    Airapetian, Vladimir S; Jackman, Charles H; Mlynczak, Martin; Danchi, William; Hunt, Linda


    The current explosion in detection and characterization of thousands of extrasolar planets from the Kepler mission, the Hubble Space Telescope, and large ground-based telescopes opens a new era in searches for Earth-analog exoplanets with conditions suitable for sustaining life. As more Earth-sized exoplanets are detected in the near future, we will soon have an opportunity to identify habitale worlds. Which atmospheric biosignature gases from habitable planets can be detected with our current capabilities? The detection of the common biosignatures from nitrogen-oxygen rich terrestrial-type exoplanets including molecular oxygen (O2), ozone (O3), water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4) requires days of integration time with largest space telescopes, and thus are very challenging for current instruments. In this paper we propose to use the powerful emission from rotational-vibrational bands of nitric oxide, hydroxyl and molecular oxygen as signatures of nitrogen, oxygen, and water rich atmospheres of terrestrial type exoplanets "highlighted" by the magnetic activity from young G and K main-sequence stars. The signals from these fundamental chemical prerequisites of life we call atmospheric "beacons of life" create a unique opportunity to perform direct imaging observations of Earth-sized exoplanets with high signal-to-noise and low spectral resolution with the upcoming NASA missions.

  5. SEEDS — Strategic explorations of exoplanets and disks with the Subaru Telescope — (United States)

    TAMURA, Motohide


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

  6. 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...

  7. Perceived Quality of Full HD Video - Subjective Quality Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juraj Bienik


    Full Text Available In recent years, an interest in multimedia services has become a global trend and this trend is still rising. The video quality is a very significant part from the bundle of multimedia services, which leads to a requirement for quality assessment in the video domain. Video quality of a streamed video across IP networks is generally influenced by two factors “transmission link imperfection and efficiency of compression standards. This paper deals with subjective video quality assessment and the impact of the compression standards H.264, H.265 and VP9 on perceived video quality of these compression standards. The evaluation is done for four full HD sequences, the difference of scenes is in the content“ distinction is based on Spatial (SI and Temporal (TI Index of test sequences. Finally, experimental results follow up to 30% bitrate reducing of H.265 and VP9 compared with the reference H.264.

  8. Time resolved spectroscopy of the cool Ap star HD 213637* (United States)

    Elkin, V. G.; Kurtz, D. W.; Mathys, G.


    We present an analysis of high time resolution spectra of the chemically peculiar Ap star HD 213637. The star shows rapid radial velocity variations with a period close to the photometric pulsation period. Radial velocity pulsation amplitudes vary significantly for different rare earth elements. The highest pulsation amplitudes belong to lines of Tb III (˜360 m s-1), Pr II (˜250 m s-1) and Pr III (˜230 m s-1). We did not detect any pulsations from spectral lines of Eu II and in Hα, in contrast to many other roAp stars. We also did not find radial velocity pulsations using spectral lines of other chemical elements, including Mg, Si, Ca, Sc, Cr, Fe, Ni, Y and Ba. There are phase shifts between the maxima of pulsation amplitudes of different rare earth elements and ions, which is evidence of an outwardly running magneto-acoustic wave propagating through the upper stellar atmosphere.

  9. On the inclination and habitability of the HD 10180 system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, Stephen R. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (United States); Gelino, Dawn M., E-mail: [NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, Caltech, MS 100-22, 770 South Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)


    There are numerous multi-planet systems that have now been detected via a variety of techniques. These systems exhibit a range of both planetary properties and orbital configurations. For those systems without detected planetary transits, a significant unknown factor is the orbital inclination. This produces an uncertainty in the mass of the planets and their related properties, such as atmospheric scale height. Here we investigate the HD 10180 system, which was discovered using the radial velocity technique. We provide a new orbital solution for the system which allows for eccentric orbits for all planets. We show how the inclination of the system affects the mass/radius properties of the planets and how the detection of phase signatures may resolve the inclination ambiguity. We finally evaluate the Habitable Zone properties of the system and show that the g planet spends 100% of an eccentric orbit within the Habitable Zone.

  10. Estudio multifrecuencia del medio interestelar cercano a HD 192281 (United States)

    Arnal, E. M.; Cappa, C.; Cichowolski, S.; Pineault, S.; St-Louis, N.

    Una de las causas que modifica la estructura y dinámica del medio interestelar es la acción que los vientos de las estrellas de gran masa ejercen sobre el mismo. En este trabajo, mediante el uso de datos interferométricos obtenidos en la banda de radio en la transición de 21-cm del Hidrógeno neutro y de imágenes de la emisión de continuo en las bandas de 408 y 1420 MHz, de imágenes HIRES del satélite IRAS en 60 y 100 micrones, y de observaciones de continuo obtenidas con radiotelescopios de disco simple en 2695, 4850 y 8350 MHz se ha realizado un estudio multifrecuencia de los efectos que los vientos estelares de HD 192281, una estrella de tipo espectral O5 Vn((f))p, han tenido sobre el medio interestelar que rodea a la misma.

  11. Softec HD hydrophilic acrylic intraocular lens: biocompatibility and precision

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ladan Espandar


    Full Text Available Ladan Espandar1, Shameema Sikder2, Majid Moshirfar31Department of Ophthalmology, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA; 2Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA; 3John A Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USAAbstract: Intraocular lens development is driven by higher patient expectations for ideal visual outcomes. The recently US Food and Drug Administration-approved Softec HD™ lens is an aspheric, hydrophilic acrylic intraocular lens (IOL. The hydrophilic design of the lens is optimized to address dysphotopsia while maintaining biocompatibility, optical clarity, resistance to damage, and resistance to biocontamination. Aspheric lenses decrease postoperative spherical aberration. The addition of the Softec lens provides clinicians with another option for IOL placement; however, randomized comparative studies of this lens to others already on the market remain to be completed.Keywords: hydrophilic acrylic intraocular lens, Softec HD intraocular lens, aspheric intraocular lens, IOL

  12. Gas modelling in the disc of HD 163296 (United States)

    Tilling, I.; Woitke, P.; Meeus, G.; Mora, A.; Montesinos, B.; Riviere-Marichalar, P.; Eiroa, C.; Thi, W.-F.; Isella, A.; Roberge, A.; Martin-Zaidi, C.; Kamp, I.; Pinte, C.; Sandell, G.; Vacca, W. D.; Ménard, F.; Mendigutía, I.; Duchêne, G.; Dent, W. R. F.; Aresu, G.; Meijerink, R.; Spaans, M.


    We present detailed model fits to observations of the disc around the Herbig Ae star HD 163296. This well-studied object has an age of ~4 Myr, with evidence of a circumstellar disc extending out to ~540 AU. We use the radiation thermo-chemical disc code ProDiMo to model the gas and dust in the circumstellar disc of HD 163296, and attempt to determine the disc properties by fitting to observational line and continuum data. These include new Herschel/PACS observations obtained as part of the open-time key program GASPS (GAS in Protoplanetary Systems), consisting of a detection of the [Oi] 63 μm line and upper limits for several other far infrared lines. We complement this with continuum data and ground-based observations of the 12CO 3-2, 2-1 and 13CO J = 1-0 line transitions, as well as an upper limit for the H2 0-0 S(1) transition. We explore the effects of stellar ultraviolet variability and dust settling on the line emission, and on the derived disc properties. Our fitting efforts lead to derived gas/dust ratios in the range 9-100, depending on the assumptions made. We note that the line fluxes are sensitive in general to the degree of dust settling in the disc, with an increase in line flux for settled models. This is most pronounced in lines which are formed in the warm gas in the inner disc, but the low excitation molecular lines are also affected. This has serious implications for attempts to derive the disc gas mass from line observations. We derive fractional PAH abundances between 0.007 and 0.04 relative to ISM levels. Using a stellar and UV excess input spectrum based on a detailed analysis of observations, we find that the all observations are consistent with the previously assumed disc geometry.

  13. The physical parameters of the retired a star HD 185351

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, John Asher [Institute for Theory and Computation, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Huber, Daniel; Barclay, Thomas [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Boyajian, Tabetha; Brewer, John M. [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); White, Timothy R. [Institut für Astrophysik, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, D-37077 Göttingen (Germany); Von Braun, Kaspar [Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Maestro, Vicente; Stello, Dennis [Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics, University of Sydney NSW 2006 (Australia)


    We report here an analysis of the physical stellar parameters of the giant star HD 185351 using Kepler short-cadence photometry, optical and near infrared interferometry from CHARA, and high-resolution spectroscopy. Asteroseismic oscillations detected in the Kepler short-cadence photometry combined with an effective temperature calculated from the interferometric angular diameter and bolometric flux yield a mean density ρ{sub *} = 0.0130 ± 0.0003 ρ{sub ☉} and surface gravity log g = 3.280 ± 0.011. Combining the gravity and density we find R {sub *} = 5.35 ± 0.20 R {sub ☉} and M {sub *} = 1.99 ± 0.23 M {sub ☉}. The trigonometric parallax and CHARA angular diameter give a radius R {sub *} = 4.97 ± 0.07 R {sub ☉}. This smaller radius, when combined with the mean stellar density, corresponds to a stellar mass 1.60 ± 0.08 M {sub ☉}, which is smaller than the asteroseismic mass by 1.6σ. We find that a larger mass is supported by the observation of mixed modes in our high-precision photometry, the spacing of which is consistent only for M {sub *} ≳ 1.8 M {sub ☉}. Our various and independent mass measurements can be compared to the mass measured from interpolating the spectroscopic parameters onto stellar evolution models, which yields a model-based mass M {sub *,} {sub model} = 1.87 ± 0.07 M {sub ☉}. This mass agrees well with the asteroseismic value, but is 2.6σ higher than the mass from the combination of asteroseismology and interferometry. The discrepancy motivates future studies with a larger sample of giant stars. However, all of our mass measurements are consistent with HD 185351 having a mass in excess of 1.5 M {sub ☉}.

  14. H/D Isotope Effects in Hydrogen Bonded Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksander Filarowski


    Full Text Available An extremely strong H/D isotope effect observed in hydrogen bonded A-H…B systems is connected with a reach diversity of the potential shape for the proton/deuteron motion. It is connected with the anharmonicity of the proton/deuteron vibrations and of the tunneling effect, particularly in cases of short bridges with low barrier for protonic and deuteronic jumping. Six extreme shapes of the proton motion are presented starting from the state without possibility of the proton transfer up to the state with a full ionization. The manifestations of the H/D isotope effect are best reflected in the infra-red absorption spectra. A most characteristic is the run of the relationship between the isotopic ratio nH/nD and position of the absorption band shown by using the example of NHN hydrogen bonds. One can distinguish a critical range of correlation when the isotopic ratio reaches the value of ca. 1 and then increases up to unusual values higher than . The critical range of the isotope effect is also visible in NQR and NMR spectra. In the critical region one observes a stepwise change of the NQR frequency reaching 1.1 MHz. In the case of NMR, the maximal isotope effect is reflected on the curve presenting the dependence of Δd (1H,2H on d (1H. This effect corresponds to the range of maximum on the correlation curve between dH and ΔpKa that is observed in various systems. There is a lack in the literature of quantitative information about the influence of isotopic substitution on the dielectric properties of hydrogen bond except the isotope effect on the ferroelectric phase transition in some hydrogen bonded crystals.

  15. H/D isotope effects in hydrogen bonded systems. (United States)

    Sobczyk, Lucjan; Obrzud, Monika; Filarowski, Aleksander


    An extremely strong H/D isotope effect observed in hydrogen bonded A-H…B systems is connected with a reach diversity of the potential shape for the proton/deuteron motion. It is connected with the anharmonicity of the proton/deuteron vibrations and of the tunneling effect, particularly in cases of short bridges with low barrier for protonic and deuteronic jumping. Six extreme shapes of the proton motion are presented starting from the state without possibility of the proton transfer up to the state with a full ionization. The manifestations of the H/D isotope effect are best reflected in the infra-red absorption spectra. A most characteristic is the run of the relationship between the isotopic ratio nH/nD and position of the absorption band shown by using the example of NHN hydrogen bonds. One can distinguish a critical range of correlation when the isotopic ratio reaches the value of ca. 1 and then increases up to unusual values higher than . The critical range of the isotope effect is also visible in NQR and NMR spectra. In the critical region one observes a stepwise change of the NQR frequency reaching 1.1 MHz. In the case of NMR, the maximal isotope effect is reflected on the curve presenting the dependence of Δd (¹H,²H) on d (¹H). This effect corresponds to the range of maximum on the correlation curve between dH and ΔpKa that is observed in various systems. There is a lack in the literature of quantitative information about the influence of isotopic substitution on the dielectric properties of hydrogen bond except the isotope effect on the ferroelectric phase transition in some hydrogen bonded crystals.

  16. HDAC4-Myogenin Axis As an Important Marker of HD-Related Skeletal Muscle Atrophy (United States)

    Smeets, Cleo J. L. M.; Franklin, Sophie A.; Bondulich, Marie K.; Jolinon, Nelly; Muller, Thomas; Ahmed, Mhoriam; Dick, James R. T.; Piotrowska, Izabela; Greensmith, Linda; Smolenski, Ryszard T.; Bates, Gillian P.


    Skeletal muscle remodelling and contractile dysfunction occur through both acute and chronic disease processes. These include the accumulation of insoluble aggregates of misfolded amyloid proteins that is a pathological feature of Huntington’s disease (HD). While HD has been described primarily as a neurological disease, HD patients’ exhibit pronounced skeletal muscle atrophy. Given that huntingtin is a ubiquitously expressed protein, skeletal muscle fibres may be at risk of a cell autonomous HD-related dysfunction. However the mechanism leading to skeletal muscle abnormalities in the clinical and pre-clinical HD settings remains unknown. To unravel this mechanism, we employed the R6/2 transgenic and HdhQ150 knock-in mouse models of HD. We found that symptomatic animals developed a progressive impairment of the contractile characteristics of the hind limb muscles tibialis anterior (TA) and extensor digitorum longus (EDL), accompanied by a significant loss of motor units in the EDL. In symptomatic animals, these pronounced functional changes were accompanied by an aberrant deregulation of contractile protein transcripts and their up-stream transcriptional regulators. In addition, HD mouse models develop a significant reduction in muscle force, possibly as a result of a deterioration in energy metabolism and decreased oxidation that is accompanied by the re-expression of the HDAC4-DACH2-myogenin axis. These results show that muscle dysfunction is a key pathological feature of HD. PMID:25748626

  17. Peer Relationship Problems of Children with AD/HD: Risk Factors and New Directions in Interventions (United States)

    Ozdemir, Selda


    This review integrates and evaluates research conducted on possible contributing factors to peer relationship problems of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD). Substantial evidence suggests that children with AD/HD have serious problems in multiple aspects of their relationships with peers. Difficulties resulting from…

  18. The Stroop Revisited: A Meta-Analysis of Interference Control in AD/HD (United States)

    Van Mourik, Rosa; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Sergeant, Joseph A.


    Background: An inhibition deficit, including poor interference control, has been implicated as one of the core deficits in AD/HD. Interference control is clinically measured by the Stroop Colour-Word Task. The aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate the strength of an interference deficit in AD/HD as measured by the Stroop Colour-Word Task…

  19. Rovibrational excitation of HD in collisions with atomic and molecular hydrogen (United States)

    Flower, D. R.; Roueff, E.


    We have computed cross-sections and rate coefficients for rovibrational transitions in HD, induced by collisions with atomic and molecular hydrogen. We employed fully quantum-mechanical methods and the potential of Boothroyd et al. for H-HD, and that of Schwenke for H2-HD. The rate coefficients for vibrational relaxation v=1->0 of HD are compared with the corresponding values for H2. The influence of vibrationally excited channels on the rate coefficients for rotational transitions within the v=0 vibrational ground state of HD is shown to be small at T=500K, where T is the kinetic temperature. The rate coefficients, for 100

  20. An introduction to planets ours and others : from Earth to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Encrenaz, Thérèse


    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...

  1. Project PANOPTES: a citizen-scientist exoplanet transit survey using commercial digital cameras (United States)

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


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

  2. Statistical and dynamical remastering of classic exoplanet systems (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

  3. Detectability of Trojan and Co-orbital Exoplanets (United States)

    Dobrovolskis, Anthony R.


    By now there have been many papers on the possibility of Trojan companions to planets of other stars. The purpose is of this work is to point out that radial velocity measurements can seriously misjudge the masses of planets in such systems. In a Trojan system, where two exoplanets of similar mass share the same orbit, but are separated by 60 degrees of longitude, the radial velocity method gives a sinusoidal signal 1.73 times as great as that of each individual planet, but only 0.83 times as great as that of a single planet with the combined mass of both. In principle, any number of planets can share the same orbit. Salo and Yoder (A & A 205, 309-327, 1988) have shown that more than 8 planets of equal mass sharing a circular orbit must be equally spaced for dynamical stability. In contrast, less than 7 equal-mass planets are stable only in a configuration where all of the planets remain on the same side of their parent star. In the intermediate cases of 7 or 8 equal-mass planets, both the equally- and unequally-spaced configurations are stable. If they indeed exist, the lopsided "Salo systems" will produce a greater radial velocity signal than a single such planet would, but a smaller signal than if all of the planets were combined into one. In fact, such systems with 7 or 8 planets induce Doppler shifts almost 4 times as great as an individual planet, but only about half as great as their combined mass would. By symmetry, it is clear that equally-spaced Salo systems will produce no reflex motion or radial velocity signal at all in their parent stars. This could lead to their being overlooked entirely, unless they happen to be detected by the transit method.

  4. Cassini ISS Observations of Jupiter: An Exoplanet Perspective (United States)

    West, Robert A.; Knowles, Benjamin


    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.

  5. Retrieval of exoplanet emission spectra with HyDRA (United States)

    Gandhi, Siddharth; Madhusudhan, Nikku


    Thermal emission spectra of exoplanets provide constraints on the chemical compositions, pressure-temperature (P-T) profiles, and energy transport in exoplanetary atmospheres. Accurate inferences of these properties rely on the robustness of the atmospheric retrieval methods employed. While extant retrieval codes have provided significant constraints on molecular abundances and temperature profiles in several exoplanetary atmospheres, the constraints on their deviations from thermal and chemical equilibria have yet to be fully explored. Our present work is a step in this direction. We report HyDRA, a disequilibrium retrieval framework for thermal emission spectra of exoplanetary atmospheres. The retrieval code uses the standard architecture of a parametric atmospheric model coupled with Bayesian statistical inference using the Nested Sampling algorithm. For a given dataset, the retrieved compositions and P-T profiles are used in tandem with the GENESIS self-consistent atmospheric model to constrain layer-by-layer deviations from chemical and radiative-convective equilibrium in the observable atmosphere. We demonstrate HyDRA on the Hot Jupiter WASP-43b with a high-precision emission spectrum. We retrieve an H2O mixing ratio of log(H2O) = -3.54^{+0.82}_{-0.52}, consistent with previous studies. We detect H2O and a combined CO/CO2 at 8-sigma significance. We find the dayside P-T profile to be consistent with radiative-convective equilibrium within the 1-sigma limits and with low day-night redistribution, consistent with previous studies. The derived compositions are also consistent with thermochemical equilibrium for the corresponding distribution of P-T profiles. In the era of high precision and high resolution emission spectroscopy, HyDRA provides a path to retrieve disequilibrium phenomena in exoplanetary atmospheres.

  6. The Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope (GEST) Proposed Discovery Mission (United States)

    Bennett, D. P.; Bally, J.; Bond, I.; Cheng, E.; Cook, K.; Deming, D.; Garnavich, P.; Griest, K.; Jewitt, D.; Lauer, T.; Lunine, J.; Luppino, G.; Mather, J.; Minniti, D.; Peale, S.; Rhie, S.; Sahu, K.; Schneider, J.; Sonneborn, G.; Stevenson, R.; Tenerelli, D.; Woolf, N.; Yock, P.; Rich, M.


    The results of detailed simulations of space and ground based microlensing searches for extra-solar terrestrial planets are presented. These simulations indicate that the proposed Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope (GEST) can perform a comprehensive survey of extra-solar planetary systems with sensitivity to planets with masses as low as that of Mars (0.1M⊕ ) in orbits ranging from ˜ 0.7AU to infinity. In contrast, a multi-site ground based survey telescopes similar to VISTA or individual PAN-Stars telescopes, would be unlikely to discover a single Earth-like planet due the inability to resolve Galactic bulge main sequence stars from the ground, and the difficulty of obtaining 24 hour light curve coverage with good observing conditions. A space-based microlensing survey like GEST will be able to measure the abundance of extra-solar planets as a function of planet:star mass ratio and separation. For one third of detected events, the lens star will be detected, and this will allow the determination of the stellar type, mass and distance of the planetary host stars. A space-based microlensing survey is the only proposed method which can measure the abundance of free-floating planets which have been ejected from their parent stars. GEST can be accomplished at low risk with established technology at a cost that is within the cost cap of NASA's Discovery Program, but the prospects for planet detection from a possible future network large wide-field of view telescopes is unlikely to justify the funds necessary to build such s telescope network.

  7. Statistics and Machine Learning based Outlier Detection Techniques for Exoplanets (United States)

    Goel, Amit; Montgomery, Michele


    Architectures of planetary systems are observable snapshots in time that can indicate formation and dynamic evolution of planets. The observable key parameters that we consider are planetary mass and orbital period. If planet masses are significantly less than their host star masses, then Keplerian Motion is defined as P^2 = a^3 where P is the orbital period in units of years and a is the orbital period in units of Astronomical Units (AU). Keplerian motion works on small scales such as the size of the Solar System but not on large scales such as the size of the Milky Way Galaxy. In this work, for confirmed exoplanets of known stellar mass, planetary mass, orbital period, and stellar age, we analyze Keplerian motion of systems based on stellar age to seek if Keplerian motion has an age dependency and to identify outliers. For detecting outliers, we apply several techniques based on statistical and machine learning methods such as probabilistic, linear, and proximity based models. In probabilistic and statistical models of outliers, the parameters of a closed form probability distributions are learned in order to detect the outliers. Linear models use regression analysis based techniques for detecting outliers. Proximity based models use distance based algorithms such as k-nearest neighbour, clustering algorithms such as k-means, or density based algorithms such as kernel density estimation. In this work, we will use unsupervised learning algorithms with only the proximity based models. In addition, we explore the relative strengths and weaknesses of the various techniques by validating the outliers. The validation criteria for the outliers is if the ratio of planetary mass to stellar mass is less than 0.001. In this work, we present our statistical analysis of the outliers thus detected.

  8. Effects of Extreme Obliquity Variations on the Habitability of Exoplanets (United States)

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


    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.

  9. The potential feasibility of chlorinic photosynthesis on exoplanets. (United States)

    Haas, Johnson R


    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.

  10. Out-of-transit Refracted Light in the Atmospheres of Transiting and Non-transiting Exoplanets (United States)

    Dalba, Paul A.


    Before an exoplanet transit, atmospheric refraction bends light into the line of sight of an observer. The refracted light forms a stellar mirage—a distorted secondary image of the host star. I model this phenomenon and the resultant out-of-transit flux increase across a comprehensive exoplanetary parameter space. At visible wavelengths, Rayleigh scattering limits the detectability of stellar mirages in most exoplanetary systems with semimajor axes ≲ 6 {au}. A notable exception is almost any planet orbiting a late M or ultra-cool dwarf star at ≳ 0.5 {au}, where the maximum relative flux increase is >50 parts per million. Based partly on previous work, I propose that the importance of refraction in an exoplanet system is governed by two angles: the orbital distance divided by the stellar radius and the total deflection achieved by a ray in the optically thin portion of the atmosphere. Atmospheric lensing events caused by non-transiting exoplanets, which allow for exoplanet detection and atmospheric characterization, are also investigated. I derive the basic formalism to determine the total signal-to-noise ratio of an atmospheric lensing event, with application to Kepler data. It is unlikely that out-of-transit refracted light signals are clearly present in Kepler data due to Rayleigh scattering and the bias toward short-period exoplanets. However, observations at long wavelengths (e.g., the near-infrared) are significantly more likely to detect stellar mirages. Lastly, I discuss the potential for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite to detect refracted light and consider novel science cases enabled by refracted light spectra from the James Webb Space Telescope.

  11. The Effect of Stellar Contamination on Transmission Spectra of Low-mass Exoplanets (United States)

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


    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

  12. Evo-SETI SCALE to measure Life on Exoplanets (United States)

    Maccone, Claudio


    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.

  13. Laboratory Studies of Planetary Hazes: composition of cool exoplanet atmospheric aerosols with very high resolution mass spectrometry (United States)

    Moran, Sarah E.; Horst, Sarah; He, Chao; Flandinet, Laurene; Moses, Julianne I.; Orthous-Daunay, Francois-Regis; Vuitton, Veronique; Wolters, Cedric; Lewis, Nikole


    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rauer H.


    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.

  15. Red-edge position of habitable exoplanets around M-dwarfs


    Takizawa, Kenji; Minagawa, Jun; Tamura, Motohide; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Narita, Norio


    One of the possible signs of life on distant habitable exoplanets is the red-edge, which is a rise in the reflectivity of planets between visible and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. Previous studies suggested the possibility that the red-edge position for habitable exoplanets around M-dwarfs may be shifted to a longer wavelength than that for Earth. We investigated plausible red-edge position in terms of the light environment during the course of the evolution of phototrophs. We show that ph...

  16. Ceruloplasmin is a potential biomarker for aGvHD following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng Lv

    Full Text Available Acute graft-versus-host-disease (aGvHD is the major cause of non-relapse mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT. Recently, diagnostic biomarkers for aGvHD have been shown to play important roles in evaluating disease status and mortality risk after allo-HSCT. To identify plasma biomarkers for aGvHD with high sensitivity and specificity, a quantitative proteomic approach using 8-plex isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (8-plex iTRAQ was employed to screen differentially expressed proteins in peripheral blood before and after the onset of aGvHD. Four target proteins, ceruloplasmin (CP, myeloperoxidase (MPO, complement factor H (CFH, and alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP, were chosen for preliminary validation with enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA in 20 paired samples at both the time of diagnosis of aGvHD and the time of complete response. The most promising candidate, ceruloplasmin, was further validated at fixed time points after allo-HSCT and during aGvHD. The plasma ceruloplasmin levels were significantly increased during the period of aGvHD onset and were markedly decreased as aGvHD resolved. The plasma ceruloplasmin levels at different time points post-transplant in the aGvHD (+ group were significantly higher than those in the aGvHD (- group (p<0.001. The elevation of ceruloplasmin level in patients with active aGvHD was independent of infection status. Patients whose ceruloplasmin levels were elevated above 670 μg/ml at 7, 14 and 21 days after allo-HSCT had a remarkably increased probability of subsequently developing aGvHD. In conclusion, our results suggest that plasma ceruloplasmin is a potential plasma biomarker of aGvHD, and it also has prognostic value for risk-adapted prophylaxis during the consecutive time points monitored in the first month after allo-HSCT.

  17. Tidal synchronization of close-in satellites and exoplanets: II. Spin dynamics and extension to Mercury and exoplanet host stars (United States)

    Ferraz-Mello, Sylvio


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

  18. [Relationship between characteristic behaviors of children with AD/HD and mothers' parenting styles]. (United States)

    Mano, Shoko; Uno, Hiroyuki


    Previous studies have revealed that mothers of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) have an authoritarian parenting style. However, the psychological process of developing an authoritarian parenting style has yet to be clearly defined. To clarify this psychological process, the present study examined the hypothesis that the characteristic behaviors of children with AD/HD initially increase the mothers' parenting stress, which influences their parenting style. Thirty-six mothers of children with AD/HD (children's mean age: 8.1 years) and the same number of controls (children's mean age: 8.4 years) participated in the present study. The mothers' parenting stress was assessed using the Japanese Parenting Stress Index. Parenting styles were assessed using the TK-style scale for evaluating the relationships between parents and children. The results indicated that the mothers of children with AD/HD had significantly higher scores than controls for all parenting stress items and negative parenting style variables (dissatisfaction, reproach, strictness, interference, inconsistency and disagreement of 10 attitudes). Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that the characteristic behaviors of children with AD/HD were associated with the degree of attachment in mothers, which was related to the strict and reproachful parenting style in the AD/HD group. These results suggest that mothers of children with AD/HD are likely to have a strict and reproachful parenting style as a result of a lack of attachment with the child.

  19. Longitudinal diffusion changes in prodromal and early HD: Evidence of white-matter tract deterioration. (United States)

    Shaffer, Joseph J; Ghayoor, Ali; Long, Jeffrey D; Kim, Regina Eun-Young; Lourens, Spencer; O'Donnell, Lauren J; Westin, Carl-Fredrik; Rathi, Yogesh; Magnotta, Vincent; Paulsen, Jane S; Johnson, Hans J


    Huntington's disease (HD) is a genetic neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects striatal neurons. Striatal volume loss is present years before clinical diagnosis; however, white matter degradation may also occur prior to diagnosis. Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) can measure microstructural changes associated with degeneration that precede macrostructural changes. DWI derived measures enhance understanding of degeneration in prodromal HD (pre-HD). As part of the PREDICT-HD study, N = 191 pre-HD individuals and 70 healthy controls underwent two or more (baseline and 1-5 year follow-up) DWI, with n = 649 total sessions. Images were processed using cutting-edge DWI analysis methods for large multicenter studies. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics were computed in selected tracts connecting the primary motor, primary somato-sensory, and premotor areas of the cortex with the subcortical caudate and putamen. Pre-HD participants were divided into three CAG-Age Product (CAP) score groups reflecting clinical diagnosis probability (low, medium, or high probabilities). Baseline and longitudinal group differences were examined using linear mixed models. Cross-sectional and longitudinal differences in DTI measures were present in all three CAP groups compared with controls. The high CAP group was most affected. This is the largest longitudinal DWI study of pre-HD to date. Findings showed DTI differences, consistent with white matter degeneration, were present up to a decade before predicted HD diagnosis. Our findings indicate a unique role for disrupted connectivity between the premotor area and the putamen, which may be closely tied to the onset of motor symptoms in HD. Hum Brain Mapp 38:1460-1477, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Positive evolutionary selection of an HD motif on Alzheimer precursor protein orthologues suggests a functional role.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    István Miklós


    Full Text Available HD amino acid duplex has been found in the active center of many different enzymes. The dyad plays remarkably different roles in their catalytic processes that usually involve metal coordination. An HD motif is positioned directly on the amyloid beta fragment (Aβ and on the carboxy-terminal region of the extracellular domain (CAED of the human amyloid precursor protein (APP and a taxonomically well defined group of APP orthologues (APPOs. In human Aβ HD is part of a presumed, RGD-like integrin-binding motif RHD; however, neither RHD nor RXD demonstrates reasonable conservation in APPOs. The sequences of CAEDs and the position of the HD are not particularly conserved either, yet we show with a novel statistical method using evolutionary modeling that the presence of HD on CAEDs cannot be the result of neutral evolutionary forces (p<0.0001. The motif is positively selected along the evolutionary process in the majority of APPOs, despite the fact that HD motif is underrepresented in the proteomes of all species of the animal kingdom. Position migration can be explained by high probability occurrence of multiple copies of HD on intermediate sequences, from which only one is kept by selective evolutionary forces, in a similar way as in the case of the "transcription binding site turnover." CAED of all APP orthologues and homologues are predicted to bind metal ions including Amyloid-like protein 1 (APLP1 and Amyloid-like protein 2 (APLP2. Our results suggest that HDs on the CAEDs are most probably key components of metal-binding domains, which facilitate and/or regulate inter- or intra-molecular interactions in a metal ion-dependent or metal ion concentration-dependent manner. The involvement of naturally occurring mutations of HD (Tottori (D7N and English (H6R mutations in early onset Alzheimer's disease gives additional support to our finding that HD has an evolutionary preserved function on APPOs.

  1. Photochemistry in terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres. III. Photochemistry and thermochemistry in thick atmospheres on super Earths and mini Neptunes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hu, Renyu; Seager, Sara, E-mail: [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)


    Some super Earths and mini Neptunes will likely have thick atmospheres that are not H{sub 2}-dominated. We have developed a photochemistry-thermochemistry kinetic-transport model for exploring the compositions of thick atmospheres on super Earths and mini Neptunes, applicable for both H{sub 2}-dominated atmospheres and non-H{sub 2}-dominated atmospheres. Using this model to study thick atmospheres for wide ranges of temperatures and elemental abundances, we classify them into hydrogen-rich atmospheres, water-rich atmospheres, oxygen-rich atmospheres, and hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres. We find that carbon has to be in the form of CO{sub 2} rather than CH{sub 4} or CO in a H{sub 2}-depleted water-dominated thick atmosphere and that the preferred loss of light elements from an oxygen-poor carbon-rich atmosphere leads to the formation of unsaturated hydrocarbons (C{sub 2}H{sub 2} and C{sub 2}H{sub 4}). We apply our self-consistent atmosphere models to compute spectra and diagnostic features for known transiting low-mass exoplanets GJ 1214 b, HD 97658 b, and 55 Cnc e. For GJ 1214 b, we find that (1) C{sub 2}H{sub 2} features at 1.0 and 1.5 μm in transmission and C{sub 2}H{sub 2} and C{sub 2}H{sub 4} features at 9-14 μm in thermal emission are diagnostic for hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres; (2) a detection of water-vapor features and a confirmation of the nonexistence of methane features would provide sufficient evidence for a water-dominated atmosphere. In general, our simulations show that chemical stability has to be taken into account when interpreting the spectrum of a super Earth/mini Neptune. Water-dominated atmospheres only exist for carbon to oxygen ratios much lower than the solar ratio, suggesting that this kind of atmospheres could be rare.

  2. Is this a Brown Dwarf or an Exoplanet? (United States)


    Since the discovery in 1995 of the first planet orbiting a normal star other than the Sun, there are now more than 150 candidates of these so-called exoplanets known. Most of them are detected by indirect methods, based either on variations of the radial velocity or the dimming of the star as the planet passes in front of it (see ESO PR 06/03, ESO PR 11/04 and ESO PR 22/04). Astronomers would, however, prefer to obtain a direct image of an exoplanet, allowing them to better characterize the object's physical nature. This is an exceedingly difficult task, as the planet is generally hidden in the "glare" of its host star. To partly overcome this problem, astronomers study very young objects. Indeed, sub-stellar objects are much hotter and brighter when young and therefore can be more easily detected than older objects of similar mass. Based on this approach, it might well be that last year's detection of a feeble speck of light next to the young brown dwarf 2M1207 by an international team of astronomers using the ESO Very Large Telescope (ESO PR 23/04) is the long-sought bona-fide image of an exoplanet. A recent report based on data from the Hubble Space Telescope seems to confirm this result. The even more recent observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope of the warm infrared glows of two previously detected "hot Jupiter" planets is another interesting result in this context. This wealth of new results, obtained in the time span of a few months, illustrates perfectly the dynamic of this field of research. Tiny Companion ESO PR Photo 10a/05 ESO PR Photo 10a/05 The Sub-Stellar Companion to GQ Lupi (NACO/VLT) [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 429 pix - 22k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 875 pix - 132k] [Full Res - JPEG: 1042 x 1116 pix - 241k] Caption: ESO PR Photo 10a/05 shows the VLT NACO image, taken in the Ks-band, of GQ Lupi. The feeble point of light to the right of the star is the newly found cold companion. It is 250 times fainter than the star itself and it located 0

  3. Slow Motion and Zoom in HD Digital Videos Using Fractals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurizio Murroni


    Full Text Available Slow motion replay and spatial zooming are special effects used in digital video rendering. At present, most techniques to perform digital spatial zoom and slow motion are based on interpolation for both enlarging the size of the original pictures and generating additional intermediate frames. Mainly, interpolation is done either by linear or cubic spline functions or by motion estimation/compensation which both can be applied pixel by pixel, or by partitioning frames into blocks. Purpose of this paper is to present an alternative technique combining fractals theory and wavelet decomposition to achieve spatial zoom and slow motion replay of HD digital color video sequences. Fast scene change detection, active scene detection, wavelet subband analysis, and color fractal coding based on Earth Mover's Distance (EMD measure are used to reduce computational load and to improve visual quality. Experiments show that the proposed scheme achieves better results in terms of overall visual quality compared to the state-of-the-art techniques.

  4. The Detached Dust Shell around the Massive Star HD 179821. (United States)

    Jura; Werner


    We have used the Keck I telescope to resolve at three mid-IR wavelengths the emission from HD 179821 (= RAFGL 2343), a G-type supergiant of perhaps 30 M middle dot in circle with a detached dust shell. The shell is very approximately circular in shape with an inner diameter of approximately 3&farcs;3, corresponding to 3.0x1017 cm. We estimate that the star was losing approximately 4x10-4 M middle dot in circle yr-1 until about 1800 yr ago, when the mass loss slowed dramatically. During the past approximately 104 yr, the star has lost approximately 10% of its initial mass. The star lies about 0&farcs;35 off center and is closer to the brighter, northern hemisphere of the nebula, which can be explained if the outflow velocity Vinfinity deviates by +20% from the average in the southern hemisphere and -20% from the average in the northern hemisphere. The mass-loss rate M&d2;(straight theta) may have been inversely correlated with the outflow velocity so that the momentum outflow p&d2; was isotropic during the mass-loss phase. It also seems that M&d2;totalVinfinity was within a factor of 2 of L*/c, where L* is the current luminosity of the star; the mass loss may have been driven by radiation pressure. These results may help characterize the asymmetric circumstellar winds into which supernova explosions propagate.

  5. The mysterious companion of the hot subdwarf HD 49798 (United States)

    Mereghetti, S.; Pintore, F.; Esposito, P.; La Palombara, N.; Tiengo, A.; Israel, G.; Stella, L.


    The system HD 49798/RXJ0648.0-4418 is the only X-ray binary in which the companion star is a hot subdwarf. The short orbital period (1.5 days), circular orbit, and element abundances suggest that this system is the outcome of a common envelope evolution of a couple of intermediate mass stars. The X-ray pulsations at 13.2 s indicate that the compact object, with a dynamically measured mass of 1.3 solar masses, is a neutron star or a white dwarf. Given the large mass, the latter possibility, favoured by the low X-ray luminosity, implies that this system might be a good candidate progenitor for a type Ia supernova explosion. However, our recent discovery of a secular spin-up at a rate of 2×10^{-15} s s^{-1} is best explained assuming that the compact object is a neutron star fed by wind accretion. I discuss the possible interpretations of this unique system, showing that its X-ray spectral and timing properties are different from those of classical X-binaries and cataclismic variables, possibly due to the peculiar nature of the mass donor star.

  6. HD 49798: Its History of Binary Interaction and Future Evolution (United States)

    Brooks, Jared; Kupfer, Thomas; Bildsten, Lars


    The bright subdwarf-O star (sdO) HD 49798 is in a 1.55 day orbit with a compact companion that is spinning at 13.2 s. Using the measurements of the effective temperature ({T}{eff}), surface gravity ({log}g), and surface abundances of the sdO, we construct models to study the evolution of this binary system using Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA). Previous studies of the compact companion have disagreed on whether it is a white dwarf (WD) or a neutron star (NS). From the published measurements of the companion’s spin and spin-up rate, we agree with Mereghetti and collaborators that an NS companion is more likely. However, since there remains the possibility of a WD companion, we use our constructed MESA models to run simulations with both WD and NS companions that help us constrain the past and future evolution of this system. If it presently contains an NS, the immediate mass transfer evolution upon Roche lobe filling will lead to mass transfer rates comparable to that implied in ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs). Depending on the rate of angular momentum extraction via a wind, the fate of this system is either a wide ({P}{orb}≈ 3 day) intermediate-mass binary pulsar (IMPB) with a relatively rapidly spinning NS (≈0.3 s) and a high mass WD (≈ 0.9 {M}⊙ ), or a solitary millisecond pulsar (MSP).

  7. The Spectroscopic Orbit of the Planetary Companion Transiting HD 209458. (United States)

    Mazeh; Naef; Torres; Latham; Mayor; Beuzit; Brown; Buchhave; Burnet; Carney; Charbonneau; Drukier; Laird; Pepe; Perrier; Queloz; Santos; Sivan; Udry; Zucker


    We report a spectroscopic orbit with period P=3.52433+/-0.00027 days for the planetary companion that transits the solar-type star HD 209458. For the metallicity, mass, and radius of the star, we derive [Fe/H&sqbr0;=0.00+/-0.02, M*=1.1+/-0.1 M middle dot in circle, and R*=1.2+/-0.1 R middle dot in circle. This is based on a new analysis of the iron lines in our HIRES template spectrum and also on the absolute magnitude, effective temperature, and color of the star, and it uses isochrones from four different sets of stellar evolution models. Using these values for the stellar parameters, we reanalyze the transit data and derive an orbital inclination of i=86&fdg;1+/-1&fdg;6. For the planet, we derive a mass of Mp=0.69+/-0.05 MJup, a radius of Rp=1.40+/-0.17 RJup, and a density of rho=0.31+/-0.07 g cm-3.

  8. Laser Driven H/d Target at Mit-Bates (United States)

    Clasie, B.; Crawford, C.; Dutta, D.; Gao, H.; Seely, J.


    A polarized hydrogen/deuterium internal target is being developed at MIT to be used in the South Hall Ring (SHR) at the MIT-Bates Linear Accelerator Center. In principle such a target can yield a higher figure of merit than that of the conventional atomic beam source (ABS) because of its greater thickness. Potassium vapor is optically pumped by circularly polarized laser light, tuned to the 770 nm D1 transition, in a spherical spin-exchange cell which is optimized to reduce recombination and depolarization. The angular momentum is then transfered to the H/D atoms through spin exchange collisions. Even in the 100 mTesla holding field needed to overcome radiation trapping and efficiently pump potassium, the large number of hydrogen collisions in the spin-exchange cell enhances the hyperfine interactions and drives the system to spin temperature equilibrium, yielding high nuclear polarization without RF transitions. A description of the target with preliminary measurements of hydrogen dissociation and atomic polarization has been reported elsewhere1. An update of these results based on a new spin-exchange cell will now be presented. The spin-exchange cell is still in the process of being optimized.

  9. A Herschel resolved debris disc around HD 105211 (United States)

    Hengst, S.; Marshall, J. P.; Horner, J.; Marsden, S. C.


    Debris discs are the dusty aftermath of planet formation processes around main-sequence stars. Analysis of these discs is often hampered by the absence of any meaningful constraint on the location and spatial extent of the disc around its host star. Multi-wavelength, resolved imaging ameliorates the degeneracies inherent in the modelling process, making such data indispensable in the interpretation of these systems. The Herschel Space Observatory observed HD 105211 (η Cru, HIP 59072) with its Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) instrument in three far-infrared wavebands (70, 100 and 160 μm). Here we combine these data with ancillary photometry spanning optical to far-infrared wavelengths in order to determine the extent of the circumstellar disc. The spectral energy distribution and multi-wavelength resolved emission of the disc are simultaneously modelled using a radiative transfer and imaging codes. Analysis of the Herschel/PACS images reveals the presence of extended structure in all three PACS images. From a radiative transfer model we derive a disc extent of 87.0 ± 2.5 au, with an inclination of 70.7 ± 2.2° to the line of sight and a position angle of 30.1 ± 0.5°. Deconvolution of the Herschel images reveals a potential asymmetry but this remains uncertain as a combined radiative transfer and image analysis replicates both the structure and the emission of the disc using a single axisymmetric annulus.

  10. Organocatalytic Imidazolium Ionic Liquids H/D Exchange Catalysts. (United States)

    Zanatta, Marcileia; Dos Santos, Francisco P; Biehl, Cristina; Marin, Graciane; Ebeling, Gunter; Netz, Paulo A; Dupont, Jairton


    Simple 1,2,3-trialkylimidazolium cation associated with basic anions, such as hydrogen carbonate, prolinate, and imidazolate, is an active catalyst for the H/D exchange reaction of various substrates using CDCl3 as D source, without the addition of any extra bases or metal. High deuterium incorporation (up to 49%) in acidic C-H bonds of ketone and alkyne substrates (pKa from 18.7 to 28.8) was found at room temperature. The reaction proceeds through the fast and reversible deuteration of the 2-methyl H of the imidazolium cation followed by D transfer to the substrate. The IL acts as a neutral base catalyst in which the contact ion pair is maintained in the course of the reaction. The basic active site is due to the presence of a remote basic site in the anion namely, OH of bicarbonate, NH of prolinate, and activated water in the imidazolate anion. Detailed kinetic experiments demonstrate that the reaction is first order on the substrate and pseudozero order relative to the ionic liquid, due to the fast reversible reaction involving the deuteration of the ionic liquid by the solvent.

  11. HD-RNAS: An automated hierarchical database of RNA structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shubhra Sankar eRay


    Full Text Available One of the important goals of most biological investigations is to classify and organize the experimental findings so that they are readily useful for deriving generalized rules. Although there is a huge amount of information on RNA structures in PDB, there are redundant files, ambiguous synthetic sequences etc. Moreover, a systematic hierarchical organization, reflecting RNA classification, is missing in PDB. In this investigation, we have classified all the available RNA crystal structures from PDB through a programmatic approach. Hence, it would be now a simple assignment to regularly update the classification as and when new structures are released. The classification can further determine (i a non-redundant set of RNA structures and (ii if available, a set of structures of identical sequence and function, which can highlight structural polymorphism, ligand-induced conformational alterations etc. Presently, we have classified the available structures (2095 PDB entries having RNA chain longer than 9 nucleotides solved by X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy into nine functional classes. The structures of same function and same source are mostly seen to be similar with subtle differences depending on their functional complexation. The web-server is available online at and is updated regularly.

  12. It's Far, It's Small, It's Cool: It's an Icy Exoplanet! (United States)


    Using a network of telescopes scattered across the globe, including the Danish 1.54m telescope at ESO La Silla (Chile), astronomers [1] discovered a new extrasolar planet significantly more Earth-like than any other planet found so far. The planet, which is only about 5 times as massive as the Earth, circles its parent star in about 10 years. It is the least massive exoplanet around an ordinary star detected so far and also the coolest [2]. The planet most certainly has a rocky/icy surface. Its discovery marks a groundbreaking result in the search for planets that support life. ESO PR Photo 03a/06 ESO PR Photo 03a/06 Artist's Impression of the Newly Found Exoplanet The new planet, designated by the unglamorous identifier of OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, orbits a red star five times less massive than the Sun and located at a distance of about 20,000 light years, not far from the centre of our Milky Way galaxy. Its relatively cool parent star and large orbit implies that the likely surface temperature of the planet is 220 degrees Centigrade below zero, too cold for liquid water. It is likely to have a thin atmosphere, like the Earth, but its rocky surface is probably deeply buried beneath frozen oceans. It may therefore more closely resemble a more massive version of Pluto, rather than the rocky inner planets like Earth and Venus. "This planet is actually the first and only planet that has been discovered so far that is in agreement with the theories for how our Solar System formed ", said Uffe Gråe Jørgensen (Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark), member of the team. The favoured theoretical explanation for the formation of planetary systems proposes that solid 'planetesimals' accumulate to build up planetary cores, which then accrete nebular gas - to form giant planets - if they are sufficiently massive. Around red dwarfs, the most common stars of our Galaxy, this model favours the formation of Earth- to Neptune-mass planets being between 1 and 10 times the Earth

  13. Variable Dynamics in the Inner Disk of HD 135344B Revealed with Multi-epoch Scattered Light Imaging (United States)

    Stolker, Tomas; Sitko, Mike; Lazareff, Bernard; Benisty, Myriam; Dominik, Carsten; Waters, Rens; Min, Michiel; Perez, Sebastian; Milli, Julien; Garufi, Antonio; de Boer, Jozua; Ginski, Christian; Kraus, Stefan; Berger, Jean-Philippe; Avenhaus, Henning


    We present multi-epoch Very Large Telescope/Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (VLT/SPHERE) observations of the protoplanetary disk around HD 135344B (SAO 206462). The J-band scattered light imagery reveal, with high spatial resolution (˜41 mas, 6.4 au), the disk surface beyond ˜20 au. Temporal variations are identified in the azimuthal brightness distributions of all epochs, presumably related to the asymmetrically shading dust distribution in the inner disk. These shadows manifest themselves as narrow lanes, cast by localized density enhancements, and broader features which possibly trace the larger scale dynamics of the inner disk. We acquired visible and near-infrared photometry which shows variations up to 10% in the JHK bands, possibly correlated with the presence of the shadows. Analysis of archival Very Large Telescope Interferometer/Precision Integrated-Optics Near-infrared Imaging ExpeRiment (VLTI/PIONIER) H-band visibilities constrain the orientation of the inner disk to I=18\\buildrel{\\circ}\\over{.} {2}-4.1+3.4 and {PA}=57\\buildrel{\\circ}\\over{.} 3+/- 5\\buildrel{\\circ}\\over{.} 7, consistent with an alignment with the outer disk or a minor disk warp of several degrees. The latter scenario could explain the broad, quasi-stationary shadowing in north-northwest direction in case the inclination of the outer disk is slightly larger. The correlation between the shadowing and the near-infrared excess is quantified with a grid of radiative transfer models. The variability of the scattered light contrast requires extended variations in the inner disk atmosphere (H/r≲ 0.2). Possible mechanisms that may cause asymmetric variations in the optical depth ({{Δ }}τ ≲ 1) through the atmosphere of the inner disk include turbulent fluctuations, planetesimal collisions, or a dusty disk wind, possibly enhanced by a minor disk warp. A fine temporal sampling is required to follow day-to-day changes of the shadow patterns which may be a face

  14. Far-infrared HD emission as a measure of protoplanetary disk mass (United States)

    Trapman, L.; Miotello, A.; Kama, M.; van Dishoeck, E. F.; Bruderer, S.


    Context. Protoplanetary disks around young stars are the sites of planet formation. While the dust mass can be estimated using standard methods, determining the gas mass - and thus the amount of material available to form giant planets - has proven to be very difficult. Hydrogen deuteride (HD) is a promising alternative to the commonly used gas mass tracer, carbon monoxide. However, the potential of HD has not yet been investigated with models incorporating both HD and CO isotopologue-specific chemistry, and its sensitivity to uncertainties in disk parameters has not yet been quantified. Aims: We examine the robustness of HD as tracer of the disk gas mass, specifically the effect of gas mass on HD far-infrared emission and its sensitivity to the vertical structure. Also, we seek to provide requirements for future far-infrared missions such as SPICA. Methods: Deuterium chemistry reactions relevant for HD were implemented in the thermochemical code DALI and more than 160 disk models were run for a range of disk masses and vertical structures. Results: The HD J = 1-0 line intensity depends directly on the gas mass through a sublinear power law relation with a slope of 0.8. Assuming no prior knowledge about the vertical structure of a disk and using only the HD 1-0 flux, gas masses can be estimated to within a factor of two for low mass disks (Mdisk ≤ 10-3M⊙). For more massive disks, this uncertainty increases to more than an order of magnitude. Adding the HD 2-1 line or independent information about the vertical structure can reduce this uncertainty to a factor of 3 for all disk masses. For TW Hya, using the radial and vertical structure from the literature, the observations constrain the gas mass to 6 × 10-3M⊙ ≤ Mdisk ≤ 9 × 10-3M⊙. Future observations require a 5σ sensitivity of 1.8 × 10-20 W m-2 (2.5 × 10-20 W m-2) and a spectral resolving power R ≥ 300 (1000) to detect HD 1-0 (HD 2-1) for all disk masses above 10-5M⊙ with a line

  15. The role of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in human sulfur mustard (HD) toxicology. (United States)

    Arroyo, C M; Broomfield, C A; Hackley, B E


    The authors applied in vitro models of controlled damage to human epidermal keratinocytes (HEKs), human skin fibroblasts (HSFs), and human breast skin tissue (HBST) to examine the mechanism responsible for sulfur mustard (HD)-induced interleukin-6 (IL-6) alterations. Treatment with 100 microM HD for 24 hours resulted in a significant increased amount of IL-6 being secreted by HEKs (HD-exposed to control ratio [E/C] = 4.15 +/- 0.07) and by HSFs (E/C = 7.66 +/- 0.04). Furthermore, the HD-induced secretion of IL-6 in HEKs was neutralized with monoclonal human IL-6 antibodies. The secretion of IL-6 in HBST supernatant exposed to HD produced conflicting results. Although an increase of IL-6 was observed in control superfusion media from HBST, IL-6 levels were observed to decrease as the concentration of HD increased. Time course of IL-6 mRNA levels were performed using a competitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and human IL-6 mRNA assay detection kit in control and HD (100 microM)-treated HEKs cells. IL-6 mRNA transcripts in HD-exposed HEKs were first observed within 2 hours, dropped at 5 to 6 hours, and increased by approximately 2.2-fold and 8.5-fold at 24 to 48 hours after HD exposure, respectively, as detected by the Xplore mRNA Quantification System. Surface-enhanced laser desorption ionization (SELDI) mass spectrometry was also applied to study the secretion pattern of IL-6 on lysate preparations of HBST. A peak in the area of 23,194 to 23,226 Da was detected using antibody coupled to the chip. This peak was assigned to correspond to the mass of the IL-6 glycoprotein. Recombinant human IL-6 (rhIL-6) exposed to HD lacked the second disulfide bridge and was partially unfolded, as determined by nuclear magnetic resonance-nuclear Overhauser enhancement and exchange spectroscopy (NMR-NOESY). The disappearance of the resonance peak at 3.54 ppm and the appearance of a new chemical shift at 1.85 ppm suggested that a change in structure had occurred in the presence of

  16. PLATO: a multiple telescope spacecraft for exo-planets hunting (United States)

    Ragazzoni, Roberto; Magrin, Demetrio; Rauer, Heike; Pagano, Isabella; Nascimbeni, Valerio; Piotto, Giampaolo; Piazza, Daniele; Levacher, Patrick; Schweitzer, Mario; Basso, Stefano; Bandy, Timothy; Benz, Willy; Bergomi, Maria; Biondi, Federico; Boerner, Anko; Borsa, Francesco; Brandeker, Alexis; Brändli, Mathias; Bruno, Giordano; Cabrera, Juan; Chinellato, Simonetta; De Roche, Thierry; Dima, Marco; Erikson, Anders; Farinato, Jacopo; Munari, Matteo; Ghigo, Mauro; Greggio, Davide; Gullieuszik, Marco; Klebor, Maximilian; Marafatto, Luca; Mogulsky, Valery; Peter, Gisbert; Rieder, Martin; Sicilia, Daniela; Spiga, Daniele; Viotto, Valentina; Wieser, Matthias; Heras, Ana Maria; Gondoin, Philippe; Bodin, Pierre; Catala, Claude


    PLATO stands for PLAnetary Transits and Oscillation of stars and is a Medium sized mission selected as M3 by the European Space Agency as part of the Cosmic Vision program. The strategy behind is to scrutinize a large fraction of the sky collecting lightcurves of a large number of stars and detecting transits of exo-planets whose apparent orbit allow for the transit to be visible from the Earth. Furthermore, as the transit is basically able to provide the ratio of the size of the transiting planet to the host star, the latter is being characterized by asteroseismology, allowing to provide accurate masses, radii and hence density of a large sample of extra solar bodies. In order to be able to then follow up from the ground via spectroscopy radial velocity measurements these candidates the search must be confined to rather bright stars. To comply with the statistical rate of the occurrence of such transits around these kind of stars one needs a telescope with a moderate aperture of the order of one meter but with a Field of View that is of the order of 50 degrees in diameter. This is achieved by splitting the optical aperture into a few dozens identical telescopes with partially overlapping Field of View to build up a mixed ensemble of differently covered area of the sky to comply with various classes of magnitude stars. The single telescopes are refractive optical systems with an internally located pupil defined by a CaF2 lens, and comprising an aspheric front lens and a strong field flattener optical element close to the detectors mosaic. In order to continuously monitor for a few years with the aim to detect planetary transits similar to an hypothetical twin of the Earth, with the same revolution period, the spacecraft is going to be operated while orbiting around the L2 Lagrangian point of the Earth-Sun system so that the Earth disk is no longer a constraints potentially interfering with such a wide field continuous uninterrupted survey.

  17. Clouds and hazes in exoplanets and brown dwarfs (United States)

    Morley, Caroline Victoria

    The formation of clouds significantly alters the spectra of cool substellar atmospheres from terrestrial planets to brown dwarfs. In cool planets like Earth and Jupiter, volatile species like water and ammonia condense to form ice clouds. In hot planets and brown dwarfs, iron and silicates instead condense, forming dusty clouds. Irradiated methane-rich planets may have substantial hydrocarbon hazes. During my dissertation, I have studied the impact of clouds and hazes in a variety of substellar objects. First, I present results for cool brown dwarfs including clouds previously neglected in model atmospheres. Model spectra that include sulfide and salt clouds can match the spectra of T dwarf atmospheres; water ice clouds will alter the spectra of the newest and coldest brown dwarfs, the Y dwarfs. These sulfide/salt and ice clouds potentially drive spectroscopic variability in these cool objects, and this variability should be distinguishable from variability caused by hot spots. Next, I present results for small, cool exoplanets between the size of Earth and Neptune. They likely have sulfide and salt clouds and also have photochemical hazes caused by stellar irradiation. Vast resources have been dedicated to characterizing the handful of super Earths and Neptunes accessible to current telescopes, yet of the planets smaller than Neptune studied to date, all have radii in the near-infrared consistent with being constant in wavelength, likely showing that these small planets are consistently enshrouded in thick hazes and clouds. For the super Earth GJ 1214b, very thick, lofted clouds of salts or sulfides in high metallicity (1000x solar) atmospheres create featureless transmission spectra in the near-infrared. Photochemical hazes also create featureless transmission spectra at lower metallicities. For the Neptune-sized GJ 436b, its thermal emission and transmission spectra combine indicate a high metallicity atmosphere, potentially heated by tides and affected by

  18. Imaging polarimetry for the characterisation of exoplanets and protoplanetary discs : scientific and technical challenges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Juan Ovelar, Maria de


    The study of exoplanets and the protoplanetary discs in which they form is a very challenging task. In this thesis we present several studies in which we investigate the potential of imaging polarimetry at visible and near-infrared wavelengths to reveal the characteristics of these objects and

  19. Metallicity of Sun-like G-stars that have Exoplanets

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Shashanka R. Gurumath


    Jun 19, 2017 ... metallicity of host stars that have exoplanets, we try to understand how the metal content of a stellar neb- ula might have affected the planetary formation, (ii) we examine whether single and multiplanetary systems have similar mechanism of planetary formation or not, and the role of host stars' metallicity in ...

  20. Role of ocean heat transport in climates of tidally locked exoplanets around M dwarf stars (United States)

    Hu, Yongyun; Yang, Jun


    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 suggest that ocean heat transport likely narrows the width of M dwarfs’ habitable zone. This study provides a demonstration of the importance of exooceanography in determining climate states and habitability of exoplanets. PMID:24379386

  1. Role of ocean heat transport in climates of tidally locked exoplanets around M dwarf stars. (United States)

    Hu, Yongyun; Yang, Jun


    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 suggest that ocean heat transport likely narrows the width of M dwarfs' habitable zone. This study provides a demonstration of the importance of exooceanography in determining climate states and habitability of exoplanets.

  2. On Advanced Estimation Techniques for Exoplanet Detection and Characterization Using Ground-based Coronagraphs. (United States)

    Lawson, Peter R; Poyneer, Lisa; Barrett, Harrison; Frazin, Richard; Caucci, Luca; Devaney, Nicholas; Furenlid, Lars; Gładysz, Szymon; Guyon, Olivier; Krist, John; Maire, Jérôme; Marois, Christian; Mawet, Dimitri; Mouillet, David; Mugnier, Laurent; Pearson, Iain; Perrin, Marshall; Pueyo, Laurent; Savransky, Dmitry


    The direct imaging of planets around nearby stars is exceedingly difficult. Only about 14 exoplanets have been imaged to date that have masses less than 13 times that of Jupiter. The next generation of planet-finding coronagraphs, including VLT-SPHERE, the Gemini Planet Imager, Palomar P1640, and Subaru HiCIAO have predicted contrast performance of roughly a thousand times less than would be needed to detect Earth-like planets. In this paper we review the state of the art in exoplanet imaging, most notably the method of Locally Optimized Combination of Images (LOCI), and we investigate the potential of improving the detectability of faint exoplanets through the use of advanced statistical methods based on the concepts of the ideal observer and the Hotelling observer. We propose a formal comparison of techniques using a blind data challenge with an evaluation of performance using the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) and Localization ROC (LROC) curves. We place particular emphasis on the understanding and modeling of realistic sources of measurement noise in ground-based AO-corrected coronagraphs. The work reported in this paper is the result of interactions between the co-authors during a week-long workshop on exoplanet imaging that was held in Squaw Valley, California, in March of 2012.

  3. Looking for the rainbow on exoplanets covered by liquid and icy water clouds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


    Aims. Looking for the primary rainbow in starlight that is reflected by exoplanets appears to be a promising method to search for liquid water clouds in exoplanetary atmospheres. Ice water clouds, that consist of water crystals instead of water droplets, could potentially mask the rainbow feature in

  4. Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx): Architecture of the 4m Mission Concept (United States)

    Kuan, Gary M.; Warfield, Keith R.; Mennesson, Bertrand; Kiessling, Alina; Stahl, H. Philip; Martin, Stefan; Shaklan, Stuart B.; amini, rashied


    The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) study is tasked by NASA to develop a scientifically compelling and technologically feasible exoplanet direct imaging mission concept, with extensive general astrophysics capabilities, for the 2020 Decadal Survey in Astrophysics. The baseline architecture of this space-based observatory concept encompasses an unobscured 4m diameter aperture telescope flying in formation with a 72-meter diameter starshade occulter. This large aperture, ultra-stable observatory concept extends and enhances upon the legacy of the Hubble Space Telescope by allowing us to probe even fainter objects and peer deeper into the Universe in the same ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared wavelengths, and gives us the capability, for the first time, to image and characterize potentially habitable, Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting nearby stars. Revolutionary direct imaging of exoplanets will be undertaken using a high-contrast coronagraph and a starshade imager. General astrophysics science will be undertaken with two world-class instruments – a wide-field workhorse camera for imaging and multi-object grism spectroscopy, and a multi-object, multi-resolution ultraviolet spectrograph. This poster outlines the baseline architecture of the HabEx flagship mission concept.

  5. Gaia and WEAVE/WxES: Supporting the PLATO Exoplanet Hunter (United States)

    Walton, N. A.


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

  6. Red-edge position of habitable exoplanets around M-dwarfs. (United States)

    Takizawa, Kenji; Minagawa, Jun; Tamura, Motohide; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Narita, Norio


    One of the possible signs of life on distant habitable exoplanets is the red-edge, which is a rise in the reflectivity of planets between visible and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. Previous studies suggested the possibility that the red-edge position for habitable exoplanets around M-dwarfs may be shifted to a longer wavelength than that for Earth. We investigated plausible red-edge position in terms of the light environment during the course of the evolution of phototrophs. We show that phototrophs on M-dwarf habitable exoplanets may use visible light when they first evolve in the ocean and when they first colonize the land. The adaptive evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis may eventually also use NIR radiation, by one of two photochemical reaction centers, with the other center continuing to use visible light. These "two-color" reaction centers can absorb more photons, but they will encounter difficulty in adapting to drastically changing light conditions at the boundary between land and water. NIR photosynthesis can be more productive on land, though its evolution would be preceded by the Earth-type vegetation. Thus, the red-edge position caused by photosynthetic organisms on habitable M-dwarf exoplanets could initially be similar to that on Earth and later move to a longer wavelength.

  7. Disentangling degenerate solutions from primary transit and secondary eclipse spectroscopy of exoplanets. (United States)

    Griffith, Caitlin A


    Infrared transmission and emission spectroscopy of exoplanets, recorded from primary transit and secondary eclipse measurements, indicate the presence of the most abundant carbon and oxygen molecular species (H2O, CH4, CO and CO2) in a few exoplanets. However, efforts to constrain the molecular abundances to within several orders of magnitude are thwarted by the broad range of degenerate solutions that fit the data. Here, we explore, with radiative transfer models and analytical approximations, the nature of the degenerate solution sets resulting from the sparse measurements of 'hot Jupiter' exoplanets. As demonstrated with simple analytical expressions, primary transit measurements probe roughly four atmospheric scale heights at each wavelength band. Derived mixing ratios from these data are highly sensitive to errors in the radius of the planet at a reference pressure. For example, an uncertainty of 1% in the radius of a 1000 K and H2-based exoplanet with Jupiter's radius and mass causes an uncertainty of a factor of approximately 100-10,000 in the derived gas mixing ratios. The degree of sensitivity depends on how the line strength increases with the optical depth (i.e. the curve of growth) and the atmospheric scale height. Temperature degeneracies in the solutions of the primary transit data, which manifest their effects through the scale height and absorption coefficients, are smaller. We argue that these challenges can be partially surmounted by a combination of selected wavelength sampling of optical and infrared measurements and, when possible, the joint analysis of transit and secondary eclipse data of exoplanets. However, additional work is needed to constrain other effects, such as those owing to planetary clouds and star spots. Given the current range of open questions in the field, both observations and theory, there is a need for detailed measurements with space-based large mirror platforms (e.g. James web space telescope) and smaller broad survey

  8. A Model for Astrometric Detection and Characterization of Multi-Exoplanet Systems (United States)

    April Thompson, Maggie; Spergel, David N.


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

  9. Constraining Hot Jupiter Atmospheric Structure and Dynamics through Doppler-shifted Emission Spectra (United States)

    Zhang, Jisheng; Kempton, Eliza M.-R.; Rauscher, Emily


    We present a coupled 3D atmospheric dynamics and radiative transfer model to predict the disk-integrated thermal emission spectra of transiting exoplanets in edge-on orbits. We calculate spectra at high resolution to examine the extent to which high-resolution emission spectra are influenced by 3D atmospheric dynamics and planetary rotation and to determine whether and how we can constrain thermal structures and atmospheric dynamics through high-resolution spectroscopy. This study represents the first time that the line-of-sight geometry and resulting Doppler shifts from winds and rotation have been treated self-consistently in an emission spectrum radiative transfer model, which allows us to assess the impact of the velocity field on thermal emission spectra. We apply our model to predict emission spectra as a function of orbital phase for three hot Jupiters: HD 209458b, WASP-43b, and HD 189733b. We find net Doppler shifts in modeled spectra due to a combination of winds and rotation at a level of 1–3 km s‑1. These Doppler signatures vary in a quasi-sinusoidal pattern over the course of the planets’ orbits as the hot spots approach and recede from the observer’s viewpoint. We predict that WASP-43b produces the largest Doppler shift due to its fast rotation rate. We find that the net Doppler shift in an exoplanet’s disk-integrated thermal emission spectrum results from a complex combination of winds, rotation, and thermal structure. However, we offer a simple method that estimates the magnitude of equatorial wind speeds in hot Jupiters through measurements of net Doppler shifts and lower-resolution thermal phase curves.

  10. Constraining hot Jupiter’s atmospheric structure and dynamics through Doppler shifted emission spectra (United States)

    Zhang, Jisheng; Kempton, Eliza; Rauscher, Emily


    In recent years, astronomers have begun successfully observing the atmospheres of extrasolar planets using ground-based telescopes equipped with spectrographs capable of observing at high spectral resolution (R~105). Such studies are capable of diagnosing the atmospheric structure, composition, and dynamics (winds and rotation) of both transiting and non-transiting exoplanets. However, few studies have examined how the 3-D atmospheric dynamics could alter the emitted light of hot Jupiters at such high spectral resolution. Here, we present a model to explore such influence on the hot Jupiters’ thermal emission spectra. Our aim is to investigate the extent to which the effects of 3-D atmospheric dynamics are imprinted on planet-averaged thermal emission spectra. We couple together a 3-D general circulation model of hot Jupiter atmospheric dynamics (Rauscher & Menou, 2012) with a radiative transfer solver to predict the planet’s disk-integrated emission spectrum as a function of its orbital phase. For the first time, we self-consistently include the effects of the line-of-sight atmospheric motions (resulting from winds and rotation) in the calculation to produce Doppler-shifted spectral line profiles that result from the atmospheric dynamics. We focus our study on three benchmark hot Jupiters, HD 189733b, HD 209458b, and WASP-43b which have been the focus of previous detailed observational studies. We find that the high-resolution Doppler shifted thermal emission spectra can be used to diagnose key properties of the dynamical atmosphere - the planet’s longitudinal temperature and wind structure, and its rotation rate.

  11. Functional changes during working memory in Huntington's disease: 30-month longitudinal data from the IMAGE-HD study. (United States)

    Poudel, Govinda R; Stout, Julie C; Domínguez, D Juan F; Gray, Marcus A; Salmon, Louisa; Churchyard, Andrew; Chua, Phyllis; Borowsky, Beth; Egan, Gary F; Georgiou-Karistianis, Nellie


    We characterized 30-month longitudinal change in functional activation and connectivity during working memory in premanifest (pre-HD) and symptomatic (symp-HD) Huntington's disease (HD). In a case-control longitudinal study (baseline, 18 months, and 30 months), we compared change in fMRI activity over time during working memory in 22 pre-HD, 11 symp-HD, and 20 control participants. Outcome measures were BOLD (blood-oxygen-level-dependent) activity during 1-BACK and 2-BACK working memory and functional connectivity between dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and caudate. Compared with controls, the pre-HD group showed significantly increased activation longitudinally during 1-BACK in the left DLPFC and medial frontal cortex, and further increased activation during 2-BACK in the bilateral caudate, putamen, and temporal cortex. Longitudinal change in symp-HD was not significantly different from controls. Longitudinal changes in pre-HD were associated with disease burden and years to onset. The pre-HD group showed longitudinal decreased functional connectivity between left DLPFC and caudate during both 1-BACK and 2-BACK performance. We provide an evidence for longitudinal changes in BOLD activity during working memory prior to clinical manifestations of HD. The ability to increase activation in the prefrontal cortex over time may represent an early compensatory response during the premanifest stage, which may reflect an early marker for clinically relevant functional changes in HD.

  12. Feasibility of Formulating DECON GREEN with Airfraft Deicing Fluid: VX, GD, and HD Reactivity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wagner, George W; Procell, Lawrence R; Kiple, Joseph B; Taylor, Jeffrey S; Yang, Yu-Chu


    ...), hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol. The use of two currently fielded aircraft deicing fluids, containing ethylene glycol and/or propylene glycol and water, as substitutes for the alcohol constituent was assessed by examining the VX, GD, and HD...

  13. Amide H/D exchange in the thermal transition of bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Talluri, S.; Scheraga, H.A. (Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (USA))


    The H/D exchange behavior of RNase A at pH 2.5 at a number of temperatures spanning the thermal transition region has been examined by NMR spectroscopy. The amide proton of V116 has a slow rate of H/D exchange even at temperatures above the midpoint of the thermal transition. The H/D exchange behavior of the peptide corresponding to residues 105-124 of RNase A and the peptide corresponding to residues 115-117 is compared with that of RNase A, showing that folding/unfolding cannot be described by a two-state model, and that both short- and long-range interactions are responsible for the slow rate of H/D exchange.

  14. THz/Infrared Double Resonance Two-Photon Spectroscopy of HD+ for Determination of Fundamental Constants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florin Lucian Constantin


    Full Text Available A double resonance two-photon spectroscopy scheme is discussed to probe jointly rotational and rovibrational transitions of ensembles of trapped HD+ ions. The two-photon transition rates and lightshifts are calculated with the two-photon tensor operator formalism. The rotational lines may be observed with sub-Doppler linewidth at the hertz level and good signal-to-noise ratio, improving the resolution in HD+ spectroscopy beyond the 10−12 level. The experimental accuracy, estimated at the 10−12 level, is comparable with the accuracy of theoretical calculations of HD+ energy levels. An adjustment of selected rotational and rovibrational HD+ lines may add clues to the proton radius puzzle, may provide an independent determination of the Rydberg constant, and may improve the values of proton-to-electron and deuteron-to-proton mass ratios beyond the 10−11 level.

  15. Compensation in Preclinical Huntington's Disease: Evidence From the Track-On HD Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Klöppel


    Interpretation: Our findings provide evidence for active compensatory processes in premanifest-HD for cognitive demands and suggest a higher vulnerability of the left hemisphere to the effects of regional atrophy.

  16. 75 FR 27463 - List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: NUHOMS® HD System Revision 1; Correction (United States)


    ... amendment would be to the list of approved spent fuel storage casks to add revision 1 to the NUHOMS HD spent... page 25121, in the first column, the eighth full paragraph is corrected to read as follows: For...

  17. Detection of CH+ emission from the disc around